Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal

Summer Goals: Buy cherries when they are cheap!

I swear, one day, they’ll be at Westside Market for $3.99 a pound, then, in the blink of an eye, they are $9.99 a pound.

I’ve got rent and student loans to pay. I’ve gotta buy those cherries when they’re on the low-low.

I’m purposely giving myself slow plan-less weekends; as I’ll be moving from Inwood down to the Upper West Side in the end of August, I’m taking the time to slowly pack up what I need, pitch what I don’t, and use up what’s left in my kitchen! Luckily, I’ll take any excuse to create and cook, so the latter is obviously not an issue for me.

I’ve recently discovered dairy-free Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread. Being free of palm oil, I feel a bit better about indulging in this sweet treat from both a health and ethics perspective. Mixed with some summer-ripened cherries and healthy oats, this breakfast is a win-win! I don’t even care that it’s approximately 110 degrees in my kitchen right now. I’ll move to my air-conditioned bedroom to eat this goodness! Ha!

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NOTE: Thank you to Crier Communications for providing me with this Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread for testing purposes!

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Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal
(Makes three cups)

Ingredients:

– 2 cups water or milk of choice
– 1 cup rolled oats, uncooked
– 1/2 cup cherries, pits removed and quartered
– 1 tablespoon dairy-free Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread (or comparable hazelnut spread)
– 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)

Directions:

1.) Cook rolled oats according to directions on package. While oats are cooking, mix in cherries and cook for five minutes. Stir in hazelnut spread until melted and incorporated. Serve immediately!

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Strawberry Matcha Lattes

Crafting drinks is NOT my forte. I’m not even going to lie. Some people make gorgeous and unique drinks. I usually drool over my friend Marjorie’s drinks on Instagram. (FOLLOW HER! Homegirl is so adorable and so sweet!) Otherwise, I’ll pay half of my month’s rent for something pretty elsewhere, beit a gorgeously adorned drink from a hip cocktail bar that has Cuban cigar smoke erupting from it, or a CDB & collegen-infused turmeric latte with an activated charcoal palm tree stenciled on top.

Yet, I try. And practice makes perfect, I suppose.

I may not have the steady hand and skills of those that make gorgeous layered drinks at some of NYC’s top matcha spots, but nuts to a perfectly layered appearance. We’re all imperfect in some way, aren’t we? (Too philosophical? Ha!) What matters is that the taste of this drink is absolute perfection! Like…DAMN. The earthy matcha melds with the sun-dappled strawberries to make a drink that is refreshing and fulfilling.

While I try to go the dairy-free route as much as possible, I’ll just say this: This latte tastes the best with whole milk! (Insert an exponential amount of Drool emojis here.🀀)

Also, shout out to Tossware! I’ve been using their high quality BPA-free PET / rPET polymer tumblers for quite some time. (You’ve seen them in a previous recipe, Sparkling Apple Ginger Mocktails!) Believe me, they’ve come in handy when I’ve had quality over. They are easy to recycle, and I’ve even kept some and use them as regular glassware! Thank you – again! – for providing me this wonderful product for testing purposes. ✌️

Strawberry Matcha Lattes
(Adapted from the Cin, Cin, Let’s Eat! recipe for Strawberry Matcha Lattes)
(Makes 2 12-ounce cup servings)

Ingredients:

– 2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
– 3 tablespoons water (for strawberry sauce)
– 1/2 cup boiling water (for matcha)
– 2 tsp matcha powder
– 1 cup milk of choice (Please see Before We Get Started…)
– Ice (optional)

Before We Get Started:

– I tested this recipe in two 12-ounce short glasses. I found that roughly 3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup matcha tea filled up one 12-ounce glass. Depending on the type of glassware you are drinking this latte from, feel free to adjust these measurements as you see fit, e.g. adding more milk. I did test one of these cups with some ice…but I only had two ice cubes, so I had little to work with. Ha! Directions on adding optional ice cubes are in Step #3.

– Feel free to add sweetener of choice to this drink, but I prefer to keep it free of added sugars, as the strawberries are sweet enough. If trying to keep this as low-sugar as possible, opt for unsweetened non-dairy milks.

– If you want to make the strawberry sauce en masse for future use, double (or triple! Quadruple!) this recipe and store in an airtight container – in your fridge – for up to one week.

Directions:

1.) In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries and 3 tablespoons of water over medium-high heat. Allow strawberries to cook and break down for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then add to food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, or place in fridge to cool.

2.) When ready to assemble latte, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add matcha powder and whisk with bamboo matcha whisk – or a regular whisk – until dissolved.

3.) To assemble drink, add 3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce to the bottom of the glass. If adding ice cubes, add to glass. Slowly pour milk over the strawberry sauce. Slowly top milk with matcha. Slowly consume! πŸ˜†

Pasta con Ceci

This is a recipe that I’ll definitely be adding to my arsenal of quick dinners recipes AND meal prep recipes. Why?

– This took me 20 minutes, start to finish.

– This will satisfy your pasta cravings while sneaking some bean proteins in.

– It’s wicked cheap!

– Goya beans flow like wine in NYC, so it’ll be easy to find a can of chickpeas. Ha!

There isn’t much else to say; I feel that I could pad this post if I wanted to. I just whipped it up, photographed it, ate it, packed a bunch in Gladware to bring to work for the week, and DONE.

Backtracking: After I photographed it, I sat on my kitchen counter and ate a small bowl of it while my neighbors watched me from their kitchen window.

I can only imagine what they think of me when I’m standing on my wicker stool, towering 4 feet above my butcher block, head down, massive DSLR in hand. I’d like to think that they’re jealous they don’t get to eat the awesome food I’m creating!

