Snack Time – Homemade Granola Bars!

Snack time can be healthy and wholesome when your kids get home from school. One of my favorite snacks to make are delicious homemade granola bars. They are all natural and filled with just the right amount of nutrients to get your kids to dinner.

Feel free to add dried cranberries, raisins, peanut butter chips
or chocolate chips or nuts of various kinds depending on your family’s favorites.

Maple Cinnamon Granola Bars

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup crisped brown rice cereal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy protein powder or regular vanilla based protein powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbl. canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray baking pan with Pam.  In bowl mix the oats, rice cereal, flour, brown sugar, soy powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a small bowl mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and canola oil until smooth.  Stir one mixture into the other and combine them.  Spread mixture into the square baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Take out of oven and cut them into bar shaped size and then put the pan back into the oven for another 5 minutes.  The bars should be golden brown.

Store in an airtight container.

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Quinoa: “The Gold of the Incas”

A staple in my kitchen, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor when cooked.  It is commonly considered a grain but is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. Recently rediscovered, quinoa had been called “the gold of the Incas.” Now it is gold in my house at dinner time – my kids love it with stir fry instead of brown rice. I happen to love it mixed with veggies for lunch or dinner. As a vegetarian, I am always looking for more protein, and quinoa provides me with not only a delicious taste but nearly 15 grams of protein per serving.

Enjoy one of my favorite recipes:

Carrot, Zucchini and Asparagus Quinoa

2 Tbls dried currants

2 med carrots, cubed

2 sm zucchini, cubed

3-4 asparagus spears

1 shallot, chopped

2 Tbls olive oil

Saute chopped vegetables in oil until tender. Prepare quinoa according to directions on box. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

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Delicious For Spring: Baby Spinach Salad

Spring ahead with lots of exercise and healthy eating – they go hand-in-hand. The energy and stamina we enjoy largely depend on what we put into our bodies. Eating clean with fruits, veggies, fish, beans and nuts provides us with all the essential nutrients necessary for healthy living.

The health benefits of spinach are numerous, and its ability to help prevent disease is well known. Spinach is at the top of many “super food” lists because like other dark leafy greens — kale, collards, swiss chard, turnip greens and bok choy — it’s loaded with calcium, folic acid, vitamin K and iron. Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids. Eaten raw for a salad, it is truly a nutritional powerhouse. When ordering a salad, I always ask if spinach can be substituted for the lettuce, knowing that spinach far outweighs lettuce’s nutritional benefits.

This is one of my favorite recipes:

Spring Baby Spinach Salad with Fresh Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette

¼ C orange juice

2 tbls minced shallots

1 tbls fresh thyme

2 tbls grated orange peel

1 tsp honey

½ C olive oil

½ C white wine vinegar

For salad, combine 3 sectioned oranges, fresh baby spinach, ½ C diced green scallions, and 2/3 C walnuts or almonds (optional). Can also add feta or gorgonzola cheese.

Enjoy!

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365 Gathered Truths

A while back a beautiful wood box arrived at my door from a dear friend. On the outside of the box it was labeled, “365 Gathered Truths.”
Inside were 365 individual cards, one for each day of the year,
with a message or quote inscribed.  This simple box filled with magical messages makes me
smile every morning.  These mindful, brillantly written thoughts send me into the world with in a positive mindset each day.

Recently, I read a message that stuck with me and continues to therefore I’m sharing it with you.
It’s thought provoking and each time I go back to re-read it, it’s even more profound.

Written by Jo Coudert
“Of all the people you will know in a lifetime,
you are the only one you will never leave or lose.
To the question of your life,
You are the only answer.
To the problems of your life,
You are the only solution.”

Make each day count my friends and let’s be the change we wish to see in the world.
Have a peaceful day!

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“Gift of an Ordinary Day”

This is one of my favorite videos. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

watch?v=olSyCLJU3O0

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Homemade Tomato Bisque!!!

Growing up my mother always made fresh soups weekly. 

I have vivid memories of coming home from school to homemade tomato soup, one of my favorites and so easy to make. This recipe can be made with milk or without, depending on what your family enjoys.  

Sooooo yummy on a cold day!  Enjoy.

Tomato Bisque
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots

Saute the above ingredients in a little butter or canola oil until translucent. Add 1 tablespoon of white flour to thicken the veggie mixture.  Add two 12-ounce cans of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp. fresh basil. Stir….

Add 4 cups chicken or veggie broth and 1 bay leaf.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Discard Bay leaf and puree the soup.  

Add 2 cups of whole or 2% milk (optional), salt and pepper to taste.

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Happy New Year!

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving:
To reach Centerpeace, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail….
and not drift, nor lie at anchor.   I wish you a New Year filled with self exploration and growth.
Take time to elevate you.  Let go of the clutter that surrounds you, limiting your vision of what is truly
important in your life.  As you create this new space, your loved ones will hold greater value.  

Empower their presence, filling your life with precious moments.  Time is sacred.  Tomorrow is a gift, not a promise. Make it count.  I look forward to seeing you in class with energy,strength and desire as we continue our journey towards Centerpeace.  Happy New Year!

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Warm Up With Great Vegetarian Chili!

It’s cold outside!!!
Gather these yummy ingredients next time you shop and
enjoy the most wonderful bowl of vegetarian chili.  There is a southwestern
kick to this pot that gives it a warm, delicious taste.

Ingredients:

2 Tbls of olive oil or canola
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot
1 stalk celery
1 zucchini
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 clove garlic (optional)
1-3 finely chopped chipotles
1 Tbls chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 can plum tomatoes with their liquids
2 C red kidney beans (cooked)
2 C black beans (cooked)

Heat the oil and chop all the veggies.  

Begin with onions, then add carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini, and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft but still somewhat uncooked.  

Add chipotles, chili powder and cumin…salt too if you desire.  Stir.

Add tomatoes and 4 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth.

Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.  

Add beans…..simmer another 15 minutes and serve.  

Garnish individual bowls with jack cheese and/or sour cream, if desired.

One more thing: sometimes  I drain the broth from the chili and serve inside soft baked corn tortillas with shredded lettuce and shredded cheese. Great way to make two dinners out of one dish.  

So easy and yummy too!!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving From My Family to Yours…

Wishing you love and laughter today and always……
Stephanie

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Have you read anything great lately?

Have you read anything great lately?   So many of you are avid readers…please share your suggestions!  

My most recent fave is Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. A sweet story of friendship and unconditional love.

Cindy LOVED The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Amazing characters with depth and conviction in a turbulent time in the South. So well-written.

 Recently heard these are great (but haven’t read yet):

 A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev

 Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson

 City of Thieves by David Benioff

Please share your recent favorites or any book you’ve loved!

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