testing 2

Featured

chocolate almond butter oatmeal raisin cookies

These babies are chewy and sweet with a hint of salt.  Trust me, double this recipe! They go fast.

hope these make your belly smile…

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

Dry Ingredients

1 ¼ c old-fashioned oats
½ c whole white wheat flour
1 T. flaxseed meal
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. sea salt (NO finely ground salt)
Wet Ingredients

¼ + 1/8 c. raw honey
1 organic cage free egg white
2 T. nut butter of choice (Some options include: peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower nut butter)
2 t. organic vanilla extract
¼ c. chopped dark chocolate chips (I like to use a dark liberty chocolate bar and cut it into small pieces like chocolate chips)
¼ c. organic raisins
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. 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 (makes approx. 16). Cook 9 to 10 min. (at max). Allow to cool on baking stone. Try to eat just one – dare ya!

Featured

clean eating sloppy joe’s and baked sweet potato fries

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

hope these make your belly smile…

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.

Featured

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.

hope these make your belly smile…

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.

Featured

blueberry oatmeal muffins

There are a ton of blueberry muffin recipes out there.  This one is easy, and it has oats making these guys (not sure why they are “guys” and not “girls” but, lets go with) a bit more filling.

hope these make your belly smile…

Adapted from Finger Pricking Good

Dry Ingredients
2 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. organic oats–quick or regular oats
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt

Wet Ingredients
1 1/2 c. organic Greek yogurt
3/4 organic coconut palm sugar
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
¼  c. local honey
4 T. organic unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 t. organic vanilla extract

1 c. organic fresh blueberries

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Gently mix until just about combined.  Stir in the blueberries.

Fill the muffin tins ¾ full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Featured

easy apple applesauce muffins

Sweet, moist, and appley.  Yum.

hope these make your belly smile…

Adapted from Weelicious

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. homemade buttermilk (see recipe below) or (alternative organic milk)
1/2 c. honey
1 large organic egg
1 t. organic vanilla extract

Stir In Ingredients
1 c. peeled and chopped organic apples (about 2 medium apples)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a muffin pan (alternative: silicone muffin cups).

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.  Very gently, stir in the apples.  Fill muffin containers ¾ full and bake approximately 15 minutes.

Muffin Tips:

Mix/stir as little as possible to create fluffy, moist muffins.
I don’t like the clean toothpick test for muffins because they are often overdone. Muffins continue to cook for a bit longer when removed from the oven.  Instead of the toothpick test, watch for them to begin releasing from the edge of the baking cup/tin (and look for a slightly golden color).
Once you’ve baked a few batches, you’ll begin to learn your oven’s ideal baking time.

Featured

breakfast cookies

A great grab and go, guilt free breakfast item.  Or, it’s a great treat for when a cookie craving hits!

hope these make your belly smile…

Adapted from Weelicious 

Dry Ingredients
1 c. whole white wheat flour
2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. flax seeds

Wet Ingredients
1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (alternative: soften coconut oil)
1/2 c. organic, unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 c. pure maple syrup (alternative: honey)
1 large organic egg
2 t. organic vanilla extract

Stir In Ingredients
1/2 c. organic raisins (alternative: dried, unsweetened cranberries or cherries)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. You can do this by hand or alternatively in a mixer. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir a few times by hand. Finally, fold in the stir in ingredients by hand. Use a large scoop to create individual cookie dough mounds. Bake on a silicone lined baking sheet or baking stone for 12-15 minutes (slight browning at the edges = done).

Featured

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 years ago.  These cookies never get old.

hope these make your belly smile…

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.

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 this makes your belly smile…

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.

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.

hope these make your belly smile…

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.

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!

hope these make your belly smile…

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 😏

Dry 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

Wet Ingredients
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 😏


stuffed acorn squash with organic greens

Here’s another impressive option for entertaining – guests eat from individual squash bowls.  The organic greens make a perfect side. The original recipe calls for ground turkey. This time, I made it with bacon. Outcome: great success!

hope this makes your belly smile…

Adapted from Developing a Pattern

Ingredients
2 to 3 acorn squash, halved by cutting lengthwise through the stem, seeded and stringy fleshy stuff removed (Tip: microwave for 1 minute prior to slicing)

1 T. olive oil, separated into 1/4 teaspoons
Several pinches of sea salt/freshly ground black pepper
1 c. uncooked quinoa (alternative: farro, barley, cous cous, etc.)
4 slices preservative free bacon, chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 large organic carrot, finely diced
1 organic bell pepper, finely diced (red, yellow, or orange peppers = a sweeter flavor)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk organic celery, finely diced
1/4 t. each sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper, freshly ground
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme (1/4 t. if using dried)
1/4 c. feta cheese
1/2 c. mild organic white cheese (ideas: Gouda, Fontina, Mozzarella)

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Add olive to each squash half.  Rub around to coat the flesh.  Generously season the flesh with sea salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven on a baking sheet, open side up, until softened and slightly brown (about 35-45 minutes).

In the meantime, cook the quinoa according to package directions.  I like to substitute water with chicken or veggie stock, but that’s up to you.

Now that the quinoa is doing it’s thing, heat a large skillet to medium heat.  Add the olive oil to coat the pan.  Add the bacon and cook until it begins to render some fat (about five minutes).  Reduce the heat to near medium.  Add the carrots, bell pepper, onion, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon each sea salt/pepper.  Saute until the veggies have softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic is fragrant (about a minute).  Remove from the heat and stir in the feta and cooked quinoa.

Remove the stuff the squash from the oven. Set the oven to broil  Stuff the quash with the quinoa mixture (really pack it in good).  Sprinkle the cheese atop.  Broil for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese and brown it ever so slightly.


Organic Greens
Salad Ingredients
Organic greens of your choice
¼ c. chopped walnuts
1/2 red onion, sliced
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

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

Directions: Add dressing ingredients to a glass jar and shake vigorously.

mexican stuffed bell peppers with chipotle roasted carrots

This is such a cook and crowd pleaser meal.  It’s easy to make, beautifully colorful, and delicious.  The carrots accompany this meal perfectly too.  Gotta give credit to my little one for the carrot seasonings.  Her inspiration source: many o’ episodes of America’s Worst Cook during a recent snowpocalypse in our area 🙂

hope this makes your belly smile…

Adapted from Broke and Bougie

Timing tip: Prepare the carrots first.  While they are roasting, prepare the stuffed peppers. Since the oven is at a slightly lower temperature than typical for roasting veggies, the carrots require more oven time.

Chipotle Roasted Carrots
Ingredients
1 bag organic carrots, washed and peeled
½ T. olive oil
Sea salt/pepper, freshly cracked
¼ t. paprika
1/8 t. chipotle powder

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Slice the carrots lengthwise.  Then, slice each half lengthwise again to create four quarters.  If too long, cut them in half to create “french fry size” guys.

In a mixing bowl, toss the carrots in the olive oil, salt/pepper, and dry seasonings. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.  Roast

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients
4 organic bell peppers
1 lb. organic ground turkey
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 t. sea salt
1 t. black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
½ c. feta cheese, crumbled
1-14 oz can organic fire roasted tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. cooked quinoa, optional
Guacamole, optional topping (see recipe below)

Directions: If making the roasted carrots, the oven is already hot.  If not, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bell peppers in half from top to bottom (cutting down through the stems).  Remove the seeds and inner ‘guts.’

In a large, deep skillet, add 1 T. olive oil. Add the turkey, onion, and dry seasonings (cumin, chili powder, salt/pepper). Break the turkey into little bits with a wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute). Add the diced tomatoes and cook another minute. Remove from the heat, and stir in the feta cheese. If using cooked quinoa, stir it in now.

Lay the bell peppers open faced on a baking sheet. If the peppers don’t lay evenly, slice a thin strip from the bottom to create a level surface. Pack the turkey mixture into the peppers. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When they’re done, top with guacamole!

Guacamole
1 avocado
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper, freshly ground
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Directions: Mash and stir together all ingredients.  Season with sea salt/pepper to taste.

chocolate orange avocado pudding

What feels good on a strep ridden sore throat? Pudding!  No, not store bought pudding laden with sugar, chemicals, and who knows what else??? A creamy homemade chocolate pudding with an orange juice kick.  The avocado is undetectable from a taste standpoint; however, the creaminess is heavenly.

hope this makes your belly smile…

Ingredients
1 avocado
1 ripe banana
½ c. orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (alternative: cacao powder)
4 T. pure maple syrup (alternative: honey)

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tips: This is a very flexible recipe.  Modification options are nearly endless.  Like darker chocolate? Increase the cocoa powder.  Like vanilla? Add a teaspoon of organic vanilla. Don’t like orange? Omit and substitute with organic milk- maybe even throw in a 1/2 t. mint extract for chocolate mint pudding.

dark chocolate pumpkin cake cookies

Despite the flat and unappealing appearance of this batch, they were yummy. “Why are they flat?” You may be wondering.  Or, maybe you are like me and could care less as long as they are good. For those who do care, there are lots of reasons cookies end up flat.  In my case, a warm baking stone was the culprit. I set the baking stone on the oven while preheating… oops.

hope these make your belly smile…

Adapted from Feel Great in 8

Wet Ingredients
¾ c. organic pumpkin puree
½ c. unrefined coconut oil, softened but not melted
6 organic eggs (3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites)
2 t. organic vanilla extract
¼ c. pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/2 c. organic coconut palm sugar

Dry Ingredients
1 c. whole white wheat flour
2-3 t. pumpkin pie spice
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. sea salt
3/4 c. chocolate chunks (I like Liberty Chocolate – dark or extra dark)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar). In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Gently stir in the chocolate chunks.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the bottoms have browned slightly.  Note: the cookies will still be soft and cake-like.

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.

hope these make your belly smile…

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 slightly golden.  Allow to cool completely before removing.

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 this makes your belly smile…

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.