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Tag Archives: Cook

Healthy Pumpkin Challah

17 Nov

Is there anything better than the smell or the taste of fresh, hot bread right out of the oven?! To me, there is nothing better :)

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I learned how to make challah bread by another leader in my culinary club I teach on campus, but it was the typical, unhealthy version of it. I knew I wanted to play around with making a healthy version, as one of my favorite foods in life is bread<3 And then life happened and I forgot.

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But then a few days ago, the nutrition’s office that I volunteer for on campus offered me a free bread maker! They were trying to get rid of it, and I gladly accepted. In the rain, on my scooter my mom got me for my 21st birthday, I scooted home with my glasses, interact jacket, and the bread maker in between my legs..probably not the safest thing I have ever done

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And then my passion for bread making was revived! Now that I didn’t have to spend the time kneading the bread, I knew I wanted to make it righttttt away. So, what a better way to begin my whole bread making than trying to make a healthy challah bread.

And then I had a great idea. Why not add a smidge of that PuMpKiN flavor that I love so dearly??

The rest was history. Nomnomnom.

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so maybe not the prettiest challah loaf, but I was proud for it being the first time making it!

My boyfriend who loves bread as well, was in heaven upon first slice.

Top the bread with some coconut oil and cinnamon, some agave, or some of my delicious homemade nut butters (like my java one, almond joy one, or even better, my healthy “not-tella” <3)

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Healthy Pumpkin Challah
Makes 1 loaf
1.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Oat Flour or White Flour
1/2 cup Pumpkin
1 Egg
1 Egg White
1/4 cup warm Milk
1 packet Instant Yeast
3T Agave
1T Coconut Oil, melted
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

For Egg Wash: 1 Egg, 1 tbsp Water, 1 tbsp Brown Sugar

Directions with Bread Maker: Place warm milk and yeast into bread maker. Allow to sit for about 3 minutes. Add All other ingredients except Egg Wash ingredients and turn bread maker onto the “Knead/Dough” setting. Allow to knead dough. When done, allow to rise once in bread maker until double in size. Once doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from bread maker and place on floured surface. Divide into 3 sections, and roll into “rope-like” stings of dough. Braid the three pieces of dough and pinch all three ends together on both ends of loaf. Place onto cookie tray sprayed with nonstick spray.Lay a towel over lightly and place in warm spot. Allow to double in size again, about 30 minutes. In small bowl, beat egg wash ingredients together. When loaf has doubled in size, brush egg wash mixture lightly on top (be careful not to deflate loaf), and place into preheated oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until slight brown and crisp to the touch. Remove and allow to cool. This bread served with a touch of coconut oil and cinnamon, or a touch of agave is delicious.

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin A which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C which is an immune booster, decreases blood pressure and risk of heart disease, and regulates cholesterol
6) Good source of vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin
7) High in potassium which is necessary for energy production, balancing fluid levels, and promoting strong bones

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Healthy Deviled Eggs

5 Nov

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Another delicious game day recipe!

We all love those fluffy, creamy deviled eggs. But they are anything but healthy for you. Filled with full fat mayonaise and all of those egg yolks. Thoughts of your pants getting tighter by the egg full…

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But now, you can fully enjoy that same delicious deviled egg taste, in a healthy way :)

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Healthy Deviled Eggs

– 12 Eggs, hard boiled
– 1/4 cup Low Fat Cream Cheese
– 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
– 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
– 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
– 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
Directions: After hard boiled eggs have cooled, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the yellow yolks into a bowl. Discard half of the yolks and place the remaining ones in a high speed blender or food processor. Add in all other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Scoop back into empty egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. Store in refrigerator until serving.

