bacon red pepper and goat cheese frittata, strawberry scones, farro with arugula, & lemon ricotta pancakes

I have a love hate relationship with frittatas.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve removed the skillet from the oven with an oven mitt and then immediately grabbed the skillet handle with my bare hands.  I’m only admitting to doing it twice…that’s all my pride can handle.  In the case of your frittata, do what I say, not as I do!  Your hand will thank you.  This week’s Bacon Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata has interchangeable ingredients.  If bacon isn’t your bag – omit it. The same goes for the red pepper.  If you have great disdain for goat cheese, use  your preferred cheese.  However, if you’re just unsure about goat cheese, a frittata is a great way to try it.  It adds a certain creaminess that is oh soooo good!

The Strawberry Scones are quite easy and much healthier than typical scones that are loaded with butter and bleached white flour. These are not overly sweet like a traditional scone that is sort of like a cross between a biscuit and a muffin. They are great with a cup of tea or coffee.

Fast dinner needed? Farro with Arugula is your new best friend.  Cook the farro according to directions, stir in the arugula and feta cheese.  Finish with a lemony garlic dressing.  This is a double duty meal because the leftovers are used to make a salad.  Dinner in under 30 minutes? Yes please!

Finally, let’s take a moment to talk about Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  These babies are light, fluffy, and lemony.  When topped with pure maple syrup, these go off the charts! If you’re unsure about your love for lemons, reduce the lemon juice just a bit.  I’m going say it, but it’s gonna hurt me…you could probably make these without the lemon. The light fluffy texture the ricotta brings would still be great. Note:I can’t be held responsible for what you’re missing out on by omitting the lemony goodness.

Hope something makes your belly smile…

Strawberry Scones 

Adapted from Chobani

3/4 c. organic Greek yogurt
¼ c. organic strawberries, mashed
1 T. local honey
2 c. whole wheat white flour (plus extra for dusting work surface)
¼ + 1/8 c. organic coconut palm sugar (plus 2 t. for sprinkling)
2 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
¼ t. sea salt
2 T. cold unsalted organic butter cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 T. cold organic coconut oil (solid state)
1 c. organic strawberries, chopped

Directions: In a small bowl, mash ¼ cup strawberries.  Stir in the Greek yogurt and honey.  Set mixture aside.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.  Cut the butter and solid coconut oil into the flour mixture by mashing with a fork until it resembles coarse cornmeal.  Gently stir in the remaining strawberries until evenly coated with flour.  Stir in the yogurt mixture just until combined (it will be sticky). With floured hands, evenly press the batter in a silicone pie pan (or a greased metal pie pan).  Cut the batter into 8 equal triangles with a knife.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of coconut palm.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly golden.  Allow to cool slightly before using a knife to cut the precut sections.

Bacon Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata with Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s Salad  

Adapted from Aggies Kitchen

5 organic eggs + 3 organic egg whites
½ c. organic milk
sea salt/black pepper, freshly ground
2 t. olive oil
½ red onion
1 organic red bell pepper, chopped
3 slices preservative free bacon, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large handfuls organic chopped kale (or other preferred greens) chopped a bit more finely
3-4 oz. goat cheese
green onion, finely chopped (optional topping)
Greek yogurt (optional topping)
salsa (optional topping)
hot sauce (optional topping)

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and salt/pepper.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  To an oven proof skillet heated to medium heat, add the bacon.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the onions and bell peppers.  Cook until the veggies are softened, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).  Over stirring will prevent the onions from caramelizing which brings out incredibly sweet flavor.  Add the kale, stirring a few times until it wilts.  The next garlic step happens quickly … stir in the garlic.  Allow it to cook for a minute or two at the most (just until you can really smell the garlic). Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen any bits of food.  Pour in the egg mixture to evenly coat the pan.  Allow to cook until the eggs have firmed up around the edges.  Evenly crumble the goat cheese on the top.  Bake for about 5 minutes in the oven.  It’s done when the eggs have firmed up in the center and the goat cheese is bubbly.  I like to finish each sliced piece with a dollop of organic Greek yogurt, a few dashes of hot sauce or salsa, and some finely chopped green onions.

Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s Salad

organic greens of your choice
¼ c. chopped walnuts
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
¼ c. good quality Parmesan cheese, grated

3 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1t. honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: In a glass with a lid, add all dressing ingredients.  Lid the container and shake vigorously.  Drizzle desired amount over the salad.  (Refrigerate any remaining dressing for later use).

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Bacon

Adapted from Sugar and Charm

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 c. whole white wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. sea salt

Wet Ingredients
6 drops or organic, organic liquid stevia (alternatives: ¼ c. honey or pure maple syrup)
1 c. organic milk (ideas: almond milk, cashew milk)
1 organic egg
1 T. organic butter, melted
1 t. organic vanilla extract
1 c.  organic whole milk ricotta cheese
2 lemons, juiced
Zest from 2 lemons

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Stir just until combined – do NOT over stir.  Prepare as you would any other pancakes by adding a small amount of preferred oil to the pan (ideas: coconut oil, olive oil, or organic butter).  Top with pure maple syrup!

Serve with preservative free bacon.

Farro with Arugula (or Kale) and Feta with Arugula Feta Olives Salad


Adapted from Organize Yourself Skinny

Note: You will need a total of 4 cups of organic arugula or kale for the entire meal.

Lemon Garlic Dressing
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
2 lemons, juiced
¼ t. sea salt and pepper

2 c. farro (whole grain)
4 c. organic chicken broth (alternatives: vegetable broth or water)
2 c. organic arugula (OR organic kale), reserve the remaining greens for the salad
1c. + ½ c. feta cheese, grated (Tip: Buy a block of feta and grate it myself. Prepackaged feta crumbles have additives!)

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt/pepper and set aside.  (Note: The dressing will be halved to use for the farro and the arugula salad – double duty item)

In a medium size stock pot, add the farro and broth.  Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook per the package instructions.  Drain the farro and return it to the stock pot.  Mix in the greens (arugula or kale) and feta to the warm farro.  Once the greens have wilted, pour one half of the lemon-garlic olive oil over the top and mix to combine.  Season with sea salt/pepper to taste.

Arugula Salad Ingredients
2 c. organic arugula (or kale)
¼ c. olives, roughly chopped
½ c. feta cheese, grated
Red onions, finely sliced (optional)
Sea salt/pepper to taste
Lemon garlic dressing (recipe above)

Directions: Toss the salad ingredients and top with the remaining one-half of the lemon garlic dressing. 

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Quiche with Organic Greens 

Adapted from The Gracious Pantry

Easy Olive Oil Pastry Dough (adapted from Spicie Foodie)

2 c. whole white wheat flour
pinch of sea salt
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
1/3 c. cold water (may need 1-2 more T. of water to get the right consistency to form into a ball)

Directions: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt.  Create a well in the middle of the flour.  Pour the water and olive oil in the hole you created in the flour.  With a fork, stir the flour into the water/olive oil.  Once combined, form into a ball and wrap the dough with plastic wrap (covering the dough rather than covering the top of the bowl like a lid).

Time Saving Tip: The dough is supposed to ‘rest’ in the fridge for 30 min. Who has time for that?  Instead, ‘rest’ the dough in fridge while prepping the quiche mixture.

Quiche Mixture
1 c. frozen organic spinach
1 c. frozen broccoli, roughly chopped
16 oz. carton of organic egg whites
1 c. shredded organic cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1.5 T. Italian spice (alternative Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. (generous) sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped (not “packed in oil”)
1 T. pesto (I like Trader Joe’s jarred pesto)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. diced mushrooms (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine all quiche mixture ingredients and stir.    Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Press the dough into the pie pan, evenly covering the bottom and the sides.  (Note: The dough may not go all the way up the sides of the pan.  No worries.  The crust and eggs will join forces to hold it all together.) Pour the quiche mixture into the pie pan.  Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  To ensure doneness, slice the quiche with a knife.  If liquid fills in the sliced section, give it another five minutes and check again.

Organic Greens
Two handfuls of your preferred organic greens, roughly chopped or torn by hand.

Salad Ideas
¼ c. sliced olives, optional topping
¼ red onion, very thinly sliced, optional topping
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. goat cheese

Balsamic Vinaigrette
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
½ c. olive oil
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. local honey
Sea salt/pepper, freshly ground
Directions:  Add ingredients to a lid with a jar.  Shake and pour over organic greens salad.

Oven Baked Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Lemon and Garlic Roasted Broccoli 

Timing Tip: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Assemble the sandwiches.  Prepare the broccoli.  Add everything to the oven at the same time.  You’ll flip the sandwiches and broccoli at about the same time too.  Check on the sandwiches a few minutes early to ensure the bottoms are not getting too dark.

Sandwiches Ingredients
100% whole grain sourdough bread
organic mozzarella cheese slices or shredded
organic tomatoes, very thinly sliced
fresh basil leaves

Directions: Assemble the sandwiches as if you were making them for the traditional skillet version.  Sandwich order: bread, cheese, basil leaves, tomato slices, a bit more cheese, bread).  Place buttered side down on a baking sheet.  (Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes on each side.  Remember, broccoli and sandwiches go into the oven at the same time).

Lemon & Garlic Roasted Broccoli
1 bunch of broccoli, separated into florets
2-3 T. olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
grated Parmesan cheese (topping)
Fresh lemon juice (topping)

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 (bake, NOT convection). In a large bowl, toss the broccoli, olive oil, salt/pepper, & garlic.  Arrange in a single layer on parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes (at 10 minutes, flip the veggies with a spatula).  After removing from the oven, sprinkle with cheese and freshly squeezed lemon. Serve immediately.


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!


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.


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
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!
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