Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Healthier Pumpkin Muffins

Who doesn't love pumpkin muffins in the Fall????
I love baking healthier muffins with my kids and packing them with protein.  They are great healthy snacks or a fun addition to their lunch box!  Plus, with a little extra chocolate, they are getting the nutrition I want them to get without an extra fight.  
Try these out!  Super simple and so good!!!  I eat them for snack too!  Yummy!

Happy Cooking!

Healthier Pumpkin Muffins 
2 ½ cups of Trader Joe’s  Multigrain Baking and Pancake Mix
1 scoop of  vanilla whey protein  (I’ve used Shakeology or Whole Foods brand)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
¼ cup of coconut sugar 
½ cup Greek Yogurt
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
¼ cup of mini chocolate chips (in half the batter….the other half with no chocolate for me) 

In a large bowl, whisk the egg and add the Greek yogurt, milk, pumpkin, sugar, and spices.  Mix until well combined.  Then add the protein powder and baking mix.  Stir only until combined, be careful not to over mix so the muffin won’t get tough.  

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, fill each with an ice cream scoop full of batter.   Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  
Makes 12 muffins.

You could do a bunch of variations on this, as long as you stick with the basics (yogurt, milk, egg, baking mix, protein powder 1 cup of fruit puree & spices/flavorings of your choice).   You could probably use chocolate protein and use almond extract and smashed over-ripe bananas.  I'm trying that next! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sprouted Grain Berry Protein Pancakes

We LOVE pancakes - in fact, we try to make pancakes every weekend.  If I can find a healthy mix then I will use that, otherwise I will make them from scratch.  Don't be afraid to make pancakes from scratch - it's easier than you may thing.  But don't worry - this recipe is not from scratch.

I'm a HUGE fan of blueberry pancakes and I like to add protein to mine so it fits into my nutritional goals for the day.  (I like to eat protein at every meal and snack - part of what I've learned from the 21 day Fix).  Plus, it's a great way to sneak extra protein in my kids.  They love carbs, but its harder to get them to eat protein.

These were probably the best pancakes I've ever made, not to toot my own horn, but they were so yummy!!  I made more today!  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,
Sprouted Grain Berry Protein Pancakes
3/4 cup Arrowhead Mills Sprouted Grain Pancake Mix (you can find it in the organic section or health food section of your grocery store)
1/2 cup milk (any kind, including almond milk with work)
1/3 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/2 scoop vanilla Shakeology
1 T olive or coconut oil (if you use coconut oil, be sure it's in it's liquid form for even distribution)
1 T raspberry all-fruit spread (no added sugar)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
Cooking spray or extra coconut oil for cooking pancakes
real maple syrup for serving (optional)

Whisk together the milk, egg, oil, fruit spread and Greek yogurt until well combined.  Add the pancake mix and shakeology and stir until it's well combined.  The batter will be really thick.

Spoon and spread onto a hot griddle.   Sprinkle the blueberries evenly.  Wait until bubbles begin to form all the way across the pancake and flip.

Allow the pancake to cook on the other side until you see it slightly puff up (sometimes pancakes with fruit inside them take longer to cook than without).

Whatever blueberries you have leftover can be sprinkled on top of the pancakes with your fresh raspberries.  Yum!

Serve immediately with more fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.  So good!!!

This recipe serves 2 people.  If you are following the 21 day Fix or Fix Extreme Meal Plan, then 1 serving (1/2 recipe) counts as 1 red, 1 yellow,  and 1 purple.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

I have an amazing recipe for fajitas in the oven, but I was going to be gone all afternoon and unable to be coordinate dinner being ready in time.  So I thought, why not try the crockpot?  
Okay, this is so simple, I can't even believe I'm writing any directions!  One step - dump, stir, and turn your slow cooker on. Ha!  But seriously, these were easy and healthy plus I was able to make everybody happy. 

I had all our favorite toppings, lots of salad greens, tortillas, rice and beans.  My son made a burrito, my daughter ate everything in neat little piles on her plate, my hubby built himself a bowl and I made a salad.   For those of you doing the 21 ay Fix or Fix extreme, you can build this easily to fit your container allotment.  My salad was 2 green, 1/2 purple, 1 red, 1/2 yellow.  Be creative and have fun!

Happy Cooking! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
original recipe by Sarah
2 lbs chicken breasts, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste

Toss and cook on high for 3 hours.  Here's the before and after pics. 

And my salad...I forgot to take a pic of any other option cause I was so excited to eat my salad!  For the dressing I mixed together some Greek yogurt, salsa, and hot sauce.

So good!!!  Hope you give it a try!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Clean Crockpot Beef Stew

I grew up eating Beef Stew from a can...yup.  No joke.  I'm not knocking it, but I just can't imagine eating that now, especially because I remember opening up the can and seeing the white dots of hydrogenated oils on top and throughout.  Kind of gross to think about. 

My dad also made amazing beef and venison stews.  So I have a special place in my heart for this warm, comforting dish.  But you know me - I like simplicity and I love my slow cooker!!!  And I'm always looking to make a recipe healthier.  So I began researching and came up with this recipe for clean crockpot beef stew.  The kids helped me make it, and so did my hubby.  My wrist is still not quite right, so he did all the slicing and dicing for me.  The kids love to measure, shake, and stir, so this was definitely a family effort.  And everyone was very proud of their creation - the kids gulped it right up!  My hubby ate his over rice, (something from his childhood), but I'm eating on the 21 day Fix so the potatoes and peas were enough carbs for me.

To add more veggies, serve this along side a simple green salad.  A perfect meal for a cold day!  The meat is so tender it just pulls apart and the flavors are great!  Even better the next day.  So add this to your rotation and comment below if you give it a try!

Happy Cooking!

Clean Crockpot Beef Stew
2 lbs of stew meat, trimmed of all fat
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano
sea salt and pepper to taste
2-4 T olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup of frozen pearl onions
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
4 large carrots, sliced
4 small/medium sized potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large stalk of celery, sliced
4 cups of beef stock
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
more salt and pepper to taste

In a large zip-top bag, place the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix together.  Add the Beef and shake until well coated.   Then in a large pan (or dutch oven), brown the beef in olive oil on all sides (you do not need to cook it through, you are only browning to deepen the flavor).   You will do this in shifts, as not to over-crowd the pot.

While you are browning the meat, place all the veggies, broth, and tomato paste into your slow cooker and stir until well combined.   Don't worry if the tomato paste isn't all broken up.  It will dissolve while it cooks.  Add the beef as it is done.   You will have some leftover flour/herb mixture.  I added about 2 T of this to the stew, as a way to add more seasoning and to thicken as it cooked (which it does nicely).

Then the most important and critical step to delivering and developing flavors...while the pan that you used to brown the meat is still hot, add the 1/2 cup of wine and deglaze the pan, scraping all the browned bits off the bottom.    allow the wine to simmer for about 3 min to cook out the alcohol.  Then add it to the slow cooker and stir.

Cook on high for 6 hours, stirring every 1-2 hours in you are home.  If not, no worries.   Before you serve, scrape off any oil/fat that floats to the top (mine had only about 1 T).   But why bother eating it if you don't have to, right?

This is sooooooo good!!!  I could eat it without the potatoes!  I would also like to try it with butternut squash instead of while potatoes.   Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Mushroom Chili

You guys, this one is AAAHHHHMazing!  Love it!  And I love meat and I still would eat this over regular chili.  The flavor is phenomenal.  Leave off the cheese and it's vegan!  Want some extra protein?  Add a couple fried eggs on top.  You gotta give this one a try, if not enter it into your regular rotation.  The secret to the great depth of flavor?  Slow cooking it all day and the chili in adobo...find it in the ethnic food isle in your grocery store.  So yummy!!!!

So be sure to comment below or follow if you give this one a try!

Happy Cooking!

Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean and Mushroom Chili
adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/slow_cooker_black_bean_mushroom_chili.html

1 pound dried black beans, (2 1/2 cups), rinsed
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mustard seeds
2 T chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of fresh salsa (I used store bought from the produce section, but you can use homemade too)
1/4 cup water
5 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1-2 T canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce,seeded and minced
assorted toppings such as shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, and/or cilantro

First prep the beans - either soak them overnight, or put them in a large pot, cover them with water, and bring it to a boil.  Boil for 5 min then turn the heat off and allow the beans to sit for 1 hour.  Then drain and rinse them again. 
Combine oil, mustard seeds, chili powder and cumin in a large pot, (I used the same one I had cooked the beans in). Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add onions, peppers, mushrooms, salsa and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes.

Uncover, add the tomato paste and stir often until the juices begin to evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, about another 5-10 minutes.

Add broth and chipotles and mix well.  Place the beans on the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.  Add the vegetable mixture and stir until well combined.
Cook on HIGH for 8 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Serve immediately!  So good with just a little cheese on top!  And the next day, I enjoyed the leftovers over a bed of sauteed spinach topped with 2 fried eggs for a little 21 day Fix deliciousness.   Enjoy!!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Greek Chicken Wraps

This quick lunch was inspired by my first week of the 21 day Fix Extreme!  So good, it doesn't even taste like it's super healthy!  And for you fellow fixers out there, it counts as 1 red, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 2 green, and 1 tsp. :)

Happy Cooking!

Greek Chicken Wrap
original recipe by Sarah (serves 1)
1 whole wheat, high fiber (low-carb) tortilla
1 grilled or baked chicken breast, sliced
2 T hummus
1 cup (packed cup) of mixed greens
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 T feta cheese
salt and pepper

Heat the tortilla in a frying pan (optional) and spread the hummus on the top.

Usually I have already made baked or grilled chicken breast on hand, but today I had to make some last minute.  I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and italian seasoning.  Then I just sprayed my pan with cooking spray and sauteed the chicken on each side for 3-5minutes. 

I toss the salad greens, tomato, cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a bowl.  Then top the tortilla with the salad, and sprinkle with feta.

Last step is to top with the sliced chicken breast and you are ready to go!

You could knife and fork it, but why not try to pick it up? 
So yummy!!!  Enjoy! 

For more healthy eating tips or 21 Day Fix recipes, visit me on Facebook:  The Healthy Home Revolution or on Instagram: @healthy.home.revolution