I’ve been greatly enjoying this little breakfast concoction a ton lately. It’s the perfect tasty recipe to satisfy you until you enjoy the large Thanksgiving feast later in the day. This meal evokes the scents and flavors of autumn, but it can be enjoyed year-round.
Serving Size: 1
1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
1 cup of water
2+ generous spoonfuls of pumpkin puree
One apple diced (save one half of diced apple for later)
Raw pumpkin seeds
In a small pot, add old fashioned oats, water, and half of the diced apple**. Set to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally.
Once oatmeal is simmering, add the desired amount of pumpkin puree. Stir. Then sprinkle in a generous amount (to taste) of the spices and stir them in.
When the oatmeal has thickened, turn off the stove and serve with the other half of the diced apple and pumpkin seeds. You can also sprinkle more cinnamon on top.
**Adding the apples with the oatmeal will soften them but still leave them a teeny bit crunchy. If you want softer apples, cook them with some water before adding the oatmeal.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you enjoy it! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!
I have become quite the smoothie queen lately, especially when it comes to breakfast. I love breakfast, but my relationship with it has become a little strained since I quit eating my trusty Limited Edition Cheerio varieties (the banana nut flavor is by far the best).
Over the summer I mostly ate toast with goat cheese and fruit, but after eating it nearly daily for two months, I needed to switch it up. That’s when YouTube saved the day!
A former lesbian couple I follow on YouTube makes videos and books of raw vegan recipes. Through their videos, I went down the rabbit hole of raw vegan life and raw vegans seem to enjoy their smoothies quite a bit. So, I got some of the ingredients that they like to use in their smoothies, and now I start my day off with the comforting sound of the blender.
Pumpkin Chai Smoothie
1 large banana or two baby bananas
2-3 generous tablespoons of pumpkin puree
1/4 hemp protein powder (or one serving size of another protein powder)
1 tbs of chia seeds
1-2 tbs of flax seeds (serving size is 2tbs but I add one)
about thumb-size of fresh ginger, peeled
a bunch of ground cinnamon
a dash or two of ground nutmeg
some dashes of black pepper
some dashes of ground turmeric
pumpkin seeds to top
enough non-dairy milk/water/a combo of both to get the consistency you want
All you have to do is throw it all (minus the pumpkin seeds) in the blender, pour into a glass, top with pumpkin seeds, and you’re good to go! You can mess around the quantity of each ingredient to suit your palate.
If you make this, let me know your thoughts in the comments! What do you usually eat for breakfast?
My favorite season is now in full swing, as evident by the plethora of Halloween and autumn decorations in stores as well as on people’s lawns. Although I’ve been rocking Halloween/autumn-esque attire since August, I got a little extra in the spirit by using my Bath and Body Work’s Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte lotion and body spray. I smell like a sweet cinnamon pumpkin, and I love it!
Another thing that I’ve been loving lately is the beverage I’ve been starting my mornings with: London Fog Tea!
I have become obsessed with making myself London Fog Teas. I was inspired to make it when I was looking at the ingredients in different Starbucks beverages, and I saw that they offered this unique tea. I had heard of it before, probably from an English YouTuber, so I was intrigued to see what was in it. I was surprised to realize that I had all of the ingredients: Earl Grey tea, lavender, vanilla, milk, and sugar. Thus, I made it immediately and I’ve been making it daily since.
Here’s how I make it:
In a small pot, I boil water for a minute. Then I add a generous teaspoon of loose Earl Grey tea I got during my first trip to London, hence why the tea is inside a London bus container as pictured above. I add about a teaspoon of dried lavender that I got from a farmer’s market last November (you have to get dried lavender if you don’t have it!! It’s so delicious!). Then I add almond milk and let it boil for about 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Afterward, I turn off the stove and remove the pot from the hot burner to allow it to cool a little bit. Finally, I pour the delicious beverage through a tea strainer and into my beautiful Alice in Wonderland teacup mug! It’s very fitting for this English beverage.
Since I am sensitive to sugar, I omit it. I also have not made it with vanilla yet, but I would add less than a teaspoon of that.
Cheers to fancy teas! Let me know if you try it and what you think about it in the comments below!
Perhaps it’s unusual to be cooking up soup in the summer, but I was tired of making just chicken or salmon and pairing it with other food groups. Soup, on the other hand, is a great way to get all of your nutrients in one pot!
I’m a little tired of soup now that I’ve eaten it for two or three weeks straight though…but I thought I’d share what I made because it was so delicious!
The lentils were the main ingredient, so here’s a picture of the green lentils I had so you can see what they look like. Apparently, you don’t need to soak them, you just need to rinse them. Without soaking, they take a while to cook. It’s not like an hour or anything, but it takes a little longer than pasta to cook. Lentils have way more nutritional value than pasta though, so I think it’s worth it!
All you need to do is sautee the garlic, onions, carrots, and celery for a little bit with some salt and pepper. Then you add the potatoes, veggie broth, and season it all a little more. Once the broth is boiling, you add the lentils and simmer until the lentils soften. Once the lentils soften, you can add greens. I added kale because that was what the recipe called for and I don’t ever cook with kale. One time I tried making kale chips, but I overseasoned them and burned them…it was a sad time.
Below is a picture of what it looks like when it’s finished! It smelled so good and my parents were fans. My mom had gotten a sinus infection from sleeping in her dusty room from the construction, so she really appreciated the comforting and soothing properties of a healthy soup.
This recipe was definitely a favorite! I can easily see myself making this a staple in my diet, especially when it gets chillier outside. It has protein, veggies, and healthy starch!
I think what really made me love this recipe was the suggestion to add rosemary and thyme to the broth. I’ve never cooked with fresh rosemary or thyme before, but I learned that the aromas and flavors are divine. I didn’t use all of the fresh herbs that I had bought so I have been using them in tea to alleviate menstrual cramps. I’ll add that recipe another time!
The only somewhat negative thing I have to say about this recipe isn’t really negative but I feel like it took longer to cook than the recipe stated. Granted, I may not have been following the boiling directions properly.
The issue was that I feel like the lentils took longer than 20 minutes to become tender. As I mentioned in my previous lentil recipe post, I had undercooked the lentils before, so when I cooked them this time, I waited until they were very soft. This took more than 20 minutes for me, but perhaps with soaking them, it would take less time. I haven’t tried soaking lentils yet.
Since I cooked the soup for longer than the recipe called for, a lot of the broth evaporated, as you can see in the picture above. I only had one box of broth though (I used Rachael Ray’s veggie broth), so the soup was more like a…stew. Which was perfectly fine to me, but next time I’ll be buying two boxes of broth to make this soup.
2. Rachael Ray’s Portuguese Chourico and Kale Soup
I had a ton of leftover kale (pretty much 1lb of kale), so I found this soup recipe which called for kale! I also had leftover potatoes, which were needed for this recipe. The only ingredient I had to buy was chourico and chicken broth.
This recipe required less preparation than The Minimalist Baker one because I only had to chop up the potatoes and chorizo, whereas the other one I had to peel and cut the carrots, cut the celery, cut the potatoes, etc. In the video of this recipe, Rachael Ray literally throws everything into the pot, which I felt was very accurate. I recommend watching the video by the way because it’s such an old video of her, it’s great!
Doesn’t the picture above look fantastic?! It smelled and tasted as good as it looks too. Anyway, this recipe was simple. You saute the onions and potatoes, then once those ingredients are cooked a little, you add the garlic, bay leaves, and all the kale. I left about two handfuls of kale in the bag to use for omelets.
Once the kale wilts, which took longer than 2 minutes for me probably because the stove was too low, but once that did happen, I added the canned garbanzo beans, which I rinsed unlike what she does in the video, tomatoes, and broth. I didn’t have canned tomatoes so I just chopped up two fresh tomatoes. Once again, I used Rachael Ray’s broth, but I used her chicken one this time.
Once the potatoes are cooked, you are done!
I was the only one that ate this soup, so I can’t speak on how anyone else felt about it, but I loved it! I’ve never had soup with chorizo before but I loved it because it added heat that most soups I’ve eaten lack. It was also more filling than the previous soup because the protein wasn’t just lentils. This soup had chickpeas, which are super filling, and chorizo, thus it was a more well-rounded meal for me!
I will just say that the original recipe called for waxy potatoes, which I did not use so that may have allowed the cooking time to be about 30 minutes for me. Instead, I used the regular baking potatoes that I had bought for the vegan soup recipe, which were soft even when raw. I also did not peel the potatoes for this recipe because who has time for that??
I made the same mistake I made previously with the insufficient amount of broth in this recipe too, despite making it several days later and realizing my initial mistake! The reason I made this one wrong too was that the recipe specifically called for one quart of broth, so that’s what I bought. Again, always get another container of broth, unless you don’t mind stew-ish soups.
The last thing I have to say about this recipe is that it required you remove the casing from the chorizo. I didn’t do this and I don’t think Rachael did it in the video, but if casing bothers you, feel free to do it.
So, that’s it for me on soups! I am definitely taking a break from the soup world for a bit, but when I do want more soup, I can reheat the leftover Portuguese soup I stored in the freezer.
Do you enjoy soup in the summer? What is your favorite soup recipe? Tell me in the comments below!
A couple of years ago, my step-grandmother introduced me to the world of lentils. She had shown me a lentil soup recipe that I then cooked on my own until high school consumed my life and I temporarily stopped cooking. I forgot about lentils after that since it’s not a staple in my mom’s Puerto Rican- cooking, or in any other heritage that I am regularly exposed to. It wasn’t until my girlfriend, who is Indian, brought Indian cuisine into my everyday life that I remembered my love for lentils.
Plus, since I want to make more vegetarian dishes, it’s a great ingredient for a variety of meals!
I decided to make spiced lentils that I hoped would be similar to a delicious Indian lentil dish I had had. They were not very similar because this lentil dish is Moroccan-inspired, but they were still fantastic! I got this recipe from Minimalist Baker, which is my favorite recipe site as of late. I love this website because they make vegan/vegetarian meals, and many of them are very simple to make. They usually require only a couple of ingredients, most of which I have at home, and they aren’t time-consuming either. I definitely recommend checking them out!
This recipe called for green lentils specifically…I’m unsure why honestly. I don’t know the difference between lentils. Perhaps it’s akin to differences in beans? I’m a lentil-novice still, so my apologies that I don’t know more.
I got these lentils from ShopRite, and I thought that compared to other lentils, the green ones were more expensive. That was also because they only had organic green lentils. I don’t know why they didn’t have nonorganic green lentils, but my girlfriend recommended that next time I go to the Indian store to get lentils.
Aside from lentils, you also need a whole red pepper, onion (I used yellow), tomato paste, fresh garlic, apple cider vinegar, and a crap-ton of spices.
Then, all you have to do is cook the lentils until tender and blend the other ingredients to make a sauce. Once the lentils are cooked, drain the excess water and mix in the blended sauce. Bam, that’s it!
The cool thing about this recipe is that you can add as much of the required spices as you want so you can make it as spicy, acidic, sweet, and salty as you want! I will forewarn y’all though to taste it as you go…and maybe to slowly add the fresh spices too.
I personally feel like I added too much garlic and onion to mine. I thought I used the required amount, although I didn’t measure anything…but because you don’t cook the sauce, the bite of the garlic and onion remains pretty intense. If you have sensitive stomachs, and even if you don’t, perhaps cook the onion and garlic a little before you blend it, or cook the sauce after you blend it…or both! I wanted to try cooking it to see how it affected the flavors, but I didn’t get a chance. I expect to make this again so I’ll try it for next time.
Anyway, here’s the mixture of the sauce with the lentils.
Below is the dish with my girlfriend’s spicy Indian rice as well as some fresh parsley and cilantro on top. Another time I had this fish with plain jasmine rice and then another time with my girlfriend’s not-spicy Indian rice, and those ways I had it were better. A super flavorful rice competed too much with this spiced lentil dish.
The last thing I have to say about this recipe is that I find lentils to be a little confusing to make. The only other time I’ve made them has been in soup, which takes awhile to cook so they end up being prepared properly. In this situation, however, my girlfriend felt that I had undercooked them. I ate all six servings myself and I had no idea. I’m going to watch a lentil cooking video next time to ensure that they are prepared properly.
Do you like lentils? How do you like them prepared?
I’m going to make a new lentil soup this week so stay tuned for that!
I recently made a salad inspired by a recipe from the Yoga Journal, and it was great! I have mixed feelings about salad because at least when I make it for myself, I don’t feel like I have the greatest skill at combining ingredients that go well together. Therefore, salad recipes, albeit simple, are helpful to me. As per usual with the recipes I prepare, I didn’t have every ingredient required, so I had to improvise. The results were still great though!
I didn’t measure anything for this recipe so I just threw a couple of handfuls of arugula in a bowl and I added a quarter of an avocado, because I had eaten most of it the previous day. Then I added chopped walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, the rest of the parmesan that I had, and a chopped tomato. Lastly, I squeezed half a lemon, drizzled olive oil, added a bunch of black pepper, and a pinch or two of Kosher salt.
That was it! It was super simple and it had flavors that I usually don’t add to my salad unless I’m at a salad bar or if the salad is made for me.
Some of my go-to salad ingredients are canned beets, canned mandarin slices, craisins, and red peppers. Clearly, I like sweet salads.
My typical breakfast consists of a delicious bowl of Cheerios swimming in milk. I’ve since upgraded to various Cheerio flavors such as the Limited Edition Banana Nut Cheerios (RIP, I hope they revive it!!) and Peach Cheerios. I’ve also upgraded from skim milk to non-dairy options like rice or almond milk because I’ve learned that dairy contributes to many of my acne issues, among other things.
Anyway…since I’ve moved back to my parents’ house, I haven’t had to cook or prepare meals for myself as much as I was doing in school. The only meal I have to prepare nowadays is breakfast, if I even wake up early enough for it. Well, I’ve finished the cereal at home and I haven’t bought more yet so on Monday I decided to check out my latest favorite recipe website, The Minimalist Baker! I made their golden milk smoothie and I wanted to share how I modified it and the results!
First though, I just want to say that this is inspired from Golden Milk Tea, also known as “Haldi Doodh” in Hindi which translates to “turmeric milk.” I’ve made turmeric milk before because it is supposed to help with menstrual pain, which I’ve been having quite a bit of since quitting the pill in April. It is quite effective in my experience so if you want to try it yourself, the recipe is very similar, minus a few ingredients that the smoothie calls for.
The smoothie calls for a frozen banana, coconut/almond milk, ground turmeric, fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, black pepper, and ground nutmeg. It’s optional to add ground clove and cardamom and fresh carrot juice, but I didn’t have any of those. You can also top the smoothie off with hemp seeds, but I didn’t have those either.
This is what I did have! (Not pictured is the almond milk)
I used one banana, although it wasn’t frozen so I added three ice cubes to the blender. Then I eye-balled the rest of the ingredients based on how much I like them. For example, I added about one dash of nutmeg because nutmeg is very strong so I don’t want it to overpower the drink. Conversely, I added three dashes of cinnamon because I love cinnamon. I was also a bit generous with the fresh ginger and black pepper because I love those ingredients!
The recipe didn’t call for chia seeds but that’s what I had so I blended it in too!
I made the smoothie again on Tuesday but this time I added fresh mango because I have a lot of it left to eat and I was hoping it would make the smoothie more golden. I feel like I ended up with a grey-ish, green smoothie though…
It was delicious regardless though! I enjoy this recipe because it can be as sweet or as spicy as you want it, plus it’s a great way to start the day…probably better than Cheerios.
Please let me know if you try the smoothie or the tea and what you think!
This sandwich makes an excellent and satisfying vegan lunch! Plus, it takes only 20-30 min to prepare, and there is no cooking involved! I actually made it for the first time when I was on a time-crunch in the morning, and it was so easy to make. It’s essentially a vegan alternative to tuna sandwiches, which I love deeply but I don’t eat them anymore since my mom told me tuna has high mercury levels so I should refrain from eating it.
Aside from this being delicious and akin to a tuna sandwich, I also love it because there is no meat involved yet it is packed with protein! I haven’t been cooking meat lately because the last couple of times I did, most of it ended up in the trash. The meat was not as fresh as it was supposed to be. I have also been finding the preparation of meat severely unpleasant. I’ve since decided that I will primarily eat vegetarian when I am home and when I go out, I will consume meat if I want to. This has been a great solution thus far, but when I move back with my parents in a couple of weeks, I may consume more meat because my mom may prepare it for me. Otherwise, though, I’d like to eat more of a vegetarian diet when I’m responsible for my food.
I never follow recipes exactly, which may be why I have some mishaps sometimes. For the chickpea mixture though, I followed the recipe to a T except I used regular mayo instead of vegan mayo. This wasn’t due to anything other than being unsure where vegan mayo is in the grocery store and also pretty certain that it would be more expensive than if I just got a giant jar of regular mayo.
Oh, I also squeezed some lemon and added garlic powder and basil to the mixture because it sounded like a good idea, and it was! So I guess I didn’t follow the recipe exactly…
The second time I made the mixture is what is pictured above and I didn’t use lettuce because I didn’t have any at the time, but the first time I had kale so I used that in addition to tomatoes. I also didn’t add onions the second time I made it…if you like onions, add them! Otherwise, it’s not necessary. It’s delicious regardless!
I’ve never made the garlic herb sauce they recommend to try, but I’d like to try it! There wasn’t any dill at the grocery store when I went though, hence why I added lemon and garlic to the mixture instead.
Please let me know if you decide to try it let me know how it is!
I feel when people write about recipes, it’s primarily because they want you to try the recipe. Unfortunately, that is not the case with this recipe that I’m about to share with you all the details about.
Please heed the warning: do not make this recipe at home!
I was inspired to make ground turkey because one of my friends prefers it to cooking chicken. In fact, she has never made chicken because she’s afraid to handle the raw meat. I felt similarly until my mom taught me before I moved into my apartment, but anyway…
I was sick of eating chicken all the time so I thought that I should try out ground turkey. My mom isn’t a fan of ground turkey so I’ve never really had it before, and I now understand why.
I just had my first midterm this semester and I think I bombed it, which is depressing. I had a nice lunch with my girlfriend afterward though and now I’m in my room relaxing before I pick her up to go to Trader Joe’s. A Trader Joe’s just opened in the area and we went once already a couple of weeks ago but we’re going to go again today. After that, I’m going to do some work around the apartment like do laundry, sanitize my room, finalize my resume and apply for some jobs, and study for my last midterm on Friday. I’m less stressed about it but I have a ton of preparation to do still.
Anyway…I’m considering seeing my therapist again because I’ve been feeling a little depressed. I’ve unfortunately been taking it out on my girlfriend a lot as well as my family…but she suffers more because I’m around her more frequently than I am with my family. It’s not fair to her and I don’t like constantly picking fights with her because I’m in a bad mood. I’ve been doing several things to take care of myself such as yoga, cooking, and writing…perhaps I don’t need more outlets though…perhaps I need to do more professional and future plan-related development. I’ve done a ton of that but I feel like it’s been futile so…I feel stuck.
Anyway…let’s talk about food!
The first dish I made with my girlfriend, and it’s pizza! We made this over the summer, in late August. We made several errors here…one is that we used way too much dough for the small pizza tray we had, and ended up with deep-dish style pizza. I don’t quite remember what we put on the pizza…she did most of the work. I was doing a puzzle but she added mushrooms, jalapenos, three or four different cheeses, pepperoni…spinach probably…onions…yeah it was intense. The toppings were great but because she added so many of them and because there was too much dough, the toppings all fell into the center. I think the pizza would’ve been better if we executed the dough part better.
The next two pictures are two different adaptations of tomato sandwiches. My family friend’s mom grows tomatoes so he brought some over and my mom decided to make tomato sandwiches to really savor the freshness of them. Tomato sandwiches consist of toasted bread, a thin layer of mayo on both sides, fresh torn basil, and then the tomatoes! it’s super easy and it really highlights the deliciousness of the tomatoes. The first version is with Italian bread, which is great but cuz it was so crusty, the tomatoes slipped out. The sliced bread was better because the tomatoes stayed inside. When I went back to my apartment, I made another variation (not pictured here) with sliced and toasted wheat bread, butter, dried basil, and then the tomatoes. It was good but it’s definitely better with at least fresh basil.
The other pizza photo is a grilled pizza my mom makes on the grill. Making pizza this way has become popular but my family swears she came up with it first. But yeah…it’s super delicious.
The first pasta dish is penne with butternut squash from the In the Kitchen Food Network app. I never cooked with butternut squash before so I was excited to try it, especially because I know I enjoy butternut squash.
I had to peel and cut the butternut squash, which was kinda difficult because it’s hard like cutting a raw potato. I won’t be making butternut squash a regular part of my diet just because the preparation takes too long. Anyway…this dish includes the butternut squash, cremini mushrooms, black pepper, fresh garlic, red onion, red pepper flakes, parmesan, and oregano.
My mistake here was using shitake mushrooms instead of cremini. Shitake mushrooms, which I’ve never cooked with before, are super smelly and cooking them was incredibly unpleasant. I feel like if I used a less stinky mushroom, such as the one they suggested, I would’ve enjoyed this dish more. Otherwise, I loved this dish because it’s seasonal and overall, pretty simple. I served this dish with a side of fresh tomatoes and sauteed spinach.
I didn’t make the next plate that I pictured. It’s actually from an organic made-to-order cafeteria on campus. They use a ton of vegetables, lean meats, and different sauces. One of my favorite sauces is raspberry jalapeno. The one pictured here is papaya lime.
The next two pictures are of an omelet I made. I really enjoyed the flavors so I took a photo. Plus, I’ve been making perfectly round omelets! The omelet ingredients I chose were pepperoni (leftover from the pizza), red onions (leftover from the penne dish), and the stinky shitake mushrooms, also leftover from the penne dish. The odor was unpleasant but it tasted delicious, especially when topped with feta which melted a bit, so good!
Some of the next dishes were brought to you by the local farmer’s market that comes to campus! Unfortunately, last week was the last week of the farmer’s market. I love the farmer’s market because it entices me to try new vegetables and I like supporting local farmers.
The first meal I made with ingredients from the market was simple and also from the app. I got okra and sauteed it with fresh tomatoes I still had from my mom’s friend, garlic, salt and pepper, and a splash of cider vinegar. I put it over pasta to make it a meal and damn, it was tasty. I love okra because it’s slimy, but I don’t eat it as frequently anymore. I will definitely have to change that because it’s easy to prepare and cook, and it’s healthy too!
The waffle ice cream is a dessert I made with my girlfriend in the dining hall. I just thought it looked nice.
The next dish in the pan is white eggplant I got from the farmer’s market sauteed with fresh tomatoes. (I had a ton of tomatoes for awhile). I splashed some balsamic vinegar in there and it was good…white eggplant didn’t seem incredibly different to me than purple eggplant except the skin is tougher.
There is another waffle ice cream….lol they’re soooo good!
The dish after that is pho I prepared in the dining hall at school. I love pho and there’s an authentic place down the street that makes it but I never go…but the dining hall does a pretty decent job. I get chicken and chicken broth and either sweet potato noodles or some other type of noodle…and then I season it with lime wedges, fresh jalapeno, lots of bean sprouts, and whatever else they have. I enjoy the crunch of bean sprouts and the contrasting flavors of jalapeno and lime…it’s so damn tasty.
The next meal I made included banana peppers from the farmer’s market which I stuffed with sausage, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan, and seasonings. I then cooked it until golden and served with homemade tomato sauce I made probably a couple of months ago.
My mom made homemade mac and cheese and then baked it at the end…so delicious. I shall make it myself one day but experiment with cheeses and flavors.
The next meal is a sweet potato I seasoned with honey, olive oil, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. I baked it until it was soft.
The last photos pertain to an old family classic dessert my mom makes for me, but this time I made it myself! As you can see, my girlfriend and I have hoarded many apples from the dining hall. The dessert I made with the apples is called apple crisp. I made it by peeling the apples, slicing them thinly, and then seasoning them in a bowl with cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. Then I put the mixture in a glass baking pan. Next, I made the topping which consists of brown sugar, raw oats, flour, and tons of butter. After I mixed it up, I spread it over the apples and then put the entire thing into the oven to bake. Then you eat it when it’s warm and serve it with ice cream!
The next couple of things I’m going to make are from the farmer’s market too! I am going to make a dish with celeriac and poblano peppers. I’m also going to try making ginger tea with fresh ginger. I’ve learned that I greatly enjoy ginger but I’ve never really had it fresh, so I’m excited to try it!