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Foodie, Main Eats, Recipe, Sweets

Breakfast Cookies

March 22, 2015

breakfast cookies

Cookies for breakfast?! 

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a cooking strike. Well, not so much of a cooking strike as I am on a once-a-week cooking kick. I spend one day during the weekend (usually Sunday) making food for the week; including these cookies that we’ve been eating for breakfast for the past few weeks.

I’m absolutely addicted to them. I love them. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover how great life can be when you eat cookies for breakfast. Plus, they taste amazing with that first cup of coffee in the morning.

I also love that there is zero flour in these too. If you substitute gluten free oats, then these are easily Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies; but we aren’t a gluten-free house so I buy regular rolled oats.

Now, stop wasting time and go make yourself a batch of these to eat for breakfast during your week!

You’re Welcome.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-3 1/2 cups of rolled oats

-2 tsp baking powder

-1 cup flax meal (sometimes I do 1/2 flax | 1/2 oat bran)

-1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

-3 tbs Chia seed

-1/2 cup of salted grass-fed butter; softened 

-2 cups of all natural peanut butter 

-1/2 cup packed brown sugar

-1/2 cup (real) maple syrup

-1/4 cup black strap molasses

-3 eggs

-2 tsp vanilla

-2 cups chopped nuts and seeds (I like to do a combination of pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pecans)

-2-3 handfuls of dark chocolate chips (or 4 handfuls. I added 4. Don’t judge.)

*if using raw, unsalted nuts, add about 1/4 tsp of salt to the dry ingredients*

Preheat oven to 400° F

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, baking soda, chia, flax, and coconut. Set aside

In another large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the maple syrup and molasses and mix until well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time; mixing slowly. Add the vanilla.

Add the peanut butter to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.

Now, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix slowly until a ‘dough’ forms (it’ll be much stickier than regular cookie dough). Add the nuts and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.

Cover dough and chill for at least an hour.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, add scoops of dough (walnut-sized) and press flat.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let rest for at least 1 minute on the warm baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

*I typically make a double batch of these cookies. I bake half, and freeze the other (pre-formed) unbaked cookies. They can be baked directly from frozen; which is awesome. 400° for 12 minutes. *



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Foodie, Main Eats

Real Food Fruit and Nut Yogurt Bowl

January 20, 2015


One of my favorite quick and easy breakfast (or lunch) solutions is this awesome yogurt bowl. It’s chock full of protein from the greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, and chia. It has just the right amount of sweetness from the fruit and honey. Plus, it keeps your belly full for several hours.

This is my go-to post workout meal choice. The protein and fat content are great for muscle recovery.

*I cannot stress enough how important full fat dairy products are. However, it’s almost impossible to find full fat AND organic varieties of greek yogurt. Ideally, you can just make your own (but even I don’t make yogurt). I almost always choose full fat over organic when it comes to yogurt. End Rant.*

Here is what you’ll need:

-1 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt; full fat variety like Fage

-1 sliced up peach or a handful of berries

-1/4 cup of mixed nuts and seeds; my favorite is chopped walnuts with raw pepitas and raw sunflower seeds

-2 tbs chia seed

-1 tsp of raw honey; local is the best. Go find a good “Honey Guy” this week. 

*add more or less sweetener depending on your palate. I like the tartness of the plain yogurt, so I only add a scant amount of honey. However, some people may prefer their yogurt bowl a bit sweeter.

Throw all the ingredients into a bowl. Devour.

yogurtbowl 1

Foodie, Main Eats, Recipe, Savory

Chicken Sausage and Summer Squash Stir Fry

August 6, 2014

Chicken-Sausage-Stir-Fry (4 of 4)

Gosh, I am totally loving this summer.

Want to know what else I’m loving right now? Squash. Give me all the squash in all the world and I will be a happy camper.

We’re fortunate to have neighbors and friends who keep delivering squash harvests from their gardens. As we speak, I have about 4 zucchini squash on my counter waiting to be turned into fritters, breads, and a multitude of other dishes. Is there anything you can’t do with a zucchini?!

At the moment, I am trying to consume fresh veggies at every single meal. You know, really take advantage of fresh local produce (or just help people not waste their garden’s bounty). This stir fry/salad combo dish is proving to be a great way to get a lot of vegetables into us in one sitting. It’s a great lunch or dinner dish. Make it a breakfast dish by scrambling it all together with a few eggs! It’s even awesome as leftovers!

This dish is easy-peasy to put together and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-3 chicken sausages (these sausages were artichoke and mozzarella chicken sausage); sliced.

-2 cups sliced squash (I used an assortment of zucchini, patty pan, and summer squash); thinly sliced.

-3 cloves of garlic; minced.

-1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbs fresh parsley)

-salt and pepper

-1/2 of a lemon

-1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

-a large handful of greens (I buy a “power greens” blend of baby spinach, kale and swiss chard).

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and stir to coat in the oil. After a few minutes, add the squash, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir every few minutes (like you would with a stir fry) until the squash begins to soften and the sausage has browned. Once everything has cooked to your liking, remove from heat.

Add the handful (or 2) of greens to a plate, top with desired amount of stir fry. Squeeze a lemon wedge (or 2!) over the top of the stir fry salad. Give a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Enjoy warm!

Chicken-Sausage-Stir-Fry (1 of 4)

Serves 2 adults (and 1 hungry baby)

Foodie, Main Eats, Soups

Italian Wedding Soup (with Barley)

January 27, 2014


It’s the end of the month, which means our grocery budget is all used up and it’s time to get creative with meals.

Soup is ALWAYS a go-to meal for cleaning out the pantry/freezer. After a quick trip to the chest freezer, I came back with some frozen ground chicken and several mason jars of chicken stock. My first thought was Italian Wedding Soup!

A stroll over to the pantry, and I found myself empty-handed in the pasta department (we don’t eat pasta regularly, so it’s hardly ever in the pantry any more) BUT I had some leftover barley. Perfect!

It all came together in a matter of minutes and, although it isn’t “true” Italian Wedding Soup, it tasted awesome!

Here’s What You’ll Need

For the Meatballs:

-1 pound ground chicken

-1/2 cup bread crumbs

-1 egg

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp onion powder

-1 tsp dried oregano

-1 tsp dried basil

-salt and pepper

-plus 1 tbs olive oil for browning

**If you have fresh or dried parsley, throw some in too. I didn’t have any on hand**

For the Soup:

-1 medium yellow onion

-3 carrots

-2 ribs of celery

-2 cloves of garlic

-1 tbs olive oil (or ghee)

-8 cups chicken stock

-2 large handfuls of baby spinach: chopped

-1 handful of pearled barley

-1 tsp dried basil

-1 bay leaf

-salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine meatball ingredients. Mix together using your hands (go ahead, get dirty). Shape into small meatballs; about a tablespoon of meat each.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add 1/3 of the meatballs to the skillet and lightly brown. Repeat until all the meatballs are cooked. Set aside

**Don’t worry about cooking the meatballs all the way through. They will finish cooking in the soup**

In an enameled dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; sauté until veggies are soft. Add garlic, chicken stock, spinach, meatballs, barley, dried basil, and bay leaf to the dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to an hour (the longer you simmer, the more flavorful the soup will be). Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6

Foodie, Main Eats

Simple Dutch Oven Pot Roast

January 7, 2014


On cold winter evenings in WI, I crave hearty “stick to your bones” dishes.

This dish requires almost no effort, and the results are amazing. Tender, juicy beef. Savory and flavorful veggies; all without packaged seasoning mixes or canned soups. A hearty “real food” dinner.

Add a salad of mixed greens (topped with Olive oil and balsalmic vinegar), and you have a perfectly well rounded supper for a cold winter’s night.

Here’s What You’ll Need:
1 medium beef roast (smaller or larger depending on how many people you are feeding. 1 three pound roast feeds us for 2 meals)

1 large yellow onion

2-3 cups beef stock (the more liquid you use, the more sauce you’ll have at the end)

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1tbs worcestershire sauce

1 tbs low sodium soy sauce

1 bay leaf

1 pound of potatoes; peeled and cut (I prefer smaller size potato bites, but it’s up to personal preference)

1 pound of carrots; peeled and cut (I cut them into “sticks”, but again, totally up to you)

dash of garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 300°.

In a bowl (or mason jar), add stock Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and balsalmic vinegar. Give it a good mix and set aside.

Season your roast all over with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in an enameled dutch oven over medium heat. Brown your roast. Add onion and beef stock mixture (and bay leaf) to the dutch oven. Put lid on and set on middle rack of the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, add carrots and potatoes. Cook for another hour.

Serve with a salad of leafy greens and some fresh sourdough bread (great for these cold January evenings).


Use your slow cooker to cook this recipe: add frozen roast, onions, and stock mixture to slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours. About an hour before serving, add carrots and potatoes. If using a thawed roast, cook on low for 6-8 hours instead.

*try mixing things up a bit and go for a variety of root vegetables: carrots, potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas.



Foodie, Main Eats

Bacon & Spinach Quiche

December 10, 2013


Recently, I’ve started making quiche on a weekly basis. I typically make it on Sunday; so my husband can have the leftovers in his lunch during the week. However, I usually get another hankering for this tasty egg dish mid-week and throw another one together for dinner on Wednesay or Thursday.

What I love so much about quiche is how easy it is to throw together and how well it holds up for leftovers.

This particular recipe is my favorite flavor combination: bacon, spinach, gouda, and Herbes de Provence.


Here’s What You’ll Need:

-1 Pie Crust

-6 eggs

-3/4 cup of milk

-1 cup of grated Gouda cheese

-1 large handful of baby spinach; chopped

-1/2 lb of bacon

-1 tsp Herbs de Provence

-salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 375°. If you’re not using a pre-made pie crust, form your homemade pie dough into a deep pie dish (a 3 inch one works well).

In a large skillet, cook your bacon. Remove bacon from skillet, and discard bacon grease (or save it, if you’d like). Once cooled, chop or crumble bacon and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and milk. Whisk together. Add spices and whisk again. Set aside.

In your formed pie shell, add the bacon and chopped spinach. Pour egg mixture over the bacon and spinach. Top with grated cheese.

Bake for 40-45 minutes (or until center of quiche is fully cooked. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a mixed greens salad, bowl of soup, or fresh bread.

Makes 6-8 servings



Foodie, Main Eats, Recipe, Soups

Roasted Organic Butternut Squash Soup (with Bacon)

October 14, 2013

Fall is here. I am in love.

The cooler temperatures. The changing leaves. A new baby on the way (and one who just turned 3). Life is perfect.

Want to know what makes life even more perfect? Soup. Homemade soup and fresh bread. I’ve died and gone to heaven.

This soup has it all. Salty bacon. Savory roasted squash. Creamy and tangy greek yogurt (from Stonyfield Farms). Blended together to create the perfect “stick to your bones” fall soup. It’s hearty, but not heavy. Oh so nourishing. Exactly what you want (and need) after a hard day’s work (you know, like having a baby).

Here’s What You’ll Need:
-1 Medium Size Organic Butternut Squash; cut in half with the seeds removed
-Fresh Sage; a few sprigs
-1 Bag of Organic Frozen Corn
-Potatoes (3); peeled and chopped (I used Russet)
-1 Medium Yellow Onion; chopped
-4 Cups of Chicken Stock
-4 Cups of Milk (I used whole milk to give it a richer flavor)
-1 Pound of Bacon
-3-4 Cloves of Garlic; minced
-Stonyfield Plain Greek Yogurt; 16oz container
-3 Bay leaves
-Salt and Pepper

Preheat Oven to 375°. On a parchment lined baking sheet, place split squash. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place sprigs of sage on top. Roast for 45 minutes; or until flesh of squash is soft. Remove sage; discard. Scoop out contents and set aside.

While your squash is roasting, cook your bacon in a skillet. Chop cooked bacon into pieces and set aside; but save out several tablespoons of bacon grease (a small cup or dish will work perfectly for your liquid bacon-y goodness). *Don’t want to use bacon grease? Try olive oil instead!

In a large Dutch oven (or stock pot), sauté your onions in the reserved bacon grease until soft and translucent. Add garlic, corn, squash and potatoes. Give everything a quick stir to break up any tasty bits stuck to the bottom. Add your chicken stock. Again, give everything a nice stir. Add your milk, bay leaf, and another sprig of sage; plus a few grinds of salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes; until the potatoes are soft and the flavors have had plenty of time to work through the soup. *I like to start my soup early, and let it cook for a few hours.*

Remove from heat. Remove sage and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup. It should be a nice, thick consistency. Stir in the crumbled bacon and container of Stonyfield Greek yogurt.

Serve with fresh bread (sourdough or cheese bread is THE BEST choice for this soup).

Makes 10-12 servings (and freezes awesome for leftovers)

*Short on time? The squash can be roasted the day before (or several days). After it has roasted, scoop out contents and store in an airtight container in the fridge; for up to 3 days.

*The purée step isn’t necessary, but I have a picky toddler who only eats soups with a uniform consistency. Also, we call this “Bacon Soup” in our house because anything with the word bacon in it means she’ll eat it; no questions asked

Foodie, Main Eats, Recipe

Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

August 17, 2013


I need protein in the morning. Like, a lot of protein. I need eggs. I need meat. But who has time for that?!

I typically make a Peanut Butter & Banana smoothie (literally a quart of smoothie) with lots of hemp protein powder and that gets me through until about 1pm. However, sometimes a smoothie doesn’t cut it. OR I only have enough milk left for JBird’s morning cereal. That child loves her bran flakes.

I had an a-ha moment while purchasing a super delicious Starbuck’s breakfast sandwich on our last road trip. WHY am I paying for something that I can make at home for WAY cheaper.

Since deciding to stop spending money on things like takeout, Starbucks, restaurants, (and anywhere else where we sometimes grab a quick bite to eat), I knew I needed to come up with more quick and easy breakfast options for my husband (and myself). I started making large batches of Whole Wheat & Flax Waffles on the weekend to reheat during the week (and eat with peanut butter and bananas), but I wanted to try my hand at my all time favorite quick breakfast: The Breakfast Sandwich.

I initially wanted to use canadian bacon, but couldn’t find it at the grocery store (I blame foggy pregnancy brain). I did find a large bag of turkey sausage patties for a great price and that sounded wonderful to me. My husband prefers sausage breakfast sandwiches anyway, and the turkey sausage gives you a great sausage flavor without all the grease.

I added spinach to the eggs to give us a boost of veggies in the morning. I’m going to try peppers and onions on my next batch (with the spinach). Spinach and eggs go so well together.

My cheese of choice was cheddar (how Wisconsin of me), but I think gouda or even mozzarella would be great. The flavor combinations are pretty endless.

My original goal was to make my own english muffins from scratch, but I was very disappointed with my first batch (although Toby Dog was NOT disappointed with them…since he stole 4 off the counter). This batch was made with store bought muffins, but I haven’t given up on my quest to make (and perfect) my own english muffins. Stay tuned for that.

After doing some math, these breakfast sandwiches (Turkey Sausage, Egg, Spinach, Sharp Cheddar, English Muffins) worked out to be about .99 cents each. WAY cheaper than anything you’d get in a drive through. Not to mention they’re healthier AND taste better too. Win-Win-Win.


Here’s What You’ll Need:

-12 eggs

-12 whole wheat english muffins

-12 (or in our case, 24) pieces of turkey sausage (or canadian bacon, ham, bacon, or whatever tickles your fancy)

-1 brick of sharp cheddar cheese (or 12 cheddar slices)

-2 cups fresh baby spinach; chopped (add in any other veggies or mushrooms you see fit).

-coconut oil (to grease the pan)

-salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350°. On a large baking sheet, separate the english muffins and lay flat to toast. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, crack the dozen eggs and beat. Add salt and pepper. Mix. Set Aside.

Grease a 9×13 pan. I used coconut oil, but you can use whatever you normally use (ie: cooking spray). Pour the beaten eggs into the dish. Sprinkle chopped spinach over eggs. Give a quick stir so the spinach is covered with eggs. Bake at 350 ° for 20-30 minutes; or until eggs are “set” and fully cooked.

While the eggs are baking, put your baking sheet of english muffins in the oven as well to toast them (take them out after 10 minutes). Now would be a great time to slice your cheese (unless it’s already sliced). If you are using a meat that needs to be cooked before you assemble the sandwiches (ie: anything not already frozen and in patty form), then cook that while the eggs bake too. **I used a brown and serve turkey sausage that was pre-frozen, so I skipped that last step. However, if I was going to use canadian bacon (or regular bacon) I would cook it before freezing**

Once the eggs are baked, remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. You want them to be all the way cool before putting them into the freezer (otherwise, things might get weird in there).  Using a biscuit cutter (sized to fit your english muffins), cut 12 egg and spinach rounds from your pan. If this seems too complicated, just cut 12 egg squares instead. I wanted rounds because I’m kind of wacky like that.


Now, Assemble!! I placed an egg round on the bottom of the english muffin, then added my turkey sausage. Next came the cheese, and the other half of the english muffin followed that. Do this 12 times. When all of your sandwiches are assembled, wrap them in foil and store them in gallon size freezer bags.

freezer breakfast sammies

To Reheat:


-remove foil from sandwich, place on microwave safe plate and cook for 2-3 minutes. Devour.

Conventional Oven: (my preferred choice)

-Preheat oven to 350°

-Undo foil wrapping and set (on foil) on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes (or until center is warm).

**If someone other than yourself will be reheating these, maybe write these instructions out and tape them to the gallon freezer bag that you are storing these breakfast sandwiches in. It’s the nice thing to do**

Makes 12 (make ahead, freezer) breakfast sandwiches

Foodie, Main Eats, Recipe, Soups

Split Pea & Ham Soup

August 13, 2013

splitpeasoupI love this soup.

It’s my absolute favorite soup to make.

It’s oh so savory and smoky; with just a touch of earthiness thanks to the split peas.

The key to really good split pea soup is REALLY great ham hocks. I will drive great distances to purchase heavenly hocks. Some stores will try to sell you sub-par hocks (for cheap prices). Do not be swindled. A great hock is worth every penny. High quality hocks also tend to have LOTS of meat left on them. Again, totally worth the extra drive (and extra bucks). I buy my smoked ham hocks from our local co-op; where they sell locally sourced hocks. In cold weather months, it’s nearly impossible to find them any day other than delivery day. And here’s the thing about delivery day…it’s not always the same day every week. So you really have to stalk the butcher guys to get the “down low” on the hocks.

End of ham hock story.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-2 cups of split peas; rinsed

-1 large smoked ham hock

-1/2 of a yellow onion; chopped

-2 large carrots; peeled and chopped

-3 celery stalks; ends trimmed and chopped

-3 cloves of garlic; minced

-1 Tbs olive oil

-2 bay leaves

-12 cups of water

-2 Tbs Better Than Bouillon low-sodium chicken base (you don’t NEED this, but it adds extra flavor and depth to the soup).

salt and pepper

In a large Dutch Oven (8 quart), heat oil over medium heat. Add your onion, celery, and carrots. Cook the veggies until soft. Add your minced garlic. Now, add your ham hock, dried peas, water, and bay leaves. Add the Better Than Bouillon now (if you were adding it). Add a few grinds of salt and pepper. I go pretty lenient on the salt since the hock is smoked and will add a nice salty flavor to the mix. You can always add more salt later.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. The longer it cooks the better it’ll taste!!

Remove ham hock from the soup and set aside (preferably on a large plate or cutting board). Remove bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until everything is a uniform consistency. **This step isn’t necessary, but in order to get my toddler to eat ANY soup, everything has to be the same texture and consistency**

Remove meat from the hock. I try to shred the meat as best I can before putting it back in the soup. I buy really meaty hocks, which result in about 2 cups of shredded hocky goodness when I’m all done. Again, I love me some hocks. **I tend to discard all of the fat, but you can keep whatever you like. I save the cleaned bones to use in bone broths later (like a beef stock). Just pop them in a freezer bag and store in your freezer until you’re ready to use them**

Re-add the meat and bay leaves to the soup and continue to simmer on low until you’re ready to serve.

Serve with fresh crusty bread. Sourdough is our favorite.


**This makes an outrageous amount of soup. Which means at least half will automatically go into the freezer once it’s cooled. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners**

*You can easily turn this into a slow cooker recipe by adding all of your ingredients to the slow cooker. Then, set it on low for 8 hours.*

Foodie, Main Eats, Recipe

BBQ Chicken Pizza

July 2, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

On Sundays, we have roast chicken dinner, then eat the leftovers in various dishes during the week (we usually have enough leftovers for 2 additional dinners). I was starting to run out of ideas for leftover chicken and decided to play around with some chicken pizza recipes. The result: this BBQ chicken pizza. It takes about 5 minutes to throw together and bakes in a flash.

The flavor combinations are really awesome, and definitely not your typical pizza flavors. Did I mention that it’s easy? Because it’s really really easy.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Here’s What You’ll Need;

-enough pizza dough for one medium sized pizza (I use a honey whole wheat pizza dough recipe)

-BBQ sauce (I made a homemade version using this recipe)

-leftover chicken (I used a combo of white and dark meat); chopped

-1/2 cup of grated mozzarella

-1/2 cup of grated gouda (i used a smoke gouda. highly recommend)

-1/2 cup of caramelized onions (one large onion + 2 tbs butter+30 minutes of your time = yum)

-salt and pepper (optional)

Preheat your oven to 425°. On a greased baking sheet, press, roll, flatten, or stretch your dough to your desired shape and size.

Spread the BBQ sauce over the top of the dough. Sprinkle mozzarella over sauce.

Next, add your onions and leftover chicken. Sprinkle gouda over toppings. Add a few grinds of salt and pepper (if you’d like).

Bake for 15 minutes on the center rack.

Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

**If you have a pizza stone: place the stone on a lower rack and heat stone first. Bake pizza for 7 minutes on baking sheet, then use a pizza peel to transfer pizza to baking stone. Bake additional 5-6 minutes. Remove using pizza peel**