The Kitchen Sink

For the love of food, life and everything in between.

Month: July, 2013

Egg White Oatmeal

I’ve fallen out of the posting rhythm. In keeping with my lessons learned from my previous post, I can admit that keeping up with my blog has been sitting on the back burner, it simply hasn’t been my priority. Some priorities lined up ahead of writing for the blog include: running, being outside more, experimenting in the kitchen, and going on vacation just to name a few.

For about a week and a half, I fell in love with rising before the sun and running through the deserted streets of town, while the air was still slightly cool, faint shadows of clouds hung like a canopy over the river, and the headlights of cars were sparse. I am calling this the honeymoon phase, a rainy morning deterred me, I was reminded what it was like to have that extra hour of sleep and the next clear morning, I awoke at a more reasonable hour and headed off to work, sans run.

I have a pretty bad habit of perfectionism, as if running before work is the only way to fit in exercise. I have come to embrace that it is in fact not the only way (insert sarcasm here) and I am learning to appreciate the mid afternoon Sunday run through the state park, with adequate shade provided by trees and a light sound breeze. I’m also a pretty big fan of the after work run down by the beach, and while hotter than the pre-dawn trail, the smells of the ocean and the way the markings of feet and beach buckets remain imprinted in the sand is proving to be a great way to wind down after work.

Sometimes I catch myself worrying about what will happen when it’s forty degrees out, ice lines the boardwalk and daylight savings kicks in once more. I don’t have these thoughts for long though, a beautiful moment presents itself; the sun dips beneath some trace clouds, about to settle into the sea for another evening. A sight I may have never caught had I not learned to adapt my running routine to fit into my schedule.

I did it again, I wrote about running, something that truly has nothing to do with the recipe I’m sharing with you. I think I’m sorry, not really, these two are completely related. Running and egg white oatmeal are currently topping the “what makes me happy” list. If you’re anything like me, you’re cringing at the thought of egg whites and oatmeal, together, in the same bowl. Eggs and oatmeal don’t go to together, right? Wrong, so very very wrong. The egg whites provide little to no flavor but rather a boost of protein and transform the oatmeal to a creamy, puffy texture I did not think oats were capable of.

 

Egg White Oatmeal

Serves 1

Slightly adapted from Kylie of Immaeatthat 

Ingredients:

1/3 cup dry old fashioned oats

1/2 cup water

dash of ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla or coconut extract

1/2 of a banana

2 egg whites

Optional toppings:

nuts/seeds, fresh or frozen fruit, nut butter, honey, nutmeg, etc.

Directions:

Over medium heat, cook the oats, water, vanilla (or coconut) extract and cinnamon until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid, about 3-4 minutes. Vigorously whisk in sliced banana and then whisk in egg whites until thoroughly combined. Cook another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal takes on a very light and fluffy texture. Transfer to a bowl and top with desired additions.

Advertisements

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I realized part of this weighted down feeling I was suffering from (see previous post) was the weight of anxiety and frustration. But as far I could tell there was no clear source for the anxiety nor the frustration and I was trying my best to ride these feelings out. Roll with the punches I told myself. Go with the flow. I wasn’t flowing though, I was snapping back and grimacing and over all not carrying out my days in the most positive light.

One day last week when I was trying to free my mind, wandering aimlessly through blogs and tumblr accounts I was hit with three wonderful things. This flourless peanut butter cookie recipe, A song brought to me by my itunes shuffle selection, and another quote I came across online.

The song was a remix, a techno type song, completely not my usual taste but it happens to be one of my favorite workout songs. You know, one of those high energy beats that enters your ears and floods your toes and allows you to pick up that running pace just a bit? My favorite kind. The kind I relied on for runs at the gym. Notice I said relied on, past tense. My gym membership had lapsed years ago and with that so had my running habits.

The gym I thought. Should I join a gym? No I don’t have time. But running has always brought me such happiness in the past.

And the quote was this:

Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your resume, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

-Unknown

I don’t run anymore, and I don’t belong to a gym because being in the best shape that my body is capable of is not a priority. Say what?

I shut the computer and my mind began to race. Would it be worth it to re-join the gym even if I would only be able to go before work? What time would that mean I would have to wake up? The answer was before 4 AM and with that I quickly sought an alternative. Could I run outside? What about the days when I truly don’t have time? Then what would I do?

I love mornings. And I love working up a good sweat first thing. No matter what barriers come my way that day, knowing that I have already put sneaker to pavement (or treadmill) provides me with feelings of accomplishment and comfort. A shield, if you will, a shield of positive thinking with an ability to stand up against negativity, anxiety and the unknown.

What if I awoke at 4AM to run?

But it’s dark out.

And with that I headed to the sporting goods store to equip myself with some neon reflective gear.

I’ve fallen in love all over again. With my sneakers. With mornings. With running.

I don’t regret that hour of sleep I’ve traded in. Not one bit.

These cookies truly have nothing to do with running but they’re quick and simple and delicious. I think you need to head over here for the original recipe and make them. The only tweaking I did was to use smooth peanut butter with 1/4 cup chopped peanuts instead of chunk peanut butter – because I hate chunky peanut butter and wouldn’t buy it just for some cookies – and I also added miniature chocolate chips to the batter. Because life is better with miniature chocolate chips. And running.

French Toast with Berry Yogurt Sauce

I wanted to start with a repost of this lovely quote and a very big thank you to Sara over at Sprouted Kitchen for sharing it.

Have patience with everything that remains unresolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to A Young Poet

Lately, I’ve felt a bit weighed down. I find this particularly ironic as I continue to lose weight as part of my quest to return to my former slimmer self. But anyhow, this hypothetical weight (the one I can’t measure on a scale), I don’t really know what is causing it, so therefore I don’t know how to fix it. And that is where the root of all my struggles begin. I am driven to fix things. Tidy things. Arrange and organize things. I make myself (a little) crazy about it sometimes. And so, the quote above resonated quite deeply with me. For the first time in a long time I felt that it was okay to stop trying to fix everything because of course, this fixation with fixing never did equate to any great happiness anyway.

So I’m going with a different approach. I’m going to try and follow Rainer Maria Rilke’s suggestion and live everything or maybe, I’ll just strive to live a bit more presently than I currently am.

I must have subconsciously had Ashley’s latest breakfast Friday recipe in my mind this morning as I returned the Kashi Go Lean! Vanilla Crunch back to the canister and starting mashing blueberries and yogurt instead.

I had never attempted a yogurt sauce before, in fact, I’m not truly convinced that I enjoy the words yogurt and sauce sharing the same space but anyhow, I ended up making this little yogurt-milk-berry sauce using some of the jewels we picked over the holiday weekend.

Really and truly, I find myself filled to the brim with happiness when I am among those silken blueberry branches and buzzing rows of raspberries.

We quickly ate our way through the one box of raspberries that we had kept in the fridge. I stowed the rest in freezer safe bags for longer preservation. For a few years now, I’ve envisioned myself popping these frozen berries like candy in the cold winter months while I dream of July mornings, but instead, I always manage to eat them all long before the summer months wind to an end. Maybe this year will be different, though not likely given my recent discovery of this french toast topping. 

French Toast with Berry Yogurt Sauce

Serves 1

For the french toast:

2 slices whole wheat bread

1 egg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

splash of water

Whisk egg, cinnamon, vanilla extract and a tiny bit of water in a shallow bowl. Dip slices of bread to coat and cook over medium heat in a pre-heated skilled about 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Plate and top with sauce.

For the berry yogurt sauce:

1/4 cup each blueberries and raspberries – I used some of the refrigerated blueberries so I could mash them easily with a fork, like I said above, the raspberries were frozen.

1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp 1% milk

1 Tbsp unsweetened, flaked coconut

Mash blueberries in a small bowl with the back of a fork. Using the fork, whip the yogurt into the berries and add milk slowly. Whip until milk is incorporated. Add raspberries pour over french toast once plated. Top with flaked coconut and cinnamon as desired.

Breakfast Banana Oat Mash-up

Unfortunately, I’m still running low on words. But I’ve been making this breakfast for myself almost everyday and here’s why:

 Cold oatmeal is fantastic when the temperature reaches 75 degrees, before the sun comes up.

There’s peanut butter and banana involved.

It’s portable and can be made the night before.

In fact, it’s even tastier when made the night before.

No cooking necessary.

It keeps my tummy full until lunchtime.

And while I’ve always been all about variety, I find myself pulling the pyrex off the shelf and stirring up this bowl of goodness more often than I’d like to admit.

 Get mashing!

Breakfast Banana Oat Mash-up

Serves 1

Inspiration from Kylie over at Imma Eat That

Ingredients:

1/2 of a ripe banana

1 TBSP peanut butter

1 TBSP chia seeds

1 tsp honey

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup Kefir or Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup berries

Directions:

Mash banana in a small bowl with a fork. Add peanut butter, chia seeds, honey and oats and mix to for a dough. Pack into the bottom of the bowl. Top with Kefir, vanilla extract, cinnamon and berries. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir and eat in the morning!