Posted by culinaryneophyte on August 4, 2013
When people ask for my help moving, I typically carry odds and ends and leave the heavy lifting to the big dogs. But yesterday, one of my brothers bailed on helping my dad and stepmother move (and the other left for work with a decent amount to go), so I had no choice but to lift things up and put them down. (Please tell me you get that reference.) By the time I got home, it was that awkward too-late-for-lunch/too-early-for-dinner time, and I was too famished to wait more than five minutes for something small to cook, so I whipped up a sweet snack inspired by a post I saw on Instagram: cinnamon protein rice cake with strawberry jam and chia seeds.
enough for two rice cakes
♦2 brown rice cakes
♦3 tbs. plain Greek yogurt
♦2 tbs. whey protein
♦1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
♦1 tbs. cinnamon (or to taste)
♦Jam/jelly (any flavor, organic if clean)
Mix yogurt, protein, vanilla and cinnamon together. Slather on rice cakes. Top with a dollop of jam and a sprinkling of chia seeds.
Calories? About 120 calories per rice cake
Total time? 3 minutes
Cost? $1.29 rice cakes, $2.99 jam, $1 Greek yogurt
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. These rice cakes helped kill my hunger and give me a little boost after a strenuous morning. The health benefits of chia seeds are plenty, but in this case, the fact that they absorb 10 times their weight in water helped keep me full until dinner time arrived. I am usually a little iffy on yogurt-based things, but this protein “sauce” was delicious. The only point deducted came from how messy this was. This is the first time I’ve topped rice cakes with anything outside of my usual sunflower seed butter or the occasional avocado and cayenne pepper, so I’m excited to experiment some more.
Posted in desserts | Tagged: chia seeds, cinnamon, clean eating, jam, jelly, protein, rice cake, sauce, strawberry | 4 Comments »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 23, 2011
Last I wrote, I was just moving into my new place and incredibly stressed. Living out of boxes is one thing; baking out of boxes is another. I’m only slightly more settled now, and coming off two crazy weeks of baked good orders. Just when it looked like I was going to be able to start writing again, my laptop — which had been clinging to its last life for the last six months now — took its very last breath. Worse still, all of my food photos from the last year+ are — err, were on there.
Fortunately, I came up with a new recipe (and new photos) to share while I work out this computer quandary: pumpkin spice oatmeal — the perfect breakfast for any fall morning.
♦1/2 c. quick oats
♦1/2 c. water
♦1/2 c. almond milk (regular milk works perfectly well, too!)
♦1/4 tsp. salt
♦3 tbs. canned pumpkin
♦2 tsp. cinnamon
♦1 tsp. nutmeg
♦1/4 tsp. ginger
♦1-1/2 tbs. brown sugar
Combine oats, water, milk and salt in small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture starts to simmer and thicken. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and mix until well combined. Pour into bowl and let stand to thicken for one minute. Sprinkle brown sugar on top, and enjoy. Makes one serving.
Total time? 10 minutes.
Cost? $2.19 canister of quick oats, $1.59 can of pumpkin, $2.64 almond milk.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. Whenever fall comes around, I buy a can of pumpkin and put it in just about anything I can think of. Given my newfound, not-so-secret love for oatmeal, it was only a matter of time before I was eating pumpkin for breakfast. Didn’t disappoint, either. The brown sugar is a must because the dish isn’t sweet enough on its own, but you don’t have to overdo it. If you’re short on time in the mornings, drop this in a mug and take it to go.
Posted in breakfast | Tagged: almond milk, autumn, breakfast, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, oatmeal, pumpkin | 4 Comments »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on June 21, 2011
And you probably thought I was going to have to give up my KitchenAid mixer.
I may have met my no-two-week-hiatus goal, but not within enough time for me to celebrate. I won’t bore you with all the details, but lately I’ve been too busy to breathe and too tired to function. This morning, I accidentally dumped some wintergreen mouthwash in my hands instead of hair gel. I need to either stop buying like-colored, dissimilar products, or get a few more hours of sleep per night. Either way…
I’ve been seeking quick-and-easy meals on the go during this hectic time, so I might as well share one of faves: vanilla chai granola.
I’m a little embarrassed about how long it took me to realize the gigantic canister of oats sitting on top of my fridge could be used for something other than oatmeal (or oatmeal cookies), but once I discovered how easy it is to make your own granola, I was hooked. So easy. So cheap. Endless possibilities!
For my first round of granola, I attempted to slice whole almonds into slivers, and shot shards of them all over my kitchen. If making things more difficult than they need to be isn’t your style, you can purchase sliced almonds at any supermarket. I used the same spice mix I did for the vanilla chai cupcakes with slightly different proportions, but feel free to experiment. Your house will smell amazing either way — well, as long as you don’t burn it.
♦4 c. old-fashioned oats
♦1/2 c. sliced almonds (can add more or less)
♦1/2 c. brown sugar
♦1 tsp. cardamom
♦1 tsp. cinnamon
♦1/2 tsp. ground ginger
♦1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
♦1/4 tsp. ground cloves
♦1/3 c. vegetable oil
♦1/4 c. honey
♦2 tbl. granulated sugar
♦1 tbl. vanilla extract
Line a baking sheet with tinfoil, and lightly coat with baking spray. Combine oats, almonds and spices in a large bowl. Over medium heat, bring oil, honey and sugars to a simmer. Remove from heat, add vanilla and coat dry ingredients with liquid. Toss around until completely covered. Spread contents evenly across baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. IMPORTANT: Be sure to check on granola every 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally for an even bake. The granola burns easily, so don’t neglect it! Allow time to cool before eating.
smells prettier than it looks!
Total time? 10 minutes prep, 22 minutes cook.
Cost? Sliced almonds from Wegman’s self-serve candy/nuts area, less than $2, oats (obviously more than you’ll need), $2.
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out of 10. My expectations were low; I just couldn’t believe something that’s so expensive in the stores could be so easy to make… and make well. The flavor was outstanding, and this yielded enough to have in yogurt, with milk or by the handful every day for nearly a week. (Store in a Tupperware.) I like to keep my granola simple — just oats and almonds — but feel free to add in sunflower seeds, wheat germ, walnuts, etc.
Posted in breakfast | Tagged: almonds, cardamom, chai, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, granola, honey, oats, vanilla | Leave a Comment »
Posted by culinaryneophyte on January 18, 2011
I know so many people who say, “I’m not a breakfast person.” I’m not either — I find the options limited and my culinary creativity stifled with breakfast foods — but having a little sumthin’ sumthin’ in the morning gets my day going, so I’ll usually grab an English muffin and count the minutes until I’m hungry enough for some midday masterpiece. My breakfast-bitter brain was blown last week, though, when I embarked on a National Oatmeal Month celebration with LiveWell360’s peanut butter cup oatmeal (slightly adapted).
In addition to not being a breakfast person, I’m also not an oatmeal person, but this recipe looked simple and inexpensive (especially considering I “borrowed” a handful of oats from my roommate’s stash), so I gave it a go.
♦1/2 c. rolled oats
♦1 c. water
♦pinch of salt
♦1/2 medium banana, sliced
♦1 tsp. vanilla extract
♦1-1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
♦1/4 tsp. cinnamon
♦1 tsp. sugar
♦1 tbsp. peanut butter
Heat oats, water and salt oats in a saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, stir in bananas and mix until thickened. Add vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder and sugar until mixed. Either pour mixture into a bowl and top with peanut butter, or — as I did, at left — mix peanut butter into heated mixture because you can’t gracefully get it off the spoon.
Total time? 10 minutes, start to finish.
Cost? $2 oats. $2 peanut butter, 45¢ banana
Overall success relative to expectations? 6 out of 10. The taste wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, — not like biting into a Reese’s — but I still enjoyed it. The banana is virtually undetectable, but helps create a nice, thick consistency. The cinnamon was a little strong, so I’d probably drop that down to 1/8 tsp. next time. If this isn’t your thing, but you’re still interested in celebrating the last two weeks of National Oatmeal Month, check out the 30-Day Oatmeal Challenge for all sorts of crazy concoctions.
Posted in breakfast | Tagged: banana, breakfast, chocolate, cinnamon, National Oatmeal Month, oatmeal, peanut butter, peanut butter cup | 3 Comments »