Never Miss Another Breakfast with These On the Go Recipes!

Breakfast is one of the most skipped meals of the day. Sometimes you’re running late, or you have nothing to make, or any numbers of excuses. Luckily, there are tons of amazing on the go recipes you can prep over the weekend and have ready to go for your hectic mornings! A little bit of prep will make all the difference through the week. Start your day with something yummy and avoid that mid-morning hanger. Here are some of our favorites:

Image Source: The Wholesome Dish

Image Source: The Wholesome Dish

Baked Oatmeal

Via The Wholesome Dish

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • ¼ cups of canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups of your choice of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
  • Optional: toppings of nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, etc.

Start by preheating your oven to 350° and line a muffin tin with muffin liners. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and oil together until the sugar dissolves. Then add the milk, cinnamon,  vanilla, applesauce, and salt and whisk until everything is combined. Stir in the oats and baking powder. Fill each muffin cup in the muffin tin with ¼ cup of the oat mixture. If you want to add toppings, place them on top and push them into the oat mixture with a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes, let them cool for around 5 minutes and then enjoy!

Image Source: Show Me the Yummy

Image Source: Show Me the Yummy

Grab-N-Go Omelettes

Via Show Me the Yummy

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red pepper measured after chopping
  • 1 cup green pepper measured after chopping
  • 1 cup yellow onion measured after chopping
  • 2 cups baby spinach - roughly chopped measured/packed before chopping
  • 1 cup mushrooms measured before chopping
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  •  salt to taste
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard non stick 12-slot muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in oil, red pepper, green pepper, and onion. Saute 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Add in spinach and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add in minced garlic. Season with salt and remove from heat. Crack eggs/egg whites into a large 4 cup measuring cup and whisk together. Stir in cooked veggies. Pour the egg/veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked. Cool slightly and serve immediately!

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. These may also be frozen. To reheat, pop them in the microwave until warm.

Your Summer Date Night: A Romantic Evening Picnic

Image Source: @natashasechenova

Image Source: @natashasechenova

We love a good summer date night! While it’s fun to splurge on a date night out every once in a while, we also really enjoy having a date night in, or creating our own adventures. That’s why this week we decided to put together our list of must-haves to create a perfect date night picnic for you and your beau! Whether you decide to head to the backyard with your picnic blanket, or a local park, make sure you have some yummy food and it’s sure to be a hit. If you can, grab a couple of pillows and even a spare blanket so you can comfortably snuggle up and watch the sunset. Bug spray is a must, too!

The key to a good picnic is to have a good spread, but everything is easily premade, doesn’t need to be reheated, and travels well. Keeping that in mind, here are our picks for your menu!

Appetizer - Bruschetta and Crostini

We love a good bruschetta and this one is super easy and delicious! A nice light and refreshing appetizer is the perfect way to get you started.

Image Source: Life She Lives

Image Source: Life She Lives

Ingredients

  • 1 French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 vine tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan (optional)
Image Source: Life She Lives

Image Source: Life She Lives

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Saute minced garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until fragrant and golden. Set aside.
  3. Chop tomatoes, onion and fresh basil and combine in a mixing bowl. Add sauteed garlic WITH the excess olive oil from the pan.
  4. Squeeze 1/4 lemon juice over the vegetable mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix well and chill in the refrigerator.
  6. In a small bowl, season the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil with salt and pepper.
  7. Lay baguette slices on a baking sheet and use silicone basting brush to apply seasoned olive oil. Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Top each baguette slice with a spoonful of tomato bruschetta and a small sprinkle of shredded Parmesan (optional).
Image Source: Lil' Luna

Image Source: Lil' Luna

Dinner - Chicken Caesar Salad (Wraps)

Easy and a classic, we love a good chicken Caesar salad. If you’re not a straight salad kind of person, make it a wrap! Easy to eat and easy to travel with.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup croutons
  • ½ cup Caesar dressing
  • 5-6 flour tortillas (8 inch)

Steps

  1. Add the first 5 ingredients to a medium bowl.
  2. Mix in caesar dressing until evenly coated.
  3. Spoon into tortillas and enjoy!

Dessert - Mini S’Mores

Making real s’mores during a picnic is a little difficult without a fire. But they’re such a summer classic, we have to get them in there somehow! Which is why we love these mini s’mores that you can make ahead of time to enjoy at the end of your meal.

