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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quick Lunch Idea: Bruschetta Tortilla

I've been trying to stick to the week long menu in the last issue of Clean Eating Magazine.  This is one of the lunch suggestions.  Nothing fancy here - but it is a yummy lunch that is quick and easy to make.  This would also make a great quesadilla made stove top rather than broiled in the oven.  I wound up folding this in half and cutting it into two slices so it was almost like a quesadilla. 

1/2 c. chopped tomato
1/2 tsp minced garlic
4 fresh basil leaves,torn
drizzle of EVOO
1/2 c. shredded part skim mozzarella
whole wheat tortilla

  1. Place one whole wheat tortilla on a baking sheet or stone
  2. Mix diced tomato and minced garlic
  3. Spread mixture on the whole wheat tortilla
  4. Spread basil 
  5. Drizzle with EVOO
  6. Top with shredded mozzarella
  7. Broil 2-3 mins until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baked Oatmeal Casserole

I had a bunch of steel cut oats from a veggie casserole I made a while back and I didn't know what I might use them for.  Coincidentally my Nourished Kitchen recipe cards for this month arrived yesterday and voila! A really yummy looking/sounding recipe for baked oatmeal was amongst the recipes.  I might add I had two small squares of this this morning drizzled with grade B maple syrup.  SO yummy!  I only put raisins in mine since other people in my family don't like certain nuts and dried fruit, but I bet any nuts or dried fruits you might wish to add to this would be just delicious.  I also ran out of regular milk, so I subbed 1 cup coconut milk for one of the 2 cups of milk this calls for.  I'd make it this way again for sure! This makes about 12 servings. 


1 pound steel cut oats
1  cup walnuts, or other nuts
2 tablespoons yogurt (I used Greek Yogurt) for soaking
dash unrefined sea salt
6  egg s(organic cage free)
2 cups milk (I used 1 cup 2% and 1 cup coconut)
up to ¼ cup grade b maple syrup
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
½ cup dried unsulfured apricots, diced
2 tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup coconut oil, plus extra for greasing baking dish


  1. Pour the steel cut oats and nuts into a ceramic container or mixing bowl.
  2. Add enough filtered water to completely submerge your oats and nuts. Add a dash of salt and a two tablespoons of  fresh yogurt, whey, kefir or buttermilk.
  3. Allow the oats and nuts to soak, covered, overnight in a warm place in your kitchen – about eight to twelve hours.
  4. After the mixture of oats and nuts has soaked overnight, dump them into a colander to drain and place the mixture back into the ceramic container or mixing bowl.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking pan with coconut oil or another wholesome fat of your choosing.
  6. Meanwhile beat together eggs, milk, maple syrup (if you’re using it), until well-combined and frothy.
  7. Pour the mixture of eggs, milk and maple syrup over the soaked oats and nuts, stirring well to combine into a porridge-like mixture.
  8. Gently fold dried fruit, cinnamon and coconut oil into the porridge-like mixture.
  9. Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan and smooth it out with a rubber spatula to ensure even baking and a good appearance.
  10. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for forty to forty-five minutes or until the oatmeal achieves a pleasing golden-brown color on top, a knife inserted into its center comes out clean and free from liquid and the fragrance of baked oats, dried fruit and cinnamon perfumes your kitchen.
  11. If you can bear the wait, allow the baked oatmeal to cool for five to ten minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Clean Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I have had this recipe bookmarked for a long time - my neighbor's treats are always so yummy, I knew this recipe would not disappoint!  I did make a few changes to make the recipe healthier and cleaner.  The addition of the chocolate chips makes this a great dessert! The kids love it too!  I liked this recipe much better than the previous one I posted.  Maybe because the bananas were more ripe, it was very moist and tasty!

