June 5, 2017

Easiest (& Healthy) Guacamole

There are few things I enjoy more that a rock star guacamole. Since guacamole is so easy to make, I don’t often buy pre-made guac because I find there are unnecessary added ingredients & the flavor is just isn’t the same.

The real question is this: How has it taken me this long to post about this guacamole recipe that I’ve been making for YEARS?!!

WHAT A SHAME.

The issue here is not eating all the guac before it’s supposed to be served but here’s the deal- I’m doing my due diligence in taste-testing. In fact, I’m doing a service in taste testing for others. People should be thanking me for taste testing and ensuring it’s suitable to consume, despite the fact that there is usually quite of bit less remaining for others to eat. That’s the sacrifice and part of the service. You are welcome.

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February 9, 2017

Banana & Cranberry Baked Breakfast Bites

A couple months ago my friend Rachel sent me a recipe that she uses to make breakfast “cookies,” especially for her kids on busy mornings. And we allll know the need and desire to have something as a grab-n-go while you are heading out the door- especially in the mornings.

Side note: There’s a few things you should know about me…

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January 16, 2017

Almond Banana Overnight Oats

Hello Monday!

I’m thankful there are no classes today because thank you MLK Jr.! We thank you for being courageous, being a light of love in the world, and choosing to be brave. It’s another reminder for us to be love and see love, because there really is so much love around us.

Let’s get to a few random things first-

This morning there is ice everywhere outside here in the midwest. Thankfully we went grocery shopping yesterday because we were lacking many essential ingredients to create or eat anything. (Note: this was a family grocery trip, which we all know can be eventful with multiple opinions, potential of losing people, and random conversations. We only backtracked through the store once, so I call that a success) We’ll be staying inside today. So if you need to go outside- well, just see if you can stay inside.

Also yesterday the kids had swim lessons and then we watched those two crazy games of football. I mean, we mainly watched the Cowboys game because there just wasn’t enough energy or oxygen to fully invest in another game in the same way. We wore our Cowboys shirts in support and we had hope until the very end. The very end. Oy vey.

So today starts a new day.

An Almond Banana Overnight Oats day!

If you follow me on instagram, you saw that I posted a picture of it this week. While overnight oats are obviously designed for breakfast, I personally have taken a liking to them for lunch as well. Why? Well lunch time is when I’m usually multitasking way too much and when this is available, it’s one less thing to think about. It’s already prepared, it’s healthy and it can be portable.

The origins of this recipe came from the kids cooking class at our local Hy-Vee. (Note: this is not a sponsored post). The class was excellent and I will share more about that soon too (things to look forward to this week!)

However the original recipe has been modified. Here’s what I did.

Almond Overnight Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of almond milk (I used unsweetened)

2 1/2 teaspoons of chia seeds (I used the dark seeds)

1 teaspoon flax seeds

2 Tablespoons of almond butter

1 Tablespoon of maple syrup

1/2 cup of rolled oats

*Sliced bananas and sliced almonds for topping

Process:

Mix milk, chia seeds, flax seeds, and almond butter together. It doesn’t have to be full mixed, because it’ll be hard to do. Then add maple syrup and oats. Fully submerge oats in milk.

Seal container with an air tight lid and store in frig for at least 6 hours.

When ready to serve, stir and combine ingredients. Add sliced bananas and almonds on top before eating.

Delicious! Enjoy!

 

Note: This is what I’m eating for breakfast this morning. I was so excited to share this with you this morning that I prepped some last night.

See you here tomorrow!

August 17, 2016

No Bake Energy Balls

Man, I love a good no bake energy ball recipe. And goodness, there are so many variations. Here is one of my go-to options…

Why?

  1. No bake. Hello?
  2. Convenient
  3. Travel well for roadtrips, in a cooler
  4. A smarter sweet treat than other options
  5. Portion control
  6. Kid friendly- for eating and making together
  7. Could store in freezer
  8. Snack? Breakfast? Dessert? Sure!
Ingredients:
1 c. rolled oats (I usually use regular, but in a pinch I have subbed in for steel cut oats- just used less)
1/2 c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. flax seed (preferably ground, however I have used whole)
1/2 c. peanut butter (I prefer almond butter, personally. However whatever your family prefers is best. Crunchy/creamy? Doesn’t matter. Heck, Use cashew butter!)
1/3 c. honey (In a pinch when I didn’t have honey- gasp!- I used maple syrup)
1 t. vanilla extract
Combine everything. Form little balls. Arrange on baking sheet in freezer for 1 hour to set.
Optional:
After rolling your balls, you could roll them in sprinkles, coconut, nuts, etc, for jazz. 🙂
Enjoy!
May 3, 2016

Avocado Zucchini Grilled Cheese

This. is. delicious. 

Take my word for it and just make it soon. 
And EASY!
Ingredients per sandwich
2 slices of bread (I just used sandwich bread)
1-2 slices of cheese (I used colby jack)
1/2 avocado, chopped up
4 think slices of zucchini
1 T. soft butter or less (just enough to slightly cover one side of each piece of bread)
Method
Prepare your hot skillet with a little Pam spray, olive oil, or butter. Lightly spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Put one slice of bread on the skillet, with the butter side down. Then layer your avocado, zucchini, cheese then last piece of bread. See below…

Cook for a few minutes until medium brown color then flip to the other side. 
Done! Seriously- delish.

May 2, 2016

Italian Quinoa Spinach Chicken Soup

This is a great recipe for items you just happened to have in your kitchen- and my vegetarian friends, it’s still delicious if you leave out the chicken! That’s how this recipe was created- what what you have on hand. You can’t go wrong. We were craving homemade soup as a family and so I whipped this together based on what I had on hand. 

Ingredients
2 Chicken Breasts (this can be omitted for vegetarians); thawed
1 1/2-2 cups of quinoa or brown rice or a blend, already cooked (I used a quinoa/rice blend)
1 cup water
30 oz can of diced tomatoes
2-3 large handfuls of fresh spinach, torn up into smaler pieces
1/2 dry pkg of ranch seasoning
2 t. minced garlic
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano 
S & P
Method
In a large saucepan, combine everything together except the spinach. Cooked at medium/high heat to cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn down heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Take out chicken only and shred, then return it to the saucepan. Then add fresh spinach. Cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust additional seasonings as desired. 
Sprinkle with a little cheese on top, and enjoy!

April 29, 2016

Hummus

*This is not a sponsored post
I am a huge hummus fan. Huge. It’s versatile- it can be a dip served with warm pita bread or veggies or with pretzels, or a spread for sandwiches, or added to really anything! You can make it at home (really easy) or buy it at the store- regular or organic/all natural. And there are tons of flavors. And even if you have tried hummus before and didn’t like it, don’t discount it just yet. 
It maintly consists of chickpeas/garbanzo beans and tahini (seseme seeds), lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and S&P, and it provides vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. The key is to make sure you look at the labels and see what ingredients are actually in the product. The ingredients are always listed in order of quantity. So the first few ingredients are always the most important. Make sure you can understand or just read/pronounce the ingredients. 
A popular brand of hummus is Sabra. This brand is sold nearly everywhere. Which is great because it can really introduce people to hummus if they are unfamiliar. They offer lots of flavors too. My personal favorites are the Olive Tapenade and Roasted Garlic. You can typically find it in your produce section.

Sabra-Hummus-Olive-Tapenade
But since moving to South Dakota I have found a new kind I like. It’s by Oasis and it’s all natural with only 6 ingredients that we would normally have in our kitchen- no nothing else added. My favorite flavor is Roasted Garlic. And I find this in the Organic/Natural section of my grocery store. Lately this is my go-to hummus. 
Roasted Garlic
But if you wanted to make it at home- it’s easy too! I have made it at home and it is so easy because all you need is a strong blender and you can make whatever flavor you want. Here is a great go-to recipe to try {link}. Don’t overlook major ingredients… chickpeas/garbanzo beans are needed, tahini is needed, etc. 

Real Hummus
via

So try it out! Try different flavors… and reap some nutritional benefits along the way!

April 27, 2016

Zucchini Fritters

I love zucchini. It’s probably one of my favorite vegetables. It’s so versatile and can be used in so many different ways. These zucchini fritters are easy to make and another way to squeeze in vegetables. I found the original recipe {here} but then modified it below. There are so many different ways to make zucchini fritters that I may even experiment with another method- just because. But I was pleased with the outcome here in this recipe. 
Again these make enough for a meal but also enough to freeze for later. 
Ingredients
3 zucchini, chopped (I used my food chopper {link})
1 tsp. salt
5 eggs, beaten
1/8 cup basil
1/8 cup oregano
1/2 t. pepper
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
oil for frying on skillet
Dash of salt and pepper
Method
Chop up zucchini (or use a grater). Put in a bowl and sprinkle 2 tsp. salt and mix. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. 
Squeeze out any liquid from zucchini. 
In bowl, mix in eggs. Combine. Then add pepper, cheese, basil and oregano. Add flour and cornstarch. Make sure it’s all combined. Give another sprinkle of salt.

In a hot skillet with oil, drop a spoonful of batter into skillet.. as the batter will spread out. Cook on each side for a few minutes until browned. Place on paper towel lined plate before serving.

Enjoy!

January 8, 2016

Roasted cabbage

Yes, roasted cabbage.
Recently I received two large heads of cabbage from my mother in law. Like, HUGE. So I decided to try roasting the cabbage because I’ve never made it nor tried it before. And it was good!
I got this recipe from allrecipes.com and then I modified it a little.
Ingredients:
2-3 T olive oil
1/2 head of cabbage
A few pinches of cayenne pepper
A few pinches of garlic pepper
Some salt, to taste
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut cabbage into wedges. Put wedges on cooking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the wedges, then spray all the wedges with cooking spray to ensure all areas are covered. Lightly sprinkle the garlic pepper, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
Cover with foil. Roast for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred in some areas. Then flip wedges to the other side, slightly spray with cooking spray and more seasonings to taste then roast without the foil for 10-15 minutes.
Done! Yum!
February 15, 2015

Quinoa Balls with Cauliflower and Cheese

I get the magazine, “Food & Wine.” I enjoy browsing through the pages and looking at gourmet dishes in large metro cities alongside fancy wines I’ve never heard of. However they have interesting articles and tips, and I like looking at the recipes. Well I was reading my Feb 2015 issue and the recipe was Quinoa Balls with Cauliflower and Cheese, and I thought “yum.” So I followed the recipe but I made tweaks along the way. My toddler made this with me too, so it’s also kid-friendly. 
Ingredients:
2/3 cup quinoa, already cooked
1 large egg, beaten
8 oz (or around 1 1/2 cups) grated cauliflower florets 
6 oz (or around 1 1/2 cups) finely shredded mozzarella cheese
3 T. flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
Makes 2 dozen
1. Cook quinoa. (I just prepare according to my box directions). Let it sit to cool. 
2. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, egg, cauliflower, cheese, flour, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 
4. In a separate small bown, mix baking soda and lemon juice. 
5. Add lemon juice mixture to larger bowl. Mix well.
6. Scoop out 2 T. of mixture and form little balls. Arrange on baking sheet.   
7. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and firm. Serve hot. 
PS- These freeze really well too! They serve well heated up for snacks and lunches on the go! I really like these and will be making them again soon!
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