Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser

Happy Tuesday! My kids had their first real day of preschool today. They seemed to have a great time and looked wonderfully worn out when I picked them up a few hours later. It’s a new stage for us, one that makes us all a little nervous but mostly excited. Having twins before our third baby means I’ve never consistently been home with just one kiddo, so that will (hopefully) bring a much needed break!

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I'm excited to get back in the kitchen again. I recently worked with Kizingo Kids, a company that makes products to promote health and independence in kids. I created this recipe for a Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. I’ve been looking for new breakfast ideas, especially for the mornings we have to get out the door for school. We eat a ton of eggs as well as oatmeal, but adding quinoa in the mix gives us a little more variety and nutrition. You can definitely play around with the recipe to include whatever fruit you like, or sub out the coconut milk for other options like whole milk or almond milk.

To get the recipe, head over to the Kizingo blog! What are your breakfast go-tos? I’m always looking for new ideas, so let me know in the comments below!

Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser
Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser
Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser
Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser.jpg

This post was created in partnership with Kizingo. Head over to their blog for the recipe!


Tropical Chia Pudding

Tropical Chia Pudding

I've been (mildly) attempting to curb my pregnancy cravings for chocolate bars and Chick-Fil-A. The other day, I cooked a Whole30 approved dinner (a staple recipe in my house - Cinnamon Beef Stew from Well Fed). But lest you think I succeeded, please know I followed up that healthy dinner with chocolate chip banana bread from the Joy The Baker Cookbook. This banana bread is by no means a healthy, whole-grain bread. It's pretty much cake. Cake that you can eat for breakfast. And dessert. And late at night before bed. Clean eating plus buttery, sugary, chocolatey dessert? I call it practicing balance. 

Tropical Chia Pudding is an attempt to swing the pendulum back to clean eating. When you soak chia seeds in liquid, they create a custard-like consistency, and if you're avoiding dairy, blending chia seeds with non-dairy milk makes a great alternative to yogurt. I like to make a batch big enough to have a few days' worth of pudding. Anything to make mornings more convenient (and nutritious), right? 

For this recipe, I HIGHLY recommend using Ataulfo mangoes. They are creamier and sweeter, giving them the perfect texture and flavor for chia pudding - no added honey or maple syrup needed (read: Whole30 compliant!). Ataulfo mangoes are pretty readily available (I bought some at Costco the last time), and when I'm at the store and have the option, 10 times out of 10 I'll choose the Ataulfo variety over the conventional Tommy Atkins mango.

Who knew I could be this opinionated about mangoes? But trust me. If you haven't switched to buying Ataulfos, you'll thank me. (Also, I don't really know how to properly pronounce "ataulfo," so I try to reserve mango discussions for the written word only.)

Have you made chia pudding before? Let me know your favorite flavor combinations in the comments below!

Tropical Chia Pudding
Tropical Chia Pudding
Tropical Chia Pudding
Tropical Chia Pudding
Tropical Chia Pudding
Tropical Chia Pudding

Tropical Chia Pudding
Yields about 36 ounces

3 Ataulfo mangoes (about 16 ounce of mango flesh)
1 medium banana, peeled
1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup chia seeds

Peel the mango, and cut the flesh from around the seed. (Yes, this may be the most annoying food to prep, but have no fear. Alton Brown is here.)

Add the mango pieces to a blender along with the banana, coconut milk, and chia seeds. Blend until smooth. The consistency at this point should be similar to a very thick smoothie, or a very runny pudding. It'll firm up a bit more as the chia seeds soak.

Pour the mixture into airtight containers, and refrigerate overnight (or at least three hours). Top with unsweetened coconut flakes, nuts, or additional fruit. Enjoy!

Note: Leftover pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.


Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa

Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa | Sarah J. Hauser

I'm currently halfway through my third Whole30, which is starting to become a once a year challenge for me. I'm not a paleo eater 100% of the time, and unless I develop any debilitating food allergies, I don't plan on giving up wine or doughnuts forever. Yet every time I participate in a Whole30, it forces me to think through what I'm eating. I learn better what my body likes and dislikes, and my clean eating recipe repertoire expands. When the 30 days are over, sure, I'll add back rice and chickpeas and whiskey cocktails. But after having said no to various foods for a month, I'm able to discern better when it's worth saying yes. 

Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa | Sarah J. Hauser

I still have a lot to work on when it comes to my lifestyle choices. In no way have I "arrived." I'm learning and growing, and as I look back on what I ate a few years ago, I'm encouraged that my eating has drastically improved. I've also realized that my cooking has become much simpler, which is a change I didn't expect. I used to think clean eating had to be complicated. As it turns out, salt and pepper can work wonders on almost anything, and a few really good ingredients can do more for a dish than 20 mediocre ones.

Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa | Sarah J. Hauser
Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa | Sarah J. Hauser

This Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa is an exercise in simplicity. Good quality salmon requires just a bit of seasoning. Perfectly ripe avocados and mangoes add sweetness and a buttery texture that's balanced out by a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Few ingredients, simple preparation, and a whole lot of flavor. 

Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa | Sarah J. Hauser

Baked Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa
Yields 3-4 servings

12 ounce salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 ripe mango, diced (I prefer Ataulfo mangoes for their sweetness and buttery texture.)
1 avocado, diced
1 shallot, minced
1 lime, juiced (plus additional sliced for serving)
1-2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Lay the salmon pieces on the prepared baking sheet, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 12-14 minutes, or until the salmon is opaque and easily flakes apart. 

While the salmon is baking, add the mango, avocado, shallot, lime juice, and cilantro to a medium bowl. Mix until everything is fully incorporated. Spoon on top of the cooked salmon. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Quick Tip: Instead of salmon, try this salsa on top of white fish, shredded chicken or pork!

Mango Curry Wings

Mango Curry Wings | Sarah J. Hauser

I LOVE game day food - nachos, totchos (I need to try this chili verde version!), various kinds of fried things with cheese and a big 'ol plate of wings. That love is often short-lived, though, because I usually feel horrible afterwards. I try to keep my preservative, dairy and sugar intake in check most of the time, but when it comes to game day, especially Super Bowl Sunday, all self-discipline flies out the window. I end up eating like an animal storing up fat before winter, and then all I want to do crawl into my bed and hibernate like said animal. 

This year, I'm attempting to buck my game day overeating trend. Yes, I will still indulge a bit, but not to the point of wanting to sleep until June (because my kiddos definitely won't let me do that, anyway!). I'm all about real game day food - food that's comforting, maybe a little indulgent, but that's also actually food. Mango Curry Wings fit that description perfectly. 

These don't take a whole lot of prep time and only require a few ingredients, so you won't be back in the kitchen cooking while everyone else is watching Peyton at his finest. You can even make the mango curry sauce a day ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you're ready to use it. Oh - and Whole30ers? This recipe is even W30 compliant, so you can roll up your sleeves and dig in like everyone else (while sipping sparkling water with lime, of course). 

What are your favorite game day eats? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Mango Curry Wings | Sarah J. Hauser
Mango Curry Wings | Sarah J. Hauser
Mango Curry Wings | Sarah J. Hauser
Mango Curry Wings | Sarah J. Hauser
Mango Curry Wings | Sarah J. Hauser

Mango Curry Wings
Yields about 4 servings

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds chicken wings, split at joints and tips removed
1 mango, peeled and pitted
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch cayenne pepper*
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and grease with the olive oil.

Spread the wings out on the prepared baking sheet and pat the top dry with a paper towel (this helps the skin get crispy). Sprinkle the wings with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-55 minutes or until cooked through and crisp. 

While the chicken is cooking, add the mango to a blender along with the lime juice, curry powder and cayenne. Blend until smooth and set aside.

When the chicken is done, warm the mango curry sauce in the microwave or over the stove. Toss about 3/4 of the sauce with the chicken wings, reserving some for serving. Season the wings with additional salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped cilantro, chives or scallions, and serve with the reserved sauce and lime wedges. Enjoy!

*These are relatively mild as far as spice. Add more cayenne for spicier wings, or you can mix your favorite hot sauce in with the mango curry sauce.