Nut-free| Gluten-free option | Soy-free option | Clean-eating option
Let’s talk leftovers.
My girls don’t like them. Nope, not one bit. Except for my toddler, whom I often hear grunting and “eeeee” (please)-ing as I’m trying to enjoy my leftover curry (or this one!) or chicken tikka masala for lunch in peace.
But who really wants to make a brand-new, from-scratch meal (that their kids are probably going to whine and complain about anyway) every single night?
So I’ve been trying to find ways to cut prep time while masking a few “reused” ingredients. Here are a few:
- Always make extra. Extra rice, extra cooked and chopped chicken. And keep it in the fridge to use in a different recipe.
- Always make extra (again). Extra enchilada sauce or enchiladas, extra filling for these wraps. And freeze it for another meal.
- When I need a small amount of something, like tomato paste or green onions, I portion out the rest and freeze it.
These wraps do a great job of combining these odds and ends into something low-effort and really delicious. The best part is that you can add in whatever you and your family wants. I subbed in corn for the original recipe’s peppers and adjusted the spices a little bit so that my girls will enjoy it without complaining.
With the right tortillas and brown rice you can make this gluten-free and/or clean. Unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s a way to successfully make this dairy-free because the cheese and sour cream help hold the wrap together, but you could try it with vegan cheese and just really sticky rice. Let me know how it works!
Pressed Southwest Wraps
Adapted from here
- 1 cup cooked warm rice
- 1 green onion, finely sliced (or 1/2 Tbsp. chopped green onions- still frozen, even!)
- 1/2 Tbsp. dry cilantro
- up to 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- 1-2 cups cooked chopped or shredded chicken
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- shredded Mexican-blend cheese (I even used crumbled-up leftover cheddar slices once!)
- sour cream
- tortillas, gluten-free and/or soy-free if necessary
- soy-free cooking spray
- Combine the rice, onions, spices, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Stir in chicken, beans, and corn.
- Dollop a spoonful of sour cream around the center of an open tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Spoon a couple tablespoonfuls of the filling onto the tortilla, then roll like a burrito. Spray the cooking spray on the seam side and lay seam-side down on a plate.
- When all wraps are assembled, heat a nonstick griddle on medium to medium-high heat. Carefully lay a couple wraps at a time on the griddle, seam side down, and press down all over with a spatula. The cooking spray helps seal the seam shut. When browned, flip, press again, and remove to a warm plate until all wraps are finished.
- You can wrap each individually in foil to save and reheat in the oven later.
Soy-free | Nut-free | Mostly clean
It’s blueberry season in Florida! We went picking on Wednesday at a farm just 15 minutes up the road. We were there less than an hour and came home with 4 pounds of blueberries, 2 pounds of the season’s first peaches and nectarines, and a pint of blackberries for good measure. So much amazing local fruit!
So needless to say, there will be some blueberry recipes popping up in the near future.
I loooove blueberry muffins. They’ve always been my favorite, but usually they are so laden with butter and refined carbs that they can hardly be called breakfast. So I was so excited to find this recipe! I love the added protein from the Greek yogurt and whole-wheat flour. It still does have some refined sugar, but after much testing it’s really the only way to keep them both palatable and the right consistency.
Honey Greek Yogurt Blueberry Muffins
Original recipe here
- 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour*
- 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. brown sugar**
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- heaping 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup lowfat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk (any percentage but skim)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup mild-tasting olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried well
- optional: cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling
*Whole-wheat pastry flour is more finely sifted than regular whole-wheat flour, so it more closely approximates all-purpose flour in texture. You can sub in up to a cup of regular whole-wheat flour, but more than that and your muffins will end up too dense.
**I did sub in coconut sugar for those extra 3 Tbsp. and it didn’t affect the taste.
- Preheat oven to 375 (400 if you’re using a silicone muffin tin) and line your tin(s) with about 18 paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients until well blended.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Scoop 1/4 cupfuls into each well of the muffin tin. Optional: sprinkle each with a little cinnamon-sugar.
- Bake 18 minutes. (For a silicone pan, decrease oven temp to 375 after 9 minutes of baking.)
- Let cool a few minutes in the pan before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Dairy-free | Soy-free | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Clean eating | Paleo | Vegetarian | Vegan
This is one of my favorite, easiest ways to make sweet potatoes. (I’ll post the other one soon; we eat LOTS of sweet potatoes around here.) I got the original recipe from a paleo blog while we were living in London and had very few kitchen tools to cook with, but then I guess the blog disappeared because I can’t access it anymore! So since I still make this all the time, I’m posting my version here so that hopefully it never gets lost again.
The beauty of it is there’s no wrong way. You can make them salty, spicy, sweet–or a combination of all 3. I even throw one Russett potato in there for the 2/5 of my family who don’t like sweet potatoes (gasp!). The trick to getting them crispier without burning them is using a very small amount of oil. They’re still not going to be as crisp as the ones you buy in the freezer section that are coated with stuff to enhance the texture, but they’re so delicious.
Sweet Potato Oven Wedges
- 2-3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and well dried off
- up to 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- spices of choice: I use about 1/2 tsp. salt, a sprinkle of pepper, and a touch of paprika. Try cinnamon and a little maple syrup; or salt, thyme, and cayenne; or any of your favorites! Please comment below with what you enjoy; I love trying new variations!
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Slice your sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges and place in a large bowl.
- Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil and toss with your hands until wedges are just coated. Sprinkle on about 1/2 tsp. salt (or your maple syrup–remember, small amounts), tossing as you go.
- Spread them in a single layer onto an ungreased nonstick baking sheet. Don’t use parchment paper or foil; it makes them harder to flip. Sprinkle remaining seasonings over the top.
- Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then remove and flip all the wedges. Return to oven and bake another 11-15 minutes.
Clean eating | Soy-free | Nut-free | Gluten-free option
When we visited Rome last year, my friend told us about the original Alfredo’s, where lore has it that the owner created the original Fettucine Alfredo–to satisfy his wife’s pregnancy cravings.
So of course we had to visit. They brought out a huge platter of steaming fettucine piled high with three mounds of cheeses, and proceeded to mix it all together at astonishing speed. Then we ate at astonishing speed–until we felt sick. It sat like a rock in our stomachs. We were very glad that our apartment was only a 10-minute walk away.
This Alfredo-inspired sauce brings back those memories without weighing us down. Instead of 3 piles of cheeses, you get the creaminess with a bit of bite from the Greek yogurt and fresh-grated (or not fresh-grated) Parmesan. Today, for St. Patrick’s Day, I turned the sauce green, and the girls said they liked it even better than usual!
Skinny Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Original recipe here
- 2 chicken breasts, seasoned, cooked, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8-10 oz. whole-wheat (or gluten-free) pasta, such as rotini
- 2 cups frozen broccoli
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2-3 (I use 3) garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 Tbsp. whole-wheat pastry flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- optional: handful spinach
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 2%)
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan
- Cook pasta as directed, adding frozen broccoli for last 2 minutes of cooking time. Reserve up to 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
- If you’re turning your sauce green: add chicken broth and spinach to your blender and blend until smooth.
- Make the roux: Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and stir constantly 1 minute, until fragrant. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to cook for 1 more minute. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk, until bubbling.
- Whisk in Greek yogurt, then season generously with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer 2-3 minutes, until thickened. (If there is spinach in the sauce, it will take longer and will not thicken as much.)
- Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan until well incorporated, then stir in chicken.
- Combine sauce with pasta mixture; add small amounts of pasta water until sauce is your desired consistency.
Paleo | Clean eating | Dairy-free | Soy-free | Gluten-free | Nut-free
Sorry I’ve been kind of absentee lately… We’ve been starting to update our house, so instead of writing blog posts I’ve been pinning faucet designs and pricing granite.
In related news, here’s something for those nights where you feel like there isn’t enough chocolate in your whole house to possibly undo the doozy of a day you just had.
It’s quick and easy to whip up, and gives you the rich, chocolaty, fluffy cake you need to decompress (and yes, it totally has a real cake texture, unlike most other microwave mug cakes I’ve tried, and somehow does it being gluten-free!) without the ill effects of a sugar binge.
And tonight I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil, and got myself a warm, gooey, Thin Mint cake! Keep this idea in mind for National Mint Chocolate Day on Friday!
Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake
Original recipe here
- 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa or cacao
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. coconut or almond milk (unsweetened)
- 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- optional: 3-5 drops peppermint essential oil
- up to 2 Tbsp. dairy-free mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
- Spray the inside of a mug with soy-free cooking spray (I use PAM for Grilling).
- In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Add wet ingredients and mix until very well combined. It might turn rather thick as the coconut oil re-congeals in contact with the cold ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour into mug. Microwave on high for 2 minutes 30 seconds, but start checking it at around 2 minutes. As soon as it stops expanding, it’s done. In my book, a little under-done is way better than overdone.
- Allow to cool a few minutes before enjoying, perhaps with a dollop of So Delicious CocoWhip and a few more mini chocolate chips!
We’re part of Tater Tots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza!
Clean eating | Dairy-free option | Soy-free option | Gluten-free option | Nut-free
My girls LOVE Taco Night. Something about being in charge of their own meal and what goes in it. Not to mention it’s messy, which makes it fun. But I’m going to be honest: it’s not always been my favorite. First, the taco seasoning packets. Gross, am I right? Have you seen those ingredient labels?! Well, Alton Brown’s taco seasoning takes care of that REALLY quick. And clean too! Make it once and keep it in a small jar or even a little Ziploc bag to use a couple tablespoons at a time.
Second, as a mom, I find that once I’ve assembled everyone’s burritos the way they want them, once I get mine assembled and sit down, the meat is cold. That’s where this new crock pot recipe comes in. It features the same taco seasoning as our usual ground turkey, but the meat stays warm as long as I need it to! Plus more veggies! It came from an unlikely source: one of those easy video recipes you see in your Facebook feed that are usually semi-homemade, from processed ingredients. But with this easy and clean taco seasoning, it’s a cinch to keep the artificial junk out.
Clean Taco Seasoning
Original recipe here
- up to 2 Tbsp. chili powder, depending on how spicy you want it
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. paprika (he uses hot smoked, I use Hungarian–both are delicious)
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- up to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you want it
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
- Store in an airtight container (jar or Ziploc bag) for up to 1 month.
Slow Cooker Easy Chicken Fajitas
Adapted from here
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (see above)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained (check the ingredient label on this one; sometimes spices and preservatives are added here)
- For serving: tortillas (use whole-grain or gluten-free and check ingredient labels for hidden soy and other junk), cheese, sour cream, beans, avocado slices, or anything else that sounds tasty!
- Place half of the sliced peppers and onion in the bottom of your slow cooker. Lay the chicken on top, coating on all sides with taco seasoning. Top with garlic, drained tomatoes, lime juice, and remaining peppers and onion.
- Cover and cook on HIGH 3-4 hours.
- Remove chicken and cut or shred, then return it to the crock pot for 10 more minutes (on LOW) to absorb more of the juices, while you prep your toppings.
- Assemble tacos/burritos/fajitas however you want!