Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Protein Pancakes

Protein Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I saw this recipe on Facebook just the other day and decided to try this for breakfast today.  These are pancakes made with oatmeal, eggs, cottage cheese, and a few other items you likely have lurking in your pantry.  I made the batter in my Ninja Blender and had my pancakes cooked up in a jiffy.  My description of these pancakes is a cross between French toast and pancakes.  These pancakes are denser than your ordinary pancakes and "eggy" in the same way that French toast is eggy.  The photo above makes me want to go eat up my leftover pancakes right now. Yum!

NOTE:  I made a few modifications to the recipe.  I omitted the honey, forgot the vanilla extract, used old fashioned (rolled) oats in place of instant oats, and used two eggs in place of the suggested four egg whites.  I had my pancakes with peanut butter and maple syrup but I have some berries thawing out for tomorrow's breakfast.

Original recipe:  www.daisybrand.com

There are a lot of great looking recipes on the Daisy Brand website.  I think I will try some more of their recipes in the near future.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Taco Soup

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Taco Soup...
AKA: A Mystery Soup Popsicle

Believe it or not, I started this post way, way back in June!  I made this soup and ended up putting it in the freezer in individual portions.  Sometimes I get a little too carried away trying out new recipes.  The other day, it occurred to me that I should eat the soup in the freezer before making new soups so I thawed a portion of this soup and it's really good.  I wasn't exactly sure what kind of soup this was since I did not label it.  I could tell the soup contained shredded chicken but I thought the dark spots were black beans. Turns out the dark spots were cilantro!  The only thing the re-heated soup needed was a sprinkle of salt to sort of wake up the flavors.  I had another bowl of this soup just now and I added in a sprinkle of salt and a little dollop of plain Greek yogurt.  The soup is even better with the Greek yogurt swirled in!

******************** Here's the post I started back in June 2017 *************

The other day, I decided to cook a sweet potato for breakfast. It was good!  While I was waiting for the sweet potato to cook, cook, cook, away in the microwave oven, I threw this soup in the crock pot.  So easy.

From www.onelovelylife.com
Recipe link: http://www.onelovelylife.com/pumpkin-taco-soup/

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs
  • 1 (28oz) can (or two 14oz cans) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (14oz) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 ounces of hot diced jalapeno peppers from a can 
  • 1/2 teaspoon each paprika, oregano, and garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or you could use chicken broth/bone broth)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more to serve
  1. Place everything (except the cilantro) in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours. Shred the chicken into the soup and stir in the cilantro.  If desired, serve with extra cilantro to garnish and Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Flourless Pumpkin Blender Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Flourless Pumpkin Blender Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

I've made a lot of blender muffins in the past year or so and this one is probably my favorite. I tweaked the recipe just a tad and I love these muffins.  The recipe source is a blog called "Making Thyme for Health".  I think I may have made these muffins once before, but I added raisins and walnuts.  I guess my only changes this time around were (1) using extra virgin olive oil instead of the recommended peanut butter or coconut oil, (2) using plain almond milk instead of vanilla flavored almond milk, and (3) adding walnuts along with the chocolate chips.  




  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons evoo
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 and 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 


Preheat the oven to 350°F and then grease or line a muffin tin for 12 muffins.
Starting with the wet ingredients first (pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, etc.) layer everything except the chocolate chips and walnuts into a blender or a food processor; blend until smooth.
Using a spoon, gently stir the chocolate chips and walnuts into the batter. Pour the batter into the muffin tin, filling each about 3/4th of the way full. Bake in the oven for 22 minutes, until light golden brown.
Allow to to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before stuffing in your face.
I am sure these probably freeze well like the other blender muffins I've made but these are all gone. I took some to the knit shop to share with my friends and I ate the rest! 


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds

I finally got to go to a Trader Joe's Grocery Store a few months back.  I have heard other food bloggers go on and on about Trader Joe's over the years and I never knew what the fuss was.  Turns out I think Trader Joe's is a pretty cool store, too.  My first observation was that the Trader Joe's store was much smaller than I expected.  So far, I've tried Trader Joe's brand herbal tea (Berries & Cherries), peanut butter, and almond butter.  The Trader Joe's nearest to me is about 1 1/2 hours away so I don't plan to shop there frequently.

One of the products I got is the Crunchy Peanut Butter (above) with Flax & Chia Seeds.  The only ingredients are peanuts, salt, flax seeds and chia seeds (no added sugar or fat).  This is the kind of peanut butter that separates and requires refrigeration.  It occurred to me I could buy natural peanut butter at my local grocery store and add in flax and chia seeds myself.  I did just that a few weeks ago and it's great.  This works well with natural peanut butter (without added sugar and fat) because these peanut butters are kind of loose and drippy at room temperature so it's relatively easy to stir in the seeds.  Once you stir in the seeds, you need to store the peanut butter in the fridge.

To this 15 ounce jar of Natural Peanut Butter (Kroger brand), I added in three teaspoons of chia seeds and three teaspoons of flax seeds.  It's great on bananas, it's great on apple slices, it's great on toast with honey, it's great on a spoon!   I think I actually like my version of this doctored up peanut butter a little bit better than the Trader Joe's version. Maybe there is a little bit more salt in the Kroger peanut butter.

Above:  Close up!  Yum!!!

This past week, I made up little veggie snack boxes.  I put about a tablespoon of the peanut butter in a plastic shot glass so I could have peanut butter and celery.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Pickled Jalapenos

Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Pickled Jalapenos

1 pound ground turkey (lean)
1 15−ounce can of dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 15−ounce can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1 8−ounce can tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 4−ounce can of diced green chilies, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1  to 1 1/2 cups water (less if you desire thicker chili)
3 to 4 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeno peppers, diced into smaller bits

1. In a medium sized skillet, brown/cook/crumble the ground turkey over medium heat, breaking into small pieces with the spatula.
2.  Drain any excess fat from the ground turkey; put the cooked turkey in the slow cooker (Crock Pot).  Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir well, cover, and cook on HIGH for about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or on LOW for about 4 to 5 hours.
3.  Enjoy!

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:  Chili can also be made on the stove top.  After browning, cooking and crumbling the turkey, add in remaining ingredients.  Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Turmeric Farro Salads

Turmeric Farro

Last week I shared a recipe I had tried for Turmeric Farro with Roasted Vegetables. I learned that I liked the farro and also the roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts; the roasted sugar snap peas were not my favorite roasted vegetable. 

I had left over farro so I added it to my salads and I love it.  Here’s the Turmeric Farro recipe if you missed it (click HERE) and here are my salads. Aren’t they pretty?!?  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Turmeric Farro with Oven Roasted Vegetables

Turmeric Farro

Farro is a grain that has lots of health benefits.  I bought farro more than a year ago at a health food store and never tried to cook it until this weekend.  It's nutty and chewy, much like brown rice.  I really like it!  Now that I tried this farro recipe, it occurs to me that I have had farro before.  Panera Bread restaurant has a great salad with "ancient grains".  Turns out farro goes by many names, including "ancient grain", and it's high in fiber, protein, fiber, and is otherwise a really heart healthy choice.  You can read more about farro HERE and HERE.

I found the Tumeric Farro recipe, using turmeric and vegetable broth, on a cooking blog and decided to serve it with vegetables I had on hand. I already had some roasted Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator.  I had also purchased a big bag of sugar snap peas and I had baby carrots in the refrigerator, so I decided to roast them while the farro simmered.  Let me just stop and tell you now... oven roasted carrots are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good.  Where have these been all of my LIFE!?!  I just roasted the carrots and sugar snap peas at 450 degrees with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. I realize now that the sugar snap peas roasted faster than the baby carrots, so I will keep that in mind next time.  The sugar snap peas are a bit slimy.  Or maybe next time, I'll just roast baby carrots.  Did I mention that roasted baby carrots are REALLY, REALLY good?!?  In the photo at the very top, you can see I also had some chopped hard boiled egg to my farro and roasted vegetables.  I know this may sound weird, but it added incredible creaminess and flavor to this healthy, hearty bowl of yummy goodness.

When I used to watch cooking shows on the Food Network a lot, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentis talked about farro quite frequently. She said her mom made it for breakfast.  I could totally imagine farro with milk, cinnamon, raisins, and honey.  Basically, I can imagine topping farro in just the same way you would enjoy hot oatmeal.

One other thing to point about farro... it comes in a few different forms.  My farro is Organic Pearled Farro.  Turns out this pearled variety is a quicker cooking farro.  If you get other varieties, the cooking time will vary.

Turmeric Farro
Recipe Source:  www.whiskandshout.com
Original Recipe link is HERE
  • 1½ cups dry farro
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Combine dry farro, broth, water, salt, and turmeric in a large pot and set over high heat until gently boiling.
  2. Mix well, reduce heat to low-medium, and cover to simmer for 10-15 minutes (mine took a bit longer). Check periodically to stir.
  3. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, take farro off heat and stir to avoid sticking.