Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chicken and Corn Chowder

I love everything about fall, but mostly the comfort food this time of year.  I'm so fortunate that my husband is not picky, and he loves soups and stews, so that I can make all kinds of new dishes.  I'm stocking my freezer with meals for when baby boy arrives, so I've been able to make some delicious soups and stews lately.  This recipe originally called for turkey instead of chicken, which would be an excellent use of the upcoming leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  I substituted chicken that was leftover from my Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker recipe, to make this wonderful chowder.  I hope you enjoy!


  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (I used about 1 1/2 sticks to cut down)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 qt chicken stock (homemade)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 lb turkey or chicken meat, cooked
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, green onions for garnish (optional)
  1. In a large stock pot, add your butter and allow to melt.
  2. Dice all the veggies (except corn) and saute for about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, mix well, turn down the heat, and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.  This is your roux, so if the mixture looks too greasy, add a little more flour to take the shine off.
  4. Dice your turkey or chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the mixture.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock, mix well to get incorporated.
  6. Add the milk and corn, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes.  If the chowder appears too thick, add milk, water,  or stock.
  7. Add the heavy cream right before serving, and salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon for garnish, if desired.

Found here, through Pinterest!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

DIY Carseat Cover

My friend circle has had a baby explosion in the last year (10+ babies born and counting!).  I've become a self-proclaimed baby shower expert, and enjoyed making personalized gifts for each baby.  I've made this type of cover a few times now, but this is the first time I've added a trim.  It wasn't intentional, to be honest, but after not cutting the top material correctly, I had to add material to the bottom.  I followed the tutorial here.  You can do it!  Super easy even for the beginner seamstress.  

Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

I made this wonderful pasta dish last week, so I thought I'd share.  Sorry there's no picture; I've seen it all over Pinterest lately.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 bag regular sized Barilla three cheese tortellini (8 oz) or 16 oz fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section of your grocery store
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Begin by boiling your tortellini noodles until they are al dente. Follow thedirections on the bag for boiling time.
  2. While the tortellini is boiling, chop the spinach roughly.
  3. Heat a large skillet using medium heat and put the two teaspoons of minced garlic into it. Sautee it briefly until fragrant, about thirty seconds or so.
  4. Add into the skillet the petite diced tomatoes (undrained), spinach, salt, pepper, dried basil, and onion flakes.
  5. Cook and stir over medium high heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  6. In another bowl, combine the flour and half-and-half. Whisk until fairly smooth.
  7. Add the creamy mixture into the the skillet along with the parmesan cheese.
  8. Heat through and reduce the heat to medium low and continue to stir and cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the drained tortellini and mix together gently.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup


I've been pretty obsessed with Pinterest lately (what did we do before Pinterest?!), and I found this delicious looking recipe that I thought would be perfect to prepare for my friend who's having a baby next week.  It exceeded my expectations, and I definitely will be making this for my freezer in a few months.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 cups dry medium egg noodles
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts*
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped carrots (3 carrots)
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped celery (3 stalks)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
Directions
  • Prepare noodles according to directions listed on package (note that you want the noodles to finish about the same time the soup is nearly finished cooking) and drain.
  • In a large pot, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute until tender, about 3 - 4 minutes, then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Add chicken broth, parsley, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken breasts and bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and allow soup to cook until chicken has cooked through, about 10 - 15 minutes longer (cook time will vary depending on thickness of chicken breasts). Remove chicken and allow to rest for 5 minutes, then shred into small bite size pieces.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking slowly add in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps (it will take a lot of whisking to smooth since this is a lighter roux - lesser ratio of butter to flour). Whisk in cream and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour milk mixture into soup mixture and return chicken to soup along with cooked noodles and stir. Serve warm with fresh bread or crackers if desired.
  • *If using thicker breasts, slice in half through thickness of breasts so they cook faster and more evenly.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Easy Egg Frittata

I actually learned this recipe at a Pampered Chef party and was amazed how fast and versatile it was.  Use any leftover veggies (mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.) and any breakfast protein (sausage, bacon, ham etc.) and you have a deliciously healthy breakfast in no-time! Enjoy!


  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (any kind)
  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup protein (bacon, sausage, or ham)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
In large skillet cook protein until done.  Drain grease and set protein aside.  In the same pan, saute vegetables until tender.  Meanwhile, whisk eggs and cheese together with salt and pepper to taste.  Mix vegetables, protein, and eggs together in microwavable bowl with a cover (such as Corningware).  Microwave for 8 minutes.

  

Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta

More Food Network recipe fun!  So easy and fresh.  Enjoy!

1 pound angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lemon, juiced, plus 1/2 lemon, zested
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves


Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water, over medium heat, and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Once shimmering and hot, add the shrimp and saute until just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a plate and reserve. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet, then saute for until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and white wine and raise the heat to high. Let the liquid reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the butter, add a ladleful of the pasta cooking water and return the shrimp. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta in a colander, and add it to the skillet along with the chopped parsley and toss. Add the lemon zest and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Yes, I'm still cooking! I've been so busy with other things that I haven't had time to blog, but here I am!  This dish was so easy and delicious, and I couldn't resist using my fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden to complete this dish.  I hope you enjoy!


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fingerling potatoes or red skin baby potatoes
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 Italian mild green pepper, cubanelle, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow skinned onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan, available in tubs near deli -- make sure to get shredded cheese, not grated
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 plum Roma tomatoes or small, vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 15 to 20 leaves fresh basil, pile leaves, roll then thinly slice -- chiffonade

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Cut fingerling potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on thickness of fingerlings -- thin, small fingerlings 

may also be left hole, larger potatoes should be quartered to speed cooking process. If you are using small red potatoes, halve or quarter them in the same way.

Cover a large cookie sheet with foil. Place potatoes on cookie sheet. Combine with peppers and onions
, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Coat the potatoes, peppers and onions with extra-virgin olive oil just enough to coat vegetables in a thin layer, 2 to 3 tablespoons. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in the oven and roast 20 to 22 minutes, until potatoes are just tender and peppers and onions are crisp at edges. Toss mixture with tongs, turning the potatoes after 15 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked, transfer them to a serving dish and peel the foil off the cookie sheet and discard for super-quick clean up!

While potatoes cook, prepare chicken. Roll out a 2-foot piece of waxed paper or foil near the stove top. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat -- your pan must be very hot when the chicken is added. Pile the shredded cheese on the work surface created with the waxed paper or foil. Season your chicken breasts with black pepper but no salt; the cheese will add enough salt to the taste of the dish. Press the breasts firmly into the cheese. Coat both sides of breasts with as much cheese as possible. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Set breasts into the skillet and cook 7 minutes on each side, until cheese forms an even, golden casing around the tender chicken breasts.

While chicken cooks, combine chopped tomatoes with basil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Drain off any excess oil from chicken as you remove it from the skillet. Top chicken with big spoonfuls of raw sauce and serve with potatoes, peppers and onions.

From Food Network


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Owl-Themed Baby Girl Shower

I had the opportunity to host a baby shower at my house a few weeks ago.  We had so much fun with the owl theme; the shower was so cute and I feel very honored to be a part of it.  Now, if only little girl would get her soon :)
Owl cupcake-cake.
Sign-in thumbprint tree to hang in her nursery
We played "Whooo's the Baby?"
Make your own headbands for baby girl was a huge success, and so cute!
Mom-to-be!




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Salmon Steamed in Parchment Paper


After experimenting with parchment paper bags and loving it, I decided to try salmon in the bags.  So glad I did!  It was deliciously moist and you get the added steamed vegetables at the same time!  I'm sure you could do any type of fish with this method.  Enjoy!

1/4 to 1/2 lb filet of salmon per person
asparagus
minced garlic
salt and pepper
lemon slices

Place asparagus and garlic in parchment bags.  Top with salmon that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.  Top salmon with 2-3 lemon slices.  Close bag.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easy Baked Salmon

One of the best ways to start eating healthy is incorporating seafood into your weekly menu.  I feel like seafood gets a bad rap of being either bland, not filling, or "fishy."  Salmon is one of the mildest fish yet most filling.  It's easy to bake or grill.  I've been spoiled by halibut that we caught in Alaska, but since we no longer have any salmon is my new favorite.  Delicious and easy!  I hope you enjoy!

For 2 people:

  • 3/4 lb of fresh salmon (cut into two pieces)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Sprinkle salmon with paprika, salt, pepper and the juice of one half of the lemon.  Slice the other half of the lemon and place on the salmon.  Bake on a broiler pan sprayed with cooking spray for 10 minutes or until it easily flakes with a fork.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken

Try this twist on a classic Asian dish!  Much healthier than the traditional fried version.  It was delicious!  I hope you enjoy!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup or honey*
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (natural, no salt added)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes**
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
For serving:
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa or rice (optional)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (optional)
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine onion, garlic, agave, tomato sauce, soy sauce, oil and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or high for 2 hours.
  3. Remove chicken to a cutting board, leaving sauce. Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; set aside. If using, prepare quinoa or rice according to package instructions and steam broccoli florets.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve 4 teaspoons cornstarch in 1/3 cup water; add to crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Cover and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  5. Add shredded chicken back into sauce. Serve over quinoa, top with steamed broccoli, scallions, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
*If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can add an additional 1/3 to 1/2 cup agave syrup or honey.
**You can increase or decrease the amount of red pepper flakes depending on your spice preference. For kids, consider reducing the amount to 1/4 teaspoon or omitting.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bug Themed Baby Shower

Diaper Wreath

I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower this weekend for my friend Erin.  When she said she was doing a bug theme for the nursery, I was really excited!  Most bug-themed ideas I found on Pinterest were either ladybugs or for a baby girl.  So, we had to be a little creative but what we came up with was really cute!  

The Food

The spread!

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread
Chicken salad sandwiches on croissants
 Chicken Salad:
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • bunch of red grapes
  • 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds (or any other nut)
  • salt & pepper
The proportions are just an estimate as you may want your salad more dry or creamier based on your preference. You can easily substitute different nuts rather than almonds.


"Snail" wraps: tortillas, little bit of butter, salami, and green leaf lettuce.  Use a gherkin for the snail.

Southwest Spinach and Artichoke Dip (recipe here)

White cupcakes (recipe here)

"Dirt cake" with gummy worms
 Dirt Cake:
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 container cool whip, thawed
  • 2 packages chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 package gummy worms (regular or sour)
Cream together cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.  In a separate bowl, mix together chocolate pudding, milk, and cool whip until smooth. Mix the pudding mixture with the cream cheese mixture.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or until set.  Meanwhile, crush Oreos using a rolling pin or food processor until "dirt" consistency.  Layer Oreos, pudding mixture, then Oreos again in individual cups or a trifle dish.  

Pesto Pasta Salad
 Pasta Salad

  • 4 cups uncooked pasta
  • 1 cup fresh basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp chopped green olives
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • several fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to instructions.  Make sure water is salted.  Drain pasta when it is al dente.  Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium-high heat until most of the nuts have a golden brown on them.  Move them to a cool bowl to rest.  They will burn if you leave them in the pan.  Put pasta in a big bowl, mix fresh basil pesto, olives, and pine nuts.  Gently mix in cherry tomatoes, peas, basil, and olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature. 


Fruit Salad
The Craft: Necktie and Bow tie Onesies
I used the same idea from my sister's baby shower (post here) to create necktie and bow tie onesies for Erin's little boy.  Use Heat Bond n' Lite iron-on permanent bond paper for the appliques.



 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blanket, Bibs, and Burp Cloths

It's that season again! Baby shower season! I've been busy sewing away for multiple baby showers this spring.  I just finished this set and thought I'd share since it came out so cute.  Check out my previous post for tutorials on the blanket and bib.  For the burp cloth, I bought a package of cloth diapers and simply sewed a strip of the main fabric down the center.  Super easy and super cute!  I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Homemade Granola


One of the simplest ways to eat healthy, maintain your weight, or lose weight is eating a good breakfast.  Unfortunately, we've been trained to eat boxed cereals and/or Pop Tarts (Oh how I miss these!) as we rush out the door.  Not only do these not provide you with sustainable energy, but they are so sugary and mostly fake ingredients.  For the past 6 weeks, I've just eliminated cereals all together and been enjoying whole wheat banana pancakes or 2 eggs with whole wheat toast.  I have missed my bowl-and-spoon breakfasts, so I thought I'd try this 100 Days of Real Food granola.  I found all the ingredients I needed at Sprouts, but I'm sure you can find them at Whole Foods.  I haven't searched for these at my local Kroger, but it's possible you'd find them there as well.  I love that this recipe is versatile, so if you can't find something substitute it for another nut or seed or simply leave it out.  Let me know if you have any questions or if I can encourage you along your clean eating lifestyle :)  I hope you enjoy!  

INGREDIENTS
  • 3½ cups rolled oats (if you want bars use steel cut oats so it will stick together better)
  • 1 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces (or walnuts or pecans)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Also need – parchment paper
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the dry oats, almonds, cashews, coconut, seeds and spices together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Heat the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter melts stir in the vanilla and salt.
  4. Pour the hot liquids over the dry ingredients and stir together with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.
  5. Spread mixture onto prepared pan in one even layer. Bake for 75 minutes.
  6. The granola will become crisp as it cools at which point you can break into pieces (if making bars) or break it up into small chunks by pounding it in a zip lock bag (if making cereal). Store in air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sausage and Spinach Baked Ziti

If you're like me, you don't always have time to plan your week's menu and shopping list.  Although I really enjoy doing it, it's not practical every week.  So, I recently joined the most awesome website, which not only sends you weekly dinner recipes (and breakfasts and lunches if you choose) but also populates the shopping list.  There's also an app for it!  I would highly recommend Emeals to any busy person or family to have delicious meals every night of the week.  This isn't a sponsored advertisement, I'm just really a fan. I'm a huge proponent of eating at home every night if you can :)  Here's an emeal recipe from the "Clean Eating" menu.  Delicious as always! I hope you enjoy:

  • 8 oz whole wheat ziti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb lean pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped (organic if possible)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (organic if possible)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 5 oz package fresh baby spinach (organic)
  • 4 oz shredded Italian cheese blend**
**Pre-shredded cheese has been known to have more non-real additives than block cheese, so I choose to buy block cheese and shred it at home

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare ziti according to package directions; transfer to large bowl.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add sausage and garlic.  Cook 6 minutes or until browned.  Drain and return to skillet.  Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce; cook 7 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Add tomato mixture to pasta; stir in ricotta, basil and spinach.  Pour mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle top with shredded cheese.  Bake 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

From emeals Clean Eating plan

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Whole Wheat Muffins

I hosted breakfast this morning for some girlfriends of mine, and was looking forward to baking some "clean" muffins.  I made Whole Wheat Banana Bread muffins and my family's Breakfast Casserole in addition to this new recipe.  Muffins are like cupcakes for breakfast :)  Delicious!  I hope you enjoy.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup oil (I used coconut oil)
  • ¾ cup orange juice or apple juice
  • About 1 cup of total filling (berries, fruit, nuts, etc. – see below for details)
  • Muffin/Cupcake liners
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl with a fork or whisk mix the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs, honey, vanilla, oil and orange juice. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together – do not overmix.
  4. Now here is the fun part. If you are in a hurry just add 1 cup of blueberries, mashed up banana & nuts, or other filling of your choice. If you have 5 or 10 minutes extra (and some anxious helpers) do not add anything to the muffin batter before continuing with the next step.
  5. Line a muffin pan with liners and fill ⅔ to ¾ of the way full with batter. If you didn’t already add your filling, sprinkle 1 – 2 teaspoons of whatever you would like (from the list below or from your own creation) onto the top of each raw muffin in the pan. Then gently mix each one with a fork or spoon.
    Here are some options to consider for the fillings:
    - blueberries
    - diced strawberries
    - peeled and diced pears
    - applesauce
    - either diced or mashed up bananas and chopped walnuts
    - raisins and chopped pecans (I add an extra pinch of cinnamon to the muffins with this filling)
    - grated carrot and chopped walnuts
    - orange or lemon zest (only add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of zest per individual muffin)
    - a mix of dried fruit bits
    - jelly
  6. After the filling has been mixed into each muffin slide the tray into the warm oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature and freeze some for a later date.
    Enjoy!
From 100 Days of Real Food

Zucchini Ravioli

I love this recipe!  It looks way more labor-intensive than it actually is.  I really thought i'd make a mess trying to fold these.  Simply line 2 strips up and cross over with 2 more strips at a right angle.  Fill with the filling and fold the four sides up to make a box.  So easy!  I hope you enjoy!


