Banana Oatmeal

This is undoubtedly my favorite breakfast at the moment: Banana Oatmeal which is cooked in 2 ½ minutes in the microwave. It’s delicious, it’s plentiful and it truly keeps me satisfied all morning. I enjoy oatmeal, but before this, I truthfully never ate it very often. I include oatmeal in baked goods and I love it in overnight oats, but when it comes to eating oatmeal for breakfast, I would typically reach for a pack of instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is quick and easy, but I’ve found it’s usually not filling enough for me and it is a points plus “hog”.

A friend of mine and a fellow Instagrammer posted her favorite way to have oatmeal. I noticed the post, was intrigued and decided to give it a try one day. One morning when it started to snow, I decided the breakfast I planned for the day before wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted something warm and homey … so I gave the oatmeal a shot and have been obsessed/hooked since. It is filling, it’s thick, it’s reminiscent of banana bread, and it’s without doubt one of the easiest things to throw together. I truly crave this oatmeal … and that fact alone is astounding.
The greatest part? Its super low in points plus values! If mixing it with skim milk, it’s 3 points plus, if you mix it with unsweetened almond milk it’s only 2 points plus values. It’s low in point yet highly satisfying and delicious.
  • 1/3 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use vanilla)
  • Banana, sliced
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
  • Artificial sweetener packet (optional)
Slice a banana into a bowl, top it with oatmeal, cinnamon and almond milk. Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir, and then place back into the microwave and heat for an additional 1 minute 15 seconds.
Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Sweet & Salty Snack: Popcorn with Chocolate drizzle

I’ve been on a popcorn kick lately. Admittedly plain 94% fat free popcorn can get boring after a while … so I’m always looking for ways to “spice it up”. To make it interesting, I’ve done savory popcorn and sweet popcorn. Typically when I want sweeter popcorn I incorporate chocolate to it. This way I can conquer that sweet and salty vibe I occasionally look for.
I popped up a single serve bag of Jolly Time 94% fat free popcorn (which is equal to roughly 3 ½ cups). After it was popped I drizzled it with 1 tablespoon of sugar free chocolate syrup. I could use 2 tablespoons but I find the sugar free syrup is a little tarter than the original, so 1 tablespoon is more than enough so it doesn’t become overpowering.
It’s filling, delicious and overall simple.  The greatest part is the whole dessert is only 3 points plus values! Score!
QUESTION:
How do you jazz up your microwave popcorn?

Spinach Dip

I had some spinach to use up, so I decided to do a quick Google search to find out what I could make with it. Originally I wanted to make a spinach pasta dish my mother made when I was younger … but in all honesty, I cannot remember exactly what it was, and when I asked her she couldn’t recall. I found a Hot Spinach Dip recipe from Skinnytaste’s website see here.
Looking over the ingredients I realized I didn’t have all of them and I felt it would be wasteful to go to the store just to buy the items I was missing … so I decided to shake it up. It came out perfectly! I ate it for a few days and even shared some with my mother and her friend, who in turn asked me how I made it so they could make it at home.  This will become a staple recipe for me because it makes for a perfectly filling snack.
Serves 5-10. Serves 10: ¼ cup serving, 2 points plus values. Serves 5: ½ cup serving, 3 points plus values.
Ingredients:
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, dry (all liquid squeezed out)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (I used jarred garlic)
  • 5 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 2 1/3 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
Place diced onion in a microwave safe bowl, add 1 tbsp of water and microwave for 30-40 seconds until onions are translucent.
Squeeze all liquid out of the spinach and place into a bowl.  Add in cooked onion, garlic, mayonnaise and sour cream. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Sprinkle in parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and shredded mozzarella cheese. Blend until combined.
Cover mixture and let marinate in the refrigerator for at a minimum 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place dip into baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.

Lunch: Po-taco


What is a Po-tacoyou ask? Well, it’s what I call the Frankenstein dish you get when you combine a baked potato and ground taco meat. I enjoy this because it’s filling, a unique flavor and I truly don’t miss the taco shell, tortilla chips or the soft tortillas.
Typically on taco nights I have a salad, but this is a nice shake up in the general gist of things. I had mixed up a batch of ground turkey taco meat for dinner, and I happened to use some of the leftovers for this – so this is what I ended up having for lunch the following day.  I cooked a potato in the microwave (7 ounces) and when done I cut it down the middle, seasoned with black pepper then loaded it with 3 ounces of turkey taco meat, then topped it off with 2 tablespoons chunky salsa.
The entire thing was only 7 points plus values and it was very satisfying and filling.
QUESTION:
How do you enjoy your tacos?

Pure Protein Shake Frosty Chocolate

Recently, you may have seen me post about the Vanilla Cream Pure Protein Shake.
Well, while at the supermarket I was meandering through the aisles in the health food section and noticed they carried 4-pack screw top bottles of Pure Protein Shake so I picked up the Frosty Chocolate to try.  There was also a Cookies & Cream flavor, which I undoubtedly want to try next.  Although I have since spotted the brand at Walmart (as well a keg of pure protein powder).
There are days and instances where I just need to boost my protein intake.  I admit I don’t like to drink my points, but for a whole can which can give me 23 grams of protein for only 3 points plus values – I’ll take it.  Most protein powders/shakes/drinks are in the 5+ points value range particularly when they get into the higher levels of protein such as this (23g).  Occasionally on days where I’m not really hungry for good for breakfast, I’ll have a shake and it tides me over for a few hours until lunch time.
The Frosty Chocolate isn’t bad, but I think the vanilla is better.  This doesn’t have a solid aftertaste, but it does kind of remind me of a chalky chocolate – but it’s nothing disgusting.  I’ve drank two cans of these already and they just do the job.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the Pure Protein Shakes?