Category Archives: love food

recipes, food, photos

Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore

crock-pot chicken cacciatoreI know, I know, it’s kind of too hot to break out that Crock-Pot, but sometimes a busy girl has to do what a busy girl has to do. And sometimes that means cranking up the Crock Pot to make Chicken Cacciatore as the thermometer climbs into the 100s. It’s just too easy to use the Crock-Pot on those days when you know that 5,000 things will need your attention and you still have to work out and sleep and be a person. This meal is great for those days because you can throw everything in the Crock-Pot at breakfast and it will be ready for dinner or throw it in the Crock-Pot the night before and take it for lunch. It’s just good planning, people.

easy chicken cacciatore(Stupid) Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of chicken, cut up in pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 6 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 -4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Throw everything in the Crock Pot and let cook for approximately 7 hours on low. Serve over pasta, rice or quinoa if you wish. I just eat it plain. No time for all that.

super easy, crock-pot chicken cacciatore

love,
melanie

 

Protein-Packed Pancakes

protein packed pancakesI’ve yet to find a protein powder that doesn’t taste like chalky chemicals or dirt. I’ve tried the organic, pea proteins, the body builder proteins, I’ve tried the ones that taste like “cake” (aka toilet bowl water) and the ones that taste like “cappuccino” (aka toilet bowl cleaner). I’ve yet to try a protein powder that I can drink just mixed with water. But not wanting to be wasteful and knowing I couldn’t gag down another smoothie (there’s only so much berries will cover up), I started making protein pancakes. God knows what Pinterest/blog/Internet hole I fell down to find my original recipe. But here’s the one I usually use. It’s not quite your usual fluffy pancake, but it gives you almost 30 grams of protein and doesn’t taste like dirt, so that’s an improvement!

protein packed pancakes with peaches!Ingredients
1.5 scoops of vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp of all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 eggs
A splash of milk

2 tbsp butter
Cinnamon and honey or maple syrup for topping

Melt 1 heaping tbsp of the butter in a pan over the stove top on low. Mix the 1st 6 ingredients together in a bowl. Put about 1/3 of the batter in the hot pan. When batter begins to bubble, flip over the pancake. Repeat until batter is gone. To finish, top with butter, cinnamon and honey or maple syrup.

Easy right?

Is there a protein powder that you love? Let me know about it in the comments!

love,
melanie

Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipe

spaghetti squashI wasn’t going to post about this week’s spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash when it is cooked, really isn’t so pretty. It kind of looks like a big pile of mush. So forgive the pictures. But I mentioned that I cooked it for my lunches this week, and well, the people have spoken ;). So here it is by popular demand, my recipe for classic spaghetti squash.

spaghetti squash 2Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (alternatively, you could make your own)
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 dashes of oregano
  • 1 dash of red pepper
  • 2 dashes of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Roast spaghetti squash whole for 15 minutes. While squash is roasting, salt and pepper your beef, then brown it up. Sauté the onion and pepper in olive oil. Turn burners to low. Take squash out of oven and cut length-wise. I am use an Ove Glove for this part. Best invention ever. Roast squash for another 20 minutes or until squash easily peels out of the skin with a fork. Scrape the squash out of the skin with a fork and add to the beef. Add in the onion and pepper, sauce, oregano, garlic and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

Congrats! You just conquered the illusive spaghetti squash.

love,
melanie

No Flour, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Paleo Bread

wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, paleo breadI have so much to share with you all. So many road trip pictures and so many good times. As much as I want to share the pictures, I have a million and one things to do before I get back to work tomorrow and editing those pictures isn’t one of them. But this bread recipe is! You lucky ducks.

One of my favorite things on the road is a good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But since gluten and I are not friends, before the trip I was looking for easy gluten-free bread recipes. Gluten-free bread is expensive ya’ll and most gluten-free bread recipes call for about 10 ingredients, none of which I keep on hand. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest, (adapted from this recipe) I knew I had to give it a go.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt

Paleo breadPreheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease bread pan with butter or coconut butter.

Whip the egg whites  and cream of tartar in a large bowl with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a second bowl,  mix the the sour cream, egg yolks, sugar, and salt until fully incorporated.

Gently fold one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Fold in the remaining whites. Be careful at this stage so you don’t deflate the whites.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes. Insert a tooth pick to ensure bread is cooked through. Cut and eat immediately. It’s best while still warm!

Easy gluten-free breadThis bread baked up really pretty. But I must say, it’s no substitute for real bread. I think this would make a lovely breakfast smeared with a little jelly, but I won’t be taking it on the road. It’s delicious, but it isn’t the fluffy, slice-able, sandwich bread I was looking for. I’ll definitely be making this again, but I think I’ll be skipped the PB & J sandwiches for this road trip.

What are your favorite road trip snacks? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

Sweet ‘n’ Salty Trail Mix Recipe

Sweet and salty trail mixIn preparation of our Florida road trip (we leave Friday!) I’ve been gathering snacks like a mama bear preparing for winter. One of the ways I hope to save money on this trip is by eating our own food for two out of three meals per day. George and I also like a night-time snack, so I’m preparing all kinds of treats to take with us on the road.

Healthy Trail MixThis weekend I made a giant bag of trail mix. I’m never satisfied with the trail mixes you can find in the store. Those mixes are often full of added sugar. Why do people feel the need to make fruit sweeter? It’s sweet enough on it’s own, people.

Ingredients
1 cup of pecans
1 cup of cashews
1 cup of dehydrated fruit
3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

For this trail mix, I toasted up 1 cup of cashews and 1 cup of pecans in butter on a low stove top for about 10 minutes. I used unsalted nuts, so I also salted them. I had been drying out strawberries and bananas in our dehydrator, so I threw about a cup of those in the mix. For George, I also threw in 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, after the nuts had cooled, of course. The man complains like a baby if there is no chocolate in trail mix.

The best thing about trail mix is that you can throw in the things that you like or have on hand and boom, you’ve got trail mix! I’ll do a total snack breakdown later this week. I am so pumped for this trip, ya’ll.

What’s your favorite way to do trail mix? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

Chewy Breakfast Cookies

gluten free oatmeal breakfast cookiesOne day I’ll have time for long, luxurious breakfasts where I can lounge in my matching PJs on my wrap-around porch and actually eat breakfast with a fork. But today is not that day. And tomorrow doesn’t look good either. That’s why I’ve been trying my hand at more portable breakfasts. As much as I love my crustless quiche, sometimes I barely have time to make coffee in the morning. And let’s be real, coffee takes precedence above pretty much everything. But the lure of cookies and coffee?! That’ll get me out of bed.

breakfast cookiesThese are admittedly healthier than your everyday cookies. You gotta start your day right. These cookies are sweet, but not overly so and packed with plenty of natural energy to power through even the Monday-iest of Mondays.

Ingredients
1/4 cup of salted butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of sunbutter (peanut or almond butter would work too)
3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of chopped cashews
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sea salt for sprinkling

easy gluten free breakfast barsPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, butter and honey in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat again. Add sunbutter and mix. Finally, stir in the oats, walnuts and cashews. To keep these cookies solid, I baked them in muffin tins. I greased the tin, then filled the tins half full and lightly pressed down the dough. These cookies can also be made into bars! To make into bars, press into a greased cake pan. Cookies bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. Bars bake for approximately 25 minutes. Oats will brown when cookies and bars are finished.  Let muffins cool on a rack, let the bars cool in the cake pan. Melt chocolate chips and drizzle (or spread!) over cookies (or bars!). Sprinkle with sea salt.

Let’s tackle tough mornings together!

love,
melanie

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet potato bread, gluten freeThis isn’t your fluffy, white, B- student bread. Oh no. This is his cousin… twice removed. If this bread had a name, his name would be Barry and he would give you a beat down on the playground– behind the slide where no one can rescue you. Barry is dense. He’s a little chewy. Some may call him hefty. He’s got meat on his ribs, but underneath his tough exterior, he’s more akin to a fruitcake, not the rack of ribs he pretends to be.

gluten-free sweet potato breadIf you’re looking for a prissy, pretty bread, this isn’t your jam. But if you need a little more heft to your breakfast bread (or lunch, or dinner, I don’t judge), Barry, I mean this sweet potato bread is it.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake sweet potato until tender. Keep oven on!
  2. Remove the skin and puree in a blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of the milk.
  3.  Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and beat again.
  4. Mix together dry ingredients (minus the pecans and chocolate chips) in a separate bowl.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet about 1/4 of a cup at a time. After each scoop of dry, add a bit of the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
  6. Fold in the pecans and the chocolate chips.
  7. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. And add dough.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.
  9. Check to see if dough is cooked by pricking with a toothpick or a fork. The toothpick or fork should come out clean. Make sure press the toothpick all the way to the bottom. This bread can look done on top and be completely raw on the bottom.

Make friends with Barry. He’s dense, but filling.

love,
melanie