Tag Archives: nutritional yeast

Take 2: Vegan Breakfast Burritos

I made vegan breakfast burritos again this past weekend, and–good news!–I took pictures this time! I spent about 25 minutes searching for my camera cord, but as you can see there is a happy ending.

And the burritos were, once again, awesome. In fact, I would say that remaking this recipe is less a reflection of me fulfilling my New Year’s resolution to “post more consistently” as it is a tribute to how good these burritos are. Even meat-eating Tom is a huge fan.

If I were you, I would strongly consider picking up the requisite groceries to make these happen this weekend. Is it too early to think about the weekend? Probably. What can I say–for better or for worse, I generally start each week dreaming of Friday. Something to look forward to, right?

Here’s how it’s done.

Vegan Breakfast Burritos

Makes 4 burritos; adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

  • 4 small fingerling potatoes, diced into small pieces
  • 1/4 small onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • heaping 1/4 cup salsa, plus more
  • heaping 1/3 cup black beans (kidney beans work well, too)
  • scant 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • s+p
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil (olive oil would work as well)
  • 1 block of firm tofu (14 or 16 oz.), drained
  • 2 heaping Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 Tbs tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1 large handful of spinach, chopped or ripped into small pieces
  • 4 whole wheat or sprouted grain wraps
  • handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. Crumble the (well-drained!) tofu with your hands into a bowl. Add nutritional yeast, tamari, half of the garlic, tumeric, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with a spoon until well-combined. Set aside.

2. Melt 1 Tbs of coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add the rest of the garlic and the onion, and saute for a few minutes. Add the potatoes, stirring often. Cook until potatoes begin to soften and brown. Add black beans, salt + pepper to taste, cayenne pepper, and salsa. Stir and lower heat if sticking. Set aside.

2. Melt the other Tbs coconut oil over medium heat in a separate pan. Add the tofu mixture. Saute until browned. Stir in the spinach until it wilts.

3. To assemble: Lay out your tortillas (I warm mine slightly in the microwave to make them easier to work with). Add a quarter of the tofu mixture to the center of each tortilla. On top of that, add a quarter of the potato-bean mixture to each. Finally, top with more salsa, fresh cilantro, and avocado slices, and wrap ‘em up! (Check out this post for a great demo on how to successfully wrap wraps, among other delicious things.) Cut in half and serve immediately.

If you’re a hot sauce person, this would be a good time to bust it out. You can also serve with extra salsa, although these flavorful beasts are delicious on their own.

4. Wrap the leftover burritos in tin foil (I find they hold together well this way) and save for a weekday breakfast treat or–my personal favorite–brinner!

Hearty and delicious.

A quick word about tofu scramble: Tofu is not eggs, nor will it behave or taste like eggs. (In my experience, eggs have a way of eluding imitation.) With that said, tofu scrambles are very tasty on their own, and if you haven’t tried one before, do it! As long as you are not expecting the tofu to magically become eggs in the pan, methinks you will love the dish. :)

What are you looking forward to cooking/baking/doing this coming weekend? (Admit it–you’re already thinking about the weekend, too.)

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All Things Running + Pasta Primavera

Good news: I’ve added a new page to Unmitigated Grub! Can you spot it?

Yep, it’s the Run tab.

As you’ve probably deduced, Run is a space for all my running-related posts–including pre- and post-workout fuel, nutrition, injuries, marathon training, gear, and more–meant to serve as a resource of sorts. The info is certainly not prescriptive; it’s all based on my personal experiences, but hopefully having it all in one place will come in handy. Check it out!

Speaking of which…

Saturday I completed another long run for my marathon training. And by long I mean 14 miles–longer than any distance I’ve raced before (a half marathon being the longest).

I was slightly nervous about the run–but it went really well. In fact, I loved it. I mapped out a run that took me around the Prospect Park loop, through two boroughs (Brooklyn and Manhattan), across two bridges (the Williamsburg and the Brooklyn Bridges), and back home.

It was a total adventure. :)

And now that I’m getting into the long long distances, I’ve started experimenting with how best to fuel my body for the marathon–before, during, and after.

The morning of my run, I woke up early to have a chia seed pudding concoction I had created the previous night–complete with chia seeds and almond milk (for hydration and healthy fats), dates (quick energy), banana (quick energy + potassium), a splash of lemon (alkalizing and aids in digestion), and sea salt (to counter the loss of sodium through sweat). I also drizzled some blackstrap molasses over it all (for quick energy + an iron boost). Agave would work well, too.

This might sound like a strange combination, but I wasn’t going for the Most Delicious Breakfast Award.

Or the prettiest. Ha.

I was going for what would get me through the run. And it was actually tasty–sweet and light. Here’s what I did.

Pre-Run Chia Seed Pudding

  • 2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • a couple grinds of sea salt
  • a drizzle of blackstrap molasses or agave syrup (optional)
  • a small spoonful of almond butter (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mash banana in bowl. Add chia seeds, milk, chopped dates, lemon, and sea salt. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or until it gels up into a pudding, at least a half hour).

2. If desired, drizzle molasses or agave and top with a small amount of almond butter. Enjoy!

I ate this about an hour before I took off–and to be honest, I don’t think that was enough time for me. Let’s just say I had some digestive issues early on in the run. I will spare you the details.

You’re welcome. ;)

Aside from the aforementioned issues, the run went smoothly and felt great. I had my water bottle filled with water, a bit of lemon, and a touch of agave. I also brought a chocolate Gu packet.

I’d like to find more natural methods of fueling during my runs–and hope to make my own gel or quick energy bars–but, I must say, I do love Gu. It tastes like a chocolate brownie and for whatever reason that does not gross me out while I’m running. I busted it out around mile 10 or 11 and it provided a nice boost of energy.

And after the run I enjoyed a lot of water, stretching, and Brendan’s Recovery Pudding–this time with Sunwarrior protein powder instead of Vega.

It hit the spot as usual. So delicious!

The night before the run was all about carbs.

I’m a big fan of carbo-loading. And loving. ;)

I whipped up a veggie-filled pasta dish based on this recipe–and whatever I had on hand. Plus hummus because that makes everything more delicious.

Vegan Pasta Primavera

Serves 4 (or more as a side) 

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup kale (or 3-4 stalks), stems removed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 pepper (I used green)
  • 1-2 cups almond milk (I used about 1.5)
  • 3 T whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)
  • sea salt + freshly ground pepper, to taste

* Note: Any veggies would work in this recipe, so use your favorites!

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add onion, garlic, and pepper and saute until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add flour, dried basil, some s + p, hummus, and the almond milk–1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly over medium-low heat to form a sauce. Stir in nutritional yeast.

2. Meanwhile, lightly steam broccoli and carrots, then add to the sauce. Toss in the frozen peas and kale and stir until kale is wilted and peas are heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add more s + p as needed.

4. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, reserving a bit of cooking liquid. Combine veggies/sauce with pasta and stir well. Add in pasta liquid for desired consistency (I added about 1/3 cup; for a thicker sauce, omit). Top with fresh basil, if using.

5. Enjoy!

Lots of veggies. Lots of carbs.

What’s not to love?

What’s your favorite thing to eat before you workout? 

Runners: What’s your fuel of choice during longer runs? 

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And I’m Off!

Today, I’m heading HOME!

Well, not really home–to my sister’s graduation in Minneapolis (woo Abbs!). But my whole family will be there (except for my beagles!), and that’s home to me. :)

I’m so excited!

But first, there was breakfast–without which I cannot function. True story.

Chia seed pudding with 2 Tbs chia seeds, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, and half a banana, mashed.

I made it the night before and left it in the fridge for an easy morning.

In the morning…

Delicious.

I hadn’t had chia seed pudding on its own in forever! I think this breakfast brought it back full force.

Now to the fun part: PACKING SNACKS!

I recently received a sampler package from Artisana–a company that specializes in creating organic, raw, gourmet nut and seed butters. I’d been dying to try some of their products and was delighted when this arrived:

Naturally, I had to pack some of the adorable sampler packets.

But not before opening one earlier this week.

Raw chocolate coconut butter. I promptly smothered it on a baked sweet potato.

Yep. It was bliss.

Breakfast, dinner, or dessert?

I say any and all of the above! ;)

For my weekend away, I just packed an Artisana raw almond butter, along with a Justin’s peanut butter; I have big plans for some of the more unique nut butters…

To accompany the nut butters? Apples, celery sticks, and a banana. That should get me through traveling, the weekend, and beyond.

But I didn’t stop there. As you know, I tend to go a little overboard packing snacks.

I brought a bunch of bars–just in case.

Banana bread, peanut butter chocolate chip, and cashew cookie. Can’t go wrong…

And a couple other bars.

Two Moms in the Raw blueberry granola bar (that didn’t get eaten in NOLA). Love these bars! And an Amazing Grass superfood bar–which I snatched up a while ago but have yet to try.

For lunch, I had hummus on my mind, as I just bought a fresh hummus from a falafal place near my work.

“Syncs your taste with you conscience.” I can get behind that!

To prevent the hummus from being confiscated at the airport, I placed it in a wrap.

Mostly hummus with some greens and cucumber for crunch.

I had some fresh kale that I didn’t want to go bad, so I made some kale chips for a snack as well (recipe here).

All packed up.

And that’s a wrap.

I think I’m good to go!

Happy weekend! :)

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Big Bowl, Little Post

Today’s post is a short one–but my breakfast was too good not to share immediately.

I’d been eyeing this breakfast (and this and this one!) and today tried a version of my own. As I said yesterday, why reinvent the wheel when there are so many amazing recipes out there? 

So what is it? Coined a “dough boy” by its creator Kath, it’s essentially overnight oats blended into a smoothie, creating a dough-like texture.

Smoothie meets overnight oats? I’m in.

I love my green monster overnight oats–but have never thought to blend the oats. Some people are so creative.

Add in some peanut butter and banana? Uh, heaven

Here’s what I did.

Smooth Operator: Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Bowl

Adapted from Kath Eats Real Food

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk + 1/4 cup more
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 Tbs flaxseed, ground
  • 1 Tbs hemp seeds (optional)
  • 2 heaping Tbs peanut flour
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • bit of vanilla
  • peanut butter and banana to top

DIRECTIONS:

1. Blend everything (except for 1/4 cup of the milk and the pb and banana for topping) in a food processor (or blender) until smooth.

2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. In the morning, blend again with the 1/4 cup of milk. Top with peanut butter and banana slices and devour.

Voluminous. Light, yet filling. Yummy.

If you love peanut butter and banana, make this.

Smoothie with a spoon. Swoon.

Now the blob of peanut butter can be blended in, of course, but I love my nut butter on top so I can have a lot in my last bite. :)

Do you stir nut butter into your breakfast or keep a blob on top? 

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Kitchen Confidence

I wasn’t always as into cooking as I am now. Having been a vegetarian since the age of 10, I’ve always been aware of and interested in vegetarian cooking and nutrition, but I didn’t attempt a whole lot beyond sauteing veggies, cooking pasta, poaching (pre-vegan) eggs, and baking cookies.

After college, I began to really enjoy making food. My food processor definitely helped was a life changer. I’m not kidding–whole new worlds opened up. This may sound dramatic, but it’s true.

And when I first started to love cooking, I always followed new recipes to a T. I had to do everything exactly as the recipe stated. In part, it was the “good student” tendency in me that wanted to get the dish 100% right. But mostly, I was afraid I’d mess up; I did not trust my skillz.

Now, I’d say I’m much more relaxed in the kitchen. Which is a good thing. While I think not straying from a recipe is helpful when you’re learning or trying something totally new, it’s so much fun to add your own twist on food! Or even ::gasp:: create a recipe from scratch!

I’m not totally there. A lot of my recipes are adapted from others who really know what they’re doing. And I’ll never stop making other people’s food! Why reinvent the wheel with so many amazing recipes out there calling my name? Following others’ recipes often encourages me to try new things, step out of my comfort zone, experience flavor combination I never knew I loved.

At the same time, I also love getting creative with food and making it my own.

Apron on: I mean business!

I realized just how far I’ve come this weekend. I was eyeing Heidi of 101 Cookbook‘s Farro and Millet Risotto pretty hardcore, and on Sunday, with no idea what to do for dinner, I decided to attempt a version. The old me would have run to the store to stock up on all the ingredients I didn’t have on hand: farro, chives, asparagus. I might have even made the full 6-8 servings and been stuck eating risotto every meal for days! God only knows.

Instead, I worked with what I had in my apartment–and used a simple flavor profile I know I love. I don’t need a recipe to tell me what’ll taste good! That meant using, among other things, millet, peas, fresh spinach, artichokes, garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, dried basil, lemon, and a generous dose of freshly ground pepper.

It also meant not knowing exactly how it would turn out. And loving how it did.

The recipe is not earth shattering or crazy creative. In fact, I’ve made a somewhat similar risotto dish using arborio rice before. But considering where I was a few years ago, it is a big step. And the truth? It was one of the most delicious dinners I’ve had in a while.

So wherever you are–whether you’re just getting into cooking or a seasoned pro who could teach me a thing or two (please do!!)–I’m confident you’ll love this, too.

Millet Pea Risotto with Spinach and Artichokes 

Serves 2 

  • half a small onion (about 1/4 cup), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup millet
  • splash of white cooking wine (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2.5 to 3.5 cups of your favorite vegetable stock (I like Pacific organic)
  • heaping 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • half a can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • splash of lemon juice (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat up vegetable stock in a saucepan. Keep on low.

2. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until soft. Add the millet and saute until toasted. Add the cooking wine.

3. Lower the heat to medium low and add the vegetable stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until millet absorbs liquid, then adding more stock. This process takes about 30 or so minutes, and is complete when the millet is cooked to your taste. If necessary, cover the pan for a bit to help the millet cook. And stir, stir, stir!

[Such a relaxing process, no? Just me??]

4. Season with salt and pepper.

4. About 5 or so minutes before the risotto is done, add in the frozen peas and artichokes. Right before you take it off the heat, stir in the nooch, spinach, dried basil, and more pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. When the spinach is wilted, take risotto off the heat and squeeze a bit of lemon juice (if using).

5. Enjoy!

Delicious! The texture of millet is almost creamy. Love it. I think I may even prefer this to classic risotto made with arborio rice. Just maybe.

And you know what’s even better? With the millet, spinach, and lemon, this is totally an Operation Iron dish.

Even though I think this recipe is great as is, make it your own! There are endless sub-in possibilities for the vegetables and seasonings. A millet mushroom risotto seasoned with earthy flavors of thyme and oregano would be amazing. Or a summery asparagus and lemon version–with extra lemon. Whatever’s on hand!

Have you ever made risotto with a grain other than arborio rice?

Do you follow recipes exactly or do your own thing? 

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Loving Lately

In lieu of a recipe today, here are some things I’m loving lately.

Radishes. 

I’ve rediscovered their glory. They are so fresh, crisp, and delightful.

And good for you: Radishes are a great source of vitamin C and also contain vitamins A, C, and K, niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron,potassium, zinc, selenium, and fluoride. Not too shabby.

I’m especially loving them with hummus. (But what doesn’t improve with hummus?? Let’s be real.)

Slightly obsessed.

I’m loving sleep. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

(source)

Sometimes me (and my computer) need sleeeep. Call me an old, but I love going to bed early.

I’m loving Tom cooking for me. :)

SOUP!

It had kale, pasta, potatoes, onions, garlic…Delicious!

He even had to use two pots because his soup contained chorizo.

two soups

What a guy. I begged him to write a guest post about his creation, but he wasn’t feeling it. Maybe next time….

Tom’s bowl.

My bowl.

I also had some qunioa/edamame/nooch for a bit of protein.

Great meal.

I’m loving smoothies at strange times of the day.

Dinner last night? Yep, it happened. (Sorry I don’t have a picture, but it looked a lot like the one below. Only I didn’t drink it out of a peanut butter jar.)

Smoothie for lunch? Don’t mind if I do!

Why fight a craving?

I’m loving my book right now. I can’t get enough. I look forward to commuting every day I’m so into it! I’m reading Zeitoun by Dave Eggers–a true story of one family before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s an incredible story–enraging at times, but important. A very good read.

As I’m meeting my girls from college in NOLA next weekend (woot woot!), it’s all the more fascinating.

I can’t WAIT! :)

I’m also loving MaraNatha Sunflower Seed Butter!

Have you tried this? I was on the lookout for a sunflower seed butter sans sugar and MaraNatha’s fit the bill. It is so scrumptious! I’m not kidding. You can definitely taste the “hint of sea salt,” too–in a great way.

Peanut butter, you have a new baby sister in the house fridge that’s going to take up a lot of Mama’s attention. But I will always love you. You know that, right? 

Was that weird? It was awkward for me too haha. I don’t actually talk to my nut butters. ;)

I don’t have a picture of my sunflower seed butter oats, either. Eating food without photographing it first? Wha ?? Blogger fail!

Since you have really great imaginations, I’ll tell you it looked a lot like allll my other oats, except with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. In other words, same old, same old.

Here’s an old picture of overnight oats to help you out. Just imagine the blob is MaraNatha.

The point is, it’s amazing. It’s also good on plain old toast (I used Ezekiel sprouted bread.)

Mmmm.

I’m also loving Fridays. What can I say? I’m a huge fan. :)

What are you loving lately? 

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Mac & Peas

So, I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan of Daiya.

Ever since trying this dairy free, lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free, cholesterol-free, and preservative-free cheese alternative, I’ve had some fun experimenting.

Grilled cheeze and tomato soup.

A large and in charge burrito. That I couldn’t wrap up. Ah well.

Daiya on a tortilla.

Mexicana Pizza.

And to finish up my daiya, last night I made some Mac & Peas.

Had to be done.

You don’t need to have daiya to whip up this creamy pasta dish, either. It’s a nice touch, but not critical.

I know what you’re thinking. After Sunday’s peanut butter snack balls and now this take on mac & cheese, you’re wondering if I’m secretly seven years old. HA. I promise, I am 25–and have some very sophisticated recipes coming soon!

And don’t pretend you’re not excited about this dish. ;)

After perusing several different vegan “cheese” sauces, I got my ingredients ready and tasted my way to creating this sauce. One of my inspirations was Lulu’s Mac and Cheese a la Mama Pea. I think it’s safe to say Mama Pea would approve of my version; I did add peas and all. ;)

Easy Mac & Peas

Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb. whole wheat penne
  • heaping 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 Tbs Earth Butter
  • 3 heaping Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 4 Tbs hummus
  • About 1/3 cup hemp milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup cheddar daiya (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hemp seeds for topping (optional; I added for protein)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring water to a boil. Add pasta and a titch of salt. Cook according to package directions. With one or two minutes remaining, add your frozen peas.

This is a one-pot wonder, my friends. My kind of meal.

2. Drain your pasta and peas and add them back to the pot. Return pot to the still-warm burner. Stir in Earth Butter, hemp milk, hummus, nutritional yeast, and daiya (if using). Season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Done–15 minutes or less! :)

Creamy, cheesy, delicious.

Tom really liked this dish, too. Texturally, he thought it totally resembled cheese.

I added hemp seeds to mine for a boost of protein. (I didn’t think Tom was ready for hemp; fake cheese was a big enough step for one night!) It created an amazing bread crumb-like crunch. Loved it!

Mac & Cheese all grown up!

The verdict on Daiya? Love it. In moderation, of course. It will be a very once in a while purchase, but I’ll definitely enjoy it when it’s around. See, as a Wisconsin girl, I am still not totally over cheese. Although it is becoming less and less appealing, I’d be lying if I said I never crave my favorite cheesy dishes.

Daiya to the rescue. :)

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Short But Sweet (But Not Too Sweet)

Sorry for the lack of post last night; I was knitting up a storm in my second (and final) beginners knitting class at La Casita in Brooklyn.

Apparently I’ve learned how to knit. I’m not totally sold.

I have come a long way…

after class one

after class two

But this was under teacher supervision.

Afraid we would immediately forget everything upon exiting the shop, my friend and decided to start our first project after class–with the teacher’s help. We’re each going to make a loop/infinity scarf. Not sure how it’s going to work yet, but I’m going for it!

To Be Determined

A tan/neutral scarf with a pop of pink. That’s the plan. It’s a cotton/soya blend–very light for summer. We’ll see how that turns out! I’d say I’ll show you the final product, but you could be waiting a while.

And you’re not here for the scarves.

Oh, right. Food.

For those who nodded off during the first portion of this post, wake up! It’s time for breakfast!

We’ll keep this short but sweet. But not too sweet because I gave up sugar/sweets for lent, remember?

How about a sugar-free bowl of peanut butter cup overnight oats?

Yes, please!

You may or may not remember my first version of peanut butter cup overnight oats. Well, I was missing it a bit since lent began, so I healthified it even more and came up with a sugar-free version. Not to replace the former bowl of yumminess, mind you. Just to create more of it.

I left out the peanut butter containing sugar and the agave syrup in this version. The oats are peanut-y and slightly sweet from a bit of banana and the chocolate is barely sweetened with a few drops of stevia. Perfect balance.

Here’s how it’s done.

Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats (sugar-free)

  • half a ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1 Tbs flaxseed
  • 2 Tbs peanut flour
  • sprinkle of peanuts (optional)
  • titch of sea salt (optional)
  • a big spoonful of peanut butter
  • 1 heaping tsp of nutritional yeast (optional, but a nice touch)
  • about 2/3 square of unsweetened Baker’s chocolate (or to taste)
  • 3-4 drops stevia (what’s stevia? check out this post for a brief description)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mash banana in bottom of your bowl. Add oats, almond milk, flaxseed, peanut flour, peanuts, and salt. Mix well.

2. Mix peanut butter with nutritional yeast (this will taste similar to the inside of a reese’s peanut butter cup). Place on top of oats.

3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. In the morning, melt unsweetened chocolate in the microwave. Add stevia to the chocolate taste. Drizzle over oats and enjoy!

Definitely not too sweet. I only kind of felt like I was cheating. ;)

A little dark chocolate in every bite? Check.

I’m clearly a fan of the more-peanut-butter-than-chocolate ratio. But if you’re a huge chocolate lover, try adding some cocoa powder the oats. Or use more Baker’s chocolate.

This would also make a delicious, melty bowl of cooked oatmeal. Just sayin’.

No sweets is easy. ;) Well, not always. But I am finding that I crave sugar far less and overly sweet food does not sound appealing. I love it when this happens.

For those of you who gave up something for lent, how are you finding the challenge?

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Build Me Up Butternut

Why do you build me up (build me up) butternut just to let me down?

And mess me around.

And then worst of all (worst of all), you never come-out-of-the-oven when you say you will (say you will)…

But I love you still!

Yep, I burned some butternut tonight. Effff.

This was the last straw in a series of events that add up to a bad day. It was one of those days where things just did not go my way. So I was not surprised when I burned my beloved butternut. Just annoyed!

Ah well, tomorrow is another day…

And there was one saving grace from today.

Ever since Heather posted about her Vegan Broccoli ‘n Cheese Sauce, I’d been craving it like none other.

So tonight I attempted and it was just the comfort food I needed.

Delicious.

Not surprisingly, the girl behind kissmybroccoli did not lead me astray with this broccoli goodness. ;)

I only changed a couple of things because it turns out I didn’t have everything on hand. Typical. And I forgot to soak the cashews ahead of time. Whoops. I clearly did not think this through. Ha.

Here’s what happened.

Broccoli Cashew Cheese

Adapted from Heather at kissmybroccoli

  • 1 cup cashews (soak/rinse if you plan ahead)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground pepper
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water (I used the water from steaming broccoli)
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli (florets and stems!)
  • titch of onion (about 1 Tbs)

Place everything but broccoli in food processor and process extra long because you forgot soak the cashews. Once nice and creamy, add the broccoli and process until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste!

I served over whole wheat penne. Just before the pasta was done, I threw in some more broccoli because A.) there’s no need to dirty another pot when you cook pasta and veg together; and B.) you can never have too much broccoli.

one pot wonder

And dinner is served.

Hit the spot. Broccoli and cheese are such a great combo. Even when it is cashew “cheese.”

Thanks, Heather! :)

After dinner I had a few dried apricots for a sweet bite.

And the then the burning of the butternut happened.

I don’t wanna talk about it.

I had big plans for that butternut

I just don’t think I can salvage it.

But despite everything, I still love you, butternut.

I need you (I need you!)!

More than anything, darling,

You know that I have from the start.

So build me up, butternut, don’t break my heart.

What’s your worst kitchen mishap?

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What To Do…

…when you have two large avocados that become ripe at the exact same time….

Make guacamole!

This is the conundrum I find with avocados: I love them, but they’re never ripe when you plan to use them, and as soon as they are ripe you have a ton of avocado to eat all at once.

Anyone else?

I stopped buying the four packs at Trader Joe’s because I was throwing too much good avocado away. But even two at a time can be tricky. I bought these two avos last weekend to use during the week, but, of course, they were hard as rocks. Finally on Saturday they were both ripe and ready to go–meaning I had to drop everything and attend to the avocados before they went bad. Dinner plans? Change them; you have ripe avocados on your hands.

Good thing I love gaucamole. :)

Everyone has a favorite guac recipe. Here’s mine.

Favorite Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 small tomato, diced (sometimes I use chunky fresh salsa)
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Tom and I snacked on this with Trader Joe’s Super Seeded Tortilla Chips with organic flax, and chia, and hemp seeds.

These were tasty–and very seedy indeed. Salty as well. The poppy seeds (yes, there were poppy seeds, too) were distinct. As I’m a fan of seeds, it worked for me.

This was kind of my dinner last night, I’m not gonna lie. I wasn’t very hungry as I had a late and hearty lunch so a little snack was all I needed. I don’t normally eat chips for dinner but it happened.

What to do…

…when you have leftover Moraccan Millet

Wrap it up!

Start with garlic hummus on a whole wheat wrap.

Then add the moroccan millet with kale, zucchini, and butternut squash. Top with sweet pomegranate seeds.

Perfect! This was so flavorful and delicious.

It was hard to fit everything in but I managed somehow. :)

Yum.

What to do…

…when you have leftover kale and a proclivity for snackage…

Make kale chips!

Love these crispy little guys. My fave kale chips are inspired by Elise’s simple flavor combo of salt and nutritional yeast. I haven’t looked back.

For this batch, I used 1/4 big bunch of kale, 1 tsp olive oil, a couple grinds of sea salt, 1 heaping tsp nooch. Massage each leaf so that they are evenly coated.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes (mine took 13).

Enjoy!

Crispy. Salty. Slightly “cheesy.” Yum.

These accompanied my lunch today nicely.

Kale chips + whole wheat couscous from a local cafe with roasted apple, walnuts, roasted butternut squash, parsley, and dried cranberries = great lunch.

What to do…

…when you want your fave almond butter even though it’s pricey and you already have two jars of almond butter opened…

Get another one.

You can never have too many jars of nut butter.

I get this local, organic almond butter from the indoor farmer’s market near me and it is the best I’ve ever tasted. Its texture is out of this world. It’s smooth, yet gritty…amazing.

So worth it.

What to do…

…when you’re at said farmer’s market and one of the workers gives a piece of corn, a brown paper bag, and tells you how to make “the best popcorn you will ever have.”

You do what the man tells you.

And it turns out the man was right.

Place the corn in a closed brown paper bag.

Microwave it until you hear the popping start to calm for a second then stop.

Place the popped kernels in a bowl.

It pops off the cob!

Put the cob back in the microwave for more. Continue to remove the popped corn after you get a bunch, putting the cob back in the microwave for more popping.

It yields an insane amount of popcorn!

I’m not a big popcorn person, but this was very yummy. And I love knowing that it is fresh, local, organic, and there are no additives. The only toppings are the ones I added: melted Earth Butter, nooch, and salt.

You can even eat if off the cob. Crazy!

popcorn on the cob?

This popcorn definitely calls for a movie on my couch on this rainy Sunday.

I think I can do that. :)

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