Category Archives: Quick and Easy

WIAW: The Budget Bites Edition

So I’ve talked a bit on here recently on how I’ve been setting a budget for the year but there is a big difference between talking a good game and actually being able to stick to it. Which is why I decided to share one of the more delicious parts of my budget a little more visually.

Budget Bites

I’ve allotted myself $100 per month for food/drinks (not including going out) with the goal of eating mostly vegetarian and possibly visiting farmers markets to supplement my CSA share. I eased into it for the month of June, inheriting food from my aunt and my parents while I was housesitting, but I managed to stay just under budget ($98.73 to be exact) which is pretty good considering I had to start my spice collection from scratch! That figure includes everything I ate this month, including the cost of my first 2 CSA shares. Not included are foods I already had on hand or foods that were given to me by well meaning family members ūüôā

Budget Bites

This month featured lots of salads courtesy of my CSA greens, quick and easy stir-fry, plenty of variations on flatbread pizza, and just a few waffles. It also marked my foray into vegetarian eating with my own veggie burger recipe and a surprisingly good dairy free ice cream. There was also plenty of wine, kombucha, cheese, and of course granola. All my meals were made with fresh whole foods (nothing processed or packaged aside from my almond milk and peanut butter), came together quickly, and made enough for me to eat for days. I’d say it’s a pretty good start and I’m looking forward to continuing the challenge next month.

Slices of Life- sharing a room

I’m hoping to cut the spending down even more in July now that my “pantry” is established… any extra money in the budget heads straight towards student loan payments!

What’s your favorite budget friendly meal? Any good resources for re-using leftovers?

This post is linked with Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday at Peas and Crayons and Ruth’s Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less.

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Dairy Free Berry “Ice Cream”

The last few days have been CrAzY!¬†I’m already loving both¬†of my new jobs, I have great co-workers, awesome kiddos, ¬†a super relaxed dress code… but even with that there is no denying that it has been hot, hot, HOT. There is no doubt about it summer has officially arrived in Chicago.

Which is the perfect excuse to cool off with some ice cream, right?

Non-Dairy Berry Ice Cream

I was messing around with some leftover fruits, making a smoothie as usual, when I thought about what might happen if I put the whole mess in the freezer. Apparently if you give it a few hours and a little attention, the answer is ice cream… Can I call it ice cream if there isn’t any milk? Whatever I’m calling it ice cream ūüôā

Dairy Free Berry Ice Cream

 

Dairy Free Berry “Ice Cream”¬†

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 5 minutes hands on, 2-3 hours in the freezer

Ingredients 

1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen), washed and chopped

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), washed

8 oz (one can) regular coconut milk

Combine strawberries, blueberries, and coconut milk in a blender. Blend on high 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated. Transfer mixture to a flat container and place in the freezer. Give it a stir every 30(ish) minutes until desired consistency is reached. *Mine was ice cream solid in 2 1/2 hours*

Quick, easy, and perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day! You could easily customize this to any fruits you have on hand or any other flavor combinations you like (I’m already thinking tropical for my next batch.) ¬†¬†

Berry Ice Cream

I’m sharing this quick and easy treat with The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday¬†and Hun What’s for Dinner’s Simple Supper Tuesday.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Does it feel like summer by you yet? ¬†

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza

I have a thing for hummus. A big thing. We’re talking I can’t buy a package at the store and not eat it all in a day kind of thing. What can I say whether it’s on veggies, chips, spoons, or fingers I just can’t stop. You know what else hummus is good on? Pizza.¬†

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza- A quick and easy gluten free pizza on the grill

 

What could be better than a chewy, gluten free, flatbread crust cooked fresh on the grill. Said crust slathered in hummus and covered with veggies sounds like a good option to me. This has all the flavors of a greek salad, piled high on a bed of garlicky hummus, and quickly grilled for summertime perfection.

Gluten Free Mediterranean Pizza- a quick and easy gluten free grilled pizza with all the flavors of summer

 

To make a pizza crust I typically use King Arthur or Namaste¬†pizza crust mixes, according to package directions. I like to make enough for 4 thin, 6-inch crusts, pre-bake them for half the recommended time, and then freeze the ones I’m not using for a quick dinner at a late time (I’ve kept them in a freezer bag for up to a month). They can go straight from the freezer to the oven of the grill.

 

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza

 

Mediterranean Grilled Pizza 

Makes 2, 6-inch pizzas

Time: 15 minutes

Recipe labels

Ingredients 

2 Gluten Free Pizza crusts (a pita or a naan flatbread would work well too)

1/2 cup hummus (I’ve been loving this one from Annie’s Eats lately)

1 small tomato, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced

1/4 red onion thinly sliced or diced

4-6 kalamata olives, sliced

2 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled

Preheat your grill to medium heat, and make sure your racks are clean! Place crusts on grill for two minutes on one side. Remove from heat and spread hummus evenly over the grilled side of each crust. Return to grill for another two minutes to cook other side. When crust is brown and crispy around the edges remove from heat and top evenly with veggies and crumbled cheese. Serve immediately.

The nice thing about pizza is it is so easy to customize. I don’t like olives or onions, so I didn’t put any on mine (even if they’re traditional in Greek salad). Feel free to throw on whatever veggies/cheese you like, it’s really all about the grilled crust and the melty hummus anyways ūüėČ

Do you like grilled pizza? What’s your favorite summer pizza topping?

Linking up with Gluten Free Friday at Vegetarian Mamma¬†and Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener¬†¬†because who doesn’t love pizza to get the weekend started?!

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles

You’d think with this sudden influx of spare time post-graduation I’d be a better blogger…. it’s been one of those weeks where stacks of books have been calling my name and piles of life are begging to be organized. It’s also been one of those weeks where I’ve been largely unplugged. Minimal Instagram, Netflix, and yes blogging has been a nice change of pace though I’m starting to miss you guys.

At least I came back with a treat? 

Slices of Sarah Pie-Gluten Free Waffles

These waffles have been a long time coming here (seriously I think it’s been about a month) but I promise they’re worth the wait. They are light and crispy, taste delicious on their own or covered in strawberries and butter and syrup. They also freeze beautifully which was great when I was stretched for time in the mornings before my medical placement, seriously just pull one from the freezer and pop it in the toaster, they’re as easy as Ego’s.

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles

Makes: 10-12 medium waffles

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour (I’m loving Namaste brand right now)

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil or whatever you have in your pantry)

3/4 cup almond milk

1/4-1/2 cup water* 

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Turn your waffle iron on to preheat. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Add in oil and egg and stir to combine. Add in milk of your choice. *At this point you may need to add 1/4+ of water depending on your flour blend and the milk you choose, the batter will be thick enough to drop by spoonfuls into the waffle iron*

Add 1/4 cup of batter to your waffle iron and cook until your desired level of doneness- mine takes about 4 minutes- serve warm with desired toppings. If you want to freeze, allow to cool fully before placing in a freezer bag. You can then reheat in the toaster as desired.

Slices of Sarah Pie- Gluten Free Waffles

 

 

What’s your favorite waffle topping?¬†

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie

One of the (many) things I’m not loving about my medical placement is how much it has killed my appetite. My supervisor is fantastic and I’m enjoying working with some of the patients (even when they call me names). But if feeding people who are no longer able to do so themselves wasn’t enough to kill my appetite the smell in the place surely is…

I was already used to a “grab and go” lunch schedule from when I worked in the schools, but since starting here I’ve dropped from grab and go to go go go with no time or desire to stop for lunch. Which means a BIG breakfast is key for keeping me on my feet all day.

strawberry_spinach_smothie2

The BF got me a blender with this awesome single serve attachment for our anniversary this year, and now that it’s finally stopped snowing around here I’ve been drinking my breakfast like nobody’s business.

I like a smoothie that packs a punch in terms of flavor, and has enough in it to actually count as a meal (or in my case two). A combination of fruits and greens does just that, with some chia seeds for an added boost.

strawberry_spinach_smoothie

And of course it wouldn’t count as breakfast in my book if I didn’t add some tea in (though no worries there’s a mug on the side as well) ūüėČ

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie

Serves: 1

Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

1 small, ripe, banana

1 cup spinach leaves

5-6 strawberries (add more if your berries are small)

1 TBSP Chia Seeds (1 TBSP flax seeds OR 1/4 oatmeal would add a good boost too)

1 cup Ginger tea (or 1 TBSP fresh ginger and 1 cup water)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Can be made the night before if stored in an airtight container.

What’s your favorite thing to make in a blender?

What’s something that totally kills your appetite?¬†

Crunchy Kale Slaw

Confession time: I grew up thinking I didn’t like coleslaw. I know very un-American of me, but somehow I’ve managed to survive all these years of picnics without it. Truth be told I don’t think I’ve ever tried the traditional, creamy, white, kind because I’m really not the biggest fan of mayonnaise (I know the horror).¬†coleslaw3

This slaw has none of the traditional mayo (or cabbage for that matter) but it does has a fantastic fresh flavor, a wonderful tang, and a boatload of fresh veggies. I even threw in some sunflower seeds for good measure ūüôā

Crunchy Kale Slaw

Serves 6

Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 12oz package Broccoli Slaw

1 12 oz package Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch (sub ~3 cups shredded kale and ~1 cup shredded purple cabbage)

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

3 TBSP Honey

3 TBSP Olive Oil

1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels

1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

In a large serving bowl combine veggies, mustard, honey, and olive oil. Toss thoroughly to coat (your clean hands work great for mixing everything in there). Gently mix in sunflower seeds and cranberries, saving some to garnish the top.

*Note:¬†If¬†you’re making this for a party (or an occasion where you want it to look pretty) don’t mix in the cranberries until the very end because they tend to bleed their color a bit as they sit.¬†

coleslaw1

Confession (part two): I had this recipe planned to share this recipe before I knew Davida was collecting green foods this week, but since she’s such a wonderful hostess I figured I should go ahead and join the party anyways!

Do you like classic coleslaw? How about mayonnaise in general? What’s your favorite green food?

WIAW #36: Recipe Roundup and Chocolate Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Good morning! I’ve decided another perk of having only a four day week this week is that two days in I’m already halfway done and when the week has more meetings and classes than therapy time with my kiddos I’m definitely okay with that.

This has been one of those weeks where I didn’t get into the kitchen much. Between work, snow, BF time, and job apps it just hasn’t been a huge priority. As such there have been some of the usual quick eats…

wiaw1

There was (obviously) tea, #publicbanana’s, and some arrowroot cookies

And then there were the recipes that belong to other people. You gotta love being able to pull out some quick favorites when there’s no inspiration and ¬†no groceries in the house. Eats have included a few of my mom’s favorites from around the web and a quick revamp of one of mine.

reciperpundup1

Chocolate Cherry Baked Oatmeal, 3 Bean Chili, and Baked Polenta Pie

I took a pretty standard (and tasty) baked oatmeal recipe and dressed it up a bit to enjoy on my morning commute this week.

chocolate_cherry_bakedoatmeal2

Because breakfast is always better with chocolate ūüėČ

Chocolate Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Makes 12, 30 minutes

Ingredients 

2 ripe bananas

1 egg

3/4 cup water

1 tsp almond extract

2 cups GF oats

2 tsp cinnamon

1 TBSP Honey

1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries*

1/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*. Combine egg, water, and mashed banana in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in oats, almond extract, cinnamon, and honey and mix to combine (the batter will look very wet). Gently stir in cherries and chocolate chips. Line a muffin tin with liners (or spray with cooking spray) and evenly divide batter among 12 cups. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

* I used unsweetened/unsulfered dark cherries from Trader Joes, if you use sweetened ones you may not need the honey*

Resist the urge to stuff your face as soon as they come out of the oven totally burn the roof of your mouth with chocolate oatmeal goodness.

chocolate_cherry_bakedoatmeal

[adapted from Sprint to the Table]

I’m still a little short on the veggies so far this week, but at least I’m doing better getting in some food… Grab and Go bites have been a lifesaver in that regard! As always I’m linking up with the party at Jenn’s so be sure to swing by and see what everyone else has been eating this week.