I know what you are going to say, “canned beans are so much easier!” Well..sort of. These beans are incredibly easy to do. You don’t even have to pay attention to them the majority of the time. Plus, they have significant less sodium and chemicals, the freeze well and the are less expensive.
Pick a day that you’ll be home and let these simmer away on the stove. Cook time will vary depending on size and variety of bean. Black bean tend to take the longest. I simmered mine for about two and a half hours. White beans only take about an hour but really you cook them to your desired doneness (spellcheck doesn’t like that word but I’m using it anyway).
Some tips before you get started:
1. Don’t mix varieties in one pot as different ones have different cooking times.
2. Use a heavy-bottomed pot (I used my Le Creuset dutch oven)
3. Be patient – don’t turn up the heat to cook faster or you’ll end up with gross beans.
4. Keep them in their liquid until ready to serve. Freeze them in freezer safe bags in their liquid and drain only after thawing. This keeps them from shriveling up.
5. Pre-soak your beans!!
Now before you turn up your nose, I beg you to give it a try. My family LOVED this! You really can’t even tell it is cauliflower. It soaks up the flavors of the sauce and the crunchy whole wheat breadcrumbs, make it delightful!
During the summer months, I tend to cook a lot of dinners that are meatless. Vegetables are usually at there best this time of year and it just makes more sense. The boys and I aren’t huge meat eaters anyway. The husband pretty much eats whatever I put in front of him and knows better than to complain.
Cauliflower is becoming one of my favorite vegetables to cook with. It really doesn’t have much of a flavor and can be made into lots of yummy things.
One of the best things about this dish? It’s actually really easy to prepare so it is perfect for a weeknight meal.
An egg wash and organic whole wheat breadcrumbs is all the breading is. Just dip the cauliflower in the egg wash then roll in the breadcrumbs and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes and while they are turning golden brown, make the sweet, spicy sauce.
When they are a nice golden color, remove from the oven and toss with the sauce. Serve over rice, quinoa or eat them just by themselves!
That’s it! Fast, easy and oh so delicious!
Serving Size: 1 Cup Cauliflower
Baked Honey Garlic Cauliflower
Crunchy baked cauliflower pieces coated with honey garlic sauce. It’s an easy and delicious weeknight meal!
10 minPrep Time:
20 minCook Time:
30 minTotal Time:
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups organic whole wheat panko bread crumbs
2 large eggs, whisked
for the sauce:
6 tbsp raw honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp onion powder
6 tbsp water + 2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp hot sauce (or to taste)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Whisk eggs in a small bowl, set aside.
Pour panko crumbs in a separate bowl, set aside.
Dip cauliflower pieces in egg and then roll in panko until fully coated.**
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Repeat until all cauliflower is coated.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until coating is golden brown.
While the cauliflower is cooking,add all sauce ingredients except the cornstarch + water to a medium sauce pan.
Bring to a simmer and stir until mixed.
In a small cup, whisk cornstarch in water, then add to the mixture.
Stir until sauce reaches a low boil again and cook until thickens.
Toss cauliflower in sauce.
Serve warm with rice or quinoa..
Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Cuisine: Asian |Recipe Type: Main Dish Vegetables
**Your breadcrumbs may start to clump together from the egg coating, making it harder to stick to the cauliflower. To help get these clumps to stay on the cauliflower, gently press them on when coating the cauliflower.
Who remembers the good ole days when life was simple and fruit roll-ups were made to be wrapped around your finger and eaten (we alll know you did it so stop denying)? Those little cavity creators were the best. Of course they are not the healthiest things out there for kids (or adults). I came across a homemade healthy version of fruit roll-ups years ago. Fruit leather is was called. I can’t even remember where the recipe came from. Boy it was unbelievably good and so very easy to make. Hence, the reason I can’t remember where the recipe came from. You literally have to remember four things. Two ingredients, an oven temp and cooking time. BOOM!
Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line an 11-by-17 cookie sheet with a Silpat baking mat. If you don’t have one, use parchment paper, although a Silpat will give better results. DO NOT USE WAX PAPER! Wax paper is not made to be heated. Please do not use it. You won’t enjoy the results.
You start with 4 cups of fresh strawberries. Really 4 cups of any fruit you like would work. I have done blueberry-strawberry, cherry raspberry strawberry and a peach one but I wasn’t a huge fan of that. I have also only used fresh fruit. I have no idea how it would turn out if you used frozen. I think it would require more time to cook out all the liquid but I’m not sure. If you try, let me know.
