Spinach and Feta Quinoa Quiche

Good Morning, friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I can’t wait to share this Meatless Monday recipe with you!  Before I do that, I have to admit that while I’ve shared a few Meatless Monday recipes already, I’ve always wondered, who started it?  I decided to do some googling, and found that “Meatless Monday” started during WWI as a way to get citizens to conserve for the war effort.  It started up again in WWII for the same reason, and then was brought back in 2003 as the healthy initiative we know it as today.  Pretty cool, right?

us food admin 1

Anyway, today’s recipe fits right into the new “Meatless Monday” campaign.  It’s vegetarian, healthy, and really tasty!  Also, I think that having a warm breakfast is such a treat, especially this time of the year.  It’s only just begun, but I’m already way over waking up and getting ready for work in the dark and cold.  How about you?

Although this quiche can be served room temp, Continue reading

Chai Spiced Banana Bread

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Snowed in today?  I have the perfect recipe for you.  And I bet you have everything you need to make it already!  I have discovered the most spectacular warm and fuzzy snow day recipe with this Chai Spiced Banana Bread.  It is just so. GOOD.

The base of this recipe comes from my all time favorite recipe from my Mom- her Banana Bread can be made in literally five minutes, and it is awesome.  I took our normal Banana Bread recipe and jazzed it up today with some of our favorite Chai spices.  The amount of spices in this recipe are just enough to make it special without being too overwhelming.  If you want more of a punch, add more of each spice.

Chai Spiced Banana Bread

Ingredients:

3 Over-Ripe Bananas

1 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

1 ½ Cups Flour

¼ cup (1/2 Stick) Butter, Melted

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ teaspoon Ground Cardamom

½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon Ground Allspice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mash Bananas with a fork. Combine and mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the bananas and the rest of the ingredients. Stir until combined.
  3. Pour into a sprayed loaf pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  4. Remove and rest on a cooling rack. Remove from pan and slice, serve warm.

Enjoy this banana bread for breakfast or even dessert 🙂  Stay warm!

Sliced up and ready to go.  I love the texture on the top... the best part!

Sliced up and ready to go. I love the texture on the top… the best part!

Magically Fluffy but Dense.  Perfect balance.

Magically Fluffy but Dense. Perfect balance.

"Where's our piece, Mom?"

“Where’s our piece, Mom?”

Baked Oatmeal Bars

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So, Dave (my husband !!!!! ???? !!!!!) totally called me out this weekend on my obsession with bars.  Not the fun kind of bar to be obsessed with… but the kind of bar you eat when you’re like me and are constantly on the go.  I just can’t help myself.  There are literally thousands of types and the flavor options are endless! Recently, I discovered a new favorite that happens to be pretty healthy too.  I absolutely have to tell you about them.  They’re called “Go Macro” bars and I’ve tried almost every flavor… for those of us who can handle foods that taste “healthy”, these are pretty darn good.  They aren’t super sweet so if you’re looking for a candy bar type meal replacement, this one’s not for you.

In an attempt to make my own bars this weekend, I tried out a modified version of the Baked Oatmeal recipe from Cooking Light.  They couldn’t be easier to whip up and bake on a football Sunday afternoon.  I cut these babies up into 8 triangle shaped bars and we have been enjoying the heck out of them this week!  I think next time, I’ll try with less sugar and to add some ground flax too?  The opportunities are endless. 🙂 While I don’t think these bars can replace my love for on-the-go bars… they are so delicious!

Baked Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups Uncooked Old-Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Craisins (reduced sugar)
3 Tablespoons Chopped Walnuts
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Skim Milk
1/2 cup All Natural No Sugar Added Apple Sauce
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 large Egg, beaten

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375°.
2.  Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg in another bowl. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well.
3.  Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Check on the bars after 20 minutes and if the top starts to brown, place a piece of foil ontop and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light

Makes 8 Servings

 

Looks good already...

Looks good already…

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Chocolate Chia Almond Granola – SRC August

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Can you believe this is my second chocolate recipe in a row?!  This treat comes to you today as this month’s Secret Recipe Club pick.  The Secret Recipe Club is the awesome blogging group I’m in, let me tell you all about it!  Each month, a group of bloggers is assigned another blogger to try out one of their recipes.  We can pick whatever we want too!  On the same day, we all post about our recipes and get to see and try a ton of new things.

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was paired with My Hobbie Lobbie, who is a wonderful blogger who bakes, cooks yummy food, and even does crafts.  I don’t know how she has time to do everything!  After going through a ton of her recipes, I found myself CRAVING her Nutty Chocolate Granola.  I just had to have it.  I changed it around to match what I already had in our pantry, and it was delish.  I can’t wait to share with my friends from my new job! (YES, I got a new job!!!  AHHHHH!  I am so super excited, had to throw that in there)

Chocolate Chia Almond Granola

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

2 1/2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats

1 cup Raw Slivered Almonds

1/2 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1/3 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Cardamom

1 Tablespoon Honey

1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, until completely combined.

2. Spread the mix onto a foil lined, cooking-spray coated baking sheet.

3. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring/flipping the granola every 15.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Adapted from:  Nutty Chocolate Granola

Ready to stir!

Ready to stir!

Granola is stirred and ready to bake

Granola is stirred and ready to bake

Halfway done

Halfway done

The finished product... yum!

The finished product… yum!

This granola was a fabulous snack for after dinner, but it would be amazing as a topping to cereal, yogurt, ice cream, or berries and whipped cream!  I could not believe how easy it was to make my own granola, I am excited to do it again and try new varieties too.

Click below to see all of the other recipes that were made this month in the SRC!

Green Sunrise Smoothie

 

 

Green Sunrise Smoothie

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So, I know I promised that the next time I tried to do a green drank, I’d be brave and use Kale instead of Spinach… but this recipe just sounded too good to ruin!  I’m sorry!  I lied.  But it’s okay because now I have another awesome spinach smoothie recipe for you that is SO YUMMY.  I promise.  I actually think this is my favorite one.  Thank you, Rachael Ray!

And I guess I should warn you…

If you’re all like WHOA what is up with the super healthy green smoothie?!  I should definitely tell you that as of MONDAY, Dave and I are starting our back to healthy eating habits/lifestyle.  We had a few months off track and now we’re back on!  I made this yummy smoothie for us for breakfast and it will definitely be in our rotation.

Green Sunrise Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (fresh or frozen) Mango Chunks 
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4 cup Apple Juice (I used organic, no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) Baby Spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice (I used 1 packet True Lemon)

Directions:

1.  Put ingredients in a blender and blend for two minutes until everything is combined.

Slightly adapted from Rachael Ray

Trader Joe's frozen fruit is my favorite.  It's so cheap too!

Trader Joe’s frozen fruit is my favorite. It’s so cheap too!

This stuff is awesome.  Dave's Mom introduced me to it years ago.. it's great to have in the pantry!

This stuff is awesome. Dave’s Mom introduced me to it years ago.. it’s great to have in the pantry!

sunshinesmoothie.jpg

 

Caramelized Carrot Cake Bread : Feb SRC

I’m hoping you’re reading the title of this post and having the same reaction I did… WHATTTTT?!??!!  When I read about this recipe on my SRC partner’s blog… I was just amazed.  I don’t think I can personally ever be so creative.  What an awesome recipe.  Whoa.  I just had to try it.

After a month off, I’m back on with the Secret Recipe Club.  For those of you who haven’t checked it out before, please do!  The Secret Recipe Club (or the SRC) has been a really fun way to encourage me to try new recipes and connect with new bloggers.  Each month, everyone in the club gets an assignment to check out another blogger’s page.  We then pick ANY of their existing recipes and make them ourselves!  Then, on reveal day (today), we all post about our findings and experiences.  I have made some of my favorite recipes EVER from some of my paired blogs (check out THIS one… omg).

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was paired with the blog:  Easily Good Eats.  It was so hard to pick just one recipe to make from this blog.  Like I said- she is so creative!  There are so many interesting recipes from different cuisines and countries around the world.  Very impressive.  I was automatically drawn to this recipe once I saw the word “Caramelized”…. I was practically drooling (as I am sure you are now too!)…  I won’t waste any more time, here is what I made:

it's as good as it looks.

it’s as good as it looks.

Caramelized Carrot Cake Bread

Makes:  1 Loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup Flour
½ cup Sugar, divided into 1/4’s 
1½ cups Carrots, peeled and grated
½ cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
2 Eggs, large
just under 1/4 cup Milk (I used 2%)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
1½ teaspoons Baking Powder
 
Directions
  1. Prepare a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add ¼ cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon of water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat until the sugar turns dark red. It will happen- I promise.  (I used a rubber spatula) Stir and don’t let it burn!
  3. Add carrots and butter.  Cook over low heat until the carrots becomes soft. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Puree the mixture (optional). Let the mixture cool completely.  *Optional to puree the mixture in a food processor- I did not*
  4. In a bowl beat ¼ cup sugar and eggs until the sugar dissolves. Add to the carrot mixture together with milk and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture.  Don’t overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into loaf pan and bake at 350°F until done, about 30-40 minutes. A skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean.

Recipe slightly adapted from: Butterscotch (Caramelized) Carrot Cake

At first, this recipe was a little more labor-intensive than what I’m used to.  First of all, I don’t really bake that much.  I also rolled my eyes when I saw how much carrot I’d have to grate.  But then I remembered, OMG, I have a food processor!  I finally was able to use our engagement gift from Dave’s parents in a new way- the grating tool!  Once I got it set up and peeled my carrots, it took literally 45 seconds.  It was the easiest thing ever, I totally recommend doing this- it will save you so much time!  Once the carrots were grated, the rest was simple.  Cook up the sugar, add the butter, carrots, and make the bread.

Lots of shredded carrots!  Thank goodness for our new food processor :)

Lots of shredded carrots! Thank goodness for our new food processor 🙂

If you were curious about what caramelizing carrots looked like...

If you were curious about what caramelizing carrots looked like…

Here is the batter with the wet ingredients and carrots

Here is the batter with the wet ingredients and carrots

I should also tell you that you should make DOUBLE this recipe.  You’re going to want to eat the whole loaf yourself, but also share one- it is one hell of an impressive recipe… show off your skills!  Next time, I’m going to double AND make a little bit of cream cheese glaze to drizzle overtop.

Finished product!  YUM!

Finished product! YUM!

Now that I’ve probably made you hungry for something sweet…

check out some of the other blogger’s recipes from this month’s SRC!

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch : BA Cleanse 2014

The POMEGRANATE holds a dear place in my heart.  In Judiasm, this seedy red fruit symbolizes fruitfulness and fertility.  It is a symbol and a fruit that was very prominent in our trip to Israel.  We came across many vendors selling cupfuls of fresh pom juice and enjoyed it throughout the trip.  I even purchased a small piece of art that’s shaped like a pomegranate!

The pom juice in Israel was amazing!  It was only like $3 too... could you imagine getting a 16oz of fresh pom juice here for $3?!

The pom juice in Israel was amazing! It was only like $3 too… could you imagine getting a 16oz of fresh pom juice here for $3?!

When we arrived home from Israel, I was determined to find one of these contraptions we saw in Israel that allowed the vendors to make the pom juice so quick.  I didn’t have such luck and could only find industrial juicers that were way too expensive.  About a year later, our friend Donny remembered my quest and bought us one as our housewarming gift.  It’s awesome!  We use it to juice both poms and oranges… very cool!

Regan and I enjoying fresh juice in Tel Aviv in Israel

Regan and I enjoying fresh juice in Tel Aviv in Israel

Anyway, the pomegranate shows up in a few recipes during the Bon Appetit Cleanse, which I just love.  This breakfast recipe is something I had never tried before and it was a huge success.  I’ve made the multigrain hot cereal before with bananas, but the pomegranates offer that crunch and a bit of sour flavor to make it interesting.

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Multigrain Cereal (I use Trader Joe’s, it’s like $2 in the store)
2 Tablespoons Pomegranate Seeds
1 Tablespoon Spiced Pepita and Cashew Crunch
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Directions:

Prepare multigrain cereal according to package directions (boil in a pot with water, stirring occasionally). Top with pomegranate seeds and Spiced Pepita and Cashew Crunch; drizzle with nut or soy milk.

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

I was super psyched to share a new brekfast recipe with you.  I normally have plain Kashi cereal, greek yogurt, or some egg whites for breakfast… not really anything to write home about!  That’s what is so great about the cleanse… it forced me to try new recipes for EVERY meal, not just dinner!

The Pepita Crunch in this recipe I absolutely love.  I have used it on so many recipes so far.  I even wrote about it on the blog already!  Make sure you have this made in advance so breakfast is easy in the morning.

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts.  This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD!  Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts. This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD! Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast?  Try these!

Smoked Salmon Hash w/ Egg & Fried Basil

Smoked Salmon Hash w/ Egg & Fried Basil

Biggest Loser Pancakes... amazing!

Biggest Loser Pancakes… amazing!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Hot Cereal

Peanut Butter & Jelly Hot Cereal