Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free!)

Once there was a girl who hadn’t eaten a sandwich in a very long time. Then she finally found a recipe for bread that met her low carb-high protein needs. So she tried making a sandwich with the special bread, and it worked. It made her very happy because chicken, mayo, and spinach inside a bun are so delicious and normal.

You, too, can be this girl. Check out the fancy sandwich!

pb muffin sandwich1

Be very impressed, even if you are still among the many who can eat a “real sandwich” with “real bread.” Those of us who are frequently sandwichless feel so excited about this bread-making breakthrough!

For the record, my natural doctor thinks she is getting to the bottom of why my body can’t handle many carbs without experiencing a major crash. It’s still going to take some time to heal my cells and clear out the bad bacteria, but she gives me hope that I will be normal again. Normal is relative, so let’s not even start making jokes about that. I’m very well aware of and heartily embrace my cRaZy.

peanut butter muffins21

Aren’t these the prettiest buns you’ve ever seen? (Many jokes. We could make so many jokes about that sentence.)

Hopefully you tried this Peanut Bread Recipe I shared a couple weeks ago. How fun that the batter that recipe creates also bakes into such light, fluffy, golden muffins.

peanut butter muffins11

I’m excited to share that my “real bread” eating family loves this bread right along with me. It’s a great way to feed us all protein! My boys really like loading these with butter and honey or jelly. It’s the greatest way to eat PB&J!

Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free)

Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free!)
 
Author:
Serves: 12-18
Ingredients
  • 2 cups natural, unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Pinch of sea salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender or with a hand mixer.
  2. Pour batter into 12 prepared muffin tins (either well greased tins, paper-lined, or silicone).
  3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Muffins - naturally gluten, grain, and dairy free

This is the peanut butter recipe I use for this bread.

If you’re more interested in making a loaf of bread with this recipe, you’ll find those instructions here.

pb bread12

Let me remind you that this recipe is not only for people who have dietary restrictions. I like feeding this to my family because of the high protein content. It’s a great way to start the day, and because it is so filling, it sticks with us the entire morning!

I’m very curious, when’s the last time you ate a sandwich? (I think it had been two years for me…unless you count the lettuce wraps I’ve enjoyed!) If you, too, have been sandwichless, you will so enjoy this recipe!

The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Bread! (Naturally grain/gluten and dairy free, with ingredients you already have!)

Once upon a time I came across a recipe and thought, “Really? Could it be?” So I blended together peanut butter, honey, eggs, baking soda, and vinegar and made actual bread. It looked like bread and tasted like bread and I was amazed that indeed, it was bread. I was very, very happy. The end.

pb bread4

So what if I already took a bite out of this piece before I took the picture.
Can you blame me?

Be very, very shocked and amazed with me. We can make actual bread that has no grain, no gluten, and no dairy. The bread tastes delicious and had a wonderful texture! It’s as simple as this Whole Wheat Stir-and-Pour Bread because just like that recipe, we simply stir together the ingredients and pour them into a baking pan. It’s ridiculously easy.

Plus, we add vinegar and baking soda to the mixture, so we get to make a volcano. Who says baking isn’t fun?

I originally saw a recipe like this here. I was skeptical because, well, I’ve made a few grain-free recipes with strange ingredients like this, and while everything would look delicious, it seemed to always taste like a soggy banana. (I’m looking at you so called “Amazing Grain Free, Sugar Free Brownies.”)

I decided to take a chance on this bread recipe though, because of this: I wanted to spread butter on something I could eat. (Regular bread isn’t cooperating with me right now.) I also loved the idea of this bread being chuck full of protein. Peanut butter and eggs? Maybe, just maybe, I could fill the hollow places in my sons’ legs.

Indeed.

pb bread21

Worried that the taste of peanut butter will overpower the bread? It has a surprisingly mild flavor. In fact, we were all wishing it tasted more peanut-buttery. Either way, just imagine how good this is with butter, jelly, or honey. I prefer it toasted with lots of butter. This probably doesn’t surprise you.

pb bread12

The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Bread

4.0 from 2 reviews
The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Bread! (Naturally grain/gluten and dairy free!)
 
Author:
Serves: 12-16 slices
Ingredients
  • 2 cups natural, unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Pinch of sea salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender or with a hand mixer.
  2. Pour into a well-greased 9x5" loaf pan.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
  4. Allow the bread to sit in the pan for about 10 minutes to cool.
  5. Remove bread from pan and cool on a rack.

Here’s my homemade peanut butter recipe.

Grain Free, High Protein Peanut Butter Bread

After seeing the ingredient list, you might be thinking, “Isn’t this bread kind of expensive?” Sure. It costs more than wheat flour bread. But I think it’s actually saving me money because on mornings I serve it for breakfast, my sons don’t ask for meat. They are full after two slices. Did we ever think we’d see the day?

No matter your diet restrictions or lack thereof, I’d love to convince you to make this Peanut Butter Bread. What do you have to lose? Five minutes?

Ever tried a recipe with weird ingredients that turned out…weird? Do share. I promise this one will pleasantly surprise you!

A Complete Meal in 15 Minutes – From Start to Finish

It’s a complete meal, and I made it in 15 minutes from start to finish. Look how beautiful:

sliced-ham3

First let’s talk about pork for a little bit.

I like feeding my family hormone-free meat, antibiotic-free meat, grass fed meat, free range meat, all the happy, healthy kinds of meat.

But sometimes I compromise.

I have great local sources for chicken, lamb, and beef. But I almost always buy my piggies at the store. We don’t have pork very often, but shucks, pork is so delicious. We love bacon, ham, and sausage. My boys are athletes and often ask for meat in the morning (and all day long). I’ve decided that in order to keep life simpler (and to avoid completely killing my already very high grocery budget) – I’ll go ahead and buy pork products when I find them on sale at a regular grocery store.

I don’t feel great about this, but I guess I feel good enough about it that I haven’t stopped doing it. So that’s that.

sliced-ham2

So now let’s get on with the fun part where I tell you how you can put a complete meal on the table in 15-minutes from start to finish!

A Complete Meal in 15 Minutes

Sometimes I buy a pre-cooked ham as pictured above. I slice it all and put it in a Pyrex dish in the fridge to pull out as needed for quick lunches or to go with eggs at breakfast.

Having this on hand is fantastic! This sliced ham fries up within a few minutes in a skillet. We’ll steam some peas and pull out the mixed greens and salad dressing. We’ll prep some fruit. Just like that, we’ve got a complete meal ready to eat.

complete-meal-in-15-minutes

If you don’t feel good about eating pork, there are Turkey Ham options available – or maybe you’d enjoy another variety of meat that fries up quickly to complete your meal.

Either way: Never forget the ease of steaming a veggie, prepping some fruit, and pulling out fresh greens to complete a meal. This is THE way I make our meals simple and nourishing. The variety of fruits and vegetables is so good for our bodies and feeding us like this takes only a tiny bit of effort!

Are you pork eaters at your house? What meals have you found to be easy enough to throw together in just a few minutes?

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Join all of us who are enjoying Simple Meals!

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Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken (Lunch is ready when you get up for the day!)

This Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken idea might be one of my favorite Simple Tips/Recipes of the new year!

It takes five minutes of “work” to make this before you go to bed at night. It’s brainless. It involves no measuring or dirtying of dishes. You can practically sleep walk your way around this (which is precisely how I do everything after 10:00 pm). Best of all: No chickens have to be thawed in the making of this recipe.

bbq-chicken2

How this recipe/idea came about…

It was a cold, windy, dark Friday night (adjectives added for dramatic effect). It had been a long, exhausting, busy week (and this is different from other weeks, how?). Saturday, we had a full day of basketball games scheduled in a town two hours away. We needed to pack breakfast to eat on the way and lunch to eat between games. Friday night we were finally getting around to figuring out food for the road the next day.

I eagerly decided to get creative! (In other words, I didn’t have bread or lunch meat in the house and I didn’t want to go to the store.)

We have learned that big, meaty chef salads between basketball games are great for our boys who need to eat something substantial and full of protein, but not terribly heavy.

I decided we could certainly do Chicken Chef Salads to eat between games – if only I had thought ahead enough to cook some chicken for these salads. Frozen, raw chicken just isn’t the same. But then I thought, “what if?” The best ideas are born when you think to yourself, “what if?”

So I dumped some frozen, raw, boneless chicken thighs into the crock pot, dumped on some BBQ sauce, plugged in the crock pot (always, always plug it in), turned it on (also important), and went to bed.

The next morning the house smelled marvelous. After all, I had been slow-cooking BBQ Chicken all night – like a boss – while I slept.

The end of this story was supposed to include the fact that we quickly shredded the chicken in the morning and made ourselves some wonderful chef salads before heading out the door for the day. But as it turned out, the weather was terrible, the games were canceled, and the boys got so excited about the chicken when they got out of bed that they ate it for breakfast.

Who am I to say no? I wanted some too.

simple-saucy-overnight-crock-pot-chicken

Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken

Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1-3 pounds frozen, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1-2 cups of your favorite sauce (bbq, teriyaki, sweet and sour, etc)
Instructions
  1. Place frozen chicken in a crock pot.
  2. Pour sauce over the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 7-10 hours overnight.

This is hardly a recipe. This is a “use your favorite sauce” and “pour it on whatever chicken you have in your freezer” idea. It’s the simplest thing to do and you can use your deliciously cooked meat in whatever way you need it the following day. Pack it in a lunch to take to work. Make it into a salad. Save it for lunch to eat at home after a busy morning of living life. Pack it to take to away games to eat while sitting in the bleachers. Or most definitely:

Go ahead and eat it for breakfast. Sometimes this can’t be helped.

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Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish (10-minutes from start to finish!)

I was going to call this Simple Cheesy Fish Dish – you know – because it rhymed and was cute. But then I was like, “What a weird and not-very-appetizing name. Let’s change it to Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish. People will want to make it if it has a better name.”

broiled-parmesan-fish

I sure hope you all appreciate all the thought and trouble I go to in preparing these recipes and laboring to come up with their names. There is no end to all the decisions I have to make around here.

But in actual news, and what you really need to know about this recipe is how easy it is. You broil the fish. While it is broiling, you mix up a few ingredients to spread over the top. You spread it on. You broil it all a little longer. In ten minutes the fish is completely done and ready to serve.

Ten minutes. Maybe I should have called this Ten-Minute Fish Dish. But seriously, though.

Simple Parmesan Broiled FishYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fish, any kind (cod, tilapia, halibut, flounder, salmon)
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower mayo)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of hot sauce (we like Cholula)
Instructions
  1. Lay fish pieces in a buttered 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Broil for 8-10 minutes in the oven.
  3. In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Removed broiled fish from the oven and spread on the cheese mixture.
  5. Broil for an additional 2 minutes.

simple-parmesan-broiled-fish

This fish has incredible flavor! We have also found that the sauce tastes great with the steamed veggies we eat with this meal. There’s just something about cheese and butter and mayo all together that makes a great sauce. So if the sauce from your fish runs over your plate into your veggies – be grateful. The entire meal will taste better this way!

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Hot Vanilla Milk (3 Ingredients)

Hot cocoa is wonderful. Hot tea hits the spot. I think we all know how I feel about a lovely cup of coffee. (Best thing ever, in case you weren’t sure.) But this Hot Vanilla Milk is a fun option to offer when you need a little variety in your hot drink repertoire.

vanilla-milk

If you want to make it really special, add one of the fun Flavored Whipped Cream options I shared below. As fun as it is to hit a coffee shop sometimes for a special treat, it is not fun to pay $4-$5 per cup of delicious drink. This Hot Vanilla Milk and all the other fun drink options I listed below will save us all loads of money because we can make many great hot drinks at home!

Hot Vanilla MilkYum

Hot Vanilla Milk (3 Ingredients)
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 3 cups milk (I use whole milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (give or take)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk milk and maple syrup together in a small sauce pan.
  2. Stir over low heat until milk mixture begins to bubble.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Serve right away.

hot-vanilla-milk

I will now make a list for you of all the hot drink recipes I’ve shared here through the years. With this Hot Vanilla Drink recipe, there’s a hot drink for every day of the week! Plus I included a few fun add-ins to the list. Hot drinks are fun. Hot drinks with flavored whipped creams are even better!

Homemade Hot Cocoa

What are your favorite hot drinks? Do you live in a cold-weather area? My family (here in Nebraska) is doing everything we can to stay warm right now.

Simple Hamburger Soup

My mom used to make something like this Simple Hamburger Soup every Wednesday night before church. She called it “Beef Garden Casserole” and usually baked biscuits on top and on the side. I remember coming home from sports practices, starving, and so excited to eat this meal along with several biscuits dripping with butter.

beef-garden-soup

Ah, the memories.

I’ve been making this for my own family during the last 22 years, and even though it started out as a simple recipe, I’ve simplified it even more. I now skip the biscuits altogether. I often make it ahead of time so all I have to do is rewarm it and serve.

But then there’s the fact that some people in my family don’t like corn. Of all things not to like, right? So I usually make corn on the side for people to stir in if they like.

Also? I don’t make this as a casserole. It goes into bowls like soup, then we top it with shredded cheese. It’s still one of my favorite meals, and it always reminds me of my mom. You’ll love how easy this is!

Simple Hamburger SoupYum

Simple Hamburger Soup
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 3 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2-3 cups frozen green beans
  • 2-3 cups frozen corn (optional)
  • 32-ounces tomato soup
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown hamburger and minced onion until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, steam green beans in a separate pot until they are tender.
  3. Stir together cooked meat mixture, green beans, corn, and tomato soup.
  4. Simmer until bubbly, salting liberally.
  5. Serve in bowls with shredded cheese if desired.

simple-hamburger-soup

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken Bake

I am so thankful for how this Simple Italian Chicken Bake practically makes itself and feeds my family so easily!

italian-chicken-and-green-beans

Here’s what was going down in my house: Matt was working across town. Justus had just left for his college class. Elias was upstairs reading his English assignment. Malachi was practicing his piano. I was finally sitting down at my computer to write posts, answer emails, and edit pictures.

This is when my stomach growled. You’d think lunch wouldn’t have slipped my mind, seeing as I’ve been eating this meal every day for the past 43 years. But there it was, 11:30. There was no lunch and there were no leftovers to fall back on.

I got up and put chicken and green beans in a dish, doused it with Italian dressing, and put it in the oven. Five minutes later, I was back at my computer writing. While our meal baked, we all got work done (work that did not involve being in the kitchen). An hour later, we were eating lunch. If this meal doesn’t define “simple” I don’t know what does.

Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken BakeYum

Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1-2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2-3 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 cup Italian dressing*
Instructions
  1. Lay chicken in a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Pour green beans over the chicken.
  3. Pour Italian dressing over the beans and chicken.
  4. Cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is no longer pink.

*Here’s my Italian Dressing recipe. I try to always have some on hand for quick meals and salads.

The baking time on this recipe varies depending on your oven and the thickness of your chicken pieces. If you want this meal to be ready to serve in a shorter amount of time, cut your chicken into small, thin pieces.

You will love how easy and flavorful this meal is!

simple-italian-chicken-and-green-bean-bake

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Easy Candied Walnuts ~ 4-Ingredients!

Here’s to everyone who needs a holiday munchie that is in the “healthier” and “easier” category. These salty/sweet Easy Candied Walnuts can be made in five minutes. (Kinda makes up for rolling, and cutting, and baking, and frosting of cookies, eh?)

candied-walnuts-4-ingredients

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s made quickly on the stove-top and ready to eat immediately. I’ve kept some in a bowl in our living room since Thanksgiving, and it’s been a great hit with guests!

Easy Candied WalnutsYum

Easy Candied Walnuts ~ 4-Ingredients!
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • ⅓ cup sucanat, brown sugar, or white sugar
  • 2 shakes of sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a large skillet.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and sugar has been distributed over walnuts.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately spread the walnut out on parchment paper so that can cool and "candy."

easy-candied-walnuts-4-ingredients

Want some other fun nutty-type munchies for Christmas season? Here are a couple I’ve shared in the past:

Both are easy, and naturally gluten and dairy free if that is a need for you or for someone you love.

And for those who are interested in the rolling, cutting, baking, and frosting of cookies, here are some recipes for you:

As for me, I’m going to do everything I can to avoid rolling, cutting, baking, and frosting cookies this year. There simply isn’t time since we’re planning to travel so much over Christmas. I will instead stick with making easy treats like these Candied Walnuts.

How about you? Making lots of treats this year?

Simple Pizza Chicken Bake

Once again, a Simple Recipe saves the day. Three cheers for Simple Pizza Chicken Bake! (Hip, hip…okay, let’s just get to the recipe.)

pizza-chicken-bake

Truth: I have been too busy to cook lately. Why? Well, for one thing, I’ve been quite occupied by writing about how to put simple meals on the table.

Do not miss the irony of this.

Oh my dears. We hosted people for Thanksgiving, then turned right around and traveled to Kansas. We arrived home a few days later happy and tired, and very behind on all of our work. We began to play catch up while getting ready for Christmas and finishing up our kids’ semester of school work. Our youngest has been in our big downtown Christmas play, so we’ve been running to practices and performances and hosting family who came into town to watch. We hosted Christmas parties for two groups of college students, and enjoyed a big basketball triangular in town with the team our two middle boys are involved with.

Did I mention we’re getting ready to drive to California to see family at Christmastime?

All this fun in the midst of trying to keep up with everyday life has threatened to push me into the next level of crazy-head. (No one wants to see what that looks like.) So when Matt got home from his current job site one day last week and asked how he could help with dinner, I looked up from my computer (where I was editing a post about keeping dinner simple) and said, “I’ve been too busy writing about how to put food on the table easily to actually get food on the table. I love you. I’m hungry. Malachi needs to leave for practice in 15 minutes.”

Fun times. I have no recollection of what we actually ate that night. But no one starved, and I think I’m back on track this week to at least have the brain power to throw something in the crock pot or oven at a reasonable time.

Keep this new Simple Recipe in your back pocket. It truly is a no-brainer, and maybe it’s just me, but I think we can all use no-brainer recipes this time of year and always.

Simple Pizza Chicken BakeYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Pizza Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 14 ounces pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 ounces sliced pepperoni
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into thin strips and spread them into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Spread pizza sauce over the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Top with pepperoni.
  5. Bake, uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

simple-pizza-chicken-bake

I’m happy to report that the work I was behind on is almost caught up, and the work I’m trying to get ahead on is coming along at a nice pace. I got to a good enough point a few days ago that I told Matt, “Hey, I think I’ll be able to go to California with you for Christmas after all.” Now here’s hoping he gets all his work done so he can go too.

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

If you haven’t joined Simple Meals, we invite you to come aboard! We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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