Pear Crumble with Thyme + Olive Oil

I had about 12-20 extra pears in my fridge this week thanks to the little kids I was teaching in and around Saginaw, Michigan. We tasted a variety of four pears and discussed the taste, feel, smell, sound, and appearance of them… while I pointed out some general nutrition information! It was a blast, however, I was left with a FULL fridge.

…So naturally I saved them until I had time to bake them!

Yes, I could freeze them… but those would most likely be forgotten in my last 3 months here.

I think taking my chances and baking too much worked out pretty well too!


Pear Crumble with Thyme + Olive Oil
Print Recipe
A simple and quick way to make dessert a little healthier. A warm gooey cinnamon pear base, topped with a toasted whole-oat crumble and olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and thyme. This crumble will melt in your mouth.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Pear Crumble with Thyme + Olive Oil
Print Recipe
A simple and quick way to make dessert a little healthier. A warm gooey cinnamon pear base, topped with a toasted whole-oat crumble and olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and thyme. This crumble will melt in your mouth.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings ~10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Pear Portion
  • 6-7 whole Pears, cored, cubed Medium, I had varieties
  • 3 tablespoons Flaxseed, ground or meal Or whole wheat flour whole-grain flour (pastry or regular)
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger, fresh, grated If you're using dried ginger, add only ~1/2 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (May substitute raw or any granulated sugar)
  • 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice Lime juice works a well
  • 2 tablespoons Thyme, dried If you're using freshly chopped, add ~1/8-1/4 cup
Crumble
  • 1 cup Oats, rolled, old fashioned
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Whole wheat flour Or other whole-grain flour (pastry or regular)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespooon Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tablespoons Thyme, dried If you're using freshly chopped, add ~1/8-1/4 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. (You don't have to line yours with parchment paper... I'm just dangerously sleepy after 8:30 pm and hate falling asleep to a dirty kitchen.) You'll need 2 medium baking pans- glass, aluminum, steel, etc.
  2. In a large bowl: Toss pears, lemon juice (more if needed), applesauce, ginger, 1/4 cup of coconut sugar, 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal (or see above substitution*), half of thyme (2 tablespoons if using dried), and half of cinnamon (1 tablespoon). Place mixture at the bottom of baking pan(s).
  3. In a separate, medium-large, mixing bowl: Mix oats, olive oil, salt, remaining coconut sugar (1/2 cup), remaining cinnamon (1 tablespoon), and remaining thyme (2 tablespoons). Mix until combined.
  4. Spread oat mixture over the top of the pear mixture in the baking pans. ADD the cinnamon again if you're a freak, like myself! 🙂
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until crumble is golden brown and pear mix is bubbling.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/2-3/4 cup) serving:

Calories 195 | Fat 7.7g |Carbohydrates 31.2g | Fiber 4.2g | Protein 2.4g

  • For further burnt-edges I would check it at about 55 minutes and assess before cooking a full hour.
  • Storage: Place in refrigerator, I recommend an air-tight container, but covered is fine too!

Additions

  • Nuts: Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of crumbled walnuts or pecan pieces to the crumble topping.
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Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur Wheat with a Ginger Garlic Dressing

I’m never thrilled about cooking brown rice… It’s just not appealing to me! I’ll mix it with beans, peas, and soups but I avoid eating it when it’s lonely and separate from all the other foods on my plate. Luckily, we have so many grain options at our grocery stores now in the U.S. Just look at this dirt-cheap sale!>>

Bulgur wheat is quick and affordable. The nutritional content is very similar to quinoa (minerals and B vitamins) except it has a little less calories.

It tastes a bit nutty like farro but smaller. I presume it’s versatile in about any type of entree. If you’re an oatmeal connoisseur like me, you’ll be very happy to know it resembles steel-cut oats with its dense almost crunchy texture!

As you probably may have noticed, my stir-fry is not overly cooked. (The vegetables are firm and the colors are vibrant). You’ll see in my recipe below how I achieve this. I don’t do it intentionally to save calories or to retain more vitamins and minerals… I just really prefer the taste and texture. Call it al dente, call it tasty, I don’t care.

It’s a win, win!

Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Vegetables
  • 3/4 cup Bulgur wheat, measured dry
  • <1/2 teaspoon Vegetable bouillon cube Optional, or use a broth
  • 1 tablespoon Oil, canola
  • 3-4 whole Carrots, large, slice 1/4-1/2" thick
  • 1/4 cup Onion, yellow or white, diced
  • 3 whole Bell peppers, diced Variety of orange, yellow, red, etc.
  • 1 lb Bok choy, roughly chopped Substitute cabbage, collard or kale greens
Garlic Ginger Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger, fresh, grated I use the chilled tubed variety
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sweet chili sauce *Optional
  • 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar Or substitute with a white vinegar
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet to medium heat. Add canola oil once warm. In a small-medium pan, begin boiling bulgur per labeled directions, adding a bouillon cube or broth if you'd like. This should take 15 minutes maximum to cook.
  2. Add the sliced carrots to the hot skillet. Stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or so. Once the carrots begin to tenderize a little bit, add onion and peppers together until almost caramelized (another 3 minutes.) Add bok choy (or substitute collard greens, kale or cabbage).
  3. To continue cooking the bok choy (or greens), reduce the heat to slightly below medium and cover the pan to allow to steam until desired texture is achieved! This should only take 2 minutes or so.
  4. Saute garlic with olive oil: In a small skillet on medium heat, with one tablespoon of olive oil, once hot, add minced garlic and saute until golden and aromatic. (30 seconds to 1 minute.) Place garlic and extra oils from pan and add to a small bowl with the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, sweet chili sauce (optional). Whisk liquid sauce. Add sauce to vegetables.
  5. Serve sauced vegetables over the warm bulgur wheat! (You can also combine all of these thing and of course multiply the sauce if you're needing that drippy feel!)
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per (1/4th of recipe) serving:

Calories 312 | Fat 12 | Carbohydrates 53.1 |Fiber 10.1 | Protein 9.4

Sodium: 273 mg

  • I realize I have 3 different oils in this recipe. If you can't make it to the store for sesame oil, I would just wait until next time you make it. (The flavor is A LOT tastier.) And use just canola oil for the entire recipe.
  • Calorie reduction tips: Double leafy greens and/or peppers to stir fry. Use a non-stick pan, steam instead of adding oil, and save a bout 1/4th of the amount of calories.
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Oats and Honey ‘Granola’ Snack Bars

Granola bars are not my favorite food item in the world. Before I knew anything about food science  and manufacturing I think the syrup-like taste and sticky feeling alone disturbed me. Quick snack foods like these have their perks. Granola bars in high-school were like Gatorade, just a quick way to add calories and my dad insisted I take one before runs, practice or just the beach. Trail-mix was my other option. Throughout college I can remember occasionally choosing a granola with light sugars and additives and mixing this in with yogurt. I later made my own granola after just being displeased with all of the above options. So, here I am again… making granola bars since I’m a student again I guess!

First, you’ll want to make sure you get all of these ingredients in bulk. Because (I’ll warn you) once you make these granola bars you’ll want to continue making them again and again!

Two steps in this recipe shouldn’t be overlooked. Normally, I’d say do whatever you heart desires BUT I want you to be as pleased as I was on my first try making these. For one, heating the sticky peanut butter and honey will save you a load of hassle and time when spreading the ingredients into the dish. Second, and most importantly… toast the oats! These granola bars are technically no bake, so I suggest finding the extra 10 minutes to do this. Toasty oats are a nice component of flavor and as you can see, oats are a major ingredient in this recipe.

These will harden well in the refrigerator but I stuck them in the freezer after 15 minutes so I could get a clean cut.

As you can see, perfectly imperfect cutting actually took place.

These bars take no time at all, and came out slightly sweet, NOT sticky, and best of all I know exactly what’s in them. I’ve crumbled them onto my mid-morning yogurt or scarfed them down before working the night. These Oats and Honey Granola Bars are fairly universal and modifiable.

Oats and Honey 'Granola' Snacks Bars
Print Recipe
Thick rolled oats, crumbled almonds and walnuts combined with peanut butter and raw honey make for a quick no-bake granola bar. These satisfy the crunch and sweet tooth without the additives!
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Oats and Honey 'Granola' Snacks Bars
Print Recipe
Thick rolled oats, crumbled almonds and walnuts combined with peanut butter and raw honey make for a quick no-bake granola bar. These satisfy the crunch and sweet tooth without the additives!
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Servings Prep Time
8 bars or squares 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
0
Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 cup Oats, old-fashioned
  • 1/4 cup Honey- PLUS 1 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup Peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, natural/freshly ground *Peanut butter with hydrogenated oils will not work as well because it may harden too soon
  • 1/4 cup Walnut halves, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Almonds, whole, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tablespoon Flaxseed, ground or meal
Servings: bars or squares
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Heat honey and peanut butter (in microwave it takes only about 30 seconds). Line a 8 x 9 (any size works) glass casserole dish with parchment paper.
  2. Lay oatmeal on parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. Save the parchment paper! Crumble the nuts as needed. (Place whole nuts in a ziploc bag and pound with a metal spoon, etc.) This is where you can substitute other ingredients like dried fruit or chocolate.
  3. In a large bowl combine oats with all remaining ingredients and stir until combine. Lay in dish. Press the top with clean hands to combine. Place in freezer or fridge to harden. Once removed use a pizza cutter or large chef knife to get a clean cut --cut into 8 pieces or bars!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per serving (1/8th of batch)

Calories 199 | Fat 9 g | Carbohydrates 25.9 g | Fiber 3.7 g | Protein 5 g

Additionally, other requested nutritional information: Sugars 11 g,  and Sodium 95.5 mg- per serving.

  • Use additional parchment paper to separate bars in bags
  • Store in freezer for 6 months or fridge for 7 days or longer.
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Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale

Since I’ve discovered canned chipotles in adobo sauce, it’s been a game changer for recipes like these. Now my sauces have gotten spicy and I love it! This recipe is quick, simple, and doesn’t break the bank. All the canned items here are about $3-4, the pasta is about $4 and the vegetables including the kale, onion, and garlic is less than $5 in total…

Honestly though, I’m trying to cook like a college kid again. I’ll be limited in free time when I’m in Michigan next year and I know I’ll be giving up some of my free time in order to study for the RD exam. So, below you’ll find some of my tips for healthy cooking on a budget. Because it’s always nice to save money while also having a tasty meal!

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This dish starts with making the spicy garlic tomato sauce while the pasta is cooking. After the beans are mixed in and the kale is lightly wilted the sauce can be added to the pasta. And that’s really it. You’ll want to let the flavors marry and keep it at a low heat for just a bit.
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Nothing too long though, because this is meant to be quick and easy!

Cooking meatless will make you want to get a little creative. So adding your favorite spices, acids, and oils is a must. Thankfully nutritious and flavorful meals can be created on a budget with the help of fresh vegetables and a well stocked spice cabinet. 🙂

And of course sometimes you gotta use up all the dry goods from the pantry. I like to keep whole wheat pasta and a variety of whole grains like quinoa, freekah, brown rice, wild rice, millet etc. For canned foods stocking up on canned beans (black, garbanzo, pinto, kidney, all of them!), tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, peppers, pickled and brined vegetables keeps me from going starving when life gets hectic.

Happy and healthy cooking!

Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale
Print Recipe
An easy plant-based meal for meatless Mondays or lazy Sundays that's deceivingly hearty and comforting. Whole wheat orzo pasta and pinto beans come together in a spicy tomato sauce... with fresh kale of course!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale
Print Recipe
An easy plant-based meal for meatless Mondays or lazy Sundays that's deceivingly hearty and comforting. Whole wheat orzo pasta and pinto beans come together in a spicy tomato sauce... with fresh kale of course!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated
  • 1/4 cup Onion, white, diced
  • 2 cups Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup Canned diced tomatoes Organic*
  • 1 x 8 oz can Tomato sauce, reduced sodium I used the Goya brand*
  • 1 x 15 oz can Pinto beans, drained, rinsed Or 1 and 2/3 cup cooked beans of choice
  • 2 whole Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon Oregano, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika powder, smoked
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bring 1 large pot of water to a boil then add the 1 cup of whole wheat orzo pasta.
  2. In a large medium heat skillet add olive oil followed by garlic and onion until golden; then add chopped kale until lightly wilted. Lastly add peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and 1 full can of pinto beans (or white, kidney, black). Toss seasoning: 1/2 tbsp of oregano, salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp of chili powder and smoked paprika.
  3. Once seasoning is added and kale is wilted, allow the sauce to simmer low for at least 3 minutes.
  4. By this time your pasta should be cooked. Combine your sauce and pasta in either pan and mix.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/6th of recipe, ~1 and 1/4 to 1/2 cup) serving

Calories 231 | Fat 5 | Carbohydrates 38 | Fiber 5.1 | Protein 8.4

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Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Everything worth having takes time…. except muffins! I love simple bakes like these.

These came out slightly sweet, fluffy and moist, plus they can easily be made vegan by swapping maple syrup for honey and eggs for flax eggs!

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{I used coconut oil here like I normally do, which can be substituted if you’d like. Remember though, if you melt the coconut oil let it cool a bit before you combine it with the honey so it doesn’t crystallize too much. Then the eggs are added, followed by the puree and milk. Spices, salt, baking soda, and vanilla extract is mixed in. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients- whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour and rolled oats.}

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The batter is quite thick and sticky, I only added a bit of extra water just incase. Besides that, trust these and don’t over bake them.

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I clearly topped these with additional oats before I baked them. I honestly thought they’d look like meatballs without it.

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They were tested ready at 23 minutes so I took them out immediately and let them do their thing for an additional 15-20 minutes and they firmed up perfectly.

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Sprinkle more cinnamon on top, you won’t regret it!

Enjoy, and I hope yours last longer than mine!

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
Print Recipe
Fluffy pumpkin muffins made with whole wheat and oats. Slightly sweet and spiced just right for breakfast or mid-day. These are muffins for the soul!
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
Print Recipe
Fluffy pumpkin muffins made with whole wheat and oats. Slightly sweet and spiced just right for breakfast or mid-day. These are muffins for the soul!
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Muffins 5 Minutes
Cook Time
23 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup canola oil Or coconut oil, virgin
  • 1/2 cup honey Or maple syrup
  • 2 whole Eggs, room temp Vegan- sub 2 flax eggs, make ahead of time
  • 1 cup Pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened Any milk variety
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract, pure, natural
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp All spice, ground
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cup Whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup Oats, rolled, old fashioned + More for topping
Servings: Muffins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt 1/3 c of coconut oil plus a bit extra to grease muffin tins.
  2. In a large mixing bowl: Whisk melted 1/3 c of oil and 1/2 cup of honey (or maple.) Once mixed, add both eggs and whisk well. Then, combine 1 c pumpkin puree and 1/4 c of milk. Followed by baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice.
  3. Once liquid is mixed, in the same bowl add the 1 and 3/4 c whole wheat flour (or ww pastry f) and 1/3 c of oats. Mix to combine by folding, and don't over do it.
  4. Evenly spoon the batter into 12 muffin tins. Grease prior if needed or use parchment papers. Bake in the oven for 23 minutes. Toothpick should comes out dry, but test this early rather than later!
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon, let cool for about 15 minutes or so. Then you're ready for entry.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per (1 muffin) serving

Calories 306 | Fat 10.8 | Carbohydrates 54.5 | Fiber 15.5 | Protein 5.6

  • Storage: Keep in air-tight container room temperature for 3 days maximum. 7 days would need refrigeration. Freezes well when cooled and kept in air-tight freezer bags.
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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

All you need is 4 simple ingredients for this fabulous cookie… bananas, peanut butter, almond meal, and oatmeal.

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All the other fix-ins are all up to you. I always feel the need to put loads of cinnamon into just about anything, and chocolate I rarely include. I thought this one needed some chocolate love today!

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I suggest dressing them up with the chocolate… I mean look at these things. Melty and messy is the way to go—

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These can be a quick breakfast treat or a dressed up dessert. Healthy cookies for the win again!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Print Recipe
No fuss, slightly sweetened wholesome peanut butter, banana, oatmeal... cookies! Made with no eggs, flour, or dairy.
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Print Recipe
No fuss, slightly sweetened wholesome peanut butter, banana, oatmeal... cookies! Made with no eggs, flour, or dairy.
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
13 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time
22-25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Almond meal
  • 3/4 cup Oats, rolled, old fashioned
  • 2 medium Bananas, ripe, mashed
  • 1/3 cup Peanutbutter, creamy, salted, natural
  • 1 and 1/4 tablespoons Honey (or maple syrup) *Optional
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon *Optional
  • 1 teaspoons Pumpkin pie spice *Optional
  • Dark chocolate syrup for garnish *Optional
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl add 2 medium mashed bananas and combine with creamy peanut butter. (*Optional to add honey or maple.)
  2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together, 3/4 cup of almond meal and 3/4 cup rolled oats. *Add optional things here: spices (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice etc.) and extras (nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit etc.)
  3. Combine wet ingredients to dry, adding a bit of water if oatmeal and almond meal are not completely absorbed. Mix should be sticky but wet.
  4. Lay parchment paper on baking sheet. Drop about 13 cookies on sheet and form into cookies. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
  5. Bake for about 23 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate, and you're ready to eat up!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per serving (per 1 cookie):

Calories 114 | Fat 7g | Carbohydrates 11g | Fiber 2.2g | Protein 3.8g

With honey: 120 | 7g | 12.8g | 2.2g | 3.9g

  • Peanut butter and bananas do not have to be room temperature, but works better as it's easier to mix!
  • Prep time includes passive time when placing cookies in the freezer to set.
  • Chocolate drizzle is optional and not included in either nutrition information.
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Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Mint + Blackberries {Vegan}

So a lot of us enjoy big breakfast bowls that combine healthy grains such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, and sometimes even quinoa. These bowls work well as a vessel for nutrient rich breakfast, but this can also translate to excess calories unfortunately! The recipe I’m sharing today is an example of a more balanced breakfast… plus a little chocolate, because you only live once right?!

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For each serving, add in 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa and 1 scoop of protein powder. Next, stir in the almond milk to better combine.

  • Most whey protein powders are pretty tasty, some that I recommend are Metabolic Nutrition and Jay Robb, as well as Optimum Nutrition, and Dymatize Isolate. A few easy to find plant-based protein powders I like are Garden of Life: Raw Protein, VEGA One, and Sunwarrior.

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It looks pretty, I know. What I like most about the quinoa and chocolate protein though is that you can serve it warm or chilled, making it perfect for any season… any time!

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The FUN comes with adding the fresh ingredients, blackberries and mint. For each serving I used about 2 tablespoons of fresh mint and 1/4 cup of blackberries.

  • To make this recipe your own (or seasonal!), try things like: ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice; nut butters, coconut flakes; chopped strawberries, pineapple, apple, pear, or banana; throw in vanilla protein powder or egg whites instead, etc.

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Originally breakfast bowls are served warm. I mean its fall right? Well honestly, I loved this quinoa bowl chilled and it was perfect for overnight oats with the mint being added last. The choice is yours!

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DISCLAIMER: The chocolate drizzle is definitely a treat. If you are thinking of modifying this part… I also dropped in a bit of honey for a tiny sweet kick instead of risking double chocolate overload! It worked out well because I’m not big on chocolate.

Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Mint + Blackberries {Vegan}
Print Recipe
This protein packed breakfast bowl incorporates quinoa instead of oatmeal with a mix of fresh fruit and herbs. The chocolate makes it a bit indulgent, but the protein is a must!
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Mint + Blackberries {Vegan}
Print Recipe
This protein packed breakfast bowl incorporates quinoa instead of oatmeal with a mix of fresh fruit and herbs. The chocolate makes it a bit indulgent, but the protein is a must!
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings
5 small bowls
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry *Makes ~5 servings
  • 5 scoops Protein powder, chocolate My vegan recommendation is Garden of Life
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Blackberries, fresh Optional; Any chopped seasonal fruit works
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened Or as needed
  • 1/2 cup Mint, fresh
  • 4 tbsp Chocolate sauce; OR Vegan dark chocolate chips *Optional: Trader Joe's Midnight Moo: Fat free, Low Sodium; Or Enjoy Life: Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Sweetener is optional: honey, maple, or stevia
Servings: small bowls
Instructions
  1. Bring 1 c of quinoa to a boil in a small pot. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Chop about 1/2 cup of mint for the entire recipe. Allow to cool in a large bowl.
  2. Combine protein powder when quinoa cools. Stir in almond milk to combine. Add more if necessary. *You may want to wait to add all ingredients* If you'd like to wait until serving... 1 scoop of protein : 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
  3. After powder and quinoa has been combined, add in chopped mint. Top with fresh black berries (or fruit of choice.) Garnish with chocolate sauce or vegan chocolate chips.
  4. Serve chilled or warm.
Recipe Notes
  • Recipe is not vegan with most chocolate sauces
  • Recipe instruction is bulk; single serving instructions is written out as well
  • To make sweeter: add stevia powder/drops, or 1 tsp of honey or maple
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Sweet Potato Oatmeal with Honey Roasted Peanut Butter {Vegetarian}

HELLO! What a dream. All my favorites in one bowl.

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The other evening, I was training my wonderful group of ladies and as usual food talk began. I told them about this bowl and while we got to talking about comfort food, this kind of food has my heart. Hearty oats with cinnamon, and swirls of fresh peanut butter. Seriously? Why has it taken me this long to make this a thing?

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Oh yes, and I wish you luck making this a snack, it’s filling! I had to make this linner the first time I made it, I couldn’t resist! You’ll notice the portions for each component is pretty small because of density.


I started with a small 1/2 cup serving of mashed sweet potato (check recipe notes for cooking suggestions.)

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I topped it with that wonderful cooked oatmeal, and sprinkled some roasted peanuts for some crunch.

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Stir in some of the delicious honey roasted peanut butter. Game changer, you have to do it! The remainder of the toppings are up to you I guess…

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But, may I suggest lots and lots of cinnamon on this?

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Some great ways to get a quick full breakfast is to go with overnight oats or oatmeal prepared like this. Just add greek yogurt! Using mason jars is for foodie appeal, I rarely touch them really but they get the job done if you’re food prepping.

Sweet Potato Oatmeal with Honey Roasted Peanut Butter {Vegetarian}
Print Recipe
A hearty warm bowl of rolled oatmeal and mashed sweet potato blended with creamy (honey) roasted peanut butter. Finish it off with cinnamon peanut crumbles and a little greek yogurt if you're feeling the hunger!
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls or mason jars 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls or mason jars 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Sweet Potato Oatmeal with Honey Roasted Peanut Butter {Vegetarian}
Print Recipe
A hearty warm bowl of rolled oatmeal and mashed sweet potato blended with creamy (honey) roasted peanut butter. Finish it off with cinnamon peanut crumbles and a little greek yogurt if you're feeling the hunger!
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls or mason jars 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 bowls or mason jars 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Oats, rolled, old fashioned 1/2 cup measured dry
  • 1 large Sweet potato Need 1 cup mashed for recipe
  • 1/4 cup Roasted peanuts, lightly salted
  • 1 tbsp Peanut butter, natural, or honey roasted Divided for serving
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 cup *Optional: Greek yogurt, plain Divided for serving
Servings: bowls or mason jars
Instructions
  1. Cook rolled oats by bringing water to a light boil, mix in oats, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes. Or you may use the microwave. Sprinkle ground cinnamon once cooked.
  2. For 1 serving use 1/2 a cup of the large cooked mashed sweet potato, place in a bowl (or jar), mix in 1/4 cup of rolled oats, stir in 1/2 of the tbsp of the peanut butter and 2 tbsp of the peanuts (about 1/8 cup.)
  3. Serve warm. Top with 1/2 cup of plain vanilla greek yogurt . Sprinkle additional cinnamon.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition per 1 serving:

Calories 418 Fat 18.7g Carbohydrates 55g Fiber 9g Protein 14g

Calories do not include greek yogurt (I recommend low fat, plain due to the calories)

  • Cooking time does not include sweet potato baking time
    • Clean and puncture sweet potato. Bake sweet potato in covered casserole dish with moisture at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes, up to 45 minutes. Remove peel, mash.
  • Vegan: replace honey roasted peanut butter with regular peanut butter
  • To reduce calories use 1/4 cup of sweet potato per serving instead of 1/2 a cup; also may remove peanuts or nut butter- not both!
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Quinoa Encrusted Chicken Tenders

So I’m not sure if I’m the best at judging chicken tenders in their original fried form, but these crispy, minimal chicken tenders are all I ever want in my chopped salad this week. It adds a toasted and crumbly texture I never get in salads.

For most of us, we understand that fried chicken tenders are clearly not the healthiest option for ourselves or our kids. Bringing home chicken tenders on a busy day is one thing that we all have done at least once in our life though. This recipe however will have you loving on making a healthy fried chicken substitute, I promise!

You start with either leftover cooked quinoa, or cook it according to the package directions before you get going (typically something like 2 cups of water:1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until granule spiyralizes, soak up all water, and fluff!) If you have plenty of this you can make a HUGE batch of these chicken tenders, you may need to quadruple this recipe!

Add the 1 of a cup of cooked quinoa to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 300 for about 25 minutes. While this is getting toasty, coat your chicken with the mustard, lemon, and thyme. I didn’t need too much of a binder, but if you’re feeling weary… add an egg if you’d like!

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The quinoa should look toasted and a little golden..

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Allow the quinoa to cool, then add to the chicken mix. Toss and coat.

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Decrease the temperature of the oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit.

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Once you have the chicken all coated remove the parchment paper any you can spray olive oil on the baking sheet.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be pretty and golden!

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Perfect for kids and adults of all ages!

Quinoa Crusted Chicken Tenders
Print Recipe
Crispy quinoa encrusted chicken tenders with a dash of lemon and thyme, perfect for all entrees or any picky eaters!
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Quinoa Crusted Chicken Tenders
Print Recipe
Crispy quinoa encrusted chicken tenders with a dash of lemon and thyme, perfect for all entrees or any picky eaters!
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked
  • 1 lb Chicken, cut into tenders
  • 3 tbsp Spicy brown mustard, whole grain
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice Or juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp Thyme Fresh or dried
  • Salt and Pepper to
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa to parchment lined baking sheet. Toast for a total of about 25 minutes. Use convection if you can; may need to toss in the middle for even toasting.
  2. Cut chicken thin, trim off excess fat. In a large bowl: toss in 3 tbsp mustard, lemon juice, and thyme. Pepper and salt is optional.
  3. Increase oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit.
  4. Add toasted quinoa to large bowl with chicken. Toss to coat.
  5. Remove parchment paper, spray pan with olive oil. Add chicken tenders to baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Calories 184 Fat 4g Protein 26g Carbohydrates 10g (1/4th of recipe) Fiber 1g

Nutrition information is for 4 oz servings

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Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread {Vegan}

I love burgers and I love grilled vegetables. I’m trying to figure out why I haven’t actually put them together before?? Needles to say, after this impromptu meal I will definitely be repeating this idea for work week lunches.

I didn’t want to spend more than a few minutes in the kitchen this weekend with trying to spend time with my roommate, and best friend, moving out on Sunday! We succeeded in guzzling down an oversized (maybe 32 ounces?!) pineapple rum cocktail the evening before. I was picturing vegetables screaming my name at this point!

So, for my kitchen the go to vegetable besides leafy greens is usually squash. Zucchini squash and other varieties are a pretty huge staple in the summer months around here. They don’t always have to be zoodled! I don’t do that so much, grilling and roasting is just my all time fav.

After you slice the squash up the hard work is over. I went to town with all the lemon and thyme I had. Just sprinkle with light sea salt and pepper and place on a lightly oiled pan if you’re using an oven.  I know most of you will be grilling these up, so just cut it thicker..

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While the vegetables are cooking, the spread can be whipped up in 2 minutes. Well, mashed up that is. Chop up the fresh cilantro and add to a small bowl of mashed black beans.

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It won’t need to be super smooth unless you really want it too. The flavor and texture is all you really need. Although, cilantro black bean dip is amazing… use a potato masher here and you’re done!

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Very little assembly required. If you tend to enjoy chicken on sandwiches, this would be a great time to use left-overs or grilled chicken from the weekend.

I did … and I still ended up eating this in less than 20 minutes!

Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread
Print Recipe
A seasonal fresh sandwich filled with vegetables and herbs! Roasted squash seasoned with lemon and thyme, and a simple cilantro black bean spread.
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread
Print Recipe
A seasonal fresh sandwich filled with vegetables and herbs! Roasted squash seasoned with lemon and thyme, and a simple cilantro black bean spread.
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 slices Whole wheat bread I used Eureka, Grainiac bread
  • 2 medium Squashes, summer and Zucchini
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin Or canola, depends on cooking device
  • 1 tbsp Thyme, fresh Dried thyme= about 1/2 tbsp
  • 1/2 whole Lemon 2-3 slices, remaining juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Black beans, mashed
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, fresh
  • 3 oz Chicken (Optional)
Servings: Sandwich
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425, or start up grill. Slice squash evenly and spray pan with light oil. Sprinkle squash with fresh (or dried) thyme. Slice 2-3 thin lemon slices in the mix for garnish (optional). Squeeze remaining lemon on top. Top with pepper and salt.
  2. Bake for nearly 15 minutes, or grill for 5-7 minutes. Toast bread to liking.
  3. While squash is cooking mash black beans with a potato masher. (Make sure to drain and rinse canned beans.) Add in chopped cilantro.
  4. Once bread is toasted and squash is ready, assemble and spread!
Recipe Notes
  • You may slice zucchini any thickness you'd like. I prefer a 1/4 of an inch for a sandwich, thicker is nice if you're not adding meat but too thin and it will not hold it's structure!
  • If you're using dried herbs, these especially should be reduced. I recommend about 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.
  • For Vegan Sandwich can be made with or without chicken.
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