Simple Amaranth and Quinoa Porridge

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Wow – this is so creamy and surprisingly tasty! I used full fat coconut milk instead of the recommended almond milk. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Amaranth and Quinoa Porridge – adapted from Choosing Raw

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup dry amaranth
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups
  • 2 cups coconut milk (*My can was just under 2 cups, so I made up the difference with water*), or your milk of choice
  • 2 TBSP coconut sugar or sweetener of choice

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Directions – 

Combine water, salt, and grains in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let air escape, and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until water is absorbed and grains are tender. At this point, you can use the grains in any way you’d like, or move straight into the porridge.

To make the porridge, combine the milk and sweetener in a medium pot and add the cooked grains. Simmer over low heat for a few minutes, or until most of the milk is absorbed a bit.

Divide the porridge into four bowls or glass jars. Top with fruit, nuts or anything else you like!

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan

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Two weeks ago,  I purposed to eliminate refined sugars and flour from my diet. The new and kind of drastic change in eating habits has inspired me to try new vegetables and clean eating recipes. The first four days of detox were painful to say the least, but I’m so glad that I have made this change. I have more energy, I’m more clear-headed and I don’t feel sluggish or bloated. This veg is on of my new favorites and I have purchased six in the last two weeks. They’re cheap, versatile and a great substitute for spaghetti noodles.

This side dish is so darn quick, easy and flavorful that I could eat it daily – the hardest part is cutting the squash in half. All you need is a roasted squash, good olive oil, chopped garlic and Parmesan cheese to make this savory and satisfying side dish. The first time I served it along side sautéed tilapia and steamed peas. The next three times I served it along a spinach salad with my favorite maple Dijon dressing. Soon I will share with you the other clean eating recipes I have tried, like my favorite peanut butter, banana and chocolate smoothie, stuffed zucchini boats; and a spaghetti squash bake that tasted even better the next day. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan – adapted from Chow

    • 1 large spaghetti squash or two small ones
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2-3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (*if you have it on hand*)
    • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Directions –

Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 40-50 minutes.

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Remove the squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands; set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Add the reserved squash, toss with tongs to coat thoroughly, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheese a handful at a time while tossing the squash to evenly coat. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and extra cheese.

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Flat Bread

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Quick Post: Greek night is one of my favorites and the leftovers taste even better 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Gyros – adapted from Elly Says Opa

  • 1.5 to 2 pounds chicken breast, split
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3 TBSP
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping TBSP Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tzatziki sauce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • salad greens
  • crumbled feta
  • flat bread

Directions –

Combine garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl – then pour over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the grill (or broiler, pan, ect.) Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and cook until done – about 5-7 minutes a side. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, feta and onions. Roll up and eat!

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Tzatziki – adapted from Culinary Cory

  • 2 (7 oz) containers of Greek yogurt
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and unpeeled
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. fresh dill, minced (*I used about 1 tsp. dried*)
  • 1 ½ Tbl. garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • assorted fresh vegetables
Directions –
Shred the cucumber with a grater and squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the dip ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Garnish with any remaining dill. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables. Makes approximately 2 cups of dip.
bread
Flat Bread – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Wrap bread

  • 3 cups AP flour (361 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup potato flour OR 1/2 cup potato buds or flakes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

Directions –

1) To make the bread: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and the remaining 1 cup of flour with the salt, oil and yeast.

3) Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough. Note: You can allow the dough to go through the entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it’s not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled.

4) Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.

5) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

6) Roll each piece into a 7″- to 8″-circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat (about 325°F in an electric frying pan or on an electric griddle) for about 1 minute per side, until they’re puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out.

7) Transfer the cooked breads to a rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool completely before storing in a plastic bag. Note: If you plan on making these into folded sandwiches, gently fold them in half when you take them off the griddle, rather than laying them flat. That way, they’ll retain that folded shape as they cool, and will be easier to make into sandwiches.

 

Brown Sugar Banana Bread

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I love the library! I have borrowed many cookbooks lately, Back in the Day Bakery is one that I would buy. There are so many recipes in it that look and sound amazing. The first recipe I tried was chocolate chip cookies which baked up really thin and flat, but the flavor was one of the best I have tried. I will have to make those again, and hopefully work out the kinks so I can bake a batch worthy of photographing…

Anyway, onto the bread – it bakes up with a dense crumb, but it’s not at all tough or chewy. I didn’t have any mace on hand (who does?), but I replaced it for freshly grated nutmeg instead. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brown Sugar Banana Bread – from The Back in the Day Bakery

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground mace (I used nutmeg instead)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped (I omitted)
  • 1 1/2 cups well mashed, very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP dark brown sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions –

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt, mace, cinnamon and pecans; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, butter and vanilla with a sturdy wooden spoon. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula. If using, sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top of the loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrapped in parchment, the bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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His All-Time Favorite

Simple Amish White Bread

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I’m always on the look out for my next favorite bread recipe, and this one is high on the list. There is a lot of liquid in this recipe, so I used all the 7 cups of flour and my dough was slightly tacky but smooth. Don’t fret about the full stick of butter – you should be able to cut each loaf into 18 slices, so that stick goes a long way. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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*I loved the texture and flavor of this bread and I decided to make the suggested buns.

Simple Amish White Bread Recipe – The Slow Roasted Italian

makes 2 9×5” loaves or 16 big hamburger buns
  • 1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 2 ½ cup warm water (110° to 120°)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6-7 cups bread flour (I used all 7)
Directions –
Melt ¼ cup of butter.  I microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time until it is mostly melted.  I recommend covering with a paper towel to avoid messes.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add sugar and water.  Sprinkle yeast over top and swirl with spoon or fingers to combine.  Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes while the yeast bloom and become aromatic.
Add melted butter, 4 cups flour and salt.  Mix on low, using dough hook, until smooth.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough ball forms (I use the entire 7 cups).  Turn to medium and knead for 5 minutes.  Your ball of dough should be tacky (not sticky).  If it is sticky, add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes tacky (does not leave dough on your fingers when you touch it).
Turn onto a floured board; knead about 10 turns. Place 1 tablespoon butter in a large microwave safe bowl.  Heat butter in the microwave until butter is melted.  Place dough into bowl, turning once to grease top. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a cloth over top and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and shape into two loaves (or 16 hamburger buns).  I like to make half and half.  Place loaves in greased 9-in. x 5-in loaf pans.  For hamburger buns, grease a cookie sheet.  Divide dough and roll into balls.  Gently press on dough balls with the palm of your hand (creating a bun shape).  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
If bread starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.  When bread is removed from the oven, brush with remaining butter.  Serve and enjoy!
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Cafeteria Sloppy Joes

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Yum! These are the least fussy sloppy joes that I came across in my search. The flavor was kid friendly without too sweet or bland – I loved it and happily ate leftovers the next night. My picky eater quickly ate her portion without any coercion from me – that almost never happens and that is a win in my book 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Brown 1 pound ground beef in a large skillet with olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons each ground cumin and smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. Serve on slider rolls with potato chips

Hamburger Potato Buns

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Quick Post: Once you have made homemade buns, there will be no going back to store-bought! These are fluffy, flavorful and substantial enough for all your toppings. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Hamburger Potato Buns – adapted from King Arthur Flour

**Recipe modified for a double batch**

  • 4 cups AP flour (5oo grams), hold back about 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (240 grams), hold back about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk, warmed

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Directions –

1) Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it’s almost doubled in bulk.

3) Turn the dough onto a lightly greased surface, gently deflate it, and divide it into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

4) Place the balls into the greased cups of a hamburger bun pan, flattening gently. Or place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2″ to 3″ between them; flatten gently.

5) Cover and let rise until the buns have doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re light golden brown.

7) Remove them from the oven, and brush them with melted butter, if desired.

8) Transfer the buns to a rack to cool. Store buns, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

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Whole Grain Waffles

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My kids love waffles – what’s not to love? I get to make a weeks worth of school breakfasts in less than an hour, and the kids get another maple syrup delivery system 😉 I I like to use wheat pastry flour because it’s mild enough that the kids don’t mind, and I like that I can sneak a little fiber into breakfast. This batch makes about 10 waffles, most of which get cooled, divided, bagged and frozen. Warm them up in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or mere seconds in your microwave. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Whole Wheat Waffles – adapted from Cookie and Kate

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use spelt, rye, cornmeal or buckwheat)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk (make your own: add 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to 2 cups milk, and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter (original recipe called for one full stick of butter)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions –
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and heat up your waffle iron.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and syrup or honey.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just until they are mixed.
  5. Add the melted butter and mix well.
  6. Pour batter into your waffle iron until the butter reaches the edges of the iron. Cook until crisp and golden.
  7. Place each waffle on a rack in the oven (in a single layer) to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve. Five minutes in the oven may actually help them get a little crispier.

Stromboli

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If you couldn’t tell, this family loves pizza and “pizza-ish” recipes! This is a simple and satisfying meal and makes for easy school lunches 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Stromboli – adapted from The Spiffy Cookie

**I made two with this recipe**

  • 2 lbs pizza dough, divided (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 2 cups grated cheeses (*I used mozzarella, Monterey jack, Romano and Parmesan*)
  • 5 ounces pepperoni (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • 4 ounces of deli ham (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • Olive oil, garlic powder, pizza seasonings and salt for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Spread pizza dough out on baking sheet to be approximately 10×16. Spread pizza sauce over 2/3′s of the dough lengthwise, leaving a 3×16 rectangle of plain dough along one of the edges. Top sauce with half the grated cheese, pepperoni and ham.
  3. Roll up like a jelly roll lengthwise starting along the long edge of dough topped with all the fillings and ending with the plain strip of dough on the bottom of the roll. Repeat for the second dough ball.
  4. Brush the entire Stromboli with oil and sprinkle the top with seasoning if desired, and gently cut slats in the top of the dough every 1-2 inches. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes and slice into pieces. Serve with more pizza sauce.

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Pizza Bites

Pancake Mini-Muffins

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Planning ahead saves time, right? I love when I find recipes that make life a little easier, especially school mornings! There are far more mornings than I care to admit when I have had to force my eyes to open; and the last thing I want to do is think about breakfast. These are so quick, easy and the kids love them 🙂

The best thing about these is that I don’t have to stand over a hot stove and flip each one! I made some minor changes by replacing all the AP flour with half whole wheat pastry flour, and buttermilk because I had plenty on hand. When ever I use this muffin tin, the baked goods love to stick; so instead of adding the chocolate chips to the batter we added a few to the tops. Once they finished baking/cooling completely, I bagged them and placed them in the freezer. In the morning, we microwave them for about 3 minutes at 50% power so they don’t dry out or become rocket hot. Once they’re all gone, I will make another batch because I’m sure they’ll fight over the last 6… Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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Pancake Mini-Muffins – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • Chocolate chips, optional
  • coconut oil to prep the tin (or whatever you prefer)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then stir in melted butter. If batter is too thick, stir in a little milk.

Spray a mini-muffin pan generously with coconut oil. Fill cups 2/3 full. If using chocolate chips, drop 2 to 3 onto each cup.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let sit in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn them out of the pan. (Use a small knife if any are stubborn.)

Serve warm with warm syrup!