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Oats, Apples, & Cookies

30 Sep

As the crisp fall air replaces the summer ease, I’ve been switching up what I’ve been putting on my plate.  Apples have replaced summer berries, basil & corn have taken a seat to sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and squash – and oatmeal has reappeared into my regular routine.  Oh and cinnamon is generously sprinkled on many, many things – with gusto.

I feel more aligned and at ease when I eat what the season has to offer, it creates this subtle shift.  When I eat seasonally I can smoothly transition into the new space and pace of nature, rather than wanting and wishing what was (although that happens occasionally).  My body expects and welcomes the new seasonal food.  It’s grounding, warming, and comforting.  I find myself craving these fall findings – and unable to have enough apples.

I have been LOVING oats & apples in all it’s many forms.  In bowls or mason jars – depending on the amount of time I have to get out the door.  Here is a simple recipe you can incorporate into your weeks to make a great breakfast or even mid-morning or afternoon snack:

Steel Cut Oats with Toasted Apples & Pecans:

Steel Cut Oats

steel cut oats to stay

* Make a batch of steel cut oats (boil 4 cups of water then add 1 cup of oats and cook uncovered on low for 30 minutes OR add 1 cup of oats to 4 cups of water – stir and let sit for a minute, then cover and put in fridge overnight!) * this will give you about 3-4 servings for the week.

* Toast toppings:  Add a little butter or coconut oil to a warm pan and add cut up apples & pecans (feel free to add dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins here), stir, add cinnamon + perhaps a touch of maple syrup.

Prepare in bowl and sit and enjoy, or add to mason jar and plop in bag – I layered my to go oats by filling the jar halfway with oats + topping with cinnamon, maple syrup, and toasted treats – then repeat.

steel cut oats to go

steel cut oats to go

Of course this is only the beginning.  Top and taste according to what your boy wishes.

Then of course there was and will always be COOKIES.  As much as I am a cookie monster, I try and seek out healthy recipes with unprocessed sugar, good quality flour, and relatively little ingredients.  Here is what I found: click link or picture for recipe from Real Food Real Deals, they were really quite tasty.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Doesn’t it all just look like fall?  Browns and oranges gently resting on the ground.  What are your favorite fall treats?  Would LOVE to hear.

Pendulum Swing

20 May

I did a three day cleanse last week.  I had smoothies for breakfast, liver cleansing salads for lunch, and gentle soups for dinner.  All for the sake of giving my digestive system and organs a rest and getting my hormones back on track.  The hardest part was not snacking, staying away from chocolate, and not eating 3 hours before bed.  After falling asleep with chocolate in my mouth last week, I knew I would benefit from pressing the reset button.

Liver Cleansing Salad

Liver Cleansing Salad

I realized a few things.  I really do need snacks.  Every body is different, and some work better with just three meals vs. five smaller ones.  I realized I really do need something at 4:00.  The thing is I often have something at 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, all the way up until dinner, and then after until bedtime.

Lightbulb!  When you can’t engage in your normal patterns, you are then able to actually realize what they are and why they exist.  It’s nice to take a break so you can take a look.  

Then this happened.  On the fourth day, I found myself at the table scarfing a tray of middle eastern delicacies.  Dipping countless pita chips into the various dips like there was no tomorrow.  Red wine sandwiched my bites, and then cheesecake and chocolate espresso cake completed the feast.

Nice easy way to exit the cleanse right?  Alcohol, sugar, dairy, bread, the works.  Those certainly weren’t the perfect foods to ease my body back into normalcy, but this issue wasn’t about what I was eating.  It was how I was eating – out of control, like there was no tomorrow, like this was my least meal.

While I was so in control for those previous three days I swung the pendulum far over to one side, that it had no other choice but to swing as far over on the other side to balance it out.  Exhausting and informative.  The cleanse, and the post cleanse is not the place for me to be regularly – on one side or the other.

But rather the ability to find the middle, the ease the exists there.  This place is enjoyable and you could stay there for a while rather than dancing on these extreme edges.  Finding the choices that keep you as close to the center as possible.  This is why dieting doesn’t work long term.  Instead of quick fixes, it is about finding a lifestyle that is supportive to meet your health and wellness needs.

So be gentle, get curious, and tune into what your body needs to stay in the middle.  The point requiring the least amount of energy to be and function in.

If you’d like to add a little liver cleanse into your daily routine – without swinging from one side to the other try out above picture: Kale + Fennel + Red Onion + Lemon juice and salt + topped with olive oil before you serve.  Nicely paired with quinoa + salmon.

