I threw this oatmeal together Sunday morning, and it ended up tasting like banana bread, so I had to share.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk (or any type of milk product)
1 cup oatmeal
2 tbs. ground flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 large banana cut into small pieces
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Sweetener of your choice added to taste (honey, agave syrup, brown sugar, etc…)
Directions: Bring milk and water to a boil. Add oatmeal and ground flaxseed meal, and then reduce heat to low. Add in banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and sweetener. Stir occasionally. Oatmeal will be done in 5-10 minutes.
I of course added a dollop of peanut butter on top, but there are a variety of things you can do, such as….
…drenching it in strawberry syrup like Michal did.
To achieve this, let a bag of frozen strawberries thaw out over night, and then you will have a bag full of lots and lots of natural syrup. If you’re cut for time, just throw some frozen strawberries in a mug and then heat in the microwave for about a minute.
I used the other half of the banana to make a side dish of “mini peanut butter banana pies,” which we enjoyed along side the oatmeal for breakfast.
As you’ve noticed, my culinary “skills” never really extend beyond 10am, but I hope to change this with my Meatless May challenge, where I’ll be eating vegetarian for the remainder of the month, so expect some extremely basic vegetarian recipes to be posted up here soon.
May 3, 2010 No Comments
I live for Saturday mornings, especially the sunny ones where by 9am it’s warm enough to enjoy breakfast outside.
On this mornings menu was homemade Pumpkin and Flaxseed Oat Bran with lots and lots of strawberries (I had already eaten about 7 by the time this picture was taken).
Pumpkin and Flaxseed Oat Bran Recipe
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk (any type of milk will do)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup oat bran (I used Trader Joe’s Natural Toasted Oat Bran)
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tbs. of Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
1 tbs. of Pumpkin Spice (also Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sweetener of your choice (I like agave syrup, brown sugar, and stevia)
Directions: Bring water and milk to a boil. Add all ingredients; reduce heat to low. Cook for about 10 minutes (or until it thickens), then serve. Feel free to garnish your bowl of oats with whatever you like (I topped mine with a scoop of peanut butter and strawberries).
If you hate oatmeal, I apologize for subjecting you to so much of it on this blog, but I tend to go through food phases, and right now I am all about being the poster child for fiber. Plus, this blog is about what makes me happy, and this morning this is what made me happy….
Sunlight and Oats
I have a pretty big day planned out. Michal and I decided that for today’s adventure we’re going to go on an epic bike ride (all we need to find are bikes and a cool location).
April 3, 2010 1 Comment
When I first started this blog, I had one rule:
“I promise to never write about nothing, like my 16 year old self would.”
But after rejoining the blogosphere, it’s the same old mind games. You become acutely aware of ordinary things, and suddenly your leftovers seem sort of interesting…
I think I’ll call this dish…
“Happiness–even on a Monday”
March 29, 2010 3 Comments
Pigs head, pork belly, lambs throat, and bone marrow are just a few of the things you can experience at the culinary adventure that is Roberta’s in Brooklyn, NY.
Although I had my fears about the menu, it turned out to be a REALLY fun night.
Michal and I were the first ones to arrive at the restaurant (we were meeting 5 others to celebrate my friend Jesse’s birthday), so it was the perfect opportunity for me to take some interior shots of the awesomely eccentric decor, which I would describe as “warehouse chic.”
Being that there is an awesome bar and outdoor lounge in the back, waiting to be seated actually turned out to be a great socializing opportunity, and with all the laughs before dinner, I didn’t even notice the wait.
After being seated, we decided to just order a hodgepodge of items off the menu to share. Our picks were the following:
- Braised Tripe (cow stomach)
- Sweet Bread (lamb and calf neck/pancreas)
- Seared Scallops w/ Pigs Head
- Two orders of the combo meat and cheese plate (from what I can remember there was prosciutto, blue cheese, soft brie, candied walnuts and cherries)
- Good Girl Pizza (Kale, Pork Sausage, and Garlic)
- Rosso Pizza w/ Anchovies (tomato, oregeno, garlic)
- Calzone Tony (stuffed with mozzarella, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, pesto sauce)
- Bone Marrow, but they ran out.
As for what I ate, I sampled the candied walnuts, sweet cherries, seared scallops, calzone, and I had quite a few slices of anchovy pizza. Presentation was nice too. I tried to get shots of the food, but the lighting was so dim, that I sort of gave up half-way through. I did manage to salvage a few close-up shots of the anchovy pizza, but please keep in mind they do not do the food justice…
As for cost, we dropped about 25 dollars per person (not including drinks), but I’m pretty sure we spent on the higher end of the Roberta’s price range. In the end though, who cares about the price when you get to have a fun night out with great people.
All and all, Roberta’s is definitely worth trying, and a great place to hold a birthday party for your favorite hipster friend
March 28, 2010 2 Comments
I’ve had a can of Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Puree for a while now, and to be honest, I sort of had this vision while I was buying it of me finding it in my kitchen cabinet 10 years later with dust on it, but lo in behold, this morning it saw daylight…
Now I know I just did an entry about the many crazy habits adventures of my breakfast routine, but this mornings cooking experiment was way too good not to share, so I’ll try and make this brief….
Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk (or any type of milk)
1/2 cup steel cut oats (I used Quaker)
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
A sweetener of your choice sprinkled on top (optional)
Directions: In a medium sized pot, bring water and milk to a boil. Add steel cut oats, sweet potato, and spices, and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (do not cover with lid). Take pot off of heat, stir, and let sit for 10 more minutes. Garnish with raspberries and enjoy.
Some advice about cooking with steel cut oats: No matter what brand of steel cut oats you buy, they all take a really long time to cook. Depending on your stove-top, you may have to cook them for up to 40 minutes on low before the mixture begins to thicken, so this isn’t the type of breakfast to make before work. The good news is that steel cut oats taste just as good the next day, so feel free to make a big batch the night before, and then just re-heat them the next morning on the stove top or in the microwave.
If you don’t have the patience, feel free to make this recipe with regular oatmeal, but I assure you that the texture and taste of steel cut oats is worth the wait…
While the steel cut oats were cooking, Michal and I decided to fit in a trail run. Although it looked as sunny as last Saturday’s 75 degree weather, it was in fact 27 degrees.
Cold weather aside, the trail run was really nice.
All in all, we covered about 2 miles of trails and 2 miles of road, but the best part was getting to come back to a huge batch of steel cut oats waiting for us on the stove.
Alright, I’m off to relax for a bit and then do some laundry, but tonight I have an adventure lined up in Brooklyn, so stay tuned.
March 27, 2010 No Comments
There are breakfast people, and then there are….other people.
I am a breakfast person.
This wasn’t always the case though. As a child I was an extremely picky eater, and if there wasn’t a box of Lucky Charms around, I would rather starve.
Then there were the awkward formative years of middle school and high school, where breakfast was just…wrong. Microwavable french toast sticks, pop tarts, hostess donuts, Pillsbury cinnamon buns, and yes, even fluffernutter on toast, amen!
And then there was college–a place where breakfast only existed on a Sunday, and even then it happened well after 12pm.
So in retrospect, I’m not quite sure how I ended up here:
Yup, that’s right. That’s everything I used to make my breakfast this morning, and I even left out a banana and bag of frozen raspberries. Here are a few more shots…
And just so we’re clear, every morning (no matter what’s on the menu), my breakfast is this elaborate. In fact, I usually dedicate 45 minutes to my breakfast every morning, which I know sounds crazy, but once it becomes your routine, you realize how nice it is to have time to cook a warm breakfast, enjoy every bite, and relax with a cup of tea.
For today’s breakfast I had a can of pumpkin to finish off, so I made one of my favorites…
PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL
Ingredients (makes one serving):
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Almond Milk (or any type of milk is fine)
1/2 Cup Oats (I used old fashioned oats, but instant works just fine)
1/2 Cup Spelt Flakes (I realize most people don’t buy Spelt flakes so just add another 1/2 cup of oatmeal)
1/3 Cup Pumpkin (you can buy it in a can in the baking aisle)
1 tbs. Chia Seeds (or you can add 1 tbs. of flax seeds, granola, or raisins)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
And of course a sweetener of your choice sprinkled on top (sugar, honey, agave syrup, etc…)
Directions: Bring the milk and water to a boil. Add oats, spelt flakes, pumpkin, and chia seeds, and reduce heat to low. Stir well, and add vanilla, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon. Oatmeal will be ready in about 10 minutes.
For added protein (and flavor) I added a dollop of peanut butter on the top of my oatmeal, followed by some fresh blueberries. I also paired my oatmeal with a spinach egg beater omelet on the side.
Non-breakfast people have no idea what they are missing!
After first breakfast, I quickly prepared my “second breakfast” which is usually just something I eat at around 9am when I’m starving at work again.
I threw some raw almond butter on a piece of whole wheat bread and then paired that with a Green Monster Shake (I added frozen raspberries to the basic recipe).
T.T.A. Budget Friendly Tip: Buy organic fruit in the freezer aisle. The fruit doesn’t lose any of it’s nutrients, and you will save quite a bit of money, especially when it comes to strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Plus, frozen fruit works much better than regular fruit in shakes, and if you cook it in with your oatmeal, it really seeps into the oats for a lot of flavor. The only fruit I can’t stand frozen are blueberries (they never taste the same).
My second breakfast (seen here at my desk at work).
And now it’s 7:30 pm, and I’m off to eat dinner (yawn–so lame).
March 25, 2010 2 Comments
I just got back from the Manchester “Finally Spring” 5K race, and what a fun time! This is probably the coolest 5k I’ve ever run because:
- Instead of a t-shirt you were given these amazing green socks (see below)
- The entire race is on an intense trail course through the woods, with the first mile being uphill!
- Michal and I crossed the finish line together
With over 200 people squeezing through rocky and steep trail turns, it is quite the adventure, and I’ve never seen so many people have to stop and walk during a 5K. Without a doubt I’ve run 10K road races that were easier than this trail course, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve had this much fun on a run.
Michal and I stuck together during the race, which was something we’ve never done in an actual race before, so I was happy about that. We do casual runs together once or twice a week, but Michal is a much faster runner than me, so on a race day it’s always been easier for us to go our separate ways–mostly because when we run together I try to run too fast to keep up with him, and he tries to run too slow as not to get ahead of me, and it ends up messing up both our paces. Sticking together for this race still required him to slow down at a few points, but before the race we decided to treat it like a casual run (and not a competitive race), and that mindset helped us cross the finish line together. Our final time for the 3.25 mile race was 28:40, which I was happy with (note my smile below).
Michal was just happy to have a pair of green running socks, which he insisted on putting on before the race.
After the race we headed a bit more north to Middletown, CT so we could enjoy the beautiful weather and eat at a restaurant called ION (It’s Only Natural), which was voted best vegetarian restaurant in the Hartford advocate last year. It deserves any accolades it gets, because it’s the first vegan and vegetarian restaurant I’ve come across where the entrees are actually gourmet. The prices are a bit steep, but it’s completely worth it.
We started off the meal with some fresh juices. I had the veggie bomb (left) which was carrots, beets, celery, and parsley, while Michal had a juice called Bee Green which was a bunch of green vegetables with agave syrup for sweetness.
For our entrees, I had the Macrobiotic Plate which was organic brown rice, legumes, sea & other vegetables, with a huge pile of kidney beans on the side. I mashed everything up together, and it tasted incredible. The sea vegetables had the perfect amount of saltiness to them, so I didn’t even have to season the dish.
Michal had one of the specials, which was a phyllo dough packed with tofu and mushrooms with a huge scoop of mashed potatoes and a side of asparagus. I had a few bites and it was to die for.
The serving sizes are really generous at this restaurant, which made this the perfect place to have our post-race meal. As you can see we inhaled are food.
I should also note that Michal and I have been here once before and we had the ION burger and Sweet Potato Enchiladas, and they were just as incredible as today’s menu choices. The ambiance of the restaurant is really nice too, and today we were seated at a fun table which doubled as a chalk board so we could draw on our table while we waited for our food.
I’m off to try and fit in a nap before a friend’s dinner party tonight.
Happy spring everyone!
March 20, 2010 3 Comments
Wow, could the weather be any more incredible for ringing in the first day of spring? It’s supposed to hit 75 today!
I just had a very early wake up call. Michal and I signed up to do a 5k race in Manchester aptly titled, “Finally Spring,” and since the event was an hour away (and since we both like to eat three hours before start time), we were up at 6:30am. I’m pretty excited for the race, so waking up wasn’t much of a problem, and knowing that we were going to be eating grilled banana and peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast made me practically fly out of bed.
Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
(a.k.a. modified Elvis sandwich)
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 tbs. peanut butter (I use a brand called Naturally More)
- 1 banana
- Honey or Agave Syrup (optional)
Directions: Just make a sandwich out of everything and then grill it in a pan or on a George Foreman for a few minutes.
We also paired a green monster shake with our breakfast.
Basic Green Monster Recipe
- 1 large banana
- 1 cup almond milk (I use Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla, but you can also use skim milk, soy milk, or hemp milk)
- 3 cups Spinach (don’t get grossed out, I SWEAR you can’t taste the spinach at all)
- Some ice
Directions: Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend for a few minutes until it’s thick and frothy. Enjoy. This recipe serves one, but Michal and I split this recipe because we didn’t want to have too much stuff in our stomach before the race.
I’m not kidding when I say that this stuff is so good that there are whole websites dedicated to the mystical powers of this drink. Instead of caffeine, I drink a green monster at work every morning, and it packs some serious energy in just 8 ounces. Proof is that my boyfriend now drinks one to two of these a day, and he is not the type to drink something green unless it tastes like candy.
Ok, I’m off to the race!
March 20, 2010 6 Comments
Hi, and welcome to my first entry in The Tiny Adventurer.
Tonight doesn’t really involve any adventures, but tomorrow is a jam packed Saturday which includes a 3.25 mile race in Manchester, lunch at a vegan restaurant named ION, and then a 7 course dinner party being hosted by my friend Mike. I’m pretty excited to ring in the first day of spring with all these exciting activities.
Tonight Michal and I just lounged around in our pajamas, and cooked a nice pre-race dinner of “burgers and fries,” but as you’ll see below we made a few healthy modifications.
We made the fries from scratch out of sweet potatoes, and they came out incredible….
Sweet Potato Fries Recipe (serves 2)
What You’ll Need:
2 large sweet potatoes
1 egg white (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp olive oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes thoroughly, and then peel them (removing the skins is NOT required, and I typically leave one with skin and one without to give the fries some variation in texture). Slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch to 1 inch sections. In a large bowl or zip lock bag, combine the sweet potato slices, egg white, paprika, and cinnamon. Mix until the potatoes are coated thoroughly. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil, and then coat it with cooking spray (don’t forget to do this or else the fries will stick to the pan!). Spread the fries out onto the pan, and then place them in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, and then take out the pan to flip the fries and move them around a bit. Put them back into the oven for 15 more minutes (some ovens might take longer), then remove them from the oven and enjoy.
I highly recommend this as an inexpensive dish to serve at any occasion, and if you have a spice cabinet, the variations of this recipe are endless. And on a very important side note, sweet potatoes are a super food with a very long list of health benefits, so this is one of the best ways to satisfy a savory food craving without breaking the bank or doing damage to your health.
For the burger portion of our dinner, I had a turkey burger which I made from scratch, while Michal opted for two veggie Boca burgers. We used the George Foreman to grill them, and then topped them with suateed mushrooms and onions, pepper jack cheese, bib lettuce, ketchup, and whole wheat toast. I’ll end this entry by leaving you one more picture of Michal holding our very satisfying and budget-friendly dinner.
Alright, time for bed now, but hopefully this will be the first of many more entries to come!
March 19, 2010 1 Comment