Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mug Cakes

This week when I told Charlie her dad was picking her up she cried, I told her she would have so much fun and I love her and I will miss her and she gets to see the big dogs... but nope, sobbed..didn't want me to leave. It's times like this that break my heart. I know it is for the best that I am happy and her dad is happy and she will grow up without fighting in a house and see what love is supposed to be like, but I am just wondering how often I have to tell myself that before I no longer feel guilt for the situation she didn't ask to be in. I am also wondering if this part will ever get easier?

Back when I was reminiscing about my college days, I posted a recipe before for a Protein Pumpkin Mug Cake and it was pretty popular. I decided that it's okay that cavemen didn't have microwaves because sometimes you just need a single serving of dessert that won't ruin your hard work you put in all week.

I posted this one on Facebook this week and it was one of the most popular things I have posted, so I made another (see below) This particular Pumpkin Pie Mug Cake came about because I had extra pumpkin to use up and it a perfect serving for 1.5 people (my peanut and me) Just takes two minutes in the microwave- cavemen had those, right? Hehe

Pumpkin Pie Mug Cake

- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 heaping tablespoon coconut flour
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey
(If it looks too dry add a small amount of milk)

1. Mix everything in a big coffee cup or mug

2. Microwave 2-3 minutes until it is done - when it's done it starts pulling away from the sides... It'll be really hot so be careful! And enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 198
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g9 %
Saturated Fat 3 g14 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 186 mg62 %
Sodium 1515 mg63 %
Potassium 97 mg3 %
Total Carbohydrate 29 g10 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g20 %
Sugars 20 g
Protein 9 g17 %
Vitamin A146 %
Vitamin C5 %
Calcium7 %
Iron16 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
This next one I thought of because I wanted another one and didn't have pumpkin. This is by far my favorite... I am in love and everything you probably have on hand! 

Banana Cinnamon Mug Cake

- 1 Banana, I mash mine in the mug
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 HEAPING Tbsp Coconut Flour
- 1 Tbsp Raw Honey, I used just a little less
- Pinch of Sea Salt
1. Mix everything in a microwave safe mug. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until it is pulling away from the sides. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 232
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g3 %
Saturated Fat 2 g8 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 1445 mg60 %
Potassium 551 mg16 %
Total Carbohydrate 55 g18 %
Dietary Fiber 9 g36 %
Sugars 31 g
Protein 3 g7 %
Vitamin A1 %
Vitamin C23 %
Calcium3 %
Iron14 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Ingredient Banana Coconut Cookies

I have finally switched over my decorations... I change out the decor on my built in shelves, my pillows, towels, etc. for the seasons and holidays.. and so it is Valentine's Day decor currently. :) I get it, Valentine's Day is a "day" not a season or really a holiday but whatever... it's my house, even Charlie's little chair gets a heart pillow. Even though I'm not dating anyone, my little love will be my Valentine this year, and always, and I like the daycelebrating love anyway.

My mom is still doing her Whole30 kick and I know that baked goods are off limits.... but I wanted to help her out and the ingredients in these are acceptable for Whole30... I know... it doesn't matter... so throw them in a pan and cook them that way and now they aren't a baked good...hehehehe.

I am not going to lie, my original idea for these involved oatmeal, but since that's not allowed on Whole30 I thought that maybe coconut would work and I also accidentally had two open bags-- oops! Coconut also came to mind because coconut and bananas together are delicious- I have been baking bananas sprinkled with coconut and cinnamon and EnjoyLife chocolate chips for dessert... why not turn it into a cookie! Just add an egg to hold them together and poof! Cookie! I am calling them five ingredients because salt doesn't count.

Banana Coconut Cookies

(Printable Version)

Makes 8-10 Cookies

- 2 Large Bananas, they don't have to be mushy ripe... just regular, not green bananas
- 1 3/4 Cups Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 Cup Dried Fruit ... I used dried cherries- be sure to check for sugar
- Pinch of Salt
** Optional ** Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (non-dairy)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
1. Put all of the ingredients except the dried fruit/chocolate chips in a food processor and pulse until combined. If you don't have a food processor, mash the banana by hand and then mix.

2. Add the dried fruit and pulse a few more times until it is broken up and combined. Stir in chocolate chips if you are using them.I sprinkled some on top too because I am naughty. 

3. The "dough" will be wet, but you will be able to form patties. Place the patties on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I made mine 2-3 inches in diameter and 1/4- 1/2 inch thick, patting them down so they are flat. Bake 20-25 minutes until the cookies are firm. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sun-dried Tomato Meat Muffins (mini meat loaves)

If I were an outsider watching me come and go from work I would think I was a lazy, undedicated person just going to work because I have to and leaving the second I have done my time to get a paycheck. I would have thought that about me before I had a family, before I really understood what running a household takes. It's true, I get to work with the kids, three years ago I was at my desk by 6am.... it's true I leave at 3pm, taking nothing with me, three years ago I would have had a bag of papers to grade at home. What people don't see is that I am up at 4:30am so I can get ready, pack my lunch, lesson plan and then get another person ready; they don't see me drive the 30+ minutes to work, they don't see that after daycare drop-off I need to fight school traffic to get to work, they don't see the effort I put in with every one of my students- making sure the lessons are engaging and meaningful and that I feel guilty I am not putting in the time I used to, they don't see that at 3pm I am rushing off to see my kid I have missed all day because I feel guilty about that too, they don't see that I still try to fit in a workout for my own sanity- sometimes at 9pm, they don't see that I have a house to take care of on my own, dinner to prepare for us, laundry to do, and by the time I finally sit down for the night it's late and I am exhausted. Yes- I would have judged me- I would have thought, "I'm busy too, why is she doing the minimum?" Yes, I was busy before life as I now know it, but I was selfishly busy. I was out with friends, at the gym for hours, I was browsing various things online, watching my favorite shows, sleeping 8+ hours, working on my masters degree, shopping, etc.- and there's anything wrong with that, I'm jealous of that old me sometimes.  I also don't blame the old me for judging the new me, I just wish the old me understood that I am doing far more behind the scenes than meets the eye and that one day I might be that person struggling to compromise work and family. I had no idea how being a mom changes you, when I leave work I may not be a teacher anymore, but I am now the most important person to my ittle one who needs me to take on the job known as mom. 

I am trying to mix up our dinner routine this week, and I did two different meals out of muffin tins! One of them is from Nom Nom Paleo - Spicy Tuna Cakes .The tuna cakes are soooo good!

I made my own spicy mayo as a dipping sauce and roasted some of my frozen green beans in the oven at 450 degrees with a little olive oil and seasoning salt as a side. 

The other meal I made was these mini meat loaves... I am going to call them meat muffins! 

I made them into little stacks for charlie and I and she loved them. 

Sun-dried Tomato Meat Muffins

(Printable Version)

(makes 12 muffins)

- 1 lb Lean Grass-fed Ground Beef
- 1 Large Shallot, minced (or 1/2 a sweet onion and a clove of garlic)
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, chopped, I used about 5-6
- 1 Egg
- Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a bowl, mix everything except the meat. Add the meat and mix until just combined- use your hands, they are the best tool. :)

2. Press about 1/4 cup of the mixture into an ungreased muffin tin. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Since I used lean beef I didn't have a grease problem, but if you do, drain it gently. 

** To make my potatoes, I baked 4 sweet potatoes at 375 degrees for an hour and then when they were cool enough to handle, removed the peel. I didn't add any butter or milk- just salt and pepper and they were so soft I mashed them with my spatula. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lemon- Coconut Pudding

I just competed on one of the THREE teams our box had competing at Battle of the Boxes. Previous places I have gone to limit it to one team and there are try-outs. I am so glad mine doesn't do that because we had a lot of fun and placed anywhere from 4th-23rd in the events. With the 30+ teams we finished 15th overall which is not too shabby. Team competitions are just a lot of fun and isn't that the point? If you aren't having fun then you are doing it wrong! I also hit a personal best squat clean and that's never a bad thing! Then that night I got sick... very sick. Charlotte was throwing up Thursday night and there is not much more of a helpless feeling then watching your poor child be sick. She was throwing up literally while asleep and all I could do was sleep in her room, reassure her she as ok, and wash sheets a million times. I honestly thought I had avoided the fate of this stomach bug but nope! It hits hard and is over fast- about 15 hours- I am still not feeling right but I think it is more an issue of dehydration and hunger at this point. Other casualties of this included my sister, who watched her Friday for me, and our babysitter. Not a fun way to end such a fun day!

My mom traded me some lemons and limes for avocados so I had a lot to use up. I have never been a fan of sweet desserts and tend to gravitate towards the key-lime pie and lemon-graham cracker crusted ones... so this is my take on those! The smoother the curd, the smoother the end result. If you cant find coconut cream, let a can of full-fat coconut milk sit and, without shaking it, open it, the top will be solid with the milk below, that top area is just like coconut cream. It's so flavorful I only need to eat a small amount so this made 4 servings for me. 

Lemon- Coconut pudding

(Printable Version)

- 1 Lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 Lime, juiced and zested
- 3 Tbsp Raw Honey
- 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Coconut Cream 

1. In a sauce pan, Whisk the eggs, zest and honey together until smooth. Set over medium heat and add the oil and juice (about 1/4-1/3 juice total.) Whisk occasionally until small bubbles form at the top and it starts to thicken. 

2. Take off the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. 

3. Add the coconut cream and whisk until smooth, pour it into airtight containers (I used jelly jars) and chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes- it will thicken a little more. Stir before serving. I topped mine with unsweetened coconut flakes and a little more zest. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

From Scratch Sloppy Joe

I am trying to re-do a bunch of my family favorite recipes, and this one in particular was usually made with BBQ sauce, ketchup and Worcestershire as the main sauce ingredients. Not saying that's a bad route compared to a canned sauce version, but there are usually a lot of sugars hidden in condiments and I wanted to make a Whole30 version for some of my friends (and mommy) struggling with ideas on Week 2. 
Eating a "clean" diet or Paleo or Whole30 isn't cheap. Those that have done it know this and those feeding a family, or particular men in their lives, know this! In order to stretch my meat products, which are obviously the most expensive things I buy, I try to add vegetables wherever possible. Such is the case with this recipe- the whole onion (instead of my typical half) makes the end product slightly bigger.  You could also add peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini as my beloved cousin, Emily, suggested my on facebook page. :)

I eat this atop of roasted sweet potatoes- filling and cheap- even better with Frank's red hot on it to contrast the "sweet" in the potato (Whole30 version). I have also eaten this served over toasted Udi's Gluten-free bread.

Or we have made "nachos" with it. Charlie eats any type of ground meat- and she likes this one with brown rice or hummus... and a spoon.... yea ew, but I don't question it.

From Scratch Sloppy Joe

(Printable Version)

- 1 lb Grass-Fed Beef
- 1 Sweet Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Olive Oil
- 1 6-oz Can Tomato Paste
- 4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (fill the tomato past can about 3/4)
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 Tbsp Raw Honey** Omit for Whole30 **- just  make sure you use a really good balsamic!....more honey may be needed if you are not using a "good" balsamic- always check ingredients!
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Big Splash Worcestershire Sauce (*optional* Check the ingredients)

1. In a skillet over medium-heat, swirl a little oil around the pan and add the onion and garlic and a little salt. Cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
2. Add the ground beef, a little more salt, and brown completely, chopping it up with your spoon as you go. If there is a lot of grease in the pan at this point drain it. 
3. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat. Cook about 10 minutes and taste for any additional seasonings. 

* To make the potatoes- Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes.  I roast them in a glass baking dish with a little oil and salt and pepper at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring 2-3 times. *
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 248
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g17 %
Saturated Fat 5 g23 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 47 mg16 %
Sodium 54 mg2 %
Potassium 238 mg7 %
Total Carbohydrate 22 g7 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g5 %
Sugars 19 g
Protein 15 g31 %
Vitamin A5 %
Vitamin C5 %
Calcium0 %
Iron10 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.