Tag Archives: kacy meinecke

A Vegetarian Dinner Never Tasted So Good: Chickpea Fritters with Arugula Salad

chickpea-fritters-and-arugula

Garbanzo beans never tasted so good! I love hummus, or just the raw beans in salads, as much as the next person, but my favorite legume is back at it in these fritters. What I love about this meal is that it can take on many different personalities.

If you’re just testing out Meatless Monday, this is a great intro. If you’re looking for an at-home version of falafel or Mediterranean food, top the fritters with tahini, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Greek yogurt works as a great alternative to a cream sauce, except it’s lower in sugar and higher in protein! (more…)

Fall for Kale and White Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for Dinner

kale-bean-sweet-potato

As fall approaches, I can’t get enough of nutrient dense root vegetables. Most notably: the sweet potato. While some prefer variety in their diet, I could eat some form of sweet potato every day: mashed for breakfast, fried for lunch, and stuffed for dinner.

sweet-potatoes

Stuffed sweet potato, you ask? Yes. My multiple experiments in the kitchen to include as much sweet potato as possible has led to one of my staple year-round dinners –the kale & white bean stuffed sweet potato. Who needs to wait for fall to have a hearty, yet surprisingly light, dinner? Not me!

Sweet potatoes are an all-star source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and the purple sweet potatoes are even thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just as the recipe name implies, you simply bake the sweet potatoes, choose your green and your white bean, prepare as directed, then stuff the greens & beans into the sweet potato for a healthy and satisfying edible boat! It’s truly delicious. (more…)

Sorry Trader Joe’s! This DIY Bistro Salad is Better Than the Original

trader joes copycat bistro salad

I love me a quick trip to Trader Joe’s as much as the next person (hello cheap and yummy wine, grab-and-go healthy snacks, free samples…). But sometimes, I don’t always love the price you pay for the convenience of their healthy prepared snacks and meals.

One of my favorite options for a to-go lunch is the Trader Joe’s Bistro Salad: kale, garbanzo beans, chopped nuts, edamame, and dried cranberries. I’m such a sucker for dried cranberries! But paying a few too many dollars for a very DIY-able salad? Not so much.

bistro salad ingredients

I set out to create a similar salad, and came out with something that the tummies in my household believe to be much better! Not only for your wallet, but for your taste buds, too! (more…)

Treat Your Workout with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls

chocolate pretzel protein balls

Three words for you… Treat. Yo. Self. If you know Parks and Rec, you know the reference. Only we believe in treating yourself all the time, not just one day a year. Especially after a workout!

When you’re on a run, crushing the weights, or sweating through a cycling class it’s easy to get tunnel vision and feel like there is no light at the end. These little Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls are that light. Finish the grind, then treat. yo. self.

chocolate protein ball

We love making these because they’re ridiculously easy. We also love making these because they’re ridiculously delicious. Just five ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your well-stocked pantry, and five minutes of prep is all you need for yummy, indulgent, homemade copycat Larabars. (more…)

Back to School Clean Eating Cookies Made Just About Any Way You Like!

allergy cookies

It’s that time of year again for brown bag lunches and busy fall schedules. To keep the kids healthy AND keep their sweet tooth happy, try these super simple, super clean cookies. What we love about these cookies is that they are very forgiving and flexible in terms of the goodies you add in at the end.

Consider adding almond butter, cocoa powder, protein powder, chopped almonds, canned pumpkin, extra cinnamon…the sky’s the limit!

healthy cookie ingredients

The mashed bananas as the base is a great way to keep the cookies moist while providing a stable base packed with nutrition and energy. Adding oats provides essential fiber to keep little bellies full. (more…)

To Die For Goat Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas for Summer Vegetarian Grilling

I’ve been craving goat cheese lately. I can’t get enough! If someone will put it on a salad, sandwich, or just scoop it directly in my mouth, I’m gonna eat it.

Goat cheese is such a great cheese for summer — light, sweet, and flowery. On those nights it’s just too hot to cook, it can be the center piece of a charcuterie and cheese board dinner alongside fresh berries, honey, olives, salami, and a really nice bread.

goat cheese black bean enchiladas

When a recent craving for Mexican was hard to ignore in the face of my on-going need for as much goat cheese as possible, these Goat Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas were born. I knew they’d be good, but OH MY!! I ooohed and ahhed through our entire meal. They were absolutely to die for!

I started by adding some great smokey flavor with the serrano pepper and corn tortillas. I fire toasted both of them over the open flame on my grill (this works over a gas stove burner too). Either way, be careful! The serrano blackened and sizzled in a couple of short minutes. I love this pepper because it’s warm with great flavor without torching your mouth, especially after removing the seeds. I typically put a couple in my homemade guacamole and even my toddler daughter isn’t alarmed by their presence. (more…)

Little Blue Dynamos: My Love Affair with Blueberries Made a Blueberry Cucumber Salad

blueberries

It’s my favorite time of year: peak blueberry season! If you’re anything like me, you can’t get enough of these little balls of deliciousness. Farmers markets, U-Pick berry fields, or from the local produce store, I can’t gobble them up fast enough.

Peak season is anytime from late June through early September, so I’m even known to buy extra large amounts in bulk and freeze* for the rest of the year. Then I add them to smoothies, pancakes (my favorite recipe is this one), oatmeal, you name it! I even found a way to add these little guys to a savory salad. Don’t believe me? We’ll let you try the recipe for yourself!

blueberry cucumber salad

Why the love affair with blueberries? These little blue dynamos… (more…)

Easy Leftover Solution: Make Kitchen Sink Fried Rice

It’s the end of the week, I have a strange collection of misfit leftovers, and all I want is a comforting (and cohesive!) dish. Enter: Kitchen Sink Fried Rice.
eating stir fry

Stir-fry can be so forgiving and allow you to throw in almost anything you have on hand. I’ve found my favorite hodgepodge ingredients to combine, but feel free to let your imagination run wild! Have some greens wilting in the back of the fridge? Throw them in! Questionable lentils from last week? Throw them in! Old bag of frozen peas? …Well, you get the idea.

First of all, I have my brown rice cooked ahead of time—that’s the first leftover I’m looking to repurpose! You can also use an instant brown rice to cook the day-of and save on some wait time. Rice n Simple is a brand we’ve tried and enjoy; makes things super easy!

Rice n Simple

While many prefer the taste of white rice to brown, the nutritional benefits of brown rice (extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals) make it clearly superior and the other yummy flavors of this dish help hide the taste of the brown rice.

This is one of my go-to recipes because of it’s flexibility and freedom for it to be different each time. Here are the key steps I’ve stuck with so far: (more…)

Sip on This: Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Drizzle Milkshakes

My favorite dessert started as something I didn’t even think I’d like. Friends presented a bowl with vanilla ice cream and strawberries and a dark, seemingly chocolate glaze poured over the top. But it didn’t smell like chocolate, and I knew the move was far too pedestrian for these foodies. They said it was a balsamic vinegar syrup. I loved balsamic — I mean, I could seriously drink the stuff! — but I wasn’t sure how that was going to go with dessert.

strawberries balsamic

Well, I’m here to tell you it was like sky rockets in flight, after dinner delight all up in my mouth! It’s become my go-to dessert for dinner guests when I want something that appears super fancy but takes less than five minutes to prep and assemble.

Yes, fancy and five minutes in the same sentence!

strawberry balsamic milkshake

This summer, I’ve decided to make my favorite dessert a bit more portable. You can’t really bob around in the pool with a big bowl of ice cream, but you can certainly float with a Strawberry Balsamic Drizzle Milkshake in your hand. Or at least I will. I won’t tell you how to spend your swim. (more…)

The More the Berrier with Summery Blueberry Muffin Tops

The best part of the pizza? That very first bite of the pointy triangle end.

The best part of a cinnamon roll? The ooey-gooiest center.

The best part of the muffin? The top. Duh!

blueberry muffin tops

My completely made up statistic that 99.5 percent of people would rather eat the top of the muffin exclusively, rather than what a friend of mine calls “the stump,” is the reason an entire pan has been created to let you accomplish such baked good sorcery. There’s no waste; just bake the part people actually want to eat!

I know it’s warming up outside and the last thing you want to think about doing is firing up the oven. But berries are in season! So, you kind of have to. Rules and what not.

blueberry muffin tops pan

Blueberries are one of those can’t-fail foods, at least from a mom perspective. I don’t care what my four-year-old’s mood is, what she is or isn’t liking that week, or where we are — blueberries always get a yes. They are one of the original super foods, so it’s a no brainer to add them to pancakes, salads, smoothies, or just devour a fist-full every chance you get. One of the few, rare “blue” foods that occur in nature, those juicy little beads of sweetness can stand on their own with a healthy dose of fiber, a bit of protein, potassium, vitamin c, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and a host of other good-for-you goodness.

blueberry muffins

So when I tell you this recipe calls for blueberries, do not be shy. Dump ’em in! The more the berrier, right?

You’ll notice we don’t add any sugar to this recipe. A generous, drizzly pour of honey with some natural applesauce really take on the heavy responsibility of sweetening these muffins. It’s not a two-man job though, the lemon juice, vanilla yogurt, and of course the blueberries, all carry their own weight in that department, too.

honey and applesauce

However, just before baking, I do sprinkle the tops with just a pinch of raw turbinado sugar. This gives the muffin that glazy top that you’d ordinarily create with a streusel topping, but without gobs of butter and white sugar.

sugar topping muffins

I use half-and half all-purpose and whole wheat flours. This gives me the bulk of fiber in a better flour with the texture we’ve all become accustomed to with white flours. To make up the difference, I add just a bit of uncooked oats for more fiber and a denser bite.

baking muffin tops

After it’s all whisked and folded together, scoop that batter into a pre-formed muffin top pan. Roughly 20 minutes later, you’ll have a pile of muffin tops that are just jam-packed with blueberries! You’ll want to save them all for yourself, but they’re so darn cute that sharing will seem like a reasonable option, too.

Blueberry Muffin Tops
makes 6

INGREDIENTSmuffin tops recipe

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. raw turbinado sugar, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. In a second bowl, beat the egg with the other wet ingredients.

4. Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry, then gently add the blueberries.

5. Lightly mist the pan with cooking spray, then add the batter. If you choose, sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar.

6. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

ALSO TRY THIS!

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Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke