Monday, April 29, 2013

Green Eggs

My son LOVES these. Its a great way to get some greens in without the turn off of the iffy texture. It smells like a spinach quiche too! Yum!

Green Eggs


2 eggs
1 heaping handful of baby spinach, baby kale, or kale.
1 tbsp cheese of choice. Our favorites is parmesan or ricotta
sprinkle of salt
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of onion powder

In a food processor, food chopper, blender, or Magic Bullet, put in the greens, eggs, cheese, and seasonings. Do it in that order so the weight of the eggs makes the greens blend better (invert for Magic Bullet since it goes upside down). Blend for 10-15 seconds, until its mixed and green.

Pour into a preheated skillet and cook for a few minutes just like scrambled eggs.
Serve with some strawberries or a glass of OJ for a big iron boost

Asian Style Sloppy Joes

These are spicy and sweet. And they satisfy the sloppy comfort craving.
Be sure to get a good bun!

Asian Style Sloppy Joes


1 lb ground turkey
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1inch nub of ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)

Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium. Drain if needed

Add the tomato sauce, paste, bell pepper, soy, vinegar, brown sugar, chili sauce, worcestershire, garlic, ginger, and water chestnuts. Simmer 10 minutes, or until bell peppers soften.

Serve over buns!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

So, my husband is bad at eating breakfast in the morning, so we are making a effort to remedy that. He does like oatmeal, so we decided to try to do that more often. I knew how healthy steel cut oats were, so I wanted to give that a shot. I knew I wanted to try a slow cooked version, but I needed to try the normal method to actually see how it was supposed to feel and taste. It has much more texture than regular oats, so be aware of that if you have never tried them before. They have a "al dente" bite to them. But that is a little less apparent in the slow cook method. So on the other hand, if you are used to the texture of steel cut oats on the stove, be aware this might be a little mushier than you would expect.

I am sure you could do this in a large crock pot, but I am not sure how that would change the cook time. And every slow cooker is different. So you might have to try the plain version of the recipe a few times to get the liquid ratio just right, as well as the cooking time. I went to Target and got a 2.5 quart Crockpot for $12 for this purpose. Totally worth it! Also try spraying the crockpot to help the sticking, but expect to have to soak it :)

You could try this water bath method too in a large crock pot

Long story short, don't cook this for the first time for a bunch of guests, lol.

Spray or butter the bottom and up the sides of the crock pot for easier clean up

I add a couple tbsp of chia seeds to each batch. You don't even notice them. You could add ground flaxseed also/instead.

You can add any type of milk you like. Almond, coconut, hemp, rice, skim/2%/whole, goat. Whatever floats your boat.
Same goes for "sugar". If your prefer stevia, honey, maple syrup, white sugar, or whatever sweetener toots your horn.
You can also substitute virgin coconut oil for butter. Especially recommended for the coconut flavors.

**I kept forgetting to take pictures in the craze of morning routine, so I will add more pictures as I can!**

Basic Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats.

1 cup steel cut oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk of choice
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

Add all the ingredients. Give a light stir. Cook on low 8 hours. Reheat leftovers with a little milk added.


*Unless specified as "when serving" or "top with", all variation ingredients are added for the cooking process.

Maple Brown Sugar:

Add 1/4 cup packed brown sugar in the cooking process and drizzle with a little (REAL) maple syrup when serving.

Maple Bacon:
Top with 1/2 slice crumbled bacon and drizzle with maple syrup

Apple Cinnamon:

Peel and chop 2 apples into bite size pieces
Add to crock pot along with 1 tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp ground ginger. Add brown sugar to taste when served.

Cinnamon Spice:

Add 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves to liquid.

Chocolate PB:
Add 1 tbsp cocoa powder and some sugar. Top with a dollop of PB when serving

Chocolate Banana:

Whisk 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp white sugar, and 1-2 mashed very ripe bananas to milk before adding to crock pot. Add more sweetener to each serving if needed (depends on sweetness of bananas) (banana ones don't keep well in our experience, so don't plan on leftovers! Or add the banana when serving)

Chocolate Coconut: 
Replace milk with plain coconut milk (I used canned) and add 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp sugar, and a palmful of shredded sweetened coconut (I chopped it up a little more)

Banana Coconut:
Use coconut milk and mash 2 bananas. Add a palmful of sweetened, shredded, and chopped coconut.
(banana ones don't keep well in our experience, so don't plan on leftovers! Or add the banana when serving)

Add a dollop of nutella and a sprinkle of hazelnuts when serving, plus maybe a little sugar if needed.

Add 1 cup pureed pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie stuff), 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, and 1/4 cup sugar. Can top with chopped pecans if desired

Banana Bread:
Mash 2 ripe bananas and add to liquid along with 1 tbsp cinnamon. When serving, sweeten as desired and add chopped walnuts and/or a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.
(banana ones don't keep well in our experience, so don't plan on leftovers! Or add the banana when serving)

Blueberry Lemon:
Add 1 cup frozen blueberries and zest and juice of one lemon when assembling to cook. Top with slivered almonds, if desired.

Strawberries and Cream:
Add 1 cup frozen strawberries and a couple tbsp sugar.

Lemon Poppyseed:
Right before serving, zest and juice of one lemon and stir. Add a palmful of poppy seeds or, heck just use chia seeds. :)

Mango Coconut:
Use coconut milk. Add 1 cup frozen mango, and a palmful shredded, chopped, sweetened coconut.

Substitute 1 cup water with 1 cup cooled brewed coffee. Add 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 3 tbsp sugar.

PB and J:
Sweeten and then top with a dollop of PB and a dollop of preferred jam/jelly/100% fruit spread

Monday, April 22, 2013

From Scratch: Homemade Hamburger Helper

So, pregnancy makes random cravings appear. And this was a result of one of those cravings.

