Monday, December 23, 2013

Easy Grain Free Muffins

Easy Grain Free Muffins

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chicken Marbella

***Susan's Note: My mother-in-law created this for us on the day after Thanksgiving and my husband kept saying, "This is soooo good.  You have to get the recipe."  So here it is!  It was scrumptious.

You can use 2-3 breasts sliced in rounds and 6-8 boneless thighs.  Add about 2 TBSP of minced garlic too!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Meatballs (adapted from Slow Cooker Meatballs Recipe)

Meatballs (adapted from Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs recipe)

1.5 lbs. ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use gluten free)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 minced garlic cloves
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
A little parm, salt, pepper

Mix ingredients and form into meatballs.
Freeze or bake on baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Or, in a slow cooker, mix 1 28 oz jar spaghetti sauce with meatballs and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fluffy LIttle Almond Flour Pancakes (Gluten Free)

Fluffy Little Almond Flour Pancakes

**Susan's Note: My almost 2-year old son has a gluten sensitivity, so we have been converting many of our normal pasta and other recipes to gluten-free recipes.  My husband and I also swore off pancakes 2 years ago, after we made a batch of Buckwheat pancakes (from Bob's Red Mill mix?) and went into a coma an hour later - tired and shaky!  These pancakes were delicious and kept our hunger away until lunchtime.

Fluffy Little Almond Flour Pancakes (GF, DF Option)
Yield: 20 silver dollar size pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 large pastured eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup organic cultured buttermilk (or *pure coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp pastured butter (or coconut oil), melted
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat griddle over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl combine the blanched almond flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Next, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk in the melted butter (or coconut oil). (Be sure the melted butter/oil has cooled to touch before adding, otherwise you may end up with some cooked egg-yolk bits.) Next, whisk in the milk, maple syrup and vanilla.
  5. Then, add the dry mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking well to thoroughly combine, making sure there are no lumps in the batter.
  6. Using a clean large wire whisk, whisk the egg whites rapidly until very foamy (about two minutes).
  7. Then, use the whisk to fold the whipped egg whites into the batter; by gently turning the batter over and over again, until well combined.
  8. Grease preheated griddle with butter (or coconut oil).
  9. Ladle a spoonful of batter onto the griddle to form a silver dollar size pancake (about 3” in diameter).
  10. Cook for a few minutes, until pancakes begin to dry out at edges and the bottoms are a golden brown. It’s important to keep a careful eye on them as almond flour pancakes burn easily. (I like to take a little peek under one of the pancakes to check, before flipping.)
  11. Carefully flip and cook another few minutes until done, but not over-browned.
  12. Serve hot off the griddle with cultured butter, pure maple syrup and a medley of fresh berries.
Fabulous Fruity Pancakes: To make fabulous fruity pancakes, do not add fruit directly into the pancake batter. Instead, once you ladle out the batter onto the hot griddle, add a small amount of fresh whole blueberries (or other diced fruit of your choice) to the top of each pancake prior to flipping. This ensures that the pancakes cook through evenly. It's also best to use fresh fruit, since frozen fruit tends to be excessively moist and may result in a soggy pancake.

*If using coconut milk, for best results, be sure to use full fat coconut milk, not "lite" coconut milk, or coconut milk beverages. (Natural Value brand canned unsweetened coconut milk is BPA-free and does not contain guar guar gum or other fillers.

Time Saving Tip: Make a double batch and allow extra pancakes to cool on wire rack. Then place cooled pancakes on baking sheets and place baking sheets in freezer. Once pancakes are frozen, remove from baking sheet and place frozen pancakes in freezer-safe container. Store in freezer for up to one month. No need to thaw, simply reheat frozen pancakes in toaster oven (at 275 degrees) for a quick, healthy breakfast.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche (Martha Stewart)

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
(Martha Stewart)

***Susan's Note:  For some reason, I have always been afraid of making quiche.  I thought it was too exotic.  It is SUPER EASY and will now become my go-to meal for friends who have had a baby or for easy pre-made breakfasts at home.  This recipe is delicious.  I substitute different veggies, like red bell pepper, mushrooms, or frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry).  I do not use heavy cream - whole milk is fatty enough, thanks!!   Also, I use a premade frozen crust and pre-bake it.  Who has time to make the crust?  I understand quiche can be frozen quite easily, though I have never done it. ****


  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1 homemade or store-bought single-crust pie dough
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups medium diced yellow onion (from 1 large onion)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets, steamed until crisp-tender
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (4 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface and roll out dough to a 12-inch round. Place in a 9-inch pie plate, fold overhang under, and crimp edge. Place a sheet of parchment paper over dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edge is dry and light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove parchment and weights.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Add onion, broccoli florets, and cheese and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk to combine, pour into crust, and bake until center of quiche is just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook's Note

To store, refrigerate cooled quiche, tightly covered, up to 3 days. To reheat quiche, cover with foil and place in a 325 degrees oven until warmed, about 15 minutes.

Ricotta Cookies

Susan's Note:
A wonderful parent (Mrs. M) made these for our staff for Teacher Appreciation week and they are addictive! Just out of this world. These are "cakey" cookies, so do not store them mixed with crispy cookies or the crispy cookies will get soggy.

