Happy September!! I’m still in denial. It was just yesterday I was at a Third Eye Blind concert with my friend, Steph. It was mid-June and naturally we were complaining summer was “already gone” in that way you complain about how bad your hair looks when you know you look like a bombshell. Complaining to complain because we knew we had that reassurance of July’s and August’s hot and sunny days ahead. Now we have a right to actually complain since it’s literally September, but on the bright side, you know all know what that means — it’s oatmeal season!!! Who’s excited?! I woke up this morning to a cool enough breeze that I needed a long sleeve shirt to sip on my morning cup of pumpkin spice coffee. (If you can’t tell, I’m really embracing this weather change…) With zucchini season coming to a close now, it’s that late summer vegetable that you have so much you never know what to do with it. I decided Zucchini Bread Oatmeal would be the perfect outlet. You’d never know you’re consuming zucchini in this sweet breakfast of nutmeg and cinnamon, plump raisins and walnuts for texture.
It’s rhubarb season, strawberry season AND hot summer days season. Normally I have the luxury of enjoying fresh rhubarb back home in Maine — straight out of the garden. Thank God Whole Foods in Boston delivered; you can buy individual stalks when in season. My mom and I originally found this strawberry-rhubarb compote recipe from Skinny Taste a couple summers ago. The tartness of the rhubarb is perfectly balanced with sweet and juicy strawberries to make a sauce. This time, I added in lemon zest and a juicy ripe peach. Layer over your favorite yogurt and granola for a Zesty Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Parfait — the perfect on-the-go breakfast! (Or hey — even dessert.)
Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with some Raspberry Lime Rickeys with Hendrick’s. Seen in Cooking Light, I just had to try these. My roommate, Perin, and I wholeheartedly approved of these adult slushies. The flavors of the tart, but sweet raspberries with fresh lime juice paired perfectly with Hendrick’s cucumber gin; they’re completely refreshing. I may even have to keep from frozen raspberries and lime juice on hand to enjoy as a warm-weather mocktail.
(Just in case you want more boozy drink ideas, BuzzFeed has a list of “29 Boozy Slushies That Are Worth the Brain Freeze.”)
I don’t know about you, but I like my drinks tart and not sickeningly sweet. Cider, margaritas, cocktails — the less sweet the better. My friend over at Insane for Drinks was kind enough to share Sauza 901 tequila. So good and smooth. None of that cheap stuff they give you for shots in your college dive bar (Salty, I’m looking at you). Plus, JT (i.e. Justin Timberlake) endorses this fine bottle, so obviously it must be good. (Don’t believe me? See here.) Toss in all fresh ingredients and some agave nectar to have a Four Ingredient Margaritas — a lighter take on the classic drink.
This was super easy. Dump, chill, stir and breakfast is served. It’s that easy — seriously. Aloha‘s Daily Good Chocolate isn’t too chocolatey or dark like cacao powder; it’s subtle in flavor, but just enough to get its point across. Add in some almond milk and coconut flakes and German Chocolate “Cake” Overnight Chia Oats was born. Hope you relish all the time that you now have on your hands in the morning to just sit back, sip your coffee and/or tea and enjoy your wonderful already-prepared-breakfast just as much as I did.
Sometimes you need a little less meat in your life. I stumbled across BuzzFeed Food, which is a winning combo because I like BuzzFeed just as much as I enjoy food, so can’t go wrong there. This recipe was under five dinner options to make from one grocery list (quinoa & carrot ribbon salad, spaghetti squash with bacon, goat cheese and spinach . . . have I tempted you to look yet?). I like sage, I love kale, and the idea of Meatless Monday is starting to become a routine in my cooking. It was easy enough to pop the sweet potato in the microwave and then let the chickpeas, onions and kale roast in the oven after tossing them with agave and sriracha. If you really can’t make it meatless, let (a smaller serving) pair with with steak, roasted chicken or pork chops. Otherwise, enjoy your Crispy Sage Chickpeas over Sweet Potato Mash just as it is.
This Ginger Oatmeal with Lemon Zest seemed decadently different. I have a lot of fresh ginger kicking around from making Cranberry Orange Tea with Ginger and the peanut sauce for the Asian Peanut Zucchini Noodles. Freshly grated ginger is a bit stringy, so I used a combination of ground and fresh ginger to get the taste. The lemon zest adds a bright flavor and then topped with blueberries and juicy pomegranate seeds and your tastebuds won’t know what hit them.
I saw this recipe on Skinny Taste at the end of last fall and I was a bit skeptical. Quinoa, at least red quinoa, has that bitter taste to it. I wasn’t sure how it would perform as a breakfast dish. I think we can all agree I’ve explored the oatmeal and steel-cut oats options quite thoroughly, so I thought why not give it a try? Plus, it’s a different gluten-free breakfast option. Cutting the quinoa directly in almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and agave could the quinoa a different twist from its bitter profile. Add fresh fruit and bam! The Vanilla Quinoa Breakfast Bowls were born.
Oh my goodness. I just died a little. Chocolate-Covered Katie is brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you. You could double this or triple it and it would still be healthier than a muffin from Starbucks or Dunkin. I can’t wait to try out other quick mug recipes — blueberry, cinnamon, pistachio? I tested this for dessert in honor of National Banana Bread Day on Monday. (Who knew that was even a thing?) Banana Bread in a Mug, you’re my new favorite thing.
I haven’t made granola in a while, but having a snow day during my second week of work with nothing to do, this sounded like my best option. Plus, I’d have a delicious snack come the rest of the week. I went to Trader Joe’s for the first time and found dried peaches when I was looking for mangoes. They’re so delicious. I also had pistachios from the move and naturally White Peach & Pistachio Granola evolved. Toss in some nutmeg and viola! The perfect cold weather snack.