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Awesome Autumn Breakfast Bowl

 

Autumn Breakfast Bowl

How is it almost October already???!!!

This summer just flew by and I completely neglected my newsletter and blog. I had to take a break and give space for some new inspiration to come in. I am incredibly impatient so stepping back, making space and waiting is NOT my strong suit.

However, it was worth the wait and I have some exciting classes, programs and projects on the horizon for 2016. Now you just have to be patient until I can tell you about them 🙂

In the meantime, I’m back in action with a stockpile of rad recipes and helpful articles to get you back in the kitchen and treating your body well with real, whole foods.

I just got back from a fantastic long weekend retreat with two dear girlfriends and fellow owners. We spent four days in a lovely cabin settled in the woods. We planned this trip back in May with the intention of getting away and focusing on projects for the coming year. And boy, were we productive!

We brainstormed a new program during morning walks, clarified what direction we want our businesses to go in 2016, wrote articles, ebooks and handbooks. Despite all the work we of course also had loads of fun, laughed a ton, went on walks, did yoga, Tarot card readings, watched deer from the deck and most importantly, ate some really incredible food.

We didn’t plan a menu or really have any idea what were going to eat while on our little work retreat. Instead, we grabbed what we had from our refrigerators, pantries and CSA boxes, and let the food dictate our meals. It worked beautifully!

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I want to tell you about the porridge that I made during our retreat that turned out so beautifully, we all snapped pictures before digging in. It was literally, autumn in a bowl and I think I might eat this again and again until spring rounds the corner in several months.

I used leftover rice from our dinner the night before, warmed with coconut milk, cinnamon and maple syrup. In order to cook the butternut squash quickly, I sliced it about the thickness of a pencil and roasted it together with sliced apple at a high heat. Toasted almond slivers is something I have on hand all the time – they are the perfect addition to salads, puddings and porridge dishes. They are easy to make in a dry pan and store well in jars.

While I eat eggs for breakfast nearly every morning, I was surprised that this porridge filled me up and kept me satisfied for several hours. Plus, it was a great way to get some veggies in for breakfast!

Enjoy a little morning retreat with this special Awesome Autumn Breakfast Bowl. What other things would you top this dish off with?

Awesome Autumn Breakfast Bowl

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

half a small-medium butternut squash
half of an apple
coconut oil
2 1/2 cups cooked rice (brown or white, quinoa or millet would work as well)
1/2-3/4 coconut milk, canned, full fat
generous pinch of cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
toasted almond slivers, chia and hemp seeds
1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel butternut squash and cut into bite-sized pieces. Remove core from apple and cut into bite sized pieces as well. Toss butternut squash and apple and place on baking sheet with a few small scoops of coconut oil. Place pan in oven and set timer for 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, remove the pan, toss the squash and apple with the melted oil. Place back in oven for another 8-10 minutes, or until squash begins to soften. Once soft, turn on broiler and brown the squash and apple mixture for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside
  4. While the squash and apple are in the oven, warm the rice in a pot with the coconut milk. Once warm add cinnamon and maple syrup. Set stovetop temperature to low to keep rice warm until squash and apple are done.
  5. To serve, fill bowls with rice and top with squash and apple. Garnish with toasted almond slivers, hemp and chia seeds. For added sweetness drizzle with a touch of maple syrup. You can also add a dollop of peanut butter for extra protein. Enjoy the abundant bowl of autumn goodness!
Comments { 2 } · Posted on September 29, 2015 in Healthy Recipes

Tasty trail mix with toasted coconut

Food….I never leave home without it!

No matter where I go I always have some sort of snack stashed in my purse. If I’m on the run all day I pack a whole grocery bag of goodies. Yes, it might seem a little much but it certainly saves me from scrounging for something while I’m out and about and my blood sugar start going dangerously low.

I used to not be this prepared. In the past I wouldn’t eat until my blood sugar was dangerously low – I would feel tired, my heart would start beating faster and I would get the worst case of hangry (hungry AND angry). My friends and family knew that when my eyes started to glaze over and my sense of humor disappeared it was time to feed Tanya. NOW!

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When you’re constantly fighting that blood sugar roller coaster you will always default to the worst choice possible – chocolate bars, blueberry muffins, coffee cake and ice cream will be your defaults. These were my regular snacks and meals for a long time. Nearly 10 years ago when Mr. Wes and I first met he wooed me with candy gummies, lollipops, candy bars and scooter crunch ice cream. I kid you not! He put boxes of candy in the interoffice mail to me when we worked together and met me in my college parking lot after class with a cooler full of ice cream. We laugh now that my standards are much higher now so he has to work a little harder!

My favorite snack to keep on hand is trail mix. Sure, there are plenty of ready made trail mixes to buy and some stores even have “trail mix bars” where you can mix your own. However, those nuts are usually salted and roasted in low quality oils. Some even have sugar, preservatives and other funky ingredients in them. I say, save your money and mix your own!

The secret ingredient to my trail mix is toasted coconut. Coconut contains lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid which increases HDL (good) cholesterol and is utilized as a source of energy instead of being stored as fat. Plus, it’s delicious!

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So, before you get hangry, get these ingredients and make your own totally tasty trail mix! These are the ingredients I like to use but you can certainly experiment and make your own. In the comments below tell me what you like to add to your trail mix.

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Tasty Trail Mix with Toasted Coconut

Ingredients 

Handful of each of the following:
large coconut flakes (make sure they are unsweetened)
cashews and almonds
pumpkin seeds
raw cacao nibs or chocolate chips (I like The Good Life brand)
Raisins and chopped dried apricots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place coconut on a baking sheet and toast for 5-6 minutes. It will brown VERY quickly so keep a close eye on it. You want it to brown very slightly.
  2. Mix the nuts, seeds, cocoa nibs or chocolate chips, raisins and dried apricots in a large bowl. Add the toasted coconut and mix until well combined.
  3. Store your trail mix in jars or divide up into baggies for easy grab and go. Enjoy!
Comments { 0 } · Posted on November 7, 2013 in General, Healthy Recipes

Banana Almond Muffins

If your idea of morning breakfast is a cup of coffee and a morning pastry then I’m willing to guess that you’re ready for a snooze come noon. Our morning staples of caffeine, carbs and sugar get us out the door but leave us fried, frazzled and searching for the office candy bowl before lunchtime. Sound familiar?

What you nourish your body with first thing in the morning will determine your mood, focus and energy for the rest of the day. When you wake up in the morning you haven’t eating for at least 8-10 hours or more. Your body has been fasting and needs some good quality protein, complex carbs and healthy fats to get the engine running and humming until lunchtime.

That is why I love these Banana Almond Muffins for breakfast. The almonds are a great source of protein and heart healthy fats and the bananas provide powerful potassium, which is important for your cardiovascular system. Cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar, which is crucially important first thing in the morning. Paired with some natural peanut butter or honey these muffins make the perfect breakfast or late morning snack. They also happen to be gluten free. If that is something you are interested in experimenting with then these are a great way to start.

Banana Almond Muffins

Ingredients
1/4 cup plain organic yogurt or milk (dairy, rice, hemp, almond and coconut milk all work as well)
1-2 TBS. honey or real maple syrup
3 eggs, beaten
3 mashed extra-ripe bananas (looking really brown and splotchy)
3 cups ground almond flour or almond meal (Bob’s Red Mill is a good brand)
Pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 12 cupcake liners into a muffin tin.
  2. Mix together yogurt, eggs, and bananas in large bowl and stir until well combined. Mix almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and walnuts into the wet ingredients.
  3. Pour batter the lined muffin tin and bake 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Place muffins on a wire rack and let cool completely.
Comments { 1 } · Posted on May 4, 2013 in Healthy Recipes

Let them eat truffles!

“Do You Eat Brownies???”

Last week I attended a women’s business conference and this question came up when the person learned that I work in the nutrition field. I get this question pretty regularly in different forms….”do you eat chocolate? Do your clients have to give up sweets? Can you tell me how to say no to chocolate chip cookies? Please tell me you eat dessert!”

So, I’m going to declare it right here. I, Tanya McCausland eat dessert!

Sweets and treats are part of exploring and savoring amazing food. When we deprive ourselves of the occasional piece of chocolate we’re setting ourselves up to inhale the entire bar. Yeah, we’ve all been there!

This week I’ve been in San Francisco visiting with some of my dearest friends. One of our favorite things to do is cook and enjoy a meal together. There is something absolutely magical about roasting potatoes, chopping herbs and grilling fresh sausages and is amazingly heartwarming and soothing – especially when you’re doing it in a tiny but bright San Francisco apartment kitchen! Alas, no meal is complete without a sweet treat at the end. The other evening we shared some amazing dark chocolate with almonds and dried cherries while we finished our wine and laughed late into the night. It was fantastic in every way possible!

So yes, this girl DOES eat dessert. But, I have standards that make eating it enjoyable instead of totally shameful.

How to Eat Dessert

1) Spot Cravings: How do you feel when you go scouting out the office candy bowl? Are you angry, frustrated, stressed, sad, tired? We tend to reach for the treats when things aren’t going our way. But, guess what? After you inhale the Snickers Bar you’ll still be angry, frustrated, sad and tired. Weird how that works, right? Instead, address your feelings with an appropriate action like taking a 10 minute walk outside, talking it out with a colleague, taking three cleansing breaths or even looking up cute kitty pictures on Pinterest. Or, do all three!

2) Splurge: There is a ton of cheap, crappy candy out there. Don’t fall for $2 bags of mini chocolate bars or 2 for 1 deal. Your body is not a garbage disposal so don’t treat it like one by feeding it junk. Your body deserves only the best and that includes the best chocolate you can find! Go for quality, not quantity. Spend the extra couple bucks on the “fancy” organic dark chocolate bar or the macaroon from a local coffee shop. Then, move on to step 3.

3) Savor: Now with your treat in hand take time to really enjoy it instead of inhaling it in mere seconds. That little piece of luxury deserves full attention! Sit down, and deeply inhale the deliciousness you’re about to eat (yes, I said smell your food!) and then take a bite. Close your eyes and thoroughly enjoy the taste and texture of this amazing treat you just took the time to savor.

4) Share: Eating is a communal activity and that includes dessert! It’s much more satisfying, enjoyable and profoundly feeds the soul when we can share food with another person. Cut your muffin in half and offer it to your office mate, share dessert with your love (one spoon only!) and crack open that bar of chocolate when the girls come over for dinner.

5) Stir up Your Own: While I have a serious weakness for a good bar of dark chocolate, I do love stirring up my own sweet treats. Unfortunately (well, fortunately) I’m not much of a baker so my oven doesn’t see much cookie or cake action. But, I do make one tasty truffle! My Chocolate Chia Truffles are delicious and super simple. If you can push the button on your food processor you’ve got what it takes to make truffles. By the way, this recipe presents a great opportunity to invite your kids into the kitchen with you. Just beware of those messy fingers!

Chocolate Chia Seed Truffles

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups pitted dates, chopped
ÂĽ cup unsweetened raw cacao or cocoa powder
½ cup whole chia seeds
½ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1 cup raw slivered almonds (can also use raw cashews, pistachios or walnuts)
½ cup shredded coconut for dusting

Instructions:

  • Soak chopped dates in hot water for about 10 minutes
  • Strain dates (reserve water) and puree in food processor until thick paste forms
  • Add cocoa powder, chia seeds and vanilla extract. Pulse until combined.
  • Add reserved liquid if needed. Add only a very small amount at a time so mixture doesn’t get too soft
  • Add almonds; pulse until well distributed throughout mixture
  • Form mixture into small balls and roll in shredded coconut
  • Place on wax paper in single layer and chill in refrigerator for about one hour. Place them in containers with lids. These will keep for about a week in the fridge.
Comments { 0 } · Posted on May 2, 2013 in Healthy Recipes