Friday, September 18, 2015

Almond Flax Coconut Breakfast Cookies

With how unhealthy and sugary most cereal is these days, I was happy to find this yummy, healthy recipe for breakfast cookies!! Store in the fridge for a super fast breakfast when you don't have time to make anything else. WAY healthier than a bowl of cereal! Have a cookie or two with fruit and a glass of milk and you have a great breakfast!

Almond Flax Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

1 cup almond butter
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the almond butter, sugar, honey and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is combined and looks creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, baking soda, salt, coconut, flax seeds and raisins (if using), and continue mixing until well combined.
Drop the cookie dough by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Gently flatten the cookies into discs.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the cookies begin to brown at the edges, about 10–15 minutes. Set the baking sheets on cooling racks and let cool completely before removing the cookies. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I prefer heating a cookie or two in the microwave for a few seconds instead of eating them straight from the fridge.

Recipe from MyMagazine, a magazine put out by Kroger grocery stores.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Buttermilk "Fried" Chicken

This was a family favorite my mom made when I was growing up! Marinating the chicken in buttermilk makes it so tender and juicy! Winner winner chicken dinner!

Buttermilk "Fried" Chicken

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp oil, canola preferred

Trim chicken as needed. Pound to even thickness. Can cut into smaller tenders. Put chicken in large ziploc bag and add buttermilk. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours, mixing the bag occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400º. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Combine flour and spices in a paper or heavy plastic bag. Shake chicken 1 piece at a time, to coat with flour.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown chicken until golden brown, about 2–4 minutes per side. Put on baking pan and bake uncovered until chicken is crispy and juices run clear—turning chicken halfway through—about 10 minutes each side.

*I've tried using less oil to "fry" the chicken before baking and you know what? It doesn't really work. The flour just burns or ends up sliding off the chicken. You need the oil, so err on the generous side if you're eyeballing it like I always do. :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Zucchini, Ham and Feta Quiche

This is the best quiche we've tried to-date! Full of flavor!

Zucchini, Ham and Feta Quiche

Pastry for single-crust pie (use the recipe for two-crust pie here and just pile the sides of crust high! So good!)
2 Tbsp butter
3 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 2 medium)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3–6 oz. of your favorite thinly sliced deli ham, chopped small
6 eggs
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6–8 fresh basil leaves, diced, or 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1–2 Tbsp feta cheese, crumbled very small
2 tsp dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400º. Roll pastry flat and put into 9-in pie plate, flute edge. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add zucchini and onion; cook and stir until tender. Add ham the last minute of cooking. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, seasonings and mustard until blended. Stir in cheeses.
Put zucchini mixture into pie shell, spreading around evenly. Pour egg mixture on top.
Bake for 35–40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and crust is golden brown. Cover edge loosely with foil during last 15 minutes if crust is getting too brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, June 1, 2015

Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad

I've adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart's, using Panko breadcrumbs and pounding the chicken super amazing!! One of our favorites!

Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad


For the chicken:
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied in half and pounded to a thin even thickness

For the salad:
5 oz baby arugula (I've never been able to find this so I use regular arugula)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425º. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss breadcrumbs and oil until well combined; spread on sheet. Cook until golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Place flour and eggs in separate bowls; season with salt and pepper. Place a rack (like a metal cookie cooling rack) on another rimmed baking sheet.
One at a time, place chicken breasts between two large pieces of plastic wrap or a ziplock bag. Using a meat mallet or bottom of a small heavy pan, pound until 1/4–1/2 inch thick. Coat chicken on both sides with flour (shaking off excess), then dip in eggs (allowing excess to drip off); dredge in breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to adhere. Place on rack and bake chicken, without turning, until opaque throughout, 10 to 15 minutes.
When chicken is almost finished cooking, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons oil and lemon juice in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and onion; toss. Top chicken with salad; serve with lemon wedges on the side.


Black Bean and Cheese Baked Taquitos

I have found my love of taquitos! I never really ate them growing up, and the frozen ones gross me out. Little did I know I could make and bake my own. We love them dipped in guacamole and sour cream! I love to freeze extras before baking—easy freezer meal!

Black Bean and Cheese Baked Taquitos

1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
12–24 corn or flour tortillas, depending on size (smaller the better, but I have done them with taco-size tortillas before)

Preheat oven to 400º. Place the beans, corn, cheese, cumin, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. If using corn tortillas, place two tortillas at a time in between two sheets of a damp paper towel and microwave for 20–30 seconds to loosen (this will prevent cracking when rolled). Spread a couple spoonfuls of the mixture on one side of the tortilla and roll it up*. Place the taquitos seam-side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray (can sprinkle lightly with salt) and bake for 25 minutes.
*Can use a toothpick to secure taquito and remove after baking.


