Thursday, February 12, 2015

Our day on a plate

Breakfast: multigrain berry oatmeal with flaxseed and chia seeds, bananas, and frozen wild blueberries; dry roasted unsalted almonds.

I've been on an oatmeal kick. I like my oatmeal made with half soy milk and half water, sprinkled generously with seeds, and topped with fruit. Add a side of almonds, and I am good to go! I introduced oatmeal to Serene before she turned one, but she wasn't a fan of the texture. These days, she gobbles up oatmeal as quickly as I do, which makes me pretty happy.
Lunch: open-faced pesto, light mozzarella, romaine lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and alfalfa sprout sandwich on whole-wheat bread; blackberries and blueberries.

I love fresh veggie sandwiches, especially when there's a hefty bunch of alfalfa sprouts in it! Sprouts add the perfect crunch and texture to a sammie, I think. Whenever I happen to be eating at a deli, I'll always order their fresh veggie sandwich (if they have one). Yum. Serene had a variation of the sandwich with just pesto, light mozzarella, spinach, and avocado. We finished with tons of sweet blueberries and blackberries.
Afternoon Snack: almond butter "ice cream"; berry "ice cream."

I had a couple of overripe bananas so I decided to make "ice cream" out of them. The two scoops of ice cream pictured above are made with just two ingredients each! Just dice up the bananas into even-sized coins and freeze them overnight. The next day, throw the frozen banana slices into a food processor and whiz them up until you have the consistency of creamy ice cream. You can eat the banana ice cream plain, or toss in some toppings for different flavors. I added a dollop of unsalted almond butter to half of my banana ice cream, and some frozen berries to the other half. You can eat the ice cream right out of the food processor, but I think it tastes better (and more firm) after being put into an airtight container to freeze again until completely solid. Both the almond butter and berry "ice cream" were so yummy. Serene loved it too. I think she thought she was eating real ice cream. I had no qualms about her eating this kind since it's sugar-free, healthy, and so good for the body! I think this will be my go-to to-do for overripe bananas from now on. I'm looking forward to throwing in different ingredients next time.
Dinner: kung pao chicken with bell peppers, zucchini, and bok choy over brown rice; bean sprout banchan.

I wasn't keen on cooking an extensive meal this night since we scheduled an evening of visits with our neighbors, so I unearthed a bag of Trader Joe's kung pao chicken from the freezer. It's one of their westernized Chinese dishes that is convenient to have for a quick-I-don't-feel-like-cooking-much meal. I stir-fried the meat in a jiffy and added fresh bok choy, bell peppers, and zucchini to incorporate lots of veggies before tossing it in some soy ginger sauce and peanuts. We served it over steamy brown rice with, per Alex's request, some fried eggs on the side - which made it an ultimate comfort meal. I've been whipping up bean sprout banchan every week for the past three weeks adapted from this recipe. It's so good, simple to make, and stores in the fridge for an easy snack or side dish. I just blanch a pound of bean sprouts, chill it, and then mix in 1 tsp sea salt, 2 minced garlic cloves, a handful of chopped green onions, 1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame seeds, 2 tsp sesame oil, and Japanese red pepper to taste. The bean sprout banchan gives a nice, refreshing crunch alongside the kung pao chicken.

See other foods we eat on a typical day here.

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