Easy Slow-Cooker Applesauce

Rose, Penelope - Darling - Autumn Recipe roundup - 4 apples in bowl.jpg

It’s in my crockpot right now, and in a few minutes your house could smell amazing, too. This is the easiest way to make applesauce, with just a few ingredients and some peeling and chopping while you sip on tea. I love cooking year-round, but particularly when rain taps at the house, skies are moody and candles are lit throughout the house.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, can make amazing applesauce with a slow-cooker. You can delegate this entirely to a fairly responsible kid, if you’d like.

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Chocolate-Pistachio Energy Balls

TKB - chocolate-pistachio energy balls

They’re vegan, gluten-free and addictive. If you’re the kind of person who can’t stop eating stuff that falls in the sweet, salty and delicious category…consider this your warning.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of cacao balls – I’ve previously posted these coconut-heavy energy bites, and this crunchy version with brown rice crisps, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs. And while I love both of those recipes, I have to admit – these are my new favorite. If you make anything this week, let it be this! I pretty much always have some sort of quick bite similar to this in the fridge or freezer. This type of thing saves us when it comes to returning from school and work and feeling ravenous. If we need to head out for a soccer game, or spontaneously decide to ride to the beach, we never regret bringing a little food with us. They feel like a treat, but pack a good nutrient punch.

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Weekly Menu Plan: March 2016


The Kitchen Beet :: Farmer's Market Asparagus

I’m barely squeezing this in, since it’s April in less than an hour, but I’m determined to make this into a series! If you read last month’s post, I put together a weekly menu round-up after realizing I actually prefer the structure of assigning a meal to a specific day. My weekly menu plans attempt to include lots of variety, copious amounts of veggies and meat or fish once or twice a week. My goal is always to have my little family of four, with kids aged 11 and 2.5, eating the same thing (in some form).

Below is the exact menu we followed for a week (Saturday – Friday), with notes where I modified a recipe, or deconstructed to better meet the desires of a kiddo. I’ve linked to the cookbook or recipe where I can – several of these recipes are mine, but many come from other wonderful sources! As I mentioned in the last round-up, my menu plans always include a few “other” items intended to help with breakfasts, snacks and packed lunches.

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Swiss Chard, Asparagus + Leek Frittata with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

TKB - swiss chard, leek, asparagus frittata with tomatoes

I like attractive food. I like bringing a dish to the table that elicits an anticipatory sigh of happiness. Sure, I love homely-looking dishes too, like this wild rice casserole, or these stuffed mushrooms I can’t seem to take a good picture of (and so aren’t yet posted).

I love the look of these eggs with bright, healthy greens throughout and wrinkled, vibrant tomatoes on top. Our farmer’s market opening day isn’t until May, so I’ll have to wait for local asparagus until then. But in the meantime, this spring veggie is available at an affordable price at the local grocery.

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Vegan Crispy Cacao Bites

TKB - crispy cacao bites - five

I’m a lover of experience and memories over things, pretty much always. This is evident in the way I gift my family, particularly for birthdays. Planning a surprise getaway brings me almost as much joy as the trip itself. For Aidan’s 11th (today!), we planned a short trip – just one overnight and two days of skiing and snowboarding up at Crystal Mountain. It’s a 2.5 hour drive, and lift tickets were included with our stay. This allowed us to be sneaky behind the scenes and plan for one of his best friends to join us.

I try to keep things economical by making and packing as much of our food as possible, and aiming to get a room with a kitchen. For this trip, it meant making minestrone soup and sandwiches before we left for our trip to have for dinner last night, and bringing the goods to make french toast this morning. I also packed these crispy bites, and put 2 – 3 in individual snack size bags. I froze them, then sent everyone out with a bag to stuff in their jacket pocket for a little energy while out on the slopes. The crew loved them, so I thought I’d give you all the recipe, too!

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