06 11 / 2011
For Peanut butter and Rice Krispy lovers !
This recipe is a BIG favorite! It is super easy and makes for a great “on-the-go” breakfast!
1/2 cup peanut butter (preferably natural style)
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups toasted rice cereal
2 cups old-fashioned oats (uncooked)
3/4 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins
LINE an 8-inch square pan with foil, extending over opposite ends of pan (or lightly coat with cooking spray).
PLACE peanut butter, honey and brown sugar in large microwave-safe bowl.
HEAT on high power for 2 minutes until bubbly and heated through. Remove bowl from microwave.
ADD vanilla; stir until mixture is smooth.
ADD cereal, oats and raisins. Gently stir without crushing cereal.
PRESS warm mixture very firmly into prepared pan.
COOL at room temperature or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
LIFT out of pan if using foil; cut into bars.
STORE bars in plastic wrap or tightly covered container, at room temperature or in refrigerator.
Makes 16 bars.
03 9 / 2011
Red basil and sun-dried tomato pesto
Per my mother’s request, here is a pesto recipe that Ryan prepared last week. I served it with toasted bread as a snack last night and together with our Dutch friend Marty, they devoured it! It is super delicious and tastes even better when you let it sit in the fridge over night ;)!
There are many uses for pesto, not only as a spread for sandwiches but also as a dressing for salads, for adding flavour to soups or as a pasta sauce.
- 2 tbl spoons pine nuts, raw or lightly toasted in a dry skillet
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (1 1/2 firmly paced teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 3 tbl spoons minced sundried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbl spoons grated Parmesan cheese
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a food processor, pulse the pine nuts with the garlic, basil, tomatoes, and olive oil until combined. Add the cheese and pulse until smooth. Scrape the pesto into a bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
27 8 / 2011
Spinach, onion and feta quiche
Many times, the flaky and buttery crust is the best part of a quiche, supporting the filling and adding a wonderful contrasting texture to the dish. But crusts can be a bit time consuming and more than a bit fattening. So, of course, I searched for healthier quiche recipes online! I just made and enjoy this recipe this morning, after a nice run, and it is delicious! Another great thing is that it only takes about 15 minutes to assemble and get into the oven. I will never be one to complain about food that is tasty, healthy and fast!
Although this is a crustless quiche because it doesn’t have a pastry crust, it does have a crust of sorts. The flour mixed in to the egg mixture separates during baking and forms a very thin crust along the bottom and sides of the pan. It’s not the same as a “real” crust, but it does help keep the quiche slices together neatly and adds a bit of substance to what would otherwise be just some baked eggs.
You can use just about any base you want for this dish, which means you’ll get a lot of variety with just one basic recipe. I almost always have onions and fresh spinach on hand, as it’s a popular combination in my kitchen. Some diced up sausage, ham or leftover, shredded chicken would work well in here, too. I like the feta cheese on top for extra saltiness and flavor, but again, you can opt for a different type of cheese if you prefer (parmesan and cheddar are nice) – or even skip it entirely if you want to go cheeseless. Regardless, it’s always satisfying to make and eat.
This can be a simple dinner or an easy breakfast dish, but it can also be served as an appetizer or first course by slicing it thinnly for several guests.
1 medium onion, diced
6-oz fresh baby spinach
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/3 cups milk (low fat is fine)
1/2 cup feta cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.
Lightly grease a 10-inch quiche/tart pan (or a pie plate)
In a medium frying pan, cook diced onion with a bit of vegetable oil (or cooking spray) over medium-high heat until translucent and tender. Add in fresh spinach and cook until just wilted. Set aside to cool for a few minutes
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, then stir in spinach-onion mixture.
Pour quiche base into prepared pan. Top with feta cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.
Let set for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
Salt and pepper, to taste
Nutritional Info - Servings Per Recipe: 6
Calories: 142.0 Total Fat: 5.5 g Cholesterol: 83.3 mg Sodium: 248.8 mg Total Carbs: 13.5 g Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g Protein: 10.6 g
19 8 / 2011
Oatmeal, Pumpkin and Strawberry muffins
Breakfast is the most important meal—giving us a much-needed energy boost for the rest of the day. Nevertheless many of us skip breakfast when we’re in a hurry—or worse, we turn to calorie- and carbohydrate-laden foods that even the most active person would have trouble burning. That is the reason I love to bake a few batches of quick and healthy goodies and freezing them! This means I always have something handy and have no excuse. Especially since I am starting a new job on Monday I want to be prepared for the next couple of weeks!
I absolutely LOVE pumpkin. Pumpkin everything: pie, spice, seeds.. yumm!! I really can’t wait for all the fall pumpkin goodies to come around. But, I am also not ready for summer to end so when I found this recipe that combines pumpkin with a delicious summer ingredient - strawberries - I couldn’t resist trying! I must admit, I was a bit hesitant with the interesting mix of ingredients but I was pleasantly surprised! I ended up making 3 batches and I will be pulling them out of the freezer over the next couple of weeks. O and…. pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols! Why not try them? These will stave off hunger until lunchtime and give your body the energy it needs! ENJOY!!
Makes 12 servings - Ready in 40 min
1 cup and 1tbsp whole grain flour, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided (I made my own http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/pumpkin-pie-spice-i/detail.aspx )
1 cup of pumpkin, pureed
2 large egg whites, whipped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup and 1/3 cup of honey, divided (I used agave)
1/4 cup of soymilk
1/4 cup and 1 tbsp. coconut oil, divided (I used canola oil so I’m sure any oil will work)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup and 3 tbsp. green pumpkin seeds, divided
1 cup sliced strawberries
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare muffin tins by greasing with olive oil.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1 teaspoon of spice. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine pumpkin, egg whites, vanilla, 1/2 cup of honey, soy milk and 1/4 cup oil. Mix well.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add oats and 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds. Stir gently.
To make topping, mix together remaining 1 tbsp. flour, 1/4 tsp. spice, 1/3 cup honey, 1 tbsp. oil, and 3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds.
Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Evenly distribute topping and strawberry slices over each muffin. Bake for 20 min. Enjoy!
Nutrients per serving
Calories: 240 Total fats: 7g Saturated fat: 5g Trans-fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0g Sodium 40 mg Total Carbohydrates: 45g Dietary fiber: 3g Sugars: 21g Protein: 6g Iron: 2mg
18 8 / 2011
Health fish sticks!
I served the fig, tomato and onion salad below with clean eating fish sticks. I know that normally, these are not considered nutritious or healthy but with a few simple changes, you can make it into a clean eating dish! Here are some tips and the recipe is below! These are great!
1. Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs. Instead of breading fish in white flour or refined bread crumbs, use whole wheat Panko. Not only so we get the added nutrients and fiber but the Panko makes the breading extra crunchy!
2. Bake. Bake. Bake! Traditionally fish sticks are deep fried which is definitely not a “clean” method of cooking. SO instead of frying, crank those ovens nice and high and bake the fish sticks in the oven. The results are surprisingly delicious and I promise you still get A LOT of crunch factor! (no soggy fish sticks around here.)
3. Greek Yogurt. A lot of people love mayo and are not always willing to give it up if it means sacrificing flavor. In this recipe, however, you won’t even miss it!All the flavors that are added to the creamy Greek yogurt make the perfect dip for the fish sticks without having to use one drop of mayo.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
1 cup of whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp. of garlic powder
1 tbsp. of olive oil
1 lb. of tilapia fillets
Herbed Yogurt Sauce
½ cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. horseradish sauce
Pre-heat oven to 475. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cut tilapia into strips by cutting in half lengthwise once and then again. Then cut in half horizontally to create strips.
Place the egg in a large bowl and generously season with salt and pepper. In another bowl combine, panko, garlic powder, and olive oil. Dip the tilapia into the egg (shaking off an excess) and then into the panko. Press panko crumbs on to the fish to be sure that they stick and then place each breaded strip onto the prepared baking sheet.
Pop in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with a little more salt as soon as you pull them out of the oven. Serve alongside Herbed Yogurt Sauce* and enjoy!
Herbed Yogurt Sauce
In a small bowl combine yogurt, parsley, mustard, lemon juice and horseradish sauce. Enjoy!
One serving of Fish Sticks w/ 2 tbsp. Herbed Yogurt Sauce:
Calories: 239g; Total Fat: 7.3g; Saturated Fat: 1.2g; Cholesterol: 95mg; Sodium: 163mg; Carbohydrate: 15.9g; Dietary Fiber: 0.5; Sugars: 2.7g; Protein: 26.9g
18 8 / 2011
Fig, tomato and onion salad
It is summer. To the average person, this season signals bathing suits, flip flops, vacations & heat. To any cook though, summer is the arrival of flavors we wait all year for: corn, peaches, figs, berries, melons, tomatoes, and much, much more. Since I’ve started cooking, I really look forward to the recipes I can only make during these few months. And since my favorite season is coming to an end, ( where the heck did it go? ) I better start sharing some recipes! The salad recipe below was a huge hit and Ryan is eating the leftovers this evening! I realize there are a lot of people out there who are still fig-virgins and I think fig newtons probably ruined figs for a good many of us. The processed paste is not what a fig is about, I promise. Try this recipe and I’m sure you’ll find an excuse to buy a box of figs again soon.
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups quartered fresh figs (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup vertically sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add figs, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and mint; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Amount per serving ( recipe makes 4 servings )
Calories: 128 Fat: 4.8g Saturated fat: 1.8g Monounsaturated fat: 2.2g Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g Protein: 3.4g Carbohydrate: 20.1g Fiber: 4.2g Cholesterol: 8mg Iron: 1.5mg Sodium: 114mg Calcium: 105mg
03 8 / 2011
You either love or hate tofu - I believe that is exactly how black and white the taste buds are. I haven’t met anyone who likes tofu ONLY if it is prepared a certain way or served with a special vegetable or grain. I have to admit, it does NOT look very appetizing but I promise to those of you that like tofu, this recipe ain’t so bad!
I found a few more recipes in this link and I will be sure to try and review some of them… hang tight… they are coming soon! ( should you try any of them, please let me know your thoughts!! ) http://vegetarian.about.com/od/maindishentreerecipes/tp/bestbakedtofu.htm
1 package of firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons on tamari or soy sauce
juice of a lime or lemon
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
a pinch of ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice tofu in 2 inch pieces.
Mix all of the other ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Soak the sliced tofu with the ingredients, in a ziplock bag, for as long as you have. Preferably a few hours but if you only have 30 min, that is ok.
Place tofu on an oil prepped baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.
01 8 / 2011
Peanut Butter Energy Pancakes
I just finished one of my home workout DVD’s (yes, my latest obsession) so I wanted something hearty and satisfying without being overly indulgent.
This recipe for Peanut Butter Energy Pancakes was exactly what the doctor ordered!
It is simply just a bowl of oatmeal in pancake form and makes for a great pre OR post workout meal. They are super easy to make and keep you full for hours. The ingredients in the original recipe calls for banana but I have used apple in the past as well. It works and is just as delicious!
1/3 cup rolled oats
½ cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tsp maple syrup
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ banana, quartered and sliced (OR chop up half an apple)
Combine oats, egg whites, peanut butter, syrup, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and then stir in your banana pieces.
Coat a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat. Pour pancake patter into the pan (the batter may be a little runny around the edges, so using a rubber spatula, gently pull the runny edges towards the center of the pancake).
Once the pancakes firms and sets (this will take two or three minutes) flip and cook for another minute or so or until cooked through.
Calories: 307 Total Fat: 10.5g; Saturated Fat: 1.6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 202mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 5.7g; Sugars: 10.2g; Protein: 20.7g
01 8 / 2011
Frozen lemon slices
Need something refreshing for a hot summer day? Use these lemon slices instead of ice cubes to brighten up any beverage! Ryan and I enjoyed them by the pool today and I can’t wait to use them in a cocktail soon!
This recipe is dedicated to Megan McCarthy who shared her desire for cucumber slices in her water. I know she will really enjoy these!!
Slice the lemons into thin to medium think slices.
Line a baking sheet with parchment/wax paper and place the lemon slices next to eachother. Should you need additional space, just add another layer of paper.
Pop the baking sheet into the freezer for a few hours until frozen!
29 7 / 2011
Quinoa for breakfast
To get you started and excited about this super food called quinoa, I thought I would share two yummy breakfast recipes. I just tried the first one this morning and I already can’t wait to try it with a different fruit tomorrow!
Quinoa with oranges and yogurt
1/2 cup of cooked Quinoa
1/4 cup of Greek-style yogurt
1 orange, cut into chunks
1 tbsp walnuts
2 tsp of honey
Place quinoa in a bowl and top with yogurt, oranges, and walnuts. Drizzle with honey and enjoy!
Calories: 325; Total Fat: 6.8g; Saturated Fat: .3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 40mg; Carbs: 56g; Fiber: 5.6g; Sugars: 26g; Protein: 14g
Quinoa with cinnamon, walnuts, raisins and apple ( apple pie in the morning! )
Ingredients ( 4 servings)
2 cups white quinoa
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sweetener (I used brown sugar)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Couple handfuls of chopped walnuts
Couple handfuls of raisins, or dried cranberries
Optional: Milk or yogurt
Chopped apple to accompany
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa with a pinch of salt. Once it returns to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
As the quinoa nears the end of its cooking time , stir in the sweetener and the cinnamon. Remove from heat once it has finished cooking.
Sprinkle the chopped walnuts and raisins/cranberries over the top.
Serve warm with or without milk or yogurt.
Serve with a side or top with chopped apple.