Strawberries rock & Greek Burgers with Creamy Coleslaw roll!

Strawberry heaven is what we’ve been living in the past two weeks with our CSA (Lazy Eight Stock Farm).  We’ve eaten them straight from the containers, in smoothies, mixed into Greek yogurt, in oatmeal, etc.  Strawberry Banana Muffins were a hit too.  Not a lot of time to bake this week? No worries.  Make the No Bake Oatmeal Raisin Nut Butter Bites. Good luck getting them to last much longer than a few days!

My favorite dinner this week…Greek Turkey Burgers With Coleslaw.  An excellent alternative to regular ol’ burgers.  The mint leaves, while they may seem a bit odd, really do create another layer of deliciousness.  We use whole wheat pita pockets because we can load them up with toppings.  If you’re feeling daring, add some coleslaw to the pita pocket for some extra creaminess and crunch.  One Skillet Fajitas is an easy weekday meal that is ready in 30 minutes or less (with a few simple ingredients).  If you’ve been wanting to do something new with avocados, tryBaked Avocados with Baked Broccoli Bites. The avocados are stuffed with cheesy, garlicky, lemony goodness, and the broccoli bites are a fun, finger food option that might help convince a picky eater that broccoli is truly yummy.  If you didn’t try Quick Buttermilk Oat Soaked Pancakes last week, give them a try this week!  Breakfast for dinner is always a winner.

Hope something makes your belly smile!

Snacks

Strawberry Banana Muffins


Adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking

Dry Ingredients:
1 ¼ c. whole white wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. ground nutmeg
¼ t. salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 T. coconut oil, melted (alternative: melted organic butter)
1 large organic egg
2 t. organic vanilla extract
1 banana, mashed
2 T. honey
¼ c. plain organic Greek yogurt
¾ c. organic strawberries, diced (about 10-11)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a muffin (I like coconut oil) or use silicone muffin cups (no need to grease).  In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients (except the strawberries).  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Stir just until combined.  Gently fold in the strawberries.  Fill muffin holders 3/4 full.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Enjoy!


Oatmeal Raisin Nut Butter Bites


Adapted from A Kitchen Addiction

½ c. creamy raw almond butter or peanut butter
¼ c. raw honey or maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ c. coconut flour
3 T. quick oats
2 T. ground flax seed
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. sea salt
¼ c. organic raisins

Directions:  In a small bowl, whisk the nut butter, honey, and vanilla.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Use a heaping tablespoon to create individual servings. Roll in your hands to form balls.  Optional:  Create an oat coating by rolling individual balls in some loose oats.  Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm them up a bit.  Enjoy!

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


Dinners

One Skillet Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas:
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
2-3 large organic bell pepper, seeded/sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes OR (3-4 chopped medium, fresh tomatoes)
Note: if using fresh tomatoes, add ¼ c. of salsa
2 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
sea salt/pepper
whole wheat tortillas (idea: Ezekiel brand tortillas)
Optional Fajita Fillers:
canned organic black beans, drained & rinsed
organic shredded cheese
organic Greek yogurt or sour cream
salsa
avocado, sliced

Directions: Warm a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Season all sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. To the skillet, add the olive oil and chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned on all slides (about 5-6 minutes). Add onions and green peers, cooking until the peppers are softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).  Immediately add all remaining ingredients. The tomatoes will sizzle in the skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer. Allow some liquid to cook out (about 10 minutes). Season with salt/pepper to taste. Serve fajita mixture with whole wheat tortillas and your favorite fajita fillers. Enjoy!


Baked Avocados with Broccoli Bites

adapted from Mele Cotte and Food Renegade

Tip: To time this meal just right, prepare the Broccoli Bites and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare the Avocados.  Bake both at the same time.  While they are baking, make the honey mustard sauce.  Viola – a perfectly timed dinner.

Baked Avocados
4-5 ripe avocados
1 c. whole wheat bread crumbs or almond meal
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. feta cheese, grated
2 T. fresh herbs, chopped (ideas: basil, cilantro, parsley)
2 T. lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ c.  salsa (check labels – some have added sugar)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, garlic, cheeses, herbs, lemon juice, and salt/pepper.  Halve the avocado and remove the seed with spoon.  Fill the avocado seed holes with the mixture.

Baked Broccoli Bites
adapted from Food Renegade
1 bunch. fresh broccoli, chopped (florets only)
1 c. organic cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
3 organic eggs
½ c. almond flour
½ c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried garlic powder
Sea salt/pepper to taste

Directions: I used my Vitamix* to roughly chop the broccoli.  This method required me readjust it in the container every few seconds to chop, rather than puree.  Hand chopping works, but the Vitamix is faster than me.  In a large bowl add all ingredients and combine with your hands.  Use an ice cream scooper to measure out individual servings.  Use your hands to gently, but firmly, compact the balls.

Bake the avocado and broccoli at the same time for 20-25 minutes.  The broccoli is done when the edges are slightly golden.  Enjoy!

Serve the Broccoli Bites with a few dashes of hot sauce or homemade honey mustard.

Quick and Easy Honey Mustard
honey
mustard

Directions: To a small bowl, combine equal parts of honey and a mustard of your choosing. I like to use a spicy or Dijon mustard.  It gives things a slightly sweet kick.  Regular ol’ yellow mustard will make for a more traditional honey mustard.

*Tip: If you are in the market for a blender, I highly encourage you to consider a Vitamix.  I know, I know they aren’t cheap. However, a cheap blender is worthless.  Vitamix even offers refurbished blenders that still come with warranties.  Can your blender pulverize ice in seconds, create the smoothest smoothies (who wants a chunky smoothie?), make hot soup, turn nuts into nut butters or whole grains into flours, or chop an entire head of cabbage in seconds? Need I go on?  Trust me, a Vitamix will change your kitchen life.


 Greek Turkey Burgers with Creamy Coleslaw

 Adapted from Tablespoon

Burger:
4 T. jarred olive tapenade
1 lb. ground turkey
½ c. crumbled feta cheese, halved
sea salt/pepper, for seasoning

Tzatziki Sauce (optional):
1 (6-ounce container) organic plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. organic cucumber, finely diced & divided
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 pinch each (coarse sea salt, freshly ground pepper)

Clean Eating Creamy Coleslaw
Adapted from Eat Clean Diet
4 c. shredded cabbage
1/2 c. shredded organic carrot
1/4 c. organic mayonnaise
1/4 c. organic plain Greek yogurt
1 T. honey
1 T. white vinegar (alternatives: red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t. sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
100% whole wheat pita pockets
mint leaves, whole (optional, sandwich topping)
organic kale or other green (optional sandwich topping)
red onion, thinly slice (optional sandwich topping)

Directions:  In a small bowl, use your hands to mix the olive tapenade, ground turkey, ¼ c. feta cheese, and salt/pepper.  Form into four patties.  Pan sear on medium heat (approximately 6 minutes on each side).  After flipping the patties, top with the remaining feta cheese.  Allow to rest a few minutes after cooking to seal in the juices.  Serve with any or all of the above sandwich toppings. Remember, don’t forget to give the mint a shot.

Tip: Push a thumb print into one side of each patty before pan searing.  This will prevent them from rising too high.


Quick Buttermilk Oat Soaked Pancakes


2 c. homemade buttermilk (Mix 2 T. of white vinegar or lemon juice with organic milk. Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes.)
2 c. organic rolled oats
organic eggs (alternatives: 1 whole egg + 1 egg white OR flax eggs*)
1 t. organic vanilla extract
1 T. local honey, preferably raw
½ c. white whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
½ t. sea salt
½ t. cinnamon (optional)

Directions: In a large bowl, add the homemade buttermilk.  Stir in the oats, eggs, vanilla, and honey.  Allow the batter sit at least 5 minutes to soften to oats.  In a smaller bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Gently stir to combine (do not over stir).  Lightly grease the skillet with a clean eating approved oil or organic butter (we like coconut oil).  Top with pure maple syrup or a thin layer of creamy almond butter.

Serve with uncured bacon or preservative free turkey bacon.

Note: Makes 10 pancakes using a 1/3 c. measuring scoop.

*Flax eggs are great substitutes to eggs if you’re vegan or you just prefer not to use eggs.  To make flax eggs, stir together 3 T. of water and 1 T. ground flax seed.  Allow to rest 5 minutes.  (When baking, I’ve found that substituting up to 3 flax eggs works great.  Using more than 3 flax eggs can result in disaster).

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If you’re here for the first time…welcome! If you’re returning…let’s get to the kitchen.

This week has, quite possibly, the easiest muffin to make – ever.  Throw it all in the blender, stir in some blueberries, and bake.  Super easy!

If you’re looking for super fast meals, go for the Easy Caprese Salad or One Skillet Fajitas. Fast, easy, delicious!! These are staples in our house.  They will make weekly appearances here often.

The Pesto Quiche is a versatile dish.  Options are nearly endless with this one.  You can switch out any of the veggies or add a few of your favorites, and you can even get crazy and make your own crust. A fast recipe is here for that too.  If you go with a store bought crust, it’s just a matter of mixing a few ingredients and pouring them into the pre-made crust to bake.

Another favorite is the Cheesy Polenta With Peppers & Chicken Sausage. It’s sooo good and easy.  It’s great for entertaining too!

Snacks

Blueberry Almond Butter Banana Muffins
adapted from Buns in My Oven

1 medium very ripe banana (if a ripe is not available, increase the maple syrup to 1/3 c.)
1 organic egg
1/2 c. creamy, salted almond butter (or other nut butter)
½ t. cinnamon
1/4 c. rolled organic oats (not steel cut)
1/8 c. whole white wheat flour
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 c. organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy duty blender or food processor, add all ingredients except the blueberries. Blend until smooth and creamy. Carefully stir in the blueberries. Fill silicone muffin cups (or greased muffin pan) ¾ full and bake 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from muffin cups/pan.


Dinners

Spinach Eggplant & Feta Quinoa
adapted from Julia’s Album

1 large eggplant, remove skins and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 T. olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag, organic fresh spinach
1 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled

Directions: Preheat the oven to 420 degrees (bake, not convection). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with the olive oil and salt/pepper. Transfer eggplant to the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and softened (flip them over at the the halfway mark with a spatula). While the eggplant roasts, warm a skillet to low-medium heat. Add the olive oil and stir in the garlic. Allow to cook for about a minute (it will be very fragrant). Immediately add the spinach and continuously toss the spinach and garlic mixture with tongs until the spinach has wilted and is bright green. Remove from the heat (do not just turn off the burner or you will over cook the garlic). Once the eggplant has finished roasting, add it, the cooked quinoa, and feta to the cooling skillet. Stir mixture and taste. Feta is salty, and so it may be seasoned to your preference as is. Otherwise, add salt/pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Time saving tip: If you don’t have some leftover quinoa waiting to be eaten, don’t worry.  Prepare some according to package directions after you put the eggplant in the oven.


Easy Caprese Salad with Grilled Chicken
adapted from Savory Sweet Life

2 pints organic cheery 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 (easy 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.

Serve with pan seared organic chicken breasts

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.


One Skillet Chicken Fajitas

For the Fajitas:
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
2-3 large organic bell pepper, seeded/sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 (15 ounce) can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes OR (3-4 chopped medium, fresh tomatoes)
Note: if using fresh tomatoes, add ¼ c. of salsa
2 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
sea salt/pepper
whole wheat tortillas (idea: Ezekiel brand tortillas)

Optional Fajita Fillers:
canned organic black beans, drained & rinsed
organic shredded cheese
organic Greek yogurt or sour cream
salsa
avocado, sliced

Directions: Warm a skillet to medium heat. Season all sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the olive oil and chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned on all slides (about 5-6 minutes). Add onions and green peers, cooking until the peppers are softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute, but not much more) before adding all remaining ingredients. Tomatoes will sizzle in the skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer. Allow some liquid to cook out (about 10 minutes). Season with salt/pepper to taste. Serve fajita mixture with whole wheat tortillas and your favorite fajita fillers. Enjoy!


Pesto Quiche with Sun Dried Tomatoes
adapted from Gracious Pantry

1 pre-made whole wheat pie crust (no added sugar) or make your own…

Olive Oil Pasty Dough (adapted from Spicie Foodie):
2 c. whole white wheat flour
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. cold water (may need 1-2 more T. of water to get the right consistency to form a ball)
1/4 t. sea salt

Directions: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  Add the water and oil.  Mix with a fork until it begins to come together. (You may need to add water by the tablespoon to get the right consistency) Finish by forming the dough into a ball with your hands.  Rest the dough in the refrigerator while prepping the quiche filling.

Quiche Filling:
1 c. frozen organic spinach
1 c. frozen broccoli, roughly chopped
16 oz. carton of organic egg whites
1 c. shredded organic cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 T. Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute spice
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. (generous) sun dried tomatoes (not “packed in oil”)
1 T. pesto (I like Trader Joe’s jarred pesto)
1/2 c. diced mushrooms (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Press the dough into a pie pan with your fingers. In a large bowl, mix together all quiche ingredients.  Pour the filling into the pie pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the egg mixture is solid – even when cut with a knife.  Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing.  Consider finishing with a dollop of organic Greek yogurt and a dash or two of hot sauce.  Salsa also makes a great topping.

Serve with organic bagged salad


Cheesy Polenta with Bell Peppers & Chicken Sausage
adapted from BevCooks

½ c. organic milk
1 log organic polenta, cut into cubes (precision cutting unnecessary – it will be mashed)
1T. organic butter, optional
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan (divided), plus more for garnish
1 pinch coarse salt/ freshly ground pepper
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 pkg. preservative free chicken sausages, sliced on the bias (I like Trader Joe’s spicy Italian or Andouille style)
2 organic red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, sliced in strips
fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (divided)
Hot sauce, optional

Directions: Warm a small sauce pan to low/medium heat. Add the milk and polenta. Mash the polenta with a firm whisk or fork and then stir until creamy.  Add milk by the tablespoon if it’s too thick. If it’s too watery, don’t worry. As it continues to cook, it will thicken. Reduce heat to low and stir in one-half of the cheese and one-half of the cilantro. Allow to rest on low. If your stove top burner is too hot on low and the bottom is sticking, remove it from the heat source. It can warmed easily on low before serving.

While the polenta is resting, heat a large skillet to low/medium heat. Add the olive oil and then sausage. Cook 5-6 minutes or until hot and slightly browned on both sides. (If using precooked sausage, you just need to get it hot). Remove the sausage from the pan (retaining the olive oil and juices) and cover the sausage with foil to keep warm. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and then the peppers. Add some freshly cracked salt/pepper. Cook peppers until softened and slightly blackened. Return the sausage to the skillet. To the polenta, stir in the remaining cheese and cilantro. Season polenta with salt/pepper to taste. To plate, add a generous helping of polenta. Top with the sausage and peppers. Finish with a sprinkling of cilantro. If you want to spice it up, add a few dashes of hot sauce!

Hope something makes your belly smile!