Daily Dose of Rabbit Food

Daily Dose of Rabbit Food: November 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Hangover

Family Bonding Time + Turkey + Peanut Butter Pie + Sleep = One Happy Me!

It isn't very often that my mom, dad, brothers, and I get to spend an entire weekend together. I always look forward to Thanksgiving because we all head North to our cabin in Cadillac, Michigan. There is something so fun about wearing sweatpants for two days straight, unplugging from your IPhone, and sitting by a wood-burning stove with a cocktail in hand!

Everything Up North is really casual and that is just the way I like it. Thanksgiving Dinner is serve-yourself style and eaten in the pole barn on paper plates. With my family, there is no need to fancy things up. The focus is on the food and there is usually a debate going on about which turkey is the best. My dad does one on a Weber and the other in an infrared cooker. This year, the infrared won and O-M-G it was good. Every year, his turkey gets better and better.

After we eat, we usually linger in the pole barn for a few hours and talk about how full we are while we taste-test all of the pies. This year, Cody volunteered to bring a raspberry cream, peanut butter, and pumpkin pie from Essenhaus (an Amish bakery). It has always been his family's tradition to buy Essenhaus pies for Thanksgiving. His dad's favorite is raspberry cream and his mom's is peanut butter. Inevitably, he always grew up having a slice of each. He brought his family tradition to ours this year! All three were delicious but the peanut butter pie was everyone's favorite.

Naps are a requirement at the cabin, especially on Thanksgiving! I almost felt guilty for taking such a long nap smack-dab in the middle of the day, but I quickly got over it! By 7:00 p.m., we were all awake and curled up on the couches watching football, reminiscing about old cabin memories, and snacking on the leftovers.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of its simplicity. No shopping, no gifts, no running around like a chicken with your head cut-off, just eating and relaxing. More than anything, I love spending uninterrupted, quality time with my family. I must have done something right in a past life because I have been blessed in this one. I am thankful for that.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal is a perfectly healthy way to indulge at breakfast. The rich pumpkin flavor paired with the sweetness of the white chocolate chips feels like a treat! Normally, I like to eat baked oatmeal with warm milk poured over the top but Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal is so moist it can stand on its own! I would recommend eating it warm from the oven. It is the best when the white chocolate chips are just a little melty! Yum!

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Mix thoroughly:
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup 100% pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir in:
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup white chocolate chip

Pour into greased 9-inch square or pie plate. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

After Cody gets done with work today, we are heading up to Cadillac, Michigan. My parents have had a hunting cabin there for about 20 years. It has now become our tradition to spend Thanksgiving up there. I am looking forward to sweatpants, no make-up, family bonding time, reading books, and being a lazy bum! The most productive thing I will probably do is make Pumpkin and White Chocolate Baked Oatmeal for my family. Well, that and catch up on sleep!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Don't Let the Holidays Turn You Into a Grinch!

Ready, set, go. Holidays, here we come! From Thanksgiving to New Years, we will be in a constant state of cooking, shopping, and party-hopping. Tis' the season for celebrations! Fun, yes, but this constant state of doing can leave you feeling like a grinch. Trying to cook gourmet meals, finding the perfect gifts, and trying to make an appearance at every party can zap the fun right out of December, especially when you pile that on top of an already busy work and family schedule. 

So, how do you find the perfect holiday balance? Well, everybody's perfect balance will be different but there are some general guidelines you can follow: cook simply, give the gift of time, and say "No". 

There is truth to the old saying, "less is more". Simply cooked foods are delicious. Think of a pork tenderloin seasoned with fresh rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper with a side of roasted asparagus. Something like this can serve a lot of people, it allows the flavors of the ingredients to shine, and it can be prepped ahead of time. A dish like this allows you to enjoy time with your guests instead of being buried in the kitchen. Also, never try a new recipe on the holidays. This will put unnecessary stress and pressure on you. Your guests care more about spending time with you than they do about trying exotic recipes.

