Saturday, August 29, 2015

Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins with Chia and Chocolate (vegan & gf options)

These nutritious oatmeal muffins with peanut butter, chia, and chocolate are easy to make vegan and/or gluten free. 
healthy peanut butter oatl muffins
Healthy peanut butter oatmeal muffins with chia seeds

I'm happy to report we made it through the first week of school. And with very few tears, at that! My second grader got to school and bolted off to meet her friends on the playground with nary a glance in my direction. My kindergartener, on the other hand, looked at me with big doe eyes filled with a mix of excitement of nervousness about a new classroom, new school, and new friends. 

To celebrate the first week, we made these luscious peanut butter, oatmeal, chia, and chocolate chip muffins. As usual, they are free of refined sugar, and easy to make vegan and gluten-free if needed. These muffins are higher protein and fiber than most, thanks to peanut butter, oats, and chia - so they are extra filling and nourishing. So much different the the sugar laden grocery store muffins. They are a snap to make - and start to finish take about 25 minutes. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

This easy recipe makes one tasty chocolate peanut butter smoothie or smoothie bowl. It's vegan, gluten-free, and free of refined sugars. 
smoothie bowl
healthy peanut butter smoothie bowl

The first week back to school was a hot one. Fall feels far away and after school time has been spent at the pool. Because turning on the oven sounds completely miserable when the house is already 90 degrees, I've been relying on smoothies and smoothie bowls. Which is actually a delicious and nourishing consequence of this heat wave. Yesterday when I got back from hot yoga (yes, I must be crazy to go work out in a 95 degree room) I made this decadent tasting smoothie bowl. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mexican Rice Rainbow Bowls

Mexican rice bowl
One of my favorite meals right now is the ever colorful Rainbow Bowl. They can be sweet or savory. Sometimes I make a thick smoothie base and top it with pretty lines of seeds, nuts, granola, and fruit for a nutritious and colorful breakfast or snack. Other times, like here, I use a base of greens, quinoa, or rice and top with a rainbow of ingredients. This recipe is ridiculously easy. In fact it's really not a recipe at all. Let's call it rainbow bowl inspiration. 

Vegetarian Mexican Rice Recipe

Vegetarian Mexican Rice
Vegetarian Mexican Rice Recipe

At the end of last school year, my daughter's class had a Cinco de Mayo party. Parents signed up to bring in festive vegetarian dishes like guacamole, beans, chips, salsa, and salad. I signed up to bring Spanish or Mexican rice for 25. Our family loves our weekly burrito/taco nights, but I usually make it easy and simply make a batch of quinoa or brown rice in place of traditional Mexican restaurant style rice. After realizing how easy it is to make, and how much better it tastes, I have been making this recipe for most of our burrito nights. With a batch of beans, guacamole, tomatoes, and greens, this recipe is perfect for feeding any crowd. Mexican and Spanish rice is typically made with chicken stock, but we find it's just as delicious when it's made vegetarian/vegan with vegetable broth. 

Vegetarian Mexican Rice

Delicious recipe for Spanish/Mexican rice.
Yield: serves 6-8 
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into a few pieces
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup neutral cooking oil (I used sunflower)
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Cooking Directions
  1. Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapeƱo, and garlic into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in broth, salt, and cumin and bring to a boil. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add rice and saute until lightly toasted, 8-10 minutes. 
  3. Pour the hot tomato mixture over the rice and stir to combine. Cover and cook until rice is done and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff the rice with a fork, then cover and let rest 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. 
  4. If rice is too dry, feel free to cook a little longer with more vegetable broth. 
adapted from theKitchn's Mexican Rice 

Monday, August 3, 2015

A month of Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas on

While driving with my girls this morning I heard the radio dj say, "Well, it's back-to-school time!" And I thought, "wait, what?!" It's the first week in August, don't cut our summer short, buddy! There are still so many things we have yet to check off the summer bucket list... riding the bike without training wheels, a beach bonfire, blueberry pancakes on the beach, more days of paddle boarding, homemade ice cream! And please, Michael's, put away the Halloween decor. It's too soon. 

Alas, my kids will be going back to school before I know it and the days of sleeping in and showing up to preschool summer camp late will be over. One of the most rewarding parts of blogging has become sharing my kids' packed lunches. I run out of ideas and I know other parents do too. After trying many lunchbox systems I finally got PlanetBox lunch boxes for my kids and could not be happier. The compartments never spill and make it so easy to pack a variety of foods. Our lunches have never been more colorful and I have found that I even use these for lunches at home, or to go to the beach or park. 

For hot foods like soup I use lunchbots insulated containers, which are great because they are much wider than most other insulated soup containers. You can get them on Amazon here. The only downside is that they can be a little tricky for preschoolers to unscrew - but they hopefully have an adult to help anyway. 

To get your lunch-packing ideas flowing there is a slideshow of 27 of our past lunches below. Be sure to tag me on Instagram and show me what you're making!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Gwendolyn Strong. October 4, 2007 - July 25, 2015

7 and a half years ago I walked into my first baby group class with my first baby. One of the first people I met was a happy, twinkling blue-eyed mommy/baby duo: Victoria and Gwendolyn Strong. Gwendolyn was the picture of health and Victoria was beaming and clearly made to be a mommy. When Gwendolyn was three months old she starting having trouble feeding and reaching for toys. Three months later came a devastating diagnosis: Spinal Muscular Dystrophy, or SMA. The #1 genetic killer of young children. 

keep reading for the rest of the post 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...