4 string Cheeses (or 4 oz. of mixed cheeses, like I did!)
40 mixed Nuts (optional)
4 Mandarin oranges
20 Grape Tomatoes
20 Baby Carrots
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch sticks
2 Bell Peppers, cut into 1/2-inch sticks (optional)
24 Cucumber slices (optional)
PB&J the sandwich thins, then slice in half. Cut the carrots / celery to bite size. Add the rest of the ingredients.
Please ignore the actual Starbucks fruit & nut packs in the photos, I just saved them since forever and wanted to use them up. ^_^ I tried the cucumber slices previously but they would retain so much moisture and get everything soggy. Same problem with hummus without having a cupcake paper or something to hold its viscous mass.
Costs: 3 lbs. Mandarins $5.99 Oaxaca cheese $4.99 Queso de Papa $1.99 Arnold Sandwich Thins $4.29 Grape Tomatoes $2.50 Carrots and Celery, sliced $2.21
3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup + more to taste if desired
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds*
1/4 cup coconut chips
Combine uncooked rolled / old-fashioned oats, milk / Greek yogurt and sweetener and spices if using.
Scoop some of the oats into a bowl, mason jar or a resealable container.
Slice or chop up some strawberries and layer over the oats.
Spoon in the rest of the oats on top. Alternatively, you can just mix in the strawberries with the oats and just add everything into the jar or container all at once.
Seal up the container and park it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, you can heat the glass jar up in the microwave for a hot breakfast or enjoy your overnight oats cold straight from the fridge. You can add more milk and any fun toppings of your choice.
It should keep for 4-5 days.
To cook the quinoa or steel-cut oats:
Add water to a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and salt. Cook on medium-low, uncovered, until the grains are just tender and the water has evaporated, 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in the coconut milk, chia seeds, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla. Taste and add additional sweetener if desired. Allow to cool, then pour into eight separate containers (about 1 cup per container). I like to use mason jars because they have lids + they’re sturdy and portable.
I didn’t have quinoa or steel-cut oats this time, but I loved the texture in the Starbucks version (shaved coconut might be harder to acquire, or pricy). I didn’t have almonds or fresh fruit either, maybe when it’s in season… I used some cow’s whole milk, but will try coconut milk next, if I cook the oats and quinoa together.
Cover the eggs in a saucepan with water: Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch or two of water. 6 eggs should be covered by at least an inch, 7 to 12 eggs, 2 inches.
Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil. add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Turn off the heat, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.
Strain the water from the pan and run cold / ice water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further.
Brush apple slices lightly with fresh lemon juice to prevent browning if desired. Alternatively, keep the slices face down and pressed together prevent browning as well.
Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble four protein bistro boxes and store refrigerated.
Eggs should be eaten within 5 days. I’m not a big fruit person, so I go cucumbers, carrots, and celery with pesto hummus. I did manage to find sandwich thins (Arnold) by some miracle. My first attempt, I decided to just try hard-boiling four eggs, to see if I could do it right. Next time, I will get a bigger pot or pan, and cook all eight eggs at once so I can meal prep for four lunches at a time. Teacher hack ^_^ This would look pretty with some red bell pepper, if they were in season and cheaper.
Carrots/Celery $1.99 Extra sharp cheddar $2.69 Gouda cheese $4.99 Arnold Thins $4.29 Esti pesto hummus $3.79 Cucumber $0.80 Green bell pepper $1.93 Dozen brown eggs $2.99
Total $23.47 for two ‘weeks’ worth of protein boxes (8 boxes)
2 cans 15.5 oz dark kidney beans, drained (I used Teasdale Chile verde beans and Goya Frijoles negros)
1 14 ounce (400 g) can of diced tomatoes
1 cup canned vegetable stock or turkey broth
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 stick of celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or lime juice
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa or cornmeal (I used corn starch)
1/3 cup chili powder (I used paprika instead — sweeter flavor)
cilantro, chopped, to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Place a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the onion, stirring well, and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the celery.
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Gradually add the broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in all of the spices (e.g. chili powder, cumin), cocoa (thickener), and tomatoes (and tomato paste).
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans, bell pepper, salt, and vinegar (or lime juice), stirring well.
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes more. Adjust flavor with your spices of choice. Top with the chopped cilantro.
Garnish with cheddar, sour cream, and jalapeno, as you like it. Serve hot, with cornbread, if desired.
Turkey is good brain food, and Whole Foods has a Tequila lime turkey chili with beans that we would get, before I tried this recipe. I love the tomato paste that comes in metal tubes, like at Rewe or Kaufland or Edeka, because you wouldn’t have to worry about finishing the tin or storing the unused bit. I added ½ a carrot because I had it on hand and I didn’t think it would detract from the primary flavors. Wish I had some cheddar to grate on top!
Preheat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Peel and cut sweet potatoes into thin slices.
Place garlic, oil, butter, salt, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Throw in sweet potatoes and toss until well coated.
Lightly butter a baking dish and arrange coated sweet potatoes into a spiral. Sprinkle with a little parmesan if you like.
Bake for 18-22 minutes. Serve the garlic parmesan roasted sweet potatoes warm and sprinkle with thyme if desired.
Jennifer picked out a recipe she wanted to use 3 sweet potatoes she had on hand, for a dinner we were invited to. These definitely needed to be cooked longer, or cut thinner. My bad! Next time I’ll do slices, which bake deliciously and look fancy as heck. Also, plastic is evil — avoid at all costs.
Drizzle olive oil over the salmon. Coat completely. Combine cumin, salt, and pepper and sprinkle mixture over the fish.
When the pan is hot, place fish, skin side down. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon, cover and grill an additional 3-4 minutes, more or less, depending on your taste. When the fish is cooked to your liking, remove from the pan and top with the avocado salsa.
To make the salsa: Combine the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and avocado. Squeeze the lime juice over the salsa and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set the salsa aside until serving.
I picked up an avocado at the corner green grocer. Had diced white onions and no fresh lime (not the season), and leftover (Whole Foods organic) cilantro from last time. I bought some local cherry tomatoes of different shapes and colors from Whole Foods, splurge! I forgot and used 1/2 lemon instead of the 1/2 lime still in the fridge (it was very dry though). I steamed a broccoli crown (over cooked a little bit more than the 4 minutes I should have done) for extra vegetable. And served over a bed of 1/2 organic brown, 1/2 Chinese white rice.
1 jalapeño, (omitted because I don’t handle spice)
1/2 tomatillo, roughly chopped
1 scallion, roughly chopped
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
Fold everything gently together in a large bowl. Some of the avocado will mash naturally, but most of it should keep its shape, which tastes divine. Do the garlic and lime juice first, letting them mellow out while you chop up the rest of the ingredients. Serve fresh.
I first read about this in my Google News feed, on Salon. Took way more than five minutes to prep though. Served atop of my crispy pan-seared salmon on vegetable pasta.
FOR THE BERRIES-MIXTURE
1-1/2 cups halved strawberries
1/2- cup plain yogurt (I used Lifeway pomegranate kefir)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice
FOR THE GREENS-MIXTURE
2 cups torn kale leaves , packed (I used baby spinach)
1 green apple , quartered (optional)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use Stonyfield Organic whole milk)
1/4 cup coconut/soy milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice
Freeze strawberries and 1 banana for 20 minutes. During that time, blend the kale, 1 banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until smooth and creamy. Divide into four portions and freeze for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, blend frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until creamy and smooth. Pour strawberry smoothie over kale and serve immediately.
Summertime means looking for cold, fresh, in-season recipes. This hits all the right spots for breakfast and a sweet treat. Plus, spinach has iron for us anemics!