Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Overnight Oats

You know how I have all those weird seasonal food aversions? No soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, or hot coffee unless it's cold out. No watermelon, or any melons for that matter, unless it's hot out. I also kind of feel this way about oatmeal. I LOVE a bowl of warm cozy oatmeal in the fall and winter, but I'm not a huge fan in the summer. 

I kept seeing cold overnight oatmeal on Pinterest. I didn't buy into it at first because I thought the texture might be weird and most recipes called for chia seeds, which freaked me out a little. Chia pets. Chair seeds. They are the same things. I'm not a picky eater, but that made me hesitant. Since then I've discovered it's normal and okay to eat chia seeds. I'm not scared of them, but still haven't tried them. Apparently they are really good for pregnant women. One day when/if I get pregnant, I'll add chia seeds to my oats. For now I'll save my self a trip to a health food store. 

All that to say, try these! You don't have to have the fancy chia seeds. My pregnant friend made them first (with chia seeds) and highly recommended them to me. We have similar food likes, so I trusted her recommendation. I'm in love! I got obsessed and game up with EIGHT flavor combinations. I'm gonna work on a pumpkin version next week. This is one thing that will not be a seasonal food. I love them for summer to take the place of hot oatmeal, but I love them so much I will definitely eat them year round. 

Base Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (NOT the instant kind)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup non fat Greek vanilla yogurt


Pour yogurt, oats and milk in a pint sized mason jar. Shake it until all ingredients are combined. At this point your jar will be about 3/4ths full. 

Add your toppings of choice, and shake until mixed. You may have to shake a little extra for some toppings. If it's not combining well, stir in the toppings to combine all ingredients. 

Refrigerate overnight. I made four at once and they were good up to 4 days. I don't think I'd go more than 4 or 5 days because fruit and non-fat yogurt can produce excess water.

For pretty presentation you can save out tiny bits of your toppings to garnish the tops. 

Each base recipe is 7 points on Weight Watchers. Extra points for different topping combinations are listed below. 

Peach Melba

  • 2 small nectarines (or peaches) diced
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Add 2 points for jam.

Peaches and Cream

  • 2 small nectarines (or peaches) diced
  • dash of cinnamon
  • drizzle of honey

Add 1 point for honey.

Strawberry Banana

  • 1 medium banana, diced (I sliced it, halved the slices, then quartered the slices)
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam

Add 2 points for jam.

Banana Nutella

  • 1 medium banana, diced (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella (one really is enough, Nutella is SWEET)

Add 3 points for Nutella.

Banana Peanut Butter

  • 1 medium banana, diced  (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon reduced calorie peanut butter (2 if you like more)
  • drizzle of honey

Add 2 points for 1 tablespoon of peanut butter + 1/2 teaspoon of honey.

Banana Chocolate (for those who like chocolate, but not Nutella)

  • 1 medium banana, diced  (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 packet of Splenda

No extra points! 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder is zero. According to recipe builder you'd count the points for bananas in recipes, but I say if they're free as a snack they are free as a topping!

Banana Nut

  • 1 medium banana, diced  (I sliced it, halved the sliced, then quartered the slices)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts

Add 2 points for honey and how every many points for the nuts you choose. 

Apple and Cinnamon

  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Parkay spray butter

Saute diced apple with a little Parkay spray butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar until they loose a tiny bit of their crispness. Add 1 point for brown sugar.

Stir into base recipe. Shake to combine completely. 

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Meal Planning 101: Week Oops (14)

Oh Julie (my blog's name)... I know. You're right. I know. It's been too long. Over a month. Okay, almost two months. I know I should be ashamed. I -am- ashamed. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me? What if I told you that since July 4th (my last post) I've been in a wedding, packed up an apartment, moved back into my new/old apartment, unpacked an entire apartment worth of stuff accumulated over the last at least six years, visited family out of town, went through two weeks of RD training eating frozen things, went through ten days of RA training that lasted from 8:00 am until at least midnight, usually later every day while eating provided things, made so many burlap and cloth flowers my hands almost fell off, got a massage because the stress knots on my back were so bad they made my hands go numb, had two panic attacks, a couple of emotional break downs, a dad frequently in the hospital and a mom in the hospital twice, and went at least a whole month with no more than six hours of sleep a night? Could you maybe forgive me then?? What if I also added that my lack of meal planning and healthy cooking and posting hurt me as much as it hurt you?! It's true. Girl to girl I knew that one would get you. No girl would ever wish weight gain on another girl! 

My apologies that you had to experience that conversation between Julie and I. She was mad. She had a right to be. We had it out and now we're good. It's just real. Flaws, weight gain, lost motivation, busyness, crazy panic attack/emotional break down moments. It's real. 

Other things are real too. Found motivation! It's real. Knowing yourself well enough to know that meal planning, OCD grocery shopping, blog post organizing, and cans of pumpkin actually do bring you motivation and make you happy, that's real too. I'm so happy to be typing right now! I don't even care that that huge paragraph written to my inanimate blog that I affectionately named Julie was ridiculous and cheesy and over the top, because it feels good to be typing in this white and orange box. I missed you blog, typing, readers, recipes, cooking, prep work, meal plans. I missed you a bunch! This reunion is sweet. 

You know what else is sweet? Hot tea. Literally and figuratively because I like mine with two spoons of sugar. In our absence I discovered I like it. I do believe the reason I never liked it before was because I hadn't had England's best tea, PG Tips. We're pretty close now and I'm happy about that. 

Now that I got all my excessive typing and words out of the way, let's get to business shall we? A meal plan! I missed many things about cooking and meal planning, but one thing in particular. Meal prep! I was so happy to cut up my bundles of green onions and find the new perfect bottle to store them in. (Remember my favorite trick to never let green onions go bad?)


Crock Pot Apple BBQ ChickenPerfect Brown Rice, and Not So Fried Okra with Spicy Scallion Dipping Sauce


Leftover Apple BBQ Chicken


Leftover something because I'm making a somewhat time consuming dessert for a premature fall party/birthday celebration the next morning. 


Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes and Crock Pot Roasted Veggies


Leftover Sloppy Joes & Veggies


Lazy SpaghettiTomato Bread, and a tomato heavy salad that will resemble this one but with some lettuce mixed in.


Leftover Pasta


Make Ahead Healthy Breakfast Sandwiches - I used ham and bacon. Can't wait to eat these all week! Post coming soon.

Pumpkin Fluff Dip - To dip apples and grapes in. Back on the healthy food way of life! This means healthy snacks. I also made fat free ranch dips to dip cucumbers, celery, baby tomatoes, and carrot chips in. I'll probably blog this pumpkin dip too since it was my first can of pumpkin for the season!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding - Minus the raisins. Making this for my friend's birthday and premature fall celebration party along with Caramel Sauce and Pumpkin Whipped Cream.

Proof! This was Sunday night's planned meal made on Sunday night. The Not So Fried Okra was a disappointment! I really want to be able to like okra in other ways that aren't fried or fake fried and coated in cornmeal. These were broiled and I hoped that meant no slime, but it didn't. The sauce was yummy though! 

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