Cast Iron Toast

If my experience is any indication, once you toast your bread in an iron skillet, you’ll never go back to the dried-out toaster toast again! The crunchy grilled outside with the soft-fluffy inside is an amazing way to start the day, and no more difficult than using the toaster! Simple instructions below.

Cast Iron Toast

How to make Cast Iron Toast:

Heat a cast iron pan over medium high to high heat – you want your toast to sear! If desired, add a bit of coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, or butter to the pan – you don’t need much, and actually don’t need any at all for most breads.

If you’re slicing your own bread, cut a slice a little thicker than usual – this allows you to really enjoy the layers of crispy outside, warm chewy inside, then crispy outside. I’m a huge fan of long-fermented sourdough from my local farmer’s market, but any bread will be delicious.

When the pan is really hot, drop the bread onto the fat if you’re using it, and let it cook a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown. Enjoy immediately!

If you’re making bread to go with dinner, feel free to add spices, garlic, etc. to the oil before adding the bread. My favorite, though, is just a tiny dab of olive oil or ghee … amazing! Enjoy, and please let me know your thoughts below!

6 Reasons to Love Almonds

I don’t really need reasons to love almonds – I love them anyway – but here are some ways in which my love is requited :-). Be sure to stick with raw, unsalted organic almonds whenever you can. When people tell me about eating nuts “by the handful,” they are almost always referring to roasted or salted nuts, where the oils and salts are driving the cravings. Raw nuts are more nourishing and filling, and for most people, quell cravings rather than increase them.

Eat Yourself Well

Simple lunch: Pita with Hummus + Sprouts

Pita with Hummus and Sprouts

I thought I’d share my version of yesterday’s Food Challenge lunch … which was a little bit of a riff on the recipe for the day. When I went shopping to get wraps, the store had handmade whole wheat pita for half off, so I bought those instead; on this budget you get creative with what’s on sale, for sure!

And, since I keep sprouts growing on my windowsill, I tossed those in for extra flavor, crunch, nutrition, and beauty. It was SO simple and delicious – I will do this again and again anytime I need to grab a quick, simple lunch that’s also healthy!

Ingredients
Gluten-free or Whole Wheat Pita
Organic Hummus (homemade or store-bought, any type)
Sunflower sprouts (or any other greens or veggies you have on hand)
Turmeric
Black pepper

Instructions

Cut the pita in half and spread hummus on both inside surfaces. Toss sprouts into the pocket, sprinkle with turmeric and black pepper (or any other spices you like), and eat!

Would REALLY like to hear from you – how is your challenge going?

101 Fresh, whole-food healthy snacks!

101 Fast/Healthy/Fabulous Snack Ideas

For many busy people (including me), the most dangerous time for lapsing into a bad habit (junk food) is when hunger strikes at an inconvenient moment. And the most dangerous of all could be pseudo-healthy packaged foods (non-fat chemical pudding bars, “diet” desserts, etc.)

Keep these healthy snacks on hand for when that happens, and you’ll be ready to power through even the busiest days!

 

1. Spicy Black Beans add 1 tbsp salsa to 1/4 cup black beans; top with greek yogurt for a creamy kick

2. Raw veggies and Hummus (with red/green pepper strips is easy and delicious)

3. Jicama sticks sprinkle with lime juice and dip in chili powder – crunchy and delicious!

4. Avocado cut in half, remove pit, sprinkle with lime, salt and olive oil and eat (I could live on this)

5. Plain Yogurt or Kefir topped with nuts and/or fruit

6. Use Cucumber slices as Crackers Spread them with hummus, super-thin cheese slices, or olive tapenade

7. Apple dipped in Nut butter Almond, sunflower, peanut, etc.

8. Fruit “pie” Take whatever fruits you have in the freezer and pop them into a microwave-safe container. Microwave until bubbling, add complementary spices (vanilla, cinnamon, etc.), sprinkle with some chopped nuts. Instant happy!

9. Applesauce sprinkled with fresh cinnamon

10. Banana, kale, and almond milk smoothie

11. Almonds Raw, unsalted, organic

12. Carrot-Mango Smoothie Two Carrots, 1 cup frozen mango, 2 tbsp lime juice, and about a cup of water. Blend until smooth and thank me later -)

13. Homemade Frozen Pops blend real fruit (strawberries, mango, banana, watermelon – or a mix of whatever you have!) and freeze as-is, no need to add anything at all, particularly sugar!

14. Coconut-Chia “Pudding” Few tbsp Chia in Coconut Water or Coconut Milk, wait 10 minutes, then eat or store in fridge

15. Quick Quesadilla Whole wheat (or corn) tortillas with any leftover veggies inside (keep pickled jalapeños on hand for this) – throw in cheese, or not, and microwave until warm

16. Hard Boiled Egg cut in half, add salt/pepper, and enjoy

17. Sunflower Seeds

18. Cottage Cheese add your favorite fruits and nuts

19. Trail Mix – make your own! Mix dried fruit, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, granola, whole-grain cereal, etc.

20. Raisins

21. Lemony Avocado With Endive Dippers ⅓ chopped avocado + 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Scoop with endive leaves.

22. Rice or Quinoa Cakes Spread with Nut Butter

23. Asian pear slices

24. Dried Fruits

25. Mixed fruit salad Cut up whatever you have, and toss with one tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice.

26.Air-popped non-GMO popcorn

27. Inside-out mango Cut crosshatches into a (pitted) mango half, and sprinkle with lime juice and cayenne pepper. Turn inside out and eat! (yes, this is messy but worth it)

28.Clementines

29. Sweet Potato Fries one small sweet potato sliced in thin sticks, tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and baked at 400° (or hotter if your oven allows) for 10 minutes

30. Handful of olives

31. Veggie wrap Wrap a lettuce leaf around an organic pickle spear, and any veggies you have on hand (peppers, carrots, etc.), add mustard or hummus if you like

32. Blueberries

33. Ants on a Log Spread sunflower seed butter on celery and top with raisins

34. Steamed Veggies Delicious as-is, with a splash of olive oil, garlic, lemon, etc.

35. Peanut Butter and Bananas On whole wheat bread

36. Dr. Gupta’s Calming Creamy Turmeric Tea

37. Rosemary Mash Hand-mash canned white beans with olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary. Serve over radicchio leaves for color/flavor contrast.

38. Cherry Tomatoes Give them a quick broil with a dash of olive oil if you’re craving something warm

39. Organic String Cheese

40. Small Green Salad Add a spritz of lemon/olive oil dressing

41. Bean salad Whatever canned beans you have, plus diced onion, any herbs on hand, and add a glug of olive oil and vinegar

42. Kabobs veggies on a stick, lightly broiled in the oven

43. Organic Carrots slice on the bias into “chips” for fun

44. Grilled Pineapple Put on the grill or a skillet on medium heat for 2 minutes or until golden

45. Baked Apples One smallish apple, cored, filled with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and baked until tender

46. Warm Pumpkin Seeds 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds baked at for 400° for 15 minutes or until brown. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.

47. Strawberries, fresh; if frozen, microwave until hot and serve as a warm strawberry soup!

48. Veggie Egg Salad Low-fat tortilla rolled around egg salad and shredded carrots

49. Warm Tomatoes Cut plum tomatoes in half, broil with 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

50. Bowl of bran flakes Add 1/2 cup milk (or substitute) and berries

51. Guacamole with veggies (my personal favorite!)

52. Trisquits (the original ones with just 3 ingredients) dipped in cottage cheese or hummus

53. Cashews

54. Sugar Snap Peas I love to put a bag of these out instead of popcorn on family movie night – they disappear!

55. Half of a fresh peach with a scoop of cottage cheese in the middle

56. 2-Ingredient Creamy Garlic Broccoli

57. Strawberry Salad 1 cup raw spinach with ½ cup sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and a dollop of dijon mustard

58. Baked (or microwaved) potato topped with salsa

59. Apricots

60. Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip with fresh fruit

61. Frozen Grapes Red and green, seedless

62. Cheesy Roasted Asparagus drizzle asparagus spears with olive oil and grated parmesan cheese, bake for 10 minutes at 400°

63. Banana Smoothie ½ cup sliced frozen banana (or add a little ice), ¼ cup plain yogurt, blended until smooth

64. Fruit Chips Crispy dehydrated apples, pears, etc – YUM!)

65. Tropical Juice Smoothie ¼ cup pineapple juice, orange juice, apple juice, and any frozen fruit you have on hand, blended

66. No-Chop Gazpacho Combine tomato juice, cucumber, bell peppers and onion in a mini chopper/blender; pulse just until chunky. Add a splash of red wine vinegar.

67. Frozen Banana Peel before freezing

68. Oatmeal simple and delicious

69. Sliced tomato with a sprinkle of feta and olive oil

70. Kale Chips Tear kale leaves into large pieces and place on a baking sheet. Spritz with olive oil and bake at 375° until crisp. While still warm, sprinkle with salt.

71. Stuffed Mushrooms Briefly microwave button mushroom caps until softened. Fill with leftover pesto or tomato sauce

72. A couple of squares of dark chocolate 70% cacao or more

73. Sun dried tomatoes (real ones – click here for the best explanation I’ve seen)

74. Chickpea Poppers Completely dry canned chickpeas. Mix with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, season with dried oregano and garlic salt and roast at 400° until crisp.

75. Cocoa nibs over canned pears

76. Pecans

77. Frosty Melon Blend honeydew with plain yogurt, and ice if desired.

78. Nutty Banana Blend Blend frozen banana with fresh peanuts and a splash of almond milk.

79. Orange or Grapefruit slices

80. Pistachios

81. Stuffed Figs Split plump dried figs and stuff with toasted hazelnuts. (this is from Rachel Ray, and is DELICIOUS)

82. Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Frozen strawberries and bananas blended with a little almond milk (or similar). Easy peasy and delicious.

83. Edamame Easy to keep on hand in freezer

84. Baby potatoes Microwave them for 3 to 5 minutes, sprinkle with pepper and sea salt

85. Roast Cauliflower Sprinkle with olive oil, pop in oven and pull out when browned. Eat.

86. Radish Slices slice thinly and enjoy all the crunch of a potato chip, with none of the nasty.

87. Tortilla “Pizza”  Add thin tomato slices (remove seeds/liquid) and finely sliced/diced fresh veggies to a basic whole wheat tortilla.  Bake directly on the rack in a toaster oven for about 10 minutes at 350 – delicious even without cheese!

88. Whole grain cracker smeared with goat cheese Add an apple slice or grape for extra deliciousness

89. Watermelon + pistachios + lime juice

90. Sliced Cantaloupe

91. Ear of (non-GMO) corn wrap in damp paper towel, pop in microwave, add fresh ground salt and pepper

92. Canned soup Lentil and black bean are particularly filling (look for organic varieties, stock up when on sale)

93. Pecans

94. Mixed veggies Easy to keep on hand in freezer, pop a cup or two in the microwave for a delicious quick snack/meal

95. Black Bean Hummus Puree drained black beans with garlic clove, and a dash of lemon juice, tahini, and cumin

96. Apple Quesadillas put thinly sliced apple and a tiny bit of grated cheddar on a whole wheat tortilla, quickly warm in a pan and serve

97. Easy Tzatziki blend organic Greek yogurt with sliced cucumbers, garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Let flavors combine then scoop up with raw veggies.

98. Acai bowl blend unsweetened frozen acai pulp (available at many supermarkets) with just about any liquid (recommend almond milk or coconut water) and some greens of your choice. Put in bowl and top with diced fruit, nuts, etc.

99. Cucumber salad Sliced cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper

100. Grated carrot salad Grate a carrot or two, add some bits of red onion and sprinkle with a mix of red wine vinegar and dijon mustard.

101. A softly scrambled egg, with a little freshly ground salt & pepper … simple and delicious!