Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week of January 9

*Paleo Sweet Potato Chili - I did not expect this chili to have such great flavor!  We put a little cheese on top of ours because we aren't committed to paleo eating (and because, let's be honest, cheese helps my kids get excited about their food!), but it didn't need it.

Potato, Chicken, and Green Bean Bake

British Steak and Mushroom Pie - we discovered meat pie while living in England.  It became my son's favorite food and he still requests this every year for his birthday dinner.  I've experimented with several changes, but I think the original recipe is still the way to go.

Egg Scramble Deluxe - my fancy name for the "use it up" meal.  It's basically a really big omelette without shape!  Cook bacon or warm up leftover meat.  Saute chopped veggies (our favorites are peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions).  Scramble eggs and just before they're done cooking, add the cooked meat, veggies, and some grated cheese.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken



*Perfect Cinnamon Rolls - these are AMAZING!  And they are HUGE.  Prepare to share and freeze.

Kale Salad from Super Natural Every Day.  Another great, simple recipe from Heidi Swanson.  I made this on Monday and ate on it all week for lunch.  I swapped about 1 Tbsp coconut oil for some olive oil and added a teaspoon of an asian chili sauce for a little kick.  The leftovers keep well, but, not surprisingly, the kale and coconut chips lose their crisp when reheating.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week of January 1

I love cooking.  I love trying new recipes.  I love talking with friends about food and recipes and cooking and eating.  I love sharing recipes that I've found and love with other people.  And I refer to this little blog space often to remember what I've made, what we've liked, and to share recipes with people.  So instead of trying to post individual recipes, I'm going for a weekly meal approach.  I'll star the recipes that were new and hopefully do a better job of tracking what I make for future reference.



Mexican Pile-Up - a family favorite: you pile up whatever you want!  Our staple ingredients are: rice, taco meat, chips, lettuce or spinach, black beans or refried beans, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, cilantro, salsa.  Other taco-type toppings are welcomed when I have them.

Anniversary date night.  Kids had pizza.

*Cinnamon Chili Pork - this was absolutely delicious and everyone in the family liked it - winner!  My youngest asked for a bowl of the red pepper apple salsa for her birthday meal!

Kids were invited to the neighbors' for a last-minute dinner playdate, so we had date night leftovers.

*Roasted Sausage with Mushrooms, Squash, and Polenta - I love polenta, but hadn't tried roasting it before.  Delicious!

1 16-ounce tube refrigerated cooked polenta, cut into 1/2-inch slices and halved (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
2 cups sliced fresh cremini mushrooms
2 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb. uncooked mild Italian sausage links
1 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a 15x10-inch baking pan combine polenta, mushrooms, and squash.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Prick each sausage a few times with a fork.  Place in pan with veggies.  Sprinkle with rosemary.
Roast 25-30 minutes, or until sausages are done, stirring once.  If desired, top with additional rosemary.
Recipe taken from Better Homes and Gardens' One-Pan Recipes magazine


New Breakfast recipe:
Yogurt Biscuits from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson.  This is a new cookbook for me and I'm excited to cook my way through it this year with a friend!  It's definitely worth a look from your local library if you enjoy simple, interesting, whole food recipes that are easily adaptable for family-friendly eating.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Menu Swap

Jessie and I did another menu swap a few weeks ago.  I love sharing recipes with her because I get to think of my dear friend as I prepare food each night, and her menu is always great!


Thai Chicken Pizza - this was my favorite meal of the week!  The flavors and different textures were great.

Korean Beef Bowl - throw a simple veg on the side of this quick crowd pleaser for an easy dinner

Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup - I'd actually made this before a long time ago, but was grateful for the reminder of this delicious soup.  We liked it so much, I made it again this week with turkey leftovers and homemade turkey stock.

Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Casserole -  this is a fancier version of your grandma's broccoli rice casserole - comfort food

Broiled Tilapia Tacos - Jessie loves tacos, so I can always count on her menu including a new version to try.  These are great, and it's worth hunting down a ripe avocado to make the sauce

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps - this was my youngest daughter's favorite meal.  She and I are both suckers for beans and rice.  Add a crispy tortilla, wrap in foil, and you have an easy picnic meal!

Refried Beans - I made these to put on nachos for my extended family and everyone was raving about them.  I've done them in the crockpot before, but I liked the flavor of these better.

Aunt Jo's Sweedish Pancakes - the ones I was able to make without destroying were delicious, but I needed Aunt Jo to come for breakfast to give me a tutorial on how to make her pancakes!

Moon Pies - YUM!  Make these!  And if you make the mistake I did and DOUBLE the amount of butter for the pies AND the filling, your family will thank you all the more!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Chicken and Butternut Squash Satay Curry

I found this yummy recipe here.  The meal was simple to pull together, had rich flavor, and went over well with everyone at my table. 


1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into smallish cubes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I only used a pinch for the kids' sake)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
6 cloves garlic, crushed
a decent piece of fresh ginger (about 2 thumbs’ widths), peeled and chopped finely
about 800 grams to a kilo chicken thighs or breast, chopped into small pieces
14 ounces coconut milk
3 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon honey
2x 14 ounce cans chopped tomatoes (I only used one can)

for serving:
fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts & natural yoghurt 
rice & poppadum


Toss the butternut squash in a large bowl with the chili powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper and turmeric, and set aside.

Heat up a big drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet, then cook the garlic and ginger together for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another two minutes or so or until white.

Add the coconut milk, then stir in the peanut butter, Thai curry paste and honey.

Add the butternut squash with spices and the tomatoes, and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender. Squish about half of the squash into the curry before serving.

Serve over rice, garnished with the coriander and peanuts, and with the yoghurt and poppadums on the side.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pumpkin Apple Cake

After a trip to the apple orchard with my friend, Patricia, she suggested I use some of the apples to make this cake.  I always take Patricia's advice when it comes to food!  This wholesome cake is moist and just right for Fall. 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup, divided (or less - I only used 1/2 cup total)
  • 2 cups apples, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place foil over the base of a 9 inch springform pan and then place sides on pan (I used an 8-inch cake pan). Grease well.

  • In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter and ¼ cup maple syrup over medium heat. Once the mixture is melted, add the sliced apples and stir to coat. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
  • Place apples on bottom of springform pan.

  • Mix together the flour, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. In seperate bowl, whisk together the oil, remaining ½ cup maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

  • Pour pumpkin batter over apples and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. With a butter knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Remove side of springform pan. Invert cake onto a serving platter. Remove base and foil from cake. Allow to cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Plantain Tortillas


My sister-in-law introduced me to this flourless tortilla alternative.  I love them!  My kids think they're a tad bitter, but not so much that a little cheese and taco meat, or sandwich fillings can't cover it up.  The plantains need to be very green (otherwise the wraps have a banana flavor), so when I see extra green plantains at the store, I consider it taco night!  


3 green plantains
1 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

Line a large jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  This is a must!  Cooking spray won't cut it.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Pour onto parchment-lined baking sheet and use spatula to spread out evenly.  Bake 27-30 minutes.  Cut into 6 or 8 rectangles and serve warm with fillings of your choice.  

Reheat leftovers in the oven instead of the microwave to avoid drying the wraps out.




Monday, October 17, 2016

Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese

Pasta, cheese, bacon, bread crumbs, and "hidden" cauliflower all baked in one dish.  What's not to love?  I did have quite the messy kitchen when dinner was ready, but that's not entirely abnormal when I'm cooking so I shouldn't blame it on the recipe.  The recipe I used can be found here.  Below are the approximate translated measurements I used =)


6 slices bacon
1 head cauliflower
12 oz. dried macaroni
olive oil
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 thick slices of bread
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese


Fill large pot 2/3 full with lightly salted water and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile . . .

Lay bacon in a 9x13 baking dish and place in cold oven.  Preheat oven to 425F with the bacon in the oven.  The next steps should take about 15 minutes - the approximate time you'll want the bacon to cook.  

Trim cauliflower, removing coarse outer leaves and the tough end of the stalk.  Break cauliflower into large chunks and place in boiling water.  Add dried pasta and 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom, bring water back to boil.  Cook partially covered with lid.  Meanwhile . . .

In a medium bowl, mix cheese, sour cream, and yogurt.  Set aside.

When cauliflower and pasta are just cooked (a knife inserted into the cauliflower stalk should slide in easily), reserve 1 cup cooking water then drain in a large colander.

The bacon should be done by now.  Remove bacon slices from dish and set aside on paper towels to absorb the grease.  Tip pasta and cauliflower into the dish the bacon was cooked in.  Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved water.  Stir in cheese mixture, breaking up the cauliflower as you go.  If necessary, use a potato masher to break into fine bits.  If the pasta mixture now seems too dry, stir in more of the reserved water.  Season to taste.

To make the breadcrumb topping: place bacon, bread and rosemary in a food processor (my Vitamix did the job).  Process well until you have a breadcrumb topping texture you are pleased with, adding a drizzle of olive oil as necessary to help bind everything together.  Evenly spread breadcrumb mixture over pasta dish.

Cook 8-10 minutes.  Broil 1-2 minutes if you want to give the breadcrumbs extra texture.  The topping should be golden and the pasta sauce should be bubbly.  Grate parmesan on top for serving.  Enjoy!


Friday, September 30, 2016

Toasted Millet Muffins

Muffins are a staple in our home.  Some muffins are more like cupcakes, but these are hearty and filling.  My friend, Patricia, introduced us to toasted millet, and my kids love the crunchy texture it adds.  You could swap out the coconut oil for any other oil, but we like the added flavor.  I bet some dried fruit would work well also.


2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup millet, toasted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare muffin pan with cups

In a large bowl, mix the flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, buttermilk, egg, oil, and honey.  Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture just until everything is moist.  Transfer batter to prepared muffin pan.

Bake 12-15 minutes.  Enjoy!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Banana Pancakes

These flourless, sugarless pancakes are a weekly breakfast favorite in our home.  You can't beat a quick breakfast that goes from the Vitamix to the griddle to my mouth.  I always make a double batch.

3/4 cups milk
2 bananas (more ripe is better)
1 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Put everything into a blender and mix until smooth.  Pour in 2-3 Tablespoon amounts on a hot griddle (preferably with butter sizzling!).  Cooke 3-4 minutes, then flip for another 1-2 minutes.  Top with yogurt, honey, syrup, berries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce . . . enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

We had a week of sandwiches a while ago and this one was my favorite.  By far.  The chipotle caramelized onions are a must to keep the sandwich from being a glorified BLT.  


1 small chicken breast, pounded thin
salt and pepper to taste or your favourite grilled meat seasoning
mayo
lettuce
tomato
bacon slices, cooked
ripe avocado, sliced
chipotle caramelized onions (click link for recipe)
sandwich buns (I used this recipe to make my own)


Brush your grill with oil and heat to medium heat.
Season the chicken and grill until cooked, about 5-7 minutes per side.
Assemble the sandwich and enjoy.
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