Monthly Archives: July 2013

Spiced Amaranth Porridge

The cooler weather this week has been absolutely beautiful and much appreciated on my runs.

Apple-cinnamon porridge.  Slice one whole apple and add for last 10 min of cooking time. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, vanilla, and a drop of honey.

Apple-cinnamon porridge. Slice one small apple and add for last 10 min of cooking time. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, vanilla, and a drop of honey.

It has been as nippy as 55 degrees in the mornings- so refreshing! This little fall preview got me craving something warm and comforting to refuel with post-run. I just posted about the psuedo-grain, amaranth, under the topic index last week. The recipe I posted was for amaranth squares made with honey and peanut butter, but amaranth also makes a great hearty breakfast porridge.

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Directions: Mix 1/2 C dry amaranth with about 3/4 C water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 20-25 minutes. The grain will get slightly larger and more translucent in color when its done. This serving provides 14 grams of both protein and fiber, 40% of your daily value for iron, and about 360 calories.

Blackberry, lime& ginger porridge. Squeeze juice from 1 lime and a dash of salt & ginger into amaranth as it simmers on the stove. Once cooked, transfer to a serving bowl and top with berries

Blackberry, lime& ginger porridge. Squeeze juice from 1 lime and a dash of salt & ginger into amaranth as it simmers on the stove. Once cooked, transfer to a serving bowl and top with berries

 

 

I made 2 different varieties, apple-cinnamon, and blackberry, lime & ginger.

Ideas for every meal today!

ImageI’ve mentioned it before, one of the top excuses for eating crappy food is a lack of time (aka poor planning). But did you realize that just like you can pick out your outfit for the upcoming day, you can also prepare your breakfast so that something healthy is waiting for you as you head out the door in the morning? You can… and you should! Here is a healthy idea for every meal of the day!

Breakfast: OVERNIGHT OATS

To make basic overnight oats mix 1/2 C oats with 1/2 C milk or yogurt. Then choose whatever add-ins you’d like. Try any kind of fruit (fresh or dried), cinnamon, vanilla, flax/ chia seeds, or nuts. I sprinkled goji berries on mine! Refrigerate overnight, and in the morning you can grab your healthy breakfast in a hurry.

IMG_0704Lunch: TURKEY-AVO SANDWICH/WRAP w/GREEK YOGURT SPREAD

I used my favorite Ezekiel bread, piled with spinach, turkey, & sliced avocado. I used a thin layer of plain nonfat greek yogurt on each slice of bread as a healthy spread.

Image (1)Dinner: QUINOA, KALE, CORN & BEET SALAD

Begin by rinsing quinoa in a fine strainer under cold water. In a saucepan, cook 1/2 C of quinoa with 1 C water. Bring to a boil then simmer until seeds become translucent and begin to spiral. 1/2 C dry will make about 2 C cooked. For this recipe I used Simple Truth Organic Quinoa, which can be found in the health food aisle of Kroger. Combine 1.5 C chopped kale, 1/2 C corn, 3/4 C peeled and sliced beets, and 1 C quinoa in a medium bowl.

The Most Natural Brownies You Will Ever Eat!

Looks like someone already helped themselves to a big piece!

Looks like someone already helped themselves to a big piece!

 

I tried out this recipe because I was so intrigued by it- BLACK BEANS in brownies?? Whatttt. And DATES? No sugar or eggs? Even as the adventurous foodie that I am, whether or not these treats were truly edible, much less tasty, was highly questionable. But they are both edible and tasty!! They really really are!

 

Since I know that you are probably as skeptical as I was, here are the ingredients you will need to try it and see for yourself:

 

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 Medjool dates, with pits removed
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (ingredients should be almonds &salt only)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1 bar of 88% dark chocolate

* These brownies are also vegan because they do not contain any animal products, like egg or milk

Directions: Begin by pulsing dates in a food processor until they are smooth, add black beans and continue running processor. Next add almond butter and vanilla. Once these ingredients are smooth and well-mixed, transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in cacao powder, chia seeds, and 2/3 of the dark chocolate broken into small chunks. Pour into 8×8 in pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chunks over top brownie batter. Cook at 200 degrees for 90 minutes. * Let cool about 2 hours before slicing and serving* This cooking and cooling process helps create a better authentic brownie texture. It’s surprising how much like a “real” brownie this tastes. Let me know what you think!

The inspiration for this post came from peacefuldaily.com. 🙂

Eggplant, Kale, & White Bean Salad

Honey and balsamic vinegar sauteed eggplant served over chopped kale and white beans.

Honey and balsamic vinegar sauteed eggplant served over chopped kale and white beans.

Mix 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette, and a dash of salt in a bowl. Slice eggplant width-wise. Dip and lightly cover slices in sauce one by one. Cook slices in a skillet on med-high high for 6-7 minutes, flipping halfway through. I used about 1/2 an eggplant. Add 4 C chopped kale and 1 C of white beans to a large bowl. Remove eggplant from heat and chop into bite-size pieces. Mix with beans and kale. Pour any leftover sauce over salad and serve.

Energizing Southwestern Breakfast Omelet

I love weekends because they involve sleeping in, slowing down, and more time to make yummy breakfasts like this one 🙂 After rolling out of bed this morning I whipped up this Mexican-cuisine inspired omelet.

IMG_0762Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • A dash of hot sauce
  • A dash of salt & pepper
  • 1/4 C corn
  • 1/4 C black beans
  • 1 tbsp cheese of choice
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain non-fat greek yogurt

Whisk eggs with hot sauce, salt, and pepper, pour into heated skillet. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over eggs, then add corn and beans to one half of omelet. Fold omelet in half over itself and press gently with a spatula. Remove from heat after 3-5 more minutes. Garnish with sliced avocado and dollop of plain nonfat greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Healthy and delish! Now go power through your Saturday!

Homemade Hummus

It’s great with crackers, chips, raw veggies, and spread on sandwiches, its hummus! This healthy dip has gained substantial popularity over the past few years, becoming a food eaten by many. Buying a container of hummus at the grocery store can cost anywhere from $2.69- $4.39. Why not make your own at home? Not only does it tend to be cheaper, but it can be fun to create your own varieties and flavor combinations.

There are a few staple ingredients in any hummus recipe: tahini (a paste created from ground sesame seeds), olive oil, beans (traditionally, chickpeas), cumin, salt, and lemon or lime juice. You can get creative by using different kinds of beans, herbs and spices, and adding other extra ingredients. Some unique examples include beet hummus, edamame hummus, pumpkin hummus, and avocado hummus. The sky is the limit!

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Directions: To make one standard-sized container of hummus, pulse one can of beans in a food processor until smooth. Add 2 tbsp of tahini, 1 tsp cumin, juice from 1/2 a lemon (most recipes) or lime (more common with black bean hummus), a dash of salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Pulse until well combined. Spoon into tupperware, and refrigerate.

I chose to make black bean hummus because it is my favorite. I followed the steps above, then added chopped cilantro from the garden, and a few jalapenos for a kick.

I chose to make black bean hummus because it is my favorite. I followed the steps above, then added chopped cilantro from the garden, and a few jalapenos for a kick before pulsing in the processor one last time. I garnished the top with a little more chopped cilantro.

Stealthy Veggies: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The grated cauliflower florets being dried are on the left. Once dry, mix in with remaining ingredients.

The grated cauliflower florets being dried are on the left. Once dry, mix in with remaining ingredients.

Well, most of my blog posts involve recipes that are fairly simple and easy to make, but I am letting you know right now that this is not one of them! Ha! I wanted to give this recipe a try because I am all about adding veggies into a meal wherever I can, but I am not sure how often I will be making this one in the future.I tried this twice in the last week and both times found it to be just “okay” after a very labor-intensive preparation process.

By using a cauliflower crust, the pizza is relatively low- carb compared to a conventional pizza, which is typically not desirable for the competitive athlete, who depends on carbohydrates for fuel and recovery. However, those with celiac disease can enjoy as many slices of this naturally gluten-free pizza as they want!

Anyways, I thought the idea was an interesting one so I still thought I would share it with you. Inspiration was found here for the crust, and here for a yummy basil, nectarine and balsamic pizza. Let me know if you have a better experience with this than I did.

Finished crust, ready for your creative decoration

Finished crust, ready for your creative decoration

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 C plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 C grated cauliflower (I used my food processor and it only took a few seconds to grind each cup)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning ( I used this.)
  • Your choice of pizza toppings, check out the two variations I tried below
Thin layer of pizza sauce, chopped spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomato & goat cheese. I would recommend less cheese, this was too much!! Oops.

Thin layer of pizza sauce, chopped spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomato & goat cheese. I would recommend less cheese, this was too much!! Oops.

Directions: Pulse cauliflower in food processor 1 C at a time until it is grated as much as possible. Press each batch between a towel or paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible (this is the time consuming part!), allow to air dry further if you are doing other tasks in the kitchen. Combine with egg, yogurt, and seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Spread onto a pizza pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Add toppings and put back in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Also worth mentioning about this pizza “crust” is that it definitely does not have the same flavor, texture, or strength that a normal crust would have. I thought it tasted good and provides a good alternative for those looking for low-carb pizza options, but the crust is kind of crumbly and falls apart easily. The basil, nectarine, and balsamic pizza was delicious!! Amazing flavor combination–try that one! A final warning is that your kitchen WILL smell like cauliflower for the rest of the afternoon. I bet you are just dying to make this now after the glowing review I have given this recipe! : )