Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hey there!

Now that the kids are back in school, I have been hitting the books hard!  When I need a study break, I either workout or get into the kitchen to try out a new recipe.  I have so many awesome new recipes to share and just need to take the time to get them up here.

I debated what to call these……flourless, grain-free, gluten-free, clean-eating, paleo…… they fit into all of those categories!

stack of flourless chocolate chip cookies

My youngest, Jake, has been coming home from Kindergarten with all kinds of new lunch requests.  I try to keep a low-key, balanced approach to food with my kids.  After reading the book Nourishing Wisdom for my “Personal Relationship with Food” class, I have realized we should not label foods as “good” or “bad” since really, food is neutral.  It is our personal judgement of a food, or how it makes us feel, that is good/positive or bad/negative.  Labeling a food as “bad” sets us up for cravings, binges, and negative feelings.  It is my hope that if I feed my kids enough healthy “real” food, balanced with an occasional treat here and there, that they will eventually make their own conscious decision of how certain foods make them feel and whether or not they choose to eat them.

Consequently, I feel the same way about the gluten-free craze.  I may change my mind on this one over the course of my studies at NTI, but for now, I don’t think we should vilify wheat, gluten, or all grains unless there is a justified medical reason to do so.   We can experiment to see how these foods make us feel and make that decision on our own.  I know that wheat is a common allergen for many people and that a lot of us consume far too much of it, so I have been experimenting with a few more gluten or grain-free recipes for people that may require them.

gluten free chocolate chip cookie

Back to the cookies….basically the kid wants dessert every day at lunch like his friends!  So what’s a kitchen-happy mom to do but get to work creating a quick, easy, cookie with healthy whole food ingredients sure to please the kid in all of us!

paleo peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

I have a few different variations on this recipe.  The original – mmm, good.  Or the it’s-Fall-time-to-make-pumpkin-everything version – mmm, super good!  Maybe more of an adult flavor though.

flourless pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from


1 cup natural nut butter (PB is great – more kid-friendly flavor, almond butter works too-more health benefits)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup OR honey

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

scant 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I have been buying soy free, dairy free by Enjoy Life)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop and place on a pan lined with Silpat or Parchment Paper.  Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Cool on the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I like the cookies on the softer side, but need them to hold up in a lunchbox.  They are still a very soft cookie so store in the refrigerator or freezer!!


Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup natural nut butter (same as above PB or almond butter)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup OR honey

1 egg

1/2 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1-1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

scant 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I have been buying soy free, dairy free by Enjoy Life)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop and place on a pan lined with Silpat or Parchment Paper.  Bake for 15 minutes or to your liking.  The pumpkin cookies need a little longer to bake than the original.  Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in the refrigerator or freezer as they are super soft.


My kids definitely prefer the plain chocolate chip cookie recipe using peanut butter.

To make both types of cookies, start off making this recipe as the original chocolate chip, scoop out 12 cookies onto a pan, then add 1/4 cup pumpkin and 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to the remaining batter in the bowl.  Then proceed with the next 12 cookies so that you have the best of both worlds!

They are definitely a super soft cookie compared to a store-bought cookie.  They should be stored in the fridge or freezer and taste great straight from the freezer!




fall quote

I am long overdue for a new post! Seeing as how we’ve entered a new season, my most favorite of all, I thought I would post the recipe for the meal that we had to celebrate the first day of Fall. It was just cool enough that I could pull off a one-dish comfort meal like this Chicken and Noodles!

Homestyle Chicken and Noodle Bake

Not only was it budget-friendly and super easy to make, but it was SO good too!  I know that this is not cutting edge health food, but I have come to the conclusion that there is room in our diet for comforting, enjoyable meals like this.  Of course there were plenty of variations running through my mind, like using spaghetti squash instead of noodles or buying the whole wheat flax fettuccine noodles so feel free to experiment with those options if that appeals to you.  But it has been my goal lately to simplify and de-stress our family dinner time by making only one meal that everyone can enjoy.  I have been encouraging the kids to choose what we will have for dinner and letting them help out in the kitchen more.  This was definitely a kid-friendly dish and it makes a great leftover to send reheated in a thermos for lunch the next day.  Enjoy… and Happy Fall!!!

Homestyle Chicken Noodles

inspired by Better Homes and Garden


Chicken Thighs (I just bought a package that had 5-6, bone-in would be great to for additional flavor)

3 cups water

2 cups chicken broth (one without msg, “natural flavor”, or yeast extract)

2 Bay leaves

1 tsp dried thyme (I had ground thyme which worked nicely)

Salt and pepper to taste ( I added close to 1 tsp. of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper)

1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

Homestyle egg noodles (I used the thick fettuccine style noodles)

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup milk

2 T. flour


Add chicken pieces, chopped onion, carrot, and celery, herbs, water and broth to a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 25-30 minutes until chicken is done. Remove and discard bay leaves. Remove chicken and place on a cutting board to cool. Remove bones if necessary and shred or chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Bring the broth mixture back up to a boil and add noodles. Cook according to package directions (mine were about 12-15 minutes). Stir in frozen peas. In a lidded container, combine milk and flour and shake until thoroughly mixed. Pour milk mixture into pot. Add chicken back in. Cook over low heat until thickened.

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