March 14, 2013

"breakfast burrito" or "breakfast of champions"

cathy is feeling my pain.

the days have been shorter and as the sun goes, so goes my energy. that doesn't mean when the sun comes up i get up. no, far from it. luckily this sunday began daylight savings time. i'll finally have enough light in the evening to run after work.

in a run up (hehe) to getting back on the running schedule, i've spent the last week bingeing on pinterest for motivation and healthier snacks. i had my yearly check up and the doctor suggested i add some vitamins to my daily diet, fun!

fixing food, in my opinion, is a pain. i can bake b/c it requires about 20 min of hands on and then you leave it alone for a while and let the oven do the rest. cooking requires much more attention. i trolled the interwebs for some quick and easy nourishment i felt i could actually do. as opposed to buying everything at the store and then letting it go to waste in the fridge after yet another taco bell craving. so here's what i've been doing for breakfast and mid-afternoon snacks.

breakfast has been oatmeal at work most mornings. in the past i was strictly coffee only until lunch but i've been getting so hungry/bored that i can't stand it.

rolled oats
1/2 cup trader joe's rolled oats
1 cup water
1 apple, cored/wedged/sliced

microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir in a dash of cinnamon, so yummy!

this week i switched it up a bit with a green smoothie. it was so good and totally kept me full thru to lunch. it's also easy to prep ahead of time for the week.

green smoothie
1 banana, frozen
1 kiwi, sliced
1 cup spinach
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp chia seeds

blended this baby up in the cuisinart and hit the road.

i've also subbed in this cinnamon quinoa bake. i really like the texture of quinoa as a replacement for rice, but as a baked casserole of sorts, also really good. 1 cup of dry quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked, so a little goes a long way.

cinnamon quinoa bake
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon

pre-heat oven to 375. mix all but quinoa together, then add the quinoa. bake in an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper for 20-25 minutes. remove from pan as soon as you take it out of the oven to keep it from steaming. i opted for almond milk rather than soy, it probably cut back on the sweetness, which is fine by me.

right out of the oven i let it cool for about 20 min before putting it in a covered dish in the fridge.

heated a small square in the microwave for 45 seconds and it's warm, tasty goodness at my desk.

lastly, my afternoon snack, 3-ingredient energy bars. i chose cranberry, walnut and dates. my food processor is pretty small, so i mixed half the ingredients at a time and then smushed the mix together before chilling.

3-ingredient energy bars
1 cup dates (12-15), pitted
1 cup dried fruit
1 cup nuts

mix everything in the food processor until it forms a ball, about 2 minutes. turn out on to plastic wrap and shape into an 8x8 square. cover and chill 1 hour to overnight. i let them sit overnight and cut them into 9 large (or 18 small squares) in the morning, put each in its own plastic bag to take to work each day. turned out pretty tasty. they give a little energy boost, good to make it thru my non-running days. for running, i need a little more sustenance.

so there's my yummy homemade food for the week. i was able to find nearly everything at my trader joe's. i did not find dates there, had to make a stop at my kroger. i did a pretty in depth price comparison of trader joe's/kroger/target/ and found out that going to trader joe's was on average less expensive than a larger chain grocery. being walking distance from my place is just an added bonus.

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