Vegetable Quiche = Fantastic Brunch

Sunday’s are meant for sleeping in and brunch. I have a fantastic recipe for you. This vegetable quiche with an almond flour crust goes along nicely with that a nice spring salad. The best part is, not only is this meal super healthy, it tastes fantastic too! We also had some cinnamon raisin bagels for toasting (carbs = life when you’re a runner).

Quiche

Vegetable Quiche (gluten free)

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups Almond Flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water
  • Fresh Rosemary and Thyme, chopped up (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Filling:

  • 7 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain almond milk
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • broccoli, cut up into very small pieces (1/2 – 3/4 cup)
  • 2-3 large handfuls of spinach
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar and/or fontina cheese

Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.) Mix together all crust ingredients and then press into a greased pie pan to form the crust.

3.) Bake for 15-17 minutes. Make sure the crust doesn’t become burnt!

4.)Saute the onion, garlic, broccoli, and spinach in a pan for about 8 minutes. Set aside to let cool.

4.) Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, salt, and pepper. Add the cheese and the cooled down vegetables and mix together well. Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust.

5.) Bake in the oven for about 30 – 35 minutes. Check to make sure the center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes then serve immediately.

6.) This makes a great easy breakfast the next morning too! 🙂

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Meal Planning: Step 1

It’s Friday! I hope everyone here has a fun weekend! Things around here will be pretty low-key with running, schoolwork, certification work, and of course Sunday Funday. It’s supposed to be gloomy and rainy so I’m not sure hiking will be the adventure of the week, but I sure hope it is. I need to soak in some a good dose of nature.

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Among my health coaching clients, one of the most popular goals I hear is that they want to get better about meal planning and having healthy meals throughout the week. They also tell me it’s one of the most intimidating goals, but one that could make the most impact on leading a healthy lifestyle.

What a difference having a meal plan can make! When I don’t have a meal plan, my already chaotic week feels nearly impossible to manage. Being a long distance runner and ridiculously hungry when I finally get home at 7:30 pm, the last thing I want is to look in the fridge and have no idea what to eat. There may have been some “I’m hangry” melt downs in my past before I discovered the importance of meal planning.

Because meal planning can seem overwhelming. It’s best to break it down into steps instead of just diving in all at once. So I’ll do a series of blog posts with some steps you can take to incorporate healthy meal planning into your own life.

Step 1 is to look at your week ahead. Be realistic with what kind of meals you can tackle. How much time do you really have to spend on preparing food? Another 1st step is to look in your cabinets and fridge to see what you already have on hand. Maybe you’ll even get a few meal ideas based off of ingredients you already have at home. The last part to this is to think about what meals sound good to you! If a meal doesn’t sound good to you when you’re planning it, it probably won’t sound good the night you’re supposed to eat it either.

This brings me to a step 1 tip. Start building a recipe book of go-to recipes. These are your recipes that are healthy, taste great, and you don’t feel overwhelmed by the thought of making them. If you don’t have these recipes now, don’t worry – you eventually will! The more you try new recipes and cook, the easier it is to realize what these go-to meals are. Read health and food blogs, check out recipe websites, and go through some of those cookbooks you have on hand. This will help you start compiling some easy go-to recipes for those weeks that are just too crazy to even think about cooking and elaborate new meal.

And that’s the first step. Not too overwhelming, right? I’ll be talking about the next steps next week. For now, just work on step one!

Healthy Maple Granola

This granola makes for a great snack or breakfast. Sprinkle some on top of yogurt for an added crunch, replace your cereal for a serving of this and some almond milk, or sprinkle some on top of an apple slice with peanut butter (yum!).

granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit (I used cranberries, raisins, and chopped dates)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey (or a combination of both)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add everything together in a bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Spread out the mixture on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20-24 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to stir about halfway through.
  4. Let the granola cool completely and store in an airtight container.
  5. For an added treat you can add a few dark chocolate chips to this!

Enjoy!

 

Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Back over the summer, I had quinoa cakes with a roasted red pepper sauce at a restaurant and knew I wanted to recreate them. It took me awhile to get around to it, but I made these last weekend and they were a big hit at our house! I made an avocado salsa on the side in addition to sautéed spinach.

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Ingredients:

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 cup almond milk (I bet this would be great with coconut milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

Quinoa Cakes:

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked
  • 1/2 zucchini shredded
  • 1/2 carrot shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup almond flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

  1. Preheat oven to 500.
  2. Cook red peppers whole for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and wrap in foil for 10 minutes to soften.
  3. While the red peppers are cooking, saute the shallots and garlic together until golden brown. Add to a blender.
  4. Remove the skin and seeds from the red peppers and add to blender with the shallots and garlic. Add in 1 cup of almond milk, corn starch, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Then pour into a sauce pan and heat until thickened.

For the Quinoa Cakes:

  1. Add together all the ingredients (cooked quinoa, zucchini, carrot, parsley, eggs, almond flour, garlic, and salt and pepper) into a bowl and stir until everything is well mixed.
  2. Heat up oil in a large frying pan. There should be enough oil in the pan to fry the quinoa cakes.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out the mixture and drop it into the frying pan. Cook about 5 minutes on each side.

For the Avocado Salsa

  1. Mix together the avocado, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro.

 

To serve, spoon the roasted red pepper sauce on top of the quinoa cakes and add the avocado salsa on the side. I added sautéed spinach to my meal for added veggies!

Enjoy!

Nutella Banana Muffins

My partner loves Nutella. Actually, that sentence is an understatement. I do in fact have to keep it hidden sometimes, but some days call for a special treat. I leave for work a couple of hours before my partner gets up, so on valentine’s day I left these on the counter with a little note. Unfortunately during the week, it seems we see each other very briefly before crashing into bed for the night, but little sweet gestures such as these are commonplace in our house and it’s truly the little things that make my heart melt.

nutella-banana-muffins

These are by no means a health food, but everything in moderation. If I’m making these for myself, I use applesauce instead of butter, whole wheat flour, oats,  and a homemade or natural version of Nutella. However, my partner can always tell when I make these “healthy” so when I make them specifically for him, I use the good stuff (aka butter and white flour).

Nutella Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (I prefer whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 4 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (can substitute applesauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (can substitute honey or maple syrup and/or reduce to 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup Nutella (or homemade Nutella/natural hazelnut spread)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.) Mix together bananas, butter, eggs, and sugar in a bowl until well mixed.

3.) Add flour, oats, baking soda, and cinnamon and stir until everything is well combined.

4.) Spoon batter into lined muffin tins.

5.) Add Nutella to each muffin and cut through with a knife to make sure it mixes well into the batter.

6.) Put muffins into oven and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean!

Enjoy!