Tag Archives: original recipe

If You Give a Toddler a Cookie…

14 Nov

My toddler is on a vegetable strike. At one time she would gladly gnaw on roasted Brussels sprouts, sauteed spinach, baked sweet potato fries, and other veggies of every shape and size. Don’t mistake me, she’s been on this strike for quite a while, but I keep reminding her that she loved broccoli when she was little. She says she used to eat it when she was very little, but now she eats pizza.

At least she’s got good taste.

Anyway, I try to add vegetables in whenever I can to foods she WILL eat. She actually cooks with me a lot, so I am not hiding them. But somehow zucchini pancakes (we like the Smitten Kitchen version) are a million times easier for her to consider eating than even carmelized carrots. She knows there are veggies in there, but she doesn’t care.

I also try to cut the sugar in most recipes (although the pancakes above don’t need any adjustment) because we cooked with very little sugar and salt for her first year or so of eating. After that, most regular recipes are kind of overwhelmingly sweet or salty, so we are super careful. Trust me, she got candy at Halloween and has carefully picked a piece every day since, so I am not denying her. 😉

Anyway, when your toddler refuses dinner and asks for a cookie instead, you start thinking creatively. I actually made a version of these a few months ago when we were watching my best friends’ daughter, but today’s batch was even better. I am the type of cook who tosses in a little of this and a little of that, so the amounts aren’t an exact science, but the results should still be delicious.

I asked her if she wanted banana cookies, and she was excited. Then I asked if she wanted banana or “green banana” cookies, and she went running through the house squealing about green cookies. What can I say? Colored food is a hit!

What is fun about these is that they are really green. The photos don’t do them justice. They would be right at home at an Oscar the Grouch birthday party or on a Saint Patrick’s Day buffet. But despite all the spinach in them, they really taste like a light banana oatmeal cookie! I tried to pack as much flavor and nutrition into these as possible, but don’t stress. If you don’t have the seeds I list, just add a little more oatmeal.

Elisa’s Banana Oatmeal Green Cookies

  • 2 very ripe bananas (ok if frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen spinach (if using fresh, use approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tbsp brown sugar (I used 2)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 melted butter or oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts (seeds)
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you could use stone ground whole wheat flour but I would probably use some white flour in place of some whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Totally yummy and totally green!

Totally yummy and totally green!

In a blender or food processor, blend spinach, banana, yogurt, and milk until a thick smoothie consistency is formed. Add to a large bowl and whisk in eggs, vanilla, butter, and sugar. Add oatmeal and seeds and blend well with a spoon. Add salt, baking powder and soda, and flour. Mix well. Should be about the same thickness as pancake batter.

Spoon onto a baking sheet (we use a medium scoop and parchment paper, but a teaspoon and clean baking sheet will be just fine) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

These cookies are soft and chewy, with lovely body because of the seeds. My daughter had FOUR, dunked in milk, four dinner. I wasn’t complaining. 🙂

Happy Toddler and Happy Mommy!

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Multigrain Oat Waffles

29 Aug

Waffles are a weekend staple at our house.  We make all kinds of different varieties, always trying to add a little extra nutrition for our picky eater.  Zucchini and carrot waffles are on heavy rotation here. Last week’s peanut butter waffles were gobbled up. This morning I couldn’t find a recipe I liked on Pinterest, so I decided to make one of my own.

I didn’t even start with a base recipe… I have just made so many waffles lately that I just sort of winged it.  I think they were pretty perfect!

Lelisa's Gluten Free Multigrain Oat Waffles

Elisa’s Multigrain Oat Waffles 

  • 1 1/4 c oat flour or ground rolled oats
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup total of seeds and grains (I used a mixture of hulled hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax meal, and steel cut oats)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp melted butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or strained yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk or milk alternative

Mix everything together well. You can’t over mix because there is no gluten to make for a heavy waffle! Pour into a hot waffle iron and bake according to manufacturer instructions. The batter is thick because of the seeds and Greek yogurt. Makes approx. 10 delicious, nutritious, fluffy, regular sized waffles.

