Tag Archives: yummy


My New Favorite Snack…

I have to confess…I have made these tasty little treats the past two days. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat them all myself. In fact, I barely ate any and gave them all away. Let’s just say, they are a big hit with all!!! Everyone loves these so much, that I decided to share the recipe with you. What are they, you ask? Sweet Potato Oatmeal Muffins. Mmmmmmm. Not only are there minimal ingredients in these “sweet” little treats, but they are super easy to throw together. So, let’s not waste anymore time, here is the recipe. As always, I don’t really measure and often stray slightly from the actual recipe, but I will give you the base along with some of my adaptations, and you can make whichever version you wish. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!! As always, eat well and be merry:)

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Muffins (Adapted from Slimming Eats)


  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 large sweet potato, about 1 cup mashed
  • pumpkin puree*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 8-10 dates, pits removed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 banana*
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • mini chocolate chips*
  • shredded coconut, unsweetened*

*These are optional.
**If you add in pumpkin, just make that combined with sweet potato equal about a cup or a little more


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Cook sweet potato in microwave until soft and cooked through. Remove, cut open and allow to cool slightly.
    3. Place oats, spices, baking powder, baking soda in a food processor (I use the NutriBullet) and pulse a few times. Pour in a mixing bowl.
    4. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside of the sweet potato and stir into the oat mixture.
    5. Add water and dates to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add in banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs, and pulse to combine mixture. Stir into the oat and sweet potato mixture until combined.
    6. Evenly spoon the mixture into a 24 mini muffin baking pan. Top with mini chocolate chips and/or coconut (or toppings of choice). Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    7. Enjoy

The Cultivating Cooking Queens #3…

Well, kind of…
As the season progressed and all of our schedules got a little more hectic, it became pretty challenging to find a time where everyone’s schedules aligned. So, sadly, our group did not meet nearly as often as we would have liked. However, we were always sharing the wonderful meals we were creating on our own via our GroupMe chat.
Our last ‘group’ meeting only included one other member, Shea, but we were graced with a special guest for the night, Tiff. It was very fun to hang out and chat as we prepared this delicious meal together. Our menu on this night included: steak rolls w/balsamic glaze, roasted sweet potatoes, and Brazilian cheese rolls.

This is long overdue, but be sure to check out the video here on YouTube.

Steak Rolls (adapted from Noreen Hiskey @PictureTheRecipe.com)


+ 1.5 – 2 lb skirt steak/flank steak/thinly sliced steak of choice (sirloin)
+ salt and pepper, to taste
+ 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
+ steak seasoning of choice (try to find salt free)
+ 1 tbsp olive oil

veggie filling:

+ 1 carrot
+ 1 red bell pepper
+ 1 zucchini squash
+ 1 yellow squash
+ 5-6 green onions
+ 2 cloves of garlic
+ 1 tsp Italian herb seasoning

balsamic glaze sauce (may want to double this, it is that good!!):

+ 2 tbsp butter
+ 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
+ 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
+ 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
+ 1/4 cup beef broth


+ cut the steak into 2-3 inch wide strips
+ season the steak with salt (if using), pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Let them sit and marinade for about 30 minutes
+ prepare the filling – chop up the veggies into matchsticks that are longer than the width of the steak. Peel and mince the garlic.
+ prepare the sauce – melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and saute for a minute or so, until they turn soft and translucent. Add the balsamic vinegar, syrup (if using) and beef stock and stir to mix well. Allow the sauce to come to a boil and reduce to almost half. You want it to thicken to an almost syrup-like consistency.
+ in another pan, add a little olive oil and briefly saute the garlic. Turn the heat up to high and add in all the veggies, except the green onions. Saute until just cooked through but still crispy. Season with the Italian herbs and transfer to a bowl.
+ assemble – take a strip of the marinated steak and lay it flat. Fill with a small handful of veggies (don’t forget to add the green onion). Roll the beef and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with all the pieces of steak.
+ heat a large skillet or grillpan over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to coat the pan. When hot, add the beef seam side down and pan fry for several minutes. Then turn, roll and cook on all sides. Cook until it reaches your desired doneness
+ remove the toothpick and serve with the balsamic glaze sauce


Brazilian Cheese Rolls


+ 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
+ 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
+ 1/4 cup olive oil
+ 2 cups plus 2 tbsp tapioca flour
+ 2 eggs
+ 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or other firm cheese


+ preheat oven to 350 degrees F
+ combine milk, butter and oil in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring to melt the butter. When it reaches a boil, remove from the heat.
+ stir in the tapioca flour. The mixture should be thick, sticky and stretchy.
+ stir in the eggs, one at a time, and the cheese. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan until it is cool enough to handle.
+ take heaping tablespoons of dough with tapioca-floured hands and roll into 1.5 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
+ bake 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve warm.



Overnight Oats – Individual Size Servings…

I know I’ve posted this one before, but this is a little bit of a different take on it. How many of you do not eat breakfast because you don’t think you have time in the morning? Well, that can all change with this wonderfully easy breakfast option.  There are so many endless possibilities of flavorful ingredients and different creative combinations that you will never get tired of this.  And on top of that, you can prepare it all the night before in under five minutes.  Top it all off with a little fresh fruit of choice and you will be happy for the rest of the morning.  There are two options to prepare: 1) mix everything you want in a bowl, and then fill each jar or 2) just add each ingredient to all of the jars you are going to use and build it as you go. The great thing about preparing it in these little jars, is that it is the perfect serving size, and can easily be taken and eaten on the go or at work. Go ahead and be creative with what you put in here, but if you need some ideas to get going, check out this previous post.  As always, eat well and be merry.


Thanksgiving Leftovers…

Thanskgiving is a feast of all feasts at my house.  This year, we had a 22 lb. turkey and many other dishes to feed the crew.  Needless to say, there were quite a few leftovers to feast on over the next few days.  I’m going to share with you two of my favorite meals to eat over those next days.  These are both very big hits with the crowd, and they are both super easy to prepare.  Here are the leftovers you will need for these: Turkey, Cranberry Relish, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Gravy, Veggies.

Open Faced Turkey Salad Sandwich topped with Brie and Cranberry Relish
2 cups Turkey, shredded or roughly chopped
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1 heaping Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Lemon Juiced
2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
Cranberry Relish
*You can add diced apple, but my relish has that, so I do not*

1.  Mix first 5 ingredients together in a bowl.
2.  Lightly toast 1-2 slices of bread
3.  Top each slice of toast with a scoop or two of the turkey mixture.  Be sure to spread it around and cover as much of the bread as possible.
4.  Top each slice of toast with some slices of Brie
5.  Put under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.  Keep a close eye on this, as it does not take long to melt everywhere and/or burn.
6.  Top with a scoop of the cranberry relish.
7.  Enjoy

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Turkey, shredded or cubed
Onion, chopped
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Sweet potatoes

1.  Mix everything but the mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes together in a bowl.  Be sure to use enough gravy that everything is coated well and will not be dry once cooked.
2.  Pour into 2 square dishes, coated in cooking spray.
3.  Top one dish with a layer of the mashed potatoes.  Top the other with a layer of mashed sweet potatoes.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees until everything is heated through and bubbly.  If you want to broil them for the last few minutes to brown the tops you can.
5.  Serve and enjoy.

I don’t really measure any of this.  You just have to eyeball it all to get the ratios you want.  Sorry, there are no pictures to share either.  Once they are made, they are gone before you can even grab the camera.  Try these out when you get  a chance and let me know what you think.  As always, eat well and be merry!


A Healthy, Gluten Free Thanksgiving…

I host my family for Thanksgiving at my cabin.  We have been doing this for several years now, and  I love it for many reasons:
1.  I get to spend some quality time at my cabin, where it is so quiet and peaceful and a nice way to get away from the busy pace of life I am used to.
2.  All of my family is there.
3.  I make the menu and prepare the food.
All of these are wonderful things to be thankful for, but I think my favorite is the fact that I can prepare such a healthy menu for my family, and everybody enjoys it just as much as a traditional menu.  I love knowing that my family is getting a great meal, one that is healthy and represents what I stand for.  Mind you, there is a lot of hard work that goes in to me preparing this feast, as I make everything homemade, but in the end, it is so worth it.
Typically, I will chop and prepare as much as possible the night before (with the help of my sister), that way on Thanksgiving morning, it cuts back on time, and is mostly just putting everything together and cooking it.
The menu pretty much stays the same every year, with some minimal changes.  This year’s menu was:

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Shaved Brussels Sprouts w/Manchego and Almonds
Fresh Cranberry Relish
Apple Shallot Roasted Turkey
Cider Gravy
Mashed Potatoes w/Parsnips & Chives
Wild Rice, Italian Sausage and Shiitake Stuffing
Coconut Cardamom Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans
Pumpkin Bread

Check back soon and I will tell you my favorite thing to do with my leftovers.  You will not want to miss these, as they may even be more delicious than the actual Thanksgiving meal.

Check out the Thanksgiving menu photos below.

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Pumpkin Granola…

Who doesn’t love pumpkin?  I am all about this wonderful flavor, and will eat it any time of the year.  However, many people tend to only think of pumpkin during this Fall season, when we celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Maybe it’s the lure of pumpkin carving, Jack-o-lanterns, and pumpkin pie?  Did you know that pumpkin is a very nutrient-dense food?  It is full of many vitamins and minerals, all while being low in calories.  So, why not think about it all year?  I think you may reconsider the use of this delicious, plump, orange plant when you see this yummy pumpkin granola recipe.  I use this to top off all kinds of delicious foods, like crepes, waffles, fruit and yogurt bowls, and more.
This is just one of many ways to use pumpkin in your cooking.  There are so many other creative ways pumpkin can be incorporated into any meal, including desserts, soups, salads and preserves.  Did you know that it can even be used as a substitute for butter? Try out this recipe, or feel free to share some of your own favorite pumpkin meals, recipes and foods.  Don’t forget to check out one of my favorite pumpkin recipes, Pumpkin Waffles, from my earlier blog.

A friendly reminder…be careful when buying pumpkin.  Look for the 100% pumpkin, as pumpkin pie filling is often loaded with added sugars.

Read this article from Medical News Today to learn more about this great food.
As always, eat well and be merry!!

Pumpkin Granola Recipe:
3 cups oats
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 individual size cup of apple sauce (no added sugar)
3 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
3-5 tsps. pumpkin pie spice (based on individual preference)
Add in options: dried cranberries, raisins, cashews, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, vanilla, pecans, walnuts

Mix everything together really well.  Bake at 300 degrees for about 70-80 minutes. Keep a careful eye on the granola, and stir a few times.  It will harden a bit as it cools. You will most likely also have to break it up once it cools down.  It may look burnt when done, but that is just from the pumpkin, molasses and spices.



Everyone Should Spiralize…

Several weeks ago, while visiting with my sister, I noticed she had a spiralizer in her drawer.  I’ve been hearing all the craze about this new gadget, and have always been wanting to try it out.  I mean why not?  Using different veggies instead of pasta, it fits right into my eating style.  And on top of that the options and ways to prep seemed endless in my mind.   Thus, I was inspired to go on one of my favorite sites, Amazon, where I did a bunch of research before finally deciding on one to buy.  After sorting through many different options, I narrowed it down and purchased this one from DEMKO.  I have already used it many times, and have not been disappointed one bit.  For instance, I threw together a delicious lunch in under 5 minutes:  I spiralized a small sweet potato, heated up some leftover Greek Marinated Chicken and diced it up, tossed on some leftover homemade slaw and topped it with some peanut sauce and cilantro (pictured).  It was the simplest of meals, but very tasty. Even if you do not consider yourself a good cook, I think this may be the way to prepare meals for you.  I don’t even normally cook my veggies, because I prefer them nice and crisp, but you could get a little more fancy and saute them up in a pan with a little garlic and oil and spices.  Honestly, I think this is a great idea for someone looking to be a little creative with meals, because you can almost throw anything together and make a meal of it. Another delicious spiralized meal I’ve made with the Cultivating Cooking Queens is Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles.  The spiralizer is so quick and easy to use and clean, you may want to consider getting one.  I cannot wait to experiment with other veggies. Go out and see what you think, and as always, eat well and be merry!