Thursday, October 28, 2010

Protein Powder recs?

Do you use a protein powder in shakes, smoothies, homemade bars, etc?  If so, I am interested in what you use and why?  I currently only have Designer Whey Chocolate Protein Powder in the house for Adam (which I think is vegetarian (obviously not vegan) according to at least one website).  I am looking for one that is vegan (I am not planning on switching to veganism right now, but this seems like something that I could switch to and not make any difference in my day), gluten free would be nice, one that is high in protein and relatively low in carbs, organic would be nice too, but also one that you like, i.e. tastes good.  I have tried soy protein powder, and it's ok, but I wonder if there are other kinds (or a soy protein powder that tastes really good).

Please post a comment on which one you like and why or send me a link.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Product Review - Kroger Brand Greek Yogurt

I was so excited to see that Kroger had come out with a greek yogurt.  I love greek yogurt; it's so creamy and thick, not to mention a lot more protein than regular yogurt.  I also like that greek yogurt, for the most part, doesn't have artificial sweeteners (which I don't eat).  Before greek yogurt, I really only ate the Stonyfield regular yogurts because they don't have any artificial sweeteners, doesn't have as much sugar as the Dannon Naturals and of course, it's organic.  But it's not cheap either.  So I was so excited to see that Kroger had a greek yogurt that was more affordable than most greek yogurts.

The Kroger brand greek yogurt has between 120 and 130 calories, is fat free, and . . .

and full of protein without a lot of added sugar to keep the carbs in check.  Well, it wasn't until I got home that I noticed that Kroger brand greek yogurt has Stevia in it, natural sugar without any calories.  I wasn't sure how I felt about this being pregnant and trying to do everything right.

I went ahead and tried it after researching Stevia online because I had never had it before.  The taste of the greek yogurt was ok; I did notice a artificial taste in it from the Stevia.  But Kroger does offer several flavors; our family likes the vanilla (which has more protein and fewer carbs than the strawberry shown here).  I did notice the texture was a little grainy, not as creamy as some of the other greek yogurts.  At first glance, I was pretty disappointed.  I let a couple weeks go by before trying it again.  I was making Adam's lunch and had a spoonful of the vanilla greek yogurt and liked it better the second time.  Maybe I had a bad one or maybe it's just sometime you have to get used to.  I am still not sure how I feel about Stevia, especially while being pregnant.  I don't think it's something I will have often while pregnant, for personal reasons, but maybe after the baby is born, I will eat more of them.

Taste:  B
Nutrition:  B (the Stevia lowered it for me)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More dessert, but a little healthier

Well pregnancy insomnia has plagued me again.  I have been up since 3:15am (to pee of course) and have been up ever since.  Now my alarm goes off in 45 minutes so I doubt I will be sleeping again tonight.  Urgh!

So I figured I would do a quick post on some more desserts I have been eating recently.  We all know it's apple season (yeah).  My grandmother went up to North Georgia a couple of weeks ago and brought back some apples and gave us a few (we just went last weekend and I will post about that when I get those pictures uploaded).  So I decided to introduce Hope to Baked Apples.  This is something my mom introduced me to a long time ago and I doctored it up some since then.  It's pretty easy and very fast.

You start with your apple, chopped up in a bowl.  Here I am using a Mutsu apple, but really anyone you like will work.

Next I added 2 teaspoons of Earth Balance (or butter if you prefer), a handful of raisins and a dash of cinnamon.  Two minutes in the microwave (or until apples become soft) and that's it.  I then added some Kashi GoLean Crunch, because I like a little crunch in everything I eat and a splash of agave nectar and here is my finished product.

Hope was not impressed with the idea of cooked fruit (like her father), but I loved it!  A nice way to finish off the end or would make a great snack.  Yum!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Plan - 10/18

I know I haven't been doing these things every week, but sometimes it takes me 2 weeks to get all of the recipes in.  Things come up.  I decide I am in the mood for that dish one night, Hope decides I don't need to cook, etc.  So here is what I am thinking for this week.

Monday - Leftovers from a few weeks ago (veggie chili mac from The Rachael Ray Show)
Tuesday - Leftover Quinoa and Lentil cutlet with veggie gravey, and Indian side dish I saw at the store the other day, and a salad
Wednesday - Fartella pasta (Vegetarian Times magazine) and broccoli
Thursday - Dinner Out
Friday - Loaded Potato Soup or Eggs for dinner, can't decide, will have to be a game time decision

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vegetarian BLT

I was reading my usual blogs, and ran across this.  What?  A vegetarian BLT or an ELT as she puts it.  My mouth was watering just thinking about it.  Unfortuantely, I didn't have an eggplant in the fridge so I had to wait a few days before I could try this out.  But I don't have a dehydrator, so I had to do some more searching around the internet and also what are the best ingredients for they marinade if you are going to bake the eggplant.  After some searching, I was ready to go. 

Eggplant Bacon

1 medium eggplant, peeled, thinly sliced
1/2 T salt
1 1/2 T Agave Nectar or maple syrup
2 T Soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos (I used soy sauce)
2 T Apple Cidar Vinegar
1 t chili powder
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t cumin powder (optional)

Combine all ingredients and then throw in the eggplant.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight. 
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Do not let it burn. 

My medium eggplant after I cut the top off.  Mine might have been a little bigger than a medium, but it worked with no problems.

My eggplant - peeled and thinly sliced.  

My eggplant in the marinade.  I have a nice little toy that helps with the marinating process.  I marinated my eggplant for 1 hour.  

My trick - cook the eggplant on the cooling wrack.  It helps to make sure the bottom does not get soggy.  I did put some cooking spray on the cooking wrack to make sure there was no sticking.

A closer look before the cooking.

After 20 minutes in the oven.  Personally, I think it could have been in there a little longer to give it a crispier texture.  It was still a little soft, but I wasn't going to fry them.  

So now, my eggplant bacon is done.  It's time for the sandwich.  Organic heirloom tomatoes were cheaper than the on the vine organic tomatoes, so I was all about trying out some heirloom tomatoes I hear so much about on the Food Network.  

I grabbed 2 slices of sprouted bread (toasted), some romaine, and some fat free mayo along with my eggplant bacon.  

All I can say is yummy!  Doesn't it look so good.  

Whether you are a vegetarian or not, this is a great sandwich.  And much healthier than a real BLT.  Go ahead - give it a try. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Satisfy your sweet tooth recipes

So with my overly sweet tooth (I blame it on the pregnancy) and Adam needing something on the go in the mornings, I had been searching for some new recipes to try out.  I found two to try out.  The first is one I tweaked a little, but I am sure the original is just as good.  

Vegan Protein Breakfast Granola Bars

4 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chopped cashews (you can use all walnuts or sub in whatever nuts you like)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Sucanat or sugar
4 scoops protein powder (I used chocolate, but you can't tell it's chocolate, I think vanilla would work well)
3/4 cup Earth Balance (a vegan sub for butter but you could use butter or whatever you use)
1/4 cup maple syrup (can use honey too)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

All the dry ingredients.  Just look at those cashews.  Yum!!!

1. Preheat the oven to 350*.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
3. Press firmly into a jelly roll pan (or a cookie sheet with high sides).
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Cool completely and cut into bars.
Now, I did score the granola bars when I took them out of the oven (shown below).

The original recipe said it makes 24, but I cut them into 20 so they would be a little bigger for Adam to use as Breakfast Bars.  The first morning he had one, he raved (and I don't blame him).  They are very good!  It's a nice switch from his breakfast cookies I had been making. 

Nutritional Breakdown is as follows:

Calories:  275 kcalories
Total fat:  14.8 grams
Saturated fat:  1.8 grams
Carbs:  28.6 grams
Fiber:  2.1 grams
Protein:  8.3 grams

I also made some Cauliflower Chocolate Chip Muffins courtsey of Runblondie.  I used her exact recipe so you can get it here.  They are quite tasty as well and a great mid morning snack after my Green Monster smoothie for breakfast.  Sorry, I forgot to take any pictures of the muffins, but you can get them on Runblondie's page.  FYI - it did take a few minutes to puree the bananas and the cauliflower, so be patient. 

Hope you enjoy these homemade treats as much as my family has.  What are your favorite homemade treats?

Friday, October 8, 2010


Ok, so I am almost 4 months along.  I thought I would update you on my pregnancy and some of my "cravings."  Now by cravings, I am not making anyone run out and get me anything or even myself, but since I dictate what we have for dinner and do the grocery shopping, I am picking things I like.
  1. Pasta - And I am not a huge pasta fan, but Adam is so he is not complaining
  2. Tomatoes - I like tomatoes and always have, but I can eat a tomato everyday right now.
  3. Fruit - Yum and I am not picky about fruit.  Today I dug into an organic red pear from the farmer's market and it was so yummy and juicy. 
  4. Sugary cereal - I am trying to limit this because I don't want sugary cereals in the house, but I slip in a box every now and then.
  5. Cheese - This should probably have been number 1, at least in the 1st trimester (not as much anymore but worth documenting, but gooey cheese was my number 1 craving with Hope as well.  Actually a lot of these are the same.  I don't know if that means I am having another girl or if it's more a personal thing with my body.
  6. "Junk" food in general - I definetely want more junk food than before I was pregnant.  Granola bars dipped in chocolate, baked cheetos, and cookies.  I even have plans to make homemade shortbread cookies with homemade icing for Halloween and caramel apples with Hope. 
  7. Smoothies - Since it's been so warm, again in the 1st trimester, smoothies are a great breakfast and have them at least twice a week.  My go to smoothie right now is a Green Monster smoothie.  This way I get some veggies in (veggies will not be named as a craving)
  8. Racing!  Fall is the perfect time to race, but since I am pregnant and not sure how this pregnancy is doing to go, I haven't raced.  I just talked to my OB at my 16 week appointment and she thought I would go ahead and some small races while everything looks good.  I had plans to run a small 5k on Saturday that allows jogging strollers, but Hope has come down with a virus (maybe the flu) and has had a fever since Wed. night so it looks like this craving is going to have to be put off for at least another week. 
So what do you think of my cravings?  Am I having a girl or a boy?  Only time will tell. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Adventures at the Botanical Gardens

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my little one to the Botanical Gardens while it was still warm.  Unfortunately, I had just run 4 miles with the jogging stroller and didn't thinking about all the walking I was going to have to do.  Oops!

Well, it was a fun experience but she is still a little young (and obviously over getting her picture taken).  Here she is at our first garden.

Her favorite was the Japanese garden with rocks.  She could have stayed for hours playing with the rocks.  

I saved the best for last (smart mommy) - the children's garden.  Here, my little girl is going through the catepillar (we went all the way through where the catepillar became a beautiful butterfly).

Playing in the sandbox.  Fun times!

Lastly, I read about this place before we went, so I saw that there is a little foundation for children to cool down.  So I brought her swim suit so she could play and then we could change back into her regular clothes and not be wet the rest of the day.  

After a long morning, we hit Moe's for lunch and then a quick visit to hubby's office.  We were back home and everyone needed a nap.  :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fun Toddler Project

It was a lazy Friday day for us so I decided it would be arts and crafts day at the house.  I actually stole this idea from a friend of mine.  We have a bunch of different trees in our yard, but we do not have any pine trees.  So Hope and I took a short walk around the neighborhood and looked for some pine trees.  We collected a couple of pine cones and headed back to the house.  

Collected our pine cones and tried some string around the top of each pine cone.

Melt some peanut butter in a bowl and then let your toddler (very carefully) roll the pine cone in the peanut butter.  Cute little hand!

Then roll the peanut butter glazed pine cone in some birdseed.  

The finished product.  

Then we headed to the back yard to put our birdfeeders on a tree.  Hope enjoyed the project and it was a pretty quick one so she didn't get bored either.  

Give it a try with your toddler.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Planning - 10/4

So I am finally getting back into menu planning after moving then being pregnant (first tri was  not about basic meals).  I had been inundated with awesome recipes from other blogs, my vegetarian times magazine, and my cooking light magazine.  I am so excited to hit the farmer's market tomorrow and buy up my ingredients.  Here is what I am thinking this week:

Monday - Spinach and Tomato Frittata and salads with all our leftover veggies (Frittata recipe came from my Shape Magazine, Sept. 2010)

Tuesday - Quinoa and Lentil Cutlets and some sort of veggie, can't decide yet.  I will be tweaking the cutlet recipe a little, not because I think it needs it, but to put ingredients into the recipe that I already have and not buying similar ingredients.  If I remember, I will take pics and post my recipe.

Wednesday - Crock pot lasagna, friends are coming over and will be providing the rest of the meal.

Thursday - Fall Vegetable Curry over brown rice, yum!  From my cooking light mag.

Friday - ???  Either leftovers, or maybe a homemade soup (I have recipes for a loaded potato soup as well as a Creamy Root Vegetable Stew).

So it looks like it's going to be a busy cooking week for me.  I can't wait!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

National Clean Eating Day - Recap

So it was on Wednesday that I decided to participate in the National Clean Eating Day, and I was going to take it seriously.  That meant do processed food period!  Which meant no cereal, no breads (except for sprouted breads), nothing.  Well I wasn't completely equipped for the day, so that hurt.  But the day started off with breakfast.

Organic rolled oats, organic blueberries, toasted walnuts, and a little bit of ground flaxseed.  I also decaf coffee with some 1% milk in it.

Being pregnant, I usually can't go 3 hours without eating, and I tend to snack a lot, so I had a pear to tide me over until lunch.

For lunch I had some leftover Greek Couscous with Shrimp (I am trying not to eat seafood, but I had been craving shrimp for weeks).  Such a good and easy recipe

After Hope when down for nap, I got hungry again, so I made some sprouted bread toast and put a little natural almond butter on it.  Yummy!!!

Hope took an extremely long nap, when she finally did wake up, I decided to have a little organic plain lowfat yogurt and extend dinner a little longer.  

Hope and I had to run some errands and then when we got back, we decided to play outside instead of starting dinner right away.  It was 6:25 and the husband called to say he was on his way home.  ***Note:  This NEVER happens.***  Since I hadn't started dinner (spinach and tomato frittata and salads) and the weather was so nice that day, we decided to walk to dinner and go out.  Well needless to say, we ended up at a pizza place, so I can easily assume my crust was not clean, and my sauce may or may not have been. 

I also forgot my camera so I couldn't even take a picture of it for you.  But I had a salad (no croutons) with vinegarette dressing and one slice of veggie pizza.  So I had a lot of veggies but not entirely clean.  But we did walk to dinner and back (1.7 miles each way) so I did get some extra exercise in and it was so nice to eat out.  We hardly ever get to with Hope not being very good at dinner right now.