Dark Chocolate Chai Oatmeal

Today is 30° and sunny and sort of feels like the summer after the weather we’ve been having. Okay – that might be an exaggeration. But it was lovely to wake up and go for a run outside – I’ve been missing that sun and vitamin D! After my morning run I decided to make some oatmeal (shocking…) and love this combination. It’s like a cross between my Fudgy Chocolate Banana Oatmeal and my Chai Tea Latte Oatmeal. It’s super delicious and easy and as always is a great way to start your day and keep you energized. I added some peanut butter, cinnamon, and my favorite cereal. Yum.
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Dark Chocolate Chai Oatmeal
serves one
Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup chai tea (I used Oregon Chai Tea mix, but brewing a cup of tea would work just as well)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/4 cup almond milk (or any type of milk)
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Directions:
Mix oats, water, chai tea, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for two minutes. Remove, stir, and add in cocoa powder and milk. Microwave for one more minute. Stir again and add toppings if desired!
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adapted from: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2014/01/08/chocolate-chai-tea-oatmeal/
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Asparagus and Bulgur with Balsamic Tomatoes and a Fried Egg

I never tried asparagus growing up because my parents didn’t like it (thanks mom and dad 😉 ). But when I finally tried it I LOVED it. Roast, sautéed, steamed – you name it, I like it. This meal takes almost no time to cook (except for the bulgur, which can be made ahead of time) and is full of flavor. Plus everything tastes better with a fried egg on top (hint: make it over easy so the yolk is runny). Once again use whatever grain you have around. I love bulgur, but quinoa, rice, or whatever you have will work well too!

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Asparagus and Bulgur with Balsamic Tomatoes and a Fried Egg

serves two (large servings)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur

2 cups cut asparagus

1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 tsp minced garlic

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Prepare bulgur according to directions on package. Set aside. Cut asparagus into one-inch segments and cook in boiling water about 4 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl, and mix with bulgur.

Halve the cherry tomatoes. Heat a pan to medium heat on the stove with a little olive oil. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and cook 3-4 more minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir into bulgur mixture.

Meanwhile, fry two eggs, making sure to leave the yolks a little runny.

Divide bulgur mixture on to two plates and put the egg on top. Serve warm!

Adapted from: http://www.cookingquinoa.net/asparagus-quinoa-with-balsamic-tomatoes

Curry and Sriracha Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts with Chickpeas

If you like sriracha you have to try this recipe. But fair warning – this is a spicy dish. The Sriracha and curry combination is hot, but so good. You can use whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand, but I loved the combination of brussel sprouts and cauliflower. In total this recipe took me about 20 minutes to make, and would be good served over some type of grain.

To make vegetables cook faster on a busy night, I use a trick of steaming and sauteing them at the same time. I cook them in a frying pan with a little oil, but put a lid on as well. Try it next time you’re cooking vegetables to speed up the process.

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Curry and Sriracha Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts with Chickpeas

serves one

Ingredients:

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 cup halved brussel sprouts

1/2 cup chickpeas

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp sriracha

1 tsp sesame oil (or any oil you have on hand)

1 tsp chopped garlic

4 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp water

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Directions:

Saute cauliflower and brussel sprouts in a little oil for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine curry powder, sriracha sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and water – mix well. Pour sauce over vegetables in pan, making sure to coat all vegetables. Cook for 5 more minutes (or until vegetables are cooked). Add chickpeas and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and plate.

Tofu and Brussel Sprouts in a Eggplant Lime Peanut Sauce

Sorry for the lack of posts over the holidays. It was nice to relax, eat out, and have someone else cook for me for a change (thanks mom :)) This week I’ll get back to posting more regularly, starting with this awesome dish.

We started out trying to make an eggplant and brussel sprout stirfry, but as the eggplants cooked in the sauce, they fell apart somewhat and became part of the sauce, making it richer and thicker. Delicious! We ate this plain, but for a more filling meal serve over rice or another grain. In total this dish takes about 30 minutes to prepare, making it ideal for getting back into the swing of things this week. Plus it’s healthy and filling – perfect if you’re still feeling sluggish from break!

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Tofu and Brussel Sprouts in a Eggplant Lime Peanut Sauce

serves two

Ingredients:

2 cups brussel sprouts

1 small to medium eggplant

1 onion (yellow or red)

1 cup cubed tofu

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp miso paste

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp water

1 tsp ground ginger

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp lime juice

1 tbsp soy sauce

toasted sesame seeds and bean sprouts for garnish

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Directions:

Saute onion in a little vegetable oil until it begins to look translucent. Meanwhile halve brussel sprouts and chop eggplant and tofu into roughly 1-inch cubes.  When onions are ready, add in eggplant and brussel sprouts. Cook for about 8 minutes with a lid on, stirring periodically.

Make the sauce by combining all remaining ingredients (besides garnish). Cook the tofu in a separate pan.

Once vegetables are cooked, add in sauce and tofu and cook for two to three more minutes. Remove from heat and divide onto plates. Add bean sprouts and sesame seeds on top. Eat up!

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Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes

Happy New Year! 2014 promises to be a great big year and I’m excited. What better way to start your year (or any day of the week 🙂 ) than with an old favorite made healthier. There is nothing like a stack of pancakes to warm you up – these ones do the trick and taste delicious, but won’t weigh you down for the rest of the day. They are also quick and easy! We ate them topped with maple syrup, but I’m already planning on making them again and putting bananas and peanut butter on top. Yum!

Cheers to a happy year!

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Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes

Serves one (a large helping) or two

Ingredients:

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup rolled oats

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tsp brown sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup almond milk

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Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add in wet and mix until combined. Spoon onto a heated non stick pan (I found it makes about 4 small pancakes). Quick, easy, and healthy!

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adapted from: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/05/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-pancakes/

Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Without fail every time I go to any type of Asian restaurant, the first thing I do is look for spring rolls on the menu. I like trying all the different varieties – I think my favorite ones are from a Vietnamese restaurant by my house. Until recently, however, I had never thought of making them myself. This recipe is a perfect appetizer for a crowd or light dinner. They are healthy and although a little time consuming, very easy to make. The peanut sauce is delicious (I suggest making extra – it goes good on everything).

Although you could make all the rolls at the beginning of the meal, I think it’s fun to serve them disassembled and have everyone make their own at the table. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables or proteins or sauce.

Veggies Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

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Ingredients:

1 package rice paper wraps (I found mine at Whole Foods)

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1 package bean threads

1 cucumber

1 red pepper

carrots

bean sprouts

shredded purple cabbage

seitan

mint leaves

2 tbsp peanut butter

4 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp hot water

1 tbsp ginger

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp garlic

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Directions:

Chop all veggies into matchstick shaped pieces. Place in separate bowls and put on table. Wash mint and places leaves in a bowl as well.  Prepare bean noodles according to directions on package. Saute seitan in 1 tsp olive oil and place in another bowl.

Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.

Fill a pan with hot water and place with all ingredients on table. Take a rice paper wrap, place in the hot water until the paper softens, place on a plate, fill with noodles, seitan, mint, and whichever veggies you choose. Top with sauce and eat!

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Gingerbread Oatmeal

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope everyone is enjoying family, relaxation, and good food! If you need an idea for a Christmas breakfast or brunch, look no further. This oatmeal is seasonal, delicious, healthy, and best of all – easy! More time for opening presents and sitting by the fire! Best served with a hot drink and a side of cookies 😉

Also, if you are as lucky as me (haha…) and are currently in Minnesota where it is zero degrees, you’ll want this in your belly before you try and head outside…

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Gingerbread Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup almond milk (or any other type)

1 tsp molasses

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 tbsp crystallized ginger (this adds a nice texture to the oatmeal, but substituting ground ginger is fine)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp brown sugar

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Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Cook according to directions on oats, pausing halfway to stir. Top with cereal, fruit, peanut butter, or whatever you desire (it’s Christmas so maybe a gingerbread man? 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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Sweet Potato Curry Stew with Zucchini Noodles

Walking home at 8pm in the rain last night, I was hungry and cold and not in the mood to spend a long time cooking dinner. I had some sweet potatoes around, but was craving something Thai-inspired. This adaptation of a Thai stew recipe was awesome. It took about 30 minutes including prep and cooking time and left me satisfied and warm. I personally am not a huge fan of coconut milk, what the original recipe called for, but almond milk around as a perfect alternative. If you’re not a fan of zucchini noodles use soba or rice noodles.

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Sweet Potato Curry Stew with Zucchini Noodles

Serves two

Ingredients:

2 small diced sweet potatoes

1/2 large block of extra firm tofu, cubed

1 red bell pepper

1 package sliced mushrooms

2 small zucchinis

1/2 cup canned pineapple

1 cup almond milk

2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp curry powder

3 tbsp fresh ginger (I use Ginger People’s sushi ginger -http://gingerpeople.com/pantry-essentials/natural-pickled-sushi-ginger.html – it added an extra cool texture to the soup but any type of fresh ginger works!)

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp pineapple juice (from the can)

fresh cilantro for garnish

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Directions:

Heat a little oil or spray in a large pan (make sure the sides are somewhat high. If not an option, use a pot). Add in sliced bell pepper with 1 tbsp ginger and 1 tsp basil for about two minutes over medium-high heat. Add cubed sweet potato and cook for 3 more minutes.

Add in the mushrooms, almond milk, vegetable stock, curry paste, curry powder, pineapple juice, remaining 2 tbsp ginger, and 1 tbsp lime juice. Cover the pan and let cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile use a vegetable peeler to make zucchini into noodles. Set aside.

Add cubed tofu, pineapple, and zucchini noodles into the pan. Cover again and cook for 5 more minutes. Test a sweet potato to make sure it’s fully cooked. Divide between two bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro, salt, and extra lime juice if desired. Eat up 🙂

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adapted from:

http://www.nutritionistinthekitch.com/2012/12/17/meatless-monday-sweet-potato-tofu-thai-curry-stew/

shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays! http://www.carrieonvegan.com/2013/11/22/healthy-vegan-friday-70-holiday-hodgepodge/

Fudgy Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

Sunday Brunch! What could be better than starting a day with chocolate (and a massive cup of coffee – am I the only one who needs more sleep even though we got an extra hour last night)? This recipe tastes like a decadent dessert but is healthy and easy to create. When short on time, like this morning, I always microwave my oats, however this recipe works just as well on the stove.

Your welcome for posting something that doesn’t include pumpkin. Although don’t think I’m sick of it yet….

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Fudgy Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quick oats

1 tsp baking truvia (sugar works just as well)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup almond milk (any type of milk is perfect)

1/2 tbsp vanilla

1 banana

1 tbsp cocoa powder

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Directions:

Combine oats and sweetener in a bowl and mix. Add in milk and water and vanilla. Microwave on high for two minutes. Meanwhile, slice about 2/3 of your banana as thin as you can. Remove oatmeal from microwave and stir in cocoa powder and thinly sliced banana. Stir longer and more vigorously if you want the oatmeal smoother and stir less if you want banana chunks. Put back into the microwave for two more minutes. Top with the rest of your banana and eat 🙂

Adapted from: http://www.theoatmealartist.com/2012/07/fudgy-banana-and-peanut-butter-oatmeal.html