Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli

Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli

Who likes the simplicity of a one-pan meal? I certainly do on a busy weeknight. Fewer dishes and more time to relax before gathering around the table. This new recipe for our Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli could not be easier, or delicious.

Ingredients for Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli

There’s a couple of helpful tips for gathering your ingredients for this recipe.

First, the chicken. I find chicken thighs retain the most moisture and are my first choice. I opt for organic if I can’t find any local, pasture-raised poultry. However, if you want to save time, you can purchase cutlets to reduce your prepping time. (You can toss them in without slicing them into smaller pieces.)

Second, we use the cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s that’s Gluten-Free. This version is made with about 75% cauliflower, as well as cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. No wheat, sugar, dairy, or eggs are included here, and that translates to fewer carbs, with significantly less fat & calories than potato-based varieties. (Whole Foods has a good option too, but more expensive and tastes the same.)

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Cauliflower Gnocchi

Trader Joe’s also has sweet potato gnocchi, but it’s NOT gluten-free. They also have Kale Gnocchi, which is gluten-free, but I didn’t want too much green in this recipe in case it turned off the kids from trying something new.

 

If you want to make this vegetarian, I would suggest trying this with tempeh. Cut in half lengthwise, then short wise into rectangles.

sheet pan peanut chicken and broccoli ingredients

Thai Green Curry Paste Uses

The one unique ingredient I purchased for this recipe is a Thai Green Curry paste from Thai Kitchen. You can use red curry paste, though it will have a bit more of a kick. Most grocery stores will have these in the Asian food section.

Don’t let these awesome flavor pastes go to waste. Use a little bit to jazz up some storebought hummus. Thin it out with a little olive oil and use it as a salad dressing. I’m a huge fan of making rice bowls for lunch. I’ll sauté leftover chicken, rice, and roasted veggies on the stove and toss in a teaspoon or so of the curry paste to bump up the flavor.

Both of these curry pastes make an awesome marinade for chicken, fish, or pork. Even better, toss some chicken with the curry paste and olive oil and toss in the freezer for a simple freezer meal down the road.

Simple One-Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli

My version of this recipe came about after I read Nadia Hussain’s Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy Lives. There are loads of time-saving tips in her cookbook. Freezer meal ideas, simple sheet pan suppers, and lots and lots of ideas of how to repurpose leftovers.

Nadia’s version includes making peanut butter from scratch. While that sounds lovely, I’m taking a shortcut and buying the peanut butter.

I’m also using frozen gnocchi and skip the step of boiling them separately. I find roasting them is one of my favorite ways to cook gluten-free gnocchi.

Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli Recipe

Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli

A simple sheet pan meal with peanut butter chicken, thai curry spices, and fresh broccoli.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, thai
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Emily Roach

Ingredients

  • 2 lb chicken thighs thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil sub olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Thai Green Curry Paste
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter smooth, sub almond butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 12 oz cauliflower gnocchi (gluten-free)
  • 2 heads broccoli florets only
  • 2 red onion sub yellow onion
  • 4 tbsp peanuts dry-roasted, salted, chopped
  • 4 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Lightly spray a roasting dish with olive oil. (13" x 9" size)
  • Add sliced chicken to a large bowl. Add in the honey, curry paste, peanut butter, and salt. Mix well so the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Layer the broccoli, gnocchi, and red onions in the roasting pan. Add the chicken and mix to distribute evenly.
  • Cook 30 minutes. Stir halfway through to distribute the sauce.
  • Top with chopped peanut, cilantro, and the juice of one lime.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

I use the frozen cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. It's the easiest to work with. You may want to boil traditional gnocchi ahead of time. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

RELATED: SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CURRY STEW

I love that I can pop this in the oven and then sit and read for 30 minutes, or get a head start on the dishes.

Sheet pan suppers are such a great way to serve a family. If your kids don’t “like things touching,” I found this recipe still worked well to separate the ingredients at the end. One child had this on a plate with the chicken and broccoli separated out, with a couple of gnocchi to try (again.) After a few comments, he dug in and enjoyed this recipe.

Pin this below to save for your next meal plan.

Thanks in advance for sharing my Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli Recipe.

Simple Sheet Pan Peanut Chicken and Broccoli 2

Bonne Maman apricot jam pork chop recipe

This Apricot Pork Chops recipe has been in our family rotation of meals for nearly 15 years. It’s so easy, and I can’t believe I’ve forgotten to share it here. It’s so simple!

It’s time you add it to your next meal plan. This recipe is versatile, and I share all the swaps below to make it gluten-free, pork-free, and paleo-friendly.

Back Pocket Dinners

This is a term I learned from Jenny Rosenstrach, author of Dinner, A Love Story. The idea of this concept is meals that you can make without a recipe. My apricot pork chops recipe has become one of my “back pocket” dinners. With just a couple of ingredients, it’s easy to remember once you make it twice.

My granola and almond milk are both recipes I’ve learned after making them multiple times for meal prep. You probably have a few back-pocket dinners that are staples in your house. Maybe this recipe will become one of them.

Walden Local Meat pork chop

High-Quality Meats Matter

Sourcing local, high-quality meat is worth the effort. You’ve heard the saying; you are what you eat. But, it can also be said, you are what your food eats. Look for a local meat farmer who takes care of their animals and the land if you can. One meat farmer I’ve met said he is really a “grass farmer” since he needs to give his cattle a variety of grasses. Make sure those grasses they eat are not sprayed with pesticides, and in the cold winter months, the animals are eating organic feed. (In my opinion, the organic certification for meat is not as important as knowing the farmer and their practices.)

Walden local meat specials

In today’s recipe, I’m using pork from Walden Local Meat. I was on the waitlist for about two months and just got our first delivery. I was very impressed, and the kids were all happy with the recipes I made with the meat. (trust me, that doesn’t always happen, especially with new recipes!)

Walden promises their beef is 100% grass-fed and finished – the animals receive no grain, no soy, no corn, and no wheat ever. For anyone with food allergies, switching to a grass-fed meat option can make a difference in your symptoms.

Check Walden Local Meats out here, and you can get free bacon and eggs in your first delivery. The eggs are AMAZING!

 

Homemade Breadcrumbs

You can buy your breadcrumbs, but it’s even easier to make them yourself. If you have a food processor, this will take no time at all. I store all the heels of a loaf of bread in our freezer. You know all the end pieces of the bread that the kids won’t eat? I store them up and then make a big batch of breadcrumbs. I’ll store them in the freezer, too, so I can make this recipe, or my homemade chicken nuggets, super fast.

For this recipe, though, you’ll just need one slice of bread. It can be an end piece or a regular slice of bread. It works either way. Below is my mini food processor, which is great for quick jobs like this one. And everything can go into the dishwasher to be cleaned.

homemade breadcrumbs

Apricot Pork Chop Recipe

This is such a simple dinner idea, and there are lots of variations you can do to make it work for your family. I’ll detail them below the recipe. The recipe was originally published in the everyday Food cookbook, and I’ve made some tweaks over the years. Fifteen years of making this, and it’s still a delight.

Apricot Pork Chop dinner recipe

Apricot Pork Chops

A sweet take on pork chops. Just 4 ingredients to make this delicious meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: kids
Servings: 4 people
Author: Emily Roach

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 slice sandwich bread
  • 4 pork chops boneless
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Line a 9x12 baking dish with parchment.
  • Tear the bread into small pieces and add to a food processor. Pulse to create breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and pulse to evenly distribute the oil.
  • Place the pork chops in the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top each piece with a tablespoon of the jam. (I don't usually measure this, I make sure each piece is covered.) Top with the breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meat is cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of your pork chops. (also, if you use bone-in pork loin chops, it will cook faster, so you can decrease the time by a couple of minutes.)
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

apricot porkchop recipe

Variations for the Apricot Pork Chop Recipe

Gluten-Free: use gluten-free panko or gluten-free bread crumbs.

Paleo-friendly: top with crushed pecans or walnuts

Pork-Free: we’ve also made this recipe using chicken. I find chicken thighs cook up better than chicken breasts, which tend to be too dry.

3 Ingredient Apricot Pork Chops (1)

My slow cooker turkey breast recipe is the perfect recipe for a small, family Thanksgiving.  No fuss, hands-off, and delicious every time.

I hear there is a run on small turkeys, so this is a great back-up option. A turkey breast is an economical way to enjoy turkey for Thanksgiving, but not fuss with a big bird. Pop it into your slow cooker and you have even more time for the Macy’s Day Parade and football games. (And more room in your oven for all the best side dishes.)

This is my step-by-step tutorial of how to cook a turkey breast in a slow cooker. You can play with the recipe and adjust to your taste preferences. Another bonus, you can also pop in some red potatoes and have those ready to go as an easy side dish. You can make this long after the Thanksgiving holiday is over as it’s a perfect Sunday dinner meal.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast How-To

First, make sure your turkey breast is defrosted. Take it out at least one day ahead of time if it’s frozen. This lets the meat cook evenly and avoid getting dried out.

Boneless Turkey Breast Roast slow cooker recipe

You can find a turkey breast netted or not, and it really won’t impact cooking this recipe. I grabbed mine at Whole Foods and they carry a netted option. (Amazon Prime brought me “turkey cutlets” the first time instead of my turkey breast which is why this recipe post is just a bit later than I had planned.)

There’s no need to brine this turkey. See, already easier than cooking a full-size turkey.

Simple slow cooker turkey breast recipe thanksgiving

Step 1: Place Turkey Breast in your Slow Cooker

Slow cooker temperature ranges vary quite a bit. The good news is this recipe accounts for those nuances. This is my favorite slow cooker from All-Clad that is 6.5 quarts.

Unwrap your turkey breast from the package or paper. Place it at the bottom of your slow cooker lengthwise.

Simple slow cooker turkey dinner

Step 2: Add your Aromatics

In my recipe, I love to add a bag of fresh cranberries, celery, onion, carrots, and some fresh parsley and rosemary. The reason we add the aromatics is two-fold.

  1. The ingredients help infuse flavor into the turkey breast, which is rather lean. By slow cooking the turkey breast we can inject it with lots of flavors.
  2. I use the broth in this recipe to make gravy. Having a homemade turkey broth adds so much more flavor to your turkey gravy.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe

Step 3: Cover Turkey Breast and Aromatics with Broth or Water

This is where there is not quite a precise measurement, it will depend on the size of your slow cooker. The key is to COVER your turkey with broth or water. You can use filtered water, vegetable broth, or in my case I opted for my homemade chicken bone broth for even more flavor.

Do you know what will happen when you’ve added enough water? Your cranberries will float! It’s a good way to know you are headed in the right direction.

The last step is to add sea salt and freshly ground pepper, because everything really tastes better with a quick hit of both.

Step 4: Set your Slow Cooker Timer

I find the best cook time for the crock pot turkey breast is for 3-4 hours on high, or 5-7 on low. Now, smaller slow cookers cook faster as there is less water or broth to heat up. So adjust accordingly.

Also, make a meat thermometer your friend. I opt for 160°F when cooking poultry, then I take it out and let it rest for at least 5 minutes to help distribute the juices, and it will keep cooking to the magical number of 165°F.

Step 5: Strain the Broth

You can use the broth for gravy as I mentioned, or save for a turkey soup if you have any meat leftover. With a small, 2 pound turkey breast, you may not have a ton of leftovers, so plan accordingly.

I hope this helps you celebrate a small Thanksgiving, either in person or virtually. If you have any questions about cooking Thanksgiving dinner, head over to Instagram where I can answer your questions. 

Bonus Tips

If you have skin on your turkey breast, you can pop it under the broiler to crisp up the skin if it’s one of your favorite part’s of a big turkey dinner. (yes, it’s mine. My sister and I would always hover to grab some once it was being carved)

Also, feel free to a some white wine to your slow cooker. Always use good quality wine that you would drink in a glass. If you wouldn’t drink the grocery store white wine, don’t cook with it.

My favorite wines to pair with a Thanksgiving Turkey are as follows:

  • Pinot Noir– a light, fruity red that doesn’t compete with the turkey flavor
  • Chardonnay– a classic food pairing wine, although I love ones that are unoaked.
  • Sparkling wine– grab a glass before dinner to kick off the holiday, then enjoy some seasonal cider with your meal.

Happy Thanksgiving to you! Please pin the Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe below to save for seasons to come.

SLOW COOKER TURKEY BREAST

How to create a Halloween Snack Board for the spooky holiday ahead.

Halloween Snack Board

A few years ago, we started planning a Halloween Dinner Board before Trick or Treating. It’s now a tradition in our house. It’s such a simple way to get some food into the kids before heading out the door.

They are always way too excited to sit still for dinner, so this snack board really makes life easier. They can grab and go as they get into their costumes. It’s also easy to entertain and feed grandparents who stop by to take costume pictures too.

Dinner snack boards or you may call them “grazing boards,” are a holiday tradition that you can mix and match with the colors of the event. For our Halloween snack board, we go with a white, black, green, and a little red mixed in.

Halloween Snack Board Emily Roach

Halloween Snack Board Shopping List

The easiest place to grab all your snack platter ingredients is Trader Joe’s. They truly have such a great selection, and I love getting in and out of their store quickly.

Here’s a shopping list of the items I usually grab for my snack boards.

  • Goat cheese (rolled in dark herbs)
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Salami and Proscuitto
  • Crackers (I like the Trader Joe’s Beet crackers too)
  • Raw milk cheddar
  • Cornichons
  • Black olives
  • Mini cucumbers
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pesto
  • Clementines
  • Blackberries
  • Carrots (farmer’s market ones that looks like creepy fingers are best!)

Halloween Dinner Ideas Snack board

Forgive the lighting on the picture above, but that’s real life when you are busy getting the kids ready in their costumes and trying to snap a picture.

Here are some other great ideas to add to your snack boards. (and if someone has the source for these, let me know. I had them saved from ages ago)

Halloween grazing board

In my Halloween charcuterie board, I choose not to add in any Halloween candy. My goal is to fill the kids up with some real food before they dive into the sugar. This year, if your kids can’t go trick-or-treating, you may want to create an epic Halloween snack board and include some candy before you settle into a Halloween movie night.

Halloween clementines

We also put these cute clementines in the kid’s lunch boxes during the week of Halloween. Here’s a food-safe pen you can use. to decorate oranges or bananas. 

Halloween snack board

Halloween snack board can be transitioned for fall entertaining too. No need for all things spooky! If you want to create mini charcuterie boards, I really love the ones we got from Etu Home.

You can also whip up a batch of my Green Smoothie Muffins too! Such a great addition to the snack board or for snack time.

Have fun this Halloween. Be safe, and tag me if you make a Halloween Snack Board with @EmilyRoachWellness on IG.

Halloween Snack Board Ideas

Need some help planning your 4th of July meal plan? I know it doesn’t quite feel like business as usual when it comes to our summer plans, but the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday of the year. Even if it’s just you celebrating, here are some fun ideas for the kitchen. We will celebrate at the beach this year with some family outside. Here’s hoping the mosquitoes are not too bad this year!

Watermelon Sticks 4th of July meal plan

4th of July Menu

Pamela Salzman’s American Flag Pie recipe. You can check out her Instagram IGTV and watch the tutorial. Make the dough today and break up the steps to make it easier.

A Couple Cooks’ updated broccoli salad looks like a great option to use some of our garden fresh broccoli.

Potato salads are my favorite, especially when it’s a French Potato Salad. I’m totally hooked on adding capers to my potato salad, and so are my kids!

I like grilling chicken and being able to have some “plain” and others with a kick. I’ve found using a hoisin glaze at the end is perfect. Here’s an easy tutorial for a grilled hoisin chicken, but please don’t use canola oil. Sub avocado oil on the grill due to the high heat.

Zucchini hummus is a perfect pair to all the snappy veggies from our garden, plus a few more from local farms.

Round out the menu with watermelon sticks and you’ll be good to go. Sticks are the way to go for less mess and they also taste delicious frozen.

Scale-up as needed for your guest count.

 

Easy American Flag Cheese Board

American Flag Cheese Board from The Baker Mama

And a cute red, white, and blue cheese and fruit board is always a win for your 4th of July meal plan. This one from The Baker Mama is gorgeous and full of gluten-free crackers from Trader Joe’s.(She has a full shopping list on this post here.)

🇺🇸🍓🌟🍷☀️🏖

I hope you enjoy the long weekend. Raise a glass of clean-crafted wine to toast the holiday! I’ll be enjoying a glass of Adelante Sauvignon Blanc because my mom and sister are in town and it’s their favorite. You can grab it too for 20% off till Friday.

Cheers and happy 4th of July!

cook pancake on sheet pan

When I shared these sheet pan pancakes on Instagram you were just as excited as me. Where have these been all my life?! When I recently learned this trick and tested it out, we were all delighted with how fast breakfast came together. No flipping, no mess, and so much fun adding in our toppings. Clean up was a breeze.

We tend to make pancakes from scratch at least once over the weekend. (Sometimes twice a week with our new homeschool schedule.) A sheet pan pancake is definitely possible for a weekday even when school is back in session. (This is my usual oat flour gluten-free pancake recipe.)

I’ll walk you through this cooking method, along with a recipe sample. You can actually use your own favorite pancake mix, and I’ll explain how.

Is it breakfast or dessert?

The kids called it “breakfast cake” once they saw it at the table. They were quite right, as the pancake takes on a cake-like texture. Though still perfect with some syrup and yogurt (or whip cream!) on top.

There is little sugar in the cake, so it’s perfect for breakfast, and even better paired with your favorite yogurt. (Here’s my slow cooker yogurt recipe.)

Sheet pan pancakes will be perfect for sleepovers, once we can host them again. (Never thought I would miss those!) Make it for brunch, or serve it as dessert and no one will be the wiser. I promise I won’t tell.

sheet pan pancake tutorial

How to make sheet pan pancakes

Here’s the short version. You will need 3 cups of pancake batter to fill an 18×13” rimmed baking sheet properly. Use your favorite pancake mix, or make it from scratch. Your choice. And did you know you can use your pancake mix for something other than pancakes?

The pancake toppings are what make it all so much fun. Here’s my list of fun ideas you can mix and match

  • Bananas and toasted coconut
  • Bacon
  • Granola
  • Blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter and jelly

Sheet Pan Pancake Recipe

cook pancake on sheet pan

Sheet Pan Pancakes

No flipping required for these pancakes cooked in the oven. Grab your sheet pan and save time for your favorite breakfast.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pancakes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Emily Roach

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cup flour all purpose, white whole wheat, or oat flour (gf)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs large, room temp
  • 2 cups yogurt plain (dairy or dairy-free)
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or dairy-free like almond or cashew)
  • 4 tbl butter or coconut oil
  • 2 tbl maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  • Line an 18x13" rimmed baking sheet with parchment. (otherwise, grease really well with butter or coconut oil.)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the three eggs. Next add the yogurt, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well with a spatula. Avoid overmixing.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  • Add toppings and have fun decorating! Option toppings listed below.
  • Place pan in the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or until set. Let cool slightly before eating.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator, or freeze.

Notes

Optional toppings
Banana, toasted coconut, chocolate chips, bacon, granola, berries, peanut butter, and jelly.
Recipe inspired by the one and only @Weelicious Catherine McCord. (Brilliant!)
Sheet Pans vary in size. I created mine in a smaller one that's 13x8''. It gave me more of a "cake-like" finish. The standard size baking sheet results in thinner pancake-like slices.
 
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Additional Breakfast Favorites

Sheet Pan Pancakes

Sweet potato brownies were not something I expected my kids to love. But they surprised me! Or maybe, the recipe surprised us all. This simple, healthy brownie recipe was easy to make, and a fun way to enjoy a chocolate treat.

sweet potato brownie recipe

When we bake sweet potatoes for dinner, we often make extra for leftovers. Instead of having another stuffed sweet potato, I decided to test out a sweet potato brownie recipe. I often read a recipe and start making edits in my head. Today’s recipe is my tested version.

Using a blender for baking

One of the easiest things I’ve learned over the past few years of baking is how much easier it is to use a blender for baking projects. For muffins, brownies, or quick breads, you’ll often find me tossing all the ingredients into the blender to create a batter. These sweet potato brownies were no exception.

The reason why is not because it makes everything taste that much better.

No.

A much more important reason.

LESS DISHES!

I think most people dislike baking because of all the clean-up involved. The end results are always worth it, but the clean-up is for the birds.

Use your blender my friend. Easiest clean up ever. Add hot water and a squirt of dish soap to the blender and blend on high till it’s sparkling clean. Thank me later!

Sweet Potato Brownie Recipe

I am creating this recipe with the assumption that you already have cooked sweet potatoes on hand. If you don’t, cook 1-2 sweet potatoes at 400º for about 35-40 minutes, or until you can pierce it with a fork easily. Let cool to make it easier to handle. You will need 1 cup of sweet potato for the brownie recipe, and remove the skins.

You could probably also sub in canned sweet potato or pumpkin and it will all still work. The chocolate flavor is clearly the star of the show. The vegetable’s responsibility is to keep the brownie rich and gooey.

binder clips on parchment paper with sweet potato brownies

Another cooking hack you need to notice. Keep a bunch of binder clips in your kitchen. I use them to secure the parchment paper to pans when I’m working with them. It’s like having an extra set of hands. (way better than kids who are really just there to lick the bowl when we are done.)

 

sweet potato brownie recipe

Sweet Potato Brownies

Simple, delicious brownie recipe with sweet potatoes. Boost your Vitamin A in a fun, chocolate treat.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baking, brownie, sweet potato
Servings: 9
Author: Emily Roach

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sweet potato cooked, skins removed
  • 1 cup almond butter sub peanut butter, cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup oat flour sub all-purpose or gluten-free cup-for-cup
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder sub 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Prepare an 8x8 glass pan with parchment paper, or grease with coconut oil.
  • In your high-speed blender, add ingredients in order listed above. Do not add chocolate chips to the blender.
  • Blend ingredients until smooth. Add in 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Stir with a long wooden spoon to combine.
  • Pour sweet potato brownie batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the balance of chocolate chips on the top of the batter.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until set. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

A note about raw cacao powder versus cocoa powder. Raw cacao is stronger, so you need to use less. It has a lot of health benefits, including iron and magnesium. Cocoa powder is the traditional chocolate baking ingredient. However, it's been processed so it no longer has any nutrition benefits. I vote for raw cacao powder always. Eat your chocolate and get that iron and magnesium into your diet!
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Thanks for reading friend. Please share this post or pin the image below. Thank you and enjoy!

simple sweet potato brownie recipe (1)

 

 

7 Natural Cold and Flu Fighting Foods

Now more than ever, it’s important to learn these natural cold and flu-fighting foods to help support your health. While I take care of my immune system year-round through diet and lifestyle, when my kids get sick or I feel a tickle in my throat I often turn to a few key foods for extra support. 

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 

Isn’t it wonderful that we can eat our way into better health? We can even strengthen our immune system while enjoying delicious plant-based foods and beverages. I love that! 

 

Immune-boosting foods

Do you know why a particular food supports the immune system? The simplified version is that foods high in antioxidants, like vitamin C, E, and A help because they reduce free radical damage which can damage all cells in the body, including all of the cells used by the immune system. So, the key is to reduce the damage so the immune system can work at full capacity. 


Since there are a lot of natural cold and flu-fighting foods that support the immune system, I find it is best to pick the foods that have antioxidant power AND that I like the taste of. That way I am excited to take my “medicine”. If you missed the first post in this series about boosting your immune health, make sure you read 5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System.

Now for the fun part, I am going to share with you my absolute favorite antioxidant foods because they taste amazing to me, they are cost-effective and they are SIMPLE. I hope you find one that gets you into the kitchen to discover the healing benefits of plants.

Here are the antioxidant superstars that I prefer! 

lemon natural cold and flu fighting foods

Lemon

Lemon is packed with vitamin C and delivers around 90% of the recommended daily value – it’s like taking a supplement. That is so impressive to me. My favorite way to enjoy lemon is sipping on a warm mug of lemon water to start my day-  it is such a comfort. And an added bonus is that it preps your digestive system for breakfast. That’s a win-win. Also, you can drink it any time of the day of course, and I find that adding a few slices in my water bottle is a delightful way to get even more Vitamin C in. 

Goji Berries Natural Cold and Flu Fighting Food

Goji Berries

Goji berries are also antioxidant superstars and have been an important part of Chinese medicine for 5,000 years for good reason. They are rich in antioxidant vitamins C and E as well as B vitamins. Not only do I love that they taste great and support my immune system but they are known to be great for skin health and anti-aging. Just another reason to give them a try. 

 

I like to add these to my oatmeal or to a smoothie. I also like to make tea by adding a 1/4 cup of berries to one cup of boiling water. Let it steep for at least 5 minutes and drink the tea hot or chill to make iced-tea. Once the tea is brewed you can eat the plumped up berries…which are also a complete protein source! These are the goji berries in my pantry.

 

Ginger

I bet you have heard about how anti-inflammatory ginger is. That is because of its high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants reduce inflammation because they reduce damage. Ginger also improves circulation and soothes the digestive tract, so it is extra supportive if you have any tummy trouble. 

 

My favorite way to enjoy ginger is making tea, noticing a theme yet? I like warm, cozy drinks! I drink a mug at least once a day, or more if I am already under the weather. My kids like it too….with a spoonful of raw honey. 

morning routine mom lemon water 

Here’s how to make it: 

Cut off 2” of ginger and slice into flat slivers.

Add 2 cups of filtered water in a saucepot, plus a cinnamon stick. 

Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. 

Strain, add in the juice of half a lemon. Sweeten with a little raw honey if needed.

 

Turmeric cold and flu fighter

Turmeric

Have you heard of golden milk? Its key ingredient is another anti-inflammatory super root –turmeric. Like ginger, its immune-boosting ability lies in its high antioxidant levels. When you consume it fresh you will want to add a little black pepper to help activate it….don’t worry, you can’t really taste it! 

In addition to being one of the best natural cold and flu-fighting foods, turmeric also has anti-cancer properties. It has the cancer-fighting compound curcumin, which has all those anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits.

 

Medicinal Mushrooms

Did you know that mushrooms are cancer-fighting superfoods? They are well documented to slow tumor growth and support the immune system in all of its functions. Even white button mushrooms are beneficial. But for an extra boost give some of the medicinal mushrooms, which have been in use since 3,000BCE, a try: 

  • Chaga 
  • Cordyceps 
  • Lion’s Mane 
  • Maitake 
  • Oyster 
  • Reishi 
  • Shiitake 
  • Turkey Tail 

Their anti-inflammatory properties make them another natural cold and flu-fighting food. One way I love to incorporate these mushrooms varieties is by drinking one of Four Sigmatic’s elixirs warmed up in my favorite mug. 

kombucha and goji berries

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage that supports better gut health. That means it also supports your immune defense system! We make our own, but there are lots of good ones on the market. Look for ones low in sugar and be mindful of the serving size. I like to make a  batch flavored with goji berries, and then I eat the berries for a natural energy boost! 

This fizzy drink is full of probiotics, as the tea and sugar ferment, it creates a healthy bacteria that are good for the gut. Start with a simple one that is ginger or apple flavored. My kids love it too!

 

morning routine for moms lemon water

The best natural cold and flu fighter? Water.

Water isn’t full of antioxidants but hydration is essential for our bodies to function efficiently. Dehydration can compromise your immune system by reducing the volume of lymphatic fluid, which circulates white blood cells and cleans out toxins. Dehydration also leads to inflammation and any time we are inflamed the immune system is taxed since it is called on to do damage control. 

Perhaps there is a reason I am drawn to hot beverages with medicinal foods…after all I think our bodies know what we need and hydration is vital, especially for healthy immune function. You can eat all the natural cold and flu-fighting foods, but if you are dehydrated, your body’s immune system will still be compromised. 


Air

Not technically a food, but still so important. And here’s why.

Most of us don’t think about consuming air as we think about consuming liquids and foods, but we should. What comes in with our air affects our health and our immune system. When we breathe in toxins such as chemicals and mold, our bodies respond with inflammation which, over time, taxes the immune system. 

 

I am a huge fan of filtering my indoor air and I personally use Air Doctor. It is SO quiet and I feel so much peace of mind knowing that their filter is certified to remove mold spores (100%), smoke, dust, cat and dog dander, virus, bacteria, and pollen; and the carbon filter will reduce many VOC’s such as formaldehyde as well as many other odor/odorless chemicals.

It feels so good to support the health of my family too. I may not be able to get my kids to drink mushroom tea so knowing that the air they are breathing in is free from toxins and pollutants makes me feel like a good mom. You can get your own Air Doctor Pro and save $300 automatically when shopping with me.

Does air doctor kill the flu virus

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Now, I know even a small list can be overwhelming, so I want to urge you to pick the ONE thing that caught your attention from my list of natural cold and flu-fighting foods. What feels exciting to try AND is doable? This resource will be here for you anytime you want to add another one in, so no rush. Try what feels good to you and let me know if you have any questions. I am here for you…with a warm mug of medicine cupped in my hands.

Natural Cold and Flu Fighting Foods

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal may be the most comforting breakfast we make in our house. I’ve been adjusting the recipe for the past two years and now it’s finally ready to share with all of you.

This recipe is delicious, easy to make, and kid-approved. The last time we made this for breakfast, the kids got into the leftovers before I even had a chance to put them away. It’s that good!

What is Baked Oatmeal?

Basically, baked oatmeal is oatmeal baked in the oven instead of cooked on a stovetop. The consistency changes to more “cake-like” than mushy. This was a big win in our house because my daughter won’t eat regular oatmeal. But the pumpkin pie baked oatmeal is one of her new favorites.

This recipe can be prepped ahead and baked in the morning. If you make it ahead of time, you can cut down the cooking time as the oats have already had time to absorb the liquid. (Often I’ll even add in a little extra liquid just to make sure it doesn’t get too dry.) It’s baked in the oven for 45 minutes, so we tend to make this on a weekend when we have a little extra time. Pumpkin pie baked oatmeal is also a perfect brunch recipe.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Variations of Baked Oatmeal

If you prefer the texture of baked oatmeal instead of regular oatmeal, you can change up your flavors easily. This recipe calls for 2 cups of pumpkin puree. You can change it to 2 cups of applesauce, or 1 cup applesauce and 1 cup mashed bananas. You can add in chopped apples, pears, or switch to berries. There are lots of different ways to play with this recipe and I encourage you to give it a try if you happen to be out of a pumpkin at the moment.

Here’s a pro tip for you. Use your blender to mix all the wet ingredients. It’s a time saver and I started doing this because I was using homemade pumpkin puree. If pumpkins are not in season, I’ll grab canned organic pumpkin from Thrive Market. (grab 25% off your first order!)

I’ve also added in the option to make these as oatmeal muffins! Just bake them in a lined muffin tin for about 20-25 minutes instead. This is a fun snack option for the kids and an easy addition to a lunch box. (swap out pecans with pumpkin seeds to make this nut-free)

Want more healthy breakfast ideas?

Grab my 5 favorite breakfast recipes that are easy to make, delicious, and can be prepped ahead.

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    Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal Recipe

    Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

    Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

    Healthy and delicious breakfast treat. Pumpkin adds a healthy dose of Vitamin A to your breakfast routine, while the smells of pumpkin spice leave your mouth watering.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Course: Breakfast
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Baking, pumpkin
    Servings: 6 servings
    Calories: 328kcal
    Author: Emily Roach

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups pumpkin canned or fresh
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup almond milk sub cashew or rice milk
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups oats rolled
    • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
    • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice sub 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1 cup pecans chopped
    • 2 cup coconut yogurt optional topping

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9x11 baking dish with coconut oil.
    • In a blender, or medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients until smooth.
    • In a large bowl, mix together oats, flaxseed, spices, baking powder, and salt. Add wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
    • Sprinkle chopped pecans across the top of the oatmeal.
    • Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the oatmeal feels set.
    • Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy warm or cool. Use coconut yogurt (or almond milk yogurt) as a topping. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

    Notes

    Add more protein to this recipe by adding in your favorite collagen powder. My favorite is Vital Proteins
    You also can make these into muffins! Bake for less time in a muffin tin, about 20-25 minutes.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 328kcal | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 19g
    Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

    Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal Recipe

    You know you have a great recipe when it disappears quickly at the family table. If you love pumpkin, try out my Paleo Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie. I think pumpkin is a delicious ingredient to enjoy year-round, not just in the fall season.

     

    Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal Recipe Emily Roach Wellness gluten free

    hearty turkey minestrone soup

    I love eating soup all winter long and this turkey minestrone soup is one of my favorites. It’s simple to make, and very forgiving. If you miss an ingredient here or there, it’s still going to taste delicious.

    Soup is so healing for a couple different reasons.

    First, it’s an easy way to get more bone broth into your body. Homemade is best and cheaper, but there are loads of other off the shelf options that truly are made with real food ingredients, like Kettle and Fire or Epic Artisanal Bone Broth. Bone broth can help reduce inflammation, help with sports recovery, and is always good for our hair, skin and nails due to the high amount of collagen.

    Second, soup is often really easy for our body to digest. Since the food is cooked, it’s easier for our digestive system to further break down the food and really use the nutrients present. It’s a gentle way to reintroduce food if you or another family member has been sick with a stomach bug.

    healthy turkey minestrone soup recipe Emily Roach

    What is Minestrone Soup?

    Minestrone tends to be a thick soup of Italian origin, made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice, sometimes both. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.

    I’ve often called it my “kitchen sink” soup. Everything goes in except the kitchen sink. It’s a great way to clean out your refrigerator and make your meal planning super simple. The turkey minestrone soup recipe also makes a large amount so you can freeze some in individual serving sizes to prep ahead. (I use these glass mason jars and freeze them. Just leave about 2” of space from the top to allow for expansion when frozen.)

    Here’s a common list of ingredients you can find in minestrone soup. The key thing is to make it your own, but start with a recipe like the one I share below.

    • cannellini beans
    • chicken stock
    • cabbage
    • potato
    • pasta or rice
    • zucchini
    • carrots
    • plum tomatoes
    • Parmesan cheese

    Easy turkey minestrone soup

    Winter Comfort Food

    The turkey minestrone soup is a spin off of a vegetarian minestrone soup I often make in the late spring months. I find I need more protein and something a little heartier in the cold, winter months of New England. This soup is so good I even ate it for breakfast a few times!

    If you love making soup, don’t miss my freebie download here to grab a few more of my favorite soup recipes. Click here for the free printable recipes!

    My kids don’t often love soup, but they might have it if I strain out some of the broth. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. It truly depends on the mood they are in, and I can’t control that. And just because they don’t love soup doesn’t mean I’m never going to serve soup. We have to keep reintroducing new things to them, even if they turn their nose up at them. One day, they might just surprise you.

    A quick note about finding high quality ground turkey. If I’m in a store, I’ll look for organic, pastured turkey. More often, I’ll order a bunch through Farmers to You and pick it up every other week. This is an awesome option for farm fresh meats and produce if you are in the Massachusetts area.

    Turkey Minestrone Soup

    Easy turkey minestrone soup

    Turkey Minestrone Soup

    Simple minestrone soup for a cold, winter's night.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Course: Soup
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: minestrone, soup, turkey
    Servings: 4
    Author: Emily Roach

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb ground turkey organic, pastured
    • 4 tbl olive oil extra virgin
    • 3 carrots diced
    • 3 celery diced
    • 1 yellow onion diced
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 1 tbl sea salt
    • 2 tsp dried basil
    • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
    • 4 cup chicken bone broth or beef broth
    • 2 cup water
    • 1 can navy beans or cannellini
    • 2 cans diced tomatoes 15 oz jars
    • 1 cup short grain brown rice Lundenburg
    • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese optional

    Instructions

    • In a large Dutch Oven or saucepan, add olive oil. Brown the turkey until cooked through.
    • Add the diced vegetables (except garlic) and cook until softened, about 4-6 minutes on medium heat.
    • Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Next, add in the balance of ingredients through rice.
    • Check the soup midway through. If the rice has absorbed too much water, just add another cup or two of water or bone broth.
    • Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, or leave out for Whole30/Paleo compliant.
    Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

    Slow Cooker Turkey Minestrone Soup Directions

    Here’s an easy way to make this even easier, and come home to dinner ready to go. You can add everything into the slow cooker once the turkey and veggies are cooked through. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 4 hours. (I prefer the low and slow option.) You can also cook the ground turkey the night before, and then add everything to the slow cooker in the morning before running out the door. Skip cooking the veggies ahead of time to save even more time in the kitchen.

    Turkey Minestrone Soup Recipe