sausage stuffed butternut squash.

I had a butternut squash that I really needed to make. So, I decided to stuff it with goodness and top it with protein magic.

What you need:
1 butternut squash
8 oz. of sausage (I used chicken apple cut into chunks, but ground sausage will work fine)
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup of cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons of garlic, minced
2 eggs

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and place “meat” side down in a baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes until you can pierce squash easily with a fork. Meanwhile, cook sausage, onion, and garlic in skillet until sausage is browned and onions are tender. Remove from heat. Scoop out squash using a large spoon or melon-baller and add to sausage mixture. Mix well. Add cilantro. Scoop squash/sausage mixture back into squash skin. Make a small bowl-like indention in squash mixture. Crack an egg over each half into the indention. Place back into oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes.

Enjoy!

blended vanilla iced coffee

I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but Spring is definitely in the air here in the Midwest. I listened to a storm pass through this morning, and now I’m sitting on my back porch enjoying the harmonies of the birds. This is great. (Even my neighbor’s chicken can cluck a few bars, don’t know if she is HOA legal.)

With a beautiful day off of work, this morning’s pick-me-up consisted of a blended vanilla iced coffee, adapted from one of my favorite grain-free blogs, Against All Grain.

What you need:
1 cup of cold medium or dark roasted coffee, I use my Keurig to make a single serving
1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon raw honey
ice

What to Do:
Add ice, coffee, almond milk,

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green smoothie

Like most smoothie drinkers, I have a few renditions of green smoothies that I love to drink. A fairly simple green smoothie I enjoy is made with just a few ingredients. Perfect for after workouts. The thing I love most about making smoothies is that there is so much room for creativity and every smoothie is different. If you prefer thicker smoothies, add less liquid and more ice, fruits, or veggies. If you like it thinner, add more almond milk or water.

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What you Need:

kale
unsweetened almond milk
water
2 scoops of Arbonne vanilla protein
ice

What to Do:

Add ice, protein powder, kale, almond milk, and top with water into your blender. Blend until desired consistency is reached. Really can’t do anything wrong.

Enjoy!!! Thunder up!!!

 

roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes & bacon

My friend, Ore, introduced me to this fabulous recipe. You know when your palette is maturing (or you’re just plain getting old) when you like Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes and Bacon adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

What you need:
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 white onion
extra-virgin olive oil
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
3 slices bacon

What to Do:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Remove any tough outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half.
3. Add to a large bowl along with the sweet potatoes, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and season well with salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper.
4.Toss with your hands rubbing the oil and spices into the vegetables and adding more olive oil if needed.
e1fedcc4-a28a-44da-a9a4-4678f7ffe299 (1)5. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet.
57955792-6ff8-4b8a-a6c4-66775e18d54d6. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and Brussels sprouts are browned.
7. Cook bacon on stove until crispy. Cool and drain on paper towel. Crumble.
8. Sprinkle bacon over cooked vegetables, toss well and serve.

Enjoy!!!

girl scout samoa bars

I’m not gonna lie, being a baker myself, I find myself missing the warm deliciousness of chocolate chip anything with caramel sauce. I used to eat caramel by the spoonful. Almost too embarrassing to admit. But, the dynamic pair of warm chocolate and caramel can really make a big girl start compromising some important things in her life. Which for the majority of my life I did, and had no remorse whatsoever.

Today, after my 12-miler, someone thought it was a good idea to have a Girl Scouts troop hock boxes and boxes of cookies to ravenous runners. I gritted my teeth as I watched runners load shopping bags of cookies to take home after their run. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sweet every now and again, but GS cookies lifespan from seller to consumer is more or less three days, if it even makes it from the car to the house. (I made up those stats, but you get the point.)

So, for all you people that miss a good GS cookie, but don’t want to budge the scale, here’s a tasty Samoa Bar I created. It’s especially tasty after being chilled overnight. Just like good old times, without the sugar crash and cavities.

