Sunday, March 9, 2014

What I've Been Eating Recently

It occurs to me that if I posted more often, I wouldn't have to compile 20+ pictures from the past month into one massive post, but all of these pictures seem to add up until I look at my phone one day and realize I have hundreds of uncategorized pictures.

It also is apparent that I like to eat certain things - everything I make is some variation of some core ingredients I always have around.  I am now planning a post of a detailed grocery list and what exactly I like to buy, but you'll see from these posts that I favor:
  • avocados
  • green/red peppers
  • onions
  • eggs 
  • spinach
  • kale
  • chickpeas 
 Heh. I'm pretty sure I could only these for the rest of my life if I had to because I can prepare them in so many different ways.

For once, none of these really have distinct recipes, but I will list the main ingredients and techniques that I used for everything that I made!

Green Smoothies are kind of a rarity for me now, and they really only happen when I have extra time.  However, they still remain my favorite post-workout drink, especially something cardio heavy.  It's refreshing and full of nutrients, allowing me to refuel quickly right after my workout before I make something that takes longer.  I believe this one had kale, almond milk, a pear, half a banana, and cacao nibs sprinkled on top.  I have to admit, I was still experimenting with cacao nibs when I made this smoothie and I definitely prefer to blend them in with everything else instead of sprinkling them on top.

To keep seeing my recent eats, click below!

I made this salad so long ago, and every time I see this picture, I STILL remember how good it was.  And the base was obviously my favorite- kale.  I massaged the kale with half an avocado, and then topped it with chickpeas, green pepper, cucumbers, and red onion.  It is so refreshing and has all the nutrients I need - healthy fats, protein, and a little bit of carbs.  I've mentioned before that proteins and fats make me feel fuller and make my body feel better than something carb heavy,  so this is the type of mix I usually like to put together.

Plus, there's something about chickpeas that I can't resist!  I have to resist from eating them straight out of the can sometimes so that I can actually use them in recipes that I make...does anyone else have that problem or am I just crazy??

This Halupki Stirfry came straight from this recipe when I had some ground beef and cabbage I wanted to use up. I didn't add any lamb, but used a little extra beef, as well as quinoa, and LOVED the results.  I don't even know how to describe how good this was, but it was just one of those things that I would curl up on the couch and eat on a cold day. You can bet I'll be making this in the future again!

 This pretty much embodies all that I love to eat (for lunch/dinner) in one bowl.  It's just sauteed peppers, onions, and ground beef over quinoa with avocados on the side.  It's one of those go-to meals for when I get home late from school and want something quick and healthy to eat.  This doesn't take much effort, and is one of my favorite things to make.

...and this is my favorite thing to eat for breakfast when I don't have time to make an omelet.  I typically make an omelet for breakfast, but I kind of fail at taking pictures of day, I promise!  But for a quick 5 minute breakfast, I just layer cottage cheese, smashed avocados, and a fried egg over toast.  And layer generously with Sriracha.  This satisfies every craving I have (except for maybe chocolate), and again, is the perfect post-workout breakfast for the ration of proteins, fats, and carbs that it has. 

 So now that this bitterly cold winter is slowly starting to warm up, we've had some pretty decent days recently.  The best was when it reached up to about 60 degrees a couple weeks ago.  It had me feeling inspired to make some more "springy" salads.  For this, I pulled out a classic combination of spinach, a fuji apple, walnuts, feta cheese, and balsamic and vinegar.  It took about 5 minutes to pull together and possibly even shorter to eat.  Just kidding, you all know I'm the slowest eater ever.

     Most of the time, I like to eat a savory breakfast (read: avocados and toast or an omelet), but once in awhile, I want something sweeter.  My favorite recipes as of late have been pancakes (recipe coming up soon!), and oatmeal.  But even with my gluten-free substitutions, such as subbing out flour for coconut flour, they are still pretty carb heavy.  For some reason, eating something carb heavy just doesn't keep me full throughout the day; however, there are those days that I crave and need them over something protein heavy.  Then there are those days that i need a balance of both - and here is where egg white protein oatmeal comes in.

     It's quite simple really - I just cook some oats in a pan until they're almost done, then start whipping egg whites into them.  The end result is fluffy egg whites that blend with the oatmeal so that it all feels like oatmeal, but with some extra fluffiness and protein mixed in.  And because I'm obsessed with peanut butter, there's a nice dollop of it right on top with half a banana and some flax seeds over it.  This actually was so filling that I had to separate this into two breakfasts, even though it looks like a normal bowl of oatmeal.

Since this isn't your typical bowl of oatmeal, here are the exact ingredients that i used:
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. water
1/3 c. liquid egg whites

Cook oats in a saucepan as usual until almost all the water has absorbed (about 3/4 done), and then turn the heat back up to medium-high and start whipping the egg whites until they blend with the oats.  It takes a little longer than making regular oats, but it makes it well worth it! 

I thought I would add in a picture of some of the meal prepping that I do.  Since I'm usually out of the apartment all day and don't come home until 8/9 pm, I don't always have the time or energy to make something.  On the days where I'm home all day (aka weekends), I tend to meal prep.  It also works for my lunches so I can bring something healthy instead of being tempted to buy something that well..isn't healthy.  Here I just roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes as a side for my chicken breasts.  I used a 400 degree oven, and left the asparagus in there for 15 minutes, the sweet potato chunks for about 30 minutes, and the whole sweet potato for about 45 minutes.  45 minutes for a week's worth of lunch?  I'll take it.

I don't think anyone would realize it now, but I used to hate soup.  Crazy, I know, but maybe I just wasn't drinking the right kind, but oh, have times changed!  Especially on cold days, I find myself wanting a nice bowl of soup.  The recipe for this soup was actually on the bag of kale that I bought, and it turned out SO well.  (Recipe posted here).  The only thing I didn't  add was carrots..because I forgot them.  whoops

 Hehe, everything looks a little radioactive here...

Perfect for a cold day!

And end things, I have another salad. I'm going along with the spring theme here, in desperate hopes that it'll encourage the weather to get a little warmer!  This is also ridiculously easy and basic.

Spinach, strawberries, chicken breast, hemp seeds, cottage cheese (hiding below the quinoa), and quinoa mixed with some feta and chopped pecans.  

And a bonus:

There are a million ways to cook chicken breast, but my favorite  way of cooking it is to season it with some salt and pepper, brown it in a pan (whole) for 4 minutes on each side, and then stick it into a 425 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  It comes out perfect every time and just the salt and pepper makes the perfect seasoning!

 If you made it all the way to the end of this post, you're either very dedicated or very hungry.  I think I've managed to compile everything from the past month and a half, but my main takeaways from this post is that I like:

A shit ton of spinach and kale.  Peppers and onions. Avocados, Sriracha.  I eat the same things...and I'm sick of this cold weather.

I don't think any of these are particularly difficult to make, but I"m starting to venture from the "follow everything in a recipe" mindset to "let's throw everything in a pan and hope it turns out well" mindset.  It's certainly working out alright for me, but I think I want to try some *new* ingredients...

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