Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

23 Apr

Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns 1
Yay for some spring weather! It’s seriously about time! And one of my absolute favorite things about nice weather is grilling out. I definitely take every opportunity to grill during the spring, summer and fall. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t dirty the kitchen and it’s healthy. Not much else you could ask for.
Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns 2
One of the big things I missed while strictly eating clean was bread. It’s incredibly hard to find a bread that is actually 100 percent whole wheat and doesn’t have any added sugar, corn syrup or other yucky ingredients.
Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns 3
So instead of banning bread (let’s be honest, that was never going to happen), I searched and found a whole wheat recipe so that we could still enjoy burgers and chicken sandwiches.
Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns 4
The honey slightly sweetens the buns and the whole wheat pastry flour keeps them light and fluffy. They are definitely best the day you make them but they freeze well so if they don’t get eaten right away throw them in a labeled freezer bag for next time you grill something delicious.
Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns 5
Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
recipe from The Prairie Homestead

1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 to 3.5 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
Sesame seeds or rolled oats

1. Combine the milk, butter and honey in a small saucepan and heat over low just until butter melts. If mixture is uncomfortably hot when you put your finger in it, let it cool to 100 degrees F.

2. Place the yeast in the bowl of your mixer then pour the warmed milk mixture over it. Stir well. Mix in egg, flour and salt. Knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth and elastic.

3. Place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

4. Punch dough down then divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each dough portion into a ball then flatten slightly into the size you wish the finished bun to be, they will rise up slightly but not out. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12-18 minutes, brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with sesame seeds or rolled oats when 2 minutes remain.

 

Thai Sweet Chili Broccoli

22 Apr

Easter with my loves
Did you all have a wonderful Easter? We spent the weekend with my parents enjoying the gorgeous weather, partaking in Easter egg hunts, church and a big dinner with some of our favorite people.
Excited about her basket

He was most excited about the $1 jump rope…figures.
A $1 jump rope? Yesss!

Me and my favorite boy.
Easter Egg Hunt with my boy

Sweet little chickie in her Easter basket.
Hannah in her basket.
Because Easter marks the end of Lent, that meant I got to feast on all kinds of naughty things that I haven’t had in months. Like peanut butter bars, cucumber dip, mac-n-cheese, corn casserole and a cherry coke or two. Needless to say, I felt very sick afterward.

During my 40 days of eating clean, I found that I had more energy and generally felt so much better. So, the plan going forward is to eat clean 5 days a week and the other two to still eat healthy but not so restrictive. Since starting a healthier lifestyle at the New Year, I’ve lost 30 pounds and would love to continue on that path.
Stir-Fried Broccoli
The only problem with healthy eating is that there aren’t a ton of vegetables that I love so the routine can get old kind of fast. I’m pretty sure I’ve professed before that broccoli is one of my favorite foods and I eat it several times a week. Joel doesn’t enjoy it as much as me so I have been on the hunt for different ways to prepare it rather than just serving it steamed as I usually do. When I came across this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Café I knew it would be a hit with everyone.

Tender crisp, charred broccoli tossed in a slightly thickened sweet Thai chili sauce is the perfect side dish to grilled chicken and a bit of brown rice. You have to try this! It’s quickly become a staple in our dinner routine.

Thai Sweet Chili Broccoli
recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

For the sauce:
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
4 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until the broccoli starts to brown in spots and turns bright green, making sure to stir often (about 7-9 minutes). Meanwhile, stir together the sauce ingredients.

2. Add garlic to skillet and cook an additional minute. Pour in the sauce and cook an additional minute or two until it thickens and the broccoli is coated.

 

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

19 Apr


I have to start out by telling you I was very leery of the whole wheat pancake. But when a pancake craving strikes and you have vowed to eat clean making these fluffy wonders out of the question, you curse yourself a little and give the darn wheat ones with no sugar a chance. Then you find a banana version and sing Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes” the whole time you make them which totally turns your mood around.

You know what’s even better, you sit down to eat them and they taste like banana bread. Yep, totally my new second favorite pancake. Sorry folks but there’s just no way any pancake will beat the glorious buttermilk. These are light and fluffy and have a nice sweetness from the ripe bananas. I decided to add cinnamon, nutmeg, a hint of cloves and nuts in the hopes that they would resemble banana bread and as I mentioned above, my plan worked.

I served these with the leftover breakfast sausage patties that I had frozen (while still raw). Just grab them out of the freezer and cook in a skillet preheated over medium heat while you cook the pancakes on a griddle.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
recipe slightly adapted from 100 Days of Real Food
yield 12 pancakes (using 1/3 cup scoop)

2 cups whole-wheat flour (preferably whole wheat pastry flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 Tbsp. honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¾ cups milk
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled + butter for frying
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
100% pure maple syrup for serving

1. Preheat a griddle over medium heat. Heat oven to lowest temperature (mine is 170 degrees F). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons butter, bananas and nuts, if using. Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture into it. Carefully fold ingredients together until they are just combined. Be careful not to overmix which will create a tough, flat pancake.

3. Brush griddle with melted butter and ladle on batter with 1/3 cup measuring cup. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove pancakes and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with pure maple syrup.

Butterfinger Blondies

14 Apr

Butterfinger Bars 5
My mixer hasn’t seen much action the past few months and Noah really wanted to make a pretend birthday cake. Yep, he’s a weird but very very smart child. He can think of any excuse for dessert. He’d been throwing me a pretend birthday party all morning and what’s a party without cake? I have trained him well.

So, these aren’t cake but I had them on my mind since my mom raved about them days before when she had sampled them at a luncheon at work. It didn’t take much convincing to make blondies instead of cake since they had frosting AND chocolate.
Butterfinger Bars 3
I also assume you all have been really missing the sugary goodness around here so I decided I would sacrifice for you and sample one of these bars as my cheat for the week. Oh, the things I do for you guys! But then they were immediately wrapped up and sent to work with Joel. I just couldn’t be trusted with them in the house.
Butterfinger Bars 1
They are chewy and gooey with all kinds of butterfinger goodness throughout the blondies and frosting. Make sure to bake them just until they are set for ultimate deliciousness. Let me warn you, they are incredibly rich so just a few bites will satisfy your sweet tooth sufficiently.
Butterfinger Bars 4
And make sure to keep these in mind to use up those extra butterfingers after Easter!

Butterfinger Blondies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 16 “Fun Size” bars)

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 4 “Fun Size” bars)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. On low add your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined. Stir in your chopped Butterfingers.

2. Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is JUST set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

3. For the frosting: cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Add in you powdered sugar on low speed. Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth Stir in your chopped Butterfingers. Spread on your cooled blondies

 

 

 

 

BBQ Sauce {Clean Recipe}

11 Apr

Edited-3
Now that it’s finally FINALLY warming up, I have had barbeque on my mind. I’m definitely a sweet, Kansas City style barbeque sauce kind of girl which is rather unfortunate right now seeing that I can’t eat sugar. Whomp whomp.

But I wouldn’t let that get between me and the ribs I’ve been craving. I whipped up this sauce sweetened with maple syrup and spiced up a bit with red pepper flakes. It was a richer, more bold sauce than I’m used to but it was still delicious and totally hit the spot.
Edited-2
Clean BBQ Sauce
recipe adapted from Clean Eating Online

¼ cup tomato paste
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. soy sauce (make sure it doesn’t have corn syrup) or liquid aminos
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium saucepan whisk together ½ cup water, tomato paste, vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper flakes.

2. Bring sauce to a boil on medium high and continue boiling for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oil. Makes about ½ cup.

Edited-1

Thai Chicken Pizza

9 Apr

Thai Chicken Pizza 5
A whole wheat crust is slathered with a slightly spicy peanut sauce then topped with shredded chicken, a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and baked to golden perfection. When it’s removed from the oven it’s topped with fresh cilantro, thinly slice carrot (I used a peeler) and peanuts for a little crunch. Are you drooling yet?
Thai Chicken Pizza 4
So I don’t mean to brag, but this pizza is totally restaurant quality. I love making homemade pizza and always enjoy them but this was the first time I really thought I could see it on a menu somewhere.
Thai Chicken Pizza 6
It is a bit fancier and more exotic than our normal pizzas but it was so so good. I know, I know, we live on the edge but we are pretty traditional when it comes to our precious pizza.
Thai Chicken Pizza 1
Plus, it is clean! I love when that happens. This is officially my new favorite. Thai chicken pizza for life.

Thai Chicken Pizza

1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza crust
1 batch Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3-4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
Roughly chopped cilantro
Thinly sliced carrot
Roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

2. Roll out dough thinly and place on a pizza stone. Spread 1/4 cup of the peanut sauce over the crust. Toss remaining sauce with the shredded chicken and spread evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

3. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cilantro, carrot and peanuts. Slice and enjoy!

Thai Peanut Sauce
recipe adapted from food.com

2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated with microplane
5 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
1 tsp. Sriracha

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until the peanut butter is just melted (it only took 30 seconds for me). Whisk until smooth.
Thai Chicken Pizza 3

Pork and Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties

7 Apr

Breakfast Sausage (Pork and Turkey) 4
We are big on breakfast for dinner around here or brinner as we like to call it. Sometimes it’s just comfort food at it’s finest and other times it’s the fact that most breakfast foods are usually pretty quick and easy to throw together. Either way, it’s always a big hit.

I was craving some breakfast potatoes and sausage but that’s not the healthiest of options so I switched some things up to make a lower calorie but equally delicious brinner.
Breakfast Sausage (Pork and Turkey) 2
Sweet potatoes replace the white potatoes and are topped with a fried egg for a yummy hash while a homemade mixture of pork and turkey is combined to create a healified sausage patty. Oh, so good.

The recipe makes 28 small sausage patties which is way too much for the three of us so I froze half the batch. Gotta love a 2 for 1 recipe! Make sure to read the note at the bottom of the recipe for freezing instructions.
Breakfast Sausage (Pork and Turkey) 3
Pork and Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties
recipe adapted from Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook
*note about freezing patties follows recipe

2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground pork

1. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients.

2. Crumble turkey and pork over mixture and mix well.

3. Using a scoop, portion out into 28 sausage patties and flatten slightly. In a large skillet or on a griddle, cook patties over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until meat in no longer pink, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

*To freeze: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the formed sausage patties (before they are cooked) on the parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to flash freeze then place in a labeled freezer bag. Store for up to 2 months.

My 3 Year Blogiversary

3 Apr

Today celebrates 3 years since my very first blog post. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been that long. I first started this little blog to share the recipes I was trying with my family and friends and as I continued forward, it became so much more. It has pushed me to go outside the box, try new things and become more adventurous with food. I don’t just make a recipe exactly as stated any more…I mix it up, change things, add different ingredients, even create my own recipes. I’m no longer afraid of yeast. I now like salads and avocado and mustard and sweet potatoes and so much more I thought I despised.

And I have over 1500 followers going on the journey with me. What? I never imagined so many people would be interested in what I’m cooking, baking and eating. I feel so humbled and I appreciate all of you! I love blogging and sharing recipes with all of you but there have been times that I just wanted to give it up for awhile. Like after having Hannah. But every day I would log on and see I had a new follower and thought “I don’t want to let them down, they want to hear what I have to say!” And I love having something of my own, just for me. It’s hard being a stay at home mom and sometimes I feel like I don’t have anything for me. I give all of myself to my kids (and I wouldn’t change that for the world) but it’s nice to have something else that I really love to do. Thank you all for sticking by me, even when I struggled to share just 1 post a week. Thank you for your comments, words of encouragements and “likes.” You guys rock.

I’ve come a long way in three years. I mean, seriously, check out these photos…bleh. I’ve considered retaking these photos (and many more) but it’s kind of nice to see the journey. My photography has improved and although it’s not as spectacular as some of my favorite food bloggers out there, I’m pretty proud of myself. Especially considering I’m usually taking these photos with two impatient boys breathing down my neck, waiting for the ok to inhale.

So to celebrate, I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes from throughout the years. The recipes that I always go to when I need something fast, delicious, decadent, satisfying or no-fail. Thank you trusty internet friends for being an invisible support system. I truly hope you continue to enjoy everything I share here.

So, I had a hard time just picking a few favorites. There have been a lot of recipes shared over the past three years! My top 15 favorites (in no particular order) are pictured below with a link to the recipe. Below that is a big list of my other favorites that I just couldn’t resist sharing too. Enjoy!

Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans
Chipotle Chicken

Shredded Beef
Shredded Beef

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Enchilada Soup 2

Sicilian Spaghetti

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese
Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese 3

Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps
Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps

Cucumber Tomato Salad
Cucumber Tomato Salad 1

Crock Pot Refried Beans
Crock Pot Refried Beans 2

Cucumber Dip
Cucumber Dip

Pizza Sauce
Pizza Sauce 1

Sweet Cornbread

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade 3

Buttermilk Pancakes
Buttermilk Pancakes 6

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Other favorites:

Chipotle Chili
Corn Tortillas
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
Pork and Ginger Potstickers
Pizza Poppers
Chicken Bulgogi
Spicy Lemon Chicken Wraps
Cheesy Bread
Roasted Cauliflower
Baked Spinach Dip
Baked Eggs with a Crispy Hashbrown Crust
Roasted Banana Muffins
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls
Crock Pot Peanut Clusters
French Silk Pie
Oatmeal Crème Pie Bars
DIY Vanilla Extract

 

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

2 Apr

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 1
I love cookbooks. Seriously. LOVE. I have a ton and am running out of room to store them in my kitchen. I’m starting to consider a bookshelf or wire baskets hung on the wall so that I can continue my obsession collection. Wouldn’t three of those baskets hung vertically on the wall be really cute! I think I’m going to do it in my dining room since I don’t have any real wall space in my kitchen.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 2
But in the meantime I should probably stop purchasing them. The addiction still calls my name so when I take Noah to the library every couple weeks, I always hit the cookbook section and borrow a few. When I recently spotted Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, I snatched it up since I’m a big fan of The Chew and his 5 in 5 segments.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 3
Let me start off by saying this recipe is delicious but it definitely took me more than 5 minutes to make. Maybe it was because I move too slow or perhaps because my sous chef is 3 years old rather than a culinary trained celebrity chef. Either way, it was still a quick weeknight meal that was packed with bright flavors.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 4
Citrus, jalapeno, peanuts and cilantro all combine to create a zippy Thai flavor profile. And have I told you that I love chicken thighs. I’ve always been a white meat kind of girl (and still would usually choose it) but it’s a nice change every once and awhile. So much more flavor and juiciness. To make it a bit healthier, you could switch to boneless, skinless breasts but I think the extra fat is totally worth it here.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
recipe from Michael Symon’s 5 in 5

2 Tbsp. peanut butter
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
8 (4 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, orange zest, orange juice, jalapeno, soy sauce and olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with half the peanut sauce.

3. Thread 2 pieces of chicken onto skewers (I skipped the skewers but it would make it easier). Grill for 3 minutes, flip and cook another 2 minutes.

4. Remove chicken from grill and drizzle with some reserved peanut sauce and top with cilantro.

Honey Mustard Dressing

28 Mar

Honey Mustard Dressing
Growing up, there were lots of foods that I thought I didn’t like because I never actually tried them to find out. Salads, sweet potatoes and mustard were among them (well, it actually took a few months of forcing myself to eat salads to like them and now I love them).
Honey Mustard Dressing
Turns out I really like mustard in moderation and honey mustard dressing has become one of my favorite condiments. I like making my own dressings so that I can control the ingredients and plus, they usually taste a whole lot better. Except for ranch, anyone have a good homemade version? They are never as tasty as a good ‘ole Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch packet.
Honey Mustard Dressing
This honey mustard is perfectly sweet with a tiny bit of a zip. It’s been my go-to dressing since I started eating clean and will now be a constant staple in my fridge.

Honey Mustard Dressing

4 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. yellow mustard
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Lasts for about a week.

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