Honey-Garlic Glazed Carrots {side dish}

Not only are these honey-garlic glazed carrots amaze-balls, but they are also healthy {**as long as you are using butter from grass-fed cows and raw honey**}! Oh, and on top of those two awesome things, they’re quick and easy to make! So there is no reason in this world for you not to try these carrots.

HGGC

After I put last night’s Butternut Squash & Chicken Pan-Roast into the oven, I realized that I needed just one more thing to complete the meal. I would normally add something green, but I happened to have a whole bunch of carrots on-hand. The color of the carrots ended up being the perfect complement to this particular entree.

Honey-Garlic Glazed Carrots

{serves 4}

8 – 10 good-sized carrots 

3 tablespoons butter

2 minced garlic cloves

3 tablespoons raw honey

Salt and pepper

Peel carrots, then cut into 2 inch increments. Quarter the big fat parts and leave the skinny parts whole. Just aim to get each piece the same size.  Place carrots into a medium sized pot, cover with water, and place over high heat. When water begins to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 10 – 15 minutes, depending on how tender you want them {I did 15 and the carrots melted in my mouth}.  Drain the water from the carrots and set aside while you prepare your honey mixture.

For the honey mixture simply heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat then add garlic. Sauté garlic for 2 – 3 minutes then add the honey and stir to combine.  Add the mixture to the carrots and carefully coat the carrots using a spoon.  Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Honey Garlic Carrots

 

**Come back tomorrow for an awesome Etsy giveaway!**

Have a happy Tuesday!!

Sweet {and healthy} Cornbread

I love cornbread. I really love sweet cornbread, like the kind out of the Jiffy box! I remember, growing up, beans and cornbread was one of my favorite meals my mom made.  When we were little, she taught us to put our cornbread in a glass of milk and eat it like that, but I soon realized that soggy bread is a legitimate fear of mine (seriously, I have nightmares about soggy bread), so I quickly threw that idea out of the window and opted instead for a simple slice of butter. Yum.

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Cornbread is definitely best prepared in a cast iron skillet, in my opinion.  I’m not a fan of the muffin tin or the casserole dish because you just can’t get those crispy sides without cooking the batter in butter for a minute or two before it goes in the oven. Oh, and sorry that half of it is already gone in the photos. It came out of the oven and the boys acted like I hadn’t fed them in days, so they attacked it.

So what sets this cornbread apart and makes it healthy, you might ask? Well, I simply replaced the vegetable oil with coconut oil, and the sugar with coconut palm sugar (a new favorite of mine).  I also use a good white flour, unbleached, organic, and unbromated, and an organic cornmeal (no GMO corn here!).  Of course, you can make this cornbread with all of the “normal” ingredients, but it won’t be healthy at all.

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Sweet Cornbread

2/3 cup all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill white flour is a good choice!)

1/2 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil (liquified) 

1 egg

1/2 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together by hand until smooth and without lumps.

In a cast iron skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat, making sure that the butter covers the bottom of the whole pan. Add cornbread mixture to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute (I learned this from The Pioneer Woman, although she uses shortening instead of butter). Move skillet to oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

**Note**I made this again with homemade almond milk and noticed that it was a lot more crumbly, so if that’s your thing, then there you go!**

I like to serve this with soup and crockpot dishes!

Cornbread

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Healthy Pasta Salad with Cucumber-Lime Vinaigrette

This pregnancy has me craving cold dishes. I have probably made 5 different pasta salad variations in the past 3 weeks.  I just can’t get enough of them! Plus it’s a good way for me to get more raw vegetables in my diet, which I need even more since I’m, you know, growing another human being.

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A healthy pasta salad?

Take a look at those beautiful colors! Any dish with that many colors has got to be packed with tons of good stuff, right? And as long as you use whole grain pasta, there will be nothing bad about this salad.

Pasta Salad with Cucumber-Lime Vinaigrette

half a box of your choice of pasta salad noodles (I chose penne)

1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped about 1/4 inches thick

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces 

1/2 to 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes (your preference)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (took me 3 juicy limes)

1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or another flavorless oil, like canola)

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy)

generous amounts of salt and pepper for seasoning

Boil pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl toss cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, and cilantro to mix well. In a small bowl mix lime juice, oil, honey, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour vinaigrette over pasta and vegetables.

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It keeps pretty well overnight in the refrigerator, so you can make this dish ahead of time. It’s great for Saturday BBQ’s or potluck dinners at church. You can make it gluten-free, too, by replacing the noodles with gluten-free noodles, of course.

Red Cabbage Cumin Slaw

I really love red cabbage. I mean, look at it! Anything that comes from God’s green earth in that hue has got to be good for you, and it is.  Not only is it loaded with vitamin C, but it’s also known to help prevent cancer. One more plus, it tastes great in a vinegar or citrus slaw. I made a slaw similar to this last weekend with apple cider vinegar. Yum!

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Red Cabbage Cumin Slaw

1 quarter of a red cabbage, shredded

3 carrots, grated

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup grape seed oil

2 tablespoons lime juice (one really juicy lime)

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to flavor

Toss cabbage, carrots, and cilantro together in a medium sized bowl. In a small bowl, or in the measuring cup, mix oil, honey, lime juice, and cumin. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper. 

Have a great hump day!

A healthy side dish: roasted red potatoes

I must say…I have been eating very healthy since I’ve been here in Arizona.  Partly to get back to my pre-baby weight, which has been reached and even beyond that! And the other part, the big one, is that I want to be healthy.  The funny thing that I’ve found about eating healthy all of the time is that you come to despise the thought of unhealthy, processed foods.  Maybe it’s just me (and Debbie, my mother-in-law), but the thought of a big, greasy cheeseburger sided with greasy fries makes my stomach turn. All of that oil would just weigh me down and make my stomach hurt.

One of the sides that I have been making a lot lately is roasted red potatoes.

I love experimenting with different fresh herbs and spices. These were tossed in about 6 tlbs of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and a little bit of paprika. They turned out amazing, however I didn’t get a picture of them after they were cooked because we gobbled them up so fast!

Just pop them into a 425 degree F oven and roast for about 35 minutes. So yummy and a very healthy alternative to things like mashed potatoes (that would normally be loaded down with butter and sour cream) or french fries.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

3lbs red potatoes, quartered

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss potatoes. Once they are coated well with the mixture, spread the potatoes out on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for about 35 minutes.

Before I wrap this up, I’d like to take a trip to Cutesy-ville!

Six and a half month old Milo jumping in his Jumperoo! Love this sweet baby.

Poor Kitsune has really taken a back seat ever since Miles was born, but I still make time for snuggles with my fur-baby.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY! Whoo-hoo!

Spinach and edamame quinoa salad

I finally made a quinoa salad! It only took having and empty house, being overcome with complete boredom, and hunger attacking, as it always does every 3-4 hours.

It’s delicious, nutritious, and pretty to look at! Sam is gone to the states for training for a few weeks, so that means I don’t have to cook meat every night. I am definitely taking advantage of this time. I’m no vegetarian, and I certainly believe that animals were put here for us to feed on like a bunch of savages, however, all of the meat in our commissaries is packaged and sold by people like Tyson and if you’ve ever seen Food, Inc. then you’ll never want to buy anything from them again. So, there is not a lot of good meat here and I am not sure how Japan deals with their poultry, so I don’t buy from the Japanese stores.  Anyway, back to the quinoa salad…this is a dish that can be served as a side or for lunch with some bread. Personally, I am going to enjoy mine with a glass of pinot noir. Do what you want with it, but you definitely need to make this soon. It’s so good.

Spinach & Edamame Quinoa Salad

Serves 2

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

olive oil

1/2 cup basil leaves, shredded

1/2 cup edamame, shelled and cooked

2 cups uncooked spinach

1/4 cups balsamic vinaigrette

In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the vegetable broth is absorbed. Let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then add basil leaves and fluff. Meanwhile, saute garlic and onion in olive oil for about 15 minutes or until caramelized in a small frying pan. Toss the spinach in the pan and saute until leaves are wilted.

In a medium sized bowl combine the quinoa, onion mixture, edamame, and balsamic vinaigrette. Serve with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top.

This is a pretty versatile recipe. You can add cherry tomatoes, olives, asparagus, or whatever vegetable tickles your fancy. Enjoy!