Microwave Roasted Garlic Cloves

Microwave Roasted Garlic Cloves | The Slender Student

It really doesn’t take much for a simple homemade meal to become something a bit more special. Sprinkling cinnamon over your oatmeal or spreading a thin layer of goat cheese on the bread of a turkey sandwich can not only make healthy eating more enjoyable, but it also adds a certain level of satisfaction to a previously mundane meal.

Today’s microwave roasted garlic cloves serve this exact purpose without requiring much fuss in the way of prep. I like these finely chopped in a pasta dish, thinly sliced among a bowl of steamed vegetables, or incorporated into any protein. I’ll prepare a whole head of garlic or two and refrigerate the extra cloves so they’re ready to go whenever I find that my lunch or dinner is lacking.
Microwave Roasted Garlic Cloves | The Slender Student

Microwave Roasted Garlic Cloves

1. Cut the top off the head of the garlic so all of the cloves are exposed.

2. Place the head in a microwave safe dish. Pour in 1-2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of olive oil for each head of garlic you’re roasting. Spinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Cover with another microwave safe dish (I used a glass plate) and microwave for 3 minutes. Continue microwaving in 1 minute intervals until the garlic is fork tender.

recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Slender Sweet Nothings

Simple, slender tips for nut butter addicts! | The Slender Student

I follow a lot of food and fitness accounts on Instagram and a common theme I’ve noticed is an intense, profound passion for nut butters. Put another way, #peanutbutter has been attached to over 1,000,000 photos. People are serious about this stuff.

I, however, was above it. Note my use of the past tense. After being hyper-focused on calories for so long, I strayed from more calorically-dense foods (like, ahem, nut butters) and simply didn’t keep them in the house. Recently, though, as I’ve become more liberal with my dietPB has re-entered the picture and I find myself appreciating it more than ever.

Still some calorie-consciousness remains and I know all too well that going elbow-deep in a tub of peanut butter is no way to be slender. So here are some little tricks I’ve devised to indulge my new found love of nut butter within reason:

1. I love apples and peanut butter. I find that the sweet/salty, crisp/smooth combination really rounds out a lunch. And while I could easily slather some apple slices in a quarter cup of PB (~400 calories), I know that my craving can be satiated with much less. What I’ve been doing instead is slicing an apple and then spreading just a smidge of PB on half of the slices. All in all it probably amounts to less than a tablespoon and I feel perfectly nut buttered up.

Slender tips for nut butter addicts! | The Slender Student

apple slices + chocolate PB + slender pumpkin pie granola; half of a baked Quest bar

2. Another favorite is warm peanut butter over ice cream. To cut back on the portion a bit while maintaining the flavor, I pour a little vanilla almond milk over my PB before melting it for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. This volume is sufficient to be paired with a scoop of vanilla and my taste buds never know the difference.

3. While I’ve been leaning on this far less lately, I do still keep some PB2 on hand. The texture and flavor isn’t quite as robust as the real thing, but I find that in many cases, it’s an adequate substitute with about a fourth of the calories.

What’s your nut butter of choice? What do you do to satisfy the the craving?

Cinnamon Roll Protein Pancakes

Look, let’s just call it like it is. Mondays don’t rock.

They start early, end late, and somewhere in between you have to take care of both weekend recovery and weekend regrets (I’m talking to you, fried egg sandwich from Max’s Wine Dive). And regardless of if the week ahead of you is full of first exams or free time, you know it’s going to be a long time before you can get another taste of that buzzy, what’s-going-to-happen-tonight feeling that only comes with Friday/Saturday territory.

So, yeah. Mondays suck. But what if I told you I have a pretty surefire way to get them started off on the right foot? Spoiler alert: it involves pancakes. Cinnamon Roll Protein Pancakes | The Slender Student

Cinnamon roll protein pancakes.

