Simple Pico de Gallo Recipe

The hardest thing about making pico de gallo is chopping the vegetables. After you get over that hump, it is smooth sailing.

This simple pico de gallo recipe was taste-tested during my Om, Nom event over the weekend. First participants got sweaty in a vinyasa-inspired yoga bootcamp class, then everyone tasted my newest go-to breakfast: savory oatmeal.

On top of that lovely savory oatmeal was this vibrant pico de gallo. The recipe below nearly filled up two mason jars — which was perfect for the event. Though, if you are like me, you could probably eat an entire jar yourself.

Make it in your kitchen and tag #SHSHkitchen when you do!

Simple Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: 8-10, 2 Tbsp each
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut small

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 yellow or orange pepper

2-3 Tbsp of fresh cilantro, chopped

2-3 scallion stalks, chopped

1 lime

1/2 tsp sea salt

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Directions

  1. The worst part is first: Chopping the tomatoes. After rinsing the cherry tomatoes, chop each one into 6ths or 8ths depending on size. Use your best knife and exercise patience.
  2. After the tomatoes are chopped, move onto the onion and peppers. Chop them just as small as the tomatoes.
  3. Add all veggies to a mixing bowl. Then, add the chopped scallions and cilantro. Combine well.
  4. Juice the entire lime over the bowl,  add the sea salt and give your pico de gallo a toss.
  5. Cover and set in the fridge until serving time. Store it in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

 

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Savory oats: A healthy breakfast option

Breakfast, I love you. Oatmeal, you are amazing.

What’s great about oatmeal is that it doesn’t always need to be sweet and topped with fruit. This take on oatmeal packs all the benefits of the hearty whole grain, plus protein from… drumroll… lentils!

Lentils are a staple in vegetarian diets. They can be seasoned to take on a variety of flavors… and you’ve probably seen them in curry dishes, veggie stews and on hearty salads.

Yesterday we made this savory oatmeal dish at Om, Nom — my yoga and food series at Boston Public Market. We started with 60-minutes of yoga bootcamp followed by a tasting and quick explanation of how to put together a healthy savory oatmeal bowl.

Here is the nutritional breakdown of this dish:

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein Sugar
Green lentils, 1 cup 680 2 115 59 50 3.9
GF Oats, 1 cup 300 5 54 8 12 2
Sweet potato, 1 cup cubed 114 0 27 4 2.1 6
Avocado, 1 322 29 17 13 4 1
Total 1416 36 213 84 68.1 12.9
Per serving (4) 354 9 53.25 21 17.025 3.225

Now, get to cooking.

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  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Healthy Savory Oatmeal

Ingredients

1 cup green lentils

1 cup gluten free oats

1 cup cubed sweet potato, cooked

1 avocado

1/2 cup salsa of choice

Optional toppings: eggs, mixed greens, tofu scramble

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Directions

  1. Start by cooking the lentils and oats at the same time. Follow the cooking  instructions on the lentil packaging, but also add the oats and 1 extra cup of water. You can also do the cooking in a rice cooker.
  2. After the lentils are cooked, top your oats with your favorite ingredients — greens, 2 Tbsp salsa, 1/4 avocado and maybe an egg.

How about the pico de gallo?! Recipe coming this week.

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Remember those Roasted Curry Carrots from last week? Well, while roasting those I also used some Japanese sweet potatoes I had laying around.

I love Japanese sweet potatoes because they are the perfect blend of sweet and starch. The average serving of Japanese sweet potato is 5 inches — or about 130 grams. This serving  size contains just under 120 calories, none of which come from fat. For my paleo and low-carb friends out there, sweet potatoes are a great carbohydrates to have in your diet.

To add, these potatoes are a great source of vitamin A (~200% of the recommended daily value). Prep these Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes in a big batch to serve with meals throughout the week. They are delicious and filling.

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Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

(serves 2-3)

Ingredients

2 medium-large Japanese sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil

Spices

1 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all of the spices together. Set aside.
  3. Rinse the sweet potato and chop into bite-sized pieces. Leave the skin on ( — it’s got the nutrients).
  4. Place the sweet potato on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Next, pour the spices on and use your hands to mix.
  5. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until they start to crisp and turn brown.

