Happy Easter!

“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.”

-S.D. Gordon

Happy Easter!  I hope that you and your family enjoy the holiday and celebrate the peace and vibrancy of the spring season.

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

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Oh, Honey, Honey!

Honey is one of the most versatile ingredients to work with in the kitchen.  Here are my three favorite uses for this ingredient:

  1. Unfortunately, illness of all shapes and sizes seem to be going around this time of year.  I, for one, have had a terrible sore throat for what is going on two weeks.  However, whenever I feel as though I am about to lose my voice, I consume one tablespoon of raw honey.  Not only does the raw honey soothe my sore throat, it also preserves my speaking voice.
  2. Spring has (almost) sprung, and with a vibrant new season on its way, allergies too are on the horizon.  My mother suffered from pollen allergies year after year, until one winter/spring when she started stirring local, raw honey into her tea.  In fact, for the months leading up to hay fever primetime, she regularly consumed this local honey.  By the time hay fever season did roll around, her allergy symptoms decreased significantly, and although they were not completely assuaged, they were much easier to manage.
  3. Raw honey is a delightful pairing for a variety of dairy products.  In particular, I enjoy one teaspoon of raw honey with one cup of plain Greek yogurt.  Also, my family and I enjoy pairing raw honey and cheese (cheddar and Gruyere for example) together when preparing appetizers and hors d’oeuvres for holiday gatherings.  The raw honey is a great substitute for quince paste, and elevates a cheese plate, creating a sophisticated flavor profile.

When purchasing honey, always remember to read the ingredient label.  As you read, be on the look out for added sugars and preservatives such as high fructose corn syrup.  Remember that ideally the only ingredient on the label should be honey!  Finally, I would suggest purchasing raw honey from a farmer’s market or co-op.  I have found that these places are far more likely to offer honey that is locally sourced than commercial supermarkets.

What are your favorite recipes to prepare that include honey as an ingredient?  Do you enjoy adding honey to certain foods and beverages?  Please let me know!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

The Oatmeal Chronicles

Here at school I prepare breakfast for myself in my dorm room, and the dining hall covers lunch and dinner.  I have to admit this now: cooking in college is not that glamorous.  Let’s just leave it at this: as of right now I will not be the campus’ next Julia Child, by any stretch of the imagination!

There are a number of superfluous hoops that one must jump through in order to succeed at cooking in a dorm room.  The first and most obvious is the severe lack of appliances.  I am lucky enough to have what they call a MicroFridge, and this handy little appliance is a very little refrigerator, stacked on top of a very, very, little freezer, stacked on top of a very, very, very little microwave.  One can fit enough breakfast food for about a week at a time in the MicroFridge, which to say the least, makes it virtually impossible to buy in bulk.

Unlike my family’s kitchen, there is a severe lack of counter space in my dorm room.  My desk is the only piece of furniture that resembles something of a countertop.  But a physical space restriction is not an excuse to sacrifice on nutritional quality!!!  Here are three of my favorite budget-friendly and nutritionally dense morning meals:

Cinnamon Infused Steel-Cut Oats

Combine 1/2 cup of steel-cut oats with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for approximately three and a half minutes, shut the microwave off, allow time for cooling, and then add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the bowl.  Mix the oats and the cinnamon together, and wait for five minutes.  In terms of the amount of added sugars, the nutritional density in this meal is pretty sweet…in fact, because I do not add granulated sugar/honey/maple syrup/Agave nectar to the steel-cut oats, the sugar content in this breakfast totals approximately two grams.  The cinnamon not only has a wonderful aroma, but also serves as a sugar substitute!

Baked Eggs

Yes…I outsource for these.  I feel absolutely blessed to have a kitchen in the common area of my building!  Anyway, in case you missed it, here is the link to a previously published blog post from a couple of years back with the recipe for baked eggs:

https://letseatlunch.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/baked-eggs/

Baked eggs are perfect for crazy-busy mornings.  They’re perfectly portable, and, with Easter in the not so distant future, fabulously festive as well.  Always remember that eggs are a miracle food, and, one of the only food sources that provides us with much needed Vitamin D.

Greek Yogurt Paired With Mixed Berries

No more purchasing fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  Not only do they spoil pretty instantaneously, they are expensive!  I suggest purchasing a bag of frozen mixed berries.  These frozen mixed berries require zero prep…they’re pre-washed, pre-sliced, and the stems are already off!  Simply pour 1 cup of frozen berries into a bowl, and refrigerate them overnight.  In the morning, spoon 3/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt into the bowl and combine with the thawed berries.  A word to the wise: this recipe is an awesome option for people who do not care for plain Greek yogurt.  The thawed mixed berries mask the taste of the slightly sour, mostly tangy, plain Greek yogurt.  And, once again, when I add these whole foods to the Greek yogurt (instead of chemical sweeteners, preservatives, and/or food additives,) I am minimizing my consumption of added sugars.  (Remember, the sugar from the mixed berries is naturally occurring.)

So there you have it.  My three favorite morning meals.  I promise you…each of these recipes is a breakfast of champions!

What are your favorite budget-friendly and nutritionally dense morning meals?  Are you planning on trying any of the above recipes?  Please let me know!

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

Let’s Talk (#7)

Below you’ll find one of my all-time favorite quotes:

“We are indeed more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”

Adelle Davis

Agree?  Disagree?  Please be sure to leave a comment and let me know!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie