French Toast

I have high hopes and expectations for the breakfasts and brunches that I create, but they often fall short when I’m low on time or ingredients. This French Toast recipe is one of my go-to’s in those times, and it came in clutch this morning when I looked in the fridge and saw less than I had hoped to find.

Forunately, I always seem to have eggs and bread-and perhaps you find yourself in a similar predicament, too. Give it a try and this French Toast will have you thankful for the simple things in life.

tmp_25843-img_20170108_103622_319-1375584281

Recipe serves 2-3 (makes 6 pieces total)

French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces Italian bread with sesame seeds (use any white or wheat bread that you like)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp milk or water (optional)
  • Butter for greasing pantmp_25843-img_20170108_102700_4631067401932

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs in as medium sized bowl.
  2. Add in cinnamon, ginger, and milk (optional), making sure to thoroughly incorporate.
  3. Place a medium or large-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once the pan is warm, place a small pad of butter on the pan to grease.tmp_25843-IMG_20170108_103421_4812087872579.jpg
  5. Dredge bread through the egg mixture, one piece at at a time, making sure that each side is covered, but leaving any excess behind (do not leave it dripping with mixture).
  6. Place on pan. Heat for about 2-6 minutes, or until golden brown, before flipping to cook the other side for 2-6 more minutes.
  7. Once done, remove from heat.
  8. Repeat process with remaining pieces of bread.
  9. Enjoy plain or serve French Toast warm drizzled with pure maple syrup, warm honey, jam, or preserves. Sprinkle with cane sugar, powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, or ginger for extra texture and flavor.
  10. Enjoy!

All-Natural Pumpkin Puree

Pie pumpkins are on sale at a local store (Woodmans) for only $0.99, so I figured why not try to make some homemade pumpkin puree?

(My recipe is adapted from Alton Brown’s Pumpkin Puree Recipe, which is made with only pumpkin and salt)

Ingredients:

1 small pie pumpkin (3-5 lbs.)

pinch of salt

1/4 C water

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

about 1 in. finger fresh ginger

Roasting Pie Pumpkin

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Wash pumpkin thoroughly after removing stem.  Carefully cut pumpkin in half from top to bottom.  Remove seeds and gooey fiber with a large metal spoon.  Set seeds aside for other use (you can roast washed, partially dried seeds sprinkled with salt at 325F on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil for about 15 minutes for a crunchy snack or topping). Sprinkle pumpkin halves with salt.  Place the halves flesh side down on a pan lined with parchment paper. Roast in oven for about 45 minutes, or until a knife can easily be placed in and removed from the pumpkin without the flesh sticking to it. Remove from oven. After the pumpkin has cooled down enough to handle (30mins-1hr), remove the flesh from the skin with a spoon. Put cooked pumpkin flesh in a blender (or food processor, if you have one) with water, maple syrup, cinnamon, and ginger. Blend until smooth. Yields about 3-4 cups. Refrigerate up to 1 week. Enjoy in smoothies, with yogurt, or in recipes as a substitute for canned pumpkin puree!

Roasted Baby Tomato Red Sauce

Our baby tomato plants (yellow and red) have been extremely fruitful, so I decided that it was about time to make some homemade red sauce with them.

Ingredients:

30-40 baby tomatoes (yellow & red, or whatever you have)

1Tbsp. Olive oil for roasting

1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil for the sauce

1/2 tsp. salt, or salt to taste

2 Tbsp. water

1-2 tsp. Chili Garlic sauce

Two dashes of turmeric

2 Tbsp. Finely chopped red onion

2 cloves garlic, finely shredded or diced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Wash tomatoes thoroughly and dry on a towel or in a strainer. Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with half of the salt. Place in preheated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to burst and look slightly brown on the tops. Take out of oven and pour the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl. Heat a small pot or saucepan over medium heat, adding the remaining olive oil. Once the oil has warmed, add the onions, garlic, and remaining salt. Heat for about 4-6 minutes, or just enough so that the onions and garlic begin to cook through, stirring ocassionally so that the onions and garlic do not stick to the pan. Add the water and chili garlic paste, stirring thoroughly.  Next, add the reserved cooked tomatoes and juices and two dashes of turmeric, stirring well once again. Heat until sauce is to desired temperature. Serve warm over pasta or vegetables. Enjoy!

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

Sorry that I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for awhile, but I’ve been busy between enjoying my summer, working, and getting ready for the semester to begin!  When I don’t have time to blog my recipes, I usually share pictures of what I’m creating in the kitchen on my Instagram feed (@radiantlyliving), but I hope to start finding a little bit more time to share my recipes, regardless of the fact that I am about to become much more busy.  I won the in-house manual coffee brewing competition that I competed in, and will be advancing to the next round of the competition with the help of a sponsorship by the company that I work for–Stone Creek Coffee–which is hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America/Barista Guild of America, so I will be practicing for that, as well as beginning school again in just a few short weeks, but don’t plan on losing any of my passion for cooking, so figure I may as well take the time when I have it to share 🙂

On another health-related note, I recently started doing Tone It Up workouts and have fallen in love!  Last night, I purchased the Beach Babe 3 workouts and began following Karena and Katrina’s weekly workout schedule that they post to their website as of this morning.  And Mike and I also purchased our first kettle bell (15 lbs.) today!!!! Woot woot!  Can’t wait to see my progress and continue to get stronger while my man does too!

Tonight I’d like to share a tasty recipe for Spicy Black Bean Hummus that I whipped up to squeeze some extra protein into our meal and pair with some homemade baked yellow potato fries and steamed purple cauliflower and multicolor baby carrots.

Ingredients:

1 16oz. can drained, rinsed black beans

juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt, or salt to taste

1 tsp. cayenne

1 tsp. turmeric

2 Tbsp. water

3 Tbsp. tahini

2 tsp.-1 Tbsp. hot sauce of your choice (I used Valentina because that’s what we had in the fridge), optional

cilantro to garnish, optional

Directions:

In a blender or food processor, mix all ingredients until smooth. Use a spatula to make sure that all of the hummus is removed from the blending vessel.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to enjoy!  Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Pineapple Banana Spinach Zingiberaceae Smoothie

Yet another zingiberaceae smoothie packed with anti-inflammatory goodness (especially helpful to the ladies out there experiencing cramping)!

Ingredients:

2 bananas, cut into coins, frozen

1 C pineapple, diced, frozen

1-2 C spinach, packed

1/2 in. finger ginger (or about 1/2 tsp. dried ginger)

1/2 in. finger fresh turmeric (or about 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric)

1/2-1 C water for blending

Directions:

Add the pineapple, banana, ginger, turmeric, and water to the blender and blend until smooth.  Empty half of the contents into a glass.  Add the spinach to the remaining contents of the blender and blend again until smooth.  With the second mixture, top off the first layer of the smoothie.  Enjoy!

Yin Yang Mango Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 small mango, frozen

3/4-1 C pineapple, frozen

1 or 2 bananas, frozen

1 in. finger ginger

1-2 C kale, chard, spinach mix, packed

1-2 C water

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Directions:

For a layered smoothie, add 1/2 or 1 whole banana to the blender with the kale mix, 1/2-1 C water, and ginger and blend until smooth.  Empty into a glass.  Rinse out blender.  Add the pineapple, mango, remaining banana, and water to the blender and blend again until smooth.  Top off glass with second layer of smoothie and chia seeds.  Enjoy!

Green Raspberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C spinach

1 Tbsp. peppermint

1/4-1/2 C diced cucumber

1 apple, cored and diced

1/2 in. finger fresh ginger

1/8 in.-1/4 in. finger fresh turmeric

1 1/2 C water

5 ice cubes

1 1/2 tsp. honey (I used raw Acacia honey because it was on sale)

1 C frozen raspberries

Directions:

For a layered smoothie, blend the spinach, peppermint, cucumber, ginger, turmeric, apple, ice cubes, and 1 C water until smooth.  Empty into a glass.  Wash out blender.  Put raspberries and remaining water into blender and blend until smooth (you may need more water, so don’t be afraid to add more if you do, so as to not burn out your blender’s motor).  Add to green layer.  Enjoy!

Mango Matcha Smoothie

It seems that all of my natural remedies for sinus pressure and congestion are working (see previous two blog posts), because when I woke up this morning, I had some of my taste back and even have more energy! To keep myself properly nourished while my immune system recovers, I added some extra fruit to my smoothie this morning [kiwi is high in vitamins C & K, bananas have potassium and are rich in pectin (which helps digestion), and mangoes and plums have antioxidants], along with matcha (again, packed with antioxidants, which help the process of cleansing the body), ginger (anti-inflammatory), and greens (also packed with vitamins).

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C Spinach

1/2-1 C Kale

1 Frozen banana

1/2-1 tsp. Matcha green tea powder

1 C Water

2 Ice cubes

1/2 in. Finger of ginger

1/2 Mango

1 Plum (take the pit out!)

1 Kiwi, peeled

1/2 C Water

*For a colder smoothie, freeze the mango, plum, and kiwi overnight*

Directions:

Add spinach, kale, frozen banana, matcha, ginger, and 1 C water to blender and blend until smooth.  Add two ice cubes.  Blend again until smooth.  Empty contents into glass.  Rinse out blender.  Add mango, plum, kiwi, and remaining water to the blender and blend until smooth. Empty contents into glass, and enjoy!  You can reverse the order as well, because the mango layer of the smoothie will be noticeably thicker than the spinach layer.

Zingiberaceae (ginger family) Wellness Smoothie

I’m still feeling under the weather, but this zingiberaceae (ginger family, which includes ginger and turmeric, and is well known for reducing inflammation) smoothie that I put together this morning actually seems to be helping with the inflammation of my sinuses, along with the Olbas cough syrup that I picked up from Outpost yesterday [which is an all-natural cough syrup made from honey, Olbas oil (A Swiss blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, cajeput, juniper, wintergreen, and clove oil), thyme, licorice, plantain, horse chestnut, and pine, and retails for around $8], and the 20-minute “Yoga for when you’re sick” video that I did earlier, and which you can find if you follow this link: https://youtu.be/n5YvtYXSocw

Ingredients:

1 C Spinach

1/2 C-1 C Kale

1 Frozen banana

1/2 in. finger of ginger (or less, if you don’t like ginger that much)

1 tsp. culinary matcha

1/2 a mango

1 frozen banana

1/2 in. (or less) finger of ginger

1/8-1tsp. turmeric (this really depends on whether or not you want to taste the turmeric)

1 1/2 C water

ice

Directions:

Blend the spinach, kale, one banana, one of the pieces of ginger, matcha, and about 1 C of water in a blender until smooth (adding the ice at the end if you wish to have a colder smoothie).  Empty contents into a glass.  Rinse out blender.  Blend the remaining ingredients in the blender until smooth.  Top off glass.  Stir if you wish. Enjoy!

A few other things that I’m doing for my cold/sinus infection are:

+Putting hot compresses on my face for 5 minutes or so every few hours

+Drinking lots of tea and water

+Using a eucalyptus tea tree chest rub that’s made by Tea Tree Therapy, which I bought back in January at my local health food store for $5 on sale (normally $8 I think), and which I still have over half a jar of.  This is a great natural chest rub to use, and I highly recommend using it as a substitution to Vick’s and the like.  You can also put a small bit underneath your nose and on the soles of your feet for extra relief!

+Getting more rest!