I came up with this recipe for two reasons. First, we finally obtained the much talked about vita-mix. Second, I had just gone for a hot run in 85 degree temps and I was super sweaty and craving something cool and light.
Enter the 100 calorie ginormous strawberry lime freeze.
Not only do you get a huge helping of fruit you also get a good bit of hydration.
This freeze is so versatile. You can drink it as a snack or add protein powder for a full meal. Maybe you could eat it with toast and peanut butter like I did for a balanced breakfast with some staying power. Endless possibilities. Perfect metaphor for the long lazy summer days.
Healthy Strawberry Lime Freeze (serves 1)
1/2 banana (frozen)
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup almond milk
1 packet of sweetener (or 1 tbsp of agave or honey)
2 tsp of lime juice
Water (to taste)
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender, adding in water until your freeze is at it’s desired consistency (for me it was a little over 1 cup). Serve in a very tall glass and enjoy!
I love oatmeal for breakfast (an opinion I have expressed more than once: here, here (my favorite) and here). It is so filling and keeps me satiated much longer than any other breakfasts I have tried. Then, I threw together this breakfast on a whim yesterday morning.
It was one of those mornings that you feel like breaking out of your usual breakfast rut. The birds were singing the air was warm–too warm for a hot bowl of oatmeal. I was craving something a little more savory.
I opened the fridge.
I spied some tortillas and started to think of different breakfast options that utilized said tortillas. Eventually, I settled on a mix of a breakfast taco and a tostada and the Mexican Breakfast Pizza was born.
Quick High-Protein Mexican Breakfast Pizza (serves 1)
1 large whole-wheat tortilla (I used La Tortilla Factory’s low-carb tortillas)
1/4 cup of black beans
2 tbsp of Greek yogurt
1 egg (scrambled or fried)
4-5 cherry tomatoes (chopped)
1/4 of an avocado (chopped)
optional toppings: light sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro
Heat the tortilla in a large non-stick pan until firm and crispy. Meanwhile, in a separate non-stick pan cook egg as desired. Warm the black beans in a microwave for 15 seconds. Mash the black beans with the Greek yogurt (you can add a sprinkle of any seasoning you like here such as cumin, chili powder, garlic powder etc). Spread black bean mixture over tortilla “crust” and top with egg, chopped cherry tomatoes and avocado. Add a dash of hot sauce or any other toppings you desire. Cut into wedges and eat!
Delicious and filling! A new favorite for the 2 days a year I don’t wake up craving oatmeal for breakfast 😉
I love pumpkin butter.
Usually the only time of year I get to indulge my taste for it is the day after Thanksgiving. I normally buy some sort of discounted “special” pumpkin butter from William Sonoma and slather in on toast before shoving the jar into the back of the fridge and forgetting it for about 3 months.
Enter this quick and easy pumpkin butter recipe. It is the perfect mix of softly spiced homemade goodness and easy prep for the busy pumpkin butter loving individual. Bonus: it makes 2-4 good-sized servings so you can indulge your pumpkin butter cravings any time of year without having to commit to an entire jar.
Make this satisfying spread on the weekend, on a weekday or any time you have a spare 5 minutes and you won’t be sorry.
Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Butter (2-4 servings)
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 tbsp of agave or maple syrup
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of lemon juice
a sprinkle each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-4 minutes until the pumpkin smooths out and becomes silky in texture (it will darken slightly in color). Serve on toast, stir into greek yogurt, or dollop on oatmeal. Refrigerate leftovers up to a week.
Note: this entire recipe has approximately 100 calories so you can enjoy a good-sized serving guilt-free (or just eat the whole recipe in a day like I did 🙂 )
Btw after I ate this I thought that it would have been perfect with a few tsp of toasted pecans stirred in at the end (they would add a great crunch and an extra dimension of flavor) so you could try adding them if you are so inclined 🙂 If you do let me know how it turned out!
Most people have a go-to breakfast. I usually eat some variation of oatmeal or a wrap with scrambled eggs and vegetables. Lately though, I have re-discovered my love for greek yogurt. I always buy 2% because I love the taste that a few grams of fat add. It is so creamy, protein-rich and full of “good bugs” as my professor would say (probiotics).
Initially I would put a small dollop on top of my oatmeal to add protein naturally without having to use protein powder. My initial ratio of yogurt to oatmeal was 1:3, but I was finding that I would be overly hungry by the time I was able to eat lunch around 1-1:30. I decided to try playing with the amounts I used of each ingredient so I upped the amount of Greek yogurt and cut back on the oats so the ratio was almost 1:1. Then I added some fruit and a dollop of peanut butter and I had a delicious and filling breakfast that lasted me all the way until lunch with not a belly growl in sight.
Here is the method I use but feel free to play around with different amounts, sweeteners, fruits, nut butters, etc.
Apple Cinnamon Protein Oats (serves 1)
1/2 apple (chopped small)
1/3 cup of quick-oats
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
1 tbsp of peanut butter
optional: sweetener of choice, cinnamon, vanilla extract
Combine oats and 2/3 cup of water in a small saucepan and cook until desired consistency. Stir in cinnamon, sweetener and vanilla extract if desired.
Put cooked oats in a bowl and place in the fridge for a few minutes to cool and thicken while you assemble the rest of the ingredients (I do this so the oats don’t heat up my yogurt too much because I enjoy the combination of the warm oatmeal and the cold yogurt).
Meanwhile, combine greek yogurt in a small bowl with more cinnamon and sweetener. Set aside.
Combine chopped apple and cinnamon in a bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds.
Remove oatmeal from the fridge, stir and push it to one side of the bowl. Add yogurt mixture to the other half of the bowl and top with warm apples. Place a scoop of peanut butter on top. Enjoy!
I am faced with a dilemma every weekend. What to make for brunch?
My problem stems from the fact that two of my family members are allergic to eggs (but can eat them in baked goods) which eliminates all sorts of breakfast dishes (omelets, frittatas, french toast, scrambled eggs, etc. . .).
I have made biscuits. .
pancakes. . .
scones. . .
muffins. . .
coffee cake. . .
cinnamon buns. . .
baked oatmeal. . .
hashbrowns. . .
etc. . . if you can think of a non-eggy brunch food I have probably made it.
I was fed up this morning. I wanted to try something different. Something not so sweet and butter laden.
Enter the english muffin.
I saw an old dried out package of english muffins on our counter and I realized that I have never had a homemade english muffin before. So I quickly looked up a recipe and 15 minutes later I had eight large english muffins rising on my counter.
Here is the recipe I used:
Homemade English Muffins (modified from here)
Mix yeast and warm water then set aside for ten minutes to foam.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and honey until the butter is melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Combine the yeast mixture and milk mixtures
In a large bowl, sift 3 cups of flour. Stir in the milk and yeast. In a separate bowl sift the remaining 2 cups of flour and salt together. Add the flour and salt mixture to the flour/milk/yeast mixture and stir until dough forms a cohesive ball.
Generously flour a flat surface and knead the dough for 3 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough out until it’s a 1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles and
gently place on the cookie sheets, sprinkle the tops with cornmeal and cover with a dry, light cloth. Let sit in a warm
place for 45 minutes or til nearly doubled in size. It’s more like 2/3.
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet (or an electric griddle) on medium low (if using an electric griddle it would be around 325 degrees), don’t
grease it. Gently place a muffin in your hand and shake lightly to remove some of the corn meal. Gentleness is key
in all of the handling. Place on pan or griddle and repeat until full. Don’t
let them touch each other. Keep the heat on low. Cook for 8 minutes per side or
until browned well, flip and cook again. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Split
and top with butter and honey.
I woke up this morning and I actually didn’t want oatmeal for breakfast! I have eaten oatmeal every day for breakfast for at least a year. I love its versatility and the way it keeps me full all morning. However, this morning I just wanted something different. Something quick and filling.
Enter the two ingredient pancake.
I have seen various versions of this pancake all over the internet. I have never tried to make it because it only consists of mashed bananas and eggs. I thought for some reason that it would taste like banana-flavored scrambled eggs. I was very wrong. This pancake tastes just as good as any pancake made with flour or other grains and takes much less time to make.
Here is what I did:
Two-Ingredient Pancake (serves 1)
1 ripe medium-size banana
1 egg and 1 egg white
optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract
In a small bowl mash the banana very well with a fork. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg and 1 egg white (add cinnamon and vanilla extract if desired). Combine banana and egg mixture. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add batter. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and the edges look dry. Carefully loosen the edges of the pancake and flip. Cook for another one to two minutes. Transfer to a plate and add whatever pancake toppings you desire. This is particularly good with peanut butter spread on top (it also adds some staying power).
I really enjoyed this pancake. I thought it had a very nice fluffy texture. I also love that I usually have all the ingredients on hand. This will definitely become a part of my breakfast rotation.
What is about a spontaneously deciding to go out to brunch that makes you feel so indulgent?
The reason for today’s brunch was actually due to a favor that my sister owed to me from this past summer. She decided to pay me back in the form of a meal at North Star Cafe (a locally owned restaurant in Columbus).
She knows me too well.
I would do pretty much anything to eat at North Star. I love their food because it is absolutely delicious and always very good quality (much of the menu emphasizes locally sourced ingredients).
It was very busy when we walked into the restaurant around 10 am but we only waited in line for a few minutes–during which we were offered a sample of a dense triple chocolate cookie (best wait I have every had). We both ordered and then spent a few minutes waiting for a table to open up before clipping our order number onto a little stand attached to the napkin holder.
After a short wait, which we spent people-watching the other customers (mostly a young adults with a few younger families), a sunny server delivered our meal. For me, a side of roasted sweet potatoes mixed with peppers and onions and another side of two farm-fresh poached eggs. For my sister, a hearty bowl of oatmeal served with warm cream. The server also brought three bowls filled with almonds, sunflower seeds and cranberries which she sprinkled on top of the oatmeal. The presentation of our dishes was pleasing but not as much as the flavor. All I can say is their roasted sweet potatoes are crave-worthy.
They were roasted until they crisped and carmelized (and how cute is the tiny sprinkle of parsley on the eggs? Tiny details) and the onions and peppers sort of melted into the potatoes adding dimension and sweetness to the dish. My only critique would be there was a little too much oil for my taste. Otherwise they were outstanding.
My sister’s oatmeal was also very good. She said it tasted like it was cooked with milk instead of water (always a good sign).
Why don’t we do this more often? Well, at North Star you pay for the quality of your food. If you want locally sourced organic ingredients you are going to have to be willing to pay for it because it gets expensive fast. However, if you are craving a delicious filling brunch that you can feel good about, look no further than North Star. You won’t be disappointed.