Though we definitely don’t have it ‘all figured out,’ parading through the streets of Dupont with our ‘people of the year’ trophy held high – Andrew and I would like to think we’ve beat the seesaw. Both playing the game of life with full time jobs, our full time Poe (new parenthood), and maintained semblances of our own self-care – a trifecta in precarious and undoubtedly teetering balance- we’ve somehow come out on top. Two ever-evolving twenty-something year old shmoos, not flailing. But even removing our Poe from the mix- as worker bees with deadlines, undergraduate and post-bachelorette students with finals, triathletes and yogis making time for conscious movement- Andrew and I have held strategic fundamentals close to up our chances of success.
Not the ‘sexy answer,’ but in our home, successful balance in often found in redundancy: in pre-scheduled time for workouts, meetings, evenings at beer gardens and weekend mornings at cafes, and most importantly, pre-scheduled time for bulk-prepared meal-prep. Channeling our inner Creatures of Habit through a heavy reliance on bulk prepared meals and no fuss staples, Andrew and I are able to fill our bowls with nourishing and seasonally inspired delicious meals – conscious of both our time and monetary budgets – but, we eat the same meal everyday for the week.
One of our very favorite morning go-to’s, Andrew and I love make-ahead friendly porridge pots: soaked oats or grains layered with yogurt, seasonal produce, dried fruits, nuts, and nut butters. Again, cognizant of our time and monetary budgets, these simple pots utilize nonperishable staples, like oats, rice, walnuts, coconut flakes, and golden raisins, that can be purchased in bulk at a reduced cost and stored in our pantry or freezer until we’re ready to get cooking. Requiring only minutes of preparation and often only one large bowl, pot, or baking sheet, we’re left with a workweeks worth of meals to grab and munch on-the-go. In the heart of late-winter, recently, we’ve been most drawn to adding root vegetables and squashes – traditionally savory produce reimagined with warming cinnamon and naturally sweetening pops of maple. Coupled with a soaked brown rice porridge (think the creamy dreamy love child of rice pudding meets gluten free overnight oats), a dollop of your favorite unsweetened yogurt, nut butter, and some crunchy toppings for good measure and texture, say hello to your new favorite jar. Your taste buds, waist line, schedule, and wallet will be so thrilled- I promise, you won’t even mind the redundancy.
Brown Rice Porridge Pots with Roasted Squash [makes 8 jars]
2 cups short grain brown rice- soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, drained
5 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk, divided
6 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
2 pounds butternut squash – peeled, deseeded, cubed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups unsweetened yogurt (almond, coconut, Greek)
½ cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup coconut flakes
½ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
In a medium pot, bring brown rice, 4 ½ cups almond milk, 4 tablespoons maple, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow rice to simmer for 50 minutes, or until its cooked through and has a creamy porridge-like consistency. Remove rice from heat and transfer to an airtight tupperware. Refrigerate until cold then stir in remaining 1 cup almond milk.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F, rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Toss cubed squash with remaining 2 tablespoons maple and coconut oil, and cinnamon. Roast for 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Transfer to an airtight tupperware and refrigerate until cold.
To Assemble: Divide equal portions of the rice and squash amongst your eight favorite airtight tupperware or glass jars – layering intermittently with ½ cup yogurt and 1 tablespoon nut butter, raisins, coconut, and almonds per jar. Refrigerate until ready to grab and munch, for up to one week.