Baked Hashbrowns

We love your typical breakfast foods like waffles, pancakes, eggs, hash browns etc, but most days we don’t have time to make an elaborate breakfast, so we stick to things we have one hand, or faster foods like granola, green smoothies, toast or oatmeal for the everyday. Sunday is generally the only day of the week that we actually have time and want to make a big breakfast, but that being said, this year we have church at 9am(it changes each year) and often times Scott has meetings before church so¬†we’ve made it a weekly tradition to have breakfast for dinner on Sundays.

Home made, baked hash browns are one of the breakfast items we make frequently (feel free to search my ‘recipe’ tab for more of our favorite breakfast recipes). For our family of 7, we usually use 2-3 large russet potatoes which we peel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, sprinkle with oil and spices and cook for about half hour until they’re golden brown on the edges (I LOVE crispy hash browns! And you know they’re getting crispy when they’re browning on the edges..just watch it because you don’t’ want them burning). This many potatoes leaves us with zero leftovers, but that’s okay because we prefer hash browns fresh out of the oven so they’re nice and crisp.

2016-11-13-17-31-46

We cook our hash browns on silicone baking mats, but parchment papers works great too. By the way, right now Costco has a 3 pack of silicone mats (2 big, one small) for around $18. I bought one before I knew they had them at Costco, for $15! One! So I bought the one’s from Costco as wellūüôā, and now I have plenty.

2016-11-13-17-31-04

 

2016-11-13-17-31-41

THE RECIPE:

Baked Hashbrowns
*Serves 6

2-3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2- 1 tsp sea salt (1/2 tsp if you prefer less salt in your foods)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On the pan or in a large mixing bowl, drizzle the cubed potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with spices and mix together. Spread out over pan so they’re not overlapping, and bake for 20 minutes, pull out and stir, and put back in oven for another 5-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the pan. Serve warm.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast

Thanksgiving Prep

We are celebrating Thanksgiving at my sisters house this year, in Idaho(they are vegan and gluten-free but we’ll have some turkey for my family and “gluten” rolls!). With Thanksgiving being only a week away, ¬†we’ve got the menu planned out and I’ve already started some of the prep work because I do not like to be working¬†in the kitchen all day on Thanksgiving. I don’t mind cooking for a couple of hours, but we also like to go out in the morning as a family and do something active like run a race or play sports, which ¬†makes us feel like we’re kinda off-setting the large quantities of food we’ll be eating that day. ¬†So I like to start prepping Thanksgiving dinner as early as possible.

Last week I made the dough for our dinner rolls and then froze the dough.

IMG_1604

I LOVE these homemade dinner rolls, they are so soft and fluffy AND they’re whole grain! Seriously amazing. This year I tried something a little different with my rolls. I used my same roll recipe, but then I followed the Lion House Pantry way of rolling out the dough, like you would cinnamon rolls, and then slathering the middle with melted butter, cutting it into rectangles, and rolling up the rolls, like pictured below. Since my dough recipe makes 24 rolls, I made half of the dough into orange rolls and we ate them immediately, and the other half of the dough, we rolled up and stuck in the freezer for Thanksgiving. I’m excited/curious to see ¬†if the butter in the middle makes much of a difference. I might end up making another batch of rolls before Thanksgiving and freezing half again, because we love rolls!

This is a picture of the dough I rolled out and slathered with the orange zest for our orange rolls, but same idea¬†for the Thanksgiving rolls, you’d just slather it with melted butter instead.

2016-11-06-15-57-46

Then I rolled them up like so,

2016-11-06-15-57-43

And they went straight into a gallon ziploc bag where I laid them all flat, and gently stuck it in the freezer( where they could still lay flat while they froze).

2016-11-08-08-54-14

I will also be making (or buying if I run out of time) a whole wheat pie dough crust this week and then the day before Thanksgiving I will put together the filling for a Pecan Pie¬†and pour it into my premade dough. I love pecan pie, it’s probably my favorite pie ever, and I love that my recipe for pecan pie does not use any corn syrup.

What I haven’t quite figured out yet is when to do the potatoes. Should I bake my sweet potatoes and boil my mashed potatoes the day before? Or should I do it on Thanksgiving Day? I’m kinda leaning towards doing my yams the day before because once I put everything together, I bake it in the oven, so I could prep it all the day before and then just stick it in the oven on Thanksgiving. But maybe do the mashed potatoes the day of? Hum, decisions, decisions. If any of you have any suggestions, things that worked well for you, let me know! By the way, I love these Yams, they’re sweet as they should be but they also have a little added quinoa, chopped nuts and shredded unsweetened coconut which I love! Add’s some texture and nutrition! And I’ll definitely be making these¬†Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Almonds, fresh the day of. I love roasted veggies straight out of the oven. I’ll make our maple syrup sweetened Cranberry Sauce ¬†ahead of time as well (I need to post that recipe on here!), and then we’ll probably save the stuffing for the day of. My sisters going to make vegan mashed potatoes(so maybe I won’t even end up making ¬†mashed potatoes), a vegan pumpkin pie, gluten free cupcakes and¬†vegan mac and cheese. I’m feeling so excited just thinking about it! I’ll have to see if I can get her to do a guest post here some day because she has some great recipes¬†(I’ve actually posted a couple of her recipes here already, with her permission); maybe I’ll get her to share some of her holiday favorites. We shall see. I’m taking next week off for blogging, so have a Happy Thanksgiving and check back in two weeks!

*Also, feel free to share some of your favorite holiday recipes with me on the comments or via email; I love trying new recipes!

Leave a comment

Filed under thanksgiving

Tomato, Avocado and Bean Wrap

2016-10-27-11-58-11

 

 

Life is busy these days, whether you work, go to school or are a stay at home mom (like me with my five kids!) and I’m always looking for ways to save time, and that includes with food. But at the same time, I am not willing to sacrifice my health or the health of my family for convenience. Since we’ve been eating healthy, whole foods for the past 6 or so years, I’ve learned a few things about making quick and healthy meals. Planning ahead and being prepared is important because when I’m hungry and needing to eat, I’m not going to wait for something to cook for very long, and I’m not going to take the time to chop up a million different things. For example, I make my crock pot of black beans once a week, freeze half, and now I’ve got fresh and yummy home made black beans all week long that I can use for dinner or throw in my salads at lunch. And my crock pot black beans literally take 5 minutes to prep. Black beans are not expensive either, so now you’ve got healthy, quick food on a budget. I do the same thing with my quinoa and brown rice. I usually make one batch a week and just store it in the fridge and then it’s ready to grab and go for a quick meal.

I also find it helpful to cut up an entire head of lettuce, chop up a whole onion, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato or whatever produce I’ll be using at one time, that way I only have to take out, wash, and then clean up after this whole chopping process once and then they’re ¬†all ready to go. I am SO much more likely to have a big salad for lunch when things are all ready pre-cut (and cooked like my black beans) because I’m so busy that I’m usually feeling very hungry by the time I can even think about food and if I have to take out all my separate produce items and wash them and cut them etc, I just end up doing something faster and easier. So, planning and prepping is important. And do it on a day/time that’s not super busy for you.

I often have salads or leftovers for lunch, and sometimes I’ll change up my salad by putting everything in a wrap. You can use whatever kind you like. If I have homemade whole wheat tortillas left over then I’ll use those, but I don’t like the store bought wheat tortillas so I’ll sometimes get these Teff wraps from Sprouts when they’re on sale. I like to warm up my wrap for about 30 seconds before I put all my toppings inside so that it’s nice a pliable.¬†2016-10-27-12-19-26There is no particular way of doing this, and you really can use whatever veggies you like or have on hand, but I will almost always use either avocados or hummus for creaminess, I love to use black beans and sometimes I’ll put some quinoa in there(both of those things make it so much more filling and add a ton in nutrition), and I love tomatoes and red onions and greens or sprouts etc. ¬†I pull out my containers from the fridge with all my chopped veggies and I can throw this wrap together in one minute. Bam,¬†done! And it’s healthy! I make this faster than I do my daughters PB&J (natural pb of course, and I get the fruit juice sweetened jelly).

2016-10-26-11-16-47

2016-10-26-11-17-53

2016-10-27-11-58-01

 

Tomato, Avocado and Bean Wrap

Toppings:
Tomato, chopped
Red onion, chopped
Avocado, cut in cubes
Black Beans
Hummus
lettuce, chopped
Sprouts
cucumber, diced or julienned
quinoa
Wrap/Tortilla of choice (I like the Teff wraps better than most store-bought whole grain tortillas; warm it up for 30 seconds then add your toppings)

Warm up wrap for 30 seconds in microwave. Spread on a spoonful of hummus, then add whatever toppings you like. Roll up like a burrito, cut in half and it’s ready to eat!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under gluten-free, Lunch, vegan, vegetarian

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I’m posting this a couple of days early in case some of you still have pumpkin seeds you need to use up. We have a lot of pumpkin seeds from carving 5 pumpkins and this is a recipe we like to make once we’ve scooped out all the guts and washed off all the slimy stuff.

2016-10-25-15-00-45

I’ve heard that for more even baking, it’s good to boil the seeds first for 10 minutes, then dry and then bake, so that’s what I do and¬†it’s worked well. I mix up the seeds with the oil and the spices right on the sheet pan (with a silicone liner) and then spread them out and bake.

2016-10-25-14-48-55

THE RECIPE:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2-2 1/2 c raw whole pumpkin seeds (washed and dried)
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Dump washed and dried seeds on a jelly roll/sheet pan lined with silicone or parchment. Drizzle with coconut oil and sprinkle with spices. Stir together and spread out over pan. Bake 1 hour.

*for more even baking, I’ve found it helpful to boil the seeds in salty water for 10 minutes, drying them and then roasting them in the oven.

Leave a comment

Filed under Halloween, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers

Overnight Oats (in a jar)

I’ve seen recipes for ¬†overnight oats posted on instagram and pinterest for some time now, and I finally decided to give them a try when my running buddy mentioned that she makes these weekly, the night before a busy day, and then just grabs it out of the fridge in the morning and takes it along with her. Some days are busier than others and having a healthy and filling snack on hand and ready to go, is so nice.¬†Like oatmeal, these overnight oats have a mushy consistency; the chia seeds and oats soften with the milk and yogurt, and the yogurt gives it a little bit of a tang,but you also¬†get the sweetness from the syrup and the optional grated apple. I really like this, though I know oatmeal and mushy dishes aren’t everyone’s thing, but give it a try before you judge!

2016-10-25-14-01-01

2016-10-14-11-36-23

I took this picture below, right after I combined all the ingredients and stirred them together, so as you can see, the oats and chia seeds haven’t yet softened. If you decide to use steel cut oats, just make sure you really do let this sit overnight, or for at least 8 hours. You can get away with 4 hours with regular rolled oats, in fact I do that all the time, throwing this together in the¬†morning and eating it for lunch or as a late afternoon snack.

2016-10-13-15-06-57

2016-10-13-15-07-10

THE RECIPE:

Overnight Oats (in a jar)

1/2 c rolled oats (can also do steel cut if you like the chewier texture)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
2/3 c unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 1/4 apple, grated (I prefer without skin)

Combine all ingredients in a 12-16 oz mason jar and stir to combine. Cover with a lid and allow to sit overnight, or at least 4 hours (8+ hours if using steel cut oats; steel cut would be fine left in fridge for a couple of days). Eat chilled.

 

Leave a comment

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

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

2016-10-06-16-14-59

Here’s the recipe I promised last week. It’s a Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle recipe that I adapted from the Our Best Bites cookbook. The original recipe calls for 1 c powdered sugar in the whipped cream, so I lightened it up with a little pure maple syrup.

2016-10-13-17-36-39

I also like to use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar whenever possible as it’s an unrefined sugar, and it tastes great in this recipe for the pumpkin mousse.

2016-10-13-17-38-46

You can use the gingerbread recipe I posted last week which is made with whole wheat flour and is AMAZING all on it’s own! Once it has cooled, cut it into 1/2 inch cubes for this recipe. I’ve cooked it in a 9×13 dish and a large loaf pan and both work well.

2016-10-05-13-08-23

2016-10-13-17-51-59

If you’re layering into the smaller, individual serving dishes, I found it helpful to put a few of the gingerbread cubes in the bottom, and then gently push them down with a spoon. Next, using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, add in a couple scoops of the pumpkin mixture, gently tapping the glass on the counter and gently swirling the jar which helped fill in some gaps, and then adding the whipped cream and doing the same tapping and swirling motion to get it all spread out evenly.

2016-10-06-16-13-02

2016-10-06-16-14-30

2016-10-13-19-22-38

THE RECIPE:

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle-adapted from Our Best Bites

1 recipe gingerbread (or 14.5 oz box gingerbread mix)
3 c heavy cream
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mousse:
1/4 c cold water
1 (1 0z) packet unflavored gelatin (can find near jello at grocery store)
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 c coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg, plus additional for garnish
1/8 tsp cloves

Bake gingerbread according to recipe. Cool and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside. Combine heavy cream, maple syrup and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until medium-stiff peaks form and set aside.

For the mousse: Place water in a small, microwave safe bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Gently stir and then set bowl aside for 5 minutes for gelatin to soften. Combine pumpkin, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Place bowl of gelatin in microwave and heat 30 seconds and then stir until dissolved completely. Add gelatin to pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully combined. Fold 2 cups of whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture, gently folding until incorporated.

Place half of gingerbread cubes on the bottom of a trifle bowl or other glass bowl with tall sides. Top with half of pumpkin mousse and half of remaining whipped cream. Repeat layers, ending with whipped cream, and sprinkle top lightly with nutmeg. Chill 1 hour before serving.

*When I served these for my book club, I found that putting them in individual serving dishes, like 1 cup mason jars, was perfect and kept them looking nice since large trifles tend to look a little messy when served.

Leave a comment

Filed under Desserts

Whole Wheat Gingerbread

A couple of weeks ago, Scott baked a new gingerbread recipe for the family on a Sunday afternoon, and it was gone by the next morning. I loved it so much that I made it again that same week, and I made a double batch so I could share some with my book club.

2016-10-06-12-50-08

This whole wheat gingerbread is super moist and so yummy. For book club, I ¬†layered the¬†gingerbread with a pumpkin mixture and some whipped cream. ¬†I served it in 1 -cup glass mason jars which was great for individual portions and it looked so pretty! ¬†I will post the trifle recipe next week so be sure to check back for the rest of that recipe. In the meantime, let’s make some gingerbread sweet bread, which will also make your house smell¬†amazing!

2016-10-06-16-14-59

Here are your ingredients. Be sure to use a molasses like this Grandma’s one pictured below that is NOT blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap is not sweet. You can tell if it’s blackstrap molasses by reading the ingredients on the jar; it’ll say ‘blackstrap molasses’.

2016-10-05-08-19-31

You can either bake it in a 9×13 pan or a large bread loaf pan. I’ve used both, and the bake times are pretty close.

2016-10-05-10-07-28

The bottom of your bread will look a bit crumbly like this if you forget to line your pan with parchment(like I did). But if you forget, no worries, it tastes the same and once you flip it over right side up, you can’t even tell.

 2016-10-05-10-31-19

2016-10-05-11-13-08

2016-10-05-11-13-23

2016-10-05-11-13-37

2016-10-05-11-14-07

THE RECIPE:

Whole Wheat Gingerbread

1/2 c organic cane sugar (or any granulated sugar)
1/2 c butter, softened
1 egg
1 c molasses (not blackstrap)
1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
2 1/2 c whole white wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 c hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a large bread loaf pan( a 9×13 works too) with parchment paper and then spray with Pam with flour. Set aside.

In your Bosch or large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg. Add molasses and applesauce and mix. Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and mix. Add in the hot water and mix again. Pour into your prepared pan.

Bake about 45 minutes to an hour in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing from the bread loaf pan to cool completely on a cooling rack. (To get bread out of loaf pan, take a bread knife around the edges, then put a cooling rack or cutting board on top of bread, flip it over so the bread is now on top of the rack, and then gently remove the pan, knocking on the bottom of the pan if it’s sticking slightly.). If you made the bread in a 9×13, it can cool in the pan completely and you can serve it straight out of the pan. Top with a little whipped cream and it’s perfect! I love it with this easy to make¬†coconut whipped cream.¬†

3 Comments

Filed under Breads, Desserts

Sloppy Joes

This is a pretty fast and easy, whole foods recipe, for Sloppy Joes. As I’m a vegetarian, I’ve never actually tasted this recipe before (I always pull out my frozen, chipotle black bean burger when we have meat on buns) but I’ve made it multiple times for my husband and children, and they all say it’s great, so give it a try! Most sloppy joe recipes call for ketchup, but as it has some added sugar, and many brands have high fructose corn syrup, I decided to use extra tomato sauce as a substitute (make sure you buy the can that doesn’t have sugar listed in the ingredients) and it turned out well. I usually make this with a ground chicken or turkey for my family, but my husband prefers sloppy joes with beef so on special occasions I will use beef since I rarely cook and serve red meat.

2016-08-25 18.58.00

Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 lbs ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef)
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vinegar

Brown ground meat and onion together on medium high heat. Add a little water, a tbsp at a time, if needed to keep from burning. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for at least 15-30 minutes. Spoon on buns and serve. Can optionally top with grated cheddar cheese.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner

Caramel Corn

I’ll admit, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I always have. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned some self discipline and will allow myself a treat or two during the week, but even then, sometimes I go a little overboard with my treat and I may have a couple of helpings (like the snickerdoodles we made last week…I think I ate six in one day). And that definitely happens when I make caramel or peanut butter popcorn. I think I end up eating half of it myself and who knows, I might even be able to polish off an entire thing, but because I have to share it with so many people, I haven’t been able to test out that theoryūüôā; and that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing we have so many family members because it requires me to shareūüôā.

2016-09-09-18-29-40

These are the ingredients: air popped popcorn, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, butter, salt and baking soda.

2016-09-10-13-33-18

Combine butter, coconut sugar, syrup and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. I watch this pretty closely because I do not want this cooking too long because I like my caramel corn to be more like a sticky caramel coating, not the hard, crunchy kind.

2016-09-10-13-41-45

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Immediately pour over your popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl, and stir together. Allow it to cool for a minute before you give it a try so it doesn’t burn your mouth.

2016-09-09-18-29-31

Caramel Corn
serves 6-8

1/2 c kernels, popped and set aside in a large mixing bowl
1/2 c butter
1/2 c coconut sugar
1/4 c brown rice syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp baking soda

Combine butter, coconut sugar, syrup and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

*this is not a hard and crunchy caramel corn.

2 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Vegan Mac and Cheese

2016-09-07-18-49-14

This recipe came from my baby sister Becca who is gluten free and vegan and who also has this recipe posted on her food blog, so be sure to check her out at: https://glutenfreeplantbasedgoodeats.wordpress.com/ 

Although I’m not vegan or gluten-free, I do a lot less dairy than most because my stomach can’t handle too much, and if you’ve ever read The China Study, which is the most comprehensive study ever done on nutrition, you’ll know that cutting down on all animal products is a good thing (and I didn’t say cutting out, but cutting down. Should be less than 10% of your diet). So I love that I can get the creaminess from this recipe from cashews and sweet potato and almond milk, all blended together, but then I use a little bit of cheddar cheese (only 1 cup),¬†but you can always use the dairy-free cheese as well for the vegan version.

2016-09-07-15-11-22

You’ll want to start off by cooking your pasta elbows, gluten-free or not(I used whole wheat), and peeling and cooking your¬†sweet potato in the microwave for 6 minutes. Or you can cook it in the oven at¬†400 degrees for almost an hour, but if you do it that way, don’t peel it before hand, just wait for it to cool and slip the skin off. ¬†Once the pasta is done, drain the water, place them in a large mixing bowl, drizzle a little olive oil over top and give it a stir so they don’t stick together. Set that aside and you’ll combine the rest of your ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s smooth. If it’s too thick and your blender is having difficulty blending, just add a little more milk about 1/4 c at a time, giving it a stir and then blending again.

Once it’s all creamy, dump it over your macaroni noodles and stir to combine.

2016-09-07-16-37-11

Grease a 9×13 pan (I smear coconut oil over the whole inside of the pan) and then dump your mac and cheese inside and spread it even. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

 2016-09-07-18-18-59

Serve warm!

2016-09-07-18-49-34

THE RECIPE:

Mac n’ Cheese (lightly adapted from Becca)

Ingredients:

1 lb of whole wheat or brown rice pasta elbow noodles (good price at Trader Joes)

1 sweet potato

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (can use dairy-free cheese like the Daiya brand- mozarella or cheddar)

3 cups of raw cashews

16 oz. almond milk (more if needed to thin so it will blend)

1/2 cup of nutritional yeast(Fred Meyer, Whole Foods or Winco)

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sea salt

pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic, minced
optional: 1/4 tsp paprika

Instructions:

 Cook noodles according to directions on package. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and cook in the microwave for 6 minutes (or in the oven, unpeeled, at 400 degrees for 1 hour; can do this before hand). Drain noodles, dump back into your pot, drizzle with a little olive oil and mix so they don’t stick together. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

¬†In a blendtec or food processor, add almond milk first and then all the other ingredients¬†and mix until a creamy consistency. If you need to add more milk so your blender won’t burn out from the thickness, add 1/4 cup at a time. Pour over your noodles in the pot and stir to combine.

 Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan with coconut oil, or something like it. Add stirred mac n’ cheese into the 9×13 pan and place in the oven. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees

1 Comment

Filed under Dinner, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian