WIAW #6: Yogurt and Peanut Butter and Ice Cream, Oh My!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

 

Welcome to another round of WIAW! I’m really getting into this habit and look forward to seeing what everyone over at Peas and Crayons is featuring for their eats. This morning’s November Project workout temporarily distracted me. I was loving the shout-out from Christopher MacDougall in the NY Times today…and then he showed up at our workout! Now that I’m home and showered and cozying up to a plate of pancakes, I have some major food photo drooling to do before I head to school. Without further ado, here’s a snapshot of my yesterday’s eats…

 

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast: Coffee, yogurt, a Braeburn apple, and an egg and goat cheese wrap inside a Food for Life brown rice tortilla. I received a package courtesy of Food for Life, and I’m happy to report that they’re a great new discovery. I love the Trader Joe’s kind, but the nearest TJ’s is one block south of my apartment – and about 1.5 miles to the west! Sometimes I buy groceries there and walk across Central Park, but in future I can find these at the natural foods store around the corner. The trick is to warm one for a minute in a pan before wrapping around your favorite filling. Then they’re nice and chewy and don’t break like a lot of gluten-free wraps!

 

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My Favorite Pancakes

Growing up, pancakes were one of my favorite breakfasts. My mom would make them as a special Saturday morning treat, filled with chocolate chips and topped with Stonewall Kitchen’s now-retired Strawberry Piggy Sauce. Pancakes at Sarabeth’s in Manhattan or my favorite diner in Connecticut were my birthday brunch treat, and my first year in college, the meal I ate before I went off to the airport for school each term to say goodbye to the US for a few months. (The UK one-ups the US by having a Pancake Day, but their pancakes are actually more like what we consider crepes). I’d have them topped with strawberries and bananas and drizzled with maple syrup, because I liked blueberries and chocolate chips, but why change a good thing?

When my wheat allergy was diagnosed, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy pancakes in the same way ever again. Part of why I liked pancakes was the way they conjured up happy memories of childhood meals, before any of my struggles with food began, and the special feeling of having a treat on an ordinary morning I got whenever a plate was set before me. It wasn’t that I thought gluten-free pancake mix would taste bad. I just thought the pancakes would taste different. Which is true, of course. But that meant I didn’t really eat pancakes for a few years, until I started learning to cook for myself and coming up with new recipes. Pancake perfection was a distant dream, but I began to try anyway. Remember that saying, shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll land among the stars? Well, I’ve taken that to heart, because the pancakes I’ve arrived at might not be perfect, but they sure do make me feel all warm and fuzzy the way I feel pancakes should. They’re sweet, fluffy, and gluten-free, and more than good enough for me!

 

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Four Month Blog-iversary and an Apples n’ Peanut Butter Muffin Recipe

I can’t believe it, but today is my four-month blog anniversary! The past few months have been a whirlwind with family and friends, running and recipes, and of course law school and everything leading up to graduation. But I’ve really been loving every moment I’ve spent on the blog. I had forgotten how much I missed writing for fun, about whatever is on my mind, since I started law school. After all, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for it! But I’m so happy I made the time, because writing, and reading other blogs, and beginning to feel like a part of something in the healthy living community, have all been fantastic little pieces of the journey so far. That said, on to today’s post – a new muffin recipe combining two of my favorite things.

Honeydew makes these muffins another snack that smiles back!

Honeydew makes these muffins another snack that smiles back!

I’m constantly experimenting with new flavor combinations for my muffins because I whip up a batch weekly for breakfast, brunch, an on-the-go snack or a running pick-me-up. Honestly, they’re practically a food group for me (just look at what I eat on a typical day!) These little dollops of deliciousness are what would happen if my Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins and Peanut Butter Cuppins had a muffin baby. Apples + Peanut Butter = Yum. Every time. Plus, I had an excuse to try out my new silicone muffin pan – I usually stick to a regular stainless steel pan, but lately mine has been getting tough to clean and the muffins have been sticking even when the pan is greased well, so I decided to give this cute red one a try. It’s a little trickier to remove from the oven without bending, but I’m happy to announce it was a successful test run! If you slide a knife carefully around the edges of each muffin before removing, they’re easy to pop right out of the pan.

 

Muffins in their new baking home

Muffins in their new baking home

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/4 cup gluten-free sorghum or all-purpose flour

6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Oikos Traditional Greek Yogurt)

2 Tbsp milk of choice (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)

2 large eggs

2 tbsp peanut butter, melted (My favorite Peanut Butter & Co)

2 tbsp powdered peanut butter (I used PB2 Original)

1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped (I like using Braeburn apples to bake, they’re the perfect twist of sweet and snappy)

1/3 cup applesauce

1 Tbsp butter (you can sub extra applesauce if you prefer)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Extra tbsp olive oil, butter, or cooking spray (to grease the pan)

 

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Sunny Sunday ramblings and a scrumptious scramble

I hope everyone is having a lovely Eastover weekend, filled with family, friends, food, and fun (Easter + Passover = Eastover. It’s the new spring edition of Chrismukkah). For me, a satisfying Saturday gave way to a sunny Sunday, making this a perfect couple of days. It was also perfectly alliterative…yes, I’m still at it with the S’s! I’m on a roll after sharing Sasha’s story with you yesterday. Anyway, yesterday was sunny but extremely windy, so while my run was in a pretty green Central Park, it wasn’t exactly picture perfect. I literally had to hold on to my hat! This morning’s walk was much more peaceful, though when the wind is crazy it does feel like a bit of an adventure.

NP on Wednesday morning required a headband and gloves...this weekends workout was short sleeves and shorts!

NP on Wednesday morning required a headband and gloves…this weekends workout was short sleeves and shorts!

I did 9 miles at an easy pace, the wind insistent but stopping short of blowing me down. With 5 miles on Tuesday, 6 and change on Wednesday (4 at November Project + 1 and a bit there and back), and 6 on Friday, my grand total mileage for the week was just about 26.2. If only I could make up my mind to commit to that in one day – I’m getting there! For now, I ran against the wind with a smile, and a squint when the leaves and sediment swirled up too close. I especially enjoyed it when the song ‘Saturday Morning’ by Eels came streaming into my headphones. I have an iPod shuffle that I wear while running, since I don’t like carrying my phone, so each song is a surprise. This song fit perfectly with the moment as I headed down the park path near the Great Lawn, and was also a little bit of a throwback, since it was on one of the O.C. albums that I bought for my first iPod at 13 or 14 – meaning, nearly a decade ago, which is just head-spinningly crazy!

When I got home, I decided to whip up a scramble for my post-run breakfast. I had brunch plans with friends around 2, so I didn’t want to refuel to the point of being stuffed. I just needed something to tide me over, and I’d already eaten oatmeal for my pre-run morning snack. I like having smoked salmon on the weekends, because it reminds me of weekend morning breakfasts when I was little.

Back then, I scarfed down cereal or Eggos before school (oh, for the days before my wheat allergy was diagnosed, and all I had to worry about was avoiding almonds and oranges…). But on weekends, my mom would sometimes make us pancakes with maple syrup, chocolate chips, and a delightful topping called Strawberry Piggy Sauce that Stonewall Kitchen discontinued some years ago to our chagrin, because after asking at the company store in Maine, we were told we were the only ones buying it. Other days, my dad would head over to the deli to pick up a dozen bagels to pair with cream cheese and lox. Of course, my bagel days are long behind me, but I still love lox, or smoked salmon, which stayed a crucial part of my diet in college (the Brits enjoy smoked fish just like the Scandinavians and New Yorkers) – and I’m always finding ways to incorporate it into breakfast dishes. Which brings us to yesterday’s smoked salmon scramble, just like the lox ‘n onions scrambled eggs you’ll find at any diner. Make a big batch for an Easter or Passover brunch (sans wrap, it’s kosher for Passover) – or whip up a portion later in the week for a quick and tasty gluten-free breakfast!

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Miniature Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

I enjoyed my pumpkin spice oatmeal cake so much, I decided to whip up another – but since I’d finished the pumpkin, I needed a new flavor palate. Enter apples and cinnamon, one of the best combinations for a warming winter treat known to all mankind! Perfect for these days when silver-white winter is supposed to turn into spring, but spring seems a little shy to come out and play…

 

Ingredients:

Bake in a ramekin...

Bake in a ramekin…

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup milk of choice (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)

2 Tbsp Greek yogurt (I recommend using 2% or full fat for the creaminess)

1 egg white (substitute applesauce if desired)

1/2 small apple, cubed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch salt

For ramekin: 1 tsp butter (can substitute olive oil or cooking spray)

 

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

...flip into a dish to ice and serve!

…flip into a dish to ice and serve!

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add in wet ingredients (only use 1 Tbsp of yogurt here) and cubed apple and mix well.

3. Melt butter in 1-cup (8 ounce) ramekin to coat inner surface. (You can also use olive oil or cooking spray, but I found that butter worked really well in this recipe to give the cake a yummy buttery crust).

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then set oven to high broil for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Use a knife to carefully pry the edges of the cake from the ramekin (easy as long as it was greased well!) and flip upside down into a dish.

6. Top with 1 Tbsp of yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!

 

 

Eat up!

Eat up!

 

This is a perfect post-workout breakfast – you can come home, whip up the ingredients, and stick it in the oven while you shower and get ready, then eat before you leave. It’s also a perfect lazy morning dish, because you can just lounge around reading the newspaper and slowly waking up while the oatmeal cake bakes. Basically, it’s great for everyone! And it’s completely gluten-freeWhat’s your go-to breakfast?

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

WIAW #2

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

 

Welcome to take two of What I Ate Wednesday! I’ll definitely be posting these the first Wednesday of every month, but since I’m blogging more and getting into the habit of photographing things (even the ones so delicious I don’t want to wait to taste them) I’ll do an extra round of WIAW every now and then. It’s so much fun to see what everyone else linking up at Peas and Crayons and Clean Eats Fast Feets is enjoying for their eats! This WIAW was prompted by a few things. First, the day documented here is the Tuesday after the NYC Half Marathon (even though it was Sunday, I was still in ‘eat all the food’ mode). Second, it was also the day that one of my very best friends in the world was scheduled to have her first child – and since she and her husband live on another continent, I spent a few hours waiting by Skype for some good news and snacking all the time! And third, it was during my law school spring break week so I had even more extra time to sit around and snack. (Also, this is officially my last spring break ever! Crazy.)

 

Greek yogurt with peanut butter, blueberry jam, a crumbled Peanut Butter Cuppin, and extra peanut butter!

A PB&J Crispy Cup!

Breakfast: I had the luxury of sleeping until 8:30 am (I’m on break, but I’m an early-to-bed and early-to-rise type. Anything past 9am is shocking these days!) I began my day with a mug of decaf Cake Boss Dulce de Leche coffee. Then I had a cherry Dannon Light n’ Fit Greek yogurt, with Barbara’s Brown Rice Crispies, fresh blueberries, and a little peanut butter mixed in. Basically, it was a peanut butter and jelly crispy cup of yogurt. I don’t typically go for the Greek yogurt that has fruit in it, as I prefer to mix in my own fresh fruit, but since I’m in Connecticut at my parents’ house, I get the benefit of a fridge full of Costco finds courtesy of my dad – like 24-packs of Dannon Greek fruit yogurts. I’m not complaining!

 

 

Today I took some fresh bananas and whipped up a new twist on my Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins, using one whole banana and a pouch of Gerber's pureed banana - they turned out so creamy and delicious!

A few little bites of heaven – this morning and this afternoon!

Mid-morning snack: For a few days after running a race, I never want to sit down to a huge meal. But I do want to eat little things constantly. I wasn’t in the mood for regular oatmeal (maybe it’s the vaguely springlike weather) so I decided to whip up a batch of muffins. We had a stash of Gerber’s squeezable banana packs because my mom and I thought they might make good on-the-go running snacks, but I don’t really like the taste. However, I thought they might work in muffins, so I used one whole banana and one pack of pureed banana in a twist on my Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins. They turned out creamy and delicious! I had two right from the pan.

 

 

A simple salad with fresh ingredients

My own twist on a Greek salad – the Frankly Fresh grape leaves are a great GF + vegan find!

Lunch: A bowl of romaine, carrots, and red cabbage, with Annie’s raspberry vinaigrette, feta cheese, a grape leaf, and grilled chicken. Both lunch and dinner today are totally courtesy of Costco ingredients. Some people might disparage big box stores (and they have for decades, considering how Tom Hanks talks about them in You’ve Got Mail) but it’s so much more cost-effective than a regular grocery store, ESPECIALLY for healthy whole foods. When I compare prices on, say, apples or lettuce, to those in a grocery store in NYC rather than in Connecticut, I cry a little inside. For example, a 3-lb (48 oz) bag of this Dole salad blend is $2.99 at Costco, whereas a 12 oz bag is $3.49 at an NYC Food Emporium or D’Agostino. Sigh. Moving on!

 

 

My pre-run snack smiled back at my today!

My snack smiled back at my today!

 

Afternoon snack: A couple more of those marvelous muffins, with fresh blueberries and a cup of decaf coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My own delicious and nutritious "spaghetti and meatballs"

GF “spaghetti and meatballs”

Dinner: For my main course, I had a bowl of gluten-free, high-protein ‘spaghetti and meatballs’ made with this black bean spaghetti we found at Costco. It packs a wallop of protein and complex carbs and tastes great with sauce and cheese – definitely not like typical pasta, so don’t expect that, but if you like black beans, I’d recommend giving it a try! I tossed in some mirepoix (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans) and garlic and mozzarella chicken meatballs, and topped the whole thing with Parmesan cheese. Filling and delicious!

 

 

Sweet and snappy

Sweet and snappy

 

Dessert: I kept it simple with a bowl of Angie’s sweet and salty kettle corn and a Pink Lady apple (you must know I’d squeeze one in somewhere!) A sweet treat to end the day.

 

 

 

 

 

What was your favorite meal today? Are you a snacker or do you stick to three square meals a day?

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Miniature Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cake

Choosing to roast and carve your own pumpkin is an undertaking. Few will dare to tread this path to reap the delicious rewards when Libby will do it for us (whoever Libby is, millions of pie-makers around the country must thank her every November.) But when you’re just making breakfast for yourself, or even for your family, even opening a can of pure pumpkin can feel like a commitment. Unless you’re making a pie or a Pumpkin Pouffle, you won’t use the whole can in one recipe. I’m always thinking of new ways to use up the rest, and it isn’t difficult – who doesn’t love a little pumpkin stirred into their oatmeal? By the end of winter, even that gets a little boring, though; so when I whipped up what may be my last batch of Pumpkin Puffins for the season, I decided to get creative with the remainder of the can. Instead of simply stirring it into regular oats, I made a little cake to test out my new ramekins (the PB&J round just wasn’t enough!) I bought them with the intention of making mini quiches for my dinner party, but they needed a test run. And the test was a round of miniature pumpkin spice oatmeal cake, passed with flying colors!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats

Before baking, it looks just like regular cold oats...

Before baking, it looks just like regular cold oats…

1/4 cup pure pumpkin

1/4 cup milk of choice (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)

1 Tbsp Greek yogurt (I go for Fage 2% for the creaminess)

1 egg white (substitute applesauce if desired)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp flaxseed

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon and nutmeg)

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch salt

For ramekin: 1 tsp butter (can substitute olive oil or cooking spray)

 

 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Baked into a cake with a delicious buttery, pumpkin-y crust!

Baked into a cake with a delicious buttery, pumpkin-y crust!

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add in wet ingredients and mix well.

3. Melt butter in 1-cup (8 ounce) ramekin to coat inner surface. (You can also use olive oil or cooking spray, but I found that butter worked really well in this recipe to give the cake a yummy buttery crust).

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then set oven to high broil for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Use a knife to carefully pry the edges of the cake from the ramekin (easy as long as it was greased well!) and flip upside down into a dish.

6. Top with a little extra maple syrup and cinnamon, or a dollop of yogurt. Enjoy!

 

 

A warming winter treat to start the day off right - go ahead, take a bite!

A warming winter treat to start the day off right – go ahead, take a bite!

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.