Break! Fast!

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. I don't know if it's because you're not obligated to eat salad at it or what, but it's always been my favorite. I've never been a milk and cereal person either. It's always eggs! I prefer egg whites. There has been a lot of recent press about how whole eggs don't actually contribute to cholesterol levels, but I still want to avoid whole eggs because I don't need the added fat and resulting calories. I'd rather have a slice of avocado or cheese on top of my eggs! Egg whites are an awesome source of protein and are super cheap.

You can scramble them, microwave them in a mug, make them into an omelette, or do what I did this morning and make a little makeshift frittata thingy.

Here's the deets!

Egg Whites Florentine with Quinoa
for 1 
5 WW P+


  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1/4 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 c. egg whites 
  • 1 oz. fat free feta
  • 1/4 c. cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and Peper
  • In a good nonstick pan, heat oil
  • Saute spinach until wilted

  • Add quinoa, stir, and distribute in pan evenly

  • Reduce heat to medium
  • Add egg whites - DO NOT STIR - just let the egg whites settle in around the quinoa and spinach 

  • Top with feta and cherry tomatoes
  • Cover for 3-5 minutes until eggs are all set!
  • Season with S & P

 This meal is super filling and a delicious and nutritious way to start your day. You can use this recipe as a template for other combos, too. For example, brown rice, kale, and parmesan or broccoli, brown rice, and cheddar. Use whatever you have in the fridge! The trick is a good nonstick pan and the patience to not fuss with your eggs. If you fuss, you get in the way of the nice crispy browned layer that keeps the eggs and the pan from sticking together.

Eat with a piece of fruit and a gallon of coffee and you should be good and energized all morning long!


Tomato Cobbler

Today's recipe is probably the most delicious way I have ever had tomatoes. And I love tomatoes.

The recipe comes from Lottie+Doof, who got it from Martha. I adapted the recipe even further, and will present you with options to make it your own, too.

If you even minorly like tomatoes, try this recipe. If you love tomatoes, then you will adore this recipe. I am keeping this one in my back pocket and plan on making it over and over again. It makes a great side dish with dinner, but as I experienced this morning for breakfast, it also is great with an egg on top for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

I modified the recipe by using multigrain baking mix and buttermilk instead of making a traditional biscuit dough.  I made it with too much biscuit, so I am writing the recipe as I would make it in the future.

Tomato Cobbler 
12 servings
6 WW P+


  • Tomato Mixture
    • 3 lbs cherry tomatoes - I used a mix of heirlooms, red, and yellow cherry tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp EVOO
    • 2 yellow onions, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • 3 tbsp flour
  • Biscuit Topping
    •  2 cups multigrain baking mix (like Trader Joe's)
    • 1 1/3 cup reduced fat buttermilk
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 c. shredded gruyere 
    • additional 1/4 c. shredded gruyere and 2 tbsp buttermilk for topping 


  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • In a medium size pan, heat EVOO over medium heat
  • Caramelize onions - should take about 20 minutes
  • Add garlic and saute for 3 minutes
  • Add crushed red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and flour and toss to coat
action shot!
  • Remove from heat
  • Dump tomato contents into a large baking dish and distribute goodness evenly

  • In a mixing bowl, combine baking milk, buttermilk, and veg oil
  • Fold in shredded gruyere
  • Drop biscuit mixture in 1/4 c. scoops over the top of the tomato mixture
  • You can leave it in biscuit shape, or spread over the dough so that it covers the entire pan
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until tomatoes are bubbly and biscuit topping is golden
  • Top biscuit layer with a brushing of buttermilk and the 1/4 c. of shredded gruyere

  • Bake for an additional 15 minutes
  • Let cool 10-15 minutes before eating - those tomatoes are like boiling flavor bombs!
 I enjoyed my tomato cobbler with veggies and chicken. A perrrrfect meal (with a cute boy). 

This recipe could be changed by switching up the cheese. I think it would be divine with bleu cheese or gorgonzola! You could also spice up the tomatoes differently - say with an herb like basil or rosemary. A rosemary/tomato mixture with goat cheese biscuit topping would blow my mind. Use your imagination. The recipe is hard to screw up. 

Also, if you can't find TJ's baking mix, use whatever baking mix you prefer. Follow the box instructions, but sub in buttermilk (or not, if you don't like it) and make the recipe for 12 biscuits. That would work just fine.


