Archive for snacks

Turkey and Guyere Muffins

Before I went to the store yesterday I started trying to figure out what to make myself for lunch for this week. I try to cook my lunch during the weekend so that I don’t have to deal with it on weekeday mornings.

I decided to do a turkey and cheese muffin, but I wanted it to be more healthful than most of the recipes I was finding. I wanted it to be hearty enough to be lunch. I started looking for whole wheat muffin recipes, but none were what I wanted. Then I realized that I had the answer already on my grocery list. I was making Char’s Pumpkin Chocolate chip Muffins. I adapted the recipe to be savory by lowering the all purpose flour content and upping the wheat/flax content. I cut out most of the sugar.

I packed one for lunch today topped with a bit of homemade cranberry chutney and it was DELICIOUS!

You MUST make these. It was such a great lunch! I had a cup of chocolate-vanilla light yogurt as dessert, and it was nicely filling.

I think you could make this vegetarian if you could think of a nice replacement for the heartiness of the turkey. Maybe some walnuts?

If you can’t find guyere, experiment with other cheeses. A Swiss/Parmesean mix would work well, I bet.

These are great to make at the same time as the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, becuase after you make those you’ll have aproximately 1/2 cup of pumpkin leftover.

Turkey and Guyere Muffins:

Ingredients

1st set:
-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
-1/4 cup all purpose flour
-1/3 cup wheat germ
-1/3 cup ground flax seed
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 – 1 tsp salt
-dash of garlic powder

2nd set:
-1/2 Cup Egg Beaters (or other liquid egg substitute, I used the type with extra Omega 3) or 2 eggs
-1/2 Cup pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just straight-up pumpkin- look in the baking section, just make sure to pick up the correct can)
-1/2 Cup unsweetened apple sauce (if you buy the six-packs of personal-sized applesauce, one of those is 1/2 cup)
-2 Tbsp butter, melted
-1 cup (or 1/4 pound) diced sandwich turkey or ham (I used maple honey turkey from the deli at Harris Teeter)
-1/2 cup guyere cheese, diced
-1/3 – 1/2 small sweet yellow onion, diced

Mix the 1st set of ingredients together and mix the second set of ingredients (make sure the butter has cooled before you add the egg) together in two separate bowls.

Mix the two sets of ingredients together.

Spoon into a buttered muffin pan

350 degrees for 20-25 minutes for regular sized muffins.

Note: I actually used *slightly* less flax/wheat germ, and *slightly* more all purpose flour. But I couldn’t really come up with a measurement for that, and I think the measurements provided will work just fine.

Turkey and Guyere muffins

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

The following recipe was one of my very first baking successes. Charlotte had made these several times for me, and they were so good that I decided I needed to try them for myself after I no longer lived with her. First I’m going to give you the original recipe. Below that I will give you some of the changes I made last night to make them slightly more healthful. The first way is a bit easier and is more likely to use ingredients you have on hand. The second way makes you feel slightly better about eating a kajillion of them as soon as they have come out of the oven.

Chocolate Chip Pupmkin Muffins

Ingredients:

DRY:
1 2/3 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 tbs. pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of mostly cinnamon with a dash of nutmeg and/or allspice, or even just cinnamon)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

WET:
2 eggs
1 Cup pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just straight-up pumpkin- look in the baking section, just make sure to pick up the correct can)
1/2 stick butter melted
1 Cup Choc. Chips (or a bit more! I like dark chocolate chips of course, and I use Ghirardelli)

Mix the wet ingredients together and mix all dry ingredients together in two separate bowls. If you heated the butter in the microwave make sure that the wet ingredients have cooled before you add the eggs or chocolate chips.

Combine wet and dry.

Spoon into a buttered muffin pan

350 degrees for 20-25 minutes for regular sized muffins. This makes aproximately 6 regular muffins, or 12 mini muffins. If you make mini muffins start keeping an eye on them after about 12 minutes. I usually make mini ones.

Variations: Here are some of the variations that Charlotte included in her original email.

-use half flour and half rolled oats- makes them more filling and hearty
-use walnuts
-use MnMs, it’s very colorful and silly

Rhiannon’s slighty-more-healthful chocolate chip pumpkin muffins:

Replace the 1 2/3 c. all purpose flour with:
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. mixture of wheat germ and ground flax seed

add 1/2 c. crushed walnuts to the mix

Use 1/2 c. egg beaters (or other brand liquid egg substitute) in place of the eggs. I used the type with added omega 3.

You could probably try adding applesauce instead of butter, but I decided to just leave the butter in. Though I did use Smart Balance’s 50/50 butter/olive oil spread blend.

Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

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Chocolate yogurt

I love the chocolate whipped yogurt that Yoplait makes. But it’s not light or low fat and by the time they whip so much air in it is not very much yogurt for the money or for the calories.

Stonyfield Farms makes a chocolate yogurt, and though some of their yogurts are really good, their chocolate is GROSS.

So I figured there was no good way to get light chocolate yogurt… until I had a lightbulb moment.

Chocolate Yogurt

6-8 ounces low fat (or whatever you like) vanilla yogurt.
1 tsp cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate)

Mix the two ingredients. I then topped mine with a small handful of hemp granola to add some crunch.

A tablespoon of cocoa powder only has 5 calories and .5 g of fat. So a teaspoon is practically non-existant. If you find a tsp isn’t quite enough, add a bit more!

Also, if you buy yogurt in big containers you’ll save money and packaging. Just spoon out however much you want into a small plastic container, mix your chocolate, add cereal/granola/fruit if you want and take it to go with lunch!

Yum!

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Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes

Until now most of my recipes have been tweaked enough that I wanted to repost the whole recipe. But when it comes to recipes from Pioneer Woman, they’re usually difficult to improve. Plus she takes such wonderful pictures that I it’s just a way better idea to link you to her recipes and let you see for yourself.

This recipe is actually by her friend Pastor Ryan, and man does he make good food!

Pastor Ryan’s Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/07/roasted-ricotta-roma-tomatoes/

I made these last week while we were at the beach. My mom was having guests over and I pulled together a quick lunch for them. Mostly it was an excuse to try this recipe. Everyone loved it. They taste like little (low carb, i bet) pizzas.

These are my new favorite appetizer, and if you invite me to any gathering in the near future I’ll probably bring some!

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THE dip

THE dip

Ahh, the dip. A party staple amongst my friends. I’m not sure exactly how it originated, JP and Breandan could probably fill us in on that. I’ve changed it a bit to suite my tastes, but it’s still close.

I’ve been waiting to post this recipe until I made it again and got a picture, but I made it for our beach trip last week and totally forgot to take a picture of it. And really, it’s pretty ugly looking, so a picture would probably deter you from making it. But this stuff is GREAT. I usually serve it with tortilla chips, but I have literally made a sandwich out of it!

Rhiannon’s version of THE dip

1 large can vegetarian baked beans
1/2 regular-sized jar salsa (maybe 4-6 ounces), I use mild, but use what you like
1/2 small block mozerella cheese, shredded
1/2 small block cheese of choice, shredded (I would use monterray jack here maybe)
1/2 small block other cheese of choice, shredded (cheddar is good)

Unlike most recipes, I have used bags of mixed cheeses to great success. If you’d rather do this, use about 1.5 cups of cheese.

Heat the beans and salsa on the stove until they are just starting to boil. Remove from heat and add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring after each addition. Supposedly stirring in a figure 8 fasion helps.

This will be liquidy to start with, though it will thicken up. It’s yummy either way!

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Cocoa Nuts

I love dark chocolate. Feel free to use milk chocolate if you prefer.

Cocoa Nuts:

2 cups almonds (I used roasted/salted almonds)
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar (you can find this on the baking aisle near the artificial sweeteners)
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon powdered sugar (I didn’t have any, so I had to use regular sugar)

Put the nuts in a bowl and add the nectar. Mix until thoroughly coated. Add the cocoa and mix until coated. Add powdered sugar to taste.

cocoa nuts

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Granola Bars

I’ve been trying to find a good way to make a chewy granola bar for years. I tried several years ago for Falcon Ridge, but they involved a lot of flour and sugar, and they seemed almost more like granola cakes.

Most of the recipes that I’ve found call for lots of sugar and/or corn syrup. I wanted to find something a bit better for me, though I held no delusions that I would find something actually low in calories and fat…that’s just not the nature of the granola bar beast.

What I came up with today is really good. It’s a recipe that can be played with, if you don’t like almonds, use some other nut, or leave them out. Like raisins more than craisins? That’s cool. Don’t want dark chocolate? Fine with me.

Granola Bars

2 cups granola (I used a hemp granola from Whole Foods)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used smart balance peanut butter, but I think that next time I’d actually use almond butter)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup crasins
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup agave nectar (you can find this at any grocery store in the aisle with all the alternative sweeteners, and artificial sweeteners)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips

In a small sauce pan heat the peanut butter, agave, vanilla, and honey until boiling. Let boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Don’t let it burn. Pull it off the heat after a couple of minutes boiling.

Mix the granola, flax, wheat germ, and almonds together in a large bowl. Add in the peanut butter mixture. Being careful not to burn yourself, mix it all together. Immediately press it into an 8×8 pan lined with foil or parchment. Press down firmly all over and then press some more. You want it pretty compressed. Then sprinkle with chocolate chips and press those in (your hands are going to get chocolaty, I can’t help that).

Let cool completely and then slice into bars of whatever size you like. It helps to dip the sharp knife into a cup of hot water before you slice.

Here is a little cooking tip: if you spray your measuring cup with non stick spray before you put honey in, it will help keep the honey from sticking to the cup.

granola barsgranola bar


granola bar

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