Kale Carrot Applesauce Spice Muffins

6 Apr

My daughter turned a year old yesterday.

I’m not really sure how it happened.

She had my Lemon, Brown Sugar, and Olive Oil Cupcakes frosted with whipped cream for her birthday cake, with fresh berries.  And oh my did she love it!

But after yesterday’s indulgences (way too much pizza – thanks Grandpa! – and cake), I thought it would be good to have something quite healthy for breakfast.  Well, sort of healthy.  Healthy-ish?

You see, she’s been on a bread kick.  She loves anything baked.  Takes after me, I suppose. She used to be the kid who would sit down and plow through a plate of sauteed spinach or kale, no problem.  But lately…  She’s getting into the toddler years (she started walking in earnest 5 weeks ago) and starting some toddler pickiness.

So this morning I made eggs.  And served them with avocado.  And berries (which she scarfed; kiddo loves her fruit too!).  And these.

Oh my.  These.

They are nothing short of delicious.  You must know I like “healthy” (and don’t need things to be quite sweet).  But even if you are a little less ready to try “healthy” food, do give these muffins a try.  They really are extremely tasty, and have a lot of great nutrients inside!

Image

Kale Carrot Applesauce Spice Muffins

Adapted heavily from 365 Days of Kale

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raw kale
  • 1 large carrot (you could really even use two)
  • 1/2 cup plain (full-fat) European-style or Greek yogurt (more protein this way!)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tbsp good oil (I used olive)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (honestly you could probably use all whole wheat but I didn’t want them heavy)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In the food processor, finely chop kale and carrot.  I added the yogurt and applesauce and just blended the whole thing up together until it was all the texture of applesauce.

Put Kale mixture in a large bowl and add the rest of the wet ingredients (egg, sugar/honey, oil, and extracts).  Mix well.

In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices).

Carefully mix the dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Scoop into lined muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a light touch on the top of the muffin meets resistance.  Makes about 16 regular-sized muffins.

These don’t have a lot of fat in them, so they WILL stick to the liners.  It’s ok – they’re still delicious. 😉

 

Oh yes, and the obligatory birthday cake shot. <3!Image

Carrot Zucchini Breakfast Bread

4 Dec

For the last couple of days I’ve really wanted carrot zucchini bread.  Not just one or the other.  Both.  Zucchini are out of season, of course, so I thought I was out of luck.  Until I went to the Farmer’s Market today and saw some lovely zucchini just sitting there, three for $2…  I nabbed them!  And then I looked for a recipe.

But the recipes out there are so sweet.  They have a ratio of 1:1 sugar to veggies, and a cup or more of oil, which is just flat-out not healthy for me right now (especially since I really wanted this bread as a mid-morning snack).  What’s a girl to do but come up with her own? 😉

This is a seriously simple recipe.  Add everything except the flour and baking powder to a bowl and stir well before mixing that in too, pour into bread pans, bake, enjoy.  It’s a not-too-sweet and not-too-healthy breakfast bread (no cakes or doorstops here!) with tons of flavor from spices and a kick of almond extract, a little extra protein, and a 5:1 ratio of veggies to sugar.  Seriously, it hits the spot!

Carrot Zucchini Bread

Elisa’s Carrot Zucchini Breakfast Bread

  • 1 1/4 cups shredded and drained zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used grapeseed because we happened to have it around, but olive oil would be excellent, and any oil you like will do)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
  • dash salt
  • dash ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup white flour

Like I said, this is a dead easy recipe.  Add all the ingredients except the flour and baking powder, stir until well mixed, add the flour and baking powder all at once and just stir until the flour is incorporated (don’t overmix!).  I divided it between two greased and floured loaf pans because I didn’t know how much it would rise, and baked them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  It didn’t rise too much though (it barely doubled), so you can very likely have great success with just a single loaf pan, but you’ll probably need to bake this for upwards of an hour and fifteen minutes (as you might see from the photo, the bread I made tonight is slightly wet still – that’s what happens with so much vegetation in the batter!).  The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  You could, of course, make this into a dozen muffins; adjust time accordingly.

