Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

What if you could have your cookie AND eat it too? I would say color me happy & give me 3 please!! Packed with protein & fiber..these treats are still soft & chewy, & puff up like a little cookie cloud. Super excited about this one! 

1 cup creamy peanut butter-I use a peanut butter called Naturally More. I like it because it's lower in sugar but higher in protein & fiber & has flax seed running through it. ( I've only found it at Walmart) But use whatever PB you prefer.
1/4 honey 
2-3 tbsp agave nectar (you could just use 1/3 cup honey & omit the agave nectar or use whatever alternate sweetener you prefer to suit your needs)
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
1 scoop (about 5 tbsp) chocolate flavored protein powder
2-3 tbsp almond milk- any type of milk would work here
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients except chocolate chips in a medium mixing bowl & beat until creamy. Fold in chocolate chips. I found that the cookies puffed up more if I chilled the batter for about 30 minutes before baking..not necessary, but recommended. Place about 1 tbsp size dollups onto a greased or foil lined cookie sheet & bake about 10 minutes. Oh snap!! You're on your way to a guilt free cookie heaven my friends!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quinoa Patties

I am so excited about this won't believe how amazing & let's not forget healthy they are! I'm so giddy over Quinoa Burgers!!

 2 heaping cups cooked quinoa
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (can use whatever variety you like)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup carrot, finely grated. (about 1 medium carrot) you could also use 1 cup grated zucchini squeezed dry
3 eggs
6 tbsp whole wheat flour
3 green onions, including white parts
1/2 tsp sugar, or sugar substitute
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne (can omit if you don't want any heat) 
Olive oil for frying

To cook quinoa, bring 2 cups water & 1/2 tsp salt to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa & cover. Reduce heat to low & cook for 15-18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Let cool to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl combine cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, & cayenne if using. Mix to combine thoroughly. Heat a frying pan over med-low heat so they have time to set up without falling apart. Add a about 2 tbsp olive oil and shape about 1/4 -1/3 cup portions into patties (they will be sticky) Drop into pan & flatten to about 1/2 inch thick. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Makes about 10-12 burgers. Recipe adapted from ~Eatingwelllivingthin

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Minty Oreo Truffles

I can't think of a sweeter spring time treat that these perfectly creamy Oreo Truffles! Easy to make with super simple ingredients too! 

1 pkg Mint Oreos
1 8oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 12oz. pkg white chocolate chips (or vanilla)
1-2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp peppermint extract
green food coloring; optional

In a food processor puree 5 of the oreo cookies & set aside. Process remaining cookies to a fine crumb consistency, add softened cream cheese & mix together with crumbs. (I used my hand mixer for this to make it extra smooth) Roll into about 1 inch balls & set on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Once all the filling is rolled into balls, place in freezer about 10 minutes while you melt your dipping chocolate. You can melt in microwave for 30 second increments or over a double broiler over stove until completely smooth. Thin out a bit with oil if it's too thick. (the peppermint extract will make your smooth chocolate solidify, this is where the oil helps) Add green coloring if desired. Remove truffles from the freezer & dip each in melted chocolate and sprinkle each with reserved oreo crumbs. Store truffles in fridge. I got 28 may get more or less depending on the size you make them. Oh my smooth Minty-licious!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Artichoke Alfredo

This is my version of Alfredo...I know..I know.. it's not a health food recipe. I'm sure the calories can be reduced somewhere but I can't guarantee it will taste as good! Besides this is worth that extra mile when you run tomorrow!

1 qt heavy whipping cream
1 stick of butter (no substitutes)
1 tsp of garlic powder
¼ tsp salt/ ¼ tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 cup parmesan cheese grated
1 tsp of dried basil
1 tsp of Italian seasonings
1 can of artichoke hearts in water, chopped (not marinated)

Melt the butter in a large skillet
Add heavy cream & garlic powder
Heat to a simmer & add seasonings
Stir in cheese. You might need to whisk it in to prevent lumps. Stir in chopped artichokes.
Simmer till thickened. (about 15 min)
Pour over your favorite pasta or use as a dip for bread sticks!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cool Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I love making cool summer treats! And this classic Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is so refreshing & simple to make...It's a cool keeper! 
2 cups half & half
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
good pinch of salt 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
2-3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker following manufacturers directions. After about 10 minutes add chocolate chips. Once it;s finished churning in ice cream maker (mine took about 18 minutes) put into a covered container and firm up in freezer to harden more. (about 2 hrs)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup w/ Homemade Egg Noodles

Need a little comfort for the soul? This soup is so comforting you will fall in love! This is my version of a very classic soup...The ingredients are kept simple yet the flavor is outstanding! The homemade egg noodles make this extra special! Must be made with lots of LOVE!! 

4-5 chicken breasts with skin & bone (so much flavor comes with the bone, don't skip it!)
6 good size carrots
4-5 stalks of celery (use the leafy part too, that is where all of the flavor is)
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp poultry seasoning, or 1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme leaves (fresh is best, but dried will work)
3 tbsp chicken base, if you can't find this then chicken boullion cubes will work. (about 7 or 8)
Salt & pepper

In a large soup pot , about 8 qt size, cover chicken with just enough water to cover. Add about 1 tbsp salt & 2 tsp pepper, onion, garlic, & bay leaves. Bring to a boil (remove any gray foam from that rises to the top, that is just some of the chicken impurities & you don't want that) then reduce heat to a simmer & cook about 2 hrs or until the chicken is tender & falling off the bone. Remove the chicken from pot, be sure to get any bones that have fallin off. Let cool before you shred it or cube it. While shredding chicken add carrots & celery. Taste soup for seasonings...does it need more chicken base/boullion or more salt or pepper? Adjust flavorings now. Let the vegetables cook on a medium boil for about 8 minutes. Add the shredded chicken & egg noodles & cook on a medium boil for another 8 minutes or until the vegetables & noodles are tender. I under cook the noodles a bit because they will continue to cook in hot liquid. I hope you add as much love into yours as I do...I think it's the real secret to this soup! 

Egg Noodles
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Combine flour, salt, & baking powder; mix to combine. Add eggs and stir till you have a dough. Roll out very thin on a floured surface & cut into noodles. They can be whatever shape you like. It's homemade, it's rustic, they're not supposed to be perfect. Noodles can be made in the morning and left to dry on counter all day or can be made right before you need them as well.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This is an easier version of the classic cinnamon roll! Cake style! Warm cinnamon and pecans in a fluffy cake drizzled with a vanilla glaze...Oh me oh my!!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter; melted
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (use a good quality)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 

1 cup butter softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans (you can omit this if you like)

2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 tbsp milk 
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine melted butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, & salt. Alternating, add milk and flour mixture till all is added and combined. Stir in chopped pecans if using. Spread batter into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan and set aside. Combine all of the topping ingredients in a medium sized bowl & drop tablespoon sized dollups evenly over the cake; swirl/marble into cake with a sharp knife. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of cake. Set cake aside while you make your glaze. Whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm cake. Can be served warm or at room temperature. Heavenly!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Homemade Fruit Leather

I have been making these for years and my kids love them! Who am I kidding? I LOVE them!! You can use lots of different fruits for this too. Apricot, strawberry, peach, apple, plum...the list goes on! They are all natural and perfectly healthy & sweet, you will never want to buy store bought again!!

2 cups fresh fruit, sliced 
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce ( I add this no matter what flavor I am making, it helps with the fruit leather texture)
3 tbsp agave nectar (you can also sweeten with 1/4 cup sugar, but I don't think it needs it)

Combine all ingredients in a blender, & blend till smooth.
Line 2 baking sheets with plastic wrap and pour half of the mixture on each baking sheet. With the back of a spoon evenly spread the fruit mixture to a very thin layer. Bake in oven @ 200 degrees for 5 hours or until leather is dry and starts to pull away from wrap. I like to cut mine into about 6x6 in squares, but cut them to whatever size you like. Store in a ziploc bag or airtight container. Oh my fruity, chewy, goodness!!!