Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Fun, colorful, and full of nutrients.
Meet tabbouleh- a vegetarian salad that’s sure to become a fast smash-hit at your house.


Origins

Tabbouleh is a vegetarian salad that originated in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, and Turkey, and is made with mint, parsley, bulgur (I used quinoa and farro), seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice (1). Some versions only soak the grains, not cooking them, adding semolina, other versions add lettuce (2). Tabbouleh is versatile, and I urge you to get creative and make it your own, keeping in mind its Levantine roots to help guide you along. Tabbouleh is served as an appetizer in Arab culture, and in our home we make it as a side dish or a snack (3).

Ingredients


You’ll need:

– Grains! Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur or semolina, but I frequently make mine with quinoa and farro, and it’s just so tasty. Other good grain options would be brown rice, cous cous, or kamut.
– Olive oil- if you can afford a higher-quality olive oil, this will taste even better
– Fresh lemon juice
– Fresh parsley
– Fresh mint
– Dash of salt

^the “fresh” on the herbs matter too. Give that spice rack a quick rest for this one- thank me later.

I made two versions of this, and the second is gluten-free:
Version 1: farro and quinoa (because I couldn’t find bulgur)
Version 2: quinoa

Directions


-Stove cook the grains, then put them in a glass bowl to soak with with 1/4 C olive oil and 1/4 C fresh lemon juice. Trust me on this one…fresh lemon juice.

-Then, let the grains, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil sit together and get to know each other for awhile, about an hour.

Then add in 1 C fresh chopped parsley and 1 C fresh chopped mint (would also be really good with green onion and oregano!), a diced cucumber, and chopped cherry tomatoes. Mix together ingredients and refrigerate to your heart’s content. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold- perfect for summer!

You can top with sliced almonds or dried cranberries for an added crunch.

Storage

I store these in glass pyrex- makes them easy and quick for on-the-go lunch packing.

Let me know if you decide to give this recipe a shot- would love to hear your thoughts or any modifications you made to make it your own!


-Stacey

References

  1. Sami Zubaida, “National, Communal and Global Dimensions in Middle Eastern Food Cultures” in Sami Zubaida and Richard TapperA Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, London and New York, 1994 and 2000, ISBN 1-86064-603-4, p. 35, 37; Claudia RodenA Book of Middle Eastern Food, p. 86; Anissa HelouOxford Companion to Foods.v. Lebanon; Maan Z. Madina, Arabic-English Dictionary of the Modern Literary Language, 1973, s.v. ت
  2. The Oxford Companion to Food. (2019, November 25). Retrieved August 09, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oxford_Companion_to_Food
  3. Zelinsky, W. (2001). Expressions. In The enigma of ethnicity: Another American dilemma (pp. 118-119). Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa City Press.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

My smoothie game has been strong lately.
But I promise not to bore you with all the reasons why.
Make this, and thank me later. 🙂 Such a refreshing snack!

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Print

A creamy, sweet cherry smoothie snack that's nutritionally balanced and refreshing.


Ingredients

  • high speed blender
  • 1 C almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 5 frozen wild cherries
  • small handful of ice cubes
  • 1 C frozen broccoli
  • 1 heaping tbsp peanut butter
  • optional: 2 tbsp wild local honey
  • B L E N D

Directions

  1. Pour milk, protein (optional) and remaining ingredients into blender
  2. Blend on “high” until thick and rich texture is visible
  3. Pour and serve. I like to top with melted deep dark chocolate, almond slivers, and chia seeds. Enjoy!

Note: You don’t need to add honey, or any sweetener for that matter, to smoothies when fruit is added. The fructose in the fruit is sufficient! But this honey was local, fresh, and delicious, and you better believe I enjoyed every last drop of it.

This smoothie has all the goods to keep you feelin’ full and fine:
Protein (PB + chia topping), but you’re welcome to add a favorite protein or Greek yogurt if you need this to provide more!
Fat (PB + Milk)
Fiber (broccoli + cherries)
Carbs (broccoli + cherries)

If you’re using this as a post-workout snack, your body needs carbs AND protein to recover optimally. Don’t fear those carbs.

Also- I know people are on this whole “fruit is bad for you” craze, and that is BANANAS. Those aren’t your people. Fruit is SO SO rich in phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are all GOOD for your body. As Americans, TRUST me when I say that fruit is the least of our problems. Added sugar? shoot, yeah. We could do a better job here…but don’t demonize fruit, I beg you.


Let me know what cha think of this recipe if you give it a shot!

