Cranberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta

I found a super yummy recipe on Pinterest that I made for thanksgiving that I have to share! It is super easy to make and doesn’t take too many ingredients. It was a huge hit at my thanksgiving and was requested that I bring it to Christmas as well!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh (or frozen) cranberries, washed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Serrano pepper (more if you like spicy, less if not)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4-1 cup pomegranate arils or seeds (reserve a few for garnish)
  • finely chopped fresh basil for garnish
  • cream cheese (low fat, softened)
  • crackers of your choice

Directions:

  1. Place the cranberries, sugar, and Serrano pepper in a food processor (I removed the seeds from the pepper first)
  2. Pulse on and off several times until the cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don’t over-process.
  3. Add basil and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want the basil bits to be visible in the relish.
  4. Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate arils.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to use.
  6. Place cream cheese on a serving dish and spoon relish over the top until desired amount is covering the cream cheese.
  7. Garnish with extra pomegranate and basil on top.
  8. Enjoy over your choice of cracker.

**I advise halving the relish ingredients because I ended up with lots of leftovers.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I did. It is bursting with so much flavor that it is hard to stop eating it once you have started. ENJOY!

This recipe was adapted from: Andrea Tabler at Tabler Party of Two

Greek Yogurt Whole Wheat Muffins

I wanted to make some low sugar muffins for Liam. Just something quick and easy for in the mornings or on the go. I found this recipe and Liam approves!

Greek Yogurt Whole Wheat Muffins

Makes about 24 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (the recipe I found calls for full-fat but I only had non-fat and they still turned out great)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with muffin liners
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, slat, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, egg, olive oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Slowly pourt the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients and use a spoon to gently fold the ingredients together. Do no over-mix. The batter will be very thick (almost like fluffier cookie dough).
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and make for approximately 15 mintues, until the tops of the muffins are set. Watch the muffins closely, so as not to overbake.
  5. Allow to cool and enjoy. Can be enjoyed topped with creamy peanut butter, coconut butter, or a smear of butter.

STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: Store any leftover muffins in an air-tight container for four to five days. These muffins freeze well but they also seem to go bad rather quickly when stored in the pantry. I recommend freezing some of the muffins right away if you don’t think you’ll go through all of them within four days and storing all of the remaining muffins in the refrigerator.

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Note: This recipe was adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins

I made the most delicious pumpkin spice muffins over the weekend. I even added my Isagenix protein powder to give them extra protein and vitamins. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

PUMPKIN SPICE PROTEIN MUFFINS

Makes about 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (can use extra virgin olive oil instead)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (I used organic maple syrup)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves (I used all spice)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup Isagenix pumpkin spice isalean powder**
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • optional: nuts, chocolate or dried fruit (I did add a few white chocolate chips)

**if you do not have the protein powder you can add 3/4 cup whole wheat flour…they lose the protein and vitamins but are still really yummy.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Either line the tins with muffin liners or grease the tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup (or honey) together with a whisk. Add eggs, and beat well.
  3. Mix in the pumpkin puree and milk, followed by baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice (or cloves).
  4. Add flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. if you’d like to add any additional mix-ins like nuts, chocolate, or dried fruit fold them in now.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. For these muffins it’s okay to fill the cups a little higher than you normally would. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  6. Bake the muffins for 23-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack. These muffins are delicate until they cool down so it’s best to wait until they have cooled down to remove them from the tin. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan if you did not use liners.
  8. Enjoy the muffin as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.

 

Storage suggestions: These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They keep well in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).

Notes: Recipe adapted from COOKIE+kate

MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: Simply by using a non-dairy milk of your choice

MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose blend works well instead of whole wheat flour.

 

“Healthier” Fried Chicken

So last night Joe had a hankering for some fried chicken. We are trying to be healthier these days so I found a recipe that I thought seemed pretty healthy for fried food and would satisfy his craving. It ended up being super yummy and easy to make so I wanted to share the recipe.

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I have to be completely honest…I didn’t measure anything so if you choose to make this recipe just use your best judgement. Also, you could do without any of the ingredients below other than olive oil and bread crumbs. Feel free to change it up to add different flavors.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • bread crumbs
  • garlic salt (or powder we just didn’t have any)
  • pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • parsley

Directions:

  1. Make sure your chicken breasts are either thinly sliced or pounded thin before doing anything. If chicken breasts are too thick the breading will burn before the chick is cooked all the way through. We thinly sliced our chicken and even had some pieces small enough to look like chicken nuggets once cooked.
  2. Fill one bowl with a little olive oil and one bowl with all other ingredients.
  3. Drizzle olive oil into frying pan. You will want enough to cover the bottom. Heat the pan on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. While this heats you can do step 4.
  4. Dip chicken into olive oil. Then immediately dip into bread crumb mixture. Make sure all areas of the chicken are coated. (I place dipped chicken on a plate until all were dipped and ready to be cooked).
  5. Place in heated pan.
  6. Cooking time depends on thickness of chicken and temperature of the oil. Since our chicken was very thinkly sliced I did about 2 minutes on each side. For the smaller chicken nugget pieces I did about 1 minute each side.
  7. Place on plate with paper towels to soak up any extra oil.

