Saturday, January 28, 2012

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

I know you've all been there......"What? Oatmeal again?". I eat the stuff every morning! But I try to vary it. I usually switch between cooked whole oat groats in my rice cooker and steel cut oats in a pot. Occasionally I have soaked oat groats in the blender. The last several times I've eaten raw soaked buckwheat groats....I've not felt so hot after. Not sure why. But I'm keeping away from those for the time being. I make enough oatmeal for several days and then reheat them in the mornings.

Anyway, recently I decided to figure out a way to sweeten my oats without adding tons of dried fruit and agave nectar. It's the beginning of strawberry season down here, so it's great timing. I've been picking up boxes of strawberries from the store for a great price! So here's my rendition of strawberries and "cream" oatmeal.

Strawberries and "Cream" Oatmeal

One bowl of cooked oatmeal (whole groats, steel cut, quick cooking, whatever you have)
4-5 fresh strawberries, sliced into small pieces
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp chopped nuts (I use almonds and walnuts)
1 tsp cinnamon

If your oatmeal is already hot, add the strawberries and almond milk and microwave it on high for 30 seconds. Stir and add the nuts and cinnamon. If your oatmeal is cold, heat it in the microwave with the almond milk for about 1 minute on high. Then add the strawberries and heat for another 30 seconds. Stir and add the nuts and cinnamon. Done! 

It should be pretty creamy, but you're welcome to add more almond milk! (seen above with whole oat groats).

How many different types of oatmeal do you eat?

Eat smart,

Sunday, January 22, 2012



I'm starting a new project to get the word out there about kale!
For those new to this awesome leafy green, it will help provide links to great recipes and information.
For those that already love kale, it will provide new recipes to try.

If you'd like to help me out, please leave me links to kale recipes you love (or good kale articles). 
Kale should be the main ingredient in the recipe!!
There are three places you can leave me links:

In the comments below.
On my Facebook wall.
Tweet them to me (include #kaleproject in the tweet)

You can follow my Kale Project board on Pinterest!

I will do a series of blog posts that will include links to the recipes, as well as my own recipes.
Thanks for the help!

Eat smart, 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Two recipes!

First, I have to mention this green smoothie. And now my mind is a blank. I can't remember where I got this recipe :(  I usually leave a link. Well, as you can see, it had chia seeds in it and spinach, bananas, maybe frozen? It's almost exactly the same as my post-workout smoothie. Someone posted it in the last couple of weeks. If it's yours, let me know! Though I'm sure there are several similar recipes out there. Sorry!! If I find it, I'll post it here. I made it in my Vitamix.....though after my last "chia" episode in there, I didn't think I'd want to use them again. They sure to stick to everything!

And how about hummus? I thought I'd try some tomato basil hummus mixed into some warm brown rice noodles. It was good!! I'll definitely do it again. Here's my tomato hummus recipe (just add a handful of basil leaves). Or here's a simpler recipe:

Easy Tomato Basil Hummus

1 regular sized can of garbanzo beans
handful of cherry tomatoes, or 1 small tomato, cut up
1 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 lemon (or 2 if you like it super lemony!)
handful of fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Put it all in your food processor and process until smooth. If it's still too chunky, add a little more tomato. 

Had some spaghetti squash last night, with a nice red wine sauce:

Red Wine Pasta Sauce:

1/4 cup water 
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
4 oz of small portabello mushrooms, sliced
1 roma tomato (or other smallish tomato), chopped
1 24-oz jar of pureed/strained tomatoes (I used Bionaturae)
1 TB tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 TB minced garlic
1 tsp Creole Seasoning (or cayenne pepper plus salt)
salt to taste

Saute the onions, garlic, & peppers in the water. Cook until the onions are soft. Then add the mushrooms and chopped tomatoes. Cook ~3 minutes. Add the wine and bring to boil (medium heat) and let it continue boiling for about 5-8 minutes, until there's almost no liquid left. Add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste,  and seasonings. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. 


Are you on Pinterest? You can find me there too!
Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates in between posts.

It was 77 degrees here yesterday, but this morning it was 47! How's the weather where you are?

Eat smart,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Look what I won!!

I love it when I win something from another food blog! Don't you love getting cool packages in the mail? Recently, I won two giveaways:

An Opera Singer in the Kitchen's Manna Bread giveaway (thanks, Noelle!)


Have Cake will Travel's Hearty Vegan Meals giveaway (thanks, Celine!)

Here are the awesome breads from Manna:



(fruit and nut)

I've only tasted the multigrain so far, but it is delicious! The breads are very wet, and even putting them in the toaster doesn't quite dry them out. But served warm with a little Earth Balance, they are quite good! I put the rest in the freezer to keep. Can't wait to try the other flavors! All the breads are yeast free and don't have any extra ingredients. You can see all the ingredients on their website. Most are made of sprouted grains and water. That's why they are small and dense, but they are healthy and delicious :)

Here's the awesome new vegan cookbook I won:

Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman

It's filled with delicious looking recipes and wonderful pictures! I've already bookmarked several recipes to try :) 

Thanks, guys!! 

Eat smart,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Good stuff I've been eating

Here are some of the items I've been eating this past week-

Roasted tomatoes....turned into a sauce (puree the roasted tomatoes, add minced garlic, basil or oregano  and onion powder...salt to taste, that's it!):

(served on spaghetti squash)

Barley "risotto" with spinach and tomatoes:

Steamed potatoes, mashed up. Mixed with steamed veggies (carrots, zucchini, peppers) with Sass Tex Mex Undressed dressing on top:

Whole wheat calzone filled with roasted tomatoes and spinach:

What have YOU been eating?

Eat smart,

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vegan Brunch Review

Happy New Year!!! I hope you all had a nice you know, I was pretty sick. But, I'm all better now, although I think I may have passed it along to my husband, S. :(

So many new vegan options have popped up lately in the New Orleans area, and I'm trying to get to them all, one by one. I've checked out both O Vegasm vegan brunch and Wandering Buddha's vegan Korean food.

Recently, Santa Fe Tapas has started serving a vegan jazz brunch on Saturdays. This is great, because it doesn't interfere with O Vegasm's Sunday brunch. Now you can eat out all weekend!! We decided to try it last Saturday. Surprisingly, the Uptown district was fairly quiet (the calm before the NYE storm!). Easy to park, no wait, etc.

They've got a few tables set up outside, but it was a bit too cold to sit outside at the time. The ambience inside was quite nice with wooden beams on the ceiling and brick walls...very cozy.

We sat by a window, looking out onto St. Charles Avenue. The waitress came right over and was very friendly. Then, the owner came over and introduced himself (Orhan) and asked how we'd heard about it, etc. Super friendly Turkish gentleman! We were off to a good start.

My husband wanted a beer, and only one of the three taps was available. Luckily, all three were local beers and the one they had was a good one (NOLA Brown). It was early (11 am) and maybe they just hadn't been re-tapped for the day yet?

You could order a prix-fixe for $21 (one from each of the three courses), or a la carte. I ordered all three (duh) and S ordered one entree.

For an appetizer, I ordered the Wild Mushroom Corn Tamale:

It was delicious! Very flavorful with just enough spiciness. The guacamole, corn, and pico de gallo were all really nice. The tamale was stuffed with mushrooms and it was nice and warm underneath the cool toppings. Very good size for an appetizer as well. (look how colorful it is!!)

Then I got the Roasted Vegetable "Wellington" for my entree:

This was served atop a bed of cooked greens (spinach?), which were very "buttery" and delicious. The crust, although made from white flour, was very good and not too thick. There's nothing worse than getting more dough than vegetables in a dish like this. They got it just right. I was expecting the usual "roasted vegetables" eggplant, tomatoes, squash, etc. But no....this was filled with roots like carrots and turnips, etc. Loved it. As you can see on the plate, there was a streak of some sort of sweet syrup surrounding the dish. Don't know what it was, but it was just the right amount and went spectacularly with the "wellington"! Again, good sized portion.

S ordered the Imam Bayildi: Stuffed Eggplant with an almond green onion pilaf and wilted greens:

I was a bit disappointed that they used white rice. Wished for brown rice. The greens were the same as mine and were delicious. The eggplant was filled with some sort of tomato and onion concoction. It had a really nice flavor, but was just a tad oily. Now, I'm sure it wasn't oily for a restaurant, but I rarely use oil these days and everything seems oily to me (just so you know where I'm coming from). The rice was good....the almonds were a nice touch. S thought it should be on the regular menu-he loved it!

Dessert: Horchata Ice Cream and Blackberry Sorbet:

The flavor of the horchata ice cream was absolutely amazing! So good.....I've never had horchata before. I assume this was made from rice milk? The was a bit grainy. The sorbet also had a nice flavor, but was way too icy. Flavor-wise, both were delicious. Texture-wise...they need a little work. On the menu, it listed it as Ice Cream, Cookies. Not sure where the cookies were, but....a misprint perhaps?

Overall, the food was delicious, the ambience was nice, and the staff was friendly. We will definitely be back!

There were, however, a few things that were disappointing. First, the beer taps, as I mentioned above. Second, it wasn't that busy, but it took about one hour to get our entree. The music didn't start until about 12:15. We arrived at 11 am and it would have been nice to hear the jazz when the brunch started (it was a "jazz" brunch afterall). And lastly, it was cold. It felt like they had the air conditioner on, though it was pretty cold outside (we were also sitting right under a vent).'s highly recommended if you are in New Orleans on a weekend. Thank you for a lovely brunch, Santa Fe!! You can also find them on Facebook. And they do serve their normal, non-vegan menu during the vegan brunch as well, in case your fellow diners are not vegans.

Eat smart,