Image Source: Taste of Home

Image Source: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package (14.4 ounces) graham crackers, quartered
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • 2 cartons (7 ounces each) milk chocolate for dipping
  • 4 ounces white candy coating, melted, optional

Steps

  1. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature or until mixture reaches a spreading consistency, about 10 minutes.
  2. Spread chocolate mixture over half of the graham crackers. Spread marshmallow creme over remaining graham crackers; place over chocolate-covered crackers, pressing to adhere.
  3. Melt dipping chocolate according to package directions. Dip each s'more halfway into dipping chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until dipping chocolate is set.
  4. If desired, drizzle tops with melted white candy coating; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Get Your Grub on with Some Patriotic Flair This 4th of July

We’re officially less than a week away from the Fourth of July! Time to start planning and prepping for your holiday BBQ. We’ve rounded up some fun and festive treats to really embrace the patriotic spirit of the holiday and leave your guests with a smile across their faces. Bring on the stars, stripes, red, white, and blue!

Appetizers

We’re big on having a good variety for your appetizers. A little something for everyone! We love dips, fruit, veggies, the works. These firework fruit kabobs are super cute. Add a little pop to your usual chips and dip by picking tri-colored chips or even custom cutting your pita chips into stars! Swap out traditional salsa for some fun and patriotic fruit salsa instead. Pretty much put anything in stars or firework shape and you’re good to go.

Main Dishes

The star of the show (no pun intended). Spice up your usual BBQ favorites with some simple tricks! For example, we love having star shaped cheese on our burgers. It’s really easy and just adds a fun little touch of whimsy to your usual burger. Create a fun little toppings bar for your burgers and dogs. We love the idea of having tri-colored potatoes as a side dish, too! If you’re not a BBQ person, try these fun star shaped pizzas instead.

Desserts

Dessert… our favorite! There are so many things you can do for a patriotic dessert. You can pretty much dip anything in frosting and add some sprinkles to make it match the theme. Oreos are an American classic, and we love this fun twist to add a pop of color and added flavor. Once again, kabobs work for anything! Give a healthy option with a fun fruit platter and a lighter option with some multi-colored rice krispies.

Drinks

Every party needs a signature drink! When it comes to the fourth, you have plenty of options for festive drinks. Whether you opt for a sparkling sangria or some firecracker jello shots, make sure you have a non-alcoholic option too. Even if it’s something as simple as

You Can't Eat Just One Of These Yummy Lemon Squares

IMAGE SOURCE: @CHATELAINEMAG

IMAGE SOURCE: @CHATELAINEMAG

These sweet and zesty lemon bars are an all time favorite summer dessert for us at Parsimony Inspired and we are so excited to share the recipe with you! With a quick prep time you can make them in the morning, then enjoy after they have set when you come home from work or running errands. If sharing with friends be prepared to make 2 batches; every crumb will be gone before you know it!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of salt
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil (by placing a sheet length and width wise to create a "sling" so the bars can easily be pulled out), and lightly coat with veggie spray.

Process the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Sprinkle 8 tbsp. of butter over the top and pulse until the mixture is pale and resembles course cornmeal, about 8 pulses.

Sprinkle mixture into prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer using your fingers. Bake until the crust starts to brown, about 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, whisk the yolks and whole eggs together in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Whisk in the granulated sugar until combined, then whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Add the remaining 4 tbsp. butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thee mixture thickens slightly and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.

Strain the mixture immediately into a nonreactive bowls and stir in the cream. Pour the warm lemon curd over the hot crust. Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 10-15 minutes.

Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, before removing the bars from the pan using the foil (lift up the edges of the foil) and cutting into squares. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.


The Healthier Alternatives To Your Favorite Foods

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

Our favorite foods tend to be full of unhealthy sugars, fats, and carbs, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are tons of healthier alternatives to our favorite foods that taste as good and are full of the nutrients we need. To help you lead a healthier lifestyle, we are sharing our favorite alternatives to otherwise unhealthy foods that you can implement into your every day routine!


Pasta Alternatives

Most pastas are made of starchy grains with low nutrition value, and it takes more than the recommended portion size to fill you up. So, to make sure you are eating more vitamins and minerals, we love using zoodles (zucchini noodles), spiraled beets, or spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Zucchini is full of vitamins A and C, is low in calories, and has many essential minerals. Beets are full of folate and vitamin C, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Spaghetti squash is high in Vitamins A and B-6 and is very low in carbs and calories. Click the images below for our favorite zoodle, beet spiral, and spaghetti squash recipes!


Red & Fatty Meat Alternatives

Red meats are high in iron, B-12, and protein; however, too much red meat can lead to heart disease because of it's fat high content. To help reduce the amount of red meat you consume, we have come up with three delicious alternatives! Tofu is a staple in the vegetarian world. Tofu is made of soybeans and contains all the essential amino acids you need! It soaks up the flavors of sauces extremely well and can be used in many different ways. Jackfruit is used heavily in vegan recipes and is native to India. It's texture is similar to cooked chicken, and is readily available in canned form. Fish is our favorite alternative to red meat for those of you who are not vegetarian. Fish is full of healthy fats, is tasty, and there are so many different kinds and ways to prepare it!


Sugar & Sweetener Alternatives

Refined sugars, such as sugar from cane or sugar beets, are high in calories and can become extremely addictive. Limiting the amounts of refined sugars we eat can help boost metabolism, burn more fat, and lower risk of sugar related diseases like diabetes. Our favorite alternatives to refined sugars are natural sugars such as coconut sugar, stevia, maple syrup, honey, or dates! Next time you reach for a sugar packet to put in your coffee, try adding coconut sugar or honey instead. Dates are perfect for sweetening soups and sauces, just puree a few and add to your recipe while cooking!


Rice Alternatives

Like pasta, rice is healthy when eaten in correct portion sizes, but in excess is high in calories and carbohydrates. To add more nutrition to your rice-based dishes, we want to introduce you to the growingly popular alternatives: cauliflower rice and quinoa. Cauliflower rice can be tedious to make at home, so for on the go or quick meals pick up a bag of frozen cauliflower rice at your local grocery store. Cauliflower rice is great at absorbing liquids such as curry and adds lots of nutrients to your dish like vitamin C and K, folate, and omega-3. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and fiber. It comes in a few varieties and colors and is super easy to make. You can even make a large batch and store in the refrigerator!


Those Pesky Sweet Cravings Alternatives

Sweet cravings are wrench in anyone's healthy lifestyle. We all get them and we all cave. To help you make healthier decisions when it comes to your sweet cravings, we have a few alternatives that will kick cravings in the butt! Pickles, believe it or not, are a great craving quencher. Pickles, an other fermented foods, increase the immune system which helps regulate appetite and reduce sugar cravings. And at 5 calories per pickle, you can manage to indulge a little. Try to buy pickles with little added sugars (look near the deli refrigerators instead of down the condiment aisle). Fruit is an obvious alternative, because it is naturally sweet (think natural sugars over processed sugars), and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. If you want chocolate, try eating a few pieces of dark chocolate. Most dark chocolate bars have yummy and healthier flavor options such as orange or ginger! Got soda cravings? Try zero calorie seltzers. Seltzers satisfy your carbonation craving and come in a variety of sweet, but no sugar added, flavors.


Dessert Hummus Is The Healty Treat You Deserve

IMAGE SOURCE: @DELIGHTEDBYDESSERTHUMMUS

IMAGE SOURCE: @DELIGHTEDBYDESSERTHUMMUS

The worst part about eating healthy is having to say no to dessert. Lucky for you, we have found a must try healthy dessert-- dessert hummus! Like regular hummus, dessert hummus is made with chickpeas, but this treat has sweet flavor profiles like chocolate, vanilla bean, and cake batter. Here are a few of our favorite dessert hummus recipes; just process all ingredients in a food processor or blender for 30-45 seconds until smooth!


IMAGE SOURCE: THE WANNABE CHEF

IMAGE SOURCE: THE WANNABE CHEF

SNICKERDOODLE

  • 2 cups of chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • cinnamon sugar for garnish

IMAGE SOURCE: DON'T WASTE THE CRUMBS

IMAGE SOURCE: DON'T WASTE THE CRUMBS

CAKE BATTER

  • 1½ cups chickpeas, drained and washed
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1-2 tbsp. milk
  • sprinkles for garnish

IMAGE SOURCE: REAL SIMPLE

IMAGE SOURCE: REAL SIMPLE

CHOCOLATE

  • 1½ cups chickpeas, drained and washed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp. water

If you don’t have time to make dessert hummus, check out Delighted By Hummus for pre-made deliciousness!

 

How To Create the Perfect Smoothie

IMAGE SOURCE: @SMOOTHIE_PLANET

IMAGE SOURCE: @SMOOTHIE_PLANET

Smoothies are a delicious and easy go-to snack, post workout meal, or even breakfast;  but creating a healthy and balanced smoothie can be difficult! To have a healthy smoothie, you need the perfect balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fats. We are going to break down what each of these are, how much you need, and what foods will help you maintain balance!


NECESSARY NUTRIENTS

VITAMINS are substances your body needs in order to grow normally. You can meet your daily vitamin requirements by simply eating vitamin rich foods! The exception is vitamin D, which you obtain from the sun! The vitamins you need are A, B (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate), C, D, E, and K. Each vitamin is responsible for different bodily functions. In a nutshell, vitamin A keeps your immune system, vision, and cellular communication healthy; vitamin B keeps your blood and genetic material healthy; vitamin C helps repair tissue, aids in the absorption of iron, and helps decrease bad cholesterol (LDL); vitamin D keeps your digestive system and skeletal system healthy; vitamin E helps boost your immune system; and vitamin K regulates blood clotting.

MINERALS are compounds found in nature required to keep the body functioning healthily. Mineral functions include, but are not limited to, bone health, heart health, muscle health, organ health, and enzyme and hormone production. There are two types of minerals: macrominerals and microminerals. Your body requires more amounts of macrominerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur) and small amounts of trace minerals (iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium).

PROTEIN is found everywhere in the body and makes up the enzymes responsible for carrying out all bodily functions. Proteins are made of amino acids (the building blocks of tissue, muscle, organs, hair, and skin, and are responsible for all metabolic functions), and amino acids are either made in the body or must be consumed. Essential amino acids are those we must consume through foods such as meat, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains; however, only meat contains all essential amino acids. Vegetarians must eat a variety of these other foods to get all of the amino acids they need.

FAT is essential to have a healthy body, though some fats are healthier than others. Healthy fats, or unsaturated fats, help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats can be divided into two categories: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats include both omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Both are healthy, but increasing your omega-3:omega-6 ratio is recommended. A great way to know if a fat is unsaturated is if it’s liquid at room temperature! Bad fats, or saturated fats, are found in dairy, fatty meats, coconut, palm oil, and most manufactured and packaged foods. Trans fats, another bad fat, are unsaturated fats that have been processed to behave like saturated fats. They are found in processed and packaged foods. Both of these types of fats should be avoided or eaten on occasion. Also, saturated fats are solid at room temperature!



CREATING THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE

BASE (½-1 cup) The base of your smoothie is essentially the liquid ingredient in your smoothie. Great options include 100% fruit juice, milk (regular, almond, soy, rice), coconut water, brewed tea, etc. Try to use a base with no or low sugar content. If your smoothie is too thick, try adding more base!

FRUIT (1-1½ cups) Choose complimentary fruits for both flavor and sugar content. Almost all fruits contain vitamins A-C (remember you get vitamin D from the sun!), and a mix of minerals. We add fruit to our smoothies for both yummy flavors but mostly for the vitamin content! Be cautious of the sugar content in the fruit you are adding. If using a fruit juice as a base, or fruit high in sugar (bananas, apples, pineapple), try balancing with another fruit lower in sugar such as berries! If using frozen fruit make sure there is no added sugar.

VEGGIE (1-2 cups) Veggies are the greatest source of minerals for your smoothie! Go-to veggies should be kale or spinach. Both are high in iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, E, and K! Carrots, squash (butternut and pumpkin), and sweet potatoes are also amazing sources of vitamins and minerals. We love spinach in our smoothies because it is essentially flavorless compared to all of the other ingredients and blends into tiny pieces that don’t thicken up the smoothie! You can also use veggie juices (no added sugars), to smooth out your smoothie and add more flavor!

PROTEIN (varies) The amount of protein you need in your smoothie depends on why you are drinking one. If it is just a snack, you do not need more than 10 grams of protein, just enough to fill you until your next meal. If your smoothie is for breakfast you need between 15-25 grams of protein. If it is a post workout meal, your protein intake should be much higher, between 20-40 grams to help build and maintain muscle mass. Great sources of protein are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, silken tofu (vegetarian), or protein powder. For breakfast or a snack, Greek yogurt is our protein of choice! For a post workout meal, we like using both protein powder and Greek yogurt; the yogurt plays a huge role in the smooth and thick consistency of the smoothie! Again be wary of the sugar and fat content in your protein. Choose a protein low in fat and with no added sugar.

HEALTHY FAT (varies) Healthy fats are often forgotten when making a smoothie but they are equally important as any other ingredient! Great healthy fats include ¼ avocado, 1-2 tbsp. seeds (chia, flax, hemp), or 1 tbsp. nut butter. Our favorite fat to add is chia seeds. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3’s, and are additionally full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, and calcium!

EXTRAS (varies) Give your smoothie some extra flavor with cocoa powder (80%+ dark), extracts (vanilla, almond, mint), herbs and spices, fish oil, etc. Make sure these extras are low in sugar and only add flavor or more nutrients!


Our Favorite One Pan Dinners

IMAGE SOURCE: @DAENO_GIBBSFIT

IMAGE SOURCE: @DAENO_GIBBSFIT

The worst part about making dinner is the cleanup. Who wants to wash multiple pots and pans after cooking and eating a big meal--no one! Our favorite solution is one pan dinners! One pan dinners are exactly as they sound; your whole meal is cooked in one pan (that means only one pan, plus prep bowl/cutting board, to wash)! To start you on your one pan cooking journey, here are 4 recipes that we love--including a vegetarian option!


SHEET PAN STEAK FAJITAS

IMAGE SOURCE: NUMBER 2 PENCIL

IMAGE SOURCE: NUMBER 2 PENCIL

Preheat the oven to 450℉. In a small bowl combine 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. each of pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika, 1 tbsp. chili powder, and ½ tsp. cumin and divide the mixture in half.

In a large plastic storage bag combine 1 tbsp. olive oil and lime juice, and ½ of the spice mixture. Add a 2 lb. flank steak to the bag, shake to coat, and let sit while preparing the veggies. Slice 3 bell peppers and 1 small red onion into ¼ inch slices and add to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and the remaining spice mixture, and turn to coat. Push the veggies to the outer edges of the pan and place the steak in the center.

Cook for 12-15 minutes, then broil on high for 2 minutes. The steak should read 145℉. Let the steak rest at room temp for 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with cilantro and fresh lime juice.

Warm tortillas in foil in the oven while the steak rests.


ONE PAN LEMON BUTTER GARLIC SHRIMP WITH ASPARAGUS

IMAGE SOURCE: CARLSBAD CRAVINGS

IMAGE SOURCE: CARLSBAD CRAVINGS

Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add 1 lb. asparagus (ends trimmed) to the sheet and drizzle with oil. Add 1 tbsp. minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss until evenly coated. Arrange asparagus in an even layer and cook for 4-6 minutes.

While the asparagus is cooking, de-vine and remove the tails from 1½ lbs. of raw shrimp. Remove the pan from the oven, push the asparagus to the side, and add the shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil; more salt, pepper, and garlic to taste;  ¼ tsp. paprika and red chili flakes; and 3 tbsp. fresh parsley. Toss until evenly coated, arrange in a single layer, and cook for 6 minutes until shrimp are just opaque. Garnish with lemon juice.


SHEET PAN CHICKEN AND ROASTED HARVEST VEGGIES

IMAGE SOURCE: FLAVOUR AND SAVOUR

IMAGE SOURCE: FLAVOUR AND SAVOUR

Preheat the oven to 425℉. In a small bowl whisk together the marinade: ¼ cup EVOO, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp. each dried thyme and red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pat 8-9 bone in, skin on, chicken thighs dry and place in a Ziplock bag. Pour in marinade, shake to mix, and set aside while preparing the veggies. Chop all veggies into uniform size: 10 baby potatoes, 1-2 medium sweet potatoes, 3 shallots, 2 zucchini, 1 honeycrisp apple (skin on).

Prepare a large sheet pan by lining with foil or spraying with cooking spray. Add veggies to the sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 tsp. each dried thyme and rosemary, and mix until evenly coated. Place chicken slices on top of the veggies and drizzle with remaining marinade. Cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165℉. Garnish with fresh herbs.


SHEET PAN HONEY-SESAME TOFU AND GREEN BEANS

IMAGE SOURCE: KITCHN

IMAGE SOURCE: KITCHN

Preheat the oven to 400℉ and prepare a baking sheet. In a small bowl whisk 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp. each of honey and grated fresh ginger, and 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil.

Cut 12 oz. extra firm tofu (drained and patted dry), into triangles and place in a single layer on one side of the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the soy sauce mixture and bake until golden brown on the bottom (about 12 minutes).

Flip the tofu and add 1 lb. trimmed green beans to the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste. Return the sheet to the oven and continue to cook until the other side of the tofu is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.


Our Favorite Food Combos

IMAGE SOURCE: HALF BAKED HARVEST

IMAGE SOURCE: HALF BAKED HARVEST

There are hundreds of classic, and not so mainstreamed, food pairings we all love; and knowing some of these combinations can set you up to create amazing dishes! To help inspire you in the kitchen, we are sharing our favorite food combo recipes guaranteed to make your mouth water!


BREAKFAST COMBOS

AVOCADO & RADISHES

AVOCADO & RADISHES

SAUSAGE & SWEET POTATO

SAUSAGE & SWEET POTATO

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANAS

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANAS

EGGS & BACON

EGGS & BACON


LUNCH COMBOS

TUNA & DILL

TUNA & DILL

HAM & CHEESE

HAM & CHEESE

FISH & CHIPS

FISH & CHIPS

EGGS & BEETS

EGGS & BEETS


DINNER COMBOS

CAULIFLOWER & CURRY

CAULIFLOWER & CURRY

PORK & APPLES

PORK & APPLES

STEAK & POTATOES

STEAK & POTATOES

SALMON & PISTACHIOS

SALMON & PISTACHIOS


DESSERT COMBOS

DARK CHOCOLATE & ORANGE

DARK CHOCOLATE & ORANGE

PEACHES & CREAM

PEACHES & CREAM

MILK & COOKIES

MILK & COOKIES

STRAWBERRIES & BALSAMIC VINEGAR

STRAWBERRIES & BALSAMIC VINEGAR


Our Best Kitchen Tips & Tricks

IMAGE SOURCE: GREY LIKES WEDDINGS

IMAGE SOURCE: GREY LIKES WEDDINGS

Not everyone is a whiz in the kitchen, and that’s OK, but, it shouldn’t hold you back from cooking, baking, and trying new techniques! To help you conquer your fears, the Parsimony Inspired team has scrambled up all our best tricks and trades of the kitchen! These tricks will help you save time, money, and stress while cooking. So get ready to have a new and pleasant kitchen experience!


OUR TIPS

IMAGE SOURCE: THE KITCHN

IMAGE SOURCE: THE KITCHN

IMAGE SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

IMAGE SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

  • Freeze and store liquids (such as stock or juice) in portion sized bags/containers, and wine in ice cube trays for easy access while cooking! Make sure to freeze flat if using bags so you can stack liquids for better organization!

  • Buy grains and dried goods (rice, couscous, flour, sugar, etc.) in bulk and store in large mason jars or storage containers. This way, you can hide the large bags in storage and conveniently organize refillable containers in your cabinet! Label the containers with the ingredient and quick guide to cooking it!

  • Use a magnetic knife strip instead of a block. It saves counter space and eliminates the need to pull out every knife before you find the one you need!

  • Keep a large wooden cutting board on the counter at all times. You can use it to cut bread, veggies, as a serving tray, to prepare sandwiches conveniently!

  • Clean as you go! A clean kitchen will make you happier and there will be a less daunting pile of dishes when you are done cooking.

  • A microplane is the kitchen tool you will never know how you lived without. It can be used to zest citrus and grate cheese, chocolate, ginger, garlic, and whole spices!

  • Keep your knives sharp! A sharp knife is a safer knife!

  • Store tomatoes at room temperature! They last longer than they do in the fridge!

  • When freezing leafy greens, put a damp paper towel in the bag to decrease freezer burn!

  • Keep an oven thermometer in your oven at all times! Ovens vary, so you should know when you need to adjust the temperature (super important when baking!).

  • Learn the correct way to hold a knife a few different cutting techniques to make chopping a faster process


OUR TRICKS

IMAGE SOURCE: TWO TWENTY ONE

IMAGE SOURCE: TWO TWENTY ONE

IMAGE SOURCE: TASTY YUMMIES

IMAGE SOURCE: TASTY YUMMIES

  • Puree fresh herbs and freeze in oil in ice cube trays. This is a great way to always have fresh herbs on hand and a practical way to preserve an abundance of an herb in your garden!

  • Make large citrus ice cubes by freezing sliced citrus in water in muffin tins! Perfect for a pitcher of water on a warm summer day.

  • If slicing a large cut of meat into smaller pieces, slightly freeze the meat first for easier slicing!

  • Save and freeze your Parmesan rinds. They are the perfect flavor addition to soup stocks and stews!

  • Fresh eggs sink; old eggs float. Air bubbles under the shell are created by escaping gases through the shell pores as the egg ages.

  • Use unscented dental floss to cut through soft foods, like cheese and cake!

  • Roll citrus before juicing to release the juice trapped in the cells in the flesh.

  • Shred chicken in your mixer instead of tediously using forks!

  • Immediately place chopped potatoes in ice water to keep them white! This is also important to extract as much starch from the potatoes as possible when making fries!

  • Speed up banana ripening by placing in a paper bag! Bananas emit ethylene gas, and bananas ripen when in contact with the gas, so trapping the gas in a closed bag makes the fruit ripen faster!

  • If measuring a sticky food like honey, coat the measuring cup in cooking spray or oil first. The honey will pour right out!

  • Bring your crystallized honey back to life by placing the container in hot water for 5-10 minutes.

  • Use a veggie peeler to get rid of celery strings!

  • Place a damp dish towel under a slippery cutting board to keep it in place.

  • Grate frozen or cold butter if you don't have time to defrost it!

  • Save the bones and giblets from your roasted chicken to make bone broth and gravy!

  • Save your vanilla bean pod to make vanilla sugar! Just bury the pod in granulated sugar in an airtight container for 2 weeks.


Do you have a kitchen tip or trick we didn't share? Let us know!

We've Already Planned Your Date Night At Home Menu!

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We all love date night! We have our man to ourselves with no interruptions from the outside world. But, sometimes we are too tired, or our wallets are too thin, to have a fancy dinner at our favorite spot. Instead, try cooking together and have dinner at home where you are comfortable! Cooking is just as sexy as that new restaurant downtown! To inspire your date night, we are sharing our fish tacos with mango salsa and corn and black bean salad recipes, along with our favorite crème brûleé recipe from the Food Network! These recipes make 4 tacos and 3 crème brûleés.


FISH TACOS

Choose a white fish that flakes easily; for this recipe we chose a wild caught cod. The amount of fish you will need varies on how much fish you want in your tacos. We recommend about 1 lb.

FOR THE FISH  Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly brush both sides of the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes until it easily flakes with a fork.

FOR THE MANGO SALSA In a medium bowl mix ¼ cup finely chopped red pepper, ¼ cup finely chopped yellow pepper, ¾ cup roughly chopped red cabbage, 1 diced mango, 1 diced tomato (seeded), ½ diced avocado, juice from half a lime, and salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro to taste.

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ASSEMBLE THE TACOS For this recipe, we used small round wheat tortillas, but feel free to use your choice of tortilla! With a cast iron skillet on low-med heat, gently toast the tortillas on each side to give some char and crunch. Place a quarter of the fish in the center of the taco and top with as much mango salsa as you like. We did not create a sauce for this recipe because the salsa brightens up the taco and we didn’t want to lose the fish flavor; however, dress up your taco any way you like!


CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALSA

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FOR THE SALSA In a cast iron skillet on medium heat, slightly char ½ cup corn (we used frozen). Once the corn starts to char, turn the heat off and add ⅓ cup of finely chopped red peppers, ½ can rinsed black beans, 1 finely chopped jalapeño, and 1 tbsp. cilantro stir in paste. Mix ingredients together and season with zest from 1 lime and salt, pepper, lime juice, and fresh cilantro to taste. Serve warm with the tacos.


CRÈME BRÛLEÉ

This delicious dessert takes half an afternoon to complete but is definitely worth it! If you don’t have a cooking torch, you can find one at your local Walmart! Vanilla sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar if on hand. If not, make your own for next time!  

FOR THE CRÈME BRÛLEÉ Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place ½ quart heavy cream and ½ vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use (such as vanilla sugar- bury the dried vanilla bean in granulated sugar in an airtight container for 2 weeks for sugar that tastes like vanilla!)

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In a medium bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar and 3 egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 3 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brûleé is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Remove the crème brûleé from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining ¼  cup sugar equally among the 3 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top (aim for an amber color). Allow the crème brûleé to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Our Favorite Dessert in a Mug Recipes!

IMAGE SOURCE: BLDG 25

IMAGE SOURCE: BLDG 25

If you’re anything like us, you have sweet tooth cravings all the time. But, making a dessert takes too much time, and you cannot be trusted to eat just one serving. To keep your sweet tooth and self control in check, we are sharing three delicious microwave mug dessert recipes! Each takes less than five minutes to prepare and cook, and can be made in a microwave safe mug or ramekin!


CHURRO IN A MUG
 

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In a mug mix 4 tbsp. flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, ⅛ tsp. baking powder, 1/16 tsp. baking soda, and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Add 3 tbsp. milk and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and mix until smooth.

Spoon 1 tbsp. crushed chocolate chips into the center and microwave for 1 minute until the cake has risen and is firm in the center. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top!


FRENCH TOAST IN A MUG

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Lightly grease the inside of a mug with cooking spray. Add 1 egg, 1 tsp. sugar, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. vanilla extract, and ¼ cup milk and beat together.

Add 2 diced slices of bread (we used sourdough) and push down into the egg mixture so all of the bread is coated. Microwave for 1½ minutes. Serve with whipped cream and maple syrup!


NUTELLA BROWNIE IN A MUG

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Mix 4 tbsp. flour, 4 tbsp. sugar, 3 tbsp. Nutella, 3 tbsp. water, 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, and ½ tsp. vanilla extract in a mug. If too dry add ½ tbsp. more water at a time until it reaches a brownie batter consistency.

Microwave for 45 seconds. Serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit!


RECIPES SOURCED & ADAPTED FROM:

Churro: Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking

French Toast: Lazy Ass Meals

Brownie: Cherry Tea Cakes


Our Best Healthy Eating Tips to Stay on Track this Winter

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

Eating healthier is one of the top New Year’s resolutions on everybody’s list. So, today we are going to focus on ways to make that resolution stick! Here are our best tips on how to begin and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle!


BEFORE YOU BEGIN...

Before you start on your health food journey you should know what “healthy foods” are. The best foods for your body are natural foods such as fruits, veggies, meat, and limited natural sugars (honey, maple syrup) and grains. You should eliminate as much processed food as you can, and avoid products with MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites. Throw away all processed food when beginning your journey so you have no temptations!

Junk food and desserts should not be a common staple in your diet, treating yourself once and awhile is OK and good for your mental health. Treat yourself as a reward for finishing a big project or reaching a new goal; it should be a positive reinforcement. Never treat yourself when having a bad day or for a negative circumstance.


