Posted in Almond milk, Apples, breakfast, Drinks, Ingredients, Recipes, Smoothie, Snacks, Spinach

Apple Jack Smoothie (GF, DF, Paleo)

Original date: 5/4/13
Edited: 12/22/22

Quick
Gluten-Free
Meal Planning

Smoothies are quick and delicious. They can be healthy depending on the ingredients in the smoothie.

This smoothie reminds you of Apple Jack cereal without all the sugar.

Apple Jack Smoothie

Happy Herbivore

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 c. Unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 c. Banana, frozen
  • 1 c. Fresh spinach
  • 1/2 Apple, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 date (for sweetness – I left it out of mine, and it was okay.)

Steps:

  1. Place in blender.
  2. Blend it until smooth.
  3. Drink and enjoy!

Printable Recipe

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Posted in Apples, breakfast, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Recipes, Snacks

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal or Overnight Oatmeal

Original post: 1/22/2014
Edited: 12/20/2022

Vegetarian
Gluten-free (if using gluten-free oatmeal)
Quick
Meal Planning

In August of 2010, I posted an entry for Instant Oatmeal Mix. As we are experiencing another cold snap, oatmeal is a good way to warm up on a bitterly cold morning.

I was pursuing Yummy Life’s instant oatmeal packets’ blog entry and found some good ideas for different types of instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal mixes are better than the Quaker or off-brand instant oatmeal packets. You control the ingredients. Plus, it doesn’t have preservatives.

Using some of the ideas from Yummy Life and what I had around the house, I came up with divine apple cinnamon instant oatmeal.

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal

Stars of the recipe:
  • 2-1/4 c. Instant or Quick Oatmeal
  • 1/3 c. powdered milk
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. dried apples
  • 1/3 c. chopped nuts (I used cashews.)
  • 2 -3 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Vanilla powder (optional)
Steps:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. When ready to make oatmeal, mix 1/2 c. of the oatmeal with 3/4 c. water. (Make sure the bowl is big enough because the oatmeal expands in the microwave.)
  4. Heat in the microwave for 90 seconds.

Or:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Mix 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1/2 c. water, and 1/4 c. Greek yogurt in a Mason jar or similar jar.
  4. Make sure the lid is on tight, and shake up the mixture.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Enjoy straight out of the fridge, or allow it to warm up to room temperature before eating!

Printable Recipe

Posted in breakfast, Chocolate, Coconut, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Recipes, Snacks

Almond Joy Granola

Originally published: 12/17/2013
Updated: 12/19/2022

Gluten-free (if using gluten-free certified oats)
Meal planning
Quick

One of my favorite candy bars is Almond Joy.  This is a good thing on Halloween because the boys won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole or if the Imaginative One is being his snarky self, a 9 and 3/4-inch pole.  I get their Almond Joy candy bars on Halloween.  The combination of chocolate and coconut is pure heaven!!  đŸ˜ƒ

My other favorite treat is granola, either plain or with plain Greek yogurt.  So the combination of the taste of Almond Joy candy bars with yogurt is the best flavor, at least it is to me.

Almond Joy Granola

Kiss My Broccoli
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Stars of the recipe:
  • 2 c. quick oats
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (I heated mine up in the microwave for a minute.  Then it smelled like paradise.)
  • 1/3 c. honey (Spray down your measuring cup with cooking spray first.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/3 c. shredded coconut (I used sweetened.)
  • 1/2 c. almonds – 1/2 whole, 1/2 slivers
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, cocoa powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil after it’s heated up, honey, sugar, and almond extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.
  5. Spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes, stir and then bake for another 8 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Then add almonds and coconut.
  8. Store in an air-tight container for 2 weeks.
  9. Enjoy by itself or over yogurt!

Printable Recipe

Posted in Bread, Bread and muffins, breakfast, Recipes, secret recipe club

12-Minute Cranberry Cinnamon Scones – Secret Recipe Club

Original post: May 9, 2016
Updated: December 17, 2022

Vegetarian, Quick, Kid Friendly, Freezer friendly

This is my second time participating in the Secret Recipe Club.  I got moved to Group B when Group D was disbanded.  This month I was assigned to Why I Am Not Skinny.   Maxine is originally from South Africa but is currently living in Brussels.

I looked in her recipe index and found several recipes I wanted to try.  I finally decided on the 12-minute scones.  I waited until yesterday to make the recipe.  Life is currently crazy around here.  Actually, work is a crazy part of my life.  I administered tests during most of April, which sometimes left me exhausted.  Then last week, I attended a field trip all five days to a place called Starbase.  That experience left me absolutely exhausted at the end of the day.  I had decided on two recipes but needed the energy to make one.  Ask Hubby – I have not wanted to cook dinner when I get home at night, which is unusual for me.

Here are the other recipes I was interested in:

  1. Hummus – I almost made this recipe.
  2. Corn Fritters – We have a local sweet corn festival at the beginning of the school year.  One of the vendors sells chicken dinners with corn fritters.  Hubby loves corn fritters.
  3. Easy Fried Rice – This is another recipe Hubby would have enjoyed.  The Wee One might have enjoyed it also since he is like his dad because he loves rice.
  4. Chicken Pot Pie – YUM!
  5. Sweet and Sour Chicken – I know I have a sweet and sour chicken recipe on I’m Hungry.  This recipe is different than my recipe.  Again Hubby would have enjoyed this recipe.

As I said, I settled on the 12-minute scones.  I have several favorite coffee shops.  One of them sells chocolate chunk scones that are a harder consistency.  I love them.  For a while, I’ve wanted to make my own scones but haven’t made them.  The 12-minute scones were a lot softer than the ones I get at Boston Stoker, the coffee shop.  I loved the texture.

Maxine’s recipe did not have any add-ins.  I adapted the recipe to include Craisins and some cinnamon.  Hubby decided to buy a huge bag of Craisins at Sam’s, so I’ve been using them whenever possible.

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Cranberry 12-Minute Scones

adapted from Why I’m Not Skinny

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1 egg
  • Milk (depends on the egg size – I used about 1/2 c.)
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add the egg to the 1/4 c. of oil and top with milk until all the liquids equal 1 c.
  3. Beat together.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients.  Add the dry cranberries.  Stir until just combined.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls into a greased muffin tin.  (You will make 6 scones.)
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Carefully remove from the oven.
  8. Enjoy!

For more Secret Recipe Club blog posts, press this button.

Happy Eating,
Traci

Posted in dinner, Electric Pressure Cooker, ground beef, Ingredients, Lunch, Recipes

Instant Pot Tacos

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You may noticed I’ve been on a taco kick lately. Youngest and I enjoy our tacos. Now that I’ve figured out the yummiest taco meat, I make it at least once a week.

During my weekly meal prep, I made extra of the taco meat and froze it in my Souper cubes. Yes, I got some of them and absolutely love them. This way the taco meat is ready to go if I want to eat nachos or just don’t feel like cooking.

What do I need for the recipe?

  • ground beef – I know ground beef prices are expensive. Sometimes the family packs are cheaper. Get one of those, double or triple the recipe, and then freeze for later.
  • taco seasoning – Homemade or store bought – My favorite is from a local place.
  • onion, optional – You could also add some diced up bell peppers in the taco meat.
  • salsa or fire roasted salsa style tomatoes – I found fire roasted salsa style tomatoes at my local grocery store. They add a certain flavor to the taco meat. If your store doesn’t have that type of tomatoes substitute salsa.
  • Tortillas – Flour, corn, or hard taco shells – It doesn’t matter.
  • Your favorite toppings: Cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, shredded cabbage, black beans or re-fried beans, jalapenos, tomato, cheese

Other uses for the taco meat

  • Nachos – The meat would be delicious on nachos. Yum!
  • Taco salad – Add some French, Catalina, or ranch dressing on top. Or you could skip the dressing and use salsa instead.
  • Taco fries – Doesn’t that sound delicious? Or is it just me?
  • Walking tacos – Fritos, taco meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.

The Recipe

As always, click on the image for a printable version of the recipe.
Posted in dinner, Gluten Free, ground beef, Ingredients, Mexican, Recipes, Vegetarian

Taco Bake (Gluten-Free)

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Youngest and I love eating tacos. This recipe is a combination of tacos and nachos in a casserole. YUM!

You can use up those crushed tortilla chips in your cupboard/pantry for this recipe.

What you need for the recipe:
  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Salsa
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese – Mexican blend or cheddar – You can certainly shred your own.
  • Your favorite toppings: jalepenos, cheese, cilantro, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and tomato
Variations:

Vegetarian option: Instead of ground beef, you can either use meatless ground beef crumbles or black/ pinto beans.

In step 4: You can also add cilantro lime rice or black beans as a layer.

Recipe

Click on the photo to go to a printable recipe card.

Notes:

  • You use half of the taco seasoning in the 2 steps.
  • The layers for the taco bake are ground beef mixture, cheese, and then tortilla chips. In that order
  • It says you can feed 6. Youngest and I only got 4 servings out of the meal.
Posted in Electric Pressure Cooker, ground beef, Ingredients, Recipes

Bramble Beans in the Instant Pot

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Jump to what to serve with the recipe
SIMILAR Recipes

Last week, I put bramble beans on our menu but didn’t have time to meal prep. So when it came time to cook the recipe, I had to change up how I was going to cook the meal. I decided to make it in my Instant Pot instead of the crockpot. It was easy to do.


So what do you serve with the bramble beans?

A simple side dish would be either a salad or frozen/ canned veggies warmed up.

Roasted veggies

Cornbread, biscuits, or rolls – Simple and delicious

Applesauce or baked apples


Similar Recipes

Sloppy Joes (Crockpot)

Sloppy Joes

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe French fries

Beenie Weenies


Bramble Beans

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of pork and beans
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. hamburger, browned
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Turn on the Instant Pot to sauté.
  2. Place the hamburger and diced onion in the Instant Pot. Cook until the onion is transparent and the hamburger is no longer pink.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Manual set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes. (Make sure you have the vent is closed.)
  5. Quick release the vent once it is cooked.
  6. Enjoy!

Note: You may need to add about a quarter cup of water since you are using the Instant Pot.

Posted in Granola, Ingredients, Recipes

Basic Granola Recipe with 5 Variations (DF,V, GF)

One breakfast/snack item you can meal prep is my fruit on the bottom yogurt cup. I love to top my yogurt cups with granola. 

You can buy granola from the store or you can make your own. When you make your own, you can control the ingredients in your granola. You can also control how much sweetener you put in your granola.

This granola is a great one because it is very versatile. I have given you 5 different flavor combinations that are all very tasty. 

I portion out the granola for the week. If you get the 4 ounce Mason jars and fill it up to the lip, that is the perfect amount of granola.

What you need for this recipe:

  • Oats
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Your favorite nuts or seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)
  • Dried or freeze-dried fruit
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Butter, coconut oil, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Vanilla or almond extract

Basic Loose Granola Recipe 

Stars of the recipe:

Dry Ingredients: 

  • 4 c. old fashioned oats 
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes or additional nuts 
  • 1 c. nuts or seeds 
  • 1 c. dried or freeze-dried fruit – add after baking 
  • 2 tsp. spices – cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread spice 
  • 1 tsp. salt 

Wet Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 c. melted butter, melted coconut oil, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil 
  • 1/3 c. honey or maple syrup 
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla or almond extract 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients except for the fruit in a large bowl. Stir 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Stir. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir until all of the ingredients are coated. 
  5. Spread onto a cookie sheet that has either been sprayed down with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. 
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. 
  7. Take out of the oven. Allow cooling time before adding the fruit. 
  8. Enjoy with your favorite dairy or nondairy milk or yogurt. 
  9. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Ideas for granola: 

Nuts and seeds: 

  • Cashews 
  • Pecans  
  • Walnuts 
  • Macadamia Nuts 
  • Almonds – Slivers or slices 
  • Pistachios 
  • Pumpkin Seeds 
  • Sunflower Seeds 

Dried Fruit or Freeze-Dried Fruit: 

  • Apples 
  • Blueberries 
  • Cranberries 
  • Cherries – usually more expensive 
  • Raspberries 
  • Freeze-dried honey crisp apples from Trader Joe’s 
  • Freeze-dried grapes from Trader Joe’s 
  • Apricots 
  • Raisins 

Combinations for granola: 

Apple crisp 

Nuts – Walnuts and pumpkin seeds 

Fruit – Used dried apples – I like dried apples in my apple crisp granola. 

Spice – Apple pie spice which is 3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon, 2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. allspice combined in a small Mason jar. Use 1 to 2 Tbsp. of the apple pie spice blend.  


Cranberry pecan 

Nuts – Pecans and pumpkin seeds – Don’t use coconut flakes. 

Fruit – Dried cranberries. 

Spice – Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. 


Almond Joy  

Nuts – Slivered or sliced almonds 

Fruit – Don’t use any. 

Spice – Cinnamon 

Extract – Almond 


Apricot almond 

Nuts – Slivered or sliced almonds 

Fruit – Diced dried apricots 

Spice – Cinnamon 


Pumpkin spice 

Nuts – Walnuts and pumpkin seeds 

Fruit – dried cranberries or raisins 

Spice – pumpkin spice 

Extra – Add ÂŒ c. of pumpkin puree to the wet ingredients. 

Printable Recipe

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Posted in Family Recipe, ground beef, Ingredients, onions, Pasta, pasta, Recipes

Johnny Marzetti – Updated

One of my mom’s favorite meals was Johnny Marzetti. When I was Googling the history of the name of Johnny Marzetti, I noticed a lot of the recipes bake it. The difference with my recipe is that I don’t. My recipe is more of an American goulash.

It was named after a restaurant in Columbus that shut down in 1972 when the owner died.

When I made it this week, I modernized or added some depth to the spaghetti sauce that I used in the dish. I added a splash of dry red wine while the sauce was simmering. So delicious!

It’s a simple pantry item dish. Here’s what you need to make the dish.

  1. ground beef – I know the price for ground beef has increased. I get the frozen ground beef at this current time because it is cheaper.
  2. spaghetti sauce – I used a simple spaghetti sauce from Aldi. Less than a dollar for the jar.
  3. dry red wine – Doesn’t need to be expensive. Or use beef broth for a deeper flavor.
  4. onions
  5. elbow macaroni – Aldi has 3 pound boxes for less than $1.50
  6. shredded cheddar cheese
  7. Spices: Dried oregano and Italian seasoning – Salt and pepper to taste
  8. optional: mushrooms and green peppers

Johnny Marzetti

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped or 1/2 of a medium or large onion, chopped
  • 1 (24 to 26 oz) jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. dry red wine or beef broth
  • 1 lb or 2 c. dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: 1/4 c. white or Bella mushroom, chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 green pepper chopped

Steps:

  1. Cook the elbow macaroni according to directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a medium sized pot on medium heat. Drain and remove from pan. Set aside.
  3. Add the onions, mushroom (if using), and green pepper (if using) to the pan. Add some oil to the pan if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the cooked ground beef, spaghetti sauce, and red wine to the onions. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta and shredded cheddar cheese to the pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Enjoy with garlic bread and a salad.

You can leave the wine out if don’t want to use wine. I just used it to add some depth to the dish.

Printable Recipe

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Posted in Electric Pressure Cooker, Hamburger, Ingredients, Pasta, pasta, Recipes

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti (DF)

Jump ahead to the recipe

The boys do not like when Hubby makes pasta dishes because he doesn’t always drain the pasta. He’ll rather use a slotted spoon to get out the pasta. Needless to say, it becomes very mushy.

So whenever we have pasta dishes, I’m the only one who cooks, or if he cooks the pasta, he needs to be reminded to drain the pasta. I know us bugging him drives him crazy.

Making the spaghetti in the pressure cooker eliminates the need to drain the pasta because it is made in one pot.


Youngest is not always the best eater. He doesn’t always eat a lot of food at meals. When he ate 2 servings of the spaghetti, I knew this recipe was a keeper.

Hubby doesn’t always want to eat leftovers, even though I plan for them during the week. He actually volunteered to eat the leftovers the next day. This also told me that this recipe was a keeper.

What you need for the recipe
  1. spaghetti noodles
  2. ground beef
  3. jar of spaghetti sauce
  4. water
  5. Italian seasoning
  6. optional: diced onions

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci