Monthly Archives: February 2014

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese – In 30 Minutes

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On a rainy day, like today, I feel the need for some comfort food. Real honest to goodness Bolognese is supposed to be simmering on the stove for hours upon hours (and by all means, feel free to do it this way), but if you need dinner on the table pronto – this version is great! This one happens to be really healthy too – made with organic ground beef (yes – it is more expensive, but I only paid about $6.00 for 1 pound – so that is very affordable considering how many servings this makes).

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese – in 30 Minutes

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

What you need:

  • 1 package Spaghetti (duh..)
  • About 1 lb or 1 package of Ground Beef (organic pretty please)
  • 1 yellow Onion
  • 2 medium Carrots, or a couple of handfuls shredded Carrots
  • 1-2 15 oz cans of Diced Tomatoes (depending how “tomatoey” you want it)
  • 2- 4 cloves of Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oregano (or other herb that you prefer)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cups of Milk
  • 2ish tbsp. of Sugar (I like it this way, because it cuts the acidity of the tomatoes, but feel free to omit)
Easy Bolognese

Easy Bolognese

What to do:

  1. Cook Sphagetti according to directions
  2. Add some Olive Oil to a medium/large pan – over medium heat.
  3. Finely chop Onion – add to pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until softened
  4. Add Ground Beef to the pan and season with Salt & Pepper – stirring until beef is cooked through
  5. Chop Carrots and add to pan (this adds some sweetness and of course vitamins)
  6. Peel and finely chop Garlic – add to pan. Stir for a minute
  7. Add Tomatoes, Oregano & Sugar (if using) – give a good stir to combine everything. Simmer for a few minutes.
  8. Add Milk – stir. Let simmer for a few minutes. Give it a taste – then season with more salt, pepper, oregano if needed.
  9. Let the Bolognese Sauce simmer until you are ready to eat (the longer the better, but it is perfectly tasty to eat at this point). If the Bolognese is too thick – add some water.
  10. Toss the cooked Spaghetti with the Bolognese – and you have your dinner ready : )

( If you are a small household – it would be a good idea to freeze half of the Bolognese – since this makes a fair amount. )

Dinner is served!

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Please serve with some shredded Parmesan or any other shredded cheese – to add some melty deliciousness : )

Normally I also toss in chopped frozen spinach, or chopped zucchini, or mushrooms to up the vegetable and nutrition factor. But here is the basic recipe – so that you can add and subtract according to your liking.

If you are looking for a Gluten free meal – the Bolognese would be equally delicious with Brown Rice or Quinoa.

Thanks and Bon Appetite!

Annika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegetarian Burrito Bowl – in 10 Minutes

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Very often do I crave Mexican Food, but not often do I want to stuff myself with a ton of sodium, extra fat, and other various unknown ingredients.

So what if I could get my Mexican Food craving satisfied – in a healthy way at home, and in under 10 minutes?! You can too!! (And did I mention this one’s organic ?)

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl – In 10 Minutes

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

What you need:

  • Cooked Brown Rice (I used the Organic already cooked – just heat 90 seconds in microwave)
  • Organic canned Black Beans (again – heat in microwavable dish for 90 seconds)
  • Shredded Cheese (omit if you are Vegan… obviously)
  • Organic Guacamole (or just plain Avocado)
  • Organic Cherry Tomatoes (or any Salsa if you prefer)

What to do:

  1. Layer rice, beans, cheese (if using), guacamole, and tomatoes. Feel free to add sour cream or Greek yogurt : ) I would have, but I just didn’t happen to have any at home today.

That was hard! And time consuming too! Delicious, simple, healthy and homemade – just the way I like it! Now, enjoy your masterpiece – the Vegetarian Burrito Bowl!

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl - in 10 Minutes

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl – in 10 Minutes

Thanks for stopping by! Bon Appetite!

Annika

 

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Maple Oatmeal Cookies – in 30 Minutes

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Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate

Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate

Baking used to scare me, since I’m notoriously bad at following recipes. But after living back home in Sweden for a while – I embraced the domestic goddess in me and started baking. I started with scones, then moved on to crumble pies, then cookies, then bread… You know what I learned? It’s not that hard at all. One might say it’s easy (I’m not talking about French pastry chef stuff). To whip up some Maple Oatmeal Cookies – you basically have to be able to measure things, pour ingredients in to a bowl, mix it with a spoon. Pretty darn easy!

