What I Made (And Did Not Eat) Wednesday

Catchy title, right?

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from my update on Friday (by the way- thanks so much for all of your amazing comments and support!) that I will not be eating anything blog-worthy for quite a long time. No matter though, because thankfully my family doesn’t have the same food restrictions as me and are very willing for me to make all of their meals when I’m home 🙂

Today I’m going to share some pictures of what I cooked up this past weekend, and let me know which recipe you’d like to see first!

It just so happens too that I have food for every major meal of the day. Perfect.

Breakfast: Oatless Oatmeal

wiaw-made-oatless-oats

If you would believe it, my dad doesn’t really miss the bread on his hamburgers or the chips for his salsa since going GAPS. No, he misses the quick and easy… oatmeal. It’s okay. Laugh a little. I sure did when I came home to find two full canisters of oatmeal sitting on our island. It turns out my dad just couldn’t take it anymore and was planning on throwing them out (he just hadn’t gotten to the “throwing them out” step yet as our trash was full 😉 ). When I reminded him that my brother makes himself No-Bake cookies practically every few weeks though, the oatmeal went back into the cupboard. A spark had been lit in my head though and I vowed to make him a bowl of GAPS-approved oatmeal that same weekend.

You may remember if you’ve been reading awhile that I made some allergy-free oatless oats for a snack last summer. This recipe is still grain-free, dairy-free and can be nut/peanut-free as well, but sadly not egg-free. For all of those of you who can eat eggs though (which is probably most of you), you will love the new recipe. Still, I gotta support my allergic peeps here (yes, I really did just call you “peeps”) and say that I’ve read that you can replace the eggs in the recipe with flax egg or tofu, but I of course I can’t guarantee the results!

Lunch: Homemade Ranch Dressing

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My mom has been complaining (okay, not really complaining but “mentioning”) for quite a while that her salads just aren’t as enjoyable anymore without a good dressing and all of the homemade recipes that she has tried were less than stellar. When I got home this weekend I made it my mission to change all of that. I did a little research online and got a good idea of some of the ingredients that others put in their ranch dressing recipes. Then I pulled out a whole bunch of stuff from my pantry and got to work. Five minutes later I had something that looked and smelled like ranch dressing. The ultimate test though would be if it actually tasted like ranch dressing. This picture shows a salad that I whipped up for my dad (romaine lettuce mix, diced onion and pepper, sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped grass-fed beef burger) with organic green beans on the side. Of course there was the ranch dressing too.

Thankfully it was a success and my dad was genuinely surprised that it tasted so close to the real thing. I have to admit that I was a little surprised (and relieved) too. It’s so hard to make something and not be able to test it beforehand.

When my mom got home from work later that day she heard of the infamous ranch dressing and asked if there was any left. Um… Whoops. But within a couple of minutes there sure was. Let’s just say that my mom was even more thrilled than my dad and asked for the recipe. Again… Whoops. It turns out my hands have a pretty good memory though and with each dash of “such and such” and spoonful of “this and that” that I threw into the mix we measured out the ingredients and had a solid recipe.

This ranch dressing can also be made allergy-free with one simple substitution, so I’ll make sure to include that in the notes when I eventually post it on this blog.

Supper: Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This will be more of a simple How-To. In fact, just from the picture you can probably already guess what the main ingredients will be comprised of. 🙂

Snack: Oh-So-Secret Snack Bars 😉

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My mom tried Larabars for the first time on Saturday upon my recommendation and really liked them. Of course the price and size probably would have made my dad’s eye twitch, but the ingredients are so wholesome and clean it would be a shame to pass them up! Once again inspired though, on Monday before I left for school I whipped up some homemade bars with an ingredient that you’ll never guess (Hint: It involves recycling). These will be similar to the Acorn Squash recipe in that it will be more of a How-To with some measurement suggestions, but I’ll be making them again and can probably get a more accurate recipe for you all next week.

That about wraps up WIAW for today. Jenn is so awesome for hosting this shin-dig so go over to her blog and leave a comment thanking her for putting up with all of us every week 😉

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I’m hoping to get up at least one of these recipes on Friday, but if I’m absent, just know it’s because I have been swallowed by the vortex that is Spring Semester Final Exams. I have one on Thursday and one on Friday so Wednesday will be jam-packed with studying and trying ever so hard to not get on Pinterest/Hulu/Facebook/Netflix. But we all know that’s not going to be possible. 

Still, I am going to be quite busy this week in preparing for these end-of-year tests, packing up my dorm room, getting ready for my internship and moving (just under 3 weeks!) and taking care of some Financial aid stuff at school. Of course I’ll still be blogging, but if I’m late in responding or commenting, you’ll know why. 🙂

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Did you make (and not eat) anything for someone this week?

Which recipe would you all like to see first?

What have you been busy with lately? Exams? Spring Cleaning? Getting ready for summer? Busy at work? Share!

What I Ate/Watched Wednesday

I’m back from Fall Break!

First, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who commented on last week’s WIAW in Stratford, Canada. That post is officially most commented page to date. And that’s all because of you!!

Now, as you may remember, I was pretty excited to go home this weekend because my Fall Break lasted a total of four, long blissful days.

To recap, I spent a majority of that time lounging around and relaxing, but I also did some productive things. On Friday night I went to my old high school’s Homecoming football game. We ended up losing, but I mostly went to catch up with my friends anyways!

Over the weekend my family also rented The Avengers from Redbox. What did you think of the movie? Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how long and boring it was. There were definitely some cool parts, but overall I was left feeling underwhelmed, especially when some people were proclaiming it to be “The Best Movie of the Year!”

During my brother’s homecoming dance my mom and I watched The Five-Year Engagement. Overall better than The Avengers, but not much of a comparison because they are two completely different genres. It was pretty funny, but the middle dragged and was a tad depressing.

 

One movie I can’t wait to see though is Pitch Perfect. I watched “Fat Amy” on Ellen DeGeneres the other day and she was so HILARIOUS!

*I apologize for the language. Just. Too. Funny. To. Pass. Up.
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Let’s get to the real reason why you all are reading, shall we?

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW!

Thanks Peas and Crayons.

Breakfast:

Another banana protein bread made in the microwave.

Made with the last of my brown rice protein powder…

Thankfully I got some more in the mail today though!

Love you amazon and your amazing 2-day shipping!!

Unfortunately, the boxes are not that easy to open.

Stupid tape.

Lunch:

A salad of cucumber slices, lettuce and red grapes.

And blueberry banana bread cake made with my brand new protein powder!

Basically, you just make my microwave banana bread and push some blueberries into the top before cooking. When done, you have a sweet, berry syrup on top and moist bread underneath!

Snack:

Carrots. Deformed and lovely as ever.

Dinner:

A humongous plate of four grilled chicken pieces and steamed zucchini and yellow squash. (Unpictured plates of lettuce, grapes and shredded carrots).

Snack:

Quinoa porridge.

Remember how I told you in this post that I would explain how to make it? Well, I forgot. But I am going to explain the directions now:

How to Make Quinoa Porridge (Breakfast Cereal)

Step 1: Place uncooked quinoa flakes in large bowl (I use about 1/4-1/3 cup).

Step 2: Fill the bowl with double the water (compared to flakes).

Step 3: Microwave quinoa flakes for 2-3 minutes until thick.

Step 4: Add more water as necessary and microwave until desired consistency.

Step 5: Pour a packet of stevia over top. Before mixing, drizzle a little water over the granules of sweetener to prevent clumping.

ENJOY!

I also had a lot of pumpkin protein concoctions.

Including a mash-up of pumpkin puree, protein powder and frozen blueberries.

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So, continuing with all of my healthy snacks for the day, I also have a sneak peak of a recipe that I will be posting soon:

A much better version of Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread!

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What did you do this weekend?

Have you seen The Avengers, The Five-Year Engagement or Pitch Perfect?

Have you watched OSU’s viral half-time video yet? Proud to say that I watched this video before it went viral and its views were still in the thousands!!

WIAW- Holy Cow (Is this a Photo Dump?) Edition

So… just so you are aware, I decided that this post would NOT be a photo dump edition. I mean, I have all of these wonderful pictures to share, but why not use them up in two posts instead of one? As my microeconomics teacher would say, that would be more efficient…

Along the production-possibility frontier… Wait? Did I just lose you?

Let’s get on back on track with a picture of my nice, long nails:

See? Nice long. Maybe too long, I don’t care.

But then this happened, and I do care:

Basically I had to rip off cut all of my long nails to make up for that stupid, short thumbnail who decided it would be a great time to break. But I digress!

After viewing photos of my nails, you may be kind of wondering if this post will feature any real food. Yes. Yes it will.

And to “organize” my thoughts, here is a WIAW to guide you along. Thanks once again Jenn! Check out the other amazing bloggers here.

Breakfast:

I have been loving a hot bowl of cream of rice every morning (and night) since I bought the small box at Kroger’s on Saturday. Sadly I ran out of quinoa flakes and walked 2 miles to the store, looking for more, and they didn’t have any! So, I settled for gluten-free cream of rice, which I’d never had before.

It tastes just like cream of wheat, which was my favorite breakfast when I was younger (see note below). Cream of rice has no fiber, less protein, and more calories than quinoa flakes though, so as soon as I get home, I’m stocking up!

In this bowl I added 1/4 cup pumpkin to a serving of cream of rice made with water. Not the best decision ever, but not the worst decision either. It was just “okay.”

Honestly, I much would have preferred this bowl of oatmeal that I made my mom before I left:

KERF’s whipped banana oats mixed with pumpkin, stevia and cottage cheese. Topped with pecans, maple granola, and a tablespoon of almond butter.

Keep DREAMING!

Favorite breakfast as a child?

So I know I said before that this post wasn’t going to be a food dump, but I have just decided that it is going to be a word dump. I saw this awesome food questionnaire on Half-Baked Bec and thought it was a great idea! You all know how much I like SURVEYS (ABC and Nostalgia… check them out!).

As I mentioned above, my favorite breakfast as a child was Cream of Wheat. Whenever it got cold outside, my brother and I would beg our dad to make us his special “homemade” cream of wheat. Basically he just made a huge pan of cream of wheat cooked in water, then added a ton of milk and sugar. My brother and I gobbled it up. My dad was the only who could make it perfectly creamy without a single lump (my mom’s on the other hand was quite lumpy and inedible). 

This one of my favorite memories as a child: Sitting on the kitchen counter near the stove, my dad making Cream of Wheat, and him singing what he dubbed “the cream of wheat song.”

Cream of wheat, cream of wheat. Nah. Nah. Nah. Nah. Nah. Cream of wheat…. AHHH! (<<< Our favorite part was the end!)

Coffee or Juice?

Coffee. As a kid I love orange juice, but I would much prefer a cup of plain, black, decaf coffee. (As one of my friends put it, “As black as your soul.” Really? Too kind).

The one food you eat most often at breakfast?

Bananas. Banana ice cream. Banana “cookie dough.” Banana protein batter. Banana protein balls.

Snack:

Speaking of bananas and cream of rice cereal, the recipe I have for you today contains both!

Breakfast Cereal Microwave “Bake”

Sugar free, gluten-free, vegan, microwave

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Cream of Rice

1/2 large banana

2 Tbsp water

1/8 tsp baking powder (corn-free)

Toppings

This is after it is cooked without any toppings.

Directions:

1. Mash the banana into junks and mix with 2 Tbsp of water.

2. Then add the cream of rice, baking powder and stir.

3. Place in the microwave and cook for 2-4 minutes (I have a weak microwave, so it may take less time for you).

4. Remove when it is somewhat cooked, but still a little soft.

5. Add toppings and enjoy!

I topped mine with fresh blueberries and the remaining banana mashed with 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds.

Look at those gorgeous blueberries! I had to dig them out of a fruit salad on the cafeteria’s fresh produce bar… Hehe. There were barely any left when I was done with them!

Lunch:

Here is another recipe, but that’s for another day!

Microwave pumpkin “bread” slices with chicken.

Pumpkin recipe to come soon.

Sandwiches are generally considered a “lunch food.” If you had to choose between a grilled cheese and a peanut butter and jelly, which would you pick?

Peanut butter and jelly. Grilled cheeses always contained too much cheese. Except now this would have to be almond butter and fruit-only jam on gluten/yeast-free bread. YUM.

You can only put four ingredients in your salad (not including greens); what do you throw in the mix? Additionally, which greens and dressing do you pick?

These toppings are all slightly boring, but they are what I put on my salad basically every day: Cucumber slices, shredded carrots, and sometimes grapes/steamed rice.

One food you can’t live without at lunch?

Grilled chicken. It’s what sustains me throughout the day. I need my protein!

Snack:

A 2 lb pound bag of carrots that I bought on Saturday.

It lasted me until Monday I do believe…

Ohh… and look what I found:

A carrot ball and bat, which I now appreciate thanks to Kat and Katelyn.

Dinner:

Salad and grilled chicken like always. This time my salad also included radishes. Oh, I do not like these! Way too bitter, but if it is the only vegetable other than lettuce that I can eat again, I probably will get these little suckers.

Do you see this HUGE plate of veggies and chicken, or am I just imagining things? The chef today gave me five.. FIVE pieces of chicken. WHY???? I only ate the broccoli because cauliflower hurts my stomach… and now I know so does broccoli!

It’s the end of the day. You’re tired, hungry, and your fridge is empty. If a fast food (from a chain) is your only option, where do you go and what do you order?

A bottle of water. Or apple slices. I’m boring.

TV/computer on or off while you’re eating?

Most of the time my computer is on as I’m looking at blogs or doing homework. In the dining halls though I don’t watch the TV.

The one food you eat most often at dinner?

Can this be the same as lunch? It can? Okay, thanks… CHICKEN!!

“Dessert”:

Another bowl of cream of rice (3/4 serving) with stevia and sliced bananas.

Choose between these two American desserts: cheesecake or apple pie?

Apple pie. I have never liked cheesecake; I personally think it is one of the most disgusting desserts ever created (and I’ve even tried the cookie dough kind from The Cheesecake Factory- I had to spit it out- SO GROSS!). Apple pie is awesome. Now I just need to make an allergy-free version of my Low-Cal Apple Pie recipe on my old blog.

Choose between these two foreign desserts: tiramisu (Italy) or flan (Spain)?

Tiramisu (One of my mom’s favorite desserts). Flan contains eggs and has a weird texture. We made it in Spanish class and I wasn’t impressed.

Ice cream: cone or cup?

Cone. I think ice cream is meant to be in a cone. No debates.


Now for progress on my Fall Habits… (Going to look up what goals I made NOW).

1. Limit my intake of fruit. I just eat way too much! I think yesterday I consumed 4 or 5 bananas? Totally unnecessary. Instead, I am going to try and snack on more vegetables. I am doing better with this, but the main reason is because the dining hall is always out of bananas.

2. I am going to go on walks just “to go on walks.” Not for any classes, and not because I am going to a dining hall. I am going to walk just for fun. For me and my health. EPIC. FAIL.

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So check back in tomorrow for that Pumpkin Sandwich recipe! HAPPY WIAW.

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Pick a question above and answer it! (Or better yet include them in your next post and link back to me so that I can learn EVEN MORE about you all!).

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My LABOR-ous Weekend in the Kitchen (WIAW)

Happy Belated Labor Day!

First I want to thank everyone for their wonderful comments and likes for my posts for the past two weeks. I know they haven’t been exactly revolutionary or thrilling but I appreciate your support all the same 🙂

It’s safe to say that I love being in college! The freedom of being on my own. The ability to go wherever I choose!

Sadly though, baking and whipping things up in the kitchen is just not on that list of college LOVES! If you read my last Friday Food Finds post however, you would know that I got to go home over the weekend!

My awesome dad picked me up on Friday after my class. That night I went with my mom to a football game and watched my brother march in the band. Over the weekend I went grocery shopping, watched a movie (Bernie… Do NOT recommend.) and today went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate Labor Day with my relatives.

The kitchen was my main point of focus though, and I’m pleased to say that I made it through a lot of my Friday Food Find recipes! The next time I go home, I plan on finishing off the list… And maybe starting a new one!

First on Friday was Pumpkin Cookie Dough:

Here is my version….

Pumpkin Cookie Dough

High in protein, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, high in fiber

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup quinoa flakes (or oatmeal)

1/4 cup brown rice protein powder (any protein powder should work)

1 packet stevia

dash of salt

*optional add-ins: raspberries, chia seeds, chocolate chips, nuts, fruit…

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for a few minutes. OR eat right then and there.

Next I whipped up some homemade rice milk:

Homemade rice milk

Soy-free, nut-free, vegan,  sugar-free

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cooked jasmine rice (any rice will work)

3 cups water (use less or more for desired thickness)

*Optional: sweetener, salt, vanilla

Directions:

Place ingredients in a blender or high-speed food processor and blend for 4 minutes or until smooth. (You may need to drain off leftover rice that does not get blended up.)

On Saturday evening I made QIAJ:

QIAJ (Overnight Quinoa in a Jar)

For the “nut butter” I combined 1/4 cup protein powder, 1/2 packet stevia, a dash of salt and water as needed.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup quinoa

1/2 cup rice milk

1/2 tbsp chia seeds

Fruit

*Optional: mashed banana, stevia, salt, yogurt…

Directions:

Place “nut butter” at the bottom of the jar. Then in a small bowl, combine the quinoa, rice milk and chia seeds. Here you have two options: Either cook the mixture in the microwave for two minutes and place in the jar, or mix it up in the bowl and place it directly into the jar (either method should work, but the second method may be more liquidy). Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!

Then on Sunday night I baked some Quinoa Muffin Tops:

Quinoa Cookies

No sugar-added, high in fiber, nut-free, vegan

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 small banana

1/2 cup quinoa flakes

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 packets stevia

Directions:

Microwave the chia seeds and pumpkin puree for two minutes until thick. Mash with the banana. Then, add the remaining dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Scoop out onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes.

NOTE: The light colored cookies were made with the recipe above. The orange, pumpkiny-looking cookie was an experiment of mine. I need to try it out another time before sharing the recipe.

I ate my other meals like normal, except with a lot more fruit and a lot less veggies. Let’s just call this my “splurge” weekend. Except it kind of sucks stinks that I’m allergic all real splurge food. (Who am I kidding? It’s a great excuse!)

For reference, I “indulged” in: frozen bags of raspberries and blueberries, cans of pumpkin puree, protein powder containers, lots of bananas, bags of baby carrots, a can of lean chicken, quinoa flakes…

And some other random stuff that I can’t remember. This was over the course of Friday Night, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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When I got back to my dorm room it was raining!

Time to put on the jacket on, oh, and my imaginary rain boats 🙂

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The theme of this week’s WIAW is Fall into Good Habits. What a great idea Jenn!

Go check out the other wonderful WIAW-ers and what healthy habits they are making.

Here are my healthy habits that I am trying to do:

1. Limit my intake of fruit. I just eat way too much! I think yesterday I consumed 4 or 5 bananas? Totally unnecessary. Instead, I am going to try and snack on more vegetables.

2. I am going to go on walks just “to go on walks.” Not for any classes, and not because I am going to a dining hall. I am going to walk just for fun. For me and my health.
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What new recipes did you try out over the weekend?

Did you get a lot of rain as an effect of the hurricane… or Did the hurricane hit down close to where you live?

What is ONE healthy habit that you are going to make this Fall?