Warm Breakfast: Great Goji Groatmeal

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For National Hot Tea & Oatmeal Month, we shared the Great Goji Groatmeal breakfast recipe on this recent WBNS 10TV segment with Karina Nova and Ross Caruso. With our weather being perfect (meaning: cold, rainy) for this breakfast, we’re sharing it here with you too!

What is an oat groat? It’s the whole grain form of oatmeal, before it is steel-cut, rolled, or pulverized into an instant oatmeal package. These oat groats are chewy and take some time to cook, which is why we called upon our trusty slow cooker to work the overnight shift.

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Ingredients
2 cups oat groats
2 tablespoons chia seeds (and/or flax seeds)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
3 cups water (we used hot green tea)
3 cups of non-dairy milk (i.e. DIY almond milk)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 apples, cored and blended
1/8 cup of goji berries (or substitute with raisins)
1/3 cup cacao nibs (optional)

Instructions
Use a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Put oat groats, chia, shredded coconut, water, non-dairy milk, coconut oil, and goji berries (and cacao nibs if desired) inside. Blend cored apple and add to slow cooker. Stir all ingredients and cover, cooking on low for about 8 hours (automatic slow cookers should then switch over to ‘warm’ setting). Stir and serve with additional fruit (i.e. berries), nuts, seeds, or sweetener on top and enjoy a warm belly of food to start your day!

Recipe: Peppermint Eggnog & Vegan Nog

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Our first eggnog experience was rather unremarkable and with concerns about foodbourne illness from raw eggs, we’ve never pursued it…until now. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a tasty peppermint eggnog recipe for you which can be made safely with eggs AND we have an eggless, vegan version which is equally delicious. We love to be the bearers of joyous tidings, and this beverage is one of them.

Eggnog is technically stirred custard, very similar to ice cream.

Peppermint Eggnog

6 organic large eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 cups non-dairy milk (we used unsweetened almond milk, you can DIY here)
1/2 can or 6.5 oz coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of cloves, if desired

Instructions

Whisk eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together in large saucepan over low-medium heat until combined. Then pour milk in slowly while whisking to fully incorporate into mixture. Whisk ingredients over heat constantly, until thermometer reads 160 degrees, about 30 minutes.  This is an important step; should you leave the eggnog mixture to cook on its own, you’ll likely get an unappealing scrambled egg-in-milk, porridge-y mixture.

After cooking is complete, pour mixture through fine sieve over a medium bowl, cool for a few minutes, and stick in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. You can also do an ice-bath to help cool mixture down faster. You’ve made a custard; great job!

Remove custard from refrigerator and set aside as you put coconut milk cream in a bowl and mix well. Then fold into eggnog custard mixture until combined; fill cups with this delicious, creamy eggnog.

Option to add alcohol. To garnish beverage, sprinkle with finely crushed peppermint, nutmeg, cinnamon, peppermint or cinnamon sticks, or whatever strikes your festive fancy.

Vegan Peppermint Eggless Nog

The only real difference here in terms of ingredients is the fact that we’re using frozen bananas instead of eggs. Because of the natural sweetness they provide, you may want to consider decreasing the amount of maple syrup added or omit it.

4 bananas (peeled and frozen)
1/2 cup maple syrup, if desired
3 cups non-dairy milk
1/2 can or 6.5 oz coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of cloves, if desired

Instructions

Even easier! Put all ingredients in a blender and blend it until smooth. Garnish as above with your favorites.

Besides being delicious, eggnog is quite versatile and can be added to coffee, used in making french toast, quiche, and more! We hope you enjoy these egg- and/or dairy-free versions of eggnog with your friends and family over the holidays.

Love: CoreLife Eatery

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Remember the beautiful stranger with whom you once crossed paths, only to never see again? This relationship began like a story of star-crossed lovers; luckily the ending here is quite different.

Years ago, while walking around NYC after dinner, we discovered a bright, clean restaurant which had a choose-your-own-adventure style of eating, similar to other ‘fast casual’ restaurants. What stood out to us was that this was all surprisingly healthy food and it was gluten-free (back in the days when being gluten-free was less cool and more of a curse). Having just eaten, we lamented that “NYC has all the cool restaurants” and sadly departed home.

Then last year, Mr. Chef’s family gathering took place at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill and we noticed this CoreLife Eatery sign a few doors down, making a note to return. Alas, being at Polaris, this meant that it was both a trek and easily forgotten with all of the options closer to our doorstep. But then, on what we’re sure was a new moon where the stars aligned perfectly….this email arrived:

“My name is DeeDee Hamric from CoreLife Eatery Polaris. I wanted to reach out to introduce myself and CoreLife! Here at CoreLife Eatery, we strive to bring clean, healthy and great tasting foods to everyone every day. We feature hearty green, grains and broth bowls and all of our ingredients are free of GMO’s, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners and other artificial additives. These bowls are packed with powerful proteins, complex carbs and filling fiber as we strive to make the food you eat a true energy source! Are you free anytime next week to meet me for lunch at CoreLife Eatery?”

DeeDee, you had us at “hearty green”…

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During our lunches with DeeDee, we’ve explored the menu and the kitchen areas (surprisingly they don’t have a freezer as everything is freshly-made daily) and some of CoreLife Eatery’s food values. DeeDee mentioned that CoreLife Eatery’s meat is pasture-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free, non-GMO (with some organic, depending on season and availability),….and all menu choices are gluten-free (except for the bread right near the check-out; some items have a potential for cross-contamination so alert the staff in case of a gluten allergy)! While the menu has suggestions of various green, grain, and broth bowls, you can ‘go rogue’ and easily have a customized meal every time you go!

For a visit that was years in the making, let’s just say we are making up for lost time. Being here so often these days, it’s become like the set of the TV show Cheers, a place where “everyone knows your name.” The staff is very friendly and will suggest food pairings or substitutions.

Hungry belly and time-starved? Well, CoreLIfe Eatery just launched a mobile app for easy online ordering; save $5 off your first order!

 

Recipe: Spicy Cowgirl Salsa

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Hot and spicy foods can kick winter’s coldness to the curb as well as help with weight loss endeavors and provide health benefits. In this Spicy Cowgirl Salsa, you will feel the heat of the jalapeño and enjoy the freshness of the avocado, lime, cilantro and other ingredients. Olé!

For other hot & spicy food demos, check out our WBNS 10tv news segment!

Ingredients

1 red onion, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 jar or 16oz of salsa (unless you want to double the heat of the jalapeño, stick with mild)
1 tsp cumin
1 slice of lime, juiced
(Optional) Slices of avocado

Instructions

Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix until combined. Feel free to top with slices of avocado and enjoy with some organic blue corn chips. For a tasty meal, consider topping brown rice with the salsa mix.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Southwestern Skillet

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Smoothie. Oatmeal. Rinse & repeat. We know that breakfasts can get a bit repetitive and unimaginative so we’re going to shake it up with this inspired southwestern dish.

Whether you’re looking to fuel up for a busy day of hiking or for back-to-back meetings, this dish is a delicious & satisfying breakfast with great macronutrient content. Let the culinary adventure begin!

Servings: 2-4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
1 can black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp cumin
olive oil
sea salt & black pepper to taste

Instructions
Cut sweet potatoes in 1/4 inch pieces. Chop red pepper and rinse canned black beans. Drizzle olive oil in a large pan and heat sweet potatoes on medium for 3-5 minutes, then add black beans, red pepper, and cumin. Add water to cover bottom of pan and cover to cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often.

We topped the skillet with a cooked egg and a few slices of avocado. Add fresh lime juice, hot sauce, or salsa for a unique meal that fits your needs.

Cowspiracy and Plant Based Diet Q&A

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There is a growing interest in plant-based nutrition and over the past three days alone, we have participated in a panel discussion following the showing of the movie Cowspiracy and presented a webinar on the Plant-Based Diet to employees of The Ohio State University. Here is a short compilation of a some common questions posed and our answers:

Q: I’m considering a vegan/vegetarian/plant-based diet but I am concerned – how will I get enough protein?

A: Some argue that Americans are getting too much protein in the typical diet. The plant-based diet includes other sources of protein, including beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Working with a nutritionist can assist you in finding out how much protein as well as the best protein sources for your individual needs.

Q: Which restaurants can I go to for a healthy plant-based meal?

A: Some obvious choices include restaurants that advertise such meals, such as Portia’s in Clintonville. Certain ethnic restaurants may have more vegetarian choices because of cuisines typical in regions such as South India. However, most restaurants and their chefs are more than accommodating in this aspect- even Hyde Park has or will make a vegetable-based dish upon request! You don’t only have to eat out at select restaurants. Explore new options!

Q: Does being plant-based mean I need to be a vegetarian or vegan?

A: No. Meat and dairy do not have to be excluded; however, rather than building a meal around the meat source,
the meal is based on whole, plant-based foods. Planning your meal this way means there is less need to add meat and dairy to the dish and ensures it is full of nutrients.

Q: How do I get others to be on-board with my new diet?

A: At the end of the day, a person has to want to make a change. Instead of the ‘hell-fire and brimstone’ approach of harping on someone about potential health issues associated with the consumption of animal products or about the suffering of animals, it is often easier to inspire. When one can see that plant-based food is appealing, delicious, helps them feel better, and is associated with less cruelty to animals and our plant, it can be a motivating force for behavior change.

Q: What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?

A: There are many health benefits associated with a plant-based diet including: weight loss, lower blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels, better control of blood sugar levels, and some report having more energy. The diet is low in saturated fat, salt, and cholesterol (which can benefit the circulatory system), it has more more vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and fiber which can all assist in disease prevention. Because it’s low in refined grains and sugar, it can help prevent the onset of diabetes. It’s also a diet that is more sustainable for our environment.