Thursday, October 11, 2018

Broccoli Apple Carrot Salad

Broccoli Apple Carrot Salad 

Not too long ago, I posted about a recipe with broccoli, chickpeas, honey crisp apples, dried cherries (or cranberries), and pecans.  It was so good; I was sad when it was all gone.  That recipe was from a blog called "Ambitious Kitchen".  I make a lot of the recipes I see on that blog and they have all been EXCELLENT!

After making the Ambitious Kitchen broccoli apple salad recipe, I had some leftover ingredients.  I had purchased a really BIG bag of prewashed broccoli florets from Sam's Club.  Yesterday I made up a slightly different version of the broccoli apple salad. I left out the chickpeas and substituted some different ingredients based upon things I had on hand.  The dressing is almost the same; the only change I made was to use garlic powder in place of fresh garlic. Sometimes I am just too lazy to chop fresh garlic.  I think my altered version of the salad turned out pretty good.  I love how crunchy this salad is and I think the leftovers are even better the next day.

Broccoli Apple Carrot Salad
Inspired by a recipe on
  • For the salad
  • 8 to 10 ounces of broccoli florets, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 large honey crisp apple, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup raisins

  • For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • To garnish:
  • Extra cherries and pecans

  1. In a small, dry skillet, over medium heat, toast the raw sunflower seeds. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.  Watch them carefully and stir frequently.  The seeds will turn golden brown in spots and will be very fragrant.  When done, spread the toasted seeds out onto a paper towel to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add the broccoli, apples, carrots, and raisins. Set aside.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking together the following ingredients in a small bowl: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Immediately drizzle over salad. Add in the cooled sunflower seeds; toss all to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Honey Crisp Apple Recipes

Honey Crisp Apple Season

I love this time of year for so many reasons. Fall colors, Halloween, Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING, and fresh, crisp apples.  This week, I tried two new recipes I found on one of my very FAVORITE healthy cooking blogs "Ambitious Kitchen" and both recipes call for Honey Crisp apples.  I should note that everything I have made from the Ambitious Kitchen blog has been so good.

Above and below, you can see Chickpea Apple Broccoli Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing.  This recipe is great when you first make it and the leftovers are also great.  One could easily make this recipe vegan by swapping maple syrup for honey in the dressing.  I was in a bit of a hurry when I made up this recipe. I left out the parsley and the green onions and I substituted about 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in place of the fresh minced garlic.  I also used more broccoli and less apple. Still, the recipe is great; it's a very flexible recipe.  Here is the link:

Recipe link is HERE.

Below, I am enjoying this salad with some Honey Smoked Salmon. They go well together.  Hmmm, HONEY Smoked Salmon, HONEY Crisp Apples, and HONEY Dijon Dressing. I think I see a theme here.

Here is the other recipe I tried this week.  This is Honey Mustard Apple Tuna Salad.  I love this recipe, too.  Next time I make this, I think I'd like to add some toasted nuts (pecans or walnuts perhaps).  On the Ambitious Kitchen blog, author suggests serving this salad over toasted slabs of sweet potato; I had my salad over some crisp iceberg lettuce.

The recipe link is HERE.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Pizza Eggs

Pizza Eggs

Sure looks like pizza.  Smells like pizza, too!

Look a little closer.  Yep, Sure looks like pizza!

Fooled you!  It's eggs. Pizza Eggs!  I was inspired to make pizza eggs for breakfast this morning and I loved it. I got the idea from the following blog post.  Click HERE to see more.  This was a snap to put together since I made pizza for my husband last night and had a few left over ingredients.

Here's how I made my pizza eggs:

Warmed up a small non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Sprayed in a little PAM cooking spray.
Cracked two whole eggs into the skillet (you could use egg substitute or you could scramble your eggs).
Sprinkled a little salt, pepper, and dried oregano over the eggs.
Then sprinkled about 2 tablespoons of Tomato & Basil pasta sauce over the eggs.
Cut about 4 turkey pepperoni slices into quarters and spread them around in a single layer over the eggs.
Sprinkled a little grated mozzarella cheese over all of that.
Covered the skillet with a lid hoping it would help the egg yolks cook through a bit.
When done, tore up a big fresh basil leaf and sprinkled it over the "pizza".

Pretty clever, huh?  I wish I could take credit for this idea.  This recipe is really great inspiration.  I think next time, I'd like to saute some onion, green bell pepper, and mushrooms, and then add in two scrambled eggs and top it with the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.  Top your pizza eggs however you like.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Healthy Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Healthy Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

I get lots of emails from lots of cooking blogs to alert me about new recipes.  Today before we went for a hike with the dogs out in the cold and drizzly weather, I saw this recipe for Healthy Marbled Pumpkin Muffins featured on the "Ambitious Kitchen" blog.  I've been itchin' to do some bakin' so I made these muffins after our hike.  It was a good day to crank up the oven, warm up the kitchen, and fill the house with delicious smells... vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin, allspice, chocolate.... Mmmmmm.

Aren't these gorgeous looking muffins? They were super fun to make.  Now I want to make marbled EVERYTHING!

I did not make many changes to this recipe.  I used vegetable oil in place of the coconut oil and just added it in with the other wet ingredients.  I used mini chocolate chips in place of larger chips and used less than the recipe called for.  For the flour, I used 1/2 white whole wheat flour and 1/2 unbleached all purpose flour.  The original recipe can be found HERE and also includes instructions for how you can make this recipe GLUTEN FREE and VEGAN if you'd like.

I'm looking forward to sharing these tasty treats with my friends at the yarn shop tomorrow!  I bet the ladies will love them.

Applesauce Granola (Gluten Free)

Applesauce Granola

Yes, your read that right.  APPLESAUCE GRANOLA!  This recipe is so good that I've already made it at least three times in the past few months.  I keep tweaking the ingredients and their proportions.  The recipe is inspired by a recipe on a blog called "Two Healthy Kitchens".  In the original recipe, the recipe creator discusses how you can vary the ingredients; you just basically want to keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients consistent.

I just baked another batch of this granola and this is what I did.  But first, here is the original recipe so you can see that as well. 

Original Recipe Link:

Applesauce Granola

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups old fashioned/rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3 tablespoons ground flax seed/flax meal
3 tablespoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
4 ounce (1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)

In a large bowl, combine all of the "dry" ingredients.  Stir with a large spoon to combine. I also find that kitchen tongs are great for stirring granola.

In a small microwave save bowl or measuring cup, combine the "wet" ingredients.  Cook on HIGH power in a microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.  This will make the wet ingredients a little more liquid or loose.  Stir the warmed applesauce mixture with a spoon to combine and dump into the dry ingredients. Stir well so that all the dry ingredients are coated with the wet ingredients.

Pour oat mixture onto a foil or parchment lined baking sheet with a rim.  Cook in a preheated 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir well.  You will notice that the granola begins to brown quickly around the edges; move the browned bits from the pan edges into the center of the baking tray and try to move the less browned bits from the center to the edges of the baking tray.  Return to oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir again.  Return to the oven bake another 4 to 6 minutes, just keep a close eye on it so that it does not burn. Cook a little longer if necessary. Once the granola is all golden brown, allow to cool on the baking sheet on the counter top. Once cooled, store in an air tight container at room temperature.

I have two ways that I really enjoy this granola.

#1:  Thawed berries, plain Greek yogurt, and granola!  So good!

#2:  Cottage cheese topped with applesauce, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, and granola.  So good!

And finally… a few pretty photos from a drive in the Colorado mountains to see pretty fall colors.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Crockpot Oatmeal and Apples

Crockpot Oatmeal and Apples

I don't know about you, but this time of year I seriously crave things made with apples.  The first recipe that comes to mind is apple crisp my mom used to make; it has a topping made from oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter and is baked in the oven until golden brown.

But if I made apple crisp, then I'd want ice cream to go with it, and I don't need ice cream... so I decided to try out a Crockpot Oatmeal recipe with many of the same ingredients: apples, oats, and cinnamon.  If you make this, your house will smell amazing.  You're welcome!

This is probably the simplest recipe ever.  Chop up some apple, peeling them and coring them first.  I used two huge and one small Honeycrisp apple.  Put them apples in the bottom of your Crockpot.

Next, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon... or a little more.  Add in a pinch of salt too if you'd like.

The recipe also calls for 1/3 cup brown sugar.  I substituted about 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup.  

Next, cover the apples with two cups of rolled (old fashioned oats... not the quick cooking kind).  You should do a better job of spreading out the oats than I did.  Aim for a nice even layer as if you are trying to cover up the apples.

Then, pour 4 cups of water over everything.  Do NOT stir.  

Place the lid on your Crockpot and cook on LOW.  

My oats and apples were done in about 3 or 3 1/2 hours. I think my Crockpot is stuck on HIGH.  This means I need a new Crockpot. Which his a good thing because I REALLY wish I had a red Crockpot.  

Since my Crockpot might cook a bit faster than yours, I am providing the link to the original recipe source so you can see the cooking time recommendations.  I have cooked a lot of oatmeal in my various Crockpots and I think I would end up with a burnt, crusty mess if I cooked oatmeal as long as recommended in many recipes.  That being said, I know my mom's Crockpot is rather old and it cooks really slowly, so I'll let you be the judge based on your experience(s) with your Crockpot.


Feel free to freeze individual portions of your oatmeal. It thaws and reheats well.

I reheat each portion with a bit of almond milk and sometimes stir in a little peanut butter. Soooo good!  

Happy Fall! 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Peachy Salsa Chicken (Crock Pot)

Peachy Salsa Chicken

I have been using my Crock Pot (Slow Cooker) a LOT the past several weeks.  It has been unseasonably, record-breaking hot in Southern Colorado lately so it's nice to not heat up the house with the oven.

This recipe could not be more simple.  My mother-in-law gave me this jar of Peach Salsa from Trader Joe's a few months back and I wasn't sure what to do with it.  I decided to throw it in the Crock Pot with some partially thawed raw chicken tenderloins and some chopped up bell peppers and onions.  At the end, I thickened up the sauce just a bit with some corn starch and water.  I used the Peachy Salsa Chicken in my meal prep as you can see above:  steamed broccoli, farro, and chicken.  Good stuff.

You may not have a Trader Joe'e near you; I don't either. I scanned the shelves of my local grocery store and actually found a few different brands of peach salsa. I am also thinking, in the future, I will try this with a different brand of salsa (such as Pace brand) and add in some fresh (peeled) peaches or even some canned peaches.  I bet it would be great.  This recipe is just an idea.  Take the idea and run with it...

Peachy Salsa Chicken

1 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds of raw chicken tenderloins (boneless/skinless), mine were only partially thawed
1 jar of peach salsa (about 12 ounces in size)
1 small coarsely chopped sweet onion
1 or 2 coarsely chopped sweet bell pepper (I used some red and some orange bell pepper)

Cook on LOW for 3 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked through (all Crockpots seem to vary but small chicken tenderloins cook much more quickly than larger boneless, skinless chicken breasts).  You could substitute chicken breasts; just cook longer.

If you would like your sauce to be thicker, combine about 3 teaspoons of corn starch and 5 teaspoons of cold water in a small bowl; stir well until dissolved.  Stir into sauce in Crock Pot and cook about 30 minutes longer.