so not a grill: July 4th chia pudding

red white and blue chia puddingSeven weeks into eating Paleo and I must say it’s gotten infinitely easier, in part because my ankle’s starting to feel much better. I think I finally crossed the threshold of not wanting any grains or sugar anymore… and I was even faced with a platter of avocado toast on english muffins this past weekend. I was so proud of myself; I scraped the citrus-y, salty pile of avocado right into my mouth and didn’t pout for a second over the long lost carbs. (It’s amazing what loses its appeal when you know it could be hurting you.) But even though the few forkfuls were delicious, it wasn’t enough.

Lunch and dinner have been the easiest meals because I’ve always eaten salads, fish and vegetables, so I just cut the rice or quinoa from the dish / not a major sacrifice. Breakfast during the week has even been a walk in the park because I have the same protein/probiotic shake every morning. The biggest hurdle has been breakfast on the weekends when I used to always eat yogurt and granola. (Or avocado toast, but we know how that goes now.) Sure there are eggs, and I love me an omelette, but I needed another option, something just as easy that you can grab and go, like yogurt and granola. (Read: no stove, oven or prep time.)

That’s when I turned to my friend Jackie, my one woman health warrior who lives in LA. She’s luckily eons ahead of me in this grain-free world so she has plenty of knowledge to impart. (She’s also the reason I have a Vitamix, my most favorite machine ever, which I’ve used every single day for two years.) She’s passed along recipes too, including one of my now favorites for egg salad, which I plan to share here soon. (Thank goodness for email and texting so we can constantly be in touch about these sorts of Very Important Matters.) Anyway the last time she was visiting New York she sat on my couch and waxed poetic about the joys of chia pudding, how she eats it every morning for breakfast and that she’s full from it for hours… in a good, satisfying way. Sounds pretty good so far, right? But wait, there’s more: toppings! Who’s not a sucker for toppings? She puts hemp and sprouted sunflower seeds on her, along with fresh berries, goji berries, or any mixture thereof…

…and just like the Vitamix, Jackie is so on point with the chia pudding. I’ve come to love it because a) it takes seconds to make, b) you can make a huge batch of it to last all week, and c) the different iterations are endless — not just in terms of toppings, but what you put in the pudding itself, too. Jackie says she sometimes puts raw cacao powder in it to make a chocolate version, something I plan to try soon. (I’m also gonna try the white chia seeds she suggested, because the black ones can get stuck in your teeth.)

In the meantime I made a July 4th version with fresh strawberries and blueberries because, #USA. Let everyone else worry about what to throw on the grill this weekend; you show up to the party with this killer breakfast in hand. (You can thank Jackie later.)

blueberries atop chia pudding

Jackie’s Vanilla Chia Pudding

SERVES TWO

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP stevia

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap (or airtight container) and put in the fridge.
  3. It will be ready in about an hour or two, but I prefer to let it sit overnight. It congeals better.
  4. Uncover, mix with a spoon, and enjoy!

Notes

Top with whatever fruit, nuts and/or seeds you have!


A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

arugula, fennel, grapefruit + pine nuts salad

arugula grapefruit saladPerhaps one of the most simple salads to make — and also one of the most beautiful and delicious. The bite of the arugula is softened with a touch of olive oil and lemon… then sweetened with the grapefruit… then juxtaposed with the shaved fennel. Add a little crunch with those pine nuts and your taste buds are in heaven. Serve it as a first course or add a little protein (shrimp, white fish, tofu…?) and you’ve got yourself an A+ dinner.

Arugula, Fennel, Grapefruit + Pine Nuts Salad

SERVES TWO

Ingredients

  • couple big handfuls of arugula
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved on a mandoline
  • 1 grapefruit, quartered
  • handful of pine nuts
  • drizzle of balsamic glaze

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, massage arugula with olive oil and lemon juice with your hands until well-coated, then plate.
  2. Add fennel, grapefruit and pine nuts on top.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve!

A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com