Recipe Review: Apple Pie Paleo Granola

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m trying (but somewhat failing) to maintain my soy-free, grain-free vegan diet I followed in January when I was detoxing. As a result, I pinned a zillion recipes and this bad boy was one of them. I made it this weekend but have honestly only eaten it once since then. I should mention right off the bat that I’m not really a sweets person so I might be a bit biased from the start.

Apple Pie Paleo Granola


Apple Pie Paleo Granola

Serves: not listed on the recipe source but I found it made 5 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (peptias)
  • 7 medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add nuts, dates, and unsweetened shredded coconut to a bowl of a food processor and pulse to slightly chop nuts. Add spices and salt and pulse again to evenly distribute.
  3. In a bowl whisk together apple sauce, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Place wet ingredient into the bowl of food processor with nut mixture and pulse to combine.
  4. Evenly distribute granola (using fingers) on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden.
  6. The granola will harden up once cooled completely.

THOUGHTS

  • So I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love this recipe. For starters, there’s the texture… mine ended up much more ground up than it shows in the photo. I think if I made this again, I’d buy whole nuts and skip #2 OR I’d buy pre-chopped nuts and not put anything into the food processor at all. As it was, I purchased slivered almonds, pecan pieces, and walnut pieces and ended up with a finely ground up consistency that I didn’t particularly care for.
  • As for the cooking times, this might have to do with the weird consistency of mine but I baked it once for 40 minutes, let it cool, then broke it up and cooked it again for about 20 minutes.       It still never really fully hardened. I ended up putting my leftovers in the freezer for longer storage because I wasn’t sure how long it would last at room temp while still semi-moist.
  • This has a great spice mix but tastes heavily of the spices and not the apple.
  • Would I make this again? Yes – but only to try out my different consistency theory. If I still wasn’t thrilled with it, I’d stick with this Paleo Granola recipe I’ve tried previously.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Advertisements

Recipe Review: Paleo Granola

I’m not normally a nut person or really a granola person for that matter.  However, in an attempt to start eating healthier I’ve been trying to add nuts to my diet and remove many kinds of grains.  I came across this recipe via Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl.

Paleo Granola
     Source

Paleo Granola

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup raisins (or your favorite dried fruit) (I used the raisins)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here 

THOUGHTS

  • This dish is delicious!  The sea salt is essential so make sure you don’t leave that part out (I probably used closer to a ½ teaspoon though).  My husband liked this dish so much that he’s actually hiding it from me somewhere in our house.
  • While the directions call for placing several kinds of your nuts in the food processor at once, I found that since almonds are harder than cashews, for example, they ended up not chopping up while the cashews were in itty bitty pieces.  The next time I make this (and there WILL be a next time) I’ll chop each type of nut individually.
  • This dish is so filling.  I didn’t realize such a small amount (less than a cup I’d say) could make me so full.  I was full for hours afterwards.
  • I served this with vanilla almond milk and I thought the vanilla almond milk made it too sweet.  Next time, I’m going to try it with plain almond milk instead.
  • This is crazy easy to make and really requires no skill as long as you own a food processor.
  • My huge thanks to Paleo Cupboard for sharing this recipe!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Remember, today is the 14th so it’s your day to practice a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  I’d love to hear what you do!  Please feel free to leave comments!  I will be posting my RAOK on the 16th.  See you then!

raok sandy hook

Recipe Review: Asian Spaghetti

I’ve mentioned before that I have a hard time successfully cooking Asian food for some reason.  I have no idea why, but that ability eludes me frequently.  However, the other night I made this dish from Taste of Home and it was delicious.

asian spaghetti

Asian Spaghetti

Serves:  5 (haha, yeah right – more like 2 to 3 if you’re eating this as your only side like we did)

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh snow peas
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, snow peas, carrots and onions in oil until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar and cayenne. Drain pasta. Add pasta and soy sauce mixture to skillet and toss to coat. Heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

THOUGHTS

  • I purchased presliced mushrooms and matchstick carrots which meant the only thing I had to chop was 4 scallions – this dish came together in a flash!  Great for a quick weeknight meal.  We served this with chicken marinated in a 30-minute Asian marinade I found near the salad dressings and BBQ sauce at our local grocery store.
  • This dish is a bit strong in the soy sauce department in my opinion but my husband disagrees.  I am not a huge lover of soy sauce like he is however.  I think next time I’ll use ½ soy sauce and ½ water or perhaps try tamari sauce which is supposedly a less salty, richer tasting type of soy sauce.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

Recipe Review: Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Yep, another soup recipe.  This time, with quinoa.  Aren’t you excited???  Come on, look at that picture!  Doesn’t it look delicious?!?!

vegetable-quinoa-soup

Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Serves: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • This soup has soooo many good for you things in it.  In fact, there’s not one single solitary unhealthy item in it. 
  • I thought this soup was a little on the bland side unfortunately so for me, it needs some tweaking.  I think instead of plain diced tomatoes next time I’ll used the basil, garlic and oregano ones.  In addition, I like to top mine with a bit of mozzarella cheese. 
  • Serve this with some crusty bread or a turkey sandwich and you’ve got a delicious healthy meal. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with Tarragon

Beautiful.  Easy.  Delicious.  Need I say more?  You can view this recipe here

Marinated Heirloom Tomatos with Tarragon

Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with Tarragon

Serves: 8 servings (serving size: about 3 tomato slices)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons extravirgin olive
  • 2 pounds (about 6 medium) heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Arrange tomatoes on a platter. Sprinkle tomatoes evenly with salt and pepper; drizzle with shallot mixture.

THOUGHTS

  • Y’all this recipe is so easy and when I served it at girls night every girl raved.  This dish is super simple to make and would be a great dish for a potluck. 
  • This dish doesn’t do well as “leftovers” so I’d make sure that you feed it to a large group or cut the ingredients in half if you just want to feed 4 people. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Easy Minestrone

It’s no secret that I love me some soup.  I’m especially a fan of soups that are chock-full of veggie goodness and beans and take practically zero time to prepare like this one from Taste of Home

Easy Minestrone

Easy Minestrone

Serves:  10 (or so it says, I think closer to 4-5 if you’re serving this as the main course)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni  the recipe calls for this, but I don’t include it (see the ‘thoughts’ section for more info)
  • 5 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Just before serving, stir in macaroni and heat through. Serve with cheese.

THOUGHTS

  • This soup is delicious.  I especially love it topped with parmesan cheese.
  • I prefer this soup without the noodles because they have a tendency to get soggy and smushy.  I’m not a fan of either so I just leave the noodles out. 
  • To speed things up, I chop my tomatoes, carrots and celery in the food processor. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad

I love Pinterest.  That’s how I stumbled across this amazing recipe.  It’s from a fellow blogger named Fit Foodie Finds.  This is one of the dishes I served the night I had company over but was still following my Foods You Should Eat Every Day Challenge.  Both my husband and my guest LOVED IT.  It was just delicious and will definitely be a new staple in our house. 

fresh caprese quinoa salad

Fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad

Serves: 3 to 4

INGREDIENTS 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • Sometimes finding basil at my local grocery store is hit or miss.  To make this dish I went to two grocery stores and still couldn’t find basil.  I ended up buying freeze dried (in the refrigerated section of your local grocer) and honestly, I thought it was delicious.  I stirred it into the quinoa before I let the quinoa cool and it rehydrated and turned out delicious.
  • Please note that the recipe calls for fresh mozzarella.  That will be the soft, squishy kind normally formed into a ball. 
  • This dish would be great for potlucks.  You can guarantee that no one will bring something similar or nearly as beautiful!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: The Olive Garden’s Capellini Primavera

I had amazing success with the last Olive Garden copy cat recipe I tried so I was super excited to give this baby a shot.  It’s loaded down with good-for-you vegetables too! 

I found this recipe here but sadly, I didn’t realize there wasn’t a picture associated with it and we scarfed this down so fast I didn’t take a picture of it.  It’s pretty though.  🙂

Olive Garden Logo

The Olive Garden’s Capellini Primavera

Serves:  4-6 generous servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup julienne-cut carrots (I used pre-cut matchstick carrots)
  • 5 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1-1/4 cups thinly sliced yellow squash (cut squash in half lengthwise before slicing)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tbs. beef bouillon granules (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, minced
  • 1-1/4 cups crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. fresh angel hair pasta (I used dried whole wheat pasta)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots and broccoli in butter 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, squash and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except pasta and cheese; stir well. Bring to simmer, then cook 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and flavors are well blended. Serve over cooked angel hair pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese.

THOUGHTS

  • My husband loved this dish.  I liked it, but I definitely prefer the other Olive Garden copy cat recipe
  • This dish requires a significant amount of chopping but my husband helped chop and it didn’t take us very long.  It’s worth it when you consider that this fed us for 3 separate meals. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Gluten-Free Cheesy Veggie ‘Pasta’ Bake

I like spaghetti squash.

I like pasta.

Spaghetti squash, however, is not pasta. I understand that it looks like it, but it’s not. It doesn’t have the same texture, and it definitely doesn’t have the same taste. That doesn’t make it bad… it just makes it different. Why can’t we just call a spade a spade and call this a Cheesy Veggie Bake? It makes no sense to me.

I found this recipe here.

Gluten-Free Cheesy Veggie ‘Pasta’ Bake

Gluten-Free Cheesy Veggie ‘Pasta’ Bake

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Poke spaghetti squash all over with a knife and cook in the microwave for eight to 12 minutes until soft. If you don’t have a microwave, place the poked squash on a baking pan and bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. While that’s cooking, add the oil, garlic, pepper, zucchini, and carrots to a pan, cooking over medium heat.
  3. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and with a fork, scrape the flesh from the peel. It should flake off easily in strings, resembling spaghetti. Place the spaghetti squash flesh in a casserole dish. Add the cooked veggies, diced tomato, sauce, and most of the cheese and mix well. Sprinkle leftover cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
  4. Allow to cool for five minutes, serve, and enjoy!

THOUGHTS

  • It’s delicious and definitely a healthy alternative to pasta. I love that this is covered in cheese… I love cheese and if I can eat cheese with a load of veggies them I’m all for it!
  • I cook my squash differently – I cut it in half and remove the seeds – then place cut-sides down in a 13×9 pyrex dish. Add 1” of water and 1 tablespoon of butter – bake at 350 for 30 minutes then CAREFULLY (it’s HOT!) scrape the flesh from the peel. It should flake off easily and resemble spaghetti noodles.
  • For a little bit of kick, you can add 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • I think this is definitely a crowd pleasing dish.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Five Days Five Ways

Recipe Review: Glenda’s Savory Sweet Potatoes

I have a friend who I love dearly who is one of those crazy fitness Crossfit-obsessed people.  I think she’s nuts.  But I love her.  And she’s gorgeous.  As you can imagine, she’s quite the health nut too.  So, the other night when she had me over for dinner we had a very healthy dinner of broiled tilapia, spinach salad, and savory sweet potatoes.

I should mention here that until this night, I’d never met a sweet potato that I liked.  They’re sweet people.  I’m sorry but I just don’t think vegetables should be mixed with sugar or marshmallows.  Blech!

This recipe is a recipe for people who don’t like their sweet potatoes, well, sweet.

sweet potatoes-edited

Glenda’s Savory Sweet Potatoes

Serves: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 white or yellow onions
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 4 whole heads of garlic (or you can cheat, like I did, and buy a large container of the pre-peeled garlic cloves)
  • Olive oil (about ¼ cup)
  • Italian seasioning, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut up the sweet potatoes and the onions into small bite-size pieces (mine were about the size of a nickel).  You can choose to leave the skin on the potatoes for extra health benefits as well.  If you chose to buy whole garlic heads, you’re going to want to peel all 4 heads right now.  I cut any big cloves in half.
  2. Put your chopped onions, potatoes, and peeled garlic in a large bowl and then drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste.  I used more spices than I thought it really needed, and it honestly could have used a little bit more of everything.  Be liberal.
  3. Place on a large cookie sheet (I had to do mine in two batches) and bake at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes, mixing every 10-15 minutes.

THOUGHTS

  • I still don’t love sweet potatoes.  They’re definitely not my go-to vegetable.  That being said, the health benefits are astounding so if I have to eat them, this is the way to eat ‘em!  By and large the tastiest sweet potatoes I’ve had so far.
  • When Glenda made them for me she left the skin on, I chose to take it off when I cooked them for myself.  I prefer it with the skin on.
  • I realize that 4 heads of garlic seems like a lot, but it’s not once you see how much veggies you’re going to end up with.  Just trust me.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Five Days Five Ways