Healthy Apple Muffins with Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

Crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping.

Crunchy. Cinnamon. Sugar. Topping.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Basically, that’s all you need to know about this recipe. But I guess I could mention the fact that they’re mostly whole wheat, low in sugar, and full of wholesome fruit. I mean, if that kind of thing’s important to you.

healthy apple cinnamon muffins apples whole

When you make this, the batter will worry you because it is crazy thick. Like, bread dough thick. You won’t pour or spoon it into the muffin tins, you’ll kind of awkwardly drop it in there and kind of smoosh it. Don’t try to smash it into the muffin cups, just kind of drop it and it will expand as it bakes to fill in the gaps. And despite the thickness of the batter and the density of the baked muffins, they’re super moist! [Read more…]

Risotto Primavera

This recipe is the perfect blend of hearty winter fare and bright spring veggies…

Risotto Primavera

It’s kind of weird that I’ve never made a risotto primavera, given my love of risotto. But when I was home for Passover this year, we were trying to come up with a delicious side dish and my mom mentioned risotto. We thought about all the veggies we had, and all the fresh herbs, and I decided that it was the perfect idea.

kansas lilacs

I’ve said this a million times, but people always think risotto is so difficult. But it’s not! It just needs a little TLC…you can’t rush it, but 90% of risotto is in gently stirring. You get too rough with it, try to turn the heat way up to rush it, and that’s when things go south.

Plan for an hour. But it’s an hour of stirring, drinking wine, talking to guests—it’s the perfect dinner party dish. [Read more…]

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread

ISN’T IT PRETTY?!?!

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread

Seriously, this bread is just beautiful. And it’s not just beautiful, it’s amazingly soft and flavorful and perfect.

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread cut

I’d never had challah bread before this, but basically it’s a yeast-leavened, lightly-sweet braided dough made with eggs, then brushed with an egg wash before baking. It can be soft or dense, made with many different grains, created into other shapes (spirals, circles, birds, etc.), but at its heart it’s just a slighly sweet eggy bread.

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread with Honey

And I can’t imagine that it gets much better than this recipe! First-try bread recipes can be tricky sometimes, and rarely are they absolutely perfect the first time. But this recipe was super forgiving (I let it rise quite a bit longer than the recipe called for), the braiding was super easy, and the final product made me want to eat ALL THE BREAD. And I’m not even a bread person…

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread done

Let’s just look at it again, shall we???

Okay, moving on… [Read more…]

Whole 30-Approved Avocado Sonoma Chicken Salad

I’m a sucker for chicken salad. Regular chicken salad, Sonoma wine country chicken salad, curried chicken salad, chicken salad with bits of pineapple, with mayo, without mayo—literally, I have yet to find one I don’t like.

whole30 avocado sonoma chicken salad combined

I’ve posted my absolute favorite chicken salad recipe, the best I’ve ever had. But it also isn’t necessarily the *healthiest* one. This one, however, might be.

whole30 avocado sonoma chicken salad avocado

I haven’t done Whole 30 myself, though I’ve thought about it. Honestly I can’t commit myself to a month of anything that requires drastic change, not with my insane work schedule. I like the idea, though, for the most part…except giving up wine, that’s just CRAY.

whole30 avocado sonoma chicken salad lemon

This chicken salad has no mayo and is chock full of whole, raw ingredients. It brings fiber, healthy fats, and a one-two protein punch from the chicken and pecans to the party. I devoured it on my little Trader Joe’s 12-grain crackers for lunch a few days in a row, and found it satiating and tasteeeee!
[Read more…]

Double-Chocolate Banana Muffins (gluten-free if you want)

That looks totally decadent, right???

Double-Chocolate Banana Muffin

They kind of are—and they’re also super healthy.  They get their moistness from banana, coconut oil, and honey, and a deeeeeep chocolate flavor from both Dutch-process cocoa powder as well as dark chocolate chips.

Double-Chocolate Banana Muffins baked

They came together super fast and baked up like a dream. And, they can be made gluten-free so easily without any weird fake mixes or flours.

