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scottish oatmeal

Yesterday morning I really felt like oatmeal – maybe it was the constant rain we had in Boston from Sunday – Wednesday!  I decided to try something new – Scottish Oatmeal.

Have you ever tried Scottish oats?

Apparently, they are supposed to be creamier than Steel Cut or Rolled Oats, more similar to oat bran.  But to me, these were almost too creamy.

They look like oatbran.

I boiled water, then added my oats, banana and spices and reduced the heat to a simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, as the packaging said to do.

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup Scottish Oats
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 chopped banana

I simmered for the 10 minutes, came back and nothing had happened!!  I turned up the heat and continued to cook.  After another 10 minutes or so, they kind of resembled oatbran, so I ate them up.

I was disappointed in them.  I think my expectations were WAY to high, and this was a super fail.  They were too watery.

Too watery, too creamy.  If anyone has any tips, let me know.  Otherwise, I’ll stick with my favorite Steel Cut Oats!  I love that they have a bite to them.

Luckily, my toppings were delicious, so they were definitely edible.

Topped with:

YUM!

Lunch was much better than breakfast.

Leftover Honey Balsamic Bean Salad (made by Lauren) from last night’s girl’s dinner.

It was amazing!

If you like beans and haven’t tried this recipe from 101cookbooks.com yet, give it a try.  It does not disappoint.

Lauren added tomatoes, which were delicious.

Served with a side of grapes.

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sloppy joes, veggie-style

How is everyone doing today?

The week seems to be flying by so far…maybe because I am excited for the holiday weekend!

I started my morning with a juice to-go.  I needed to use up some fruits and veggies from our CSA last week, so a juice was definitely in order.

  • Kale + extra kale ribs
  • 2 carrots
  • celery
  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • lime
  • knob of ginger

This wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked.  Probably because the apple was tart, but it did the trick and energized me for the day.

I also snacked on 2 pieces of Manna Bread with peanut butter!

For lunch, I mixed up the Honey Balsamic Bean Salad from 101cookbooks (my favorite recipe website!!).

It has a hint of sweetness from the honey, but is balanced out nicely from the balsamic.  I really enjoyed it and would absolutely make this again!

I ate a portion with some cherries.

And, a yogurt for a snack.

Dinner was delicious!  (But, a little spicy!)

I made up some Vegetarian Sloppy Joes (Snobby Joes from Veganomicon).

I replaced the onion with turnips from our CSA and doubled the amount of tomato sauce.  Other than that, I kept everything the same!  I did add a little extra chile powder by mistake which made them super spicy!!  But, if you got past that, they were great. 🙂

Served open faced on a whole wheat hamburger bun.

Topped with feta cheese and served with freshly picked sugar snap peas sauteed in a little butter.

They stayed crunchy and were very sweet.  Delicious dinner!

Off to relax…

banana scramble sandwich

This morning I wanted something different for breakfast, are you surprised?!?!

I whipped up a Banana Scramble sandwich that I had seen on Ashley’s Blog.

It is a great vegan option to an egg sandwich!  Here’s what to do for one serving.

Take the following ingredients:

  • 2/3 banana
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or milk of your choice)

You can switch up these ingredients as well and add other stuff!

Mash up the banana and mix everything together until it basically resembles scrambled eggs.

Then, pour the mixture into a small pan sprayed with a little olive oil over medium heat and cook until warm and browned.

While my banana scramble was cooking, I toasted a Sprouted Wheat bagel.  Once cooked, I spread a little crunchy peanut butter on one side and plopped the banana scramble on the other side.

Put the bagel sandwich together and enjoy!

The banana scramble sandwich was awesome!  The banana and coconut flavors really came through.

It is a quick, easy and delicious breakfast!

Lunch was also something new – a Veggie & Bean Wrap.

I keep a bunch of cooked beans in the freezer so that I can use them whenever (instead of using canned beans), so I defrosted some black beans and chickpeas with tomato paste and oregano.

I took a whole wheat wrap (Whole Foods brand only has a few ‘real’ ingredients!) and spread a few tbsp’s of guacamole hummus on it.  Then, I layered on some green leaf lettuce, 1/2 of a local tomato, the bean mixture and some goat cheese.

Then, I wrapped it up!

I served my Veggie & Bean wrap with and apple.  Surprisingly, it stayed together very very well!  And, was really really good.

how to cook your own black beans

We have a busy day planned today!  It involves the Freedom Trail which I haven’t officially done since field trips in grade school…I’m excited!

I headed out for a run this morning in the gorgeous weather.  I did some loops around Castle Island to stay close to home and covered 5.6 miles in 49 minutes – yahoo!  It feels good to be running consistently again (or at least for the past 4 days, but I plan to keep it up).

Before my run, I fueled up with 2 small slices of Fruit & Nut Manna Bread spread with my homemade Crazy Nut Butter.  And, some black/green tea straight from Korea!  (The mug is from Korea, too!)

I got home and Brant was cooking up a storm, so I refueled with a small green monster (1 banana, 1.5 cup spinach, scant 1 scoop chocolate Vega Health Optimizer and 3/4 cup almond milk) and 2 scrambled eggs with cheese, salsa and a slice of toast.

We are headed out the door for our day of fun, so I thought I would leave you with some cooking lessons. 🙂  I hope you enjoy!

I have discovered that cooking your own beans is definitely the way to go!  I cooked a huge batch of chickpeas over a month ago, and I am still enjoying them.

The steps for cooking all types beans are pretty much the same.  Cooking time will vary, but other than that it is pretty simple.  Even though I posted about chickpeas awhile ago, I have received quite a few comments and emails about how to cook your own beans, so I figured I would post about black beans!

I highly recommend  making a big batch of beans at once, instead of making multiple small batches.  This way it will be convenient for you.  I think that one of the biggest reasons why people love canned beans is their convenience.  Well, how easy is it to take a container of home-cooked beans out of the freezer?!  Easier than taking a can out of the pantry, a can opener out of your drawer and opening the beans, if you ask me. 🙂  Plus, they taste SO much better!

I picked up 2 pounds of organic black beans the last time I was at Whole Foods.  You could get them in the bulk bin section too, but they didn’t have them when I was there.

Each bag is 1 pound and was only $1.99!!!

How to Cook Black Beans

1.  Lay your beans out on a cookie sheet (or counter) and quickly look through them to make sure there are no stones, bad beans, etc.

2.  Then, put your beans into a large covered container filled with water.  The beans will expand a lot, so make sure that you leave ample room.  I put 1 pound in each container.

They had expanded a little bit even after an hour!

3.  Leave your beans to soak overnight (or at least 8 hours).  Soaking your beans will make them cook faster and will allow your body to digest them better.

4.  When you come back 8 hours later, your water will be black!  And, when you open them, you will see how much your beans expanded.  They were almost up to the top of the jars here.

5.  Rinse the beans a few times until the water is clearer.  I placed a small handheld strainer over the top and drained while keeping the beans in the jars.  Then, I added more water and rinsed a few times.

6.  Dump your beans into your slow-cooker.  You can cook your beans in a pot on the stove as well, however, I prefer the crockpot!  You can leave the beans in there and not worry about leaving the house or sleeping with them cooking.

7.  Fill the crockpot up with water until the beans are completely covered by about 1 inch of water.

8.  Place the lid on and set your timer to LOW for 8 hours.

9.  I went to sleep and never checked the beans again until the morning.  I woke up to this…

10.  Test the beans to make sure they are cooked and then dump them into a big strainer and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking.

11.  Place the beans onto a cookie sheet to dry and cool.  I placed one of my cookie sheets in the freezer after they cooled.  I find that it is better to freeze the beans on a cookie sheet and then place them into a container with them frozen.  This prevents the beans from all clumping together!

12.  After your beans are frozen or dry, store them in containers or bags in your refrigerator or freezer!

I placed 3 containers in the freezer and one in the fridge so that I can use them this weekend.

I tend to cook all of my beans plain and then season them when I am using them.  This way, I can enjoy them in different ways.  You could add some seasonings to the water in your crockpot while simmering to add flavor.

See how simple that was?  Yes, there are a lot of steps, but nothing takes to long.  The most you are doing is moving the beans from one place to the next.  This will save you loads of money and you will be surprised at how much better they taste.

2 pouns of beans at $3.98 makes at least 10 cans of beans, which comes out to be less than $0.40 per can!  You can’t beat that. 🙂