Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe >> Kid-Friendly Quesadillas!

This is one of those amazing things that you can sneak a bunch of good stuff in without your toddler or kid knowing.  Plus, I LOVE these.  I used to make them all the time, especially when it was just me making a meal for myself and two little ones.  This takes hardly any time and is a great meal that will fill you up.  While I don’t eat most of this stuff anymore, this is an awesome toddler recipe!  This is definitely not Paleo, but still a great kid friendly fast recipe.  So have fun with it!

Kid-Friendly Quesadillas

What you need:
Whole wheat tortillas (I use either local or Mission brand)
Black beans
Some sort of cheesy substance (For E, we use Daiya and for the rest of us we use reduced fat cheddar or mozzarella)
Chopped tomato
Ground flax seed and/or chia seeds
Avacado, diced into small bite sized pieces

Put a couple tortillas on a cookie sheet.  For me, I like the black beans whole.  My daughter won’t eat it unless they are smashed, so a head’s up there.  I also just put the beans right in the middle of the tortilla, so it doesn’t creep out the edges.  You can make these into quesadillas or burritos, whichever works best.  Sprinkle flax and or chia onto the beans.  Next add some cheese on top.  To keep dairy intake down, just put a little on for flavor.  For kids, you might need more than you would use, to mask everything else, but don’t load it on. Put in the oven under the broiler, watching closely, until the cheese gets melty.  Don’t over cook, as the tortilla will get hard.  Of course, you can also use the microwave.  There isn’t much time difference because you can do two or more in the oven, while only one at a time in the microwave.  Also, the microwave adds moisture, so I prefer the oven.  Once they are done in the oven, put on the stovetop.  Don’t try to remove them yet.  Instead, put in the tomato and avocado.  Now my son will eat avocado, he loves it.  I can get C to eat it if I make guacamole and tell her it’s a dip for her chips, but not in this meal.  So for her, I omit the avocado.  For me, that’s my favorite part!  She sometimes will eat the tomatoes and sometimes won’t, but I always add them.  Chopped very small.  For a quesadilla, fold it in half, push the contents to the edges, and cut into thirds.  Perfect portion for a kid!  Add some fruit on the side and serve.  No I don’t have a picture, sadly.  These are awesome, but I don’t eat them anymore, so I’m probably not going to making them anytime soon, since I love them so much!  Maybe I will adapt it sometime soon.

Sidenote:  It took about eight times of serving this with beans before my daughter just said one day…”I love beans!”  Before that, she wouldn’t eat it all, and would try to eat it around the beans.  Keep serving it, and they’ll catch on.  The beans provide fiber and protein and calcium and are a great thing to add to a lot of meals, so just keep introducing it to your kid or toddler, and eventually they should take to them.  If not, mash them, chop them, and hide them.


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Recipe >> Autumn Pork Roast

Hey friends.  Throwing a couple of recipes at you this morning.  This is what I made yesterday, and man oh man, was it good.  Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been on Whole30 for 5 days now, but everything I am making is tasting sooooo good.  I’d like to think it’s maybe a little of that, but mostly my awesome cooking skills.  This is the perfect recipe for people who don’t want to do much.  For those days that just seem like a lot of work, or if you have to work all day.  This can just cook all day in your trusty crockpot and be absolutely delicious when you get home.  I paired it with a small spinach salad with a little oil and a few sesame and cumin seeds.  I am not a salad guru.  I’m not big fan of salads, usually.  But I knew I needed something else that was super green.  Also had a couple orange slices, which was delicious.

Autumn Pork Roast

Ingredients

  • Pork roast (any pork roast will do)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a butternut squash cut into about 1″ cubes
  • 1 yellow or white onion cut into small slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 scallion section
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme (x2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup water

 

Directions

Put pork roast into a crockpot with the fatty side up for maximum flavor.  Pour in 1 cup of water into the crock.  Mix seasonings, no rhyme or reason to it.  Just start with the salt and pepper, add a couple cloves of chopped fresh garlic, add in the thyme and paprika.  mix and put on top of the meat.  Add sliced scallions on top (optional) for extra flavor.  If that isn’t enough spice for your roast (depends on the size of the roast), then mix up more.  I like to have a starting point, but then go crazy with my seasonings.  Add in cubed butternut squash and onion slices all around and on top of the roast.  Then sprinkle the rest of the thyme on the veggies, and maybe a little salt and pepper if you like.  Let it cook all day.  I started mine at about 9am and let it cook on high until 4pm, then let it rest a little on low with the lid off and served it up at 5pm.

This is a great toddler friendly recipe as well.  My kids love stuff out of the crock pot.  Trying to get my 2 year old to eat spinach…another story.

Day 4 of Whole30. No quirky lines for you.

I am being reduced to a soulless, primal being.  All I want is a venti salted caramel mocha from Starbucks.  It’s all I think about.  I need to talk about something else.

At the end of day two, because I had skipped breakfast (slept through it…a very rare luxury), I needed something at the end of the day.  Made some guacamole and used tomatoes to dip in it.  OH SERIOUSLY WOW.  It was so good.  So here’s my recipe for some really awesome guac.

AWESOME GUACAMOLE

  • One avacado, scooped out of the skin and chopped and smashed
  • 1 tsp or so of lime juice
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes (to taste for added PIZZAZ!)
  • garlic (or garlic powder)
  • chopped onions
  • two roma tomatoes

Mix all the ingredients except the tomatoes.  Now, if you can eat chips or whatever, then just chop one tomato and add it to the guacamole and enjoy.  But if you want to cut that out, use the fleshy romas (or other veggie that can be cut to a good dipping size) to eat the guac.  We sliced them in about 1/8″ slices, thick enough to hold their shape, and used a spoon when necessary to scoop onto the tomatoes.  It was devine.  An amazing and very healthy snack.   I was so hungry, I didn’t take a picture.  But it probably would just look gross…I mean, a bowl full of smashed green things with lumps of other things?

Anyway, I ate this again for lunch the next day.  I gave E a little bit of the avacado and ate the rest myself.  I was very full for a few hours.  Then massively hungry.  I made soup last night and it was probably the best soup I’ve ever made.  Take that, comfort zone!  Still, I was craving something sweet afterwards.  I don’t know if I want that to go away or not, but that is kind of the goal of this program, at least one of them.  I just want something yummy so bad!  I actually just made C a sunbutter jelly sandwich….and now that is all I can think about.  And the coffee.  But that is right on the counter….I cut off her crusts….and they are just sitting there…and I want them…..so I ran to the computer fighting tears and wrote this.  I feel better now.  Whew!

My soup was made a day after roasting the chicken.  JD made stock from the leftovers, and we had some really good broth to start with and leftover chicken.  I added more carrots, onions, and butternut squash and WOW.  I steamed the carrots and butternut squash with a bunch of thyme, and then added it to the broth and let it cook for awhile.  I used garlic, ginger, paprika, dill, rosemary, salt and pepper.  It was amazing.  So so so good.  I am good at making soup, but this was a step up.  All because I had to go away from my staples of either beans or potatoes.  I have never eaten butternut squash before, but we got one on a whim at the store.  It was cheap, and we are roasting another third of it with a pork roast right now and will have more for this weekend.  New favorite produce!  I love fall!

Day One >> Whole30 Hard.

This program is already making me feel like a caveman.  I want to grunt and growl at everyone.  I want to go hunting.  For chocolate.  It’s all because I want something sweet, and I am post lunch.  Even though I had 1/4 of an orange after lunch, which was really sweet.  I want processed sugar in the form of chocolate and I want it NOW.  Buuuut in reality, I don’t feel super hungry, and I feel very satisfied.  I’m surprised because I am only two meals in.  The plan was to start yesterday, but we went camping over the weekend and were beyond exhausted Sunday night.  We had no energy to get to the store and do the major shopping required for this.  So anyway, here’s what we bought at the store for the next couple weeks-ish:

GROCERY LIST

  • 9lbs of 93% lean ground chuck
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8lbs of pork (JD is skilled at meat cutting, so we buy in bulk.  This made two pork roasts and a ton of chops)
  • baby spinach
  • 5 onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1lb carrots
  • 3 avacados
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 4 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2 bags frozen cauliflower
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 can coconut milk (planning on getting more, but wanted to try cooking with it first)
  • 1 half gallon plain coconut milk
  • 2 half gallons vanilla almond milk (for kids)
  • cashews
  • bananas
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • mushrooms
  • Spanish olives (yuck!  I’m gonna work on liking these!)

All of this was less than $120

It is amazing to me when people say they can’t eat healthy because it is too expensive.  First, because that is just complete bull.  Yes, I will have to go to the store more often, and yes, produce and meat is kind of pricy.  But when you cut out all processed foods (and dairy for us) and prioritize, you can afford it.  When you value your nutrition and factor in price, this is a lot cheaper to get what you need than buying cheap food filled with corn and soy and that is nutritionally deficient.  Calories help you survive, but can’t sustain you and keep you healthy.  Empty calories are worse.

WHAT I STILL NEED

  • shallots
  • ginger
  • more coconut milk in cans
  • grapeseed or coconut oil (whichever is cheaper for higher temperature cooking)
  • granola
  • yogurts
  • good coffee (we can’t have anything sweet in our coffee, so we need good coffee we can drink black…we usually buy this from Whole Foods where they roast it fresh, but usually not a whole month’s supply, just 1lb and that lasts about two weeks)
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • coconut amino (I don’t know exactly what this is….)
  • stuff to make mayo, pesto, and curries (still need to plan out some easy, small meals for when JD is gone)
  • sunflower butter (with no sweeteners)
  • frozen fruit (blueberries, raspberries) from TJ’s (can’t beat the prices, and lasts a lot longer than fresh)

We have about $40 left in the meal budget for this stuff

Today we had omelets with spinach, green pepper, mushrooms, and onion for breakfast and Asian Beef & Broccoli for lunch.  JD works second shift tonight, and is taking the leftovers to work, and the kids and I will scrounge tonight.  Not sure what we will come up with.  Tomorrow, we are roasting a chicken and eating that with carrots and onions and a salad of baby spinach with a little oil and vinegar.  Leftovers from that will make soup, hopefully enough for a couple days.  It’s getting cold here, especially today, so I am in a major soup mood.  And I like getting everything in one bowl.  Don’t know what is up with that.  I love to eat out of bowls.  The kids are still eating graham crackers and triscuits and will continue to eat cereal until it is gone.  Then we will get them granola and yogurt (almond or coconut yogurt for E and organic plain for C).  They love that and it is pretty good for them.  I’m not focused on them being on this plan, but I do want to keep their diets pretty similar.  They eat the same foods for meals and love what we eat.  E will eat almost anything anyway, and C is really starting to open up.  The biggest thing that has helped us get our 2 year old to eat green peppers and broccoli and that sort of thing is to eat at the table as a family for every meal and leave cell phones and tv out of the meal.  It’s so awesome!  Even when it is just the kids and me, I love it.  I am focused on them, and I am cutting out unnecessary tv out at the same time.  They seem to benefit from it, and we have only been doing that for a couple days.

Recipe >> Vegan Banana Waffles

Looking for a good, healthy vegan waffle recipe?  Look no further.  These waffles are so great!!!

forgetti spaghetti vegan waffle recipe

Just a sidenote:  I only use whole wheat flour.  I won’t use white flour for anything, so these are super awesome whole wheat waffles.  If you want to use white, you can, or you can half and half it.

So here’s what you’ll need:

Dry Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
a dash or two of salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground flax seed

Wet Ingredients:
2 2/3 cup coconut or soy milk (this time we used coconut creamer for E’s because we didn’t have coconut milk, and cut out the vanilla in his…and we usually use soy milk for our own)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp oil (canola or grape seed work well)
1 small banana (to get right size, slice lengthwise, turn and slice again creating four long pieces.  then slice thinly along so you have thin quartered pieces for your waffle mix)

To Make:

Plug in waffle iron and let it heat up.  Combine all dry ingredients, and mix together with a whisk.   Add wet ingredients, and stir somewhat slowly, don’t let it bubble up too much.  Don’t add too much air.  Add banana last. (Of course, you can add whatever fruit you want, or none at all…we used blueberries for E’s)

For E’s waffles, we couldn’t use soy milk, and we didn’t have any other milk on hand for him.  So I used coconut milk coffee creamer, and added a little water to thin it a bit.  We cut the recipe down to 1/4 the size of all ingredients, and it made the perfect size waffle for him.  We added blueberries for his and didn’t add extra vanilla, since the creamer was vanilla flavored.  We gave him half, and froze the other half.

Pour waffle mix onto waffle iron when it’s nice and hot, it will be kind of thick but that’s ok.  As long as it will pour and stir and looks nice and wet.  Don’t try to fill the entire waffle iron, just put a big glob in the middle, then close the lid and press it all the way down.  In about 5-7 minutes, depending on the iron I guess, you will have a perfect waffle.  And they are delicious and healthy!  Of course, I used syrup on mine (I know I know…sugar addiction central).  I should’ve used the jam I just bought or fresh fruit.  Strawberries would be amazing on top!  Paired with a cup of coffee (I’m trying out Trader Joe’s coffee for the first time…not too bad, especially for $4.99!) it was the perfect Sunday breakfast for my family and I.

Jon and I watched the church service today from the computer while eating and the kids played in the other room.  It was kind of wonderful.  And check out this band that played at church today >> A Treehouse Wait >> soooooo good!  I stalked their website and listened to the songs on there afterwards.  I want their EP…definitely worth checking out if you like folksy, laid back music.  Beautiful voice.  Anyway, I digress…..

 

Hope you enjoy these!  Let me know if you try it!

Recipe >> The Best Pasta Ever

This recipe requires a specific ingredient from Trader Joes, although you could probably make it yourself.  Here are the ingredients for 2 adults or 1 adult and 2 toddlers:

Best Pasta Ever

olive oil
1 tomato
fresh oregano (or dried, but fresh is awesome)
1/4 red onion
1/2 orange (or yellow or red) bell pepper
2 generous handfuls of spinach
Trader Joes roasted red pepper eggplant and garlic spread
Some sort of whole wheat pasta

Sauté the onion and bell pepper in the olive oil.  When that is just starting to get cooked well, slightly caramelized, add tomato, spinach, and oregano.  Cook the spinach down, about 5 minutes,  maybe less, and then add half a jar of the Trader Joe’s sauce.  Serve over cooked whole wheat pasta.  Have a food-gasm.

Sorry I don’t have a picture of the finished awesomeness…I’ll get one up here one of these days…

Recipe >> Veggie Fried Rice

This is a recipe that we make for just us two, but now our 2 year old loves it too!  Little E can’t have the soy sauce, but we usually give him the rice and some veggies before we put that in.  And we make a lot of extra rice to use throughout the next couple days, so we make 2 cups of brown rice in the rice cooker, but it would work for a family of four with 1 cup.

fried rice recipe

Veggie Fried Rice

1 cup of cooked brown rice (works well to stop it just before it is done, so it isn’t as gummy and can finish cooking in the pan/wok)
Chopped baby zucchini (we get this from Trader Joe’s and put it in everything!)
Chopped bell peppers
Chopped shallots
Large amount of chopped chives or green onions (we used chives because we grow it in our garden)
Low sodium soy sauce
Grapeseed oil (or oil of choice for sautéing)
A touch of garlic salt for flavor
Optional: 2 eggs
Optional: any meat, such as chopped shrimp or chicken
Cook 1-2 cups of brown rice almost to completion in a rice cooker.  Get that started first.  While that is cooking, start to sauté the shallots and peppers.  We use a wok to cook it all, it makes it much easier, especially when the rice is added.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat.  Once the shallots and peppers are starting to cook well, add zucchini.  You could also add mushrooms, spinach, or anything else like that at this time.  That’s the best part of a dish like this…you use whatever veggies you have lying around.  Chop it up enough, and the kids won’t even notice it in there.  If you want, next you add the eggs.  Just crack them and let them drop in.  Stir the eggs in well.  We don’t usually have it with eggs, but it is a very nice touch.  Turn heat down to medium-low.  Take the rice and add it in, slowly enough that you don’t put too much in.  Get the desired amount of rice to veggie ratio.  Add soy sauce, again to your liking.  We usually use 1-2 tablespoons.  Stir and fry.  Stir and fry.  Don’t cook too long, as the rice will get gummy.  Make sure the soy sauce coats everything, and it all gets stirred together well.  And serve!