Yeah…yeah…that’s it…

Pasta con Ceci
(Based on the Food 52 recipe for Pasta con Ceci)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

-3 cups boiling water
-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
-3 tablespoons tomato paste (I use Muir Glen organic tomato paste)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-1 & 1/2 cups uncooked wagon wheel pasta

Before We Get Started…

– If you don’t have wagon wheel pasta, ditalini or another small shape works well! If you live near a Whole Foods location that has the bulk bins with dinosaur-shaped pasta, DO IT. Life’s too short not to!

– The consistency of the tomato paste adds to this dish, so please do not substitute tomato sauce in its place.

Directions:

1.) In a large saucepan, heat water and bring to a slow boil.

2.) While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil on low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic and cook and stir until soft; you can allow the garlic to slightly brown, but do not let it burn!

3.) Add tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add salt, chickpeas, dried pasta, and boiling water. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Keep heat at medium-low and simmer until the pasta is cooked and the liquid has reduced, roughly 15 minutes.

4.) To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with extra olive oil, if desired. If meal-prepping or if there are leftovers, this will last in the fridge up to four days.

Green Pepper & Garlic Quesadillas

Sometimes, the most simple recipe is the best one.

I headed up to Connecticut one weekend to visit my parents. I was beat because MetroNorth was doing some MTA-esque track work. I had to take the train from Grand Central to a bus at Golden’s Bridge, then I had to take said bus to Southeast where I had to transfer back to a train to go to Wassaic. That’s tantamount to when the 1 Train has a middle stretch of it shut down during the weekend and I have to take the 1 from Dyckman to 168th, then take a shuttle bus to 137th where I can catch the 1 again.

Yes, I realize the preceding paragraph likely went over the head of a non-New Yorker, and may have empathetically enraged a fellow New Yorker. HA!

But let’s get back to food, shall we?

Arriving at my parents’ house, the cupboards where a bit bare, but the fridge yielded a few goods I knew I could throw together. Tortillas? Cabot Monterey Jack cheese? Green pepper? Garlic? Butter?

A small comforting meal at its finest.

My parents are really easy to please, food-wise, as well. They have expansive palettes but also love the simple things. If anything, they just want me to cook for them. Right, Mom?

Green Pepper & Garlic Quesadillas
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
– 1 cloves garlic, minced
– 4 tortillas, flour or corn (for this recipe, I do prefer flour!)
– 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I use Cabot!)
– 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Before We Get Started…

– As much as I LOVE frying up a quesadillas in butter, when making quesadillas en masse, the butter is going to brown and burn too quickly. I suggest using coconut oil to fry them up, as its smoke point is very high. But if you do not have coconut oil, another cooking oil of your choice (or butter!) is fine! Just keep an eye on your heat!

Directions:

1.) In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Once it begins to shimmer, add green pepper and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until slightly softened; it’s good to leave them a little bit crunchy! Add garlic to green pepper and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove green pepper mix from heat.

2.) Toss together green pepper mix and shredded cheese in a small bowl. Lay out tortillas on a clean flat surface. Divide pepper & cheese mix into four even portions and place onto half of each tortilla; fold tortillas over.

3.) In a large frying pan or a flat griddle, add coconut oil over medium-low heat; allow oil to melt. If using a frying pan, cook quesadillas one at a time; if using a griddle, cook quesadillas two at a time so you can keep a good eye on their cooking. Cook for approximately two minutes on each side or until each side is a golden brown color and the pepper & cheese mixture has melted.

4.) Serve immediately!

A Lovely April Update!

I feel like a change is a’comin’.

I think it’ll be a good one!

Though my background in project management is limited, I know that projects have scopes, and, on occasion, those scopes can change during its course.

My original scope of Seek Satiation – both the blog and my Instagram feed – was to be strictly recipes I created. For the blog, that has been pretty consistent. For the Instagram, that has absolutely morphed. It has become an amalgamation of photos of my own recipes, recipes I’ve made for other outlets – heyyyy, Candace! – and photography of food PR events I’ve become involved with over the past few years.

Any blog owner wants their audience to continue to remain engaged. Though my single-serve shakshuka recipe still keeps my traffic consistent – bless that recipe, HA! – I still want interesting content for both my regular readers and people that stumble across this lil’ thing. One thing that shocks me is how often a friend will mention that they do like *insert recipe here* from this blog, or how they can’t wait for a new recipe to be posted! It’s humbling, but almost puts a modicum of pressure upon me to log onto WordPress with some fresh stuff! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It is not easy to run a food blog on the side if you have a full-time 9 – 5 job like I do, and though some people can pay the bills with their food blogging, that ain’t happening with me. (Well, at least until food blogging can provide me with comprehensive health insurance, a 401k, and pension, AND a living wage! πŸ˜†) Instagram is seemingly easier to update with new non-recipe-related content…so…

I’m going to take a stab at adding occasional restaurant and product reviews here!

Astako Makaronada

Because I’m all about that Astako Makaronada from Voula NYC.

I took a poll on Instagram Stories – because I like to keep things as statistically correct as possible, clearly – and it seems like most of y’all would be amenable to this new content! YAY! 85% said “YASSS!” to new non-recipe content, and 69% said that restaurant content would be preferred over product content. I’d likely do both, but it’s good to know where the consensus lies.

Nothing I plan to post will be too outside of my own personal scope of what I do and don’t like – if Frito-Lay offered to pay off my student loans to review their newest type of Doritos, I’d sadly decline, though later kick myself for it – but I’m excited to see what new content I can share will y’all.

Boba Guys

And I also love a good bubble tea from Boba Guys!

I just hope you like it, and feedback is always welcomed!

Stay hungry!

Happy Thursday!

– Al