Fall Flashback

Cooler weather came to the Northeast today. The newly crisp air flowing into my apartment brought me right back to my autumnal New England heydays- the days when I ate bowls upon bowls of pumpkin-flavored oats and reveled in the brilliantly-colored leaves only New England produces.

Autumn is one of my favorite things in the world, and nobody does it better than New England (not even my beloved CO!).

Obviously, it is nowhere near autumn, but I had a can of unopened Libby’s pumpkin puree in my pantry just waiting for an opportunity like this.

With the idea of pumpkin oats growing more and more appealing by the minute, I decided to bust open the Libby’s and make myself an autumnal batch of oats. I figure there’s no harm in pretending that it’s autumn.

Adding pumpkin to my oats bulks them up nicely while adding the loveliest orange hue to my breakfast. Pumpkin oatmeal really is the food incarnation of autumn!

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup Coach’s oats
  • 1/3 cup milk, 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 nanner
  • pinch salt, boatload cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
  • 1T apple butter (to enhance the autumnal feel of my oats!)
  • Cocoa Mole Almond Butter sauce (1T AB + 1T milk, nuked, and stirred)
  • 1T flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • sprinkle of Bear Fit Naked Granola

Swirly swirls of oat beauty.

This bowl was delicious, and it definitely transported me back to autumn. I think my Gingerbread Walnut butter would have gone better in this bowl than my AB, but oh well. That walnut butter is long gone…it was far too delicious to linger very long in my fridge.

Lunch

Thank you to whoever suggested that I try fresh mozz on my next jam + basil + cheese sandwich. Great advice, dear reader! 🙂

To start, I spread raspberry preserves and 2 oz. fresh mozzarella on a slice of sesame Ezekiel bread.

On the other slice of Ezekiel, I layered tomato slices and basil. The slices were then united in sandwich perfection.

I love the seeds on the Ezekiel bread. They definitely add something to the overall look of the sandwich.

I had a side of s-berries….

…and carrot sticks.

Snack

I attended a conference on domestic violence today with a couple other AmeriCorps volunteers, so I wasn’t able to workout in the morning like I normally do. Once the (very powerful and poignant) conference had finished for the day around 5:00, I headed home to grab a pre-workout snack. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through a workout if I didn’t have something in my tummy.

I had the last of my Dr. Krackah stash.

But six measly crackers definitely wasn’t going to cut it as pre-workout fuel, so I had a small sliced apple with some PB!

Sigh….one of my all-time fav snacks.

I love PB! After I had finished my apple and PB snack, my finger magically found its way into the PB jar (a la Peanut Butter Fingers). Magically, I tell you. Funny how these things happen when a jar of peanut butter is staring at you from the counter.

After consuming my final taste of glorious PB, I headed to the gym for a weights + cardio session. I focused on arms mostly. Pushups, dumbbell rows, chest presses...that sort of thing. 45 min of hill intervals on the treadmill and elliptical were thrown in for good measure.

Dinner

It was 8:00 by the time I made it back home, so I didn’t feel like whipping up anything fancy. I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs….minus the meat, that is.

You see, I do eat meat on occasion, but I don’t have much of it in my house at the moment. I instead used some of these TJ’s meatless meatballs I bought on a whim several eons ago.

Normally, I try to avoid weird meat products like this, so I’m not sure how these ended up in my shopping basket in the first place. But whatevs…they were in my freezer, and they suited my needs for tonight.

I had a serving of these “meatballs” along with TJ’s marinara sauce, a serving of whole wheat spaghetti, and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast (for a dose of B vitamins and a nice, nutty flavor vaguely reminiscent of parmesan cheese).

Sauteed spinach with a drizzle of lemon juice on the side.

I have to get my greens in somehow!

Altogether now:

Quick, easy, satisfying. Sometimes, you just gotta roll with spaghetti.

Dessert

After spotting tart frozen yogurt from TJ’s on Allie’s blog, I knew had to get some for my own! Hartford doesn’t have any self-serve fro yo joints, so I figured this was the next best thing.

I couldn’t wait to dig in.

Topped with some fresh blackberries….how very self-serve of me.

I loved this flavor. It was just like the label said: pleasantly tart!

TJ’s, you will be the one thing from Hartford that I will truly miss. Tear…

Question: What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s product?

I’m mildly obsessed with their dried apple rings and PB-filled pretzels.

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8 responses to “Fall Flashback

  1. my favorite? Gosh I love so many but recently I’ve really been liking their frozen vegetable gyoza – something I haven’t figured out how to make on my own yet! 🙂

  2. My fav TJ’s product is that fro yo! So delicious! I’m glad you’ve discovered it too 🙂 Also I finally tried that Vega Vanilla Chai you seem to love so much and now I know why! Totally delicious but also totally expensive! Is Whole Foods the best place to get it?

    • I’m glad you like Vega. I’m obsessed (of course my fav protein powder has to be the MOST expensive one in the store…lol). I’m going to try the chocolate flavor next. Whole Foods is the only place I’ve found it so far, so I would check there first.

  3. i think TJ’s must be like love. it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. since i’ve never had an encounter with TJ’s though, i guess i’ll never know…

    • If you ever go to Santa Fe, they have one there! That’s the only one I can think of out west in the Rocky Mountain region. 😦 They really need to bring in some more.

  4. I’m a TJ’s virgin. Florida thinks it’s too cool to have one :/

    • Colorado doesn’t have any TJ’s either. The first time I went to one was when I visited my grandparents in New Mexico. It’s strange where they decide to put TJ’s….

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