Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chocolate Lava Cake

I confess: I can't live without chocolate! This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law and I can't even begin to describe how delicious it is. While it bakes it forms a moist cake on top and a fudgy lava sauce underneath. Mmmmmmm!

Chocolate Lava Cake
1st layer:
3/4 c. sugar
3 T. cocoa
1 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted

Blend ingredients together until smooth and pour into ungreased 8x8" or 9x9" pan.
2nd layer:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
4 T. cocoa

Sprinkle mixture on top of batter:
Pour 1 1/4 c. hot water over the top and DO NOT STIR!!Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
This is such a wonderful dessert to share with friends...on second thought, maybe don't share it... :) Enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pesto Salad

Lunch for today: pesto salad. I have tons of veggies in my fridge so I just threw this together for lunch. Here is a picture without cheese:
...and then with cheese:
To be honest, I don't even know why I took a picture without cheese because the cheese was delicious!

Pesto Salad
2 c. chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
1-2 c. chopped mushrooms
1 c. torn spinach
2 T. minced onion
1/2 c. shaved parmesan cheese (grated would work, too)
generous 1/4 c. prepared pesto sauce (or more to taste)
garlic powder
Combine veggies and cheese in a mixing bowl. Stir in pesto, salt to taste, and a good sprinkle of garlic powder. Makes several side-dish servings, or two giant main-dish servings! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nut Butter Cups

Today I made these tasty little treats. I've been craving chocolate and peanut butter thanks to Heather's many posts about the delicious combo. But in addition to making the traditional peanut butter cup, I made coconut butter cups, sunflower seed butter cups, and almond butter cups. Delightful!
Nut Butter Cups
dark chocolate chips
nut butter (any kind you choose, I used roasted/salted butters except the coconut)

Line a mini-muffin tin with papers. Melt chocolate in a double boiler until just melted and smooth. Drop a spoonful of chocolate in each cup and spread up the sides of the paper: Then place a small scoop of nut butter in each cup: Then top each cup with more chocolate: I made a lot... :) Once they're all covered with chocolate, place in the freezer until they set up.

I recommend keeping the finished product in a ziploc bag in the fridge or freezer so they stay good longer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turkey Wraps

This is a fun summer dinner. It doesn't take much time, and it's very versitile. You can use any veggies that sound good and you could use any meat in place of turkey.
Turkey Wraps
3 whole wheat wraps/tortillas
deli mustard
horseradish (optional)
3/4 c. shredded cheese
12 slices deli turkey (or other meat)
1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 bunch spinach

Place wraps on a cookie sheet and spread with mustard (and horseradish, if desired) then sprinkle with 1/4 c. cheese each. Place under a broiler until cheese is melted. Arrange four slices of meat on each wrap. Fill each wrap with sliced avocado, tomatoes, and two large handfuls of spinach. Roll up and enjoy. These are the tortillas that I used. They have lots of fiber and protien and only 80 calories. They were perfect. There are lots of different brands of tortillas that would work just fine. Buy one that your family likes and experiment with your fillings. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pecan Butter

I've been obsessing over nut butters lately. Right now, I have several different kinds in the fridge... :) This is the first time that I've actually made my own and it was so fun. I made toasted pecan butter and it is quite delicious and super easy.

Pecan Butter
3 c. pecan pieces (they're cheaper than whole pecans)
1/2 t. salt
This recipe takes only three steps.
1-Spread pecans in a cookie sheet and toast by placing them in the oven under a low broiler for 3-5 minutes. Watch them carefully as they can burn fast.
2-Transfer toasted pecans to a food processer and add salt.
3-On low speed, process for about 2 minutes or until butter is smooth and runny. Yields about 1 1/2 cups of nut butter. Store in the fridge.
This recipe is so yummy. Today, I ate it on whole wheat bread with some creamed honey on top. Sooooo good. You'll have to try it for yourself.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Build a Better Hot Dog

Okay, so a hot dog might not be the healthiest thing to eat, but come on! Who can resist a juicy hot dog in the summertime?? Not me, I love 'em. I totally believe that moderation in all things will make me happy! So here is my all time favorite way to eat a hot dog:
My Favorite Hot Dog
1 all beef hot dog
1 whole wheat bun
deli mustard
Pile up the hot dog, then devour. Yum, yum, yum!
3 Tips for a better hot dog:
1- Choose all beef hot dogs. It may sound silly, but all beef dogs taste WAY better! They do cost quite a bit more money, but it is definitely worth it! All beef, just trust me. :)
2-Use a whole wheat bun that has some fiber. I love whole wheat and it doesn't really taste that much different. Give them a try, you just might love them.
3-Pack some veggies on your dog! Instead of just plain old sugary ketchup, try tomatoes. Or instead of relish, try fresh chopped cucmbers with salt and pepper. Onions are also a delicious addition! It may surprise you, but veggies are very yummy on hot dogs.
Have fun experimenting with your hot dog! Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Breakfast Sundae

Dessert for breakfast??? Why not? This recipe is so fun because it looks and tastes like dessert, but it's really quite healthy. The kids will be so excited when you make these breakfast sundaes! It starts with chocolate "ice cream" and then you can top it with whatever you want.
Chocolate "Ice Cream"
1 c. oat bran
2 c. water
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. pure maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1/4 c. cocoa
1 t. vanilla
In saucepan, combine oat bran, water, and salt. Heat on high until boiling. Reduce heat to med-low and stir until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and add syrup, cocoa, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Cool slightly and refrigerate until cold. (Mixture might seem a little runny, but it will set up as it cools.)
So here's how I assembled mine: two scoops of chocolate "ice cream"...
...topped with 1 T. peanut butter, 1 sliced banana, and whipped cream. Yum!!
This was such a fun and yummy breakfast! Thank you to Katie for the inspiration! Try some other fun toppings like nuts, sprinkles, hot fudge, berries, or whatever you can think of!!! Enjoy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies

I've never been able to find a good oatmeal cookie recipe. I've tried several, and they all turned out too flat. So I took my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and adapted it to be oatmeal cookies. They are chewy and delicious and NOT flat! :)
Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
2 c. flour
2 c. oats
1-2 c. butterscotch chips*

Combine butter, sugars, vanilla, eggs and dry pudding. Mix well. Add cinnamon and soda and mix well again. Add flour and oats and mix until well incorporated. Stir in butterscotch chips. Heat oven to 375 F. Drop dough with a cookie scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

*You could use chocolate chips, raisins (or other dried fruit), nuts, or any combination of whatever you want!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Portobello Steak

I recently bought some portobello mushrooms at the store with no idea how I was going to use them... :) So one day I was searching for something to make for lunch and I remembered my mushrooms! All I did was saute them up and tada! An instant favorite.

Portobello Steak
1 portobello mushroom
2 t. butter
steak seasoning to taste (or just salt and pepper)

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Slice mushroom into roughly 1/4" slices and add to hot skillet. Saute for about 3-5 minutes or until tender. Season with steak seasoning or salt and pepper.

Today I seasoned mine with salt and garlic powder and it was great. I've also used my favorite dry steak seasoning and it was delicious, too. I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I must say this is a very filling dish that happens to be healthy and low in calories! Enjoy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blueberry Crumble

This was breakfast today and I must say it was beyond good! It's a healthier version of traditional crumble, but you'd never know it by tasting it. The original recipe comes from
Blueberry Crumble
1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 c. oat bran
2 T. almond butter (heaping)
dash salt
drizzle pure maple syrup (or honey)
sprinkle cinnamon

In a pie pan, microwave blueberries until slightly warm (about 1 minute, longer if using frozen.) Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Crumble oat mixture over blueberries and bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Serve with milk. This recipe makes one or two servings (depending on how much you want...) I ate the whole thing with milk and whipped cream. It was a fantastic way to start the day! Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quinoa Stir Fry

I have never tried quinoa before, but it was darn good. Apparently it's really healthy and fiber-rich (you can read about it's health benefits here.) Anyway, this was our dinner yesterday and my husband and I both really liked it.

Quinoa Stir Fry
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
1 T. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1 lb. shrimp
1 c. peas
soy sauce
hoisin sauce (optional)
chili garlic sauce (optional)

In a sauce pan, combine quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to med-low and cook until quinoa is fluffy and has absorbed all the water.

In a large skillet, melt butter and saute onions, garlic, and some salt and pepper. Cook until tender and add cooked quinoa. Season with a little more salt and pepper and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Spoon quinoa mixture into a bowl and set aside. Return skillet to heat and add peas and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are done and peas are tender.

To serve, layer quinoa onto a plate and top with shrimp and peas. Top with soy sauce (and hoisin sauce and chili garlic sauce if desired.)

Grilled Chicken & Corn Salad

Have leftover corn on the cob? Today, I had a bunch of leftover corn from a barbeque and I decided to make it into a salad.
Corn Salad
3 ears corn, cooked and cut from cob
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. chopped onion
2-3 c. torn greens (spinach, romaine, etc.)
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
garlic powder

Combine all vegetables in a large bowl and toss together with olive oil, salt and pepper, and some garlic powder. Set aside while you make your chicken.Grilled Chicken (I didn't actually grill mine, but either way...)

4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
steak seasoning (I like Weber Grill Creations)

In a large skillet, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Season chicken breasts with steak seasoning on both sides and cook in skillet until done (nicely browned with no pink in the middle.) Serve along with salad. I cut up my chicken and tossed it together with my salad. It was delicious! :) You could always use beef or seafood in place of the chicken. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Four Bean Salad

Can I just say that I love beans? I do! This reicpe combines several kinds of beans for a tasty salad.
Four Bean Salad
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans
1 (15 oz.) can grean beans
1/4 c. vinegar
1 T. sugar
2 T. oil
2 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. celery seed
1/2 t. dry mustard

Drain and rinse all beans and then combine in a large bowl. For dressing, stir together remaining ingredients, pour over bean mixture, and mix. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

Apple Pie Waffles

I am kind of embarrassed to say that I had never tried apple butter before this weekend. But I absolutely fell in love with it! It's so good!! This is what I have used it for the past two days:
This is the apple butter I used. The only ingredients are apples and apple cider. There are a lot of apple butters out there that have a lot of added sugar or corn syrup so try to find one that's less sugar and more fruit.
Apple Pie Waffles
1 recipe whole grain waffles (any kind you like)
real butter (optional)
apple butter, warm (or warm applesauce)
whipped cream

Atop a hot waffle, spread butter, apple butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and top with whipped cream. It's so yummy!

I use a 10 grain waffle mix from my local supermarket, but any type will work. I like to have a nice, high-fiber waffle. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Caramel Pretzel Bites

I've been naughty! Our family spent a few nights in the mountains and I brought these yummy treats with us. They were quite yummy, but I'm sure I ate too many of them! :)
Caramel Bites
1 bag rolos candy
112 (give or take) bite-size pretzels
Heat oven to 250 F. Arrange 56 pretzels on a foil-lines cookie sheet. Place rolos on top:
Bake for 10 minutes. Then press one pretzel on top of each of the melted rolos. Let cool. They were fun to make and they were delicious! Enjoy them for a special occasion.