Can’t get any easier: Chia Pudding

Weight Update: I’m at 169lbs (down from 181lbs)! Finally below 170! Only 4 more pounds until I reach my first goal. This is the slowest, most agonizing process but I have to keep going. Follow me on Instagram for more frequent updates.

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post so I’m going to give you two recipes to get you through your week. It’s the same base, two different ways, and an endless number of possibilities.

I drink a meal replacement shake every morning and it doesn’t change much. 1 scoop protein powder (I use IdealShape!) almond milk, almond butter, chia, and banana (239 calories). Yum!!! But it gets kind of boring after 10 or 15 of these. So when I need to switch things up but still want to keep it low cal + healthy, I make chia pudding.

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View from the top of the breakfast hunger

If I forget to make it the night before, I toss all of the ingredients into my Nutribullet and voila! Easy breakfast.

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Blended Chia Pudding – great breakfast for the office!

Blended Chia Pudding

What you’ll need

  • high speed blender
  • spatula
  • tablespoon
  • 1/2 c. measuring cup
  • small container with a lid

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • toppings! fruit, nut butter, nuts, cacao, dried fruit, coconut, granola, whatever you like

Instructions

  1. Combine the chia seeds, milk and maple syrup in the blender. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste.
  2. Blend on high for about 1-2 minutes, until thick and smooth. It will be slightly gelatinous to touch. Pour into the container and top with your favorite things. Enjoy!

Est. 203 calories without toppings

Overnight Chia Pudding

What you’ll need

  • small container with a lid
  • tablespoon
  • 1/2 c. measuring cup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • toppings! fruit, nut butter, nuts, cacao, dried fruit, coconut, granola, whatever you like

Instructions

  1. Combine the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon to taste. Give it a good stir.
  2. Let sit in the fridge for a least 4 hours. It should thicken up immensely and have a gelatinous, tapioca like consistency. If it’s too thick when you’re ready to eat it, add a little extra milk to loosen it up. Top it with your favorite things. Enjoy!

Est. 215 calories without toppings

Tip: Feel free to add 1/8 tsp of almond or vanilla extra or 1/4 tsp orange zest to brighten the flavor. You can also do milk blends. I personally like using almond milk and canned, cooking coconut milk. It makes it so creamy!

 

Oh my goodness, Granola!

It’s finally happened. It’s taken years to be convinced that I could do it and all it took was a wonderful suggestion from my best friend.

Let’s back up for a minute. I like granola. I usually like my granola with yogurt. I don’t like whole nuts or dried fruit in my yogurt. That limits a vast selection of granola out there on the shelves. On top of that, I’m particular about sweetness and spice levels. I prefer lots of cinnamon with a touch of sweet.

I think what I’m getting at is that granola preferences are individualistic and completely based on context.

So when my best friend shared her recipe with me (and some of her granola), I knew it was time I gave it a try. By the way, her spreadsheet has a log of various trials and notes for the next baking session. It’s methodical and beautiful. Today I’m sharing the base version of hers that yielded the best result thus far. I’ve made my own tweaks because I

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Goodness Granola

What you’ll need:

  • baking sheets lined with parchment paper (use glass baking dishes if you don’t have parchment, lightly greased)
  • 1 large mixing bowl, 1 medium mixing bowl
  • measuring cups + spoons
  • spatula

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups extra thick cut oats
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped/smashed
  • 1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, torn into smaller pieces
  • 2-2.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (plus a little extra on hand)
  • 1/4 cup canola/vegetable oil (plus a little extra on hand)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract or vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In the large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut flakes, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the medium mixing bowl, Combine the oil, maple syrup, honey and extract. Carefully whisk until mostly blended.
  4. Poor the wet over the dry, mix until completely coated. If some areas seem dry still, drizzle 1 tbsp maple syrup and a touch of oil. Mix.
  5. Spread the granola in an even later on the pans. Bake in oven for 9-10 minutes. Stir and bake for another 9-10 minutes until lightly browned. Keep an eye on the granola towards the end of the second half of baking.
  6. Once the granola is done, remove from oven and completely cool. Store in airtight container.

