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Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Quick Spring Eats

Spring so far has been more about cleaning than cooking. It’s been all about salad days — Mac DeMarco included. Morning runs — some in shorts and a t-shirt!(!!)  And quick, unplanned dinners. It’s been about leisurely minutes spent outside, explorations with friends, and cleaning my psyche. (I hope you didn’t think by cleaning, I meant my apartment. Currently, my laundry’s flooding my room, and likely covering up the dust that’s swimming down beneath it. Hey – that could be considered laundering the floor though, right?)

Sometimes, when spring calls, you’ve just got to shift your priorities a bit and soak up all that sun that bright sky is shining down. However, that doesn’t mean turning your diet to crap. Short on time certainly doesn’t mean pizza night should be every night.

Let's eat

For Lunch/Dinner: When you can have a few quick and easy recipes up your back sleeve, your spring cleaning will feel so much more CLEAN. As I said, I’ve been doing a lot of salad. Raw greens are my go-to, largely because their heartiness can take on a lot, and because they’re easy to make a meal out of. Add grains. Add beans. Maybe add herbs or cheese. Add nuts. Add other veggies. Definitely add avocado. Create a salad that feels like much more than a salad, so you can feel both healthy and excited. The best part? When you start with a base of raw kale or collards, you can make a huge bowl on Sunday night, and have something already made you can munch on all week. Throw this Tahini Dressing on it, and you’ll be golden.

Chia Overnight Oats

For Breakfast: If you’re like me, and you’ve been using the spring weather to get up early and bike/run/read/whatever — or if you’re not, perhaps consider doing so; it feels great  — it’s ideal to have a breakfast that’s both energizing and quick. I HATE rushing around in the morning. It starts my day off on a stressed out note. But when going for a run in the morning, I can’t say I love waking up extra, extra early either. My solution? Have breakfast prepared the night before.

Here’s where overnight oats comes in. I’ve definitely featured a few of these recipes before on my blog. I’m still eating it on the regular, and am still loving how satisfying it is. Plus, it’s made in advance so you literally need just one minute in the morning to pull it out of the fridge, top it with nuts, and drizzle maple syrup on top — leaving all your other morning minutes to relax and fuel up. See below for the recipe to my latest chia seed rendition.

Curried Ketchup Cabbage and Potato Stir-Fry

For Lunch/Dinner: Another go-to is breakfast-for-dinner. Pack your breakfast with veggies, and this becomes an incredibly quick health-for-your-buck kind of meal. My breakfast of choice this past week? Eggs a la Curried Ketchup Potato Cabbage Stir-Fry.

There’s a beer garden in Philly that turns simple snacks into memorable menu items solely by the curried ketchup they offer on the condiments table. I’m pretty sure all they do is add a little curry powder to regular store-bought ketchup – which is what I do with my potato/cabbage breakfast-for-dinners.

There’s no set recipe here. Dice 1 large onion and 1 large potato, and saute in some olive oil until the onion is caramelized. Meanwhile, slice up about 1/2 head cabbage. Add 1/4-1/3 cup of ketchup to the pan, along with a palmful of curry powder. Stir, and then add the cabbage. Add a splash or two of apple cider vinegar, and cook over medium heat. If cabbage begins to stick, add 1/3 cup of water, and cover pan with a lid. Finish cooking until cabbage is tender, 8-10 minutes in total, adding a few red chili pepper flakes if you want it spicier. Top with a pan-fried egg, and serve.

Don’t worry. I’ll be back to cooking up slightly more elaborate meals pretty soon once the novelty of spring wears off. And if that doesn’t happen, then the abundance of early season veggies on their way is bound to get me back in the kitchen. I’m getting antsy just thinking about it.

What’s your favorite spring meal? Or your favorite quick meal to make?

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Pumpkin Coconut Overnight Oats

How it’s November already is beyond me. Days at the beach seem like not far off from yesterday, and sweaters and boots still feel like fresh novelties. I assume for some it’s felt like fall for forever already, and I’m probably just still holding onto summer. As always. As always, time around me is flying and sunny, sandy days are forever being missed.

One day I’ll move somewhere warm for longer than a two week span and I’ll no longer write blog posts about dwelling in goodbyes to summer. But for now, I will 100% embrace my brown boots and knit scarves. And even look forward to the first snow. The only thing that scares me worse about moving to the west coast than leaving my family is missing out on the changing of seasons. As much as I absolutely adore summer and spring, I’m not sure in the absence of fall and winter I’d have the same appreciation.

Regardless of the forthcoming coldness, I’ve been enjoying and am looking forward to more weeks filled with pumpkin, one of my favorite parts of autumn (aside from the turning of the leaves, of course).

Lately, my blog has been all pumpkin and squash. For good reason, too. That orange color means Vitamin A galore, pairing well with the other fiber, vitamins and minerals that make those two hard-fleshed produce items annual superstars.

Three weeks until Thanksgiving, which means 21 days until my first yearly slice of pumpkin pie. Likely I won’t be enjoying any until then. Though of course, I’ll certainly be enjoying other recipes, like Pumpkin Pie Muffins and this rendition of overnight oats.

Coconut milk and pumpkin make this breakfast feel rich and hearty. While you embrace fall and wait out the last couple of weeks left till true pumpkin pie season, I assure you there’s no way this will leave you feeling deprived. However, let’s be clear — though this is rich, definitely don’t mistake it as being a poor breakfast choice. Generally, I’m a full-fat coconut milk fan, but the light version in this particular recipe still allows the flavor to shine through, while keeping it from becoming too heavy. The richness is nearly a façade, which is how true light recipes should be. Agreed?

Click here for recipe…

Chocolate Pumpkin Overnight Oats


Ever since I bought cocoa for my Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie, I’ve been finding as many new ways to use it as possible. I was surprised at how chocolaty unsweetened cocoa could make things taste sans sugar. My favorite new usage for the powder is in Greek yogurt, topped with honey and nuts. It’s a creamy, rich-feeling snack that led me to my latest rendition of overnight oats.

I rarely cook oatmeal anymore. However, frequently you’ll find me just before bed, preparing oats for my next morning’s breakfast. Hearing the commotion in the kitchen, my roommates walk out, presuming to catch me whipping up a late night snack. However, they’re never thrown off when instead they see me swirling uncooked oats and yogurt in my bowl. They know the routine.

I’ve become addicted to the creamy, quickness of this breakfast. In the two minutes it takes my tea/coffee to finish brewing, I can pop my oats from the fridge, top them with honey and nuts, and have a gourmet breakfast ready to go for the spare minutes I have prior to heading out the door. This particular combination is extra filling, but not in a heavy, breakfast-sandwich type of way. More like in a satisfying, pumpkin, fiber-filled way instead. I’ve made a vegan version of pumpkin oats before, but decided to keep the yogurt this time because, after all, as I just said cocoa + yogurt is my new fav.

When they say chocolate is healthy, this is it. Cocoa puffs, not so much. But chocolate-antioxidant-packed oats, yes please. Who says chocolate shouldn’t be for breakfast?

Click here for recipe…

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Late night baking calls for a healthy and quick, subsequent morning meal. Not that I wasn’t chowing down on Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies right alongside this bowl of Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats… Regardless, I wanted something a little less butter and sugar-filled to be the base of my breakfast. With some leftover pumpkin from the cookies, I got to work creating this while the last batch of cookies were still baking away in the oven.

There’s not much to say about this bowl of oats other than that it’s a heavenly way to start your morning if you’re a pumpkin pie fan like me. If you’re not familiar with overnight oats, I have a bunch of other recipes that will introduce you to the make-ahead creation. Usually, my base is oats, soymilk and yogurt. For this one, I swapped the yogurt with pumpkin puree, making it my second ever vegan overnight oats recipe. The pumpkin add a creamy consistency equivalent to that of yogurt, and with the spices, brown sugar and walnuts, you’d be tricked into thinking this wasn’t much healthier than the previous night’s cookies you might pair alongside it. But oh it is, and equally delicious!

Serve with a dollop of plain soy yogurt if you’d like a tart component to compliment your pumpkin pie in a bowl.

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Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats

Growing up, my mom was always try to create new ways to fix our oatmeal for breakfast.  Simple salt and pepper, peanut butter and banana, soy milk and maple syrup, ground nuts, and the other countless combinations she’d try out on my brother and I were all her endeavors to keep us eating a healthy breakfast.  Never a fan of starting off our day with sugar, Fruit Loops (my favorite junk cereal as a kid) was almost always out of the question.  On the rare occasion, my mom would let my brother and I wander the cereal aisle and actually pick out what we wanted. She’d treat us with mini cereal boxes for camping trips or some other special outing. On an everyday basis, however, it was some kind of oatmeal concoction going into the breakfast bowl.  Luckily, she was a particularly talented oatmeal lady. Switching it up frequently, I was often fooled into thinking I was eating something new on a regular basis.

One of my favorite ingredient combos. that she came up with was blueberry oatmeal.  She’d start the oatmeal and then a few minutes before it was finished, throw in a large handful of blueberries. She’d continue to cook just until the blues began to burst.  The oatmeal was always finished off with a spoonful of sesame tahini and a drizzle of quality maple syrup. The result:  A  heavenly bowl of oatmeal that resembled blueberry pancakes. Pancakes, of course, were an item I would’ve eaten nearly every day for breakfast.

As I grow older, I’m filling in for my mom and creating my own ways to eat my morning oats.  While my mom could eat and enjoy a bowl nearly every morning, it takes a little more motivation for me to crave oatmeal on a consistent basis.  However, lately I’ve been eating overnight oats on the reg. and find I still look forward to them each morning they await my spoon.  Below is my latest O-Oats creation, inspired by my mom’s timeless blueberry oatmeal.  I’ve created a cold, summery variation that’s prepared the night before, perfect for those morning’s when you’re in a rush.  Make sure to use a ripe banana, which surprisingly eliminates a need for any extra sugar…that’s certainly Mom approved.

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