Make Ahead Kefir Breakfast Parfaits

Super Easy Breakfast Parfaits with Kefir

Kefir is a wonderful fermented milk beverage that looks similar to yogurt, but packs more of a nutritional punch or pizazz! Kefir is loaded with lots of beneficial bacteria that can work wonders in our guts. To learn more about the benefits of Kefir, check out this site: http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/what-is-kefir/

 

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Kefir makes a fabulous and easy make ahead breakfast that we have been enjoying for a few months now. We make it the night before – and even make 2-3 days worth of breakfast jars at a time. This way in the morning, breakfast is essentially done, we just add some crunchy slivered almonds or sunflower seeds and a spoon.

 

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Super Easy & An Awesome Start to the day!

 

Here is what we do:

  • Pour 1 cup Kefir into a wide mouth glass jar with lid
  • Add 1/4 to 1/3 Old Fashioned or Quick Oats, dry OR 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
  • Add 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Add 1 Tbsp ground flax meal
  • Add 1/4 cup raisins

 

Then we stir the whole thing together, put a lid on it, and stick them in the refrigerator.

 

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When we are ready to eat (usually in the AM, but we did enjoy one as a “breakfast for dinner” type quick meal recently) we add some crunchy topping such as slivered almonds or sunflower seeds or even granola. Use your imagination & get creative and add what you like.

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These Kefir Breakfast Parfaits are wonderful with fresh fruits instead of the raisins. We purchased the big box of peaches recently and cut up a peach each day- just lovely! Blueberries, raspberry and strawberries have also found their way into our breakfast and on occasion an over ripe banana too.

 

Added benefit: These parfaits seem to take me further so that I am less hungry!

 

Give them a try and let us know how you build your Breakfast Parfait! Share your thoughts below or on FB~ Thanks!

 

Easy Carrot Raisin Salad

 We got a craving recently for a childhood favorite: Carrot Raisin Salad.

Don’t you love it when you can take a trip down memory lane simply by dining on a meal? Well, we were unloading our groceries the other day and noticed that we placed the bag of carrots right next to a bag of raisins. Hmmmm .. we both started to say, remember enjoying carrot raisin salad as a kid?

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We decided to make some right away.

We also decided to keep it super easy and make homemade coleslaw dressing to use as the dressing for the salad as we both LOVE that easy and versatile dressing.

What we did: 

  • Grated up 1 lb of whole carrots
  • Tossed in about 1/2 cup raisins (maybe more…)
  • Tossed it with Easy Coleslaw Dressing

That was it! Super simple, right?

We enjoyed the salad right away on a bed of spinach. It was yummy. A nice mixture of an old friend and new tastes (in the form of the coleslaw dressing).

Luckily we had made enough carrot raisin salad to have it again the next day and this time we sprinkled the top with some sunflower seeds- which gave the salad a wonderful crunch and salty bit every now and then.

Do you love Carrot Raisin Salad? Try it and let us know what you think

Trader Joe’s Panko Breaded Tilapia Fillets

We love Fish & Chips- flaky fish- with a crunchy coating and potato wedges or chips- sprinkled with lots of salt and Malt Vinegar. This not-so-heart-healthy combo is our favorite during sporting events-  but especially when watching the World Cup-as we did over the weekend.

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When we were shopping at Trader Joe’s for our Fish & Chips dinner we decided to check out a new kind of fish- and it was just delish!

Trader Joe’s Panko Breaded Tilapia Fillets

This box just sorta jumped out at us while we were checking out all the other options. I think I was lured by the idea of the crunch Panko breading and the thinner pieces of fish.

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An added advantage was that the fish was individually bagged so that you could take out only the amount you needed for a meal, and keep the rest of the fish in the freezer for next time.  Nice!

We followed the suggestions on the box and placed the fish on a foil lined pan and cooked it for 10 minutes, then flipped it over for 10 more minutes on the other side. The fish was nice and crispy and golden brown- and it sizzled when we took it  out of the oven.  (We did take a piece of paper towel to each side of the fish just to see if we could get any extra oil from each piece- and there was a little bit to blot up- just FYI.)

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To TRY and keep this meal under some kind of control, we served it up with home made oven roasted potatoes to star as the “chips”  and a few carrot sticks.

Well…..

OK we just loved the fish. It was crunch yet still moist in the middle. The Panko breading was crisp without being super thick/ or way greasy. We sprinkled the fish with some Malt Vinegar- and it just went so well together… YUMMO!

Other Ideas to try with this fish:

Fish Tacos

This would be a great fish to use in Fish Tacos. The pieces cook up crunchy and the fish is nice and thin but still moist. My though is to cook the fish and split it in half the long way, then place each half in a tortilla or taco shell with your favorite fixings.

Salad Topper

Another idea we had was to bake the fish and then serve it on top of a nice bunch of salad greens, tomatoes, etc…   This would be a lovely contrast in flavors (cool- hot- crunchy- creamy dressing etc…)

 So the next time you are searching for a nice, crunchy fish for dinner, give Trader Joe’s Panko Breaded Tilapia Fillets a try and tell us what you think!

 

 

 

Lemon Water Made Easy

Lemon Water Made Easy- Slice and Freeze!

We all know we should drop the coffee and soda and add more water into our lives, but really who does this? (OK,  I try ….)

With summer (read warmer) weather heading our way here, we are trying to add more glasses of water to our day. But sometimes you just need a flavor, right? Our solution: Lemons, limes and oranges slices, easy !

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But then I noticed that I would slice up a lemon and use 1 or 2 of the slices….. and then get busy and ….. well, forget all about it, and  find the baggie in the back of the fridge a week later with a crazy-gross science project growing inside…. grrr ….

This spring it hit me…. slice and freeze!

So obvious but WOW! I am super excited that I can slice up and use the whole lemon or lime and enjoy each slice. I simply slice up the lemon, and place in a small plastic baggie is as close to one single layer as possible. Then Freeze. The next day I break apart any slices that are stuck together and just pop one into my cold water or mug and fill with hot water.

The freezing breaks down the fruit just a little bit and it seems to me to have a bolder flavor in a smaller slice.  Try it and let me know what you think.

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What I also have found is that I will bring a few, frozen slices to work in my lunch bag and stick in the big freezer there and enjoy during the day without worry (worry that I would forget to bring it home etc..). So now I am finding that I do drink more water with the frozen lemon slices.

What do you think?

I hope you try it and find you like it!

BBQ Garbanzo Beans: An Awesome Vegan Meal!

Are you ready for our latest obsession? (well, one of them actually…..) It is BBQ Garbanzo beans!

Now the really funny thing is that Kansas City is SUCH a BBQ town… We have a huge selection of BBQ restaurants, cook off events and the like. It is one of those “cheats” that I will do – as I enjoy all the smoky, rich, sweet sauce- Yummo!  So when I found this awesome idea I love that I still can enjoy a vegetarian/ vegan meal and still getting in my BBQ flavors in.

Introducing … BBQ Garbanzo Beans!

Now I found this fabulous recipe idea in this awesome book:

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I have had the book for quite a while, and then recently I was clearing out the clutter (information for another post….) and I was like Yeah! So I started flipping around and found this recipe (p.116) for BBQ Bowl.

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We just had to try it.

It is an amazingly simple combo that I think you will LOVE and like so many other meals, this just gets better and better over the next few days after you make it. What we like to do is make a 3 can batch on Sunday and then eat it for lunch etc.. during the week. DElish!

What you need:

  • Garbanzo Beans
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional, but surprisingly good)

What you do:

This is the super- simple part. This is how we make it, slightly different from the directions in the recipe book:

1. Drain and rinse the beans and the pour into a large pan on the stove.  Add about 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce to the pan with about half that amount of water. Stir carefully until you have beans sitting in a thin BBQ sauce.

2.  Now turn on the heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the beans are warm and the BBQ sauce starts to get thick again.

3. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, or add the cheese and allow to cool and then store in the refrigerator.

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BBQ Garbanzo beans, arugula salad and Sweet Potatoes- with lots of leftovers for work day lunches!

For serving suggestions we have served these with arugula salad greens and some chopped tomatoes. Another time we served it along side some quinoa.  It was also good with sweet potato fries (and extra BBQ sauce for dipping).

So give this interesting and surprising recipe a try… It makes a fantastic office lunch too!

 

Smoked Salmon Spread Made Easy

Smoked Salmon Spread made easy

One of my favorite weekend treats is to enjoy toasted bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. One way to keep it super simple, is to make some smoked salmon spread and have it ready for the morning munch.

Making Smoked Salmon Spread is actually a lot easier than you might think and it tastes MUCH better then the pre-made stuff. Give it a try this week!

Getting ready to mix it up!

Getting ready to mix it up!

What you need: 

  • Cream cheese (We like to use the Trader Joe’s whipped Cream Cheese)
  • Smoked Salmon- the small size package that is about 6oz (Use 1/2 the package, wrap well and freeze the other half for next time)
  • Chives 1-2 Tablespoons fresh (or to taste)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Optional: capers / lemon juice/ lemon zest

1. Take the salmon slices and carefully cut the pieces into long strips, and then cut the strips into 2 or 3 pieces. You are trying to chop up the salmon into small chunks.

2. Add the salmon, chives and fresh ground pepper into a medium bowl. Add the whipped cream cheese, and stir lightly until it is all combined. Stir in any optional ingredients at this point.

3. Spread the smoked salmon spread on toasted bagels and serve with sliced tomatoes and spinach or arugula leaves. Thinly sliced sweet onions would also be nice to add.

 

Finished Smoked Salmon Spread

Finished Smoked Salmon Spread

Breakfast with tomatoes and arugula

Breakfast with tomatoes and arugula– That was super easy, right?

Enjoy this super easy treat this weekend!

What did you think? Are you going to try making Smoked Salmon Spread ? Share your thoughts below or on Fb~ Thanks!