Archives for March 2012

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

To celebrate the successful end of our Organic Costco Meal Plan Challenge, I used some of the whole food ingredients we still had on hand and made these homemade chocolate peanut butter cups to celebrate our success. And what a way to celebrate – really delicious and super close in taste to a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup – but I controlled whole food the ingredients!

These would make an excellent addition to a picnic because they are easiest eaten by hand!

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Stir together the oat flour and sugar. (to make oat flour, simply grind 2 cups oats in a blender.)
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Stir in the oat flour and sugar mixture.
  3. Press the peanut butter mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan.
  4. Melt the chocolate chips. Smooth over the top of the peanut butter mixture. Store in refrigerator.
http://naturalgreenmom.com/homemade-chocolate-peanut-butter-cups/

Chocolate Molten Cake

These puff up really nicely but need to be served right away, because they do fall – like in the photo. However, it is so rich and delicious puffed ~ or unpuffed ~ you won’t mind!

Chocolate Molten Cake

Chocolate Molten Cake

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (a good dark chocolate would be delicious)
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup organic evaporated sugar cane
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons almond meal
  • additional 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Grease (8) 1/2 cup ramekins.
  2. Melt the butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips over a water bath.
  3. In a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and salt with the whip attachment. Whip until it has tripled in volume - approximately 8 minutes. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture and the almond meal and stir just to combine.
  4. Divide the batter evenly amongst the ramekins. Drop about 10 - 12 chocolate chips into the center of each ramekin. This will provide the molten center.
  5. Bake the cakes for 10 minutes. Serve quickly before they fall.
http://naturalgreenmom.com/chocolate-molten-cake/

How to Make Homemade Almond Meal

I decided not to purchase any flour on my Organic Costco Challenge. Costco does not sell whole wheat flour. They do sell 25 pounds of all purpose flour for $5.99. However, I mainly use whole wheat, whole wheat pastry or whole wheat white flour for my cooking. I couldn’t imagine what I was going to do with 25 pounds of white flour!

I had to find a real food substitute for all purpose flour. Since I had purchased almonds, I decided to make almond meal to use as flour in some of my recipes. If you follow a paleo or gluten-free diet, it’s great to be able to make your own almond meal. Not to mention it is more cost effective to make your own.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Shredded Carrot Salad

I am out of carrots! 4 weeks, 10 pounds of carrots. This was one of our favorite ways to eat them. In fact, last night my daughter went into the fridge and grabbed the leftovers and finished them off for her bedtime snack!

I made them with my chives that have started to come up in my garden. How crazy is it that I have chives growing in March in Colorado????

Chives

I then trimmed off a bit of parsley that I grow on my windowsill. Nice to have some fresh, homegrown ingredients on hand.

Shredded Carrot Salad

Shredded Carrot Salad

Ingredients

  • For the salad:
  • 6 large carrots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Grate the carrots. In a large bowl, stir together carrots, chives and parsley.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients.
  3. Pour vinaigrette over carrot mixture and stir. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
http://naturalgreenmom.com/shredded-carrot-salad/

Baked Chicken Flautas

Baked Chicken Flautas

I made these on a night when my daughter had a sleepover figuring it would be a hit with the kiddos. And a hit it was! If you were to fry the corn tortillas in oil before wrapping them around the filling, they would be softer and would not break. However, I didn’t go through all that trouble and had no complaints!  If you have any spinach on hand, add some cooked spinach in these to up the whole food ingredients.

Baked Chicken Flautas

Baked Chicken Flautas

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salsa

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450. Grease two baking sheets.
  2. Mix the shredded chicken with the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt.
  3. Take a corn tortilla and fill with 1/12 of the chicken mixture and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Gently wrap the corn tortilla around the filling to minimize tearing the tortilla. Place seam side down on a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining tortillas.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until crispy. Serve topped with salsa.
http://naturalgreenmom.com/baked-chicken-flautas/

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a traditional chicken pot pie recipe made healthier with a whole grain crust. I made the crust with oat flour since I didn’t buy any flour for this Organic Costco Meal Plan. We had no complaints with the taste or texture of the crust, since we are used to whole grain foods. But if you cook with all purpose flour, you could substitute it if you are expecting the traditional crust.

And by the way – BIG SCORE! This recipe was large enough that we ate it for dinner one night, then had leftovers for lunch a few days later.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
  • For the filling:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. For the crust:
  2. In a food processor, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add butter a few pieces at a time. Continue to add butter, and mix just until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Add three tablespoons of the ice water. Pulse. Try squeezing the dough. If it holds together, it is done. If it is still crumbly, try adding another tablespoon of water. When dough forms, shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or until ready to use.
  3. For the filling:
  4. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds more. Add oat flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the broth slowly while continuously whisking. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer until it is slightly thickened - about 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in peas, chicken and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour filling into a large 9 x 13 pan.
  6. Roll dough out into a rectangle large enough to cover pan. Add more flour if too sticky. Cover dish with dough and cut a few vents in the top. Bake 45 minutes.
http://naturalgreenmom.com/chicken-pot-pie/

Final Organic Costco Meal Plan Shopping Trip

Organic Costco Meal Plan

Today was my last shopping trip to Costco to finish out the last few days of the challenge. If you didn’t see, I bought most of my groceries the first week. So what did I buy this week to get us to the end of the challenge?

Costco Groceries

  • Two bunches of bananas $2.78
  • Organic Milk $8.99
  • Organic Spinach $3.99
  • Organic Cheddar Cheese $6.99

My grand total this week was $22.75. So……did I meet my $475 goal?

NO! My remaining budget for this week was $22.57 – so I went .18 over my $475 goal. I could have gone under my goal, but I decided to buy a second bunch of bananas. We seriously go through that many bananas in a week. I didn’t feel like .18 was a deal breaker, but having my family deprived of a favorite fruit source did feel like a deal breaker.

$475.18 for 4 weeks of eating exclusively from what we buy from Costco and buying as much organic as Costco offers. This has been very doable for our family. At the end of the week, I’ll recap what I’ve learned.