March 31, 2009

Hunger Thera-pea

I think I'm about to be sorry I ate so many things that I want to share here today. I generally don't consider the blog to be a play-by-play of everything I eat - I only post something if I think it's worth my two cents. Today I've got like a whole dollar to talk about though, so let's get on with it.

New deskfast combo:

  • 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean
  • 1/2 cup kamut puffs
  • 1 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 heaping tsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sweet potato puree
  • 5 strawberries

After stirring and marinating for a few minutes, this was one big, ugly heap of goodness. Enough said. Plus it kept me full way longer than the Jamba oats! That was convenient and cheap while it lasted, but I'm just as glad to go back to my mish-moshes for breakfast, because I know for a fact that they contain enough fat and protein to last me until it's acceptable to eat again. :)

Once I felt I could show my face at the microwave with my head held high, I heated up some of my leftover crockpot Hungry Girl chili, which I'd defrosted last night. I find a lot of Hungry Girl recipes to be a little too low in calories sometimes, so rather than just double my serving of chili, I decided to bulk it up with some nutritional variety instead by adding a cup of broccoli slaw and 2 tbsp Sabra chipotle hummus.

I practically had tears running down my face when I finished, it was so spicy, but it hurts so good, man. Plus, one nice side effect of spicy food is that it kind of squashed any thoughts of wanting to eat more - I was grateful to be chugging water at that point. I contemplated putting my face under the spout of the water cooler, but thought better of it.

I did not have the shaky kind of hunger today that I was experiencing yesterday after eating meals that weren't nutritionally dense enough, and that was a welcome change - I actively enjoyed it, as weird as that sounds. Nonetheless, I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't make it all the way to dinner without a snack, so out came one of my new finds:

Rachel's Cottage Cheese in Pomegranate Orange Cranberry! We all know I'm a big fan of the cottage cheese, so when I saw it on sale at my grocery store, I did what any self-respecting health blogger would do and bought one of each of the six flavors, which aside from the flavor I had today, are:
  • Pear Mangosteen
  • Lemon Verbena Berry
  • Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • Cucumber Dill
  • Roasted Red Pepper

So exciting to me! This made a great snack and the fruit flavoring was not overpowering in the slightest, nor did it taste fake at all because it wasn't! This brand of cottage cheese is definitely a little more watery than I'm used to, but it's high-quality in terms of ingredients and is conveniently equivalent nutrition-wise to what I would normally assemble with plain cottage cheese and random toppings. I'll report my opinions of the other flavors as I try them.

I felt so satisfied after my snack that I decided to forego having a bar in addition, but my tummy caught up to me by the time I got home from work, at which point a puddle of bottomless drool was collecting in my mouth, so I grabbed another quick snack to keep me from eating my hand while I made dinner:

A Magic Pop cake with 1/2 tbsp dark chocolate dreams PB. It really is a magic cake! Only 15 calories a pop! (I think this is the only case where that expression actually means something!) It actually tastes really good, though different from any similar rice cake type products I've every tried before. Along with the nut butter, hunger pangs = obliterated.

Dinner took a little while for assembly, but was worth the wait. I give you...

Spa-green-i and Pea-tballs

The inspiration for the pea-meatballs came from this recipe, but I made some changes and they came out quite well. Not perfect, but totally tasty and nearly on target with what I had in mind.

  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp TJ's unsalted crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 kalamata olives, minced
  • 1 tsp each rosemary, Italian herbs, garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Pea-pea dance:

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Rehydrate the TVP in a little less than a cup of boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Cook the peas until tender (I microwaved; you could boil or steam too)
  4. Mash the peas with a fork in a medium bowl; add the rest of the ingredients and combine well (OR put everything in the food processor that I do not own and pulse until better than my version).
  5. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet an inch or two apart. I got 16 balls from this mixture.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Makes 4 servings of 4 balls each. (I can NOT type 'balls' without smiling. I am 11 years old.)

I served my pea-tballs over green bean "spaghetti" (spagreeni), with a half cup of marinara and some parmesan cheese. I also had a POM spritzer made with 2 oz POM Wonderful juice and seltzer, poured into a champagne flute because I am fancy.

I just noticed the glow of the computer screen in the champagne glass. I am hopeless at "switching off" while eating. Haven't yet found the strength to cut the power cord!

Dinner was super-satisfying, so I am glad I played with this idea for vegetarian meatballs. They didn't hold together quite as well as real meatballs, but I think a simple addition of an egg or some more flour would have fixed it. I guess when I eat the leftovers, they will be re-pea-tballs. ZING!

And of course, there's always room for dessert. Well, unless you make a dessert that is roughly the size of your empty stomach. I dove into my Jay Robb stash and made this, using Sarah's protein cake as inspiration.

Protein Souffle
  • 1 packet Jay & Silent Bob chocolate egg white protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp carob chips

It sucked. Sorry, but this was a failed idea on my part. It looks pretty though, don't it?

The first couple bites were alright (and the stevia didn't bother me!), as long as they had a bit of melty carob in them, but the longer this thing spent outside the microwave, the more it came to resemble what I imagine it would be like to dine on a Goodyear tire. I did not finish it. The bites I did finish were chased by hot peppermint tea. If I hadn't had the tea to dissolve what was trying to expand in my esophogus, I have a feeling the roomie would be administering the Heimlich by now.

But since we don't have that excitement to deal with, did you see me on the LARABAR blog today? I am famous for at least another hour and a half.

Also, Sarah (of Tales of Expansion) is hosting a Bob's Red Mill giveaway! The very same Bob who made the TVP I put in my pea-tballs tonight! Don't enter - I need to win this one. ;)


Megan said...

oh man, so sad the protein souffle didn't work out! i saw the picture and nearly drooled all over the place!

at least it LOOKS super yum :)

ChickPea said...

I just discovered your blog through the Larabar site--love it!
I am kind of obsessed with those new Rachel's cottage cheese cups. All the convenience and variety of yogurt, without all the sugar!

MizFit said...

seriously. that failed idea looks pretty damn tasty!!

Sarah said...

Love me some Dark Chocolate Dreams PB.

Dori said...

I am dying to try Rachel's cottage cheese! I need to look for it in stores. Your souffle looks SO good! I heart carob chips big time.

Congrats on the LARA! The picture of your face is huge on my computer!

RunToFinish said...

wow what a cool creation!

Missy said...

Love the pea balls! They look so good!! I need to find those Magic Pops!! 15 calories is my cup of tea!! Your dessert looks delicious even if it did taste bad! Congrats on Lara!

Anonymous said...

This, is GENIUS! I've never seen something that incorporated peas and peanut butter and tvp! I've scrolled through your recipes and I must say, you deserve a spot on my blogroll. You are so interesting to read about and your posts make me giggle haaa. And I love how you make breakfast cookies and microwave cakes alot of the time, I need recipes like that! So thank you! And HI, I'm Natalie :D