on baking eggs

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During this week that seems to be all things eggs, I stumbled on what might be the greatest egg dying tip in the history of egg dying tips.

bake them.

I’ve seen this on Pinterest before but hadn’t needed a full dozen hard boiled eggs until suddenly it was Easter week. It worked so well I thought I would leave you with this tiny tip on a Wednesday.

All you do is…

Place eggs in muffin tin

Bake 325 for 30 min

Let cool

We had just one cracked egg in the two dozen I baked yesterday and just for testing purposes, we ate that one. Delicious! Turns out, it would also be a great method for egg salad or keeping hard boiled eggs on hand for snacking. Just so easy.

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slow cooker pulled pork

Image-1Last week I was determined to break out of the dreaded dinner rotation we’ve found ourselves in. I stumbled on a recipe for slow cooker pulled pork that called to me for summer bbq season and decided to try it out while the rains were still pouring down on us. Turns out, I forgot to buy the seasoning packet my recipe called for so I ended up winging it with a rub. We loved it and have been having the pork in various versions for lunch all week.

What You Need 

1/3 Cup Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Ketchup

3 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder

1 Tbsp. Paprika

1 Tbsp. Mustard Powder

2 Garlic Cloves, Pressed

2 Tbsp. Sea Salt Salt

Dash Pepper

1 Tbsp. Chili Powder

What You Do

1. Combine paprika, mustard powder, garlic cloves, sea salt, pepper and chili powder to make a rub. Rub over pork shoulder and let marinate for an hour.

3. Mix brown sugar, ketchup and cider vinegar in bowl.

4. Place marinated pork shoulder in slow cooker. Add brown sugar mix over top.

5. Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred pork using a fork before serving.

One more thing…… We use slow cooker liners because there is nothing worse then trying to lug around that heavy pot to clean it. I still give it a little rinse but these make it SO much easier.

chocolate overnight oats

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Breakfast has been a broken record of eggs, vegi sausage, toaster waffles and yogurt lately. In a desperate attempt to derail that boring cycle, I went searching Pinterest for some easy recipes and landed on overnight oats. I used this recipe as a starting point then improvised with what I had in my kitchen. We’ve been enjoying these cups all week and I feel like they are a total triumph over our boring breakfast standards.

What You Need || 

1 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 cup coconut milk

3 large strawberries, chopped

1 tbsp cocoa powder

sprinkle of chai seeds

sprinkle of flax seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp maple syrup

blueberries

1 chopped banana

coconut shavings

What You Do ||

1. Combine oats, coconut milk, strawberries, blueberries, chai seeds, flax seeds, vanilla extract, maple syrup and blueberries in a large bowl. Stir until completely mixed.

2. Half fill a few pint sized mason jars with mixture (mine filled three jars)

3. Chill overnight

4. Stir and add banana and coconut as a toppings

at home acai bowls

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A few years ago on a trip to Hawaii we discovered Acai Bowls. Yogurt like bowls of fruit puree topped with everything from mango to almonds. We would stop at a little local hole in the wall juice bar, collect our bowl of frozen goodness and continue on to the beach. Since then, they’ve exploded all over the internet and are even served in some restaurants around Seattle. The major draw is probably the health benefits but for me, it’s more about the flavorful fruits that make a bowl.

A few days ago, a friend posted a photo of their delicious, overflowing Acai Bowl on Insta. (Just to tease me. I’m sure of it.)I could.not stop thinking about it and was determined to make one for myself. It took a little longer then I expected because I couldn’t find frozen Acai packets but we improvised by throwing a bottle of Acai juice into a Tupperware and freezing it overnight. It worked perfectly! If the packets also elude you, I found the juice at Safeway.

What You Need || 

acai: frozen packet or previously frozen juice

1 frozen banana

1 avocado

coconut milk

1 mango, chopped

strawberries, sliced

chai seeds

granola

What You Do ||

Blend the frozen Acai with the banana, avocado and 1/4 cup coconut milk. Keep adding milk and pureeing until you get a frozen yogurt type consistency.

Divide acai puree into bowls

Top with mango, strawberries, granola and chai seeds

The great thing about Acai Bowls is that there is no strict recipe. I’ve ordered them with scary sounding ingredients like peanut butter and pineapple and have never been disappointed. I don’t even think it would be too crazy to throw some leafy greens in with the puree. Play around with the ingredients and see what you like best. Enjoy!

vegan chocolate mousse

DSC_2217I can not tell you how excited I am that Lauren from sofreshNsogreen is guest posting for us today. In my house we eat meat but the photos that Lauren posts almost convince me to change my ways. I follow her blog as well as her Instagram and want to practically eat my phone every time a picture pops up. The bonus is that they don’t only look pretty, they are in fact amazing. So, I reached out to her and asked if she could come up with something that my M would eat as well. Let me tell you….she nailed it! I made this vegan chocolate mousse for a picnic about a week ago and have already made it twice since. Thanks Lauren!

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I’m Lauren, the vegan blogger of sofreshNsogreen and I make it my mission to come up with nutritious, plant-based recipes for my friends and followers that are anything but basic and boring. I think it’s important for people to realize that eating healthily can actually be super easy and super delicious, it just takes a bit of knowledge, preparation and some key go-to recipes in your arsenal….and this treat I whipped up for you would definitely be one of them.

Now I’m not gonna lie, when Melissa asked me to come up with a plant-based recipe that was not only delish by my standards but by her two-year-old daughter’s as well, I was honored but also intimidated. I’m not a parent (unless you count a dog parent?) and while I know quite a bit about food and an experienced palate, I know very little about the taste buds of a toddler. I racked my brain and my recipe book thinking of what a little one might like, and I finally came to the conclusion (which could totally be wrong) that every child has to like chocolate right?

Well by M’s standards I am, as Melissa relayed to me that M devoured the chocolate mousse recipe I decided upon (hallelujah)! So this recipe is now officially child-approved and MLB (that would be my meat-lovin’ boyfriend) approved, and I can certainly vouch for it’s awesomeness (I eat it at least once a week). It’s so awesome that it’s almost easy to forget how good it actually is for you too. Let me remind you-

1. It contains cacao powder, which is the darkest of dark chocolate, meaning it’s rich in flavor (so that a little goes a long way) and it’s also a top source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (the high levels have been shown to reduce your risk of cancer and amount of free radicals in the body).It’s also a much better alternative to conventional over-processed cocoa powder which usually contains sugar, fillers and have little to no nutritional value. I like Navitas Naturals, which you can find at most health food stores.

2. Helllllllooooooo avocado. I’m pretty much addicted to these babies as they have a way to enhance almost any recipe with their creamy texture and delish taste (i.e. this recipe). Affectionately dubbed the alphabet fruit (because of all the vitamins it contains) one avocado provides your body with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, along with an enormous amount of potassium and “healthy” fat (omega-3, the good kind that prevents against heart disease). They provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein (crucial for vegans) and help improve your absorption of nutrients when combined with other foods. Last but not least they help to reduce signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and improve eye health.

3. Unlike traditional mousses, you won’t find an ounce of dairy in this dish (which is difficult to digest and highly acidic, causing inflammation and potentially leading to wrinkles and breakouts). Instead it contains coconut milk which is completely dairy-free and rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Coconut milk is also high in lauric acid, which helps to destroy viruses and diseases and plays a fundamental role in building your body’s immune system, which is essential to help your kiddos ward off those pesky germs that can run rampant at daycare and on the playground.

Now I could probably go on and on about this mousse (like about how there’s no white sugar in this recipe and only natural sweeteners to enhance the taste and texture like dates) but instead I’ll let you get to it and see for yourself.

Oh yeah, and for more delicious & nutritious recipes, please check me out on sofreshNsogreen.com. Thanks lovelies and of course Pretty Wednesday for having me!

Ingredients

Serves 2

1 cup coconut milk, full fat from the can

1 small avocado,  ripe

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

sprinkle of sea salt

1 tbsp maple syrup

5 tbsp cacao

8 dates, chopped, pitted and soaked for 30 minutes in warm water

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1. Combine coconut milk and chopped dates in blender and blend. Then add additional ingredients and mix until well-combined.

2. Pour mixture into ramekins or small bowls and top with sea salt. Refrigerate for 4 hours or freeze for at least one hour.

 

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Enjoy!

16/52 || coconut sugar chocolate chip cookies

DSC_1325“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

Any time M can help cook, she’s ecstatic (even though she looks pretty darn serious about it in this picture). Her favorite part of helping is the  ‘stir, stir, stirring’. Plain flour, nothing mixed yet. Whatever. Stir, Stir, Stir . Anyway, it’s about the cutest, messiest and slow moving thing you can think of. A dash of patience is always required on my part when she’s helping but she loves it so much, you just can’t refuse her.

One of the easiest things to let her add a little magic to is cookies. After watching an episode of Dr. Oz a few months ago, we switched to making our chocolate chip cookies with coconut sugar. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the good doctor but I don’t always take my cooking tips from him. I don’t know why, something about this whole coconut sugar thing just made sense. Well that, and the fact that the day after watching this episode, I stumbled on the coconut sugar display at Trader Joes. As far as I can tell, the biggest difference with the sugar switch is the color of the cookies. They turn out a bit darker due to the deep brown color of the sugar. But, let’s be honest, who cares about that. Right?

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What You Need || 

2/14 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1 cup butter softened, 3/4 cup coconut sugar, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, 2 cups chocolate chips

What You Do || 

Preheat oven to 375, combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Add butter, coconut sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in your mixer and beat until creamy. Add your dry ingredient mix. Beat again until fully mixed. (I add about 6 spoonfuls of dough to my cookie sheet for M at this point. No chocolate chips for her!) Add chocolate chips.

Place mix on cookie sheets by the spoonful.

Bake for 9-11 min.

Enjoy!

Melissa

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juicing

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My family bestowed upon us a juicer for Christmas and since then we’ve gone very few days without making a little green glass of goodness. M wakes up from her afternoon nap and often her first words are not, ‘hi momma’ or ‘love you’. No no. It’s ‘juice’. So straight away, we get to chopping, washing and prepping fruits and veggies for juicing. We’ve taken a few of our favorite recipes and converted them to what is now a daily afternoon treat.

M’s Favorite Juice ||
2 Apples
1 Orange
1/3 Fennel Bulb
1 inch Ginger
2 large Carrots
4 Celery Stalks
1/3 a large Cucumber
Slice of Lemon
Several handfulls Spinach or Kale

I have to say that although delicious and seemingly health conscious, juicing is a little bit of a commitment. The prep and clean up (not to mention the cost of all these ingredients) can be time consuming and I often dread washing the machine every night. I’ve read that storing homemade juice isn’t the best idea so we try to make it fresh daily but every once in a while, we cheat and make an extra pitcher to store in the refrigerator for the next day.  Either way, I will say that I feel much better when we stick to our juicing regimen and would recommend it to anyone who can stay committed to the process.

If you have any juicing recipes to share, please please leave them in a comment for me!

Enjoy! Melissa

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salted rice crispy treats

DSC_0085About a month ago, I tried a salted rice crispy treat from a small cafe in Seattle and fell in l.o.ve love. Think all things goodness salted caramel then remove the caramel and add a little crunch. I came home bragging to Ky and he just didn’t get it. Kind of one of those things you have to try. I foraged through several recipes online before the winner of the most amazing salted rice crispy award was given to Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. She published this recipe in 2009 and I can’t help but think that I’ve been missing out for years now. The ingredients are simple and the prep is amazingly easy. (Duh! It’s a rice crispy.)(Humm, I really just said Duh…….)

Ingredients ||

1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal 

Prep Instructions on SmittenKitchen.com

Make them! Do it now! I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Enjoy! Melissa