As we get ready for the Thanksgiving season our kitchens and our schedules get busy. This season I wanted to share with you some fast, easy recipes from guest blogger Nathan Gassman. Nathan is a student at the ASU School of Sustainability and was very excited to share some of the ways he and his family stay productive.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
As life swarms around us we must remain diligent to taste the honey, right? To me and my family, this means being efficient in as many ways possible so we can slow down a little and enjoy some sweet moments together. In order to do so, we do a little ‘meal prepping’ which saves us time and money. Having pre-prepared meals and snacks buys a few extra minutes getting out the door in the morning, prevents stops at convenience stores and ultimately helps us stay a little healthier. We keep it simple and buy local and/or organic whenever possible. Being productive requires us to be healthy, efficient, and goal oriented. Meal prepping (nutritional productivity!) not only meets these criteria, it also gets us in the kitchen together which we find to be quite fun!
Shared below are a couple of our favorites. These recipes are quick to prepare and most contain one of our favorite ingredients – honey. Think for a few seconds about how amazing the honey making process is – thousands of bees working together to provide nutrition for the entire hive – productivity at it’s finest!
Homemade Granola Bars – 5 Ingredients – 5 minutes
Oats, Rice “Krispie” Cereal, Brown Sugar, Butter, and Honey
Combine 2 Cups Oats and 1 Cup Rice “Krispie” Cereal (we use Whole Foods Brand Brown Rice Crisps – 3 ingredients: Brown Rice, Cane Syrup, Sea Salt) in a large mixing bowl. In a skillet, combine a Half Stick Butter, ¼ cup Honey, and 1/3 cup Brown Sugar over low heat until combined. Combine dry and liquid ingredients and spread into 13×9 baking dish. Press down, cool, and cut to desired sizes. Mix in fun ingredients to keep these interesting; some of our favorites include: chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and hemp hearts. Get creative!
Overnight Cold Oats – 6 Ingredients – 6 minutes
Oats, Yogurt, Almond Milk, Chia Seeds, Hemp Protein, & Honey
In a small mason jar add ½ cup Yogurt (any flavor or variety you like, I prefer vanilla greek yogurt), in a separate small bowl combine ¼ cup Oats, ¼ cup Protein Powder, and 2 tsp Chia seeds. Pour dry ingredients over yogurt. Pour Almond Milk over dry ingredients and allow to soak for about 1 min. Add 1-2 tsp Honey and top off with Almond Milk again until almost full – allow room to stir. Stir all ingredients together (don’t worry about getting all the way to the bottom, that’s why we put the yogurt in the jar first) and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.
I mix these in individual servings, this allows me to make as many or a few as I like and add variety. I also add ‘boosts’ depending on my day ahead. If I have a busy day or a workout ahead, I add Mega Food Energy Boost powder (Green Tea, Ginseng, Beets, B-12 all natural ‘farm to powder’) – this goes well with a few berries too! If I am on a workout recovery day, I add ground flax seed for extra Omega-3’s –this one is great with peanut butter and/or banana slices too! Get creative with ingredient combinations and remember you will need small mason jars for these, so start saving your jelly jars!
Crustless Quiche – 3 ingredients – 10 minutes prep plus bake time
Eggs, Cheese (optional), Veggies
Sauté some of your favorite veggies in a skillet over low heat until tender but not cooked – we like to use onions, zucchini and other squashes, and kale (ripped into small pieces) but we also try to keep it seasonal (we add garlic and herbs too and sauté in bacon fat for deliciousness). Combine eggs with cheese (we use cottage cheese or shredded cheese – or even just milk sometimes) and beat with a fork until combined. Top veggies with a handful (or three) of baby spinach and stir until just wilted. Grease a pie dish (with bacon fat or butter) add egg mixture and veggies. Cook at 350 covered for 30 mins. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and top with a little shredded cheese if desired. Cook uncovered for 5-15 minutes until cooked through. This can be eaten throughout the week warm or cold and is good for breakfast or dinner – sometimes I eat it for both!
Other quick tips to improve your nutritional productivity throughout the week:
- Make a big batch of pancakes on the weekend, cook all the batter and save the leftover pancakes to eat throughout the week – these warm up nicely in the toaster oven or the griddle.
- Invest in a few good vacuum sealed mugs so you can take drinks on the go. Take coffee along rather than swinging through the coffee shop (cold brew is so easy to make and so delicious), make a batch of lemon/cucumber water at home and fill a mug to go, and green tea brews in two minutes at home and is good hot, luke, or cold – don’t forget the honey!
Nathan is a founding incorporator and member of the board at the GreenLight Solutions Foundation, an Arizona nonprofit organization creating educational opportunities for university students, as well as community and business organizations, by engaging them in applied projects based upon leading sustainability research and practices to create strategic solutions.
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches nationally by phone and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected].