Cheddar & Bacon Monkey Bread Muffins

This recipe...was SO good. I wanted to post it up soon because it would make a great side dish to your Thanksgiving feast! Biscuit dough has always been a favorite of mine growing up, and the savory additions to this muffin made it so tasty!

I would just like to preface that this isn’t the most nourishing food, BUT it is part of MY food freedom that I’ve been experiencing, and definitely made for a tasty treat! This blog has healthy, wholesome recipes, and treat recipes, and I’ve come to a place where having foods like this doesn’t bother me or send me over the edge anymore. We have to learn how to nourish ourselves well so that we can enjoy the treats as well and not be so stressed around foo! I am so thankful for the food freedom and nourishment that I’ve been experiencing in this journey, and know that I am here to guide you through it as well, just reach out and we can chat! 

 

Anyways, onto zee recipe!  

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These were super easy to whip up, and turned out so savory and delicious! I made a big batch since my hubby took them to work with him, but you could definitely cut the recipe down if need be!  

 

Cheddar & Bacon Monkey Bread Muffins

(makes 30-ish muffins) 

 

3 cans refrigerated biscuit dough

3 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese mix

8-10 slices turkey bacon

1.5 tsp garlic powder

0.5 tsp onion powder

0.5 tsp sage

1.5 tsp thyme

0.25 tsp salt, or to taste  

1/2 cup butter, melted

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then line a muffin tin with liners or parchment paper.  

First, chop the turkey bacon and fry them in a pan until they are crispy. Set aside to cool.

Then, open up the biscuits and cut into little cubes.  

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Place them in a large mixing bowl, then mix in the cheese, bacon, melted butter, and spices. Toss until the biscuits are evenly coated with all the yummy add-ins!  

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Place about 5-6 cubes of the biscuits in each muffin tin. Then bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.  

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These were so gooey and delicious fresh out of the oven, but tasted great with breakfast this morning too!!  

Hope y’all enjoy and Happy early Thanksgiving!  

Shredded BBQ chicken (Instant Pot!)

I have been singing the praises of the instant pot ever since my hubby got it for me for Christmas. It has literally transformed meal prep, helped us eat out WAY less, and makes cooking at home so much easier! I’ve been making shredded chicken almost weekly, so I wanted to share a super easy rendition with you all! 

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Shredded chicken is so versatile! I’ve been making it with salsa verde, but also adding BBQ sauce to it as well, which means you can add it to salads, wraps, sandwiches, or just eat it plain!

And the best part is that you can use frozen chicken, make it taste super moist and fresh, and you don’t have to defrost the day before and make sure you plan ahead! You can just straight up throw frozen chicken into the instant pot and have a meal ready in less than 30 minutes. Here’s the super easy recipe! 

 

Makes 6-8 servings  

8 frozen chicken tenderloins

2-3 frozen chicken thighs  

1 cup chicken broth  

1 cup bbq sauce of choice  

 

Place the frozen chicken into the IP, along with the broth. Cover and set to sealing, then cook on manual for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for about 10 mins; then quick release.  

Once the pressure releases, take the chicken out of the IP and place in a bowl. Shred the chicken with two forks, then add the BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly! 

And that’s it! Super easy to throw together and it tastes delicious! Hope y’all get to try this recipe and seriously, if you don’t have an instant pot, go get one TODAY! They are life changing!  

Easy Roasted Vegetables

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If there's one thing that I always like to have on hand are ready to eat vegetables. I typically love raw vegetables, but there is something so comforting about roasted and warm veggies during the winter time (even though our weather here has been far from winter weather, but I digress).

I decided to roast up some vegetables on Tuesday to eat with some turkey marinara I whipped up. I boiled whole wheat noodles for Emma, my hubby, and a dear friend from church who came over for dinner! Since I'm gluten free, but don't really like a lot of gluten free noodles out there, I thought I'd try the marinara over roasted vegetables, and it turned out SO GOOD! Here is the recipe for a quick and simple roasted veggies pan that you could use as a side to any meal...breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Easy Roasted Vegetables

1 package butternut squash (I used the Trader Joe's precut one and chopped it up even smaller)

2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved

2 zucchinis, chopped*

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 tablespoon dried basil

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

*And really, you could add any vegetables to this! Bell peppers, onions, eggplant, the stage is yours!

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Chop up all your vegetables and place on greased baking sheet.

3. Mix the oil, vinegar, and spices separately, then pour over the vegetables and toss until they are all evenly coated.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the veggies are crisp and starting to brown.

5. Enjoy!

See? Super simple and now you have zero excuses as to why you can't eat your vegetables! :)

Smashed Sweet Potatoes (Instant Pot!)

I’m so excited to share my first Instant pot recipe!  I’ve been loving my new kitchen toy and it’s transformed the ease with which I meal prep and plan! I made these sweet potatoes the other night and they turned out so delicious, I knew I had to share! The spices are sweet and savory at the same time, and they make the perfect and nutritious accompaniment to any meal. I hope you enjoy!  

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Makes 4 servings  

4 medium sized sweet potatoes  

1 T olive oil    

1/8 tsp cinnamon  

1/8 tsp paprika  

salt to taste  

1/2 cup water  

  

Wash, scrub, and dice up your sweet potatoes, then toss evenly with the olive oil and spices. Use the trivet at the bottom of your instant pot, then add the potatoes along with the 1/2 cup of water. 

Lock your instant pot lid and make sure the valve is set to steam. Manually set it to 6 minutes, then forget about it!

I did the quick release to release the pressure once the machine beeped and made sure the pressure had been completely released. Then open the pot and scoop out your sweet potatoes into a bowl. They should be soft enough to mash with a fork and viola! You’ve got delicious smashed sweet potatoes.   

Serve these with some chicken and veggies, or just eat as a snack because they are THAT good! I hope you enjoy!

Rosemary Garlic Chicken

I always dry out chicken. To the point where I don't even want to make it anymore and have been making ground turkey our meal staple for 5 months. But, I told myself to try one last attempt at a baked chicken recipe, and it was a hit! The secret is to put some broth in the casserole dish, and enough butter/oil to keep the chicken moist. Here is my recipe for Rosemary Garlic Chicken that is easy to make, could be doubled or tripled to always have on hand, and goes with practically anything! Enjoy!

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Rosemary Garlic Chicken

 

1.5 lbs chicken tenders

2 T grass fed butter or ghee

1/2 T rosemary

2 T lemon juice

1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 - 1/3 cup chicken broth

 

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

Make sure your butter is softened. Then, add the rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to the butter and mix until it becomes a paste.

 

Rub the butter mixture onto the chicken tenders and place in a greased casserole dish. Pour the chicken broth into the dish.

 

Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until there is no pink in the chicken.

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I've had this chicken with potatoes, atop a fresh salad, and even with some marinara and steamed veggies! It is so versatile and tasty, I hope you enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Steak Taco Soup

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It’s finally getting a bit cooler in Southern California, which means it is soup season!! I personally love chili but Vasken is not a big fan, so I decided to try a variation with steak meat instead of ground beef and no beans, and it was a hit! Plus, it took 10 mins to throw into the crock pot and dinner was ready 6 hours later...perfect! Here’s the recipe! 

 

Makes 6 servings  

2 lbs of tenderloin steak, cut into cubes

4 cup beef or vegetable broth

1/2 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, cubed

1 yellow bell pepper, cubed

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 T taco seasoning

Salt to taste

 

 

Preheat a skillet over medium heat and add your steak. Brown the meat for 5-7 minutes, drain half of the grease, then pour into crock pot.

 

Add beef broth diced onions, chopped bell peppers, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and seasonings.

 

Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

 

I served with a salad and some grain free cornbread (recipe from Danielle Walker’s cookbook “Celebrations.”

 

We loved this soup and I am sure it is going to be a winter time staple!

Mexican Lasagna

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This dish used to be a staple in our home when I was growing up. We loved it and it made such a large amount of food for very little effort, which is always a win in my book! I made a few tweaks to it this time and it turns out delicious!

 

Here's my quick and easy Mexican Lasagna recipe!  

 

Ingredients:

1/2-3/4 lb ground turkey  

1 T olive oil  

2 T taco seasoning  

1/4 cup enchilada sauce  

1 can fire roasted tomatoes OR 1 cup salsa 

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese  

6 tortillas of choice

1 can refried black beans  

 

Preheat  the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Gather the troops.  

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the ground turkey and start breaking it up into small pieces.  

Then add the taco seasoning and mix thoroughly.  

Once the turkey is cooked, add the enchilada sauce and the fire roasted tomatoes. Turn off the heat. 

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Grab a casserole dish and start assembling! Here's how my layers went! 

Tortillas  

Layer of refried beans  

Turkey mixture  

Cheese  

Tortillas  

Layer of refried beans  

Turkey mixture  

Cheese  

Tortillas  

Cheese  

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I baked the Lasagna for 25-30 mins until the top got all melty and bubbly, like so!  

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This was so easy to whip up and we are still living off the leftovers! We ate this with a southwest salad (courtesy of Trader Joe's) and it paired great together! 

If you are looking for a new dish to add to your routine, this one is definitely worth trying! Easy, delicious, and great as leftovers! 

Cilantro Thai Garlic Chicken

I have been wanting to share this recipe for so long and finally got a chance to sit down and do it! I love cooking different kinds of chicken because just plain chicken can get rather boring...and fast! The key to making healthy choices on a long-term basis is to change up your recipes and NOT get bored of your repetitive meals! And let's face it, long lasting and consistent changes are the only ones that make a true, positive impact on our health and overall well-being. Which is why I created this Cilantro Thai Garlic Chicken recipe that is so easy to make and helps your chicken stay flavorful, moist, and most importantly, healthy! This is a sure way to get all the nutrients you need while not getting bored of eating plain grilled chicken day in and day out. Enjoy!

Here is what you need:

Serves 2:

4-5 chicken tenders

1 tsp coconut aminos (great soy-free, gluten-free alternative to soy sauce! I found mine at Whole Foods)

1 T olive oil

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic

Optional: sugar snap peas, broccoli, toasted cashews

Place the olive oil, coconut aminos, garlic, and cilantro in the food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Marinate the chicken in the cilantro mixture for about 20-30 minutes! Then cook on the grill, and enjoy! How easy is that!  I love adding some sugar snap peas or broccoli for some extra veggie goodness! As a fun, crunchy option, I toast a few cashews and mix it with the cooked chicken to add a little healthy fat and crunch to this dish! This meal goes great with some sweet potatoes or even a side salad.

Tabbouleh & Soujoukh

This meal is one of my all-time favorites, which is why I am so excited to be posting it today! My mom and I made this last night for dinner and it totally hits the spot when you want something delicious, nutritious, and light, yet filling! Let's start with the yummy tabbouleh recipe :) 

Makes about 4-6 servings:

2-3 bunches parsley

1.5 cups diced tomatoes

3 stems green onions, chopped

1/4 cup fine bulgar wheat (or quinoa if you are gluten intolerance...or you can omit the grain all together to make it grain free, paleo, whole30, etc...I've tried this salad all 3 ways and it tastes delicious each time!)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4-1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 t salt

1/4 t red pepper

Pinch of black pepper

Pinch of all spice

 

Chop the parsley and place in food processor. Pulse until the parsley is minced. Place parsley in a bowl along with the chopped green onions and tomatoes. I usually pour the bulgar on top of the tomatoes at this point and let the juice from the tomatoes soften up the bulgar for about 5-10 minutes. While you wait for this to happen, you can season and start cooking the soujoukh (or Armenian sausage).

 

Makes 15-18 patties

1 lb ground beef (we used 96/4 from Trader Joe's, but make sure that when you use a meat this lean, you add some olive oil to the pan before grilling the sausage patties!)

1/2 t cinnamon

1 t cloves

1 t cumin

1 t all spice

1 t salt

1 t black pepper

1 t red pepper

2-3 cloves garlic

Mix all the seasonings in with the meat and form little sausage patties. Heat a skillet with 1 T olive oil and start grilling! These sausages cook up pretty fast so be sure to watch them!

While the sausages are cooking, you can mix in the seasonings, olive oil, and lemon juice into the tabbouleh salad. You can eat this tabbouleh on its own, with pita bread, or with lettuce leaves, which is how we did it last night!

 nce the sausages are done, your meal is ready to go!

 

There you have it! One of my favorite dinners EVER. The leftovers taste amazing too! The tabbouleh gets better the next day, and you can always use to leftover sausages in an omelet or rice bowl with some steamed veggies! Hope you all enjoy this meal!