Earl Grey Latte (London Fog)

A couple weeks ago, I visited Seattle on a school trip and fell completely in love. Everything I knew about Seattle came from my 8th grade obsession with Twilight and my current obsession with Grey’s Anatomy, but I was convinced that I would like Seattle. And it was one of those lovely moments in life where I liked the city just as much as I thought I would. My favorite part of the trip was spending an afternoon hanging out in Local Color cafe in Pike Place Market, chatting with friends and enjoying an Earl Grey Latte.

The entire experience was just so cozy- the chilly day, friendly baristas, and a delicious latte, that I can’t help smiling whenever I think about it. So to allow me to relive a portion of that moment, I have created my own Earl Grey Latte (also known as a London Fog if you want to get fancy, which I often do).

Local Color cafe wasn’t the first place I tried an Earl Grey Latte (it’s been one of my go-to Starbucks orders for years), but this one was by far the best I’ve ever had. It was super simple, sweet, and mild. Unlike most coffee shop beverages that get me a little hyped up on caffeine and/or sugar, this Earl Grey Latte made me feel relaxed and even a little sleepy.

I’ve tried to replicate all of these aspects in my own recipe, and I’d say I’ve succeeded. So settle in with a good book, turn on your favorite TV show, or invite a friend over for tea, and make this Earl Grey Latte for all the relaxed and cozy vibes.

London Fog
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bags Earl Grey tea
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Boil water, then pour into 2 mugs and add a tea bag to each.
  2. While tea brews, add almond milk to saucepan over medium-low heat.
  3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla to saucepan.
  4. Stir milk mixture, then heat until milk is just barely simmering (about 5 minutes).
  5. Whisk milk until frothy, then divide between mugs.

 

10 Cozy Desk Lunches

Recently, my desk lunches have been pretty pathetic. I was going pretty strong with meal prep for most of September and October, but recently my organization hasn’t been so great. The result of my disorganization is cold, lackluster lunches that do nothing to warm my frigid hands, fill me up, or satisfy my cravings for all things warm and cozy.

My desk lunch dilemma has inspired me to collect this list of ten recipes for you (and me) that are delicious, comforting, healthy, and meal-prep friendly.

Healing Bowls by Pinch of Yum

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Coconut Red Lentil Soup by Vegan Blondes

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Vegan “Sausage” by Primarily Plants (me!)

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Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad by Cookie and Kate

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Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Chickpea Glow Bowl by Pinch of Yum

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Super Spinach Quinoa Bowl by Primarily Plants (!!)

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Cheezy Spaghetti Squash by Chickpea in the City

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Eggplant and Almond Butter Tofu Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Roasted Acorn Squash Bowl by Well and Full

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Happy eating! If you have any other lunch recommendations, let me know.

Chai Pumpkin Bread

This bread was inspired by a very disappointing box of chai tea. I went out on a limb and picked up a new brand at the grocery store last week, but my high hopes were dashed as soon as I tasted the first cup. Unfortunately, I still had 19 bags remaining in my pantry and no idea what to do with them.

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As always, I found the solution in bread. Bread truly solves the vast majority of my problems. I wanted to bake the chai into something that could mask its sharpness and sweetness while benefitting from the warm, spicy flavor.

To my surprise and delight, this bread turned out beautifully. The subtle sweet and spicy flavor is married perfectly with the soft, tender, nutty texture, and the bread is packed full of fiber and protein.

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I made a sandwich with this bread after my spin class the other day and it was incredible. The whole loaf was gone in less than 48 hours. Pumpkin bread + peanut butter + warm fuzzy socks = pure joy.

Pumpkin bread

Ingredients

  • 1 bag chai tea
  • 1 cup rice milk (haven’t tried with other non-dairy milks, but I’m confident they would work)
  • ½ cup pumpkin
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1 chia egg (½ tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp water)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a bread pan with parchment paper
  2. In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup rice milk to a simmer
  3. Tear a hole in tea bag, then place bag in saucepan as stir gently. Brew until tea turns milk light brown and fragrant.
  4. While tea brews, mix ½ tbsp chia seeds with 1 tbsp water and allow to thicken for a few minutes to create a chia egg
  5. Remove milk mixture from heat and combine with pumpkin, syrup, chia egg, and coconut oil in a small mixing bowl.
  6. In a larger bowl, stir together oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  7. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until a thick batter forms.
  8. Add remaining milk to batter, stirring continually, until batter appears pourable.
  9. Pour batter into bread pan and bake for 45 minutes.

*You can buy oat flour or easily make your own in a food processor using rolled oats. (To make gluten free, be sure to use certified gluten free rolled oats.)

