Chocolate Nut Granola

Chocolate Nut GranolaI’m the kind of person who can eat the same thing every single day for as long as it takes for me to get sick of it. When I find something that works, I tend to call it a day and will find myself making it over and over until something else grabs my attention. I just like the simplicity of having a routine and not having to spend too much time thinking about what I’ll make.

For a while, every day my breakfasts were green smoothies with a piece of peanut butter toast and my lunches were BBQ tofu tacos – dinners are usually where I get some variety. Since I’ve been in Korea, my breakfasts most days are granola with soy milk and my lunches are usually eggs on toast. Boring but happy, that’s me!

DSC_3006I had been buying a Quaker’s granola at Costco, but it’s a bit too sweet and since I haven’t been going to Costco that often, I needed another option. Back in April 2013 when Elise posted that she’d been eating nut granola for breakfast every morning, I was intrigued and made a mental note to make it myself. Finally this morning I did, and already I’m a total goner.

This stuff isn’t overly sweet and has a nice hint of salt, which I love. I made it according to this recipe from Delighted Momma but with only 1/2 cup of coconut oil as opposed to the full cup that she calls for. Even then, I could probably cut down the amount a little more. I didn’t roast my nuts or bake my granola because I don’t have an oven, but even so I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s filling and absolutely delicious. I ate it with some plain yogurt and am going to try it with soy milk tomorrow for breakfast. I have a feeling I will definitely be making this again. And again, and again, knowing me.

DSC_3010-editSpeaking of delighted mamas, I am especially happy for my own today. She has worked so hard for the last few months getting my childhood home ready to sell, and happily it sold almost instantly, for more than expected, to a lovely young family who cried when they heard it was theirs. We are all really happy. My younger sister laughed and called me a hippie yogi when I said that it felt like there was a lot of good energy involved: that maybe the buyers could sense the love and laughter of our house, and that it’s so nice that we are passing it off to a young family the way ours was when we moved in. But that’s how it seems. It’s a good thing. (Anyways, I think she secretly loves that I’m a hippie yogi and I love that she’s practical and down-to-earth.) I wish I could have been there celebrating with them in the kitchen I grew up in, but since I couldn’t be, I’m thankful for the magic of FaceTime. Happy days!

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetOnce again, the recipe for this delicous granola is here.

Breakfast Smoothies

During my time eating by the slow-carb diet, every morning I ate the same thing. I’d briefly sauté a handful of broccoli and run around doing my makeup and getting dressed while it sizzled in the background. Then, I’d add a spoon of cottage cheese and 2 beaten eggs or some egg whites, depending on my mood. It was yummy, but sometimes I struggled with the egg whites being extremely watery and sort of gross. I also had issues with my frying pans getting egg-crusted and impossible to clean.

A couple weeks ago, I developed a new breakfast system that I want to share! For me, smoothies are perfect: I can prepare them when I’m still half asleep, I can quickly clean up the immersion blender, and, let’s be real here – they’re delicious.

The key here is the immersion blender. Last summer, I tried to do fruit smoothies, but using the regular blender ended up being too noisy, not to mention messy and ineffective. I bought my immersion blender cheaply at the grocery store, it’s by President’s Choice’s Everyday Essentials brand (I can’t find it online). It comes with a plastic cup which is very easy to clean, I use it for my morning smoothie every day.

Here are the loose “recipes” I’ve been using lately, depending on what I have in my kitchen.

#1: blend small handful of spinach with soy milk until smooth. Add 2-3 tbsp Greek yogurt, handful of frozen mixed berries, one banana (broken up), and about 1/4 cup of orange juice. Blend!

#2: blend small handful of spinach with some fruit juice until smooth. Add 2-3 tbsp Greek yogurt, handful frozen raspberries, 2 tbsp fruit sorbet, and a little more juice. Blend!

As you can see, the second is a little less filling. I’m planning to experiment with different types of smoothies in the coming weeks, so I’d love to hear your suggestions. I buy about one bag of frozen berries per week, alternating between mixed berries and raspberries. They cost about $6 at my grocery store. I always buy the same kind of Greek yogurt, because it’s totally delicious and full of protein. And just in case any of you are skeptical about the spinach: don’t be. It’s impossible to taste, or to feel texturally.

So please: any smoothie recipes?

Baked Egg Boats

I’ve learned so many things from Pinterest. I’ve learned how to transport cupcakes, how to fill a piping bag in the most mind-blowing way, how to keep earphone cords from tangling, how to get sand off your legs, how to keep an apple from browning.

I’ve been inspired by travel photos, gotten excited about clothes, and stumbled upon more beautiful-looking recipes than I know what to do with (I made THREE different boards to deal with all the food I’m inspired by..do I have a problem?).

If you’re not using Pinterest, what are you wasting your time on instead? {Let me know in the comments if you want an invite!}

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