‘The Struggle is Real’ Rice Pudding

Fast breakfast of Rice Pudding in a white porcelain mug on top of a dark wooden table with goji berries and a drizzle of date paste syrup.

Named accordingly, this healthy-carb’d, protein-packed, deliciously fast dish is the perfect breakfast for those mornings when you want to eat well, yet you have NO TIME to make anything that would resemble a breakfast of champions, if you eat breakfast at all! The struggle is real, right?

Well, first things first, put down that Pop Tart and Double Soy Unicorn Latte (not a good breakfast, girls!), then check this out.

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"The Struggle is Real" Rice Pudding

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups cooked rice (brown or black is the best!)
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond, soy, organic cow, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites or one egg
  • 1/8 tsp ghee, coconut oil or grass-fed butter

Optional Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ginger, cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbl raisins or Goji berries
  • Drizzle of honey, date syrup or brown sugar; go easy if your milk is sweetened

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe non-plastic bowl (plastic leeches chemicals into the food when cooking).

  2. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. If you prefer the stove, bring the ingredients to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.

  3. Stir.

  4. If still runny, add another minute. Continue doing so until the eggs are cooked.

  5. Enjoy!

As you see, there are yummy & healthy options available to you in a pinch (particularly if you’ve been using your healthy shopping lists). All you need is a few minutes, and you’re good to go with a breakfast that will keep your brain sharp, your belly full and you at your peak. Now, THAT is a Breakfast of Champions!

As always, we love to hear your thoughts, your breakfast best practices, your tips, tricks and techniques – and so does our community! So please share them below, and if someone in your tribe, network, company needs a little morning overhaul, please feel free to share this post!

Asian Black Rice Salad: An Easy, Elegant Favorite

Black rice with chopped vegetables and drizzled with sesame seeds and sriracha. So good and good for you!

Looking for a fast, easy and healthy dish for your next soiree? Try out this new Thanksgiving fave in our house: Asian Black Rice Salad! The subtle heat of the hot sesame oil along with the crunch of the veggies and antioxidant-rich black rice make this dish a healthy and memorable addition to any table.

 

Asian Black Rice Salad
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked black rice
  • 1/2 cup napa cabbage, chopped (substitute chopped kale, if desired)
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped (substitute chopped yellow or white onion, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbl soy sauce or gluten free Tamari
  • 2 Tbl roasted sesame seeds
  • 1-2 Tbl sriracha
  • 1 Tbl hot sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • Combine the rice and veggies in a large mixing bowl
  • Whisk the sesame oils, rice vinegar, Tamari, and garlic powder
  • Pour dressing over the rice and veggies and stir so you’re coating the rice
  • Transfer the dressed rice and veggies to your desired serving dish
  • Drizzle the Sriracha
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds
  • Serve

Bon appetit!Black rice, unchopped napa cabbage and varieties of bell peppers and scallions, chopped vegetables, vegetables mixed with rice

 

A Beginner’s Grocery List for Healthy Habits

There’s something about Spring that revives enthusiasm for healthier habits, particularly around eating for vibrant, radiant health!

The sun-filled days are longer. Sundresses beckon. Bikini season is almost upon us, and of course, feeling good is important regardless of the time of year (ok, ok, bikini season is a mild motivator ;))! Like any season, though, we still only have so many hours in a day, and the biggest challenge may be eating right during the week when both time and energy wane.

The key? Keeping a well-stocked kitchen.

I have a standard grocery list of the basics that I get almost every trip, which I’d like to share with you below. Feel free to use it as a basis for creating your own list of basics that will make eating clean a quick and easy no-brainer! Although I mention organic for a few of the items, do what your budget will allow. Stressing over finances while in the frozen food section isn’t healthy for anybody, so take this list as a thought-starter, and make it your own. One helpful hint, though, is to stop on the perimeter of the grocery store for the healthiest items, with a few exceptions being the frozen food aisle for frozen fruits and veggies (which are just as healthy and nutrient-rich as fresh), and the natural food section (which, if you shop at my grocery store, is in the middle of everything – there goes the perimeter idea!) However you shop, enjoy the experience!

The SnR Basic Grocery List

  • Organic Berries.
    I use these as dessert, in smoothies and in cereal. I even like snacking on the frozen kind. Vary your colors to maximize the health benefits. An easy way to do this is by buying what’s on sale each week. Stores often rotate their promotions. Another hot tip: buy organic at Costco or Sam’s. You can get a huge bag at a great price.
  • Organic Apples + Pears.
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    Apples! #nomnom

    I love to snack, and when you eat as many salads as I do, you need some variety. Apples and pears satisfy both!  Whether sliced with a nut/seed butter, baked as dessert, chopped and dropped into a salad, or eaten as-is, they make flavorful, crunchy additions to a meal for a surprise sweetness without too much sugar. If you’re embracing ketogenic eating or on a low-glycemic diet, tread carefully with these and the berries, too. For other tips on which fruits and veggies to buy organic, check out The Environmental Working Group’s list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

  • A Variety of Greens.
    My faves are organic spinach + baby kale blends and organic romaine. I’ll mix all of them together for a snazzy salad, or drop the spinach/kale blend into the mixer to add some superfood punch to a smoothie. Sautéed spinach and kale also add a lot to a rice bowl or taco night. (And are easy to sneak in if you have veggie-averse family members.)
  • Brown Rice + other Whole Grains.
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    Rice-a-palooza!

    Where to begin! I LOVE brown rice. I eat it – and its cousins, Red, Black and Green – almost every day. From rice bowls for lunch or dinner to rice pudding for breakfast, I rely heavily on this complex carb. It’s super versatile, and you can cook a lot of it on Sunday and have a base for meals throughout the week. Mix in different sauces or salsa’s, or toss with a scrambled egg and leftover veggies, and you’ve got yourself a slew of dishes with only a little upfront effort.

  • Sweet potatoes.
    In the Varsity League of meal basics, sweet potatoes are definitely in my starting line-up. They can be a fun add-on as a hash to any dish, or roasted and used as a taco shell or base for taco salads. I’ve even been known to bake one in the microwave and eat it like an apple as my mid-morning snack. These tubers are starch, though, so if you’re on a ketogenic or low-Glycemic diet, incorporate these carefully.
  • Other Roast-Worthy Veggies.
    Roasted veggies are also a must-have for me. I love raw and sautéed, too; there is just something about roasted veggies that I can’t seem to get enough of! They are so easy and can be a great snack, side item, or main course as a base for veggie or rice bowls. My fave combo are onions, garlic (yes, garlic!), zucchini, yellow squash, and broccoli. Roasting in the oven takes about 20 minutes and adds texture and color to any salad or rice bowl! The leftovers can be used in a veggie scramble the next morning or even simply as an afternoon nosh.

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    Roast your veggies for a fun, colorful add-on to a basic pasta dish or rice bowl.
  • Clean Protein Options.
    Wherever you fall on the meat-eating scale, getting enough protein – whether animal- or plant-based – is key. I’m a pescatarian for the most part, so the majority of my protein comes from fish, eggs, and plant-based options. With any protein source, though, the key is buying the best quality you can. There are a lot of hidden ick-factors in non-organic, non-grass-fed beef, dairy, chicken and eggs, so it’s worth the splurge to trade-up to better quality.
    Since I base so much of my diet on fish, I tend to buy frozen fish, like Mahi, Ahi Tuna, Salmon and Cod, so I can freeze it and have options without making a trip to the grocery store. I may even mix it up and use shrimp or scallops! I love using the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch app to find the most sustainable sources.
    Frozen fish is easy to defrost by moving them from the freezer to the fridge when you leave for work and sautéing or broiling for an easy dinner. Make leftovers your breakfast or lunch the next day, and you’ve saved yourself the time and energy of preparing another meal!
  • Healthy Fats.
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    Salads are an easy way to add in healthy fat by adding avocado or drizzling olive oil as dressing.

