VEGAN ONE POT SPAGHETTI WITH VEGETABLES

After the holidays and all the festive food we had, I wanted to make something super simple. I’ve heard so much about one pot spaghetti, so I just had to give it a try! I absolutely love pasta and it sounds so easy and convenient to throw everything in a pot, add some water and that’s it! I first wanted to try the most popular tomato basil one pot pasta, but then I ended up with this vegan one pot spaghetti with vegetables.

Before I gave it a try, I thought it somehow won’t taste right. To my surprise, I was 100% wrong! It really turned out pretty delicious!!

But is it really just as good as a regular pasta dish?

At first, I couldn’t decide what veggies I wanted to use. Spinach and tomato sounded good or basil and tomato, but there were already tons of other one pot recipes using these ingredients, so I wanted to make something a bit different. I finally ended up using lots of different veggies: Tomatoes, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, kale, zucchini, and eggplant. I also added a red onion and some garlic.

You literally just throw in all of the ingredients – including the uncooked spaghetti – and then cook it for about 12-15 minutes. Instead of water I added vegetable broth to give it some extra flavor. Yes, you cook it all together in one pot and do not drain the pasta. This might sound weird, but it really works.

So to come back to the question whether it really is just as good as regular pasta. That’s a though question. I mean it’s so easy to make and you save lots of time and also get less dirty dishes, which is pretty great, right? I mean I love cooking, but all the cleaning up afterwards is kind of boring and annoying, so using only one pot really makes it easier for you. Plus, it’s pretty delicious and packed with flavor! The spaghetti on their own taste so much like the sauce, which is unfamiliar but really cool!

VEGAN ONE POT SPAGHETTI WITH VEGETABLES
VEGAN ONE POT SPAGHETTI WITH VEGETABLES

Ingredients

  • 9 oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/2 small zucchini, cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1/2 small eggplant, cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 red onion, chooped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, miced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 handful kale, roughly chopped
  • 3 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (I used thyme,basil, rosemary, and oregano)
  • salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients except for the kale and the broccoli florets into a large pot. Pour in the vegetable broth.
  2. Season with dried Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 12-15 minutes or until the pasta is soft.

You can find complete recipes of this VEGAN ONE POT SPAGHETTI WITH VEGETABLES in veganheaven.org

SWEET AND SPICY BAKED CAULIFLOWER

I just spent two hours scouring reviews for baby bouncers on Amazon. My eyes ache. Do you guys even know what kind of features these things come with nowadays? I don’t know how I ever made it to adulthood without such luxuries. Built-in sound systems, relaxing vibration patterns, an assortment of dangling toys to entertain the baby, hands-free bouncing – and none of them come in the color I want.

I have to get this right – it’s a gift for my best friend’s first baby. My best friend is pregnant. My best friend is having a baby. I still can’t believe it.

I don’t know the first thing about babies. I’ve never changed a diaper (Hello, Google? it’s me, Jordan.) I like love wine. I say shit and damn and hell sometimes too much. I know she’s way more ready for baby H than I am. But it’s still so hard for me to picture her as a mother. I know that’s just because I haven’t ever seen her in this role before. I know she’s going to be amazing.

It’s hard to imagine. Because to me – playing house with our American Girl dolls seems like yesterday. Getting in trouble for swimming in a flooded ditch seems like yesterday. Terrorizing the neighborhood in her go-cart seems like yesterday. Her moving to Oklahoma seems like yesterday. Church camp. Boyfriends. High school. College. Graduations. Yesterday. Giving my first wedding speech as her Matron of Honor – I know that was just yesterday. I swear it was.

But here we are. Coincidentally, today is her birthday. And the next day is my birthday. It’s been so long since we celebrated together, even though we were born one day apart. Now, she’s a couple of weeks away from bringing a piece of her into the world. And soon, I’ll get to meet meet the magical little person she’s been busy creating.

How lucky am I? I get to watch my best friend change and grow and learn. And she’ll teach me things I didn’t realize I needed to know.

She’s going first. She’s paving this road. And she’s so got this. She’s going to be so good at this. When Baby H comes into the world, she will be surrounded with love and gratitude. She will be supported. She will be encouraged. She will be raised by two of the best people I’ve ever known.

SWEET AND SPICY BAKED CAULIFLOWER
SWEET AND SPICY BAKED CAULIFLOWER

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ Tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl (or a Ziplock bag) combine cauliflower and other ingredients – maple syrup, sriracha, olive oil, tamari, and pepper. Mix until the cauliflower is well coated.

You can find complete recipes of this SWEET AND SPICY BAKED CAULIFLOWER in thefitchen.com

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad

Although there will still be snow on the ground here in Alaska for several more weeks, we are definitely beginning to turn the corner into spring. The sun is staying up noticeably longer, the icicles are dripping, and the roads are clearer every day. To celebrate, I felt like making something vibrant and perky. I’ve been meaning to make a variation on this recipe for a while, ever since I was inspired by this stunning recipe from my sweet blogging pal, Karista. Some of my absolute favorite ingredients like black beans, corn, cilantro, and sweet potato all in the same place, all packed into one beautiful, colorful dish? Ahhh-mazing.

If that’s not enough, we’re just going to whip up a very quick and delicious vinaigrette with lime juice, lime zest, honey, and chipotle and pour it over the whole thing. Shut the front door. Freshest, tastiest lunch I’ve enjoyed in a long time – a little smoky, a little spicy, a little sweet. It would also make a brilliant light dinner or side dish (say with some grilled chicken or fish, perhaps?). Heck, you could even fry an egg and put it on top and eat it for breakfast. I’m not even kidding. Also, if you want to take a shortcut and bake your potatoes in the microwave, this all comes together in about 10 minutes. Win.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad
Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes or yams, baked
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn*
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a bowl, add the black beans, corn, onions, and cilantro.
  2. Stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, mix together the lime zest and juice, oil, honey, adobo, salt and pepper. Pour over the black bean mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Slice open the baked sweet potatoes. Stuff potatoes with the Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad. Serve.

You can find complete recipes of this Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad in alaskafromscratch.com

LOW-CARB SNACKS : HOMEMADE BAKED CHEESE CRISPS RECIPE

I’ve probably made these cheese crisps 100 times already. They’re so delicious, easy to “customize,” and quick to make. They’re great to snack on when you’re in the mood to “munch” but carrot sticks just aren’t cutting it – these are full of protein and fat and (depending on your cheese) zero to few carbs. They’ll satisfy actual hunger, which is always a plus, you know, for FOOD.

So, start with your cheese. You can use cheddar, parmesan, Monterey jack, whatever you’d like. I haven’t tried it with mozzarella or provolone yet so I’m not sure how those would turn out, but if you’re in the mood for that, why not give it a try? What’s the worst that could happen?

If you’re planning on mixing in seasonings or spices, grate your cheese. Or get pre-shredded cheese. Either is fine. I’ve used the “mexican shredded blend” before with success.

Otherwise, if you’re doing just plain cheese, you just need to slice it.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Did you hear me about the parchment? It must be parchment. Foil won’t work (trust me, I’ve tried), nor will “cooking spray” or any other method… parchment and parchment only. Can I say it again? Parchment.

LOW-CARB SNACKS : HOMEMADE BAKED CHEESE CRISPS RECIPE
LOW-CARB SNACKS : HOMEMADE BAKED CHEESE CRISPS RECIPE

Ingredients

  • Cheese
  • Optional – herbs and spices

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Not waxed paper. Not foil. PARCHMENT. Trust me.
  3. Shred cheese and mix with seasonings or herbs (Do NOT add salt. Cheese is salty enough.) OR
  4. Cut cheese into thin slices. (or get the cheese cut “for sandwiches” at the deli in your grocery store)
  5. Either put little lumps of the shredded cheese (maybe 1 Tbsp or so) or squares of the sandwich slices (about ¼ or ⅙ of a full slice per cheese crisp) onto the parchment, a couple of inches apart. They will spread as they bake.
  6. Bake 5-7 minutes or until beginning to brown around the edges.

You can find complete recipes of this LOW-CARB SNACKS : HOMEMADE BAKED CHEESE CRISPS RECIPE in joyfulabode.com

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

These Red Velvet Sugar Cookies are all the delicious flavor of red velvet, buttery soft, and crisp on the outside.  Topped with some of the best cream cheese frosting!  AMAZING!

Hi friends! How was your weekend?

Over the weekend we had Nathan’s work holiday party. Which was so much fun . . . .

You guys, Nathan’s employees are all these young fun . . . kids. I like to refer to them as The Babies. They aren’t legitimately kids but they are all in their early twenties and literally have reminded us that technically we are old enough to be their parents.

They make up for being jerks by being so fun.

The only problem is that they make me think that I am young. Like super young and a person who can stay out late and over indulge in drinks.

And then I wake up the next morning and I’m brutally reminded that I’m an old lady.  You guys.  Sunday morning my body was kind of crying.

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies
Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

For Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 TBSPs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsps salt
  • 14 TBSPs unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 TBSP red food coloring

For Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, not packed

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking pans with parchment paper or silicon baking mats .
  2. In a large bowl mix together 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 TBSPs cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Cream together the 14 TBSPs (1 3/4 sticks) butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, then 2 tsps vanilla, 1 tsp white vinegar, and 1 TBSP red food coloring.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture a little bit at a time until the dough is fully combined.

You can find complete recipes of this Red Velvet Sugar Cookies in wineandglue.com

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BOWLS RECIPE

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BOWLS RECIPE

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BOWLS RECIPE
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BOWLS RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter (, melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pan with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. In small microwave-safe bowl, melt butter; cool slightly. Add eggs and vanilla to butter; whisk until smooth. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients; mix well to form stiff dough. Mix in chocolate morsels. Roll out dough on generously-floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut 5-inch round disks from dough. Drape one disk over each cup mold of pan, pressing to form smooth surface.
  3. Bake 12-14 minutes or until cookie cups are firm and golden brown. Cool on pan on cooling rack 5 minutes. Loosen bottom edges of cookies from pan using small spatula. Carefully remove cups from pan and cool completely. Wash and dry pan; repeat with remaining dough.

You can find complete recipes of this CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BOWLS RECIPE in wilton.com

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

Here are all the ingredients you need to make two chocolate lava cakes:

 

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes
Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing custard cups
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for the custard cups
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F, and grease two 6 to 8-ounce custard cups or ramekins generously with butter. Put a small spoonful of sugar in each cup, then turn the cup sideways and rotate it so that the sugar is coating the butter all around. Dump out any excess sugar. Place the greased cups on a baking sheet or oven safe dish.
  2. Put the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it on high for 30 seconds, take it out and stir it, then microwave it for another 30 seconds and stir it again. It should be completely melted. If there are still chunks of unmelted chocolate, microwave for another 20 seconds and stir.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the room temperature butter and the sugar with an electric mixer or a rubber spatula. The mixture should be thoroughly combined, smooth, and paste-like, not lumpy.
  4. Add the two eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, and beat it with the electric mixer or a whisk until everything is combined and the mixture is starting to foam, about a minute. Add the flour and salt, and again beat everything with the mixer until it’s thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add about 1/3 of the melted chocolate to the mixture in the mixing bowl, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold it in. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture, and fold together until you have a uniform batter with no streaks.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two greased custard cups, then bake the cakes in the preheated oven until the tops are just set but the cakes still jiggle slightly when you shake them, about 11 minutes.

You can find complete recipes of this Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes in buzzfeed.com

HEALTHY NO BAKE BANANA BREAD BREAKFAST BARS

These healthy no bake banana bread breakfast bars are thick, chewy and packed with protein, they’ll keep you satisfied for hours! Made without any butter, oil, grains or granulated sugar, they can easily be enjoyed as a snack or light dessert! They are suitable for those following a vegan, gluten free, paleo, dairy free and refined sugar free diet!

I cringe over some of the breakfast television shows I watched as a kid growing up.

Are you guys familiar with the term ‘breakfast television’? During my childhood, it was a select number of shows shown during the morning period, usually just before school. These hours were often between 6.30am-8am and often were filled with 5-6 short cartoons or shows.

While us Aussies were fortunate to have some international gems sent our way (Babar, Rugrats, Arthur, and Madeline), we had to also endure some home grown ‘talent.’ Many of them seemed to be poor rip-offs of American classics. Some, however, were simply cringe-worthy. The biggest offender was the show, ‘Bananas in Pyjamas‘.

HEALTHY NO BAKE BANANA BREAD BREAKFAST BARS
HEALTHY NO BAKE BANANA BREAD BREAKFAST BARS

For the bars

  • 3 cups gluten free oat flour OR 2 cup coconut flour (Paleo option)
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • pinch sea salt
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 cup overripe mashed banana (about 2 small)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (can sub for brown rice or honey if no diet restrictions)
  • 1/2 cup drippy cashew butter (can sub for any nut or seed butter)
  • pinch vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + milk of choice*

For the high protein frosting

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (see tested recommendations under ‘shop’)
  • 1-2 T granulated sweetener of choice (optional)
  • 1-2 T nut butter of choice (optional)
  • Milk to form batter

For the coconut butter frosting

  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 2 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper or aluminium foil and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, protein powder, cinnamon, sea salt, granulated sweetener of choice and mix well. Add in the mashed banana- Mixture should be very crumbly.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, melt your cashew butter with maple syrup. Whisk in the vanilla extract and pour into the dry mixture. Mix very well until fully incorporated.
  4. For a more soft and fudgy banana bread bar, add milk of choice until a relatively thick batter is formed. For a firm and chewy bar, add milk of choice only if needed to desired thickness. Transfer to lined baking tray and press firmly in place.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or until firm. Once firm, add frosting of choice and refrigerate for another 30 minutes to firm up before slicing.

You can find complete recipes of this HEALTHY NO BAKE BANANA BREAD BREAKFAST BARS in thebigmansworld.com

Asiago, Bacon, and Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Asiago, Bacon, and Garlic Roasted Asparagus – a delicious way to cook asparagus! Asparagus comes out crispy and crunchy – you’ll love the Asiago cheese and bacon combination! The recipe takes 30 minutes from start to finish! Healthy, gluten free recipe. Great as a side dish to any kinds of meat; it also makes a great breakfast along with scrambled or poached eggs.

This is my new favorite way to roast asparagus. I was never a fan of grilling asparagus on a grill, as it often gets all burned and you have to watch it really carefully to make sure the asparagus doesn’t get burned.  Try this recipe instead, as an alternative to grilling, and you’ll never grill asparagus again.  Your asparagus will be nice and crunchy and crispy and not overcooked. First, coat the asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, and minced garlic, and roast the asparagus for 10 minutes in the oven at 425 F:

Asiago, Bacon, and Garlic Roasted Asparagus
Asiago, Bacon, and Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked, drained of fat, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Trim asparagus ends.
  2. Place asparagus in a 2.5 quart casserole dish, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, mix everything well. Mix in the minced garlic.
  3. Roast, uncovered, at 425 F for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven.

You can find complete recipes of this Asiago, Bacon, and Garlic Roasted Asparagus in juliasalbum.com

SLOW COOKER CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN TACOS

These Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos are so delicious and simple to make! A five ingredient dump-and-go meal that takes minutes to prepare and cooks all day in the slow cooker!

Hey there, y’all! I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Did ya miss me? 😉 It’s been quite a journey that my family’s been on the past few months, and I’m happy to say that we are FINALLY settling into our new home in Texas! My posts have been pretty erratic the past three months, and without the help of some great blogging friends, my poor blog might not have stayed afloat! Be sure to go and check out the past few months of posts from some talented and gracious ladies that shared their recipes here in my absence!

We did a LOT of sightseeing this summer during our move from Hawaii. We started out in Los Angeles where we spent a few days at Disneyland. That part of the trip was a complete surprise for our kids and their reactions were priceless! They ran around in circles yelling, “Yay! We’re at Disneyland!” for a good chunk of time, which is good, because every exhausted moment after that I tried to think back on how happy they were. Disney in the blazing heat of summer is definitely not for the faint of heart!

After that, we headed to visit a dear friend of mine in Ft. Iriwin, California, then travelled to Sedona, Arizona, the Grand Canyon, White Sands, New Mexico, and finally to east-central Texas to visit my hubby’s sister and her husband. We stayed with them while we house hunted for a week, then set our sights homeward to Georgia! I can’t even explain how much joy I felt just crossing over the state line into our home state. It was wonderful to be back home with family and friends that we hadn’t seen in over three years, many of which hadn’t met our daughter!

SLOW COOKER CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN TACOS
SLOW COOKER CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN TACOS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix (I use low sodium)
  • 1 (16 oz) jar salsa (use your favorite; I used a local Texas brand)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 2 small limes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over the top, then cover with salsa, lime juice, and cilantro.
  2. Place lid on top and cook for four hours on high, or 6-7 hours on low. Remove chicken from crockpot to a separate bowl and shred with two forks. Moisten chicken with small amounts of juice left over from the crockpot until you get the amount of moisture that you like. I used about ½ – ¾ cup juice.

You can find complete recipes of this SLOW COOKER CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN TACOS in belleofthekitchen.com