Category Archives: Breakfast

Nutritioulicious Meals at Work

By Jo Bartell

A friend of mine who has been working from home for the past year recently started working at an innovative startup company. She was telling me that while the transition to working in an office from 9 to 5 is a welcome change, she is finding it difficult to keep her eating habits and meals on track. So, she asked me for some ideas for healthy at-work snacks and meals that will keep her satiated throughout the day and help her avoid the dreaded 4pm slump and subsequent mindless munching of high calorie treats lurking around the office. Luckily, her new office has a large refrigerator and kitchen, and as an added bonus, the company stocks the fridge full of nutritious and delicious sounding groceries. I asked my friend for a list of foods she sees in the company kitchen from week to week and here is a sampling of what she found:

Fresh fruit healthy meals at work
Hummus
Laughing Cow & part-skim string cheese
Deli meat
Oatmeal
Whole wheat crackers, bagels, & English muffins
Baby carrots & cherry tomatoes
Almonds
Natural peanut butter
Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Olive oil

Here are some nutrtioulicious ideas I came up with for the workday:

Satisfying Breakfast:

  • Oatmeal with a small handful of almonds, cut up fruit, and a tablespoon of Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 whole wheat English muffin or one slice whole wheat bread topped with 1-tablespoon natural peanut butter and sliced fruit (save the other half of the English muffin for a mid morning snack)

Light Lunch:

  • Hummus on whole wheat bread or crackers with 1 cup of baby carrots
  • Laughing Cow cheese on a slice of whole wheat bread or crackers and a few cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil
  • 1 slice deli meat and Laughing Cow on whole wheat bread or English muffin

Afternoon Snack:

  • Any available fruit is a great snack at any time of the day but add some protein, such as one tablespoon peanut butter, a small handful of almonds, or a piece of string cheese to stay satisfied.
  • Small handful of raw almonds (about 10) with a piece of fruit or some grapes
  • Apple with 1 tablespoon natural peanut putter
  • Pear with string cheese
  • Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, small handful of raisins, and cinnamon

What are some of your favorite healthy meals and snacks to bring to work?

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Frozen Oatmeal

As I’ve mentioned before, I really like oatmeal, especially in the cold months.  And it’s a breakfast that I recommend to clients all the time. It sticks to the ribs and is full of fiber, which means you won’t be hungry again for at least a few hours. Recently I was visiting family in Atlanta, and my sister-in-law had frozen oatmeal from Trader Joe’s. I had heard about it before, but never tried it, so when I got home I decided to give it a whirl.

trader joe's frozen oatmeal frozen oatmeal Trader Joe's

Overall, I really like the frozen oatmeal, although I do have a few critiques.

Pro:

  • Made with steel cut oats.
  • Lower in sugar than flavored instant oatmeals, even though made with brown sugar and maple syrup.
  • Quick and easy to make – heats up in the microwave in 3-4 minutes.
  • Delicious!

Cons:

  • Only comes in Brown Sugar & Maple Syrup flavor. Wish they made it plain.
  • Made with water. When I make oatmeal at home, I make it with one cup of nonfat milk – equivalent of a calcium serving.

Since the oatmeal already had brown sugar and maple syrup in it, I didn’t need to add any sweetening agent, and with only 6 grams of added sugar it wasn’t too sweet (most sweetened oatmeals have >12 g added sugar). I topped my oatmeal with pomegranate seeds:

trader joe's oatmeal

One pouch of the oatmeal (w/o fruit) contains 150 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar, 5 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium.

What’s your favorite oatmeal?

Note: I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own.

Nutritioulicious Oatmeal

I love oatmeal for breakfast. As soon as the cold weather hits, I am all about warm, comforting foods, and oatmeal is definitely one of them. When I was younger, I didn’t have the healthiest diet and I ate sugary packets of oatmeal (my fave: Maple & Brown Sugar). As I got older and started to enjoy the natural flavor of foods (I definitely have a sweet tooth, so it was no easy feat!), I began to like plain oatmeal with some fruit, cinnamon, and a touch of brown sugar — not too sweet, but just enough to give it some flavor.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the nutritional benefits of oatmeal — it’s a whole grain, good source of soluble fiber, helps lower cholesterol, keeps you full and satisfied, and maintains your blood sugar levels. To increase the nutritional value of my oatmeal, I make it with skim milk so I get a dose of calcium and protein. Here’s the bowl of oatmeal I ate for breakfast yesterday:

healthy oatmeal for breakfast
Nutritioulicious Oatmeal
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (can use fresh fruit if on hand)
  • sprinkling of cinnamon sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine oats and milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for about 1 minute. Remove from microwave, stir, and continue heating for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and stir again.
  2. Top with cranberries and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar (or cinnamon and brown sugar)

Nutrition Facts: 283 calories, 13 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 3.5 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 129 mg sodium, 505 mg calcium

Do you like oatmeal? How do you prepare it?

Yellow Squash Carrot Muffins

Summer squash is still in season and if you’re like me and still getting a bunch from your local farmers market or CSA, you may be tired of grilling or sautéing it! Last week I decided to do something different with my yellow summer squash: make muffins! While I love to cook, I rarely bake, as you can see by the dearth of dessert recipes I have posted! But I decided to take a shot at it and the result was a delicious muffin!

Yellow Squash Carrot Muffinshealthy zucchini muffins
Serves 9

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 whole egg
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow squash, unpeeled and finely grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, zucchini, and carrots. Add the wet mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine well.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until about 2/3 full. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin): 211 calories, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 28 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 4 g protein, 23 mg cholesterol, 86 mg sodium

Stay tuned tomorrow for my tomato jam recipe, which was a delicious topping to these savory muffins!

P.S. Don’t forget to take the COAK pledge to be eligible for the giveaway valued at $230! Giveaway ends Friday September 24 at 12:00 pm.

Simple Ways to Enjoy Strawberries

Yesterday I told you about the nutritional benefits of strawberries. To follow up, here are some of the ways I like to include my farmers market strawberries into meals (you can do the same with strawberries from the supermarket too!):

  • Top whole grain cereal, waffles, or pancakes with fat free yogurt and chopped fresh strawberries as a substitute for butter and syrup.
  • Make a Fresh Strawberry and Cream Cheese sandwich – perfect for the lunchbox!
    • Spread 1 tablespoon of reduced-fat cream cheese on 2 slices whole wheat bread. Top with 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest and sliced strawberries. For some additional sweetness you can add ¼ teaspoon honey.
  • Add flavor and color to green salads for lunch or dinner.
    • Combine arugula, baby spinach, and watercress on a plate. Add sliced fresh strawberries, toasted chopped pecans, and crumbled goat cheese to the mixed greens. Top with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
  • Try a strawberry, melon and avocado salad.
    • Top baby spinach with thin slices of avocado, cantaloupe, and strawberries. Dress the salad with a simple combination of honey, red wine vinegar, fresh mint, and black pepper.
  • For dessert, enjoy sliced fresh strawberries with a dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of cocoa powder!

What’s your favorite way to eat strawberries?

This post was written by nutritioulicious™ intern Jo Bartell

nutritioulicious™ Frittata

Last week I told you all about eggs in a guest post on the blog Around the Plate. As promised, here are some ways to enjoy eggs including a recipe for a nutritioulicious™ frittata!

Eggs can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Hard boiled
  • Omelets — try spinach, tomato, and feta for a Greek twist or make a Western one with peppers, onion, and cheddar (Nutritious Tip: use 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg per omelet)
  • Quiches (Nutritious Tip: use half egg whites, half whole eggs)
  • Poached
  • Soft boiled
  • Rocky mountain toast, aka Egg in a Hole (Nutritious Tip: use cooking spray, not butter!)
  • Egg salad (Nutritious Tip: make it with more egg whites and low-fat mayonnaise to keep the calories in check!)
  • Frittata (Nutritious Tip: use half egg whites, half whole eggs)

Andrew’s Frittata*
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons non-fat milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray
  • 1 medium to large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Preparation:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine whole eggs, egg whites, non-fat milk, salt, and pepper, and whisk well.
  2. Spray a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over a medium flame. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.
  3. Add onion to the skillet and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Finally, add the tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet covering them evenly. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook until the egg mixture has set around the edges but is somewhat liquid in the middle, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  5. Place the skillet under the broiler about 2 inches from the heat until the surface is set and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or the egg mixture will become tough.
  6. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve.

Nutrition Information: 123 calories, 12 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 162 mg cholesterol, 225 mg sodium

To round out the meal. I recommend serving the frittata with fresh fruit, like I did here,  and/or whole wheat toast.

*Named for my husband, who made it with my nutritious input!

Morning Fuel

You’ve heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Despite this being a familiar saying, breakfast is the most skipped meal. It’s such a shame because not only are breakfast foods delicious (why do you think diners serve breakfast all day long?!), but eating breakfast is very nutritious and helps you maintain your weight. Just like a fire won’t burn without wood, your body won’t metabolize (“burn”) food unless there’s food (“wood”) inside. So the end result of skipping breakfast, is that your metabolism won’t be jump started for the day.

So what should you be eating for breakfast? Your breakfast should include complex carbs that are high in fiber, some protein, and some fat. The combo of these three nutrients will keep you satiated throughout the morning.

As you already know, one of my favorite foods is peanut butter, and one of my favorite breakfasts is waffles with peanut butter and fruit. It’s great for kids and adults alike! Here’s a picture of my breakfast from this morning:

The whole-grain waffle (I like Kashi or Vans) provides complex carbs and fiber, the peanut butter provides protein and healthy fat, and the blueberries and peaches (fresh from my CSA Barefoot Organics farm) provide fiber and antioxidants. Well rounded, Nutritioulicious, and a great way to start the day!

What’s your favorite breakfast?