Ingredient of the Week

A few weeks ago, I recognized an all too familiar feeling of tiredness and weakness that’d been hanging over me like a heavy cloud. I’ve been dealing with iron deficiency issues my whole life, off and on, and I could tell that I was yet-again running too low on the mineral. Times like this one, when the deficiency isn’t too extreme, I just start taking some iron supplements and up my intake of iron-laden proteins that I’m not always the biggest fan of. So this time around, instead of ordering a big hunk of meat every night for the next few weeks, I decided to look to one of my favorite but easily forgotten sources of iron: cream of wheat!

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photo via: quemas.mamaslatinas.com

Cream of wheat always brings me back to my childhood, when my parents would heat me up a bowl in the mornings, with a touch of sugar and milk swirled in. My sister and I loved having cream of wheat for breakfast, with its savory-sweet smell and comforting warmth filling our bellies. Not only is it a yummy and filling breakfast, but it’s also very nutritious. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, with iron being its top bragging right, this classic breakfast is anything but simple. While I enjoy eating it plain, the same way that I did as a kid, ever since I decided to add it back into my eating regimen, I’ve been playing around with some fun toppings to give my breakfast an extra kick. I usually resort to adding a sliced banana, slivered almonds, and a bit of honey to my cream of wheat, but after browsing through these recipes that I randomly found, I can’t wait to mix up my routine a little more!

What do y’all think about cream of wheat? Have you tried it before?

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!  Here are some of my favorite things from this past week to make your Friday a little more enjoyable!

Fall Outfit:

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Healthy Breakfast Food Swap:

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If you’re sick of the usual greek yogurt for breakfast, swap it out for some cottage cheese to get a yummy new texture and awesome protein kick!

New Movie:

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I saw this movie in IMax and it was AMAZING- do yourself a favor and see it ASAP

Cool-weather staple:

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I love this Wildfox sweatshirt!

Hilarious video:

This is just one of many hilarious “ew” videos by Jimmy Fallon- SO SO funny!

A Breakfast For Success

This morning, I woke up very early to get some last minute studying in for a big test I had today.  Every morning, no matter what, I give myself about 30 minutes of extra time so that I can make and actually sit down to enjoy my coffee and breakfast without feeling rushed and anxious.  This time I have to myself every morning really wakes me up and starts the day on a relaxed and positive note (in my opinion).  However, I do treat test days a bit more special when deciding what to make myself for breakfast.  Instead of the usual Greek yogurt or oatmeal mixed with various fruits, I always make some kind of egg-based dish since I’ve always believed that they give my brain a little boost.  This morning, I was exceptionally lucky because I not only had eggs, but also some fresh smoked salmon, avocado, and whole grains, which are all listed as brain-boosting “superfoods” by WebMD!  I promise they are…check out the WebMD full list if you don’t believe me!  Anyway, my breakfast was so satisfying and combined with some berries and the usual coffee on the side, I felt confident and ready to kick ass on my test.  Check out a few snapshots I took this morning and an easy recipe for the delectable and “smart” breakfast I made right below!

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Ingredients:

½ whole wheat English muffin or whole grain + flax sandwich thin

¼ fresh avocado (mashed)

~ 1 slice of smoked salmon (shred it up with your fingers)

Handful of feta cheese

1 whole egg + 1 egg white

ground pepper and hot sauce for garnish

Steps:

  1. Scramble your eggs into a bowl and combine them with the shredded smoked salmon and feta cheese
  2. Add ground pepper into the mixture and pour it onto a hot skillet to cook until desired level
  3. While eggs are cooking, toast your bread and spread the avocado on bread while warm
  4. Top the cooked egg mixture on the avocado-spread bread and garnish the mountain of deliciousness with ground pepper and hot sauce
  5. Enjoy while it’s hot! SO YUMMY!

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P.S.: look out for my next post if you are a smoked salmon lover, or want to try it out…lots of yummy recipes to come! 

Greek yogurt for one, please!

In light of the Olympics’ sponsorship by Chobani, even though there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the authenticity of the company’s claims, I’d like to highlight one of my favorite breakfast spots nestled in the heart of NYC – Chobani!  Chobani opened its first café this past summer, conveniently only a few blocks away from my apartment, in the lively SoHo neighborhood.  I had already grown into a Chobani Greek yogurt fanatic by this time, so hearing the news of this new breakfast (or whenever) spot was like music to my ears.  I made my first visit to the impeccably clean, simple, and bright yogurt bar on the way to my internship one morning and was immediately pleased upon seeing the unique menu to choose my yogurt combination from.  After taking far too long trying to chose only one item from the list of amazing choices, I decided on the toasted coconut + pineapple yogurt combo, which was beyond DELICIOUS!  I was amazed by how much better and fresher the yogurt (which was 0% plain) tasted than it ever did when I bought it from the grocery store.  The toppings (pineapple, toasted coconut, light agave nectar, and hazelnuts) were also incredibly fresh and flavorful, making it the best Greek yogurt meal I’d had yet.  The fact that every customer is given the option to keep the adorable glass bowl that the meal comes in is also quite the added bonus.  I couldn’t help but keep my bowl, which I still use today to eat my yogurt from.  I visited the café once more before I had to return home for the summer, and that time I chose the blueberry + power combination.  Unfortunately, Chobani was out of their blueberries at the time and offered me to choose any replacement fruit, which ended up being deliciously ripe strawberries and mangos.  The combination of the fruit with chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted sunflower seeds, walnuts, and light agave made for yet another perfect breakfast.

The next time I’m in the city, I will definitely make a stop (or two) at Chobani, just after I get my fix from Shake Shack.  If you are ever in the city and have an affinity for Greek yogurt and fresh ingredients like I do, add the Chobani café to the top of your “to-do” list.  Check out the café menu that I’ve posted below (which also features food other than yogurt) and a few pictures that I took of my delectable yogurt combinations- YUMMY!

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The adorable packaging that comes with a “to-go” yogurt bowl!

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…Is your mouth watering yet?

A Classy Yet Delicious Breakfast Sandwich

This morning, I woke up feeling especially awake and adventurous, which resulted in a much more exciting breakfast than usual.  I wanted to eat something that was healthy yet filling and easy to make.  I narrowed my choices down to eggs with some sort of toast, which never fails to be tasty and hearty enough to keep me satisfied throughout my morning classes.  Since I was on an adventurous kick this morning, I decided to go with a style of egg that I had never personally cooked before but had heard was simple enough to make- the poached egg.  To class up this unconventional style of egg, I chose to convert it into an open-faced breakfast sandwich for the ultimate quick, classy, and healthy breakfast (in my opinion).  I was a bit short on time and didn’t have all of the ingredients that I would’ve liked to put on my sandwich, but I decided that spinach, pesto, hot sauce, and some shredded cheese would still make for a great sandwich.  Below is a simple recipe for the egg sandwich I made but feel free to swap out or add on more toppings such as avocado, tomato, onion, etc. on your own sandwich.  I was very satisfied with my delicious sandwich and perfectly cooked egg, which was quite gratifying as it was my first time cooking a poached egg!  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • ½ whole wheat or multigrain English muffin
  • Pesto spread/sauce
  • Hot/Tabasco sauce
  • Any preferred type of cheese
  • Fresh spinach leaves (or arugula)
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

Steps:

  1. Fill a pot with about 3 inches of water and heat it until boiling.
  2. Reduce heat on the water so that it’s not bubbling anymore but still very hot.
  3. Crack your egg into a small bowl.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar into the water and swirl the hot water in a circular motion with a spoon for a few seconds.
  5. Pour your egg into the water and carefully swirl the water around it for about 5-10 seconds so that the egg whites coat the sides of the yolk.
  6. Let the egg cook for about 4-5 minutes or you can pick the egg up with a slotted spoon after about 3 minutes and touch the yolk to determine how runny or solid you want it to be.
  7. While the egg is cooking, put your English muffin into the toaster.
  8. When the bread is toasted, cover it immediately with pesto, cheese, and spinach so that the cheese melts.
  9. When the egg is cooked to your liking, carefully dry it off on a paper towel and slide it onto your sandwich.
  10. Top it with more cheese, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of hot sauce.
  11. Dig in!!

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Fruit and Greek Yogurt Breakfast

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Yesterday, I finally took the time to deseed my HUGE pomegranate from The Fresh Market.  This unique fruit is now back in season and available in the supermarkets again- YAY!  Pomegranates and grapefruit are the two fruits that I really look forward to buying when this season hits.  Even though pomegranates aren’t exactly the best fruit for instant satisfaction because of their tough deseeding process, they’re worth getting for their delicious and super healthy seeds.  In addition to being yummy and healthy, the seeds are also really versatile.  They can be frozen and added to smoothies or used fresh in salads, desserts, and various breakfast dishes.  Today I’ve decided to share with you my favorite greek yogurt meal that can be boosted by adding pom seeds for a filling and healthy breakfast.  Check out my easy recipe below for this yummy fruit-filled greek yogurt breakfast!

Ingredients: 

  • any brand of plain 0% greek yogurt (my favs are Chobani, Fage, and Voskos)
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ cup pom seeds
  • handful of blueberries or any other fruit (ex: strawberries or pineapple)
  • handful of granola
  • agave sweetener

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Simply cut up your fruit and add all of the ingredients into a bowl. Top it off with a drizzle of agave syrup and eat up!

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