Friday, May 19, 2017

Oat Scones... I Still Love Them

No matter what new food plan I set out to try, I always come back to an old favorite... tried and true... from Weight Watchers. It has gone through several evolutions, but for many years now, has been called the Simply Filling Technique.

In its simplest form, it involves eating from a comprehensive list of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins including meat and dairy, whole grains, and healthy oils.  It is based on whole, real foods.  Easy. Simple. Nutritious, and yes, filling.  Whole, real food fill you up and keep you satisfied. It is true.

I like the plan as I naturally gravitate to these kinds of foods and like to shop and prepare my meals at home, whether I am going to eat there or pack them along with me to have out.  I am a big fan of park bench and beachside picnics and snacks.

The plan does allow for occasion off-list indulgences, so I can still get in some nut butters and dried fruit, and the occasional glass of wine, too. No deprivation here.

Now, I admit, I don't eat a lot of grains. I prefer to get my carbs from fruits and veggies... I will occasionally eat some rice when I have sushi but for the most part, even quinoa only makes a rare appearance on my plate.... usually when I make a bowl-style lunch.  I cannot recall the last time I cooked oatmeal at breakfast.

But I was looking through some old posts and this recipe for Oat Scones piqued my interest. I had completely forgotten about it.  They really appealed to me, I decided to make them up and add them to my week's menu.  And I am happy to say they were as good as I remember.

I  have learned over the years that weighing dry foods on a scale, rather than measuring with cups is a more accurate way to calculate nutritional values. My original recipe, which you can find here, calls for 1-1/2 cups of oats. The package shows that 40g is equal to 1/2 cup so I weighed out 120g of oats instead of measuring 1-1/2 cups.  When I compare them, the 120g is less for sure.   I also weighed the oat bran.  I used 95g instead of measuring out 1 cup.

Do I need to even mention I use gluten free oats?

And I chose a rectangular cake pan because I currently do not own a pie plate. The cake pan is about 8 inches X 11 inches.  I cooked the scones for 40 minutes and made sure to let them rest for 15 minutes before I cut them into 8 pieces and tested them.  That waiting was hard!

I have been enjoying them all week... my favorite way is to make up a bit of PB2 and slather that all over the top.

Oat Scones by @WeCanBegin2Feed

Nope, PB2 is not part of the Simply Filling Technique... you have to count 1 Smart Point for it.  And nope, I do not usually use a fork to eat it either!

I have since learned that if I cut the scone in half horizontally, it lasts twice as long... and half a scone is actually sometimes all I want!  Imagine.


So, if you follow the Simply Filling Technique, these Oat Scones are a no-count food.  If you top them with something not on the list, just count those Smart Points.  And if you are a Weight Watcher who counts Smart Points, here is the pertinent nutritional information for you.

Per serving of 1 scone or 1/8th recipe
Weight Watchers SP = 4.
Calories 122
Saturated Fat .5g
Sugar 3g
Protein 6g

Is oatmeal part of your food plan?  What is your favorite way to enjoy it?


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Coloring Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes

It is that time of year again... getting ready to color Easter eggs for The Captain. They are hard boiled and have cooled nicely so getting ready to dye them all kinds of lovely colors.


If your are a newbie at coloring eggs, you can read about how to get started with hardboiling them and using food coloring for dying them here...  and you can read about coloring the insides of the eggs here.

As for me, I am doing something a bit different again this year.

Instead of using the little dye tablets that you can pick up in coloring kits, or even food coloring, I am going to use some natural dyes... and I am going to be dying our eggs with foodstuffs that I have on hand in my kitchen.

I recently received some fun and intriguing information about just how to do go about doing this and want to share it with you so that you can join in and dye your own eggs with natural dyes, too.

For example, did you know that using frozen blueberries color dye your eggs a lovely blue-purple? Or that using paprika will color your eggs a sunny golden-orange?

Have a look at this pretty infograpic, and if you are interested, click on it to see the full how-to article.


Natural Egg Dyes



Do you color eggs for Easter?

Have you tried any of these natural egg dyes yourself?



Sunday, April 09, 2017

Simple Vanilla PB Mug Cake

I have been really enjoying my Simple Chocolate Mug Cake quite often lately. I love that I can quickly make up a cake in order to enjoy a bit of sweetness with only a few carbs or fat and lots and lots of protein.

I have also been sharing my precious cakes with The Captain, but when I offered to make him one last night for a snack, he sorta turned up his nose. He said he didn't want that much.  I was quite taken aback.

Okay then, if a whole cake was too much, I suggested we share one and then he told me that he really didn't feel like chocolate... and that the cake is a bit too dry for his liking.   Hmmmm.

Well, I have vanilla whey powder as well as chocolate, so I offered to make him a slightly smaller cake... vanilla with peanut butter, with a moister texture,  and he quickly agreed.

I used vanilla whey, with PB2, almonds milk, and a bit of baking powder.  And, in order to make the outcome a bit moister, I used less than a whole scoop of the vanilla whey protein powder.  That made the batter wetter, and the cooked cake definitely moister.  Clever, right?

Of course you could use any peanut flour you like, and even unflavored whey... just add a bit of vanilla extract when you mix.

I do think it is a nice change from the chocolate... and it really is a better batter!  The PB2 gives it just a hint of peanut butter flavor... very subtle... so it is still good with any kind of fruit or toppings you might like.

Here is the recipe.  Hope you like it.

Simple Vanilla PB Mug Cake by @WeCanBegin2Feed



Simple Vanilla PB Mug Cake
makes 1 serving

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 scoop (about 21g) vanilla whey protein powder
  • 2 Tbs PB2
  • 1/4 cup nut milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Instructions:
  1. Coat the inside of a microwave safe cooking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the nut milk and stir.  You want a brownie batter consistency so if it is a bit thick, add more nut milk a couple of drops at a time.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared baking dish.
  5. Cook in microwave oven for 1 minute on HIGH. Time may vary slightly.
  6. Remove cooked cake from microwave and allow to cool about 30 seconds before removing cake to serving dish.
  7. Top as desired or eat plain.
Per serving, without toppings.
Weight Watchers Smart Points = 2.
Calories 132;
Fat 3g;
Saturated Fat 1g;
Carbohydrates 7g;
Sugar 2g;
Protein 22g



What about you? Chocolate or Vanilla PB?