Too many times we make ourselves batty trying to find the perfect gift. We spend hours thinking about the right color, the right size, if an item is age appropriate, if they already have one, and the list goes on. It makes me tired just thinking about it! You know what your family will love? They will love the gift of your time. There is nothing more special than making time for people. It is the most sought after gift. Plan a day to take your kids sledding or ice skating. Plan a date for your spouse. Plan a spa day for your mom. To make your gift more tangible, create a hand-made certificate to wrap and put underneath the tree. Be sure to include what you are doing, the date, and any other details. That is a gift they will remember for years to come.

Last but not least, learn the power of saying "No". Say it with me, "NO, NO, NO." It is hard to say "No" when we live in a "Yes" world. We want to make everyone happy and attend every party, but this ends up leaving us feeling exhausted. Pick and choose the holiday parties that you will truly enjoy attending, for the rest, kindly send your regrets and thank them for the invitation. The simple of act saying "No" will make your holidays more enjoyable in the long run. Don't take my word for it, try it out for yourself. 

Take these simple steps to make sure the holidays don't get the best of you. The main focus of the season should be spending quality time with your loved ones. Don't get too caught up in preparing the perfect meal or finding the perfect gift. Cooking simply with a lot of love and giving the gift of your time is the best way to show your loved ones how much you care about them. Happy start to the holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Who has time to pound out chicken and fuss with pan frying on a weeknight? I don't know about you, but by the time I have worked all day, I am looking for an easy recipe that doesn't take too much brain power to make! I don't even know how you moms out there do it! I am hoping that you just sort of learn how to juggle it all, right? Don't tell me if I am wrong, that is what I am hanging on to.

This Easy Chicken Parmesan is, well, easy, and much healthier than restaurant versions. Restaurant chicken parmesan can set you back over 1000 calories. It is usually loaded with too much breading, pan fried in oil, and is sitting on top of a monster-load of pasta. Noodles, sauce, and cheese are a great combination but it can easily turn into too much of a good thing, especially for the waistline!

Easy Chicken Parmesan cuts back on the breading, is baked vs fried, and is topped with moderate amounts of sauce and cheese. When I eat chicken parmesan, I want to taste the chicken, not the breading! I use the chicken breast as is, and don't fuss around with pounding it out, like many recipes recommend. Not only does it save time but the meat stays juicier. There is nothing worse that eating a hockey puck for dinner, just ask my husband.

We prefer to use swiss cheese over mozzarella. Swiss is fairly mild, but has more of a nuttier flavor. Now, I am just going to go ahead and admit that I used jarred sauce for this recipe. I hope you all didn't just pass out on me. I know, I know, it is shameful but who doesn't do it from time to time? If you say no, you are a liar. Plus, this is EASY Chicken Parmesan and let's face it, jars are easier!

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Chicken Parmesan

1 lb of chicken breast (4 pieces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup of Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 cup dried basil
1 cup of pasta sauce  
4-8 slices of swiss cheese

1. Mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and basil in a large dish. Rub chicken breast evenly 
    with olive oil. Dip each piece of chicken into bread crumb mixture, making sure each
    piece is evenly coated. Put chicken breast into a greased/sprayed baking dish.
     (You may have breadcrumbs leftover.)

2. Bake chicken, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees until the internal temperature
    is 165 degrees. When chicken is cooked, remove from oven. Turn oven to broil. Top each
    piece of chicken with 1/4 cup of sauce and 1-2 pieces of cheese. Put back in oven for 3-5
    minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. 

3. Serve chicken parmesan with a sauteed green or a small side of pasta, topped with fresh 
    grated parmesan cheese.

Sauteed Kale - Olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Chicken Parmesan

We sauteed kale in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to go alongside the chicken parmesan. Cody was open to trying the kale (he liked it) but chose to have his chicken parmesan with a side of pasta. I woofed down the kale but may or may not have had a few bites of his pasta while he wasn't looking.

Don't get too hung up on my measurements. They are loose. You may end up using more or less sauce depending on the size of your chicken breasts. You can adjust the amount or type of cheese. If you want to fancy it up, use a homemade sauce and top with fresh basil. Don't be afraid to experiment. Practice makes perfect. If you mess up something, don't beat yourself up. You will know what to do different next time!

Cody and I have been making chicken parmesan this way for a long time. It is one of our "tried and true" recipes. We have made it for friends, for family, and just for us. Everybody has always enjoyed it, jarred sauce or not.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Turn Leftover Turkey into a New Meal in Minutes!

Who hates to throw away leftover food? Me, Me, Pick Me! It just drives me nuts! You might as well open your wallet and dump your cash in the trash! Not to mention, there are a lot of people who are not fortunate enough to open a refrigerator and see shelves full of fresh fruits and vegetables.

On Thursday night, I made a sweet potato and black bean saute served over quinoa. Can you see a trend in my kitchen? Can't get enough of that quinoa! I had quite a bit of quinoa leftover, so today, the challenge was to use up my leftovers. Ohhh, the possibilities. Thinking a little bit out of the box, I decided to make a Turkey Harvest Salad. This salad inspiration came from Panera's Roasted Turkey Harvest Wheatberry Salad. I have literally eaten that salad from Panera three times in the past month.  I have a bad habit of getting on a "kick" and eating one thing over and over again. I guess there are worse habits! I should be grateful it is a salad kick and not a cookie kick. How is that for positivity?

This salad definitely feels like fall with goodies like dried cranberries, walnuts, blue cheese, and a maple balsamic dressing. This would be a perfect way to use up leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving meal. You could even make the maple balsamic dressing a few days ahead of time so it would be ready to go. If you don't have quinoa, don't sweat it, this salad would be great without it too.

Turkey Harvest Salad

Romaine lettuce or Spring Mix
Dried Cranberries
Walnuts, chopped
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Quinoa, cooked (I used 1/4 cup for one salad)
Turkey, sliced

Dressing Ingredients:
(will make approximately 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons whole grain or dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in small bowl.

2. Add all other ingredients together in salad bowl. Toss salad with dressing. Use
    1-2 tablespoons of dressing per serving.

This is so good you will gobble it right up. Pun, intended.

I am always searching for creative leftover ideas. Leave me a comment and tell me how you are going to use up your leftover turkey!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Choose Happiness!

Ever start a task with one purpose and end up doing another? Yep, me too. A.D.D.? Maybe, but I like to think of it as more of a universal inspiration you can't deny! I went to Panera today to study for my IIN program. I was listening to a lecture called "Self Care" by Robert Notter. There is a lot of good information on why self-care is so important. Something he said stopped me in my good-student, note-taking tracks: "Spend time with supportive people." This is such a simply obvious thing but how many of us do that? I was so inspired by this 5-word sentence that I felt the need to pause studying and write this post immediately!

He refers to negative people as "energy vampires" who suck the life right out of you. This resonates with me because I have been victim to these types of people. They complain about everything, they gossip about other people, and they just drag you down. My friend, Don, use to say "If you gave them a bag of gold, they would complain that it's heavy." This saying still makes me laugh! How many of you know somebody like this?  

We need to evaluate our friendships, both inside and outside of work, and decipher who it is that brings us up and who it is that drags us down. If you allow those negative ninnies to drag you down, they will. After you take time to separate the positive people from the negative, you must make a conscious choice everyday to surround yourself with the positive ones.

I know there are some work situations that you will encounter where you just can't completely cut off contact with the energy vampires. In those situation, repeat this mantra to yourself, "I will not let this person bring me down. I am choosing to respond positively and live happy." You can't change people; you can only change how you respond to them. 

I believe we become the type of person we surround ourselves with. When you put yourself into a force of positive energy it is bound to change you. That energy interacts with your being and then you become inspired to live happy. It creates a ripple effect, because once you adopt the habit of living happy, you will encourage others to do the same. In my profession, I meet women all day long. Sometimes, I meet a patient, who in ten minutes, can change my day for the better. They just radiate happiness and kindness. They are my role models! That is my goal; that is who I want to be. If we ask for the positive energy to come into our lives the universe will deliver.

I challenge you to take time to analyze who is a positive force in your life. Who is it that motivates you to be your best self? Make sure you are spending time with those people that inspire you. Choose the people you spend your time with wisely, for you will become like them! Say goodbye to energy vampires and hello to happiness!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Secret Ingredient Roasted Tomato Soup

You guys are in for a real treat today! I have been operating undercover in my own kitchen. I have been sneakin' around the kitchen throwing unusual items into so-called normal dishes. This all started last Wednesday when I saw Joy Bauer on the Today Show making a Creamy Tomato Soup. Ironically enough, there is no cream or dairy in the soup! The healthy substitute is tofu. Yep, mmm hmmm, tofu. I myself, was a tofu virgin. In the past, I have flirted with the idea of cooking tofu but could never quite fully commit. When I saw Joy on the Today Show claim that this soup had twice the protein, half the calories and fat, AND tastes delicious I immediately decided I would try this recipe.

Let me tell you, tofu would not normally fly in my house. In my mind, what you don't know won't hurt you! Sometimes, you have to pull out the big guns and use this theory when you cook. The only problem, is if you cook while your family is home, you have to be a bit sneaky in the kitchen. You have to move around quietly, act fairly normal, wait until they leave the room, and BAM! YOU MUST MAKE YOUR MOVE!

I was a little bit skeptical of this recipe but it turned out fabulous! They couldn't air a bad recipe on the Today Show, could they? The fire roasted tomatoes and sauteed carrots and onions give this soup a more complex flavor than basic tomato soup but it warms the soul just as good! I am not generally a leftover-type of person but the fact that I ate this soup once for dinner and twice for lunch is a testament to how good I thought it was!

Healthier Roasted Tomato Soup

Secret Ingredient Roasted Tomato Soup
Adapted from Joy Bauer's Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 - 28 oz cans of tomatoes, fire-roasted, diced
2 - 28 oz cans of water
16 oz tofu, silken, drained and cut into large cubes
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
Fresh grated parmesan cheese, to garnish

1. Heat olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrots;
    saute for 8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add the tomato paste and stir
    constantly, for 1 minute.

2. Add the canned tomatoes and water (fill tomato cans with water). Bring to a boil, cover
    the pot, reduce heat to low, simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the tofu and simmer, uncovered,
    for 15 more minutes.

3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (can do this directly in the pot). If you do
    not have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in small batches in a blender.

*Use salt and pepper to taste. We like heavy pepper, so I added more than 1 teaspoon. This
  may be too much for some. Taste, adjust, and taste again!

Healthier Roasted Tomato Soup

Healthier Roasted Tomato Soup

Healthier Roasted Tomato Soup

We enjoyed this recipe with pesto and parmesan cheese topped crostini on Sunday. A more basic addition to this Secret Ingredient Roasted Tomato Soup would be oyster crackers, grilled cheese, or gold-fish crackers. Tofu can be found in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods or your local grocery store. Enjoy and good luck operating undercover!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Set Down Your Fork, Pick Up Your Chopsticks - Broccoli and Beef Bowl

There is nothing I love more than cooking a healthy, flavorful meal with my husband while enjoying a glass (or two) of wine. A thought-out, well-planned meal has so much love that goes into it. I thoroughly enjoy the whole meal planning process; from flipping through recipes I have torn out of magazines, perusing the grocery store for ingredients, chopping the vegetables, setting a beautiful table, to plating the food just right. It brings me so much joy. Don't you think a meal made by someone who really loves to cook and nourish those they are serving just tastes better? I do.

Yesterday I pulled the Beef and Broccoli Bowl recipe out of my file box. I tore it out of a Cooking Light Magazine over a year ago; it is from the October 2012 Edition. Apparently, this recipe has been a long time coming! I like this recipe because it does not call for a thousand random ingredients that I don't have on hand. I modified a few things but stayed pretty true to original recipe. I was also excited to make this because I had some Annie Chun's Organic Pork and Vegetable Pot Stickers in my freezer that I had also been wanting to try.

