Monday, February 23, 2015

Baked Spinach and Wild Mushroom Omelette

This is a quick and easy and super healthy breakfast. You can mix this in minutes and then let it bake. It is great for a crowd or you can cut it up and save it for your work week breakfasts. I use the frozen veggies from Trader Joe's. They are delicious and affordable... no cutting required :) Happy me.  

I have been trying to eat more vegetables for breakfast. I have not quite gotten there unless it is cooked with eggs and or bacon... but alas, no one is perfect. 

What you need: 

2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 32 oz bag of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 12oz bag of frozen wild mushroom medley, thawed 
8 eggs
Salt and pepper

What you do: 

1. Cook your veggies: Heat a large saucepan on medium high heat, heat olive oil, and add the veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes to concentrate the flavors and cook off most of the frozen waters... 
2. Crack and mix your eggs: In a large bowl crack and mix up your eggs, season with salt and peppa. 
3. Preheat and prepare: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9X13 baking dish, spray with nonstick or olive oil. 
4. Make your Omlette: place your cooked veggies, stir over your eggs. Mix in as best you can. 
5. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Test the center is cooked and the edges pull away from the side. 
6. Serve for breakfast... or cut up and place in your super cool tupperware for a Working Mommy on the Go meal... 

As always, much love, many blessings, and go Mommies!

Make-Ahead Baked Ziti

So you gotta feed a lot of people, they can be picky eaters, it is a work day... My answer Baked Ziti. My mom makes this dish for every holiday, and she tops it with a Bechamel sauce. I did not do the topping... alas, I am a loser. No, I am not a looser because I make a rocking Bolgnese sauce with here is the kicker fresh rosemary. What is great about this dish is you can make it the night before and store it in the fridge and just pull it out an hour before dinner. The cook times will vary... 

Baked Ziti Room Temperature: 400 F 45 mins (covered with foil, uncover the last 15 minutes) 
Baked Ziti Fridge Cold: 400 F 1 hour and 45 mins (covered with foil, uncover the last 15 minutes) 
Baked Ziti Frozen: 400 F 2 hours and 45 mins (covered with foil, uncover the last 15 minutes) 

What you need: 

1 pound (16 oz) of ground beef
4 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
2 yellow onions
2 bunches of rosemary
6 Tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 pound of ziti cooked just under al dente
1 cup of reserved pasta cooking liquid

What you do: 

1. Prep the ingredients: wash all of the produce.
2. Get out your equipment: put a large pot of salted water to boil the pasta. Plug in your food processor. Get your trusty knife and cutting board. Put a colander in the sinkGet a large saucepan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium heat.
3. Prep your aromatics: Peel the onion and the carrot. Rough chop the onion, carrots and celery. Place in your food processor to do a small dice. Put in your hot sauce pan with the olive oil.  Smash the garlic and peel the paper off. Place in a food processor.  Add to your hot pan. Season with salt and pepper.  
4. Flavor flave: add the tomato paste and stir in the pan until it is dark burgundy
5. Cook the beef: add the beef and stir until cooked. Turn off the heat.  Add half the Parmesan. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.  
6. Make your pasta: add your pasta to your big pot of and cook for two minutes less than the package directs.
7. Drain your pasta: save 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta in the colander
8. Prep your baking dish: Add your sauce to your baking dish. Add the almost cooked pasta. Add enough of the pasta cooking water to make the dish have a saucy but not watery consistency. Top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese.
9. Freeze, fridge or cook: Now if you are smart and making this bake ahead of time, now is the time to cover it with foil and put it in the fridge or freezer. If you are lazy lady like me, pop it in the oven until the dish comes together and the top is crispy. 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

I served this dish to my in-laws for the first night in town with a Caesar salad and nice Super Toscana wine.  

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking!

Paleo Nanner Bread (Gluten Free Banana Bread)

I heart nanner bread, always did, always will. It was one of the few treats my mom would make us from scratch. No kidding, I thought making a pie was taking it out of the freezer and baking it. To this day, my mom will say, "I baked a pie." She did bake it, she just didn't make it. Enough my ridiculousness. I love nanner bread, but being paleo... gluten and dairy not so much. 

So, here is the recipe I now love that I swiped off the internet. I will say, it took me a lot longer to bake. I also used frozen bananas.  You may ask, why do you have frozen bananas? Here is the answer, I am the mother of a toddler and when your precious angel asks you for a banana you give it to them, knowing that they will smell it and at best rub it on their lips before they hand it to you. If you are lucky, if you are unlucky they will try and hide the banana underneath the couch. Mothers be vigilant!You find the banana and wash it off, put in your freezer for a smoothie or banana bread... or vegan banana "ice cream." 

This is a good recipe for a couple of reasons. It tastes delicious, the texture is not 100% like the gluten rendition, but what is? This recipe doesn't require a whole bunch of difficult to procure ingredients, and it is el cheapo... not mucho moneys. I was eating a piece of this bread while I was typing this, and now it is gone. I am sad... Ok, recipe... 

What you need: 

  • 4 ripe bananas, or frozen from a bag 
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

What you do: 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
2. Prepare a loaf pan, mine is (8x4) spray with coconut oil or olive oil, and line with parchment paper
3. Bust out your big food processor (Cuisinart, food prep, whatever you call it)  
4. Unplug your heart glow lights, and plug in your food prep. 
5. Chuck in your bananas, honey, vanilla, almond butter, coconut oil and eggs and blitz until smooth and creamy. 
6. Add your dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; blitz again until smooth and creamy 
7. Take your bowl off the machine and add the dark chocolate chips. Smoodge about with your spatula to incorporate. 
8. Spatula your batter into your baking pan with magic paper (parchment paper) 
9. Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. 
10. Eat, with coffee, and feel like you too can once again enjoy carbs with the blissful ignorance of pre 2011. 

I even gave this to my toddler as "chocolate cake." He loved it, it was his treat for dinner last night. I on the other hand have added it to my breakfast box for the week. It is delish, no lie. 

As always, much love, many blessings and happy baking! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Black Bean Brownies, Gluten Free

Yup, your eyes do not deceive you... black bean, gluten free brownies. Before you click away, I promise they taste just as good as regular brownies. The only difference is these are gluten free and have less fat and more protein. They are great as a treat in the afternoon with cup of decaf coffee... absolutely delish! This recipe is adapted from Skinny Taste. Gina you are awesome. 

What you need:  
1 (14 oz) canned organic black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of salt 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon avocado oil
1 Tablespoon local grass-fed milk 
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee
1 cup mini chocolate chips, divided in half (Toll House)

What you do:

1. Crank it, preheat the oven to 350° F
2. Spray a 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper, leave tails on each side so you can pull it out
3. Rinse and drain your black beans
4. Fling all of your ingredients into your food processor save 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
5. Pulse the food processor until you have a perfectly mixed brownie batter
6. Spread into prepared pan
7. Sprinkle your reserved chocolate chips
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, check with a skewer, it will be a bit fudgey 
9. Cool on a wire rack
10. Eat greedily... I mean with restraint, I mean give half to your friends so you don't the whole batch in one day. 


As always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking!

Roasted Beets

Roasted beets, this is less of recipe and more of request. Please try roasted beets they are absolutely delicious. Forget what you had as a child and try these. Think of it as a sweet, savory, easy vegetable side dish. 

What you need: 
6 beets with tops trimmed
salt, pepper, and olive oil to serve

What you do: 
1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F
2. Wash and dry your beets
3. Wrap in foil 
4. Bake for about an hour, pierce with a fork to make sure they are done
5. When cool enough to handle rinse them under running water and rub the skins off. 
6. Quarter and serve with salt, pepper, and olive oil

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking. 

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Vadouvan Curry

If you are looking for a easy comfort food you can make your crock pot and it will warm you up on chilly February days, look no further. Sweet potato and cauliflower curry is delish, filling, and super healthy.

What you need:
4 medium sized sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds, peeled and quartered
1 large head of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
2 large onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 can of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of curry powder ( I love Vadouvan also known as French Masala)
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper to taste
sliced almonds and quinoa to serve

What you:
1. Wash and dry your produce.
2. Peel and chop your produce.
3. Add all of your ingredients to your crock pot (set to high if you 4 hours, or low if you have 8 hours).
4. Serve with quinoa and sliced almonds on top as a garnish.

Enjoy, as always much love, many blessings and happy crock potting.  

Rasberry and Cream Cheese King Cake

Oh how I do love you King Cake. This is a conglomeration of Emeril's recipe and some of my experience in making cinnamon rolls. I am proud to be a Virginian, but sometimes, sometimes my heart is in NOLA. 

What you need: 


4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 package of rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
3 large eggs
6 Tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of buttermilk
Nonstick spray like "Pam" 


1 (8oz) package of cream cheese softened
1 cup of seedless raspberry jam 

Egg wash: 

1 egg


1 plastic baby 
1 cup of powdered sugar
4 teaspoons of water (or so) 
Sprinkles in green, gold, and purple 

What you do: 

1. Mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together in your standing mixer's mixing bowl. 
2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs
3. In a small sauce pan melt the butter, take off the heat and add the buttermilk. Mix the together and then slowly add to the eggs while mixing. (Scrambled eggs= bad)
4. With your mixer fitted with dough hook slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the bowl. 
5. Fit the dough hook and let her go, kneading the dough until it comes away from the sides of the bowl. If it is still too sticky add a little flour, a Tablespoon at a time. 
6. Once you have a smooth, elastic dough, clean the bowl you whipped the eggs in. Spray the clean bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm dry place for an hour or so. 
7. Once the dough has doubled in size, flour a large cutting board or parchment paper.  Shape the dough using your hands and rolling pin to a large rectangle about 10 inches by 30 inches. 
8. Spread the cream cheese all over the dough leaving an inch or so on one of the long sides. 
9. Cover the cream cheese spread with the raspberry jam, again leaving an inch naked on the long side. 
10. Starting on the long side covered in cream cheese and jam, gentley lift and curl the edge on to the jam side, you are going to make a jelly roll. Continue to roll and lift until you have an inch left, the part that doesn't have any jam or cheese. 
11. Whisk and egg in a small bowl and with a pastry brush lightly brush some egg along the naked edge of the long side. Pinch the seam closed with your fingers. 
12. On a large rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment paper place the long jelly roll, join the edges and pinch together to make a circle. Cover in plastic wrap and leave to rise for about an hour. 
13. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. 
14. Once risen, cover in a light layer of egg wash using a pastry brush. 
15. Bake  30 to 40 minutes testing with a skewer or toothpick to make sure the dough is cooked through. 
14. Let cool completely. Cut a small slit in the bottom of the cake and insert your small plastic baby. Place the cooled cake on your serving dish. 
15. Mix the powdered sugar and a teaspoon of water at time until you have a glaze at the consistency you want. I like it to run but very slowly. 
16. Decorate with your colored sprinkles. You may have to decorate with the sprinkles again before you serve it, if your glaze is runny and the sprinkle melt into it. Its ok if it does, it just makes the color more vibrant. 

Enjoy! Serve with chicory coffee or hurricanes. Make jokes about your friend who get's the baby. They have to make the cake next year. 

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking!