Friday, September 28, 2012

Whole Grain Pumpkin Apple Pancakes

Changing color of the leaves. Dropping temps. Crisp breeze. Oh wait, that happens in the fall?? If I hadn't lived here for a few years already, I'd think it was still August. But by golly, it's practically October. How did that happen??

I recently learned that October is apple month. Check out my ode to apples here. And if it's not official, October should be pumpkin month too. So, why not combine the best of two worlds into cozy breakfast that will warm your soul and slow your morning?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple Season! How to Cook, Eat, Buy, and Store Apples

Anyone who has experienced a winter up north is well aware that between November and March the fruit looks dead. Wilty. Wrinkly. Pale. And dead. Only a few bright and shiny pieces of fruit gleam in the drone of listlessness. One of those are the apples. Thank goodness Johnny Appleseed was around in the 1700s to spread apple seeds across numerous states because now we can enjoy these beauties year round.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Miso Buckwheat Noodles and Greens

One bowl wonder. That's what you can call dinner. Rich in fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates, the buckwheat noodles pair nicely with beans, greens, and a calm miso coating.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fig and Blackberry Smoothie

I LOVE figs. They weren't something I ate until I moved to Florida and quite frankly I always thought figs tasted like the sticky mess inside fig newtons. Nope! They taste a million times over the moon better. I dare say figs are becoming one of my favorite fruits, but maybe that's because they are around for such a short time. The lovely Publix grocery stores had them buy 1 get 1 free during peak season. I stocked up. There's still at least 2 containers (1 pound a piece) in my fridge. All is well in fig overload world until their delicate skins and fleshy insides start to go bad...all containers...all at the same time. ...make fig preserves. Check. Now what? ...if you google 'fig recipes,' virtually all of them contain cheese. So, I resorted to what I do best with ripe fruit, make smoothies.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Easy (Easiest) Fig Preserves

Jam is an ideal way to use up fruit that is too ripe or not ripe enough. In this case, over ripe times 10. As I was washing and cutting the delicate figs, some had to be tossed. Cringe. 

If you're new to making jams and jellies, hop on the figs preserve train. You only need 1 pound, or 1 package, some sugar, and some lemon juice. Fruit has pectin (the binding goop) and figs have a little more than normal to hold it all together. Bonus: compared to hours for canning jam, fig preserves only take about a half hour. It's far easier than more traditional preserve processes. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Simple summer vegetables. Roasted. Flavors enhanced. Instant Yumminess.
Still have some summer vegetables piling up from your garden, farmer's market, or grocery store? Roast or grill them and add into your favorite pasta for a deliciously quick and satisfying light meal.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back to School Nutrition Tips - Packing a Healthy Lunch!

We know the best way to positively impact food decisions is to make sure that you provide a nutritious lunch and snacks for your children each day, foods that you know your child will want to eat. Too many times, lunch is packed without the child’s input. While the intentions of packing a healthful lunch are there, your child may get to school, trades your banana for a mini candy bar, eats some of a friend’s chips, and then throws the rest of your lunch away. If you want to help assure that your child will eat what is packed, involve your child in making the lunch.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

15 Minute Tofu and Pineapple Fried Rice

Well, school traffic has officially returned. The renewed sense of energy kids have running too and from the school bus is just adorable. They climb aboard, jumping and frocklicking. But then it hits me...I've got to follow this darn bus for another 15 miles. Blah. I would rather be blissfully dancing through a school bus aisle, but instead I sit on my worn driver's seat dreaming about passing the bus and gobbling the pineapple fried rice waiting for me at home.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Single Serving Double Chocolate Cupcakes {Vegan!}

There are those days that all I can manage to think is, "I need chocolate. I need chocolate. I need chocolate. Chocolate!" I've had enough of the constant chocolate button on repeat, and know the only way to hush it is to eat some freaking chocolate. The rich, velvety goodness.  
Turns out I'm not alone. Even in ancient times, people thought chocolate, or the cocoa bean was a food gift from the gods. Got that right. The sweet stuff contains micro amounts of cannabinoids, the stuff that gives you a 'high' with marijuana. Chocolate also has tyramine and tryptophan. Put the 3 compounds together and the brain converts them into the feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Simply put, chocolate stimulates the brain pleasure centers. 

Yet, we all know it can be calorically dense and can do damage to our waist lines. But avoidance is just absurd, it's science people...chocolate makes us happy. I have the perfect solution...cupcake recipe that takes 5 minutes to stir together and makes 2 rich chocolate cupcakes. I wanted to make just one, but it's tricky!

If you don't want chocolate, you can substitute the cocoa powder for another tablespoon of flour and omit the chocolate chips.

Single Serving Double Chocolate Cupcakes
Serves 2

1 tablespoon earth balance margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons (heaping) whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
2-3 tablespoons chocolate chips, as desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
2. Stir dry ingredients together. Add in wet. Fold in chocolate chips. 
3. Bake in oven ~15 minutes until baked throughout. 
4. Yes, it really is that savor the cupcake and be happy! :)