Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Texas Gold

As I mentioned before, we've become the go-to dessert bringers for small group, which is fine with me, because I keep finding amazing looking recipes on Pinterest I want to try ;) This past weekend, I made Texas Gold aka Chess Squares aka Gooey Butter Cake. Whatever you call it, it's delicious!! A cross between yellow cake and cheesecake, it was ooey, gooey, sweet, buttery and just yummy. Super easy to make too! Only 5 ingredients!!

Texas Gold  

From Kevin and Amanda 

1 box yellow cake mix (use organic or your own to make it clean)
3 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 and spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray. Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to a soft dough. Press into the bottom of the pan. Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and remaining two eggs until smooth, about 1-2 mins. Pour on top of crust. Bake at 300 for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monterrey Chicken

I first tried this recipe before going clean and it's becoming a family favorite. It's so simple, yet super delicious. Since the Rotel is pretty spicy, I leave some of the chicken without it for the kids. Paired with zucchini and onions from our garden, this made for a super fresh and super yummy meal!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce (we use Montgomery Inn...if you wanted to keep it 100% clean, use homemade)
1/4 c. real bacon bits
1 c. colby and jack cheese, shredded
1 14 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, drained (canned with green chilies added)
sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out chicken breasts to flatten. Season with pepper. Grill chicken until no long pink and place on baking sheet covered with foil. Top each chicken breast with one tablespoon bar-b-que sauce, 1/4 c. cheese, 1/4 c. tomatoes, green onions and one tablespoon of bacon bits. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oven-Roasted Garlic Parm Broccoli

My family really likes veggies, but we seem to eat the same ones prepared the same way every week. Broccoli is a family favorite, but I was getting tired of just steaming it, so I tried something new. I roasted it in the over with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese. Just take the broccoli heads (I used fresh, but frozen would work fine too) and mix with some olive oil and a couple teaspoons garlic salt. Spread on a cookie sheet and add shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. We added a little extra Parmesan cheese when they came out of the oven too :) Seriously, we could not stop eating the broccoli! It was like candy!!! The olive oil and garlic salt gave the broccoli a delicious crusty, caramelized outside and the parm cheese an extra kick of saltiness. So good!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Turkey Hill All-Natural Ice Cream

We love ice cream in our house. Our first choice is Graeter's, which is all-natural and oh-so-delicious. If you're not familiar with Graeter's, it's a Cincinnati brand ice cream made in small batches using the French Pot method. You can buy pints at Kroger and Marsh here in Indy, fortunately for my tastebuds, unfortunately for my waistline ;)

Anyway, I had a coupon for a $1 off Turkey Hill All-Natural Ice Cream and decided to give it a try last week when Kroger had it on sale. I got plain old vanilla and it was really good! Nice flavor and only five ingredients. I added on my all-natural peanut butter and some chocolate chips and made a yummy sundae :) While Graeter's is still number one, this is a great second choice. 

*Turkey Hill is not reimbursing me for my opinion of their yummy ice cream.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gap Clearance Outlet

I know this isn't food related but I just had to share because it is money saving related.

When we lived in Kentucky right after we got married, we frequently visited the Gap Clearance Center in Hebron, KY, near the airport. It's an amazing place full of amazing deals on Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and other Gap brands. You have to have time and patient when visiting however; the place is a giant warehouse full of racks and racks and more racks. You have to sift through lots of clothes, including broken, damaged and stained clothing, but if you're patient, it pays off!

Last weekend, Liesl and I stopped on the way home from KY and I hit the motherload of swimsuit deals. I got 10 Athleta swim tops and bottoms, which are all mix and match, for $1.99 each piece. I figured out I got $540 worth of swimsuits for $20 and not just any swimsuits, but Athleta suits!

I also got a $50 Athleta bra for $10 and two pairs of Athleta yoga pants for $7 each (regularly $80 each).

Even the hubbs benefited from my trip. He got a pair of Banana Republic dress pants for $10, two pairs of Gap dress pants for $7 each and three pairs of swim trunks for $1.99 each.

Yay deals!!! :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chocolate Mayo Cake

Also part of the 35th Anniversary celebration, Matt and I made a three-layer chocolate mayonnaise cake with strawberry filling and meringue frosting. We also made mini chocolate mayo cupcakes with coral and jade white chocolate frosting (the colors of the party) and white-chocolate dipped strawberries. I know, we're nuts! But, minus the back of the cake falling right before the party because of the ridiculous high temps, it was an overall success. We made a beautiful looking, super yummy cake and transported it all the way to Northern KY! I also managed to keep everything pretty clean too!


The chocolate mayo cake is a Thompson family favorite, made with, yes, you guessed it, mayonnaise. The mayo replaces the oil in the cake mix and makes for a super moist and super yummy cake. I don't like chocolate cake, but I eat this one!
Chocolate Mayo Cake
1 box (16.5 oz.) chocolate cake mix (use an organic cake mix or scratch-made mix to keep it clean)
1 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise (Hellmann's is all-natural)
1 cup water
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
Beat cake mix, Hellmann's, water and eggs 30 seconds in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed, scraping sides occasionally, 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely. Sprinkle, if desired, with confectioners sugar or fill and frost. 

We doubled the recipe and made three round cakes and used the leftover batter for the mini cupcakes. For the strawberry filling, take 2 1/2 cups of strawberries cut into pieces, 1 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of corn starch and 3/4 cup of sugar and cook over a stovetop, stirring until the strawberries dissolve into a gel filling. Let cool completely before putting in between the layers of cake. Assemble the cake and apply the frosting carefully, so you don't knock the layers off. Keep the cake in the fridge or a cool place because the frosting will melt in hot temps, as we sadly learned! For the cupcakes, I melted white chocolate and just dipped the tops into the melted chocolate.

Meringue Frosting
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pesto Cheese Tarts

My in-laws celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary earlier this month and this past weekend, all their kiddos and significant others threw them a party. It was a wine tasting party where everyone brought an appetizer and wine to pair with it. I made pesto tarts, an incredibly easy, yet super elegant appetizer. I paired the pesto tarts with Paper Moon Harvest Blend sweet red wine. 

Shout out to a fellow Bobcat! Paper Moon is the winery we visited on our getaway earlier this summer. We went to Ohio University with the owner, Adam. You should check them out at and buy some of their yummy wine ;)

Pesto Cheese Tarts Recipe

2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons prepared pesto
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 package (1.9 ounces) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, mayonnaise, cheeses, pesto and pepper. Spoon heaping teaspoonfuls into tart shells. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 15 appetizers.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Indiana Fruits and Veggie Harvest Calendar

I had mentioned that I took part in a healthy foods tour and information session at Whole Foods with a nutritionist and chef. One aspect of healthy eating she talked about was fruits and vegetables and eating locally and what's in season. Her reasoning was more of an environmental one and less of a health one. Locally grown, in-season produce means less gas and less carbon footprint.

Honestly, there is too much else for me to think about, I don't really consider the environmental impact when eating produce. I figure we're eating good food, so that's good enough for me! But, if that is something that interests you, check out this calendar from the Indiana state government. It shows what produce is in season in Indiana during any given month.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Delish Nutrition

I wanted to share a little bit more about the nutritionist and chef who lead the healthy foods tour at Whole Foods. Her name is Tonya Harper and she considers it her mission to share with other women how she learned to lose weight without dieting or depriving herself, to sleep better, to have energy that lasts throughout the day and evening, and to feel sexy again. Tonya is a Certified Health Coach who offers a 3-month Real, Clean and Delish! program, as well as customizable services. 

She did a great job explaining what foods we should be eating, how to choose wisely at the grocery store and tips for making healthy food taste great. 

Check out her website at!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Because my blog is all about saving money while still eating clean, I wanted to share with you a great chart I was given. Experts say that you should by all produce organic if you can afford it, but if organic is not in your budget for everything, there are a dozen different types of produce that you should spend to get organic and a list of 15 that are fine to buy conventionally. 

The list comes from the Environmental Work Group, which bases the list on how much pesticide is used on each type of produce, how we eat it (whether we eat the skins, peel outside layer, blanch, eat raw, etc) and where most types come from. Produce like apples, grapes and celery tend to have higher levels of pesticides used on them and we also typically eat the skins of each of those, exposing ourselves to more harmful substances. The foods on the conventional list tend to have lower amounts of pesticides used and are foods where we don't eat the skin or cook before eating.

Here's the two lists:

Dirty Dozen Plus

Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers

Sweet bell peppers
Kale / collard greens 
Summer squash
Clean Fifteen
Sweet Corn
Sweet peas - frozen
Sweet potatoes

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Italian Beef Sandwiches

This recipe comes from our good friends, Brian and Lindsay, and has become a small group staple. It's great for parties too because it's super easy to prepare and can feed a lot of people relatively inexpensively. I used a roast from "our" cow and it turned out even better than usual. That grain-fed beef is awesome stuff! :)
Italian Beef Sandwiches
Any style pot roast (arm, shoulder, butt)
1 large onion cut into chunks
1 jar of mild banana peppers (juice and everything)
1 can beef broth (I used chicken b/c I had it hand)
couple cloves of minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

Trim off fat from roast. Put in crock pot with the rest of the ingredients and cook on high for 5 to 7 hours. Bigger roasts will take longer; cut the roast into halves or quarters to speed up the cooking process. After 5 to 7 hours, take the roast out and pull apart with fork. Strain out onions and peppers from juice. Put shredded beef back into crock pot and add back in liquid to your desired juiciness. Serve on hard or toasty sandwich rolls. (We used yummy pretzel rolls!) I also took 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, mixed in some pesto and spread it on the bread before adding the beef to the sandwich.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Whole Foods July Events

I used to be extremely skeptical of all-natural and whole food stores like Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Earth Fare. I thought they were overpriced and overrated. But, since I've started eating clean, I've really started to enjoy shopping at those types of stores and have found some great (and well-priced!) clean options. On Saturday, I went on a store tour of Whole Foods with a nutritionist and chef. I learned some great tips that I will be sharing with you in the days to come. 

For now, I want to share some upcoming events that Whole Foods is holding, including a healthy eating store tour and no-cook recipe demonstration. I encourage you to check them out! You can find a whole list at their Facebook page,

Healthy Eating Store Tour
Monday, July 22, 12-2 pm

Ice Cream Social
Saturday, July 27, 6-7:30 pm

Chill Out at Carmel
Tuesday, July 30, 6-7:30 pm

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

Hello blog friends! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I took a little break the last week or so, but I have a ton of great posts ready to go!
Tonight I made grilled chicken bruschetta; this is a recipe I've tried before going clean and was happy to see I didn't have to make any adjustments to make it all-natural. I was super excited to get to use some onions and basil from my garden.

If you think about it and are planning ahead, definitely start prepping this recipe the morning or early afternoon the day you want to eat it. As the recipe says, the bruschetta gets better and better the longer it sits because all those wonderful flavors blend together.

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
3 oz mozzarella, diced
4 chicken breasts

Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.
Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight. Toss in the cheese when ready to serve.
Season chicken with salt and fresh pepper. Grill the chicken cutlets on your indoor or outdoor grill, top with bruschetta and serve.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crab Legs and Tilapia

With my mom here, we decided to get a little ambitious and made crab legs and fresh talapia. I don't eat crab, so I stuck with the talapia, which turned out delicious. I took the talapia and covered it with 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter, fresh chopped chives (from my herb garden), paprika and freshly-grated parm cheese. I broiled it for about 10 minutes, till brown and bubbly on top. For the crab legs, I melted about 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan, added in about 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic and sauteed until the garlic was soft. Then, I added in the crab legs, put on a lid and let steam for 5-6 minutes. For sides, we had left-over clean pasta salad and fresh-cut lettuce and romaine from our garden.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pasta Salad

Hello! Sorry for the lack of posts this week. After the 4th, my Momma came back with us and we've been enjoying the week doing fun stuff with the kiddos. Plus, it's VBS week, so my time this week has gone out the window.

Last week, I did manage to make a clean dish for a weekend cookout at the lake. In the past, I used to make the boxed Suddenly Salads. But, alas, they were far from all-natural. Instead, I made all-natural and clean pasta salad. I even made a gluten-free variety for my Mom.

I just took pasta (use whatever's on hand), cooked it to al dente and rinsed in cold water. Add in chopped veggies (I used peppers, tomatoes, carrots and celery), cubed cheese and pepperoni. Mix together with all-natural Italian dressing and cool in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Southwestern Chicken Salad
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 can organic black beans
1/2 cup green onions
1/2 cup tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
3 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
handful of cilantro, chopped
squeeze of lime juice

Mix everything together and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to let flavors meld together. Season with salt and pepper. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Crock Pot BBQ Beef Brisket

Another summer day that I didn't feel like cooking, so the crock pot it was! I did Crock Pot BBQ Beef Brisket. I didn't have any brisket, but I did have a grass-fed beef roast (from our cow), so I went with that instead. It turned out awesome! Super tender with great flavor. This recipe would make a great shredded beef sandwich.  Next time, I'm going to double the seasoning and sauce to give it even more delicious kick.

I probably won't be updating anymore this week with the holiday, so I hope you all have a safe, happy and clean 4th of July ;)

Remember to thank a soldier past or present for their service this week because freedom isn't free!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket 
From Stacy Makes Cents

2 -3 lbs Beef Brisket
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 tsp Celery Seed
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard

In a small bowl mix chili powder, garlic, crushed red pepper, celery seed and pepper and rub onto meat. Place meat in crock-pot. Mix ketchup, sucanat/sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Cut thin slices along the grain or just shred it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

100 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards 2013

One of the hardest parts of clean eating was giving up the packaged convenience foods. I enjoy cooking, but sometimes using boxed sides or serving packaged snacks was just easier. Plus, going out to eat, picnicking at the park and traveling are so much easier with packaged food. Thankfully, we still have plenty of options for clean, all-natural and organic packaged food. Prevention Magazine released its list of the top 100 cleanest packaged foods for 2013.

Here's what it took to get on the list:
  • Must not contain GMO ingredients. (Brownie points to those bearing the “Non-GMO Project Verified Seal”, which denotes foods that have been vetted through the non-profit Non-GMO Project, America’s only third party verification for products produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance.)
  • Must have no more than 10 g of added sugar
  • Must have less than 200 mg of sodium per serving (or 400 mg for meals)
  • All cans must be free of BPA
  • All fish must be sustainable, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood criteria
  • All foods had to be absolutely delicious
Some of my favorites from the list:
  • Alexia Organic Hashbrowns (Alexia's sweet potato waffle fries are also amazing!)
  • Amy's Pizza 
  • Kettle Brand Chips
  • Annie's Bunny Grahams
  • Wholly Guacamole (there are always coupons for these, plus Kroger puts them on sale every few weeks. Stock up and freeze...they keep in the freezer great!)
Check out the entire list here. What are your favorite clean packaged foods?