Apple, PB & Granola Sandwich

Does this breakfast scream fall or what!?

Apple Sandwich Stacks

With all of the hullabaloo (fun word!) about pumpkin popping up around the blog world, apples, another autumn staple, sometimes fall to the wayside.

Not today!

Bring back the apple! 😀

Last week my friend Betsy sent me a link to a recipe for apple sandwiches, featured on Whole Foods’ website.

The minute I clicked the link I knew I had to recreate the fine lookin’ fruity sandwiches.

This morning I got to work, slicing an apple into horizontal slices before carefully cutting around the core to pop it out. (Yes, and apple corer would work wonders here, but I don’t have one. My apple corer also slices the apple, which is phenomenal, but doesn’t work for this particular recipe.)

Once I had several apple slices ready to go, I quickly ate all but four, because that’s all the recipe required and I was hangry!

I then topped two apple slices with about a tablespoon of peanut butter each before sprinkling the nut butter with ginger granola that I purchased from Whole Foods last night.

PB + Granola

Open-Faced Apple Sandwich

I topped the granola and peanut butter covered apple slice with the remaining nakie apple slice to seal the deal.

Topped Off

Autumn Apple

While making the apple, peanut butter and granola sandwiches, I enjoyed a peanut butter finger as did this little one…

My body is 95% Bones & 5% Peanut Butter

She needed the extra fuel after our 2.5 mile walk this morning and I’m not about to deprive someone who craves a lil’ pb. That’s just evil.

Workout

BodyPump, will you ever get old?

I sure hope not because that class always is a good workout and makes me do exercises I despise but know are highly effective (squats, lunges).

Today’s class was a great one and included the song “Now You’re Gone” by Basshunter during the shoulder track. That techno gem is my favorite BodyPump song everrr. (Ross, I figured you might appreciate that one too! 😉 )

Now it’s time to get to work, my friends!

Let’s start this week on a good note. Happy Monday!

Phyllis’ Homemade Granola

It’s here!

The recipe for my friend Leah’s mom’s delicious homemade granola!

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Leah’s mom, Phyllis, made me a batch of her homemade granola when I was in Chicago for my bachelorette party and I raved about it on the blog with promises that I would eventually get the recipe and post it for you guys to enjoy.

Without further ado, here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 8 c. old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 c. wheat germ (1/2 jar)
  • 1 c. grated coconut (optional)
  • 1/3 c. each of chopped cashews and almonds
  • 2 c. sesame seeds
  • 2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 2 c. honey

Directions:

  • Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Mix the liquids separately until well blended.
  • Coat dry ingredients with liquid ingredients.
  • Spread onto an ungreased cookie sheet or two 9×13 pans.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 min. Then reduce to 250 and turn every 10-15 minutes until browned to suit taste.

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This recipe makes a lot of granola, but you can easily make half of the recipe or a quarter of it if there’s only one of you and you don’t want to swim in granola.

Or you can make all of it and be like me and eat it non-stop for days because it really is that good.

Enjoy! 😀

Calories per 1/4 c. serving = 208 (Thank you to blog reader Meredith for calculating this!)

Stuffed Peppers + Nutrition Seminar

After work today I headed to my gym… but not for a workout.

I saw a sign on the whiteboard near the front desk this morning informing members about a free nutrition seminar with a registered dietitian today at 5:30 p.m.

Sign me up!

The seminar was called “To Eat or Not to Eat” and was essentially an “Eat This, Not That” lecture that compared two dining options. Class participants were then asked to choose the healthier option.

I guessed correctly on almost all of the comparisons except for the one comparing the sugar content between one Pop-Tart and a small cup of original apple sauce.

poptarts      vs.     1

The cup of apple sauce (original, not natural or unsweetened) had 22 – 23 grams of sugar, while one Pop-Tart had 20 grams. Yikes!

During the seminar, the dietitian answered a lot of different questions, including how to drink more water throughout the day, as many of us in attendance struggle to consume the recommended eight glasses a day. Her suggestions included:

  • Add citrus fruits to cold water, like orange or lemon wedges for added flavor
  • Add cucumber slices to water for a refreshing taste
  • Try sparkling water, as it can satisfy carbonation desires that many soda-lovers crave
  • Buy a 16 oz. water bottle and make it a point to fill it up and drink the whole thing four times daily

I recently began buying sparkling water and must agree that it helps me down more water daily. I get sick of sipping plain water and find that a little extra fizz can make it easier to drink adequate amounts.

Dinner

Once the seminar was over, I headed home and hung out with Ryan and his cousin for a bit while preparing dinner.

On the menu this evening was stuffed peppers!

I’ve never made stuffed peppers before and after seeing a recipe for stoplight stuffed peppers on Janetha’s blog, I knew I had to give ‘em a go!

I followed her recipe for the most part, but omitted some ingredients and changed the amounts of others.

Luckily with all of my changes they still turned out delicious!

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Though the stuffed peppers looked all fancy sitting up straight, I cut into mine before digging in to make sure the chicken filling was cooked all the way through. It was a good thing I did because the meat wasn’t fully cooked.

After another 8 minutes in the oven, the peppers were ready for eatin’.

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The end result was really, really tasty!

Plus, we have lots of chicken filling that I cooked in a loaf pan along with the peppers leftover to enjoy in the upcoming days.

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And now it’s time to enjoy the lovely company of Ryan and Sadie for the rest of the evening.

See ya in the morning. Let’s hope tomorrow starts off a little chilly again!

Chicken ‘n’ Veggie Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped mushrooms
  • 1 packet Knorr vegetable soup mix
  • 1/2 c. marinara sauce
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 c. salsa
  • 2 – 4 large bell peppers

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Mix chicken through salsa in a bowl
  • Cut off tops of peppers and remove the insides
  • Fill peppers with chicken mixture and bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until chicken mixture is fully cooked
  • Enjoy as is, or top with ketchup or hot sauce

*Note: You may cook any leftover chicken filling in a loaf pan and enjoy it as a chicken meatloaf.  

Cocoa Overload

Over the weekend, I just couldn’t get enough of the mocha green monster smoothie I made for breakfast on Sunday and figured I would recreate the delicious concoction for breakfast this morning.

That was the plan, anyway.

I dug out all the necessary ingredients and threw them into the blender.

Spinach: A Green Monster Requirement

I left out the packet of instant coffee, thinking I would add it in at the end.

When I tasted the smoothie about half-way through the blending process, the chocolate flavor sparked a desire for a cocoa overload smoothie. Move over mocha!

I added 1.5 tbsp. of cocoa powder to the mix to intensify the flavor and a yummy, chocolatey smoothie was born.

As with every green monster, it looked revolting…

Cocoa Overload Green Monster

… but it tasted great!

Pour it Oooout

To Eat or to Drink. That is the Question.

Drink it is!

My smoothie contained:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1.5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (for thickening)

I inhaled this smoothie within 5 minutes, which left me feeling really full. That’s a lotta liquid!

Workout

I was craving a cold breakfast after getting quite overheated at the gym this morning.

I started off my workout with 25 minutes on the treadmill. I did a slightly modified version of a workout I saw on Holly’s blog.

My version of her workout looked like this:

25 Minute Incline Treadmill Workout

This workout was hardcore! I think I only looked at the speed of the workout, and not the incline and figured it would be a breeze.

False.

This workout seriously kicked my butt. I was huffin’ and puffin’ and red faced by the time 25 minutes were up.

Phew!

I wanted to browse through Betty Crocker’s new fall mini recipe book, so I finished up my workout with 25 minutes on the elliptical while drooling over the most delicious looking cake pops (submitted by Bakerella) and turtle brownies.

Maybe that’s what inspired my chocolate craving for breakfast?

…But then again, when don’t I want chocolate for breakfast? Or for every meal, for that matter? 😉

Annnd now it’s time to work. See ya fo’ lunch!

Dreary Day Dinner: Asian Beef Cucumber Bowl

Check out the scene as I drove home from work this evening.

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The pouring rain meant no walk for this little girl:

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It also meant no trip to to PetSmart to get her nails clipped, which I think made her quite happy.

Sadie didn’t seem too thrilled about the idea when I tweeted about it earlier…

 

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Her rebuttal via her own twitter account:

sadie 

Seriously though, what kind of a dog has a twitter account? 😉

Dreary Day Dinner

Since Sadie’s walk and nail clipping appointment were no longer on the agenda, the rainy weather meant slipping into comfy pajamas right when I walked in the door.

I busted out my comfy flannel pj pants for the first time in months. Who cares if it’s in the 80s outside? Dreary weather demands cozy clothes!

After changing, it was time to get a lil’ dirty in the kitchen.

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(Thanks, Rachel for my new super-soft tank top!)

We had some lean ground beef waiting to be cooked into something delicious in the fridge, so I made us beef and cucumber bowls using Asian flavors and spices.

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To make the beef, I first sautéed 3/4 of a large onion in a pan before adding the beef.

I then added soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and chili sauce to the mix and let it simmer for a bit while I chopped up a cucumber.

After topping the cucumber slices with the Asian beef, dinner was ready for eatin’.

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The cold, crispness of the cucumber slices were the perfect compliment to the heat from the beef.

Gotta love flavorful, healthy dinners that take less than 20 minutes to prepare!

I’m off to relax on the couch with a book for the rest of the night.

G’night!

Asian Beef Cucumber Bowl (adapted from Real Simple’s Asian Beef and Mango Salad)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3/4 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chili sauce with garlic
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 extra large cucumber

Directions

  • Sautee onion in a pan sprayed with cooking spray until tender
  • Add beef and brown
  • Add hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce and soy sauce and let simmer for approximately 5 minutes
  • Slice cucumber
  • Top cucumber slices with beef mixture and enjoy!