Super Simple Homemade Granola

As we enter the new year and attempt to re-adjust to real life after the whirlwind of the holidays, getting back to eating real food (and not all the chocolates) tends to take priority again. I myself, am just beginning to recover from my continuous holiday food-coma, and am finally curious about what is actually in my food again. What better way to begin the year than with a hearty homemade granola?

super simple granola recipe

A great morning.

I have loved granola my whole life, and I find it to be both a tempting snack and hearty breakfast. For the longest time though, homemade granola seemed like such an elusive and complicated undertaking, requiring time and ingredients that I didn’t have.

Turns out, homemade granola is not nearly as arduous as I thought! In fact, I invited my kindergartener to help me out and we actually had two batches out in one morning. Some simple measuring and watchful waiting was all it took to create a homemade and delicious breakfast that could last the whole week!

If you like know what’s in your granola, and like an easy recipe that you can ask your kids to help out on, read on!

Super Simple Homemade Granola

4 cups oats

1 cup walnut pieces

1 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients, then add honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Spread onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes. I suggest giving it a quick stir in the last 5 minutes or so. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, and store in an airtight container.

super simple granola recipe

This is a variation of a recipe that I found via Pinterest at Recipe Tin Eats. I like her basic framework very much and I really appreciated the ease of her format. Her approach made the prospect of homemade granola very approachable. I did have to tweak the recipe a bit for our tastes, and the cooking time had to be adjusted a bit, but I was very happy with the results!

I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a great year of simple, homemade (mostly), and tasty recipes; stay cozy!

Mediterranean Inspired Quinoa Salad

I must admit, the first time I tried quinoa, I didn’t care for it. I suppose that I had the expectation that it would taste something like couscous (after all, that is what it most closely resembles). At any rate, due to the flavor and (especially) the texture being a far cry from my preconceived notions, I avoided quinoa for, well, years.

I am not currently a super health conscious person, although I used to be. I must admit though, that when I rediscovered quinoa recently, I was most impressed by its nutrition portfolio. According to Healthline.com, 100 grams (about 3 ounces) of cooked quinoa contains 4.4 grams of protein, 2.8 grams of fiber, and a bunch of other good stuff.

In an effort to try to eat a healthier diet, and with encouragement from my husband (who happens to love quinoa), I thought I would give it another try. This time I decided to go with Mediterranean-type flavors. As usual, I also went for simplicity (laziness?), and this salad may be my easiest recipe to date!

Mediterranean Inspired Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Inspired Quinoa Salad

About 3 cups quinoa (made per package directions, usually 2 ½ cups water to 1 cup quinoa)

1 small package (6-8 oz.) of crumbled feta cheese

1 cucumber, partially peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks

3 tablespoons favorite Italian dressing (or to taste)

Cook quinoa and allow to cool a bit, for about 20 minutes. Add other ingredients and mix. This salad may be consumed slightly warm or cold and fares well in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

(They don’t know who I am, but I must say, the Kraft Tuscan House salad dressing was great in this recipe! Very flavorful and tangy!)

Mediterranean Inspired Quinoa Salad

Yum!

I must admit, this was a salad I really enjoyed, as did my family. I even used it for a small get together that included a few lacto-ovo-vegetarians and was quizzed about the recipe. Its nutritional characteristics as well as its versatility are quite appealing to me, and I expect to be posting more quinoa recipes in the future!

I hope you enjoyed my very short and sweet recipe today.

My best to all, and stay cozy!

Super Simple Chicken Burrito Bowl

It’s happened again, I’ve gotten off late from work and arrived home only to have no idea what to make for dinner. With a hungry spouse and a ravenous child (and a growling belly myself) waiting for me, what can I prepare that’s super easy, quick, and healthy?

Enter my latest creation, the Super Simple Chicken Burrito Bowl! (Otherwise known as what I threw together in a moment of hangry panic at a time when we happened to have some produce but no tortillas on hand…alas, I digress…)

chicken burrito bowl

Super Simple Chicken Burrito Bowl

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I prefer thighs, but any cut will do)

1 can of black beans

1 bag (2 cups) of frozen steamer-bag brown rice (or you can make your own)

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Adobo seasoning to taste (I like Goya’s)

Goya Adobo

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

In a large frying pan, sauté chicken in olive oil and add Adobo. Once fully cooked, add black beans and cooked rice. Stir mixture over low heat until combined; add Adobo to taste.  Top with tomatoes and avocados.

This meal was so quick to prepare, in part due to the steamer bag of rice. It was hearty enough and healthy enough to satiate a busy family on a hectic weeknight as well. Speed and nutrition are hallmarks of simple food in my opinion.

If you decide to try it I hope you enjoy!

Stay cozy!