Egg Benefits
1) Rich in the proteins lutein and zeaxanthin, which aid in eye health
2) Aids in cardiovascular health
3) Rich in Choline, a B vitamin that is thought of as brain food” as it aids in neurological function and development
4) Prevents breast cancer
5) Leads to healthy skin, hair and nails- being high in sulfur
6) Contains 6 grams of protein and all the amino acids needed to build protein

Greek Yogurt
1) Help fight tummy fat
2) Contains good-for-you bacteria
3) Loaded with vitamins such as potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, B12 and B5
4) Great recovery after workouts: high source of protein
5) High in calcium
6) Prevents high blood pressure
7) Fights off colds and flus: healthy bacteria fights off the bad and boosts the immune system
8) Protects your teeth: lactic acid in yogurt protects your gums
9) High in protein, about 18-24 grams per serving

Butternut Squash Noodle Autumn Soup with Swiss Chard and Butter Beans

16 Oct

Who loves pasta?! Sadly, it’s one of those things that everyone feels they need to give up when embarking on the healthy lifestyle.

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But not anymore. Thanks to Ali, a fellow blogger and the founder of Inspiralized.com, you can now have noodles…the healthy way! After contacting me telling me all about her blog and the art of the spiralizer, I was so intrigued that I wanted to give her the spotlight here for a day :)

Ali has made a whole blog dedicated to food made with the spiralizer. If you haven’t heard of a spiralizer, you may have heard of zucchini pasta. Basically, the spiralizer makes noodles out of vegetables. This is such a creative, fun and HEALTHY way to cook.

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No longer do you need to fear noodles!!

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I told Ali I was a huge fan of pumpkin and squashes, so she made this delectable recipe. I got hungry just looking at the photographs!

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The recipe will be below, but head on over to Inspiralized.com to check out Ali if you would like to see if the spiralizer is something you would be interested in!

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Butternut Squash Noodle Autumn Soup with Swiss Chard and Butter Beans
Servings: 2
Time to Prepare: 15
Time to Cook: 30 minutes
Ingredients
(1) 3″ long peeled chunk of butternut squash, spiralized (a julienne peeler can also be used- full guide on spiralizing a butternut squash here: http://www.inspiralized.com/2013/10/09/how-to-spiralize-a-butternut-squash/)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme (or about 2 fresh sprigs)
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup butter beans
8 leaves of swiss chard
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese to garnish
Directions
Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then, add in the red pepper flakes, celery, red onion, and carrots. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and parsley. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until carrots begin to soften.
Add in the vegetable broth and raise heat to bring to a boil. Once the soup reaches a boil, add in the butternut squash noodles and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add in the butter beans and swiss chard. Cook for another 2 minutes or until squash noodles are softened and swiss chard has wilted.
Plate the soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Vanilla Latte Chia Pudding

20 Aug

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

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Haha yep, remember those green plants that would grow out of some type of fun shaped pot?! Well they aren’t only for growing great plant decorations anymore. They have entered into the healthy eating world now my friends. I mentioned how healthy chia seeds are in a couple posts back. But boy do they add a great texture as well.

Typical puddings usually have some type of unhealthy ingredient to thicken, whether it be the typical heavy cream, which is full of fat, or an artificial ingredient, which needs no more explanation. But say hello to these little black seeds. They may just become your new best friend. They are the perfect thickening agent for any recipe. A healthy and all-natural thickener with many benefits!

DSC_0090You may have seen some chia seed recipes around the internet before, as it’s quickly becoming popular. But this vanilla latte flavor was incredible. What sparked the flavor idea? Well, I can’t say it was my creativity actually. It was more of the fact that I had leftover vanilla flavored coffee one morning that I didn’t want to drink. And thought, hmmm, why not?!

I am most certainly happy I didn’t want the rest of my coffee that day, because what came from it was an amazing, simple snack that I will surely be making more often.

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Vanilla Latte Chia Pudding
-1/2 cup Strong Coffee
-1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
-3 T Chia Seeds (4 for thicker consistency)
-1 packet Stevia
-1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
-1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
Directions: Combine all ingredients in mug or small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, to allow it to thicken. Remove and sprinkle with extra cinnamon. Enjoy alone with a spoon, make it into a parfait, or serve alongside a cookie/biscotti.

Chia Seed Benefits
1) Combats Diabetes: with its gelatinous coating it can prevent blood sugar spikes, and is also slow digesting which has lead to it being a possible treatment for diabetes
2) High in fiber: just 1 oz. has 1/3 of daily needed amount
3) Packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
4) Supports Bone and Teeth Health: packed with calcium
5) High in Manganese: an essential mineral for your bones
6) Rich in Phosphorous: aids body in synthesizing protein for cell and also maintaining healthy bones
7) High in protein: great source for vegetarians
8) Fights Belly Fat: it’s stabilizing affect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which is tied to an increase of belly fat
9) Contain tryptophan: also found in turkey, it is responsible for regulating appetite and improving sleep
10) Improves heart health

Coffee Benefits:
1) It may lower risk of death according to studies performed
2) Lowers risk of cancer in the reproductive system
3) Lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
4) Help protect your brain
5) Great for skin/decreases skin cancer due to caffeine
6) Reduces risk of oral cancer
7) Strengthens muscles: studies show caffeine has similar effect to DNA molecules in muscles muscles of exercise

Healthy Ranch Dressing

15 Aug

We all love that creamy dressing, whether on a salad or as a dip for carrots and other veggies, but we also know we aren’t feeding our bodies very great nutrition while having it.

That is why I had to buy it when I found it. You may ask buy what? A big container of Ranch Seasoning Powder. Nothing too bad in the powder, it’s what the directions say to mix it with that’s the bad part! Mayonnaise? No thank you.

The funny thing is, even when substituting something else for the mayonnaise, it still has the same great flavor. And guess what? it isn’t only just good for healthy dressing, but serves as a great seasoning for almost anything! Chicken, veggies, even quinoa like I did with this recipe in another post!

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If you like the flavor of ranch, you should certainly invest in some of this. And if you don’t want a big container like mine from Costco, then they sell mini paper packages of a couple servings at most food stores!

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Healthy Ranch Dressing
-1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
-1/2 cup Almond Milk
-1.5 T Ranch Seasoning (comes dry in packets)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Let sit in fridge to thicken. Serve as a dressing or dip. Easy enough?!

Tip: For dip or a thicker dressing, use all Greek Yogurt and no milk!

Greek Yogurt Benefits
1) Help fight tummy fat
2) Contains good-for-you bacteria
3) Loaded with vitamins such as potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, B12 and B5
4) Great recovery after workouts: high source of protein
5) High in calcium
6) Prevents high blood pressure
7) Fights off colds and flus: healthy bacteria fights off the bad and boosts the immune system
8) Protects your teeth: lactic acid in yogurt protects your gums
9) High in protein, about 18-24 grams per serving

Why to Never Skip Breakfast + Carrot Cake Oatmeal

8 Aug

Breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. So often the diet mentality is to put off eating as long as possible after waking. But that is far from the healthy route to take. Why?

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When your body is deprived of food for long periods of time, it goes into a semi-starvation mode and can create a lot of physical, intellectual and behavioral problems. According to WebMD, skipping breakfast is strongly linked to the development of obesity. After much research, it has been found that skipping meals, especially breakfast, very often leads to overeating later in the day or gorging out late at night. These infrequent large meals can lead to weight gain. Not only does it lead to weight gain, but also the accumulation of fat.

What is the solution? Break the last 8-12 hour fast you have currently been on throughout the night with a delicious, healthy breakfast. Great options include high fiber, high protein and low sugar meals. Fiber and protein will keep you satisfied until the next meal, and less sugar will help avoid any spike in blood sugar levels. Oatmeal, fruit and yogurt parfaits and eggs with toast are good healthy choice. Remember, homemade will always be healthier than take out, so strive to plan ahead, even if it means making it the night before! Here is a sinlessly sweet oatmeal recipe to help you get excited for breakfast.

