Saturday, April 26, 2014

No Joking No Bake Brownies - and some other great recipes!

I am so happy the sun has been out this week!  Not every day has been really warm, but as long as I have sunshine, I can deal!  So of course seeing the sun makes me want to grill!  This afternoon I will throw some burgers and chicken on the grill.  Burgers for today and chicken for tomorrow.  Check out the awesome pesto chicken sandwich recipe.  We also add avocado slices to the sandwiches.  Amazing stuff!  And for dessert... brownies!  You will not believe these are no bake.  The first time I made them MR even commented, "I didn't know you baked today."  That's because I didn't.  I really think any chocolate lover will enjoy these brownies, even though the only sweetener is a little pure maple syrup.  I hope you have a great weekend planned.  And I hope you can enjoy some of these recipes this week!

Pesto chicken - If you don't bake your own sourdough, do yourself a favor and stop by Panera and pick up one of the loaves.  They will slice it for you on the spot.  So fresh!

Mediterranean quinoa salad - This is absolutely divine!  And there is always plenty left for my lunch during the week!

Oven fajitas - Fajitas were never so easy.  This week I have a piece of steak I want to use up, so we will have steak fajitas instead of chicken.  Scrumptious!  Remember to use whole wheat tortillas.

Black bean burritos - Another easy and tasty recipe.  We have some cooked sweet potatoes left over from something else so these will come together quickly after work!

No bake chili brownies - Totally not kidding!  These are no bake that can pass for fresh baked.  The ganache would be the cherry on top if it were cherry, but it's chocolate.

Burgers and Honey lime cole slaw - Throw some burgers on the grill and serve this next to or on top!  I always triple the slaw recipe because we can't get enough!!

What are you eating this week?  Whatever it is, keep it clean!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

And so..... Here We Go!

I had all kinds of great Easter ideas to share with you but between one thing and another, I didn't get the blog done.  As Roseanne Rosannadanna used to say, "It's always something.  If it's not one thing, it's another."  And this week it definitely was that.  So, I hope you had a great Easter or Passover, or just a great week in general!  I'm sure you found all kinds of yummies to share.

Because the grandparents were in town, my refrigerator and freezer were pretty well stuffed with food this weekend.  That turns out to be a very good thing, because it means I don't need to get much at the grocery store!  I can just use what's here.  I am all in favor of saving a little money now and then.  We will need Greek yogurt (have you seen the price of that stuff lately?! I may have to learn to make it at this rate.  It went up about 60 cents last week!  Bleah!  So anyway, here's what's for supper this week... maybe.


Chicken Caesar salad

Shepherd's Pie

Breakfast - This can be about anything that makes you happy. Bacon and eggs? Mini quiche? Waffles? Pancakes?  Breakfast avocado scramble?  Take your pick!

Pasta with Marinara Sauce

Steaks and roasted potatoes with truffle salt

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Recipes for the Week... There Will Be Cookies!

First things first....  I made more cookies this morning.  I am freezing  about half because otherwise I will eat every single one today!  These turned out very good, and I think it's the kind of recipe you can pretty much add whatever makes you happy.

Coconut-Pecan Cookies (grain free) 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup coconut crystals
1 cup cashew meal
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cup pecan bits
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Blend butter and coconut crystals until creamy.  Mix in cashew meal and coconut flour.  Then add eggs. Blend thoroughly.  Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix.  Stir in pecan bits and coconut.

Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly before removing from parchment.  And I didn't do it, but I think these would be awesome with a little drizzle of melted chocolate on top!

More things I plan to make (plan being the operative word.... sometimes my plans go very awry!) this week:

Oatmeal raisin cookies for #1 Son's lunch.  They won't be clean, but he will eat them and they will have oatmeal in them, so I count that as a win.

Granola!  Have to make granola.  I lovethe Gracious Pantry's granola recipe.  So versatile, but really awesome just as written.

Peanut butter eggs.  My family loves these at Easter time, and I am really happy I found a clean recipe for them.  I personally don't care for them, but I am happy to make them for others!

Pesto Chicken Sandwiches - I love these!  A really good loaf of sourdough is a wonder to behold.  I buy mine fresh from Panera.  They will slice it the way you want it.  Plus, you know they just baked it last night!

Marinara sauce with whole wheat pasta (maybe I will make zucchini noodles for me) and a salad.

Breakfast for supper.  This might be eggs, pancakes, waffles.  Hard to say.  But it will be clean, whatever it is!

Mediterranean Quinoa salad - This is especially awesome because 1) I can make it ahead and 2) I often have leftovers I can take for lunch!  Win!

Bacon cheeseburgers -  I know you can make these without a recipe!!!  Try a slice of avocado on top too!

Pizza day!  MR will make his own whole wheat crust and dress it up with homemade sauce, quattro formaggio and Ciao pepperoni.from Trader Joe's.  Good stuff!

Grilled chicken, asparagus, and roasted potatoes with truffle salt.  If you don't have truffle salt, no worries!  Just use a little sea salt, Himalayan salt, whatever you have!

Rosemary pot roast  (from today) will be made into beef vegetable soup at some point.  The leftovers from this make the best sandwiches or soup!  So much flavor, you won't believe!

Have to run.  Busy day ahead.  I hope some of these recipes are helpful to you!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies!
I made non-clean cookies for my son the other day.  They were oatmeal chocolate chip, so kind of tempting!  Rather than give in, though, today, I made clean chocolate chip cookies for me and MR.  I could hardly wait for them to be done.  I used this recipe from meaningfuleats but instead of 3 cups of almond flour, I used 2 cups of almond meal and 1 cup of cashew meal.  I also added pecan pieces instead of walnuts.  BABY! Just the dough smelled and tasted so good I could barely wait for them to be done.  I ate one when it was just a little hot and it was absolutely awesome!  I highly recommend you make these right now!!!

You can make it as noted in the recipe, or you can do it with modifications.  Again, I used 2 cups almond meal, 1 cup cashew meal, and 1/3 cup pecan pieces.  The rest of the recipe is the same.  Remember to allow them to cool completely before removing from parchment!  Enjoy!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What to Eat When You're Eating Out!

One of the hardest things about switching to a clean eating lifestyle is those times when you have to ... or want to... eat out.  Panera had always been my go to.  Fresh salads, beautifully crafted soups and sandwiches.  Looked like a win to me.  Until I researched the ingredients.  Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that they weren't nearly as clean as I had hoped.  I wasn't naive enough to think that it would be like making it at home.  But the amount of added junk really put me off.  I mean, why does there need to be any sugar in the chicken that's in my salad?  Let alone all the other things that I'm not even sure what they are!

The chicken cobb salad (my favorite!) description reads like this:
All-natural, antibiotic-free chicken, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, applewood-smoked bacon, Gorgonzola and hard-boiled egg are all tossed with herb vinaigrette then topped with fresh avocado.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

Well, the ingredients list reads like this:
Romaine lettuce, citrus & pepper chicken (antibiotic free all natural boneless skinless chicken breast fillets with rib meat, water, seasoning [lemon, mangosteen, natural smoke flavor], sea salt, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, sugar, dry lemon peel, spices, dehydrated rosemary, dehydrated basil, citric acid, malic acid and paprika for flavor, vinegar, rice starch), avocado, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, Greek dressing (soybean oil, water, olive oil, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, contains less than 2% sauterne wine, spices, corn starch-modified, dehydrated garlic, hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, lemon juice concentrate, xanthan gum, propylene glycol alginate, polysorbate 60, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor), Gorgonzola cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, natamycin [preservative], penicillium roqueforti, powdered cellulose to prevent caking), applewood smoked bacon (cured with water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite).

So I asked my friends at Panera why they add so much extra stuff to what could be pretty awesome, clean, natural menu items.  I am waiting to hear back.  And if I do, I will share their response with you.  I know that part of it has to do with being able to keep things fresh for their customers.  They found a way to offer fresh bread and baked goods daily.  I bet they can figure this one out too!

I still don't think this is the worst thing out there, but I think Panera can do better.

What's your favorite Panera menu item?