Let’s Do This – Chocolate Chip Cookies

SNACKS

Honey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies – Finally, a “clean” chocolate chip cookie that truly tastes and looks like a chocolate chip cookie.  I dare you to eat just one.

DINNERS

Indian Summer Chili – I know, here we go again with this recipe.  The hubs requested it one last time before warmer weather hits and chili is “out of season.”  It really is a great take on traditional chili.  BBQ and cumin in chili is a winning combo.

Mint & Chocolate Pancakes with Homemade Chocolate Sauce – Breakfast for dinner? Yes, please!  This was our St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  Perfect, right? Not so much. The homemade chocolate sauce was so rich that it overpowered the pancakes.  Next time, I’ll used mint extract flavored homemade whipped cream and drizzle on a bit of the chocolate sauce.

One Skillet Turkey Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta – Craving pasta for dinner but trying to reduce carbs?  I’ve got the solution to your conundrum so long as you are willing to give zucchini pasta a shot.  I promise you, this is good stuff!!

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Roasted Carrots – Consider this any night of the week because it’s fast and easy.  But, don’t overlook it as an entertaining option either.  Creamy and cheesy [stuffing] always compliments chicken and roasted carrots make for a perfect side.

Hope something makes your belly smile.

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Honey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Adapted from Bless This Mess 

Dry Ingredients
1 c. old fashioned or quick cooking oats
1 c. white whole wheat flour
1.5 t. baking powder
½ t. sea salt
 
Wet Ingredients
½ c. local honey (not raw)
1/4 c. creamy nut butter
1 organic egg
2 T. coconut oil, melted
2 T. organic butter, melted
1t. organic vanilla extract

Stir In Ingredient
½ c. clean eating chocolate chunks

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a slightly larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Gently stir until just under-stirred.  Stir in the chocolate chunks, reserving a few to sprinkle on the tops of the cookie mounds. Create cookie mounds with a scoop or two tablespoons.  Flatten mounds by hand just a bit. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chunks.  Bake on a silicone lined baking sheet or baking stone for approximately 12 minutes.


Indian Summer Chili 

Adapted from Rachel Ray

IMG_7039-0

Ingredients
2-4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 lbs. organic ground turkey (not 99% fat free)
1-2 T. chili powder (check ingredients to avoid preservatives)
2 T. grill seasoning blend (check ingredients to avoid preservatives–Kroger’s Grill Time Chicken is a good option)
2 T. ground cumin
2 T. Worcestershire sauce, optional (alternative: balsamic vinegar)
1-3 T. hot sauce, medium to extra-spicy (several ingredients add heat – start slow and add more when tasting at the end)
1 large organic onion, chopped
2 large organic green or other color peppers, chopped
1 bottle of stout beer
1 (14 or 16-ounce) can organic tomato sauce
1 can organic diced tomatoes (Carly: organic fire roasted tomatoes)
1 c. organic smoky barbecue sauce (or make your own – recipe below)
1-2 c. organic, frozen corn, optional
plain Greek yogurt (optional topping)
crumbled organic tortilla chips (optional topping)
organic cheddar, shredded (optional topping)

Directions: Heat a large stock pot to medium heat. Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the turkey, chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.  Stir the ingredients and break up the turkey into tiny bits.  Continue cooking until the turkey is no longer pink (approx. 5-7 min.). Add the onions and green peppers, and cook until softened (about 5 min.). Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce heat to barely simmering.  Cover and allow to simmer for at least 20 min.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Adapted from The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients
1 (15 ounce) can organic tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can organic tomato paste
1 t. low sodium soy sauce
2 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1 T. garlic powder (alternative: 3-4 garlic cloves, minced)
1 T. onion powder
4 T. unsulfured molasses
3 T. raw honey
5 T.  balsamic vinegar

Directions: In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and stir to combine. Store unused BBQ sauce in the refrigerator, or freeze.


Mint & Chocolate Pancakes with Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Adapted from My Little Celebration 

Dry Ingredients
1 c. whole white wheat flour
1.5 T. baking powder
pinch sea salt

Wet Ingredients
1 c. organic milk
2 T. organic coconut palm sugar (yes, this is a wet ingredient)
1 T.  olive oil or (alternatives: coconut oil or butter, melted)
1 T. unsweetened organic applesauce
1/2 t. organic vanilla extract

1/2 t. peppermint extract
All natural green food coloring (optional)
3 T. unsweetened cacao (alternative: unsweetened cocoa powder)

Directions: In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  In a separate, slightly larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Very gently stir the wet and dry ingredients.  Separate the batter into the mixing bowls.  To one batter, stir in the chocolate.  To the other batter, add the peppermint extract and green food coloring.

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients
½ c. local honey (not raw)
Heaping ¼ c. cacao (alternative: unsweetened cocoa)
½ t. organic vanilla extract
Up to 1 T. water or milk (to create desired consistency)

Directions:  Whisk together the first three ingredients.  Add water (or milk) to obtain desired consistency.


One Skillet Turkey Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta

Adapted from Rachel Cooks 

Ingredients
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. all ground turkey (not extra lean)
Sea salt/pepper
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 large organic carrot, finely diced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (or less if spicy is not your thing)
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can organic diced tomatoes
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. coconut palm sugar
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
6 organic zucchini – spiralized or zoodled (If you don’t have a Spiralizer, you should)
Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions: Heat a large skillet to medium heat.  Add olive oil to coat the bottom.  Add turkey and break into tiny pieces.  Season with salt/pepper.  Cook until no longer pink (about 5 minutes).  Add the onion, carrots, and red pepper flakes.  Cook until the vegetables are softened (about 3 minutes).  Add the garlic, allowing it to cook for 1 to 2 minutes (do not overcook). Add the tomatoes, oregano, and coconut palm sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes – uncovered.  (This will allow some of the liquid to cook out).  Add the zucchini.  Use tongs to gently mix the zucchini into the sauce.  Allow zucchini to cook until slightly softened (approximately 5 minutes).  Stir in the fresh basil and cheese.

Plate and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a bit more Parmesan cheese.


Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Roasted Carrots

Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine 

Timing Tips: First prep. the carrots and the chicken stuffing.  Roast the carrots.  In the meantime, finishing preparing the chicken.  The carrots and chicken will end up in the oven at the same time.

Roasted Carrots

Ingredients
Bag of organic carrots, rinsed and peeled
1-2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. cumin

Directions: Preheat the oven 450 degrees.  Slice the carrots in half lengthwise and then quarter the halves.  In a large bowl, toss the carrots in the olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, paprika, and cumin.  On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil, and arrange carrots in a single layer.  Bake for 20 minutes (flipping over with a spatula halfway through roasting).

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients
3/4 c. feta, crumbled
(Note: store bought “crumbled” feta has several questionable added ingredients you can avoid by buying a block of feta and using a kitchen grater to achieve “crumbles”)
1/2 c. thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
3 T. organic cream cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil

4 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a small bowl stir together the stuffing ingredients.  In the thickest part of the chicken breast, slice a pocket (be careful not to slice all the way through).  Stuff ¼ of the mixture into each chicken breast. If needed, secure the stuffing with a toothpick.

Heat an oven-safe skillet to medium heat.  Add the olive oil to coat the skillet.  Pan sear the chicken (4 minutes on each side).  Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake 5 additional minutes or until the chicken is done.

Note: Whatever you do, do not cut the chicken for doneness.  You should be able to see the chicken cooking up the sides.  When it is no longer pink on the sides, the center should be done as well.

If you must cut, wait at least 5 minutes after removing from the oven before doing so.  A premature cut will result in bone dry chicken.