I just finished a bowl of oatmeal. Not earth shattering news, I know, but usually I just eat oatmeal straight up, no fuss (except for last week's Choco Monkey Oatmeal from Hungry Girl's website). Today, I added 2 teaspoons of real maple syrup, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a quarter cup of lite vanilla soy milk, and it was fabulous! Who knew? Probably all of you reading this ;)
I actually woke up thinking about maple syrup this morning. I crave it sometimes, like when I get a peanut butter itch or a hankering for real cream in my coffee. I laid in bed thinking how I might work maple syrup into my breakfast without making pancakes or French toast. That's when I imagined the oatmeal/syrup/cinnamon/soy milk combo. It tasted wonderful in my head and equally so for real.
I blame my friend Gail Gedan Spencer over at The Skinny for my syrup craving this week. She told me that on Mother's Day her husband made her pancakes. When I asked if she used real maple syrup, she said, "Yep, had the real maple syrup -- my son has never met Mrs. Butterworth."
I used to do sugar-free or "diet" syrups until I wrote an article last year about maple syrup producers here in northwest Pennsylvania. I toured a maple farm and got to taste several kinds of syrup. I vowed then and there to never go back to "fake" syrup. You might get more "syrup" for your calories with the fake kind, but you don't need much of the real stuff to make a big impact on your food.
I used to experiment with food combinations, but I stopped when I joined Weight Watchers three years ago. I got so dull. That's why I've been printing recipes from the PB2 (powdered peanut butter) website at Bell Plantation all week, trying to find ways to incorporate peanut butter into my otherwise boring food life. Thus the reason I finally figured out peanut butter and bananas work well together.
One other food combo (actually, this is a condiment combo) I've had a yearning for lately is ketchup, mustard and chopped onions. My mom used to make sandwiches with that condiment combo when I was a kid. Here’s what you do: Take whatever lunchmeat combo you want and a slice or two of your cheese of choice and place them on one side of a good hoagie or other thick bun. In a bowl, combine equal amounts of ketchup and mustard and add two or three tablespoons of chopped or diced onions. Slather that on the other side of the bun. Put both bun halves under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts and the bun gets toasty. Slap it together and call it a sandwich! I plan to make that tomorrow, only I'll use a whole grain bun and low-fat cheese only. It will still be very yummy, even without the salami and bologna I used to use, because the warmed ketchup/mustard/onion combo makes the sandwich.
What are your favorite food combos? Let's see if you convince me and the others who read my blog to try your suggestions. Leave a comment or send me an email!
Before I go, my intestines called and said, “Stop feeding us fiber yogurts!” I can eat 15 grams of fiber in one sitting when it's a combination of veggies and beans, but give me 8 grams of fiber in Fiber One yogurt or 5 grams in Benefiber yogurt and I need to be quarantined for the rest of the day! What the heck kind of fiber is in that stuff? I'm going back to normal yogurt from now on. Have you had “problems” with these new yogurts?
Announcing the launch of my new website: “Refuse to Regain: Providing a supportive and educational online community dedicated to helping you maintain your weight loss”. I’ve been working on this along with my website partner, Dr. Barbara Berkeley, for a few months now. The blog is in its infancy and will evolve over time, and one day become a “real” website and not just a blog. Check it out and give us your feedback. Join the discussion board! Ask questions! We’d love to hear from you.