Archive for the ‘Eat’ Category

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

This has become my new breakfast obsession: refrigerator oatmeal. It is such an easy grab and go breakfast. It just takes a little planning because you do need to make it the night before.

First, I make a base, to which you can then add your various different flavors.

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Refrigerator Oatmeal

BASE INGREDIENTS (for two mason jars):
1 1/2 cups of Oats
1 cup of Almond Milk
1 cup of plain yogurt
1/4 cup of hemp seeds
1/3 cup of raw cashew nuts

Mix all the above ingredients in a large bowl. Add enough milk / yogurt to have a runny texture. Overnight the oats will absorb the liquid and by morning it will have more of a creamy texture.

To the above base you can add so many different flavors. Here are a few of my favorite:

1. BLUEBERRIES, LEMON AND COCONUT
– – 1 cup of blueberries
– – Juice of half a lemon
– – Maple syrup
– – 1/2 cup of shredded coconut

2. PUMPKIN SPICE

– – 1 cup of pumpkin puree
– – Maple syrup
– – 1/2 cup of raisins
– – 1/2 – 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3. BANANA AND RAISINS
– – 1 sliced banana (toss with lemon juice to prevent browning)
– – 1/2 cup raisins
– – 1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract
– – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– – Honey

4. CHERRY AND CHOCLOATE
– – 1 cup of cherries (frozen berries work if fresh aren’t available)
– – 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks
– – 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– – Honey

5. STRAWBERRIES or RASPBERRIES
– – 1 cup of berries (frozen berries work if fresh aren’t available)
– – Maple Syrup
– – 1/2 tsp almond essence

6. APPLE AND CINNAMON
– – 1 cup of diced apple (tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning)
– -1/2 cup of apple sauce
– – Maple Syrup
– – 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Raspberry Refrigerator Oatmeal

Raspberry Refrigerator Oatmeal

DIRECTIONS:
Once you have the base made, add your flavors. Mix well. Pour mixture into two mason jars and fasten lids. Store in the refrigerator overnight. By morning time, it will have a nice creamy texture.

For more ideas head over to The Yummy Life website.

Clean Quinoa Salad

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

This is my go-to quinoa salad recipe that we discovered when we did the clean detox program. All the ingredients are deemed ‘clean’ which means:

– that they have an alkalizing affect inside the body
– they are not potentially an irritant or allergen
– they do not have an inflammatory response in the body
– the raw uncooked ingredients means they contain enzymes that help with digestion (cooking destroys these enzymes)
– no preservatives and low in toxins

 

Uncooked Quinoa

Uncooked Quinoa

SALAD INGREDIENTS:
— 2 cups of quinoa
— 1/2 to 1 cup of currants or raisins
— 1 cup of diced carrots
— 1 cup of chopped almonds
— 1 cup of chopped celery
— chopped mint
— chopped parsley

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
—  1/2 cup Olive Oil
— 1/4 cup Lime juice
— 1 to 2 tsp. of honey, maple syrup or agave

DIRECTIONS:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 cups of quinoa and cover. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Rinse in cold water and drain well.  Toss the cooled and drained quinoa with the rest of the ingredients. Mix the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Give it a good shake and pour over the quinoa mix. Add chopped spinach and chicken for a more complete meal rather than a side dish.

Quinoa, Oat and Banana Bars

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

I have been making a batch of the Quinoa, Oat and Cherry bars every week. I made this variation to mix it up a bit. I also tried a savory version: nothing sweet; just rosemary and parmesan cheese. I’m still perfecting the recipe. If you like banana bread, then you’ll love this version.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups of Quinoa
1 can of coconut milk
2 1/2 cup of Oats (Trader Joes and Bob’s Red Mill have gluten free oats)
1 1/2 cup of yogurt, kefir or almond milk
1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup of mashed, ripe banana
1/2 cup of carob or chocolate chips
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 cup of sweetener (agave, honey or maple syrup)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 peanut butter
(Apple sauce or almond meal to change consistency)

 

Oats, Quinoa, coconut, and cherries

Oats, Quinoa, and coconut.

DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large bowl, soak the oats in the yogurt, Kefir and / or almond milk. The longer you can soak the better. I typically soak for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If the oats absorb all the liquid; add a bit more.

2. Bring the coconut milk and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer until the quinoa is cooked. This should be in about 10 minutes or when the liquid is absorbed.

3. Once the oats have been soaked and the quinoa is cooked, set the oven for 350 degrees.  Combine the oats and quinoa, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, add some almond milk, yogurt or apple sauce. If it is too wet, then add some almond meal. You want the consistency to be like a thick oatmeal. Pour the mixture into a large greased casserole dish (13 x 9) and bake for 35-45 minutes.

4. Cool in the casserole dish first before slicing into bars. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Quinoa, Oat and Cherry Bars

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

For the last 6 months I’ve been making a batch of these bars every week. They are good for breakfast, make excellent snacks, and can even be a dessert.  I’ve used them to fuel up before, during and after a race / ride. These bars are very versatile and are easy to make wheat-free and/or dairy-free.

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups of Quinoa
1 can of coconut milk
2 1/2 cup of Oats (Trader Joes and Bob’s Red Mill have gluten free oats)
1 1/2 cup of yogurt, kefir or almond milk
1-1 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (Bob’s Red Mill)
1-1 1/2 cup of dried cherries (Trader Joes Bing cherries)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of sweetener (agave, honey or maple syrup)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 – 1 cup peanut butter
Apple sauce or almond meal to change consistency

Additional options:
Chopped nuts
Nutmeg

Oats, Quinoa, coconut, and cherries

Oats, Quinoa, coconut, and cherries

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, soak the oats in the yogurt, Kefir and / or almond milk. The longer you can soak the better. I typically soak for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If the oats absorb all the liquid, add a bit more.

2. Bring the coconut milk and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer until the quinoa is cooked. This should be in about 10 minutes or when the liquid is absorbed.

3. Once the oats have been soaked and the quinoa is cooked, set the oven for 350 degrees.  Combine the oats and quinoa, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, add some almond milk, yogurt or apple sauce. If it is too wet, then add some almond meal. You want the consistency to be like a thick oatmeal. Pour the mixture into a large greased casserole dish (13 x 9) and bake for 35-45 minutes.

4. Cool in the casserole dish first before slicing into bars. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Quinoa, Oat and Cherry Bars

Quinoa, Oat and Cherry Bars

Quick and Easy: Vegetarian Bean Chile

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Make a big pot of this and serve it with corn bread one night and a baked potato another.  A green salad on the side makes for a great meal.

This can be a quick and easy recipe if you use canned beans and tomatoes.  However, I’ve been really trying to get away from using canned foods for several reasons: they are more expensive, I don’t always know how they have been prepared, and then there is the whole issue of what the can is made from (some are still lined with BPA).  Try to buy organic (check out Eden Foods products).

Eden Foods

Eden Foods

When I make this from scratch, I pre-soak the beans for 24 hours, changing the water at least two times.  Why pre-soak?  Beans (as well as seeds and grains) contain phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to important minerals and prevents their absorption in the body, in particular calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Soaking and sprouting reduces the phytic acid.  When buying canned beans I have no idea how they have been prepared.

INGREDIENTS:
1-2 cup of Black Beans
1-2 cup of small white beans
1-2 cup of Kidney Beans
1-2 cup of Chick peas (Garbanzo Beans)
1 onion, diced
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
5-6 roasted tomatoes (or 1 can of stewed tomatoes)
1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes and steamed
Chili seasoning:
3-4 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1-2 tbsp ground cumin
1-3 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp black pepper

Or use a readymade seasoning like Carroll Shelby’s chili kit. The red pepper is in a separate packet so you can add as much or as little as your taste buds like.

Chili Kit

Chili Kit

METHOD:
Pre-cook the beans.  Saute the diced onion in a little coconut oil. Cut up the tomatoes, toss with coconut oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Steam (or roast) the sweet potato.  Add the cooked beans (with some of the water they cooked in), sweet potato and tomatoes to the onions. Add the seasoning. Add water, vegetable broth or tomato sauce or paste to get the desired consistency.   Simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Top with sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and/or tortilla chips.
Serve with polenta, corn bread, cheese quesadilla, brown rice, or baked potato.

Quick and Easy: Fried Rice

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

It has been a while since I last posted a simple and easy to prepare meal.  I want to return to this theme. I’m calling it the ‘quick and easy’ series.  I want to emphasize the importance of eating healthy real food.  You can’t reach your potential as an athlete if you don’t fuel the body right. As athletes, we are so time crunched it can be easy to reach for processed foods rather than preparing real food.

Now that our 6 year old daughter has some after school activities (right now it is swimming, yeah!) our evenings are busy.  For me to provide real food dinners for my family it takes some planning in terms of menu selection and time management. Here are some ideas that work for me:

1. When I have time to cook, I’ll cook up a storm: Cooking the things that are more time consuming such as beans, chicken, rice, etc.  Then I have these items already to add to meals for the next few days.

2. On our busy evening days, I’ve started to prepare some of our dinners in the morning before work.

3. With a little menu planning, I can make sure there are left overs that can be used in a meal the next day. For example:  cooking a big batch of rice one day to use for a Bento Bowl, and then using the left over rice the next day for this fried rice recipe.

4. Making big batches of a meal and freeze portions to use another week. Not ideal as it takes the ‘fresh’ out of the meal, but it works well for soups, stews and things like quiche. Pair these frozen dinners with a green salad to get your ‘fresh’ fixings for the day.

INGREDIENTS
Cooked cold rice
Coconut oil
1 Onion, diced
2 stalks of Celery, diced
2 Carrots, diced
Brocolli
1 Pepper, diced
1/2 cup Peas
1 – 2 cups Cabbage, shredded or any greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.)
3-4 Eggs, scrambled
Protein of choice (Tempeh, chicken, etc.)

Dressing:
1/4 cup Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Soy Sauce or Bragg
1 tsp Ginger, minced
1 tsp Lime Juice
1 tsp Garlic, minced
2 tbsp Miso

OR use Trader Joes Trader Ming’s Soyaki Marinade

Trader Ming's Soyaki

Trader Ming's Soyaki

METHOD:
In a large stir fry pan, cook the onion in the oil of your choice. I like to use coconut oil instead of olive oil.  Once the onion is cooked, add the rest of the veggies. Mean while, scramble eggs in a separate pan. Once the veggies are almost cooked, add the egg, the rice, and tempeh/chicken. To make the dressing mix 1/4 cup of sesame oil, 1/4 c of Bragg, 1 tsp of ginger, 1 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp of garlic and 1 tbsp of miso. Stir into the rice and veggie mix. Alternatively you can use Trader Joes Soyaki marinade.  That’s it; quick and easy.

A Healthy Valentine’s Day Cookie

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

I have a family who like treats, especially cookies. No wait, make that ‘love’ treats, especially cookies. And given that we don’t eat wheat this can be good (or bad) depending on what your view point is on consuming treats….

We aren’t tempted to buy cookies given they typically made from wheat flour. That means the cookies we eat are usually ones we make. In my exploration for new recipes and the nutrition they provide, I’ve recently been experimenting with raw food treats.  They can be healthier and just as tasty.  Thanks to Ani Phyo’s book, I’ve gotten some good ideas. Here is one that I came up with for a Valentine’s Day treat. 

Choosing the right ingredients:
I really try to use ingredients that are not just empty calories, but provide some nutrition too. These cookies contain carob, coconut and dates.

Carob: I have a daughter who loves chocolate.  That same daughter, who, like me, is very sensitive to theobromine in chocolate (a chemical that has a similar effect as caffeine). Neither of us can eat anything made from chocolate in the evening or we’ll pay the price and will be rewarded with a sleepless night.  That’s where carob comes to the rescue. It tastes similar to chocolate when it is mixed in with other ingredients and it doesn’t have the negative impact on our sleep. 

Carob Chips

Carob Chips

So what is carob?
Carob is a legume that comes from the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua). This evergreen tree is native to the Mediterranean. The tree bears fruit; the carob pods. These long bean-like pods are cooked for a short time or roasted and then ground into carob powder or made into carob chips The roasting enhances the chocolate-like flavor.  Note that given the roasting; carob powder or chips are not technically ‘raw’.

Carob provides some good nutrition. It contains as much Vitamin B1 as asparagus or strawberries; as much niacin as lima beans, lentils, or peas; and more Vitamin A than eggplant, asparagus, and beets. It also contains Vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and the trace minerals iron, manganese, chromium, copper, and nickel. It contains approximately 8 percent protein and is a good source of fiber. Compared to chocolate, carob is three times richer in calcium, has one third less calories and seventeen times less fat. Carob is also nondairy; making it a good option for those who are lactose-intolerant.

I buy unsweetened carob chips from Wholefoods Market.

Unsweetened Coconut

Unsweetened Coconut

Coconut: Look for the unsweetened dried grated or shredded coconut meat (I like Bob’s Red Mill flaked coconut). Dried coconut can keep at room temperature for several months if sealed in plastic bags. Coconut is a source of fat (one of few non-animal sources of saturated fatty acids), dietary fiber and as well as vitamins and minerals. Coconuts are also rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, and boosts the immune system.

Medjool Dates

Medjool Dates

Dates:  Dates are harvested from the date palm tree. They have a wrinkled skin and are a dark reddish brown color. Dates contain a seed that needs to be removed. The inside of this fruit is fleshy and sticky. Dates are mostly eaten fresh or dried. I buy the medjool dates (from Trader Joes) which are typically larger and moister.  Dates are a good source of dietary fiber, low in calories, high in potassium, calcium and magnesium, loaded with a variety of B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and low sodium. Dates are a good energy boosting food with the naturally occurring sugars (fructose, glucose and sucrose). Given these naturally occurring sugars, dates are naturally sweet so there is no need to add any extra sweetener when using them in recipes.

Ingredients:
2 cups of medjool dates (seed removed).
2 tbsp peanut butter (optional)
¾ cup of raw cashew nuts
¾ cup of unsweetened coconut
¾ cup of oats
¾ cup carob chips.
1 tsp of cinnamon (optional)

1. In a food processer; process the cashew nuts, coconut and oats until they are quite fine.  Pour these into a bowl and set aside.

2. Next process the dates and peanut butter into a paste.  Break up the date paste a little with your fingers (this is a sticky mess).

3. Add the processed dry ingredients, carob chips and cinnamon. Process until all the ingredients are well mixed. If the mixture is too dry; add some more date paste, or too wet; add some more dry ingredients to get the right consistency. The right consistency is when you pinch the ingredients together they will hold together and not fall apart.
 
4. Using your hands form small patties or I use a mini muffin pan to help form the cookies. 

'chocolate' chip cookies

'chocolate' chip cookies

And that is it. So simple. And my 6 year will eat them. I store them in the fridge for up to a week. They don’t typically last that long though….