Be Brave…Eat Something “Out There”

SNACKS

Blender Banana Muffins – A fast muffin-like recipe that is a great on-the-go breakfast or after dinner treat.  I say “muffin-like” because they look like muffins, but their texture is not light and crumbly.  Instead, they have a spongy angel-food like texture. Tip: don’t over blend to prevent overly tough and chewy muffins.

DINNERS
Pear Apple Oven Pancakes – Impress your friends with this upside down fruit pancake.  Pears and apples cooked in cinnamon and honey make for a delicious breakfast for dinner meal.

Easy Caprese Salad – Talk about fast, simple, and delicious.  Add some grilled chicken and an impressive dinner is ready in no time.

Zoodles Puttanesca – Don’t like zoodles (a.k.a. zucchini pasta)?  No worries. Use whole wheat pasta instead.  Whatever you do, you won’t be sorry.  This sauce is killer!  Don’t be scared of the anchovies.  They melt into the olive oil, and the recipe just isn’t the same without them!!

Broccoli and Cheese Baked Spaghetti Squash – “Mom, you know I don’t like spaghetti squash!” “Oh wait, maybe I do like it with broccoli and cheese.”  You’ll feel the same way, trust me.

Hope something makes your belly smile…

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Blender Banana Muffins

Adapted from Well Plated 

 

Ingredients
1 c. organic plain Greek yogurt
¼ -1/2 c. local honey*
2 large organic eggs
1/2 t. organic vanilla extract
2 c. oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
2 large very ripe bananas
1 1/2 t. baking powder (preferably aluminum free)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 c. chocolate chunks (my favorite is liberty chocolates)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To a blender container, add all ingredients in the order listed (except the chocolate).  Blend for about 15-20 seconds.  Do not over blend.  Add the chocolate and give it a quick pulse.  Alternatively, pour the batter into olive oil greased muffin tins; and sprinkle the chocolate chunks atop each muffin cup.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until sightly golden.  Allow to cool completely before removing.


Pear Apple Oven Pancakes

Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food  

  

Ingredients
2 eggs, 4 egg whites (organic)
2 t. organic vanilla extract
¼ c. + 1 t. organic honey, divided
½ c. white whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1½ T. organic butter
1 organic apple, thinly sliced
1 organic pear, thinly sliced
1 t. ground cinnamon
Pure maple syrup

Directions: Preheat the oven 375 degrees.

To the blender, add the first six ingredients (eggs, vanilla, honey, flour, baking powder, and sea salt). Turn on medium speed for 15 seconds.

Heat a nonstick to near medium heat.  Add the butter to coat the bottom of the pan.  Arrange the pears and apples evenly on the bottom of the skillet.  Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon the on the fruit and drizzle with the honey.  Sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until the fruit begins to soften, stirring gently once or twice.  Pour the pancake batter evenly atop the fruit.  Once the batter begins to set up on the bottom of the skillet (approximately 5 minutes), insert the skillet to the oven. Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the top has set up and is slightly golden.

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven.  Cover the skillet with a plate slightly larger than the skillet.  Invert it to reveal the sliced pears and apples.  Serve with warmed maple syrup.


Easy Caprese Salad

Adapted from Savory Sweet Life 

 

Ingredients
2 pints organic cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
16 oz. fresh “mini” mozzarella pearls, halved
6-8 T. olive oil
Big bunch basil leaves (18+ leaves), finely chopped or get fancy and chiffonade
½ to 1 t. sea salt
½ to 1 t. freshly ground pepper
Balsamic reduction, optional (recipe below)

Directions: In a medium bowl, gently toss the tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a drizzling of balsamic glaze (optional). Serve immediately.

Balsamic Reduction
1 c. store bought balsamic vinegar
4-5 drops organic stevia drops (optional)

Directions: In a small sauce pan, add the balsamic vinegar and stevia. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer until it has reduced by one-half (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. It’s done when it is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.


Zoodles Puttanesca

Adapted from The Londoner 

  
Ingredients
6 organic yellow squash (alternative: organic zucchini)
3-4 T. olive oil, depending on your skillet size
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 anchovies (alternative: anchovy paste)
1/8 to ¼ t. chili flakes, depending on your heat preference
2 T. capers, do NOT rinse
1/3 c. black olives
2 cans, diced organic tomatoes
Parmesan, to sprinkle on

Directions: Use a spiralizer tool to create zucchini noodles (a.k.a. zoodles). Set them aside.

Warm a skillet to medium heat. Add the chicken sausage, turning every 3-4 minutes. While this continues to heat, begin preparing the Puttanesca…

Warm a large skillet to just below medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the minced garlic, and allow it to sizzle for 30 seconds. Next, add the anchovies to the oil. Don’t worry; you won’t have to look at these guys for very long.  They will dissolve and serve as flavor only for this amazing sauce. Finally, add the chili flakes that add both flavor and heat to the oil. Give everything a stir.

While the sauce bubbles at the edges and smells up the kitchen something fiercely delicious, give the olives and capers a rough chop before adding them to the skillet. Finally, stir in the final ingredient – canned tomatoes. Adjust your skillet heat so that a little bit of simmering is happening to marry all the flavors.

Using tongs, add the zoodles to the sauce.  Toss them to evenly heat and coat them with the sauce. Once plated, drizzle with olive oil and Parmesan cheese!


Broccoli and Cheese Baked Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from Eating Well 

 

Ingredients
1 2 1/2- to 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch organic broccoli, chopped to retain the florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 to 1/4 t. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T. water
1 c. shredded organic mozzarella cheese, divided (alternative Gouda)
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 t. Italian seasoning (alternative: Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper

Directions: Microwave the whole spaghetti squash for 2 minutes. Slice lengthwise to create to long boats.  Place face down on a microwave safe container with a small lip.  Add 1 tablespoon of water to the plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the flesh is very soft when pushed.

In the meantime, add olive oil to a skillet warmed to nearly medium heat.  Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and broccoli florets.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Increase the temperature to medium add 2 tablespoons of water.  Put a lid (or inverted plate) on the skillet to allow the broccoli to steam until soften slightly (3 to 5 minutes).

Remove the broccoli from the heat and place in a mixing bowl.  Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash in the bowl with the broccoli.  Stir in the cheeses, Italian seasoning, and sea salt/pepper.  Evenly divide the mixture among the spaghetti squash ‘boats.’  Broil on the lowest oven rack until the cheese is bubbly and browning ever so slightly.

 

Ssssss – Soups, Squash, Swiss Chard, Sloppy Joe’s and Some Pumpkin Muffins

SNACKS

Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins – This is an old faithful recipe for sweet and super moist pumpkin muffins. This recipe is so easy that my lil munchkin and her buddy made them with me.  We got so caught up in the fun of making these that I forgot to snap a pic…oh snap!

DINNERS

Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets and Winter Squash – I took a few liberties with this recipe and threw in some roasted turnips (because I had them) and omitted the cardamom (because I didn’t have any).  The result – layers of delicious flavors. We happily ate on these leftovers for several days. 

Swiss Chard Frittata and Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s House Salad – Swiss chard is overflowing in my refrigerator this time of year. Since eggs and chard are such good friends, I often unite them in a skillet with some onions, garlic, and cheese. It’s always a happen gathering in the skillet and my stomach 😉

Broccoli and Cheese Baked Spaghetti Squash – I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new ways to use spaghetti squash. This recipe is pleasantly easy and pleasing. I’ll likely up the garlic ante next go round and substitute Gouda for mozzarella.  You can never go wrong with garlic or Gouda in my book.

Clean Eating Sloppy Joe’s with Crispy Baked Fries – You’ve seen this recipe here before because it’s crowd pleasing staple. Enough said.

Slow Cooker Quinoa White Bean& Kale Soup – I had intended to prepare this recipe, but I just didn’t get around to it.  I feel certain you’ll a version of it here soon.

Hope Something Makes Your Belly Smile…

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Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins

(Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food )

1½ c. whole white wheat flour
1 T. pumpkin spice
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. baking powder
½ t. sea salt
2 organic eggs
½ c. honey
1 t. organic vanilla extract
2 T. melted organic butter
1 c. organic pumpkin puree
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, honey, vanilla, butter, and pumpkin). Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined (do NOT over stir). Spray muffin tins with a nonstick oil (I like to use a mister filled with olive oil). Fill 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 min.


Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets and Winter Squash

(Adapted from Produce on Parade)


2-3 whole beets, scrubbed and ends trimmed
2-3 turnips, scrubbed and ends trimmed
1 large winter squash variety, skin removed and diced into cubes (see skin removal tip below)
1/2 t. olive oil
1 c. dry, organic red lentils, rinsed
5 c. organic vegetable broth
1 T. coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 t. ground turmeric
1 t. curry powder
1/2 t. ground ginger, (alternative 1 t. fresh ginger, minced)
1/2 t. ground cardamom, optional
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch or ground nutmeg
1 15 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. sea salt
2 T. lime juice
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees (bake, NOT convection). Loosely wrap the beets and turnips in foil. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In a small bowl, toss the squash with ½ t. olive oil. Arrange the squash on the baking sheet in a single layer. The beets/turnips and squash all go in the oven.  After 15 minutes, flip the squash with a spatula and flip the foil wrapping containing the beets/turnips. Return to the oven to continue roasting. After 15 minutes, remove the squash and set aside. After an additional 15 minutes, check the beets/turnips for doneness. They are done when easily pierced with a fork. Note: They may require up to another 15 minutes. Carefully unwrap  and allow to cool before dicing into cubes.

While the beets/turnips roast, heat a large stock pot to medium heat. Add the coconut oil and onions. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and the following spices: turmeric, curry powder, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper. Cook until the onions begin to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the beets, turnips, coconut milk, thyme, salt and lime juice. Serve immediately.

Tip: To easily remove tough winter squash skin, microwave the whole squash for one minute. Then, use a sharp knife to slice off the skin.


Swiss Chard Frittata and Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s House Salad 

frittata pic

1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 link, preservative free chicken sausage, sliced into rounds
Bunch of organic Swiss chard, chopped (stems removed)
¾ c. organic shredded cheese
5 organic eggs (alternative: 3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites)
Sea salt/freshly cracked pepper
Salsa, optional topping
Hot sauce, optional topping
Directions: Preheat oven to 375. In an oven safe, nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil on medium heat. Brown the chicken sausage for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, in a small bowl whisk the eggs. Add cheese to the eggs, stir, and set aside. Add onions and salt/pepper (to taste) to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the Swiss chard to the skillet, stirring often. Continue cooking until the greens are softened. Add the garlic, cooking until fragrant (about a minute). Pour the cheese/egg mixture evenly atop the skillet. Allow the eggs cook until the edges begin to firm up.

Place the skillet in the oven for about 10-15 minutes to finish cooking. The frittata is done when then eggs in the middle of the skillet have become firm and the cheese is beginning to brown. Carefully remove from the oven. Allow to sit for a 3-4 minutes to further firm up.

Serve in “pizza style” slices from the skillet OR ensure the frittata is loose by running a nonstick spatula around the edges of the frittata and invert the skillet on a plate. Enjoy as is or with top with salsa and/or hot sauce.

Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s House Salad 
Organic greens of your choice
¼ c. chopped walnuts
½ red onion, very thinly sliced
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Balsamic reduction

Balsamic Reduction
1 c. store bought balsamic vinegar
4-5 drops organic stevia drops (optional) (alternative 1 t. honey)
Directions: In a small sauce pan, add the balsamic vinegar and stevia. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer until it has reduced by one-half (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. It’s ready when it is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.


Broccoli and Cheese Baked Spaghetti Squash
(Adapted from Eating Well )


1 2 1/2- to 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch organic broccoli, chopped to retain the florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 to 1/4 t. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T. water
1 c. shredded organic mozzarella cheese, divided (alternative Gouda)
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 t. Italian seasoning (alternative: Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
Directions: Microwave the whole spaghetti squash for 2 minutes.  Slice lengthwise to create to long boats.  Place face down on a microwave safe container with a small lip.  Add 1 tablespoon of water to the plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the flesh is very soft when pushed.

In the meantime, add olive oil to a skillet warmed to nearly medium heat.  Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and broccoli florets.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Increase the temperature to medium add 2 tablespoons of water.  Put a lid (or inverted plate) on the skillet to allow the broccoli to steam until soften slightly (3 to 5 minutes).

Remove the broccoli from the heat and place in a mixing bowl.  Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash in the bowl with the broccoli.  Stir in the cheeses, Italian seasoning, and sea salt/pepper.  Evenly divide the mixture among the spaghetti squash ‘boats.’  Broil on the lowest oven rack until the cheese is bubbly and browning ever so slightly.


Clean Eating Sloppy Joe’s with Crispy Baked Fries
(Adapted from Broke and Bougie and Self Magazine )

sloppy joes pic
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 organic bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
3 T. honey
1 T. Italian seasoning (alternative: Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
1 t. sea salt
1 t. pepper
1 can organic tomato sauce
2 T. organic tomato paste
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. hot sauce*
1 t. soy sauce*
1 t. apple cider vinegar*
*These three ingredients can be replaced with Worcestershire sauce.
Directions: In a large, deep skillet warmed to medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, and bell pepper. Cook until the veggies are softened (about 3-4 minutes). Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the turkey and break it up into tiny pieces. Cook until no longer pink (about 5-7 minutes). Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer to allow the liquid to reduce and thicken a bit (about 5 more minutes). Serve immediately.

Crispy Baked Fries
4-5 medium organic potatoes, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
3/4 t. coarse sea salt
Directions: Soak the fries in a large bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes. While they soak, preheat the oven to 450 degrees (bake, not convection). Drain the fries and gently pat dry. In a bowl, gently toss the fries in olive oil. Arrange the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 25 minutes or until brown (flip at the halfway point).