Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crockpot Refried Beans

Honestly, refried beans aren't the prettiest to photograph on their own, so I'm including a photo of how we usually eat our beans (bean & cheese crisps).  Obviously making homemade refried beans takes more effort than opening a can, but they are SO GOOD and much healthier for you too.  It's worth it to try and make it once in awhile at least!

3 cups pinto beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
salt to taste (I usually add 1-2 tsp)

In a large colander (strainer), measure out 3 cups of beans, picking out any bad ones as you go.  Rinse beans.  Put beans into a large crock pot (mine is a 5qt) and add approximately 5-6 inches of water to cover the beans.  Place lid on and let soak overnight (no heat).

After soaking, drain beans into a colander again.  Put beans back into crock pot and fill with water with at least 4 inches covering the beans.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

When the beans are done, saute the onion and garlic with 1-2 tsp oil in a large frying pan until translucent.  Drain the beans, reserving 2 cups of the liquid for later use.

With the pan on med high heat, add 2 tsp more oil and beans to the pan.  Mash bean with a potato masher.  Stir in reserved bean liquid for desired thickness.  Stir in remaining seasonings and you're done!

Refrigerate any leftovers.  They freeze well too!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

The girls and I love this oatmeal so much, I've made it twice in the last week!
I even had it for dessert!  It's a delicious clean eating breakfast!  
I love to serve it with vanilla flavored coconut milk.

1 can 14.5oz pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp each pumpkin pie spice, ginger, ground cloves, vanilla
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 ¼ cups water

Toppings: raisins (golden ones are great), slivered almonds, agave nectar or honey to taste.

Stir pumpkin and oats together in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and all spices together. Stir egg mixture into the oats.  Stir in milk and water.  Pour into 9x13 baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375.  While oven is preheating, the oats will be expanding slightly.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Serve hot with milk and toppings of choice.  Sweeten with agave nectar or honey, if needed.

Or bake it the night before, refrigerate overnight and heat up in the microwave the next morning for a quick breakfast!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gingerbread Waffles

I found this recipe in recent Family Circle magazine and did a clean eating makeover version of them.  I usually double the recipe too, so that I can feed my family for 2 mornings with it!   
They were good, especially with the apple butter on top.  
Oh my!

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
3 eggs (or use 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg)
1 ¾ cup milk mixed with  2 tsp lemon juice (which will make it into buttermilk)
¼ cup oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup molasses

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a medium size bowl, beat eggs.  Pour milk, applesauce, oil and honey into eggs; beat until well blended.

Heat waffle iron.  Make a well in flour mixture and stir in egg mixture and molasses; stir until well blended.

Cook in waffle iron until done.  Keep warm in on a baking sheet in oven or serve right away!  Top with apple butter or maple syrup and fruit!  YUM!

Apple Butter

Apple butter is something new to me.  I had never even tried it until a few months ago!  This is a clean eating recipe that is great to use as a topping for so many things or even a mix-in.  We usually use it to top pancakes and waffles, and mix it in oatmeal instead of using syrups and sugar.  I usually freeze the extra in small containers and thaw in the fridge whenever we run out!  It tastes and smells so good.

8 apples (that's what fits in my 4 Qt slow cooker, but you can use more if you have a bigger one)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp vanilla
agave nectar to taste (I use 1/4 cup or less)

You can either peel the apples first and then quarter them, or pick out the skins later when it's cooked.  (I've picked out the skins the last two times I've made it and I think that I'll peel them from now on.)

Place your quartered apples (cores removed) in the crock pot and add the vanilla.  Cover and cook on low overnight (8 hours).

Smash apples with a fork (it will be really soft and easy to do)  Pick out the skins if you didn't previously peel the apples.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook for another 4-6 hours on low and it's done!

If you want even smoother looking butter, then blend the mixture in a food processor/blender (I don't).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is a clean eating recipe, inspired by a recipe I read from a Clean Eating magazine.
I never was a squash fan before.  
But the sausage stuffing in this recipe makes the squash not only edible, but delicious.  
I was amazed that my whole family enjoyed it.  Plus, they look so pretty too!

This recipe will make enough to feed a large family or to freeze half of the stuffing for later!

2 acorn squash (for small family and freezing the rest of the stuffing, otherwise use 4 squash)
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
4 roasted red peppers, drained and diced (found in a jar near the pickles/olive section)
6 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
1 lb mild Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing (that skin like stuff)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove stem of squash.  Wash squash and cut in half from stem down.  Scrape and discard seeds.  On a microwavable plate, place squash face side down and microwave for 10 minutes.  Then flip them over (using hot pads) and cook another 5 minutes until tender when poked with a fork.

While squash is cooking, add approx 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, celery, garlic, red peppers, and sausage to skillet.  Saute until vegetables are tender and sausage fully cooked.

Add remaining ingredients (bread crumbs, parsley, seasoning, and chicken stock) and cook until bread crumbs are fluffy and moist.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stuff squash and serve!

Double Almond Cookies

This recipe from my friend Tiffany Denison.
She made it at a ward function where I first tasted them, and I just had to have the recipe!
They're different from the normal cookie, but a tasty treat all the same.

2 cups flour (I usually end up using a little more--just until the dough isn't sticky)
1/2 cup finely chopped or slivered almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. pure almond extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour, almonds, salt; set aside.  Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Blend in egg and extract; gradually mix in flour mixture.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Gently press a few slivered almonds on top if desired, it makes it look pretty when baked.  Bake 10 minutes.  Yield 2 dozen.

Butternut Squash Soup

Picture by me
Recipe by Alton Brown here
This is so good.  I made it for my birthday dinner because I love it so much!

  • 6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash
  • Melted butter, for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (I like it better with black pepper)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (I used powdered ginger once and it was just fine too)
  • 4 ounces milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. On a sheet pan lay the squash flesh side up. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is nice and soft.
Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot and add the stock, honey, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.