Apple Pie Oatmeal

Oats are really good for you! But they're a bit bland. So what does one do? Add sugar, milk, syrup, raisins.... not always turning the oatmeal into a healthy breakfast. 

Well, today, I was in an apple mood so I turned my oatmeal into the essence of a slice of pie but with healthy ingredients. 

Apple Pie Oatmeal
Serves 2-3

1 & 1/2 c water
1/2 c apple juice
1 c oats
Dash of salt
Prepare the oatmeal according to directions on box. 
Put into 2 bowls

Top with the following ingredients, splitting between both bowls:
1/3 c applesauce
1/4 apple, cut into chunks or 1/4 c dried apple pieces
1/4 c chopped walnuts (or any nut of choice)
Dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste
If you're a hard core New Englander, top with a little shredded cheddar cheese

Believe me, these bowls will get emptied real quick! And it's going to stick with you all morning. Oatmeal with flavor! Yum!


A Hot Mess

I've warmed up my lunch and had to share a pic of it. I'm calling it my hot mess. 

The other day, I made some roasted carrots and baked potatoes for a dinner. Since topped potatoes are a yummy thing, I cut up a half of a potato, spread homemade veggie stew and homemade "best vegan nacho cheese sauce" on top. I plopped a couple carrots in there to complete the hot mess. 

Fruit is my choice for dessert this month. It always hits the sweet tooth spot. 

This is more filling than it looks. Any veggie would be great, like broccoli or spinach. The nacho sauce is amazingly good. Glad I tried it! This is a delicious challenge. Are you in? #E2Challenge


Feeling Good

The E2 Challenge has me bringing my own lunches to work instead of going to the drive thru. It has me doing extensive menu planning and grocery shopping accordingly. It has drastically changed the contents of my fridge. My kitchen stove and countertops are less sticky. 

All in all, I feel good. I feel healthy. I get weird cravings, like for a boston creme donut, or a hot apple pie, or a bag of greasy corn chips. But I have let those urges go as the thoughts of how good stuff is so much better than that. I am worth investing goodness and health into my body, not sugar and grease. A ripe pear, or a handful of homemade granola, or a bowl of popcorn is so much more satisfying. 

In the raging flu season, I've stayed well. (Knock) So far, I've felt no symptoms of bronchitis, which is usually an annual event for me at this time of year. (Knock) I believe my energy level has improved. I seem to feel less groggy in the morning when I have to get up. 

If you are curious about eating this way, give it a try. Start out as a cadet for a while. Even at that level, you'll feel good. Try the recipes. They're delicious! Make your own meals so you know what's in them. Take charge of your life towards healthiness. It's worth it!  #E2Challenge 



 I think I can safely say that popcorn is one of my all time favorite snacks. We used to make it on Sunday nights when I was a kid. I remember one time my brother and I were making some and he thought it would save a step to cook the kernels in butter. That certainly didn't work at all!

When I shop for popcorn, I never get the microwave type. It's full of junk. Whole kernel corn in a bag is what I get. And if I can find white corn, that is my preference. 

How can you deny this label?

Air poppers or microwave poppers take away all need for oil. A little herbs and spices from the pantry make it flavorful. You get a gigantic bowl when you're done. It's just plain good stuff! How do you like to E2-top your popcorn? #E2Challenge


Good Meals

When you start out with ingredients like this, 

You can be on your way to a good meal!

I have been so busy at work, I haven't been posting as much as I would like. But I will try to do better!

Here are some things I've noticed while going through the second week: 
1- my kitchen counters and stove aren't getting covered with a film of grease. 
2- I don't feel like good is laying like a lump in my stomach after I eat. 
3- the look of the inside of my fridge has changed immensely!

Veggies are so yummy. #E2Challenge


Lunch - P&L Sandwich

It occurred to me that I used to have vegetable sandwiches in the summer. Why not have them now?

Today's lunch was a pepper and lettuce sammich. There was enough moisture in the lettuce and a wonderful crunch in the peppers, it was great!

I had a perfectly ripe pear that I couldn't resist. This was all that was left after I got done with it!

Lunches can be fun. They don't have to be plain or the same every day. They can be healthy and satisfying. I look forward to more veggie sandwiches! #E2Challenge


GF Pancakes E2 Style

When I saw the Spelt Blueberry Pancake recipe in the 28-Day Challenge PDF, I knew I had to try it. I looked for spelt flour but didn't find it in my local stores so I substituted a GF baking flour mixture in its place. All I can say is "Yum!" over this recipe. If you are a pancake fan, or if you're craving blueberry muffins, make this and enjoy. You'll feel like your indulging but you are eating for your health.

I made 1/2 a batch and it gave me 9 cakes. After eating one, I felt satisfied. I always had butter and syrup with a breakfast like this but I didn't even miss the flavor of the butter. Extras will go in the fridge (or freezer) for another day. So glad I tried this one out! #E2Challenge


Avocado Experiment

There can be a lot of junk in guacamole. I tried to clean it up and make it E2 compliant. Take a look-

Mash one ripe avocado, drizzle with lemon juice. Stir til somewhat smooth. Add chopped jalapeño, onion, garlic, tomato, dried parley or cilantro, and pepper. Combine gently so it stays chunky. Eat it up!

I hope this is a nice addition to your E2 food arsenal! #E2Challenge


A quick post while I'm on my lunch break about lunch. I have to come up with more ideas for what to pack. So far, I've only made peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I love them but won't want to eat them constantly. I also bring fruit for snacks. Orange slices, apple, grapes... Those are winners! Also, I've brought rice cakes. I like their crunch. I ate a couple of Doritos (I know, they aren't in the plan) and almost gagged. They are so salty and greasy! How did I ever enjoy them, much less eat them? I think my tastes are changing for the good, and it is only day 4!  #E2Challenge



I've never considered myself to be a morning person. As long as I can remember, I resisted getting up early, no matter how long I slept for the night. In my teen years, many days my father would have to come into my room after my alarm went off (and snoozed a few times) to get me up and at 'em so I wouldn't miss the bus to school. And it rolled up to our driveway at 6:55! In my last year of high school, I missed the graduation rehearsal session after over-sleeping and turning off my alarm that day. No one was home to make sure I was up in time. 

There was one week, after recovering from a severe gastrointestinal virus, that I remember having so much energy, I didn't know what to do with myself. I would wake up early feeling well rested and ready to go. It seemed odd. Maybe that is what it feels like for other people who are morning types. Unfortunately, it only lasted a week, then it was no longer the norm but a once in a while thing again. 

As I get older, naps on weekends are  becoming a habit too. I find I want to sleep after lunch. I would guess that is food related. Kinda like wanting to sleep after that last slice of pie on Thanksgiving day. I took a long nap Saturday afternoon. Longer than usual. I justify it by telling myself, "I must have needed that." 

It will be interesting to see whether or not my "morning person" light switch comes on while doing this challenge. Or if it will eliminate the need for naps. It would be nice if if did! Energy is good!


Day 2 - Super Bowl Snacks

Making up snacks for our evening within the plant strong and gluten free guidelines that are worthy of our little Super Bowl party was a challenge in itself.

I was in the grocery store and saw carts piled high with bags of wings, quart sized jars of hot sauce, bags of chips, tubs of dips, dozens of cans of fizzy beverages... Yikes!

I decided to do the crudités and garlic hommos and a big bowl of "cowboy caviar" to be scooped up with toasted corn tortilla chips. 

Wholesome snacks that were delicious and satisfying. Good eating times! #E2Challenge


Day 1 - Main Dishes

15 Bean Soup
Oops! I didn't get a picture of it. But it all started with a bag of the dried soup beans. I boiled them for an hour in water. Then I drained most of the water out and added vegetable stock, chopped onion, bacon flavored tempeh, black pepper, turmeric, parsley, and hot sauce. That simmered for an hour and was served with homemade artisan style gf bread. 

My version of Moe's Personal Trainer

I enjoyed getting the Trainer at Moe's. It was loaded with all my favorites and I'd get the fried shell. Did I eat the shell? Of course. Then I'd be sorry a half hour later, if you know what I mean. 

One day, I thought I'd save the trip and made my own big bowl of the salad and dubbed it Homemade Moe's. We indulge on it somewhat regularly, since it's so yummy!

Place a layer of lettuce in the bottom of a large bowl. Top with brown rice, black beans, sautéed mushrooms (cooked with Mexican seasonings of choice), chopped tomato, corn salsa, tomato salsa, black olives, red pepper, and jalapeño pepper. Splash some lime juice and vinegar on top and dive in with a toasted corn or whole grain tortilla. 

Day 1 was an absolute pleasure! I feel good. Are you in the challenge? Why not?!!! #E2Challenge

Power-packed Day 1 Breakfast

Oatmeal with fruit.

I love oatmeal. This morning I wanted to indulge in it sans sugar, artificial flavors, and food colors. How does this look compared to the little packets of instant oats? 

The way I made it - I did servings for two but made half with quick cook steel cut oats with water and half with rolled oats and almond milk. 

Boil the liquid, add the steel cut oats. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the rolled oats and cook 5 minutes more. Add more liquid if too thick. Top with fruit and serve. 

I like to shop at Aldis for fruit and veggies. Sometimes their soft fruit is so ripe, it only lasts a day or two in the fridge. To help keep longer, I do a vinegar water rinse and store it in food keeper bags. 

When I opened my blackberries, there was one moldy one in the container. Out it went! The wash will delay the spread of the mold to the other fruit. Just put water in a bowl and a couple tablespoons of vinegar. I used white but apple cider vinegar is great too. Let them soak about 5 minutes and strain them. Now they're ready for eating and the fridge. 

I can say with most certainty that this will be a regular breakfast this month. It's quick, easy, tasty, and so good for you. Goodbye sugar and fat, hello clean eats!

Want to take the challenge? Go to engine2diet.com for all the info you need. Be well, everyone! #E2Challenge


The Challenge


Calling out all the stops. February is a month that our bodies need lots of help to stay healthy. Engine 2 has offered a wealth of resources on their website and Facebook page to help you get success in cleaning up your eating! We've eaten this way before after a serious medical wake up call. We're in! Check back for updates on the progress throughout the month. 


Seafood Saturday Night

More yummy seafood! Shrimp cocktail. Crab cakes. Steamed lobster tail. Linguini with clam sauce. 

I had a coconut Popsicle for dessert. Fantastic!

Creamy Clam Chowder

This was a pleasant surprise! It's a rainy day in January. We had the urge to eat seafood. After a shopping frenzy, the first thing I wanted to make was clam chowder! Grab a slice of bread or crackers and chowder love is in the air. 

I enjoy creamy soups. Cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cream of broccoli.... Name another and I will probably like it! So Manhattan style is not for me. 

Searching online recipes gave me a start in the right direction. Here's what I did to make mine. 

-Creamy Clam Chowder-
Melt 2 TBSP unsalted butter in pot. Add 1/2 onion, diced. Cook until softened. 
Chop 2-oz mushrooms, put in bowl with 2 6-oz jars of clam sauce. Let soak a few minutes then add to onions. (The mushrooms will absorb the juice and taste like clams)
Finely chop a large potato, add to pot. Bring to boil and cook until potato is soft. About 10 minutes. 
Add 1 can of drained clams. I used whole clams and chopped them up into large chunks. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. 
Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and bring to low boil. If too thin, add 1 TBSP cornstarch mixed in water to thicken. 
Serves 2 large bowls or 4 small ones. 

That's good stuff!