overnight pumpkin spice oats

breakfast, recipes, snacks

This time of year I crave all things pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin chili, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin curry, pumpkin pancakes – sweet or savory, the options are endlessly mouthwatering. It is finally pumpkin season, and the reasons to celebrate are many.

Pumpkin is all that it is cracked up to be- and more. It’s quite magical really, and therefore it’s OK to be totally obsessed with this season’s superfood. Pumpkin will help you feel feel fuller, longer. It packs dietary fiber and is a low calorie food, keeping that waistline in check. It can boost vision, as one cup packs more than 200% of your daily Vitamin A.  Pumpkins can help lower blood pressure, help you sleep better, promote a healthy heart, alleviate constipation and/or diarrhea (like I said, it’s magical), restore your body’s balance of electrolytes and boost your mood.

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This recipe for pumpkin spice oats is simple and quick because it is prepared the night before and includes only five baseline ingredients; oats, pumpkin, yogurt, chia seeds and milk.  Your body will reap the benefits of fiber (thank you, oats), healthy omega fats (thank you, chia seeds) and satisfying plant-nutrition (thank you, pumpkin and yogurt). Overnight, the oats and seeds are soaked into the pumpkin, yogurt and milk, which means that the oats become deliciously soft, creamy and easy to digest. The chia seeds expand and create a pudding type texture that will have you wanting it every day of the week.

Ingredients

3/4 cup gluten free oats

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

1/3 cup dairy-free plain yogurt (I really like this coconut yogurt, but soy yogurt is also delicious and a bit easier to find)

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/2 tsp of each, sprinkle in some cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove

Method

Are you ready for the easiest thing ever?

Place all of the base ingredients in a jar and stir them all together. Secure the lid and pop in the fridge to store overnight or for at least a few hours. The End. Really!

Extra cinnamon, pecans or raw pumpkin seeds are the perfect toppings for this pumpkin spice recipe. Feel free to experiment with what you like and what you have on hand: almond butter, sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut chips, or drizzle some honey or agave nectar. Make it a dessert with some carob or dark chocolate chips.

With all overnight oats, the toppings are endless, click here to see a Kilts+Kale post for a basic overnight oats recipe.

Notes

If you tolerate dairy, use your favorite yogurt and milk

If plain yogurt is not your favorite, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract or stevia to add more flavor

If your oats are a bit thicker than you would like in the morning, just add some milk and stir in until you find a consistency that you like

I hope you enjoy this fall treat and this first weekend of October!

x

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grilled vegetable skewers with spicy tofu

mains, recipes

Warm weather is made for grilling. This weekend, as we celebrate the first official day of summer, we are definitely in the mood for grilling, even if the clouds and breeze are hanging out in Scotland today. I love to grill because basically, everything and anything you can imagine can be cooked on the grates of a grill – often times with amazing results. A summer salad gets a little crunch with a handful of grilled kale… delicious. Even desserts get a little more interesting when charred, grilled peaches on ice cream anyone?

Firm tofu and if you tolerate dairy, halloumi cheese, are great vegetarian options for grilling because they are firm enough to hold their shape as they cook. The spiciness and saltiness of the tofu (or hallolumi) in this recipe balance out the sweetness from the peppers, courgette and red onion.

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INGREDIENTS

For Vegetables

2 medium courgettes, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices

2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

2 large red onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp salt + pepper

metal or wooden skewers (soaked in warm water 30 minutes if wooden)

For Tofu

1 package (350g) firm tofu, diced into 1-inch cubes

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp cumin + garlic salt

1/2 tsp red chili powder

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METHOD

Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).

Place the zucchini, red onion and bell pepper in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle salt + pepper. Gently toss to combine.

In separate bowl, combine cubed tofu, olive oil, cumin, garlic salt and chili powder.

Arrange vegetables and tofu onto soaked bamboo skewers (keeps them from sticking too much). Grill kebabs on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using gas grill, turning over once, until vegetables are tender, 6 to 10 minutes (timing will vary among vegetables).

Serve with brown rice and spinach.

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NOTES

* Mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and squash would make great additions
* Skewers can be prepped 1 day ahead, chilled and covered
* If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, place skewers onto lightly greased tray and cook under the grill for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tofu is golden and the veg are soft, turning halfway through.

zesty quinoa and black bean bowl

mains, recipes, salads

Quino-what? Quinoa might be hard to pronounce but don’t let that keep you from giving it a try. This ancient grain turned superfood has definitely grown in popularity and can be a great gluten free option. We enjoy this recipe as a weekly staple because it is so easy to toss together and great on a budget. I love the subtle crunch of the quinoa and pumpkin seeds, the bright vegetables, and satisfying plant-based protein along with healthy omega fats. Inspired by the flavors of the US southwest, this Tex-Mex recipe is a comfort away from home.

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INGREDIENTS

240g black beans

200g quinoa

2 bell peppers, diced

1 medium red onion, diced

cherry tomatoes, halved

2-3 small avocados, cubed

pumpkin seeds

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SEASONING

olive oil

garlic salt

lime juice

cumin

red chili powder

cilantro

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METHOD

Prepare quinoa on stovetop based on package directions

On medium heat, sauté diced bell pepper and red onion

In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, beans, grilled onion and peppers, cherry tomatoes and cubed avocado

Toss the above mixture with tablespoon olive oil, juice from one lime, sprinkle desired amount of garlic salt, a tablespoon of cumin and a dash of red chili pepper and fresh cilantro. Top with pumpkin seeds.

NOTES

If you are using dried beans, soak them the night before so they will be easier to cook and can help with bloating and gas. In the UK it can be difficult to find black beans, red kidney beans would make a good substitute.

All ingredients for the seasoning can be adjusted for personal taste and spice levels.

Have a delicious weekend!

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beetroot hummus

dips, recipes, snacks

Some people are terrified of beets.  Fair enough, they have a habit of bleeding over everything (my white cutting board loves this), they look a little out of this world and unfortunately, the pickled-vinegary-crinkle-cut variety have caused most people to turn them down. You might have even had a nightmare or two about being stranded at Dwight Schrute’s beet farm. Whatever it is, can I encourage you to give beets another chance? Beetroot is a unique combination of sweetness and earthiness. They provide our bodies with high-levels of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene and folic acid. Beets can be pressed into fresh juices and, believe it or not, added to chocolate cake and brownie recipes. They can also boost our mental health, lower blood pressure and fight off cancer! Enough said. Aside from their shared earthiness, beetroot and cumin could not be more different. The sweetness of beetroot is spiced up by cumin’s smoky edge and is deliciously creamy when mixed with chickpeas. It’s the perfect dip for a healthy snack or addition to supper. Ingredients  200g roasted beetroot / 2 medium  150g chickpeas 1 large garlic glove, crushed 50g almonds or walnuts 1 tablespoon cumin lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil sea salt and ground pepper IMG_2372 Method Beetroots can be cooked in the oven at 200ºC/400ºF for about 45 minutes, but I prefer to sautée them on the cooktop on medium heat with olive oil until tender. Either way, the beetroot should be soft not shrunk. Once cooked, leave on the side to cool. In a food processor, blend the nuts into chunky crumbs. Add the beetroot, chickpeas, and 1/2 of the garlic, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend in the processor until the ingredients form a thick pasty texture. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. I take more of everything and add the remaining 1/2 of the ingredients; garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper and even a little parsley. If you find that the dip is too thick, continue by adding 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil at a time and pulsating in the food processor until your desired consistency. IMG_2143 Notes We enjoyed this hummus with organic gluten-free oatcakes. It could also be  served with warm pitta bread, spread on chunky seeded toast or scooped on top of a fresh spring salad. If you are not dairy-free or vegan, try topping with crumbled goat cheese for an extra flare of flavor.