I made the fatal mistake of food shopping while hungry yesterday. I know toast is like “a thing” these days, but I did not know that cookie butter cream cheese was! Leave it to Trader Joe’s to come up with such a bad ass spread.

You might be asking yourselves, is that even healthy? I’m not gonna lie, there’s nothing particularly healthy about it. The same can be said for most cream cheeses. It’s basically a fat. There’s nothing wrong with some fat in your diet, especially if you exercise and are consistently a healthy eater.

I put it on some Ezekiel bread and paired it with some berries, and I feel like I just had a pretty decadent breakfast. All told, it amounts to ~300 calories.

My only caution is, similar to anything speculoos cookie butter related, you may be tempted to have more than a serving. Stay strong!

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This is my set up for breakfast (when kids sleep late, so yeah, not that often.) You could always get the ingredients ready beforehand and have them available. Either way,  just chop it all up and heat up a pan and you are ready to go.

Here are my ingredients:

Garlic

Onions

Chives

Fresh thyme, basil

Peppers

Shiitake mushrooms

Asparagus

2 eggs

Cooking spray

Hot sauce (optional)

  
Just sauté the veggies, mushrooms last. From here you can set aside and make an omelette or frittata or a scramble.

I opted to just do a little “Egyptian egg” (or whatever you guys call it) action.

If you cook the egg just right, it’s soooo creamy, you won’t miss the butter and cream cheese.

  
 

The less is more approach to kale...

The less is more approach to kale…

The influx of kale chips, quinoa chips and chia chips is kind of getting me depressed. All I can think to myself while I take them down off the shelf to look at the label is, “Just eat the flipping food! It’s not that bad actually.” Why does it have to be a chip?

Don’t get me wrong, I really like chips of all shapes, vegetables, legumes and sizes. But, it seems like food manufacturers get a little crazy with taking a hot “new” health food and pretty much turning it into a healthy junk food before anyone gets a chance to actually see if they liked the whole food in the first place.

I continue to buy kale despite it’s becoming a bit of a diva around town. I honestly really enjoy it in the easiest way possible, sauteed.

Ingredients:

1 10 ounce bag of pre-cut Kale

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp peanut oil

1/4 cup chopped cashews (optional)

1 tsp rice vinegar

Pinch of pyramid salt

Preparation:

  1. Heat a large pot until water beads up when thrown in the pot (sizzle)
  2. Add peanut oil and coat bottom of pan
  3. Add garlic and sautee for a minute or so until fragrant
  4. Add kale to pot in bunches, 1/3 at a time. Use tongs to keep turning the kale over making sure each bunch gets some coating with oil. Throw in a pinch of the pyramid salt and distribute evenly.
  5. Once all the kale is in the pot and evenly coated, turn the heat down to low and cover for about 5-7 minutes
  6. Taste the kale, make sure the texture is not too crunchy
  7. Add the rice vinegar and evenly coat
  8. Once kale is plated, add cashews for garnish

This preparation can make anywhere from 2-4 servings, I like a lot of kale so I split it in 2. One serving in this preparation packs:

Over 100% daily RDA for both Vitamins A & C

Not to mention tons of fiber, iron, copper. The list goes on and on. Guarantee you can’t get those kinds of statistics from a kale chip…

 

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Feeling kinda uneasy after watching a lot of food porn at work today (don’t ask), so thought I would post my own version of food porn and also declare the hot new food trend of 2014 to be:

BRUSSELS SPROUTS!

Okay, so maybe I’m not he first person to declare this, but, I’ve seen this one coming for awhile now. Brussels Sprouts ARE THE NEW/OLD “IT” vegetable. (mark my flippin words)

Ingredients:

1 turn of peanut oil

Butter (optional)

1-2 crushed cloves of garlic

1 package of Brussels sprouts (ends cut off and cut in half)

Low sodium broth (< 300 mg per serving minimum!)

Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)

Method:

  1. Preheat pan to medium high heat
  2. Pour one turn of peanut oil in the pan and allow to heat up to medium high heat (throw some H2O molecules in the pan to test for “hotness”),  simultaneously throw garlic smashed into pan (remove within a minute of cooking to prevent  spread of “bitter” flavor)
  3. Place Brussels sprouts cut-side down onto heated pan
  4. After halves are placed face down, pour a small amount of low sodium broth into pan, wait for “SIZZLE” and then lower heat and cover for 17 minutes over medium low heat.
  5. Sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt to taste over sprouts
  6. Enjoy!

Here’s the nutritional information for Brussels sprouts in case you are doubting the serious nutritional benefits from these MOFOs:

Brussels Sprouts Nutrient Extraaganza

Basil Artichoke Hummus

Okay, I realize that Sriracha is more of a condiment and hummus is more of a spread/dip, but, my foodie antennae are telling me that this delicious healthy dip is on the verge of, if not already, having its moment, big time! It’s definitely been a staple in my diet for years. I also highly recommend it as a delicious healthy snack or spread.

I made a quickie version tonight with my new Cuisinart, rest in peace Krups speedy pro :-(, you will be missed…

Asparagus Basil Hummus with Cashew Butter

Ingredients

! can garbanzo beans – Rinsed

Juice of 1 lemon (I used a Meyer, it’s a little bit sweeter)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic (browned)

5 spears asparagus

Handful of fresh basil

1 tablespoon cashew butter (replacement for tahini)

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon zest (optional)

Paprika (optional)

Method

1- Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulverize until chickpeas are roughly chopped.

2- Slowly drizzle olive oil into ingredients while simultaneously grinding mixture

3- Taste the hummus. Add salt, pepper, more lemon juice if necessary and process until desired consistency is desired.

4- Sprinkle with smoked paprika

 

Incidentally, I’ve had several posts dedicated to hummus:

Homemade Hummus, Best Hummus Ever, A Lemon By Any Other Name

I’ll just come out and say it, I always wanted the Snoopy Snow Cone machine when I was a kid. Not sure why we never got one, but, that jingle has lived on in my head for over 20 years now (“you put ice cubes in and get a snow cone out…”).

My own children don’t really know of the Snoopy Snow Cone machine, but, they are aware and covetous of sweet, icy drinks/desserts that one can make at home with any number of sugar-laden syrups that seem to rear their frightening heads around this time of year.

Tonight, I decided I would try my hand at the “Snow Cone.” (more…)

Black lentils provide a crunchy, high fiber base for sauteed portobellos

I have been waiting with bated breath to cook up this package of black lentils from Whole Foods. They are smaller than the average red or green lentil and look almost like caviar when they are cooked. I also had some “Ginormous” Portobello mushrooms and a lonely jalapeno that needed to be used.

Basically, I cut up 1/2 a Vidalia onion, 1/2 a jalapeno (no seeds) and 2 cloves of garlic. I sauteed these with some fresh herbs from my garden (chives, savory, thyme, basil) and olive oil for 3-4 minutes. I then added the thinly sliced portobello mushroom and allowed them to cook together for a few more minutes. A little balsamic, sherry and red wine vinegar at the last minute. A dash of salt to finish it off.

The black lentils can be cooked in around 20 minutes, but, I used the slow cooker because I wasn’t sure when I started what I would ultimately do with the lentils, I just knew I wanted to use them.

This type of lentil really keeps its crunchiness and would make a great base for a salad. Since I made an entire bag, which yields at least 11 servings dry, I plan to try the salad option next.

Each serving offers a whopping 9 grams of fiber and almost a days worth of folate.