Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

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Anytime that I have a recipe for breakfast cookies, I get excited!  I mean, cookies…for breakfast – is there anything better?

These pumpkin oatmeal breakfast cookies have everything you need to start your day!  Protein, fiber, and healthy fats are all a part of these guys which will keep you energized and satisfied right up until lunchtime!

On top of all that, these have both pumpkin and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) in them, and that means a whole bunch of awesome health benefits!

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Hmmm…well, I was sold at “cookies for breakfast”, but the fact that we get all these benefits in a yummy cookie???  AWESOME!

PUMPKIN OATMEAL BREAKFAST COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or you can leave these out and use 1/2 cup of pepitas instead of the 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup of almond butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of sea salt (optional)

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add all of the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl, and stir to combine completely.

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2.) Use your hands to shape and create 12 cookies (about 1/4 cup of batter for each) and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.

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3.) Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and leave the cookies in the oven as it cools for about 15 more minutes, then remove from the oven.

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4.) Transfer to a plate to serve.

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Best. Breakfast. Ever.

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Yum!  Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Chicken and Autumn Veggies

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Are you ready for the best Autumn dinner ever?  Well, I’ve got the recipe for you right here!  I got the idea from the following pin that links to a recipe for roasted chicken and veggies.

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I used different veggies and different seasoning to create a perfectly autumn-esque dinner!  As usual, this dish is REALLY good for you.  With the sweet potato, brussels sprouts, onion, and apple, this dish packs some serious nutrition! Some of those health benefits are as follows.

  • Full of antioxidants
  • Cancer prevention
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Immune boosting
  • High in Fiber

That just reaches the surface of how good this dish is for you.  So, that’s all great, but what I really like best about this dish is the cozy feeling I get while eating it.  It’s warm and satisfying, and the flavor is SO amazing!

Okay, let’s get to the recipe!

ROASTED CHICKEN AND AUTUMN VEGGIES

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. sage
  • 1 very large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored and chopped into cubes
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed and quartered
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into 1 inch square pieces
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a small container or 1 quart plastic sealable bag, add the chicken breasts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, the apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, the rosemary, thyme, and the sage.  Move chicken breast around to coat with the oil and herbs.  Set aside while you prepare your veggies (at least 10 minutes).

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2.) Prepare all your veggies and apple as described in the ingredient list.  Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil.  Spread the veggies and apple out on the baking sheet.  Drizzle the other 2 Tbsp. olive oil over the veggies and sprinkle with the other 1/4 tsp. garlic powder.  Stir on the pan to coat.

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3.) Place the chicken breasts on top of the veggies, and drizzle the leftover juice in the bag or container over the chicken and veggies.  Place in the oven and bake at 450 degrees for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

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4.) When done, transfer to a plate and season with sea salt and pepper.

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Now get ready to have your sock knocked off, because this is DELISH!!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Halloween Frankenstein Flower Pot Candy Holder Craft

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It’s October, which means HALLOWEEN!!!  I love this time of year (not as much here in San Antonio as in my home state of Michigan, but it’s still a great time of the year)! I was looking through my craft box to see what I could come up with for a fun and easy Halloween craft this year, and I found some leftovers from previous crafts.  Specifically, I found a cardboard flower pot and two miniature wood flower pots that I used to make a cute scarecrow craft a year or so back.  I also found some googly eyes that light up.

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Onto Pinterest I went to see what I could come up with! And I came across this super cute Frankenstein flower pot craft:

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I didn’t have two pots to make the craft the same way, so I decided to just make a Frankenstein head candy holder, with light up googly eyes! It turned out so cute!

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I should note that if you don’t have the light up googly eyes, you can simply paint the eyes on, or glue on some flat googly eyes that don’t light up.  Because the ones on mine light up, I had to cut holes in the cardboard flower pot so I could place the eyes in there and still get to the on/off switches on each of them. Also, you can use actual flower pots to make this as well, if which case you wouldn’t be able to cut out holes for the eyes anyway and would have to paint or glue them on.

Also, as I was making this, I realized that this could also be done with styrofoam cups instead of cardboard flower pots, and then those cups could be filled with nuts, candy, or whatever to have out at a Halloween get together.  You could also use a big regular sized flower pot to use as a way to set out a large amount of candy at a party, or on your porch for trick or treaters.  I used mine as a “gift basket”, and gave it to my husband filled with candy for a Halloween gift, so it can also be used this way.

In other words, there’s a lot of different ways to make this craft and a lot of different ways it can be used, but regardless, it turns out really cute, and it’s really easy to make! Let’s get to it!

HALLOWEEN FRANKENSTEIN FLOWER POT CRAFT

Materials:

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  • Flower pot
  • two mini flower pots, or two miniature spools
  • green, black, and silver paint
  • craft glue
  • light up googly eyes (optional)
  • Paintbrushes
  • pencil or marker

Directions:

1.) Start by painting the entire pot green.  Set aside, and let dry.

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2.) Paint the miniature flower pots or miniature spools silver, and set aside and let dry.

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3.) Now comes the eyes.  Once your pot is dry, if you’re not using the light up googly eyes, glue on your eyes or paint on your eyes. If you are using the googly light up eyes, you will want to trace the eyes onto the pot where you want them to be, then use scissors, or an exacto knife to cut out the circles.  You want it to be a snug fit, so it’s better to start small and trim off more if needed.

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4.) Place the eyes in the holes.  If it is snug, that is all you will need to do.  Otherwise, you may need to use a bit of craft glue to glue them in place.  The on/off switches will be on the inside of the pot, so you can get to them.  Once the eyes are in place, go back over with your paint brush, and fix any areas where the paint got scratched or chipped when  you were cutting the holes for the eyes.

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5.) Now, we’ll do the “hair”.  Use your pencil or marker to draw in the hair along the top rim of the pot.  Then use your black paint and paintbrush to fill it all in.  Set aside, and let dry.

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6.) Use your black paint and a paint brush to paint in a squiggly line for the mouth.

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7.) Now, you will want to glue your silver “pegs” in place.  The real frankenstein has silver pegs in his neck.  I put mine up higher, because I had a brain fart and was thinking that I was gluing on the ears.  Thankfully, it still looks good!  So, basically, just glue the pegs on each side of the face at the same level, then allow the glue to dry completely.

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8.) Lastly, fill this guy up with CANDY!!!  I used a bunch of different types of organic chocolates, but you can use whatever type of candy you would like!

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Awesome!  Isn’t it sooooooo ADORABLE???  Happy Halloween, and Enjoy! 🙂

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Veggies

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Would you believe me if I told you that I cooked dinner in 3.5 minutes tonight?  Guys, it’s true!!!  I recently bought a stovetop pressure cooker, and tonight was my first experience at giving it a try.  I’m not going to lie…it was a bit terrifying, and once I put it on the heat to create the pressure, I may have went and hid behind a living room chair in fear that the pot would somehow explode, but we made it through injury-free, and the result was a delicious and QUICK dinner! I think that this is the start of a lifelong friendship between me and my pressure cooker!

Pressure cooking can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you do it once, you’ll see that it’s actually quite easy!  I found the following pin on Pinterest that links to a site that has a very thorough list of cooking times for various types of food.

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Before I got started, I had so many questions…can I cook the meat and veggies together?  Do I have to do one type of food, then clean the cooker and do another type of food?  Is the noise of the steam releasing going to hurt my ears? Will the food taste good?  Will all the water evaporate and the pot explode? Is Harvard going to call me offering me an honorary PhD when I figure out how to use this thing? Are people all over the world going to want to be me?…you know, normal questions that people have about pressure cookers before they’ve used them. 😉

Anyway, the answers are yes, no, no, YES, no, doubtful, and definitely no…in that order.

I started with something basic – chicken and veggies, and wow you guys – this chicken came out so tender and juicy, and the veggies were cooked to perfection! I just used brussels sprouts, carrots, and onion.  Again, the cooking time was only 3.5 minutes, and I probably would have done better with just 2.5 – 3 minutes because my veggies and chicken were chopped, but I was scared that the chicken wouldn’t be cooked through if I went with the recommended time.

Okay, enough touting the pressure cooker – let’s get to the recipe and instructions.  I should quickly mention that my pressure cooker is a stovetop model, not an electric model, so keep that in mind while going over the recipe!

PRESSURE COOKER CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

Ingredients: 2 servings

  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 20 baby carrots, sliced in halves
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt, for seasoning

Directions:

1.) Heat the olive oil in the bed of the pressure cooker over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sea salt.

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2.) Place the pressure cooker lid on the pressure cooker and lock into place.  Increase the stove heat to high.  Allow the pressure regulator to begin to gently rock back and forth/rattle.  When it begins to do this, set the timer for 3 minutes, and let the food cook for these 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, carefully place the pressure cooker under running cold water until the pressure indicator drops and there is no pressure left in the cooker.

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3.) Once you are sure there is no pressure left in the cooker, carefully remove the pressure cooker top, and observe the miracle of your food being cooked in a flash! Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and veggies to a bowl or plate. Season with sea salt, and serve.

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You can discard the leftover liquid, but even better, save it and use it as a soup broth, or even just drink it at another time – lots of good minerals in that water! I’m going to use mine in a soup I am making tomorrow night.

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Seriously can’t believe how easy this was!  So delicious!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Gluten Free Almond Cinnamon Doughnuts with Almond Honey Drizzle

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Yay!  Doughnut and cider season is here – it’s officially autumn, so of course I have to share a DELICIOUS and easy (And of course, gluten free) doughnut recipe with you guys!  There’s no guilt with these guys, because they are pretty basic and healthy!  With just 5 ingredients, and the main one being almonds, you can feel good about putting these into your body…in moderation, of course…who am I kidding? Yes, I ate the whole batch in one sitting…don’t judge me.

The following pin links to a site that explains some of the health benefits of almond flour…which include all the health benefits of almonds, because well…almond flour is just ground up almonds!

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The five health benefits listed in the article are as follows:

  1. Boosts heart health
  2. Helps discourage cancer formation
  3. Aids in managing blood sugar for diabetics
  4. Encourages healthy waistlines
  5. Improves energy levels

Guys…you get these health benefits…In. A. Doughnut.  Nuf said.  *drops mic*

GLUTEN FREE ALMOND CINNAMON DOUGHNUTS

Ingredients

For the doughnuts (makes 6-8 doughnuts)

  • 1 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. raw honey (depending on how sweet you want them – I used 4 Tbsp.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For the drizzle

  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter (I used crunchy, because it was all I had on hand, but I would suspect that smooth would also work nicely for a smoother drizzle)
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-4 Tbsp. almond milk (depending on how thin or thick you want your drizzle to be)

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 315 degrees.

2.) Add all the ingredients for the doughnuts to a medium mixing bowl, and stir until completely combined and smooth.

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3.) Grease a doughnut tin with butter or olive oil (I just sprayed mine with olive oil spray). Spoon the batter into the doughnut tins so that each tin is about 1/2 the way full.  Place in the oven and bake at 315 degrees for 10-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay, but for the most part, clean).

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4.) Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then gently flip the pan upside down.  The doughnuts should fall right out.  Transfer to a plate.

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5.) While your doughnuts are cooling, add all of the ingredients for the drizzle in a small bowl, and stir to combine completely.  When the doughnuts are all cooled and transferred to a plate, use a spoon to drizzle the almond honey drizzle over the doughnuts, allowing it to run down the sides.

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Dig in!!!  You’re going to LOVE these!

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Happy Autumn, and enjoy! 🙂

 

Mashed Rutabaga and Broccoli

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So, if someone were to ask me to think of two of the healthiest vegetables possible, it would be hard to narrow it down, but I can guarantee you that rutabaga and broccoli would be on the top of my list of possibilities!  Check out the following pins giving good reason as to why these two veggies are two of my favorites!

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See?  Told ya so! 🙂  Anyway, with this in mind, I wanted to find a side that included these two delightful veggies.  I’ve shared my recipe for mashed rutabaga before…after thinking about it, I figured, why not add in some broccoli and top it with a bit of shredded goat cheese and plain yogurt – best. decision. ever.

This stuff is REALLY yummy, and you just saw how packed with nutrients it is!  Best part is that it is super easy to make!  Let’s get to it!

MASHED RUTABAGA AND BROCCOLI

Ingredients

  • 1 rutabaga, washed, peeled, and chopped into cubes
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  • garlic granules
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, plus more for topping
  • hard goat cheese for shredding
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) Cover the rutabaga with water in a saucepan.  Place over high heat and boil until very tender, about 10-15 minutes.  While doing this, steam the broccoli in a steamer until tender.

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2.) Place the cooked rutabaga and broccoli into a food processor.  Add garlic granules (to taste) and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.  Process on high until it reaches your desired consistency.

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3.) Transfer to a bowl, and top with shredded goat cheese and a dollop of plain yogurt.

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Yum yum yum!  Makes for a perfect lunch, or as a side dish paired with a baked chicken breast for dinner.  Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

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I have to admit that this stew is DELICIOUS!  I am not usually a big fan of red meat.  Mainly because I don’t usually like the taste.  However, I also am aware of the health benefits of eating red meat (in moderation), so I try to make a habit of it every so often.

In terms of health and health benefits, Dr. Lawrence Wilson says that Lamb is by far the superior red meat.  You can read more about what he says about lamb here.  In the article, he explains some of the health benefits of lamb and why he recommends eating it about two times per week, but no more.

For a quick rundown of lamb’s health benefits and nutrition content, you can click on the following pin.

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This links to an article that explains that lamb is an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins, copper, manganese, and selenium.

As I was saying, usually when it comes to red meat, I have to choke it down, but I am thrilled to share this SUPER easy slow cooker lamb stew recipe with you all, because it’s really quite good and I didn’t find myself dreading having to eat red meat!

The stew is full of vegetables, and uses arrowroot powder to make it nice and thick.  Because of this, it is filled with gobs of vitamins and minerals!  Seriously, this is a REALLY healthy and yummy way to get a bit of red meat into your diet!

HEALTHY SLOW COOKER LAMB STEW

Ingredients

  • 3 cuts of lamb shoulder (about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into large bite size pieces
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and chopped into large bite size pieces
  • 2 cups frozen french style green beans
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules, or 4-5 cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup water, divided

Directions

1.) Cut lamb into cubes, and place in the bed of a slow cooker.  Add the bones as well.  Don’t worry if you can’t get the meat off the bones, it will come right off after it has cooked.

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2.) Prepare your veggies and place them on top of the lamb in the slow cooker.

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3.) Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, and 1/4 cup water.  Stir to mix.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or cook on high for 3-4 hours.

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4.) When there is about 1/2 hour left of cooking time, remove any meat left on the bones and discard the bones.  Mix 1/4 cup water with the 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder, and add to the slow cooker.  Stir to coat.  Let cook for another 1/2 hour.

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5.) Once done, ladle into bowls.  Season with sea salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.

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So easy! So nutritious! So tasty!  Enjoy! 🙂