Sunday, March 12, 2017

Healthy Smash Cake

  • Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, ground to flour consistency
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated carrot
  • 1/2 Granny Smith Apple, coarsely grated tart apples

1/2 c. Whole milk, plain Greek yogurt
4 oz. cream cheese
Dash pure vanilla extract

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together ground oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, oil, and applesauce. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the apple and carrot. Pour batter into two small ramekins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For the frosting: While the cake is cooling, cream together yogurt, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. 

To assemble: Remove the cakes from the ramekins when cool. Turn one cake upside down place on wax/parchment paper. Spread some frosting on the top. Layer the remaining cake, right side up, on top of the frosting. Frost the outside of the cake and decorate as desired.

My sweet tiny turned one today! We wanted her to experience the joy of smashing a cake, but also wanted to avoid a sugar rush. Tiny also has some food allergies and has never had wheat before. In attempt to avoid an all-night party or a birthday trip to the ER, we decided to make a "cake" with no sugar and only ingredients she's had before. It was a hit! Packed with all the macronutrients her little body needs, I had no guilt letting her have it on her party day and the next morning for breakfast. It was the perfect size for her little hands and surprisingly full of flavor. I think will be making this again just for snacking!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Veggie Cookies

These cookies are a great way to get your little one to eat their veggies. They look questionable, but I promise they'll gobble them up!


3 cups oat flour (rolled oats ground to flour consistency)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups shredded veggies (I used one zucchini and one carrot)
1 apple, cored and shredded
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup steamed vegetables (I used broccoli and green beans)
1/2 cup whole milk plain greek yogurt
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Blend the spinach, steamed vegetables, and yogurt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the eggs to the veggie mixture and blend again until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Add in the shredded veggies and apple and stir until incorporated.

Drop by tablespoonful on the prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes. I store these in the freezer and pull out enough for one day (my daughter eats 2 per day) each morning.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Chicken Bacon Spaghetti Squash

This was so good! You won't even miss the pasta and heavy sauce with this dinner! Adapted from a recipe found on Buzzfeed.

Photo by Lauren Zaser from BuzzFeed
1 large spaghetti squash1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 slices bacon
1-2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2 . Cut about half an inch off of the top and bottom of the spaghetti squash, and discard. those pieces. Cut the squash crosswise into rings about 1-inch thick and remove the seeds. Drizzle the olive oil on the baking sheet, then spread the squash rings over it, moving them around a little so that the undersides are evenly coated with a little bit of oil. Season with salt and pepper, then flip the rings over and season again. 
3. Roast in the preheated oven until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Let it cool slightly before peeling away the skin. Use a fork to create strings of squash. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
4. While the squash is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the bacon slices and cook to desired doneness. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and chop into 1-inch pieces when cool enough to handle.

5. Add the chicken to the bacon grease and cook until it is no longer pink. Add the red wine vinegar to the bacon fat in the pan while stirring and scraping the caramelized bits off the skillet. After about 20 seconds, turn the heat down to low and add the maple syrup. Stir together just to combine, then add the spinach, one handful at a time, stirring after every addition.
6. Add the bacon pieces and the chicken mixture to the bowl with the spaghetti squash and toss to combine.
7. Sprinkle the goat cheese over the mixture and toss until it melts slightly, or serve on the side as a topping for those that want a dairy-free option.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Protein Muffins

Let's get right to the recipe! If you want to read the narrative, keep on scrolling. :)

Makes 12 muffins
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 serving gluten-free protein powder*, vanilla or pumpkin flavored (1 serving of my protein powder is 2 scoops)
1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder (Clabber Girl is a gluten-free brand)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c. pure maple syrup (you can use 1/2 c. brown sugar instead if desired)
1 c. pure pumpkin puree
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp. gluten-free rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon

*If you are curious about what protein powder I recommend, shoot me a message!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the rack to the middle position. Line a muffin tin with liners or spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a small bowl, toss the 1 tbsp. oats and cinnamon for the topping and set aside.

3. Blend the oats in a high-powered blender or food processor until fine. They should be about the consistency of flour. Add the protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and pulse a few times until well mixed.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the syrup/sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, and applesauce. Add the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated.

5. Fill each muffin liner 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle the oat topping evenly over all muffins.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy!

And now I ramble...

Time is flying. I can't believe it has been an entire year since I last posted a recipe.  Granted, a lot has changed since the last pumpkin recipe - we added a new family member! Tiny is now 6 months old and keeping us plenty busy, hence the lapse of being a good blogger.

Fall is my absolute favorite season. It brings crisp air, painted trees, warm food, and, of course, pumpkin everything. It also seems to be a chance for new beginnings. With school starting back up, it's easy to argue that fall is more the start of a new year than January is. Fall is a great time to set new goals, make life changes, and have renewed energy. So, here I am, setting goals, making life changes, and having renewed energy to attempt to pick up blogging again.

Those of you who frequent this blog know that it's full of a wide spectrum of recipes:  healthy, gluttonous, dinners, desserts. I'm a creature who strives for balance and I truly believe we are meant to enjoy good food. In moderation, we should enjoy delicious treats, especially when they're made in our very own kitchens. The key is moderation. The majority of the time we should be enjoying healthy, wholesome, nutrient-dense food. Since I believe that God has given us such beautiful, natural nutrition that we're meant to enjoy, I'm going to spend the next several posts (at the rate I'm going, this might be the only one!) providing wholesome, healthy recipes. And since I also love baking and eating sweet treats, I'm going to attempt to create wholesome, healthy sweet treats. I would say I knocked that goal out of the park with these muffins! I was worried that the texture would be all wrong without all-purpose flour, but they are surprisingly fluffy and moist. They're packed with nutrients and low in fat and sugar. If you use pure maple syrup, they're guilt-free with only 84 calories, 2g fat, 7g sugar, and 4g of protein per muffin. They would be delicious with a smear of natural nut butter to make a nutrient-dense snack. Perfect fall treat!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pumpkin Monkey Bread with Cinnamon Glaze

It's finally fall, which means it's Pumpkin Everything season in the M&M Kitchen! The lovely Mrs. Wade and I were in the mood to bake something delicious that involved pumpkin and my new-to-me bundt pan. What evolved was this perfect treat - a combination of The Pioneer Woman's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, creativity, and our own cinnamon glaze. It looks like a lot of work, but it's really easy. Most of the work is just waiting for it to finish so that you can devour it!


Dough (from Pioneer Woman):

1 1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. white sugar
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 c. pumpkin puree
4 c. plus 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (keep 1/2 cup separate)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Dough Coating:

1/2 c. butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger

Cinnamon Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-4 Tbsp. whole milk


To make the dough, follow the directions as described by The Pioneer Woman:

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar. Heat until hot, but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until the mixture is still warm, but not too hot to touch. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined.

Meanwhile, combine 4 cups of flour with the with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until it just comes together. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for an hour, or until it has doubled in size. After it has risen, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir until completely combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes so that it is easier to work with.

To assemble:

Grease a bundt pan (most bundt pans are about 10-cups) with butter. Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the coating ingredients of 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp ginger.

Using your hands, form a piece of the dough into a 1" to 2" ball. Dip the ball in the melted butter, then immediately roll in the sugar mixture and place in the bundt pan. Repeat with the remaining dough until it is all used. Add more sugar and spices to the sugar bowl if needed. If there is any remaining butter, drizzle it over the dough in the bundt pan. Cover the pan with a dish towel and allow to rise for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes.

For the glaze:

Allow the bread to cool completely before removing from the pan and inverting onto a serving platter. Mix all the glaze ingredients together in a medium measuring cup or small mixing bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the bread and serve.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Indian Curry with Chicken and Easy Brown Rice

Last post, I mentioned that I would be on a monthly posting schedule until life got more settled. That was in April. Now, it is almost August, and I, as always, have failed to regularly share delicious recipes from our kitchen on the blog world. The truth of the matter is that our kitchen has not produced much more than salads and sandwiches for the last several months! We took on a big adventure of making a cross-country move, which involved selling all of our prized possession (including most of my stocked kitchen), packing what we could fit in our Toyota Avalon, and starting over in North Carolina. A big adventure might be an understatement... Let's call it a colossal life change. That's a story for another day (or days), maybe warranting its own blog. For now, let's get back to the theme of this blog - FOOD.

Food and adventure have gone hand-in-hand in our world. Most recent adventures include cooking with absolutely no equipment, slowly piece-mealing a kitchen back together, and taking on the challenge of cooking as many recipes as possible from the cookbooks that made the travel cut. Prepare yourself for several new recipes from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, and The Essential Best Foods Cookbook. To start, Indian Curry with Chicken and Easy Brown Rice from the Healthy ATK Cookbook!

This curry was a bit different than we were expecting, but it was absolutely delicious. It was definitely not as spicy as we like, but that can easily be fixed. Very easy to prepare, quick clean up, and makes enough for leftovers! You definitely want to make some rice to go with it, as it is much more soup-like than typical Indian curry. Also, don't skimp on the carbs... treat yourself to some naan - make your own or try Trader Joe's!

Indian Curry with Chicken - America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
1 (14.5 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 1/2 T. canola oil
4 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garam masala
1 onion, minced
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (we added in the seeds for more heat)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 T. tomato paste
1 c. water
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3)
1/2 head cauliflower (about 1 lb.), cored and cut into 1-inch florets (about 3 cups)
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c. plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro


Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until no large chunks remain, about 5 pulses; set aside.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven (or large pot) over medium heat until shimmering. Add the spices and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the water and tomatoes, then add the chicken and cauliflower. Bring to a simmer for 12-18 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, flipping the chicken halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and shred into bite-sized pieces.

Put the shredded chicken and any accumulated juices back into the pot, then add the peas and simmer until heated through (about 2 minutes). Off the heat, stir in the yogurt and cilantro. Season with salt to taste and serve with Easy Baked Brown Rice and extra plain yogurt.

Easy Baked Brown Rice - America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, minced
Salt and pepper
2 1/4 c. water
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 c. long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 12-14 minutes. (NOTE: I know this seems like a really long time to cook onions, but it really does make the dish very flavorful!)

Add the water and broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Off the heat, stir in the rice. Cover and bake until the rice is tender, 65 to 70 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven, uncover, and fluff the rice with a fork, scraping up any rice that stuck to the bottom. Lay a clean folder kitchen towel underneath the lid. Let sit for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stovetop Pulled Pork on Homemade Buns

I'm on the monthly post schedule these days... We have several major transitions approaching, so blogging has definitely taken a back seat. I am hoping to get back into the normal groove that I attempted to revive once we get a few things settled. For now, enjoy April's monthly recipe:  Pulled Pork on Homemade Buns. 

I've tried my hand at several pulled pork recipes, majority of them involving my beloved slow cooker. This one takes a different approach, with a different cut of meat. Any guesses where the recipe is from? Of course, none other than America's Test Kitchen! I have had the recipe card from an old Cook's Country issue tucked away in my recipe binder for several years, and finally got around to trying it out.  The results: delicious! The meat has so much flavor and turns out plenty tender. I'm also sharing an added bonus of a homemade hamburger bun recipe, retrieved from the Taste of Home website. Enjoy!

Indoor Pulled Pork - from Cook's Country Magazine

1 t. Chili powder
1 t. Paprika
1 t. Garlic powder
1/4 t. Salt
1/2 t. Pepper
2 pork tenderloins (about 2 lbs total), cut into 1" slices
1 T. Vegetable oil
1/2 c. Chicken broth
1/2 c. Barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's is our choice!)
3 T. Cider vinegar

1. Combine spices in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle spice mixture over it evenly.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking, Add pork and cook until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl and tent with foil. Let it rest for 5 minutes before shredding into bite-sized pieces.

3. While the pork is resting, add broth barbecue sauce, and vinegar to the empty skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minute. Stir in the shredded meat and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with pickles or coleslaw!

Hamburger Buns - adapted from Taste of Home

2 T. Active dry yeast
1 c. + 2 T. Warm water (110-115 degrees)
1/3 c. Vegetable oil
1/4 c. Sugar
1 egg
1 t. Salt
3 to 3 1/2 c. All-purpose flour

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, Add the egg, salt, and 3 cups of flour.

2. Increase speed to medium-high and knead for 3 to 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Add remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is very sticky.

3. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and shape into a smooth ball. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Place 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature while the oven preheats, at least 10 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 425. Remove plastic wrap/towel, and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown.