Baked Mac & Cheese

Hey Everyone – I thought I’d share what I made for a couple of weeks ago! It’s a super easy baked mac and cheese. I first had this recipe at my friend Melissa’s house. I was shocked when she told me it had cottage cheese in it. It seems weird but I promise it’s super yummy! Trust me!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb macaroni noodles (I was out of macaroni noodles so I used whole wheat penne)
  • 1 C. Cottage cheese
  • 1 C. Sour cream (I prefer Daisy brand – it doesn’t have a bunch of additives)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 C. Shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9 Square pan or something similar in size.

Cook noodles until al dente, drain well. Meanwhile in a large bowl combine, sour cream, cottage cheese, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg & 1/2 the cheese. Add the well-drained noodles to the cheese mixture and mix well. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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Veggies {Asparagus & Broccoli}…How To Cook Them

So I wanted to post my two favorite recipes for veggies. A lot of people say they don’t like veggies but what they really mean is they don’t like steamed, mushy, butter drenched veggies.

I’ve learned that everything can taste gross if you don’t know how to cook it! So I’m going to share my two main ways I cook veggies.

Asparagus

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  • 20 Spears of asparagus, washed & ends snapped off
  • 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/4 Tsp sesame oil (optional – but super yummy!)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a glass pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus are tender and slightly crunchy. My asparagus were pretty skinny so if yours are thicker they may take a little longer to bake.

Roasted Lemon/Parmesan Broccoli

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  • 6-8 cups broccoli florets, washed and completely dry (this is really important)
  • 1/2 – 1 TBSP minced garlic (I like a lot of garlic but you can do less if you want)
  • 1/2 a small lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 TBSP olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat the broccoli with olive oil. Then mix in the garlic, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The broccoli will get dark and crispy on the edges. You want it to be browned but not burned. Once it’s done baking squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the top and then top with the Parmesan cheese. Toss it all together and serve hot. You will never make broccoli any other way after you eat it this way! Trust me!!

Do you have a favorite way to cook veggies? I’d love to know!

Banana Pancakes

So I found this recipe on Pinterest for banana pancakes. It looked so easy which made me want to try it. Although I could probably cook just about anything I really don’t enjoy cooking, it’s more of a chore then anything else. So when I try recipes I like to try the ones with minimal ingredients. This one only has two ingredients.

One banana & one egg…yes you read that right!

Mash up the banana, scramble the egg, mix together and cook just like you would cook any other pancake. I topped mine with fresh strawberries and a really light drizzle of honey. They were so delicious & so easy!photo

This recipe only makes 1 serving of 3 small-medium sized pancakes so if you want more then double or triple the batch.

Enjoy!

March Meal Plan….Or Lack Thereof!

Hi everyone! So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted! Life has been crazy! My sweet little man is crawling & walking on furniture so I feel like I never sit down! I’ve also been participating in a bible study called “Unglued” which is amazing but has taken up a bunch of my free time.

So the March Meal Plan…I went back and forth about whether or not to post one and I ultimately decided against it…here is why. Recently I’ve watched a few documentaries about food (Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, & Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead)…and they are really challenging me. Normally I make a lot of casseroles, and soups that start with cream of whatever or other canned items. The more I learned, the more I’m realizing I need to change the way I cook for our family. My plan is to eat “cleaner”. If you don’t know what that means clean eating is basically whole gains, organic meats, no processed foods, no refined sugars and lots of organic plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, beans, & nuts). The blog, “100 Days of Real Food” has been an amazing source as I navigate what this means for our family. Check it out here if you want more info (and recipes!!).

This may sound extreme but the more I learn the more I feel like it’s a good thing to do for my family. What I want to say is – I’m going to try to do better, not be perfect! As a whole I’m trying to cut out most canned and boxed foods but I will likely still buy some from time to time (I totally bought a pizza at Costco yesterday – I’m not perfect people!!).

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My daughter loves mac & cheese and I have not be able to find a homemade version she likes so we will probably just cut back on how much of it we eat. It will be more of a treat instead of a staple in our lunches.

Yesterday I stocked up on fruits and veggies a Costco. I’ve started educating myself on the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists and shopped accordingly. When I got home I immediately cleaned the strawberries and prepackaged them for easy snacks for my daughter. I also filled my Little Green Pouches with applesauce – again for easy snacks.20130312-134750.jpg

I wanted to set some goals for myself:

  • Cut out as most processed foods
  • Add more fruits & veggies to our diet
  • Eat more organic foods (the Dirty Dozen, Milk, & Eggs)
  • Tweak my current recipes to fit these guidelines
  • Teach my kids to like healthy foods – this may sound hard but really it’s about learning to cook yummy, healthy foods. My daughter LOVES green beans, & broccoli when cooked the right way.
  • Cook healthy food that is just as yummy as the other food I used to cook! I’ve had a lot of gross healthy food. It doesn’t have to be that way and I’m determined to figure out how to make it yummy!
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle in our family!

This isn’t going to be easy but lucky for me I have a couple of other friends that are on this same journey!! Hopefully we can support each other and share recipes! I’d encourage you to think about what you are feeding your family and start reading labels. If you have some healthy recipes you would like to share I would LOVE to have them!

While I’m navigating what this means for my family I will not be posting meal plans. At this point I don’t even know what to cook for dinner tonight let alone what to cook for a whole month! As I try new recipes or tweak old ones I’ll try to post those. Tomorrow I’ll be posting a really easy recipe for banana pancakes!