Tasty Veggies… Brussels Sprouts

Since it is January I thought I might do a series of recipe posts on vegetables.  I was having a conversation with my friend the other day and we were discussing how we get our kids to eat veggies.  I personally don’t love vegetables.  Especially green ones.  So I try really hard to make them tasty for myself.  The result is my kids usually eat them too.

There are two main ways I like to cook veggies: sautéed and microwaved.  Today I am going to talk your through sautéing Brussels sprouts.  Yes, I spelled that right, the B is capital.  Brussels Sprouts are in the cabbage family.  They are rich in vitamin C and vitamin K.  They also have great amounts of vitamin B6, folic acid and dietary fiber.  Some people think they have cancer fighting properties as well.

I asked Elijah the other day what foods did he like that I cook.  One of the things he said was Brussels sprouts.  I am not gonna lie, I was proud.

Here’s what you will need…

One package of fresh Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup cooking wine (optional)
4-5 strips of bacon (I use precooked)
a few cloves of garlic

Cook time is about 25 minutes



So when I am sautéing veggies, I always start with olive oil, bacon and a few cloves of pressed garlic.  I like to buy the precooked bacon at Costco so I just chop up a few pieces and toss them in the pan.






While your oil/garlic/bacon mixture is warming up, take your Brussels sprouts and cut them in to 4ths.  This is key.  They absorb more flavor and are easier to eat when they are small.






Toss your sprouts into the pan add about 1/2 a cup of chicken broth and 1/4 cup of white cooking wine.  If you don’t have the wine just use all broth.






Add a few pinches of salt, stir and put the lid on the pan.  Let them simmer for about 10 minutes.






After the 10 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook over med-high heat for about 10-15 more minutes.  You want the sprouts to brown and caramelize.  My husband likes them crispy, just on the brink of burnt.



If you are feeling super creative, it is also really yummy to chop one bunch of asparagus and add them in the last 10-15 minutes.  You can also do the same with artichoke hearts (cut in half).

And I have to give a shout out to my mom.  She is the one who taught me how to cook veggies like this.  Here is a link to her green beans with basically the same ingredients (wine, garlic and bacon).

Next week, broccoli and asparagus in the microwave.


Leave it

Have you ever thought about the things people left to follow God?

Abraham left Ur to go to an unknown land (Gen 12:4)

The disciples left their nets to follow Jesus (Matt 4:20)

Blind Bartimaeus left his cloak to be healed (Mark 10:50)

The woman at the well left her jar to tell others about Jesus (John 4:28)

My husband has this line that he says, “When Jesus asks something from you, He is usually trying to get something to you.”   I have been thinking about this lately.

I think sometimes God doesn’t even have to “ask” us to give something up.  We just know.  We know that in order to go to a new level in our faith we have to leave something behind.  It could be someone to give up because they are keeping us from fully living out our calling.  It could be we need to leave a familiar place because He has a journey he wants to take us on.  Or maybe we leave something behind because we know that we cannot take it where God is leading us (This could be a habit or a hobby that is not in and of itself bad, but just something that isn’t best for us at the time).

It is not always a huge thing.  It could be a small thing that makes a huge impact like deleting a certain app from your phone.  It is not always a permanent thing.  It could be a season of time that you need to leave something or someone behind.

The enemy wants me to think that holding onto this thing, or this person, or this place is the most important thing in the world.  That God is a god who wants me to suffer.  The reality is, God will not love me any less if I never change another thing for the rest of my life.  But there are experiences with God that I will miss, miracles I will miss, when I cling to the things that are keeping me from fully trusting God.

Is there something you need to leave behind today?  Remember, God is not trying to take something from you, He is trying to free up your hands so He can hand you something better.

A-May-Zing Cauliflower

Every spring our staff does a nutrition and exercise challenge. We love to compete. This year the challenge includes a nutritional, physical and spiritual element, we are calling it, A-May-Zing! Each person can design their own plan. Even our boys are competing!

My husband and I are eliminating grains and added sugar as well as drinking 64 oz of water per day (this is how he basically eats anyway). My boys are eliminating sweets and sweet drinks (water and white milk only) 5 days a week.

For exercise we are doing at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. The boys count baseball or 30 minutes of outside activity.

For our spiritual plan we are memorizing 1Peter 1:3-9 and reading through the book of 1Peter every week.

I’ll be posting some recipes over the next month. Also check out my friend, Lindsay’s blog for more recipes. Everything she makes is always delicious!

For today I want to share my favorite recipe for mashed cauliflower (It’s actually Lindsay’s!) now before you turn your nose up, you really should try it. I am not a fan of cauliflower but this is really, truly delicious (especially when served with beef)

1 head cauliflower ( stem remove cut into 1/2 in pieces)
1 clove garlic (peeled and pressed)
1 qt chicken stock
3 tbs butter
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
2 c shredded white cheddar cheese or shredded Gouda
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring cauliflower garlic and chicken stock to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender

Once cooked drain cauliflower and place in a blender or food processor with the butter (you can use a hand mixer too but it may not be as smooth). Blend until fine. Add yogurt and blend again. Add cheese and blend.


Yummy no-bake bites

Last week my friend, Heather, introduced me to these yummy no-bake treats.  They were so delicious, I had to try and make some of my own.  Here is the original recipe.  I made 4 batches and here is what I came up with as the final recipe…

1 cup Oatmeal
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
(or if your husband hates coconut, you can get some almond slivers and smash them with a mallet)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Combine all the ingredients.  Use your hands to combine.  Then roll into small balls.  Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or freeze for about 5 minutes).



Recipe… Not so yucky brussels sprouts

Back at Thanksgiving I posted a picture of some beautiful brussels sprouts I purchased on the stalk at the grocery store.  They were so beautiful I had to get them even though I had no idea how to cook them.  With the help of some followers on Instagram, I came up with this recipe.  And I must say, they are pretty good (and I am a pretty picky eater when it comes to my veggies).

Here’s the recipe.  Sorry if there are not measurements.  If you are OCD you may want to search AllRecipes for a more exact method.

  1. Wash and cut each sprout in half.  (cutting in half is really important to getting more flavor)
  2. Heat olive oil, a few cloves of crushed garlic and some bacon crumbles in a skillet
  3. Add about 1/4 c of white wine
  4. Add brussels sprouts
  5. Saute until done and crispy.  Should take about 10-15 minutes.  Turn frequently but don’t be afraid to let them sear.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe: Skinny Meatloaf

As part of my birthday gift (several months ago) my friend, Karen, made me a few dinners to put in my freezer (wasn’t that a great gift??).  Well one of the meals was a turkey meatloaf.

Now I have a confession… I am a meatloaf snob.  I LOVE my Nana’s homemade meatloaf (see that recipe here).  I would say it is my favorite home cooked meal.  But I really only like that recipe.  I never order meatloaf in a restaurant because you never know what you are going to get.  So I was a bit apprehensive to try Karen’s meatloaf but I am so glad I did.  It was delicious.

I asked her for the recipe and cooked it again for my family the other night and again, it was a huge hit.  And I think it slipped my mind to tell my kids that there was a ton of spinach in that meatloaf!  Ok, here’s the recipe.  Thank you Karen for sharing!

(Note: if you have any non-onion eaters in your house, you can skip the garlic and onion step and use pressed garlic and a pack of lipton onion soup mix with the onions strained out.  Oh the things I do for the people I love :))


Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 pound ground beef, extra lean
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen leaf spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/2 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, and the next 8 ingredients (breadcrumbs through spinach), stirring well.
Shape meat mixture into a 12 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush ketchup over the top of the loaf. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°; let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Sharon Sanders,  Cooking Light   MARCH 2004

Recipe… Coconut Flour Pancakes

So we are doing this eating and exercise plan as a staff.  The plan is very simple: no grain, no sugar (real or artificial except for stevia), exercise every day.  I found a decent alternative for pancakes… coconut flour pancakes.  Now these pancakes are not low calorie (and if you are on fit/fat40, you can’t put syrup or honey on them), but they are super high in fiber and they taste pretty good.

A lot of grocery stores are now carrying coconut flour, although it can be hard to find.  I actually saw it at Food Lion the other day.  And if you are not in the mood to go on a wild goose chase, you can always buy it from Amazon.  The flour also makes a great non-bread breading on chicken.

I have tried 2 recipes.  One that uses milk, and one that uses applesauce.  I am going to give you the recipe with milk because I thought they were easier to flip and basically tasted the same.  I got this recipe from a blog called, Nourishing Days.  I did not change any of the ingredients (Except I used 1% milk, not raw milk or coconut milk.  Raw milk is actually not legal in NC, and I didn’t have any coconut milk.)


  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (raw cow’s or coconut both work)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey or a pinch of stevia
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • coconut oil or butter for frying
  • blueberries or banana slices (do not add to batter)

Preheat griddle to medium to low heat.  I have an electric skillet I like to use.