Playing Favorites

When I'm not pulling recipes and trying new foods, I have a relatively short list of go-to, memorized, no-recipe-necessary meals. Some of them require the microwave (not proud).

And while I'd like to say that my favorite meal is half a pound of cheese and a bottle of wine, we all know that I have too loud of a conscience to allow myself to eat like that.

So when I want an easy, quick, and HEALTHY meal, I often revert to my very favorite homemade meal.

I first had this meal when visiting my sister and her husband in Sweden. There is absolutely nothing complicated about this meal, but all the elements together are so very perfect. Hot, cold, salty, creamy, nutty, yummy. And the meal is nearly all superfoods, so you don't feel guilty about that wine!

It's simple:

  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Spinach/spring mix
  • Avocado
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Drizzle of EVOO
  • Tomatoes
  • Protein: Halloumi/Tofu/whateveryouwant  

Halloumi (hull-AHM-me) is a greek grilling cheese. It's what I had with this meal when Leah made it for me. If you have never had it and like cheese, I'm not really sure what you're waiting for. You can get it at Whole Foods or a mediterranean foods shop. I've heard rumors about it at TJ's but I've never seen it.

Thus, instead of Halloumi, I often have this meal with Baked Tofu. I bake my own extra firm tofu for 20-30 minutes at 400F with a little fat free feta and shaved parmesan on top.

 But you could do this meal with chicken or whatever protein you like. I'd make sure you get some of the feta saltiness in there, though, to compensate for the lack of salty halloumi.

 To prepare this meal, simply cook some quinoa with chicken broth, warm some whole, drained and rinsed black beans, and bake or pan fry the tofu or halloumi. Plate with a generous amount of salad, top with avocado and tomato, and drizzle with a high quality EVOO and balsamic.

Couldn't get more simple if you tried.

Add this one to your home cooking repertoire! It makes for a fancy presentation, too!



There are three classic homemade desserts that I love SO much, I will never pass them up

  1. Lemon anything (like lemon bars)
  2. Banana Pudding (like my grandma's!)
  3. Peach Cobbler (again, like my grandma's!)
So when I come across a recipe that combines two of them (lemon and banana), I have to give it a shot.

Lemon and banana may sound like a really strange combination, but trust me, this is delicious. And light!

This recipe comes from a magazine clipping from an old issue of Every Day With Rachael Ray Magazine. I always consume her magazines in the same way: skim through, go back through and clip out recipes that sound good, toss. Clippings end up in my handy dandy recipe book!

What's odd about this dessert is that it cooks in the crock pot! Not the oven, the crock pot. Weird.

But it works, so you should make it.

Banana Lemon Pudding Cake
adapted from RR
Serves 6
3 WWP+ 

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 6 oz nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 c. sugar (the recipe calls for 3/4 --- I thought that was crazy, so I only used 1/4 c and it was very sweet with that little sugar!)
  • 1/4 c. flour (I used whole wheat, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2" coins (+more bananas to top once it's done)
  • Whipped cream for serving

  • Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form
  • In another bowl, combine egg yolks, yogurt, lemon juice and zest, and beat for 1 minute until light yellow and smooth

  • Add flour, sugar, and salt to the yolk mixture and beat on medium speed until smooth (2 minutes or so)
  • Working in 3-4 batches, fold in egg whites

  • Spray a 3-4 quart crock pot with nonstick spray
  • Scatter bananas at the bottom of the dish

  • Pour over batter, cover, and set on high for 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • When done, the edges will be brown and the cake will be puffed up and set
  • Remove crock pot from heating element
  • Scoop out and serve with more bananas and whipped cream

Now, if you are freaaakkkiinnnggg out about warm bananas, you could always make this recipe with another fruit like blueberries or strawberries or whatever you like. It would be excellent with blueberries.

This recipe is convenient because you can get it started before you serve dinner, then once dinner is done and dishes are finished, the cake should be ready! 

Happy Mardi Gras!


Baked Oatmeal

I know I have been really neglecting the blog lately and I feel pretty guilty about that. Truth is, I've been running around, eating out, and not cooking. And there isn't much to report in cooking news. However, last night I got out my handy dandy recipe clippings book and my Pinterest foodspirations board and came up with a menu for this week. That is, a menu through Wednesday night, because Thursday I'm going to see my favorite people in the whole wide world (that live in Denver)!!!

source: kim's iphone.

So today, in excitement for my Denver family visit, I made Jack-attack's baked oatmeal. Shout out!

my favorite picture of jackie // kameron ahler

One time when my awesome studio apartment was being fumigated, Sprinkles the cat and I took up residency at Jackie's awesome studio apartment. And like a good mom, Jackie made me breakfast. It was the world's most delicious version of oatmeal you will ever eat. So I have recreated it today with a few healthy omissions and substitutions. Just as delicious as Jackie's!

Baked Oatmeal
9 Servings - 4 WW P+ each

  • 3 cups uncooked oats
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In one bowl, combine oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
  • In another bowl, combine eggs, sugar, almond milk, melted coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla
  • Combine the two bowls and mix until incorporated
  • Pour into a greased 9x9 glass baking dish
  • Bake for 40 minutes
  • Eat with fresh fruit and more almond milk poured over the top

I topped mine with blueberries and banana.

You could make this recipe with any milk you choose, but I think the almond milk adds a little nutiness. Also, feel free to use vegetable oil instead of coconut oil, but again, I think it adds a little extra flavor.

You could also mix fruit into the mixture before baking. If I recall correctly, Jackie mixed in dried apricots and blueberries and it was bomb.com



Vegan Day 5 1/2

That's right, folks. I only made it 5 1/2 days. Lame.

The day started out with good intentions.


  • Scrambled tofu with Daiya cheeze
  • Toast with strawberry jelly
  • Banana

And lunch was vegan, too! I made vegan corndogs a la Happy Herbivore. Real life: I think corndogs are delicious. This recipe had all the right flavors, but the texture was totally wrong. Maybe if it called for fine ground corn meal and had more flour, it would be right. I gauge all corndogs against the bar set by Hot Dog on a Stick. I  haven't had one of these since I was a wee child, but I can still imagine the texture. The batter is closer to the texture of pancakes, but still tastes like cornbread. Either way, the recipe was excellent as a vessel for yellow mustard.

But then there was dinner. 

The fam bam went to Sicily by Gino in Ventura. I had a special - rigatoni with marinara and eggplant... with ricotta salata. Yeah, I could have ordered sans cheese. But the pasta already was a noodle made with eggs, and I love eating out and trying new restaurants wayyy to much to abstain. 

While vegan was a good experiment, and I tried many new foods and recipes that I would have never considered before, I am going back to my omnivorous ways. I do see the value in eating vegan and I plan on making more vegan meals, but not restricting my diet so religiously. I just love cheese SO much. 

I am incredibly disappointed that I couldn't stick with it for a measly week, though. 

The next night I ate 1/4 of a roasted chicken. Sorry, animals.



All my efforts this week were very mildly rewarded by a .4 lb weight loss since last Friday. I was really hoping for more after extra k-bell workouts and a change in eating, but I'm trying not to be discouraged. It's better than gaining .4, and better than staying the same. Le sigh.

this one's for you, michael kerner.
Anywho, about being vegan for a week...

Breakfast was enjoyed alongside Camarillo's finest publication:

  • Lemon Coconut Chia Muffins (see recipe below)
  • Frozen Mixed Berries
  • Vegan Yogurt
  • Coffee

The muffins are an adaption from Mama Pea's Lemon Chia Muffins.  The recipe calls for lemon extract, which I totally overlooked until half my ingredients were combined. The recipe also uses coconut oil, so it was already going to have a little coconut flavor, so I used coconut extract and extra lemon juice and zest in the recipe to make it my own. They aren't very light muffins (5  WW P+), but they are definitely a delicious treat. They are a wonderful alternative to lemon poppyseed muffins, which i'm sure are NOT 5 points ever.

Lemon Coconut Chia Muffins
12 5 WWP+ muffins


  • 1/2 c. soy/rice/almond milk whatever
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bakin soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. chia seeds
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 c. agave nectar
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest


  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Combine milk and lemon juice and set aside (zest your lemons first... it's a pain to zest a squeezed lemon)
  • In a large bowl, combine flours, bakin powder, baking soda, salt, and chia seeds. Set aside.
  • Back in milk mixture land, add coconut oil, agave, applesauce, extracts, and zest. You may have to nuke this mixture for 20 second intervals to make sure the coconut oil melts and mixes.
  • Add wet to dry and stir to combine
  • Fill muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes

i need a microplane

Super moist and tasty! Chia is a natural gel, so it makes things chewy and moist. And texturally, it's just like poppy seeds!

Lunch was boring, but I had to eat something before I went to boxing, or I wouldn't have the energy:
  • Grilled Daiya Cheeze and Hummus 
    • with marinara to dip
  • Salad with edamame, avocado, and tomato

But what we really need to talk about is dinner.
Again, a recipe from Mama Pea. I love her.

I made her Pumpkin Tofu Curry because there is nothing I love more than Pumpkin Curry from Thai Classic in SLO.  Now, this recipe is not the same because I'm sure Thai Classic uses full fat coconut milk and other magic secret weapons of health destruction. But Mama Pea's version fixed my craving for sure. Her version is kind of a mix between thai and indian flavors. Also, the meal was LOADED with fiber and veggies. Very little to feel bad about. I adapted her recipe by adding more veggies and doubling the pumpkin.

It all starts with perfect tofu and my favorite, kabocha squash.

A few hours ahead, I prepared the tofu. This would be excellent alone for snacking, in a different dish, or as an entree:

Marinated Baked Tofu


  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger


  • Combine maple syrup, vinegar, cinnamon, and ginger in a sealable dish like gladware or a ziploc bag
  • Add tofu
  • Let it chill in the fridge for 1-4 hours, tossing the tofu around occasionally to make sure it gets all coated and wonderful
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400F
  • Drizzle EVOO on a baking sheet
  • Toss tofu in oil
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Turn tofu pieces, bake another 15 minutes

I roasted my kabocha along with my tofu. I could have just eaten that baking sheet of kabocha and tofu and been happy as a clam.

But instead, I made Pumpkin Curry:

Pumpkin Curry
1/4th recipe = 6 WW P+

  • One package of tofu and half a large kabocha squash, cubed and baked
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coined
  • 1-2 cups broccoli florets, depending on your feelings about broccoli
  • 1 small white onion, chopped into 1" pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped into 1" pieces
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 14 oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1 c. canned pure pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1-2 tbsp white sugar, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • EVOO for stir frying


  • In a wok or skillet, stir fry veggies, garlic, and ginger in a touch of EVOO
  • As soon as vegetables just start to soften up, cut the heat and remove from flame
  • Set veggies aside for a bit

  • In a bowl, combine canned pumpkin and cornstarch. This is your thickening agent.
  • In a deep pan or a pot that is dry, toast curry powder and garam masala over medium heat just until aromatic
  • Add coconut milk and whisk until spices are combined
  • Add pumpkin/cornstarch mixture
  • Reduce heat to low and add lime juice, cilantro, and basil
  • Add sugar and salt to taste. You could also add your favorite hot sauce or spices to heat it up at this point.
  • When you're happy with the flavor, add in the veggies and the roasted tofu and kabocha squash
  • Stir to coat
  • Serve with brown rice

And delight in your nutritious and delicious dinner! This is super filling because of all the veggies and fiber. I really am not missing meat, especially with meals like this!

Very much studying to be done this weekend. No time for typing!


Vegan Day Four

VD4 was the day of shortcuts.

It all started with one of my favorite breakfasts: Overnight Oats . 

This is a classic Oh She Glows Recipe. The night before you just combine chia seeds, milk of choice, mashed banana, vanilla, and oats. Then in the morning you top it with whatever you like! I topped mine with a pumpkin spice protein bar, almonds, some PB, and blueberries. Fulllsiessss.

I went about my day with Mrs. Juniper. We went to the park, the library, the dry cleaner, the thrift store, and back to a different park. We escorted a crazy runaway dog home. Then we did some homework. Then it was time for lunch.

Lunch was leftover Seitan Carnitas. I didn't take a picture because nobody wants to see a reheated pile of food covered in salsa and cheeze. 

Then another kettlebell workout! I don't know if I have this much energy because I'm eating vegan, or because I'm procrastinating final studying. Probably 50/50.

Then there was dinner. Ohhhh dinner. 

Hot tip: The key to my heart is whole foods salad bar.

cell phone pic.. sorry

 The only problem is I pick up a little bit of everything and then my meal is just weird. But amazing!


  • Sumi Salad
  • Herbed Tofu
  • Brown Rice
  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Morrocan Roasted Carrots
  • Marinated Mushrooms
  • "Chicken" Salad ... because I was curious
The baba ghanoush was by far the best part of this meal. I'd go back and just get that with veggies. Whole Foods makes sure to label its fresh foods as vegan or vegetarian, so it makes for a very easy meal. 

One problem with Whole Foods: I had salad bar with an HonestTea and dessert and it was $16. Yikes. Can't make that a habit without an income...

I will know I have arrived in the world when I can eat and shop at Whole Foods without budgetary concern.

Oh, and then there was dessert!

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge.

It was $32/lb. Haha. Luckily this $4 chunk was 4 healthy sized servings.

It was freaking delicious.

Yeah, I could do vegan forever as long as I have Whole Foods. Love that place.


Vegan Day Three

I am happy to report there were no chicken cravings on day three.

The day started as such.


  • Sauteed onion, bell pepper, spinach, and tomato with crumbled tofu
    • topped with soy cheddar and nutritional yeast
  • Potatoes fried in Earth Balance at TJ's Everyday Seasoning
  • Orange and Banana
I've always been a big breakfast person, but this was a LOT of breakfast.  Also, I love egg whites and usually eat them everyday for breakfast, but the crumbled tofu was a very good substitute. 

Then I went about my day doing my "no 9-to-5", "it's the week before finals" thing (i.e. procrastinating). The good news is I fit in the THIRD kettlebell workout for this week (of FIVE planned). My tiny hands are so calloused. I look like a cowboy. 

Post workout, it was time for lunch. Mama Pea raves about her favorite lunch, a Crack Wrap. She wraps up hummus and vegan cheese in a whole wheat wrap and cooks it on a griddle with Earth Balance.  I didn't have a wrap, but I had whole wheat bread, so I made myself the BEST grilled cheese I have had in a very very long time. PS I never order grilled cheese at restaurants because calories scare me.

The key to this sandwich was the Daiya cheddar.  Daiya is kind of like a mystery because it's not soy and it's not gluten. So, like... WTF is it?

"Filtered water, tapioca and /or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegan natural flavors, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), annatto, titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral)"

So this brings me to my only problem with Veganism. How is that laundry list of ingredients better for me than cow's milk and salt? I don't know. I do feel good eating Vegan although only three days isn't enough to really see a difference in my health. Maybe I shouldn't eat super processed fake cheeze? But it's SO good.

Seriously, this cheeze is better than cheese.

  • Grilled cheeze with hummus and daiya cheddar
  • Salad with grapes, sunflower seeds, carrots, edamame, avocado
    • Agave Mustard vinaigrette (homemade!)

I ate my delicious and nutritious lunch outside with my two buddies, who both got baths yesterday. Happy little fur people. (not)

 And then after a full day of getting hardly anything productive done, it was time for dinner. All I do is eat, apparently.

Dinner was inspired by Post Punk Kitchen. The original recipe is Seitan Chops smothered in Apples and Ginger, but I wasn't interested in Seitan two nights in a row. So I marinated Tofu instead.

I started the meal by marinating extra firm tofu in dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, a touch of maple syrup, and worcestershire. I let this soak for 24 hours in the fridge.

Then it was time for dinner!

First let's roast some apples. These are great as a side dish for anything, so here's the recipe!

Gingered Apples
Post Punk Kitchen


  • 2 pounds of apples (I used honeycrisp), sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment
  • Dump all ingredients on sheet
  • Toss
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Turn apples
  • Bake for another 20 minutes

Parchment saves you from dish duty and keeps the apples from sticking to the pan.

SO tasty!

Back to the tofu.

Like the PPK recipe, I dredged my tofu in panko crumbs seasoned with S & P and rosemary. Good thing I have this handy dandy herb mill that the christmas fairy sent me!

Thanks Britters!!!

Once my tofu was nice and dredged, it was time to fry in EVOO.

I'm usually not one to fry, but I figured I'd make an exception since the rest of this meal is produce.

I also thinly sliced 2 cups of shallots to make a crispy onion topping.

Wanna know what I look like when I chop anything onion-like? Especially two cups of anything onion-like?

I cry.
 I thought that mascara was waterproof. Fail.


  • Tofu Chops with crispy shallots and gingered apples
  • Leftover protein mashed potaotes
  • Green Salad 

Vegan Day Three was delicious!