Mexican zucchini & turkey skillet 

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Week nights are busy with homework & dance activities, so quick, healthy, and easy dinners are always great to have ready for my family! 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 small to medium zucchini (quartered)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey 
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 red or green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic 
  • Large can petite diced tomatoes 
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder 

Directions:

  1. Brown ground turkey, onion, and bell pepper over medium heat until meat is browned. 
  2. Add minced garlic, tomatoes, and spices. Stir well and cover. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add zuchinni. Stir well and cover. Simmer for another 10 minutes. 

Side notes: 

  1. Don’t over cook zucchini. Should be fork tender, but still firm.
  2. Serve as is or with brown rice or another veggie. 
  3. Reheats well for lunch the next day.
  4. If you prefer more heat you can use 2 10oz cans of rotel or spicy salsa in the place of diced tomatoes. 
  5. I don’t cook red meat, but you could substitute with lean beef.
  6. This is a quick 30 minute low carb meal! 
  7. This could be easily switched to an instant pot meal.
  8. Would also be good with zucchini & squash.
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    Build your own granola

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    I love finding recipes and putting my own twist on them. So I especially love recipes as versatile as this one. So many twist can be put on it to make it your own favorite or just what you have on hand at the time. I often shop the bulk isle at our local grocery store and was able to find almost everything I needed on that one isle. 

    Ingredients:

    • 4 cups rolled oats
    • 1 cup raw nuts or seeds (pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, sliced almonds, peanuts, chopped pecans, walnuts)
    • 1/2 cup dried fruit (raises, cranberries, pineapple, apple)
    • 1 cup coconut (or more oats or nuts)
    • 1 tbsp of your favorite spice (cinnamon, pumpkin spice, etc)
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp flavor (vanilla extract, almond extract, etc)
    • 1/4 cup fat (coconut oil, melted butter, canola oil, etc)
    • 1/3 cup sweet (honey, maple syrup, agave, brown sugar, or even a combo of any of these)
    • 1 egg white (optional! Beat just until frothy. Makes it super crunchy with clusters)

    Directions:

    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
    2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
    3. Spread out on tray(s). (I used two 11×14)
    4. Bake between 300°-350° (depending on your oven. I bake it at 300°) until golden. 
    5. Stir it after 15 minutes. Then every 10 minutes to follow. It only takes 25 minutes in our oven. 
    6. It will crisp as it cools.
    7. Allow it to dry completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. 

    Batch I made today:

    • 4 cups rolled oats
    • 1 cup pumpkin seeds 
    • 1 cup sliced almonds 
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon 
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract 
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1/3 cup local honey 

    (Yields approximately 2 quarts)

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    Strawberry, banana, pb, chocolate panini 

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    Sometimes I like to throw a treat together for our girls that is at least “slightly” healthy. This is a favorite of theirs. 

    Ingredients:

    • Strawberries (sliced)
    • Banana (sliced) 
    • Sugar free chocolate syrup
    • Creamy peanut butter
    • Flour tortillas

    Directions: 

    Spread peanut butter on a tortilla. Place strawberry and banana slices on half of the tortilla. Drizzle with a little bit of chocolate syrup. Fold in half and place in panini press until golden on both sides and serve. 

    Sidenotes:

    • Can cook in a regular skillet as well. 
    • Be careful when flipping it so the fruit doesn’t slide out. 
    • Can make with other kinds of fruit, be creative. 
    • Only needed about 5 or 6 medium sizes strawberries and one banana to make them for seven people.
    • Skip the chocolate and it can be a fun breakfast or lunch for kiddos. 

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    Mild salsa recipe 

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    Two years ago I canned salsa for the first time. We loved it! It was a mild salsa that even our girls were able to enjoy. Then I misplaced the recipe until a few days ago. I quickly ran out with the full intentions of spending Good Friday home with our little ladies making a new batch of salsa for our family. This time I’m going to blog it so misplacing the recipe doesn’t happen again! Plus a few friends asked for the recipe. 

    Ingredients:

    • 40 Roma tomatoes 
    • 6 Bell peppers 
    • 6 Jalapeno peppers
    • 3 Anaheim peppers 
    • 5 Onions 
    • 3 Cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup Salt
    • 2 cups Vinegar 
    • 1/2 cup Bottled lime juice (not fresh!)
    • 12 oz Tomato paste (for thicker salsa use 2-3 cans)
    • 1/2 cup Sugar 

    Instructions:

    1. Rinse, core, and peel ingredients.
    2. Run ingredients through a food processor. I didn’t run the tomatoes through until they were very fine because I like to make it a little chunky.
    3. Boil in large pot (I used my large magnalite pot) for two hours stirring occasionally. 
    4. Portion into mason jars and put them in a wet bath for 40 minutes. 

    Side notes: 

    • Use any tomato you prefer, I lean towards the roma 
    • For a spicy salsa use 12 jalapenos and up to 8 Anaheim peppers. 
    • It’s important to NOT use fresh lime juice so that it won’t be too acidic. 
    • I like to use both green and yellow bell peppers to give it a good color. 
    • For this batch I had really large onions so I only used four of them. 
    • Salsa will have a shelf life of one year. 
    • This batch made 2 quarts and 12 pints. 
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    Turkey & veggie soup 

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    I love seeing a recipe and giving it my own spin. I recently saw a recipe floating around on Facebook for a beef and cabbage soup. It looked delish, only I don’t cook beef. So I decided to try a different twist. The outcome was a house full of family that loved it. 

    This could be made in an instant pot or on the stove. I went the instant pot route because I jump on any chance to cook with it. 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb lean ground turkey 
    • 1 small head of cabbage (chopped up)
    • 1 small onion (diced)
    • 4-6 stalks of celery (sliced)
    • 1 1/2 cups carrots (sliced)
    • 2 bay leaves 
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp creole seasoning
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 28 oz petite diced tomatoes
    • 4 cups turkey stock 
    • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Directions:
    Going the instant pot method, put the instant pot on the saute setting. Pour olive oil in. When heated (happens quickly) add ground turkey and cook until browned. Just a few minutes. Add onion, carrots, & celery and saute a few more minutes. Add minced garlic, salt, creole seasoning, turkey stock, and diced tomatoes. Stir well. Add cabbage and stir again. Then add Bay leaves and put lid on and close valve. 

    Manually set to pressure cook on high heat for 20 minutes and use natural release. Remove bay leaves and stir. Ready to serve!


    Side notes:

    • Can be served over rice or as is. We liked it as is.
    • Can do it with ground beef and beef stock if you prefer. Or ground chicken and chicken stock. Or maybe no meat at all with a veggie broth. Can virtually change it up any way you’d like to your preferece. 
    • I save all veggie scraps and peels and freeze in a gallon zip lock until it’s full and then make a veggie broth with it. 
    • For stove top method, follow all of the above instructions and then simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour. 
    • The turkey stock I used was the stock I made from our cajun turkey we cooked for Thanksgiving. So it was full of flavor already. Can use store bought broth, but may need to add more seasoning to taste. 
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    Unicorn hot cocoa 

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    One little glimpse of this magical unicorn hot cocoa online that is all the craze at this little shop in Anaheim and I just knew I had to come up with a similar recipe for our girls and their friends. I don’t typically over load them with sugar. Today was not the case. They were in sugary unicorn hot cocoa heaven and I even made them a batch of homemade rainbow pop tarts.

    I looked at a variety of recipes and took a little bit of those ideas, combined with a hot cocoa recipe that I make a huge batch of annually, keeping in mind that I planned on making pink hot chocolate soon for gifts, and decided to make a batch large enough to fill this container.

    Our girls love strawberry anything so I decided to take their unicorn hot cocoa in that direction. Since it’s an unusually cold for Texas day I made this batch. Heated the water in the kettle and made enough for 8 cups and tossed it in a crock pot on warm and invited some friends over. While we waited for them to arrive I whipped up a few different dishes of colorful whipped cream to dollop on top and had some fruity marshmallows, rainbow sprinkles, & sugar sprinkles ready to garnish with.

    The cocoa is a really pretty pink color on its own (forgot to take that picture first), but since one of our kiddos isn’t very girly and one of the kiddos coming over is a boy I dropped just a few drops of purple food coloring to give it this purplish color today.

    Here’s the recipe I came up with…

    -Unicorn Hot Cocoa-

    Ingredients:

    • 25.6 oz nonfat dry milk
    • 16 oz coffee creamer 
    • 8 cups of strawberry nesquick 
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 11 oz Ghirardelli white chocolate chips

    Instructions:

    In an oversized pot or container mix all of the above ingredients. I first took the white chocolate chips and ran them through the food processor until it was fine. Mix all above ingredients until well blended and store in an air tight container.

    How to make a cup of cocoa:

    Heat 1 cup of water. Mix in 1/4-1/3 cup of the unicorn hot cocoa mix. I also added 1 tbsp of Guittard choc-au-lait vanilla milk chips (optional of course) and stirred well until all mixed. Dolloped with a teaspoon of each colored whipped cream, a bit of fruity marshmallows, and topped with the rainbow & sugar sprinkles!

    Crock pot version:

    To make ahead for a party or just to serve through out the day. I heat up water in our kettle and measure out the water. Our small crock pot holds 8 cups, full size crock pot will of course hold much more. Pour the water in the crock pot set on warm. Then mix the 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup of unicorn hot cocoa mixture based on how many cups of water used. Just mix it well with a whisk and cover. I like to whisk it again before serving. This would be fun for a hot cocoa bar. Just set out all the toppings to garnish when ready to serve.

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    Chicken n’ dumplings 

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    I really need to get better about taking a picture after I cook something, but tonight I just winged making chicken n’ dumplings in my instant pot and according to my family it was the best ever! I’m just glad they liked it and it was quick and easy, so I’ll share. 

    Ingredients:

    • 4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breast 
    • 48 oz chicken broth 
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 can biscuits 
    • Seasoning of choice (I used creole seasoning and garlic powder)

    Instructions:

    Put 4 frozen chicken breast, chicken broth, water, and seasoning in instant pot. Manual set to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release. Take chicken out to shred it and return to pot. Open cans of biscuits and quarter them. Add to pot and switch setting to Sautée. Stirring well and frequently cook for about 5-7 minutes until thickened. 

    Side note:

    Next time I’ll add veggies.

    I’m sure any kind of chicken you prefer will work.

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    Korean egg roll bowl

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    If you’re looking for something quick, easy, & healthy for a busy weeknight dinner this is the perfect dish!

    -Korean egg roll bowl-

    Ingredients:

    *1 medium cabbage  (shred or buy it bagged)
    *4-5 carrots (shred or buy it bagged)
    *1 lb ground pork (can also use chicken or beef to change it up)
    *sesame oil -or- extra virgin olive oil
    *Korean teriyaki stir fry sauce (I used House of Tsang brand, but whatever brand you’d like would work)
    *low sodium soy sauce

    image

    Directions:

    Shred the cabbage and carrots seperately. I just used the attachment on our food processor. In a large skillet or wok brown the meat in a little sesame oil or olive oil. Once browned add the shredded cabbage and a little more oil. Cook for about five or ten minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another five or so minutes. Then add the Korean teriyaki stir fry sauce and soy sauce to taste.

    It’s really that quick and simple. Our little monsters love rice so we made a little for them to eat with it. You could also add different veggies.

    image

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    Homemade sugar free hot cocoa

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    Ingredients:

    3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 1/2 c. splenda
    1 c. dry powdered milk
    1 c. powdered coffee creamer*

    (* Make sure it’s a sugar free coffee creamer. Be creative. You can use sugar free vanilla coffee creamer to make a vanilla favored hot cocoa)

    Directions:
    Mix all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Mix 1 tbsp in a cup of hot water. Or try our favorite way, add 1 tbsp to a cup of coffee with one crushed peppermint for a homemade peppermint mocha that is way healthier than one you’d get at a coffee shop.

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    15 bean crockpot soup

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    This quickly  became a family fave, even our picky eaters like it! Sort of reminds me of a vegetable soup, but full of protein.

    -15 Bean Crockpot Soup-

    Bag of 15 bean mix (discard seasoning packet)
    6 cups organic chicken broth
    Large can organic petite diced tomatoes
    8 oz cubed ham
    Large diced onion
    Small bag organic baby carrots
    4 or 5 stalks of organic celery (sliced thin)

    Season to taste with:
    Onion powder
    Cajun seasoning
    Salt
    Low sodium soy sauce (optional)

    Rinse beans (can soak over night if you’d like, but I don’t). Add all above ingredients in crock pot and stir well. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Can serve with rice if you’d like.

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