Yep, cookies for breakfast. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on life. These cookies are healthy, hearty, vegan and gluten-free. They essentially have two ingredients – ripe bananas and oats. When these two things come together and bake, they firm up to create a simple breakfast treat. The add-ins (raisins, cinnamon, seeds, nuts, etc.) give these little cookies their character.
When I decided to overhaul my make-ahead game and start eating healthier, I cut out gluten. I am not a celiac. I don’t claim to have an allergy, and I don’t know if I even have an intolerance.
The reason I decided to go gluten-free was simply because I can’t control myself around it. I turn into a lion on a pasta-gazelle. Give me some pizza, bread or noodles, and I’ll mindlessly eat until it’s gone. That was a problem when wheat products were the cornerstone of my diet.
I am a lover of red sauce from way back. I wasn’t a macaroni and cheese kid – it was p’skhetti and sauce all the way. My college years were filled with jarred marinara and white pasta, and it sadly carried over to my adult years.
This love did not disappear when I started to eat healthier. Most of the time, there’s nothing I want more than a big bowl of red sauce and noodles. And I can still have it with this recipe. It’s low in sugar and sodium, with all the big, bold flavors of long-simmered marinara. Just throw in the ingredients, give a quick stir, and four hours later, you’ve got bubbly heaven. Paired with some quinoa pasta or zoodles, it’s the perfect comfort food for this girl.
So… Making a menu for your household week after week. Intimidating, right? It can be, especially when you’re just starting out. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for six or seven days?! That’s a lot of decision-making at one fell swoop. Deep breath, I got you.
Step away from the boxed cereal! That stuff is yuck. No matter the health claims, it’s either high in sugar or tastes like chemically twigs. Make your own cereal, and you’ll always know exactly what’s in it.
American households throw away a lot of food. And I have a sneaking suspicion the amount we throw away goes way up when we’re trying to make a change to eat healthier. We have all these good intentions of eating that beautiful box of greens. But then work runs over or pizza cravings hit. And the box just sits there until it ain’t so pretty anymore.
Making homemade stock from cooking leftovers is one of my favorite bits of kitchen alchemy. On my cooking day, I just set up a container to throw my veggie scraps into. Then I freeze the container. Every few weeks, the still-frozen veggie scraps go into the slow cooker with some water. Four hours later, delicious, tawny stock comes out.
It’s economical and cuts down on food waste. But most importantly, your stock will taste way better than any packaged stock ever could.
It’s so hard to say what tools are essential in a kitchen, I think it’s a personal choice. That egg ring may seem superfluous to me, but hey, someone else may LOVE it.
With this in mind, I’ve tried to narrow down what’s truly essential in the Make Ahead Modern kitchen. These are the tools necessary to make and store food that keeps all week and comes together in a snap.
Healthy muffins make happy mornings. These muffins are not only gluten-free, but grain- and nut-free as well. Quinoa serves as the base of the recipe. Eggs, banana and flax seed meal bind the muffins. Cinnamon, vanilla and raisins make them delicious.
We hear a lot of conflicting science on what cooking fats are good for us. Refined coconut oil is great! Refining is bad! Olive oils are oxidized! And oxidized is bad! It seems like every ingredient has its cheerleaders and detractors.