No Longer Forgotten

I have a couple of confessions. Don’t I always have confessions?

[EDIT: Apparently I’m crazy, too. I *thought* I knew today was Earth Day. Apparently, I was misled. Sorry kids.]

This morning, I knew it was Earth Day. What better way than to celebrate the beatuy all around me (and you!) than with a big bowl of beautiful, colorful oats? Utilizing multiple varieties of nature’s wonders, and savoring each bite? Confession: I didn’t think I was feelin’ colorful.

Just gotta go with what you crave...

I woke up at a complete loss as to what I wanted. And for some reason, I couldn’t get figs out of my mind. You see, I tend to forget about things when they’re out of sight. I have had some beautiful dried figs in my fridge for months. I always forget about them. Why? They’re in the produce drawer. Let’s think: anytime I’m grabbing something from the produce drawer, figs are probably not going to be what I’m in the mood for.

Ugly. Delicious.

That being said; this morning, I wasn’t in the mood for using frozen fruit. Frozen fruit is easier for me to use this time of year – but fresh fruit is, for obvious reasons, miles better. What I would give to try a fresh fig. Dried figs are, as a mother would call an ugly duckling, pretty in their own way. But, I was in the mood for figgy banana-maple-walnut oats. And this morning, my life changed. I have Nora to thank for this – she reminded me yesterday that there is nothing wrong with simple. We all know I still love to dress up my oats. That’s part of the fun for me: both the eating element and the photographic element. But really; they are quite simple still, and today I just felt like warm and hearty was a good choice.

Le Base:

  • 1 T. oat bran, 3 T. Bob’s 5 Grain + Flaxseeds, 1 T. Wheat Bran
  • 1/2 c brewed coffee, 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/4 of a banana, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 dried figs, chopped
  • splash of vanilla, ground cinnamon
  • 1 T. chia seeds

Look, Ma! No trail power!

On the Top:

  • chia icing
  • candied walnuts
  • Justin’s Honey PB [HOLY COW I just saw as I was linking this that they have chocolate hazelnut butter now?!?!]
  • and a lil compote of chopped banana and dried figs simmered in some maple syrup and almond milk

Candied Walnuts, you ask? Oh, I went there. I “toasted” some chopped walnuts – in pure Vermont maple syrup. Just a drizzle, babes! Maple syrup is pretty strong stuff – and I love that just a tiny, tiny bit can take you a long way. The best part of maple syrup? The outside of the jar – when it drips down, it crystallizes into this delicious maple-candy like yumminess. This is ironic coming from me since it is way sweet – but I think being Vermont-born, I make exceptions, and maple is one of them. I love utilizing nature’s nectar 🙂

So, yep. This bowl was life-changing. And hey, it still celebrated the earth! Milk from almonds, grown from the earth. Walnuts. Banana. Maple syrup. Figs. Oh, the figs. The figs were perfecto. I loved getting the random little seeds throughout the bowl. I think the little seeds are my favorite part of figs. That’s weird, since I hate the seeds in raspberries. Why am I so weird? And lets not forget the Timothy’s Maple Sugar Coffee, and the Justin’s Honey PB – which I was able to sample for the first time. Love!! It is a subtle flavor – which was just what I needed. All of my others are crazy, funky – I don’t think Coconut PB or Cherry AB would meld well with figgy banana oats, and I wasn’t about to open another new jar (even if it is Mighty Maple). I will definitely be buying a jar of this when I finish one!

Okay, enough rambling about oats. Have I convinced you, yet, that you should go make figgy banana oats, though? Luckily, I still have a couple more figs. Let’s hope I don’t forget about them for another year.

After finally finishing this bowl (I ate so slowly I had to reheat it on three separate ocassions. that’s way more than usual, not sure what was goin’ on) I thought wearing jeans to class would be good, and grabbed this Naked green machine smoothie for my mid-morning snack during class. Hey, it’s Earth Day – I was ready to get “what on earth are you drinking?! looks. But seriously – this Green Machine smoothie was sick-nasty. And around here, sick-nasty means “un-fweaking-believeably GOOD.” And I mean honestly, just look at the ingreds and nutrish. I’m lazy when it comes to making smoothies, but give me this any day and it’s gone. In mah belly, gone. I was glad that the other fruits – primarily kiwi – outshone the apple. Give me a fresh apple any day – give me apple juice and I’m outta heah.

That being said, I don’t think anybody thought anything of it, when you take into consideration I go to a relatively hippie school in Vermont. In fact, this may have been a poor beverage of choice for the day, because many people at my school take the celebration of earth day to celebrate…uh..some other things from the earth. Like…plants. Just saying.

And I don’t mean in the ways the I celebrated plants with this lunch.

I made a carrot-curry spread when I got home, which I spread on top of a slice of multi-grain bread, with a little bit of almond mozzarella. Over top, I spooned a bean mixture of just some beans sauteed in garlic with spinach and red pepper, and gave a quick mash. Super quick, easy, and tasty! Paired with some carrot fries, too. It was all about the plants and carrots today!

And horses. Dirty ones!

After lunch, I felt horses in the air with this beautiful day, and took Jiggy for a quick spin down the road. I couldn’t do too much since I had a 4:00 class tonight, but it was a nice break no less. Days like today, you’ve just gotta embrace the weather! Especially when we’re slated for more rain the rest of the week 😦

That being said, Jiggy sort of did what his name might hint he does. He jigged. A lot. And strangely, the weather started getting pretty overcast and quite windy – whaaa?! I think that may have had to do with why he was kind of a naughty boy, and when I got home I seeked the dessert I passed on at lunch time.

This is simple, but honestly, I found mass amounts of joy in this bowl of cottage cheese, plum, and almonds. Not sure why it seemed so much more impressive than usual…but I didn’t want it to end. Random.

I killed a bit of time before having to go off to class, and grabbed a pumpkin-raisin muffin with some sunbutter and a couple sahale snack cashews before heading out the door for class. Initially I had planned to leave early and check out the earth day festivities – but apparently it was all talk! My mom had called me to tell me not to get excited – only one vendor showed up and he was entirely unprepared and she was served a frozen black bean burger. She said she liked mine better. hah!

Luckily, class was let out early, and I came home and fixed a pleasing, fresh quinoa and apricot salad with spinach for dinner. I don’t think I could have made it through the three hours tonight – it was especially drawn out and just two was plenty.

I had a quick, easy meal of sweet potato and black beans tentatively planned since I figured I wouldn’t be getting home until 7:30 – but when we got out early I knew I wanted something much more fresh & light – I think the weather put me in a “bright and fresh” mood! Often times, I just tentatively meal plan, which leads me to crave the food anyways. But somedays, like tonight, I wasn’t feelin’ beans 2x! Granted – had I gotten home at 7:30 I probably would have been – convenience! But anyways – this fit the bill perfectly. I did throw in some black beans still for some more protein, but I think this quinoa is becoming a favorite of mine 🙂

The Quinoa:

  • cooked quinoa – 1/3c. dry
  • 1/4 c. black beans
  • chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • stalk scallions

The Dressing:

  • two large spoonfuls (1/4 c.?) plain greek yogurt
  • tsp. honey
  • splash lemon juice
  • cumin, curry powder, paprika, garam masala, salt

Mix everything together, and serve over a bed of baby spinach and top with some chopped nuts (preferably toasted pine nuts – I didn’t feel like toasting, though, and just chopped up some walnuts.)

Another option for dinner was going to be Annie’s Mac & Cheese. Yep. I almost wish I was craving that since I so rarely rely on quick, already-made meals – wanted to show you guys I’m a real person still, haha. I used to live on Annies and a couple weeks ago saw they had whole wheat now, along with individual servings. I snagged them both, and I’ve yet to enjoy them! I wonder if it’s as good as I remember 🙂

What’s a meal you used to swear by, but haven’t had in ages?

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14 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe, Uncategorized

14 responses to “No Longer Forgotten

  1. hola!

    I love how your simple oats look a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I want to try making my own maple roasted almond butter. my only beef i have like 5 jars open and a justins maple almond butter one of them. Also today i had oiaj<3 in my tjs almond butter with flaxseed yummy. Ugghh I still havent found my camera.. but i will post tomorrow with some latest foodie whole grain finds and camera pics:( And for those frozen black bean burgers I bought these “chile bean veggie burgers” from the produce section where all the soy/vegetarian products are .. but they were so lackluster and tasteless… made me wanting myy homemade delicious ones. I’m sorry this post is so long…im procrastinating.

    happy earth day!

  2. The oats…holy crap do they look good! I have yet to try the Annie’s stuff. I will have to grab some next time I see it. You food makes me hungry even after I have already eaten! Now I will need to go find something to satisfy my unknown craving! You are too cute with your horse. My sister rides and you make me think of her when you talk about it. Sadly, I think I know more about you now than her. Oh, sorry I went off on a different direction! My food has always been all over the place since I started cooking when I was so little. My memories of food are very random. We used to eat a lot of cubed steak and mashed potatoes here. Good grief things have changed!

  3. I need to make the quinoa. When I make it I always make it so plain and boring and just mix it into my veges. A meal I used to swear by was grilled cheese. I haven’t had it in forever…but I should bring it back! I got your email shipping confirmation btw! thanks!

  4. Omg that green machine smoothie looks like it’s packed with good stuff! I’m always a little iffy of store-bought smoothies, but that one looks like a winner!

    There are so many foods I used to love that I haven’t had in ages (since I started eating healthier). In high school I loved cheese tortellini and alfredo sauce. Now I stick to whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce… but I think I may need to indulge in my old favourite soon. 😉

  5. i used to swear by chicken marsala and any pasta with homemade tomato sauce, but i rarely make this anymore! darn it! i had a dream about chicken marsala the other day too..must be time to make it!

  6. i saw the trail power in a catalog and laughed today!
    is it good? i’ve never had a goji berry or anything like that.

  7. Mo

    I’ve actually never had figs… except Fig Newtons once in 2nd grade. Which I don’t think counts.

    I love Naked Juice! I don’t drink it often but it’s a glorious thing. And I still need to try a green smoothie. It just sounds so wrong and so right at the same time.

    Ahh quinoa. It and I are getting to be such close friends. I just hope I don’t get sick of it by the time I’m done doing the whole baking thing.

    A meal I used to swear by… I actually have no idea. o.O Probably standard lemon-rosemary chicken breast. I haven’t eaten chicken in a while since I stopped eating cheap chicken.

    On a completely unrelated note, I nominated you for an award. I think the word “nominated” is wrong because everyone wins, but let’s not get into semantics. 🙂

  8. Oh, I love those squeeze packs! My mom used to make this dish called goldenrod eggs that I haven’t had in years! It was so good and simple! You take hardboiled eggs, grate the yolks, mix the chopped up whites with a simple white sauce, then toast some whole wheat bread. To assemble, you pour the white sauce and egg whites over the toast and sprinkle with the yolks. I can’t describe how amazing this tastes! That quinoa looks great, girl! Have a good night!

  9. yyyessssss! Justin does have chocolate hazelnut butter, I saw them at Marshalls a few days ago and was sooo excited! buuut
    I did not get it though, ha. But I always think about it in the back of my mind. all the tiiiiiime

  10. that juice looks amazing!

  11. :O I’m excited – I HAVE FOUR PACKS OF SQUEEZY NUT BUTTER NOW thanks to my bloggie care package the other day!!! I can finally add it to oatmeal and have the melty goodness 😀
    Figs in oats – v clever. I found some figs in the cupbaord the other day (2yrs past their sell by date..) – I tried one and they taste alcoholic! Maybe alcoholic oats are next on the agenda….
    Jiggy is so beautiful! It’s funny how the wind makes them mad, Chika is B****Lady from Hell when it’s windy!!
    Beautiful pics, as always 🙂

  12. I’ve also never tried a fresh fig. I would love to!! The picture of you and the horse is beautiful!! 😀

  13. “In fact, this may have been a poor beverage of choice for the day, because many people at my school take the celebration of earth day to celebrate…uh..some other things from the earth. Like…plants.”
    <- LOVE it!!! now I'm not bashing on anyone who does enjoy… plants.. but it's not for me. And people who do enjoy said plants that know me think it's just hilarious that I was born on 4/20 yet I don't enjoy the plant, far from it. Especially an ex that I had, he was big into the plant and let's just say THAT didn't last long.
    ANYWAYS, your oats sound amaaaaazing! I have a huge huge love of figs but I've never thought of putting them into oats. Umm I need to try that! For sure!
    Oh I love Annie's Mac and Cheese! Especially the shells and white cheddar. YUM!
    Have a fabulous day and thank you for the birthday wishes! Love ya!

  14. Hi! I just found your blog and LOVE it. You take amazing pictures – I can’t wait to read more 🙂

    Glad to see another oatmeal fanatic!

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