Mar 102013
 

A glorious discovery was made in my kitchen this morning.  Potentially earth shattering, ground breaking, and other dramatic things like that.  Drum roll please…Quinoa for breakfast.  OK maybe some of you don’t find that quite as exciting as I do, but I was SO excited to see how great quinoa was as part of this baked oatmeal.  You can’t go wrong with the  combination of blueberries, bananas, walnuts, and cinnamon and added to super foods like quinoa, oats, and chia seeds, this is an amazingly healthy and delicious breakfast, brunch, or even healthy dessert.  


The other benefit of this dish (beyond the nutritional and flavor aspects) is that it makes about 6-8 servings making it perfect for a family or group, or for filling tupperware for a weeks worth of breakfasts (if you are me- party of 1).  It’s also super easy to put together.  You just layer sliced bananas and blueberries on the bottom of the pan, top with the dry ingredients, pour over the wet ingredients, and then top with a few extra banana slices, blueberries, and walnuts for a lil extra flair.  


Nutritional Highlights:  This is a crazy healthy meal.  Here are a few of the highlights: 

  • Quinoa: Apparently the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as “The International Year of the Quinoa.”  Who in the world knows what that means, but it’s packed with protein and fiber.  
  • Blueberries and Bananas:  antioxidants, potassium, deliciousness.
  • Walnuts: omega-6 fatty acids
  • Chia seeds:  No relation to our grass covered pets of the 90’s…They’re so hot right now so I decided to throw in a few tablespoons.   They have omega 3’s, protein, and fiber, and they soak up a ton of liquid so they keep you full for a while
And I didn’t even mention the fiber filled oats or the skim or soy milk to get a little calcium in there.  There is really nothing bad I can say about this recipe, and I can’t wait to eat it at work every single day this week.  
 


Quinoa-Oatmeal Bake with Blueberries, Bananas, and Walnuts
adapted from Milk and Honey Living

 
Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 T chia seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/4 cups milk (skim or soy/almond if you want non-dairy)
1 large egg
1 T butter
2 tsp vanilla
3 bananas, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups blueberries plus a few extra for the top
Preheat oven to 375 and grease 9×13 pan
  1. Mix together oats, quinoa, most of the walnuts (save a few for the top), baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl lightly beat egg and add in milk, vanilla, melted butter (let cool slightly).
  3. Cut bananas into slices covering the bottom of pan (reserve a few slices for the top).  Top with the berries (again, saving a few for the top) and cover with oat mixture.
  4. Pour wet ingredients to cover dry ingredients and top with remaining berries, banana slices, and walnuts.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup if you like it a little bit sweet like I do!  Enjoy!

Note:  If you like your oatmeal a little sweeter, feel free to add some maple syrup or honey into the bake (my version only has fruit to give sweetness).  Also, if you’re going to save the leftovers and reheat, I recommend adding a little milk or water for reheating as it dries out a bit.

 

Dec 212012
 


Because I have been so busy with finals and work and holiday parties, I haven’t been able to post anything in a while.  Then, of course, when I finally tried to post a delicious kale and butternut squash lasagna recipe, I started having some technical difficulties with my computer (hey santa, maybe a new computer this year??  I’ve been really good.)  So Just so you have a little holiday eye candy :)





I’ve posted these before, but since I make them every single year I figured it was worthy of a repost.  I wish I could take credit for this brilliant idea, but it was my friend Erica of ericasweettooth that came up with this awesome idea.  It’s really pretty easy to put together.  I made mini brownie and blondie bites (because santa doesn’t discriminate) in a mini muffin pan, topped with a strawberry, and decorated with some cream cheese icing to make them look like santa hats.  Ho ho ho.  



I have to make a small confession…I used boxed brownie mix.  Ghiardelli dark chocolate to be exact.  I’ve made brownies from scratch before and they just never are quite as good as these.  So there.  Loud and proud.  
Nutritional Highlights:  Can’t say that the base of these treats are really healthy, but they’re mini and have a strawberry on top, so that counts for something, right?  Let’s be honest though…you’re not going to be totally healthy on Cristmas, so enjoy something sweet in moderation.  


Mini Santa Hat Brownies (or Blondies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Brownie Mix
  • 24 strawberries
  • Cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
Directions:  Cook the brownies in a mini muffin tin according to directions.  They will only take 20-25 minutes to cook since they’re mini.  Cut off the base of the strawberries so they’re flat.  Prepare cream cheese frosting by mixing cream cheese with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar until it is sweet enough (sorry, forgot to measure!).  Put a little dot of cream cheese in the center of the brownie and place the strawberry on top.  Frost around the berry and on the top so it looks as santa like as possible.  

Maybe Santa will leave me some really good gifts this year if I leave these out for him and his reindeer?  
Apr 262012
 

Yep, you read the title right.  Cookies for breakfast.  If that doesn’t make you excited then I don’t know what will.  I know what you’re thinking…cookies are pretty un-cook-tush-like as it is, especially at 9 in the morning.  But these “cookies” are incredibly healthy, filling, and delicious, and even though I’m calling them breakfast cookies, they can be an any time of the day healthy snack.  Special bonus, they’re gluten free AND vegan!  





I found this recipe on another blog, and my expectations were absolutely blown away.  These we soft and chewy in the center and crunchy on the bottom.  They had a great nutty flavor from the pecans, coconut, and oats, and just a hint of sweetness from the agave, mashed banana, and dried blueberries.  I was expecting these to fall apart like other granola bar type recipes I’ve tried before, but I was shocked at how sturdy these were.  They’re absolutely perfect for an on the go breakfast, snack or dessert.





Nutritional highlights:  These cookies have tons of fiber from the oats, protein and healthy fat from the coconut and pecans, and these things are what will keep you full all morning.  If you have trouble getting your kids to eat a balanced breakfast, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to say no when you offer them a cookie in the morning.  They’re basically like little bundles of baked oatmeal perfection, and I’m going to come back to this recipe again and again.  





Blueberry-Coconut-Pecan Breakfast Cookies
adapted from Kumquat

1 1/2       cups gluten-free rolled oats
1             cup unsweetened coconut flakes 
1             tablespoon golden flaxmeal
1/2          teaspoon salt
3/4          cups coarsely chopped pecans
1/2          cup dried blueberries
3             very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4          cup coconut oil, warm enough to be liquid (I used regular vegetable/canola oil because coconut oil was pricey and I know that it’s very high in saturated fat)
1             tablespoon agave nectar (can substitute honey if you don’t have agave and don’t care about this being vegan)
1             teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine oats, coconut, flaxmeal, salt, pecans, and blueberries. Stir in bananas, oil, agave nectar and vanilla until well combined.

Press 2 tablespoons of mixture into a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Continue with remaining mixture.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until fragrant and golden. Cool on pan.
Yield: about 15 cookies.