Thursday, May 20, 2010

Strawberry Muffins

We went to breakfast last week at Max's and had some amazing homemade strawberry muffins fresh out of the oven. Since strawberries are in season right now and the farmer's markets are over flowing with them, I couldn't wait to go home and make my own! Ironically I got an email from, you guessed it, for strawberry muffins with no white sugar the same day! I made them minutes after seeing her blog post.
Lately my muffins have been on the dense side and have tossed them after a few days when even Owen won't eat more than 2 bites of them (I don't post those recipes : ). But THESE muffins were absolutely perfect! Light, airy, sweet, but not overly sweet and FULL of fresh strawberries. I made 1 dozen and they were all gone the next day! Please do yourself and your family a favor and make these muffins!

Strawberry Muffins (Makes 12 Muffins)
Recipe from
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Large Egg
3/4 Cup Milk (low fat or whole cow’s milk, almond, rice or soy milk will work)
1/4 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Honey or Agave Nectar (I used a 1/4 cup of each)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Lemon Zest
1 1/2 Cups Strawberries, chopped (I added 1/2 cup more and did not regret it)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients.‬
3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and add milk, oil, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest and stir.‬
4. Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet until incorporated (try not to over mix the batter).‬
5. Add the strawberries to the batter and slowly combine.‬
6. Line or grease muffin tins and fill 2/3 of the way with batter.‬
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick tester comes out clean.‬
8. Cool and serve.‬

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast

French toast is always good, but STUFFED French toast is even better! I had some sprouted whole grain bread in the fridge that needed to be used, and this is my favorite way of using it up. Once again, my Nourish cookbook didn't disappoint! The beauty of this recipe is there are so many different variations of this dish. I've got lots of ideas in my head of what I am going to do next. I am thinking coconut milk batter for the bread, and some banana and pineapple filling possibly? Or maybe peanut butter and banana filling. Hmmmmm.

Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast
Recipe adapted from Canyon Ranch Nourish Cookbook
1/4 cup low fat cream cheese
6 slices multi grain bread
1 cup fresh berries (or thawed frozen berries if you don't have fresh on hand)
1/2 banana sliced thinly
1/2 cup non fat milk
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
canola oil spray
Maple syrup to taste

With a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese in a small bowl until softened. Evenly spread 1 Tb. of cream cheese on 1 slice of bread. Top the cream cheese with 1/4 cup of berries and a few slices of banana to cover. Top with the second slice of bread to form a sandwich. Repeat with remaining ingredients. (I actually used a bit more cream cheese than the recipe suggests. I put some on each piece of the bread)

Beat together the milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a wide, shallow bowl. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, coating both sides.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and lightly coat with canola oil spray. Cook each sandwich until golden on both sides.

Serve with maple syrup.

Serves 3

Friday, May 7, 2010

Quinoa and Chickpeas

It's time to hit the farmer's market tomorrow. I looked in my fridge tonight for dinner and remembered I had to use up some canned tomatoes from a recipe I used the other day. We still needed protein, carbs, and veggies however. So, I pulled out some quinoa, added water, tomatoes, spices and then got online to look up recipes to see what else I could add. As much as I love to cook, I am always a little frightened by what I come up with on my own. I am much more comfortable using a tried and true recipe from someone else. (Unless it's something sweet, simple, or a salad of some sort). Most of these ingredients you can find in your pantry or freezer without having to go to the store.

I found several recipes that were very similar in their ingredients and were exactly what I was thinking, and actually had on hand! I have to say this turned out really good and Owen ate every last bite, repeating the words, "good dinner Mommy" over and over again :) My stamp of approval has been won! I served it along with some steamed green beans tossed with lemon zest, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil. Owen gobbled those up as well!

Quinoa and Chickpeas
Recipe adapted from several sources, including and
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes (or fresh if you have them)
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tb. grape seed oil
1/2 cup corn kernels fresh or frozen
1 cup rinsed and drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 clove of garlic, minced
juice of one small lime
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tb. chopped fresh parsley (cilantro would be good too)

Rinse and soak quinoa for 15 minutes to help remove any bitter taste. Bring water, canned tomatoes (if you are using fresh tomatoes, don't cook them, just add them at the end instead), cumin and quinoa to a boil. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to a simmer for 15 minutes until done. Stir in grape seed oil, corn, garlic, lime juice, parsley and salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy. This dish will probably taste good cold as well. I'll find out tomorrow!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pumpkin Crunch

I saw this recipe in my current favorite cookbook, Canyon Ranch, Nourish, and had to make it. It sounded good, somewhat healthy and looked easy. Turns out, it is delicious and would also be a fantastic snack in the fall or winter with all the spices used.

Pumpkin Crunch
Recipe adapted from Canyon Ranch, Nourish
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp. canola oil
2 Tb. pure maple syrup
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300. lightly spray a baking sheet with canola oil

Toss the pumpkin seeds with the canola oil in a small bowl. Spread the seeds evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until almost dry. (the recipe originally called for 1 1/2 tsp. of oil, but I found that it was too much and took way too long to dry in the oven.)

Place the pumpkin seeds in a medium bowl and stir in the maple syrup and oats until coated.

Combine the spices in a small bowl and add the spice mixture to the seeds. Stir to combine.

Return the pumpkin seeds to the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until dry, stirring occasional. Turn the pan several times to ensure even roasting, checking frequently- seeds burn easily. Set aside until completely cool, about 30 minutes.

Combine the seeds and dried cranberries in a large bowl and store in a tightly sealed container.

*Omit the oats or add gluten free oats to make this entirely gluten free.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Double Chocolate Brownies

I can't stop baking during this pregnancy! Last week I made AMAZING chocolate chip cookies, this week was even better brownies, and currently I have some pumpkin seed cranberry granola in the oven (stay tuned for that recipe). It feels like my oven is always on lately, no pun intended (re: pregnancy :).

OK, so these are not the healthiest thing on my blog, but at least it's homemade and not processed or from a mix. These brownies were so easy to make, contain much less fat and calories than the "normal" brownie, and so moist! Not too fudgy, not too cakey, just perfectly divine chocolate goodness!

Double Chocolate Brownies
Recipe from Canyon Ranch, Nourish cookbook

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 Tb. unsalted butter
1/4 cup nonfat sour cream (I used Greek yogurt instead)
3/4 cup light brown sugar (I substituted half of this with rapadura sugar which is the least processed of sugar and contains a higher mineral count. You can get it at health food stores).
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly coat an 8x8 pan with canola oil spray

2. Melt the chocolate chips, butter and sour cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flower, cocoa, baking powder and salt and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick insertedinto the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire reack. Cut into 16 servings. Store in a covered container.