P.S. THIS study talks about how tart cherry helps accelerate muscle recovery after exercise!

Buckwheat Porridge for Breakfast + Recipe

Buckwheat Porridge for Breakfast + Recipe

I’m going to give yall a recipe without the BS of my life, what happened for me to incorporate this into my life, and how I’m a better person because of my buckwheat porridge. I feel like a British folklore character for saying “porridge”. If you want to know more about buckwheat, skip to the bottom for nutrition info.

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Buckwheat:
-complex carb = good for energy
-soluble fiber source = slow release of glucose into your blood stream, which means it’s stabilizing for blood glucose!
-Buckwheat is rich in B vitamins and is a complete protein (all 9 of the essential amino acids present!)
-whole grain that’s gluten-free. I know people are preachin’ against grains, but that’s bogus. Whole grains are so great for your gut and your heart.

Mint Chocolate Smoothie

Mint Chocolate Smoothie

This morning I caught up on some (much needed) sleep and managed to whip up a mint-chocolate chip smoothie. I used some vanilla pea protein from Trader Joe’s for this recipe that was VERY affordable (but not my very favorite taste). Honestly, you’ll appreciate this recipe much more if you use some sort of chocolate-flavored protein, or sub protein for Greek yogurt. Because of all the nutritious ingredients like frozen cauliflower and frozen avocado (fear not- these are tasteless additions if frozen, I promise!), I was quite full after this smoothie.

Mint Chocolate-Chip Smoothie

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Print

A creamy, nutritious chocolate chip smoothie full of healthy fats, veggies, and tasty goodness.

Ingredients

  • high speed blender
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1 C frozen cauliflower
  • 1 small handful of fresh mint leaves, trust me…
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ C frozen avocado (you won’t taste this ingredient, and it adds rich, creamy texture with healthy fats, keeping you fuller longer!)
  • ½ C ice cubes
  • ¼ C deep dark chocolate chips OR raw cacao nibs
  • one-two hefty, violent shakes of the ground cinnamon bottle
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein. (!!!This would taste better with chocolate protein though!!!)

Directions

  1. Pour milk, protein and remaining ingredients into blender
  2. Blend on “high” until thick and rich texture is visible
  3. Pour and serve. I like to top with melted deep dark chocolate or cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Let me know what you think if you give this smoothie a shot!


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Peanut Butter Cinnamon Granola

Peanut Butter Cinnamon Granola

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What you’ll need:
-3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (here’s the kind I buy in bulk, but use whatever makes you happy!)
-1 cup mixture of unsalted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sliced almonds
-a splash of cinnamon (or a hefty shake if you want to live a little)
-3 tsp honey (optional- tastes great without it, too!)
-4 tbsp vanilla extract
-1 cup peanut butter- stick it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to soften
-1/2 cup coconut oil- also needs to be softened justttt a bit
-an oven, preferably one larger than my miniature oven, set to 350.

*The secret to this stuff is to mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately before combining them*
-Spread mixture over a non-stick pan and stick in the oven for 5 minutes
-STIR and fluff with fork at the end of the 5 minutes- this will prevent the stuff from sticking to the pan and burning
-Stick it back in the oven for another 6 minutes
D O N E

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Serve over yogurt, in a smoothie bowl, or in your hands. Enjoy!
Store in an air-tight container. Today I added raw cacao nibs for additional fun and excitement.

Vanilla Berry-Kiwi Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Vanilla Berry-Kiwi Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

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Vanilla Berry-Kiwi Chia Seed Pudding

It’s free of gluten and dairy but full of fun, if that’s your thing!

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-1 C coconut yogurt (I used vanilla)
-small splash of milk (sorry, I’m still working on the measuring thing
-1/4 C chia seeds
-1/2 C raspberries
-1/2 C blackberries
-1/2 C strawberries
-1/2 C kiwi, peeled and sliced

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-Mix kiwi, blackberries, and splash of almond milk (we’re talkin’ probably less than 1/4 cup of almond milk. Jusssst a splash) in a medium-large mixing bowl.
-Once mixed(ish), stir 1 C coconut yogurt into mixture
-Add chia seeds and stir some more
-Pour in glass container and refrigerate overnight.
-Enjoy a serving for breakfast (about 1/2 cup), topped with favorite granola

When you wake up in the morning, this should be your view:

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I know it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but it is. Oh. It is. Promise.

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About chia seeds:
-not just for chia pets

chiapet
source: Target.com

Chia seeds have:
-Omega-3 fatty acids
-high in protein (about 4g/serving in this pudding!- not including the protein from yogurt)

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Let me know what you think, or how you played with this recipe to make it even better!

Maple Vanilla Granola Recipe (GF)

Maple Vanilla Granola Recipe (GF)

Maple Vanilla Granola

1/2 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
4 C gluten free oats (or whichever rolled oats are your favorite!)
a dash (or two or three) of cinnamon- I love cinnamon

Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl separate from the wet ingredients.
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Mix:
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C organic maple syrup
Justtttt a tad of organic vanilla- I like to eyeball it. (Still working on measuring things!)
1/4 C natural peanut butter
I like to heat these ^ until softened (not too long!)- it’s much easier to stir.

Then, pour the mixed, wet ingredients over the mixed, dry ingredients.

Stir until nice and mixed, once it seems all the dry ingredients have been nicely covered.
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Spread evenly on a non-stick pan and pop in the oven for 30 minutes on 275, stirring frequently (every 8-12 minutes) and making sure it doesn’t burn. You want it this golden brown color!

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You can also get creative and add raisins, almond slices, coconut slivers, or dark chocolate to this mixture once it cools. Store in an air-tight container. Serve over smoothies, ice cream, yogurt, or enjoy by the handful. This stuff is packed with healthy fats and carbs (complex ones!) and also makes a great fuel for runners.

-Stacey

A Chocolate Strawberry-Banana Nutty Smoothie

A Chocolate Strawberry-Banana Nutty Smoothie

GOOOOD MORNING!

Okay. Ready for a smoothie? I got ‘chu.

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Chocolate Strawberry-Banana Nutty Smoothie

-1 C almond/coconut milk mix

-1 scoop Vega chocolate sport protein

-3/4 banana

-Handfull of strawberries

-2 tbsp peanut buttah

-1 C ice

BLEND!

Top with remaining banana (sliced), two chopped strawberries, a pinch of chia seeds, a pinch of sliced almonds, and a leeetle pinch of shredded coconut.

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This thing is PACKED with healthy fats and protein. Eat with a spoon and it’ll feel like a whole meal instead of a snack. This was today’s breakfast. Not pictured: coffee.

On the running calendar for today: 4 miles tempo…and it is gawgeous outside.

Hope your day is a good one!

-Stacey

Eph 2:8-9 

2 Cor 12:9

1 Peter 5:10

Slow-cooker chicken breast recipe (low FODMAP friendly)

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-1.5-2lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast (mine was frozen, and that was fine!)

-2 large Idaho potatoes OR 4 new potatoes, diced with skin on (I used Idaho potatoes because it’s what was in the pantry, but I think new potatoes would be even better)

-2 tbsp of garlic-infused olive oil

-2 large lemons, juiced

-1/2 tbsp rosemary

-1/2 tbsp oregano

-dash of black pepper

Mix olive oil, fresh lemon juice (NOTE: don’t use the lemon juice that comes in the crappy plastic lemon and expect this to taste just as good), rosemary, oregano, and black pepper. Pour about 3/4 over chicken in slow-cooker, and pour the rest over the diced potatoes layered on top of the chicken. Close slow-cooker and set to high for four hours, or low for 6-8 hours.

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If you want to make this and you’re not following low FODMAP, feel free to add minced garlic and some diced onion to this recipe! Very aromatic, and you’ll come home from work feelin’ 50 shades of accomplished!

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This could also be layered with green beans and be delicious. I steamed some broccoli separately, and it made for an easy meal.

I intend to make some chicken salad with the leftover chicken.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Feel free to tweak it! Confession: I have a *hard* time measuring ingredients. I’m more of a pinch and pour kind of cook, so if you feel like it needs more or less of something, make it your own! It’s YOUR kitchen! Have fun.

-Stacey

GF/ Low FODMAP PB Granola Recipe

GF/ Low FODMAP PB Granola Recipe

On Sunday, I made homemade granola while we watched a healthy dose of Netflix.

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The very best part about this recipe is that it’s Low FODMAP AND gluten free (AND delicious). Recipe at the end of this post :).

PB granola recipe:

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If eaten in a quantity equal to or less than 1/4 C, it’s low FODMAP.
-2 tbsp coconut
-2 C gluten free old fashioned oats
-2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
-1 tbsp chia seeds

-1 tbsp pure maple syrup
-2 tbsp melted coconut oil
-1/2 C softened PB

mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then mix them together. Put them in the oven on aluminum foil for 30 minutes on 350, tossing occasionally. Ta-dahh! Granola. My personal favorite way of getting carbs in the early morning

-Stacey