Ann Romney's Meatloaf

Another favorite of ours! The meatloaf is so tender and juicy, and the sauce is tangy and rich!

Ann Romney's Meatloaf


For the meatloaf:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
2 tsp seasoned salt

For the sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp Allspice

Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together all ingredients for loaves (I like to use my hands). Shape and put into 4–6 mini-loaf pans (or you can make one meatloaf). Bake 15 minutes. Mix sauce ingredients together and spoon over tops of loaves. Continue baking 30 more minutes or until done. Remove from pans and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

From Ann Romney

Zesty Quinoa Salad

This is a favorite of ours! Super healthy and tasty! I have a hard time with other quinoa salads I've tried because the strong cumin taste is off-putting, but the ratio of cumin to oil and all the other ingredients are perfect in this one! Kid approved too! I like it chilled (great the next day!) so I'll make it a few hours before dinner and refrigerate it.

Zesty Quinoa Salad

2 cups quinoa, rinsed
4 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, optional
5 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 avocado, diced

Cook quinoa and water according to package directions or in a rice cooker. Set aside to cool.
Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, corn and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator. Top individual servings with avocado, if desired.


Skillet Lasagna

All the taste of lasagna, without all the work! A go-to for my family! Everyone loves it!

1 lb ground beef
1 box bow-tie noodles (I love Barilla's whole wheat!)
1 jar spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce (I like Ragu's chunky vegetable)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (or more to taste)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
Parmesan cheese to top individual servings

Fry ground beef in small pan. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.
After noodles are cooked, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in your spaghetti sauce. Add your cooked ground beef, seasonings, cheese, and sour cream. Fold together and allow it all to combine and melt together, over low heat, for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve to your family and be prepared to have it disappear before your very eyes!

From The Pioneer Woman

Pea Pesto Pasta

This is a recipe that is great anytime, but especially good in the summer with fresh peas!

Pea Pesto Pasta

1 1/2 cups (from approximately 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) fresh peas or a 10-ounce package frozen peas, defrosted
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup (1 1/8 ounces) finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon table salt, plus more for pasta water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 box linguine or other pasta
Thinly slivered basil or mint leaves, optional garnish

Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes (this leaves them with a bit of structure). Drain peas then add them to the ice bath (if using) and drain again. If you haven’t used an ice bath, let your peas cool to lukewarm before making the pesto. Set aside 1/2 cup of your cooked peas. Put the remaining cup of peas in a food processor with garlic, pine nuts, 1/3 cup parmesan and salt until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil.
Cook your pasta until al dente. Reserve about two cups pasta cooking water (yes, this is a lot, the pea pesto will be surprisingly thick) then drain pasta and return it to pot. Over moderate heat, toss pasta with pesto, reserved peas and as much reserved pasta water as needed to smooth and distribute pesto; let cook for one minute so that the pesto adheres. Adjust salt to taste, add freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs, if using, and remaining parmesan for passing.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Healthy Banana Bread Muffins

I love my grandma's banana bread, but it's really not the healthiest. I modified (and doubled) the recipe for healthy muffins! My family loves these and the kids cannot stop eating them.

Healthy Banana Bread Muffins
* yields 24 muffins and 12 mini muffins

2 cups bananas (3-5 VERY ripe)
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sour milk (in a measuring cup: 1 Tbsp lemon juice, fill to 1/2 cup with milk) or buttermilk
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oats, ground in a blender
2 pinches of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp soda
4 tsp vanilla
1/4–1/2 cup chia seeds (we love the crunch these give!)
1/4–1/2 cup ground flax seeds
Whatever else you want to throw in: wheat germ, unflavored protein powder, chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut (all of these are good, may have to add more milk)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375º. Blend bananas, egg, oil and milk together (I usually use a hand blender for the bananas, then do the rest in my KitchenAid). Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake 15–18 minutes (or 13–15 for mini muffins), or tops bounce back when tapped.

This recipe is SUPER versatile so don't be scared to change it up a little! Using a different oil, milk, sweetener, flour, and add-ins have all worked for me in the past!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 2015 Meal Plan

Just got done planning February's meals! Here's what my month looks like!

Please note I'm participating in the 14-week Real Food Challenge by 100 Days of Real Food. However, I'm not super strict with it and am still learning. Do it with me! It will be fun!