Which Wich Marathon Relay?

marathon relayteam coco puffs

Two new experiences today.  This morning, I ran in a marathon relay with some kids from the cross country team.  I can proudly say that team Coco Puffs finished ahead of the other team from our school.   You can see the race results here!

After the race was over,  I completed all the pick-ups and drop-offs and grabbed some lunch at the new Which Wich near my house.  I’ve heard good things and bad things.  I’m siding with the good things.

The restaurant is kind of like Chipotle for sandwiches, but they also serve any of their sandwiches as salads.  You can order a salad with more veggies and sauces than you could possibly imagine.  I ordered a roast beef salad with hummus and ranch on the side.  On top, there were bell peppers, two kinds of onions, cole slaw, tomatoes…it was great.  I highly recommend.

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After a great lunch, two episodes of Netflix’s House of Cards, and a long nap, I’m finally getting to all the things I need to do today!

Good Cereal Made Andy Shardo’s Style

breakfast cerealYes, I’ve been on an oatmeal and smoothie kick, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ignored the simple things. Even though I have discovered a new way to make oatmeal faster in the morning, sometimes I’m craving a big, easy bowl of cold cereal.  Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different kinds, and I spent a good, long stint eating only Kellogg’s Vanilla Almond cereal for breakfast.  Every day.  Pretty much throughout college.  I moved on to Kashi, but I’m way too high maintenance these days to eat a standard bowl, I guess.  Mostly because I know it can be made better. Cinnamon and banana make pretty much anything better.  It’s  simple to make a basic bowl of Kashi something you’ll want for more than just breakfast.

You will need:

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  • 1 box of Kashi GoLean (or the kind with the grahams in it…super good)
  • 1 box of Kashi GoLean Crunch
  • bananas
  • cinnamon
  • almond milk
  • 1 large storage container with a lid
  • 1 cup measuring cup

When I buy cereal, I buy several boxes at a time and dump as much as I can in storage container with a measuring cup.  This way I don’t have to do that whole fight with the bag and the box and the spilling.  No thanks.

breakfast cereal

Fill half of the container with the GoLean.  Fill the remaining space with the GoLean Crunch.  Put the lid on.  Shake to mix two cereals together.

Slice half of a banana in the bottom of the bowl.  Scoop out a 1-cup serving of the mixed cereal on top of the banana.  Slice the rest of the banana on top.  Fill the bowl with as much almond milk as it will hold (since it only has 30 calories per serving!).  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.

So much better than the bowl you had yesterday, right?

Why Not Make It a Cheesecake Smoothie?

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Smoothies are a standard part of my daily menu, but I’ve been missing something.

Something wonderful.

You can turn any smoothie recipe into a cheesecake version by adding one thing.  Cottage cheese…which I ordinarily loath.

Ask me to eat a cottage cheese snack, and I’m out.  No thanks. A cheesecake smoothie?  Yes, please.

For example, your lunch today could be a Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie.

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

  • 6-7 strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup of water or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla flavor
  • 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese (or more if you want)
  • Spinach (optional)

Just try it.  You will love.

Oatmeal Update

IMG_1046I have recently posted several oatmeal recipes.  My preconceived notion about oatmeal was that I simply didn’t like it.  I’m from South Carolina.  I don’t eat oatmeal.  But then, I made oatmeal that tasted like a bowl of peanut butter and oatmeal that tasted like pumpkin pie.

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Quickly, I realized that with a $2.50 container of oats from Target and a little imagination, I could make breakfast that tasted like dessert AND filled me up.  The only drawback to my oatmeal recipes is that they take a little time to make.  While I set my alarm with ample time provided for breakfast, I still don’t have enough time to make, eat and clean that pesky pot of oatmeal.

Lately, I’ve read several blogs with recipes for overnight oatmeal.  Basically, these recipes include time in the refrigerator for the oats to absorb the flavors.  Duh.  I can do that.

This is brownie batter oatmeal that I cooked at night in a big batch and reheated in the morning in approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds and topped with a cute little banana.

brownie batter oatmeal

Adapt any of my oatmeal recipes to create a big batch by following the directions on the oats package and doubling or tripling the tasty ingredients.  You can’t mess it up.  You might, however, have a huge problem standing in front of the refrigerator spooning out of the container you put it in.

Try making a big batch of brownie batter oatmeal:

  • 3 cups of oats
  • 5 cups of milk or water (I use half water and half almond milk)
  • 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla flavor
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (optional)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 packet of stevia (optional)

Bring the water or milk to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and add the oats.  Cook for five minutes.  Add a about a 1 cup of the cooked oats to a blender or magic bullet with the peanut butter, vanilla, protein, banana, and stevia.  Combine until smooth.  Stir the blended mixture back into the pot with the cooked oats.  Stir it all together.

Put the cooked mixture into a container to store in the refrigerator.  I separated mine into single servings to make it even easier in the mornings.

When you are ready to eat, microwave about 1 minute and 30 seconds or until hot.  Top with half of a sliced banana.

Yes, I Make Brownies So I Can Lick the Bowl

batter

Question: Why did you decide to make brownies today?

Answer (100% of the time): because I was really craving some brownie batter

Whether you love warm brownies or licking the bowl, this recipe is just for you.  Honey instead of sugar.  Whole wheat flour instead of white.  Greek yogurt instead of a bunch of oil.  Ahhh.  The brownie.

I’ve been living in oatmeal and smoothie land lately.  It’s not exactly right to say I have a sweet tooth because none of my recipes have added sugar in them, but I definitely prefer a dessert-like treat to almost anything.  This brownie recipe is just keeping with my trend.   It’s a little variation of a Jillian Michaels recipe I found.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2/3 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt (I used a whole single-serving cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla flavor

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a small baking dish (8×8) with an olive oil spray.

Step one: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the 2/3 cup of honey in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Add the 1/3 cup of cocoa.  Use a fork to combine until smooth.  Set the mixture in the refrigerator to cool while you do the next part.

honey and cocoa

Step two: Stir together  1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder,  1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

flour

Step three: Combine the 1/2 cup of greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 egg, and 3/4 teaspoons of vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Add the cooled honey and cocoa.  Stir in the flour mixture.  Combine all until smooth and none of the flour is visible in the mixture.

brownies

 

Step four: Spread the mixture into a the greased baking dish and cook for 25 minutes.

browniesDon’t worry, I left some in the bowl for some licking.

IMG_1060Now, if anyone can tell me how to keep brownies from cracking on top, I really would be Betty Crocker.  Enjoy!

brownies