Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Oh, hey! Remember me? It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been way too long. While I’ve still been making and eating lots of good food, my focus lately has been more on my running (I’m in the middle of training for a half marathon right now). A few weeks ago, though, I was browsing through this space, and I realized that I missed it. And soon it’ll be time to start making birthday cakes again (all our birthdays are from late winter to early summer), and those are my favorite posts to look back on! I’m not sure how I often I’ll be posting, but hopefully more than once every 10 months! I’m also on Instagram now (I post often). You can find me HERE.

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

I also wanted to mention that last May I decided to go vegetarian (heavy on the plant-based foods, light on the dairy and eggs), so you won’t be seeing any new meat/poultry/fish-based recipes on here (not that I was really posting them very often, anyhow, since I was never a huge meat-eater to begin with). I will leave on the previous ones, though, at least for now.

Anyhow, onto the recipe.

I’ve been making these overnight oats for breakfast at least a few times a week lately. I love being able to just pull a jar out of the fridge on hectic mornings, and it fills me up and gives me enough energy to run after I bring the kids to school. After defrosting overnight, the frozen raspberries break apart when you stir it, giving the whole thing a fruity flavor (and a pretty pink color!), and the cacao nibs give it a hint of chocolate and a crunch I love.

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

Raspberry-Cacao Nib Overnight Oats

3/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 cup rolled oats

generous 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or use plain, and add some vanilla extract)

Optional: up to 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)

1. Add all the ingredients to a jar, using enough almond milk to cover everything by a little bit (remember that the frozen raspberries will give off liquid as they defrost). I like my oats fairly thick, so if you want yours a bit thinner, add more milk. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. When you’re ready to eat, just give everything a good stir. That’s it!

Makes 1 serving

Stewed Peppers with Tomatoes, Onions & Garlic

Stewed Peppers with Tomatoes, Onions & Garlic

Back when I first started blogging, I would photograph and post whatever I happened to have made for dinner that night. There was no planning posts ahead of time, no thought as to what “it” ingredients to use in my posts, no blogging schedule (which, obviously, is something I’m still horrible about). And while elaborate perfect-for-blogging recipes is fun, sometimes it’s the simple recipes that I really want to tell people about. The foods that I make regularly, and (I’m guessing) the things that my readers are probably a lot more likely to make for themselves.

Stewed Peppers with Tomatoes, Onions & Garlic

These peppers are an example of that. I’ve been making these regularly for several years now, and the whole family loves them. In fact, I may have to start doubling this recipe, because every time I make them everyone wants seconds! I usually serve this with some really good bread (usually homemade), alongside a frittata or scrambled eggs for a simple but delicious dinner.

Stewed Peppers with Tomatoes, Onions & Garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

3 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced

Salt

1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, partially drained

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring every now and then, until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and bell peppers, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook 5 minutes more, until the peppers are tender.

2. Add the tomatoes and thyme to the pan, and season with some salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Makes 6 servings

Adapted from The Very Best of Recipes for Health, by Martha Rose Shulman

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

Remember how I mentioned a while back that I hadn’t really been in a cooking kind of mood? Unfortunately, that went on for quite a while. I’m only just starting to get back into it. I think part of it is the change of seasons (it’s finally starting to feel a little bit like fall here in SoCal). So many bloggers seem to be most inspired by summer produce. But me? I prefer the produce that comes with the cooler temps. When I see stacks of beautiful squashes, pears, apples, it makes me want to get into the kitchen and prepare something warm and comforting.

I decided I want to make a soup for dinner at least once a week throughout the fall and winter. It’s a meal that everybody loves, it can usually be made ahead of time and warmed up (essential for busy evenings after the kids come home from school), and, since it’s just as easy to make a big pot as a small pot, I can have leftovers for lunch for several days after.

