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PORRIDGE

More than oatmeal! Despite its Plain Jane name, porridge is a versatile and nutrition-packed dish that’s a cinch to prepare. For thousands of years, people around the world have relied on a good bowl of morning porridge to keep them satisfied and strong until their next meal. Keep the party going—put porridge power to work for you!

Ingredients for one bowl:

  • ½ C grains (pick one or mix two or three: buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth, brown rice, oats…)
  • 1 ½ C water or the non-dairy milk of your choice
  • Handful of raisins (for sweetness)
  • Optional toppings: berries, nuts, seeds; coconut flakes; dash of cinnamon or raw honey

Tools:

  • Small pot

Steps:

  • Combine water and grains; bring to a boil*
  • Add raisins
  • Simmer covered until cooked to the consistency you like (less time will leave more liquid; more time will make the grains softer and chewier). Depending on the grain, this is usually 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Top as desired, and serve with an additional splash of your favorite nut milk.
    *Except: when preparing buckwheat, always boil the water first, then add the grains. If you don’t, you’ll get buck-mush!

Inspiration:

  • Brown rice takes the longest to cook. I like to prepare it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, then mix it with other grains in the morning.
  • Pre-soaking also reduces cooking time, increases digestibility, and reduces phytic acid (a natural pesticide plants produce). I like to soak all my hardier grains—brown rice, quinoa, farro—for one to eight hours before I cook them. When they’re done soaking, rinse the grains and discard the soaking water.
  • Have fun experimenting with different porridge toppers! Sweet ones like raw honey, maple syrup, and chopped apple are well-known favorites, but you can also try your hand at savory or spicy additions like cardamom, walnuts, pumpkin or hemp seeds, or almond butter.

PERFECT SCRAMBLED EGGS

Eggs can be a perfect food if they come from happy chickens. See the Inspiration section below for some key “happy” words to look for on the carton.

Good eggs are good for people, too! Research suggests that eating eggs regularly does not raise blood cholesterol. In fact, in addition to protein, vitamins, and minerals, eggs contain unsaturated fat, which is associated with good cholesterol. Tests also show that compared to conventional eggs, pasture-raised eggs contain a lot more vitamins, minerals, and healthy fatty acids.

So go on—be a good egg!

Ingredients for one serving:

  • 1-2 eggs
  • Untoasted sesame oil
  • Optional add-ins: I like chopped green onion and parsley
  • You don’t need milk—I promise!

Tools:

  • Frying pan

Steps:

  • Heat a little oil in the pan
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them vigorously with a fork or whisk to create air bubbles. This will make your scramble softer and fluffier.
  • Pour the eggs into the hot pan and let them cook for one minute, then use a spatula to gently fold and stir them
  • Add any other ingredients and serve while still soft, a little moist, and perfectly yellow—be careful not to burn to brown*
  • Feel happy like happy hens do!

Inspiration:

  • *Why? For one, burnt eggs are just not attractive! But burning things also makes them carcinogenic—especially animal products. So don’t feel the burn! Remove from heat before it’s too late.
  • Look for these labels that describe the way any chicken would want to live:
    • pasture-raised
    • local
    • organic
    • hormone-free
    • antibiotic-free
  • Eggs love company. Try adding in almost any chopped veggie: red peppers, mushrooms, leafy greens… It’s hard to find one that doesn’t work.
  • I like to serve eggs with sliced avocado and rye toast on the side, but again, the options are nearly endless. What’s in your cupboard? There! That’ll make a great side : )

TEMPEH SWEET POTATO CUTLETS

It’s hard for me not to overeat these savory treats. They’re wholesome and healthy but taste like dessert! They can be made entirely from leftover, pre-cooked ingredients that are versatile enough to keep stocked in your fridge and used in many other dishes. Just mix and heat.

Ingredients for 10 cutlets:

  • 1 C sweet potato, cut into cubes and boiled for 10 minutes
  • ½ C tempeh, cut into cubes and boiled for 10 minutes
  • ½ C cooked buckwheat, or any other grain
  • Untoasted sesame oil for frying
  • Optional seasonings: salt, tamari, toasted sesame oil, cinnamon, cayenne pepper...

Tools:

  • Big bowl
  • Frying pan

Steps:

  • Crumble the tempeh in the bowl
  • Mix in the sweet potato and buckwheat (I like to use my hands to form a texture that is blended but still a bit chunky)
  • Season with your favorite things! Mine are a dash of sea salt and a splash each of tamari and toasted sesame oil.
  • Heat the untoasted sesame oil in the pan
  • Shape the “dough” into cutlets and brown them over medium-high for 2 or 3 minutes on each side, turning carefully.
  • Serve with leftover steamed or fresh greens, or both!

Inspiration:

  • Know your oils: Regular, untoasted sesame oil is made from raw, pressed sesame seeds. Toasted sesame oil is made from toasted sesame seeds. The first is good for high-temperature cooking, while the second is flavorful and good for seasoning.
  • Sweet potatoes are great with a variety of herbs, spices, and condiments, and tempeh and grains are naturally mild, so you can experiment freely with this recipe! Thyme, red pepper flakes, cumin, and smoked paprika are other lovely flavoring choices.
rye toast.jpeg

RYE TOAST

When I see “bread” on my shopping list, I know it can only mean one thing: 100% whole grain German rye! This versatile bread is a staple in my kitchen, my grocery shopping, and my daily life. It’s probably the healthiest bread around, with a lot of protein and iron. It’s found in most supermarkets and natural food stores in the shape of a brick, wrapped in clear plastic. Local bakers are also now selling it in some markets. Get it fresh, if you can.

