Spicy Quinoa and Black Bean Breakfast Tacos + Total Eclipse Weekend Highlights

Spicy Quinoa and Black Bean Breakfast Tacos + Total Eclipse Weekend Highlights

Start your day with a protein packed breakfast! These vegetarian spicy quinoa and black bean tacos make a filling savory breakfast, or enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner! The spicy mixture takes just minutes, then load up the taco with your favorite fillings - avocado, cilantro, grilled corn and juicy tomatoes! 

Read More

The Ultimate Recovery Smoothie

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KashiPlantPower #GOTOGETHER #CollectiveBias

The ultimate recovery smoothie is packed with ingredients to boost recovery after a hard workout, along with Kashi's new plant powered shake! 

Remember when I ran a half marathon earlier this year and was all like, "it's one and done! I just want to prove that I can do it!" Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, I've signed up for another half marathon this fall.

This time I'm running the Greenville Spinx Run Fest in October along with a group of girlfriends. My husband, who is the kinda guy who can just run 13.1 miles with no training whatsoever (ugh, I hate him) may or may not be joining. It's Halloween weekend so he really wants to dress as a T-Rex and have me dress as Laura Dern from Jurassic Park. I am all over this idea.

So my official training started this week and with that means paying a little bit more attention to how I'm feeding myself. That was one of the big lessons for me last time I trained. Even though I knew all about sports nutrition, experiencing for myself what running felt like after not fueling myself adequately drove the point home!

This time I'm training during these insanely hot South Carolina days, so I know ice cold smoothies are going to play a vital role! When I got the opportunity to partner with Kashi to highlight their new Kashi® GOLEAN™ Plant Powered Shakes, I knew I wanted to show you how to make my ultimate recovery smoothie.

So what makes this smoothie special?

Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake in Dark Cocoa // After a strenuous run, it's important to get a nice dose of protein to switch the catabolic hormones (break down muscle) to anabolic hormones (build muscle). Kashi's brand new shake contains 21 grams of plant powered protein from dried peas, sprouted beans, flax and hemp - all natural and good for you ingredients. It's gluten free, vegan and contains 1 billion CFU of probiotics to support gut health. Like Kashi Organic Breakfast Superblends (another one of their new products) both are convenient for an on-the-go lifestyle - both can be simply mixed with water or your choice of dairy to make an easy protein shake, or blend into your favorite smoothie recipe. It's available at Target.com.

I chose dark cocoa because not only does it taste like a chocolate milkshake, but chocolate also contains antioxidants that help reduce post workout soreness! Chocolate is also great for preworkout snacking as it contains antioxidants called epicatechins that improve blood flow to muscles, improving endurance. 

Tart Cherry Juice // The sour taste of tart cherry juice is an indication of high levels of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that helps reduce post workout pain and soreness. Look for pure tart cherry juice in the drink aisle along with the other juices bottled in glass jars.

Medjool Dates // With their sweet, caramel like taste, dates are one of my favorite ways to sweeten foods.Dates are mineral rich which helps replace what was lost in sweat. They also provide a concentrated source of natural sugars, which your body needs after a workout to restore glycogen stores.

Banana // Potassium!! A ton of it is lost in sweat when you're running outside. Bananas are a concentrated source of potassium, as well as natural sugars to boost glycogen stores.

Spirulina // I call spirulina nature's multi-vitamin. Spirulina is an algae that's commonly used as a supplement because of it's nutrient density. It contains more nutrients, and a wider variety of nutrients than just about any food out there. If you use a small amount, you won't taste it, so start with 1/4 of a teaspoon.

Coconut Water // Often called "nature's sports drink" because of the sodium and potassium it contains, I love the light and refreshing flavor it adds to this smoothie.

If you'd like to try Kashi's new GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake or their Organic Breakfast Superblends, enjoy $10 off using the discount code: TGTKASHI.

Connect with Kashi:

Ultimate Recovery Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks

  • 1 scoop Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Shake in Chocolate Vinyasa

  • 2 dates, pitted

  • 2/3 cup coconut water

  • 1/3 cup tart cherry juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend until pureed. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Enchiladas with Sweet Potatoes and Eggs

Better than breakfast tacos? These breakfast enchiladas are stuffed with sweet potatoes, black beans, scrambled eggs and topped with spicy salsa verde and feta! 

Forget breakfast tacos. Let's make breakfast enchiladas a thing.

