Quick Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal with Toasted Almonds

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I absolutely love oatmeal and am convinced that I will probably be eating it every morning even when I am 80. The possibilities with it are endless, and it almost ranks up there with dark chocolate and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. That’s pretty high.

Every so often, I get the urge to play around with my oats, and lately I have been loving this combo. I used quick oats for this recipe, simply because of a time crunch (I usually prefer old fashioned oats), but any oat will do. The coconut oil in it makes this breakfast extra creamy, the blueberries and cinnamon give it a perfect sweetness while the toasted almonds up the texture and just make it feel plain fancy.

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Here’s what you need:

1/2 cup of oats (quick or old fashioned)

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or liquid of your choice)

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1 heaping tsp unrefined coconut oil

1/8 cup almond slivers

cinnamon to your liking

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Beging by toasting the slivered almonds. Pour into a dry saucepan and toast on medium heat for about 7-8 minutes or until slightly browned. Stir often and don’t burn (ick!)

When the almonds have been toasted, prepare the oats by placing them in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with unsweetened almond milk, or liquid of your choice, then top with frozen blueberries. Place in microwave and cook according to the directions on the oatmeal container. This is usually between 1:30-2:30 minutes.

Remove from microwave and stir in the coconut oil, almonds, and cinnamon (to your liking), which for me, is a ridiculous amount. Ridiculous.

Then you are ready to go! A perfect breakfast, if you ask me. How do you fancy up your oats?

–Ashley

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Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas

Usually on Mondays, I love to dig into what we did on the weekend. Those are actually my favorite types of posts to write. Ones that document our day to day, where even the smallest, simplest memories become special. But sometimes I feel the need to put down the camera, and be more in the moment, you know?

That’s what this weekend called for. Nathan and I both needed a weekend of rest, and rest is what we got. We ran some errands, did a killer team workout on Saturday (not really rest, I know, but still so good), spent time at the pool and watched some NBA finals. I love that guy. It was an awesome weekend.

Last night, though, I decided to throw on my apron and make some whole wheat tortillas to go with a dinner that I am taking to a couple and their sweet new baby, tonight. Oh, baby snuggles.

I have made these tortillas twice, and they are simply the best. SUPER easy and quick to make. Good for you. And durable….meaning that all your burrito/fajita goodness doesn’t fall out everywhere as you try and take a bite. That’s the worst.

They are just perfect, and I think you’d really like them!

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3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil (grape seed oil, canola oil). I used melted coconut oil.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
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In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and salt. Then add the oil and mix with hands until well-dispersed throughout the flour mixture.
Add boiling water and continue to knead until water is incorporated. The dough will be slightly wet and soft. 
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes- 1 hour.
When the time is up, break apart dough and form 1 1/4 inch balls. You should be able to make 8-10.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly flour a surface and roll each ball into a flat tortilla using a 6 inch rolling pin if you have one. //the tortillas may not be perfect circles, if they are, I am really impressed!//
Transfer your first tortilla to the hot skillet. Let sit until bubbles start to form. Then flip. When bubbles form on that side, remove from skillet, transfer to plate, and cover with a tea towel. Repeat until there is no more dough :)
Serve hot. Or refrigerate up to one week in an air-tight container or ziplock bag. Or freeze. Lots of options.
So, there you go. Homemade tortillas! Easy peasy. –Ashley

Roasted Pepper Chicken Salad

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Oh, salads. I honestly never make them. For some reason I have no idea what to put in them. You would think making a salad would be an easy task, but not for me! Most of the time these guys turn out pretty boring, until this salad came about.

So much flavor, so much goodness, so (so) easy to make, and no dressing required. I am just going to go ahead and let you know….it’s pretty delicious.

I made this a while back, after a trip to Paris where we stuffed ourselves full of all things carb and sugar. I was craving something light and veggie-packed when I got home, and that’s when this recipe was born. It is perfect for using leftover chicken in, and as in all my recipes, feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking!

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2 cups of fresh arugula

1/4 avocado, diced

1/2 small red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 small yellow bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup leftover shredded chicken

sprinkle of feta cheese

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the bell peppers, spread on a lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred.

While the peppers are roasting in the oven, chop your avocado and shred your chicken.

When peppers are done, wait just a few minutes to cool, and then throw all the ingredients in a bowl, and enjoy!

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Oh, and if you have easy salad recipes that you love, please share! –Ashley

 

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Aharvestofblessing

The Go-To Meal//Southwestern Sweet Potatoes and Eggs

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We all have it.
That meal we can always count on. That meal where all the ingredients are waiting for us when we don’t feel like putting on real clothes to go grocery shopping. And in this case, that meal that is welcomed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, a triple whammy meal.

And boy am I thankful for it. It has saved me more than once, and thankfully neither I nor Nathan ever gets sick of it. I am crossing my fingers that that never changes, because I honestly don’t know if I could find a better one.

It’s beyond simple, full of nutrients and quite filling.

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Southwestern Sweet Potato and Eggs//Serves 2

4 eggs

2 sweet potatoes//rinsed//skin on

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 avocado

4 Tbsp. your favorite salsa

chili powder and cumin to taste

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Preheat your oven to 400.

While the oven is preheating, scrub your sweet potatoes, then slice, with the skin on. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until soft. (I like mine with a little crisp, too)

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Then add the 4 eggs and fry your eggs.

Cut and dice 1/2 avocado

When everything is done cooking, grab a bowl and layer on the goodness: sweet potatoes, eggs, salsa, avocado…and sprinkle with chili powder and cumin for a little extra flavor.

It is definitely a favorite around here! Do you have any good go-to recipes? It never hurts to have a back-up :) –Ashley

Mediterranean Chicken Sandwich

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To think I was not a “toppings” girl once is absolutely crazy. Like what in the world was going on in my head. I was a just cheese, eat my hot dog plain, no tomatoes, or lettuce or onion or anything kind-of-girl. But thankfully, now that I am officially a grown up (25 is grown up, right?), my taste buds can’t get enough toppings. And that’s a good thing because this sandwich is full of them.

And boy, is it good. I am not kidding. I could see it in the hubs’ eyes. He was impressed. And that made me a happy camper :)

Like always, my recipe is a little “loose”. Feel free to adjust the toppings to your liking. Adding more here. Subtracting a little there. It will be great!

This recipe serves 4. You will need:

8 slices of bakery bread

2 cooked chicken breasts. Butterflied (or sliced in half long ways)

1/2 small red onion. sliced thin.

12 cucumber slices. sliced thin.

8 slices of feta cheese

8 sundried tomatoes. chopped

handful of spinach for each sandwich

olive oil

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If your chicken breasts aren’t already cooked, you will need to do that first. Preheat your oven to 400. Place chicken on a tinfoil lined pan. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and salt and pepper, and let bake for 30 minutes.

M&O 007editWhile chicken is baking you can start choppin your ingredients

M&O 039editYou will need to cut 8 slices of fresh bread. On four of those slices (the ones that will be placed in the oven) you will stack the sundried tomatoes, onions and feta like so…

M&O 011editAfter doing this, you will place all 4 slices on a lined cookie sheet. When the oven has about 5-7 minutes left, stick them in to finish cooking with the chicken.

You should have 4 more slices begging for some toppings. So we are going to give them what they want and stack the spinach, cucumbers and the hot chicken, when its done.

M&O 037edit Put the sandwich together when the tops make their way out of the oven. Drizzle some olive oil on the each. And then sprinkle with a good dose of oregano.

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Oh. my. goodness. It is so delicious. Cook up some fresh veggies for a side and you’ve got yourself a good lookin (and healthy!) meal!

Hope you enjoy!–Ashley

Nutella & Peanut Butter Banana Panini

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If you are needing a snack, you should make this. If you are needing some breakfast, make this. If you are just needing a pick me up, make this. Whatever you are needing….make this. You will lick the knife, lick your fingers and probably even lick the plate…and you will wish you had ten more in front of you. I don’t even lie.

I try to eat as healthy as I can for the most part. You know, no processed foods. Lots of veggies. Lots of fruit. Good sources of protein. And I love it…..but once in awhile I get a craving. And sometimes it is good to give into those cravings simply because it puts a smile on your face.

Enter this lovely, ooey gooey sandwich.

The hubs and I made it on Sunday when we cooked brunch together. So much fun, by the way. He whipped up the healthy portion of the meal. Sweet potato hash and fried eggs, and I took on the wonderful duty (or privilege) of making these bad boys. They are easy peasy, and you will love them! The key to making these is to be generous. With everything. Peanut butter. Nutella. Bananas. Butter. All of it. There are no measurements needed. I will leave that up to you :)

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees (if you don’t have a panini maker).

Switzerlandmonth2 036editAfter cutting 2 slices of fresh bakery bread, butter one side on each slice and place facing down on the plate. Then, smother one piece with peanut butter, and one piece with Nutella.

Switzerlandmonth2 043editkeepCut up however many bananas you see fit, and pile them on top.

Switzerlandmonth2 046editClose the sandwich and sprinkle some cinnamon on both the top and bottom. It should stick to the butter.

Then place in the panini maker, or in the oven for about 7-10 minutes.

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Switzerlandmonth2 055edit yum.yum.yum. Making this was one of my best decisions! Enjoy! –Ashley

Panini Fun.

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So. If I have learned one thing…it’s that it is all about the bread and meat and cheese here. And the views. But that’s beside the point.

I have also learned that I am in full support of this bread,meat and cheese thing, and have decided to embrace it as a weekly experiment. You see, I have always wanted to be one of those people who can whip up an amazing meal off the top of their head. No recipe required. No list of ingredients provided. They just know what tastes good together and can make magic happen. This is really hard guys. So, in an attempt to one day reach my goal and in honor of Switzerland, I plan on panini experimenting each week. I am starting off small in hopes that I can at least come up with some recipes that taste good. And we will just go from there.

I will say that I do believe I am off to a good start, though, because what I am about to show you was scrumptious. Even the hubs agreed.

All you need is:

4 slices of your favorite bread

4 slices of prosciutto

4 thick slices of freshmozzarella

fig preserves

1/2 red onion, sliced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

//serves 2//

–If you do not have a panini maker, you can start off by pre heating the oven to 400.–

Switzerland1 015editNext, slice 4 slices of your favorite bakery bread. I used some whole grain french bread. Keepin’ it simple.

Switzerland1 019editSpread fig preserves on both the top piece and bottom piece of your sandwich. Then layer on 2 slices of prosciutto.

Switzerland1 021editHeat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a pan on medium-high heat. When heated through, add the onions and sautee for about 5 minutes. You may have to turn the heat down to medium depending on your stove.

When the onions are through cooking, layer them on top of the meat, then add your 2 chunks of sliced mozzarella.

Put a little bit of olive oil on both sides of the sandwich so it gets nice and crispy when it cooks.

Throw them in the panini maker and get ready to eat!

Switzerland1 029editIf you do not have a panini maker (like I currently do not) you can put the sandwiches in the oven on a sprayed down baking sheet, to cook for about 10-12 minutes.

And that should do it! Everyone loves a good sandwich :) –Ashley

Healthy Hummus Wrap

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Hey friends! The weekend is here and what a good thing that is! I have some DIY projects lined up for the weekend so me and the hubs should stay busy if all goes as planned :) This week has been pretty laid back if I am being honest. Hours at work have been cut for everyone (blaaaaah.), which equals lots of free time for this girl. Usually when I work I just eat whatever we have there, one of the perks for working at a healthy café I guess….so lately I have realized how poorly my pantry is stocked when it comes to the lunch department. I have relied on smoothies quite a bit since you can throw anything in there and it USUALLY tastes good…but one can only do that for so long! I need more food than that!

So the other day upon my grocery shopping adventures, I veered off my normal track and went crazy picking up some organic arugula, classic hummus, feta cheese (the best!), and some whole wheat pita pockets. Oh, and avocados were on sale, so you better believe I threw one of those guys in the basket. When I got home I whipped up this sandwich, and now I am addicted. Don’t you love it when that happens? It is now my official go to lunch, and I wanted to share it with you!

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pitawrap2Isn’t it pretty?! I like to toast my pita pocket before filling it. Then I just slather on the hummus, fill it with a handful of arugula, sprinkle the feta in there and dice up about a quarter of an avocado and layer it on top. It is such a tasty meal and I feel like there are so many other ingredients that would be delicious in there, too! You should do some experimenting :) Have a fun Saturday! –Ashley

 

Best Coffee Ever.

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Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. Thanks to this awesome blog, I came across the best coffee ever today. In fact, it is so good that I am staying up past my bed time so that I can write this post and tell you all about it. That means it’s good…and also that this post will be quick and to the point because this girl is getting tired.

Not only does this cup of joe taste so smooth, but it gets so frothy from blending it that you feel like you are drinking something fancy that you paid five bucks for. But you didn’t! Oh, and it is healthy to boot :)

1 cup of freshly brewed coffee

1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (I used 2 and it was perfect)

A splash of milk (OR 1 tsp. organic unsalted butter, which I think would be delicious but didn’t have :( )

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Sweetner of your choice (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until frothy (20- 30 seconds). Pour and enjoy your perfect cup of coffee :) –Ashley

On Community

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The other day I was able to take some dinner to a sweet friend who just had thee most precious baby. When we were visiting and she was telling me about how many people had come over and how full her fridge was, I couldn’t help but think about the blessing of community. I am so grateful for friendships. For relationships. For the uniqueness and beauty of each person. To be able to walk through this life with others, to lean on each other and serve one another is such a gift that I sometimes forget about. God is so alive in community. I see it displayed time and time again and am so thankful to be able to witness His goodness.

Just a happy little thought from yesterday. Hope you have an amazing Saturday, and if you are tempted to cook this delicious looking pasta dish (do it.) you can find the recipe on this wonderful blog. –Ashley