Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gabby’s Eats: Winter Powerhouse Salad With Citrus Honey Mustard Dressing







As you may have witnessed, through her creation of multiple recipes of this category, Gabby likes salads!  With our Winter garden in full bloom, Gabby was inspired to create a salad using seasonal ingredients from this time of year. A garden has been a great learning tool for both of us, not just in terms of discovering how to actually plant, grow and harvest the vegetables, but also to understand exactly what particular fruits and vegetables go with the season.  I often find Gabby asking about what produce is in season when we are at the grocery store or starting to develop a recipe. It makes me glad that she is grasping this concept which goes hand in hand with the locally grown, farm to table movement.  
One of her favorite winter veggies is kale, which just happened to be ripe for the pickin’ in our garden so she decided it would make a good base for the salad.  We took to the internet to research what other winter fruits and veggies were in their prime and she chose romaine, pomegranates, dates, sweet potato and clementines, which I thought was a fabulous mix in terms of both color and flavor.  

We decided to use clementines for the dressing instead of in the actual salad. Their fresh and tangy juice worked well with the vinegar, oil and honey mustard. Almonds were thrown in as a finishing touch and the whole salad came together beautifully!



Ingredients:
2 cups chopped kale or spinach
2 cups chopped romaine or butter lettuce
½ cup cooked, cooled and cubed sweet potato
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup chopped dates
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup fresh squeezed Clementine or mandarin orange juice
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
Directions:

Add all the veggies and fruits to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the clementine juice, vinegar, honey mustard and olive oil.  Pour the dressing over the salad, sprinkle the almonds over the top and mix well.  Chill if not serving immediately.  The dressing can served on the side and stored separately for the salad to keep longer.

Makes 5 servings

Serving size:  1/5 of recipe Calories 110 Protein  3 g Carb 17 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 10 g Fat 4 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 115  mg

Gabby's Shot:

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Recipe ReDux Post # 31 Chocolate Cherry Protein Bars





The Recipe Redux Theme for February is “ Favorite Chocolate Matches”- perfectly timed for post Valentine’s Day week when there is more than likely a surplus of chocolate around for many of us!  I figured a healthy and fun way to feature this coveted ingredient in a recipe would be to use it in a high energy treat like a protein bar! After all, chocolate can be considered a quasi-health food according to the research, so I’m all for it in moderate portions. My next step was to figure out what to pair it with.  I’ve already done so many chocolate peanut butter recipes like my Triple Chip Protein Bites, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Popsicles and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.  So this time I decided to go with another classic combo- chocolate cherry! I used two forms of chocolate (cocoa powder and chocolate chips) and two types of cherry ingredients via jam and dried cherries to really get the flavors to come through.  The almond butter worked as a nice neutral base, as did the unflavored protein powder.  These bars taste like a heavenly chewy chocolate cherry and I dare you to try them!  And, don’t forgot to check out all the other creative and delicious chocolates matches from the talented Recipe ReDux blogger group!
Ingredients:

½ cup creamy almond butter (I used unsalted)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup  
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cherry preserves
½ cup chopped dried cherries (in a pinch you could also use strawberry)
4 teaspoons mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate (preferably dark chocolate)
1.5 scoops of protein powder, preferably unflavored (the average scoop is about 4 tablespoons or¼ cup, 25-30 Grams, so 1.5 scoops would be approx. 6 tablespoons) *
¼ cup oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
sea salt (optional)
Wax or parchment paper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, cocoa, and cherry jam together until smooth. Stir in the oats, protein powder, dried cherries and chocolate chips and mix some more. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely since the dough is so sticky.)  Sprinkle a dash of sea salt over the top (optional) Chill in the fridge for an hour or more (if you can wait that long!) and cut into 8 bars and serve. Wrapping the individual bars in wax paper and storing in baggies is great for convenience.  Store in the fridge. These bars also freeze well!



Makes 8 bars


Serving size: 1/8th of recipe  Calories 190  Protein 9 g Carb  20 g Fiber 2  g Sugars  12 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 30  mg


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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Peanut Butter Triple Chip Protein Bites



Out of all the hundreds of recipes I have created over the years I have to say that this one is probably the most popular and well loved!  The sweet and salty combo of the peanut butter with three different flavors of chips is ridiculously delicious. The unexpected bonus is that these little goodies actually pack 5 grams of protein each and have only 6 grams of sugar a piece!  I hope you will become a fan as well and make some for your Valentine, they may even enjoy them more than the usual box of chocolates!
Ingredients:

½ cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter (I used PB and Co Creamy)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1/2 cup oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1.5 scoops of protein powder, preferably unflavored (the average scoop is about 4 tablespoons or ¼ cup, 25-30 Grams, so 1.5 scoops would be approx 6 tablespoons) *
2 tablespoons semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peanut butter chips
1/8-1/4 teaspoon sea salt (if starting with unsalted PB add the 1/4 teaspoon)
Wax or parchment paper

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl, combine the maple syrup, salt, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix well.  Stir in the oats, protein powder and chips and mix some more. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely since the dough is so sticky.)  Chill in the fridge for an hour or more (if you can wait that long!) and cut into 16 bars, (you can roll them into balls right after) and serve. Store in the fridge.  These bites also freeze well!

·      I have had great success with Nature’s BestIsopure Perfect Natural Whey Protein Brand- Unflavored, it is all natural, gluten-free, lactose Free and works great


Makes 16 bites, sixteen servings


Serving size: 1/16th of recipe  Calories 110 Protein 5 g Carb 10 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 6 g Fat 5 g Saturated fat 1.5 g Sodium 45 mg

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In The News: Awesome Oat Info From Quaker!




Now that the New Year is in full swing and many the goal of many is to make healthier eating choices, I thought this was a perfect time to introduce a new infographic that I just I learned about from Quaker Oats.  I was very excited when one of their representatives contacted me to share this awesome tool.  It provides excellent information about the varieties of oats available, lists some fun facts about oats, and summarizes a variety of key research about how oats are beneficial to health and the environment. Plus it includes a bonus recipe too!

I am a HUGE fan of oats and I have countless recipes on my blog which incorporate them- my protein bars, pancakes, snack cakes, baked oatmeal and other desserts to name a few!!  Oats are a power food, a whole grain full of soluble fiber that has shown to lower cholesterol, increase satiety to promote weight loss and act as a prebiotic which may help with digestive health.  Oats contain carbs, protein and a bit of healthy fat along with important micronutrients like B vitamins, iron and magnesium as well.  In addition there are many promising studies that suggest oats may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, overall mortality and help with digestive conditions such as IBS and ulcerative colitis.  Another positive is that oats can be gluten free (GF) if you buy brands that are certified GF, meaning they are grown, processed and packaged in a way that prevents cross contamination. And, not only are oats good for us, they are good for the environment too! They require less fertilizer, irrigation and energy to grow, a big plus!

So check out this tool below and I hope you will be including oats in your daily diet  if you are not already doing so!!










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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Carrot Muffin Cake For Kick Off (2 ways!) #Deliciousbowl



Recently I was contacted by Chobani yogurt and asked to participate in their #DeliciousBowl project. They are challenging bloggers to come up with awesome appetizer, dip or dessert recipes for Sunday’s big game that incorporate their Greek yogurt. I gladly accepted and developed these delicious carrot cake bars, which are a healthy AND delicious dessert for kick off (or any time)! Adding  Chobani’s plain Greek yogurt was a great way to decrease the amount of fat in the cake but keep it moist. I also used it in the frosting to give it some zip as well! Below are 2 versions, regular and gluten free, one with raisins and one with coconut.  These bars are not super sweet and are more like a cross between a muffin and a cake- great with cream cheese frosting, plain, or even a bit of butter as a breakfast treat too. (You can get creative with toppings such as additional coconut or chopped nuts) Hope you enjoy them, and that you have a happy super bowl Sunday! Check out the other cool recipes on Chobani’s Tumbr page as well!!

Gluten Free Cake Version:

Ingredients:

1.5 cups oat flour (use a gluten free brand such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup margarine, melted ( I used Earth Balance)
½ cup 0% plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
3 cups grated carrots
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cinnamon and baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, mix the brown sugar, eggs, margarine, and Greek yogurt. Slowly start adding the flour mixture to the larger bowl with the egg/sugar mixture until a soft thick dough is formed. Stir in the carrots and coconut and add batter to a 9 X 9 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean.  Allow to cool in the pan before cutting and store in the fridge.

Makes 12 servings

Cinnamon Vanilla Yogurt and CC Frosting

Ingredients:

½ cup light cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons plain 0 % Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼  teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 tablespoon egg whites

Directions:

Add the egg whites to small bowl and beat with electric mixture until soft peaks form. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth. Refridgerate for 15-20 minutes to thicken.

Spread the frosting over the cake once cooled and cut into 12 squares.

Serving size: 1/12th cake with frosting Calories 205 Protein 5 g Carb 27 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 18 g Fat 8 g Saturated fat  3 g Sodium 275 mg

Serving size: 1/12th cake without frosting Calories 170 Protein 3 g Carb 24 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 15 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 2 g Sodium 240 mg

Regular Cake Version:

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg or ¼ cup egg substitute
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance)
¼ cup light maple syrup
½ cup 0% plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
3 cups grated carrots
½ cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cinnamon and baking soda in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, mix the brown sugar, maple syrup, egg, margarine, and Greek yogurt. Slowly start adding the flour mixture to the larger bowl with the egg/sugar mixture until a soft thick dough is formed. Stir in the carrots and raisins and add batter to a 9 X 9 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan before cutting.  Store in the fridge.

Spread the frosting over the cake once cooled and cut into 12 squares.

Makes 12 servings

Serving size: 1/12th of recipe without frosting Calories 180 Protein 3 g Carb 29 g Fiber 2g Sugars 15 g Fat 6 g Saturated fat 2 g Sodium 260 mg

With Frosting Serving size: 1/12th of recipe Calories 210 Protein 5 g Carb 32 g Fiber 2g Sugars 18 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 2 g Sodium 295 mg





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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recipe ReDux Post # 30 Super Smoky Sweet Potato Chips



January’s Recipe ReDux theme is “Start Smoking In The New Year"- centering around trendy spicy and smoky flavored foods!  We were encouraged to “heat up the New Year with smoke and spiciness.” One of the suggested ingredients to do this with was smoked paprika and I was immediately intrigued because I love regular paprika. So, I sent my husband out to the store to hunt some down and started thinking of how I could use it.  I have been wanting to do a sweet potato chip recipe for some time now so I decided to try my luck with adding some smoked paprika to them, with a little bit of salt and olive oil- the result?  Meh….  I thought they lacked something, possibly a sweetness to combo with the spice so for batch two I added some brown sugar to the mix and WHAM it became a killer recipe…so killer that my husband (who doesn’t even like sweet potatoes), inhaled a bunch after tasting them- score! This is a really simple recipe to make and it works nicely as a snack or a side.  My daughter digs them too :)  So go on and preheat the oven, get slicin’ and sprinklin’ to try some out and take a look at all the smoky and spicy creations that the rest of the Recipe ReDux group has cooked up to ring in 2015 as well!



Ingredients:

3 -4 sweet potatoes (peel on) cut into very thin 1/8 ‘’ thick slices (5 cups of slices)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 packed teaspoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Add the sweet potato slices to a medium bowl, add the olive oil and mix well to coat. In a small separate dish combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika and  salt.  Sprinkle this mixture over the sweet potatoes, mix well and then bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes (flipping them once halfway through the baking) until lightly browned and starting to crisp. Refridgerate if not eating immediately,

Makes 4 cups,  8 servings
Serving size: ½ cup Calories 110 Protein 1 g  Carb 18  g  Fiber  3 g Sugars   5  g Fat 3.5 g Saturated fat  < 1 g Sodium 190  mg


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Monday, January 12, 2015

Gabby's Eats: Quinoa, Kale and White Bean Saute With Bacon



For the past year or so I am pleased to say that Gabby has taken a liking to kale!! My Sautéed Kale recipe is a favorite of hers for sure! In addition, our family has also been eating quinoa lately so it did not surprise me that she asked to do a kale and quinoa recipe one night.  I mentioned to her that white beans are often paired with kale, so she was completely cool with throwing them in the mix too. And, everything is better with bacon so we thought why not highlight the recipe with some nitrate-free turkey bacon as well.  The dish came out delicious, Gabby even helped add some of the ingredients and stir some of it on the stovetop herself (under my very close, over her like a hawk supervision, of course!). This dish is great warm and we have enjoyed the leftovers cold with a splash of our favorite vinaigrette too.  

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa  (we actually used the Trader Joes microwavable pouch variety!)
One 14 ounce can white beans, rinsed well (1.5 cups drained beans)
1/2 cup chopped white onion 
1/2 cup chopped turkey bacon (we used Trader Joes nitrate free brand, also gluten free)
4 packed cups chopped raw kale
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Progresso Natural or Trader Joes if you are on a gluten-free diet)
salt and pepper (optional)




Directions:

Add the 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large pan or pot and put in the bacon and onions, and sauté on medium-high heat until just starting to brown (about  4-7 minutes), stirring frequently. Then add the broth and fold in the kale and cover to simmer, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes.  Add the cooked quinoa, white beans and parmesan cheese and heat for another 3-5 minutes. 

Makes 5 cups, five servings

Serving size:  1 cup Calories 270 Protein 14 g Carb 37 g Fiber 10 g Sugars 2 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 1.5 g Sodium 390  mg


Gab's Shot:

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