10.27.2017

Red Kuri Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

It's fall, so you know, delicious fall soups are in order.  When I go grocery shopping, I have a general plan for my weekday meals.  A creamy fall squash soup was not on my mind at all until I saw this cute little organic red kuri squash.  At only $0.99 per pound (organic too!), this little squash was only $1.68 and makes an inexpensive starchy vegetable to base this lovely soup around.


I have been trying to move away from eating as many grains as I have been.  (Totally nothing wrong with whole grains!  But for me they often displace whole fruits and vegetables that pack more of a nutritional punch.) I feel like every fall my body says "all the rice and pasta!", so I have to consciously incorporate more starchy vegetables.  When I crack down and eat starchy vegetables like with sweet potatoes and this delicious red kuri squash, I am never disappointed.

Red Kuri Squash and Sweet Potato Soup 
Time: approx. 1 hour total
Servings: 4-6 servings
Ingredients:
    1 small to medium red kuri squash
    1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (approximately 2 cups)
    1 large yellow onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups vegetable broth
    1-16 oz can lite coconut milk (*see note below)
    1 Tbsp mild curry powder (**see note below)

Instructions:
1.)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Wash the outside of the red kuri squash.  With a sharp chef's knife, carefully cut the quash in half.  Scoop out the seeds and stringy guts (these seeds can be saved and baked for a crunch snack).  Lay the squash halves face down on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the outside of the squash halves are easily pierced with a fork.  Remove, turn over, and allow to cool.


2.)  While the squash halves are cooling, saute the onion and garlic in a medium saucepan (or in a pressure cooker), adding small amounts of vegetable broth to keep from sticking to the pan.  Once fragrant and soft add in the sweet potato and remaining vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. (Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, quick release.)

3.)  Once the squash is relatively cool, scoop out the soft flesh and discard the outer shell (compost!).  Add in the onion sweet potato soup, lite coconut milk, and curry powder.  Blend on medium-high until smooth and creamy.  Serve hot by itself or topped with some fresh cilantro or thai basil.
Amy's Notes:
*I used lite coconut milk in a can, but if you want to reduce your fat and calorie content further, you can use coconut milk from a carton, or any other low calorie unsweetened plant milk.

**For the curry powder, I used an African Curry blend that I had in my pantry, but any powdered curry will do.  If you'd like to use a curry paste, start with 1/2 tsp and add to taste as you are blending.  In case you're curious, my African Curry blend includes yellow mustard, curry leaves, fenugreek (holla at all the other breastfeeding mamas out there), onion, ginger, oriander, tumeric, cayenne, cumin, cilantro, garlic, green cardamom, black pepper, and cinnamon.


Health and Happiness,

Amy

10.18.2017

Quick Feel Better Vegetable Soup

As a Nutritarian, I rarely get sick with a common cold or any other illnesses.  On the rare occasion, my immune takes a hit if I've been traveling and not eating as well as I do at home, or if I'm under more stress than usual.  When that rare cold sneaks in, I take extra time to rest, stay hydrated, and keep my meals small and simple.

This is the soup I make myself if I feel a cold coming on because it's light, easily digestible, and full of nutrients.  You can make this on the stovetop in about 20 minutes, or use a pressure cooker and set for 2 minutes at high pressure. 

Quick Feel Better Vegetable Soup
Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1-2 servings
Ingredients:
        2 cups vegetable broth (homemade, or no salt added store bought)
        2-6 garlic cloves, minced
        1/4 yellow onion, diced
        1 carrot, peeled and diced
        1 celery stalk, diced
        1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
        1 tsp no-salt seasoning
        1 tsp dried herbs of your choice (see note below)
    After cooking:
        1/2 cup cooked brown rice (optional)
        1/2 cup frozen green peas
Instructions:
1.)  In a medium pot (or in a pressure cooker) add all of the ingredients except for the rice and green peas.
2.)  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  (Set to cook on low pressure for 2 minutes, with a quick release following).
3.)  Add in the brown rice and frozen green peas.  Stir and heat on low until the peas are warmed through.  Serve hot!


Amy's Notes:

For the dried herbs, I like to sprinkle in dried oregano and dried basil.  Some other good options are dried parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and dill.

Adding the cooked brown rice at the end is optional.  If you are having this soup when sick with a stomach bug, white rice in this case may sit better in the tummy.


Health and Happiness,

Amy


10.16.2017

Easy Apple ONOs (Overnight Oats) for the Work Week

I recently started a new part time day job.  It's actually at my husband's alternative high school managing their student data.  It is a bit monotonous, but I'm a huge spreadsheet nerd and actually LOVE the quiet time to listen to music and chug away at my work.  It's also REALLY nice that Kevin and I are on opposite schedules, so when he is leaving for the day, I get there and vice versa on other days.  That allows us to trade off Ben, but still get family time together in the evenings for at least an hour before Ben goes to bed.

With this new job comes a predictable schedule, which is the best part.  We started sleep training Ben back when he was 6 weeks old, and now at one year old, he has always done best on a set nap and sleep schedule.  (This is 100% because of MyBabyCanSleep.com... if you're a mama or dada with a babe and NEED to get naps and sleep under control, I would recommend them to the moon and back!)  Predicability in work and nap schedules also finally means predictability in meal times for me!

I find it easiest to stick to my health goals by prepping meals ahead of time.  Lately breakfast has been a hard meal for me to fit in, so I took control this Sunday and made my breakfasts for the week.  This overnight oat (ONO) recipe is one I've made in single servings many times before, but with this busy mama's schedule, I needed to bump it up to 5 weekday servings.  Hope you enjoy!

Easy Apple ONOs (Overnight Oats) for the Work Week
Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5 servings (approximately 1 1/2 cups each)


Ingredients:
    2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
    2-3 large apples (or 5 small), cored and finely chopped
    1/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
    5 Tbsp chia seeds
    2.5 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or bit of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
    5 cups plant-based milk (see my notes below)

Instructions:
1.)  In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients except for the plant-based milk.
2.)  Pour in the plant-based milk and mix together until thoroughly coated.
3.)  Measure approximately 1.5 cups per serving into 5 air-tight containers.  Store in the fridge and eat them for breakfast during the week, but allow to sit at least overnight before serving.

Amy's Notes:
For the plant-based milk, I like to use my homemade cashew milk (basic recipe here) or an unsweetened 30 calorie store bought milk.

These ONOs can be eaten cold straight from the fridge or heated for a minute or two in the microwave.  You can also add some extra goodies when you eat them such as extra fruit, coconut shavings, bit of dried fruit, extra plant-milk, etc.


Health and Happiness,

Amy


9.14.2017

Creamy Wild Rice and Lentil Stew

I threw this soup together one evening a while back and it ended up being BenBen's first not-just-one-ingredient food.  We are doing Baby Led Weaning, and you can read more about that here.  I think these pictures tell you how much he enjoyed it.






Made as written below it is a thick stew, but I have been thinning out individual servings with extra vegetable broth and having as a yummy soup.  This recipe is one of those set it and forget it recipes for a pressure cooker, but you can easily adapt it for a slow cooker or on the stove top.  Hope you enjoy half as much as Ben did!

Creamy Wild Rice and Lentil Stew
Time: 15 minute prep, 25 minutes high pressure
Servings: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
    Veggies:    
        1/2 onion, chopped
        2 carrots, peeled and chopped
        1 cup chopped mushrooms
        1 cup chopped tomatoes
        6 cups vegetable broth
    Dry ingredients:
        1/2 cup brown lentils
        1/2 cup black eyed peas
        1/2 cup black rice
        1/2 cup brown rice
    Spices:
         1 Tbsp no salt seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash)
         1 Tbsp oregano
         2 tsp parsley
         1 tsp cumin
         1/2 tsp corriander
         1/2 tsp onion powder
         1/2 tsp garlic powder
         1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    Optional after cooking:
         salt and pepper to taste
         1/2 cup cashew cream
         additional vegetable broth to thin
         fresh parsley to garnish



Instructions:
1.)  Place the vegetables, vegetable broth, dry ingredients, and spices in a pressure cooker and stir.
2.)  Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes and allow for a natural pressure release.
3.)  After the pressure has released, you can salt and pepper to taste, add 1/2 cup cashew cream (directions to make in my notes below), add vegetable broth to thin the recipe or individual portions, and add fresh parsley to garnish.


Amy's Notes:
To make 2 cups of cashew cream, in a high-power blender, blend together 1 cup of raw cashews and one cup of filtered water.  Blend on high, stopping and scraping the sides, and blend until smooth and creamy.  This will keep for a little over a week in the fridge, perhaps longer, but I generally go through it sooner than that.

