Simple Herb Cornbread Stuffing

I’ve been eating this stuffing every day for the past week. No complaining here, but I believe in the marathon world, that’s what they call carb loading. And trust me, I’ve got no marathon coming up.

For years I can remember every Thanksgiving I always skipped the stuffing. Partly because a lot of times it came right of a turkey’s hiney and that just scared me…But more so because the thought of eating carbs was even scarier. I remember loading my plate with the cool-whip salad, because cool-whip had like no calories so that was a safe option right? Then of coarse I would have some salad, a handful of olives…and then I’d be totally depressed because I wanted to eat all the good food so I would give in and scarf down on my grandma’s funeral potatoes topped with potato chips.

I’ve grown through the years and learned to enjoy Thanksgiving meals without obsessing over the calories, the carbs, and the everything else. I now do my best to fill up on greens, veggies, and fruits that day and if I want to give in and enjoy that chocolate cake…I will! But if I get one too many sparkling apple ciders in me, watch out funeral potatoes…You are all mine!

Yet now more than ever I’ve grown to realize the importance of how my attitude towards food reflects the children I’m raising. I don’t want them to fear the food I once did, but I also want them to respect their bodies and what they put into it. Which is why it’s perfectly healthy to eat some of those carbs on Thanksgiving. Or maybe you are looking forward to some warm and fruity pie. It’s not an everyday occasion, which is why it’s meant to be enjoyed while spending time with the ones you love. As long as you don’t grab the whole baking dish of your grandma’s funeral potatoes and tell everyone to “Back the He!! away from you”, then by all means…

Enjoy! 🙂

Ingredients:

1 recipe homemade cornbread (optional recipe below)

1 loaf stale whole wheat/grain bread-not the sandwich kind

3 TB. coconut oil

3 shallots diced

3 stalks celery

4-5 garlic cloves diced

3-4 c. vegetable stock

1-2 TB. fresh thyme chopped

1-2 TB. fresh rosemary chopped

1-2 TB. fresh sage chopped

1/3 c. dried cranberries

optional: 1/2 c. pine nuts

sprinkle of salt & pepper

Ingredients for Cornbread:

4 TB. melted coconut oil, plus more for pan

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1 c. yellow cornmeal

1 TB. baking power

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 c. non dairy milk mixed with 1 tsp. vinegar-makes a ‘buttermilk’

1/4 c. honey

Directions: (for cornbread)

1. To make cornbread, grease a small square pan and preheat oven to 425.

2. In a medium bowl mix flour, cornmeal, BP, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk eggs together. Then whisk in buttermilk, honey, and melted coconut oil to the eggs.

3. Whisk together wet and dry ingredients until incorporated. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until done. let cool and then remove cornbread from pan.

Directions: (for stuffing)

1.Once cornbread is done and cooled, chop cornbread into cubes. It will crumble a little, that’s ok. Place cornbread cubes/crumbs onto baking sheet and set aside. Cut and cube stale bread, should be about 4 or so cups (maybe more). Spread that bread on a separate baking sheet. Place cornbread tray and bread tray in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes. Remove trays, toss bread, and place back in oven for another 7-8 minutes. If you bread is super stale, you can remove it earlier just so it doesn’t turn into burnt toast! 🙂 Once its cooked, add bread to a large (9×13) baking dish.

2. In a stove top pan, melt your coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add your shallots and celery. Toss and cook until they become translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook another 2 or so minutes. Next throw in your herbs, 1/2 c. of the veggie stock,  and dried cranberries. Stir then turn off heat.

3. Grab your bread dish. Spoon herb mixture over bread crumbs and toss to coat. Then using a measuring cup, slowly add in the rest of the stock. Start with 1/2 c. increments, and add enough until bread is completely moistened. You don’t want it to be super wet, like mushy. You also don’t want it to be super dry. Toss bread as you add liquid, you may not need all of the stock. The cornbread will also start to crumble, that’s ok! If you want to add pine nuts, go ahead and fold those into the bread as well.

4. Place in the oven for about 35-45 minutes.

Want to know the best part about this stuffing…

It didn’t come from the Turkey’s hiney.

Hint of Lime Kale Chips

This weekend my husband took a quick celebratory vacation to Vegas for his birthday.

Vegas wouldn’t necessarily be my choice for a ‘vacation’ because for one I don’t drink, I don’t gamble, I get sick at the smell of cigar smoke, and a 7 month pregnant woman in a nightclub just…doesn’t go. Not to mention, there are boobies everywhere…Like, old and young ladies boobs are hanging out all over the place.

