PB Banana Oreo Snack

 

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When I’m at school, the dining hall always gives out little snack packs of oreos. I used to love oreos, until I found out what was really in the cream filling. Yuck.

 

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I made this snack and put it in my little mini freezer. Great for a quick snack, and maybe for an easy dessert at your Memorial Day Weekend bbq!

I hate eating bananas that aren’t frozen. The texture of a regular banana just bothers me from some reason. A frozen banana, on the other hand, is one of my favorite fruits. Maybe because it tastes like ice cream.

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Naked oreos!

PB Banana Oreo Snack

Oreos

Peanut Butter

Banana

Separate the oreo-make sure you don’t crack the cookie! Scrape off the filling and discard. Spread a little peanut butter on both cookies. Put a thin slice of banana on one side and sandwich together with the other cookie. Continue with the rest of the cookies. Freeze overnight.

My Dorm Pantry Essentials

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Jersey is expecting a foot of snow tonight into tomorrow, and I am praying that it’s true! I definitely need to catch up on my sleep, as well as my posts! I’ve been busy with typical college stuff, and with midterms coming up soon I don’t know when I’ll be able to post next.

This post is a little different from my previous ones- it’s not a recipe post but instead some suggestions for food products to include in your dorm. Again, these are simply my personal suggestions that I have found to help me maintain a balanced and healthy diet while at school. Enjoy!

My dorm pantry essentials, not in any particular order

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1- I always have a few bags of plain frozen veggies in my freezer. They’re inexpensive, easy to prepare, and they taste fresh too! Frozen veggies are such an easy way to add something healthy to your meal. If I don’t feel like going to the dining hall, I’ll cook a bag of veggies with noodles. I love all types of veggies, and most supermarkets have a good variety. Make sure to buy them in a steam bag so all you have to do is pop them in the microwave!

2- Udon noodles are one of my favorite types of noodles, so when I found out that they made them in instant “ramen” style, I had to try them! I highly recommend the Nong Shim brand already in a bowl, which can be found at an Asian Supermarket or Costco, which is where I bought mine. It tastes exactly like homemade udon! When I compared the nutrition labels of ramen and udon, I found that udon was actually lower in calories and carbs and higher in fiber. Technically, a bowl has two servings but I always eat the whole thing… whoops. I recommend adding your own seasoning because the seasonings that come with the bowl are extremely high in sodium. If you do use the provided seasonings, less than half the pack is more than enough. Again, you can combine the frozen vegetables to make this a nutritious meal.

3-Rice cakes are a great light snack or breakfast on the run. I like my rice cakes topped with Nutella and bananas or pumpkin spread.

4-I use honey in tea, to sweeten plain yogurt, or eat with bananas. Honey is my natural liquid sweetener of choice but agave works too.

5- No pantry would be complete without Siriracha, and I’m not just saying that because I’m Asian! I love this hot sauce because it tastes good on so many things.I put it on noodles, cooked vegetables, salad, chicken, dumplings, tuna, and hot dogs. Can be found at an Asian Supermarket.

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6-Oatmeal is an extremely healthy superfood, great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. The best part is that it keeps you full for a long time so you won’t get hungry in class. I use oats to make hot oatmeal, overnight oats, and pancakes in the microwave.

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7-I am not a big coffee drinker, so when I need a caffeine boost I drink lots of caffeinated tea. I have at least five different flavors of tea in my pantry because I like having variety. My favorites are english breakfast, ginger, and vanilla chai.

8-Another option for caffeine/ alternative to an energy drink- caffeinated coconut water. It’s flavored to taste like a latte, and it actually tastes really good! It doesn’t have to be refrigerated unless it’s opened, and it’s a great natural alternative to energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull. You can find it at Walmart.

9/12- Seasonings are probably the most important parts of your pantry because they can be used to add flavor to tasteless food. I add cinnamon to oatmeal, and salt and pepper can be used for almost anything.

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10-I always have plain Chobani greek yogurt in my fridge. I use it for so many things-Β in smoothies or oatmeal, freeze it with bananas for ice cream, and of course eat it by itself. Definitely my favorite ingredient.

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11- Pecan pumpkin spread from Williams-Sonoma is delicious! I put it in oatmeal or on rice cakes. Unfortunately, it is a seasonal product so I make sure to stock up. Having a spreadable option other than Nutella and peanut butter gives me options and provides more variety.

13- I like having big bags of dried fruit for snacks or to add to oatmeal or yogurt. My favorites are apricots, mango, ginger and craisins. You can buy small bags at Trader Joes and large bags at wholesale food stores like Costco and BJ’s.

14- Cheerios are a great healthy snack or breakfast. Mix them with dried fruit and nuts for a healthy trail mix or add to yogurt for texture.

15-I always try to keep some type of fresh fruit available in my room. Usually, I’ll swipe a banana or apple from the dining hall for a healthy snack later on. I also use bananas for ice cream.

16- I have milk with cereal and I put it in overnight oats or smoothies.

17-Peanut butter is top on my list of pantry essentials. I get Trader Joe’s peanut butter because it’s all natural- just peanuts and salt. Other peanut butters like Skippy and Jiff have tons of sugar and junk in them that cancel out the healthy benefits of the peanut butter.

18- I love all Kashi products, especially their granola bars! I find that many health food companies that make supposedly healthy granola bars actually add a lot of sugar and processed ingredients. Kashi bars are all natural and not sugary sweet. I’m not sacrificing convenience for health, so they’re perfect for when I need a snack in class or a quick breakfast.

I hope this helped you out, let me know if you have any suggestions! As always, share with a friend!

Healthy French Onion Dip

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Happy Monday! It is snowing like crazy so I have another snow day today- woot woot!

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After walking to the gym this morning I looked like the abominable snow man πŸ˜›

This year, the Super Bowl was hosted by the wonderful Garden State. #SuperJersey! There’s something funny about Super Bowl Sunday- even if you don’t watch football at all, you’ll take time out to watch the big game. Maybe it’s for the commercials, opportunity to spend time with friends, or the half time show. Or because you actually like watching football (yeah, right). For me, it’s the food!!!

Although I love to eat healthy, the truth is that I love eating any food in general. That includes junk food! And we all know that Super Bowl Sunday is notorious for junk food. Didn’t you know that Super Bowl is actually short for Super Bowl-full-of-junk-food Sunday?

Fortunately, Super Bowl food does not have to be unhealthy. The best part about cooking is that you decide what goes into your food! There are many ways to get the taste that you want without putting your health at risk.

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I love love love french onion dip with potato chips- absolutely one of my guilty pleasures. I consider it a junk food/ Super Bowl staple. If you make french onion dip with sour cream and mix, it’s really unhealthy! So here is an alternate version with yogurt- I meant to post this way before Super Bowl but of course you can make this any time! It’s so healthy that I made it for breakfast, and I swear that it tastes just like the real thing!

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Healthy French Onion Dip

Serves 2-3 people

One container of plain Chobani greek yogurt

Two teaspoons olive oil

About half of a small red onion, diced

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight in a covered container for extra thickness. Serve with whole wheat crackers, rice crackers, veggies like carrot sticks, sliced peppers, or celery, or potato chips.

If you enjoyed this recipe, share with a friend!

Healthy “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

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I’ve been so busy the last few days and now I’m just dead tired! Β Unfortunately for some reason I can’t sleep, but on the bright side, I can brainstorm more recipe and food ideas. Here’s what I came up with- healthy “ice cream” sandwiches! Even with the cold weather I still love cold desserts. Any time is the right time for ice cream!

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I went on a five mile run the other day and ate a few of these for my post run snack. They are high in protein, potassium and energy. A perfect dessert for breakfast!

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I did try making one with a rice cake. It didn’t come out quite right because the rice cake gets soggy in the freezer.

 

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Healthy “Ice Cream” Sandwiches, peanut butter flavor

Makes 8 sandwiches

Two bananas, sliced into rounds 1/4 inch thick

One container of vanilla greek yogurt, I prefer Chobani

Two tbsp unsalted creamy Trader Joe’s peanut butter

4 full size graham crackers, break into squares

Optional- chopped peanuts, for edges

Combine yogurt and peanut butter. You can mix the two in the yogurt cup. Spread a generous amount on one side of a graham cracker square. Top with four banana slices. Spread a little more of the yogurt-peanut butter mix on another graham cracker and place on top of banana slices to form a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Put chopped peanuts on a flat dish and roll sides of the sandwiches in the nuts, coating the sides evenly. If you have whole peanuts you can use a blender to chop them.

I recommend freezing all sandwiches in one layer instead of piling them on top of each other. Freeze overnight, and enjoy!

Variations:

Use Nutella Fruit Dip yogurt mix or mix in any of your other favorite spreads- strawberry jam, apple butter, etc.

Use sprinkles, chocolate pieces, or crumbled oreos for the sides.

If you enjoyed this recipe or have any comments or suggestions, let me know below! πŸ™‚

 

Chipotle “burrito bowl”

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As promised, I tested several recipes today while snowed in. Strangely, most of them involve the fridge/freezer. I guess I have my seasons mixed up, but since when do college kids eat normal foods at normal times?

Although it did snow heavily in the afternoon, I forced myself to go to the gym. I’m training for my first half marathon, which is in April. I have to admit that I have not been very diligent with my mileage, mostly due to the snow and the fact that I absolutely hate running on the treadmill. I get tired out ten times faster!

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Too true ^^^ (source: memecrunch.com)

Unfortunately, excuses are not going to be of any help to me on race day. So I went for a run on the treadmill. UGH.

But anyway, back to the recipe trials. Like I said, they are either frozen or refrigerated. Most of them will probably be posted later on this week. Get excited!

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I bet you can’t guess what it is!

The recipe featured on this post is more of a hack. It just involves putting the right ingredients together, mostly from the salad bar in your dining hall.

I am a huge fan of Chipotle. Whenever I go, I get a burrito bowl. The ingredients always taste fresh, and unlike many other Mexican fast food restaurants that I have been to, it is not loaded with sodium.

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The other day, when I was craving a burrito bowl, I started thinking to myself, what exactly do I like about it? If you think about it, a burrito bowl is just a mix of fresh ingredients from each food group, something that I could easily recreate in the dining hall.

I tried it out, and it was really good! Nothing can replace a real Chipotle burrito bowl, but this will definitely be one of my go-to meals from now on. The best part is that the ingredients are always in the dining hall, so I can make it whenever I want.

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The sour cream is greek yogurt!

Assembling the Burrito Bowl

Choose your base:

I don’t have cilantro rice in my dining hall but I do have plain white and brown rice. I chose brown rice and drizzled a little olive oil on top, then tossed. I also added some black pepper. Another option is to use just lettuce and make a salad out of it.

Choose your meat:

My dining hall always has grilled chicken, which is also the healthiest meat to use. Chicken is high in protein and low in fat. If you want to keep it vegetarian, you could use tofu, which can be found in many salad bars, or even skip the meat altogether.

Choose your beans:

My dining hall has black beans and kidney beans but no pinto beans. I used just black beans.

Choose your salsa:

Unfortunately, my dining hall doesn’t have a spread of awesome Mexican salsa. It only has the jarred tomato sauce salsa, which I used to add some spice. Tobasco sauce is another option.

Choose other toppings:

Chipotle gives you the option of adding pepper and onions, corn salsa, tomato salsa, cheese, guac, sour cream and lettuce. I added onions, plain corn, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, jalapeno peppers, and instead of sour cream I used plain greek yogurt. I almost always substitute sour cream for yogurt, because it tastes the same and it is so much healthier.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with a friend that you think would also enjoy it! πŸ™‚

Healthier Egg Salad

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TGIF!!! I am so happy that it is the weekend! The weather has been atrocious this week, and having to get used to classes and riding on the bus from class to class on top of it was definitely not fun. But phew! I made it!

Since I will be hibernating in doors this whole weekend to avoid the frozen wasteland that is my campus, I will be preoccupying myself by trying out new recipes to share with you all. So stay tuned!

Today for lunch, the dining hall was serving mozzarella sticks. You would not believe the line that people were waiting on to get these- it was like they were giving money away! People were eating trays full of this stuff. I wonder if they know that a serving size is a single stick.

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I found this online- basically what my mom told me whenever I wanted to get mozzarella sticks, so I’m scarred for life.

But hey, that’s the point of college, right? You are a mature adult that gets to make your own choices, from what you want to major in to what you want to eat for lunch. It just so unfortunate that there are students who make unhealthy decisions that they regret later on in life.

I made myself an egg salad for lunch- so simple and so healthy! Your cafeteria may have egg salad already made, but this is a lot healthier because I used greek yogurt instead of mayo. Trust me, you can’t taste the difference! Just one tablespoon of mayo is already almost ten percent of your daily fat intake. The sodium content can add up as well. Greek yogurt is a much lighter protein-packed alternative.

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I’m not one of those people that shuns egg yolks- I always laugh when I see those muscle guys in the dining hall meticulously scraping out the yolk from hard boiled eggs because they want pure protein and no fat. But yolks are so good for you! They have tons of nutrients like calcium, protein, and many vitamins. They have healthy fats that your body needs. That’s why I left the yolks in. But you can absolutely make this with just egg whites if you want.

 

Healthier Egg Salad

one serving, enough for a sandwich

3 hard boiled eggs, or the whites of four hard boiled eggs

3 tbsp of plain greek yogurt, or 2 generous soup spoons full- you can add more or less depending on your preference, if you like it drier or creamy

1 tsp mustard, dijon works best but any kind will suffice

salt and pepper to taste

optional- paprika, cayenne pepper, hot sauce

 

Chop the hard boiled eggs. I recommend using a soup bowl so that the eggs don’t roll all over. You don’t have to cut them perfectly, but make sure that the pieces are relatively similar in size. Mix in the yogurt, mustard, salt and pepper, and spices. You can eat the salad by itself, on lettuce, or in a wrap or sandwich. I ate mine on multigrain bread with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Yum!

Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Let me know below!

Nutella Fruit Dip

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Welcome to my first recipe post- just one of many to come! I’m starting out with something sweet because who doesn’t like dessert first?

Yesterday my afternoon classes were canceled because of heavy snow. Woooo!!! I watched Despicable Me for the first time with ma roomie, Jaimee. After the movie we had a craving for chocolate fondue. Unfortunately, I did not have a fondue pot or chocolate, but I did have Nutella! And yogurt. So I mixed up a much healthier Nutella fruit dip.

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I love love love Nutella! Who doesn’t? My favorite way to eat it- right out of the container with a big soup spoon, hehehe.

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This dip is a lot healthier than just eating straight up Nutella. Unfortunately heating up the dip doesn’t quite work so it wasn’t exactly like fondue. But it is simple and sweet, and more nutritious than most desserts , especially compared to what you find in the dining hall. It’s high in protein and low in cholestrol and carbs. Make sure to not add too much Nutella because it is high in sugar. Serve with apples, bananas, or any of your favorite fruits. I also added dried fruit and graham crackers.

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*these are a few of my favorite things*

I recommend using plain greek yogurt so that Nutella is the only flavor. Unfortunately I only had vanilla, which also tasted good. I just added less Nutella so that it wasn’t too sweet.

I made a large batch so I had some leftover. If you put it in the fridge overnight it thickens. Great for a snack any time of day!

Nutella Fruit Dip

Serving size: two

1/2 container OR a little more than 1/2 a cup of plain Chobani yogurt (or any plain greek yogurt)

2* generous spoonfuls of Nutella, with a teaspoon

Mix well! Enjoy with fresh or dried fruit, graham crackers, rice crackers, or whatever you like to dip!

Notes:

*This is the “formula” that I suggest but of course you can add more or less Nutella depending on how sweet you want it.

Notice how I don’t used traditional measuring sizes. You most likely won’t be carrying a measuring cup set around with you so it’s a lot easier to measure it this way!

How do you like eating your Nutella? Do you have any suggestions for easy, healthy dessert dips? Let me know below!!!