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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

PB2 oat bars!

Had some old bananas, oats and pb2 lying around and I was looking for a creative, easy way to use them up that still tasted good! Not too talk an order, I'd say. My son loves any kind of bar in a package so I thought is try that route!
I put 1 super ripe banana in a regular cereal bowl:

Then I put in 1 cup of oats:

2 tbsp PB2:

1tbsp agave with a pinch of cinnamon:

And mixed until I achieved his consistency:

Then i just used my hands and formed them in to little bars.

Then froze them. After I froze them for about an hour, I poured a warm mixture or coconut oil, cocoa powder and agave over them to give them a chocolatey shell. Coconut oil hardens as it cools making it ideal for healthy shell/coating options. Awesome!
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Pie French Toast

So much pumpkin, so little fall!
I love cooking with pumpkin, what can I say. It tastes great, is good for you and is so versatile. If you ready my bio, I warned you so I don't feel bad. I love cooking with seasonal ingredients, for several reasons. Seasonally is when those ingredients are best, most ripe and the most flavorful. They are also usually more affordable because they are popular and in season, so there are bountiful harvests :).

You don't even need syrup with this french toast. And it's good for you!

2 slices good hearty bread (I used Ezekiel whole grain bread... it really soaks up the batter nicely)
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1/2 cup milk of choice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
*note, you could add a spoonful of pumpkin to the batter, but it isn't necessary... more pumpkin comes later for the filling

Preheat oven to 350. Cut bread into 8 triangles and dip in batter. Let the bread sit in the batter for a little while so it can really soak in all that goodness. Put the triangles on the triangles on a lined baking sheet. 

Top each triangle with a spoonful of pumpkin pie filling, recipe as follows:

1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 egg white
1 tbsp milk of choice

Stir. This should be thick, but that's what you want!

Top each dipped french toast triangle with a spoonful of pumpkin pie filling, Bake for 30 minutes. 

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Squash N Cauliflower Mac N Cheese

So I was at my sweet friend and former college roommates house and she absolutely blew me away with this Mac n cheese she made, using butternut squash as the "cheese" base. Don't worry, there's still cheese in there, just a little bit less. The trick here was that she used really sharp, flavorful cheeses and a dash of ht sauce to ignite those taste buds. If I hadn't seen her make it, I would've never believed the secret ingredient!
So naturally, I went home and fooled around with the ingredients and made my own version with cauliflower.
I actually started with a squash soup as the base, my other great friend and college roomie gave me!

Here's my recipe after all the tweaks:
1/2 butternut squash, baked/steamed
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup chicken stock
4-6oz sharp cheese blend (I used tillamook extra sharp cheddar, asiago and parmesano romano)
Dash hot sauce (I used cholua)
Pinch Chili Powder
1 16oz bag frozen cauliflower, thawed
1 piece toast, made into bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. In a pot, heat and mix squash, coconut milk and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add cheese, hot sauce and chili powder. Stir until cheese is melted. Add cauliflower and smash some of the larger cauliflower pieces in the pot with the sauce. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until cauliflower is really tender. Pour into a baking dish, top with bread crumbs.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until dish is set. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Single Serving Chocolate Birthday Cake

Yes, it's true! I made my own Birthday Cake! But only because I truly wanted to :). I read and felt so blessed by all of my birthday wishes yesterday. One particular comment left by one of my good friends from Savanna piqued my curiosity. She lightheartedly suggested I make "something yummy" out of "quinoa, spinach and cream cheese."

So I did just that! And here's what I came up with:
3 tbsp quinoa, ground into a flour
1tbsp coconut, unswt, shredded
1/4 tsp baking powder
1tbsp cocoa powder, 100% cacao
Dash salt
1egg white
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
1tbsp applesauce
Splash vanilla

Blend all of the ingredients above and pour into a greased ramekin. Microwave (gasp!) for 2 minutes until cake is set. Top with frosting made of:
1tbsp melted chocolate chips mixed with 1tbsp fat free cream cheese and 1tsp powdered sugar.
Don't worry, I ate it with 'real' Breyers Ice Cream :)

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Inside Out Pear Cheesecake

Another recipe inspired by Chopped Wednesday! This 'basket' consisted of: graham crackers, cream cheese, pears and walnuts. Pretty hard to go wrong with a combination like that...I did struggle with the creativity part though, so this'll have to do :)

4 oz cream cheese (I used fat free, but you can use whichever)
1 tbsp vanilla greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 egg or 2 egg whites
3 graham crackers
1/3 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350*F
Cut pears in half and use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Pear flesh is soft enough to scoop with a spoon. If you use a knife, it's harder to create a "bowl" kind of effect.

Whip cream cheese, greek yogurt, vanilla, sugar and egg with a whisk until soft and creamy.
Blend graham crackers and walnuts until combined and crumbly.
Take a halved pear and spoon about a tbsp of crust mixture into the pear. Press into the sides with your fingers.

Then spoon about 2 tbsp of the filling into the pear.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Take out, slice if you like and garnish with whatever you like!
This was taken with my iPhone

This was taken with my f/1.8 lens
I feel like the photos taken with my iPhone are almost better than the ones with my camera. What do you think? Any tips? Maybe I'm just a terrible editor, lol.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Parfait

Clean Breakfasts don't have to be boring! I made this bad boy to spice it up for Parfait Tuesday! 
From bottom to top: 
Pumpkin purée 
Vanilla Greek yogurt 
A few raspberries 
Greek yogurt 
Coconut pumpkin granola (home made) 
Greek yogurt 
A few slices banana 
Greek yogurt 
A few walnut pieces, cacao nibs and a bit of leftover questbar.

I wish I could turn this into a picture where each typed ingredient was in a glass or something. Oh well, maybe next time!

 Some bits and pieces left over, but I'm sure I'll find uses for them!
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mini Stuffed Bell Peppers

I first discovered stuffed peppers when I was doing the Whole 30 and found this blog called, "Marks Daily Apple." I tried his recipe for stuffed peppers using cauliflower instead of rice and it was delicious. I found these cute mini colored bell peppers at the grocery store and decided I wanted to try and make mini stuffed peppers! HA, just thinking of making them made me smile in the grocery store.
Plus you can eat so many of them! And they would be super cute hors d'oeurves.

The stuffing recipe is from Marks Daily Apple, it's delicious. Why reinvent the wheel.
So start with your mini bell peppers:

 Cut the tops off and put them in a loaf pan:

Set these aside and make your filling out of:

  • 2 pounds very lean ground beef (MDA uses pork and beef)

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 carrots

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower

  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dry or fresh tarragon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • I put the onion, carrots, garlic and cauliflower in a food processor and processed it until combined. Like this:

     Then I stuffed the mini peppers! It takes a little time and you have to really pack it in there, but it's worth it in the end :).

    Stick these bad boys in the oven and bake at 325* for 25 minutes and voila! Mini stuffed peppers :).

    And here's the video!

    and here's a video if you want to see how to make them
    In 15 seconds!

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