Broccoli Cheddar Rolls

These broccoli cheddar rolls were inspired from a Lionhouse Pantry cook book. I made these Cheddar Broccoli rolls to go with our traditional ‘breakfast for dinner’ a couple of Sundays ago and it was AMAZING! Okay, Scott and I thought they were amazing, but the kids mostly wouldn’t even touch them because they had green broccoli sticking out of the top. But that was okay with us because Scott and I devoured them, and happily ate the leftovers the next two days. The leftovers were also fabulous, I just warmed them up for about 10 seconds in my microwave and then ate in on the side of a salad or whatever else I was having.

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The dough for this bread is the same whole wheat bread dough I use for our cinnamon rolls. You can grab that recipe here. As a side note, I doubled that recipe when I made these so that I could also make a batch of cinnamon rolls :).

I forgot to take a picture of the dough rolled up, but here’s an older one I took that works just as well. I just want you to see a few things here: I roll out a rectangle onto my floured counter, and then I take my floss (I keep an unscented floss in my kitchen for this very reason) and mark where I’m going to cut, and then I go back with my floss, get it under the dough, and then I use the floss to come up and around the dough and cut it. They make beautiful cuts and they don’t smoosh the dough at all.

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Our son, Chef Charles here, loves to help me in the kitchen which I love! Cooking is so fun when we do it with those we love.

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You could cover it with saran wrap and stick it in the fridge, or leave it out on your counter, if you’re not going to bake it for a little while. They should be great to bake the next morning if you wanted to make it as an overnight roll, and you’d follow the same instructions on the ‘cinnamon roll’ recipe post for that.

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Slather them with melted butter,

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And then bake them for 10ish minutes until some of the edges are light golden, and they’re done!

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Broccoli Cheddar Rolls
*makes about 20 rolls

1 recipe dough for my whole wheat cinnamon rolls
1 c chopped broccoli (or 1, 10 0z frozen bag chopped broccoli thawed and drained)
1 c grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c dried minced onions
1 egg
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. After dough has completed rising, turn out onto a floured surface. Roll out dough into a large rectangle, about 21 inches by 16 inches.  Mix broccoli, cheddar cheese, onions, egg, salt, Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Spread broccoli mixture over dough. Tightly roll up the dough, jelly roll style. Cut dough into 20 slices. Place slices in cavities of a muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray, or on a greased baking sheet. Brush with melted butter.  Place in preheated oven and  cook 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 20 rolls.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast

Powdered Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Shake

For those of you who follow me on instagram(elisa_realfoodsmom), you’ll recognize this recipe from a post I did last week.

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I found this powdered peanut butter on sale at Sprouts and picked it up when I saw there were only three ingredients and no refined sugar (peanuts, salt and coconut sugar, which is unrefined).

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Since then we’ve made multiple batches of peanut butter and banana protein shakes! You could also sub the powdered stuff for all natural peanut butter, 1:1 ratio (if you’re watching calories though, the powdered is the way to go).

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THE RECIPE:

Powdered Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Shake
*Makes about 14 oz

10oz unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp powdered peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like sunwarrior vegan mix)
1/2 frozen banana
4 ice cubes

Blend until smooth. Makes about 14 oz!

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Filed under Breakfast, Smoothies, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

If you like egg salads and avocados, you’re going to love this! This is a great way to use hard boiled eggs, which is something we often have on hand. This recipe serves one because I usually make this just for myself for lunch, but feel free to double or triple the recipe if you’re having lunch with a friend (or if you just want more :))

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Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
*makes 1 open-face sandwich

1 hard boiled egg
1/4 medium avocado
1 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
1 Tbsp chopped green onions
salt and pepper to taste
1 slice whole grain bread
6-10 baby spinach leaves

Mash avocado in a small mixing bowl. Peel and chop the egg and add to the avocado. Add the yogurt, green onions, salt and pepper and stir together. Toast bread, add a layer of baby spinach and then top with the avocado egg salad. Eat immediately. Makes 1 sandwich.

241 calories: 10 g fat, 30 g carbs, 7 g protein

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Filed under Lunch, vegetarian

Acai Protein Shake

My macro counting didn’t last very long, and actually, I don’t think I ever hit the protein amount they suggested :). I recently read some research about how too much animal protein in our diet (including dairy, whey etc), spikes the insulin, which reminded me of T. Colin Campbell’s research from his book The China Study, also talking about how we should only be consuming smaller amounts of animal protein to prevent sickness and disease…I should pick that book up again as it’s been too many years. I highly recommend it. Anyhow, I am still counting calories because I love food so much, even whole healthy foods, that I tend to eat more than my body needs, so I’m trying to reign that in a little :). For now I’m trying to eat like the French people(“French kids eat everything” is another great read), with 3 meals a day and one snack. Counting calories helps me to stay within those boundaries. I don’t feel like I’m super hungry all the time because I’m not, I’m getting a good amount of food and of the right kinds of foods, a lot of plants, but I don’t ever really feel stuffed either, which is also good because being stuffed is not good for our stomach.  I have  four more weeks to go with my calorie counting goal, and then I’m hoping I will have established some good healthy habits that I will  continue to keep.

I’ve been finding that my late afternoon snack is often times some sort of a vegan protein shake or some veggies, fruit and hummus.  I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different protein shake recipes and this Acai and chia shake is a good one that’s full of so many nutrients, including omega 3 fats from the chia seeds.

Start by pouring your almond milk into your blender, add the chia seeds and then let it sit for a few minutes (they will swell and get ‘jelly’) while you pull out your remaining ingredients. Add everything else and blend until smooth. You can use a few stevia drops to sweeten or a little stevia powder.

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THE RECIPE

Acai Protein Shake
*makes 20 oz

2 c unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder (or another vanilla, but I love this vegan mix)
1/2 Acai Smoothie packet (could sub another smoothie packet like pitaya)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 drops liquid stevia

Pour milk into blender and add chia seeds. Allow to soak for a few minutes and in the meantime get out the remaining ingredients. Add the protein powder, acai, cinnamon and stevia and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

253 calories; 10 g fat, 20 g carbs, 21 g protein

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Filed under Smoothies, vegan

Spirulina Power Green Smoothie

I’ve been playing around with my green smoothie recipe, wanting to use both chia seeds and spirulina powder as they have so many health benefits. The tricky part is coming up with a recipe that tastes good when spirulina powder is added. But after playing around a bit, I found one that is delicious and my kids think so too! This recipe makes about 24 oz which means it makes just enough for me for breakfast :).

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THE RECIPE:

Spirulina Power Green Smoothie
*makes 24 oz

10 oz cool water
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp spirulina powder
4 c power green mix (spinach, kale and chard)
5 baby carrots
1/2 lemon, peel cut off
1/2 apple, cored
1 frozen banana
1/2 c frozen blueberries

Pour water into high power blender and add chia seeds. Allow the chia seeds to soak for a few minutes, and in the meantime gather and prep your other ingredients. Add spirulina, greens and carrots and blend until combined, about 10 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on medium power, until smooth (I take my blendtec through two full cycles of blending to get it to the smooth consistency I like). Drink immediately.

*chia seeds get thick and gel-like when they sit in liquid, so if you don’t drink this all right away, store it in a jar in the fridge and before drinking, give it a shake.

-Why a “power” green smoothie

  • chia seeds are considered a super food, high in omega-3 fat, which is something most people don’t get in their typical diet unless they’re regularly eating fish or taking fish oil, also a good source of protein and fiber as well as vitamins and minerals
  • spirulina powder is an algae, fresh water plant, and is also a super food. It is full of minerals and vitamins and is a good source of protein
  • lemons are alkaline and are a cleansing food, also high in vitamin c and antioxidants
  • bananas are high in potassium and are especially a great food to consume before or after exercising. Good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber
  • blueberries are very high in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin c
  • spinach, kale and chard are high in fiber and they act as a broom in your body and sweep up and clear out heavy metals and toxins, also high in vitamin A and vitamin C

324 calories; 4 g fat, 70 g carbs, 10 g protein

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Filed under Breakfast, gluten-free, Smoothies, vegan

Almond Flax Protein Balls

We love protein bars and balls (I’ve posted recipes for both in the past), and I have a new one for you today which I’m super excited about because it is delicious! You guys, I hide these from my kids, they’re that good. I make them when they’re at school so they don’t even know, and then I put them in our fridge in the garage, behind something big :). I only make 16 at a time which will last me a couple of weeks, or at least a week! But with 5 kids snacking on them,  and begging for more, they wouldn’t last a day in our house. I suppose I could double the recipe….maybe someday I will, and then maybe I will share. Maybe.

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At the very end of this post I will have the macro numbers since my hubby and I are doing an 8 week macro counting challenge…which is hard but kinda fun, like playing a game, and since my husband and I are doing it together we can motivate one another. He’s raising his macros trying to gain a few pounds, and I’m doing the opposite. He’ll text me a couple of times a day with “i’m stuffed” or “I’m so full”, and I text back with some encouraging emoji like a thumbs up for “you got this!”, but inside i’m thinking, “I wish that were my problem, being too full.” Instead I’m mostly not ever full, but I’m not starving either. It’s all good and we only have 6 1/2 weeks to go! :). I’m hoping this whole process will teach me to be more aware of my foods and their caloric content and it’s a good reminder for me that I don’t need to be, nor should I be, snacking all throughout the day and that it’s okay to be hungry, probably good actually, because it means I’m allowing time for my food to digest fully, not overloading my system, and it makes me appreciate the flavor of foods more; everything tastes amazing these days!  Alright, enough of that, let’s get on with the recipe!

In a medium mixing bowl add almond butter, syrup, flax, protein powder and vanilla and stir together. Add almond flour and mix well.

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Place on an ungreased cookie sheet using a cookie scoop to measure. They can be very close together as they will not change in size. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge to chill for half hour or more. Feel free to then transfer them to a smaller tupperware container.

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You can store these in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!

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Almond Flax Protein Balls- lightly adapted from Clean Simple Eats
*makes 16 balls; 1 ball is 1 serving

1/2 c almond butter
1/4 c pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp ground flax
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like Sunwarrior’s vegan vanilla powder)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c raw almonds, ground to almond flour in high power blender (or 1 c almond flour)

In a medium mixing bowl add almond butter, syrup, flax, protein powder and vanilla and stir together. Add almond flour and mix well. Place on a cookie sheet using a cookie scoop to measure. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge to chill for half hour or more. Transfer them to a smaller tupperware container.Store in the fridge or freezer.

111 calories;  7.8 g fat, 6.7 g carbs, 4.1 g protein

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Filed under gluten-free, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Muffins are a nice grab-and-go food to throw in lunches, take on the road or have as an after school snack. And I LOVE when we find an awesome one that the whole family loves and it’s whole grain AND it doesn’t have any refined sugar, which is what you’re getting here! These peanut butter and banana muffins were a huge hit in our house. These muffins are fast(about 10 min of prep time, then 18 minutes to bake) and easy to whip up so give them a try!

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THE RECIPE:

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins lightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
*makes about 18 muffins

1 1/2 c mashed banana (3 large bananas)
1/3 c honey
1/4 c applesauce (or melted coconut oil)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c creamy natural peanut butter
1/3 c milk (almond, cows, they all work)
2 c whole white wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 18 silicone liners (or paper liners or just grease with spray/oil) in a muffin tin. In your Bosch (or with a handmixer and large mixing bowl), combine the bananas, honey, applesauce, egg, vanilla, peanut butter and milk and mix together on low speed. Add the flour, powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix again and then using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into each muffin cup (about 2 Tbsp; filled about 3/4 full). Bake about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store in a tupperware.

*These can be frozen either in a tupperware or ziploc bag. We pull one out of the freezer in the morning, stick it in a sandwich bag to bring with us, and it’s thawed by lunch.

 

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Filed under Breads, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers

White Bean Taco Soup

I love this soup because its super fast and easy to make; it’s one of those meals I can throw together when there’s only 30 minutes left til dinner time :); which happens sometimes. I love this soup topped with avocado, but I like SO many things topped with avocado so that’s really no surprise.

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If you don’t have canned beans, you’ll need to plan ahead and cook your white beans earlier on in the day, or the week, as they cook for a long time; a couple of hours on the stove or several hours on high in the crock pot. I tend to make this when I already have cooked beans on hand, either in the fridge from when I made them earlier that week, or as cans, because it is a fast, yummy, and still nutritious dinner, one that others will never know only took you a few minutes to pull together.

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THE RECIPE:

White Bean Taco Soup

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cans Great Northern Beans or White Beans, rinsed and drained (or you can cook your own)
4 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 c salsa (I like medium heat, but feel free to use whatever kind of salsa you like)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp celery salt
Added to individual bowls: mozzarella cheese , grated
Optional: 2 c cooked, diced/shredded chicken
Optional Toppings: avocados, tortilla chips, sour cream

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, salsa, oregano and celery salt(and chicken if you’re using it; or you can add them to individual bowls at the end if not everyone likes meat). Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and spoon into individual bowls. While still hot, and a small handful of cheese and stir to melt. Serve with optional toppings.

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Filed under Soups

Pumpkin Coconut Breakfast Cookies

I hope you all had a nice Christmas; it is my absolute favorite holiday! I love the lights, the music, the food, I love acting out the nativity with our family and reading the Christmas story and one of my favorite things is having Scott around for several days in a row. This year we were so pleased that his parents were able to join us for Christmas from NC, and Scott was home for almost a week straight which was heaven on earth!

I am so excited to share this breakfast cookie recipe because I am loving them! It’s more of a quick, grab-and-g0 healthy snack or breakfast, rather than a dessert-type cookie. I freeze almost the entire batch and then eat one or two a day, straight out of the freezer; they don’t require any thawing time. If you don’t freeze them, just know that they are a softer cookie and I think after day two you’ll find they get even softer when stored in a tupperware so you’d probably want to freeze them after a couple of days. I waited a day before I froze mine. For those of you that care, each cookie is 100 calories when you make 36 cookies(I’m doing My Fitness Pal again for a short time which I don’t love, but because of all the yummy Christmas foods we still have around the house, I’ve been snacking way too often so this’ll help keep me in check). I found this recipe in this month’s  Runners World magazine, which was submitted by Elyse Kopecky and though her recipe only makes 20 cookies, I found when I used my cookie scoop, 36 was a more accurate amount. If you make them bigger, then obviously, the calorie count per cookie will be higher.

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Here are the ingredients:

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You can buy almond flour, or you can grind your own if you have a high power blender. I just straight up throw in whole, raw almonds and grind them for several seconds, mix it with a rubber spatula, grind for several more seconds, and it’s done!

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I added raisins and a handful of chopped walnuts but you can leave them plain or add some chocolate chips or whatever else you like.

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I mix all my ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

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 I baked these on my silicone mats. I love these baking mats because of ease of clean up and I love that I can slide the whole mat off the cookie sheet and onto a cooling rack with the cookies all in place and it only takes a second.

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Have them cool completely before storing them in a tupperware or in freezer ziploc bags.

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Have a safe and Happy New Year!

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THE RECIPE:

Pumpkin Coconut Breakfast Cookies
*Makes about 3 dozen

2 c almond flour (I make my own grinding a little less than 2 c, whole raw almonds in my Blendtec)
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt

1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c melted coconut oil
optional: 1/4 c raisins, chopped dates, walnuts or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl add your flour, oats, coconut, cinnamon and salt. In a small mixing bowl combine your pumpkin, syrup, and oil. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add in any optional raisins, nuts, chocolate chips etc and stir until incorporated. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough and place on cookie sheet baking for about 25 minutes, until golden(check after 20). Makes 3 dozen cookies.

You can eat these right away or store in a tupperware container for a couple of days. They are also great cold and I like to freeze most of mine and eat them straight out of the freezer (they don’t require any thawing time because they’re a softer cookies).

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, gluten-free, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Honey Sweetened Poppy Seed Bread

Christmas is only five days away! We have Scott’s parents coming in town today from North Carolina, Thursday the kids get to play Christmas songs on a grand piano at a local grocery store, Saturday we will act out the nativity and sing lots of Christmas songs, and Sunday after stockings and gifts, we’ll go to church for an hour where Scott, me and Elisabeth will be performing (our church will do all musical numbers with a little narration on Christmas Sunday; no actual classes), and then we’ll come home and have a brunch with cinnamon rolls and egg casserole! So it’ll be a full and joyful week! And I cannot tell you how long I have been dreaming about having cinnamon rolls. I only make them a couple of times a year because 1) they’re time consuming and 2) (and most importantly) I love them SO much that I always eat too many .  Here is my overnight cinnamon roll recipe(who wants to be making dough Christmas morning? not me) if you want to give them a try; they’re all whole grain and SUPER soft and delicious.

We made a couple of different foods to give away as neighbor/teacher gifts, a chex mix and this poppy seed bread which is made with half whole wheat flour and is sweetened with honey and apple sauce. We kept a loaf for our family and gave away three mini loaves and the next day my kids begged me to make more, and this time a double batch because it “wasn’t enough” :)! We love poppy seed bread at Christmas, and all the time!

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THE RECIPE:

Honey Sweetened Poppy Seed Bread
*Makes 2 8×4 inch loaves, or 6 mini loaves

1 c butter, melted
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 c warm mlk
2 eggs
1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole white wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2, 8×4 inch loaf pans (or 6 mini loaves, or a combo of the two) and set aside. Cream butter, applesauce, oil, eggs, milk, honey, and extracts. Add remaining ingredients and cream until blended but not over mixed. Bake loaf pans 45 minutes (edges browning, tooth pick comes out clean), mini loaves 35 minutes.

*Always check pan five minutes before timer goes off because different ovens cook differently so it may need a little less or a little more time.

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Filed under Breads, christmas, Desserts