Tagged: bananas

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right – National Nutrition Month

G’day Mates!! Happy Tuesday!! I hope you’re all peachy-keen!! Me? I’m swell! I had a fabbbulous breakfast and I’m sippin’ on some tea (decaf earl gray, obvi), and I’ve decided it’s time to get serious with you for a moment!

I feel like some of you may know this already, particularly my fellow healthy living bloggers, but some of you may not.

March is National Nutrition Month!!

Never heard of it? Here’s a quick summary:

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information. (http://www.eatright.org/NNM/#.UxXVVvmwJiI)

I think it’s pretty evident at this point in time that proper nutrition is something that I’m extraordinarily passionate about. I’ve decided to join in on the party again this year and share my two cents with you about this year’s theme:

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, consumer research has proven time and time again that taste trumps nutrition in the majority of consumer food purchases.

This seems like it’s pretty obvious to me.  Take McDonald’s, for example. According to Forbes, McDonald’s ended 2013 with “lackluster earnings” – a measly $7.09 billion, up 2% from their 2012 fourth quarter earnings. What this says to me as a health conscious consumer (not in any way, shape, or form from a business standpoint) is that even posting the nutrition facts on menus hasn’t seemed to deter consumers from eating less McDonald’s. As such, I believe it is imperative that we all realize that healthy, whole, nutrient rich foods are just as capable of being as delicious (even more delicious, actually!) as the processed junk that so many people gravitate towards.

Now please keep in mind that I am nothing if not realistic. I absolutely understand that, sometimes, it’s really hard to make a healthy choice. We’re too busy, or too tired, or too broke, or too anything…these are all factors that impact the choices we make in fueling our bodies.  It’s too often, I think, that we forget that that’s really what food is: fuel! It’s what we need to keep our bodies functioning at their optimal levels. We need food, tasty or not, to live and to thrive – regardless of how busy, tired, and broke we all are! It doesn’t need to be hard to do. If we all take a little time to educate ourselves and fuel our bodies properly with foods that we enjoy, I know that we could all live and thrive with smiles on our faces, happy taste buds, and healthy bodies.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that use real, whole ingredients and help me Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

Barbecue Chicken Tortilla Pizzas

IMG_20130102_203759

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Oatmeal

proats

Greek Salad

Grilled Chili Lime Shrimp with Mango Salsa

Honey Walnut Apple Crisp

apple crisp

My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever

chili!

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple, Black Bean Quinoa

sweetandspicypineapplequinoa

Tilapia Tacos with Southwest Slaw

tilapia tacos with southwest slaw

I hope you can find inspiration in these recipes!!
How are you celebrating National Nutrition Month??
And how do you Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right??

 

 

 

Meal Plan Monday & A Fun Frittata

Hey, dudes!! Happy Monday!! I can still say it’s happy because it’s early. Heh.

I hope you all had a nice weekend! Did you do anything exciting for Valentine’s Day?  Our cooking dinner plans didn’t work out as anticipated so we wound up going out to dinner instead, but we had a loveerly time. We also snagged this preggo some froyo!! (Peanut Butter and Coffee flavored froyo topped with peanut butter chips and peanut m&ms. I have a problem.) Then we rented Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters and We Are The Millers and snuggled. I would recommend both movies to anyone who hasn’t seen them. Sooooooooooooo good and HILARIOUS!!!

Anywho, I’ve finally jumped onto the Sunday Food Prep bandwagon a la The Lean Green Bean! It was great to actually have the time this weekend to get soooo much stuff ready for the week. I’m really looking forward to just grabbing stuff when I need it, having my veggies all chopped up for salads throughout the week, and even having parts of my dinners ready to go! It took me about 3 hours to get all of this done. I set my tablet up in the kitchen and put on a few episodes of Bones that I was behind on – so I probably could have gotten it done even faster had I not let myself get distracted by the show here and there. I just didn’t feel like hanging out in the kitchen in silence. Either way, Here is what I prepped:

Sunday food prep

 

  • One dozen turkey meatloaf muffins
  • 40 banana chocolate chip protein mini muffins
  • A frittata with Canadian bacon, bell peppers, scallions, and cheddar cheese (6 servings – recipe below)
  • 1 roasted spaghetti squash
  • 4 baked sweet potatoes
  • 1 cucumber, 1 yellow bell pepper
  • Oat flour

And hereeeeeeeeeeee is my meal plan for the week! We’re going to visit Bill and Susan and my Poppa Bear in New Jersey this weekend, so I only needed to worry about dinner Monday- Thursday and then when we’re home on Sunday night. Though I am SO looking forward to cooking up a storm Saturday night with my dear Susie! In addition to other tasty bites she has formally requested my kale salad – which I can’t wait to devour!

