{Slow Cooker} Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Soup

Kale Soup1

A simple crockpot soup with quinoa, white beans, diced tomatoes, and freshly chopped kale. This soup has delicious Italian flavoring and is super easy to make.

Easiest slow cooker quinoa, kale, and white bean soup #crockpot #kale #quinoa #cleaneating

I’m pretty obsessed with soup. My big goal this year has been to get the husband on board with soups since in years past, he’s never been the biggest fan. After eating a bowl of this soup, he commented that he likes my soups because they “have stuff in them.” Apparently he just doesn’t like the super-brothy-with-not-much-added-to-them kind of soups. Wow, that was a mouthful.

He was a little skeptical at first, since this seemed to be a brothy soup, but he absolutely loved it! And although this recipe touts a full 4 cups of broth, do you want to hear my secret of making it not so brothy? Blending beans in the broth! That’s right, I blend an entire can of beans with some of the broth and stir that in the soup. It gives it a thick and hearty cream-like texture, but without all the cream ingredients. Plus it’s super easy to do!

Oh… and since I’m bragging about how easy this soup is to make, one more fun fact — the only thing you’ll need to chop is the kale!!… 

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Best EVER healthy chocolate chip cookies


The best ever flourless + healthier chocolate chip cookies. These cookies have no butter, white flour, or refined white sugar. They are bursting with flavor and sure to be your new favorite healthy “indulgence.”

Healthy + Flourless BEST ever chocolate chip cookies! via chelseasmessyapron.com #cleaneating #cookie #dessertI hope you all know I don’t just throw around the words “best ever.” In fact, I don’t think those two words have ever made it into a recipe title thus far. That’s how deserving these cookies are. Because for how many healthy swaps they have, they really are the best!

That and they have literally been weeks in the making. I can’t even tell you how many long I have worked on this recipe. I wanted them to be the healthiest possible cookie, but not to taste like…cardboard. That’s been pretty hard. I’ve made some cookies that stack up pretty well nutritionally…I just didn’t want to eat them afterwords. So, yeah…those recipes weren’t worth sharing.

And then I made some delicious cookies, but they weren’t all that healthy by the time they were finished, so nix that one too. But this one, it’s a winner.

One of the ways I’ve “judged” how good the batches of test cookies are is by how many are left by the end of the day. That or seeing if the husband takes more than one bite without running to the sink to spit out that first bite. That test is always effective. Well good news with this recipe — all were gone by the end of the day and the husband ate the majority of them.

Healthy + Flourless BEST ever chocolate chip cookies! via chelseasmessyapron.com #cleaneating #cookie #dessert


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Sweet Potato Enchiladas

sweet potato1

A delicious meatless dish – sweet potato enchiladas chock full of delicious and good-for-you vegetables, brown rice, and tomato salsa. This meal is a quick dinner and family friendly!

Easy + Healthy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas #dinner #sweetpotato #enchilada

And the only thing to follow eating about 10 batches of hot fudge cookies is a healthy + meatless meal. This one is definitely the meal to fit the bill. Look at me rhyme :)

But seriously, this recipe is one of those “healthy” meals that is secretly healthy. Like you wouldn’t guess it was healthy because it tastes so flavorful and rich! Although, depending on the amount of cheese you are piling in these and on top of these, it becomes a little less healthy. The great thing is you can totally scale down (or up) the amount of cheese! I’ve even had these with no cheese and still LOVED them. I know, I bet you never guessed I would say that.

Obviously I usually pile on these cheese when I make these.

Easy + Healthy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas #dinner #sweetpotato #enchiladas… 

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{Slow Cooker} Mexican Quinoa

A ONE dish, Crockpot Mexican Quinoa #dinner #crockpot #quinoa #cleaneating

This crockpot Mexican quinoa is bursting with deliciously fresh and healthy ingredients. This dish is all cooked in the slow cooker (even the quinoa and butternut squash) and has lots of “hidden veggies.”

A ONE dish, Crockpot Mexican Quinoa #dinner #crockpot #quinoa #cleaneating

How do you all feel about butternut squash? Personally, its my favorite squash ever.

When I started dating my husband, just guess who said he hated butternut squash? Yeah it would be him. This news was almost a deal breaker. Luckily he flashed his cute smile and all was fine in the world for then. So we dated longer and I avoided cooking with squash. Then we got married and I further avoided cooking with squash.

And then we were married for 2 years and I went and bought all the squash in the store. The exact number was 9 butternut squashes because they were 59 cents apiece and I tend to go overboard when I find produce on sale. This purchase wasn’t because I was trying to be an awful wife (pinky swear I try to always please him for dinner!) but I had a sudden maddening determination to get him to like it. I just couldn’t go another Fall without the squash. So I searched the best recipes and ended up deciding to just coat the squash cubes in olive oil + salt + pepper + some other spices and roast them in the oven.

You may be able to guess that the story has a very happy ending. Not only did he LOVE the squash, but I’m pretty sure the husband is more obsessed with it than I am. In fact, when they go on sale now, he asks me to stock up. And nowadays, when he asks me to make butternut squash, well, he just gets even cuter to me.

So the moral of the story? It’s all how you prepare the squash. Or, you get really lucky. Or you really will hate it no matter what and just wasted your time reading a very boring story. Basically I’m not sure the moral of the story. What I am sure of – this is one of the best ways I’ve ever eaten butternut squash!… 

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{One Pot} Chicken, Rice, & Veggie Fajita Bowls

Fajita bowls1

This one pot dish tastes just like fajitas without the tortilla! (But you can definitely use them if you want!) This meal takes less than 30 minutes, is all made in one pot, and is full of flavor while keeping the ingredients to a minimum.

One Pot Chicken & Rice Fajita Bowls I via chelseasmessyapron.com I #fajita #onepot #under30minutes #easy

Two one-pot meals two posts in a row?! You can probably guess that someone is getting molars right now. Hint: I’ve already got mine. Yeah, the little guy hasn’t been feeling the greatest in these parts and we can feel one poking through in the back. (Poor little guy!)

And since he doesn’t take teething too well… there’s been a lot of tears, a few tantrums (okay maybe more than a few), some mega-clinginess, and lots of snuggles/back-scratches (<–he loves those). Which means, when I go into the kitchen to make food, he’s not loving that. Chopping vegetables with a baby on my hip? I’m pretty sure I look really awesome in the attempt. (Read: not so awesome.)

So these one pot meals are seriously a lifesaver. Which, P.S., I see a lot more coming in the future of CMA since, well, he’s got a lot more teeth that need to come in. The great news is, this meal definitely made him feel much better; he absolutely loved it. Which, I have to admit, with all the veggies, I was skeptical how much he would like it. But, seeing as he ate pretty much the same portion that I did, this recipe is a keeper!… 

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{One Pot} Creamy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Divan

Broccoli Chicken Rice 1

This delicious and lightened up creamy chicken, broccoli, and rice divan can all be made in one pot and in under 30 minutes. It’s filled with flavor and keeps the ingredients to a minimum!

Easy, 30 minute, ONE POT Chicken divine with broccoli! #dinner #chicken #onepot #easy

I have been completely overwhelmed with the awesome responses on the reader survey. Seriously, you guys are the best <3! Thank you!! Oh, and then there’s my mom who specifically requested that my blog include pictures of her grandson in every post ha! Yes, I know that is you mom! :) (And if you haven’t taken it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!)

I’ll let you all know the results when it’s all finished up. But for now, I’ve got some more yummy one-pot goodness. Plus I healthified it a bit – a lightened up creamy chicken, broccoli, and rice divan in one pot and thirty minutes. Oh yeah!


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{Healthy + Flourless} Glazed Apple Pie Cookies + 2014 Reader Survey

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These delicious cookies are gluten-free, packed with protein and good-for-you-ingredients. No white flour, no butter, and no oil in these glazed “apple pie” cookies. 

No white flour, no butter, and no oil in these glazed "apple pie" cookies. #healthy #cleaneating #cookies #apple #pie

Today’s a special day! It’s Chelsea’s Messy Apron’s first birthday! …So, you would probably expect some grand cake or something right? Wrong. I made cookies. Oh and they are healthy too! Which, admittedly, seems a little bit of a weird and boring birthday celebration treat for this blog’s birthday, but if you tried these, you would know. They are far better than any cupcakes! (In a healthy, wholesome type of way of course.)

Okay, so let’s talk about these cookies. Do they look healthy to you? Yeah, me either. Surprise! They are SUPER healthy! Well, maybe not the glaze so much, but it’s completely an optional kind of thing. Like, a birthday addition for sure!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for a whole year! It has just flown by and been such an amazing year. I’m super, super grateful for you people that have read this little blog, tried the recipes, and left such nice comments. Seriously, you all are the BEST! <3 And it means the world to me! When I published my first post a year ago, I was so nervous. I knew I was super passionate about food and the prospect of blogging, but I was so worried no one would read my blog (or even like it). Or ever try my recipes. Just ask my husband, I’m pretty sure he had to give me about ten pep talks! Okay, maybe more than ten…. 

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Cilantro-Lime Ranch Burrito Bowls


Vegetarian cilantro-lime ranch burrito bowls made with fresh and good for you ingredients! These burrito bowls can be ready in less than 30 minutes and a meal the whole family will love; leave out the lettuce for little kids!

Super quick and easy cilantro-lime ranch burrito bowls!

I know this looks like a salad, but it’s not really. In fact, it’s based off the Cantina Bowls from Taco Bell…have you tried those? I’m not the biggest Taco Bell fan, but the hubs really likes the place so we’ve been there a few times. My husband discovered the gem we will call Cantina Bowls and I instantly fell in love with them! Who knew? Go Taco Bell!

Basically they are burrito bowls with rice, chicken, beans, a dollup of guac, a pico de gallo, dollup of sour cream, some lettuce mixed in, and a delicious creamy dressing. These are essentially a vegetarian version of the dish and more of a filling meal than a salad. You can even leave out the lettuce and these will still work out great.

Little Grey hasn’t quite figured out how to eat lettuce, but he still devoured one of these burrito bowls. That kid is obsessed with rice!!… 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Potato, and Kale Soup


A delicious roasted butternut squash, red potato, carrot, shredded chicken, onion and kale broth-based soup. This soup is filled with tons of flavor and very healthy!

A healthy Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Potato, and Kale Soup #cleaneating #soup #butternutsquash

Usually with soups, I like doing them in the slow cooker. My crockpot tends to be my best friend this time of the year. Dump ingredients in, wait a bit, and a delicious dinner later – sign me up!

Buuuut, there are also times when the crockpot can be a little inconvenient or just not work in the schedule. I don’t have one of those handy-dandy set the crockpot to start and turn off at certain times. Are they as cool as they seem? And follow up question, should they make it on my Christmas wish list? Oh yes. I’m already thinking about Christmas. Mostly Christmas food though is what’s on my mind. I spent about a good portion of my day earlier this week brainstorming and writing down Christmas food ideas. And let’s just say, I’m pretty excited. It’s gonna be good :)

Okay, okay. Sorry. No more Christmas talk until at least after Halloween. Fine, Thanksgiving. I can wait til then… At least, I think I can…. 

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{Healthy + Flourless} Almond Apple Muffins


No white flour, no butter, and no oil in these almond butter, apple, and pecan muffins. These muffins are bursting with flavor, healthy, and gluten-free!

No white flour, no butter, and no oil in these almond butter, apple, and pecan muffins. These muffins are bursting with flavor, healthy, and gluten-free!

How do you feel about nuts in your baked goods? For me, when there are nuts in brownies a very good thing was ruined! I don’t like nuts in cakes or even cookies really. Okay sometimes in cookies they are okay, but on a very rare occasion. And in breads or muffins I’m not usually a fan either.

But these muffins, they have some nuts in them and oh man are they good. The nuts are scarce and far between (only three tablespoons for the whole recipe), but they make these muffins! And there are actual apple bits in these ones and when they are baked it’s just an unreal taste + texture combining soft baked apples with crunchy pecans.

And the good news is, there aren’t just pecans, there are also almonds in these muffins – in the form of almond butter. If you haven’t ever used almond butter, this recipe is a great place to start with almond butter! You can usually find it right next to peanut butter and jams in the grocery store. And if you aren’t a fan of peanut butter, I bet you’ll love almond butter. It’s definitely a very subtle taste in these muffins and complements the cinnamon, apples, applesauce, and pecans perfectly.


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{One Skillet} Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls


A dinner made in just one skillet – sweet potato burrito bowls. A  mouth-watering vegetarian meal with sweet potatoes, rice, sweet peppers, black beans, corn, and toppings such as fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese, a fresh tomato, and sour cream.

A one-skillet 30-minute sweet potato burrito bowl. Best dinner ever!!

If you could chose one vegetable to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? Hands down, sweet potatoes for me! I can’t believe they are a vegetable with how delicious they taste. Not that vegetables are gross or anything, but I equate sweet potatoes with candy and broccoli? Not quite there…

Also when I can eat them in the form of a 30-minute, 1-skillet dinner, well somehow they taste even better than ever. Yep – one skillet. thirty minutes. You’re going to love this meal!… 

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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds


A brussels sprouts, bacon, and almond dish ready in under 30 minutes. Scroll down to the end of the post for a chance to win a cookbook filled with delicious almond recipes!

Super Simple Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds

If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you should really give this recipe a chance before swearing them off forever. Aaaand if you have kids to convince that Brussels sprouts are the bomb diggity, then reason #2 this recipe needs to be made ASAP.

I can’t believe I just said bomb diggity. Can we still be friends?

Super Simple Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds… 

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