Tag Archives: Breakfast

Banana Bread Oatmeal!

This morning, I was really craving banana bread for some reason. It was really random – I don’t usually crave baked goods in the morning but I suppose today was just one of those days. And of course, I wasn’t going to make banana bread before I left for work – I had about 20 minutes for breakfast today! So, I decided to try to recreate the “essence” of banana bread using one of my morning breakfast staples: oatmeal.

I have to say, it turned out to be AMAZING. It totally tasted just like banana bread! And it was the perfect way to start off my morning.

The Ingredients

The ingredients here are pretty simple:

  • 1/2 cup Whole rolled oats (although I like to use the multi grain oats from Trader Joe’s because it has oats, barley, rye and wheat – and has a great nutty flavor!)
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • 4-5 walnuts chopped
  • Unsweetened almond breeze (use up to 1 cup)
  • Organic soy milk (use up to 1/3 cup)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Stevia

Directions

Cook the oats according to package directions (I cooked mine in the microwave with 1 & 1/4 cup water). The thing I love about the multi-grain oats is that they cook just like regular oatmeal but have a nice variety of grains.

Top with bananas, walnuts, cinnamon and stevia and stir to combine

Pour the almond milk & soy milk over the oats until they have reached the consistency you want (for thicker oats, use less milk)

Stir to combine. Breakfast is served!


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Foodie Friday Giveaway: All Natural Protein Shakes from Svelte!

Woohoo – it’s Friday again! Which means two things: 1) Time to announce the winners of my DOUBLE giveaway and 2) Time to launch our new giveaway for this week! Fridays really are fun aren’t they? 🙂 For our last giveaway, we had two winners (one for each product). Congrats to Jeanette and Jen!

Jeanette won the Olive Oil Giveaway

And Jen won the Rudi’s Gluten Free Bread Giveaway

Congrats to both of you!! If you both could send me your mailing addresses, I’ll forward them on to the folks at Olivari and Rudi’s and you should receive your products soon. I’d also like to say THANK YOU to everyone who entered – this was one of our most popular giveaways yet! And now, on to the next giveaway: All Natural Protein Shakes from CalNaturale Svelte.

I was contacted by Svelte a few weeks ago, with the offer to try their products and partner on a giveaway. Initially I hesitated – mainly because protein shakes in general freak me out. They’re usually FILLED with sugar, random chemicals, ingredients that I can’t pronounce, and soy protein isolate which I try to avoid. But when I spoke to the folks at Svelte and read about their products, I was really impressed. They have based their products on a mission to create all natural, organic, nutritious drinks that are nourishing and healthy!

Their protein shakes are made with whole, organic soy beans / soy milk and don’t have any weird ingredients or chemicals in them. Each HUGE shake (16oz) has ~260 calories, 16g protein, 9g sugar and 8g fiber (from inulin). And the best part is, they taste GREAT. All of their flavors are really creamy, delicious, and slightly sweet (but not too sweet).

The drinks are really energizing and great as a snack after a workout or with breakfast in the morning. They have four flavors: Chocolate, French Vanilla, Cappuccino and Spiced Chai. The Cappuccino flavor tastes just like a Frappuccino but is way healthier for you.

For this giveaway, THREE lucky winners will receive Svelte’s products for free!

  • Winner #1: The GRAND PRIZE Winner will receive a 12 pack of Svelte’s drinks (a variety case, so 3 of each flavor)
  • Winners #2 & 3: The two runners up will receive a 4 pack of Svelte’s drinks (so one of each flavor)

Now the important part:

To Enter: You can enter in one of three ways –

  1. Subscribe to The Picky Eater via RSS or via email
  2. Follow me on Twitter (@pickyeaterblog)
  3. Like The Picky Eater on Facebook

Leave a comment letting me know which option above you chose! Note – if you already are a subscriber, follower, or like The Picky Eater on Facebook, just leave a comment indicating that – it will count as one entry :)

For Extra Entries:

  • + 1 Entry if you share this post on Facebook or Twitter
  • + 2 Entries if you invite 5 or more of your friends to like The Picky Eater on Facebook!

This giveaway will close on Thursday, February 10th at 11:59pm PST. I will be selecting the winner at random (via random.org) and will contact them via email. I’ll be announcing the winner on Friday, February 11th when I launch my next giveaway! Be sure to enter today – these protein shakes are amazing!

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Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal + A Visit to the Naturopath!

What do Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal and holistic medicine have in common? Nothing really, except that I experienced both of them on the same day, and they both were relaxing, enjoyable experiences compared to the rainy, gloomy weather this weekend 🙂

I started my day with a bowl of Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, which I was inspired to make by Anne’s awesome recipe! This was seriously the best brunch ever – it tasted EXACTLY like Pumpkin Pie! Anne’s recipe is here, and my slight twist on it is below. Thanks Anne, for the inspiration!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin (make sure you don’t get the pumpkin pie filling which is NOT the same thing!)
  • dash of stevia extract + dash of honey
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (see picture below) + extra cinnamon to taste (about 1/4-1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1-2 Tbsp walnuts

Here’s the organic pureed pumpkin I used…

And the pumpkin pie spice…

And the oats…

Directions

  1. Make the rolled oats according to the box (you can either make them in the microwave or on the stove, I made mine in the microwave).
  2. Add the soy milk, blueberries, pumpkin puree, stevia/honey, spices, and walnuts. Stir together to combine. ENJOY!

Yummy! So after brunch, I left for my appointment with Dr. Francis. So why do I see a Naturopath? Well, many of you may not know this, but I’ve struggled with stomach problems for the past 5-10 years. After some  medical tests, I was sort of “written off” by my doctors with a diagnosis of IBS (which, I learned, isn’t really a diagnosis – it’s more of a ‘catch all’ for “we don’t know what’s wrong with you). And I figured I’d just have to deal with it for the rest of my life, since IBS can only be “managed” through diet & exercise. Bleh. Frankly, it sucked. But a few months ago, my friend referred me to Dr. Gabrielle Francis – who had helped her manage her UC (ulcerative colitis). I actually had no idea what a Naturopath was until I went to see Dr. Francis, and in short – she’s basically a holistic physician. She has medical degrees in chiropractic, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine. Not only that, but she’s done some amazing residencies and has numerous post graduate degrees which you can see here. She has an incredible wealth of knowledge – she combines her knowledge of medicine and science with her more natural remedies, and can integrate the two therapies as needed.

Upon my first visit with Dr. Francis, she spent about 2 HOURS with me talking through all my symptoms and after she ran a few tests, she was able to immediately diagnose what was going on with me! (Turns out I have a stomach/intestinal infection that is curable and I’m already on treatment and seeing results which is amazing). Not only does she use natural / herbal / probiotic-based remedies to help manage/cure your condition, but every visit will include a treatment of either acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage depending on your needs.

So what is a visit to Dr. Francis’ office like? Well, first of all, her office is like a peaceful sanctuary. It’s seriously the coolest, most relaxing doctor’s “office” you’ve ever been to! Walk in, take your shoes off, relax in the most comfortable room with a hot cup of tea (that her assistants will immediately offer to you as soon as you enter).

These chairs just engulf you, they are so comfortable, and the tea selection is awesome!

Her assistants are also very knowledgeable and can answer any questions you have while you’re waiting or even after your appointment. Here’s the wonderful Laura 🙂

My monthly treatments are focused on acupuncture (and every month Dr. Francis and I talk about how the treatment is working, and make any adjustments as we move forward). I had actually never had acupuncture before I went to Dr. Francis, and was kind of freaked out by it honestly, but it’s a really cool experience! And you can’t even feel the needles once they’re put in (which is kind of awesome). Even her treatment rooms are super relaxing and warm…

I love the wall hanging! After my treatment, I felt relaxed and energized. On my way out I took a picture of Dr. Francis 🙂

Thanks for everything Dr. Francis, I’m so grateful to have found you!

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The Perfect Bowl of Oatmeal :)

I can sometimes be a creature of habit. When I was growing up, I pretty much had the same things for breakfast and lunch for like 15 YEARS. How crazy is that? It was always oatmeal in the morning and some sort of sandwich for lunch (usually PB&J!).

These days, I do like to mix it up a bit more – but I still LOVE my oatmeal 🙂 And honestly, I think sometimes oatmeal gets a bad rap for being boring, or tasting bland or whatever – but the key is to just dress it up with your favorite fruits, nuts, granola, milk, etc – and it ends up being an amazing and wholesome meal! So here’s my take on the PERFECT bowl of oatmeal!

So first, of course – you need the Oats… There are tons of options out there for Oatmeal – there’s the instant kind, the Quaker (e.g. filled with sugar) kind, there’s the slow cooking kind, the multi-grain kind, etc. I really like to get the whole grain / multi-grain variety that has oats, wheat, rye and barley with no sugar added.

I just love the way it looks in the bowl 🙂 Oatmeal is a nutritional powerhouse – with tons of soluble fiber & antioxidants. This variety is super hearty, filling, has only 130 calories per serving and 5g of fiber & protein each!

This version is also really easy to make – you just add 1 cup of water to 1/2 cup of oatmeal, microwave it for about 3-4 min and it turns out like this!

I just love how the oats get all fluffy and warm once they’re cooked! Now for the mix-ins – here are some of my favorites. First up – Blueberries!

Frozen blueberries are great because 1) They’re fresh year-round 2) They become all melty and warm in the oatmeal and 3) They never go bad! You can see them already defrosting just minutes after I put them on the oatmeal…

With a wonderful sweetness, antioxidants and fiber – you really can’t go wrong with this superfood! Once the blueberries are mixed in, I love adding in walnuts (another super food with omega 3s!)

Now – oatmeal has to be creamy and flavorful, and slightly sweet. The final three mix-ins are: Honey (yum!), Almond Milk (I like unsweetened almond breeze – see pic below), and Cinnamon (this adds a wonderful nutty flavor and goes soo well with the honey!)

Stir it all together, and your perfect bowl of oatmeal is complete! When it’s all done, it adds up to about 250-300 calories – the perfect breakfast!

Tada! We are ready to eat! I love how the oatmeal turns a bluish color as the blueberries melt into it 🙂 I totally had this for breakfast today.. and yesterday… and the day before … haha – looks like I’m still a creature of habit! What does your perfect bowl of oatmeal look like? I’d love to hear from you!

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Perfect Sunday Brunch: French Toast Casserole, Potato Hash & Strawberry Smoothies!

This weekend, I decided to surprise my husband by making brunch from scratch for him. I had never actually cooked brunch before in my life, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. But I found a couple great recipes from HungryGirl and EatingWell.com that looked really yummy, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m happy to report that the brunch was a total success!! All of the dishes turned out AMAZINGLY well – my husband LOVED them. And the french toast was a huge hit (thank you HungryGirl!) – my husband said he’s never liked french toast made at home, but he loved this dish. And the smoothies – which was a recipe that I made up – tasted exactly like the In-N-Out Strawberry Shakes, but my recipe was much healthier 🙂 All in all, it was a really fun cooking experience! The recipes (with my notes/modifications) and pictures are below, hope you enjoy them!

The Menu:

1) Fuji Apple French Toast Casserole

2) Potato & Onion Hash Browns

3) Strawberry Smoothies

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Fuji Apple French Toast Casserole

Notes: This is an amazing recipe for a super low calorie, fiber filled, and really flavorful french toast. Most recipes like this one would run you 500+ calories for 1-2 slices of french toast, but this recipe gives you a HUGE portion (4 inch by 4 inch casserole square) for only 200 calories! The only considerations here are – a lot of the ingredients in this recipe are somewhat processed (e.g. you’re not using real butter, sugar, syrup, etc.) So if that weirds you out a little, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe. I usually try to stick to whole foods without 30 ingredients per item, but once in a while I’m ok with trying a recipe that calls for more processed ingredients if it saves on calories and still has some good nutritional value (fiber, protein, etc.). Just my two cents before I give you the recipe 🙂

Ingredients

  • 8 slices light bread (40 – 45 calories each with around 2g fiber per slice), cut into cubes. I used Sara Lee 45 Calories Delightful 100% Whole Wheat bread with honey (link here)
  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 medium apple (preferably Fuji), peeled and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups light vanilla soymilk
  • 1 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown), melted
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda), or more to taste. 1 packet made the french toast sweet enough for us.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Place bread cubes evenly along the bottom of the dish.
  3. Sprinkle diced apple evenly over the bread.
  4. In a medium-large bowl, combine all other ingredients (cream cheese, soymilk, egg substitute, syrup, butter, cinnamon, and sweetener). If you like your French toast really sweet, add an extra packet of sweetener. Using a handheld electric mixer set to medium speed, mix until lump-free and smooth. Pour mixture over the bread and apple.
  5. Make sure bread is soaked in the liquid mixture. If needed, toss lightly to coat.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until egg mixture is pretty firm and cooked through. Note – mine took about 50 min. (Be sure not to overcook, as bread may burn.) Let cool slightly and cut into quarters. If you like, serve with additional syrup for dipping. Dig in!

Nutritional Info

Makes 4 servings – One serving = One 4inch by 4inch square

Calories: ~200

Fat: 4.25g

Fiber: 6g

Protein: 16.5g

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Potato and Onion Hash Browns

Note: I modified most of this recipe, so my notes are below in purple text. This recipe was also a HUGE hit with my husband. He said he’d actually want this at a restaurant (and he always thinks hash browns at restaurants are the best)!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium russet potatoes, (1 pound total), peeled and cut into quarters (Note: I used 1 lb of baby red potatoes and left the skins on for added fiber)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (I used a red onion because I like the flavor and color)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch paprika (I omitted this)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I actually used 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary because I love the flavors of rosemary with potatoes)

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold, lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and boil until potatoes are just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. (You should have 2 cups of cubed potatoes.)
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until they are limp and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue to sauté until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. (Lower heat slightly if pan becomes too hot.) Season with salt, pepper and paprika (if you use paprika). Stir in parsley or rosemary and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (for 1 serving)

Makes 4 servings

Calories: ~120

Fat: 2g

Protein: 3g

Fiber: 2g

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Strawberry Smoothies

Notes: This recipe is SUPER easy. Only 4 ingredients, and you can make it in like 2 minutes. A great breakfast on its own, or as an accompaniment to any brunch!

Ingredients

  • 8 Frozen whole strawberries (Trader Joe’s has great organic frozen strawberries)
  • 3 oz low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s organic vanilla yogurt – 140 calories for 6 oz)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup 1% milk, or soy milk, or Unsweetened almond breeze
  • 1-2 packets Splenda sweetner

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until combined, creamy and smooth. You can also use a hand blender for this – it’s a lot easier for cleanup (that’s what I used and it turned out great)

Overall, it was a super satisfying, really healthy brunch – definitely felt like we were in a restaurant. Below are the final products all combined – can’t wait to make it again!


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Breakfast for Dinner! Healthy Muffins & Warm Berry Quinoa

A few nights ago, I had a craving for muffins. Now – usually I stay away from muffins because they’re typically loaded with fat and calories… they’re usually more like a cake disguised as a healthy breakfast food 🙂 But I recently found an AWESOME muffin mix at Trader Joe’s that is super healthy! It’s made with all organic ingredients, all whole wheat/whole grain flour, has flax seeds, low in fat and high in fiber…. and it tastes GREAT! Each muffin is quite filling and a good size, and has only 150 calories (20 calories from fat) and 7g fiber.

Since I was craving muffins, I thought, “why not have breakfast for dinner?” There was another breakfast recipe using quinoa that I had wanted to try for a while – so I put the two together and ended up with a really yummy meal. The quinoa recipe and pictures of the muffin mix are below – hope you enjoy it!

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon & Berry Quinoa (from 101cookbooks)

Note: I got this recipe from 101cookbooks, but then modified it to make it my own. My modified recipe is below – you can find the link to the original here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1% low fat milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 box fresh strawberries, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2-3 packets of Splenda
  • 4 teaspoons honey

Directions

  1. Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed
  2. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes
  3. Stir in berries, nuts, cinnamon, honey and splenda; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans/walnuts
  4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon honey over each serving

Awesome Muffin Mix from Trader Joe's!

Muffins fresh from the oven!

Sliced Muffin + Yummy Quinoa Berry Mixture drizzled with honey and nuts!

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Awesome Recipe for Grab and Go Breakfast Cookies!

Today I got my daily email from HungryGirl (a healthy food site that I LOVE), and I was reminded of a recipe for high fiber, low calorie breakfast cookies that were great! I thought the idea to increase fiber while still maintaining great flavor was super creative. The recipe is below – I completely credit this post to HungryGirl – I didn’t come up with this recipe myself 🙂 If you like this recipe, you’ll probably like a lot of HungryGirl’s other recipes – so definitely visit the site and check them out!

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop raisins and Craisins into small pieces. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, Fiber One crumbs, Splenda, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, dissolve Coffee-mate into 2 tbsp. hot water. Add all other wet ingredients (pureed peaches, pumpkin, and egg substitute), and mix well.

Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir until completely blended. Slowly sprinkle chopped raisins and Craisins into the batter, making sure they don’t all stick together.

Spray a large baking pan with nonstick spray, and spoon batter into 4 evenly spaced circles. Spread batter out a bit with the back of a spoon. Place pan in the oven for 12 – 14 minutes (until tops of the treats are just slightly crispy). Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then grab ‘n go!

breakfastcookie2_smlNutritional Information

Makes 4 servings, 1 serving = 1 cookie

154 calories, 1.5g fat

5g fiber

5g protein

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