Raspberry Coconut Sour Cream Cake


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Darlings, I’m so behind. I have draft post recipes for things I ate ages ago. But I’ve only held on to the few that were especially memorable and I’ve got to get them down or I’ll not move on to something new.

This lovely little cake is a sweet hat tip to my fondness for everyday cakes. I didn’t keep this one, but gave it away to a grateful mister and apparently it got rave reviews from half a dozen people who polished it off. It’s not especially generous to give away a cake when compared to sharing it once you have it.

In an effort to make this healthier, while still making it a treat, I cut the sugar in half from the original recipe and used whole wheat flour and unsweetened shredded coconut to complement the raspberries I’d frozen from this summer’s garden. It baked up so beautifully, don’t you think? Make it. Eat some with coffee. Share only if you have to.

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Raspberry Coconut Sour Cream Cake
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
For the crumb topping
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the cake
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 Tbs milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

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Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour and 10-inch springform pan. To make the crumb topping, combine the flour, sugar, and coconut in a small bowl and mix well. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

To make the cake, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, and extracts until well blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the liquid ingredients. Fold together gently until evenly mixed and no streaks remain, being careful not to over mix. Spread the batter into the prepared pan in an even layer. Dot the top of the batter with the raspberries. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the berries.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40-55 minutes. (Watch the baking time! The original recipe says 38-42 minutes and mine took nearly 55.) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

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Orange Chicken

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This is scrumptious. It’s my first time making orange chicken because most versions are full of sugar and soy, without much actual chicken or orange flavor. I hate that synthetic taste and the orange gel and msg version is even worse at most restaurants. This recipe is easy, fresh, and full of the flavor of real food that’s really good for you. Eat up.

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Orange Chicken
Adapted from Health-Bent

Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
2 Tbs coconut oil
juice of 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup)
zest from 2 oranges (about 2 Tbs)
1 Tbs dried ginger (or 1 tsp fresh minced ginger)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs coconut aminos
1 tsp hot chili paste
4 green onions, chopped

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Instructions:
In a medium size sauce pot, whisk together the orange juice, zest, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos and chili paste. Set over medium heat and let simmer to reduce and thicken while the chicken cooks. In a saute pan, melt the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped chicken thighs and cook until a nice brown crust has developed on the chicken pieces, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken to the sauce pot and stir to coat with the orange sauce. Serve topped with sliced green onions as is or over spinach or sauteed kale.

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Archive: Early January 2013 Food Log

Eat Well & Lift Heavy 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
32 oz water with splash lemon and 1/2 tsp vitamin c (Sodium Ascorbate Powder)
20 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: bowl of roasted goat with tomatoes on squash
16 oz water with 3 Ultimate Immunity supplement
lunch: bowl of pulled pork with green onions
smoothie of 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup raw milk, 1/2 cup water, few ice cubes 1 scoop protein powder
spoonful of coconut butter
20 oz earl grey cream tea with splash raw milk
dinner: 1 Pecan Encrusted Tilapia filet with Orange Jicama Salsa on 3/4 cup smashed squash
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 2 cups spinach, 2 Tbs salsa, and topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
32 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash milk
lunch: cup of pulled pork on 2 cups spinach
1 pear
8 oz grape chia kombucha
workout: warm up run (5 min), shoulders and glutes (dumbbell shoulder press 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy, dumbbell lat raise 3×6, seated bent over dumbbell reverse fly 3×6, cable pull through 3×6, bent over bench cable glute kickback 3×12), incline cardio (10 minutes)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder in 12 oz water
dinner: 1 1/2 turkey burgers on 1/2 bunch garlic sauteed kale
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c powder
12 oz peppermint green tea
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

(nutrition breakdown below. not exact, but a close snapshot of how my macronutrients are coming out. i’ll do this once in a while to try see where I’m at and what i need to work on.)

1-2-13 food log

Thursday, January 3, 2013
8 oz water with CLA
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup pulled pork, and 1/2 cup bubbies sauerkraut
32 oz water
lunch: heaping cup of garlic smashed sweet potatoes and 1 1/2 turkey burgers
workout: legs (5 minute quick run to warm up. barbell back squats 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy. leg press 3×6, deadlifts 3×6, and walking dumbbell lunges 3×12)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water
dinner: spinach salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, onion, and bit of bacon, no dressing. 1 1/2 bacon wrapped beef, onion, and pepper kebabs
12 oz water
1/2 Pecan Encrusted Tilapia filet with Orange Jicama Salsa (just a bit leftover)
1 cup cottage cheese with handful cherry tomatoes (still hungry!)
12 oz carrot cake rooibos tea
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Friday, January 4, 2013
8 oz water with CLA
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin C and 1 Ultimate Immunity supplement
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 2 Tbs onion, 1/2 cup chopped skirt steak, topped with 2 Tbs salsa and pack of guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash milk
32 oz water
lunch: 3/4 cup garlic smashed sweet potatoes and 1 cup pulled pork
premixed protein shake
workout: arms and abs (dumbbell bicep curl 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy, tricep pushdown – rope 3×6, alternate hammer curl 3×6, dumbbell standing triceps extension 2×6, cable crunch 2×12, air bike 2×20, hanging leg raise 2×20, decline crunch 1×25)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water and 5 mg creatine powder
dinner: small polish sausage with 1 Tbs spicy mustard and 1/4 cup sauerkraut
dinner 2: 1/2 cup shredded roast chicken with 1 Tbs horseradish sourcream
16 oz decaf latte with shake cinnamon
16 oz water with creatine powder and vitamin c
1/2 cup paleo peach raspberry pecan crisp
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Saturday, January 5, 2013
8 oz water with CLA
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin C
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce
protein shake – 1 banana blended with a handful of ice, 2 cups water, 1 tsp creatine, and 1 scoop protein powder
lunch: salmon patty with 1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 spoonful of coconut butter
16 oz water
dinner: 1 cup vegetable beef brothy soup
1/2 orange
2 glasses wine (governor’s ball)
8 oz water
1 cup cottage cheese with 1 piece salami (really late and hungry)

Sunday, January 6, 2013
16 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 piece Smoked Salmon, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche
16 oz water with splash lemon juice, creatine, GSE, and vitamin C (wow, that was awful)
1/2 orange
lunch: 2 cups spinach with 1 cup shredded roast chicken, 2 Tbs salsa, 3 Tbs guacamole
3/4 apple with 2 Tbs almond butter
16 oz earl gray cream tea with splash raw milk
16 oz decaf latte
dinner: 4 Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with ground spiced turkey and mushrooms, salsa, and 3 Tbs guacamole
2 squares 85% chocolate
16 oz earl gray cream tea with splash raw milk
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Monday, January 7, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 piece Smoked Salmon, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche
32 oz coffee with splash milk (2 – 16 oz cups)
32 oz water
lunch: couple ounces turkey breast with 2 Tbs pesto, 2 cups vegetable beef soup
pre-mixed protein shake
workout: chest, abs, and cardio – barbell bench press (3×12 light, 3×6 heavy), knee hip raise on parallel bars (3×20), abdominal pendulum (3×20), air bike (3×20), push ups (3×15), treadmill HIIT 10 minutes
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water and 5 mg creatine powder
5 dried figs
dinner: 4 Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with chicken, ground spiced turkey and mushrooms, salsa, and 3 Tbs guacamole
20 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
20 oz coffee with splash raw milk
12 oz water with vitamin d, ultimate immunity support, and probiotics
breakfast: protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 8 oz raw milk
16 oz apple spice tea
32 oz water
lunch: 1 cup cottage cheese and 1.5 cups garlic chicken brothy soup
workout: back, calves, and cardio – calf press on leg press (6×12), weighted calf raises (3×12), barbell deadlift (3×6 light, 3×6 heavy), one arm dumbell row (3×6), cable seated row (3×8), close grip lat pull down (3×6), treadmill HIIT 10 minutes
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder with 12 oz water and 5 mg creatine powder
1 tsp almond butter with 1 dried fig (heaven)
dinner: 8 greek meatballs on 2 cups spinach with 1/2 orange and tsp balsamic
16 oz water
2 glasses wine

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
16 oz water with creatine, vitamin c, and splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 2 cup spinach, 1/2 cup spiced ground turkey, 2 Tbs salsa, and 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash milk
lunch: couple ounces turkey breast with 1 Tbs pesto and 2 cups vegetable beef brothy soup
20 oz water
protein bar (think thin dark chocolate – amazing, though i don’t want to be eating these sort of things often)
1 cup full fat plain greek yogurt (zoi fave brand – definitely needed more fat today to stay satiated)
workout: shoulders, glutes, and cardio – dumbell shoulder press (3×12 light, 3×6 heavy), dumbbell lateral raise (3×6), clean and press (3×4), bent over banch cable kickback (3×12), barbell glute bridge (3×10), HIIT 10 minutes
protein shake – 2 scoops protein powder with 16 oz water
dinner: 1 1/2 cups chicken, mushroom, tomato sauce on 2 cups spinach, 5 spinach potato bites
16 oz water
2 dried figs with 2 tsp coconut butter
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Thursday, January 10, 2013
16 oz water with creatine, vitamin c, and splash lemon juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 4 apple raisin protein pancakes (just protein powder, unsweetened applesauce, egg whites, raisins – not great)
16 oz coffee with splash milk
4 dried figs
lunch: plate of chicken and vegetables from a Vietnamese restaurant
16 oz water
16 oz latte
8 oz coffee with splash milk
1/2 piece dried pineapple
1 think thin protein bar
dinner: 4 thin pieces beef roast, green salad, bit of sauteed green beans
2 Tbs justin’s maple almond butter
32 oz water
1 glass pinot gris
20 oz water
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Friday, January 11, 2013
16 oz water with creatine, vitamin c, and splash grape juice
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 chicken breast sauteed in coconut oil and curry, on 2 cups spinach, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
3 dried figs
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: 4 slices roast beef, lettuce, 2 slices tomato, 2 slices green bell pepper, 2 tsp dijon
16 oz water
24 oz coffee with splash raw milk
1/2 cup Asian pork (inside of pot stickers – tossed the shell)
1/2 piece dried pineapple
dinner: 1 cup orange chicken breast on 1 cup spinach with 1 Tbs green onion
1 cup cottage cheese with 1 Tbs green onion
16 oz peppermint green tea
16 oz water
1 square 85% chocolate
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Saturday, January 12, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: salmon patty topped with 3 Tbs guacamole, a fried easy egg, and a touch of paprika
few ounces turkey breast with 1 Tbs pesto and drizzle balsamic
handful of pomegranate seeds and pith (from juicing) with 1/2 cup raw milk (eaten like cereal. really good!)
lunch: 3 slices Roasted Pork Sirloin with Pomegranate Balsamic Sauce, wedge of braised cabbage and 1/2 cup braised mire poix
dinner: meatballs with marinara over lots of spinach topped with parmesean (restaurant)
16 oz water
24 oz earl gray tea
2 squares 85% chocolate
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Sunday, January 13, 2013
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1/2 chicken breast cooked in coconut oil and curry, then with 1/3 cup egg whites scrambled with 1 egg and 2 cups spinach, topped with guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
lunch: split a grilled salmon filet with a side of sauteed vegetables, bit of tartar sauce with Aurelia (local restaurant)
20 oz water
12 oz sugar free vanilla latte
12 oz lavender kombucha
workout: legs and shoulders – barbell back squats 3×12 light, 3×6 heavy. leg press 3×6, deadlifts 3×6, and dumbbell box step ups (20), dumbbell lateral raise (2×10), dumbbell front raise (2×10), bicep curls (2×10)
think thin protein bar
16 oz americano with splash milk
1 apple with 2 Tbs almond butter
dinner: 1 chicken artichoke sausage over romaine with radishes, cucumber, sauerkraut, and bit of balsamic
16 oz water
3/4 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 scoop banana protein powder (yum!)
16 oz peppermint green tea with 1 Tbs supplemental gelatin
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

WOW, I’M REALLY TIRED OF LOGGING MY MEALS.

Monday, January 14, 2013
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c with 10 drops GSE
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with 1/3 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup curry chicken, bit of salsa, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz coffee with splash half and half (wee! too much caffeine!)
16 oz white tea
lunch: 1 cup bacon blue cheese potato salad, 1 1/2 cups tomato soup (restaurant)
12 oz water
workout: circuit of legs, abs, and arms (45 minutes)
protein shake – 1 scoop protein powder in 8 oz water
think thin protein bar
16 oz sugar free vanilla latte (bad idea)
dinner: bowl of chicken coconut curry soup over spaghetti squash
16 oz water
1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 scoop protein powder
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c with 10 drops GSE
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1/4 cup egg whites, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup chicken sausage, bit of salsa, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash milk
lunch: green salad with bit of italian dressing, 1/2 potato with 1 Tbs sour cream and sprinkle of green onion, 1/2 cup sauteed veg, small piece steak (restaurant meeting)
12 oz water
8 oz coffee with splash cream
1 cup cottage cheese
16 oz coffee with splash milk (do i drink too much coffee?)
32 oz water
16 oz water
3/4 apple with 1 Tbs almond butter
dinner: bowl of chicken coconut curry soup over spaghetti squash
8 oz water with splash lemon juice, vitamin c, and GSE
1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 scoop protein powder
8 oz water with supplements: magnesium, zinc, b complex, NAS, multi, vit D

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
16 oz water with splash lemon juice and vitamin c with 10 drops GSE
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
breakfast: 1/2 cup egg whites scrambled with 1/2 cup mushrooms, 2 cups spinach, 2 Tbs sauerkraut, topped with 3 Tbs guacamole
16 oz coffee with splash raw milk
16 oz coffee
1 banana
quest protein bar in chocolate brownie
lunch: 1 cup chicken coconut curry soup over spaghetti squash
1 cup plain greek yogurt with 1/2 scoop protein powder
32 oz water
16 oz coffee with splash milk

Roasted Pork Sirloin with Pomegranate Balsamic Sauce

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Ah, fruit and meat, sweet and savory, my favorite combinations.  This pork sirloin roast is impossibly juicy and the play of the herb and garlic marinade with the pomegranate and balsamic vinegar is incredible. The seeds are a nice contrast and the crust the roast develops adds another layer of texture.

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Really, do I have to talk you into this?

Use bottled pomegranate, cranberry, cherry, or grape juice in place of the juiced pomegranate and just forgo the pomegranate seeds if you must. If you have a pom on hand though, use it by all means. They’re in season and widely available this time of year. The easiest way I’ve found to remove the seeds is to cut the fruit in half and then pull it apart in a bowl of water. The pith will separate easily with a little rub.

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Roasted Pork Sirloin with Pomegranate Balsamic Sauce
Adapted from The Domestic Man and Allrecipes

Ingredients:
for the roast
1 pork sirloin roast (2-3 lbs)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp each dried thyme
1 tsp herbes de provence (or dried rosemary)
for the sauce
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 Tbs good quality aged balsamic vinegar
for serving
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

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Instructions:
The night before you’d like to make this roast, or at least 4 hours ahead, rinse the roast and pat it dry with paper towels. Put it in a large ziplock bag. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and herbes de provence. Sprinkle over all sides of the meat in the ziplock and rub to coat the meat well. Seal up the bag and put it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roast it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the roast on a baking sheet that is lined with tin foil and a wire rack. Bake the roast for one hour in the preheated oven.

While the roast is baking, combine the pomegranate juice and broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and mix in the balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

After the roast has been in the oven for 1 hour, start to baste it with the pomegranate sauce, using a brush to apply to the top and sides. Continue to roast and baste the pork every 10 minutes until the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover the whole pan tightly with foil, and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Pour the remaining sauce over the roast and top with pomegranate seeds to serve.

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Carrot, Pineapple, and Coconut Cupcakes

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It’s my mother’s birthday today (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and I made these cupcakes for a class she’s teaching, wonder woman that she is. This made 36 cupcakes and two tiny loaves, though I could have filled the cupcakes fuller. Little loaves are darling though. This would also be about the right amount of batter for two big loaves if that seems more appealing.

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I have been off grain and sugar since the first of the year and it was torturous to make these, though I did make them as healthy as would still appeal to a crowd of 30. Many people loved them and were surprised they were (comparatively) low sugar and all whole grain. They are soft, yet full, not fluffy. Rich, but still fruity and nutty. I had a bite and it was really, really wonderful. It’s kicked up my sugar dragon again though and all I can think about are those cute little loaves still wrapped up in the kitchen. Gah. If you are going to have a treat worth breaking a challenge for, this is definitely it.

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Carrot, Pineapple, and Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Chowhound

Ingredients:
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 (20-ounce) can juice-packed crushed pineapple
4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups (2-pound package) carrots, grated
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9″x5″ loaf pans or use paper liners in 36 muffin tins. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the coconut oil and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the pineapple and mix until everything is well incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low. Add the last of the flour mixture and mix on low again until everything is just combined. Add in the carrots, coconut, and nuts and mix until the batter looks even. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just to make sure you don’t have clumps of coconut oil or flour at the bottom. This is a lot of batter! Divide among the loaf pans and/or muffin tins. Bake for 45-60 minutes (loaves) or 16-20 (muffins) until a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean. Set on cooling racks for 15 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. Serve as is or top with cream cheese frosting. (Recipe below)

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Very Cream Cheesy Frosting (see recipe below)

Ingredients:
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1-2 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp coconut or vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the confectioners sugar, extract, and a tablespoon of milk and beat on low until combined and then high until smooth. Add in another tablespoon of milk if it seems too thick. This isn’t meant to be a fluffy icing. It should be glossy and not stiff on a knife, but pour-able. Use a small amount to frost the top of the cupcakes, enough to cover, but not enough to run down the sides. Let set for an hour or two before serving.

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Orange and Mint Greek Meatballs

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This was an easy weeknight dinner and my dad took leftovers to lunch the next day and said they’re his favorite meatballs ever. I will agree that they are pretty darn good.

A few notes about this recipe: using lamb and lemon would be more authentic than venison and orange, but it’s what I had and the switch was actually quite complementary. I think I’d like to add some marjoram and cinnamon next time, but that’s just nit-picking. If you have them on hand, add a half tsp of marjoram and a pinch (1/8 tsp) of cinnamon. As for the mint, I didn’t have any in the spice cabinet and didn’t dry any this summer from the ginormous plant outside (what was I thinking?!), so I just cut open two mint teabags and used the contents. Just make sure it’s 100% peppermint or spearmint leaf.

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If you eat dairy and can find a decent cucumber this time of year, sub a homemade tzatziki sauce as dressing instead of the balsamic. I think if I had greek yogurt in the fridge I couldn’t resist. Still, balsamic and orange is a pretty incredible combination itself. I like adaptable recipes like this because at this point on the blog, you can tell it’s getting to just be variations of meat on greens. I’ll try to get more interesting!

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Orange and Mint Greek Meatballs
Adapted from Health-Bent

Ingredients:
for meatballs
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground venison
1 egg
zest of 1 orange
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs dried onion flakes
2 Tbs dried mint
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
for serving
1/2 orange, skin and pith removed, segments cut small
1 Tbs aged balsamic
4 cups spinach

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Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together all the meatball ingredients until well incorporated. Use a cookie scoop (or your hand) to shape the mixture into balls and place in a 9×13 oven-safe baking dish. Bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once the meatballs are cool, remove (making sure to remove any goop) from the pan and serve on spinach, topped with orange segments and a drizzle of aged balsamic.

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Smoked Salmon, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche

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What a delicious way to start the day!

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Smoked Salmon, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche

Ingredients:
8 ounces smoked salmon, crumbled
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
3 green onions, finely sliced
handful cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
8 eggs

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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9″ pie dish Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and set aside. Layer the smoked salmon, goat cheese, green onions, and cherry tomatoes in the prepared pie dish. Pour the eggs on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the quiche is just set. Can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.

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Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

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I’ve made these so many times in the last year, but when I went to find the recipe in my index last night, I realized I’d never made a post of these simple, dreamy, wraps. I suppose I’d always looked them up on Macheesmo, one of my favorite food blogs, with lots of Tex-Mex fare.

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These wraps are really adaptable year round. In the summer when there are so many local peppers, those go in place of the mushrooms. Sometimes I’ll add shredded zucchini or carrots. It’s an easy way to tuck in more vegetables and the spices are just wonderful, but can be overwhelming if you don’t have some cool toppings. Guacamole is not optional.

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Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Macheesmo

Ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey
6 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander, ground
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbs coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
Butter or Romaine lettuce leaves

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Instructions:
In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the ground turkey, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon and stirring well until all the pink is gone. Drain the excess liquid from the turkey carefully and put the turkey in a bowl to the side. Put the skillet back on the heat and melt the coconut oil in it. Add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in all the spices, salt, hot sauce, coconut aminos, and cooked turkey. Stir well. Remove from heat and put the mushroom turkey mixture in a serving bowl. Wash and separate the lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving plate. Make your lettuce wrap at the table, spooning the mushroom turkey mixture into lettuce leaves and topping with salsa, lime, cilantro, and/or guacamole.

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Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

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This is a very loose interpretation of shakshuka, a traditional Israeli dish, that will just make your day. It’s a perfect breakfast, but I also like it as a lighter dinner with a simple green salad. Aurelia is a big fan of these savory eggs, too. If you like it spicier, add a chopped jalapeno with the onions. Just a bit of sriracha in the mix is enough for Aurelia and I top mine with more before eating. Something about the just set eggs on bold tomatoes stirs up all kinds of cravings in me and luckily, it’s a healthy, easy fix.

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Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Saveur

Ingredients:
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs dried parsley
1-2 tsp sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1/2 Tbs paprika
1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes (or half of a 28 oz can)
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 Tbs crumbled feta cheese
fresh parsley or spinach for garnish

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Instructions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, salt, parsley, sriracha, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes. Add crushed tomatoes to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the eggs and sauce on a serving plate, being careful not to break the yolks. Top with a bit of parsley or spinach and sprinkle with feta if you’d like. Eat hot!

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