Friday, January 18, 2013

Seth's Birthday Dinner

This meal was one to write home about :)  It was fantastic!  I did spend all-day in the kitchen, but that included several interruptions with 3 small children, a dog, and homeschooling.  I hope you enjoy these and try some for yourself.  

The Menu:

Feta cheese stuffed mushrooms
Chipotle rubbed pork chop (really spicy! but we like it that way)
Creamy polenta (So creamy and rich it could have been dessert! Paired perfectly with the spicy meat)
Garlic green beans
Fresh sweet rolls
Ice cream sandwich fudge cake

The Recipes:


My Changes:
*Only roasted 2 heads of garlic
*Used 30 baby Portobello mushrooms
*Used 8oz feta cheese
*Used Oregano for the spice


My Changes:
*Doubled the recipe
*Did not use butter, or any substitutes, it was already creamy enough!
*Did not add the extra half and half at the end
*Only used 1/2 c. shredded cheese, for the doubled batch!  It was super creamy!
*Put it in the slow cooker on low for 2 hours and then "keep warm" for 4.  Still stirred it every 30 to 45 minutes.  Added water here and there to keep it from burning.


My Changes:
*Used 11 pork chops
*Grilled them for 4 minutes on each side and then put the in the oven at 350, covered, for 10-15 more minutes.


My Changes:
*Doubled the recipe
*Instead of putting dough into a loaf pan I formed small rolls
*Bake at 350 for 24 minutes, rotating pans half way through.


My Changes:
*Used homemade fudge sauce
*Topped with crumbled heath bars

Hot Fudge:

My Changes:
*Used 2% milk instead of condensed milk

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's So Good You Could Eat It For Breakfast, Cookie. (and it's gluten-free!)

Preheat oven to 325.


3 ripe bananas
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. oil
1 t. GF vanilla
1 T. raw honey
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. ground flax seed mixed in 6 T. water OR 2 eggs
_____________________________________________In a mixer, combine all is mixed well.

In a separate bowl combine

1 1/2 c. GF rolled oats
1 c. coconut flakes
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. all-spice
1/4 c. almond flour or other GF flour
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
1 c. dried fruit, I used apricots, chopped
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds, chopped
1/4 t. baking soda

Stir to combine and then add to the wet mixture.  Mix until it is all incorporated.  Drop by the Tablespoon full onto a cookie sheet. I sprinkled pink and blue sprinkles on top just for fun :)  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.  Store in refrigerator.

These cookies are healthy enough to eat for breakfast, but still sweet enough you feel like you are getting a treat! So bake some up and serve cookies for breakfast!  Your kids will thank you.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Paleo Spiced Raisin Muffins

A friend recently gave me this recipe and I must say it is amazing! Even if you are not gluten free you should try these! My 3 year old son, who is a very picky eater, scarfed down 2 in no time. That was huge for my little muffin lover who recently had to go gluten free. Happy Mommy dance! Next time I am going to play with the flavors and try adding apples or apricots :)


1/2 c. Sweet potato, mashed
1/2 c. Unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. Raisins
1/2 c. Nuts (I used pecans) chopped
1/4 c. Raw honey
1/8 c. Carrot, shredded
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
3/4 c. Almond flour
1 t. Cinnamon
1t. GF vanilla
Pinch nutmeg
1 t. Baking powder

Mix all ingredients together, place in muffin tin and bake for 28-30 minutes. Makes about 10 muffins.

Here is the blog where she got the recipe:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sage Butternut Squash Cakes


One small butternut squash, peeled and grated
Two medium carrots, peeled and grated
Half a red onion, finely diced
Two cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of salt
Pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons of fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup +3 tablespoons of GF flour
1 tablespoon of ground flax
Pepper to taste
Two eggs beaten

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form cakes and cook on a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lemon Cilantro Lentil Soup


Big handful chopped fresh cilantro
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 T. garlic, minced
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


In a large pot heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and carrots and cook until tender,
about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in spices and lentils,
pour in stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

In a food processor blend 4 T. Oil, cilantro and 1 garlic clove until it is a purée. Set aside.

When the lentils are soft blend 2 cups of the lentils in a blender and return to soup. Stir in the cilantro oil and fresh lemon juice.

This soup is perfect with hot sauce on top and a nice piece of grilled chicken.

It is Gluten-free and dairy free too!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Soup's On

Szechwan Carrot Soup with Coconut Quinoa

I wanted a basic ginger carrot soup, but planned to kick up the heat -- I found this recipe at Epicurious, and made only a few modifications from the original version.  It is easy and delicious.  Later this afternoon, I started flipping through a new library gem, Bryant Terry's The Inspired Vegan and flagged his coconut quinoa recipe as a perfect side.  It, too, came together in a breeze and as I stared at the two pans side-by-side, I realized that they belonged together.  I ladled the spicy carrot soup over the coconut quinoa and a new favorite emerged - Mike and I scarfed down two bowls each.  So - enjoy!

Carrot Soup (about 6 cups)


2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed or chopped
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons water
1 lb (unpeeled if organic) carrots chopped in 2-inch chunks
3 inch peeled piece of fresh ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 cups of chicken or veggie broth
1 cup of coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of creamy nut butter (I used peanut)
1  tablespoon of fish sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Soften onions and garlic in coconut oil over low-med heat; after the mixture warms, you can add more fat or add a few tablespoons of water instead (the outcome works, either way).  Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn and, once translucent, add the carrots, ginger, red pepper, and broth.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or so, until the carrots are easily pierced.  Add the rest of the ingredients and lower heat.  Give it a few minutes to let the flavors come together. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or a regular blender, carefully).  Keep warm and enjoy.

Coconut Quinoa (4-6 servings) from The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry


1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup rinsed quinoa 
2 tablespoons of dry (unsweetened) coconut flakes


Combine coconut milk with water and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil and add the quinoa and dried coconut.  Lower the heat immediately (watch so it does not boil over), cover, and turn to "low."  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and steam with the lid on for five more minutes. Fluff with a fork, season to taste, and enjoy.