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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Carrot Apple Muffins

I know, more muffins.  I should probably write a muffin only blog.  But, don't you like muffins?

Our Christmas festivities are going to involve a lot of traveling and celebrations, and likely end with overtired kids, one of whom has lived on sugar and present-induced adrenaline for days.  If I feed him something remotely healthy for breakfast, I can overlook the candy cane chasers.


Carrot Apple Muffins
Modified from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients:
1.5 flax eggs (1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed in 5 1/2 tablespoons water)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup mashed banana (one small banana)
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
1 heaping cup grated carrot
2/3 cup oats
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare muffin tin.
In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground flax seed with 5 1/2 tablespoons water.  Let sit until thick, about 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a food processor combine banana, flax egg, coconut oil, maple syrup and brown sugar. Mix in milk and vanilla.
Add in grating blade and grate carrots and apples into food processor.
Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oats, almond meal, flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Pour wet ingredients from food processor into dry and stir to combine.
Divide among muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes until tops spring back when you touch them lightly.






Thursday, December 4, 2014

Italian Meatball Soup

My big Le Creuset soup pot is in near constant use during the winter.  I love a bowl of soup with a baguette for dinner, and leftovers can be eaten for lunch the next day while trying to juggle a 4 month old baby who makes it his life mission during every meal time to hurl himself onto the table and try to grab all the food. For a kid who has never actually eaten anything solid, he puts a lot of effort in.  He swiped an orange slice off Colin's plate the other day and spent several minutes trying to get it into his mouth.  Another foodie in the making.

This is a healthy and hearty meal that is family friendly.  Although, if you have a small child like mine who is wary of soup and usually bathes in it instead of eating it, it's easy to portion out the components onto a tasting plate.  You can easily make this vegetarian friendly by substituting white beans for the meatballs and vegetable broth.

Italian Meatball Soup
recipe from Skinny Taste

Ingredients:
Meatballs:
20 oz. ground turkey
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt

Soup:
olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
parmesan cheese rind (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 Tbsp. basil, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup zucchini, chopped
2 cups spinach or other green

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, onion, garlic, salt and cheese.
Using a wooden spoon, or your hands, gently mix all ingredients until combined.
Form small meatballs and place on a prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent.
Add in diced tomatoes, broth, herbs, cheese, and salt and pepper.
Add in zucchini, meatballs, and greens and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or more, until meatballs are fully cooked and zucchini is tender.
Remove cheese rind, bay leaves, and thyme and rosemary stems before serving.


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