Monday, September 30, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Bread

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Oh mah gah...you GUYS, I almost forgot to take a picture of this one!  As you can see I dove right in and snuck a piece before I even remembered to take it!

What I'm saying is dayumm, this was good!  I had some old brown bananas and it was late one night so I wanted a super easy recipe that was still healthy.  All this was was a slight variation on the Weight Watchers Banana Oatmeal Bread and instead of using canola oil, I used coconut oil and only egg whites vs. the additional egg in the WW version.  I tried not to mess with it too much because I just wanted a good old fashioned banana bread.  This. Is. It.  The great part about the oatmeal is that it adds a nice density and oatyness to it!  Yes, I'm pretty sure oatyness is a word.  Look it up.


I am a banana bread fiend.  I love it and I'm always on the search for great recipes.  This is the newest test and I have eaten a piece (or two, shhhhh...) a day since I made it...but at only176 calories a slice??  No guilt!  Slap some peanut butter on it and ohhhhhhh...

Wait, what was I saying?  Oh yes:  you're welcome.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar - not packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1T melted coconut oil
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
3 large very ripe bananas, smashed
1 cup quick cooking oats

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together coconut oil, bananas and egg whites.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.

Stir in the oatmeal.

Place the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is firm.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to cooling rack.

Try not to burn your tongue because you can't wait until it's cool enough to eat.  I've heard that can happen.

Nutrition:
10 slices
Calories 176 / Carbs 36g / Fat 2g / Protein 5g / Fiber 2g / Sodium 206mg

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Zucchini Penne


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The weather here in the mid-Atlantic is turning to Fall and I am taking full advantage of the cooler weather by pulling out my slow cooker and making some good ol' comfort food!  Healthy versions, of course...I mean, that IS what we're doing here, right?  I found a few recipes online for some similar recipes and adapted them to this one using whole grain pasta and no-sugar-added pasta sauce.

The great thing about this recipe is that I'm still getting to use delicious summer veggies like zucchini.  Feel free to jazz this little number up with other veggies like spinach, mushrooms and broccoli.  I kept it simple for Hubs since he'll actually eat zucchini.

Another great thing?  Throw it all into your slow cooker and walk away!  This makes 8 large servings, so it's perfect for guests or leftovers.  You can even freeze your leftovers for later.

Ingredients:
1 box of whole grain penne or ziti noodles
2 cans Hunt's No Sugar Added pasta sauce
1 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella
2 cup ricotta cheese - I used full fat (yup, I did!) but you can certainly use part skim or fat free
2 medium zucchini, chopped
Optional:  2 oz. turkey pepperoni (please note the calories below includes turkey pepperoni)
2T grated Parmesan cheese
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
2tsp Italian seasoning
 
Preparation:
Using cold water, rinse the dry penne noodles in a colander and let drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and the spices; set aside.

In the bottom of your slow cooker, pour about 1 cup of sauce and spread to cover the bottom. 

Layer some of the noodles over the sauce.

On top of the first layer of noodles, spread half of the cheese mixture.

On top of that, layer the pepperoni, if using.  If not, layer 1/2 of the zucchini.

Pour some more sauce over that layer.


Repeat, ending with sauce and cover with the remaining mozzarella.


Cook on low setting for approximately 4 hours.

Nutrition:
Serves 8
Calories 412 / Carbs 50g / Fat 14g / Protein 25g / Fiber 10g / Sodium 1279mg

Adapted from Tablespoon

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps



Today, I'm honored to be guest posting for the beautiful (I'm serious here, not just being nice, this gal...so PRETTY!) Miss Ashlee over at Iseminger Chronicles, head over and check her out, she blogs about her healthy journey, and all sorts of life's adventures with her hubby and adorable little son. 

You GUYS!  Are you looking for an easy recipe?  Like, really easy??  Well, here it is...we're talking throw-it-all-in-a-skillet-and-dump-it-on-some-lettuce easy.  Honestly, you have no excuses not to make this!

Hubs and I usually spend the weekends in the month of September camping and we are having a blast!!  It is so much fun to just get away and relax at the end of a work week.  Even though every weekend feels like vacation, I'm still trying to make sure we are eating as healthy as we can, and not splurging too much on camping-type food.  This recipe is so good, you won't even think it's healthy.  Plus, it looks all fancy and stuff.

It's also a great recipe for an easy weeknight meal; I threw it together in less than 20 minutes.  Hope you like it!

Ingredients:
1lb extra lean ground beef (this would also be great with lean ground turkey)
1 cup diced carrots
1 5oz can of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1T rice wine vinegar (you could also use apple cider or white)
2T low sodium soy sauce (I used Braggs Liquid Aminos, this Asian LOVES this stuff!)
1/4 cup black bean sauce or hoisin
2T low sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup brown rice (I used Minute Multigrain Medley)
16 crisp lettuce leaves like iceberg or Boston Bibb, etc.
Non stick spray

Preparation:
Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and sauté the onions, carrots, water chestnuts and garlic for about 5 minutes on med/high heat.

Add the ground meat and cook until no longer pink, draining off any excess liquids.

While the meat is cooking add the following to a small bowlvinegar, soy sauce, bean sauce, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes.  Stir together and set aside.

When the meat has been browned, lower the heat to medium and stir in the sauce mixture.

Add the brown rice and mix.

Remove from heat and serve in lettuce cups.

This was SO delicious!!

Nutrition (using 96% lean ground beef):
Serves 4
Calories 273 / Carbs 27g / Fat 6g / Protein 30g / Fiber 4g / Sodium 1968mg




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Balsamic Sundried Tomato Chicken


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Welcome!  Today, I'm not only sharing a delicious recipe with you, but I'm also guest posting on my friend Katie's blog - if you get a chance, check it out at KTJWeighingIn; she's one of my favorite fellow bloggers, and I'm so glad to be on this journey with her!

Oh, balsamic vinegar...how I heart thee!

I was completely messing around in my kitchen and trying to come up with dinner the other night and this little beauty is the result.  I will definitely be putting this into rotation, which in my house is not a normal event.  Especially since I'm constantly looking for new recipes to share with all of you!

But this one...ohhh...it was SO good...and easy and uses ingredients I always have on hand.  It's going into the Dinner file under "Don't Even Have to Think About it".  The flavors of the balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, sundried tomatoes and garlic is amazing.  I served it with sauteed onions, squash and zucchini for a perfect combo.  (Hint:  if you make these veggies as a side dish, I've included an extra special bonus recipe below that you will undoubtedly thank me for...so go ahead and make them...if you want to enjoy something super wonderful...no pressure...just sayin'.)

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts - approx. 4 oz. each
1/4 cup julienned sundried tomatoes - these are the dry version, not the jarred kind in oil
6 fresh basil leaves - chopped, or leave them whole like I did (your choice!)
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced or chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil or Olive Oil spray
Non-stick spray

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 400.

Spray a small baking dish with nonstick spray.

Season both sides of the chicken with Italian blend, salt and pepper and place them into the baking dish.

Place the basil onto the top of the chicken breast and sprinkle with sundried tomatoes and garlic.

Spray or coat the chicken breast with the olive oil.  This will add moisture to the tomatoes, so be sure not to add more than is needed to keep them from drying out.



Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the chicken for about 20 minutes.

(This might be when you MIGHT want to start on those veggies I mentioned earlier...)

Remove the foil and pour 2T of balsamic vinegar onto each breast.   Discard the foil and bake uncovered the remainder of the time.

Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and internal temp is 165.  If tomatoes look like they are browning too fast, you can cover the dish with foil again.

Plate the chicken and be sure to use some of the balsamic vinegar from the dish; it's sooo sooo good!

Serve with veggies, whole grain rice or pasta.


Nutrition:
Serves 2
Calories 234 / Carbs 15g / Fat 5g / Protein 31g / Fiber 1g / Sodium 621mg

BONUS Recipe Alert!!

IF you have any leftovers, here's something for you to try for lunch the next day:

Dice up any leftover chicken.

Mix 1tsp balsamic vinegar with 1T mayo and season with a little salt & pepper.

This is super yummy with sauteed squash, zucchini and onion so if you decide to make these with your dinner, make extra!  The combo of these veggies with the chicken and the balsamic mayo is AH.MAH.Ziiingg.

Spread the balsamic mayo onto a whole grain wrap and stuff it with the chicken and veggies.

HOLY Flavor Sensation - cannot tell you how delicious this was!!  Well, I guess I just did, didn't I?  Then seriously, you have to try it...you. are. welcome.