It makes my itty bitties feel…insignificant. 🙂

My husband however has been begging me to take him to Vegas, so I knew this would be a perfect treat for his bday. (I did put my foot down on the hooters hotel though, no matter how good he says their ‘wings’ are…)

For Hubby’s Birthday dinner we dined at Bobby Flay’s restaurant, Mesa Grill. We got our selves ready, I put on makeup and Hubby brushed his teeth, and we went out for a night on the town.

Mesa Grill was…AMAZING.

I went in 7 months pregnant, and came out looking 12 months along.

We started with a Mexi Goat Cheese fondue dip, which I basically wanted to bath in.

Then we ordered tamales, roasted chicken, a side of freakin-a-mazing corn, and ended it with churros that you could dip in chocolate and dulce de leche.

I’m almost positive nothing was healthy.

The rest of the time was spent sunbathing, eating some more, and watching my husband pretend he knows how to play blackjack..

If you can’t read the dollar amount in the corner of the screen it says $0.00.

Over all I had an incredible great trip, and it was much needed. Having a husband work so much only makes me miss him more, so it was nice to catch up and spend one on one time with each other.

Since being home, I haven’t let go of Baby Boo because I missed her  so much… Even though she keeps calling me grandma and asking me for ice cream…

[Mom if you are reading this, I am being completely serious. I have a feeling she called you mama and you liked it…:) ]

But instead of ice cream, I quickly whipped up a batch of kale greens just to get something good into all our systems, because truth be told, this weekend I ate quite a bit of food , and I have a feeling Boo did too.

And I’m pretty sure her food rhymed with rice ream…

Hint of Lime Kale Chips

*Kale is a scary yet amazing green. If your kids or even yourself are unfamiliar or un-easy trying kale, these chips are the perfect trial run! They are a SUPER quick and easy prep snack that your kids can help you make. Once done, they are a crispy and delightful snack that may take place of those potato chips your always craving!*

**Side Note: Kale is a great source of Vitamins A, C, and K!

Ingredients:

1 large bunch Kale

1 medium lime-juice and zest

1 TB. olive oil or melted coconut oil

sprinkle of sea salt

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven 350. Remove the leaves of kale from the stems. Rinse leaves under cool water, then completely dry leaves. I use a salad spinner to dry my greens because it’s fast and easy. Otherwise you can pat the leaves dry and let them sit until they aren’t wet any more. Be gentle with the leaves.

2. Once the leaves are dry, place them in a bowl and add ingredients. Massage the ingredients into the kale leaves, almost like your kneading dough. Make sure every leaf is coated.

3. Place leaves on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or baking sheet. Spread the leaves out so they aren’t all clumped together, and place cookie sheet in oven. Bake kale for 10-20 minutes, until the chips are crispy all the way through. The leaves will shrink a little. Some leaves you might have to toss once so they bake all the way through.

 4. Once they are done, pull out of the oven and try to control your self from not eating the whole tray.

I should probably warn you that doubling the batch is a necessity…Because one batch isn’t enough for a hungry family starving for goodness.

But since I’m grandma now I am all about respecting your elders, which means I get first dibs.

Now excuse my while I put on my granny panties and have me a kale partay!

Maple Sage Glazed Carrots with Maple Toasted Pistachios

We spent the majority of today in the kitchen.

While I poured, mixed, rolled, kneading, chopped, sauteed, and cleaned…

Baby Boo was either attached to my hip or at my feet begging for a taste.

I LOVE that she enjoys being in the kitchen with me. She loves to throw things into the mixing bowl or blender, and loves to cook her own special meals.

I’m pretty sure her ideal meal would have chocolate, cottage cheese, berries, and avocados…

Today was a special day because, not only are we getting ready for Thanksgiving, but I had the opportunity to work with an amazing company and their delicious food!

Grimmway Farms sent me a coupon to receive a free bag of their ever so delicious carrots!

I.Love.These.Carrots!

Grimmway Farms is a family owned and operated business located in California. Their philosophy is:

Provide Good Value

Honest Pricing

Conduct Business with Integrity

AND, let’s not forget they received the Chef’s Best 2011 BEST Taste Award!

The first thing Baby Boo and I did was dig in! We love carrots at our house. They are the perfect little snack, perfect match for hummus, puree amazingly for baby food, and when they are cold they help our teething lil’ chickpea.

Baby Boo was pretty excited. Perfect time to bust a move.

