Coconut Raspberry Steel-Cut Oats

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Good Morning and Happy Tuesday!  With yesterday being a holiday, I actually got a break from my 7-day work/school schedule and it. was. GLORIOUS.  It’s back to the schedule today, though, and like I said last week, planning is key.  I made up my shopping list yesterday and hit up Earth Fare for some groceries and was able to find some really good stuff!  Am I the only one who gets more excited in a supermarket than a mall?  Possibly, but I’m okay with that!  I got home and wrote out all my meals on my kitchen board so there will be no meal confusion this week!

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As you can see, I’m a bit of an organizational…. “enthusiast”.  Yeah, let’s go with that.  With work, school, and everything in between though, being organized (especially in regards to nutrition) is what keeps me going!  This simple meal calendar only takes me about 15 minutes to create on Sundays during my lunch break at work (yeah for multitasking!) and it really 1)eliminates the stress of what the heck I’m going to eat each day on the go and 2) saves me tons of money, since if I didn’t pack my food, I’d be scouting out all the Chipotles and Pita Pits I could!

A wonderful surprise happened on Sunday: a ton of apples were donated at work for the horses.  Like, a whole big crate of them.  How is this beneficial to me?  Well, so many were donated that we weren’t going to be able to  use them all before they’d go bad.  I obviously volunteered to take them off their hands. Nothing beats fresh apple juice!  It’s like dessert!

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Okay, you’re probably wondering where the heck this steel-cut oats recipe is!  A little background first: so I bought a canister of oats a few weeks ago, not reading the label.  When I got home, I realized they were steel-cut oats, and when I opened the canister, it did NOT look like the oatmeal I was familiar with.  I was so confused!  I bought it though, so I was going to eat it.  I let it simmer for a half hour just like the directions told me to and….. They were insanely good!  I’ve been on an oat kick ever since, and I’ve found that a few unlikely ingredients have made for one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever made!

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Coconut Raspberry Steel-cut Oats

  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (make it yourself here)
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • small handful organic raspberries
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut butter (or coconut shreds)

 

  1. Bring the water and the milk to a boil.
  2. Add in oats and coconut and reduce to low/medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Do some yoga or paint your nails while you wait. (your kitchen will start to smell amazing)
  4. Pour into a bowl and add in pumpkin seeds and raspberries.
  5. Savor the foodgasm and sing my praises.

This breakfast is delicious, filling, and energizing!  It’ll keep you going till lunch, I promise you!  You can always experiment with different fruits, or added sweeteners if you’ve got a little sweet tooth going on in the morning. I’ve added apricots to this recipe before and it has been awesome as well!

Stay healthy and Happy Juicing!

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Homemade Vegetable Stock- Utilizing Juicer Pulp: Part Two

After using up all of my fruit pulp to make some delicious apple coconut pops, I still had a huge bag of vegetable pulp.  What was I going to do with a bag of beet, carrot, celery, cucumber, tomato, spinach, and kale bits?  Surely not make popsicles out of it!  I love my veggies, but that just sounds like a bad idea that should never happen.  I know some people sneak these pieces into breads and muffins, but I’m on a juicing cleanse, so I wouldn’t be able to eat any of that.  The only solution I could think of was to cook up a batch of vegetable stock—a BIG batch of vegetable stock!

This recipe was perfect!  Nothing but water and veggies; all perfectly allowed during a fast.  If I weren’t fasting, I would have probably added a teaspoon of coconut oil to the mixture, and perhaps a pinch of salt, but aside from that, this stock is delicious!  I have been heating it up and drinking it for a little change in routine.  The cold, refreshing juices definitely hit the spot but after days of nothing but cold beverages and hot water with lemon, a nice hot bowl of vegetable broth really hits the spot.  I even ate it with a spoon, so it felt like I was “eating”!  It’s the little things like that which get your mental self on board with tough commitments like a juice cleanse.  As I’ve said before, juice fasts are always easier when you have a partner to lean on, but unfortunately I no longer have that option.  Maybe I’ll write about how to get through this on your own, once I get through my first fast by myself!  Anyways, I’m rambling.  Check out the recipe and let me know what you think!

vegetable stock frame

Vegetable Stock

  • Vegetable pulp from four (4) 16 oz. juices (probably about 8 or 9 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 18-20 cups water

Materials:

  • Cheesecloth (You can even use an old but clean t-shirt! Or coffee filters, panty hose, etc.)
  • A large bowl
  • Canning jars

 

A few notes about the ingredient list:

  • Use whatever spices you like, don’t confine yourself to basil and oregano just because those are the spices I had on hand!
  • it doesn’t matter what vegetables you use in this recipe; it’ll be good no matter what!

 

  1. Add 3 or 4 cups of water and juicer pulp to a large stock pot and turn the stove burner to medium/high.
  2. Once the water begins to boil, add the spices and garlic.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the water to the pot.  Keep the burner on medium/high heat and let the concoction come to a boil.
  4. Turn heat down a few notches and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.

 

Lay the cheesecloth (or shirt!) in the large bowl like a liner.  Once the mixture has cooled, ladle out small amounts at a time into the cloth and strain the liquid out into the bowl.  Transfer the vegetable stock into canning jars and seal.  If freezing (like I did), make sure you leave enough space at the top of the jar for the liquid to expand!  Nothing says epic fail like opening your freezer to what looks like a murder scene of vegetable stock splattered on the walls.

Let me know what you think of this use for juice pulp!  I thought it was pretty delicious!

Until next time, be well and happy juicing!

New Year, New Attitudes

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had an awesome holiday season and stayed relatively healthy!  The beginning of every year is full of resolutions and promises, most of which are geared towards weight loss or some other health topic.  Since I’m fairly satisfied with my health and fitness level (I follow the workout plan by Back on Pointe— short, sweet, and effective!), I decided to focus my new year’s efforts on being smoke free and managing money- budgeting in particular.  I quit smoking almost two years ago, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t bum the occasional cigarette at the bar, or smoke a cigar on a nice summer night.  At 11:50 pm on New Year’s Eve, Ethan and I went outside to have one last cigarette.  It was really disgusting to say the least, but now I’m fueled and ready for a Smoke-Free 2013!  That’s not a goal I forsee having issues with, so I’ll just tell you a little about the money management.  With grad school starting in a week, I know that I’m about to be “broke college student” all over again.  Noooooooooo!  I figure if I can set up a decent finance plan, I may be able to keep my head above water long enough to enjoy myself these next few years.

Basically, I’m sticking to one of the popular “envelope” plans.  This means that I allot a certain amount of money per month for each category, then withdraw the money and put it into separate envelopes– one for each category.  I have 4 categories: Fuel, Grocery, Dining Out, and Personal (clothes, hair stuff, nails, etc.).  Every pay period, I go to the bank and withdraw money for each of the envelopes, then only use that money for my weekly spending (no more card swipes).  The idea is that the rest of the money in the bank goes towards bills and after that, savings.  It’s only day 2 for me (the first week of the year was spent planning), but so far it seems to be working!

Looking at my grocery budget, I quickly realized that I needed to plan out exactly what I was going to eat throughout the week so that I could make the most efficient grocery trip possible.  I made areas to list breakfast, lunch, dinner, and juice (of course!) for each day.  I also added a list at the bottom for organized grocery shopping.  I went shopping Monday night after work, and bought an entire week’s worth of food…. and I was $4.18 under budget!  I put the template into a sheet protector, so that I could write on it with dry-erase marker each week.  Here’s what it looked like in the middle of my planning:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Juice, Water, and Grocery List

So, what was on the agenda for today?

Juice of the day: Orange Cranberry Juice (super yummy!)

5 Valencia oranges and 12 ounces of Cranberries.  Juice it all!  My plan was to throw some frozen mango chunks into a blender with the orange-cranberry juice and get a little more texture, but I ate all the mangoes while cooking dinner.  Oops!

Dinner Recipe: Kale and Chickpea Stew.  I was nervous, like I usually am with new recipes, but it turned out AMAZING!  I am definitely making more next week!  I adapted this recipe from one I got off the website for The Washington Post.  They suggested serving it over hot polenta, but I thought it was super filling all by itself!

1 bunch Kale2 cans Chickpeas (with liquid)2 tbsp Cilantro (chopped)3 Roma Tomatoes (roughly chopped)1 Yellow Onion (chopped)6 Cloves Garlic (minced)1 Cup Water1 tbsp Olive Oil (or any oil)1 tsp Paprika1/4 tsp Corriander1/4 tsp Cumin1/2 tsp Salt2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 bunch Kale
2 cans Chickpeas (with liquid)
2 tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
3 Roma Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 Yellow Onion (chopped)
6 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Cup Water
1 tbsp Olive Oil (or any oil)
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Corriander
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1. Pour about a cup of water into the bottom of a deep pan and once it starts boiling, add the kale and wilt it.  Drain the water and put the kale on a cutting board.  Roughly chop.  Place it into a bowl on the side.

2. Using the same pan, add the oil and on medium heat, add your garlic, onions, and tomatoes.  Let them sizzle for about 4-5 minutes, and then add your cumin, corriander, and paprika.  Let sit for another couple minutes.

3. Add the chickpeas and stir the mixture until it starts barely boiling.  If you want more liquid add another cup of water to the pan.  Put the kale back into the stew.  Simmer everything for about 12 minutes and then add the lemon juice and cilantro.  Enjoy!

I hope you love this recipe as much as I did, so let me know what you think!

Happy Juicing!

Burger Time!

HOLY COW! Actually, “holy vegetable” would be a more appropriate phrase for the deliciousness which just ensued in my kitchen after work! What was this amazing creation, you ask?  ‘Twas a beautiful, spicy black bean burger made by the geniuses at Hilary’s Eat Well.  And eat well I did.  As you can deduce from the packaging, there is no corn, yeast, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, or nut product in this burger.  Vegan munchie or food-allergy-kid’s dream dish!  Or just for the regular joe whose taste buds are looking for a good time.  I finished this fantabulous dinner off with some of my So Delicious minty chocolate chippy, dairy-free, no sugar added “ice cream”.  Now I’m happy, my stomach is content, and yet another day shall pass where I have said no to dairy, meats, and refined sugar.  Eating healthy is proving to be more of a fun hobby than a miserable obligation!  Image