Notes: You can use molasses or agave for vegan variations. Add 1/2 cup pepitas, cashews, etc.

Polenty of Pizza

Pizza. It’s all I think about sometimes. How can I get it? What should I put on it? Where should I get it from? What kind of crust do I want? These are all questions than run through my mind, especially when hunger has set in and it’s only a matter of time before I implode.

I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience.

When I remember to think ahead or I have some extra time on my hands, I like to make these polenta pizza crusts. They’re simple in terms of ingredients and instructions. The process is a bit time consuming but it’s absolutely worth it. The crust is gluten-free but that doesn’t mean that it’s not filling or tastes weird. It has a satisfying texture of crispy and smooth- it’s kind of magical actually.

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Polenta Pizza Crusts (2 9″-crusts)

What you’ll need:

  • A medium pot, whisk, 2 9-11″ tart dishes, baking spatula, baking sheet
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of fine ground cornmeal + 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)

Toppings (completely up to you but this is what’s pictured above)

  • 3 tbsp sundried tomato pesto
  • 2-4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded or cut into thin pieces (cheddar featured above)
  • 1 handful broccoli, cut into tiny florets

How to make it:

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the vegetable stock, olive oil, basil, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat to medium low and slowly stir in both cornmeals with a whisk. Keep stirring for about 3-4 minutes with as few lumps as possible.
  3. Remove from heat and evenly divide the polenta to the tart dishes. Use a baking spatula to spread the polenta into an even thin layer. Let them cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle the cornmeal on the baking sheet. Remove the polenta crusts from the fridge and transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the crust has browned a bit on the bottom.
  5. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite toppings. Bake for another 15 minutes. Enjoy!

*Made vegan by not topping it with cheese.

**Thanks to Steve for help with the title.

Tomato & Corn Salad

It’s hot. Ice cream trucks are everywhere. Fire hydrants are being opened.

It’s summer.

The last thing I’m sure anyone wants to do during the heat is cook. Just the idea of being near an oven makes me sweat! On those days that you really can’t stand the heat of the kitchen, think about preparing a salad that is easy and quick. This tomato & corn salad is filling and refreshing and goes great with barbeque.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)
  • 2 lbs grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded & thinly sliced
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/4 lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, scallions, jalapeños, oil, and lime. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 12.

CSA Week #2

There was quite the bounty today at the CSA! I’m a big fan of CSAs for many reasons, one of them being my love for adventurous veggies (my plans for the kohlrabi are probably home fries or gratin). The only problem I’m finding with my haul is choosing just one dinner to make the night I pick up the vegetables!

Above: 2 bulbs of purple kohlrabi, 1 bunch of arugula, 1 head of green lettuce, 3 garlic scapes, 1 bunch of radishes, 2 yellow squash, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 head of broccoli, 1 bunch of komatsuna, and potted basil (green AND purple!)

Tempeh n’ Rice

This dish is sort of like chicken and rice but with tempeh. The tempeh makes it kind of fishy which I thought was interesting and desirable. It took a total of 45 minutes to make and serves 4 hearty servings.

• 2 8oz packages of tempeh, cut longways in half and then cut crosswise into strips

• 4-6 cups of vegetable broth

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 2 cups of rice

• 1 tablespoon tumeric

• 1 teaspoon coriander

• 1 teaspoon cumin

• Dash of cayenne pepper or paprika

• 1/4 cup cilantro

• Juice from 1-2 limes

• 2 scallions, chopped

• Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a deep frying pan, bring 1 cup of broth to a boil. Place tempeh inside, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the tempeh.

2. When the tempeh is lightly browned, add spices, the rest of the broth, and rice, stir, and cook until rice is tender. Add more broth as needed to avoid sticking or burning.

3. Garnish with lime juice, cilantro, and add additional seasonings to taste.

Inspired by Mark Bittman’s Chicken and Rice

Sauteed greens recipe will be posted soon!