Archive | January, 2013

Cranberry Sauce

31 Jan

Fresh cranberries are easy to find throughout the winter months. With fresh produce being so hard (and expensive) to find in the winter, it’s a great alternative to dishing out a lot of cash on overpriced produce. The only problem with fresh cranberries is they can be a little tart and bitter sometimes. But, after seeing a lot of different cranberry sauce recipes we thought to ourselves, “I soooo bet cranberry sauce would be good on oatmeal”. So you know what we did? We bought a bag of fresh cranberries, followed a simple recipe, and made some of the best cranberry sauce known to man. The added natural sweetener is just enough to take the tart out of the fresh cranberries, resulting in the perfect topping to pretty much anything.

Ingredients
1 16oz bag of fresh cranberries
1.5 cups of water
4 packets of Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
A little pinch of the following: cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg

Directions:
1. Combine cranberries, water, and truvia in a medium pot and bring to a boil
2. When boiling point is reached reduce heat to a light boil and cover pot without completely placing the lid on (TO AVOID SPLATTERING)
3. Set a timer for 20 minutes and stir occasionally to make sure cranberries do not stick to the bottom of the pan
4. When desired thickness is reached, remove from heat and stir in spices
5. As compote cools it will thicken even more

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce. Store in the refrigerator.

Ways we have used ours so far: on top of oatmeal, on a bed of spinach, with greek yogurt (so versatile)

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The finished result!

Blog Feature: Iowa Girl Eats

30 Jan

Many of our recipe ideas originally come from a variety of different websites. Some are via Pinterest, or Instagram, or even from another food blog site. Recently we tried two different recipes from a food blog site and loved them both! Although we altered them to fit what ingredients/supplies we had on hand, the finished product was almost identical to the original recipe. That’s why we wanted to link this post to because she has so many great recipes and ideas we love! Her blog URL is http://iowagirleats.com

The first recipe we tried was: Orange Chicken Skillet with Winter Fruit Salsa

Our alterations included baking the chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, and fat free balsamic vinaigrette in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes instead of pan frying it. You just place the chicken in a pan and cover with foil to keep the chicken moist. Meanwhile, we made a salsa for on top.

Our ingredients for the salsa included:
1 medium orange
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 kiwi

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In her recipe she also uses orange juice but we left this out because we did not have any in the house! We also added fresh steamed kale into the recipe. To make the kale, you simply wash it with water and place in in a microwave safe container covered with a paper towel and cook for 1 minute.

To cook the long grain brown rice we added 3/4 cup of water to 1/2 cup uncooked rice. Once it came to a boil we reduced the heat and let it simmer covered for 20 minutes. Afterwards, you let it sit covered for AT LEAST 10 additional minutes. Then all it needs is a little fluffing with a fork and it’s ready to be served.

We have tried to find the perfect way to cook rice for quite a while and both vouch that this is the best way we know. It took a few failed attempts in the microwave to realize how easy it is to cook it on the stove top. But if you have an even easier way, let us know!

Assembly:
1. scoop the brown rice onto two places
2. lay the sautéed kale over the rice
3. place the cooked chicken breast on top
4. scoop the fresh fruit salsa onto each plate
5. ENJOY! it’s a sweet, refreshing take on a classic dinner staple

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The second recipe we tried was Make Ahead Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

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We followed this recipe to a t, just using the ingredients we had on hand.

Ingredients:
6 oz of greek yogurt (any flavor, we opted for pineapple by Chobani)
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons of milk of choice
any fruit toppings you want: strawberries, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, etc.

Directions:
In a bowl combine greek yogurt, old fashioned oats, chia seeds, and milk of choice. Place half of the mixture into a mason jar or other container. Then add half of your fruit toppings. Add additional half of the mixture into the bowl and then add the rest of the fruit toppings.

These can be stored in the fridge for a few days!!! This is the great thing about this recipe. You can make a bunch at one time and then grab them on the go throughout the week. See? It’s so simple to eat healthy. This yogurt parfait is so filling too. We opted for hemp plus granola on top, but don’t add that in until right before you eat it. That way it’s fresh and does not get mushy in the fridge. Let us know what you think if you make the recipe yourselves. We love to hear feedback!

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Notice our new “LOVE OATMEAL” spoons?! It’s a late birthday present from Kayla. Best sister ever award!

Spiced Up Boxed Soup

29 Jan

It’s kinda fun to take a simple box of soup and make it into your own with just a few additional add ins. The combinations are kinda endless. We love to make all of our meals seem “gourmet” and this is one that takes on that title with out taking 2 hours to put together. More like 15 minutes. We enjoyed being in our warm home, eating soup instead of being outside in the below freezing temperatures. Hey winter, you can disappear whenever you’d like. Who’s with us?

Ingredients:
1 box Organic Imagine Carrot Almond soup
1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
1/4 cup frozen peas
Handful of fresh kale
Whole wheat bread, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Heat soup on the stove over medium high heat and stir in lentils* and peas
* we precooked our lentils to save time when making dinner
2. When heated, take off of heat and stir in kale, salt, and pepper before diving into two bowls
3. Toast bread, cut into cubes, and sprinkle onto top of soup

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Easy. Simple. Warm. Flavorful. Genius.

Satisfying our Sweet Tooth

28 Jan

Next time you’re craving something sweet, satisfying, and peanut buttery we have just the perfect combination for you

Toasted Wheat Berry Bread + Peanut Butter + Kiwi + 1 Strawberry + Pomegranate Seeds + Unsweetened Coconut Flakes = Heaven on Bread

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What We Ate Thursday: Week 3

25 Jan

Happy Friday! Hope you all have fun plans for this weekend. We are going to a new Indian restaurant tonight with our mom and step dad for dinner. Of course we already looked up the menu but are having a hard time deciding what to get because it all looks so interesting and delicious. One thing we’re trying for sure is bread made out of chickpea flour!

Here’s what we ate yesterday.

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Breakfast was our usual oatmeal. This morning we topped our whipped banana oats with bees knees peanut butter (featured in our post dedicated to peanut butter yesterday), strawberries, blackberries, a couple slices of banana, hemp plus granola, natures sprinkles (aka chai seeds) and a spoonful of our strawberry fig jam! This jam was a Tj Maxx find and it is delicious! A couple weeks ago we spread it on pork chops and it was surprisingly awesome! You never know till you try right?

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Today for lunch we made our own homemade summer rolls. The first time we has these was at a Vietnamese restaurant near our house. These were filled with shredded cabbage, carrots, pepper slices, baked chicken, lettuce and dipped into Trader Joe’s peanut sauce. We will definitely be making these again in the near future.

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For an afternoon snack we had Okios raspberry greek yogurt topped with love crunch granola (also featured in another blog post), kiwi slices, and blackberries

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We originally had planned to make homemade pizza but when dinner time rolled around we were craving something else. We had a bunch of tomatoes that needed used soon so we sliced them in half, drizzled them with balsamic and baked them at 450 for 30 minutes. Then we made homemade bean burgers and added a side of steamed brussels sprouts. This was soooo filling! But being full on veggies is never a bad thing!

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Late night snack was a mug of light coffee ice cream topped with a handful of pumpkin flax granola. Yum! Just a tiny indulgence 😉

Peanut Butter Loving

24 Jan

Happy Thursday!

Today is National Peanut Butter Day. We have recently become a little bit obsessed with nut butters. Most people think that peanut butter is unhealthy. This is true if you’re thinking of the Jiff peanut butter we all ate as kids. We’re talking about natural peanut butter which is made without any additional hydrogen oils and is just simply ground roasted peanuts. Although high in calories, if eaten in moderation it can be beneficial because it is high in vitamin E, a good source of unsaturated fat, and a healthy high protein food. We love adding a tablespoon to oatmeal, spread onto a piece of toast, paired with an apple, or mixed into a smoothie. Below are a few of our favorite kinds:

bees kness

cinnamon raisin swirl

mighty maple

better than pb

pb2

Next time you’re at the grocery store make sure you check out the peanut butter aisle! You definitely won’t be disappointed with any of these options!

Homemade Lentil Vegetable Burgers

23 Jan

These homemade lentil burgers are to die for. This is seriously one of the easiest recipes we have ever made. The nutritional stats on these burgers are amazing too! This recipe yields 4 huge lentil vegetable burgers each packed with only 130 calories and around 10 grams of protein, depending on the type of lentils you use!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup dried brown lentils
1 grated carrot
1/4 yellow onion
1 cup of spinach, chopped
1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1 garlic clove (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Cook dried lentils. We cooked ours by bringing 2 cups of water and the lentils to a boil, reduced the heat, and allowed them to simmer for 30-35 minutes until they started to get mushy. You may have to occasionally add water to keep them from drying out. Once the lentils are cooked you can drain remaining water, if any.
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2. Once lentils are cooked, combine the carrot, onion, rolled oats, and garlic and mash with a fork. Once the mixture is completely mashed add the flour and continue to mix until it forms into a dough like texture. Finally, mix in the spinach.
3. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. Form dough into 4 equal size balls. Flatten and cook burgers 4-5 minutes on each side.
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These make a great sandwich, but would also be perfect on top of a salad! This is one of those recipes we will definitely be brining to a summer BBQ to show everyone that you can still have one kick ass sandwich without any meat.
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