Baking with Quinoa!!

So, I’m just going to say it. I think I might be a genius. A modest one, obviously.

The evidence:

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I was looking around in the pantry the other night and noticed I had two boxes of unopened, unloved Quinoa sitting in there.

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I had just eaten the last of my Baked Apple Cinnamon Oat Bars, so I decided it was time to get creative and bake myself a new snack!

Cranberry Quinoa Peanut Butter Power Bars

Not only are these tasty, they are healthy! Quinoa, masquerading as a grain but actually a seed, is a complete protein, and it’s high in magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. Combined with the healthy fat from the peanut butter and the vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, and fiber in the oats, these make for a great power breakfast or afternoon snack. Yum!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 C cooked quinoa
  • 2 C raw oats
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C smooth peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1/2 C skim milk (or non-dairy substitute)
  • 1/3 C brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

You’ll need to either have some leftover cooked quinoa on hand, or cook some up before you start this recipe. Two cups cooked quinoa is equal to roughly 1/2 cup uncooked, so prepare that amount according to the instructions on the box. Be sure to let the quinoa cool a bit afterwards.

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Preheat your oven to 350.

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl together and stir until everything is well mixed. Use some muscle!! 🙂

Scoop it all into a baking pan – I used my 7×11 pan, but you can use whatever size you have.

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Pop it in the oven and bake about 12-15 minutes. ENJOY!!

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Once you’ve tasted them 😉 and they’ve cooled a bit, I’d recommend storing the bars in the fridge covered in tin foil – it will help them to harden and stick together better. You can even cut them into bar-sized snacks and store them separately for easy grabbing and going!

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TGIF! It’s rainy and cold here in DC, but the tree outside my bedroom window is looking quite lovely and fall-esque:

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Plus, I went in to the office this morning, so instead of working at home in sweatpants, I got to put on a cute work outfit 🙂 I don’t miss sitting in an office all day, but I do sometimes miss getting to dress up cute! Isn’t the day just better when you like your outfit?

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Have a great weekend everyone!

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Want something to bake this weekend??

Ahhhhhh!!!!! These are amazing!! They taste like a healthy apple crisp 🙂 I heart baked apples and cinnamon!

I bought a ton of apples the other day and knew I wanted to do something apple-cinnamon-baked ish, and this is what I randomly threw together! It’s definitely a keeper.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Oat Bars

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Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 1.5 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 and 1/3 C oats
  • 1/3 C walnuts
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon

Wet:

  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 C skim milk (or non-dairy substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In two separate bowls, mix dry and wet ingredients.

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Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring until mixed. Add mixture to a non-stick or sprayed baking pan (mine was 7×11, but use whatever you like).

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Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of raw oats on top to make it look pretty! (Clearly I forgot and threw them on last minute!)

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Bake about 30 minutes, but fork check it once you get close to see when it’s ready! Mmmmmmmmm…

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My mom is in town for a couple weeks for work, and she came over the other night just as these were coming out of the oven! We dove in immediately… mmm… warm baked apple pieces…

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She was a big fan 🙂 We couldn’t stop eating it!

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The aftermath 😉 These are going to make an awesome breakfast or afternoon power snack!

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Enjoy 🙂

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p.s. Don’t forget to enter my Chobani yogurt giveaway!! You have until Monday morning at 9 a.m. to enter.

BRINNER!!

I made the most awesome brinner (breakfast for dinner!) last night before the haunted forest!

Shrimp and Spinach Omelet

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DROOL!!!!!!!!

Ingredients:

(serves 1)

  • 2 eggs
  • 8 frozen shrimp (already peeled, deveined, tail-off)
  • olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, diced
  • huge handful spinach
  • 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C diced tomatoes
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

You’ll need two pans – a smaller one for the omelet, and one for the shrimp/spinach/etc.

PAN #1: Add your diced garlic and a drizzle of olive oil into the larger pan and set it to medium heat. Once it’s hot, toss in the frozen shrimp.

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After a couple minutes, toss in a HUGE handful of fresh spinach.

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Mix it around until the spinach and shrimp are both cooked.

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Add in the parmesan cheese and some diced tomatoes, and leave the pan on low heat to keep it warm while you cook the eggs.

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PAN #2: First, whisk two eggs and salt and pepper to taste, and pour them into a nonstick (or PAM sprayed) pan on medium high heat.

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To make an awesome omelet, once the bottom layer is mostly cooked, start lightly lifting up the edges of the egg, tilting the pan so that the uncooked liquid on top will end up traveling underneath the part you lifted up. Do this around the whole circle until all the egg is cooked.

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Now all you need to do is put the open omelet on a plate, plop the shrimp/spinach/tomato mixture on top, and fold over the egg!

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Look how pretty it is 🙂 I always won the “best omelet maker” award in the family, hehe. It’s usually my job on Christmas morning after we open presents!

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I had another busy day today! I spent the morning catching up on Chemistry homework (ugh it’s getting harder!!) and finishing up some editing work. I took a lovely walk in the sunshine late morning which was nice. 🙂 Then it was off to class and then to the office for the rest of the afternoon! I’m glad to not have any plans tonight so I can try to keep catching up on homework and life!

In other news – the haunted forest last night was AWESOME! Ashley and I (everyone else bailed, but we were like whatever we’re still going!) went to Markoff’s Haunted Forest in Maryland and trust me, if you are in the DC area, it is SO worth the drive.

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It’s literally in the middle of NOWHERE. They have an awesome area with food, bonfires, haunted buses, a haunted hayride, and all sorts of other entertainment while you wait! So toasty 🙂

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They also had all sorts of fun Halloween colored lights up. I tried to get a picture but it came out crazy – check this out!

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Here we are before going in – eeeeeeek!

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We were basically shrieking the entire time, haha. Such girls! I love haunted forests because you aren’t all smushed up on a thousand other people like in a haunted house. For most of it we were alone on the trail! Sooooo creepy. They had some awesome costumes!

Anyway, back to work! Have a great evening friends 🙂

p.s. Do you like my new format?? I became a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher, so I shifted up my layout to fit the banner. Yay!

My name is Anne, and I am a muffin addict.

OMG… I am obsessed with muffins. So I ate the last of my awesome Sweet Potato Banana Oat Muffins over the weekend and decided I needed to make some more immediately. Muffins are the best warm afternoon snack with this cold weather!! So yesterday I blasted the radio, rolled up my sleeves, and created…

Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins!!

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Holy crap these are good. And healthy! You must make them!

Ingredients:

(makes 12 muffins)

Dry:

  • 1.5 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 C oats
  • 1/3 C ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 C walnuts (optional)
  • 1/8 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Wet:

  • 1 C canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 C (overflowing) frozen (or fresh) blueberries
  • 3/4 C skim milk (or dairy substitute)
  • 1/3 C pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In two separate bowls, mix dry, then wet, and then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until the mixture is uniform-ish. It will look kind of like oatmeal! 🙂

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Spoon the mixture into a non-stick muffin pan (or use muffin cups). Don’t forget to sprinkle some oats on top to make ‘em look pretty!

Here they are ready to go in 🙂

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Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes and do a fork check near the end to test done-ness. When the fork comes out (mostly) clean, they are ready!

Droooooolllllll

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Once they’re out of the oven, transfer them over to a cooling rack, and enjoy!!

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Clearly I ate one immediately 🙂 Mmmm look at those berries!!

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Hope you all had a nice weekend! Mine was pretty low key and relaxing… had wine with friends, did some yoga and spinning, went out to brunch, did some homework, etc. It was nice because next weekend is going to be super busy – I’m heading to UNC (Chapel Hill) on Thursday night to attend their Masters of Public Health (which is their umbrella name for the Nutrition/Dietetics Masters stuff) open house/information session! Should be interesting. Did any of you guys go there?

In other news, it FINALLY stopped raining here in D.C. I’m heading out for a run soon before class!

Have a good one 🙂

Sweet Potato Banana Oat Muffins

Mmmm… the house smells so good right now! I just created an awesome new healthy whole wheat muffin recipe that includes pureed sweet potatoes! Pumpkin has been getting so much love on the blogosphere recently I decided that sweet potatoes needed some, too 🙂

I love baking, especially healthy muffins and oatmeal bar type snacks, so if you like these, there’s more where this came from! These don’t have any oil or butter, but are still moist and delicious and packed with nutrition thanks to the whole wheat pastry flour, oats, sweet potato, and ground flaxseed. The banana and tiny bit of maple syrup and brown sugar add just enough sweetness without overdoing it. These make a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack while on the go. Enjoy!!

Sweet Potato Banana Oat Muffins

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Ingredients:

(makes 12 muffins)

Dry:

  • 1.5 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 C oats
  • 1/3 C ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 C walnuts (optional)
  • 1/3 C raisins (optional)
  • 1/8 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Wet:

  • 1 C canned pureed sweet potato
  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 C (overflowing) skim milk (or dairy substitute)
  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In two separate bowls, mix dry, then wet, and then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until the mixture is uniform-ish.

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Spoon the mixture into a non-stick muffin pan (or use muffin cups). Sprinkle a couple raw oats on the top of each muffin to make them look pretty when they’re done 🙂

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Pop them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes and do a fork check near the end to test done-ness. When the fork comes out (mostly) clean, they are ready!

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Mmmm…

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Once they’re out of the oven, transfer them over to a cooling rack.

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And them promptly eat one when it’s all hot and steamy, burning your mouth in the process. Totally worth it 😉 These are so quick and easy and satisfying!

I had a great weekend – my friends Kristen and Brian had a gorgeous wedding last night. Here’s me bonding with their cake. 😉

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Group picture with the ladies…

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The new Mr. and Mrs.:

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Their reeeeally good menu – hello, seafood bar!!

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And of course clearly most of the night went like this:

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Hope you all had a nice weekend! I ran this morning for the first time since last weekend’s 10 miler! It felt great to get back out there, and it’s a GORGEOUS day here in D.C. My knee wasn’t hurting at all this week, so I figured I was good to go! I did a lovely 5 miles 🙂 It was nice to not have any sort of time/distance training pressure!

See ya’ll tomorrow for more good eats! What’s your favorite kind of muffin? Any ingredients you want me to experiment with next?