“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.” ― Yogi Berra

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Pumpkin Pie Inspired Overnight Oats

I’ve make my overnight oats (listed below) a little more interesting and this week as I was cleaning out my pantry I found a can of pumpkin puree, one thing let to another and I made 7 jars (there are exactly seven 1/4 cup servings in the average Libby can) of overnight oats:

Base recipe:

  • 1/4 cup Quaker quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (plus 1/4 cup more the next morning)

Pumpkin Pie Inspired Oats:

  • 1/4 cup Quaker quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you don’t have the real stuff, that’s ok, sometimes I don’t have the scheckles for it either – use what you got)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (plus 1/4 cup more the next morning)

Like usual, mix all the ingredients, refrigerate overnight and add 1/4-1/2 cup extra milk in the morning because most of the liquid will be absorbed by the oats, chia seeds, and ground flaxseeds — the texture will be very creamy and dense like a pudding!

Hope you try it, hope you like it, if you do – I’d be super geeked to know about it :)And remember – tweak it to your tastes – if you want more nuts, add more nuts, more pumpkin spice, do it! Taste -don’t wait until morning, taste as you go 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Is it strange that while I remember the movie Disturbia I do NOT remember Shia LaBeouf’s character being named Kale? Kale. Yup.

I love kale and I feel that sometimes people get annoyed with the love people have for kale, but you know what? My love for kale can’t be bothered. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Why do I love kale so much? It’s a freaking super food – it’s low in calories, insanely high in vitamin A (206% in just one cup), tons of vitamin C and it’s a fantastic source of minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Plus, it’s super versatile – you can add it to smoothies/juices, mince it thinly and add it to pastas, soups, salads, steam it, saute it, blend it into sauces or add it to eggs in the morning (which is so amazingly delicious – I’ll post more on this later).

Anywhoo, here is a quick pasta recipe using kale – I love recipes where I can swap things out – so feel free to make it your own. For example, use shrimp instead of chicken if that’s what you have on hand or what you are craving. Or you can put more of an Italian twist and swap out the smoked paprika for fennel seeds, parsley, and basil. Or you can swap out the rigatoni for orzo or brown rice – the carb choice is up to you, my friend. And if you choose to leave out carbs it’ll still be tasty, I promise. No rules here, just good food 🙂

IImageServes: 4-5 people
Prep: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Marinade (at least 1 hour before cooking, the more time – the better):
2-4 raw skinless and boneless chicken breasts (thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons dried roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pasta:
1/2 box of Barilla Rigatoni Pasta (make sure it’s a little under cooked aka al dente)
1/2 a medium onion diced
3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 cups/ approx. 15 small button mushrooms (thick slices)
2 cups finely minced raw kale
1 cup/1 medium zucchini (thinly sliced)

Annnnnnd here we go!
1. Cook pasta and make sure it’s slightly under cooked because it will be put in a hot pan later on.
2. Heat a medium-to-large sauce pan on medium heat.
3. Once the pan is hot, add the marinated chicken and cook thoroughly.
4. After the chicken is cooked add the onion and garlic – 2 minutes.
5. Add the mushrooms and a splash (1/4 cup) water and cover with lid. – 2 minutes.
6. Add zucchini – mix everything really well in the pan. Cover. 2 minutes. Make sure to not overcook it.
7. Uncover. Add pasta and combine everything making sure the pasta is mixed in really well. 2 minutes.
8. Toss in finely sliced kale. The steam and heat from everything will wilt the kale. 1-2 minutes.
9. Shut off heat. All done!

Happy Kale Adventures!

“The people! The people they want the pepper, alright? They want the pepper! I grind the pepper! That is the job of the pepper boy, you understand?!” — Marco (SNL Pepper Boy)

ImageGreen Thai Chili Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Thai chilies (this can be less or more depending on how spicy you like things and keep in mind as the days go by the flavors will grow stronger)
  • 4 thinly sliced cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 of a small onion sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional if you want a lower-sodium option)

Shake up in a jar and leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours for the flavors to really develop – it’ll be hot, sweet, sour and garlicky.

I enjoy it on salads and as a quick marinade. I also love to drizzle it on cucumber and other veggies.  I just used 2 tablespoons of this when I cooked 2 chicken breasts in the pan – all I did was use Mazola spray oil, added the skinless and boneless chicken breasts into the hot pan and let them brown on each side then added a 1/4 water and 2 tablespoons of this vinaigrette and it was deliciously spicy 🙂

Here’s the pic:

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It’s up to you if you want to use it as a dressing or if you really like heat and spice you might want sprinkle some chilies on what you’re eating, just be careful they’re super spicy 😉

“You can use those oats to make oatmeal, bread, whatever you want. I don’t care. They’re your oats.” — Dwight Schrute

For years I was a savory breakfast person – I loved making a massive meal out of breakfast. For example – omelet with sautéed kale, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese in the middle of two slices of whole grain toast and homemade salsa verde and fresh coffee with French vanilla creamer. Or how about scrambled eggs and spinach tacos with homemade chipotle salsa and chocolate iced coffee? Delicious, right? Healthy? Not really – I was in school and working which meant I was on my ass all day and not burning any of that off.

So why the change? Long story, long – I had a health scare this past year and I finally decided to take my health back and make some changes. My mother, who has been having oatmeal for breakfast for years, inspired this recipe.

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Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup Quaker quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (plus 1/4 cup more the next morning)

You can use any milk – if I’m feeling extra healthy I use unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk, but the choice is really yours.

Refrigerate overnight. I like to prep them in mason jars (pint/16 oz jars) – I usually prep enough jars for the week that way I don’t slip back into my not-so-health ways.

In the morning, I usually add a sliced banana and 1/4 cup (to 1/2 cup) extra milk since most the milk is absorbed by the oats and chia seeds overnight – it can be warmed up but I like cold oatmeal.

Here are some other options ingredients you can add during prep:

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds/walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cranberries or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter (good source of protein and it has a nice texture)
  • 1 tablespoon of your dried fruit of choice (I limit it to 1 tablespoon because dried fruit tends to be high in sugar and a little goes a long way)
  • **Update** 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice = pumpkin pie overnight oats!! Yum City!

And you can change up the fruit you add in the morning (I don’t recommend adding fruit in before the morning since it will probably get mushy or brown).

Here are some fruit ideas (no matter the fruit it’s usually a 1/4-1/2 cup serving for each and I do one kind of fruit at a time):

  • Diced apple (honeycrisp and granny smith are some of my favorite to mix in because they’re so crispy in texture)
  • Diced peaches (this tastes even more delicious when you add a 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger)
  • Blueberries (amazing and super healthy when you mix this with a tablespoon of walnuts)
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis (this one I don’t measure – a small one is usually perfect)
  • Pineapple (I love pairing it with a tablespoon of slivered almonds and a teaspoon of toasted coconut)
  • Diced mango
  • Or whatever you favorite fruit is 🙂

I changed up my breakfast routine this year but I haven’t compromised having a hearty and delicious breakfast – make it your own, combine your favorite things – I’ve tweaked this recipe for a while and it’s really flexible, so I’m sure you’ll make it your own and really be surprised at how exciting prepping different combinations will be.