I’ve been baking cookies for a long time. And baking is in my DNA. Both of my grandmothers and my grandmother’s grandmothers (and probably their grandmothers too) all baked. It seemed to bypass my mom, but hey, it just wasn’t (and still isn’t) her thing. But I’ve got the baking bug and cookies are my jam! And these Two Bite Snickerdoodles? Well, they’re dedicated to those fine baking ladies before me!
Fancy a few superfoods? Well, then you need this Chickpea Turmeric Quinoa Bowl!
When you’re a food that’s lumped in the category of “super foods,” you must feel pretty fantastic. There’s likely plenty of publicity and notoriety along with hoards of people flocking to get your autograph. Ok, maybe it’s not quite like that, but I sure love the idea of food celebrities, don’t you? Kale and blueberries slipping into limos while shielding their eyes from the flash bulbs of the paparazzi. Fun!
“You can pickle that!”
decree Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein – from the show Portlandia
Perhaps you haven’t seen this episode of one of my favorite shows. If you haven’t, Google it, because it’s hilarious. The premise is that you can pickle anything. And they mean anything from dropped ice cream cones to parking tickets. The skit is genius and I love it.
Shame on Me!
Who starts a blog post like that? Oh, I do! Why? Because I’m feeling a little bit like a slacker dietitian, because…well…because I’ve NEVER made overnight oats. Nope, never have. I know, crazy, right? Overnight oats are everywhere and everyone claims they’re awesome. They always look tasty, but I’ve never tried them. When I heard that this month’s Recipe Redux theme was to try a fellow Redux-er’s recipe, I knew I had to try Amber’s Blueberry-Walnut Overnight Oats as my overnight oats “guinea pig.”
I love little bites of things. I remember in culinary school we had a class called garde manger. This fancy French phrase refers to the cook or chef who works on the “cold” side of the kitchen – making the appetizers, pate, terrines, salads and other awesome, high-maintenance foods. I actually really detested this class. Why spend so much time creating those crazy layered things or pureeing all of that meat? It seemed weird and fussy.
“Simplify, simplify, simplify!” Henry D. Thoreau, eloquently and prophetically proclaimed in his famous work, Walden.
That demand to simplify seems even more relevant today than it likely was in 1854, when Walden was first published. How many of us challenge that decree everyday? Adding more things that instead “complicate, complicate, complicate!” Ugh. Thoreau’s mantra is one I’m trying (somewhat successfully) to practice in my daily life. I’m not taking the easy way, but the smart, simpler way. Case in point, I recently got so frustrated with making healthy lunches for my family. PB&J was in the lunch box more than I would’ve liked. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that sandwich, but variety is a good thing.
Inspired by Thoreau, I decided to “simplify” lunch.
And with this Chickpea Hummus Wrap, I simplified on execution, but didn’t sacrifice taste or flavor! Yay! It all starts with a whole grain wrap and continues with layers of flavor. Canned chickpeas and pre-washed baby arugula keep things easy and fast. Flavor boosters like feta cheese and pepitas add a simple, yet tasty addition.
Luckily, the Recipe Redux theme for this month was how to get out of our “lunch rut.” How appropriate! Fortunately I figured out just how to do that with this Chickpea Hummus Wrap!
And here are the pretty picture of my Chickpea Hummus Wrap:
Chickpea Hummus Wrap
Time is of the essence! But don’t forget about good nutrition either! These simple chickpea hummus wraps make lunch easy, delicious and nutritious!
- Yield: 1 serving
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- pinch teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinch teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 (8-inch) whole wheat tortilla or wrap
- 2 tablespoons plain hummus
- 1/3 cup chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
- Toss the arugula with the lemon juice, black pepper and salt.
- Lay tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread the hummus down the middle of the tortilla and top with the chickpeas. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds and feta cheese, then the arugula mixture.
- Roll up and enjoy.
- Want more? Just multiply ingredients by desired serving size and divide everything evenly among tortillas.
That’s what everyone wants right, for everything in life to be a little easier? No lines at the post office, no red lights on the way to work or perhaps someone around who can clean your house and do your laundry? Well, sure that would be fine and wonderful, but it’s just not possible. The good news though? There is one area of your life that I can assure you can be easier, and that’s meal preparation.
“How?” you ask.
Just ask my friends at the Recipe Redux. The theme this month is simplicity and simplicity to them means recipes that contain less than 7 ingredients. Brilliant! My recipe for this month is super easy. I start with French green lentils, which are earthy and delicious and hold their shape and texture well. Then, I add fresh veggies in the way of bell peppers, cucumber and spinach. I jazz it up with a little fresh parsley and feta cheese and then use simple vinaigrette-based salad dressing to put that exclamation point on EASY! And there you go, in just about 30 minutes, you’ve made an amazing lentil salad that is not only delicious, but nutritious. Bravo!
And when you’re done making this recipe, check out the recipes below for more inspiration. They’re all super delicious and nutritious, less than 7 ingredients and EASY!
And Here are the Pretty Pictures of my French Lentil Salad:
French Lentil Salad with Spinach and Feta Cheese
A simple, yet elegant salad made with green French lentils, fresh spinach, cucumbers, parsley and feta cheese.
- 1 cup green or French lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup seeded, diced cucumber
- 1 cup fresh parsley, cleaned, dried and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup Balsamic vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing
- Place lentils in a medium-size pot and add water to cover by about 2 inches. Set pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in salt and continue to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Spread on a sheet pan to cool or, rinse in cool water.
- To a large salad bowl, add the cooled lentils, spinach, bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, feta cheese and cooled lentils. Drizzle dressing over the vegetables and lentils, then toss to combine. Add salt and black pepper, if desired.
- Makes 4 1/2 cups
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 175
- Sugar: 3
- Sodium: 307
- Fat: 5
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Unsaturated Fat: 3
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 23
- Protein: 10
- Cholesterol: 7
Bored with your breakfast?
Well, so are my friends over at the Recipe Redux. Hence, the theme of this month’s challenge to break out of “breakfast boredom.” Uh oh, so you’re telling me my sprouted whole grain toast with peanut butter and jam that I have every. single. day. is boring? Perhaps, but I love it.
It’s a fun word. Say it. Seriously, say it out loud. Super fun, right?
Fun and popular, cacao sure is sitting pretty these days. It’s trendy and it’s hip…even though it’s really nothing new.
Nope, cacao has been around for awhile. Never heard of it? Sure you have, it’s also known as cocoa, the more modern-ish term we typically use here in America. Cacao (and cocoa) refers to the dried beans from the cocoa tree. Generally, cacao is synonymous with the unroasted or raw version of the cocao bean, with cocoa being the roasted and sometimes more processed cacao bean. Cacao can be turned into everything from “nibs”( essentially broken pieces of cacao beans) to powder.
If cacao isn’t new, then why this surge in popularity? Well my guess it’s because people are looking for all kinds of ways to add a nutritious boost to their smoothie bowls, oatmeal, shakes and everything in between. Cacao is a good choice then as it’s got a pretty nice nutrition profile, containing several antioxidants and minerals like magnesium and iron. But like anything, enjoy in moderation.
Looking to try cacao beans? Then try my recipe below for Cacao Pretzel Snacks. They are super easy to make and provide a nice introduction to cacao.
And a big thank you to the Recipe Redux! This recipe was inspired by this month’s theme of building a recipe using an ingredient I’ve never used before.
And the Pretty Pictures of Cacao Pretzels Snacks:
Cacao Pretzel Snacks
A simple snack made with whole grain pretzels, Greek yogurt and cacao nibs.
- 1 teaspoon Turbinado sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
- 20 whole grain pretzels twists
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the yogurt and cacao nibs in separate small bowls.
- Dip half of each pretzel in the yogurt, then the cinnamon sugar mixture and finally in the cacao nibs. Place coated pretzels on a clean sheet pan and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and enjoy.
- Mix it up! Add a dash of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture or add crushed nuts to the cacao nibs. Have fun by coming up with your own, unique flavors!
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 124
- Sugar: 2
- Sodium: 520
- Fat: 1
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 1
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 25
- Protein: 3
- Cholesterol: 0
Surprise! It’s Recipe Redux time.
This month’s theme was to find a cookbook and “Redux” the recipe on page 54 or page 154. “Alrighty then…let’s see how this goes”, I thought to myself as I eagerly reached for Jackie Newgent’s new cookbook, The All Natural Diabetes Cookbook (the night before my “Redux” was due)! “Please Jackie, please let page 54 hold a recipe that I have most of the ingredients for…and let it be a breakfast dish!” I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I turned to page 54, because there, on that beautiful page was not only a good recipe, but a GREAT recipe! Her Homemade Granola-Raspberry Parfaits! If she would’ve been here, I would’ve given her a huge hug. Success!