recipe of the week

Recipe of the Week - Chicken Parmesan

When asked to contribute a Recipe of the Week blog, I was thrilled! But while I have a ton of recipes (ask me about my homemade deodorant), I'm not the best writer. So let's see how this goes! I've been thinking about what kind of meals most moms I know really cook and I think it comes down to a couple of things.

  • Quick - there's a kid screaming somewhere.
  • Not a ton of ingredients.  It takes too long to get them together!
  • Nothing that requires unusual items.  After all, you don't want to buy something you're only going to use once.

I know we want to be super mom and do everything...AND do it perfectly!  But I think sometimes super mom is the mom who says, "Dinner is a ham sandwich and I have a child that needs me more."

I've got a few recipes to share that shouldn't take too long, but look and taste awesome.  And they are mostly healthy. What can I say, I'm Southern and I like butter! So here's my first contribution:

I'm not a huge Italian food fan, but this was really good! I made a few tweaks because I believe recipes are better when tailored to your family. In this case, I used Italian bread crumbs (no, I didn't make my own.  That seemed way too time consuming with that screaming child.), basil and oregano diced tomatoes.  Also, I skipped the fresh herbs because I didn't have them on hand.

Even with the changes, it was awesome!

Quick Chicken Parmesan

Quick Chicken Parmesan Recipe


  • 2, 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1, 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
  1. Cut each chicken breast in half on the diagonal to make 4 roughly equal portions. Place between pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Combine breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken. Transfer the chicken to the plate.
  4. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour in crushed tomatoes; add Italian seasoning and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Turn to coat with the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of cheese over each piece of chicken, then top with the reserved breadcrumb mixture. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.) Serve the chicken with the sauce, sprinkled with basil (or parsley).

Original recipe found here.

Recipe of the Week - Deliciously Addictive Snack Crackers

I have yet to meet a person--adult or child--who did not like, no, LOVE these snack crackers. You will too. They are the perfect easy snack for holiday parties…and everyday too! There is no way to describe this snack other than it is delicious and addictive.

Oh, and easy too.


12-14 oz package of oyster crackers (sometimes called "soup crackers"), large or small

1 oz package of dry ranch dressing mix

1 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)

1/2 tsp dill weed

1/2 cup veg. oil

Make it!

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, ranch mix, and seasonings. Add crackers and stir well. Stir every 15 minutes for an hour to ensure thorough coating and all the seasoning soaks into the crackers. Store in an air tight container.



Seriously…Enjoy. I dare you to eat just one.

Recipe of the Week - Cranberry Treasure Cookies

Now, now, I know it's the new year and everyone has started their diet resolutions, but here's a cookie recipe you'll want to try anyway.  It's one that several of my family members have been baking for years, but I only just tried it myself.   It's super easy, very delicious and by golly, it calls for real fruit.  A diet win-win!

 Photo courtesy of

Cranberry Treasure Cookies 1 2/3 cup flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 c butter, softened (Melted butter works, too.) 3/4 c packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 c fresh cranberries 1 tsp orange rind (My sister suggests using more.  I just used what I grated from one orange.  It was probably closer to a tablespoon.  Very orange-y = very yummy!) 1 1/2 white chocolate chips 1/2 c pecans, coursely chopped (Totally optional - I didn't use these.)

Preheat your oven to 375.  Use a mixer to combine the ingredients well.  Drop spoonfuls of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly brown.

Yields 3-4 dozen if you make small cookies.

Recipe of the Week: French Pumpkin Soup

Jamie's Autumn Potage a Variation on a Variation of French Pumpkin Soup I got the recipe for this delicious soup at the farmer's market in Carrboro, North Carolina. The C'est si Bon! cooking school was advertising and had samples of the soup with the recipe to take home. The original recipe had some slightly exotic and/or expensive ingredients like leeks and baby fennel, so I've adapted it to ingredients that are more available and affordable. I absolutely love the flavor of this soup and if you puree it, it makes very nutritious baby food!

3 T of fat, olive oil, butter, duck, chicken or goose fat 2 large onions, chopped 1 celery heart, chopped 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a couple pinches of dried) 2 bay leaves 3 pounds of fresh pumpkin or other hard squash (I like butternut better than pumpkin), cut in 1" cubes 1 pound of carrots, chopped 8 cups of chicken stock salt and pepper heavy cream or plain yogurt, optional

Heat the fat in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, stir well, cover, and cook over LOW for 15 minutes. Do not brown them. (I add a little salt here to help sweat the veg.) Add the carrot and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes. Add the cubed squash to the pot, then the stock. Season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt if using store-bought stock) and add the bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes or until the squash is very tender. At this point you can either mash the soup with a potato masher or puree it with a stick blender. (I prefer to puree it.) If pureeing it in a blender or food processor, let it cool a bit first. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add more stock. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed. DSC_0401When serving you can drizzle a bit of cream or yogurt on the top.

I can't tell you how delicious and warming this is! Serve with some bread and cheese to fill out the meal.

Recipe of the Week - Mulligatawny Soup

I originally had this soup on a special lunch date with a friend. It has become a family staple, and my go-to meal for new mamas.
Original recipe from Joy of Cooking

Sauté lightly, but do not brown:
	1 cup diced onion
	6 diced carrots
	3 diced ribs celery
	¼ cup butter

Stir in:
	3 Tablespoons flour
	3 Tablespoons curry powder
Stir and cook them about 3 minutes.

Pour in and simmer 15 minutes:
	6 cups chicken or lamb broth
	2 bay leafs

Add and simmer 15 minutes longer:
	1 cup boiled rice
	2 cups diced cooked lamb
	1 teaspoon salt
	1 teaspoon pepper
	1/2 teaspoon thyme
	1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Immediately before serving, stir in:
	½ cup hot cream or coconut milk
            1 cup diced tart apples

Serve & enjoy! Even better when prepared the day before and reheated. 

Recipe of the Week - Amazing Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our family has been on a grain free journey and sadly the ONE thing I had not been able to create without good-ole-fashioned FLOUR was a solid chocolate chip cookie. Until now. These cookies from Amee's Savory Dish were incredibly simple to throw together (even toddler helper friendly). And the taste is incredible. Incredible. They are not chalky, since there is no flour substitute at all, just the nut butter and shredded coconut working magic.

Make them. You will thank me. Well, maybe not after you have eaten all two dozen...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies from Amee's Savory Dish Adapted From Fast Paleo


  • 1 cup almond butter (love Barney Butter smooth!)
  • 1/3 cup honey (can sub real maple syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp. almond extract (or can use all vanilla extract) - (Lauren note: I would use all vanilla next time)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (*only add the salt if you are using unsalted almond butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Oil baking sheets or line with parchment paper. 3. Stir together first 7 ingredients. Mix well. Make sure honey is fully incorporated. 4. Add coconut and chocolate chips and mix until well combined. 5. Scoop with a cookie scoop onto cookie sheets. Bake 9-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Yield: about 20 cookies with a level 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop (Lauren note: I got 24!)

Recipe of the Week - Kale with Garlicky-Lime Tahini Dressing

Kale with Garlicky-Lime Tahini Dressing Serves 1 (main course) Serves 2 (side dish)

Prep. time – 15 minutes

1/2 head of kale ¼ c. tahini ¼ c. EVOO Juice from 1 lime 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced/pressed ¼ t. coarse ground black pepper ½ t. anchovy paste

This recipe is to taste. Add more tahini, add less garlic, etc. to make it your own.

Rip kale leaves from stem, rinse and tear into bite size pieces. Place in serving bowl.

Place remaining ingredients in small mixing bowl and whisk for approximately one minute or until well blended and thick. Pour over kale.

Massage dressing WELL into kale with hands. Paying attention to the color and texture of the leaves. They should be bright green and soft.

Serve immediately as a side, or as a main with your choice of protein.

Refrigerate for up to a week.

Recipe of the Week - One Skillet Cowboy Breakfast

This month we took our annual vacation as a family. We decided to try something new and go camping - in a tent - with a 9 month old - and a 5 year old. It was - interesting! We did have fun, but I was beyond proud of myself for being extra prepared and for opting in to do a little extra work at home to eat well when we were there. Instead of the usual burnt hamburgers over the open flame, I did what my mother calls “hobo dinners”. Basically it was meat, veggies, olive oil, and seasonings in a foil packet. They were wonderful! You really can cook most anything over a campfire like that. I had something else in mind for our Sunday breakfast and I could not wait to try making a big cowboy breakfast in one skillet. Well, rain rain rain changed that plan. We did not get to cook that Sunday morning meal, so I used the same idea for a lower effort meal at home the next evening. Heck, half the prep was done!

I made a few minor changes to make things easier for me and boy was I glad that I did. I will include the original suggestions with a strikeout so you can see what I changed and add the variations. And since I had already prepared the “at home” ingredients, so the first part of this recipe was a snap!

Ingredients: 2 medium potatoes 4 small red potatoes 2 Tablespoons cooking oil 1 clove of garlic 1/2 small onion 1/3 lb. ground sausage 1 can of SPAM 5 eggs 1/2 cup cheddar cheese Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions: At Home: 1.  Dice the potatoes and onion into small, bite-size pieces. Store them in separate airtight containers. 2. Mince the garlic and place them in a separate container. 3. Shred the cheddar cheese. Pack them in a separate container.


At the Campground: 1. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat it on a stove (if you're camping with an RV) or over the campfire (if you're tent camping). 2. Fry the potatoes until golden. 3.  Add the onions and garlic and fry them until they start to change color. 4. Fry the sausage diced SPAM until they are brown heated all the way through, breaking it up as you cook it. 5. Add the eggs into the skillet, breaking the yolks and mixing them through the entire pan. Cook until the eggs have set. 6. Add the shredded cheddar cheese. Cover the pan for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt. *I didn’t need to cover the pan…everything was hot enough to melt the cheese with a little mixing.

We absolutely loved this recipe. I loved that it was only one pan to clean up and that the entire family was salivating for more! Of course, you can use other veggies instead of potatoes and organic meat. (I could hear some of you cringing at the very mention of SPAM, but I’m not ashamed to say that I love it on occasion!!)


Recipe courtesy of :

Recipe of the Week - Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Coffee -- I never used to like it. Then....I had my first child and I started drinking it a little.

Then...twelve months later, I had my second child and I started drinking it a LOT!

So I went from hating coffee, to drinking it with lots of flavored cream and sugar, to just drinking it with flavored cream. Mmmm, flavored cream! All those different flavors to pick from! And then one day I read a blog post about how store bought flavored cream actually doesn't have any cream in it.

That's right, none.

It did bother me to know it was not real cream, but I couldn't drink coffee with just plain cream yet, so I still bought and used flavored creamer for months (cringing often when I thought about what was in it). And then I found this recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer and HAD to give it a try. Who doesn't love pumpkin spice? And just in time for Fall?!

Move over, Starbucks, Mama's making coffee at home! Coffee with cream Pumpkin Spice Creamer: 1 cup whole milk 1 cup heavy cream 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 4 tablespoons maple syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together milk, cream, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator up to 10 days.

Yields 2 cups.

It's not quite as sweet as the store-bought flavored cream, so I do add sugar or some type of sweetener. I would also recommend straining the creamer more then once to remove all the spices from the cream.

Delicious! Amazing! Real Cream!

So go make some homemade creamer, brew a pot of coffee, get a good book and enjoy.

Or at least try to drink ONE cup while it's still HOT and the kids are distracted.

Recipe found at Deliciously Organic. Check out their post for other yummy flavored creamer options including: Cinnamon Strudel, Chocolate Almond, French Vanilla and Peppermint Mocha!

Honest Mama Disclaimer: I will buy and use store bought flavored creamer again, but as much as possible, I'm going to try and make the real thing!

Recipe of the Week - Garden Veggie Linguine with Cilantro Pesto

I may or may not have a secret love life with Pesto.  I love everything about him from his dairy free, herby, nutty, personality to his beautiful color and versatility.  And I love to just eat him up with a spoon. Every now and then, pesto and I go out on the town.  We normally meet up with pasta and veggies.  We have a grand ol’ time.

I thought I’d share this pairing with you.  This version of pesto is good for many reasons—summery, inexpensive, and easy.

So enough about my love life.  On to the ingredients to create your own affair.

Image sourced from:


8 oz. dry linguine or fettuccine (I use half whole wheat and half white)

8 oz. zucchini, sliced

8 oz. pkg. peeled fresh baby carrots, halved

2 oranges

½ cup olive oil

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tsp. dry mustard (I prefer to use a little Dijon mustard instead)

1 tsp. minced garlic

½ tsp. crushed red pepper

Cilantro and/or finely shredded orange peel and/or orange juice (optional)

Meat or Cannellini Beans for protein (optional; we LOVE cannellini beans in any Italian recipe.  We normally sauté them with onions.  YUM!).

Note:  the veggie listings are easily substituted with whatever you have on hand and whatever sounds good.  I’ve used snap peas, cabbage, spinach, and they’ve all tasted great.


  1. Cook pasta according to package, adding zucchini and carrots (and any other veggies) during the last five minutes.  Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta water.
  2. For pesto, peel and quarter one orange.  You could also take some zest from the peel and add it to the pesto.  In a processor or blender combine orange, olive oil, cilantro, 1 tsp. salt (I don’t add this much), mustard, garlic, and red pepper.  Add pasta water or orange juice until you get the consistency you want.
  3. Peel and chop remaining orange.  Toss orange, pasta and veggies, and pesto all together.  Top with more cilantro and orange peel.  Makes 4 servings

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.  You can view it here:

Recipe of the Week - Yet Another Green Smoothie Recipe

Green SmoothieI feel like I have tried every green smoothie recipe known to man.  I love them all.  My toddler, not so much.  He’ll drink it, but only ever half, and sometimes with bribing.  I know, I know.  Many of you are aware that I’m a big fan of Baby-Led Weaning.  And bribing isn’t a word in their vocabulary.  But I just get so excited about the rawness and goodness of these drinks!  And in my opinion, what’s not to like, right? I finally thought that maybe I was adding too much.  Maybe the flavor palette was overwhelming him.  So I simplified, but still left the greens :).  He downs it now, and also has no idea that I put his probiotic in there ;).  It is now tasty, cheap, and easy.

I had the brilliant idea of adding a little frozen juice concentrate (we use this for vitamin C sometimes).  It adds great flavor, and though we’re not juice fans at our house, I felt this was such a small amount.

This recipe makes enough for all 3 of us.


2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (more or less depending on how thick you like it)

2-3 bananas

1 + cup spinach leaves

2 + Tbsp. orange juice concentrate (the kind you find in the freezer section)

Blend all ingredients in a blender/food processor.  Adjust to taste.

If you want something more filling for breakfast, add ¼- ½ cup of oatmeal.  It thickens it nicely and is a wonderful grain for mamas and babies!

Recipe of the Week - Baked Parmesan Zucchini Chips

This recipe is simple and delicious and one of those 'tweakable' wonders that make you feel like a super chef instead of a tired mama... who most likely has some kind of food item or spit up in her hair. Plus, if you have a picky eater who has developed a fear of all things GREEN, getting a taste of these bad boys just might help give them the boost they need to be lean mean green eating machines! I give you the tasty and crispy, Parmesan Zucchini Chips.

To be honest with you I don't remember where the original recipe came from, but I DO remember tweaking a few things here and there so I snagged a basic one off of Food Network as a base to run off of. Instead of blabbing on and on about each step... which wouldn't take that long considering it's an incredibly easy recipe... I figured it would be more entertaining and MOUTH WATERING if I walked you step by step with photos of how it went down in my kitchen.

Step 1, of course, is to preheat your oven. Crank it up to 450 degrees if you please, and continue on to step 2: gathering your ingredients. (see Food Network link for measurements - but DON'T FORGET this is almost fail-safe when it comes to tweaking things to make it your own so have fun!)

parmesan zucchini chip ingredients

MY ingredients included: parmesan cheese Italian breadcrumbs salt pepper garlic powder paprika 1 egg yolk water zucchini

Slice the zucchini into 1/4" thick rounds. The thinner the slice the crispier the chip. I've never been a very meticulous slicer so you should know that even the thicker pieces turned out great, with a soft center and yummy crunchy crust!

zucchini slices


In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and water as a pre-seasoning bath for your zucc. In a separate bowl, combine your spices, breadcrumbs, and cheese.

parmesan mixture

Dip each slice of zucchini into the egg wash and then coat with cheese mixture on both sides. Lay slices on a foiled and greased baking sheet, making sure they are laying flat.

Parmesan Zucchini Chips

As a side note, I ended up sprinkling and pressing some of the larger pieces of Parmesan onto the tops of the zucchini for added flavor and because cheese is kind of the best thing in the world. TOTALLY up to you.

Next BAKE the chips for 25-30 minutes, turning 1/2 way through with a spatula to make sure the bottom sides gets nice and crispy.

Parmesan Zucchini Chips

FINALLY you can enjoy the crispy, cheesy, deliciousness of these bite-sized veggie chips. WOW your kids with your amazing cooking skills and watch their adorable little faces as they realize they actually LIKE this mysterious green food. Then, pat yourself on the back and add this recipe to your stack of go-to options for any night of the week!

What did I tell you, simple and delicious! I won't ramble on any longer, but instead let you get right into the recipe! So, in the words of Julia Child... Bon Appetit!

Recipe of the Week - Asian Style Fried Rice and Beans

Image Courtesy of:  

We love fried rice, but it is hard to find a recipe that tastes as yummy with healthy ingredients and brown rice.  I came across this one in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and love it!  I never would have thought to add beans to fried rice.  It is super simple as well, and we always have leftovers.


½ pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced, or 8 oz. canned pineapple slices (I use canned)

1 Tbsp. oil (I use coconut oil.)

2 medium carrots, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

2 cups cooked brown rice (Leftover works even better.)

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

3 Tbsp. reduced –sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

1 lime, halved (optional)

(You could also add scrambled eggs, for added protein.)


In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp. of the oil over medium heat.  Add pineapple; cook about 2 minutes per side until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  (Note:  Canned pineapple won’t get the same caramelized look, but it will still taste delicious).

Pour the remaining 1 tsp. oil into the hot skillet.  Add carrots; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until just tender.  Add garlic and ginger; cook 30 seconds.

Stir in brown rice, garbanzo beans, and peas.  Add soy sauce.  Cook and stir about 4 minutes or until heated through.  Stir in cilantro.  Return pineapple to pan.

To serve, squeeze lime over all.  Top with additional fresh cilantro leaves, if desired.  Makes 4 servings.

Recipe of the Week - Caramelized Onion Quiche with Whole Wheat Crust


I’m pretty set on owning chickens one day for this reason:  there are only 3 of us now, but we all love eggs, and we tear through a carton like nobody’s business.  This quiche is one of our favorite things to eat.  It’s super filling and makes a great dinner entree!  The whole wheat crust is also easy and tasty, and you mix it right in the pan.  You can take the time to sauté the veggies to give them beautiful color and flavor, or you can just add them raw.  Both will be successful!

Easy Whole Wheat Crust (taken from “100 Days of Real Food;” see link at end of post)

1.5 cups whole-wheat flour (I like to use whole white wheat)

1/2 cup oil (canola, olive, melted butter; I use olive)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons milk, preferably whole (I use coconut or almond milk)

In a 9-inch pie pan, combine all ingredients and mix with a fork. After mixing well, use your hand to form a ball in the pan and then press into pan. Bring it up on the sides and pinch the top (with your finger or a fork). Then mix and pour quiche filling right into the raw crust.  No more dreaded pie crusts!











Carmelized Onion Quiche (inspired by “The Urban Poser;” See link at end of post)


6 eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk (or other milk of your choice, dairy or non-dairy)

2-3 Tbls chopped basil (or 1-2 tsp. dried)

1 medium sized onion

1 bell pepper

1/2 Tbls coconut oil or olive oil

1 medium sized tomato

6  green onions

4 large garlic cloves

1/2 tsp coarse ground black peppercorns

1/2 tsp coarse ground sea salt

Optional cheese, meats, olives, etc.


For the quiche:

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large bowl beat together the eggs, milk, black pepper, chopped basil and salt and set aside.  Letting the egg mixture get to room temperature is preferable.

Thinly slice the onions and caramelize them in a pan with the oil.

While the onions are cooking cut the tomato in half.  Slice one half and set aside to place on top of the quiche after it’s assembled.  Chop the other half and set aside to add to the egg mixture.

Next, slice the green onions into narrow strips and dice the garlic.  When the onions are done, fry the garlic in the leftover oil until crispy, then fry the green onion.

Add your half a tomato, half the onions, garlic, and half the green onions to the egg mixture.  You can also add any other veggies, meats, and cheeses that sound delectable!  Pour into the pie crust.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  You may want to place the pie pan on a baking sheet if it is really full.

After 15 minutes, remove from the oven sprinkle the leftover tomato, onion, green onion.  Return to the oven and bake until just firm, another 15-25 minutes.  Make sure the center is done by jiggling the pan a little.

Let the quiche cool for a few minutes to finish setting.




Recipe of the Week - "You'll Never Go Back to Anything Else" Black Bean Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes {Gluten-free}

Black Bean Cupcakes

Our family went "grain-free" about a year ago, and I stumbled upon this amazing recipe when preparing for my daughter's 2nd Birthday! It is incredible, and  you will truly NEVER go back to dry boring cupcakes. Our leadership team at The Motherhood Collective© requests them for every gathering.

The original recipe is by Caroline Edwards of Chocolate & Carrots . You MUST visit her site for other delicious recipes! (The actual recipe can be found here: {Secret Ingredient} Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake)


  • 1 (15.5 oz) can of reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 5 tablespoons special dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350° Line a 12 cup muffin pan and SPRAY with cooking spray. (Spraying truly helps!)

Blend the beans, 2 eggs, vanilla and sugar in the blender on high until completely blended. In a large bowl, beat the butter/coconut oil until fluffy, then add the remaining two eggs, beating well after each. Add in the bean mixture. Sift in the cocoa powder, baking powder and backing soda. Beat for 1-2 minutes, or until well combined.

Pour batter into your prepared muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until your cupcakes look like Caroline's beautiful photo below. I chill in freezer until firm and cool before icing.


Peanut Butter Frosting

Recipe can be found here: Something Shiny

This frosting is seriously my "go-to" frosting for everything currently.... thank you Caroline. Thank you.


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
  • 12 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Beat the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until combined. Add in the whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy, being careful not to under-beat or over-beat. Put in a ziplock bag, cut a hole, and decorate the cupcakes OR use a piping bag with your favorite decorating tip and decorate the cupcakes OR use a knife and spread to decorate the cupcakes. Finish with a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Recipe of the Week - Healthy Turkey Chili

The last time Anne Hathaway hosted Saturday Night Live they did a hysterical Les Miserables spoof during her opening monologue. In it, the majority of the SNL cast sang about working hard during the week, performing on Saturday night, and making chili on Sunday. Between my own spouts of laughter, I couldn't help but think, "Ain't it the truth?"  There's really no better day to have a bowl of chili than on a rainy Sunday afternoon after church. To add to that, if there's one thing every housewife/mom should know how to make it's a great pot of chili. If you don't already have a go-to recipe, have no fear, you're about to get one. I was lucky enough to stumble across a really great healthy chili recipe a few years back on the Lovely Little Details blog. I made it as it was written the first time, and each time shifted things here and there until coming to a final chili resting place. I decided it is delicious and simple enough to share with my fellow mommies.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 lb Italian Turkey Sausage
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (leave the seeds if you want more heat!)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 6 oz (1 can) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups merlot or another fruity red wine
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes - undrained
  • 2 (15 oz) cans dark red kidney beans - undrained
  • shredded cheese to taste
  • sour cream to taste

And here's what to do with it all... it couldn't be easier:

healthy turkey chili

Cook sausage and ground turkey over medium-high heat until brown in a deep pot or Dutch oven. Drain the meat and return to pot. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, tomato paste, oregano, pepper, and salt. Mix together until fully incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 1 hour (at least), stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves and serve with cheese and sour cream as desired. And of course, it will be extra delicious if served with some yummy cornbread!


This is absolutely delicious and like most chili recipes, tastes even better the next day. I'm all about changing things up to meet your personal taste, so if you happen to try this recipe and tweak a few things here and there be sure to leave it in the comments so other moms (including me) can consider your changes.


Recipe of the Week - Cinnamon Puffs

We are big fans of breakfast-for-dinner at our house. Especially when it's cold out! Because of our schedules we don't get to share breakfast together often in the morning. Many times we will whip up a morning favorite on a Saturday night. To me, breakfast isn't breakfast without a bread product. While I love pancakes and waffles, I am either eating cold waffles or standing by the skillet/waffle iron while my family eats. Either way, it's not ideal. My favorite solution to this is either cinnamon rolls or muffins. I thought I would share my favorite muffin recipe with you all. Some people call these doughnut muffins, but growing up we called them cinnamon puffs.(Note: These are NOT healthy, but every once in a while it's ok to splurge!)

Cinnamon Puffs

Cinnamon Puffs: ½ cup shortening ½ cup sugar 1 egg 1 ½ cup flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp nutmeg ½ cup milk

Cream sugar and shortening until smooth. Beat in egg. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with milk. Put in greased muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Topping: 1 ½ cup sugar 1 tsp cinnamon ½ cup melted butter

Mix cinnamon and sugar. Dip muffin in melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Recipe of the Week - Gluten Free Sweet Potato Brownies

This is a FAVORITE in our house. Maybe even once a week...shh...don't tell!
The original recipe is from

Sweet Potato Brownies

Prep time:  35 mins
Cook time:  30 mins
Total time:  1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 5-8
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  1. Time to bake that sweet potato. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, use a fork to puncture holes all around it, then throw in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Once your sweet potato is soft and cooked through, peel off the skin and mash it up in a bowl. And turn your oven down to 350 degrees.
  3. Now add your wet ingredients: coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and whisked eggs to the bowl and mix together.
  4. Then add your dry ingredients: coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips.
  5. Mix well to incorporate all that goodness.
  6. Pour into an 8x8 glass baking dish
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Let rest to cool a bit.
Recipe by PaleOMG - Paleo Recipes at

Recipe of the Week - Sausage, Salsa, Rice

Sausage, Salsa, RiceEvery mama needs an a few simple, easy-to-make recipes that require little to no prep and can be made in under 30 minutes. The best thing about this is that as simple as it is, you can adjust to make it more organic and health conscious if desired.

Ingredients: 1 package of good kielbasa sausage 2 cans of kidney beans (light or dark), drained 1 large jar of salsa 1 can of corn, drained cooked Rice

Slice sausage and toss into a hot skillet (or crock pot). Dump salsa, drained beans, and drained corn on top of sausage and heat until it's warm. Serve over your choice of rice. (We like white but it's also really good over brown or long grain.)

See. Easy!

Recipe of the Week - Mandarin Sesame Salad

Mandarin Sesame Salad We love salads any time of the year, and this recipe is so tasty that we sometimes just make it our dinner entrée for the evening, served alongside a thick slice of French bread.

Asian Dressing:

2 Tbsp. brown sugar (I use sucanat instead; I’m guessing honey or agave would work as well) 2 tsp. soy sauce 1 Tbsp. sesame oil ¼ cup oil (I use olive) 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar

Combine dressing ingredients ½ hour before serving.

Salad Ingredients:    Lettuce (I use green leaf, or mixed greens) 1 package crunchy rice noodles (these act as the “croutons”) 1 can mandarin oranges in juice (I splurge and buy 2 since they’re so good) 2 green onions 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds Chicken breast, cooked and shredded (optional Bell peppers, boiled eggs, garbanzo beans (optional additions)

Directions: Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat.  Watch carefully and stir often, as they will go from just right to burnt in a matter of seconds.

Combine lettuce, optional chicken, oranges, onions, and toasted sesame seeds.  Let chill for 10 minutes.

Before serving, add the crunchy rice noodles and dressing.

Recipe taken from: