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30 minute + 1 pot healthy meals with the Minimalist Baker

Everyday Cooking features 101 vegan, mostly gluten-free recipes from breakfast and apps, to dinner and desserts.

30 minute + 1 pot healthy meals with the Minimalist Baker

“Minimal" is the exact keyword most busy mamas want to hear when discussing dinner recipe options. Our figurative plates are full, and when it comes to planning and prepping meals—the simpler, the better.


So can simple, good-for-you meals still taste delicious? Dana and John Shultz of the popular blog Minimalist Baker proves that yes, they can, in their beautiful new cook book.

That book, Everyday Cooking, holds 101 vegan, mostly gluten-free, never seen before recipes from breakfast and apps, to dinner and desserts.

The best part about their recipes like the weeknight burrito bowl or the handmade hippie cereal is that they all only require 30 minutes (or less!), one bowl or pot, or ten ingredients or less.

We love a good meal just as much as the next gal, but extra time spent snuggling our two-year-old or planting kisses on our sweet newborn—okay, okay, even extra time to do laundry or make a work call? That's sweeter than any tasty treat out there.

Less is more, people.

We got to chat with Dana and John of Minimalist Baker about their pantry staples, time-saving tricks in the kitchen, and got the scoop on some of their best recipes.


How did you two decide to start Minimalist Baker?

Dana + John: We started the blog we wanted to cook from back in the summer of 2012. I have always been a somewhat lazy, impatient cook and wanted recipes that required little time, ingredients and equipment. That's how Minimalist Baker came to be.

Why did you want to create this online space to share your recipes and cooking?

Dana+ John: I am a sharer by nature. When I find—or make—something awesome, I naturally want to share it with everyone. Creating exciting new recipes is a natural thing I want to share about. A blog was the perfect way for me to do so.



What made you decide to take the leap and create a (beautiful!) cook book?

Dana + John: Our fans kept asking for something in print that they could hold and use in their kitchens. The brainstorming started from there!

Can you give us the scoop—how do you soak cashews and make almond meal?

Dana + John: Soaking cashews is incredibly simple. Just put cashews in a bowl, cover with boiling hot water, and leave it alone for 1 hour. Then drain and you have the perfect vegan base for creamy sauces, desserts, dressings and more! As for almond meal, that's just raw almonds ground into a fine meal which is perfect for making baked goods gluten free and more wholesome!



What are your must-have pantry items?

Dana + John: You can see a whole list here!

Some pantry items include: Bob's Red Mill 1:1 gluten free flour blend, Bob's Red Mill arrowroot starch, Bob's Red Mill brown rice flour, Bob's Red Mill white rice flour, Bob's Red Mill tapioca flour, Bragg nutritional yeast, Brown rice noodles.

A lot of your meals take 30 minutes or less to prepare. This is huge for busy mamas! What other time-saving tips do you have for us in the kitchen?

Dana + John: Meal plan on Sundays so you only have to grocery shop once. That way you go into the week knowing what to expect and plan for.

I also think multitasking is a huge time saver when it comes to quick cooking. While your quinoa is cooking, chop your vegetables. Or while your chili is bubbling away, prepare your garnishes. Last but not least, try simple recipes!

Shameless plug, but the recipes in the book are truly easy!


Homemade hippie cereal recipe

YIELDS 21 SERVINGS

PREP TIME 10 MIN. | COOK TIME 25 MIN. | TOTAL TIME 35 MIN.

1 3⁄4 cup (196g) slivered raw almonds (slivered do better than whole)

1 1⁄4 cup (125g) raw pecans

3⁄4 cup (90g) raw walnuts

2 Tbsp (24g) chia seeds

2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided

2 Tbsp (24g) coconut sugar (or sub organic cane sugar or organic muscovado sugar)

1⁄4 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil or coconut oil

1⁄4 cup (60ml) maple syrup or agave nectar

6 cups (84g) puffed brown rice cereal

OPTIONAL1⁄4 cup (28g) roasted unsalted sunflower seeds

1⁄4 cup (35g) dried blueberries or other dried fruit

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Position rack in center of oven.

2. In large mixing bowl, combine almonds, pecans, walnuts, chia, 1 tsp cinnamon, coconut sugar, and salt.

3. In small saucepan over low heat (or in small bowl in the microwave), warm oil and maple syrup or agave nectar. Pour over dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Mix well.

4. Spread mixture evenly onto large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. If adding sunflower seeds and dried fruit, remove from oven and add at this time. Stir.

5. Increase heat to 340 degrees F and return to oven for another 5-7 minutes, or until deep golden brown.

6. Rinse and dry mixing bowl. As soon as granola is visibly browned and done cooking (about 25 minutes total), remove from oven and let cool completely.

7. When completely cooled, pour puffed rice into large mixing bowl and add remaining 1 tsp cinnamon. Toss. Add cooled granola and toss once more.

8. Store in a container with airtight seal. Cereal will keep 2-3 weeks. Serve as is or with dairy-free yogurt or milk. Sliced banana makes a lovely addition.


Southwest sweet potato black bean dip recipe

SERVES 6

PREP TIME: 10 Minutes | COOK TIME: 20 Minutes | TOTAL TIME: 30 Minutes

2 medium to large organic sweet potatoes (~260g), cubed, skin on

2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil or avocado oil

2 Tbsp (30ml) maple syrup (or sub coconut sugar)

1⁄4 tsp each sea salt, chili powder, ground cinnamon + ground cumin

1 cup (150g) whole corn kernels

1 cup (60g) cilantro, chopped

1⁄2 cup red onion (55g), diced

1 15-ounce (425g) can black beans, rinsed + drained SAUCE

1 ripe avocado

1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil or avocado oil

1 lime, juiced (3 Tbsp or 45ml)

1-2 Tbsp (15-30ml) maple syrup or agave nectar

Pinch each sea salt + black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Lightly grease a baking sheet and add potatoes, oil, maple syrup, salt, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon. Toss to coat.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft and lightly browned, stirring once halfway through to ensure even baking. Sample and adjust seasonings if needed. Set aside.

4. In the meantime, add sauce ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mash/mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

5. Add corn, cilantro, onion, black beans, and roasted sweet potatoes to sauce and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

6. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though best when fresh.


Easy weeknight burrito bowls recipe

SERVES 4

PREP TIME 5 MIN. | COOK TIME 25 MIN. | TOTAL TIME 30 MIN.

RICE

1 cup (200g) white rice*, uncooked

2 cups (480ml) water

1⁄4 tsp sea salt

1⁄2 lime, juiced (1 Tbsp or 15ml)

2 Tbsp (8g) cilantro, chopped

BLACK BEANS

1 15-ounce (425g) can black beans, slightly drained (if unsalted, add 1⁄4 tsp salt)

1⁄4 tsp each garlic powder, ground cumin + chili powder

PEPPERS + ONIONS

1 Tbsp (15ml) grape seed oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil

1 green bell pepper (119g), seeds removed, thinly sliced

1⁄2 medium red onion (55g), thinly sliced

Pinch each sea salt + black pepper

CORN SALSA*

1 cup (150g) corn, fresh or canned

1⁄4 cup (37g) tomatoes, finely diced

1 jalapeño (14g), seeds removed and finely diced

1⁄4 cup (27g) red onion, finely diced

1⁄2 lime, juiced (1 Tbsp or 15ml)

1 Tbsp (4g) cilantro, chopped Pinch each sea salt + black pepper

GUACAMOLE

1 ripe avocado

1⁄2 lime, juiced (1 Tbsp or 15ml)

Pinch each sea salt + black pepper

1 Tbsp (4g) cilantro, chopped

1. Rinse rice in fine mesh strainer. Add to small saucepan with water. Bring to boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until water is absorbed — about 15-20 minutes. Do not lift lid until it is finished cooking.

2. While rice is cooking, add black beans to saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, add spices, and stir. Then reduce heat to low to keep warm until serving, stirring occasionally.

3. In the meantime, heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp (15ml) oil, peppers, onion, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until tender and slightly browned. Set aside.

4. While peppers and onions are sautéing, add all corn salsa ingredients to mixing bowl and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.

5. Lastly, add all guacamole ingredients to a mixing bowl. Mash to combine using a fork or potato masher. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

6. Once finished cooking, remove rice from heat. Add salt, lime juice, and cilantro.

7. To serve, scoop rice into serving bowls and top with beans, peppers and onions, corn salsa, guacamole, and any other desired toppings. I love extra red salsa, hot sauce, and tortilla chips.

8. Store leftovers separately (covered) in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Corn salsa will keep 5-7 days.

Notes:

*I like using white rice because it cooks much faster and keeps this recipe under 30 minutes. But you can sub brown rice if you prefer.

*To switch it up, sub vegan refried beans or pinto beans for black beans.

*Instead of the corn salsa, you can also sub your favorite red or green salsa.



Recipes reprinted with permission from Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Dana Schultz.


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As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

This article was sponsored by Daily Harvest. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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