1 c sucanat
1/2 c natural applesauce
2 eggs
2 c whole wheat flour
3 medium bananas mashed (very ripe!)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c dark chocolate chips

  1. Cream sugar and applesaucel. 
  2. Beat in eggs. 
  3. Add bananas and beat until well mixed. 
  4. Blend in vanilla. 
  5. Add all dry ingredients and blend until well mixed.
  6. Fold in  chocolate chips.
  7. Bake in a loaf pan lightly greased. 
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until middle is cooked. Check with tooth pick.
  9. Let sit 1 minute on cooling rack before taking out of pan.
  10. After the bread is out of the pan let cool on rack until completely cooled. 
  11. I sliced and wrapped each slice in a piece of plastic wrap for grab and go snacking/desserts!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leftover Ham and White Bean Soup

We always buy WAY too much meat at the holidays and I struggle to find recipes to reinvent my leftover ingredients so we don't waste food.  I found this recipe on my neighbor's blog and modified it just a bit.  We had this at Christmas (I made it and simmered without the spinach in the crock pot all day) but the GREAT part about this recipe is it literally takes 30 mins to make!  I got home from the store with the kids at 5 pm today, put all my groceries away and then made this soup and was eating a bowl by 6 pm!  I added extra stewed tomatoes, doubled the chicken broth, and added an extra can of beans - so we would have a big batch of soup.  I'm planning to freeze the remainder in individual portions.  This is absolutely delicious.  My neigbor omitted the tomato and used carrots instead. The link above will take you to her version.


4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
2.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 14.5oz. can stewed tomatoes, coarsely cut
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth ( I added until the soup was the desired consistency)
3 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2-lb piece baked ham (sliced 3/4 inch thick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used quite a bit of leftover ham from Easter dinner)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 oz spinach (roughly torn)
  1. In a large pot, sauté the chopped garlic and onion in 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over moderately high heat until the onions turn golden (approx. 3-5 minutes).
  2. Add the  cut stewed tomatoes and juice to pot and stir.
  3. When the juice starts to simmer, add the beans, ham and black pepper.
  4. Add the chicken broth, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. When the broth starts to boil, reduce the heat until it settles at a simmer.
  6. When the soup is simmering, pile the spinach on top of the pot to steam the spinach. As the spinach starts to wilt, stir it into the soup and turn off the heat.
  7. Serve immediately.

Bird's Nest Easter Treats

So these aren't really healthy....but they were totally adorable for Easter and so easy to make! Similar to a rice krispy treat, but made with chow-mein noodles for the "nest" like effect.

  • 4 cups Chow Mein Noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups Marshmallows
  • ¼ cups Margarine Or Butter
  • Candy Eggs (I used M&M's )

  1. Melt marshmallows and butter in the microwave
  2. Stir in noodles quickly until coated. They may seem too dry, but it's really not, and they'll set up fine.
  3. Butter your hands and place some of the mixture in muffin tin and indent with fingers into a nest-like shape. (if your hands aren't buttery - it will stick like crazy!)  
  4. Transfer them to parchment paper to harden.  
  5. Once cooled, place 2 or 3 candy eggs into the center.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chocolate Macadamia Crispy Squares

Well, it's been a rough 10 days with the stomach flu around here! I literally couldn't even **think** about cooking or eating anything - but, everyone is back on track now just in time for family to arrive for Easter!

This recipe came from the newest edition of Clean Eating Magazine.  I've modified it a bit to suit our tastes.  These are a great healthy, clean, chocolate rice crispy treat! The original recipe called for hazelnuts, I don't like them, so I subbed chopped raw macadamia nuts instead. Next time I might try raw almonds and almond butter in the recipe!

1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, coarsley chopped
1 1/2 cup unsweetened brown rice cereal
3/4 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 oz. dark chocolate (70% cocoa or greater) chopped into chunks
1 cup unsweetened dried pitted dates (Medjool or honey) I used raisins insted, pureed until smooth
1/2 cup unsalted hazelnut butter or your favorite unsalted natural nut butter.  I used natural peanut butter because I wanted a chocolate peanutbutter treat - but I think almond butter would be an awesome healthy alternative!
2 T raw honey

1.  In a mixing bowl combine chopped nuts, rice cereal, and rolled oats.  Mix thoroughly.
2.  In a double boiler melt chocolate.
3.  Add pureed raisins, nut butter, and honey to chocolate and mix until fully combined.
4.  Using a wooden spoon, fold the chocolate mixture into the cereal mixture. Make sure this is thoroughly combined.
5.  Press into a glass baking pan. Mine is 8x8. Press the mixture down firmly with clean hands to compact mixture. 
6.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until the mixture is set.
7.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.  Squares can be stored in refrigerator 3-5 days.

Nutrition Information:
 Calories 110, Fat 6 g, Carbs 13g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 2 g, Cholesterol 0mg

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sourdough Pizza Crust

Still looking for good ways to use my sourdough starter that don't require a lot of rise.  We typically have pizza once a week so it seemed like a good time to try this and see how it turned out.  I am pairing it with an all organic salad (and maybe some wine!).  This is another recipe from Kitchen Stewardship.  Once you have par-baked the crusts, they freeze well for future last minute dinners!

1.5 C “discarded” sourdough starter
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1 – 1.5 C whole wheat flour


  1. Mix the ingredients together, working in flour until you have a soft dough.  If it gets too dry add more starter or water.
  2. Once kneaded, cover and let rest for half an hour.
  3. After resting, roll out the dough on your silicone baking sheet or baking stone.
  4. Transfer the silicone baking sheet with the dough onto the baking pan. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out and leave at room temperature for at least seven hours.  The crust will rise some as it soaks.
  6. Seven or more hours later, heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  7. Bake the crust for 5 minutes. 
  8.  Then add sauce and desired toppings to pizza.  Put pizza back in oven for about 10 minutes                 until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sprouted Spelt & Maple Shortbread

A delicious recipe from Jenny at The Nourished Kitchen. I've been wanting to make this since I first ordered my sprouted flours, but I am just getting around to it today.  We don't have access to some of the raw dairy items that Jenny talks about on her site, so I have to improvise a bit.  This turned out delicious and is a great clean substitute for your normal shortbread recipe.  It is really important that you use Grade B maple syrup.  It's a tad bit more expensive but is nutrient rich. Also, if you don't have sprouted spelt, you can use normal spelt flour (or any whole grain flour).  This is absolutely delicious, and would be perfect with a cup of tea!  The maple flavor is quite subtle and the typical shortbread consistency is maintained.  Enjoy!

2 Cups Organic, Sprouted Whole Grain Flour
¼ Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt Omit this if you are using salted organic butter
1 Cup Organic Butter from Grass-fed Cows, Softened Subbed Organic Sweet Cream butter (salted)
¼ Cup Organic Grade-B Maple Syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
  2. Whip the maple syrup and butter together until the syrup is thoroughly incoroprated into the butter.  
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix thoroughly.
  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a disk and place it on a silicone backing mat lined cookie sheet  or preheated baking stone.  
  5. Prick the dough slightly with a fork and gently score the disk into 6-8 individual portions or as desired. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the shortbread is slightly golden.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

This recipe is from the Jan/Feb 2009 Clean Eating Magazine.  I have tons of fresh lemons that I need to use up before they spoil, so I went in search of a healthy chicken recipe that involved lemon. Boy is this one yummy! This was really lemon-y so you have to like lemon! I would probably tone down the lemon juice by subbing some additional chicken stock on the next go round. I paired it with whole wheat penne pasta (mainly  because I'm working on a sourdough starter and wanted the starchy water to "feed" my starter tomorrow.

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt or coarse kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning (to taste)
1 lb thin chicken cutlets
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (I used more like 1/2 cup, and would actually use more next time in place of some of the lemon juice)
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into smaller pieces
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons) (I would actually use a bit less of this and more chicken stock)
1 tsp lemon zest ( I omitted this)

1.In a shallow bowl, thoroughly combine flour, oregano, pepper and 1/4 tsp salt.  Dredge each chicken cutlet in flour mixture, shake off excess and place on a plate. 
2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium to medium high, so skillet is hot but not smoking.  Add  the chicken cutlets and cook 3-5 minutes per side, until lightly browned and cooked through.  Transfer to a clean serving plate . You may have to cook cutlets in shifts depending on the size of your skillet.  Cover your serving plate with foil to keep the chicken warm.  
3. Adjust temperature to medium-low and heat oil.  Place onion in pan and cook, stirring frequently until soft and golden, about 5-6 minutes.
4. Add garlic, cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly
5. Add the chicken broth, bringing it to a simmer
6. Add the remaining ingredients: artichokes, lemon juice and zest, simmering for 2-3 minutes until heated through and slightly thickened.   Pour artichoke mixture over chicken cutlets and pasta.

Nutrients per serving (4 oz chicken, 1/2 cup artichoke mixture): Cals: 220, Total Fat: 4.5g, Sat Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Omega-3s: 90mg, Omega-6s: 700mg, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 27g, Sodium: 420 mg, Cholesterol: 65mg

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whole Wheat Sourdough Crackers

Waste not, want not!  If you don't discard some of your sourdough starter, you are bound to have WAY more than you need before it's active enough to make bread.  Why throw it away?  There are lots of great foods you can make with your sourdough starter that don't require the leavening necessary for a good loaf of bread.  Since I'm pretty sure I have my starter going now, I decided to make this delicious cracker recipe posted by a guest blogger at Kitchen Stewardship.  I froze half my dough after soaking overnight so that I can make another batch of fresh crackers this weekend! These are DELICIOUS.  Tastier than wheat thins and totally clean and healthy! Oh and if my totally fussy 2 year old is screaming for more, you KNOW they are good!

The tangy taste of the sourdough combined with the salty topping would be perfect with hummus or fresh guacamole for a snack!

1 cup sourdough starter (whatever you were going to discard, use it here instead!)
1/4 cup organic butter (you can use coconut oil or lard here if you prefer)
1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour (I used a cup of my sprouted wheat flour)
1/2 tsp sea salt
** optional - I added 3 T of ground flax seeds to my crackers**
Olive oil to brush crackers
Sea salt or coarse kosher salt to sprinkle
You can also sprinkle with garlic powder, italian seasonings, or any seasonings  you like!

1.In a large mixing bowl with a lid combine sourdough starter and butter. Mix until fully combined.
2.  Mix the sea salt in with 1/4 cup of  flour.
3.  Add flour mixture to the sourdough mixture and mix thoroughly.
4.  Add remaining flour in small increments until the dough mixture is stiff.  Add as little or as much as you need.  This will depend on the consistency of your starter.  I added my 3T ground flax before adding additional flour.
5.  Roll dough into ball and cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap to keep dough from drying out.  Allow this to sit a minimum of 7 hours (I made my in the afternoon and then used the dough the following morning)
6.  7 hours or more later - preheat oven to 350.
7.  Take half the dough and roll it very thin (I didn't do this batch thin enough in the center - next time I need to roll thinner!) on a baking stone, silicone baking mat, or parchment paper (if you use parchment it is more difficult since the paper wants to shift as you are rolling)
8.  Spread a small amount of olive oil on the surface of your dough with a pastry brush. Be sure to get all the way to the edges.
9.  Sprinkle with course salt (I actually used finely ground sea salt)
10.  Cut into 1" sections vertically and horizontally.
11. Transfer mat with cut dough onto a baking sheet.
12. Bake 15-20 mins or until golden brown.  These will actually separate by themselves in the oven!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Homemade Sourdough Starter

So I've been researching the health benefits of cultured foods. I decided that I wanted to make sourdough noodles, breads, and crackers - but all required a sourdough starter. (For more info on the health benefits of Sourdough read here  I did some researching and decided to order a San Francisco Sourdough live culture starter  from Cultures for Health.  Of course, if you know me, you realize I am NOT patient. Internet shopping is difficult for me - I LOVE buying but totally hate waiting for my purchases to arrive.  As you might imagine, waiting for my live starter and then waiting while I feed and grow the starter for a week is a real test of my patience.

In the wait time, I stumbled up on the Kitchen Stewardship where there happened to be a really informative post on starting your own Sourdough starter capturing wild yeast.  Perfect timing.  I decided to try it!   My husband has been fondly referring to my starter as my "little science project" (of course he was quick to point out that I was terrible at science!)  Judging form the sour smell, I think I have successfully captured yeast! I'm ready to try baking some crackers (incase I didn't get the yeast and there is no rise!)

Here is the original post on creating a Sourdough starter from Kitchen Stewardship.  Here are my directions:

What you need:
Glass Jar
Wooden Spoon
Boiled water cooled (pasta water or potato water will ensure a healthy starter, but are not necessary)
Flour (I used whole wheat flour)
Coffee filter

1.  Save water from boiling pasta or potatoes.  If this is inconvenient it is not necessary.  If you have tap water (city) boil a large batch and store in a separate airtight container for feedings.  Allow this water to cool to room temperature.

2.  Boil to sterilize your glass jar and wooden spoon. You can also run through the dishwasher and then use immediately afterwards.

3.  Add 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup flour to your jar. Stir vigorously with wooden spoon until completely combined.

4.  Cover with coffee filter and use rubberband to secure edges.

5.  Turn on oven light and place jar close to the light.  If you have a cooler and a heating pad you can use this also.  We live in Florida, so over the summer I'll probably just leave mine out on the counter.  Cooler climates will require the warmth of a light or heating pad on low to get an active starter.

6.  Every 12 hours stir in 1/4 cup tepid water (boil ahead of time if necessary, do not add hot water to starter) and mix vigorously.  Then add 1/4 cup flour and mix vigorously.  Be sure to combine air into the mixture as you stir.

I did this for about 6 days - and today my starter is bubbly and sour smelling.  I have used one cup of the starter to make a cracker dough (more on this tomorrow!) and have fed my starter as mentioned in step 6 again.  Once I have tried a few recipes I am going to dry some of my starter by spreading it on a piece of plastic wrap and letting it dry.  That way, next time I can start with some dried active starter.  Once you see bubbles consistently in your starter (my photos don't really show this, but I will try to capture better photos) it's active.  If you aren't going to use it regularily (every day or two days) you can store it in the fridge and feed it every couple of days (straight flour to thicken it and flour and water as mentioned above to maintain the pancake batter consistency).  Just remember that when you need active starter you'll need to take it out and allow it to warm to room temperature, and feed it. 

I was nervous, but so far, it's turned out ok! Sourdough is very healthy, and by capturing wild yeast from the air this is a relatively inexpensive way to try your hand at creating a cultured food starter!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Product Review: Green Cleaning - Seventh Generation Products

So I'm a total laundry detergent junkie. I love that my clothes smell fresh (i.e. perfumed) after being washed and dried.  Naturally I was a little skeptical to try a supposedly natural detergent.  Here are the ingredients:

Laundry Liquid Concentrate, Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender
Aqua (water), sodium lauryl sulfate, coceth-7 and glycerin (plant-derived cleaning agents), sodium citrate (water softener), oleic acid (plant-derived anti-foaming agent), sodium hydroxide (alkalinity builder), sodium chloride (thickener), boric acid and calcium chloride (enzyme stabilizers), protease and amylase (enzyme soil removers), essential oils and botanical extracts* (lavendula angustifolia (lavender), lavendula hybrid (lavandin), eucalyptus dives, eucalyptus radiata, eucalyptus ploybractea, pinus sylvestris (pine)), methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone (preservatives). *linalool is a naturally occurring component of these ingredients.

So is "sodium lauryl sulfate" good for you? I don't really know .  I can say that while my clothes do not smell all Tide-erific like they normally would, it did do a good job of removing stains from my kids clothing and left a neutral if only slightly pleasant lavender scent.  Overall I am pleased, and it isn't really any more expensive than the Tide I have been buying.

I also tried the all purpose cleaner and the disinfecting wipes (those of you who know me know how obsessed I am with my clorox wipes!). View ingredients for both here.  I can say that at first I kind of missed the harsh bleach smell that immediately tells me that an area is clean and disinfected, but I've grown to appreciate the Lemongrass & Thyme scent these offer.  And, they do an equally great job of cleaning up messes and leaving a streak free shiny surface.  So, I can't complain.  The spray is comparable in price to the regular disinfectant spray and I think the wipes were less than a dollar more for around the same quantity.  

Next week I'll be testing another line of totally organic cleaning and household products called Baby Girl.
You can check out the website here if you want a sneak peek!  These were developed locally and I'm so excited to try them and compare to my experience with Seventh Generation products.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Almond-butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are ridiculously easy to make, and are tastier and healthier than regular peanut butter cookies!  I have been dying to try this since my neighbor told me about this recipe.  My cookies are a little crumbly, so I'm wondering if it had to do with the consistency of my almond butter.  Maybe I didn't stir it completely enough - I will try a different brand next time.

1 cup unsalted almond butter, stirred well
3/4 cup Sucanat
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 oz dark chocolate (70% or greater) chopped (I used "Theo" organic chocolate.  Try to find one without soy that is just pure chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients until blended.
Stir in chocolate.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets. leave 2 inches between as these spread a bit.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sprouted Wheat Banana Bread

So my sprouted flour order arrived yesterday from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. I ordered small, just a 2lb. bag of wheat and a 2 lb. bag of spelt. You might wonder why use sprouted flour  - sprouted grains offer a wide variety benefits over traditional flour - primarily they are easier to digest and more nutritious...which sounded GREAT to me!!! When I saw our overly ripe bananas, I knew the perfect recipe to test out my new purchase would be this healthy banana bread from Clean Eating Club.  I modified a few things to make it a little healthier and cleaner, like substituting organic applesauce (or make homemade, even better!) for the canola oil and using as many 100% organic ingredients as I could.  Here is the recipe from Clean eating club with my changes in pink. 

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour  100% Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 slightly beaten egg whites
  • 1 c. mashed ripe bananas (3 medium or 2 large)
  • 1/2 c. agave nectar
  • 1/4 c. canola oil Organic homemade applesauce
  • A pinch of sea salt (1/16 tsp.) Celtic Sea Salt
  1. Coat an 8×4x2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Mash bananas and set aside. In a medium bowl combine whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine egg whites, banana, agave nectar, and oil. Once mixed well, add flour mixture all at one time to banana mixture. Stir until moistened. The batter should be lumpy. Spoon mixture into pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the bread. The toothpick should come out clean.
  4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Clean Healthy Brownies

I wanted to bake a dessert for my parents and my uncle who were bringing dinner over and staying to babysit so I could go to work while hubby was away.  I decided to try sneaking some healthy food by my dad.  He definitely didn't complain, and I must say these were really yummy! I will admit they probably don't fully replace the traditional gooey chocolatey brownie, dripping with sweetness - but they are really flavorful and have good sweetness and satisfy the chocolate craving.  I found this recipe on the back of my Sucanat package and modified it just a bit.  

"Marilu's Effortless Brownies" (placed on the package courtesy of Marilu Henner)
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine (package says preferably soy, I used organic sweet cream butter)
12 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate
2 cups organic sucanat
1 T vanilla extract (used pure vanilla instead)
5 large cage-free organic eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour (I used whole wheat flour with 3T ground flax seed added)
1/2 t salt (used celtic sea salt)

Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 13x0 inch baking pan
In a 3 qt saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat until fully combined
Remove from heat, stir in Sucanat
Beat in the eggs and continue beating until fully combined
Stir in the flour, flax seed (if you want), and salt until just blended
Spread batter in pan.
Bake for 30 mins, until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean

Cool in the pan. Cut. Serve

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Clean Skillet Ginger Lime Cilantro Chicken

Another excellent recipe from Clean Eating Magazine's website.  This was really delicious! I could imagine subbing tofu for the chicken and still having some great flavors to work with. In fact, I rarely enjoy left-overs ( yes, I know it's wasteful - luckily hubby does do pretty well eating left-overs)...I reheated this for lunch today and it was fantastic! The flavors had time to ruminate, and it made a great lunch! It probably looked better when we initially ate it, but I didn't take a photo. Sorry!


  • 8 oz vermicelli or whole-wheat angel hair pasta (dry)
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (used organic ginger, grated fresh)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (anti-biotic free meat)
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (only had regular not toasted - used organic sesame oil)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice(used organic limes)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (used organic cilantro)
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts) (used organic scallions)
  • Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger, and cook 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add reserved cooking water, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Bring to a simmer. Add pasta and cook 1 minute to heat through, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and scallions. Serve with lime wedges on the side, if desired.

  • Calories: 408
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Sat. Fat: 1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbs: 49 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Sugars: 3 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 687 mg
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blackberry Wildflower Honey Ice Cream

My kids LOVE ice cream....and man is it packed with sugar.  I got  this recipe from  Nourished Kitchen.  We don't have access to raw milk, which admittedly makes me a bit nervous (I know, I know I should not be scared of it! I'm taking baby steps), but I did buy fresh creamline whole milk and used the separated cream in addition to organic heavy cream to make this! It gave me a chance to finally use the ice cream maker we got as a wedding gift six years ago! I think it was best right out of the maker as a soft serve, but we had extra so I froze it in an airtight container.  The kids thought it was super yummy!  It's far less sweet than traditional ice cream, but the honey does add some nice flavor and a hint of sweetness.

Here are my modified instructions:

Ingredients (yields approx one quart)
  • 3 Cups Organic cream
  • 1 Cup Organic whole milk (or use more cream to make a creamier ice cream)
  • ½ Cup Organic Raw Wildflower Honey
  • 4 Egg Yolks from cage-free hens
  • 1 Cup Fresh Blackberries (I couldn't find any organic)
  1. Mix cream and milk together.
  2. Rapidly whisk in the honey and continue to whisk until the honey is fully incorporated.
  3. Whisk in egg yolks and continue mixing until the entire mixture is uniform.
  4. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker.
  5. Add berries.
  6. Mix according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (this took 30 mins in my ice cream maker, it was still not really solid so I stuck in the freezer for an hour or so before dinner)
  7. Place in freezer to harden. (liked it better as soft serve but still yummy the next day as a fully frozen treat)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Homemade Pizza

My neighbor recommended this recipe.  She is an amazing cook! Unfortunately my dough didn't "rise" much - not sure if it's my yeast or what happened.  Anyhow, the crust did taste really delicious, more like a flat bread than a thick fluffy crust - but that's ok.   I subbed ground flax seed for the wheat germ.  We topped with Muir Glen Organic Tomato and Herb sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh organic basil, and some garlic.  Hubby and I each loaded our own toppings on - mine was all veggies - tomato, black olives, mushrooms.
These were her directions which I followed (mostly, my changes in parenthesis)

1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce)
1 c. warm water
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. wheat germ (I subbed ground flax here)
1 tsp. salt (used celtic sea salt)
1 tbsp. honey (used raw organic honey)

Any veggie or fruit
Organic tomato sauce, try Muir Glen or make your own
fresh mozzarella
organic fresh basil
organic/grass fed/free range meat toppings (or no meat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place warm water in small bowl.  Add yeast.  Allow the yeast to dissolve and set aside until mixture becomes creamy (appx. 10 minutes).
In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt.  Scoop a well in the middle of the mixture and add the honey and yeast mixture.  Stir until ingredients are well combined.  Cover mixture with a dishtowel or plastic wrap and sit in a warm place and allow to raise for approximately 5 minutes.
Roll dough on a floured pizza pan.  Using a fork, poke a few holes in the dough.
Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until desired crispness (I drizzled with olive oil half way through). Top with toppings and finish baking (another 10 mins or so to melt and soften all the veggies)

Clean Chocolatey Goodness Cookies

This recipe came from Clean Eating Magazine's Web Recipes . Oh my goodness these are so yummy. I used organic dark chocolate and as many other organic ingredients as I could.  You'll have to head to a health food store for the sucanat.  Whole Foods is where I got mine, but I suspect most other health food chains will also carry it.  Amazing chocolate flavor - and NO FLOUR! I couldn't believe it.

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 6 oz dark bittersweet chocolate, broken up
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups Sucanat, divided
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly mist 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Place chocolate in a microwavable bowl and heat on high until chocolate melts, approximately 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup Sucanat and continue beating until mixture appears creamy. Add vanilla.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup Sucanat, cocoa and arrowroot powder, then beat into egg whites on low speed.
  5. Stir in warm chocolate and continue stirring gently until mixture thickens.
  6. Place rounded tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on sheet pans for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.

NUTRIENTS per cookie:
  • Calories: 90
  • Total Fat: 3 g
  • Sat. Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugars: 14 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 15 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Fresh Start

So this has been a long time coming. I've been meaning (and really trying since last summer - baby steps) to adjust our living style to a healthier one. This blog is just my way of keeping track of what I am doing to keep my kids and family healthy and try to make our lives a little greener.  Please be gentle, I'm newly green... but I would LOVE to get feedback from other people eating clean, growing organic, and living a healthy lifestyle.  This blog is just my way of holding myself accountable (hopefully!) and documenting what we are doing to stay on the path to a healthier family.