Tahiniliciousness

A lot of you are probably familiar with my friend, Tahini.

For those of you who aren’t: Tahini is to Sesame Seeds as Peanut Butter is to Peanuts. Get it? Good.

Like most (all) nuts and seeds – sesame seeds have some great health benefits. They are a very good source of maganese and copper, and they are a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B1, zinc, and dietary fiber. More nutrition stuffs here.

Aside from all the nutritional crap, tahini tastes pretty darn delicious  (in my opinion). Up until the past year I’m pretty sure I only ever ate tahini in hummus:

I did not make this.

But then my friend over at Little Health Junkie put it in her oats, so I just had  to follow suit. (And I’m so glad I did)

Of my experimentation, I found two combinations that are beyond excellent, so I decided that they must be posted here and now.

Super-Awesome-Tahini-Combo #1

                               +                     

Smashed Baked Sweet Potato (skin eaten by cook after baking) + Tahini

sweet potato mixed w/ 1 tbsp peanut flour & warm spices + 1/2 tbsp tahini + 1/4 tbsp blueberries

Mixed with a 5 Grain Hot Cereal + Oat Bran combination

Super-Awesome-Tahini-Combo #2

                             +                           

About Time Chocolate Whey Protein Isolate + Tahini

I made my typical Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls but used Tahini instead of the Peanut Butter. Results:

It’s a bit wetter than my first batches were because I’ve been using either 5 grain hot cereal or quick oats rather than oat bran. Also – I probably add more water.

These weirdly tasted just like my memories of Cocoa Puffs. I seriously love these protein balls. In fact, I’m going to go to bed right now so that I will feel as though I get to eat one sooner.

Career Craziness

So these past few days have been pretty darn crazy as far as my job goes.

Friday- I get an invitation via email to a confidential meeting with Human Resources in which I was offered another position in my company due to “uncertainty” about my program’s future.

Cut to today- half of the program’s staff gets laid off, and the other half is out of a job come August 26th. (luckily I managed to get into the second half) So, needless to say this is a lot to process. But I accepted the job offer. (Though it requires some screening of my Spanish skills first) It will mean a little more money, a lot of good experience, and a big schedule change.

totally unrelated.

Anyways! I’m going to look on the bright side of things and hope that this job pans out. (And put in some applications just in case)

But in all of this work craziness, I haven’t forgotten to eat well! (Duh. This is a food-eating blog, right?)

I spent last week enjoying barley a lot. Remember when I made it to go along with my salmon? Well, I had some leftover, and I got to keep enjoying it in breakfast form for a few days. If you’ve never tried barley for breakfast, you are missing out. It’s quite easy and quite delicious.

Step 1: Open your fridge, and stare at your leftover barley

waste not!

Step 2: Make half a serving of a hot cereal you enjoy. (preferably with milk for that creamy deliciousness) I made oat bran most days but also enjoyed quick cook steel cut oats.

+ Add 3/8 cup of barley (I think that’s roughly 1/2 a serving)

oat bran & barley

Step 3: Add your most favoritist toppings*

frozen sweet cherries + tahini

Strawberry, Kiwi, Wheat Germ, & Tahini

Raspberry, Flaxseed Meal, & Almond Butter

*Note: Can also be your second, third, or fourth most favoritis toppings

Once you try this, you will wish that you always had leftover barley. (That is my promise to you) The barley adds a wonderful chew and a most comforting flavor.

To round things out, I figured that I would leave you with This Week in Workouts:

TWIW 7.10.11-7.16.11

Su – 60 min Power Yoga

M – 45 min Cycle class

Tu – Circuit Strength Training

W – 20 min Stairmill + 25 min Elliptical

Th – Circuit Strength Training

F – 45 min Cycle class

Sa – off

Replacing Pumpkin

So, as you all are probably well aware, sometime around Easter it started to become impossible to find canned pumpkin anywhere. This made me very very sad because I love canned pumpkin in my oatmeal. But recently, while at an expensive, local, wholefoodsesque grocery store I discovered this:

It was located on the shelf next to some organic pumpkin (which I also picked up), but I thought to myself, “Hey, why not give this baby a shot?” A look at the nutritional profile was not as exciting as pumpkin, but I decided it would do.

So, this morning I took the plunge and opened this baby up:

Looks a little bit lighter than the organic pumpkin that I had previously used from the same brand. But it actually has the same smell. (reminiscent of baby food, but not so much as to repulse me)

I decided to make my usual pumpkin-peanut flour- blueberry-spices oatmeal concoction, only with butternut squash instead of pumpkin.

mixed with quick-cooking steel cut oats & oat bran (prepared with 1/2 cup milk)

The results? Delicious! It has a distinctively… lighter? flavor than pumpkin but it still went beautifully with this oat combination. In fact, I think I like this stuff better than the organic pumpkin of the same brand. (Granted, Libby’s still takes the cake… or should I say can)

On a side note, I’m marveling at how quickly this past hour flew by. I think I may just treat myself and watch a movie or something to enjoy the rest of my evening. Weekend starts tomorrow at 4:00PM!

What new-to-you product have you tried lately?

Do you have any awesome plans for the weekend?

I’m attending a birthday party on Saturday, but I’m hoping to pack in additional funness.

Ok for some reason I am compelled to post this:

I apologize.

 

Why?

...OK this is completely unrelated but clearly necessary to be an EatMyBeets post.

Why, oh why, is oats in a jar so darn delicious? I frequently add nut butters to my oats. But it’s not quite the same. There’s something about eating it straight out of the jar that gives me that “Oh my goodness this is incredibly good and decadent,” feeling. I’m thinking maybe it’s because it has so much more ooey-gooey-nutty-deliciousness than I would normally put in my oats. Either way, it gives me extra incentive to plow through my nut butters

OK, so now for my Ultimate Oats In a Jar Combo:

Ingredients

– 1 almost finished nut butter jar

– 1 tbsp peanut flour

– favorite fruits/berries –> I used fresh blueberries and (sliced) strawberries

– spices–> I used cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg

– 1 batch of prepared oats (steel-cut, old fashioned, multigrain… you pick)

Directions

1. Start cooking your oats via your preferred method. (I cooked steel cut oats on the stove with 1/2 cup milk)

2. To the nut butter jar, add your peanut flour, fruit/berries, and spices

3. Add your oats to your jar of deliciousness

4. Mix it allll up and ENJOY!!!

Please Admire the Thick and Delicious Creaminess that is OIAJ (the added peanut flour truly makes it)