Monday, July 7, 2014

a week of breakfasts.


M Y  F A V O R I T E  O A T M E A L
(Serves 1)

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup, separated
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 6 chopped strawberries
  • 1/8 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/8 cup frozen blueberries
  1. Pour oats, water, and half and half into a pan, and bring to medium heat. Stir and bring down to a simmer. Cover with a lid and allow mixture to simmer for 5-7 minutes (watch carefully, or the oatmeal may burn). 
  2. Meanwhile, place berries and 1 teaspoon maple syrup in a small pan. Mix on medium-low heat, until syrup mixture has thickened and berries are warm.
  3. Stir 1 teaspoon maple syrup and dash of cinnamon into oatmeal. Pour berry mixture over oatmeal.
G R E E N  D R E A M  S M O O T H I E
(Serves 1)

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • healthy handful spinach
  • 3 Romaine leaves, shredded
  • healthy handful pea shoots
  • 1 banana (frozen is best)
  • 1/4 cup mango
  1. Pour coconut milk, spinach, and Romaine in blender and pulse to combine.
  2. Add pea shoots, banana, and mango. Pulse until well combined.
J E F F R E Y ' S  B E R R Y  B L I T Z  S M O O T H I E
(Serves 2)

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • healthy handful spinach
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/8 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  1. Pour coconut milk, water, and spinach in a blender and pulse to combine. 
  2. Add raspberries, mango, and pineapple. Pulse until well combined.
  3. Add blueberries and banana. Pulse until well combined. Split smoothie equally between two glasses.
My favorite oatmeal, topped with fresh strawberries, sliced almonds, and unsweetened coconut flakes


The thing about breakfast is that it's either an absolute pleasure or an absolute pain. There are two scenarios: The first involves a lovely spring day, 70º weather, billowing white tablecloths, and a table set for two with a vase of friendly daisies. The second involves last night's dishes, ten minutes until it's time to leave for work, and a half empty fridge whose contents include week-old leftovers and a pitcher of water. My recent mission has been to help the second scenario look a bit more like the first.

Truthfully, there are few things I enjoy more than dining out for breakfast. But, the reality is that on a Tuesday morning before I rush out the door (and there's not a chance of a restaurant breakfast), I need something that will fill me and stick to my ribs, so that my stomach's not grumbling by 8 AM. That typically comes in the form of a smoothie. However, because I'm on summer vacation, I've gotten the chance to be a bit more creative in the kitchen, and breakfast has been an absolute pleasure to make and enjoy.

(And in the interest of total honesty, I've also (happily) consumed this for breakfast.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

a week of dinners.


S T I R  F R Y --
(Serves 2)

  • brown rice pasta, water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • handful green beans
  • handful (frozen) broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon nama shoyu (for the sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (for the sauce)
  • sesame seeds (for topping)
  1. Cook pasta according to package's directions
  2. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add chopped onions and a clove of garlic. Sauté while you chop the carrots and peppers. Add carrots, peppers, and green beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add broccoli and sauté  until veggies turn vibrantly colored (about 5 minutes).
  3. Slowly add the nama shoyu + maple syrup and sauté  until sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes. 
  4. Serve over brown rice pasta and sprinkle with plenty of sesame seeds.


Big Comfy Sweet Potatoes


H A P P I N E S S  B O W L -- 
(Serves 2)

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • handful (frozen) broccoli
  • handful sunflower sprouts (pea shoots or alfalfa sprouts would be a good alternative here)
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  1. Rinse the quinoa (even better if you can soak it for 8 hours and then rinse it!) vigorously. Place in a large pot and cover with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then immediately bring to a simmer. Stir and cover with a lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic, peas, and broccoli. Sauté until peas and broccoli are bright green and cooked through.
  3. Spoon quinoa, broccoli, and peas into two bowls. Add onions, sprouts of your choice, and avocado.
  4. Pour plenty of sauce over the mixture (recipe below).

H A P P I N E S S  S A U C E -- 
(Serves 2, with plenty of leftovers)

  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • ~ 1/4 cup water (for thinning)
  1. Place carrots into a food processor or blender (you might want to add one at a time if your appliance is a bit more on the delicate side). Pulse until finely chopped. Add the garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Pulse until combined.
  2. At this point, your mixture will most likely be quite thick. Add in some salt and pepper, and introduce a slow stream of water. Add as much or as little as you'd like until desired consistency has been reached.
  3. Store leftovers in an airtight jar. Will keep for about 1 week.

Black Bean Salad with Cumin-Roasted Carrots
(You might recognize this! I used the leftovers for lunch!)


H E A R T Y  S A L A D
(Serves 2)

  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • 4 Romaine leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 pear, chopped and roasted (450º F for 10-15 minutes)
  1. Shred spinach and lettuce. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Crumble Gorgonzola and grate Parmesan over greens. Top with onions, pear, and candied walnuts (see below). Toss with vinaigrette (see below).
C A N D I E D  W A L N U T S
(Serves 2)

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of salt
  1. Toss coconut sugar, honey, and salt over walnuts and combine until evenly coated.
  2. Roast at 450º F for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
R A S P B E R R Y  V I N A I G R E T T E
(Serves 2)

  • 1/8 cup raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 splashes balsamic vinegar
  • 1 healthy pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • ~2 tablespoons water (for thinning)
  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse all ingredients (except for water) until combined. Slowly add in a steady stream of water until desired consistency is reached.

We believe homemade dinners should be simple. After all, we're two of the most likely people in this world to go out to eat because we love it so much. Therefore, we have to be pretty persuaded to stay home for our dining experience. That boils down two to things: Will the ingredients be simple? Will it be healthy?

In all honesty, answering those two questions in the affirmative actually takes a lot of forethought. That is, forethought in the form of a grocery list. We are meal planners, and for the last five years of our relationship that has made all the difference. We account for one date night a week, in which we dine out; the rest of our meals are eaten at home. On the (not-so-rare) occasion that we eat out twice in a week, we try to choose restaurants that still use simple ingredients and are (for the most part) healthy.

However, life happens in those in-between moments, so we're also not ones to turn down pizza if the mood strikes and we just happen to be driving by our favorite local haunt.
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