Slow Cooker Applesauce

Slow Cooker Applesauce

Ready for Fall?

Here’s a simple recipe that will make your house smell amazingly like the best of Fall! Since preschool is only 2 days a week, I wanted to do something fun with my little guy on his day off.

Not going to lie, I have Fall on the brain. And apple cinnamon is my favorite Fall smell! Plus, c’mon apple picking is a fun activity for the kiddos. So perfect mommy and me fun day!

Preparation

In order to make a whole Crock-Pot worth of applesauce, you’ll need a half bushel of apples.

  1. First, soak the apples in a sinkful of water and a capful of Thieves fruit and veggie soak.
  2. Peel and cube apples. (I toss all my scraps in a bowl to compost later.)
  3. Toss cubed apples in large Crock-Pot with 4 cups water, TBS. Cinnamon, and sugar if desired. (I prefer mine with no added sugar.)
  4. Cook on high heat for 6 hours, stirring occasionally. You can turn the heat down if it begins bubbling.
  5. Let cool for about an hour before eating or storing in freezer containers.

One crock made about 4-5 jars worth, but I chose to freeze most of ours in Tupperware. So far we’ve made 2 crocks-worth and an entire pan of Apple crisp, which the boys refer to as Apple Crunch.

I’m not sure what they like more, picking apples or eating them. What’s your favorite apple recipe?

Buffalo Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Fries

Buffalo Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Fries

For our Sunday recipe, I wanted to incorporate a vegetarian meal. My husband and I have been trying vegetarian for 2 weeks. He and his co-workers made a pact to try it and determine later if it impacted their overall health. I’ve been wanting to hop on board with more meatless meals and nutrient-dense foods.

So far we’ve both noticeably lost weight and feel more alert and energetic. I’ve had such a difficult time staying away from dairy. I had a small amount of cheese on a veggie burger and my stomach did not like it! I miss dairy the most, but I’m on a mission to continue feeling well. Vegetarian can’t be boring if I’m going to be serious about it, though.

For lunch, I wanted to make a yummy plant-based lunch that our boys would actually eat. I’ve been eyeing buffalo cauliflower, but needed a side to go along with it. So I sliced up a few sweet potatoes as fries.

This was a good snack/finger food lunch! These would be perfect for a party of health conscious guests!

Buffalo cauliflower

Sweet potato fries took simple prep, 20 minutes to prep, and we’re very similar to regular fries.

I followed a recipe from tasty.com (link below). One package of cauliflower served our family of 5 for a light lunch. I would consider 1 package of cauliflower per 2-3 adults though.

Basically, you create a breading with spices, bake on 450° for 20 minutes, coat with hot sauce, and bake another 20 minutes. It would be amazing in an air fryer!

We served our with ranch, but Bleu cheese dressing would be delish too!

Sweet potato fries

This is much like the regular fries recipe that is up on Momma Bird Blog. These are nice to make with the buffalo cauliflower because your oven will already be up to temp. All you have to do is pop them in on another baking rack.

Just peel about 3-4 sweet potatoes (I chose longer skinnier ones about the same size for consistency). Then slice in the size you want, keeping the same width for each.

In a big mixing bowl, mix olive oil and garlic salt and toss in sweet potatoes. Make sure they’re covered in the mixture.

Spread sweet potato fries on a baking sheet (with foil or parchment paper). Bake on 450° for 20 minutes.

These were served on a sharing platter with BBQ and we couldn’t stop eating them! The best part was that the boys knew they were sweet potatoes. So, in the future they’ll know that sweet potatoes are something worth trying.

Like I tell my family, you won’t know you don’t like something until you try it prepared different ways. Cauliflower, for instance, seems to be a little less popular. However, you can have it in soups, roasted, steamed, or in broccoli cauliflower salad. Same with sweet potatoes. I’m normally not a fan (sshh don’t tell my kids), but in fry form they were yummy!

What’s your favorite vegetarian meal?Please share a link in the comments below!

Here’s the link to the recipe above.

3 Superfood Smoothies

3 Superfood Smoothies

Sunday recipe posts are back on Momma Bird Blog! Although this is not a fitness and weight loss blog, nutrition is such a huge part of feeling good.

I often find myself talking nutrition with my husband, because I value the benefits of eating well. Sometimes when he’s really tired, I remind him to have a handful or almonds or an apple. When my family is all feeling under the weather, we focus more on hydration and electrolytes. And when I’m getting to that time of the month, I’m always craving heart healthy foods.

Today, I thought I’d share 3 superfood smoothies, especially for those of you who maybe have small children and not a lot of time to eat a balanced diet. Because when you skip a meal altogether, the burnout goes from a mental to physical state.

I’ve had my own speculations about superfoods because it seems like everything is considered to be this ultra-powerful food. It seems that social media tends to really hype-up any whole food. According to Healthline, there are only 16 real superfoods.

Keep in mind that smoothies are super flexible. You can always play with taste; adding various natural sweeteners, dairy, vitality essential oils, and more. If you decide to use oils, make sure to use 100% therapeutic grade essential oils that are intended to digest. (You don’t want to digest perfume oils or oils that aren’t intended for internal use.) Lastly, I used an emulsion blender to whip these up and served them in plastic stemless wine glasses. Perfect way to get that boost for the day!

Avocado + Spinach

Add some lemon or lime to this energy boosting goodness.
  • 1/4 cup avocado ripened, and cubed
  • 1/4 cup fresh, washed spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup water to thin
  • 2 drops of lemon or lime vitality essential oil (100% therapeutic grade)

Blend with emulsion blender and taste.

Berry + Watermelon

Add frozen berries for a chilly treat!
  • 1 cup of cubed watermelon (no seeds)
  • 1/4 cup of frozen berries
  • 2 drops of lemon vitality essential oil (100% pure therapeutic oil)

No need to add water, the watermelon thins well on its own! Blend and enjoy!

Tropical Ginger

One sip tastes like island life!
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
  • 2 drops lemon vitality essential oil (100% therapeutic grade)
  • fresh grated ginger (a little goes a long way)
  • Dash of dairy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk

If you prefer a chilled smoothie, just freeze your chopped banana and pineapple ahead of time.

The Three Amigos

Which one are you most likely to try first?

Healthy Alternative to Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Healthy Alternative to Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I notice so many of you are thinking of getting fit before Summer, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite healthy snacks. And by healthy, I mean it’s an alternative to a real Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. So healthy! And best of all, it’s only 3 ingredients!

This is my go-to sweet craving snack because it offers a little sugar, but more protein which satisfies the need to binge eat junk. But, it’s not totally fool-proof. If you want to kick sugar cravings you’ll need to stop your sugar intake all together. No worries though! Just opt. to not add the third ingredient if you’d like.

Ready for it?

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup smooth and creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBS chocolate syrup or Nutella

Recipe:

  1. Mix the peanut butter and Greek yogurt until smooth
  2. Freeze for ice cream consistency if desired
  3. Top with chocolate syrup or Nutella!
  4. Serve with graham crackers or apple slices! Or eat with a spoon!
PIN ME!

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup (Made With Stock)

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup (Made With Stock)

Here in Ohio, the overcast and rain has my family craving chicken noodle soup. (I told you I’ve got soup on the mind lately.) Chicken noodle soup is one of most nostalgic comfort-foods! For me, this bowlful of warm goodness is reminiscent of my Grandma’s recipe! (Stock is key!)

If you want to make a crowd-pleaser that’ll also make scrumptious leftovers the next day, then this one for you! I promise, the leftovers will go quickly!

I make this also over the stove, but you can also easily add the ingredients to a crock-pot for a quick and easy weeknight dinner! It takes about 15 minutes of prep and about 1 hour of simmering.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Onion, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Celery stalk with leaves, minced
  • 3 TSP. Minced Garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 3 TBS. Butter
  • (2) 32 oz. chicken stock
  • 1 LB. Boneless chicken, raw
  • 2 Large Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz. Wide Egg Noodles

( P.S. I’ve been adding lemon zest to my chicken soups since I was a kid. Believe me, it adds a whole new level of freshness that you won’t want to leave out! )

Recipe:

  1. In a large soup pot, add olive oil. Saute minced; onion, celery, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
  2. Add in butter, chicken stock, and chicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  3. Once chicken is cooked, cube it up and add it back to soup pot.
  4. In a separate, smaller pot, boil water for the noodles. (This ensures that your broth doesn’t become starchy.) Cook the noodles for 4-5 minutes so they don’t swell too much, once added to the soup.
  5. Add chopped carrots until tender, about 12 minutes.
  6. SERVE!
Don’t you just want to dive right into this bowl with a big spoon?
Serve with a rustic bread, muffin, or crackers!

What’s your favorite soup?

Drop a link in the comments if you have a soup recipe of your own!

Beef and Vegetable Soup (With Secret Ingredient)

Beef and Vegetable Soup (With Secret Ingredient)

Boy, it’s been a while since I posted a recipe! I am I the only one who tends to make whatever is easier for my family on a weeknight? After everyone gets home from work and school, who wants to spend 2 hours cooking a gourmet meal? And then clean up that mess?

I’m still a huge fan of nutritional food. I even let my boys raid the produce aisle in order to encourage them to eat healthy. (Read 10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy.) Healthy to me is focusing on whole foods, definitely using more produce, and less; fat, starch and salt. I was thinking of making more soups, different salads to try, and maybe even some meatless meals just to change things up. But dinner still has to be pretty easy to make and still delicious!

Last summer I made a large pot of vegetable soup that my three boys absolutely loved. It was delicious mostly because it had a lot of fresh garden veggies in it; tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, onion, sweet corn, green beans… So I wanted to try a couple more soups!

First and foremost, the key to a good soup is the broth. I have a couple favorite methods. You can use up saved meat drippings from roasts and things. Stock works brilliantly also! I think those work the best because they use a real meat based flavor with a little bit of animal fat. Bouillon cubes are my least favorite because the broth tastes artificial and too salty. Recently I found another favorite broth alternative- onion soup mix! This can be bought in a box with 2 packets used to make french onion dip or soup. But using it as a broth base is incredible!

Prep and Cooking Time:

20 minutes of prep, about 1 hour of total cooking time

The thing I love about soup is you just add the ingredients, set at a medium to low heat, and can walk away. You could also make this the night before, store in a crock pot in the fridge, and set for a low heat before heading to work!

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 TBS Olive oil to fry with
  • 1 LBS of diced red meat (I used venison here)
  • Salt to season meat
  • 2 Packets (2 oz. each) onion soup mix
  • 8 Cups of water
  • 2 Cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 Cup of diced carrots
  • 1 Red bell pepper (optional)
  • ground pepper to taste
  • a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce!

Recipe:

  1. Heat olive oil in big soup pot till warm. Add diced red meat, season with salt, and brown.
  2. Add both packets of onion mix and water to pot. Let simmer.
  3. Add veggies, pepper, and Worcestershire. Cook till veggies are tender.
  4. And serve!

The secret ingredient definitely adds a depth of flavor with the onion mix! Rarely have I used onion mix to cook with before, but I will be doing it more now!

We typically have these ingredients on hand, but I also like how easy this is to make for dinner. Plus my family devoured this particular beef and vegetable soup! What’s your favorite soup?

Crescent Roll Recipe

Crescent Roll Recipe

For Thanksgiving we have three lunches/dinners. I’m making pumpkin pie, cranberry salad, and crescent rolls. I even have a bottle of Pino Grigio to bring to one!

But I’m a fan of making things from scratch especially for special events and holidays. I vividly remember the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls and crescent rolls from my childhood. Every holiday my mom would be lovingly cooking up one of our favorites to bring along to Grandma’s. And they were so good that you literally fought for some!

You’ll want to keep this recipeon hand!

So here’s the surprisingly simple recipe that every Thanksgiving dinner table should garnish! 

Continue reading “Crescent Roll Recipe”