HOME(less)MADE CREAM OF BROCCOFLOWER SOUP (by Greta)

You know those three little words that make your heart race and cheeks flush.

Those three little words that have the power to change your life.

Those three little words that typically appear on a torn cardboard sign before the phrase “will work for food”…

I. AM. HOMELESS.

Yeah, that’s right – those three little words apply to me now. Thanks to a bizarre situation, which was a cross between The Amityville Horror and Animal Planet’s show Infested!, my home became uninhabitable. A plague of wasps, horseflies and American dog ticks drove me – screaming, itching and scratching – from my home in May, never to return. For a little over eight weeks, I have been living in a Candlewood Suites hotel with my beau and two schnauzers.

“So, Homeless G., what does your domestic status have to do with a) hanger and b) helping me control my hanger with healthy snacks and meals?”
My, my, my! We’re in a hurry to get to the point of my post, aren’t we? Are we getting a little hangry, perhaps? The reason I’m broadcasting my homelessness is simple: Life’s unexpected twists and turns might deposit us into situations where it can be particularly challenging to plan and prepare healthy dishes. To illustrate my challenge, I went from living in a spacious home with a chef’s kitchen to living in a shoebox with this kitchen:

Welcome to the kitchenette that adorns my new, homeless reality. Now get out. It only accommodates one person at a time, and I'm trying to cook some soup for you. Watch and learn.

Welcome to the kitchenette that adorns my new, homeless reality. Now get out. It only accommodates one person at a time, and I’m trying to cook some soup for you. Watch and learn.

Two electric burners, a microwave, a sink the size of a postage stamp and an oversized cooler posing as a fridge. We have no oven, no food processor, no blender, no juicer, no George Foreman grill (I miss you, George) – really, no kitchen appliances to speak of. I did, however, manage to rescue our toaster oven and hand mixer, which I threw into the car upon fleeing from our house of horror. If ever you find yourself making a hasty exit from your domicile, with no intention of returning, I urge you to bring a toaster oven and hand mixer. These two appliances have the ability to restore a smidgeon of sanity in the midst of chaos.

 

Granted, my situation could be worse. By simply turning on the news, I am keenly attuned to the fact that things always could be worse. I’m not living in a cardboard box under the Chicago ‘L’ tracks, wondering where my next meal will come from. So believe me when I say that I am not hosting a pity party over here; I merely am adjusting to preparing meals with considerably fewer resources.

 

One day you might find yourself in a similar situation and if you do, I am here to help you adapt – at least, from a nutritional standpoint. From now until whenever we find a home, I shall write my posts within the constraints of a hotel kitchenette, stocked with a very limited supply of appliances and other resources. On the plus side, necessity is the mother of invention; therefore, my current state likely will prompt inventive – and less difficult – ways to create fabulously nutritious, hanger-crushing dishes like…

Homelessmade Cream of Broccoflower Soup

INGREDIENTS

These are almost all of the ingredients.  Two ingredients didn't show up to the photo shoot: the olive oil complained about feeling fat, and the almond milk claimed to feel too nutty.  Imagine that.

These are almost all of the ingredients. Two ingredients didn’t show up to the photo shoot: the olive oil complained about feeling fat, and the almond milk claimed to feel too nutty. Imagine that.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ of a medium to large onion (red, white or yellow – your choice)
  • 3 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you’re not a vegetarian)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ large head of broccoflower (you can substitute with cauliflower), chopped into medium to small florets
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon curry
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

dirs

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat, and then add the onions. Sauté for a couple minutes until the onions are transparent.

2. Add the broth, almond milk, water, carrot, broccoflower, ginger, curry, coriander and cumin. Maintaining the high heat, bring to a boil. Then cover the pot, and adjust the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender enough to cut with a fork.

3. Using a handheld mixer, purée the soup right in the pot until it is smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, carefully pour the soup into a blender and blend on high.)

 

4. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste.

 

Cup o Soup

I decided to serve my soup in a cup. No spoon required! Clever, yes? No, not really. Our hotel room comes with four bowls and four spoons, all of which are loitering in the dishwasher, dirty. In this case, necessity was not the mother of invention – that honor goes to laziness. If you are not wrestling with laziness like me, serve the soup in a bowl, and sprinkle a little fresh, chopped cilantro or basil on top.

 

The rich spices and creamy texture of this soup will make you come back for seconds (and maybe thirds). That’s okay! This recipe yields about seven servings and is exceedingly healthy. The cumin and curry contain heart-healthy antioxidants and have been used to treat inflammatory conditions for centuries. Coriander is used to treat many issues like skin inflammation , high cholesterol levels, indigestion and blood sugar disorders, to name just a few. (If you are pregnant, ask your doctor if you can ingest coriander. It’s potent stuff.) Broccoflower, a cross between cauliflower and the chlorophyll of broccoli, is a good source of vitamins A, C, folic acid and antioxidants. So go ahead – go back to that pot for fourths. Your body will love you for it.

 

I saved the best benefit of this soup for last: This recipe yields a generous amount of soup, which means you likely will have leftovers. If you find yourself at an 8, 9 or 10 on the hanger scale, this HOME(less)MADE CREAM OF BROCCOFLOWER SOUP has your back. Reheating it will take only a minute or two, or you can eat it cold! This soup is so good that you truly can enjoy it at any temperature, making it one of the best supplies in your first-aid kit for the treatment of hanger emergencies.  (As well as other emergencies involving supernatural insects.)

 

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On My Soapbox, Serving Up a “Real Foodie Shake” (by Greta)

While cleaning my closet, I came across my soap box. It was neglected, dusty and supporting nothing more than the remnants of an abandoned spider web. Feeling oddly sorry for it, I dragged it from its dark corner, stared at it pensively, and then it hit me: I’LL BRING MY SOAP BOX TO MY NEXT HANGRY CHICKS POST!

Right now I’m standing on my soap box, and I’m ready to pose a provocative question about which I feel passionately: ready-made meal replacement shakes. The following question is intended to be respectfully thought-provoking; I assure you it is not a diving board from which I will jump into a pool of self-righteousness.

shake board

I have been a consumer of ready-made meal replacement shakes since I was a teenager, lured by Slim Fast’s promise that if I gave them a week, they would take off the weight. When I was in my early 20s, working at Gold’s Gym, I became a MET-Rx brand zealot not because of the marketing; rather, it was the brand of choice for many of the club’s personal trainers who had bodies chiseled from granite. Naturally, my rationale was that MET-Rx must be great stuff if the club’s Adonises were ingesting it. In the decade that followed my stint at Gold’s, I tried many other meal replacement shakes. The list is too long to share without running the risk of losing your attention. Suffice it to say that every time I jumped to a new meal replacement product, there were two reasons I made the switch: brilliant marketing and images of people with beautifully chiseled bodies, attributing part of their physical superiority to the benefits of the product.

In my decades as a ready-made meal-replacement product connoisseur, I can honestly say that I never invited common sense to the decision-making party, held right before I invested in the latest, greatest product. I allowed the marketing and testimonials to easily convince me that I needed [Insert Name Here] Meal Replacement Shake. Then, this year, I started listening to the questions posed by common sense:

  1. Don’t you think that it might be healthier for your body to make your own shake from real, natural, fresh ingredients? Why do you think a manufactured powder is better for you?
  2. The marketing materials keep telling me that it’s fast and easy to make these shakes, ideal for those with a busy life. What price are you paying for this “fast and easy” benefit? How hard is it to manage your time in such a way that you can allocate an extra 10 minutes to make a healthy shake from scratch, using real food?
  3. You already eat very healthy, well balanced meals – you’re not eating fast food or processed products. So why would you replace one of your healthy meals with a processed, engineered powder or liquid?

When I finally listened to these questions that my common sense has been trying to ask me since the 80s, I realized that I don’t need MET-Rx. I don’t need SlimFast. I don’t need Herbalife, Lean Body, Special K or Shakeology. Rather, I needed some recipes for meal replacement shakes that actually use real food, not faux-food powder. The best part of this realization was that recipes for real-food shakes are not only abundant, but many of them are free. Take the following recipe for example: It’s my favorite meal-replacement shake, and the only cost to you is an optional “like” on Facebook!

This recipe was inspired by Dr. Hyman's Whole Food Protein Shake in his book "The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet" (p. 267). I modified it to give it a bit more sweetness. I highly recommend his book -- his recipes will inspire you, too!

This recipe was inspired by Dr. Hyman’s Whole Food Protein Shake in his book “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet” (p. 267). I modified it to give it a bit more sweetness. I highly recommend his book — his recipes will inspire you, too!

 

BeforeAfter

The richness and flavor of this shake cannot be understated. Its sweetness is subtle and its texture is thick and nutty, requiring a little chewing while drinking. The nutritional profile (featured below) is so robust that it will satiate you for hours. In the past, I required a mid-morning snack to quell my hanger; but when I started drinking this shake every morning, I did not feel hunger (or hanger) pangs until 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. The fat content can take most of the credit for this benefit. If you’re alarmed by the amount of fat in this shake, don’t be. I actually lost weight when I started drinking this shake for breakfast, following a diet comprised of 30% fat, 30% protein and 40% plant-based starches and carbohydrates. Unfortunately, we’ve been misled to believe that fat makes us fat. In reality, sugar is the #1 offender in making us fat, followed closely by processed food. High-quality, healthy fat actually has the ability to help us lose weight.

This chart of nutritional information was generated by the AWESOME recipe builder tool on MyFitnessPal.com.

This chart of nutritional information was generated by the AWESOME recipe builder tool on MyFitnessPal.com.

Since I started this post on a provocative note, soliciting common sense to join me on my soap box, I would like common sense to finish this post. Even though I no longer subscribe to the practice of using ready-made meal replacement products, they do serve a useful purpose for many. If the circumstances of your day are such that you have two choices for lunch – no food or a Myoplex shake – then some nourishment is better than none. Similarly, if you are trying to kick a Quarter-Pounder-with-Cheese-and-French-Fries habit, and you’re replacing it with a Shakeology shake, well done! That change is a step in the right direction. Or if your Creamy Dutch Chocolate Isagenix shake serves as your daily allotment of gustatory joy, then I won’t be your designated killjoy. As someone who is constantly learning and growing in the area of health and well-being, I greatly respect anyone who is making an effort to make better nutritional decisions. My Real Foodie Shake just serves as a delicious reminder to invite common sense – instead of marketing – to help make those decisions.

A Hangry Chick Got Hitched! Holy CARIBBEAN COW! (by Greta)

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. McClure! (Photo by Lindsay Vann Photography)

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. McClure! (Photo by Lindsay Vann Photography)

THIS NEWS IS SO JOYOUS AND BEAUTIFUL AND BOUNTIFUL THAT I WANT TO GET ALL JULIE ANDREWS UP IN HERE, AND FILL THE HILLS OF CHICAGO WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC!!!! (Let’s ignore that my hometown, Chicago, has no hills and I’m tone deaf.) On Saturday, June 14, my little sister Natalie married her raison d’être, Scott, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The beauty of their ceremony was breathtaking. The adoration in their vows was so genuine that hearts swelled until tears of happiness welled up in the eyes of all onlookers. And the fun at their reception was so electric that even the most uncoordinated, rhythm-impaired dancer (me) was dancing until her hammies ached and her brother’s pants split in two (way to limbo, bro).

 
One of my favorite pearls of wisdom, attributed to Charles Swindoll (and others), is “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” So how did we, Natalie and Scott’s “island family”, react to this blissful occasion? Why, with copious rum, of course! In fact, in Natalie and Scott’s honor, a new drink was born during their wedding week: THE CARIBBEAN COW. Inspired by a cocktail of great renown, the Moscow Mule, THE CARIBBEAN COW includes the U.S. Virgin Island’s official beverage – Cruzan rum – in order to create a sparklingly light and refreshing cocktail with just a kiss of coconutty sweetness. With one sip of THE CARIBBEAN COW, a smile stretches across your lips, your eyes widen with unexpected delight, and you do a quick double-take to make sure your liquor cabinet is stocked with enough of the necessary supplies needed to invite many COWS to the party. Because baby, no one can – or should – drink just one COW, especially when a) you’re celebrating the marriage of my wee sister, and b) in the middle of paradise.

 
So how about it? You want to join me in toast to the new Mr. and Mrs. McClure? Then COW UP! As an added bonus, this is one COW that even our vegan friends can enjoy. Without further ado, the recipe:

 

Behold the CARIBBEAN COW!

Behold the CARIBBEAN COW!

  • Ice
  • Cruzan or Brugal rum (Cruzan if you want to remain true to the COW.  For those who are not big rum drinkers, try a Guatemalan rum called Zacapa – it’s not as sweet and is pleasantly reminiscent of whiskey)
  • Coconut water
  • Sparkling water
  • Thick wedge of lime

 

The recommended ratios are two parts coconut water, two parts sparkling water, and one part rum. Squeeze the lime into your COW, drop it in your drink, and get ready to raise your glass with this toast, stolen – and slightly modified – from Juno:

The best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, HANGRY, what have you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with. To Natalie, Scott, a life full of sunshine and CARIBBEAN COWS!

 
Now, I realize that our Hangry Chicks blog is all about making smart, nutritious decisions to quell hanger. So as you scratch your head, wondering why a cocktail is on our blog, I would like to redirect your attention back to my favorite pearl of wisdom. Hangry Chicks are not into deprivation. We’re into moderation as well as celebration. So our philosophy follows the 90/10 rule: Eat healthfully and intelligently 90 percent of the time. Ten percent of the time, cut loose, celebrate special occasions and don’t be afraid to dance with the devils known as Sugar, Liquor and Processed Food. Furthermore, have you read about the benefits of coconut water? I’m not advising you to replace your regular water with the stuff, but I’ll tell you what: coconut water is nutritionally valuable stuff. How do I know? I read it on the Internet right here, so it must be true.

 
Congratulations again, my sweet sister and best brother-in-law!

 

Natalie and Greta, two grateful, happy, un-hangry chicks.

Natalie and Greta, two grateful, happy, un-hangry chicks.

Easy Pumpkin Cookies (NKOTB Style): By Natalie

Hello hangry cookie lovers! How are you? How is your day going? Mine’s going snowy here in NYC, but it gives me the time to FINALLY share my easier-than-pie and low-cal cookie recipe I made for the Super Bowl a couple weeks ago. They are so good, I purchased the ingredients yesterday when I knew the snow was looming to make them again today should we be shut in. And we are. So I’m preeettttyyy glad I made that all important decision yesterday. Maybe the most important decision of the day.  

So. On Super Bowl Sunday, my fiance, Scott, and I had plans to go to our friends Lorean and Mike’s apartment for a party. Yes, you guessed it! A Super Bowl Party! We were instructed to bring something delicious. I noticed in the party email chain that no one had offered to bring something sweet so I took it upon myself to do so. I told Scott that I was going to be making my “healthy cookies” for the party and I all I got in response was a groan. “Uggghhhh, no one is going to eat those! Can’t you just make normal cookies?” No, Scott. I cannot. I cannot feel good about making cookies laden with butter, oil, and fattiness. I do love myself a fatty cookie every once in a while but most of the time, I just need to pretend I’m not eating something bad for me so I can eat more of it. Ya dig? He still wasn’t convinced that anyone would eat them but I was makin’ ’em! Hell or high water, I would make these easy, healthier cookies and people would eat them! And if not, I would tuck my tail between my legs and Scott would win the “I told you so” award. But I WOULD MAKE THEM (stay tuned for what unraveled with these cookies at the party–It’s a cookie doozy).   The recipe is so easy that it’s basically like you’re doing nothing. You’re basically sitting on the couch watching your favorite made-for-tv movie and pretending you’re baking. You’re painting your nails while browsing on Pinterest–pretending you’re baking. You’re getting a massage. You’re sleeping. You get the idea. There are five steps to this recipe, not unlike the five steps featured in New Kids on the Block’s “Step by Step” song. RROOOOCCCCKKK! Please do enjoy.

The only ingredients you need to make these Pumpkin Delights are Spice Cake Mix, 1 can of pumpkin, and semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional). Follow the New Kid’s Steps below.

 

STEP ONE! (We can Have Lot’s of Fun): Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

STEP TWO! (There’s so much we can do! (With cake mix!)) 

Image

 

Open a bag of Spice Cake mix and put it in a large mixing bowl. 

 

STEP THREE! (IT’S just you and me! (Pumpkin!))

 

Image

Take a whole can of pumpkin and empty it into the dry spice mix. It will be sticky and gooey. Deal with it! Kidding. Don’t feel like you have to add any water, even if you feel weird about it. It’s supposed to be like that.

STEP FOUR! (I can give you mooorreee ([optional]chocolate chips!))Image

You can throw some chocolate chips in the mix if you’re a chocolate lover like me but if you aren’t and you also want to save some calories, you are welcome to opt out (side note: they are much tastier with the chocolate chips).

Then ball up the mix into bite sized pieces and put them on a cookie sheet. Note that the cookies don’t really spread out so you can make them kind of larger than you would normal cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes. 

STEP FIVE! (Don’t you know the time has arrived! (To eat these cookies!)) 

Image

 

Here they are in all of their glory. They are cakey and delicious.

 

Now, I know you are DYING to know what happened at the Super Bowl party. What happened was, Scott, instead of eating my cookies, was eating a large slice of Humble Pie. Oh yes. Dishing. It. Up. That’s because all of my cookies were gone at the end of the night. GONE. Raved about. Recipe asked for. Eaten up like the little clouds of goodness that they are. Moral of the story, healthier can be better. We don’t need to eat greasy to eat happy. Am I right, hangry friends? Why, yes I am. Enjoy these cookies and remember that everyone will love them at your next bash and you can pretend you spent hours slaving to make these tasty treats. Have fun, you crazy [NEW] kids!

What does your purse say about your hanger control? Hint: A LOT. (by Greta)

I have a friend. Let’s call her… Breta. Breta was a Hangry Chick who constantly ran behind schedule. She never had enough time to think about breakfast in the morning, let alone properly plan for inevitable hanger attacks throughout the day. So when hanger struck, Breta would call upon cheap and easy fixes: vending machines, drive-thrus or – God forbid – buffets. All-you-can-eat buffets, that is, often necessitating pants with elastic waist bands and post-meal naps. Because she did not allocate a handful of minutes in the morning to arm herself with healthy snacks, Breta became a food whore: when hanger hit, she would stuff anything in her mouth to avoid hanger meltdowns.

Breta has come a long way. Even though she acknowledges that she will run on a time deficit until the dawn of the next ice age, she now manages her hanger with the measured discipline of a Spartan warrior. I mean, a Spartan cheerleader. SpartansOne can look at the contents of Breta’s purse to see that her lack of preparation gave way to the type of smart strategery that would make a misunderestimated Decider-in-Chief like George W. Bush proud. Showing incomparable magnanimity, Breta provided permission to let us see the contents of her purse: “Fine. But keep your goddamn hands off my ’Nana Nugget.”
Apparently someone is getting hangry.

In the picture below, we can see quickly that no matter where she is, Breta is ready to take hanger to the wood shed for a hard lesson in submission. (Except for that morning when she locked herself out of the house for three hours, wearing pajamas. No coffee, no breakfast, no purse. Hanger clearly had her in a headlock until the locksmith arrived.)

Purse
Look at Breta’s arsenal of hanger-killing weaponry, which she loads into her purse in less than five minutes: Luna bars, tuna fish and the ’Nana Nugget that she covets with the same zealotry that Gollum covets the Ring. Breta kindly agreed to share her ’Nana Nugget recipe with the hope that it will keep others from being victimized by hanger:

Nana Nuggets

Tear (or bookmark) this page from Breta’s playbook. Take 5 minutes each morning to stock your purse with a few healthy snacks that will liberate you from hanger’s sinister control. If you are feeling as magnanimous as my friend Breta, take a few minutes right now to respond to this post with recommendations for other portable, hanger-squashing snacks. Hanger doesn’t have a chance when Hangry Chicks unite!

Spring Salad! (By Natalie)

You know what I like? Salad. It makes me feel dainty. But you know what I don’t like? A salad without a lot of stuff in it. When that happens, I’m just hangry afterward and I start eating crap that I don’t need to quell the hanger beast. So, when I make a salad, I make a salad that will de-hanger me. And that’s just what I did a few dinners ago. It was sunny and springy and lovely outside and I needed to eat something that would emulate my feelings outside, on the inside. Youknowwhatimsayin’? So, I’m made a fresh and full springtime kinda salad to dehanger. And dehanger it did.

What you need:

  • Butter Lettuce (I used the kind in the bag because I was too hangry to wait to cut it…andlazy(cough).
  • 1 package of cooked scrimps (aka shrimp)
  • 1 avocado
  • Half a package of cherry tomatoes
  • Half a cucumber
  • A handful of silvered almonds (whole almonds will do the trick, too)

So yeah, it’s really easy. All you do is throw all of these ingredients into a large bowl. I mean, you have to cut up the cherry tomatoes in halves, slice your cucumber how you like it (I cut slices into quarters), cut up the innards of the avocado, cut the tails off the shrimp and chop them smaller, but basically, you just hodge podge it reeeaaaeal nice.

I also made my own mustard vinaigrette  dressing (fancy, right?). Here’s whatcha need for that:

  • 1 tablespoon of spicy mustard
  • A couple teaspoons of olive oil
  • A dash of balsamic vinaigrette
  • A dash of red wine vinaigrette
  • A dash of white wine vinaigrette

Put the tablespoon, teaspoons, and dashes into a small bowl, mix and then pour over the salad. Take some tongs and tong it around. It will look like this:

photo (8)

Then serve it for yourself on a nice plate:

photo (7)Delish looking, right? It was, guys! This “recipe” (I use the term lightly because let’s be honest, you’re just throwing a lot of sh*t into a bowl) makes about 4 servings. I suggest you eat it up that evening because the next day, the salad gets really soggy. Or, you can opt to add the dressing just to your single serving plate so that you can save the rest for the next day. Just don’t do yourself the disservice of sogging this -ish up overnight. The next day, it’s like a walk of shame in your 4 inch heels and “inappropriate for daytime” mini-dress–not cute.

Alright my fellow hangry friends. Enjoy some springtime salad and leave a freaking comment if you make this dish! We don’t get enough of these here. Ya hear me?!?! Now go clean your room…

 

 

Hanger Monster-Tamer Cookies (by Greta)

Cookies.  Any self-respecting, health-conscious person who cares about his or her waistline knows that cookies are verboten.  Totally taboo.  Or as my ‘favorite’ surgeon Dr. Oz proclaimed, “Your genetics load the gun.  Your lifestyle pulls the trigger.”

Cookie Monster Bandit courtesy of wave106.com

Cookie Monster Bandit courtesy of wave106.com

HAY-OHH!  Hold up, Dr. Oz – can you please rein in the drama for once?  I’m here to talk about cookies, not genetic gun control, okay?  Jeez.  Apparently you can’t be too careful about the contributors you invite into your blog space.

Ah-hem.  Where was I?  Cookies.  If I said that you could make the world’s healthiest cookie with just 2 ingredients – yes, TWO – you’d think I was drunk-blogging right now.  Why?  Because conventional wisdom tells us that A) cookies are not healthy and B) a two-ingredient cookie probably tastes like sawdust.  Dear Readers, I’d like to ask a favor of you.  Please suspend this belief just long enough to bake and taste these cookies yourself.   Trust me.

The following recipe yields just six large cookies, which is highly intentional.  For those of us who struggle with moderation, we really don’t need to bake more than six cookies at a time.  We know who we are, and we know I’m writing the truth.

Ingredients for Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana that is overly ripe (the riper it is, the sweeter it is, the better it is)
  • ½ c. old fashioned oat meal (don’t use that instant shit – it really is sawdust)

Directions:

    1. Cookie MixPreheat conventional oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees.
    2. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
    3. In a bowl, mash the banana with a fork, and then mix in the oats.
    4. If you used a particularly large banana and the mix seems a bit too wet, then add more oats until the mixture is cohesive enough to form cookie patties.  Place them on the baking sheet evenly spaced.
    5. The size of the cookies is up to you; however, remember that smaller cookies require less cooking time.  I created 6 cookies from my ‘batter’ and used a toaster oven to cook them for 25 minutes (or until you see the edges/bottoms of the cookies turning deep brown – not black).
    6. Let the cookies cool for about 5-10 minutes, and then marvel at the fact that you just created a 2-ingredient cookie.

Cookies_BakedBefore you try them, let’s make sure your expectations are in check.  Don’t expect this cookie to taste like it came from the kitchen of Mrs. Fields or Famous Amos.  The reason their cookies taste so good is because they’re so bad for you.  Remember what went into our cookies in order to calibrate your thinking about what you’ll get out of them.

Okay.  Now try them.

Well?  What do you think?  Here’s what I thought when I tried the two-ingredient cookie for the first time:  “No way!  It worked!  With just two ingredients!  That’s crazy.  And that’s a pretty decent cookie.  Nicely portable, too, in case I need a hanger-squashing snack to-go.  Hmm… but these cookies could use a little something extra.  Perhaps more sweetness.  What to do, what to do…”

That’s when my creativity kicked in.  After testing the foundational recipe, I decided to improve the flavor profile without compromising the cookies’ healthiness.  So I made another batch, and this time I added the following ingredients:

Additional Ingredients

The results:

Wow-oh-wow-oh-wow.  The texture and flavor of this batch made my taste buds do the Humpty dance.  Even better, using MyFitnessPal, I built the recipe to show you how the cookies’ superb nutritional profile remained intact:

Nutritional Profile

After you make your first batch of basic, two-ingredient cookies, I strongly encourage you to get creative with other healthy ingredients.  For example, I plan to try this recipe using all-natural peanut butter in the mix.  As a peanut butter fanatic, I’m sure the whole batch will not last longer than 10 minutes once removed from the oven.

Finally, I want to leave you with a picture of reality.  While the Hangry Chicks are all about healthy eating, we’re also humans who have moments of weakness.  While in the kitchen, experimenting with iterations of the foundational recipe, I had a weak moment that involved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  I’m not advocating the replication of this experiment.  I’m merely sharing it with you to show what can happen if you try to bake cookies while you are hangry.  My hanger was an 8 at the time of this experiment.  The highly naughty cookies did not even make it to the cooling rack – 30 seconds after this picture was taken, they were gone.

RIP, naughty cookies.

Naughty Cookies

Hiatus Ending, News, and More Squash for your De-Hanger Pleasure (By Natalie)

Holy hiatus, Batman! Yes, we know, we know. It’s been a long while since we’ve posted anything. What can I say? We are a couple of busy ladies. But we’re back on the scene so don’t you worry your little hangry heads. I’m sure you were very worried.

Three pieces of news before we share a new easy hangry busting recipe for your belly filling desires.

1) Early this year, Greta conducted a competition to find a new logo for our Hangry Chicks brand. We had many amazing submissions and we thank each and every designer who participated in the logo contest. We awarded Bambi, a fantastic graphic designer from Slovakia, the final prize because we dug her logo the most. What do you think? Let us know!

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2) We’ve finally created a twitter handle and facebook account. HOLLER. Check us out! @HangryChicks and http://www.facebook.com/HangryChicks. Please follow us since currently, our follower tally is zero. Yep.

3) Also, on a personal note, I (Natalie) would like to add that I had the amazing opportunity to have one of my workouts featured in Women’s Health Magazine this month! If you didn’t have a chance to pick up the magazine, you can check out the 15-Minute workout for arms by clicking here.

Okay! Enough with the announcements! Onto the food.

A little while back, Greta posted about using acorn squash as a shell for holding deliciousness. She filled her acorn squash shell with veggie stuff (in case you didn’t know, Greta is a vegetarian that also eats fish). Well, since I do eat meat, I’ve got a recipe that includes some-a that meat. My dude and I made an acorn squash filling that was Southwestern style and then fed it to my brother when he came over for dinner. Even my brother who isn’t into the healthy alternative eating enjoyed it! Success!

So here’s what you need:

  • 2 or 3 Acorn Squash
  • Turkey or Chicken Sausage (we used Applegate Farms Andouille Sausage from Whole Foods) 324
  • 1 Small Onion Chopped
  • 1/2 Medium red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans
  • 1 cup shredded swiss or Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado

So whatcha do is: Take all the steps listed in Greta’s post for cooking the squash/delicious shell that will hold your Southwestern innards.

While your squash is baking away, coat a large skillet with olive oil spray (if you don’t have an olive oil sprayer, run to your nearest Bed Bath and Beyond/open a new tab on your computer and go to Amazon for a Misto olive oil sprayer NOW. I will include a picture so

21524311318517pyou know what I’m yelling at you about). Then add your chicken sausage and warm it (it’s already cooked). Add onion and bell pepper to the sausage until softened (3-5 minutes). Then, add your chili powder and cumin. Cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10 to 12 minutes.

When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325°. Fill the squash halves with the turkey mixture. Sprinkle a little cheese on top and then place on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

Then it will look like this shiz:

1squash

And this shiz:

4squashIt was a hanger busting dinner, that’s for sure. And pretty easy to make, might I add. Yes, I might.

So go forth in more acorn squash de-hanger and spice up your life with the innards of the Southwestern variety. YAY.

Want healthy hanger control? Belly up to a short stack. (by Greta)

♥ Pancakes.  This word calls to mind IHOP and its famous golden short stacks, dripping with warm syrup, adorned by fruit, and topped with a generous dollop of butter and a swirl of whipped cream.

Rooty_Tooty_Fresh_n_Fruity

And naturally,  nearby are pancakes’ BFFs – bacon, sausage, eggs… and a defibrillator waiting under the cash register in case this IHOP pancake party turns out to be one party too many.

Pancakes are glorious.  But when you’re trying to manage your hanger healthfully and conscientiously, pancakes — like most cakes — truly should be a last resort.

Or should they?

I had ‘unfriended’ pancakes because of their white flour, carbs, buttermilk fat and – generally speaking – the complete lack of nutritional value that they contribute to my diet.  But here’s the thing: I had no idea that the traditional pancake has a fraternal twin.  Did you ever see the movie Twins with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger?  If not, skip to the next paragraph because the following observation will be meaningless to you.  The traditional pancake is DeVito’s character Vincent Benedict: fat, nutritionally ugly and contributes very little to the society known as Your Body.  The traditional pancake’s lesser known twin is Schwarzenegger’s character Julius Benedict: a nutritional Adonis, capable of contributing transformative value to Your Body.  This healthy, amazing-in-every-way twin has been around for a long time, living on its own paradisiacal island, known by some but unknown to me.  Until recently…

Hangry Chicks followers, if you were unaware of this pancake Adonis, it is my supreme privilege to introduce you to the guest of honor who sits on my breakfast table at least 5 days a week

The Julius Benedict Pancake

The Julius Benedict pancake, as I call it.  It is brilliantly simple in its contents and preparation.

Mandatory ingredients:

              • 1/2 c. Egg whites
              • 1/2 c. Dry oatmeal (old fashioned, not instant)
              • 1/2 c. Cottage cheese, 1%

Optional (strongly recommended) ingredients:

          • Couple dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg
          • A packet or two of Truvia or Splenda

Directions:

  1. Using a hand-mixer, blend the ingredients together for about 30 seconds.  Don’t blend too long as over-blending will adversely impact the texture.
  2. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. With the mixture, you can make several little pancakes or a couple big pancakes.
  4. Cook slowly on a medium-low heat to avoid burning.  It should take about three minutes (or so, depending on size of pancakes) on each side.

As I am not a cook, my first experience making Julius pancakes was a train wreck, which I will share with you in order to make you feel better about yourself.

I tried making three pancakes in a large skillet.  The batter, which is rather thin, did not conform to my spherical vision.  As I watched these three pancakes merge into one, I realized that I inadvertently succeeded in making a pancake in the shape of a uterus.  That was not my intention. 

Uterus Pancakes

When the uterus-cake was done and ready for its plate, it appeared as if it had a run-in with a wood chipper.  That certainly was not my intention.

Flapjack(rabbit)Cropped

Looking at my first Julius pancake was a fleetingly sad experience.  It looked like a drunk infant made it.  I was not drunk and as I write this post, I am 39 years old.  Then, like shapes and characters that emerge from clouds if you gaze at them long enough, I saw a little character in my pancake that made me smile – clearly it looks like an obese, jolly bunny, running as fast as his fat, little legs will carry him, with a sack of stolen goodies strapped to his back.

Despite the cuteness of this little flapjack(rabbit) moment, I had no qualms about devouring the portly bunny like a rabid wolverine.

I’ve come a long way since making my first Julius pancake.  As you can see below, I finally mastered the exquisitely simple spherical shape.

RoundJuliusCakes

Since this mixture makes two large pancakes, I now make my pancakes in two small skillets to ensure they are perfectly shaped.  I always top my pancakes with a teaspoon of Brummel & Brown butter and one tablespoon of sugar-free syrup.  I don’t have to say it, but I’ll say it anyway because this post isn’t nearly long enough: Get as creative with the Julius pancakes as you do with the traditional pancakes.  Add fruit, sliced almonds, dark-chocolate pieces (in moderation) – go wild with the endless possibilities.

As this blog is all about controlling hanger in healthy ways, I’ll conclude by sharing two amazing benefits of the Julius Benedict pancakes.  Incredibly substantive, they have the power to control hanger for several hours.  When I eat the pancakes that this mixture yields, I can go until lunch without eating a hanger-curbing snack.  (That’s quite a feat for me.)  Plus, the nutritional profile is off-the-charts awesome: the mixture above is a total of 312 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, and (drumroll please) 38 grams of protein.  Compare that to the nutritional profile of IHOP’s DeVito-fugly (but admittedly tasty) pancakes:

IHOP Nutrition

If you love your body and pancakes, you owe it to both of them to make Julius Benedict pancakes.  Or, since I eat these pancakes almost every day of the week, come over to my house for breakfast –  I guarantee instant addition with just one bite.

THE HANGRY PILLOW IS MINE!!! (By Natalie)

Ohmygodyouguys! Remember when we blogged about the Hangry Pillow that my friend Cheryl found for us??? Hold that memory…When I went to Chicago this weekend to visit my dear sister Greta, she had the Hangry Pillow waiting for me as a gift! YOU GUYS! I was so excited. Here is a picture of us on a 6 on the Hangry Scale holding the amazing pillow:

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This pillow was sent to us from Australia from a delightful woman named Cath. I assume she’s delightful because of this lovely hand written note she left with the pillow:

ImageAlso, I love that her business is called the Bearded Pigeon and I love her logo. We are birds (chicks), too (stay tuned on the blog for OUR new logo!!!)!

You guys should know that this pillow is feather stuffed and a joy to lie a hangry head on. And, like I wrote in the post describing the pillow, it has multiple uses other than comfort. Reacquaint yourself with these uses and buy yourself a pillow STAT!

SPREADING THE DE-HANGER!!!!