Annie Chun's Pork and Vegetable Potstickers

Annie Chun's Pork and Vegetable Potstickers

Annie Chun's Pork and Vegetable Potstickers

I made Annie Chun's Organic Pork and Vegetable Potstickers as an appetizer for us. They were so, so good. I made them according to the package directions and they turned out great. They are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the flavor is fantastic. Annie Chun's products use high-quality organic ingredients and do not contain MSG's or preservatives. Those chopsticks in my picture aren't just for show either; eating with them makes the meal more fun and it allows you to slow down and savor the flavors of the dish.

I tried my hand at a homemade sesame dipping sauce for the potstickers but unfortunately the recipe was not post-worthy! It called for lime juice, sesame oil, low-sodium soy sauce, green onion, and fresh ginger. To us, the sauce tasted more like lime than anything else; not ideal for potstickers! It did not go to waste though; we created the double-dunk method; one dunk low-sodium soy and one dunk sesame dipping sauce!

After we sipped on some wine and enjoyed the potstickers we got down to business! Actually, I had pre-chopped the veggies, thin-sliced the sirloin steak, and pre-measured my oils and sauces. I like to do these things ahead of time so I am able to relax and enjoy conversation with Cody while I cook. I will let the recipe speak for itself:

Broccoli and Beef Bowl
Slightly modified from Beef and Broccoli Bowl, Cooking Light October 2012 Edition

Broccoli and Beef Bowl

1 cup of uncooked rice
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 (12 oz) boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
4 teaspoons canola oil
4 teaspoons sesame oil
4 cups of broccoli florets
1 cup of vertically sliced red onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup sliced green onions

1. Open bottle of wine. Sip, enjoy. Malbec will pair nicely with this dish.

2. Cook rice according to package directions.

3. Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, and hoisin in medium bowl. Add beef; toss to coat. Heat
    large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the canola and sesame oil to pan;
    swirl to coat. Remove beef, reserving marinade. Add beef to pan; cook 2 minutes or until
    browned, stirring occasionally. Remove beef from pan.

4. Add remaining canola and sesame oil to pan along with broccoli, red onions, and carrots;
    cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

5. Add reserve marinade to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Add beef to pan; cook
    one minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with green onions.

6. Serve over rice.

Santa Julia Malbec Wine - Made from Organic Grapes
Step 1
Broccoli and Beef Bowl - Raw Ingredients
Raw Ingredients
Broccoli, Carrot, and Onion Stir-fry
Step 4

Beef Broccoli Bowl Stir-fry
Step 5

Broccoli and Beef Bowl
Step 6

We LOVED this recipe. We gave it at 5 out of 5. Hoping that is the broccoli talking and not the wine! For real, it is delicious! Have fun with this recipe, don't be scared of hoisin sauce, experiment with chopsticks, and be thankful you are able to enjoy meals with your loved ones.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Power up with Quinoa (keen-wah!)!

Keeeeen-whaaat? Quinoa, pronounced "keen-wah" is the one of the hottest health food trends; and for good reason! Quinoa is a nutritional superstar; it is a complete protein, has twice the fiber of wheat, has valuable amounts of oleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, and is high iron, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus. Quinoa is indigenous to the Andes Mountain region in South America and was once known as the "gold of the Incas". The Incas believe quinoa increased the stamina and strength of their warriors!

Quinoa is used in place of a grain but it is actually a seed that belongs to the same food family as spinach, swiss chard, and beets. The easiest way to start incorporating quinoa into your diet is to swap it into dishes that normally call for rice, pasta, barley, or oats. Quinoa is also gluten-free so it is a great option for those who have gluten intolerance. There is strong evidence that all of the nutritional properties of quinoa help to reduce type-2 diabetes risk, helps protect blood vessels from inflammation, reduced risk for CAD, and lowers bad cholesterol, while raising good cholesterol. I will raise a fork to that; how about you?

This Greek Quinoa Power Salad is a great way to break the quinoa ice. Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor but is very versatile and will take on much of flavor of what it is paired with. Mediterranean flavors work nice with quinoa; the sharp flavors of red onion, olives, and feta balance the subtleness of the quinoa. You must rinse quinoa before using; the seeds are coated with saponins, a naturally occurring plant chemical with a bitter taste. Their purpose is actually to keep insects from eating the plant! Even if quinoa is rinsed prior to packaging, it is still a good habit to wash your quinoa before you use it! Plus, you won't be fond of me if your Greek Quinoa Power Salad tastes bitter!

Greek Quinoa Power Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed 
2 cups water
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup raw spinach, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/8 cup red onion, diced 
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
juice from one lemon

1. Rinse quinoa. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in medium saucepan; reduce heat and 
    cover; simmer for 20 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool.

2. Mix olive oil, white vinegar, sugar, oregano, and lemon juice in small bowl.

3. Add tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, and red onions to cooled
    quinoa. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture. Toss until quinoa mixture is coated in 

Power up with this Greek Quinoa Power Salad! There is no reason why you can't be a modern day warrior! Be strong, be healthy, be fit!

Sources for this post:



Monday, November 4, 2013

A day of rest AND cookies for breakfast!?! Oh my!

How I love Sundays! Today was pure bliss; coffee, newspaper, couch, husband, dog, episodes of Parenthood, and White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies. I do have to admit, I almost feel a little guilty about lounging around for an entire day. No studying, no exercising, no housework. Society tells us we need to be multitasking, continually doing something, and being productive at all times. It is easy to fall into this go, go, go mentality. Many times we push ourselves until we are physically and mentally exhausted. You know what I am talking about; being so tired you come home from work to fall down on the couch and fall asleep instantly, snapping at loved ones because you feel like you have given all your patience away already, or even becoming physically ill. It is not healthy to live that way.

We must allow ourselves some downtime throughout the week. We must honor our body and mind and be thankful for all that we are able to do. We must slow down and listen to the cues our body gives us. We forget that our body is truly a work of art; it is pretty amazing to think that our body does not forget to breath, the heart does not forget to beat, and that our system has an innate ability to heal itself by itself. When we allow ourselves to slow down we are able to be more aware of what we need. For me, that is rest; for you, maybe it's the same, maybe its exercise, time to prepare a healthy meal, or time to spend with your spouse. Do not ignore these signs; embrace them, follow through with them and be ok with not checking everything off of your to do list today. There is always tomorrow and your spouse, kids, and loved ones will thank you.

If you are looking for a little treat for breakfast or a healthy dessert-type of addition to your children's lunch box or even your own, White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies will fit the bill. They are soft, slightly chewy, subtly sweet and made with half whole wheat flour, no butter, and applesauce instead of oil. I am planning on snacking on these throughout the week and bringing some in for my co-workers. Do you think they have realized they are guinea pigs for all of my creations? I doubt they mind!

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies-Made with half whole wheat flour, no butter, and applesauce instead of oil.

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine's Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (dairy or soy would work)
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries

1. In large bowl, mix brown sugar, eggs, milk, applesauce, and vanilla.

2. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt; stir into batter.

3. Stir in oats, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.

4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper or greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for
    10-12 minutes or until bottoms are slightly browned.

Yield: 3 dozen

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies-Made with half whole wheat flour, no butter, and applesauce instead of oil.

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies-Made with half whole wheat flour, no butter, and applesauce instead of oil.

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies-Made with half whole wheat flour, no butter, and applesauce instead of oil.

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies-Made with half whole wheat flour, no butter, and applesauce instead of oil.
    • White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies are a great mid-week treat that will not completely derail your healthy eating plans! Take the time to slow down here and there this week and listen to your body. You are good to everybody else so be good to yourself too!