Baked Cinnamon Carrot Sticks with Sweet Almond Dipping Sauce

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My new favorite snack!!!  These baked cinnamon carrot sticks are so incredibly delicious, and to be honest, you could actually get away with having these as a super healthy dessert when you pair it with the sweet almond dipping sauce (which is also extremely healthy by the way)!  Regardless of if you have this for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast, you will be happy you gave them a try…SOOOOO YUMMY!

With carrots being the main ingredient, you know this has lots of health benefits!

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Another great thing about carrots is that they contain a super absorbable form of calcium that is hard to get from other forms of foods or supplements.  You get all these health benefits in a sweet and delicious treat!  Believe me, you would never know that getting your servings of veggies in this snack!

BAKED CINNAMON CARROT STICKS WITH SWEET ALMOND DIPPING SAUCE

Ingredients:

For the carrots:

  • 18-20 baby carrots, sliced in halves
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • heaping 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • healthy pinch of stevia or 1/2-1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of stevia, or 1-2 tsp. raw honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-4 Tbsp. of milk of your choice

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place your halved baby carrots in a medium mixing bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients for the carrots.  Toss to coat completely.

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2.) Place the carrots on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees until tender.

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3.) In a small saucepan, add all the ingredients for the sauce, except the milk.  Heat over low heat and stir to combine.  Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce reaches your desired consistency (more milk = a thinner sauce, less milk = a thicker sauce).  Transfer to a bowl.

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4.) Transfer the carrots and the dipping sauce to a plate to serve.

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Yum!  Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

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I bet you thought that I couldn’t possibly come up with anymore uses for cauliflower, but low and behold, here we are!  Yes!  Yet another use for cauliflower!

One of my favorite “super-quick” meals when I don’t have a lot of time to cook or prepare is to just cook up a bag of frozen green beans.  Green beans are one of the best greens you can eat! They are loaded with health benefits, and um, they’re yummy!

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That’s great, but wasn’t this post about cauliflower sauce?  Don’t worry, we’re getting there!  You see, even though my go-to meal of green beans with a bit of olive oil and sea salt is still delicious as is, I wanted to find a way to spice it up a bit…enter cauliflower! I made this cauliflower sauce to top my green beans, and wa-la!  A SUPER yummy meal with even MORE health benefits than before, because of the added cauliflower and other veggies and healthy ingredients in the sauce!

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Another bonus is that though this is a light meal, it is FILLING!  It will make your tastebuds happy and your tummy content!  And, yes, the sauce is easy to make, and as another bonus, it keeps great for a few days in the fridge, or you can freeze it as well, so once it’s made, you’ve got the hard part of a nice healthy meal done.  You can top noodles with it, green beans (like I did), other veggies, eggs, breads, you can use it as a pizza sauce…oh boy, the possibilities are endless.

Okay, last thing before getting to the recipe, I promise!  This is just the basic recipe.  You can add different herbs and spices, or take some of the ones I used out.  You can also throw a handful of cheese in there if you wanted to or other cooked veggies and fresh herbs, so don’t be afraid to get creative with it!  Let’s get to it!

HEALTHY CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • One small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets (about 5 cups of small cauliflower florets)
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for a minimum of 4 hours beforehand
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (I actually used 1/3 red onion, 1/3 white onion, and 1/3 yellow onion for variety and flavor)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • pinch of nutmeg (I know that doesn’t look like it would fit here, but trust me it really works)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

1.) Soak your cashews for a minimum of 4 hours before getting started.

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2.) Place the cauliflower in a saucepan, and cover with water.  Heat over medium/high heat.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Drain and set aside.

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3.) In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, and cook until tender (about 5-7 minutes).  Remove from heat.

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4.) Drain the cashews and place them, the cooked cauliflower, cooked onion and garlic, spices and sea salt, and 1/2 cup of water in the bed of a food processor.  Process on high until smooth.  Add up to 1/2 cup more water until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.

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5.) If serving right away, place back in a sauce pan and heat to desired temperature.  Top whatever you would like with it…I highly recommend this sauce on some cooked green beans…DELISH!

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Delicious, Healthy, Simple – Enjoy! 🙂

 

Sweet Potato Hash and Egg Cups

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I made the cutest little sweet potato hash and egg breakfast cups for breakfast this morning, and as soon as I saw how they turned out, I knew I had to share the recipe with you guys!  Their super simple, and super yummy, and they make for a perfect combination of great protein and good carbs to start your day.  These also make for an excellent snack for any time of the day!

The two main ingredients are sweet potato and eggs.  The good carbs come from the sweet potatoes, and the good portion come from the eggs.

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I love looking at a long list of health benefits that I’m starting my day with!  Even though these breakfast cups have only a few ingredients, as you can see their health benefits are many!

SWEET POTATO HASH AND EGG BREAKFAST CUPS

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet potato (about 1/2 medium sweet potato peeled and shredded)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used a goat’s milk mozzarella)
  • 1 tsp. garlic granules
  • 6 eggs
  • sea salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line 6 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners, or grease 6 cups of the muffin tin.

2.) Place the shredded sweet potato, cheese, and garlic granules in a small bowl.  Stir to combine completely.

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3.) Place 1-2 Tbsp of the sweet potato mixture in the bottom of each of the six cups, then crack in egg on top of each of the cups.

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4.) Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the egg is set, and the yolk is to your desired consistency. Remove the cups from the pan and allow them to sit for 2-3 minutes.

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5.) Remove the liners from each of the cups.  Season with sea salt and pepper, and serve.

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Easy Peasy!  Enjoy! 🙂

Italian Lamb Cabbage Cake

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I made this cabbage cake for dinner, and it had my brain in a tizzy!  My eyes see cake, but my mouth tastes a delicious Italian savory meal! At least these two things are both positives!  This dish is SO pretty!  It looks like a deliciously layered beautiful cake.

Now, the taste…wow…with the first bite, you’re mouth is going to get punched with a blend of Italian flavors like basil, oregano, parsley, and the like, and those flavors along with the MANY veggies and lamb in here make for the PERFECT combination.  This is seriously one of my new favorites.  It takes a little bit of work, but boy is it worth it!  YUMMERS!

So, like I said, this dish has SO many veggies in it!  There’s the obvious: cabbage.  But there’s also purple cauliflower, white onion, red onion, garlic, carrots, pumpkin, fresh basil, and parsley.  Ummm…can you say health benefits?  This meal is packed with them!

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carrots

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Now, do I have your attention?  So many health benefits!  I love meals like this that I just love putting in my body!

Like I said, this dish takes a bit of work, but it is well worth it!

ITALIAN LAMB CABBAGE CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 very small head purple cauliflower (enough to make 1 cup of cauliflower rice)
  • 1 1/4 cup grated cheese, divided (I used a hard goat’s milk cheddar)
  • 1 16oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. of each: garlic granules, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, onion powder
  • handful of chopped fresh basil
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • sea salt, for seasoning

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the leaves of your cabbage off one by one, trying to keep them as whole as possible.  Place the cabbage leaves in the boiling water, and allow them to cook for 5 minutes.  Promptly remove them from the water, and place on paper towel or a dish towel.  Pat dry, and set aside.

2.) Cut your cauliflower into florets, and place them in the bed of a food processor.  Process on high until the cauliflower has a rice like consistency. Set aside 1 cup of the processed cauliflower.

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3.) In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, garlic granules, dried basil, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried parsley.  Set aside.

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4.) Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the ground lamb into the pan, and cook until no longer pink. Drain off any extra grease, and set the lamb aside in a bowl. Do not wash the pan.

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5.) In the same pan, add the olive oil, and heat over medium heat.  Add the onions, minced garlic, and shredded carrots to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes until the onions begin to sweat.  Add the cup of cauliflower rice, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender/soft. Add the lamb back in and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat, and add 3/4 cup of the pumpkin puree sauce that you made (set the rest aside), 3/4 cup of the grated cheese (set the rest aside), and the fresh parsley and basil.  Stir to combine.  Allow to cool a bit, then add the egg and stir to combine completely.

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6.) Grease a 1.5 qt. casserole dish with olive oil.  Place your largest cabbage leaf on the bottom of the casserole dish.  Add another few leaves on top of this, and have them go up the sides of the dish. Add a layer of your filling (about 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch thick).  Top with more cabbage leaves allowing them to go up the sides. Add another layer of filling.  Continue this until you run out of filling, or until you reach the top of the casserole dish.  For your top layer, use cabbage leaves, and tuck them into the sides around the other cabbage leaves.

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7.) Top with a bit of your pumpkin puree sauce, and a small amount of cheese.  Set the rest aside for “decorating” your cake when it comes out of the oven.  Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

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8.) When it’s done baking, let it set for 7-10 minutes, then place a plate over the top of the casserole dish, and flip the cake onto the plate.  Remove the casserole dish to reveal your cabbage cake.  Use a spoon to spread the rest of your pumpkin sauce over the top and sides of the cake.  Top with the rest of your grated cheese.

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9.) Use a sharp knife to cut into slices.  Season with sea salt, and serve.

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See?  So pretty, so yummy, and SO good for you!  Enjoy! 🙂

Veggie Stuffed Breakfast Hash

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With fall quickly approaching, I found some butternut squash at the grocery store (YAY!), and decided to make this delicious breakfast hash with it.  I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate more veggies into my breakfasts, and this dish does a perfect job of it!  I got the idea for it from the following pin.

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As usual, I changed up pretty much everything since I don’t eat white potatoes, and I wanted gobs of veggies in it, so the result is an incredibly healthy, tasty, and hearty breakfast, that will start your day off right!  Because of all the veggies and healthy ingredients in this, some of its health benefits include the following.

  • excellent for eye health
  • packed with protein to keep you satiated until lunchtime
  • good for lowering blood pressure
  • high in antioxidants
  • cancer prevention
  • blood cleansing
  • provides energy

Yeah, I’ll take that to start my day!  Not to mention, the fact that I get all these benefits just from eating something that makes my tastebuds SO happy!

VEGGIE PACKED BREAKFAST HASH

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
  • 3 cups brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • sea salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • plain greek yogurt (optional)

Directions:

1.) Start by chopping your butternut squash into small bite size cubes.  Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add the butternut squash and boil for 5 minutes.  Poor into a strainer, and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

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2.) Prepare the rest of your vegetables.

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3.) In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the ground turkey, and cook until cooked through.

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4.) Once the turkey is cooked through, add the garlic powder, paprika, parsley, and brussels sprouts.  Cook for 8-10 minutes until the brussels sprouts are cooked.

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5.) Add the red pepper and squash to the pan, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

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6.) Spoon into bowls to serve, and top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt if desired.

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What a wonderful way to start your day!  Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Coconut Flour Cupcakes with a Honey Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Healthy cupcake recipe alert!!! I made these cupcakes about a week ago, and knew I needed to let you all know about the recipe! They are honey vanilla cupcakes, and the only flour used in them is coconut flour. I also made a buttercream frosting using raw honey instead of powdered sugar, and it turned out great (even hubby liked it)! You could also use whipped coconut butter as a frosting as well, but I really wanted a buttercream, so I decided to get creative, and the result was delish!

I topped mine with some chocolate candies that we had here in the house, but you can top them with anything you would like, or you can just leave them without a topping. Some ideas for toppings could be mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, shaved chocolate, raw cacao powder, homemade mini-cookie, a piece of fresh or dried fruit, nuts, etc. Really, you can top it with or without anything you would like since vanilla honey flavor pretty much goes with anything!

COCONUT FLOUR HONEY VANILLA CUPCAKES WITH A HONEY VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Ingredients (makes 8 cupcakes):

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For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup raw honey (depending on how sweet you want your cupcakes)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil in liquid state
  • 2 Tbsp. milk of your choice (regular, almond, coconut, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 8 cups of a muffin tin with muffin liners. Sift the dry ingredients of the cupcakes into a medium mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients for the cupcakes, and stir until completely combined. Use a spoon to fill the eight muffin liners evenly.

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2.) Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes give or take a few minutes, until a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Take out of the oven, and put in the freezer or refrigerator to chill while making your frosting.

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3.) Place all of the frosting ingredients in a bowl, and stir to combine. Once combined, use a hand mixer to whip the frosting until it thickens to your desired consistency (longer = more thick, shorter = more liquidy) and becomes a lighter color.

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4.) Place the frosting into a plastic ziploc bag, and cut off the corner of the bag. Use the bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, then leave it as is, or top with whatever you would like.

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5.) Do this for each of the cupcakes, then enjoy!

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Healthy cupcakes! Yay! Enjoy! 🙂

Spring/Summer Reversible Patio Craft

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I had a bit of extra time on my hands while hubby was away for work (Army wife life!), so I decided to take the opportunity to make this adorable craft for our front patio. I am planning on making another one with Halloween or Autumn one side and Christmas or Winter on the other, so that we can have this cute decoration out there year round!

It’s really easy to make this craft, and if you are a crafter like me, than you probably already have all the materials you will need to do it, minus maybe the board…speaking of which, this craft is great if you have an old board that you aren’t sure what to do with. I love repurposing stuff, and this craft is a perfect way to do that with an old board that you have lying around!

Of course, you don’t have to use the spring/summer theme. Like I said, I am planning on making another one of these with either holidays or the other two seasons on it, but really you can do whatever you want on each side!

REVERSIBLE PATIO CRAFT

Materials:

  • A flat wooden board in the size you would like. Mine was about 3/4 inch thick, 4 feet long, and a little over a foot wide.
  • a pencil
  • craft paint for wood
  • paintbrushes
  • Stencils (optional) – I did mine freehand

Directions:

1.) Start with one side of the board, and use your pencil to sketch in your design using your stencils or freehand.

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2.) Now, use your paintbrushes and paints to paint in your sketched design using the colors you would like.

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3.) Allow the paint to dry overnight.

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4.) On the other side of the board, repeat steps 1 – 3 on the other side with a different design of your choosing. After it has dried, display it proudly on your patio or deck! 🙂

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Told you it was simple, and isn’t it so cute? Enjoy! 🙂