So if you find yourself craving something sweet and chewy tonight – but don’t want to drive to the store to buy cookies with about 100 unknown ingredients (all of them ending in “phate” something – yuck!) – you could possibly bake your own delicious (and did I mention EASY) cookies. So let’s bake.

Maple Oatmeal Cookies – in 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Maple Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients for Maple Oatmeal Cookies

What you need: (Makes 20-ish Cookies)

  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick or 1/2 cup) of room temperature Butter (I pop it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds)
  • 1 cup of Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. of Salt (brings out the flavor – doesn’t make it taste salty)
  • 3/4 cup of Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp. of Maple Syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup Oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Chips or Raisins (totally optional)

Cookie Dough

What to do:

  1. Heat oven to 350 F
  2. In a medium bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl stir/mix the butter and sugar together until “fluffy” and airy (I just use my trusty wooden spoon for this, but of course you could use a hand mixer).
  4. Add the egg and maple syrup to the butter and sugar – stir until it’s all incorporated (i.e. when you don’t see big pieces of egg yolk)
  5. Add flour mixture – mix until all ingredients are combined
  6. Last but not least stir in the oats and chocolate (if using)
  7. Use a tablespoon (or whatever you like) to drop tablespoon size balls of cookie dough – about 2 inches apart – on greased or parchment lined cookie sheets (about 10-12 cookies per sheet).
  8. Bake for about 12-15 minutes (my oven runs hot, so 12 minutes was enough in my kitchen.

cookies

I told you it wasn’t that hard!! And now that you have slaved away in the kitchen for at least 20-30 minutes – it is time to maybe watch some Downton Abbey and enjoy these Maple Oatmeal Cookies with some tea or perhaps even milk.

 

Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate

Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate

I hope you enjoyed these! This is a modified recipe of Jessica Seinfeld’s Oatmeal, Maple & Raisin Cookies – from her WONDERFUL cook book “The Can’t Cook Book”

Goodnight!

Annika

 

 

 

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Meatless Monday Idea – Roasted Veggies with Quinoa

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Feeling uninspired for your Meatless Monday dinner? Even if you are not “in to” the Meatless perhaps you just need some inspiration. This recipe happens to be Vegan, but you certainly don’t have to be a Vegan or Vegetarian to enjoy this healthy and tasty meal! So let’s get on with the show.

Meatless Monday Idea –

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, & Tomatoes with Quinoa

Roasted Veggies with Quinoa

Roasted Veggies with Quinoa

 

Don’t let the words Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa intimidate you! Roasted Brussels Sprouts is long way away from mushy overcooked/boiled/steamed sprouts. Quinoa is as simple to cook as rice – just has a fancier name (and more protein).

What you will need:

  • About a pound (a few handfuls) of Brussels Sprouts
  • I Portobello Mushroom (or one container Crimini or White Mushrooms)
  • A couple of handfuls of Cherry Tomatoes (or Grape Tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • About 2 tbsp. Olive Oil (preferably Extra Virgin)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup of uncooked Quinoa (makes 3 cooked cups)
Ingredients for Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients for Roasted Vegetables

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Rinse Brussels Sprouts and cut off stem and outer leafs. Cut sprout in half lengthwise. Place in rimmed roasting pan (cookie sheet/baking pan).  (I had to use to pans – to fit all the veggies)
  3. Rinse and cut up Portobello mushroom – in to bite size pieces. Place in roasting pan.
  4. Rinse tomatoes and put in roasting pan.
  5. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Sprinkle chopped garlic evenly over veggies.
  6. Drizzle Olive Oil over veggies. Toss vegetables (with your hands) with the olive oil and garlic
  7. Season with Salt & Pepper

Brussels Sprouts

Portobellos and Tomatoes

8.  Roast/Bake in the middle of your oven for 20-25 minutes. Until the veggies are tender, but  not mushy, and the Brussels Sprouts are nicely browned, but not burned.

9. While veggies are roasting – cook the Quinoa according to the package directions (takes about 15 minutes)

Roasted Veggies

10. Take out your lovely roasted vegetables from the oven – and give them a stir (without smashing them).

11.  Serve over the quinoa. (If you would like you could drizzle some olive oil over your quinoa first, or a little cream if you are not Vegan). By all means, again if you are not Vegan, sprinkle some Parmesan or other tasty cheese over the vegetables.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, & Tomatoes over Quinoa

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, & Tomatoes over Quinoa

Enjoy!

This would make a great side dish to chicken, steak, fish etc. And of course you could switch out the vegetables to your liking. Or switch the quinoa for brown rice, pasta… you catch my drift. It’s your meal – so make it the way you want it : ) But do try this version – I think it was quite delicious!

Tell me your thoughts!

Annika

 

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Blueberry Spinach Smoothie with Grapes – The Purple Heart

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This purple drink is on of my favorite smoothies. It’s nice to add bananas or yogurt or almond milk for a creamier drink, but sometimes I just want a more juicy smoothie. Like this one:

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie with Grapes – The Purple Heart

Blueberry, Grape, & Spinach Smoothie - The Purple Heart

Blueberry, Grape, & Spinach Smoothie – The Purple Heart

The name of the drink is pretty obvious – it’s as purple as can be and of course really good for your heart. You’ve perhaps heard of wine being good for your heart (in moderation..) – and here we have some wonderful grapes : ) . From what I have read – when blending or extracting the grapes you get even more benefits because of the seeds. When you extract/blend/crush the seeds you can absorb a lot of the nutrients you would otherwise miss.

If you want to read more in depth about the benefits of grapes, blueberries and spinach – I found some useful information on this site: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271156.php

This is what you need for this purple health drink.

  • a handful of fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 cup of Blueberries
  • big handful of Grapes (fill up to Max line if you have a Nutribullet)
  • add Water to cover ingredients

What to do

Blend/Extract/Puree, Juice! Drink and be merry!

Happy Free Radical Fighting Monday!

Annika

 

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Overnight Oatmeal with Yogurt, Strawberries, & Banana

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Good Morning y’all! Are you ready for the new day? It is Sunday morning here in sunny California (yes the sun is already shining at 7am) – on this “cold” February morning. As I do every single morning – I am enjoying my very dark and strong French Press Coffee, with lots of milk (my homemade latte). This morning I broke away from my customary whole grain toast – and tried some of my Overnight Oatmeal. I’ve seen about a billion pictures of this creation on Pinterest, so I thought it was time to test it out myself. So, here is my version:

Overnight Oatmeal with Yogurt, Strawberries, & Banana

Overnight Oatmeal with Yogurt, Strawberries, & Banana

Overnight Oatmeal with Yogurt, Strawberries, & Banana

Doesn’t it look pretty? It really does – but it is not complicated! Also, if you are making this for yourself at home – with no intentions of taking pictures of your creation – it is super easy. Just dump/poor the contents into some kind of jar or Tupperware with an airtight lid : ) Child’s play.

So what do you need? (this makes 1 large or 2 small servings)

  • 1/2 cup of Oats
  • 1/2 cup of plain Yogurt (if you are not into dairy, use a substitute such as Almond Milk)
  • 2 Strawberries – sliced
  • 1/2 Banana – sliced
  • sprinkle of Cinnamon
  • drizzle of Honey

What to do?

  1. Layer, or simply add all of the above contents into your mason jar (or other container)
  2. Secure lid
  3. Shake up the ingredients. The idea is for the oats to soak up the yogurt or milk, so make sure the oats are covered. If the yogurt you are using is too thick – simply add a splash of milk.
  4. Place in refrigerator overnight (hence the name) or about 8 hours (although I think 4 hours would be plenty).
  5. Eat & Enjoy (the end result isn’t as pretty and is a bit mushy – but still tasty).
Overnight Oatmeal with Yogurt, Strawberries, and Banana

Overnight Oatmeal with Yogurt, Strawberries, and Banana

There you go – now we have tried and tasted this new(ish) popular breakfast! What do you think? Obviously you could use whatever fruit you wanted, but if you use frozen fruit reduce the yogurt (or milk) since you’ll have more liquid from the fruit : )

Happy Sunday!

Annika

 

 

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Double Fudge Brownies With Chocolate Chips – In 30 Minutes

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We can’t be good all the time! But, when we’re bad – let’s do in the best way! Who can resist fudgy chocolaty gooey homemade brownies?? (If you are not a chocolate fan – feel free to leave this conversation, or you might consider baking this for someone who DOES love chocolate). So, here’s a recipe for delicious, easy, and quick homemade brownies. I choose to use mostly organic ingredients – so that adds to the greatness. Also, it would seriously take you longer to go the store to buy the boxed mix stuff.  Anyway… who wants to read all this, when we need to get to the good stuff.

Double Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

Double Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

Double Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

What you need:

  • 12-16 oz bag of high quality dark Chocolate Chips (think 62% Ghirardelli)
  • 1 stick of Butter (1/2)Brownie Ingredients
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of white Flour
  • 1 cup of granulated Sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. of Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • 1/4  tsp. of Baking Soda

 

 

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
  2. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan
  3. Melt the butter and half (reserve the rest for later step) of the chocolate chips over low heat – stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

Butter and Chocolate

        Melted Butter & Choc

4. Let butter and chocolate mixture cool for a couple of minutes – then stir in the eggs. Add vanilla extract.

Chocolate and Eggs

5. In medium bowl mix dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and sugar. Make a well in the middle.  Then add the chocolate egg mixture to the dry ingredients (in your well). Mix until smooth.

mixing ingredients

6. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips (half the bag).

7. Pour your chocolaty batter/dough in to your greased baking pan and smooth out.

Unbaked Brownies

8. Bake in the middle of your oven for 17-20 minutes. My oven is a gas oven and seems to run hot, so I take my brownies after 17 or 18 minutes at the latest. Remember – these are supposed to be fudgy. The brownies will firm up as they cool down.

So there you have it – in less than 30 minutes you have your very own delicious Double Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies.  Time to cut the brownies in to squares (I like to do this right when it comes out of the oven, with my rubber spatula) and serve.  Enjoy!!

Double Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

Double Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

As always, I hope you enjoyed this recipe!

Annika

 

I found this recipe on www.VeryBestBaking.com (I think..)

 

 

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Prebiotic & Probiotic Mango, Banana, Pineapple, & Greek Yogurt Smoothie

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We could call this drink Tummy Soother perhaps. That is – if you are able to have dairy products! Mango has great prebiotic fiber and lots of other wonderful qualities, and of course yogurt has those great live active probiotic cultures that are so good for your digestive system.

The banana and pineapple add to the healthiness of the drink – but of course also to the deliciousness and creaminess : ). So – let’s get to it:

Prebiotic & Probiotic Mango, Banana, Pineapple, & Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Mango, Banana, Pineapple, & Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Mango, Banana, Pineapple, & Greek Yogurt Smoothie

(Please enjoy while reading your favorite magazines… if you like)

What you need:

  • 1/2  Mango (or 1/2 cup frozen)
  • 1 small Banana
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (or other Plain Yogurt)
  • About 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water

Blend/Extract/Puree until smooth. Enjoy this pale yellow mellow drink. Your tummy AND your taste buds will thank you!

Tummy Soother - Mango, Banana, Pineapple, & Greek Yogurt

Tummy Soother – Mango, Banana, Pineapple, & Greek Yogurt

I absolutely do not think you need to add any sweetener of any kind to this – the fruit IS the sugar. But again – that is up to you : )

Let me know your thoughts and favorite flavors or versions!

Annika 

 

 

 

 

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Easy Maple Glazed Broiled Salmon With Creamed Spinach

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Maple Glazed Salmon With Creamed Spinach

Maple Glazed Salmon With Creamed Spinach

Are you allowed to have fish on meatless Monday? I’m not sure, but here’s a delicious, quick and easy recipe for salmon:

Maple Glazed Broiled Salmon With Creamed Spinach

What you need for the Salmon:

  • 2 Filets of Salmon (defrosted or fresh)
  • 3 tbsp. of Organic Maple Syrup
  • 3 tbsp. Organic Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic – chopped finely or pressed
  1. Turn on your broiler
  2. In a Ziploc type bag – add the syrup, soy sauce and garlic. Then add salmon filets and zip bag. “Massage” the salmon with the glaze, making sure it’s completely covered.
  3. Place salmon on lined cookie sheet/broiler pan and pour some of the remaining marinade on top of fish.
  4. Stick under your broiler on upper level in your oven.  After about 10 minutes take out salmon and spoon more marinade on top of fish. Return salmon to oven for about 5-10 more minutes. Keep a close eye – so your marinade or fish don’t burn!
  5. Depending on thickness of salmon it should be cooked through after about 15 minutes (that’s for well done), but you can check with a knife if the fish is cooked through.

While the salmon is cooking away in the oven let’s get started with the EASY Creamed Spinach:

What you need for the Creamed Spinach:

  • About 1 cup of frozen chopped Spinach
  • About 1/2 cup of Heavy Cream or Half & Half (if you don’t want dairy try with coconut milk)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Pour frozen spinach and cream in small/medium pot. Add some salt & pepper. Cook/simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes (basically until the spinach is defrosted.  Taste and see if you want more seasoning! (Feel free to add garlic or whatever else spice you like) That’s it! You are done!!

Serve Maple Glazed Salmon with the Creamed Spinach. I love it just like this, but at my mother’s house, in Sweden, we would definitely have served it alongside boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes. Brown rice, quinoa, or jasmine rice would be great too. You’re the one who will eat – so you decide : )

I hope you enjoyed this simple, but delicious meal. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions or your favorite versions.

Thanks,

Annika

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Easy & Healthy Homemade Oatmeal Pancakes – With Homemade Blueberry Syrup

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Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes – with Ground Flax Seeds & Apple/Pear/Mango & Kale Puree

Fruit & Veggie TwistSounds complicated? It’s not. I’m cheating here by using my daughter Maja’s school snack to add to the healthiness of this pancakes. This little fruit & veggie concoction not only adds vitamins, but moisture as well. And the kids won’t even know it!!

 

Kaj blissfully unaware of the kale and flax seeds in his pancakes.

Kaj blissfully unaware of the kale and flax seeds in his pancakes.

 

Here is Kaj (my picky 3 year old) happily and blissfully unaware that he is having kale for breakfast. Mommy wins the battle this time!!

 

 

 

 

What you need for the pancakes (Makes about 12):
  • 1 cup of Flour
  • 1 cup of Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup of cooked Oatmeal (1/4 oats & 1/2 cup of water – cooked for 1 minute in microwave)
  • 1 tbsp. of ground Flax Seeds
  • 2 tbsp. of Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of Salt (less or more according to your preference)
  • some Cinnamon (if you are a fan)
  • 1 tsp (or more) of Vanilla extract
  • 1 Apple Sauce/puree type package (it doesn’t have to be the one I used)
Let’s do this:
  1. Heat frying pan over medium heat with a little butter (or vegetable oi).
  2. Mix dry ingredients (i.e. flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, flax seeds.
  3. Add & mix in milk, vanilla, oatmeal, apple & veggie puree, and the egg. Make sure all ingredients are well combined, but don’t overmix.
  4. Cook pancakes over medium heat (turn down heat if the pancakes get too dark) – flipping pancake after about 1-2 minutes.
Blueberry Syrup  (No sugar added)Frozen Blueberries

Add about  1 cup (or more if you want) of frozen blueberries to small sauce pan. Add a splash of water. Cook/Simmer over medium heat for at least 10 minutes, until the blueberry liquid is syrupy. That’s It!!! Easy!

 

 

Drizzle over pancakes and serve.

Oatmeal Pancakes & Blueberry Syrup

Oatmeal Pancakes & Blueberry Syrup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there you have it – a super healthy and delicious brunch or breakfast. Notice – we didn’t add any sugar to the pancakes or the blueberries : ) . I don’t think these pancakes require Maple Syrup, but that is up to you!

I hope you enjoy, and as always let me know what you think.

Annika 

 

 

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