Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Hey ya’ll. Happy Friday!

I have been having a great week spending lots of time outside in the sun. It has been beautiful here and I’m trying to take full advantage! Another thing I’m trying to take advantage of? Summer produce! That means my meals have been filled with watermelon, cherries, spinach (from my garden!), and lots and lots of berries!

I love breakfast. I also really love having breakfast already made so in the morning I can get a quick breakfast that is much more nutritious than most grab and go options.

My love affair with quinoa started about 2 years ago, but I’ve only recently branched out into sweetened quinoa and I can’t believe it took me as long as it did! When mixed with a little sugar, milk, cinnamon, etc. it takes on the consistency of something like a little heartier Cream of Wheat, or, a bit smoother oatmeal. Plus, you are getting way more protein than with either of those breakfast options and we all know how great protein is for keeping you full till lunch!

 

The best part is you can bake this up on a Sunday night and have breakfast all ready to go for Monday morning. Let me tell you it is a much better to start the week with a warm bowl of this breakfast quinoa than frazzeld-ly grabbing a granola bar on the way out the door. I know because usually I go with option number 2 there. :)

When the quinoa bakes the top gets a brown, slightly crunchy, delicious crust, but the inside stays rich, creamy, slightly sweet and very satisfying.

Start the day off right. It IS the most important meal after all!

Enjoy!

Also, if you are looking for some more breakfast ideas, here are some great ones!

Sweet Potato Hash

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Cherry Almond Granola

Fresh Strawberry and Rosemary Scones

Cranberry Almond Quinoa Cookies

Mixed Stone Fruit Granola

Fig-Vanilla Granola with Flaxseed

Whole Wheat Honey Vanilla Pancakes

 

Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bake
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup soy milk (I use vanilla flavored) – (can also substitute cow’s milk if you don’t have soy)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1½ cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stir to combine
  3. Pour into a greased baking dish
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until top is golden brown

 

 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday – Supper Club Fiesta!

 

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I have been so excited for Wednesday all week. No, not just because it means we are that much closer to the weekend. Because I get to tell you all about my awesome Supper Club fiesta! (but let’s be real, I’m pretty excited about the weekend too!)

I’m kind of obsessed with Supper Club. If you remember, Supper Club is a group of 4 couples centered around eating. What could be better!?! We rotate who hosts and each couple has to contribute something to the meal. It. Is. Awesome.

This time, Michael and I hosted and we had a Mexican Fiesta! I made homemade tortillas (easier than you think!), black beans, chorizo, poblano shrimp, and cumin and ancho chicken. Recipes coming soon :)

Elise and Greg made this to die for salad! So simple, but ridiculously fresh, clean, and delicious. I am totally stealing the recipe and might be making it for myself once a week this summer!! :) I seriously think this might be my go-to take along anytime I’m invited anywhere!

We brought out the kids in us with dessert! Churros! Of course with melted chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Ohmygoodness my mouth is watering as I type. I mean, how often to do you get to eat a churro??? Side note: If you think churros would go amazingly well with red wine, you would be RIGHT! :)

We also had a sofreakingfantastic appetizer that I ate so quickly I didn’t get a picture, BUT it was a healthy 7 layer dip. What a great idea! Healthy black bean refried beans as a layer, fresh chopped tomatoes, green onions, olives, avocado, reduced fat cheese, and instead of sour cream, greek yogurt!! Soooo good. I definitely ate about half the pan myself – sorry everyone else! :)

I had so much fun getting the fiesta table setting together. And you’d better believe we used the sombrero straws!

Is there anything better than getting together with friends over food??? I think not.

Happy Wednesday! :)

 

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Tofu “Peppercorn Ranch” Salad Dressing

Hey!

It’s time for some magic! Well, not magic magic. Magic as in getyourhusbandtoeattofudressingwhiletrickinghimintobelievingit’sreallyranch magic. :)

I get some kind of sick pleasure out of tricking people into thinking things that I make are the full-fat original version when really they are the “healthed up,” lightened up, full-flavor versions. You should have seen my face while my hubby was eating the first few bites of this salad. It was like a kid waiting for a jack-in-the-box to open!

But guess what?? He LOVED it! He even said it was one of the best salad dressings he’s ever had.

I love it when he says stuff like that. :)

I served this dressing up on a steakhouse style wedge salad and if you ask me, it is even better than the mayo/sour cream version those guys serve. The tofu makes it super rich and creamy. There is a LOT of peppery flavor wrapped up in here, so if you aren’t so into pepper, just reduce the amount in the recipe.

This recipe makes a good amount, and keeps well in the fridge for about a week. It is also great for dipping veggies! My next idea is to dunk some spicy BBQ’d chicken strips in a vat of this stuff.

Anyone want to join me??? :)

Enjoy!

Tofu “Peppercorn Ranch” Salad Dressing
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package silken tofu, drained
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons dill
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 1½ teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Season again with salt and pepper if desired

 

Fresh Cherry Crumble

Happy Monday!

Summer = cherries. Well, at least in my book.

When I was a kid, Ginny and Papa (my grandparents) had a big cherry tree in their yard. My brother, sisters, cousins, and I would climb the cherry tree and sit there for hours and hours picking cherries right off the tree and eating them. We would just hang out and chat. We would spit the pits as far as we could (or at each other!). It was the best time ever.

Ever since then, cherries hold a special place in my heart…it doesn’t hurt that they are delicious! So, when Michael and I were at the farmer’s market last weekend and found a local farmer selling his last bags of cherries at half price, I couldn’t resist!

Side note: have you guys every gone to the farmer’s market later in the day? Like when it’s almost over? It is a great trick! A lot of the vendors reduce their prices to sell their produce so they don’t have to lug it home so you can get some great deals!

Ok, so I got home with about 5 pounds of cherries! I knew this cherry crumble was in my future.

Making the crumble out of fresh cherries can be a bit of a hassle because you have to seed them, but the extra work is totally worth it. The tart, juicy, sweet, fresh cherry flavor is so summery it makes me want to climb a tree.

The fresh cherries aren’t the only thing that makes this crumble the perfect dessert, the topping is really special too! The slivered almonds work so well with the cherries. The oats make it super crunchy, and with just a hint of brown sugar it’s not too sweet, just sweet enough.

You can make one big crumble or little individual crumbles. They come out of the oven hot and bubbly, smelling nutty and sugary and amazing. So amazing in fact, you just might burn your tongue on that first bite cuz you might not be able to wait!

Need a solution? Top it off with some vanilla ice cream to cool it down :)

Enjoy!

Fresh Cherry Crumble
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh bing cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • For crumb topping
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup oats
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stir gently to combine
  3. Coat the bottom of one large baking dish or 6 smaller ramekins with cooking spray
  4. Spoon cherry mixture into dish(es)
  5. In another bowl, combine next 9 ingredients (all ingredients for crumble topping)
  6. Using a pastry cutter, cut cold butter into the mixture (this with break up the slivered almonds as well)
  7. Spoon crumble topping over cherries
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes for a large dish or 20-25 min for smaller dishes

 

 

Arugula and Parsley Pesto

Hey there!

Trying to go green? Me too! Well, with my food that is :) I have arugula growing like crazy in my garden (tough problem to have, I know!) so I have been thinking about creative ways to use it. This arugula pesto is perfect! It uses up LOTS of arugula, and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and used on all kinds of dishes.

Parsley works really well in this dish because it counters the natural bitterness of arugula. Combine that with the acidity of the lemon juice and the spice of the raw garlic and you’ve got a perfectly balanced pesto!

The key ingredient in any pesto? Good olive oil.

Don’t get my wrong, I love trying to tweak recipes to make them a bit healthier. But in my opinion there are certain things you just shouldn’t touch. There are recipes all over the internet for “olive oil free” pestos. I’ve tried a few, and haven’t found any I like. Have you?? I think there are just some things that shouldn’t be healthified. To me, pesto and olive oil go hand in hand. Plus, it’s already healthy! Evoo is good fat! Don’t worry :)

I used this pesto over whole wheat pasta and served it cold on a warm, sunny, afternoon. I also toasted up some kalamata olive loaf and spread this pesto over the top for a 2 minute appetizer. Next, I want to try it with grilled veggies, I think it will be delicious!

You can make a big batch, store it in an air tight jar, and it will keep in the frige for a week.

What will you use yours for???

Enjoy!

Arugula and Parsley Pesto
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bag arugula (or about 7 oz if it’s from your garden!)
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put first 6 ingredients in a blender along with ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. If necessary, add additional olive oil by the tablespoon until you reach the desired consistency
  4. Season again to taste with salt and pepper

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!

I’ve been doing a lot of good eating lately. Combined with an amazing weekend and the fact that my garden is starting to mature, I’ve got lots to share this week!

I’ve been eating fresh peas straight out of my garden like they are going out of style. They are just so delicious and snackable. I’ll outside working in the yard, or inside looking at the yard :) and just grab a few to nibble on. It’s the perfect snack!

I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve had an insatiable craving for coffee. Do you know when I crave it the most? Right after a work out! Is that weird? Shouldn’t I be craving water, or coconut water, or something like that? Nope, not me. I want a big steaming cup of joe. And I’ve been indulging my cravings like crazy! Especially this weekend! Up in Calistoga we went to this great boutique coffee shop.

Yo el Rey is an organic, fair trade, certified green coffee shop with amazing coffee. They have the roaster right there in the shop. As soon as you walk in you are overwhelmed by the eye opening smell of the roasting, grinding, brewing coffee. They make every cup by hand and it is worth the wait! After my American with steamed soy I was ready to take on the world!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

What cravings have you been indulging lately???

 

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Calistoga, Ca

Happy Tuesday All!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending some very dear friends’ wedding in beautiful Calistoga, California. Calistoga is a little city in the greater “wine country” of California and it is absolutely gorgeous. The little town is so cute and quaint, filled with mom and pop shops, delicious restaurants, and as luck would have it, a farmer’s market right outside our door! One of my hubby’s favorite things is peanut brittle and we found some amazing peanut brittle from Ellene! Ellene’s Handmade Peanut Brittle is thin, light, crunchy, sweet, and…SALTY! Well, we got the sea salt brittle and all I can say is it was gone before we walked the two blocks back to the hotel!

The wedding was perfect. The setting was a fantastically beautiful home with an expansive bright green yard. The decor was lovely, with bright pink peonies (also carried by the bridesmaids) and burlap runners adorning the tables.  Music was provided by Brian London of Ocean Royal, who not only played great tunes for the ceremony, but also led a jam session in the bus on the way back home! So much fun!

The day was perfect…it was also HOT. Like 106 degrees hot! But the bride and groom provided everyone with fans to help cool us off, as well as a bar stocked with cold beers and cocktails. The lemon drops went down a liiiitle too quickly in 100+ degree temperatures though! :)

We had such an amazing time celebrating our friends! So much fun in fact, that this was our breakfast the next day!

My entire 21+ life I have tried to like bloody mary’s. I wish I liked them so badly. I just don’t. So I’m the baby with the champagne :)

Congratulations Jeff & Carrie!!!

 

Spicy Black Bean Dip

Happy Monday Folks!

I love dips. All kinds of dips. Especially versatile dips that you can eat with a variety of “dippers.” This spicy black bean dip fits the bill perfectly! Plus, with only FOUR ingredients (and all the work done by the food processor) it comes together in a snap.

When you put the black beans in a food processor they develop a super creamy texture. Add in some greek yogurt for some tang and to counter the spice of the jalapeño.

Another great thing about this dip? This is one dip that is virtually guilt free. Did you know black beans were a “super food?” A year or so ago I laminated (yes, maybe I have too much time on my hands) a list of 20 “super foods” and put them on our fridge. It’s a great visual reminder of some foods I should be buying, cooking, and eating more of. When I first came across the list,to my surprise and delight, black beans were theret! I love black beans and cook with them a lot, so it’s an easy check to put on my weekly superfood count. Some of the others…not so much. Anyone have a good recipe for sardines?? :)

This dip keeps really well in the fridge, so make a big batch and snack on it all week. I love it with sweet potato chips from Trader Joe’s and mini bell peppers, but feel free to experiment with veggies, crackers, and chips of your choice! The level of spice can be easily adapted to your taste buds, too. I like a good amount of spice, but my husband love TONS of spice. So, when I made this batch I took out about half for me, then aded another jalapeño  and blended again for a super spicy version for Michael. On the other hand, if you aren’t into spice, just take out the seeds and ribs of the jalapeño-that’s where most of the heat of the pepper lives, so take it out if you want a milder dip.

And don’t feel bad having an extra scoop, after all, it’s a super food! :)

Enjoy!

Spicy Black Bean Dip
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cans low sodium back beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 jalapeños, with seeds and ribs
  • 2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine first four ingredients in a food processor
  2. Process until mixture is very smooth (about 2 minutes)
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  4. Note: For a milder dip, removes seeds and ribs from jalapeños

 

 

Blueberry Smash

Happy Friday!!!

This weekend I’m headed up to wine country for two wonderful people’s nuptials. I just love weddings in wine country and knowing the bride and groom I am sure this wedding is going to be a BLAST!

Unfortunately, it is also supposed to be 100 degrees! (seriously, that is the forecast!) So I’m sure we’ll be drinking plenty of “cool-me-down” cocktails (and of course lots of water ;) )

Speaking of cool-me-down-cocktails….you have got to try this blueberry smash!

This cocktail is filled with refreshing, fruity flavors. It’s perfect for lounging with the girls in the sun, or for your backyard BBQ, or for a rainy night inside imagining you are on a beach! Plus, you are getting tons of blueberry antioxidant action making this cocktail 100% good for you…right???

It’s also pretty fun to make because you throw everything into a pitcher and get to smash it all with a muddler. Really get some arm action going here- hey! this drink is a workout too!

After you muddle everything up stir in vodka, soda, and elderflower liqueur. Serve it up over ice. It’s best to let the pitcher sit an hour or so to let the flavors meld-it also helps the color look pretty-but I totally understand if that’s not happening, :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Blueberry Smash
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2½ cups vodka
  • ½ cup elderflower liqueur
  • ⅔ cup soda water
  • ice
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher combine blueberries, lemons, limes, and mint.
  2. Muddle well with a muddler or back of a spoon.
  3. Stir in vodka and elderflower liqueur (if possible, let pitcher sit for 1 hour to let flavors blend), stir in soda water.
  4. Serve over ice.

 

 

Roasted Strawberry Scones

Oh hey there!

I’ve had the past two days off of work and I am loving the extra time in the morning! There is something about being home on a weekday that just seems…better. Don’t get me wrong, I love the weekend, but sitting on your porch with a cup of coffee and one of these scones at 10am on a Tuesday is just…perfect.

Have you ever roasted strawberries? These scones would be good with fresh strawberries too, but roasting them brings out a carmely sweetness that is totally different than fresh strawberries. Imagine the filling of a strawberry pie wrapped up in a scone. You want to quit reading and make these right now, huh??

This dough is really sticky, don’t worry! That just means you’re doing it right! Always make sure when making scones to use really cold butter. That’s what makes them light and fluffy and airy (and what makes me want to eat the entire batch!

Even if you don’t have a weekday off, make a batch of these, grab a cup of coffe, and spend 10 minutes enjoying this sweet, fluffy, nutty (whole wheat flour!), roasty, strawberry-y scones.

Or, eat one in your car as you’re rushing out the door on the way to to work. They’ll taste just as good :)

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Strawberry and Rosemary Scones

Roasted Strawberry Scones
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
  • raw sugar for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Roast strawberries for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Lower the oven to 375 degrees F. Line another baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, mix together the flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cold butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the milk until the mixture forms a dough (you may have to use your hands here!). Fold in the roasted strawberries. The mixture will be sticky! Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Shape scones into triangles (or whatever shape you like!) and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle the tops of each scone with about ½ t of raw sugar.
  7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer the cooked scones onto a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.

 

What I Ate Wednesday – Snack Attack!

We’re halfway to the weekend people! Cannot wait! How bout you??

This month the theme of WIAW is “Sensible Snacking” so today I’m sharing some recent snacks that have been on my table and in my belly!

First up: NACHOS! One of my all time top favorite snacks – especially in summer. Especially especially with one of these in hand. I make mine with cheese (duh!), black beans, and LOTS of jalapeños. Then when they come out of the oven I throw on tons to tomatoes, green onion, salsa, guac, and GREEK YOGURT. That’s right you won’t find me eating sour cream with my nachos. Greek yogurt tastes exactly the same (or better) and is much better for you! Try it!

When it gets hot outside, nothing sounds better than some COLD snackage. Lately I’ve beeb loving this homemade black bean dip. It goes great with veggies (or chips! but since this is sensible snacking I’ll stick with veggies :) )

My all time favorite summer time snack? Watermelon! I buy them 2 at a time! I cut one up so I have it on hand  whenever I’m feeling snacky. Bonus: you actually DO get water from watermelon! So it’s the perfect snack to have when spending some time in the sun :)

We can’t be sensible ALL the time right?

This past Sunday my husband and I went to the San Francisco Giant’s baseball game. It was a perfect, sunny day in SF. Round the 6th inning Lou Seal (the Giant’s mascot) was throwing out bags of cracker jacks. Maybe not the most sensible snack, but Cracker Jacks, beer, ballgame, sun…doesn’t get much better than that! Oh, except if the Cracker Jacks are FREE! Thanks Lou!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

 

 

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Grilled Portobello Burgers

Summer. Al fresco dining. Long evenings. BBQ. BURGERS.

But…mushroom burgers???

Y.E.S.

My mom used to trick us into eating new foods by putting them in familiar “packaging.” Having parents that forbid picky eating was one of the best parts of growing up because now there are hardly any foods I “don’t like.” I was also never allowed to say “I don’t like” something-it was always “I don’t care for (blank).” I’m actually still not sure quite what the difference is except one sounds nicer, especially when someone other than your mom made dinner. What’s the point? If you think you don’t like mushrooms try this twist on familiar packaging and see if you still “don’t care for them.”  :)

These grilled portobello burgers are so satisfying you won’t even notice you’re going meatless. In fact, the marinated mushrooms are so meaty, if you close your eyes you’d swear you weren’t biting down on just veggies.

And then there’s the flavor…oh, the flavor!

First of all portobello mushrooms alone have a delicious beefy, earthy flavor.

Combine that with the fact that they take a marinade very very well and you get an out of this world flavorful burger.

The combo of balsamic vinegar, herbs, and mustard compliments the natural flavor of the mushroom and makes these burgers so flavorful. No ketchup necessary! (but don’t forget the aioil! we’ll get to that later…)

These burgers grill up super quickly. Top with cheese, avocado, a thick slice of onion, and roasted red bell pepper. Don’t forget to slather on your homemade aioli-which will really impress your guests. You don’t have to tell them it took 30 seconds flat in the blender ;)

Next time you’re ready to fire up the grill, swap your meat for a mushroom. Then don’t feel bad about having dessert!

Enjoy!

Grilled Portobello Burgers
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large Portobello Mushroom Caps
  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 garlic cloves-minced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Aioli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Toppings
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 freshly roasted red bell pepper (or 1 jar prepared)
  • 4 fresh hamburger buns
Instructions
  1. To make aioli: combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make marinade: Combine vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, herbs de provence, salt, and pepper in a blender. Emulsify (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  3. Prepare mushrooms. Remove stems. Use the back of a spoon to remove gills as best you can. Place the mushrooms stem side up in a rectangular baking dish. Pour marinade over mushrooms. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
  4. Grill mushrooms over medium high heat 5-8 minutes, until tender and very slightly charred. During the last minute of grilling, add cheese and let melt. Assemble burgers with aioli, avocado, red pepper, and onion.

 

 

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