Thursday, November 17, 2016

Green Egg Muffins/Casserole

Rem and I both eat eggs pretty much every day.  We love eggs all ways- scrambled, in a hash, over medium, hardboiled... and as egg muffins or casseroles.  Our 14 month old is also an egg fan!  He has been EATING UP these green egg muffins this week, which makes me really happy because they are full of nutritious protein and veggies that his little body needs!  

Green Egg Muffins


5 chicken sausage links (I used spinach feta chicken sausage)
2 c sliced mushrooms
2 c broccoli, small pieces
12 eggs, cracked into blender along with a large handful of spinach, a splash of milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Line 24 muffins cups with paper liners (I like "If You Care" large baking cups).  Divide mushroom slices and broccoli pieces (roughly) evenly into muffin cups.  Slice sausage (I use kitchen scissors to do this) and split among the muffin cups (I put 3 slices in each).  Blend eggs in a blender with spinach, milk, and salt, pepper, and garlic powder,  Pour into muffin cups, filling each almost to the top of the cup.  This takes a little patience.  Just remember, perfection is not required.  Bake at 375 degrees 30-35 minutes.  They're done when the eggs are no longer runny on top and don't jiggle.  Store in the fridge and eat cold or reheat!

You could also make this in a 13x9 pan as a casserole.  Grease the pan with olive oil, coconut oil, or butter first, then layer the broccoli, mushrooms, and sausage in the pan.  Then pour the eggs in. *I like to use 18 eggs if I'm making a casserole so the egg covers all of the goodies inside,  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  The time can vary a lot so just keep an eye on it- when you no longer see runny egg on top and the middle of the casserole doesn't jiggle, it's done.   

You can make so many delicious variations of these.  I love using broccoli because it gives some bulk to the muffins, but broccoli + roasted peppers + chunks of cooked sweet potato + crumbled sausage is AWESOME.  Another good combo is peppers + onions + bacon + cheddar cheese.  So many possibilities...

Just because, I wanted to share some other solid recipes I made recently- all keepers. Thanks to all of the great bloggers out there with such yummy recipes! 

Cashew Beef Stir Fry- delicious served with spaghetti squash for a lower carb/paleo meal
Asian Style Meatballs (*Breck approved!)- I used about 2 T fish sauce, ground pork, and my usual ginger paste and freeze dried garlic.
DAMY Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Fudge- I used vanilla SFH  protein powder, maple syrup, no stevia, and creamy natural peanut butter.  I used a small cookie scoop to scoop the mixture into roughly 20 mini muffin liners that I arranged on a cookie sheet and then froze the fudge.  No need for cutting later!
Flourless Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins- I used regular sized chocolate chips and doubled the amount (I love chocolate chips...).  It made 11 muffins for me.  
Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Tomato Soup (*Breck approved!)- Ok I didn't make this one, my sister did!  She is awesome and brought me some to try.  I loved it and am making it this weekend!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Baby Cake"

For Breck's First Birthday, I wanted to find a recipe for a cake that had nutritious ingredients, no refined sugar, and that tasted great.  I scoured the internet for a recipe that I might fit and finally landed on this one (which that blogger adapted from this recipe).  I modified it slightly to make it gluten free!

I have made this recipe (sans frosting) 6 times since Breck's birthday because he loves it and WE love it!  It's a snack I feel good about serving to him, and I feel good about eating myself.  The birthday cake version inludes the cake recipe, frosting, and halved blueberries for the "one" on top.  But when I'm making it for every day eating, I just make the cake, minus the frosting!  Sometimes I add blueberries to the batter itself, which is also delicious.  The way Breck likes it most is straight from the freezer.  I cut the cake into small slivers and freeze it so that I can grab a chunk that he can hold and suck on and then eat.  It's great for teething babies who need something cold to soothe their mouths!  If you don't want to freeze it, it's also great refrigerated for up to a week.

I have only ever made this recipe using 2- 9 inch round cake pans, but I am sure you could adapt it to a 13x9 pan (and add some cooking time), or 2- 8 inch square pans.

I apologize for not having any pictures!  I have pictures of Breck with the cake that you can check out if you're friends with me on facebook, but I forgot to take any of just the cake itself!

Without further ado...