I know it’s a lot to ask of you for a weekday breakfast, but I promise you that these are worth it. Think about it. You can start your week off with a filling, healthy breakfast that’s all weekend-flavored. If you prepare the pancake batter the night before, you’ll still have plenty of time to wash the crusted drool from your sleepy, Monday morning face as these cook on the stove.

Cinnamon Roll Protein Pancakes | The Slender Student

Cinnamon Roll Protein Pancakes
Servings: 1 | Calories per serving: 346
Fat: 5.8 g (Sat Fat: 2.9 g) | Carbohydrate: 36.5 g | Fiber: 6.0 g| Protein: 38.5 g

ingredients:

1/3 C instant oats, dry

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 C liquid egg whites

1/4 C + 1 T fat free Greek yogurt

1/2 small banana

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 t cinnamon

1 T reduced fat cream cheese

1-2 T unsweetened almond milk

1 packet sweetener

PAM Original nonstick spray

 

directions:

1. In a blender, combine the oats, protein powder, egg whites, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.

2. In a large skillet coated with PAM, begin cooking the pancakes over medium-high heat, about 4-5 minutes on each side.

3. While the pancakes are cooking, spoon the remaining tablespoon of Greek yogurt and cream cheese in a small bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds to soften and stir until smooth. Add almond milk until your “icing” reaches the desired consistency and sweetener until it reaches the desired sweetness.

4. Stack your cook pancakes, pour on the icing, and bask in your last moments of relaxation before starting the weekday grind.

Cinnamon Roll Protein Pancakes | The Slender Student

Answers of the Week

In last week’s question of the week, I asked y’all about the challenges you face while trying to be healthy as a college student. I wasn’t totally sure what I’d do with the responses, but after receiving over 100 and reading through some seriously relatable stuff, I knew I had to share. Beyond the normal difficulties of figuring out what to cook, finding healthy options in the dining hall, or making time to get to the gym, I found myself agreeing with nearly every “other” response as well. I’m a firm believer that there’s comfort in numbers, so I hope that these makes you feel a little less alone in your journey to slenderhood. I know it did for me.

What's the hardest part about staying slender during the school year? | The Slender Student

Chilled Cilantro Bean Salad

So it’s been awhile, huh?

I know, the blogging hiatus was only supposed to last one week. But when that week went by and I still had zero pages of my thesis written, stacks of unorganized school assignments, a constant flux of unanswered emails, and no new recipes to post, I decided to keep TSS on the back burner for another seven days.

Chilled Cilantro Bean Salad | The Slender Student

While I do feel reinvigorated, eager to get back in the kitchen, and inspired to spread some nutritional knowledge to all you Slender Students, balancing all this school/life/work/health/social stuff is hard. It’s hard for all of us though, right? And isn’t that part of the reason I started this thing? I wanted to show my readers (and maybe myself, too) that finding a happy medium is possible.

It’s possible to get grades, go to the gym, make a weekly grocery run, and still find time to grab a drink on Sixth with all of your friends on Friday night. I throw the blog in there because if I didn’t have this outlet to talk about food, I wouldn’t have any friends left to drink with.

So, yeah, I’m going to stop whining about being busy because it’s unproductive. Instead, I’m going to put that energy toward things like filtering through research articles, thinking about doing cardio, and making giant vats of bean salad that’ll get me through a week’s worth of lunches. I suggest that you do the same.

Chilled Cilantro Bean Salad

Chilled Cilantro Bean Salad
Servings: 12 (1/2 cup per serving) | Calories per serving: 92
Fat: 2.6 g (Sat Fat: 0.4 g) | Carbohydrate: 15.0 g | Fiber: 2.6 g| Protein: 3.6 g

ingredients:

1 can (15.5 oz) corn

1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas

1 large tomato, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

1/3 C chopped cilantro

1/3 C peanuts

2/3 C red wine vinegar

cracked black pepper, to taste

 

directions:

1. Drain the liquid from both the chickpeas and corn. Place in a large bowl.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir well.

3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate before serving, at least 2-3 hours.