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Friday, January 31, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookie Cereal!

I was going to make cinnamon pecan crunch cereal from cavegirlcuisine.com, because it's awesome!  But MR failed to mention that he had used the last of the pecans to make slow cooker steel cut oats (sometimes he uses pecans instead of the walnuts listed in the recipe).  I already had the sunflowers and the coconut in the bowl, so I was making SOMETHING!  Then I realized I was out of almond butter! Seriously?!  What is going on in my kitchen?  What I ended up with was this great recipe for cereal that tastes like peanut butter cookies.  The crunchy kind!  But with no flour and no sugar.  So the healthy kind too!  You could also mix this with Greek yogurt.  That would be FAB-ulous!



Peanut Butter Cookie Cereal

1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts
2 heaping TBSP peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 TBSP coconut flour
2 TBSP almond meal (or almond flour)
1 TBSP cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 baking pan (cake pan) with a little coconut oil.  Mix ingredients together in a bowl, blending well.  Pour mixture into baking pan and press mixture down firmly and evenly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Allow to cool.  Break apart and serve in airtight container.  Serve with almond milk or mixed into Greek yogurt.

This is so easy and takes so little time.  And then I have it all week long.  Hope you enjoy it! Keep it Clean!




Sunday, January 26, 2014

Are you Ready for Some Football?! Super Super Bowl Ideas!

Every Super Bowl party I have even been to has revolved as much around friends and food as it has football. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a clean party?!  I can promise you, no one will know you are serving clean and healthy food with these recipes!  I will keep this short and send you right to the recipes!!!

(For these and more recipes, also check out my Pinterest Super Bowl Party page!)

First off, of course, you need some chicken nuggets and some honey mustard sauce!  Here are two really great recipes.  The nuggets take a little time to prepare, but they are totally worth it!

Garbage Free Chicken Nuggets
Honey Mustard Sauce

Or, if you prefer, you can make these chicken bites.  Everything tastes awesome with balsamic!  Or make them both!  What the heck!
Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken Bites

Maybe something a bit heartier?  These sandwiches are the bomb!
Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Now let's add in some other fun-to-look-at, and even more fun-to-eat nibbles!  Give folks some options with kabobs and pizzas!
Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
Portabella Mushroom Pizzas

How about some mushrooms?  How about mushrooms stuffed with prosciutto and feta?!?!?!

Make it Fresh!  Make it Clean!
And a few odds and ends for our snackers.....
Rainbow Fruit Skewers
Chili Doritos
And let's not forget... honey roasted peanuts, hot and spicy peanuts, quinoa pizza bites, and chili lime chicken wings!

And dessert!!!   No bake brownies - MR thought these were baked! And one more for our (gasp) non-chocolate eaters.... Oatmeal Awesome Cookies.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Wrote it Down for You!

Because sometimes life is so hard, this week I am going to provide you with a grocery list to make my menu items.  I will throw some other items on there too, so you can have lunch and breakfast and some snacks!

Items I assume you have in your kitchen... if not, add them to the list
sea salt
garlic
water
ground pepper
olive oil
butter
honey
clean nut butter


LIST
6 oz can tomato paste
1 can coconut milk
clean bread
sliced cheese (buy something good like a nice cheddar!)
slicing tomato
fresh basil (optional)
balsamic vinegar
2 medium chicken breasts
3# (approx.) brisket
16 oz. jar pepperoncini
frozen vegetables (choice)
salad greens (choice)
Greek yogurt (we like Fage)
Old fashioned oats
raisins
apples


Yes... with these ingredients and the entree recipes on this week's menu, you can make dinner this week!  The brisket leftovers will be used for sandwiches.  It only covers 4 nights because one night everyone eats leftovers!  You can also make the granola to have for breakfast.  Eat it with milk or stir some into Greek yogurt.  Lunches are always leftovers at my house!  Snacks are often apples and nuts or some kind of nut butter.  So while this may not be the most versatile list, it sure is cheap!!!  Waste not, want not, always have a plan, and Keep it Clean!!!








