Sunday, September 13, 2015

Apple Zucchini Muffins

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup grated Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup grated zucchini, moisture slightly squeezed out
1 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple

For the Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and all-spice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the grated apple, zucchini, and chopped apples.

To make the topping, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir well.

Fill the prepared muffin pan with muffin batter, filling each cup about 3/4 the way full. Sprinkle each muffin with cinnamon sugar topping. Bake for 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool to room temperature and serve.

TIP: I usually double the batch and freeze what's not consumed. They freeze well and you just pop them in the microwave for a few second to get them nice and warm again.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Cornbread Waffles with Chili and Toppings

This was a great Pinteret find! Super easy and my kids love them because, after all, they're waffles.

*2 packages of "Jiffy" cornbread mix
2 15oz cans of your favorite chili

Pour your chili in a pot and turn it on low to heat it through while you are making your waffles. Mix up the cornbread mix with a splash more of milk to make it a little more runny. Heat up your waffle maker and spray it good with nonstick spray, then make your cornbread waffles.

Toppings (pick and choose your favorites):
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

*Makes 20 4x4 waffles

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sausage Pepper Fettuccini Skillet

12 oz. fettuccine pasta (I prefer fresh)
2 sweet bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 Cups smoked sausage (12-16 oz), sliced
⅓ cup chopped parsley
¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp minced garlic
½ cup cherry tomatoes, split in half
Olive oil

Cook pasta in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain.

Heat skillet over high heat with couple tablespoons of oil. Add the sausage, pepper & onion and on medium-high heat slightly brown it. Pour the chicken broth over the peppers and sausage. Add the cream.

Now add the drained pasta, parsley and garlic. Stir to combine and simmer on medium heat until the sauce is thickened and coats the pasta nicely. Taste and adjust the seasoning. When the pasta is served in a bowl, sprinkle with a couple of halved cherry tomatoes.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

One Pot Mexican Casserole

Loved this one pot meal! It uses so many of my garden goodies. I added some leftover rotisserie chicken to it also, delicious! If you wanted to go straight vegetarian you can add a can of black beans for protein.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup white rice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in zucchini and corn until tender and heated through, about 2 minutes.

Stir in diced tomatoes, rice, chili powder, cumin and 1 1/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, about 15-18 minutes.

Stir in cheese until melted through, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired.


Cranberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

What sets this one apart is the dressing. Wonderful orange flavor paired with the cranberries, yummy! You can also use leftover chicken to this salad.

1 lb chicken, grilled or baked, diced
9 oz baby spinach
2 medium avocados, cored and diced
1 cup crumbled feta
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Add olive oil, canola oil, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard and salt to a blender. Pulse until well emulsified. Pour into a jar and stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Easy Baked Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup bread crumbs
1 TBSP dried onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh basil

Mix all ingredients with hands, form into golf ball size meatballs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*TIP: These are perfect to freeze. Just let them cool off first.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Sweet Potatoes:
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled if desired and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5) oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed and drained
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil then place sweet potatoes on foil. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle evenly with cumin, paprika, coriander, and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste then toss to evenly coat. Bake in preheated oven 15 - 20 minutes until tender, removing from oven and tossing once halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot add onion and saute until caramelized (golden brown on edges and tender), about 5 - 6 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Reduce heat to medium-low, add in drained black beans, corn, honey and lime juice. Heat until warmed through. Toss in roasted sweet potatoes and cilantro.

Serve over warm White Corn tortillas with desired toppings.

Romaine lettuce and/or purple cabbage, Cheese (monterrey, cheddar, would be great) diced avocados, fresh salsa or pico de gallo.

4 Ingredient Banana Cookies

This is a great and quick alternative to use those old bananas without taking the time to make banana bread. They are only 50 calories per cookie too!

2-3 large old bananas
1 cup of quick oats
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 sweetened coconut

Place in 1 rounded TBSP on a cookie sheet, then back at 350 for 15 minutes

Creamy Orzo with Asparagus & Parmesan

1 cup orzo
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup real grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Bring a large sauce pan of water (filled about halfway) to a boil over medium heat. Cook the orzo until tender, about 10 minutes.

After the orzo has been cooking for about 5 minutes, add the asparagus to the same pot (this will allow the orzo and asparagus to cook in the same pot and keep the clean-up to a minimum!).

Once the orzo and asparagus are cooked and tender, drain and return to the pot.

Quickly add the Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir thoroughly, allowing both the cheese and butter to melt. Add garlic and slowly add the cream to the mixture, while stirring. Continue to stir and add cream until you reach your desired consistency.

Season with salt and pepper.Serve immediately.

Adapted from Sugar & Spice

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quinoa and Black Bean Double Decker Tacos

Got this idea from a not-so-healthy fast food restaurant and made it my own. I love this because the kids can eat it without the hard taco shell falling apart on them, the flour tortilla helps keep it together.

These are a favorite of ours because of the taste, but it's a favorite of mine because it's meatless, doesn't require utensils, and is cheap and healthy to make. You can change it according to your families taste, but this is how we do it.

To make the 'taco meat':
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup chicken (or veggie) broth
1 packet of taco seasoning

Bring above ingredients to boil and simmer until quinoa is cooked (12-15 minutes). Add a can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Ta-da , you have your meatless 'taco meat'.

1 package of 12 hard taco shells
12 small as you can find flour tortillas
1 can refried beans (vegetarian version if you like)
Meatless 'taco meat' (above)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Your favorite taco sauce, salsa, or hot sauce

Prepare the hard taco shells according to package directions. Then take a flour tortilla and spread the refried beans on it in a thin layer, like your putting jam on toast. Carefully wrap around the hard taco shell to adhere them together. Fill your taco with meatless 'taco meat', cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and taco sauce. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"I don't have time" Dinner

Here is the answer to the question "what's for dinner?" on those nights when you just don't have time. This is also a great dish to take to someone in need of a meal. Just prepare it in an foil casserole dish.

In at 9x13 baking dish you layer halved new (red) potatoes, chicken breast (or pork chops), and fresh green beans (not canned).

You then sprinkle a package of dry Italian salad dressing mix over everything and pour 1/2 a stick melted butter over everything. You cover it with foil an bake it at 350 for one hour. Let side for 10 minutes, and you have dinner in one pan.

Stole this from

Asian Quinoa Meatballs

If you don't know how to cook quinoa click here for a very easy video to show you how. Tip: I always cook mine in chicken broth, not water.

1 pound ground turkey
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 large egg
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sesame seeds, for garnish

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, quinoa, garlic, onions, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 18-20 meatballs.

Place meatballs onto the prepared baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until all sides are browned and meatballs are cooked through.

To make the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium high heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir into soy sauce mixture until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Serve meatballs immediately with sauce, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds.

From the wonderful website:

Roasted Green Beans and Carrots

Way easy side I came up with. I hate green beans but know I should eat them. My sister in law loves to roast whatever veggie she is eating for dinner, so I thought I would try it with green beans. She also said that I had to try roasted carrots, that the sweetness of the carrot was intensified when roasted and it was delicious. So this is what I did:

Take the biggest baking sheet pan you have and line it with foil. On one side put 4-5 handfuls of fresh, or frozen fresh green beans. On the other side 1/2 lb. carrots, grated and sliced into chunks.

Drizzle about 3-4 TBS olive oil on the veggies and toss with hands to cover all the pieces in oil. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake in 425 degree over for until the ends of the green beans get crispy brown and the carrots have shrunken a little in size, about 12-17 minutes. Serve Immediately. Delicious!

Salmon with Balsamic Honey Glaze

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6-8 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano

Combine the first six ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Place salmon skin side down on a greased baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon glaze over salmon; top with oregano.

Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

1 pound penne pasta, cooked
1 pound sweet sausage (I used sage)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 TBS fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 can +1 cup chicken broth
1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in an large skillet brown sausage then remove from pan and keep on a plate lined with a paper towel. Add onion and saute in the sausage drippings for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sage and broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Add sausage back in bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add pasta and toss. Serve with parmesan cheese on top.
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