Recipe: Fruit + Yogurt Breakfast Pie

Fruit + Yogurt Breakfast Pie

Fruit + Yogurt Breakfast Pie

Cooking is all about taking risks, big or small. I took a little bit of a risk with this (let’s be honest, there’s nothing too groundbreaking about the ingredients/process), but nonetheless, I’m pretty proud of this concoction. It was the best way to break in my new mason jars, plus the ingredients are really easy to keep on hand: any kind of fruit, Greek yogurt, granola, and graham crackers. Greek yogurt is key so things don’t get too soggy. I’m calling it breakfast pie because it’s sort of the breakfast version of a “normal” pie…the yogurt = whipped cream, crushed graham crackers = crust minus the butter.

Like many of my recipes, there are a lot of approximations here. It’s honestly pretty hard to screw up, and I love how you can use whatever fruit you have at the time. I made another version with donut peaches (so, so good!) and think strawberries would also be amaze. One tip though: eat it soon after you make it, because the moisture from the yogurt starts to make the graham crackers a little soggy. No big deal, but it’s optimal when they’re crunchy! This is the perfect thing to throw together before work if you eat breakfast at your desk, and it makes for a great afternoon snack (just take the graham cracks + granola in plastic bag and add it to the top when you’re ready to eat!) Hope you enjoy!

Fruit + Yogurt Breakfast Pie
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

– approximately 1/2 cup graham crackers (approximately three
– approximately 1 cup of fruit (I slices up cherries)
– approximately 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used Greek Gods Honey-flavored)
– 1 teaspoon granola
– 1 16oz mason jar

Directions:

Add graham crackers to mason jar and crush into small pieces with spoon or fork. Add fruit. Top with yogurt and sprinkle with granola. Told ya — easy peasy!

Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies

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Quick + Easy Healthy Foods

Healthy-Snack-List

It’s really fitting that I’m writing this post right now, because it’s currently post-barre class and I’m actually going the relatively nutritious route by eating a banana and rice cake (with Nutella, but rice cake, so all is forgiven). If you’re anything like me in that you actually like healthy, nutritious food but generally crave unhealthy, sugary, junky stuff, you may be able to use this little snack list that I put together. As we talked about awhile back, I’ve gotten a bit more mature with my eating habits over time but still give myself a huge pat on the back when I do something like I did a few minutes ago: pick the rice cake + banana over the Cinnabon Toaster Strudel in my freezer (have you ever had them?! No judgement unless you have and still think they’re gross!). These snacks are easy enough to have on hand for times when you’re in the mood to be healthy, for post-workout sustenance, and to get you through the afternoon slump. They’re not backed by any doctor/I don’t know the nutritious details behind all of them, but I do know that they’re better than the cookies or Toaster Strudel that I’d normally reach for — and they taste great!

Any other fav snacks you love that should have made this list? I’m really partial to smoothies but wanted to go the more basic route this time… I’d love to hear your go-tos!

Graphic by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies

Recipe: Brown Sugar Fruit Dip

fruitdip1

A lack of patience on the parts of me and of one of my close friends resulted in her giving me my birthday present an entire week early. As much as I love being surprised, I was in need for a pick-me-up and didn’t argue when she casually mentioned that she could just give me my gift now (as in Saturday, an entire week before the big day). Glad I didn’t protest, because it was an awesome cookbook and beautiful tray – which was used that night to consume cheese while watching Somm. The book is called Southern Living: The Half-Hour Hostess and is filled with scrumptious but easy recipes that can be put together in 30 minutes or less. You know anything Southern Living does is going to be great! We quickly agreed that I would make the Brown Sugar Fruit Dip to go along with our German beer + sausages for the World Cup.

I’m not going to pretend that this dip is healthy, but you can make it a little “less bad” by using a light whipped topping, light sour cream, and light cream cheese. Also, it goes with fruit so there’s that. There’s something so nice about using an actual cookbook– literally everything seems to be online these days, so sometimes it’s refreshing to give your eyes a break and go about things the old fashioned way!

Brown Sugar Fruit Dip
via Southern Living: The Half-Hour Hostess

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whipped topping (I used light Cool Whip)
8 oz (generally 1 pack) cream cheese (I used light)
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Mix brown sugar and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla, blending until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Cover and chill until serving with fruit, crackers, bread, pretzels… the list goes on!

Photo by Monica Dutia

Recipe: Open-Faced Summer Tacos

Open Faced Summer Taco

Open Faced Summer Taco

Apologies in advance if this post title was a tad misleading … often in my mind (and probably in yours), “summer tacos” mean fish tacos, which are amazing…but are not what we have here. These don’t have fish and they’re on crunchy taco shells. Doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious, though! Light + relatively healthy, just as summer dishes should be! They’re also the perfect excuse to consume copious amounts of Trader Joe’s “Reduced Guilt” Guac, which has officially become a regular on my grocery list (I may or may not have bought into the sample temptation and I’m completely hooked now). These do involve an oven, but I used the toaster oven to minimize overheating the kitchen. I realize that this isn’t the most innovative of recipes, but hopefully it’ll get you out of your shell (pun intended) when it comes to changing up your homemade taco routine. Bonus: all you need are taco shells, black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, and a guac-like substance! You also don’t need exact measurements so this is a very, very casual “recipe.”

Open-Faced Summer Tacos

Makes a heavy snack-sized serving

Split two taco shells in half and spoon generous heap of black beans on each half. Spread thinly so one part of the shell isn’t so thick that it breaks. I used nearly half a can of beans for 4 halves. Generously sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake two halves at a time at 425°F for 4 minutes. Add a generous heaping of guac to each half and top with salsa. These taste good room temperature too, but eat ’em before they get too soggy!

Recipe: Kefir & Berries

Keifer + Berries Snack

Keifer + Berries Snack

Keifer + Berries Snack

Considering I have an insatiable sweet tooth and a thing for fried foods, I try to incorporate fresh and healthy options into my diet to try and balance things out a bit. This means adding things like spinach or kale into my smoothies or having fresh fruit on the side with my dessert. Since I know that craving sweets after each meal will be inevitable for me, breakfast and snacks are where it’s easier to forgo the unhealthy cravings (note: this only really applies when I eat breakfast at home, otherwise fast food, croissants, etc. are a likely story). After a good friend’s family introduced me to kefir a couple of years ago, I realized how well it goes with so many things that I already love. It has sort of a liquidy yogurt texture, think those weird (awesome?) Go-Gurt packs but a little thicker. You can drink it straight, put it in smoothies, mix it with cereal, eat it with fruit + granola, the list goes on.

In need of an energy-boosting snack, I recently mixed up some strawberry kefir with a sliced up peach, a handful of blueberries, and a few spoons of granola. Coupled with bunch of water, this gave me a little boost to tackle the good ‘ol afternoon slump. I’ve had practically this same variation for breakfast too, and it’s great. You can even sub your favorite cereal for the granola! Although kefir is a dairy product and too much dairy isn’t great (esp. for your skin), it’s good in moderation and is a probiotic, which is really beneficial. And bonus: this recipe is 100% customizable. Definitely give it a try next time you’re at the store…I get mine from Trader Joe’s and they have pomegranate, strawberry, plain, and more!

Kefir & Berries
Makes one serving

Ingredients

– 1/2 cup kefir (I used strawberry)
– handful of blueberries (or any other fruit)
– 1 peach (or any other fruit)
– 2 tablespoons granola

Directions

Cut up peach (or similar fruit) into bite sized pieces. Add, along with berries, to bowl of kefir. Top with granola and serve immediately to prevent the granola from going soggy.

Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies