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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

{Sweet Potato Enchilada Skillet}

One pan, loaded with veggies, and packed with flavor.  Just a few of the things I love about this Sweet Potato Enchilada Skillet!  

Other things I love about this Sweet Potato Enchilada Skillet... the leftovers make great breakfasts or lunches.  Yes, I said breakfast... think breakfast burrito filling!

But I still think my favorite thing about Sweet Potato Enchilada skillet has to be the whole one pan thing!  I am a sucker for one pan meals.  One pan meals means less clean up for me and that is a huge win in my book!  And lets just say that with the wedding being a week away the less time I can spend in the kitchen cooking and cleaning the better!  I have last minute wedding details to attend to!  

Sweet Potato Enchilada Skillet
Brunch N'Cupcakes - Inspired by Ambitious Kitchen 
Serves 8 

3 Medium Sweet Potatoes - Peeled and Chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Medium Zucchinis - Chopped
1/2 Large Onion Chopped
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 - Can Enchilada Sauce
1 - 15 oz. Can Black Beans drained and rinsed 
1 Cup Hominy
1 Cup Dry Quick Cooking Brown Rice (Such as Minute Rice)
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth 
1/4-1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 Teaspoons Cumin 
1 1/2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Salt and Pepper to Taste

For Serving - Whole Wheat Tortillas, Tortilla Chips, Greek Yogurt, Salsa, and Avocado Slices

1- In a large skillet coated with cooking spray saute onions until translucent.  Then add garlic until fragrant.  
2- Add sweet potatoes, zucchini, spices and 1/2 cup chicken broth to skillet and cook until sweet potatoes are tender.  
3- While sweet potatoes are cooking cook brown rice and set aside. 
4- Once sweet potatoes are soft stir rice, beans, hominy and enchilada sauce into skillet.  Top with cheese and serve with toppings of choice!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

{Whole Wheat Flax Apple Muffins}

Life took an interesting turn last week.  I am not going to get into the details but lets just say I am glad that last week is behind me!  Let's instead focus on positive things!  Like how Derek and I are getting married in just 23 days (HOLY COW), or how I got to spend a long weekend up on the North Shore with my mom just relaxing, oh and I think we also need to focus on how delicious these muffins are!   Because they are really really good!

These little guys are the perfect grab and go breakfast or afternoon snack.  They are packed full of fiber from the whole wheat flour and ground flax seeds give them a good nutritional punch!  They get their sweetness from a grated apple and honey!  No refined sugar here!  I like to have one as an afternoon snack with some almond butter and a hot cup of tea!  Delicious!  Make up a batch on Sunday and eat through the week or whip them up Saturday morning as part of your brunch spread!  

Whole Wheat Flax Apple Muffins 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Makes 12 Muffins 

1 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour 
1/2 Cup Ground Flaxseed Meal - (I used Bob's Red Mills)
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon 
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Honey - or Maple Syrup 
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil Melted 
1/2 Cup Almond Milk (or milk of choice - I used unsweetened vanilla)
1 Large Egg Beaten
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Apple Grated

1- Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (flour, flax, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and powder).  Mix until well combined and set aside. 
2- In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients (honey, melted coconut oil, almond milk, beaten egg and vanilla).  
3- Gently pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until batter forms.  Now carefully stir grated apple into batter. 
4- Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups (or you can use liners) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 23 minutes or until tops of muffins are lightly browned and middles are set.  

Let cool and enjoy!  

Check out these other great muffin recipes from around the web!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

{Chunky 2 Bean Quinoa Chili}

Ah, Winter!  You’re still here…

February is one of the toughest months for me – and I am sure others would agree with me on this one!  By February I am just over winter.  I don’t want to bundle up anymore, the sight of snow makes me want to cry, and I find myself googling tropical vacations because I have the itch to just get out of the frozen tundra I call home!  Yes, February can be brutal, but thankfully there are things like this delicious Chunky Two Bean Chili with Quinoa that helps warm me up and even brightens my day just a little bit!

I love making a big batch of chili on a Sunday or Monday night and then enjoying the leftovers all week!  Makes meals super easy and lunch packing a breeze, plus the longer this chili sits the more the flavors begin to meld and the more delicious it becomes! 

Chunky Two Bean Chili with Quinoa 
Brunch N’Cupcakes
Serves 6-8

1 – 15 Ounce Can Chickpeas (Drained and Rinsed)
1 – 15 Ounce Can Black Beans (Drained and Rinsed
1 – 15 Ounce Can White Hominy (Drained and Rinsed, I used Bush’s Brand)
2 – 15 Ounce Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes (Un-drained)
1 – 15 Ounce Can Sweet Corn – No Salt Added (Drained and Rinsed)
½ a Large Onion Roughly Chopped
½ a Large Green Pepper Roughly Chopped
½ Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
½ Cup Dry Quinoa – Prepared according to package directions

1- In a large soup pot coated with cooking spray sauté onions until fragrant and translucent.  Add in green peppers and sauté until tender.
2- Stir in beans, hominy, corn, un-drained tomatoes and spices.
3- Bring to boil.  Once chili is boiling reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.   Stir in quinoa and cook an additional 5 minutes.

**Serve with shredded cheese, avocado slices, chips, Greek Yogurt or your favorite chili toppings!


More delicious “chili” recipes to get you through February!
Quinoa Chili - Damn Delicious 
Quinoa Turkey Chili - Taste of Home 
White Chili - Cooking Light 

Friday, February 13, 2015

{Valentine’s Day – Sweet Treat Round Up}

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (tomorrow to be exact)  which means there is still time to whip up some sweet treats for the people you care about most in your life!  Staying in for dinner or making brunch at home?   Well here is a list of some of my favorite go to dinners, delicious breakfast treats – all perfect for that special someone in your life! 
Enjoy – and Happy Early Valentine’s Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

{Shaved Brussel Sprout and Purple Cabbage Salad}

Simplicity – what I am aiming for these days and the word that perfectly describes this delicious salad!  This salad isn’t fussy or fancy it is just simple ingredients combined together for a delicious outcome.  What I like best about this salad is that the majority of the “ingredients” are pantry staples in my house. 

 The other thing I love is that the star ingredients are Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Purple Cabbage – two things which I absolutely love – not sure why!   This salad is great for tossing together Sunday night and eating throughout the week – the flavors get stronger as the week goes and the cabbage and brussel sprouts both begin to soften a bit.  I serve this simple salad with chickpeas or tempeh for protein and some sunflower seeds or peanuts for added crunch!

Shaved Brussel Sprout  and Purple Cabbage Salad
Brunch N’Cupcakes
Serves 6-8

3-4 Cups Purple Cabbage – Shredded (One small or ½ a medium should do)
1 Bag Shaved Brussel Sprouts (Target and Trader Joe’s both have – need about 3 cups)
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Garlic
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
Sesame Seeds, Tempeh, Chickpeas, Peanuts for Garnishing/Serving

Directions –
1- In a large bowl combine purple cabbage and brussel Sprouts – mix until combined, set aside.
2- In a small bowl whisk together white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil and spices.
3- Pour dressing over cabbage and brussel sprouts until evenly coated – serve.

Note – Top salad with tempeh or chickpeas for protein (Grilled chicken would also be delicious), and a tablespoon of peanuts or sesame seeds for a little crunch!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

{Almond Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars}

Valentine’s Day is on my mind– so that means I cannot stop thinking about all things red, pink and chocolate!  I know these Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars  are not the decedent Valentine’s day treat you were hoping for but I promise they are delicious!  

These little snack bars are studded with tart cherries (red for Valentine's day), packed full of chocolaty goodness and feature Almond Butter one of my all-time favorites (and a great alternative to peanut butter- read about the health benefits of almonds here, and here)!  They are healthy, no bake and quick to throw together – plus you can add any sort of mix ins you like to make them all your own!  I have been enjoying these bars crumbled over my Greek yogurt as “granola” enjoying them plain or even topping one with a little Greek yogurt frosting – (recipe here) for a sweet treat!  They are delicious!

Almond Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars
Brunch N’Cupcakes
Makes 15 Bars

1/3 Cup Dried Cherries – I buy bulk bin cherries by the pound
1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
2 ½ Cup Oatmeal – I used quick cooking
1 1/3 Cup Almond Butter (I used Almond Butter – from Nuts.Com)
¼ Cup Maple Syrup

1- Combine dried cherries, and oatmeal together in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
2-  In a microwave safe bowl combine peanut butter and maple syrup.  Microwave for 1 minute (stirring after 30 seconds).  Peanut butter should be melted and easy to stir – if not place in microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
3-  Slowly pour peanut butter mixture into your oat mixture.  Stir until oats and cherries are evenly covered.
4- Stir in chocolate chips.
5- Press dough into a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray – place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to allow bars to set. Cut and enjoy!

**Note these bars get soft if they are stored out on the counter.  I store mine in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

{Super Bowl - 2015 Snack Edition}

One of my favorite things about the Super Bowl, well besides the commercials is prepping and curating a delicious and healthy spread of party snacks! 

So for any of you who are last minute party planners or are still hunting for the perfect super bowl snacks... below are a few of my favorite and go to dishes! 

Dips - 

Main Dishes - 

Tasty Desserts - 

Enjoy and happy game watching!