A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Showing posts with label oatmeal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oatmeal. Show all posts

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Microwave Protein Oatmeal Muffin in a Mug

Hello, everyone! Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July, if you're from the U.S., or just had another great Wednesday if you're from somewhere else. Kelley and I had a late morning Starbucks run and enjoyed each other's company for a while.  Then annoying smokers upwind from us gave us the cue it was time to leave.

Instead of relaxing like we always say we should but never do, I made goat cheese salsa cornbread and goat cheese crackers while Kelley was all over the house cleaning away.  I had chicken marinating in Zevia Cola and balsamic vinegar that I grilled too.  The chicken was a perfect July 4th salad topper and happily there's some leftover for another salad tomorrow!

Leftovers are awesome to have around because the prep-work is already done.  Cold turkey or chicken is always a welcome item on my plate.  I know what most of you are thinking; enjoying the cold turkey leftovers that somehow escaped consumption the first time around.  Straight from the foil or container in the fridge into my mouth, I make sure the turkey doesn't escape consumption the second time. Do you like cold bird or any other leftover? Is there a special thing you do with your leftovers?

Speaking of leftovers, there are usually 2 or 3 different containers of overnight oats in my fridge most days.  My overnight mixtures consist of oats (obviously), protein powder, stevia, cinnamon, peanut butter and/or flour.  For liquids, I typically stick with water since the protein and peanut flour will turn it creamy already, but sometimes use Zevia and omit adding stevia. Pumpkin puree is usually part of my mixture too.

As you can see, there's a lot more than just oats in my overnight oats.  Although plain oats are good, I like to have something prepared so I can just spoon right into my favorite eating cup at night.  One day I just had too many overnight oat mixtures going on and decided to try and cook a batch of something. Since I've been seeing so many microwave cake/bread/oatmeal posts, I figured I'd give that a shot.

To my peanut flour and vanilla whey protein oat mixture, I added egg whites, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, stevia, and salt.  Then I just scraped the mix into a glass ramekin sprayed with non-stick spray and nuked it for a little over 2 minutes. The end result was a fluffy "proatmeal" muffin just asking (I swear, it talked!) for some homemade chia jam and peanut butter.

I never expected it to cook so well and turn into the airy protein muffin before me, but it did.  Isn't it great when things actually cook better than you expect? It's a rare occasion, but always welcome to me.  Unless I was ever doing a presentation on how not to do something and it ended up turning out right.  That would suck.

Anyway, enjoy your Thursday and make one or twelve of these soon!

Q: What's the craziest food mixture you've made and it turned out really good?

Microwave Overnight "Proat" Mug Muffin
by RC Liley
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 3 min
Ingredients (Serves 1)
  • 1/2 cup overnight oats (I used 2 heaping tbls of oats with 1/2 T vanilla whey protein and 1/2 T peanut flour mixed in and soaked in 1/4 cup almond milk over night); read my overnight oat post for tasty overnight creation ideas.
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 packet stevia powder (or use 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar)
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg white or 1 egg; can use 1 flax or chia egg for vegan version
  • Tiny dash of salt
Preheat microwave to "ready".....ha ha, sorry, just trying to make a joke
Seriously now; Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated.
Pour into a 1 cup glass or ceramic ramekin or large mug greased with non-stick spray
Cook in microwave for 2 - 3 minutes. Time will vary with different microwaves, just watch that it doesn’t start overflowing from the top. This happened to me several times, but they still taste exquisite!
Serve with jam, covered in Greek yogurt, peanut butter, or, my favorite….all three!
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIAW #3 – Ode to Brussels Sprouts!

It’s week two of WIAW Green Theme Month and what better way to participate than with Brussels sprouts! I mentioned them several times before, and by now, any frequent reader knows how I love them. Forget a bowl of popcorn, I’d pick a bowl of these to sit down and watch a movie with. Apologies to anyone near me though…

This was supposed to be a cut back week for cooking, but I ended up cooking more than I planned. It’s not a surprise though; it’s just second nature to cook and feels weird not to start stove and oven first thing Saturday morning. I made a red quinoa dish as mentioned in Monday’s post and it got the empty dish of approval from our work friend. I’m glad he liked it since I’m not used to cooking for anyone else other than Kelley; plus, with the broccoli and avocado in there, he unknowingly celebrated WIAW: Green Food Month…..but on Monday.

Breakfast – Leftover red quinoa with veggies and dehydrated okra and Brussels sprouts; French Press coffee with a dab of organic skim milk and pure vanilla extract; I finished with a mix of Arrowhead Mills Corn Puffs, Kashi GoLean cereal, and dry roasted soy nuts 

Snack – Breakfast was pretty late and lunch was just around the corner, so I had a handful of soy nuts and black tea with NuNaturals stevia.

Tuesday's lunch before being pureed.
Lunch – Steamed Jersey sweet potato and broccoli with baked cod in a teriyaki sauce. Yesterday’s white bean and bell pepper puree had more green before being pureed, so I’ll count that too. I had a side snack of dehydrated Brussels sprouts and okra along with lunch, and double bagged green tea to drink.

Would you like some fish with that seasoning?

Liquid Snack – Green and red (rooibos) tea bags mixed and brewed

These are great on salad or by themselves.
Dinner and Beyond – Just like almost every night, a big salad topped with roasted mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts I made this past weekend. Then I moved on to part of my mini baked oatmeal cake with peanut butter Chobani Greek yogurt “icing”. Want to make this for yourself? Don’t worry; I’ll post the recipe soon! Patience is a …..aww who am I kidding, waiting sucks, but it won’t be long.

No guilt with this sugar-free baked oatmeal goodness!

Creamy Peanut Butter Squash Puree
My after dinner, dinner included the standard 2 cups of different purees I made ahead of time. One cup was filled with steamed carrots, yellow squash, frozen mixed berries, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, a splash of whiskey (like Eggnog…kinda), whey protein powder, NuNaturals liquid stevia and unsweetened almond milk. The next cup was acorn squash, peanut flour, cinnamon, NuNaturals vanilla liquid stevia, and unsweetened almond milk. Both were good, but the peanut flour was exquisite and tasted like eating a thinner version of peanut butter from the jar…mmmm.

As I mentioned in my meals above, I had dehydrated Brussels sprouts and okra as snacks that I made for my Green Foods. I love dehydrating foods and feel like I need another dehydrator to support this newfound healthy snack-maker. I’ve made okra before, but this was a first for the Brussels; next time I need to let them go longer or cut in half since these still had a little moisture in the center. Moisture or not, I loved the concentrated flavor and will make many more times. Plus, the dehydrated Brussels would be a lot easier to actually eat like popcorn….hmmm, just a thought.

Have you ever made your own dehydrated foods or want to try soon? What foods have you or would you dehydrate? 

Don't forget to enter to win NuNaturals Stevia Products!
Click here to enter

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Overnight Oatmeal Baked Donuts.....My New Favorite Treat

Do you spell it "Donut" or "Doughnut"?  Meh, no matter, they taste great either way!

I really like my new donut baking pan; it makes a fun shape (Donuts!) and having the hole in the center helps to cook the batter evenly. After successfully baking a few good batches for Kelley and myself (see yesterday’s post on Baked Zevia Pumpkin Protein Donuts), I decided to try using my overnight oats mixture as the batter.

As you can see, they turned out pretty good. They are just a tad soft in the center, which I like, and plan to make more soon!

Are you interested in making these for yourself? It’s easy peasy….as my mom likes to say.

First you prepare overnight oats, then pour into donut-shaped baking pan at 365 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.
Depending on if you like things really crunchy (more time in the oven) or a little soft in the middle (less time), these are a fun and easy way to make a healthy snack for everyone.

Let the delectable oat spheres cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cooling in the pan is necessary for the baked goods to cool down and contract a little; pulling away from the sides. If you’re impatient like me, you know what happens when you don’t wait.

For those with kids, let them help by preparing their own overnight oats mixture; I bet they’ll be more inclined to eat healthy treats they made. This is way better than any kid’s treat in a box!

These Baked Oatmeal Donuts make a great snack for home or on the go. Kelley and I are leaving to Breckenridge in 2 days and the baked donuts I posted on yesterday along with these oatmeal donuts will make great companions for us both. I love road trips, and road trips with Kelley have always been fun.

Except for last year at this time when we went to Breck….I had MRSA and it was miserable! My unfortunate infection while in Breck was not very fun, but I did learn a tasty new recipe with sweet potatoes and black beans!!

Well, not this time, I will be illness-free and ready for a good trip with my wife! Her parents will already be where we are staying and we will have a great time enjoying the fresh air and good coffee from local shops. We also plan on making a couple trips to go snowshoeing as well. Coffee, snowshoeing, no work, minimal plans, good company……I think I’m ready!

For the trip, we will bring our own food since we are against most options (besides coffee) along the main roads. As I mentioned already, I’ll bring the baked donuts I made and the overnight oatmeal crisps I always talk about. Kelley’s must-haves are creamy goat cheese and good whole wheat rye bread. We will also have fresh sliced deli meat, plain Greek yogurt, baby carrots, organic apples, and mixed nuts for the trip.

I dehydrated carrots, zucchini squash, beets, and bananas in a dehydrator I just purchased and will bring along as well. Dehydrating foods will be in a future post…stay tuned! The few packaged foods we will bring include Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Grahams, Corn Thins, and Food For Life Ezekiel Cereal.

Do you have any go to road trip foods? Do you put convenience or health as top priority while traveling? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK Day Off & Overnight Oatmeal Crisps

We get this Monday, 01/16/12 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.  Thank you, Mr. King, for helping us be free from working today!!

Unfortunately, Kelley has been and still is sick with a vicious cold; the thing won't go away!  So today she is getting some needed rest while I do things in the kitchen (surprise).  I made a mini version of Tomato and Bean Bread Soup (recipe will come in a future post) that she really enjoys.  It wasn't the same as usual since it calls for white kidney (cannellini) beans and I didn't have fresh garlic or many tomatoes to use.  Either way, I think she was pleased and I hope the wholesome food helps fight the crap inside.  The soup plus lots of herbal tea is hopefully working for her.....at least it can't hurt!

Besides chopping a jicama to bring to work for the week and cooking a work lunch for us, I made Overnight Oatmeal Crisps.  I just recently started to make these instead of baking so much with eggs, egg whites, and pumpkin puree in order to save time.  The beauty of these is you can use mostly the same spices and flavorings you like in cookies, but in a much healthier way.

Just soaking rolled oats by filling with water to the top of the oats in a container is nothing, and they make for a great warm cereal meal on a cold day.  If it's hot outside, just eat the soaked oats cold.....it's very refreshing.  My favorite add-ins are vanilla whey protein powder, peanut flower, and cinnamon with several drops of liquid stevia.

I just use an empty yogurt container to fill with oats, spices, powders, and a dash of salt; fill with water and let sit overnight or at least an hour in the fridge.  The starch from the oats help bind things together for that cookie-like result. Here is what I commonly use to make these, but this is easily customized to suit the tastes of anyone.

Overnight Oatmeal Crisps

- Rolled Oats; I just buy these in bulk and use how ever many will almost fill various containers
- Peanut flour, natural whey protein powder, non-fat dry milk powder; I try to use in a 1 part flour to 4 parts oats ratio, but doesn't have to be exact.
- Dash of sea salt
- 10 to 15 drops of liquid stevia
- Optional: Chia Seeds (these gel up nicely when soaked and help bind the oats even more); nuts or dried fruit might work too, but I haven't tried.

Once I have an empty yogurt container (no need to clean it out), I pour the oats in leaving some extra space at the top for the other ingredients. I usually add a good amount of peanut flour along with some vanilla whey protein and a few chia seeds.  Together, these make up about 1/2 a cup for the 32oz container in the picture.  Add a sprinkle of sea salt, cinnamon, and 12 drops of liquid stevia (honey or agave would work too) then gently shake the container to mix together.  Add water (use milk if you wish) to where it rises just above the oats and stir everything together until well incorporated. 
You'll notice the mixture already thickening; just let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.

When ready, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, spread the oats thin on a cookie sheet and bake for about 30 - 40 minutes turning once you see them browning on one side.

These should come out nice and crispy; enjoy!  They are usually sturdy enough to hold up to a good yogurt and peanut butter dip or to let soak in milk.  I like just having something tasty, crunchy, and made in our kitchen.

If you have ripe bananas around, mash one and mix that into the oats too.  Bananas are great when using peanut flour and cocoa powder in the mix...try it!

I hope you give this a shot and let me know what flavors you used.  Happy MLK day, try not to get sick!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Healthy and Thrifty – “Instant” Oatmeal

The latest report on America’s obesity rates and trends paints a gloomy picture for what’s to come if we don’t make positive changes. One finding on the report was that lower income households were more obese mainly because they choose cheaper, packaged food rather than more expensive fresh items.  Packaged foods might seem cheap at first, but they will cost you in the long run.  Although there are numerous packaged items we could easily make at home, I will start with the popular instant oatmeal packets. Do you enjoy the selection of flavors in the personal packets of instant oatmeal? Check the nutrition facts and you’re sure to find an unhealthy dose of added sugar, salt, and various starches or gums to create that thick consistency.
I am against the packaged convenience items like “100 Calorie” packets and instant oatmeal packs. You usually get less and pay more when just for a little time saved. The packets also seem to be lower quality ingredients too, so they’ll cost you in the long run. So what if you were to make your own “instant package” by assembling ingredients you buy in bulk? Buying rolled oats from a bulk department or a big canister of store-brand or Quaker rolled oats is the base to creating your own packages. I opt for the bulk department oats as they are the least expensive way to go. If you’re partial to a certain “healthy” brand of instant oatmeal, then buy organic rolled oats in bulk; problem solved.
Making your own of something is great because it allows you to actually know what’s in it and adjust to your personal tastes. To create a basic instant oatmeal package, you only need a few items; from there you can add extras for more flavor and nutrition.

Basic Instant Oatmeal Recipe
- 3 Cups Quick-Cooking or Rolled Oats*
- Non-fat Powdered Milk – If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, it’s ok to leave this out
- Salt – Optional
- Small zip-up baggies
*Quick-cooking oats are more processed to allow for quicker cooking times; I find rolled oats still cook just fine and contain more of the “whole” oat. It’s up to you on which to use, but you will have a little extra fiber from the less processed rolled oats.
Put 1 cup of oats in a blender or food processor and blend on high until powdery. The powdered oats help create a thick oatmeal for that comforting, creamy oatmeal. Set the powdered oats aside in a small bowl. Put the following ingredients into each zip baggie: 1/4 cup un-powdered oats, 2 Tbsp. powdered oats, 1/2 Tbsp. non-fat powdered milk, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Fill each bag until you run out of ingredients. The powdered milk is a great addition for extra protein, but can be omitted if you desire.

To cook: Empty packet into a bowl. Add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir and let stand for 2 minutes. For thicker oatmeal use less water, for thinner oatmeal use more water. You can also mix the packet contents with water and microwave for 1 minute, stir, and then microwave another 20 to 30 seconds.
Now you have a basic recipe to make your own oatmeal packets that can be kept at home, stored in your desk at work, or packed to take with you on the road. If you like plain things, you can stop here and be on your way with this recipe, but for extra flavor, I like to add a few things.

Variations – add listed ingredients to each packet

  • Apple-Cinnamon - 1 tsp. stevia granules, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp. chopped dried apples
  • Plain and Sweet - 1 tsp. stevia granules or 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Brown Sugar and Cinnamon - 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Raisin - 1 tsp. stevia, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp. raisins
  • Health Nut - 2 Tbsp. of raw or toasted wheat germ, 1 Tbsp. of your favorite nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, etc.), 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. stevia granules
  • S'Mores - 6 mini marshmallows and 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips to each packet
  • Cocoa - 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tsp. stevia granules
  • Pumpkin Pie - 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, dash of allspice, 1 tsp. stevia granules
  • Pumped Up Protein "PrOats" - 1/2 scoop of your favorite flavored protein powder and 1 tsp. stevia granules; I use an all natural whey protein sweetened with stevia. My favorite brands are Energy First and Dymatize.

