Thursday, December 15, 2016

Crockpot Chicken Lentil Stew

How about a nice bowl of chicken lentil stew on a cold winter day???
Well this one is easy, clean, healthy, hearty, and delicious. 

I love my crockpot.  Like really, really love it.  I try to make anything I can in there.
And lentils are perfect in the crockpot. 
This is so simple and delicious!!
You could absolutely make variations with different spices you use too.
Mine is pretty basic to keep the kids interested, but don't be afraid to spice things up!! 

Happy Cooking!!

Slow Cooker Chicken Lentil Stew
1 pound of lentils, sorted & rinsed
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2-3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (15.5 oz) of diced tomatoes
1 bag coleslaw mix 
salt and pepper to taste
Enough water to cover everything (about 6 cups depending on the size of your slow cooker).
1 tablespoon of better than bullion chicken base (optional - I found mine at whole foods)

Throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Before eating, remove the chicken, shred it, and return it to the soup.  

I topped mine with a little pizza seasoning and red pepper to spice it up!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Overnight Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Steel-cut Oatmeal

I love making my oatmeal in the crockpot!!!
I set it up before bed, and voila!!!  It's ready when I wake up!!
My go to recipe is a banana blueberry but I wanted to try something more seasonal.  So I thought I would make a Pumpkin Spice version.
It smells amazing and tastes delicious!!!
Hope you enjoy!
Happy Cooking,

Overnight Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Steel-cut Oatmeal
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats (not quick cooking)
3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin 
2 tsp vanilla
2 T maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp each nutmeg, cloves, and ginger

Combine all ingredients and cook overnight on low for 6-8 hours. That's it!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Vegetable and Feta Egg Casserole

Dish is so simple! You pick your favorite vegetables, top it off with some cheese, and pour some beaten eggs over the top. You can make versions for yourself and for your kiddos. Everything can be made ahead of time for the entire week. It's like an omelette, only baked in a pan with less chances of messing it up! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!!

Happy Cooking!

Vegetable and Feta Egg Casserole
(This version serves 4)
8 eggs
1/4 cup water
Salt & pepper to taste
Cooking spray
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped 
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 cups baby spinach chopped 

Start off by sautéing the pepper, onion, and mushrooms in a non-stick pan over medium heat. 

Meanwhile, spray a small rectangular pan (mine's a 7.5"X11") with cooking spray and set aside. 
Whisk together the eggs, water, salt & pepper.  Also set this aside.

When the vegetables are done sautéing, you can place them evenly over the bottom of the pan. 

Next layer the chopped spinach (uncooked) then the feta.

Lastly, top off with the beaten egg mixture.

Tap the pan a few times to get rid of air bubbles.  It will look like there's not enough egg, but that spinach will shrink up to nothing.  Top with foil. 

 Cook in a preheated over at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until the eggs are set. 

Yummy!!!!  Serve immediately or save it for a quick & easy weekly breakfast or snack.  
If you are following the 21 day Fix or Fixate meal plan, each serving is 1 red and 1 green. (Not enough cheese to count)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad - 21 day Fix Approved

I love chicken salad, but I'm always looking for a leaner version NOT loaded with mayo.  I had heard of the 21 day Fix version in the Fixate cookbook, and I thought "okay, I'll try it."   I'm not normally a honey mustard fan, so I wasn't too excited.  BUT LET ME TELL YOU, this is AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!!  
I couldn't wait to eat it again today!  So yummy, you've got to give it a try! 
Happy Cooking!

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
(my version adapted from the Fixate Cookbook - serves 2)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cooked chicken, breasts or thighs (I used leftovers from a homemade soup, but my crockpot chicken recipe is perfect for this too!)
1/4 green apple, chopped
10 red grapes, cut in quarters
1/4 cup of sliced almonds
1 batch of my Honey Mustard Dressing (recipe below)

First, start with the dressing. 

Honey Mustard Dressing
1/4 cup of 2% Greek Yogurt
1 HEAPING T of whole grain mustard
1 T raw honey
1 T rice vinegar
2 T olive oil

Add the first 4 ingredients to a medium sized bowl.  Whisk together.  Then slowly add in the olive oil, while continuing to whisk.
Whisk until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper. 
 Add the other ingredients to the dressing.
Stir together until dressing is equally distributed.  Enjoy over a salad, as a wrap, or a sandwich. 

Makes 2 servings - in 21 day Fix containers, each serving is 1/2 orange, 1/2 blue, 1 red, 1/2 purple (add greens and yellows according to how you serve it). 

So delicious!!!  Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Spiralized Cucumber Greek Salad

I love any kind of Greek salad or anything with Feta cheese, for that matter.
So when I saw this idea, I couldn't wait to put my own spin on it!!!
All my favorites in one dish with a fresh, flavorful herb dressing.  Yum!!
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy Cooking!

Spiralized Cucumber Greek Salad
1 large english cucumber, or 2 large regular garden cucumbers, Spiralized using whatever veggie spiral gadget you've got
1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
10 kalamata olives, pitted & sliced
1/4 cup sliced pepperochinni
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup herb dressing (recipe below) 

Toss everything together, season with salt & pepper if you would like, and serve!!
Stays good in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Fresh Herb Dressing
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1 clove of garlic
1/2 lemon, juices
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Himalayan Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste 

Pour everything into a mini blender & blend.  Dressing will stay emulsified in the fridge and can be stored up to a week.  It's great on any kind of salad.

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

If you are looking for a quick and delicious salad or side, then THIS is it.
So simple, perfect for an easy meal prep or potluck, you've got to try this dish!!

Happy Cooking!

Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
Cooking spray
1 - 15.5oz can garbanzos, drained & rinsed
salt & pepper to taste
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T whole grain mustard
1 T Dijon mustard 
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

First, get the cauliflower roasting away.  Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray, place the cauliflower in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes until tender and browned.

Now make the dressing.  Combine the mustards and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking as you go until well combined.

Add the roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and parsley.  

Stor until well combined.  Season with salt & pepper if needed. So good!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lentil and Brown Rice Veggie Burgers

This recipe takes the leftovers from my Indian Spiced Lentil recipe and turns it into delicious veggie burgers.  2 meals out of one big crockpot of healthy goodness.   I like to top min off with a garlicky yogurt sauce - so good!!!
Happy Cooking!
Lentil and Brown Rice Veggie Burgers
1 1/2 cups of leftover Indian Spiced Crockpot Lentils (recipe here: 
3/4 cup of leftover cooked brown rice
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil, for cooking

Garlicky Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt 
1 tsp olive oil
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients and allow the sauce to sit for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Now to make the burgers.  Take half of the lentils and mash them with a potato masher.  Then add the other ingredients and mix well until combined. 
Form into 4 patties.  (If you like your burgers a bit drier, you may want to add more rice).  Chill in the fridge for an hour or freezer for 30 minutes. 

Heat 1 T of olive oil over medium in a frying pan.  Cooke for 3-5 minutes on each side to get a little crust on it.  
Flip and do the same to the other side.

Serve with the garlicky yogurt sauce along side a salad or roasted broccoli.  Yum!!  Enjoy!

Simple Spaghetti with Tuna and Tomatoes

This recipe was a long time coming.  I had been watching chefs on the Food Network, such as Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis make versions of this and I always wondered what it would taste like.  But truth be told, I was scared that making the canned tuna warm would be super fishy.  Well to my surprise, its not at all!!!

Last week I took a bunch of cooking books out of the library.  Owen took interest in several recipes, so I told him to choose 4 to make this week.  This Spaghetti recipe was one of them.  
It can be thrown together in less than 15 minutes, perfect for a busy weeknight, and a great option to add healthy protein to every kids favorite dish - pasta and sauce.  Yes, we love meatballs; but homemade meatballs takes some time, and store-bought have lots of ingredients I would prefer to avoid.   So this is now something I KNOW my kiddos will eat without any drama.  IN fact, Owen said he like this MORE than his regular pasta with plain sauce. WHAT?!?!?!  I'll take it!
A more grown-up version would add capers and kalamata olives, or maybe even an anchovy or two for the foodies out there.  As many of my recipes, I want you to take it and make it your own.   This can be served with a green salad or roasted veggies.

Happy Cooking!!

Simple Spaghetti with Tuna and Tomatoes
8 oz whole grain spaghetti (I like Ronzoni Smart Taste)
1-2 T olive oil
1 cup of your favorite clean marinara sauce (or you can make a quick pan-sauce with
1 T olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of pureed canned tomatoes)
1 can (5 oz) albacore tuna, packed in water
1/2 cup Romano cheese
reserved pasta water

Cook the pasta according to the package in heavily salted water.   Once its ready, reserve some of the pasta water and drained the spaghetti. 

Meanwhile, heat up or make your sauce (heat pan, add olive oil add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes, stir and allow to warm before moving to next step.).   Once warmed through, add the tuna breaking it up until its just warmed through, about 2 minutes.   Add the spaghetti and toss everything together.  If its dry, you can add some pasta water and top off with the grated Romano. 

Make Ahead Couscous Salad

I love make-ahead salads for quick go-to lunches and snacks!!  You can be intentional with your ingredients,  or just use up all the leftovers in your fridge.  And to be honest, that's what this was for me.  

Once you know the basic way to make homemade dressing, you just throw a bunch of things in a bowl and voila!!  You have deliciousness!!  

I hope you love this and get creative with it - make it your own.  And message me with your creations too!!!  I want to hear from you!

Happy Cooking!

Make-Ahead Couscous Salad
1 1/2 cups of leftover whole wheat couscous (already cooked)
1 cup of garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup diced red pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a large bowl and keep in the fridge until you eat it.  When you are ready to serve yourself, just gently toss again to redistribute the dressing.  


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Crockpot Indian Spiced Lentils

I got this amazing set of spices from a good family friend and I am looking for new recipes that use them.  These lentils are just one of many recipes you can expect over the next few months. 

I love my crockpot - so simple.  You can even cut all the veggies up ahead of time to make the morning crockpot dump that much easier.  I am serving mine over couscous instead of brown rice (we just had rice last night with our stir-fry) and sides of roasted broccoli and naan.  Yum!

And this was kid approved!!!  There is almost no heat to these lentils, so absolutely kid friendly.  

Happy Cooking!

Crockpot Indian Spiced Lentils

2 cups of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of fresh minced ginger
2 T coconut oil
1 tsp Kashmiri Curry
1 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
8 oz of tomato sauce (no seasoning added)
3-4 cups of water
Sriracha, Greek Yogurt, and cilantro for serving

️Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and set on high for 7-8 hours. 

Check occasionally, as you may need to add more water if the lentils absorb it all. 

Asian Kale Mason Jar Salad

Yes, everyone has seen mason jar salads, but how about a delicious vegetarian version with Asian flavors???

This one is so simple and delicious!  Feel free to sub out any ingredients you don't like and even add chicken, tofu or tempeh if you want to add some protein.  I like to make these during my meal prep and let them sit in the fridge for simple grab and go lunches.  My hubby loves to take them to work too.   Hope you enjoy them!

Happy Cooking!

Asian Kale Mason Jar Salads
(makes 4 mason jars)

8 tablespoons of Asian Vinaigrette (recipe below)
2 cups of shelled, cooked, and lightly salted edamame
4 cups of baby kale, roughly cut (I like to tightly pack it, so for me that meant about 7-8 oz container)
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 cup of chopped red pepper
2 cups of snow peas, trimmed and cut in half
4 T each fresh basil and cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced

In each jar layer the ingredients in the following order:  2 T dressing, 1/2 cup edamame, 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup peppers, 1/2 cup snow peas, 1 cup kale, 1 T of each herb, 1/4 avocado.  Seal tightly and store in the fridge until lunch time!!  Yummo!  Enjoy!

Asian Vinaigrette
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup liquid aminos
5 T sesame oil
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp raw honey
️place all ingredients in the blender.  Done!  Easy peasy. 

Mason Jar Yogurt Parfaits

I'm always looking for recipes I can make ahead so I can grab and eat it on the go or while I'm working.  These yogurt parfaits are so simple, and perfect for this!!

You can eat them for breakfast or snack and are really versatile.  Change up the fruit, add homemade granola, or flax instead of chia.  I made a few with chia and berries, and a few with coconut and banana.  The banana did not get brown, even after sitting for over 24 hours.  

And get your kids involved - they can make their own versions for their lunch boxes.  Hope you enjoy!!

Happy Cooking!

Mason Jar Yogurt Parfaits
¾ cup reduced fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries)
2 tsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. honey

Start off with a layer of yogurt.  Add the chia, then the honey.  Top it off with the fruit, seal it tight, and place in the fridge until serving.  They stay well for days at a time.

chef note:  I prefer the wide mouth mason jars because its easier to get the food inside. 
 For those of you following the Fix, 1 jar is 1 red, 1 purple, ½ orange)
Variations: Substitute ½ large banana, 1 mango, or 1 peach for berries and 1 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut, or 1 Tbsp. flaxseeds, or 1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds for chia seeds.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Greek Quinoa Salad - 21 Day Fix approved

I love feta and olives, so I'm always looking for healthy meals and ️sides to incorporate then. 

I like to make this salad for a simple make-ahead lunch with grilled or roasted veggies, and it's great for a picnic, potluck or party too!!  I made it for Labor Day at our house yesterday. 

So good!!!!  Feel free to add more ️veggies or change up the ingredients.  It's super versatile. 

Happy Cooking!!!

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
2 T red wine Vinegar
2 T olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed 
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half (mine were yellow tomatoes)
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced green olives
1/2 lemon, juiced
More red wine vinegar, salt, pepper & olive oil to taste

Cook quinoa according to package, scrape into a bowl & immediately add 2 T each red wine vinegar & olive oil while hot.  Combine well, season with salt & pepper.  Set aside until it's at room temperature.

Once cooled, add all the other I ingredients, mix well, and add additional vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. 


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sprouted Wheat Blender Pancakes

We LOVE pancakes on the weekends!!   I love Kodiak pancake mix, but sometimes I just want to make my own.  
First, its cheaper.  Secondly, its fun to do with the kids!!  It doesn't take long, especially if its a blender recipe.   I created this one this morning and it was a HUGE hit!  The yogurt adds moisture and protein, while the vanilla gives it great flavor.
Hope you enjoy it!

Happy Cooking,

Sprouted Wheat Blender Pancakes
2 cups of plain, 0% Greek Yogurt
1/3 cup almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 T agave nectar
2 large eggs
4 T canola or olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder   
Preheat your griddle to 350 degrees.  Place the yogurt, almond milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, agave, and salt in the blender and blend on high until well blended.
Add the flours, baking soda, baking powder and blend just until combined.  Don't over do it.  Add more milk if its too thick to pour, but batter will be VERY thick. 

I used a spoon to spread it out after I poured it onto the hot griddle. 
The pancakes don't bubble up as much as normal pancake batter, so you may need to flip them before you think you would.  Keep checking them so you don't have burnt pancakes.  
I added fresh blueberries to mine.  So yummy!!!  These have a great flavor and texture. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Stuffed Pepper Soup

It might be spring but it sure doesn't feel like it!!!  40 degrees and rainy all day called for some soup at dinner time and this was perfect!

Hubby and kid approved, you can add as much or as little rice as you would like.  It is comforting and delicious.  You could also play around with the seasonings to make Tex-Mex or Italian versions, but this one really does taste like a ketchup smothered stuffed pepper from my childhood - YUM!

Hope you give this one a try!
Happy Cooking!

Stuffed Pepper Soup 
this recipe was adapted from

3 cups cooked brown rice  (I used my rice cooker)
1 lb 90% lean organic, grass-fed, ground beef
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz each) cans diced tomatoes, pulsed in the blender (my kids don't like big chunks of tomatoes on the soup, but I wanted some texture)
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
Himalayan salt and fresh pepper to taste

Over medium heat, brown the ground beef until cooked through and drain on paper towels.  Return to the pot with the peppers and onions.  Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional 5 min.  

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, marjoram and season again.  Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.  Serve over the brown rice.  I serving for me was 1.5 cups of soup over 1/2 cup brown rice.  (For all my Fix friends, that's 1 green, 1 red, and 1 yellow).   So delicious!!!  

Monday, February 29, 2016

Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

Who doesn't love dark chocolate??
So how about a healthy muffin that's high in protein and tastes like dessert?!?!


These were so simple and delicious!  Nina did most of the work and we've been snacking on them all weekend.  They are so decadent, it feels like dessert.  Yum!

Hope your family loves them as much as we did!
Happy Cooking! 

Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins
Adapted from the back of the Kodiak Cakes box 
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups of Kodiak Cake Power Cake Mix (I get it at target next to the other pancake and waffle mixes).
1 cup of unsweetened Almond Milk
1 egg
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional chopped nuts, shredded coconut, you pick!)

Preheat the oven to 350. 
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend until smooth.  Stor in the chocolate chips.  Fill a muffin tin lined with paper liners, or a greased muffin pan.  

Bake for 14-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Makes 12 muffins!!  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

These are so good and a great alternative on taco night!  My husband and I LOVE them, although I must be honest - they don't really interest the kids.
 (I just make some extra quinoa & chicken for them.)

It's gluten free and can easily be made vegetarian, vegan or dairy free too. 

I hope you love these as much as we do!!
Happy cooking!

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers
(This recipe has been adapted from the Fixate cookbook) 

4 medium bell peppers, (red, orange or yellow), cut in half, seeds/stem removed
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 T chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1.5 lbs raw chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces 
15 oz can of clean, no sugar added tomato sauce (just read the label)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Greek yogurt & hot sauce for topping 

Preheat your oven to 375. Place the 
Peppers skin side down in a large baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Set aside. 
Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Add the chicken and all the spices, stirring frequently until chicken is no longer pink.  About 5-8 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, quinoa, beans, and cilantro.  
Stir together and turn off the heat. 
Generously fill the pepper halves until all the filling is gone, or until no more can be piled on top.  And be sure to mound them high!
Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Top each pepper with cheese and bake for an additional 5 min.

Top off with your favorite hot sauce and greek yogurt (instead of sour cream).  Yummy!!  

And if you are following the 21 day Fix, each pepper half is 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red and 1/2 blue.  Enjoy!!!!