Egg Fight.

If you ever want to start a food fight conversation at the dinner table, bring up the conversation of “eggs.” ¬†Instantly, you’ll watch the room divide into this cluster of ideas and opinions.

It’s quite an interesting experiment, but I only recommend it if you’re willing to spend an hour or so defending your stance on the issue. ūüėČ

 

In case you haven’t noticed, eggs have a bad reputation.

“They’re high in cholesterol!!”

Which is true. ¬†They are. ¬†But the cholesterol found in foods has been shown to have very little effect on our blood’s cholesterol.¬† In other words, if you’re concerned with high cholesterol, your best bet is to limit the amount of saturated fats you eat,¬†notably¬†found in things like solid butters and high fat meat products. ¬†It’s also a good idea to limit or avoid trans fats, found mostly in baked goods.

In other words?  Eggs are in.

When people study the bioavailability or protein (how much protein your body can actually use after breaking it all down into its useful form,) they compare the item to an egg.  Eggs are the gold standard when it comes to protein.

Recommendations on how much egg yolks the healthy adult should eat still vary.  Some health organizations recommend keeping it to 3-4 whole eggs/week.  Other studies have shown no negative effects with upwards of 7 eggs/week.  My personal thought is that balance is always key, and having eggs a couple times a week can fit into any plan.

Oh. ¬†And don’t forget. ¬†The tasty yolk is jam packed with healthy nutrients. ¬†Specifically the ones that are good for our vision, like¬†lutein and zeaxanthin. ¬†To limit the amount of saturated fat/cholesterol, I like to use one whole egg with one extra egg white.

ezekiel bread, smashed avocado, 1 whole egg + 1 egg white, cilantro, salsa

That’s what I love about nutrition.

Proving that the delicious foods we love to eat are actually quite healthy after all.

Oh.

But I know what you’re thinking.

And no.

I don’t think Twinkies will be making this list any time soon. ūüėČ

QUESTION: Did you ever avoid a food because you thought it was “bad” for you?¬†

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the health effects of eggs?

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PB, Banana and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal.

One of my best friends during my freshman year of college used to make us bowls of instant oatmeal with globs of peanut butter and chocolate chips during finals week.  It was like eating a giant, ooey gooey, completely irresistible peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

It tasted absolutely naughty.

The good news is that it really wasn’t.

These days, I like to use old fashioned oats in place of the instant for a slower release of glucose (aka, sugar) into the body. ¬†This not only tastes better. ¬†You’ll feel full and satisfied much longer, which can help control those pesky food cravings later on in the day.

I also use natural peanut butter.

A dash of sea salt.

And some dark chocolate chips.

It tastes absolutely naughty.

The good news is that it really isn’t.

PB, Banana and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal (in a jar)

The flax is optional, but it does add a healthy dose of omega 3 fats to your day. ¬†Enjoy with a cup of your favorite coffee. ¬†This is a sure way to jump start a very productive morning. ūüėÄ

  • 1 almost empty peanut butter jar
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips
  1. Set aside the peanut butter jar.
  2. Bring soy milk + 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add cinnamon, oatmeal, banana, flax, and salt; reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 5-7 minutes.  Stir every minute or so.
  3. Once oatmeal is to desired consistency, transfer to the peanut butter jar and top with chocolate chips.  Enjoy!

QUESTION: What are you favorite oatmeal add-ins?

your quiet moment in December.

If you’re feeling kinda busy.

Or.  If.

You can’t remember the last time you just, you know,¬†stopped.

Or.  If.

You could use some time alone (just you.)

Then.

Might I suggest?

That you make yourself a cup of tea.  And then.

Bake a batch of muffins.

And then just sit.

Think.

Listen.

Enjoy your quiet moment in December.

Cranberry Orange Muffins–modified from a recipe in Cooking Light

I reduced the sugar and subbed in whole wheat flour for this recipe with stellar results.  These muffins taste best hot from the oven, but can be frozen and reheated for later use as well.  Enjoy with your favorite cup of tea or a hot cup of coffee.