Monday
Meatless MondayMinestrone Soup with Garlic & Mozzarella English Muffin Melts

Tuesday
Tilapia Tacos with Southwest Slaw

Wednesday
Mini Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Frozen Veggies ( I always have a stockpile of the Green Giant Healthy Weight Blend. It’s snap peas, carrots, black beans, and edamame. Johnny and I both love it!)

Thursday
Grilled Pesto Chicken with Tomatoes, Green Beans, and Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

Sunday
Shrimp Scampi
(My latest pregnancy craving, people. All I want to do is eat shrimp all the time!!)

And just for funsies – here’s the recipes for my super simple frittata! It’s packed with protein and surprisingly low in calories!! Perfect for mommies-to-be! *wink wink* I enjoyed mine with half of a whole wheat english muffin with a little smart balance to make it a complete breakfast! If you’re not a meat eater this would be just as delicious without the Canadian bacon, I was just in the mood for it this week!

Scallion & Bell Pepper Frittata

  •  6 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions, diced
  • 5 slices Canadian bacon, diced
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Add the Canadian bacon to a small, dry skillet over high heat. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes or until the Canadian bacon starts to brown. Add the bell peppers and cook about 5 minutes more or until the peppers start to char. Remove from heat.

Spray an 11×7 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Add the Canadian bacon and pepper mixture to the bottom of the pan. Top with the egg mixture, scallions, and cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until set. Let cool before slicing into six servings.

frittata

Nutrition per serving (calculated on MyFitnessPal):
186 calories
5 grams carbs
10 grams fat
18 grams protein
1 gram fiber
2 grams sugar

That’s all for today, folks!! But don’t forget to come back for What I Ate Wednesday and my grand link-up premier this Thursday for my Real Food Recipe Roundup!!

 

 

My Brilliant Idea & What I Ate Wednesday #14

Hey Ya’ll! Happy Wednesday!!

Are all of you East Coasters hunkering down for the next storm we’re supposed to be getting tonight?? Maybe I’ll actually have a snow day tomorrow??? I won’t hold my breath, but a gal can dream, can’t she??

Anywho, I had a brilliant idea this week and I’ve decided to share it with all of my favorite What I Ate Wednesday Bloggers.

For a while now, I’ve looked forward to Wednesdays more than any other day of the work week because of the What I Ate Wednesday link up!! Jenn at Peas and Crayons is awesome for having started such a simple thing and having acquired so many participants. I love spending my time going through blogs, drooling over delicious looking food, finding inspiration in others, and interacting with the WIAW community.

Although I love sharing what I eat in a day, my primary focus when I started Twenty-Something & Starving was not just to share my eats, but to share recipes!! I still do, of course, as often as I can anyway. Sometimes, though, convenience outweighs creativity. For the last month or two I’ve found myself stuck in a sort-of-but-not-quite-rut using the same few recipes in rotation every week.  After a long day at work and a super sweaty workout I really just want to come home and put food in my belly as soon as I can. My staples, as of late anyway, include things like Chicken and Black Bean Fajita Burritos, Sesame Chicken Stir Fry, Tilapia Tacos, and Tortilla Pizzas. Johnny and I both enjoy them, they are quick to throw together (always important for me) and they are nice, healthy post-workout meals.

So where’s the brilliant idea?? I’ve decided that I am going to start my own link-up party! One where other healthy living bloggers can share recipes for some of their favorite things using real foods. I shall call it  – Real Food Recipe Roundup with Twenty-Something & Starving!! It’ll be a Thursday thing, so as to not take away from What I Ate Wednesday, which I love so very much. It also gives anyone who chooses to particpate until  Thursday to have their recipe together. I know personally I’ll make something on the weekend and be lucky to have it ready to go for Thursday.

Now, I know there are loads of different ideas as to what constitutes “real food” out there.  What do I mean when I say “real Food?” The way I see it is that real food isn’t complicated. As a woman who, more or less, considers herself a healthy living blogger, I think everything is about balance. I cook with loads of veggies and lean protein, but I also cook with butter and cheese. What I’m looking for in this Real Food Recipe Roundup are real foods made with real ingredients. Other than that, the sky is the limit!! For round one of this round up – which will be next Thursday – let’s start with a recipe in your repertoire that you make again and again and it never fails you! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert doesn’t matter!! Let’s all just share our recipes!

Now, FINALLY, let’s get to What I Ate Wednesday Monday!

Breakfast: I’m sure you’re shocked by my banana/chocolate chip/oat combo. If it ain’t broke, right?? Anywho, this is actually a new recipe I tried out and it’s quite simple. It’s 2 super ripe bananas (mashed), 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats, 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I used Vanilla Almond Designer Whey), 1/3 cup of whole wheat baking mix, 1 cup of lite vanilla soy milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Mix it all up and bake it at 350 for 35 minutes or until it’s set. Let it cool for 15 or 20 minutes before you slice it into 8 portions. Each portion (according to the calculations on MyFitnessPal) is 206 calories, 33g carbs, 4g fat, 11g protein, 4g fiber, and 8 g sugar. I was actually surprised this was under 300 calories, but I’m totally cool with it, because that leaves more room for the calories in the peanut butter I smear all over the top of it.  I enjoyed this with a mug of decaf earl gray. Noms!

proteinoatsSnacks: Monday’s AM snacks were simple. I had a gala apple and some triscuits with a french onion laughing cow cheese. The triscut picture is recycled because I’m lazy and reallly just wanted to munch.

applesnack2Lunch: Since Sunday wasn’t the healthiest day (though it was quite delicious) I made sure to get my veggies in for lunch Monday. I had a nice big spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, peppers, onions, and black olives with a wee bit of italian dressing. I also has a leftover turkey burger with some 2% american cheese on a toasted whole wheat english muffin. Beige food is so unphotogeneic. Oh wells, it was so tasty either way. I load my turkey burgers with garlic, garlic, and more garlic. It’s impossible for them to taste bad OR take a good photo.

salad turkey burger

Snacks: Afternoon snackage included a spoonful of Mighty Maple…which I need to replenish my stock of very shortly as I am scraping the jar. Annnnd about 1/2 cup of chocolate cheerios with some skim milk…which I proceeded to drink when I finished the cheerios because calcium and who doesn’t love chocolate milk?! And later I had some carrots with chipotle hummus…which I will also need to resupply with soon. *sigh*  I feel like my appetite is really starting to kick into high gear these last few days what with this whole baby growing inside me thing. I also has two hershey kisses when I got home, which are unpictured…because I was preparing apple crisp for our dinner later on.

 

pb cheerios carrots and hummusDinner: For dinner on Monday we finally got the chance to check out the brand new home of our friends Ashley and Jared. Their house is perfect and adorable and I love it!!  Ashley made a suuuuper yummy white pasta fagioli soup, which I’d never had before and LOVED!! Really any soup you can top with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes is a winner in my book, but this was so tasty. And as it is still FREEZING outside soup for dinner always makes me happy! We also had salad with some avocado and mushrooms and apparently (this totally blew my mind) there is a mix available for purchase to make your own Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits. Well… we had some of those, too. And they were amazing. And I ate two of them. Because I love them.  We brought Quincy with us to play with Oliver and they were running around like little crazy men while we ate. They are too cute for words!

Ashley's soup and salad

the babiesDessert: Since I threw dessert together in 20 minutes before we left to head to their place I decided on my Honey Walnut Apple Crisp. I pretty much followed my recipe exactly except I had to use vegetable oil instead of coconut oil and I added a wee bit of brown sugar to the mix just for fun. Johnny and Jared are really cut from the same cloth, as they were more excited for the Ready Whip that went on top than the were the crisp I think. Silly Boys.

apple crisp

So there you have it!! I hope you’ll choose to partake in my Real Food Recipe Roundup next week!! Do you have any fun plans for Valentines Day this year?? Do you even like Valentines Day?? Johnny and I are just staying home, snuggling up with some movies, and making a “fancy meal”. I’m pretty sure shrimp scampi for dinner and crepes for dessert are what’s on the menu, but who knows!! Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

What I Ate Wednesday #9

Good morning, all!! Happy hump day! I’m going to keep today’s What I Are Wednesday post short and sweet (like me)! This is actually everything I ate yesterday…I decided to plan for this post ahead of time for once! I feel like that’s something I need to get used to doing  – planning things ahead of time – what with a baby on the way. We’ll see how that works out I suppose. 😉  A big thank you goes out to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting this fabulous link up. Enjoy my eats!

Breakfast: Two banana chocolate chip muffins with some decaf lady grey tea. Perfect and toasty warm on such a freakin’ cold day! Noms!

muffins

Snack #1: 1 hard boiled egg with two Morning Star Farms veggies sausage.

eggandveggiessausage

Lunch: Leftover spinach and artichoke dip (I made it for New Year’s Eve but didn’t wind up eating any because I ate so much other food!) with a handful of tortilla chips and a dozen baby carrots. I also had a few Brookside Chocolate Blueberries! (Thanks, Nicole!)

spinachdipchocolateblueberries

Snack #2: A Wegmans brand honey flavored blended greek yogurt. I’m a fan of Wegmans brand greek yogurt…I still prefer chobaini most of the time…buuuuuut I REALLY prefer paying 66 cents a cup instead of $1.09!

yogurt

Snack #3: String cheese!! They never got old. I’m telling ya.

stringcheese

Dinner: John and I had a really great arm workout at the gym and I was suuuuuuuuuper hungry when I got home. I marinated two tilapia fillets in a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic, and just a tiny bit of brown sugar while I let them defrost in a ziplock in a big pot of warm water for 5 minutes. I cooked them really quickly in a skillet with the marinade which turned into a lovely glaze. I popped a pouch of Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmatti Ready Rice in the microwave and tossed together a quick Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Asian Chopped Salad and dinner was done in twenty minutes! I covered it in green onions and more sriracha and devoured it.

teriyakitilapia

Dessert: After all of that dinner I was still kind of hungry and wanted something sweet, so I melted together a tablespoon of peanut butter and a tablespoon of nutella and plopped a sliced banana on top. Ya know – plopped is not a very appetizing word now that I think about it. Oh well. It was effing delicious. Then Johnny and I watched Dads, Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, and I proceeded to fall asleep on the couch during New Girl. Oh well!!

 

dessert

 

What was your favorite thing you ate this week so far?! I loved my dinner last night…I’ll definitely be making my tilapia that way again, soon!


Baby, It’s Cold Outside! WIAW #6

Now that I’m back on the blog scene I though it would only be appropriate to rejoin super fun What I Ate Wednesday link up – brought to you by Peas and Crayons! (Check out Jenn’s blog if you get the chance! I’m still meaning to make her sweet potato nachos! They look baaaannnggggiiinnnnn’!) Also, it’s freeeeezing outside. So I deemed it necessary to title my post as such. I’ve also been listening to the She & Him version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside – which I adore – on my “Christmas Tree Jams” playlist on Grooveshark. It’s a pretty fabulous playlist, and includes a festive combination of  the Muppets, Peanuts, Michael Bublé, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby,  annnnnd Justin Beiber. #noshame

Anywho – here’s my Wednesday of food!


Breakfast: Two Wegman’s brand organic flax waffles topped with two tablespoons of PB&CO Mighty Maple and a sliced banana. Also, “hot chocolate” made with warm nonfat milk and 2 teaspoons of Hershey’s special dark syrup. I’ve been drinking SO MUCH of this lately. It’s helping with my milk craving AND any desire I have for sweets. I was super full after this breakfast I didn’t snack at all until lunch time!

breakfast

Lunch: Now I understand that visually, this is not the most appealing photo I’ve ever taken. Buuuuut….my lunch was effing delicious. I’m obsessed with Morning Star Farm’s Veggie Corn Dogs. Corn dogs were one of my more favorite carnival treats as a kid (that, and chicken fries, and waffles with ice cream) and these babies taste just as delicious as I remember for only 150 calories plus 8 grams of protein and only 2.5 grams of fat. With it I had some baby carrots and some leftover quinoa & cheese from last night. Holy goodness, I could (and plan to) eat that quinoa & cheese every day forever. QUICK NO RECIPE-RECIPE: Cook 1.5 cups quinoa in 1.5 cups chicken stock. When it’s just about done add 2. oz fat free cream cheese, 4 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Stir it up until it’s melted then try not to devour the entire pot.

lunch


Snack: One lil’ Blackberry Blended chobani yogurt. These are so delicious…and adorable! I’m a sucker for anything mini!

yogurt

Boy do I love this yogurt! I was also all smiles because it wasn’t -10 degrees in my office today. Hooray!

goofyVitamins: Next up are my prenatal vitamins!!! I have these guys every day after lunch. I have a history of getting sick after taking vitamins, so I’m so thrilled I’ve found ones that don’t make me ill. These are just OTC store Target brand prenatals, and they are delicious! They taste like a less sour version of sour patch kids and they are just delightful.

vitamins

Snack: Today’s #elf4health challenge was to pack a healthy snack for you and a friend! I pack my hubby’s lunch on the daily, and our snacks are typically quite healthy. Today I packed some peanut butter chocolate chip larabars…which in my personal opinion are the best larabars everrrrrrrr!

snackDinner: Dinner was a little random tonight. I went for a hair cut right after work and my husband decided he didn’t want to wait for me to get home for dinner. C’est la vie!! I was going to make us some simple tilapia with a salad, but since it was just me I figured I’d do something quick and fun! I took garlic, olive oil, spinach, and cherry tomatoes, sauteed them until the spinach wilted, and added two French Onion Laughing Cow cheese wedges and let them melt into the spinach. I spread that on top of a nice hearty piece of wheat toast and throw two eggs (cooked over-hard) on top. Simple, qiuck, delicious. I also whipped up a quick little pomegranete spritzer – just Pom juice and some Polar Bear Pomegranate Seltzer – just for funsies!

eggs for dinner

Now, I plan to snuggle up on the couch with my baby Quincy watching My Grandmother’s Ravioli with Mo Rocca on the Cooking Channel. I just need to stay awake for Top Chef tonight!!

I’m not going to lie – I’ll probably munch on a handful of my dark chocolate and pumpkin seed trail mix I picked up at the trail mix bar at Wegmans last week, but you guys don’t need to see that!! Happy Hump Day!