You could omit the cocoa powder if you want.
This is a peanut buttery take on cold oats. I love to make this breakfast because it keeps me going until dinnertime, which can be important on some days when I don't have time to eat lunch. The oats are layered with chia seeds, peanut butter, and cocoa! Tastes like a peanut butter cup, but better.
You could omit the cocoa powder if you want.
Did you know that March first is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day? It sure is and since I LOVE peanut butter, I felt it was necessary to share my favorite peanut butter recipe: Peanut Butter Protein Fudge
The kids love this stuff, so this a great way to get fat and protein in their diets! Combine this with a side of chopeed fruit or veggie and you are good to go!
Many people often ask me how I stay fit and do so much, but I always tell them that nutrition is a major factor in my life. After all, I eat to live and not the other way around.
However, it got me thinking that maybe others would benefit from knowing what I eat everyday given my hectic schedule working as an acquisitions editor, writing curriculum plans, and homeschooling my child (in addition to baking cookies with my sister, writing articles, blogging, and walking 5-8 miles per day).
Now I don't think that what I eat is any better than what others eat, but I am sure to get lots of veggies into my body day in and day out. I also make sure that I am getting a solid heap of complex carbs, healthy fats, and proteins. Anyways, read more to find out what I eat most days of the week. Perhaps you could try it.
In first-world America there is a constant battle as to what is better: ground turkey or ground beef. Seeing as I think cow is disgusting and the very fact that we could halt climate change by not eating beef confirms that turkey is the smarter choice. Not only that, turkey just tastes better. It's light, yet meaty.
When I make chili, you better believe that I am using ground turkey. My favorite chili is one that is just spicy enough, but not burning. It's loaded with veggies and beans, and it deserves chips to dip into it. It's hearty. And best of all, most kids dig into it without questioning the veggies. I hope you love it too!
When the holidays are over and I am savoring the memory of sitting around the table for Thanksgiving, I can almost taste the pumpkin pie on my lips. Pumpkin pie is perhaps my favorite holiday dish. And my pumpkin pie is not-so-traditional (go figure!). It's made with coconut milk and pumpkin puree. No eggs or dairy, and barely any sugar at all. I love pumpkin as it was meant to be eaten.
BUT my most favorite thing about pumpkin pie, or any pie for that matter, is the crust. A good, cold butter crust made with just the right amount of flour and salt. Not mixed too much and generously pressed into a pan. Mmmm....crust. I could totally make a pie crust and eat it raw without any filling. I could half bake it and eat it without filling. I really love pie crust.
Woe is me though...I only have pie crust a few times each year. The rest of the year, I must go without it. That can be really difficult when I am dying for a slice of pumpkin pie. Not to worry though! I've come up with a way to enjoy pumpkin pie without the crust...and I usually eat it for breakfast.
Just how many adjectives can a girl use to describe her brownies? Paleo. Vegan. (Did you read my post on how much I hate Paleo+Vegan posts?) Pumpkin. Fudgy. Banana. Seriously? Yes, I said it and I meant it. These brownies fucking rock. Ha ha, funny story about using curse words in blog posts. Advertisers hate it. I was turned down by a very cushy company the other day because I use profanity on my blog.
Apparently all bloggers should look alike, talk alike and act like ladies. Well, screw that. A few *fucks* here and there isn't going to make my readers fall apart...in fact, I am sure most men and women use that word internally more often than they'd like to admit. I just have no problem saying it aloud.
Anyways, back to my bitchin' brownies.
Every day, no matter what is going on, my daughter does this thing, and then I always know what's coming next. She wiggles from the bedroom where's she's been pretending to be a ninja for the past two hours and says, "Mooommm..."
"Yes?" (And I know what's coming because she says it)
And what used to ensue after this comment was a fifteen minute conversation about what she did and what she didn't want to eat. It became too much and decided that I wanted to streamline her afternoon snack so that she only had 2-3 options from which she could choose.
Long story short, I compiled 14 snacks that she loves and I rotate them each week so I know she is eating a diverse plate of food. And the best part is that she knows what her options are and that nothing else is available. Problem solved.
Since you may be struggling with a kid who doesn't know what he wants to eat, or hell, a kid who knows what he wants to eat, but you aren't offering it, I wanted to give you my list of kid-approved snacks.
And while these snacks are geared toward kids, you could totally make them for yourself to take with you for work. I broke these up based on calorie load: 100 calories, 200 calories, and 300 calories.
Did you know that January is National Oatmeal Month? Thank god because all we do in this house is eat oatmeal. And to make it extra special this month, I am going to feed my kids cookies for breakfast. At least that's what they think they are...but not to worry-- these aren't your traditional, sugar-loaded cookies
My vegan oatmeal cookies are loaded with protein and packed with fiber. And you know what? My kids love them and they make great portable meals for when we are out and about --- because I have one of those kids who grazes all freaking day long and she is never not hungry. Seriously. The kid has a six pack too! Geez...
These oatmeal cookies contain protein powder, peanut butter, oats, honey, soy milk, vanilla, and raisins...which are totally optional because I hate raisins. Just swap it out for dark chocolate.
And if you are concerned about soy in the diet, take a look at this article to a fuller view on the current soy information.
January 1 is National Bloody Mary Day. I don't drink anymore, but I know many of you might want to sip on a bloody mary for breakfast today after celebrating all night.
Here's a quick recipe:
You could add a slice over nearly burned bacon to this drink if you're feeling ballsy. You could get even crazier by using bacon-infused vodka.
I eat oatmeal every single day. Usually for breakfast. Lately, I am really in love with eating cold oatmeal, but nothing beats a hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold day. Some of my favorite oatmeal combinations are Almond Joy Oatmeal, Brownie Batter Oatmeal, Blueberry Banana Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Yogurt and Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal, and Blackberry Cinnamon Oatmeal.
Oatmeal is loaded with fiber, B vitamins, and protein. Not to mention it digests slowly, leaving you full for hours. And if you throw in some vanilla soy protein powder, you may not eat until dinner.
Peanut butter is the best invention on the planet. I love peanuts, but something transformative happens to the peanut when it is crished to smithereens and whipped into peanut butter. Magic. Seriour magic. And I love to eat peanuts, peanut butter, crushed peanuts...mmmm.
And peanuts, despite what the Paleo folks would have you believe, are really good for you. A quarter-cup of peanuts gives you nearly half of your daily copper needs anda third of your manganese! Hello, that's amazing, isn't it? Peanuts are also loaded with the anti-aging antioxidant, resvertrol. Oh, and guess what? They are loaded with MUFAs (monounsaturated faty acids), which may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease...sounds pretty amazing to me.
It' s too bad people are allergic to peanuts or that the Paleo community says that they are bad for you because of "antinutrients"...if you aren't allergic to peanuts, then eat up because these bad boys deliver a good amount of protein and fat that will keep you energized for hours. I like to make a peanut butter banana smoothies on days that I know I won't have time to eat for awhile.
Beets are the cornerstone of my fall and winter pantry. I begin pulling beets from the garden mid-September and don't stop until February. Beets are delicious. They are bright and delectable--perfect for a salad or roasted. I like to grate beets with apples and celery, and then toss them in apple cider vinger for a bright slaw-like alternative to traditional cole slaw.
What makes beets so powerful and energizing? Beets aid in detoxification of the body and they give you a whopping dose of folate. Folate will boost your energy levels fo sure.
Spinach happens every single day in our house. We use it in smoothies, soups, casseroles, and even dessert. Spinach is packed with nine times the amount of vitamin K need per day in just one cup! Yep. That makes spinach better than kale or lettuce any day of the week. Oh and vitamin K is really cool-- it's been shown to increase the movement of electrons to improve energy levels and to increase insulin resistance.
Consider trying spinach on pizza, in a dip, or a smoothie.
What the heck October? Why do you all of the sudden require PUMPKIN EVERYTHING? I received an email today from a reader asking for a pumpkin recipe. Okay. Okay. I'm not pointing fingers (ahem...Starbucks) or anything for causing a mass consumer need for pumpkin, but I mean seriously?
Now, I will admit that I do eat a lot of pumpkin, but my pumpkin eating habits are not restricted to October or dare I say it, Thanksgiving. I use pumpkin to make flourless cookies, pancakes, breads, puddings...oatmeal. It just so happens that pumpkin is quite the beauty when it comes to acting as a binder. Do I care if everything I eat is tinted orange? Not really.
Anyways, this recipe is for my beloved reader. It's warm. It's scrumptious. It contains pumpkin, Satisfied? I hope so!
I do love apples. Apples are the pinnacle of fall. I know that fall is right around the corner when the little apples on my tree begin to clunk on the ground. And as you'd expect, I run outside and snag it to safety.
The birds and I are at war for those apples. Little buggers. They may have eaten my beet seedlings, but they won't get all of the apples.
Now that I have enough apples, I can make mulled apple cider, which is on my list of things to do during the fall. I've gathered apples, vanilla, a bit of wine, honey, cinnamon, and cloves to make this wonderful cider.
I roasted a ton of sweet potatoes today and after making sweet potato oatmeal, sweet potato muffins, and sweet potato pancakes, I thought to myself, why not add some chocolate to this sucker. And I did it. And thank GOD.
It was so easy and it turned out so delightful that my sister and I are going to use this for our cookie sandwiches for farmer's market. What a great way to give people with dietary restrictions a taste of loveliness. I will admit that if you start with 1/4 cup cocoa for every sweet potato, the essence of sweet potato lingers, but it is a delicious sort of lingering.
However, just add a dash extra of vanilla or even a bit more cocoa and you will lose that flavor. It really is up to what you want. So more cocoa powder equals more fudgy flavor. Less cocoa powder leaves you with a hint sweet potato.
After a long discussion with myself in the mirror, I have decided that for the next year, my family will be removing wheat, processed sugar (i.e. the kind you find in boxes, not fruit), all processed goods (bread, pie, cake, cookies, tortilla, etc...), dairy, eggs, ice cream (yep, you heard me right!), and anything that is not in its original (or close to) form.
What this means? Fruits. Vegetables. Oats. Tofu (made at home). Fish. Rice. Nuts. Seeds. Some beans here and there. I'm sure I'm missing something here. It isn't about restriction; it's just about eating the things we need and ignoring the restof the consumer-driven food world.
Our diet is fairly healthy, but I really want to get us back in the rhythm of eating right all of the time. If you've read a few of my other posts, you will know that we've been doing a lot of baking lately, and that has led to a little more sugar in our lives than I'd like to admit. I bought a bag of flour for the first time in five years. Well, the bag of flour is empty and it's time to go back to our original way of living. Flour-free. I know that by doing so, we will eliminate all of the other stuff because eggs and butter only come into play when we are baking. We will not be using any form of flour, not gluten-free or anything. If we make desserts, they will be raw or the non-cake-shaped variety. Roasted peaches with pistachios or something.
Part of the reason I am doing this is because I'v noticed a little behavioral change in my child. The only ingredient that is different in her everyday life is the baking. I'm going to teach her how to bake "sweets" without the sweet. When I was younger, I baked without flour, butter, sugar, and eggs....so I'm going to teach her those tools. Really, I just prefer our "from the ground, in whole form" eating lifestyle to the "baking" lifestyle. If that makes any sense.
Of course, my recipes will still be delicious.
Anyways, I'd love to have your support and maybe you will jump on the bandwagon.
Thanks for listening.
I feel no reason to explain this delicious pizza. I made it with my pizza dough recipe (except I traded wheat flour for gluten-free 1-to-1 flour), homemade tomato sauce from the garden tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, and goat's cheese.
Super easy dinner.
If you don't have time to make a crust, you can pick one up from the store!
I love dessert. Actually, if I weren't dedicated to being a reasonably good role model for my family, I'd eat a candy bar every day of the week. And it would always be between: Almond Joy and York Peppermint Patty. Always. No doubt about it. But, I do have self control and I am committed to eating right.
And you know what else I love? Bloggers. Bloggers who have taken the Paleo+Vegan lifestyle and promoted it everywhere. The recipes these days are darling and so super helpful. I can get a new recipe for just about anything. Although, I've always eaten "clean" and "whole", I do love the current propulsion toward getting a wider audience to subscribe to healthy eating.
