Archive for April, 2011
I was looking for an alternative to the typical whole wheat roll for a dinner I was making and came up with these savory muffins. They are light and airy and since they are made with almond meal flour, gluten free as well for anyone on a GF diet. They paired really well with New Potatoes and Asparagus I served them with.
- 1 cup almond meal flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup raw coconut crystals
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup mini muffin tin with olive oil.
- In a medium bowl combine the almond flour, soda and salt.
- In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and coconut crystals. Mix well.
- Combine the wet ingredients into the dry.
- Fold in the thyme and lemon zest.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared mini muffin tins about 3/4 full.
- Bake 10 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in the baking tin 5 – 10 minutes and then remove.
Makes 12 muffins.
Serving size 2 muffins.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 230.5, Cal. from Fat: 175, Total Fat: 20g, Sat. Fat: 2g, Carbs: 8.5g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 98mg, Chol: 70mg
For best results muffins should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
In less than 3 weeks my family and I will be taking off on our cross country move to San Diego, CA. With cats, dogs and children along for the ride we decided to rent an RV to make the trip more comfortable. In preparing for the move I’ve been making a bunch of kid friendly meals that freeze and reheat really well for while we are on the road. This ‘goulash’ was a meal my mom made for me when I was a little girl and it’s perfect for freezing and reheating. And as an added bonus, my husband who swears he hates all food with tomato sauces LOVED this dish. In fact the extra that I saved to freeze and use for the trip was eaten later that night for dinner by him.
- 1 pound organic grass fed lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added tomato sauce
- 1 jar (6-8 ounces) no salt added tomato paste
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8-10 ounces whole grain pasta, cooked (I used Delallo Elbow Pasta)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- Homemade Breadcrumbs (optional topping)
- Heat a large non-stick pan on medium high heat. Brown the ground beef in the pan. After the beef is thoroughly cooked remove it with a slotted spoon to a bowl or other dish and cover to keep warm.
- Drain off any fat left in the pan, then add olive oil, onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add back in the ground beef, tomato sauce, paste, oregano and salt. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat and let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove meat sauce from heat and add in cooked pasta and cheese. Stir well, serve and topped with some Homemade Breadcrumbs!
Makes approximately 8 cups.
Serving size about 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 258.5, Cal. from Fat: 105, Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat: 4g, Carbs: 20.5g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 5.5g, Protein: 17.5g, Sodium: 305.5mg, Chol: 42mg
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can also store the leftovers in single serve containers and place in the freezer for up to 6 months. Simply reheat in the microwave and enjoy a quick dinner in minutes!
For a vegan meal substitute the beef for firm tofu that has been crumbled. Skip step 1 and start with step 2. Add the tofu in step 3 and replace the parmesan cheese with Daiya Mozzarella cheese.
The last week or two the market has been displaying some beautiful ears of corn. While I prefer the locally grown corn in the summer I couldn’t resist purchasing a few ears, organic of course. While corn itself isn’t exactly a nutritional super food I used it in this corn chowder along with some other nutrient rich vegetables to really pack it full of flavor and boost the nutrition. Yum, it’s like summer in a bowl.
- 4 cups fresh organic corn kernels, about 6-8 ears depending on size (you can also use 2 bags (10 ounce each) frozen corn, thawed)
- 2 cups milk (I used oat milk)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 leek, mostly just the white part with about an inch or two of green, cut in half lenthwise and thinly sliced (be sure to wash the dirt from all the layers of the leek)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/4 dry white wine (optional)
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Put 2 cups of the corn and the 2 cups milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat and add the leeks, bell pepper, zucchini and carrot. Cook about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the garlic and basil, cook 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour in the white wine if using, otherwise skip this step. Stir, scraping up all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Return pan to heat.
- Add the remaining 2 cups corn and the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
- Add the pureed corn/milk mixture and the diced tomatoes and heat until warmed through but not boiling.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish as desired.
Makes about 6 cups.
Serving size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 204.5, Cal. from Fat: 55, Total Fat: 6.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 28g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 11.5g, Protein: 7g, Sodium: 90.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the leftovers. Simply reheat in the microwave after thawing.
Getting my kids to eat veggies is nothing short of a challenge. Usually I have to hide pureed veggies in their meals because if they see something green on their plate they are none too impressed. Then I made Zucchini Chips and low and behold they ate them all up! I had some asparagus in the fridge that I needed to use up and I thought I would use the same principle from the zucchini chips and see if I could get them to eat something as green as asparagus. We called them “Super Spears” and they loved them! Next time I’ll make twice as many cause they were so good that I didn’t really want to share!
- 1 bunch of asparagus (mine had about 20 spears)
- 1/4 cup Homemade Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- heaping 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cold milk (I used oat milk)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 lemon, cut in half (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with non stick foil and set aside.
- Throughly clean the asparagus under cold water (sometimes the tips can have sand particles in them so make sure you wash the tips really well) and snap off the tough ends of each asparagus spear.
- In a shallow bowl (make sure the bowl is long enough that you can fit the asparagus in it) add the flour, milk and vinegar. Gently stir to combine.
- Add the breadcrumbs (and cheese if using) to a shallow bowl or plate.
- Dip each asparagus spear in the flour mixture, then roll in the breadcrumbs and place each covered spear on your baking sheet and make sure none of them are touching.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
- For extra crispy spears bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and then broil on high for 3-5 minutes.
- For an optional topping try drizzling some lemon juice use over top the asparagus spears.
Makes 2 servings.
Serving size about 10 spears.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 234, Cal. from Fat: 31.5, Total Fat: 3.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 47g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 8g, Sodium: 448mg, Chol: 0mg
The asparagus crisps are best eaten right away. You can store leftovers in the fridge and reheat them in the oven and they still taste pretty good.
If you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use gluten free bread when making your Homemade Breadcrumbs.
I made these without the parmesan cheese and thought they were perfect. Honestly I think they would be too cheesy with any extra added in.
Don’t you love when you can take a bunch of leftovers and make something with them that isn’t just ok but almost better than the original dishes? My sister Carla is a master of this art. Carla and her husband Gene were visiting with me this past weekend and for dinner we had grilled tuna with New Potatoes and Asparagus. There were some leftovers and Carla suggested making a Tuna Nicoise Salad with them. I wasn’t sold on the idea but I thought it sounded ok so I decided to try it. It was so good it was declared “blogable”! Normally Nicoise is made with green beans but the asparagus was a wonderful substitute especially since it is currently in season. Hard boiled eggs are also a typical component but I made mine without to cut down on the fat and calorie count. Here is my version of salad Nicoise. Enjoy!
- New Potatoes and Asparagus, cooled to room temperature
- 1 pound tuna steak, grilled with salt and pepper to your degree of doneness (you could also use canned tuna)
- 4 cups salad greens
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives (or any olive of your choice)
- 1 hard boiled egg, cut into wedges (optional)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- Prepare the New Potatoes and Asparagus as directed.
- Grill the tuna on a grill pan over the stove or on an outdoor grill. Let cool, then thinly slice.
- In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard and honey.
- Arrange 1 cup of salad greens on each plate.
- Top the greens with 1/4 of the new potatoes and asparagus, 1/4 of the sliced tuna. 1/4 of the tomatoes, 1/4 of the olives and 1/4 of the hard boiled egg (if using).
- Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 406.5, Cal. from Fat: 199, Total Fat: 23.5g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 34.5g, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 17g, Sodium: 146.5mg, Chol: 25mg
My apologies to all tuna aficionados as I realize my tuna is grossly over cooked but that’s the way I like it.
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
My friend Lori asked me to come up with a recipe for sweet and sour chicken but it couldn’t be just any recipe – it had to taste EXACTLY like the kind you get from your local chinese take out joint. After several attempts I’m happy to say I NAILED IT! In fact, for my last attempt I made the whole meal while my husband was upstairs working (he works for home). I called him down to come eat dinner and after a bite he asked if I finally gave up and just ordered take out! HA! I never give up on a challenge and this is now one of our favorite meals!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 egg white
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 can (10 ounces) organic pineapple chunks (reserve the juice)
- 1/4 cup juice from the canned pineapple
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup Homemade Ketchup
- 2-3 tbsp raw coconut crystals or date sugar
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- In a medium bowl combine the chicken, egg white, salt and cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- In the meantime, whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and coconut crystals in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat (test that it’s ready to go by dropping a bead of water in the pan – it should instantly sizzle and evaporate).
- Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and swirl to coat – make sure your pan is very hot!
- Add the chicken and spread it out in one layer. Let the chicken cook, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned.
- Flip the chicken over and cook the other side for another minute. Once both sides of the chicken are nicely browned reduce the heat and cook the chicken another 5-10 minutes or until the middles are no longer pink. Transfer the chicken to clean plate and set aside.
- Reheat the pan to medium and add a small amount of oil if needed. Add the bell pepper, onion chunks and ginger to the pan. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks and stir fry for an additional minute.
- Turn the heat to high and add the chicken pieces back in. Pour the sauce over the chicken and peppers and let cook for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat.
- Serve immediately and ENJOY!
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 207.5, Cal. from Fat: 48.5, Total Fat: 5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 17g, Protein: 19g, Sodium: 231mg, Chol: 48.5mg
Any leftover sweet and sour chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you plan on having leftovers make sure to reserve some of the sauce. The chicken will be drier once it’s reheated and you’ll want to add some more sauce to it once you reheat.
How about a little treat for your canine family member? My dog Leo loves these cookies. I created this recipe with natural ingredients and no meat because Leo has ulcerative colitis and is on a very restricted diet. Leo is a boxer and when I adopted him he was 2 years old, weighed 49 pounds (which for his size was all skin and bones), had skin issues and bad tummy troubles. Through a series of trial and error I found the foods he could eat and got his UC under control and now he is a happy 67 pound, 6 year old boy that thinks he’s still a puppy. Leo likes these cookies as is but occasionally for a treat I add in the drippings from the lamb meatballs I make him to give them a meatier taste. You could add in 1-2 tablespoons of cooked pureed meat (babyfood works really well-just check that there are no added spices or ingredients) if your dog prefers a meatier flavor.
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1/4 cup So Easy Applesauce
- 3/4 cup oat bran
- 1/2 cup barley flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp flax seed oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, barley flour and rice flour.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg and flax seed oil.
- Mix until combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly over the paper (it works best for me to use my hand, keeping it damp by dipping in water several times). Spread to about 1/8th inch thick.
- Score into squares with a knife or use a cookie cutter of any shape you choose. Don’t remove the shapes. This is just to score the shape to make it easier to break apart after baking.
- Bake 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the cookie has reached the amount of crispness your dog prefers (I bake them for Leo about an hour so that the cookie is still soft rather than crispy).
- Remove from the oven, transfer the parchment to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Break apart or cut out the squares or shapes with a knife.
For best results store treats in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a couple of months and take out small portions as needed.
Ok, admit it. You like chicken nuggets as much as your children do. The little bite size pieces are so fun to pop in your mouth and you can dip them in just about anything and get a whole new flavor. This recipe has a little more grown up flavor but you can adjust it for children by changing the amount or combination of seasonings to your child’s taste.
- 1-2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 3 breast halves), cut into nugget sized pieces (about 1 – 1 1/2 inches)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 – 1 tsp dry mustard
- sea salt to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or thyme and rosemary)
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
- In a medium bowl beat the egg and mustard. Add the chicken pieces and mix to coat well.
- In a pie plate or other flat dish mix the almond flour, parmesan cheese, oregano and salt to taste.
- Dip each chicken piece into the flour mixture and fully coat, then place directly into the pan with oil.
- Fry about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from pan onto a serving plate. Serve with Ketchup, Ranch Dressing, BBQ Sauce or Honey Mustard.
Makes about 30-36 pieces.
Serving size 4 pieces.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 149.5, Cal. from Fat: 99, Total Fat: 11.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 2g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 11g, Sodium: 90mg, Chol: 47.5mg
Any leftover nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This recipe is a combination of the flavors of a Reuben sandwich infused into scalloped potatoes. It might sound strange but it tastes delicious. It’s not a complicated recipe and once you get it assembled your work is done and you can sit back and enjoy the aroma of the tangy sauerkraut and the cheesy Gruyere wafting from the oven as it bakes.
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, about 3 large potatoes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus a little for coating the baking dish
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) sauerkraut, drained
- 12 ounces fully cooked sausage of your choice (I used Applegate Farms Organic Chicken and Apple Sausage), sliced
- 8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp Thousand Island Dressing
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp organic cornstarch
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10 x 10 or approximate sized baking dish with olive oil.
- Place the rest of the olive oil into a nonstick skillet and heat on medium. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes or until the onions are tender.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the onions to a large bowl. Stir the sauerkraut and caraway seeds together with the onions.
- Pour the wine into the skillet and stir around to mix together any cooking liquid left from the onions. Add the Thousand Island dressing and stir together.
- Slice the potatoes very thin (a mandolin works best). Spread a layer of 1/3 of the potatoes on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, overlapping slightly. Top with half of the sauerkraut mixture and half the sliced sausage.
- In a medium bowl toss together the cheese and cornstarch.
- Pour half the wine mixture over the layers in the dish then spread half the cheese over the top.
- Add a second layer of potatoes (1/3) and the remaining sauerkraut and sausage.
- Pour the remaining wine mixture over the top.
- Arrange the remaining potatoes over the layers and spread the remaining cheese over the top.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake 50 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
Makes 8 servings.
Serving size about 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 377, Cal. from Fat: 158.5, Total Fat: 17.5g, Sat. Fat: 6g, Carbs: 30g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 17.5g, Sodium: 482.5mg, Chol: 33mg
Any leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat simply place in the microwave or oven.
You know those old school recipe books, the kind that churches and small organizations use to self publish with the plastic sprial binders? They always had the best recipes because they were real life meals people made in their own kitchens – tried and true recipes I call them. This recipe is an adaptation of a crescent chicken pocket recipe I found in Cooking with Friends. It was self published in 1982 by the South Tannytown Church. The original recipe uses crescent rolls which are stuffed with chicken, cream cheese and onions. With a couple of changes I was able to maintain the creamy chicken texture that you experience when you take a bite and made them into bite sized balls so that they are fun for the whole family to eat!
- 2 cups cooked chicken, finely shredded
- 8 ounces neufchatel cheese
- 4 ounces goat cheese, semi soft
- 1 1/4 cup zucchini, finely shredded
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup Homemade Breadcrumbs
- 2-4 tbsp hot sauce, optional (I used Tabasco brand)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix neufchatel cheese and goat cheese together until well blended.
- Add chicken, zucchini, onions and hot sauce (if using). Mix until throughly combined.
- Using the palms of your hands, roll the mixture into 1 inch sized balls. Roll each ball into the breadcrumbs and evenly coat.
- Place each ball on a baking sheet (I line mine with non-stick foil for easy clean up) and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then broil for 3-5 minutes on high until golden brown.
Makes 8 servings.
Serving size 6 chicken bites.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 165, Cal. from Fat: 90, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 6g, Carbs: 6.5g, Fiber: .5g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 12.5g, Sodium: 185.5mg, Chol: 43.5mg
Any leftover bites can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. To reheat simply place in the oven until heated through and enjoy! While you can reheat these in the microwave they will lose their crunchy outside layer which is why it’s recommended to reheat in the oven.
For a gluten free meal make sure to use a gluten free bread when making your Homemade Breadcrumbs.