Baby's First Cake

Cake:
5 ripe bananas
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce- sit out for a bit so it's not cold!
3 T coconut oil, melted
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c gluten free flour (I have used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour and Namaste Foods flour with success)
3/4 c oat flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese (I used full fat)
1/2 c apple butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 T maple syrup (optional- I liked it because it made the frosting a little less tangy)

Decorations:
halved blueberries to make the "one" on top if you're making a first birthday cake

Directions:
Grease 2-9 inch round cake pans with coconut oil, then cut out parchment paper circles to fit the bottom of the pans and put the parchment in.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix bananas, applesauce, and melted coconut oil, and vanilla with hand blender til smooth (a few banana chunks are ok).  Add baking soda, gluten free flour, oat flour, and cinnamon and blend again til smooth.  Pour batter into pans, splitting it evenly between the pans the best you can!  At this point you can add fruit to the batter if you'd like!  (I have been adding frozen blueberries- just note that this will add some baking time).  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cake is no longer jiggly in the middle.

If you are NOT making a layer cake and do NOT want frosting, just let the cake cool and then cut into pieces.  If you are going to store it in the fridge, cut pieces as big as you want.  If you are freezing it, cut it into slivers of whatever size your baby can handle!

If you are making the layer cake and/or frosting your cake, continue reading!  To make the frosting, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature.  With a hand mixer, blend it with the apple butter, vanilla, and maple syrup.  Mine was a little chunky but tasted delicious and Breck did not care one bit!  Supposedly using room temperature cream cheese helps with this problem but it didn't for me this time.

Let the cakes cool in the pans.  If you are making a layer cake, use a bowl of whatever size you'd like as a "cookie cutter" to cut out 3 circles for the layers.  Place the first layer on a flat surface lined with a piece of parchment paper that is bigger than the cake itself (this allows for easy transfer once you want to serve it to your baby).  You will have pieces leftover after cutting the circles- just break up the rest of the cake and refrigerate or freeze the scraps!  I ended up using letter cookie cutters to cut out the first initial of Breck's baby friends' names so that they could enjoy their own cake at the party!  Then I froze the remaining pieces.

Frost the first layer, place the second layer on top, frost that, place the third layer on top, and frost the whole thing, including the sides.  Decorate with halved blueberries in the shape of a "1."



I hope your little one enjoys it as much as mine did!

*This post is dedicated to my friend Megan, who let me bake the cake for Breck's party (along with a variety of other baked goods) in her oven because mine stopped working 2 days before his party!  Her son and Breck taste tested the cake fresh from the oven and both of them gobbled it up!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My "Go-To" Quick Meals!

Many of my recipes on this blog are for big batch dishes- recipes that I make at the beginning of the week and then we eat leftovers of throughout the week.  We love cooking like this because it makes packing lunches super easy and allows for quick dinner options!

But more often than not, for at LEAST one meal a day, I make one of these quick meals: Egg and Veggie Hash, or Loaded Salads, or Fried Rice.  Typically the Egg and Veggie Hash would be breakfast, Loaded Salad would be a lunch option, and the Fried Rice might be dinner.  There are practically limitless variations of each of these meals, and each one takes less than 10 minutes to assemble or cook!

The "recipes" below are for a single serving, but you could certainly double them for two people, or double them and save the leftovers for the next day!  "Formulas" like this (that give a rough guideline but can be customized to your preferences and what's in your fridge) are always very helpful to me, so I hope that by posting this I help somebody else out there!  Maybe reading this will spark a meal idea for you.  Maybe next time you're looking in the fridge wondering what to eat/what sounds good, one of these ideas will pop into your head!  Maybe you'll try one of my favorite hash, salad, or fried rice combos.  Or MAYBE you have some favorite combos of your own already, in which case I would LOVE it if you shared them in the comments! 

Use whatever ingredients you have on hand and that sounds good.  Think creatively!  Or find a tried and true favorite and just make that all the time (which is what I sometimes do for weeks at a time!).  Whatever suits you!  When I started making meals like these, I didn't go to the store and buy ingredients specifically for these meals, I just used whatever we had in the fridge, which was based on what looked good at the store, what was in season, what was on sale, or what Rem requested!  But once I discovered some combos I loved, I started making sure that my mainstays were always on my grocery list.

Experiment and figure out what tastes good to you and fills you up.  And enjoy every last bite!  

Egg and Veggie Hash

1. Prepare a NON-STICK skillet with about 1 tsp olive oil or vegetable oil, then start adding the goodies:
2. Saute 2-4 servings veggies (fresh OR frozen) of choice until veggies are cooked to your liking. *If using frozen veggies, I usually add about 1/4 c of water or broth to help steam them.
3. As they cook, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder.
4, Add eggs (I use 2) and scramble the whole mixture, stirring, scraping and flipping til the eggs are done.
5. Eat! (add salsa or other condiment of choice)
*sometimes I add leftover potato or sweet potato, grated raw potato (if using, saute this first along with veggies), or frozen hash browns (if using, brown in coconut oil/olive oil/butter before adding veggies).

Loaded Salad

Start with a LARGE bowl (or tupperware container, if you're packing a lunch!):
+ greens (ex. romaine, spinach, arugula, spring mix) OR zucchini noodles
+ 2-4 servings chopped raw veggies (ex. carrots, celery, peppers, cucumbers, red onion, zucchini noodles, mushrooms, green onion, snap peas, cabbage)
+ protein source (ex. I use 4-5 oz. leftover chicken, beef, pork, salmon, tuna, hard boiled eggs)
+ fat/dressing (ex. avocado, goat cheese, balsamic dressing, lemon/lime juice, salsa, hummus, homemade bbq sauce, homemade ketchup, homemade peanut sauce)
+ flavor/texture addition (ex. corn, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, jarred jalapenos or olives, raisins/craisins, diced dates, diced apple, crushed tortilla chips, roasted brussels sprouts/sweet potato/green beans/spaghetti squash/literally any vegetable..,, fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, chickpeas, black beans)

*Tip: I love the crunch of romaine in salads!  I like to buy whole heads of romaine and cut it myself- so much tastier and cheaper.  I actually cut it unwashed by slicing once vertically, then chopping it horizontally into 1/4-1/2 inch "strips."  Then I put it in a strainer which is inside another solid bowl to soak the lettuce, then I rinse it.  It takes very little time once you've done it once or twice!

Fried Rice

1. Prepare a NON-STICK skillet with about 1 tsp olive oil or vegetable oil, then start adding the goodies:
2. Saute 2-4 servings veggies (fresh OR frozen) of choice (1-2 c of veg) plus leftover rice (1/2-1 c rice) until veggies are cooked to your liking and rice is heated through. *If using frozen veggies, I usually add about 1/4 c of water or broth to help steam them.
3. Add coconut aminos teriyaki sauce and/or sriracha, plus salt, pepper, and garlic powder and saute 1 min more.
4. Add eggs (I use 2) and scramble the whole mixture, stirring, scraping and flipping til the eggs are done.
5. Eat! (add more coconut aminos or sriracha if you like)

Favorite Egg and Veggie Hashes:

frozen stir fry veggies (broccoli, pea pods, green beans, peppers, water chestnuts, mushrooms)
salt, pepper, garlic powder
2 eggs
sriracha

grated potato
green onion, peppers, mushrooms
salt, pepper, garlic powder
2 eggs
paleo ketchup (*I like the one from It Starts With Food)

zucchini/squash, pea pods, green onion
sat, pepper, garlic powder
2 eggs
salsa

Favorite Loaded Salads:

spinach
raw red onion, mushrooms
steak
balsamic dressing (equal parts balsamic and olive oil, plus a splash of orange juice, mustard powder, salt and pepper OR just plain balsamic vinegar)
diced apple

romaine
diced carrots, pea pods, and peppers
chicken or tuna
salsa and hummus

romaine
tomatoes
chicken
white balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar
corn, pine nuts, dates, goat cheese

spinach/romaine mix
peppers, tomato, cucumber
leftover ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic
avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper
cilantro

spinach
peppers, mushrooms
ground beef
salsa, avocado
roasted spaghetti squash

spinach
red onion
salmon
balsamic vinegar
goat cheese, roasted green beans


Favorite Fried Rice:

broccoli slaw, red onion, peas, *diced pineapple (so good...), fresh cilantro
coconut aminos, salt, pepper, garlic
2 eggs
more coconut aminos, sriracha






Monday, October 10, 2016

Chicken Tortilla Soup




I think the best recipes I've ever created come from requests from Rem.  I am always asking him what sounds good to make because I work better within constraints- an ingredients, a cuisine, or even better, a specific dish.  This time he said Chicken Tortilla Soup sounded good, so I commenced my research and ended up with this warming, satisfying, perfect-for-fall soup.  


Chicken Tortilla Soup 


4 large chicken breasts
sprinkled with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
2 T olive oil
2 small red onions, chopped small
1/2 green pepper, diced small
1/2 red pepper, diced small
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder 
about 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic (*I used freeze dried garlic that I buy at Kroger in the produce section- my favorite because I HATE cutting garlic.  I just estimate 3 cloves)
4 c (1 carton) chicken broth (*I used Simple Truth Organic broth, regular salted variety)
4 c water
28 oz. crushed tomatoes (*I used pomi brand in the carton)
1 small can green chiles
2 c frozen corn
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 c maseca (corn flour- *also bought at Kroger) 
+ enough milk or water to create a paste of sorts (you are going to drop this into the soup like dumplings)
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 c sour cream (optional, but delicious- you could use cream, milk, or plain yogurt instead, the idea is to add some creaminess)
juice of 1 lime

Bake chicken in an oiled glass dish at 400 degrees for 45 minutes (that's what worked well in my oven), OR prepare chicken however you normally do!  Another option is to use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken.  If you are baking the chicken, let it cool for a few minutes when done, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, saute onions and peppers in olive oil.  After about 5 minutes, add spices EXCEPT garlic and saute until the veggies smell great and getting soft (10 minutes or so).  Add garlic and saute 3 minutes more.  Next add broth, water, tomatoes, chiles, corn, beans, and the chopped chicken.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  At this point, stir together the maseca and water/milk by putting the maseca in a bowl, making a well, and then stirring while you add the water/milk until a thick paste forms and all of the flour is incorporated with the liquid.  Then drop by very small spoonfuls into the hot soup.  This will create dumplings of sorts!  Stir the dumplings around in the soup.  Simmer the soup for 20 min-1 hour.  The longer the simmer, the deeper the flavor, but ours was really delicious after only 20 minutes or so.  Once you've decided you're done simmering, take the soup off the heat and stir in the cilantro, sour cream, and lime juice.  Enjoy!  





Monday, October 3, 2016

Apple Butter Oat Bake



I think this might be the beginning of the more regular posts from me!  I am finding that I have so many new recipes that I want to share with the world, and I finally decided to just make some time to write a post today!  If anyone reading this has any recipes they're looking for, PLEASE let me know because I have a quite a backlog of recipes that I could post!  

Today's recipe is one that I made last week and plan to make again today because it was REALLY GOOD!  We go through phases of being very into oat bakes around here, and right now we are "into" them.  Such a delicious, quick snack or breakfast!  This latest rendition is really hitting the spot right now.  It's very firm- you could cut it into thick, soft bars if you wanted.  I like it cold, chopped/mashed up with almond milk poured over top.  Rem likes it heated up then topped with yogurt!  Either way, if you love oats and are looked for a way to change things up, TRY THIS!  

Apple Butter Oat Bake

1 cup apple butter, no sugar added (You can find this at many Farmer's Markets/Farm stores this time of year- we got ours at Lynd's Farm Market in Pataskala.  You could also make your own- I want to try this recipe soon!)
1 c whole, grass grazed milk (any type of milk would probably work)
2 eggs
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large apple, diced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
1-2 T coconut sugar (could also use brown sugar)
1/4 c chopped pecans (or walnuts or sliced almonds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 8x11 in pan with coconut oil. (*an 8x8 or 13x9 pan would also work- just keep an eye on it and bake longer in the smaller pan, shorter in the larger pan).  Whisk together apple butter, milk, and eggs.  Stir in oats, baking powder, salt, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardmom.  Pour into greased pan, then sprinkle coconut sugar and pecans on top.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until it no longer jiggles.  Let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to a week (if it lasts that long).  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Delicious Recipes from the Web

Wow, it has been quite some time since my last blog post. A lot has happened in my life since then (mainly the birth of my sweet, beautiful, hilarious, precious son!) I haven't stopped cooking it's just that posting hasn't been a priority of mine.

I'm not sure how often I plan to post in the future but lately I've been making lots of good recipes from other blogs and websites and I felt I needed to share them with you!

MEAT (MAIN DISHES):

Tacos Al Pastor
After making this a few weekends ago, the recipe has been spreading among my friends who are doing the Whole 30 (sub chicken stock/broth for the beer, which is how I made it)!  It is such an easy, healthy, flavorful recipe, and is particularly good with these toppings (in my opinion): diced fresh pineapple, cilantro, raw red onion, and sliced avocado.  A few girlfriends and I made this into salads, piling the meat and those toppings on lettuce.  Rem ate his on corn tortillas.  Both ways= delicious.  And on the side we made sweet fried plantains.  (Find nearly black plantains.  Slice into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.  Saute in coconut oil, salt, and pepper until soft).
This pork ends up very saucy!  You can serve the sauce on your salad or tacos, but if you still have a higher sauce to pork ratio than you'd like, portion out your pork and sauce into containers for leftovers, and with whatever sauce you still  have left in the crock pot, make rice!  You'll need to make sure that for every 1 c of uncooked, white rice you add there is DOUBLE that amount of liquid in the crock pot.  You can measure or just eyeball it.  Add the uncooked rice to the liquid and turn the crockpot on HIGH for 2 hours.  2 hours later, you will have some seriously flavorful rice!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
I've tried other chicken tikka masala recipes, and they have all been good, but this one was the best yet.  Minimal work for maximum results.  I used coconut milk, not cream, and I doubled the recipe.  I froze a good amount of it, and it reheated well several weeks later!

Paleo Cincinnati Chili
After boiling the beef, I drained it, threw it in the crock pot along with all the other ingredients, and cooked on low for about 4 hours.  (I had never boiled beef like this before, but discovered it is a great method for giving your beef a very fine texture.  However, you could certainly just brown the beef instead if you don't want the fine texture!)  And by "I", I mean my awesome cousin and sister who made this while I fed my son!  We ate this with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, raw onion, and shredded grass fed Dublin Irish Cheddar.  Yum!  This is a great Whole 30 recipe! (minus the cheese)

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma
After baking the chicken, I broiled it for 8 minutes.  It gave the chicken a delicious crispier texture! The chicken was so flavorful and moist... definitely a keeper.

 
SIDE DISHES:

Indian Rice and Lentils
On an Indian kick the other week, I was looking for spiced rice recipes and found this hidden gem.  Some notes: I used ghee instead of oil, 1/2 T cinnamon instead of a cinnamon stick, and 1/4 tsp cloves instead of whole cloves.  I used 6 cups of water instead of 4 1/3 and just put everything in my rice cooker.  At first I was disappointed because it seemed rather "mushy" but it was actually kind of amazing that way.  So, if you use 6 cups of water your rice and lentils will be more of a rice/lentil mash.  But if you want a little more texture to the rice and lentils, you might try using the recommended 4 1/3 c of water.  Either way the ghee and the spice mixture in this make it top notch.

Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Citrus Dressing
If you like Brussels sprouts, you definitely have to try these.  If you don't, you might be converted after tasting this recipe.  I cut the sprouts by hand and it took some time but wasn't that difficult.  I also had to use 2 pans in order to spread the sprouts out enough to roast them.

Roasted Spiced Carrots
I love roasted carrots no matter what kind of seasoning is on them, but this seasoning was definitely something special.  But honestly, I think it was the addition of lemon juice at the end that made these really unique.  If you're getting bored of your typical veggie side dishes, try these carrots!  You won't be disappointed.

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Every time I try to bake sweet potatoes I get frustrated because they seem to take much longer than I think they will.  Well this recipe sets you up for success by giving you a perfect guideline for how long to roast your potatoes, and also gives you a seriously soft, sweet final product.  But be aware, it also gives you caramelized potato juices on your oven rack.  But I'm hoping that just burns off next time I cook,  (I made these yesterday, so I don't know yet how that will turn out).  Regardless, this was a very easy way to make some great baked sweet potatoes.


BREAKFAST:

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancakes
Rem loves pancakes.  I have tried making many paleo/gluten free versions and to me, they've all just been ok.  But these taste like actual pancakes.  They are so good.  A few tips: make them small (1/4 c of batter per pancake).  They will cook evenly and more thoroughly this way, giving them typical pancake texture.  Also, use real buttermilk, not milk/coconut milk and lemon juice/apple cider.  Kroger and Giant Eagle carry a local brand of buttermilk that's good.  There just really isn't a substitute for actual buttermilk (I'm sensing a theme... ACTUAL buttermilk= ACTUAL pancakes).  OK one more thing: the first time I made these I didn't have brown rice flour.  I used 1/3 c white rice flour, 1/3 c sweet rice flour, and 1/3 c potato starch.  I think I liked this version just ever so slightly more than the all brown rice flour version.  Experiment for yourself and see what you think!  Both ways are great.  I also recommend adding blueberries for a flavor variation.

Winter Fruit Salad
A few weeks ago I made this salad for a brunch with my sisters and cousins, alongside the blueberry muffins (below) and an egg casserole with homemade sausage using this seasoning (sub 2 lb. ground pork for the pork butt and use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar- this seasoning is GOOD, you have to try it), butternut squash, roasted red peppers, onion, and spinach.  But I digress- I made the yummy fruit salad with a few substitutions.  I used all apples (instead of pears) and added 1/3 c orange juice to the mixture.  I'm not sure I used the ratios of fruit called for in the recipe- it really doesn't matter though, just put in what you like!  But I would definitely include the oranges, kiwi, apple, and banana.  They have such different textures that I think all are necessary.  And I wasn't sure how I would feel about the mint, but it made the fruit salad almost addicting.  I kept eating it trying to figure out why exactly it was so delicious... Yeh, this recipe is definitely a keeper for a special brunch/breakfast.  

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins
Yum!  Sweet but not too sweet with lots of blueberry goodness.

DESSERT:

The Best Fudgy Brownies
All I have to say is: under bake these, cut them into small pieces (1/4 inch x 1/4 inch) and freeze them.  Eat one every night before you go to bed.  You will always go to bed happy.  The end.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
This is not a low fat dessert.  This is not a dessert to eat if you are trying to lose weight.  But with the right ingredients, this is definitely a WHOLESOME dessert- and THAT is something to feel good about!  To make it as wholesome as possible, use: organic cream cheese, grass fed heavy cream, grass fed milk, grass fed butter, coconut sugar (for brown sugar), honey (for sugar) and organic blueberries.  This ice cream is right up there with any you would get from a Jeni's, Whit's, Graeter's, etc.  You might want to make it for a special occasion, otherwise you will find yourself eating all of it because you can't stop.  Is that a bad thing?  You decide!
One change I made: instead of graham crackers, make a graham cracker CRUST and crumble that into the ice cream.  Trust me, just do it.  Crush up 1 sleeve of graham crackers.  Mix with 2 T coconut sugar and 8 T butter.  Smush it all together, spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1/4 inch thick.  Bake at 350 for 10 min.  Let it cool for 5 minutes then use a spatula to break it up into randomly sized pieces.  After it has cooled, you can layer it into the ice cream in place of the graham crackers.

Chocolate, Banana, and Graham Cracker Icebox Cake
After you've made the blueberry cheesecake ice cream, you will have leftover heavy cream and graham crackers and you will wonder what to do with them.  Well wonder no more!  As with the ice cream, make sure you have someone to share this with.  Wholesome with the right ingredients, but not light.

Write a comment if you decide to try any of these recipes and let me know what you think!  I would also love it if you shared any of YOUR recent favorite recipes from around the web!  Happy cooking!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Party Foods! Featuring Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins, Bacon Burger Meatballs with Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" and Homemade Garlic Mayo

I just had a doTerra party today and of course wanted to have an adequate supply of snacks and treats to serve my friends and family!  I made some tried and true favorites but also tested out some new ideas and recipes I found around the web.  I figured since a lot of people might be having SUPERBOWL parties next weekend, posting some party food recipes would be very timely!  
On the menu today was:

Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins (see below)
Bacon Burger Meatballs with Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" (see below)
Veggies with Homemade Garlic Mayo (see below)
Homemade Guacamole with Trader Joe's plantain chips
Sweet Potato Almond Butter Fries
Knock-off Rolos *I doubled the recipe and altered it slightly, adding a little more peanut butter
Baklava Balls

I hope this list is helpful, especially for those of you who came to the party and wanted the recipes. :)

Without further ado....


Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins

Adapted from Balanced Bites
Makes 48 mini muffins or 24 regular size muffins

My mom got me this awesome 48 cup mini muffin pan that I am using a lot lately to make egg muffins!  This version is a great breakfast or appetizer recipe!

2.5 lb chicken breasts (or thighs), baked with salt, papper and garlic powder
1/4 c Frank's Red Hot
2 T grassfed butter
4-5 green onions, chopped
12 eggs
garlic powder (about 1 tsp)
pepper
1/4 c Frank's Red Hot

Immediately after chicken is done baking (I cooked frozen breasts on a foil lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 35 minutes), immediately shred with forks or your hands.  I also used some kitchen scissors to further chop the chicken up so it would fit well into mini muffin cups.  Mix together 1/4 c Frank's Red Hot and 2 T grassfed butter.  Pour over the chicken and refrigerate overnight to "marinate."  
The next day, prepare your mini muffin tins by greasing them with some olive oil or coconut oil.  If you're using standard size muffin tins, you could use liners for easier clean up!  Divide chicken mixture evenly among muffin cups.  Then sprinkle each cup with green onion.  Next, whisk our eggs with garlic, pepper, and Frank's.  Ladle the egg mixture into each cup, filling each almost to the top.  
Bake at 375 degrees 20 min. (For standard size muffins you might need to bake them for 10 min. longer).  Serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold later!  They are great both ways.  


Bacon Burger Meatballs

I don't know exactly how many meatballs this makes, but hopefully this picture is helpful! The amount pictured is roughly the number of meatballs it makes, depending on the size. I form mine about the size of a ping pong ball.  

3-4 lb. grassfed beef
12 oz. bacon (use the kind without all the preservatives- Kroger Simple Truth is good, or Applegate Farms)
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 large pickle spears, diced
1/4 c tomato paste (about 1/2 a 5 oz. far)
garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste
3 eggs
3/4 c almond meal

First, you will need to thinly slice the bacon and cook it over medium heat until you have brown and crispy pieces.  Next, mix ALL meatball ingredients together- it works best if you mix it with your hands until everything is fully incorporated.  You can prepare this mixture in advance and just refrigerate it for up to a day until you're ready to make the meatballs!  When you're ready to cook them, form the meat mixture into balls and place on either a foil lined baking sheet OR a broiler pan with grates.  (I like to use this because it helps drain some of the fat from the meatballs and helps the outside of the meatballs brown a little better).  Bake at 375 degrees about 30 min. 


Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" 

Honestly I have never had big mac sauce, but this is based on copycat recipes for big mac sauce, with substitutions to make it paleo.  All I know is, this is GOOD.  

1 recipe homemade mayonnaise (see below)
4 T tomato paste
1 T honey
1 pickle spear, diced
onion powder (1/4 tsp)
garlic powder (1/4 tsp)
pepper
salt to taste

Make homemade mayonnaise then add remaining ingredients and mix with immersion blender until tomato paste is incorporated throughout.  Refrigerate, then serve cold.  


Homemade Mayonnaise (*use this for the Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" and Homemade Garlic Mayo)

This is the easiest mayo recipe ever, it just requires that you have an immersion blender.  I asked for an immersion blender for Christmas a few years ago for the sole purpose of making homemade mayo (true story).  I use it all the time to make mayo all the time.  I often use mayo as a dressing, a veggie dip, or a dressing for chicken salad or cole slaw.  It's easy and infinitely healthier than store-bought Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise.  

1 egg
1/2 T apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 tsp dry mustard (optional)
1 c avocado oil or light olive oil

Crack egg into cylindrical container that is wide enough to fit an immersion blender into.  (I use the measuring cup that came with my immersion blender).  Add apple cider vinegar/lemon juice and dry mustard.  Pour in 1 c of oil (all of it at once).  Then stick your blender over top of the egg and let it run, without moving it, for 30 sec.  Then, gradually and gently, swirl the blade head around and bring it to the top of the mixture.  It should be nice, thick, and creamy!


Homemade Garlic Mayo (Best Veggie Dip!)

1 recipe homemade mayonnaise
handful fresh chives, chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 garlic clove, minced (then sprinkle some salt on it and mash it up)
1/8 tsp paprika
pepper

Make homemade mayonnaise then add remaining ingredients and blend again until everything is mixed together.