Monthly Archives: May 2013

Turkey Breakfast Sausage Recipe

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I have not been able to find organic and nitrite free breakfast sausage anywhere. I’ve reluctantly been buying regular chicken or turkey breakfast sausage and just eating it sparingly. My mom even got fresh sausage from a neighbor’s pig they sent in to the butcher, and it even had msg as an ingredient. But we really love sausage. I don’t know why it never dawned on me to use organic ground turkey and just add spices myself. I now make this in quadruple batches and freeze it!

Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches and sausage and gravy will now be able to be enjoyed more freely. We also add it to omelets a lot. Dave is super happy to have this recipe, sausage is one of his favorite foods.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

makes 5 good sized patties

12 oz ground turkey

1 tsp sage

1/2 tsp fennel seed

3/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp rosemary

1 tsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cayenne

1 egg, beaten well (only if using a really lean meat)

Put all spices into a small food processor (magic bullet) or coffee/seed grinder and process until all spices are a fine powder.

Mix spices and beaten egg into the meat and make sure its all evenly distributed. Refrigerate overnight or freeze.

Form into 5 patties and cook over medium heat in a lightly oiled frying pan. Or cook as you would ground meat and use for sausage gravy or omelet filling.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 160

Fat: 10 g

Sodium: 314 mg (13%)

Carbohydrates: 1 g

Protein: 19 g

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Baked Falafel

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We love eating different cuisines but we aren’t big on going out to eat. I am slowly trying out different cuisines besides American, Italian, Mexican, and Chinese. Greek is my new favorite, and falafel is the main reason why!

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We have been eating hummus for a few years now. I make big batches of beans in the crockpot instead of using canned. I freeze the remaining portions and take them out as needed to make quick easy meals. One of those meals is this falafel! Its great as a side dish alongside greek marinated meat and tzatziki sauce or stuffed into a pita with some cucumber and feta.

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We had only ever had falafel from a restaurant and its of course fried. This version is much healthier since I get a nice crust on the stove first using a little olive oil, but then finish it off in the oven.

Falafel recipe

serves 4

3 green onions, diced

2 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbs dry)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons olive oil

Mix all ingredients together besides olive oil. Mash well with a potato masher, pastry cutter, or pulse in food processor. You wanted it roughly mashed but a few chunks left in there.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Form into tablespoon sized balls with your hands, squeezing tightly so they don’t fall apart, or larger patties. Place in the olive oil and brown all sides.

Move to a silpat baking sheet and bake in the oven at 400 for 10-15 minutes.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 143

fat: 5 g

Sodium: 251 mg (10%)

Carbohydrates: 18.6 g

Dietary Fiber: 5 g

Sugars: 3 g

Protein: 6.8 g

Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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We went strawberry picking a couple weeks ago as part of our CSA day. The berries were on special for that day only and only 1 dollar per pound. For organic strawberries, that is crazy! Well I was the crazy lady who left with 32 lbs of berries. We ate quite a few lbs fresh, made some strawberry syrup, and then froze the rest.

I figured all these frozen strawberries would be perfect for a vinaigrette dressing. I like to make sure I switch up our dressings frequently since we eat a lot of salads and want to make sure salads doing get boring. This is something a little sweet for a salad like Pear and Goat cheese or Apple, Raisin and Walnut.

Dave claimed it his favorite yet.

Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette

makes 16 (1 Tbs) servings

3/4 cup raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or a mix

1 tbs honey

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in small food processor and blend until berries are pureed. Done!

 

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 37

Fat: 3.4 g

Sodium: depends on if you add salt

Carbs: 1.6 g

sugars: 1.3 g

Ranch Dressing

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We have been using a healthy, light, flavorful ranch dressing for all kinds of things lately. We put it on top of salads, dip carrots in it, or even our homemade pizza. The uses for ranch are endless, which is often the problem with the thick heavy processed dressing most people eat when using ranch. Use as much of this as desired, its not just healthIER than regular, its full out healthy!

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Just make sure you use it by the use by date on your buttermilk/yogurt.

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Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing

1/4 cup buttermilk (low fat or full fat)

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp italian seasoning

1/4 tsp dill

Mix all together in salad dressing mixer or old salad dressing bottle. Shake well before each use.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 7

Fat: 0 g

sodium: 104 mg (4%)

Carbohydrates: 1 g

Protein: 0.4 g

Dark Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream

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I asked Dave if he wanted date balls or ice cream for dessert. He said date balls. I don’t know why I even asked because I wanted ice cream. But I started making the date balls anyway, my fault for asking to begin with. Well luckily for me my food processor wasn’t blending them very well. They were too thick I guess. So I decided to just roll with it and turn it into the ice cream I secretly wanted.

It resulted in a completely no sugar added dark chocolate ice cream. And by no sugar added, I mean no stevia, sugar, honey, etc. The ice cream was sweetened only by dates. The ice cream has 4 ingredients and has the best light, mousse like texture.  I churned it for a really long time to get it to double in volume. And the nutritional stats are seriously unbelievable.

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And I’ll let the pictures speak for how amazing it turned out!

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I did not have to feel remotely guilty letting my babies feast on milk and dates.

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Good thing summer is upon us so there will be many hot days where I will have an excuse to make this ice cream! And with a little unsweetened coconut on top, it can’t be beat!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream:

8 servings (1/2 cup)

2.5 cups milk*

9 dates

3 Tbs dark chocolate cocoa

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat 1/2 cup milk until almost boiling in a microwave safe bowl or stovetop.

Place milk in magic bullet or small food processor along with the dates. Blend until dates are chopped.

Let it sit for a couple minutes, if needed, to let the dates soften in the warm milk. Then blend again until dates are fully pureed with the milk.

Add cocoa powder and vanilla and blend.

Add  the rest of the milk and let it sit in the refrigerator until chilled. You can let it sit overnight if you want to make it the day before too.

Pour into the ice cream maker and let it churn for 30-45 minutes until its about doubled in size.

Serve immediately.

*I use skim milk because we eat it all in one night. If you plan to eat part of it and freeze the rest, I suggest using whole milk or half and half. If you eat it straight from the ice cream maker though, I honestly can’t tell the different between using skim milk or one with fat. But the fat helps it not get too icy when left in the freezer. So personally I suggest using skim milk and cutting the recipe in half if you don’t have 4 people to serve. So use 1.25 cups skim, 4 or 5 dates, 1.5 tbs cocoa, and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Or just make the whole recipe and only pour half into the ice cream maker, letting the rest sit in the frigde to use the next day.

The nutritional stats are for a standard serving of ice cream, 1/2 cup. But honestly, who eats 1/2 cup ice cream? If you’ve ever actually measured it out, I think you’d be shocked! Each one of my kids had a little over 1 serving, I had 2.5, and Dave 3.5 roughly. But who cares when the stats look like this…

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 57

Fat: 0 g

Sodium: 33 mg (1%)

Carbohydrates: 12 g

Fiber: 1.5 g

Sugar: 10 g

Protein: 3.2 g

Taco Seasoning Recipe

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Tacos are one of the easiest and quickest meals to make and we always have the ingredients on hand. Tacos don’t have to be a processed unhealthy meal. By either making my own whole wheat tortillas or using plain brown rice as a base for a rice bowl, there is no need for overly processed flour tortillas. And by making my taco seasoning ahead of time, to avoid the preservative filled taco seasoning packet, tacos are a quick weeknight nutritious meal.

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Top them with some lettuce, tomato, greek yogurt, and avocado and the meal is complete and incredibly healthy!

Taco Seasoning:

2 Tbs chili powder

4 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on spice level desired)

Mix all together.

This should season 2-3 lbs of meat, so the equivalent of 2-3 packets of taco seasoning. You can double the recipe and keep it stored in airtight container so you always have it on hand.

Meal Plan 5/12

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A rare occurrence is happening over here this week, a date night out! Not just do we never go on dates but we also never go out to eat. For one, eating out is expensive and not as healthy. But also, we don’t use babysitters unless my mom is in town. This week Dave’s parents are in town. We have never left the girls with them alone, but they will be fine and spoiled I’m sure. Dave and I are going to try out a new Indian restaurant in town. Spicy Indian food isnt really kid friendly either so it will hopefully be a good date night option.

Alyssa also graduates from preschool this week (and Kindergarten in 2 weeks since I homeschooled her). She has a little ceremony Tuesday night, so we may do some celebrating of sorts!

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Its nice that Alyssa can now read books to Cassidy. She loves feeling like such a big kid reading on her own.

This weeks meal plan is…

Dinners:

Whole wheat pizzas with chicken and mushroom, side salad.

Grilled Chicken, roasted sweet potato, corn on the cob ‘(Easy meal for Dave to make with the girls for mothers day)

Salmon, quinoa, roasted broccoli

Falafel, greek marinated chicken kabobs, okra and tomatoes (recipes to come in a week or so)

Meatloaf, roasted potatoes, roasted green beans

Out to dinner

Leftovers

Breakfasts:

French toast using homemade bread

homemade turkey breakfast sausage and veggie omelet with homemade toast

Greek yogurt waffles and eggs

Greek yogurt pancakes and eggs

Steel cut oats x 3

Lunches:

chicken and avocado sandwiches on fresh bread

salads with feta, leftover chicken, and veggies with italian dressing

Split pea soup (in the crockpot now)

Plain greek yogurt with mashed banana for sweetness and peanuts

leftovers

We also eat nuts, various seeds, and raisins most days as an afternoon snack and we also snack on raw carrots and fruit a lot as well.