October 31, 2013

Vanilla Protein Porridge

Here's a great alternative to your morning oats.  To keep my diet and nutrition on track and to save time during the week, I meal prep my breakfasts and lunches each Sunday for the coming week.  This week I prepared this protein and fiber packed porridge that will defiantly keep you full until lunch.  I usually change up my breakfasts from week to week, but this combination is so tasty, it's defiantly going to be sticking around for the colder months!

I recently added maple extract to my baking cabinet, and I have not been let down!  It's the perfect addition to this breakfast.  If you don't have maple extract in your baking cabinet, I suggest you go out and get some ASAP because it's amazing!  It's what took this breakfast from average to exceptional.


Vanilla Maple Protein Porridge
Serves 1
Calories per Serving (without fruit): 332 (Fat: 16.7 - Protein: 20.4 - Carbs: 12.9 Fiber: 8.3)

Ingredients
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1 T hemp hearts
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 T unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 t maple extract
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup fruit of choice
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl; mix well to dissolve the protein powder
  2. Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes
  3. Top with assorted fruit of choice

October 30, 2013

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites


So I'm still trying to finish up the last of that huge cheddar cauliflower that I bought.  Because the cauliflower was orange in color, it gave me the idea to make my Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.  These little bites are so similar to buffalo chicken bites that you really can't even tell the difference.  This would be a great recipe to trick your kids - or better half ;-) - into eating vegetables!

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Serves 3
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets 
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 1/2 t almond milk 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/4 t garlic powder 
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (oats ground into a flour) 
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce 
  • 1/2 T yogurt based butter, melted 
  • Pinch of salt
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil and spray with coconut oil cooking spray
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, milk, water, garlic powder, and flour until combined
  3. Toss the cauliflower in the yogurt mixture until fully coated
  4. Bake cauliflower for about 12-15 minutes
  5. While baking, combine the hot sauce, butter, and salt
  6. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower
  7. Bake for another 5-7 minutes

October 29, 2013

Fruit Pizza Cookie

What's hiding under this beautiful fresh fruit? It's the thickest, chewiest sugar cookie that you'll ever eat!  This recipe speaks for itself!  It's the perfect conversation piece for any party!  Create one large pizza or make individual sized cookies and create a pizza bar to allow everybody to add their own toppings.
 
Fruit Pizza Cookie
Cookie Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar/stevia blend (or 3/4 cup sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 t cream of tarter
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • Assorted fruits
Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 oz. fat free cool whip
  • 1/2 cup strawberry Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt; set aside
  3. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth
  4. Mix in the egg
  5. Blend in the dry ingredients until just combined
  6. Press the dough into an ungreased pizza pan
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges become lightly browned
  8. While the cookie is cooling, make the frosting by blending the cool whip, yogurt, and pineapple juice
  9. Add more yogurt if you desire a thicker frosting 
  10. Allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating 
  11. Spread the frosting on the cooled cookie pizza 
  12. Decorate with assorted fresh fruit

October 28, 2013

Crusty Bread

If you're in need of any easy bread recipe, then this is the recipe for you.  It does require some time to rise, but you don't have to spend the time kneading it which is half of the battle.  I also love this recipe because you can add virtually any herbs, spices, cheeses, etc. and you get a different bread each and every time.

I've made a rosemary and thyme loaf before, which was devoured over a family dinner.  For this specific loaf I made a basil seasoned bread to compliment my Sun-Dried Tomato Grilled Chicken that I served.  In what was 5 minutes of actual preparation time, I was able to produce a wonderful loaf of fresh bread to serve to my family!


No-Knead Crusty Bread
 Makes 1 Loaf
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t SAF Instant Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2-4 T herbs/spices of choice *
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast
  2. Add the herbs/spices then the water and mix until a shaggy mixture is formed
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit (do not refrigerate) for 12-18 hours (overnight is great)
  4. Once the dough has sat, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  5. Once the oven is preheated, place an enameled cast iron dutch oven** with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes 
  6. While the pot is heating up, pour the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit while the pot is heating up
  8. Remove the pot from the oven and place the dough into the ungreased pot
  9. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes
  10. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes
  11. Remove the bread and allow to cool before cutting into it

* The possibilities are endless to what you can add into this bread.  The amounts are all personal preference, but don't add too much or your bread will become too dense (rosemary/thyme - sun dried tomato/basil, artichoke/garlic, spinach/artichoke, chocolate/cranberry or apricot, sun dried tomato/mozzarella/basil, etc.)

** Don't have a cast iron pot, you can use virtually anything that can take the heat (clay pot with a lid, pizza stone with a bowl as a lid, crock pot insert/baking dish with foil or a lid)

October 27, 2013

Spicy Black Bean Hummus Dip

I usually have a container of store-bought hummus in my refrigerator at all times for munchies, but I felt like trying something different for a change.  For my first attempt at homemade hummus, I decided to make a Spicy Black Bean Hummus.  I doubled the recipe and served half as a party appetizer and saved the other half for myself!  This dip has the perfect amount of spicy flavor that I like in a flavored hummus.  I will defiantly be incorporating this into many recipes to come.  First up is going to be a Hummus Turkey Burger!


Spicy Black Bean Hummus Dip
Serves 10-12
Ingredients
  •  2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (liquid reserved)
  • 1/4 cup reserved black bean liquid
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 2 T fresh cilantro; chopped
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • Serve With: veggie sticks, pita chips, use as a sandwich spread, etc.
Directions
  1.  Add all of the ingredients to a food processor, except the reserved black bean liquid
  2. Process until smooth
  3. Adjust spices according to desired flavor
  4. Add 1 T at a time of the reserved black bean liquid until desired consistence is reached; I used 3 T
  5. Serve as desired

October 26, 2013

Neapolitan Jell-O Pudding Kiss Cookies

We’re still in the month of October celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness, so if you look closely this treat was created to bring awareness to the Ta-Tas!  It was brought to my attention that my Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies looked like ta-tas, so when I was asked to bring cookies to a Pink Party, I knew I had to incorporate that into my treat!  These Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry Pudding Cookies do the cause justice, while also tasting chewy and delicious!

Neapolitan Jell-O Pudding Kiss Cookies
 Makes 3 Dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar/stevia blend (or 1 cup sugar)
  • 2 T sugar-free strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 3.5 oz. box sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 bag Hershey kiss candies
Directions
  1. Remove the wrappers from the Hershey kiss candies
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Cream the butter, sugar, and Jell-O together until smooth and creamy; about 2 minutes
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well; about 30 seconds
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the pudding mix, flour, baking soda, and salt
  6. In small increments, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and blend until fully combined; about 2 minutes
  7. Spoon the batter into tablespoon sized balls on the cookie sheet
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes; until lightly browned
  9. Immediately after cookies are removed from the oven, place a Hershey kiss candy into the middle of each cookie
  10. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

October 25, 2013

Zoodle Pad Thai

I've been obsessing over zoodles lately and finally got around to making some!  They're super easy to make and you don't even need a fancy spiralizer!  If you don't have one already, head on over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and pick up at $7.00 julienne peeler.  These zoodles can be served as a pasta replacement or vegetable side dish.  The possibilities are endless!  Here's the basics on how to cook the zoodles along with a tasty Thai Peanut Sauce that I frequently whip up!


Zoodle Pad Thai
Serves 2-4
Zoodle Pad Thai Ingredients
  • 2 large zucchinis; spiralized using a julienne peeler
  • 3 large carrots; spiralized using a julienne peeler
  • 2 small green onions; chopped
  • 1 cup shelled edamame 
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Peanut Sauce Ingredients
  •  2 T PB2
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 t tomato paste
  • 2 t low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
Serve & Garnish With
  • Shrimp, Chicken, Tofu
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Lime wedges
  • Peanuts
Directions
  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; mix well
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
  3. When hot add the oil, and carrots; cook for about 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the zucchini, edamame, green, and green onion and season with salt and pepper to taste and cook about 1 minute
  5. Stir to mix everything around and cook another 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender
  6. Transfer the zoodles to a bowl and stir in the Peanut Sauce
  7. Serve with desired toppings
     

October 24, 2013

Challah 2 Ways

There's something about the smell of fresh bread baking especially when it's homemade challah!  And I must say, this most recent batch is probably the best challah I have ever made! My boyfriend and I were hovering over the Sesame Seed Loaf just waiting to dig in and when we cut into it, we indulged in several pieces each!  Super savory with its light and fluffy texture.  While the Cinnamon Raisin Challah was quite the opposite with the right amount of sweetness - perfect for French toast!



Cinnamon Raisin & Sesame Seed Challah
Makes 2 Large Loafs
Bread Ingredients
  • 2 packages quick-rise yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 cup and 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups bread flour
Egg Wash Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T sesame seeds
Cinnamon Raisin Filling Ingredients
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and gently stir to moisten the yeast
  2. Stir in the salt, sugar, butter, eggs and beat well
  3. Gradually add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough becomes slightly tacky
  4. If using a mixer with a bread hook, attach the hook and knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic; about 8-10 minutes (or turn the bread out onto a floured surface and knead by hand)
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside
  6. Roll the dough into a large ball and cut it in half; place 1 aside
  7. With 1 of the dough balls, cut it into 3 equal pieces
  8. Roll out the pieces into 3 equal length ropes
  9. Place the ropes onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and braid them; make sure the ends are nicely stuck together
  10. Place that loaf in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size; about 1 to 1 1/2 hours
  11. With the second dough ball, roll the dough out into a large rectangle and transfer the dough to the parchment lined baking sheet
  12. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and raisins
  13. Leaving a 1” border around all edges sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture onto the open surface
  14. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and place with the other loaf to rise
  15. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  16. Whisk together the egg white and vanilla extract
  17. Brush each loaf with the egg white mixture
  18. Sprinkle the braided loaf with sesame seeds
  19. Bake for about 30 minutes; until the bread is golden brown
  20. Let cool before slicing

October 23, 2013

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

This is probably my favorite crock pot recipe because it has great flavor and can be served in so many different ways.  Therefore, I enjoy making a large portion and serving it as leftovers for several nights because each night I serve it up differently.  Feel free to make changes to any of the ingredients to suit your personal preference.  You really can't go wrong with this recipe!


Crock Pot Salsa Chicken
Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 an onion; chopped
  •  1 14 oz. can of no salt added diced tomatoes (plain or with jalapenos)
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper; diced (if using plain tomatoes)
  • 3 mini sweet peppers; diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 14 oz. jar black beans; drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro; chopped
  • 1-2 cups low sodium chicken broth or water (enough to cover the bottom of the crock pot and about 1 1/2 " up the sides)
  • 2 T Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
Optional Toppings
  • Greek yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
Optional Serving Methods
  • Lettuce Wrap
  • Tortilla Wrap
  • Brown Rice or Cauliflower Rice
  • Over a Salad
Directions 
  1. Place the chicken in the crock pot and layer it with the remaining ingredients
  2. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours
  3. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a plate and shred it with 2 forks
  4. Return the chicken to the crock pot and mix with the sauce
  5. Serve and garnish as desired

October 22, 2013

Cherry Balsamic Chicken

Playing around in the kitchen and created this slightly sweet, slightly tart balsamic cherry chicken.  I love incorporating fruit into my dinner.  I've been obsessing a little with cherries lately so I decided to make a cherry balsamic reduction and served it over some herb seasoned chicken.  This was so easy and tasty to whip up.  I even got the approval of my better half, which speaks to how good this meal is, because he doesn't like cherries or balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic Cherry Chicken
 Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/2 t extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1/4 onion; chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen and thawed black cherries
  • 2 stevia packets
  • 1 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Generously season the chicken with thyme, salt, and pepper
  3. Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes until cooked through
  4. While the chicken is cooking, saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil, on medium-high heat, until fragrant; about 2 minutes
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cherries and sugar and allow the cherries to break down; about 4-5 minutes
  6. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until warm and fragrant; about 3 minutes

October 21, 2013

Cauliflower 2 Ways


 



While travel to Pennsylvania, I saw this ginormous cheddar cauliflower and knew I had to try it out.  Before you ask, no it doesn't taste like cheese - unless you try one of the recipes I'm about to share with you.  Needless to say, I've been cooking this up in all possible ways.






I served this Creamed Cauliflower to my better half because cauliflower isn't one of his favorite vegetables.  I've learned with guys, add some cheese and you'll drastically increase the likability of the food.  I defiantly got approval on this vegetable take on Mac & Cheese.

While Michael indulged in his Creamed Cauliflower, I enjoyed some steaks - in the form of cauliflower.  These Cauliflower Steaks are basically my roasted cauliflower, but with these the cauliflower is cut into 1" steak like pieces.  This gives them a "meaty" feel which is needed when you're eating the same vegetable for several days!


Creamed Cauliflower

 Serves 2

Ingredients

  •  2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 T yogurt based butter
  • 2 T whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cheese of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Steam the cauliflower until soft and tender
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, melt the butter over medium-high heat
  3. Add the flour and whisk to combine
  4. Whisk in the milk and salt and pepper
  5. Stir in the cheese and continue stirring until fully melted and incorporated
  6. Stir in the cauliflower until fully coated




Roasted Cauliflower Steaks 
 
Serves 2

Ingredients

  •  4 1" thick slices of cauliflower
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 t turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil
  2. In a skillet, sear both sides of the cauliflower steaks, with cooking spray and salt and pepper, until lightly brown; about 1 minute per side
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cumin, ginger, and turmeric
  4. Spread the mixture onto both sides of the cauliflower
  5. Roast the cauliflower for 10 minutes then flip and roast for another 10 minutes