WIAW #2 and evil food…

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Happy “What I Ate Wednesday” everybody – and thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting!

Incredibly enough, it’s the first week of October already! I am still in denial. That denial will be made that much easier by the fact that it’s supposed to be close to 80 degrees here in CT on Friday! Say WHAT?!?!?!? Oh well…I’ll take it while I can get it! I absolutely HATE being cold, so the longer it stays warm, the longer I don’t have to deal with ice and snow!

Of course, October means fall is in full swing, and pumpkin spice has invaded everything known to man! I saw a pumpkin beer float with vegan pumpkin ice cream on the Facebook page of one of my favorite Cambridge eateries – Veggie Galaxy. One of my favorite bloggers is doing a whole week of pumpkin recipes over at The Gracious Pantry with today’s yumminess being Clean Eating Pumpkin Candied Popcorn. Yes, please!! I don’t get overly creative with pumpkin, but my favorite thing to do (other than bake a pie) is to make Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal which is seriously like fall in a bowl! (That sounds a little odd, doesn’t it??).

That’s a little mini tasting bowl from the last time I made it. Soooo good and super easy! I’m sure it would work in a slow cooker too, but this was so quick that I didn’t mind at all.

Okay – so now for what I ate today – after all, this is “What I Ate Wednesday”, right??

Breakfast was a ginormous cup of coffee (I really need to stop that habit) along with one of these little babies – a banana chocolate chip muffin! I made them the other day out of some bananas that had truly seen better days…

I love my little bee spoon rest in the background there!  Mid-morning I had my typical Greek yogurt (which I didn’t take a picture of) topped with a few slivered almonds. It was good, but I think I’m getting into a rut. I have to find something new that will still give me that dose of protein I need to get through until lunchtime!

Lunch was a repeat of yesterday – Campbell’s Sweet Potato Tomatillo bisque. Click here to see it, and my little review. I haven’t been feeling well since last Thursday, and soup seems to be doing the trick – somewhat.

I had a Kashi Dark Mocha Almond chewy granola bar at a meeting. I typically don’t like chewy granola bars, but this one was good! Then again, how could you go wrong with mocha, dark chocolate, and almonds! I’ll be looking for this box at the grocery store on Sunday!!

Dinner was one of my go-to meals – my Funky Fried Rice. You can see the original recipe here. I make it a little bit differently every time. This time the protein was tofu, and the greens were a mix of baby spinach, baby bok choy, and baby chard – both red and green. I also added a chopped orange pepper and some slice shiitake mushrooms. You can pretty much make this any way you want to. That’s the great thing about it! That, and the fact that it goes together in about 10 minutes! Here’s what tonight’s version looked like:

It was super yummy! I think I overdid the crushed red pepper a little bit…it was pretty spicy!

Now to the theme for #WIAW – Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats! I don’t have any healthy Halloween treats yet, but I do have a spooky snack. This stuff is so good it’s scary! They call it Smartfood, I call it EVIL FOOD!! It’s so good it’s nearly impossible to stop eating it! I have enough trouble with the regular Smartfood…but this is just ridiculous!

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to buy this stuff again… It’s just too good! I literally had to get up and put the bag in the other room to keep me from eating it all!

Thanks for joining me for my second WIAW! Hope you had a great day! Now for the questions of the day…

What’s your “evil food” right now?

Are you a “pumpkin spice” everything kind of person?

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Sunday Prep Day and a Fall Favorite Makes a Comeback…

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When I have a busy week ahead, one of the ways I stay on track is to prep as much as I possibly can over the weekend – and that usually means Sunday. This weekend I made a trip to Costco on Saturday, and a quick fill-in trip to the regular grocery store today. I typically don’t buy too much food at Costco since there are only two of us, but there are a couple of things that I do buy there on a regular basis.

Rotisserie Chicken – This is one of the best deals on the planet. They are $4.99 each, and I can do a zillion things with one of these babies! We usually eat it as regular roasted chicken the first go-round with veggies on the side. Then, cut the rest of the chicken up into pieces and keep them in the fridge as a quick “grab-and-go” source of protein. In the winter, I make chicken noodle soup with the bones and the leftover meat or make chicken “hash” with potatoes and onions. Other times, I chop up the leftover meat and make chicken salad or just put the meat over a big salad with chopped apples, cheddar cheese, and walnuts with poppyseed dressing…YUM! Anyway, for just under 5 bucks, I get a bunch of meals!

 

Organic Salad Greens – Again, amazing deal! This was $4.49 and this will form the basis of lunch salads for two of us for the entire week. That’s right. 10 salads.

 

There are two stacks of these in my fridge… 🙂 Compare this to last week when I bought 3 bags of salad greens for $2.99 each (ON SALE!!) at the grocery store! I change up what I add to the greens – grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, shredded carrots, hard boiled eggs, turkey, ham, cheese, chicken, apples, pears, walnuts…not all at the same time of course! Overall, there is enough variety so that we don’t have to have the same salad twice in a week if we don’t want to!

Other than the salads, I wound up making my breakfast for 4 out of the 5 days this week. Hubby and I decided to clean out the cabinets and take stock of what we have in the pantry. I happened to find one of my favorite canned items:

 

If pumpkin doesn’t scream “FALL IS HERE!!” I don’t know what does! The other thing that means fall is here to me is oatmeal for breakfast. Put the two together and you get one of my favorite breakfasts this time of year – Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal! For the life of me I couldn’t find the recipe I usually use (though I knew it by heart at one point), so I adapted this go-round from this recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

2 cups water

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 can (15 oz.) canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

2 T. raisins

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

Sweetener of your choice

Chopped walnuts

 

Bring water, almond milk, pumpkin, raisins, and spice to a boil.

Add oats and lower heat. Stir frequently until oats are cooked through (approximately 8-10 minutes). Add sweetener of your choice (I like maple sugar).

Top with chopped walnuts.

 

This is a little tiny bowl – just enough to sample and make sure it tasted good. Oh yes. It was good. It was more than good. It was fall in a bowl. I just put this into single-serve containers and it stays great in the fridge. Heat up in the microwave – add a little milk, water, or almond milk to thin out if necessary. Add the walnuts at the last minute so they stay crunchy. This yummy breakfast will definitely help me start the day off the right – and not succumb to some of the other not-so-healthy choices out there in the rush of the morning.

Do you prep on the weekends? What are some of your make-ahead favorites?