Whole Wheat Pasta – Fresh Tomatoes, Spinach, + Garlic

When I was pregnant with my oldest kiddo, 6 years ago, I came upon this recipe in my doctor’s office. I found it in some pregnancy magazine, committed it to memory and have been making it since. Over the years we’ve added things, like pine nuts and bacon (and I think I’m going to throw in goat cheese next time).

This makes for a ridiculously fast, healthy, and yummy dinner complete with leftovers for the next day. You can add veggies in, or meat – its delicious with grilled chicken. So a very flexible recipe, indeed.

As always, we’d love to hear how you alter it for your family! Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know!

Whole Wheat Pasta (with Spinach, Cherry Tomatos, Bacon, and Garlic)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound 100% whole wheat spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bag of washed baby spinach or 1 bunch of spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil (can add more after everything has been tossed with the noodles, if needed)
  • Few shakes of red pepper flakes (to your liking)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Freshly shredded mozzarella to toss in at the end, optional 
METHOD:
  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions. With only one minute left of cooking time, add the spinach to the boiling water. Strain noodles and spinach.
  2. While you wait for the water to boil – in a large bowl, add your olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, some salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cooked bacon and pine nuts to the bowl and make sure they get coated with the olive oil mixture.
  4. Pour the strained noodles and spinach into the large bowl and toss everything together. If your noodles are too dry add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil until it’s just right. Add salt (probably about 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper and top with mozzarella. Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible
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Rachel’s Morning Glory Muffins (loaded with seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables)

Good morning! I have a super special treat to share with you guys. Today I am introducing you to these most amazing muffins. These babies are packed full of good-for-you ingredients to start your day off just right or to give you an energy packed treat as an afternoon pick-me-up. But there is more as to why these guys are so special… If you live in Seattle and haven’t attended a class taught by The Joyful Kitchens, you need to. The Joyful Kitchens is made up of three lovely Seattle ladies who are like the quadruple threat in the kitchen, if such a thing exists. They teach, they cook from scratch, they cater, they photograph – and most importantly they are wonderful, sweet, hospitable, and beautiful women. I have taken three of their classes in the past year and have learned so many fun new recipes and tricks that range from cocktail parties and holiday treats, to most recently fun brunch food. These muffins came from that class. I asked Rachel if she would let me share this recipe with you guys, because I know that you will love them just as much as we have. They will be a staple in our home for sure. They are great as a quick breakfast and perfect for a snack. I’ve been sticking them in Jonah’s lunchbox everyday too, to get him through the rest of his afternoon at school.

So run out to your favorite bulk bin location and stock up! We love to hear from you, so let us know how you liked them and I will be sure to pass all compliments along to Rachel!

morning glory muffins with seeds, fruit, and nuts.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup natural raw wheat germ (this was the only item I forgot when I went bulk bin shopping for these muffins so I used an additional 1/4 cup almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (would be great with shredded zucchini, too)
  • 1 tart apple peeled, cored, and shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped and pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped super dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon course sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
METHOD:
  1. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add in the shredded apple and carrots, the raisins, dates, walnuts, seeds, chocolate, and coconut.
  2. Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients together to ensure everything gets coated with the flour.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the applesauce, maple syrup, molasses, melted coconut oil, almond and vanilla extracts.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated and moist. If your mixture is too dry, add just a touch more applesauce.
  5. Scoop batter into greased muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 20-35 minutes at 350 or until the middle is set if using regular muffin tins. If using mini muffin tins, bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Eat warm out of the oven with butter! Enjoy!
  8. Makes 12-18 regular size muffins or about 26 mini muffins
  9. NOTE:  We are working on a gluten-free / paleo conversion for this recipe as well.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Taken from Rachel @ The Joyful Kitchens.

Crock Pot Refried Beans

We have been making these beans for about a year now and I cannot get enough of them. They couldn’t be easier to start first thing in the morning, let cook all day, and enjoy for a simple but delicious dinner. These beans go hand-in-hand with the Whole Wheat Tortillas, Erin’s Pulled Pork, and my husband’s homemade guacamole (recipe coming soon). Add some shredded cheddar, sour cream, and dinner is set! Also, this makes a ton – the beans freeze beautifully in a freezer-safe container for another day. Enjoy!

crock pot refried beans

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans, thoroughly rinsed (you can also use black beans if you’d like)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (If you like a bit of heat like we do, we sometimes add a jalapeño and a serrano or a poblano… you can’t mess this up. If you aren’t so into spice, either omit the pepper entirely or seed it and just use half.)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2-4 crushed cloves of garlic
METHOD:
  1. Dump your rinsed pinto beans into the crock-pot, pour in the water. Add your chopped onion, garlic, pepper, and spices. Give it a stir and cover.
  2. Let this cook on high for 8-10 hours.
  3. Remove the biggest chunks of onion and the excess liquid. With a potato masher, mash the beans until they are the consistency you’d like them to be. If you want them extra smooth, save some of the excess liquid to add back in while mashing.
  4. These are SO delicious and taste like restaurant quality beans.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible
**Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food.

Granola Bars (grain, gluten, dairy free, paleo)

These are for sure one of our favorite new snack items.  All four of us love them.  They are grain-free, gluten-free, salty and sweet, and couldn’t be easier to make.  They are crunchy and chewy at the same time, too… which really is the way a granola bar should be.  These are almost vegan…. replace honey with maple syrup if you need a yummy vegan snack!

granola bars (grain, gluten, dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I like “Enjoy Life” brand)
METHOD:
  1. Combine nuts and seeds in food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped.  You can use any combination of nuts and seeds you want, as long as it totals 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Pour nut/seed mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Add shredded coconut and cocoa nibs and stir to combine.
  4. Add dried fruit, and stir again.  You can use any type of dried fruit as well, as long as it totals 1 cup.
  5. In a medium saucepan over low heat melt coconut oil, almond butter, honey, vanilla, and spices.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes once combined, until thick and bubbly.
  6. Pour mixture into nuts / seeds and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Pour into 8×8 baking dish, lined with parchment paper and press down firmly.
  8. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top, and press into bars.  If you mix these in, they will melt and creat a gooey mess.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  So just save them for the last step and press them on top.  
  9. Put in freezer for 1-2 hours to harden.
  10. Cut into desired size bars, store in refrigerator.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Seasonal Family.

Cinnamon Raisin + Almond Cookies (grain / gluten / dairy / egg free, paleo, vegan)

This post is dedicated to my super amazing friend, Nicole.  Today is her 40th birthday!! She is the kindest, most thoughtful friend and I am super thankful for her in my life!  She is also a vegan, thus the dedication.  I brought her a dozen of these cookies this morning at the gym.  She thinks they are delicious, and I bet you will too!  I had a cookie like this the other day at my friend Jen made, so I tried to recreate… after quite a few test batches (too bad, we had more cookies to eat) I’m super happy with the results.  We ate them all really fast here in my house.  I usually go for chocolate, so the raisins were a welcomed break from all the chocolate!  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Raisin + Almond Cookies (grain, gluten, dairy, egg free.  vegan.  paleo)
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
METHOD:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt) and mix until combined.  
  3. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt coconut oil.  Add wet ingredients (syrup, almond extract, vanilla extract).  Stir to combine.  
  4. Pour wet into dry, and mix until batter thickens.  I do this step in my mixer, and I let it mix for about a minute.  The almond flour absorbs as it stirs, so give it a good stir.  
  5. Fold in raisins and sliced almonds.  
  6. Roll into balls, about ping-pong ball size.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheets, bake 8-10 minutes.  
  7. NOTE:  Makes 24 cookies.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Brownies

Remember how I said awhile back that part of our whole food journey as a family has been to not eliminate treats completely, but to reinforce to our kiddos that treats are just that, treats? We don’t get them on a daily basis and we don’t eat them from packages much anymore, but that being said, I don’t feel one bit guilty about making a batch of delicious brownies from good, quality ingredients for my family. These brownies. I cannot quit making these brownies. In December, I even made them two days in a row. The first days batch got crumbled and put into our vanilla ice cream mixture and became Brownie Ice Cream… so of course I had to make them the next day to eat with our Brownie Ice Cream… right?!

These guys are super easy to make and they are wheat-free. If you have oatmeal on hand, just blend up 1/4 cup of oats to use or you can buy oat flour in the bulk section of your grocery store.

Delicious, friends. I am warning you. Now you are going to have a brownie problem. Oh, and this is another Sprouted Kitchen inspired recipe. She is awesome.

oat flour brownies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 5 tablespoons Kerrygold Butter – Unsalted
  • 9 ounces good quality dark chocolate, like Theo Chocolate Bar, chopped (I use 3 of these bars)
  • 1/4 organic natural cane sugar (Next time I am going to try to substitute 100% Pure Maple Syrup and see how that works.)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup oat flour, or ground oats (be sure to select gluten-free oats if you need GF brownies)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Maldon Smoked Sea Salt, to sprinkle on top once cooked
  • Optional add-in: 1 cup of your choice of lightly toasted diced nuts, our favorite is pecans
METHOD:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir constantly until mixture is melted and remove from heat.
3. Add in the vanilla and sugar and mix.
4. Whisk in one egg at a time.
5. Add the oat flour and salt and stir vigorously for one whole minute. This step is important to ensure everything is incorporated well.
6. If adding nuts, go ahead and add these next.
7. Pour brownie mixture into a  8 inch glass pan lined with greased parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes or until brownies appear set, but be careful not to over cook.
8. Let these guys cool completely before you cut them. Sprinkle with salt.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible
**Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen.
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Waffles (grain / dairy / gluten / sugar free, paleo)

I’ve finally found it!  Seriously, I think maybe I’ve tried 50 recipes for grain-free waffles (or pancakes) and they all suck.  One time, I tried out a new recipe when my mother-in-law was in town.  Poor thing.  They were so bad.  She of course, graciously ate them anyways, but man.  Some recipes are just bad.  Untilllllllll, these.  They taste so good, the texture is identical to their traditional counterpart, and there is literally zero added sugar.  The ingredients might surprise you a little bit, but give em a shot.  I promise they won’t disappoint. My kids have not enjoyed any of my Paleo waffle attempts until this one – they both gobbled them up! Also, they freeze beautifully, so double the batch and stick extras in freezer for a quick breakfast or on the go snack.  We just pop them in the toaster frozen, and in a couple of minutes they are ready to go.

waffles, grain, dairy, sugar, gluten free, paleo

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Oil for greasing waffle iron (we use ghee or bacon fat – coconut oil would be good choice too) 
METHOD:
1.  Puree banana and apple in food processor.
2.  With whisk attachment in place on electric mixer, whisk almond butter on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
3.  Add apple/banana puree and the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the almond butter.  Whip on medium speed until fully combined.
4.  Grease hot waffle iron (do this in between each waffle to ensure they don’t stick to iron)
5.  Ladle batter into waffle iron until about 60% full, so as not to overfill the iron.  Cook approximately 4-5 minutes or until waffle is golden brown and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside.  Enjoy!
NOTE:  Makes about 6 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Eat Like a Dinosaur.