Posted on November 9, 2013 by Renae
I’m finally feeling functional after being quite sick the past few days, and I discovered a trick for feeding your family crazy healthy food: go to the store when you are feeling just enough better to be hungry. I stopped into Trader Joe’s this morning, and there was not enough green in the whole store for me. I could have gobbled down every last bite of produce in the place on the spot. I restrained myself from doing that, and came home and whipped myself up a heaping bowl of this delicious goodness. The inspiration is all from Joie, and this dish of green wonder can be modified a hundred ways, but this is how I made it today and it hit the spot. Also, it took less than 3 minutes, for real. (It would take more if you don’t buy prewashed kale.)
- Coconut oil (or other cooking oil) — a couple of teaspoons maybe, you know, a dollop
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced or minced, as you prefer
- 1 handful of raisins
- 2 big handfuls of kale (I bought the prewashed and cut kind at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 handful pecans (toasted would be lovely; I couldn’t be bothered)
- Add the coconut oil and garlic to a skillet over medium heat.
- When the coconut oil is melted and before the garlic browns, add the raisins and kale. Cook until the kale is bright green and just starting to wilt.
- Add the pecans and toss everything around for 30 or 45 more seconds.
Filed under: Sides, Snacks, Vegan | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 23, 2013 by Renae
For some reason, I keep making these on evenings when I have a babysitter coming. This is not particularly smart of me because they are fairly time- and labor-intensive, and getting them done has stressed me out. On the other hand, they are really kid-friendly and tasty. And I actually do like making these; I just need to pick a different kind of night to do it. Also, the leftovers make for a great cold lunch.
I know that sounds like a mixed review, and, yes, 13 steps is kind of ridiculous. But they really are good, so good in fact that I am adding the recipe to Needs More Butter to keep it handy. :)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup warm milk (110–115 degrees F)
- 2 1/2 cups flour (plus extra to make dough the right consistency)
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) instant dry yeast
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped ham or pepperoni slices
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- melted butter
- coarse kosher salt
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and milk. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and warm milk mixture.
- Stir until a soft dough forms. Add more flour as needed (up to 1/2 cup). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times, forming a smooth ball.
- Brush the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Alow it to rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust a rolling pin with flour and roll each piece of dough into roughly a 12×4-inch rectangle.
- With the long sides facing you, place the ham or pepperoni and mozzarella cheese onto the bottom third of each piece of dough.
- Roll the dough as tightly as you can, starting with the long edge holding the fillings.
- Cut each roll into 4 equal pieces.
- Transfer the pieces to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let them rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add 4 teaspoons of baking soda to the boiling water and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Boil the pretzels in batches, cooking for about 20 seconds each and turning once.
They should look slightly puffed when they are done. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the baking sheet.
- Cut the pretzels into 3 equal pieces — or thereabouts — going for bite-sized here
- Bake in the preheated oven until they are puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt
Filed under: Appetizers, Main Dishes, Snacks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 8, 2013 by Renae
I am on the hunt for new ideas for lunchboxes. These are super easy to make (the kids help crunch up the graham crackers), and they come together in under ten minutes total. The only drawback is they might get eaten before they make it to the lunchbox.
- 1 sleeve graham crackers
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter or seed butter, I would think)
- 1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup powdered milk (the original recipe called for organic whole milk powder, but we use the lowfat powdered milk, Best Choice brand, and we haven’t died yet)
- coconut for rolling them in (if you like that kind of thing)
- Roll the graham crackers into crumbs (or use a food processor).
- Melt the honey or syrup and peanut butter in a sauce pan on the stove until warm and runny.
- Add graham crackers, peanut butter mixture, and powdered milk to a bowl and stir together. Roll (gently press and squeeze) mixture into balls (smaller than golf balls), then roll in coconut if you’re using it.
I keep ours in the fridge, but they would be ok on the counter, covered, for a few days too, if they last that long.
Filed under: Snacks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 14, 2013 by Renae
Seriously, stop what you are doing, go camping, and make these right now. Crazy good. I never knew.
- 1 can refrigerator biscuits (we used buttermilk biscuits)
- cinnamon and sugar mixture (maybe 1/2 cup sugar to 1 tablespoon cinnamon?)
- Melt butter (we used a tin pie plate on the grill) and put the cinnamon and sugar in a separate container (we used another pie plate).
- Knead the biscuit dough so that it’s a little bit stretchy, and stretch it out into a rectangle.
- Wrap one biscuit at a time around the end of a stick (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick works well) and roast over a fire (like you would a marshmallow).
