Veggie Stuffed Chicken “Sandwiches”

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Oh my gosh!!! These chicken “sandwiches” that I made are absolutely adorable!  Eating gluten-free, sometimes I really miss just throwing a sandwich together for lunch or dinner, so I am constantly looking for different ideas for “bread” that isn’t really bread.  This evening, I had baked some chicken breasts, and I noticed how much the outside looked like it could pass for bread – LIGHT BULB!  A chicken “sandwich” in which the chicken is the bread.  It turned out wonderfully!  I mean, look!

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And yes, it tastes just as scrumptious as it looks!  It was amazing!

Another plus when it comes to using chicken breast as bread is that chicken has a lot of health benefits!  Of course, we all know that it’s an excellent source of protein, but it goes much further than that!  The following pin lists some health benefits of chicken and links to a site that describes 7 impressive benefits of chicken.

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Awesome!  Plus, um, these chicken sandwiches are so yummy, guys!  You can really use any fillings you would like, but I gotta say that the mixture I made to fill the sandwich really is amazing.  Let’s get to it!

VEGGIE STUFFED CHICKEN “SANDWICHES”

Ingredients: 2 servings

  • 1 large chicken breast (6-8 ounces)
  • 1/3-1/2 small head of cauliflower, cut into slices and small florets
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups of baby spinach and arugula (mixed), finely chopped
  • 2 ounces shredded cheese (I used a hard goat’s milk cheddar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • garlic granules
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with garlic granules, and place in a baking dish.  bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until baked through.

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2.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the prepared cauliflower on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic granules.  When the chicken has 25 minutes left to bake, place the cauliflower in the oven and bake for 25 minutes along with the chicken.

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3.) While the cauliflower and chicken are baking, heat 1 1/2 tsp. of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.  Add the spinach and arugula, and cook until completely wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in the shredded cheese.  Mix completely.

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4.) When the chicken breast is done cooking, cut it in half length-wise.  These will be your two buns.  Cut each of the them in half width wise creating a top bun and a bottom bun for each of them.  Place a layer of cauliflower on the bottom bun, and top with a layer of the spinach and arugula mixture.

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5.) Sprinkle with a small bit of sea salt, and then place the top bun on top, creating a sandwich.

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Dig in!  Enjoy! 🙂

Butternut Squash Porridge

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Okay, this is my new favorite breakfast (until I come across my next new favorite breakfast 😉 )  But for now, this is it!  I LOVE that butternut squash is a vegetable!  It’s SO versatile, and has so many uses.  And now, I’ve got a new one for you – porridge, or hot cereal, you could really call it either or, but once you try it, you will definitely call it delicious!

Yes, I have professed my love for butternut squash many times before on here, but I can’t help it!  Check out this pin with some great health benefits of butternut squash!

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Look at all those nutrients!  No wonder why I love this stuff!  Oh, and as a HUGE added bonus, when you are baking the butternut squash for this recipe, it will fill your house with some amazing smells!  Your house will smell like a bakery or doughnut shop, and your mouth will be watering!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PORRIDGE

Ingredients – makes one serving

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of stevia
  • 1/2 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • 2-3 fresh strawberries chopped
  • handful of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 – 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, add your butternut squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stevia.  Toss to coat.

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2.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread out the butternut squash on the sheet.  Bake for 50-60 minutes till the squash is tender at 350 degrees.

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3.) Place in a bowl, add the vanilla, and mash with a fork.

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4.) Add the almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, coconut, and chia seeds.

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Now get ready to have a new favorite, because you will be so addicted once you try this!  YU-UUU-UUUUM!!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Veggie and Egg Stir Fry

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This stuff makes the BEST breakfast ever!!!  It is so yummy and has an enormous amount of vitamins and minerals.  Of course, as I’ve mentioned (or gone on and on about) before, the eggs in this are fantastic for you.

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Not only do the eggs in this provide all these great things, but it also gives this dish a great punch of protein to keep you satisfied right up until lunchtime!  The veggies in this provide even more nutrition!

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Whoa, baby!  I don’t even think it’s possible to cram in any more nutrition!  See why this would make such a great start to your day?  This is my go to breakfast right now!  Also, it’s really easy to make, and that’s always a HUGE plus!

HEALTHY VEGGIE AND EGG STIR FRY

Ingredients: makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup shredded turnip
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2-3 cups chopped arugula
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic granules
  • sea salt, to taste
  • Plain greek yogurt, for topping (optional)

Directions

1.) Prepare all of your veggies.

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2.) Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium/high heat.  Add the onion and carrots, and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often.

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3.) While the carrots and onion are cooking, place the eggs and egg whites in a small bowl, and whisk till frothy.  Set aside.

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4.) Add the shredded turnip to the frying pan, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

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5.) Add the arugula, whisked eggs, garlic granules, and sea salt.  Stir to combine.  Cook until the arugula is wilted, and the egg is cooked.

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6.) Transfer to plates, and top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, if desired, to serve.

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YUM!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Carrot Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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DELICIOUS!  Enjoy! 🙂

Red White and Blue Oatmeal

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Yeah, that tastes as good as it looks!

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SO YUMMY!  Happy Fourth of July!  Enjoy! 🙂

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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AMAZING!  IT WORKS!!!  Enjoy! 🙂