Healthy and Hearty

Blueberry “On the Go” Breakfast Muffins

It finally happened, I caught the plague. The frustrating part about being sick is that you think you’re getting better one day, and the next it comes back in full force with the worst nasal drip, cough, and congestion. Thankfully, I am on the mend and had enough energy to retest a recipe I’ve been dying to perfect: blueberry muffins.

I’m always trying to make recipes easier and easier, and not over complicate with a bunch of different ingredients, and the beauty of these muffins is that while there are at least 8 different ingredients that go into it, the amount of blueberries is not compromised, leaving the end result as perfectly moist with a texture similar to a store-bought muffin, except they’re relatively bite size, hence “on the go.” I’ll be making these in a rotation for sure now that I figured out the ratio of baking soda to baking powder.

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
    • My dairy products are always Organic Valley products, and to learn a bit more about Organic Valley, head here.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour – I swear by Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour, which can be found on the amazing Thrive Market
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Salt
  • 1 cup blueberries

In a large bowl add in all of the wet ingredients and whisk/mix with a hand mixer until just combined. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined again. Fold in the blueberries and let the batter sit for a good 20-25 minutes. This will allow the baking soda and powder to marry and build a solid base for the muffin (this will also help the muffins rise instead of fall when they come out of the oven).

Preheat the oven to 375*. Spray your muffin tin or liners with non-stick spray. Use a cookie scoop or a large spoon to ladle the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 20-23 minutes. Cut one open, spread some almond butter or grass fed butter on them and you’ve got an amazingly delicious, gluten free and low sugar breakfast treat for the week! Plus, they freeze nicely too! NOMaste.

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

Being that it’s Thanksgiving, I should probably experiment with turkey recipes, but neither my husband or I are super crazy about it, although I do have my eyes set on tying to make roasted turkey legs (i’d prefer dark than white meat from a turkey anyway). I remembered I had ground chicken in my freezer and decided to give this one a shot, because chicken meatballs can take one sharp sauces such as teriyaki and I figured why not, it’s Black Friday and I am absolutely not about to go shopping – may as well cook!

Here’s what you’ll need for the chicken meatballs:

  • 1 lb or package of ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs as a binding agent
  • Chopped veggies such as carrots, celery, and onion (aka Mirepoix – you can buy store made already which I did this time around)
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, spices, oil, and mirepoix. It will be a rather sticky blend but it will bake just fine.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with your choice of spray oil. Portion on the meatballs with a tablespoon, roll into balls and place on the tray. The mix should make around 16 meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

For the teriyaki sauce, I used Primal Kitchen’s No Soy Teriyaki but added arrowroot to thicken it up and a bit more coconut aminos. The end result is a super delicious soy-free, paleo sauce to pour over the meatballs, and pair with a side of wild rice and veggies! Enjoy!

Paleo Chicken Francaise

We’re rounding out week two at the new casa and I am really digging my new appliances, countertops, and all the natural lighting. Grateful is an understatement, I am so thankful for this home and the memories we’re making here, and the delicious meals I am starting to create. My husband loves chicken francaise, and I happen to be a fan of it as well. I thought about making this a little lighter with cassava flour instead of regular flour, and be mindful of the quality of ingredients I use for the butter/garlic sauce. I’ve been chatting with a girlfriend about the quality of ingredients versus restricting foods altogether. At the end of the day, we make choices with our mouths and forks at least three times a day, so it is vital to know what we consume and where the food comes from.

I started with buying organic chicken breasts, slicing them very thin, and seasoning with a generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper and pink sea salt. Then, using my cassava flour (with a blend of dried parsley, basil, and oregano) I coated each piece and set aside. I love using cassava for cooking because it does not have a taste, and is a 1:1 for all-purpose (or AP) flour. I set the chicken aside and heated up a large skillet.

I used Lucini Italia extra virgin olive oil and it is so delicious and actually Whole30 approved (I don’t follow Whole30 but it’s a good brand of EVOO so I decided to try and will certainly buy again). I added in chicken in batches (I made six cutlets in total) and let them cook until both sides were lightly browned.

Once all the chicken finished cooking, I placed them on a plate and began simmering my sauce. Traditionally, this sauce involves four ingredients: butter, garlic, white cooking wine, and lemon. I added my stick of unsalted butter (leave out to get to room temp!). Once melted, I added sliced lemon to let the citrus blend with the butter. I used 1/4 cup of cooking white wine and a scant amount of chicken stock to add more liquid, Last, I chopped three cloves of garlic and threw into the pan and turned the flame to low. Layer in the cooked chicken cutlets and let sit for a while (maybe 20m) so that the chicken starts to absorb the sauce.

Pair this dish with some pasta (I prefer Banza because I can’t really stomach regular pasta anymore…sad, I know) and fresh veggies; you’ve got yourself a yummy, HEALTHY, and satisfying meal!

Homemade Meatballs

It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks. We have packed up seven years of our Brooklyn one-bedroom and moved to our beautiful cape on Long Island last week, and we are starting to settle in and unpack our boxes. Moving into our first home is nerve-wracking and exciting all at the same time. Of course, I could not wait to buy food for our fridge and freezer, and whip up dinners immediately. I had wanted to try making meatballs for some time and figured that it would be a very easy and hearty meal to break in the stove and oven on our first night cooking in the kitchen.

There are so many different ways people make meatballs, and I used to think that adding a medley of seasonings was the trick. In fact, I think the reason this recipe tastes so great is because of the simplicity of the ingredients. I kept it pretty traditional, but ensured that I used a generous amount of each flavor so that it was well balanced. I used grass-fed beef found at the store, and made a quick red sauce on the stove using tomato sauce and one can of crushed tomatoes (which simmered for a good 45 minutes to an hour; I added salt and pepper, basil leaves, and one packet of stevia for sweetener). I have a recipe of simmered Sunday red sauce that I’ll make in the fall, but for now, this one worked impressively well.

I started by taking the meat out of the fridge and letting it get to room temperature, Then, I aded the beef to a bowl, along with two eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion salt, and oregano. Literally, THAT IS IT. I loosely formed the meatballs, eyeballing each size and pulled a little here and there to make sure I had an even 24 balls.

I preheated my oven to 325 degrees. After lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil, I sprayed it down with avocado oil and added the meatballs one by one, leaving some space between. The meatballs baked for 25 minutes, which is fine because they became a perfect brown and soft enough to put into the sauce as it simmered. I transferred the meatballs to the red sauce and let them finish cooking for a good 30 minutes more.

I served this with roasted cauliflower and broccoli and did not even miss the starchy pasta that usually accompanies meatballs. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did, and we’ll never forget our first dinner together in our new home — NOMaste!

Zucchini Lasagna

Lately, I have been trying to incorporate as many vegetables as possible when cooking. Whether its sautéing all the older veggies in the fridge and throwing them into pasta, or adding them as a side to a nice piece of steak. Either way, getting our vegetables in on a daily basis is important for overall health. As it is passover week, we are steering clear of bread products, and I decided it was time to recipe test a fan favorite, lasagna. Only, this lasagna, is made solely from zucchini. BOOM. (mic drop)

Zucchini happens to be one of my all time, OG vegetables. It is versatile, easy to cook, and a slow-resistant starchy vegetable. It’s also predominately made out of water, so it can be very filling due to the water content. Nevertheless, I decided that tonight was the night to make lasagna using zucchini as the noodles. Granted, it definitely does not taste the same as regular noodles, it was still rather yummy. I also don’t have a mandolin, so I had to make sure my slices were fairly thin, but not too thin that they would break easily. I should mention here, that I laid the zucchini out with salt to wick the moisture out, as I stated zucchini holds a lot of water (even after baking, there was still a good amount of water).

The lasagna is assembled much like a regular one would. Start with some marinara on the bottom of the pan to hold the zucchini in place. Then, add in the first layer of zucchini (I used a 13×9 pan and fit six zucchini slices across the bottom). I added ricotta and smoothed it across (as best as I can) to coat the zucchini. Next, dollops of marinara sauce, followed by a thin coating of mozzarella cheese. I repeated this until I had no more zucchini left (approximately equal to 4 layers).

I topped off the final layer with a generous serving of cheese, and baked this in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Towards the end, about 3-4 minutes, I turned the oven to broil. Let cool down for a bit before serving, especially as the zucchini will let out a lot of moisture so this will help everything set. This is such a good party dish, although it is a bit difficult to assemble. Still, very tasty, and healthy 🙂 NOMaste!