What’s for Dinner?

We are going thru some changes over here!  In an attempt to clean all the junk out of our systems…we are making some major changes to what we eat.  I’ve done a lot of food things over the years and have already cut out a lot of stuff.  I am 100% gluten free, eat minimal meat and whenever possible go for organic and unprocessed foods.  The boy followed some of my eating ways (mainly because I usually cook the dinners…so he had no choice) but he still loved his carbs and dairy and wasn’t too crazy about veggies.

The  theory behind our change is that most health issues in our bodies are caused from some form of inflammation.  So if you can reduce or eliminate the inflammation…your symptoms should go away!!  So what kinds of foods to you have to avoid in order to help you body naturally reduce inflammation:

  • Dairy
  • SUGAR!!!!!!!
  • Carbohydrates (especially Wheat based or overly processed grains)

Another big requirement to our list is that anything we make has to be easy, minimal ingredients and fast cooking. Usually I get things started…then take a break to put our little munchkin down to bed while the husband finishes preparing so we can sit down for a somewhat relaxing meal and rest for the evening.  So far…GREAT SUCCESS!  We have discovered some yummy, super healthy and easy to make dinners!!

Disclaimer: 100% of the credit for these recipes AND these images goes to the source i’ve included in the links.  I’ve indicated any revisions or changes that we might have made when we cooked them but I take NO credit for the recipe creativity or the fabulous photography below!!!

Night 1: Pecan Crusted Chicken with Garlic Green Beans & a Sweet Potato.  This was super easy and yummy!  Normally I don’t love just a chicken breast (i prefer it shredded or cut up in things) but this one came out super moist and delicious.  You “bread” the chicken with ground up pecans and bake!

pecan chicken

Night 2: Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs over Basmati Rice and a Kale salad w/ mandarin organes pecans and miso ginger dressing.  These were amaze-balls.  The sauce is so delicious and would be good on ANYTHING.  I ate the leftovers with Quinoa and it was also super yummy!

thai turkey meatballs

Night 3: Chickpea Moroccan Stew over Red quinoa w/ Balsamic Brussel Sprouts.  This is one that I changed up a bit.  I had a use what’s in the pantry moment…so while it calls for butternut squash and red potatoes…I used sweet potato instead (added extra chickpea to make the proportions right).  The Brussel Sprouts are super easy to.  Simple bake them until they are crispy (or as cooked as you like) then add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.
chickpea stew

Night 4: Spicy Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash with Scrambled Goat Cheese Eggs.  As you can see in the pic this one called for over easy eggs which aren’t a favorite in this house.  So instead we paired the potato and sausage hash with scrambled eggs cooked with goat cheese (the only dairy item on our list). I added avocado and a little cholula hot sauce to finish it off.

sweet potato hash

On another fabulous note…all of these were great as left overs too (hello healthy lunches and crazy busy night bonus!).

Yumm-O

~ Jillian

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Yummo: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Sometimes you just need a yummy treat…right?!?  And what’s even better is when you get that sweet treat fix and its not so horrible for you!  These little babies are flourless, packed with protein and super duper yumm-o!  (there is a healthy dose of sugar so…let’s not go as far as to say they are healthy…ha!)  I especially love them with a little dark chocolate chip in the center…cuz what is not made better with a little bit o’ dark chocolate?  AND even a non-baker like myself was able to pull this one off.  (be sure to follow step 2 and cool the batter or you will have a sheet tray mess…this comes from personal experience!)

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
(Recipe Source)

who-stole-the-cookie-from-the-cookie-jar-1319207-639x521

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Stir together all ingredients (batter will be thick and not perfectly smooth)
  2. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, form small mounds of dough on a cookie sheet or plate and refrigerate for 3 hours-isn (Don’t Skip this step…I did the first time and my dough melted into each other and made a giant mess!)
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.  If NOT already on a cookie sheet; place the dough on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Slightly flatten using a fork and add a chocolate chip in the center (if desired).  Bake for approx 8 minutes.  Cookies will crisp up as they cool so don’t leave them in the oven too long!!
  4. Cool cookies for about 10 minutes and then…devour!!

Yumm-O
~ Jillian

P.s. I’m currently doing a no sugar diet…so putting this post together was literally torture…PURE torture!!!

Yummo: Easy Spaghetti Sauce

Dinner these days around our house has definitely changed.  Now we are balancing pulling together a healthy and FAST dinner with snuggling and playing with our little miss before she heads to bed.  Add to that the fact that me and hubby have totally different likes & dislikes and you’ve got yourself a tough challenge!!!  So when I find recipes that we both can enjoy I’m sold!!  It’s super important that our meals are quick,easy and healthy of course!  So much of what we buy at the store these days is full of junk.  Preservatives to extend shelf life and added things that just aren’t good!!  Pulling together something this easy makes that store bought spaghetti sauce totally unnecessary!

Easy Spaghetti Sauce

spaghetti-bolognese-1318823-640x960(source)

Easy Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Gluten-free Spaghetti Noodles (my favorite is Quinoa pasta!)
  • Ground Turkey
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Onion
  • Dried Oregano
  • Tomato Sauce
  • *Reserved Pasta Water
  • Red Pepper Flake
  • Cardamon
  • Salt
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Shredded Parmesan (and any other spaghetti topics you like!)

Directions:

  1. Brown ground turkey (or ground meat of choice) & cook pasta.
  2. Season with garlic powder, dried onion & dried oregano. (add a splash of tomato sauce to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan if necessary)
  3. Add apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce and reserved pasta water.
  4. Season with red pepper flake, cardamon and salt.
  5. Add remaining tomato sauce and let simmer for flavors to combine.

*This is not an exact science!  If you love spice add more of the cumin and red pepper flake, if you are a vinegar kind of person…load it up!  Adjust the quantities to your taste and enjoy!!

**I usually broil up some broccoli or throw together a salad and the hubby makes a quick garlic toast to go along with his spaghetti! (easy…toast with garlic powder and melted cheese slices!!)

Yummo
~ Jillian

Yummo: Homemade BBQ Sauce

Feeling hungry?  Well this BBQ sauce recipe is so simple to make and so yummy I can promise it will absolutely become a staple in your kitchen!  We love some BBQ around here but I was so grossed out when I started reading the ingredient labels of a lot of the popular store bought sauces!  So to the internet I went…and found this gem of a recipe.  It was simple to put together and oh so delicious!  Make a BIG batch…it keeps great in the fridge or even the freezer if you get really ambitious and make a giant batch!!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

bbq sauce
(Recipe source)

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic onions, finely diced
  • 6 cloves organic garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 2 cans organic tomato sauce (29 ounces each)
  • 1 1/2 cups organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup organic honey
  • 1/2 cup organic unsulphured black strap molasses
  • 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice
  • 3 tablespoons organic chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon organic smoked paprika
  • 2-4 teaspoons (to taste) organic ground red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic with the coconut oil until the onions are soft.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, and simmer the sauce for approximately an hour.
  4. For a smooth sauce, allow it to cool and then run thru a blender or use a hand blender to mix until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. To can the sauce, bring it back to a boil and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Ladle into 4 hot, sterile pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Fit with hot, sterile rings and process in a hot water canner for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and test lids.

* To freeze, allow the sauce to cool and then ladle into airtight freezer containers. Freeze the sauce, and take it out in advance to allow it to thaw.

Yumm-O
~ Jillian

Yummo: Flourless Cranberry Chocolate Chia Cookies

Today seemed like a day that we needed something that hits that sweet tooth.  (let’s be honest…pretty much every day feels that way…but today even more so!)  SO if we are going to satisfy our sweet tooth, we might as well try to do it with a little bit of health mixed in there.  Healthy cookies equals guilt free snacking!  Have an extra…its good for you!!

Flourless Cranberry Chocolate Chia Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Cranberry Chia Cookies
Image & recipe source

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 15 drops liquid stevia (or ¼ cup coconut sugar, optional for sweetness)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cranberries, chopped (I used dried)
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (optional but really lovely)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  3. Mash banana in a medium bowl.
  4. Add almond butter, chia seeds, cacao powder, stevia, vanilla,baking soda, and salt. Stir well to combine.
  5. Fold in cranberries and  chocolate chips.
  6. Using wet hands, roll dough into balls and flatten slightly with hands.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until set.
  8. Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Yumm-o
~ Jillian

Yummo: Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad

Who doesn’t love a great salad?  Or should I say…the only way to love a salad is if its great!!  It’s no secret that i’m a veggie girl, there are very few fruits and veggies that I don’t love and salad is no exception.  The kicker is to make a great salad (and to keep you coming back for more day after day) you need lots of added goodies and variety!!  Because let’s be honest a boring salad is…well boring!  This salad will NOT disappoint I promise!  So yummy, so healthy and full of bright wonderful flavors!!  Enjoy!

Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad

apple cranberry pecan salad(Image & Recipe source)

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Directions

  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and poppy seeds in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. To assemble the salad, place spinach in a large bowl; top with apple, pecans, pomegranate arils, cranberries and goat cheese. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
  3. Serve immediately.

Yumm-O
~ Jillian

Yummo: GF Chocolate Streusel Bread

Oh we’ve got a YUMMY for you today!!  While perusing pinterest one day, this image jumped out at me and I just had to give it a whirl!  To make it even better it was gluten free, used ingredients I already had on hand and was SUPER simple (pretty much all things that I need in order to attempt a recipe…especially when it comes to baking)  As you might already know I am obsessed with using Greek yogurt in my cooking.  I use it for EVERYTHING!  its a great replacement for cream cheese, sour cream and things like that in savory recipes and it’s also a fabulous way to add a little moisture and protein into your baking!!  So break out that baking pan, grab your Chobani Greek Yogurt and give this delicious recipe a whirl!

Chocolate Streusel Bread

streusel{Recipe & Image source}

Ingredients

Batter:

  • 1 3/4 Gluten Free All Purpose All-purpose Baking Flour
  • 1 cup Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or other milk alternative of choice)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup raw chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work great)
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp hemp or chai seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and Grease a loaf baking pan.
  2. In a small mixing bowl; combine the nuts, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chips, cinnamon and brown sugar.
  3. In a large mixing bowl; combine the yogurt, sugar, milk, oil, vanilla, and egg. Mix the ingredients together with a wire whisk.
  4. Add the flour and baking powder and blend well.
  5. Spread half the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Sprinkle with half the streusel and then cover with remaining batter and streusel.
  7. Sprinkle the hemp or chai seeds over the streusel.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

*I used cinnamon pecans that I had on hand & went with chai seeds (again because I had them in the pantry!)

So delicious!  A great balance of sweetness and yumminess!  Using some of my favorite ingredients like Greek Yogurt, coconut, nuts and chocolate!!

Yumm-o!
~ Jillian

#MadeWithCobani

Yummo: GF Baked “Fried” Pickles

If you happen to follow HerSplitEnds on Instagram you might have had a sneak peek to these bad boys.  Call it pregnancy craving, call it random cloudy day boredom or call it just plain Awesome-ness.  No matter how you shake it…these Gluten Free baked “fried” pickles completely hit the spot!  They were quick, easy and a perfect snack!  As per usual, you can change up the seasonings and sauces to make these just perfect for you!

baked %22fried%22 pickles

Ingredients:

  • Sliced Pickles (any type you love)
  • Gluten Free All-purpose Flour
  • Gluten Free Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Egg (white only)
  • Seasonings of choice (I used Paprika & black pepper)
  • Butter (to grease cookie sheet)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 475° and Grease a cookie sheet.
  • Prepare 3 small dishes; 1 with flour and seasonings mixed together, 1 with egg white and 1 with panko bread crumbs
  • Dip pickles in flour, then egg, then panko.
  • Cover both sides of the pickle and place on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes (flip and continue to cook until desired crispiness)
  • Enjoy with Ranch, Buffalo Sauce, Horseradish or your favorite sauce!

Yummo!
~ Jillian

Coconut Oil (again)

This is a repeat post from last year…BUT so many of you loved it and it’s got some good, healthy tips…so we are rewinding and celebrating our love of Coconut oil all over again!!

So i’m just going to come out and say it…no sense in hiding it any longer…I’m in LOVE with Coconut Oil!  Its true…i’m not afraid to admit it.  Coconut Oil is…well…aWeSoMe!  It’s not just for cooking {which it is totally fantastic for…by the way} but there are sooo many more uses for it!

I started my love affair with Coconut Oil while researching a Candida Cleanse.  The cleanse called for taking 1 spoonful of Coconut oil a day…which at first sounded…well gross…but actually its sort of yummy and wasn’t gross at all!  Because Coconut Oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral, its basically anti all the bad stuff!  So not only does it taste yummy {not at all a sweet coco-nutty flavor like you might be used to…its very mild} but its health benefits make it a great choice for all your cooking needs!  A lot of the recipes included in this cleanse called for Coconut oil in place of olive or vegetable oil.  It’s a much more stable oil because its room temperature state is actually as a solid and can be used at higher cooking temperatures without any concern.

So now we’ve mastered cooking with it, I’ve literally used it in place of other oils for almost all types of cooking!  Let’s talk other uses.  Actually just this past month i decided to try out another one of its many uses {that i found reading this blog post}.  When the seasons change my skin tends to go a little haywire.  Parts are dry and itchy, other parts over moisturized and oily; its almost impossible to find a balance so my face ends up looking like a grease ball and a dry flake ball all at the same time?!?!?  Enter the lovely Coconut oil.  After reading about its moisturizing benefits i thought…what the heck.  It can’t hurt right.  So i gave it a whirl and spread it all over my face and neck.  To my surprise it wasn’t overly greasy {although it did take a few minutes to really soak in} and my skin instantly felt better {and smelled pretty yummy too!}  So fast forward to today and my skin is sooo happy!  Its finding its natural balance…no more greasy flaky ball…and my pores have actually cleared up and less blemishes too!  Who would have thought spreading oil all over your face could actually make you break out less?!

So moral of this story…Why not give Coconut oil a shot…

  • try it out in your favorite recipe
  • slather it on your dry skin
  • put a <little> in your palm and use to tame those crazy frizzy fly aways
  • swallow a spoonful to aid digestion and help with an upset stomach
  • remove chewing gum from your hair after that crazy gum tossing war?!
  • clean and polish your finest pair of leather shoes

Seriously i could go on forever…check out this blog for 80 different uses for this wondrous oil!!

Cheers

~ Jillian

P.s Make sure to always buy food grade Coconut oil {even if you aren’t actually eating it}; its just a cleaner and healthier option!

Yummo: New Year’s Appetizers

So hard to believe that 2014 is coming to an end.  This year has FLOWN by and been quite the adventure!!  Over the years we have tried all sorts of different NYE celebrations but in the end our favorite way to ring in the new year is close to home, casual and with friends.  This year especially is a “calmer” celebration for this girl (maybe a glass of Faux-Champagne at midnight??) but any good celebration is not right without some yummy appetizers to munch on!  According to Martha there are a few foods that will bring you extra luck in the new year!  Consider recipes with black eyed peas, grapes, lentils, greens, and any food shaped like a coin.  Here are a few easy recipes to get your mouth watering and the luck a-flowing!

Black Eyed Pea Dip 

black eyed pea dip

Roasted Grape Brushetta

grape brushetta

Lentil Hummus

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Kale & Artichoke Dip

kale artichoke dip

“Coin-shaped” Cucumber Bites w/ Feta & Sundried Tomato

cucumber bites

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Dip

warm black eyed pea dip

Greek Yogurt Grape Salad

grape salad

Lentil Dip

lentil dip

Cheesy Kale Chips

cheesy kale chips

Round Tomato Bites

cherry tomato bites

Yummo & Cheers to a fabulous New Year!
~ Jillian