I was actually floored at how good it turned out. I expected it to take longer, for one. Two, well, I just didn't expect it to "hit the spot" in regards to craving that boxed crap. But it satisfied!

Homemade Hamburger Helper


1 lb lean burger
2 cups elbow pasta (I used whole grain)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup hot (like hot tap) water
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp flour (or cornstarch, or arrowroot powder)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese

Brown meat in a large skillet (with a lid) over medium. Drain any juices.

Add pasta, seasonings, milk and water. Stir well. Cover. Bring to boil, and reduce to a simmer.

Stir often over the next 5-10 minutes. The liquid will be absorbed, but if its looking too dry, add a tad more milk/water until the pasta is cooked through.

Add the cheese, and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

You can also make baggies with the seasonings and the pasta to make this even faster (basically like the "real" thing, but you will have to add REAL cheese instead of the powder.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chicken and Asparagus Penne with a Light Garlic Alfredo Sauce

My husband isn't a broccoli fan, so the traditional chicken and broccoli alfredo just doesn't happen here. But we love asparagus, so we decided to go with that. I have never made alfredo from scratch, but I couldn't bring myself to dump a ton of cream in it today. So I lighted it up with milk and chicken broth but its still creamy and plenty hearty.

I prefer to cut my chicken raw (I use kitchen shears) and then cooking it. Its just faster and you don't have to wait for it to cool. If you prefer cooking it whole, go for it.

Chicken and Asparagus Penne with a Light Garlic Alfredo Sauce


1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp butter
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 garlic cloves

1 lb asparagus, tough ends up off, cut into 1 inch pieces

12 oz of penne (we used whole wheat)

1 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth 
3 heaping tbsp flour
salt and pepper
2oz cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan

Heat up a skillet on medium. Melt butter and oil. Add garlic and chicken. Cook until done. 8-12 minutes.

Meanwhile,  cook the pasta. Once done and drained, refill the pot with a couple inches of water, salt heavily, and bring to rapid boil. Add asparagus and boil 2-3 minutes. Drain and shock in ice water. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a sauce pan over medium. Add butter and garlic. Cook until brown. Careful not to burn. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add milk and broth. Whisk together and cook until bubbling and thickened. You can whisk in another tbsp flour if needed. Add cream cheese. Whisk until blended. Once ready to serve, remove from heat and stir in parmesan. Add salt and pepper as needed (depends on how salty the broth was.

Toss the pasta, asparagus, chicken, and sauce together.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Creamy Chicken Flautas

Ok, just in case you were wondering. A flauta is with flour tortillas and taquitos are with corn tortillas.

Ok, class dismissed. Lets cook.

These things are ridiculously good. Definitely will be making them regularly. Prep wise, its pretty easy as well!

You can either bake or lightly pan fry. I will go ahead and share both ways of making them. But baked is super easy

Creamy Chicken Flautas


3 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie works, or put a 2 big/3 medium chicken breasts in the crockpot. I used 8-9 chicken thighs)
1 pkg 1/3rd fat cream cheese
1/3rd cup sour cream
1/3rd cup salsa
1 can diced green chilis
1 cup black beans
1 cup corn
2 green onions, diced
1 1/2 cups baby spinach. Stems torn off and torn into smaller pieces
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar

16 6 inch flour tortillas

melted butter or oil

This really couldn't be simpler. Mix all filling ingredients well.

Spoon a heaping 2 tbsp of filling into a strip off center in the tortilla and roll tightly. Place seam side down.

To fry:
Heat a frying pan on medium. Add oil and heat. Add flautas in small batches (I did 2 at a time) and cook until just lightly brown on each side.

To bake, lightly butter a baking sheet and place flautas seam side down. Brush with melted butter and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until golden.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chunky Quacamole

I prefer my guac chunky. I'll eat the mushy mashed stuff, but chunky is where it's at.

This is a basic recipe, I assume. But sometimes simple is the best :)

Chunky Quacamole


1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, deseeded, deveined, and finely diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 handful cilantro
juice from 1 lemon
3 avocados, cubed
3 roma tomatoes (or vine ripened, or equivalent of grape/cherry)
salt and pepper

Rinse the onion off after you dice it. I am not sure why, I just read to always do that with onions in salsa or salads. So I do :)

Add onion to a medium bowl with the jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, and lemon juice. Combine well.

Add tomatoes and avocado. Add salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

Chill a few hours before serving to allow flavor to meld

Monday, April 8, 2013

Country Breakfast Potatoes

I really hope no one reads my blog for the descriptions I write. Because I am drawing a blank today. These are a good breakfast side dish. Yummy, flavorful, and pretty easy. Do it.

Country Breakfast Potatoes

-5 red or gold potatoes (or russet, if you aren't opposed to brown potato skins. Some people are picky), cut into 1 inch pieces
-1 large onion, large diced
-1 bell pepper, large diced
-2 tbsp butter, divided
-a few pinches dried herbs, such as rosemary, parsley, etc.
-salt and pepper
-tbsp flour

Place the diced potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water. Heat to a high simmer and cook until fork tender. 5-10 minutes. The pieces are small, so it shouldn't be too long. Drain. Place in bowl and lightly and evenly sprinkle with flour. Toss in bowl to coat.

In a large skillet on medium, melt a tbsp of butter. Add the pepper and onions. Cook, stirring often, until softened and browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Place the other tbsp butter in the pan. Add the potatoes, herbs, and salt and pepper, and stir. Pat down into a even layer and let sit for a few minutes until well browned and crisp. Flip and repeat.

Add onions and peppers, stir and serve!