While this bread is delicious toasted, it tastes quite raw straight out of the package. Don’t be turned off! It just needs a little time to warm up :) When I share it with clients and friends many fall hard for it—some stop eating white bread altogether.

Ingredients for two toasts:

  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Herbamare (sea salt infused with organic fresh herbs and veggies) for sprinkling
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Steps:

  • Toast the bread for 8-10 minutes in the toaster or oven, until it’s crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside (patience is the key!).
  • Drizzle, sprinkle, and layer on your slices—and enjoy!

Inspiration:

  • In addition to this tomato and avocado classic, I also like my rye toast with eggs, smoked salmon, greens, hummus, peanut butter and pumpkin seeds—or plain, with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

POTATO FRITTATA WITH GOAT CHEESE

Frittata is a fancy Italian word for “fried.” In the U.S., it’s become the name for an egg-based dish with goodies like meat, cheese, or veggies inside. You can think of it as a crustless quiche with crunchy edges. Mmm!

I love eggs for breakfast. But I also love them for lunch and dinner! This simple, flavorful frittata will satisfy you and a friend any time of day, with enough leftover for another meal (even the next day—frittatas keep well in the fridge, as long as they’re wrapped up tight).

Ingredients for four servings:

  • 4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6 large eggs or 8 small eggs
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • ½ onion, sliced or diced
  • Fist-sized ball of goat cheese, cut into chunks
  • Leafy greens in the light dressing of your choice
  • Untoasted sesame oil
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Tools:

  • Ovenproof frying pan (I like cast iron)
  • Large pot
  • Large bowl

Steps:

  • Heat your oven to 425°F
  • In the pot, boil the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes
  • Heat some oil in the pan and sautée the onions to a light brown, then remove from heat
  • Crack the eggs into the the bowl and lightly beat them, then add the garlic, sautéed onions, and salt and pepper. Fold in the cooked potatoes.
  • Pour the mixture into the pan and cook it on the stovetop over medium heat for 5 minutes, then put it in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove when it’s golden brown at the edges.
  • Arrange goat cheese and greens on top, and serve up the joy!

Inspiration:

  • This frittata makes a great picnic dish, as it’s super portable and easy to cut and share. It’s also a brilliant all-in-one meal, with protein and fat from the eggs and cheese; carbohydrates from the potatoes; and vitamins, minerals, and fiber from the greens.
Kasha Porridge.jpeg

NIGHT & DAY ALMOND MILK

Why do I call this almond milk “night and day”? Because that’s the difference between it and the store-bought stuff!

This sweet, fresh, creamy, all natural, preservative-free elixir tastes so much better than the grocery store variety that once you try it, you’ll never go back. Plus, making it is simple, easy, and straight-up fun.

Ingredients for one 16-oz bottle:

  • ⅔ C raw organic almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 2 C water
  • 1 date OR 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil to preserve freshness (optional)

Tools:

  • Blender
  • Nut milk bag (double up for smoother texture)
  • Big bowl
  • Funnel
  • Glass container for bottling

Steps:

  • Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend on high for one minute.
  • Pour the mixture through the bag into the bowl, then transfer to the glass container using the funnel.
  • You’ve got milk! It will taste great now, and even better once chilled.
  • Milk will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days, or a few days longer with coconut oil added.

Inspiration:

  • Experiment by adding other extracts and spices like cinnamon and cardamom (¼ tsp each).
  • Pair your almond milk with cereal or oatmeal, use it in smoothies, or enjoy it by the glass.

SWEET POTATO AND KALE FRITTATA

It’s natural to have sugar cravings after we've been eating too much of it—especially post-holidays or vacation. A great way to beat these refined food blues is to make sure we’re eating high-quality protein—beans, grains, pasture-raised eggs, fresh-caught fish, and grass-fed meat—and that we’re replacing all that refined sugar with naturally sweet produce, like sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions. This recipe is a delicious way to balance the sweetness we crave with the protein we need. Win-win.

Ingredients for four servings:

  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 6 large eggs or 8 small eggs
  • ½ onion, sliced or diced
  • Two big fistfuls kale, chopped
  • Leafy greens in the light dressing of your choice
  • Untoasted sesame oil

Tools:

  • Ovenproof frying pan (I like cast iron)
  • Large pot
  • Large bowl

Steps:

  • Heat your oven to 425°F, or heat up your broiler
  • In the pot, boil the potatoes until tender
  • Heat some oil in the pan and sautée the onions to a light brown
  • Add the cooked potatoes and kale and cook for a few minutes more
  • While they’re cooking, crack the eggs into the the bowl and lightly beat them
  • Pour the eggs into the pan and cook until the mixture is a light gold color all over
  • Place the skillet in the oven or under the broiler for 3 - 5 minutes, until it’s golden brown at the edges
  • Serve with fresh greens

Inspiration:

  • For side salad greens, I love how the spicy snap of arugula complements the sweet potatoes and sautéed onions in this frittata. Another good, milder pick is baby romaine.
  • Sweet potatoes play well with many herbs and spices. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, try adding a teaspoon of thyme, cumin, chili powder, nutmeg, or paprika to the pan when you’re making this recipe.