Yes, I’m Late to the Game of Overnight Oats, But I Still Made It!


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Original Image by Meal Makeover Moms via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

I’ve always shied away from eating cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles and scones for breakfast as I’ve always been hungry within 15 minutes of consumption. It’s always been a struggle since these are ubiquitous, yummy breakfast options. Thankfully, I’ve found a way to add oats to my breakfast routine! The best part about overnight oats? Making them the night before means no changes to my morning routine and with a plethora of toppings and additions, I’m not afraid of getting bored!

Initially, I’ve started out with a simple, classic version of overnight oats and I haven’t deviated from that formula since it works so well!  However, as I’ve said, overnight oats can AND should be customized to your dietary needs and preferences. As always, take advantage of local, seasonal produce to ensure variety and optimal freshness.

  • Make it vegan: use plant-based milk, yogurt, and maple syrup for sweetener
  • Make it sugar-free: drop sweetener and add 1/2 mashed ripe banana
  • Make it gluten-free: use gluten-free oats

Since I’m late to the game, what’re your favorite way to make overnight oats? What made you get on the band wagon when you did? What part of this great phenomenon am I missing? Please share @WeDishNutrition!

Sources: http://wholefully.com/2016/03/07/8-classic-overnight-oats-recipes-you-should-try/

Taking time to look through Grocery Ads is Multi Beneficial


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Original Image by William Allen, Image Historian via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

I used to grumble at the thought of grocery stores not only wasting paper sending me fliers for their weekly sales, but said fliers would take over my mailbox. With over 7 different grocery chains advertising their sales items on a weekly basis, I used to think who’s got time for that? However, one day last week a couple of the food items from El Rancho caught my eye. I’ve been changed ever since. Before I continue, I need to share disclaimer that I’m still an avid fan of Aldi. Before last week, I didn’t look much further than this minimalist, cost saving store. Yet, my elitist attitude towards Aldi has changed a bit.

Now I avidly take the time on Tuesdays nights to look through the 7+ fliers to compare prices, see latest trends, recipes, obtain meal planning ideas, what’s in season, free services (e.g. flu shots) and better familiarize myself with the marketing of that brand. My ads go from Wednesday-Wednesday, with me often times writing down good deals and then rewriting better deals. It’s a great way to quickly compare what prices are REALLY the best.  Due to my tunnel vision view of Aldi, I’ve missed out on some great sales (e.g. I haven’t seen boneless, skinless chicken breasts for less than $1.99/lb., however, when I branched out and looked at El Rancho, they had the lovely $0.99/lb. price). Yet, here’s a copy of the notes that I took from my last Tuesday night:

 

  • Fiesta: Friday 4-12PM 99 cent 18 count eggs; 24 pack of toilet paper for $7
  • El Rancho: 4# sugar for $0.99; 2# tomatoes for 99#; boneless skinless chicken breast for $0.99; 128 oz vegetable oil for $4.98

I feel a bit dumb ignoring the above circulars for however x amount of time it’s been, but it’s better late than never. Also, if you haven’t noticed, Fiesta and El Rancho are ethnic grocery stores, which provide a plethora of additional types of produce that I might not find a traditional Kroger or Publix. Sometimes seeing produce in person is the push you need to finally incorporate achiote to meals!

 

I’m sure in your local area you have supermarkets competing for your business too, so sign up for email alerts and keep an eye out for foods you love! I’m grateful my roommate isn’t a huge cook herself and I can stop up on $0.99 boneless skinless chicken breast for months!

Oh, Show Me Your Ways Mortar & Pestle!


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Original Image by gorgeoux via Flickr 
By: Nikki Nies
While a mortar and pestle has been around since ancient time to prep ingredients into paste or powder, its use isn’t as ubiquitous as it used to be. The bowl-mortar is often times found in hard wood, bamboo, iron, steel, brass, basalt, ceramic or stone form while the pestle is the club shaped object that’s used for crushing and grinding. The word mortar is Latin for ‘receptacle for pounding’ while pestle derives from the Latin word, pestillum which means ‘pounder.’
My initial thoughts on using a mortar and pestle are to grind own spices. I’ve used it to make my own Italian seasoning! However, I know I can broaden my horizons and use it for pastes, marinades, curries, pesto, gazpacho and guacamole like many others do. Native Americans have used the bedrock mortar to even grind acorns and nuts and the Japanese use wooden mallets with their mortars to make mochi. Due to their historical appearance in preparing medicines, it’s frequently associated with the pharmaceutical and masonry professions.
Due to the quick use of motorized grinders, mortar and pestles have phased out of mainstream society, however, developing countries still use to husk and dehull grain.
If you’re purchasing your first mortar and pestle, it may be helpful to orient yourself to how to use it. First up, make sure to never use detergent. All you need to do is rinse with plain water without detergent and let it air dry. Additionally, it’s important to season first to eliminate possibility of grit in food.
How to season:
  1. Place a handful of uncooked rice in mortar and grind until pulverized. Discard and then repeat until rice is white instead of gray or ash colored.
  2. Add 4 peeled cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon [kosher] salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Grind evenly and then discard mixture. Rinse mortar and pestle with clear water and air dry prior to storing or using.
Don’t replace a hands on, flavor inducing experience with grinders, blenders and/or food processors. Next time you’re whipping up a grand meal, share @WeDishNutrition how you’re using your mortar and pestle.

 

No Need to Wait for New Year’s for Resolution, Make Vision Board Now!


By: Nikki Nies

Vision boards aren’t just for obtaining career objectives, but any and all personal goals too! After hearing a sermon where I was challenged to pray bold, big prayers and to dream big, I translated that into creating a vision board. Not only does this board have things I want (e.g. a tiny house), but feelings I want to always seek (e.g. cozy, warm cuddling feelings). By having my vision board on the opposite wall of my bed, I wake up to the pictures, quotes and inspiration images that I’ve pasted on there and ready to conquer the day!

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Original Image by Colleen Gavin via Flickr

Vision boards aren’t just for obtaining career objectives, but any and all personal goals too! After hearing a sermon where I was challenged to pray bold, big prayers and to dream big, I translated that into creating a vision board. Not only does this board have things I want (e.g. a tiny house), but feelings I want to always seek (e.g. cozy, warm cuddling feelings). By having my vision board on the opposite wall of my bed, I wake up to the pictures, quotes and inspiration images that I’ve pasted on there and ready to conquer the day!

By having a designated area of what you want to feel in life–whether it be where you want to be career wise, financially, spiritually, relationship wise, physically, emotionally and/or what your dream house is, it can be the step you need to make your dreams a reality.  Furthermore, think about what your goals are in all aspects of your life.

What’re the rules for making one? The great aspect, there aren’t any! A vision board is catered to your likes, desires and wants, but again, to be most effective, it should reflect what you want to feel in life. Material things are nice, I have pictures of tiny house on mine, but they’re also fleeting.

How does a vision board help, you ask?

  • Keep dreams, hopes and aspirations front and center with visualization of where you want to be. According to Psychology Today, many athletes have used vision boards for decades regarding desired performance.  Having visualizations all in one place can also aid in seeing the big picture and how certain goals are interrelated 
  • Keeping a reminder of inspirational and/or encouragement (e.g. notecards from loved ones) from the past in one place can be the ‘push’ you need  
  • Helps think outside of the box and challenge you to admit and discover what you REALLY want
  • Better attract future opportunities your way
  • Can be made anytime! No need to wait for New Year’s Resolution, which often times are broken in a matter of weeks! Add visions at any time too!
  • May help in overcoming obstacles to success as you may be able to see how to get from point A to B better and help establish healthier habits
  • It’s empowering by putting you in the driver’s seat of your life! Giving you back control you may have felt you relinquished previously to supervisors, other family and/or colleagues

What are must haves for your vision board? Share with us @WeDishNutrition if you’ve effectively used a vision board, what have you seen turn into a reality? 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-rider/the-scientific-reason-why_b_6392274.html

https://www.counseling.org/news/blog/aca-blog/2012/06/13/why-vision-boards-work