Friday, September 9, 2016

Date-sweetened Granola

1 8 oz bag dates (about 2 heaping cups)
2/3 c melted coconut oil (or any neutral-flavored oil; I've used grapeseed oil in a pinch)
8 cups rolled oats
2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Option one for the dates: put dates in a bowl and use enough water to cover them. Soak overnight until soft. Option two for the dates: Put dates in small pot and cover with water. Boil until softened.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Once dates are soft, use a food processor or blender and process the dates with the oil until smooth.

In large bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add date and oil mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Spread out on two large cookie sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Enjoy! This is great with milk (we use almond milk) or plain yogurt and fruit for a yummy parfait.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oatmeal it is

Our quick breakfast at our house...

Strawberry Blueberry PB Oats (one serving)

4 frozen strawberries
1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats
Slightly more than 1/2 c water
1 TB all-natural, unsweetened peanut butter
1/4 c frozen blueberries

Put strawberries, oats, and water in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for approximately 1 and 1/2 minutes (this is tricky, bc it depends on how much water, how cooked you like your oats, your microwave, etc. For us, we can do exactly 1:30). Remove from microwave, add peanut butter and roughly chop strawberries as you stir. Add blueberries. Enjoy!

I like using frozen berries for a couple reasons. First, convenience. Also, I like the flavor and texture of fresh berries, but I also like the flavor of the strawberries infused into the oats from cooking. This way I get the best of both, bc the strawberries don't get the mushy, cooked texture and flavor that I don't really like. Same with the blueberries. The heat of the cooked oatmeal thaws them, but they don't lose that pop of flavor that cooked blueberries don't have.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Blueberry Steel-Cut Oats (for 1)

Mmmmm, nothing says fall like warm pumpkin oatmeal. I threw some blueberries in for natural sweetness, and I have to say, pumpkin and blueberries love each other. The man of the house is out doing manly things and the kids are in bed. Hence, the single serving. And I ate it in bed. Because that is how I roll. Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Blueberry Steel-Cut Oats (for 1)

1 c water
1/4 c uncooked steel-cut oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 c pumpkin purée
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c frozen blueberries
Sweetener of choice

Bring water to boil and add oats, lower heat to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 12 min, then add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice (and extra water if needed). Cook 3 more minutes and remove from heat. Sweeten to taste. Transfer to bowl and add blueberries. Allow to sit for at least one minute to cool (and melt the blueberries). Devour!

I want to add walnuts next time, but I am plumb out of nuts right now except peanut butter, and that just didn't sound good to me. I love adding the blueberries at the end because they become nice and soft but still whole, so I get that burst of sweetness when I bite down. 

If you multiply the recipe, keep in mind that the regular ratio for steel-cut oats and water is 1:3, but when you make less than 1 cup of oats you usually need to increase the amount of water used. Keep an eye on the pan and if it starts to look like there isn't enough liquid, add some more. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

20 minutes to satisfaction

Remember that I never claimed to be a photographer. The photograph in this post is just scientific proof that my children willingly ate something healthy :)

Rosemary Tomato Quinoa

2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 tsp dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped
Optional: plain yogurt for topping

In medium sauce pan, sauté garlic in olive oil on medium heat,about 2 minutes or until barely starting to brown (there is nothing worse than overlooked garlic: it is super bitter). Add the rest of the ingredients, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer for about 12 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Top with yogurt if desired.

Super simple, tasty, and full of amazing plant proteins! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Little victories

No recipe today, but a confession turned celebration:

After story time, we often go to the drive through at Wendy's. Kids are starving, it's almost nap time, and I just want to have something ready to feed them as soon as I get them out of the car so that I don't have to corral cats to the table after I prepare something.

I would order a salad to share with Virginia, Noah would order a cheeseburger. Without fail, he would eat MAYBE a couple bites of the burger before deciding he only wanted to eat the top bun. I didn't like that he always chose a burger, but I wasn't willing to have the argument with him. But then he wouldn't eat it, he was still hungry, and he would end up eating part of my salad.

Just recently I decided to stop buying the burger. He felt like it was a very mean thing for me to do. But the funny thing is, he always wanted my salad more than he wanted his burger. After the initial fit about wanting the burger that I refused to buy just to toss in the trash, he has begun to get excited about the salad and cups of water that I get for us all to share.

The little things matter. I expose him to salad and veggies all the time. He gets grumpy and whiny quite often and would much rather eat other things if I presented them as options. But when it comes down to it, kids will eat what they're exposed to. Virginia is starting to use utensils, and just this past week she was stabbing at the lettuce and chowing down (usually she just eats the berries and chicken in the salad). It warmed my heart :)

Raising veggie-loving kids in our starch- and fat-saturated world is a battle at times, but it's one worth fighting.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Balsamic glazed mushrooms and onions with some other yummy stuff..

A recipe made from leftover produce, beans and quinoa that needed to be used or tossed. The flavors might seem an odd combo, but they really marry well. And it was super easy. I have no idea what to call it. If you make it, submit your votes for a name :)

You need all the recipe items plus a can of fat free refried beans. You can also add salad greens, I did for my first serving but later that night I was too lazy to chop and wash. Good either way.

Ok, get cooking! Put some water on to cook some quinoa. 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa. Bring water to boil, add quinoa, return to boil and cover, lower heat to simmer for about 12 min. Take off from heat and allow to sit for about 5 min.

While that was cooking, I "glazed" onion and mushrooms.

1TB olive oil
1large yellow onion, sliced
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water

Heat oil in large sauce pan on medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and starting to brown, about 10 min. Add mushrooms and cook for about 10 more minutes until the juices have cooked out. Add vinegar and water and cook for about 10 more.

Then layer it up! I did beans on the bottom, then quinoa, then greens, then the onion and mushroom mixture.

This took me a little longer than some of my "easy" recipes, but was still very easy, and the cooking times don't really require much stirring if you have the heat right. Virginia enjoyed  it, Noah wouldn't try it but that goes for just about everything these days...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

15 minute salad

Ok, no pictures today but I will be better from here on out. And I promised a friend I would post once a week, so tune in regularly for my lazy healthy recipes!

I took a great salad to a dinner with friends tonight. Romaine with roasted sweet potato and parsley vinaigrette. It turned out great, and I was totally winging it. Salad is so easy to fake, my friends! So be brave! But to give you some guidance, here is what I ended up doing:

First, from Bobby Flay, parsley vinaigrette. Original recipe here.

4 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey

1 tsp dried dill
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 a large white onion, sliced
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium sweet potato
Seasoning salt or seasoning of choice
Olive oil to drizzle or cooking spray

Salad greens, about 4 cups
Sliced almonds, 2 handfuls (maybe 1/3 cup?)

Preheat oven to 425. 

Dressing: Combine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic, onion, parsley, dill, salt and pepper, to taste, and oil in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Sweet potato: cut potato in half length-wise. Slice thinly and toss with a light drizzle of oil and about 1/2 tsp seasoning salt. Spread on baking sheet and cook for 10 min or until tender and starting to brown.

Chop and wash salad greens (I chopped two heads of romaine).

Allow potatoes to cool slightly and then toss everything together.

I literally did this in 15 minutes because I fell asleep and woke up just in time to throw something together using what was on hand, which included an old sweet potato that needed to get used, and some wilting parsley from my last Bountiful Baskets order. This was enough for sides for 5, but if I were wanting to make this a meal salad I would say more like 4 servings, and I probably would have added a can of beans to beef it up.