Butternut Squash and Onion Frittata

I have my second ever half marathon coming up this Saturday morning and I’m a feeling a little nervous. I feel prepared, I trained a lot over the past four months, usually running 6 days a week, doing some speed work outs, long runs and easy runs each week, and also doing some yoga and weights mid week, but I ran this same half last year and I ran it hard, and I really want to get a personal record. But it may not happen. And that makes me nervous. But I know that in the long run, it doesn’t really matter and that PR or not, it’s gonna be okay.

Besides all my running, I’m also trying to get really nutritious and quality foods in this week(and always), and I’ve already got my dinner, the night before the race, and my breakfast that morning, all planned out. I’ve been trying lots of new recipes from Runner’s World magazine and my ‘Run Fast Eat Slow’ cook book and this is a recipe I lightly adapted from the Runner’s World magazine.   Scott and I LOVED this Frittata, though most of our kiddos didn’t appreciate all the chunky veggies.  But, since I don’t always cater to our children’s tastes anyway, because I know that they need to experience these foods so that they will one day develop a taste for them, we still make them and I will for sure be making this one again!

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You can buy already cubed butternut squash to save prep time, but to save money I usually buy the whole squash and then peel and cut it myself. And when I say ‘peel’, what I really mean is, I take a sharp knife and slice off all the skin with a downward motion on my cutting board. Once it’s all cubed, I put mine on a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone liner, drizzle with my olive oil, salt and garlic and cook it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. You can do this step hours, or even a day, before you throw the dish together. If not using within a couple of hours, cover your squash and store in the fridge until you’re ready.

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In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, feta cheese and cooked squash. Set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute 1 sliced onion and cook, stirring until brown and soft, about 10 minutes.

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Pour the egg mixture into the cast iron skillet with onion and stir gently. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until eggs have set.


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Butternut Squash and Onion Frittata 

2 cups butternut squash, cubed
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
9 eggs
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1/2 c feta cheese

Cube butternut squash, if you haven’t already. Place on baking sheet, toss with 3 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and garlic powder,  and cook in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in cast iron skillet (mine is 12 inches) over medium heat. Saute 1 sliced onion and cook, stirring until brown and soft, about 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Stir in  feta and 2 cups roasted cubed butternut squash. Pour into the cast iron skillet with onion and stir gently. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until eggs have set. Serve warm.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, gluten-free

Quick Veggie Stir Fry

I love stir fry! I often eat them for lunch and I love that I can take whatever random leftover veggies I need to use from my fridge, throw them into a pan with some already cooked brown rice, a little sauce and some cashews and I have a healthy, yummy meal in very little time! I make brown rice in my rice cooker about once a week and make enough that I’ll have some leftover for this very reason. Another way to make this meal even faster is to chop up your veggies before hand and just have them ready in your fridge. Usually when I make dinner, if a recipe calls for part of a pepper/onion/broccoli etc, I will just cut up the whole thing which saves time later because I don’t have to get my cutting board and knife out again and wash them etc.

This is the sauce I use when I make this quick stir fry recipe (I also have a recipe for a sauce I make from scratch that I’ll share another time). I either use the coconut aminos or the teriyaki flavored coconut aminos, both taste great, and you could also use soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos.

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Here’s a picture of another stir fry I made with some fresh pineapple I had on hand. I love that you can play around and add in whatever you like. Sometimes I’ll throw in a 1/2 cup of quinoa too.

 

Veggie Stir Fry

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 small package sliced mushrooms (white or cremini)
1/2 c raw cashews
optional: tofu, tempeh, broccoli, carrots, pineapple
1/4 c coconut aminos  (could use braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 c cooked brown rice

Melt coconut oil in a wok over medium/high heat. Add vegetables and allow to cook until softened and onions are translucent, adding 1 Tbsp water at a time, if necessary, to prevent sticking and burning about 3-5 minutes. Add cashews, coconut aminos, pepper flakes and brown rice and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and allow to cook for 2 more minutes. Serve immediately.

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Filed under Dinner, vegan, vegetarian

Berry Crumble

I have no excuse for the ‘no-post’ last week except that I didn’t plan ahead, meaning we had guests in town for a week, then my kids were off of school the next week for Spring break which was the week of the missed post, and since I knew I wouldn’t get around to it with them around, I should’ve written the post awhile back, but I did not. So I apologize. But that’s not to say that this won’t ever happen again, because it probably will some day, but I will try to let them be few and far between. Alright, let’s move on!

Last week was my 34th birthday and my sweet husband (and bff) made me a dessert he thought I’d like but boy was he wrong…I LOVED it! He knew I’d like it because of the ingredients: no dairy, no refined sugar but still sweet with a crumble topping and just amazing! And really, you can’t go wrong when there’s a crumble topping. He doubled the crumble topping from the original recipe because he knows me :). This is our modified recipe with the doubled crumble topping. Finish it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or in my case, coconut milk vanilla ‘ice cream’ or coconut milk whipped topping. I hope you enjoy!

