Cauliflower & Broccoli Egg Muffins

The Meal Prep Monday’s have commenced for 2019. Yes, I know it’s Tuesday. I had every intention of posting this yesterday, however I have a 6 month old and do parents of babies actually even have schedules? No. No we do not. Which leads me into an important topic: Time. Although we all have started trying to eat a little better, it can be hard finding the time throughout our busy weeks to cook on demand. This is where meal prepping comes in.

If it wasn’t for meal prepping, I wouldn’t be able to make my baby’s food, avoid restaurants on my lunch hour, or have a home cooked meal *almost* every night. By taking a few hours out of my Sunday (I cook on Sundays, but will be sharing my recipes on ‘Meal Prep Mondays’), I can save myself an enormous amount of time during the week so just maybe I can sit down and relax with that glass of wine.

My husband and I will wash and chop fruits & veggies so they’re conveniently ready to go for the week, making prep time for dinners cut into half. We’ll make a batch of egg muffins (what I’ll be sharing today) and hard boiled eggs for breakfast and snacks on the go. I’ll be sharing our easy ‘meal prep chicken’ that can literally be used for anything throughout the week (ie – topping salads, chicken salad, wraps/sandwiches, pastas, Mexican dishes, etc.) and it’s so simply done in the crock pot. Lastly, we’ll prep our veggies. Anything from sautéed broccoli, roasted cauliflower mash, shaved brussel sprout salad, roasted acorn or butternut squash, the list goes on.

Another tip when meal prepping for your week is to actually meal plan. By doing this you can prep one certain food and get multiple uses/meals out of. For example, I’ll roast a ton of butternut squash for the week. For dinner one night we’ll have it as a side to our main dish. The next day I can add it to a quick frittata that’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For dinner one night you can add it to a pasta dish, like these Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells. Lastly, with the leftovers we’ll whip up a batch of Butternut Squash Soup. *BONUS* if you have babies, you can puree it for them, too!

Time is precious! By following a few easy tips and getting into a routine, we can easily spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing all the other things (Bachelor and wine, anyone?! Okay, fine. I’ll go to the gym…….)

I know I’m calling these egg “muffins,” however they’re technically in a doughnut shape. I have this silicone doughnut tray that is just an absolute dream to use for these because it’s 1. easy to clean and 2. naturally non-stick, so they pop right out! You can purchase it here.

What You’ll Need:
yields 9 egg muffins

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups egg whites
  • 1 small broccoli crown, chopped
  • 1 small cauliflower crown, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 slices uncured turkey bacon (such as Applegate)
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I prefer avocado or coconut)
  • money saving tip: egg whites and turkey bacon are SO MUCH CHEAPER at Costco!
  1. Preheat your oven to 375º. Over medium heat, add your cooking oil to a frying pan. Sauté your broccoli, cauliflower, and onions just until they are soft; About 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In the same frying pan, cook your turkey bacon for about 3 minutes per side.  Let cool and then chop into pieces.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk your eggs and egg whites until combined. Stir in your sautéed veggies, turkey bacon, cheese and seasonings.

broccoli & cauliflower egg muffins 1

  1. Carefully spoon the mixture into your tray. Place into your oven and bake for 25 minutes or until eggs have set completely. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from tray. Enjoy!

*If using a silicone tray, first place on top of a cookie sheet and then fill with egg mixture. Silicone trays are flimsy and it’s easy to spill if you try to transfer to the oven sans the cookie tray.

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Butternut Squash & Cashew Cream Stuffed Shells

All my plant-based friends and family – this ones for you! Even though you most definitely don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy this dish. I whipped this up for a family dinner I was hosting (I made sausage baked ziti and my cousin is a vegan), and everyone loved it. I topped my shells with this Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce, but you can surely enjoy them without it as well.

When creating vegan/vegetarian dishes, adding plenty of flavor and nutrients is key! I have really enjoyed studying plant-based diets, as it really makes you think about cooking in a whole new way. Exploring plant-based replacements for things that you so carelessly grab on a day-to-day basis, thinking of ways to incorporate nutrients that can easily be overlooked; It’s a new world of cooking.

Don’t worry, I still love my meat! I am just definitely going to make a better attempt at exploring different options and thinking of ways to make my ‘normal’ meals more vegetarian/vegan friendly.

Ingredients:

  • 16 pasta shells, jumbo
  • Cashew Cream (recipe here)
  • 1 portobello mushroom, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 lb. baby spinach, sautéed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Toss your squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes or until soft.
  2. Boil your pasta shells until al dente and carefully remove from the water. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a pan, drizzle olive oil. Add your chopped portobellos and minced red onion, sauté for 5 minutes. Add baby spinach and cook for an additional minute.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add your cashew cream. To the cream, add roasted squash, mushrooms, onions, and spinach. Carefully stir, ensuring your not mushing the vegetables. butternut squash stuffed shells 1
  5. Fill each of your pasta shells with about 2 tablespoons of mixture and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with this Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes (remember, everything’s already cooked so we just want to heat it up!)

butternut squash stuffed shells 2

Enjoy!

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Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups water + 1/2 cup (set aside)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly roasted garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a bowl, soak the cashews in water (uncovered & room temperature) for 10 hours.
  2. Strain the water from the cashews and add to a food processor. Add the additional 1/2 cup of water, garlic and herbs and blend. Stop blending frequently to scrape down the sides of the food processor and continue to blend until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 


Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened, original almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 head roasted garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (for thickening)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk and almond milk to a simmer.
  2. Whisk in your pumpkin and roasted garlic until smooth. If sauce is too thin, mix 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder with 1 tablespoon cold water and slowly whisk into sauce (continue step until sauce reaches desired thickness).
  3. Add sage, basil, salt and pepper. Serve over pasta, vegetables, or whatever your heart desires!

Affordable Fashion

Fashion 1

Lantern Sleeve Top | Jeans | JustFab Booties (old, but similar here & here)

 

Fashion 2

Plaid Vest | Leggings | Long Sleeve | Boots

 

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Black Pocket Tee | Faux Leather Leggings | Leopard Loafers (similar here & here)

 

Fashion 7

Red Turtle Neck Sweater (similar here) | Leggings | Leopard Loafers

Fashion 4

Waterfall Blazer (OLD, similar here) |Tank | Leggings | JustFab Booties (old, but similar here & here)

Fashion 5

Chenille Sweater (OLD, similar here) | White Jeans | Loafers on REPEAT

Fashion 6

Button Sweater | Jeans | Bow Flats

Fashion 8

Dot Sweater (OLD, similar here , here and here) | Black Jeggings | Bow Flats

Fashion 9

Fringe Sweater | Jeans 

 

 

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New Years Chit-Chat

Happy New Year, Everyone! Christmas decorations are stored away and I’ve eaten my last cookie (wishful thinking.) I hope each and every one of you had a magical holiday season spent with family and friends. I took a much needed hiatus from all aspects of work and soaked in each second of the past twelve days off. Working 40 hours a week, being a new mom & wife, keeping up with blogging, maintaining a social life and taking care of two crazy dogs; It has become so hard to take time for myself or my family. I definitely needed a break, but I am back now and so ready to tackle 2019.

‘Tis the season for resolutions! 2018 was such an amazing year for my family. From bringing my daughter into this world, traveling with family, balancing careers; I felt an exceptional amount of personal growth this year. With this growth I found things I wanted to work on, goals I want to set and dreams I strive to reach in 2019.

Of course, just like most, I hope to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle this year. Although I am an omnivore through and through, I definitely could use some additional plant-based dishes in my life. Which is perfect because another one of my goals for this year is to experiment more in the kitchen and really step outside my comfort zone. I hope to get extra creative with some fun vegan/vegetarian options and try tons of new things. Eating healthy can be so, so delicious (and easy!) I would love to create some basic recipes that are attainable AND healthy.  To achieve a more sustainable life, other than just eating more plant-based meals, I hope to take better initiative towards recycling and to cut out the non-recyclable plastics in our home (it’s so easy to ditch these items and replace them with reusable ones!) I’m going to plant more fruits, vegetables, and herbs this spring and summer and eat more locally.

I hope to expand this platform from more than just recipes. I want to bring you into my life and give you a little glimpse here and there of affordable fashion, DIY projects, parenting, health & fitness, etc. To be completely honest, I do not make notable recipes every single day. I would be burnt out if I did. I can share with you all what we do for meals when we’re just too busy/tired to cook. I want this blog to be fun and relatable, and that’s not going to happen if I let you think I’m Susie Homemaker. I think that by letting you into my life and sharing other aspects of it with you, it can become a community; Where you can just grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and hang out with me.

Blogging has been something I dreamt about doing for years. In fact, I’m pretty sure my last four New Year’s Resolutions have been to launch one. I’ll never forget spending my tax refund on a fancy camera four years ago and saying, “Okay! This is it. I’m going to do it.” And then, something deep inside myself telling me not to. Fun Fact: I still have never used that dang camera (accepting all and any help on how the heck to use it!!) It has been so eye opening coming to the realization that I was the only one holding me back from my dreams. To think, “Where could I be now if I had just let go of my fears?” When I started this blog back in September, I promised myself I would never again be my own worst enemy. From that point forward I would put my demons to rest. I would cheer myself on, just like my friends and family had been doing for me since day one. I am so excited for this year of sharing my recipes and bits & pieces of my life on this platform. I encourage all of you to find that thing that sets your soul on fire. Find it and do whatever it takes to make it happen. You can do anything (and everything) you set your mind to. You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.

I would love to hear what all of your New Year’s Resolutions are! What are your goals? What do you hope to improve on in this new year? The pages are blank, so let’s fill them in together! Also, I would love to know some things you would like to see on here and my other social platforms!

I hope your 2019 is AMAZING and that you don’t forget about all these hopes and dreams come February. Imagine what it would feel like this time next year, to look back and say, “WOW, I did it!” Wishing you all health and happiness.

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Peanut Butter Cookies Dipped in Milk Chocolate & Peanuts

Your traditional peanut butter cookie with a twist. Not only do they taste good, but they plate beautifully as well. This is the cookie you want on that platter of holiday treats you bring to the family gathering or the office party.

Peanut Butter Dipped Cookies

*Note: I always refrigerate my cookie dough overnight for best results. It actually breaks the process down and makes it easier, too. I spend about an hour one night making all my dough and then will bake the next night 🙂 

Ingredients:
yields 24 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, crushed (I recommend using salted peanuts for that salty/sweet combination that to die for)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º. In a stand mixer, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  2. Sift together your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. With your stand mixer set to low, slowly begin incorporating your dry ingredients just until combined. Refrigerate cookie dough overnight.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll your dough into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls and carefully press down with a fork to flatten. Bake for about 9 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack immediately.
  5. Once cookies are cooled, dip half of the cookie in milk chocolate and lay on parchment paper. Immediately sprinkle crushed peanuts to melted chocolate. Repeat until all cookies have taken a dip in your chocolate 🙂

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Salted Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

These babies are my all time favorite. The classic chocolate chip cookie with a little sea salt incorporated to hit every single one of those taste buds. Throw a pack of instant vanilla pudding in these give for an absolutely decadent texture. Refrigerating these cookies over night is a MUST! This will ensure they are thick, soft & chewy perfection. Make extra for Santa, because he’ll be knocking on your bedroom door for more.

Stack of Cookies

*Note: I always refrigerate my cookie dough overnight for best results. It actually breaks the process down and makes it easier, too. I spend about an hour one night making all my dough and then will bake the next night 🙂 

Ingredients:
yields 24 cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 packet of instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups milk  or dark chocolate chips (I prefer milk)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375º. In a stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  2. Sift together your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and instant pudding mix.
  3. With your stand mixer set to low, slowly begin incorporating your dry ingredients just until combined – do not over mix!
  4. Refrigerate cookie dough overnight.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto your sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and slightly under cooked in the middle.
  6. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; transfer to cooling racks.

Salted Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies 2

 

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White Chocolate & Almond Oatmeal Cookies

My husbands personal favorite, although I have to leave the white chocolate out of his because he’s some sort of chocolate-hating monster. This is the cookie you can have for breakfast and you cannot/ should not be judged. It’s oatmeal, people.

*Note: I always refrigerate my cookie dough overnight for best results. It actually breaks the process down and makes it easier, too. I spend about an hour one night making all my dough and then will bake the next night 🙂 

Ingredients:
yields 24 cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted but cooled
  • 3/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º. In a stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  2. Sift together your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. With your stand mixer set to low, slowly begin incorporating your dry ingredients just until combined.
  4. Remove bowl from stand mixer. With a wooden spoon, stir in your oats, chocolate chips, and sliced almonds just until incorporated. Refrigerate cookie dough overnight.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop 1 tablespoon dollops of dough onto your sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack immediately.

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Cookie Butter Cookies

Is there a more “cookie” cookie than a cookie made with cookie butter? What’s better than a cookie made of cookies? In my opinion, you can never have too much cookie and this is a way to finally, officially eat two cookies at once (well, sorta.) This is the kind of cookie Cookie Monster would approve of, so before I use the word cookie one more time, let’s move onto the cookie recipe.

*Note: I always refrigerate my cookie dough overnight for best results. It actually breaks the process down and makes it easier, too. I spend about an hour one night making all my dough and then will bake the next night 🙂 

Ingredients:
yields 24 cookies

  • 1 cup cookie butter (Biscoff, Trader Joe’s, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º. In a stand mixer, combine cookie butter, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  2. Sift together your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. With your stand mixer set to low, slowly begin incorporating your dry ingredients just until combined. Refrigerate cookie dough overnight.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll your dough into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls and carefully press down with a fork to flatten. Bake for about 9 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack immediately.cropped-jackie-drift-signature-1.png