Thursday, March 29, 2012

Healthy Cookie Pie

I really feel like a lot of my post titles start with the word "Healthy". Not that that's a bad thing, it just shows how uncreatively I write.

So, I don't know if I've said it officially, but Hubs and I have been trying to eat much healthier this year. Not like a resolution or anything, just a subtle lifestyle change. More fruit &veggies, less meat, less refined sugar-type foods. It's going pretty good. However, not everyone is all about my new-found healthy-ness and sometimes I want to make something tasty for my amigos. Enter, healthy desserts. 

Chocolate Covered Katie is kind of a whiz at these things and I suggest that everyone visit her site. This is one of her creations, the first I've tried, and based on the results, I think I'll be using her many more times.

Poor smoothie-maker :-(
Also, this recipe is the reason I need to get a food processor. I blended everything in the blender and it took FOREVER. I had to do it in batches and I'm pretty sure it almost broke the poor smoothie-maker (what I've come to call our blender). [Side note - our blender was a wedding gift for Hub's parents and is one of my favorite things in our kitchen. It still works like a beast even though I abuse it.]

Deep-Dish Cookie Pie

Everything blended and ready to bake
  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) 
  • 1 cup quick oats 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 T canola oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a good food processor (not a blender - lesson learned). Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled springform pan. Cook at 350F for around 35-40 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

I don't have a picture of a slice of the pie. You'll just have to take my word for it. It was good. Hubs couldn't tell it had beans in it. Someone with a super sensitive taster might be able to tell that it's not a super-lux dessert, but I doubt they'd pin point "beans!"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

I love this smoothie. It's for reals one of my favorites. It's just so decadent for breakfast and yet, so healthy. 

Unfortunately, I don't often measure when I make smoothies, so it makes it harder on myself to relay the yumminess to you. Feel free to adjust quantities higher or lower as you see fit.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Serves 1

1 cup chocolate soy milk
1 Tbs espresso powder mixed in small amount of water (see photo below)
1 heaping Tbs of peanut butter
1/2 scoop protein powder (I use vanilla flavored)
1 scoop chocolate flavored greens powder
2 Tbs plain yogurt
2 Tbs dissolvable fiber

Mix everything in a blender, save the ice. Add ice to the mix while blending to thicken. Stop adding ice/blending once smoothie is at your desired thickness. Drink up!

This is not a pretty picture.
This is how much espresso/water mix I used - half of a half-sized ramekin's worth. 
Action shot. Before I added ice.
Final product. You can see ice in mine because I got impatient and didn't wait for it all to blend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Treats

Happy (Tuesday after) Saint Patrick's day everyone! 

Wait, it didn't take you this long to recover? Hmm... I think you're doing it wrong.

I made 2 treats for my St. Patty's celebration - Sour Grapes and Lucky Charms treats. Neither one was quite on the mark. 

First, the Lucky Charms Treats. Now, technically mine were Three Sisters Marshmallow Oaties Treats because I thought these might be slightly healthier (let me have my hopes, ok?) so they aren't in anyway Irish. But we aren't concerned about that, now are we?

The recipe is super easy - Rice Krispy Treats with Lucky Charms (or whatever) substituted in.

Lucky Charms Crispy Treats
Recipe from Pass the Plate Blog
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1 10oz bag of marshmallows
1 box Lucky Charms

  • Melt butter in a large pan over med-high heat.
  • Add marshmallows to melted butter. Stir until completely melted.
  • Remove from heat and add cereal. Stir until cereal is completely coated in marshmallow/butter mixture.
  • Pour into greased 9x13 pan and press together.
  • Let cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Now, on to treat #2 - Sour Grapes.
These are super quick and easy to make, plus they're yummy.

Now, the issue I had - Like a smarty, I thought "Hey, I'll get sugar-free jello for this then it'll be healthier!"
No dummy, don't do that.
The sugar-free jello has artificial sweeteners in it. Sweeteners = sweet, not sour grapes. Dummy. 

Sooooo... mine were good, but not especially great.
Still easy, though.
Super fancy preparation. 

Sour Grapes

1 bunch green grapes
lime jello (1-3 boxes, depending on how many grapes you have)

  • Wash grapes. Dry, but not completely. 
  • Put grapes into plastic bag/container/bowl. Pour powdered jello over grapes.
  • Shake to cover grapes.
  • Refrigerate and enjoy.

Left-over gelato bowls = good presentation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Roasted Broccoli

Shame. Shame shame shame upon me. I have no real reason why I haven't posted in almost a month. It's shear laziness. I've been cooking. I've been taking pictures of what I'm cooking. I just can't take the last step of putting fingers to laptop and posting. 
But, as penance, I'm posting something (surprisingly) super yummy. Roasted broccoli. Now, I happen to lurve me some broccoli. I'll eat it almost every way except steamed. It just gets so mushy that way. 
The key for this is to make sure that it gets brown and crispy. That's what makes it so good. 

Roasted Broccoli
Serves 4

1 bunch broccoli
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut broccoli into bite-sized floretes. Arrange floretes on a roasting sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. 
Roast for 10 minutes, then toss. Continue to cook for 10 minutes or until tops start browning. 
Serve and enjoy. 
Hubs and I can put away almost an entire bunch of broccoli ourselves, but probably for normal people a bunch can probably feed 4 people. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

BALTS Sandwich

Now this is a sandwich. 
I see your BLT and raise you a BALTS - Bacon Avocado Lettuce Tomato and Sprouts sandwich.
2 Slices bacon (cooked)
Avocado slices
2 slices whole grain bread
Put everything on one piece of bread. Spread a little lite mayo on the other slice of bread. Put it on top. Consume.

Healthy Cheesecake

My post titles suck. Let's just get that out of the way now. I was trying to come up with something cute and clever to call this cheesecake, but let's face it - it's a healthy cheesecake and that's what I'm calling it. 

Healthy Cheesecake
Adapted from Chocolate & Carrots
1.5 C low-fat honey graham cracker crumbs (about 11 sheets)
6 T unsalted butter, melted
2 C Stevia in the Raw (separated)
4 (8 ounce) packages 1/3 fat cream cheese
3 T unbleached all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 C non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare a springform pan by covering the outsides and bottom with aluminum foil. This is to prevent water getting into the cheesecake later. As you can see from my pictures, I did this wrong. It wasn't until the cake was cooling that I realized the outside of the pan needs the foil. So I'm clarifying this for all my lovely readers.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter in a bowl. Push crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan and just slightly up the sides.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Place the baked crust into a large baking dish. Bring a pot of water to a bowl. Set aside.
Bring the oven to 450°F.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese until loose (just a few seconds). Mix in the sugar and flour, just until blended. Mix in the eggs, one egg at a time, beating well in between. Beat in the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Pour into the crust (it’s okay if it is still warm).

Pour the water in the large baking dish surrounding the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to 250°F and bake for another 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, take off the aluminum foil (easier if it's on the outside, fyi.) Using a knife, loosen the cake from the rim of the pan.

Allow the cheesecake to cool for about 5-10 minutes until cool enough to handle. Remove the sides of the springform pan.
Chill in the refrigerator.

Serve when cool either plain or with toppings of your choice.

Hubs and I each had a piece when it was still warm last night. It was surprisingly yummy and fluffy. Today, after chilling all day,  it was denser and more cheesecake-like. 

Yummy close up.
The taste is really good. It does taste of Greek yogurt, so I may have to experiment with stuffs to help cut that. And it tastes slightly of sweetener, but it's not overwhelming like a chemical sweetener would be. Next time I make it I'm for defs going to double the graham crackers. I need more crust. 

But the best part? I ate a whole piece today and didn't feel like crap afterwards. It's definitely lighter and not calorie-laden like regular cheesecake is, but you still get the creaminess. 

So, yes. Make this and eat it all. It's cool.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Honey Chicken

I can almost always eat Chinese food. I love it. All the time. But there's usually loads of sugar in the sauces and we can't have that now, can we?

So I gots ta do it myself.

Honey Chicken
(From A Full Measure of Happiness)

1 & 1/2 lbs chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
3 T honey
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 egg
1/4 C cornstarch
1-2 T veg oil
2 C broccoli (thawed from frozen or fresh)

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and set aside. Mix the egg and cornstarch. Pour over the chicken to coat. Combine the honey and soy sauce and set aside. 
Warm the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the chicken (about 7-10 minutes). Add sauce and broccoli and cook until the sauce thickens, just a few minutes.
Ta da. Super simple. Serve over rice. 
I would make this honey chicken a lot more often, but I ran out of cornstarch and keep forgetting to buy it.