Tag Archives: cinnamon

The Swing of Things

I’m starting to get into the swing of things as my new role as student.

And, really, my lunches are not that different from my days as a working woman. Aside from the fact that I no longer have an overflowing snack drawer available (which is, admittedly, a loss), I eat my usual.

Who knew? 

Before I share this week’s lunch post, breakfast. I kept things simple and delicious with a good ole’ Hippie Smoothie with kale.

A lovely start to the day. Easily digestible plant-based protein, lots of fruit, antioxidants, dark, leafy greens…you can’t go wrong!

In fact, this has been my breakfast almost every morning this week. I usually make it the night before and store it in the fridge because I don’t have the time or energy in the A.M. to use (read: clean) my food processor.

Grab and go.

And now on to my last week in lunches. Which is really my lunches from two weeks ago, as I missed posting last Monday. And this Monday. Ha.

Better late than never, right?

MONDAY 

Tofu-Avocado wrap (original recipe here) on a whole wheat tortilla with alfalfa sprouts.

Nothing new here, but tasty as always.

I also whipped up some back-to-school special no-bake granola bars, based on Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed Oat Bars

As much as I love Larabars, I like to keep my bar consumption to a minimum for a couple of reasons: 1) I prefer to eat real food where possible and 2) I like to keep my wallet in tact.

So I gave these bars a whirl–with a few changes of my own.

Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bars

Adapted from Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed and Oat Bars

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnut baking pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup raw cacoa nibs (can replace with carob/chocolate chips)
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • a couple grinds of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • generous 1/3 cup brown rice syrup

If this ingredients list seems slightly overwhelming, check out Gena’s version which is even simpler! And feel free to make the recipe your own; you can go a lot of directions with these bars.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix nut butter(s) and sweeteners, then stir into dry ingredients until well-combined. Press mixture down into a baking dish. Cover with saran wrap to really push down evenly without getting your fingers sticky. Refrigerate for at least four hours before cutting into squares and wrapping individually.

They are totally delicious. My only complaint is that they are a bit sweet for my taste–but it’s hard to get around this as the sweetener is necessary to hold the bars together. So they are a total treat.I store them in the freezer and by the time lunch (or snack time) rolls around, these are ready to enjoy! Yum.

TUESDAY

Half a sprouted grain tortilla with Creamy Hummus (recipe here). Salad with greens, white beans, cucumber, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, leftover millet, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with Gena’s hemp pesto mixed with a bit of olive oil and a balsamic vinegar. No-bake granola bar. Apple.

WEDNESDAY

Veggie pasta salad. Apple.

The pasta salad was made from leftover whole wheat penne and veggies from the night before–with broccoli, onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. In the morning, I added white beans, toasted sunflower seeds, and dressed it with a bit of olive oil and balsamic.

Delicious–and such an easy lunch!

Dessert was a no-bake granola bar.

Yep, these are yummy.

THURSDAY

Apple. Salad with greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, white beans, garbanzo beans, leftover millet, chopped kale–dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, s + p. Half a sprouted grain wrap with peanut butter and banana slices.

This salad was simple–but so good. Sometimes everything comes together so well.

Here’s an inside look at the wrap. Love.

FRIDAY

TJ’s roasted seaweed snack. Almond butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. Apple.

I went with the AB&J sandwich because I was out of groceries–but it ended up hitting the spot.

A great note to end on.

What’s your favorite on-the-go snack to pack in your lunch lately?  

(Or am I the only one that gets super excited about snacks?! Feel free to sound the nerd alert. ;) )

20 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

On Banana Bread

Good news!

I can be in grad school and bake at the same time! 

Perhaps my use of exclamation points and bold font above is excessive–but for me, this was a revelation. I knew grad school would take over my life–and it certainly has–but I also wanted to hold onto some of the things that make me happy. Like baking.

So when I found myself with a bunch of overripe bananas on my hands, I seized the opportunity to whip up my favorite banana bread.

And less than a week later, it disappeared. It was all me, too; Tom isn’t a big banana bread fan (I know; I don’t get it either!).

Needless to say, it was delicious. In fact, it’s a recipe I’ve perfected over the past few years, so I’m pretty confident it’s awesome.

Before I share, I think it’s important you hear my banana bread philosophy.

