Hello! I hope those who celebrate it had a good Christmas. Ours was nice and low-key. We didn’t go anywhere, or really do much of anything, other than eat. Between my mom and Jay, I got some new cookbooks to read through:
I’ve already been grocery shopping and gotten a few items to make one of the Pioneer Woman’s recipes. We’re going to make a serious effort starting basically now, to get ourselves into better shape and eat better. What’s kind of kicking me in the behind on this is my thyroid. I had blood work done last week, and figured that my thyroid levels had dropped again. I’ve been feeling super-exhausted for the past couple of weeks, my knees have been hurting anytime I have to climb stairs, I’ve been forgetful and spacey again, and I’ve been horribly depressed. Granted, the exhaustion and spaciness could be chalked up to my hellish past couple of weeks at work, my knees aching could be due to the 40 extra pounds I’m carrying, and the depression could just be my usual seasonal sadness. However, I figured my thyroid was part of the problem. When I had tests done back in September, they left my dosage where it was because my levels were almost normal. I distinctly remember the nurse telling me that I was in danger of going hyperthyroid. I kind of laughed at her and said that other than a couple of changes I noticed (nothing appropriate for a food blog), I didn’t feel any different. I really wanted to pull an “I told ya so!” when they gave me my latest results and said they’re upping my dose of levothyroxine. I’ve only been taking that a couple days, so I don’t notice any difference yet.
But I’ve always believed that diet is a lot more important that people realize. That’s my mom talking, because she’s preached that for years. If you eat crap, you’ll likely feel like crap. I think I eat a lot better than my college days–Mashed potatoes, pizza, and whatever I’d bring home after a shift at Mickey Dee’s. Still, there is plenty of room for improvement. I still don’t eat veg like I should. Fruit and I are friends, but I don’t eat enough of that either. I eat far more processed frozen potatoes than are probably healthy. I also think I consume too much sugar–As is evidenced by the no-bake cookies I kept shoveling into my mouth Christmas Day. They didn’t even last 24 hours (in my defense, I wasn’t the only one eating them, but I ate more than I should’ve)!
So, I’m going to make an effort to cook at home, and cut back on a few things. The sweets I’m always baking (although let’s be honest, that’s basically the bread and butter of this blog, and since Jay bought me that cupcake cookbook, you will be seeing more cupcakes, I’m sure!). I’m also going to try cutting back on potatoes and some of the other processed stuff I buy/eat on a regular basis. I’ve been fumbling a lot with breakfast lately, so I decided to try and lessen my excuse for skipping by making some Baked Almond Quinoa and Oatmeal.
I found a recipe for Baked Oatmeal on Macheesmo years ago, and have been making it since–Mostly during fall and winter, when you want a nice, hot breakfast before venturing off into the cold. I make it a little differently every time, whether by adding or leaving out spices or extracts or adding nuts or fruit to it, or even using steel-cut oats as opposed to old-fashioned/rolled oats. This time, I added quinoa and almonds.
I don’t eat quinoa all that often, so I wasn’t sure how it would cook up if I’d just rinsed the seeds and threw them in overnight with the oats. Instead, I cooked up a cup of it, and added it that way. Taste-wise, it’s perfectly fine, especially with some warm, heavy cream added to the bowl.
I like this breakfast because of all the additional protein. I’m one of those people who can’t have a sugary carb-bomb for breakfast, without suffering a massive blood sugar crash about an hour later. I also can’t eat something like a bowl of oatmeal, even with added fruit or nuts, otherwise I’ll be starving again about 30 minutes later. Between all the protein in the eggs, the quinoa, and the almonds, I’m good to go here, and if I were at work, this would last me at least through my coffee break, if not until my lunch time! Liberally spray a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk together the eggs and the brown sugar, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, except the quinoa, oats, flax and almonds. Stir those in with a spoon. Cover the dish and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. When ready to eat, remove the dish from the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the quinoa and oatmeal is set and nicely browned. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving, with 1/4 C of warmed heavy cream, if desired.
I also really like this because everything’s prepped the night before. During the work week, I pop it into the oven before I get in the shower, and by the time I’m dressed and all set, breakfast is ready!
Liberally spray a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk together the eggs and the brown sugar, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, except the quinoa, oats, flax and almonds. Stir those in with a spoon. Cover the dish and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to eat, remove the dish from the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the quinoa and oatmeal is set and nicely browned.
Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving, with 1/4 C of warmed heavy cream, if desired.