I also created a different overnight oats version of this carrot cake oatmeal recently in an acorn squash, so take a look at this recipe as well for one made a little differently here! This was used the natural sweetness of carrot juice to create a delicious taste, and then I placed it in a cooked squash for a delectable breakfast!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Recipe

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other nondairy milk/water)
1/4 cup cooked carrots
1 tablespoon unsweetened dried coconut
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp coconut extract (or vanilla extract)
A dash of sea salt
Add sweetener to taste (i.e. honey)

Directions: Place oats, milk, and carrots in bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and place into blender. Blend until smooth. Mix in other ingredients. Pour into bowl and top with any desired ingredients.

Tip: This can be made the night before and stored in the fridge until morning.

 

Spaghetti Squash Cakes, Sliders, and Pizza!

2 Aug

Remember that spaghetti squash I posted about yesterday? Well I have some fun creations for you all to try out next time you cook one.

There was a fun burger contest I was competing in on Instagram, and the day’s theme was sliders. I decided to get creative with my leftover spaghetti squash.

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Yep, for part of my creation, I decided to try to make some Spaghetti Squash Cakes. Wow, I could have eaten them all just plain like that! But I resisted (at least most of them) so I could create my desired product. Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders.

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These were so delicious. And so quick and simple! If you’re like me, and made my delicious turkey meatballs, and froze them for when wanting them (great food prep idea for quick meals), then you are basically set to go! Coupled with my homemade tomato basil sauce from yesterday, and you’ve got yourself some delicious yet healthy sliders.

But then another idea came. Why not make all the mini patties, into one, big patty. Or shall I say, pizza crust? :)

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Yes I sure did! I made a personal spaghetti pizza with some more spaghetti squash, by doubling my patty recipe! Using the same exact ingredients, but just in a new way! With so many different meal options, why not make my homemade turkey meatballs and tomato basil sauce, and freeze to have on hand?!

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Spaghetti Squash Cakes
Makes about 8 mini patties
-1 cup spaghetti squash,cooked
-1T coconut flour
-1T ground flaxseed
-1 egg white
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp each: garlic salt, onion powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Heat non stick pan on stove over medium heat. Form small patties with hands and place on hot pan. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Eat plain, as a side to a meal, or make my sliders or pizza below!

Spaghetti Sliders
-1 recipe of Spaghetti Squash patties, see above
-1/4 cup homemade tomato basil sauce, here (or any tomato sauce)
-4 Spinach and Sundried Tomato Turkey Meatballs, here
-1 big handful sauteed spinach
-1/4 cup low fat crumbled feta cheese (or cheese of choice)

Directions: Make patties according to recipe. Place half of the patties on a plate. Layer with sauteed spinach, tomato sauce, one small meatball, and feta cheese. Top with other patty. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Pizza-makes 1 big personal pizza
-2 batches of Spaghetti Squash Patty ingredients, above
-1/2 cup homemade tomato basil sauce (or tomato sauce of choice)
-2 spinach and sundried tomato turkey meatballs, crumbled into bits
-1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
-a few fresh basil leaves
-sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ingredients for two batches worth of spaghetti squash patties in bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread out onto a piece of parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray. Flatten to desired thickness. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until reaching desired crispness. Remove from oven and top with spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle crumbled meatballs and feta cheese, and top with basil leaves. Add sea salt and pepper to taste

Spaghetti Squash Benefits
1) Rich in vitamin C
2) Contains vitamins A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin K
3) Rich in minerals that lead to good healthy, the dominant being manganese. This aids in healthy bones, tissues, and sex hormones, and also plays in metabolism and regulation of blood sugar.
4) High in fiber, leading to satiety and decrease of cardiovascular disease
5) Only 42 calories in 1 cup compared to about 200 in a cup of spaghetti.

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)