staying hungry : two protein-packed meals

As we chatted about on Tuesday, I’m currently channeling my inner body builder and doing P90x. Which means that protein is my new BFF.

I’ve been upping doses of the usual suspects: egg whites, greek yogurt, beans, and all things carnivorous, for starters. But these two meals have helped to mix things up a bit!

This bowl is kind of like a thick smoothie you can eat with a spoon. Which means it’s basically ice cream you can eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. And who isn’t on board with that?! Here’s the basic rendition:

The Beginner Bowl:

  • 1 frozen banana, cut up into chunks
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • sliced fruit for toppings

This is so easy: put everything (minus the fruit) in the food processor and blend until smooth. Top with fruit and you’re good to go!

But really…if you want to have a good day…you want to make this one:

The Real Deal:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa power (1 more gram of protein!)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered peanut butter (5 grams of protein!)
  • slice fruit for toppings

Same situation. Blend and enjoy!

Next on the list: quinoa! My lunch feels weird if there’s nothing green on my plate. I just really like vegetables, especially in the middle of the day. To up the protein quotient of my normal salad I made this savory quinoa to go along with it (if you’re feeling especially in need of protein you could add grilled chicken or fish, too!):

Lemon Balsamic Quinoa:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook your quinoa as per usual. Once cooked, fluffed with a fork, and slightly cooled, add in the balsamic, lemon juice, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add to your salad and enjoy!

Do you guys have any suggestions for protein powerhouses? I’m always looking for new ideas! Shout ’em out in the comments!

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beka stays real : my favorite way to eat

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Seriously.

For all of my devotion to baked goods, meals like this are my favorite way to eat: plain, simple, and healthy.

I made this for lunch on Saturday (i.e. after this and before this). With no clear cut ideas for lunch I went straight for the things I really wanted and ended up with what’s pictured above: carrots and kale with a spoonful of hummus, 1/2 a grapefruit, 1/2 an Ezekiel muffin with peanut butter and sliced banana.

Sometimes I make meal planning too complicated. This is a good solution.

Amen.

beka stays hungry : salmon salad

Salmon and I have been BFF’s recently since I’ve been on the 10 Day Cleanse. We’re usually the type who gets together once a month or so, but this week, we’ve rekindled our relationship with daily bonding.

Case in point: this salad.

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Usually I wouldn’t put salmon/chicken/tuna/meat of any kind on top of a salad. It’s just not how I roll. But I’ve been trying to incorporate more protein into my meals so adding some leftover salmon to my salad seemed like an easy solution to that problem.

And it was delicious, too!

This was one of those whatevers-in-my-fridge salads. Here’s what’s in my fridge/in my salad:

  • Spinach and Arugula Mix
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Bell Peppers
  • Red Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Hummus
  • Salmon

Happy lunching, everyone!

(Also, if any of you guys get stuck trying to come up with new protein-packed lunch ideas too, check out these suggestions from Shakeology. The breakfast, dinner, and snack plans are great also!)

the dailies : 11.7.11

daily word: This one has to go to Annie. Today, in her just-turned-4 logic, she explained Thanksgiving as follows: “There are lots of turkeys. And you know, turkeys taste great when they’re dead!”

daily sweat: An hour on the arc trainer this morning, which was a deviation of my original plan to do a long run, but there was literally not one square inch of my body that felt like running 6 miles was a good idea. It was totally different than “I don’t feel like running today.” It was more like, “PLEASE…for the love of all that is sanity…DO NOT GET ON THE TREADMILL.” So, I didn’t! And the hour on the arc trainer felt great! A good lesson in working out wisely.

daily dish: I don’t know why but this lunch thrilled me to pieces.

Carrot sticks in hummus, red grapes, and butternut quinoa stew.

daily mile:

Day 64: pummeled by faithfulness

(this is still true)

 

beka stays healthy : apple, cheddar, and arugula sandwiches with berry dijon dressing (whew)

I think these sandwiches take longer to say than they do to make.

But first, a little back story:

When I graduated from college and learned to cook for myself, I started getting crazy in the kitchen. WAY crazier than I ever had before. I mean, I mixed two different kinds of cereal…in the same bowl! I purchased plain yogurt…and put my own fruit on top! And, weirdest of all, I put apples…in a sandwich!

Stranger things had not happened.

When I first started making this I used to whip it up in a very standard and unremarkable way: apples, cheddar, soft tortilla, folded in half and grilled. Good, but not great.

A few years later, now that I’m no longer bewildered by the phenomenon of sandwiches outside of the PB&J variety, I think it’s become great. (Really, really great. Seriously. I had two of these today.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

Sanwich:

  • 1 whole Multi Grain Sandwich Thin
  • ¼ Apple, Sliced Thin
  • 1 ounce White Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ cup Arugula

Dressing:

  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Smucker’s Triple Berry Preserves

And here’s the how-to:

Start with the dressing. Combine dijon and berry preserves in a small bowl. Mix well.

Next, add equal portions of the dressing to the inside of each side of a multi grain sandwich thin. Then add apple slices, cheddar, and arugula to one side of the thin and top with the remaining side.

Once the sandwich is made, spray a grill pan with a light mist of cooking spray. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add the sandwich to the pan and place a heavy object (such as a flat-bottomed bowl or plate) on top of the sandwich. The weight will press the ingredients down so that they are evenly heated and will also grill the bread nicely. Grill for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the cheese is completely melted and the bread is golden brown.

Allow to cool for a minute before serving. Then, dig in! Fast and healthy and full of fall goodness.

Much better than PB&J (on most days – but some days, PB&J is still where it’s at).

(You can also find this recipe here at Tasty Kitchen!)

beka stays healthy : egg salad

This just in: I’m now a member of Tasty Kitchen! I’m pretty sure that finding/creating/posting recipes just filled the 2am-3am time slot of my schedule.

I’m not sure how this happened, but somehow the first recipe I added was for…egg salad.

Nothing says fall like egg salad, right?

Well..nothing says “I can’t finish a dozen eggs before they expire” like egg salad. Which is why on Sunday, I hard-boiled a handful of eggs that had seen better days and whipped up this salad:

(Don’t be alarmed at the quality and clarity of the above…I know you’re used to seeing sub-par cell phone photos these days, so please avert your eyes from the screen and adjust as necessary.)

Here’s the ingredient list:

  • 4  Hard Boiled Eggs
  • ¼  Large Red Onion, Diced
  • 1  Large Kale Leaf, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
  • 1 dash Salt And Pepper

And here’s what you need to do to make the magic happen:

This really couldn’t be easier. Actually, if hard-boiled eggs didn’t resist the peeling process so stubbornly, it would be a lot easier.

Start by hard-boiling eggs using your favorite method. Once they have boiled and cooled, peel (and lament) and roughly chop the eggs. In a mixing bowl, add the diced red onion, chopped kale leaf, plain Greek yogurt, whole grain Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

(Side note: you can also invite chia seeds to the party. They’re jam packed with nutritional goodness and add a nice thickness to the salad. About 1/2 Tbsp works well here.)

And bam, a lunch is born. Store in a tupperware container in the fridge for as long as you feel is safe (which, if I’m the judge, is whenever I finish it).

(You can also find this recipe here, at Tasty Kitchen!)