Double-Chocolate Banana Muffins

And just look how prettttttty they are! The almond meal makes them a little heartier than your average muffin, and since they don’t have refined sugar they’re less likely to make your blood sugar spike then dip.  I call that a breakfast win! [Read more…]

Slow Cooker Caramelized Chicken

My takeaway from this recipe?  Sure ain’t pretty, and fairly sure mine didn’t “caramelize”, but it sure was delicious!

Slow Cooker Caramelized Chicken

The pictures of this recipe from Skinny Ms. (see link at the bottom) look beautiful, so not sure what I did wrong to keep it from caramelizing.  However, the flavors are so great that it was a keeper recipe anyway. It’s sweet and salty and layered, with a little kick from the cayenne.  (Well, “little” depending on how much you put in…I’m a baby.)

slow cooker caramelized chicken green onions

It also is super fast and easy. The only down side is that cleaning my crockpot was insanely difficult afterward—I have a really old crockpot and it doesn’t have a removable piece. I’ve never used liners but might have to see if they make one for mine, because cleaning that was ridiculous.  [Read more…]

Slightly-Sweet Unleavened Bread

Most years I try to make it home for Passover and the first Day of Unleavened Bread. It’s nice to spend the time with my parents and sister, bro-in-law, and their squidlets.

kansas from the sky

The trip started with a pre-3:30am (Eastern) wake-up to catch a 5:35am flight, stop over in Dallas for a bit, then descend into Wichita. Needless to say, I was really dragging all weekend…

slightly sweet unleavened bread nessa

My sister tried out a new unleavened bread recipe when we went to their house for Passover Thursday night, and we loved it so much that I made it again the next day (and again when I got back to Atlanta). I had the cutest little helper that there ever was…

Slightly Sweet Unleavened Bread sliced

I love this unleavened bread.  It’s dense but not dry, hearty and satiating (due to the whole wheat flour and butter), and has a hint of sweet from the brown sugar and honey. It was also just as good leftover as fresh out of the oven.

Slightly Sweet Unleavened Bread done

Even better—you can mix it up by hand, pat out on the baking sheet, and it’s ready in half an hour, from start to finish! [Read more…]

Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, & Feta

Somehow I totally forgot about this recipe.

Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, & Feta

I started making it in college, and pretty soon it was my standby recipe. I made it at least once a week while I was doing my internship, and later once I moved to Atlanta. Sometimes multiple times a week. It was easy and cheap, came together in the time it took the pasta to cook, and felt kind of fancy. Before I started this blog I basically had a 3-recipe rotation…

pasta with spinach tomato & feta tomatoes cooking

Then somehow I totally forgot about it once I started trying out lots of recipes for this site. But when I was at the grocery store last weekend trying to figure out what to do for dinner (since my Kroger was totally out of avocados, which I’d kind of needed), I saw these beautiful heirloom tomatoes and this recipe popped into my mind. It’s very forgiving, the veggie amounts aren’t super exact and neither is the feta amount. You could substitute kale for spinach, though it definitely would change the texture a little. I recommend this for a night where you just need something on the table fast, and want fresh, healthy ingredients. [Read more…]

Stove-Top Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

I feel like I have to sneak one more winter-y recipe in here, even though it’s TOTALLY SPRING!

(Though you wouldn’t know it from our gray, rainy day today…)

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Oh man, I’m so glad it’s spring. Bring on farmers market fruit and veggies, grilling out, and foods that make me feel skinny. But first—hearty, cheesy, decadent (but not TOO decadent) girls’ night food.

stove-top butternut squash mac & cheese casey

We had a girls’ night at my place a couple months ago, and wanted something super easy, that I didn’t have to put a ton of time and effort into while we were all drinking wine and chatting.  This recipe came together very fast, and the only complicated piece was cutting up the butternut squash, but you could easily just buy it pre-cubed.  I even had a pretty helper—that girl’s got her priorities, has both a glass and bottle nearby! [Read more…]

Brussels Sprout & Kale Slaw with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

My thirst for brussels sprouts shall never be quenched!

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

This salad is surprisingly hearty, with the crunchy and chewy sprouts and given a boost from the walnuts. I will say that I was a little nervous about this salad, since to me brussels sprouts are one of those things that always need cooked in order to be eaten. But overall it was delicious, filling, and super healthy! [Read more…]

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