Friday, May 16, 2014

Quickie Eats: What I Make In A Pinch

Even though I love cooking and creating a whole lot, sometimes a girl just can't be bothered. On those days, I definitely have my go-to foods that leave me feeling nourished and full without much hassle.

And let's face it, sometimes I just throw a bunch of random stuff together until it tastes good. Case in point: #4

Here's a quick peek into some of my favorite easy meals. I added some instructions for each below, but feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions. They're super easy to improvise though, so don't be afraid to mix things up and make them your own.

1. Veggie quesadillas. It doesn't get any easier than throwing veggies into a tortilla and calling it a meal. My favorite quesadilla looks a little like this: 

Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla, lightly sauteed vegetables (spinach, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper), black beans, cilantro, my favorite salsa and hummus. Spread the hummus on first and then pile all of the goodies on top. Fold tortilla in half (or use two if you'd like). Heat up in a large pan until both sides are golden brown. 

2. Smoothies! Who doesn't love a good smoothie? While I usually save these for a post-workout treat, I will also blend one up when I have no clue what else to eat. Obviously you can throw just about anything into a smoothie, but I have a formula I like best:

One scoop protein powder (I use pea protein or Vega), 1 cup almond milk or coconut water, 1 cup spinach or kale, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 tablespoon maca powder, 1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds.

3. Pancakes. My pancakes are super basic. I'll switch up the flour I use, but the majority of the flavor comes from my toppings.

1/3 to 1/2 cup flour (buckwheat, oat, or spelt), 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon ground flax, and a pinch of salt. My toppings usually include sliced banana, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, nut butter, sliced almonds and some berries or chopped apple.

4. Carbs, Protein, Good Fats, Whole Grains. Now this was a random meal I made on a whim and then continued to eat every single day for about a week. Yeah, it turned out pretty well.

 One sweet potato, hummus, spinach, black beans, quinoa or brown rice, sprouted pumpkin seeds and avocado. Poke sweet potato a whole bunch with a fork and then bake at 425 for 50 minutes, flipping halfway through. While the potato cools a bit, I heat everything else up in a skillet and then spoon everything on top. That's it. Simple and so very tasty.

5. Oatmeal! Oh man, do I love me some oatmeal. My breakfasts are oatmeal-based about 95% of the time. You can do just about anything with oatmeal, but the photo above is pumpkin pie recipe topped with buckwheat granola, coconut, blackberries,almond butter and sliced almonds.

For the pumpkin pie base, I cooked 1/2 cup rolled oats in about 1/2 cup coconut milk and added two tablespoons canned pumpkin, thinly sliced banana for natural sweetener, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 tablespoon ground flax. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the consistency you like. 

6. My favorite sandwich. Sometimes convenience foods aren't so bad, am I right? I absolutely love Tofurky's Tempeh Maple Bacon. My favorite way to dress it up is on a classic BLT and avocado sandwich. The Happy Campers bread is a local company and I highly recommend them if you're in the Portland area! Their bread is hearty, filling and made of only the best ingredients.

Heat the tempeh bacon in a skillet until lightly brown and then just top with spinach or mixed greens, sliced tomato and avocado. Sometimes I use Vegenaise but we didn't have any in the house so I skipped it this time around. You could also use hummus or another spread if you'd like extra flavor.

So there you have it! Hopefully this gave you some ideas for super quick and easy meals in a pinch. Nothing fancy but still full of flavor and variety - just the way I like most things in life.

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