Cook’s Choice – Baked Egg Avocados

Snacks

Salted Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Sweet, chewy, and salty.  This batch was supposed to make it to the end of the week.  They barely made it to Wednesday!  This is one of the first clean eating cookie recipes I discovered several years ago.  These cookies never get old.

Dinners

Baked Egg Avocados – You know when you prepare a meal and the family (hubby in particular) takes one look and says absolutely nothing – dead silence.  Yep, that’s how this one was received.  Truth is, the hubby doesn’t like eggs unless the yolks are cooked solid. Sometimes, it’s cook’s choice and this gal gets her way 😉   I love eggs prepared nearly any way I can get them.  That goes for avocados too.  Put these two favorites together…well now, that’s just plain fabulous in my book. Tip: Don’t be shy with seasoning.  Eggs and avocados require a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to showcase themselves!

Easy Caprese Salad – Who doesn’t love a caprese salad? This is a light meal ready in 15 minutes or less.  It’s a 25 minute meal if served with pan seared chicken.  It’s an easy crowd pleaser every time.

Clean Eating Sloppy Joe’s and Baked Sweet Potato Fries – An all time family favorite.  Sometimes, when we get all food crazy, we forgo the bun and serve it with organic tortilla chips.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, and it’s a whole new twist on Sloppy Joe’s.

Hope something makes your belly smile…

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Salted Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine 

Dry Ingredients
1 ¼ c old-fashioned oats
½ c whole white wheat flour
1 T. ground flax seed
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. coarse sea salt (preferably Himalayan pink salt)

Wet Ingredients
¼ c.+1/8 c. honey
1 organic cage free egg white
2 T. creamy, salted almond butter (or your preferred nut butter)
2 t. organic vanilla extract

Stir in Ingredients
¼ c. clean dark chocolate, roughly chopped (my favorite is liberty chocolates)
¼ c. organic raisins

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix. Gently stir in chocolate & raisins. Scoop rounded tablespoon size servings onto a baking stone or lined cookie sheet. Cook 9 to 10 min. (Do not over cook. They will be soft and gooey, until they have cooled a bit). Allow to cool on the baking sheet/stone. Makes approximately 16 cookies.


Baked Egg Avocados

Adapted from White On Rice Couple


Ingredients
1 large avocado (per person)
2 eggs (per avocado)
Several slices of super crispy bacon
Toast, optional but recommended
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, optional

Directions:  Preheat oven to 425.  Halve the avocado’s and remove the seeds.  Carefully hollow out each side a bit bigger to create room for the egg.  Place avocado halves in a baking dish in such a way that they support each other and won’t fall over.  Season with a bit of sea salt and black pepper.

Fancy preparation method: carefully separate the yolks and whites.  Fill each avocado with one yolk and then spoon in just enough egg white to fill the remaining available space.

Quick preparation method: carefully crack each egg and pour it into the hollowed portion of the avocado.  Know that some of the egg white will overfill into the baking dish.  It’s a bit less beautiful, but still delicious nonetheless.

Season the egg with sea salt and black pepper.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, depending on your preferred egg doneness. While the avocados are baking, roughly chop the bacon and toast the bread.  When the eggs are cooked to your liking, top each avocado with the crumbled bacon.  Serve alongside the toast.

Scoop out some of the egg avocado goodness and slather it on the toast.  If you’re feeling edgy, add a couple of dashes of hot sauce!


Easy Caprese Salad

Adapted from Savory Sweet Life

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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.


Clean Eating Sloppy Joe’s & Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries (1 sweet potato per person)

Adapted From Broke and Bougie 

Ingredients
3 sweet potatoes, skins removed
2 T. coconut oil (melted) or olive oil
1/8 to ¼ t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. sea salt

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 475 degrees (bake not convection).  Slice the potatoes (skins removed) into French fries.  In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the oil and dry seasonings.  Line a baking dish with parchment paper or foil.  Arrange the fries on the pan (do not allow them to touch one another or they won’t get crispy).  Cook for 10 minutes, flip, and cook 8 to 10 additional minutes or until done to your preferred crispness.

Clean Eating Sloppy Joe’s

Adapted From Broke and Bougie

Ingredients
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 3 ingredients can be replaced with 2 T. 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.

Christmas Breakfast Pancakes and Gingerbread Cookies

SNACKS

Chocolate Chunk Gingerbread Cookies – If you are looking for a soft gingerbread cookie with a hint of chocolate, then look no further.  These cute little guys maintain their softness (thanks to coconut oil), and they pack a big ginger and cinnamon punch. Enjoy one, or more than likely two, with some hot chocolate for a perfect treat!

DINNERS

Vitamix Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Hot Ham & Swiss Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – This creamy soup comes together quite quickly.  Simply roast the butternut squash, and then blend it with the several other ingredients until it’s hot.  That’s it!  Serve it alongside a hot ham and Swiss cheese grilled cheese sandwich and you’ve got a fantastic meal that warms the belly and soul.

Easy Caprese Salad – Recipe repeat alert!  I can’t count the number of times this recipe has saved the day when I have less than 30 minutes to make dinner.  Not only does this come together fast, it can be made in advance too.

Pear Apple Oven Pancakes – Here’s a great Christmas morning breakfast option.  I don’t know about you, but pears and apples are in abundance this time of year #officegifts.  Put them to good use in a most delicious way.  These pancakes are sweet, cinnamony, and visually impressive.

Hope something makes your belly smile!

Smartphone users, scroll to the bottom of the screen to sign up for weekly recipe emails from We Eat For Real.


Chocolate Chunk Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted from My Whole Food Life

Ingredients
2 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
1 – 1+1/2 t. ginger (depending ginger flavor)
1+ ½ t. ground cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. organic vanilla extract
1/3 c. 100% pure maple syrup
1 free range, organic egg (optional: flax egg replacement)
1/4 c. coconut oil (warmed in microwave to soften, but not liquefied)
1/4 c. unsulfured molasses
½ clean chocolate bar, chopped into chunks (I like Liberty Chocolate)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Combine and whisk wet ingredients until coconut oil is pea size or smaller.  Add roughly 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula. Repeat until dry ingredients are combined into the wet.  Top with chocolate chunks.  Dough will be too dry to mix in chocolate using spatula. With your hands, work the chocolate into the dough just until the dough becomes shiny (warmth of your hands will begin to melt the coconut oil resulting in a shiny surface and provide additional moisture).  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (or between two sheets of parchment paper) to 1/4 – 3/8 inch thickness.  Cut out cookie shapes and bake for 10-12 minutes until edges begin to brown ever so slightly.  Do not over bake. Gingerbread men will still be soft in their belly regions when done. 

Note: I bake them on a baking stone. If using a baking sheet, they may require less baking time. 

Confession: for the pictured gingerbread cookies, I forgot to stir in the chocolate. I improvised by pressing chunks into them as if to create chocolate buttons 😏


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.


Vitamix Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Hot Ham & Swiss Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Adapted from Vitamix

 

Ingredients
2.5 c. organic chicken broth
1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed (how to roast a butternut squash)
½ T. olive oil
Sea salt/black pepper, freshly ground
1 t. maple syrup
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1 slice Ezekiel bread
Salt and pepper, to taste
Organic Greek yogurt, optional garnish

Directions: Heat oven to 400 degree (bake, NOT convection).  On a baking sheet, lay butternut squash halves flesh side up.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt/pepper.  Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the flesh is very soft.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest until it can be safely handled and the flesh scraped out with a spoon.

Place the remaining ingredients in the Vitamix container in the following order: broth, squash, maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, cheese, and bread. Select lowest speed and slowly increase to highest speed. Blend for 4-5 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.  If you have a soup setting, select this instead.  Season with sea salt/pepper, to taste.  Consider a dollop of organic Greek yogurt for a slight tangy quick.


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.