OUR TIPS:

  • Eat organically
  • Eat grass-fed and cage free meat/eggs/dairy
  • Buy locally from farms or markets (fresh food is good food!)
  • Meal plan for the week and stick to it
  • Meal prep
  • Always have chopped veggies and fresh fruit to snack on
  • Cook from scratch
  • Make bone broth and keep it in the freezer for quick soups or when needed in recipes
  • Invest in a few good kitchen tools (crockpot, blender, cast iron pan, veggie noodler, and knife sharpener)
  • Buy a few cookbooks and learn a few staple dishes
  • Make your own salad dressings and condiments (it’s easier than you think!)
  • Don’t be afraid to try new food
  • Learn some easy food substitutes such as coco aminos for soy sauce, olive oil for butter, zoodles or spaghetti squash for pasta, and seltzer for soda
  • Eat protein with every meal so you stay fuller longer
  • Use nuts instead of croutons in salads
  • Eat correct portion sizes
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit your juice intake, and replace juice with water infused with citrus, herbs, and fruit.
  • If you are craving something sweet eat fruit, coconut, or even pickles (yes, pickles!) instead
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Stock up your spice cabinet. It is the best way to add flavor to your food with fewer calories.
  • Learn to say no to fast food or any bad foods
  • Limit your sodium intake
  • Stock your freezer with frozen fruit and veggies! It’s great for smoothies, oatmeal, and even cooking!
  • Stock your pantry with canned fruits and veggies, as long as it is canned in its natural juices or water
  • Try to eat fish 2-3 times a week for an easy way to add omega-3 to your diet
  • Learn how to read nutrition labels
  • Use fresh herbs
PHOTO: The Glitter Guide

PHOTO: The Glitter Guide

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

PHOTO: The Modern Proper


New Year's Entertaining Guide

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New Year’s Eve is only a few days away, and we wanted to make sure your party is the best of the year! To help you with your hosting duties, we created a New Year’s Entertaining Guide! It covers all the inspiration you will need from food to decor! Happy hosting!


FOOD

New Year’s Eve is all about dancing around and having fun! Your should serve a variety of h'dourves so your guests can move and eat! Here are some amazing recipes to inspire you:


DRINKS

Make festive drinks, stock your bar cart, or make a pitcher or two of your favorite drinks! Don’t forget to pour some champagne for the midnight countdown!


DINNERWARE

Since you are serving h’dourves, a set dinner table is unnecessary. Opt for New Year’s themed flatware, dishes, and cups, and lean towards a silver and gold color scheme. If planning a fancier evening, serve drinks in glasses and offer ornate small plates for guests to place their h’dourves.


DECOR

There are so many options for your New Year’s Eve decor! Be fun and hand out 2018 themed glasses, hats, party blowers, etc. and create a photo booth! Or take a more classy approach and decorate with silver and gold orbs, garlands, and vases. 


OUTFIT

Your outfit should be comfortable, yet fashionable; you want to wow your guests with your style! This is the one time a year where sparkle is acceptable and expected, so don’t waste the opportunity!


Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding

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This holiday season we wanted to recreate a classic (and normally unfavorable) dessert into modern and delicious dish, so we are bringing you some figgy pudding! Dating back to 16th century England, figgy pudding is traditionally a cake filled with raisins, currants, and brandy! To give this dessert a modern twist, the raisins are substituted with figs and a warm sticky caramel sauce is poured over the cake to make it resemble a (bread) pudding by today's standards. This dessert is sweet, savory, and most importantly delightful!


WARM STICKY FIGGY PUDDING


Total Time: 2 hours

Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients:

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 14 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the Pudding:

  • 1 ½ cups dried & pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 7 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups self rising flour
  • 2 ½ oz. dark chocolate, grated
  • Butter for coating ramekins
  • Ice cream or whipped cream for garnish
  • Fresh figs, quartered for garnish
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Add dates, dried figs, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool for 5 minutes, then puree in a blender.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Fold in the four, chocolate, and pureed date mixture.

Put the mixture into  buttered ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Prepare the sauce by stirring sugar and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. They may be served in the ramekins or unmolded onto a serving plate. With a paring knife cut a cross into the top of the puddings for the sauce.

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Pour sauce into the cross in the center of the puddings, then pour more sauce over the puddings and allow to soak in slightly. Garnish with fresh figs, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes & Tips:

Create your own superfine sugar by placing granulated sugar in a food processor and pulsing until sugar becomes fine.

Create your own self rising flour: for each cup of flour add 1 ½ tsp. baking powder and ¼ tsp. salt and whisk until combined. For this recipe add 3 ¾ tsp. baking powder and ¾ tsp. salt to the 2 ½ cups of AP flour.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can make the puddings in a greased Bundt or muffin pan!

To add a little adult flair to your figgy pudding, add 1-2 tbsp. rum extract to your batter in the same step as adding your eggs.


Recipe courtesy of Food Network