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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

{Buddha Bowl with Cashew Curry Dressing}

Hi Friends!  I am so sorry that I did not get the weekly menu and shopping list posted this week!
Derek and I were down South (South of Minneapolis) all weekend for a big family vacation of sorts.  Think lots of people, big cabin, games, great food (lots of treats) and relaxing!  It was a blast, but I am exhausted!  

Generally after a long indulgent weekend (like this past one) I like to hit the reset button on my diet!  I guess you could call it a bit of a detox, but not the kind of detox you are thinking of.  To get my body back on track I focus on consuming lots of fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, large amounts of water and eating as clean as I possibly can!  

One of my favorite post indulgent weekend meals I like to make is a Buddha Bowl.  I am sure you have seen these veggie/protein packed bowls all over the internet and Instagram!  Buddha bowls are a great way to load up on veggies and are easy to customize to your particular taste, plus they are just down right delicious!  The recipe I am going to share with you today features farro (one of my favorite whole grains) steamed broccoli, fava beans and a delicious curry cashew dressing, yum!  Feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand, and omit the veggies you don't like!  Not a fan of cashews?  Try using Almond or Peanut butter!  Not a curry fan, leave it out or use cinnamon in place of curry!  These bowls really are easy to customize and make your own!  

Buddha Bowl with Cashew Curry Dressing 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Seves 4 

1 Cup Farro (Dry)
4 Medium Carrots - Cut into Thin Slices - I used a veggie peeler
1 Cup Broccoli Steamed
1 1/3 Cup Shelled Fava Beans 
2 Cups Spinach or Arugula 
4 Radishes - Thinly Sliced
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar 
1/2 Tablespoon Warm Water
2 Tablespoons Cashew Butter -Or other nut butter
1 1/2 Teaspoon Honey 
1 1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder

Additional toppings for serving: chopped cashews, sliced avocado, sriracha, Greek yogurt, cilantro, hard boiled egg. 

**Note - I prepare a large batch of farro at the beginning of the week so I have on hand for lunch/dinner during the week.  

1-Cook Farro according to package directions. 
2- While farro is cooking whisk together rice wine vinegar, warm water, cashew butter, honey and curry powder in a small bowl.  Set aside until ready to serve Buddha bowls. 

To assemble the bowls:
1- Divide cooked farro among 4 bowls.  
2- Top each portion of farro evenly with spinach, shaved carrots, steamed broccoli, and sliced radishes.  
3- Drizzle each Buddha bowl evenly with cashew curry dressing and any other additional toppings you might like! 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

{Weekly Menu July 19th-25}

Another weekend come and gone to quickly!  But it was a wonderful one!  Boating, friends, family and a special little boys first birthday party (our Nephews)!  It was such a perfect weekend! 

We also experienced some insanely hot weather here in Minnesota, but we experienced some of the most beautiful Minnesota evenings as well!  Slightly warm, sunny and just beautiful! 

For this weeks menu I am focusing on dishes that will help me use up all the produce Derek and I have in the house, as we will be down South this upcoming weekend for his families annual weekend get away!  I secretly love weeks where I don't have to grocery shop!  SO... with that being said here is this weeks menu! 



I usually always have canned beans, an avocado and tomatoes  on hand which make it easy to whip up this delicious bowl of goodness!  


A great recipe that uses pantry staples and makes delicious leftovers! Use up leftover brown rice from Monday's dinner to help keep meal prep to a minimum! 


Use up leftover veggies for this recipe, best part about this recipe is you can use any veggies you have on hand! 

Happy Cooking! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

{Broccoli Salad with Lemon Honey Yogurt Dressing}

Broccoli Salad is one of my all time favorite summer pot luck salads.  I seriously carve this salad in the summer time, it is that good! 

However I have never been a big fan of the large amounts of mayo and sugar that make up the dressing! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and created a healthier salad that features Greek yogurt as the dressing base instead of mayo and subs in honey for the white sugar.  Dijon mustard and lemon juice help add that zing that we are used to in this traditional summer salad!  Dried cherries add sweetness while almonds provide crunch - delicious! 

I made my broccoli salad last week and enjoyed it as a side dish with multiple meals!  Serve this broccoli salad alongside your favorite grilled meat or fish (I served with fresh Canadian Walleye that Derek had caught) or toss some chickpeas into the salad and eat for a light Summer lunch!  Or make a big batch and take to your next Summer party, this salad will be a crowd pleaser! 

Broccoli Salad with Lemon Honey Yogurt Dressing
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4-6 - Depending on Serving Size 

1 Head Broccoli - Chopped into Small Pieces 
1 Bag Broccoli Slaw 
1/4 Cup Red Onion Chopped 
1- 6 Oz Container Fage 0% Greek Yogurt 
1 Tablespoon Honey 
Juice and Zest from one Lemon 
2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar 
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard 
1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds 
1/4 Cup Dried Cherries 

1- In a large bowl toss together broccoli, broccoli slaw, onion, cherries and almonds.  Set aside. 
2- In a large measuring cup combine Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lemon Juice and Zest, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Dijon Mustard.  Whisk together until well combined. 
3- Pour dressing over salad and toss until salad is evenly covered with dressing.  Serve immediately or chill for an hour before serving. 

Check out these other delicious Summer salad recipes from around the web! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

{Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps}

**Updated 7/15/2015 for the weekly menu post!**
I first shared this recipe last November, and it has grown to be one of the most popular recipes on the blog!  These Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps are my healthy version of Buffalo Wings or a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.  Perfect for a light summer dinner or enjoy them for lunch!  Enjoy - because they are delicious! 

I have a love for spicy food... there is no denying that!  In fact I am known for by my friends for my extra spicy salsa that leaves everyone searching for water... or milk to cool their mouth down!  There have also been times where Miranda and Derek have told me to lay of the spice when I have been cooking!  Usually I don't listen! 

My dad thinks I get my love for spice from my mom (apparently she could eat salsa by the jar when she was pregnant with me) but I think its a mix of both of them (my dad loves spicy food too)!  These buffalo chicken lettuce wraps pack the heat and cater to my love for spicy food!  

The spicy buffalo sauce gets a cool kick from the creamy blue cheese yogurt dressing and the lettuce wrap gives the whole dish a nice crunch!  These lettuce wraps are perfect for a quick weeknight meal or make a great game day snack!  Whip them up at your own risk... they are spicy! 

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4-6 

2-3 Chicken Breast 
1/2  a Large Onion - Chopped 
1/2 Cup Red Pepper - Chopped 
1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Favorite Buffalo Wing Sauce 
1 Tablespoon Bolt House Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing 
6-8 Iceberg lettuce leaves for serving 
**Additional Buffalo Sauce and Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing for dipping and drizzling

1- Toss cubed chicken with 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce and set aside for 30 minutes to marinade. 
2- While chicken is marinading sauté the peppers and onions in a large skillet coated with cooking spray.  
3- Once chicken has set for 30 minute add into hot skillet with the peppers and onions.  Sautee until chicken is cooked through. 
4 - Combine blue cheese yogurt dressing and remaining buffalo sauce in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken in the skillet and stir until chicken is evenly coated.  Cook for 2 minutes and then serve. 

**Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves, additional buffalo sauce and blue cheese yogurt dressing for dipping and drizzling! 


Monday, July 13, 2015

{Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Olives and Peppers}

I love spaghetti squash!  Spaghetti Squash might be one of my all time favorite vegetable subs for noodles.  However I cannot get Derek to eat spaghetti squash - he is not a fan... at all! 

So when I get a hankering to make a vegetable packed spaghetti squash dish I usually opt to make it on a night that Derek has plans with the guy, like Tuesdays when he is golfing!  Plus, then I get to enjoy the leftovers for lunch a good portion of the week, which makes lunch packing super easy! 

One of the things I love most about spaghetti squash is its versatility.  You can pretty much do anything you would like with spaghetti squash - Italian, Tex Mex you name it, it works!  For this dish I bulked up an Organic jar of marinara sauce with onions, peppers and green olives for a bit of zip.  Tangy salty feta is stirred into the whole dish at the end for an extra kick of flavor!  

This Spaghetti Squash Marinara is the perfect meatless Monday meal!  Throw in some beans for  little protein kick, or saute up some tempeh or tofu!  Either would be delicious! 


Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Olives and Peppers
Brunch N'Cupcakes
Serves 4 

1 Spaghetti Squash 
1/2 a large onion roughly chopped 
1 Red or Orange Pepper roughly chopped 
2 Garlic Cloves Minced 
2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar 
1/3 Cup Green Olives - Sliced 
1/3 Cup Feta - Cubed (I liked to buy Trader Joe's Blocks of Feta) 
1 Jar Favorite Marinara Sauce (I bought Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil Sauce) 

1- Cook spaghetti squash.  I usually cut my squash in half and place cut side down in a pool of water.  I then microwave on high for 20-30 minutes until spaghetti squash is tender.  Once spaghetti squash is tender carefully scrap the squash flesh out of the skin and set aside.  
**This step can be done the night before to save on time. 
2- In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Saute peppers and onions until tender.  Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant. 
3- Carefully add balsamic vinegar, olives and tomato sauce into the skillet with onions and peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes until sauce is heated through. 
4- Stir in spaghetti squash.  Make sure all the spaghetti squash gets covered with the marinara sauce.  Finally stir in feta cheese and serve! 


Sunday, July 12, 2015

{Weekly Menu and Shopping List - July 12th - 17th}

Is it just me or does the 4th of July almost seem like ages ago?  Hard to believe we celebrated our Nations Independence just one week ago!  

Anyways, how are you all this fine day?  I am hoping that everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was low key yet packed full of fun activities!  Dinner with Derek and friends Friday night, we tried out this new little (well not really little) tap house close to our home, a girls day in Stillwater on Saturday complete with a patio lunch and a walk around downtown, and finally Church Saturday night! 
Later today I am going to get a little family time in at my sisters Baptism!  I am so proud of her for taking this next step to declare her faith in front of us and the Church!  It is going to be a great evening! 

 Did anyone else experience some insanely hot temps this weekend?  Here in MN we got up into the high 80's with lots of humidity!  Not my favorite weather, but hey its better then snow I suppose!

For this weeks menu I am giving you a great meatless Monday meal, sharing with you a lightened up summer salad that goes great with any grilled meat, and throwing it back to one of my favorite recipes on the blog!  This weeks menu you won't want to miss... So let's dive in! 

Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Olives and Peppers 
Link goes live Monday AM 

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Flash Back Recipe 
Link Goes Live Wednesday 

Lightened Up Broccoli Salad 
Link goes live Friday

**Serve with Grilled Chicken, Fish or Meat of Choice - Perfect for a weekend get together

and now... the shopping list! 

Enjoy, and have a fabulous rest of your weekend! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

{Zucchini, Summer Squash and Spinach Frittata}

I will admit, the first time I made this frittata it did not look so pretty!  The frittata tasted delicious, but it looked a mess!  Half of it stuck to the bottom of my skillet and the other half well, it just looked terrible.  It would be what I call a Brunch N'Cupcakes fail.  

In my defense it was my first true attempt at making a frittata on the stove top, in a skillet... and yes, it did fail miserably.  But I was bound and determined to master the frittata, because they are one of my favorite brunch staples, and make a fabulous quick dinner!

I did a little research in my quest to prefect my frittata making skills and came across several recipes that baked the frittata in the oven using a pie plate, verses cooking it on the stove top.  This to me sounded like a much better idea, and almost a fail proof cooking method.  

I decided to give frittata making a second try, this time using my new found cooking method... and the end results were beautiful!  Cooking my frittata in the oven produced a light, fluffy and utterly delicious frittata.  So trust me, if you have ever been scared to make a frittata in the past, or have failed like I did at making one on the stove, give the oven a try!  You won't be sorry! 

Zucchini, Summer Squash and Spinach Frittata
Brunch N'CUpcakes 
Serves: 4 (larger servings) 
8 (Smaller Servings)

1 Zucchini Diced
1 Summer Squash Diced
1/2 Large Onion Diced 
2 Cups Spinach 
6 Egg Whites 
4 Eggs 
2 Tablespoons Milk of Choice 
1/3 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese 
1 Teaspoon Garlic and Black Pepper 
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin 
Salt to Taste 

1- In a large skillet coated with cooking spray saute onions, zucchini and summer squash until tender.  Season veggies with garlic, pepper, cumin and salt.  Add spinach to veggie mixture and cook until wilted.  Set veggies aside. 
2- In a large measuring cup whisk together egg whites, egg and milk. 
3- Coat a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.  Carefully spoon veggies into the bottom of the pie plate, spread out in an even layer.  Top veggie mixture with feta cheese. 
4- Carefully pour egg and milk mixture over veggies in the pie plate, make sure to evenly distribute egg mixture. 
5- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until egg is set.  For the last few minutes of cooking turn oven broiler on high and brown the top of the frittata (be careful not to burn it)! 

Serve with a simple green salad or fruit to make a complete meal!  I topped my frittata slice with a little sriracha and avocado slices!  Delicious!