Father’s Day Tri Tip Tacos- Slow Cooker recipe

Tri Tip tacos main

Here’s an easy recipe that Dad will love for father’s day dinner! Tri Tip Tacos! Get this ready in the morning and you will have plenty of time to play with Dad all day! When you are hungry and ready to eat dinner you can pull the meat out of the crockpot with the onions and shred it all up for the tacos. I like to serve this up with diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheese on top of corn or flour tortillas. With only a few ingredients, a grill and a slow cooker even the kiddos can put this one together. (A parent will have to help with the grill.)

First I dusted the tri tip with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Then I put it on my VERY hot grill (about 450F) for about 10 min. per side. While the tri tip was on the grill I sliced up the onions and put them into the slow cooker with 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 2 tbs of hot pepper jelly.

Tri Tip Tacos

Next I put the tri tip on top of the onions, broth and jelly, put on the lid and set it to cook on low for 4 hours.

Tri Tip Tacos 2

After 4 hours I shredded the tri tip with two forks and turned my slow cooker to warm while I prepared diced tomatoes, slice green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped lettuce. I also warmed some corn tortillas on the grill.

Shredded tri tip

When we were ready to eat we fixed up our tacos with the toppings and ate. This was the easiest ‘fancy’ meal to prepare because the slow cooker did all of the work. There was only about 20 min. of prep and cooking time outside of the slow cooker doing all of the ‘hard work’ for 4 hours. I used a 2 lbs. Tri Tip and this was a lot of meat. This recipe will make from 8-12 tacos at least depending on how much meat you put inside of each one.

The best part of this meal is that it is so easy and low maintenance everyone can have a great day with Dad AND still have a great family friendly Father’s Day Dinner prepared when everyone is hungry! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!

Tri Tip tacos main

Tri Tip Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2lb Tri Tip Beef
  • 2 tablespoons Hot Pepper Jelly
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Diced Green Onions
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Diced Tomato
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Medium Yellow or Brown Onion

Directions

1. Heavily dust tri tip with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. Grill tri tip on a VERY hot grill (about 450F) for 10 min. on each side or until nice grill marks appear.
3. While tri tip is grilling slice one medium onion into rings and place at the bottom of your slow cooker with 2 tbs of hot pepper jelly and 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
4. Place grilled tri tip on top of sliced onions, jelly and broth in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours until the meat easily shreds with two forks.
5. Serve on corn or flour tortillas with diced tomatoes, green onions, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce and any other taco topping you like!
Tri Tip tacos main

Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Hands On Learning 4 All -recipe

You don’t need a fancy schmancy ice cream maker to make gourmet ice cream that tastes like the expensive stuff at the stores. This recipe is easy, fast and HEALTHY with no added sweeteners or chemical junk! Add whatever you like to the basic ice cream recipe or make it like we did with chocolate chips and strawberry slices. I bet your older children will love to make this one and invent all new flavors for the family to try! One thing is for sure your family and friends will love it!

Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 6 Medium Ripe Bananas (Cut into 1 inch pieces and frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Organic if you can)
  • 6-8 thin slices Fresh Strawberries (Organic if you can)
  • 1/4 cup Cream (Organic if you can)
  • 1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (Organic if you can)

Directions

1. Cut 6 ripe bananas into 1" circles and freeze. When frozen toss them into the food processor with 1/4 cup of cream and 3 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder until smooth. Scoop out ice cream into a bowl. Cut 6-8 strawberries into slices and gently fold into the ice cream with 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips! Eat immediately as soft serve or put into a glass container with a lid and freeze for hard ice cream.

(I press plastic wrap right down on top of the ice cream before I put on the lid to prevent freezer burn.)
No added sweeteners, no chemical junk, no ice cream maker necessary--> All goodness!

The VERY BEST Mac-n-Cheese Recipe! (Gluten Free or Regular Pasta Works!)

Very BEST mac n cheese
I have been looking for a Macaroni and Cheese recipe that is just as fast and easy as the box stuff AND that my kids LOVE! I have finally developed it and I am sharing it with you today. I made this recipe gluten free but you can use regular pasta noodles and the recipe will taste just as good!

(I used organic rice noodles, cheese, arrowroot powder, mustard and cream.)

Ingredients:
1 lbs of brown rice pasta (or regular pasta)
8oz of shredded Colby Cheese
2-3 tbs of Arrowroot powder (corn starch can be substituted)
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 tbs of Yellow Mustard
Salt as desired

Directions:
Boil the 1 lbs of brown rice pasta to al dente via package instructions. Drain all but approx. 1 cup of pasta cooking water. In a seperate bowl add 8 oz. of your favorite colby cheese (shredded). Sprinkle on arrowroot powder (approx 2-3 tbs.) And toss until cheese is coated. Add 3/4c of cream, 1tbs of yellow mustard and stir until combined. Dump the entire cheese mixture into the pasta pot and stir on low heat until cheese is melted and smooth. Add salt as needed. You will never eat the box stuff again. (The same recipe can be used with regular pasta if you don’t want it gluten free!)

How to Eat Real Food and Lose Weight

have your cake
Recently I have had the pleasure of reading a book called “Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too.” Why was this book so refreshing to read? Because it makes sense. I switched to an all organic and low prepackaged food life-style a few years ago while trying to resolve my migraine issues. Even more recently eating better became VERY important to my husband who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After his tumor was removed we found that we wanted to prevent future health issues through our diet and lifestyle as much as possible. In comes DaNelle Wolford’s book and I have to tell you just looking at the pictures of the real food choices that are easy to make at home I began to wonder why we would ever need to eat out again!

How to eat your cake

I especially enjoyed the chapter about turning any recipe into a good food choice! Finally, someone offers a weight loss book that doesn’t require you to buy their food or to eat only one food–> i.e. diet, protein diet, juicing diet, etc. DaNelle offers a bunch of recipes for the things that everyone craves but shouldn’t have when they are trying to eat healthy like bread, tortillas, and soda! She even uses time saving tools like the crockpot in her recipes to make practical weeknight meals that are family pleasers like lasagna!

how to eat your cake (2)

Eating real food is so satisfying too! There is no need to eliminate whole food groups with this way of eating. Things like butter and cheese are acceptable and they help you feel satisfied and stay satisfied so binge eating doesn’t happen!

have your cake and lose weight too

I definitely recommend reading Eat Your Cake and Lose Weight Too to anyone who is looking for a way to eat healthy, feel great and lose weight. But moreover, if you want to find a way of eating that is a long term solution to a healthier lifestyle this book (Eat Your Cake and Lose Weight Too) is the right book to get you started!

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Coconut Maple Cream Pie

coconut maple cream pie

Yesterday I asked my daughter if she wanted to help me come up with a dessert for this week. We brainstormed with a can of coconut cream in mind. This is the dessert we came up with. The coconut cream custard is sweetened with maple syrup and my husband says he would just eat that alone for dessert. (Good to keep in mind!) It would also make a nice ice-cream too! Just put the cooled custard into your ice-cream maker for a icy cold sweet treat. The meringue has raw sugar in it but you could easily substitute it with a few drops of stevia and no one would know the difference or you could just substitute the meringue with fresh whipped cream sweetened with stevia. The crust of this coconut cream pie is almond meal and shredded coconut so no white flour here! It is just the creamy delicious dessert we were looking for! I hope you enjoy it too!

Coconut Maple Cream Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 can Coconut Cream
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/3 cup Corn Starch or Arrowroot Powder
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 4 Eggs (separated yolks for the custard, whites for the meringue)
  • 1/3 cup Butter (melted)
  • 1 cup Almond (Meal)
  • 2 cups Shredded Coconut (I used 1 cup of fine shredded for the crust and 1 cup of wide sliced coconut for the garnish on top)
  • 1/2 cup Raw Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (optional--it just makes the meringue more stable)

Directions

1. Whisk together eggs, milk, coconut cream, cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) and 4 egg yolks in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick. Pour into a shallow bowl and press plastic wrap on the top. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes to cool. (Keep the egg whites in a small bowl on the counter as room temp. whites whip up faster to make meringue.)
2. While coconut custard is cooling mix together almond meal, 1 cup of shredded coconut and melted butter. Press this mixture onto the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Bake at 350F for 10 min. Cool in refrigerator while custard is cooling in the freezer.
3. While custard and crust are cooling whip the egg whites in a bowl with 1/4 tsp of cream of tarter. After soft peaks start to form slowly pour in sugar in intervals. When very stiff peaks form and all of the sugar is incorporated the meringue is ready.
4. Assemble the pie by first spooning/spreading the custard over the crust. (Careful not to disturb the crust.) Next spoon and spread the meringue over the custard. Dip and pull up on the spoon to make peaks. Turn your oven on broil and with the door open place the baking dish on the rack closest to the broiler. Do Not leave. Broil the meringue top until brown and remove pie from oven immediately. Sprinkle remaining shredded coconut on top. Cool in the refrigerator uncovered.

Note

This dessert is best served the same day. The meringue will start to weep after a few hours of storage in the refrigerator this is normal.

***Whipped cream can be a substitute for the meringue. (Do not broil whipped cream.) Just refrigerate custard/crust until ready to serve. Cut pieces and top individual pieces with whipped cream. Top whipped cream with the shredded coconut garnish.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

strawberry cheesecake bites

I am a dessert person. I love desserts. But in my effort to eat less carbs I have been struggling with desserts. So I have created this quick dessert that satisfies my need for cheesecake with a lot less carbs!!! Strawberry Cheesecake Bites are so quick and easy to whip together you will probably want to eat them after every meal. AND why not! They are good for you. Just make sure you use good quality ingredients and try to buy the darkest chocolate you can find! (Dark chocolate=less sugar!)  Bonus==> Your kids can even make these delicious treats!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Prep time 5 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Valentines day

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 pint Organic Strawberries (I like organic because I think they are sweeter.)
  • 1 bag Dark Chocolate Chips (I use bittersweet.)
  • Several sprig Mint (You only need the leaves)
  • 1 Small Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 pint Organic Strawberries (I like organic because I think they are sweeter.)
  • 1 bag Dark Chocolate Chips (I use bittersweet.)
  • Several sprig Mint (You only need the leaves)

Directions

1. Cut off the strawberry tops and cut each strawberry in half.
2. Cut off the strawberry tops and cut each strawberry in half.
3. Spoon some whipped cream cheese on top of each strawberry half.
4. Spoon some whipped cream cheese on top of each strawberry half.
5. Garnish with chocolate chips and a leaf of mint.
6. Garnish with chocolate chips and a leaf of mint.

Thai Coconut Peanut Chicken

Thai Coconut Peanut Chicken

Want a fast way to serve left over chicken? This recipe is a crowd pleaser. It’s better than take out and healthier too! It comes together in no time for a quick mid-week meal! I cook a roast chicken for dinner on Sunday and then use the left overs for this meal on Wednesday! This is a great meal to make ahead and freeze too! Any way you make and serve it….Thai Coconut Peanut Chicken is sure to be a family favorite at your house.

Thai Coconut Peanut Chicken

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Peanuts
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 Cooked Chicken Breast (Roughly chopped into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 Cooked Chicken Thigh and Leg (Roughly chopped into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 can Coconut Cream
  • 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil (For sauteing vegetables)
  • 3 Large Carrots (Sliced into bite sized circles)
  • 1 Small Onion (Diced)
  • 1 cup Frozen Green Beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts (Crushed or whole) (Garnish (optional))

Directions

1. In a high sided skillet saute (on medium heat ) carrots and onions in coconut oil until soft. Warm frozen green beans in the pan. Remove vegetables from pan into a bowl for addition to the sauce later.
2. In the same pan (vegetables removed) pour can of coconut cream, chicken stock, and peanut butter. Whisk until completely combined (should be thick but saucy--add water as necessary to thin--some coconut creams are thicker than others.) Stir in curry powder and cayenne powder (optional.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add vegetables and chicken pieces to the sauce in the pan and warm through, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked rice. Garnish with peanuts (optional.)

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Scones

Blueberry breakfast scones

Need a special recipe for a brunch or breakfast. This Blueberry Almond Scone recipe is delicious and easy to whip together the day before and serve up for breakfast or brunch. Serve them with a side of fruit and a cup of coffee!

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Scones

Serves 8-16 Depending on amount cut
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Unbleached Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Unrefined Sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Cold and cubed)
  • 1 cup Whole Fat Sour Cream
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons Blueberry Juice (Optional)
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar (Optional)

Directions

1. In a food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Pulse in butter chunks until the appearance looks like coarse sand.
2. Empty contents of food processor into a bowl and mix in (by hand) sour cream gently. (Be careful not to overwork the dough.)
3. Toss the frozen blueberries in a bit of flour to coat them evenly. Then add blueberries and almonds to the dough mixture and mix lightly-->just enough to incorporate them throughout the dough.
4. Dust your work surface with flour and dump the dough onto your work surface. Pat the dough into a circle shape. Pat it down with your fingertips until it is about 1 inch thick. (Dust your hands with flour as necessary.)
5. Using a long sharp knife cut the dough circle 'pizza style' into 8 pieces. If you would like mini-scones cut each triangle again across the center to make 16 mini-scones.
6. Place the scones on a parchment lined (or silicone baking sheet lined) sheet pan. (They will puff a little so make sure you leave space between each scone.)
7. Preheat oven to 400F.
8. Bake for 13-17 minutes until golden brown on top.
9. Optional: Make a glaze by combining blueberry juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle on warm scones after they come out of the oven.

Quinoa Stuffed Pork Loin Chops

Quinoa stuffed pork chops

Want a delicious dinner that comes together in a snap? Want this dinner to be healthy too? Want your kids to eat this dinner? Try my Quinoa Stuffed Pork Loin Chops. It looks fancy enough to be served in a restaurant and it takes no time to throw together! Bonus==> It’s good for you!!! Shhhhh, don’t tell the kids!

Quinoa Stuffed Pork Loin Chops

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Quinoa- Cooked (1 cup dry quinoa yields 4 cups cooked)
  • 4 cups Quinoa- Cooked (1 cup dry quinoa yields 4 cups cooked)
  • 4 Pork Loin Chops
  • 4 Pork Loin Chops
  • 4 Slices--Provolone
  • 4 Slices--Provolone
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 3oz Goat Cheese
  • 3oz Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Dry Rosemary (fresh can be substituted but up the amout to 2 1/2 tbs.)
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Dry Rosemary (fresh can be substituted but increase the amount to 2 1/2 tbs.)
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil (Approx. 2 tbs for Crumbly topping and 1tbs for oiling baking sheet)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil (Approx. 2 tbs for Crumbly topping and 1tbs for oiling baking sheet)

Directions

1. Place pork loin chops on a baking sheet that has been oiled with olive oil.
2. Place pork loin chops on a baking sheet that has been oiled with olive oil.
3. Mix cooked quinoa with garlic, onion, 1 tablespoon of dry rosemary, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.
4. Mix cooked quinoa with garlic, onion, 1 tablespoon of dry rosemary, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Place approximately 1 cup of quinoa mixture on top of each pork loin chop and top with 1 slice of provolone cheese.
6. Place approximately 1 cup of quinoa mixture on top of each pork loin chop and top with 1 slice of provolone cheese.
7. Mix together in a separate bowl panko bread crumbs, butter, the rest of the rosemary, and enough olive oil to moisten the crumbs until it looks like slightly wet sand. Add pepper to taste.
8. Mix together in a separate bowl panko bread crumbs, butter, the rest of the rosemary, and enough olive oil to moisten the crumbs until it looks like slightly wet sand. Add pepper to taste.
9. Mound approximately 1/2 cup of bread crumb mixture on top of the provolone cheese (on each loin chop.)
10. Mound approximately 1/2 cup of bread crumb mixture on top of the provolone cheese (on each loin chop.)
11. Bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes or until chops are cooked through. Broil on low if necessary to brown the bread crumbs. Serve with a veggie and fruit.
12. Bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes or until chops are cooked through. Broil on low if necessary to brown the bread crumbs. Serve with salad and fruit.

Nutty Banana Bread Pancakes!

nutty banana bread pancakes

I try to make breakfast interesting for my kiddos. But I really don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. Here’s a variation on the plain ‘ol pancake that takes no time to make. BONUS==> You can make these ahead of time and store them in the fridge! When your kiddos want breakfast (or a quick snack) they can just pop them into the toaster! Yummy nutty goodness in a snap! Enjoy!

Nutty Banana Bread Pancakes!

Serves 6-8 pancakes
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Breakfast
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 cup White Flour
  • 1 cup Almond Meal
  • 1/4 cup Unrefined Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
  • 1 Ripe Banana (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Milk ((more or less---to thin batter to desired consistency))

Directions

1. In a bowl whisk together your dry ingredients.
2. Make a small well in the center of your dry ingredients and add eggs, yogurt, 1/2 the milk, and the banana. Mix batter until ingredients are combined. Add coconut oil last and mix it into the batter (this helps to avoid the coconut oil clumping.)
3. Add more milk if the batter is too thick. (I like a semi-thick batter for thicker and fluffier pancakes.)
4. Cook this pancake batter as you would any other pancake batter. Serve warm pancakes with butter and maple syrup. Top with chopped walnuts and sliced bananas (optional.)

Note

These pancakes can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Just pop them into the toaster to warm them up for a quick breakfast!