Monday, June 18, 2012

Broccoli Salad with Bowtie Pasta & Bacon


I love pasta salad in the summertime, especially the kind that has just a touch of flavor rather than dripping with dressing. This definitely fits the bill- cold and creamy yet not overpowering, and the bacon gives it a great flavor.

Broccoli Salad with Bowtie Pasta & Bacon
1/2 (16oz) box organic farfalle pasta
1 pound (two large heads) organic broccoli
2 cups organic seedless red grapes, halved
8 slices of organic bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup pecans (halved or chopped)1/2 cup organic mayo
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup diced red onion (I didn't use)

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.

Cut broccoli florets from stems and separate into small pieces. Slice grapes in half and chop onion (if using one).

In a large bowl, whisk together mayo and honey, then stir in red wine vinegar. Mixture will be a bit lumpy, that's ok.

Stir in pasta, broccoli and grapes. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Stir in bacon and pecans just before serving. Makes 6-8 servings.


*Recipe modified from myrecipes.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Whole Wheat Navajo Tacos (fried in coconut oil)


Navajo tacos were one of my favorite things to eat as a kid. There are dozens of ways to eat them but my favorite is Mexican style: refried beans, cheese, avocado and tomato. Thanks to coconut oil, I can still indulge in them from time to time.

Whole Wheat Navajo Tacos
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour (one half cup at a time as needed)
coconut oil for frying
toppings- refried beans (I love mine mixed with salsa and sour cream), cheese, avocado, tomato

Dissolve yeast in warm water with honey. When yeast is bubbly, stir in melted (cooled) butter, salt and 1 cup of flour. Continue mixing and add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl- you want it to be soft but not sticky.

Cover and let rise until double. Roll dough out into 2 thin rectangles (about 1/4" thick) and using a pizza cutter slice into squares (I cut each into 12 small squares) and let rise until double.

Heat coconut oil in a small pot (the smaller the better). I don't like to waste a lot of oil so I used about a 1/2 cup but it's easier if you have more oil. I also make mine smaller due to less oil. Dip the corner of one piece of dough in the oil- when it bubbles right away the oil is ready.

Fry one piece of dough at a time, using a spoon, scoop oil over the top of the dough until it puffs up (or you can tip and rotate the pan around in circular motions so that oil covers the top of the dough). When the top has puffed, flip over and cook until brown. Drain on a paper towel and repeat for all pieces of dough. Top with desired toppings and serve warm.

For sweet dough, dip in powdered sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or drizzle with honey.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Real Fruit Frozen Yogurt (with or without the yogurt)

There's nothing better in the summertime than homemade ice cream.

Well, nothing except frozen yogurt that is...

It is the easiest thing to make- no measuring of ingredients, simply blend in whatever you want and enjoy!

You don't even need an ice cream maker- a blender will work just fine.

And you don't really have to use yogurt...unless you want to.

All you need are a few ripe frozen bananas and some fresh or frozen fruit. It's 100 % healthy, no sugar added- a snack that you can feel good about serving!


Real Fruit "Frozen Yogurt"
3 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
Fresh or frozen fruit (strawberries, mango and pineapple are the best combo I've found, if they are frozen, defrost slightly before blending)
1-2 cups plain yogurt or milk (optional)

Blender method:
If you prefer a chunkier ice cream, blend the bananas first, then stir in the remaining fruit, otherwise put all fruit into a blender (including 3 frozen bananas). If you want a creamier consistency, stir in one to two cups of plain yogurt or a bit of milk (if using milk, add a little at a time to desired consistency). If too thin, add more frozen fruit, if too thick, add more milk/yogurt. Serve right away and enjoy!

Ice cream maker method (makes more ice-cream-like consistency):
Blend bananas and desired fruit (if you want chunkier ice cream, chop your fruit- like strawberries- and set aside). Pour the banana mixture into your ice cream maker and turn on. Add chopped fruit and any yogurt/milk (if using milk, pour a little at a time to desired consistency) and mix according to the directions until it becomes frozen (my Cuisinart takes about 15 minutes).

If you are lucky enough to have any leftovers, you can freeze them. Just be sure to give yourself adequae thawing time before eating again, as it tends to freeze pretty solid.


You really can't go wrong with this- just add whatever fruit you like to the desired consistency. No sugar needed and you can say yes to second helpings!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

BLT {the best sandwich on earth}


I think bacon is my favorite food. If I had to choose between dark chocolate and bacon...I think bacon would win... I like my bacon super crunchy and my favorite way to eat it is in a big fat BLT.

I don't think anyone really needs a recipe for a BLT, but some things I add to make it better than your average sandwich, is ranch dressing on one slice of bread (instead of mayo) and smashed ripe avocado on the other. Throw in some havarti cheese and swiss chard (along with tomato and bacon, of course) and you have one tasty (and healthy) sandwich.

Perfect for lunch or dinner, especially in the summertime when you need something quick and easy.

Oh- and bacon cooking- the way to get it super crunchy is to bake it in the oven at 425 degrees. Place bacon strips side by side and bake until all the fat has been cooked away and the bacon is a dark color and looking crispy (or until your smoke detector goes off), about 15-20 minutes, turning half way through (don't burn!). Then when the bacon grease cools down, pour into a jar and refrigerate for later use. Bacon grease is great for cooking eggs, potatoes, popcorn and more. Refrigerate or freeze any extra bacon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quinoa Salad with pears, spinach and chickpeas


If you haven't yet visted the Gluten Free Goddess website yet, I highly suggest you do. I'm not gluten free and don't plan on ever going gluten free, but she has some amazing real food recipes that cannot be passed up. Such as this salad- the pears and apples are so sweet it gives a great contrast to the quinoa and spinach. A great summer salad!

Quinoa Salad Recipe with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas in a Maple Vinaigrette
*Recipe from Gluten Free Goddess

1-2 cups cooked quinoa (I use rice cooker, otherwise follow directions on box)
2 handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained (I used a full package of organic girl)
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1 sweet apple, sliced into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste
Feta Cheese, crumbled

Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Fluff quinoa with a fork and scoop into a large salad bowl.

Add the baby spinach, pear, apple, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff.

Whisk together the vinaigrette, pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and feta and lightly combine.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Whole Wheat Puff Pancakes


I pinned this recipe the other day for German Pancakes from Real Mom Kitchen and knew I had to try them. They were very similar ingredients to my Cheesy Bacon Popovers (only sweet) so I was pretty confident I could make them with whole wheat flour. And they are delicious. Just top with a little maple syrup or fresh fruit. I like to add a bit of sweetener to the batter since I'm not adding much to the fresh fruit. They don't look quite as pretty as the all purpose flour version, but they taste great and are better for you.

Whole Wheat Puff Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1/4 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons honey or sucanat
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Blend together flour and salt. Whisk in milk and eggs until smooth. Stir in melted butter, honey, vanilla and orange zest.

Grease two muffin tins (I like to use coconut oil) and fill tins half way with batter. This recipe should make 15-18 pancakes.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Pancakes will puff up and then fall down, just place your fruit in the middle, sprinkle with a little sucanat and enjoy!


*recipe modified from Real Mom Kitchen

Saturday, May 19, 2012

{Old Fashioned} Popcorn

Like most of the American population, we love to eat popcorn when watching movies.

While air popped corn is great, sometimes it's fun to make old fashioned stovetop popcorn.

The boys love to help and they get so excited when the kernels finally start popping.

I used to make it with canola oil, but since I've switched to unrefined oils, I've started using good old fashioned bacon grease.

It gives the popcorn a great flavor so no need to add additional butter, just toss with salt and some fresh grated parmesan and enjoy!













Old Fashioned Popcorn

2 spoonfuls of bacon grease
1/4 cup organic non GM corn
Sea salt
Parmesan, grated (optional)

Put bacon grease and popcorn in saucepan and cover. Heat over medium heat, gently moving pan across the burner for 4-5 minutes or until popcorn pops.

Continue moving pan back and forth so the corn does not burn. Once kernels have slowed popping, turn off heat and let sit to pop remaining kernels. Sprinkle with salt and parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Simple Strawberry Spinach Salad


This is one of my favorite salads and it's so easy to make. Just toss with a raspberry vinaigrette or poppyseed dressing (this homemade poppyseed dressing is SO good!)

Spinach
Strawberries, sliced
Almonds, sliced
Red Onions finely chopped (optional)

Organic Raspberry Vinaigrette OR
Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

Friday, May 11, 2012

No Bake Cookies



These are my husband's favorite cookies. I knew that if I couldn't find a way to make these using real ingredients, I would fail to have him on board with the whole "real food" thing. He's already concerned that he'll be eating tofu with a side of cardboard when he comes home...

Anyway, these cookies were easier than I thought they'd be- in fact they actually set up every time using honey. With sugar I always failed miserably- either I undercooked and they didn't set up or I overcooked and they were dry and crumbly. I've had success every single time with this one!

No Bake Cookies

1/3 cup butter or coconut oil (I prefer coconut oil)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup honey
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter (the real kind- the only ingredient should be peanuts!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cup oats

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, milk, honey and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil 1-2 minutes. If you choose to use coconut oil, which I think gives it a better flavor, heat it for less time, just until it starts to boil up the pan, but don't let it boil over.

Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter. It will take longer for real peanut butter to melt since it's stored in the fridge, so I like to keep the pan on the warm burner, but with the heat off. Stir the peanut butter until mostly melted, then remove pan from heat, and stir in vanilla and oats until well mixed.

Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerate or freeze until set (about 10 minutes).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fresh Tomato Soup


I had quite a few tomatoes in my bountiful basket and had to find a way to use them up quick. Fresh tomato soup was the perfect solution. This recipe comes from Back to Her Roots. My boys loved it and so did I.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3 cups chicken broth
5-6 large tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup milk

Heat olive oil and saute onions. Stir in garlic. Add butter and melt. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in chicken broth. Add tomatoes vinegar, basil, salt and pepper (I couldn't find any fresh basil- but used dried basil and italian seasoning- not as great as fresh, but still tasty).

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are tender. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Pour soup into blender or food processor or use an immersion blender until smooth.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Chicken Florentine Bowtie Pasta


This is a really yummy way to introduce kids to spinach- it's so creamy and cheesy they'll love it.
*Modified recipe from Picky Palate.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3-4 tablespoons milk
1 pound whole grain bowtie pasta or other small noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring pasta to a boil and cook according to package directions.

In the meantime, heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add spinach leaves, chicken, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

Add cream cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in milk to thin the cream and prevent sticking to the pan.

Drain pasta and stir into chicken mixture. Transfer to baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos


If you are a lover of Mexican food, you HAVE to try this. It is amazing. I modified the recipe from the Cooking Quinoa blog (a fabulous site for incorporating this superfood into everyday meals). This is fabulous by itself, with chips or in a tortilla. I didn't add meat to mine and didn't miss it a bit. Seriously, couldn't get a healthier, tastier burrito. We used the leftovers to make quesadillas and they were just as great. This is definitely being added to my regular meal rotation.


Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos

Olive oil
1 small onion, diced
Diced green and or red pepper (I used both)
1-2 cups black beans (or one can)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (less if you use canned beans)
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 lime (or 1/2 lemon)
1/2 bunch cilantro (I forgot to add mine and it still tasted fabulous)
diced avocado, tomato

Heat 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil in pan and saute onions and peppers. Stir in black beans, salt, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir in quinoa just until heated through. Remove from heat and toss with lime or lemon and cilantro.
Serve with avocado and tomato. I had mine with whole wheat tortillas. I didn't add any sour cream or cheese, but that would also be a nice addition.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

No Bake Cookie Bars


Another pinterest recipe...these are fabulous. They're similar to no-bake cookies (which I figured out how to make with honey instead of sugar!) except more fudgy. I just changed it a bit, left out the craisins and added coconut.

No Bake Cookie Bars

1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups oats
1 cup organic semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

In a saucepan, melt together peanut butter, honey and coconut oil, bring to a boil stirring constantly (careful not to burn the honey!)

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, oats, chocolate chips and coconut. Stir until combined and chocolate chips are melted.

Spread into an 8x8 foil/parchment lined baking dish. Refrigerate until hardened, about an hour. Remove from pan and slice into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Make sure you are not home alone after baking these. They're dangerous...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Roasted Brussel Sprouts


I never had brussel sprouts growing up but based on comments from those around me, I figured I wasn't missing much. The one or two times I had tried them, they were a soggy mushy mess that only reinforced the bad rap this little vegetable seems to get. Then my sister-in-law made some for us that were roasted. Not only did they smell great, they tasted great. My boys gobbled them up and really enjoyed them. I was thrilled when I got two bags of them in my bountiful basket this week. I found this recipe on pinterest from the Cooking Photographer.

Why should you eat brussel sprouts you ask? Not only to teach your children to try (and like) different foods, but also because (among other things), they protect you against cancer, and with all the cancer causing agents in our environment we need a little something to fight back with!

2 lb Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved (remove any yellow leaves)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced fine (I use a garlic press and squeeze right over the sprouts)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat to 425 degrees.
On a roasting pan or 9x13 inch baking dish, toss together Brussels sprouts, garlic, water, oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until caramelized and tender.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Creamy Potatoes with Asparagus


I saw a recipe for these cheesy potatoes on the Get Off Your Butt and Bake website. The pictures were mouthwatering and the recipe simple. All I did was add asparagus to make it a meal rather than a side dish. It really is amazing.

Creamy Potatoes with Asparagus

5-6 large potatoes (I used red)
1 pint whipping cream (2 cups)
Salt & pepper
1/2 bunch fresh chopped parsley (I forgot mine)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 bunch asparagus washed and broken into pieces (bend the asparagus and it will snap into sections)

Wash and cut potatoes into thin strips (or slice thinly) and layer into a 9x13 baking dish. Mix in asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the cream over the pan. Top with cheese and parsley.

Cover pan with tin foil, cutting a few slits in the top and bake 400 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove tin foil during the last 15 minutes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kale/Chard Veggie Chips


I got some chard and kale in my bountiful basket the last month and had no idea what to do with either of them. I finally found this recipe for kale chips and thought I'd give it a try. I was really surprised when I liked them. A lot. My boys gobbled them down in seconds. I gave up potato chips when I was like 18, so my boys have only had them once or twice in their entire life, and I have to say we like these as much as we do potato chips. Even better, these are some of the healthiest vegetables on the planet and they're super easy to make (just don't try and store them in an airtight container like I did- you must eat these fresh).

Wash and pat dry kale or chard leaves. Toss with olive oil and sea salt. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake in 300 degree oven for 5-20 minutes or until crisp- depending on what kind of leaf you use (they will crisp up more after removing from the oven). Eat as many as you like- completely guilt free!

*I found that with the curly kale the centers didn't quite get as crisp as the ends, so we only ate the curly part, but with flat kale or chard the entire thing is crunchy, just like a potato chip.
*Flat kale cooks in less than 5 minutes so watch closely!

Chard Chips

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes


These are perfect pancakes, light, fluffy and healthy. The recipe is from the 100 Days of Real Food website, I only made a few minor changes...

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 to 2 cups milk
Butter for cooking

Mix flour with baking powder, soda and salt. Stir in honey, vanilla and eggs. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and slowly add the remaining 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk to desired consistency. You want the batter to be thin and pourable.

Heat butter in skillet until it sizzles. Pour a thin layer of batter and gently spread into a circle, pancake will puff up as it cooks (the thinner batter helps to keep the pancakes light and fluffy). Makes 8 pan sized cakes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sweet Buttered Carrots



Remember my friend's husband, that makes this amazing cauliflower? Well, he also made the most amazing carrots I've ever tasted. I'm normally not a fan of cooked carrots. I can eat them, but I don't love them. Until now. It's amazing how something so simple as a carrot can turn into such a fabulously tasty side dish! Cooking them with the butter really brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots- no sugar needed. My boys scarfed down the entire dish of carrots and were begging for more. In fact, I only served the cauliflower and carrots for dinner and we were all so full we had to go for a walk afterwards. Who knew veggies could be so satisfying and filling?

Carrots, grated
Small onion finely sliced
Butter, 2+ tablespoons
Salt & Pepper

If you grate the carrots and slice the onions by hand they will look much better as far as presentation and you'll feel more like a real chef, but I'm kind of lazy, so I cheated and used the food processor.

I used 4 carrots, one small onion (the size of a golf ball) and grated them both in the food processor. Next, saute butter in a saucepan over medium heat, I used about 3 tablespoons. The butter really adds the flavor here, so don't scrimp. I start with about two tablespoons, add the carrots and as they cook if they start to dry out I add more butter. You want them to be really moist. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover. Continue cooking covered until carrots are tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts


So story...My friend from high school is the most amazing hair dresser, and I was at her house getting a cut and color. Her husband happens to be an amazing self-taught chef (I have learned so many things from him- and will be sharing another of his side dishes soon). I was super excited when I found that he would be making dinner for us. We came up to eat while my hair was processing and were greeted by the most amazing smell in the world. I was surprised to see that it was this dish. Who knew cauliflower could be so good? The roasted pine nuts really give the dish such an amazing (have I said that word enough yet?) flavor, it seriously is the best combination. I had to try it myself, and while mine will never be quite as good as his, it is pretty fabulous. Oh, and if you live in the Salt Lake valley and need a good hair dresser- email me, she is the best!

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts

1 large cauliflower cut into large florets
1 head garlic, peeled and sliced lengthwise
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup pine nuts (don't omit- they are the best part!)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400. Toss cauliflower with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

Roast pine nuts on baking sheet until golden brown, watch carefully, they brown in less than a minute. Add to cauliflower, squeeze lemon juice over cauliflower and toss with fresh parsley. YUM.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lemon Chicken with bacon, potatoes and roasted asparagus


Wow. I think this might have been the best meal of my entire life. Seriously, it is so yummy. These pictures don't do it justice at all. I thought the other roasted chicken recipe was pretty fabulous, but I think this beats it. Not only is the taste out of this world but the smell is so amazing, don't be surprised if your neighbors invite themselves to dinner...

Lemon Roast Chicken with Bacon and Red Potatoes

1 whole chicken
4-5 lemons
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (you can also use dried italian seasoning if you don't have any fresh herbs)
3-4 slices of uncooked bacon (the least processed kind you can find, nitrate free of course!)

4-5 Red potatoes washed and chopped, tossed with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice one lemon in half and the other lemons into thin slices. Peel the cloves of garlic and slice in half lengthwise. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper and thyme (or italian seasoning).

Layer half of the lemon slices on the bottom of your roasting pan. Wash chicken, pat dry and place breast down on top of the lemon slices. Rub with melted butter inside and out. Squeeze the ends of lemon over the top of the chicken. Rub with seasonings inside and out. Fill cavity of chicken with two of the garlic cloves (cut in half) and both halves of one lemon.

Put all lemon slices and ends around chicken (for added lemon flavor, place slices on top of chicken). Cover the top of the chicken with bacon slices.

Toss chopped red potatoes with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper and arrange around chicken. If you choose not to cook potatoes (which you really should- the bacon drippings mix with the olive oil and make perfectly browned and delicious potatoes), I recommend putting 1/4 to 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the pan to keep the chicken most.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.

Remove bacon strips, chop and mix in with potatoes (or just eat plain- it will be the best bacon you've ever had- the chicken flavors soak in and make it seriously amazing). Remove the lemon halves from the chicken cavity and squeeze over chicken slices before serving. Save a bit of lemon juice to squeeze over asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Dash of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or place in oven next to chicken during last 20 minutes of baking).

