Italian Lamb Cabbage Cake

1

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!

cabbage

carrots

cauliflower

onion

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.

3

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.

4

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.

2

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.

5

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.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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

9

10

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

Healthy Coconut Flour Cupcakes with a Honey Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1

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):

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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

7

8

Healthy cupcakes! Yay! Enjoy! 🙂

Spring/Summer Reversible Patio Craft

1

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.

2

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

3

3.) Allow the paint to dry overnight.

4

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! 🙂

5

6

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

Cooked Cabbage and Veggie Salad

1

As anyone that remotely follows my blog knows, I make an effort to get in 8-10 cups of veggies a day…not only that, I try to get in 8-10 cups of COOKED veggies a day (don’t worry, I still get in some raw ones too!).  The reasons for this are many, but one of the big ones is that cooking veggies allows one to get even more of them in, because they often cook down, or reduce in size.  More veggies = more nutrients and minerals, so this is a good thing!

This goal makes me aim to get in 2-3 cups per meal, and this cooked cabbage and veggie salad is PERFECT for this!  Loads of veggies and super yummy flavors make for a great meal or side dish with some sort of protein.  Today was a light lunch, so I just made this for lunch itself.  Talk about satisfied!  I felt terrific after eating this!

As the name indicates, the main ingredient in this salad is red cabbage.  A super nutritious cruciferous veggie with loads of health benefits!

24c8982a7abc7cf9caf8bcdb347c1e5c

Woo-hoo!  Love seeing all those health benefits of something that I’m putting in my body!  Especially since it’s a delicious way to be healthy!  Let’s get to the recipe!

COOKED CABBAGE AND VEGGIE SALAD

Ingredients: 2-4 servings

  • 1/2 small head of red cabbage, cut into very thin slices
  • 2 cups of frozen peas, cooked as indicated on the package
  • 2 carrots, chopped into small slices
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/3 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Prepare the peas as indicated on the package. Set aside.

2.) Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.  Add the carrots and onion. Cook for 3 minutes.  Add the cabbage, garlic granules, onion powder, and 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the water cooks off and the cabbage is very tender (almost noodle like).  Add the peas, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

2

3.) Remove from the heat, and season with sea salt, to taste.  Transfer to plates to serve.

3

4

Loads of nutrition on a plate!  Enjoy! 🙂

Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

1

Another breakfast win!!!  Veggie-packed, full of flavor, and super satisfying, this breakfast casserole makes my tastebuds, belly, and body happy!

Getting enough veggies in your diet is not easy!  Especially since today, pollution, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals have drastically depleted the mineral content of the soil, so really we need WAY MORE than the recommended 1.5-2 cups of veggies per day.  I always aim for 8-10 cups of veggies each day – I know that sounds like a lot but it really is necessary for optimal health!

The good news is that this breakfast casserole can easily provide 2-3 cups of veggies, which allows you to start your day by putting you well on your way to getting in loads of veggies (and loads of nutrition)!  It’s got spaghetti squash, sweet potato, and broccolini – these guys make the BEST combination for flavor, in my humble opinion.  Topped with some soft cooked eggs, this really is the complete package in terms of a healthy breakfast!

db85595338bde770ec80c7845551169a

sweet potato

broccoli

Okay, now that we see all that this dish has to offer, let’s get to the recipe!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND SWEET POTATO BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 medium/large spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 large bunch broccolini, chopped into florets
  • garlic granules, to taste
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese
  • olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with paper.  Spray the spaghetti squash with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic granules.  Place on the prepared baking sheet. Toss the sweet potato with a bit of olive oil and garlic granules.  Place next to the spaghetti squash on the baking sheet.  Place the baking sheet in the oven for 25 minutes. Toss the broccolini with a bit of olive oil and garlic granules.  Place on the other prepared baking sheet.  When the spaghetti squash and sweet potato have baked for 25 minutes, put the broccolini in the oven as well.  Bake all of it for another 10 minutes.

2

2.) After the 10 minutes is up, take all of the veggies out of the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.  When the spaghetti squash has cooled enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the insides out into “spaghetti noodles”.  Place the spaghetti noodles, sweet potato, broccolini, and goat cheese in a bowl, and stir to combine thoroughly.  Transfer to a 8×11 baking dish.  Spread out evenly, and make six indents.  Crack the 6 eggs into the indents.

3

3.) Place the baking dish back in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until your eggs have reached your desired consistency (longer = harder yolk, shorter = softer yolk – side note…softer yolk = easier digestion and more nutrients).

4

4.) Use a knife or spatula to cut into pieces and scoop onto plates.  Season with a bit of sea salt, if desired, and serve.

5

DELISH!  Enjoy! 🙂

Rosemary Ground Lamb Meatballs with Rosemary Pumpkin Sauce

1

These meatballs are so delicious.  For those of you who eat meat, lamb is an excellent red meat to consume in moderation.  It is high in many important nutrients and minerals giving it plenty of health benefits. Some of those include the following:

  • Boosts immune health
  • Packed with protien
  • Excellent source of zinc and iron
  • Good source of healthy fats
  • Great developmental food
  • Promotes a healthy nervous system

lamb

Like I said – loads of nutrients and health benefits!  Of course, moderation is key, but lamb is an excellent meat to include in your diet, and this recipe for these meatballs is a great way to do just that!

ROSEMARY GROUND LAMB MEATBALLS WITH ROSEMARY PUMPKIN SAUCE

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1/3 cup minced parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 pound ground lamb

For the Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 diced onions
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley leaves

Directions:

1.) Begin by combining the parsley, the rosemary, and the sea salt in a bowl. Crumble up the lamb into this spice bowl and knead the meat until the spices are incorporated. From this meat, you create the meatballs. Line up the meatballs on a baking sheet.

2

2.) To the side, heat up the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onion for five minutes. Toss in the rosemary, the sea salt, and the garlic and stir. Add the diced celery and stir again. Add the water, the pumpkin puree, and the parsley, and stir for an additional thirty seconds.

3

3.) Bring this created sauce to a boil and place the meatballs in this saucepan. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat. Cook the meatballs for forty minutes with the cover on.

4

4.) Afterwards, remove the cover and cook for an additional twenty minutes.

5

5.) Transfer to a bowl or plate and serve warm.

7

Super yummy, guys!  Enjoy! 🙂

Buttery Garlic Brussels Sprouts

1

I’ve been cooking more with butter lately than I have in the past.  Through some research, I’ve found that organic grass fed butter actually has quite a few health benefits.  I still use my olive oil and coconut oil, but I “think” there are some benefits to using butter in moderation in some cases. Plus, um, it’s butter and it’s delicious…

butter

This recipe uses both butter and olive oil, and it comes together beautifully to creating some brussels sprouts with a perfect garlicky and buttery taste to them.  These make a perfect side dish to a nice roasted chicken breast to create a healthy and complete meal!

BUTTERY GARLIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Ingredients:

  • 20-25 brussels sprouts, washed and cut in halves
  • 2 Tbsp. organic grass fed butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed in a garlic press
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.  Add the garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes until garlic begins to brown.  Remove 1/2 of the garlic and throw it away.  Add in the brussels sprouts flat side down.

2

2.) Cover the pan, and cook for 7-10 minutes (do not stir) until the brussels sprouts are tender.

3

3.) Transfer to a bowl or plate, and season with a bit of sea salt.

4

Yummers!  Enjoy! 🙂