Sunday, November 30, 2014

Orzo with Roasted Veggies

This meal was inspired by a Barefoot Contessa recipe I found on her blog. It was very easy to throw together and the roasted veggies gave the dish lots of flavor. Enjoy with a good crusty bread.

Roasted Veggies:
  • 1 small zucchini, diced 
  • 1 small yellow squash, diced 
  • 1  red bell pepper,  diced
  • 1  yellow bell pepper,  diced
  • 1  sweet onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb orzo pasta, cooked according to the directions on the box
  • 2 Tbl lemon juice (1 juicy lemon)
  • 2 Tbl Braggs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
Add to the top:
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted is extra yummy)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Approx. 15 fresh basil leaves, julienne
Preheat oven to 400F
Place all the cut veggies on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle melted coconut oil on the veggies, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated. Roast for 20 minutes. 

While veggies are roasting, cook orzo and make the dressing. To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper in a tupperware with a tight fitting lid. Shake well to combine.

After veggies are roasted, orzo is cooked and dressing is made, combine them all in a large bowl. I put mine in the refrigerator at this point because I wanted it to be chilled. You could also eat it warm. 

Before eating, sprinkle green onions, pine nuts, feta and basil on top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pumpkin Banana Muffins with Hemp & Flax Seeds

I literally cannot make enough of these muffins! I always try to bake enough to freeze so we can enjoy them throughout the week as snacks and for a quick breakfast....but, they never seem to make it to the freezer. My kids scarf these down (and so do I)....I think my daughter has eaten three today....yep, she has - one for breakfast, one for a snack (and she ate the one I took out for myself, too)....about thirty minutes ago she asked me if she could have one for her dessert. I will happily oblige.  They are full of fiber from the pumpkin, omegas from the flax, and protein from the hemp seeds. Win, win, win! The bananas give a great dose of potassium and vitamin C. These muffins are little power-houses of health. And even though they are low in sugar, they are absolutely delicious!! YUM! Whip up a batch today (actually, it might be wise to whip up two). Enjoy!

1/3 c coconut oil (and a little bit for greasing the pan)
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup coconut sugar (find this at Whole Foods or in the organic section of the grocery)
1/4 cup coconut syrup (find this at Whole Foods- or if you can substitute honey or pure maple syrup)
2 eggs
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (these are dairy, nut and soy free)

Preheat oven to 350F

Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Melt the coconut oil in a large microwave safe bowl for about 50 seconds. Remove bowl from microwave and use a wooden spoon to stir it around until it is completely liquid. Add the two bananas and mash well. Add the coconut sugar and the coconut syrup to the banana/oil mixture and stir until combined. Add the eggs one at a time and combine; add pumpkin and stir. Add the rest of the dry ingredients from the whole wheat pastry flour to the cinnamon. Stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop batter into the lined muffin pan. Bake for 21 - 22 minutes or until the muffin springs back when gently touched.  Let cool on the counter. I can usually get about 15 muffins out of this recipe.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Candy Junkyard Cookies

I don't know about you, but I have a TON of Halloween candy that I would really like out of my house!! I made these cookies last night for my friends' Halloween party and they were a big hit. The recipe is simple - make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (I use the recipe on the back of the Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips bag) and substitute 3 cups of chopped Halloween chocolate for the semi-sweet chips. That's it! Enjoy!

I use the recipe on the back of the Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips bag, but, you can use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe instead.
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar <I only use 1/2 a cup of granulated sugar>
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • <3 cups of chopped chocolate bars, all mixed together>
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chopped chocolate bars. <I always refrigerate my cookie dough for at least two hours before baking - I find it makes for much better cookies!!> Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown <I never bake for more than 9 minutes- slightly undercooked cookies always taste best!!>. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.