Wash asparagus and prepare each stalk by bending it until it snaps. Discard the bottom half and place the top half on baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Squeeze with a dash of lemon juice.

And, in case you missed my previous post on making chicken stock with the leftover chicken- click here, it can stretch one meal into 3 or 4.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Bites


These little cookie bites are a great way to get your sugar fix while still sticking to healthy ingredients. It's also a great recipe for kids to help with.

2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup flax seed
3/4 to 1 cup honey (if they don't stick well add more honey or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins (or chocolate chips if you really want to go sweet)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together using stand mixer (it's really tough to mix natural peanut butter by hand!) and roll into bite-sized balls. Store in airtight container (if they last that long).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Brown Rice Crispy Treats (healthy!)


I was looking for a great snack that could also double as dessert and still fit into my Real Food goal. This was the perfect snack. I love it, my boys love it, it's awesome. I got this recipe from Happy Healthy Mama and modified it just a tad.

Brown Rice Crispy Treats

1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey *see note
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups puffed whole grain (I used 2 cups puffed brown rice and 2 cups puffed millet)

In a large bowl mix together peanut butter, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in the puffed grain. Wet hands or use a bit of oil to prevent sticking, and either roll into balls or press firmly into an 8x8 cake pan and slice into bars.

*Note: I only used half the honey the original recipe calls for. They still taste fabulous and are really sweet, I think twice as much honey would be too sweet for my taste. It would help them stick together better though, so if you have a hard time getting them to stick, try adding a bit more honey or just put a little coconut oil on your hands.

Whole Grain Waffles


These are my favorite waffles (since I won't be indluging in these baby's very often anymore). This recipe makes 4-5 belgian size waffles. We love to eat them with fresh fruit and cream, jam or maple syrup. And if we've run out of bread (and I'm too lazy to make any) we can just whip up a batch and have waffle sandwiches for lunch.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned rolled oats)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter

Mix together dry ingredients, then add honey, egg, oil and milk. Mix well and pour into greased preheated waffle iron.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quinoa: Breakfast of Champions

This is truly the breakfast of champions. Serious cancer-preventing breakfast. Quinoa, blueberries, kiwi and strawberries, all disease preventing superfoods.


Simply cook some quinoa (I use the rice cooker function of the Fagor 3 in 1 multicooker- takes 6 minutes)   use a 2:1 ratio- 2 cups water to 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and looks like the picture below.

Stir in a bit of honey and cinnamon, top with your favorite fruit and nuts and a little milk. YUM.

*I've discovered that bananas are THE perfect fruit to go along with quinoa, the flavors blend together amazingly well, especially with a bunch of cinnamon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fruit bars/balls (aka larabars)

This is one of my favorite healthy snacks and my boys love them too. They are really easy to make if you have a food processor and the combinations are endless. I think the best website for different variations is the Enlightened Cooking blog.  

For the more traditional larabar style (shown above) you'll need to start with some dates. My first batch I used the Costco size dehydrated dates. Unfortunately those won't stick together unless you add something super sticky (like a lot of peanut butter). I got smarter though and got whole dates (seedless would have been easier, but they still worked!)

I simply use a 50/50 combination of fruit to nuts. I don't even really measure, just throw in my fruit and nuts at the same time and mix them all up until they're tiny.

Date bars (aka Larabars)

50% fruit, I used whole dates, golden raisins and unsweetened coconut
50% nuts, I used walnuts

Put desired fruits and nuts into food processor and blend to fine pieces that stick together. Line an 8x8 baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper and pour mixture in. Press mixture firmly into bottom of pan and refrigerate or freeze 1 hour. Slice into bars and serve. I like to store mine in the refrigerator because it helps to retain the shape.


Apricot balls

50% fruit, I used dehydrated apricots, golden raisins and unsweetened coconut
50% nuts, I used walnuts
Put desired fruits and nuts into food processor and blend to fine pieces that stick together. Dried fruit will not stick together well unless you add something like peanut butter or honey which changes the flavor, instead I roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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