(Yes, my rant is coming...hold on)
But, I just gotta say one thing: dessert is dessert no matter how you swing it. Plenty of these "clean eating" or paleo+vegan websites tout their recipes as healthy or good for you because they don't use table sugar, or perhaps they pour coconut oil/sugar/flour/flakes on everything. And the main proponent behind most of these "healthy" desserts is the use of agave or maple syrup or honey or dates in lieu of sugar.
Let's get one thing straight: all of these substances contain sugar...glucose is glucose no matter what product it comes from. I'm pretty sure all of these blogs are getting paid to say how much they despise sugar and love "healthier alternatives", but I can't prove it. I know they do it, and it annoys me, which is why I am dedicated to providing a website that doesn't sell out to the grand scheme of corporate marketing (see, rant...). Do I use affiliate marketing or ads? Sometimes...but I never ever ever ever flood my website with ads, and I would never link to something that I haven't used or doesn't fit my philosophy (or scientific education) on life. Anyways, sugar is sugar; we've established that.
I promise, there is a recipe attached to this rant, but my point must be made first. The latest recipe that is flooding the Paleo+Vegan blogosphere (521,000 in a Google search) is "Almond Joy Bars" and every blogger screams about how healthy they are for you. Yes, almonds are good for you. Coconut in moderation is also good for you. So is dark chocolate (scholarly article link). But taking those good-for-you foods and swirling them with cups of dates, honey, maple syrup, blah blah blah...adds unnecessary quantities of sugary substances to your diet*.
*Diet= Food you eat every day and not that thing where people try to lose weight.
Yesterday was the first day of school for the little genius and I thought that it would be appropriate to celebrate with pancakes. But wait! These pancakes aren't the kind that cause a sugar rush or interfere with attention spans or anything...they are delicious, protein-packed pancakes with a few butterscotch chips tossed in (literally, 5-6 per pancake).
These are the sort of pancakes that make you smile. They are sweet and salty and hit that "gotta have carbs" spot in your belly...or in my case, in my heart. Because I love carbs. Carbs love me. It's a win-win situation.
Anywho, let's get straight to the point because I hate those bloggers that go on and on and on with their story about their pancakes. You want the recipe. Let's do this thing. The recipe DOES NOT require bananas or any special egg tricks, but it does require protein powder. If you don't have protein powder, I would add a few tablespoons of flour, but no guarantees here.
**Because I love you, I have placed links to the ingredients that we used. Of course, you can use what you want, but as you know, I am an Amazon addict and these are the best deals for this stuff. GF cooking is freakin' expensive.
Homemade bread is the only type of bread that enters my home. We stopped buying factory-made bread years ago. It started as a science experiment and became a weekly project. I love coming into the kitchen every Sunday morning and prepping for a day of meal prep and baking. It's a tradition.
Hearth bread is one of our favorite breads to bake. Hearth bread is a fancy way of saying calzone dough. This bread is used to wrap fillings inside and serve piping hot alongside a huge salad (unless, you are like me and put your salad inside your calzone). Calzones are ideal for portable, hearty meals. You can make them for breakfast, lunch, or dare I say it, dessert.
As with any yeast bread, this is a time-intensive recipe. Loads of waiting. I like to start this one in the morning before we head to the garden because I know that I can complete the next step when we get back from picking tomatoes and infant-sized zucchini. The dough is a blank slate. Add herbs to the dough. Knead in some cinnamon and nutmeg...you get the point. Be daring with this one. You'll thank yourself later.
Try it out and tell me what you think.
Summertime is almost over, but that doesn't mean my latest obsession with making ice cream has to end! This weekend I made blueberry banana vegan ice cream. I know. I know. A mouthful. Just call it ice cream and be done with it, I guess. We mixed some frozen banana and blueberries together and added some chocolate chips to it...because everything goes better with chocolate chips. And woo hoo. Simple vegan ice cream without an ice cream machine. Eventually, I will cave and buy an ice cream machine. It's inevitable.
The first time I made this, I forgot to slice the bananas, and while we were able to blend it all right-- I would definitely slice the bananas before freezing them. The flavor is the ultimate duo of berries and bananas. It really is. No added sugar or anything gross. Just fruit, nuts, and chocolate. Smile. It's ice cream.
Portable food is a must in my house. Not because we are all over the place or anything, but because I need go-to food at a moment's notice...I have one of those kids who is always hungry, you see.
And having something on hand is makes feeding such a child efficient. She can go into the fridge and grab a wrap, a burrito, or a sandwich without having to ask me about it. When she has eaten two bites because that's all she ever eats, she can put it back in the container and get it again later.
No fuss for me. No grumbling tummy for her. Win-win.
Since we make so many on-the-go meals, I have found it better to make the wrap at home. We save a lot of money doing this since I can make a dozen or more pita breads on Sunday and freeze half of them for the second week. Easy peasy.
My pita recipe comes out warm and delicious every time and you can easily make this recipe in your kitchen too. The pita bread is a little time consuming, so I recommend making it on the same day you do meal prep. Preferably start it in the morning, let the dough rise while you are grocery shopping, and then come back to finish the bread.
As I mentioned before, this summer we are doing a summer-long baking unit study. The kids are learning about units, measurement, chemistry and food safety. Oh, and they are definitely learning about the five senses as well as business skills (they have had several bake sales).
This week, we baked these yummy banana chocolate chip cookies. They have no added sugar and can be made gluten-free with the appropriate flour substitute. We tried these cookies with wheat flour and almond flour. Both ways were delicious...actually, I preferred the almond flour cookies. But almond flour can be expensive, so flour will suffice.
The cookies make the entire house smell like a chocolate covered banana baking inside warm brioche. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?
I am a bit of a nutrition junkie. I read, live, breath nutritional research studies.
I know from experience that good health stems directly from proper nutrition. In our household, food is medicine. My daughter is nearing 4 years old and I must pat myself on the back for starting her off right with a diet of whole foods and minimal processed foods. She has never set foot in a McDonald's and she has a strong opinion on killing animals.
Of course, there have been times when I slip and let her have some dark chocolate chips at breakfast...but it is alongside a bowl of oatmeal and bag of carrots. I am not too worried about her. My daughter has always eaten what I eat. I do not make a separate meal for her.
She eats curry. She eats kale. She eats raw salmon if she is feeling a little omnivorey.
She eats like a human.
What drives me crazy and I have noticed in the past few weeks when we went to a few dinner parties is the split meal. The split meal is an adult preparing a delicious dinner, only to throw down a bag of fast food in front of the child...what the hell is that about? That is not the way to teach your child about nutrition or what is real food.
Yes, I may sound a little preachy right now, but it kills me to see that happen. Children can be total jerks, but giving them shitty food isn't going to help with their behavior. It will negatively impact it.
I strongly believe in feeding children the food that you eat.
We've been into baking lately and sometimes that really just means mixing things together. Mostly this is part of our baking unit study that we have been conducting for most of the summertime. Summertime is the perfect time to bake and learn because we have a garden full of fresh produce and an oven begging to be used.
Today we whipped up fresh blueberry crepes using the berries from the backyard. This isn't paleo or grain-free, but it could be adapted to be so. Then again, I never claimed to be either of those things. Live life. Eat well. Be smart. That's what I like to say.
Our day-to-day oatmeal and collard wraps lifestyle doesn't appeal to the folks that often ring our doorbell. None of my immediate family lives a whole foods diet without the cheese or eggs or pasta...and I can't blame them. I love a big, piping hot bowl of cheesy pasta as much as the next person, but hey, I just don't dig into it.
That doesn't mean I don't have a delectable and savory macaroni and cheese recipe for the evenings that company is over and I need to make a dish that appeals the big and little tastebuds. I always serve it alongside braised collard greens and hope for the best.
My macaroni and cheese is creamy and gooey and hits the spot. I make it once, maybe twice per year, usually when we hold our annual board game night. The dish is simple to whip up, totally scoopable and there's never leftovers...ever. Which is good because I'd lick the platter clean if there were!