Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

Sick day, schmick day, double beat day. I hate sick days. I’m channeling my inner Randy Parker from “A Christmas Story” as I’m sitting on my living room couch, stuffy, sniffling, and overheated.

Well, at least a sick day is a good day to edit and watch mind-numbing TV shows.

On sick days, I certainly don’t feel like cooking, but I usually always do. I can only lounge on my couch for so long before I get antsy. I’ve seen these breakfast-centric sweet potatoes making their rounds on my Instagram feeds for sometime now. Looking extremely versitile, I decided to give one a shot for myself.

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

I was going to go a nut butter and blueberry route originally, but something about yogurt and nuts called out to me instead. It was a decision I don’t regret. It’s filling and delicious, not to mention easy on the throat if you’ve got a sore one today like I do!

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

I can’t wait to make this for breakfast again on a day when I’m not so down and out, but it was absolutely a comfort to me in my current sickly state.

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1 sweet potato or yam, scrubbed and dried
– 1/4 cup yogurt of choice (I use Siggi’s Vanilla Skyr)
– 4 walnuts, chopped
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) Pierce sweet potato a few times over its surface with a fork. Place on cooking sheet and place in oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly, roughly 10 minutes.

3.) While potato is cooling, add chopped walnuts to a small frying pan and turn heat to medium-low. Sprinkle with cinnamon and shake in pan to coat. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until nuts become toasty; do not allow them to get too browned!

4.) Split sweet potato in half and fill / top with yogurt and walnuts. Eat immediately!

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts

I am odd when it comes to citrus fruits: I love the flavors, but if it comes to eating one in its whole form, such as orange slices, I am completely turned off. The texture is wholly unappealing, like eating little fleshy juice pods enveloped in a flimsy waxy membrane. I can’t. I just can’t. However, if I smash and grind that orange’s flesh and release its juices into a glass, I can’t get enough! I enjoy adding elements of citrus into a fair share of my meals, be it laying lemon slices beneath my baked chicken breasts or folding lime zest into a bowl of whipped cream.

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts

On a chilly Saturday with a light snow in the forecast, I was feeling cozy and ready to bake. After an eventful morning of going to the gym and…well…scrolling through the Explore tab on Instagram, my eyes were instantly drawn to ruby red triangles atop something surely delicious. I clicked the photo to enlarge it. “VEGAN OLIVE OIL AND BLOOD ORANGE MUFFINS”, I read in striking caps locked letters. I love blood oranges! Their color is so warm, impossible to draw my eyes away from. I said, “That’s it! That’s what I’m going to bake!” As I walked into CTown, the section usually full of autumn squashes had been replaced with grapefruits and oranges of all sizes. I excitedly walked towards them, my face falling when I realized that none of the oranges were of the blood variety! *sigh* I cracked my knuckles and twisted my mouth to express disappointment, but, a navel orange was better than no orange. I bought two large ones and headed home, eager to bake and improvise.

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts

Upon arrival home, I quickly I remembered that I didn’t have a muffin pan, either. In my head, I recalled a roommate once saying to me, months ago, “I have one! I put it in the cupboard!” I looked and came up empty-handed. While my first inclination was to grab a small baking dish, there was my trusty donut pan, beckoning me to fill it up with some fresh batter.

I could not resist the call.

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts

I have followed other vegan donut recipes in the past, such as Giselle’s bomb Vegan Baked Golden Milk Donuts (with my almost-vegan adaptation right here). I thought to myself, “Well…either this recipe will work, as is, as a donut…or it won’t. Let’s do this!” Indeed, I did it, and with very few tweaks, the end result was pretty damn delicious! What I pulled from my oven was a baked donut akin to cornbread with a citrusy essence. The polenta certainly provides a slightly crunchy interior; I baked the first batch of donuts immediately after making the batter, and I baked the second batch after I had let the better sit for almost 45 minutes. I’ve decided that letting it sit provides more time for the corn to soften; I could tell a distinct difference between the two batches of donuts. While both were great, I would opt for the slightly marinated corn kernel grounds.

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts

Totally healthy, you guys. Totally. Eat the whole dozen with abandon!

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts
(Makes 12 donuts)
(Recipe adapted from Recipes From A Pantry’s recipe for Vegan Olive Oil & Blood Orange Muffins)

Ingredients:

Donuts:

– 1 cup polenta, preferably coarse (I used Bob’s Red Mill Polenta)
– 1 cup flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Malk Organics Unsweetened Almond Malk)
– 1/2 cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed (I used a large navel orange)
– 1/3 cup olive oil (or another vegetable oil may be substituted here)
– 1/3 cup sugar (I used Sugar In The Raw)

Orange Glaze:

– 1 teaspoon orange zest
– 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
– 2 tablespoons orange juice; fresh-squeezed

Before We Get Started…

– If you have a six cavity donut pan (which is the usual capacity for your average donut pan), be sure to clean out and re-grease the cavities before baking your second batch of donuts; this recipe, if followed properly, makes exactly twelve donuts.

– The glaze mixture will look thin, and that is okay! The goal is not to glaze the donuts in a traditional sense; once dipped, the donuts will have a slight sheen and the remainder of the glaze will absorb into the donuts.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, combine the polenta, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

3.) In a medium bowl, whisk milk, orange juice, olive oil, and sugar until thoroughly combined.

4.) Pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 30 – 45 minutes.

5.) Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized seal-top plastic bag; if using plastic bag, cut off small corner to pipe out mixture. Evenly pipe mixture into cavities of donut pan until filled. NOTE: If you prefer not to pipe, you can carefully spoon mixture into the cavities until filled.

6.) Place in oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes; carefully remove donuts from pan and allow to continue cooling on cooling rack. As mentioned in Before We Get Started..., clean and re-grease cavities to make remaining donuts; repeat directions in this step for remaining donuts.

7.) In a medium to large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet or other easily washable surface to catch any glaze runoff. Gently dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze, carefully turn over, and place the unglazed side on the wire rack. Repeat until all donuts are glazed.

Vegan Orange Polenta Baked Donuts

Kale tomato white bean soup

Kale, Tomato, & White Bean Soup

Though I have little room in my freezer (due partly to roommates that have frozen vegetables and TV dinners…), I still love to cook pots of soup in the winter and freeze the leftovers for a rainy day (or, better, a snowy day). Soup is a comfort food to me; growing up, I ate bowls of my Nana Fracaro’s chicken soup with tubettini pasta, no matter if it was in the middle of winter or at 11:30 on a hot summer’s morning while we watched “The Price Is Right“. Whenever I go to a restaurant, if I see a good Soup Du Jour on the menu, I go for it. I’ll take my soups any way I can take them, though I tend to lean towards a good classic chicken noodle, gazpacho, vichyssoise, French Onion, or cream of tomato.

Over the years, I’ve been trying to lighten my recipes up where I can (such as with my plant-based Creamy Tomato Soup with Cashew Cream or my Tomato & Zucchini Noodle Soup with Veal Meatballs), and, well, here is another example! Trying to get back to my good veggie grind, I wanted a hearty vegetable-packed soup to last me a few work days.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Between the tomatoes, kale, carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs, I felt as though I ate the entire garden. That is not a bad thing.

Kale tomato white bean soup

Kale, Tomato, & White Bean Soup
(Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Quick Tomato, White Bean, & Kale Soup)

Ingredients:

– 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
– 1 large carrot, chopped
– 2 large garlic cloves, minced
– 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
– 1 medium Yukon Gold or Russet potato, peeled and diced
– 4 cups kale, stemmed, washed, and roughly chopped (roughly 1/4 pound of kale)
– 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 6 cups water
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 1 teaspoon oregano
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1 teaspoon dried parsley
– 1 – 2 cups pre-cooked rice (optional)
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– This soup tastes absolutely amazing on its own! That being said, after making and photographing my initial batch, I added some leftover rice I had from some Indian takeout I had a few nights prior. WOW. The soup was really enhanced by the rice. Though loaded with vegetables and beans, the broth is, well, brothy! It’s not creamy or fatty. The rice does add a tad of starch to the broth, as well an a little bit of bulk to the soup in general. It’s a lovely addition if you choose to go that direction!

Directions:

1.) Place a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven on the stove. over medium heat. Add olive oil, allow to heat up slightly, then add add the onion, carrot, and a pinch of salt. Cook vegetables for approximately 6 to 8 minutes or until tender; be careful to not let vegetables brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute.

2.) Stir in tomatoes and juice from the can and combine with vegetables. Continue to cook over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes or until until the tomatoes have slightly reduced.

3.) Add water, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, parsley, and potato. Bring soup to boil, cover, and simmer until potato chunks are tender, roughly 10 minutes.

4.) Add the kale and simmer another 10 minutes, until the kale is wilted down but still holds some of its shape. Stir in the beans and heat through for 5 minutes; if adding pre-cooked rice, add and stir in with beans. Serve immediately or allow to cool slight before putting into storage containers for refrigeration or freezing.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Chunky Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Ahhhhh, it’s definitely oatmeal season now. Not to say oatmeal isn’t enjoyable in the spring, summer, and autumn. However, curling up on my couch with a hot steaming bowl of hearty oats on a 20°F winter day is an experience to beat.

I am always in awe of some of the oatmeals my fellow food creators have come up with. Oats are a palate that can easily be played with. Hell, I even go the savory route on occasion with spinach and fried garlic. However, if I am feeling cozy AF, I load my oats with rich and comforting sweeter flavors.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Putting bananas in oatmeal is a classic move, but I love to gussy them up a little bit. I used to cook my nanners in a tablespoon of butter for a few minutes to soften them and bring out their sugars a little more; now, I’ve made the switch from butter to coconut oil to do the same thing. Honestly, the taste is virtually the same with the added health benefits of using coconut oil. (I’m not saying using a tablespoon of coconut oil will automatically cure all of your ills, haha, but it’s better than some alternatives.)

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

I suggest curling up in your favorite cozy spot while eating this, preferably wrapped up in your coziest blanket.

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Chunky Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal
(Serves 1 [large bowl] to 2 [small bowls])

Ingredients:
– 1 large ripe banana, peeled and cut into small chunks
– 1 tablespoon coconut oil or unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup rolled oats
– 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter (preferably chunky peanut butter!), divided into two 1 tablespoon portions
– 1 cup milk, dairy or non-dairy (I used Malk Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk for this recipe)
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Before We Get Started…

– I highly suggest using chunky peanut butter in this recipe, as it adds a wonderful texture to the oats. However, if you do not prefer to use chunky, smooth works just as well.

– Of course, if eating plant-based, use coconut oil and non-dairy milk when making this recipe.

– I’ve really become cognizant of what ingredients are my peanut butters over the past few years (as well as many other groceries I buy!). If you are really trying to avoid sugar, stick to a natural peanut butter where the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. (Even better if you grind your own fresh!) As for me, I do enjoy Peanut Butter & Co’s Crunch Time. It only has four ingredients – peanuts, cane sugar, palm fruit oil, and salt – and its sugar content is only 3 grams per serving (2 tablespoons).

– That being said, if you are also trying to keep an eye on your fat intake, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter can pack a wallop; the aforementioned peanut butter I use has 15 grams of fat for every two tablespoons. *eep* Feel free to adjust how much peanut butter you ultimately use in this dish.

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add 3/4 of the bananas to the oil and cook for 4 – 5 minutes or until bananas are very soft and on the verge of starting to caramelize. Be sure to keep stirring, as they may stick a little to the bottom of the pan.

2. Add one tablespoon of peanut butter to bananas and continue to stir, slowly, until the peanut butter starts to melt. Take care not to mash the bananas too much in their already soft state! Add oats, milk, and cinnamon. Stir well to combine all ingredients.

3. Bring heat to medium-high until mixture starts to slowly boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, occasionally stirring.

4. Place oatmeal into bowl(s). Microwave remaining one tablespoon of peanut butter for 45 – 60 seconds; remove, stir, and drizzle on top of oats. Top oats with the remaining 1/4 of the bananas. Sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired!

grain free cranberry almond biscotti

Grain-Free Almond Cranberry Biscotti

Happy New Year, Satiation Seekers! I know, I know, it’s been a few days since I’ve last posted. With the new year has come, well, my return to work. The time I had to craft recipes has fallen by the wayside this week and I jumped back into my office chair and surrounded myself with computer screens shimmering with tons to pertinent data on shiny new Excel sheets.

However, to tide you over until I get my first Seek Satiation-centric recipe of 2017, let me direct you over to my newest post over at Yoga by Candace! For January, I whipped up a wonderful Almond Cranberry Biscotti that is grain-free! Admittedly, I’ve never used almond flour before and wasn’t quite sure how this would turn out, but I found some generic almond flour biscotti recipe, handwritten, on a piece of paper inside of one of my cookbooks. Who knows where it came from, but I sure was tickled that I came across it!

Head over to Yoga By Candace for the full recipe!

grain free cranberry almond biscotti

If I luck out on this already very busy weekend and find some time to make and photograph a recipe tomorrow, I’ll get a post up by Wednesday. If not, expect a new selection of Seek Satiation recipes to be posted starting next Saturday, January 14th. 😀

grain free cranberry almond biscotti