3.18.2014

Homemade Tahini

Tahini has to be one of my favorite condiments out there. 


Besides olive oil. 

And salt. 

Ok, it comes in as a strong #3. 


So what is tahini any way? It's simply sesame seed butter.  They are typically hulled sesame seeds ground up to make the paste or butter consistency. I choose to roast mine and blend them with a touch of salt. It is a very similar process of making peanut butter, which is also a favorite of mine. 


3.07.2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 3 & 4



Day 3 of the Cooking Cure!

Assignment: Find 5 new recipes for breakfast.

Days 1 and 2 were all about taking the time to reflect and figure out what I've been doing with my breakfast and what I want to do with my breakfast. Today, we are getting into some action!

After reading this assignment, I felt like this is a no brainer, especially with Pinterest these days. I already have a board for breakfast, but when I looked back at my goals and my pinning activity, my dreamy board of pancakes and waffles weren't really jiving with my goals. So I came home from work Wednesday, grabbed a glass of wine, and cozied up to my favorite cookbooks and blogs and got to searching.

Oaty, carby filled breakfasts always catch my eye first, but I decided to try and put my focus on other items since oats are my average breakfast. But, one of my goals was to shake up my oats a bit, so I didn't not look away from those recipes. I guess I just couldn't help myself.

Any way, after a good amount of perusing, here's what I came up with:

1. Dukkah Hard Cooked Eggs from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Everyday
Super Natural Everyday is hands down, my favorite cookbook. I've read it cover to cover and nearly everything in this book inspires me to cook healthy, fresh foods. So far, everything I've made from this book is amazing, and this happened to be the book I grabbed to find a recipe for this assignment. This recipe is simple hard cooked eggs, topped with a little dukkah and olive oil. Simple, but with a twist. Can't wait.

2. Chia Seed Pudding from Giada's Feel Good Food
I've always wanted to try chia pudding, so this might be a great excuse. Not like I need an excuse. Any way, The recipe in Giada's book includes Greek yogurt and almond milk which makes me think it will help keep me full longer than the typical chia pudding recipe's I've read about. I think most only have milk and seeds.

3. Tahini Breakfast Polenta from Noms for the Poor
It's not oatmeal! And I am so in love with tahini. Sounds really interesting and yummy to me.

4. Banana Date Muffins from Gwyneth Paltrow's It' All Good
I got this book for a lovely birthday gift and adore it. It has some great, different takes on whole foods and I have a ton of recipes on my "to try" list. I figured these muffins would be something good to make ahead of time and grab on the way to work. Maybe with a side of yogurt.

5. Mini Frittatas
My dear friend Jaye read my post the other day and sent me the idea to make little frittatas in muffin tins. I love this idea so I can get more eggs into my life. There are endless combinations already running through my mind. Kale and goat cheese, asparagus, spinach, red peppers. I want them allll. nomnomnom.

Day 3, done and done.

Day 4: Stock Up

Assignment: Pick 1 new recipe and shop for ingredients.

I actually have most, if not all of the ingredients for each of the recipes I picked. The only thing I don't have is tahini because I just ran out on Monday. The hard part of this assignment was to actually pick which recipe I wanted to try first.

It was a toss up between the chia pudding, hard cooked eggs, and the polenta, but since I am limited on time tonight, the eggs seem like the easiest right now. I might make the pudding too. Just so I don't feel like I am taking the easy way out.

Part of Day 5's assignment is to make the breakfast recipe you picked, but I have some leftovers to eat from a batch of granola I made Sunday, so I am sticking with that. I am going to push my making until this weekend. Stay tuned!

Happy Breakfasting!

Erica

3.04.2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 1 & 2

I am an avid reader of The Kitchn and when I saw this on Monday; it felt like it was calling my name. First, I love a challenge. Second, I am always looking to shake things up in the meal department. Every now and then I just get in a funk, ya know. This challenge seems like it is a lot of reflection and trying to figure out what you really want out of your meals/food life. It is designed to help you cook meals, every day, at home. 

This whole thing is a 4 week Cure and The Kitchn provides you with 20 assignments, one each day of the (work) week, and they are each designed to break you out of your cooking rut and guide you into new meals and happier cooking. I want to try and share my journey and maybe inspire some of our readers to cook more meals at home too. Because, really, things are better when you make them. You can join in here!

Ok, here we go...
Day 1: Make a list of everything you ate last week for breakfast. 

I looked back at my calendar so I could try and remember everything and this is what I got:
  • Sunday, Feb 23rd: We were in Tahoe and ate at a cafe on the way home. I had a veggie scramble with wheat toast and home fries.
  • Monday, Feb 24th: Oats with banana and peanut butter
  • Tuesday, Feb 25th: Breakfast Qunioa with banana and coconut
  • Wednesday, Feb 26th: Overnight Oats (a greek yogurt, oats, and orange mixture)
  • Thursday, Feb 27th: Breakfast Qunioa
  • Friday, Feb 28th: Breakfast Qunioa - kinda digging it right now (sharing the recipe soon!)
  • Saturday, March 1st: Scrambled eggs, a pear, and toast
  • Sunday, March 2nd: Oats with banana. 
  • Monday, March 3rd: Granola with greek yogurt and blueberries

I'm not supposed to analyze anything at this point...but I am sensing a pattern for oats. 


Day 2: Ask yourself three questions about your breakfast habits.

1: What am I tired of eating for breakfast? Seriously, I love oats. A warm bowl of oatmeal brings me such comfort in the morning, but it can feel so boring sometimes. It is an easy breakfast for me, so it is usually my default. It fills me up until lunch and it generally tastes good. But, like I said, its not very exciting.

2: What do I love eating? Well, if I am being honest, I love waffles and bacon. If I can have those every day, I think I'd be happy. My second, more realistic/sensible favorite is eggs. Made every way possible. I love them!

3: What would I like to eat more often? Doughnuts. Every day. Again, being realistic and a non-fatty, I'd love to make more smoothies in the morning. I am always afraid I'll be hungry in an hour, so I often just go for the carbs. Honestly, last week I bought stuff specifically with the intent to smoothie them, I ended up eating all the ingredients separately as snacks (or salads in the green smoothie case). Whoops.

The next part of Day 2's assignments is a goal setting...yipee!

1: Set 3 goals for next month (in regards to breakfasts). Ok...done.

2: Share those goals. I can do that... First, I'd like to make more smoothies, so I am going to try and make 1 smoothie a week next month. Second, eggs are my favorite, I want to eat more of them. I am going to try and have 2 meals a week that include eggs for breakfast. Actually, I really want to work on poaching eggs. I am going to do that too. Third, since I am finding my oatmeal and little bland, I am going to try 3 different variations of my default breakfast.

Bam! Days 1 and 2. Done!

That was fun! Stay tuned for more and if you have a favorite breakfast idea, please share. I'd love some inspiration.

Erica


February Adventures!

I packed a ton of great stuff into this short little month. My favorite? Well, it's a toss up between Wineaversary and my beloved, missed hobby of snowboarding in Tahoe. All good. All very, very good. 

Here's my February life!


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