Posts tagged ‘Breakfast’

Have you had your oats today?

Since I’ve been home this winter, taking care of this little guy…

I’ve been able to make delicious oatmeal for breakfast almost every day.  I’ve made Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Apple Cake Oatmeal, and, now, Banana Bread Oatmeal (my current obsession!).

1 cup of almond milk or 1/2 cup soy milk and 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 ripe banana, mashed

Handful of walnut pieces

Sprinkle of shredded coconut

Have I mentioned that I’ve been buying TWO bunches of bananas at the grocery store each week to feed my Green Monster and now Banana Bread Oatmeal habits?  Someone call Dr. Drew!

I love hot oatmeal, especially since I now know the trick is to cook them in milk rather than water.  Oats are so disturbingly healthy for you and so cheap!  I think I should appoint oatmeal as the official grain of the Frugal ‘n’ Fit blog.

1/3rd cup of oats contain:

102 calories

2 grams of fat

3 grams of fibre

4 grams of protein

49% of your Daily Value of manganese.  Mmmmmm…manganese

Along with small amounts of many other vitamins and minerals as well

I’ve seen oatmeal at Starbucks for a while now, although have never tried it.  I have a hard time buying a processed food that I can easily “process” myself for much cheaper.  But if I travelled more or lived a more expensive lifestyle, I’m sure I’d appreciate having it as a breakfast option.  When wanting a quick breakfast when you’re out and about, usually the only option is a muffin that will leave you hungry one hour later or an egg-and-cheese sandwich that will sit in your stomach like a rock.

I recently read an article by Mr. Foodie himself, Mark Bittman, about how McDonalds now offers an oatmeal option (turn your speakers down before clicking on this link)!   McDonalds describes their oatmeal like this:  “We take delicious 100% natural, whole-grain oats and combine them with brown sugar and a touch of cream. Then we get fruity, with diced fresh apples, dried cranberries and two kinds of raisins.”  Sounds like this breakfast has six ingredients:  oats, cream, brown sugar, apples, dried cranberries and raisins.  But, as Bittman points out, “A more accurate description than “100% natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

Without a doubt, making your own oatmeal is the healthiest, cheapest option available.  But when out and about and needing a quick, delicious breakfast, I’m still glad that Starbucks and McDonalds offer these not-as-healthy-but-still-better-than-egg-and-cheese options.  Now we just need Tim Hortons to get in on the oatmeal love and we’ll be all set.

February 25, 2011 at 8:34 am 15 comments

A Better Day

Well, our plumbing problem was easily (temporarily) fixed.  The plumber guy just plunged one of the pipes from outside and managed to clear the back-up that was causing all of the flooding.  But he says that we should replace the exit pipe from our house since it’s old and outdated (shaped like a U?) with a newer one (with a straight shape).  Cost?  About $1700.  Man oh man!  This home ownership thing can be the pits.  However, because we successfully completed an energy audit and should be getting about $3000 back from the government, it won’t be as much of a strain on the wallet (Still bites, though!).   And so it goes…

But I am writing this morning because:

1.  Henry slept great!  I made a conscience effort to make sure he ate a good, double-sided (if you know what I mean!), 20-minute meal every time he woke up, so he slept in three hour intervals and didn’t fuss after I put him down each time.  There is such a huge difference between sleeping every 2 hours and sleeping every 3!  He gets up every morning around 7 am, regardless of how much sleep he gets, but he just laid there cooing to himself.  When I looked into his bassinet, I got a huge smile.  And that, my friends, is why I had a kid!  lol

2.  I am drinking caffeinated coffee.  Oh, glorious and wonderful caffeinated coffee.

3.  I had a mango for breakfast!  Is there anything better in life than a perfectly ripe, fresh mango?

I had it along with a slice of Vegan Banana Bread.  I highly recommend this recipe!  I made the following substitutions:

– I replaced 1/2 a cup of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour

– I used 1/2 a cup of granulated sugar instead of 3/4 cup

Next time I’ll try replacing a full cup with whole wheat flour and maybe using even less sugar.

I haven’t been following my dairy-free stint very well.  You know that bag of Smart Food popcorn that husband bought for the Super Bowl but was left uneaten?  Um, I can verify with 100% confidence that it is no longer uneaten.  Oops!  There is also cream in my cup of coffee this morning.  I really need to get some soy creamer!  BABY STEPS.

We are off to visit friends this afternoon and Hubby’s side of the family this evening.  A busy day, but I’m excited to get out of the house!  Plus I like to show off my cute kid.


February 19, 2011 at 8:27 am 8 comments

Vegan Eating: Day Six

I continue to kick some vegan-eating arse, causing me to feel self-righteous in the most pretentious way possible!  I made oatmeal for hubby this morning using cow’s milk which, I must admit, created quite the creamy bowl of oats, but I’d still prefer almond milk in my own.  Pat on the ol’ back for my vegan-eating self!

For breakfast this morning, I had one of my Banana Date scones warmed in the toaster oven with some cherry jam and a sliced orange.

These scones taste “healthy”, which is a good thing I assure you!  Not like cardboard at all.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and bought more trail mix.  I think this might be cheaper than the stuff I get at Bulk Barn, and a bit fresher to boot.

I like to mingle with raisins and cranberries

With a clementine in some artsy fartsy lighting…

I call this piece, “Dawn of a New Snack”

For lunch, I finished off the last of the Curried Lentil and Apricot soup, thus completing my Journey of 1,000 Lentils (how this week has felt!).

I had the soup along with another scone toasted with, um, NON-vegan margarine.  I had to relent!  I know there is whey in regular Becel margarine, but I just really, really, really wanted some margarine on my scone.  Is that too much to ask?  Plus I had already broken the DO NOT EAT REGULAR MARGARINE FOR YOU ARE A VEGAN rule by using it in the Sweet Potato Casserole I prepared for dinner.  I was going to buy vegan margarine at the grocery store yesterday, but we have a huge tub of regular margarine to use up and, well, I am just too frugal to have two types of margarine in my fridge, ok?  (Am I sounding as defensive as I feel?)

Indeed, we shall feast on Sweet Potato Casserole for dinner tonight using, of course, Oh She Glow’s vegan recipe.  What would I do without Oh She Glows as a constant source of inspiration?

I was feeling uber-confident in my culinary skills because I didn’t even use a measuring cup to make this!  This confidence was ultimately misguided, as I think I used too much margarine.  Maybe it was karma biting me in the arse for using non-vegan margarine?  Something tells me that the vegan karma gods are too nice for that, though.


Finally, I show you the requisite picture of me and/or Henry (this time you get both!)

I really don’t like my hair in this photo, but at least my face colour matches my neck colour.

Also, Henry is very cute.  He has nice hair AND matching face/neck colour.


Ok, this is a bit off topic, but I was wondering: do you drink tap water? We use a Brita water filter and it is grossly overdue for a change, so I’ve been drinking tap water in the meantime.  Even though the taste is a bit metallic, I don’t mind tap water at all and would just go back to using it full-time if it weren’t for my husband and his delicate taste buds.  I know most households use Brita or bottled water for their daily consumption and I was wondering if this was really necessary.  Canadian and U.S. tap water is thoroughly cleaned and tested constantly.  When we were kids, we all drank tap water!  None of this Jennifer Aniston Smart water or imported Fijian water for us!  And we turned out fine (kind of).  Do you think filtered water is even necessary? Do you honestly hate the taste of tap water or do you think that the need to filter water/buy bottled is a creation of clever marketing companies?

This is your thought-provoking question for this Friday afternoon!

February 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm 17 comments

Vegan Eating: Days Four and Five

Whereas on Tuesday I was like “I MISS CHEESE”, today I’m all like “I COULD DO THIS FOREVER”.  I think the change is that I feel pretty wonderful and my digestive system is pumping along like a charm!  I never noticed any problems with my digestion before, but now that I have seen how smoothly things can be, er, processed, I think this vegan thing could be for me.  Of course, I will still eat the occasional slice of cheesy pizza and if I am ever so lucky to visit Paris again, you know I will be chowing as many buttery croissants as possible.  But for now, at this point, I am loving the veganism.

For breakfast this morning, I had a toasted thin bun spread with almond butter and a sliced orange.

For morning snacks, I’ve been relying on this tropical trail mix I picked up at the Bulk Barn.

Lunch today was more lentils.  I discovered even more of the Vegan Walnut Lentil Pile stored at the back of the fridge.  Perhaps it is reproducing?  I don’t mind.  This stuff tastes like Thanksgiving stuffing!  Albeit, protein-filled, mushy-textured stuffing.

I heated it up and spread it on yet another toasted thin burger and topped it with sliced tomato and ground pepper.

I decided to bake this afternoon and opted to use up the brown bananas in my freezer (frugal tip:  when you have rotting bananas, throw them in the freezer and use for future baking purposes.  Brown bananas are perfect for baking since they are so flavourful).  I perused the index of Veganomicon looking for banana recipes and came across one for Banana Date Scones.


This recipe appealed to me because of the following ingredients:  flax meal, whole wheat flour, bananas, dates, and walnuts.  The recipe calls for brown rice syrup, but I used corn syrup instead (I think maple syrup would work too!).  I LOVE scones.  I think they are the love children of biscuits and muffins, encompassing the best qualities of each.  They are delicious for breakfast, with tea, accompanying soup or stew, or on their own.  I like it when people pronounce them “skawns” even though I pronounce them “scowns” (rhymes with bones!).  Regular scones can be quite heavy with butter and cream, so the vegan version is much healthier.  In conclusion, you can’t go wrong with scones!


In other news, here is a picture of my cheap haircut.

Ugh, my face colour doesn’t match my neck colour!!!

You can see how it doesn’t look quite even there at the bottom, even though it was freshly blow dried.  It’s longer than I wanted, too.  As I have quickly learned, there are certain things you cannot be frugal with including hair-cuts, coffee, and ketchup (my hubby refuses anything but Heinz!  What a brand snob, I know).

I’ll let you know if I come across any others…

February 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm 15 comments

Vegan Eating: Day Three

I believe that my Henry is in the midst of a growth spurt because he has been one major crankball lately!  It is exhausting, because the main activity that will appease him is singing and bouncing (I will not tell you how many times I have sung “twinkle twinkle little star”.  More than any person should!).  He is hungry, too, but is wailing too much to latch on!  It’s very frustrating for me.  I read that when a mother hears her baby cry, she releases hormones that make her feel very uncomfortable.  I am glad to know this because I was wondering why I was finding it so upsetting.  I mean, babies cry all the time, right?  I should just accept it and not get so worked up, y’know?

Another thing that helped him stop fussing is by showing him pictures of my Glamour magazine!  He LOVES to be read to, but I needed a change from the usual nursery rhymes and fairy tale books.  Henry now knows that bold stripes are a must for Spring 2011!

Henry says, “fleece sleepers are a definite DO”

Fussiness aside, I have not given up on my Week of Vegan Eating (WoVE).  The Triple Fudge Cake would be a comforting antidote to all this crying, but I am resisting it somehow!  Will power of steel I guess!  (Yeah, right).

For dinner last night, I used up some Vegan Walnut Lentil Pile leftovers by mushing them on a thin burger bun…

Topping it with sliced tomato…

And then adding half of a sliced avocado and a sprinkle of pepper.

This was a great, easy way to use up leftovers!

For breakfast this morning, I made the famous Carrot Cake Oatmeal (lacking coconut cream, and cutting down on the maple syrup and walnuts).

I’m not having any problem fixing meals for myself, but it’s the snacks that I’m lacking!  I guess when I was preparing for my WoVE, I seriously undervalued my love of snacking!  It is a physiological necessity for me to have something sweet, preferably chocolate, after dinner.  I’ve been relying on a small bowl of semi-sweet chocolate chips to tide me over, but I’d much prefer some better-quality chocolate.  Perhaps I’ll get the chance to run to the grocery store today to stock up on various snacking items.  It looks to be a beautiful, sunny day, but the radio tells me its frigid.  What matters more:  Vegan snacks or not freezing my keister off?  Hmmm…that’s a tough call…

February 9, 2011 at 8:36 am 6 comments

Vegan Eating: Day Two

Ok, so it got a bit more difficult to eat vegan on Day Two!  Mostly, Henry was a fussybub and I wanted to find consolation in the Triple Fudge cake we have in the fridge, but that was not to be!  I tried to appease my sweet tooth with some dried apricots and semi-sweet chocolate chips but it didn’t quite do the trick.  I went to bed defeated!  However, I was so happy that Henry was asleep that it wasn’t too bad.  In the battle between sweets and sleep, sleep ALWAYS wins (when you have a baby, anyway!).

In “too frugal for one’s own good” news, yesterday I went out to get a haircut after almost a year of going without!  I went to First Choice which is one of those cheap places at which you don’t have to make an appointment.  Because Henry hasn’t accepted a bottle yet, I had only two hours to leave the house before needing to get back.  I made sure to leave once he had consumed lots of milk, so I made a mad dash out (first brushing off all the snow that had accumulated on the car!  Ah, February).  Luckily there wasn’t much of a wait and I liked my hair stylist enough, but not only did she cut my hair unevenly (she did end up fixing it), but she didn’t blow dry it all the way so it massively frizzed up.  I could have done a better job myself!  However, for $19 you can’t really ask for too much!  The cut is decent enough (chin length bob — my favourite!), but I have learned that when one has escaped the house for two precious hours, one is best off going to an actual salon!  This is the lesson for today, mugs and thugs.

For dinner yesterday, I made Vegan Walnut Lentil Loaf except it turned out to be more like a Vegan Walnut Lentil Pile.  I need to try Oh She Glows recipe next time!


I had it along with steamed vegetables and a bagel with blackberry jam.  I wanted margarine (or butter!) on my bagel, but regular margarine isn’t vegan!  I need to get some Earth Balance.  The blackberry jam was still good and served as dessert as well!  (I will admit that blackberry jam, as good as it is, is no Triple Fudge cake!).

For breakfast this morning, I made some Apple Oatmeal!

1/2 cup soymilk

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 apple, diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small handful of raisins

1 sprinkling of shredded coconut

This was wonderful!  It was very chunky because the apple was so large, but creamy too.  I didn’t add anything to sweeten it, but it would be great drizzled with some maple syrup.

Aside from Triple Fudge cake cravings (wow, the third time I’ve mentioned it — what does that tell you?!!?), I feel pretty good with my vegan diet heading into Day Three.  Without getting too TMI, from a digestive standpoint the results have been immediate ifyouknowwhatI’msaying.  Henry was extremely fussy yesterday evening, but slept well (up every 2.5 hours but fell back to sleep immediately and didn’t wake up crying this morning!).  So we shall see how it goes today…

February 8, 2011 at 8:55 am 11 comments

Vegan Week Starts Now

This morning I realized that next Sunday we are having dinner at the in-laws.  I don’t want my “Week of Vegan Eating” to be compromised at all, and I surely don’t want to inconvenience my in-laws, so I decided to start my WoVE today!  Thankfully, yesterday I polished off the milk chocolate-covered almonds we’ve had kicking around the kitchen, so I shouldn’t be tempted by too much dairy-infused deliciousness.

Although I’ve only been up for two hours, I’ve already had to make two conscious choices not to consume animal products.  The first was no cream in my  morning coffee.  Horrors!

Surprisingly, this wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I figured I could use coconut milk or soy milk, but it wasn’t necessary.  For Christmas, I received a GIANT bag of Starbucks whole bean coffee.  I grind them fresh every morning, so I’m lucky enough to have a pretty decent cup of coffee.  I would like to try coconut milk in my coffee, though.  That sounds exotic, like something they do in Hawaii.  (That’s about as close as I will be getting to Hawaii anytime soon!)

The second decision I had to make was to deny my husband’s offer of making me french toast!  One of his culinary specialties involves making fresh toast, then smearing it with that MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Peanut spread, and then topping it all with freshly cut fruit and maple syrup.  Doesn’t that sound divine?!!?  But I can’t have the eggs or the milk involved in that, so it was just some No-Knead Walnut Raisin bread smeared with cherry jam for me!

I also had some clementines.

I’m kind of glad we aren’t going to any Super Bowl parties today or else the temptation to eat cheese-flavoured Doritos or eat vegetables with creamy dips may be too much to bear.  I am really excited about my WoVE.  A whole week without cheese will be a true test of wills!

February 6, 2011 at 10:48 am 6 comments

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What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!

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