Creamy Tomato Soup - This is super-duper easy and can be doubled or tripled without problem.  Season to the taste you want.  I add some basil!  And what else goes with tomato soup but.....

 Toasted Cheese Sandwich - The secret to this recipe is in the cooking!

Honey Balsamic Chicken Tenders - I made a balsamic pot roast this week that was out of this world, so now balsamic vinegar is my new best friend.  Can't wait to try these!  I will pair them with a nice salad!

Pepperoncini Brisket - This is so easy it doesn't even really require a recipe.  Just drop a brisket into your slow cooker and dump a jar of pepperoncini (including the liquid) over it.  Cook on low for about 10 hours.

Brisket Sandwiches - What a fabulous way to use up leftovers!  Just tear the leftover brisket up, reheat, and serve over clean bread! 

Hey, Grampa, What's for Supper?

Did you ever watch Hee-Haw?  If you're old like me, you probably did.  Remember the little skit with Grampa Jones, where they would ask, "Hey, Grampa, what's for supper?"  Then he would list a bunch of weird foods.  Yeah, I never really understood that skit and what was funny about it.  And I really do have a good, albeit warped, sense of humor.

What exactly is a Fly Army?
Speaking of my sense of humor.  I was following this van the other day and could only envision a bunch of flies in formation wearing combat boots and helmets.  Is it just me?????

Anyway, here it is another freezing cold morning.  The heat just runs and runs and that bugs me.  I hate the sound of my money flying out the window to the electric company.  But feeling pretty blessed that I have a good furnace that is keeping me warm!!  Man, this has been a cold January.  And yeah, I know it's Winter... but we live south of the Mason-Dixon line, so I expect a little better!  :-)

All this cold weather makes me want to make lots of yummy comfort foods.  That's a good thing, as long as I am keeping it clean!  Soups and roasts!  Yes!  And what else shall we have this week????  Well, let's see!

Creamy Tomato Soup - This is super-duper easy and can be doubled or tripled without problem.  Season to the taste you want.  I add some basil!  And what else goes with tomato soup but.....

 Toasted Cheese Sandwich - The secret to this recipe is in the cooking!

Honey Balsamic Chicken Tenders - I made a balsamic pot roast this week that was out of this world, so now balsamic vinegar is my new best friend.  Can't wait to try these!  I will pair them with a nice salad!

Pepperoncini Brisket - This is so easy it doesn't even really require a recipe.  Just drop a brisket into your slow cooker and dump a jar of pepperoncini (including the liquid) over it.  Cook on low for about 10 hours.

Brisket Sandwiches - What a fabulous way to use up leftovers!  Just tear the leftover brisket up, reheat, and serve over clean bread!

We will also have a mustgo night... everything in the fridge Must Go!  If there's not much in the way of leftovers, we have stuff to make pizza with a Trader Joe's whole wheat crust.

Some other tasties we might have this week include......

Apple Pie Balls - I haven't made these in a while but they take just minutes and are so delightful!

Chocolate Dipped Figs - Another super easy treat!  Awesome!!!!

Clean Eating Granola - This is my favorite granola recipe.  You can add other ingredients if you like, but this one is perfection to me!  I eat it as a cereal, mixed in with Greek yogurt, or as a snack!

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats  - MR has been making this about once a week for over a year.  This is his breakfast every weekday morning.  He makes a slow cooker full on the weekend and then scoops out a serving every morning for his breakfast.  So easy, so yummy!  And you can add other ingredients if you like!

SLOW COOKER STEEL CUT OATS
2 cups steel cut oats
2 cups almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
2 cups water
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

Mix together in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring about once an hour.  Allow to cool and store in airtight container in refrigerator.










Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Desserts, Desserts, Desserts!

I totally get it!  You want your dessert.  I sure can understand that.  I am married to an "Eat dessert first" kind of guy, and I am not one to turn down a cookie.  So I have compiled some of my favorites.  On this snowy day, I hope you have a chance to stay in and bake or no-bake!

Oatmeal Awesome Cookies- This is my current all time favorite.  MR made these one day when he was home and I was at work.  I just love coming home to surprises like this.  Plus they truly are amazing!

No Bake Chili Brownies - These taste like fresh baked but no baking required.  A few minutes with your food processor and voila!  Brownies!

Flourless Cranberry Scones - I really love cranberries.  These are so easy you won't believe how awesome they taste.  I like to make them ahead and freeze some.
Gourmet S'mores with Coconut!


Gourmet S'Mores- Clean eating gourmet s'mores take a little more time than most of the dessert recipes I use.  But these are totally worth it.  Pin this one for the next time you have a backyard barbecue, and wow all your friends with this grown up twist on a perennial favorite!  In the photo above, rather than dip the whole thing in chocolate, I dipped just the graham cracker in chocolate twice, allowing it to dry between.  Then when the second coat of chocolate was still damp, squirt some "fluff" on using a pastry bag, and sprinkle with unsweetened coconut.

Molasses Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Another cookie creation from MR!  These make the perfect breakfast cookie!

Make Your Own Lara Bars - www.Mywholefoodlife.com has a bunch of different flavor combinations or create one of your own.  Takes just a few minutes to make!

Clean Eating Peppermint Patties - Making your own peppermint patties might seem complicated, but it couldn't be easier!  Just a few ingredients and a little time and you are on your way to a treat you can feel good about.  Get the sensation!

Hope you have a wonderful snow day, whether it snowed where you are or not!  Whatever you're doing today, Keep it Clean!




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Muffin Man Comes to Visit on a Snow Day!

I am a Yankee living south of the Mason-Dixon line.  In the winter, that translates to possibility of snow equals snow day!  I love it!  What would be a nuisance to my northern friends, is a really big deal here.  I have been stuck in the snow, slipped and slided all the way home from work, and scraped away 2" of partly cloudy from my windshield more times than I care to count.  So this geographically dispersed Yankee will take  every snow day they want to throw at me!

I did go out for a walk this morning.  Walked to the boardwalk to get a cup of coffee.  The wind is picking up off the water and it's getting pretty cold out there.  Just reaffirmed my decision to pretty much stay put and wait for the snow.  In the meantime, though, why not warm up the kitchen with something really tasty?!  I took some bananas out of the freezer in anticipation of one recipe, but when I looked at it more closely, it was far too complicated.  Not going to burden myself or you with a complicated recipe.  Cooking and eating should be enjoyable and I, for one, don't get any pleasure out of complicated recipes.  So easy muffins it is!  I found one online that looked pretty good but all the ingredients weren't clean.  Can't have that!  So I cleaned it up and here is the result.

When cranberries are in season around Thanksgiving, I buy a lot of them and either dry them and freeze them or just freeze them fresh.  Either way works in this recipe.  If you didn't plan ahead in November to make these in January (LOL) then you can buy fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries at Whole Foods.  Be careful, though, because the majority of dried cranberries are sugar-sweetened.  I don't sweeten my cranberries because I like the tartness of them combined with the sweet of whatever I am mixing them into.

Banana Cranberry Muffins with Chopped Pecans


Banana Cranberry Muffins

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 egg
3 TBSP coconut oil (liquefied)
3 mashed bananas (about 1-1/4 cups)
1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cranberries (dried or fresh frozen)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional (or walnuts will work)

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 12 serving muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut sugar and egg.  Mix in coconut oil, bananas, milk, and vanilla.  Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir just until combined.  Fold in cranberries.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin.  Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of each muffin.
Bake 18-22 minutes until top springs back when lightly pressed.

Makes 12.

I hope you like these because I sure do.  Not light and fluffy like you get with regular white flour, but really good anyway!!!  Whatever you are doing on this snow day, Keep it Clean




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Keepin' it Easy, Keepin' it Clean!

Two things seem to hold folks back from clean eating.

1)  You think it's hard.  Yes, you have to prepare most of your meals from scratch, but it doesn't have to be hours of a heated up kitchen.  Like many families, we both work outside the home.  Plus, we have crazy long commutes!  So we want to be able to come home and make a quick supper.  I am always on the search for things that are simple but still tasty and, most of all, clean!

2) You think it's expensive.  Initially, restocking your kitchen and getting rid of the junk can seem expensive.  But as you progress, I think you can do this without it being significantly more expensive.  And think of the trade off!  But one way I offset any added expense is by planning!  I make a menu every week, and try to do two very important things:  First, use what I already have in the cupboard or fridge and, second, find a way to use leftovers.  I have said it before and I will say it again.  It is so important to plan!  So take some time once a week and make a meal plan.  Don't just plan the evening meals, either.  Remember to think about what you'll have for breakfast, lunch, and snacks!

Enough of that!  Let's get to the recipes!!!!

Fajitas - Last week we had a beautiful balsamic beef roast.  I will use some leftovers, throw in some spices, and reheat it with sauteed peppers and onions.  These will get wrapped up in whole wheat tortillas.  *Yes, I buy a few things already made.  There is only so much I can get done in a week!*

Chili - Super easy and you can make it the way you like it!  Our basic recipe is 1# grass fed ground beef, 26 oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 can pinto beans (drained), 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed), chopped onion, chopped green pepper, spices to taste.  Simmer that stuff!

Grilled Chicken and vegetables - Another one that you can just throw together based on your own tastes and what you have in the cupboard.  A good basic recipe:  Rub a little olive oil all over the chicken.  Sprinkle with Italian seasonings.  Grill or bake!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad - I made this for the first time last week and it made me so happy.  Not only is it filled with wonderful ingredients, but it tastes amazing!  This week, I will throw a little leftover chicken in with it.  Not that it needs it, but that's a good way to stretch it so I am sure to have leftover for my lunch!


Paleo Pizza - MR just loves his pizza.  I like making them personal pan size so I can freeze leftovers for another day, or take them in my lunch.  Use really good quality cheese.  It may cost a little more, but it makes such a difference.  I like Trader Joe's Quattro Formaggio!

Cinnamon Pecan Crunch Cereal - I haven't tried this one yet but doesn't it sound ab fab?!  I get up really really really really (really!) early so I need something I can shove in my bag and eat when I get to work.

Oatmeal Awesome Cookies - These were MR's contribution to the dessert list last week!  Holy wheat-free macaroni, did you try these?!  I can't tell you how amazing they were.  I think it was the coconut sugar.  If you have to, you could probably sub another sweetener but I would highly recommend not, if you can help it.  I had to freeze some of these because we were ripping through them too fast.  (Did I tell you I have issues with moderation?)

What else?  Snacks, lunches, breakfast.  Lots of Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, smoothies, and leftovers!  What kind of recipe would you like to see?  Tell me in the comments and I will see what I can come up with!

Whatever you eat, just Keep it Clean!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Not Just Another Cookie Recipe

Have I told you what an awesome husband I have? Really?  I haven't?  Well, he is.  How awesome?  This awesome....

Yesterday MR was home.  Mid-morning he takes a walk and stops at our local coffee shop, Sweet Sue's.  We always look in the bakery case, but never buy anything.  When he got home he emailed me at work and said, "Sweet Sue's had oatmeal pecan cranberry cookies.  They looked so yummy I came home and made some!"

I mean, seriously!  If that doesn't make him Best Husband Ever, then I don't know what does.  Because not only did he make cookies, he made CLEAN cookies!  He is pretty handy around the kitchen.  It wasn't just his good looks and amazing charm that caught my attention.  (Just to pile on here, not only were there fresh cookies when I got home, but he had also made supper, and done two loads of laundry.  I really love it when he is home and has time!)
Oatmeal Awesome Cookies

On to the recipe!  He used a Better Homes & Gardens recipe as the basis and tweaked from there.  he's an approximate chef.  He doesn't always measure, just a little of this, a little of that.  But he comes up with some amazing stuff, so I'll take it!  When I asked him how much pecans, his response was "Whatever was left in the bag."  Okay, how much chocolate chips, "Whatever was left in the jar."  You see where we are going.  So these additions are somewhat approximate, of course.  I would say, don't get crazy with it.  Too much of one thing can overpower it.  And you don't want that.  The other thing is to allow them to cool completely.  He said when he taste tested they were still warm and the chocolate really took over.  But once they are completely cooled, you get an amazing meld of flavor!

OATMEAL AWESOME COOKIES (adapted from BH&G)

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup butter
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
14 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with a electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add coconut sugar, honey, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined.  Beat is as much flour as you can with mixer.  Stir in the remaining flour.  Stir in the oats.  Stir in the pecans, cranberries, and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden.  Cool cookies completely on a wire rack.  Makes about 4 dozen.

Again, definitely let them cool completely. I know it's tempting to eat them warm!

Hope you enjoy these but whatever you do, Keep it Clean!









Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let Me Tell You About This Chicken

I made this chicken tonight.  Except, as usual, I didn't quite follow the recipe as written.  I tend to do that a lot.  I don't have all the ingredients, or not quite enough, or just plain don't like something.  So I tweak as I go.  Sometimes it's a fail.  This was not a fail!

Here is what I ended up doing:  (This is adapted from a recipe found at www.eatdrinkpaleo.com.au)


  • 1.5 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 5 tsps paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds powder (grind coriander seeds with mortar & pestle)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lime juice (plus a little) 
  • Coconut oil for frying
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients in a large bowl.  Coat chicken with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least one hour before grilling.
  2. Heat one teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan until sizzling hot. Fry chicken pieces for 3 minutes on each side and then remove to a plate to rest. 
  3. Remove cooked chicken to a serving plate and drizzle with more lime juice before serving.
Dip in Ranch dressing, if desired.

You could also make these into wraps.  I might have that for lunch tomorrow!!!




Saturday, January 11, 2014

Feed Me, Seymour!

Have you ever seen Little Shop of Horrors?  It was awesome on the stage, and pretty funny movie too, because who doesn't love Steve Martin?!  Anyway, sometimes I feel like Audrey II....  I need fed!  But one thing you should not be feeling if you are eating clean, is really hungry!  So at those times, I may not be eating enough.  We should all be eating about every 2-3 hours, pairing our protein and complex carb, and feeding the beast!  So if you're feeling (really) hungry, think about whether you are actually eating enough.  And also remember to drink water.  Sometimes thirst can feel like hunger.

I try to keep my menus simple, but I always make one for the week.  I cannot stay on track if I don't have a plan for what we'll eat.  Plus it saves a bunch of money at the store!  I try to build meals around what's already here as much as possible.  But we are out of chicken, so that definitely is going on the list.  I hope it's on sale!  

Without further ado, here is this week's menu.  I hope you find something you like!

Balsamic pot roast - (edit)  I added this late.  I forgot I was making a pot roast.  I looked at quite a few recipes and this one looked the easiest!  I substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce, because I don't do soy, but other than that... just follow the recipe!


Mediterranean Quinoa Salad - We have a meeting with potluck this week.  The theme is healthy eating.  I wanted something that is healthy but extremely tasty, and also super easy!  This is something I can make ahead and just grab it from the fridge when it's time to go.  Does it get any easier?!   If you don't want to share, you can make this on the weekend and then have some for lunch every day!

Creamy Tomato Soup - I have been really wanting tomato soup and grilled cheese lately.  Probably because it's so cold!  Not loving winter right now.  This looks easy (priority 1) and tasty (priority 1a).  I will pair it with...

Grown Up Grilled Cheese - Grilled cheese and tomato soup just go together in my book!  This is a recipe you can adjust to your own taste.  The secret is in the cooking!


Spicy Paprika Lime Chicken - See?  I told you we need chicken!  I like meals with a little kick.  This sounds like just the ticket.

Teriyaki Stir Fry - I have learned to be more creative since I started clean eating lifestyle.  I am figuring out how to make the flavors I want.  And I am huge on using what I have.  I don't want to buy a whole jar of something just to use 1 teaspoon.  So this recipe has options built in.  Use what you have!

  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 (8 oz.) can pineapple juice (or orange juice)
  • 2 T rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves – pressed or minced
Combine ingredients and cook over medium heat until it begins to boil.  Turn the heat back and continue to stir and cook for about 3 minutes.  Coat meat (chicken or beef).  You can bake the coated meat, or cook it in a wok for stir fry.  We will stir fry some beef strips with snow peas and carrots probably.  

What week would be complete without a little treat?  Last week I made No Bake Chili Brownies.  I kid you not, MR thought I had baked!  They come out with a great texture.  Don't be put off by the chili powder and chili.  You don't really taste it.  It just adds a little something.  So good!

And this week I am going to try Gingerbread Brownies just because they look totally amazing.  If you check out her blog post on these, she also links to an ice cream recipe you can make to go with them.  Instead, though, I am going to whip some coconut cream to make a whipped topping.  Love that stuff!


Molasses Oatmeal Cookies

And MR needs to make some of these cookies.  First, because they are so good and second, because they are a great grab and go snack or breakfast!  

I hope you have a great week.  Whatever you do, Keep it Clean!

*Please note - I do not select the ads that run on my page, but I do make money if you click through*

Sunday, January 5, 2014

3-INGREDIENT (or so) RECIPES aka Make it Easy!

My blog tool keeps track of views on each post.  I was totally amazed at the number of hits my 3-Ingredient Dessert post got.  TONS more than my usual average.  So I reposted it the other day and nearly doubled the views!  Okay, message received.  You want EASY recipes with minimal ingredients.  I totally understand that.  We try to keep it simple too.  You have to, whether you work, have a family, or both.  Nobody wants to spend a lot of time cooking when there is so much more to do!  But we all want to eat healthy. Going forward, I will make every effort to keep my menu plans super simple, with common and minimal ingredients.

I have already made my menu for this week, but just for you I will provide a list of some of my favorite super easy, super yummy recipes!  Keep it clean!

First, though, I know what you're really looking for is a quick and easy snack or treat, aren't you?!  No cake mixes here, but you can make Lara-type bars in just minutes with just a few ingredients.

Fudge brownie bars - This just requires nuts, dates, cocoa powder, and a little vanilla.  You whizz everything together in the food processor and mash them into a dish.  Done.

Coconut cookie balls - This one calls for just two ingredients!!!  Coconut butter and dates.  Again, stick it all in the food processor.  Whirr!  Done!

There are tons of  ^^ these type recipes online.  Just Google it!

And now some of my favorite easy recipes for lunch or supper!

Rosemary pot roast -  It just doesn't get any easier than this.  It's a slow cooker recipe, so that's always a win to me.  And you need just a few things:  beef, coconut oil, onion, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce.  This has the added bonus of potentially providing some leftovers for soup too!

Creamy tomato soup - Growing up this was my go to, but of course that was the red and white label can.  I would even suggest you might want to spice it up just a little with a blend of herbs.  The main ingredients, though, are tomato paste, coconut milk, and garlic.

Grown up grilled cheese - Pair that tomato soup with some yummy grilled cheese.  The ingredients to this are flexible, of course.  The critical parts are clean bread, real cheese, and how it's cooked (see link)!

Pizza! - The kids love it, you love it!  So why not make it?  You can find lots of clean (whole wheat) pizza dough recipes online ... and it really doesn't take as long to make as you think.  Or if you have a Trader Joe's nearby, pick up their fresh dough from the refrigerator case.  We keep some in the freezer at all times.  It thaws fairly quickly and makes a great quick dinner.  When we make pizza sauce it makes quite a bit so we usually have that on hand (in the freezer) too.  Add your favorite toppings!  Just keep it clean!

Spinach and feta stuffed chicken - This has just a few more than 3 ingredients, but many are items you would likely have in your pantry anyway.  This only takes about 30 minutes and, if you're a planner, you could prepare them one day and bake them the next!

Veggie and black bean burritos - I have a confession to make... when I made these I didn't have all the ingredients.  So I omitted the jalapenos and replaced the red pepper with a half of a green pepper I had.  I didn't have any fresh cilantro so just sprinkled a little dried on it.  Fresh lime juice.. uh no. My point is, take a recipe like this and wing it!  I also pre-cooked the sweet potatoes, but that doesn't really take all that long and you can be getting everything else ready while they are baking.

Meat and veg - I have found that the real key to cooking clean is spices.  You don't really need fancy recipes all the time.  Just season chicken breast with a little olive oil and some Italian seasoning and bake.  Pair it with some steamed vegetables.  Same thing with beef.  Season it and grill it or broil it.  I know what you'd really like is for someone to prepare the food and have it ready for you.  Me too!  I can't do that, but I can try to help you keep it simple!  And keep it clean!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pizza, again?

Between holidays, vacation days, and snow days, I only drove to work twice in the past two weeks.  Saved me a lot on gas for my car!  But the same snow that kept me from going into work (I did work from home) also kept me from getting outside very much.  I may be a Yankee born and raised, but I really do not like the cold.  We moved south of the Mason-Dixon line for a reason.  Apparently, not far enough south.

Yesterday I made flourless scones for breakfast.  These things are so amazing!  But because it was just too cold to get outside, I ate more than I should have.  Everything in moderation, you know.  First time I made them I froze the extras and had them with my coffee throughout the rest of the week.  I should have done that yesterday.  But, gosh, they're yummy!  If you haven't made them yet, I highly recommend them.  But also recommend you hide them from yourself!

This week is shaping up to be another cold one.  (sad face)  I am just such a wimp when it comes to cold anymore.  But we'll find some great comfort food recipes and that will make it easier to take.

This week's menu:

Ham and bean soup - I never got this made this past week, so it's a carryover recipe.  Yes, I still have ham to use up!

Chicken Alfredo - Another carryover recipe from last week!  I am beginning to wonder what we did eat this past week.  MR wants to make this.  I have linked to a recipe, but he is going to come up with his own.  You will get to see that recipe at some future date if it turns out.  (You should know, MR is a far better cook than I can ever hope to be.)

Spinach and feta stuffed chicken - I absolutely love Mediterranean food.  This has the added bonus of being pretty quick to prepare and cook!

Pizza!!!

Pizza - MR just loves pizza.  He would eat it every day if he could.  We make ours with fresh whole wheat crust from Trader Joe's but you can also use one of the many alternative crust recipes available online like this one, or cauliflower, portabella mushroom, etc.

Pasta with Marinara - This marinara recipe is super easy (do you detect a trend with my favorite recipes?) and make a lot so I always have some for another day.  #1 son will be home this week and his favorite food is spaghetti, so this one is especially for him!  I usually use rice or whole wheat pasta.

Rosemary pot roast - This is great stuff!  I will be working from home one day this week, so will be able to put something in the slow cooker.  And THIS is just the ticket!

Blueberry Coconut Pecan Breakfast Cookies - Because I can't seem to let well enough alone with the scones, I think I will also make these.  They look pretty easy, and I just happen to have all the ingredients on hand!  I will post on FB and Twitter if they turn out well!

Hope you have a wonderful week and remember -- Keep it clean!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reboot your Life - CTRL ALT DEL

It's easy to get caught up in the new year, new you frenzy.  But I find that I am not always good at keeping promises to myself if they are too grandiose.  So let's make it simple.  Let's do a lifestyle reboot.



Take CTRL!  You are in control of what goes into your body and how you treat it.  I took control by going back to scratch cooking.  That way I can control the ingredients.  For me, that means no refined sugars, and no white flour.  I would say that I enjoy eating more now, and it tastes so much better!

Pick an ALT!  You don't really want that cookie anyway.  You just want a little snack.  So pick a good alternative.  How about a small apple with a tablespoon of nut butter?  It's going to satisfy you more than the cookie, and it tastes awesome.  I really love almond butter, personally!  Follow me on TwitterPinterest, and Facebook and find lots of awesome ALTernatives!

DEL the junk!  You know how it makes you feel.  So just don't eat it.  I love snacks and treats, and I eat them.  I just don't eat junk.  There are lots of great options to replace the junk.  Last night, for a snack I had 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt with a small handful of homemade granola stirred in.  Oh, yes!  

I did this!  You can do this!  Just Keep it Clean!