recipe

Fried Egg Sandwich

I’m a sold out breakfast-in-the-morning kind of person. You know those diet tips that say “don’t skip breakfast” and encourage you to start off your day eating a meal; they don’t apply to me. And although my family would probably rather have a bowl of cereal, I am determined to make them breakfast people (or possibly continue in denial while I prepare hearty meals at the crack of dawn). If you’re the type of person that likes a good breakfast, then I’m sure you are going to like this fried egg sandwich! (Which I should explain is more of an European style “sandwich” and we would more likely consider it to be an “open-face sandwich”, whatever your pleasure…) Pretty much anything that has eggs and bacon and cheese is a winner, but this dish- inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Fried Egg Sandwich- takes it up a level without getting too fancy. Also, I’d like to add that it goes nicely with a fruit infused sparkling water (that here in Michigan we like to refer to as La Croix).

As organic as possible:

Serves 4

8 slices Bacon

1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese

4 large Eggs

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

4 thick slices Country Bread

1/4 to 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or GP’s Cheat’s Aioli: recipe follows)

4 small or 2 large Kale leaves (hard stems removed)

2 tsp Olive oil

1/2 Tbsp (1 small pat) Butter

 

Arrange the bacon in a single layer in a large sauté pan, in two batches if necessary. Fry over medium-high heat until it reaches desired crispiness, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Wipe out almost all the bacon fat from the pan and make four 1/4 cup piles of cheese in the pan (they will sizzle and crisp immediately). Crack an egg over each flattened pile of cheese crisp. Generously salt and pepper the eggs. Cook until whites are set (not clear and runny).

In the meantime in a small sauté pan over medium heat olive oil and butter until butter becomes frothy. Coat the pan by swirling the oil and butter, add kale and sauté until kale is soften and slightly wilted (flipping once). Lightly salt and pepper the kale. Set aside.

While the eggs are frying and kale is sautéing, toast the bread in a toaster.

When all the preparation is finished it is time to assemble! Spread each piece of toast with 1 to 2 tablespoons of Miracle Whip, top with 1/4 of the sautéed kale, 2 slices of bacon, and one of the crispy Gruyère/fried egg combos. Repeat three more times.

Now if you’re feeling healthy, or you prefer the taste of Vegenaise, I have included the recipe for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cheat’s Aioli… But I prefer the tangy zip of Miracle Whip! (And not just because it’s an easier time-saver, which it is.)

1/2 cup Vegenaise

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, minced

a pinch of salt

 

Fried Egg Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese
  • 4 large Eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 4 thick slices Country Bread
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or GP's Cheat's Aioli)
  • 4 small or 2 large Kale leaves (hard stems removed)
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp (1 small pat) Butter

Instructions

  1. Arrange the bacon in a single layer in a large sauté pan, in two batches if necessary. Fry over medium-high heat until it reaches desired crispiness, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Wipe out almost all the bacon fat from the pan and make four 1/4 cup piles of cheese in the pan (they will sizzle and crisp immediately).
  3. Crack an egg over each flattened pile of cheese crisp. Generously salt and pepper the eggs. Cook until whites are set (not clear and runny).
  4. In the meantime in a small sauté pan over medium heat olive oil and butter until butter becomes frothy. Coat the pan by swirling the oil and butter, add kale and sauté until kale is soften and slightly wilted (flipping once). Lightly salt and pepper the kale. Set aside.
  5. While the eggs are frying and kale is sautéing, toast the bread in a toaster.
  6. When all the preparation is finished it is time to assemble! Spread each piece of toast with 1 to 2 tablespoons of Miracle Whip, top with 1/4 of the sautéed kale, 2 slices of bacon, and one of the crispy Gruyère/fried egg combos.
  7. Repeat three more times.
http://sadiesnest.com/fried-egg-sandwich/

Sadie’s Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It has always been a cherished and celebrated holiday in my family. My traditions have changed throughout the years; loved ones have passed, families have grown, houses have been sold and people move… But some things have remained the same; I still get dressed up even though we are just meeting up with family and friends. We don’t take for granted how blessed we are to be together and share in our feast. And I’m from Michigan, so there’s always a Lion’s game.

Many of you know how it goes. Children grow up and get married. They incorporate both sides of the family and coinciding-ly make new traditions. Sometimes parents are divorced, so there are even more houses to visit. If your blessed with grandparents still alive, many holiday routines include a visit to their house. Often those married couples begin to have children of their own… All of the sudden you feel like you’re spending the holiday in the car, and getting your baby and self in and out of it- so you need to reevaluate your traditions. (Maybe that last part is just my experience?)

Of course, I’m truly thankful I have places to go with people who love me and my family. And I’ve learned to accept change throughout the years too. We usually don’t have dinner at the cabin pictured above. (I really wish we did.) This photo was taken the first year, I believe, of owning the cabin and the first Thanksgiving spent without my grandmother. We had always gone at some point during the day to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house, even after I was married with baby in tow; a tradition I had followed since childhood and one that admittedly I miss. At this time, I was pregnant with my daughter and we spent the holiday in the woods with my parents and my sister’s family. It was a beautiful way to transition into new holiday experiences. It also gives you an idea as to the traditional American food we eat. Food that was prepared without a conventional oven that the cabin was missing at the time, I might add.

Confession: I have never made a roasted turkey. Although I have graduated from sitting at the kid’s table, I have yet to actually host a Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, I have never made the prized turkey. That said, I do feel like I make an important contribution to the annual feast, namely desserts and any side dish with which I may want to experiment.

Here is a sneak peak into what I’ll be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner this year (for the available recipes I have included the link):

For the last, I don’t know, how many years I have been bringing my Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Bread. It is a sweet bread that we eat with dinner along side the rolls. And if any is leftover, it makes for a great treat with coffee the next morning.

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I love pecan pie in all forms. Here is a Maple Pecan Pie that has become a part of our Thanksgiving tradition, that I will be bringing again this year. (Side note: I can’t wait to update this photo!)

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In addition to this pie I am going to make the “Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream” from the Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof cookbook. Because if I can’t try something new, I’m not having fun. Also, let me take this opportunity to apologize to my dad in advance, because he is a pumpkin pie purist. Sorry pops, but keep an open mind! You might love it!

Lastly in the dessert category I am bringing my Pumpkin Cheesecake. And when I say “my” please note that it is not actually my recipe. But it is the same gorgeous creamy cheesecake with graham cracker crust that I love and have been making for years, that I wouldn’t change a thing about and have adopted as my own.

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I’ve also never made a green bean casserole. I’m not proud of that statement. But this is the year I make it happen. I’m just going to ease myself in by trying French’s Green Bean Casserole straight from their site. However, if any of you with experience know that I am making a mistake please feel free to leave me a link with your favorite recipe in my comments, I am open to suggestions… until this evening when I shop for my ingredients.

Lastly, I am making appetizers. But not appetizers for like before the meal, because everyone comes hungry (unless you’ve been to several dinners already 😉) for the Thanksgiving feast. These are really more like snacks for later because we are having a late afternoon feast this year (to accommodate several families) and when evening rolls around I doubt people are really going to be hungry when we wake up from our naps (just kidding… someone has to watch the children), but we may want to snack. So I am going to make The Pioneer Woman’s Festive Goat Cheese with dried cranberry and pistachios from her “Friends-giving” episode, and my Smoky Cheese Ball; which I usually ingest while watching the parade… maybe I’ll make two.

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There you have it! Have a great holiday friends and God bless!

Love,

Sadie

 

Stroopwafels

I know I’ve mentioned it before, my fascination and appreciation of the Dutch stroopwafel. Visiting that street vendor was a highlight of my trip to the Netherlands. New York has its hot dogs. Paris has its crêpes. And Amsterdam has its stroopwafels. If you haven’t tried one before, imagine being attracted by a similar smell of an ice cream shop that is making its own waffle cones. But instead of cones, they are making fresh waffled cookie type sandwiches with a thin caramel-esque syrup-y  inner layer that you can hold in your hand while you walk around the outdoor market or town. They can be purchased in different sizes, but the stroopwafels are globally known for their cup-sized roundness; because the idea is that they come back to life as they are warmed through while resting on the rim of your morning (or afternoon… or evening…) coffee or tea. And the unfortunate truth is that I haven’t had any stroopwafels since being stateside that tasted remotely like what I remembered in Holland. Until now. When these are fresh, they are incredible.