Girl Scouts Samoa Bars (Grain Free)

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What you need:
For cookie:
2 c blanched almonds
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 large egg
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

For caramel:
12-14 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for an hour
5-6 Tbsp canned coconut milk (full fat)
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted*
Pinch of salt

For topping:
1/2 c dark chocolate (70% to 90%)
3-5 Tbsp canned coconut milk (full fat)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For cookie:
Pulse blanched almonds in a food processor until the consistency of cornmeal. Add all dry cookie ingredients to processor and pulse until everything is mixed well. Add wet ingredients to processor until everything starts stick and roll together. Pour dough into 9×13 ungreased pan. Using a sheet of wax or parchment paper, press down on dough until it is evenly dispersed in the bottom of the pan. (You can even use a rolling pin or cup to roll on top) Should be about 1/4 inch thick. Remove paper and bake for 8-11 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.

For caramel:
Drain dates. Add to processor and blend. Add coconut milk one tablespoon at a time. Add water in the same manner. Add vanilla and salt. Should look like caramel. Stir in toasted coconut.

For chocolate:
Using a microwaveable dish or double boiler, melt chocolate while stirring in coconut milk gradually. If using microwave, heat in 10-15 second intervals, dark chocolate will melt fast.

Spread caramel on top of cooled cookie. Using a spoon or piping bag, drizzle chocolate on top and additionally shredded coconut if you’d like. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Cut in squares. Enjoy!

*Toasted coconut- Place shredded coconut flat on cookie sheet. Toast for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Check and make sure it hasn’t burned. It was continue to toast on the sheet once removed from the oven, so don’t leave in too long.

For leftover coconut milk, use as creamer for you coffee or cover can and put in fridge overnight. Scoop out fat that has surfaced in milk. Using a hand mixer with one beater attached, beat coconut milk in can. You when end up with a light coconut whipped cream. Enjoy, again.

revamped carrot salad

What can I say? I have awesome friends. For Christmas, my friend, Sarah, bought me these awesome recipe cards. So, now I can stop memorizing my favorite recipes.

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I’ve actually never had carrot salad. Something always seems weird to me about eating sweet vegetables or fruits in a mayonnaise suicide. I know carrot salads always seem to make appearances at the church potlucks or summer family BBQs, but I usually steer clear.

I had some left over carrots I needed to use, so after looking up the basic components of a carrot salad, I decided to give a recipe a whirl.

Revamped Carrot Salad (Grain, Egg, Dairy Free)

What you need:

6 large carrots, grated
1/2 c cashew butter (I used East Wind raw)
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice (I squeezed 3 lemon wedges)
1 to 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

What to do:
Soak 1/4 c of dried cranberries in hot water for about 25-30 minutes, until plump. Drain cranberries and add plump cranberries to food processor. Add cashew butter, almond milk, and lemon juice to processor. Blend until cranberries are broken down.

In a large bowl, grate carrots using a hand grater or food processor attachment. I like grating by hand, it actually makes me feel more like I’m making something from scratch.

Add cashew mixture to carrots and fold until carrots are covered. It may not look like enough dressing, but believe me, it will cover it all.

Once mixed, sprinkle with salt and add remaining dried cranberries. You could even add pieces of cashew if you wanted.

Chill 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Or not, and just dig in.

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Going,
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Going,
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Gone!

italian meatballs

Ohmygoodnesssogood. Been waiting to post a blog worthy recipe. I love to cook, but my camera phone picture taking abilities aren’t as good. I had a spaghetti squash that I needed to make, so I figured meatballs would compliment this very well.

What you need:

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1 pound of ground beef
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 egg

What you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put ground beef in a large bowl. Using a food processor, dice each vegetable separately and add to bowl with ground beef.

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Use hands to mix until well combined. Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and continue to mix. Lastly, add egg and mix until everything is well combined.

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Roll mixture into 1- to 1 1/2 inch balls and place into 13×9 inch pan.

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Bake for 35 minutes or until brown.

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Tastes great with spaghetti squash and tomato sauce. Enjoy!

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