Basic Granola

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I looooove granola, but I feel like the ones we buy in the store are so full of sugar, and are SO expensive. So I decided to attempt my own, and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the results! It’s not nearly as sweet, and has a great nutty flavor overall. I don’t know about you, but when something is so sweet, it’s easy to overeat it. So here you go, my homemade granola!

Ingredients
4 cups of oats
1 1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
handful of almond slivers / nuts of your choosing
1/2 cup of oil (I used olive but coconut would be REALLY good)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra add ins once it’s cooled: shredded coconut (add halfway through baking for toasted coconut), dried fruit, chocolate chips, and just about anything else you can think of.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Add in oil, syrup, and vanilla and mix until everything is coated. Pour mixture out onto your prepared pan.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 8-10. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before breaking it into pieces. Once it’s cool, add in anything else you’d like, such as dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.

Enjoy!! I love this with a good greek yogurt. Happy summering!

Skinny Eggplant Rollatini {from Skinnytaste}

I make a lot of recipes from Skinnytaste, but so far, this is definitely one of my favorites. The Skinny Eggplant Rollatini is super flavorful and rich, but yet light enough for a summer dinner. The hubs is out of town, so I made myself this nice big pan on Sunday night, so I have dinners ready-made throughout the week. It was also pretty easy. Only took me a minute to slice up the eggplant (I didn’t use my mandolin, so they are a little uneven, but it really didn’t matter…)

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Three minutes to mix up the filling…

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Another three minutes to roll them up, and voila! Just need to bake them!

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Not the prettiest photo, I know, but these were SO GOOD. And that’s four meals or so right there, ready to go.

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I don’t usually go meatless at meals, but I decided to switch it up. You could definitely throw some ground turkey or something into the mix if you wanted to up the protein. I’m sure this would make a great “lasagna,” too, but the cute little rolls make me happy. Enjoy!

Zoodles + Turkey Tomato Sauce {Paleo}

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Sorry for the iphone photos. I was feeling lazy.

I say “sauce” but really, it’s meat and tomatoes…just the way I like it 🙂 Something about a super chunky tomatoey topping to my pasta has always made me feel at home. And these days, as I am trying to cut back on my pastas and other “evil sugars” (with only marginal success, mind you) I am all about experimenting with noodle alternatives. There is the soba noodle and the spaghetti squash noodle and the sweet potato noodle (spoodle?), and now I’ve discovered the zucchini noodle = zoodle.

zoodles

So first, the zoodle. SUPER EASY. They have fun and fancy tools out there, like this spiral slicer, which would probalby make it even easier than it already is. However, I just used a simple Julienne Peeler to create my zoodles. You can boil, steam, or stir fry these, just like any other veggie. I boiled them just to get them as tender and pasta-like as possible. You could literally do anything with these guys. Okay fine, maybe not literally, but ALMOST.

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And then, my “sauce.” This makes 4 generous servings. I learned that when you turn a zucchini into zoodles, one zucchini ends up being about a serving. So if you are really wanting 4 servings, get 4 zucchinis and thank me later.

Turkey Tomato Sauce {Paleo}

Ingredients:

1 medium onion
2 16 oz cans of diced tomatoes (Go flavorful here. I used one with garlic and basil, and one “hot” with green chilis)
1 lb lean ground turkey
salt and pepper to taste
ZOODLES!

Directions:

1. Chop your onion and saute over medium heat in a little olive oil or cooking spray until it starts to brown. Add your turkey and cook until browned (season with some salt and pepper along the way). Finally, drain your tomatoes and add to your onions and turkey. Let this all simmer a while to get the flavors melded.

2. Meanwhile, boil your zoodles (or spaghetti or whatever) and then cover them in the meaty tomatoey goodness. YUMS!

How easy is that?? A hearty yet summery meal. And honestly, the best part about spaghetti and meatballs is the meatballs, obviously, so this kind of fills that craving for you. Let me know if you try out zoodles and what you think!

Spicy Swiss Chard and Zucchini

This recipe is courtesy of my lovely father. He is quite the cook, and has a wonderful love for swiss chard. Admittedly, I have been a little leery of cooking it because I didn’t know what to do! So he gave me some over the phone instructions for this amazing vegetable dish.

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Spicy Swiss Chard and Zucchini

From my dad 🙂

Ingredients
1 bunch swiss chard
3 small zucchinis, chopped
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons EVOO
1 can HOT petite diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained (**clearly this is what makes this dish hot, so please just get regular petite diced if you don’t like a little kick!)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water, add salt, and add your swiss chard (break it into chunks first) stems and all. Bring to a boil, and let boil until it’s very soft (I did about 20 minutes, but more is fine). Pour into collander in the sink, and leave the pot off the heat. Once drained, pour the swiss chard back into the pot.

2. While the siwss chard is boiling, in a large fry pan, saute your zucchini in EVOO on med-high heat until it’s nice a browned. Season with a little salt along the way. Add to the cooked swiss chard pot.

3. Add your onions and garlic to the same pan you just cooked your zucchini in, and saute until the onions are nice and translucent. Add your can of drained tomatoes and heat through. Add this mixture to your veggies, and combine well. I left the pot on low heat while I cooked the rest of my meal. Taste it and add salt and pepper as you see fit!

AMAZEBALLS.

ENJOY!

Sweet Potato Chips + Chunky Guac

Seriously, my favorite meal on Whole 30 so far. I know it’s not a big protein meal, but it’s filling and you could easily make this into a nacho thing with chicken and such. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Chips

Slice one medium sweet potato very thinly, and coat in a little bit of olive oil and salt. Spread them on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping them half way. Most of mine were chip like – just a few were a tad too thick and were still a little soft.

Chunky Guac

Dice and combine the following: 1 avocado, 1 small tomato, a slice or two of onion, 1/2 jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro. I could eat this with a spoon, but it was honestly SO delicious on these sweet potato chips. And I was totally full for hours. SO GOOD.

Turkey Meatballs

So I made these this week actually to eat with my breakfasts. I started a Whole 30 on Saturday (more on that later), so I wanted to add a lean animal protein to my breakfast. Well, here’s a pretty simple way to do it!

Be warned, these meatballs are not like, delicious, decadent, moist meatballs of your childhood. They are really basically seasoned meat to accompany your morning eggs. Next week, I may splurge on some all natural, no filler breakfast sausages from whole foods or something, but for this week, it works!

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Well now that I’ve totally sold you on these…here’s the recipe if you need a little meat for your morning! I make 10 large meatballs so I can grab 2 each morning of the work week, but you can divvy these up any way you’d like.

Turkey Meatballs

You’ll need:

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 green onions, chopped (whites and greens)
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
(optional: for a little more umph, try adding some chopped dried peaches or apricots.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl (I use my hands – it’s easiest, really). Form into 10 large balls, and place in a muffin tin. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through. If you make them smaller, reduce cooking time.

Enjoy your meat!!

Healthy Egg Salad

Healthy Egg Salad

Sometimes you just need a little something delicious, and you don’t need the extra calories or fat! Reach for this five-minute recipe next time you’re wanting some old school lunch love.

Healthy Egg Salad (Serves 2)

You’ll need:

2 hard boiled eggs + 2 hard boiled egg whites

3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt

1 tablespoon mustard

red onion (to taste – some people like more or less!)

1/4 cup chopped celery

dash of celery salt

dash of garlip powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop it all up and mix it up! This seriously hits the spot when you are wanting something light but a little bit creamy. Play with the seasonings to make it how you like it. Greek yogurt makes a great substitute for anything with mayo or sour cream in it. Do not be afraid of the greek yogurt!!