Zucchini & Apple Oat Muffins

zucch-and-app-muff-e1544653022326.jpg

 

I made these today on a whim after looking for zucchini muffin recipes at the beginning of the week. I came up with my own based on what I had on hand and wanted to use. These are quite delicious and really very easy to make. Preheat oven to 350 and get your mini muffin pan out and ready. Spray so they don’t stick if not using silicone.

In a large bowl combine:

1/3 cup whole fat yogurt (good for babies and toddlers)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup oats

1 egg

1 small to medium sized grated zucchini (I left some skin on and took some off)

1 small to medium apple grated of your choice (I left some skin on and took some off)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp mini or full-size chocolate chips optional but recommended by me because I have a sweet tooth that can’t be tamed & I bet you do too!

Gently mix all ingredients together with a spoon and then fill muffin tin mostly all the way full as they will grow a bit in the oven but not overly.

Bake 18 min for mini style and I am guessing based on past baking of such muffins that a full size will take about 22 min so just check with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Cool completely and then store in the fridge or freezer.  (This amount made 20 minis)

 

I like this combo because they were super moist and full of mostly the good stuff! I know you and your little ones will like them too!

 

My Charlotte had two for a snack with her milk today and she liked them very much!

zucc and apple muffin

 

xo-Adrienne

 

Advertisements

Spinach & Turkey Mini Pasta Muffins

ground turkey mini muffins

Sharing a new mini muffin recipe with you today! I know I am a little obsessed with these mini muffins especially in the meat form or the veggie form but they are just so easy and so great to have on hand for Charlotte and myself for the week. It’s a great way to have her experience many flavors in one meal too. I usually give her one or two for lunch or dinner a few times a week and now in the freezer, I currently have these, the chickpea veggie version and the spinach, oat, banana version. For these, I used up some spinach and mushrooms that I had from the week before so they wouldn’t go to waste. I also added a bit of red onion, egg and feta cheese, as well as garlic and orzo pasta which I had on hand already too. So all I had to buy for these was the ground turkey. I bet you have a lot of that stuff in your fridge too!

Here is what you need:

1 egg

1 lb ground turkey (or any other ground meat)

2 cups spinach leaves

1 cup mushrooms

1/4 cup red onion

1 clove of garlic

1/2 cup uncooked orzo noodles (mine were whole wheat) you will cook them and then add to the mixture

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

How to:

Cook the pasta according to the directions

Take the onion, garlic, mushrooms and spinach and chop in food processor until evenly finely chopped and then add to a large bowl

In the large bowl mix in the cheese, egg and the ground meat and combine with a spoon, spatula or your hands until all ingredients are evenly distributed

Pre-heat oven to 350

Spoon in and press down the mixture into mini muffin tray (or a full size one) to the top as these won’t rise

This made enough for 4 regular size muffins and 24 mini’s

Bake on 350 for about 28 to 30 minutes for the mini’s and 35 minutes for the full size

Let cool and then store some for now and some for later! These would even be great for a bite-size party food /appetizer for the holidays coming up (especially if there is going to be little ones there). Also, I didn’t season these with anything because Charlotte doesn’t need it and they are pretty flavorful on their own anyway but you certainly could!  I hope you can see these are really versatile and can be made with just about anything.

Happy baking! Happy feeding! Happy eating!

 

xo-Adrienne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken & Veggie Mini Muffins

chicken m 2

Yesterday I made a trip to Trader Joe’s….my favorite grocery store! I limit my visits because I spend way too much money there. I mean way, way, way too much! I knew I wanted to use my mini muffin pan for some type of meat muffin so I chose ground chicken and this riced veggie pack to work with.

 

 

 

I haven’t given Charlotte many chances to try meat so far and I knew I needed to start ASAP to get her used to the texture and flavor. For this recipe, I took the pound of ground chicken and 1 and a half cups of the riced veggies which includes: onions, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. I also added 1/4 c panko breadcrumbs and 2 eggs. For just a bit of flavor, I added 1/4 tsp of thyme and 1/4 tsp of basil as well.

 

 

This made 24 mini muffins. The mix was pretty moist and wet. This was great though because these came out super juicy and not dry at all.

I baked them at 350 for 30 minutes and I ate a bunch as well as giving them to Charlotte over the next few days to try. I also froze some.

chicken m

Feeding these little humans can be quite tricky, messy & fun while also being frustrating. Thank goodness for my anxiety medicine! I didn’t have the time to devote to my older child as I wasn’t a stay at home mom with him. He is quite picky still when it comes to food but since I have the opportunity to work with Charlotte more I always keep that in the back of my head. She may not eat something today but I bet someday she will! She tries everything I give her and that is winning as far as I’m concerned! 

 

**I also tried these with chickpeas instead of ground chicken and they came out great! I used a 15.5 oz can of chickpeas that I rinsed and chopped in the food processor for 10 to 15 seconds. I did everything else the same except I used 2 cups of the chopped veggies instead of 1.5 cups and I baked them for 15 min instead of 30.

chick-pea-veggie-mini-muffins.jpg

 

 

Enjoy this recipe! xo-Adrienne

Broccoli & cheese pasta muffins for the whole family

broc cheese pasta muffin 4

In the world of green veggies, broccoli is my #1 enemy. Not so fond memories of childhood dinners where I would cry and sit at the table until 9 at night because I absolutely was afraid to death of it. I tried to feed it to the dog or put it back in the bowl when no one was looking. Fast forward 30 years and I have come to my senses somewhat. I can still gag at the smell of it. 😦 Anyway, I don’t want to pass along my fear and hatred towards this unique green veg to my kids so I introduced it to Charlotte this week who just turned 10 months old. I am obsessed with my new silicone mini and full-size muffin trays that I just got so I knew the fresh beautiful broccoli I made myself buy from the market on Monday had to take a turn in them. I also knew that Max, my 9 yr. old, might like these as well because surprising the kid loves broccoli in a weird way that I don’t really understand.

So, I thought what better way to have it than to mix in small orzo noodles which are the perfect size for the baby and Max happens to like this particular noodle as well. I am accommodating if nothing else. I added some shredded cheddar cheese, which Charlotte is also familiar with, as well as Greek yogurt, panko breadcrumbs and eggs. Nutritionally packed mini “muffins” for sure!

Here is what I did:

Roasted about 3 stalks of broccoli in some coconut oil for 20 min on 375. Looking back I don’t think I even needed to do this but thought it would make it more enjoyable tasting.

Then I chopped it up and looking back again for Charlotte’s sake I wish I would have chopped it up just a bit finer and took off more of the trunk or stalk and just kept more of the flowery floret part. Trust me I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to broccoli so I had to google “broccoli parts” to even tell you this which was weird.

Boil 1/2 cup orzo noodles while the broccoli is roasting or while it cools before you cut it up.

Here it is roasted and chopped which I estimated was about 2 cups

broc cheese pasta muffins 1

Mix the following into the chopped broccoli:

2 eggs

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup of the cooked orzo noodles

broc cheese pasta muff 2

(note-I didn’t really season them with anything since they are mostly for Charlotte and her taste buds don’t know any better but feel free to jazz them up a bit)

Then scoop out and press into mini or full muffin tray like this:

broc cheese pasta muffin 3

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes for mini size or 20 minutes for full size.

This recipe made 24 mini’s and 2 full size. They won’t rise so go ahead and fill them up all the way. I can’t say enough about the silicone baking trays. No spray needed and they pop right out once cool. It is really easy and not messy to clean.

 

I originally had these in mind for Charlotte but I actually ate quite a few that day and liked them! I froze some and have some in the fridge for this week’s meals for both of us and Max too!

 

Enjoy friends!

xo, Adrienne

Foil Pack Chicken Meals

foil pack chicken 1

Today, I am sharing two different ways to prepare chicken in a foil pack. I also did this with fresh cod, potatoes, onions, garlic, lemon and parsley on Friday night and it was easy & delicious too! These should take about 10 min to prep and 30 min to cook. If you are doing fish though I would turn the temp up and lessen the baking time. More like 15 min at 450 degrees.

*This first one has mostly ingredients from Trader Joe’s and the second from Aldi*

I used some of their frozen pearl onions, frozen tri-colored fire roasted onion & peppers and chicken but you can use whatever brands you have of course. I also used their red lentil pasta which I just adore. I am thinking Max (my 8-year-old son) would really like this meal even if he picked around the peppers and onions he would like the pasta and chicken.

For this recipe follow these few simple steps (makes 2 servings):

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Place a handful of pearl onions, frozen peppers on the bottom of a foil sheet

Place one piece chicken breast on top of the veggies (you can, of course, use fresh)

Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, paprika and chili powder to your liking. Add a tbsp of olive oil and spread with your hand over the chicken

Wrap the foil packet up tightly and place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken

Cook pasta or rice to serve with it when finished. Sprinkle some shredded cheese or fresh herbs as well

foil pack chicken 2

For this one, I used some traditional Mediterranean ingredients

Most of these ingredients came from Aldi

To make this foil pack chicken (2 servings) follow these few easy steps:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Make a dressing with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp pesto (jarred from Aldi) and the juice from 1/2 lemon

Take 1/2 cup each of cherry tomatoes sliced in half, kalamata olives (jarred from Aldi) and sliced red onion divided into two portions on the bottom of each of the foil sheets. Also, add some minced garlic to your liking

Salt & pepper the chicken then place it on top of the tomato, onion & olive mix

Pour half of the dressing over each piece of chicken  & add a slice of lemon. Then wrap them up

Bake in oven for 30 to 40 minutes depending on their thickness

While that is baking make potatoes, rice, pasta or something to serve it over.

Put it over your carb and add fresh mozzarella (got from Aldi) or feta with some fresh chopped parsley

I hope you enjoy these foil pack chicken ideas and will give them a try with your own spin or use my versions for dinner soon! I really think the possibilities are endless here. It doesn’t matter where you get your ingredients. I just wanted to share that there are some amazing options at both Aldi and Trader Joe’s that I found and keep going back to, using them in different dishes and different ways. 

xo, Adrienne

Pesto Chicken Lasagna

Hey all, I wanted to share my recipe for pesto chicken lasagna that I made this weekend. I will try to break it down by each layer to make it pretty simple. It is chicken based so it is protein packed. I went easy on the cheeses and used some Greek yogurt to add moisture and flavor as well.

First: here is everything that I used in this picture. I had boiled and shredded the chicken the day before.

  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms & white onion with some EVOO
  • 1 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 medium chicken breast boiled and shredded
  • 4 medium stem tomatoes sliced and salt & peppered
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 cups ricotta cheese & a blend of mozzarella, Gruyère & parmesan cheese….or whatever you have 😉 you don’t need that much
  • Homemade pesto or a small jar (about 8 or 10 oz.)
  • Lasagna noodles-I used 9/4 bottom then 3 and 3 for the next 2 layers
  • Seasonings like parsley, red pepper flakes, oregano & basil, salt & pepper

pesto-lasagna-1

Second:  cook your mushrooms, onions and warm half of the already cooked chicken in a skillet for about 15 min on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Then add half of the pesto and season with parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano to your liking. Meanwhile, boil your noodles according to package directions.

pesto-lasagna-2

Third: pre-heat your oven to 350 & begin your assembly line by having your tomatoes sliced and ready, your spinach close by, noodles, the other half of the shredded chicken mixed with the rest of the pesto and the 1 cup of Greek yogurt. Your can of fire roasted tomatoes ready with the liquid (don’t drain) and your 2 cups of ricotta cheese along with the shredded cheese options near by.

pesto-lasagna-3

To assemble:

  • Coat your pan with a spray or whatever non-stick option you like
  • Spread some fire roasted tomatoes and liquid on the bottom
  • Place 4 lasagna noodles overlapping each other’s edges just a bit
  • Place warm chicken & mushroom mixture on top
  • Add a layer of ricotta cheese and shredded Gruyère cheese
  • Then add a layer of spinach leaves and sliced tomatoes
  • Top that with 3 more noodles
  • Then the chicken, pesto and Greek yogurt mixture (this can be room temp)
  • The rest of the ricotta cheese and the shredded parmesan cheese
  • Another layer of spinach and sliced tomatoes
  • Finish with 3 more noodles, the rest of the liquid and diced fire roasted tomatoes and shredded mozzarella cheese

pesto-lasagna-4

Cover with foil and bake for 30 min in 350 degree oven, then remove foil and bake for another 25 to 30 min. Let cool for 30 min before cutting.

pesto-lasagna-6

I hope you will try this and I really hope you enjoy it!

xoxo, Adrienne

 

Market fresh ideas from me to you

 

Doesn’t that salad look fresh & satisfying? This post is for those of us that are running out of ideas and inspiration to answer the question, what should I eat this week? It’s fall here in Pittsburgh and I am pretty much pumpkined out except I did buy a batch of pumpkin bagels and I am not sorry about that because I also bought a bunch of really nutritious items as well. It’s about balance and I think this picture shows balance. Yes, bagels. Yes, pie. But look at all of those colors in the produce….

grocery-haul

I am going to share a few ideas I have to use up all of these goodies in this post. First, to get this out of the way. Carbs, we need them and I do not feel guilty about those bagels and the honey butter I bought along with it. In fact, I had one as soon as I got home from shopping. It was super satisfying and delicious of course. I plan on eating one each morning because I need food in the morning, lots of it if I am going to make it through the day without turning into a mommy monster or the hangriest lady at Target. I know you know what I mean. It will give me energy to work, mother, wife, think, exercise and function for the day.

bagel

 

I really wanted to make salad this week so I stocked up and made this huge chopped salad which I will share and bring some for dinner to my parents tonight (along with that pie) and I also made 4 small containers to store and grab. I made the dressing ahead of time too but kept it separate. I may add tuna, salmon or hard boiled eggs to these as well. Because I already have them on hand. Plus protein is important!

Dressing:

  • sunflower oil, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, water, honey, mustard, garlic, ginger, salt & pepper

Salad:

  • Dice everything as small as you can-honey crisp apple, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, carrots, red onion, walnuts, dried cranberries, arugula, romaine & napa cabbage

salad-2

I will attempt this week a recipe that I saw on The Chew for apple stuffed acorn squash so that’s happening. I also want to make a mashed root veg out of the yams, baby reds (that I already have) and the parsnips. I will add some of that honey butter to both of these dishes. I also plan on having smoothies in the afternoon with the Greek yogurt that I have and those bananas once they ripen. Wednesday for dinner, Max and I are going to make mac n cheese and I still need to decide what I am going to do with that artichoke! Sometimes it’s fun to buy things without a plan. I was inspired by it at the store so I threw it in the basket. Suggestions welcome. The cottage cheese is a favorite pre-bed snack of mine. I add cinnamon and eat it out of the container. I also prepped some celery and carrots to dip in that hummus.  I will share the mashed root veg, the acorn squash and artichoke on Facebook when I make them this week. I hope this gave you some inspiring ideas to have fun with your food & change up your variety a little!

I am excited to eat these yummy foods this week that are healthy but also extremely tasty. Balance is the key so I encourage you to cook, I encourage you to move your body and I encourage you to be positive and happy. Life is hard, complicated, unfair and crazy unless you step back and realize it actually can be very simple! xoxoAdrienne

 

Make ahead balanced breakfast

 

make ahead balanced breakfast

Hello sunshine! I made this make ahead breakfast today to store overnight and eat for the next few days. It is so good and a very balanced and satisfying meal. Fruit/oats/Greek yogurt/flaxseeds and a few add ins. Yep, that’s protein and good cards with some fiber and omega-3. I like that combo to start my day for sure!

Make it your own as usual with my recipes but here is the general idea:

1 chopped honey crisp apple

1 cup mixed berries/cherries (frozen or fresh)

1/2 cup cranberries (frozen or fresh)

2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tsp wheat germ

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)

mix together and store in a tight container overnight

Makes 4 servings

You can add nuts or more spices-I just used what I had on hand but there are lots of possibilities here. I had a bag of frozen mixed berries and cherries but you could use any fruit you wanted to. If you like it sweeter you can add honey just before eating it.

Enjoy!!

xo, A

Coconut & Mango Chicken Thighs

coconut mango chicken thighs

What you will need:

6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup diced red onion

2 peeled cubed carrots

1 large peeled and cubed sweet potato

2 TBSP honey

2 TBSP butter

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 TBSP tomato paste

1/2 cup mango chunks

Seasonings/Spices:

salt & pepper

nutmeg

cinnamon stick

coriander

ginger

cayenne pepper

lemon zest

shredded coconut flakes

parsley

How to make:

Pre-heat oven to 365 degrees.

On the stove heat a dutch oven or pan to med heat with 1 tbsp. of butter.

Add your carrots, onion and sweet potatoes to start to soften and cook for about 10 min.

Next add your seasonings: coriander, cayenne, ginger, nutmeg and salt/pepper (use about 1 TBSP of each but if you want to make this spicy add more cayenne and blk pepper)

Add tomato paste and stir then add chicken broth and coconut milk and cook for an additional 5 min to 10 min on med heat. At this point add a touch more of each seasoning and add your cinnamon stick that you will later remove after it comes out of the oven.

Pour mixture into an oven safe pan (use the other tbsp. of butter to coat the pan with and then add chicken thighs. Next add the mango chunks around the chicken thighs.

Bake for about 45 min.

When it comes out of the oven remove the cinnamon stick and add parsley, lemon zest and coconut flakes for garnish.

I made couscous on the side and served it over that but you can eat this just as is or even over rice. I even thought about pureeing the mango into the chicken broth and coconut milk so maybe I will try that next time!

This makes 6 servings.

I hope you enjoy it!

couscous and chicken thighs

Everyone in my house loved the chicken-it was flavorful and so moist!

I had it again for lunch today and the couscous was amazing after soaking up most of the coconut milk sauce.

xo

Adrienne

Bacon, Avocado & Panko Bites

bacon avocado panko bites

These were delicious! Bacon.Avocado.Panko…. need I say more?

How to make:

Cook the 4 strips of bacon (cut in half) about 3/4 of the way through then pat the extra grease off.

Slice a whole avocado into moon shaped pieces and toss in panko breadcrumbs.

Wrap avocado bites with the bacon and use a toothpick to hold together.

Cook on tray for about 10 to 15 more min in a 365 degree oven until the panko turns a bit darker and the bacon is crispy or to your liking. Avocado will be soft and warm at this point. You can spray the panko with a little bit of oil to help this along before you place them in the oven.

Pat the grease off of the bacon one more time and you are good to eat!

Enjoy!

xo

Adrienne