Good Morning Groats Recipe!

Groats Recipe - Eat Yourself Well

Nothing is better than waking up to a hot, delicious breakfast that is already cooked. Start these groats in the evening, and that’s exactly what you’ll have when you wake up on a cold morning!

Groats have a delightful chewy texture, are extremely high in fiber, and also high in zinc (great for cold season), bioavailable iron, selenium and vitamin E, among other nutrients. If your grocer doesn’t carry them, they’re easy to find online, at Amazon and other sites.

Pressure-Cooker (fast and simple)
Put two cups of groats with 6 cups of liquid (water, or a mix of water and coconut water or milk, apple juice, green tea, or just about any other liquid you like) into your pressure cooker. Allow to come to medium pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Add any add-ins you like, below, and serve!

Slow-Cooker (like the universe making you breakfast in bed)!

For easy cleanup, lightly grease the slow cooker with coconut oil. Add 6.5 cups of liquid (water, or a mix of water and coconut water or milk, apple juice, green tea, or just about any other liquid you like) to two cups of groats in the slow cooker. Put the slow cooker on low heat and cook for 8 hours. Stir, add any add-ins you like, and serve!

Add-Ins (This is where it gets REALLY fun) – pretty much whatever is in season!
Apples (chopped)
Raisins
Almonds (whole or chopped)
Peaches
Bananas
Coconut Flakes
Cranberries (dried or fresh, chopped)
Vanilla
Cinnamon
Berries: blue, black, straw, etc.
Walnuts
Hemp Seeds
Goji Berries
Chia Seeds
(You get the idea – whatever you like!)

Note: Though oats do not contain gluten, they are frequently processed in the same factory and can be contaminated. If you are sensitive to gluten, choose groats that say “gluten-free.”

Bittersweet Winter Greens Salad

Winter greens are delicious, with stronger flavors than most summer salad choices. That’s a good thing, so that they can stand up to the heavier winter flavors of root vegetables and so forth … but for small children and others that are more sensitive to strong, bitter flavors, you may want to balance the flavors with a slightly sweet dressing.

This recipe uses a quick “cheat” that is probably already in your fridge.
Bittersweet Winter Greens Salad

Bittersweet Winter Greens Salad Recipe

Go to your local farmer’s market or grocery for a large bag of winter greens: escarole, sorrel, swiss chard, arugula, etc. Just before preparing the salad, wash the greens and let them dry in a colander. 

 

In a small mason jar, mix 1/4 c olive oil, 1/4 c red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, and 1 tbsp jam – apple, berry, or other sweet flavor. Add a pinch of salt, a twist of pepper, and then put on the top and shake until well mixed. Pour over the greens (to taste), toss, and serve immediately.

Optional add-ins: any nuts, feta cheese, purple onions, dried fruits (cranberries are delicious), oranges or mandarin bits, or avocado (of course). Also great served over leftover quinoa or other grains.

February 28 is National Chili Day – Here’s a Great Recipe to Celebrate!

kidney_beansParts of the country are getting blasted with late-winter snowstorms, making this a GREAT time for chili – just in time for National Chili Day!

There’s really no wrong way to make chili, other than opening a can full of who-knows-what ingredients. If you’re missing anything below, feel free to experiment with something similar …. the recipe will probably still turn out fine.  And if you’re trying to minimize the prep work, feel free to sub in Hooray Puree packets as noted below.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • A couple of carrots, chopped, or one packet of Hooray Puree Carrot
  • 1/2 butternut squash, diced, or 1 packet of Hooray Puree Butternut Squash
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chopped bell peppers – green, yellow, or red
  • about 1 cup chopped celery 
  • 1 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
  • 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp dried oregano
  • Chopped cilantro, red onion, jalapeños, green onions, or anything else that sounds good to you!

Heat oil in a large pan (not cast iron, or it will react with the tomatoes) over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, butternut squash (if you’re using puree, wait until you add the tomatoes), and garlic until tender. Stir in green pepper, red pepper, celery, and chili powder. Cook about 5-6 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften.

Add tomatoes and kidney beans and stir well. If you’re using purees for the butternut squash or carrots, add that now.  Season with cumin, oregano, and salt. (If you’re feeling adventurous, add a little cinnamon and/or dark chocolate to bring out a big, deep flavor.)  Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with chopped cilantro, red onion, jalapeños, or anything else that sounds good to you!

eatyourselfwell.com

No Time/No Money? No more excuses!

The most common reasons people give me (and in honesty, the most common excuses I try to give myself) for making bad food choices are “no time” and “no money.”

Where did we get the idea that healthy food has to be expensive and time-consuming?  Sure, organic food costs a little more (and I have a post on that one coming soon), and it’s always going to be hard to beat the SHORT-TERM costs of uber-subsidized, hyper-processed fast food nastiness … but tasty, healthy meals can be made in minutes.

Following are a few foods to keep on hand so that when you’re out of time and out of money, you can still make something super-delicious in minutes … buy in bulk when they’re on sale!  And at the end, I’ve thrown in a quick recipe I invented tonight, when I got in late after a 3-state day (lots of travel!) and couldn’t face the grocery store!

  • Canned Beans of any type, like black beans, kidney beans, white beans, lentils, whatever (but buy ones with no BPA in the cans)!:  Added to just about any veggies, create filling, healthy meals in minutes
  • Canned Tomatoes (again, no BPA)
  • Frozen Veggies:  Broccoli, green beans, peas, carrots – whatever you like.  Just don’t get the ones with sauces and seasonings added – you’re going to do that yourself, with healthy ingredients!
  • Raw Almonds:  A meal in itself when you truly have no time … and delicious crushed over salads, etc.
  • Quinoa:  quick-cooking deliciousness that meshes with just about any flavor, sweet or savory
  • Olive Oil:  But of course!
  • Spices: Start with a good set of the basics, and keep adding new ones when you see them.  Go online to find recipes for them, or stir-fry some of those veggies in the freezer and just toss in the spices to see what happens!

broccoli

Turmeric-Garlic Broccoli & Chickpea Saute with Crisp Red Pepper Strips

Tonight when I got home, I knew I was short on veggie servings for the day, I didn’t want to load up with too much food because it was late, but (as always), I was unwilling to sacrifice taste or texture!  So, I grabbed what I had on hand:

  • 1 Bag frozen organic broccoli
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • dash of olive oil
  • 1/2 can organic chickpeas, drained
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, cut in strips

Put about 2 Tbsp of water, a dash of olive oil, and the crushed garlic into a pan, and add the bag of frozen broccoli (mine says it’s three servings, but it’s really just one decent-sized one).  Cook about 4-5 minutes until the broccoli is no longer frozen.  Add the chickpeas, turmeric, and pinch of salt, and cook until the chickpeas are hot.  If you’re like me and love pepper, add some fresh-ground white or black pepper.  Serve with cool, crisp red pepper strips.  

Serves one, or two as a side dish.  Doubles easily.  And as always, PLEASE experiment with the measurements and ingredients:  cook the red peppers with the broccoli, add onion, throw in a handful of spinach or cherry tomatoes, whatever you have on hand – PLAY with your food!

Another Fabulous Food Blog: Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia

Lucid Food by Louisa ShafiaI just came across this food blog (named to one of the Top 100, so am I late to the party, or what?) called Lucid Food, by Louisa Shafia.  She portrays food exactly as I like it:  gorgeously healthy, seasonal, and a delight for all the senses.

Where to Start

I dove in DEEP, finding fabulous nuggets like her Red Lentil Dal Soup Mix, which make a beautiful and inexpensive homemade gift, and a Cleansing Pureed Veggie Soup that is great for an occasional day off of heavy foods – a gentle fruit and veggie cleanse.

Books and More

Shafia’s first cookbook, Lucid Food:  Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, was published in 2009, and she’s in the process of releasing a new cookbook, The New Persian Kitchen, which looks to be AMAZING.  If you’re more into video instruction than the printed word, check out her cooking videos:  pure inspiration for how easy it can be to make simple, healthy food!

 

 

Pomegranate – Background and Handling Tips!

First, check out the great information on the history and lore of pomegranates at Pomegranate – HandPicked Nation.

Then, newly inspired to get the fabulous health benefits of this fruit, try one (or both) of the following easy ways to enjoy them!

1.  Open the pomegranate and eat the arils – the mess-free way!

IMG_6074

The key to opening a pomegranate without it looking like a crime scene afterwards is simply to do it underwater!   First, shallowly slice through the pomegranate skin, and cut away the are around the stem.  Then, dunk the whole pomegranate into a

IMG_6075bowl of water deeper than the pomegranate, and pull the fruit apart with your hands.  You’ll be able to easily roll the arils away from the white pith, leaving the arils on the bottom of the bowl, with the white bits floating.  Pour out the water and floating bits, and eat!

2.  Juice the pomegranate (you’ll never drink the stuff in the jar again)

Again, cut shallowly around the pomegranate, dividing it into about 4 sections (depending on size).  Pull the fruit apart with your hands (underwater if you want to stay clean).  Using a hand-held  juicer – one made for oranges or grapefruit – insert the sections of pomegranate and squeeze.  You may have to reposition each section and squeeze twice … and this could be messy, so wear an apron or cover yourself with a towel.  Warning: this fresh juice tastes nothing like what you can buy at the store … you might get addicted!

Want to use even more of the fruit?  Apparently, ancient Romans used pomegranate rinds as a form of leather … hmmmm ….