Berry Crumble
serves 6-8

4 c sliced strawberries (frozen or fresh)
2 c blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp corn starch or tapioca starch
1 1/2 c rolled oats
3/4 c almond flour or almond meal
1 c chopped raw walnuts or pecans
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
2/3 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (I use coconut milk ‘ice cream’ instead of dairy)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and adjust rack to center of oven. Get out a 12 inch  cast iron skillet(or 9×13 pan) and set aside. In a large bowl, toss together the strawberries, blueberries, lemon juice and corn starch. Spread the mixture in the skillet or 9×13; no need to grease. In the same bowl, whisk together the oats, almond flour or meal, nuts, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add the maple syrup and oil and stir until combined. Spread the oat topping evenly over the berry mixture. Place in the center of the oven. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, 25-30 minutes(closer to 30  if using frozen fruit). Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Superhero Muffins

These Superhero Muffins are a recipe I lightly adapted from the cook book, Run Fast, East Slow. Shalane, an olympic marathon runner, often enjoys one of these before a long run or as a snack. They are filled with nutrient dense ingredients including zucchini, carrots, almond meal(they’re gluten-free), oats, walnuts and more! Shalane used olive oil in her recipe, but we subbed that out for coconut oil and a little applesauce, but either way works great.

If you’re not sure how to get grated zucchini and carrots, take a look at the picture below. Basically, I grate it on the really small holes on my cheese grater.

We added carob chips to these muffins, but you could also do chocolate chips or raisins, or you can leave them.

I like to line my muffin tins with silicone liners for easy clean up, and so it’s easy for the kids to grab one and take it to school for lunch. Paper liners are great too, I just always have these on hand because they’re reusable. You can also just spray the pan with Pam.

Enjoy!

Superhero Muffins– adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow
*makes 15 muffins

1/4 c coconut oil (or olive oil)
2 Tbsp applesauce
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 c zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
1 c grated carrots(about 2 carrots)
3 eggs
2 c almond meal**
1 c rolled oats
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
(optional) 1/2 c chopped walnuts
(optional) 1/2 c raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate/carob chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper or silicone liners, or spray with Pam. In a medium saucepan or a microwaveable bowl, warm the coconut oil, applesauce and maple syrup until coconut oil is melted(if they’re not warm, the coconut oil will turn into firm clumps). Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the zucchini, carrots and vanilla. Stir in eggs. Add the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt and stir to combine. Add the optional chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Using an ice cream scoop, pour batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes(20-25 for mini muffins).

*these can be frozen in a tupperware or freezer ziploc bags. Pull out in the morning and it’ll be thawed by lunch, or you can defrost in microwave on low power.

**I make my own almond meal in my high power blender by grinding 1 1/2 c raw almonds until they resemble almond meal. I blend for a few seconds, then scrape with my rubber spatula and blend for a few more seconds….don’t over blend as it’ll turn to almond butter.

 

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

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Salad dressings are one of those things that I always have around, because I eat salad daily, but I don’t like to buy them because 1) they’re expensive and 2) there are so many added unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients(though Newman’s Own does a pretty good job with some of their salad dressings). Making a salad dressing is simple, fast and inexpensive so homemade dressings have become a staple in our house.

Apple cider vinegar has some pretty amazing health benefits, but I am not one of those people that can just drink a tablespoon or a watered down glass, straight up. This is a fabulous way to get some apple cider vinegar into your body! I love this dressing on any of the green salads I make. The one pictured below has romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and sunflower seeds. And you can totally do this recipe with or without the maple syrup; I would try it first without and then if you feel like it’s too bitter, add the syrup.  I like it both ways though my kids prefer it with syrup.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
*makes 1/2 c

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp white or yellow onion, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake vigorously until emulsified. Pairs beautifully with any green salad. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.

*if oil solidifies, microwave for a few seconds until melted

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Filed under Homemade Staples, Salads

Blonde Brownies

My kids had a piano recital Monday night and they asked if we could go out for frozen yogurt after, but we had just did that last weekend after another special event and taking out a family of 7 for FroYo is not cheap. So I asked them what would be a good in-home alternative and they requested these Blondies. I’ve had this recipe for years and years and we’ve made it multiple times and love it, but because it does have quite a bit of sugar, I save it for special occasions or when we’re going to share it with a crowd.

I like to bake these in my 11×7 inch rectangular pan (2.2 quart) because they cook very evenly and turn out looking beautiful with very few breaks/cracks. But I have also made it in my 8×8 and it works, but I like the way they look better when they come out of the 11×7. So just putting that out there. You could also double this recipe and stick it in a 9×13 pan.

I’ve used both coconut oil and butter in this recipe and both turn out fabulous. Just make sure they are softened when you cream them together with the sugar (10 seconds in the microwave should do it if they’re pretty firm).

For the flour, I wouldn’t try and go all whole wheat, I’d stick with the half and half as I have it in the recipe. If you’ve ever tried this in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say they don’t quite look or taste the same. But half and half in this recipe works beautifully.

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Blonde Brownies
*makes 12 bars

1/4 c coconut oil or butter, softened
1 c brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c whole white wheat flour
1/2 c white flour (I like to use an unbromated white)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 c chocolate chips (or white chocolate or butterscotch)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11×7 inch pan (2.2 quart); can use 8×8 but they bake a little more evenly in the 11×7 and there is less breaking/cracking. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened coconut oil and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat until blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix together. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into your greased pan. Bake about 25 minutes until light golden. Cut into 12 bars. Eat warm or, once cooled, cover and save to eat within a day or two.

*These freeze well in a freezer ziploc bag.

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Hot Lemon Water

I have been trying to solidify the habit of drinking hot lemon water in the mornings, for quite some time, like for 2 years. I would start up, and remember to do it for a day or two, but inevitably, I would forget and then it was over. The reason I wanted to make this a daily habit was because I’ve heard its  praises sung for such a long time from so many different sources. Having warm lemon water in the morning helps flush out toxins and aids digestion(warm liquids will help keep you regular; it loosens up stuff…and this is a much healthier choice than coffee) . Lemons are also a high alkaline food; having alkaline blood (rather than acidic) (ph balance) makes it harder for cancers and other diseases to flourish. Lemons also: strengthen liver, help cure common cold, reduce inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid, are good for your skin, maintain health of eyes, help replenish body salts (especially after a hard work out).

A couple of months ago I decided to start the hot lemon water habit in the mornings again, but this time I came with a plan on when and how I was going to incorporate this into my morning routine and I’m happy to say that I’m still going strong! In the morning, after I read scriptures/meditate and exercise, I then drink my hot lemon water, and while I’m drinking it, I make up my green smoothie which I drink throughout the morning as I’m running kids to school and getting ready.

So, give this a try! Begin each day with a hot/warm cup of lemon water. Oh and a word of caution: lemons can be hard on our enamel, so brush your teeth shortly after you finish your lemon water, which you should be doing in the morning anyway ;).

This is my quick and easy way to make lemon water:

  1. Fill my mug with cool water

2. dump cool water into my small saucepan and turn stove on high (I don’t like to just pour water in because I usually pour too much which makes it take longer to heat up). I like this saucepan with the pour spout…makes pouring less messy for me.

3. Meanwhile, cut a lemon in half, stick your lemon juicer on top of your mug, and squeeze the juice out

4. This is usually the perfect amount of time for my water to heat up to a hot but not boiling temperature. Pour water into mug with lemon juice. Drink immediately.

Hot Lemon Water

1/2 lemon
water

Fill a mug with cool water. Dump cool water into  small saucepan and turn stove on high (I don’t like to just pour water in because I usually pour too much which makes it take longer to heat up). Meanwhile, cut a lemon in half, stick your lemon juicer on top of your mug, and squeeze the juice out. This is usually the perfect amount of time for my water to heat up to a hot, but not boiling, temperature. Pour water into mug with lemon juice. Drink immediately.

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Moroccan Lentil Soup

This was a recipe Scott’s dad shared with me (“shared” meaning, he made sure we had the ingredients when he was over, texted me the recipe, and then said he really liked this soup; I took the hint and made it for dinner while he was visiting.). We loved it! I love all the spices! If you’re still having some cold days, like we are, this lentil soup is warming, healthy, and delicious.

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THE RECIPE:

Moroccan Lentil Soup

6 c vegetable broth
2 c onions, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika (smoked, if available)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1, 28oz can, crushed or diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/3 c chopped parsley
1/3 c chopped cilantro
juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and saute, adding additional broth as necessary to keep the vegetables from burning. Saute until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spices. Saute the vegetables with the seasonings for 1 minute to allow the flavors to bloom. Add the remaining vegetable broth, tomatoes, and lentils and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked. Add the parsley, cilantro and lemon juice and stir to combine. Season with the salt and pepper. If you would like to thicken the soup, use an immersion blender and pulse a few times inside the pot.

 

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Maca Date Shake

This is a great shake for anyone, but especially athletes as it contains dates (many runners and bikers eat dates on their long runs), and Maca Powder which is considered a Superfood because it not only has a positive effect on hormones, but also increases energy levels and stamina. Health benefits aside, I love this shake! It’s almost like having a milk shake. It’s important to enjoy the foods we eat. I love when the shakes about done, but there are some tiny bits and pieces of the dates that have sunk to the bottom. They’re sweet and chewy.

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And a word of advice on the dates. I buy mine at Costco in the produce section, as that’s where I find them for the best price, and unless used within a week or so, should be stored in the fridge, but I will take out the 4 I need for this recipe the morning of, put them in a baggie and let them sit out for a couple of hours until I’m ready to make my shake, because my blender has an easier time blending them up when they’re at room temperature. And I have a high power blender.

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THE RECIPE:

Maca Date Shake
serves 1

1 c unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c dates (about 4 medjool dates, at room temperature)
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maca powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c ice

Place in high power blender, milk first, and blend until smooth.

*Maca Powder: of the cruciferous family (like broccoli), and is considered a Super Food. Grown in the mountains of South America, Maca has a positive effect on hormone balance, energy levels, and is a health booster.

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Filed under drink, gluten-free, Smoothies, vegan

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