Cherry Burgers for your Belly (By Natalie)

Last weekend I went to Northern Michigan to stand up in a wedding for one of my best buddies. Her name is Courtney Roscheck (well, now Thompson) and here she is, gettin’ hitched, with her new husband, Patrick. Look how happy she is!!!!!

The wedding was really fantastic and I had an amazing time.  As much as I would like to chronicle the fun I had with friends, this is a blog about being hangry, not weddings, so I’m going to write about some food and stuff (but seriously, Patrick and Courtney, if you’re reading this, that was one of the most rockin’ weekends I’ve had in a long time and a wedding I will never forget!).

On Sunday, my boyfriend Brady and I had some time to kill before our flight took off from Traverse City, so we headed into a local restaurant/brewery called Mackinaw Brewing Company for some nourishment before the flight. I thought that getting a healthy meal would be a feat at a brewery in Northern MI, but I was wrong my friends, I was wrong. On the menu, I spotted a healthy burger I had never heard of before, and that’s rare for this crabby patty (as my brother likes to call my microwaveable garden burgers) queen. It was called the Plevalean Burger. The menu touted that it was a 95% fat-free burger creation; mixed with lean ground beef and cherries (Northern Michigan is known for its cherries). Because my crabby patty queen status precedes me , I had to try this healthy alternative burger. Brady (who is quite a healthy eater himself) had to try it too. Let me tell ya, this burger was delish! I couldn’t even tell it wasn’t a real burger! And Brady dug it as well.

Here’s what the Plevlean People are saying about their burger:

PLEVALEAN’S BENEFITS
* Low in fat * High in protein * Half the calories of a regular hamburger
* Source of fiber and vitamins * Less cooking time and clean up
* Seals itself while cooking to maintain juiciness and flavor
* More yield (less shrinkage) * Extended shelf life for added safety
*Contains natural antioxidants found in cherries for
added health benefits* Enhances any type of meat dish *
Easy to digest and fits in well with special diets * No warmed over flavor

Cherries and meat? You’d never think it, right? Well start thinking it and get on it. You can order these burgers from the Plevalean peeps and eat them like I did! Just click here to get some Cherry Burgers in your belly ASAP. And then let me know what you think about this crazy fruit and meat creation.

UN-HANGRY! YEAH!

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I MADE DINNER!!!! (By Natalie)

Guys, you’re never going to believe it. I actually cooked dinner! I didn’t just make a peanut butter sandwich or peanut butter oatmeal. I freakin’ cooked a real meal. And that was part of the goal of this blog–for me to become inspired to cook some hanger reducing, healthy meals. It has begun friends, oh yes, it has begun.

On Wednesday last week, I stopped at the Farmer’s Market near my apartment and discovered that they had some beautiful brussels sprouts on offer. Brussels sprouts are such a rockin’ fall side dish and so good for you. So I decided to buy a bunch and plan to make a meal for my boyfriend for our Friday date night. I based the meal around the brussels sprouts and I went all fall on his a**. Cooking style.

I started with the brussels sprouts and pre-heated the oven at 400 degrees. I washed and trimmed the sprouts and then stuck them in a large zip lock bag. I tossed the sprouts with 3 teaspoons of olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. I shook that bag to the point where all the boys came to the yard, then emptied the olive oil, sea salt and pepper covered sprouts onto a cookie sheet and baked them for about 35 minutes.

While those delicious BS were getting all blackened and roasted, I started to cook some brown rice couscous.Remember the movie Office Space? Remember that the boss’s name was Lundberg? Anyhooooo, I cooked this stuff in 2.5 cups of vegetable broth (for extra flavor) and a half cup of water for 15 minutes. While that was cooking, I sauteed some nuts and dried fruit in a pan with some olive oil, so that I could add a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to the couscous for some extra crunch and deliciousness.

While the couscous and brussels sprouts were getting all good and cooked, I heated up some Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage as my main protein.

As the chicken sausage cooked for 7 minutes, I made sure to shake the pan that the brussels sprouts were cooking in to ensure that they got evenly roasted. Then I added my nuts and fruits mixture to the couscous to encourage extra flavor seepage for a few minutes before all was said and done.

Then when all was said and done, the final meal looked like this:

Looks delish, right? I ate only one chicken sausage but my boyfriend ate two. It made me feel dainty.

Hanger-be-gone dinner SUCCESS!

Peanut Butter Sammie=Hanger Free (By Natalie)

I’m on the go every day. I dash from client to client and I take the subway a lot. Most of the time, I have the time to sit down at home and eat lunch, or head into a quick healthy restaurant for a bite. But today, I didn’t have time for that. I was busy all day. I needed some energy to get my through and keep me keepin’ on. So I kicked it old school and made a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Awww yeah.

Here’s how I made it: I took some Ezekiel Bread and spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on both sides of the nummers nutty bread. I measure my pb out because otherwise, I might go a bit overboard on the portion control (I love me some peanut butter and it can get a little OC, what can I say). Then I add half a banana (or sometimes less than that) to one side of the bread.

Here is a picture of my sammie before I have made it into a sammie by smashing the bread together.

Delicious.

Then here’s a picture of me eating this lovely sandwich at the 33rd Street subway stop in between clients.

I know it’s a little kindergarten-y of me to be eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but it’s a great meal for an on-the-go type of situation and it’s really healthy for you. The Ezekiel bread is packed with protein and good for you carbs; the portion controlled peanut butter is an extra kick of (delicious) protein; and your banana is a potassium filled fruit to balance this meal out even more healthfully. Enjoy and be hanger free!

Eggs are Good for Hanger Abolishment (By Natalie)

This morning when I woke up, I was super hangry. According to the Hanger Scale, I’d put myself on an 8. Yep, that hangry. What’s great for satiating hanger? Protein. What’s a great way to get some protein? Eggs. Are there any more questions? No.

So I made some eggs. I’m gonna take you step by step through this incredibly easy to make meal.

First you gotta start with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. I like to stick with the 1 egg for a little more fat and protein to cut out my hanger, and with the two whites because I don’t need that much fat and cholesterol for my healthy body. If you notice in the picture below, I’ve got 2 yolks not being used and then 1 egg-shell in the middle where you can clearly see, there is no yolk. I know, it’s crazy. We’re gonna get crazier.

I then put the mixture of 1 egg and 2 egg whites in a pan. NUTS! For your viewing pleasure, I took a picture of it.

Now, what is that stuff in the middle of the eggs? you might ask. It’s this awesome spice mixture I received from my friend Josh as a Christmas gift back in 2009. It’s called Special Omelet and he bought it at the New York Christmas Fair. I know he bought it there because I was with him. He then gave it to me as a gift later.  I loved it so much that used it all the time. Not only in omelets. Oh, no. I also used it on chicken and other…stuff. I used the little bag right up. What was I to do? The Special Omelet was all gone! To my delight, I later found it at a street fair and discovered it was from a place called Spices and Tease (how clever) and promptly bought another bag. It looks like this:

I know what you’re thinking. That doesn’t look like a spice. It looks like something you’d roll up and light. Don’t worry my illegal friends. It’s just a spice called Special Omelet.

SO…moving on. As I am letting the eggs get all cooked and stuff, I pop a piece of Ezekiel bread in the toaster. What is Ezekiel bread? you might ask. Well first of all, here’s a picture of it.

If you still don’t know what it is after seeing this bag and thinking, oh yeah, I’ve seen that in the grocery store before, I will quote what the Ezekiel people say about themselves:

“This unique bread is made from freshly sprouted live grains and contains absolutely no flour…sprouting is the best way to release all of the vital nutrients stored in whole grains. Our exclusive sprouting process…causes a natural change that allows the protein and carbohydrates to be assimilated by the body more efficiently.”

Heeeyyy! Rockin’ the proteins and carbs and nutrients! I’ll sign up, Ezekiel. Plus, this bread is really yummy. It’s nutty and chewy and dense…My favorite kind of bread.

So I’m toasting the bread and scrambling the eggs and then I wash some strawberries because strawberries are delicious and good for me. Then when the bread is all perfectly toasted, I lightly spread some natural peanut butter on that sh*t, and volia, egg breakfast du jour.

Of course my favorite lobster mug is in there. Oh, and a multi-vitamin because a girl’s gotta stay healthy, right? Am I right?

So there you are. Hunger is abolished and tummy is happy.

Salad can satisfy acute hanger. I’m not crappin’ you negative. (By Greta)

Right now, rate your hanger on a 1-10 scale.

The lowest hanger rating, 1, means your hanger is so manageable that you could outlast the director’s cut of Les Misérables before you’ll need to reach for a snack.

The highest rating, 10, means healthy choices and waiting mean nothing – it’s all about proximity and speed.  So if the closest prepared food is deep fried butter (yes, it really exists), you’d eat it.  Nay, you’d swallow it whole without one iota of concern about the consequences of this decision.

(Woe unto anyone who encounters a person who is a 10 on the Hanger Scale.)

So, when you take this first and important step in gauging your hanger, you can figure out how much time you have to prepare food – especially if you have the highly scientific graph (below) by your side.  For example, let’s say your hanger is an 8 (yikes).  That means you have no more than 10 minutes before you start going postal in the absence of food.  (Given the current financial state of the U.S. Post Office, that’s pretty scary.)  So no matter what, if you are an 8, do not start preparing a meal that takes 30 minutes to make.

Instead, I’d like to recommend trying a surprisingly delicious and incredibly healthy dish that takes no more than 10 minutes to make: The Watermelon, Mango & Spinach Salad.

I know what you’re thinking when you’re an 8 on the Hangry Scale because I’ve been there: “You honestly think a f*cking salad is going to satisfy my hanger?  Piss off.  You’ve got about as much sense as the entire cast of Jersey Shore.”

Trust me on this one because I ingested this beautiful salad when I was an 8, and it satisfied me to my core.  Why?  Because the “flavor profile” (I’m stealing this term from the Food Network) is so harmonious that your taste buds will be doing backflips with each bite.  And the simplicity of this dish is divine: Simply chop baby spinach, mango, watermelon and a bit of red onion.  Drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, squeeze some lemon over it, and add a dash of salt.  Mix it well, and serve it with some whole wheat bread.

The sweetness of the mango and watermelon coupled with the contrasting flavor of the red onion and acidity of the lemon is absolutely delightful.  And the healthy fat of the olive oil helps calm down the hanger rage relatively quickly.  Cautionary note: the price of watermelon is starting to climb since we’re leaving summer behind, so make this dish before a pound of watermelon hits double digits.  Bon appétit!

Greek Yogurt and Oatmeal and Peanut Butter? Oh yes…oh yes. (By Natalie)

Eating a protein filled breakfast is a surefire way to get un-hangry. 0% Greek Yogurt is a protein packed option for your morning start. Folks, it’s 18 grams of protein in one bitty carton for 100 calories and no sugar. So what are you waiting for? I know what you’re waiting for. You’re waiting for Greek Yogurt to taste palatable. 0% Greek Yogurt is pretty gross, I’m not gonna lie. You have to quite literally spice it up to make it taste delish. Otherwise, it just kind of tastes like sour kindergarten paste. Here’s how I made my Greek Yogurt taste like something that didn’t 0riginate in an Elmer’s Glue bottle this morning: I started with my Fage 0% Greek Yogurt and added in 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, a handful of Irish-Style oats (uncooked for some texture), a dash of cinnamon, 1 packet of splenda, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a small handful of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal on top. Guys, this thing filled me up from 7:30am til noon. I was rockin’ a full belly all morning. Holla! Get on it, healthy eaters. This picture below might not look appetizing, but it was nummers. Enjoy!

1st Hangry Chick Post (by Natalie)

And so the abolishment of hangar begins!

I have been making the same thing for breakfast for a very long time. I love it and it’s easy. I love breakfast. I love oatmeal. I love peanut butter (pb). Bananas are okay, but mainly they are rockin’ with oats and pb. The portion controlled combo is delish. Here is a quick and easy suggestion for a yummy breakfast for you.

Here are your ingredients. You’ve got your oatmeal, natural pb, cinnamon, and a banana. I used Irish-Style oats, but you don’t have to. Don’t use the instant crap. Go for the old fashioned oats. I like me some Irish-Style because it’s chewy-er.

You take a half cup of oats, half of the banana, and a cup of water and put it in a bowl. It looks like this.

Then you throw this concoction into the microwave for 3.5 to 4 minutes. While it’s cooking, I make my coffee. Or check my email. Maybe you’re going to take a shower, feed your dog, frolick in the morning mist…Who knows. You have a max of 4 minutes. Do what you need to do in that span of time.

When the glorious oats and the (kind of) glorious banana have been cooked in the wave of micro, here is your result.

The sweetness of the banana has seeped into the oats and created more joy for your tummy (I also like to add 1 packet of splenda to increase the sweet of the meal, but you def don’t have to). Now we’re about to get crazier because you’re adding 1 tablespoon of pb and as much cinnamon as your heart desires (I chose a landing strip amount). Yesss….

Et voila. The totally gross looking amazing result mixed up. It is so delicious and healthy for you that I can barely stand it.

Here is my fantastic oatmeal with my favorite mug to drink coffee in. Not only is Maine “the way life should be” but it is “the way lobster should be.” Obviously. Now go and gobble this stuff up and feel the nutrition stick to your bones til lunch time when you will eat something equally as healthy and delicious. If you’re following weight watchers, this breakfast is 7 plus points. If you’re just eating healthy, well, good job. You’ve done it.