There are many combinations to use that will make flavorful and nutritious oatmeal. The variations above are not set in stone; try taking something from one and adding it to another as you see fit. I always stress that you should have fun with your creations in the kitchen and include family when applicable. Enjoying your time creating meals is a great way to ensure you make more food in the home than going out to eat. This translates to a healthier and happier life for you and your family.
Another option for those hot summer days is to make a no-cook oatmeal. This is not very transportable as refrigeration is needed, but is a nice change when something hot just doesn’t sound appealing when it’s 100+ outside. To make this version, just mix any of the combinations above into 3/4 cups of water or milk; or 1/2 cup of non-fat yogurt (I use plain, but vanilla or another flavor is a great treat) in an airtight container. Mixing pumpkin puree, applesauce, or peanut butter also makes for a great tasting breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.  Place the mixture in the fridge and let sit over night or 8 hours. This will be ready to eat right out of the fridge in the morning; you can even grab it and go if running late. Add fresh or frozen fruit when mixing if you want; blueberries, strawberries, banana, or papaya are some of my favorite fruits to add.

This is a simple way to choose a healthier option and maybe enjoy your food more. I always go back and forth with my boss at work as he thinks he “needs” some of these convenience items. S.P., if you’re reading this, hope you give it a try before buying your gourmet instant packs! More healthy and thrifty tips will come in the near future, please continue to follow and share my blog with friend and family!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beat the Heat Right! Morning, Noon, and Night!

It’s mid-June, and here in Texas that means the mercury is rising! How’s the temperature where you live? If you’re dreading the next gas or electric bill because of heavy A/C use, I’m sure it’s hot enough.
I find spending some time away from the stove and oven is a great way keep cool and still be creative in the kitchen. Make one day a “cool day” during the week where each meal requires no heating and is a delight to the taste buds. If you work in a typical office setting, it can be annoying waiting to use a microwave for your meal. It’s even more aggravating when there’s food splatter all over the inside! Let me help you avoid the heat-box and escape the wait at work with some non-cook recipes.

Gazpacho (chilled soup) – 6 Servings

2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (I use the no salt added variety)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 (14.5) ounce can of no-salt added Garbanzo beans; drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 seedless cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
2 tablespoons sherry, red wine, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh (dried if you must) parsley, basil or cilantro
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 dashes Tabasco sauce; or Just Add Cayenne

Blend 1 can of tomatoes with the stock and oil in a blender or food processor until pureed. Transfer to a medium bowl along with remaining ingredients; season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve; this can be made several hours before serving.
You can leave the garbanzo beans out if desired, but I like to have some protein in my meals, and these beans add great texture. I will even add no salt added canned tuna for a great protein punch! Try creating your own version by adding or taking away some ingredients. Celery will give a nice crunch, use chopped chives instead of an onion, and summer squash will help change things up a bit. Either way, this is a delight for the eyes and mouth; it’s healthy too!
Black Bean Avocado Salad

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cups chopped peeled avocado
1 seedless cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I use the no salt added variety)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions / chives
1/2 cup peeled and diced jicama
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

This is good for 8 side dish servings or 4 – 5 main meal servings. Same as the gazpacho recipe, add or remove ingredients as you like and make it your own! You will be smiling the whole time just thinking of how you can grab your lunch right from the fridge at work and avoid the dreaded microwave lunch line.
Peanut Overnight Protein Oats - “Proats”

1/4 cup peanut flour – I sometimes use natural vanilla or chocolate whey protein instead
1/3 – 1/2 cup dry rolled oats
1/4 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons natural applesauce
Dashes of cinnamon to taste
sweetener to taste; I use liquid stevia, but a little honey would be good too

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Place the mixture in an airtight container and chill overnight or at least 1 hour. Once the oats soak up the liquid, you should be left with a pretty thick and tasty breakfast or dessert. Toss in some fresh or frozen fruit (banana or blueberries work best here) along with some plain non-fat yogurt for a filling meal or treat.   Add canned or fresh pumpkin puree with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for a pumpkin pie flavor. I love having this at night for a very soothing meal alone; great after a long day.

All of these recipes offer the option of customizing to your liking. If you only try one of the above, the overnight oats is a great no-cook breakfast that will be ready when you wakeup or treat when you get home. Trust me, it’s something to look forward to either way. Be creative, get the family involved, and enjoy the healthy benefits physically and mentally. It will feel good to be in control of your food, and your body will feel good as a result. Let me know how you like these recipes and what, if anything, you changed.