Carrot Cake Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Hallelujah! He is Risen! If you are looking for an easy breakfast for the family this Easter weekend, here’s a new idea. I absolutely love carrot cake, but now that I am gluten & egg free, it is harder to enjoy these days. I’m satisfying this seasonal craving during breakfast, getting a serving of vegetables in with a bowl of carrot cake oatmeal that is gluten, dairy, egg and refined-sugar free!

IMG_3161Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of coconut or almond milk (can also use water)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups of steel cut oats (regular oats will not work!)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup shredded organic carrots (I used 4 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup shredded apples (or frozen pineapple as a variation)
  • 1/2 cup pecan or walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey, coconut sugar or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • Optional: 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preparation:

  1. To prepare the apples and carrots, peel and then use a food processor with shredding disc.
  2. Add all ingredients into a glass pyrex bowl that fits inside your slow cooker and stir well to combine.
  3. Place the glass bowl into the slow cooker and then add water into your slow cooker (around, not in the glass bowl) to fill up to a little over halfway around the bowl.
  4. Turn slow cooker on low for around 8 hours (I do this overnight).
  5. It will be ready to serve immediately. Enjoy!

If you have leftovers to reheat (this makes a lot!), I add a little bit of water before microwaving.

Happy Easter, friends! Hope you have a wonderful time with your family and I pray you are all staying healthy (and sane) during this pandemic.

 

Quick Hash

Who loves a great hash!? This is on my regular rotation of dinners because it is so quick and easy + super versatile. It’s a great way to work in veggies and I love that it is great leftover for breakfast.

The key to making this super QUICK is using the slicing disc with your food processor. It’s amazing!! I didn’t use the shredding or slicing attachment for years and I’m embarrassed at how much time I used to spend chopping things and shredding cheese.  This brings food prep time down to seconds.

Ingredients:

  • 5 large red or golden potatoes or 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 bag of Brussels sprouts (I’ve also used broccoli florets, which of course don’t require slicing, and I’ve added carrots too before)
  • 1 package of sugar-free pasture-raised bacon
  • sea salt + pepper + onion powder + garlic powder to taste

Preparation:

  1. Put slices of bacon on parchment paper on a large baking tray (I use this one: GreenLife Ceramic Cookie Sheet)
  2. Place in cold oven and turn to 425 degrees.  I typically cook for 10-15 minutes until bacon is crispy. Baking time will vary depending on your oven preheating time and the thickness of the bacon – keep an eye on it!
  3. While bacon is cooking, prepare potatoes & veggies. Clean and cut small enough to fit into the feeding cylinder of food processor.
  4. Slice the potatoes and veggies using the slicing attachment of your food processor.
  5. When bacon is cooked, transfer to paper towel lined plate, leaving the bacon grease on the pan.
  6. Add the potatoes and veggies to the pan and toss in the oil, adding more avocado or coconut oil if needed to coat.
  7. Season the potatoes and veggies, ensuring you use plenty of the sea salt.
  8. Place in oven and cook 20-30 minutes until browned and brussels are caramelized, taking out once mid-way to toss.
  9.  When potatoes and veggies are ready, crumble the bacon on top and serve.

Roasted Delicata Squash

delicataSquash season might be my favorite food season! And delicata squash is my favorite of all. Yes, even better than acorn and spaghetti and butternut and pumpkin. Haven’t heard of it? I hadn’t either until last year.  You’ll see them with the other squashes in the grocery store and they look more like decorative gourds than anything edible. They are named “delicata” for their delicate skin- so thin you can eat it.

Delicata squashes are narrow and yellow with green stripes (and sometimes orange too) on the rind. Select one that is firm and heavy for its size. Avoid ones that are more light green- they are not ripe. Even the ripe ones I have purchased have lasted a few weeks in my pantry before I cook them.

Besides tasting so yummy, my favorite thing about this particular squash is how easy it is to prepare and cook.  This is my recipe for the perfect roasted squash – the slightly sweet bites will melt in your mouth, with a perfect crisp to the skin.

Ingredients:

  • 2 delicata squash
  • drizzle of oil (I recommend olive, coconut or avocado)
  • salt & pepper

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 420 degrees.
  2. Wash the squash since you will be eating the skin.
  3. Cut the squash in half length-wise. If you have trouble cutting it, pop in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
  4. Scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff (is there a term for that?) from the inside of your halves.
  5. Cut horizontally into 1/2 – 1 inch slices.
  6. Arrange on a roasting pan, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Split apart so each has its own spot on the pan.
  7. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (depends on the thickness of your slices), taking out halfway to toss so pieces get equal time to brown on the bottom of the pan. It’s perfect when both sides are a light roasted brown.

Enjoy!!

 

Mashed Turnips & Parsnips

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Today I’m sharing an easy recipe that’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side!

Craving mashed potatoes but trying to stay low-carb? I’ve got a seriously great alternative for you… mashed parsnips and turnips.  If you are like me and can’t stomach the typical replacement, cauliflower (cruciferous veggies don’t agree with me), this is another option to try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic parsnips
  • 1 pound organic turnips
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream

Preparation:

  1. Peel the parsnips and turnips and roughly chop into 1-2 inch pieces (for faster boiling & easy blending).
  2. Put in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil for around 15 minutes or until tender (stab with a fork).
  4. Pour into a colander to drain the water and then put the veggies in a large food processor.
  5. Add the other ingredients (butter should melt quickly with the hot veggies) and blend until smooth, stopping to stir for better blending as needed.

I was shocked at how well this matches the texture of mashed potatoes. Since they are root vegetables, it has a very similar mild, starchy flavor to satisfy those cravings; it is just slightly sweeter. I hope you enjoy this super easy recipe!

Potato-Crusted Quiche

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On #mealprepmondays, I try to always make breakfast for my daughter and I for the week so it makes mornings easier.  This quiche, made with hash browns instead of pie crust, makes for a healthier version that’s still super yummy and filling.

As with ALL my recipes, this takes very little time to prepare and is really easy to make.  There is a lot of room to create in this recipe- using different meats and veggies based on what you like best or what is on sale that week.  My go-to is bacon & spinach but I’m always trying something new.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 cups organic frozen hash browns (I use half a package of the Alexia brand)
    • I’ve also used frozen sweet potato fries for this if you want to avoid white potatoes.
  • 6 large soy-free pastured eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetables
    • I typically use what is leftover from dinner the night before- asparagus, bell pepper, frozen spinach have all worked great.
  • 1/2 cup cooked breakfast meat
    • I like to mix this up depending on what’s on sale/what I’m feeling. I rotate between bacon (look for organic + sugar-free), ham and breakfast sausage.
    • TIP: If cooking bacon, make less of a mess and use of an already heated oven by oven-baking it instead of frying.
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or heavy whipping cream)
  • 1/2 cup grated raw cheddar cheese
  • Sea salt & pepper

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the butter in your quiche dish (I use this one, but a standard pie dish would work just fine too) and place in the oven to melt.  TIP: to make it easier to put in/take out of the oven, I put my dish on top of a cookie sheet.
  3. Put frozen hash browns in dish and spread around to evenly distribute and mix in butter.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put dish with hash browns into the oven until slightly browned- typically around 20 minutes.
  5. Whisk the eggs with milk and salt & pepper. Add the veggies and meat and cheese and stir.
  6. When potatoes are brown and crispy, take out of the oven and add the egg mixture.
  7. Put dish back in the oven and cook until the eggs are puffed and set- around 20 minutes.

I’d love to hear your favorite combinations of meat & veggies to put in this!  Enjoy!