Monday, August 24, 2015

Homemade Vegetarian "Chipotle" Bowls

Ok, it really has nothing to do with Chipotle other than being rice and beans in a bowl, but we tell the kids they are Chipotle bowls to make them like them more. ;)  One of our favorite meals.  Healthy and flavorful. 

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, divided
1 bag frozen brown rice (I use the TJs kind that comes 3 bags in a box)
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 heaping tsp. ground cumin
2- 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (but if you use chicken, it won't be vegetarian)
chopped cilantro
chopped fresh avocado
crumbled feta (and/or shredded jack or cheddar for the kids)

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add about 1/2 the onion, cooking until softened.  Add rice and saute a few minutes.  Remove rice from pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil, add remaining onion and cook until softened.  Add coriander and cumin, stir 1 minute.  Add beans, broth; season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, occasionally mashing beans, until thickened, about 8-10 minutes.

Either scoop rice into separate bowls and put a large spoonful of bean mixture on top OR, what we always do, just mix the rice into the bean mixture.

Top each bowl with chopped cilantro, chopped avocado and crumbled feta.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Original recipe here
Gary and the kids (but especially Gary!) loved these!  It's not health food by any means, but it's better than regular chocolate cake and at least has a cup of zucchini hidden inside!  They were very moist.


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (**I used a gluten free flour mix instead of whole wheat.  Next time, I'm going to try all GF flour because they were plenty moist)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a muffin pan by spraying cavities with non-stick spray or insert muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, applesauce, vegetable oil, milk, and the vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and the chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter evenly amongst each cavity (for only 12 muffins, you will need to fill each one very full). Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let muffins cool. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Powdered Peanut Butter Flourless Brownies

Recipe and Photo from Skinnytaste

Another healthier option for brownies.  Really yummy, and they are a cake-y brownie as opposed to the fudge-y black bean brownies.

  • cooking spray
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw honey 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I don't think they even need these, and mine all sank to the bottom)


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a nonstick 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Beat the egg and egg white in a small bowl with a whisk; mix in the water.

In a large bowl combine the powdered PB, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and mix well with a spatula. Add the egg mixture and stir. Add honey, vanilla and stir with a spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake about 30 minutes.

If cut into 9 squares, they are each 192 calories each. (30.3 g carbs; 7.3 g protein; 63. g fat)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Black Bean Brownies

Recipe and photo from Chocolatecoveredkatie
In an effort to offset my last dessert post, here is a healthy dessert recipe!  The author of the recipe says that people are fooled, and they taste the same as regular brownies.  They do NOT taste like regular brownies.  However, for flour-less, egg-less, white sugar-less brownies, they are really good and satisfying, and best of all, Gary and kids loved them.  They are very fudge-y not cake-y and they are better after being in the fridge because they wouldn't stay together when we tried to eat them out of the pan prior to refrigerating.  In addition, you can easily make these gluten free!

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) 
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or agave (I used maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (I used just under 2/3 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Cook the black bean brownies 18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.

Lemon Dream Cake

Photo from thecountrycook- she also has step by step photos
I wasn't going to post this recipe because I'm really trying to have the fam eat clean, unprocessed foods, and this recipe is made of ALL processed garbage, but I couldn't resist because it is so light and delicious!  I made it for friends and one adult and one child who NEVER eat cake, don't like cake, usually won't try cake, agreed to try it...and then both proceeded to eat two pieces!!  It's also really fast and easy so you know, I guess everything in moderation?

1 (18.25 oz.) box French Vanilla Cake Mix (I couldn't find 'French' so I used plain vanilla)
ingredients needed to make cake (eggs, oil and water)
1 (15.75 oz.) can lemon pie filling
1 tub lemon flavored frosting
1 ( 8oz.) tub whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350F degrees
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Prepare cake mix as directed on the back of the box.
Pour batter into baking dish.

Place spoonfuls of lemon pie filling all over the batter. 
Take a knife and swirl it all around to help evenly distribute it better.
Bake at 350F degrees for about 35-40 minutes.
Until it springs back to the touch and isn't jiggly in the center.

Let cake cool completely before proceeding to the next step.

In a bowl, combine lemon flavored frosting with whipped topping.
Mix until thoroughly combined.Spread frosting over cooled cake.
                             Refrigerate until chilled and keep any leftovers refrigerated.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Green Mac n Cheese

 This is really yummy, and it makes mac n cheese a little healthier! 

1 lb. elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
1 cup packed fresh spinach
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. flour
4 cups grated white cheddar cheese
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 cup peas

(1) Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta in water for about 3 minutes less than package directions call for, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain.

(2) While pasta is cooking, place milk and spinach in blender and blend on high until smooth.

(3) In a large pot, melt the butter and then add the flour whisking continuously over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes to make a roux.  Slowly mix in the milk mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce is gently bubbling and starting to thicken. Add reserved pasta water and cheese and whisk until melted.  Stir in the pasta, broccoli and peas.

(4) Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Homemade Mayonnaise

In my effort to try and reduce processed foods and chemicals, I've been making homemade mayo.  We don't use much may though so I waste a lot because homemade doesn't last for years like Best Foods! ;)  This is the recipe I like the most so far- it's an adaption of Michael Symon's recipe.

2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. white vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cup canola oil

In the bowl of a food processor, add everything except the oil and puree until combined and frothy.  Pour in the oil in a thin stream while the processor is running until thick.

You can add garlic to make garlic mayo, some roasted red peppers to make an aioli or whatever you like!  It's fun!