Whole Grain Cornbread

As promised with the Jambalaya post, this is the whole grain cornbread that accompanied that delicious dish. It was the perfect match. This cornbread also goes amazingly well with the Chipotle Black Bean Chili or any kind of chili for that matter.

I don’t use a lot of corn meal normally, so I just bought what the recipe called for from the bulk bins, that way I didn’t have a bunch leftover just hanging out in my cabinet getting stale.  Make sure to get organic, whole grain corn meal to get the maximum nutrients, as well as to avoid genetically modified corn.

This recipe has just the right amount of sweetness that you’re used to with cornbread, but is naturally sweetened with just a bit of 100% pure maple syrup. I also love the whole corn kernels and the cheddar cheese. Yum. Deliciousness. Hope you like it!

whole grain cornbread

INGREDIENTS:
  •  2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole grain corn meal, preferably organic (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream (see our take on fats here)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Whisk your dry ingredients together.
3. Over medium heat, melt your butter and whisk in 1 tablespoon of the flour until it begins to brown, make sure it doesn’t get too brown or burn, though. Add the frozen corn kernels and let them thaw about a minute. Add the heavy cream and whisk the mixture until it begins to get thick and creamy, this should take a few minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and remove pan from heat.
4. Add the already beaten eggs, sour cream and grated cheese to the creamed corn mixture and add all of this to the dry ingredients. Mix together without over-mixing.
5. Pour your batter into a greased baking dish (I used a non-stick jelly-roll pan the first time and a square glass Pyrex dish the second time and I liked the glass dish better, but that’s just my preference.)
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Taken from 100 Days of Real Food.
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Creamy Potato Soup, with Bacon, Green Onions, + Cheese

Our household rang in 2013 with the stomach bug. There hasn’t been a whole lot of magic happening in our kitchen. But once our tummies started feeling a bit stronger, I knew I had to try this potato soup recipe. It’s like a loaded baked potato in a soup. Comfort food in a bowl. It may be my new most favorite soup to come out of my kitchen. It totally hit the spot and is full of good, wholesome ingredients and it gets better and better each time you reheat it for leftovers. I hope you enjoy it as much!

creamy potato soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound cubed baking potato
  • 1 pound cubed Yukon gold potato
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Heat a large, heavy bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to pan. Add onion, thyme and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring often.
3. Add potatoes, broth, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 35 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; take out bay leaves.
5. While the potatoes simmer, toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper until each floret is coated in oil. Arrange in one single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure the cauliflower isn’t too crowded but has space to roast evenly. Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned, turning once.
6. Once cauliflower is finished, place roasted cauliflower in a food processor or blender with the milk and blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl.
7. Add half of the potato mixture in the food processor or blender and pulse 5 to 6 times until coarsely chopped. Pour into the large bowl with cauliflower mixture and repeat with the second half of potato mixture.
8. Once everything has been processed/blended, pour back into the stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
9. Stir in salt, pepper, 1/2 cup green onions, most of the bacon (but save some for toppings) and sour cream. Stir until the sour cream melts and the soup is heated through.
10. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with remaining bacon crumbles, freshly grated cheddar cheese and green onion. Cozy up and enjoy!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine (Jan/Feb 2013)

Italian Chicken Bake

Oh man.  We are back!  So sorry to leave you all for the holidays…. we were both busy cooking up our own holiday deliciousness and hanging with our families.  And we made a couple of amazing meals to share with each other as well.  My man cooked up an amazing spread for my birthday dinner, shared with Evan and Justin.  And Justin cooked up our shared families Christmas Eve brunch.  Super super thankful for Evan and our shared food (and really faith, life, parenthood, etc…) journey!  AND, we are excited to have a bunch of new stuff in the pipes to send your way, and hope you all are ready for some new (and tasty) non-processed food ideas!

First up is this super easy Italian chicken bake.  Ehren and I have committed to eliminating all grains for the month of January.  Basically, we are just curious if we will feel any different – weight, energy levels, skin, workout performance, etc.  It is a fun challenge for me, as I love trying new things in the kitchen!  This is a meal that I would have totally, without even thinking about it, served over whole wheat pasta.  But today, I piled on some more veggies, and served it with oven roasted broccoli.  Neither of us missed the pasta.  Not one bit.  Whether you eat this with pasta, or pair it with another side dish (it would be great over spaghetti squash), I hope you like it as much as we did.  We were practically licking our plates clean.

italian chicken bake

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 organic chicken breasts
  • 5 tomatoes (any variety will do, we used Roma)
  • 1 small jar artichoke hearts (look for one with artichokes as only ingredient)
  • 5 crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (we used organic, whole milk mozzarella… for more on diary, read this)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
METHOD:
1.  Drizzle some olive oil in a casserole dish, and spread around.
2.  Place chicken breasts in the dish, and season with salt and pepper.  I used smoked sea salt that Evan gave me for my birthday.  It is so amazing.  You should get some.
3.  Dice all veggies.  I cubed tomatoes and artichokes, thinly sliced mushrooms and zucchini, and minced garlic and shallots.  Dice basil, and set aside.  You will put this on last.
4.  Combine all veggies in a bowl, and coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Stir until mixed, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour over chicken, taking care to leave the top of each chicken breast exposed so it cooks.  Does that make sense?  Place the veggies around the chicken, but not directly on top.
5.  Place casserole dish in 370 F oven, for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and no longer pink.
6.  While chicken is cooking, grate cheese.
7.  After chicken is cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over top.  Turn oven on to broil, and place dish under broiler until cheese is melted and golden.  Watch CAREFULLY!  It will burn quick.
8.  Remove from broiler, and sprinkle fresh basil on top.  The warmth of the cheese will wilt the basil.
9.  Serve up, eat up, and enjoy!  Let us know if you make it and how you like it!!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Our Story.

Whole Wheat Macaroni + Cheese (with cauliflower + bacon)

Macaroni and cheese is one of those foods that I can totally go overboard on. (Meaning: I have no self-control when it comes to macaroni and cheese.) My neighbor Kelly makes the yummiest homemade mac and cheese with jalapenos and bacon. I knew my kids wouldn’t touch it if it were spicy so I omitted the jalapenos and added cauliflower. Maybe cauliflower is a strange thing to add, but it’s white, it blends in, it’s delicious smothered in cheese – and I thought I could trick my kids into eating hidden veggies. Yep. That’s why.

It was delicious. If you’re a mac and cheese enthusiast like me, I strongly suggest you try it, too!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 package of whole-wheat shell noodles, boiled according to package instructions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I use sharp white cheddar)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets and steamed
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • Optional toppings: grated cheddar cheese and whole-wheat breadcrumbs
METHOD:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350.
2.  Steam your cauliflower until tender, and set aside to cool. While cauliflower is steaming, cook your bacon slices. Once cooked, crumble bacon and set aside.
3.  Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat add your garlic and cook until browned.
4.  Whisk in the flour and continue stirring for 1 – 2 minutes until the roux (which is equal parts flour and butter or oil) starts to darken. Be careful not to let the roux burn.
5.  Add the milk to the pan on low heat, stirring continuously. Turn the heat back up to medium and keep whisking until the mixture starts thickening and all lumps of flour are dissolved.
6.  Stir in the grated cheese until melted, then mix in the cooked noodles, steamed cauliflower and bacon. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
7.  Dump everything into an 8 x 10 baking dish, sprinkle with extra grated cheese and whole wheat breadcrumbs (optional) and bake until the top starts browning (about 30 minutes).
8.  Serve while nice and hot!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food.

Broccoli + Cheese Quinoa

This is a go-to weeknight dinner recipe. It can easily be adapted, other veggies would work great, other spices would work great – you get the idea! My 11 month-old just ate her weight in this tonight. I have the floor to prove it.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Broccoli (I just use what I have. Tonight I happened to have 2 small heads, so I chopped them into floret size pieces, and steamed until tender.)
  • Good pinch of salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
  • Optional toppings- crushed red pepper, bread crumbs, salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions
METHOD:
1.  Lightly saute (or steam) any veggies of your choice. Rinse quinoa and cook to packaged instructions until fully cooked.  About 15 minutes.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13×9 inch dish with olive oil or butter. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture, veggies, and cheese. Stir to combine, and let some of the cheese melt.
3.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using bread crumbs add now and bake 30-35 minutes, until bread crumbs are browned.  Add other toppings and serve.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Cheese Crisps

One of the hardest parts of cutting out processed foods for me was changing up my kids snacks… Owen was young enough when we changed our eating habits to not register any change, but Jacquelyn was another story.  She was the queen of processed snacks. Goldfish, Annie’s Bunnies, Oreo’s… you name it and the kid wanted it.  I tried again and again to make a whole wheat version of a cheese cracker, but either failed miserably or decided it was waaaay too much effort.  Until, I stumbled upon these gems.  They are easy, crispy, cheesy, and only one ingredient.  Yes, you read that right.  One ingredient.  Cheese.  In our case, organic cheese from grass-fed cows.  Doesn’t get much better than that!

INGREDIENTS:
METHOD:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350.
2.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3.  Cut cheese into approximately 24 teaspoon sized chunks and evenly spread among cookie sheets.  You can also grate the cheese and scoop teaspoon sized piles onto the cookie sheets.
4.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cheese spreads out and begins to turn brown at the edges.  It’s better to err on the side of overcooking, rather than undercooking.  If you take them out too soon, they won’t crisp.
5.  Immediately pull parchment off hot cookie sheets an onto cool surface.  I set it straight onto my granite countertops.  If you leave cheese chips on cookie sheet to cool, they won’t crisp and will be overly chewy and gummy.
6.  After 5 minutes, eat em all up.  I dare you to try to save some for later.
7.  Four additional things… one time I shredded the cheese and added some spices – garlic, paprika, and cumin.  It was amazing.  You can be creative here.  Secondly, you might want to transfer them to a paper towel to soak up the excess grease.  I don’t bother with this step, but you might want to.  Third thing – feel free to grate more than one type of cheese.  Cheddar and parmesan are particularly delightful.  And lastly, dip these suckers in salsa or guacamole.  Trust me.  You won’t regret it.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Joyful Abode.
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