Mix everything together except the flour.  Whisk until blended and bubbly.

Add flour until blended.

I like to put about 1/2 teaspoon of butter on each spot on the pan where I will put a pancake.  Once melted, spoon about 1/3 c of batter onto the melted butter.

Add blueberries (or chocolate chips) or bananas onto the batter side of each pancake.

After about 2-3 minutes, flip the pancake.  Cook for 2-3 more minutes and enjoy!

A few notes…
These pancakes are NOT easy to flip.
These pancakes are not very pretty, but they do taste good.
Pancakes are difficult to tell if they are done.  I pretty much guess.
If you would like to try the recipe that uses applesauce instead of milk, it is here.

Recipe… cheesy baked kale

We are doing an eating and fitness challenge on the staff of Elevation.  The plan is called Fit/Fat40.  It is a plan to get fit, and loose fat in 40 days.  The diet part is simple.  No sugar (real, natural, or artificial), and no grains (bread, rice, corn, quinoa etc.) that’s it.

Now, I know kale chips are no new thing, and everyone seems to be raving about them.  I have a hard time jumping on the bandwagon.  I prefer my chips to be made from corn or potato.  Just sayin.  But I finally found a way to eat kale chips… with cheddar cheese (here is the original recipe and picture)!!

Here’s what you do…

-Rinse and dry 2 bunches of kale
-Shred the kale and pull from the stems and ribs.  Discard the stems and ribs.
-Spray 2 cookie sheets with olive oil spray
-put the shredded kale on the cookie sheets, spray the kale with olive oil spray
-salt the kale
-top with shredded cheese

Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes.  Watch for burning.  Burned kale tastes really bad.

Also, I have made several updates to some of my favorite recipes (sorry for those of you on Fit/Fat40, you’ll have to wait)…

Crockpot Oatmeal
Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu
Healthy(er) Chocolate Chip Cookies 

What’s beside dinner… broccoli again?

Broccoli can get really old really fast.  It is easy.  It is healthy but after a while, it gets really boring.  I recently bought a basket vegetable steamer and wanted to try a new broccoli recipe.  Here’s what I came up with (I combined a few recipes on the internet).


1 head of broccoli
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar
olive oil (I like lemon infused)
parmesan cheese

Steam the broccoli for about 5 minutes.  Then drizzle with oil and balsamic.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Top with a few shakes of parmesan cheese.

It’s super easy and really yummy.  Enjoy!

What’s beside dinner… sautéed spinach

Meal planning can be difficult to keep fresh.  And unless you are making an all-in-one dish (which is not a family favorite at my house) you not only have to plan a main course, you have to figure out what to serve with it.  Add to that trying to keep your meal healthy and you can really find your self in a rut.  I do not consider myself that great of a cook but I do try to plan creative, fun and relatively healthy meals for my family a few days each week.

(And by the way, you can search any of my recipes in the search bar over to the top right, or browse them by clicking “categories” and then select, “recipes”)

Last time I shared roasted balsamic sweet potatoes.  Today I am going to share with you my sautéed spinach recipe.  I always say, I don’t like wet leaves.  That includes collard greens and cooked spinach.  But even I like this recipe.  To start, you need to know that you really cannot mess this up.  It is really a pinch of this and a handful of that.  Also, this is not a picture of my spinach recipe.  It will not be this pretty.  Not even close :).

What you’ll need…
-about 1-2 tbs of some kind of cooking oil.  I like to use coconut for this recipe, but butter, olive oil or vegetable will work.
-1-2 bags of fresh spinach.  (it really really cooks down)
-1-2 cloves of pressed garlic
-a pinch of salt
-1/4 cup of cream, half and half, or milk (in that order)
-a handful or 2 of shredded cheese (I like cheddar)
-and if you are feeling really brave, a can of artichoke hearts.  If you add the artichoke hearts, you probably only need one bag of spinach.

What to do…
1.  Heat your oil in your pan, I like to use a deep fry pan with a lid (kinda like this one)
2.  Add your spinach to the pan, put the lid on.  After about a minute or two, check and stir.  Do this a few times until the spinach begins to wilt.
3.  Add garlic, cream, salt, and (optional) artichokes.
4.  Let the spinach wilt down a to the consistentcy you prefer.
5.  Add the cheese, stir for about 30 seconds to get cheese to start to melt.  Remove from heat.  Cover with lid.  Let it sit for a a few minutes so the cheese can melt.

Hope you enjoy!  I’d love to know if you make this and like it!