Tuesday, March 3, 2015

{What Will Ate} Apple, Pear, Carrot + Orange Juice

I was hopeful that our house would make it through the Winter months without getting sick, but near the middle of February, Will was a sniffly mess and Mark and I followed closely behind him. Thankfully, he bounced back quickly and with a lot of good rest and TLC, he was back to himself in no time.

I have never given Will juice because of the added sugars and general junk that is always added in. He drinks milk with his meals and water throughout the day and that is it. When he was sick, I wanted to make sure that he was taking in extra fluids and staying hydrated. I pulled out my juicer and came up with this tasty concoction. He loved sipping on this during his sick days at home and I felt good knowing that he was getting all of the good nutrients. 

If you have a juicer, try this combo! It's bright and refreshing and especially tasty in the morning.

Apple, Pear, Carrot + Orange Juice

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into quarters
1 large D'anjou pear, cored and cut into quarters
2 large carrots, peeled
1 large orange, peeled

Juice ingredients according to juicer manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What We Ate

My food photos aren't always beautiful, but our meals are always fresh and tasty. All of our meals don't always make it to the blog in their own post, but we've had some great dinners that are worth sharing. Hopefully this will give you some ideas as you plan your meals as well. 

I've been trying a lot of new recipes over the past couple of weeks, many of which have been fantastic! I made it a goal at the beginning of 2015 to do less recipe searching online and more in the pages of my cookbooks. I have so many beautiful cookbooks that I forget about because it's so easy to search my most recent pins or saved blog posts from my weekly reads around the web. 

Baked Wings, Crash Hot Potatoes and Ina Garten's Winter Slaw (from her newest cookbook- a new favorite on my shelf!)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Niman Ranch Burgers, Mashed Avocado with Lime + Fresh Salsa for dipping.

Pizza...my most favorite weekly splurge meal. I start with my Neapolitan Pizza Dough recipe and like to get creative with our toppings. This pizza is topped with roasted garlic, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, kalamata olives and mozzarella. 

Salt + Vinegar Roasted Chicken, Sauteed Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Salad with Crispy Pancetta that I could basically eat every day for the rest of my life. SO GOOD. 

Valentine's Day 2015 was spent at home and that's just how we wanted it. We grabbed steaks from the butcher at Block + Grinder and they were incredible. I served them with Mushroom Risotto and Roasted Asparagus. 

Chicken Picatta (my favorite way to cook chicken breast), Sauteed Chard + Another round of Crash Hot Potatoes 

Spicy Eggplant and Sausage Zucchini Pasta, from Inspiralized. This meal was beyond delicious. My spiralizer is my favorite piece of kitchen equipment right now and I can't seem to get enough. If you have a spiralizer, Inspiralized is one of my favorite resources for recipes and healthy eating in general. I just got her new cookbook in the mail last week and I can't wait to continue in my spiralizing adventures. 

I hope you all are making something delicious this week! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

{What Will Ate} Pear + Avocado Pops

My sweet little eater has entered a bit of a picky phase. I have learned that everyday in the world of baby/toddler eating is different and some are more frustrating than others. On top of that, Will also has some teeth coming in in a few spots, making mealtimes even more of a challenge. BUT HE IS SO CUTE. Right now, he is especially loving anything soft and anything that's really cold.

Popsicles and smoothies have been a favorite around here lately! Smoothies are a great way to sneak in extra veggies and protein and popsicles are all around great for a teething toddler. The flavor combos are endless. 

Creamy avocado and sweet pear make a perfect pop! Avocado is full of good fats and nutrients and pear adds just the right amount of sweetness. This is a treat you can feel good about giving your little ones. 

Pear + Avocado Pops

1 large organic avocado
1 organic d'anjou pear

Cut avocado in half, remove the pit and cut into large chunks, set aside.  

Cut pear into large chunks, leaving the skin on. Steam for 15 minutes, or until fork tender. 

Place steamed pear and raw avocado in a blender or food processor (I did this all in my Beaba Babycook) and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chocolate Bark with Pistachios, Popped Quinoa + Sea Salt

A little piece of dark chocolate is almost always the perfect sweet fix for me, even if it just means a palmful of chocolate chips. Dark chocolate has a permanent spot in this house!

Chocolate bark is so easy and so fun! I've never experimented much with it but after making a batch this weekend, I am a believer! I spotted this recipe on Cooking Light's Instagram account last week and knew I needed to make it. It turns out that popped quinoa is, in fact, and thing and it is one of the most surprising bites! I'm currently making a list of other things that I can add popped quinoa to. POPPED QUINOA. I just love it. 

This bark is the most incredible (and incredibly easy) sweet treat ever. It's rich and decadent and basically takes no time at all to make. Pistachios and sea salt make lovely chocolate toppings and the popped quinoa...well, you just need to try it for yourself. It's toasty and poppy and adds a fun little crunch. 

Mmmmmm. I love this stuff. 

Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios, Popped Quinoa + Sea Salt

1 Dark chocolate bar (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao)
Handful unsalted pistachios
2 Tbsp. quinoa, popped
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To pop the quinoa, heat a small, heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat. Add 3-4 pieces of quinoa and cover, wait for them to pop. Once you hear them pop, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons. They will pop very quietly and quickly. Remove from the burner and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

In a double boiler on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate. Pour melted chocolate onto the parchment prepared baking sheet and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with pistachios, quinoa and sea salt. 

Transfer sheet to the refrigerator and let harden for a few hours or overnight. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Butternut Squash Mac + Cheese


When I get a craving for a big bowl of macaroni and cheese, I always head straight for my family's recipe. It's not too rich, extra cheesy and is Italianized by adding tomatoes to the base and using Italian breadcrumbs as the crispy topping. It's OMG SO GOOD and always, always hits the spot. I have so many delicious mac and cheese recipes saved and I haven't once ventured into new territory.

I changed that over the weekend when my sister and I cooked up this delicious Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. Butternut squash in your beloved macaroni and cheese may sound like a strange combo but trust me, it works in all of the right ways. This dish is perfect for the chilly months, especially when butternut is abundant and in season. It's slightly sweet with a hint of spice and every bite is perfectly creamy thanks to a sauce that is made with roasted and pureed butternut squash. I wanted to eat the entire top crispy layer because it was what (comfort) food dreams are made of. 

Snuggle up on a snowy night with a bowl of this butternut goodness.

Butternut Squash Mac + Cheese
Recipe adapted via Two Peas and Their Pod

1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/2 lb. cavatappi pasta
2.5 cups milk, divided
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
1 cup aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a large bowl, drizzle butternut squash chunks with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Arrange evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

While the squash is cooking, cook pasta according to instructions on box until al dente. Drain and set aside.

When the butternut is done roasting, transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk and pulse until the milk and squash are combined. 

In a large skillet or french oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the nutmeg and whisk in the flour, whisking constantly. Add the remaining two cups of milk and whisk until smooth. Turn the heat up to high and continue whisking until the mixture comes to a boil. Once the sauce is thick, turn the heat back down to low and whisk in the butternut squash mixture. Stir in the rosemary, then add the pasta and toss until it is evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush an 8x8 baking dish with olive oil. Add half of the pasta mixture to the bottom of the pan. Top with 1/2 cup the aged cheddar and 1/2 cup of the sharp cheddar. Add the remaining pasta on top of that, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Sprinkle the panko in an even layer on top. Drizzle with olive oil. 

Bake mac and cheese for 25- 30 minutes, until it is nice and bubbly. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

No Bake Energy Bites

Energy bites are not a novelty around here and we almost always have a batch in the fridge or freezer available for healthy snacking. In fact, my Paleo Snack Bites have been one of my most popular recipes and most pinned posts to date. They are slightly sweet a filled with so many good-for-you ingredients.

I shook things up a bit with this week's batch of bites and used a new recipe from my friend Kealy. She uses oats instead of almond meal, honey instead of maple syrup and cacao nibs instead of mini chips. The differences are slight but the taste is entirely new and we have loved snacking on these this week. They are perfect for snacking on the go, pre or post workout bite and even after dinner when you need a little something sweet. 

I love the sweetness of the honey and this is my first time experimenting with cacao nibs- I am obsessed! By themselves they have the initial taste of chocolate but are not sweet at all. A subtle chocolatey flavor comes out when you use them with other sweet ingredients for a healthier chocolate chip with lots of good nutrients and tons of antioxidants. 

No Bake Energy Bites

1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cups natural crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp. vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes to let it firm up. Form into balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Buttery Lentils with Shallots

Lentils are one of my pantry staples. When I have a lentil dish on my meal plan, I like to make it towards the beginning of the week, often times doubling the recipe, so that I have plenty of leftovers for weekday lunches. Cold, hot, in a salad or as a salad, we love lentils in this house!

These Buttery Lentils with Shallots come from the December, 2014 issue of Cooking Light. The ingredients are simple, but the flavors are big. One Tablespoon of butter goes a long way in this dish and adds a slight creaminess. I doubled the recipe and ate the leftover lentils on top of kale salad for the rest of the week!

Buttery Lentils with Shallots
recipe from Cooking Light, December 2014

2/3 cup dried green lentils
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper 

Place the lentils in a medium saucepan. Cover with water to about three inches above lentils. Bring to a boil. Once the lentils are boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft and cooked. Drain.

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about two minutes, until fragrant and translucent. Add lentils, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper to the pan and toss.