The Happiest Omen for the New Year includes the fruit found in these two recipes! (FYI: they have anti-aging effects!)

So what is this fruit? Here are a few clues: people often mistaken it for a vegetable,  its skin contains phytochemicals, it is full of antioxidants, it protects cells from the effect of free-radical damage, thus it has anti-aging effects (um, yes, please!),it is packed with fiber, and it is a good source of potassium and magnesium. Not too shabby for a fruit, right!? Did the clues give it away? It is the Eggplant!!

The Japanese have a proverb that states, “The happiest omen for a New Year is first Mount Fuji, then the falcon, and lastly eggplant.” Thus what better fruit to include in your meals this New Year than the eggplant? I have two mouthwatering dishes that your family is going to love! So much so that there will be no leftovers, I repeat, no leftovers! You have been warned!

The first recipe is the one I shared on WTOL Saturday morning, Eggplant Parmesan with a twist, it is breaded with QRUNCH

 

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Click on the link below for a quick demo on how to prepare the Eggplant Parmesan Breaded in Qrunch & the recipe can be found directly below the clip.

 

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan Breaded with QRUNCH

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Ingredients

1 package QRUNCH burgers, toasted to perfection (found in the Organic area at your local Kroger’s)

1-2 eggs

1 eggplant

1 cup gluten-free flour (I used coconut flour)

1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning

1 bunch of fresh parsley chopped

Parmesan Reggiano (optional for topping)

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Directions:

Toast or prepare 1 package of QRUNCH burgers in the toaster.

When cooled, place the burgers, Italian seasoning, and parsley in a food processor until it has a coarse consistency.

Slice the eggplant and prepare an egg wash in a separate bowl.

Dip the sliced eggplant in the gluten-free flour, then dredge in the egg wash. Note: For a true vegetarian/vegan option, you can use your favorite almond milk or coconut milk.

Cover with QRUNCH crumbles and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce.

 

And the second eggplant recipe, Eggplant & Bacon Rollups! This one has quickly become an ALL TIME FAV in our household. Kiddos beg me to make this!!

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Eggplant & Bacon Rollups

Ingredients:

3 medium/large eggplants

One package of bacon sliced in two (short way)

Butter (2 Tablespoons melted)

One container Organic Ricotta (14oz) (I purchased mine at Claudia’s)

2 Tablespoons of Basil Pest (or any pesto you have on hand)

Cup of Parmesan cheese

 

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Instructions:

Slice eggplant 1/4 inch thickness long-ways (keep skin, that’s where all the antioxidants are!)

Place eggplant slices on cookie sheet, brush on melted butter, and place in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until eggplant is tender & golden brown

While eggplant bakes mix ricotta cheese & basil pesto in bowl

Remove eggplant from oven, for half the eggplant slices place a slice of bacon or two (depends on size of bacon) over eggplant slice, add roughly a Tablespoon or so of the filling on top of the bacon down the middle vertically, and then roll it up. Place in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. For the remaining half of the eggplant slices place bacon on a cutting board, place eggplant on top, add filling, and roll. Eggplant rolls should look similar to a chess board.

Top with a bit or Parmesan cheese & Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbling and turning golden. Then enjoy!!!

Have you ever had eggplant before? What is your favorite Eggplant dish?

Here’s to the Happiest New Year!! Cheers!!

 

 

 

A Cooking Show for REAL MOMS: Resourceful Recipes

I am a very patient person but there are 3 things in this world that I lack patience for, golf, adult tantrums, and extensive recipes!

For as long as I can remember I have never been fond of recipes with a long list of ingredients, steps, or worse, both! In high school I even managed to get a C in home economics because I grabbed another student’s meat instead of my own for the final exam. Why? Simple, I was focusing on the length of the recipe and not the students assigned name at the top of each recipe. Turns out the one assigned to me was 12 steps but the recipe I completed was a mere 6. I thought it was just smart economics to select the one that required the least amount of ingredients and time to prep, sadly the teacher disagreed with my logic.

My impatience for long recipes only exacerbated when I became a mother. I have tried to seek help via cooking shows. I watched Martha Stewart, bad idea. All that did was send me into a full on adult tantrum….I was literally yelling at the screen, “Shut up Martha! It isn’t easy! You have 20 assistants helping you, of course it is SIMPLE for you!!! Where are my assistants?!” Then I heard about Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals and hope was restored but short lived. It still wasn’t practical for where I am right now in my life. Can’t anyone relate to the madness that encompasses moms at dinner time!?

The only cooking show I can think of that the host has a lot of kids is The Pioneer Woman. Now I adore Ree but in all her shows her kids are off doing something while she cooks…then they join in the end. That is great and all but not practical. Why can’t they come up with a cooking show for REAL MOMS!? You know one where mid-sentence the host’s child yells downstairs, “I need you to wipe my butt”, while another child scream in frustration, “I don’t get this story problem! Grrr!!”, neighbor yells into the window “your dog got out”, husband calls from out of town, and yet dinner must go on!! Where is that show?

If I had the means I would start a cooking show called Resourceful Recipes for REAL Moms!! Where you would see REAL life…like this impromptu Nerf War battle that broke out while I prepared dinner…..

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And you would receive simple resourceful recipes like this one because ain’t no one got time for 16 ingredients & 11 STEPS!!

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Salmon in a Lemon Butter Bath served with Roasted Broccoli

Main Dish: Salmon (great source of healthy fats and protein)

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large salmon filet from Costco
  • 8 tsp Kerrygold butter (grass-fed)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Dill Seafood Seasoning (Rodelle)
  • Seaweed wraps (optional)

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Makes 12 servings

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the salmon in a 13 x 9 inch glass dish.
  3. Place butter in center, pour lemon juice over salmon, and shake seasoning evenly around filet.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. The salmon should flake easily with a fork when fully cooked.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 10 minutes.

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Cut into serving sizes, roughly 12.

Serve salmon with 5 seaweed wraps, place a spoonful of salmon in the center of the wrap, roll it up & enjoy! (This is entirely optional, just something I enjoy and figured I would share in case others are interested).

Side: Broccoli (great source of fiber!)

Ingredients:

  • One bag of frozen Broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Himalayan Pink salt

Directions:

  1. Place broccoli on roasting sheet, drizzle broccoli with olive oil, shake salt (to preference) evenly over broccoli.
  2. Place in oven with filet for 30 minutes…should be slightly roasted.
  3. Remove and serve!

 

Make certain you place leftover Salmon in a container; you will need it for future meals. Like lunch and even breakfast (that’s right, we do leftovers from dinner for breakfast….think outside the cereal box!).

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Now that is what I call a resourceful recipe! Do you have a resourceful recipe, something simple, easy, short, a recipe that you can make once yet eat 3 times? Please share.

 

 

 

 

Low-Carb Cookouts & Tailgating!

When you think cookouts, grilling, or tailgating what comes to mind, the classics…hotdog, hamburger, chips & salsa, potato chips, etc.? Well this Labor Day we kissed tradition goodbye. We threw caution to the wind. We went where no man wants to go. We went bun free!!! That’s right; we opted for a low-carb adventure!! I planned ahead, I had my low-carb trip-tik in hand, all hotdog and hamburger buns were officially sent packing, and chips were given the cold shoulder. And I am so glad we did, it was such a glorious adventure, the crispness, the textures, the layers of utter deliciousness, where so apparent without the measly buns to distract the taste buds!

So what was on the menu?

LOWCARBRibbet collage

Appetizers:

Savor the Dates; Date infused with a Walnut & Wrapped in Bacon (makes 24)

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Ingredients:

24 pitted dates

24 walnuts

12 slices of Bacon halved

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Directions:

  1. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Place walnut inside each date
  4. Then wrap each with a ½ slice of the bacon & place on parchment paper
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. Let cook for at least 5 minutes then enjoy! Savor every bite. Close your eyes and take note of the texture, the crispy edges of the bacon, the softness of the date, the beautiful combination of savory & sweet…really Savor the Date!

 

Mini Peppers slathered with Wholly Guacamole & Salsa (makes 40)

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Ingredients:

20 mini-peppers

I used Wholly Guacamole (I purchased the individual serving sized containers & used 4…Costco, baby!)

Salsa (again I purchase from Costco) but you can find some great recipes for salsa HERE

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Directions:

  1. Cut off top stem and half the mini peppers the long way, clean out all seeds
  2. Slather Guacamole on each
  3. Take a spoon full of salsa and pour on top of the guacamole
  4. Chill in fridge till guest arrive. Or, if you are having a more casual gathering simply slice mini-peppers ahead of time and allow guest to use them like chips and dip in salsa and/or guacamole. Honestly, these taste a million times better than chips…if you are still missing the saltiness of a chip feel free to sprinkle mini peppers with salt before you dip/prepare them for guest. Enjoy the crunch, crispy texture of the pepper, and the best part, they fill you up much faster than chips!!

The Main Event:

Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers (makes 6 halves)

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½ vidalia onion diced

½ container of mushrooms diced

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can Dei Fratelli chili ready diced tomatoes

½ cup water

1 pound of ground meat

3 red peppers

1 container of goat cheese (sliced or crumbled)

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Directions:

  1. Heat frying pan on stovetop at medium/high heat, add butter, Worcestershire sauce, can of chili ready diced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and meat. Cook till onions & mushrooms are tender and meat is fully cooked.
  2. While everything is cooking on the range slice peppers in half and remove all seeds.
  3. Place meat, mushrooms, onions, etc. in each pepper half.
  4. Place a little goat cheese on top of each pepper.
  5. Place stuffed peppers on the grill for roughly 4-5 minutes or until the pepper is tender and cheese starts to melt, but doesn’t burn.
  6. Grab a fork and dig in….but I must warn you, the flavors will have you thinking you are at a 5 star restaurant, not tailgating the big game or in your backyard, remember you’ve been warned!

Accompaniment:

Slawsome Deviled Eggs

Click HERE for recipe

This wasn’t a strict NO CARB event, just low carb & we allowed the carbs where they mattered most, in the beverages!! Because what’s a cookout, BBQ, or tailgating without some brew? And I was secretly stoked to show off our new beverage tub & stand!!

The pièce de résistance…..

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I am obsessed with this beverage tin!! It is great for gatherings with the girls, family cookouts, tailgating (just through the tin in the back of the truck!), etc. Thinking this might become my new go-to Wedding Shower gift….personalize with the couples name, anniversary date, etc. and done! Personalized creations are the best!

 

So, what are you waiting for? Are you up a glorious & delicious low-carb cookout or tailgating party? Know of any awesome recipes that are low-carb that I should try? Please feel free to share.

 

 

Jamerican Meatloaf Recipe

 

Dinner is served!! This isn’t your grandma’s meatloaf. No ma’am. This takes meatloaf to a whole new level. Say goodbye to the mundane & hello to a symphony for your taste buds. After taking his first bite my son goes, “You didn’t make this…I don’t need a lot of ketchup.” Lol! There you have it folks, so good the kids won’t be asking for ketchup…and isn’t that really what we all aspire to when it comes to cooking? Bahaha! Who wants the recipe?

 

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Jamerican Meatloaf

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2lbs ground meat (½ pork, ½ beef is a great mixture)

1 small yellow onion, small diced

1 red pepper, small diced

3 cloves minced garlic (or sub 3 tsp preminced

garlic)

1 egg

1 teaspon of salt

1 teaspoon of curry

1 teaspoon of allspice

1 tablespoon of pepper

1 tablespoon of coconut aminos

2 tablespoon almond or coconut flour

Prep Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into a loaf shape and place in a gallon

size freezer bag. Get as much air out as possible and seal. Label.

Serving Directions:

hands on 5 minutes, hands off 4-5 hours

1. Remove from freezer and place in refrigerator to thaw overnight.

2. Line your crock pot with 2 strips of foil in the shape of a cross. Place the meatloaf in

the center. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. You can set this in the morning and then let it

go to the “keep warm” setting once cooked, until ready to serve.

3. Remove meatloaf from crockpot using the foil handles. Slice it up and enjoy!

Suggested Sides:

Roasted Carrots tossed with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder

White rice (mix with tomato paste, butter, salt, pepper)

 

 

This is 1 of 8 meals we made at a Fill the Freezer event with other local bloggers. The workshop was sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Pork Council, and Ohio Beef Council.  Huge thank you to them and the amazing ladies especially LivingIt & Dirt Road Charm who took the time, effort, and energy to organize this amazing event!!

 

 

 

Simple 4-Ingredient Meals

30 meals for 30 days without repeating a meal, is it possible? I want to say yes, but let’s see if we can do it, mommas! Back to school means no more dinners at 10pm or watermelon & chips constituting a well balanced meal, lol! 😂 So, what are we looking for in meals? We want (preferably) meals that take minutes, that are easy to prep, that only require 5 ingredients or less, and I don’t require spending more than 15 minutes in the kitchen…and we want meals our families will actually eat. Too much to ask for? I hope not. Let’s see if we can crush this goal of 30 & make it 60 meals! Here are four meals to get us started. Share a meal, tag friends, & grab your meal planning calendar and let’s fill this puppy up…I don’t want to have to think about what’s for dinner until October 6th! 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Pork Sirloin Tip Roast
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Stir-fry frozen vegetable mix
  • ½ package of spaghetti

Directions:

  1. Place Sirloin Tip Roast in Crock-Pot.
  2. Pour ½ cup of Teriyaki over Roast and cook for 6 hours on high (will need to flip roast a couple times)
  3. Place a 3rd of the veggies in stir-fry pan with ½ cup of Teriyaki and cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. (May need to drain off excess water)
  4. Boil noodles, (follow directions on package), drain, and add noodles to veggies. Mix in noodles so that they are covered with sauce.
  5. Remove Sirloin Tip Roast from Crock-pot and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to veggies and noodles.
  6. Add a little Teriyaki….to taste preference.

Yields 10 meals (We had it for dinner and lunch the next day, super delicious!)

My kiddos loved this one so much they told me it tasted like restaurant food…I take that as a huge compliment.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoon Sweet Baby Ray BBQ
  • 2 dinner rolls crumbled up, thus bread crumb
  • (Optional….if you have kids that like cheese, a little shredded cheese)

 

Directions:

  1. Add beef, egg, BBQ, and roll crumbs to bowl and combine.
  2. Divide mixture into equal mini loaves…makes 4-6 depending on size
  3. (If adding cheese make meat mixture flat, place cheese in center then pinch sides together)
  4. Place in greased oven safe dish.
  5. Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Once I caught our son playing with this meal. The broccoli was trees and the meatloaf had cheese in it, he called it the volcano. And he was the dinosaur that made the land, even the volcano disappeared. Gotta love how that little imagination works. Haha!

 

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Ingredients:

  • Package of spaghetti
  • Prego sauce
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 2 eggs cracked and beaten together
  • (1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil water…follow directions on Spaghetti packaging…drain noodles.
  2. Brown meat, add Italian seasoning, and sauce…let simmer for a few minutes then remove from heat.
  3. Place noodles in bowl, add eggs to noodles, mix well (be careful not to add to soon after boiling…don’t want the eggs to cook).
  4. Place noodle/eggs into a greased glass pan (13 X 9).
  5. Pour meat sauce over noodles and then cover with foil.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes then serve.

Yields 8 servings

I made this when my sister and brother came over for dinner and they loved it so much they asked for seconds! This is a perfect meal to make for company. Add a salad, garlic bread, little wine and voila!

 

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Ingredients:

1 Pork Sirloin Tip Roast

½ of large bottle of Sweet Baby Rays

12 Dinner rolls

 

Directions:

Place Pork Sirloin Tip Roast in crock-pot pour BBQ over it and cook for 6 hours.

Remove from crock-pot (or if you are better than I am, and won’t burn yourself, leave it in crock-pot) and pull apart pork with forks (rhyming words! I clearly spend too much time with preschoolers. Haha!)

Cut open rolls and add pork to each.

This recipe makes a lot of pulled pork! We had it for dinner one night and lunch twice that week….or this could make a great football game day/tailgating party dish!