Low-key is the way to be

It was another solo weekend, low-key as could be. That’s not a bad thing, by any means — but I do miss the Boyfriend when we don’t get any time together.

What did I do all weekend? If you read yesterday’s post, you know I actually worked out Saturday. Thirty minutes on the treadmill, done. Grocery shopping, done. “21 and Over” watched and enjoyed. Veggies chopped and Tuna Quinoa Cakes made.

HG Oversized Carnival OatmealOn Sunday, I tried a new breakfast recipe when I woke up (even though it was closer to lunchtime). Brooke mentioned Hungry Girl’s Oversized Carnival Oatmeal not too long ago, and as soon as I checked out the recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. I decided Sunday was the day, even making a return trip to the grocery store Saturday when I realized I forgot the peanuts and caramel sauce. After that, it didn’t matter what time I woke up, that oatmeal was going to be mine.

Excellent choice. I think I’ve mentioned that I prefer overnight oats to oats of the hot variety … but if all warm oatmeal tasted like this, I might have to change my mind. It’s hard to hate peanuts, chocolate and caramel. Brooke’s description — I believe it was something about Snickers in a bowl — was spot-on.

Even better? It kept me full for hours.

I also got in some reading time at Starbucks. (I have contest entries to judge, and I got through three of them.) Then it was off to see the latest “Die Hard” movie. (Decided not to let bad reviews deter me, and I’m glad. It was a thoroughly entertaining flick. Whoever quipped that it was a good day for the “Die Hard” franchise to die was full of crap. Will Bruce Willis EVER go out of style?)

Tuna Quinoa Cake & saladWhen I got home from the movie, I ate a quick dinner — a Tuna Quinoa Cake and a salad made with some of the veggies I prepped Saturday. The tuna cake was as delicious as it smelled when I made them. But I’m glad I cut back on the cayenne pepper. It was plenty spicy for me with just half the amount called for in Lindsay’s recipe.

After dinner, I whipped up a batch of the No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars mentioned in Lindsay’s latest Sunday Food Prep Inspiration post.

No-bake PB granola barsUmm … perhaps “whipped” isn’t the right word. Despite the name, it took me a heck of a lot longer than 5 minutes to make them. Those wet ingredients are super-sticky. It probably took at least that long to get the coconut nectar I used in place of brown rice syrup out of the measuring cup. (Next time, I’m spraying the cup with cooking spray before I measure.)

Eventually, I got the oats and peanut butter/nectar thoroughly mixed, pressed into a pan and cut into bars. I cut the pan into 16 bars with 5 PointsPlus per bar. That’s the same PPV as some of the other snack bars I’ve seen (the Nature Valley protein bars I have in the pantry come to mind) … only these are homemade, so I know exactly what’s in ’em.

Next batch, I could omit the coconut and probably cut down on Points.

Now I’m hanging out with my cats, watching ID and enjoying a dessert of mint chocolate chip FroCho. This time, the color was spot-on and the chips (chopped before adding) were much easier to chew. I added a bit too much mint extract, though. Note for next time: 1/4 tsp. is too much for a 6-ounce single serve container.

Another note: Chobani Vanilla is much better than the Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt I used last time.

I’m contemplating hitting the kitchen again, though. Roni’s Asparagus and Ham Egg Cups would be an excellent addition to this week’s breakfast menu. All I have to do is roast some asparagus and bake them. I’d be done before midnight, right? Since I’m awake ’til at least 2 a.m., that’s child’s play.

Of course, I could stay in bed and read another couple of contest entries …

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