 

It really is a simple recipe. We enjoyed our chicken dipped in BBQ sauce. It was also good with honey mustard and ketchup. The whole process took maybe 15 minutes total. We will definitely be making this again.

ENJOY!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins for Baby

When Liam first started eating solids I had a hard time thinking of different foods to give him. When I found this recipe I was super excited because it is healthy, easy, quick and perfect for baby!

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Liam loved them so much! He couldn’t get enough. I try to make them any chance I get ripe bananas now.

Banana Oatmeal Blender Muffins for Baby
makes 9-12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breast milk or formula

Directions

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. blend all ingredients in a high powered blender
  3. line muffin pan with cupcake lines or coat lightly with coconut oil
  4. pour muffin batter into muffin pan
  5. bake 10-12 minutes
  6. allow to cool completely before serving
  7. store extra muffins in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or freeze for future use

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I used cupcake liners when baking these muffins. Some of the batter did stick to the liner so it may be worth it to try coating the pan with coconut oil instead. I didn’t freeze any because Liam would go through them pretty quickly. Also when I made this recipe the first time it made 9 and the muffins were decent size however I wanted them a little smaller so I split it into 12 the next time and that was perfect for Liam.

Also I did cut them into bite size pieces for him. It was easier for him to eat it when it was cut up.

I hope your baby enjoys these muffins as much as Liam did and does!

Sweet tooth update

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I’ve been sick and was unable to get anything written.

I wanted to update you all on my no sweets adventure. It has been one week today and let me tell you it was a tough one. The first 3 days were actually the hardest but since then it hasn’t been so bad.

Joe and I don’t keep sweets in the house so that helps a lot. When I did find myself craving something sweet (usually after dinner) I was advised by Molly to try eating some fruit. We happened to have some kiwi in the fridge and that was the ticket! Kiwi is so sweet and juicy. It quenched my craving.

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I was tempted by cupcakes and cheesecake over the weekend but I was able to say no because I knew I would have to tell Molly and my friend Jenna and they are both holding me accountable to the goal.

I have a cheat day coming up Saturday for Joe’s birthday and then next weekend for our vacation to Seattle. I’m feeling committed to this goal which makes it easier to follow through.

I will update again once April is over to let you know how it went and if I commit to another month.

Quick, Easy, and Healthy Lunch

Yesterday I had the day off and was home with Liam. It is hard to eat healthy when you are always busy with a baby. However, I am really working on trying to eat better meals and snacks and I found something really yummy to eat for a quick, easy meal.

It’s basically an egg stir fry. I fried up some vegetables in coconut oil (frozen is fine but fresh is better). Then I added two scrambled eggs. Mix that with some salsa and avocado…YUM!

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I found myself just shoveling this in! Not because of Liam either…it was just so delicious.

Are there any quick, easy, and healthy recipes you love? If so I would love to hear about them!

Vegetable garden

This year Joe and I decided we want to do a vegetable garden. I did some reading and found out that we should start small our first year and add in the coming years to avoid frustration. We decided we are going to try growing lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers this year.

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Today I did some garden prep. I had to sow the lettuce seeds indoors now to plant in mid April. I’m going to try to space our lettuce growth so we have continued supply. I will sow more lettuce indoors in about 2 weeks as well as peppers and tomatoes. The carrots and cucumbers can be planted outside without any indoor growth.

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I’m hopeful that our garden will yield many vegetables but at the very least it will be a learning experience for next year.

We are also planning to do a raised garden bed. Joe will be working on that in the next few weeks.

Does anyone have any tricks or advice for a beginner gardener? Please comment and help me out!

 

Coffee and Coconut Oil

For the past month I have been adding a spoonful of coconut oil to my coffee. I do still add creamer because, well, I love creamer….so bad I know. If you can drink it without creamer however that is recommended.

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The reason I started doing this was because a friend of mine posted an article about coconut oil on Facebook and stated she adds it to her coffee and cooks with it. After reading that article I did even more research around the internet to get more information. Now I knew coconut oil is good for you and I have used it as lotion, lip balm, eye make up remover, hair hydration treatment, and even to grease a frying pan for cooking, but I never regularly ingested it until now.

Coconut Oil, unlike most oil, contains medium-chain fatty acids, instead of long-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids are smaller, easier to digest, and help stimulate your body’s metabolism.

Below are some of the general reasons I add coconut oil to my coffee:

1. Coconut Oil Increases Your Energy

2. Coconut Oil Speeds Up The Metabolism

3. Coconut Oil Boosts The Immune System

I encourage you to do your own research on coconut oil however I feel like it is working for me. I feel like my tummy is finally feeling tighter after having Liam and I feel more energy throughout the day. It also makes me really full which limits morning snacking.

You can blend your coffee, coconut oil, and anything else you like in your coffee in a blender. You’ll notice that the coconut oil and coffee will froth up. Otherwise if you are kind of lazy and in a hurry in the mornings (like me) you can just add it to your coffee and give it a stir before each sip (or gulp). It doesn’t taste like coconut at all and is super yummy!