July 23, 2014

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

In this post I talked about clearing out my pantry and trying to use up any processed, boxed, go-to meals. One of the things that I had always turned to was Rice-A-Roni for side dishes. This recipe is a product of using the rice in a way that makes it more than just a boxed side. Besides also being a recipe you can use with regular rice and lots of seasonings, it tastes just as great with the Rice-A-Roni. I also use turkey because I don't eat a lot of red meat but it can be easily substituted with ground beef or black beans. What you get in the end is a filling, delicious, and guilt-free meal that is super easy to make!

What You'll Need:
3 large bell peppers
3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 of an onion
1 pound of ground turkey 
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
sour cream (optional)

What To Do: 

1. Start by preparing the rice per the directions on the box. You'll want to have this ready so you can add it to the turkey when it's done cooking. 

*If you use regular rice cook it beforehand by boiling it in chicken or veggie broth and season with cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. 

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with non-stick foil. Wash and cut your peppers in half (long-way). Use a spoon (or your hand) to pull out the center of the bell pepper and dispose of the seeds. Place them on the baking sheet and set aside. 

*This recipe gives two people three halves or three people two with a side.

3. In a large pot or pan heat up your oil. Brown your turkey for about 5 minutes. While that is cooking, chop your onion and then add it to the turkey. Add a the cumin and garlic powder and let the meat finish cooking. Drain the meat if there's a lot of liquid so it doesn't make the rice soggy. 

4. Add the cooked rice to the turkey mixture and mix it all together. 

5. Fill the peppers with the turkey and rice mix and cook for 10 minutes. Add cheese to the tops of the peppers and then bake for another 3 minutes so the cheese can melt. 

6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and salsa and ENJOY!

July 21, 2014

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

One of my favorite things about breakfast is that it's so versatile! Whether you're in the mood for something sweet, savory, healthy, indulgent, or a mix of everything you can get it for breakfast. Now, I love pancakes as much as the next person, but they're one of those foods that always leaves me feeling overly full. Who wants to start their day that way? (Probably the same people who would actually be willing to give up pancakes!). I decided to go for a healthier version of pancake that has no flour, no sugar, and no guilt. I got it off Pinterest a long time ago and was drawn to it again after going through some of my old pins - and having a craving for pancakes. These pancakes are a healthy alternative that don't actually taste like an alternative. These are the best option for those days that you feel like a big breakfast without wrecking the rest of your day!

What You'll Need:
2 eggs
1 banana (mashed up)
1/2 cup of oats
1/4 cup of applesauce
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

What To Do:

1. In a food processor, grind up your oats until it turns into a fine powder. I used a Nutribullet because I have a special blade for this sort of thing but a magic bullet would work too.

2. Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl, being certain to fully incorporate the oat powder. 

3. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Ladle about 1/3 of a cup of the batter into the pan. Once bubbles start to form on the non-cooked side it should be okay to flip.

*If you want to add things to the batter (i.e. fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.) then you can add it to the raw side of the pancake before you flip it. 

4. Once the other side of the pancake is golden brown, serve immediately. 

5. You can use regular maple syrup (like I did) or you can garnish with fruit, walnuts, or whipped cream. Serve with some eggs and turkey bacon (or "Fakon" if that's still a thing) and you have yourself a fabulous, guilt-free, breakfast! ENJOY!

July 19, 2014

Blueberry Muffins

My favorite part about summer is the excessive amount of fruit that's in season. I went a little crazy the other day buying all of my produce and when I found that the blueberries were on sale I bought 2 pounds of them. Ashamed? Absolutely not! Well, at least not until I realized how much I had to eat. After about a week-and-a-half I still had about 1/3 left and knew I had to act quickly before they went bad. Enter said muffins.

I'm still not big on baking - especially early on a Saturday morning, but I was willing to allow it for the outcome of homemade muffins! Oh these are so incredibly delicious and pretty easy to make. I got the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction and didn't need to change much. I skipped the extra sugar on top because I figured I would have enough sugar in the coffee I would inevitably be pairing these with and found that they were just a good without it. I don't think I'll ever go back to boxed muffin mix again!

What You'll Need:
3 cups of flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of buttermilk (or 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar)
1/2 cup of oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

What To Do: 

1. Start by pre-heating your oven to 425 degrees. Don't worry, you're going to lower the heat after five minutes of baking. 

2. Carefully measure all of your dry ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. (You'll be adding the wet ingredients to this).

3. In another bowl, mix the sugar and eggs. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the eggs and sugar. 

4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and make sure the flour is thoroughly incorporated. When it is, carefully fold in the blueberries. 

5. Line or spray your pans and fill each spot to the top with your mix. 

6. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes. Then for another 13 minutes at 375. Don't worry about taking the muffins out while the oven is cooling. When they're done leave them in the pan for another minute, then place them on cooling racks. 

7. Let them cool for a bit, but they're better when they're nice and warm with a little bit of butter (and the coffee of course!). ENJOY

January 31, 2014

Granola Clusters

Raise your hand if you're still keeping up with your New Year's resolution. Be honest, now. I have to admit that I got a slow start to mine but I'm still going. After all these years I've finally added the "eating healthy" resolution to my life. It's all part of making a better, happier me. I adapted this recipe from Cookies and Cups after needing more healthy snack and dessert options. Nothing is worse than working out or doing really good with your daily diet and feeling like you ruined everything with an unhealthy snack. Enter GRANOLA CLUSTERS! These little clusters are perfectly crunchy and just sweet enough and fill you up quicker than other junk food snacks! My favorite part was that even though there are quite a bit of ingredients, this recipe is so customizable that you could mix and match the ingredients with things that you have. Here's to us and our New Year's Resolutions!

What You'll Need:
2 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 cup flaked coconut
2 cups corn flakes (lightly crushed)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 chopped walnuts
1 beaten egg white

What To Do:

1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

2. Line a large cookie sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper and set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix all of your ingredients together. It's sort of a running joke between Mike and I that I never mix things in large enough bowls. So, my friends, use a LARGE bowl because there are a lot of ingredients.

*Spray your measuring cup with a little cooking spray in order to get all of the honey out of it.

4. Put the mixture on you cookie sheet and spread it around evenly.

5. Bake the granola for 25 minutes then turn off your oven but keep your granola in there until the oven cools. This was a great tip from Shelly (author of Cookies and Cups) that makes all the difference in how crunchy your granola gets.

**Her blog also has good tips on how to get less crunchy granola if that's not really your thing.

***As I mentioned, there are a lot of things that would go great in these. I happened to only have walnuts and dried cherries, because I love to snack on them, but cranberries, raisins, almonds, chocolate chips, or a mix of all of these would be a great addition. 

6. Once it's cooled start to break off pieces. The bottom will form a sort of crust that keeps everything together and is insanely delicious.

7. Save the mix in a air-tight container and enjoy throughout your day!