Baked Banana & peanut butter Oats

Breakfast: the most important meal of the day, especially if you have an incredibly physical job, like Mike. Since we cut out land-animal protein, we are very mindful of getting enough plant based protein and good carbs, for energy. Especially when the day ahead is filled with demo, heavy lifting, and being on your feet!

Bathroom Demo

 

This is our upstairs bathroom – Mike is doing the whole thing himself, so get’s pretty hungry!

Bathroom PlumbingHere he is sweating the pipes. What a renaissance man!

I work at a desk all day, so loading up on protein/carbs isn’t a priority. So finding that balance can be a challenge…and by the end of the week, we’re low on groceries, so what the heck do I make that’s quick, protein/energy loaded and tastes good!?

Quick oats baby! Super good, filling, and versatile! Add different kinds of nuts, try different milk substitutes, top with fresh fruit….voila! My motto: #workhardcookhard (find me on Instagram!)

1 cup Quick oats
1 cup Almond milk (I’m sure regular, coconut, soy milk would be fine too!)
1 ripe-ish banana, mashed (you can mash with everything else, doesn’t need to be before)
A handful of walnuts (you can toast before hand in skillet or oven, but I didn’t -bake them at 375 for 7-10 minutes)
1-2 large scoops of peanut butter or any nut butter really (I use chunky, natural)

Combine all ingredients, except peanut butter, in a bowl, including banana. Put mixture into baking dish and cook at 350 for 30 minutes.

Top with peanut butter….right out of the oven it will be all warm and gooey, yum! You can drizzle with honey too and top with fruit. I used strawberries!

Happy Breakfast!

A Vermont Wedding

This past weekend, Mike and I headed east for one of my best girlfriend’s wedding. She and I have been friends since the 7th grade – a long, long time! I was the maid of honor and couldn’t be more excited for her!

Taking a late afternoon flight, we arrived in wet, humid Boston around 8pm Friday night. That’s something that we haven’t seen in quite some time: the wet humidity of early east coast summers. Anywho, it made us appreciate Denver even more.

After renting our convertible (yup, we splurged!) we hit the road – 3 hours and some change later we made it. In the pitch black, we didn’t get a chance to see the beauty New England has to offer, but I knew the ride back would be glorious.

Vermont

The weekend couldn’t have been more beautiful, full of fun. It wasn’t stressful or over-the-top. Bridezilla was not invited. Drama hadn’t RSVP’d. Mountain Top Inn, the resort she choose, had the quaintness of any New England resort, with a modern twist. And the backdrop for the actual wedding day – breathtaking!

Vermont House

I’m not sure how I feel about marriage – a product of divorced parents, with statistics of failure always jumping out at me, plus I don’t want kids….well this wedding had all of what I’d consider to be perfection. A mix of friends, family, activity, partying, relaxing. Mike and I couldn’t have had more fun!

Mike and Catie

Bridal Party

Before I Do

At the reception, we danced the night away – I mean, 80% of the guests were on the floor, shaking what their momma gave them. The party, food, hosts….amazing. As the maid of honor, I had to give a toast, which I was thrilled about. I was there the night the two met – a chance encounter, where the groom had taken the spot of a friend who had bailed on reservations. If you don’t believe in fate, this may change your mind.

My Toast:

A Tale of two souls, from distant cities,
One had the Red Socks and one had the Phillies.

They met on a whim, over tapas one night,
A coworker coaxed him out, he didn’t put up a fight.

In for work with the brotherly love,
No one could have guessed it was a sign from above.

They were destined to meet, it had to be fate,
We joked we’d better be invited to the date.

Boxes were packed, futures solidified,
Then he asked her one day, if she’d be his bride.

Now we stand and raise a glass to their vow,
Forever began that day and brought them to now.

A Toast to my dear friend and her perfect match-

May you continue to feed each others mind, body and soul
And may you always taste life’s adventures with an open palette.

 

Cheers to love & everlasting happiness!

 

 

Fried stuffed peppers with brussel sprouts’ Stuffing in a spinach pesto

They say the weather in Colorado fluctuates significantly, so you should always be prepared. They weren’t fooling! Today, after my work day ended, I headed outside for a workout…figured a gorgeous Colorado afternoon outside beat any gym! 25 minutes in, drops start falling….I ignore, but about 10 minutes later, hail starts pelting down.

What the $&#€! It’s June!

Well, this just means dinner creations get started early!  I grabbed inspiration from my Maid of Honor gift, Vegetables from an Italian Garden cookbook. I usually spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour on dinner….this meal took about an hour, with everything said and done. But, totally worth it!!

Stuffed Peppers

Fried stuffed peppers with Brussel Sprout Stuffing in a Spinach Pesto

Spinach Pesto (this makes a lot, so save half for another meal- I made caprese sandwiches for lunch with some!)

A handful of spinach
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of fresh Parmesan cheese
About 1/3 cup veggie stock
2-3 cloves of garlic

Brussels Sprout Stuffing
15-25 Brussel Sprouts
2 pieces of thick, crusty bread (I used whole grain from Sprouts)
1 tablespoon butter
3-4 tablespoons of the spinach pesto

Fried Stuffed Peppers
3 Peppers- 1 green, 2 red
1/3 of a yellow onion, minced
1 hot red pepper, minced (this is a preference, can be left out)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 egg
3 tablespoons flour
1 package of firm tofu, drained
Panko crumbs

Tofu

Heat oil in a pan, add garlic & onion & hot pepper. Add red pepper flakes. Saute for about 3-5 minutes. Add tofu to the onion mixture, crumbling it with your hands or a spoon. Brown/sauté for about 12minutes.

Cut butts off of brussel sprouts an add to a pot with about 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and steam for about 5 minutes, till soft.

Cut peppers lengthwise. De-seed and sprinkle bottoms with flour, then brush with beaten egg, then sprinkle with more flour. Set them aside to be stuffed.

Peppers stuffed with Tofu

Once tofu mixture is brown, scoop into pepper halves then add peppers back to pan, adding a bit more oil. Sauté for about 20 minutes over medium-medium low heat. Put lid on for about 9 minutes, then take lid off. Add panko crumbs during the last 3 minutes.

Brussel Sprout Stuffing

Once brussel sprouts are soft, cut in half, add butter to a baking dish, along with sprouts and spinach pesto. Add the crusty bread, tearing or cutting into small pieces. Mix together. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

This is a bit healthier than the original recipe…they are not deep fried, in fact you could probable omit the flour and egg and have it turn out just as scrumptious! It sounds like a lot of steps, but while one thing is happening, you can work on the next thing! People have asked me how long things really take, and they don’t take long…it’s just about managing your time in the kitchen and being confident on yourself.

Yum

Enjoy this….Mike definitely did and ate all the brussel sprout stuffing!