Slow Cooker Applesauce Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

1

Oh. Wow.  This is a really simple slow cooker meal, but it is SO yummy and hearty!  It makes for an amazing meal!  On top of it’s awesome flavor, it is extremely good for you.  Some of the health benefits of some of the ingredients in this are explained in the following pins.

2

3

4

Pretty awesome, huh?  Believe me, you will love this dinner. Plus, who doesn’t love a slow cooker meal?  Pretty much just dump and go – so simple!

SLOW COOKER APPLESAUCE CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt to taste

Directions:

1.) Layer the sweet potato and the chicken in the slow cooker

5

2.) In a small bowl, combine the applesauce, garlic powder, onion, and apple cider vinegar.  Poor over the chicken and sweet potatoes in the slow cooker.

6

3.) Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

7

4.) Spoon out individual chicken breasts to serve and top with the sweet potatoes.  Season with sea salt.

8

Delicious! Enjoy! 🙂

Carrot Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

1

Good Morning!  I know mine certainly was thanks to these awesomely tasty and healthy carrot oatmeal breakfast muffins!  I could eat these things all day long, and ya know what?  That wouldn’t be a terrible thing since these are so good for you!  Two of the main ingredients are carrots and oatmeal, and both of these are nutrition powerhouses!

9

10

And these are only two of the ingredients!  There’s also banana, honey, cinnamon, etc. – all SUPER good for you!  It’s easy to see why these make a great start to your day!  Plus, with them being so tasty, it’s a joy to wake up to them!

CARROT OATMEAL MUFFINS

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free oat flour
  • 1 cup gluten free oats, plus about 2-3 Tbsp for topping
  • 2 1/2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup shredded carrots, plus a little extra for topping
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray, or grease, a muffin tin with olive oil or coconut oil.  Mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl until there are no more lumps and shred one cup worth of carrots.

2

2.) In the bowl you mashed the banana in, add the eggs, vanilla, honey, and almond milk.  Stir to combine completely.

3

3.) In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oat flour, oats, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon.  Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Fold in the shredded carrots.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes so the milk can soak up the oats a bit.

4

4.) Fill the muffin tin evenly with the batter.  Top the muffins with some oats and shredded carrots.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

5

5.) Allow to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes.

6

6.) Remove the muffins from the tin.  You should be able to do this by simply turning the tin upside down and giving it a gentle shake/tap on the bottom.

7

Perfect start to the day!  Don’t you just want to dig in?

8

DELICIOUS!  Enjoy! 🙂

Rainbow Roasted Veggies

veggies1

I LOVE roasted veggies, and this dish has the added benefit that it’s so pretty!  Look at all those colors!!!  Did you know that you can determine certain health benefits of a food based on its color?  This is shown in the following pin!

250704f2de9194e0876b1afc5d4d8bc2

As you can see it is great to get a plethora of color in your diet!  This dish provides a whole bunch of variety in terms of colors, and we can see that makes for some really great health benefits!  This meal makes for a wonderful lunch, or you can have it as a side with dinner.  At any rate, it is delicious, so I’m pretty sure you will enjoy it regardless of what time of the day you eat it!  Let’s get to the recipe!

RAINBOW ROASTED VEGGIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 a large red onion, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 zucchinis, chopped into bite size pieces
  • olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil on a baking pan.  Prepare all your veggies, and place them in rows on the baking pan.

veggies2

2.) Sprinkle the apple cider vinegar over the veggies, followed by the garlic powder, thyme, and basil.  Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

veggies3

3.) Take out of the oven and stir in the pan.

veggies4

4.) Place in a bowl, and sprinkle with sea salt and crumbled goat cheese.

veggies5

YUUUUUM!  Enjoy! 🙂

Red White and Blue Oatmeal

1

Happy Fourth of July!!!  We started our day off with a super yummy and patriotic breakfast. 🙂  This “red, white, and blue” oatmeal is a really easy breakfast with a fun spin, in that it is decorated as an american flag…not exact, but you get the idea!  Not only does it look neat, it’s delicious, and super good for you!  With raspberries, blueberries, and bananas, this breakfast has tons of nutrition in it!

8

9

10

Woo-hoo!  All that nutrition in a delicious and satisfying breakfast!

I realized after making this that some cinnamon and almond butter would lend itself really well to this dish…hmmm, next year. Just kidding, this stuff is so delicious, I can pretty much guarantee it will make a reoccurrence here in our household in the near future!  Okay, let’s get to the recipe!

RED WHITE AND BLUE OATMEAL

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg and 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup of each: chopped banana, raspberries, blueberries, plus more for decorating

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 x 11 baking dish with olive oil.  In a small bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder and sea salt.  In a larger mixing bowl, mix together the almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs.  Add the oat mixture to the ‘wet’ ingredients and stir to combine.

2

2.) Fold in 1/4 cup chopped banana, 1/4 cup raspberries, and 1/4 cup blueberries.  pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and spread out evenly.

3

3.) Decorate the top of the oatmeal as an american flag, using blueberries for the upper left square corner, and bananas and raspberries for the stripes.

4

4.) Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool a bit (5-10 minutes).

5

5.) Use a spatula to cut out and transfer to a plate to serve.

6

Yeah, that tastes as good as it looks!

7

SO YUMMY!  Happy Fourth of July!  Enjoy! 🙂

D.I.Y. Anti-Aging and Brightening Face Mask

1

So, I’m turning 40 in 2 months! I’m super excited, because it puts me into the masters division for racing, but what I’m not so excited about is that I’m starting to look my age!  The fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, etc. sneak up on you like a little skin ninja!  On a super good day, I can still look like I’m in my mid 30’s, but on a bad day, it looks like I magically aged a decade or so overnight, and am 50 something!

About 5-6 months ago, I started looking at different all natural facial skin treatments on Pinterest.  Most of the ones I found are for those in their 20’s, aimed more at acne than at anti-aging or hyperpigmentation.  However, I started to research some different ingredients, and trying different concoctions, and I came up with one that is great for someone that is looking for something effective, all-natural, and good for people with maturing skin.

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to post this, because I was a little nervous about putting pictures of my face in all it’s naked glory when I’ve just woken up in the morning on here, but I love this mask so much that I knew I had to share!  I use this mask once or twice a week, and it never fails to make my face feel all soft and bright.  I also love it, because it is ALL NATURAL ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about any of the nasty chemicals that are in store-bought face masks, or chemical peels/masks that you get at the spa. Plus, um, it’s SO much cheaper!

There is a good chance that you already have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen, which is another plus.  There’s just four simple ingredients, and all of them have great health benefits for the skin!

Avocado: High in Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, and omega-9 fatty acids, which makes the avocado provide the following skin benefits:

  • Anti-aging: reduces sun damage, smooths fine lines and wrinkles,
  • Protects against environmental damage
  • Improves skin tone and appearance
  • Boosts collagen

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has too many good things in it to list, but here are several of the skin benefits it can provide:

  • Delivers moisture to dry skin
  • Reduces undereye bags
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Antibacterial properties that aid in reducing and preventing acne
  • Cleanses skin and pores
  • Great for eczema and other skin conditions
  • Natural SPF of about 4

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has long been used as a medicinal herb when it comes to the skin.  Some of the benefits it provides are as follows:

  • Helps to reduce/eliminate the appearance of scars from blemishes
  • Reduces inflammation and irritation of the skin
  • promotes hydration of the skin
  • smooths appearance of the skin
  • brightens and evens skin tone

Turmeric: Contains curcumin, curcuma, powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties giving it the following skin benefits:

  • Lightens and brightens skin tone
  • Treats acne
  • Soothes skin inflammation
  • Reduces redness
  • Helps prevent and reduce scarring from acne

Like I said, I came up with this mask by trial and error.  What prompted it was that I was using a sun screen that was really thick, so I decided to mix a small amount of coconut oil with it so it would spread on better, and I started to notice an improvement in my skin.  After that, I decided to make a coconut oil based mask, and the other ingredients are the ones that I’ve found to be the best for my needs.  It is my favorite for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, providing moisture, and brightening and evening my skin tone.

Okay, so here’s the part I was hesitant about – my before, during, and after photos of this mask:

2

These are completely makeup free and un-retouched, not to mention they are from when I’ve just woken up in the morning, so you can see all my imperfections…but hey, we’re all perfectly imperfect, right? 🙂  Anyway, let’s get up close and personal, so you can really see that the mask does make a difference in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as brighten the complexion.

mask4

mask2

mask3

You can see a slight reduction in my lines and wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes and mouth, and the brightening effect is obvious.  Of course, it’s not a miracle worker where it just takes everything away completely in one application. However, I’ve been using this about 2 times per week over the past 4 months or so, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference that is just as good, if not better, as the results I get from store-bought masks (and WITHOUT the chemicals – this is SO important to me), so I give it my stamp of approval!

ANTI-AGING AND SKIN BRIGHTENING FACE MASK

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 organic ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. organic, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. organic nutmeg
  • pinch of organic turmeric (don’t overdo this ingredient, otherwise, you may end up with a yellow face for a day…I learned this the hard way 🙂 )

Directions:

In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the avocado.  Mash in the coconut oil, and mix in the nutmeg and turmeric. Apply to face, and leave on for 15 minutes.  Rinse with warm water, and pat dry.

3

Give it a try!  You’ve got nothing to lose, but the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots!  Enjoy! 🙂

Sources:

Super Easy DIY Silver Polishing

1

Pinterest win!!!  I’ve been on a minimalist kick lately, so am trying to get rid of some things.  As I was going through my jewelry to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, I came across some of my silver jewelry (including my favorite bracelet) that I would totally wear, but they were a bit tarnished, because it had been awhile since I last used them.

bracelet

I decided that I wanted to keep these pieces, but I would need to get some silver polish…then the light bulb in my head went off, and I thought – PINTEREST!  Sure enough, there were tons of DIY silver polish tricks and recipes.  They all were a little bit different, but it was the same main idea. I decided to try a little bit of each of them to come up with my own process.

I don’t mean to brag, but this little concoction/procedure turned out FANTASTIC!  I’m pretty sure Harvard will be calling soon in hopes that I will accept an honorary P.h.D. in Chemistry, but I probably won’t accept.  Hey, I’m just a humble gal trying to salvage some of her favorite jewelry pieces!

The great news is that all that you need to clean silver is probably in your kitchen cupboard, and oh my gosh, guys – this stuff WORKS!  I was skeptical because it seemed so simple, but by golly, it worked!

necklace

It’s completely safe and non-toxic, and the way that I did it keeps the mess to a minimum (I read a lot of posts on Pinterest that complained of the mess of adding baking soda to boiling water – don’t worry!  The way I did this will keep that from happening).

It doesn’t just work for jewelry either!  You can use it for silverware, silver figurines, etc…plain and simple, it works!  Seriously, guys – you need to try this stuff!  You will feel like a mad scientist in your kitchen as you watch the tarnish magically disappear, and you will be left with beautifully shiny and brilliant silver!

DIY SILVER POLISH

Materials Needed:

  • A large bowl (big enough to fit whatever you are cleaning)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda per 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 tsp. salt per 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • boiling water (enough to cover whatever you are cleaning)

Directions:

1.) Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.  While the water is heating up, line your bowl with aluminum foil.

2

2.) Place the baking soda and sea salt in the bottom of the lined bowl. Slowly add the vinegar and watch it bubble and fizz – this is where you will feel like a brilliant chemist.  Once the water is boiling, add enough of it to the bowl so that whatever you are cleaning will be completely covered.  Once again, embrace your inner chemist and watch as the baking soda and salt that hasn’t yet dissolved in the vinegar magically dissolves completely.

3

3.) Gently drop your silver into the bowl.  You will see the tarnish just melt away – it’s really quite neat!  Let the silver soak for about 10 minutes.

4

4.) Carefully use a spoon to take the silver out of the bowl, and use a rag to dry off and remove any spots that haven’t come off yet.

5

5.) If it is not yet as pretty as you would desire, you can repeat the procedure to get it even cleaner, but my guess is you won’t have to!  I’m still shocked at how well this worked and how easy it was!

bracelet1

AMAZING!  IT WORKS!!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Garden Vegetable Egg Breakfast

1

Guess what?!  I have a new favorite, and it’s this breakfast!  I’ve fallen in love again, and I may have to marry this stuff to make an honest woman out of me!  I don’t know if I could find a more nutritious breakfast that tastes this good!

If you have followed my blog at all, you know that I am always trying to make sure that I get plenty of veggies in at breakfast time.  Well, there is a reason for that!  As a matter of fact, the following pin links to a site that explains 5 benefits of of eating veggies for breakfast!

9

Not only are those 5 reasons for eating vegetables for breakfast fantastic, but there is also the advantage of making sure that you get your daily dose of veggies out of the way right at the start of your day!

In general, the recommended daily amount of veggies is 2 1/2 cups.  Personally, I always aim for 5-8 cups of veggies per day.  Not always easy, but I find that there are little things you can do to get more in, such as cooking your veggies, adding them to smoothies, etc.

At any rate, if 2 1/2 cups is the bare minimum, this breakfast takes care of that in one meal!  Pretty awesome, right?  Plus, there is an egg and some greek plain yogurt involved providing a nice punch of protein to keep you satisfied and strong right up to lunchtime!

If you’re still not convinced that this is probably one of the best breakfasts ever, then I challenge you to try it once!  The taste alone will have you hooked!

GARDEN VEGETABLE EGG BREAKFAST

Ingredients: Makes 2 servings

  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 cups mixed greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard)
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (julienned)
  • 1 cup yellow squash, finely chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic granules
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.) Place the mixed greens into a steamer, and steam until slightly wilted, but not all the way wilted.  Set aside.

2

2.) While the greens are steaming, prepare your other veggies.

3

3.) Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet.  Add the green onion and cook for 1 minute.  Add the zucchini and yellow squash, cook for 2 minutes.  Add the carrots, garlic powder, and lemon juice.  Sprinkle with sea salt and cover.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.

4

4.) Remove from heat, add the wilted greens and the tomatoes, then put on a plate.  Set aside.

6

5.) In the same pan that you cooked the veggies, fry your eggs.  Break into the pan over medium heat.  Cook on one side for 1 minute or 2, then use a spatula to flip the egg over and cook on the other side for 1 minute or 2.  Place the eggs on top of the veggies.

7

6.) Do this with both eggs, then top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, and season with sea salt and pepper.

8.jpg

Just look at that!  You can practically taste it just from the picture!  SO YUMMY!  Enjoy! 🙂