Thursday, February 20, 2014

Super Soft Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

These days cooking seems to be a thing of the past or at least not trying any new recipes. This past weekend I was able to take a few minutes to whip up these whole wheat muffins for breakfast/snacks for the week. I added a Tablespoon of chia seeds for extra protein, fiber and omega 3s. They are very moist and not a strong pumpkin flavor so are perfect all year round.

Super Soft Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. allspice)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (two 4-oz. cups)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add eggs, pumpkin, applesauce and oil. Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Fill muffin cups to the top with batter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts.*
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan before removing from cups.
TIPS:
You can also add the chopped nuts into the batter after mixing all other ingredients, instead of sprinkling on top.
Calories: 184 | Fat: 10g | Carbs: 20g | Protein: 3g | Sugar: 7g

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sesame Ginger Salmon

It has been far too long since I posted anything, but that is kind of the way life is going at the moment with a newborn at home. I was lucky to have made and frozen some meals before she came, but have wanted some fresh fish recently. That being said, if I am lucky to get to the store and make something fresh for dinner we need a quick recipe and this certainly is that. The fish does marinade, but only for 30 minutes which was enough time to feed the baby in between making the marinade and then cooking dinner, yay multitasking! 

This dish is easy and full of Asian inspired flavors. My husband did comment a few times about how good the glaze is that goes on top and definitely adds the last bit of sweetness from the honey and tang from soy sauce.


Sesame Ginger Salmon
Serves 2-4
Source: How Sweet it is


Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds raw salmon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1-2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, sliced (optional)
Sesame Honey Glaze:
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or place everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler in your oven.
Remove salmon with kitchen tongs and place directly on the wire rack. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon's thickness (our's was just about an inch thick), until opaque and easily flakable with a fork. You can flip the salmon halfway through cooking if desired.
Remove and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, green onions and the glaze below.

Sesame ginger honey glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lemon-Herb Orzo

Things have been a bit busy around our house preparing for our baby to arrive...can't believe it should be in less than a week! I have been cooking some of our favorite recipes that can be frozen for when life gets crazy. However, that also means I haven't been making anything new to share. I finally tried a simple and quick recipe from my stack of printed and ripped out recipes.

One of the great things about this is its freshness from the herbs and lemon, yet it is still versatile enough to pair with anything. We had it with my garlicky baked shrimp. Since we ate this with seafood we added some lemon juice in addition to the zest, it is all up to your personal preference. I plan to eat the leftovers cold for lunch either over mixed greens or add in some feta cheese for some salty tang.
Lemon-Herb Orzo

Lemon-Herb Orzo
Source: Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:
½ cups Orzo
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup chives, chopped
¼ cup dill, chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 lemon zested

Directions:
Cook orzo in boiling salted water until al dente per box, usually about 8-10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.

Toss orzo with butter, chives, dill, parsley and lemon zest. Add reserved water if you need to loosen. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lemon-Parsley Chicken with Herbed Couscous

I must admit that while we subscribe to a lot of magazines, lately they have ended up sitting in a pile for months. Yesterday I needed some inspiration for dinner and finally tackled part of the pile and pulled out this recipe from the September issue of Cooking Light. Grilling is year round in Florida so I was lucky that wouldn't be an issue, but I am sure you can always use a grill pan if necessary. The parsley and lemon combination gave the chicken and couscous a light and refreshing flavor. 
Lemon-Parsley Chicken with Herbed Couscous photo IMG_0051_zps278a1934.jpg

Lemon-Parsley Chicken with Herbed Couscous
Source: Cooking Light Magazine - September 2013
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 (6oz)skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 cup couscous
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat grill to high heat

Combine minced parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. 

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill for 3 minute each side, or until chicken is done.

Meanwhile, bring 1 ¼ cups water to a boil in small saucepan. Stir in 1 cup uncooked couscous; cover. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Oh, Baby! Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Knowing how much I usually enjoy cooking, my sweet father-in-law bought me a book Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for Dummies. It mainly has healthy eating recipes with some interesting notes about ingredients that are better to have during pregnancy to help promote growth for various aspects of the baby throughout pregnancy. These muffins were a great morning snack and not too sweet. The bananas keep them nice and moist with hint of sweetness from chocolate chips. They are a great source of fiber, folate, iron, and potassium and can be enjoyed even if you aren't pregnant!
Oh, Baby! Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh, Baby! Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Source: Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for Dummies
Yields: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
¾ cup all purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
¾ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons canola oil
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners or non-stick spray

In a large bowl, sift together the all purpose and whole wheat flours, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and stir in the mashed bananas. Add the sugar and oil and stir the mixture with a spoon to blend well.

Add the egg and banana mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Stir the mixture until combined well. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffin tops are browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool then enjoy!

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili

This is one of the easiest meals to make and no one will ever know! Anyone with a slow cooker knows that the greatest part is how you can throw everything in then go about your day and dinner will be ready when you get home. Dishes like this are even easier because they use a lot of dried goods so you don't have to go to the store. The only downfall when using canned vegetables is that they can be high in sodium, so I used all low sodium versions to cut back and be sure to wash them to rinse off some of the sodium as well. Be sure to compare even those because each brands idea of low sodium is different and in many cases the store brand is the best. This chili is packed full of protein from all of the beans and quinoa. If you are a football fan, this would be great for game day, especially as we get into September and maybe some cooler weather in parts of the country.
Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili photo SlowCookerQuinoaChili_zps32020134.jpg

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili
Source: Six Sisters Stuff
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 (28 oz) can reduced sodium diced tomatoes (undrained)

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (undrained)
2 (16 oz) cans reduced sodium black bean, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can of corn, drained

1 (15 oz) can of reduced sodium kidney beans
2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 minced onion
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp chili powder

Directions:
Place everything in a 6 quart slow cooker and cook for 5-7 hours on low. Keep warm until ready to serve.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley

The name of this dish does not lie, this shrimp dish definitely has a kick. We had ours over a bed of white rice to soak up some of the spicy sauce and it was delicious. It can also be served over pasta, just add another tablespoon of olive oil and be sure to use the 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and wine to create a thinner sauce. 

Since shrimp cook in under 5 minutes this is an extremely quick meal that is perfect for a busy night and you won't feel like you skimped on anything. And shrimp are something that are not too expensive in the frozen section so we usually have a bag on hand in the freezer meaning you don't even have to go to the grocery store to make this!
 photo SpicyShrimpwithGarlicandParsley_zps50fc401f.jpg
Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 Tbs. dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley


Directions:

Place olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and warm.
Add garlic, pepper flakes and paprika.
Saute for 1 minute until fragrant.
Increase heat to high, add the shrimp, lemon juice and dry white wine, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 3-5 minutes.
Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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