Crescent Rolls

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Crescent rolls are a processed food that I haven’t had in forever but miss. I don’t know why I never thought to make them. This is the easiest recipe, the flour is soaked, and they rise beautifully. They are way lower in sugar, sodium, butter, and no chemicals, additives, or flavorings. It makes 24 rolls which is perfect to make for a gathering and will be a must at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Like all baked goods without dough conditioners and preservatives, these are best the day they are baked and amazing straight out of the oven.

Crescent Rolls:

makes 24 large rolls

1 pkg active dry yeast

1 cup milk

2 Tbs sugar (or more honey is wanting completely cane sugar free)

2 Tbs honey

2 eggs

5 Tbs butter

3 Tbs kefir or buttermilk

4 cups flour (all whole wheat pastry or half white half whole wheat)

1 tsp salt

 

Heat milk until hot. Add butter. Let cool until warm to the touch. Add yeast and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to kitchen aid mixer with yeast/milk/butter. After combined, knead with dough hook for 5-10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap.

Let it sit overnight.

cut dough in half. Roll each half into a 15 inch circle. Slice each circle into 12 pie pieces. Roll up starting from outer edge of pie piece.

Place on baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until ready to bake (at least a few hours).

Bake at 375 F for 12-15 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 118

fat: 3.2 g

sodium: 127 mg (5%)

carbohydrates: 19 g

dietary fiber: 1 g

sugars: 3 g

protein: 1 g

Sourdough Pizza Crust

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I’ve turned to sourdough for most of my bread consumption. Its healthier to soak/sprout/sour grains and I really like the slight tang to sourdough. This pizza dough has a really nice crisp crust on the bottom but a soft and chewy upper. Dave and I agree its the best pizza crust we’ve ever had, homemade or from a restaurant. I’ve also found when sourdough is properly prepared, its so much more filling than unsoaked flour. There is also evidence that the wild yeast in sourdough is much healthier than commercial store bought yeast.

This makes one good sized thicker crust. You can bake them and store in the freezer for quick weeknight meals. Or prep in the morning and it will be risen by the time you get home from work.

Sourdough pizza crust

1 1/4 cup sourdough starter

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

cornmeal

Knead all ingredients with a dough hook for 5 minutes. Cover bowl and let rise about 4 hours. Roll into a circle and place on a cornmeal dusted pizza stone. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 3 or 4 hours. If you will be gone all day, forget the first rise and just let it rise on the pizza stone all day.

Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. Brush with olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Top with sauce, cheese, and any meat or vegetables. Cook until cheese is bubbly, about 10 or so more minutes.

Corned Beef Meatballs

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I love corned beef and cabbage but finding it with well sourced organic meat is near impossible, even around St Patty’s Day. I want to try and make my own soon but until then, these meatballs are a great substitute. Somehow I couldn’t find a single corned beef meatball recipe on the internet. I don’t know why, they are a quick way to get that classic flavor. I serve them with either mashed or roasted potatoes and sautéed cabbage. And some mustard for dipping.

Corned Beef Meatballs

makes 2 dozen meatballs

2 lbs ground meat

2 eggs

1/8 tsp each crushed bay leaves, ground coriander seed, ground cardamom seed, ground mustard seed, garlic powder, allspice, black pepper, and salt.

Mix it all together with the ground beef. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or overnight. Roll into 1 inch balls. Cook in oven at 350 F for 20 minutes, or until center is no longer pink.

Caramel Sauce

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Caramel sauce is so easy to make and amazingly delicious. There’s no reason to eat that corn syrup stuff from a jar posing as caramel sauce. Its amazing on top of homemade ice cream or drizzled on top of brownies. Or as a dip for apples. There is no refined sugar and even has vegan options. Not to claim its a replacement for kale and carrots but its great as a special treat!

Caramel Sauce:

2 tbs butter or coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp salt

1 can full fat coconut milk or half and half

1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter, honey, and coconut sugar. Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add coconut milk a little at a time, stirring constantly. Once it comes back to a boil, boil for 4-5 minutes until thickened. Take off heat. Add salt and vanilla.

It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Chinese Meatballs

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My mom made us these meatballs when we were at her house recently. Not sure if these are the exact proportions of ingredients she used but I think I got it pretty close. They are a little salty from the soy sauce, a little sweet from the maple syrup, a little savory from the garlic, and very healthy overall.

We serve it over quinoa or rice with some sautéed broccoli or zucchini. Or we will just use them as the main dish and make a couple sides. Like last night I made these meatballs with some sesame roasted green beans and garlic roasted sweet potatoes. The meatballs are also good crumbled on top of a salad the next day.

Chinese Meatballs

serves 4

1 lb ground turkey, chicken, pork, beef or a combination

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbs soy sauce

2 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp freshly grated ginger (or heaping 1/8 tsp ground)

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients besides oils. Shape into 1 inch balls.

Heat oils in pan over medium heat (keep oil from getting to its smoke point). When heated, drop meatballs into oil. Cook 5 minutes, turn, cook another 5-10 minutes.

If sauteeing broccoli or another veggie to put over rice with the meatballs add a little chicken broth (1/4 cup) to the pan to get all the drippings loose then sautee the vegetables. It will make a little sauce.

nutritional information:

calories: 244

fat: 10.2 g

sodium: 324 mg (13%)

carbohydrates: 3 g

sugars: 2 g

protein: 33 g

Homemade Jello, an actual health food

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We are having a frozen birthday party this year for the girls. One of the pinterest ideas is “Christof’s ice”. It was just blue raspberry jello cut into cubes. Easy enough, kid friendly, right? Besides the fact I would never let my kids eat jello. Food dye, preservatives, gelatin from feedlot cows raised in horrible conditions. Did you know that gelatin is actually collagen from animal joints? It has the same amazing health benefits as bone broth, which I make and consume all the time. Its extremely healthy and high in protein if its from grass fed organic cows. The conventional gelatin is made from cows who are crowded, cant move, therefore are so weak they can barely stand. Those aren’t the cows you want to consume. The gelatin I used is Great Lakes brand and is from grass fed cows.

This picture is made with organic orange juice. For the party we are going to try and find an organic clear white grape juice so it will look more like ice. Maybe puree a little blueberries into it to give it a blue tint. I have also made it using fruit puree. Everyone has loved it both ways.

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And it is literally as easy as the boxed jello, a million times healthier, and very customizable. If you want a sweeter jello, add the honey. But the fruit juice has plenty of sweetness for us. And its very high in protein too!

You can pour it into individual candy molds, a large baking dish then slice it into squares, or pour it into a set of 4 ramekins to make individual cups.

Homemade Jello

2-2.5 cups* fruit juice or fruit puree

2 Tbs unflavored grass fed gelatin

2 Tbs honey, if desired

If using fruit puree: puree fresh or frozen fruit in a high speed blender. You want 2.5 cups of the puree.

Place 1 cup fruit juice in a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin overtop. Let sit a couple minutes until dissolved and stir gently to make sure the powder doesn’t clump up. Turn on the heat, stir, and heat for a couple minutes until very warm but not boiling hot.

Take off the heat. Stir in the rest of the juice.

Pour into individual molds or an 8 x 8 glass baking pan.

Let it set in the refrigerator for a few hours to set.

*Use 2 cups for a firmer jello if you are going to cut it into squares like jello jigglers or use closer to 2.5 cups if making jello cups that are usually a little less firm.

 

Nutritional information:

Calories: 70

fat: 0.1 g

sodium: 0 %

Carbohydrates: 14 g

sugars: 13 g

protein: 6 g

Honey Vanilla Pudding

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Pudding is a favorite in our house. We eat my chocolate pudding all of the time. Its probably my most requested dessert from my kids. But with nursing the baby right now, I have to watch my caffeine intake late at night and chocolate surprisingly has a lot of caffeine. I learned that the hard way eating chocolate cake with chocolate icing while nursing Cassidy. Nothing is worth a baby not sleeping well at night.

This pudding is quick to make and I always have the ingredients on hand. And being sweetened with only a small amount of honey, its a perfect guilt free weeknight treat. Just make sure to use organic ingredients (especially the corn starch so its gmo free).

Honey Vanilla Pudding

2 cups milk

2 Tbs corn starch

3 Tbs honey

1 egg

1 Tbs vanilla

 

Mix corn starch, honey, and 1.5 cups cold milk in a saucepan. Heat on medium until lightly boiling.

Wisk egg and remaining 1/2 cup milk well. I often put it in the magic bullet for a second or two.

SLOWLY add egg/milk mixture to boiling milk mixture whisking well the entire time. Whisk for another minute or two.

Add vanilla and whisk until combined.

Serve warm or let cool in refrigerator.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 142

Fat: 2.3 g

Sodium: 70 mg (3%)

Carbohydrates: 24 g

Sugar: 17 g

Protein: 5.5 g