This bread is soft, tender, flavorful, and not overpowered by sugar or fat like so many zucchini bread recipes are.  I’m totally smitten!!!

Butternut Squash Pizza

21 Oct

Yes, PIZZA.

I know it’s been a long, long, LONG time since I posted.  Especially a recipe.  Last year I went through a bunch of digestive issues that ultimately resulted in my finding out that I’m extremely sensitive to xanthan and guar gum and lots of other nasty additives in so much of our food system (but not gluten, despite what I thought for a while).  Then my hubby and I went on vacation, which was awesome.  And then I had so much work (with my business) that I was doing nothing but work and sleep.  And then…

Well, then, my friends, I found out I was pregnant. 😉

It was just a week after my last big event for several months, a day or two before our unprecedented heat streak in Southern California…  And three days after I started feeling flu-like symptoms (in my defense, my coworkers at my day job had all had the flu the week before).  It was 5 am.  And of course I woke my husband up (sorry honey!). And then?  Well, then I pretty much slept for three months.

I couldn’t go in our kitchen – the mere whiff of the sink or the trash can (even if it were freshly changed) or the fridge made me gag.  And it was extremely hot (like, minimum high 90s) for weeks on end.  We have no air conditioner at home, so my only relief was going to work!

Anyway, it’s just been since I hit the second trimester that I’ve really started cooking again.  I can look at (some) raw meat without wanting to lose it.  And I can stand in the kitchen without being a mess.  It helps that it’s cooler (it was lovely and rainy today!).  Because, of course, it’s fall.

And I can’t let a perfectly good fall go by without making something with butternut squash.

Like pizza.

Why not?

I started planning this out in my head last weekend, but it was warm again for most of this week, and we were busy (my business is in full swing again for the next month). So it got put on hold.  But I was thrilled to try it tonight.

Oh BOY was it worth the wait!  This pizza has all the elements of a beautiful Fall meal in one easy package…  And it’s so, so incredible tasting…  I’d been dreaming about this pizza from the moment I conceptualized it, and it lived up to every single expectation!

Elisa’s Butternut Squash Pizza

  • 1 medium (approx. 10″) homemade pizza crust, par-baked
  • 1 1/2 tsp butter
  • 4-8 leaves of fresh sage, chiffonade
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • flesh of 1/2 medium cooked butternut squash (approx. 1 1/4 cups, smashed)
  • 1 tsp corn starch (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 uncooked Italian sausage links (we love Trader Joes’ Sweet Chicken Italian)
  • approx. 1 cup greens (we used spinach because it’s what we had on-hand but kale or other winter greens would be lovely here)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 5-6 oz grated mozzarella cheese
  • fresh ground black pepper and salt

This recipe takes a little prep (but nothing like my past dabbles into butternut squash!).  It’s easier if you can finish all the prep work first and then assemble. So here goes:

In a small pan over medium heat, cook butter and sage together until butter is almost browned and sage is fried crisp.  Add garlic and cook for another minute or so (but don’t let the butter get black).  Mash the browned butter together with the butternut squash, crushing the garlic and sage so that they incorporate well throughout.  Add a few grinds of black pepper (I used approx. 1/4 tsp but you might find that you like more). If your squash is very watery, you might need to add some starch as a thickener.

Caramelize your onions; try to get them soft and brown but not crisp or burnt.  The best way to do this is actually to throw them in a small baking dish with a bit of fat (butter or oil, just enough to keep them from sticking to the pan) and some salt and let them bake, covered, while the butternut squash roasts.  This can be done in a crock pot or stove top too, of course! 😉

Wilt your spinach or other greens with a tiny bit of oil in a pan.  We don’t want to add too much extra oil to this dish, since we already have the butter, but you will need to add the oil to keep it from sticking.

Now, assemble.

Spread the squash mixture in a thin layer on the crust.  Add onions over the top.  Top with dollops of sausage and wilted greens.  Spread parmesan and mozzarella cheese over the top of the whole pizza and bake at 450 degrees for 15-17 minutes.  Devour.

Fall has never tasted so good. 😉

Leek and Mushroom Fritatta Breakfast Sandwiches

28 Jun

After eating fritatta breakfast sandwiches every weekday for three weeks, hubby and I were ready for a little change.  We still wanted a tasty breakfast that was full of good things, so I grabbed some leeks and mushrooms, used a couple of chicken thighs, and came up with a new recipe.

This is brunch on a bun.  It’s all the gorgeous flavor of leeks and mushrooms that you can find in my leek and mushroom tart (and most of the same ingredients), in a cute little easy-to-eat package.  It’s savory and feels like you’re eating a meal, but it’s not heavy.  We’ve been shopping a lot at Trader Joe’s and this recipe was scaled up to accomodate two packages of leeks and a package of goat cheese…  As a result it’s going to make more than my original breakfast sandwich recipe does.  But that’s okay…  More leftovers!

It takes a little time to prep (especially since leeks are so difficult to clean), but the results are stellar.

Leek and Mushroom Fritatta Breakfast Sandwiches

  • 4 medium leeks, cleaned well and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dry thyme)
  • 8 oz mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 small chicken thighs, poached and shredded (or leftover chicken from another application; about half a pound)
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tbsp half and half, cream, or milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large sautee pan, cook leeks and garlic in olive oil on medium-low until softened.  Add mushrooms and thyme and cook through.  Season.  Drain off excess water (the mushrooms always give off lots) and place in large bowl with shredded chicken.  Allow to cool thoroughly before adding eggs, milk, and goat cheese and scrambling well.  Pour into two pans (I used a 9×13″ and an 8″ square) and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until set.  I found that this takes a little more time than the spinach and mushroom fritatta to cook; just be sure that the center doesn’t jiggle when you take it out of the oven!  Cool and cut into 16 pieces (if you’re using English muffins, as we are this week, and you cut these according to their size, you’ll actually get “edge” pieces too – I think we have a total of 20 servings).  As with the original, simply let the fritatta cool complete and wedge it between halves of a bun or English muffin before freezing your sandwich.  When you’re ready to eat it, microwave it until it’s warm.

Now, you may be wondering why I don’t have any photos of this…  And there’s a very simple reason.  It looks ugly.  Lots of lumpy white bits, between the chicken, the goat cheese, the mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms this time, since that’s what they had at our local Trader Joe’s), and the leeks (which start off green but usually end up greyish when they’re cooked).  I thought the original wasn’t pretty – but I couldn’t even bring myself to take a photo of this incarnation of the breakfast fritatta.  I wish it looked more visually appealing – but regardless of visuals, you will want to try this, because it tastes amazing!!!

Roasted Cauliflower!

25 Jun

I didn’t eat cauliflower for almost 30 years.  No, seriously, I wouldn’t touch the stuff.  It just smelled so bad.  I couldn’t bring myself to actually ingest the source of that stink.

Of course I’d only ever smelled seriously overcooked cauliflower, or the raw stuff.  But we happened to get some in our CSA box a couple of months ago and I thought I’d give it a shot.  I figured that roasting it would be mild and tasty.  And I am kicking myself now for waiting so long!

This is a seriously easy recipe, basically foolproof, and ridiculously addictive.  My husband and I couldn’t stop eating it this weekend, straight out of the pan!

Elisa’s Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp good olive oil
Prepare the cauliflower by separating the “curds” from the stems.  I like to get as much of the cauliflower into tiny bits as I can, thereby promoting the crispy roastiness of the dish.  But you can separate it into larger “florets” too.  Don’t toss the stems – they taste beautiful and mild – just cut them up so that they’re roughly the same size as the rest of your pieces.  Add all of your pieces to an extra large bowl (so that you have room for tossing) with your chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and oil.  Toss to thoroughly combine and coat.  Spread in a thin layer on the bottom of a cookie sheet (I had to use three separate cookie sheets to fit everything in single layers).  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Try to resist.
Roasted Cauliflower!

Roasted Cauliflower! Remind me to get a plain white plate for photo taking so that my posts don't look so dark!!!

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