         

I don’t know what’s sexier, the random drool stain down her shirt, or that fierce look in her eyes…

I decided to make a side dish for Thanksgiving with the carrots, that way everybody could indulge on these delicious baby carrot bad boys…

But I think I am going to have to double the recipe to feed everybody…( 4 carrots for me, one carrot for you…6 carrots for me, two carrots for you…)

Either way, my family is going to be grateful they invited me to dinner. 🙂

Maple Sage Glazed Carrots with Maple Toasted Pistachios

Ingredients:(for carrots)

1 16 os. bag Grimmway Farms Baby Carrots

2 TB. fresh chopped sage (divided into TB.)

1 medium shallot diced

4 cloves garlic diced

2 TB. 100% Pure Maple syrup

1 TB. olive oil

sprinkle of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients: (for pistachios)

1/4 c. chopped pistachios

1 tsp. maple syrup

Directions:

1. In a (high-medium) heated saucepan (that contains a lid), add your olive oil. Heat for a quick second then throw in your diced shallot and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, stirring every so often. You want the shallots and garlic to be caramelized and golden brown looking. (3-5 min.)

2. Next throw in your carrots, maple syrup, 1 TB.  sage, and spices. Stir until coated and turn down heat to med-low. Put lid on top of saucepan, and let carrots cook about 25-30 minutes or until soft. Toss and stir carrots every so often.

3. Now prepare your pistachios. In a separate heated sauce pan, spray with cooking spray and add pistachios. Toast pistachios on medium heat for about a minute, then add maple syrup. Continue to stir and coat pistachios, all the while keeping the maple syrup from burning. Cook for about 1-2 more minutes, or until the pistachios aren’t ‘wet’ with syrup. Transfer nuts to a separate bowl and set aside.

4. Once carrots are done, put on serving platter and top with remaining 1 TB. sage and chopped pistachios. Serve warm.

*This recipe only makes 2 c. worth, so if your making this for a big crowd be sure and double/triple the recipe.*

This just screams Thanksgiving dinner…and Sunday dinner…and Christmas..and Hanukkah…and Ground Hog Day!

Or if your like me, I enjoy eating them on the couch, watching trashy reality TV, and listening to Baby Boo snore away for nap time.

Shhhh, don’t worry. It will be our little secret. 🙂

Thanks again Grimmway Farms for giving me the opportunity to try your amazing product!!

* I was not paid to write this post. To learn more about Grimmway Farms and their awesome company, check out their website at http://www.grimmway.com/.**

Lemon Tahini Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprout Dip

I’m going to be like everybody and their mom and say, ” I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!”

 I clearly haven’t been focusing on this up and coming holiday, but I have been looking forward to one that’s a month away…

Too soon? You might think so, but every morning Baby Boo wakes up and runs to the tree to look at the lights. I just couldn’t say no! 🙂

The holidays are going to be different AND special this time around, since my family has gone through some changes over the past year.

The hubby and I both lost grandparents  this year, so I think it’s going to be a little bit sad come holiday celebrations. Also, my brother is moving to BRAZIL for two years for a church mission. He won’t be able to make phone calls, just emails once a week. He leaves the day after Christmas, so it’s going to be really tough to say goodbye.

Needless to say, I really want to cherish this holiday season, and focus on their true meanings, enjoy it with the ones I love…

Oh and eat some really darn good food!

Everybody loves a good get together with delicious eats.

Especially when you start with appetizers, then a main coarse, then a little more appetizers, then dessert.

By then you need to be rolled to your car, or the nearest couch for a good long hybernation.

My favorite part has always been the appetizers. (I know you were thinking I was gonna say dessert…I’m unpredictable at times my friends…)

I love the olive tray my grandma sets out, in which I politely pour the whole tray on my mini appetizer plate.

I have a weak spot for deviled eggs..I will gladly pop those suckers in my mouth, in between a mouth full of olives.

And then there is the dip…

Everyone’s favorite is usually the classic bread bowl with a helping of artichoke dip inside.

Don’t get me wrong. This was a favorite dish of mine at one point in my life. Back then, nothing could keep me from a bread bowl full of dip…

Nothing.

But then I moved on to bigger…To better…To wholesome…

To gosh darn freakin’ delicious.

And trust me…Nothing..No one…can keep me away from this.

Lemon Tahini Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprout Dip

Ingredients: (For roasted Brussel Sprouts)

4 c. washed and halved brussel sprouts

4 large garlic cloves diced

1/2 onion diced

1 TB. balsamic vinegar

1-2 TB. olive oil

sprinkle of salt and pepper

Ingredients: (for sauce/bean mixture)

1 can drained and rinsed navy beans

Juice and zest of 1 lemon (I used 2 and it was strong, but I didn’t mind)

3 TB. dijon

1/4 c. + 1 TB. tahini

1/2 c. water (If it seems to thick, add a little more. )

sprinkle of salt and pepper

Ingredients: (for topping)

1 piece whole wheat bread

1 TB. organic butter or non diary butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet spread brussel sprouts, garlic, and onion. Drizzle with balsamic, oil, and salt& pepper. Toss to coat. Put in oven and roast for about 35-45 minutes, or until roasted and crispy with dark edges.

2. Meanwhile, make the bread crumbs by processing the bread and butter. Set aside in a dish. Next, make the sauce/bean mixture. In the food processor add all ingredients and puree until creamy. Pour sauce into medium sized bowl and set aside.

3. When roasted veggies are done, transfer to food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped. Pour on top of bean mixture and fold together until all ingredients are combined. Transfer to a (greased baking) dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

*You can leave the dip as it at this step. It will be more creamy and dip like, but if you want to bake it to warm it up go ahead and do so. It thickens a little in the oven, so we used it as a spread onto things.

4. Reduce oven temp to 350. Bake dip for 20 minutes.

5. Once done, serve with bread, crackers, spoons, or even your finger… 🙂

Seriously?

I mean seriously?!

I just pulled this out of the oven like an hour ago and it’s almost gone…

Luckily for Baby Boo and I, the hubby is on a bike ride…so we don’t have to share.

Except he is probably going to be starving when he get’s home. Maybe I should make another one? I’ll go ahead and say yes..

Cuz’ I’m pretty sure that is what your thinking.

Ok..Last thing.

I just had to…

Have a great weekend everybody!!

Spice Seasoned Parsnip and Carrot fries w/ Kale

I’ve always been a little cooky…

I was going through old pictures, and this one just happened to pop up. If I remember correctly, I was super jealous of the size of my roommates bra…I had never seen such wild and crazy prints on a bra before.

The training bra section in Macy’s only has neutral colors…

Then there was this one:

There is a story behind this…I’m pretty sure…

When I think of it, I’ll let you know.

My family has always known me as their source of ‘entertainment’, most of the time. Whether it be good or bad, you could always bet if you came to my house when I was younger you would either get a sweet innocent musical, or a broadway play.

When I was really young, my mom would film us doing random things, and I would always try to be the center of attention. Dancing, singing, run around screaming, what ever it took, I was there for your entertainment.

Then in highschool during a family get together, my dad wouldn’t let me go hang out with some friends because he didn’t know them very well. So I, being the dramatic diva that I was, screamed loudly, “Fine! I mean it’s not like I am going to go have SEX or anything!!”

My dad LOVED that one!

Unfortunately growing older, getting married, and moving away from people that know me, has been a little hard on me..(to say the least.) I couldn’t just run around singing ‘I will always love you,’ to my In-laws and new family, hoping they would applaud and throw roses.

And when trying to make friends, it’s hard for me not to drop down and bust a move, from the window…to the wall…

I had to take a step back and try and behave like an ‘adult’ instead of a performer just so I didn’t freak any body out and scare them away. I had to learn a new way to gain their love…

(And trust me, I can not reach that high note like Whitney Houstan can. I needed a new ploy..)

Food.

Call it a bribe…Call it a plead..

If I ever want someone to like me, I simply let them eat.

Whether it be dessert, come on over for dinner, let me bring a side dish, or how about 24 cupcakes…?

Want some food? Let’s be friends!

Ok, so maybe it doesn’t always work out that way.

Basically if they read my blog, and find out that I brought them something green, vegan, or healthy…most likely those people never call..

You know what I say to those people?

Here are some  more delicious veggies…Forgive me Bestie?

Spice Seasoned Parsnip and Carrot fries w/ Kale

(Serves 2 as a side dish. You can definitely double, triple, etc. this recipe!)

Ingredients:

1 large parsnip washed, peeled, and cut into fries

3-5 medium carrots washed, peeled, and cut into fries.

1 C. kale

1 TB fresh diced garlic, or 1 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. garam masala

salt & pepper(desired amount)

Olive Oil

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, drizzle a TB or 2 in a pan. Add parsnip and carrots. Add garlic and spices and toss to coat. Cook over medium to low heat for about 15 or so minutes.

2. While this is cooking, using a food processor, process kale until finely chopped. You can also do this with a knife if you don’t have a food processor.

3. When the fries seem to be getting close to done, throw in kale and toss to coat. Sprinkle with some more salt and pepper if you want.

5. Cooke for a few minutes longer, and then it’s ready!!

If you make this for a crowd of people, don’ tell them there is kale in it. Most likely they will gag, and never touch your food again..

Not that it’s happened to me or anything.

If anything, plead for them to just take one bite…

And when they do they will profess their love for you…

Maybe even ask  you to be their best friend even…

You never know?

Cilantro Lime Corn on the Cob & Life on the Road

I wish I could say that I’ve been on a tropical island for the past two weeks.

Sandy Beaches, Refreshing Fruit Drinks, Smell of the Ocean Air, Sun Tanning, and a side of Bradley Cooper spraying me down with oil.

But, the only sand I’ve seen would be that from the passenger window of my car. And I wouldn’t call it sand, I’d call it the last place I want to be.

Also, The only “refreshing” drinks I’ve been sippin’ have been the water from gas stations, most likely pumped from the hose in Sleevless Marky Mullets back yard barn…

The smell of sweet ocean Air was traded for an unpleasant meal choice from Hubby of beans which, if you know how the song goes, it truly is a magical fruit..and the more you eat, the more you..

Unfortunately musical flatulent beans isn’t the only thing being heard, because you can always count on a mouse dressed and dancing as the funky chicken to calm a restless baby.

Da na na na na na na ONLY 5 more hours!!

And I’ve yet to been wiped down with oil from the Brad man, but I’ve done plenty of wiping my self…of hineys…I promise not the Hubby’s though. He ate Beans. That’s a job for Sleevless Marky Mullets hose.

 Then there is this precious angle.

You know what too many hours of driving does to a child..

Ask Satan, he’ll tell you.

Actually, I can’t complain. Despite the fact that she’s been through alot over the past two weeks, she’s only had a few tantrums and minor blowouts…

Blowouts of all kind, might I add.

So all together we have driven over 30 hours.

30 hours of Elmo’s world

30 hours of Hubby’s Beans.

30 hours of Gas Station Bathrooms.

30 hours of Cheerios eaten off the car floor due to starvation.

30 hours of Wheels on the Bus and Peekaboo

30 hours of Hubby’s Beans, did I say that already, which I am pretty sure had something to do with the “food poisoning” I got for 10 of those driving hours.

Speaking of which, if you find a tan purse with writing, “I love Organic” on the side of the freeway in Arizona…Don’t open it.

But as hard as the driving was, it was harder to know the reason for the driving. We said our final goodbyes to my grandpa, and buried him in Utah, where he wanted to be buried. The ceremony was perfect, and it was so great to see the Veterans put on a special ceremony for him.

More importantly I thought of all my bloggy friends whose kind and supportive words stood behind me 🙂

Now, I wish I could say the driving was all over, and at this very moment I am sitting on my couch with a box of chocolates catching up on Bachelorette, Housewives, and Paula Dean…

It ain’t happenin’.

I’ve got 3 more days till I’m home. We did a final stop at the Lake for a quick family vacation, which means..

3 more days of Beans…

3 more days of, “Elmo loves his goldfish and his crayon too.”

3 more days of still not knowing what happens on the Bachelorette!

And as I was looking out my car window, seeing shrubs,(and I swear I saw Justin Bieber), I couldn’t help but think of the fair. I’m not sure if it was Marky Mullet who reminded me, or the fact that every bathroom, just like the fair, at gas stations have Chester the Molester’s name written all over them…But I couldn’t get one thing off my mind.

The corn.

I remember it hot off the grill, so warm and sweet and crunchy..I wanted.

No more beans..No more hose water…No more stale cheerios…

So the first thing I did when we got to our vacation spot…

Cilantro Lime Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

Cilantro Lime Butter

Ingredients:

1/3 C. Non Dairy Butter or Organic Butter (room temp..not too cold) OR 1/3 C. Coconut Butter (Ragnhild from Vegan Aphrodite tried coconut butter and she said it worked great!!)

1 bunch cilantro, (no stems-I just rip the top part off)

zest of one lime

juice of half a lime

dash of sea salt

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients in food processor, then set aside.

P.S. This is the most amazing butter! The ideas are running through my head as to what you could use it on!

Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn on the Cob

Adapted from:Pink Pistachio

Ingredients:

Corn

Cilantro Lime Butter

Sea Salt.

Directions:

1. Rub down corn with desirable amount of butter. Wrap in foil or the corn husk, and place on grill, rotating each side every 2-3 minutes.

After about 10-14 minutes, the corn should be done.

2. Remove from wrapper, and sprinkle extra sea salt if desired.

3. Chomp away.

Cilantro & Lime on Corn….

Is better than any corn on the cob I have ever tasted!

This takes away all those 30 hours..

Those Elmo’s songs…

Those funky chickens..

Those Justin Biebers in the desert.

And the best part about this corn…

It may be magical…

but there is nothing flatulent about it. 🙂