I made this Beet, Fennel & Apple soup for dinner Monday night. I made a double recipe, and the hardest part was peeling the beets, which really isn’t all that hard to do. There’s just a little sautéeing, and then you throw everything else into the pot and simmer. A quick purée at the end, and you’re done!

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

With so many girls in the house, you just know that a pink soup went over very well!

Beet, Fennel & Apple Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 fennel bulb, diced (save fronds for garnish, or another use, if desired)

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Coarse sea salt

3 medium beets, peeled and roughly chopped

2 small apples, peeled and roughly chopped (I used Fuji apples)

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

Freshly ground black pepper

Fennel fronds or chopped chives for garnish, if desired

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a bout 10 minutes. You want the vegetables to be softened, but not browned.

2. Add the beets, apples, and broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until the beets and apples are completely soft, about 30 to 35 minutes.

3. Blend the soup, either in a blender or in the pot with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings

From It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow & Julia Turshen

(If it seems like I’ve been cooking from this book a lot—3 out of the last 5 post contain recipes from it—it’s because I have been cooking from it a lot! I really like this book, and all the recipes I’ve made from it have been wonderful.)

Power Chopped Salad & Quinoa with Mushrooms and Arugula

Power Chopped Salad/Quinoa with Mushrooms & Arugula

I don’t usually post two recipes in one post, but when I was dishing out dinner last night it just looked so pretty on the plates that I had to take a picture. I posted it on Facebook and immediately got a request for the recipes.

So here they are. Two bright, vegetable-filled recipes; a perfect meal for hot end-of-summer days . (Because, despite what many people may believe, it IS still summer.)

Power Chopped Salad with Creamy Parsley Dressing

For the dressing:

leaves from 1 bunch of Italian parsley (about a cup)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Veganaise (I used light mayo, because I already had it on hand)

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon xylitol (you can sub sugar, if you want to)

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or in a cup using an immersion blender, until completely pureed. Will keep for up to a week in a jar in the fridge.

For the salad:

2 hearts of romaine, finely shredded

2 handfuls of baby arugula, roughly chopped

Creamy Parsley Dressing

1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

2 cooked beets, peeled and diced (I used THIS method) (I used 3 beets)

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered (I used 5 eggs)

Toss the romaine and arugula with 1/4 cup of the dressing in a large bowl. Place onto individual plates or a large platter, and scatter the remaining ingredients over the top. Drizzle with more dressing, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Quinoa with Mushrooms & Arugula

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

Coarse sea salt

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 large handfuls of arugula, roughly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and a large pinch of salt to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned.

2. Transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl, add the quinoa and arugula, and stir to combine. Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes 4 serving

Both recipes from It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-free & Vegan}

Pretty much as soon as I saw this recipe I went out and bought gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, and dried figs (I already had everything else I needed in the pantry/fridge). While we’re not gluten-free (or vegan, for that matter), I’m always up for trying something new when it comes to baking, and these muffins just sounded so good to me.

This was the first time that I used gluten-free flour, so I was a little nervous about how these would come out, but they were great! The crumb was very tender, but then there was some crunch from the millet. I’d say these lean towards the savory side from the olive oil, but they also have a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and the dried figs. They’re great for breakfast or a snack, and they freezer really well.

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

Millet-Fig Muffins {Gluten-Free & Vegan}

2 cups gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour already includes it)

1/2 cup raw millet

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

Big pinch fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup ground flaxseed

2/3 cup maple syrup (I used Grade B)

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped dried figs (I used dried calimyrna figs)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, millet, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and ground flaxseed. In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, almond milk, and olive oil. In a small bowl, toss the chopped dried figs with a spoonful of the dry ingredients (this keep the figs from sinking down to the bottom of the muffins, and keeps the figs from sticking together). Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in the figs.

3. Divide the batter into the muffin cups and bake until browned and a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 12-18 muffins (The recipe says it makes 12, but I must’ve made mine on the smaller side since I got 18.)

From It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow & Julia Turshen