A Touch of Green

How is everyone’s First Weekend of the New Year going? Don’t know about the rest of you, but this past week felt like it was TWO WEEKS long!

I was so excited to wake up this morning on my own at the lovely time of NOT 5am! I woke up and made a little something different for breakfast and was finally able to shoot some pics in the light of day! I love you sunshine!

This morning’s bowl of oats was inspired by the lovely Heather after seeing here Oat Bran 101 post yesterday.

"Green" oats and a nice cup o' Joe!

All I did was cook 1/3 cup of oat bran in 1 cup of water, added a good handful of spinach and gave it a whirl in the Magic Bullet. Then I topped it with mild salsa, a bright and sunshiny egg and some fresh ground black pepper.

After breakfast, I headed over to SAMs Club to stock up on some produce for the coming week. Next week I will be working my late shift (9a-7:30p) so I like to make sure I have plenty of fresh food options to choose from.

Left to Right: Sliced mushrooms, mandarin oranges, 3lb container of spinach that will be gone by this time next week, sweet mini-peps, snap peas, frozen mixed fruit: mango, strawberries, peaches, and pineapple, Honeycrisp apples (so excited these are still available), portobello mushrooms, raspberries, and blackberries (great deal on the berries, only $3!)

Yep, this should keep me pretty busy! 😉

As soon as I got home, those little peppers were just screaming, “Make a salad with us!”

A Mighty Colorful Lunch:

  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • mini heirloom tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • shredded carrot
  • mini peps
  • red onion

Topped with roasted pine nut hummus and served with baked tortillas (I cut up a Trader Joe’s whole wheat tortilla and baked in the oven a 350 degrees until lightly browned and crispy). After the pic, I drizzled a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing on top.

I LOVE plates full of color!

I needed to scratch the baking “itch” that’s been nagging at me all week, so I decided to finally make some of Katie’s 24 Carrot Gold Muffins that I’ve had bookmarked FOREVER!

While the muffins were baking, I decided to make myself a little snack. I’ve been dreaming of a creamy chocolate dip for the last few days so I decided to take a stab at it:

Bitter Chocolate Pudding Dip:

  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • splash of vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon

All ingredients went into the Magic Bullet and were pureed until smooth. I added a little sweetener to it, but not much since I like the taste of bitter dark chocolate. Feel free to add more agave or honey as needed to suit your own taste.


Does this not remind you of a crab? Dip=shell, apples=feet 😉

I dipped honeycrisp apple slices, but I think this would also go great on sliced banana or graham crackers too!

Oh don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the muffins!

I spread some greek yogurt “frosting” on top of the taste-tester muffin with a little dash of cinnamon! Oh my…oh my!! I decided to go with raisins, coconut, and walnuts for my add-ins. I loved the way they all came together to make such a wonderful mix of textures with just the right amount of sweetness! Thank you Katie for the awesome recipe!

And then there was dinner! I couldn’t forget #2 of my list of “intentions” for the year!

Smoked Paprika Salmon wih Balsamic Green Beans

The salmon was from a pre-cooked frozen package I picked up at Trader Joe’s so all I had to do was thaw it out, season it up, and slap it on the grill (pan). I sprinkled some fresh basil on top just for color, but it ended up really upping the flavor of the dish! Loved it!

I served the salmon atop some of Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Bulgur and simply followed the cooking instructions on the side of the package. This was my first time trying bulgur. It tastes a bit like soft rice with a great nutty taste. Just like other grains, it is very versatile, but with a much quicker cook time! Plus, plus!

Balsamic Green Beans with Mushrooms & Onions: (makes 2 servings)

  • 6 ounces fresh green beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • pepper to taste

1. Place green beans in a covered pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Turn to           medium-high heat and steam for about 5 minutes, or until the beans have a bright               green color to them.
2. Saute mushrooms and onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally until brown and                   tender, about 7-8 minutes.
3. Add green beans to skillet with mushrooms and onions, add balsamic vinegar, and stir.
4. Season with Italian seasoning and pepper and continue to cook over medium heat until     the balsamic thickens into more of a sauce and clings to the veggies.

Best green beans I’ve ever tasted! If you’ve never cooked with balsamic vinegar, you MUST give it a try. Just add it in to your next veggie saute! The flavor is amazing!

Hope I’ve entertained you enough with my day of cooking adventures. Didn’t realize till just now how long this post has gotten!

What did you get into today? Anyone else do any baking?


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24 Responses to A Touch of Green

  1. Oh wow, i’m a sucker for colorful food! =) Your salad looks like summer on a plate! <3

  2. Jenny says:

    I found honeycrisp at the commissary today! Too crazy! I really missed them. All your yummy food looked amazing as usual!

  3. Priyanka says:

    Love that salad. I always get an urge to make a big salad after grocery shopping since there is so much fresh produce available.

    That chocolatey dip looks amazing!

  4. I bought a huge produce overhaul at Costco yesterday to keep me occupied for the next week too. And I totally see the crab 🙂

    • Whew! Thought I might’ve been losing it for a second! I think I’m finally getting my imagination out of hibernation! I used to “see” objects in the clouds all the time, but then one day I looked up and couldn’t see a thing! 🙁

  5. inmytummy says:

    Your breakfast is so pretty!

  6. Talk about a pretty breakfast! I won’t lie, it sounds gross to me, but dang–you make it look so good that I made want to try it.

  7. Love the crab. I want to eat its shell. 😉

    Lovely day of eats Heather. Your savory oatmeal was so pretty as are all your meals. All the color makes them so festive, and every plate looked tasty as well as beautiful.

    I too have had Katie’s 24 carrot muffins bookmarked for forever. She has the best recipes – never met one I didn’t like.

    No baking for me today but hopefully tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  8. Everything looks so good i don’t even know which to choose to talk about! I have been wanting to make green oats lately! Maybe this week!!!!

    I totally love going healthy grocery shopping! Its always like a huge splurge for me!

  9. i got a food processor!!! ahh your oats are beautiful done and your colorful lunch is gorgeous!

  10. Wow, Heather, your photos are BEYOND gorgeous! I’m so honored that you made the muffins… and made them look so pretty hehe :). Your eats have got to be the most colorful of the whole blogworld.
    I think that third photo is my favorite; it’s just so gosh-darn vibrant!

    • Thank you so much! I do my best with the photos during the week, but I love the weekends where there is more access to daylight! I like to use as much color in my food as possible. Not only is it good for you to eat from the rainbow, but it’s also pretty to look at! 😉

  11. Anastasia says:

    Haha, I see the little apple crab! I looove honeycrisp apples.. they are the best snacks ever! All your food looks so amazing. The balsamic greens beans look especially yummy to me.

    I baked these vegan chocolate chip cookies last night – http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6391.0

    They were great even if they were a bit indulgent.. half a cup of oil and one cup of sugar, say whaaat?! I’m not good enough at baking yet to know how/what to substitute so I just went with it.

    • Yes, I LOVE me some honeycrisps! They are supposed to be out of season, but I keep finding them at the store. Definitely no complaints here! The beans really were the highlight of the meal. Balsamic vinegar makes just about any veggie taste that much better!

      Sounds yummy! I started slow when I first started tweaking recipes. You can start by substituting a little here and there, like use 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup of applesauce or pureed pumpkin (and no your cookies won’t taste like pumpkin ;)) and try cutting the sugar by 1/3…sometimes you can’t even tell the difference!

      • Anastasia says:

        I love veggies with balsamic too.. so good!

        Thanks for the tips. I’m not very good at baking by following the recipe exactly as it is so I get scared to substitute anything. I will have to try pumpkin- I had no idea you could sub it like that!

  12. Hahahaha – loved the green oats!
    Such a great idea 🙂
    Oh, and sure – gotta love colorful salads!

  13. I agree with other commenters all the colours in this post are amazing! Love the look of those savoury oats as well! 🙂

  14. Katelyn says:

    Your food looks beautiful! So glad you’re a broccoli lover, I eat green vegetables like it’s my J-O-B. Slash I love cooking with balsamic:) Have you tried Red Wine Vinegar?

    • Thank you! You can’t tell now, but I used to hate veggies! Unbelievable, I know! 😉

      I have had red wine vinegar before, but only in a couple of different slaw recipes. I’ve never cooked with it though. Any suggestions?

  15. Pingback: Celebrations! | kissmybroccoli

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