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Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal

Good morning friends,

As we sit and wait for our umpteenth snow storm of the season, may I suggest a recipe that I’ve devised for my family incorporating some of our favorite ingredients? Tomorrows forecasted cold and snowy start might be more bearable with some warm Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal, and it can even be made the night before to save time.

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Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal

1-2 bananas (ripe, sliced for bottom)

2 cups of old-fashioned oats

1 generous tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (half the calories of skim) but you can use any type of milk desired

1/3 cup of peanut butter, softened in microwave, plus additional for serving

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 egg whites (I keep the liquid ones on hand for things like this when Im trying to do low-fat baking)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Spray deep pie dish with non-stick spray

3. Slice and layer the bananas on the bottom of the dish

4. Mix the rest of  the ingredients together and place in pie dish.

5. At this point you can refrigerate overnight or bake immediately for about 30-35 minutes or until set, but not over baked or it will be dry.

6. Serve with warm milk of your choice, sliced bananas if desired and drizzle with a bit of additional peanut butter (non-negotiable ;).

* A couple of side notes-if prepared as above, this recipe has 5 WW PointsPlus  (when the dish is cut into 8 servings and not including how much peanut butter you add to the top ;). Sometimes I make this recipe with 1 1/2 times the ingredients to make it a bit  thicker, this would however increase the points value.

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Enjoy! My family gobbles this up and requests I make it often :)

Jumpin’ Jambalaya!

Happy Fat Tuesday 2014! I made a couple updates to the low-fat Jambalaya. Enjoy :)

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Hello foodie friends and Happy Fat Tuesday!

We’ve had our fill of Paczki‘s (pronounced poonchkis)! What is a Paczki’s you ask?!?!  A delicious Polish inspired donut-type treat that is either jelly or cream filled, they are extremely popular tradition in the Chicagoland area.   My kids have really come to look forward to this tradition and came home from school searching for the Paczki’s!

For the past few years I’ve been making Jambalaya for dinner on Fat Tuesday in honor of  the Mardi Gras festivities. Tonight I hit the jackpot with a recipe we all really enjoyed! Even Allison, who eats little meat, was able to pick around the sausage and enjoyed the dinner. I was able to make the recipe a little healthier with a few modifications. I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Jumpin’ Jambalaya (low fat)

Ingredients

24 shrimp (i bought already cooked from the seafood counter, took off the tails and cut…

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Mexican-Inspired Chicken Chili (crock pot)

Good afternoon friends!

Happy New year! I hope everyone is staying warm on this frigid winter day. My kids feel as if  they’ve hit the jackpot with winter break being extended by 2 days due to extreme cold! I’ve been making soup non-stop lately and one of my favorites is this mexican chili that I’ve more or less made up by experimentation. I slow cook it all day in the crock pot, super simple and delicious! It’s rather healthy too.  I will add some pictures once I get my new Mac up and running!

Mexican-Inspired Chicken Chili

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless breasts

1 can great northern or cannellini beans

1 can of white corn or white hominy

6 cups of chicken broth

1 can, the larger one, of chopped green chilies

1 jar of tomatillo salsa (green) or red salsa

Chopped poblano peppers, if available ( I use them if I’ve frozen them from my summer veggie share)

1 cup chopped onions

1-2 heaping tablespoons of fajita seasoning (I use “Family Style Fajita Seasoning” from my new favorite, local spice shop in Libertyville, IL-www.savoryspiceshop.com , but any will do)

Toppings

sour cream or Greek yogurt

tortilla chips

shredded cheese

cilantro

Directions

Add chicken to crock pot, even frozen is perfectly fine! Add all remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. At the end, I remove the chicken breasts and shred with a fork and return to the pot. Stir and serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream or fat-free Greek yogurt is a great alternative, and tortilla chips. I often crumble a few Crunchmaster White Cheddar Crackers on mine as another healthy alternative.

I love soup all winter long and I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Keep warm :)

 

 

Thai Turkey Chili

English: Fresh Cilantro (Coriander) Deutsch: V...

English: Fresh Cilantro (Coriander) Deutsch: Verkaufsübliches Bund frischer Koriander (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good afternoon friends,

I made an amazing chili recipe last night that I’d like to share with you. It has so many complex favors coming together, definitely a different spin on the traditional chili. It went over well with almost everyone here! There is a little heat to it, but that could be toned down if you desire. Another great feature is that I whipped it up early in the morning and poured it in the crock pot and let it slow cook all day.  It seems like the days are getting shorter and shorter and we are squeezing in more and more activities, so these crock pot recipes are a huge help to me and hopefully you too.

Hope you enjoy :)

Thai Turkey Chili

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey

2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

1-2 TBL fresh ginger, peeled and minced or 1 TBL ground ginger

1 TBL cumin

1 TBL chili powder or chipotle powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 cup chopped onions or leeks (frozen chopped onions, a great time-saver)

2 cups shredded carrots

1 red pepper, cut into chunks

2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped or 1-2 small cans of chopped green chillis

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 cups hot & spicy V8 juice

1 28 ox can of chopped tomatoes in their juice

1 15 ounce can of black beans

3 TBL peanut butter (I used our favorite Skippy Natural, but you could use anything, even crunchy would be good)

2 cups of cilantro, rinsed and chopped (for me this ingredient is non-negotiable and really makes a huge difference in taste :)

plain, fat-free greek yogurt

Directions

In a large pot, brown the ground chicken with the garlic and ginger. Drain if necessary.

Stir in the cumin, chili powder,  and red pepper flakes. Next, add the remaining ingredients, except the the peanut butter, cilantro and yogurt) Mix and bring to a boil.

Pour into your crock pot and cook on low for a few hours. When ready to serve, stir the peanut butter and cilantro.

Spoon in to bowls and serve with a dollop of greek yogurt and a couple of sprigs on cilantro.

Enjoy :)

Recipe adapted from The Today Show http://www.today.com/

Green Chile Pork Posole

Good morning friends!

Sorry, it’s been too long since I posted a recipe, but I’ve been getting back into the school routine!  Lately,  I’ve been reaching for my tried and true friend, the crock pot.  So many times in the last month it’s been a real dinner saver! Last nights Green Chile Pork Posole was so yummy and quick and what a wonderful greeting to come home to after a late afternoon soccer game.  What is a “posole” you ask?  It’s simply a Mexican-style soup, traditionally made with pork and hominy.   It does have a little “kick” to it…but the condiments I used to top it can mellow it out a bit.  Give this one a try, I think you’ll really like it.

Green Chile Pork Posole

Ingredients

1 15 ou can of hominy (corn that has had the hull and germ removed, found in canned veggie aisle)

1 16 ou jar of salsa verde

2-3 cups of chicken broth

2 4 ou cans of diced green chilies

1 cup chopped onion

1 TBL cumin

4 cloves of minced garlic

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp red pepper

1-2 pounds of pork tenderloin, diced into bite size pieces

Toppings

chopped avocado, low-fat cheese, fat-free plain greek yogurt, crumbled tortilla chips

Instructions

1. Add all ingredients, except the toppings, to your crock pot and stir. Cook on low all day. (6-8 hours)

2. That’s it! It’s really that simple :)

3. Serve with the yummy toppings. Try the plain, fat-free greek yogurt in place of sour cream. It’s tastes the same and is better for you!

Enjoy your dinner :)

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* Recipe adapted from Good & Fresh Magazine

Lemon Blueberry Loaf

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Good morning fellow foodies :)

This Lemon Blueberry Loaf has become a favorite in my household. So summery with a tart lemon flavor and bursting with fresh blueberries, a perfect summer combination! It involves a couple extra steps with the glazing, but it’s a well worth it treat! No pointsplus calculations here girls ;)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of Fage 0%  greek yogurt

1 cup white sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp of fresh lemon zest (if you don’t have a  zester, buy one! It really does make a difference)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups of blueberries

Lemon Syrup ingreds

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup white sugar

Lemon Glaze ingreds

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 TBL fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large loaf pan.

2. Sift your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In another bowl,  combine the wet ingredients: yogurt, 1 cup of sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then fold in the oil. Finally, gently fold in the blueberries.

4. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked in the middle.

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5. Make the lemon syrup by combining 1/3 lemon juice and 1/3 cup white sugar in a pan. Heat until dissolved and mixture is clear. Set aside and let cool.

6. Allow loaf to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and put on a rack with a pan underneath to catch the drips!  Slowly pour the syrup over the loaf and allow to soak in. Cool Completely..overnight if serving the next morning.

7. The final step is the glaze! The glaze is simply powdered sugar and lemon juice combine until there are no lumps. Drizzle over your loaf. Allow to set.

8. Slice and enjoy :)

*Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

 

 

Easy Crock Pot Turkey Breast

The hazy, lazy days of summer are here! Okay, so not very lazy but at least a bit more laid back and relaxed. I have been pulling out the crock pot this week because due to swim lessons, camps and all the flurry of activity all of a sudden its 6 o’clock and everyone is starving. So I’ve been slow cooking some meats so that they are ready to go when everyone is clamoring for something to eat.

Today, I am doing a turkey breast in the crock pot, a small 7 pound boneless breast. I simply tossed some carrots in the bottom along with some sliced shallots (from the weekly  CSA share) and rubbed the meat with a dried mushroom and onion soup mix, added a bit of water or white wine in the pot and set on low for 8 hours.

Looking forward to some turkey tonight and sandwiches tomorrow.

Hope you enjoy your summer day :)

National Donut Day

Happy Donut Day! I have to say I LOVE a good donut and I have ever since I was a child. My first donut memories involved Mister Donut in my hometown of good ole Peoria, Illinois! My mom would surprise my brother and I by having donuts waiting for us in the morning if she happened to be out the night before. I loved the box of assorted, especially the peanut, double chocolate frosted and vanilla iced cake. The Mister Donut in Peoria used to create these donut figures. Think like a gingerbread man, but made out of dough. They were decorated with frosting and sprinkled to look like they had clothes on. They were huge, sweet, and delectable and I miss them.
Now that I have my own munchkins, who have become donut lovers, we often check out the local donut shops when visiting or vacationing in a new town to sample the local favorites. Last summer, we discovered Spunky Dunkers nearby in Palatine, IL, really just 20 minutes away and we’ve discovered St. Louis is quite the donut mecca too. It’s fun to check out what each town has to offer!
Hope you got to enjoy a favorite donut today!
Happy Donut Day :)

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Quick and Easy Asparagus Soup

Quick and Easy Asparagus Soup

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Happy Memorial Day weekend my friends!

A “Quick and Easy Asparagus Soup” recipe to use up the abundance of asparagus from my CSA this week. This recipe is pretty basic, but could be jazzed up with sautéed mushrooms, bits of ham or bacon or some Parmesan crisps.

Ingredients

2 pounds of asparagus, chopped into bite-size pieces

1 TBL light canola oil spread

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

1/2 cup of dry white wine

3 cups of fat-free chicken broth

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base (a great product for jazzing up soup recipes)

1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese

Instructions

1. In a medium-sized soup pot, melt the canola spread and add the onion and garlic. Saute until onion is tender about 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

2. Add white wine and cook until mostly evaporated.

3. Add chopped asparagus and the chicken broth. Season with salt (and pepper if you’re a fan) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender.

4. Add cream cheese.

5. Using an immersion blender, puree until desired thickness. I tend to like mine not completely liquefied. You can also wait until the soup is cooled a bit and process in your regular blender.

6. Enjoy! A generous 1 cup serving is 4 WW PointsPlus

Happy Spring cooking :)

* Recipe adapted from http://www.skinnychef.com

“Mom, are you eating weeds?!”

“Mom, are you eating weeds?!”

Good morning friends! Yes, I am eating dandelion greens this morning! I am a proud member of my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm, called Sandhill Family Farms.  Each week from spring through fall I get a weekly basket of fresh, locally grown beautiful veggies!  I try to make a game out of trying to figure out how to use everything each week so my waste is minimal.  Each week I get a nice variety of items, some familiar some not.  Last week, we received dandelion greens, a member of the chicory family.  As many of you know, I have a love of sauteing greens,  like spinach, chard, etc and serving over my favorite farm fresh eggs. So, today I put another spin on that and sautéed my dandelion greens.

It is actually pretty basic. Here’s what I did:

1/4 tsp bacon grease

1 tsp ham squares

bunch of dandelion greens

fresh chopped chives

I put the bacon grease in my non-stick pan and saute the ham bits, add the greens and saute until slightly wilted.  I can hear the gasps through the computer!  Yes, bacon grease bad for you, BUT its a very small amount and on the rare occasions that we do have bacon, I keep a small container under my sink to collect the grease. My kids think it’s totally gross, but this habit goes back long ago from my childhood when my babysitter, Irene, used to save the bacon grease to make homemade Chex Mix, which I still do today too!   Put the greens on your plate and use the pan to cook your eggs to your liking.  I prefer either sunny-side up or over-easy so you get that nice runny yolk to dip your toast into.  Top with the fresh chives.   Again, I urge you to try farm fresh eggs if you have the chance to, they are absolutely superior in taste.

I served my eggs and greens with my favorite Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Bread.  My favorite bread is low-cal, packed with whole grains, protein and is only 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per slice!!!!  Give it a try, you’ll be happy you did!

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Bon Appetit and I’m ready for the next challenge…we received some baby turnips this week!

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