Monday, April 29, 2013

Amy's Organic Pizza

As I've mentioned many, many times before, I love pizza. I recently got a coupon for Amy's Organic Pizza and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, a majority of frozen pizzas (and pizzas for that matter) are definitely not all-natural. Fortunately, this one (it was a pesto pizza with broccoli and tomatoes...yes, really there was broccoli on my pizza!) was pretty good. The pesto was a little bland, but over it had good flavor. Plus, lots of servings of veggies in every slice!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Homemade Cream Corn

As I mentioned at the start of this blog, I would be sharing some swap recipes, where I swap out a not-so-natural staple in our pantry with an all-natural substitute. Tonight I made homemade cream corn to go with my baked lemon pepper tilapia and it was WAY better than the canned cream corn we used to eat. And, we used to love canned cream corn!

Creamed Corn with Parmesan
From Martha Stewart

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cups fresh corn kernels (about 8 ears)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), plus more for sprinkling (optional)

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer (but not smoke), about 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add cream and stock, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and stir in Parmesan. Transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with more Parmesan if desired.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken 
Adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh tenders or chicken breast tenders (I used chicken thighs with the bones)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar b/c that's what I had on hand)
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews

Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.
If you want like sauce and want to have some to pour over the chicken and the rice, double the sauce ingredients.

I also added a bag of frozen broccoli into the crock pot about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

All-Natural Sprinkles

We love sprinkles in our house...seriously, my daughter could eat them in anything if I would let her. She puts them in ice cream, oatmeal, pudding, yogurt, etc. I was continuing to let her enjoy sprinkles even though they are so not natural, just because they are such a small portion of what she intakes...80/20 rule! I was wandering around Whole Foods last week with my mom when I came across organic, vegan, all-natural sprinkles! Granted, they were almost $4 for a tiny box, but it's worth it to be able to give my kids a special treat.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Another family favorite that is so good and so easy! It's thinner than a typical Alfredo sauce, but has all the same wonderful flavor. If you want, double the recipe and freeze the extras. 

Alfredo Sauce
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (use the real stuff to stay all-natural)
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook on low heat until the cream cheese and butter melts and sauce is well blended. 

We serve ours with pasta, sauteed red onions and mushrooms and grilled chicken.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Baked Parmasean Garlic Chicken Wings

I love bar food...seriously, I could live off pizza, appetizers and chicken wings for the rest of my life! Usually, when the wing craving hits, we go to BW3's or Wing Street, but I never know what ingredients or preservatives those places use. So, tonight I decided to tackle one of my favorite wing flavors...garlic Parmesan. Not only are these wings clean, but they are baked with no breading, so they are a little healthier than the fried version.

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings Recipe

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon basil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder instead)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1/2 tsp table salt)1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or melted butter) [I used equal parts both...add more if you like a wetter wing]

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, rosemary, cumin, basil, garlic and salt. Lay the chicken wings on a baking sheet and season the chicken wings with this 1/2 of the mixture.

2. Bake the chicken wings for 20-25 minutes. While the chicken is baking, mix together the other half of the seasoning mixture with the the oil and Parmesan cheese.

3. When the chicken is cooked through, toss the wings with the garlic/cheese/olive oil (or butter) sauce and serve hot.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Almost Lasagna

Today was rainy and dreary, so I wanted some comfort food. I opted to try a new recipe for Almost Lasagna. I love lasagna but find the process of making it too involved. This recipe has several steps, but seemed a bit easier than actual lasagna and it tasted great! I sneakily added in some diced peppers that the kids didn't even notice they were eating too! ;)

Almost Lasagna

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked (or other similarly shaped pasta-like small shells)
  • 1 pound Ground turkey (or beef, chicken, sausage or tofu crumbles)
  • 1 jar Pasta Sauce (26 ounces)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups veggies, diced (I used bell peppers)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Brown meat and drain well, if necessary.
  2. While meat is cooking, stir together eggs, ricotta, grated Parmesan and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix cooked meat, macaroni, sauce and veggies. Add ricotta mixture and blend well.
  4. Coat a 9-by-13 baking pan with cooking spray or olive oil and spread half of macaroni mixture evenly over the bottom. Top with a cup of mozzarella and a healthy sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Add the remaining macaroni mixture and top with another cup of mozzarella and another sprinkle of Parmesan. Cover with foil.
  5. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake the casserole for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes until the cheese on top is lightly browned and bubbly.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Smokey Roast

This recipe was easy and delicious! The combination of the coffee, cocoa and chipolte made for a rich and deep flavor.

Smokey Roast

Coffee Spice Rub
2 tablespoons coffee grounds
½ teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
Mix all spice rub ingredients together and set aside.
½ tablespoon coconut oil (I used vegetable oil)
2.5 lb beef chuck roast
1 red onion, halved and sliced
¾ cup water

Heat your coconut oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat, make sure your pan is nice and hot!  Take the spice rub mixture and rub the entire amount into and all over the roast – really rub it in, do not just brush it on!.  Using tongs, place the roast into the hot skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side.  If your pan is not hot enough you will lose your spices, but if it’s too hot, you will burn your roast.  You want it to make a nice crust on both sides of the meat.  Place your sliced onions in the bottom of a slow cooker. Once the roast has been seared, put the roast in the slow cooker on top of the onions. Add the water, cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.  Serves 6.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Smothered Chops with Onions and Bacon

To me, a crock pot recipe should be easy, simple and not take a lot of prep time. I found this recipe for Smothered Pork Chops, but it had a lot of pre-crock pot prep time, so I adapted it to make it simpler. I don't have anything to compare it to, since I never made the original recipe, but I thought my version turned out pretty darn good! I paired the pork chops with steamed broccoli and cauliflower with all-natural cheese sauce.

Smothered Chops with Onions and Bacon
From Moms Who Think

4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
3 onions, halved and sliced ½ inch thick
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 7-ounce bone-in blade-cut pork chops, about ¾ inch thick, sides slit to prevent curling
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (I used dried)

Put pork, bacon and onions in crock pot. Mix together brown sugar, thyme, chicken broth, soy sauce, cider vinegar and parsley. Pour over meat and onions and add in the two bay leaves. Cover and cook until pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high. When done, discard bay leaves, remove meat and onions from crock pot and add in about 1/3 cup flour to liquid. Turn crockpot on high and stir the flour in to create a gravy-like sauce.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Local Harvest - Community Supported Agriculture

This week I came across an interesting concept called community-supported agriculture or CSA. The basic premise of a CSA is sharing "shares" of a local farmer's produce. A local farm sells a certain number of "shares", sometimes called a subscription or membership, to local community members. For the cost of the membership, you get a weekly supply of vegetables, fruits and other farm-grown food items like eggs, meat and grain. The CSA is a win-win for supports local business, everything is fresh, grown locally and oftentimes, organic. 

The website Local Harvest ( allows you to search for nearby CSAs and provides contact information, price and what's included in a membership for each of the CSAs. I found several in my area that I am going to investigate further. I'm not sure if it will be worth it for us price-wise since we are growing our own garden this summer, but I wanted to share the information with you in case this might work for your family.

What do you think of the concept of a CSA?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Common Kindness

CommonKindness - Sausalito, CAAs half of this blog concentrates on saving money, I wanted to share a new website I've been using for coupons. Common Kindness offers printable coupons on several popular organic and all-natural brands. Along with getting free printable coupons, by using Common Kindness you also help a local charity. Common Kindness donates a portion of each coupon printed to a number of different charities.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

London Broil

I love steak but unfortunately, my favorite steak is filet mignon, which is not in our monthly grocery budget. To compromise, I found a great recipe for London Broil. This recipe takes London Broil, a typically tough, yet inexpensive, cut of meat, and makes it very flavorful and tender. I paired the London broil with butter and parmeasan green beans and all-natural, organic couscous (from Whole Foods).

London Broil
2 pounds london broil steak, 1 1/2 inches thick
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Pierce steak with a fork. Place meat in plastic ziploc bag and set in deep bowl. In a skillet over medium heat, cook onion in oil until tender; remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and cool. Pour marinade over meat, seal bag and let marinade in the fridge for six to 24 hours, turning occasionally. When ready to grill, remove the meat, saving the marinade. Transfer meat to grill, brush with marinade and grill for 10 to 12 minutes on each side. To serve, thinly slice across the grain.