Muffins

Power Muffins

These muffins are everything a good wholesome muffin should be…packed full of healthy stuff like carrots, quinoa (yep, you read that correctly!), whole wheat flour, and Chia Seeds. Plus, they’re sweetened only with molasses and honey!  Believe it or not, the kids love them! When I have time, I like to make a couple batches and keep them in the freezer for a quick breakfast during the week, or to throw in lunch boxes. I may have even fed them to my kids for dinner a time or two 🙂 P.S. They make your house smell like carrot cake!

Power Muffins

Ingredients:

    • 1/2 Cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
    • 1/2 Cup applesauce (look for a brand with no added sugar)
    • 1/3 Cup molasses
    • 1/3 Cup honey
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 Cups white whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 Cups quinoa (cooked, and cooled)
    • 1 1/2 Cups shredded carrots
    • 3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins.

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, applesauce, molasses, honey, eggs, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix lightly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula (there should still be a few dry streaks). Fold in the quinoa, carrots, and chia seeds until just combined (don’t over mix).

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 18-22 minutes, until the tops spring back lightly to the touch (or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Let the muffins cool in the tins for 2 to 3 minutes before gently sliding out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips:

  • Measure the flour by scooping it lightly into the measuring cup with a spoon.
  • We prefer the taste and texture of White Whole Wheat flour, but I have used Whole Wheat flour in this recipe before and it tastes great too!
  • If you have an Instant Pot , use this recipe to make the quinoa!
  • In a pinch, I’ve used baby carrots and thrown them into the blender to pulverize them!

Recipe slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (I replaced the 1 Cup of molasses that her recipe calls for with 1/3 Cup molasses and 1/3 Cup honey). 

Chicken · Main Dish

Roasted Chicken Legs

My family is crazy about this chicken! It takes an hour to cook, but it only takes about 10 minutes to get it in the oven. Use as many chicken legs as you want. I usually make as many as I can fit on my baking pan, because the kids love taking the leftovers for lunch the next day! You might be tempted to skip the cinnamon, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this one- the flavor is amazing!

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Ingredients:

  • Chicken Legs
  • Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika (smoked or regular)
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Lay the chicken legs on a baking sheet lined with foil, and pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.

Drizzle the chicken with oil and rub it on both sides. Sprinkle each leg with salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, and a tiny bit of cinnamon.

Bake for 30 minutes. Flip the chicken, and cook another 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees.

 

Sides

Roasted Vegetables

“Mom, can I have more broccoli, please?” Hearing that never gets old! If you haven’t tried roasting vegetables yet, you don’t know what you’re missing! Something magical happens when they’re in the oven. My kids eat them like candy- right off the pan! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed we eat some form of roasted veggies at least 2 or 3 times a week! They’re so quick and easy, and they’re the perfect side-dish to just about any meal!

Once you get the method down, you’ll be a veggie roasting machine! A few of our favorites are broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. The directions are the same for each, but the cooking times vary. I keep a note on my fridge with the oven temperature and cooking times for each veggie so I don’t have to look it up each time!

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable of your choice
    • for broccoli or cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
    • for asparagus, break off the tough ends
  • Oil (Olive or Avocado)
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the vegetables on the sheet and drizzle with oil. Don’t drown them in oil- you just want enough to lightly coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the veggies around (I use my hands) and then spread out into one layer. Bake as directed below, stirring once during cooking. Keep an eye on them towards the end of cooking time. We love them when they start to look a little burnt!

  • Broccoli- 15-20 minutes
  • Cauliflower- 18-20 minutes
  • Asparagus- 10 minutes

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Cauliflower

 

slow cooker

Slow Cooker Chili

I’ve tried many chili recipes over the years, but this one has become our favorite. It has great flavor without being spicy, so it’s great for the kiddos (although you can definitely amp up the heat if you want!).

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To make it even easier, I like to spend some time on the weekends to prep and make it into freezer meals so that there’s no work involved on the day I’m going to serve it. To do this, follow the directions in the first step. Then instead of putting the meat mixture in the slow cooker, let it cool a bit, then place it in a freezer bag. Add the remaining ingredients to the bag and stick it in the freezer. Then when you’re ready for it, defrost overnight, and dump in the slow cooker. If you’re taking the time to do this- you might as well make at least a double batch so you’ll have 2 dinners prepped at once!

These are great to keep in the freezer for times when you want to bless another family with dinner.  It seems like when someone has just had a baby, or they’re grieving a loss, they get bombarded with food the first few days. If that’s the case, they can stick this in their freezer and save it for a night they really need it!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl oil
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbl chili powder
  • 1 Tbl cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Directions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and brown the meat, onions, and bell peppers. Drain any excess grease if needed. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Cook a few minutes.
  • Scoop the mixture into a 5-quart (or similar size) slow cooker. Stir in the brown sugar, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.
  • Cover and cook 8-9 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. (The chili will thicken slightly the longer it stands after cooking.) Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  • Serve with your favorite chili toppings- shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapenos.

Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Snacks

Chia Bites

These little Chia Bites are great to have on-hand for a quick snack, or to throw into lunchboxes! I like to make a double batch and use them all week! We prefer natural peanut butter (the ingredient label is just peanuts and salt), but I’m sure regular peanut butter would work great too! This is a fun one to get the kids involved with- they’ll love rolling them into balls!

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Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbl Chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Shape into balls and store in the fridge in an air-tight container.

Recipe from Super Healthy Kids

Ham · Main Dish

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Quinoa Bites

These are so fun and great for packing in lunches!

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 Cups deli ham, chopped fine
  • 2 cups finely chopped steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients until combined. Lightly grease a mini-muffin tin. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the tin, filling the cups all the way to the top and lightly pressing to pack the mixture a bit. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Adapted slightly from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

 

Ground Beef/Ground Turkey · Main Dish

Homemade Sloppy Joes

“Which dinners will someday have the power to transport our kids back to their childhoods?”  Jenny Rosenstrach  asks this question in her book, How to Celebrate Everything. For my family, the answer is definitely these sloppy joes!

My husband and kids request them all the time!  They seriously get giddy when they find out it’s sloppy joe night! I usually double the recipe- it doesn’t take any more effort, and then I can save half in the freezer for another night! Want to avoid hamburger buns? This is yummy on top of a baked potato, or spooned over some oven roasted diced sweet potatoes!

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 3 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/3-1/2 c. water to reach desired consistency
  • salt & pepper

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meat and drain excess grease if necessary. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until onions and peppers start to soften. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn heat to low, and cover with a lid. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add a little water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Our Best Bites

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