Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes 1

My favorite breakfasts are carb-oooo-liiiiiicious.

DONUTS!! My #1 most favorite.

Waffles!

Cereal!

Fruit!

Muffins!

Cinnamon rolls! French toast! Biscuits! Granola! Smoothies!

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Protein is the forgotten element of so many breakfast meals and it’s a shame as protein provides both balance and satiety. Yet, proteins tend to be less convenient to eat on-the-go, cost more, and may even be high in saturated fat (mmm….sausage!).

I’ve started challenging my patients to get in 20+ grams of protein at each meal. This thought process not only de-emphasizes carbohydrates some, but it also forces some thought to go into meals. And balance. It’s all about balance. The challenge has been well-accepted and while not simple to do for most people, it’s a simple and straight-forward way to create a more wholesome breakfast.

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes 3

I’ve made Protein Pancakes before and I sincerely adore them. I mean, hello? Throw everything in the blender and we’re off. That’s my kind of pancake prep. This recipe is much the same but with additional whole grain from wheat flour. The result is a cross-breed of pancakes and French toast (thanks to the egg and protein)…but I mean that in the best, most delicious way possible.

I ended up doubling the recipe from the original, because, well…I really like breakfast, pancakes, and nearly 3x the amount of protein from my traditional carb-heavy, protein-deficient flapjack stack. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes 4

Cinnamon Whole Grain Power Pancakes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30 pancakes (10 servings, 3 pancakes each)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 4 whole eggs + 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle to medium high heat.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds, until smooth.
  3. Pour approximately ¼ cup pancake batter onto the hot griddle and cook for about 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top. Flip pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Notes
Recipe from Pinch of Yum

Pancake batter can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 pancakes Calories: 166 Fat: 4.1 Carbohydrates: 21.8 Sugar: 5.1 Sodium: 185 Fiber: 2.6 Protein: 10.9 Cholesterol: 74

 I’m slowing down this week and my body is thanking me. I have to get this baby girl to full-term…which is FRIDAY (whaaa!?). I am getting so, so anxious to meet her!!

P.S. If I go on a posting hiatus for a bit, it’s probably because I had a baby and you can find my updates on Instagram ;)

Be well,

sig4

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 1

My dear friend Donna is here with me this week learning the ropes of my job, as she will be covering my maternity leave.

The in-patient.

The out-patient.

The kitchen.

The chaos.

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 2

“I really understand why you love your job, Nicole.” she said to me on our way home last night.

I feel blessed to have a job that is incredibly challenging, rewarding, diverse, fulfilling, creative, robust, and active. No two days are alike and if anyone were to ever be bored in my job…well, then, they’re not really working.

A lot of people have shared with me that they don’t think I’ll want to go back to work after Shea’s birth, and that could be true…but we’ll see. I do have every intention of going back to work and that’s because I truly do love what I do. Plus it has been a hugely successful year for me professionally, and for that I am very proud.

I am finally Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. I also passed the Certified Dietary Manager exam. My department satisfaction scores are excellent. The diabetes education program has grown leaps and bounds in the past year. And all along the way, it’s been FUN.

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 3

In the kitchen we continue to serve up new and old healthy favorites, encouraging healthy eating one lunch meal at a time. Yesterday was one of my personal favorites with the Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing. Mmmm! It’s always fun to try new things…and to run a kitchen that has the ability and priority to truly drive change in an organization. It’s beyond rewarding to see.

We’ve also turned employees on to healthy breakfasts, particularly breakfasts of the grab-and-go variety. Among the favorites are breakfast cookies and we continue to alter the recipes to create breakfast cookies that are more loved than the last. Seeing as we live in the middle of the blueberry capital, these blueberry breakfast cookies became quite the hit this summer. As we slowly ease into fall, we’ll begin whipping out the apples again, however…no doubt about that.

And the pumpkin. Duh.

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 4

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, applesauce, oil, and eggs.
  3. Mix wet ingredients into the dry; stir to combine. Fold in the walnuts, blueberries, and dried cranberries. Scoop approximately ⅓ cup of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press dough of each cookie down slightly with the palm of the hand to create approx. 4-inch diameter cookies.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden. Let set on baking sheet a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Giant Whole Wheat Apple-Oat Breakfast Cookies, originally by Food.com
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 breakfast cookie Calories: 230 Fat: 9.3 Carbohydrates: 33.1 Sugar: 12.6 Sodium: 234 Fiber: 4.3 Protein: 5.1 Cholesterol: 23

 I am whipped after only Monday. Baaaah!!! No rest to be had before motherhood begins :)

Be well,

 sig4

Baked Crunchy Tacos

Baked Crunchy Tacos 1

Our dog, Lily, is really smart. And cute…and lazy, but that’s a given.

We knew when choosing a breed that bulldogs are high-maintenance and suffer from a lot of chronic health conditions. But their positive traits more than make up for their poor health and stubborn attitudes.

Looking at Lily, you’d think she was a huge beggar and just stood by my side every second I spend in the kitchen and/or eating, but that’s really not the case. She’s actually not motivated by food like many dogs and even follows the recommendation to eat when hungry. As in, she may go a day without eating, or simply reduce her two meals a day down to one.

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I like to say she’s like her mama (me, that is). She wasn’t blessed with a metabolism to speak of and has lots of cuteness (chubbiness!) that makes her…her.

She’s also fairly athletic…kind of like her mama. Her physique is not one that’s aerodynamic, but girlfriend can leap into the air to catch a tennis ball like none other. She’s also quite the competition when it comes to tug of war. When we both end up getting in a workout from playing, it’s generally a win-win. And don’t get me started on swimming. The dog is a BEACH BUM. Mr. Prevention has several pairs of swim trunks, but whenever he’s got a pair on, she goes into psycho beach mode and throws a complete tantrum until she, too, gets to go to the beach. We think she also knows the scent of the beach, sun block, and generally speaking recognizes that sunny weekend days are meant to be spent at the beach.

Half smart, half crazy stubborn.

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She also expresses her deep desire by way of tantrums on the rare occasions I cook with beef. Chicken, peanut butter, and cheese all top the charts of her preferred flavor palate, but beef is in a league of its own. The smell of these tacos nearly sent this dog into complete and total MELTDOWN mode. And I didn’t share because they were seasoned with spicy taco seasoning and I’ve ready plenty that dogs are more sensitive to spicy foods than us humans.

Regardless, it was a wise decision on my part as there was more food for us. This was undoubtedly one of the best (and simplest!) meals we’ve had in some time. I figured we’d like the dish, but it was loved by us both. Simple can sometimes be best and sharing is not always advised ;)

Baked Crunchy Tacos 4

Baked Crunchy Tacos
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (2 tacos each)
 
Ingredients
  • 12 crunchy taco shells
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  • 1 tomato, diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange taco shells in a 9x13-inch casserole dish, openings facing upwards.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add ground sirloin and cook 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through, breaking up with a wooden spoon throughout cooking. Drain any grease. Add the petite diced tomatoes and taco seasoning; mix well and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Fill each taco shell with the meat mixture, dividing equally until all the meat is used. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the tops of the filled tacos and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Top with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes before serving.
Notes
Recipe from Heather Likes Food
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 299 Fat: 11.0 Carbohydrates: 23.8 Sugar: 3.0 Sodium: 468 Fiber: 2.7 Protein: 23.8 Cholesterol: 57

 Why is a 4 day work week a daunting thought after 3 full days off? Hate that!

Be well,

sig4

Chicken Caesar Burger + Weekly Menu

Chicken Caesar Burger 1

The vibe at home is weird. It’s a 3 day weekend and we have…nothing to do (no internet, either…x2 days already!). Yesterday wasn’t beach weather so it was this odd day of nothingness. I am experiencing a lot of swelling and my OB’s orders were “to do less”…so I’m trying to oblige. But I find that when I’m in a complete and total relaxation mode, all I want to do is doze off. And even a pregnant woman can only sleep so much!

On the floor cuddling with Lily. After a shower as I just happen to fall into bed. On the couch. On the porch. In the hammock as I try to plow though a great but REALLY long book. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Not even the U.S. Open is holding my attention and that’s saying something. I love watching tennis!

Chicken Caesar Burger 2

We have continued to chip away at all of the baby STUFF assembly. We’ve never purchased so many D batteries before. Everything that moves or soothes a baby requires batteries, it seems. And neither of us quite have the knack for assembly – swings, pack-n-plays, strollers…why doesn’t anything come assembled!? I’d sure pay an up-charge for that luxury!

And let me just say how grateful I am to have the nursery complete. With an 8 month belly in front of me (hopefully this link to one of my maternity photos works!), any type of movement is…a chore. I huff and puff from just living. And while no woman would change creating life…creating life is not easy!

Chicken Caesar Burger 3

I digress.

What have we been eating? Simple stuff. Stuff that requires minimal effort and even less dishes.

For such requests, Pinterest is a saving grace. Finding quick meals is not only great for I-need-off-my-feet times of desperation, but also times of oh-my-gosh-I-have-a-newborn, as well. I mean, I’m assuming…rather safely assuming, I’m sure. Plus, Labor Day weekend is a time to cram in all of the grilling and to continue doing so until the elements demand otherwise. Less dishes, remember!

Chicken Caesar Burger 4

Chicken Caesar Burger
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 2 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 3 Tbsp light prepared Caesar dressing
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 400 F.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Top each piece of grilled chicken with 1 ounce of sliced mozzarella and 1½ tablespoons Caesar dressing.
  3. Assemble sandwiches with the prepared chicken, lettuce, and tomato. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Food, Faith, Fitness
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 prepared sandwich/burger Calories: 382 Fat: 12.0 Carbohydrates: 29.0 Sugar: 3.5 Sodium: 677 Fiber: 6.5 Protein: 39.5 Cholesterol: 75

Weekly Menu: August 31st – September 4th

Time to get ready for the beach :-D

Be well,

sig4

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad 1

It’s weird to be thinking about upcoming events…and needing a babysitter. It’s bizarre to think that in a few weeks, I’m going to be a MOM. Pinch me!!

It’s beyond my comprehension as to why Mr. Prevention agreed to go to Babies R Us with me last weekend to return a few things and finish gathering must-have items off our registry. I know the rainy weather was the only reason he was agreeable, but he was quickly regretting his decision when the shopping trip turned into a Babies R Us excursion that absorbed the ENTIRE afternoon. Hey, at least we saved over $200 with my amazing couponing skills!

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I knew I had lost him by the first aisle. Go figure, breast milk storage bags and slow flow vs. medium flow bottle nipples didn’t hold his attention…not even for a second. I figured the experience would improve when we got around to the strollers, but he just plopped down on the display shelving and price compared on Amazon and other online retailers, inquiring over and over again, “Well, why do you want this one instead of this one?”

Duuuuuuuuuuude. I listen to other women and have done exhausting amounts of research on…all things baby.

He should really learn to pick his battles.

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad 3

When I whipped up this Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing on Tuesday night, I informed him that “it would probably be a good pizza night” for him. I know he’s not a quinoa lover and would give the side-eye to this meal. It’s his loss if he’d rather have a frozen pizza, and I wasn’t going to try to convince him otherwise.

When he helped himself to a serving, he said it was almost sweet enough to be dessert (thank you, summer produce!) and he piled away a huge helping of the dish…never resorting to pizza for dinner. I didn’t hear a peep about pizza – just that he enjoyed this recipe. It was also enjoyed by my diabetes cooking club and last week, in the cafeteria at work. Yeeep, it’s a winner!

Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad 4

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Fruit, Chicken, and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 (about 1⅔ cups each)
 
Ingredients
Salad:
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked), rinsed and drained + 1⅓ cups water
  • 1 quart strawberries, quartered
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup (2 oz) feta, crumbled
Dressing:
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, add quinoa and water and cook on high. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes; remove from heat and keep covered for 5+ minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool completely. Note: you can do this step 1-2 days in advance.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooled, toss it with the citrus poppy seed dressing in a large bowl. Add the fruit, cooked chicken, and walnuts; toss well. Serve chilled or at room temperature with about 1 tablespoon of feta crumbled over the top of each serving.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Krafted Koch
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1⅔ cups Calories: 474 Fat: 21.8 Carbohydrates: 44.4 Sugar: 23.1 Sodium: 284 Fiber: 6.0 Protein: 26.8 Cholesterol: 41

 We’re having maternity photos taken tonight – I’m excited! I have just a few photos of myself pregnant, and I’m glad I’ll have something more to remember my pregnancy by :)

Be well,

sig4