Monday, April 20, 2015

Coconut Almond Breakfast Quinoa

Here is another recipe that has been sitting on the back-burner for a while.  I came across it when I was in my quinoa-testing phase and it was one that just didn't get made for whatever reason.  Anyhow, glad it finally came out of the woodworks!  

I've been eating a lot of granola and oatmeal for breakfast, and this will be a good one to throw in the mix every now and again.  Yum!

Coconut Almond Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1 cup light coconut milk (from a carton, such as Silk brand)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For serving:
fresh berries
toasted coconut
sliced almonds
additional coconut milk
honey or agave syrup
additional brown sugar if desired

Place rinsed and drained quinoa, coconut milk, brown sugar, and almond extract in a medium-sized pot. Stir ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover pot, preferably with a clear lid (so you can see through it and keep an eye on the quinoa). Stir a few times during cooking. If mixture seems to be boiling out, crack the lid to release steam, otherwise, keep covered. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. In the last few minutes of cooking, feel free to add a little more liquid (water is fine, or additional coconut milk) until desired consistency is reached. I prefer my breakfast quinoa on the soft side with enough liquid to make it more of a porridge.

Divide quinoa into bowls and top with fresh berries, toasted coconut, sliced almonds, and a splash of additional coconut milk. If desired, add a drizzle of honey or agave or a sprinkle of brown sugar for sweetness. Yields, about 4, 1/2 cup servings. 

Recipe Source:  Our Best Bites

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cherry Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

Being an adult means getting excited about things like....GRASS!  We are so happy to finally have a yard in!  We are the only family on our block right now, and therefore are just surrounded by lots and lots of dirt.  To make matters worse, we live in a crazy windy area.  Every window/sliding glass door in this house always has plenty of dirt in it that has blown in from the crazy daily winds.  It makes me sad living in a windy area, because I love the look of fresh mulch in planter beds, but instead we have to have rock or all that pretty mulch would blow away :(  But nonetheless, the yard basics are in and we couldn't be more thrilled!  

Today I am going to share with you one of my favorite smoothies that I have a few times a week and have just been neglecting to post it for a long while.  We stock up BIG TIME in the summer months on fresh fruit and use it all year.  The frozen cherries have grown to be my fav.  They are my fav probably because of this one smoothie, which depletes our year's worth of cherries in itself.  Smoothies are one of the ways I can actually get the hubby to eat fruit on a normal basis...he's not big into grabbing a piece of fruit for a snack by any means!  So this is perfect :)  One serving if made as written below packs in about 345 calories...not bad for breakfast.  Enjoy :)

Cherry Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

1 c. pitted, frozen Bing cherries (sometimes I do half frozen blueberries)
3/4-1c. fresh spinach leaves
1 c. milk (I used 1%, use more or less to get desired consistency)
1 Tbsp. hershey's chocolate syrup
1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Recipe: Me :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

True Lime

I don't do this often (and this is in no way a sponsored post), but sometimes I come across a product that I just want to get out there, because I LOVE it!  This product I am sharing today I love because it tastes fantastic, it's 100% natural, and it has so many uses :)  

To describe this product, I'll just tell you what the back of the bottle says, " True lime starts in the grove with fresh limes selected for their superior flavor. We then cold press and crystallize the essential lime oils and juices to lock in the flavor at the peak of freshness."  The bottle continues to suggest uses....sprinkled on fruit, as a replacement for lime juice in recipes, sprinkling on meat and seafood, sprinkled on salads, and using as a replacement for table salt.  I used mine in some guacamole today, and WOW!  So, so good.  I also thought it would be good sprinkled on some air popped popcorn.  

I found my bottle at Fred Meyer, but I know those aren't everywhere.  It was in the spice section.  I haven't really checked any other stores for it yet, but if not it is available on Amazon (link here).  I also noticed on Amazon, the same company has lemon, orange, and grapefruit as well.  It will be worth a try one of these days!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Broccoli Apple Salad

I love me a good broccoli salad.  My FAVORITE one is listed below, and I was actually going to make  that one when I looked in my pantry and was horrified when I saw my sunflower seeds were gone.  So sad!  Luckily, I had this recipe pinned and had all the ingredients.  This was a yummy change from the regular salad (although the other one is still my fav).  The apples gave a yummy crunch, and you can never go wrong with pecans in a salad in my book!  Enjoy this alongside your first spring or summer grilling session!

Broccoli Apple Salad

4 cups fresh broccoli florets, (about 2 medium heads)
½ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup diced red onion
2 large apples, finely chopped (I used gala apples)
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries

Creamy dressing ingredients:

½ cup lite mayonnaise
½ cup low fat greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans, and dried cranberries.

To make the dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe Source:  The Recipe Critic

Love broccoli salads like I do?!  Check some of these others out!

Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad

Broccoli Salad (MY FAV)

Broccoli, Ham, and Tortellini Ceasar Salad  (I always make this after having some leftover holiday ham)

Cheerio Bars

I am definitely not mom-of-the-year material.  It is a RARE occasion when I have an after school snack ready and waiting for my kiddo when he gets off the bus.  Here is my one attempt in many months to do so!  

Both the boys LOVED these, and they took minutes to make.  I can do this again ;)

Cheerio Bars

1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter, well-stirred
1/2 cup honey
3 cups toasted whole grain oats cereal (Cheerios)

Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan with parchment.

Combine peanut butter & honey in a large saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until mixture just starts to simmer, about 2-3 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat and stir until mixture is well-combined.

Stir in cereal until evenly coated. Pour mixture into prepared pan, cover with parchment, and press firmly. (Edited to add: A pastry roller will help to firmly and evenly pack down the mixture so the bars hold their shape). Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Cut into bars. Store individually wrapped in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source:  Healthy Food For Living