Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oatmeal Bake

Once in a while I come across a recipe that is such a big hit that we end up eating it every weekend. Oatmeal Bake (this is what my daughters affectionately call it) fits this category. I got the Baked Oatmeal recipe from our Penzeys Spices Catalog that comes in the mail. We love Penzeys and this particular recipe was so easy to alter for our particular diets. I've made it a couple different ways, with apples, with raisins, with blueberries and even a pumpkin pie variation. All versions have been delicious and everyone in my little family digs in. Another thing we love about it is it's made the night before. When we wake up, we just throw it in the oven and bake. Breakfast is served! Especially yummy with a side of Whole Foods Blueberry Breakfast Sausage (in the deli, made fresh daily.)

Here is my variation on this delicious recipe...

• 1 1/2 Cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
• 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Agave Nectar (depending on how sweet you want it)
• 2 TBS Ground Flax Seeds whipped with 6 TBS Cold Water (2 eggs replacer)
• 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
• 1 TBS Baking Powder
• 1/2 tsp Salt
• 1/2 tsp Cinnamon or Apple Pie Spice
• 1/2 Cup TreeTop Organic Apple Sauce (no sugar added)
• 3 Cups Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
• 1 Cup of Fruit (Blueberries, Diced/Peeled Apple, Raisins, Dried Cranberries...)

In a large bowl combine the milk, agave, flax mixture, vanilla, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oatmeal. Mix well. Fold in the fruit. Spread the mixture into a greased 9 inch baking dish.

Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours.)

Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven 350° for 30-35 minutes.
Serve warm with milk, coconut milk yogurt, extra fruit, pure maple syrup or a little sprinkle of brown sugar.

I promise you this recipe will not disappoint. This would also make a great snack in the school lunch box!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Paella BMoney Style

Anytime I can cook without dirtying every dish in the house is a win for me. Double win if my people actually eat it. Today is one of those days. It is also a yummy recipe that has pulled me out of a recipe rut we have been in here, hence the lack of posts. B is always happy with a hearty savory meal that is also something he can eat. Especially if it is something we haven't had in a while.

During a trip to Central Market, I was inspired to cook up a bit of seafood. Not to mention we live in Seattle where seafood is a plenty. They have an excellent selection of fresh and frozen seafood. We bought some smoked salmon and apples, from the deli, to snack on while dinner was cooking.

I made this dinner in the the rice cooker, you could very easily make it in one pot on the stove if you choose. Adding everything to one large sauce pan, covering and cooking for 15 minutes instead of the rice cooker.

1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
1/4 Cup Pomi Diced tomatoes
1 1/2 Cup Home Basics Chicken Broth
1 Medium Diced Onion
2 Minced Garlic Cloves
1/2 Cup Diced Bell Pepper (I used a frozen tri color mix I always keep on hand)
1/2 lb Chicken Italian Sausage Uncased (you can also use andouille sausage or chorizo for more heat or flavor - sliced or cut into bite size pieces)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Saffron
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Cup Shrimp Meat (I bought frozen because it was on sale)
1 Cup Bay Scallops (I like the little ones for this kind of recipe)
1 - TBSP Olive Oil

In your rice cooker add the quinoa, tomatoes and chicken broth.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the bell pepper and cook until tender. Add this mix to the rice cooker with the quinoa mix.

Saute the sausage until cooked. Add this to the rice cooker.

Add the salt, saffron, cumin, italian seasoning to the quinoa in the rice cooker and give everything a stir to mix it together.

Add the shrimp and scallops to the top of the mix, close the rice cooker and turn it on. I have an Aroma® Rice Cooker and I use the "White Rice" setting.

You could use some red pepper flakes or a spicier sausage if your family can handle the heat. I let my husband add that to his own after.

When your rice cooker is done, so is your yummy dinner!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Menu Board

So, one of my New Year's resolutions was to be more organized in our new house. I went out and bought a big dry erase board and hung it in my kitchen. I use it to keep track of the week's menu and other lists of items we need for the week or month. So far it's working great! Here is this week's menu.

On Monday I had a very busy day. Whole Foods has their roast chickens on sale for $6.99 on Mondays, so I picked one up. WF uses minimal ingredients in their chickens, salt, pepper and olive oil,  so it is something that the whole family can have. The other varieties have ingredients we can't eat. Always read labels and check ingredients! I threw some broccoli and buckwheat into the rice cooker and 20 minutes later dinner was done! The rice cooker is my new favorite gadget.

We wont eat a whole chicken in one sitting so on Tuesday I picked the rest of the meat off the chicken and made soup. I sauteed onions, garlic, carrots, celery and pancetta in a 3 quart pan. Added chicken broth (Kitchen Basics All Natural Chicken Stock is the brand my family can use,) a bag of frozen veggies I had on hand and the chicken. I also added a little salt and thyme for taste. The girls like it with crackers or over noodles.

Wednesday is my favorite this week. Avocado Salmon with Pan Roasted Zucchini, Squash & Onion served with Mexican Quinoa (not shown)

On a small sheet pan, I lightly dusted the salmon filets with salt, garlic powder, onion powder & chili powder. I sliced zucchini and squash with onion, tossed them with garlic powder, salt and olive oil. I put them in a separate pan and put them both in the oven at 375° for 20 minutes.

In the rice cooker I put uncooked quinoa (two cooker scoops,) about 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup salsa (mild for the girls) and chicken broth to the liquid line per the cooker's instructions, pushed the go button and walked away. Did I mention I love this thing? While those items were cooking I diced up two avocados, one tomato, gently mixed them together so the avocado didn't mush too much. I added a little salt and garlic powder to taste. I served the salmon with a heaping spoonful of avocado on top.

Everyone in the family loved this dinner. I hope you try it. It was easy and healthy.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Muffins in the Morning

I make these muffins at least once a week. We always have bananas in the house. My husband wont eat them if they are ripe or brown, which is perfect for us girls. We make our muffins, we love them, obviously. They are super easy to make and the girls love helping with the measurements. I have a couple variations on them, which I will share.

I found this banana muffin recipe on

3 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup oil or vegan margarine, softened
1 cup sugar  1/2 Cup brown sugar (one cup was too much and brown sugar gives is a nice flavor)
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (a little bit goes a long way) 

Preheat oven to 360° 

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork till soft. Add the oil or vegan margarine and sugar and cream together.

In a separate bowl, combine together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Combine with the banana mixture, stirring gently just to combine.
Grease or line a muffin pan, and fill each muffin about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.


substitute one 12oz. can of pure pumpkin purée for the bananas. 
Add 1.5 tsp of Pumpkin Spice. 
Sometimes I add chocolate chips to these muffins. 
They are good with raisins or dried cranberries, also. 
I make them in the mini muffin pan, making 2 dozen mini muffins. We take these to school for snack day, they are always a hit. 

If you want to be extra fancy, make them in a donut pan! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Valentine's Cookies

Long time no post. It has been a while since I have had a moment to sit down and actually write a good post. We moved to a new house and it has taken a while for me to get used to the new kitchen, get unpacked and get into a routine again. Once I had gotten into a groove, we were busy with Christmas and holiday events. Then we had the January Plague. By that I mean we were sick ALL of January. Ick.

Now all is well in our home. Back to normal, back to writing menus and trying to keep to our new budget. Which brings me to this small post.

These are my mom's sugar cookies. As a kid we would make these cookies every year at Christmas while my dad and uncle put up our huge Christmas tree. This recipe is a great recipe for roll out cookies and easily doable for any holiday. I make these with my girls and they love them. They have a shortbread/sugar cookie flavor and take me back to my childhood. We will make a heart shaped version for Valentine's Day as well.
My aunt gave me this recipe card that my mother wrote out for her. It is one of my cherished items. This is my altered version of mom's cookies...

Preheat oven to 400°
3/4 Cup Earth Balance Butter
1 Cup Sugar
Flax Egg Substitute (for two eggs - mix 2 TBSP Ground Flax Seed and 6 TBSP of Cold Water with a stick blender until frothy and thick)
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Power

Cream the Earth Balance Butter, Sugar and Flax mixture. Add Vanilla. Then blend in the dry ingredients. Wrap in plastic or wax paper and chill for 1 hour.

Roll out and cut with cookie cutters or you could make a pinwheel with food coloring like we did in this picture.

Bake for 6-8 minutes and enjoy!

This is not something that my husband can have. I am working on finding a recipe that I can alter for him to enjoy. But this is a tradition I really want to share with my girls.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This Week's Menu Oct 21 - 27, 2012

SUNDAY: Two Pot Chili
I call this Two Pot Chili because I have to make two batches every time I make chili. One with beans no meat, one with meat no beans. The girls do not like meat chili, my husband can't have beans. I like both so I mix the two in my bowl when done.

They both start the same, 1 small diced onion, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 Cup diced tri-colored peppers (I always have a couple frozen bags of these on hand. Kroger/Fred Meyer or Whole Foods carries them.) Once sauteed I take a small amount of this mix and put it in a smaller pan.
Big pan gets 1 lb. sauteed chicken sausage (I get mine either from Central Market in the meat deli or Whole Foods at the meat counter) and one diced jalapeño pepper. I dice up a few more and set them aside for Mr. to add to his own, he likes extra spicy. I add one box of Pomi Stewed Tomatoes (save about 1/2 Cup for the small pan), chili powder, cumin and salt to taste.

In the small pan I add 1 Can of beans (the kind depends on my daughter's mood. I let her pick. I use Eden Organic brand because their cans are BPA Free.) 1/2 Cup of the Pomi Tomatoes, garlic powder, a dash of chili powder, cumin and salt to taste.

I don't measure the seasoning. I know, I know, it's one of the things that make keeping a food blog a little difficult. I'm one of those people that goes into the kitchen throws a bunch of stuff into a pot, tastes, and adds a little of this and that. I'm trying to keep track of measurements now I swear. If I had to guess I would say 1-2 TBSP of cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt.

I let both pots simmer for 20-30 minutes or longer, really chili is one of those things that gets better the longer it simmers. I serve the girls theirs with noodles or bread.

MONDAY: Spaghetti with meat sauce

TUESDAY: Pinterest Salmon
Oh I love Pinterest. I've been in a bit of a recipe repeat rut lately. So I went to Pinterest and typed "salmon" in to the search. One of the many recipes that popped up was this gem. Not only did I have all of the ingredients, but it was easily adaptable to the needs of my family.

I used 1 TBSP Agave, 2 TBSP Annie's Dijon Mustard ("honey mustard" my husband can eat)
2/3 C. crushed Kettle Potato Chips in place of Panko (husband can't have Panko, but loves some Kettle chips, I used the crumbs from the end of a bag, which is pretty greasy. So I eliminated the oil from the recipe)

This was really good and will definitely be added to our menu in the future.

WEDNESDAY: Vegetable Soup
It has been so cold and rainy here. Hello rain season in Seattle. I have switched my usual breakfast for dinner once a week to soup once a week. Sometimes more if I feel like it. Usually I start with diced onion, celery and carrots sauteed until soft, then add whatever stock and veggies I have on hand. This night it was broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, tomato, chicken stock, ground turkey (browned and cooked through,) thyme, garlic and salt to taste. I just let it simmer until the veggies are cooked. Sometimes I throw it all in the crock pot so I don't have to worry about cooking at dinner time.

THURSDAY: Slow-cooker Garlic Chicken with Quinoa
I used boneless chicken breasts and skipped the browning step. I substitute Oat Flour for the white flour. I cooked the quinoa plain and served the chicken and sauce over top. Yummy. Again, another keeper.

FRIDAY: Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with Mashed Potatoes

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This Week's Menu Sept 30 - Oct 6

At the beginning of the week, usually Sunday or Monday, I try to meal plan for the week. This just makes me saner, saves time and money. I am more likely to stick to a shopping list if I have a menu plan. Let's face it, with all of the non-traditional, organic items we have to purchase I can use all the money saving I can get. I also get a box of organic produce delivered on Monday mornings. I try to meal plan around its content, if I can.

I will make a big salad on Monday to have on hand as an extra option during the week. I usually eat this for lunch most days. I try to do soup once a week with leftovers or random veggies I have on hand. My family also gets a kick out of "breakfast for dinner" about once a week as well.

This is a basic thrown together meal that I make a lot.

3 Salmon Filets lightly dusted with garlic powder, ginger, onion powder, salt and pepper. Baked at 375° for 20 - 25 minutes until cooked (internal temp of 145°)
Steamed Broccoli
Buckwheat with sauteed onion and garlic.
Buckwheat is one of our go to grains. I always have it on hand. It cooks up similar to rice and is hearty and healthy. It is gluten free and one of the items my husband can eat. We use it in place of rice and noodles in a lot of dishes.
The girls split a salmon filet or DH takes it to work in his lunch the next day.

Baked Italian Chicken Sausage
I get the sausage in the meat department of our local grocery store or at Whole Foods.
Baked Red Skin Potatoes tossed in olive oil with paprika, rosemary, garlic and salt,
Edamame (for the girls) and Salad (for the grown ups.)

I had a rough night with the baby. And, thanks to the full moon, my oldest was in full on melt down mode after school. Lack of sleep and patience called for take out. I fed the kids left over mexican rice, mixed vegetables and hot dogs. I try to make healthy food, but it doesn't always work out. I have learned to pick my battles when it comes to food, time and sanity. My menu called for Pablano Chicken, Quinoa, Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots. Instead we had Thai food.

Pablano Chicken, Mexican Buckwheat, Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots.
The chicken recipe is a Martha Stewart recipe that we love. I have altered it to suit our family. I use 1-2 peppers depending on the size, and use 1/2  cup of Coconut Milk instead of the cream. This time I baked the chicken because I had the oven on to roast the veggies. Sometimes we grill or saute it, depends on the weather and my mood.

Breakfast Dinner!
Buckwheat Pancakes, Bacon (Hormel All Natural, it's nitrate & sugar free), Bananas, and Blueberries.
The pancakes are great, the whole family loves these and usually there aren't any left over.
1 cup Buckwheat flour, 2 tsp. Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp. Salt, 1 cup Milk, 2 TBSP Safflower oil, 3 TBSP of Apple Sauce, 1/2 tsp. Vanilla, 1 tsp Cinnamon. Mix all ingredients together with a whisk, cook on skillet like regular pancakes.

Baked Lean Cut Pork Loin dusted with garlic, salt, and pepper. Quinoa with thyme and garlic with salad for the grown ups and red kidney beans for the kids.

Saturdays are usually a leftover or spaghetti night, something low key so I can have a break from the kitchen.