Saturday, March 31, 2012

A is for Apples...

As I have said before, apples go quickly in my house. one of my favorite apple recipes is my Best Apple Oatmeal Muffins Ever.  I have changed the recipe and made it even healthier. Below is the new and improved recipe and how I change it. if you haven't tried these muffins yet, you should. they are easy to make, healthy, delicious, and they make your house smell wonderful. Let me know how you like them.

Best Apple Oatmeal Muffins

•rolled oats pulsed in the food processor so they resemble quick oats - need 1 1/2 cups (I do this now instead of using quick oats and pre-packaged packets of instant apple cinnamon oatmeal)
• 1 1/4 cups flour (I use only whole wheat pastry flour)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 egg white
• 1 cup applesauce
* diced apple
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/4 cup pulsed oats and whole wheat pastry flour (equal amounts)
• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon melted butter
1. Preheat an oven to 400. Grease a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups oatmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Whisk 1/2 cup brown sugar, egg white, applesauce, diced apples, and milk together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture till moistened. Pour the batter into the muffin pan. Stir the 1/4 cup oatmeal/flour mix, 1/4 cup brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, and the melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the muffins.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle, about 20 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes and then remove from muffin pan. Best served slightly warm with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea.
What are your favorite muffins to make?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Versatile Blogger

Surprise, surprise! I just recently received a nomination for Versatile Blogger Award by fellow foodie, Holistic Gal. I am so flattered and happy that someone other than family members are reading me! Thank you, holistic Gal!  Here is a  link to Holistic Gal's cool food blog:  Check  out her creative blog.  I don't think you'll be disappointed. Thanks again, Holistic Gal!

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blog Award:
  • Thank the person who gave you this award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
There are also a few add-on rules:
  • In the same post, include this set of rules.
  • Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs

So, what is the Versatile Blogger Award? ”It is a great way to introduce different bloggers to each other and to promote quality blogs that awardees and their readers may not have discovered otherwise.”

Here are my 15 nominees for the Versatile blogger Award. please check them out:

7 Random things about me...

1-When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a talk show host...the name of my show?  The Shannon Show
2-I had braces on for 7 years and  my mouth is in a medical book for would be orthodontists
3-I love Donny Osmond.
4-I would love to write a cook book someday (Maybe with my sisters...hint, hint, hint).
5-Weird songs on my Ipod: Honey, The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia, and Ode to Billie Joe
6-I love to get homemade gifts best of all.
7-Genealogy is one of my hobbies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever?

What do you eat when you're sick?

I haven't been feeling well all week...a cold sinusey infection type of thing. Today's the first day I've actually been able to eat semi normally, though not in usual amounts. I wanted chicken noodle soup, or just noodle soup, because it's been ingrained in me since I was little how good chicken noodle soup was for you when you were sick. so, I went to the store and bought a package of Lipton Noodle Soup. I used to eat it all the time when I was sick and it always was comforting to me. This time, I could barely eat it. It just tasted yucky to me... processed and salty. Bummer. 

  My little sister suggested a smoothie, maybe with a vitamin water base. It was a great idea till my blender went berserk and started spewing liquid all over the kitchen. Then, feeling crappy, I still had to clean up the mess so the floor and walls wouldn't be all sticky icky. Not fun to have to clean up a mess like that when you're feeling crappy already. So until today, I have survived on whole wheat toast, peanut butter crackers and bananas. last night, DH made me a good 2 egg omelet with a little cheese and spinach, and it was good, but just too heavy for me since I have been coughing. I felt better this morning and made power oatmeal for DH and I. Then I ate some crackers at lunchtime and for dinner,  a bowl of Mama Pea's  (doctored by me) black bean soup with some grapes and homemade tortilla chips: whole wheat tortillas toasted with seasonings and cut into "chips".  Even the twins liked the chips :) Score 1 for mom!  I love it when that happens.  I've been drinking Acai Berry Emergen-C and not doing Gatorade this week at all. normally I would drink Gatorade, sugar and all, because I believe in it's healing properties.

So I began to wonder, what do other people eat when they are sick and trying to recover from being sick?
What do you eat when you're sick?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hungry for Change Preview

Fascinating...this is going to be big! I have reserved my spot to watch the online premier. Check it out and you may want to sign up too.

Two quotes from this that struck me:

"We are not eating food anymore. We are eating food like products. And they are adorned.They are made to look better and smell better so that people are attracted to them."


"People are overfed, but they're also starving to death."

It all goes back to proving the old addage true:

You really are what you eat.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Healthier Vegetarian Chili Cheese Burritos

Much healthier than the original Chili Cheese Burritos, this one uses whole wheat tortillas and mostly homemade ingredients.  It has no meat, little salt, and uses mostly homemade, not prepackaged ingredients. It must also have no flavor, right?  WRONG! It is fantastic!  I like it better than the original chili cheese burritos, and my DH loves loves, loves them as well! That's saying a lot because he has always been a huge fan of the  originals.

Before I make my burritos, I make the filling. It takes no time at all and cooks quickly on the stove top. it is delicious by itself as well. Here's the filling recipe:

Picante Beans with Brown Rice

1 can tri-color beans, drained

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 c water

2-3 sliced green onions

1 tsp minced garlic (from jar)

1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes, undrained

1 c frozen corn

3/4 c uncooked instant brown rice

1 heaping Tbsp diced green chilies

1/2 c water

Tony Chatcher's Creole Seasoning to taste

hot sauce or sprinkling of Cajun seasoning

Put beans, chili powder, cumin, 1/4 c water, green onions, and garlic in a large sauce pan. heat over med. heat till it bubbles. Simmer for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Next, add tomatoes through 1/2 c water. Stir, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat. Cover the sauce pan and simmer all for 10-12 minutes till rice is done. Remember to stir it a couple of times while it's cooking.

Excellent filling for burritos.

Now here's the burrito recipe:
Healthier Vegetarian Chili Cheese Burritos


1 recipe Picante Beans with Brown Rice (see above)

1 can re fried beans- you can certainly make your own as I sometimes do, but I was under the time gun, so I opted for fat free vegetarian re fried beans. Here is a like to one re fried bean recipe I use.

some Mexicheese or Daiya or lite cheddar cheese (If you want to use it) I did not use it this time.
whole wheat tortillas (I used medium soft taco size)

leftover homemade vegetarian chili - recipe here or one of your choice
toppings of your choice: shredded lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, etc

Lightly grease a dish with fat free vegetable or canola cooking spray. Warm up leftover vegetarian chili and  put a thin layer of chili on the bottom of your pan. Heat oven to 350. In the center of each tortilla spread some re fried beans. Then top with some of the picante beans with brown rice.If you want to add a little cheese on top of the mixture, you can. Roll up tightly and place seam side down on top of the chili in your dish. Spoon some more chili over tortilla rolls, leaving some in the pan to be used for those who like extra "sauce." Bake about 30 minutes till heated through and chili is bubbly. If you eat cheese and don't mind the fat and calories, you can sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top of tortilla rolls and bake 1-2 additional minutes to let cheese melt. I did not put cheese on top of ours. Garnish with the toppings of your choice and serve with extra chili sauce Yum!

Chili Cheese Burritos

My husband's brother is in town visiting us, and chili cheese burritos has long been one of his favorite meals, so I made it for him last night. It is a delicious dish, but laden with prepackaged and fatty foods, heavy salt, and store bought flavors. I can say this about the dish now that i am a more clean and healthy eater, but when I was eating the SAD (Standard American Diet), I worshipped this dish.

My brother in law hasn't been here to visit us in 6 or 7 years and since his wife doesn't make this delicacy, I decided to make it for him. My boys were happy too, because I haven't made this in 2 years and they all really do love it. And, yes, not to detract from his memories of the dish, I didn't change an ingredient when making it. I made it with prepackaged fatty foods, and yes, meat. Here's the original recipe, and it is delicious. I'm not sure where the original recipe came from so I can't give credit, but I know I modified my recipe slightly from the original. This is a real crowd pleaser and easy to make for a group.

Chili Cheese Burritos (Standard American Diet version)


1 can re fried beans
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided + extra
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4- 1/2 c diced onion (depending on how much you like onion)
3 Tbsp diced green chilies
8 large flour tortillas
2 cans chili no beans
1 can chili with beans
a little water to thin chili
toppings of your choice: shredded lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, etc

lightly grease a 9 X13 dish with  fat free vegetable or canola cooking spray. open cans of chili and warm in a saucepan. thin with a little water if you like. Then put a thin layer of chili on the bottom of your pan. Heat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, combine 1 c cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, onions, and green chilies. In the center of each tortilla spread some re fried beans. Then top with 1/3- 1/2 c of the cheese-onion-chilies mixture. I always add extra cheese inside and sometimes use the Mexicheese blend. Roll up tightly and place seam side down on top of the chili in your dish. Spoon some more chili over tortilla rolls, leaving some in the pan to be used for those who like extra "sauce." Bake about 30 minutes till heated through and chili is bubbly. sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and bake 1-2 additional minutes while cheese melts.  makes 8 burritos. Garnish with the toppings of your choice  and serve with extra chili sauce Yum!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chili Anyone?

Today I made chili. This is based on my mom's meat chili that she made us growing up. I make a few changes to make it healthier and vegetarian. DH loves this! I wanted to make chili because later in the week, my husband's brother will be visiting and I will be making his favorite: Chili Cheese Burritos (look for the recipe later this week). Some people can only make chili in the winter time, but for me it's a year round event. I simply make sure the AC is going strong and that the house is nice and cool (even if it's 115 outside, which it often is during the summer months).  Making chili is one of my favorite things to make because I love having lots of leftovers that I know I can use to create other meals. Ways I use the left overs...

*frozen in bowlfuls for quick thaw easy meals
*individual frozen portions to be thawed out for taco salad
*homemade nachos
*chili cheese burritos
*chili cornbread bake

Vegetarian Chili

1 pkg Morning Star Farms soy crumbles

garlic powder


chili powder

1 large can tomato puree (29 oz)

1 can organic hot chili beans and juice

1 can organic tricolor beans, drained

1 can organic kidney beans,drained

2 pkgs. low sodium chili seasoning mix or homemade chili mix

hot sauce to taste (optional)

chopped onions (optional)

In a soup pot, heat frozen soy crumbles with some water over md-md/high. sprinkle with garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. When heated through (about 5 minutes) add tomato puree, beans, and chili seasoning mix. Put 1/2- 3/4 c water in the empty can of chili beans and scrape the sides to get any leftover beans and the flavors. Add to the chili in the pot and mix well. Heat over md till starts to simmer. Then turn down and let flavors meld for a bit. Re taste before serving to re spice if needed. Serve with hot sauce for those who want more heat and top with chopped onions and any other chili toppings of your choice.

How do you use left over chili?
What's your favorite food to use as left overs?