  • 1.5 lbs. ground turkey
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp. of Grill Mates- Montreal Chicken Seasoning (or you could use just salt & pepper)
  • Zucchini 
  • Tomato Marinara Sauce
1.  Slice zucchini  with peeler; set strips aside
2.  In a medium wok combine:  ground turkey, chopped fresh spinach,  1/2 large onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and seasoning; sauté until turkey is cooked all the way through
3.  Assemble the ravioli using 4 zucchini strips and 2 Tbsp. of turkey mixture.
4.  Wrap them up and put face down in baking dish.
5.  Top with marinara sauce and bake at 350* for approx. 30 minutes

Found through Pinterest here.

Slow Cooker Beef Fajitas

I have really been enjoying cooking lately.  I feel like my food has more flavor and nutrients per bite.  I've been a little biased towards 100 Days of Real Food recipes, but it's because everything I've made so far has been delicious.  You know I love the slow cooker, and this recipe does not fail to disappoint.  I have to admit that I'm still transitioning my pantry to real food, so I used traditional flour tortillas.  Otherwise, this recipe is fully non-processed.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 ½ lbs flank steak, preferably grass fed 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably the low-sodium variety
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 – 5 bell peppers, any color
  • 1 onion
Other fajita fixings:
  • tortillas, grated cheese, fresh sliced avocado, cilantro, lime slices, fresh spinach leaves, sour cream, hot peppers, etc.
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Mix together the dry spices with a fork including the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  2. Rub the spice mixture over all sides of the flank steak and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle the soy sauce on top.
  3. Top the flank steak with the diced jalapeno and minced garlic. Slice the bell peppers and onion and throw those on top of the steak as well.
  4. Turn the slow cooker onto HIGH and cook for 5 – 6 hours or until the steak can easily be shredded with two forks.
  5. Drain the meat and peppers well then serve with the recommended fajita “fixings” (listed above). 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of, if not my favorite snack and/or dessert. I have to admit that I really didn't expect "clean" banana bread to come close to our family's recipe. Here's our family's banana bread recipe:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
Cream sugar and shortening together. Add mashed bananas and eggs. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt and add to mixture. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 40-55 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

It's really good :)

However, part of "eating clean" means no white flour and no refined sugar. So I tried the whole wheat banana bread and.. I loved it! It's so good! Surprisingly it's only about 20 fewer calories per serving, but it removes all that processed stuff leaving you with more nutrition per calorie. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey, organic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl mix bananas, yogurt, honey, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla. Fold the banana mixture into flour mixture until mixed. Do not over mix. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Revamped NP Chicken Spaghetti


Looking back through my recipes, most of the casseroles contain some form or another of condensed soup.  The ingredients in Cream of Mushroom Soup:

"WATER, MUSHROOMS, VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED, CANOLA, AND/OR SOYBEAN), MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, DEHYDRATED CREAM (CREAM [MILK], SOY LECITHIN), YEAST EXTRACT, FLAVORING, DEHYDRATED GARLIC."

What? Not sure what modified food starch or monosodium glatamate is.. do you? So, I revamped one of our favorite meals, Chicken Spaghetti, to the healthy, pronounceable version.  I couldn't taste the difference.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken, Perhaps from your whole chicken in the slow cooker
  • 3 cups Dry Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
    • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 6 tbsp whole wheat or unbleached white flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • pinch of ground thyme
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Green or Red pepper
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 2 cups Homemade Chicken Broth (or store bought organic)
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Cook spaghetti until al dente. Do not overcook. 
To make soup, cook mushrooms and garlic in a pan lightly coated with olive oil, until tender.  Add flour and stir for 30 seconds.  Slowly pour in milk, as it will congeal quickly.  Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and thyme.  When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).