My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

  


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Tuesday
Jun142011

bites from bowls

My mom wanted to thank you all for your positivity + well wishes for her health.  She was touched by all of the comments and is really motivated + ready to get back on track.  I’ll keep you posted with things she tries and likes/dislikes.  She also might be sending me some food photos, when she tries out some of the recipes! :)  I also truly appreciated your enthusiasm for the new series.  I heard from a lot of new commenters that are very excited to learn some kitchen/health basics, which got me so excited!  More to come soon!

Is it possible to ever catch up?

To ever cross everything off of your to-do list?

It seems that this will never be the case for me!  One thing gets crossed off and 5 more get added. 

Such is life.

One thing that is never on my to-do list is breakfast.  It just happens.  Everyday, like clock work.  This morning I tried something new-ish.  A few people suggested adding 1T coconut oil while cooking my oats to help hold me over longer.  I’ve topped my oats with coconut butter, but never added oil.  Well, this morning, I finally tried it!

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I heated the oil over medium and then added in the oats, pretty much frying them in the oil!  I cooked them for a few minutes, then added in masa harina and a little oat flour and then poured in the liquid [milk + water].

The end result was had a slight hint of coconut.  I didn’t really notice a texture difference, but the flavor was lovely.  I also stirred in fresh ground flax meal in the last 1min of cooking.  It gives a little extra volume + a nice extra dose of fiber, protein + healthy fats.

For the toppings, I heated a little less than 1T peanut butter with about 1-2T almond milk + whisked until smooth.  With a little glob of Crofters jelly, I was ready to chow.  More oats [or oat mixture] and less toppings has seemed to work wonders for my satiation. 

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That wasn’t even all of the sauce!  I added the 2nd half on top.  All of that from 1T peanut butter!

today’s mix:

  • 1/4c rolled oats
  • 3T masa harina
  • 1T oat flour
  • .5c Eden organic soymilk [gf]
  • 3/4c water
  • 1-2T fresh ground flax meal
  • 1T coconut oil

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I spent the majority of the day editing photos.  I just finished up the maternity photos from the shoot with my sis-in-law + bro-in-law and will be showing them to you soon!  Next up are the 1yr photos from Sunday’s shoot, which went really well!  Thank you so much for all of your well wishes.  They were appreciated more than you know!

While I worked, the dogs did absolutely nothing.

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Best facial expression.  Ever.

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I biked back + forth to the gym [3m each way] and got in a killer workout. [leg lifting + HIIT cardio]  As soon as I got home, I was back to my to-do’ing.  Kelsey called me and invited me over for dinner and demanded that I bring nothing.  Just show up!

Um, yes please!!  She knows how busy I am and that I’ve had no time to go to the store.  Delicious dinner to the rescue!

Margaritas too?  She knows me too well.

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Kelsey made a delicious chunky salsa, which I absolutely loved.  She just threw this together and it was perfection. 

Contents:

  • corn
  • cucumber
  • pepper
  • red onion
  • black beans
  • salt + pepper
  • a few scoops of jarred salsa
  • ?? I forget the rest ?? :)

Quick.  Fresh.  Delicious.  And cilantro-free!!  weeeeeeeeee

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Penny got a lot of blogging done, while we were all chowing down.  She had a pretty busy day, just like Dakota + Kenna.

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For dinner, Kels prepared tacos, with GF corn tortillas.  She even made sure the chips she bought were GF.  So lovely of her!

Toppings:

  • avocado
  • cheeeeeese
  • cabbage slaw with pepper + red onion…and ?? there goes my brain again!

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The hostess with the mostess! 

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TJ’s salsa, smuggled from N. Carolina! 

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Dinner is served. 

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  • blue corn taco shells
  • black bean + chickpea + zucchini + seasonings, baked in the oven
  • cabbage + cheese
  • 3 different salsas

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I piled my plate high!  Don’t worry, this was not my bowl of beans.  That would be scary.  For Chris!

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If you didn’t notice, Kelsey has a love for pottery, particularly bowls.  Hence her blog name, Bites and Bowls.  A lot of the pieces are Kelsey originals, too!  I was obsessing over them all night!

And the food kept coming out.  Next up?  Sliced champagne mango with Walrus [local!] cinnamon ice cream.  It was my first time having their ice cream, which was 100% to-die-for.  Perfectly smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of cinnamon.

Pure love.

For the ice cream…

And Kelsey!!  It was so nice to not cook dinner, but still get a home cooked meal!

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Now I’m home, writing to-do lists + packing lists for our trip this week.  We leave early afternoon on Wednesday and have a lot to get done.  Tomorrow will be a big shopping + food prep day. 

If anyone has veg-friendly + GF ideas for breakfast + lunch, that are camp-friendly, send the ideas my way!  We’re packing coolers, a dry-storage food bin, and a jet-boil [little pot + burner for cooking…oatmeal/coffee/etc].

Here is our food list so far for 5 days of camping:

  • peanut butter/almond butter
  • jelly
  • gluten free bread [our local Great Harvest makes some + I’m dying to try it]
  • gluten-filled loaf for Chris
  • tempeh
  • cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • pitas [huz]
  • brown rice tortillas [me]
  • hummus
  • salsa
  • carrots
  • hard boiled eggs
  • apples
  • add hot-water noodle bowl [maybe]
  • gluten free mac n’ cheese [maybe]
  • organic beef jerky [huz]
  • avocado
  • dried fruit
  • organic blueberries/strawberries
  • organic grapes
  • yogurt [maybe]
  • instant coffee

Need to make:

Now?

  • bed…i’m on my way!

Ashley

Monday
Jun132011

Recipes for Mom {intro + part 1}

Welcome to the new blog series, Recipes for Mom!  I can’t wait to get this started and expand on it more + more.  So many ideas rolling around in my head!

So what exactly is this new series? 

I could have called it…

  • recipes to a new foodie
  • recipes + tips  to refresh your life
  • recipes for health
  • healthy kitchen 101

However, I decided on “Recipes for Mom,” for a few reasons.

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Over the last 20+ years, my mom has racked up quite the medical history.  Her problems have all stemmed from a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, at age 40.  I’m not a medical professional, but my opinion is that mom’s medical history was not a direct result of what she was eating.  Sure, there were probably certain foods that would have helped her UC and some that made it worse, but the ulcerative colitis was not caused by dietary choices.  Also, 20 years ago, treating illness with food wasn’t as popular as it is today.  She may have been able to better control her UC, but at the time, it didn’t seem to be an option.  She also had an extremely severe case.

A brief rundown of my mom’s medical history: 

  • ulcerative colitis, treated with a slew of medications, that caused many of the following
    • arthritis
    • osteoporosis
    • hip replacement
    • large colon removal
    • bacterial meningitis [after being on immunosuppressant drugs, near death experience]
      • rotator cuff surgery
  • sleep apnea
    • obstructed sleep apnea surgery
  • sciatica problems [since June 2010]
    • sciatica surgery [February 2011]

And this is just from what I can remember!

Throughout all of this, it hasn’t been easy to stay on track with constant healthy eating.  My mom also has a fairly high-stress job, with a lot of take home work each night.  She doesn’t have hours of time on her hands for grocery shopping + cooking.  My dad is also very busy with a co-owned appraisal business, typically working 6-7 days/week.  And there’s also the golf addiction. ;)

My parents don’t eat poorly, by any means, but they are always saying they want to do better.  They’ll try things that I have on the blog here + there, but I think some of the recipes + foods are a bit intimidating.

Since my mom’s latest sciatica problems, it was really hard to stay on track.  She was in pain.  A lot of pain.  All over her body.  The last thing you want to do when your body is in fiery pain, and having just worked a long day, is be on your feet in the kitchen.  Even when you’re not in pain, it’s hard to get in the kitchen after a long day.

Healing from surgery, has taken months.  It was extremely difficult.  She was out of work for almost 2 months and in constant pain.  She has finally started to feel a bit more like herself in the past few weeks.  Ever since my trip home and her trip out to Colorado, my mom has had a surge of motivation to get back on track with food + exercise.  She [and my dad] want to eat less meat, try new foods, eat less packaged/processed foods, and learn how to quick a handful of go-to weeknight meals that don’t take an hour to prepare.

Please remember that I am not a registered dietician, doctor, or trained health professional.  Please consult your doctor before changing your diet, starting a new fitness routine, and for all medical related questions.   

The basis of this new series is for beginners wanting to enter the world of health + ditch the idea of going on a diet.  This will be about your diet, but it’s not about going on a diet.  It’s for people who are confused on how + where to start and are not familiar with things like quinoa, kale, millet, tempeh, buckwheat, chia seeds, flax, etc.  It’s for people curious on what items to stock in their pantry and what kitchen tools are most worth investing in.  It’s for people that want to have fun with food and not see it as a chore, or something to be afraid of. 

Simplicity in the kitchen!

My plan is not set in stone, and I can’t wait to expand on it more + more in the coming months.  My hope is to inspire my mom + dad, friends, YOU, anyone at all.  Maybe this will all be redundant for you.  Maybe you will hit the “snooze” button on these posts.  Maybe this is just the thing you needed.  Either way, I can’t wait to get started!

One of my most used kitchen tools is the fine mesh strainer, pictured below.  I use it practically everyday, and sometimes numerous times for 1 meal.

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This little tool, will set you back $5-20, which will be worth it in the first month. 

Fine mesh strainer uses:

  • rinsing beans
  • rinsing grains [quinoa, millet, etc.]
  • draining small batches of pasta
  • draining liquid from any canned good
  • sifting flours for baking
  • straining cooked liquid mixtures, to keep out food pieces
  • straining citrus juices to keep the seeds out

Typically, I use this for rising grains + beans, which I eat a whole lot of!

A few places to buy a fine mesh strainer: [I recommend 6-8”]

What are we cooking today?

Millet!  What exactly is millet?  It’s a nutrient dense, gluten-free seed, that has a mild-nutty flavor, with a fluffy texture.  

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Here is the nutritional profile for 1 cup of cooked millet.

1/4c uncooked millet, yields approximately 1c cooked millet

image

*Edited to add – Millet actually has a high glycemic index level.  I confused the original number with the glycemic load number.  My apologies!!

Millet is packed with nutrients and health benefits that you can read about here.  It’s quite possibly my favorite seed/grain and is extremely versatile.  Millet can be paired with almost any meal and can take on any flavor you want!

Where can you find millet?  Great question!  You most likely find millet in the bulk section of your health food store.  If you can’t find it, you may want to ask your store to carry it.  You can also always buy in bulk online!  I love storing my bulk goods in 32oz mason jars.  It keeps them organized + fresh!  At Whole Foods, I can buy organic millet for $.99/lb! 

The first thing you’ll want to do is measure out your millet, depending how much you want to cook, dump it in your fabulous new strainer + rinse!

I always use cold water and rinse for about 30 seconds, until the water runs clear.

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I typically cook 1 cup of raw millet, which yields about 4 cups cooked millet.  When I do this, I start off by adding 1T cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil to a medium pot, over medium heat.

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After letting the oil heat, I add the millet in.

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And then stir for 1-3min until slightly browned.  This helps to deepen the nutty flavor of the millet, but can be skipped if you’re in a hurry!

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I use 2c water : 1c raw millet ratio.  I’ve read 3:1 before, but have found 2c works best for fluffy results.  I typically use 100% water, but you can incorporate low-sodium veggie stock [or organic/free range chicken/beef stock] for more flavor.

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I bring the millet to a boil.

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Stir once.  Reduce heat to simmer + cover with a tight fitting lid.

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Then I set the timer to 20 minutes, and let it simmer away.

Simmer = small, frequent bubbles

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During the cook time, I prepare the rest of my meal.  Typically something with beans, and 1-2x a week tempeh or tofu.  I also always have some sort of greens involved.  We eat kale chips [will get to that soon!], salad, or steamed/sautéed greens every single night.

This particular night, I cooked tofu.  It was my best cooked tofu yet!  The key to good tofu texture, is pressing out the liquid between dish towels, for 30min.

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After 20min, turn the heat off, and move the pot to a neighboring burner.  Let sit for 5min.  You can also skip this step, but it does help with the texture!

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Here is the cooked millet.

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Next, you want to fluff it with a fork, just like cooking rice.  Using a fork really helps keep things fluffy, light, and slightly sticky.

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{fluffy love}

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Typically, I top millet with just a little butter or soy free Earth Balance, fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper.

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You can dress it up more if you like, but this simple style is my favorite!

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The full meal included:

  • simple cooked millet
  • tofu [tossed in coconut aminos, honey, brown rice vinegar, coconut oil, salt, pepper, garlic + a sesame oil drizzle at the end]
  • 4min sautéed kale with garlic + salt

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Simple Cooked Millet [4, 1c servings]

  • 1c raw millet
  • 1T olive oil
  • 2c water
  • salt/pepper/butter as preferred
  1. Heat a medium sized pot, over medium heat + add 1T olive oil.
  2. Rinse millet in a mesh strainer, until the water runs clear.  ~30sec
  3. Add millet to the pot + stir 1-3 minutes, until lightly browned.  *optional step
  4. Add in water + bring to a boil.
  5. Stir once, reduce heat to simmer + cover with a tight fitting lid.
  6. Let cook for 20min, until all liquid is absorbed.  Do not open the lid or stir while cooking!
  7. Turn burner off and move the pot to a neighboring burner for 5min.
  8. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
  9. Serve and top with seasonings of your choice.

*For more flavor use 1c veggie stock + 1c water, instead of 2c water.

*You can use 1T unrefined coconut oil, instead of olive oil, for a slight coconut flavor.  Perfect to go along with coconut curry dishes!

*If you only want 1 serving, using a smaller pot, reduce millet to 1/4c, water to 1/2c, and oil to 1 teaspoon.

*If you want millet all week long for 2-4 people in the house, make a larger batch with 2c raw millet, 4c water, and 2T oil.  It will keep in the fridge for about 4-5 days. 

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Another reason I like to cook millet plain, is so I can use it all week and dress it up however I like.  You can reheat millet, with a sprinkle of water in the microwave or in a pot/pan on the stove.  Add whatever seasonings you want!

I love using millet for breakfast!

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And even like throwing it cold on a salad.

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Check out my recipe page for even more millet ideas!  In your internet tools, use “find” and search for millet.  Then you can arrow through all the recipe titles including the word millet.

And that raps up Recipes for Mom {intro + part 1}

Hope you enjoyed it!

Ashley