The Best New Real Food Cookbook (and sneak-peek recipes!)

Hi Everyone!

Today I am sharing an especially exciting post with you… Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food (www.100daysofrealfood.com) is coming out with her new cookbook titled “100 Days of Real Food Fast & Fabulous,” in just a week! I am so excited to share a little bit about her new book with you all- make sure to pre-order your copy now for the guaranteed lowest price (right now it is just $16.00)! She has been working on this project for two years now, and I am so impressed. She has always been an incredible role model for me (she inspired me to create this blog in the fifth grade!) and this book and the last show how much talent she and her team has!

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So, do you remember her last cookbook, and how amazing it was? It was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and for good reason, as it was packed full with a guide to transitioning to eating real food and tons of helpful recipes. Well, imagine an even more awesome (if there is such a thing) book and guide to cutting out processed food! As a an active, busy 14-year-old, I love finding recipes that are quick and easy to make, because it allows me to cook them more often. I found this cookbook especially helpful in finding what recipes are perfect for me to make on a weekly basis with my schedule, and it even has a special mini-guide at the beginning of the book about how to begin cutting out processed food. So, this book is perfect for everyone who is looking to make real food accessible and delicious.. check it out!

On to what’s inside… there are numerous breakfast recipes, work and school lunch recipes, simple dinner recipes, dessert recipes, and snack recipes for readers to enjoy, as well as Lisa’s family’s staples. I was so excited to receive my advanced copy of this cookbook, so I could immediately get cooking! Every recipe I’ve tested so far has been delicious, but I am going to share a certain one with you today- Cinnamon Glazed Bananas!

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This is a photo I took after making the delicious treat- it is amazing how delicious it tastes with such a short cooking process! So, try this recipe out for yourself (I know you’ll love it) and preorder Lisa’s new book today for even more amazing ideas!


 

CINNAMON GLAZED BANANAS

“This dessert is similar to Bananas Foster. It’s fabulous by itself and even better over vanilla ice cream. Such a tasty real-food treat!”

Difficulty: Super easy

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Makes 4 or 5 servings

GLUTEN-FREE

DAIRY-FREE (IF COCONUT OIL IS SUBSTITUTED FOR THE BUTTER)

VEGETARIAN

NUT-FREE

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 large bananas, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Vanilla ice cream (optional), for serving

In a skillet, combine the butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla and set over medium heat. When it starts bubbling, add the bananas and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring to coat. Serve as is or over vanilla ice cream.

LISA’S TIP: You could try this cooking method with other fruits as well, such as apples, pears, or blueberries!

“ You should totally put this recipe in your new cookbook—it’s my new favorite dessert!”

—SIENNA LEAKE, AGE 9

*This recipe is copied out from Lisa’s new cookbook, and I have not modified it or changed it in any way! Please order her new book for some of the best recipes I’ve ever made!


 

Please visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Park Road Books (for a special signed edition), iBooks, Indie Bound, Books-a-Million, and Walmart to preorder your copy with the lowest possible price! 🙂

Beyond the Breakfast Cereal- 15 School Morning Breakfast Ideas

Hi Everyone!

It’s about that time of year again. Sports are starting up, homework will soon be handed out, and buses are pulling down the street. Going from carefree summer days at the beach and pool to chaotic, jam-packed school schedules can be a challenge, but with a little prep, it can be easy and manageable. While school morning breakfasts aren’t always considered gourmet meals (“We have five minutes.. Go!”) there are plenty of healthy and delicious ideas that get you going, which I am sharing today. So, set the alarm ahead a bit, and sleep in. Breakfast is made! 🙂

Personally speaking, this year I am starting high school, which means that I will likely have before-school swim practices early in the morning. In this case, try having a small snack before practice (think hard-boiled eggs, bananas, applesauce pouches, and baggies of dried fruit and nuts/seeds) and then refueling afterwards with one of these ideas. Even though school days are busy, the last thing you want to do is go without breakfast! So, without further ado, please enjoy these on-the-go ideas, and let me know in the comments your favorite school breakfast idea.

 

Cold Breakfast Ideas (Made in Advance)

  1. Smoothie Pops: Smoothies are great as is, but for mornings where there just isn’t enough time, try freezing leftover green smoothies like this one in reusable silicone tubes. In the morning, take this out of the freezer and enjoy it for a frosty treat. Also, this is a great post-practice breakfast, as you can let it thaw for a smoother texture while you are practicing. Yum!
  2. Overnight Oats: Okay, this could easily be my favorite before-school breakfast. You can customize your jar to create a unique breakfast each day, and can make this ahead- you could even make enough for a whole week and store it in the fridge! Simply mix together equal parts milk/plain yogurt and organic rolled oats. Add in your favorite fruit and some honey for a creative touch! The result is a creamy, filling breakfast that can be eaten cold or warmed up for a few seconds- try making this in a paper cup covered with plastic wrap for a disposable wrapper!
  3. Hard-Boiled Eggs: Easy and filling. Simply make a half-dozen or however many you desire at the beginning of the week, and refrigerate for snacks and breakfast all week long. This is especially protein-rich with healthy fats!
  4. Make-It-Yourself Yogurt Tubes: Remember those silicone tubes? We’re using them once again! Fill them up with some plain yogurt mixed with a little pure maple syrup and fruit for a healthy, delicious snack or small meal.
  5. Homemade Fruit and Nut Energy Bars or Bites: Make a batch of homemade granola bars, such as 100 Days of Real Food’s peanut butter oat bars. Or, make something different by mixing dates, nuts, seeds, and other add-ins in your food processor for energizing breakfast bars/bites. Additionally, you could stock your pantry with store-bought bars like Larabar.

Hot Breakfast Recipes (Made in Advance and Reheated)

  1. Pumpkin Muffins: This is one of my personal favorites! The next time you make a batch of homemade muffins, double the batch and stock your freezer with them. You can defrost individual muffins overnight in the refrigerator, or you can heat them  up in the morning. Yum!
  2. Waffles and Pancakes: This idea is especially great for picky eaters! Pre-made frozen waffles are filled with chemicals, additives, and fillers; something you don’t want to have for breakfast (or at all). So simply freeze your leftover homemade, whole-wheat pancakes and waffles, and you can reheat them for a “pancake sandwich” (with cream cheese, nut/seed butter,  etc.) or you can drizzle some pure maple syrup on top. Breakfast is served!
  3. Egg Cups: If you love scrambled (or another kind) eggs, try this! Whisk up 12 eggs and add in your favorite vegetables and cheese, and then pour the mixture equally into muffin tins. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Freeze the egg muffins, and you have a protein-rich breakfast all week!
  4. Crockpot Oatmeal: This recipe is perfect for chilly fall mornings- you basically mix oat groats, whole milk, water, pure maple syrup, and some cinnamon in a crockpot and cook it overnight or while you are at school/work. Then, you can enjoy it fresh and warm or divide up the oatmeal into half pint mason jars to reheat all week for breakfast. Stay tuned for my favorite crockpot oatmeal recipe- posted next week!
  5. Homemade Banana Bread: Similar to the pancakes and muffins, bake this bread in advance for a deliciously quick breakfast. I like to spread some 1-ingredient peanut butter (my favorite brand is Teddie) on the whole wheat bread, and then top it with some banana slices.

Morning-of Breakfast Ideas 

  1. Green Smoothies- This has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and if you have a few minutes in the morning, it is a great choice! I love making smoothies to go, because there really isn’t a better way to get a rush of much-needed energy and nutrition in the morning. Try my Peach Mango Green Smoothie or create your own recipe with 1-2 cups leafy greens, 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit, 1 cup liquid, and healthy fats and proteins (coconut oil, avocado, rolled oats, chia and flax seeds).
  2. Toast Varieties- Avocado, banana, berry, nut butter, hummus; the possibilities are endless! Spread your favorite topping on whole grain toast and then top with fruits and veggies- yum! This is a photo-worthy breakfast.
  3. Banana Sushi Bites- Spread nut/seed butter on a whole grain tortilla and place a peeled banana in the wrap. Roll it up, and cut for sushi bites. Creative and filling!
  4. Egg Roll-Ups- If you’re cold and looking for a unique breakfast, try this! I make a modified version of a friend’s  go-to breakfast and it is easy and perfect for picky eaters. To cook, simply whisk 1 organic egg, grated cheddar cheese, and spinach, tomato, or your favorite egg add-ins. Pour it into a bowl, which you should put a tortilla into. Then, microwave for 70 seconds and enjoy!
  5. Yogurt Bowls- Plain Greek, whole milk yogurt is the base of this tasty dish. Top with fruit, nuts and seeds, peanut butter, honey, chopped larabar, spices, or your favorite flavors. Yum!

I hope you enjoy these breakfast ideas, and please comment your favorite go-to morning meals. Bonappetit!

A Day with The Mini Foodie

Hi Everyone!

Now that schedules, school, and sports are in full swing, I have been cooking up a lot of great, healthy on-the-go snacks and meals. Ever since I have started this blog (3 years ago) I have been sharing my favorite recipes and lunch ideas, so I thought it’d be interesting to what I eat in an average day. Now that I am up and out earlier in the morning for school, it is especially important that I eat nutritious and healthy food throughout the day!

Of course, this is just one example of what I might have- please keep in my mind that I did not make anything special or out of the ordinary for this day! Also, I play multiple sports and usually have breakfast around 6:30- something that may not be normal for some people!

What are some of your favorite daily recipes? Please stay tuned for an upcoming post on my recommended lunch containers (by age). Enjoy!

Breakfast: (around 6:15-30 am)


I had a green smoothie made with banana, mango, pineapple, plain yogurt, spinach, and coconut water for breakfast, alongside a piece of whole grain toast with 1-ingredient peanut butter and chia seeds. This is the whole wheat bread from Vermont Bread Company, and is my favorite brand. 🙂
Lunch: (around 11:15am- we have early lunches!)


For lunch I had ww pita, mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and carrots with balsamic onion hummus (only 7 real ingredients and the best I’ve found!) along with an apple ring/pb sandwich and a Siggis brand yogurt.

Afternoon Snack (3pm):

Before volleyball practice, I had peeled snacks brand dried apples and a whole grain brown rice cake topped with peanut butter.

Other small snack:


I was hungry after practice, so I had a handful of almonds to hold me over.

Dinner: (7:30 pm)


For dinner, my family had this salad with strawberries, goat cheese, red onion, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, and a drizzle of olive oil for the dressing.

Treat:


After dinner I had some homemade hot cocoa (made with whole milk, pure maple syrup, and raw cocoa powder).

Pecan Nectarine Salad (an easy summer dinner!)

Hi Everyone!

So today I asked my parents if I could make dinner (because I think it’s pretty fun to get to cook multiple things and serve them to everyone!), and they, of course, agreed! When I get the chance to be creative with any dish I want, it usually results in a new recipe- so that brings me to today’s recipe, Pecan Nectarine Salad! It’s a great choice for picky eaters and adventurous taste-testers alike with its complimentary flavors.

This salad is a new favorite- it is naturally sweet, tangy, and crunchy, and doesn’t involve a lot of cooking for when it’s hot outside. It’s pretty versatile, so you can switch up the ingredients by using peaches or goat cheese in place of the feta and nectarines if you’d like. Plus, you can use any dressing you choose- I used my Maple Balsamic Vinagrette for this recipe, but really any homemade dressing or good-quality dressing will do.

If you’d like to make this salad a little more substantial, try adding grilled chicken or fish- while seafood isn’t my taste, I’m sure it’d be great on this salad.  An additional option would be to pair this with a side such as the Carrot Fritters from 100 Days of Real Food.

Without further ado, please enjoy this Pecan Nectarine Salad and share! What’s your favorite summer dinner?:)


Pecan Nectarine Salad (serves 3) 

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You will need:

  • 2 cups organic leafy greens (I like spring mixed greens)
  • 1/4 cup organic crumbled feta
  • 1 nectarine, chopped
  • 1/4 cup halved pecans (can substitute any seed for nut allergies)
  • Optional local, organic grilled chicken slices

To prepare:

In a bowl, combine your washed greens and nectarines. Mix until combined, and top with the feta, pecans, chicken, and salad dressing of choice. Enjoy

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Reflections On The Food Served at an Overnight Camp

Hello Everyone!

Last week, I attended an amazing YMCA overnight camp, and had a great time boating, swimming, climbing, and participating in activities like archery. I stayed for 6 fun days, jam-packed with activity, and made some really great friends. Though I will always remember this camp as an outstanding experience, there was one thing that was not nearly as fantastic in my mind- the food.

Picture this: before a long day of sports and games, you are ready for breakfast, and excited for the activities to come. You and your friends sit down for breakfast, only to find pre-made frozen waffles and sausage from an unknown source. Next to you there is the “healthy option,” artificially sweetened and colored yogurt and granola with one fruit. I don’t know about you, but I believe that’s not very good fuel for an active day of sports.

While the daily vegetarian option was better than I thought (quesadillas and soup, etc.), I still had to wonder, “Where did this come from?” Luckily, before camp started I picked up some of my own snacks to share with my cabin! This was great because if there wasn’t many healthy options at meals, I could supplement some fruits or veggies with a snack. This year I brought along some fruit and nut bars, whole grain popcorn, dried fruit leather, and some Annie’s bunnies (definitely a treat, but this was a great thing to share.) If your camp allows campers to bring their own food, I would highly suggest it! Otherwise, my advice would be to try and choose mostly food that you know is real food (fruits and veggies, hard boiled eggs, cheese etc.) and do the best you can. 

However, overnight camp is about having fun and making new friends, not worrying about the food you are eating. So, on that note, this camp was amazing and I made some awesome new friends! Over the course of one week, I tried several types of boating, climbing, team building games, sports, and crafts. We did so much in one week, and I’m glad I had this opportunity. I came home tired after all the fun, and I can’t wait to come back next year! 

Down below is a picture of the lunch I made after camp- a green smoothie (made with mango, pineapple, plain yogurt, spinach, and water) and a whole wheat tortilla with sun gold cherry tomatoes from our garden, whole milk mozzarella, and some pesto. Yum!

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinagrette

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m sharing a delicious, healthy, and extremely simple dinner salad with you! Can you remember a really hot day, one where the last thing you wanted to do is cook? I love to cook, but adding even more heat into the mix on a 90 degree day isn’t always the best idea. So, I love to make refreshing salads on these days (the combinations are endless!) to share with my family and friends. In fact, this exact salad is inspired by my cousin, Ava!

While there are tons of great salad ingredients out there, fresh fruit and goat cheese are a very flavorful, unique choice! Sometimes, it is nice to break out of the typical garden salad rut, and using different cheese and fruits/vegetables you can do that.

What’s your favorite salad? Feel free to comment down below or tell me on Instagram! Without further ado, please enjoy this healthy summer salad, and stay cool! 🙂

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinagrette (Serves about 2)

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Ingredients:

  • 21/2 cups leafy greens (arugula and spinach are amazing!)
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, sliced or crumbled
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • Optional slice of red onion, diced
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup

Steps:

First, prepare your dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, oil, and maple syrup. Set aside, and wash the fruit and vegetables. Start with the leafy greens, adding in strawberries and red onion from there. Crumble about 1/4 cup of goat cheese into the salad, and mix with 1 tbs. dressing, adding more to taste. Enjoy!

Watermelon Strawberry Summer Slushies

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m sharing a refreshingly delicious  recipe with you- Watermelon Strawberry Summer Slushies! In the summertime, Slushies and so called “Frozen Smoothies” are sold almost everywhere. Contrary to health claims, these treats are filled with artificial colors, flavors, and dyes (all of which cause negative side effects). 

So, I created this healthy (yet delectable!) treat, which my brother and I both love! We make these drinks for dessert on a hot day, but they could easily be a healthy snack or part of a meal. And, for a tropical twist, add in a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice! You could also freeze the blended Slushies in Popsicle molds for something extra awesome.

I hope this treat helps you beat the heat (if it’s as hot near you as it is near me!) and enjoy! Please subscribe to emails from The Mini Foodie for weekly updates with new posts and recipes, and enjoy! 😉

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Watermelon Strawberry Summer Slushies (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh, cubed watermelon 
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (or you could substitute raspberries) 
  • 1/4-1/2 cup coconut water
  • Optional 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Honey (if needed)

Prep:

To begin, blend together coconut water, watermelon, and strawberries. Taste, and add in lime juice and honey if you would like. Serve right away, or freeze in Popsicle molds for a treat later on. Enjoy! 🙂

Easy Homemade Banana Berry Ice Cream

Hi Everyone!

Have you ever been looking for a breakfast that felt like a dessert? Or a healthier dessert on a hot day? Well, here’s the answer! When I saw the 2-ingredient banana ice cream recipe on several blogs, I wondered, “How can I make this even more flavorful AND add a colorful boost of flavor?” So, I came up with this Banana Berry Ice Cream. All you need is a blender, some frozen fruit, and a splash of milk for a tasty treat!

Often times, I like to make this delicious recipe for breakfast topped with fresh berries and almonds or pecans, or add more milk to create a smoothie out of it. Not only do I enjoy this, but my younger brother, Liam, has given this recipe a thumbs-up- and he is definitely a picky eater! If you are trying to win over reluctant foodies, make this ice cream!

I hope you enjoy this healthy yet delectable treat (especially in the summer heat!) and please subscribe for weekly email notifications of blog posts and all things “Mini Foodie!” Enjoy! 🙂

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Easy Banana Berry Ice Cream (serves 2)

Ingredients: 

  • 21/2 bananas, sliced and frozen 
  • 1 cup mixed berries (my personal favorite is raspberries!) 
  • 2 tbs. to 1/4 cup local, whole milk (not low fat- more on this subject in the next post!)
  • Optional 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Prep:

Add bananas, berries, and milk and blend until you reach a soft serve ice cream texture. Serve immediately for a frosty treat! 


A Thank You to Lisa Leake!

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday I had the very special opportunity to meet my idol and inspiration for cooking and creating my blog- Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food! It was incredibly generous of her to take the time to meet up with my family, especially while she was on vacation!

For those of you who have not read Lisa’s blog, 100 Days of Real Food, I would highly recommend you check it out! She posts tons of recipes I live by, and has great advice for people looking to cut out processed food. In 2010, her family went 100 days eating only food following the real food rules, which is an incredible accomplishment! 

Thanks again to Lisa Leake and her family- it was an amazing day I will never forget! She is my inspiration for my passion, and a big role model for me. Please visit her blog at 100daysofrealfood.com, and check out all of her awesome ideas! 🙂

Energizing Banana Toast

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m sharing a favorite breakfast of mine- banana toast! Throughout the spring and summer, I often find that when I have breakfast I need it to stay with me for several hours. Biking, hiking, swimming, and running are typical daily activities! So, I took the typical (and delicious!) peanut butter and banana combination, and added to it for a delicious breakfast recipe! This is the perfect recipe to make for reluctant real foodies, and is also great for traveling because you can easily access the ingredients. As for the peanut butter, other but and seed butters could easily be substituted. For the bread, I would recommend a good quality, whole grain bread, shooting for a brand with five ingredients or less. At many mainstream stores, this can be difficult (more on that in an upcoming post!), so if there is not a healthy option, I like to make my own bread using this recipe.


So, without further ado, enjoy this delicious and healthy breakfast, and please subscribe to recieve emails from The Mini Foodie! Enjoy! 🙂

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Simple Energizing Banana Toast (serves 1 or 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices good quality whole wheat bread
  • 2 tbs. all natural 1-ingredient peanut butter (or other nut butter) 
  • 1/2-2/3 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbs. chia seeds 
  • a small handful of organic blueberries (optional) 

Instructions: 

Toast two slices of whole wheat bread. While toasting, slice banana into coins. Spread peanut butter on toasted bread, and sprinkle chia seeds. If you would like, add on a few blueberries for brain-boosting energy!