Alternatively, you could thin the soup with an unsweetened plant milk of your choice rather than adding additional vegetable broth and cashew cream.



Health and Happiness,

Amy

6.23.2017

Spring Greens and Beet Salad with Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing

Scroll Down to See Salad Recipe
Another week has come and gone.  Seriously?  How is it that time is going so quickly lately?  Last weekend my SIL had her baby girl (She's an absolute doll!  Red hair like mama.), and my husband's coworker had her little boy as well.  An old family friend's wife also had twins this last week.  This has truly been the week of the baby, and it made me stop in my tracks and look at little Ben who is not so little anymore.

At 8.5 months, Ben's personality is growing bigger every day.  He started crawling a few weeks ago and is on the move constantly.  Baby gates and serious baby proofing need to happen very soon in our house.  All of the new babies in the world really made me stop this week and savor those baby snuggles and admire Ben's tiny hands squishing his food, and wrapping around my finger when he nurses.  These moments will be gone before I know it.

We have a busy busy month coming up.  I have mostly been a SAHM, but have been kept on by my company as a temporary on-call employee when they get busy and need extra help.  I got a call from my boss last week to see if I would be up for going across the state to the Spokane office to help them with some organizing before the office has tenant improvements.  A company sponsored trip to go home and see family (and work a little I suppose)?  Heck yes!  I'm picking up a rental car tomorrow, and then Sunday Ben and I leave to go to Spokane for the week.  I'm lucky to have a mama willing and happy to watch Ben while I work for the week, and I'm excited to see some of my old coworkers.

After being in Spokane next week, we'll head back home and then spend the 4th of July holiday with Kevin's family on vacation in Ocean Shores, which is 2 hours away.  After we get back from that we'll turn around and leave the next day to go back to Spokane.  Ben will be staying with my parents over that next weekend while I go to Lake Chelan with my girlfriends for a friend's bachelorette celebration.  This will be the first time I'm away from Ben for longer than a half a day.  I'm sure I'll have a wonderful time relaxing and celebrating with my girls, but I know I'll miss him so much.

After the Lake Chelan weekend I'll go back to Spokane and spend the week there helping my hometown church with Vacation Bible School.  The next weekend Kevin will fly into Spokane and we will go to my friend's wedding and then Ben will be baptized on Sunday before we head back home.  It's a lot of travel, and I'm hoping Ben does well with the drives.  We've driven to Spokane once before a few months ago, and he did great as long as we had frequent stops to eat and get some wiggles out.

Anyways, you came here for the beet salad right?

Beets don't tend to be a very regular vegetable in our house, but when I get a craving for beets, I just have to have them!  Beets are high in phytonutrients and anti-oxidants, and have anti-inflammitory properties.  Beets are also high in folate, manganese, potassium, and copper.  I always think when we get plant-based cravings, it is our bodies needing an extra bit of something that that food is high in.  So, I picked up some beets, steamed them in my InstantPot, and enjoyed them in this salad all week.

Spring Greens and Beet Salad
with Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing
Time: 10 minutes 
Servings: 1 serving


Ingredients:
        1 beet - peeled, steamed, and thinly sliced
        4-6 cups mixed spring greens
        3-6 radishes, thinly sliced
        1/2 - 1 cup cooked brown lentils (you can sub in any bean you'd like)
        small handful of pecans (optional)
        Dressing:
            1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
            1 Tbsp almond butter (tahini, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter would work well too)
            1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
            1-2 Tbsp water to thin

Instructions:
1.)  Prep all ingredients.  See my notes below on how to steam the beets and cook the lentils quickly in the InstantPot.
2.)  In a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Add in the lentils and stir to coat.
3.)  In a large bowl layer the spring greens, beets, and radishes.  Then top with the lentil dressing mixture.  Sprinkle some chopped pecans on top if desired.  Enjoy immediately.

Amy's Notes:
I would suggest steaming several beets and cooking a couple cups of lentils ahead of time to have in salads all week.  If you do this, store the ingredients separately and prep just before eating the salad.

To steam beets - Remove the tops and bottom root with a knife, wash thoroughly.  Place a steamer basket in the InstantPot with the whole beets and 1-2 cups of water.  Set to cook on high for 15 minutes.  Do a quick release or a natural pressure release when the timer is done.  Allow to cool, peel, slice, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

To cook the lentils - Rinse and pick through 2 cups of dry brown lentils.  Place then in the InstantPot with 3 1/2-4 cups of water.  Set to cook on high for 10 minutes, and allow for a natural pressure release.  Drain any excess liquid and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

You can really tweak this recipe to be just how you like it.  Change your type of greens, use golden beets instead of red, use chickpeas instead of lentils, use honey mustard instead of Dijon.  The point is, make a salad and enjoy it!  I sometimes get lax about having a salad every day, but if I change it up from week to week with yummy recipes like this, I really look forward to my greens at lunch.





Health and Happiness,

Amy

6.12.2017

Vegan Baby Led Weaning (1st Month)

Ben is 8 months old (!) and he has been eating solids for about a month and a half, the last month of which we have been doing baby led weaning (BLW).  I first heard about BLW from my sister-in-law who did it from 9 months on with my twin nephews who are now three.  For me, it was really nice being able to talk to my sis about some of my fears around BLW and the logistics of cooking for an infant.  If you don't have a friend you can talk to about BLW, I would highly suggest doing a search on YouTube about BLW.  I found a few videos when I was starting off that were very informative and reassuring.

First off, I think "Baby Led Weaning" is not a very good name for what it is.  Yes, when babies start eating solids they will naturally start decreasing their milk intake over time, but with the name "Weaning" I feel like it implies the intention to wean baby.  That is not how I see it.  I see it more as "let's practice eating so that when it comes time that you need more nutrition than breast milk can supply you'll know how to eat and already enjoy a broad range of foods."  I guess that would be too long of acronym!  One phrase I've heard around the BLW world that I like a lot is:


 "Food before one is just for fun."

Anyways, my intention is to start Ben off on the right foot of understanding how to use his mouth, tongue, and throat to chew and swallow food safely, but most importantly, to introduce him to a variety of tastes and textures so (hopefully) he isn't a picky eater and loves all fruits and veggies.  I want him to have a good relationship with food that will last a lifetime.  I want him to see that mealtime is enjoyable and social, and food is a form of love within our family.  I want him to enjoy the foods I'm enjoying beside me, rather than spoon feeding him mushy pudding paste that is disguising vegetables with fruit.

One source that I found very helpful as I was getting started was a digital book by Cathleen Woods called Baby Led Weaning for Vegans: 60 Plant-Based Recipes for Babies and Kids that Adults Will Love.  Cathleen writes the Vegan Momma blog and she has a great post about BLW covering some of the basics.  I haven't tried any of the recipes quite yet because Ben is still mostly just eating sticks of fruit and steamed veggies, but it will be a great resource when as we are starting to get into the next phase of eating.



When I first started feeding Ben solids a little after the 6 month mark, I started with mushed banana mixed with breast milk.  After a few tries he LOVED it and would take spoonful after spoonful when we fed him once a day around dinnertime. (I always breastfeed before offering Ben solids.  The vast majority of their nutrition for the first year comes from breast milk, so I don't want to displace that yet.)  We did this for about two weeks before jumping into BLW because we were traveling and I wanted to do more research before starting.

Ben's first try of mango.

If there is a baby #2 someday, I would still do purees for a week or two before starting BLW.  I feel like the purees at first were easy on his tummy and made his gut bacteria more prepared for the solids that came after. (Also to note, I give Ben powdered probiotics mixed with breast milk once a day.  He had constipation issues when he was 3 or 4 months old and those helped tremendously.)  I also tried purees with green peas, pears, and carrots.  Banana or banana mixtures seemed to be his favorite.

Ben's first orange.

The first BLW food Ben had was also banana.  To prep I cut the top and bottom tips off, then with the peel still on I cut it long ways top to bottom, and then sideways through the middle so you end up with four split banana halves.  I put one piece on his plate and off he went.  Ben is like all babies, and anything he can get his hands on goes straight in his mouth.  He gnawed on it, but most fell out of his mouth and into his lap.  Some pieces crumbled in his hands and never even made it to his mouth.

The food-to-mouth, spit-out-food bit lasted only a week or two before I noticed Ben really chewing and taking down food.  You'll be able to tell if (and sometimes what) they are taking anything down from their BMs the next day or so.

The next foods we tried over the first few weeks in no particular order were avocado (loved), carrots (liked), broccoli (meh), green beans (liked), cucumber (loved), pears (too slippery, gagged badly, scared me, will introduce again later), romaine (meh), watermelon (loved), bell pepper (liked), cantaloupe (loved), steel cut oats (liked), rolled oats (meh), mushrooms (didn't like), baby bok choy (ok, difficult to chew, will introduce again later), golden potato (liked), asparagus (meh), mango (liked), zucchini (loved), and oranges (liked).


Ben with a bell pepper and mushroom.
He didn't eat any of the mushroom,
but I'll give it another try in the future.

He likes/loves all the fruit, has enjoyed the majority of veggies, and hasn't rejected hardly anything.  I'm now just starting moving into feeding him clumpy things like stews, rice dishes, pasta dishes, veggie/bean burgers, etc.  Last night Ben and I had our first real meal together.   I made wild rice and lentil stew.  It was by far the messiest thing he has eaten, but he LURVED it!  He loved it so much, he practically bathed himself in it (pictures down below).  A bath was definitely needed afterwards.

When I first gave it to him, I handed him a spoon with a scoop of the stew on it.  He seemed to be more interested in gnawing on the spoon and not much food made it into his mouth.  I took the spoon away and just plopped a handful of it on his plate and he seemed to do better after that, although he was quite vocal about letting me know he wasn't happy that the spoon was no longer in his possession.



Going into our second month of BLW, I feel even more confident and assured that this is the right way to go for teaching Ben how to eat.  It is so fun to see him explore and vocalize his opinions of each food.  I'm excited to see where the next month of BLW adventures.

Health and Happiness,

Amy


5.23.2017

Curried Rainbow Vegetable Skillet

I'm not a huge fan of spring.  It is generally my least favorite season, at least until it is the middle of August hits and I'm cursing summer for being too damn hot.  In the Pacific Northwest, spring is generally a four month long tease that winter is over.  For us, it has been the rainiest season ever.  Literally, it was the rainiest winter and spring on record this last year.  Welcome to earth Ben, it rains a lot here!




The one reprieve we get in the spring is that some better quality and better priced produce starts showing up in the grocery store.  At my local grocery store I found asparagus for $1.89 per pound.  Chyah!  Last night I felt like having lighter dinner with lots of veggies, so in went my asparagus along with some other bright veggies.

I always have lentils cooked and frozen in the freezer to quickly thaw and add to meals like this, but feel free to leave out this ingredient or to use another cooked bean you like.  I also have a homemade (thanks mom) potato bag that cooks my potatoes in the microwave within minutes.  The cooking time for lentils and potato are therefore not included in my estimate below.

Curried Rainbow Vegetable Skillet
Time: 10 minute prep, 15 minute saute
Servings: 2 main servings or 4 side servings

Ingredients:
    Saute:
        1/2 red onion, diced
        1 small red bell pepper, diced
        1/2 bunch asparagus, bottom edges trimmed and 1/2 " sliced on the bias
    Pre-cooked ingredients to add:
        1 medium sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and cubed
        1 cup cooked brown lentils
    Quick Curry Sauce:
        3/4 cup plant-based milk, ideally unsweetened
        1 Tbsp almond butter, any nut/seed butter could work... maybe not PB, but you do you
        1 Tbsp curry powder, I used a Caribbean Curry spice mix
        salt, to taste

Instructions:
1.)  Prep all ingredients.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat dry saute the red onion, bell pepper, and asparagus, adding only small amounts of water as needed to prevent the vegetables from burning and sticking to the pan.
2.)  In a small bowl mix together the curry sauce ingredients.  Turn heat down to medium-low and add the sweet potato, lentils, and curry sauce.  Continue to cook and toss ingredients until the sauce has thickened and coated the vegetables.
3.)  Serve immediately.  I bet this would be amazing as a cold salad as well, maybe with extra sweet potato.  Bring it to a potluck.  Be the envy of your friends.


Amy's Notes:
Like I said above the recipe, I always have lentils prepped in the freezer, but if you don't and need to make this RIGHT NOW, here is a quick tutorial on how to cook lentils on the stovetop.  If you have an electric pressure cooker: 1 cup dried lentils, 2 cups water, high pressure for 6 minutes, natural pressure release, drain any excess water

  The sweet potatoes I used are the ones with a white/cream colored flesh, not orange like a yam.   I just throw mine into a potato bag and microwave it for 8 minutes.  My mom made me one for Christmas from this pattern I believe.  I know some people have a problem with microwaving their food, but in my mind, I think it is better to be able to get a cooked potato in my mouth relatively quickly than to turn to snacking on other unhealthy items (ahem... chips and crackers are my weakness).  Alternatively, you can bake ahead of time or steam your potato in a pressure cooker.