Restorative Banana Muffins

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These muffins are restorative in so many ways. First of all, the whole wheat flour, natural sweetener, and immune boosting spices make them perfect for a physical health boost. Bananas also provide numerous health benefits, as detailed in this article from Well Being Secrets. More importantly, the comforting aroma, classic flavor, and relaxing baking process are SO emotionally restorative, especially after a long week.

For me, the past week was a hard one. I failed a math quiz I thought I’d done well on, I missed an important appointment, I double-booked myself by mistake, and I just felt off my game. But looking back it’s so amazing to see how many wonderful moments there are even in the hardest of times.

When my best friend heard my quivery voice over the phone after a particularly rough day, she was at my house (with snacks) within 15 minutes. A classmate I’ve been wanting to get to know better made me laugh with a silly pep talk when I was sad about my bad grade. My parents told me time after time that they love me and are proud of me, no matter how many “off weeks” I have. I need to remember it’s important to struggle sometimes, because that’s when you see how many people are there for you, and it’s when you can see how much you’ve grown.

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Honestly, the most grown up moment of my week was probably eating ice cream for dinner last night. The truth to that statement is both sad and wonderful, but I choose to celebrate it. Enjoying a drippy cone piled high with strawberry ice cream (the guy serving gave me an extra scoop- according to my dad he was flirting with me?? I’m completely clueless) on a warm fall evening is absolutely a decision to be proud of. Now I’m ready to take the weekend to rest, reset, study hard, and, of course, spend some quality time in the kitchen.

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Though it is the season for all things pumpkin, banana bread is one of my ultimate comfort foods. These muffins are simple, moist and delicious. Despite the healthy-ish twist, the classic flavors are all there, perfectly comforting and cozy. I’m not going to say you have to make the crumble topping, but you’d have to give me a reeeeally good reason not to. Turmeric and cinnamon are awesome additions due to their anti-inflammatory, immune boosting benefits, but if you don’t have them on hand you could absolutely substitute other spices.

Restorative Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup (or use ½ cup if you prefer sweeter muffins)

Crumble

  • 1 tbs whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a muffin tin.
  2. Mash 1 banana in medium mixing bowl
  3. Cut second banana into coins, then cut each coin into fourths and add to bowl.
  4. Gently mix in wet ingredients (syrup, milk, eggs).
  5. Add in flours, baking soda, and baking powder, stirring continually.
  6. Once ingredients are thoroughly combined, scoop batter into muffin tin (I recommend using an ice cream scooper).
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. While muffins are baking, make crumble.
  9. Combine crumble ingredients in a small bowl and stir until clumps form.
  10. Pull muffins out of the oven, top with crumble, then return to oven for 30-45 minutes.

Hope you enjoy these as much as my family and I did.

Much love,

K

Kind Bar Baked Oatmeal

Have you ever tried one of those special chai Kind Bars they only sell at Starbucks? If not, do it ASAP. If you have, you probably get my intense frustration about not being able to buy them at the grocery store.

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My love for all Kind Bars is intense and infamous. Not even kidding. It’s at the point where my parents gave me boxes of my favorite flavors (peanut butter chocolate and chocolate coconut) for my birthday. And it wasn’t anything like getting socks or underwear or some other practical-yet-boring gift. I was absolutely thrilled.  

Anyway, I digress. The point is, cashew chai Kind Bars are even better than peanut butter Kind Bars, and therefore it was absolutely necessary for me to find a way to get them into my life on a regular basis. Thus, Cashew Chai Baked Oatmeal was born.

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I’ve been wanting to make baked oatmeal for a while, but I could never find the perfect recipe Fortunately, when I was trying to decide what to prep for breakfast this week, I was inspired to customize my own baked oatmeal in the image of my favorite granola bar.

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I included aquafaba (chickpea/white bean canning liquid)  in the recipe in the place of the eggs/egg whites you would find in a traditional baked oatmeal because I had some on hand and wanted to test it out. I promise it doesn’t taste bean-y at all, but you can definitely sub eggs or flax eggs if you prefer.

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Ingredients:

  • Wet ingredients:
    • 1 cup nut milk
    • ½ banana (~ ¼ cup mashed)
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Dry ingredients:
    • 1 ½ cup oats
    • ½ cup quinoa
    • ⅓ cup cashews
  • Chai Spices
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ½ tsp nutmeg
    • ½ tsp ground cloves
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp ground allspice

Directions:

  1. Line 9×9 baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350ºF
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk.
  3. Stir in oats and chai spices
  4. Toast quinoa and nuts on stovetop until golden brown and fragrant (should take about 1 minute)
  5. Mix in quinoa and nuts, then pour batter into baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 1o minutes (when done oatmeal will be golden brown and firm.)

Enjoy!