Monday, July 29, 2013

Taco Bake

Some days, I make something, and even though I'm plenty full, the flavor is SO amazing I want seconds..and thirds...and then maybe lick the spoon while cleaning it all up. I know I'm not the only one ;-) one of those meals...for me, anyway! 
My cravings are psycho from one day to the next, and today it was taco casserole. Problem? I'm not gonna do my usual packages crescent roll recipe.
Off to cyber land to find a perf recipe!
(How DID people live before online recipe search anyway?)
And, because things are super easy to find online, this was in the oven (recipe below with all my modifications) within a half hour of initial craving onset. Dinner at 4? Sure, why not! 

Taco Casserole 
4oz cream cheese
3 eggs
1/3 cup cream
1 tsp taco seasoning
Shredded cheese

Blend cream cheese and eggs together well. Add cream and taco seasoning and mix again. Grease a 9x13 with butter and sprinkle an even layer of shredded cheese on bottom of pan. Top with cream cheese mixture. Bake on 350 for a half hr. 


Brown 1lb ground beef with 1 chopped onion
Stir in:
1 cup pizza sauce
4tsp taco seasoning
Drizzle of milk or cream

Evenly spread on baked crust mixture. Top with some shredded cheese and return to oven for 15/20 min or until bubbly.

Serve with: 
Green onion
Sour cream
Shredded lettuce

Lunch tomorrow? I think yes! :-) 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My fav between meals shake

Seems like many days I'm hungry before its even time to eat. Pregnancy thing maybe? But I don't want food, not really! I want something quick to hold me off until lunch because usually I have something yummy in mind that I actually want to EAT. But, what to do about that hunger while I'm vacuuming, or swapping laundry? Enter: this quick shake.
It's pretty basic, nothing fancy or amazingly to die for creamy, but its good, filling, and tides me over perfectly :-) 

My Fav Quick Shake

1/2 cup rice milk
1 cup water
1/3 cup blueberries
2 scoops protein powder
Dash of almond and vanilla extract
1/2 juiced lemon
1/4tsp glucomannan (thickens shake and gives you a good, solid full feeling) 
Sweetener of choice
Ice cubes

Blend and enjoy! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Coconut Crepes w/ cottage berry whip and berry sauce

This morning was a crepe morning. 

My kids have never had them, I was craving them, and Craig loves them.
Yep, it was a crepe morning. 

The slight tang of lemon, with the tart of berries and the creaminess of cottage whip was unbeatable! 

I claim zero credit for the berry syrup and the cottage whip. I found them on other blogs and will link their original recipe with my own tweaks.

Something so satisfying about a good, wholesome breakfast...knowing my kids ate well and will be full for hours? Makes
my heart smile :-) 

Of course, crepes are a time consuming breakfast to make unless you're amazingly fab and have tons of pans, but I don't :-) 

Pancakes for regular life, crepes on special when we all sleep until 8 or something. Cause for celebration indeed!! 

Coconut Lemon Crepes (makes 8 small, double for bigger servings)

6 eggs
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp cream
4 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp truvia or desired sweetener
4 drops lemon essence oil
Two pinches lemon zest 
1-2 Tbsp almond, rice, or dairy milk for thinning 

Blend all ingredients until frothy on top. 
Preheat nonstick pan on medium heat and lightly spritz with oil. Drop 3 or so Tbsp on pan and swirl to fill. Cook about one minute and gently flip. Cook other side 30 seconds-1min until done. Fill with whip, roll, and top with berry syrup. ( links below) 
These aren't all that fabulous cold, but sure are amazing warm!! 

Berry Syrup
My addition was 1 cup of cranberries, a few pinches of lemon zest, and half a lemon juiced instead of the oil.

Berry whip
My addition was once again, half a lemon juiced and a few pinches of zest. What can I say, I'm on a mass lemon kick. Blame it on baby Ian! He makes me crave things ;-) 

Child approved, even on pancakes!!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken

I was super excited to see a friend share a dish the other day that she just came up with on the fly. 

I absolutely had to make and share it, with a few of my own tweaks added.
Seriously, family approved goodness right here folks! 

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed small
Two heads broccoli chopped up
6-7 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges (I had lite)
Tbsp minced garlic (or less if you're not a big garlic fan)
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Quinoa prepared in broth 

In a large pan simmer cubed chicken in a bit of broth. Drain. Roast chopped broccoli in an oven preheated to 425 until toasty golden tipped. Add to chicken with cheese, garlic, and onion powder. Stir well and salt and pepper to taste. Serve over quinoa. This made enough to feed my li'l family of five with leftovers...amazing! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pan Fried Quinoa

I've been pinteresting it up like crazy lately finding quick and easy meals.
Tonight's was totally awesome.
We loved it! Of course, I never seem to be able to follow a recipe exactly, so I will link where the inspiration came from, and post my own version :-)
Such a great way to get a complete protein and veg without it being a super heavy meal!

Pan Fried Quinoa

4 cups already cooked quinoa (always better to use day old..)
1 sweet onion
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic
1 cup frozen peas
4 stems green onion, chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup chicken stock
2-3 Tbsp rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Soy sauce or liquid amino to taste

In large saucepan, combine chicken stock, rice vinegar, onion, and carrot. Sauté uncovered until tender. Add peas, garlic, and green onion. Sauté a minute longer. Add quinoa and heat thru. Push quinoa mix off to the side of the pan and break in eggs. Scramble and incorporate into quinoa mix.
Salt, pepper, and soy sauce or amino to taste.
That's it! This made quite a big portion which is fabulous, because tomorrow I'm eating leftovers cold in lettuce wraps :-)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Chia Jam

I don't think I've ever been happier about a recipe in my life.
 Jam making for me usually consist of washing and topping berries, pureeing them, measuring them out, adding sugar, boiling pectin, stirring until arm falls off, ladling into containers, and freezing. All in all, a lengthy process, done batch by batch.
This recipe? Pretty much couldn't be easier! Of course I was skeptical at first that the jam wouldn't set but it DID! Perfectly! I could tip the container upside down and the jam didn't budge. That, my friend, spells success in my books! 
The only downside, of course, is seedy jam. Not a downside for US, but I know some people don't like their jam that way. This recipe isn't for those people. Me? I couldn't care less. I have a freezer filled with awesome jam and my family loves it! 

Chia Jam, base recipe

1 cup pureed berries
1 Tbsp chia seeds
sweetener to taste

I washed and capped the berries, put them in my blender with some honey, dumped the pureed berries into a large container, kept this up until I had three containers filled with 10 cups pureed berries, each, added 10 Tbsp chia per container, stirred well, stored in fridge overnight for it to gel, and that's it. In the morning, I portioned it out into containers and put 'em all in the freezer. I just took my second container out of the freezer the other day and it thawed beautifully. Perfect jam! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chia Pudding

I'm probably the last person alive to buy chia seeds and use them, so I'm a little late to the "chia" movement...but not anymore! I'm in love! It's by FAR one of the weirdest things I've made..really hard to describe the texture, but also the easiest and it completely agrees with my picky, pregnant palate! 
It's a cross between tapioca and rice pudding. SO strange, but we loved it. 
When I dumped it together last night, you couldn't even see the chia seeds, so to imagine that it would gel up into pudding overnight was a little hard to believe...but with a base sweetener of honey and vanilla, the combinations for breakfast seem endless!! I did only strawberries this morning, but tomorrow I'm going to try peanut butter and cocoa. If you aren't afraid of strange textures and trying something new, make this. It couldn't be easier! 

Chia Pudding

1 cup preferred milk choice (almond over here..)
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 
Stir very well the next morning and add anything you can imagine! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mexican Salad

Hello, blog land!! I am back! *cue cheers*
I am now officially 4 months pregnant, and slowly getting over the worst of the hyperemesis.Which means...back to being in my kitchen! To kick off a whole new slew of recipes, I have today's lunch. A black bean and corn salsa, served over a bed of lettuce, and topped with cilantro lime dressing. Both Pinterest recipes, made a little more to my liking. It's just how I do things. :-) So, without further ado, and while baby4 still lets me be up and walking, instead of the usual past months of in bed and, well, yeah...
The Recipe.

Mexican Salad

Black Bean+Corn Salsa: (which, by the way, is amazing by itself!)

1 can corn
1 can black beans
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 sweet onion, chopped fine
salt to taste

Drain corn and beans. Mix all ingredients well in a container. Store in refrigerator. 

1 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
1 small lime, juiced (or 2 tbsp)
dash salt

Just gonna say, this served with some iced pomegranate green tea is completely amazing!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spinach, Garlic, and Lemon Spaghettini

I love fast foods. Especially when it seems like life in on fast forward! Seems like lately I choose between a clean home, or a good dinner, but absolutely NOT both. Is it an age thing? Having my kids be 4, 3, AND 2, all going through growth spurts and turning new curves in learning  has overwhelmed and exhausted me.
This is what I choose. 
Some days, an immaculate house and simple leftovers or breakfast for dinner. 
Something good for dinner and a disorderly home.
Tonight? I found that with THIS recipe...I can have both! 
An amazingly simple recipe, I spent no more than 20 minutes total in the kitchen. That's with dinner on the table and served! 
I was pretty happy. Especially when the food was actually GOOD tasting. Simple, but good. Not overpowering  but more of a gentle hint of each ingredient melded together into light perfection. 
I served it with my absolute favorite Roasted Broccoli
Here is what you'll need:

Spinach, Garlic, and Lemon Spaghettini

1 box thin spaghetti
6 tablespoons olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
zest and juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 bag spinach

Begin by cooking the noodles per box instructions. Meanwhile, saute garlic in the olive oil. Add the zest and lemon juice. In separate skillet, gently wilt the spinach with a little bit of water on medium heat. Drain the little bit of water and add oil to spinach. Drain noodles, and toss spinach and olive oil/garlic/lemon juice mixture with noodles. Serve immediately.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cinnamon Vanilla Peanut Butter

Sometimes, the best things in life are cheap and easy. This typically doesn't apply to food..unless it's peanut butter. :-) We go through the stuff like crazy over here. My kids down it by the spoonfuls, we top crackers, cookies, muffins, apples, toast, celery, granola bars, brownies, pretty much everything with it. You know what's awesome? It takes a few minutes to make and costs pennies. Literally! Of course, you can make just basic peanut butter...but the fun comes when you add stuff to it. I posted a while back with a few recipes, but our recent favorite is cinnamon and vanilla. Seriously, this stuff on apples is incredible! Especially when using homemade vanilla (which is finally done...yay!!) 

Cinnamon Vanilla Peanut Butter

4 cups peanuts (salted or non, roasted or raw, it's personal preference)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon

Prepare yourself. This is a complicated recipe.
Dump peanuts in a food processor. Process on high until creamy. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Process again for about 30 seconds. Store in refrigerator. 

Difficult, huh? 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sweet Potato Burgers (plus vegan ranch!)

I needed to re-stock my freezer with quick lunch foods so I decided to try a new "burger" recipe. It actually amazes me just what can be baked into a patty. Once you get used to the texture of a meat-free burger, it really is good. It's not even remotely the same, but we are big fans over here. Super convenient to reheat in a skillet, oven, or toaster oven, and delicious with all the traditional hamburger toppings! This is without a doubt one of the easiest patty recipes and made a decent amount. (9 patties)

I am also VERY happy that the traditional ranch dressing I make tastes almost identical when substituting the dairy ingredients with vegan sour cream, veganaise, and rice milk (I omit the apple cider vinegar and up the seasonings a bit). Yay for US! Salads actually taste almost "normal" now! 

Sweet Potato Burgers

1 1/4 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans) soaked overnight and rinsed/drained
1 sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
scant 1/2 tsp baking powder

Using a food processor, blend all ingredients until fine, scraping sides of bowl often. Form into patties. Place on oiled baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake on 375 for 20 minutes. Remove foil, spritz with oil, and bake another 15. Flip burgers, spritz with oil again, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until birgers have a nice, crisp top and bottom. Serve with desired toppings! Wrap in foil after completely cooled and freeze. Reheat in skillet spritzed with oil OR in the oven. 

Black Bean Soup

Phew, it feels so good to be back to healthy eating after all the holiday celebrations! Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy my fair share of sugar and stuff, but I also like getting back into the swing of normal living...

I have been wanting to make this soup for awhile now and just gave it a go yesterday. It tasted like super authentic Mexican, not a fast food style, and I think it would be superb with shredded cheese and sour cream on top! The original recipe said to blend half of it and return to pot...I skipped this step and it was just as fabulous.

You know what else would make this recipe incredible? 4 oz of cream cheese stirred into the pot before serving. Try it. I bet you'll agree. ;-)

For the beans, I used my recipe. I make a big batch of it, drain all the broth out, and freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet where I then transfer to freezer bags so I always have seasoned black beans on hand. If you don't feel like doing all of this, just buy 2 cans of seasoned black beans. 

Black Bean Soup

3 cups prepared Authentic Black Beans
1 cup (or can) pinto beans (or any kind of bean, really..I just like to mix it up)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2-3 tsp minced garlic
3 tsp chili powder (more to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp basil and oregano
2 tsp brown sugar
2 bay leaves
salt+ cayenne pepper to taste
oil of choice

1 batch of short grain brown rice, prepared
Guacamole (best ever recipe!)
(optional) Sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese, tortilla chips

Put a dash of oil in a pot and saute onion until tender. Add garlic and cook about a minute more. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on medium for about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Trust me, you don't want to blend these guys into your soup! If you want, blend half of the soup recipe to thicken it up a bit. Return to pot, stir, and serve with some rice, guac, cilantro, sour cream, etc. 

We all agreed that it tasted even better the next day!