Breakfast These Days

3 May

Since spring has sprung I have been swapping my warm bowls of oatmeal and quinoa porridge for smoothies.  They’re great because you can take them on the go – if you have to rush out the door.  I am always sure to throw some spinach in so I get my nutritious greens in before 9 am in the morning – can’t beat that.  It’s fun throwing things into the blender and seeing what you get, but I’ve been coming back to this one for the past few days.

Chocolate Surprise:

for lack of a better name (ha!)

breakfast

breakfast

Ingredients:

  • handful of spinach
  • handful of frozen blackberries (or any other berry you have on hand)
  • half of a banana
  • 1 cup coconut milk (use any other type of non-dairy milk or coconut water)
  • 2 Tbs cacao powder
  • OPTIONAL ADD INS:
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1 Tbs hazelnut butter

Directions:

If you have a good blender throw it all in and blend.  If you have a rinky dink one like I do:

Blend spinach with a 1/4 cup coconut milk, then add frozen berries, banana and blend, then add in the rest of your coconut milk with cacao powder and any other add ins you’d like.

Drink up and enjoy!

Golden Beet Salad

22 Apr

I love tasty and satisfying salads.  This weekend I made a delightfully delicious bundle of greens with beets + goat cheese + toasted walnuts topped over some simply dressed baby greens.  Pretty quick and easy – the only time consuming thing was the beets – so plan ahead.

rockin' veggie medley

Ingredients:

handfuls of baby kale & baby swiss chard

3 golden beets (boiled, with skins removed and chopped – let cool)

handfuls of toasted walnuts (toast in frying pan with a bit of olive oil)

crumbles of goat cheese

for the dressing:                                                                                                                                                                                     this is my go to dressing – mix in a mason jar to save extra  for the next salad  concoction

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of mustard

1 clove of minced garlic

salt & pepper

baby rainbow chardThrow the greens in the bowl and massage the dressing over it, then add the beets, cheese, and walnuts and enjoy.

Thanksgiving in a Bowl

3 Apr

… in April.

… for breakfast!

Quinoa Porridge

Here is the scoop:

Make it warm:  Add some pre-cooked quinoa & sweet potato bits to a pot with a few glugs of coconut milk (or your preferred milk choice).

Spice it up:  Toss in some shakes of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and cardamon and mix.

Add some more flavors:  Pecans & dried cranberries.

Pour into a bowl, grab a spoon, give thanks and dig in for an excellent start to your day.

First Bite

2 Apr
I love to linger over breakfast.  I take my time.  I always think it is going to take about 7 minutes to eat, but it never actually does.  This usually leaves me literally running to school – something I am working on!

But I so enjoy setting myself up to win with my first bite of the day.  As the seasons are changing my winter bowls of oatmeal are transforming into lighter options.  Today was avocado toast.  So simple & amazing.

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Grab some:  Good quality bread! I LOVE Ezekiel bread because it is filled with sprouted grains a great nutrient dense option.  Toast your bread.  Mash the avocado on top – drizzle a touch of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and a shake of red pepper flakes.    

If you want to get even fancier you could jazz it up with some fruit on the side, or some lox or an egg on top.

Sit down & savor before you head out the door.

 

What’s for Dinner?

25 Nov

I was talking with my sister-in-law about the challenges of getting dinner together during the week.  I can’t even begin to think about what to make for dinner after a long day, but I do great when I spot a recipe I want to make and bookmark it on my computer and in my brain.  Today for lunch I made a recipe that came through my inbox (I love those – it is half the battle) and it was delicious.   It was quick, easy, light & healthy.  I can foresee it being a staple Tuesday dinner.. Plus, it felt nice to take a break from meat & dairy which I had a bit too much of over this weekend.

The Leftovers ^

Serves 4

1/2 pound fresh or dried udon noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, sliced into half-moons
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons mirin (optional) * I didn’t use and it was fine
2 cups water
3 tablespoons miso (see tip)
4 cups chopped kale * (I used baby bok choy)
2 teaspoons soy sauce, or to taste * I actually didn’t use any of this                                                                                                    Instead I added some spicy garlic sauce for some added flavor

 

 

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the udon according to the package directions. When done, drain and rinse with cool water until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and mushrooms in the oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are softened but still have some crunch. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for another minute.
  • Add the mirin, water, and miso, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the kale. Toss the mixture around with tongs until the kale has wilted. Add the noodles and use a pasta spoon to stir them into the broth for about 2 minutes.
  • Divide the udon and vegetables among bowls and spoon some broth over each serving.

 Tip: In this recipe, use a strong, dark miso. If you are using a light, mellow miso, you may want to add another tablespoon or so.

Recipe from Vegnomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.