Recent Posts

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 […]

Get The Most From Your Bread

Get The Most From Your Bread

The grocery store can be an overwhelming place. Options upon options line the shelves, so how do we know what to choose? Something as simple as bread can have a whole aisle to itself! It can be time consuming and frustrating to try and pick […]

Stir-Fried Zucchini with Farro

Stir-Fried Zucchini with Farro

Summertime and 80 degree weather calls for sandals, iced-coffee, and the farmers market! This past Sunday I made a trip to the market for a delicious veggie quesadilla that I had been dreaming about and couldn’t help but pick up a few items to take home as well. Colorful squash, spinach, rainbow chard, and plump blueberries all snuck into my bag.

This dish is super simple, quick, and is perfect for one! On the other hand, it’s very easy to multiply for a larger crowd. I used quick-cooking farro from Trader Joe’s, which directs you to combine the water and farro, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes…much like quick-cooking steel-cut oats! I like my whole grains. 😉 You can use any style of farro you like, but I used this one because it cooks up quickly. If you haven’t heard of farro, not to be confused with Pharaoh, it is an ancient whole-grain common in many Italian dishes. Farro is high in fiber and is a good source of iron and protein.

According to On Food and Cooking, farro, also known as emmer wheat, was probably the second wheat to be cultivated. Common in the Tuscany region of Italy, it is made into winter soup with beans and is also used to make farrotto (like an alternative to rice in risotto).

Goods from the Sunday farmers market!
DSC_0867 Beautiful garlic blossom. I had never tried one before, so Colinwood Farm was kind enough to send me home with one to try! I have to say…it’s a new favorite! Simply pinch off a few blossoms and sprinkle on salad, stir-fry, you name it! They have a light garlic flavor and a little punch. DSC_0869Slice into slivers or chunks. Whatever your heart desires! DSC_0875 Immediately top with cheese to get some delicious melting action. DSC_0883 Perfect for lunch or dinner! DSC_0886Enjoy! DSC_0887

STIR-FRIED ZUCCHINI WITH FARRO

Original recipe 

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking farro
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 small zucchini
  • 1 small shallot
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons grated fontina cheese, or cheese of your choice
  • Optional toppings: slivered almonds, garlic blossoms 

Directions:

  1. Cook farro according to package. I used 10 minute farro from Trader Joe’s. Drain any excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, slice both zucchini and shallot into thin slices.
  3. Heat a splash of oil, about 3 teaspoons, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add zucchini and shallot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until zucchini is tender.
  4. Transfer farro to a bowl. Top with zucchini mixture, shredded cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. If you’re feeling adventurous, add some extra flare and top with a pinch of slivered almonds and garlic blossoms.

Bon appetit!

Curried Lentil Soup

Curried Lentil Soup

America’s Test Kitchen has done it again! This is an easy and nutritious meal for any time of the year. I came down with a summer cold, so had a hankering for some hot soup. This recipe stuck out to me because it is fairly quick, […]