Sunday Cooking: Cheesy Quinoa Muffins

Cheesy Quinoa Muffins (Serves 6)
(Adapted from Everyday Home Cooks and a co-worker’s recipe)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (red or white)
1 cup chicken/vegetable broth or water
2 shredded carrots
2 sliced green onions
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
(Optional fillings include: diced jalapeno, cooked sausage, cooked bacon, red pepper flakes – add-ins may affect Points Plus)

1. Bring water or broth to a boil. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease a standard sized muffin tin with non-stick spray.
3. Add carrots, green onions, garlic, flour, eggs, cheeses, salt and pepper to a bowl. Stir in cooked quinoa slowly (if it’s too hot it will scramble the eggs!)
4. Fill each muffin tin with approximately 2tbsp of quinoa mixture (about half – three-quarters full). Bake until set, about 20 minutes.

Each serving: 2 muffins
4 Points Plus per serving! Paired with a salad, makes a great lunch. These are also tasty hot or cold!


Post-Run Pita Pizza

A quick check-in.  I had a slow-ish 6 mile run on Wednesday, to get used to the sudden heatwave we have found ourselves in.  Yay heatwave!  Also, I am (slowly) getting back to tracking, and not letting my training act as an excuse to just eat what ever I want.  In an effort to tackle that beast, I actually made a meal plan this week (!!!) and so far, I have been sticking to it pretty well.  This recipe was an experiment that turned out great, so I thought I’d pass it along.  It came together pretty quickly and was incredibly tasty!
Mediterranean Pita Pizza (Serves 1 – adjust as needed)
1 whole wheat or whole grain pizza
2tbsp hummus
1tbsp fat free feta
1tsp olive oil
Toppings (all optional:)
Red bell pepper, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Kalamata olives, sliced (may affect Points Plus depending on how many you use)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Prepare vegetables as needed
3. Spread 1tbsp hummus on pita. Top with vegetables, cheese and olives.
4. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil.
5. Bake until crispy 20-25 minutes

This came together super easy and was really really tasty! I put red pepper flakes and Lake Shore Drive seasoning on mine too. SO tasty. This averaged 5 Points Plus in the Weight Watchers recipe builder.

I drafted this post, then promptly spent the rest of the day sort of imploding. Headache, unsatisfying lunch, stress, and so I ended up bonking on my plans and going out to dinner without making the best choices. Not a win.


End of the grocery week… a recap.

Seriously, I picked the worst week to investigate my shopping, eating and cooking habits!  I came down with a terrible cold (as if you haven’t already heard me whining about it all week long), and didn’t have much of an appetite.  Sad face.

I still have a lot of food left over, but it’s the kind of food that still needs to be turned in to something…  mainly, vegetables.

About to be roasted...
About to be roasted…

Potatoes are the BEST!  These little guys, who not an hour ago had been shriveling and starting to sprout it my kitchen, are now a delicious side dish covered in garlic and rosemary.  I scrubbed em, cut off the eyes, diced them up, and roasted them to heck.  I am eating them with the last of the flautas and half an avocado.

What’s left from Saturday:
1/2 bag snow peas
Jalapeno pepper (have to find it..)
1/2 zucchini
1 apple
1/2 cucumber
1/2 avocado
Most of the kale
3 clementines
At least 1/2 the bag of mini sweet peppers
Canned & bottled
1 can black beans
Soy sauce
Dry goods
4 pouches BetterOats Oat Fit Oatmeal
Instant brown rice
Dairy, etc.
2 yogurts (1 at home 1 at work)
Cheese (reduced fat cheddar & pepper jack)
1/2 block tofu
Morningstar Farms Veggie patties (x3) – Untouched

Additional leftovers: Stir Fry (for some reason it sounds so unappetizing)
Cooked farro (lots)
Sweet potato bisque
About 1 serving of the black bean filling from the flautas

Purchases this week:
Saltines, ginger ale, almond milk, bananas and rice crackers from Trader Joe’s.

Ideas for next week: Not many, hopefully re-gaining appetite and energy to get back in to training.


Friday Eats.

I worked a full day today!  Right now I am totally wiped out, and I am going to bed very soon, but I did manage to go out and get to work.  It even *snowed* and I went to work.  I was waiting for a medal, but instead I rewarded myself with lots of JUNK.

Breakfast 4PPs

1/2 serving Peanut Butter Cheerios 2PPs
1/2 serving Kashi GoLean cereal 2PPs
1/2 banana 0PPs
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 0PPs
All from fridge/pantry.  (Very on low almond milk.)

Second Breakfast [meep] 17PPs

Nutella croissant 7PPs
Medium skim latte 3PPs
Cinnamon roll 7PPs
Clearly, we have ourselves a little… breakdown in willpower here. I took the Metra to work today, stopped at the market and bought a Kind Bar and a banana for later, and decided to use my free Latte card. And also to just what the heck go ahead and indulge. In the best way… A nutella croissant. It was absolutely worth every bite, and probably is higher in points than I am tracking it. (I tracked it as a chocolate filled croissant.) Anyway, after this week, and the past few weeks, I’ve been working a lot with one professor at school and when I got to my desk, she called to tell me she had a “thank you” treat for me. For me! A cinnamon roll! A really delicious cinnamon roll. Which I then devoured. And no, I wasn’t really that hungry. Sometimes, will power is exhausting.

Lunch 5PPs

KIND Cherry cashew dark chocolate bar 5PPs (let’s be honest, this was just a glorified candy bar.
2 cuties 0PPs
I ruined my appetite!

Dinner 6PPs

FINALLY!  Some vegetables...
FINALLY! Some vegetables…

2 tsp olive oil 2PPs
Veggies: Kale, radishes, cucumber, zucchini, sweet peppers, red onion, salt & pepper 0PPs
Black bean filling 2PPs
1/4 cup cooked farro 2PPs
So, tonight, after 3 days, I ate dinner. After work, I did a light-ish 3.3 miles on the treadmill, still felt pretty crummy, but I was getting cagey and restless. As a result of working out, I was hungry when I got home, so I was happy that I could pull that simple meal together.
Days without meat: 10
Craving: Cheese
Feeling: Sleeeeeepy.

Normally tomorrow is grocery day, but I still have a lot of food left, and since it’s the end of the month I’m getting a little low on funding anyway. I don’t like leftovers much but I don’t like waste either. Tomorrow I’ll write up a post about what I have left, and a brief meal plan with what I have left.


Thursday Eats

Went to the Walgreens Take Care Clinic today.  Was really impressed with how quickly I could be seen, I was in and out in no time.  I just had to go to work today, I was getting stir crazy at home, and not feeling any better while I was there.

Breakfast 6PPs

Bombay breakfast 6PPs
All from fridge/pantry.  (Low on almond milk.)

Lunch 4PPs

1/2 cup Kashi GoLean cereal 2PPs
1 Yoplait Greek 100 Yogurt, Lemon 2PPs
From the grocery. Really really (really) not hungry.

Snack 8PPs

15 Saltines 5PPs
1 oz cheese 3PPs
Just was not up for much food today.

Dinner 7PPs

15 Saltines 5PPs
Ginger ale 2PPs
Not.  Hungry.
I’m sure there were other things I snacked on during the day, but I can’t remember what… Seriously, this is not the best week for me to be recording my meals! Sorry, friends.
I did try something new from Trader Joe’s:

10 Minute Farro
10 Minute Farro

It was cheap and I wanted some alternative to brown rice. This has similar nutrition information. It cooks up fast, but I ended up making the whole bag and that was not necessary. Next time I will do it by serving. This was one more thing I made and then didn’t want, so I have a lot of it to go through this weekend.



Step inside my kitchen!

Today is grocery day!  I love love love grocery shopping.  I love making lists, and planning meals and trying new recipes.  I love finding deals, and I love clipping coupons.  The turning point in my healthy eating changes came when I fully realized that planning was my key to success.  This week, I’m going to try and share some meals, recipes and plans based on today’s grocery trip!

I mentioned to a friend of a friend last week that I spend $50 a week on groceries, just for myself.  She said that sounded really high, so I thought I would break it down.

Meat Free!
Meat Free!

I have also decided to go meat free for Lent. I am still leaving the option open to fish and other seafood, but so far I have been meat free since Wednesday. I don’t eat a lot of meat anyway, but there are certainly times when packaged lunch meat has been my “go to” meal. Time to put my culinary thinking cap on!

My Grocery List:
Snow peas $2.99
Jalapeno pepper $.05
Zucchini $0.80
Bananas $1.46
Apples $1.10
Cucumber $0.69
Radishes $1.49
Avocados $1.00
Kale $1.98
Clementines $3.98 (Bought @ produce store… $2.99 at grocery)
Mini Sweet Peppers $2.98
Canned & bottled
Black beans (x3) $2.67
Green chiles $0.99
Low sodium soy sauce $2.99
Dry goods
BetterOats Oat Fit Oatmeal $1.25
Instant brown rice $2.55
Dairy, etc.
100 calorie yogurts (x3) $3.00
Cheese (reduced fat cheddar & pepper jack) $5.30
Tofu $1.99
Fresh tortillas $0.45
Morningstar Farms Veggie patties (x3) $11.97

Coupons used this trip: $2.55
Coupons earned for future trips: $3.00 plus free carrots!
Grocery store total w/tax: $33.94
Produce store total w/tax: $16.34
Weekly total (2.16-2.22): $50.28

Meatless meal ideas: veggie/tofu stir fry, black bean flautas, kale & black bean salads.
Unpictured items include: frozen portabella ravioli, peanut butter, bread, apple sauce, cauliflower curry, farro, quinoa, quick oats, canned tuna, pasta sauce.

I’m looking forward to sharing this week with you!


Things to wake up for…

During the winter time, I find it hard to get up and at em.  My covers are warm and cozy, it’s dark and cold outside, and I just don’t have the same “oomph” that I normally do.  During those times, those wintery “I don’t wanna” times, it helps to have something to look forward to.  Right now, that thing is OATMEAL.  And this, hands down, is the best I’ve made so far.

Bombay Breakfast
Adapted from my sis-in-law’s Rachel Ray Magazine

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (1 PP)
1/2 cup quick oats (4 PP)
1/4 tsp cardamom
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped mango
1 tbsp maple syrup (1 PP)

Heat almond milk to a boil.
Add spices to the dry oats, and stir all in to the boiling milk.
Stir constantly for 1 minute.
Top with mango and maple syrup for sweetness.

I experimented with this a few times, in a few ways, and I think I’ve landed on the “perfect for me” breakfast. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and frozen mango chunks from Trader Joe’s. I microwave the mangoes along with the syrup while the milk comes to a boil, so that when the oatmeal is finished cooking, the mangoes act as a warm compote to pour over top. I could add more and more and more cardamom to this, and it still wouldn’t bee enough, it is my favorite flavor!

A note on Points: I did not put this in to the recipe builder, but track the items individually. 6 PP total.

What do you use to motivate you during the winter months?

Do you have a meal that would get you out of bed in the morning?