Friday, October 24, 2014

Lentil Confetti Salad

This salad is a great way to eat a lot of vegetables in a healthy way. I loved all the color in it. When you eat a rainbow of colors you know you are getting a nice mixture of nutrients. You get a added bonus of lentils, chia, and quinoa. You get some nice protein in it. I have a nice hand chopper that cubes the vegetables. That makes it really easy. You can find it at Walmart or any store that carries kitchen tools. This is so healthy and good. Winner! Winner!


Ingredients

1 C lentils cooked
1/3 C quinoa cooked (red adds great color
1/3 C chia *optional
1/4 C chopped purple onion
1 sweet potato cooked and cubed
1/4 C yellow pepper chopped in cubes
1/4 C red pepper chopped in cubes
1/2 C zucchini  chopped
1/2 C avocado chopped
2 Roma tomatoes chopped in small pieces
1/4 C cilantro chopped up
juice from one lime
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder

Directions
1. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl except juice, salt, pepper and chili powder.
2. Then squeeze on the juice and pour in salt, pepper and chili powder. Toss into salad.
3. Serve at once for best results or cover in an air tight container and put in the fridge until ready to serve.
4. Keep leftovers in airtight container in the fridge.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Healthy Samoas Cookie Bars


I have often seen people make a homemade version of these, but I thought It would be fun to make a healthier version of them. I made these today. I was pleased with how they turned out. Yum! Healthy is always better. :)

Ingredients

for cookie base:
2 C whole grain flour (I used spelt)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C honey
1/2 coconut oil
for the topping:
4 C shredded coconut unsweetened
1 can of coconut milk full fat
5 T honey
1 T coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
chocolate drizzle:
1/3 C dark chocolate chips
1 T coconut oil

Directions   Heat oven to 325

1. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir and set aside.
2. Melt honey in microwave for 30 seconds and then stir in oil. Stir into dry ingredients. Until all moistened.
3. Line a 9x9 Square pan with parchment paper. Leave it over hanging on 2 sides.
4. Press in cookie dough into pan. Bake until light golden for about 15 min.
5. Take out and let cool.
6. While it is baking. Put a large skillet on the stove. Pour in the coconut and let toast on medium heat. Be careful to stir often so it won't burn. You want it turn golden.
7. In a medium saucepan pour in the milk, honey, and oil cook on medium heat to soft ball stage stirring regularly. It will burn if you don't . Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
8. Put chocolate and oil in the microwave stirring often until it is all melted. Place in fridge.
9. Stir the coconut into caramel until the coconut until it all moistened.
10. Pour coconut topping on top of cookie base and press down evenly with a spatula.
11. Lift out of pan on to a hard surface. I used a cookie sheet. Cut into bars.
12. Separate the bars and drizzle on the chocolate.
13. Place in fridge to harden. Serve once chocolate hardens.
14. Store in air tight container in the fridge.

* You could dip the bottom of the cookie into the chocolate too.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mango Chia Dressing on Tossed Salad




It is so fast and easy to make your own salad dressings at home with a blender. They are so much healthier for you too. I love the natural sweetness of mangoes so they are a perfect choice for a salad dressing. Chia added to the dressing boosts up the protein and also works as a nice thickener. This is a great way to enjoy a healthy salad.

Ingredients

Dressing

1 C mangoes frozen
1/2 C water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T honey
2 T chia

1. Pour all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Place in fridge while you make the salad.

Salad

4 C spinach
1 C chopped broccoli
1/2 C dried cherries
1/2 C dried apricots
4 green onions chopped
4 stalks of celery chopped
1/2 C diced carrots
feta cheese * optional
sunflower or pumpkin seeds or both

1. Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl, and serve with the dressing.





Lentil Chicken Stew



This month's Recipe Redux challenge is Spooky Spices. I can relate to this topic because when I got married 8 years ago, I received a great spice rack filled with all sorts of spices. And while I have some jars that are regularly empty and being refilled (basil, parsley, oregano), I have others that I probably haven't opened in the last 8 years except to sniff. You know, just to see what they were. (They probably have reached their shelf life at this point and should be thrown out.)

For our Spooky Spice, we chose marjoram. It's not a spice I use frequently, but it's fantastic in soups and stews, dressings and sauces. The lovely thing about using those spices that get dusty in the back of your spice cupboard is that they each have different health benefits. Marjoram has been scientifically proven to help with the gastrointestinal tract. Cool, right?

This stew is a delicious blend of vegetables, legumes, and fresh chicken, and it is very filling. The sweet potato is a fantastic sweetening touch. And although we said the chia was optional, it helps make the soup even more filling, which is great if you're trying to save on calories. Enjoy!

Ingredients

3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1b diced up chicken breasts
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp allspice ground (optional)
1/2 C chia, ground (optional)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
6 C water
1 C lentils
4 stalks of celery chopped up
1 sweet potato chopped in small pieces


Directions  Serves 8

1. In a large pot heat pan to medium heat and put in onion and garlic stir and let cook about 5 minutes until softened.
2. Stir in the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
3. Then stir all of the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Then turn down to medium low. Cook until the potatoes and lentils are soft at least 30-45 minutes.
4. Serve in soup bowls.
5. You can store leftovers in airtight container in fridge or freezer.


Here are some other spices you might be interested in:
Star Anise
Turmeric, Garlic, and Parsley
Chili and Thyme
Cinnamon, Ginger, and Cardamon



Monday, October 20, 2014

Chocolate Banana Cream Pudding


My family has always enjoyed chocolate pudding with bananas in it. This is a healthy way to make it with out any cooking and with a low amount of sweetener. It tasted creamy and yummy. The chia in it was a nice way to thicken it. 


 Ingredients

1 14 oz can coconut milk (full fat)
2 frozen bananas
2 T cocoa
4 T honey or vegan sweetener
2 T chia ground
1 chopped up fresh bananas

Directions     Serves 2

1. In a blender blend milk, bananas, cocoa, and honey until all smooth.
2. Then blend in chia until all smooth.
3. Pour in serving dishes.
4. Chill a couple hours until to desired thickness.
5. If desired serve with chopped up bananas. Yum!




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

This is a wonderful Fall breakfast . I love the added flavor of pumpkin with the french toast. You can make the syrup or caramel to go with the french toast or you can eat them plain or with jam. I thought they tasted really good just plain. 

Pumpkin Pie French toast

2 eggs
1/2 C milk of your choice
1/2 C Pumpkin Pie filling *

Buttermilk syrup

3 T butter
1/2 C honey
1/2 C buttermilk *(1/2 C milk 2 tsp vinegar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 t vanilla
2 tsp almond extract * optional (but so good!)

In a saucepan, on med. low heat pour in butter, buttermilk, and honey. Let the mixture come to a boil for 2 min. Take off the heat stir in baking soda, vanilla, and almond extract. Serve over warm  french toast.

Caramel Topping

1 C canned coconut milk (full fat)
5 T honey
2 T coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
10 slices of whole grain bread

Directions

1. In a small sauce pan on medium heat. Pour in milk, honey, and oil.
2. I turned up my setting on my stove up to 6. I stayed stirring it the whole time. Not wanting it to burn. Keep stirring. It took mine about 15 min to thicken.
3. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. It will thicken as it cools. Enjoy a wonderful treat!
4. Store leftovers in the fridge in air tight container. When ready to eat warm up on stove or in microwave. It will harden in the fridge.

Directions  makes about 10 french toast

1. Beat eggs, and then add milk, together beat together. 
2. Then beat in the pumpkin. Dip bread into the mixture. 
3. Heat up griddle. Spray with non stick oil or coconut oil. When hot put on french toast. You can sprinkle on cinnamon while cooking if desired. 

* You can freeze leftover pumpkin pie filling in airtight container.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chewy Protein Energy Bars

I loved this picture of my daughter throwing up the leaves yesterday. She was an angel. She came and raked up and bagged 10 bags of leaves and carted them away. We have wonderful children who bless our lives in so many ways. I have loved the times my children and grandchildren have enjoyed playing in our leaves. There are a lot more leaves to come. The trees still have a lot of leaves on them. :) The raking and bagging is not over.



It is easy to find a lot of energy bars in the store. They are often very expensive and a lot a times you need a dictionary to decipher what the ingredient its. The safest bet and healthiest is to make your own ahead of time. Then you know exactly what you are eating.  The key is to make up a batch of them ahead of time and then you will have them ready to go when you need them.




These are loaded with protein. They are low in sweetener and taste great. You can make them your own by being creative and adding your favorite dried fruit or you can leave it out. I left it out this time.  I loved the soft chewiness of these bars. They also had just the right amount of sweetness.  Have a great weekend.


Ingredients

1/2 C chia ground *
1 C Old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1/4 C whole grain flour (I used spelt)
1/2 C dried fruit of your choosing * optional
1/2 C raw almonds
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C soft dates
1 tsp cinnamon
2 T coconut oil
5 T honey
2 eggs


Directions  Heat oven to 350

1. In a blender or food processor, pulse and blend everything except oil.  honey and eggs. Blend until all broken down.
2. Pour in bowl add oil, honey and eggs. Blend until all combined. I used a wire whisk to get it all to blend together. It will be a thick paste.
3. Grease a 9x9 pan (I love the way stone ware cooks.) Grease pan or line with parchment paper.
4. Place in oven and bake about 15 min or until done.
5. Take out of oven and let cool about 15 min before cutting.
6. Store wrapped up in air tight container individually so they are ready to grab. You can store in the fridge for 3 days or freeze them up to 3 months.

* I ground up chia ahead of time in a small grinder.

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