Yes. I am here to tell you that it is possible for you to be turning on your oven in the middle of August (especially if you live in central Ohio where it was a cool 58 degrees this morning!) and this recipe is the perfect reason to do it.
First, I recently received a question asking me what healthy snacks I like to eat. So here are my top five picks in no particular order:
1. Dry Roasted Almonds (I usually eat a handful (about 15) for a quick 100 calorie pick me up)
2. Carrots plus a couple tablespoons of hummus
3. Roasted Kabocha Squash (Love this squash! It is so sweet and pairs well with peanut butter or a laughing cow)
4. A light Laughing Cow cheese spread in a tortilla (you can add veggies but sometimes I just like the taste of carbs and cheese)
5. A smoothie like this one
I like my snacks to contain a little nutrition and staying power and all these options are great for meeting both of these requirements.
Back to business. . .
The following recipe was so delicious that I am making it again tonight for dinner since I haven’t stopped thinking about the last one I made.
It is a quick and healthy “stromboli.” I got the idea from here and adapted the recipe to use what I had on hand.
4 oz of ground turkey breast
a handful of sliced mixed bell peppers
1/2 of a small onion thinly sliced
2-3 sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 flatout flatbread
1 light laughing cow cheese
tomato sauce (for dipping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground turkey in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray for 2 minutes before adding the bell peppers, onion and mushrooms (if using). Continue cooking until the veggies are softened (you can add some italian seasoning and garlic at this point for a more prounounced “pizza” flavor). Lay the flatout on a cookie sheet. Spread the laughing cow over the entire flatout. Spoon the turkey and veggie mixture down the center of the flatout and roll up like a burrito. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting in half and serving with tomato sauce for dipping. Enjoy (I sure did 😉 )!
I have had this recipe bookmarked forever. It combines my three favorite things when it comes to food–sweet potatoes, peanut butter and simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
It also pairs perfectly with roast chicken/turkey or salmon and whatever green vegetable you have hanging out in your fridge (brussel sprouts, green beans, broccoli). Just bake your potatoes while you are prepping the rest of your meal and you will have a healthy delicious weeknight dinner.
Note: I doubled the sauce and ate leftovers drizzled over tofu, broccoli and rice (I think I liked it even better the next day but that is probably because I didn’t have to make it the second time)
Sweet Potatoes with Peanut Sauce (from Cooking Light magazine)
- 6 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 375°.
Pierce potatoes with a fork, and bake at 375° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool potatoes slightly.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup water and next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring until smooth; bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes or until thick.
Split potatoes lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Spoon about 1/4 cup sauce into each potato. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon cilantro.
I woke up this morning and I actually didn’t want oatmeal for breakfast! I have eaten oatmeal every day for breakfast for at least a year. I love its versatility and the way it keeps me full all morning. However, this morning I just wanted something different. Something quick and filling.
Enter the two ingredient pancake.
I have seen various versions of this pancake all over the internet. I have never tried to make it because it only consists of mashed bananas and eggs. I thought for some reason that it would taste like banana-flavored scrambled eggs. I was very wrong. This pancake tastes just as good as any pancake made with flour or other grains and takes much less time to make.
Here is what I did:
Two-Ingredient Pancake (serves 1)
1 ripe medium-size banana
1 egg and 1 egg white
optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract
In a small bowl mash the banana very well with a fork. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg and 1 egg white (add cinnamon and vanilla extract if desired). Combine banana and egg mixture. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add batter. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and the edges look dry. Carefully loosen the edges of the pancake and flip. Cook for another one to two minutes. Transfer to a plate and add whatever pancake toppings you desire. This is particularly good with peanut butter spread on top (it also adds some staying power).
I really enjoyed this pancake. I thought it had a very nice fluffy texture. I also love that I usually have all the ingredients on hand. This will definitely become a part of my breakfast rotation.
Finals week begins this Wednesday. It may be crazy because I know that I have an immense amount of studying to do for five finals but I am actually really excited. I’m excited because in a little more than a week I can officially say I am half way through my senior year! In some ways time has flown by so quickly since I first stepped foot on campus as a freshman in 2009 and in other ways it seems like an eternity ago. So, knowing that I am going to have incredibly little down-time this coming week, I decided to make a delicious and nutritious batch of muffins to eat for a quick and easy breakfast with yogurt or as an afternoon/evening snack.
I went searching for a banana muffin recipe because, despite my aversion to fresh bananas, I really enjoy them in baked goods (especially banana bread). I chose a recipe that combined the classic flavor of banana with a hint of peanut butter for extra staying power, flavor and protein. Also, instead of the usual canola oil, this recipe calls for greek yogurt and used part whole-wheat flour. Perfect (well almost perfect, perfect requires a small handful of chocolate chips stirred into the batter before baking).
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins (slightly adapted from here; makes a dozen muffins)
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 3/4 C whole-wheat flour
- chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with baking cups and lightly spray with canola oil.
Mix the wet ingredients together–mashed banana, honey, peanut butter, yogurt, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon).
Add the wet and dry together and stir until just combined. If desired, fold in about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tin until the cups are 3/4 full, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
These muffins are delicious. They have all the right flavors and retain their moistness without the addition of a lot of fat and they reheat really well. I have a feeling I am going to be munching on them a lot this next week. Here’s to muffin munching brain power!
Today I did two things I don’t normally do. The first thing I did was go see a movie that didn’t involve anything romantic or mythical.
I went and saw Lincoln.
It was incredible.
I was probably the youngest person in the theatre but I definitely think that it is a must watch for people of all ages. It really brought to life and helped flesh out the character of Abraham Lincoln. I realized that I knew very little about him besides for his involvement in the 13th Amendment and that he was shot in Ford’s Theatre. However, after watching this movie I feel that I can picture him in my mind the way he might have talked, walked and his family. I must say Daniel Day-Lewis did an incredible job and he deserves any recognition he receives for his role. If you get a chance I highly recommend seeing this movie.
Back to food.
The second thing I did today that I don’t normally do was eat a banana! I have avoided bananas ever since I went to the dentist office when I was little where I requested banana-flavored fluoride and promptly proceeded to swallow all of it instead of spitting it out. I then spent the next half an hour throwing up in the waiting room bathroom. It really is a sad thing because bananas are so versatile and can add a natural sweetness to smoothies, oatmeal and baked goods. Since today was a day of trying new things I decided to rediscover the banana.
I have seen this idea floating around on Pinterest for a while and decided to give it a try. Basically, you cut a banana in half stuff it with whatever filling you desire and bake for 10-15 minutes. I especially liked the idea of filling the banana with dessert-like ingredients because I thought it would help mask the banana flavor so I picked a Smores filled banana.
Smores Banana Boats
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp of crushed graham crackers
- 2 tbsp of chocolate chips
- 8 mini marshmallows
- Optional: whipped topping
Leave the banana in the peel and cut the banana in half and open like a book. Fill with graham crackers and chocolate chips and top with mini marshmallows. Wrap tightly in foil and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of cool whip.
The verdict? This recipe is so simple and a great way to get kids to eat fruit for dessert. I thought it was delicious (especially the filling) and managed to eat a few bites of the banana as well. So, while I still can’t manage a whole banana, I think that I am off to a good start. Baby steps 🙂
Prepare to feel like a gourmet chef (and eat like one). When, upon opening your beautiful little parchment packets, you are witness to a perfectly cooked piece of white fish topped with a crunchy and lemon-laced almond gremolata all of which has slowly steamed over a bed of mixed bell peppers, onions, parsley and white wine.
Recently, I have been trying to incorporate fish into my meals at least once a week. I have always loved salmon. Due to its higher fat content it doesn’t dry out as easily as other varieties of fish and offers a rich sources of Omega-3’s. However, I have become interested in other varieties of fish and have been looking for some creative ways to use them. Which was the reason I was so excited, while reading the latest issue of Food and Nutrition issued by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to discover a seemingly simple recipe for Barrimundi en Papillote with Almond Gremolata. I had never had Barrimundi (and still haven’t) because it doesn’t seem to be the easiest type of fish to locate in central Ohio. Therefore, I substituted Turbot but I think that any denser white fish would work very well in this recipe.
Fish en Papillote with Almond Gremolata (adapted from Food and Nutrition magazine) (serves 6)
- 1/4 cup of chopped toasted almonds
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
- 3 tbsp of lemon zest (about 2 small lemons)
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup of thinly sliced yellow onion
- 2 cups of mixed green and red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 6 sprigs of parsley
- Six 5 oz fillets of white fish, skinned and boned
- salt and pepper to tasted
- 3/4 cup of dry white wine
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut parchment paper into 12 by 16 inch sheets and fold in half lengthwise. Trace a half a heart onto each piece (more instructions here) using the fold as the center of the heart. Cut along the traced edges and unfold.
Combine almonds, chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. Stir well. In a separate bowl toss sliced onion and papers and place 1/2 cup of this mixture on one side of each parchment heart along with a sprig of parsley. Add a piece of fish, season with salt and pepper and top with gremolata.
To seal packets, fold the empty side of the heart over the food. Starting at the pointed end, make small folds along the outer edges of the parchment. As you approach the rounded top, add 2 tbsp of white wine to the paper pouch and finish sealing the edges. Place the packets on sheet pan and bake for 10-15 min. Serve with lemon slices.
This was delicious and so healthy to! I would definitely make it again (especially now that I have the packet shaping down). I served our fish with Delicata squash rings but I think that rice/couscous or quinoa would make this meal a little more filling and help soak up the juices and white wine. Also, there is very little clean-up. Always a plus on a busy weeknight 🙂
Warning: the recipe I am going to direct you to is absolutely amazing. You are going to want to put your face into the bowl and not come up for air until you have licked it clean. Enough said.
I love quinoa. I have used it once in a while in place of rice but I have only recently started trying to incorporate it into more meals. Quinoa is great because has a high protein content and is a good source of both iron and fiber. Not to mention you can be holding a warm, fluffy, perfectly cooked bowl in approximately 15 minutes (that is a third of the time that most brown rice takes to cook). The only downside I have found to quinoa? That it can be rather plain when served on its own. That is where this pizza-flavored recipe comes in handy.
Pizza Quinoa Casserole from Peas and Thank You
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 c. vegetable broth
- 1/2 t. oregano
- 1/2 t. basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 T. dried minced onion (or 2 T. fresh)
- 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
- 1/4 c. raw cashews
- 1 1/2 T. yellow or white miso
- One 14.5 oz. can organic fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (reserve juice)
- salt and pepper to taste
- desired pizza toppings: i.e. vegan cheese, olives, vegan field roast sausages, veggie pepperoni, peppers and onions, pineapple, mushrooms, etc.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, if baking immediately.
- In a pot, bring to boil quinoa and vegetable broth.
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and grains are fluffy.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine oregano, basil, garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, cashews and miso.
- Add enough liquid from the canned tomatoes to get the mixture to blend smoothly.
- Then add the remaining tomatoes and pulse until combined but still chunky.
- Add the “pizza sauce” to the cooked quinoa and stir until combined. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and top is slightly browned.
- Here’s where the fun part comes in. Set out your pizza toppings.
- Serve up a scoop of the quinoa and top with toppings of choice. Enjoy!
I served our quinoa with peppers, onions, ground beef, cheddar cheese, mushrooms and black olives. So delicious yet not the most photogenic so I didn’t take a picture 😦 You will just have to take my word for it and add this dish to your regular rotation. One can never have too many pizza-related recipes.