To the 4 cups of fruit add 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey. Now depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you can add up to two tablespoons of honey. Fruit that is in season generally won’t need as much. Puree the fruit and honey till there are no chunks.
Slowly pour the pureed fruit onto the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it out evenly. This is the only tricky part. You want to make sure you have it even because the thinner parts are going to bake faster and get hard and crispy.
Bake in the oven for 3-4 hours or until the leather is no longer sticky/tacky to the touch. I would start checking around 3 hours. If you notice the edges are getting done faster, you can remove the leather from the oven and careful cut the edges off and cool on a rack while the rest continues to cook.
Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool. When it has cooled, peel off the silpat mat and either cut into strips or you can place it on wax paper and cut it into strips that way!
Come on, you know you did it!
Serving Size: 2 Strips
Strawberry Fruit Leather
5 minPrep Time:
4 hrCook Time:
4 hr, 5 Total Time:
4 cups of strawberries
1-2 Tbsps of raw honey
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
Wash and dry the strawberries. Remove the stems and chop.
Place into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the honey and pulse to combine.
Pour the mixture onto the mat and use a spatula to spread evenly to about 1/4-inch thick.
Make sure that the mixture does not get thinner at the edges since they will cook faster than the interior.
Bake for 3-4 hours or until the mixture has dried completely. (Check it starting at 3 hours.)
When done, cut with scissors into strips and store in a zip top plastic bag or an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Spread the fruit puree evenly, and don’t let it thin out at the edges since they bake faster.
The mixture will dry from the edges inward, so if you notice that done around the perimeter but the interior is still tacky to the touch, remove your pan from the oven and simply cut it off the edges with kitchen shears. Let them rest on a wire rack while the rest of the fruit leather finishes baking.
You can tell that the fruit leather is done when it’s completely set and dry and it peels off easily from the mat.
If you happen to over-bake the edges, simply place those strips into a zip top plastic bag and let sit overnight at room temperature. In the morning, it should be softened up!
Refrigerated overnight oats. Sounds disgusting, right? Totally not true!
These oats have the same sweet banana, nutty, chocolate flavors as Ben & Jerry’s beloved ice cream but no added sugar and none of the guilt—and just wait until you see how much protein is in them!
For those of you unfamiliar with overnight oats, it’s just a different make-ahead method of oatmeal. You simply mix together the oats with some liquid ingredients and set them in the refrigerator overnight. This softens the oats. And to make things even easier, breakfast is ready as soon as you wake up–the overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold! Might sound disgusting but it actually is very yummy!
I started doing 22 Minute Hard Corp military boot camp workouts every morning so I need something that will stick with me and fill me up, plus give me the protein to help my muscles repair themselves. Enter over night oats. They have protein, carbs and fruit in one neat little mason jar!
To start, you’ll need a mason jar or any container that seals tightly and oats. I use old-fashioned oats (gluten free is fine), but instant oats will work as well. Do not substitute steel-cut oats because they will not soften without cooking them. You don’t want tough overnight oats. Blah!
Next comes the Greek yogurt and almond milk! Plain non fat Greek yogurt is a great way to sneak in protein in the mornings. 20 grams of protein! How awesome is that?!? I like to buy the big tubs of Wegman’s Greek yogurt since I use it so much (It’s way cheaper!). If I want it flavored, I add fruit, zest or vanilla beans. Go ahead and add that unsweetened Almond milk (or non fat milk or cashew in my case) to the jar with the oats and yogurt.
And now for the fun ingredients… chocolate, banana and nuts! Here is theunsweetened cacao powderI use. Now you can either add walnuts here or before you eat the oats (to make it just like Ben & Jerry’s) OR you can add some peanut flour. Yes, I said peanut flour.
To shave off some calories, use peanut flour instead of jarred peanut butter or PB2. Peanut flour is made from finely ground peanuts only. Protein Plus and Jif both make one you can purchase from Amazon (they have everything) but basically you want one that the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. PB2 contains sugar, which defeats the clean eating, but if that’s all you have, it will still work.
I also add half of a half of banana’s that I chunk into small pieces. I save the rest of the half to slice and put on the top of my oats the next morning.
The last ingredient you add is 1 tsp of raw honey or 1/2 a packet of Stevia. For those that do not know what Stevia is, it is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that’s clean eating friendly. AND it’s very concentrated. I use SweetLeaf.
Once all of these are in the jar, screw the lid on tightly and use those arm muscles to shake the jar vigorously for about 45 seconds. You can also stir it all together but what fun is that?!?
Throw it in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning when you’re running behind, breakfast is already done!
Top with walnuts (optional), the rest of the banana (also optional), grab a spoon (don’t forget this) and go! You can eat it right out of the jar!
Life is good!
Serving Size: 1 Jar
Chunky Monkey Overnight Protein Oats
Protein packed Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats makes a healthy breakfast quick and easy!
5 minPrep Time:
8 hrCook Time:
8 hr, 5 Total Time:
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats or instant oats (gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk (non fat milk is fine)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts OR 1 tbsp peanut flour
1/2 a banana, chopped
1 tbsp unsweetened cacoa powder
1 tsp honey or 1/2 packet of Stevia
Add all of the ingredients to a glass jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.
Shake or stir until thoroughly combined.
Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.
***Cook time reflects overnight time in the Refrigerator.***
Overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold, straight from the refrigerator!
Instant oats may be substituted for the old-fashioned oats but do not substitute steel-cut oats; they will not soften.
21 Day Fix: 1P, 1R, 1Y, 1B (if using walnuts), 2 TSP (if using PB flour and honey)
I am so over the cold and the snow. It goes from 70° and sunny to 6-8 inches of snow the next day. No wonder the flu is rampant here in upstate NY. We’ve been so sick here the last month. My poor kids have missed so much school and had so much to make up. Well, I am declaring we are done with illnesses. NO MORE!!!
I decided that to get us out of “the funk” we’ve been in, I was grilling chicken and making a colorful fresh fruit salsa. My kids are southwestern food obsessed, so I figured this meal would go over well. It’s not too spicy (you control the heat) and actually very simple to throw together. The flavors sound a bit odd but they work so well together. You can also taste every single ingredient that goes into it.
First start by making the chicken marinade. I made it in the morning before I went to work and let it sit all day in the frig. The flavoring turned out perfect. Some olive oil, garlic, onion, chipotle chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, cayenne, lime juice and zest all make up the marinade. Just whisk the ingredients together, and dump over the top of the chicken. I let it marinate for about 8 hours and it was amazing. Don’t have 8 hours? I would recommend at least 30 minutes of marinade time.
I usually just put my chicken in a gallon zip-lock bag and pour the marinade on top. The bags make for easy clean up.
I also put the bag in a bowl before I store it in the frig. I’ve had a few instances where the bag had a small hole or wasn’t sealed tightly and the raw chicken goo ran all over. Not a fun clean up. I’ve since learned.
After setting the chicken aside to mingle with the sauce, I got to work on my salsa. So easy! I chopped strawberries, pineapple, onion, avocado, cilantro and a tiny bit of jalapeno and placed them in a bowl.
To that I added a little lemon juice, zest, cumin, salt pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil and stirred it all together. The lemon juice will keep the avocado from turning brown. Cover the bowl and place the in the refrigerator till ready to use.
Once you are ready to start making dinner, pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you heat up the grill. I used my indoor grill because my back deck is covered in snow at the moment and I wasn’t about to stand outside in it and grill. The indoor grill works perfect for these situations. Once the grill was heated, I cooked them on medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side. I then took them off the grill and placed the chicken on a plate that I covered with foil to let them rest while I heated the tortillas on the same grill.
When the tortillas are heated through, dice the chicken and add to the warm tortillas with the fruit salsa and some avocado creme sauce (mashed avocado, sour cream, lime zest and garlic I just throw it together till it looks good) and some more cilantro!
There you have it! A simple delicious dinner in no time at all!
Serving Size: 2 tortillas
Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with a rainbow of colors from the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa. Simple and delicious!
15 minPrep Time:
20 minCook Time:
35 minTotal Time:
Chipotle Lime Marinade:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon hamalayan pink salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
Lime zest from 1 lime
1 lb chicken breast trimmed of fat
For the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
1/4 ripe pineapple, trimmed and diced
1 cup strawberries, stems removed and diced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 jalapeno,seeded and diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk marinade ingredients together and pour evenly all over chicken breasts.
Allow chicken to sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
Dice pineapple, strawberries, avocado and onions. De-seed the jalapeno and dice.
Toss pineapple, strawberries, onion, avocado and jalapeno and cilantro, with the lemon juice, cumin and salt and pepper and olive oil in a large bowl. If you would like it spicier, add some of the jalapeno seeds to taste.
Can be served immediately or even better chilled.
Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium heat.
Grill chicken undisturbed for for 8-10 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
To assemble, place diced or sliced chicken in the tortillas then top with Salsa followed by Avocado Creme if desired.
This time of year, soup is one of our dinners a couple of times a week. Especially when the weather is cold and snowy outside. No that it has been this winter but it is supposed to be a high of 1° this weekend, so this recipe will come in handy. This minestrone is definitely one of my favorites! A classic, hearty Italian soup with tomatoes, white beans, fresh vegetables and pasta. You can use Swiss chard or kale instead of spinach if you wish and you can omit the pasta if you don’t want the carbs. It’s still yummy without it.
One of the best things about this soup is the rind of Parmesan that I like to throw in as it cooks. It gives the soup a wonderful flavor. I keep them in my freezer. If you do not have a rind, simply toss in some fresh grated Parmesan as it cooks.
This can be made in both the slow cooker or on the stove. Either way turns out great. Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread or small sandwiches and you have yourself an easy, delicious meal!
Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups
Loaded Minestrone Soup (Slow cooker and stove top versions)
10 minPrep Time:
40 minCook Time:
50 minTotal Time:
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (Vegetable for vegetarian)
When it comes to snacks are you a salty person or sweet? Some folks will say, “why choose?” while others will have a definitive preference. My snack preference tends to lean towards the salt side. Chips, pretzels, crackers, come 4:00 can’t be anywhere for me to see. That’s why today’s post is brilliant! Roasted Chickpeas! You can make them salty or sweet depending on your preference AND chickpeas are such a great way to sneak fiber into your diet! They are low in fat, high in protein and only have around 30 calories per tablespoon depending on your flavorings!
Never in a million years would I have thought I would be making a post about chickpeas. They’ve never been a pea that I have gravitated towards but things have changed! I mean, I like chickpeas, or garbanzo beans in salads and hummus…but roasted? Never even crossed my mind.
I noticed that in most recipes, the chickpeas are marinated in the seasonings of choice before roasting, but I prefer to roast them for awhile before I dump them in a bowl of “whatever” and pop them back in the oven to finish off. I find that when I do it this way, the chickpeas are less likely to overcook or have the seasonings burn. No one wants to eat a burnt chickpea. Blah!
I’ve provided you with a simple master recipe for roasting and some of our favorite flavors to get you started. It’s really an endless list of what you can do with them. Get creative!
Yield: 8 Servings
10 minPrep Time:
45 minCook Time:
55 minTotal Time:
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or about 4 cups cooked chickpeas from dried beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
Seasonings of your choice (see below for suggestions)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare the beans for roasting by draining and rinsing them, then letting them dry on a towel until most of the excess moisture is absorbed.
Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 30 minutes or until they are starting to get crunchy, stirring the beans every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Remove from the oven and dump into a large bowl.
Immediately (while beans are still hot), toss with olive oil and seasonings of your choice (below).
Spread beans back on the baking sheet and place beans back in the oven and cook 15 more minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
I know, pumpkin season is technically over but I had a request for a healthier pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and I have a good one so I figured I would just post it here.
It’s two things that just go together like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly. Pumpkin and Chocolate. Truthfully, there’s not much that chocolate doesn’t go with. That’s the beauty of chocolate. The majority of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are “cakey.” By that, I mean they have that spongy, cakey like texture to them. These oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are moist, sweet and loaded with chocolate chips and rich pumpkin flavor and they come out more on the chewy side. AND….You just need 5 ingredients plus spices!
Pumpkin, oats, maple syrup, chocolate chips, a little coconut oil and some seasonings everyone has is all it takes to whip up a batch of these.
My kids…and maybe myself, devoured the 2 dozen in three days. They ate them for breakfast and for snack. I just ate them. Hey, they fit into my diet so no judging.
You will need some quick oats to make these. Have no fear if you only have rolled oats or old fashioned. You can make your own quick oats from regular old-fashioned oats by pulsing them up for a few seconds in your food processor. Easy Peasy!
Serving Size: 2 cookies
Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Easy to make, totally satisfying and full of pumpkin-chocolate chip yumminess. Can be made gluten free, vegan and clean.
15 minPrep Time:
10 minCook Time:
25 minTotal Time:
2½ c quick oats (Gluten Free if needed)
1¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
? c pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ c maple syrup
2 Tbs melted coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips (your favorite kind, I used dark chocolate)
Heat the oven to 375.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Stir the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl, then stir in the dry ingredients.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by 1 1/2 tablespoon fulls onto the cookie sheet, or use a cookie scoop.
The cookies don't spread much during baking, so flatten them slightly with your palm if you wish. You should be able to get 12 cookies per baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
**Make your own quick cooking oats by pulsing regular old fashioned oats in a food processor or blender for a few seconds!**