Yes, I actually do have one. Don’t judge. ;)

In my opinion, a good banana bread should contain a very limited amount of sweetener and/or oil. Why? It’s simple: the banana is a naturally sweet and naturally moist fruit. If you allow it to shine, the banana will do all the work of making your bread delicious. Why mess with a good thing? I cringe at recipes calling for copious amounts of oil and sugar. There is no need! It’s a bread–not a cake.

Does this mean I’m against decadence? Given my crisco track record, that would be a no. ;) But there’s a time and a place! And I don’t now about you, but I like to enjoy my banana bread at breakfast–and have it not only nourish my body, but taste like heaven.

Who’s with me?? :)

I share this philosophy so that you know that, yes, this is a “healthy” recipe. But that does not mean it’s lacking in taste or texture.

It also doesn’t mean it’s “healthy” enough to eat half the loaf in less than 48 hours. But that’s a whole other story. Ha.

Flaxseed Banana Bread 

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed (or wheat germ)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash cloves
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave)
  • 2 flax “eggs” (2 Tbs ground flaxseed + 6 Tbs warm water, mixed)
  • 1.5 cups very ripe banana, mashed (about 3-4 large or 4-5 small)
  • 1.5 Tbs coconut oil (canola oil would work)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (I used baking pieces)*

* Optional add-in: 1/2 cup of chocolate or carob chips. Mmmm.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan (I used coconut oil).

2. Mix flour, ground flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, mix banana, maple syrup, flax “eggs,” applesauce, coconut oil, nondairy milk, and vanilla.

3. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture, and stir until combined. Make sure all the flour is mixed in–but do not over-mix. Fold in the toasted walnuts carefully.

4. Pour dough into oiled dish and bake for 50 minutes.

5. Place a sheet of tin foil over the top, then bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

6. Let cool completely before digging in.

Enjoy!

This goes beautifully with my homemade cinnamon-raisin peanut butter.

Just sayin’.

It’s also heavenly with a bit of Artisana walnut butter.

This banana bread makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert. And I definitely took advantage of all three.

For breakfast I liked to couple it with my protein-packed Strawberry Blonde Smoothie, as the combo held me over longer.

Good morning indeed. Maybe this will make up for the fact that I have been MIA in the blog world as of late? ;)

Do you prefer your banana bread healthified or dessertified? 

21 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

And So It Continues

Although I will be blogging less often, I do still eat lunch. Almost every day. True story. ;)

So when I have the time (like today), I will continue to share my lunch posts.

Which begin with breakfast. And because it was so delicious, I’ll share yesterday’s breakfast.

Yes, it was from a jar.

But that’s not what made it delicious. I attribute the yummy factor to the oats, chocolate, peanut butter, and banana combo. What can I say–it’s my comfort food. I had to write a paper (yes, already!), so it was a must.

It all began with a mixture of 1 ripe banana with 2 Tbs peanut butter, set aside.

In a separate bowl, I added 1/3 cup oats, 1 Tbs chia seeds, 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, and 1 heaping Tbs cocoa powder. I let that gel up for 20 minutes or so.

Finally, I layered the pb/banana mixture alternating with the chocolate/chia seed mixture into a jar, then topped with raw cacoa nibs. I refrigerated the concoction overnight to enjoy in the morning.

Normally, I’m the type to prefer my nut butter on top where I can see it. That way I can have a little bit with each bite. However, this jar was brimming with peanut butter so it worked.

Moving on to my last week in lunches:

MONDAY

A big ole’ salad. In the mix: greens, carrot, cucumber, onion, artichoke hearts, adzuki beans, toasted sunflower seeds, fresh basil–dressed with a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Gena’s amazing hemp pesto.

It was delicious. I also snacked on carrots and TJ’s edamame hummus.

I am a huge edamame fan, so naturally I’ve been loving this hummus.

TUESDAY 

Pink Lady. And another salad beast! In the mix this time: greens, white beans, alfalfa sprouts, carrot, cucumber, chopped dinosaur kale, toasted sunflower seeds–all with the same hemp-o-licious pesto dressing as Monday.

For a snack/dessert, I enjoyed two dates stuffed with peanut butter. Normally a pre-workout treat, but it turns out it’s also delicious post-lunch. ;)

And in between classes I grabbed a green juice–with celery, spinach, parsley, ginger, pineapple…and I can’t remember what else. But it was green. I mean good

My veggie quota for the entire week may or may not have been filled on Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY

If the week before was the week of wraps, this week is shaping up to be the week of salads. Another salad the size of my head.

In the mix: greens, white beans, avocado, cucumber, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, chopped up dinosaur kale, some leftover sundried tomato marinara, and toasted sunflower seeds with yet another pesto dressing. Have I told you it’s delicious?

I also had some Creamy Hummus (recipe here) on half an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla.

Delicious–and oh-so-creamy.

In the afternoon, I snacked on an apple with cinnamon.

Classic.

THURSDAY

Apple. And the wrap is back: Tofu-Avocado Wrap (recipe here)–this time on a sprouted grain tortilla and with the addition of alfalfa sprouts. Sprouts and avocado were made for each other, were they not?

I also packed snacks for later. Creamy Hummus, carrot sticks, and whole grain crackersThis held me over perfectly.

FRIDAY 

Anddd the “Week of Salads” would not be complete without…another salad. In the mix: greens, chopped dinosaur kale, alfalfa sprouts, carrot, cucumber, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds, leftover quinoa, white beans, and my usual dressing (see Monday through Wednesday).

This also happened.

And I ended on a sweet note–with a slice of my homemade banana bread. Recipe to come. Get excited. ;)

Happy Monday Tuesday! (Is it Tuesday already? I love long weekends!)

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week of Wraps

Remember lunch posts? That little series of posts I dedicate to what is arguably the most mundane meal of the day: packed lunch?

Don’t feel bad if you have no idea what I’m talking about; I barely recall those weekly wonders. ;)

Well today I’m back to share my last week in lunches.

And apparently I’m really into wraps right now. I mean, I’ve always loved a good wrap–but last week I took that love to a whole new level with a wrap nearly every day.

But first things first: breakfast.

Overnight oats brimming with blueberries and vanilla.

In the bowl: 1 mashed banana, 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 1 Tbs chia seeds, 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, 1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries, a few raw almonds–all topped with a Tbs of almond butter.

Delicious!

Have you tried adding frozen fruit to your overnight oats before? Do it–it’s wonderful.

Anyway. On to lunch the wraps…

MONDAY 

A classic combo: whole wheat wrap with Creamy Hummus (recipe here), spinach, tomatoes, and toasted sunflower seeds.

Simple, but tasty–and highlighted the hummus so well!

I also snacked on an appleWhat else is new?

And in the afternoon, I picked up splurged on a Two Moms in the Raw bar–Goji Berry Granola.

Love. 

TUESDAY

Okay, you caught me: I splurged on two Two Moms in the Raw bars–and this time enjoyed the Blueberry Granola flavor. Essentially the same wrap as Monday–Creamy Hummus, mixed greens, tomatoes, and toasted sunflower seeds, served on an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla. Apple.

It doesn’t get old.

WEDNESDAY

Carrot sticks with TJ’s edamame hummus. And for the wrap, I went with another classic: a Tofu-Avocado Wrap on an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla. Apple.

Layer one: a titch of vegan mayo along with mashed avo, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. 

Layer two: greens, TJ’s savory tofu, and toasted sunflower seeds. 

Creamy, crunchy, and awesome.

THURSDAY

Thursday, I deviated from the Wrap Week. Lunch was to be provided by my grad school for orientation, and knowing that the vegan options would be limited, I packed an apple and blueberry muffin Larabar (amazing flavor, by the way)–which held me over perfectly.

When I got home in the afternoon, I enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner consisting of a salad beast and a sprouted grain wrap with hummus

A deconstructed wrap, in a way. ;) It was totally amazing. I could eat this every night in one form or another and never get sick of it.

The wrap was spread with more Creamy Hummus

And in the large-and-in-charge, protein-packed salad: mixed greens, cooked adzuki beans, carrot, chopped onion, cucumber, hemp seeds, peas, chopped olives, a dollop of leftover sundried tomato marinara sauce, and toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with a mix TJ’s edamame hummus, ume plum vinegar, minced garlic, and a titch of olive oil.

So. Good. Filling and full of varying flavors and textures. Hit the spot.

FRIDAY 

Apple + whole wheat wrap.

