Quinoa Mac & Cheese

Let’s face it…most of us love mac & cheese, but it isn’t necessarily the healthiest choice. This recipe uses quinoa instead of noodles and adds in some healthy veggies. I love the fact that you can basically use any vegetables that you have lying around and it sneaks them in if you have children who aren’t veggie lovers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • veggies of choice(I use whatever I have around. This time I used red bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • breadcrumbs

Directions:

  • Lightly saute and veggies you are using.
  • Cook quinoa according to package
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together eggs and milk in a large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir well to let cheese melt.
  • Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake 30-35min

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Easy Baked Ravioli

If you have ever been to St. Louis then you have probably had toasted ravioli because it was created there. If you haven’t had it then you need to! This recipe is a version of the toasted rav that we all love just a bit easier to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs( I make my own out of organic rice krispies)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional( I didn’t use)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 24 cheese ravioli, frozen( I bought mine from Trader Joes)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the eggs.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add ravioli, returning to a boil. Cook for 4 minutes. Drain.
  • Add 3 or 5 ravioli to eggs, flip to coat. Transfer to dry mixture, toss to coat well.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ravioli. Spray lightly with baking spray.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce or plain.

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Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf

I have a confession….I love meatloaf. People often cringe when I say we are having meatloaf for supper but if you make it right, it is so delicious! I’ve made it with sweet potatoes, with apples and then this delicious spinach recipe. Try it and you won’t be sorry!

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs( I make my own and add basil and oregano to them as well)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 5×9 loaf pan.
  • In a bowl, mix beef, spinach, breadcrumbs, eggs, and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.

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  • Bake 1 hour. Top with remaining cheese.

This is my husband’s favorite meatloaf recipe!

 

 

Dusting Spray

I’ve been using this spray for a while now I just haven’t gotten around to posting it. I’ve tried a few different recipes and I find that this one works the best.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon essential oil (about 8 to 10 drops)

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together and put into a dark-colored glass spray bottle.

I originally used cheap plastic spray bottles for all of my cleaners, but as I have done more research I have learned that it is best to use glass bottles when using essential oils. Essential oils can slowly eat away at the plastic. You should also used dark-colored bottles as the sunlight can accelerate the expiration date of the oils. I found mine on amazon. I also use my label maker to list out the instructions on how to make it on the back. That way my husband can’t use the excuse of “I didn’t know how” when it comes to refilling them!

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Chicken Fajitas

I could eat mexican food every single day. It is by far by favorite type of food! I’m not a huge chicken fan but my husband loves it so I try to make it at least once a week. I found this recipe here and than modified it a bit to my liking.

Ingredients:

For the chicken fajitas:

  • 1 pound chicken, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional, I didn’t use this but my husband put it on his once it was all done)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

For the peppers and onions:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  • In a large bowl combine all of the chicken fajita ingredients together.
  • Toss the thinly sliced chicken in the marinade until coated, cover, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  • Preheat a skillet over high heat with 2 teaspoons of the oil.
  • When the skillet is hot add in the sliced peppers, onion, chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Saute the peppers and onions for about 4 minutes or until they are golden and have softened slightly.
  • Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet onto a plate and set aside.
  • Add another 2 teaspoons of oil to the hot skillet.
  • Add in the chicken fajita mixture and saute until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Add the peppers and onions back into the skillet.
  • Cook everything for another minute then serve immediately.
  • Serve the fajitas on tortillas.

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Ground Beef Sweet Potato Skillet

Sweet potatoes have become my favorite thing. I use to think I hated them but I think I just had visions of the sweet potatoes I was served at school as a kid. Now that I have learned how to cook them correctly they are one of my families favorite things! We eat sweet potatoes at least a couple of times a week so I am always looking for new recipes that incorporates them. Here is another delicious and oh so easy recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lbs ground beef ( can use ground turkey as well)
  • 1 tsp clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • ½ cup yellow pepper, diced (I added in some red peppers as well)
  • 1 ½ cup sweet potato, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • Fresh parsley for garnishing

Directions:

  • In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Add ground beef and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Add onions and peppers and cook until onions are golden brown.
  • Add the sweet potato, mushrooms, salt and pepper.
  • Cover the skillet and cook until they are tender. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. If necessary, add more olive oil or a little bit of water to cook the sweet potato.
  • When the sweet potato is tender, add shredded mozzarella cheese and cook until the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with parsley.

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Garlic Butter Shrimp & Rice

I am not a huge seafood fan but I do love shrimp!  This recipe reminds me a bit of shrimp scampi only with rice instead of noodles. It is so yummy and quite easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry rice (I used brown rice)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bag (12-ounces) extra large, cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp(without tails as well! I accidentally bought some with tails. It worked, it’s just a bit more annoying)
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • shredded parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Directions:

  • Prepare rice according to the directions on the box.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-heat.
  • Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring very frequently. Careful not to burn the garlic.

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  • Stir in the shrimp and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add prepared rice to the skillet and mix until well combined.
  • Add cheese, milk, parsley; mix and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, or until creamy and heated through.

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  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with parmesan cheese.
  • Serve.

 

Gingerbread Pancakes

During the holidays I crave gingerbread. I love gingerbread cookies, gingerbread lattes…..it is right up there with pumpkin for me! This is a delicious pancake recipe that incorporates my love of gingerbread! I like to make a big patch so I can freeze some for a quick breakfast for my daughter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I have always substituted almond milk and they have turned out fine)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil( I substitute coconut oil)
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp sugar( I substitute coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Whisk flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, molasses, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined. Resist overmixing—it will make the pancakes tough.
  • Let the batter sit, without stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes. As the batter rests, the baking powder forms bubbles that create fluffy pancakes and the gluten in the flour relaxes to make them more tender.
  • Coat a large skillet or griddle with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Without stirring the batter, measure out pancakes using about 1/4 cup batter per pancake and pour into the pan (or onto the griddle). Cook until the edges are dry and you see bubbles on the surface, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 4 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter, coating the pan with cooking spray and reducing the heat as needed. Makes about servings (2 pancakes each).

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  • Top with your favorite syrup and voila! I prefer real blueberry syrup! Deliciousness!!!

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Quinoa Muffins

Long time no see! Having a baby will do that to you, but I am back finally and hopefully I’ll be better about posting again. Here is one of my go to muffin recipes when I want something a little sweet, but still healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup oil(I use coconut oil, but you can use canola or whatever oil you use)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar(I’ve started substituting coconut palm sugar to make it even healthier)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup flax seed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds( Sometimes I substitute sunflower seeds instead)
  • 1/2 cups raisins

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine water and quinoa and cook according to package. About 10min.
  • In a small bowl mash bananas, add the egg, carrots, oil, and vanilla. Mix well.
  • In a large bowl mix flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar.
  • Once quinoa is cooked fold it into the dry ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  • Add pumpkin seeds and raisins.

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  • Spoon into muffin tins.
  • Cook for about 30 min.

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  • Makes about 2 dozen.

Homemade Clif Bars

My husband loves Clif Bars, but at about $1.00 a bar they get pricey when he takes one to work every day. I’ve been seeing recipes to make homemade ones all over the place and I thought I would give it a try myself. I basically combined two recipes that I saw here and here to make my own recipe. I love recipes where you can modify to make something that fits what you like.

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/4 cup rice krispie cereal
  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts or seeds(I used 1/4 cup almonds and probably almost another 1/4 cup sunflower seeds)
  • 1/3 cup honey(You could also use maple syrup or brown rice syrup)
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter of your choice e.g. peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter(I used all natural peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Other add ins: 3 tbsp. mini chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup chopped fruit(raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc)

Directions

  • Combine the honey and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and well-blended (or microwave in small microwave-safe bowl 30-60 seconds until melted).

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  • Add vanilla extract to the honey and nut butter mixture.
  • In a large bowl combine cereal, oats, flaxseed, cocoa powder, nuts, and whatever other add ins you are using.

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  • Pour the nut butter mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until everything is well combined. I used a spatula for this step because it gets really sticky.
  • Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with non stick spray. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and firmly press it down until the top is level.
  • Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to cool for another 30 minutes or so.

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  • When you’re ready just pull the wax paper out of the pan and place on a cutting board. I used a pizza cutter to cut them into bars. I made 9 bars out of mine. You could make them smaller or bigger, depending on what you want.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until you need one!

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I was worried they would fall a part when I tried to cut them, but I didn’t have a problem.  There are a few crumbs but overall they stayed together well and tasted great!