- After it has browned all over, let the dough cool a bit until it is easier to slide off the stick.
- Roll the dough first in the butter, then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Be amazed at how delicious dough boys are.
Filed under: Snacks | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 13, 2012 by Renae
This is a versatile recipe that can be easily added to (or subtracted from), depending on what you have on hand. I love what the coconut oil adds to the flavor, but I’ve wondered how it would work to sub in apple sauce or pumpkin puree. The kids love to help make this — they stir up the dry ingredients while I mix up the wet ingredients on the stove.
- 6 cups uncooked rolled oats
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened (optional)
- 1/2 cup flour (I usually use almond flour, but you could use any kind of flour)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (or more) cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ginger (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine oats, coconut (if using), flour, spices, and salt. Mix well.
- In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla until warm. Pour this mixture over the oats mixture and stir well.
- Spread granola in a thin layer on ungreased cookie sheet (I often use 2 cookie sheets).
- Bake for 40 minutes, stirring after 20.
- Let cool, and store in an airtight container.
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Snacks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 21, 2012 by Renae
I have added a new category Worth Making from Scratch. Of course, others may have different opinions of what is “worth it” in terms of convenience and cost vs. time/energy, but generally speaking I am finding more and more things that taste better, are more healthful, are simple enough to prepare, and are often cheaper when made from scratch.
Jason wanted some pudding cups for lunch. It has always kind of bothered me that you can find those in the non-refrigerated aisle — what do they do to the milk that’s supposedly in there? This pudding, adapted a bit from More with Less, one of my very favorite cookbooks, is cheap, delicious, and, for me, a perfect example of something worth the (minimal) effort.
- 1/3 cup (or less) honey or sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 cups milk (0r almond, soy, or coconut milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon butter or ghee (do not use if using coconut milk)
- Combine honey, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until thickened, stirring (almost) constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter until combined.
- Serve warm or cold.
Filed under: Snacks, Worth Making from Scratch | 7 Comments »
Posted on March 30, 2012 by Renae
This chocolate pudding, called simply “hot pudding” at our house is from Deceptively Delicious. Simon asks for it every time he sees an avocado. The texture of the pudding depends on how well you mash the avocado; I sometimes use a blender or food mill (like for baby food) and sometimes just mash it with a fork.
- 1/4 cup margarine (or butter would probably work too)
- 1 cup avocado puree (aka mashed avocado — about 2 ripe avocados)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (optional-ish)
- In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat.
- Stir in the avocado, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla.
- Cook until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and gradually stir in the cornstarch.
- Serve warm.
Filed under: Desserts, Snacks | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2012 by Renae
We have recently become enamored with hard-cooked eggs. I say “hard-cooked” instead of “hard-boiled” because I have had mixed luck trying various methods that promise the perfect hard-boiled egg, but I recently came across a method for cooking eggs in the oven that I was really pleased with. The method is originally from Alton Brown, and you can find the full “recipe” here. But if you don’t want to click through, it’s basically preheat to 325 degrees, put your eggs directly on the middle oven rack with a baking sheet to catch mess if one breaks (I had several break but no dripping), bake for 30 minutes, cool immediately in a bath of ice water.
Easter is coming up, but I also thought the kids might be more interested in eating the eggs if they were colorful any time of year. I pinned a couple of photos of eggs dyed with natural ingredients, and now I have become pretty much obsessed with finding colorful food and spices to boil. This post and this one have lots of good ideas.
Our favorite so far has been the red wine that was probably past its drinking prime. It left little sparkles on the egg, which does make me wonder what was in it. We haven’t had smashing successes yet, as we are all (me included) a little impatient, and the colors get richer with time.
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Holiday, Snacks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 21, 2011 by Renae
Another one from Real Simple. This one was a big hit with Simon.
- 3/4 cup milk (we used almond milk)
- 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tablespoon nut butter (we used almond butter)
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
Filed under: Beverages, Breakfast/Brunch, Snacks | Tagged: smoothies | 3 Comments »
Posted on February 21, 2011 by Renae
Simon and I have been making smoothies together. I found several combinations to try in the February issue of Real Simple. I like that these are single-serving recipes, not that I couldn’t experiment or cut them down myself, but I do tend to make about three servings when I’m just throwing things together. This particular one wasn’t a favorite for Simon, but I liked it. You do taste the celery, so if that’s a taste problem, you’ve been warned.
- 3/4 cup kale, chopped and hard stems removed (about one leaf of curly kale)
- 1 small stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Snacks | Tagged: kale, smoothies | Leave a Comment »