Healthy Eating 101

It all started with new health insurance after the first of the year.  And cholesterol of 224.  Oops.  Next thing I knew, I was “that nasty vegan woman” who sends everyone fleeing to the hills whenever they see her coming.  Although I’m not really vegan.  But you understand what I mean.  I can hear their thoughts.  “Oh, no.  Here comes that nasty vegan woman again and she’ll be talking all about her diet.”  Healthy eating, thank you very much.  It’s not a diet.

And look what I have for breakfast:


Looks pretty yummy, doesn’t it?  Those are waffles.  Topped with lots of fresh fruit.  And they are very yummy.  I bet you’ll be surprised at the ingredients.

Wednesday is Waffle Day at our house.  Because I work Monday and Tuesday.  So I have an easier breakfast on those days.  But Wednesday……..yummy waffles.  It’s also “Stay in My PJ’s Until at Least Noon” Day.  For the same reason as Waffle Day.  I love Wednesdays.  But I bet you already guessed that.  Last Wednesday I made an extra batch of waffles.  Because then I can just put them in the toaster and have them every day.  With yummy fruit on top.  The above picture is Saturday Waffles.  Leftover from Wednesday.  Nice.

I had to show you an up-close pic of the fruit topping.  Because up-close is just the kind of gal I am.  I made the topping by putting a handful of blueberries, blackberries and strawberries in the food processor.  Then I pulsed it with a little honey.  I then chopped up some extra strawberries and put them in a bowl with some blueberries and poured the puréed stuff over the top.  Stir and top off the waffles.  I’m getting hungy again just typing about it.  And I bet you are too.

So maybe I should show you how I make the waffles?

Here are the ingredients: 1 1/3 c oatmeal, 1 T honey, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp oil, 1 2/3 c water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 c pinto beans.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Pinto beans.  In my waffles.  And if you had one, I would challenge you to taste the beans.  Except now that won’t work because I already told you what was in them.  But I had to tell you so you could make them.  But I digress.

Pinto beans soaking in water now live in my refrigerator.  So that I can whip up some waffles any time I want to.  You don’t cook them before you make the waffles, just soak them overnight and pour off the water and rinse them.  I know, I know.  It sounds very weird.  And probably very vegan to you.  Sigh.  But they are good, I tell you!  You just have to try them for yourself.  And remember the pictures up above.

You put everything except the oatmeal into the food processor.    This picture does not show the water added.  I pour that into the top after I start up the food processor.  You don’t have to do it the way I do.  It’s just me.  And my food processor.  It leaks if I pour all that water in at the beginning.  Just sayin’.

Then you turn on the food processor and whip this stuff together for 90 seconds.  You could also use a blender.  In fact, a blender would probably be better.  I don’t have one.  So I use my food processor.

Birthday hint for Dear Hubby:  Nice blender

It will look like this.  All foamy and yummy.  And not a trace of pinto beans anywhere.

Then you dump in the oatmeal.

And give it a whirl again for 60 seconds more.  By the way, I set the timer.  I got tired of doing the one thousand one, one thousand two….. way of timing.

Now it looks like this.  At this point I pour the batter into a bowl with a spout.  For easy pouring into the waffle maker.  But you probably used your blender and it’ll be easy to pour yours.

Second Hint for Hubby:  My birthday is just over a month away.  Just sayin’.

Hello, waffle maker.  My waffle maker is my new friend.  As well as my food processor.  I’ve used them more in the past 5 weeks than I have in the past 5 years!

By the way, don’t preheat the WM until after you’ve mixed the batter.  The batter needs a few minutes to sit and thicken.  And the time it takes the WM to heat is exactly the right amount of time for the batter to thicken.

Pour the batter into the waffle maker.  See?  Pourable bowl.  But you can pour directly from your blender jar.  I would too, if I had one.  And have one less bowl to wash.

You’ll need to cook these a little longer than conventional waffles.  So again, I set the timer.  6-8 minutes.  My waffle maker tries to get me to take them out sooner.  But I don’t listen to it.  I wait for my timer.

Yum.  I can’t quite figure out exactly how much batter is needed to get the waffles all the way to the edge.  So I’ve decided I like them this way better because they look more homemade.  As if you could buy perfect pinto bean waffles anywhere in the world.  Not.

Sometimes I just top them with blueberries and a little honey or agave nectar.  Doesn’t that pic of blueberries make you want a handful?  I love blueberries.  And they are very good for you too.

I should mention here that you can add loads of things to the batter when you make these.  Any combination of the following:  banana, apple, cinnamon, walnuts, pecans – use your imagination.  In the latest batch I added two small apples, cinnamon and a handful of walnuts.  They were exceptional.  I could eat them every day.  Wait!  I do eat them every day.  At least until they run out.  Then I have to wait until Wednesday Waffle Day.

Here are a few other things that live in my refrigerator now:

Almond milk.  It’s wonderful on oatmeal.  I like the “breeze” kind better than the “silk” kind.  In case you’re interested.  And it is oh, so much better than regular milk.  I’m amazed how much I love it.

I also use soy creamer in my morning coffee.  I like the French Vanilla better than the Hazelnut.  But I have both.  And on my occasional trip to Starbuck’s?  I get a soy latte.  I actually like them better than regular lattes.  Who knew?  And if you register your Starbuck’s gift card online?  You get the soy milk and any flavoring free.  That’s your Starbuck’s Tip for the Day folks.

And I even have:

The Dreaded Tofu.  Horrors.  If you had told me 2 months ago that this would be in my fridge?  I’d have said you were crazy.  I haven’t actually made anything with this yet.  But I have recipes I want to try.  I’ll keep you posted.

And here are a few more things I’ve been making lately:

Hummus.  This is roasted red pepper hummus.  It’s so easy to make with a food processor.  Did I mention I love my food processor?  I’ll show you how to make it in another blog.  It is delicious.

Roasted veggies.  Before cooking…….

After roasting.  Yum.  I love these.

Here’s Friday night’s dinner.  A heaping plate of roasted veggies.  And even Dear Hubby loves them.  Sometimes I fill my plate even more full than this one.  But I wasn’t too hungry last night.

Snacks.  Or sometimes even lunch.  Homemade salsa, red pepper hummus and lots of veggies for dipping.  Very yummy.

Wonderful veggie chili.  Loads of beans.  I’m learning to love beans more and more.  And this chili was great.

More things to do in the food processor.  Sliced cukes and shredded carrots.  For salads, or sanwiches or dipping.  Well, maybe not dipping.  At least not those shredded carrots.

Did I mention I love my food processor?

All the ingredients for shrimp pico de gallo.  Shrimp, red onions, tomato, olives, jalapeno pepper.  This was Super Bowl food for us.

Last night’s supper.  Pita bread, carrots, cukes, spinach.  And just to prove I’m not a vegan – this is all topping off some grilled salmon in the bottom.

See?  Grilled salmon.  All flaked up for the pita pocket.

And it was deeeeeelish.

It all started out with a goal of lowering my cholesterol.  Nice side effect?  I’ve lost 13 pounds as of today.  Nice.  Very nice.  In a little over 5 weeks time.  And I’m eating a lot.  Just eating more healthy.

When Pioneer Woman gets wind of this she will gasp.  And refuse to be my best friend.  Forever.  But I plan on trying to convert some of her high fat, high calorie recipes into a healthier version of my own.  It’s my new challenge this year.  And I’ll occasionally share some successful ones with you.

But don’t discount pinto beans in your waffles.  You just might like them.

This picture greets me every day on the calendar in my bathroom.  The cat is sort of a cross between Miss Kitty and Boo.  And the caption reads “I am in shape.  Round is a shape.”  I wonder if there’s a skinnier kitty on the March page?  I guess I’ll know in a few days.

Thankfully, I’m getting less and less round by the day.

Healthy eating?  It’s a very good thing.  I think I’ll go get a nice juicy pear.

Slimmer hugs,

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27 Responses to Healthy Eating 101

  1. Cheri H says:

    I am gonna try those waffles. I am pretty healthy and I know it is because I have always loved fruit and veggies. Gonna try the roasted ones too. All this looks scrumptious!

  2. Judy says:

    Good for you! I feel healthier just looking at the pics!

  3. Kimberley O'Rourke says:

    Good for you, Barb! I’m working on eating healthy too. The Hubs wouldn’t dare let me turn us into vegans, but I’m just liable to try those waffles. Hope you get your blender!

    • Barb says:

      But we’re not really ‘vegan,’ Kimberley. We eat fish and a little chicken too. Just mostly veggies and fruits. If you knew me, you’d know this wasn’t easy! But I went whole hog – or maybe whole carrot – and am enjoying it all so much. Amazing how much better all the food tastes. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if it weren’t happening to me personally. The waffles are wonderful. By the way – I forgot to say that I also grind a little flaxseed in them sometimes. Extra healthy! And I think Hubby got the hint on the blender. 🙂

  4. Susan Bancroft says:

    Who ARE you?–and what did you do with Barb??? LOL! Seriously, I am really impressed! I can attest to the yummy bean and oat waffles, I made them yesterday and will make again this morning, because my husband and I loved them. (I couldn’t believe NO cooking the beans at all!) I need a couple of those recipes…bean chili, shrimp pico de gallo…yum! Thanks for inspiration of a new kind, Barb! 🙂

  5. Judy Terry Linn says:

    Now I am WAY hungry! Great blog!

  6. Cindy Smith says:

    I love it! Okay, now I need specifics; are you following an eating plan you found online? Did your doctor give you ideas on what to eat? I need to be eating better and am feeling inspired by the photos. Now I need to go eat breakfast as your pictures reminded me that I am hungry. Okay, I don’t know when I’m not hungry.

  7. Pam Barr says:

    Yummy! I want more recipes. And I’m going to try those waffles for sure. Wait. I don’t have a waffle iron. Rats!

    • Barb says:

      More recipes to come soon, Pam. But I think I have to do some quilting posts first! My quilt followers might un-follow me if I only do food. 😮

  8. Yum! I’m always changing my eating style.

  9. Laurel H. says:

    Wow; Barb; you make healthy eating look and sound so good! My husband and I definitely need to eat healthier, and this will in turn teach our teen daughters to do the same. No, we do not eat super unhealthy, but we could certainly stand to do better. Thanks!

  10. I just found you from quilter blogs, I’ve been trying to eat healthier too, going to follow you. Your pics are great!!
    I’m going to make your waffles for sure!!!
    My regular breakfast is a Blueberry, Soymilk, flax smoothie! Tastes great !

  11. Cyndie Knisley Shindle says:

    Barb, I loved this blog. I have been eating healthy for a while and it has revolutionized my life. I have an easy and quick recipe for the tofu. Drain tofu, squeeze excess water from it, careful not to mush it. Cube, put in baking dish cover with favorite marinade. This is an important step because tofu is really tasteless, so whatever you like in taste must be added. Leave tofu to soak for at least 15 minutes or overnight, you decide. Oven at 375 degrees F. Ooops forgot to say, drain off extra juice before baking. Bake for 30 mins. turn or toss cubes. I bake long enough for flavor to be attached to tofu.
    Cool and refrigerate (or eat) I put on salads, in sandwiches, use as main entre, snack, whatever you like. The great thing about this method is that you prepare the whole tofu brick at once. Keeping tofu in the frig uncooked requires it to be soaking in water, and it can get funky. It’s much easier to fix it all at once. It is also good just plain crumbled up on salad, kind of like cheese in texture, but sadly lacking in taste when plain. I am so happy for you, you are amazing and I don’t really think Pioneer Woman would be too shocked. You go girl!

    • Susan Bancroft says:

      Thanks, Cyndie, I’m definitely going to try this!! (I love tofu…) I made the bean waffles again this morning and tried one as a pancake…but 20 minutes later and still cooking the same pancake…it just wouldn’t cook through, so everybody stick to the waffle iron!! 🙂

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for the tofu suggestions, Cyndie! I need to make something out of that soon! One that I thought I might try with it is called “Fake Bacon” – I’ll keep you posted.

  12. Kandy says:

    Way to go girl! I lost 25 lbs about 1 1/2 years ago and have kept it off. I really want to try those waffles. One of my favorite breakfasts is an eggbeaters cheese omelet made with Laughing Cow Lite French Onion flavored cheese. Only 35 calories in the cheese and it’s delicious. It comes in lots of flavors and each little triangle only has 1 fat gram. I’m really enjoying your blog!

  13. Susan says:

    Well Ms. Food, I ate 1/3 of a CM coffee cake while reading your post, no soy, no oatmeal and not a bean to be seen….. BUT I did use Fiestaware… so am I still in?

    In truth this waffle thing is pretty amazing….. wonder if PW could start giving away food processors???? I could use one…..

  14. Alycia says:

    Yum!! Look at you!! I lov the idea for your waffles – even convinced my hubby to go buy me a waffle maker. We had brownies with Black beans – so they can be good. Plus I am gluten free so these waffles may be perfect for me! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Barbara Callaway says:

    That was the funniest blog ever! Susan told me about those waffles and I hid in the closet. Now I’m dying to make them. PLEASE revise your bf (Pioneer Woman)’s recipes. And post them! Your motivation is inspirational!

  16. Linda Sue Garrett Johnson says:

    Barb, I’m taking lessons from a professional chef who comes to my house, and she’s helping me develop lowfat, low sodium, but great tasting meals. Your roasted veggies look awesome and would fit right in with what she’s teaching me. Do you put any spices on them, are they oven roasted, etc. etc. They look terrific. Thanks and good luck with your diet…see you at guild!

    • Barb says:

      Linda, I do put some spices on them…. I drizzle olive oil over them and then sprinkle them with grill seasoning. I know there is salt in the grill seasoning, but I use a small amount and we love the flavor. I also always put chopped garlic (we love garlic at our house) and sliced onions on top. Sometimes I also chop some fresh herbs and sprinkle them on…. flat leaf parsley or cilantro. Rosemary would be wonderful too. And they are terrific!

  17. lynn says:

    Barb, You are getting more and more interesting with your blog! I can’t wait to read it each time. I am trying the pinto- cakes this morning!! Love the post on Bonnie Hunter, made me want to join the guild. See you soon, I hope. Lynn

  18. Madelyn Norville says:

    Loved all the new ideas. Jack and I are changing things around here as well. He loved the pics! I may be calling for more ideas. Or do you cater? That would be even better!

  19. Jean says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. Hubby n I are on a similar path. Right now we r really dieting, but I hope to find new interesting and healthier ways to change to healthy ways that we can stick to when we reach our target weight so we don’t have to do this dieting thing again. Love your quilting posts too. Big hug! Jean

  20. sue says:

    Barb, what a journey! I just love it and I am off to soak beans. Great job.

  21. Pingback: Napa – continuing travel journal | txquiltcountryliving

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