Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good-Lookin' Breakfasts

When I go to bed at night, I think about what I'm going to have for breakfast the next day.  And when I wake up?  I'm still thinking about breakfast.

Overnight oats with strawberries, raspberries, almond butter, homemade jam, and chia seeds.

It's my favorite meal!  (Isn't it everyone's?  I feel like I've never heard anyone say, "Lunch is my favorite meal...")

Sometimes (a lot of times) I make overnight oats:
     1/3 cup rolled oats
     1/3 cup greek yogurt
     1/3 cup almond milk
     Mix the night before and stick in the fridge until the next morning.

Overnight oats with strawberries, sunbutter, crunchy cereal, and chia seeds.
In the morning, I'll top my oats with some combination of berries, nut butters, apple butter, jam, crunchy cereal, granola, and/or chia seeds.

Overnight oats with raspberries, Better'n Peanut Butter, apple butter, and chia seeds.
Other mornings I'll make real oatmeal in my rice cooker.  I can set the timer the night before so it's done when I wake up.  Or I'll start it and go for a run and by the time I'm back and showered, breakfast is served!


I've been on a pumpkin oatmeal kick:
     1/2 cup steel cut oats
     1/2 cup canned pumpkin
     1 3/4 cup water
     1/4 tsp allspice
     1/4 tsp ground cloves
     1/4 tsp nutmeg
     Cook on porridge setting.  Serves 2.


Oops, wrong pumpkin picture.

Pumpkin oatmeal with Better'n Peanut Butter mixed in and chia seeds on top
 Now there's the pumpkin oatmeal! 
 
Pumpkin oatmeal with apple and almond butter.
I keep expecting pumpkin to have some sort of taste, but it doesn't really.  Thus the spices and added nut butter and jams.  I've been adding a little maple syrup lately to make it sweet.  Delicious!

If I'm not at home, I've discovered that the Coffee Bean makes a mean oatmeal.  You get to pick what goes in it and they make it right in front of you!

Oatmeal with bananas, granola, and brown sugar on top.  My oatmeal-maker was a real artiste!
 Other mornings, when I'm feeling like I need a veggie breakfast, I make smoothies.


It never fails to amaze me how greens are so unnoticeable in my smoothies!  Yay for eating vegetables that don't taste like vegetables!


 Then there are the juicing mornings...


...because juicing is fun!

And lastly, if I'm feeling really classy, I put together my little breakfast sandwich:
     Toast/English Muffin
     Hummus
     Spinach
     1 or 2 fried eggs
     Layer your sandwich in the order above, and you're good to go!


 I want to eat that picture right now...


 Guess what I'm going to make for breakfast tomorrow?  Check out that gooey egg goodness!









Saturday, October 20, 2012

Avocado Dip

My mom makes this fantastic avocado dip that we always beg for every time we're home for the holidays.  It's really good and my whole family sits around and plays games while consuming an entire bowl of the stuff.  And when I'm done eating my fourth of the bowl, I have major guilt (not of the environmental kind, but the oh-my-gosh-I'm-gonna-gain-50-lbs kind).  So I decided I needed an avocado dip, light in my life.

So here it is:

 
Avocado Dip, Light
By Lindsey Sheehan

1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt

Ready for the instructions?  They're very complex.

Mix all items together...  Congrats, you're done!  (I use a fork to mash up the avocado, which is easy if it's good and ripe, but if not, try a food processor.)

And the damage?  Well, if you eat the whole bowl, you're getting 350 calories, 27 g of fat, 19 g of carbs, and 15 g of protein (Spark People).  So while there's lots of fat, it's the good avocado-y kind, right? And look at all that protein!  Thank you greek yogurt!




I've taken this dip to a dinner party and my book club, and both times it was a huge hit.  We ate it with buffalo wing flavored pretzel chips- yum!  They were hot, so with the cool dip, it was a nice balance.  I'm kind of addicted to the buffalo wing pretzel chips now... so careful of that.



 So good :)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Environmental Guilt

I like shrimp.  They taste so good.  As a kid, it was a real treat to go into San Francisco and eat a shrimp cocktail at Fisherman's Wharf.  Shrimp and I have history.

Shrimp Cocktail @ Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA
Photo Source
But shrimp farming is destroying mangrove forests in Latin America and Asia.  And I'm an environmental engineer- one who loves wetlands!


What is the carbon footprint of my little shrimp cocktail, you ask? Well let's go through the science a bit...  The soils that are under water in a mangrove forest (or other wetlands) hold much more carbon than most terrestrial habitats because of all the organic material (like dead leaves and other once-living stuff) that can hang out under the water and the mangrove roots without drying up.  (Organic material = lots of carbon).

A mangrove forest - check out that root system! Photo Source
To farm shrimp in these areas, the mangroves have to be removed and the soils have to be dug out to create deeper ponds.  Then since it is no longer under water, the soil oxidizes and releases all that carbon it was storing.  So if you do the calculations (or let them do it for you here: The Carbon Footprint of a Shrimp Cocktail) one little cup of shrimp has a carbon footprint of 198 kilograms of carbon dioxide, the same as using about 24 gallons of gas, or 10 times the footprint of beef grown in the deforested Amazon! That's just so insane!  But if I'm eating shrimp, it's kind of my fault, right?

So now I find myself in Thai restaurants ordering my pad thai without shrimp, which makes me sad.  And I haven't been to Fisherman's Wharf for a shrimp cocktail since I learned all this.  But I still occasionally steal shrimp off a friend's plate when they aren't looking.  Does that make me a horrible person?

padthai
Photo Source
I have other environmental guilts as well.  I like hamburgers, and steak, and bacon even though I know eating meat is a much less environmentally efficient way to eat.  I've cut back some, over the years, but I still feel bad about (yet keep eating) those delicious bacon cheeseburgers.

Not that this is at all a current issue in my life, but I've also always imagined myself having a big family- maybe four kids?  But I'm not sure I can justify bringing more than two people into the world with the carbon footprints my kids would likely have growing up in America.  Not to mention that the world probably already has too many people for the environment to sustain us as it is.

Photo Source

So what do I do?  Well, for now, I stop eating shrimp, and I talk to people who don't know about the impacts of shrimp farming (no guilt, just information).  I've also cut back on the amount of meat I eat, but I haven't totally eliminated it (seeing as my last post had pepperoni in it...)  And as to future kids?  Well, I think that decision is quite a ways off still. :)    

Do you have environmental guilt?  How do you handle it?



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pizza Frittata

I rarely buy magazines (occasionally I'll splurge for one if there's bachelorette gossip on the cover- did you hear Emily and Jef are faking it?!), but a few weeks (months?!) back I bought Every Day with Rachel Ray.  I'd never bought or even looked through one of hers before, but I thought a cooking magazine might be kind of fun to look through.  And it was!  So many cool ideas, but so little time.  Too bad it was a summer-themed edition and it took me until October to make anything!

Anyhow, I finally got around to making something from the magazine and here it is...A Pizza Frittata!  I've always liked the idea of frittatas (lots of protein, low carbs, cheeeeeese), but I've never really enjoyed one until now.  Making it a pizza just makes it soo much better!   
 

Adapted from Rachel Ray's Pizza Frittata Recipe

6 eggs
1 cup egg whites (or 6 egg whites)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup grated parmesean
1/2 tsp chili flakes
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb pepperoni, chopped
2 yellow chili peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp grated onion- chop it if you like crunchy
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup port
1 cup petite diced tomatoes
6 oz mozzarella shredded on the large holes of a grater
basil to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the eggs, egg whites, milk, parmesean, chili  flakes, and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Whisk it up so it is well mixed.



Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan (one that you can transfer to the oven- no plastic handles!) and then add the egg mix.  Stir the eggs occasionally to get the cooked parts off the bottom.  When mostly cooked, but not totally done, transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.


In a different pan, heat another tbsp of olive oil and add the pepperoni, chili peppers, garlic, onion, and oregano. 


Cook 2-3 minutes and stir. 


Add the port and cook to reduce slightly.  Next, add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.



When the eggs are done, add the tomato mix to the top and sprinkle with mozzarella.



Num num num...


Bake 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is all melted.  Sprinkle with basil for the final touch!


Enjoy!





Saturday, October 6, 2012

Juicin'

I think I'm in love.  He's tall, dark, and handsome,


and makes me the sweetest things.


For him, I'll even eat my vegetables!




It's my new juicer, and if you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about it.


The first day I juiced, I pretty much threw whatever I had in the kitchen into my drink.  I made a celery, strawberry, orange juice, and it wasn't half bad.  I attempted to put some frozen kale into the juicer, but it mostly kicked it out into the pulp-catcher.  I think frozen is not the way to go.



I went grocery shopping with my juicer in mind and bought a lot of things I'm pretty excited to juice.  More strawberries, apples, grapes, greens, carrots, and ginger!


I made what should have been a nice juice with one apple, two carrots, and about an inch of ginger (with some greens of course!)  To be honest, I'm not totally sure what you can throw in the juicer and what you can't, so I went ahead and threw the ginger in without peeling it.  The juice kind of had a dirt taste to it, and I'm guessing it's because I didn't peel the ginger.  I actually didn't taste ginger at all! Just dirt :-/


The next day I tried peeling the ginger first and that made all the difference!

Peeled ginger!
I've also started throwing a quarter lemon in any combo and it makes it taste so fresh and good.  I also like adding some fizzy water to my juices.  It makes the juice go further and the carbonation is fun.  Juicing is just fun in general!


And I'm a huge nerd for the pretty fluid mechanics- check out those layered colors!




Check out the sinking green juice...


I had Mandy over a few weeks back and I insisted we juice.  She was a little wary of adding vegetables, but I made her do it.  She thought it was pretty fun though.


When it was time to drink it, she was skeptical, but I made her smile for the picture anyway.


She tried it...



...and declared it, "not bad."


I'll take that as a win. 

My only juicing complaint is that it seems like a lot of the fruits and veggies are getting lost in the pulp bin.  And it's gross to clean.  It wouldn't be a big deal if I had a sink disposal, but alas, I do not.  So I have to pull out most of the pulp and throw it in the trash.  And in my hot, hot house, the pulp gets funky REALLY fast, so I'm taking out the trash every other day.  Annoying.



But really, it's too much fun, so I'm willing to deal with the mess.  And it makes a great breakfast that is filling and healthy.  I love being able to eat so many vegetables in a quick and tasty way!

And of course, you're random cat picture of the day: Cat in a bag!