Thursday, October 31, 2013

Simple Sweet Potato Pudding

Happy Halloween! In honor of Halloween, we're giving you an alternative treat to all the sugary stuff that will soon be invading your household. And it's even still festively orange!...

It may sound childish, but every once in a while I get this craving for one of those over-processed pudding cups that my mom used to put in my lunches when I was a kid. I never liked the tapioca version, but the smooth creaminess of chocolate or vanilla pudding still sometimes calls to me from the grocery store shelves. Recently, I had some leftover sweet potato puree from some baby food I was making, and I realized that its smooth texture was quite a bit like a pudding cup. So I started experimenting (and, of course, my recent obsession with pumpkin spice got pulled into play), and hit upon my new favorite healthy snack!

First, I have to confess that this isn't a true "pudding" in the sense of multiple steps involving milk, eggs, baking, chilling, etc. I really don't know how to make true pudding (unless you count instant pudding), but I know it's kind of complicated and often ends up in a disappointing result unless you have perfected it. This, on the other hand, is super simple (as in you can have it in your mouth in a matter of minutes!), super healthy (remember how we keep hearing how sweet potatoes are a "good carb"?!), and each bite delivers a sweet, smooth spoonful of pudding-cup delight!



Simple Sweet Potato Pudding
1 SERVING
PREP: 5-7 minutes           COOK: 25-30 minutes            READY IN: 35-40 minutes
(If you already have sweet potato puree on hand, the total time is about 3 minutes!)


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (see directions below for cooking and mashing)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I use vanilla soy milk)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice quinoa granola (recipe link here)

DIRECTIONS


  1. For sweet potato puree: Wash 3-4 medium/large sweet potatoes, and cut off ends. Cut into pieces (about 1-inch cubed works well). Steam for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from steamer into a large bowl or blender and add back in about 1/2-3/4 cup of water (you can use the water leftover in the bottom of the steamer). Using the blender or an immersion blender, puree the sweet potatoes into a smooth puree. This can be frozen in small amounts (such as in an ice cube tray), or refrigerated for several days.
  2. Place approximately 1 cup of sweet potato puree (can be cold or warm, however you prefer) in a serving bowl. Mix in pumpkin spice, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, and milk. Sprinkle with granola and enjoy!

NUTRITION FACTS



    3/4 cup serving (without granola)    193 calories   .5 g fat   48.8 g carbs    4.3 g protein    14.1 g sugar   

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recipe Refresh: Spinach Artichoke Dip


Thanksgiving is coming, which means we dust off some of our favorite comfort foods. Of course there are all the traditional meal dishes, sides, and desserts, but there are also the pre-dinner foods that inevitably make a showing.

When I think of one of my favorite appetizers, a nice, creamy spinach-artichoke dip always comes to mind. While the traditional version of this decadent dip is often made with mayonnaise, butter, lots of cheese, and filled with fat and calories, this skimmed-down version is much healthier. With the addition of flavorful ingredients such as feta, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, though, this refresh will still satisfy!


Spinach Artichoke Dip
16 SERVINGS 
PREP: 15 minutes           COOK: 20-25 minutes            READY IN: 35-40 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 10-oz box of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
  • 1 10-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 dashes of hot sauce (e.g. Tabasco)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
  • salt and pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS


  1.  Preheat the oven to 375ºF. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet and add the onion, cooking until translucent. Add the garlic, spinach, artichoke, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Stir together about one minute, until heated through. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the feta and yogurt, and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  4. Spread the mixture into an 8x8 (approximately) baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan. 
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is hot and bubbling.
  6. Serve hot with sourdough baguette slices or crackers. 

NUTRITION FACTS



    1/4 cup serving of dip    53 calories   3.2 g fat   3.9 g carbs    2.9 g protein    .9 g sugar   


Original RecipeRefresh Recipe
2 tablespoons butter,                          
4 ounces cream cheese,  
2 1/4 total cups cheese 
2 tablespoons olive oil,                              
4 ounces (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt,
less than 3/4 cup cheese
In 1/4 cup:
106 calories
7 g fat (5 g saturated)
302 mg sodium
In 1/4 cup:
53 calories
3.2 g fat (1.2 saturated)
107 mg sodium

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Latin D'Lite cookbook by Ingrid Hoffmann.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baked Salmon


I'm not a big camper because I'm afraid of the dark---yes, even in my twenties--and I let my mind wander to the point where I'm convinced something will in fact get me through the tent. I just know that it would simply be an annoyance for any bear coming after me ... it would just slow them down and they would get through it one way or another. Needless to say, we don't camp unless I have a trailer, which means ... we don't camp. But, I adore the idea of gathering around the cozy fire with tin foil dinners cooking in the crackling fire as I'm wrapped in a blanket cuddled up to my sweetheart. This dinner brings that campfire taste to the comfort (and safety!) of my own kitchen. We eat this at least a few times a month and I still get requests for it, so I can't be the only one who thinks it's good!


Baked Salmon
2 SERVINGS 
PREP: 5 minutes           COOK: 60 minutes           READY IN: 65 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 2 pieces of 7 to 8 oz salmon, skinned and boneless (I get mine from Costco)
  • 2 tablespoon fat free mayonnaise 
  • sea salt

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cut pieces of tin foil (one per salmon) large enough to cover the entire fillet.
  3. Place each individual salmon on its foil. 
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each salmon. You want enough to do a thin layer on the top of the salmon so you might need to add or remove the mayo depending on the size of fillet you have. Sprinkle with sea salt. 
  5. Cover the salmon and place on a cookie sheet. 
  6. Let it cook for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes. You might need to adjust the time depending on your size, so check it every 10 minutes or so for the last 20 minutes of the cooking time. 

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 cooked fillet    414 calories  24.7g fat  1g carbs   43.9g protein   0.5g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from fit2fat2fit.com

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wisconsin Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

Zupas, a restaurant located throughout Utah, has some of the best light (and filling) foods I've yet to find. My husband and I go there for most date nights because we love their unique selection of paninis, soups, and salads. This soup, known at Zupas as the "Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup," is to die for! I have never used cauliflower for a soup base and boy, have I been missing out. The cauliflower made this soup thick and very flavorful - I definitely think we will be making it again soon (especially as the weather continues to get more chilly!)


Wisconsin Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
6 SERVINGS 
PREP: 10 minutes           COOK: 30 minutes            READY IN: 40 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth 
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut/broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion in olive oil for 10 minutes (or until golden brown), stirring occasionally. 
  2. Mix flour and salt with onion, then gradually add milk, water, and chicken broth to onion mixture.
  3. Add cauliflower and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.
  4. Spoon cauliflower from soup mixture into a blender and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Return cauliflower to soup mixture in saucepan. Mix in mustard and cheeses until melted.

NUTRITION FACTS



    2 cup serving    308 calories   18.4 g fat   20.9 g carbs    17.3 g protein    9.8 g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Butter with a Slice of Bread

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Time to carve those pumpkins! (Or maybe you already have.... go YOU!) If you've saved seeds, this is the perfect way to roast your pumpkin seeds. They are savory and a nice snack. Any if you don't want to mess with the pumpkin seeds, you can buy some at your local grocery store and this recipe will do just fine.

Since I made these before we carved our pumpkins, I used store bought pumpkin seeds. If you are using fresh seeds, follow the same steps, but you will want to cook longer, probably 40-60 minutes total cook time.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
4 SERVINGS 
PREP: 5 minutes           COOK: 10 minutes            READY IN: 15 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 1 cup pumpkin unsalted seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash salt

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. In a bowl, combine pumpkin seeds and olive oil. Stir until all the seeds are coated with oil.
  3. Add Worcestershire and garlic powder and stir. 
  4. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread out the pumpkin seeds and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. (If you are using fresh seeds, cook 40-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes).

NUTRITION FACTS



    1/8 cup serving    136 calories   10.9g fat   3g carbs    6.7g protein    0g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Food.com
Linking up here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Frozen Graham Cracker Sandwich


I know it's getting colder outside, but that doesn't mean you can't have a frozen treat! These sandwiches are so easy and so yummy! I love that you can mix pretty much anything you'd like with the whipped topping. Your kids will love experimenting with different flavors and whatever mix-ins you choose! I decided to make a fruity sandwich and one that's a twist on s'mores. Once you have a bite, they are hard to put down!


Frozen Graham Cracker Sandwich
12 SERVINGS (6 of each sandwich)
PREP: 15 minutes           COOK: 30 minutes            READY IN: 45 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS



For Raspberry Sandwich 
  • 6 low fat graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup thawed raspberries (or your favorite fruit)
  • 4 oz (half container) of light whipped topping, roughly 1 cup
For S'mores Sandwich 
  • 6 low fat graham crackers
  • 4 oz (remaining half of container) of light whipped topping, roughly 1 cup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped milk chocolate chips (about 1 handful)
  • 2 handfuls mini marshmallows


DIRECTIONS


For Raspberry Sandwich
  1. If using frozen fruit, thaw it in microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. Mix fruit in with the 4 oz whipped topping until well combined.
  3. Break your graham cracker in half and pile a good tablespoon of mixture on half the graham cracker and then place the other half on top, making a sandwich.
  4. Place on parchment paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Eat away!
For S'mores Sandwhich
  1. Take a handful of chocolate chips and finely chop them up.
  2. Mix in chocolate and mini marshmallows with 4 oz whipped topping.
  3. Just like the first one, break your graham cracker in half. Put one half with 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture and top with the other half of cracker, forming a sandwich.
  4. Freeze on parchment paper for at least 30 minutes
  5. Eat away!

NUTRITION FACTS


Raspberry Sandwich

    1 sandwich   86 calories  3g fat  14.4g carbs   1.4g protein   4.9g sugar   

S'mores Sandwich

    1 sandwich   191 calories  3.1g fat  40.2g carbs   1.6g protein   20.3g sugar   


Enjoy!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chili Lime Pork Chops


I have a secret. I have an odd obsession with cookbooks. But only the ones that have pictures to go along with the recipe, and I mean every recipe. Those are the only cookbooks I seem to buy, and I know I can't be the only one. This recipe grabbed me as I was looking through my new Paleo cookbook. I'm trying to cook a variety of foods these days and this was a nice break from the usual chicken or fish recipes. It's healthy, quick to prepare, and can easily be a freezer meal (freeze the sauce separately and add to pork in the skillet the day you'd like to cook it).


Chili Lime Pork Chops
4 SERVINGS 
PREP: 20 minutes           COOK: 6 minutes            READY IN: 26 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 2-3 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS


  1. Cut pork tenderloin into thick cubes, about 3/4 inch thick.
  2. To prepare the sauce, add all sauce ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. 
  3. Heat skillet over medium heat with coconut oil. Sprinkle pork with sea salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bottom starts to brown. Turn pork over and cook for another 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Add sauce to skillet with pork and cook until pork is cooked through, about 4 minutes. 
  5. Serve pork with sauce poured over it.

NUTRITION FACTS



10 oz pork= 1 serving   460 calories  20.6g fat  6.5g carbs   59.6g protein   4.7g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott
Linking up here.

Recipe Refresh: Cornbread

We've already talked about how I prefer cinnamon rolls with my chili, but the hunt still continues as I try to make them even somewhat healthy. :) Before we started this blog, I swore by Jamie Cooks It Up's cornbread recipe. It's delicious, but I knew it wasn't the healthiest of cornbread. And was I right! 222 calories per piece! Woah momma! With my refresh, I was able to whittle this down to 73 calories per piece and you can see more of the nutritional comparisons below the recipe.

I added some whole grains and whole wheat flour, substituted applesauce for oil and honey for sugar, and voilà: Healthier Cornbread! Now we can eat cornbread and feel good about all the whole grains and nutrients we are getting (...at least that's what I tell myself). Since I substituted applesauce for oil, it makes the cornbread more moist than dry. I like it, but I realize a softer cornbread may not be for everyone so you may want to use 1/4 cup oil instead.


Recipe Refresh: Cornbread
16 SERVINGS 
PREP: 10 minutes           COOK: 25-30 minutes            READY IN: 35-40 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur's white whole wheat)
  • 3/4 cup whole grain cornmeal (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9x9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a mixer combine eggs, milk, applesauce and honey. Mix until well blended, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder and mix for a couple minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 piece    73 calories   .8g fat   14.1g carbs    2.5g protein    3.4g sugar   

Original RecipeRefresh Recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup whole grain cornmeal
1/8 cup honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
222 calories per piece73 calories per piece!!
10.5g fat, 29.3g carbs, 3.5g protein, 13.6g sugar .8g fat, 14.1 g carbs, 2.5 g protein, 3.4g sugar

I'll let you know when I've found that cinnamon roll recipe, but in the meantime... Enjoy!
Linking up here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Indulgence Moment: Caramel Marshmallows

I've never been a huge marshmallow fan. Weird because I crave anything sugar related - yet,  marshmallows have never done it for me. But, when you cover them in caramel, sweetened condensed milk, and rice krispies - oh my! These caramel marshmallows pretty much become my go-to dessert. They are a simple Halloween treat and great for the kids. We've already made multiple batches at our house this fall - which accounts for our sugar high we never seem to come down from!

Caramel Marshmallows
25 SERVINGS 
PREP: 20 minutes           COOL: 20 minutes            READY IN: 40 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 16 ounce bag large marshmallows
  • 1 package caramels 
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Rice Krispies (enough to cover marshmallows)

DIRECTIONS


  1. Cover baking sheet with wax paper. Pour rice krispies into shallow bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place caramels, butter, and sweetened condensed milk in saucepan. Mix until smooth and warm.
  3. Dip marshmallow in caramel mixture, then dip in rice krispies.
  4. Place marshmallows on baking sheet. Allow to cool - about twenty minutes.

NUTRITION FACTS



    2 marshmallows    259 calories   5.4 g fat   50 g carbs    3.4 g protein    30.8 g sugar   

Enjoy!

Healthy Baked Cilantro Chicken Fingers

Ever have one of those nights where dinner needs to be served in less than 30 minutes, you should have gone to the grocery store that day but it didn't work out, and you wonder... what's for dinner? This happens more than I'd like to admit, and this was one of those (many) nights. Luckily I had thawed chicken in the refrigerator with a bunch of random fixings. I needed something kid-friendly as I had binged our family out on soup the week before. My children will only tolerate soup for so long so I decided to make a stab at chicken fingers using only panko, Parmesan and cilantro. The end result was awesome and my children ate the entire plateful. They were nice and light and could be easily modified. If you only have cornflakes cereal on hand, use that instead of panko (it might even be better!). Instead of cilantro, you could use a ranch packet, or a variety of cajun spices in your cupboard. This is such an easy and flexible meal that it's sure to be a staple at our house!


Healthy Baked Cilantro Chicken Fingers
20 SERVINGS 
PREP: 10 minutes           COOK: 25 minutes            READY IN: 35 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 2 large chicken breasts (approximately 1.5 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Cut chicken into strips.
  3. In a large ziploc bag, combine cilantro, Parmesan, panko, and salt.
  4. Place chicken strips into the mixture, seal, and shake until all the chicken strips are covered.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay chicken strips out on top. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until done.

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 chicken strip    104 calories   4g fat   4.1g carbs    12.4g protein    0g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Hidden Valley

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pizza Roll-Ups

I am terrible at making lunch. Most days I'm working all throughout the day and forget to make a lunch ahead of time, or just forget to eat all together. I know, it's a horrible habit. But after realizing I need food to keep me going throughout the day (because I get beyond exhausted around 2:00), I've been trying to find quick, healthy, and filling lunch ideas. These pizza roll-ups are pretty straightforward, but are a great, less than 5 minute meal. And it would be perfect for the kiddos!


Pizza Roll-Ups
1 SERVINGS 
PREP: 3-4 minutes           COOK: 1 minutes            READY IN: 5 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons Light Ragu (or any pizza/pasta sauce)
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella 

DIRECTIONS


  1. Put tortilla on microwave-safe plate and spread pizza sauce, cheese, and spinach over tortilla. 
  2. Microwave for 45 seconds, or until cheese is melted.
  3. Carefully roll tortilla up.
  4. Cut into desired size pieces.

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 tortilla    279 calories   9.5 g fat   31.9 g carbs    18.9 g protein    3.8 g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Eating Well

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Granola


This fall, I've become obsessed with pumpkin spice. It might have started with a recent trip to Trader Joe's when I came across - and of course had to have - pumpkin spice granola. It was amazing, and may have been my pumpkin spice downfall this year which has been leading me to put pumpkin spice in just about everything I can think of. To curb the temptation to go back and buy a cart-load of the seasonal granola at Trader Joe's, I of course had to see if I could replicate the stuff myself (as well as make it healthier in the process). I discovered a great recipe, which I tweaked only slightly by including raisins as TJ's did, and using beautiful red quinoa (mostly for the color enhancement - it is such a gorgeous contrast to the oats and gives it such a nice fall look... sorry, sneak peek into my brain there!) The granola is fantastic, and is great for snacking, with milk, or as the perfect topping to other fall-flavored treats that I've been concocting. (I can't wait to share my super-healthy sweet potato pudding that I've been pairing it with lately!)


Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Granola 

 Makes 3 2/3 cups 
PREP: 10 minutes           COOK: 25-30 minutes        READY IN: 40 minutes



  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (I used red), rinsed and lightly dried over a paper towel
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxmeal
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (or other seed - I used half pepitas, half sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS


  1. In a medium-large bowl combine the oats and rinsed quinoa in a bowl and mix. Spread them onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes in the oven at 325ºF.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine honey, pumpkin puree, oil, and spices.
  3. Turn down the oven temperature to 300ºF, remove the oats and quinoa from the oven, and combine with the seeds, nuts, and raisins in the larger bowl. Pour the wet mixture over these and combine well. 
  4. Spread everything onto the baking sheet again, and place in the oven for another 25-30 minutes. Halfway through, use a spatula to turn over the granola, allowing it to bake more consistently.
  5. When the granola appears slightly golden, remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for several days.

NUTRITION FACTS



    1/3 cup serving    151 calories   5.5 g fat   23.7 g carbs    3.8 g protein    10.6 g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste.
Linking up here.

Green Risotto


Confession time: A couple weeks ago my husband went out of town for several days, leaving me alone  (over a weekend even!) with the kids. In order to maintain my sanity, I resorted to my usual coping method of sugar, sugar, and more sugar. Needless to say, by the end of the weekend, I had way overdone it and was feeling pretty yucky. My junk food overload had left me craving healthy, green food to try to rid myself of the yuck. I started pulling out everything green I had in my fridge, and trying to come up with a way to combine it into something that would counterbalance the artificial reds, blues, pinks, and yellows of all the candy and sweets I'd been having. One catch, though, was that it still had to be simple, because I was still playing the single parent and absolutely didn't have the time or energy for something new and exotic.

So, I turned to a basic risotto recipe - one of my tried and true simple recipes. I tweaked it just enough to add in all my green stuff - pureeing peas, parsley, kale, and spinach into a very green "smoothie" mush that would give it a strong green color, as well as also adding in chopped kale, spinach, peas, and dill at the end to add even more green color and texture. It turned out beautifully green, as well as being a delicious hit with adults and children alike. I was especially amazed at how kid-friendly it ended up being - I served it at a potluck dinner with several families with young children, and from what I could tell, most of the kids there (including my own!) ate it up without any apparent questioning of the distinct greenness of it.

Note: If you've never made risotto, and think it sounds complicated and exotic - it's not! I promise you, it is quite simple. Make sure you read all the directions before you jump in, but really the hardest thing about it is that you do have to pay attention to it throughout cooking because the broth needs to be added one cup at a time as the rice cooks. Also, risotto turns out best if you use Arborio rice (which can be found at most any supermarket). I usually don't have Arborio on hand, though, and have found that it turns out reasonably well with plain old short-grain white rice.



Green Risotto 
6-8 SERVINGS 
PREP: 15 minutes           COOK: 20 minutes            READY IN: 35 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
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INGREDIENTS


  • 6-7 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups rice (preferably Arborio rice)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted (divided)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups chopped kale (divided)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)

DIRECTIONS


  1. Separate one cup of your broth, and place it in a blender (or in a container that you can use an immersion blender). Blend it with one cup each of the peas, parsley, kale, and spinach, - making a very green "smoothie." Set aside this cup of green broth until step 5.
  2. In a large skillet or medium-sized pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the onion and saute it until it is soft and translucent. 
  3. Add the rice and garlic, and stir well for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to medium. Add broth, one cup at a time (adding a small amount at a time is an important part of making risotto) to the rice. Stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed by the rice, then add the next cup of broth. Continue stirring and adding more broth (again, only one cup at a time), until the rice reaches a point that it is uniformly soft, but not mushy. 
  5. When you see that the rice is almost cooked, add the set aside cup of green broth that you prepped earlier. Stir it in as you did with all of the other broth, and let the liquid absorb. 
  6. Finally, when the rice is cooked, fold in the other cup of peas, chopped kale, chopped spinach, and dried dill. Fold in the Parmesan cheese and butter, if desired (these will give the risotto a more creamy, smooth texture). 
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 cup serving    260 calories   4.0 g fat   46.9 g carbs    8.1 g protein    2.3 g sugar   
We enjoyed this with a simple tilapia filet on the side for more protein. The recipe makes quite a bit, and my kids loved having the leftovers for several days afterward. Just reheat a small amount in the microwave - it gets a little more mushy once it has sat and been reheated, but nobody seemed to mind. I found that this made a really great baby meal, and I've never seen my 1-year-old eat so much green stuff so happily. You could also freeze small baby-size amounts (for example, in ice cube trays) to warm and serve to kids as an easy lunch or even dinner.

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