  • 2 cups¬†whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons¬†baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons¬†grated orange rind
  • 3/4 cup¬†orange juice
  • 1/4 cup¬†canola oil
  • 1¬†large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups¬†coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup¬†chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400¬į.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Set aside 1 tablespoon sugar. Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
  3. Combine rind, juice, oil, and egg in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved sugar. Bake at 400¬į for 15-17 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Run a knife or spatula around outer edge of each muffin cup. Carefully remove each muffin; place on a wire rack. ¬†Enjoy!

5 Reasons Why…

…I’m ridiculously excited for the weekend…

1. Your comments convinced me to look on the bright side of things with this whole up and down job searching thing. ¬†I applied to another awesome sounding job today, and I know there will be others along the way. ¬†Frustration lasted but a second. ¬†I’m moving on. ¬†That makes me excited.

2. We’re putting up the Christmas tree SUNDAY and decorating it MONDAY. ¬†This means two days of listening to endless Christmas music, two days of sipping hot cocoa, and two days to make cookies or marshmallows or walnut raisin bread. ¬†Two days worth of Christmas excitement.

3. I finally have enough money saved for a miniature sized camera. ¬†I’ve been setting aside $5 here, $5 there. ¬†Just enough to get a little guy, which I can tote around when the Canon Rebel becomes too big to handle.

4. I’ll hopefully be completely finished with Christmas shopping by tomorrow afternoon. ¬†Two people left to buy for and I know exactly what I’m getting. ¬†Very excited.

5. I found a place where I want to volunteer in the new year, and I’ll be getting in touch with the woman who runs the program this weekend. ¬†I’ll share more details once it’s official!!

Spicy Breakfast Cookie (click for recipe) with a glass of vanilla soymilk

and an unpictured cup of starbucks coffee. 

Because it’s Friday. ¬†Almost the weekend.

Which makes me ridiculously excited.

QUESTION: What are you excited for this weekend?

Breakfast Week Finale

I love Thanksgiving.

I love the simplicity. ¬†I love the preparation and planning that goes into creating a feast. ¬†I love the warmth. ¬†I love that everyone is given the chance to reflect on what they’re thankful for. ¬†I love that I’m happy and blessed and surrounded by the people I love.

(I even love the insanity known as Black Friday.)

Thanksgiving has always held a special place in my heart. ¬†Christmas is nice, but Thanksgiving is when Memere would roast a magnificent turkey and feed us kids peanut butter balls until we couldn’t possibly eat any more. ¬†Then she’d send us home with a dozen more.

Thanksgiving is when Aunt Marie would hand out tall glasses of chilled egg nog, as we kids plopped ourselves down in front of the tv, watching the Muppet Christmas Carol.

Thanksgiving is when Dad would take the long way home, just so we could experience the excitement of down town’s Christmas lights.

Thanksgiving is the celebration of family and food and life.

Thanksgiving morning called for the luxury of noshing on breakfast scones while sipping starbucks coffee, as a way to end Breakfast Week.

In all honesty, these reminded me slightly more of Memere’s cinnamon sugar donuts than they did of a scone. ¬†I think it’s the lack of butter in the recipe, which makes them much more dense and not at all flaky like your typical scone.

Still. ¬†I’m not one to argue with something that emulates a cinnamon sugar donut.

With all the sugary, buttery things floating around, it’s nice to start the day off on the right foot.

Like a 4-mile walk, a bowl of chobani (with grapes ‘n granola), and a sweet scone on the side.

Don’t you just love Thanksgiving?

Cranberry Whole Wheat Scones w/ Cinnamon Sugar–adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics Cookbook

  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine 1 Tbsp. sugar with cinnamon.  Set aside.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, flour, baking powder and salt.  Add cranberries and walnuts and stir to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together, reserving 1 Tbsp for later use.  Add oil and milk to remaining egg mixture.  Make a well in dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and stir just until combined; dough will be soft.
  5. Turn dough onto floured surface and pat into a circle about 8 inches across and 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Cut circle into 8 pie-shaped wedges. ¬†With a spatula, lift each wedge and arrange on prepared baking sheet so that they’re not touching. ¬†Brush tops of scones with remaining egg mixture and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.  Enjoy!

QUESTION: What is your most memorable Thanksgiving moment?

Special Edition: “Breakfast Week” (continued)

‚ÄúJoin me as I eat my way through a week of new breakfasts. ¬†Thanksgiving marks the finale, which means I have one full week to try a new breakfast each and every morning. ¬†It could be delicious (it could be outrageous!) ¬†But the whole idea is to just have fun.‚ÄĚ

Butter rolls.

Pumpkin pie.

Cranberry breakfast scones.

Apple crisp.

Gingerbread cookies.

It was a busy day of baking.  So it made absolute sense that for breakfast, I craved simple.  Simply cereal.

The big issue that I have with cereal is that it tastes great but I end up starving not long after.

My solution is to fill the bowl with fiber-rich blueberries (frozen, since the fresh ones are so expensive right now!), walnuts and flax.  The fat, fiber and protein (from the milk) provides the perfect combination to keep me feeling full and happy.

Some of my favorite cold cereals:

1. Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal (this morning’s cereal of choice!)

2. Kashi Go Lean

3. Nature’s Path Heritage¬†

4. Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls

These are all high fiber cereals without tasting like cardboard. ¬†Don’t let the brown color fool you. ūüėČ

Fill-Me-Up Cereal Bowl

  • 1.5 cups high fiber cereal
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (I like using Wyman’s, which are tiny and sweet)
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut pieces
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  1. Combine cereal with frozen blueberries and flax.  Add walnuts on top.  Pour on soy milk and enjoy your busy morning!

QUESTION: What is your favorite cold cereal?

QUESTION: What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?

I wish you all the Happiest of Thanksgivings!!!!!!!!!!!!

Special Edition: “Breakfast Week” (continued)

‚ÄúJoin me as I eat my way through a week of new breakfasts. ¬†Thanksgiving marks the finale, which means I have one full week to try a new breakfast each and every morning. ¬†It could be delicious (it could be outrageous!) ¬†But the whole idea is to just have fun.‚ÄĚ

The Thanksgiving preparations have officially begun!

I talked all about Martha Stewart’s gingerbread man recipe back when I was “Running To Slow Things Down,” and I still believe it’s one of the best gingerbread recipes. ¬†I love the rich, spicy flavors. ¬†And the dough is ridiculously easy to work with.

So that’s what I’ve been up to all afternoon. ¬†Mixing flour and cracking eggs and dancing around my cozy little kitchen.

This morning, I fueled up well with some PB&J French Toast.

I always crave sweet for breakfast, but lately I’ve been craving it even more than normal (this might have something to do with all those sugary, buttery things floating around the house!) ¬†A little raspberry jam and some coconut made for a very happy girl.

Considering the fact that the French Toast came together quicker than my typical bowl of oatmeal does, I’m surprised I don’t make it more often. ¬†Delicious. ¬†And the extra protein from the eggs kept me full and content all morning long.

Tomorrow is going to be an incredibly busy cooking day for everyone. ¬†I’m going to be putting my brain to work by creating a gluten free, vegan apple crisp for my brother and his girlfriend, and then I’ll be dicing and chopping vegetables all afternoon.

And then tomorrow night I’ll be at my sister’s house, gussying up the gingerbread men with some festive decorations.

Sigh.  Life sure is delicious. 

PB&J French Toast

I’m convinced that the splash of vanilla extract and the sea salt are the two key ingredients for this breakfast. ¬†The sprinkle of coconut doesn’t hurt either. ūüėČ

Use any bread that you have on hand for this.  Day old cinnamon raisin bread is a nice change, as is cranberry pecan bread and sourdough.  The recipe can be tweaked to fit what you have on hand.  Enjoy!

  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • splash of milk
  • splash of vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 tsp raspberry jam
  • sweetened coconut
  1. Heat nonstick pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  When pan is hot, take one slice of bread and dunk it in the egg mixture.  Flip and douse the other side.  Using a fork, place the bread on the heated pan.  Continue with the other slice.
  3. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until bread is browned on one side.  Flip.  Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes or until other side is lightly browned.
  4. Top with almond butter, jam and coconut.  Enjoy!

Question: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? ¬†I’ve always wished that I could like pumpkin pie (because, really, who doesn’t?) but I unfortunately never have. ¬†I do, however, love gingerbread men, apple crisps and anything involving chocolate. :mrgreen: