Easy peasy crockpot applesauce

Hey guys, how’s your week starting out? I hope your Monday was a good one.  I felt like the day went by pretty fast, and I ended the day with a late yoga class at one of my favorite spots, which was an awesome way to unwind.

Today I wanted to share my go-to applesauce recipe with you guys.  Making applesauce was one of my Fall bucket list things to do, and there is something just so cozy and comforting about homemade applesauce.  When we went apple picking I made sure to get enough to make applesauce.  This recipe makes about 3 cups, I already wish I had doubled it, it has been such a tasty, healthy treat.

Easy Crockpot Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 apples
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • optional: 1/4 tablespoon seasoning, I used pumpkin spice pie, which was delicious.  Cinnamon is always good as well.

Directions:  Wash, core and slice your apples.  No need to peel them, just slice into roughly the same size pieces.


Toss in lemon juice, then place in crockpot. Pour in water and sprinkle on seasoning  Cook on high for 2.5-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours (note: cooking time will vary depending on how large your apple pieces are).


Once completely cooked (soft, uniform color, starting to break down), mash for chunky applesauce, or blend for a smooth applesauce. I used my immersion blender to get it smooth, a regular blender can also be used, but be careful of hot applesauce splatter.


**Serving suggestion: spoon a little warm applesauce onto vanilla ice cream.  The hubs and I did this right after it finished cooking and it was just like having pie with ice cream, so tasty!

Let me know if you give it a try.  Have you ever made applesauce?  What’s your favorite apple recipe?  I love a good pie or crumble this time of year.

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Blueberry Almond Butter Rice Pudding

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Last Saturday, I woke up in the mood for something sweet and comforting for breakfast.  I knew I would be teaching class in just a few hours though and would be having a more indulgent evening.  So I wanted something that would fuel me, and not be too overly indulgent or sugary.  I decided to go with a rice pudding. The blueberries and almond milk added a nice sweetness, so I ended up only using a small amount of sugar. The almond butter in this recipe makes it thick and creamy.  Even the hubs loved this recipe, and he is not normally a rice pudding fan.  This recipe is vegan as written, but please feel free to sub in another type of milk if preferred.

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Blueberry Almond Butter Rice Pudding

Makes about 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice (I used white, I think brown would also work well)
  • 4 cups almond milk (plus extra, as needed)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Almond butter
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

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Directions:  Add rice, almond milk, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon stick (or a generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon) to a pot.  On high, bring to a boil.  Once at a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook according to rice directions (probably about 20-25 minutes), until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.  Remove cinnamon stick.  Add almond butter and additional almond milk (if needed), stir until combined.  Add in blueberries.  If using frozen blueberries, continue to warm on the stove (on simmer) until berries are defrosted.  Optional, serve with an almond butter drizzle and additional blueberries.

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What are your favorite comfort foods?  My grandma makes the best rice puddings and it is one of my favorite sweet comfort foods.

Hope you have a great day!

 

Easy homemade stock 

Happy Thursday, how are you all today?  After what was a kind of rough transition back to reality on Tuesday, Wednesday was a pretty good day.  I’m pretty sure it is allergy related, but I started the week feeling really run down, despite having gotten some extra rest during my time off.

I am a huge soup fan, so anytime I am starting to feel a bit run down my thoughts go to soup.  A few years ago, we started saving and freezing veggie scraps and chicken bones to use when making homemade stock.  Which makes the best soup!

This isn’t really a recipe, but more some guidelines I thought I’d share if you want to try making your own stock from cooking scraps. I love how you can play with the flavors, and that it utilizes the odds and ends that frequently get thrown away.

We eat rotisserie chicken fairly regularly.  When we have one, I stick the bones in a Ziploc and toss it in the freezer until I am ready to make stock.

I also keep a freezer bag or Tupperware in the freezer to add veggie remnants too. I throw the scraps of carrots, celery, onion, the occasional bit of parsnip or leek into this container.  When it is full we are ready to go!  I will also add in leftover bits of fresh herbs, which can add some really nice flavor.

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To make your actual stock place your chicken bones and bag of frozen veggie scraps in a large stockpot. Add in water (enough to cover) and bring to a boil.  Once at a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Let simmer for at least a few hours until a tasty, rich broth is formed.  Once done, carefully strain out all bones and veggies.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use (this will keep a week or so in the fridge).  Using the bones from one chicken and a one-gallon sized bag of veggie scraps, I usually get about 7-8 cups of stock.

You can also easily make vegetable stock by omitting the chicken bones, but following the same steps.  Adjust the amount of water (more or less depending on the amount of veggies) as needed.

Crockpot alternative: You can also make stock in the crockpot.  Simply place all ingredients in the crockpot, cover with water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  I will occasionally make stock overnight, strain it and put it in the fridge in the morning, then use it to make the soup that night.

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Do you ever make your own broth or stock?  What is your favorite comfort food when you are feeling run down or a little under the weather?

 

 

Veggie Blueberry Muffins

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Happy Tuesday!  How has your week started out?  No complaints over here.  Monday was a busy day, but a good one.  I was up bright and early to teach my class. I know I have mentioned it before, but I love the folks that come to my class.  I have a great group of regulars who are so fun and upbeat.  They also go out of their way to say hi to new folks and make them feel welcome, they are the best.

Today I am sharing my veggie blueberry muffin recipe.  It took a few tries to get these how I wanted them, but they have quickly become a household favorite.  They are fruity and comforting, with a healthy dose of veggies.  I have been enjoying them warm with a little butter, but the kids love them straight from the fridge.

Veggie Blueberry Muffins

Makes about 18 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded (about 1.5 cups total shredded veggies)
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (don’t have oat flour?  No problem, just run old-fashioned oats through the food processor until ground).
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla flavored)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, I like the frozen wild blueberries, which are a little smaller)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  Spray muffin pans.  Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add eggs, applesauce, almond milk, and honey to dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini and carrots.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Bake for about 25 minutes.

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What is your favorite kind of muffin?  I don’t know that I have met a muffin I didn’t like, but I am especially partial to blueberry.

Hope you have a great day!

A long Wednesday + Lightened up Ranger Cookies

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Hey, friends! Happy Friday eve! How’s your week going?  Mine was chugging right along until yesterday.  Wednesday was a bit of a day!  Now in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t really anything all that bad, and there are lots of really big things happening right now, so I hate to sound whiny.  But it was a bit of a rough one yesterday.  Work was super busy, and right as it was wrapping up for the day I got a call that my dude had a high fever. So we then spent the afternoon in the doctor’s office.  Just me, a sick dude and an into everything little miss.  It looks like the little guy just has another cold, so fingers crossed he is feeling better asap and the babies get a break from the bugs for a while.

I made the original version of these ranger cookies for my little guy the last time he was sick.  The originals are delicious (recipe here) and I would highly recommend them.  It is an old Better Homes and Garden recipe.  While delicious, they are pretty full of butter and sugar, which is fine, but we ate them much quicker than I like to admit.  Given how quickly we blew through them, I wanted to come up with a lighter version.  I subbed out butter/oil for unsweetened applesauce and cut the sugar in half.  This resulted in a softer cookie.  But still, with all the delicious flavors we loved from the original recipe.

Lightened up Ranger Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Directions: Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly spray baking pan.  Add all ingredients in a bowl except oats, coconut, and dried cranberries.  Mix until well incorporated.  Once well mixed add in remaining ingredients (oats, coconut, and cranberries) and gently fold in.  Place scoops of dough on the baking pan, allowing about two inches of space between each cookie.  Back for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Question:  What is your favorite cookie?  Do you prefer crispy or soft?  I love chocolate chip with pecans, and like my cookies with crispy edges and a soft center.

