Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BBQ Quinoa Salad


Thank you Pinterest for keeping my recipes interesting. Helps me a lot in a rut. Last night I made this BBQ chicken quinoa salad for dinner and it was amazing! So easy, healthy, and delicious… Basically the 3 requirements for a good meal!


Ingredients: quinoa, BBQ chicken (used the crock pot for this), avocado, cilantro, corn, black beans. The recipe also called for cheese but I left it out to keep it healthier and it still tasted great.


Link again to recipe:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Salted Caramel Shortbread

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These are amazing. At first I thought they were too salty, but after they set for a couple hours I’ve really liked them. They have orange zest and orange extract in them, which adds this perfect subtle burst of fresh flavor.IMG_4985

The recipe threw me off because there is salt in the actual caramel, not just on top. That being said, I used less salt than it called for because it just didn’t feel right. I might even use a little less next time.

Recipe here:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sugar Free Cookie Dough Dip

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Original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie here:

This dip is amazing! I ate it with apples every day for a week until it was gone. You will not believe what’s in it could taste good, but just trust me, it’s delicious! I had to make my husband try it before I told him the ingredient list.


  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
  • heaping 1/8 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, some people say it has a slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so you can sub oil if you don’t want that.)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup pitted dates (I used SunMaid, from a regular grocery store)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (see link below, for sugar-free option)
  • 2 T oats (You can omit)
  • nondairy milk as needed (depending on the consistency you want. I used a few T.)

In a bowl, cover the dates with 1/2 cup water. Let this sit for at least 8 hours. Then add all ingredients (including the dates’ soaking liquid), except chocolate chips, to a food processor and blend until very smooth.

If you wish, you can use: Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips.

Homemade Black Bean Burgers

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Combine one can of black beans (drained), bread crumbs, and salsa, Mash with a potato masher or mix by hand. Slowly add flour until mixture is thick enough to form patties. Form patties (we like to make them thin) and cook on a skillet over medium-high heat.

These taste great with mango salsa and/or avocado/guacamole on top. You can also put some jalapeno yogurt dip from Costco on the buns, and it is delicious.


Homemade Masaman Curry

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A staple in our house.IMG_4444

Here’s what you need: masaman curry paste (look for it at Asian markets), coconut milk, sugar, basmati rice, and whatever veggies you like. We like carrots, potatoes, onions, and peas. I cook up the veggies then add the milk and paste. It’s nice to get it ready early and simmer for a while. Each paste will call for a different amount so look at the instructions. You can also add meat or tofu of course!IMG_4437IMG_4441

Coconut Mango Sticky Rice

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One of the best Asian desserts you’ll ever have! IMG_4448

Here’s what you need:

Glutinous rice (sticky rice), coconut milk, sugar, and mangoes. Cook the rice, combine 1 can coconut milk to 1/4 c. sugar, scoop balls of sticky rice into a bowl and cover with coconut milk mixture. Serve with fresh chopped mangoes on top.IMG_4446IMG_4445


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We had a church activity the other week to learn watercolor. Here are my paintings, which paled in comparison to some of the women in our class! Turns out Crayola watercolors are just as good as any, as our instructor taught us.


Ina Garten’s Orange Cake (Vegan or Not)

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Every year I make this cake for my dad’s birthday. It is divine. The recipe comes from Ina Garten’s Lemon Cake, and is just adapted with orange zest/juice in place of lemon zest/juice. IMG_4592Here is the link to Ina’s original recipe:

This time I challenged myself to make it vegan, and it still turned out great! I substituted applesauce for the eggs, Earth Balance for the butter, and soy milk for the buttermilk. You should try it! Either way it’s delicious!IMG_4586

Activity Days: Gifts for Moms

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Last week we made gifts for the girls’ moms… homemade mugs! I purchased the pens at JoAnns—specifically designed for writing on glass or ceramic. All you do is draw with them then bake the ceramic for 30 minutes to set the color and make it dishwasher safe. We had a blast!IMG_4670IMG_4678IMG_4672