I found that this was plenty hearty enough for a main meal, but if you'd like you can double the curry sauce and serve over brown rice or your favorite whole grain.  Topping with cilantro would probably be pretty tasty too.  I just didn't have any on hand.


Health and Happiness,

Amy

Pinterest Reference:


5.18.2017

5-Minute Banana Bread Oatmeal

I eat oatmeal every. single. day.  And I love it!  Oatmeal is probably my second favorite food, second only to watermelon (ooooohhhh yeeeaaahhh watermelon season is just around the corner!!!).  I first loved oatmeal when I was in high school.  My dad started eating oatmeal in the mornings to help with his blood pressure and cholesterol that was high at the time from medication he had to take for his autoimmune kidney disease (which is totally gone now thanks to a WFPB diet!).  Even in high school I had (and still have) that "I want to be like daddy" feeling.  So, I tried oatmeal with a bunch of brown sugar and loved it.  At that time it was my new favorite dessert.

When I started a Nutritarian lifestyle my junior year of college in 2011, I had oatmeal a few times a week for breakfast, but with no brown sugar this time.  I loved it cooked with bananas and plant milk the most.  Then a few years into eating this way I started to lean towards having just fruit or a smoothie for breakfast, having oatmeal less frequently.

Now, as a breastfeeding mom, oatmeal is my everyday morning companion.  Oatmeal is one of those foods that is always suggested to help mothers maintain their milk supply.  Here is a nice article about that.  I'm happy that my daily oatmeal is now not only good for me, but good for Ben too.  Since I have oatmeal most every morning, I've slowly perfected several recipes that I love.  #1 on that list is Banana Bread Oatmeal.  This is the ultimate bowl of cozy yum yum!

Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 servings

Ingredients:
    Oatmeal:
        1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
        3/4 to 1 cup boiling water (I use water heated in my teapot)
        1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds (optional)
    Banana bread goo:
        1 small-medium banana
        1/2 cup plant-based milk
        1/2 tsp vanilla extract
        1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg)
        2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

Instructions:
1.)  In a smaller bowl mix together the rolled oats and ground flaxseeds.  Pour 3/4-1 cup boiling water over evenly and allow to sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
2.)  In a medium-sized bowl mash the banana with a fork until creamy but with some chunks.  Add in the plant-based milk, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and walnuts, stirring thoroughly.
3.)  Place banana mixture in the microwave for 1 minute on high.
4.)  Take the steeping oatmeal and scoop onto the heated banana mixture.  Serve immediately.

Amy's Notes:
If you prefer your oatmeal less chewy, cook it on the stovetop before combining it with the banana mixture.  I find my this way of cooking it is easier (because I'm already heating water for tea in the morning) and produces a chewy texture that I prefer oatmeal to be.  Adjust it to your tastes though.  :)


Health and Happiness,

Amy

Pinterest Reference:


3.03.2017

BOSS Smoothie

The Husband and I often unnecessarily create acronyms for everyday random things.  We don't constantly talk in acronyms like robots, but make one up because we think it's funny, use it heavily for half an hour, then forget about it thereafter until we think of a new one.  Because that's how we do.  Love that man.  For example,

TMB: tight mama booty
SMS: so much spit-up (thanks Ben)

And today, the BOSS Smoothie.

BOSS Smoothie (Banana-Orange-Strawberry-Soy Milk)
Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
        2 oranges, peeled
        1 cup frozen strawberries
        1 frozen banana
        1 cup unsweetened soy or other plant-milk
        1 cup ice cubes

Instructions:
1.)  Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
2.)  Start on low speed and gradually increase to high.
3.)  Blend for 45-60 seconds on high speed.  Serve immediately.


Amy's Notes:
I whipped up this little yum yum before Kevin headed to work today and we split it.  Could easily be one large serving too.  And now, a bit of Kevin and Ben humor to start your weekend.


Great job Ben!


We're so proud of you!




Here Dad, have a beer.  You saw nothing.


Health and Happiness,

Amy