Tuesday, November 25, 2014

berry pomegranate oatmeal

There is nothing quite like having a day off smack dab in the middle of the week...

...and then waking up at 8:30AM. Oh well, let the day begin! Naturally, I was hungry, so I whipped up (one of my) favorite breakfasts.

My mom just (re)-started Weight Watchers and was recently asking me for some breakfast ideas that she could try. And this was one that I told her about. Honestly, I do not actually measure the ingredients every time because half-awake-Patti can't handle that kind of nonsense in the morning on a work day. However, for the sake of blogging and for science, I've humored y'all with exact portions and nutritionals. Above? Our lovely cast of characters for this delicious matinee:

Nonfat plain Greek yogurt (any brand will do)
Low or nonfat kefir (again, any brand will do but I'm currently in love with Trader Joe's pomegranate kefir)
Flax seeds
Oatmeal (instant works best in this recipe)
Berries (again....please pardon my TJ's obsession, but they make a good Very Cherry Berry Blend in the frozen section that has blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries...OMG, TALK ABOUT YUM!)

Let's talk a little about kefir. A co-worker of mine frequently brings in single serving containers of kefir, and it looked delicious so I thought I'd give it a whirl. What does it look like, what does it taste like, you ask? Basically, if milk and yogurt were to have a baby, it would be kefir. Its mouth-feel is similar to yogurt that has been thinned out with a little milk, like a drinkable yogurt.

Except!!! It's magical because it's fermented.

This is great news for those with lactose intolerance since the lactose has been broken down. Fermented products also tend to have a longer transit time in the gut which means it takes looooooonger to be digested, and therefore, more easily tolerated by those of us with lactose woes. Not to mention, kefir has lots of yummy probiotics that our gastrointestinal tract loves to eat up...omnomnomnom.

On another note...please date your perishables with the date you opened them, for the love of the Food Safety Gods. Try to eat up your Greek yogurt and kefir 7 days after opening for ultimate yummy freshness.

Look how pretty and good that looks! Here's the "recipe", but feel free to improvise as you desire.

Berry Pomegranate Oatmeal

1/3 cup dry instant oatmeal
1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup lowfat pomegranate kefir
1/3 cup berries
1 tsp. flaxseeds, ground (grind 'em up to get all those omega-3s released so you can absorb them!)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Devour!

Yes, this is a cold oatmeal recipe, but it's delicious. One bowl of this bad-boy will give you 233 calories, 16 grams protein, and 6 grams fiber.

Time to clean up! Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Adventures of a Watermelon Cake

So I teach a nutrition class to parents of overweight kids with special needs. I'm on snack duty each week for class, and this week I made a....drum roll, please...WATERMELON CAKE! I bet a lot of you in the Pinterest world have seen this bad-boy circulating on the interwebz, and I thought I'd give it a go.

And hot damn, was it good or WHAT. The parents (and my co-workers) were wow-ed, and the cake got rave reviews on deliciousness! I'm sorry that I didn't snag a pic of it before it got demolished by seven hungry parents, but I promise that it looked pretty swell.

So funny story how I got to make this. Last night, I was driving home from a Tigers game with my man, and I think, "Oh dear God, I forgot to make snack for the parents tomorrow......". On the drive home, I frantically peruse Pinterest for something deliciously healthy to make and decided on this guy. The next day after work, ran to Meijer to pick up the ingredients an hour before the class starts (in rush hour, mind you), was in and out of the store in 10 minutes, got to clinic, and made the cake in 15 minutes (almost knifing my abdomen in my mad-rush to get everything prepped on time, but hey, those are details). The best part was that I had 15 minutes to spare before my lecture on grains.

Basically, if I could make this cake with all this other nonsense going on around me, so can you.

But let's back track for a second. This cake only requires:

1) A seedless watermelon
2) 2 containers whipped topping (I used Meijer brand fat-free)
3) Berries of choice (I used blueberries and raspberries)

Basically, you cut off the ends of the watermelon, place him on a tray, smother him in whipped cream as you please, and then top him with berries. The original recipe that you might see floating around has chopped almonds on the sides of the cake. I left these guys out because you never know with kids running around a clinic and what kind of nut allergies they might have. But I'm sure chopped almonds would be a delicious addition to the cake.

Also, I recommend actually waiting for the whipped topping to defrost before attempting to "frost" your "cake". Don't be like me and be chopping up a watermelon which a machete-like knife, while microwaving your half-frozen whipped topping, and then slathering the watermelon with half-frozen, half-too-warm whipped topping and watching it sadly sliiiiiiide down the side.

But then you know what you do?


Problem. Solved. And cake was a success. I'll definitely be making him again in the near future.