Tag Archives: healthy

nutbut

I don’t know if I have ever fully opened up to you all about my love for nut butter. Let me share my heart with you a little today.

I have a friend wo has been known to challenge people to a game called “I love peanut butter more than you love peanut butter”, which usually ends in him telling his opponent that if there was a puppy in the road and a jar of peanut butter next to it, and a car was hurtling towards the pair at top speed, he would save the jar of peanut butter before the puppy (he has even been know to push the hypothetical puppy into the path of the hypothetical car on his way to the hypothetical peanut butter jar in order to win the game).

I’m not going to challenge you all to any hypothetical duals. I do, however, happen to have a bit of hard evidence.

(not pictured: my jar of tahini)

When you get to 6 (uh..7) jars, you start wondering if you have a problem. Actually, at this point in time I’m down to 4; I polished off the scrapings of both the chocolate almond butter and the crunchy pb in the form of overnight oats (one of the best breakfasts there is).

But.. I also have a stash squirreled away…

I’ll leave the diagnosis up to you, while I focus on the nut butter.

It’s the component of most of the breakfasts I eat that I believe really makes the meal stick with me. The healthy fats and protein are a satisfying combo, and then on top of that you get the vitamin E, iron, calcium, and antioxidants that occur in nuts and seeds in various quantities. I think the fact that the nuts are ground until their oils release means that the nutrients are brought out from their cells, ready for absorption. And your tongue can tell! Isn’t a spoonful of peanut butter more satisfying than a handful of peanuts? (or is that just me?)

Oatmeal with figs, peanut butter, and maple syrup.

And the enrichment of your life via nut butters isn’t limited to breakfast. Last night I made a saute of sweet potatoes, turnips, red pepper, and onion in a easy sauce made from a mixture of tahini, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Just mix approximately equal amounts of those ingredients together, adjust until you like how it tastes, and thin it with water to add to your saute towards the end of cooking. You can also do salad dressings from similar mixtures.

Nut butter is an easy ingredient to play around with, and the results will seldom be unsatisfactory. Worth keeping a jar or two (or six…) in your pantry for some easily-accesible energy and flavor.

I’m always open to new ideas for things to do with nut butters, so if you have any to share, please feel free!

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Summer Winner Dinner

This is one of those dishes that pops into my brain every once in a while, and then I can’t stop thinking about it until we make it for dinner. If you ignore the fact that it requires the oven, it’s the perfect summer recipe. It’s very simple, and does a great job featuring the flavors of fresh garden tomatoes, basil, and zucchini.

All you do is roast sliced tomatoes and zucchini…

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And layer them with a mixture of ricotta, egg, basil, garlic, and Parmesan.

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Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Easy as crustless ricotta summer vegetable pie.
Actually it’s more like a lasagna without the noods.
(That’s noodles, for those of you who didn’t go to college with me… As featured in the self-explanatory dorm-friendly meals of buttery noods and saucy noods.)

Here’s the recipe.
It’s a Washington Post recipe from 2 summers ago. The recipe says to sprinkle the garlic on top, but we mix it in with the cheese mixture. I’m sure both are good. Or double the garlic and do both. That’s probably good too. It’s one of those recipes that’s hard to ruin. If you do manage to
ruin it you can always call on the backup dinner of buttery noods… : )

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Fillings

Life has been full.

School is busy, but I’m loving the class. I’m still having fun waiting tables. I’ve been running a little more this week, after a total of only 9 miles for the entirety of last week (it was probably my busiest week yet). I’m tired but happy.

Expeditions…

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O’s game! (they lost :()

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But I won because the weather and company were great and I ate grilled corn 🙂

Experiments…

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It’s called a waterfall braid… Looks cool when it’s down, too!

and Eats!

Quesadillas are easy, quick, and can be really healthy. Oh yeah and they taste good.

I have here two variations I made this week:

Sweet potato, goat cheese, bellavitano (nutty, a little sharp, delicious) and chard…

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(chard not pictured…you’ll just have to take my word for it)

Spinach, goat cheese, and a fried egg…

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Both are so good! Last year I made my own tortillas– that would definitely take these up another notch.

May your life and your quesadillas be full of good things!!

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Slapdash

Ugh.. I wrote over half a post and then lost it.

So here’s a summary!

I started a summer class three weeks ago, which means I’m working less, which means I’m cooking more. Well, by cooking I usually mean chop/sautéing… But it’s more than I was doing before : )

I took a little study break to post a few food pictures. They’re taken with iProducts of course… I need to get back in the habit of taking “real” photographs… But I suppose it’s fitting: slapdash pictures of slapdash food!

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Sautéed purple cabbage with carrots and tofu next to a salad with summer squash, apple, and homemade honey-mustard dressing.

Dressings are my variation these days… They’re so easy to make out of random ingredients.  It may sound unlikely, but adding some nut butter to a dressing makes it creamy and adds a smoothness to the flavor too. I started making dressings with tahini and lemon juice, but now I’ll put almond butter in a mustard vinaigrette and it’s great!

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Sauteed greens, onions, and summer squash, topped with an over-easy egg!

The purple cabbage in the first picture and the egg seen above are both from the Farmers Market that comes to campus on Wednesdays. The eggs are SO delicious… possibly the best I’ve ever eaten. (Well, besides the duck egg I recently ate, which was laid by the ducks owned by the Brew Master at work…hopefully I’ll share more about those later.)

Okay, back to the books… I will leave you with the cake Rosie and I made yesterday. I saw it on Not Quite Nigella and sent the link straight to Rosie. She and I have had great success with liquor-infused cakes in the past (the highlight, in my opinion, being the Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake), and this recipe spoke to us.

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And though pictures may speak louder than words, they don’t speak as loudly as tender almond cake soaked in a citrusy and oh-so-delicately-spicy syrup. So you may have to make yourself a cake : )

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Three Things Wednesday

Like I’ve said, 3 is a good number for Wednesday. And on this Wednesday, I have 3 quick things to share!

1- Muffins!

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My friend Chris and I were going to go running, but it was pouring rain, so we made these muffins instead. My brother and dad made beer a while ago and saved the grain they had extracted the malt from ( the spent grain) for me to experiment with. I toasted it in the oven, then added it to this recipe for carrot muffins. I added a whole cup in place of the 1/4 cup oats– I figured the spent grain would not absorb much moisture given that it is mostly fiber at this point in its life. I also subbed coconut oil for half of the olive oil, and added almonds and chopped fresh pineapple.

They are good! If I made them again I would probably reduce the amount of sugar to half a cup– the bananas adds plenty of sweetness. They work perfectly for breakfast crumbled on top of a bowl of yogurt and fruit.

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2- Banana splits for breakfast

Just halve a banana, add (Greek) yogurt, and any other toppings you desire. Like honey and peanut butter:

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(Obviously, I’m getting lazy and just taking pictures with my phone… Sorry!)

3- Another fast-prep but noteworthy lunch

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Goat cheese, avocado and roasted red pepper quesadilla (including some chopped mint and cilantro we had in the fridge), served with salad and a basil lime sauce (made by mixing pesto and a squeeze of lime juice into Greek yogurt). This quesadilla was definitely a winner.

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Okay, now I have to go attend to some calls to figure out grad school class/financial stuff… Wish me luck!

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Frittaterole

Another leftover makeover. That seems to be my thing these day.

My favorite thing about rice is actually the smell. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste great with cheddar and broccoli in a frittata/casserole hybrid creation.

This was super easy to make and tasted even better than I anticipated.

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First I steamed some broccoli, which, at about 5 minutes, was probably the most time-consuming step. Next I heated some chopped garlic in olive oil until just starting to brown, then added the rice, some salt, and pepper, and cooked to combine the flavors. I added the broccoli, sautéed for just a minute more, then removed the pan from the heat.

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4 eggs. You can do more or less, depending on how much rice you have, how many people your are feeding, or how much you like eggs. I whisked them with a splash of milk.

I grated some cheddar (You can use whatever cheese is most pleasing to you in the moment. Or whatever is in your fridge.), then I mixed the cheddar with the rice and broccoli, which had cooled a little.

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I stirred in the eggs, then dumped it all in my freshly-greased skillet and cooked it on medium heat for about 5 minutes. I also added some goat cheese on top because I like melty goat cheese.

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After it had cooked enough that I could see the eggs were solid almost to the top, I put the pan under the broiler for about 3 minutes to cook/brown the top. This will only work if you are using cast iron, or some other pan that can go in the oven. If this does not apply to you, you can cook it all the way through by covering the pan with a lid as soon as you add the egg/rice mixture. It’s done when the eggs are solid all the way through to the top! It will smell like delicious browning cheese.

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I forgot to take a picture until after we started eating it… But all that matters is I remembered before we finished!

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Tiny Little Test…

Our Internet has been totally whacky… Maybe it’s the solar flare? Anyhow, it’s a good opportunity to test the WordPress app on my phone (yes, I upgraded from a flip phone and am now undeniably steeping in iProducts) since it makes it’s own Internet signal. Fancy stuff.

So, here’s yet another breakfast post…
I used to make this for breakfast a lot when I lived in Owego. It’s super simple and a change-up from eating oats as oatmeal or granola. Ashley at edibleperspective.com made it up; she has genius breakfast recipes.

I only have one picture, and I took it after eating half… But I like to think it just made it artsy : )

She calls it a banana scramble, but I think of it as more of a banana oat cake. Whatever you call it, it’s great, especially once you add toppings.

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Mine is topped with peanut butter, fig butter, and coconut.

Breakfast Banana Oat Cake
from edibleperspective.com

3 Tbsp rolled oats
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut
1/2 banana
A few shakes of the cinnamon shaker
A splash of vanilla

1. Smash the banana up with a fork until moist.
2. Mix in all the other ingredients. It will look kind of like cookie dough.
3. Grease a pan and heat over medium heat.
4. Put your ‘dough’ in the pan and flatten it into a pancake.
5. Cook for 3 minutes until starting to brown, then flip. You’ll need to use a spatula that fits under almost the whole cake.
6. Cook another 2-3 minutes; then remove from pan, cover with whatever you want, and eat!

The reason this is especially delicious is because the banana starts to caramelize. It’s also chewy and satisfying from the oats.

Okay my eyes are strained and I think I’m getting carpel tunnel… But here’s a completed blog post! What an amazing little device of convenience and fun that may be damaging my health : )

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