Vanilla Chia Pudding

photo 3-1

One of my absolute favorite things is rice pudding. I love the taste, the texture, everything. My dad and I used to always get rice pudding at this cute little diner when I was growing up so I’m sure it’s partially nostalgic for me when I eat it. Not being fans of the sugar and other icky ingredients anymore, my dad and I have both switched to enjoying chia pudding now. I’m happy to report that you can get the same rice pudding taste with this recipe. I eat this topped with fruit for breakfast or as a treat after lunch. Just love it. You can use white chia seeds for a prettier pudding but I usually have brown on hand so I almost always use those. I make mine in individual sized mason jars for an easy to grab treat that’s easy to bring to work.

Vanilla Chia Pudding 

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup full fat coconut or almond milk (unsweetened is best)

3-4 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 cup fresh fruit of choice, I like peaches and berries best.

Mix your milk with 2 tbsp of the maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add in chia seeds. Pour the mixture into a large mason jar, or a few smaller sized mason jars with lids and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, mix in your yogurt (make sure you divide the yogurt evenly if using smaller mason jars). Put your peaches and berries in a bowl and mix with the remaining 2 tbsp of maple syrup. Top your pudding with the fruit, a dash of cinnamon and enjoy!

Veggie Packed Meatloaf

My oldest is a fantastic eater. She has a better palette than most adults and does’t bat an eye at beets or kale, brussels sprouts or squash. I used to think this was the result of my brilliant parenting. However, with the arrival of pickiest child ever, Tommy, I realized that I had, in fact, just lucked out the first time around. With Mr. Picky able to sniff out green pieces, garlic, and any other food item he’s decided to hate, I’m always trying to find ways to pack hidden vegetables into our food. This is especially true with dinner recipes since breakfast and lunch are usually more rushed because we always seem to be on the go.

One of my favorite meals that’s loaded with nutrients and that everyone loves is my meatloaf. Make no mistake. This ain’t your grandma’s meatloaf. I pack my meatloaf so full of veggies it’s ridiculous. This recipe is also extremely versatile in terms of the veggies used so I make this at the end of the week and clean out my fridge with any remaining, random vegetables for the meatloaf. I’ve used everything from diced squash and sweet potatoes to tomatoes and mushrooms in this recipe. Waste not want not!

Another plus, you can make this in the morning and keep it wrapped in the fridge and then have the nanny put it in the oven 45 minutes before you get home from work and you feel like super mom when you walk in the door to aromas of a just-about-cooked dinner ready to set on the table. Little victories, people.

Veggie Packed Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1 1/2- 2 lb grassfed, organic ground beef

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 carrots, finely chopped (the smaller the chop the more sneakily they hide from children!)

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1/2 red or yellow pepper, finely chopped

1 small/medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic

1 large handful spinach or kale, finely chopped

1 piece of Ezekial bread crumbled into crumbs (I use a food processor)

1/2 cup milk

2 pastured eggs

Salt, pepper, and any herbs of choice (I like a little thyme and oregano)

Ketchup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Put your breadcrumbs in a small bowl with the milk. Let sit so that the bread crumbs absorb all of the milk.

Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet melt your coconut oil. Add in carrots, onion, pepper, and celery. Cook until lightly browned and fragrant. About 5-7 minutes. Add in garlic and your greens. Cook for another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper and any herbs you’re using. Set aside and let cool

photo 3

In a large bowl add the meat, eggs, cooked veggies, breadcrumb mixture, and 2 tbsp of the ketchup.
photo 4

Mix well and add in a pinch of salt and pepper.

photo 5

Scoop the mixture into a loaf pan and add a quarter cup of water on top. Top with ketchup.

photo 1-1

Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Enjoy with mashed leeks and potatoes!

Smoked Salmon Asparagus Frittata

photo

 

Smoked salmon is one of those foods I could eat all day, everyday. Especially with eggs…SO delicious. Add avocado and it’s a little piece of heaven. I originally got this recipe from PaleOMG and changed a few little things. Side note, PaleOMG has some incredible recipes if you’re trying to follow a paleo or mostly paleo diet, OR if you just like awesome food. Plus, Juli, the author of the blog is hilar. Super sarcastic and I pretty much want to be her best friend.

This recipe requires a lot of eggs and while we’re on the topic of eggs let me just say a few things. I don’t buy store-bought eggs and I would encourage you not to either. Here’s why. You will see eggs sold in the grocery store that are labeled ‘free range’, ‘cage free’, etc. however, these terms are not regulated and gross practices like beak cutting and forcing the egg production cycle are allowed in these farms. Plus, many times the chickens are starved and other repulsive things are done to the animals in these mass producing factories farms. (Read more on egg carton labeling and the inhumane practices here) I refuse to support all of that. For those reasons I have always sought out a local farmer who has happy, healthy chickens that run around outside, eat a diet that they were designed to eat, and lay eggs when they naturally would. An added bonus, the eggs can be cheaper this way. I usually pay around $3.00 a dozen. With all of that said, eggs can be an extremely healthy addition to any diet, but ONLY if you’re eating eggs from healthy hens. And in my opinion that only comes from a conscientious farmer whose end goal is truly caring about the animals and producing an amazing product. By the way, the same goes for meat and the dairy products. Avoid the grocery store, if you can. There are many wonderful, local farmers out there raising healthy animals so please, please support them!


 

Recipe:

12 eggs

10 oz wild caught smoked salmon

Bundle of asparagus, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 avocado, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp coconut oil

Fresh dill, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add salt and pepper.

2. Melt coconut oil in a cast iron skillet, sauté asparagus and mushrooms for 4 minutes or just before they’re soft. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Salt and pepper the veggies.

3. Pull apart the smoked salmon so that it’s in bite sized bits and add to your egg mixture. Add sautéed vegetables to the egg mixture.

4. Poor the egg/veggie mixture back into the cast iron skillet.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until frittata is set in the middle.

6. Garnish the slices with avocado and fresh dill. Stuff your face.

I think I ate three portions when I made this. So, so, so good! My kids devoured this, too. Always a plus.

 

Enjoy!

Lauren