Thursday, February 6, 2014

breakfast oatmeal bake and vegan banana muffins.

i have always said that if i could have any one "household duty" done by someone else other than me, it would be the cooking. hands down, every time. i LOVE to eat good healthy food, but am the first to admit i don't necessarily have a love affair with cooking and all that it entails. buuuuut, since hiring our own personal chef is decidedly out of the question, i have gone on a quest to fall in love with cooking...and wouldn't you believe it, our little relationship is turning out to be quite delightful!

now, don't get me wrong, its not like i never cooked for my family before this...i have. its just that my cooking can tend to be inconsistent, unplanned, with no forethought or time given to preparing, with the occasional spurt of meal planning and cooking. i was always a swing by the seat of my pants kind of girl, would have our few staple recipes and then wing it from there. which is probably why i have never really enjoyed it...because lets be honest, winging it can become kinda stressful. ;)

since my relationship with cooking has been blossoming quite nicely, this last week i actually set out with a few new goals to help keep myself motivated.

//one// on sunday afternoon, i sat down with the goal of finding all my recipes for the week. for breakfast, lunch and dinner. i have tried multiple ways of finding recipes before, but nothing has really helped me stay organized and motivated enough to want to stick with it. so this time, i decided to create a board on pinterest, "a week of recipes" and set about filling it with some new/some old recipes to get me started. i not only loved spending time on this, but got so many great ideas and did not feel overwhelmed by the week ahead at all. all of the recipes i chose, fit into a vegan/wholefoods/plantbased diet. 
from here, my plan is to save the recipes we enjoyed and would like to use again, and delete the ones we don't.

//two// after gathering all my recipe ideas for the week, i made a detailed shopping list after first shopping my own pantry...and then went to the store...all by myself. i purposed to actually stick to my list, without adding to it or taking away. i know we're weird, but going to the grocery store is usually a family outing that i actually enjoy. but going by myself helped me stay so much more focused and i wasn't quite as exhausted by the time i got home. go figure. ;) and just in case you were curious, i spent $150 for one week, for a family of five. and this included absolutely everything we would need as well as some more expensive ingredients that i will not need to replace each week. so i am expecting this cost to go down next week. (my next goal is to really spend time on shopping around to find the best deals and figure out the best ways to feed us on a budget...i want us to eat healthy/organic, but without breaking the bank)

//three// i found several IG gals to follow to help keep me inspired with the cooking. a few of my favorites are @eating_whole, @thecrunchyradish, @wordsofwisdomliving and  @kalecrush. let me know if you have any other favorites!!

i would have never thought that i would have been able to actually cook all our meals and truly enjoy it. but alas, it has happened! (there were a few meals this week so far that we have eaten leftovers from a previous meal).

i didn't plan at all to only share breakfast recipes this week, but they have been SO GOOD. i highly recommend each! i will try to include some lunch/dinner recipes next week.

B R E A K F A S T   O A T M E A L   B A K E  

(adapted from the crunchy radish)


2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups almond, hemp or skim milk (i used unsweetened almond milk)
1 large egg (i used an egg substitute of 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed, in 3 tablespoons
of water...mix and let sit for several minutes before using)
3 tablespoons organic vegan butter, coconut oil or Ghee melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups blueberries or strawberries or mixed berries
(instead of the above fruits, i had some frozen strawberries, peaches, mango and pineapple
that i needed to use was delicious!)
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)


preheat the over to 375 degrees.
butter the inside of an 8inch square baking dish or 9 by 13inch with coconut oil or vegan butter.
mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.
in another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg/egg substitute, half of the butter and the vanilla.
arrange the 3/4 of the fruit in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish, cover the fruit with the oat mixture, slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats, making sure the milk moves through the oats and then scatter the remaining fruit across the top, along with the remaining coconut flakes. 
bake for 30-45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set.
remove and let cool for a few minutes and then drizzle the remaining melted butter or coconut oil on the top and serve.

B A N A N A   V E G A N   M U F F I N S

(adapted from chocolate and carrots)
also, i doubled this recipe and was able to make 8 large muffins.


1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 medium banana, smashed (about 1/3 cup smashed banana)
1 tablespoon of organic vegan butter, melted 
3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped walnuts 


Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and brown sugar together. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, stir the banana, melted butter, milk and vanilla together.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Stir in the walnuts.
Evenly distribute the batter into a giant muffin pan that has been coated with a thin layer of coconut oil.
Bake for 22-27 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Allow to cool before enjoying.

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