Posts made in July, 2014

Veggie Spaghetti

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 in Dinner, Featured, Meat, Pasta, Things We Love, Veggies

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI seriously love pasta, so when I saw these veggie “noodles” as a replacement for my beloved pasta I didn’t give them much thought.  In fact, I tried to ignore them in hopes they would stop popping up on my Pinterest or Facebook as a healthy alternative.  I finally gave in and searched the utensil that could make these veggie excuse for a noodle. . . I was surprised to find it for under $15 and free 2 day shipping with amazon prime. I also saw it online at Target and Walmart, both for around $15.  I tried it out for the first time tonight expecting to be disappointed.  In fact I had regular pasta cooked and was ready to dump my plate and go make myself some regular spaghetti. But guess what?  I ended up eating the whole plate of veggie noodles!  They were very tasty and satisfying and I felt full (but not stuffed) after eating.  I would definitely recommend giving these a try.  I made a simple marinara with ground turkey and topped it off with parmesan cheese.  I used 1 carrot and 2 zucchinis for myself and had some leftover.

Veggie Spaghetti

(serves about 6)

4+ zucchinis and 4+ carrots (or you can use just one or the other)

1 pound of ground turkey (or beef or you don’t have to use any meat!)

1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I use the large green/red can from Trader Joes)

seasonings such as salt, pepper, basil, garlic salt, etc.

fresh parmesan for the top

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Brown your ground turkey in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Once browned add your marinara sauce and seasonings.

Use the Veggetti to make your veggie noodles.  Heat 1 (or more depending on many “noodles” you have) tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet.  Cook your veggie noodles over medium heat 4-6 minutes until tender.  I put a little salt and pepper on mine but with the sauce and cheese it really didn’t need it!

Top your noodles with the prepared marinara sauce and parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately!

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Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 in Cooking, Desserts, Featured

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I’ve been seeing a lot of flourless cookies floating around the web and finally decided to try one.  I was a little skeptical that it wouldn’t taste anything like a cookie and that my kids wouldn’t eat it.  I found a little way to cheat by grinding part of the oats so they form an oat flour.  This gave the cookie a very soft and chewy consistency which I liked!  My kids definitely approved, too!  To make the oat flour I simple put some oats in my food processor until they were about the consistency of regular flour.  (some bigger pieces are ok)  The whole batch also only has 2/3 cup of brown sugar which is pretty good compared to other cookie recipes.  The cookie isn’t overly sweet which allowed the peanut butter and oat flavor to come through more.   Try them out and see what you think!

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Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

(makes 24+ cookies)

1 cup of oats (I wouldn’t use steel cut)

2/3 cup of oat flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of salt (optional)

1 cup of peanut butter (chunky or smooth, I melted mine a little first)

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and slightly cooled

2/3 cup of brown sugar (or more if you want a more sweet cookie)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3/4 cup of chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.  These cookies did stick a bit more so you may want to lightly coat the mats/paper with non stick cooking spray as well.

In a small bowl combine oats, oat flour, baking soda, and salt, if you’re using it.

In a larger bowl combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.

Stir in the oat mixture and mix until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons (or whatever size cookie you want) onto the baking sheet and press tops down slightly.  The dough is very sticky so you may want to use the back of a spoon for that.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size.  I used about tablespoon sized rounded tablespoons and mine were baked perfectly at 8 minutes.  Don’t over bake or they will be dry and you will lose some of the flavor!  Cool on a cooling rack.

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Basic Stovetop Oatmeal

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 in Breakfast, Cooking, Featured, For kids

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOK, I know this recipe is on the canister of most oats, but I’ve had so many people ask me how I make stovetop oatmeal or tell me it’s too hard or takes too long.  I like making this more than using the prepared packet oatmeal because you skip out on all of the “extras” like added sugar and things I can’t pronounce!  Plus, you can customize it to what sounds good each morning!  I usually go for sliced strawberries and blueberries with a sprinkle of toasted coconut!  I add my fruit the same time as the oats so they get cooked a little bit, you can just add fresh fruit at the end if you prefer.  Some topping ideas include: bananas, dried fruit, flaxseed, chocolate chips (added at the end of course), coconut (toasted or not), any berries, apples (you can soften them up in the microwave a bit first if you like), nuts, brown sugar, cocoa powder, spoonful of peanut butter, protein powder, etc.  What would you add to yours?

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Basic Stovetop Oatmeal

(makes 1 serving)

1 cup of water or milk (almond milk should work too?)

1/2 cup of old fashioned oats

dash of salt (optional)

Optional: dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla

Toppings: berries, bananas, nuts, dried fruits, coconut, flax seed, brown sugar, etc!

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Heat water and salt to a boil (if you’re using milk heat until just about to boil).  Stir in oats and fruit if you’d like it slightly cooked.  (I think bananas are best reserved until the end so they don’t get all mushy!)  Cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Let sit for 1 minute before serving.  Add any toppings you’d like!

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Frozen Yogurt Bites

Posted on Jul 2, 2014 in Breakfast, Cooking, Desserts, Featured, For kids

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Are you ready for a new idea for a snack or even dessert??  Try these little guys out!  They are extremely easy and fast to make and are actually good for you!  My kids LOVE these!  They would have eaten all of them if I let them.  They kept asking for more “ice cream”!  Definitely a snack I feel good giving them and that they enjoy!

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Here’s what you need:

Greek yogurt (any kind, any flavor, whatever amount you wish to make!)

a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper

small Ziploc baggies

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To make:

All you need to do is put the yogurt in the baggies and cut the very tip off.  Squeeze a small round blop of yogurt onto the parchment covered cookie sheet.  Continue until you’ve used up all of your yogurt.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until frozen.  Eat!!!

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Southwest Brown Rice Chicken Bake

Posted on Jul 2, 2014 in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Featured

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Here is a healthy casserole that is very quick and easy to make.  I make it for my family a few times a month and it is a hit every time.  It is great as leftovers and you can add different veggies or meat to give it a different spin.  I have made this replacing the sour cream with greek yogurt and it turned out just fine, although I prefer the sour cream version.  I usually use chicken breast baked with some season salt, but dark meat would work as well.  When I’m feeling extra lazy I just use Trader Joes frozen grilled breast strips which are already cooked and just need to be heated.  I hope you enjoy it!

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Southwest Brown Rice Chicken Bake

(makes about 6 servings)

4 cups of cooked brown rice (I use Trader Joes frozen already cooked brown rice)

2 cups of shredded chicken, cooked (about 2 large breasts)

1 cup of frozen corn

1 15oz can of black beans, drained

1 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of salsa

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or any cheese of your choice) plus addition for topping

salt, pepper, taco seasoning, etc to taste

(you can add onions, can chilis, etc to suit your taste!)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray square 9X9 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed.

Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with additional cheese if desired.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and cheese is nice and melted!

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Top with avocado, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, or whatever else sounds good!

Now tell me that wasn’t easy!  And delicious! :)

 

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Slightly adapted from:  http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/11/cheesy-chicken-and-rice-bake/

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