    My faves are olive oil, avocados, and tahini. Those of you with few restrictions in
    your diet can also enjoy a variety of raw nuts in whole grain cereal, dropped into yogurt, added into salads, or as part of your banana bread. Enjoy fat in your diet! It’s key for brain and body vibrance and overall well-being and longevity!
    I aim for 1-2 tablespoons with every meal, which is the right portion for me to feel satiated, curb sugar cravings, and see benefits to my skin. Experiment and see what works for you!

  • Spices!
    oh my goodness, spices. I LOVE them! From basil to oregano to garlic to turmeric to cinnamon to cayenne to cardamom to black pepper, I heart spices! They are an easy way to mix up a rice dish or filet to give you a variety of epicurean experiences without too much extra work. Whether fresh or dried, sprinkle it in, and you’re good to go! (Tip: If you’re using older dried spices, you’ll need about double the quantity to equal the flavor of  the fresh.)

Herbs and spices add pizzazz and variety!

Here’s the simplified list for your printing convenience; choose the items you’d like to try, and the next visit, mix in others!

SnR Basic Grocery List

Produce

  • Berries
  • Apples + pears
  • Spinach +/or kale
  • Romaine
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Avocados

Spices

  • Basil
  • Black Pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Whatever else you like!

Oils + Butters 

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Tahini
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

Protein

  • Eggs
  • Frozen fish (use your app to check which are best)
  • Organic, grass-fed, beef, chicken, etc

Other items

  • Brown rice
  • Black rice
  • Green rice
  • Red rice

As always, we love hearing your feedback and what works for you (or doesn’t)! Drop us a line below with your stories and tips!

 

Friday Faves-ish

Better late than never on this post!

Whew, the past two weeks have been a whirlwind…which is just kind of par for the course given the holidays are officially upon us, right? 🙂 Filled with family fun, friends, jokes, laughter and definitely some memories, here’s the latest of my adventures. Hope your holidays have kicked off with flair, flavor and a lot of fun!

xo!

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For maybe the first time ever, I saw snow in November, and it was amazing! Visiting my family for our yearly outdoor extravaganza in Upstate NY, I was thrilled to see snow coming down like crazy the first day I was there. Unlike here in Atlanta, the city does not shut down, people drive without losing their sense of lawfulness, and the grocery stores stay fully stocked (even the bread and milk sections). It was a whole new wintry world! (I must confess, I also tried to catch some flakes on my tongue. No judgment. 🙂 I felt like a kid!)

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One thing that is kind of understated about visiting my family of farmers is… local, organic, farm-fresh veggies! It was an incredible surprise to find this wheelbarrow full of acorn squash, yellow squash, butternut squash and colorful peppers in my uncle’s barn. I scooped up as much as I could to bring home with me, and then cooked a little up for a snack later that day. Fresh veggies, GF rotini, olive oil, salt & pepper made for a delightfully colorful nom!

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Enjoying our time off during the Thanskgiving week, Jessica and I tried out Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall on the beltline. “Campfire-and-lodge themed,” it offered some lovely wintry cocktails and down-home favorites, like Chicken & Dumplings and a S’mores Pie. It was a blast and should definitely be on your tour if you’re sampling seasonal cocktails or looking for a hip take on comfort foods this winter!

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When our usual, traditional Thanksgiving plans changed last minute, we ended up at a good friend’s house in Grant Park instead, and it was a marvelous turn of events! It was just so much fun to spend the holiday with him, his large family and a few friends. A first-time Holiday host, he did not have extensive fall decor for his tablescape. Leave it to my mom to  throw together the perfect holiday centerpiece: a Paul Revere bowl full of clementines with sprigs of holly from her own holly bush for a touch of color.

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Part of the fun and privilege of being guests for Thanksgiving Dinner is contributing to the meal! We brought the desserts, among others were a gluten-full apple pie and a gluten free apple crisp. What does that mean for the bakers? Lots of apple peeling. This Thanksgiving was probably the first in a few years that we have done it all from scratch, and I honed my apple peeling and slicing skills like never before. The fruit of our labor (see what I did there? ;)) was this delicious apple crisp – tangy, buttery and with just the right amount of topping to delight the tastebuds. A little dollop of whipped topping didn’t hurt either 🙂 Mmmm!

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In post-holiday recovery, my mom and I took to Whole Foods. Her first trip after hearing about this mecca for years! I was beyond thrilled to finally show her the wonderland that is the hot bar and salad bar section! She had a great time and made quite the smorgasbord, but my joy in watching her whip up her own creation paled in comparison to my glee in seeing her take a picture of her meal, which she has never done before! I think having a food blogging daughter is finally wearing off 😉 It was so much fun to share that afternoon with her! Seeing her have as much fun as I was having was just icing on the cake!

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As we get catapulted even further into the holidays, it can be far too easy to get caught up in the hubbub, in the “I have to go to _____,” “we have to do ______,” etc.  Have to, have to, have to. The holidays are a magical time, but they are also a time when we can get a little frustrated or feel overwhelmed. Family dynamics can become more pronounced, the pressure for the perfect holiday/gift/dinner is on, the rush to get it all done can eclipse the joy of the season and the experience itself. We need to remember to take it all in, which is why this quote really grabbed my attention this week. It just clicked when I read it that the holiday season comes once a year, and next year’s Thanksgiving, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas will never be exactly the same as the one upon us in 2014. Take the time to enjoy the moments. Turn up the Christmas carols while sitting in that less-than-stellar holiday traffic. Laugh when the dessert goes a little awry because your crazy aunt or overambitious cousin didn’t get the recipe just right. Just be present and find the joy in it all. No matter how small 🙂 ‘Tis the season!

Need an Easy, Peasy, Gluten-Freezy Dinner for A Night In? Try this Veggie “Fried” Rice!

Quick and easy, easy dinner, eating on a budget, kid-friendly, gluten free, nut free, easy recipe, fast, vegetarian

Quick and easy, easy dinner, eating on a budget, kid-friendly, gluten free, nut free, easy recipe, fast, vegetarian

This one-pan, quick and easy, yet healthy dinner is perfect for a night in with your sweetie or as a family dinner after a long day in the office. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover brown rice and fit in some extra veggies. As with all the dishes we whip up at Sprout and Rosebud, the below measurements are flexible. Adjust to your own liking! If you would prefer to add some sort of protein, like tofu, shrimp, fish, or chicken, cook that in a separate pan before mixing together towards the end.

What You’ll Need
– 1 1/2 cups of veggies (Raw or Cooked)
– 2 raw eggs
– 2 c. of cooked rice
– 2 Tbl of your favorite oil (or a blend. I use olive oil and sesame oil)
– 1 tsp tumeric
– 1- 2 Tbl Hoisin Sauce
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp garlic salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 1 tsp chili paste
– Sriracha to taste
*Serves two moderately hungry adults

What You’ll Do
1. Place the raw veggies in a pan and sauté with the oil.
You want the veggies to maintain their color and a tad of crispness. Vibrant color and crispness mean the veggies have maintained their nutrients, which is what we want. If you use carrots, pre-steam, as they take much longer than most other veggies, such as onions, peppers, zucchini and squash, to sauté. If your veggies are already cooked, add them to the pan in the oil and heat through.

2. Add your eggs and “scramble” in the pan with your veggies on Medium-High heat.

3. Once the eggs are starting to clump, but still wet, toss in your rice.

4. Cook for 5-10 minutes. You want the eggs to be cooked and the rice to be heated through, but without overcooking the veggies.

5. Add the remaining seasonings, stir through and serve.

6. Add Sriracha to taste once served and ENJOY!!

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