What YOU said

Linner tonight was delicious delicious leftovers from chicken-pineapple skewer night (on one of my new cherry plates from mom):

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Remember the char (marinated to reduce carcinogens, of course)?

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Dessert was a special special treat.

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Before I left MA yesterday, I convinced my mom my mom offered to make Indian pudding so that I would have some comforting “mom food” to bring back to Brooklyn with me. I found this recipe online, and mom doctored it by replacing the whole milk with a mixture of skim milk, fat free ricotta, and nonfat evaporated milk; the sugar with a mixture of sugar in the raw and erythritol; halving the butter and using Promise; and omitting the half-and-half in favor of vanilla ice cream. For tonight’s dessert, I heated 1/2 cup.

I had my warm Indian Pudding with homemade vanilla frozen yogurt (plain yogurt, vanilla, honey) and a sliced strawberry:

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Word on the street is that a slice of healthy cheesecake also found its way into the evening πŸ˜›

On another note, you’ve all given me so many fun suggestions via comments over the past few days, so I thought it would be useful to give a little recap. Here’s what you said!

Food in Your Hair (and other non-edible beauty-inspired ways to use food)

  • Oatmeal face mask (Susan)
  • Grape-vanilla smoothie body wash (Krista)
  • Cocoa bean body scrub (Lara)
  • Mayonnaise hair mask (Coco)
  • Avocado face mask (Sophia)
  • Strawberry shampoo and banana conditioner (Christina)
  • Coconut oil shampoo/conditioner (Anne K.)
  • Lemon juice hair highlights (Vani)
  • Chamomile tea hair rinse (Mara)

Things You Would French Toast

I dare someone to give one of these a try (especially the s’mores — I bet that could actually work very well). Report back if you do it! What sounds best to you?

Toasted

I’m back in New York today, but I definitely fixed myself a Massachusetts-inspired breakfast this morning! I just can’t let go πŸ˜›

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Mom sent me home on the bus yesterday with a bunch of her famous kitchen sink muffins (among several other food items). Most of the muffins were minis, but she also sent one jumbo:

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Inspired by the cinnamon bun french toast I tasted out at breakfast on Saturday, I decided to french toast the jumbo muffin! I sliced it into thirds to soak in a batter of 1 egg, cinnamon, vanilla, and a splash of unsweetened soymilk. I had one of the slices for breakfast topped with a schmear of Artisana cacao bliss.

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Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.

On the side, I had the rest of the chia pudding I made last week (and left in my freezer while I was gone) topped with sauteed cinnamon and cardamom apples:

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The perfect warm and cozy breakfast (at 1:00!) for such a dreary day.

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Pre-breakfast, I hit the gym for some vigorous and intense cardio, as I want to make sure that my heart can handle 13 miles on Saturday even if my legs can’t! (I also went to the Y gym with mom yesterday morning in MA for more cardio and lots of leg muscle machines, and I’ve got more leg strength planned for tomorrow. Between that and the steady-stream-of-ibuprofen regimen I started yesterday, I am keeping my fingers crossed for the Brooklyn Half!)

I’m not really going to get into yesterday’s food because yesterday is all done now, but Alison did ask me for my mom’s recipe for the pumpkin-grapenut pudding that we made for my dad and stepmom … some of which I conveniently did snack on yesterday, heated and topped with warm chopped apples, cinnamon, and cardamom:

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Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t ever really follow a recipe. The general idea for the grapenut pudding is a custard base (eggs, milk, sweetener, vanilla, spices … and, in this case, pumpkin) that gets sprinkled liberally with grapenuts pre-baking so that they absorb the moisture and spread their flavor as they sink to the bottom during the cooking to form a “crust.” Comfort food at its best πŸ™‚ More info about my mom’s grapenut pudding can be found in this post.

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(Also, some of you asked if I was serious about my mom’s body-building days, and it’s true! She did used to be a competitive bodybuilder (a side hobby to her full-time psychotherapizing) when I was really young. Maybe someday she will let me post some of her competition pics, haha!)

And because it’s too pretty, here’s breakfast yesterday morning:

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Can you identify the components?

And lastly, check out what just arrived from Elisabeth at Jogger’s Life!

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She sent me a beautiful care package, thanking me for showing her ways to stop wasting food (sigh, I have now achieved life satisfaction :-D). The highlight of the box? Another package of UliMana raw chocolates!

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Thank you Elisabeth — this made my day!!!

If you could french toast anything (and you can!), what would you choose?

Where the food began

My mom knows how to stock a kitchen.

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She’s been eating healthy and delicious foods that sound scary to most people since before I can remember. Sure I was horrified as a teenager when friends were over and I’d open the freezer only to have about 80 pounds of frozen herbs come cascading out, but I quite appreciate it now!

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With my mom’s kitchen-stocking abilities, I didn’t have to look very far for breakfast fixings this morning. I started by mixing up some yogurt-chia pudding with 3 tbsp 0% Fage (too pricy for me to buy, but mom knows how to splurge for quality), 2 tbsp regular plain nonfat yogurt, 2 tbsp part-skim ricotta, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon, and vanilla. While the chia seeds worked their absorbant magic, I set to work on component #2: fruit!

I chopped a banana, an apple, grapes, kiwi, and pomegranate:

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For mom, I topped about 1.5 cups of the fruit salad with half of the chia-yogurt pudding, Artisana cacao bliss that I brought for her to try, and a bit more cinnamon:

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I only gave myself about 3/4 cup of fruit (I wasn’t overly hungry after last night) with the other half of the chia-yogurt pudding, freshly ground Whole Foods almond butter (again, mom knows how to splurge where it’s worth it!), more cinnamon, and a bit of ground flax:

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I feel healthy and revived πŸ™‚

Mom’s in with clients now (she’s a psychotherapist and sees them in her home office), but we’re planning on a walk once she’s done. It’s already 85 degrees out!

In whose kitchen, other than your own, do you feel most comfortable helping yourself?

Mara has been crafting up a storm! Go check this post to see the cutest thing ever and how you can win it!

Splitsville

As I was contemplating what to make for breakfast that would best use the extra things in my fridge before I leave for the weekend, I read Broccoli Hut‘s comment about healthy banana splits! Just like that, breakfast was born πŸ™‚

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IMG_0152My current batch of yogurt isn’t strained, so I needed something to thicken it up: chia pudding! Two packages from Oh!Nuts and Navitas Naturals came in quite handy. These have to be the jumbo-est Medjool dates I’ve ever seen:

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I followed Kristen’s holiday chia pudding recipe, but I took out the “holiday” (cloves, ginger, lucuma) because I just wanted vanilla. Also, I halved everything except the chia seeds and added 1/2 cup of yogurt. I probably should have taken out the water completely and only used yogurt because it didn’t get as thick as I wanted, but oh well! For today, I just popped it all in the freezer for a bit to get some firmness.

I split the 1/2 banana I had left and decorated it with my three flavors and some extras:

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The vanilla scoop (plain chia pudding-yogurt):

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The chocolate scoop (1/4 mashed avocado, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp chia pudding-yogurt):

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The berry scoop (chia pudding-yogurt mixed with chopped blackberries):

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Topped with flax seeds, hemp seeds (some seem to have sprouted, hence the green), and cereal (and sided with yerba mate):

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Right after breakfast, I’m off to my last class (where I think a last class celebration will be taking place) and, from there, on a bus to Providence. I wonder if Peter Pan will have Internet on the bus again?

What are your three ideal split scoop flavors?

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Mark!!!!! Yay for May birthdays πŸ˜€


Breaksert

Inspired by Hangry Heather, I decided to try my hand at a breakfast sundae this morning.

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For the “cone” I put together an overnight breakfast cookie mix of 1/4 cup extra thick rolled oats, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1/4 mashed banana, and 1 tbsp Artisana cacao bliss. Rather than flattening the cookie on a plate, I pressed it into a ramekin to make a bowl shape and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning, I popped the cone, ramekin and all, into the freezer because I wanted to be able to extract the cone from the ramekin intact.

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For the “ice cream,” I mixed 1/2 cup yogurt with 1 tbsp lucuma powder, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 mashed banana, dash vanilla, and a few peanut pieces. That went into the freezer for the 20-stir-20-stir method.

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After extracting the cone from its ramekin, I filled it with the ice cream and decorated with berries, cinnamon, more peanuts, coconut, and a plummy gummy πŸ™‚

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This was so so fun to eat and a lovely post-gym treat (with my yerba mate on the side, mmm)!

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This afternoon, I’m off to a work event. We’re having a “mission retreat” from 12-5, and even though I’m on vacation, it seems like an important thing to attend!

How do you feel about dessert for breakfast?