Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My favorite breakfast

Every weekday morning when I get up, the first thing I think about is breakfast.  I know some people skip breakfast and some people just have coffee, but I MUST have food to start the day.  And according to several studies, breakfast is the most important I think I'm healthier this way :)

I used to mix up my breakfasts every morning, but lately I've been sticking to the same general thing each day.  Oat bran is my go-to meal because it's packed with fiber, protein, and iron (all very important for a woman in her 20s!) - and also because it's low in fat and relatively low in calories.  1/3 cup of Trader Joe's oat bran has 130 calories and 3 g of fat....about even with a bowl of low-sugar cereal with milk.  If I add in extra protein and vitamins by mixing in fruit and peanut butter or almond butter, I've got a meal that's totally balanced, and also incredibly delicious!  One bowl, which with mix-ins is around 280 calories, keeps me full from breakfast (around 7 am) until lunch time (around noon), so I keep myself from snacking all morning long - that way, I save my snack for the 3pm slump :)

To keep my breakfasts a little varied, I change up the mix-ins for my oat bran all the time.  My absolute favorite so far is white peaches and blueberries with almond butter.....but since both of those fruits are out of season now, I'm sticking with apples or pears these days.  Today's bowl was one of my best....pears, pomegranate seeds, and almond butter.  I hope you try'll love it, I promise!

Oat Bran with Pears, Pomegranate Seeds, and Almond Butter

1/3 cup Trader Joes oat bran
1 cup water
1 pear, cut into bite-size cubes
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds  (I removed all seeds from a pomegranate and stored in the refrigerator)
1 tbsp Trader Joes creamy, unsalted almond butter

On stove top, heat up oat bran and water.  Start with burner on high until the oat bran starts to bubble, then turn down to medium-low and stir frequently until the oat bran reaches your desired consistency.  While oat bran is cooking, core and slice a pear.  Add oat bran, pear, and pomegranate seeds to a bowl, and top with a little bit of almond butter.  Mix, then enjoy!

I leave you with a picture of Mimu, enjoying the sunshine!  Hope your weather is as nice as mine today :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back on the wagon...and lasagna rolls!

So I admit, I clearly fell off the wagon on this one.  Life gets REALLY busy in bursts during grad school (as it does for everyone, really), and things just got too hectic.  I'm going to try to update whenever I can, and hopefully anyone who enjoys the blog will just stick with me through the thin patches :)

With colder temps coming upon us here in Philly, I've been craving warm comfort food.  This recipe for Lasagna Rolls, from Giada DeLaurentis, certainly hits the spot.  I used skim milk instead of whole milk, and left out the prosciutto (seriously, what single person has prosciutto lying around the house?).....and the rest of the ingredients are all relatively normal!

(sorry for the kinda lousy pictures....for some reason the shots without the flash weren't working!)

These were warm, cheesy, and actually pretty healthy (spinach + lowfat ricotta and milk = pretty good for you!).  Next time I might add something else.....maybe for fall, a little pumpkin in with the cheese?  Definitely YUM, especially with some extra nutmeg :)

I really liked that with this, you end up with portion-able food.  I ate three....but the others were saved individually in the freezer, so that I can take one out at a time if I want to eat them with something else.  That way, I can enjoy the deliciousness of this dinner food, but in a lunch portion - and if I mix it with a side salad or something, it'll be plenty filling.

The best part is, most of the ingredients are pretty shelf-stable, and can be easily modified.  With the leftover noodles and cheese, I could make a more traditional lasagna......or just break up all the noodles and mix them with sauce and cheese later for a quick dinner.  And the rest of the spinach I can save for another meal, or use in a smoothie a different time!