Wake Up and Smell The Cinnamon!

Damn, that nasty alarm went off again. I don’t like Tuesday. It’s the second Monday. My puppy isn’t sleeping near me anymore to wake me up with a sloppy kiss. Not a good start; but wait! I have a yum breakfast waiting for me in my fridge 😀

Clearly, I’m not a morning person. I ONLY wake up on time because I know it’s a good habit and it’s good to be disciplined, etc.. Oh and it makes my parents happy. I have to kick myself out of bed every single day. The one thing I look forward to every morning is a delicious breakfast. In an ideal world this means means fluffy pancakes drizzled with honey, waffles with whipped cream and strawberries.. what it also means is BIG calories (makes me want to go back to sleep already..). So, I’ve been turning to bran or wheat cereal with a  slice of wheat bread, or pulses cooked at home with a slice of bread. This routine has become so terribly redundant that the sight of these foods now makes me nauseous. However, I simply cannot function without a good, fulfilling breakfast so I decided to experiment a little last night.

A mason jar, uncooked oats, LOTS OF CINNAMON with strawberries and bananas. Voila – I found my breakfast calling!

This recipe is hassle-free, super easy, quick, very healthy and above all, DELISH. There’s not one ingredient that isn’t good for you.

Oats – lower cholesterol, weight management, high fibre content

Cinnamon – blood sugar control, weight management, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial

Milk – Duh

Fruits – filled with nutrients, fibre and good sugars

This recipe serves one.

You will need:

1/4 cup uncooked oats (I use the usual, Quaker)
1/2 cup cold milk (skimmed)
Cinnamon powder (as much as you like, I used 2 tbsp)
3 medium sized strawberries, chopped
1 small, ripe banana, sliced

1. Before you get to bed, grab hold of a mason jar (or frankly, any other will do. Mason jars are just purrrrrty 🙂 ) and add all of the above ingredients together.
2. Mix gently with a spoon and shut the lid tight.
3. Refrigerate overnight and the next morning you will have a great breakfast waiting for you! You can even have it on the go if you’re running late 🙂

That’s literally all you have to do. A brilliant breakfast ready for you in under 5 minutes.

Here are some other breakfast ideas I found online if you’re in the mood to experiment – http://greatist.com/health/healthy-fast-breakfast-recipes

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Image courtesy: Pintrest.com

I apologise, I haven’t been able to do a shoot, hence the image has been borrowed from Pintrest.

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Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms – Recipe

When you’re a Masters’ student living away from home and have to juggle studying, doing your laundry, cooking, socialising, etc., there are days when you simply cannot be bothered to cook yourself a meal with a million different ingredients. The Lord knows how many times I’ve turned to quinoa or couscous for a quick, healthy meal between classes or before a night out.  This was one of my favourite recipes. I also ate it quite recently whilst on my trip to Greece.

Portobello mushrooms are available easily at Pali market and can also be ordered online at India Mart.

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Ingredients:

4 portobello mushrooms (cleaned)
1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup water
8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup diced mixed bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tsp pistachio
Goat’s cheese

Method

1. Bring the water to boil in a pot. Add the quinoa and then turn the heat down to a low flame. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Be sure that it does not get too dry. Let it cool.

2. Place the mushrooms in a baking tray, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees) for 10 minutes (180 degrees). Ensure that all the excess water has been drained.

3. In a bowl, combine the quinoa, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. You may also tear up some rocket leaves at this point and add them to the mixture.

4. Divide the mixture equally into each mushroom. Add the cheese and pistachios on top.

All done 🙂

Tip

1. You can serve the mushrooms on a bed of rocket leaves if you wish to better your presentation.
2. You can replace the balsamic vinegar with pesto sauce (I refer to Jamie Oliver’s recipe). This is delicious too!