Hope you have a great day!

Spicy eggs in marinara

Hey, welcome to the blog today!  I always appreciate you visiting.  How is your week starting out?  I am doing alright over here, I have been keeping an eye on the news related to the recent hurricanes and the ongoing impact these storms have had.  My thoughts are with all of those impacted.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have been all about the breakfast recently.  I made this spicy marinara and eggs dish a few weeks ago on the fly while trying to use up some odds and ends that were in the fridge.  It ended up being awesome, and I knew that I would want to make it again so I could share it with you.

This dish is super easy, sneaks some veggies into breakfast and was quite the crowd pleaser at our house.  Even my baby girl was all about it and eagerly ate up all my toast as she soaked up the marinara.  This is more of a guideline than a strict recipe, everything can be customized to taste.  It is a hearty vegetarian breakfast that has become one of my new favorite weekend breakfasts.

Spicy Eggs Marinara

Ingredients:

  • For the crostini
    • sliced baguette
    • butter or ghee
    • Italian seasoning
  • For the egg dish
    • marinara sauce – if making 3-4 eggs in a large pan, about 1.5 cups, for individual ramekins about 1/2 a cup.  You want about 1/3-1/2 inch of marinara in the bottom of the dish
    • 1-2 handfuls diced greens – about a cup of whatever you have on hand, I used kale for the pictured one, I have also used spinach
    • Crushed red pepper
    • Italian seasoning
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  Pour marinara into pan or ramekins.  Mix in diced greens and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper (add to your taste preferences).  Make wells for eggs and gently crack an egg into each well, trying not to break the yolks.  I used one egg for my smaller ramekins and found that three fit perfectly in my cast iron skillet.  This is a smaller skillet, a larger one could likely hold four eggs.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Put in the oven.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes for a runny yolk.  You may want to check on them periodically, as ovens can vary in cooking time.


For the crostini.  Slice the baguette into approximately 1/2 inch slices and lightly butter one side.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and bake with the eggs, remove from the oven once lightly browned.

Let me know if you give this a try.  Do you have any now favorite recipes that you came across by accident?  Or while using up leftovers?

Are you much of an egg eater?  I wasn’t really into eggs until my first pregnancy, now I eat them all the time.

Hope you have a great day!

Weeknight Cauliflower Fried Rice

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Hey, friends!  How was your Wednesday?  I got summoned for jury duty, and it was a loonnnggggg day.  I did not get selected but was not dismissed until the very end, and then had a bit of a drive home.  It was interesting to see the legal system in action though, and I did get some good reading time in while waiting around.

Today I wanted to share another super fast meal idea, my weeknight cauliflower fried rice.  This is a 10-minute dish that is a perfect way to get extra veggies in.  It is one of the kids’ favorites.   I love things that make them want to eat veggies, so we have it pretty regularly.  It is great on its own, but you could also add some cooked chicken, tofu, shrimp or any other preferred protein.  It also makes a good side.  I made this not too long ago and served it with my Weeknight Egg Roll in a Bowl, and the whole family was full and happy.

Weeknight Cauliflower Fried Rice

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 bag (12 oz) frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I was out of mixed veggies and just used frozen peas on the pictured batch)
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2-3 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, or coconut aminos, depending on your preferences)

Directions: Add sesame oil to a frying pan and heat on medium-high heat.  Add riced cauliflower and vegetables to pan.  Begin to stir and heat, adding garlic powder, onion powder, and ground ginger.  Continue to cook until heated through and beginning to brown slightly (about 8 or so minutes).  As it cooks, crack the egg into a bowl and beat.  Make a well in the middle of your pan, and pour the egg into this well.  Allow the egg to cook in the well for about a minute, then scramble and mix in with rest of ingredients.  Pour in the liquid aminos and add the green onions.  Mix thoroughly and serve.

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Let me know if you give this recipe a try.

How is your week going so far?  Have you ever had jury duty?