Ricotta Cookies

4 cups of flour
2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup of butter softened
1 (15 oz) ricotta cheese ( I use part skim)
1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp of vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients, dough will become very thick. Roll into 1 inch balls. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Icing
1 bag of confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup milk. heat in pot on stove, stir until creamy & thick. use a spoon to ice cookie.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Slow Cooker Four-Bean Chili (Weelicious)

Slow Cooker Chili

***Susan's Note:  This chili was simple, we used organic ground beef, and what I liked was that it wasn't too spicy so it was also great for my toddler.  I used BPA Free organic Eden canned beans when possible.****


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. 1. In a sauté pan over medium heat place 1 tbsp of oil and sauté onions for 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté another minute until the onions start to caramelize, then remove and place in a crock pot.
  2. 2. In the same sauté pan, add another tbsp of oil and sauté the ground beef for 5 minutes, breaking down the beef with a wooden spoon until it’s cooked through and most of its juice has evaporated.
  3. 3. Add the cooked beef and the remaining ingredients to the crock pot and stir to combine.
  4. 4. Cover and cook the chili on low for 8 hours.
  5. 5. Top with desired accompaniments and serve.
Accompaniments: Sour Cream, Yogurt, Grated Cheddar Cheese, Scallions, Hot Sauce (if you want to take it up a notch)

Caramelized Onion and Broccoli Soup

Caramelized Onion and Broccoli Soup
(Ladies Home Journal 2013)

***Susan's Note:  I used broken lasagna noodles for the pasta, as that was all I had, and grated Babybel cheese on top.  This is delicious, like a French Onion Soup with broccoli.****

Prep   20 minsStart to Finish   50 mins


  • 1/4 pound dry pasta, such as ditalini
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into very small florets
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Swiss cheese slices
  • Cracked black pepper


1. Cook pasta in salted water until tender. Drain and set aside. In a 6-qt pot or Dutch oven melt butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 5 min. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 15 min.
2. Increase heat to high and stir in sherry; cook 1 min. Add broccoli, bay leaves, salt, broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook until broccoli is just tender, about 10 min. Add pasta and pepper to taste; spoon into bowls, then top each bowl with a slice of cheese.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Perfect Roast Chicken (by Ina Garten)

Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken

***Susan' Note: I have made this meal countless times in the past few months, using a 3-4 pound organic whole chicken from Wegmans.  (Because of the slightly smaller chicken, I modify the recipe accordingly, using half a lemon and less garlic.)  I love using baby carrots, onions, and sometimes potatoes (I skip the fennel).  I do modify the temperature a bit - in my oven, I cook the 3-4 pound bird for 20 minutes at 460 degrees, then 40 minutes at 420 degrees.   I have used dried thyme in place of the fresh.  YUMMY!


1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anna's Perfect Green Soup (Readers' Digest)

Anna's Perfect Green Soup
(From Readers' Digest)

2 Tbs. Extra-virgin Olive Oil, plus more for garnish1lb. Greens: Green Chard, Kale, Mustard Greens, or Beet Greens
2 Yellow Onions, chopped14 c. Gently packed spinach (about 12oz.)
1 tsp. Salt, divided, big pinch of Cayenne Pepper4 c. Vegetable Broth
1/4 c. Arborio Rice1 Tbs. Lemon Juice, or more to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook, stirring, until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add 2 tbs. water, and cover. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are greatly reduced and have a caramel color, 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine 3 c. water, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and rice in soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boel. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Trim ribs and tough stems from the greens and spinach; discard. Coarsely chop greens and spinach.
When rice has cooked 15 min. stir in greens. Return to a simmer; cover and cook 10 min. When onions are caramelized, stir a little greens' simmering liquid into them; immediately add them to rice along with spinach, broth, and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 min. more.
Puree soup in pot with immersion blender until perfectly smooth, or in regular blender in batches. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with olive oil.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

**Susan's Note: This is delicious and comforting for a winter night.  NOTE: I did not steam the butternut squash, I roasted it for 40 min. at 425 degrees with a little olive oil.  I also omitted the olives.  Add a topping of sour cream to this soup and it gets even better.  I doubled the recipe and froze half to save for later!**

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  12. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in parsley and serve.

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

***Susan's Note:  Quinoa is a seed full of protein, easy to cook (although messy if a toddler eats it).  After my friend Anya made this for me when I had my second baby, I tried it for myself and found it delicious!  My husband likes it with a little added oriental sauce from a jar (like General Tso's or Duck Sauce - just watch the MSG).   There are many variations including a cold salad here and a modified version of this recipe here.**

QUINOA Directions
You will need about 2 cups of liquid (water, vegetable broth or chicken broth) per 1 cup of quinoa.

1. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer if possible.
2. Put quinoa and cooking liquid in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove from heat.

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Chop a variety of veggies - whatever you wish.  I used baby carrots, onions, red bell pepper, yams, and yellow and green zucchini.  You want enough to be spread on a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet / jelly roll pan.
3.  In a blender, puree the following as a marinade for the veggies:
     5-6 garlic cloves
     5 tablespoons olive oil
     1-2 lemons and a little bit of the lemon rind from one lemon
     sea salt and pepper to taste

4. Toss veggies in a large Ziploc bag with this marinade and then spread on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or coated with olive oil.

5. Bake at 425 degrees for at least 35 minutes.  Check on tenderness of veggies and add time if necessary.

Mix with quinoa and enjoy!