Recipes

Overnight breakfast miracle!

overnight-oats-bite

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but during the week it can also be the most hectic one.  My husband and I wake up and start the morning at a dead run. We’re doing our best to motivate the older kiddo to get up and ready while trying to convince the youngest one that it’s not time to play. In all that chaos, we have to track down homework, track down that smell, and somehow manage to get breakfast in before heading out for the day. Enter overnight oats.

Like the name suggests, this is one of those meals you prepare ahead of time, throw it in the fridge, and retrieve when you are ready to eat. It’s simple, nutritious, and delicious.

Overnight oats

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: crazy easy
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Ingredients

  1. 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (I use Bob Redmills gluten free oats)
  2. 2 TBS chia seeds
  3. 1 Banana
  4. 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp of vanilla (optional)
  6. 1/2 cup of yogurt or 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  7. Filtered water

Optional add-ins

  • a handful of chopped nuts ( I like slivered almonds or raw walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries
  • 1 TBS unsweetened dried coconut
  • a handful of cacao nibs

Method

  1. In a bowl mix all dry ingredients together, including any add-ins.
  2. Add yogurt or non-dairy milk and berries if using. Mix
  3. If using yogurt, add a few TBS of water until the oat mixture looks good and moist.
  4. Divide mixture between two pint jars or similar sized container with a lid.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least two hours before eating.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows

Health

Go play!

play

We bought our kids a trampoline for Christmas. This serves two purposes: 1.) to keep from adding more clutter to our tiny house and 2.) to have fun! (Because trampolines are just really, really fun.) They love it. My oldest races home from school every day to jump, and it has ended our arguments about screen time. My youngest has a blast and wears herself on the regular. Yay for longer naps, may they stay for a while. It’s such great play. We have a net and some rules, so I set my worries about ER visits aside.

But it’s also got me thinking about what I do for fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stop having fun. Or maybe it’s just that fun turns into going on dates or out to bars with friends. Now I am not a teetotaller by any sense of the definition, but I find that really sad. Not only is drinking too much really bad for our gut health, but it’s also usually a sedentary event. And when we try to right all of our sedentary ways, we usually do it by going to the gym. Where is the fun!?! When did we stop having fun through moving our bodies?

Playing helps to reduce stress, makes us feel younger, and reconnects us to ourselves and our loved ones. What could be more important than that? Work you say? Bills? I get it, but wouldn’t work be easier if you were less stressed and felt more connected? Aren’t those bills always going to be there no matter what your health status is?

I’m issuing a challenge. Go play! Spend a minimum of 10 minutes a day doing something active that you find fun. Turn on the radio and make up a new dance. Have a race with your kids. Start a tickle fight with your partner. Just move your body and give into the joy of play. I’ll be jumping!

 

Recipes

Low sugar pear and blueberry crumble

pear-and-blueberry-crumble

 

Sugar is just no good for the human body. It makes us store fat, it encourages bad gut microbes, and it causes inflammation. Because of all that, I limit my intake pretty radically compared to the average American. I do have my times of the year when I let myself indulge a bit, and that usually works like a charm. However, the Thanksgiving to New Year period is a little hard on my sugar rule. I do well, but having the random fancy chocolate, piece of pie, or fabulous mimosa makes it hard to go back to my less sweet ways. The cravings are strong, my friend.

So I have two choices: give up the cause or find a way back. I always want to find my way back because giving up the cause is giving into feeling like crap. Enter my bridge dessert, a dessert I make to help me bridge the cravings while getting back on the wagon. And this year’s dessert is perfect; it’s full of healthy fats and has only the natural sugars of the fruit. The key is to sauté the fruit to bring out the sugars and make them all pie-like.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Low-Sugar Fruit Crumble

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Crumble Ingredients 

  • 1  1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cups rolled oats (optional: leave out to make it grain free)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBS coconut oil

Filling Ingredients 

  • 4-6 Bosc Pears cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cups of blueberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBS coconut oil

Tools

  • Food processor
  • Cast iron skillet (You can use a pie plate if you haven’t gotten your cast iron yet.)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  2. Place all crumble ingredients into food processor and process until well incorporated. I like mine to be almost dough-like with some texture.
  3. Heat 1TBS of coconut oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add pears and cinnamon stick. Sauté until the pears start to release their juices.
  4. Add blueberries. Continue to sautéing for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick.
  6. Cover fruit mixture with crumble mixture.
  7. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Recipes

Delicious and filling quinoa porridge

quinoa

 

I am going to be real with you right now: I don’t really like quinoa all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I love that it’s easy to prepare, that it’s gluten-free, and that it’s bursting with nutrients, but the flavor…meh. With this burden to bear, I have developed several recipes that give me all the punch while downplaying the flavor.  Like my recipe for the quilupa (a favorite at my house) or this lovely quinoa porridge. Like all of my quinoa recipes, this one starts out with premade quinoa that I have in the fridge. I usually make 2 cups of quinoa on a Sunday night while I’m cooking my dinner so I can use the quinoa throughout the week. Two cups dried quinoa equals about 6 cups of cooked, so it’s rather a lot. If you need instructions on cooking quinoa check out The Kitchn’s how-to. Personally, when preparing my quinoa for the week, I leave out the oil and don’t use broth so I can use the quinoa in lots of different ways.

Quinoa Porridge

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: silly easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 to 1.5 TBS of coconut oil
  • 1 or 2 sliced bananas
  • 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 to 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or non-dairy milk of your choice (this is really dependent on how liquidy you like your porridge)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen fruits of your choice. Today I used frozen blueberries but have also used chopped apple, strawberries, and pear. Go with what you have on hand or what you have a hankerin’ for.
  • a handful of nuts and seeds of your choice. I used pecans and hempseed, but add what you have.

Directions

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add bananas and saute until they caramelize.
  3. Add cinnamon and salt, and stir.
  4. Add quinoa and stir to incorporate.
  5. Add in coconut milk starting with 1/2 cup and increasing until you get the consistency you like.
  6. Add in the remaining ingredients.
  7. Dish up and enjoy!

 

Recipes

Green and blue smoothie

 

yumy

My whole family has been fighting off the plague. Okay, it’s probably not the plague.  Actually, it was baby’s-first-week-in-daycare-and-she-brought-back-a-bunch-of-weird-little-kid-germ thing. You’ve probably heard of it. Little kid germs are some tough suckers, so we spent the weekend resting and eating healing foods like bone broth and shots of Fire Cider for my husband and me.  We are on the mend, but I’m taking extra care to nourish and support my immune system.  One method of support is this lovely smoothie, which is full of things my body needs like avocado, banana, flaxseed, spinach, blueberries, and a touch of coconut milk.  I chose these ingredients because 1.) I had them and 2.) they have powerful nutrients that I felt my body needed.

Avocado — The heart healthy fat in avocados helps the body to absorb all the nutrients that are going into this smoothie, making it a great base.

Banana — The sweetness in a banana is a great reason to add it to a smoothie, but it has so many other benefits. Bananas have vitamins, minerals, and fiber our bodies need, and they help to keep a good balance of Bifidobacteria in our lower intestines, which in turn keeps our guts healthy. Healthy gut = healthy you.

Blueberries — These also add sweetness and turn the smoothie a lovely purple all while delivering antioxidants, vitamin K and C and more beneficial fiber.

Spinach — Spinach is a powerhouse and a great source of greens for people that are watching their intake of cruciferous vegetables. In addition to all the lovely vitamins and minerals, research seems to show that spinach helps to protect the lining of our gut from inflammation.

Flaxseed — Adding ground flaxseed to anything you eat is a great way to get a big dose of omega-3 fatty acids, a fat that helps with all manner of things. It helps reduce inflammation and lower triglyceride levels. Researchers believe it may even protect us from Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of my diet.

Green and blue smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: silly easy
  • Print

In your blender, blend together the following:

  1. 1/2 avocado
  2. 1 banana
  3. 2 handfuls of washed baby spinach
  4. 1 cup frozen blueberries
  5. 1.5 TBS ground flaxseed (optional)
  6. 1/4 cup pineapple (optional)
  7. the contents of 1 probiotic capsule (optional)
  8. enough coconut milk or other non-dairy milk to turn the ingredients into a smoothie.
  9. 1 to 2 tsp of hemp seeds to top it off
  10. Enjoy!

 

Recipes

Vegetable of the week: Sweet Potato

Nice_sweet_potatoI love sweet potatoes! Never was there a more delicious and versatile vegetable. It is also one one of the few vegetables frequently requested by my picky-eating daughter.  These lovely tubers are in season right now, and throughout the fall and winter you can find good deals at both farmers’ markets and grocery stores.

As one of nature’s superfoods,  sweet potatoes are chock-full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect the health of our skin and eyes.  They are also low on the glycemic index and may even improve blood sugar! In addition, sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties. They are bundles of unending goodness.  Here are some ideas to inspire you and help you easily incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

The roasting twofer: roasted sweet potato side dish and sweet potato soup. 

Peel and dice two medium sweet potatoes into roughly 1 inch by 1 inch chunks and place in a roasting dish. Chop and place 1/4 red onion and 3 to 4 peeled whole garlic pieces in one half of the dish. This is the soup side. Next toss in  1.5 TBS of fat (butter or coconut oil work great), and shake in a little salt and pepper, making sure to keep the soup side separate from the roasting side. Roast atroasting sp 350 for about 30 minutes (turning half way through).

Once sp souproasted, half the potatoes can be used for that night’s dinner. This night, we had black eyed pea tempeh, greens, and roasted sweet potatoes. The soup half of the dish goes into a blender with 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1 tsp of curry, and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. (I like thick soup, but you can adjust the amount of broth to get your preferred consistency.) Total prep, cooking, and soup-mixing time was about 45 minutes (mostly down time), and I ended up with five servings of roasted potatoes and two lunches worth of sweet potato soup!

 

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish tortillas are delicious, and if you ever have a chance to eat one at a tapas bar, I highly encourage you to try them. Traditionally, this lovely Spanish dish is made with white potatoes and onion, but I have sweet potatoes so that how we are going to roll! Check out my recipe here.

Make Your Own Sweet Potato

On MYO sweet potato night, I bake one sweet potato for each member of the family, usually sized relative to their size (Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour). Once cooked through and soft, the family pulls out all the leftover vegetables and beans we have from the week, along with other traditional toppings like butter and cheese. Everyone stuffs their potato with the fillings they like best. Like magic I have a clean fridge and a happy and full family.

 

Other honorable sweet potato mentions are sweet potato fries that my daughter adores and these sweet potato falafel that hit the spot every time.

As always, I hope these ideas inspire you to get in your kitchen and create something with one of this season’s lovely treasures.