Bacon, Veggie & Egg Bake

baconveggieeggbake
I love having a hearty breakfast, but I am NOT a morning person which means I am in a crazy, scurried, hurried rush in the mornings and just grab whatever I can eat quick and get out the door!
My solution?? Make breakfast in the evening once and then be able to have it for the rest of the week. This Bacon, Egg & Veggie Bake is perfect for that! It takes longer for the oven to preheat than it does to put it together, and when it’s done, you have breakfast in the mornings that takes less time to make than a frozen waffle! Plus, it’s a great source of clean eating protein and is 21 Day Fix approved!
Wondering what 21 Day Fix is? Read all about my newest adventure into the awesomeness of getting to be a Beachbody Coach!
*If you want to be a part of my next Challenge Group, connect with me here on Facebook.
*If you are looking for a great introduction to Beachbody, Shakeology, and/or Clean Eating, head over to this page and get signed up for the 6 Day Reset with a Shakeology sample pack so you can find your perfect flavor!
*If you want to know more about the awesome workout & nutrition programs, Challenge Packs, etc Beachbody has to offer, head here and check it all out!
baconveggieeggbake

Bacon, Egg & Veggie Bake

Ingredients:

1 dozen large eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1 bell pepper (any color)
1/2 small white onion
2 Roma tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
6 slices uncured bacon (cooked & chopped)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp parsley flakes
Olive oil spray

Directions:

1.Preheat your oven to 350*F
2.Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13″ baking dish liberally with the olive oil spray
3.Chop up the veggies and bacon and evenly distribute them along the bottom of the baking dish.
4.In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, garlic powder and black pepper
5.Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and top with parsley flakes.
6.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set. Cut into 12 pieces and enjoy!!
2 pieces count for 1 red and 1/2 green for your 21 Day Fix containers.
*Optional mix-in: spinach, broccoli, cheese, shredded hash browns, etc. Be sure to adjust your container counts if you chose to add anything!
**Alternative to a large pan: use muffin tins to make individual servings! Lower the baking time by 5 minutes if using this method.

A New Adventure!

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If you had told me a year ago that I would be writing a post about being a Beachbody Coach, I would have rolled my eyes at you something fierce. I am not a “salesy” type of person, I for sure don’t have a trainer’s body, and while I love all things fitness and nutrition, I do not claim to be an expert! Also, I am a runner and I do that outside, so obviously, I don’t need an “at home” workout program. PLUS, I can buy my “protein” shakes at the local big box store and it’s totally the same, right?? Do I sound familiar yet?

I have been running for a little over two years and last fall, I ran my first half marathon. During training, I was running 25-30 miles a week minimum, so I could pretty much get away with eating whatever I wanted. I completely believed that I ate “healthy” during this whole time! After my half was over, however, I kept eating like I was running those 25-30 miles a week, even though I was probably running only 5-10 miles a week while I let my body heal.

I put on 7lbs and I freaked out! Now, depending on where you’re at with your body, that may or may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was a HUGE deal to me, so let’s just go with it, okay?! I needed to re-learn portion control plus it was starting to get cold outside and dark waaayyy too early so I was finding it harder and harder to squeeze a run into my crazy busy days (more on those some other time)….which meant those “at home” workouts weren’t sounding too bad after all….

I reached out to a friend from high school who is a Beachbody Coach and said, “Okay, tell me about this whole 21 Day Fix thing that is blowing up my Pinterest Feed….and I guess you can tell me about your shake stuff too since I’m running low on my stuff.” Well, my coach ROCKS so she got back to me pretty quick and filled in all of the details. After talking with the hubs, we decided it would be worth the investment for me to go ahead and get a 21 Day Fix + Shakeology pack. That way I had the workout and nutrition program to learn what, and uh…how MUCH, I should be eating as well as have a short workout I could do at home on non-running days as well a new shake to try and see if it was any better than what I had been using.

THIS WAS A LIFE-CHANGE MOMENT!!

Since November of 2015, I lost not just the 7lbs I had put on, but an additional 4pds along with over 12 inches! I have the energy to keep up with my busy and crazy schedule thanks in large part to my daily dose of dense nutrition through my Shakeology! I am getting to lift (which I love!) and still get my cardio and running in. I am leaner and stronger and it’s helping me to be faster and increase my pace! Hallelujah!!

Believe it or not, I am a Type A introvert which means that I tend to go it alone with most things, so having people in Challenge Groups who can hold me accountable, offering encouragement and support, and share tips with has been AWESOME! And I am absolutely LOVING getting to encourage people and help them reach their health and fitness goals!!

What started as a way for me to stay active, fit and healthy during my “off” season from running has turned into so much more than I could have ever imagined. I have learned so much about myself: I have learned that I am physically and mentally stronger than I ever knew I could be. I have learned that I can take on new and different challenges and that I can do it with a new-found confidence and understanding of who I am. By choosing to take better care of myself and allowed me to handle all that life seems to be throwing at me these days and helps me to be the wife and mom I need to be.

Wait, wait ,WAIT you say….this isn’t the BusyBlessed from a year ago who shared yummy gluten free recipes and nothing more!! Well, you’re right, it’s not. Will I still be sharing tasty recipes, homemade products, homeschool tips, etc? ABSOLUTELY!! Those are all still a part of what makes me BusyBlessed, I’ve just added one more thing! So, over the next few months you will see more and more components to this site to help people navigate to the area of BusyBlessed that best fits them. I hope you will join me in all of my crazy adventures, no matter what area of my life they fall into!

Until next time!

*If you want to be a part of my next Challenge Group, connect with me here on Facebook.
*If you are looking for a great introduction to Beachbody, Shakeology, and/or Clean Eating, head over to this page and get signed up for the 6 Day Reset with a Shakeology sample pack so you can find your perfect flavor!
*If you want to know more about the awesome workout & nutrition programs, Challenge Packs, etc Beachbody has to offer, head here and check it all out!

 

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

I LOVE the combination of lemons and blueberries! There is just something about the lemon that brightens the flavor of the blueberry. I had a craving the other day, so after a quick search on Pinterest, I found a recipe that seemed pretty easily adaptable to a gluten-free, dairy-free version.

The result? Absolutely delicious! The perfect amount of lemon flavor to compliment the juicy berries, and a sweet lemon glaze to go on top.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze-GFDF

YIELD: one 9×5-inch loaf | PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 70-75 minutes | TOTAL TIME: 2 1/2 hours (includes cooling)

INGREDIENTS:

Pound Cake
3/4 cup  granulated sugar
1/2 cup favorite dairy-free spread (I used Earth Balance soy free, but coconut oil would also be delicious)
3 large eggs
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 cup brown rice flour
5 tablespoons potato starch
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (be sure that it is gluten free!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup frozen blueberries tossed in 1 tablespoon brown rice flour

Lemon Glaze
juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons
1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F, spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. For the Pound Cake – To a bowl add the dairy-free spread and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy (approx 3 minutes).
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each (scrape down the sides when needed).
  4. Add the lemon extract and stir to combine.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat on low until just combines (approx 1 minute). DO NOT overmix.
  6. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine.
  7. In a small bowl, add the blueberries and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown rice flour. Lightly stir to coat (flouring the frozen blueberries helps keep them from sinking while baking and your batter from turning colors).
  8. Pour out half the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Evenly pour out half the blueberries over the batter in the pan.
  10. Pour in the remaining batter over the blueberries.
  11. Evenly top with remaining blueberries.
  12. Bake for about 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  13. Cool in the pan the stove top for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely before glazing. Make the glaze once the cake is cooled.
  14. Glaze – In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar (start with 1 cup and add more if needed to get the right consistency) until smooth and combined. Drizzle glaze over the cake before slicing and serving. Bread will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months (don’t glaze it until you plan to serve it if you’re going to freeze it).Keep bread in the fridge to keep it from getting too sticky.

New Year, New Focus

It’s been close to 7 months since my last blog post. Life this past fall was so busy that I felt like it took everything in me just to tread water and keep up. I had taken on too much and everything around me suffered the effects, this site being no exception. I’ve taken the past month to reset, re-think, and re-do some priorities.

I have spent time on my knees with the Lord asking Him to redirect my focus onto the things that are 1) glorifying to Him and 2) the absolute best for my family and my ministry. A phrase the senior pastor at our last church said that always stays with me is, “the good things can become bad things when they crowd out the best things.”

I have learned to let go of certain things, so that I can focus on what’s important. I have learned that letting something go or saying “no” does not mean that I have failed, it simply means that I cannot do it all. I was never intended to. But that being said, this blog is important to me. It’s something that I feel called to do.

As I have spent time in thought and prayer, the Lord kept bringing to mind two words: authentic and content. These are what I am striving to be this year. This is how I want to live. And by God’s grace and strength, I can.

So look in the coming days and weeks for new thoughts, new projects, and new recipes as I press on to live the life God has called me to live.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Granola Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Let me just say that I am lucky to even have a picture of these….that is how fast they disappear at my house!  The Hubs and The Dude can go through a pan in just a few days, so I end up making these at least once a week.  I use my Creamy Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter in them, and they are awesome!

This is one of those recipes that I get asked about a lot.  I started with this recipe as my jumping off point and went to town on making it my own by adding peanut butter and adjusting the other ratios.  But the best part is that I was able to make them both gluten and dairy free so no tummy issues for my boys!  Score one for me!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Ingredients:
1 cup honey cinnamon peanut butter (or regular creamy peanut butter)
1/4 cup butter (or dairy free alternative)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups GF old fashioned oats
1 cup GF crispy rice cereal
Mini GF/DF chocolate chips

Directions:
In a sauce pan, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and honey on medium-low just until is starts to bubble. Meanwhile, combine the oats and the cereal in a large bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over the oats and cereal and stir to combine.

Spread into a well-greased 9 x 9 pan and push down until even throughout. Top with chocolate chips and place into the refrigerator to cool.

Once cooled, cut into bars. They are best if they are kept in the refrigerator as they can get crumbly if they are kept out at room temperature for too long.

Creamy Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

You will quickly catch on that I have a thing for cinnamon. I love the way it smells, I love the way it tastes, pretty much I love everything about it.  If I can find a way to add it to a recipe, I will.  So when I looked into making my own peanut butter, I knew I would be adding in some cinnamon flavor.

Peanut butter is one of those things that is so unbelievably easy to make that you will wonder why you didn’t start earlier.  At its most basic recipe (here), all you need is a jar of unsalted peanuts and a good food processor; that’s it!  Dump those peanuts in and let the food processor do its magic.  After 5-7 minutes, you will have homemade creamy peanut butter without all of the extra stuff that is in the store-bought versions!  And once you get the method down, it’s easy to experiment with flavors to find what you love; like me with this honey cinnamon version.   Enjoy!!

Creamy Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter

Ingredients:
1 Jar Unsalted Peanuts
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
3 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Oil (optional)

Directions:
Place the unsalted peanuts into a food processor.  Turn it on high and begin to grind peanuts, stopping to push down the ground peanuts as needed. After 5 minutes or so, add the cinnamon, salt, honey, and oil (if using) and blend another 2 minutes until creamy and well mixed. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Honey Nut Granola

Honey Nut Granola

Honey Nut Granola

I love my breakfast of Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit and granola.  It’s pretty much the only thing I can handle that early in the morning (besides my mandatory cup of coffee of course!).  But buying gluten free granola can be really expensive and I was looking for something that had a really great sweet, cinnamon flavor.

After a bit of searching, I came across this basic granola recipe that had the flavor I was looking for.  I halved the recipe, and then made a couple of adjustments to some of the measurements since I wanted to add almonds.  I also decided to use regular flax seed instead of the ground flax seed as that was what I had on hand and I was too lazy to grind it that day.  The result?  A simple, nutty, sweet, cinnamon granola that tastes fantastic on my morning yogurt.  The Dude and I are also known to eat it plain as a quick snack.  It’s that good!

Honey Nut Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes (stirring every 10)

Ingredients:
3 cups GF old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbsp. flax seed

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 °F.

In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the honey to the melted butter and stir to combine. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, almonds, and flax seed. Pour butter/honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.

Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread the granola out in the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool on the cookie sheet.

Once it’s cooled, break it into smaller pieces and store it in an air tight container. This recipe usually lasts our family 1 ½-2 weeks.

Feel free to add other things to this like dried fruit or other nuts and let me know how it turns out!

Gluten Free Honey Oat Bread

Gluten Free Honey Oat Bread

Gluten Free Honey Oat Bread

My husband’s favorite food is bread.  Seriously.  When we were dating,  we would walk into the grocery store and he would head straight back to the bakery section to squeeze and smell the loaves until he had found the perfect one.  And then to top it off, he would have it half eaten by the time we got to the checkout!  So, when we all made the move to eating gluten free, I knew I had my work cut out for me to find just the right bread recipe.

Thankfully, I have found a one that works well for our family.  Well, 3 out of 4 of us anyway….Little Bit won’t eat it, but then again, she doesn’t eat most things…(more on that some other time).  After searching and looking at a number of different recipes, I came across this one on Yammie’s Glutenfreedom.

I did a little tweaking to the recipe and the method (it was a little too sweet for us and The Dude didn’t want cinnamon in his sandwich bread), and there is was…a fantastic, easy homemade bread recipe!

Gluten Free Honey Oat Bread

Ingredients:
3 ½ cups GF Oat Flour
½ cup Brown Rice Flour
½ cup Tapioca Flour
2 tsp. Xanthan gum
1 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. dry active yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup honey
4 eggs

Directions:
Whisk to combine the yeast and the water and let sit for a few minutes (I just whisk the yeast into the 2-cup glass measuring cup I used to measure and warm up the water). Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt. Add the oil, honey, eggs, and lastly the yeast/water mixture. Beat for a few minutes until fluffy.
Note: add the oil, then the honey using the same measuring cup. This will help the honey slide right out of the measuring cup since it will have had oil in it first.

Pour into a well-greased 10 inch loaf pan. Use a spatula for this. To get a nice, smooth top to your bread, dip the back of the spatula in water, then spread out and smooth out the dough. If the dough begins to stick to the spatula, dip it in the water again and repeat as needed until the top is smooth. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled.*

*I put my bread in the microwave to rise believe it or not. I take a mug (like one I would use for my morning coffee) and fill it with water. Then, I put it in the microwave for a few minutes until it’s nice and hot. I move the mug into a corner of the microwave and stick my loaf pan in there and set the microwave timer for 45 minutes. The steam from the hot water helps to create and warm, moist environment, which is just what the dough needs to rise properly.**

**Please make sure you DO NOT turn on your microwave while the bread is rising, especially if you are using a metal pan as that could be very dangerous! Be sure that everyone in your house knows that you have  bread rising in there and that the microwave is out of commission for the next 45 minutes.

While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 350 °F.  Once the loaf has doubled in size, place it in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and allow to cool fully before cutting. Store in a sealed plastic bag. It will stay fresh on the counter for a 2-3 days (although it may start to get a bit on the crumbly side) or in the refrigerator for up to a week. It’s usually gone within a few days at our house though!

Leave a comment and let me know how it turns out!

Why Start A Blog?

Here is the long and the short of why I am writing a blog about gluten free cooking, making your own household products, and other things to help you have a busy blessed life.

Why make gluten free food?

It started with wanting to help my son who was diagnosed with moderate ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. We didn’t feel that pharmaceuticals were the answer for us, so we looked into some more natural approaches and discovered the gluten free, casein free diet. It’s been almost 6 years and he is still (mostly) gluten and dairy free. He can cheat every once in awhile with a hard cheese and be okay. We also don’t let him have red food coloring and he takes a couple of homeopathic focus medications and…he is thriving!

The rest of us jumped on the gluten free wagon a little over a My Familyyear ago (why we didn’t do it sooner, I have no idea) and have never looked back. The Hubs and The Dude are both gluten and dairy free, while The Little Bit and I are able to handle dairy.

All of the recipes you find here will be gluten free, but they may not all be dairy free. If you find a way to make one of those dairy free as well, go for it and let me know how it works out! I am also starting to venture into things like juicing, water kefir, and the idea of going paleo (not sure I can give up dairy!). I’ll keep you posted on those.

Often I have taken a recipe and adjusted it to make it my own by tweaking this and that. I will always post a link back to the original recipe, because it’s just wrong not to. So, if you like a recipe, make it your own, but link it back to the original post please!

Why make my own household products?

Because my daughter’s skin is extremely sensitive to dyes, artificial fragrances and other chemicals. Even a scented hand lotion can cause hives. The things that I make are, for the most part, made from things you can buy at your local grocery store. And she can use every one of them safely.

Once I started making a few things, I started wondering what else I could make, and now that that train has left the station, I just don’t think there is any stopping it!

So…why start a blog???

After 6 years of making gluten free goodies, I have quite the collection of recipes. And the people in my life know that I make those gluten free goodies (and other things) and have started asking for the recipes. It’s gotten to the point where I receive a handful of requests every week, and a blog seemed to be to be the best way to put it out there.

I hope you enjoy!