Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Mornings are busy for me. Even though I’m not usually the one that gets the kids up and ready for daycare, I’m still always busy. Making lunches, getting things together. Breakfast is one of the last things on my mind, and to be perfectly honest, I usually don’t even feel like eating first thing in the morning. That makes for bad habits, where I subsist entirely on strong black coffee at work and go most of my day without eating. Bad, bad, bad.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I recently discovered the wonders of steel cut oats. I’ve never been a porridge person, the texture is just all kinds of wrong in my opinion. But steel cut oats are different. Chewier. Heartier. Less glue-like. The downside, they take much, much longer to cook. But I’ve found a way around that! On the weekend I make a huge pot of steel cut oats, cooking them to perfect unseasoned perfection. I freeze it in muffin tins, and two ‘pucks’ are the perfect breakfast. Pop two in the microwave with a splash of water, and voila – hot oats, ready for whatever you want to add. Perfect to pack in my purse for breakfast at my desk.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

These banana bread oats feature some of my favourite mix-ins, and it really does taste like banana bread for breakfast! Minus the guilt of eating baked goods first thing in the morning, of course.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Banana Bread Oatmeal

2/3 cup cooked steel cut oats
1/2 banana, mashed
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

Strawberry banana yogurt smoothie

My inspiration for this month was breakfast. I am not normally a breakfast person. Mornings are not my thing. I’m the kind of person that groggily rolls out of bed and stumbles to the bathroom, cursing the entire time. I’m barely human for several hours after waking, no matter how well I slept. So breakfast inspiration? Haha. Coffee. That’s my breakfast. The kids are lucky if they get cereal!

Strawberry banana yogurt smoothie

I’ve been making smoothies a lot lately, though. Green smoothies. protein smoothies, fruit smoothies. This smoothie strongly reminds me of the ever-popular Yop in my childhood. I saw it again in the grocery store recently, and I was aghast at all the sugar and garbage in it. And the price? I wanted to faint. I knew the kids would love it, but really, how hard could it be to make it myself at home? The answer: not hard at all. A blender and some fruit is all I needed. If this isn’t sweet enough you could add a little honey, but my kids love it just the way it is. And both my brain and my wallet feel good about giving it to them.

Strawberry banana yogurt smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 banana
1 cup milk
1 cup greek yogurt

Combine fruit, milk and yogurt in a blender. Blend until smooth and serve. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple days.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Crab & Walnut Stuffed Mussels

Crab & Walnut Stuffed Mussels

When I was first approached by Joana at Yummy Food, I felt flattered, excited, and then totally freaked out. I love food, I love cooking, I love making things up as I go in the kitchen. But Mediterranean is totally outside my comfort zone of typical North American comfort food, and creating a totally original, unpublished recipe with flavour profiles I am not really familiar with? EEK! But as you can see, I accepted the challenge nonetheless!

Crab & Walnut Stuffed Mussels

I spent a great deal of time thinking and planning this recipe. To me, “Mediterranean” is all about freshness, and there is nothing that embodies fresh more than seafood. I used panko and walnuts to offset the creaminess of the mussels, crab and parmesan, and lemon to add that lovely acid required with seafood. Baked until crispy, these are perfect served right in the half-shell, and the perfect single-bite appy. This is the type of dish I could see served on a cobblestone patio, outside some lovely little restaurant overlooking the ocean.

Crab & Walnut Stuffed Mussels

This recipe is part of a contest sponsored by Canarias. I’m so glad I opted to take part, it was so much fun to push myself outside of my comfort zone and cook something I normally wouldn’t.

Crab & Walnut Stuffed Mussels

Crab & Walnut Stuffed Mussels

2 lbs live mussels
1/2 cup water
6 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup crabmeat
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper

Wash ad scrub mussels – discard any that are open and don’t close with a tap on a firm surface. In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, place closed mussels and water and bring to a boil. Steam for a few minutes, until they open up. Discard any that didn’t open and let cool to room temperature.

Carefully break off the top half of the shell, and scoop out the meat to detach it from the bottom, but leave it in the half-shell for presentation and serving purposes. Set aside.

In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. When melted and warm, add garlic and stir to let the garlic cook for a minute or so to infuse the butter. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a bowl, combine crabmeat, panko, walnuts, parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and garlic. Mix well.

Place a generous scoop of the stuffing mixture on top of each half-shell mussel, and lay out on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 until crispy and golden, 5-8 minutes should suffice. Let cool a bit and serve warm!

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