Cold cuts make me shudder. Their slimy texture and uniform shape lead me to suspect that I’m eating fake food—and that’s probably true. But peanut butter sandwiches, to me, are for breakfast or for hiking, so I need lunchtime alternatives to deli meat.
This sandwich is simple, savory, and full of vegetables. You can substitute any veggies as long as they’re thinly sliced. I smeared each piece of bread with something creamy: avocado on one side and hummus on the other. A slice of cheese would be a good substitute for one of those, though.
- 2 pieces of whole-grain bread (gluten-free if desired)
- 2 small carrots
- 1/4 of an avocado
- roasted red pepper hummus
- dried oregano
- handful of baby spinach
- Put the bread slices in the toaster. While you wait for them to toast, peel the carrots, and thinly slice them on a heavy angle.
- Spread one piece of toast with the avocado, and spread hummus on the other piece. Sprinkle oregano on the hummus.
- Fill the sandwich with carrots and spinach. Cut it in half and serve with any remaining carrot slices on the side.
Serves 1. Active and total time 10 minutes.
As is obvious from the lag between blog posts, I haven’t been in the kitchen much this summer. The large box of produce I get delivered every other week from Boston Organics seems to make me cook less; I’ve been eating a lot of simple veggie wraps, salads, and smoothies.
I’ve heard that avocado is delicious in smoothies, but I don’t normally buy high-fat avocados. After getting one in the produce delivery, I experimented with eating a quarter of an avocado at a time. With a relatively low-fat meal, it didn’t cause any heartburn.
To store the rest of the avocado between uses, leave the extra flesh in the skin and wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap. Be sure to push the plastic into empty space in the skin.
- 1 banana
- 1/4 of an avocado
- 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
- dash of vanilla
- 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
- 2 ice cubes
- 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt OR more banana (optional)
- Place the first 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
- For an extra-thick smoothie, add yogurt or more banana and blend again.
Serves 1. Active and total time 5 minutes. Adapted from http://www.texanerin.com/2012/04/raspberry-banana-avocado-smoothie.html
Carrots for breakfast sounded weird to me, but I’ll try anything that is promised to taste like carrot cake. (The unparalleled carrot torte from Konditor Meister is a constant craving of mine.) These oatmeal bars are filling and sneak in a serving of vegetables. Topped with a dollop of vanilla yogurt (instead of a heavy layer of cream cheese frosting), they provide a balanced and tasty breakfast.
I like to make these bars on a Sunday night so I have a quick breakfast ready for the workdays all week. This oatmeal bake would also make a wonderful brunch; serve it with fruit salad. If you mix up the ingredients ahead of time, you can pop the dish in the oven when guests arrive and be free to laze about and enjoy your morning.
- 2 cups oats, gluten free if desired
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cups grated carrots
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 3 tbsp chopped pecans
- 3 tbsp sliced almonds
- 12 oz nonfat vanilla yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Combine the rolled oats, baking powder, spices, brown sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl; then add grated carrots and raisins and stir to mix.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and vanilla, and mix well.
- Put the maple syrup, pecans, and almonds in a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Spoon the oat mixture into the baking dish in an even layer, pressing down with a spatula. Then pour the egg mixture over the oats and sprinkle the nut mixture on top.
- Bake for 40 minutes, until the oatmeal is set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then run a knife around the edges of the baking dish. Cut 6 bars, and serve each one with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Serves 6. Active time 10 minutes; total time 55 minutes. Adapted from http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/baked-carrot-cake-oatmeal/
After much experimentation, I declare this the best butter-free, oil-free banana muffin recipe. The key to keeping it moist is to use 3 bananas. Most recipes call for only 2, but these 3-banana muffins are definitely less dry.
These muffins aren’t as velvety as the butter-filled ones, but they still hit the spot. They’re nice and dense, which makes them a filling snack. I recommend making them without wrappers; these can be tough to remove from the papers. Plus, it’s easier to freeze extras when they don’t have wrappers.
- 3 overripe bananas, mashed
- scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat white flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the sugar and beaten egg to the mashed bananas and stir, using a fork to remove as many banana chunks as possible. Add the applesauce and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir until well mixed.
- Scoop a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each of 10 standard muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. (Do not use paper liners unless you’re willing to wait several hours for the cupcakes to cool.)
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from the pan and enjoy.
Makes 10. Active time 15 minutes; total time 30 minutes. Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/best-ever-banana-muffins-62286