Monday, January 21, 2013

Broken Resolutions, Wiki, Quinoa, and an Easy Dinner Recipe

Argh!!! Look what has happened to me! I started this year all, "blah, blah I made resolutions, I am the bee's knees, blah." And now look, I have to come crawling back to this blog in sadder shape than before I even made those stupid resolutions. Yes it is true, it is only the 21st day of the year 2013 and I have kept not one resolution. Who invented these stupid things anyway? Why do they want to make people feel bad about themselves?? Well, people who can't keep the grandiose resolutions they make anyway... (in case curiosity wins you over like it always does to me, here's what wiki has to say about resolutions:'s_resolution)

And here is what google image search has to say about curiosity...

Anywho, my apologies for epically failing at keeping up with recipes. I really had so much hope to stay on top of the game, but alas with catering picking up it's crazy over here folks! I thought I'd jump back in here and pretend that you guys didn't notice that I went MIA in the blog world, and talk about quinoa. Oh yeah, I said it quinoa. If you don't have this in your pantry at all times you need to rethink your shopping skillz. Yup I went there. I went from Casey-pity-party-of-one to quinoa-pusher-enforcer-number-one. Cause that my friends is how I roll in the year 2013. Bipolar personality here I come. 

Quinoa is freaking amazing. It is one of the very few sources of complete protein you get from the plant world. That means the essential 9 amino acids are present in quinoa and each amino acid has the correct amount necessary for human digestion. If you are a vegan this is like the mecca of all meccas. Protein is such a hot button for the non-vegans, which has always been confusing to me as protein deficiency isn't really a thing..., but quinoa is a lovely example to give these folks when they get up in your grill about it. (Protein info:


I just love quinoa so much, and I know I've talked about it before but I just really love it so. It also is so versatile you can eat it at any time of day breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in between snack. And kids actually enjoy quinoa! I am not lying, get this superfood power house on to your kids plates. Here's a few more reasons why quinoa should be in that pantry at all times: 8 reasons quinoa is good for you -

And lastly, quinoa is awesome because at the end of a long day (like I had today) you can come home and create a mini masterpiece in less than 20 minutes. Here's a fun quick little recipe for you to use when the day is long, and all you want to do is order in pizza. This recipe takes less time than the delivery boy, and will fill your body with healthy nutrients!

Quick and Easy Quinoa for 1 or 2
serves 1 to 2 people

1 cup quinoa 
2 cups water
2 large handfuls chopped kale
1 chopped banana1/2 cup slivered raw almonds1-2 tablespons Braggs liquid aminosdash of Sriracha (depending on how spicy you like it)salt'n'pepper to taste

Place both the quinoa and the water in a large pot. Cook your quinoa without a lid at high heat until it starts to boil. Turn the heat down to simmer, and when it looks like it is almost done throw in the kale to wilt. Stir the two together and let sit for 2-3 minutes. After that mix in your Salt'n'Pepper, Braggs and Sriracha.

Plate, and decorate with the banana and almonds, and EAT! Health never tasted so good! Seriously, easiest recipe in all the land! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snacking Smarter in the New Year

Hello hello hello! Happy 2013 to all you folks! We made it past the Mayan calendar, and scarier still we made it through another holiday season! How are you holding up? Are we all sufficiently stuffed with holiday treats, stocking stuffers, and all the food our parents/in-laws/extended family could shove into our faces? I know I am, and my poor belly needs a break. Enter the infamous New Years Resolutions. One of the many updates to this 2013 I want is to get a healthy recipe out once a week, and this one is perfect for everyone (but especially moms, teachers, babysitters, or anyone that likes animal crackers!)

Those are horses and elephants :)

Yes indeed today in my kitchen I made Apple Cinnamon Animal 'Crackers' with Salted Date Caramel topping. These tasty treats could not be a more fantastic healthy after school snack if they tried. Or if you're like me and don't have little bambinos running around they make for a perfect in between meal snack to keep you away from store bought processed junk.

You can make them as animal 'crackers' or you can just make straight up apple chips if that is easier, or if locating smaller animal cookie cutters isn't on the agenda. The reason I like these so much isn't just because they taste like delicious heaven; it's because they are full of health benefits and thats my favorite thing. Let's take a look at the main ingredients here shall we....

Coconut Oil:   

Here they are as full apple crackers.... YUM

I dare you to find a snack from the cracker aisle at your local supermarket that has the health punch that these apple 'crackers' do. I mean you have apples that decrease the risk of diabetes, dates that are natures helper for intestinal disorders, cinnamon helping with blood sugar control, and coconut oil just being its awesome self and doing everything great for your body! Seriously check out those links. This stuff is good for you!

So do yourself a favor and remember that old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" and make these and eat them all! :)

Apple Cinnamon Animal Crackers
feeds 3-4 as a snack

3-4 large apples (if Honeycrisp apples are still around use them!)
1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

Salted Date Caramel:
12 pitted dates soaked for 3-4 hours
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 1/2 tablespoons water (use the water that was soaking the dates)
4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. 

Slice your apples into nice large circles (do not core). Make sure they are thin, and as you go you can pop out the seeds. Next get out your mini animal cookie cutters and start cutting out apple animals. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place your apple animals on it as you go. If you aren't making animals then sweet, you just cut out a step, put your apple circles on the cookie sheet. 

You want your apple slices to like like so

In a small bowl melt your 1-2 tablespoons or coconut oil. Dip a pastry brush in the oil and lightly brush the oil on both sides of your 'crackers.' One that is complete lightly dust your 'crackers' with the cinnamon. Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. 

While the apples are baking get your caramel ready. Place all the ingredients into your blender and blend away! Make sure everything is really combined well so you have a good blended date caramel mixture. Yum! Set to the side, and wait for your apples to bake. 

After 45 minutes take out your cookie sheet and then drizzle your caramel over your 'crackers' and then put them back in the oven. If you are making animal crackers leave the apples in for 30 more minutes. If you are making full sized apples 'crackers' then leave them in the oven for 45 minutes. Once they are done remove from the oven and let them cool. Then serve your healthy treat to you and your loved ones. *Side note, I also baked the apple scraps from the animal crackers, and while they aren't pretty they are just as tasty so bake everything and eat up!

This was an elephant, lol!