Pita Pockets-My Favorite Quick & Easy Lunch

I discovered these on one of those digging through the fridge, hungrily, trying to find something worth eating and nothing sounds good days.  Since then they have become a regular and loved lunch staple in the household.  With minimal ingredients and a small amount of prep, a deliciously simple lunch is ready in about 10 minutes.

Pesto Pita

Pita Pesto Pockets

makes 2 

Spoonful of Pesto of your choice.  (I use a sun-dried tomato pesto found in the Italian section of my local grocery.  It contains olive oil, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and pecorino.  I am sure you could also make your own if you’re feelin fancy.)

Quarter of a Zucchini

2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach Leaves

2 Flatbread/Pitas/Tortillas, any that you have on hand will do.

Mozzarella (optional)

Olive Oil

  1. Heat 4 Tbsp Olive Oil in a skillet over med. heat.
  2. Spread pesto evenly on one side of your pita or flat bread.
  3. Thinly slice about 6 pieces of zucchini (for each) and layer on to the pesto.
  4. Add one handful of spinach leaves to each pita. Pita
  5. If you are cheese friendly, add a decent pinch of mozzarella to the top of the spinach.
  6. Carefully add the other half of your pita to the top.  It will be very thick, but becomes more manageable as it cooks.

Pesto Saute

7.Place both sandwiches in the shimmering olive oil and cook for approx 5 min. on        each side. I prefer them to be quite brown and a bit crispy.

8. Slice in half and enjoy!

Finished Pita

Morning Rush Smoothie

Mornings are the worst time of the day for me. I rarely get what feels like enough rest and it usually takes me a good 2 hours to “wake up.”  That being said, breakfast is not something I usually want to work at unless it’s a weekend and I have plenty of time for some coffee before getting started in the kitchen.  Most vegan breakfast recipes seemed to take forever-cook rice for 45 minutes, boil your oats for 30 minutes, soak this overnight, cook that yesterday.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still!  So smoothies became my breakfast lifesaver and it’s even something nutritious and filling that the kids love.

Smoothie Fruit

I always keep at least 2 bananas chopped and in zip-lock baggies in the freezer just for smoothies and the occasional banana ice-cream. Sure there’s a bit of prep work involved, but honestly it’s not much more complicated than roughly chopping or juicing the items of your choice and throwing them in a blender.  As far as healthy, whole foods, plant-based breakfasts, it doesn’t get much simpler.

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This is my all time favorite go-to smoothie recipe.  It’s not too tangy for first thing in the a.m. and it’s filling enough to get you through until lunch.  Also easy enough to take with you on the road to work or school.

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Morning Rush Smoothie

serves 1 (lg. glass)

1 frozen banana

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 a pomegranate-juice of. (save the other half for the next smoothie!)

1 large handful of spinach (can’t even taste it)

6 or 7 large strawberries

2 pitted and chopped dates (these can easily be omitted without affecting the taste)

Blend and enjoy!  I use a Ninja blender and it gets the job done nicely.

Pair with these muffins for an even tastier breakfast!

StrawNana Muffins

It has been a long couple of days!  We have had snow days on top of snow days lately and the cabin fever has started to set in.  After trying to appease an irritable six year old for most of the morning, I decided to lay her down for a nap and make myself a treat.  I have a terrible sweet tooth and sometimes it can be a little bit unsatisfying when all you want is a big bowl of ice-cream, but the health conscious side of you wins out and you opt for the apples and peanut butter instead. Not today.

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These have to be the best vegan muffins I have ever had.  Not only that, but you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat them.  Food is made to be enjoyed, and let me tell you, my taste buds enjoyed three of these guys.  They were the perfect pick me up for a cold, dreary day.  Here is the recipe for anyone else suffering from this never ending winter weather.

StrawNana Muffins

makes 12 muffins

(adapted from a similar recipe found in Forks Over Knives) 

2/3 cup almond milk

1 1/4 tbsp ground flax

2 cups wholewheat pastry flour

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup organic apple butter (I used R.W. Knudson)

1/4 cup melted Earth Balance

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large banana (mashed)

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1 small handful dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the milk, flax, and vinegar until frothy and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and  salt.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture.
  5. Add the apple butter, earth balance, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  6. Stir until well moistened.
  7. Add the mashed banana to a measuring cup, then add sliced fresh strawberries on top of banana until you reach 1 full cup.
  8. Fold the berry/bananas into the wet mixture.
  9. Sprinkle in cranberries (or any other dried fruit of your choosing-blueberries would be good!)
  10. Stir and pour mixture into the greased or nonstick muffin pan, filling each about 3/4 of the way full.
  11. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, cool, and dig in!

(I apologize for the not quite up to par photograph.  I just got a new “fancy” camera and am still learning the ropes. Let’s hope my food photography can be as good as the food one day!)Image