Monday, April 18, 2011

cooking up a storm

I'll keep this entry sort because there are recipes to get to. Had 1/4 of the Breakfast Berry Baked Buckwheat I made last night topped with just a thin spread of TJ raw and unsalted almond butter, a drizzle of agave nectar, and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes. It was really good and just the right amount of breakfast to give me energy before my workout without feeling too full.  The bake is a modified version of this bake from the blog Edible Perspective.

Breakfast Berry Baked Buckwheat 

8T raw buckwheat flour ( I ground my own from raw buckwheat groats)
2T raw buckwheat groats
1 banana
2 egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup frozen mixed berries (I used blueberries, cherries, and blackberries)
1/2 t baking powder
4T chopped walnuts
1/2 cup lowfat milk
2T flax seeds (Omega 3s!)

Preheat oven to 350. Mash banana until gooey and mix in milk, egg whites, and vanilla. Mix flour, groats, cinnamon, berries, baking powder, and flax in separate bowl and add to wet mixture. Spray pan ( I used a shallow, round pan with an 8 inch diameter) or muffin tins (makes about 6 muffins). Pour into pan. Bake about 30 minutes, until center is cooked through. Makes 4 servings at about 200 calories each.  Top with nut butter, drizzle on agave, or crumble in yogurt. If not eating immediately, heat in toaster oven before eating. 

Made it to 8:30 spinning this morning where we rocked out to a fair amount of classic 80s songs. I didn't hate it! Came home and did 30 minutes of a Pilates DVD for some quick strength training since I wasn't motivated to do it myself. Then it was a second small breakfast of Tangy Feta Scrambled Eggs.  Which feature the Tangy Feta Dip i made last night. The dip was inspired by a dip saw in Whole Foods that I was too cheap to buy! Just checked the ingredients list and modified to my taste. Perfect use of a block of feta I was feeling uninspired by.

Tangy Feta Scrambled Eggs 

1 whole egg
2 egg whites 
1 chopped Campari tomato
handful of organic baby spinach 
1 - 2 T Tangy Feta Dip 

Simply scramble all ingredients together, add a splash of milk if preferred. Cook over low heat.

Tangy Feta Dip  
(very rough measurements, it was all but eye and taste)

6 oz feta cheese 
juice of 1/2 organic lemon 
2 organic scallions 
generous handful of flat leaf, organic Italian parsley 
5 sundried tomatoes packed in oil 
10 kalamata olives
crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) 

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend to desired texture. 

(This didn't photograph great but I promise its tasty)

The rest of the morning I packed up my lunch for the next three days. Dinner is Lentils Puttanesca over some Barilla Plus angel hair pasta. I have been wanting to make a puttanesca sauce recently since olives and tomatoes are two of my favorite flavors and since lentils were next on my list to experiment with this seemed perfect.
Lentils Puttanesca

 3 cloves chopped, fresh garlic 
1/2 chopped red onion 
3- 14.5 oz cans diced, no salt added organic diced tomatoes (thank you TJs!)
20 kalamata olives 
3 T capers- rinsed
1 cup French Lentils

For lentils: Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Rinse lentils in cold water after picking over for stones (I found none). Add lentils and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook 35-45 minutes. Lentils should be soft but not mushy. 
For sauce: Heat EVOO in pan. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red peppers. Cook until soft.  Add tomatoes, capers, and olives. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add black pepper and salt to taste. Add lentils to pan. Add about 1 cup of water to mixture to allow for absorption (I didn't do this and my sauce was dry, but had great flavor!).
To finish: Top with flat leaf Italian parsley and shavings of Romano cheese if desired. Serve alone or with pasta. Serves five (1 cup servings). Calories are about 235 per serving, not including pasta.

Along with the Lentils Puttanesca and angel hair, dinner this week includes:
- 1 T Spicy Lemon Hummus and 1 T Tangy Feta Dip w/ 1 cup organic baby carrots 
- 2 T TJ Cinnamon Almonds 
- TJ Pomegranate Greek Yogurt
- Diet Coke (my biggest vice, and one I am not giving up as of now!)
- PB-Yogurt Dip w/ small organic gala apple

PB-Yogurt Dip 
Mix together 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt and 3 T natural peanut butter until smooth and well mixed. Dip fruit or spread on toast  Makes four servings. 

The 3 day lunch assembly line. 

This is how I earned the nickname Mary Poppins at work. You never know what I'll pull out of my packed lunch box. Luckily Mary Poppins is my favorite movie so this is quite the compliment :)

Off to nap before GOTR at 4 and to work after that. I better move it!

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