This wrap was a little more creative than the earlier ones. In the mix: more Creamy Hummus, a dollop of leftover sundried tomato marinara, cooked adzuki beans, chopped olives, cucumber, sliced tomato, avocado, and toasted sunflower seeds. Random, but totally hearty and delicious.

So am I sick of wraps yet?

Nope! I’m ready for more. :)

What’s a food or meal you never get sick of? Salads and wraps for me, because there are a million ways to create them–and change things up! I’ve also never gotten sick of oats or nut butter, and I can’t see that happening.

P.S. I survived the storm unscathed. Many thanks for your well wishes! 

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Back in Action

I’ve been home from my little vacation (a.k.a. Midwest tour) for a little over a week now, and slowly but surely, I’m getting back into the swing of things. I really missed the city!

And by “city” I actually mean my kitchen.

And by my “kitchen” I’m really just talking about my food processor. Ha.

I’m kidding! Kind of. I mean, I missed New York too. And Tom, of course (love you, honey!). But my food processor…it had been weeks since I processed, pulsed, or pureed anything! The horror!

(Except for this deliciousness using my mom’s processor. But still.)

Naturally, I busted it out before I even stocked up on groceries.

Ice cream for breakfast anyone?

This is what happens when you’re craving peanut butter + banana but don’t have fresh fruit in the house. A pretty tasty solution, if I don’t say so myself–especially topped with cacoa nibs. Mmmm.

And of course there was this amazing pizza sauce.

I also whipped up a batch of Creamy Hummus–freshly cooked and shelled chickpeas and all!

There is nothing like homemade hummus. Especially this one, which has quickly risen the ranks to become my go-to hummus recipe.

I made another batch of cinnamon-raisin peanut butter as well. Just ‘cuz.

Love.

And I’ve recreated Brendan’s Recovery Pudding a couple of times–after my 14-miler as well as last Wednesday’s 7-mile run.

The perfect post-run treat.

I have to say, as much as I loved a change of scenery while I was traveling, it’s great to be running all my old routes again. What was once tired now feels familiar–and even welcome. Plus, it’s fun to run them all with my new garmin.

I’m slightly obsessed!

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point: If my food processor felt abandoned during my time away, I believe I have more than made up for lost time this past week.

Home is where the heart food processor is. As they say. ;)

The Cuisinart aside, I’ve also made sure to get my daily dose of oats–hot and cold.

Mostly, I just wanted to show you a few pretty pictures of oats. And on that delicious note, I will leave you.

Do you miss your kitchen when you travel? A weekend away I am happy to do, but after a couple weeks I really start to miss mine.

What’s the one kitchen appliance you couldn’t live without? I think mine’s obvious. ;)

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Spreading the Plant-Based Love

I love cooking for others when I get the chance, so I was ready to get my hands dirty in the kitchen as soon as I got home.

But what to make?

Instead of subjecting my mom to one of my kitchen experiments, I deferred to the pros–which, in this case, meant the lovely Gena of Choosing Raw. Ever since she posted her recipe for hemp pesto, I’ve been dying to try. I happen to love the subtle nutty flavor of hemp seeds–and the idea of using them in a pesto is nothing short of brilliant.

So my mom and I got to work, whipping up the pesto in no time (the only thing we changed was leaving out nearly all the water; we like a thicker sauce).

Heavenly. Hemp was made for pesto!

While the whole wheat spaghetti cooked, I put together a salad with greens, cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, steamed asparagus, and mushrooms–dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

And my mom made some garlic bread on a whole wheat roll, baked with Earth Butter and minced garlic.

The meal came together so quickly–and was just lovely.

It was full of protein (hemp seeds are a great source), whole grains, and veggies. And, most importantly, amazing company. What more could you ask for in a meal?

And it was delicious. I will be making this pesto again!

Mission accomplished.

Almost.

See, I also wanted my mom to try overnight oats–something she’d been curious about after seeing it on my blog. I was scrounging around for all the ingredients when I noticed this chai tea.

And remembered Elise’s mouthwatering recipe for Chai Chia Oat Pudding–which has been on my ever-expanding “to-make” list since she posted it a couple months ago.

Clearly, it was time.

So I prepped a batch for two.

Chai-Chia Overnight Oats

Adapted from Hungry Hungry Hippie‘s Chai Chia Oat Pudding; serves 2

  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 chai tea concentrate
  • titch of cinnamon + nutmeg
  • 1 banana, thinly sliced (or mashed)
  • sprinkle of raisins, to taste
  • fresh fruit for topping (optional)
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter for topping (or other nut butter)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add oats, chia seeds, almond milk, chai tea, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins to a bowl. Stir, cover, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least four hours).

2. Divide into two bowls and top each with blueberries (or other fruit) and the nut butter of your choice.

Enjoy!

The verdict? Amazing. Elise was right on with this one; chai-infused oats are just delicious.

And more to the point, my mom loved hers! Not just for the chai flavor, either (one of her favorites); she loved the texture as well.

In fact, she enjoyed the chai-chia oats so much I woke up this morning to find another batch soaking in the fridge. I took that as a good sign.

And then had a bowl. :)

Do you like cooking for others?

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sun In Bloom

Yesterday, Tom and I went to one of my favorite vegan, gluten-free breakfast (and brunch) spots: Sun In Bloom.

It was lovely–just as its name suggests. (Isn’t “sun in bloom” a beautiful phrase? To me, it is the image of happiness.)

But my perfect morning actually began the night before with a much-needed yoga class–where I learned, incidentally, that during the summer in New York City, every yoga class is Hot Yoga.

Needless to say, I sweat. A lot. But I loved every second; it was one of those yoga sessions where you just know you’re doing something wonderful for your body. Everything about it felt right. It was a total sun-in-bloom moment. And it really loosened my muscles up–which had admittedly been really tight since this run. It reminded me that I need to make time for yoga more often–especially the further along in my training plan I am.

I came home craving something light for dinner. Does anyone else lose some of their appetite in the heat? I settled on a lot of edamame (more than what’s pictured) alongside avo toast with sea salt and red pepper flakes on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread.

It hit the spot.

Later I had a small bowl of this granola. I’m usually a morning granola girl, but it makes for a tasty dessert.

I woke up with a bit of marathon training reprieve: this week’s long run was just six miles, a nice break for my body.

I fueled pre-run with a banana and homemade cinnamon-raisin peanut butter.

And then I was off to Prospect Park. It was a tougher run than I expected because it was so. effing. hot. out. Still, I’ll take running outside (under the literal sun-in-bloom) over running on a treadmill any day!

I’m going to purposely brush over the part of my run where I tripped and wiped out on a dirty New York City sidwalk, slip ‘n slide style. Yeah, that was not a sun-in-bloom moment. Ha. (I am happy to report, I sustained no injuries.)

Anyway. Aside from my fall (Idon’twanttotalkaboutit!), I was happy with my run. Who needs coffee with a little thing called a runner’s high?

Happily, Sun In Bloom took care of my post-run grub. Casual and unpretentious, this Brooklyn “eco-eatery” is a wonderful place to dine.

I always have a hard time deciding what to order because everything sounds amazing. Not only is their menu vegan and gluten-free, a lot of dishes are raw or macrobiotic. Decisions, decisions!

It’s not a bad dilemma to have (read: I was in heaven). There was certainly no vegan brunch conundrum here!

After much debate, I finally settled on the “Rockin’ Veggie” with live hummus, marinated bell peppers, cucumber, and cabbage, dressed in an invigorating raw lemon vinaigrette–all in a collard green wrap.

I’m so glad I did! It’s almost as if this was created to satisfy a craving I didn’t even know I had. Maybe for this reason, I deemed it–on the spot–the best thing I’ve had on the menu thus far. It was so flavorful, crunchy, and fresh.

And because you can never have too many greens, I ordered the “Sweet Lady Green,” a juice made with kale, collards, romaine, cucumber, celery, and parsley.

Delicious and fresh. To his surprise, Tom even liked it. The only downside? It’s pricey, so not something I’d splurge on every time.

Tom ordered a brunch special–the energizing breakfast burrito in an Ezekiel wrap with butternut hash.

I’m not sure exactly what it contained–other than avocado, brown rice, tofu scramble, black beans, corn, and some sort of ranchero sauce–but it was really good. (Tom and I traded bites.) And the butternut hash? Out of this world.

All in all, another great meal. And I love that the portion sizes aren’t crazybig; I always leave feeling satisfied but not stuffed.

I also walked away with a tub of their raw hummus, because it was that good. I can’t wait to recreate!

Brunch with a side of hummus?

Perfect. 

What’s a sun-in-bloom (read: happy) moment you’ve had lately? 


13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sludge: A Tutorial

You probably know by now that I eat overnight oats a lot. In fact, I just created a separate category on my recipe page for my overnight oats creations.

It’s gotten slightly out of hand.

Tom doesn’t quite share in my obsession. To him, my bowls are little more than sludge…or goop.

And you know what? He’s not far off; that pretty much describes overnight oats exactly–and it’s also why I am obsessed. :)

Yeah, I eat sludge. So?

I have gotten a fair amount of questions about overnight oats, but it wasn’t until reading posts by the lovely Chelsey and Clare on their overnight oats methods–and realizing that “overnight oats”  means different things for different people–that I decided to offer a bit of a tutorial of my own.

It was a revelation to me to learn that some people actually cook their oats before putting them in the fridge overnight. I had no idea! While I’m sure the results are fluffy and magical, I personally like that overnights oats require no pan. Call me lazy, but I don’t like doing unnecessary dishes. For me, that’s the beauty of sludge.

That, and you get a delicious, mushy-yet-textured breakfast (not to mention reap the nutritional benefits of eating raw, soaked oats).

However you make ‘em, I think we can all agree: overnight oats = out of this world.

Okay, maybe Tom doesn’t agree. (Yet!)

So. Without further ado, I offer you my foolproof method for great goop. Inevitably, it involves a lot of room for variation–another reason I’m rarely bored of overnight oats. No two bowls are alike! (Unless you want them to be, of course.)

Note: If you’re already an overnight oats connoisseur, I grant you permission to skip this introductory course. ;)

Step 1

Bowl + banana (half or whole)

The banana is totally optional. If you do skip, however, I would recommend using an alternative sweetener (see below).

Step 2

Mash said banana (if using)

Sliced banana works, too; I just like the flavor/texture mixed in.

Step 3

Add 1/2 cup oats (not an optional step–although you could try oat bran or an alternative grain)

If you’re a gluten-free eater, be sure to buy gluten-free oats!

Step 4

Add 1/2 cup nondairy milk

Almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk, rice milk, etc., etc. You can also get flavored milks to shake things up (I heart unsweetened vanilla almond milk).

And that’s it!

But we’re not quite done yet. Now for the fun part: mix-ins.

All of which are, of course, optional (although having at least some mix-ins is highly recommended!).

Nuts/Seeds + Dried Fruit

Pictured: raisins, almonds, walnut pieces, dried tart cherries.

Other possibilities include hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, apricots, goji berries, golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried apples…or none of the above!

Superfood Seeds

I usually kick up the nutrition and texture with either hemp seeds (easily digestible protein!), chia seeds (healthy fats, hydration), or ground flaxseed (healthy fats, fiber). For more on their nutritional benefits, head on over to my ingredients page. I add anywhere from just a sprinkle to a tablespoon of whichever seed I’m feeling.

And for the record, hemp seeds taste great. Don’t fear hemp! They’re sweet and nutty–and, in oats, you won’t be able to taste them anyway!

Note: When I add chia seeds, I splash in some extra liquid, as they soak up a lot!

Spice Rack 

Often I’ll hit up my spice cupboard for cinnamon, because cinnamon spice makes everything nice! If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll go with a titch of nutmeg, ginger, or my favorite: pumpkin pie spice.

Other times, I’ll skip this step.

Sweeteners

Usually, I sweeten simply with a banana–and I find I don’t need anything else. If you’re not a banana lover, however, or you have a huge sweet tooth, I would also recommend a few drops of liquid stevia; a drizzle of agave, maple, or brown rice syrup; blackstrap molassas (as seen here); chopped up dates (or other dried fruit); or, of course, fresh fruit.

No need for sugar. Seriously.

Flavor Flav

The obvious way to kick up flavor: extracts: vanilla, almond, coconut, cocoa bean…you name it!

But you certainly don’t need extracts to take things up a notch. Try adding cocoa powder, peanut flour (I highly recommend!), unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut flakes, coconut flour, carob powder or chips, chocolate chips, raw cacoa nibs…or even lemons!

Protein Powder

Protein/supplement powders are a great way to bulk up your sludge while providing a great flavor. When I use protein powder, I often go easy on the mix-ins.

Examples include:

Saturday’s PB & Strawberry Jam Protein Oats

Lemon Poppy/Chia Seed Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats (version 3)

Green Monster Overnight Oats

You get the idea…

Fresh or Frozen Fruit

When I add fresh fruit (berries, cherries, bananas…even apples), I usually do so in the morning right before I eat (although sometimes it goes into the mix the night before).

Frozen fruit happens to be tasty mixed in so it becomes all melty and good overnight. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

More Oats!

Oats on your oats? Yes indeed! If you like more a crunch in the morning, sprinkle granola on your overnight oats before you dig in.

Veggies? 

Such as spinach. Yep, it happened.

And I realize that technically butternut squash and pumpkin are both fruit, but in my head they’re veggies. Which make for great overnight oat dishes, as you may remember here and here.

In fact, here’s a recent (read: out-of-season) bowl of butternut squash bowl topped with a new-to-me pecan butter.

The nut butter? Artisana Raw Pecan Butter with Cashews

Wow. Delicious!

Speaking of which (and last, but not least)…

Nut/Seed Butters

I top nearly all my bowls of sludge with a tablespoon blob of nut/seed butter. Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, pecan butter, walnut butter, etc., etc. It’s my personal favorite topping.

I even splurge sometimes with a bit of flavored nut butter, such as Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter (as seen here) or PB&Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams (on this bowl). Or even cinnamon-raisin peanut butter (on this creation). Just sayin’. You probably wouldn’t regret it.

So let’s get to an example. Take yesterday’s bowl.

I started with a mashed banana, 1/2 cup oats, and 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Basics–check!

Then, I added a few walnuts, a mix of flaxseed, hemp, and chia seeds, lots of cinnamon, a sprinkle of raw cacoa nibs, and a blob of sunflower seed butter.

I stored in the fridge overnight.

Note: they maybe called overnight oats, but you can create them any time of day–just make sure they spend at least 2-3 hours in the fridge.

And in the morning…

Perfection!

A no-prep breakfast? Love.

Oh–I almost forgot to mention! Overnight Oats In A Jar (OOIAJ) is a very fun and portable way to enjoy goop (as you may have seen herehere, and here). Do it. 

Sludge: Yay or nay?

What are your three favorite mix-ins? 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever added to overnight oats? 

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Split Personality

You didn’t think I forgot a lunch post this week, did you? It’s a day late, but here goes.

I had a bit of a split personality last week in terms of deciding what I wanted for lunch. Am I feeling savory or sweet? Hummus + veggies…or peanut butter + banana? Most days I said yes to both and it worked out well. :)

Life’s not so bad when your major dilemma is hummus or peanut butter. Ha.

Here’s my last week in lunches…

MONDAY

Apple. Hippie Smoothie with kale (recipe here). Sweet ‘n Salty trail mix with peanut butter filled pretzels, raw cashews, dried tart cherries, and carob chips.

The smoothie was perfect for a hot day.

TUESDAY

Apple. Salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, marinated artichoke hearts, and toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with a hummus/balsamic vinegar mix. Half a whole wheat tortilla with homemade cinnamon-raisin peanut butter and banana slices.

Let’s take a look inside…

Yum.

WEDNESDAY

Hummus To-Go (Roasted Garlic Sabra and pretzels). Salad with lettuce, tomato, toasted sunflower seeds, cucumber, chopped olives, marinated artichoke hearts, lightly steamed asparagus–dressed with an olive oil, hummus, balsamic mix. A flax, oat bran, and whole wheat pita slathered with more cinnamon-raisin peanut butter. (It was a hummus and peanut butter kind of day.)

So delicious!

And I’m a sucker for these sabra to-go packs.

So fun.

THURSDAY

Thursday I was indecisive again, so I cut a whole wheat tortilla in half and added hummus, romaine, and tomato to one half, and cinnamon-raisin peanut butter with banana slices to the other. Served with apples slices and cinnamon.

Let’s open up the wrap halves, shall we?

So. Good.

I also brought a special little treat to work. Since my first B.Y.O.M. coffee shop experience went so well, I decided to do it again–this time with chocolate-flavored hazelnut milk.

I know.

It’s amazing. Pretty sweet and dessert-y, but so delicious. Drinking nutella?? Sign me up!

I poured some in a little jar and brought it to work.

Then, for an afternoon pick-me-up, I got a decaf iced americano from ‘bucks with lots of room for my special milk.

It was the perfect compliment to the bitter espresso. 

Creamy, nutty, chocolate-y coffee. I’m a B.Y.O.M. convert.

FRIDAY

As I was leaving right from work to head to the Catskills, I just managed to bring an apple. Pret was on the agenda, and I went for the veggie wrap with hummus, avocado, beets, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, greens, and garbanzo beans.

Hasn’t let me down yet!

Do you ever have a hard time deciding what you’re in the mood for?

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Lunch Post: 22nd Edition

For lack of a better title. Apparently my creative juices are running low! Ha.

Needless to say, it’s lunch post time.

Which usually begins with breakfast–the best I’ve had in a while.

Another protein cereal a la Gabriela.

In the mix: Weetabix, Nature’s Path Millet Rice Flakes cereal, chocolate protein powder, and almond milk. I topped with banana slices, blackberries, and a bit of sunflower seed butter. So delicious. I love mixing my cereals!

Onto lunch!

MONDAY

I was flying back to New York on Monday, so lunch was sort of on-the-go. I’m not a huge fan of processed, over-salted airplane food, so I opted instead for a hummus, avocado, and veggie sandwich, which I purchased in the airport from Eat. It was perfect.

I also had a banana with a Justin’s Maple Almond Butter packet.

One of my favorite nut butters ever.

All with a side of British gossip!Entertaining, but the books I brought were a bit more sustaining. It didn’t help that I didn’t know who 90% of the celebrities in question were. ;)

Speaking of airplane eats, on my red eye flight to London, I enjoyed this delicious snack.

Homemade cinnamon-raisin peanut butter on an Ezekiel sprouted tortilla. Hearty, tasty, and filling.

And I slept right through the meal, which was fine by me!

Back to New York…

TUESDAY

Apple. Obviously, I hadn’t gone grocery shopping for the week yet.

Pret to the rescue! This time I tried the Farmer’s Market Salad with spinach, lentil salad, avocado, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pine nuts, carrot + beet, roasted red pepper, and black pepper–dressed with lemon shallot vinaigrette.

This picture does not do the salad justice, but it was out of this world. So many great flavors and textures–amazing.

I mopped up everything with a whole wheat rollMmmm carbs.

WEDNESDAY

Apple. Sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread with hummus, an eggplant sesame spread, romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, and toasted sunflower seeds. And the tiniest spring panzanella salad ever. See, Tom had made Smitten Kitchen’s Spring Panzanella the night before (sans cheese, of course)–and it was so good, I couldn’t throw away the leftovers. Hence, the tiny taste.

Worth it. ;)

And the sandwich? Delicious.

The eggplant sesame spread was another treat from London.

It’s so tasty. It got a little lost in this sandwich, though, so I’ll have to find other ways to highlight its flavor.

Still, the sandwich was a winner.

I generally prefer wraps, but sometimes a sandwich is just what I want.
Yum.

THURSDAY

This is a pretty classic lunch of mine. Apple. Tofu-Avocado Wrap on a sprouted grain tortilla (original recipe here). Sweet and Salty Trail Mix with peanut butter filled pretzels, raw cashews, dried tart cherries, and carob chips.

If it works, it works…

FRIDAY

Whole wheat wrap with garlic hummus, romaine, tomato, lemon vinaigrette tempeh (recipe below), and toasted sunflower seeds. Apple. 

The tempeh was delicious.

Here’s how I did it.

Lemon Vinaigrette Tempeh

  • 8 oz. tempeh (I used Lightlife organic garden veggie tempeh)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs brown spicy mustard
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring water to a boil and add tempeh. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. (This apparently cuts the bitterness.)

2. Meanwhile, put the rest of the ingredients in a plastic bag to create the marinade.

3. When the tempeh has cooled, slice (however you wish) and place in the marinade. Refrigerate overnight.

4. When ready to use, saute until golden brown on both sides.

5. Enjoy!

This tempeh also went really well atop a massaged kale salad…

On Friday, I also enjoyed another sweet and salty trail mix.

And with that, the weekend began…

Happy Monday!

25 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized