Super Simple Protein Oats!

OK, I know it’s not exactly Paleo (who am I kidding? It’s totally not Paleo), but I’ve been obsessed with oatmeal lately. I was just buying the single-serve packets to quench my cravings, but I looked over the ingredients and was shocked to find how much JUNK was in them. Even the organic brands had a lot of sugar added, and it seemed the only way to avoid the unnecessary simple carbs and “natural flavorings” (seriously, what is that crap??) was to make it on my own.

On Monday, I decided to prep my breakfasts for the week, and I wanted to make it as simple as possible. I took four mason jars and filled them with oatmeal, vanilla protein powder, stevia, cinnamon, and cashew milk. I had no idea how it would taste, but decided to make five of them and hope for the best.

HOLY DELICIOUSNESS, BATMAN!!!

These things are amazing. Instead of eating them cold (as overnight oats), I’ve nuked them for about three minutes and they turn into this warm, almost oatmeal-cookie esque bread pudding that’s to die for.

For roughly 320 calories, I’m getting a solid 35g of protein and 5g of pure fiber goodness. And, most importantly, only 1g of sugar (33g total carbs, but I’m not doing a restrictive diet here)!

In case you want to recreate this vanilla cinnamon orgastic breakfast, here’s what I’m using:

  • 1/2 cup organic, steel-cut oats
  • 1 scoop of Isopure Vanilla 0g carb protein powder (pricey, but worth it)
  • 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/3 cup Stevia powder (more or less to taste)
  • Between 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup water, added a few drops at a time while microwaving

Mix-in Ideas:

  • 1/4 cup organic raisins (roughly 100 calories)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (roughly 200 calories)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (roughly 40 calories)
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips (roughly 80 calories)

You can realistically get away with microwaving this about 90 seconds if you just want it to be warm and thick, but I discovered that cooking it longer makes it puff up noticeably (imagine a cake rising) and give the illusion of substantially more food. If you do microwave past 90 seconds, consider adding a few tbsp of water every 30 seconds or so and stirring. I cook mine roughly three minutes and it turns into a MASSIVE bowl of doughy/cakey oats, which is my FAVORITE. If you prefer porridge-style oats, definitely cut the time to less than two minutes.

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FYI: I know this is a terrible picture, but it smelled so good and I was so raring to eat it, I honestly didn’t care about getting a good picture. It smelled like the oatmeal cookies your grandmother used to make.

And the added plus? This keeps me full for HOURS! I ate this around 10am yesterday in the office and didn’t touch my lunch until after 3pm. As someone who normally grazes all day (and eats religiously every 2 hours, hungry or not), that’s saying something about the staying power of this simple dish.

So, these oats prove it: there really is no excuse for not eating a healthy breakfast every day. I literally prepped five of these in under five minutes Monday morning, and they take less than four minutes to heat/cook. It would’ve taken me 2-3x the amount of time to stop somewhere and grab a breakfast sandwich, and they’re substantially more filling than my usual protein-bar-out-the-door routine.

What’s your excuse?

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

 

Mason Jar Oatmeal

While my husband watched football Sunday night, I decided to check out Pinterest for fun decorating ideas and easy recipes. I stumbled across these incredible, no refrigeration-needed breakfast jars that I thought were so brilliant, I ran out immediately to get the ingredients:

MASON JAR OATMEAL!

Seriously, so simple, cheap, and easy to store.

I bought a dozen pint-sized mason jars (just $9 at Walmart), and immediately set to work prepping two weeks’ worth of delicious breakfasts!

Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup old fashion rolled oats (go for these instead of the instant, which are less nutritious)
– 2 packets stevia
– 1/2 tbsp Chia seeds
– 1/2 tbsp Flax seeds

I put this as my base in all twelve jars. Then, I decided to get crazy!

In four jars, I added:
– 1 tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut
– 1 tbsp slivered almonds
– 1 tsp Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

In another four jars, I opted for:
– 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
– 1 tbsp crushed walnuts
– 1/2 cup dried apple slices

And in the last four jars:
– 1 tbsp unsweetened craisins
– 1 tbsp crushed pecans

Amazing!!

Twelve jars, three flavors, and about ten total minutes of prep! The jars are air tight, so I can store these in the pantry for at least a month for a quick breakfast on the-go, but I doubt they will last more than two weeks now that I’ve tried one!

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Just add 1 cup of boiling water (I eye-balled it, since my jars have 1/2 cup markers on them), shake it well, and then let sit (with the lid on) for about ten minutes while it “cooks.”

I tried the chocolate coconut almond flavor today and I LOVED IT!

I want to purchase freeze-dried strawberries and powdered milk to see if I can make own own shelf-safe strawberries and cream! Yum!

Bon appetit, my friends!

Super Simple Paleo Breakfast Quiche

Tired of Greek yogurt every day, I decided to throw together these super simple crestless quiches for breakfast during the week.

Seriously, these took less than 5 minutes to prep and only 15 minutes to cook. They are endless customizable and store well in the fridge or freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cupcake/muffin pan
  • Cupcake liners (these are optional, but the clean-up is MUCH easier)
  • 12 whole eggs (or 6 whole, 8-10 whites whipped together)
  • Chopped turkey bacon, turkey sausage, or meat of your choice.
  • Assorted chopped veggies (onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc)
  • 1/2 cup low fat cheese (or, if you’re strict Paleo and don’t use dairy, Daiya-brand cheese alternative works!)

Instructions:

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • While it heats, put the cupcake liners into your cupcake pan.
  • At the bottom of the liner, add in crumbled turkey bacon or a few (small) pieces of turkey sausage. I used Jennie-O Turkey Sausage links and could only fit about 1/2 of a link into each tin.
  • If you’re mixing in veggies, make sure they are THAWED or cooked. These cook too quickly to use anything frozen. I’d recommend no more than 1 tbsp of chopped veggies unless you’re using a BIG muffin tray.
  • If you’re using WHOLE eggs, crack a single egg into each cupcake liner. If you’re using the egg white/whole egg blend, fill the tin to 3/4 full.
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I also added a 1/2 tsp of onion flakes, as well, because that’s my thing).
  • Right before you toss in the oven, sprinkle on a tiny bit of cheese/cheese alternative. I didn’t even use the full 1/2 cup I had set aside, but you can be as generous as you’d like.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. I checked mine a few times, as I was trying to keep my yolk soft and my whites cooked, but you can cook it a little longer (up to 16 minutes) without the egg becoming rubbery. Don’t OVERCOOK them if you plan to store them, as reheating them in the microwave could make them tough if they are already well-done.

 

Here’s what my finished product looked like:

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Using whole eggs and a 1/2 turkey sausage link in each, my crustless quiches were roughly 95 calories each. Not bad! I had two for breakfast this morning and plan to enjoy them over the weekend, as well. I’ll freeze the extras for future enjoyment or a quick and easy snack.

These are great for Paleo dieters, low-carb friends, or anyone that needs a quick, protein-filled breakfast in a hurry.

Bon appetit, my friends!

Tori

Almond Flour Waffles: Paleo!

I woke up this morning with a severe hankering for a soul food breakfast. I wanted waffles. I wanted maple syrup. I wanted doughy, fluffy goodness. I wanted to cheat on my diet with everyone bone in my body and taste bud on my tongue.

I was given a waffle maker nearly seven years ago, which I have probably used twice, maybe three times in my life. Since switching to the Paleo diet in 2012, I’ve never even opened the cabinet in which it has been stored, patiently waiting to be put to its purpose.

Instead of going to iHop or Mimi’s Cafe and completely ruining my diet on this foggy, Sunday morning, I decided to get creative and construct a Paleo alternative that would satisfy the fiercest of cravings.

The following recipe makes three full-sized waffles.

Basic Ingredients List:

  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour.
  • 3 whole eggs.
  • 3/4-1 cup of So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk (I used just a little over 3/4 cup, but you can water it down to a full cup and the texture is the same).
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder.
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract.

Mix-In Ideas:

  • 6 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • 4 tbsp Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.
  • 1/4 cup blueberries.
  • 1/4 cup diced banana.
  • 1/4 cup diced pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
  • Get creative! You can stir in just about everything as long as it’s not liquidy. If you do add fruit (such as the blueberries), so with just 3/4 cup of coconut milk in the recipe above.

Instructions:

Spray your waffle-maker with a non-stick spray. If you’re a true Paleo-follower, avoid canola or soy-based sprays, which are the most common on the market. I actually found a coconut oil spray at Whole Foods a few weeks ago, so it’s been my standard for cooking everything lately! You can also just dip a paper towel in cooking oil and rub the waffle-maker if you don’t have any sprays.

While the waffle-maker preheats, combine all ingredients from the waffle-base ingredients list. Stir until well-mixed. It should be a little thicker than normal pancake batter but thinner than a brownie batter. Once fully combined, stir in any mix-in ideas from above. I added coconut flakes and the Enjoy Life chocolate chips – I was going all out! I also added a tbsp of cinnamon, a personal favorite. I think cinnamon accentuates the flavors in chocolate and the homeopathic benefits make it a win-win!

A huge bowl of batter.

A huge bowl of batter.

Once the waffle-maker is warmed up, spoon batter into each of the four compartments. DO NOT OVERFILL. I used about 1/4 cup batter per section, which covered the bottom but did NOT fully hide the metal indentations. The waffles will fluff up, so you need to leave room for them to grow without overflowing the machine. My waffle-maker has preset timers on it, so I didn’t have to pay attention to cook times, but I would say it was roughly two minutes per side.

This sucker is HUUUUGE.

This sucker is HUUUUGE.

I will admit, these waffles pack a substantial caloric punch: for my recipe (with coconut flakes and chocolate chips), each waffle was about 700 calories with roughly 29 grams of carbs, 58 grams of fat, and 26 grams of protein. Fortunately, I found it to be sweet enough without any syrup and it was EXTREMELY filling. I’m STUFFED.

I’m going to try to modify the recipe to bring it down under 600 calories – perhaps a blend of coconut flour and egg whites will help. I’ll have to play around with it! In the meantime, this recipe satisfied every craving and paired perfectly with a hot cup of coffee this morning.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

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Breakfast of Champions!

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Even though this looks like a giant bowl of ice cream, it’s actually a protein-packed bowl of breakfast deliciousness!

The simple ingredients:

  • 2 cups Chobani nonfat Greek yogurt – (200 cals, 36g protein, 14g carbs!)
  • 1/2 tsp of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup papaya
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup watermelon
  • 1/2 cup blackberries

Toss together in a bowl (I’m Sunday-morning lazy and tossed it into a disposable one) and dig in!

The sweetness of the fruit counters the tartness of plain yogurt, so save the temptation to stir any sugar or honey into the yogurt – it’s good on its own!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~Tori

Labor Day Breakfast!

With a fridge full of Farmer’s Market goodies, I knew breakfast was going to be delicious today. I just had no idea it was going to be FOODGASMIC.

I started off by sautéing a fresh, sweet red pepper. You know, one that I got for just 25 cents at the market yesterday!

Focused on protein, I sliced up an Alfresco Sweet Apple Chicken sausage, which are currently BOGO at Publix until Wednesday:

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I added them to the pan with the seared red onions and quick cooked them until everything was browned and smelled intoxicating.

Seriously, it's a work of art!

Seriously, it’s a work of art!

 

One fried egg over top and a slice of toasted Rudi’s Original Bread and I was in LABOR DAY BREAKFAST HEAVEN!

Under 400 calories, all freshly prepared in under 10 minutes, and packed full of protein and flavor for a fun day off!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

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Nature’s Path Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Oatmeal = YUMTASTIC

Nature's Path Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Oatmeal = YUMTASTIC

OK, so I realize that this is NOT a Paleo-approved breakfast, but I happened to find this oatmeal on clearance at Whole Foods one day last week [it wasn’t old; I think the manufacturer changed their box design and Whole Foods HATES to be behind the times, you know], so I decided to pick up a box to try it out.

This stuff is AMAZING.

Not too sweet, extremely hearty, and packing only 160 calories per package. For the last two mornings, I’ve made myself two packets [320 calorie breakfast – nice and hearty] and had a cup of tea with it. I’m shocked to say it keeps me full for HOURS. I’m not exaggerating: HOURS.

Yesterday, I had my oatmeal around 10am and didn’t feel my first pang of hunger until almost 3:30pm. And I wasn’t trying to skip lunch – I was just that satisfied that I didn’t even notice the passing of the time.

This hot cereal boasts sweet blueberries, crunchy flax seeds, and the perfect balance of cinnamon and brown sugar. It’ll please the kids and the health nuts alike.

You know, one of my only gripes about the Paleo diet is the lack of breakfast options – you have to be PREPARED for breakfast with Paleo baked goods or time to spare to fry up some eggs – so this is the meal I most often find myself cheating.

If you’re going to cheat… might as well try to make it a healthy cheat and I think Nature’s Path Blueberry Cinnamon Flax oatmeal is the way to do it!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori