Saturday, May 29, 2010

My new favorite simple snack

I don't have all the ingredients for my favorite power bars, so I've just been eating nut-butter on dates. Any nut-butter will do, although my favorite is sunflower butter. The dates have a perfect little hole for the nut-butter after taking the pit out, and the nut butter gives a salty contrast to the sweet date. My girls love it, too, although I have to admit it is a messy snack for them :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The versatile favorite trio

My girls LOVE quinoa, beans, and chicken. Ok, I'll admit, they would be happy without the chicken, but I always add it for extra protein because it doesn't seem deter them. We make many a variation of those three items, so I thought I should blog about it to give you an idea.

1. Beans -- I make a batch once a month of 2 bags of black beans and freeze them in little bags because they are one of our easiest "healthy fast foods." I have no idea why, but my girls love them both hot or cold. If Karlie is fussing for dinner and it is not ready yet, I set her at the table with some cold beans straight out of the fridge and she is a happy camper. And Karis is the same way. It sounds gross to me, but it keeps them happy til their meal is done. Anyways, beans are most healthy when I soak them overnight in a bunch of warm water and about 4 Tbs of lemon juice. The next day I rinse them, boil them, scoop the impurities off the top, and let simmer on the stove til nice and soft (Several hours). Once cooled, I freeze in little bags in small quantities so I always have some on hand.

2. Quinoa -- My girls love the texture of this grain and so do I. It is the only grain that is a complete protein, so I love to feed it to them. I soak a cup of quinoa in a cup of water and a few Tbs. of yogurt, keifer, ACV, whey, etc. The next day I bring a cup of water or chicken stock to boil, rinse my quinoa (don't skip the rinsing or it will taste bitter!) and throw it in the pot. Then I turn off the heat and let it set until it has soaked up all the liquid.

3. Chicken -- cook it however you like it :) I usually boil it in a pot of water so I can make chicken stock to use in all my recipes.

Directions: Mix those three ingredients with a healthy liquid and a cheese and any other herbs or veggies you like :) I switch around the add-ons frequently so the girls never get tired of their beans and quinoa! I usually warm it all together in a saucepan, but they will even eat it cold! It is also good baked in the oven (at 350 for about 20 min) but it is much faster in the sauce pan. You can make it really thick to be easily grabbed by little fingers or put more liquid in it and make it a soup.

Our liquid options:
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Chicken stock
coconut milk
sour cream

Cheese options: Pretty much anything will work, but we especially love feta, cream cheese, parmesan, or sharp cheddar

Other add-ins:
crushed garlic
chopped peppers
chopped sweet onions sauteed in butter

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Super easy chicken salad tip

As I mentioned before, I've been making my poppy seed salad dressing all the time because I'm loving the fresh strawberries and greens I have been getting from my CSA. I had some left over cooked and shredded chicken from another meal I had made and decided to try a new chicken salad recipe because my old one isn't that healthy. (Now I have to apologize, because I didn't measure one bit! But that's why I called this a tip and not a recipe, ha, ha :) So I just mixed in some of my homemade poppy seed dressing with some sour cream, mixed it with some chicken and chopped grapes, and had a fabulous, easy, healthy chicken salad! Next time I'll measure for ya but I wanted to blog it before I forgot it :)

A new favorite muffin :)

One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking, posted this recipe recently and my family loved it. I ended up cooking them a little longer than she mentioned because I used bananas I had just thawed from the freezer and they were still cold. I like the recipe because all the sweet fruit made it possible to decrease the sweetener. I used about 3/4 cup honey instead of sucanat and it worked fine. I'll probably try 2/3 cup next time. I was out of coconut oil, so I used butter instead. And I'm pretty sure I had a lot more cinnamon than the recipe called for because my toddler shook it in :) I doubled the recipe and froze them for a quick breakfast when needed. If you like these, you should really try out Lindsay's other recipes because we have loved all the ones we have tried!

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or 2 cups sprouted flour and skip the soaking!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup sucanat or rapadura
  • 2 eggs flaxseed binder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cultured buttermilk, kefir, yogurt, or acid medium of your choice
  • 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 apples – peeled, cored and shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sucanat/rapadura. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and buttermilk/yogurt/kefir. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and shredded apples. Fill each muffin cup full.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Soaking Adaption: Combine flour, coconut oil, acid medium (buttermilk, yogurt, etc), and an additional 1/4 cup warm filtered water. Mix thoroughly and then cover and leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours. After soaking, add the sucanat/rapadura, eggs, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly as there may be small clumps of soaked dough that needs to be broken down. Fold in the mashed bananas and apples. Gently and quickly incorporate the salt, baking soda and baking power. Fill each muffin cup full. Bake as described above.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cara's quinoa and black beans

I've never actually made a recipe using quinoa before; I always just use it in place of rice or with maple syrup for breakfast. But Cara sent me this recipe to go with her awesome Chicken Taquitos and I am so glad we tried it! We all enjoyed it, but Karlie in particular ate a ridiculous amount :) I followed the recipe pretty well but I skipped on the cayenne pepper, though :) I also soaked my quinoa overnight in 2 Tbs. of yogurt and 1 cup of warm water to make it healthier before rinsing and adding to the recipe.


* 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
* 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 cup frozen corn kernels
* 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

This recipe is part of Kelly's SUYL side dishes!

Cara's Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

My friend Cara sent me this recipe and we all really enjoyed it! Mark said it is one of the "most authentic Mexican-tasting dishes" I've made :) That is probably because of the cilantro, which I haven't used very much before but definitely will now! We used mild salsa instead of green salsa and I actually fried the tacos instead of baking them because Mark likes 'em crispy ). We paired it with Cara's quinoa and black beans recipe and it was quite a hit! It will definitely be a staple on my meal plan now!

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese
small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly.

(If you decided to prep this in advance, refrigerate the mixture at this point until ready to continue.)

Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 – 30 seconds).

Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.

Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone. Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

**To freeze: Before baking, chill the taquitos on the baking sheet in the fridge. Once completely cooled, wrap each taquito individually with plastic wrap. Place in a labeled freezer bag and freeze. To bake a frozen taquito (no need to thaw first): Preheat oven to 425˚F and bake for 20 minutes.