When you make these Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes, take a photo and tag a #SHSHkitchen! Happy, healthy eating. <3

Roasted Curry Carrots

While working from home one Friday, I didn’t have time to get too creative during lunch since I had phone calls scheduled and deadlines to hit. I needed something quick and easy — oh, and preferably something that I could eat for lunch the next day too.

The solution: Roasted veggies. Lucky for me, two things I often buy in excess on grocery shopping trips are carrots and sweet potatoes.

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First up were these roasted “curry” carrots. I put curry in quotes because I made my own curry spice blend. Most curry powder recipes include coriander, cumin, chili peppers and turmeric. Other spices often included are garlic, ginger and cayenne. For my powder, the star is the turmeric.

Bake these curried carrots during your weekly food prep or as a side dish at dinner. They taste great warm — and pretty good cold too.

Roasted Curry Carrots

(serves 4-6)

Ingredients

10-15 large [rainbow] carrots, washed

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Spices

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red chili flakes

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all of the spices  together. Set aside.
  3. Slice the carrots into sticks  and arrange them on the baking sheet.
  4. Pour the melted coconut oil over the carrots. Next, sprinkle the spice blend and start to get those hands dirty. Toss the carrots in the oil and spices until well-coated. Arrange them on the pan without overlap.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until the edges start to brown and crisp.

Enjoy fresh and hot — or store in the fridge for a few days.

Healthy Patatas Bravas Recipe

Barcelona Wine Bar in Brookline is one of my favorite restaurants in the area. Not only is it close to home, but the food is great, the staff is awesome, tapas are reasonably priced and the sangria is always on point. They recently opened a second Massachusetts location in the South End. If you haven’t check them out, put it on your bucket list.

One dish we always get is the patatas bravas: fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce. This dish also has a mayo drizzled on top. Since I can’t — or shouldn’t — eat out at Barcelona Wine Bar every day, I thought I’d try to replicate this delish dish on my own. The spicy tomato sauce isn’t quite right, but this version is simple, tasty and not all that bad for you.

At the base, the potatoes are baked instead of fried. The tomato sauce seasoned with smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Finally, instead of mayo I stirred up a special Greek yogurt aioli. My test subjects? My favorite gal pals and Grandma Carol.

patatas

The dish was a hit! Next time, I’ll crisp the potatoes more and blend the sauce smoother. Recipe below!

Healthy Patatas Bravas Recipe

Ingredients

For the roasted potatoes:

2 pounds of small yellow/golden potatoes, or medley bag

2 Tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

For the spicy tomato sauce:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 large), diced

1 can unsalted diced tomatoes

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp salt

1 tsp honey (or sugar)

Greek yogurt aioli:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Optional garnishes:

Fresh parsley

Directions

  1. For the potatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces (skin on) and then toss with oil and salt. Add the chopped potatoes to a baking sheet and roast for 40-50 minutes (or until desired crispness), flipping them halfway through.
  2. For the sauce: While the potatoes bake, prepare the spicy tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pot, add the onion and cook until fragrant. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and increase the heat to bring sauce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Taste to see if you need more spice. Optional: Let cool slightly and add to a food processor if you want a smoother consistency. 
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  3. For the Greek yogurt aioli: Stir all ingredients together. (Phew! That one was easy.)
  4. Put it all together: Once the potatoes have reached a desired crispness, add them to a large serving bowl or dish. Pour the tomato sauce over the potatoes, drizzle the aioli and then garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Mint Cacao Smoothie Recipe

Summer, where have you been all my life?  When the weather is warmer, my smoothie game is on point. There’s nothing better than an ice-cold, refreshing smoothie on a hot day — especially a filling one.

When it comes to creating a good smoothie, it’s about including something frozen + something creamy + something slightly sweet. After that, the world–err–fridge is your oyster. For me, my base is almost always a frozen banana (creamy and cold), 1 cup of almond milk and 1 tbsp of chia seeds. From there, I’ll usually add whatever greens I have on hand, plus some berries or flavor booster.

This particular mint cacao smoothie recipe came about for two reasons:

  1. I love raw cacao. (I buy TruVibe Organics.)
  2. My mint plant is out of control.

My stepdad built an amazing vertical planter for my porch and the herbs are thriving to the point where it’s becoming overwhelming. I pick mint regularly for minty lemon water (thanks for the idea, Lisa), but I need another use. I thought, mint chocolate smoothie… then thought, mint cacao smoothie. Um, yum!

Raw cacao mint smoothie

(serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs for garnish

Directions

Place bananas, raw cacao, milk and other ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth! Add more milk or ice to alter the consistency. Tip for freezing bananas: Peel, chop into 4s and freeze in a ziplock bag.cacao smoothie

Optional: If you need something more filling, add a handful of spinach, 1/4 cup oats, or 1/2 cup of berries, etc. Other good add-ins are more chia seeds, flaxseed, hemp hearts or a dollop of granola.

Try some of my other favorite smoothies:

Miso Glazed Eggplant Recipe

This miso glaze recipe is bomb-diggity. Not only is it the perfect accompaniment to this roasted eggplant, but it also doubles as a dressing for your salad or buddha bowl.

Before even thinking about this miso glazed eggplant recipe, you will need to invest in light miso paste. You can find this at your local Asian market and in some grocery stores. According to Mind of  Chef, buying in Japan is best — but buying one made in Japan might be the next best. As for eggplant, regular or Japanese works!

Miso Glazed Eggplant Recipe

Ingredients

¼ cup light miso paste

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp water

½ – 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped roughly

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp raw honey (maple syrup or regular honey works)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 eggplant, mostly peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch thick lengthwise (*or 4-6 Japanese eggplant, skin on, sliced in half lengthwise)eggplant

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler. My broiler is particularly powerful, so I put it on the low setting. (The time recommendations below are for a standard broiler with one setting. But, as always, I recommend keeping an eye on things to avoid burning.)
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil (or parchment paper — I’m always afraid it’ll burn). Rub both sides of your eggplant strips with oil and arrange on the pan with no overlap (skin side down if using Japanese eggplant). Broil for 5 minutes or until tops are golden brown.eggplant
  3. While eggplant is broiling, combine miso, vinegar, water, honey, ginger and garlic in a food processor.eggplant
  4. Remove the eggplant from the oven and brush the tops generously with the miso glaze. Return to the oven for 2 minutes, or until caramelized. Remove from the oven, brush again with the miso glaze and return to the broiler, rotating the pan for even cooking for 2 more minutes.eggplant
  5. Serve right away! (Best if served immediately, will be mushier if reheating as leftovers.)

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Tofu Glass Noodles

Last week, I had this weird craving for these bean threads. You can find bean threads at an Asian food store — or in the international section of your favorite grocery store (usually you’ll see the Saifun brand I used here). Serve this dish hot or cold as a simple weekday lunch or dinner. From start to finish, it takes you less than 20 minutes.

Keep in mind — any of the veggies can be swapped out for what’s in your fridge. As you’ll see in the photos, I added some mushrooms (I needed to use them up), but mushrooms are not 0n the ingredient list.noodles

Tofu Glass Noodles

Serves 3-4
Ingredients

5-6 ounces dry glass noodles (I used Saifun bean threads)

2 Tbsp sesame oil

 3/4 package of firm tofu, cubed (How to Prepare Tofu)

1 Tbsp ginger, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 large carrots, sliced into thin sticks

1 red bell pepper, sliced thing

1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped

sesame seeds for garnish

Sauce for spicy noodles (this one is my favorite)

2 tsp garlic chili paste

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 lime, juiced

Sauce for sweeter noodles

2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 lime, juiced

Directions
  1. Noodles: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil (use an electric tea kettle — so easy!). Break the noodle bunches in half, place them in a large bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and divide into 3 or 4 serving bowls.
  2. Tofu: In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil (other oil works) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add cubed tofu and let it crisp. Fried it on each site until golden brown.noodles
  3. Veggies: In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tbsp sesame oil and then add ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add carrots, peppers and 1 Tbsp water. Cover and cook until they start to soften (like steaming them). After about 5 minutes, add kale and cook until it wilts.noodles
  4. Sauce: In a bowl, whisk together your sauce ingredients. If serving your dish hot, add your sauce to you veggies to warm it up in the next step. If serving cold, put sauce to the side for now. noodles
  5. Remove your veggies from heat and mix in the cooked tofu. If serving hot, mix in the sauce and tofu before removing from the heat. If serving cold, add sauce and let everything cool.
  6. Add the skillet ingredients to your noodles, toss gently and serve!
Stay healthy, stay happy!

Vegan Matcha Oatmeal

I finally got my hands on some Japanese matcha powder a couple weeks ago and experimentation has begun. Last week I made matcha muffins, but concluded that they needed more matcha (stay tuned). On Monday, I made a green tea latte but struggled to get it right without a milk frother or bamboo whisk (birthday present ideas, people). FullSizeRender (11)

Also, I have a high standard for this beverage in particular after sipping on matcha lattes in Japan. Lucky for me… WE ARE GOING BACK TO JAPAN IN JULY. Downside, the last thing I’ll want in the 100-degree whether is a hot matcha latte. But, who knows!

This morning, I thought, why not marry two of my fav things — matcha and oatmeal — to make a yummy breakfast. Here’s what we got!

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Invest in some high-quality matcha powder and make this alternative vegan breakfast yourself!

Matcha Oatmeal

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats

1 cup dairy-free milk

1.5 tsp matcha powder

2 Tbsp hot water

sweetener*

toppings**

*I used liquid stevia. Brown sugar, raw honey, maple syrup or other sweeteners work too!

**I recommend going the coconut route and opting for coconut milk as your non-dairy milk. Then sprinkle your oats with shredded coconut, banana, etc.

Directions

  1. In a small pot, heat 1/2 cup oats and 1 cup dairy-free milk to a simmer. Stir constantly and cook until oats are soft and milk is mostly absorbed (about 5 minutes). Before removing from the heat, stir in sweetener of choice.
  2. Stir 1.5 tsp of matcha powder in 2 Tbsp of hot water until it dissolves. Add this to your cooked oats.
  3. Top with shredded coconut, nut butter, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds — what have you.

oatsEnjoy!

Raw Cacao Banana Oats (or Pancakes)

Breakfast, I love you. Raw cacao, I love you too.

Raw Cacao Banana Oats

Ingredients

1/4 cup gluten-free oats*

1 banana, sliced

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

3/4 – 1 cup almond milk**

Toppings: Sliced banana, raw cacao nibs

*Any oats work

**This depends on how thick you want your oats; you can always add more milk

Directions

  1. Add sliced banana, oats and 1/2 cup almond milk to your bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 second to soften the banana and oats. Remove from microwave to stir and smush the banana.
  3. Add the raw cacao powder and the rest of the almond milk (1/4-1/2 cups). Place back in the microwave for 2 minutes (watch so that it doesn’t overflow while cooking).
  4. Stir, let cool and them top with your favorite toppings (cacao nibs, extra banana, a scoop of nut butter).

oatsFeel like pancakes? Instead of putting the bowl back in the microwave during step three above, pour the oat batter onto a warm skillet and cook like pancakes. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Why whole wheat? To fill you up and keeping you from eating 10 cookies. Why vegan? Because I’d rather eat my eggs scrambled, boiled or cooked over-easy.

Most of my dessert recipes use whole wheat or gluten-free flour and a flaxseed egg to sneak in extra health benefits. When possible, I also use raw honey, pure maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of the white granulated kind. But, all of this comes down to who I’m cooking for. If it’s me, desserts are healthy as possible and just sweet enough to satisfy my taste buds. If I’m cooking for a crowd, I aim to please.

This recipe is easily manipulated. Make it as healthy or unhealthy as you want by playing around with your ingredients. Comment below if you have questions!cookie

Whole Wheat Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

(makes 18-24)

Ingredients

1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp water
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup peanut butter*
1/2 cup sugar**
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 + 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

*I opt for crunchy, unsalted PB

**When baking for a crowd, I use white granulated. At home, it is coconut sugar or another 1/4 cup maple syrup.

Directions

  1. To make a flaxseed egg, mix ground flaxseed and water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. It will start to take on a gel-like consistency.
  2. Add coconut oil, PB, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract to the flaxseed egg. Blend well using an electric mixer or whisk (I recommend electric).
  3. To the same bowl, at your flour, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Stir everything together (using an electric mixer if you have one). Cookie dough will start to come together after a minute or so.
  4. Place cookie dough in the freezer and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Once the oven is preheated, take dough out of the freezer and start rolling your cookies into balls (no bigger than golf balls). Flatten them gently by pressing with a fork twice in two different directions (to make a grid-like pattern).
  6. Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until edges start to brown.
  7. Remove and let cool.

Enjoy!cookies

Roasted miso chickpeas

I love garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Every week I buy one can of chickpeas to make hummus, add them to soup or roast them. This variation of legume is, much like its siblings, rich in fiber. What’s extra special about the fiber in garbanzo beans is that it’s insoluble. This means that the fiber passes almost all the way through the digestive track until the very end when it is broken down into short chain fatty acids which are absorbed by the cells that line our colon wall — helping them stay active and healthy.

This roasted miso chickpea recipe is easy because there are only three necessary ingredients. Watch the video and read the recipe below.

Ingredients

1 can garbanzo beans

1 Tbsp miso paste

1 Tbsp oil

chickpeasDirections

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Drain and rinse your garbanzo beans, and then pat dry. Put them into a mixing bowl.
  3. Combine oil and miso paste, adding a tsp of water if the mixture seems too thick. When in doubt, add the water. (*If you want to add a touch a sweetness to your chickpeas, add 1 Tbsp of honey/maple syrup instead of oil!)
  4. Pour miso over your chickpeas and then stir to coat each one. Spread chickpeas out on your baking sheet so there is no overlap and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. After 25 minutes, remove from the oven and toss. Bake for another 10-15 or until they start to crisp. (More time might be necessary.)
  6. Let cool, then enjoy!chickpeas

 

Vegan Chickpea Coconut Curry

Cooking is my meditation — well, one of my many meditative practices. For me, meditation doesn’t necessarily require sitting quietly (though, that is most effective IMO). The whole purpose of meditation, in whatever form it takes, is to cultivate awareness and compassion.

Boston yogi, Rebecca Pacheco, describes it well:

It’s not possible to be bad at meditation.  There’s doing it and not doing it.  That’s all.  If you want to try: try.  And be assured that it doesn’t always look, sound, or feel Zen.  Sometimes, it feels wretched or boring or like nothing much at all.  It doesn’t matter how long or where you sit, whether roused by an antique Buddhist gong or iPhone.

 

All experiences of meditation are good and valuable because they cultivate the skill of being present, of strengthening the mind.

How often do you focus your attention on one thing or one task? When sitting in meditation, it’s about becoming still and maybe repeating a mantra to gain control of the mind and reach a heightened awareness.  On your yoga mat, it’s a matter of staying present and keeping your physically body and attention in the room. In Zumba class, it’s about staying engulfed in the rhythm, the movement and how your body feels as you move with the beat. In the kitchen, it’s about paying attention to the task at hand — slicing carefully, stirring thoughtfully and paying attention to the ingredients going into your body.

The goal of meditation is to become more aware of your physical and mental body — while also developing compassion, patience, generosity and forgiveness. The intended outcome of all things you do should be the same — to develop compassion, patience, generosity and forgiveness. This is especially true for the foods you fuel your body with, which is something I’ve been reading about in my Japanese home cooking book by Elizabeth Andoh, “Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen.” Rhythm and flow in the kitchen is important — so is cooking with compassion.

Oh, you came here for a recipe?

The point of all of this is… I have found so much joy in cooking lately and I attribute that to the recent meditative nature of my work in the kitchen. I’m always attentive about what is going into my body (for many reasons), but I didn’t always engulf myself in the process. This recipe is based off of one from VeganSandra.curry

Chickpea Coconut Curry

Ingredients

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 leek, just the whites sliced thin (or 1/2 white onion sliced thin)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

2 bay leaves

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 can of diced tomatoes

1, 14 oz can of coconut milk (I buy organic, light coconut milk from Trader Joe’s)

  1. In your soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add thinly sliced leeks/onions and salt. Cook for one minute. Add curry, cumin and and bay leaves. Stir and cook for one minute. Add drained chickpeas and cook for another minute. Add the entire can of tomatoes and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
  3. Open the can of coconut milk  stir vigorously. Add about 1/2 of the can to your pot and simmer for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Final step: Taste test your curry and add more coconut milk if it’s not coconut-y for you. Mine was plenty coconut-y without the rest of the can — but, everyone’s taste buds are different.

Serve alone or over a bed of rice with a drizzle of soy sauce (or tamari). Nom, nom, nom!curry

Pumpkin Millet Porridge

Fall is the best — but always so short-lived. I’m taking advantage of fall flavors and autumn-inspired meals before the season turns to winter. Up first, we have a breakfast item.

If you know me at all (or follow me on Instgram), you know that I eat gluten-free oats almost every day for breakfast. They can come in any form: warm oats, cold overnight oats, savory oats with an egg on top, or even in a smoothie. I love how I feel when fueled by oats in the morning. But, there’s more to breakfast — and the grain family — than just oats. For example quinoa, millet, rice and buckwheat are all gluten-free.

Each of those make a fine breakfast grain option believe it or not. The star in the millet porridge dish is certainly the pumpkin purée. I buy the good, organic, as-close-to-straight-up-pumpkin as you can get. The toppings and sweetener are up to you — as always.

Pumpkin Millet Porridge

(serves 2)

Ingredients

1/2 cup dry millet

1 cup water

1/2 cup organic pumpkin purée (get the good stuff!)

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp cinnamon

*Optional: Sweetener of your choice (honey, stevia, maple syrup)

Directions

  1. If you are starting with dry, uncooked millet, add it to a small sauce pan with the water. Bring the millet and water to a boil, and then let it simmer until all the water absorbs (about 10 minutes). If you are starting with cooked millet, use 1 cup and start at step #2.SAMSUNG CSC
  2. To the saucepan add pumpkin, almond milk and cinnamon. Let ingredients simmer until everything warms to your desired serving temperature. Add in your preferred sweetener (optional).SAMSUNG CSC
  3. Split porridge into two bowls and share with a friend, or store half in the fridge to eat warm or cold the next day.
  4. Top with sliced banana, sliced almonds and/or — of course — pumpkin seeds!SAMSUNG CSC

 

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Vegan, gluten-free mac & cheese? Could it be?! Well, the vegan part is totally up to you. I used parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese in my batch — but you could leave it out or sub in a dairy-free option. This isn’t the first time I’ve attempted this mac & cheese, but it’s the first time I finally got it right! I mostly credit my handy-dandy hand mixer Ryo so kindly bought (so I’d make more cookies).

The key ingredients in this recipe are Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Fusilli ($1.99), sweet potato and original, un-sweetened almond milk (though any dairy-free milk will do). The brown rice fusilli has only two ingredients (Yes, TWO ingredients): organic brown rice and water. 

mac and cheeseIn addition to those three core ingredients, add all the cheeses and spices your heart desired. I added basil, oregano, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and pepper.

mac and cheeseSweet Potato Mac & Cheese

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

3/4 package of Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Fusilli (6 cups cooked)

2 cups sweet potato, mashed

1 cup unsweetened original almond milk

2 tbsp parmesan cheese (omit or use other)

1/2 tsp of each: Basil, oregano, black pepper (omit or switch it up)

*Bonus: Add some leafy greens like kale, spinach or arugula

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Fusilli according to package instructions.
  3. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave (or bake/boil) until mashable. I tossed mine in the microwave for time’s sake and peeled after letting it cool slightly. The skin comes right off the potato after microwaving — but you’re welcome to peel ahead of time.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mash potato. Add almond milk and seasonings to the bowl, and then blend with a hand mixer. For creamier mac & cheese, add an extra 1/4+ cup almond milk.mac and cheese
  5. Stir in 6 cups cooked pasta and any leafy greens. mac and cheese
  6. In a non-stick or lightly-grease baking pan, pour mac & cheese, then top with a layer of mozzarella if desired.  Bake until cheese melts.mac and cheese

Honestly, you don’t have to bake it at all if you’re not melting any cheese. I was eating it out of the bowl before putting it in the oven. LMK if you try this recipe in the comment section below! Enjoy!