Talking bananas and some chicken

Well firstly, Jessie wants to say hi.

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And she also wants me to tell you how incredibly helpful she is when I blog. Like… soooo helpful. See?

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And also (and slightly more to the point),  my bananas are talking to me again.

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So I did them a favor and made banana bread with spouted quinoa flour and honey and coconut oil, which in reality did ME a huge favor because whatever, banana bread is maybe my favorite food thing ever. evereverever.

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And then I made this chicken thing… and put it in direct sunlight to photograph it because I was feeling sassy. Sorry I’m not sorry I’m breaking all the food photography rules…

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It’s delicious and an easy way to fix chicken—I do it on the regular when I want a fast lunch. This time I ate it with quinoa and avo because really—everything just gets better with avo.

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Coconut Amnio Marinated Chicken

Serves… however many you like, depending on how much chicken you use! The so-called ‘recipe’ is from somewhere deep in the depths of my brain. Healthy, fast and delicious (also gluten free!).

  • chicken breasts, thawed and sliced into thin strips
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (per 1 chicken breast), or other high heat oil for sautéing

Defrost chicken, and slice it into small bits or thin strips. In a small bowl, combine coconut aminos and rice wine vinegar, and add thawed chicken. Let it marinate for however long—I’ve left it for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour (usually I’m hungry). Heat a skillet over medium and toss in a bit of coconut oil (or your preferred high heat oil). Once the pan is heated, add chicken, stirring periodically so all sides are dooone.

Eat with whatever! I like it in sushi, over faro, veggies, or another grain…. or really any way. But make sure you add avo, whatever you do!

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Planning Fail.

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It was cold.

I sat on my exercise ball and studied bio until my eyes crossed.

I wanted soup.

And cornbread. We’ve been over this…. soup is just an excuse for carby sides. With BUTTER. Because, I ask you… what is better than butter?!

Anyway. I digress.

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Soup. There’s a quick potato soup that I’m fond of. It happens to be vegan, comes together faster than you can say boomshakalaka! and is obviously also delicious. This is rather the route I was attempting to go tonight, except I kind of got maybe not even a third into the recipe before I realized I actually didn’t have half the ingredients I was supposed to. Whooops. Planning fail.

So I made soup anyway. Kind of jankily. With the butt ends of things found in the fridge, and minimal ingredients. And it was (emphasis on the past tense here) delicious. And… it’s GREEN! Obviously I love it. Green things rock.

I also decided to put sprouted quinoa flour in my cornbread. A wise decision and one I’m sure I’ll be repeating… and homg BUTTER! ON my cornbread. Obviously a decision that I a) never regret and b) why would you ever regret butter?!

So here you go! A nice, fridge-scrounging Thursday night recipe when your brain is fogged and you think you have more groceries than you apparently actually do.

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Boomshakalaka Potato Soup!

Recipe from… the depths of my grey matter. And my fridge. Serves  3 for dinner, with leftovers for one. Beyond excellent with cornbread, hellooooooo obviously you need an excuse for butter. I like this recipe best! But this time I replaced 1/2 c whole wheat flour with 1/2 c sprouted quinoa flour. Delicious.

  • 6-7 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 5-6 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 a clove garlic
  • 2 c low-sodium veggie stock
  • 4 c raw spinach
  • heaping 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: chopped cashews for a classy garnish

In a pot, bring some water to a boil, chuck in your chopped potatoes, and boil until they’re fork tender.

In a larger soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Toss in garlic clove and celery, and sauté until the celery is soft. Add spinach, and cover the pot until everything gets wiltified. Once the potatoes are done, drain them, then add them to the pot with all the other veggie biz. Add stock, then puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in nutritional yeast, salt and pepper (and any other seasonings you might like, this isn’t a recipe so much as a template..). Season to taste! Serve hot. Also delicious with some chopped cashews for a classy garnish.

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The perks of being a bulk squirrel

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Hiya!

It’s Sunday. I just came from a fab yoga class and now my joints feel all nice and stretchy and I also feel like there is a hole in my stomach. Mid-morning yoga always makes me SO FREAKING HUNGRY! Oi. But I’m currently placating it with a large bowl of sweet potato-egg-kale-avocado-salsa-ketchup (don’t judge) goodness sooo… things are headed in the right direction.

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And last night I made this!

YAY! for amaranth and lentils.

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If I had an alter ego it would probably be a legume….

This is an easy one pot dish that is ready in under an hour, so it makes for delicious weeknight (or busy night) meals. Additionally, if you’re like me, it’s composed mostly of bulk staples so if you’re a bulk squirrel like me, you likely already have everything. It’s also really adaptable. Don’t have spinach? Use some other leafy green thing. Hate peas? No probs, leave them out or put something else in instead.

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Besides being fast and easy, legumes + amaranth are super protein! Sort of like Super Legume Girl, or whatever my alter ego would be. Pair some super-protein with some free-radical bashing antioxidants from the veggies and all kinds of good minerals and amino acids from the amaranth, and you’ve got one nutritional powerhouse disguised as a delicious dinner.

Serve it for your next weeknight dinner and… BOOM SHAKA LAKA! Tell those free radicals they are NOT invited to your parties!

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Lentil and Amaranth Stew

Recipe adapted from Food Recipes HQ, here! I got a yield of dinner for three, plus leftovers for two.

  • 1 c amaranth
  • 1/2 c green lentils
  • 3 massive carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove (1 clove if you like more garlic)
  • 1 carton of veggie broth (1 quart, about 4 cups), divided
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 c raw spinach
  • 2 c green peas, defrosted if frozen
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • small splash of Bragg’s liquid aminos, coconut aminos, or soy sauce (low sodium)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped cashews, pepitas, and sliced avocado for serving

Heat a large pot over medium high heat (I used a large soup pot for this so I had lots of room for the raw spinach to wilt down). Add amaranth and toast for about 4 minutes, or until you can smell it toasting (it will have a slightly nutty smell to it). Add in lentils, carrots, two cups of broth, garlic, and olive oil. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 30-40 minutes, adding more broth as needed (the amaranth will start to thicken and absorb the liquid as it cooks). Once you hit the 35-40 minute mark, stir in bell pepper, spinach, peas, nutritional yeast, bragg’s, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes more, until the spinach is completely wilted and the stew is heated through. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve hot! The amaranth will thicken considerably as it cools—I like it thick, but feel free to thin it out with more broth when reheating for leftovers. Top with cashews and avo!

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Soup is just an excuse for bread, don’t try to deny it!

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Soooooop.

And bread.

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Because obviously you can’t have soup without some bready, carby side dish. We all know that soup is really an excuse for bread, let’s be real here.

But mmmmm, soup. I do love it (but I DO NOT love photographing it. Ugh). ESPECIALLY now that I have this fabby immersion blender!! Which means that I can dispense with all that silliness of attempting to blend soup in a food processor (no, I don’t own a normal blender), which is a dumb idea as a) soup is hot. Hot things expand and b) food processors aren’t watertight (rude). So instead of soup going slightly all over the counter, now I can just bust out the trusty immersion blender, stick it in the pot of soup buzz buzz buzz and low and behold!! Creamy soup, no mess required. Genius.

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Also. I bought a spiralizer. Possibly the BEST decision I have ever made. And also possibly the most fun kitchen utensil ever created.

See?

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Reeeeealllyyyy looooooong zucchini noodles! So much fun to play with. Obviously avoided if you do the smart thing and cut the zucchini in half first, but why spoil your fun? Incredibly long noodles are so much more entertaining. And delicious, especially when you top them with bison pasta sauce and other delicious things. Unfortunately, it was slightly too delicious and there went that before I managed to take a picture of anything besides the noodles. Whoops! Next time.

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Anyway. Let’s get seasonal! Hellooooo autumn, you’re my favorite. The day I made this, I ate three sources of beta carotene in one day. No eye problems for me!
This soup is very easy, comes together in a snap, and is (naturally) delicious. The muffins are awesome too, likewise easy and delicious. In fact, if you time it right, you can bake them while the squash is simmering, then blend your soup and have everything hot at the same time. Wheee!

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Ginger-Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4, with leftovers. Recipe inspired by Whole Foods, here! Gluten free, can be vegan with veggie broth.

  • a generous drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced (yield: 4 c diced)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 persian cucumbers, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or diced
  • 3.5 c veggie or chicken broth
  • 1/2 c light coconut milk (out of the can)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • pepitas, for garnish!

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Toss in onion, carrot, and cucumbers, and let cook until the onion is translucent (about 5ish minutes). Add ginger, let cook a few minutes more. Finally, add stock, squash, coconut milk, sea salt, and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook, covered, until the squash is fork-tender (about 30 minutes). Once squash is soft, use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired consistency. An upright blender is fine too, just make sure the soup is cool enough.
Garnish with pepitas just before serving!

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Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins

My yield was 10, in my so-called ‘jumbo’ muffin tins. I never fill them all the way, but these muffins came out a totally normal size. High in vitamin A, low fat, refined sugar free, and whole grain! Recipe adapted from Running to the Kitchen, here!

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c lowfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (I use Kerrygold Irish butter)
  • 1 c pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 375, and lightly grease muffin tins (I use coconut oil).

Whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, almond milk, yogurt, melted butter and pumpkin puree. Combine wet into dry, mixing just to combine. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 15 minutes (a tester should come out clean, and the tops should be slightly browned). Let cool for a few before turning out onto a cooling rack.
I’m sure these keep well, but ours didn’t last that long!

A lentil and squashlet autumnal party

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You can never have too many lentils.

Ever.

My nickname at work is lentil. That explains a lot.

Besides, lentils are bomb since they give you a protein source to pair with all of the autumnal squashlets (no, auto correct, squashlet IS in fact a word, so there). Wheeeee SQUASH! Not only did I use pumpkin yesterday, but I also got to bust out a (homegrown!) butternut squash! Get ready, there’s going to be an abundance of orange coming in the next few months…

I love that squash coincides with my birthday. It feels like nature’s birthday present!! Large, orangey deliciousness.

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Butternut squash always reminds me of a particularly memorable game of Cranium that took place ohhh, probably sometime in high school… my pair was supposed to be acting out butternut squash, and it was maybe one of the more hilarious things I’ve watched: First word: sounds like…*points at butt*… second bit: *mimes being a squirrel burying something*… lastly and rather violently smooshes hands together—-I had been guessing as she was miming and somehow I guessed it!! Excellent mime skills right there. But anyway… I can’t really cook a squash without thinking about that, hehe.

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Skillet Popped Balsamic Lentils

Recipe adapted from Happy Healthy Life, here! I made one cup of lentils, which, supplemented with all the veggies, fed my fambam of 3 with enough leftovers for at about one meal. My butternut squash was small, so it only made enough puree for 3. Feel free to play with the seasoning—mine was an eclectic bunch of flavors that somehow came out tasting good. Funny how that works, isn’t it?!

  • 1 c green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 c water
  • 3-4 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar, divided
  • a few grinds of cracked pepper
  • judicious sprinkles of salt
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • a tbsp or two of milk beverage
  • 1 tsp butter (or vegan butter)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 massive handfuls of spinach, rinsed
  • a bit of chicken (or veggie) broth
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • seasoning to taste*

*I used fresh marjoram, basil, and oregano to sauté the onion, then added cinnamon, cardamom, nutritional yeast and coconut aminos (and more balsamic) to the veggies after I added them in to sauté.

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For the lentils:
Add 2 cups of water to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add lentils, reduce heat, and simmer until the lentils are done (about 30 minutes). They should be soft but still have some bite to them. Rinse and drain.

Heat a skillet over medium, and add a small bit of olive oil. Once the skillet is hot, add about a cup of lentils, shaking the pan to ensure that they’re evenly spaced. They should sizzle and pop and make all kinds of fun noise. Let them sit for a few minutes, then toss in a tsp of balsamic and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally. You’ll know they’re done when they get a bit toasty and crispy around the edges. Remove the first batch, add more oil, and repeat until all the lentils are used.

For the butternut puree: Peel and dice squash, discarding stringy and seedy inner bits. Using a steamer basket or your preferred method of steaming, cook squash until very fork tender. Remove from the steamer and mash with a potato masher or a fork (or a food processor, but I didn’t want to do extra dishes). Add a bit of milk beverage (I used unsweetened almond) to smooth it out, and (obviously) a bit of butter and salt.

For the veggies, I did a simple sauté with a bit of chicken stock added. Chop and dice all yo’ veggies, add olive oil to a deep skillet, and let it heat over medium. Once hot, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add cinnamon and cardamom and a bit more olive oil, then the rest of the veggies (zucchini, pepper, mushrooms, and spinach. I added a bit of broth after about 4 minutes of sautéing, then chucked in all the spinach and covered the skillet to let it reduce. Add coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, Bragg’s, or whatever other seasonings you like here, add lentils, and let it cook on low for a few. Serve warm, over butternut squash puree!

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This is how I roll: Like a BOSS!

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GUYS.

I MADE SUSHI!!!

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You have no idea how excited I am about this. Well, maybe you do, given the excessive use of capitals and exclamation points, but really. I feel like a proud parent of my little sushi children. What’s more, I didn’t use a tutorial (ain’t nobody got time for that) but just used the instructions on the back of t the nori wrapper. Like. A. Boss.

I know you’re not supposed to say your own food is amazing but I’m going to flagrantly break this rule as a) they were freaking delicious and b) I wasn’t the only one eating them and thinking they were delicious and c) my birthday is tomorrow so I can do what I want! Ha.

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I’ve always loved sushi anyway—my parents started me early, and I was always asking to go to this sushi bar that had revolving boats in front of you with fresh sushi. Totally dangerous, because you end up going from ‘dang I’m hungry’ to ‘does a wheelbarrow come with this??’ in about thirty seconds. At least my dad introduced me early to raw fish and these little crabby things that he told me were like potato chips. So I ate them. Such trickery. And I always thought the orange fish roe was interesting looking, so I probably ate that too just because I liked the glowing orange globs. Such a visual child…

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I do love raw fish but I wasn’t about to expend that much energy or resources to source some (especially on a Friday, noooo thank you I’m tired and lazy) so these are chicken rolls! Not terribly traditional, but I really don’t care–they were awesome and they look like authentic sushi rolls so who’s judging? Besides, the chicken is marinated in rice wine vinegar and coconut aminos, so really—what more could you ask for?! But seriously. These are startlingly easy, they just require some prep time. Make them!! Be a proud parent of your sushi roll-lets. They’re adorable, and delicious. And your cats might be interested in them too…

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Um, Nosh?? You’re casting a shadow..
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hahahhaha. These are sanitary, I promise!

Forbidden Rice Sushi

Makes approximately 6 rolls—I had a nori packet with 7 sheets but I was only feeding three, so I made 6 and we ate the leftover nori sheet plain. I had a bit of leftover quinoa and made a roll that was combined rice/quinoa—also delicious!

  • 1 c Forbidden (black) rice
  • 2 c water
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced very thinly
  • 1 large avocado
  • 3 chicken breasts, defrosted
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 3 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar+3 tsp (approx)
  • 2 tsp refined coconut oil
  • toasted nori sheets
  • sushi mat for rolling
  • extra sharp serrated knife
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce for dipping

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Sometime earlier in the day (so that your rice has time to cool), make yo’ rice! Bring 2 c of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, then add rice and stir once or twice before covering and reducing to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the rice is still a little chewy and the water has been absorbed. Once rice is done, season it with a bit of salt and about 3ish tsp of rice wine vinegar. Let sit until fully cooled.

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Combine coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, and a bit of water in a bowl (I approximate the measurements, so taste before you toss in the chicken). Prep chicken by cutting it into thin strips, and let marinate while the pan is heating. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat—when hot, toss in chicken and cook until chicken is fully cooked, with none of that pink business going on. Let it cool a bit while you prep the other roll ingredients.

Slice avocado and cucumber into thin strips. Place a piece of nori (rough side up) on your sushi mat. Spread rice evenly across the lower 3/4 of the nori, leaving the edge farthest from you rice-free. Lay strips of cucumber, avocado, and chicken across the middle of the rice, and begin rolling from the side closest to you. I found it easiest to guide the roll by rolling the mat back on itself as I began to compress the roll. Wet the far end of the nori with a bit of water so that the roll will stick together once it’s completed. Use the mat to tighten the roll, then let it rest on it’s seam for a minute before cutting. Use a very sharp, serrated knife to cut the rolls, wetting it each time you cut a new roll.

Roll, repeat, roll, repeat!

Obviously there are lots of ways to customize this—I made some veggie rolls and some with chicken, but the chicken ended up being my fave! Roll to your heart’s content, then slice and serve. I ate mine with a bit of Bragg’s liquid aminos for dipping. These best the day they’re made, but would probably keep fairly well in the fridge for a day or so.

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Like a boss. And some quinoa.

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You know it’s Labor Day when there’s tartan! Gotta be reppin’ at the Scottish Gatherings and Games in all my Clan Scott-ness, ancient green tartan and all. Like a boss. Or a Scot. Which is pretty much the same thing!

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Also… I made english muffins again! But… they were kind of flat. Delicious, but flat. So no recipe yet but a picture nonetheless because the little rising muffinlets were cute.

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So. Quinoa.

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with it… I either really do it right and really love it, or I’m rather meh about it. Like for instance if I just cook it with water and then expect myself to eat chicken and veggie on top of it, I’ll do it but I inevitably end up thinking less than flattering thoughts about it in my brain. However! When I do it right, like in these little guys, all is right in the quinoa universe.

Sorry that the carrots are rather aggressively orange in these photos…

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They’re like little hockey pucks of deliciousness! Besides, who doesn’t like an excuse to make things in muffin tins?

Easy to throw together, delicious, and good for me. Of course I want a dinner like that! And versatile enough to be lunch (and breakfast if you’re me, odd child).

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Quinoa Cakes with Peas and Zucchini

I made these in my so-called ‘jumbo’ muffin tins, but I didn’t fill them all the way and I don’t find them to be particularly jumbo anyway sooo… use what you have! I got 12, which was dinner for 3 with enough leftovers for my lunch. The recipe is slightly adapted from The Fitchen, here!

Vegan!

  • 1/2 c dry quinoa
  • 1 c water
  • 1.75 c oat flour
  • 1/4 c rye flour
  • 1 c peas
  • 1/2 c grated zucchini
  • 1 flax egg [1 tbsp ground flaxseed+3 tbsp water]
  • 1/4 c refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c + 2 tbsp unsweetened rice milk (or other nondairy bev)
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast*
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pepper, to taste

*Nutritional yeast is easy to find in the bulk section—I get mine at Whole Foods

Firstly, cook quinoa! Start water and rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let it go, covered, until the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Don’t peek! It makes it take longer… Fluff it with a fork when done and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease muffin tins of choice (I use coconut oil or butter for this).

Grind your own oat flour in a food processor! 2 cups of oats=1.75 c oat flour, or thereabout. I swapped in a 1/4 c of rye flour, but feel free to use all oat. Toss flour into a largeish bowl, stir in cooled quinoa, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Make your flax egg now, and set that aside as well. Grate zucchini, defrost peas. In a smaller bowl, combine all the liquid ingredients: flax egg, coconut oil, and rice milk, as well as the nutritional yeast.  Stir liquid ingredients, zucchini, and peas into the dry bowl, until just mixed.

Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full, smooth the tops (or not), and pop them into the oven for 25 minutes. These keep well in the fridge to be reheated for lunch or breakfast later!

Apparently I love veggies. Who knew?!

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Stuffing things is fun!

It’s somehow very rewarding to encapsulate your dinner into a tidy little package. Or into a pepper, whatever. And it’s even better when there’s cornbread involved because seriously, when does cornbread NOT make things better?! Right, never, that’s what I thought.

But ick. Why do I always end up making things like this when it’s disgustingly hot outside? It’s like I’m hardwired to automatically want things that require baking as soon as it gets above 90. Because heating your oven to 425 on a day when it’s still over ninety after 5 pm is SUCH a great idea… not. I just love opening the oven door to be subjected to a massive blast of heat… not to mention sticking my face anywhere near it to check and see if things are done.

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Ughhhh. Is it fall yet? Because I have an abundance of winter squashes that snuck into our garden and I need to use them. And they usually rudely require ovens. Or at least sometimes. But it’s also too hot for soup and I sadly don’t have an immersion blender (anyone have an extra they want to chuck my way? Anyone? Anyone? … Bueller?) which makes soup making messy.

Okay. Enough whining because I can’t do anything about the weather and these stuffed peppers were delicious!! Easy and healthy too, so obviously they should go at the top of your to-make list immediately. Maybe just wait until it’s not ninety in the shade…

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Apparently I love veggies. Who knew?! I “discovered” this after I chopped up a metric ton very meticulously… there was a massive pile of greens in there too (natch) that didn’t make it into the picture (sneaky little suckers).

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Bean and Green Stuffed Peppers with Cornbread

Serves 3, with leftover bean/green mixture and cornbread (mostly because I looooove leftovers). Recipe from… the inside of my slightly disorderly brain! The cornbread is my favorite recipe—SO FREAKING GOOD. A little crumbly but properly hydrated (we know how I hate the ‘m’ word), and slightly sweet. So delicious combined with the beans and greens, and crammed inside a pepper. Vegan, full o’ veggies, refined sugar free, and whole grain. Wheeee!

For beans+greens:

  • 3 largeish bell peppers, de-seeded
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3-4 c mixed greens (I used spinach, chard, kale)
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • bell pepper remnants from around the stems (waste not, want not!)
  • a handful of mushrooms, finely diced
  • a pinch of nutritional yeast
  • ~1 tbsp tahini
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

For cornbread [lightly adapted from this bomb recipe, at Eat Well, Party Hard, here!] [refined sugar free, vegan]

  • 1 c cornmeal*
  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax+6 tbsp water)*
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, melted*
  • 1/6 c maple syrup (1/4 if you like a sweeter bread)*
  • 1 c non-dairy milk (I use rice milk usually)*

*Always organic!

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For the peppers, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, drop in peppers and cook until they’re soft, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from water and place in a casserole dish, and set aside.

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For the cornbread: Make flax eggs and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and rice milk. Add wet into dry, stir in flax eggs, and mix until just combined. Set batter aside temporarily.

Preheat oven to 425.

In a largeish sauté pan, heat a glug of olive oil over medium, and add diced zucchini, bell pepper remnants, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes, then add greens and continue to let them cook (you may need to cover the pan to let the greens reduce in size a bit). Add more olive oil if needed. Stir in both types of beans, then nutritional yeast, tahini, and salt and pepper to taste. Let cook over low for 5-10 minutes, enough to let the oven finish preheating.

Fill the cooked peppers about 3/4 of the way with the bean mixture, then top with a layer of cornbread batter.  I had leftover cornbread batter, so I baked it separately into my two 6″ cake pans. Use whatever pan you have on hand, or else bake it on top of the remaining beans (sans peppers). I let my peppers go for 17 minutes, until a tester came out clean from the cornbread layer. The cornbread usually bakes for 15 minutes in a dark pan, but these went a bit shorter as they were smaller volume. Test as you go! Mine took about 10-15 minutes total, as I put them in with the peppers at first.

Serve hot!

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All the lentils, all the time

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Soo… mo’ lentils!

Mmm. For such a tiny little thing they pack a nutritional wallop and are astoundingly delicious.

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In other news… I love when I can walk outside and pick a snack out of my garden.

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And that the crepe myrtle in the front yard is practically exploding. When I was in school it seemed like I would always miss the blooms, but this year it’s making up for it in full force. See? Pink explosion.

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Anyway. OH! I almost forgot. Pluots are amazing right now, you should go eat one.

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Right. Lentil pasta. An excellent idea, not sure why I hadn’t thought to do this before. The sauce texture kind of resembles bolognese but is obviously meat-free, which is a nice alternative and just as delicious. Besides, lentils are cheap and filling and super good for you, so everyone wins! Besides all that there is essentially a metric ton of veggies crammed in here, so you can feel reeeeally good about eating it. Winner, winner, lentil dinner! Ha.

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I don’t think my brain is working too well on account of a really filling and tasty lunch (nap time? I think yes) soooo… I’m going to leave it at that. Pictures for you, hooray!

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Lentil Marinara

Recipe serves 3 for dinner, with bountiful leftovers (so really 4 for dinner with some change). Healthy and delicious, and relatively fast, this can be on the table in less than an hour.

  • 1 c  lentils, rinsed (I used French lentils, they’re smaller and chewier)
  • 2 c water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic (I used 1/2 of the little frozen chunks TJ’s sells)
  • fresh basil, marjoram, oregano and sage to taste (Dried is fine too)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/6 c (ish) good red wine (Optional. I never measure)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • a few heaping handfuls of mixed greens or spinach
  • 1/2 zucchini, grated
  • 2 c green beans, parboiled
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (just tomatoes)
  • pasta noodles of choice for serving
  • avocado for serving, optional (but recommended!)

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Combine lentils and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until the lentils have absorbed most of the water and are soft but still have a bit of bite, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a  sauté pan, toss in a bit of olive oil and heat over medium-low. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5-10 minutes depending on your onion-crunchy preference. Add garlic, basil, marjoram, oregano, sage, and wine and sauté a few minutes more. Add in bell pepper, mixed greens, zucchini, and green beans, and keep sautéing, until the veggies are cooked and delicious. Toss in the can of tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and the cooked lentils. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes to get all those wonderful flavors to comingle… then serve over noodles! This is excellent topped with avocado, or cheese if that’s your thing!

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An absurd amounts of lentils (is maybe the best thing ever!)

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Shut the front door.

LENTILS.

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There are no words.

Except…

I’m obsessed?! Forget the question mark after obsessed. No question. Ob. Sessed. As in…I eat them for three meals a day (not in the same day, obviously, but I do kind of have to stop myself from doing that): breakfast, lunch, dinner. I put them in oatmeal. With coconut milk and a date (seriously. You don’t know what you’re missing until you try it). Over sautéed mixed greens for lunch. With bread and mo’ veggies for dinner. Or a snack. Or whatever. OBSESSED. Lentils, where have you been all my life?!

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I’m not entirely sure what I was eating up until now in order to fill this gigantic hole that is now filled with lentils… thankfully I can make huge vats at one time so that I have lentils for days (literally). Which means I kind of go through them a little, ahem, rapidly. Kind of like vegetables. But lucky for me, last week Whole Foods had a one day bulk sale!!! (danger, danger, this is my kryptonite) So now my cupboards are exploding with all kinds of fun bulk-type things like pepitas, mung beans, brown rice, dates, and.. oh yeah. LENTILS. Three. Different. Kinds. I literally have enough lentils to feed a small army. Or me. For about a week.

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This is my favorite way to make them: they can be sweetish (in oatmeal with coconut milk and a date), or savory, over sauteed greens with avocado and a little splash of coconut aminos (or soy, if that’s your thing). I love that they can go either way, depending on what meal I’m eating or whatever.

You don’t even have to be alternative like me to enjoy them… if lentils in oatmeal scares you (we might not be able to be friends anymore but I’ll try really hard…) just make the lentils! They’re fast and delicious and… healthy! Naturally. Would I share anything less than that with my invisible internet friends? Answer: no!!

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Lentils are also awesomely little super nutritious powerhouses: full of fiber and complex carbs, folate, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Which all means that they help lower cholesterol, are good for your heart and digestive health, provide an excellent source of energy and iron, and help stabilize blood sugar. Therefore… in a nutshell: eat lentils!! Your body will thank you :)

And look!! Sorry for the radio silence, my former roomie Kira visited me!! We went and had some fun in Mountain View Cemetery, so I was a little too busy going face-first into a plate at Rick and Ann’s to eat lentils. But. I’m back, in full lentil eating mode, here to cheer your inbox!

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Marjoram, Cinnamon and Cardamom Spiced Lentils

Recipe by… me! Mutti gets credit too, especially when I have absolutely NO time, and she nicely makes may weekly vat of lentils for me. The measurements here make enough for dinner three, with leftovers. Or for one: Dinner, followed by three days of breakfasts….

  • 1 c lentils (I like green lentils for this)
  • 3 c water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced (or roughly chopped, whatever floats your boat)
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1/4 c low-sodium chicken broth (to make vegan/vegetarian, sub veggie broth)
  • 1 tsp marjoram, chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon*
  • 1 tsp cardamom*
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg*
  • salt and pepper to taste

*the measurements are approximate: I season to taste as I go with all the spices, and salt and pepper. I tend to go light on the pepper in this.

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No need to soak the lentils, which is awesome. Toss lentils and water into a medium pot, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Let cook until the lentils have absorbed *most* (not all) of the water, about 15-20 minutes. They should have a bit of chew to them, but be on the softer side. Taste them, and you should be able to tell. Drain and rinse them, and set them aside.

Finely dice the onion and carrots. Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan. When hot, toss in onions, and sauté until they become translucent. Add salt and pepper and marjoram, and let cook for a minute more. Add carrots, lentils, and chicken broth. Cover and let cook until the carrots are soft (this is why I like to dice them really finely, or microwave the carrots first, as it shortens cooking time and I’m usually hungry). Stir in cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg to taste, while the carrots are cooking. I usually let it go for about 10-15 minutes, unless I’ve precooked the carrots.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge for at least a week, not that I’ve ever really had them around that long… Serve warm! Excellent over greens with some bread on the side :)

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