March 25, 2012
I’m back at home in my own apartment again, and seem to have lost my entire social life to my bachelor thesis. Sounds like a good time, right? Well… Not so much. But the plus side is that this is the last thing I need to complete before I have a bachelor degree in computer engineering. Yippee!
On a different note, not sure if other places in the world had to change their clocks this morning, but in Europe we had to spring forward one hour. Let me tell you, waking up to workout this morning was so much harder than normal. I really could have used the extra hour of sleep, but after I got to the gym I felt awesome.
Afterwards, I decided that I would treat myself a little with a healthy protein snack after my workout. I decided to make chocolate protein ice cream. I was in chocolate protein heaven while eating this. It seriously tasted like a fudgesicle, only better! This would not have been possible if not for the amazing website iherb.com. I just got my new package with my chocolate protein powder, and my stevia powder. Remember, if you want $5-$10 off used the coupon code ZUG220 at checkout. Anyways, here’s the recipe:
Chocolate Protein Ice Cream
Plain Greek yogurt (mine was a 300g container)
1 scoop Chocolate protein powder (I used ChocoRite)
2 pinches of stevia
Makes three servings.
This may be pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll go through the motions anyways. Just put your scoop of protein powder into the yogurt, and mix until fully combined. Then add stevia to taste. I ended up using about two pinches. Now, if you don’t have chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder works as well, and powder sugar or splenda can replace the stevia. After getting the desired taste, put in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Take out and stir, and put in the freezer for another 20 minutes. Keep repeating this part until you get the desired consistency. The more often you stir it will help avoid icing and keep it creamy. I did this only twice because I was really impatient to enjoy it. Hehe. Either way, it was one of the best after workout snacks I’ve come up with!
March 18, 2012
First of all, this is the best thing ever! When I started eating clean I had to up my meals from two a day (apparently that’s a big no-no) all the way up to 6 a day; 3 meals and 3 snacks. The first couple weeks were terrible. I walked around feeling full and bloated constantly. Now though, its all good.
I’m always trying to come up with healthy ways to eat my nighttime snack. I was always one of those people who always had dessert. A chocolate bar before bed, some gummy worms while I relaxed, some nerds while doing homework. Those kinds of things. These days, fruit is my candy.
I’ve always loved grapefruit, even though the only reason I first tasted it was because it was pink. My only vice with grapefruit was that I always smothered it with sugar to get it taste just right. That was until I stumbled across this recipe…
Honey Baked Grapefruit:
Honey to taste (I used about 2 tbsp)
This is probably the easiest thing to do ever. First preheat the oven to 175 C (about 350 F). Then just cut the grapefruit in have and put one tablespoon of honey on each half. Spread it around so that you cover everything.
Place the grapefruits in a a lasagna form or another dish because some juice will come out. Place them high up in the oven and bake for about 10 min. If you like a little crunch, use the fan setting on the oven the last 3 minutes or so and the honey will crystalize. When the grapefruit is finished it will be golden around the edges, and the honey will bubble a little. You can eat it warm or wait until it cools down. Either way the honey will have seeped into the grapefruit giving a sweet, yet still a little tart, taste.
I also like to have this for breakfast. Its simple, fast and tasty. And remember, grapefruits are super good for your skin, and one grapefruit gives you over 50% of your daily vitamin C intake!
Today is my last day with my family, before I fly back to my city again. I decided to go out with a bang and make something super yummy, that I have seen a lot of people rave about, but have never tried it myself. There are two big reasons I wanted to make this.
First, I never bake at home in my own apartment. I never bought a hand mixer, mixing bowls, or anything of the sort. I don’t even own a whisk for crying out loud. I always figured that if I never bought that stuff, I wouldn’t bake, and I wouldn’t eat stuff I didn’t need. That’s totally true, and I’m going to keep not buying baking stuff so that it keeps being true. But every once in awhile, I get this urge to bake. Its fun and relaxing, and I love seeing the end result. So visiting my family here has given me the chance to fill up on my baking requirements before I return to my world of no baking.
Second, Norway is a super weird country. Its nothing like the US at all. They have requirements and rules about the nutrition in food that businesses are allowed to sell, so you won’t find donuts in Norway. Well, you’ll find things that look like donuts, but when you take a bite you realize that you were in fact tricked. Sure, you can make donuts in your own home, but like I said, no baking going on in my apartment. Back to the point, I was super happy to find an easy recipe that actually tastes like a sugar donut, except for the part that these aren’t fried and they have the consistency of a muffin. The non-frying part is actually a plus in my book. But anyways, I’ll stop my rant and get on with the recipe. I should also mention that I got this recipe from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen. If you are not already following that blog, I totally recommend it. Its ah-mazing!
Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
Ingredients for muffins:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup oil (or melted butter)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup milk
Ingredients for the coating:
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. I did the spray thing so that I could coat the entire muffin in cinnamon sugar, and not just the top.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
In small bowl whisk together oil, sugar, egg and milk.
Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 22 to 24 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time.
While the muffins are baking, combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Place melted butter in a small bowl. Once baked, shake muffins out immediately and while hot, dip in melted butter, then roll in sugar and cinnamon.
Personally, I liked them best warm, but they are still tasty cold. When my dad took one bite, he told me get back in the kitchen and make more. Hehe
In my last post I wrote that sweet potato fries are the perfect side dish for filled zucchini, so I figured that I would share the recipe that I adore. Today was the perfect day to make them, because I have been feeling very snacky and we have all that corned beef and cabbage sitting in the fridge, screaming for me to eat it, but I managed to keep away and stick to my fries (which are just as delicious in their own way).
The best thing about sweet potato fries is that they are healthier than normal fries, they have more flavor than normal fries, and they are super, duper easy to make!
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes washed, not peeled (I used 4, about 1 potato per person)
Extra virgin olive oil
Your favorite seasoning (I used lemon pepper and fresh chili powder)
First things first, set your oven on 225 C (450 F).
Scrub you potatoes as best as possible, since we are keeping the skin we want them clean. I like to keep the skin because that’s where all the vitamins and fiber are. If you don’t like the skin, peeled potatoes work just as well.
Then just cut the potatoes anyway you like; in strips, in cubes, in wedges, it all works. Try to make sure that they are about the same thickness, but if they aren’t its not that big of a deal. Personally, I am not a good potato cutter, so mine are never really pretty, but they still taste amazing.
On the first batch, lightly coat you baking sheet with the virgin olive oil. We are going to put some on top too so you don’t need too much, just enough so they don’t stick.
Pour a little olive oil in a bowl and add your spices. If you don’t want to add spices and just want the potato flavor, skip the olive oil on top (it will also make for crispier fries). Then take a basting brush a lightly coat the fries. You should only fit about one potato on each baking sheets, or else they won’t bake well.
Then set them in the oven until you have your desired crispiness. I like mine soft so I leave mine in for about 10-15 min. On the following batches, there is no need to put more olive oil on the baking sheet if you use the same one.
March 16, 2012
Today was my day to have the kitchen for myself. My parents both had long days at work, and were planning on picking up Burger King on the way home… Like I was going to let that happen. Hehe.
I told them that I would be in charge of dinner, and that they would eat what ever I made and LIKE it. I decided that I would make filled zucchini because its one of my favorites, and I knew that my dad would accept it. Just like I thought, it was a great success! My dad even asked for seconds. Job well done, I would say!
The first time that I wanted to make this, I spent some time searching online for a recipe that tickled my fancy. All of the recipes I found required at least 6 different spices and 1 hour to make. I thought that was a little excessive, so I kind of just played it by ear, and made what I like. Here’s my version:
4 zucchinis (zucchinis in Norway aren’t very large, as you can see in the picture, so you might get away with fewer)
1 pack ground meat of choice (I typically use ground chicken, but this time is was lean beef)
1 pack cherry tomatoes
2 packs mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you can use other oils too, just remember if you choose one with a strong taste it will effect the overall flavor)
First of all, this made enough for dinner for 3 people, plus leftovers for tomorrow. I chose to make this much so that I wouldn’t have any left over meat. Like I said, you can adjust the recipe to however many servings you wish to get.
The first thing is to heat the oven to 200 degrees C (about 400 F). Then cut the zucchinis lengthwise, scoop out some of the middle to create a dent and place them in the form you want to use to bake them. Take the olive oil and a basting brush and coat the inside of the zucchinis with the oil.
You can then take your meat and add salt, pepper and lemon pepper to suit your taste. I am not really a fan of salt or pepper, so I mostly use lemon pepper. Mince your garlic (I use 1 clove) and mix it into the meat as well. Roll the meat into small meatballs and place them in the zucchinis. Half the tomatoes and place one half between each meatball. I put the extra tomato halves in the dish too, because I love them!
Bake these in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the meatballs are finished and the zucchini is the softness you prefer. I like mine a little bit crunchy so bake mine for 15 min. After baking, slice up the mozzarella and places the slices on top of the zucchinis. Then place the zucchinis back in the oven until the cheese is melted. That shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
Doesn’t that look delish?
If you don’t think that the stuffed zucchini is enough, I sometimes make a side of sweet potato fries to eat with it, but I’ll save that recipe for another day. The good thing about this dish is that it is healthy, delicious and super filling. I love it!
March 11, 2012
So the past couple of days I have been visiting my parents and my sister. They live about 10 hours away from me, and with me being in my final year of my bachelor degree, I don’t usually have much time to come visit. I was, however, very lucky this semester. I had almost 2 weeks free between the end of my internship and the start of my bachelor thesis, so I have decided to split the days between my sister’s house and my parents’ house.
Now, me and my sister share somewhat similar ideas about eating clean. We often share recipes, blogs, and send each other pictures of our concoctions all the time. My parents on the other hand, not so much. My mom will eat it if its made for her, my dad on the other hand likes ‘real’ food. So, as you can imagine, I eat a little more unhealthy here than I normally eat at home. Its kind of nice though to have my mom making dinner again, and enjoy the desserts regardless of what they are made of, all the while knowing its only temporary.
Now that I’m done with my little introduction as to why I’m posting another two less than healthy recipes, I’ll get on to the good part.
Sour Coated Grapes:
2-3 large bushels of grapes
1 large box Sugar Free Jello Lime or Lemon Flavor
Super easy. Dump the packet of Jello into a bag. Rinse the grapes so that they are all wet. Then dump the grapes into the bag and shake. Added bonus, jump around the kitchen to some music while shaking the bag to burn some extra cals, and get out some excess energy. After the Jello is distributed over the grapes, either put them in the fridge or freezer to chill. Personally, I adore frozen grapes, so I let mine sit in the freezer for a couple hours before I enjoyed, but leaving them in the fridge is yummy too.
The best thing about these are that they aren’t even that unhealthy.
10 green grapes is about 34 calories.
1 serving of Sugar Free Jello 10 calories and that’s 1/8 of the large packets.
Chocolate, Sea Salt Covered Bananas
1 Dark Chocolate Bar (mine was 100g)
2 Medium Sized Bananas (7 in. long), chopped into coins
Crushed Sea Salt
Break the chocolate bar into chunks and place into a bowl. You can go one of two ways here: either put the bowl in the micro wave in 30 second increments stirring thoroughly each time until there are only a few chunks left that will melt by the heat of the already melted chocolate, or prepare a water bath and float the bowl with chocolate in it allowing the chocolate to melt slowly. I chose to use the water bath, because I am slow at the whole dipping and dunking thing and the chocolate doesn’t harden again if you leave the water bath simmering.
After you have melted your chocolate, dip the chunks of bananas into the chocolate until they are covered and then place them on a piece of parchment paper. If you want, you can then sprinkle some sea salt on the top. Keep doing this with all the chunks of bananas.
Once again, you can place them in the freezer or in the fridge to chill. Frozen bananas have a very special taste that I love, so I left mine in the freezer for a couple hours before enjoying.
The calories here are a little steeper than in the sour grapes.
One medium sized banana is about 105 calories.
My chocolate bar was 500 calories per 100g (so the whole bar).
I like to eat these for dessert. But not both the grapes and the bananas at the same time, or all at once. The good thing about freezing them is that they can last awhile, so you can spread the calories over a week or more!
So for my first recipe, I thought I would post a new favorite of mine. I got this reading the blog Dedication, but that site is in norwegian, so I thought I would share here in english.
1 pack cottage cheese
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp protein powder (I used vanilla, but chocolate would also work)
Stevia powder to taste (I used about 2 1/2 tsp, and I replaced the stevia with powdered sugar because I don’t have stevia right now)
My pack of cottage cheese was 300g, so depending on the size of yours, you may need to adjust your measurements. The most important part is that you like the taste. Also, if you use chocolate protein powder you can use a little less cocoa powder and more protein powder if you want more protein.
All you do is mix the ingredients together until everything is blended. I used a fork to get rid of some of the larger chunks in the cottage cheese because I like it smooth. I then put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes so that it could thicken up. Not so hard right?
If you are a fan of salty and sweet, cashews or peanuts would be an awesome topping.
‘Reality is Healthy’ is my new health and food blog!
I’m really excited to get to share my food and kitchen experiences with others, and see how others adapt the same recipes I use to make new and different meals! Now and again I will also throw in some posts of workouts that I love, and what I find most effective.
First, I would like to pimp out a website that I use very often, and I swear by it. Its called iherb.com. This website has tons of different ingredients that can be used to make eating clean easier and even more delish. Its the perfect website for people who live in the US (free shipping on orders over $20) or people living in other countries ($6 dollar shipping on orders under 4lbs). I love this website because where I live (Norway) eating healthy can be VERY expensive. iherb also allows me to buy things that have yet to come to my country yet (stevia: i love you).
For people who have never used the website before, you can use this code, ZUG220, when you checkout to get a $5 dollar discount ($8 in March only!) on your first order. Unfortunately, if you have already used iherb, the discount cannot be used, it is only for new accounts (think smart here). I repeat, the code is ZUG220.
I hope you guys enjoy my blog! And I would very much like to read other health blogs, so recommend away :D