Rice, veggie, and bean bowls & Monday motivation

Hello friends, I’m back! I hope you all had a lovely labor day, week, and weekend. Sorry for the 1.5 week hiatus- school, studying, and more hours than I anticipated at my part time job have been keeping me busy, but regardless that’s no excuse. I’ll TRY to update this blog at least once a week from now on! 🙂

Today, I wanted to share my  go-to quick week night dinner (or lunch) recipes. As many vegetarians already know, convenience food is OFTEN tailored to meat eaters. And yes, I know this is not completely true as there are veggie burgers, chickenless nuggets, faux hot dogs, and microwave vegetarian meals. Yet, just like their meat counterparts, vegetarian convenience food CAN high in sodium, calories, fat, and somewhat low in nutrients. Also, vegetarian microwave or convenience meals tend to be pricier than meat based convenience meals. So what’s a hungry vegetarian student who is trying to balance a part time job, attend class, be a part of school activities, and study all the bones in the human body to do? Okay, okay that last part about the human bones is specific to my nutrition course work, but you all get the picture. 😛

During the week busy and hungry vegetarian students need nutrient dense, healthy, quick, and budget friendly options for dinner so they do not turn to veggie convenience food all the time. Considering black beans are one of my favorite foods I hope it comes as no surprise that I used black beans in this recipe I am sharing with all of you. You could definitely use other types of beans you just may need to use different spices than I used then.

Now as a forewarning, the following recipe I am sharing is not super glamorous and may even be bland in some of your options. I personally love turmeric and garlic powder together, but feel free to substitute any spices you’d like. As a side note, toping with salsa and/or using cilantro are also both wonderful additions to this recipe! Benefits of this recipe: It is quick to prepare, easy to make for yourself or a few people, a complete protein, high in fiber, and the vitamin C in the peppers should help you absorb the plant based iron in the black beans more efficiently.

Rice, veggie, and bean bowls

ingredients:

1/3-1/2 can of black beans (or any canned beans you like)

1/2 cup-3/4 cup frozen sweet peppers or frozen mixed veggies

1/2 cup jasmine rice (or any kind of rice)

turmeric & garlic powder (or any herbs or spices you want)

optional: whole wheat wraps

IMG_2219

1. Rinse the jasmine rice using a mesh sieve. Then, cook the rice according the package directions.

IMG_2220IMG_2222

2.  While the rice is cooking, microwave the desired amount of peppers or mixed veggies with a tablespoon of water and covered with plastic wrap or using a covered microwave safe dish.

IMG_2224

3. Also while the rice is cooking, rinse the 1/3 can- 1.2 can of black beans and then cook in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes or on the stovetop, also covered. Store the remaining black beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

IMG_2223

4. Once everything is thoroughly heated/cooked mix the rice, black beans, and veggies together in a bowl.

IMG_2226

5.  Add the turmeric and garlic or any spices you want. Sometimes I also eat this mixture in a whole wheat wrap topped with salsa for a bit of a heartier meal. Both the bowl and wrap are delicious and quick options so give them a try! 🙂

IMG_2227

P.S. Here’s some very late Monday motivation. Use it to motivate you for tomorrow morning’s run (or tonight for those of you who are evening/night runners). I went on a lovely run this morning and while it was extremely hard to get out of bed early after working Sunday night I was so glad I did! I’ve been trying to keep up with morning runs so I do not use work or studying as excuses to prevent me from running later in the day.

I  got up, ran, and finished all before 8 am and  had plenty of time to eat and shower before for my 45 minute commute to my 11 am class! I love how morning runs make me feel, what about you guys? Today’s motivation is one of those “reasons why I run posts” and this one seemed especially fitting.  🙂

1f7310509b44c9a7a08db73914918614

What is your go-to quick and easy vegetarian weekday meal (or meatless Monday meal for those non vegetarians out there)?

A BBQ “burger” recipe and the Lincoln Park zoo

Good evening friends! I hope all of you are having a great week and more importantly a wonderful day today. 🙂 Today one of my friends came up to Chicago to visit me for the day. Her and I went to the North Avenue Beach, the Lincoln Park zoo and the conservatory, and window shopped. I highly recommend stopping at the zoo and conservatory if any of you are ever in Chicago. It’s nice, fun, and best of all free! Today was a fun filled day and we must have walked over 4 or 5 miles total the whole day. I’m glad to have a friend who likes being active just as much as I do! I dropped her off at the train station a few hours ago and I am definitely going to miss her if she can’t come back to the city before leaving for graduate school in a little over a week though. 😦

On a brighter note, I took tons of pictures at the zoo and conservatory so I’m going to share a few of favorites below. Then, I’ll share a new recipe my boyfriend and I tried out using a vegetarian/vegan soy food called tempeh.

IMG_2136IMG_2143IMG_2141IMG_2149IMG_2156

 IMG_2163IMG_2157IMG_2160

I found this recipe on page 36 in The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook by Judy Krizmanic. This recipe is very easy and relatively fast. I hope you all enjoy it! We did not make any major modifications to the original recipe this time.

BBQ tempeh “burgers”

yield: 2-4 servings

8 ounces of packaged tempeh (we got ours from Trader Joe’s)

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/2 cup of bottled BBQ sauce ( we used Trader Joe’s Bold and Smokey Kansas City Style BBQ sauce)

1/2 cup water

1. Slice the tempeh into four sandwich sized slices.

IMG_2170IMG_2171IMG_2172

2.  Combine the BBQ, vegetable oil and water into a bowl. Put the tempeh slices in the mixture and let soak for ten minutes.

IMG_2173

3. After ten minutes, heat a skillet over medium heat and place the tempeh slices in the skillet (no need to spray the skillet). Save the sauce. Cook the slices for 3-4 minutes or until they start to brown.

IMG_2176

4. After the slices start to brown, reduce the heat to low and pour the BBQ sauce over the slices. Cook for another five minutes or until the tempeh slices darken and the BBQ sauce starts to disappear.

IMG_2177

5. Turn off the heat and serve the “burgers” on buns  with your favorite toppings. We topped ours with sweet peppers and spooned some of the extra BBQ sauce on them.

IMG_2179

IMG_2178

Have you ever had tempeh before? If so what did you make with it?

Thursday Treats: vegetarian/vegan pancakes

To be honest today’s treat started out as an experiment. I had a serious craving for pancakes this morning, but my boyfriend and I were completely out of eggs so I was curious if it would be possible to make delicious pancakes without them. The answer is 100% YES! As a vegetarian who still eats eggs, I normally make pancakes with eggs, but now I’m thinking that this eggless pancake recipe will be my new go to recipe. They are that good (in my opinion)! 😉 As an added bonus, they cook faster than pancakes made with eggs! If you use maple syrup instead of honey as the sweetener these can even be made vegan!

This recipe is from The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook by  Judy Krizmanic on pages 16-18. The only change I made was using 1 cup of all purpose flour instead of a half cup wheat flour and a half cup white and then I used light vanilla almond milk instead of soy or dairy milk. I also made two of the six pancakes with dark chocolate chips as a little treat for my boyfriend and I.

For pancake toppings I personally like high protein toppings such as vanilla Greek yogurt and mixed berries or peanut butter, while my boyfriend prefers the classic maple syrup. The pancakes taste good with any of those toppings!

IMG_2017IMG_2016

vegetarian/vegan pancakes

yield: 6-8 pancakes (serves 2-3 people)

ingredients:

1 cup  all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

dash of cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup light vanilla almond milk (or soy or dairy milk)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup or another liquid sweetener)

steps

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. Combine the almond milk, vegetable oil, and honey in a separate bowl.

3. Mix the dry ingredients and almond milk mixture together just until combined.

IMG_2009

4. Grease a non stick skillet with cooking spray or a little vegetable oil and put the stove on medium heat.

5. Pour the pancake batter onto the skillet into circles about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. Put dark chocolate chips in the batter during this step if desired.  (I cooked two pancakes at a time since we have a pretty small skillet).

IMG_2012IMG_2014

6. Cook for about one-two minutes on one side or until bubbles start to form. Then flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook for another minute or two on the other side. The pancakes are cooked when they turn golden brown. This should take four-five minutes total.

IMG_2013

7. Once fully cooked serve the pancakes and top with your favorite toppings. We made 6 large pancakes with this recipe.

IMG_2015

running update

A few hours after breakfast I went on a wonderful solo run along the beach. Today was my furthest run to date post IT Band injury. It was just shy of 4 miles. It’s so good to be back to injury free running, but I’m definitely going to keep up with my IT band rehabilitation exercises and yoga in the coming months to prevent a relapse. I felt a little sore from yesterday’s run for some reason, but I still ran a decent pace even without my boyfriend to push me. 😛

IMG_2023

I’m hoping to try out a five miler this weekend and slowly start to increase my pace during my runs again in the coming weeks. Maybe I can start thinking about signing up for a late fall race now! Have a wonderful day everyone! 🙂

Today’s question: What is your favorite pancake topping?

The biggest waves I have ever seen and a breakfast quinoa recipe

Good afternoon friends! Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days- I had class on Tuesday and yesterday was a bit crazy. We had to do some homework, grocery shop, clean up the apartment before my boyfriends roommate from college got here, and deal with the  several hour long water outage in our entire building. I did manage to get a run in yesterday, though, and it was my longest run post injury!

yesterday

Yesterday, before cleaning up the apartment we made some breakfast quinoa. Lately, my boyfriend or I cannot get enough of the stuff so I’ll share the recipe with all of you below. After breakfast, we went to get some groceries. Then we both did some homework. I went for a run on the Lakeshore path while my boyfriend continued to do more homework since he had some readings due later in the day. My IT band felt a little tight during the run and after, unfortunately, but that did not stop me from enjoying the amazing views. I ran a nice loop of just over 3.5 miles, which had me running close to the beach and I have to say that have never seen such large waves before!  Lake Michigan was crazy yesterday! The waves were so large a beach hazard warning was given and people were advised not to swim. I willingly ran close to the waves and I honestly felt like a kid when I ran through them with a goofy grin on my face. I saw some other runners smile when I ran and jumped through the waves that reached the path, but I also saw others jump up on the rocks to avoid the waves altogether (those were the wimps! Jk! :P). I’m pretty sure I inspired a few runners to run through the waves/puddles, though, so I’d say it was a successful run! The pictures below don’t even do the waves justice. They were tall, powerful, and beautiful. I think my boyfriend regrets taking a day off of running yesterday (even though he needed it) because he missed out on some great views! 😛

IMG_1839IMG_1842IMG_1831

After the run, my boyfriend and I finished cleaning up the apartment and then he went to his class. His old roommate from college arrived here while he was in class so I took him around our neighborhood to kill some time. Once my boyfriend’s class was over we had dinner and then checked out a bar in our neighborhood. It was a lot of fun to go somewhere new and catch up with my boyfriend’s old roommate. It had a nice relaxed atmosphere, some very strange, but cool artwork, and was reasonably priced (for Chicago ;)) so we will definitely be back there!

today

My IT band is feeling sore/tight again  today, so I’m adjusting my training plan for the week. I am sticking with one day of running, one day of rest or cross training instead of the initial plan of two days of running in a row, one day of rest or cross training. I’ am incredibly frustrated with my IT band because it hasn’t hurt for a few runs, but I am hoping another day of rest from running is all it needs and then I can run tomorrow. :/ On a brighter note, tonight we taking his roommate to the Cubs game and I’m really excited- it should be a good game and a fun night! My boyfriend and I are also going to the Cubs game on Sunday with our friend from high school who had extra tickets so we get a lot of baseball action this week! 🙂

breakfast quinoa

As promised, I am sharing the recipe for breakfast quinoa.  Not only is quinoa tasty for breakfast, it is very nutritious. It is a good source of iron, fiber. gluten-free, and actually is a complete protein. Lately I can’t get enough of it and have had this for breakfast nearly everyday this week! 😛 It is especially good for vegetarians, such as myself, due to the iron content and the fact that it is a complete protein.  I have adapted this recipe from the Spiced breakfast quinoa  recipe on pg. 23 of the Runner’s World Cookbook by Melissa Lasher and it is completely vegetarian (vegan if you don’t use honey).

yield: 2 servings

ingredients:

1.5 cups water

2/3 cup of quinoa

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 chopped apple

handful of raisins

optional: seeds, nuts, and/or honey

1. Rinse the quinoa with water.

2. On the stovetop combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan. Turn the heat on medium.

3. Bring the quinoa to a simmer on medium heat and then cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for fifteen minutes.

4. In the meantime, chop the apple.

5. After fifteen min add the chopped apple and cinnamon and cook for an additional five minutes.

6. After five minutes, add the raisins and cook for one more minute.

7. Turn off the stovetop and serve. Top with honey and sunflower seeds, cashews, or any other nut if desired. ( I also think it tastes awesome with a little almond milk mixed in and highly recommend it!).

IMG_1824IMG_1825

What is your favorite way to eat quinoa?

Thursday treats: triple vanilla french toast and double chocolate zucchini bread

Good morning friends and happy Thursday!

Wednesday recap

Yesterday was both a busy and relaxing day for me. My boyfriend and I woke up bright and early to check out another farmer’s market. Then after a light breakfast we went running on the Lakeshore path. It was another pain free three mile run for me so that was super exciting! Since I’m still being cautious, though, today I have to cross train. :/  After running and lunch I had an interview for a part time job, so hopefully that went well. Then after the interview, I baked a double chocolate zucchini bread, made more energy bites, cleaned the apartment, and cooked dinner with my boyfriend. Housewife status, am I right?! 😉 We ended the day with some Kitchen Nightmares and a documentary called Place at the Table on Netflix. Exciting stuff, right? 😛 Sometimes you just have to have chill days like that though.

Thursday treats

Now, I’m currently starting the day off right with a big ol’ cup of coffee after an awesome breakfast of homemade triple vanilla french toast. I guess I’m biased, but french toast made with almond milk is the best breakfast, with pancakes and oatmeal in a close second and third. Today, I wanted to share the french toast recipe with all of you as well as the double chocolate zucchini bread I made last night for some Thursday treats! With fun names like triple vanilla french toast and double chocolate zucchini bread who wouldn’t want to make them?! Furthermore, both recipes are vegetarian (as long as you are a vegetarian that still eats eggs and/or uses milk products).

IMG_1795IMG_1785 (2)

First, I will share the triple vanilla french toast which I made from the Runner’s World Cookbook. It is a perfect post workout recovery meal because it has a calcium, vitamin c, fiber, and protein. I made the double vanilla french toast by Liz Applegate, PhD on pg, 32, but made some modifications. I used vanilla almond milk instead of regular cow’s milk, whole wheat bread instead of whole grain sourdough bread, and topped it with just yogurt and berries not the maple vanilla mixture and berries. It’s called triple vanilla because I made it with vanilla almond milk, vanilla extract, and vanilla greek yogurt! Here’s a link to the original recipe found in the cookbook: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2013/10/runners_world_race_breakfast_a.html

triple vanilla french toast

Yield: 2 servings

ingredients:

3 eggs

1/4 cup Silk vanilla almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 pieces of whole wheat bread

1 cup mixed fresh or frozen berries

1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.

2.  Mix the 3 eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

IMG_1792

3. Dip each piece of bread into the mixture and allow them to soak up a lot of the mixture.

4. Place the soaked bread slices on the skillet one or two at a time and cook until browned  on one side (approx. 3-5 minutes) and then flip the bread and cook the other side until browned (approx. 2-3 minutes).

IMG_1793

5. Serve the french toast topped with vanilla greek yogurt and berries (or maple syrup and berries like my boyfriend did)

IMG_1795IMG_1794

For the second recipe, I used the zucchini I bought from the farmer’s market to make this delicious double chocolate zucchini bread. It’s called double chocolate because it uses both unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips. The only modification from the original recipe I made was using dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet chocolate chips. Here’s a link to the original recipe: http://www.joyofbaking.com/breakfast/ChocolateZucchiniBread.html

double chocolate zucchini bread

yield: varies

ingredients:

1.5 cups shredded zucchini

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and 9x5x3 inch bread loaf baking dish.

2. Clean, peel, and grate the 1.5 cups of zucchini and set aside.

IMG_1780

3. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

IMG_1782

4. In a small mixing bowl whisk the eggs, then mix in the oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Once all mixed add in the shredded zucchini.

IMG_1781

5. Add the contents of the small mixing bowl to the large mixing bowl of dry ingredients and mix well until combined.

IMG_1783

6.  Fold in the dark chocolate chips and then scrape the mixture into the greased baking dish.

7. Bake for approx. 55-65 minutes at 350 degrees  until the bread rises and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

8. Once removed from the oven cool for at least ten minutes before cutting and enjoying. Once completely cooled wrap in aluminum foil and can be stored at room temperature for several days.

IMG_1785IMG_1788

 

I hope all of you have great Thursdays and enjoy these tasty treats! 🙂

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Young, hungry, and on a budget (in Chicago)

The old saying goes “you live and you learn” and that’s exactly what this blog post is about. I have only been in the city for a week, but I have have already learned some things and know fully well that I will keep learning more. This post is a work in progress. Expect more posts and tips on city living, (mostly) healthy eating, and having fun without breaking the bank. Expect to learn as I learn! My boyfriend and I are both recent college grads with more schooling ahead for both us so we will definitely need to stick to a budget! 😛

My tips (so far) for having fun and (mostly) healthy living on a budget in the city:

1. Stock up on essentials, especially if there are sales. Case in point: you will always need toilet paper and baking ingredients such as flour. We stocked up on those things. Now the rest of our shopping trips for the next month or so will be solely food!

2. Don’t buy groceries at convenience stores such as Walgreens. Convenience stores often sell grocery items, such as peanut butter, for more than the local grocery store. It is worth the slightly longer walk or bus trip in the city to go to an actual grocery store.

3. Buy groceries on a weekly basis. Only buy what you plan on eating for the week with the exception of sales on any essential items such as baking ingredients.  This tip is also in part because when you walk most places or rely on public transit you can’t carry ten bags of groceries home. Before moving to Chicago I would only grocery shop a few times a month and really stock up on each trip. Unfortunately every once in a while I would buy more produce than I could eat before it went bad. Wasting food makes me sad in general and on a budget I really don’t want to waste so hence weekly grocery shopping. Make a detailed list before shopping and try to stick to it…

4. …BUT also shop the sales/ be flexible. What I mean by this is say you planned on buying whole wheat bagels in a particular grocery trip, but only whole wheat English muffins are on sale. Buy the English Muffins instead. Make a detailed grocery list, but also go to the store with an open mind and be willing to make substitutions in order to save a few bucks.

5. Check out the Farmer’s Market.One way to buy produce on a weekly basis is to checkout your local Farmer’s market. While they can be pricey for some items they also have some great deals. Also, for me personally, I am willing to shell out a few extra bucks on occasion to support local farmers and eat food that hasn’t been grown in a different country and shipped thousands of miles to our local supermarket.

I went to one yesterday and they had a lot of great deals on vegetables and then my boyfriend and I each picked one “splurge item”. For me it was homemade fruit jam and for him it was a homemade salsa. We got a delicious loaf of bread and all the produce we need for the next week minus a bag of carrots and perhaps some fresh fruit!

IMG_1762IMG_1763

6. Check out free or reduced price events in your area. In Chicago there are a lot of free concerts and outdoor movies throughout the summer! At Taste of Chicago Thursday we saw a free Janelle Monae concert which was cool. She was talented and is relatively popular- she was an act at Bonaroo a month ago.  There are also several relatively cheap events such as Wicker Park Fest in a few weeks that we plan to check out. I hear Millennium Park has free concerts each week too so that will be worth checking out!

7. Look for deals at your local restaurants and bars. As a person who recently moved to Chicago I am not yet sure which places have to best deals, but know I will be searching! I will be on the lookout, especially, for deals on beers and pizza, but I’ll keep my eye on healthier deals too. 😛 When you know the deals maybe limit yourself to going out to eat or to grab drinks on the nights/days with deals (if this is a reasonable compromise).

8. Make your own snacks. Snack items such a protein bars, chips, snack mixes, etc. are considered convenience items so they often charge a lot for them. In the long run you can save your wallet and your health by making your own. All making snacks cost is a little time if you use ingredients you always have on hand (for example most of my snacks use oatmeal and nuts/seeds since I always buy those things in bulk). I tend to chose snacks that are simple to make, made with ingredients already in my kitchen, and are not very time consuming.In the last week I’ve made banana oat protein bars, granola, and peanut butter energy bites as snacks for my boyfriend and I to eat in  addition to fresh produce, hummus, and popcorn.

For anyone interested here’s the recipe for peanut butter energy bites which I adapted from the Oatmeal Nut Butter Balls recipe on www.pbfingers.com– a blog that I highly recommend to others who want some healthy recipe ideas (http://www.pbfingers.com/2013/08/15/no-bake-oatmeal-nut-butter-balls/). 🙂 They are super easy and only take about ten minutes to make.

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

yield: approximately 10-12 bites

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked oatmeal

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup milled flax seed

1/3 cup honey

dash of cinnamon

dark chocolate chips (if desired)

IMG_1764

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Once combined roll into balls.

IMG_1765

2. Stick the bites in the refrigerator and grab one whenever you want a quick snack!

IMG_1766

 

(9. One last money saving tip!) Instead of going out for pizza and beer on a Saturday night make a frozen Gino’s East pizza and buy your own beer. It’s PRACTICALLY the same thing, right?! 😛  I’m actually KIDDING, even on a budget you should go out sometimes, but that was definitely my boyfriend and I last night!

IMG_1767

We were too lazy to brave the pouring rain/crappy conditions and go to an actual bar last night.We plan on checking out some of the local watering holes later this week!

Well, I hope you all have a great rest of your Sunday. 🙂 It’s time for us to get a workout in, get the rest of our groceries for the week, and who knows what else. 😛

What are your favorite ways to have fun on a budget?

Wonderful Wednesday: a Lakeshore bike path workout, the beach, and homemade granola

Hi there! Today has been a wonderful Wednesday. The weather was (and still is) absolutely beautiful here in Chicago-not cold or hot and mostly sunny! It’s been a full day because we woke up early and in the wise words of my boyfriend this was because we needed to “get up and attack the day”!

We started the day off right by getting up early to drink some coffee, eat breakfast, and study (well make granola in my case because I don’t have studying to do for my class today), 😛 Then, it was time to workout! I biked with my boyfriend while he ran. I’m still trying to ease back into running because of my IT band injury so I’ll try a short run again tomorrow.

IMG_1712

(What a perfect view during our workout today. I could get used to it! Smile)

IMG_1704IMG_1706

(We worked out on the beautiful Lakeshore bike path. There were tons and tons of people out there today and no shortage of amazing views.)

Then, after our workout it was time for lunch. We used the homemade granola I made earlier as a topping for peanut butter sandwiches. I love eating granola on peanut butter sandwiches for extra crunch. I’ll share the recipe for the granola below!

IMG_1713

After lunch my boyfriend and I went to the beach to get some sun and reading time in. It was a little chilly when the clouds came out, but otherwise a perfect day to lay out!

IMG_1717IMG_1719

IMG_1720

(There was no shortage of bird friends at the beach either. 😛 )

All in all, its been a great day so far.  It hasn’t even been a week, but I already love it here!

As promised the granola recipe I made earlier is below. It is inspired by the recipe Awesome Granola by Liz Applegate in the Runner’s World Cookbook (page 20). I made some substitutions, though: flax seed instead of wheat germ, cashews and sunflower seeds instead of almonds, and I doubled the amount of raisins. Here’s a link to the original recipe: http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/better-bowl?page=single. This recipe is healthier than store bought because it only uses a small amount of oil and sweeter and it can be made vegan by substituting the honey for maple syrup or another sweetener.

Homemade cashew and raisin granola

ingredients:

3 cups old fashioned oats

1/8 cup flax seed

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup canola oil

1/3 cup honey

2/3 cup raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and grease a medium glass baking dish

2.  On the stovetop, in a saucepan, combine the honey and oil and heat over medium heat until bubbles start to form.

IMG_1696

3. Combine the old fashioned oats, flax seed, cashews, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon in a different bowl.

IMG_1697

4. Pour the honey and oil mixture into the oat mixture bowl and mix until combined.

5. Spread the mixture evenly into a glass baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the granola turns a color brown color. Make sure to stir the granola every ten minutes.

IMG_1698

6. Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the 2/3 cup of raisins. Let the granola cool completely before storing in a Tupperware.

IMG_1699

This granola is tasty and I like it almost as much as homemade peanut butter granola! My favorite ways to eat granola are in oatmeal, on peanut butter sandwiches, and in Greek yogurt.

Have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday everyone! Smile

What is your favorite granola flavor and way to eat it?