Whole wheat banana chocolate chip pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder 
1.5 tsp baking soda 
1 Tbsp honey
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1.75 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp butter melted
2 ripe bananas smashed
1/4 - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life vegan chips)

Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix in milk and vanilla extract until combined. Add eggs, honey and butter, mix until combined. Add smashed banana and chocolate chips and mix well with a fork smashing banana into batter. 

Heat non stick pan over medium low. Spray pan with non stick cooking spray and add batter. Allow first side to cook until bubbly and then flip using a large spatula. Cook until center rises and sides are not wet. 

The batter does not store well so I cook all of it in mini pancakes and refrigerate them for the week. I pack them cold in the kids lunches or heat them up for a quick breakfast. 

I serve these with pure maple syrup. 

This recipe was adapted from "100 Days of Real Food."


Turkey Chorizo Breakfast Tacos

INGREDIENTS (For 6 tacos)

4-6 Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled cubed into 1/2" x 1/2" pieces 
1 Package Turkey Chorizo (I used Diestel brand from Whole Foods)
1/2 Tsp cumin
6 corn tortillas
Water to boil potatoes
6 eggs
Salt & pepper
2-3 Tbsp oil as needed
1 Tbsp salted butter
1 Package Queso Fresco - crumbled
Cilantro - chopped

Preheat oven to warm.  Bring pot of water and potatoes to a boil.   Boil for about five minutes or until just starting to get tender.  

In a large skillet (cast iron is best) heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium high heat and cook chorizo & cumin 8-10 minutes until cooked through.  With a slotted spoon remove chorizo and set aside.  

Drain potatoes and allow to dry for about two minutes.  Add potatoes and butter to pan in flat layer and cook until starting to crisp on all sides, stirring every few minutes.  If needed add another Tbsp of oil to help crisp up (my chorizo wasn't very fatty so I had to add oil).  Once potatoes are crisp add chorizo back in and combine it all together over low heat for about two minutes.  Using slotted spoon remove the mixture into a bowl and reserve it in a warming oven.  

Using the chorizo bits in the pan add remaining Tbsp oil and one at a time lightly fry tortillas over medium heat until they start to raise and blister, getting coated in the flavors from the pan.  Place tortillas in oven to warm.  

Heat a small non stick skillet over medium low heat and crack in one egg.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Using a lid that fits the pan or is slightly bigger then the pan, add 1 Tsp water in pan with egg and cover until Top of egg white is no longer clear and runny, but the yolk is still liquid (this is called basting the egg).  The water will produce steam cooking the top of the egg without flipping it and overcooking it.  While egg is cooking assemble one tortilla, topped with chorizo mixture.  Remove egg from the pan and place on top of chorizo mixture.  Top with crumbled queso fresco and cilantro.  

This recipe is adapted from the book "The Best Cookbook Ever," by Max & Eli Sussman


Vegan vanilla muffin base recipe / vegan chocolate chips muffins

This base can be used with any mix ins. Apples and cinnamon would be great.

1 + 1/4 Cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chia seeds (mixed with 1/4 cup of water, pureed in a blender or food processor)
2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup So Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (warmed to liquify)
3 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use enjoy life)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients (Flour through salt) set aside
3. Make the chia seed mixture and set aside.
4. Add in remaining ingredients leaving out chocolate chips &; chia seed mixture.
5. Mix in reserved chia seed & water mixture.
6. Allow batter to rest for 15 minutes then mix in chocolate chips.
7. Line cupcake pan with silicon liners, or spray with cooking spray and use paper liners
8. Scoop the batter into each of the liners
9. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. You may want to over cook these as they will be a little wet if you only cook them 22 minutes. These are best after being refrigerated over night. Straight out of the pan they can be a little moist. The next morning they are perfect. 

These  muffins will rise but they fall again once they have cooled.  You can fill them about 3/4 of the way full without having them bake over the top of the tin, and then they will settle at about 3/4 of the way full again. 


Mushroom and green lentil ragu (vegan)

I've been discovering lentils this week.  Last night I made the family a wonderful Italian sausage pasta.  I wanted Italian also so I went to work making this filling, delicious, spicy, vegan dish. It came out rustic and tasting better then the pasta and cheese dish I had made my family.

1.5 Cups green lentils (wash them and check for invaders)
8 Oz diced button mushrooms
8 Oz diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 Yellow onion rough chopped
5 Cloves garlic minced
2-3 Tbsp fresh basil - chiffonade
1- Cup baby spinach chopped
1/2 Tsp onion powder
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Jar of organic tomato sauce
2.5 Cups organic veggie broth
3 Tbsp balsamic vinigar
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tsp salt
1-2 Tsp pepper
Olive oil

Heat large dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Toss in your mushrooms and sauté for about five minutes.  Add in onions and garlic and sauté until onions become clear.  Add in garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red peppers.  Wilt in the spinach and basil, mixing until combined. While this is all cooking down rinse and sort through your lentils.  Add lentils to pot and combine.  Add in tomato sauce, vinegar, and stock.  Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until most of liquid is gone and lentils are soft. 

I topped mine with some garbanzo beans for dinner.  I added more fresh basil for color but forgot to take a photo before I hoovered it all.

Vegan banana muffins

 I shouldn't have made these.  They are really super delicious and I want to eat the whole pan.  Also, since I don't eat egg, especially not raw egg I've never had the pleasure of eating raw cookie dough.  I was able to eat as much of this batter as I wanted while prepping.  I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not.

1.75 Cups whole wheat flour
2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/4 Tsp salt
1 Tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/8 Cup liquid coconut oil
4 Ripe large bananas smooshed up

You can add in nuts or dark chocolate chips.  My family is allergic to nuts so we left them out.  I love chocolate so I added some vegan chocolate chips to my 5 muffins. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare muffin tins.  I used silicon muffin liners and they worked amazing.  If you don't use liners you will want to grease your muffin pan. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl mash your bananas.  Add in coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.  Whisk until combined.  Add in dry ingredients and whisk until combined.  Toward the end I switched to a rubber spatula for mixing just to get it all off the sides.  This is a very thick batter but it comes out moist and soft.  Fill muffin cups about to the top.  They rise but not too terribly much.  Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Mine came right out in the silicon cups and I don't think I will ever make cupcakes or muffins again without them.

You should get about 12 full size muffins if you don't eat all of the batter.

  The chocolate chip ones are prettier then the plain ones.  My kids love them and the husband loved them.  They are very moist and they hold up for a few days if covered.  Perfect snack for my boys lunch today.




Spicy lentil wrap with tahini sauce (A copycat of the expensive wrap you can buy at Trader Joes)

I used to go to Trader Joes on a Monday and buy six of their pre-made wraps to get me through this lunch week.  This is expensive.  While playing around online the other day looking for vegan banana bread (coming soon) I found another persons version of this wrap.  Theirs was just a little too high cal/carb for me so I updated it.  Mine is more simple but seriously, so so so good. You can make these wraps ahead of time and take them with you for lunch, the Lavash bread does not get soggy. I recommend keeping the tahini in a separate container for lunch traveling, the wrap will get messy if you add that before wrapping and traveling.  For a weeks worth of lunches I took a tupperware of lentils, a bag of cabbage, 5 half pieces of Lavash bread, and a container of sauce to my office and then built each wrap on my break. 

1/2 Slice of Lavash bread (or a whole if you are hungry)
1/8 Cup Spicy red lentils
1/2 Cup shredded cabbage
Red pepper flakes to taste

Lay wrap flat on plate. Spoon lentils onto one half of wrap.  This is where Trader Joes uses a chili paste.  I am a sissy so I skipped that and just put a few red pepper flakes. If you want the chili paste Trader Joes sells an excellent pre-made one with minimal ingredients.  Add cabbage on top of lentils.  Starting from the side of the wrap with the lentils roll towards the empty side.  This should give you a nice clean wrap.  I prefer to drizzle with tahini sauce before each bite.  You may dip, or pour, or put it in before rolling it up. I enjoy the drizzling. 

To make Tahini sauce
2 Tbsp tahini*
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 Tsp chopped parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes (more if you aren't a sissy like me

Combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix with a fork until smooth and able to drizzle off fork. If using raw tahini you will want to add a little more coconut milk to make it pourable.

*I've used raw Tahini or the Trader Joes Tahini sauce found near their hummus
Spicy red lentil recipe found here


Italian fresh tomato cannellini beans

1 Can no sodium cannellini beans in water (drained and rinsed)
3 Cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
4 Roma tomatoes diced
Fresh basil ribboned

Heat oil over medium low and add beans.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add in half of tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add in garlic and vinegar and lower heat.  Cook until tomatoes and garlic are soft, about 3 more minutes.  Taste and adjust salt & pepper seasoning as needed.  Plate and top with remaining fresh tomatoes and fresh sliced basil.  I garnished with toasted sourdough bread for sopping up the juices.

I came home tonight in a hurry and starving. I had fresh tomatoes and basil in my garden so I ran with that.  This makes about 1.5 cups of food.  I served it in a half cup of bean portion.  For one serving it was 239 calories.


Teriyaki baked turkey meatballs (teriyaki glaze recipe included)

I made these delicious teriyaki turkey meatballs for dinner last night with an exceptional Teriyaki glaze to go with it.  I doubled the recipe below so I could make teriyaki burgers for dinner tonight and then used the glaze to coat some roasted mushrooms.  The family approved both meals.  The single recipe makes about 30 1.5-2" meatballs.

1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tsp micro-planed fresh ginger
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup crushed pineapple (drained, reserve juice for sauce)
Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 Cup soy sauce
1 Cup water
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp fresh chopped garlic
1 Tsp micro-planed fresh ginger plus an extra knob tossed in to boil
1 Tsp fresh lime juice
1.5-2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water

4 Tbsp thin sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Line a deep baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. (I needed two pans because I made larger meatballs).

In a large bowl combine the panko and milk and set aside to allow the panko to soften as you dice veggies.

Combine remaining ingredients in the bowl with the panko excluding turkey and mix it until all ingredients are combined well.  A habit I picked up as a professional caterer was to always use gloves when mixing the meat.  Once the ingredients are combined using nitrile plastic gloves add in the ground turkey.  Mix until combined.  The mixture will be wet.  Form into 1.5 - 2" balls and place in the lined pan.  You can line them up fairly close to each other, they will separate after they are cooked.  They don't hold the circular shape super well because they are very moist.  Bake for 12 minutes, then flip each meatball and bake for an additional 3 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking add all of the ingredients reserving the cornstarch and water.  Whisk and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes while meatballs cook.  At the very end combine cornstarch and water and bring sauce up to boil.  Quickly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer and thicken.  I tasted mine a few times during this and found I wanted to add a little more water. I also found I wanted my glaze a little thicker so I did a second round of cornstarch.

Remove meatballs from the pan and separate.  Place a small portion of your glaze in a bowl and toss meatballs in sauce allowing them to glaze.  Serve over rice or quinoa and drizzle with more sauce to your liking.  Top with sliced green onions.  

These meatballs should come out very juicy and moist.

I doubled the above recipe and reserved half of the unshaped meat for diner tonight.  I made burgers with the teriyaki turkey with a small sauce drizzle.  Then I roasted mushrooms and tossed them in a small amount of the sauce.  It really worked well.

My kids each ate 5 meatballs and then asked for seconds.  My husband also loved them.  This was a winner for sure.


Cleaning it up around here

I guess it's time to discuss this here also.  You may have noticed I've been posting moderately healthier recipes lately.  There is a reason.  In the last seventeen months I've been making a change.  When I started this blog I had just had my second son.  I had lost a ton of weight breastfeeding and I really had no concept of health and nutrition.  I spent the next six years slowly gaining weight, until I reached a peak documented weight of 198 pounds.  March 25th 2013 I joined a gym.  August 2013 I got a trainer.  January 2014 I made a choice to try clean eating.  I haven't really looked back.  I have lost 55 pounds and 10% body fat.  I've cleaned up my kids eating.  I've tried to clean up my husbands eating.  I read food labels. I don't use processed foods. I don't use anything with red 40 or high fructose corn syrup.  My childrens snacks went from junk food to a healthy snack box with a hard boiled egg, nitrate free meat, organic cheese and fresh fruit.  Their breakfasts are almost always home made and I try hard to cook balanced flavorful dinners. I want them to learn now to eat good wholesome foods.  My oldest son is now running three miles and he feels great.

The fact remains that I cannot go through this change and then come here and post a bunch of crap food.  I can't motivate people to continue eating bad foods.  I cannot advocate chemical dyes, boxed food, processed foods, shortcut recipes full of toxins, or food with zero nutritional value. I will not promote an unhealthy lifestyle anymore.  My goal here is to be one of those food bloggers who provides recipes that look incredible, taste incredible and are good fuel for your body.  I see so many food blogs now that are "homemade" blogs yet the recipes are a box of cake mix, a can of soda, and a can of processed fruit.  This is not HOMEMADE.  This is not fuel for your body.  This is a lazy way of making a meal.  Packaged sauce packets can be made from scratch.  Boxed cake mix is a cop out.  Flour, sugar, butter, and baking powder are not difficult to use.  Processed canned cake frosting is offensive to me.  I spent two straight years baking for a professional caterer here in my town.  What I can do with some butter, or heavy cream as a frosting is mind blowing.  I will share some of that with you again, and I promise you will never eat canned frosting again.

 I still make desserts, I still fry stuff, but....it's in a better way.  I don't make dessert out of a box or a can anymore, I make it with fresh ingredients the right way.  I'm going to do my best to keep posting healthier recipes, some might be clean, some might be vegan, some might be protein shakes I make in the morning.  Who knows.  Either way, I figured I should explain the change in posting here.  I hope you all stay on board as I clean up my act!

Banana cashew butter ice cream FOR BREAKFAST (raw, vegan, and so so delicious)

I was trolling around on Instagram earlier in the week when I discovered a user named @sadulifestyle she is a vegan and eats clean.  I was enamored by her entire Instagram. Being a vegetarian who doesn't eat, meat, fish, eggs, or milk; and is allergic to tofu and peanuts, has made my life miserable lately.  Then I saw her post for banana peanut butter ice cream for breakfast.  WHAT! Ice cream for breakfast blasphemy.  Surely I didn't read right.  Only I did.  She had made the easiest ice cream ever for breakfast and I'll be dammed if I wasn't trying it THE VERY NEXT DAY.  I set off to Whole Foods, bought my bananas, chopped them up and immediately threw them into the freezer.  I made sure I had cashew butter on hand and then I impatiently waited for morning.  I woke up this morning, rushed down stairs and did the following:

1 Banana chopped & frozen
1 Tbsp nut butter

Added the banana to my Vitamix (you need to use something stronger then your bullet for this).  Blended until creamy.  Add in cashew butter and blend until smooth.  Grab rubber spatula and scoop it out of blender.  Lick spatula.  Despair over how to get all of the remaining ice cream at the bottom of the blender that my spatula couldn't reach.

You guys. This was the creamiest most perfect thing I've ever tasted.  By my calculations the whole thing was 190 calories, had about 9 grams of fat (I used the Jiff Cashew butter, I was out of my good raw organic stuff), zero cholesterol and 13 grams of sugar (almost all from the banana).  Plus it had potassium, vitamins and flavor.  It was oddly filling, and so so refreshing during this summer heat.  After thinking about it, making the "ice cream" is really no different then my morning protein smoothies.  I topped mine with chia seeds and called it a day.  I've noticed she has used berries in hers also and I'm just dying to try a blueberry banana ice cream tomorrow.  



Avocado cream sauce (alternate as a salad dressing)

 1/4 Cup mayo (I use vegan Just Mayo)
1/4 Cup sour cream
2-4 Tbsp non fat milk
1/2 white onion rough chopped
2 Cloves garlic
4 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 Avocado
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
Combine all ingredients for the avocado sauce in a blender (the same one from the garlic olive oil is fine) and blend until smooth. Add milk as needed until you reach your desired consistency.  I wanted my drizzleable (What that's a word).  Attempt to not eat sauce with a spoon.