Low-Cal Cabbage Soup

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Happy Hump Day!

I have a question for you: It’s Spring, right? There are supposed to be flowers blooming and birds chirping? Not in Windsor, it seems! I woke up yesterday to this:

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Yes, that is snow. No, I do not like it! It is that kind of weather that makes me want to curl up in bed all day with my little snuggle bear and have a Dora the Explorer Marathon. It is also the kind of chilly day that calls for a nice steaming bowl of soup to warm you up!

Today’s recipe is low-cal cabbage soup. My aunt used to make cabbage soup for me all the time when I was younger (I think I was the only person who liked it!), so I decided to try my hand at it.

These are the vegetables that I used, but feel free to add whatever veggies you like.

Ingredients:
1/2 Green cabbage, chopped (about 4-5 cups)
1 large carrot, chopped into rounds
1 medium sized white onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 cup lentils
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups vegetable stock
1 (generous) tablespoon dried oregano
1 (generous) tablespoon dreid basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder

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Just toss all these ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for three hours. Or, you can cook on low for 4-5 hours.  You could also cook this in a large pot on the stove top on meduim/low heat. if you don’t have a slow cooker. Let me tell you, this just hit the spot!

Nutritional Information: (This is per serving, which is 2 cups of soup)
Calories: 92
Carbohydrates: 16g
Fat: 2g
Protein: 1g

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Grab a spoon, a cuddle buddy and keep warm!
-Rianna

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Oatmeal Banana Waffles

oatmeal banana waffles

“We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”

-Leslie Knope

Such wise words to live by. Sometimes you just need to take a break from work, school (thank goodness midterms are done!), and the crazy schedules that we all have, and put waffles first. During the week I usually am awake pretty early, try to squeeze in a run if I have had enough sleep (a few months ago I would have thought this was a crazy idea, but Elle has been sleeping through the night much better lately), and folllow up with a bowl of oatmeal. This is pretty standard. There are soooooooo many different oatmeal concoctions that I can’t wait to try. I think next I will try carrot cake oatmeal. Because cake. For breakfast. Yes. Anyway, this weekend, I needed waffles. I just did. So I thought, why not combine my love of oatmeal and waffles? The result: healthy and delicious oatmeal banana waffles!

So simple. I love simple. Here is what you’ll need:

-2 packages of regular instant oatmeal (you could experiment and use any flavour )
-one banana (ripe)
-3/4 cups almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, but I imagine regular milk would work just fine, too)
-1 egg
-1 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp cinnamon (can ommit, or add more)
-1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)

Just put all ingredients into a blender (I used a magic bullet) and blend, baby, blend! When you’ve achieved a nice smooth mixture, your waffle batter is ready. Just use the same amount of batter in a waffle iron as you would for normal waffles. The only thing I would do differently is cook them about 1-2 minutes longer than normal waffles because of their kind of “gooey” consistency. I’d say they taste like banana bread in waffle formation…does it get better than that?!? While the waffles were still hot, I spread a bit of Nutella on them, added some sliced bananas, sliced almonds, and a sprinkling of flax seeds. Perfection.

There is so much you could do with these. Peanut butter or almond butter on top would be amazing! Or…have you ever mixed vanilla Greek yougurt with honey and cinnamon? Get some pecans mixed in there, too, and BAM! Of course, you can always go with classic maple syrup. I like to cut back on the sugar, though, and use E.D. Smith’s No Sugar Added Syrup made from grape juice. Once you go Smith, you’ll always eat breakfast with! (Yes, I made that up.) Scrumptious combinations are endless. You can even make an extra batch and freeze them for later.

Nutritional Information per waffle (my waffle maker made 5 waffles with this recipe)

Calories: 109
Carbohydrates: 15g (THAT”S AMAZING!)
Fat: 5g
Protein: 14g
Sugar: 3g

Hope you enjoy!

-Rianna

Reese’s Pieces Monster Cookies

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I hope everyone is having a Tasty Tuesday!

We sure are! Today we are testing out Reese’s Pieces MONSTER Cookies! Monster cookies? Yes. Because 1) They have everything in them 2) They are Monster size!!! 3) Cookie Monster would probably enjoy them (alright, I made that last one up).

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As you will probably learn as I post more recipes, I have a slight obsession with peanut butter. There are so many things you can do with it! ( Like eat it straight out of the jar when you are a broke university student and in need of snackage…hey, we’ve all been there.) And it’s not just peanut butter that I love. When I was little, my mom found out that she was allergic to peanut butter, so since then we have tried an array of alternative nutty spreads; almond butter, sun butter (from sunflower seeds), wow butter (soy). I must say that peanut butter still remains number one in my heart, though. And these cookies are peanut butter-ific!

Gather up your supplies. You’ll need:

DRY INGREDIENTS PART 1:
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt

WET INGREDIENTS:

-1 cup softened butter (unsalted)
-1 cup peanut butter (you can use any kind, crunchy would probably be good!)
-1 cup brown sugar
-2/3 cups white sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla

DRY INGREDIENTS PART 2:

-2 packages of dry plain instant oatmeal (you can substitute this with 1/2 rolled oats, but I like the texture it gives to the cookies)
-1/2 cup peanut butter chips
-1/2 cup white chocolate chips
-1 cup milk chocolate chips
-1 large bag of Reese’s Pieces

OTHER:
-parchment paper

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Okay, let’s get down to it.

Mix the ingredients from DRY INGREDIENTS PART 1 into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Next, mix the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar with beaters, or in a mixer until your mixture is nice and creamy. Beat the eggs in, followed by the vanilla, until you get a nice fluffiness.

Slowly add in the DRY INGREDIENTS PART 1 that you have mixed together, into your WET INGREDIENTS.

Add in the most delicious parts: the oatmeal, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips. Don’t use those Reese’s Pieces yet! (I should have bought two bags because I kept eating them the whole time I was baking.)

Refrigerate your cookie dough for about 20 minutes. While you’re doing this, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also sit back for a minute and enjoy eating the cookie dough off of your mixing spoon (Don’t pretend like you don’t do this while you’re baking!). Line your baking sheets with parchment paper because a) they won’t stick and b) they won’t spread as much. And trust me, they get BIG!

For each cookie, use a scoop of dough about the size of 3 tablespoons. Drop onto the cookie sheet and press down so it is in a thick circle shape, but don’t flatten completely. Press as many Reese’s Pieces as you’d like onto each cookie. I think I put about 7-8 on each of mine. Bake about 6 at a time (this is how many I could fit without them baking into each other) for about 12-15 minutes. If you made your cookies smaller, you will need to shorten your baking time.

Allow your cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes after they’re out of the oven, or they will just crumble when you try to pick them up because they are so large.

Pour yourself a glass of cold milk and enjoy the peanut buttery goodness!

Aaaaaand here is the part you may not want to read.

Nutritional Information:

This is per cookie, and remember, these things are HUGE.

308 calories
38g carbohydrate
15g fat
5g protein
23 g sugar

As always, I’d love to here from you! Happy snacking!

-Rianna

Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad

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Hi everyone! I hope that you’ve all had a fun-filled weekend. Today I am sharing with you a recipe that I decided to try during the week. Since we had one day of 50 degree weather (Hey, this is warm when a few days ago we were hit with more snow!), I was thinking of making something light and spring-y. The recipe? Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad, adapted from the recipe that Curtis Stone shared in Redbook.  I loved it and so did Elle! Well, she liked the chicken and the carrots, but wasn’t such a fan of the cabbage (she is just getting her molars now, so she still has trouble with grinding foods that are hard to chew). Here’s what you’ll need to get started cooking:

Dressing:

¼  cup soy sauce

3 Tbsp finely chopped (and peeled) fresh ginger

3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1-2 tsp sriracha (I used 2…i like the kick it gives!)

1 tsp sea salt

¼ cup white vinegar

Salad

2 cooked chicken breasts, marinated in Hoisin sauce, and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 lb napa cabbage (I only used half of my cabbage), cut into thin slices

1 large carrot, shredded

3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 tsp black sesame seeds

STEP 1.

Get that chicken cooked! I used 2 chicken breasts with the bone in. Once marinated, I popped it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Once it had cooled, I cut it into (bite-able) pieces. You could also grill your chicken, or try cutting it into pieces before you cook it and then pan fry it.

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Step 2.

As your chicken is cooking, you can work on the next steps. It is also a good time to put your toddler in her highchair for snack time while she helps you measure ingredients. Now is the time to mix together all the ingredients for the dressing, and set aside.
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Step 3.

Chop up that cabbage! Slice those scallions! Shred that carrot!
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Step 4.

Toast your almonds. I dry toasted mine on a small frying pan on medium heat. They were very thin sliced almonds and only took about 4 minute to get nice and toasted. We ended up having to make more than 1/2 a cup because Elle and I ended up incorporating  them into snack time!
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Step 5.

Mix together all the salad ingredients, including the chicken, into a large bowl. (Those cabbages are quite compact and seem to really expand when chopped up!) Drizzle your sauce over the salad and mix together until all ingredients are coated. Grab a fork and dig in!
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Hope you all enjoy! I know I did…I may have had it for lunch 3 days in a row.  You might even be lucky enough to have some little hands help clean the dishes when you’re done!
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Nutritional Information:

(I divided this into six servings, so that turned out to be about 1-1/4 cups per serving)

205 calories
10g carbohydrates
15g fat
10g protein

I’d love to know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions!
-Rianna