super simple spelt salad

Tags

, , , , ,

spelt salad // the muffin myth

This salad is something I’ve been meaning to share with you guys for a while now.

I first had it two summers ago when I was staying in a sleepy little beach town in the south of Sweden and popped into a café during a rare afternoon to myself. I liked the salad so much that I went back the next day, had it again, and wrote down the list of ingredients.

super simple spelt salad // the muffin myth

I do love a good grain salad, and I think this one is perfect for this time of year, when most of us would rather not be spending much time in the kitchen. There isn’t too much chopping involved, and there are several shortcuts you can take along the way.

Look for tiny cherry tomatoes that don’t need to be sliced in half. Buy pitted olives. Crumble the feta with your hands as opposed to cubing it up. Just roughly chop the pickles, and only if you want to – they’re already pretty small. Cook two or three times as much grain as you need, and freeze the extras for future kitchen shortcuts.

super simple spelt salad // the muffin myth

The salad that was my inspiration had pearl onions, roasted whole to a beautiful caramelly brown. When I set out to recreate the dish, I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to slip silvery skins from tiny onions while keeping them intact. Unless you have copious amounts of free time and genuinely nothing better to do, don’t bother. Instead, chop a red or yellow onion into bite sized chunks and roast that. Or, slice your onion into thick slabs and throw it on the grill. Or, caramelize the onion in a pan, stirring only occasionally, while you’re cooking the spelt. Or skip the cooked onion altogether and enjoy the fiery bite of it raw.

super simple spelt salad // the muffin myth

Between the salty feta, olives, and zippy pickles, not much of a dressing is needed here as the ingredients pack a lot of flavour. I’ve kept it simple with a glug of good olive oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a handful of fresh dill.

The main thing is to not put too much effort into bringing this together. Get outside and enjoy your summer!

super simple spelt salad // the muffin myth

Also! We have a winner for the bottle of six-month vanilla extract!

Giveaway winner // the muffin myth

Comment #25 (threaded) was the lucky number, so the vanilla goes to Kathryn. I’ll be in touch for shipping details. Congrats!

.

Super Simple Spelt Salad Recipe:

As with so many recipes, feel free to modify this one to suit your personal preferences. The thing that takes the longest is without doubt cooking the whole grains, so plan ahead and make extra for next time. I like to freeze cooked grains in one-cup portions.

.

1 cup uncooked spelt berries or pearled spelt
250g pearl onions (about 20) OR one yellow or red onion chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 a small red onion, finely diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup (heaping) cornichon pickles, roughly chopped
1/2 cup black and / or green olives, roughly chopped
150 – 200g feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
2-4 Tbsp lemon juice (squeezed from one lemon)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
freshly ground pepper

.

Cook spelt berries according to package directions. I find  1 part spelt to 1.5 parts water simmered for about 30-40 minutes usually does the trick, but your brand might be different. Once the spelt is cooked, set aside to cool slightly.

While the spelt is cooking, roast your onions. Heat your oven to 200°C / 400°F. Toss the onions with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and pop them in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until they are soft and golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl combine cooked spelt, roasted onions, raw onions, pickles, olives, cherry tomatoes, and feta. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over top of everything, sprinkle with fresh dill, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. You likely won’t need any salt, but you may want a bit of freshly ground pepper.

Enjoy cold, or at room temperature.

MM_Know_Icon_FINAL

So what’s so super about spelt? This ancient grain is related to modern-day wheat, but it has more protein, and a different blend of proteins than conventional wheat that is easily digestible and can often be tolerated by wheat-sensitive individuals. Spelt does, however, contain gluten, so it is not an option for those with celiac disease. Spelt is rich in fiber, a complex of B-vitamins, phytonutrients, and important minerals such as iron. Like most whole grains, spelt contains a noteworthy amount of folate, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B2, niacin, thiamin, copper, vitamin E and A.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

what’s good around the web + weekly meal plan

Tags

, , , ,

meal plan july 7-11 // the muffin myth

Happy Independence Day to those of you celebrating today!

You guys, I just realized this will be my last meal plan before I’m on vacation for four weeks! Well, out of the office for four weeks anyways. I won’t be creating meal plans for myself while I’m off work, but I will continue to post some meal plan inspiration and links here.

I know I’ve got at least one dinner out this coming week, but I’m not sure which day so I just planned as though it’s a normal week. Paul is heading to Switzerland mid-week to do a swim-run race so I’ll be on my own Wed – Sun and may treat myself to a cheeky single lady dinner one of those nights (to be enjoyed while binge watching OITNB, natch). Overnight buckwheat porridge is something I’ve been meaning to try for a while. Any favourite recipes out there?

But wait! Before you read those links! Don’t forget you have until Sunday July 6th to enter my giveaway for a bottle of six-month vanilla extract.

MM_Web_Icon_FINAL

1. Detox myths vs reality

2. Coconut sugar vs white sugar: is it healthier?

3. A thoughtful article on what it means to be a ‘foodie’ (and I am so with him on the cringe reaction to the term… can we re-define it? Is there a better word?)

4. Solving the unhealthy = tasty dilemma.

5. Are we allergic to food? Or to what’s been done to it? (really interesting TED talk)

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

breakfast salad {with maple coconut bacon}

Tags

, , , , ,

breakfast salad with maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

You know what I was thinking the other day? We make green smoothies all the dang time, but why aren’t we eating breakfast salads? I mean, breakfast salad! Toss up some greens and some fruit and some veg if you please, and you’ve basically got a deconstructed green smoothie. I pretty much thought I had come up with something of epic genius.

And then I googled ‘breakfast salad’.

Let’s just say there’s nothing like google to burst your ‘I’m such a genius’ bubble.

breakfast salad with maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

But let’s talk about breakfast salads. If you read this post breaking down the pros and cons of smoothies, you may recall that liquids clear your stomach about four times faster than solid foods. That can be a good thing if you want to fuel a workout and don’t want a bunch of food sloshing around in your belly, but it can also be a bad thing if you become hungry again too quickly. Some mornings a green smoothie is the perfect thing for me, but others I want to chew my food and let my belly do some work. Remember, your digestive system relies on muscle tone, and like with any muscle if you don’t use it, you lose it.

breakfast salad with maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

Other things that are great about a breakfast salad? We’re taking in whole foods which means that all of the beneficial fiber is intact. AND, since we’re combining fruit with leafy greens we’re adding extra fiber to the situation which helps to moderate the absorption of fructose into our blood stream.

Also, you can’t add coconut bacon to your green smoothies. I mean, you *could*, but that would be super weird… or would it?

But wait! Don’t forget you have until Sunday July 6th to enter my giveaway for a bottle of six-month vanilla extract.

breakfast salad with maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

One year ago: Panisse, Two Ways
Two years ago: Spinach Salad with Summer Berries and Black Sesame Crusted Goat Cheese
Three years ago: Black Bean Salad with Spelt Berries
Four years ago: Wild Rice and Chickpea Salad

Breakfast Salad Recipe:

Like so many recipes, breakfast salad is a choose your own adventure situation. Use whatever greens you’ve got on hand, in-season fruit, and mix things up often! I don’t like salad dressing, and I think with all of the fruit adding flavour you don’t really need it here. A squeeze of lemon or orange juice should do the trick if you’re so inclined.

Makes 1 breakfast salad.

.

1-2 cups of leafy greens (I used baby spinach leaves)
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 a banana, sliced
6 large strawberries, sliced
1/2 an orange, sliced
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
Maple Coconut Bacon

.

Arrange the greens on a plate. Scatter with cucumber, banana, strawberries, and orange slices. Sprinkle with hemp hearts, and top with coconut bacon. Enjoy!

MM_Know_Icon_FINAL

Spinach is an excellent source vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and calcium (good for your bones), folate, potassium, and vitamin B6 (good for your heart), iron, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. And, spinach is a great source of dietary fiber.

Strawberries are an excellent source of antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients. They are a great source of lycopene (good for your prostates, fellas) vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of folate, iodine, and dietary fiber.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

4 ways to use leftover herbs

Tags

, , , , ,

four ways to use leftover herbs

Photo by Lindsey Johnson

Do you ever buy a bunch of herbs for a recipe that only calls for a small amount? Hate wasting food? Me too! The good news is that there are lots of ways to use leftover herbs that will either extend their life or give them a new one. I’m on Oh My Veggies talking about four of my favourite ways to use leftover herbs. Head over to Oh My Veggies for some inspiration, tips, and recipes, and be sure to let me know about your favourite thing to do with leftover herbs!

But wait! Don’t forget you have until Sunday July 6th to enter my giveaway for a bottle of six-month vanilla extract.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

coconut bacon – the real maple kind

Tags

, , , , , ,

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

Happy Canada Day to all of my fellow Canadians all around the world!

I thought we should have something Canadian today, and what’s more Canadian than bacon? Maple bacon! You know, the real maple kind…

 

So, coconut bacon. Does it taste like bacon bacon? To be honest, I have no idea. I haven’t had the real thing in over 2 decades, so bacon bacon is a foggy memory at best. But I can assure you that coconut bacon is good. Really, really good.

I used to be really into fake meat products and there was a soy Canadian bacon that I was particularly fond of. When I started my first degree in nutrition I realized how processed those fake meat products really are and have more or less eschewed them ever since. I do still indulge in them from time to time (hello, veggie pizza pepperoni), but only as an occasional treat.

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

A friend asked me the other day how I define real food, and after some consideration my answer is that real food is either a whole food or food that is or that can be made by human hands. I could make my own tofu, I could make my own seitan, but making my own soy bacon would be tricky. Coconut bacon, then, is a game changer.

Since coconut is naturally fatty it crisps up nicely in the oven. The smoky flavour comes from a mix of liquid smoke and smoked paprika, which balances the saltiness of liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and the sweetness of good quality maple syrup.

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

Best of all, making your own coconut bacon is so dang easy. It’s a matter of mixing just five ingredients together, and then baking those ingredients in the oven. Be warned that coconut bacon is a bit of an attention seeker, so you’ll need to be available to stir the tray every five minutes and to watch it very carefully towards the end. Your efforts will be worth it though, as you’ll end up with a big old tray of salty, smoky bacon. The real maple kind, eh?

I’ll be back later this week for a recipe that uses some of this coconut bacon. Yum!

But wait! Don’t forget you have until Sunday July 6th to enter my giveaway for a bottle of six-month vanilla extract.

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

.

Coconut Maple Bacon Recipe:

There are a lot of coconut bacon recipes floating around and they all look very good. It’s important to note that not all liquid smoke is created equal, so you may want more or less depending on how smokey it is. Mine was made from hickory smoke and a tablespoon was sufficient for a nice and smoky flavour. You can also dial back the maple syrup if you’d prefer your coconut bacon a little less mapley.

.

3 cups large coconut flakes
2 Tbsp liquid aminos (I use Bragg’s) or soy sauce
1 – 1.5 Tbsp good quality maple syrup
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
.

Start by preheating your oven to 325°F / 160°C. Line one large or two standard baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid aminos, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika. Place the coconut flakes into a large bowl and drizzle the liquid mixture over the top. Stir for about one minute to ensure the coconut is well coated and the liquid is evenly distributed.

Spread the coconut onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Stir the coconut and redistribute on the tray (you can lift the edges of the parchment to tip all of the coconut towards the centre, then stir, then smooth back out). Repeat two more times, so you’re stirring at the 10 and 15 minute marks. At this point you’ll want to start checking the coconut every 1-2 minutes as it can go from browned to burnt very quickly. The coconut should be dark brown in colour but not burnt. Remove it from the oven and let the coconut bacon cool on the tray. It will become crispy as it cools.

Store in an airtight container, and use to add bacony deliciousness to all kinds of dishes. Coconut bacon not kept in an airtight container will become soft and will need to be carefully re-crisped in the oven.

MM_Know_Icon_FINAL

So what’s the deal with liquid smoke? Chips or sawdust from hardwoods such as hickory or mesquite are burned at high temperatures, and particles of the smoke are collected in condensers. The resulting liquid is concentrated down for a stronger smoky flavour. Not all liquid smoke is created equal, so read your labels! It shouldn’t contain anything other than natural smoke and water, so be wary of those that add additional flavour, colour, or other ingredients.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

smoothies vs. juice: the ultimate showdown

Tags

, , , ,

smoothies vs juice: the ultimate showdown // the muffin myth

Smoothies and juice are both in vogue right now, but have you ever wondered which one is better? The truth is that there are benefits and drawbacks to each, and which one is best for you depends on you! 

I’m over on Oh My Veggies with a nutrition face off between the two super sippers. You’ll find a thorough breakdown of the pros and cons of each, and some good nutrition information too. Head on over to Oh My Veggies to find out everything you’ve ever wanted – and more – about smoothies and juice.

But wait! Don’t forget you have until Sunday July 6th to enter my giveaway for a bottle of six-month vanilla extract.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone + giveaway

Tags

, , , ,

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

Today is a big day on The Muffin Myth! Exactly four years ago today I hit publish on my first post with absolutely no idea what would happen next. And what a four years it has been! There have been ups and downs. Celebrations and frustrations. New jobs, and new friends. Broken ankles and broken dishes. I’ve moved to a new country and learned a new language. And I’ve finished *two* degrees in nutrition.

This also happens to be my 300th post. Seems like we should celebrate, no?

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin mythchocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

I’ve you haven’t tried chocolate zucchini cupcakes before, it’s time to get into it. It’s not just about sneaking vegetables into a dessert; the zucchini adds a ton of moisture. You don’t taste it, in fact, it practically melts away. I used olive oil in these cupcakes because I like the way the grassy flavour pairs with chocolate, and I thought it would be a nice complement to the zucchini. There’s also tangy buttermilk, whole wheat pastry flour, and the whole mess is studded with dark chocolate chunks.

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

I wanted to top the cupcakes with with something that wouldn’t add a lot of extra sugar to the recipe but that was still delicious and a bit luxurious. Mascarpone with a little bit of honey and sea salt swirled in did the trick, and by did the trick I mean you need salted honey mascarpone in your life right now.

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

Of course, cupcakes are only as good as the ingredients you use to make them, so when you’re celebrating I think it’s important to use really good stuff. Your vanilla extract for example, should be the best you can find.

Remember back when I made us homemade vanilla extract? That batch was infused for two months, and the people who I gave it to told me it was the best and most vanilla-ey vanilla extract that they ever did see. Well, unbeknownst to you, I started us another batch, and friends, this stuff has been infusing for Six Whole Months.

homemade vanilla extract // the muffin myth

To celebrate four years of real food and good friends, I’d like to send one of you a bottle of this six-month vanilla extract. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. You can gain additional entries by following The Muffin Myth on Instagram, and liking The Muffin Myth’s Facebook page. Leave separate comments letting me know you’ve done that! I’ll randomly choose a winner next Sunday July 6th.

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

Here’s to four years of blogging, good food, and good friends. Thanks for being along for the ride, it just wouldn’t be the same without you.

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

One year ago: Roasted Strawberries + Yoghurt Cake
Two years ago: 
Chocolate Yoghurt Bundt Cake
Three years ago: Strawberry Birthday Cupcakes
Four years ago: The Muffin That Started It All

Chocolate And Olive Oil Zucchini Cupcakes Recipe:

As is so often the case with cake, I think that these are better on the second day. You can bake them in advance and keep them stored in an air tight container until the next day. Whether you eat these on the day you make them (still delicious) or the next day (even better!) top with mascarpone at the very last minute.

Makes 12 cupcakes

.

1 cup light brown muscovado sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 packed cups grated zucchini
2 cups whole wheat pastry or all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
100g dark chocolate, chopped

250g mascarpone cheese
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt

.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF / 180ºC. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, olive oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir in grated zucchini, and set aside.

In a smaller bowl sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the dry mix to the wet, and stir to just combine. Fold in the chocolate chunks, and spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared cupcake liners.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating the tin once about half way through. A toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake should come out with only a few crumbs attached.

Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While they are cooling, prepare the mascarpone. In a small bowl mix mascarpone, honey, and salt together until well combined. Using a spatula, spread a small amount of the mascarpone onto each cupcake. Serve immediately.

MM_Know_Icon_FINAL

You’re eating cake my friends! Glorious chocolately delicious cake, with an indulgent smear of mascarpone cheese on top. Yum! Enjoy every bite, and then maybe a salad?

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

what’s good around the web + weekly meal plan

Tags

, , , ,

meal plan June 30 - July 4 // the muffin mythWait, what’s this? What’s Good Around The Web on a Friday?! Yup! Just trying to keep you on your toes! I’ve got something special planned for Sunday this week so I thought I’d post this today instead. And it has me thinking – is Friday a better day for this post in general, given that you may want to spend the weekend with some meal plan inspiration? Let me know!

Next week is totally normal week! No meals out, no celebratory lunches, no travel, no holidays. Except for just one thing… it’s Canada Day on Tuesday and I’m making poutine for myself and a Canadian colleague! I haven’t quite figured out the logistics, but I’m thinking I’ll make the vegetarian gravy and probably some oven fries the night before and then heat / assemble the poutine at the office. Not the healthiest lunch, but it’s patriotic, right? I’ll probably throw a salad alongside just to keep things balanced. I’m keeping the end of the week on the light side as I’ve got a hen party on the weekend which is sure to be indulgent. The chickpea salad I’ve got planned for Mon and Wed is a riff on this sandwich filling, bulked up with lots of veg and eaten with crackers or lettuce leaves. Yum!

On to the links!

MM_Web_Icon_FINAL1. Do you know the difference between an allergy and an intolerance?

2. Dr. Oz gets a talking to from senate. And a well deserved one, IMO.

3. The food industry’s solution to obesity (parasites, killing their host)

4. Using drones to expose food industry abuse? Sounds good to me!

5. How food companies trick you into thinking you’re buying something healthy. And here’s Coca Cola using exactly some of those moves.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos

Tags

, , , , ,

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Hi, my name is Katie and I’m a lunch packer.

If you’ve been hanging around here for any length of time you’ve probably already figured this out. I plan meals. I pack meals. I prep in advance. One might even say I’m a bit compulsive about it, but I don’t care. I like having all of my ducks in a row, and I dislike having to think about what to eat. I also dislike feeling frenzied in the morning before work, so I really like when everything is done in advance.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Please know that this is essentially the only aspect of my life in which I’m this organized. In every other way I’m pretty much a complete disaster. I’m chronically late, my hair is a mess because I attempt to cut the back myself between appointments, I don’t know much about makeup or shoes, and although I exercise often it is somewhat begrudgingly. We’re all just people, right?

Anyways, I’m a lunch packer. So I’m sure you can imagine that when I go traveling and I’m not home during my normal lunch packing /organizing time AND our return flight gets us home in the wee hours of Monday morning when I’ve got to be at the office by 9, I’ve got a problem. What the heck am I going to do about lunch?

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to meet my BFF, my main squeeze, and the apple of my manic meal-planning eye, THE FREEZER!

I can’t tell you how many times individual portions of healthy meals stashed in the freezer has saved my butt. Remember last summer when I came back from my vacation with a broken ankle? That sucked. But luckily I had made a batch of freezer burritos before I went away, so I had lunches sorted for the first week I was back at work.

Those times I was working bonkers long hours AND getting up in the wee hours of the morning to work on my thesis? Coming back from Istanbul in the wee hours of Monday morning? Thank you freezer! And thank you ME for having the foresight to make freezer burritos in the first place.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Who doesn’t need a handy batch of burritos in their freezer? No one, that’s who! These black bean and quinoa burritos whip up pretty quickly, and they freeze and reheat like a charm.

Why quinoa? Well, the rice that is so often the filler turns burritos into a carb on carb situation (read the nutrition info on your tortillas, they’re often equivalent to 2 or 3 slices of bread) so I’ve replaced it with the protein-rich super-seed. Black beans, corn, and a whole mess of veggies round the situation out into a tasty and nutritious meal.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

I used a bit of jalapeño cheese in my burritos because hello, cheese + burrito = delicious, but it’s totally not necessary and can easily be left out for a 100% vegan burrito. Also, you totally don’t have to freeze these. You could whip them up and have a big old burrito bonanza on the spot if you’d prefer. But if you *do* want to freeze them I fully encourage individually wrapping  those cute little burrito butts in foil or parchment and tossing them in the freezer for another day.

To enjoy your freezer burrito you can a) bake it in the oven from frozen, b) microwave it (take off the foil first!) or c) let it defrost and enjoy at room temp. It’s the easiest packed lunch ever because you’ve done the work way in advance. I promise you, you won’t regret it one bit.

black bean and quinoa freezer burritos // the muffin myth

Two years ago: Goat Cheese, Arugula, and Honey Baguette 

Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos Recipe:

There is a good amount of chopping to make these burritos, but if you do it all at once the filling comes together quickly. I use a garlic crusher basically 100% of the time when a recipe calls for minced garlic (it’s waaaaaay faster than mincing), and I totally encourage you to do the same. To make it vegan: leave out the cheese. To make it gluten-free: use gluten-free tortillas.

Makes 6 large burritos

.

2 Tbsp canola or grape seed oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 – 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned are all fine)
1 large tomato, dice
1 cup cooked quinoa (from about 1/2 cup uncooked
3 cups cooked black beans (2 cans)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 a bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 cup shredded jalapeño cheese (optional)
6 large whole wheat tortillas

.

Start by getting all of your chopping out of the way, it’ll help everything come together faster once you start cooking. Chop the onion, crush the garlic, mince the jalapeño, dice the zucchini and red pepper, and set everything into little bowls or on plates. Now you’re ready to go!

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and beginning to take on a bit of colour. Add the garlic and jalapeños and sauté for about 2 minutes more.

Now add the zucchini and red pepper and sauté for 8-10 minutes. The vegetables should be softened but not mushy, and just starting to brown. At this point add the corn, and tomato and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is well heated. Add the quinoa, black beans, cumin, smoked paprika, chile, and salt. Stir to combine well. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir in the cilantro, and remove from the heat.

Now you’re ready to roll! Divide the burrito filling between the six tortillas (or more if you want smaller burritos), sprinkle with cheese if desired, and roll! This is my burrito rolling technique. If you’re freezing the burritos, wrap individually in foil or parchment paper, and place in a single layer in the freezer. You can totally stack ‘em, the worst case is that they may be a bit misshapen, but I assure you your stomach will never know.

To enjoy your freezer burrito you can plan ahead and pull one out of the freezer the night before, or just grab one straight from the freezer in the morning. I let mine thaw beside me on my desk, then heat it up in the office microwave at lunch time. Enjoy!

MM_Know_Icon_FINAL

Black beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in black beans is one of the things that makes them special. A one cup serving contains 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract. The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Black beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health. You know what they say, beans beans good for the heart… but if the second part of that rhyme concerns you, be sure to discard the soaking water when cooking dried beans. You’ll be tossing out a good amount of flatulence causing compounds, as well as some of the phytates and tannins that lower nutrient availability.

Quinoa not only has a very high protein content (about 18%), but this super seed also contains a complete set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It’s a great source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, and is high in magnesium and iron.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

strawberry coconut super smoothie

Tags

, , , , , ,

strawberry coconut super smoothie // the muffin myth

The little university pool that I normally swim in on my lunch hour closed for the season about a month ago, so I’ve had to switch to morning swimming before work at a much bigger facility closer to home. Although this change in routine has its inconveniences (I’m totally not a morning person) I’m really enjoying swimming in the glorious 50 meter outdoor pool, my back becoming crisscrossed with bathing suit tan lines (which makes me happy – is that weird?) for the first time since I stopped working in aquatics five years ago.

strawberry coconut super smoothie // the muffin myth

This has also changed up my eating routine a fair bit. Previously I’d have a feathery light green smoothie early on, a snack later in the morning to fuel me through my swim, and then lunch at my desk when I got back to the office at around 2pm.

Now I need to have something a bit more substantial in my system before I hit the water, but not something that will weigh me down. Smoothies are a great pre-workout meal. Because the food has been broken down in a blender it’s easy to digest and clears the stomach about 4 times faster than a solid meal, which means I’m not tossing my cookies with my tumble turns.

strawberry coconut super smoothie // the muffin myth

A smoothie is a blank canvas – their composition can shift with our energy requirements. These days, I’m looking for something that’ll stick to my ribs just the right amount. This strawberry coconut super smoothie is a marriage of two of my favourite breakfasts – smoothies and overnight oats. The oats bring a good amount of energy to the table, adding fiber and bulk and making this smoothie into a proper meal. We’ve got magnesium coming from nut-milk, potassium from banana, healthy fats from coconut milk, protein from hemp seeds, and antioxidants from strawberries. Soaking the oats overnight means they are easy to digest and this smoothie becomes the perfect pre-swim meal… and post swim meal too. I tend to drink about a third before hand and guzzle the rest as a breakfast / recovery drink after.

In the autumn I’ll go back to swimming on my lunch hour and my needs will shift again, but for now I’m enjoying morning swims, bathing suit tan lines, and substantial meal-replacing smoothies.

strawberry coconut super smoothie // the muffin myth

One year ago: Okonomiyaki Japanese Cabbage Pancake

Strawberry Coconut Super Smoothie Recipe:

If you don’t have the time (or the foresight) to soak the oats the night before, you can grind the oats into a fine powder before blending them into the smoothie. Use gluten free oats if necessary for a totally gluten free smoothie. This recipe calls for lite coconut milk, but feel free to use full fat for a more decadent smoothie.

Makes 1 large smoothie

.

1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
1 banana, preferably frozen
4-6 strawberries, fresh or frozen (about 1/2 cup chopped)
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 – 1/2 cup water

.

Place oats, almond milk, and coconut milk in a jar with a lid and give it a stir or a shake to mix up. Place in the fridge overnight or at least for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to make the smoothie place the soaked oats into the jar of a blender along with the frozen banana, strawberries, and hemp seeds. Add 1/4 cup of cold water, place the lid on the blender, and blend. You may need to add up to another 1/4 cup of water if the smoothie is very thick. Blend until smooth, and enjoy!

I like drink about a third of this smoothie immediately and pour the rest back into the 500ml jar the oats were soaking in and save that portion for after my workout.

MM_Know_Icon_FINAL

Oats are rich in indigestible carbohydrates called beta-glutens which help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Oats are also host to a number of phenolic compounds which have antioxidant properties, are helpful in stabilizing blood sugar, and are a good source of dietary fiber and protein.

Bananas are a great source of concentrated energy and potassium. They are also a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 727 other followers