Friday, August 1, 2014

Blue Diamond Almonds Honey Roasted Party Snacks

I recently was given the opportunity to try a couple of new flavors of Blue Diamond Almonds and share my thoughts on their new honey roasted line. Honey + Almonds. Yum and yes! We all know how awesome almonds are health-wise and these new honey flavored almonds though jazzed up a bit are still a great choice that can be incorporated into my day. 1 oz. about 28 nuts (and that's a lot of nuts) is 160 cals and gives you 5 grams of protein. I love almonds. In fact, rarely do I not have a little snack sized baggie with some almonds in my purse or carry-on bag when traveling.

Honey and almonds are really a perfect combo. Did you know? Honey bees pollinate almond trees as well as 1/3 of the world’s food supply. Almonds are the only crop that is 100% dependent on honey bees for the pollination of its crops, every spring more than a million colonies of honey bees are placed in California almond orchards.


I received 2 of the 4 new flavors to try: Honey Roasted, Honey Roasted Vanilla, Honey Roasted Cinnamon, Honey Roasted Chipotle. I sampled the Honey Roasted Vanilla and the Honey Roasted Chipotle. These new honey roasted nuts are delicious. Both. Awesome. I was a little nervous about trying the Honey Roasted Chipotle worried they might be too spicy for me (I'm not into heat) but they are perfect. It's a smoky sweet subtle heat. I LOVED them, many cans will be purchased in my future. I enjoyed snacking on some right from the can but you know I had to experiment in the kitchen with a few. I made a couple of super easy party appetizers.

Stone fruits are crazy good right now at my Farmer's Market (another thank you to those honey bees doing their thing.) I picked up some apricots on Saturday and they were perfect for this 3 ingredient appetizer.


Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Vanilla Almond and Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricots

1 oz. (about 28 nuts) Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Vanilla Almonds
2 oz. Goat Cheese (Chevre)
8 Fresh Apricots, halved

Wash your fruit. Run your paring knife along the natural seam to cut the apricots in half, remove the pit (if they are ripe they pop right out) and arrange skin side down on a baking sheet.


Place a little dollop of goat cheese in each half. I placed 1 oz. of Blue Diamond Honey Vanilla Almonds in a snack sized baggie and gave them a few whacks with a meat mallet/pounder (don't have a meat mallet, a bottle works great too.)


Sprinkle some of the crushed almonds on top of the goat cheese and place under the oven broiler (toaster oven would work too) for about 5 minutes till the cheese is bubbly, apricots are warm and you begin to smell the nuts toasting.


These would be great at a party. I love party snacks that are about 2 bites with no mess and taste great even after they cool a bit. Also these are perfect if you have some vegetarian party guests.

Here's one for your meat eating friends...


Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Chipotle Almond Mini Turkey Muffins

1 1/4 lb (average weight package) Ground Turkey
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1 1/2 oz. Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Chipotle Almonds
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 teaspoon Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Saute onion till golden. Set aside to cool. Whiz almonds in a mini food processor till ground.


In a large bowl mix turkey, cooled onions, ground Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Chipotle Almonds and remaining ingredients till just combined.


Scoop into a 24 cup mini muffin tin that has been sprayed with a little non-stick cooking spray.


Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Place under the oven's broiler for a few minutes more till golden. They pop right out. I placed a party pick in each and served them with a Greek Yogurt Cumin Lime Dip. I can't wait to have these little suckers again. So yummy and oodles of protein too!

Greek Yogurt Cumin Lime Dip

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, plain
zest and juice of 1/2 a Lime
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin

Mix together. Use for dipping these Mini Turkey Muffins, veggies, or as a salad dressing.

To find these new products in your area use the Blue Diamond product locator. You'll be glad you did. Oh and yay each can of nuts purchased donates some $$ to bee health research that looks at science-based solutions to honey bee challenges. "Bee" sure to check out all four honey flavors: Honey Roasted, Honey Roasted Vanilla, Honey Roasted Cinnamon, Honey Roasted Chipotle.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All of the opinions are mine. For the purposes of this post and recipe development Blue Diamond Almonds provided me with products used. Thanks for the yummy nuts. Want to learn more about all of Blue Diamond Almonds great products LIKE their Facebook page and tell them The World According to Eggface told you to stop by. Hope you give one of these recipes a try at your next shindig.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Greek Yogurt - 6 Protein Packed Breakfast Recipes

Greek Yogurt is a quick, protein packed breakfast. I like to add my own mix-ins and create my own flavors versus buying the flavored kind. I like to know what is in it and coming up with my own flavors is fun! Here's a few Greek Yogurt creations I've made recently...


Shelly's Coffee Caramel Nut Greek Yogurt Parfait - a few Tablespoons of Coffee Protein (I used Chike High Protein Iced Coffee,) a squirt to taste of Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Caramel,) a drizzle of SF Caramel Sauce and a few Blue Diamond Almonds.


Shelly's Chocolate Cherry Jubilee Greek Yogurt Parfait - a few Tablespoons of Chocolate Protein Powder (I used Celebrate Vitamins Chocolate Milk ENS,) a squirt to taste of Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Black Cherry,) a few SF Chocolate Chips and frozen, defrosted Cherries.


Shelly's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Greek Yogurt Parfait - a Tablespoon or 2 of Powdered Peanut Butter (I used Chike PB,) a squirt to taste of Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla,) and a few SF Chocolate Chips.


Shelly's Pina Colada Greek Yogurt Parfait - a few Tablespoons of Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Labrada Nutrition Lean Body for Her Natural Vanilla,) a squirt to taste of Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Coconut,) a sprinkle of unsweetened Toasted Coconut, a couple of Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds, a Tablespoon of Pineapple Tidbits (packed in juice.)


Shelly's Chocolate Mint Greek Yogurt Parfait - a few Tablespoons of Chocolate Protein Powder (I used Celebrate Vitamins Chocolate Milk ENS,) a squirt to taste of Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla,) and a hunk of crumbled Premiere Protein Chocolate Mint Protein Crisp Bar.


Shelly's Almond Joy Greek Yogurt Parfait - a few Tablespoons of Chocolate Protein Powder (I used Celebrate Vitamins Chocolate Milk ENS,) a squirt to taste of Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla,) and a few SF Chocolate Chips, a sprinkle of unsweetened Toasted Coconut, a couple of Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds.


Mix in Sugar Free Torani Syrups or sweetener of choice (agave, honey, none), defrosted frozen fruit, fresh fruit, powdered peanut butter, powdered SF pudding or Jello mix, SF drink mix, protein powder, unsweetened cocoa. Add a few goodies (watch the calories) nuts, SF chocolate chips, unsweetened toasted coconut, ground flax, etc. With school starting soon, make a few Yogurt Parfaits on Sunday for an easier week.

Freeze any leftover yogurt in ice cube trays like this or make bite size drops.



Use cubes in Make Ahead Protein Smoothie Bags (another great time saver) or pop out one or 2 when you want a cool treat.


Greek Yogurt is strained to remove liquid whey and lactose and the result is a thicker and tangy product similar in consistency to sour cream with generally higher protein, lower carbs and lower sodium than regular yogurt. I use Greek Yogurt in both sweet and savory ways (dips, salads) on the blog.

More Eggface Greek Yogurt Recipes
More Eggface Grab and Go Breakfast Ideas

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Your Weight Matters National Convention #YWM2014 Together We S.H.I.N.E.

Back in the beginning of the year when I first started mentioning the "Your Weight Matters" 2014 National Convention brought to you by the Obesity Action Coalition the September date seemed so far off. Time is flying and we're nearing this awesome event. I think it's time to remind everyone why they need to make it a priority to attend.

This year's theme is Together We S.H.I.N.E. Support, Health, Inspiration, Networking and Education.

In my opinion, those are many of the key elements in winning the daily battles in this war against obesity and excess weight we are fighting. Support for dealing with the feelings, emotions and the major changes that take place as we embrace a new healthier life is sometimes trickier than we imagine, often our usual go-to people may be less understanding or helpful than we would like, heck some sadly even try and sabotage efforts. There is something so comforting to be in a room of people who respect and understand our struggles in a way no one else can because they are on the battlefield with you. You will feel that sense of community, hear fellow attendees stories and those stories and that kinship will inspire you. I have made lifelong friendship at this event and I look forward to making new ones with some of you. You will walk away from the weekend armed with a network of new inspiring friendships along with evidence-based education and knowledge about health, weight management, nutrition, emotional well-being, body image, fitness, awesome tools and information that you can put into practice in your life right away.

Attending is an investment in YOU.  I hope to see you there!






The dates, details, important links...

#YWM2014 The Your Weight Matters National Convention
September 25-28 in Orlando, FL

Event Web Site
Hotel Info & Discount Pricing - Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld
We've got an Official Facebook Event Page and are starting to chit chat: Talking about what speakers they are looking forward to most, some are sharing costume ideas... Friday night we are dressing in costumes from our favorite decade, people are looking for roommates, talking about flight deals, come join in the fun.
Sign up for e-alerts to get all the 411 as it happens in your inbox.
Follow hashtag #YWM2014 on Twitter (this will be used during the event a lot.)
For more about the Obesity Action Coalition and the good works done on behalf of those affected by obesity. I am proud to serve on their National Board of Directors.
Are you a professional who needs CEU's - they are available.

Can't afford to go? The OAC wants to change that: Scholarships are available (Hurry This Friday is the application deadline)

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Sand Dollar Ricotta Pancakes

I saw some cookies the other day on Pinterest that used sliced almonds to make sand dollars and I thought, "Hey I can do that with my favorite Ricotta Pancakes!" Now all I need is to win the lottery, buy a beach house and I can eat these beachy themed, protein packed, healthy pancakes sitting on my deck staring at the crashing ocean waves.


Shelly's Sand Dollar Cinnamon Churro Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (Sugar Free Vanilla, SF Caramel or Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
Sliced Almonds (about 40, 5 per pancake)

Mix all ingredients together. I use whole milk ricotta, if you use part skim, drain first. Spray pan with non-stick spray. Spoon a dollop of mixture in pan and pat flat. Add sliced almonds in sand dollar pattern. Cook on low till golden, flip, pat flat, cook till done. Serve each pancake with a drizzle of warm Sugar Free Maple Syrup or delicious just plain. Makes 8 pancakes.

These can be frozen between slices of wax paper or kept in the fridge a day or 2 and reheated (nuke 25 seconds) for breakfast during the week. Surprising good cold too. Leftovers usually get some SF jam, almond or peanut butter smeared on them, wrapped in foil and they become a great breakfast-on-the-go.

More Eggface Pancakes
7 Protein Packed Breakfast On-The-Go Recipes

Between these pancakes and the ocean themed knitted garland and wreath my Mum made me. I'm all ready for that beach house. Anyone know what the Powerball numbers are going to be this week?




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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

A day in my pouch is a series of blog posts to show what a typical daily menu looks like in my post weight loss surgery world. Here's what my eating yesterday looked like...

Breakfast: Needed a quick cleanup breakfast because I had places to go and people to see ;) Greek yogurt in the AM is a great start to getting in your protein for the day and this one is so good you may want to make it for dessert. It tastes just like an Almond Joy! Shelly's Almond Joy Protein Packed Yogurt: Greek Yogurt, plain, add Sugar Free Coconut Torani Syrup to taste (about 1 Tablespoon works for me), 2-3 Tablespoons Chocolate Protein Powder (or Unsweetened Cocoa if you don't want the added protein) then hit the top with a sprinkle of some good stuff: Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds, unsweetened toasted coconut and a few SF Chocolate Chips about 2 Tablespoons total.


More Grab and Go Breakfast Ideas

I was asked to speak at a somewhat local (45 miles or so north) Bariatric Surgery Support Group. It was a lovely morning making new friends and catching up with some old ones. Thank you Riverside Jarupa Valley Bariatric for inviting me. I shared some tips, a few stories and some info about Obesity Action Coalition, the upcoming Your Weight Matters National Convention (5 more days to get your scholarship applications in.) I shared some goodies from friends at Celebrate Vitamins, Big Train, Chike Nutrition and we had some fun giveaways.

 
Lunch: I was going to stop and get some lunch somewhere but there wasn't much in the area but fast food so I ended up just heading home after. It was a much better choice... I sat outside and had this delicious bento lunch.


Pink Box (top left): Wholly Guacamole Mini Cup (great for dipping tomatoes & roll-up)
Green Box (top right): Sliced Tomatoes
Blue Box (bottom left): Roast Beef and Swiss Cheese Cold Cut Roll-up
Orange Box (bottom right): a hunk of a Peanut Butter Creme Power Crunch Bar (wafer like similar to a Little Debbie Nutty Bar)

More Bento Box lunches, FAQ's and an Online Source for my box
My Bento Box Pinterest Page - Oodles of Bento Box Pictures and Lunch Ideas

Dinner: I tossed a couple of Tortilla Crusted Tilapia Filets in the oven. When they were done I broke them up a bit and made Lettuce Cup Fish Tacos, a little leftover Southwest corn, cheese, dollop of guacamole, dollop of Greek yogurt with a little Mexican Seasoning mixed in.


Snacks: Coffee and the other hunk of that Power Crunch Protein Bar from lunch. See what I mean about it being more like a wafer/nutty bar than a protein bar. They are really good out of the freezer too.


More Days in my pouch

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

July is National Picnic Month! A Bevy of Bento Box Lunches to Celebrate.

July is National Picnic Month! I love a good picnic. What's not to love... fresh air, sunshine (Vitamin D), good food and if you can share it with some good company even better. I sort of picnic a few times a week, I made a resolution this year to spend more time outdoors so my way is to bring more of my meals outside. I can't always get to the beach or park so sometimes it's just out in the back yard but it's always fun and filled with protein packed, healthy food. Here are some recent bento box picnic lunches and some tips for making your next picnic perfect.

http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2011/01/day-in-my-pouch_19.html

Tips for planning the perfect post-op weight loss surgery picnic

1. Early post-ops, word of advice: Don't try new foods when you are out and about. Bring something tried and true or do a test run at home. You want to enjoy the day. The squirrels will laugh at you if you end up hurling behind a tree. They are rude like that.

2. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Always practice food safety. When I go further than the backyard I pack my bento box and then my bento goes in a cooler or bag with ice packs. Don't mess with salmonella.

3. If your picnic area doesn't have tables, find a soft spot in the shade and lay out a big picnic blanket. If it's an all-day affair, bring comfortable chairs or cushions to sit on. Post-ops over a year out are feeling me on this one. Ouch.

4. The Basics: Bring plenty of water. Don't neglect this. Dehydration is no joke and one of the major reasons for re-admittance to the hospital post weight loss surgery. Bring a few cold and a few frozen bottles so as they defrost later in the day you will have ice cold water and bonus they help your food stay cold. Don't forget your vitamins, no missed doses. Of course, pack the sunscreen and bug spray.

5. Pack your picnic backwards. If you have a dessert pack that on the bottom of your cooler, put any appetizers on the top, save yourself from digging around. Don't forget the utensils, condiments and salt & pepper. I love mustard packets, I snatch a few extras when I see them at restaurants. Shhh ;) I am a dipper and it's safer than mayo or yogurt for all day picnics.

6. If your day is being spent with whippersnappers be sure you have some fun games. I love this old school favorite. If it's just you and a friend or loved one... turn off the electronic devices and connect.
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ~Robert Brault
Finally...

7. The Food. Find oodles of protein packed and delicious (even the non-ops will love) Bento Box Picnic Ideas here on the blog or on my Bento -licious Pinterest page.

Here are some recent picnic perfect lunches. Click on links in descriptions for recipes or online sources.


Pink Box (top left): Grilled Zucchini (swipe of olive oil, sprinkled with Greek Seasoning, grilled on the BBQ)
Green Box (top right): Homegrown Tomatoes
Blue Box (bottom left): Salami and Provolone Rounds
Orange Box (bottom right): Fresh Cherries


Pink Box (top left): Homegrown Tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella (sprinkle S&P and oregano)
Orange Box (top right): Mango Chunks
Blue Box (bottom left): Dill & Onion Tuna Salad, Dill Pickle Spears
Green Box (bottom right): a hunk of a Premier Protein Crisp Bar (all flavors are really yummy, this one was Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Mint is awesome too)


Pink Box (top left): a hunk of a Premier Protein Crisp Bar (Chocolate Mint Flavor) in blue silicon cup and Blue Diamond Rosemary & Black Pepper Almonds in green silicon cup
Green Box (top right): Pineapple Chunks
Blue Box (bottom left): Roast Beef and Dill Pickle Spear Cold Cut Rollups with Mustard for dipping 
Orange Box (bottom right): Jarlsberg Minis (I love these)


Pink Box (top left): Greek Salad (tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, sprinkle S&P and oregano)
Green Box (top right): Hunk of Peanut Butter Creme Power Crunch Bar
Blue Box (bottom left): Turkey and Cheese Melted Rollup
Orange Box (bottom right): Chive and Onion Crunchamame


Pink Box (top left): Leftover Grilled Chicken
Green Box (top right): Shelly's High Protein Feta Dip for dipping chicken
Blue Box (bottom left): Berries! Blueberries, Raspberries and a Red Ripe Strawberry.
Orange Box (bottom right): Shelly's Homemade Protein Square (cross between a protein bar & oatmeal cookie)


Pink Box (top left): Ham, Cheese, Pickle Spear Cold Cut Rollups
Green Box (top right): Mustard and Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds
Blue Box (bottom left): Grapes (I grew these!)
Orange Box (bottom right): a hunk of a Premier Protein Crisp Bar (new Cookies and Cream flavor)

More Bento Box lunches, FAQ's and an Online Source for them 
My Bento Box Pinterest Page - Oodles of Bento Box Pictures and Lunch Ideas



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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

A day in my pouch is a series of blog posts to show what a typical daily menu looks like in my post weight loss surgery world.

Breakfast: Leftover cold Ricotta Pancakes smeared with almond butter. Surprisingly this is one of my favorite breakfasts.  I wrapped them in foil and took them on my crack of dawn walk. It's been so hot and unusually humid here, I have been trying to get my exercise in as early as possible.

 

More Grab and Go Protein Packed Breakfast Ideas  

Lunch: I filled my bento box with some good stuff and took it outside. Little tomatoes from one of the three plants I am growing were a part of lunch. I am actually surprised in this drought we are in that I am getting anything to grow but I'm getting a steady stream of little tomatoes and the grapes will be ready in the next few days that is, if the birds don't beat me to them.



Back to the lunch...


Pink Box (top left): Homegrown Tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella (sprinkle S&P and oregano)
Orange Box (top right): Mango Chunks
Blue Box (bottom left): Dill & Onion Tuna Salad, Dill Pickle Spears
Green Box (bottom right): a hunk of a Premier Protein Crisp Bar (all flavors are really yummy, this one was Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Mint is awesome too)

Shelly's Dill & Onion Tuna Salad

1 can (5 oz.) Albacore Tuna
2-3 Tablespoon Greek Yogurt, plain
several dashes of Dried Dill
dash of Oregano
2 Green Onions, diced fine
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix till well blended. Great with cucumber "cracker" scoopers.

More Bento Box lunches, FAQ's and an Online Source for them 
My Bento Box Pinterest Page - Oodles of Bento Box Pictures and Lunch Ideas

Dinner: It's been awhile since I made mini meatloaves. I love them... besides being just too darn cute they taste great. You know the edges are always the best part of meatloaf and mini meatloaves mean more edges.


Shelly's Green Chili and Cheese Mini Meatloaves

1 1/4 pounds Ground Beef or Turkey, the average weight of 1 package
1 Yellow Onion, diced
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1/4 cup Milk
1 Egg, beaten
1 (4 oz. can) Chopped Mild Green Chilis, drained (Old El Paso, Ortega)
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Topping
1 teaspoon Shredded Colby Jack or Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

Saute onion till golden, set aside to cool. Soak oatmeal in milk for 1 minute (you can use almond meal or bread crumbs if you do bread) Beat egg. Add cooled onion, egg and soaked oats to ground meat. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix till combined. Divide into 8 equal mounds. Form into mini meatloaves or if you have one of these super groovy pans like me use it. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Place 1 teaspoon of cheese on top of cooked loaves and broil for a minute till cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve with a dollop of Shelly's Cumin Lime Crema (3 oz plain Greek yogurt, squeeze of lime, a few dashes of ground cumin, stir till combined)


These keep for a couple of days in the fridge or freeze well either cooked or uncooked. I have found the trick to eating leftovers as a post-op is to keep things moist. I love this gadget for that. You put a couple of tablespoons of water in the base and it steam heats the food. Totally keeps foods from drying out. One of the best post-op gadgets in my kitchen.

Leftover meatloaves are great crumbled into soups or my bites (aka crustless quiches) or turned into a tortilla pizza or broken up into those Chickpea and Beef Bowls I make (use leftover meatloaf, crumbled instead of the beef.) I love coming up with ways to repurpose leftovers into completely different creations.

More Mini Meatloaf Recipes

Snacks: Coffee and it was so hot in the afternoon I made a Chike High Protein Iced Coffee Banana Mocha-chino. It cooled me down right away. Not a banana fan... add a few High Protein Greek Yogurt Cubes instead.


Shelly's Iced Coffee Banana Mocha-chino 

8 oz. Milk or Water (or combo)
1/4 of a Frozen Banana
1 scoop Chike High Protein Iced Coffee (I used the Mocha flavor)
a few ice cubes

Blend on high.

More Protein Shakes and Smoothies
More Days in my pouch.


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