Fresh Breakfast Lasagna

img_7969If you think this does not sound good for breakfast,  I promise it is perfect for brunch and even for dinner! Yummy fresh layers of cheese, eggs, hash browns all with a light marinara. I found myself making two, a smaller one for dinner and a larger one for a brunch the next day. This is  a great make ahead dish, pop it in the oven the next day. I used my home-made pasta sauce, with lots of mushrooms and egg-plant which lightened up the sauce, and my raw yogurt, which I think gives it a fluffier texture than most egg dishes. You could use store bough marinara and yogurt as well. Experiment with diffrent sauces, maybe even a pesto with sausage instead of bacon! Pictured here in my “Holstein Plate” Available at Art to Feed website, portion of proceeds donated to support your local food bank!

Ingredients

  • 2 C Cubed  Sourdough Bread ( I found a jalapeno bread for a kick, but use any bread you have on hand)
  • 2 C Hash Browns (thawed)
  • 8 Slices of Bacon Crumbled
  • 10 Eggs
  • 1/2 C Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Milk
  • 1/2 C Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tsp Salt and Pepper
  • 2 C Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 C Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat bottom of 9″ x 13″ Dish. Spread half marinara on bottom of dish. Place Hash Browns and top with cubed bread.

This is where my kids have fun, its like a puzzle trying to get them all to fit. Mid home work break! img_7963

Whisk Eggs, remainder of tomato sauce, yogurt, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour gently over bread and hash browns. Layer Parmesan and then Cheddar. Place in oven or store in fridge overnight. Bake 40-55 minutes and golden brown and bubbly! Enjoy, and serve for dinner if desired!

Super Moist Pumpkin Muffins…made with yogurt and almond Butter

img_7839I painted this pumpkin platter and made these pumpkin muffins in hopes that fall will come early! A portion of proceeds from this platter goes towards your local food bank and can be purcahsed at ART to FEED website.

I hope to try this recipe with fresh pumpkin from our cousins Pumpkin Patch, but you can also use canned pumpkin as well! My muffin recipes are no fuss, use one bowl and make your life easier please and have fun cooking!  Muffins give so much room for creativity to add you own twist as well. I added my Raw Yogurt and some almond butter that give these muffins a super moist texture. For a healthier muffin you can omit the topping. Purchase almonds for a good cause through Farm to Kids and make your own almond butter as well! These freeze well for busy mornings and this recipe makes enough to share with neighbors and spread the love for all things pumpkin! Makes approx 24 muffins.

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Ingredients

  • 3 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 C Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2  C  Butter
  • 1/4 C Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Almond Butter
  • 1 15 oz Can Pumpkin or 2 C Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Topping

  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 c Oats
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C flour

Directions:

PreHeat oven to 350 F. Grease muffins Tins. In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Melt the 2 sticks of butter in microwave or pan. Make well in dry ingredients and in this order add; melted  butter and sugar. Stir to combine only the wet ingredients without scraping sides. Add eggs and beat into wet ingredients one at a time. Add yogurt, maple syrup and pumpkin (reserve 1 tbs for topping). Fold gently until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Over mixing you eggs will lead to a tougher muffin. In general with baking the less you handle the better. Batter will be lumpy and this is ok!  Spoon into muffin tins.

Prepare topping; Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. Stir until mixture resembles a loose crumble. Add more flour or oats if needed. Place a large spoonful on top of each filled muffin tin. Bake for 30-4o minutes or until golden brown.

 

Make Your Own Tea

img_7756Did you know the Dutch were the first to import tea to America and Europe? This according to my favorite book right now “Home Grown Tea” by Cassie Liversidge.

Tea time is sacred to me. It is the time when I have 10 minutes of quiet, myself and tea. To regroup and pray. If you are like me, making that time even more special with your own tea is intriguing. Through this book  I have  had a revelation; making your own tea! It is so easy to do and you will be amazed at the difference in taste and experience. I have tons of mint growing like a weed, so there is a whole tea in itself! I also went to nursery and got some beautiful chamomile and lavender plants. You can also make teas with dehydrated fruits! Combinations and health benefits are endless. I find that mint, lavandar and chamomile are most appealing to me. I combined mint and chamomile for a tummy soothing tea tha also aids in relaxation and calming of anxiety.  img_7758

Directions:

Pinch off as many mint leaves as desired, I used about 1 large bunch per tea bag, leaves only. You can use fresh or dried leaves. I prefer fresh for mint teas. Place in tea bag or diffuser.

Cut a couple long stems with flowers of chamomile plant per tea bag. Chop up stems and all then add to mint in tea bag.

Boil water, and pour over tea bag to wet first. Warm inside of cup and discard. Place tea bag and add boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes and no longer. Chamomile tends to get bitter if over steeped (is that a word??) Enjoy!! Save tea bag and can be reused 1-2 more pourings. Sweeten if desired.

 

Creamy Sweet Potato Garden Pasta Sauce

img_7455This is my favorite way to cook. Letting creativity and spontaneity come together, using everything I have from the garden or extra vegetables after a trip to the farmers market. Easy, simple and never again to be replicated. This is true joy, you will find me in no happier state. A warm pan simmering, smiles and nourished bellies, all feels right and my heart is full. Perhaps it is my yearning for fall, as the kids gear up to go back to school, and sweet potatoes are on my mind! It is time to thin my carrots in garden, and this is an excellent way to use those tiny carrots. Not much prep involved, just cut roughly and throw in what you’ve got! Try and keep tomatoes the main ingredient, sweet potatoes second and after that use to your heart’s content. Carrots, peppers, herbs, celery, onion, garlic all make great choices. I then add my raw yogurt, Parmesan cheese, a little maple syrup and nutmeg to further bring out the creamy texture and warmth of the sweet potatoes. This sauce is amazing for lasagna, or your favorite pasta dish.  This recipe also freezes and preserves well if you choose to make a large batch out of your extra summer tomatoes.

Ingerdients:

  • 8 Garden Fresh Tomatoes
  • 3 cups Pear Tomatoes
  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes (cooked through, and cut into fourths)
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 4 Mild Wax Peppers
  • 2 Medium Carrots or 5-10 Baby Carrots
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Spring Basil
  • 1 c Raw Yogurt
  • 1 C Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tsp Nutmeg

Cut all vegetables into coarse chunks. Place in sauce pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Simmer with lid on unit vegetables are soft approx. 30 -40 min. Let mixture cool.

Realized I had a couple bell peppers in fridge; threw those in too! img_7435Place in blender and blend until smooth. Pour the now smooth mixture into pan and heat. Add yogurt and cheese, stir over medium heat to incorporate. img_7438Add maple syrup and nutmeg to taste, as well as salt and pepper as desired. Serve over favorite pasta and enjoy! img_7439

 

 

 

 

Slow and Low Crunchy Almonds

 

This recipe is was a revelation to me! I learned about this through the “Nourishing Traditions Cookbook” Almonds lose their heart healthy fats when roasted at high temperatures. This recipe requires soaking the almonds in water for 6- 12 hours. This process is also known as “sprouting.” By doing this you unlock the foods nutrition potential as your body is more able to break down and absorb nutrients. By placing these soaked or “sprouted” almonds in oven at very low temp for long period you are also preserving their heart healthy fats. I love the taste and crunch of these almonds more than those that are roasted and seasoned. This is a standby snack for myself and our family. It helps keep the body satisfied by providing the right balance of fat, protein, fiber and nutrients. I am fortunate to live in the central valley where almonds are prevalent and I have neighbors and family almond ranchers! My lovely sister and brother in law bring me a 25 lb box of fresh almonds from their ranches. If you are looking for a good cause along with your purchase of almonds visit Farm to Kids online to purchase! Art to Feed supports all local farmers and needs, so blessed to tie in local farmers with our recipes!

Ingredients:

  • 4 C Raw Almonds
  • Filtered Water to Cover
  • 1 tbs Salt (non iodized)

Directions:

Place almonds in bowl and cover with water until covered with 1 inch of water above almonds. Soak for 6- 12 hours. Drain water, place on baking sheet and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Place in oven at 135- 150 F for 12- 24 hours. Place in air tight container and enjoy!

Golden Mint and Cucumber Summer Gazpacho

img_7188Our cucumbers are growing out of control!  This is an excellent way to use cucumbers, tomatoes and other veggies in you garden for a fresh easy dinner. Make extra and save to bring a neighbor in need! I chose to use our small yellow pear tomatoes to add a golden color and mild taste that doesn’t over power the cucumber.  You can also use other tomatoes, but I love the color and lightness that these tomatoes add to the soup. Serve cold with a spring of mint for a refreshing summer meal loaded with nutrients. My kids love this soup and it makes me happy to know they are getting a good serving of vegetables hidden in this creamy broth. I use our raw yogurt for a creamy texture, a great taste and for the health benefits. You can add a few other seasonal veggies you may have in your kitchen or garden;  celery, onion, garlic, bell pepper etc, but  keep the main focus on the cucumber!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 to 3 Large Cucumber- Skin On
  • 3 C Pear Tomatoes
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Small Mild Peppers (e.g-Anahiem,Bell)img_7145
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 4 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 C Yogurt

Directions:

Roughly chop up vegetables and place in large stock pot. Add olive oil and salt and pepper,
cook on high until tender and cooked through. Add chicken stock to cover and yogurt. Simmer for 30 min. Let cool then place in blender. Cool in fridge and serve cold with spring of mint. One of my children requested it be served hot and that is just fine also! Enjoy!

Quick Pretzel Crusted Pork Chops

img_7131These cook up in a snap and are easy to assemble. I used pretzels because I ran out of Panko, (my favorite; a  japanese style bread crumb). The pretzels tasted great with the pork and added a nice crunch. You can use anything you have on hand for the breading; breadcrumbs, Panko, crackers, pretzels. I always like a challenge to avoid another errand just for an item or two, and feel very resourceful and creative in using what I already have! It doesn’t always work as planned, but it’s fun to try! The pork is marinated in my raw  yogurt,  lemon salt and pepper and that’s it! The longer you marinate these the better. These were marinated for about 6 hours and turned out tender, you could do this overnight or a couple of days even better! These chops are a really thin boneless cut that is perfect for breading. I place in oven because, well, I hate the effort and mess of frying food on the stove top. Put them all in a pan (bottom covered in foil so no mess) and that’s the extent of it.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Thin Cut, Boneless Pork Chops
  • 1 c Yogurt
  • 1 tbs Salt
  • 1 tbs Fresh Craked Pepper
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 4 C Pretzelsimg_7129
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

Place pork chops in Ziploc bag and add yogurt, lemon salt and pepper. Fun part; pound with fist or smooth part of meat tenderizer to help tenderize and flatten a bit.  Marinate for 3-24 hours. Preheat oven to 425 f. Pour olive oil 1/4 way up in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ dish. Place pretzels in Ziploc bag. With rolling-pin roll over bag to create “crumbs” you will have some larger pieces and this is OK! Add marinated pork chops to crumb bag, one at a time, and shake. Remove and place in dish, leaving room around each pork chop. Repeat with all pork chops and place in oven for 10 minutes, turning each pork chop and cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from pan when done and allow to drain on paper towel before serving!

Pulled Pork Poor Boys

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These simple sandwiches are great for a quick family meal after a busy day! I use our raw yogurt along with mayonnaise. If you would like use all yogurt by all means!  I tend to love the mayonnaise taste and the yogurt adds a little tang that goes well with the sweetness of a BBQ sauce. Use any sauce you prefer, you really can’t go wrong here. Our baby arugula is growing so well this year, and I love adding it to sandwiches for a little kick. Top this poor-boy with fresh arugula and cabbage, or any veggies you have on hand, and you have a meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Pork Serloin Roast
  • 2 c Favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chicken Bouillon
  • 1 Bottle of Beer (recommend Sierra Nevada, or beer of your choice)
  • 1/4 C Spicy Mustard
  • 1 /2 C Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C Yogurt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Seasonal Vegetables ( Cabbage, carrots sliced, cucumber, bell peppers, arugula) to Top.

Directions:

Place Pork in Crock Pot, cover half way with water. Add beer, BBQ sauce and chicken bouillon. Whisk together. Add more water to cover if needed. Set  Crock-Pot to desired length of time. When finished remove, cool and shred with fork. Add remainder of BBQ sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, yogurt salt and pepper. place on rolls and add sliced vegetables. Enjoy!

 

Fluffy Protein Bread

img_7028-1This Recipe is for a bread machine, but can be used without one as well. (Bread machines are amazing you can make any sort of dough and either bake right in the machine or in the oven.) This recipe uses almond four (courtesy of Farm to Kids– check out their cause!) and yogurt to give the bread a mellow flavor and tang similar to a mild sourdough but with the texture of focaccia.

Ingredients:

  • img_70202 c Bread Flour
  • 1 c Almond Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbs Maple syrup
  • 1/4 c Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Yeast
  • 1/2 Warm Water

Directions:

Place ingredients in Bread Machine in order listed. Place machine on dough cycle, (or leave to bake through in machine, its up to you!) When dough is finished, remove, punch down and place into greased loaf pans. Place in warm space (like unheated oven) and allow to rise one hour. Bake at 350 F for 15- 20 min until golden brown. Serve warm with butter or slice and enjoy later.

 

Plum pops and Stone Fruit Sherbert

img_6812-2Plums abound this week at our local fruit stands. Our own plum tree is raining plums! This Sherbert is a cross between a frozen yogurt and ice cream. Sorry I don’t know what to call it, but my husband decided sherbert was its closest identity! This is a great way to use too ripe fruit that you need to use up. I’m not one to fuss too much in kitchen and love when I can make a couple (or even 4) things out of one recipe for future use. No peeling of fruit involved, and this recipe has double the fruit you need for the sherbert so you can use the puree for popsicles, as a topping, in smoothies, or even baby food!. Our plums and yogurt add a twist on a standard  recipe. The fruit is cooked to render its natural sugars, and maple syrup is added to even further sweeten the deal.

Ingredients:img_6831

Fruit Puree:

  1. 10 ripe plums or a mix of other stone fruit in season, (peaches, apricots, or nectarines)
  2. 1/4 c maple syrup
  3. 1/4 c water

Sherbert Base:

  1. 2 c whole milk
  2. 1 c heavy cream
  3. 1 c yogurt
  4. 1 tbs salt
  5. 6 egg yolks
  6. 2/3 c maple syrup

 

Directions:img_6859

Slice plums in half and remove pit. Place in sauce pan, add water and maple syrup. Simmer and place cover once boiling. Fruit is ready when tender and cooked through, approx 10-15 min. Place mixture in blender when cooled and puree. Use remainder to make plum pops.

Pops: 1 c  puree to 1/2 c water and freeze in Popsicle molds for 4-5 hours, or use as topping to vanilla ice cream, and even baby food!

Place milk, heavy cream, maple syrup and salt into sauce pan. Cook until hot to touch. in bowl whisk egg yolks. Add small amount of heated milk to bowl. Whisk, then add the yokes back to sauce pan and cook an additional 5 min on low until mixture coats the back of spoon. Pour through strainer into bowl, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. remove and add to ice cream maker. Add fruit puree to ice cream mixture. Follow ice cream mixers directions as far as time. refrigerate for 3-4 hours and serve!img_6883