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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Before I start with the post…I have one important administrative item I need to mention. I am going to be transitioning all of the content from this blog foodillusion.com (including recipes and other informative posts) over to my other blog 100daysofrealfood.com. All those that are subscribed to The Food Illusion site will automatically be added to the 100 Days site (if you aren’t already). So for the next week or so I will post The Food Illusion stuff in both places as I work to transition everything over. I will also continue to post the regular real food pledge posts on the 100 days site as well. Thank you for your patience with all of this! Hopefully this change will make it easier for you (and me) to keep track of everything…especially now that we have taken on another real food pledge.

Okay, so back to banana ice cream. I’ve mentioned this in a post before, but just in case someone missed it I thought it was important enough to dedicate an entire post to it today. This recipe somehow magically turns regular old bananas into delicious, creamy, cold, banana flavored ice cream without using any cream or an ice cream maker. (more…)

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Pumpkins are in season here, but I admit I did not buy a fresh, local one for this recipe. When it comes to convenience it is unfortunately hard to beat a can of organic pumpkin puree. That doesn’t mean pumpkin season can’t put us in the mood for this super-easy recipe though! My 5-year-old has asked me about 20 times over the last week to make some pumpkin bread so this one is for her…enjoy! (more…)

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While this dish is technically “real food” the amount of butter used is what keeps it from showing up on our table on a weekly basis. I personally love baked potatoes, and this variation with the slightly crispy skin on the bottom is just the bomb. And my husband and kids love them, too. You can play around with the toppings by trying grated cheese, green onions, sour cream, bacon (we were out of bacon so pictured is proscuitto), and/or butter. The end result works great as an appetizer, snack, side item, or tailgating dish!

Some recipes request that you scoop out most of the cooked potato before pan-frying them, but we do not think that is necessary. In our opinion the more potato there is, the better things are balanced out between the rich toppings and buttery, crispy crust. They turn out best with small to medium sized potatoes (which are currently in season here in N.C.!) although any size will work. (more…)

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This is a very easy-to-make breakfast recipe that has been passed down from my mom. Preparation hardly takes longer than frying up an egg, and both of my girls absolutely love it! It is definitely up there as one of their most favorite breakfast dishes. So step out of the box and surprise your family with something new this weekend. Just make sure you carefully select your ingredients to ensure you are giving them the healthiest version possible.

Pictured are two good brands of matzos I’ve found…and in addition to using them for this recipe, both are great as plain crackers, too. While there are lots of versions of matzos available (which can usually be found in the “international” aisle of the grocery store), you can see that these are both clearly marked as “whole-wheat”. It is always a good idea to double-check the ingredient list as well (this is a 1-ingredient product!) because these same brands also sell refined matzos in similar looking boxes. Another key piece to this recipe is the jelly. I buy an all-fruit type spread that is sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar. So be sure to look for that as well. (more…)

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It is apple season here in the Carolinas! Making homemade applesauce is somewhat of a special occasion around here since a healthy store-bought alternative (with no sugar added) can easily be found. I am not saying the store-bought stuff is nearly as good as the homemade version…just more convenient of course. Let’s just say that my husband and I do not regularly consume the little store-bought containers of applesauce, but all four of us fight over the last few drops if it is homemade! Plus making it yourself can be a fun activity (especially with kids), and luckily you can freeze the leftovers.

It is especially quick and easy to make this dish at home if you have one of these handy dandy apple slicers. You can find these inexpensive tools at most grocery stores (or Target), and they will easily cut your prep time in half. Not to mention they come in handy for just slicing apples for a snack (or even pears too!). (more…)

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I absolutely love this dish because everyone in my family (myself included) thinks it is delicious! I know I am not alone on my constant mission to find healthy, well-balanced dinners that all four of us can enjoy together (I am not a fan of making separate meals). And the best part about this dish is that once you do the hard part, which is detailed below, you can freeze the uncooked raviolis. Think of those nights when you have no plan for dinner or better yet when you are going out and need something quick for the babysitter to feed the kids. What do a lot of moms do? Throw some frozen chicken nuggets in the microwave for a few minutes. Now if you had some raviolis in your freezer, you could put forth almost the exact same effort by throwing a few in some boiling water for only 4 minutes (sans the sauce). Yes, that is all it takes for fresh pasta to cook…even when they start out frozen!

So, I highly recommend spending one Sunday afternoon making a big batch of these tasty treats. It will take some time and oh it will make a mess, but I promise it is definitely worth it. Plus, if you have kids I am sure they would LOVE to help you roll out the dough. You don’t even have to tell them that the yummy, sweet butternut squash inside the ravioli is actually a vegetable! (more…)

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This is one of those wonderful dishes where you can switch things up depending on what ingredients you have on hand. For example, you can use any type of sausage or bacon, but I still think the dish would be tasty even if you left the meat out all together. If you don’t have any shrimp you could throw in some other type of seafood instead. If you don’t like oysters (I fall in this department!) then not to worry. This is the type of dish where you can be creative and make substitutions as you see fit…and best of all enjoy the end result (and don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!).

When I recently made this dish I did not use sausage (we used bacon instead) and I did not add any of the extra black pepper or hot sauce. There is already a little red pepper in the Creole seasoning so that was the only source of heat in our dish. And to my surprise both of my girls ate (small amounts) of it when it was served. Point being – at least they didn’t hate it! When I first added the spices I took a bite and immediately thought it would be too spicy for them, but after the rice and liquids got cooking it really made the dish more palatable for those younger taste buds. So give it shot with your children before offering up a separate kid meal! (more…)

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