Thursday, December 31, 2009

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I've been looking for a good spaghetti squash recipe for a while so I decided to try this one. I generally LOVE Tammy's recipes and this one sounded delicious. Who knew that spaghetti squash could be comfort food? We all really loved it, even my husband who had never even heard of such a thing. (You should have heard the conversation we had when I tried to explain to him about spaghetti squash... :) It will definitely be a regular on my meal plan. I love any kind of creamy pasta, but I also know that pasta is not the healthiest. So I am pumped to finally try such a yummy substitution! This recipe was fairly easy to make and I am curious if it will freeze well. I will probably start substituting spaghetti squash for noodles in a lot of my recipes now. I have no idea why I waited this long to try out such a common squash :)


2 medium-large spaghetti squashes (about 6 [packed] cups of cooked squash all together)
2 tablespoons butter
1 small-medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces (1/4 cup) shredded cheddar cheese, optional
8-12 ounces (about 1 1/4 to 2 cups) cooked ground beef
4 cups spaghetti sauce (can use a 26 ounce jar or a quart of homemade)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


1. In a large stock pot, put about 2-3 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Wash outside of squash, cut squash in half and place in the stock pot of boiling water, flesh side down. Cover and boil for 15-20 minutes, until squash is tender.

2. Drain squash. Holding halves with a potholder, use a fork to scoop out the stringy "spaghetti". Set aside.

3. In a large stock pot or saute pan, melt butter. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers and saute until tender. Add squash and cook and stir until heated through.

4. In a separate saucepan on low heat, melt the cream cheese. Add the sour cream, salt, pepper, and parsley flakes, stirring to make a smooth white sauce.

5. Stir the white sauce into the cooked squash mixture.

6. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread the white squash mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the squash.

7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, spaghetti sauce, sugar, and Italian seasoning. Spread over the layer of shredded cheese. Top with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese (if using). Sprinkle with dried basil or oregano flakes for garnish if desired.

8. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees (325 for glass dish) for 30-40 minutes, until casserole is hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly (10-15 minutes) before serving.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mom's Mouth-Watering Orange Blossom Bites

These are super sweet and tangy and definitely one of my favorite Christmas treats! But I'll warn you, they aren't particularly healthy :)


3 eggs

1 1/3 cup sugar

½ cup water

1 ½ cup flour

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Sauce Ingredients (Double this recipe)
1 ½ lb powdered sugar
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 2 oranges
rind of 1 lemon
rind of 1 orange

Directions: Mix sugar and eggs first, then remaining ingredients. Bake in small buttered mini muffin tins @ 350 for 8 – 10 mins. Dip in sauce while hot. Place on wax paper.

*Double the sauce recipe in order to have plenty!

This post is part of Kelly's SUYL desserts! Click on over for more yummy desserts!

Favorite Christmas Candy and Fudge

Kelly is doing a fun "Show us your Life Christmas Treats" post and I thought I'd join her and share my favorite Christmas treats with you:

Mom's Mouth-Watering Orange Blossom Bites
Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Healthy and Yummy Chocolate Fudge
Crockpot Peanut Clusters
Cinnamon Fudge
Gigi's Chocolate Fudge
Gigi's Peanut Butter Rolls
Hawaiin Turtle Cups
Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Mom's Favorite Gingerbread Cookies
Grandma Connie's Orange Blossom Sticks

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Taco soup made healthier

This post is part of the Whole Food for the Holidays Progressive Dinner! My family LOVES taco soup! Even my picky toddler will gobble it down if I tone down the spiciness with some sour cream or cream cheese. We have really enjoyed THIS recipe but since I'm trying to make all my recipes healthier, I wanted to do without the packaged taco seasoning. And I had a leftover cup of butternut squash that needed to be used, so I thought I'd give it a try. I also randomly decided to throw in some spinach to see if anyone minded. I was utterly amazed that it didn't bother them at all and my husband actually said that it was the best taco soup I had made yet! So hopefully I can remember how I did it :)

1 pound taco meat
1 cup (or more, depending on how thick you want it) of home-made chicken stock
1 jar organic salsa
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 can organic Italian style diced tomatoes (make sure you look at ingredients to make sure there is no HFCS!!!)
1 1/2 cup soaked, cooked beans (we like black beans, but you can use whatever you like)
1 1/2 cup frozen organic corn
1 cup of butternut squash puree (optional)
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained (optional)
chili powder to taste if it is not spicy enough for you

Directions: If you are making taco meat, saute the green peeper and onion with the ground beef until tender, adding in the other ingredients as the recipe call for them. Then add the taco meat along with all the above ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low all day. If your taco meat is already made, just throw it along with everything else into the crock pot. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and chips or on top of quinoa.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2 fabulous chili recipes

I've never had a favorite chili recipe. A long time ago, I found this basic, easy chili recipe and have used it a "guideline" ever since. It is nothing special by itself, but I can turn it into something awesome, depending on what I feel like putting in it. (My chili never turns out the same. Never.) And sometimes into something not-so-awesome, like the time I experimented by just using sausage instead of ground beef. Not my family's fav. But anyways, I've been wanting to find a really, really "awesome-every-time" chili recipe and recently pestered two of my friends enough to get them to give me their awesome recipes. I think I'm going to have to have my own chili-cook-off because I haven't decided which one like better :) I will probably tone down the chilies in these, however, because my family doesn't like it quite so spicy :)

Jason's Awesome Chili

(can be made with either chuck roast or hamburger/sausage mixture)

1 can light red kidney beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can pintos
1 can black beans (all bush's preferably)
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow/orange bell pepper
1 sweet onion
1 small can of diced tomatos and green chilis
half a pack of applewood or smoked bacon
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (hunts)
1 packet of McCormick original chili seasoning
1 packet of McCormick mild chili seasoning
1 small can of tomato paste
a little less than a 1/4 of a cup of mustard, and the same for ketchup
1 3lb Chuck roast/ 1 lb of lean ground hamburger and 1 lb of Jimmy Dean Spicy Sausage
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 tsp of cinamon
1/4 cup of molasses
cover the top of the chili with chili powder once, mix, then cover lightly with cayenne pepper once and mix
salt and pepper to taste.

For Chuck Roast:
1. chop bacon into small bits and cook in a large skillet
2. chop peppers and onion into small bits and sautee in bacon grease
3. put bacon, sauteed veggies, and whole chuck roast, diced tomatoes with chiles, McCormick original chili mix, and tomato paste in crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours
4. add beans and large can of crushed tomatoes cook on low for 4 more hours checking every now and then to make sure the chuck isn't burning
5. add everything else, mixing after each ingredient, if meat is tender enough to shred at this point do it, otherwise check later to shred meat.
6. Cook for 4 more hours

For Hamburger/Sausage:
1. chop and cook bacon
2. saute veggies in bacon grease and drain
3. mix all beans, peppers, onion, crushed tomatoes, tomatoes and chiles, mild chili seasoning
4. cook on low for about 2 hours
5. mix hamburger and sausage together thoroughly, brown and add original mccormick mix.
6. add meat to crockpot
7. add everything else seasoning to taste
8. cook on low for about 6 hours

Theron's Awesome Chili:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease, or canola oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 jalapenos, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
  • 3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 head garlic, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 pounds ground beef, coarse grind
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion or onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans pinto beans, with juice
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans kidney beans, with juice
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


In large stock pot over high heat, add butter and bacon grease. Add bell pepper, jalapeno, chiles and onion and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute longer. Add chuck and brown. Add ground beef and sausage to brown and stir gently, trying not to break up the ground beef too much. Cook until meat is nicely browned and cooked through, about 7 to10 minutes. Add in granulated onions, granulated garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add in tomato sauce and paste and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in beef and chicken stock. Add beans, lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The way we do spinach...

As a kid, I thought that spinach was a gross health food. I stayed away from it as much as possible until I met something amazing called spinach dip. There are many varieties of spinach dip, and I've never met one that I didn't like :) But this post isn't about spinach dip. I decided that I wanted to find a way to eat spinach that wasn't as expensive to make as dip and healthy enough to be served as a side dish at our table. When I discovered the surprisingly delicious Sweet-Potato-Spinach Bake, I realized that it really isn't hard to make spinach delicious, even without the sweet potatoes. So here is the way my entire family enjoys spinach:

1 box frozen spinach, thawed, or fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 to 1/2 of a small sweet onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic
4 Tbs. flour
1 cup milk
cheese as desired (I use about 1/4 cup of swiss and some Parmesan sprinkled on top)
dash of nutmeg

Directions: Melt butter in pan. Saute minced garlic and onions in butter til soft, then add spinach. )The spinach will soak up most of the butter. ) Sprinkle flour and nutmeg on spinach, mix thoroughly. Slowly add milk, and stir til the sauce thickens. (It is kind of like making a basic white sauce.) Add in cheese and stir til melted. Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Super Easy and Delicious Crockpot Beef Burgundy

Ok, so I debated about putting this one on the blog because I am trying to cook more healthily and this recipe is filled with canned soup, which I try to stay away from. However, my Mom made it this week for us and it was so incredibly delicious and easy that I decided I had to post it. I'm going to have to experiment with it later on to make it more healthy :) But boy is it good!

2 lb London Broil, sliced thinly
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery or broccoli soup
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 large can of mushrooms or fresh
rice or noodles or quinoa

Directions: Mix all ingredients; put in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice, noodles, or quinoa

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mom's favorite gingerbread cookies

I used to make these cookies every year with my Mom and let me tell you, they are my favorite gingerbread cookies ever! They are filled with spices and the whole house smells sooo good when you make them! They are best if you let the dough chill in the fridge overnight, so plan ahead!

1 tsp. lemon extract
2 3/4 cup flour
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs. water
3 Tbs. light molasses

Buttercream Icing Ingredients:
1 box confectionary sugar
1 stick of butter
1 tsp. almond extract

Directions: Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar, then slowly beat in water, molasses, and lemon extract. Gradually stir in dry ingredients. It is a very stiff batter. Make into a ball. Roll out and cut into gingerbread people with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes -- longer if you want them more crispy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Just in case you are looking for something to bring to the Thanksgiving Feast, HERE are some of our favorite traditional dishes from both the DeLongs and the Jones Family :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cliff bars made healthier

Just wanted to let you know that I did try making the Cliff Bars healthier by soaking the oats overnight in about 2 cups water and 2 Tbs. of yogurt. They still tasted great, but it was a lot more difficult to process and needed a longer cooking time. It changed the consistency from a crunchy bar to a chewy bar, but my toddler still loved them and wanted to eat them for every meal :) So I'm going to experiment one more time and use a little less water for soaking and solidify the cooking time before I officially change the recipe :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cream Cheese Icing

This icing is awesome on my Cinnamon-Syrup Breadsticks or any other dessert!

2 cups cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Tbs. Vanilla
3/4 cup raw honey or organic maple syrup

Place ingredients in bowl and mix until smooth

Cheesy breadsticks and cinnamon sugar sticks

I know, I'm waaay behind in my updating. It just so happened that last week my girls somehow had a hard time napping at the same time. Which meant that my blogging time disappeared :) But I think I've got them figured out now, so this week should be better :)

OK, this pizza dough recipe is officially my favorite go-to recipe now. It is awesome because I make 4 sets of dough and only use one, so I always have some in the freezer to grab in a hurry. I've started making fun breadsticks out of the dough, both the yummy cheesy kind and the cinnamon-sugar kind for dessert or breakfast. It is really easy. And my husband and toddler LOVE them!

Cheesy breadsticks
(this recipe is extremely versatile -- I know you want me to put exact measurements, but you can really put as much cheese or butter or seasonings as you like -- go ahead and experiment!!!)

1 ball of pizza dough
your favorite shredded cheese
softened or melted butter (I used about 3/4 stick)
your favorite seasonings (I like garlic powder and a little oregano)

Directions: Roll out dough; cover with butter. Sprinkle on seasonings and cheese. Fold up each side like a tortilla. Slice in breadstick-like pieces; place on pan and twist (I'll take pics next time so you can see what it is supposed to look like :) Bake at 350 for about 15-20 min. These are awesome served with marinara and/or garlic butter dipping sauce

Cinnamon Breadsticks
1 ball of pizza dough
softened or melted butter
your choice of sweetener: I've tried maple syrup, honey, and rapadura with sucess

Directions: Same as above except substitute the cinnamon and sweetener for cheese and seasonings. These are awesome served with my cream cheese icing

Friday, November 6, 2009

Healthy Fried Apples

Ever since we came across the recipe for apple cinnamon omelets, we have had an obsession for apples with our eggs. And they fit nicely together: Eggs contain every nutrient your body needs except vitamin C, and apples have lots of vitamin C, so they are the perfect breakfast pair! But we don't always have the time to make separate omelets for everyone, so we just started making yummy fried apples to go with our scrambled eggs. (And the combo is even better with some crunchy bacon, let me tell ya! :) I mix them all together and Mark eats them side by side, so do whatever you like best :) Here is how we fry our apples -- so easy!

apple slices
coconut oil

Directions: Put a big, heaping spoonful of yummy coconut oil in frying pan. Turn stove on medium and cut up apples while the oil melts. Throw the apples in the pan, stir to; covered with oil, and shake cinnamon on them. Let simmer til soft.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crud-Fighting butter spread

I am so thankful for Donielle because I keep learning so many wonderful tips from her! Today on facebook she posted this spread that actually helps fight the viruses and infections! I never thought of such a thing, but the ingredients are soooo good for you! Now I need to go make some yummy home-made bread so I can smother it in this :)

3 Tbsp softened butter (NOT margarine!!!!!!)
3 tsp softened or melted coconut oil (CO is ant-viral and helps counter the strong garlic)
2+ cloves of fresh garlic (as much as you can stand -- garlic fights infection!)
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dried minced onion

Mix together and slather generously on warm bread, toast, baked potatoes, etc.

Use as much garlic as you can, I put 4 cloves in ours today and if it was just for me I could do one or two more.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Home-made Enchilada Sauce

For my freezer stocking task this week, I planned to make a bunch of enchiladas. However, when I went to the store to buy the ingredients, I couldn't find a sauce without soybean oil or HFCS, two things I try to avoid as much as possible. So I decided to look for a recipe to just make it myself. I chose this one because it uses cocoa powder as a secret ingredient and, well, that just sounded like a yummy idea to me! I also used home-made chicken stock instead of the water to give it more nutrients and flavor. It turned out just fine and I will be using this from now on!


Directions: Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stirring constantly, slowly add enough of the water to make a thin paste. Pour into pan and add rest of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in tomato sauce.Use in your favorite enchilada recipe. The amounts on the ingredients are very flexible. For instance, if I am feeding my kids who do not like"spicy", I will halve the chili powder and double the tomato sauce. Experiment to suit your taste, but don't leave out the cocoa!

*For a quick meal, we will soften a corn tortilla in a bit of hot oil, drag it through the sauce, and lay it flat on a plate. Cover it with grated cheddar cheese, sprinkle with chopped onions and sliced black olives. Then cover with another softened sauced tortilla and melt the cheese in the microwave for 1 minute on high.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Butternut Bisque

My sweet friend Mary made this for us when we went to visit her a couple of weeks ago. I LOVE soups, and this one was delicious. I think it would also be good with pumpkin, but I haven't tried it yet :) It was also something my 9-month old enjoyed as well :) Mary said that it was a lot of trouble to peel the squash, so next time she would try cooking it first, and then peeling it. And don't forget the sour cream as you serve it -- it really added a lot of flavor and creaminess :)

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Sour cream, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and cayenne. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add squash, broth, half-and-half, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt. Serve bisque with sour cream, garnished with cayenne, if desired.
  4. To Freeze: Ladle cooled bisque (without sour cream) into airtight containers, leaving 1 inch of space; freeze up to 3 months.
  5. To Reheat: Run container under hot water to release bisque. Heat with a bit of water, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Best Grilled Cheese Ever!

It is undoubtedly soup weather! Yay! And nothing (in my humble opinion:) goes better with any soup than a grilled cheese sandwich. I know I've already raved about how tons of coconut oil make the best grilled cheese sandwich. And I know I've already shared one of our favorite ways to make an especially delicious grilled sandwich, the Monte Cristo. But yesterday I made a different grilled cheese that my husband just raved about, so I decided to share it with you:)

Spoonfuls of coconut oil
Cinnamon raisin bread
sharp cheddar cheese
swiss cheese
very finely sliced apples, without peels
crispy bacon

Directions: Dump several spoonfuls of coconut oil in frying pan, heat on medium heat til melted. Stack cheeses, apple slices and bacon on bread slices; make sandwich. Grill sandwich in coconut oil on both sides til golden and crispy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Home-made sore throat /cough syrup

My 2 1/2 year old caught a bad case of laryngitis from her Daddy this week and my Christian holistic doctor recommended that I make her this soothing and healing syrup to help her feel better.

1/2 cup elder berries
2 cups water
can also add a Tbs. or 2 of other healing herbs like nettles, mullein, echinacea, etc.
about 3 Tbs raw Honey to taste

Directions: Using a pot that is not metal (metal ruins the medicinal quality of herbs), gently simmer elderberries, water, and other herbs for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool down. Strain through a cheesecloth. Stir in honey until dissolved. (Note: do not stir in honey while really hot or it will kill the healing properties of the honey. Wait until it is just warm enough to dissolve the honey). Administer several Tbs. every few hours til better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Healthy Pizza Crust

I love the recipe I've been using for pizza crust, but I've been looking for a recipe that uses soaked flour to ensure better absorption of the nutrients. I was so excited to find this recipe on Passionate Homemaking (a fabulous blog!) This recipe is yummy and easy, too! I absolutely LOVE the fact that it makes four batches of dough and I rely on those frozen balls of dough whenever I need a dinner in a hurry. Making my own dough also makes pizza one of the cheapest meals for us! I also use the dough to make Garlic-cheese breadsticks and Cinnamon-Syrup Breadsticks

Homemade Pizza Crust

2 Tbls Yeast
3 1/2 cups water 110F, divided
3 Tablespoons acid medium, for soaking (whey, kefir, yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp honey
¼ cup honey
1 Tbls salt
8-10 cups whole wheat flour (or combination with kamut flour)


Soaking Step (optional, if you want to skip soaking, proceed with the instructions below the line)

To receive the full nutrients and break down the phytates, try soaking the whole wheat flour in advance, otherwise, skip this step.

Combine 10 cups of flour, 3 cups of water requested in the recipe, substituting some of the water with about 3 Tablespoons of whey, kefir, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice (no need to be exact), and 1/4 cup honey. Allow to soak for 12-24 hours. After soaking, activate the yeast in a small container with the remaining 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of honey. Allow to foam up for about 5 minutes. Add the proofed yeast mixture to the soaked flour, along with the salt. Knead for 5-10 minutes. If recipe is still sticky, add a little more flour as needed until it is able to be kneaded. Continue with recipe below.


Preheat over to 500 degrees (if you are baking right away). Combine yeast, 2 cups of warm water, and a teaspoon of sugar or honey in a bowl, cover and let sit for 7-10 minutes. Add water, honey, and salt. Mix thoroughly. After dissolved, add flour bit by bit, beating thoroughly. After all flour is beated in; knead 5-10 minutes. Let rise for thicker pizza dough. Divide into four sections for four crusts. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

This works wonderful with all whole wheat flour (hard white or red wheat) or with a combination with kamut flour (provides a lighter texture). Whole wheat pastry flour makes it very crumbly. Great easy recipe and tastes fabulous!

Here are some topping recommendations (these are my hubby’s favorites!): Pepperoni, cheese, Italian sausage, green peppers, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese


For the Freezer

Mix dough completely as instructed and then divide into 4 portions. Freeze the dough in individual Ziploc bags. You do not have to pre-bake the dough – simply put the dough immediately into the freezer. When you are ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator for several hours, bring to a room temperature and then roll out and assemble as desired.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lime Chicken Tacos

This awesome recipe came highly recommended by my sis-in-law, Terra, who got it from THIS blog. It has become a favorite for my family and for taking to potlucks as well! We love all kinds of tacos, and this one is super easy and delicious! The lime flavor adds a kick that my husband loves. I add a bit of extra juice just because we love it so much :) I also like to add diced pineapple and beans to the mix to make it tastier and feed more people. It is a great gluten-free dish if you eat it as soup or with quinoa instead of a tortilla!

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup chunky salsa
1 can diced pineapples, drained
1 can black beans
12 flour tortillas, warmed
sour cream, lettuce, shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro and any other toppings you like

Place the chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine lime juice and chili powder; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred and return to the slow cooker. Stir in corn and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Serve in tortillas with sour cream, cheese and lettuce if desired.

I’m very excited to be part of the Whole Foods for the Holidays Progressive Dinner, hosted by Stephanie at Keeper of the Home today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

We made these cookies because Karis had been reading a book about making cookies and kept asking to make cookies. I don't make cookies often because my self control is seriously lacking in the cookie area and my toddler's is even worse :) Whenever we make a snack, she wants it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So I decided to search for a healthy cookie that I wouldn't mind her eating all the time to avoid the battle. I found this recipe at THIS blog. These are completely healthy, but definitely not as sweet as you would expect a cookie to be. My husband wasn't a huge fan, but they worked for Karis and I. And yes, she has been asking for them all day long!

I was out of milk, so I used a combination of yogurt and coconut milk instead. And I used coconut oil instead of butter. So the recipe is pretty flexible :)

2 cups cracked oat groats (rolled oats work also)
1.5 cups freshly ground flour
1 cup butter
3/4 cup buttermilk/milk
3/4 cup honey

Directions: Melt the butter and honey, cool off some and then add the buttermilk, oats and flour. Cover and let sit for 12-24 hours. 24 hours being best, esp for the oats.

2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp b soda
2 tsps vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips*

Mix well. Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes.

This post is part of KK SUYL Breakfast Recipes!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My absolute favorite fall side dish!

I posted this recipe last fall, but I made it again last night and fell in love with it all over again. So I thought I'd mention it in case you'd forgotten about it : Sweet Potato Spinach Bake! Yes. I know. It sounds like a really weird combination but its amazing. Spinach in a creamy sauce with cheesy sweet potatoes and bacon. I never would have put them together but I love it! And so does my husband, which is also amazing because he usually only like spinach as a dip for chips and only likes his sweet potatoes super sweet with lots of brown sugar and butter and cinnamon :) But he loves it. So I'm probably going to be making this almost every week :) Just thought I'd let you know!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Completely Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Mmmmm.... I love pumpkin muffins! But since I'm trying to feed my family more nutritious food, my favorite recipe had to go (too much white flour and sugar!) Luckily, Kimi at Nourishing Gourmet blog (I get sooo many healthy recipes from her blog!) posted this fabulous recipe. I made them yesterday and everyone loved them! They are yummy both with or without the struesel topping. She uses natural sweeteners and the grain is soaked, so I can eat as many as I want :) She uses pastry flour, which would be great, but I didn't have any and my kamut worked just fine! I also just used yogurt instead of the coconut milk tonic.

Spiced Pumpkin (or Squash) Muffins with a Streusel Topping -Makes 12

This recipe is soaked for better nutrition, read about it here and here. But it would be possible to skip that step. I have also included dairy options for those who prefer dairy, otherwise this recipe is dairy free.

1 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup of coconut milk tonic (for baked goods, I use the one just mixed with water)
2 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (or, use 1/2 cup of buttermilk, thinned yogurt, or kefir, in place of the vinegar and coconut milk tonic)
1/3 cup of coconut oil or melted butter
1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup

1 egg
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree or roasted squash
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping
3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, white flour, or sprouted flour
3 tablespoons of maple sugar, rapadura, or sucanat
3 tablespoons of cold coconut oil
n1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of salt
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts

1-The night before, in a saucepan, gently melt the coconut oil and the honey together until liquid.

2-In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut milk, vinegar, and the honey/coconut oil in a bowl, stirring just until combined. Cover and leave out overnight.

3-12-24 hours later, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease with coconut oil 12 muffin tins.

4-In a small bowl combine the streusel ingredients, except for the chopped nuts, and cut in the coconut oil with a fork, until there are no big pieces left. Then stir in the chopped nuts.

5- In a small bowl combine the egg and pumpkin, and add it, with the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. If your house is cold, the coconut oil will have hardened, making the dough a bit stiff, but it will loosen up as you gently fold in the rest of the ingredients.

6-Using a spoon, or an ice cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter between the 12 tins. They should be about 2/3’s full. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the streusel mixture over the top of each (you will have a bit extra leftover).

7-Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle. Let rest for ten minutes in tins, then remove from the pans (gentle! they are fragile when hot) and let cool on cooling racks.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Home-made Cliff Bars

I'm always trying to find healthy snacks for my toddler and husband to take on the go and this one is good. It's perfectly healthy except the oats aren't soaked for better absorption of nutrients, so I will try to make them healthier the next time :)

I found this recipe at the Health, Home, and Happiness blog

4 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups crispy pecans (I suppose regular pecans could work too)
1-1/2 cup dates packed, approx 15 large ones
1/4 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons grade B maple syrup (I would think that honey would work as well)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Blend in food processor in order listed above. Press into a 8x8 or 9x9 pan, bake at 325 degrees 30 minutes. Allow to cool for a bit, then cut into bars. Allow to cool completely before packaging.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Heather's Delicious Tomato Basil Chiffonade Appitizers

My friend, Heather, made these for our game night and everyone gobbled them up instantly. And don't be deterred by the amazing title. My friend was telling me the recipe and when she said to chiffonade the basil, everyone else thought that was a pretty cool word (that we didn't know how to do, ha, ha) and instructed me to put it in the title. (And if you are like me and don't know how to chiffonade, click HERE and you will see that it is super easy and takes only seconds :) For best results, slice everything pretty thinly.

1 thin French baguette
olive oil
garlic salt
pesto (optional)
mozarella cheese

Directions: Slice the baguette; brush olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with hgarlic salt and broil both sides til just golden. If you want pesto, add it on the top. Layer tomotaoes and mozeralla on top. Broil until the mozarella is melted. Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle on top!

This recipe is a part of Kelly's Korner SUYL appetizers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Creamy Salmon Pasta

My husband says this is my best recipe yet! He said it was like he was eating at Red Lobster :)
I actually enjoyed it even though I typically don't like seafood because I had a love affair with the yummy sauce :) My toddler liked it and I even gave the sauce to my baby, who liked it almost as much as her Daddy!!!! If only salmon were cheaper and we could eat this every night!

* 2 Tablespoons Butter
* 1 clove Garlic, Finely Chopped Or Pressed
* 6 whole Green Onions, Finely Chopped
* 1 pound, 1-⅔ ounce, weight Smoked Salmon, Sliced In Small Pieces
* 1 cup Heavy Cream
* 1 cup Table Or Light Cream
* ¼ teaspoons Nutmeg (freshly Grated If You Have It)
* ½ teaspoons Dried Basil
* 2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
* 2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan, Plus Extra For Serving

Directions: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic and green onions and saute for 1 or 2 minutes.

Add salmon and saute until slightly opaque (about 2-3 minutes).

Stir in cream, nutmeg, basil, and pepper; continue stirring until sauce slightly thickens (still over medium heat).

Add Parmesan and reduce heat to low, continue stirring for 2-3 minutes.

Serve over fettuccine or your favorite noodles and garnish with extra Parmesan and black pepper.

Recipe can easily be doubled; if using frozen smoked salmon, make sure to thaw it in the fridge before using, otherwise the sauce gets watery.

# Prep Time 20 Minutes
# Cook Time 15 Minutes
# Difficulty Easy
# Servings 6

Recipe found at:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Falafel and Tahini sauce

This is the only vegetarian dish my husband approves of! He and my toddler both liked these fried, crunchy bites. Only make the tahini sauce if you know you like tahini, because the yogurt is equally good. I got this recipe from the healthiest cookbook ever, Nourishing Traditions.

Note: If you want more nutritional value, use dried chick peas and soak them as instructed. But if you are in a hurry, the canned ones work just fine :)

Falafel Ingredients:
2 cups dried chickpeas or 2 16oz cans
filtered water and 4 tbsp whey or lemon juice (if doing the healthy soaking step)
4 cups parsley leaves, loosely packed
4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1 t pepper
1 t sea salt
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t baking powder
about 1 c EVOO or lard or palm oil or coconut oil

If soaking the beans: Bring a pot of water to boil and pour over chickpeas. Stir in 2 T whey and leave in warm place for 12 hours. Pour off excess water and add 2 T whey again. Leave for another 12 hours.

Directions: Place 1 c parsley in food processor and pulse until chopped. Add 1/4 chickpeas, 1 onion, 1 garlic, and 1/4 of the spice mixture. Pulse until it is a coarse paste. Repeat 3 more times and add the batches together. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Form into patties and saute in oil. Serve with plain yogurt or home-made tahini sauce.

Tahini sauce:
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions: process in the food processor until the consitency of heavy cream.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Coconut Flour Cupcakes (muffins)

This was my new recipe for the week. I have a Mom, a nephew, and a sweet friend who cannot eat wheat, so I'm going to be trying out a lot of coconut flour recipes in the future :)

I found this recipe at one of my favorite nutrition blogs, The Nourishing Gourmet. I'm still getting used to the more dense consistency of coconut flour in recipes, but I really enjoyed these cupcakes. I will say that they seemed more like muffins than cupcakes, but they are definitely the closest to cupcakes I have gotten without using white flour :)

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes-makes 10-12 muffins
You can also use all blueberries for a delicious blueberry muffin. I used all frozen berries.
(To make these GAPS friendly, just leave out the baking powder, to make it SCD substitute baking soda. )

    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    3 eggs, gently beaten with a fork
    1/3 cup of honey
    1/3 cup of coconut oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
    1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1-In a medium size bowl, place the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking powder. Whisk to remove any lumps.

2-Melt honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan, just until melted (if you have over-heated it all, let it cool before combining it with the eggs so that it won’t curdle it. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla), and whisk thoroughly into dry ingredients.

3-Fold in fresh or frozen berries. In papered or lightly greased muffin tins, put about 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin tin. Make sure to have some of the blueberries and some of the raspberries in each muffin

4-Bake for 375 degrees until the muffins are lightly browned on the top and a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the middle of the muffin (20-28 minutes)

Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Coconut flour is incredibly good for you and gluten free. It has a high fiber and protein content and is naturally sweet so it doesn't require as much added sweetener. It also doesn't need to be soaked like grains, so its easy to cook with. I've been wanting to try it out and thought this great pancake recipe from Cheeseslave (an awesome blog for healthy recipes!) would be a great place to start. I love the fact that it contains lots of eggs because I'm always trying to get my family to eat more of that nutrient dense food. Coconut flour is pretty expensive but dense, so a little goes a long way -- you'll notice that this recipe only requires 3 Tbs of the flour. So I have plenty left for other recipes that I want to try out! We really liked the flavor of these pancakes, although the texture/consistency is a little different from normal flour pancakes.


3 eggs (preferably pastured)
3 tablespoons butter (preferably butter from grass-fed cows; I use Kerrygold butter) or coconut oil, melted (plus extra butter or coconut oil for cooking the pancakes)
3 tablespoons coconut milk or whole milk (preferably raw, from grass-fed cows)
1 1/2 teaspoons rapadura ( I think you could also use raw honey or maple syrup)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (Bob’s Red Mill)


1. Using a wire whisk, mix together eggs, melted butter, milk, rapadura, and sea salt.

2. Continuing to whisk, add the baking powder and coconut flour until thoroughly mixed.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter (or coconut oil) in a skillet on a medium flame.

4. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet making pancakes about 3-4 inches in diameter.

5. Serve with lots of butter and real maple syrup.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crustless quiche

This has been a throw-together meal for me the last couple of weeks when life has been so busy and I didn't make time to meal plan (gasp! :) or even go to the grocery store regularly. My toddler loves "pie" and anything cheesy, so its a good combination for her. She loves the random dollops of cream or ricotta cheese. I make it "crustless" because I don't have time to make a pie crust and it's healthier without it :) You can really vary the ingredients a lot -- I seriously NEVER measure any of it so I'm guessing here to write it down:)

1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
5-8 eggs
shredded cheese (I love sharp cheddar but any kind will work :)
meat of your choosing (cooked bacon, luncheon meat, sausage, etc)
dollops of cream cheese or ricotta cheese

Directions: Whisk eggs and milk together; set aside. Butter a glass pie pan; throw in as much of the other toppings as you desire, ending with the shredded cheese on top. Pour eggs/milk mixture over top. Bake at 350 for about 35 min, until eggs are set.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lezlie's Feta Salmon

This is one of my husband's favorite meals! What's even more impressive is that I like it because I don't typically like seafood. But the feta is so yummy and drowns out the fishy taste :) I actually drenched the salmon with a bunch of garlic butter before throwing it into the oven :) And we didn't use many capers because we don't absolutely love them :)

feta cheese

Easiest directions ever: Put a slab o' salmon on a broiler pan, cover it heavily with feta cheese & capers (adds a salty touch that accents the feta perfectly,) and stick it in the oven at 375, cook it til the feta starts turning brownish, about 15 -20 mins. depending on the size of the slab. EASY & Kids will CHOW IT DOWN! Even the picky ones! (usually!) Really tasty & elegant if you need it to be!

I’m very excited to be part of the Whole Foods for the Holidays Progressive Dinner, hosted by Stephanie at Keeper of the Home today.

This recipe is part of Kelly's Korner SUYL

Meg's Top Five Tips

I know that it is really hard to get a healthy dinner on the table every night. In fact, if I didn't do these 5 things, it probably wouldn't ever happen for me! So I thought I'd share :)

  1. Make a menu each week: If I haven’t made a complete meal plan for the week, dinner just won’t happen! Instead, we end up wasting money and eating unhealthy food by going out to eat or buying frozen dinners. But as long as I plan ahead, I know what I need to do ahead of time and it is always possible to give my family a healthy, yummy, home-cooked meal!
  2. Double and Freeze: Home-made freezer meals are just as easy as store bought ones, but so much more healthy and frugal! Any time a recipe freezes well, I double it and save it for a day when I just don’t have the time to cook. Most casserole, meatball, soup, and cookie dough recipes freeze really well!
  3. C.O.R.N: Clean Out the Refrigerator Night! This is my most important time-saver and money-saver yet! One night a week I don’t have to cook and my family gets to eat their favorites. No need to waste those yummy leftovers – just spread them out on the counter and everyone picks what they like they best!
  4. Meat Day: I usually buy all my meat for the month at the Farmer's Market. The next day, I have a meat day. If I bought fresh chicken, then I put most of it in the crock pot with some water and cook it so I can freeze shredded chicken ready for my casseroles. I will usually also make some freezer bags full of "dump" chicken -- uncooked but trimmed chicken ready to go in the crock pot, oven, or grill with marinade, barbq sauce, etc. If I bought ground beef, I go ahead and brown most of it and make the rest into meatballs. Some of the browned ground beef I'll leave unseasoned just to have on hand, but most of it I'll go ahead and make into home-made sloppy joes, taco meat, lasagna meat, etc. I freeze it in tupperware or freezer bags so it’s ready when I need it.
5. Baking Day: I try to set aside one day to make all my bread, tortillas, and pizza dough for the month and then freeze it so it is ready to go! I also take another day to make all my pancakes, waffles, granola, and cereal for the month. I usually try to do this on a day when my husband is off work and can help with my little ones :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sourdough pancakes

I'm so excited to use my sourdough starter to make pancakes! My husband really liked these and they are really healthy :)

The night before your breakfast, place the 2-3 cups of starter in a medium size mixing bowl. Add 2 cups warm water and 2 cups flour. Beat well and set in a warm place, free from draft, to develop overnight. In the morning the batter will have gained 1/2 again its bulk and be covered with air bubbles. It will have a pleasant yeasty odor.

Set aside 1/2 cup sponge in the refrigerator jar for your sourdough starter the next time. To remaining sponge add:

1 or 2 eggs
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. sugar (I used honey instead :)

Beat with a fork and blend in all ingredients. Add 2 Tbl melted fat. Bake on a hot griddle. Turn once. Serve.

Recipe found at:

Fried Tacos

We make these all the time because they are so easy, especially since I keep taco meat in the freezer most of the time. The key ingredient to making them super yummy is the cream cheese! My family thinks fried tacos are so much better than plain old tacos :)

cream cheese
taco meat
cheddar cheese
Olive oil
whatever else you like on tacos

Put oil in a pan on stove on medium heat. Spread cream cheese on a tortilla, then taco meat and whatever toppings you like. Put 2nd tortilla on top. Place in pan and fry in oil, flipping when crispy. Cook other side til crispy. Enjoy!

This recipe is part of Kelly's Korner SUYL

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strawberry dreamsicle smoothie

Karis had a fever on Monday and didn't want to eat anything. So we made some yummy healthy smoothies out of what we had on hand and we all loved them! Next time I'm going to triple the recipe to use up all the O.J. and make popsicles out of the leftovers :) For tips on other great smoothies, check out THIS great post!

1 can coconut milk (so very good for you and yummy, too!)
1/3 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
about 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
frozen banana
raw honey to taste (we use about 3 Tbs)
a handful of ice if you like a crunch in your smoothie :)

This post is part of Kelly's SUYL desserts! Click on over for more yummy desserts!
Other healthy add-ins we tried:
fruit flavored cod liver oil (about 3 Tbs)
heaping spoonful of coconut oil
Grapefruit seed extract (about 4-5 drops)

Just blend it all together, starting with the coconut milk and O.J. in the bottom and add anything else that sounds yummy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Karis' favorite pumpkin mini-muffins

Ok, so these wouldn't fall into the healthy category, but Nina makes them for Karis everytime she comes to visit and my girl can't get enough of them! So I had to post the recipe :)


3 1/3 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 and ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinn.

1 tsp. nutmeg

3 cups sugar

1 cup veg. Oil

4 eggs

2/3 cups water

1 16-oz. Can pumpkin

Directions: Heat oven to 350. Stir dry ingredients together evenly. Add the rest of the ingredients all at once. Mix at medium speed for 3 minutes or until well blended. Use 2 greased, but not floured 9x5 loaf pans. Bake 1 hour, 10 minutes.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Layered Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole

Wednesday night I was planning on making our favorite chicken cordon blues. But my kids were clingy and I just didn't have the time to flatten the chicken, dip it in the bowls, roll it up, etc. I was lucky to get my chicken trimmed. So I decided to layer the ingredients to save time and we all loved it! Addition: the next time I made it I added in a layer of diced pineapples! Yummy!

4-6 chicken breasts, cut into whatever size pieces you want (strips, nuggets, etc. :)
swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese
sliced pineapples if desired
Garlic if desired

Directions: Place chicken in pan; sprinkle with garlic powder. Chop up ham and cover chicken. Cover ham with pineapples and cheese. Bake at 350 for about 45 min, til chicken juices run clear.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Easy BarBQ ribs

GirlTalk (a fabulous blog!)had an easy recipe for BarBQ ribs and I wanted to remember it:


  • 2 1/2 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce


  1. Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Season with garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Bring water to a boil, and cook ribs until tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Remove ribs from pot, and place them in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour barbeque sauce over ribs. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Home-made "Lara Bars"

Mark really needs filling snacks he can eat on the run at work. So I was excited to see these healthy bars on one of my favorite blogs. She gives 2 great varieties. My family loves them! And I didn't measure anything (I hardly ever do - it just makes too many dishes :) So I threw in a bunch of dates, almond butter, coconut oil, shredded unsweetened coconut, home-made granola, and yes, even a few organic chocolate chips :) YUMMY! I thought they were good enough without any sweetener. And they really do give me a boost when I need it. I call them my Power Balls because I actually shaped them into balls and froze them so I could grab one whenever I needed it. I eat them straight from the freezer! (I think they are actually better frozen because the coconut oil melts and gets greasy if I leave them at room temperature too long.) Oh, and the best part? My husband loves them as well! He takes them with him for some extra energy when he plays tennis. Here are the original recipes:

Better than Lara Bars

10-12 pitted dates
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (more may be necessary)
handful of raisins
1 cup of shredded coconut (plus more for coating)
1 TBS Raw Honey (or other liquid sweetener)]
Liquid Stevia to taste
handful of chopped crispy nuts (macadamia nuts or almonds are great)
1/3 cup of coconut oil or butter

1) Place dates into food processor and process until you have a paste.

2) Add raisins, peanut butter, honey, and coconut and process until mixture forms a big mass.

3) Add your coconut oil now, as well as the protein powder, if using. Mixture may seem a bit "wet" from the coconut oil. This is okay,but if it seems too runny, add more shredded coconut. Taste for sweetness, and add a few drops of stevia (or more honey) to acheive desired sweetness.

4) At this point, add the chopped nuts.

5) Form pastey mass into balls or bars and roll in shredded coconut (or rapadura or cocoa).

6) Place bars on parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in freezer for about 10 minutes.

Notes: This is a pretty forgiving and versatile recipe. Try subbing raisins for any dried fruit (apricots or cherries would be great!) The coconut oil is not absolutely essential to the texture, either. You can get by without it, but it adds some good nutritional properties! You also don't need nuts, the peanut butter is enough!

