What I Ate Wednesday…

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Okay…so I’m starting to get into these “link-up” things! This is my second one this week. (Want to check out my first “Marvelous In My Monday” post – go here!)

“What I Ate Wednesday” has been around for a while, but I’m just jumping on the bandwagon now! Thanks to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting! And a major thanks to Eva, my most awesome Zumba instructor, for introducing me to all of these link-ups, and for encouraging me to keep blogging! Check her out at Committed2Nutrition!

If you’ve never been part of #WIAW or seen one of these posts before, it’s basically a way to share some ideas for healthy eats, recipes, and it’s also a pretty darned nifty accountability tool! Taking pictures of what you eat all day long is no easy feat! It’s a bit awkward when you’re with people who aren’t used to eating with healthy living/eating bloggers who take pictures of EVERYTHING! Thus, there is no picture of my lunch today! Oh well…can’t be perfect all the time!

Here’s what I remembered to actually take pictures of today…

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts EVER! I shared the recipe a little while ago here. I know that flavored Greek yogurt isn’t the best, but to me it’s a treat! Generally I eat the plain stuff with some fresh fruit, cocoa powder, or PB2 (which ROCKS by the way!) in it. This key lime flavor from Oikos is A-MA-ZING! I love key lime, and this is just the right balance of sweet, tart, and tangy and totally kills the craving for the pie version. Added a few Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips to the top and it was heaven! Dinner was one of my go-to quickie dinner recipes – Tempeh-Veggie Fried Rice. I tell the story of how this one came to be, and also share the recipe here. I’m telling you – you could make this with just about anything you have in the house and it will taste good!

Tonight I’ll probably just have my usual decaf tea – been getting into the fruity/herbal flavors at night. The hubby brought home an apple cinnamon one the other night that tastes just like hot apple cider – without all the sugar and calories! A perfect treat… 🙂

I know this is a pretty crummy WIAW post, but I promise I’ll do better next Wednesday…I’m going to ask for newbie forgiveness on this one!

What’s one of your favorite go-to meals for busy nights?

Any other ideas for sweet but low-cal treats with a fall-ish twist?

Making Something from Nothing

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Tonight was one of those nights. I had a meeting at work until almost 5:30, hit traffic on my commute home, headed to my trainer for a workout, and finally got home a little after 8:00 – and I was HUNGRY!

I looked in the fridge and even though I just went shopping, there wasn’t a whole lot going on in there. That was on purpose. I have a terrible habit of overbuying things at the store, and as a result, I have been known to throw out a lot of food. Not only am I trying to get my health on track, but my hubby and I have been working really hard at keeping our finances on track as well. This means budgeting, and trying to make the most of every dollar. We went through all of the cabinets over the weekend and took inventory of what we have, decided to donate some of the things we know we won’t use, and organize things so we can find them.

What I did have was the rotisserie chicken I bought at Costco the other day – cut up into pieces. I also had half of a red onion, some garlic, a few sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, frozen broccoli, and frozen brown rice. Oh yes…I can do something with this.

I sautéed the onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil while I rehydrated the sundried tomatoes in hot water. Then I drained the tomatoes and added them to the olive oil. While all this was going on, I microwaved the rice and the broccoli. I added some black pepper, crushed red pepper, and oregano, then tossed in the broccoli and rice. The last thing I added was a little sprinkle of feta.

This is what I wound up with. Seems like I’ve been making a lot of veggie-infused rice lately, huh?? 🙂

I heated up a piece of the rotisserie chicken, put it on a plate with some of the rice, and dinner was on the table (so to speak) in a matter of about 10 minutes. Quick, inexpensive, and healthy. Can’t beat that!

Have you ever made something from nothing for dinner?

Funky Fried Rice

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I was looking for something different to make for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and up popped on my Twitter feed a recipe from Whole Foods for Vegetable Brown Rice with Feta Cheese.  Their recipe served as my inspiration, but I went off a little on my own! I’ve even made it four different ways now, but this is the original one…
Tempeh-Veggie Brown Rice
1 bag Trader Joe’s Organic Power Greens (kale, spinach, chard)1 package tempeh1 bag frozen brown rice, heated according to directions (or use leftover cooked rice)

1/2 bag frozen veggies (heated through)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
a few tablespoons of EVOO
Sea salt, black pepper, oregano, and crushed red pepper to taste
Crumbled feta cheese
White wine vinegar
Heat a large frying pan over medium – high heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and tempeh together until the tempeh starts to brown and the onions are translucent. Add the greens and saute until they wilt.
Add a splash of white wine vinegar. Add the veggies rice, salt, pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, another splash of vinegar, and the feta. Heat through and serve.
This has become a once-a-week dinner at my house – often with enough for one lunch worth of leftovers. It’s really a quick, inexpensive dinner, and it’s gotten good reviews from my hubby and one of my besties – and she had it as leftovers! I’ve tried a few different things with it, and I think my favorite version is exactly as above, only adding some sliced shiitake mushrooms to the starting part with the onions and garlic. They add a little something that I can’t quite explain in any way other than to say they are yummy! I’ve also tried making it using coconut oil instead of olive oil – that was the way I last made it. YUM!! I once made an Asian-inspired version with the shiitakes added at the beginning, a frozen stir-fry veggie blend subbed in for the mixed veggies, a handful (or two!) of edamame, and instead of white wine vinegar I used a little soy sauce and rice vinegar. I did omit the feta for that one – don’t think that would have been very tasty…
I see this as one of those “clean out the produce bin” meals where you could add just about anything you want to it and still wind up with something tasty! I’d love to know if anyone tries another spin on this… 🙂
Do you have a dish that keeps coming back in different ways?

Black Bean Mushroom Veggie Burgers

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First things first… I have to apologize for the fact that this post has no pictures, but I promise I will come back and add them as soon as I have time to make this recipe again! I’m hoping that will be tomorrow, but I didn’t want to wait that long to post this. These veggie burgers ROCK! They are super simple to make, taste amazing, and don’t have a bunch of junk (read: genetically modified soy) in them. You can modify this recipe in lots of ways – but the base of the mushrooms and black beans is really what helps to make these satisfying and yummy!  Please make sure to comment if you try them!

Mushroom-Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Yield: 5-6 burgers

12 oz. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or your choice of oil)

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 egg
4 tbsp. chopped green chiles
1 tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 carrot, finely grated
4 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
4 tbsp. finely chopped bell pepper (I used yellow)
2 oz. finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Whole wheat bread crumbs (about ½ – ¾ cup)Place the mushrooms in food processor and pulse until texture resembles ground beef. Melt butter in large skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes, or until mushrooms release all liquid, then dry out (should resemble cooked ground beef). Allow to cool. Rinse out food processor bowl. Place black beans in food processor, and pulse until they are almost a paste. In a large bowl, combine black beans and all other ingredients except bread crumbs. Add bread crumbs until mixture begins to hold together. Form “burgers” using a ½ cup measuring cup for each portion. You should get 5-6 good sized burgers from a batch.

To cook:
Spray a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add burgers and cook 4-5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and browned on the outside. Serve with your favorite condiments!