As found on Food.com

Waffle cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
Filling

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons dark corn syrup

DIRECTIONS

Preheat a pizzelle iron. Or in my case a Belgian Cookie Iron.
To Make Waffles: Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

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Cut butter into the flour.

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Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, eggs and yeast mixture.

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Mix well and set aside to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.

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Roll dough into 12 small balls.

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Squeeze each ball into the preheated pizzelle (or Belgian cookie) iron…

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and bake for about 30 seconds.

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Place the little beauties onto a wax paper.

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To make perfectly rounded edges, use a large biscuit cutter to trim off the excess. (Optional)

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Using a butter knife or the like, cut (or separate) the waffles into two thin waffles.

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Spread the filling…
To Make Filling: In a saucepan boil the brown sugar, the remaining one cup of the butter, cinnamon (this is a must-have ingredient), and dark corn syrup until it reaches the “soft ball stage” (234-240°F, 112-115°C), stirring constantly.

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To Assemble: Cut each waffle (or separate) into 2 thin waffles and spread with filling.

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I used an offset spatula and my fingertip table…

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Repeat this process until all the filling is used. If using store bought, simply spread about 1 tablespoon of filling on one waffle cookie, and place a second cookie on top.

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Makes about 12 servings. Look at these!!!

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Tip: Try eating stroopwafel by resting it over a warm cup of coffee or tea — the steam will warm these up just right.

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Stroopwafels

Ingredients

  • Waffle cookies
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1?2 cup warm water
  • Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons dark corn syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat a pizzelle (or Belgian cookie) iron.
  2. To Make Waffles: Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  3. Cut butter into the flour.
  4. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, eggs and yeast mixture. Mix well and set aside to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into 12 small balls.
  6. Squeeze each ball into the preheated iron and bake for about 30 seconds.
  7. To make perfectly rounded edges, use a large biscuit cutter to trim excess. (optional)
  8. Using a butter knife or the like, cut (or separate) the waffles into two thin waffles.
  9. Spread filling.
  10. To Make Filling: In a saucepan boil the brown sugar, the remaining one cup of the butter, cinnamon (this is a must-have ingredient), and dark corn syrup until it reaches the soft ball stage (234-240°F, 112-115°C), stirring constantly.
  11. To Assemble: Cut each waffle (or separate) into 2 thin waffles and spread with filling.
  12. Repeat this process until all of the filling is used. If using store bought, simply spread about 1 tablespoon of filling on one waffle cookie, let it cool about 1 minute, and place a second cookie on top.
  13. Tip: Try eating stroopwafel by resting it over a warm cup of coffee or tea -- the steam will warm these up just right.
http://sadiesnest.com/stroopwafels/

Pizza Pasta

Who enjoys having fun with their food? I do! Let’s face it, I’m not in the running to win a Michelin star. Although I think I get 4 stars on this! (One from each of my kids). We have growing athletes in this house, so we eat a lot of pasta. And I don’t know one kid who doesn’t like pizza! Let’s just get crazy… As if we needed further proof that easy weeknight meals can be as amusing as they are tasty.

Serves 6-8

As organic as possible:

1 lb Penne pasta or pasta of choice

1 – 14 oz. jar/can or homemade Pizza sauce

1 – 15 oz. jar/can or homemade Tomato sauce

1 tsp Sugar

1 tsp dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

6 oz. Pepperoni, sliced *reserve 12-15 slices for topping, quarter the remaining

2 cups shredded Mozzarella or Italian cheese blend, divided

1/4 cup (approx) of freshly grated Parmesan

*Optional diced veggie “toppings”such as onion, green pepper, mushrooms, etc.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta according to package instructions, less 1-2 minutes. *I like to salt my water when it comes to a boil, before adding dry pasta. Drain and return to pot.

In the meantime, in a sauce pan, combine pizza and tomato sauces, sugar (to balance tomato acidity), oregano,  quartered pepperonis, and any diced/sliced veggies. Stir until combined and warmed through. Taste for further seasoning, i.e. salt & pepper.

*Side note: this could easily be a vegetarian dish by omitting the meat! 😉

Pour the sauce mixture into the pot of noodles and stir. Place half of the saucy noodles in a large baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on the first layer of noodles and repeat with remaining noodles and shredded cheese. Strategically place the full slices of pepperoni around the top of the pasta dish, followed by the grated Parmesan, to create your piece of art. Kiss your grouped finger tips and throw your hand in the air while shouting “Bellissimo!”

Place the loaded baking dish into the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the top pepperonis are starting to brown on the edges. Yum!

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*It might also be noted that I reserved some of the saucy noodles, which I placed in a separate small baking dish for my dairy-free son. (Which you may or may not need to do yourself.)

Pizza Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Penne pasta or pasta of choice
  • 1 - 14 oz. jar/can or homemade Pizza sauce
  • 1 - 15 oz. jar/can or homemade Tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 oz. Pepperoni, sliced *reserve 12-15 slices for topping, quarter the remaining
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella or Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1/4 cup (approx) of freshly grated Parmesan
  • *Optional diced veggie "toppings"such as onion, green pepper, mushrooms, etc.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions, less 1-2 minutes. *I like to salt my water when it comes to a boil, before adding dry pasta. Drain and return to pot.
  3. In the meantime, in a sauce pan, combine pizza and tomato sauces, sugar (to balance tomato acidity), oregano, quartered pepperonis, and any diced/sliced veggies.
  4. Stir until combined and warmed through. Taste for further seasoning, i.e. salt & pepper.
  5. Pour the sauce mixture into the pot of noodles and stir. Place half of the saucy noodles in a large baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on the first layer of noodles and repeat with remaining noodles and shredded cheese.
  6. Strategically place the full slices of pepperoni around the top of the pasta dish, followed by the grated Parmesan, to create your piece of art.
  7. Kiss your grouped finger tips and throw your hand in the air while shouting "Bellissimo!"
  8. Place the loaded baking dish into the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the top pepperonis are starting to brown on the edges. Yum!
http://sadiesnest.com/pizza-pasta/

 

Taste of Home’s Chicken Pot Pie

Can I get a round of applause for chicken pot pie? Let’s hear it! Because there is precious little in terms of food that comes as close to comfort as juicy bites of chicken, baked in perfectly seasoned creamy gravy with tender vegetables covered with a flaky buttery crust. Period. Perhaps, the only thing better is to have a friend bring one two to your home for you and your family while you are ailing. #thatreallyhappened Thank you AnnMarie!

As found at TasteofHome.com

As organic as possible (from Sadie):

2 cups diced peeled potatoes

1-3/4 cups sliced carrots

1 cup butter, cubed

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cups chicken broth

1-1/2 cups milk

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

2 packages (14.1 ounces each) refrigerated pie pastry

Preheat oven to 425°. Place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, covered, 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken, peas, corn and potato mixture; remove from heat.

Unroll a pastry sheet into each of two 9-in. pie plates; trim even with rims. Add chicken mixture. Unroll remaining pastry; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in tops.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked pies. To use, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Preheat oven to 425°. Place pies on baking sheets; cover edges loosely with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°; bake 70-80 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.
Yield: 2 potpies (8 servings each).

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Blueberry Muffins

Is there anything more beautiful than a blueberry muffin? Not if you’re into baked goods with crumbled topping and bursts of fruit- which I am. And it just so happens that I am in Michigan where we have the best blueberries in the world (and cranberries, and cherries, and apples…). We are fortunate enough to have two blueberry seasons, and by-golly we can freeze them in-between. So eat up buttercup, life is good.

Adapted from Muffins by Williams-Sonoma

As organic as possible:

For the Topping:

1/4 cup Flour

2 Tbsp Sugar

2 Tbsp Brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon

2 Tbsp cold unsalted Butter

 

For the Muffins:

7 Tbsp unsalted Butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 1/4 cups Flour

4 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 cup Milk

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 pint Fresh Blueberries

 

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

To make the topping, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients just until coarse crumbs form.

For the muffins, using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until blended into the butter.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Reserve a tablespoon of the dry ingredients and set aside. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 2 increments, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Gently toss the blueberries in the reserved tablespoon of flour. Carefully fold the blueberries into the batter, just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. Take care not to break up the fruit. Do no over mix.

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it level with the rim of the cup. Sprinkle each muffin with some topping.

Bake until golden, dry, and springy to the touch, 20-25 minutes (until an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Let cool for about 5-10 minutes. Unmold the muffins and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

 

Easy Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki for Two

I love Teriyaki. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t like the flavor of Teriyaki. But for all my appreciation, I can’t get my kids to eat anything with the taste of Teriyaki. Which means there is no point in making a full meal that’s going to go to waste, hence my rare and personal-sized batch of this yummy chicken dinner (or lunch) for two. Of course if your family knows what’s good, feel free to double, triple or quadruple etc.

As organic as possible:

4 boneless skinless tenderloins
2 scallions, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 small or 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
1 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (optional)

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 broccoli steamed

Place the tenderloins, scallions, ginger, garlic, Teriyaki sauce and orange juice in a small crockpot. Give a little stir to incorporate all ingredients and set on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. (My little crockpot runs hot even on low, so six hours is plenty.)

Top with extra scallions and serve with rice and broccoli. You’re so healthy.

Sidenote: If you want to roll like we do, about 20 minutes before dinner place the frozen organic chicken tenders for the kids in a preheated oven.
(And if you really want to know how this is going to play out, it’s going to go something like this: my children are going to be really glad I made them chicken that doesn’t have sauce. And they’re going to like their rice. One of my children is going to eat all of his steamed broccoli, and probably ask for some of mine. Another child will eat her mandatory broccoli floret because she is sensible and has reasoning, but she won’t like it. The next child will have passed up every opportunity to eat his broccoli and it will be the last thing left on his plate. And it will have turned into a battle of the wills to take a bite of that broccoli (which is what it has been reduced to). And before it touches his lips, he will already be gagging. Because he has a ridiculous self-imposed gagging reflex. All threats will have been made, and he knows that he will be going to bed straight after dinner without watching any TV with the family. And he will finally take a nibble followed quickly by a drink of milk. And then he will ask for a treat, as if his effort deserves a reward. And the baby will have little green pieces of broccoli all over his chin and covering his tray. Because he has an amazing ability to sort and separate with his tongue the pieces of broccoli that you have tried to shovel in with the spoonfuls of rice. And you will just be satisfied that he at least has tasted the broccoli. After you clear the table you will spend 20 minutes picking and wiping up sticky pieces of rice from the chairs and floor, because not one of your children can get all of their rice in their mouth. And you might murmur to yourself something like “I should just wait until the morning when this is dry and sweep it up.” But you know that in your heart of hearts, if you made a decision like that, that this would be the night they would pretend the kitchen table was a rocketship and they’d all be under there playing and mashing rice with the knees of their pajamas and socks… Whew! Blogging, it’s better than therapy.)

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes were kind of a staple growing up in my house. It’s game night and the cheerleaders are coming over for dinner, what are we going to have? Sloppy Joes! We had a big test in school today, and I could sure go for some comfort food, what’s for dinner? Sloppy Joes! Or it’s been a particularly busy day, mom hasn’t had time to prepare a huge meal for dinner, what should we have? Sloppy Joes! To be fair to my mom, maybe we had them 2 times a month at most, but it always felt like the best answer to me. Yummy comfort food, great for a crowd and easy to pull together. That just so happens to be my favorite kind of food to feed my family today. Here’s just a delicious and healthier twist, because eating healthy should be comforting too!

As organic as possible:

Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium Green bell pepper, finely diced
2 lbs ground Turkey
1 1/2 T granulated Onion
1 1/2 T granulated Garlic
1 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground Black pepper
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1 14.5 oz can Tomato sauce
1/4 cup Ketchup (I use organic with a cane sugar, and I think it gives the mixture a little depth of color and flavor, but for die-hard clean eaters feel free to omit)

Whole grain Hamburger buns

Coat a large frying pan with olive oil spray over medium heat and add the green pepper and turkey. Start to separate the turkey with a wooden spoon (or utensil of your choice) and add the granulated onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, thyme, and oregano. Continue to incorporate spices into meat mixture as it browns.

(Side note: For Sloppy Joe’s made with beef, I prefer to use freshly diced onion and minced garlic. However, I like the concentrated flavor of granulated onion and garlic for ground turkey. Also, I like to flavor the meat as it is browning- I think it tastes better. Could you add the spices to the turkey after it has been strained -so you don’t lose any- along with the tomato sauce and ketchup? Yes… but I wouldn’t.)

When turkey is mostly cooked through (because turkey has a tendency to dry out, and it will continue to cook in the sauce) strain the majority of the excess fat- a little keeps some flavor… (Who knew Turkey Sloppy Joe’s were so technical?) Add the tomato sauce and ketchup. Stir until combined and saucy. Allow to simmer on low for at least 15-20 minutes.

Serve on whole grain buns, because there is no reason to cut corners on our healthy meal. And if I may, I suggest a side of baked sweet potato fries because they are awesome.

Beet Chips & Cilantro Hummus

You know I’ve been digging the veggies lately. Just can’t get enough… they can be really fun and super delicious! Again to give accolades where they are due: thanks to Gwenyth Paltrow and her new cookbook, It’s All Easy. Eating healthy doesn’t mean bland, or that you have to squash your creativity. In fact, just the opposite, vegetables can make your mind whirl with possibilities! For example beets can be more than a Greek salad or Bortsch, they make for great chips! I love their red color and there little sweet crunch. Adding herbs like parsley or cilantro to your hummus, is a nice way to play with flavors and add a little variety to your intake of nutrients. But seriously, even if none of that matters to you- you’re going to love this because it is yummy!

As organic as possible:

Beet Chips

1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more more for the baking sheets

2 medium beets, peeled  or very well scrubbed

leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced (*I used almost 1/2 tsp dry)

Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease two baking sheets lightly with olive oil.

Use mandolin to slice the beets as thin as possible.

In a bowl, toss the beet slices with rosemary, olive oil, and a generous pinch of salt. Arrange the beets in an even layer on the prepared baking sheets, making sure that none of the slices overlap. If you can’t fit all the slices, use another baking sheet.

Place the baking sheets in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, bake for 10 minutes, then switch their positions and bake for another 10 minutes. Let the chips cool on the baking sheets before eating. Eat plain or with the cilantro hummus for dipping.

 

Cilantro Hummus

1 – 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Juice of 1/2 large lemon, plus more as needed

1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more as needed

3 Tbsp tahini

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, very finely minced

1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl with 1/4 cup water and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth (alternatively, use a food processor). Adjust with more lemon, salt, or water to taste.

 

 

Szechuan-Style Green Beans

This dish is amazing. Yes, you can serve it as an awesome side. But I am telling you this dish could stand up to being a meal in itself. Seriously, it is that good and flavorful. Even better, it’s easy and quick! Yay! The original version can be found in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Easy; which I am loving btw… It’s makes healthy eating fun! A couple of the ingredients might not sound familiar, so here’s a quick note: you could probably replace the tamari with soy sauce and the sambal oelek with a chili paste (such as Thai). Enjoy!

 

As organic as possible:

Salt

2 tsp minced fresh Ginger

2 tsp Sambal Oelek

1 Tbsp Tamari

1 tsp toasted Sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp Maple syrup

1/2 pound Green Beans

3 Tbsp Olive or Peanut oil

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the green beans.

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, sambal oelek, tamari, sesame oil, and maple syrup to make the sauce.

Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook just until the water comes back to a boil, about 3 minutes; drain well and dry on a kitchen towel.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the green beans and cook until sizzling and beginning to blister, about 3 minutes. Add the sauce, turn off the heat, and let sit for 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.