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!

  • 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
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.

Huckleberry Pancakes

My husband grew up eating huckleberry pancakes at his Grandma’s house.  When we took our kids to her house this summer, they picked huckleberries in her beautiful garden with their Great Grandma… I am so amazingly thankful that my kids get to have a relationship with Ehren’s Grandma.  She is the most generous, kind, thoughtful woman on the earth and all 4 of us adore her.  So…. this weekend at the farmer’s market, when Jacquelyn saw some huckleberries for sale, I knew we needed to buy them.  And I knew Ehren would want to make them into pancakes for his kiddos.  Because he is a good daddy who loves his babies.  He kicked me out of the kitchen, and went to work on the whole wheat pancake recipe below.  When I asked him if I should list this recipe under “whole wheat pancakes” or “huckleberry pancakes” he was borderline offended and informed me that there is no other pancake other than huckleberry pancakes.  However, if you want to branch out and make chocolate chip, blueberry, or banana pancakes, just start with this base and add your own goodies.  Luckily for you, you don’t live with a man who objects to all other pancakes.

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1.  Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and maple syrup in a bowl.
2.  In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
3.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir to combine.
4.  Heat skillet over medium heat.  Coat with a thin layer of bacon grease, pour desired amount of batter onto skillet.  Cook about 1 minute, add your huckleberries (or other goodies), flip, and cook about 1 minute longer – or until golden brown and cooked throughout.


*Use organic ingredients whenever possible
**Adapted from Skinny Taste.

Whole Wheat Tortillas

We love a lot of quesadillas in our house! Some kids love grilled cheese, ours love quesadillas… We put cheddar, mozzarella or whatever cheese we have on hand, sliced turkey or chicken or salami… this is our go to on busy, hectic nights. We also love tortillas with our eggs, our homemade crock pot refried beans, and SO much more. I used to buy our stash of tortillas from the store, but that all changed when I saw the 50 or so ingredients listed on the back. Even the ones that are made in-house at our local market had a ton of oils and preservatives in them. So when I saw this recipe for these tortillas, I had to try them. They are a lot of work. But SO worth it. I haven’t even had such quality tortillas at a restaurant. We make ours in a double batch and we make the individual dough balls pretty small so I end up with at least 45 tortillas. We do this 2 Sundays a month! I told you I loved them.

I didn’t change a thing to this recipe, other than doubling it. Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food gets all the praise for this beauty.

Also, our sweet, sweet friends Gerardo and Zoila Peña brought us a tortilla press back from their trip to Mexico. It is awesome!  And it makes these much easier and quicker to make. Ours is very much like this one.

  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (I use King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil, Erin uses coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
1.  Combine flour, oil, and salt in a mixer with the dough hook attached.  Beat until well crumbly.  This usually takes 3-5 minutes.
2.  Gradually add the warm water and continue to mix until the dough is smooth.  This usually takes about 3 minutes, and the dough forms a ball.
3.  Divide into equal sized pieces.  The original recipe specifies 12 tortillas, but I like to make them smaller than that.  It is up to you how big or small to make them!
4.  Roll each piece into a ball, cover with saran wrap or a dish towel, and allow the dough to rest for 20 or so minutes.
5.  Heat your skillet or griddle over medium heat.
6.  Flatten each tortilla using a tortilla press (see above), or a rolling-pin (if using a rolling-pin, it helps to roll dough between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking).
7.  Grease the pan with a thin layer of oil (we like to use bacon grease, but coconut oil or ghee would work as well).
8.  Cook tortillas one at a time (about 30-45 seconds on each side), until light brown.
9.  Allow to cool, and then refrigerate or freeze.  They keep just fine in the refrigerator for over a week, or in the freezer for a couple of months.  To defrost, just move to the refrigerator a couple of hours before you want to use them!


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

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins (with coconut oil)

I think I may have mentioned before that I love fall?  I really love fall.  All things fall.  I’ve been pinning fall baked goods since early summer.  Today I opened up my first can of organic pumpkin puree of the season and went to town on these muffins.  I love that they have coconut oil in them and I love that I subbed 100% pure maple syrup for the original sweetener because I think the coconut, maple syrup and pumpkin go so well together. And… they made my house smell delicious.  AND best of all… all three children gobbled them up!  Success!  Now, go make these and enjoy.

  • 8 tablespoons good quality, organic coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sliced almonds for topping (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Line 16 muffin cups with liners or grease muffin pan.
2.  In a mixing bowl or using an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup until mixed. Add the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3.  Mix the flour, baking powder, spices and salt together into a medium bowl, then stir that mixture into the pumpkin mixture until blended.
4.  Divide batter between the 16 muffin cups (it should come up to the top and will be thick enough to heap on) and sprinkle tops with sliced almonds.
5.  Bake at 375 for 23-25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool, then lift from pan.


*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Cookie Madness.

Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (without a bread maker)

My family made the switch to whole foods in April. The first thing to go was my beloved flavored Coffee-Mate creamer (bleh. can’t believe I ever drank that stuff!), the second thing to go was the Country Crock “buttery” spread (scary!), and the third thing to go was the
store bought sandwich bread. I couldn’t believe how many ingredients are put in a single loaf of bread! After months of trial and error bread baking (seriously 5 months… my family was so patient!), I finally found the yummiest bread recipe that doesn’t require a bread machine.

1.  First, I add my yeast to the warm water (think lukewarm, not hot) while that’s dissolving, I throw the flour and salt in my mixer. Once the yeast has dissolved, I dump in the melted butter and the honey into yeast and then pour all of it into my mixer. I let the mixer do it’s work with the bread hook attached, it takes about 3-5 minutes until the dough forms into a ball. So fast and so easy!  NOTE:  If kneading by hand (making without a mixer), try using only 4 cups of flour for best results.
2.  After that, I knead the ball of dough a couple of times and put it in a greased bowl, cover it with a dish towel and let it rise for an hour.
3.  After that, I knead again a couple of times, put it in a greased bread pan and let it rise again for at least 45 minutes.
4.  Then I bake at 350 for 30 minutes and immediately remove from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack. Mmmmm…. fresh bread. And only 6 ingredients.
NOTE:  This recipe makes one loaf.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food.
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