I mean, tacos and enchiladas are basically the same thing - tortillas stuffed with lots of yummy things. But these breakfast enchiladas have one significant advantage over breakfast tacos. Make-aheadability. While these are fabulous fresh out of the oven (and also make a mean breakfast for dinner), they are simple to reheat and eat all week.

So guys, let's lead a charge to make breakfast enchiladas the new breakfast casserole. Personally, I plan to do my part by making these for all the Clemson tailgates for noon games come fall.

These make a super filling breakfast, packed with protein and high fiber carbs. Enjoy one with a side of fruit salad or two to last till dinner!

Breakfast Enchiladas with Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans and Eggs

Makes 12 enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 6 eggs, beaten.
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 12-ounce jar salsa verde
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Optional for serving: hot sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado, sour cream/plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sided skillet. Add sweet potatoes and saute until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Saute until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Scrape potato mixture into a large bowl. Stir in black beans. Wipe skillet clean and add teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat. Pour in beaten egg and scramble. When eggs are fully cooked and scrambled, stir into potato mixture.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup salsa verde into the bottom of a large baking sheet. Take about 1/2 cup filling and wrap up with a corn tortilla. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour remaining salsa verde over the top. Sprinkle with feta. Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Serve as desired.

More savory make ahead breakfasts: 

Shredded Sweet Potatoes with Eggs, Fresh Salsa and Chimichurri
Shredded Sweet Potatoes with Eggs, Fresh Salsa and Chimichurri
Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Kale, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Quiche
Kale, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Quiche

Peach Buttermilk Chai Smoothie

This peach buttermilk chai smoothie is packed with probiotics from buttermilk and antioxidants from chai tea! 

Yay for smoothie weather! Time to share my latest smoothie obsession - this peach smoothie spiked with chai tea!

While it feels like peach weather, it's not quite peach season, so we'll have to rely on frozen peaches to make this bad boy. I'm such a huge fan of frozen peaches. I absolutely adore fresh peaches, especially living in South Carolina, aka the real peach state. But I really think someone put a curse on me when it comes to peaches. I'll get the freshest, most beautiful peaches from the farmers market and they'll go from perfect to moldy, mushy mess in 24 hours at our house. Drives me absolutely nuts! I get a case of seasonal binge eating disorder every time I see peaches at the farmers market in my attempt to eat them all before they go bad!

The peach chai combination might sound a bit odd, but peaches have a similar flavor profile to mango, a fruit commonly used in Indian cuisine and a natural pairing with chai spices. This recipe was inspired by one from Root to Leaf, one of my favorite seasonal cookbooks.

Peach Buttermilk Chai Smoothie

Serves 1 

If you'd like to add some protein to your smoothie, I prefer Kura for grassfed whey protein or Vega for vegan protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 bag chai tea

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until pureed. Serve immediately.

More recipes for smoothie season:

Turmeric Smoothie with Mango
Turmeric Smoothie with Mango
Red Velvet Smoothie
Red Velvet Smoothie
Classic Green Smoothie
Classic Green Smoothie

Savory Oatmeal with Sautéed Mushrooms, Arugula and Fried Egg

Hopping on the savory oatmeal trend with this bowl of oats topped with sauteed mushrooms, arugula and a fried egg! 

While talking breakfast with one of my clients a few months back, she mentioned that she ate her oatmeal with a pat of butter and a drizzle of sriracha. Lightbulbs went off and I suddenly realized savory oatmeal was the one thing that was missing from my life.

I adore oats for breakfast, hence the multiple incarnations on this blog. It's filling, tasty and nutritious. But in the morning, I tend to gravitate towards savory over sweet.

Apparently my client is a trendsetter because all of a sudden, my inbox was inundated with recipes for savory oatmeal! And now I'm hopping on the savory oatmeal bandwagon with this version topped with sautéed mushrooms, olive oil drizzled oatmeal and fried egg!

Consider this a canvas for all your savory desires! Try these other savory oatmeal toppings:

ASIAN // Scallions + soy sauce + sriracha + egg fried in sesame oil + sesame seeds

SIMPLE // Sharp cheddar + olive oil + sea salt and cracked black pepper + toasted almonds

GREEN // Sliced avocado + sauteed kale or spinach + olive oil + lemon juice + salt and freshly cracked black pepper + chia seeds

CARNIVOROUS // Spicy chicken sausage + peppers + onions

FALL // Sauteed mushrooms + caramelized onions + goat cheese

SPRING // Roasted asparagus + oven roasted tomatoes + poached egg + dill


Savory Oatmeal with Sautéed Mushrooms, Arugula and Fried Egg

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers

Toppings:

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • Olive oil
  • Arugula
  • Eggs
  • Nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • Flaky salt (or truffle salt) and cracked black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Bring water and almond milk to a boil on medium-high heat in a medium pot. Stir in oats and reduce to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes until oats are tender and oatmeal is thickened. Season with a pinch of salt and stir in bell peppers.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, a pinch of salt and black pepper and saute until liquids are released and absorbed, about 8 minutes total. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Heat a little more olive oil in a skillet and fry eggs as desired.
  4. Divide oatmeal between bowls. Top with a sprinkle of nutrition yeast, sauteed mushrooms, fried egg, a handful of arugula. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

For those who aren't quite ready to hop on the savory oatmeal bandwagon:

Chai Oatmeal with Sauteed Pears
Chai Oatmeal with Sauteed Pears
Healthy Fruit and Cream Oatmeal
Healthy Fruit and Cream Oatmeal
Coconut Steel Cut Oats with Dark Chocolate and Almonds
Coconut Steel Cut Oats with Dark Chocolate and Almonds

Balsamic Macerated Strawberry Yogurt Cups

Balsamic Macerated Strawberry Yogurt Cups

Balsamic macerated strawberry yogurt cups are an easy and elegant snack, dessert or breakfast! Top creamy full fat yogurt with juicy ripe strawberries macerated in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and honey, then sprinkle with crunchy toasted almonds! It’s a healthy way to fuel between meals!

Read More

Vegetarian Brown Rice Congee with Tempeh

For a unique breakfast, try this vegetarian brown rice congee with tempeh, a healthy take on a traditional Asian breakfast. 

First of all, thank you all so very much for all the incredibly kind feedback on yesterdays post on dieting and feminism. Seriously, some of your comments and emails brought me to tears! It was a post very much written from the heart - I actually stayed up till midnight writing it! I was really worried in my sleep deprived state I wouldn't be able to make the statement I was trying to make, so I was happy to hear so many of y'all connected.

Now, on to todays post!

Growing up in Atlanta, one of my favorite weekend treats was going to Canton House on Buford Highway for dim sum. Having moved from New York City, with Chinatown and its plethora of authentic Chinese food, I was so happy to find a place that sold things other than sesame chicken and lo mein. I'd guess we went there twice a month growing up and I still go almost every time I'm back in Atlanta!

Have you ever been to dim sum? It's kind of like Chinese tapas, but instead of ordering off a menu, small plates of food are carted around the restaurant and you simply point at what looks good to order. It's perfect for someone like me who can't make a decision to save her life when faced with a menu. Also, endless dumplings.

Heaven.

There were a few dishes we always ordered. Steamed pork buns for my brother. Rolled rice noodles for me. And always a bowl of congee to share.

Congee is a type of rice porridge served for breakfast in many Asian countries. It's made with rice simmered until it's broken down and soup-like, flavored with just a little bit of pork or chicken and topped with all sorts of yummy things, like green onions and fried shallots. So basic, yet so delicious. My mouth is literally watering right now.

When we went to Vietnam, I was SO excited when I found congee at our hotel breakfast buffet. Like, I flipped out to Scott and basically forced him to get a giant bowl with me. I was heartbroken when I had a bite and realized it was super bland and not at all the congee of my youth. Have you ever had a bite of your favorite hamburger from your favorite childhood restaurant, only to realize they changed the recipe? That was how heartbroken I felt. Literally, every single hotel we stayed at had the same bland congee.

Since then, I've been craving some congee. (P.S. Columbia friends, favorite Chinese restaurant recs? I've found great Korean and Vietnamese, but nothing but Panda Express-style Chinese.). So, I decided to whip some up myself.

This recipe isn't exactly authentic because, you know, I'm white, but it's still packed with flavor and I think, pretty close in flavor profile to the original. Don't skip on the toppings! They pack in the flavor and make a pretty dish!

Vegetarian Brown Rice Congee with Tempeh

Serves 6

Ingredients

Congee:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped

Tempeh: 

  • 1 tablespoon seasme oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Fried Shallots:

  • 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

For serving:

  • Tempeh
  • Fried shallots
  • Sliced green onion
  • Soft or hard boiled egg
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, toasted
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Bring brown rice, ginger, garlic and water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt. Reduce heat to maintain at a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 and a half hours, until it has a thick, soup-like consistency and the rice is broken down. Add more water if it's starting to look too thick. Stir in spinach and let wilt.
  2. While congee is cooking, make the tempeh. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tempeh and cook until browned and tender,about 5 minutes. When cooked through, stir in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to season. Once soy sauce has evaporated, about 1 minute, turn off heat and set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
  3. To make the shallots, toss shallot rings and cornstarch together in a bowl. Heat oil on medium high heat in a small skillet. Add the shallots and fry until golden and tender, flipping halfway, about 2 minutes per side Remove immediately to paper towel lined plate.
  4. Serve congee garnished with tempeh, fried shallots, green onion, a drizzle of sesame oil, egg and red pepper flakes.

Classic Multigrain Buttermilk Pancakes

There's nothing better than pancakes done right. This recipe for classic multigrain buttermilk pancakes is sure to become your weekend go to!

To conclude National Breakfast Week, the holiday I made up as an excuse to share a weeks worth of breakfast recipes, I bring you these classic multigrain buttermilk pancakes.

In my almost three years (!!!) blogging here at Avocado, I've shared a few unique spins on pancakes - chickpea pancakes, paleo pancakes, cottage cheese spiked pancakes, savory pancakes and even pancake muffins. Phew! But let's get real here. There's nothing better than a a classic pancake done right.

These multigrain pancakes are my go to pancake recipe. They're adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day (<--- affiliate link), one of my absolute favorite cookbooks. I've made them with all sorts of flour mixes, usually starting with a base of whole wheat or spelt then mixing in whatever I have on hand - rye, buckwheat, oat, brown rice, and even almond meal. It especially like the rye and buckwheat additions, which lend an earthy flavor that goes well with tangy buttermilk. This recipe makes the most perfectly dense and hearty, yet still fluffy pancakes. Even better, they hold up really well in the refrigerator without getting flat and squat.

Now, let's talk pancake toppings, because I think that's where you can have some fun with this recipe. I love pure maple syrup, but I find the combination of flour and a sugary topping just makes me want to fall asleep. My go to pancake topping is a quick sauce made from frozen fruit chia seeds and a little citrus juice to brighten the flavor. It's incredibly easy and once you've made it, you'll find a million ways to enjoy it (on yogurt, toast, oatmeal...shall I go on?). There's no real recipe. I just simmer a bag of frozen fruit, usually berries, with a little citrus juice until the juices are releases. Then I stir in a tablespoon-ish of chia seeds and let it sit about 10 minutes to 'gel'.

Here's some more pancake topping inspiration:

  • Try maple cashew cream or honeyed cashew cream for healthy fats and just a hint of sweetness.
  • A dollop of Greek yogurt and in season fresh berries will always do the trick
  • Have you ever made curd? I love to enjoy leftover meyer lemon-thyme curd from this recipe over pancakes.
  • Nut butter mixed with applesauce with cinnamon is a classic! Try one of my homemade nut butters. The macadamia coconut is the BEST.
  • A dollop of ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey. Even better with fresh strawberries.
  • Go savory with a fried egg, avocado and goat cheese. Bonus points for sriracha!

Be sure to save this recipe for the weekend! I always whip it out when I have extra buttermilk on hand, since they only sell buttermilk in much larger amounts than I need!

Classic Multigrain Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, plus a little more for the skillet

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Pour wet into dry and whisk until just combined. Stir in coconut oil and whisk again until combined.
  2. Rub a skillet or griddle with coconut oil. Place on medium-high heat. To test to make sure it's hot enough. flick with a drop of water and if it sputters and 'dances' on the surface before evaporating, it's hot enough.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour the batter onto the surface and cook until the bottoms are set and the top is starting to bubble a bit. Carefully flip with a spatula and cook about 1 minute until pancakes are cooked through. Remove pancakes to a plate and repeat with remaining batter. Enjoy pancakes hot, topped as desired.

Pancake recipes from the archives: 

Multigrain Pancake Muffins
Multigrain Pancake Muffins
Chickpea Pancake with Avocado, Fried Egg and Arugula
Chickpea Pancake with Avocado, Fried Egg and Arugula
Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream
Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream

The Creamiest Vanilla Chia Smoothie Bowl + A Giveaway!

Learn my trick for making the creamiest vanilla chia smoothie bowl with a protein boost from Kura smoothie powder! Don't forget to enter the giveaway for 3 bags of Kura AND a new blender! 

This post was sponsored by Kura Nutrition. I was provided with products and compensated for my time. Thanks for supporting the quality brands I love that make this blog possible! 

Eat less. Move more.

If you've ever dieted, it's a phrase you're familiar with. Heck, if you've ever opened a magazine, been to a doctors office, accidentally clicked on one of those spammy dieting articles, or stumbled across literally any government sponsored health promotion material, you've heard the saying.

And if we're being honest, it's a mantra I definitely spouted. It makes me cringe to think about it, but yes, there was a time I thought weight loss was as simple as eat less and move more.

Since then, I've been enlightened. Enlightened with both experience, and with plenty of new research showing weight is much more complex than a mathematical equation.

Eat less, move more is what I would consider a half truth. Calories are a measure of the energy in food. That goes for any food, not just chips, pizza, and double chocolate chunk ice cream. Extra calories we eat that aren't used for energy are stored as fat. One way to utilize more calories is to exercise more.

Knowing that, one might deduce that to lose weight, they must eat less and move more. And if one wants to loose a lot a of weight or lose weight quickly, they might eat a lot less and move a lot more.

This is why so many people turn to deprivation to lose weight. It's why you see 1200 calorie diets advertised on the cover of magazines. It's why people spend hours of their week pounding away on an elliptical. It's why I just saw an acquaintance post on facebook how disappointed she was in 'only' losing half a pound after practically starving herself doing one of those 3 day fix things. It's why hunger is considered a sign that you're 'doing things right.

That's the problem with simplifying weight control as eat less, move more - deprivation is the obvious conclusion. But it doesn't work. If we were machines rather than complex living creatures, sure, we could plug in the weight we want to be, when we want to be there and arrive at our destination. However we are humans, and it's a bit more complicated.

We know deprivation works for rapid, short term weight loss, but it backfires in the long run. Here's why. When you lose weight, your body responds by lowering its metabolic rate to fit your smaller size. When weight loss is rapid, metabolism drops at a faster rate than expected. To continue losing weight, you would have to eat less and less. To maintain, you could never go "off" your diet, even for short periods. With a lowered metabolic rate, it would  trigger weight regain, much more so than if you had lost the weight using slower, more sustainable changes.

There are so many other factors that impact weight besides the usual diet and exercise. Stress doesn't only trigger weight gain by causing you to run into the arms of Ben & Jerry - increases in stress hormones like cortisol trigger fat storage. Recent research is showing the role gut bacteria plays in weight. Then there's sleep. Did you know just 30 minutes less sleep than what you need can affect weight?

I can't tell you how many men and women I've worked with through the years who have whittled down what they eat to practically nothing, pound away at the gym, and still not lose weight.

As a final nail in the deprivation coffin, know that approximately 95% of people who lose weight through drastic measures will regain the weight they lost. And then some.

So we can all agree now - deprivation is the literal worst. And there's know way to know what your healthy weight is, which is opposite of what we're told. We don't have control over our weight, despite what diet culture tells us, but we do have control over behaviors. So let's start engaging in health promoting ones and let our body settle where it's supposed to. 

  1. Nourish your body - Focus on nourishment, not deprivation. When you focus on filling up on nutrient-dense whole foods, you automatically crowd out rich, sugary or processed foods. Plus, whole foods are naturally more filling, so you'll feel satisfied too.
  2. Feed your gut - Give your gut it's favorite food - fiber! That means lots of fruit, vegetables, and beans. Replenish your gut bacteria with fermented food and/or probiotics.
  3. Eat less added sugar - Enjoy sugar in things that are really delicious, like an extra gooey and chocolatey brownie. Avoid added sugar coming from foods hidden sources, like snack foods, dressings and protein shakes.
  4. Build muscle - Cardio burns calories, but it also makes you pretty hungry. That right, you're not the only one craving an entire pizza after a long run. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories at rest.

Kura Nutrition, the makers of the tastiest smoothie protein powder I've ever tried, covers all four of those bases. It's made with 14 grams of grassfed dairy protein from happy cows, which is packed with the amino acid leucine, the rock star of muscle growth. One serving contains 4 billion CFU (colony forming units) of probiotics as well as prebiotics to feed their growth. Kura contains 26 vitamins and minerals and provides a nice little dose of omega 3 fats on top of what naturally occurs in grassfed dairy. Best of all, it's made with no added sugar, just the hint of sweetness from the naturally occurring sugars in dairy!

What I appreciate most about Kura is that the company is committed to the same principles of nourishment over deprivation that I talk about all the time over here on Avocado. So why not start your day by nourishing your body with this extra creamy smoothie bowl, made with Kura's vanilla protein smoothie powder. Guys, I'm not kidding when I tell you it's the best smoothie bowl I've ever made! The trick is using an easy, overnight chia pudding instead of milk, which gives it a thick, pudding-like consistency. It's basically socially acceptable breakfast ice cream!

Don't miss your chance to try Kura at home! Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win 3 bags of Kura plus a new blender!

*CLOSED*

Vanilla Chia Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

The trick to making the worlds creamiest smoothie bowl is blending in chia seeds soaked in plant milk. I made a big batch and scooped out 1/2 cup of chia pudding as needed. Also delish with chocolate and berry Kura protein smoothie powder too!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 frozen banana, in chunks
  • 1 packet or scoop Kura vanilla protein smoothie powder
  • Toppings: freeze dried fruit, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, nut butter

Instructions

  1. The night before, mix chia seeds and plant milk in a small bowl. Let sit, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next morning, when ready to eat, blend chia mixture, banana and Kura protein powder in a food processor until creamy. Serve with optional toppings, or as I like to call them, sprinkles!

Baked French Toast with Mango Coconut Sauce and Almonds

Enjoy French toast every day of the week with this easy baked french toast, served with a no added sugar mango coconut chia sauce!

Happy National Breakfast Week!

Kidding! I made that up. Although sources (i.e. google) tells me National School Breakfast Week is next month. This week may not be an official holiday, but rather accidentally, I have three easy, whole food breakfast recipes scheduled for the blog. So national holiday or not, that's what I'll be celebrating this week on AADN!

Luckily, with Recipe Redux falling on today, they were totally on board with my self-declared holiday. This months' theme is Break out of Breakfast Boredom - show us the healthy way to wake up your breakfast...or wake up just for breakfast!

As I confessed to my lovely friend Alexis over at Hummusapien last week for her blogger's breakfast roundup, I am absolutely NOT a morning person. Sometimes I set my snooze alarm for another two minutes because I really need to get up and go to work, but I really don't want to get out of bed. In those drowsy, still half asleep moments, two minutes really is life or death. I feel like I'm probably not alone in this boat.

Almost everything I eat for breakfast is something I can reheat and eat or make in less than 2 minutes. With that, it's easy to fall into a routine. Smoothie. Overnight oats. Something eggy. Repeat.

French toast is something I would never make on a weekday, because let's face it, it takes much longer than 2 minutes. If only there was a way I could make it in advance...

Oh hey, there is! This baked french toast essentially makes a french toast casserole, which you can slice up and eat during the week. And actually, the prep work for the casserole itself takes only 15-20 minutes, so this is definitely a batch cooking friendly recipe. I used sprouted grain bread, which is my personal favorite for both taste and nutrition. But feel free to use any type you enjoy or have on hand. For a treat, this would be incredible with challah or brioche.

The mango coconut sauce was one that I came up with on a whim from some ingredients I already had on hand - the rest of a can of coconut milk after making a curry, frozen fruit (always a staple) and chia seeds. If you haven't already noticed, fruit sauces made from frozen fruit and chia seeds are one of my breakfast go tos (see here and here and check back on Friday for more evidence)

For more inspiration to break out of the breakfast boredom, check out the other creations from my fellow Recipe Reduxers below. Eating a nourishing breakfast is such an important way to start your day on the right foot. It gives you the energy you need to make the most of your day, boosts your metabolism, nourishes your brain and sets the tone for making more nutritious choices the rest of the day. If you're stuck in a breakfast rut, it's really easy to turn to fast food or sugary (and not at all filling) cereal, or just skip the meal entirely!

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a breakfast rut? What are your favorite ways to switch up breakfast? 

Baked French Toast with Mango Coconut Sauce and Almonds

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk or unsweetened plant milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 12 slices sprouted grain bread
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, optional for topping

Mango Coconut Chia Sauce: 

  • 2 cups frozen mango
  • 1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoons chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla and honey.
  2. Spray a large casserole dish with oil or rub with coconut oil/butter. Spread bread evenly in layers in the baking dish. I cut the bread in half to prevent too much overlapping. As you're layering the bread, sprinkle about 1/3 cup of the almonds between bread layers. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle the top of the french toast with turbinado sugar, if using. Place casserole in the oven and bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  4. While casserole is baking, heat mango, coconut milk and lime/lemon juice in a medium pot on medium heat. When mango is no longer frozen and mixture is simmering, turn off heat and blend until pureed with an immersion blender. Stir in chia seeds and let sit 5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle casserole with remaining almonds and serve with mango-coconut sauce.