Monthly Archives: April 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins



When I meal planned this week, I asked Dave for a little help with dinner ideas. He was just blankly staring at me the whole time I was rattling off ideas. I asked what the deal was and he responded that the only thing he could think about was the lemon poppy seed muffins I had created the day prior. Ah guys and their one track minds!


After I assured him I would put them on the menu somehow that week, he was finally able to think of a few meals he wanted.


And then of course I made them the very next morning for breakfast alongside some spinach smoothies. They have less sugar than a bowl of processed cereal, so they are perfect for breakfast. They have 12 g LESS than a bowl of raisin bran, 4 g less than honey nut cheerios, 6 g less than your average granola serving!


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbs poppy seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

2 lemons (1/2 cup lemon juice)

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/4 cup applesauce

2 Tbs honey

Mix together all dry ingredients.

Zest lemon. Either 1 really large or 2 small. Chop zest finely.

Squeeze out as much juice (get some pulp in there too!) as you can into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. If you can’t fill it all with the lemon(s) you zested with, use juice from another lemon or presqueezed to get a total of 1/2 cup lemon juice.

Add rest of the wet ingredients (yogurt, applesauce, honey, and eggs) to the lemon juice and combine well.

Gently combine wet and dry ingredients.

Bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes.


Calories: 115

Fat: 1 g

Sodium: 199 mg (5%)

Carbohydrates: 22 g

Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Sugars: 8 g

Protein: 4 g


Meal Plan 4/28


This is the last week I will be able to make a full out plan. But that’s a good thing because that means my CSA box starts in a little over a week! I LOVE my CSA box. I get so excited driving to pick it up wondering whats going to be in it. I am a nerd, I’m aware. Alyssa shares the same excitement though so it makes me feel better. Shes hoping for okra. With the CSA, I don’t get to choose whats in the box, they just fill it with whatever is growing well that week. So I will be making a rough meal plan but I’m sure there will be lots of vegetables swaps depending on what I get.

Tonight we will be doing a charity biking event with our church that will include a BBQ afterwards. Its a 6 mile bike ride and Alyssa is going to ride it alongside us, no training wheels! We weren’t sure at first she could make it the whole way so we did a test run last week. One day she rode 4.2 before we made her stop. And the second time we rode 5.25 before calling it a day. And the reason I say “made” her stop is because it was time to come inside and get ready for bed. After riding over 5 miles, she said she still wanted to ride more, and our neighborhood is crazy hilly! I assume it will take us about an hour to ride the 6 miles. Luckily Cassidy loves riding in her little bike seat attached to the front of my bike.


Homemade pizzas, side salad

Italian Polenta Bake

Taco rice bowls (ground beef, homemade seasoning, soaked brown rice, avocado, corn, lettuce, greek yogurt, cheese)

Baked Ziti with ground turkey, homemade spinach noodles, and spinach

Baked chicken fingers, baked sweet potato fries, mixed vegetables

Chicken and vegetable fried rice

BBQ after a charity biking event

Lunches: combo of…

Big batch of split pea soup

homemade cole slaw (mayo free)

loaded sweet potatoes


rice bowls (rice, vegetable, bean or leftover meat)

yogurt, barley, banana bowls


Crockpot steel cut oats (x3)

scrambled eggs with homemade raisin bran muffins (x2)

Greek yogurt pancakes and eggs

Waffle, egg, turkey sausage, and cheese sandwiches (homemade waffles as the bread)

Whole Wheat Graham Crackers


Since cutting out processed foods, I’ve found my taste buds have definitely adjusted. I sweeten my oats with a banana, pancakes with vanilla and cinnamon, homemade ice cream with dates (oh I’ll post that recipe soon, it was goood!), etc. When I eat something with cups and cups of sugar, its tastes too sweet to me now. I can’t even taste the flavor, its just like eating pure sugar.

I have been making my graham cracker recipe for over a year now, but the last time I made them, they even tasted a little sweet to me. Not overly sweet, but still too sweet to eat a ton of and call a healthy snack. And trust me, when I make graham crackers, we eat them fast!

So I experimented with my own recipe, and honestly I like them even better now. So if you are looking for a slightly sweet graham cracker (or teething type biscuit) for your kids, this is a hit in my house! If you are accustomed to eating things a little sweeter, then stick to my other recipe, they are still much healthier than the ones you get from a box!

Even Healthier Whole Wheat Graham Crackers:

2.5 cups whole wheat flour

2 Tbs butter, melted

2 Tbs plain greek yogurt

2 Tbs brown sugar

2 Tbs honey, molasses, agave, or pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla (or 1/2 tsp almond extract)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2/3-3/4 cup milk (skim, almond, coconut, etc)

Mix together melted butter, greek yogurt, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and 2/3 cup milk.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Mix together wet and dry. Add milk by the tsp until the dough comes together. It should be pretty thick so you can roll it out. I’ve found the amount of milk varies based on the brand of whole wheat flour used, some are much dryer than others.

Split dough in half. Roll out each between 2 silpats or parchment paper. Transfer to greased cookie sheet.

Using pizza or pastry cutter, cut into squares. Poke holes in the center of each with a fork.

Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Take out and move graham crackers around (moving ones that were on the edge to the center so the edges don’t bake quicker than the center).

Bake for 5-10 more minutes until slightly browned and crunchy. Keep in mind they will continue to harden some as they cool, so don’t burn them trying to get them crispy.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Light Parmesan “Cream” Sauce


I love sweet potatoes. I roast them, make them into fries, make loaded sweet potaotes, or just hold one in my hand in eat it plain. Alyssa requested I make “anokio” (gnocchi) this week during meal planning and I was all for it. Most recipes are in browned butter but I obviously wasn’t going to soak my dinner in a stick of butter so I came up with a light sauce. I also added broccoli for some green and  lean ground turkey for protein.


I was planning on freezing part of it so I’d have a meal already made for later on. But I need to realize that between me, Dave, my 4 year old, and 1 year old, we easily polish off a meal that’s supposed to feed 4. My kids eat as much as adults these days! Its unreal to watch them put away food. I don’t know where it physically fits in their little bellies. Alyssa actually asked for 3rds but much to her dismay, there weren’t 3rds to be had. Looks like I need to start doubling my recipes.


Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Ground Turkey and Broccoli in a Garlic Parmesan “Cream” Sauce

Serves 4

For the gnocchi:

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 egg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 garlic powder

1 tbs parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

For the rest of the meal:

12 oz lean ground turkey

1 green onion, chopped


1 head broccoli, steamed (or 1 bag frozen)

1 tbs butter

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp rosemary, thyme or sage (whatever you like best)

1/2 tsp garlic salt

2 Tbs grated parmesan cheese

To make the gnocchi, first bake the sweet potatoes. Scrub, poke holes with a knife, wrap in tin foil and bake at 400 for an hour or until very well done. If you are short on time just scrub, poke holes and microwave for 10 (ish) minutes until very soft. Or if you’re like me, you will always have pre-baked sweet potatoes in your fridge so just use leftovers.

Put a pot of salted boiling water on.

Scoop flesh of sweet potato out, discard skin (or eat plain, told you I love anything sweet potato). Place flesh in food processor with egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, and parmesan cheese.

Scrape into bowl and stir in flour. Depending on exact size of sweet potato you may need as much as 1/4 cup more flour. The dough should be VERY sticky.

Flour your hands and roll into 1 inch logs. Cut logs into pieces.

Drop about 1/3 of gnocchi into boiling water and watch for them to float. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer after they start to float (so 4-5 minutes total). Scoop out gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.

Repeat with next 1/3 of gnocchi, then the remaining.

Now for the entire meal:

While gnocchi is boiling, brown ground turkey with chopped green onion and a little freshly ground pepper.

Add frozen broccoli and cook until warmed through. Add gnocchi.

Add butter, milk, garlic salt, parmesan, and sage (or rosemary or thyme). Stir until butter is melted and sauce coats entire meal.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 512

total fat: 14 g

sodium: 223 mg (9%)

Carbohydrates: 66 g

dietary fiber: 9 g

sugars: 4 g

protein: 33 g

Make Do Meal Plan


In our small military town, there isnt really much of an organic/local selection. My CSA starts in a couple weeks so I am totally excited! I also can’t wait until our chickens to start laying eggs, although that probably won’t be until the end of summer. They are getting pretty big though, we have been shocked at their growth rate. So for now we travel an hour away to whole foods every 3 weeks and stock up our freezer with meats, cheeses, and vegetables. We also buy about 7 dozen eggs. This week was our weekend to go but we had other plans for the weekend so it will have to wait a week. When this happens we have to make do with the organic selection at the commissary (although its not local) and our small organic market, which has small selection of organic and local produce and meats. So this weeks meal plan is with a lot of help from our organic freezer veggies…


Chicken and homemade whole wheat dumplings with a side of sauteed cabbage

Grilled Bone in Chicken, salad, roasted sweet potatoes

homemade pizzas, salad

Burgers on fresh buns, roasted broccoli

Shepards pie

tilapia, parmesan quinoa, peas


Lunches: Our lunches are always a mish mosh of things. It will be combinations of leftovers, salads, grown up grilled cheese (homemade bread with melted sharp cheddar slices, avocado, tomato, and lettuce), bean and cheese quesadillas on homemade tortillas, frozen vegetables, carrots and black bean hummus, nuts/raisins, apples and peanut butter, cottage cheese and pears/pineapple.


Yogurt, barley, banana bowl x 2 (my new warm weather breakfast obsession!)

smoothies and oatmeal banana muffins x 2

steel cut oats x 2


I am seriously excited for all the summer produce to start coming in. Strawberry picking starts soon and I can’t wait for more fresh kale smoothies! Since we have been focusing on local versus just organic lately, we have been eating lots of the same produce (greens, broccoli, winter squash, etc). So I am looking forward to the season change and with it a produce switch up!

Italian Stuffed Zucchini


I am a fan of one dish meals. I love being able to have all of the dishes done while dinner is cooking and not have pots and pans leftover at the end. Dishes are washed and counter tops are cleaned, so we can move right to a family walk or playtime. I’ve been wanting to try zucchini boats for a while but none of the recipes I found contained a grain. Its not a one dish meal without a whole grain, especially when you have kids to feed who need those whole grains as part of a balanced diet.


These are like a mix between baked ziti (but with rice instead of pasta) and a stuffed pepper (but with zucchini instead of peppers). Whatever they are, they’re good! Cassidy would not stop eating them!


I can’t wait until fresh local organic zucchini are overflowing at the farmers market this summer, and hopefully my backyard garden too!


Italian Stuffed Zucchini

serves 5

5 medium zucchini

12 oz lean ground turkey (93%)

8 oz mushrooms, chopped small

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 cup cooked brown rice (or other grain like quinoa)

2 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup tomato sauce or drained canned tomatoes

1/2 tsp basil or handful fresh leaves

1/2 tsp oregano or handful fresh leaves

1/2 tsp parsley or handful fresh leaves

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

2 Tbs parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Brown turkey, mushrooms, onion, and garlic in olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

While that’s cooking, Cut off ends of zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out some of the zucchini innards, leaving roughly 1/2 inch of flesh. Chop the innards.

Place tomatoes, basil, oregano, and parsley in food processor and pulse until combined.


When turkey is cooked through and onions are translucent, add cooked rice, cream cheese, tomato sauce, zucchini innards, and seasonings.

Fill zucchini halves with filling and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish that is filled with 1/2 inch of water.

Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan over top. Cover loosely with foil.

Bakes at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until zucchini are fork tender.

Broil for 2-5 minutes to brown the cheese.


Nutritional Information (for 2 “boats”)

Calories: 406

Fat: 18 g

Sodium: 396 (16%)

Carbohydrates: 34 g

Dietary Fiber: 5 g

Sugars: 8 g

Protein: 31 g

Meal Plan 4/14


We had a wonderful weekend with lots of family time. The weather was amazing, we went to a wedding and danced all night, and weeded our front flower bed on Sunday while the girls played in the sprinkler.


And of course I meal planned…


Homemade spinach spaghetti with turkey meatballs, mushrooms, and broccoli


Chicken and whole wheat dumplings, roasted vegetables

Chicken tacos on homemade tortillas with greek yogurt, lettuce, corn, black beans, and avocado.

Shepards Pie

Shrimp, barley, and pea risotto

Grilled chicken, parmesan quinoa, roasted broccoli

sweet potato gnocci with chicken and broccoli in a light parmesan sauce

Leftover one night

Lunches: combinations of leftovers, salads, beans, frozen veggies, fruit and peanut butter, yogurt/cottage cheese and pineapple, nuts and raisins.


Homemade sausage with whole wheat biscuits

steel cut oats (x2)

apple cinnamon pancakes (x2)

omelets and raisin bran muffins

Kale smoothies and raisin bran muffins

And next week I can’t wait to make some mac and cheese using my homemade spinach noodles!