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Farro, Apple & Kale Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Farro, Apple & Kale Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Hello foodies! It has been a LONG time since my last post – it feels good to be back! I’ve been busy in my dietetic internship on my way to becoming a Registered Dietitian (whoo!). I’ll officially be done at the end of March, which means more […]

Kale Flower Salad

Kale Flower Salad

“Flowers in a salad??” you might ask. These delicate, slightly sweet flowers add a pop of color and flavor to your hardy green salad. My kale plant has grown quite large in the past few years, but this is the first year that it has bloomed. […]

Scottish Oat Scones and a Pause

Scottish Oat Scones and a Pause

My Friday morning ritual involves a bitter cappuccino paired with a sweet and flaky Scottish oat scone. In my current work situation I do a lot of grocery shopping at my local food coop (PCC Natural Markets), so I like to treat myself on Friday mornings after my shopping. On my most recent trip I re-learned a lesson that I learned many times over while in Italy. While waiting for my cappuccino (I also have Italy to thank for this addiction), a woman briskly made her way to the front counter and listed off her special drink. She was here to pick it up because she paid earlier but it was taking too long to make. After announcing this, in a rather loud manner, she said she would be back and continued to weave through the grocery store aisles. I should be used to this rushed manner in our current day, yet was taken aback by her brash and urgent manner. Maybe she had kids to take to school or a job to get back to, so I couldn’t hold it against her. However, instead of feeling rushed myself or checking my phone for the time, it made me pause. This hit me as such a big reminder to take a breath and slow down. Enjoy the smell of the freshly pulled espresso and the sound of the morning bustle. Italians never take their coffee to go. No matter how much of a hurry they may be in (I learned that Italians are notoriously late), they drink their espresso or cappuccino standing at the bar. So this is my reminder to you! Take a breath, take in your surroundings, and pause throughout your day – you never know what you might discover!

Scones with milk

Now, back to that flaky Scottish oat scone that I have been drooling over. Often the coop will post their recipes online, but alas, I wasn’t able to find it. To the drawing board (or should I say kitchen)! Although these aren’t exact replicas, they are pretty darn tasty.

The whole grain oats and whole wheat flour pack a punch of fiber in each scone!Scottish Oat Scones

Try substituting Smart Balance Original Buttery Spread for the butter or even for just half of the butter. I have found that Smart Balance makes an excellent butter substitute in scones. Reduced saturated fat content = happy heart!Oat Scones with Currants

SCOTTISH OAT SCONES

Recipe adapted from Skagit Valley Fare’s Wonderful Buttermilk Scones and inspired by PCC Natural Market’s Scottish Oat Scones

Makes 12 scones 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (you can substitute whole-wheat pastry flour for a finer texture)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes (can substitute Smart Balance or other butter replacement)
  • 1 cup raisins, golden raisins, or currants (I used a mix of all three)
  • 1 cup buttermilk*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pulse the rolled oats in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour.
  3. Combine the oats, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Cut in butter until pea-sized. I like to start out with a pastry cutter and then use my fingers to make sure there are no large clumps.
  5. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix until a batter begins to form.
  6. Briefly knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 3 balls and flatten to about 1-inch thick. Shape each ball into circles and cut each into four quarters.
  7. Place all quarters on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute with 1 cup regular milk plus 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let this mixture sit until slightly thickened. Use soy milk, along with the Smart Balance substitution, for a vegan scone.

**Note: These are not a low-fat food. One scone = one serving! 🙂

Bon appetit!

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Apple Pie with a Twist

Apple Pie with a Twist

I have had a craving for a classic apple pie for weeks, so I finally hunkered down for an evening of baking. I should start off by saying that I am a crust person. There are two types of people – crust people and filling […]

Mesquite Cornbread Muffins

Mesquite Cornbread Muffins

A cold and rainy trip to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle with the boyfriend plus a late breakfast equals one hungry lady. One thing led to the next and soon we were pulling into the parking lot of Ivar’s Restaurant at 4:00pm on a Saturday afternoon. […]

Jamie Oliver’s Granola Dust

Jamie Oliver’s Granola Dust

Granola dust?! That was my first reaction when spotting the YouTube video on Facebook. I am a big Jamie Oliver fan and granola dust sounded so…magical? I had to watch the video. That night I threw together some granola dust and I have to say, the result WAS quite magical. The hint of orange paired with the toasty nuts and oats just dance in your mouth! My favorite combo is granola dust with plain greek yogurt, a splash of milk, and a handful of fresh fruit. Sounds like a deliciously well-rounded breakfast to me. The granola dust combines into a smooth porridge with the yogurt and milk with a pop of brightness from the fresh fruit. This is definitely going to be a staple in my cupboard. Not only is it super easy, but it’s also a healthy alternative to your typical sugary breakfast cereals. No added sugar here!

The other magical thing about this recipe is it’s versatility! For example, I only had almonds, walnuts, and pecans for the nuts and flaxseeds for the seeds. You can use whatever your heart desires! Or whatever is in your cupboard…  No orange on hand? Try a lemon or lime! Mix it up with other healthy additions, such as unsweetened shredded coconut. The world is your oyster! What’s your favorite combo??

GRANOLA DUST

Recipe by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound rolled oats
  • 4-5 ounces raw, unsalted mixed nuts
  • 1-2 ounces mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, hemp, etc.)
  • 4-5 ounces mixed dried fruit (cherries, apricots, raisins, currants, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coffee (or instant coffee)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Zest of 1 small orange

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread oats, nuts, and seeds on a baking sheet with sides. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until slightly toasted and brown. It should smell a little like popcorn!
  2. Combine oats, nuts, seeds, and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Process until desired consistency is reached (it should look a bit like coarsely ground flour). Your food processor will be full, but this actually takes much less time than expected!
  3. Serve with yogurt and/or milk. Top with fresh fruit.

Bon appetit!

Breakfast For Dinner: Waffle Edition

Breakfast For Dinner: Waffle Edition

While doing my weekly meal planning on Sunday, I asked my boyfriend if he had any ideas. I’ve pretty much been living out of my America’s Test Kitchen vegetarian cookbook lately, so I decided to branch out for a night. And what does he suggest? Waffles! I […]

Portion Control, Do You Read Me?

Portion Control, Do You Read Me?

Portion control. This is a phrase that you may have heard before, but unfortunately is made difficult to heed when eating out. It is a common occurrence to receive a plate piled high with food and to leave the restaurant feeling stuffed to the brim. I know this […]

How to Navigate the Grocery Store Maze

How to Navigate the Grocery Store Maze

The grocery store can be both an overwhelming and a wonderful place. People bustling up and down aisles, options upon options from floor to ceiling, and colorful packaging touting too-good-to-be-true health benefits. Hint: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true. Let me tell you, I still get overwhelmed at the grocery store. If at all possible, I prefer to go during the week in the late morning when the aisles are clear and I don’t feel rushed while picking out the perfect bunch of slightly green bananas. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Let me share some tips with you to make the most of your trip, without getting overwhelmed with options and impulse-buys (we’ve all been there).

First of all, shop the perimeter of the store. With all those tasty looking treats and alluring marketing tricks, it’s easy to pull a few extra items off the shelf. The perimeter of the store is typically stocked with all the “whole foods,” such as produce, meat, dairy, and, sometimes, grains. This is a good way to avoid temptation and keep processed foods to a minimum. If you need to stray from the perimeter…

Stick to your list! This brings me to my second point: make a list and stick to it!! Write a shopping list when you are at home (preferably for a week of planned meals – or at least a few days). When you get to the store, get out that list! And maybe even a pen. Check off each item as you pick it up and keep your eyes down as you move on to the next.

The third most important tip: don’t shop when hungry! I know this one well. If I go to the store hungry, I will most definitely always buy more than I intended and usually those extras are sugary or salty snacks rather than healthy ones. If you feel hungry before your shopping excursion, I suggest a quick snack before heading out. A combination of protein and carbohydrates will help keep you full and energized until your next meal. Some of my favorites are baby carrots dipped in hummus, whole-wheat toast with almond butter, or plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.

I hope these tips help lead you to stress free and healthful shopping!

Sneaky Sugar

Sneaky Sugar

Or should I say, sneaky manufacturers? Sugar is often in the spotlight for its lack of health benefits (empty calories) and its possible contribution to health ailments. What are empty calories? Empty calories come from solid fats and/or added sugars. These provide calories, but minimal […]