Genmaicha – Green Tea with Roasted Brown Rice

Is my favourite drink; along with coffee and water of course!

We all know that green tea is good for us, we hear it time and time again.

Incase you need a refresher about the benefits of green tea here is an expert from Wikipedia; click here to read more.

Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting regular green tea drinkers may have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer.[1] Green tea has also been claimed as useful for “weight loss management” — a claim with no scientific support according to medical databases such as PubMed.

I enjoy a lot of green teas but have found it be really tricky to find a green tea that I love. Some green teas are down right gross. But green tea with brown rice (known as Genmaicha) is delicious and has a wonderful smell to it.

Description from Wikipedia

Tea steeped from these tea leaves has a light yellow hue. Its flavor is mild and combines the fresh grassy flavor of green tea with the aroma of the roasted rice.

If you like green tea and haven’t tried Genmaicha then you must! I have found it in tea bag form made by Yamamotoyama – I found it in the asian isle of my local supermarket. You would think it would be with the rest of the tea’s but it wasn’t.

Yamamotoyama Genmaicha

More recently I have found it loose leaf form. It’s funny because it has little ‘popcorn’ bits in it. I didn’t know what it was until I saw on Wikipedia that it is normal and sometimes even called “popcorn tea” because of it. Cute. Although drinking it kind of creeps me out so I usually pick those bits out.

green tea with roasted brown rice

Apparently it is also a poor man’s tea because the rice serves as filler. Interesting. Regardless it is delicious and if you like green tea – try it!

Goodbye Loved Muffin Pan

I made Gina’s Broccoli and Cheese Mini Egg Omelets last weekend. It was my second time making them. They are pretty good and nice and handy to keep in the fridge for a quick breakfast. Fantastic on an english muffin with some fresh tomato and hot sauce.

This was my second time making them and probably my last. Sadly after spending more 30 minutes scrubbing and scrubbing my muffin tray – I had to throw it out. There became a point where trying to clean it was a waste of my time. I ran it through the dish washer and soaked it in hot water and still couldn’t get it clean. So now the muffin tray has met it’s fate with the garbage can.

Broccoli and Cheese Mini Egg Omelets

Goodbye my most loved muffin pan.

And to everyone out there wanting to make these – you have been warned! And yes I did spray them. Perhaps this is where a silicon muffin pan comes in handy.

Recipe: Baked Falafel Balls

Honestly, this recipe wasn’t that great. That’s what happens when I try and be creative with something like falafels. I have never had ‘real’ falafels; perhaps that is a good thing though for trying to make the recipe healthier. Next time I make these I am going to try looking online for some different recipes. I think I might of had too much onion in them or something. There are good, just not delicious. Here is the recipe anyway incase anyone wants to try them.

baked falafel balls

Ingredients
19 oz can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
2 tbsp whole wheat flour

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Blend chickpeas, onion, garlic, cumin and coriander in a food processor until smooth, stir in whole wheat flour.
3. Form into tbsp sized balls, approx 23 balls.
4. Bake for 25-30 min until golden brown.

Nutritional Information per 1 Falafel Ball
32 calories
0.3 grams of fat
6.2 grams of carbohydrates
1.1 grams of fiber
1.3 grams of protein

Sunday Night Dinner with my Favourite Recipe

Tonight I made my favourite recipe, a recipe I make often. Eat Shrink and Be Merry: Lord of the Wings (page 30.) The book calls them an appetizer, but I just cook my chicken (usually thighs) in the sauce that the recipe uses. It turns out delicious every single time and I always get compliments when I serve it to company. Sometimes I even use the same sauce recipe on pork chops too!

eat shrink and be merry lord of the wings

Lord of the Wings Sauce Recipe
1/3 cup your fav bbq sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey (I always leave this out)
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
4-5 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional)

I just mix all that up, dump it over my chicken and bake. The original recipe has you boil the left over sauce with cornstarch to make a dipping sauce… I never do that. I also make this so often that I don’t measure my ingredients anymore either – so it is never exactly the same; but, it is always fantastic.

There is another version of Lord of the Wings on their Food Network website. Similar idea with a different sauce – they cook the ones on the website a bit different too. Pretty much it is sweeter sauce and this one I posted is spicier. I have made both and I prefer this one, but the other one is good too.

Approx calories per one chicken thigh with 2 tsp sauce: 112 calories, 2.4 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein, 4 grams carbohydrates

Tonight I served my Lord of the Wings with The Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes. Another recipe I probably make too much. With all the olive oil it is not the healthiest recipe.

crash hot potatoes

For my vegetable dish I served Eat Shrink and Be Merry ‘Britney’s Spears’ – page 154. Looking at it I realized I left out the balsamic vinegar – oops! It was still very good.

eat shrink and be merry britney's spears

I usually just steam my veggies but tonight I felt like something a little different.

Dinner was delicious! Dessert would be chocolate cake, but one slice should be good for today… should be.

dinner

I am really starting to think the reason why I am not losing weigh is because I learned to cook. When I was successful in 2006 I didn’t know how to cook and I didn’t even try. Dinner was usually pre-portioned foods from the freezer isle. But now that I know how to cook… there is too much yummy food! Honestly though, the food is way healthier – except tonight, too much olive oil.

Yummy Cake with Chocolate Icing

It’s Sunday and it’s raining and I have been bad. I have made a cake. Seriously though, I am so proud of myself because the icing was… good! I don’t really like icing and never have. I have made it before in the past and it was so gross. Even my little sister said something along the lines of, “you’re a good cook but this sucks.”

cake
Yes, those are icing sugar lumps… I guess I should of got out of the beaters.

So I have always avoided making icing like the plague. I have been known to make my own cake and buy icing – least if it’s gross then it wasn’t my fault.

Anyway, today I really wanted a treat. What I really wanted was pizza and beer (damn commercials during the hockey game) – anyway, I was being cheap so I opted for a cake. Only because I had the ingredients. A boxed cake, but I needed icing. So I tried again. Just a basic icing, but this time I added some cocoa powder to it – and I left it kinda runny, and it fantastic!

One problem, a box of cake mix makes two round cakes. I can’t eat two cakes! I hope the boyfriend is hungry.

I didn’t measure but the icing was pretty much: butter, milk, cocoa powder and icing sugar. I melted the butter, mixed in the cocoa powered – microwaved it some more and then stirred in the milk and icing sugar. Pretty basic stuff really.

cake with chocolate icing

I had to use a boxed cake because I am actually out of white flour. I have decided I am not buying anymore white flour, having it in the house just leads to these types of problems. Thankfully there is only one cake mix left. I am going to have to cave eventually, not for now – no more flour!

Recipe Review: Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

[rating:3.5]

I found this recipe on sparkpeople.com – I had to try it. It used whole wheat flour and applesauce – two things in my house I have an abundance of. They turned out really good. I gave some to a co-worker and she enjoyed them too. The boyfriend however… ate one, said that was enough and reached for the peanut butter cookies. Figures.

I liked the fact that it used ingredients I usually keep around – they were quick and easy to make too. The only bad thing is that it says to let the oats and milk sit together for an hour before making. So you do need to think ahead when making these. They are pretty filling and good for 90(ish) calories. Quick, easy and cheap snack. I have been eating them for breakfast with a boiled egg and for a snack with a banana – delicious! My biggest issue, is I have to eat 12 of them! I might just half the recipe next time.

IMG_7815

Recipe from sparkpeople.com

Ingredients
1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup non-fat milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
raisins or nuts (optional)

Directions
1. Soak the oats in milk for about one hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
4. Combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and egg whites, and mix until combined.
5. In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together.
6. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Add nuts or raisins if desired. Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough. Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan.
8. Combine the cinnamon and sugar and top each muffin with some of the mixture.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. I only had to bake for about 15 minutes.

Number of Servings: 12

FYI – I used quick oats. I also didn’t add any raisins or nuts and I assume that would increase the calories a bit. The recipe on the site also says they can be frozen, honestly I wouldn’t think these would freeze well.

Nutritional Information – Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins
per 1 muffin
94 calories
0.5 grams of fat
20.5 carbohydrates
1.7 grams of fiber
2.9 grams of protein

Next time I make these I think I might try adding some cranberries and maybe even some cocoanut.

Take 2 – Swimming with Music: Finis SwiMP3 Aqua

I just have to say my experience with the Finis SwiMP3 Aqua was way better last night. The first 30 minutes of my swim was similar to my experience on Tuesday – couldn’t hear music in the left ear. After about 30 minutes I got out of the pool and fiddled with it – I jumped back in and continued to swim for an hour with only very slight issues! It was almost perfect. As perfect as I could expect for swimming with music!

It really is amazing now. I just hope it continues to work that awesome. The time in the pool goes by so much faster – I didn’t even want to get out last night.

I just love the feel of swimming. The feel of breaking the water, the coolness – the way I seem to fly and now I can listen to my favourite tunes while doing it.

Snack Time: Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels Pieces

I recently discovered Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels Pieces. These are not really diet friendly. But boy, are they ever good – so so good. I like to tell myself they are a better choice then chips – in truth, they probably aren’t really, but I think I like them better. These little flavourful bites with the delicious taste of pretzels. What more could you want out of a snack food?

IMG_7806

The pictured flavours are Cheddar Cheese and Buttermilk Ranch. I haven’t tried the cheese yet, but the Buttermilk Ranch is very good. My favourite flavour is Hot Buffalo Wing (not pictured) – I have also seen Honey Mustard & Onion, but that doesn’t appeal to me much. They have some other flavours on the website, but I haven’t seem them around (like Jalapeno and Garlic Bread both sound delicious).

Sometimes we all need to indulge a little – for me, these are my favourite treat right now.

Nutritional Information of Hot Buffalo Wing Pieces
Serving Size 1oz
140 calories
7 grams of fat
17 carbohydrates
2 grams of protien
(does vary very slightly based on the flavour)

See the website with the nutritional information here.

Because it’s not all about ‘dieting.’

Recipe: Quick and Easy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

[rating:4.5]

I wanted to bake, the boyfriend wanted peanut butter cookies – so peanut butter cookies is what he got. I think these have to be the best peanut butter cookies I have ever made. I normally find peanut butter cookies kind of dry, but not these. I really like that there is no butter or flour in them, I am not against either of those foods – but it just seems like useless ingredients after eating these. There were also so quick and easy, I have a feeling I will be making these again and again. The calories in these cookies are not too bad either, just don’t make them too big or eat too many!

gluten free peanut butter cookies

Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients.
3. Form into balls and place on cookie sheet. (I used parchment paper) Flatten cookies with a fork.
4. Bake for about 10 minutes, until nice and golden brown but still a bit chewy.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Nutritional Information Per Cookie
75 calories
4.5 grams of fat
7.4 grams of carbohydrates
0.5 grams of fiber
6.5 grams of sugar
2.5 grams of protein

Bell Plantation PB2 – Shipping Peanut Butter to Canada

Has everyone heard of PB2? Probably not, so I will explain.

pb2 powdered peanut butter

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter – It’s what’s not in PB2 that makes it so good for you. For starters, our special process removes 85% of the fat calories without the chemicals typically used in producing reduced fat foods. Something else you won’t find in PB2 is preservatives. What you will find is natural roasted peanut flavor that’s also available in a rich chocolate variety.

From the Bell Plantation Website

Basically 2TBSP of PB2 Peanut Butter is around 50 calories. Around 1/4 of the calories of regular peanut butter. I will admit that mixing powdered peanut butter with water sounds gross but the calorie count is really tempting. I read a lot of people bake with it or mix it smoothies, etc.

I have always wanted to try this stuff. See what it is like and at $16 it is not too badly priced.

I went over to the Bell Plantation store and added some PB2 Peanut Butter to my shopping cart and went to check out. The shipping costs of this stuff to Canada… is… $92.61. SAY WHAT? And that is the cheapest and only shipping option to Canada.

$92.61. $92.61. $92.61.
For some damn peanut butter?

I would also like to add that they ship UPS. Meaning when it comes to my door I would probably have to pay another $20 or so in UPS handling fees and another few dollars in taxes. FYI: UPS shipping to Canada is horrible. Just horrible.

My total for my order was $108.57 and that was for 4×6.7 ounces of PB2 (smallest order).

I bought a huge Costco 2kg size jar of regular Kraft Peanut butter last week. It was on sale for $4.50. I could buy 24 jars of Costco peanut butter for this price – that is 48kg of peanut butter. Let me tell you, I would rather eat that many jars of Costco peanut butter then pay $92.61 for shipping. That is outrageous. Living in Canada I am used to seeing high shipping costs, but never in my life have I seen anything as stupid at this and I shop online a lot.

I also don’t need to eat this crap to tell you that regular peanut butter tastes way better. Save yourself some money and buy your self some peanut butter from your local store.

You can order a sample pack for $4 and that includes shipping. But let me tell you, this company will never be getting my business.

$92.61 for shipping.

Fail Bell Plantation. Epic Fail.

PS – shipping within the US is around $10.