These are amazing! They are full of healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein! Enjoy for breakfast on the run or for dessert with a glass of milk!

Cinnabun Lara Bars!
crispy nuts (I use almonds)
raisins (any dried fruit will do)
coconut oil


1) Place about 2 cups of crispy almonds into the food processor. Add 1.5 - 2 cups of raisins and process until you have a paste. It should be sticky.

2) Add about 2 TBS (or more) of coconut oil and process until smooth.

3) Add salt (to taste) and about 2 tsp of cinnamon (add more if you need to). Ginger and cloves add a nice flavor too.

4) Add about 1-1.5 cups of shredded coconut until you have more of a thick, dry paste. You are looking for a rounded, "doughnut-shape" in your food processor.

5) Remove dough, press into parchment-lined jelly roll pan. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Healthy, Yummy Chocolate Frosting

One of my favorite blogs posted this recipe for chocolate frosting and I can't wait to try it! I'm planning to use it on Karis' birthday cake :)

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Because this frosting is based off of coconut oil, it may start to melt in warm weather. Keep that in mind if bringing it on a picnic on a hot day. Since the frosting is more like the texture of a ganache, it makes a rustic frosting. Many use ganache for the filling between two layer cakes, and a fluffier frosting on the outside.You could definitely play around with the ratio of sweetener to make it less sweet for a more bittersweet chocolate ganache.

1 cup of cocoa powder
3/4 cup of virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup of honey
dash or two of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

1-Gently melt the coconut oil in a saucepan (you don’t want to heat it, just melt it)

2-In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until well combined.

3-Scrape into a small bowl and place in the freezer or refrigerator until it has hardened to desired consistency. It took about 15 minutes in my freezer.

4-You can use a hand mixer to fluff the frosting up (you may need to do this if the frosting has become too stiff as well).

Spread on desired baked good and enjoy!

Chocolate Orange Ganache Variation: Add 1 tablespoon orange zest with the rest of the ingredients. Continue on with the rest of the directions.

Recipe found at:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Healthy Chocolate Breakfast Cake

Did someone say "chocolate for breakfast?" Count me in! I was excited to find this on one of my favorite blogs. Its not tooo chocolatety or sweet, but perfect for fixing that chocolate craving first thing in the morning :) My toddler loves muffins and they freeze well, so thats what I made. The recipe doesn't make too much, so I'm going to double the recipe from now on and freeze a bunch for a quick breakfast.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 - 1 cup natural sweetener
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil (or combination of both), in its solid state
1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder (as desired, we use 2 Tbsp)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
dash of cloves
1/2 cup nuts, if desired
1 cup cultured buttermilk, kefir, whey, yogurt (or your preferred acid medium for soaking)

SOAKING STEP: In a large bowl, combine flour and acid medium (buttermilk, kefir, whey or yogurt, as desired). Cover and allow to soak for 12-24 hours.

After soaking, combine remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan and cover with chopped nuts, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

If you want to skip out on the soaking, follow these directions:

In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in the butter/coconut oil until crumbly. Add cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and cloves; mix well. Make a well in the center; pour in the buttermilk and stir until moistened. Transfer to a greased 8 x8 baking pan and sprinkle with nuts. Bake as instructed above.

Recipe found at:

This post is part of KK's SUYL breakfasts!

Pineapple marinade

I've been wanting to switch from our normal Italian dressing marinade to something more healthy and found this recipe at one of my favorite blogs. I LOVE anything with pineapple so I think I'm going to love it! I hope to try it this week :)

• 10oz canned pineapple in its juice (about 1/2 a can)
• 1/2 sweet onion roughly chopped
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1/2 cup olive oil

Blend until thoroughly mixed. Marinate the chicken for several hours. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour. To grill chicken, heat the grill to medium heat, cook for three minutes per side, then move to indirect heat and grill for an additional 45 minutes, with the lid closed. As leg quarters tend to be fattier than breasts, watch for flare ups.
Use a thermometer to ensure the leg quarters reach 165F.

When grilling, I like to use some of the marinade as a baste. It’s important to note that this is marinade I set aside for this purpose. Never reuse any sauce or marinade that has touched raw meat.

Recipe found at:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Zesty CHicken Packets

My friend Sandy makes these and they are yummy! I think these would be even better grilled!

4 chicken breasts
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Italian dressing
Four pieces of aluminum foil

In each piece of aluminum foil, put 1 tsp of olive oil and 1 pat of butter
Put in chicken, peppers and onions
Salt and pepper
Cover with Zesty Italian dressing
Bake on 400 for 1 hr

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grilled Silver Turtles

My friend Amanda makes these and they are so easy and so good! Put a hamburger pattie on top of a slice of onion, then slice some potato to put on top of the hamburger (and add carrots if you like them :) Wrap em up in foil and grill 15 minutes on one side, 10 on the other...The meat comes out sooo tender.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
½ bell pepper
1/2 zucchini, sliced
1 t oregano
1 t Italian seasoning
1 T EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 T Coconut Oil
1 t salt and pepper

1. Stew tomatoes in large pot
2. Once soft, spoon tomatoes into food processor and add zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, seasonings, and oils.
23. Puree and store as you wish. I am not into canning (yet!), and so wish I was! I will store this sauce and use it for spaghetti, pizzas, lasagna or any other “Italian” dish!

Found at:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crispy Cheese Crackers

¼ cup butter, softened
¼ t. sea salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, room temperature
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ t. baking powder
1 T. cold water

Use beaters or food processor to mix butter and salt until creamy. Add cheese. Mix well. Gradually add flour, baking powder and water, mixing until dough begins to form a ball. Form dough into a ball with hands.

Roll the dough into 1/8 inch thickness onto a cookie sheet. (I find that placing the dough between two pieces of parchment paper helps me to roll them out more easily.) Cut the rolled out dough into 1 ½ inch squares. Bake 15 minutes at 350° or until lightly browned. Turn off the oven and leave the crackers inside to crisp up. Store tightly covered.

Found at: