When you have a house full of guests for the holidays, a batch of healthy and delicious baked oatmeal will get everyone going with little effort on your part.
I’ve hosted countless holiday meals at my house, Thanksgiving being one of my favorites. I wake up early and head into the kitchen and open the groaning stocked fridge to begin preparing for the days big meal. Then one by one sleepy heads would wander up to the counter looking for the start to their day. Oh right. What to make for breakfast?
Without a doubt no one would starve that day, but it always seemed wrong to me that with so much wonderful food around I would subject my morning lovelies to cold cereal. Then again- who had the time, or counter space for making a full on breakfast?
I love baked oatmeal. You may prepare it the evening before and then pop the whole thing into the oven when you rise. In 30-40 minutes you have a warm breakfast that fills the house with good smells right from the get go. The dish is loaded with fiber, protein and is not overly sweet. This low glycemic meal will fuel everyone beautifully for the day ahead, while leaving room for the indulgences later on.
It is wise for a cook to have a few tricks up their sleeve. You know the type- it’s the “oh goodness, what do I do with these beautiful vegetables??” Now that it’s getting cold out turning on the oven is far more appealing. The best part of that is when your vegetable bin has a few bits and pieces lying in it, roasting is your best friend. A simple rough chop, a toss with a tablespoon of neutral oil, then spread onto a sheet pan and toss into the oven. Do them for dinner, and save the remains to brighten up your lunch plate.
Once you’ve got a nice pile of caramelized lovely bits, blend together this gorgeous sauce and douse the whole lot. This dressing is a riff on Caesar that you will simply adore. It’s the umami, salty addition of anchovy paste that brings out the best in everything. No worries- not a fishy smell or taste to turn your nose, just a rich flavor that broadens the taste of everything it touches.
Cream Peas are a variety of field peas. Of course you have heard of black eye peas, which, as a born New Yorker, was all that I knew of “peas”. But now that I live in the South, there are all sorts of peas to choose from. Crowder, Purple Hull, Speckled Butter Beans, Pink Eyed Peas are just some of them. When the farmers market is in swing you can purchase bushels of peas and hull them yourself. A job that makes for some good porch sittin’. Personally I purchase my peas already out of the shell. They are not cheap, but certainly worth my money versus the amount of time it would take to work through that pile of long slender pods.
There are many traditional recipes for field peas. Hoppin’ John and Succotash are the most common, but when I asked around at the market, the most advised method was to cook up some bacon and fry up the boiled peas in the grease with some garlic and onion. There is nothing wrong with that- but somehow I felt these delicate Cream Peas were just to subtle and lovely to take on that heaviness. Cream peas have a tender mush to them, and a mild flavor that I felt didn’t need clobbering with a heavy hand.
On another day I would have added some rice along with the peas to round out the salad, but after I made the batch they were just too good on their own. This bowl of peas lasted a few days in our fridge. Most landed by the scoopful over greens at dinner, or with rice and egg for breakfast. They have enough texture not to fall apart, but are still wonderfully creamy to eat.
Peas are loaded with fiber- 4g in this serving alone. They are also a good source of protein, vitamin C and Iron, and have a low glycemic load.
You may not find fresh Cream Peas out of the South, but you most certainly can try this recipe with Black-Eyed Peas or any other variety you may find. The best are fresh/frozen, but canned will do in a pinch. You can order dried Lady Cream Peas . They will work equally well. Just give yourself time to soak them. You can read more on cooking with dried peas/beans HERE.
- 1 lb Cream peas (also known as lady cream peas)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 sprigs lemon thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons grainy dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- In a medium/large pot, place fresh or frozen peas and cover with 2" of water. Add a quartered onion (no need to peel), 1 clove or smashed garlic, the lemon thyme and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the peas are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Drain the peas, remove the onion, thyme and garlic and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl combine the second clove of garlic, finely minced, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Whisk thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste.
- While the peas are still warm, toss with the dressing.
- Serve right away as a side dish, or keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Fresh or frozen peas are best. Canned work well too, please rinse well before using. You may also use dried peas.
Fall weather is made for soups, and this Sweet Potato Soup has all the earthiness and heartiness that you are looking for, while packed with nutritional goodness. It’s the coconut milk in this recipe that gives the sweet potato roundness and a velvet quality. It’s an aromatic combination that your kitchen will love.
To add some zest to your bowl, try a sprinkling of Dukkah. It’s a Middle Eastern spice/herb/nut blend. You may find pre-made versions of Dukkah or make your own, as I did HERE. My version is made with toasted hazelnuts, coriander, anise, purple basil, poppy seeds and pine nuts. A dusting is all it takes to add yet another layer of depth and delight to this dish. By the way- dukkah is great on a lot of things- it may be the best thing after your bottle of sriracha, or in our house, tabasco. It’s a way to add some zing without the heat. Continue Reading
A lot has been going on here. Due to the tremendous success of the 3 Day Cleanse Diet I’ve decided to create a monthly offering. However- many people were confused by the term “cleanse”- equating it to juicing, pain, suffering and horror.
What is the Tune Up Diet?
The point of the diet is really to give your system a break and help reset your inner balance. Juicing and extreme cleanses are quite popular these days. For some reason folks like to think that to be extremely healthy you need to extremely suffer. I don’t accept that for one moment.
Going to extremes may actually be quite UNhealthy for you- it actually stresses your system and can deplete you of essential vitamins and nutrients. If your juicing for days on end you’re depriving yourself of nutrients, let’s use the example of calcium. We need calcium for many functions, especially muscle contractions- like the one your heart does 70 or so times a minute. So where does that essential calcium come from? Right from your bones. Well that ok you think, what’s the big deal? Do you replace that calcium when your finally get around to enjoying some yogurt or a glass of milk? Nope. Very sadly, as adults, once calcium is removed it cannot be replaced.Buy Now
What is the answer?
The answer is to eat in balance. Wholesome healthy food in proper amounts.
Provided in the menus are three days of nutritious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, gut clearing fiber, protein, awesome carbohydrates and wonderful fats. The menus are moderate in calories, so you might lose a little weight, but that’s not the point. You’ll have energy and vitality to go through your day, get in your exercise, and play well with others.
How to get started?
To access the menus you must subscribe to be a member. There is just a small fee to gain access. You may sign up for a 3 month subscription for a mere $9. When you click on the link below it will take you to a sign up page, and within a short minute, you’re in!
If you are already a member of our Diabetic Friendly or Clean Eating menus you have automatic access to the Tune Up Diet. It’s a bonus feature I offer you as a thanks for being a loyal member.
I’m always here if you have any questions or if you want to offer me feedback. And if you like the menus, please tell your friends!
Welcome to the 3 Day Tune Up Diet! Please click on the links below to access your recipes and shopping list, then read on for some tips to get you started.
Printable Recipes: 3DayTuneup- Oct 14
Printable Shopping List: 3 Day Tune Up Diet shopping list
Let’s get started:
Plan ahead for the days you are going to focus on your challenge and try and not plan any social engagements, or plan any super strenuous workouts, but please get in moderate exercise. Try to think of this as a 3 day period to focus on “you”. Give yourself as much time and space as you can for this.
The day before you start, take inventory of your pantry and fridge. Use the check boxes on the shopping list so you know exactly what you need from the store. Once you’re home, try and place foods that are tempting, and perhaps trigger foods for you, out of sight. Then fill the front of your fridge with all those beautiful fruits and veggies you just bought. If you have the time, wash and trim the veggies so you are ready to go when you need them.
Within the recipes I’ve given some tips on how to make cooking more efficient and easier. Try and do as much preparation as you can, especially the night before on your lunch and snack menu if you need to take them with you to work. Try and enjoy the time it takes to prepare this food. Think of the act of cleaning, prepping and preparing this food as an act of giving to your healthy self.
You should eliminate all unnecessary caffeine from your day- none is the goal. If you are a heavy caffeine consumer, to cut back completely would be unpleasant, so work on dialing back a bit. Know that the less you intake the better- and maybe this will set you on a path to reducing that intake once the diet is over. Remember- sodas, many teas and, of course, coffee are the culprit. Feel free to drink flavored waters, herb teas (hot or iced) or plain fresh filtered water.
If you are hungry between meals you may snack on fruits, vegetables and gluten free crackers. A favorite snack of mine is ripe avocado spread on a rice cake. Though it’s okay to snack, I don’t want you to suffer needlessly, please remember to eat in moderation.
I created recipes that are comprised of foods that you should be able to find easily. If some items on the shopping list are tough to locate, or not your taste, you may substitute with a comparable alternative. For instance: My wife does not like salmon or melon- so for her I make shrimp and replace the melon with apples. I also had a hard time finding Ramen on short notice, so I made us a quinoa based pasta that was wonderful. Remember to stick to gluten, dairy and sugar free options.
There are nuts in these recipes. If you cannot or prefer not to consume them, replace them with a teaspoon or two of olive or grape seed oil.
For the healthiest foods it is best to prepare your own fresh recipes. The recipes are created for two servings. Please don’t be daunted by the amount of cooking. The recipes are really very easy to execute and don’t take huge amounts of time. I promise. In the notes area of many of the recipes I offer some tips to make the cooking process more time efficient.
Lastly: Please enjoy! These three days are a gift of health to yourself. Enjoy your time preparing fresh delicious food. And enjoy that you are doing something so good for yourself. You should feel really great about that!
Printable Recipes: 3DayTuneup- Oct 14
Printable Shopping List: 3 Day Tune Up Diet shopping list
If you enjoy our menus, please tell your friends. Nothing makes me happier than sharing health.
Ginger is thought to boost vitality and improve your digestion. Ginger is recommended to those who suffer from motion sickness, or having trouble with bloating and tummy distress. Ginger is also mind clearing due to its anti-inflammatory action and it’s peppery flavor and smell can trigger a more spritely attitude on it’s own.
To get more ginger into your diet simply grate fresh ginger right into a tablespoon or two of jam before adding it to your yogurt bowl. Top it off with some crunchy toasted almonds, a drizzle of local honey, and if a snippet of fresh mint were to land on top- well… what could be a better way to start your day?