Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stuffed Quinoa and Turkey Meat loaf GF

I'm not much of a meat loaf person. In fact, I think it is safe to say I am a hater.A big ole pile of ground beef covered in ketchup. Gross! I mean seriously. Who thought up a loaf....of meat....?!?! The name says it all!! The only meat loaf I ever like up until now was my Cindi's My best friend in high school, Nicole's, mom. It was stuffed with ham and cheese and had pizza sauce on top. Now that I could do! Thinking of that inspired me to figure out a healthier and tastier version of the classic Midwest staple. So, here it is! I really liked it, and that says a whole lot coming from a meat loaf hater!


Loaf Ingredients
1/4 C quinoa
If you line your pan with foil it makes
 clean up a whole lot easier. Keeps the
glaze from burning to the bottom.
1/2 C water
1 Tsp Olive Oil
 1 Tbs Cumin
1 yellow onion diced
4 cloves crushed garlic
20 oz ground turkey
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs Tabasco
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Filling Ingredients
3/4 c feta cheese
1/2 c frozen or wilted spinach (If frozen be sure it is completely thawed)
Glaze Ingredients
2 Tbs raw honey
2 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp water


Pre heat oven to 375. Cook quinoa in water to directions on package. Let it cool a little bit before mixing with the meat so it doesn't cook it when you are mixing it. Mix all loaf ingredients fully. Using about 3/5 of the mixture make the bottom half of the loaf. Create a well in the middle with the sides slightly higher. Put the feta and spinach in the well. Using the last 2/5 of the meat mixture completely cover the filling and create the top of the loaf. Mix the glaze ingredients well and brush over the top until it is completely covered and running down the sides. Bake at 375 for 1 hour.

Mango and Black Bean Quinoa GF

My friend Nichole gave me this recipe this summer and I kept wanting to make it, but every time I got mangoes we ate em! We LOVE mango! The past 6 weeks or so we have been getting a mango in our produce box so I figured we could spare one or two for a meal. :) The mango works so well in this dish because it has a slight spiciness to it. It isn't like eating a pepper or anything crazy, it's sweet, but it has a zippy undertone that marries well with the Latino flavors of the other ingredients. This was definitely a winner and I am so glad she shared it with me! I changed a few things mainly because of what ingredients I had on hand, but the one thing I think makes a big difference is I toasted the quinoa. It adds a nice flavor that you don't get when you cook it straight up. The toasty flavor goes great with this dish! You seriously have to try this!


2 cup quinoa
4 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( The recipe I had called for raspberry balsamic, but I didn’t have that.)
1 large or 2 small mangoes, diced
2 avocado, diced
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
Small red onion, minced (could use about a ½ c of green onion, but I like the flavor of red better)
1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste


Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over md/high heat until it starts to pop a little and slightly brown. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl. Add mangoes, avocado, black beans, red bell pepper, cilantro, mint, onion, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, vinegar and lime juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. The recipe I had served this as a cold side salad, which would be great for the summer. I however made it hot and served it that way. It was pretty amazing warm! (If you aren't eating this as a main dish like we did and you are using it as a side, halve the recipe!)

Mediterranean Chicken GF

I made supper tonight for a friend who just had a baby. This is what I decided to make her. I had seen a recipe that looked interesting, so I used it for some ingredient Ideas. I'm not a huge fan of eating a big ole chunk of meat, but this was soooo good! I will absolutely make this again!


2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and black pepper
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped or sliced pepperoncini peppers
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, (I used black)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 cup feta cheese


Put oil in a large skillet and bring to heat over md/high. Sprinkle chicken with Salt and pepper. Add half of chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan and place on paper towel on a plate. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken; remove from pan.
Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onions caramelize. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring wine to a boil; cook until reduced down. (about 2 minutes). Add chicken, broth, pepperoncini, and olives,  garlic, tomato, basil, thyme and artichokes; cook over low heat about 10 minutes or until all of the flavors meld together. Sprinkle with cheese.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lebanese Lentils and Whole Grains

Here is another recipe sent my way from my friend Jill sent my way! I always get excited when she sends me recipes, cause she is one of few who eats crazy ethnic food like me. :)  I do not lie when I tell you I ate 3 helpings of this! THREE! It is just so good! The presentation may not look the prettiest...lets be honest, Lentils rarely look pretty.....but Holy cow is it amazing! I tweaked very little on this recipe. I of course added a slight bit more cumin cause it's my fav, knocked back the oil and I was out of Cinnamon. The recipe called for a Cinnamon stick, but I didn't have that or ground so I left it out. If you have it, throw in a Cinnamon stick when you put in the cumin seeds. Gotta try this one guys it's an AWESOME meat free!


1 cup brown or green lentils sorted for debris and rinsed
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
3/4 cup Himalayan whole grains
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ C Pine nuts
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Greek yogurt, for serving, optional


Place the lentils into a medium saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, heat oil in a large skillet. Allow the oil to warm for a minute, then drop in the cumin seeds and cracked peppercorns and cook, shaking the pan once in a while until the cumin seeds darken slightly, about 1 minute.

Add the onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take about 15 minutes. (Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan.) You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color.
Remove about half of the onions to a paper towel-lined plate (These are to top your meal later.) Sprinkle in the ground cumin, cayenne and saute about 1 minute.

Add the whole grains and cook, stirring often until some grains start to brown. Quickly, add the cooked lentils, 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt; bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low so that the pan is at a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes. The water should be completely evaporated and grains should be tender. (If there's still too much water in the bottom, put the lid back on and cook for another 5 minutes.)

Turn off the heat, keep the lid on, and allow the grains to steam undisturbed for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts using, in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking often, until lightly browned.

Serve with the reserved caramelized onions, toasted pine nuts, if using, and a little squeeze of lemon juice and a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Banana Breakfast Cookies....yes, I said breakfast cookies!

Why not have cookies for breakfast?! Ya know ya wanna! I spent the past two days looking for recipes for cookies...I've been feeling the urge...and nothing quite struck me until this morning when I really wanted to eat junk for breakfast. I figured why not make a cookie I can eat for breakfast?! So, I went to work. I decided on adding the coconut flour and milk to add protein so it really could be in place of breakfast. If you don't care about the protein or you don't like the texture the coconut flour adds, simply remove the two coconut ingredients. Your cookies will still turn out great...less protein therefore less breakfasty but still good non the less. I enjoyed my Saturday morning cookies, and I hope you all do as well! (Goes great with a hot cup of coffee!!)


2 ½ ripe medium bananas
1/2 cup honey
½ cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 c coconut milk
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 c coconut flour


Heat oven to 375°F. Mash 2 the bananas. In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, coconut milk and mashed bananas with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in both flours, baking powder and salt.
Drop dough about the size of 2 Tbs about 2 inches apart onto ungreased large cookie sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes or until set and edges begin to turn light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Holy cow my mom makes THE BEST pumpkin bread on the planet!! I tweaked this so that I could eat it without feeling guilty, but I'm not gonna lie...Hers is better! I will eat mine now and plow hers at Christmas. (It's a tradition for our fam to have pumpkin bread at Christmas.) I actually made it cause my sister is moving to Turkey and won't be able to have tasty pumpkin bread this Christmas! That's right, I said Turkey. I will be driving her to the airport tomorrow and have no idea when we will get to see her next....the cost of following Jesus huh? You all can be praying for her as she jumps into this next season. Anyhow, back to the bread. This makes 4 loaves and I freeze all but one. They are super moist, so they will go bad quicker than most so freeze the loaves you aren't eating. These also make great gifts for teachers, neighbors and friends, so bake a bunch at once and freeze em till Christmas time....again, stealing my mom's ideas. :) Love pumpkin!


29 oz can Pumpkin puree
8 Eggs
2 C apple sauce
7 C Whole wheat flour 
4 c raw honey
4 Tsp Soda
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Nutmeg
1  C water


Mix pumpkin, eggs, honey and applesauce in large bowl.  Combine flour, soda salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl.
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture alternately with water, mixing well after each addition.  Spoon into 4 greased and floured loaf pans.
Bake at 350 for about 30 min to1 hr. or until bread tests done. (I know 30-60 min is a drastic time difference, but I have baked them for over 45 minutes before and my last was done in 30. So.....after 30 min check the bread. When knife or tooth pick comes out clean it's done. If not, check every 5-10 minutes until done.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Roasted Chick peas/ garbanzo beans GF

I found this idea some recipe site the other day. Whoever decided to roast these suckers is a genius! The recipe I found had crushed red pepper flakes and my kiddo won't touch spicy stuff anymore, so I decided, "What the heck, why not make up my own!?" I am always looking for healthy snacks and I always have garbanzo beans on hand, so this is great for us! yummy! Another quick tip....I found that if I broil them on the second day, that they turn out great and crunchier!


2 15-oz can Garbanzo Beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans in a large colander. Continue to rinse until all the foamy liquid goes away.

Line the counter with a few sheets of paper towel. Place the drained garbanzo beans on top of the paper towel and let them dry for a few minutes.

Once the beans are dried, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle on the spices. Using your hands, toss the beans around so they are all fully coated.

Place the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes and all to roast. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and give the beans a little shake and then place back into the oven for another 15 minutes shake em around a little bit and roast for another 15 minutes. 
Season with salt if needed once fully roasted and then serve hot or cooled.