Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles

Before I was even halfway done with my Whole30, I had already decided to be gluten free in my post-Whole30 life. This is not something that I took lightly, especially considering that my husband is a bread salesman!  I love bread, and I love that bread supports my family, so it feels a little messed up to not eat gluten, but I am feeling so much better without it that it just doesn’t make sense to me to go back to what I was eating before.  That kind of negates the whole process of going through Whole30 in the first place!

Since I made the decision to be g-free, I’ve been looking for different GF recipes that I can try once I’m done with my 30 days of no grains at all (check out my Pinterest board here).  This waffle recipe looked amazing, and it’s been tested and approved by my gluten-loving husband AND toddler!  That’s a definite win in my book.

These were easy to throw together, and cooked up nicely—thick and crisp like a waffle should be.  You could bump up the blueberries and forgo any syrup if you wanted to lower your sugar, or you could be normal and bring on the maple syrup!  My guys had these both ways and loved it either way.

Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles (slightly adapted from Gluten-Free Homemaker)

1.5 cups gluten-free all purpose baking mix

1 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew or almond milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons butter, melted (I used ghee, and you can also use coconut oil)

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat waffle iron. 

Mix all ingredients except blueberries until fully incorporated.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Pour 1/4-1/3 cup batter into waffle iron for each waffle and cook to desired crispness/until fully cooked throughout.  If desired, top with more blueberries, sliced bananas, diced pecans, and/or pure maple syrup.

Cooked waffles keep well in the freezer, so feel free to make a double batch to have some on hand for a quick breakfast!

Fixate Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

I love desserts.  I love to bake them, look at pictures of them, and certainly eat them.  I’m always on the lookout for cleaner treats or healthier versions of desserts that I love, so when I saw that the healthy cooking show on Beachbody On Demand–Fixate–had Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls on their menu, I wanted to immediately try them!

I’ve made these several times for multiple occasions, and they are always a huge hit!  These are actually on our Advent activity list to take to my son’s school teachers.  Yum!

One important note with this recipe is to make sure that you use PURE maple syrup, not the cheap pancake syrup.  It will not taste the same, and it changes the nutrition.  Pure maple syrup is a sugar that is easier to digest and is used by the body as energy, not stored as fat like the added sugar in the cheap stuff.

These are great for a holiday potluck, simple gifts for neighbors, or when you want a nice dessert for a get-together.  Or when you want chocolate.

2 of these count as 1 yellow snack container for the Portion Fix.

Fixate Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cup coconut flour

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

8 oz dark chocolate, chopped or chips

2 tsp coconut oil

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine peanut butter, corn starch, coconut flour and maple syrup in a large bowl, food processor or stand mixer.  Blend well until it becomes a uniform dough.  Add hot water as necessary to moisten it.
  3. Using clean hands, shape dough until 1 inch balls; place a toothpick into the center of each ball. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. ***I actually just use a 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon because they have a nicer shape and don’t melt this way.
  4. While you wait for the balls to chill, put the chocolate and coconut oil in a small, microwavable bowl.
  5. Melt the chocolate and oil 30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring after each 30 second interval, until completely melted and smooth (this usually takes me three rounds).  Let cool slightly.
  6. Remove balls from refrigerator.  Hold a ball by the toothpick and dip it into the chocolate, swirl it to completely coat or use a spoon to pour chocolate over the top of it.  Repeat with each of the balls, returning them to the baking sheet.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chocolate has hardened.
  8. Store in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.

Enjoy!

 

Paleo Chicken Tenders

A delicious meal on a tacky dollar store plate.

A delicious meal on a tacky dollar store plate.

My kid loves chicken tenders.  We try to only give him grilled chicken, but sometimes we get the horribly unhealthy fried tenders for him. He loves to dip them in ketchup and BBQ sauce, and even dips them into his applesauce.  I am always looking for healthier versions of foods he loves, and this has been saved on my Pinterest clean eating board for a while.  I am so glad I finally tried it!

I have had almond flour and coconut flour on hand for quite some time now specifically for this purpose–using as a breading on meat to make a flourless version of our favorite foods (baked, not fried, of course).  I find that the almond/coconut flours have a better flavor (the sweetness of the coconut flour is really good with chicken especially), and it doesn’t bloat me the way that regular wheat flours do.  Plus, I know that almonds and coconuts have some good vitamins and nutrients that my son needs, which makes it even better!

This recipe was quick and easy, and it tasted great!  It only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. It is easy to customize with different spices as well, depending on your spice preference.  And it would taste great with any kind of dip your family likes–a healthy ranch, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard–whatever you prefer!  The original recipe was doubled and is linked below.

I would love to say that my kiddo ate this up and declared his love immediately, but unfortunately for me the night I made this he decided to be 2-going-on-16, threw an epic tantrum, and refused to eat anything. Yay me! However, when we had the leftovers for lunch he was a huge fan! 

Paleo Chicken Tenders (from Jay’s Baking Me Crazy original recipe)

1 package chicken tenders (3/4 lb)

2 tbsp + 2 tsp coconut flour

2 eggs

1 tbsp unsweetened cashew milk (or any milk)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Prepare 3 shallow bowls or dishes for the breading process.  Put the coconut flour in one dish.  Mix the egg and milk together in another dish.  mix the almond flour and spices in the last dish.

Place the dishes in order, left to right: coconut flour, egg mixture, almond mixture, and cookie sheet.  One at a time, dip each chicken tender into the coconut flour, then the egg mixture, and then the almond flour mixture, completely coating each time.  Place on the cookie sheet.  Repeat with each chicken tender.

Once all of the chicken is breaded and on the cookie sheet, spray lightly with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray.

Bake chicken tenders for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 5 more minutes.  Make sure chicken is completely cooked through!

Let cool slightly and serve plain or with your dip of choice.  I served mine with broccoli and hummus.

This recipe made 6 tenders, which was enough for me to have dinner and have leftovers for lunch for 2.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

My son loves blueberries, so I’m always looking for different ways to use them.  He is so happy just eating them fresh out of a bowl, but I love to make new things that all of us can enjoy.  I found this old recipe from my favorite blogger, and I’m so glad I brought it back!

These muffins are light, moist, and have a great blueberry flavor.  The original recipe calls for a sugar topping, but since I forgot to add that and they were still great, I left that part out of the recipe I’m sharing below.

If you love blueberries or have a little one who loves them, put these on your to-make list!  ***I count one muffin as a yellow treat in the 21 Day Fix eating plan.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins (slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats)

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cinnamon applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk (I used heavy cream and it was fine!)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 pint fresh blueberries

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray to grease.  In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring to mix.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil and sugar together until well mixed.  Whisk in the applesauce.  Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in lemon zest.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Stir to combine and set aside.

Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar/applesauce mixture and mix well.  Add all of the liquid and mix well.  Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix well.

Fold in the blueberries gently with a rubber spatula.

Using a 1/4-1/3 cup measuring cup, fill muffin tins about 2/3 full with batter.

Bake for about 24 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until toothpick comes out clean from the muffins.

***I usually put half of the baked muffins in the freezer after they have completely cooled.  They keep really well frozen and are still yummy microwaved!

 

Banana Double Chocolate Secret Muffins


I loved these muffins!!!  I tweaked the original recipe to have less added sugar, and I thought they turned out great.  Full disclosure: I was the only one in my house that loved them.  Lol.  I’ve added a little more sugar to the recipe here to make it sweeter.  I love chocolate, so it had plenty of sweetness to me.  They would be great for breakfast, snacks, or dessert.


Now, if you’re wondering about what the “secret” of the muffins are–it’s veggies.  1 cup shredded zucchini!  That gives these muffins fruit and veggies, plus healthy sources of sugar instead of adding the processed granulated sugars.

You could certainly omit the maple syrup and banana and add the granulated and brown sugars from the original recipe. You can also use semisweet chocolate instead of dark chocolate to add a little more sweetness.

Banana Double Chocolate Secret Muffins (adapted from Carlsbad’s Cravings)

Wet ingredients

1 large ripe banana, mashed

1 cup shredded zucchini

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (can use whatever milk you like!)

1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Dry ingredients

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup walnuts

4 oz dark chocolate

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners and grease liners.

Mix all wet ingredients in a small bowl.  Combine walnuts and chocolate in a food processor until finely ground.  Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, including the walnut/chocolate mixture.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until incorporated but still lumpy.  Do not overmix!

Use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon or ice cream scoop to fill muffin tin with batter–fill each tin about 2/3 full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until a toothpick comes out batter-free from the center of the muffin.  (The toothpick won’t be clean because of the melty chocolate).

Let cool and enjoy!

 

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

You guys.  These muffins are seriously good.  If you’re looking for a treat food that doesn’t have any weird ingredients but also isn’t terrible for you, this is a great option!  I made this last night for our church group and they are so good!  I had to share right away.  I didn’t even take a picture!

I kind of accidentally messed up the recipe, but it ended up being really great.  The original calls for plain Greek yogurt, but smart self got vanilla Greek yogurt, thinking the vanilla flavor would add some yumminess.  I didn’t even think about the fact that the vanilla flavor comes with a bunch of added sugar!  Oops.  To balance it out, I just didn’t add the brown sugar the recipe calls for.  To make this an even cleaner treat, you should use the plain yogurt and brown sugar–it’s less processed that way.  According to the mighty mind of Google, there are actually fewer grams of sugar in the vanilla yogurt I used, so if you would rather just have less sugar, that is an option.

At first I thought that half a cup of chocolate chips wouldn’t be enough for a whole batch, but they distributed pretty evenly throughout the muffins, and the melting chocolate chips makes me feel like it’s more chocolate than it actually is.  I used dark chocolate because I just prefer it (and it’s a little better for you!), but you could use any type of chocolate you wanted.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins (slightly adapted from Running with Spoons)

2 medium bananas, ripe and mashed

2 cups oats (quick cook or old fashioned)

1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 large eggs

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with coconut oil spray to prevent sticking.

Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a blender or food processor.  Mix on high until the oats are chopped up and all ingredients are incorporated, making a smooth batter.  You may have to scrape the sides of the processor to make sure all the oats get broken down.

Remove the blade from the processor/blender and carefully stir in chocolate chips.

Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, evenly distribute batter in lined muffin tin, filling them up about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and muffins are cooked through.  Turn muffin tins halfway through baking.

Yields about 15 muffins.

Clean Eating Philly Cheesesteak

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This recipe was one I took a chance on, and I’m so glad I did.  I’m not really a huge steak fan, but my husband is, so when I was looking for some new clean eating recipes to fit the new program I’m doing for the next three weeks, I knew this was one he would probably like.

I made the stuffed pepper version (which is the original recipe) for myself since I’m not eating any bread but Ezekiel Bread right now, and my boys both had theirs as sandwiches. The stuffed pepper piece is pretty easy to skip, and the filling was very simple.

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The orginal recipe calls for flank or flat iron steak, but we couldn’t find that at our grocery, so I had my husband pick out whatever kind he wanted.  I was still able to slice it pretty thinly!  I also didn’t have a red pepper like the original calls for, so I used an orange pepper.  I personally don’t taste a difference between red and orange peppers,  but if you do, make sure you have a red one.

There were a couple of ingredients that I swapped/left out because they aren’t on my current eating plan.  I left out the Worcestershire sauce because it isn’t on my plan, and I used mozzarella cheeese instead of Provolone.  It was so tasty!  When I’m done with this three week plan, I’d like to make it again with the Worcestershire sauce to see how that changes the flavor.

If you don’t like stuffed peppers, you could eat this filling in a bowl, over a spinach salad, or on sprouted grain bread for the sandwich.

Clean Eating Philly Cheesesteak (slightly adapted from Fit Mom Angela D)

2 green peppers, sliced in half from top to bottom and seeds and ribs removed

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 orange pepper, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

4 oz mushrooms, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 lb steak, sliced very thin

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Spray a 9×13 baking sheet to grease it and set aside.

Boil 3 cups of water in a large saucepan.  Place the green peppers in the water and boil for 3-5 minutes, until peppers are tender.  Remove from water and set aside.  If they are very wet, place face down on a paper towel to drain some water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet.  Cook the diced pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic until the peppers are soft and the onions are translucent.  Add the salt and the pepper.  Add the steak and cook until steak is cooked to desired doneness, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Spoon the filling into the pepper halves to overflowing.  Top evenly with cheese.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is browning and bubbling.  Serve warm!

21 Day Fixer? 1 serving is 1 green, 1 red, 1/2 blue, 1/2 tsp.

 

Clean Eating Sloppy Joes

Sometimes it feels like such a struggle to find healthy dinner recipes that are also quick, kid-friendly, and not super expensive or complicated.  I’ve been LOVING my Fixate cookbook to find recipes for me and my family!  (Psst: if you want one too, check out my coach site!)

One of our favorite recipes from the cookbook is the Turkey Sloppy Joe recipe.  It has lean protein and veggies in one dish, and the flavor is great!  I love the versatility of serving it on whole wheat buns, in lettuce wraps, over zoodles, or just in a bowl.  The best part is the my little guy will eat it, too!  I’ve taken this meal as a dinner for new moms, given it to people coming home from the hospital, and shared it with family and friends–everyone raves about it!  It’s not exactly quick if made all at once, so I’ve been chopping the veggies and cooking the veggies/meat the night before so I can just throw the sauce together and cook it all in under 30 minutes the night we want to eat it.  Pre-prepared sauce is a necessity–you can do your favorite homemade tomato sauce or use a simple jarred sauce.  I’ll share my favorite sauce recipe soon!

Fixate Turkey Sloppy Joes (makes 4 servings, 1.5 cups each)

1 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.  Transfer onion mixture to a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Add turkey to same skillet; cook, over medium heat, stirring frequently to break up the turkey, for 8-10 minutes, or until the turkey is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.

Add onion mixture, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, pepper sauce, and maple syrup. Mix well.  Reduce heat to medium-low; gently boil, stirring occassionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.

Serve warm with whole wheat buns, lettuce wraps, zoodles, or plain!

 

 

Clean Eating Taco Bowl

  
I love Mexican food.  I could eat chips and guacamole all day long.  Quesadillas, beans, chimichanga…I love it all.  When I was pregnant with my son, the only true craving I had was for a giant margarita with lots of salt.  What a sad craving for a pregnant woman!

One of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make with my clean eating lifestyle has been with Mexican food.  I used to eat a giant chimichanga (which is essentially a fried burrito) covered with queso and dip in refried beans covered in cheese.  YIKES.  Too many carbs, too much fat.

I’ve discovered that I can still enjoy my favorite part of Mexican food without compromising my eating plan.  For me, it isn’t really about specific foods, but more about the flavors.  Fresh cilantro, lots of cumin, sauteed onion and garlic–the flavors of my favorite Mexican dishes can easily be found or added to healthier options.

When I saw this recipe for Paleo Taco Bowls, I was so excited.  I love me some carbs, but I prefer to save my carb portions for something a little more satisfying than a tortilla or chips, so eating the filling from a bowl is no problem for me.  This recipe is full of veggies, so it gives some good volume without a ton of calories, and it is easily modified to add the more decadent ingredients depending on what your focus is with your eating.  You can add grated sharp cheddar, or cubed avocado, or eat it as a burrito with a whole wheat tortilla.  It’s a great base recipe and can be easily modified to include different proteins and even different veggies, like the tomato in the original recipe.  Add more spices, don’t add any spices–it’s so easily adaptable.  I want to try it with fresh jalapeno next time!

One thing that gave me the slighest moment of pause was the zucchini.  “In a taco?” I thought.  “I don’t know if the husband will eat that…”  And then I decided to just go for it.  Lol.  Honestly, you really can’t taste “zucchini” at all.  They absorb the flavor of everything else!  My picky husband really enjoyed this meal and even said that he liked the zucchini in it because it added some “meaty” quality.

  
The best part of this recipe is that my 2 year old actually ate it!  And he asked for seconds!  In picky toddler town, this is a huge win for mommy.  I might raise an adventurous eater yet!

Busy Mom Tip: The most time consuming part of this recipe was chopping the veggies. This can be done the day before! Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also cook the turkey the day before and keep it in the fridge, or cook the turkey in a separate skillet while the veggies cook.

Clean Eating Taco Bowls (adapted from Sweet C’s Designs)

1 tsp coconut oil

1 white onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 small zucchini, cubed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb lean ground turkey, browned

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper, and zucchini.  Cook until softened and onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add cooked ground turkey and stir to combine.  Add all the spices and stir to evenly coat the veggie mixture with spices.  Cook on med-low until turkey is heated through and flavors have had time to blend together, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the veggies don’t stick to the pan.

Serve in bowls, lettuce wraps, whole wheat tortillas, or with whole wheat tortilla chips.

Makes roughly 4 servings. (I had one serving, the toddler had the equivalent of one serving, the husband had 1.5 servings, and there was enough for lunch the next day!)

 

 

Toddler Eats: Turkey Meatballs

My 2 year old doesn’t love protein.  In fact, he would rather eat fruit all day, every day.  We have to ration his fruit so he has room in his belly for the other foods that are vital for growth. I blame the genes from his daddy.  It’s hard to find flavorful protein that is also healthy and not covered in a sugary sauce or deep-fried.  When I made this recipe I’m sharing today, it was a hit!

These meatballs are actually originally intended for the Thai sauce I posted about last week.  Much like I altered the sauce a bit from the original recipe, I changed up the meatballs, too.  I knew my husband didn’t really want the Thai sauce, and I wasn’t sure if it would be too spicy for my toddler, so I opted to make the meatballs separately and alter the spices to fit their tastes.  The result was a delicious and versatile meatball that I can use in different recipes.  I can add BBQ sauce, or put them in pasta, or crumble them over pizza, or eat them on a sandwich.  I’m excited to have found another meatball recipe to add to the other delicious one I have on hand.

Toddler-Friendly Turkey Meatballs (adapted from iFoodReal), yields approx. 8-10 meatballs

1 lb lean ground turkey

1 cup shredded zucchini, extra water squeezed out

2 green onions, sliced

2 tsp dried basil

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

Pinch red pepper flakes

Cooking spray

 

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all ingredients except the cooking spray in a large bowl and mix until well combined.  Roll 1-2 tbsp of meat mixture by hand into meatballs.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over med-high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Cook the meatballs for 3-5 minutes, turning at least once to sear most of the outside to golden brown and help keep their shape.  Use a fork or tongs to transfer meatballs to large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake meatballs for 15 minutes, until completely cooked or until meat thermometer reads at least 165 F.

Serve meatballs warm with Thai sauce, marinara on a sandwich, with pasta, or with BBQ sauce.