Tag Archives: quick

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

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oatmeal

Sibling Rivalry

When the mornings get chilly and the windows get frosty, that means it’s time for steaming hot bowls of oatmeal for breakfast. Growing up with four sisters, my mom would buy the giant variety packs of instant oatmeal, and I distinctly remember arguing with my big sister over the last packet of strawberries and cream…more than once. I think my mom would have us take turns; she could have the last strawberries and cream this time, and I could have the last one on the next box. When it wasn’t my turn for strawberries and cream, I would always snag cinnamon apple. Yum! Looking back now, cinnamon apple was better because it didn’t turn your oatmeal a strange pepto pink…

Now, I like to make us cinnamon apple oatmeal for those chilly mornings because it’s warm and comforting, with plenty of fiber and healthy carbs; I feel kind of silly for even writing this out as a “recipe”, but it changes up the breakfast routine of cereal, and it takes about 10 minutes tops! I’m sure you have most, if not all, of these ingredients on hand, and could make a pot for your family tomorrow morning. I know everyone will love the sweetness (shh…the kids don’t need to know that it’s refined sugar free), and it will make you feel good to get your family going with a healthy, hearty breakfast.

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Serves four to five, and could easily be doubled or halved if needed.

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of water
  • One small gala apple, skin on, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened raisins
  • One cup of old fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup, or according to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional toppings:
    • walnuts
    • more raisins

Directions:

  • Combine water, apples, chia, raisins, and salt in a medium pot
  • Place pot on stove and turn burner to high
  • Once boiling, add remaining ingredients
  • Let boil, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed
  • Serve hot with toppings, if desired

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it also includes the most important beverage of the day: coffee! Use this promo code to get 20% off some delicious cold brew coffees along with 10% off these delicious, dairy free, sugar free creamers. These promotions end soon, so grab them while you can! If you would rather prep your oatmeal the night before, you would probably like my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, or my Fruit and Nut Granola for a quick grab-and-go breakfast. If oats aren’t your thing, I also have a Whole30 Breakfast Hash and a Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bake for you. I’m sure you can find something you like! Get a healthy and hearty breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you!

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Happy Fall, Y’all!

Hooray! Today is officially the first day of Fall! We are still wearing shorts and sandals here in sunny Southern California, but hey, it’s officially Autumn so I will sweat under my blanket while eating some warm soup no matter what the thermometer says.

I have never really been a huge soup lover, but I will slurp up bowls upon bowls of creamy tomato soup. Yum! I’ve made delicious tomato soups in the past, but usually they were loaded down with cream, which I now know to stay away from. For me personally, dairy really upsets my stomach, and if I want to have a bowl of soup and be all cozy, I’m pretty sure gas, bloating, and *digestive distress* (TMI?!) will ruin that for me.

On top of the discomfort dairy brings, usually homemade soup is quite the ordeal. Letting it simmer all day on the stove while constantly checking liquid levels is not my idea of fun in the kitchen. So here we have my VEGAN *dairy free* Creamy Tomato Basil Soup that takes literally 45 minutes start to finish! All you do is roast your veggies, then blend them up with some coconut milk. That’s it! Then go crazy with your toppings and you have a full meal that will leave you warm and cozy with a happy, healthy belly.

With cooler temperatures and the holiday season right around the corner, you will likely be making lots of warm soups and comforting sauces and need a reliable blender. My husband got me this KitchenAid blender for Christmas three years ago, and it has been amazing for everything from nice cream to baby food to sauces and soups. If you are in the market for a new blender, save this one to your Amazon wish list and give your hubby a helpful hint 😉

It may be only marginally cooler, but it’s late September so my tomato soup will be in the regular meal rotation until Spring. I truly hope you can ring in the Autumn season with this creamy, comforting soup, and maybe make it a regular for your family, too!

soup

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Serves six. Serve with some crusty bread for dunking!

Ingredients:

  • Four large tomatoes, quartered
  • Small yellow onion, quartered
  • 3/4 cup sliced baby carrots, or 2 large carrots chopped
  • One bulb garlic, roasted
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5-2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper, divided
  • 2/3 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4-1 cup coconut milk
  • Optional toppings:
    • Chopped basil
    • Chopped scallions
    • Croutons
    • Lightly sauteed greens like kale or arugula
    • Avocado
    • Non-vegan options
      • bacon
      • parmesan

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Get the garlic roasting first:
    • slice off the top of the bulb
    • drizzle with olive oil
    • wrap in foil
    • place directly on oven rack
  • While garlic is roasting, chop your other veggies
  • Prepare baking pan by spraying with cooking spray
  • Arrange tomatoes, onion, and carrots in a single layer on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Place baking sheet in oven along with garlic
  • Roast for about 30-35 minutes
  • Carefully transfer all vegetables to the blender; the garlic should be able to be squeezed out like a paste
  • Add basil, vinegar, more salt and pepper, and coconut milk to the blender
  • Blend until desired consistency, adding more coconut milk if necessary
  • Serve warm with plenty of toppings

Wrap up in a scarf and eat some soup even if it’s in the 80s…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Fruit and Nut Granola

A Healthy Snowball

If you’ve read my other breakfast posts, you know that mornings are early and slightly chaotic around here. If you haven’t read my other breakfast posts, you should 😉 I’ll even make it easy for you and leave you links here and here for some easy and healthy breakfast prep! But, seriously, it is tough to get in a healthy breakfast when you are trying to rush out the door in the morning. However, it is so important for your blood sugar and your metabolism…there’s a reason why they (whoever “they” is) say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

A healthy breakfast is good for your body, but I’ve found, also important for my mind. If I eat a donut for breakfast (and let’s be real, who eats just ONE donut?!), it is so much easier for me to make unhealthy choices the rest of the day. I will have low energy from my donuts so I won’t want to work out, but I will still be hungry because my nutritional needs weren’t met, so I may binge eat for lunch, and so on. But if I start my day out with a satiating, nutritional breakfast, that sets me on a healthy track for the rest of the day. After my healthy breakfast (and of course coffee), I will have the energy for a morning jog, then eat a healthy snack and drink some water when I get home, and it just snowballs in a healthy way.

So here I have refined sugar free Fruit and Nut Granola which you can prep ahead of time and grab and go! I hope you can make a batch to enjoy throughout your week and start your days with a healthy snowball!

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Fruit and Nut Granola

Delicious with milk, plain Greek yogurt, or by itself! Makes about three cups.

Ingredients:

  • One cup of old fashioned oats (GF if needed)
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • One tbsp of chia seeds
  • One cup of dried fruit, chopped (I did half a cup of apricots, half a cup of dates)
  • 1/2 to one tsp of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • One generous tbsp of raw honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Prepare large baking sheet with baking spray
  • Combine dry ingredients except sugar on baking sheet
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, and honey
  • Pour over mixture on the baking sheet
  • Stir until everything is evenly coated
  • Spread out in a single layer on baking sheet
  • Bake for five minutes, stir, then bake for another 3-5 minutes until desired toastiness
  • While still warm, drizzle with additional honey and let cool and harden

I mean no ill will against donuts, but if I start my day with donuts I know my sugar monster will stalk me all day. Who wants a monster stalking them all day?! I hope making this granola gets your monster off your trail and sets your healthy intention for the day. Eat a healthy breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Classic Garlic Hummus

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Generational Food

Hummus has gained popularity in the last few years as a healthy, good-for-you food, and it is! But at the risk of sounding like one of *those* people… “I was into hummus before it was popular”.  Actually, though, hummus and I do go way back.

My grandmother, Elizabeth Aijian Munroe, was a first generation American whose parents fled Armenia to escape the Turks. Because of their traumatic experiences in Armenia, they wanted to raise their children as Americans not Armenians. So they spoke English in their home and did not keep many Armenian traditions…except food. While my sisters and I wish that we knew the Armenian language or some of the customs and traditions, we are all thankful we grew up with the tradition of Armenian hospitality and food.

As a child, we lived about 6 hours north of my grandparents so it was always quite the ordeal driving down to Mimi and Papa’s. Whenever we would arrive, Mimi would always, without a doubt, have out an appetizer spread which always included hummus. To be honest, I hated it as a kid. I would much rather eat the pita bread, Armenian cheese, and kalamata olives she’d set out. Now, however, I love hummus!

My Mimi and Papa were married for 64 years, and just last year, they passed on into eternity a mere 12 days apart. So now, I see hummus in a whole new light: a love of culture, food, and hosting loved ones in your home…all in one little dip. In fact, when I was making this hummus, Zemirah helped me squeeze the lemon juice and I felt a rush of emotions (and maybe my eyes watered a bit) and gratitude as I thought about the history and love in this little bean dip. I imagined my great-grandmother making hummus with my grandmother, my grandmother making hummus with my mom, my mom making hummus with me, and now, here I was, continuing on in the tradition.

This recipe is based on the one found in the cookbook, Armenian Cooking Today, which was gifted to me by my sweet mom, who was wise and kind enough to have herself and Mimi write notes in the margins. Food has such history, can tell incredibly vast, beautiful stories, and brings us all together to enjoy eating with ones we love. I hope this simple, healthy dish can bring some history and love to your table, too.

Classic Garlic Hummus

Serves 10-12. Delicious as a veggie or chip dip, or as a spread.

Ingredients:

  • One 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Water as needed
  • Optional garnishes:
    • a drizzle of olive oil
    • chopped parsley
    • a sprinkle of paprika

Directions:

  • Combine chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil in blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Blend until smooth
  • Adjust consistency with water if needed (I like mine thicker, but not too oily and heavy, which is why I use water)
  • Best if chilled overnight before serving
  • Garnish before serving, if desired

Thank you for letting me share a little about myself and my family. I hope you keep this easy hummus on hand for a quick snack or spread, but just be warned, you might want to pop a breath mint after eating it haha! Although, garlic is nature’s antibiotic, so eat up and stay healthy! Eat all the garlic…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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