Since my chore list has gotten increasing complex with time, I’ve developed a crazy love for simple things. Here’s a collection of my favorite, healthy, world’s-easiest recipes.
Nutty and slightly sweet…and my 2 year old will eat them, praise be.
What you need: chia seeds, ripe banana, sea salt
- 1/2 c. whole organic chia seeds (you can also use flax seeds)
- 1 medium, very ripe banana, mashed
- Sea salt to taste
Combine ingredients and press spoonfuls on a cookie sheet greased with coconut oil or olive oil. Make half-dollar sized rounds, pressed down as thinly as possible without separating the “dough.” Cook at 300 for 10 minutes, then at 350 for 10. (You can stop here, but I take them out, flip them, and cook them for 2-3 more minutes at 350). I like to get them as crispy as possible. Add a tiny bit of extra sea salt as they cool. Before you store, let them cool completely, or they will turn kinda rubbery rather than remain crispy.
Experiment with different flavors when making these crackers. Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of ginger.
Using a coffee grinder, you can grind a 1/4 cup of the seeds into a flour and combine with the other 1/4 of whole seeds. When you grind flax or chia into a flour, it increases the bio-availability of ALA and EPA, two important omega 3 fatty acids.
I like to put a dollop of sunflower butter or almond butter on these puppies, and call it a mid-afternoon snack for the kid and me.
The Blanche Devereaux
She’s golden and delicious, so I named her after my favorite Golden Girl.
What you need: Raw honey, turmeric, and ginger
This is my go-to when I need a warm beverage and I’ve already had my allotted delicious n’wonderful french-pressed coffee. Coffee is so ridiculously good-tasting. But this is also ridiculously good-tasting, so it’s actually an effective substitute for those mid-day cravings for a 2nd cup of coffee.
Basically, I make a sort of “medicinal paste,” jar it, and leave it in my lunch bag. If you think that ‘medical paste’ sounds gross then YOU’RE THINKING OF MEDICAL PASTES ALL WRONG!
Here’s what I do:
I put 1/2 cup of raw honey in a small glass jar. Then I mix in 2 heaping tablespoons of powdered turmeric and 1 heaping tablespoon of powdered ginger root. (You can get creative and add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 tsp of cardamom, 1/2 tsp of clove…the variations are endless.) When I get a craving for a warm beverage, I take a big teaspoon of this paste and mix it with just-under-boiling water. Then, because I’m a hedonist, I add a splash of cream (sometimes raw cream from the Portland Food Co-op).
Introducing the Blanche Devereaux – a creamy sexy beverage that will leave your tongue a nice golden yellow for the next hour or so.
I love potlucks, I do. But I often find myself, the morning of, thinking “Frack! The potluck!” A carnivalesque episode of Chopped flashes before me as I frantically dig through my fridge, wondering what I might make with a tin of sardines, some apple butter, and a bunch of chives. Then I decide to get some crackers and cheese – which 3 other people have brought at well, most likely the result of a similar morning. We eat cheese and tell bad jokes. It’s still fun, even if everyone is constipated the next day.
Then I discovered this soup. It’s delicious and savory. It’s filling and not overly carroty. And it takes, like, 20 minutes to make.
What you need: carrots, cashews, chicken stock
Boil a bag of peeled carrots until they are soft (if you poke ’em with a fork, the fork should pierce them with little resistance). Drain.
Add 1/2 cup of roasted cashews and 2 cups of chicken stock to the boiled carrots.
Whip out the immersion blender (if you don’t have one, you can use an upright blender, but then, later that day you should get an immersion blender because they are awesome).
Blend away until smooth. At this point, the soup may be a bit thick; you can thin the soup with additional chicken stock to desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper, or with chicken bouillon paste (I use a teaspoon of bouillon paste as long as the chicken stock isn’t too salty).
And now you’ve brought the fiber to that potluck, hey!
Yea Big Frittatas
These little egg muffins make a simple breakfast or snack. They are easy to make and easy to pack. Definitely warm them before eating, preferably in the toaster oven, since cold eggs are disgusting.
What you need: eggs, broccoli, sharp cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup steamed broccoli (chopped fresh or frozen spinach works too)
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded (you can also use feta crumbles)
Preheat oven to 375.
Generously coat a 6 hole muffin tin with olive oil.
Chop up broccoli and add to eggs and cheese. Whisk.
Add salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each) to taste. I like to add additional spices – either oregano and thyme, or turmeric and red pepper flakes.
Or cumin. Since I love cumin on everything, no joke.
Pour mixture into muffin tins.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the eggs are set (eggs should not be runny or wet at the top).
Salty Chip Peas
I have a serious problem with the Kettle brand Krinkle Cut Salt and Pepper potato chips. I don’t buy them, but if they appear in front of me (how did that happen?), I eat them and eat them and eat them until I have to have someone move them to an alternate physical location. I’m a sucker for crunch and salt, so when I discovered this recipe, I felt like I had cheated the universe.
What you need: Can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), olive oil, sea salt
Preheat over to 400.
Rinse and dry chickpeas. Hint: Dry them really well. You can use a paper towel to rub away the thin skin that covers them if you’re anal and/if you have the time.
In a bowl, toss the chickpeas with olive oil and sea salt. (I also add fresh pepper, cumin, chili powder, and 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup.)
Spread on a cookie sheet and bake until the chickpeas are crisp and crunchy, about 30-40 minutes.
No Nap Pancakes
My partner loves pancakes. You can just say the word ‘pancake’ and his eyes will roll to the back of his head with a freakish kind of joy. My daughter seems to have inherited this obsession. Me? I’m not a big fan. Sure, they taste great, but I always want to nap after eating a stack. The flour and syrup spike my blood sugar, then it plunges and makes me grumpy and sleepy and all I want to do is cover myself with a fuzzy blanket and watch my love, Louie CK, on the boob tube.
This was my successful compromise.
What you need: ripe bananas, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of almond butter (peanut butter works, too)
- 2 brownish bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
- Whisk together all ingredients.
- Cook on a greased griddle or cast iron pan on medium-low – these take a little longer to cook through than regular pancakes, because you need to cook them at a lower temp.
- I like mine with just a bit of butter, but the other two embellish their breakfast with Maine maple syrup.
After eating, go for a nice long walk and discuss how brilliant Louis CK is, and how cute he is, too.
Roasted Broccoli with Teriyaki Dipping Sauce
I love love love veggie tempura. But when I’m cooking at home, I don’t fry anything. Not because I’m too-healthy for it, but because I’m kinda lazy and don’t want to deal with the mess. If I’m craving tempura, this is good enough to mollify my craving.
What you need: 2 crowns of broccoli, olive oil, red pepper flakes (or, even better, Shichimi Togarashi)
Set oven to 450.
Chop two broccoli crowns into small, bite-sized florets. Toss with small amount of olive oil and seasoning.
Spread across cookie sheet. Roast for 12-15 minutes
While broccoli is roasting, whisk together 1/3 cup soy sauce (or wheat-free tamari), 1 tbsp. fresh minced ginger, and 1-2 tsp brown sugar.
Dip! Eat! Enjoy!