Brown Butter Tilapia with Roasted Broccoli

I really love to bake but I’m trying to move from all the unhealthy sweets I want to make to focusing more on some healthy and high fiber meals. Tonight is rice Wednesday so I thought I’d make some fish to go with it. Normally I just pop a couple tilapia fillets in the oven with blackened seasoning or lemon pepper. They taste yummy but I’m getting bored of those favors. Tonight I thought I’d do some Pinteresting (if that’s a word) and try out some new recipes.

My first recipe was Brown Butter Tilapia with Toasted Basil Butter Crumbs and it was so delicious! I love brown butter and it goes so perfectly with the fish! I did not have basil on hand so I used thyme but either way it’s a keeper!

The second recipe I tried was for roasted broccoli. I usually just steam it but thought I’d try something new. It was worth it. I will now be buying broccoli in bulk at Costco… Especially since even my 1-1/2 year was a huge fan!



Copycat “Bowl of Soul”


Downtown, where I used to work.. Two weeks ago…When I was a working woman (now I’m a stay at home mom)… There is a very popular coffee shop known for their “Bowl of Soul.” It’s an amazing Mexican Mocha with homemade whipped topping. I normally don’t even like mochas but this one is amazing.. And guess what they serve it in? Right! A bowl!

Anyways my mom and I figured out a pretty close comparison at home and I think you are definitely going to want to try it out!

The key ingredient is Ibarra Mexican Chocolate.

I suggest making the whipped topping first unless using canned whip (recipe below).

Bowl of Soul
2 Servings
1-1/2 cups of milk (whatever kind you choose)
3 to 4 wedges of Ibarra Chocolate
Extra strong coffee or espresso

Heat milk in microwave. Put in blender and add chocolate wedges. Blend until smooth. Taste to see if it’s sweet enough. Split between 2 cups or bowls of strong coffee. Ratio should be about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 chocolate milk.

Whipped Topping
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbs. Powdered Sugar

Beat heavy cream until right before stiff peaks will form. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat to combine and create a thicker texture. Put a big dollop on your “Bowl of Soul.” Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy this amazingness… Whether it’s in a bowl or cup.


Pear Coffee Cake

I have been trying to create weekly menus so I can get my grocery shopping done all once and be prepared since I typically don’t always have a car if I need something.

My mom and I came up with a schedule to help us to eat healthier as well a give us more variety. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just forget what I normally make and if I’ve not planned out a dinner then we are more likely to pick up pizza or go out for a burger.

Weekly Schedule:
Sundays: Potatoes
Mondays: Salad
Tuesdays: Pasta
Wednesdays: Rice
Thursdays: Squash
Fridays: Sandwiches
Saturdays: Beans

So for dinner on those days we incorporate these foods. They don’t have to be the main dish but at least need to be a part of the meal. Today is Sunday so I am making biscuits and gravy with hash browns (potato).

Since Mondays are salad days we figured we could have a sweeter breakfast. This is the day we may want to enjoy banana bread, coffee cake or donut as our morning meal since our dinner is on the lighter side (if not drenched in dressing…hehe).

Manly gets up early to commute to school… which is a 2 hour drive to get
there. I wanted to have a yummy breakfast all set and ready to go for him in the morning so I whipped up a Pear Coffee Cake. We can easily reheat it in the morning and enjoy a piece with our much loved coffee!

I may have already enjoyed a slice with coffee as my afternoon snack… I needed to see how it turned out 😉

I adapted this from

Pear Coffee Cake
1-1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup White Flour
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Cup + 2 Tbs. White Sugar
1/4 Cup + 2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
4 Tbs. Butter Melted
1/4 Cup Oil
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk (or 1 Cup Milk + 1 Tbs. Lemon Juice or Vinegar)
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Pears Unpeeled, Cored and Sliced Into Cubes

1/4 Cup White Flour
1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
3 Tbs. Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbs. Cold Butter Cut into Small Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 square baking pan.

Combine dry ingredients together in medium size bowl, mix together and set aside. In small bowl add butter, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk together and add to dry ingredients. Stir together and then add diced pears to the batter. Mix until just combined. Pour into greased pan.

For the crumb topping combine the dry ingredients. Add in the butter and cut together with pastry knife. Spread over the top of cake.

Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.


One Pan Pasta Alfredo

I have been thinking of switching over to whole wheat pasta so as to add more fiber to our diet. I had some white pasta in the cupboard though and thought I’d try to use the rest of it up before I made the change.

I was just going to cook up some pasta, throw in a little butter and garlic powder and top it with a sprinkle of cheese…. But wait… Didn’t I see a recipe for one pan fettuccine Alfredo?

I opted to try out this recipe to see if it was a keeper and was very happy to find it is. I made no changes to the recipe besides the noodle choice and it was perfect. You can easily cut the recipe in half for smaller portions like I did.


One Pan Pasta Alfredo from Number 2 Pencil
8 ounces Pasta (I used mini farfalle but the original recipe calls for fettuccine)
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Heavy Cream
4 Tbs. Butter
1/2 Tsp. Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Whole Garlic Clove Peeled
2 Cups Parmesan Cheese

To pan add pasta, cream, water, butter, salt, pepper and garlic. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until pasta is cooked through. Remove from heat. Take out garlic and throw away. Add Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Broccoli Beef Stir Fry Over Rice

I love Asian food, especially chicken or beef with broccoli. I normally do chicken but thought I would try my hand at beef. I adapted the recipe and added more broccoli so there would be more fiber in the meal.

Broccoli Beef Stir Fry
Serves 4
1/2 lb. – 1 lb. Steak sliced thinly (depending how meaty you want it)
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 Tbs. Ginger Minced

3 Tbs. Hoisin Sauce
3 Tbs. Water
1/2 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/4 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

2-1/2 Cups Broccoli
1 large Carrot
2-3 Tbs. Water

Slice steak thinly across the grain and place in small bowl. Add soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Mix together and let marinate for 30 minutes.

While marinating prepare sauce. In separate bowl whisk together hoisin, water, cornstarch and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

Chop broccoli into small florets. Peel carrot and chop into thin slices.

Using wok or large skillet add 1 Tbs. Oil and heat pan on high. Add meat mixture and let cook without stirring for 1 minute. Then stir and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until browned around the edges.

Place in clean bowl and set aside. Add another 1 Tbs. Oil to pan and add vegetables. Stir for about 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbs. Water and cover for 2-4 minutes until soft but still crisp. If still not cooked through enough stir, add 1 more Tbs. of water and cover for another minute.

Add meat and sauce to pan and combine. Serve over warm rice and enjoy! Recipe has 7.7 grams sugar and 3 grams of fiber per serving.


Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


Once again I am trying to find my way back to eating healthy. I am working on increasing my fiber intake and decreasing how much sugar I eat. I recently read that a female should only have 24 grams of sugar a day, men should have 36 grams at most and children only 9 grams. When I think of all the sugary things I love, I am very aware of the massive quantity of sugar I must put into my body each day. Because I do like treats I don’t know if I will ever be able to cut back to 24 grams on a regular basis but I figure I can at least try to make healthy improvements.

Something I have discovered lately is refrigerated coconut milk. One cup is only 6 grams of sugar and it naturally has a sweet taste to it. I have been trying to incorporate this into my foods as a sugar replacement to see if it helps. I think it does! Thankfully the flavor is not so strong that it makes everything taste like coconut… If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy that flavor. I love coconut so it doesn’t bother me!

This morning I came up with a chocolate chip banana muffin. Normally I don’t really care too much for chocolate chips in my breakfast foods (even if it tastes good) because it doesn’t seem very healthy. I realized though, in making these muffins, that chocolate chips have a lot less sugar in them than sugar does. In a small quantity they add just enough sweetness to make a yummy muffin.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
1 Cup Coconut Milk (from the refrigerator section)
1 Cup Oatmeal
2 Tbs. Whole Flax Seeds
1/2 Cup Whole wheat Flour
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 Bananas (chopped into small pieces)
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbs. Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a bowl combine coconut milk, oats and flax seeds and let sit for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and chocolate chips. Set aside.

After 10 minutes add the eggs, vanilla and oil to the oat mixture. Stir well and then add the flour mix to it. Once combined mix in the bananas.

Pour into greased muffin tins. Makes 12 muffins,
Each muffin has 4.5 grams of sugar and 2.6 grams of fiber. If I was magical I’d like to decrease the sugar even more but then I realized…If I add half a cup of brown sugar to this then I am adding 106 grams of sugar to the recipe. This would mean that each muffin had 13.3 grams of sugar. I think 4.5 grams doesn’t sound so bad.

Now these aren’t crazy sweet but I enjoyed their healthy taste for a good morning treat! I hope you enjoy!

Cornish Pasties & Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Growing up, my childhood best friends’ mother used to whip up huge batches of pasties for dinner for her six kids plus guests….and I fell in love with them. These are such an easy meal to make and I am excited to share them with you!

Cornish Pasties
4 cups flour*
1 Tbs. Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1-3/4 Cup shortening
1/2 Cup water
1 Large egg
1 Tbs. Vinegar

*To add more fiber to the meal I substituted 1 cup of flour for whole wheat.

Mix together dry ingredients and then cut in shortening. In a separate bowl beat together water, egg and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and stir (you can do this by hand or use a stand mixer). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing filling.

1 lb. lean ground hamburger
1 large potato (shredded or diced)
1 large carrot (shredded or diced)
1/2 cup onion
3/4 Tsp. Salt
1/8 Tsp. Ground pepper
1 beef bullion cube
1/2 cup boiling water

Peel potato and carrot. Shred or dice them and add them to a mixing bowl. Chop onion into small pieces and add to bowl. Add salt. Heat water and dissolve bullion cube. Add to mixture. Stir together.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Take dough from the fridge and on a floured surface roll out thin circular rounds of dough. Add enough filling that you can still fold the dough in half and seal the edges.

Place pasties on a baking sheet and make slits in the top of the dough.

Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. If you want to make these ahead of time you can also refrigerate them until it’s time.

In the last few minutes of cooking you can make a beef gravy to spread over the top. Normally with my big family I would use a pack of McCormick’s Brown Gravy and then make additional to gravy to spread it out. I was going to do that this time but realized it’s now just me, my hubby and little boy so that much gravy was not needed. I ended up only using the McCormick mix this time and it still tasted delicious!

In an attempt to add more fiber to the meal I cooked up some garlic Brussels sprouts. Yum!