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A Different Green Smoothie

A Different Green Smoothie

After making enough food to satisfy the stomachs of six starving tiny humans I often don’t feel like eating the same thing or don’t feel like investing more time to make food for myself. Smoothies are a simple way for me to pack in nutrients without spending a lot of extra time in the kitchen.

Here’s what I had this morning:

Here’s what was in it:

3/4 cup plain, homemade yogurt
1 tsp maple syrup
Splash of vanilla
1/8 tsp spirulina powder
1 raw egg yolk
1 Tbls coconut oil

I find it helpful to add ingredients while the blender is on (especially when you add the coconut oil).

It is filling, it is healthy, a little tart and it is tasty. I feel a boost of energy after drinking this in the morning. Something I desperately need to continue chasing my children for the rest of the day! Sometimes I add frozen fruit for fun. Give it a try! Note: if you’re going to attempt the raw egg yolk, be sure to research your egg source carefully first. I actually buy a specific brand of egg just for the purpose of eating raw; I wouldn’t do this with just any egg. Hopefully, I’ll be able to use the eggs we get from our new little flock of hens later this year!

What are your fast and healthy breakfast favs?

Left-over Oatmeal

Left-over Oatmeal

Coffee in the mornings.

Sweet smell of – (fill in the blank).

Days like this…summer colors in full bloom…the innocence of childhood…wearing sandals on the beach, leggings are my best friend, blah, blah, blah…

You know what? You clicked on this because you were interested in how I used my left-over oatmeal, not to hear how amazing pumpkin spice is or how much I love that my brown leather boots go with EVERYTHING (except that they really do and that’s pretty cool…).

I’ll get to the point.

THE RECIPE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together all the following ingredients:

1 cup cooked, left-over oatmeal
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 mashed banana
¼ cup melted butter
2 cups almond flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbls flax seed
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Grease up a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Using a ¼ cup, scoop up some batter and plop onto the baking sheet in little mounds. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are looking a tad brownish and the middles do not look wet.

I’m not even going to give you a million photos to drool over. Just these two. BOOM.

Hope you try it!

Simple Cupcakes

Simple Cupcakes

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Every once in a while, a little girl just needs a cupcake.

Light and fluffy…topped with a ridiculous amount of frosting; easily carried away by barefooted urchins outside into the summer sunshine.

Little Joy loves all things cupcakes, rainbows, kitties, and PINK. There was recently a period of about two months solid where every night she would add to her prayers “and please help us to make cupcakes and brownies again soon…” Due to an extreme lack of self-control on the part of people who will remain anonymous (cough!), we don’t normally make a lot of baked-good treats. But just once in a while…

These are for her.

This recipe is an adaptation of one handed to my mom years ago by a friend. I’ve taken out some extra sugar and altered a few ingredients but they are essentially the same sweet cakes my sisters and I relished over tea parties and even birthdays (as it is easily transformed into a regular cake).

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Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour (I like to add 2 Tbls arrowroot powder for texture)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2  tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbls butter, softened
  • 1/8 tsp mint
  • 3-6 Tbls milk

If I decide to add coloring, I will toss 1/2 tsp or so of beet powder into the mix or until I get the desired depth of color.

Directions:
Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Beat egg and add to butter and sugar.
Sift together flour, arrowroot, salt, and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients alternating with milk into creamed mixture.
Beat gently until smooth. Do this by hand. If you choose to use a mixer, be careful not to over-beat!

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes for regular sized cupcakes, or 8-10 minutes for mini-cupcakes. These are best when they are JUST done; not dry.

Frosting: combine ingredients. Beat well.

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

Another recipe from my dear mother! This Spanish rice is super easy; I love how I can mostly throw it in, walk away and remain confident that it will be a success.

  • 1 ½ cups of rice (I’ve had great results with jasmine rice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or pastured lard
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Just a quick note, the chicken broth is KEY to making this rice delicious. I have made it with water and it works in a pinch but you’ll lose so much fabulous flavor and the benefits from chicken broth if you don’t. Make your own if possible, it’s worth it!
IMG_9543IMG_9546Heat a medium-sized pan or pot (make sure you use one with a good-fitting lid) over medium-low heat. Add coconut oil or lard to melt. Rinse rice and add to the oil. Stir to coat the rice.
IMG_9547Add minced garlic and diced onion. Stir and let it cook until the onion is translucent but don’t let the garlic burn!
IMG_9551 Stir in salt, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Increase the heat until rice begins to bubble. Then cover with a lid, and turn heat down to the lowest setting. It should barely simmer for the next 30-40 minutes and then be done! Lift the lid to fluff before serving.

Spanish rice goes delightfully well with burritos, another favorite in our family!

Easy Cream Cheese Chicken Burritos (freezer friendly!)

Easy Cream Cheese Chicken Burritos (freezer friendly!)

When I need an easy, quick solution to dinner, these burritos are one of my go-to recipes. My mom has been making this version since I was a kid, so the credit really goes to her. They are tasty, kid-friendly, don’t require a ton of work or ingredients, and they freeze really well! I’ll often make a double or triple batch so they are always available in a pinch for quick dinners or lunches.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • A dozen or so flour tortillas
  • Pre-cooked shredded chicken, about 2-3 cups (this is a great way to use the chicken from homemade chicken stock!)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • Taco seasoning (optional)
  • Baking dish, lightly oiled

Normally when I make these, I make a LOT. The above ingredients are really for one batch. Since I buy a lot of my food in bulk, I just haul out my box of cream cheese and large bag of 50 tortillas from Costco, several cans of beans, and whatever chicken I have on hand and just keep making burritos until I run out of something.

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Lay out your supplies: a stack of tortillas, a bowl of beans with a spoon, cream cheese with a butter knife for slicing off chunks (or cube up what you want beforehand), and a bowl of shredded chicken. If you’re using the taco seasoning, season the chicken and mix. I always eye-ball this step since I never have the same amount of chicken when I do this.

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Lay out one tortilla, spread with a good tablespoon or so of beans, add the cream cheese, then about ¼ cup or more of shredded chicken. Roll into your preferred burrito shape and, done!

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Place your burritos in your baking dish. If you’re baking right away, cover with foil. Heat oven to 350 degrees and cook the burritos for about 30-40 minutes or until they are piping hot inside. At this point, you can remove the foil and brown the tops for another 7-10 minutes or spread with your favorite cheese and bake until just melted.

We often eat our burritos with sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce and tomatoes. They also go well with this Spanish rice.

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If you’re planning to freeze your burritos, throw a piece of plastic wrap around each and slide into gallon-sized zip-lock bags. I’ve had mine a month later sometimes and they’re just fine.

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