Carrot Cake Oatmeal

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This is for my Anna…the lover of Grandma’s carrot cake. I’m happy to serve this sweet treat to her for breakfast… All things “earthy” and yummy!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1 medium carrot, grated

  • 1 Tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup raisins

  • Pecans, chopped

  • Unsweetened almond milk- amount it takes to reach desired consistency

Cook oats according to directions (or however you normally prefer do it). Add in carrots, honey, spices, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour in almond milk and raisins and stir again. Top with pecans and an extra drizzle of honey.

Anna’s other favorite – Carrot Cake Muffins

 

 

Homemade Pizza Dough for Now and Later

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Made organic whole wheat pizza dough today! We doubled the recipe so we can freeze the rest for future opportunities- calzones, pigs in a blanket, empanadas, and pizza of course (like Aleyah’s Cuban pizza)! I have come to love the pizza dough recipe that I once saw on Bobby Flay’s show, but it was actually Wolfgang Puck’s recipe that he was “borrowing”. In order to freeze this, I punch down the dough after rising, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer bag. The dough defrosts within an hour or so, making it an easy lunch or dinner option. We also made gingery broccoli and carrot salad that Anna loves. Buon appetito!

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Click ‘Like’ For My Girls’ Art!

I need your help! Take 60 seconds and click on the two links below and hit the ‘like’ button on each one. My girls spent a good bit of time decorating these pointe shoes that are entered in a contest at our local dance shop – Melbourne Dancewear – a place we frequent and spend a good bit of money! If their shoes receive the most ‘likes’, then they win a gift card. THANK YOU!!!

Click here for Shoe 1

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Click here for Shoe 2 

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“The Southeast” Summer Salad – “A Salad For Each Week” #33

Mint from my garden, mangoes from Merritt Island, peaches and grape tomatoes from the West North Carolina Farmer’s Market (our recent vacation spot), and a cucumber from Publix (I was “desperate” ;-) ) make this super refreshing salad. My girls loved this when I made it the other day while Scott and Joel were out and about. We often forget that eating fresh fruits and veggies are EXTREMELY hydrating and wonderful for our bodies from our skin to our vital organs.

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“The Southeast” Summer Salad

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 large mango, sliced into bite-sized pieces

2 medium peaches, sliced into bite-sized pieces

1 medium cucumber, chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

2 teaspoons clean oil (olive, seed or nut oil, or coconut oil)

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Dash of Salt

Combine oil, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together. Add fruits and veggies and mint. Gently stir to evenly coat. I like to serve this almost immediately. If wanting to serve later, I like to add the mango and peaches in just before plating so the fruits (esp. the mango) don’t get too mushy.

 

 

Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

  30. Bella Salad

  31. Sweet Potato Home Fries

  32. Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad

 

Farm Fresh Peach Crisp for Breakfast

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We had the wonderful opportunity to purchase a ton of farm fresh peaches on Thursday. Today, I treated my family to an early morning surprise with this dessert-like breakfast. I also foresee many peach smoothies in our future. :)

Farm Fresh Peach Crisp

Filling:

  • 5-6 peaches, sliced

  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice (apple works well too)

  • 1 teaspoon organic starch

  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping

  • 2/3 cup oats

  • 1/3 cup whole grain flour (I used millet flour. It’s high in protein which my “always hungry” bunch needs.)

  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter

  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

Preheat a well-oiled, cast iron skillet in a 375 degree oven.  In a small bowl, mix starch, chia, cinnamon and juice.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Make crumb topping by mixing oats, flour, flax, and cinnamon. Add in oil, butter, and syrup and mix with a fork or fingers until crumb-like. Pour starch mixture over sliced peaches and gently stir. Remove skillet from oven and place peaches into hot skillet. Drop crumb mixture evenly over peaches. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly around edges.  Remove and allow to rest at least 5 minutes until juices set up firmly. If desired, serve with a dollop of greek yogurt, flavored with honey and cinnamon.

Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad – “A Salad For Each Week” #32

Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad

Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad

Carrots, tomatoes, and basil are growing in our garden! These summertime veggies create one of my husband’s favorite (and VERY simple) salads.Tomatoes contain high levels of vitamin C and K and biotin. Their antioxidant properties have been researched and found to decrease cancer risks and aid in bone health. Carrots are also high in vitamin K and biotin, but supply a tremendous amount of vitamin A giving the body a significant punch of antioxidants.

 

TOMATO AND CARROT BALSAMIC SALAD

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 large carrots, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine oil, vinegar, and s&p in a large bowl. Whisk together. Add tomatoes, carrots, and basil. Gently to stir to evenly coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

 

Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

  30. Bella Salad

  31. Sweet Potato Home Fries

Sweet Potato Home Fries – “A Salad For Each Week” #31

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Sweet potatoes and peppers are naturally high in vitamin C. Sweet potatoes also offer TONS of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and have shown to play a significant role in battling inflammation within the body. Here is another interesting tidbit about sweet potatoes and the antioxidants that they naturally provide (from Nutrition Health Articles):

Sweet potatoes have their own built in system to aid healing if the potato has any type of physical damage such as a bruise or cut. These are storage proteins called sporamins that rush to the site of the damage and aid in the healing process. The role of the sporamins doesn’t stop just because we cook the potato and set it on the supper table for consumption. In fact, once we eat the potato, our digestive system benefits from their antioxidant benefits.

Sweet Potato Home Fries

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cooked and cut into 1″ pieces

  • 1/4 cup onion, diced

  • 1 yellow pepper (or red or orange), sliced and cut into strips

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley

Heat coconut oil in pan over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and peppers for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and increase to medium-high heat. Allow to cook several minutes until potatoes are browned and then flip and cook another 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and season with salt, pepper, and top with parsley. Serve immediately or serve chilled – your choice :)

Makes 4-5 servings

*Sometimes I toss some kale into the pan as well.

*I also like to eat this over cottage cheese.

 

Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

  30. Bella Salad

Sneaky Snacks for VBS

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Chickpea Cookies

VBS Sneaky Snacks

Last week, I had the opportunity to plan for and help feed 150+ students that attended our church’s VBS. My mission: to sneak in some “unsuspected” ingredients. Here are a few of the mid-morning energy boosters that I served.

1. Homemade Chex Mix - I made Chex Mix (the “mix” you buy in the store has perservatives and the homemade batch lasts awhile in an airtight conatiner) but added some spinach powder to it (about 1/2-1 teaspoon depending on what you want). While it’s not a huge nutritional boost, it’s better than nothing! I ordered some from a seller on eBay since I couldn’t find it in the local stores.

2. Chickpea Cookies – This is one of my kids’ favorites! I’ll double the batch and freeze them. They can grab them for a snack whenever they are hungry and are perfect for last-minute school snacks during the crazy school year!

  • 1 1/2 cup chickpeas (I cook my own and freeze the rest – super easy time-saver!)

  • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter or almond butter (our favorite!)

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed (works as a binder and adds some nutritional value)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or raisins

Place chickpeas in a food processor and process until they are crumb-like. Add in flax, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pulse for about 10 seconds. Add in nut butter and honey and process again until combined. Add in chips or raisins and pulse just until mixed throughout. Make into 1 1/2″ balls and place onto a cookie sheet. Gently press each cookie down. (They do not “grow” out so flatten to desired size.) Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. Makes 12 cookies.

 

Cheese Quesadillas

Another snack I made is a favorite of almost all kids- cheese quesadillas. Mine are amped up a bit with extra vitamin C via some yellow squash. I simply grate the squash (just like you do the cheese) and place it in a strainer. I lightly sprinkle with salt and toss. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. (This process pulls the extra moisture out of the squash so it doesn’t make the quesadillas soggy. ) Use spray nozzle of faucet to lightly rinse squash. Lay on paper towels and pat dry.

To assemble:

  • Spray tortillas with olive oil.

  • Lay half of the tortillas on a cookie sheet, oiled side down.

  • Place some shredded cheese onto tortillas.

  • Spread a layer of the grated squash onto the cheese.

  • Top with some more shredded cheese.

  • Then place remaining tortillas on to complete each quesadilla, making sure oiled side is face up.

  • Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, flipping once half way through OR grill them in a pan until browned and cheese is melted.

 

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Cheese Quesadillas

Spaghetti Squash Muffins

Spaghetti squash isn’t just made for dinner. How about dessert or breakfast? I tweaked this recipe that I found on cooks.com and served this to my kids. They ate them up and finished off the batch within a few days. My oldest, Aleyah, privately cornered me and asked what I had hidden in there. Pretty smart girl! I answered her honestly, and she smiled and commented on how much she liked them (still :) ). Now you can make up a batch of spaghetti squash for your pomadora sauce for the night and use the rest for your breakfast the next morning.

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Spaghetti Squash Muffins

1 1/4 cup whole grain flour

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Dash salt

1 Tablespoon ground flax (or 1 egg)

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons coconut oil, extra light virgin olive oil, or nut oil

1 small orange, zested and juiced

2/3 cup spaghetti squash strands, cooked

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Place flour, sugar, baking soda, spice and salt into a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, pour in oil, flax (or egg), honey and juice.  Allow to sit a few minutes if using flax. Stir in squash. Add wet ingredients into flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter into greased muffin tins, filling about 2/3 way full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 min.

 

Bella Salad – “A Salad For Each Week” #30

Many years ago, we had a restaurant named Bella’s in Downtown Melbourne, and it was one of my favorite spots to dine. Their signature salad, the Bella Salad, is by far one of my favorite salads ever. It is basically a marinated olive salad served over romaine. This salad has a ton of flavor! If you want some additional protein, top with cannellini beans or grilled or roasted chicken.

Today at VBS, I brought this salad with me and enjoyed it after a busy morning of feeding the students and volunteers (hence the disposable plate you see in the photo – one less dish to wash!). This was day #2 of this salad for me, with one more serving still in the fridge! I LOVE make ahead salads :)

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Olives are antioxidant-rich and have been found to therefore be a fighter against cancer and inflammation. They are high in copper (bone/tissue health and cholesterol balance), iron (which works in tandem with copper), fiber, and vitamin E.

BELLA SALAD

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut

  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup each black and green olives, sliced

  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, sliced

  • 1 cup quartered artichokes

  • 1/3 cup onion, sliced into 1″ pieces

  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place romaine into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Whisk together. Add remaining ingredients (tomato – gorgonzola cheese) into the bowl with the dressing. Gently fold together. Place olive salad on top of romaine and serve. Makes 4 generous salads.

 

Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

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