Blended Overnight Oats

Check out these lovely libros.

I don’t think I have ever been so excited to pick up my textbooks. Nutrition, Epidemic City, Social Determinants of Health and Plagues and Peoples. I cannot wait to start school. One week from today!

Until then, I will be furiously cooking and baking away trying to figure out the healthiest, quickest, tastiest and portable’ist’ (or most portable) meals that I can take along with me to campus. I think I am definitely solid on the whole breakfast front though, seeing as breakfast is probably my favorite meal and the options are endless.

For example, take the classic overnight oats one step further by blending them in the morning, and you’ve got yourself another version of heaven. Hello light, frothy and  creamy dreamy oat smoothie!

Behold BOO. Or Blended Overnight Oats. Absolutely scrumptious.

This time I didn’t get too crazy with ingredients since it was my first attempt and I wanted to be sure it turned out edible, but next time I’m going all out. I think a blueberry nectarine BOO with crystallized ginger may be in store!

It’s a seriously delicious, quick and easy breakfast dish once again :) You guys have got to try this. And don’t be scared, add in whatever fruit and seasonings you like. Maybe chocolate peanut butter banana? Pumpkin pie? Or how about a tropical mango berry coconut BOO? Oooooh, I’ve got lots to look forward to!

Classic BOO

Serves 1

Adapted from Kath Eats Real Food

1/2 cup instant oats

1/2 cup soy milk

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 very ripe banana

Dash of cinnamon

Teensy bit of vanilla extract

To prepare this recipe, simply add all ingredients to a blender, stir, and leave in refrigerator overnight. When you wake up, add about 1/4 cup more soy milk to make it easier to blend and blend away. I topped mine with peanut butter and my mom’s homemade granola. Top with whatever fixin’s you’d like! Also, this recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc. for more hungry morning friends!

I love acronyms,

Sydney

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Random Eats and Treats

I hope everyone has had a wonderful start to their week this fine August Monday! Can you believe next Monday will be September already!? While on one hand it’s seems like time has flown by and another summer has escaped me, on the other hand I do have to say I am looking forward to fall. I’m already getting an itch for pumpkin and sweet potato and squash recipes. Pumpkin Macaroni and cheese anyone? Sweet potato and curried lentils? Or how about butternut squash and goat cheese pizza? I can hardly contain myself.

Today I went back and forth on which recipe I should post, and in the end I couldn’t decide so I thought I’d keep it simple and show you some of the wonderful things I’ve had lately. Maybe recently you’ve had some fun foods too!

This was a delicious ‘Un-turkey’ Salad Sandwich I got from a local organic cafe. Yum!

Last week at the Farmer’s Market I got this naturally sweetened classic lemonade drink. Lemons and agave were the only two ingredients! It was very refreshing with the perfect amount of tartness and sweetness.

This summer was the first time I can remember trying a nectarine. It is a shame that I have deprived myself of this glorious fruit for so long. Now every time I go to the Farmer’s Markets it is the first thing I look for :) I think it is safe to say nectarines may be my new favorite fruit.

Talk about a luscious snack combo. Fruit and nuts. Specifically homemade raisins and pistachios.

Salads are definitely a staple in my apartment. Whatever veggies, grains and proteins I have I love combining in a salad concoction. This one only had veggies, spinach, yellow zucchini, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, but it was still very delicious!

After meeting with some fellow MPHers for coffee one evening last week, I was starving by the time I was on my way home. Luckily for me there was The Cinnamon Snail food truck waiting for me en route. A vegan, organic food truck that travels the city and offers great sandwiches and baked goods. I had a Maple Mustard Tempeh sandwich that was very good. I am going to try and re-create that one at home!

This morning I treated myself to homemade pancakes! I don’t normally make pancakes from scratch so this was definitely a treat for me. Whole wheat yogurt pancakes topped with some almond butter and agave made it sweet as can be. Served with a side of banana of course. See this link to one of my favorite blogs for the recipe. All I modified was that I replaced the single egg in the recipe with a chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds in 3 tbsp of water that sits aside for 10 minutes to form a thick gel).

I love me some potassium,

Sydney

Lusciously Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

So it’s the weekend. You have friends coming over and you need a dessert recipe to impress. Something different, something they won’t forget. Well you are in luck my friend, because I have just the recipe for you. A seemingly standard recipe by name, but with a secret ingredient that will steal the show.

Can you guess what it is?

Any idea yet? No? Then here, I’ll make it a little clearer for you.

Yep, they’re back. It’s avocado!! Silky smooth, bright green avocado.

And holy cow, does it ever make a difference. This one secret ingredient makes the whole recipe outstanding. Seriously, like the writing for The West Wing outstanding.

These cupcakes are vegan too, yay! Good for your body and the world. In these vegan ‘cakes the avocado plays a key role in keeping them nice and moist. I often find vegan baked goods a little harder to work with because they tend to be on the dry side, but these turned out great!

They are like a dainty chocolate pillow, topped with a cloud of rich and creamy frosting that’ll drift you right off into your perfect dreamworld.

So…you need to make these asap. I promise they won’t disappoint.

Avocado in your cupcakes you say, that’s preposterous. Maybe. But genius? Definitely. I can’t take credit for the recipe though, so see my link below to a great healthy food blog for the original!

Lusciously Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Makes 10 cupcakes

Recipe adapted from The Diva Dish

For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 avocado, thoroughly mashed

1 cup soymilk

2/3 cup agave syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the Frosting:

1 avocado

2/3 cup powdered sugar

3 tbsp soymilk

2 tbsp agave syrup

3 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter

Start by making the cupcakes. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 10 non-stick sprayed muffin cups.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and then mix all the wet ingredients (including avocado) together in a separate bowl. Make sure the avocado is thoroughly mashed so it is smooth and not lumpy. Then combine wet and dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour batter into the 10 muffin cups and bake in oven for about 20 minutes. Give or take a  few minutes depending on your oven’s heat, so make sure to check back frequently. They will be moist when done, you don’t want to overcook them. So at about 20 minutes remove from oven and set out to cool.

As for the frosting, while the cupcakes are cooling you will have plenty of time to prepare it. All you need to do is add all the frosting ingredients to a food processor and let it whirl! Stop food processor when frosting is thick and creamy.  After cupcakes have had time to cool, you can frost away and enjoy!

Note: I actually preferred them cool, so I kept some in the fridge to take out and eat cold for a treat. Also, the cupcakes that weren’t consumed within that day I stored in the freezer to keep them better preserved. Then I just took them out one by one to enjoy.

For the bold and the beautiful,

Sydney

Spicy Citrus Tofu Burrito with Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Hello, and happy Thursday to you all! After spending approximately 1000 hours over the last day and a half searching for jobs and paid internships online, I thought I’d take a break. A wonderful, glorious blog writing break! Too bad I can’t find work blogging. All of the positions I found related to food and healthy living blogging were unfortunately unpaid positions. Sad. I even found internships working with the Food Network! Which would be completely amazing, but alas they too were unpaid.

So in the meantime while I wait to hear back (with my fingers crossed) from the places I did apply to, I’ll treat you to another delicious and nutritious meal. Spicy Citrus Tofu Burrito with Cilantro Lime Quinoa.

The Cilantro Lime Quinoa was the bulk of my burrito, and boy was it tasty!

With creamy avocado, sweet mango and some red pepper strips, this burrito was delectable. You may have noticed avocado appearing in a few recipes lately. And I am taking the time right now to forewarn you that in the near future it may be showcased again.

I apologize if avocado is not your thing. But out here on the East Coast they are pretty cheap, and since they are a great source of healthy fat and fiber I can’t seem to help myself.

Check out the lovely close-up of the seasoned triangular tofu bits. So good! One of my favorite parts of cooking with tofu is the slicing and dicing part. I love that you can cut/chop tofu into any shape you want.

Personally, I prefer geometric shapes. I’d say I tend to go with isosceles triangles and the good ol’ 30, 60, 90 triangle most of the time.  See, math can be fun.

But for those of you who are disgusted by the mere mention of math and are just about to go up to the corner of your screen and ‘x’ out of my page, simply crumble the tofu to bits so it looks like scrambled eggs. Problem solved. No defined shape whatsoever. Pretend it never happened.

Spicy Citrus Tofu Burrito

Serves 2

Recipes adapted from Healthy Happy Life

8 oz. extra firm tofu

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp ginger (powdered)

A sprinkle of salt

Lime juice, as much as you like!

2 whole wheat wraps

1/2 cup chopped mango

1/2 avocado, sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

To prepare the tofu, start by extracting all the excess water out of the tofu. Simply place the tofu between kitchen towels, and place something heavy from your kitchen on top of the tofu. Let sit for 10 minutes, and by then the towels will have absorbed most of the water. Then proceed to cut and slice your tofu however you like. Heat a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray on medium heat, and sauté the tofu about 2 minutes on each side. Add half the seasonings and lime juice to the tofu when you are cooking the first side, then when you flip the tofu add the second half of the seasonings and lime juice. When the tofu is done it will be golden and a little crispy on the outside. When assembling the burrito, add whatever toppings you’d like! The mango, avocado and pepper combo was great.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Serves 3

1/2 cup quinoa

2/3 cup chopped kale

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice from 1/2 a lime

To prepare the quinoa, follow the directions on the package. Once quinoa is cooked, add in the kale, cilantro, and lime juice. Stir to combine and enjoy! Note: if you would prefer softer, wilted kale instead of chewier, fresh kale, simply add the chopped kale to the quinoa while it is simmering for the 10-15 minutes waiting for the water to be absorbed.

Take a chance on me (and by ‘me’ I mean this tofu recipe),

Sydney

Avocado Spinach Panini with Sun-dried Tomatoes

It’s called improvising.

When you really want to make paninis and don’t own a panini maker, improvisation is key my friends. What you have here (from top to bottom) is a sufficiently heavy can of garbanzo beans, an empty and clean skillet, 2 prepared panini sandwiches, and another skillet which is actually doing the cooking.

Not only is this a pretty amusing sight, but you save yourself a bunch of money for resisting the urge to buy a one trick pony type of appliance. With this contraption you need not go out and buy yourself a panini maker, you can use common household goods that you most likely already have on hand. So, awesomely frugal contraption + tasty sandwich ingredients = golden delicious meal for many reasons.

Anyway, back to what you may actually be interested in, the recipe! Hidden between the two skillets were lovely, Avocado Spinach Paninis with Sun-dried Tomatoes.

These beauties were served with a side of homemade Cinnamon Chili Sweet Potato Fries. Delish.

Creamy avocado. Savory sun-dried tomatoes. Red onions with some heat. Out of this world. With only five ingredients, this panini is so mouthwateringly scrumptious it doesn’t even make sense.  Add the lightly crispy sweet potato fries and you’ve got yourself  a meal!

Avocado Spinach Panini with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes

2 tbsp red onion, chopped

2 cups baby spinach

4 slices of multi-grain bakery bread

To make these paninis, simply split half of the avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and spinach between the two sandwiches. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and turn to medium heat. Once the skillet is ready, place both paninis in the skillet, set the other clean skillet on top of the paninis, and place a heavy canned good on top of the empty skillet. Cook the paninis for about 2 minutes, then flip the sandwiches over (replace second skillet and weight) and cook the second side an additional two minutes or until golden brown. Cake!

Cinnamon Chili Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 2-3

1 medium-large sweet potato

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp chili powder

A sprinkle of tarragon

This is another super easy recipe! Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Slice sweet potato into strips/wedges that are uniformly sized the best you can. Place the sliced sweet potato in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and pour in olive oil. Seal bag and shake until the sweet potato is coated with the oil. Re-open bag and sprinkle in all the spices. Seal bag again and shake until the spices coat the sweet potato slices. Then dump contents of the bag onto a tin foil lined baking sheet. When oven is ready, place fries in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Flip fries. Cook for an additional 10 minutes (or a bit longer if you prefer crispier fries). Take out from oven and enjoy!

Fly a kite,

Sydney

Sunday

Why, hello there.

What is that hiding in the corner of the picture? It’s okay, don’t be shy. Come out and let us see you clearly.

Ah, that’s better. It’s a pizza. Perhaps a rather bashful pizza because of it’s uniqueness, but why it was cowering in the corner I have no idea. This pizza deserves to be the center of attention! It’s a crowd pleasing, vegan, Mango, Black Bean and Zucchini Pizza.

Absolutely outstanding. See all the fresh cilantro on this pizza? Totally makes the dish.

Indeed, if you are in need of a lighter, summery pizza this recipe is for you. Sure, it has some unique ingredients for a pizza, but that’s what makes it great! Hit up your local farmer’s market for the zucchini, cilantro and onions if you can. And whatever you don’t find there will surely be available at your grocery store.

Please make this soon for the people you care about! They’ll love you even more. Promise.

Mango, Black Bean and Zucchini Pizza

Serves 3 hungry people

Recipe adapted from Oh My Veggies

1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust (vegan if possible)

3/4 cup of any salsa of your choice (I used Pineapple Salsa from Trader Joe’s)

3/4 cup of vegan Mexican blend shredded cheese

1/2 cup of thinly sliced zucchini (I used yellow!)

2/3 cup of sliced mango (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup of black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup of chopped yellow onion

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro

To create this quick and unbelievably tasty pizza, simply slice and chop all ingredients that need slicing and chopping. Preheat oven according to your prepared crust’s instructions and spread/roll out the dough onto a baking sheet. Once the dough is in place, spread the salsa on the dough leaving about an inch around the edge of the pizza salsa free. After the sauce is evenly spread, top dough with zucchini, mango, black beans and onions. Sprinkle on the cheese last, and bake pizza in oven per the instructions on the prepared dough package. After the pizza is out of the oven, top with the fresh cilantro. Let cool a minute or two, then slice and consume!

Get an electric toothbrush,

Sydney

What’s a Cookbook?

I realized a few days ago when talking with one of my Aunts that I don’t even own a cookbook. She knows I am a vegetarian and do a lot of cooking besides the recipes I post on the blog, so she was wondering if I could tell her the titles of a few of my favorite cookbooks.  Cookbook? Say what? That’s when it hit me that I don’t even own a cookbook! However, with the Internet at my fingertips I have instantaneous access to all the recipes I could ever want and then some.

Seriously, right at my fingertips. Essentially I’ve spent my time browsing food blogs and websites instead of browsing the cooking section of a local bookstore.

This conversation kind of made me want to buy a cookbook though. It really would be nice to have a tangible, organized copy of some of my favorite recipes.

I suppose I could print off like a thousand recipes to hold on to, but then that creates the issue of storing a thousand stray recipes…Anyway, to make a long story short, I sent my Aunt a copious amount of links to my favorite food sites. But if anyone has an actual vegetarian or healthy eating cookbook they’d like to share with me please do!

Before writing this today I had already cooked a meal, with a recipe from the Internet of course. I had made Coconut Curry Quinoa with a side of Pumpkin Dijon Sautéed Kale.

My plate was literally glowing. It was that good.

The Coconut Curry Quinoa had a mild coconut and curry taste, which allowed the natural taste of the vegetables, grains and beans to shine through. It was the perfect pairing of flavors. And the Pumpkin Dijon Kale. Amazing. Probably the simplest and tastiest kale I’ve ever had. I think it was the tiny kick of heat from the dijon mustard along with the sweet crunchy onion bites that made this combo work!

Oh, and to drink I found this fresh ginger, ginger ale at the market. So glad I bought it. I have been loving anything ginger lately, and this Pomegranate with Hibiscus Ginger Ale was delicious. Super refreshing with a little tang.

The fact that it was made here in New York made it all that much better!

Coconut Curry Quinoa

Serves 5

Recipe adapted from Pinch Of Yum

1 can of coconut milk

4-5 tbsp thai red curry sauce from Trader Joe’s

2 small heads of broccoli, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 tablespoon of whole wheat flour

1 cup of quinoa (uncooked)

Begin with making the quinoa. Simply follow the cooking instructions on the package, and while the quinoa is cooking begin the coconut curry. For the coconut curry, start by sautéing the broccoli and carrots in a tbsp of olive oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Make sure to use a large skillet, in the end you will add most of the ingredients to this one pan. After the broccoli and carrots have been cooking for a few minutes add in the can of coconut milk and continue to simmer for about 8 minutes. Then, add in the thai red curry sauce  and stir, then add in the garbanzo beans and stir again. Now bring the mixture to a slight boil and add in the flour. Continue boiling for about one minute, then remove from heat. As dish cools, the sauce will thicken.

Pumpkin Dijon Sautéed Kale

Serves 1 (as a side dish)

4-5 stalks of leafy kale, remove stems and chop

1/8 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp olive oil

1tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp pumpkin puree

To prepare the kale, heat a medium skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat. Once ready, add the chopped kale and onions to the skillet. Cook for about three minutes allowing the kale and onions to soften. Then add in the mustard and pumpkin and stir thoroughly to incorporate to all leaves of kale. Continue cooking for about another 3-4 minutes, or until the kale has wilted to your liking. Serve warm and enjoy!

Let the ginger be ever in your favor,

Sydney