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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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Multigrain “Scones”

Obvious just by looking at the picture above, this recipe did not exactly produce the traditional scone to which I’m accustomed. Obtained from Dr. Weil and Rosie Daley’s The Healthy Kitchen cookbook, I knew just by glancing at the ingredients list that this recipe wouldn’t necessarily yield “scones” like it purported. But the healthy ingredients were what hooked me into throwing them all together regardless, and the results actually weren’t too bad. In fact, they were rather quite delicious, which is why I’ve decided to post the recipe, even if its name is a little misleading.

Besides, names are just labels attached to items far more meaningful than their titles. So let’s throw this one out and give it a new one. I’d probably re-label these as multigrain cookies, housing a crispy golden outside with a fluffy, cake-like inside. What makes them so special is the delicate crunch they contain, given from the millet—A grain special in itself, full of fiber and trace minerals. The cookies also have both hints of lemon and sugar, without being overbearingly sweet.

Soymilk, oats, chia, bran…these multigrain cookies make for a great breakfast or snack. Next time I think I’d try swapping out the white flour with whole wheat flour for an even extra boost of fiber. The texture didn’t resemble a scone anyways, so I’d like to see what whole wheat flour would do. Try adding some nuts in as well if you desire an even extra element of crunch.

Slightly modified version of Rosie’s Multigrain Scones

-1 egg
-1/2 cup sugar
-5 Tbsp. safflower oil
-1 lemon, zested
-1/2 cup oatmeal
-1/4 cup wheat bran
-1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
-2 Tbsp. millet
-1 Tbsp. chia seeds
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 Tbsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 cup soy milk

Lemon Topping

-3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven 375F.

Whisk egg, sugar, and oil together in a bowl. Mix the lemon zest and all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and stir with wooden spoon until throughly combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the egg, sugar and oil and mix to create a thick dough. Add the milk and mix well.

Lightly grease a baking sheet. Scoop tablespoons of the dough and drop them into mounds on the baking sheet, dividing the batter to make 10 scones. Leave 2 inches of space in between each mound. Bake for 15-20 minutes, just until crust is barely golden brown and dough is dry. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

With a fork, mix the Lemon Topping ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle 1 tablespoon over each scone.