Monthly Archives: July 2012

Black Bean Hummus

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When produce is nice and fresh in the summertime, I like to eat it raw as much as possible. Its nice in the scorching weather to have cold foods to eat but I have been getting really tired of eating salads. We have turned to hummus. We have been eating cucumbers by the dozen (literally) as well as fresh green peppers out of my garden. Hummus is a nice portable food and we bring a batch to the pool every time we go. We were out of chick peas one day so we adapted and went with black beans instead. I think we all actually preferred it over regular hummus, which is saying a lot if you have ever seen Alyssa devour hummus and literally lick the bowl clean.

Black Bean Hummus

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (save liquid)

1/4 avocado flesh

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp minced garlic

1/8 tsp salt (or more to taste)

1/8 tsp cumin (optional)

Drain and rinse a can of organic black beans. Add beans and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and puree until smooth. If you need to get it going, add back in a little of the liquid you saved from the beans.

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It may not look too pretty, or maybe I am not the best food photographer. Probably a combination of both.

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But it was delicious. We ate the entire thing in one sitting. I’d say we got our fiber in for the day!

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It was baby, kid, and mom approved with a great combination of healthy fats, carbs, and protein.

Nutritional Stats (for the entire batch!):

Calories: 386

Fat: 16.7 g

Sodium: 328 mg (14%)

Carbs: 46 g

Fiber: 19 g (!)

Sugar: 0.8 g

Protein: 16.2 g

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A Cereal Making Weekend

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Its no secret at this point I have a cereal addiction. And I am only partly kidding. If I have oatmeal for breakfast more than one day in a row, I seriously crave cereal and usually end up having it for a snack or lunch. It is the one processed food I still eat a decent amount of. I figured it was something that I couldn’t make at home because I had never heard of making your own breakfast cereal. I searched the internet for recipes and really didn’t find much. So I got to work with the trial and error method. Worse comes to worse, I get to eat the cereal that didn’t hold together, darn. I had pretty good success though, everything I tired was pretty good.  I have a feeling I won’t be buying boxed cereal much anymore.

Lets see, I made mock Recees Peanut Butter Puffs.

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Raisin Bran Crunch with coconut

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And golden grahams

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The golden grahams were my favorite. Maybe its because they took the least amount of tweaking since I already have a graham cracker recipe I love so I didn’t have to completely start from scratch. I modified that recipe and this turned out great!

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Over the course of the weekend I made 2 batches each of peanut butter puffs and graham cracker crunch, and one batch of crunchy raisin bran with coconut. They were small batches (since they were in the testing phase) but that was still roughly 25 servings of cereal. I THINK I still have enough leftover for us all to eat a couple bowls for breakfast tomorrow. That’s how much cereal I “tested” this weekend. I also had 2 other little mouths that helped me test quite a bit too. I think the peanut butter puffs actually made a better straight out of the jar snack than cereal. They were like tiny crunchy peanut butter cookie balls.

The only problem I have with the recipes is that they arent getting as puffy and airy as the store bought kind. I have used a little baking powder and baking soda but it doesn’t seem to help. I am thinking that may just be the case since its homemade and not pressurized and expelled out of a machine that blasts air into the cereal. From what I’ve been reading, all cereals, even organic, are made using an expeller machine which denatures the proteins in the cereals and leaves byproducts of toxins. So I will take slightly denser cereal over toxins.

You would think making all that cereal, I wouldn’t have baked anything else all weekend. But I baked some brownies with a peanut butter fudge icing to take to an evening at the park with my husbands squadron Sunday night. That fudge on top was pretty darn good. I made the brownies semi healthy so I could go all out with the frosting.

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As if I really needed to make more breakfast food, I also made some waffles. I wanted to play around with the idea of soaking my grains before using them. I am usually a pancake person over waffle but I think that’s because they are too dry usually. These were not dry at all and they were gluten free. I used oats and millet as my flours.

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I did do one thing that didn’t include cooking this weekend. I am currently in the middle of a bittersweet project. I am making decorations for Cassidy’s first birthday party. How in the heck is my baby girl 1 already?

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They party is a lollipop theme and this is her happy birthday banner in process. I already made a lollipop pinata from paper mache and tissue paper. Although it is a massive pinata and hard as a rock so I think I may have to let some of the adults take a whack. I am sure I will have plenty of takers on that one!

Does anyone soak their grains before using them?

Any ideas as to how to add some puff or air to my peanut butter puffs?

Slightly Sweet Corn Studded Cornbread Recipe

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When I was growing up, we ate cornbread from the Jiffy box. It was sweet cornbread to say the least. My mom actually said my Nana would add even more sugar to the jiffy box when she made cornbread. Then I met Dave and he was not used to his cornbread sweet at all. The first New Year’s Dave and I were dating, I spent it in Missouri with his family. I guess cornbread and black eyed peas are good luck to eat on January first so that’s what we had. They eat their cornbread without any sugar at all. Going from cornbread that tasted like cake to zero sugar was quite the switch. Since Dave wasn’t used to his cornbread tasting like cake, I came up with a healthy compromise.

Slightly Sweet Corn Studded Cornbread

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1 cup milk or buttermilk

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 + 1/4 cups cornmeal

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup corn

Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Add greek yogurt, milk, sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl mix together flour, corn meal, and baking soda. Combine wet and dry. Stir in corn.

Place in an 8 inch pie pan and bake at 375 for 30-35 mintues or 20-25 minutes for muffins. I actually made some of mine into mini muffins and loved them being bite sized. Theres something about being able to eat 4 mini muffins instead of 1 large one that’s really satisfying.

I have used corn cut fresh off the cob, frozen, and canned. All work well but of course the fresh off the cob is best.

The sweetness of the corn allows for less sugar in the actual batter. Some cornbread recipes call for an entire cup of sugar! Lets just call that corn-cake.

Variations and Substitutions:

I have also made it with 1/2 cup greek yogurt instead of half butter, half yogurt. The consistency is the same but you lose that hint of butter flavor obviously.

Or if you wanted to make it vegan, use earth balance in place of butter, plain soy yogurt, and unflavored almond milk.

I decided I wanted to start recording nutritional facts on my recipes. Where as I don’t count calories, I definitely pay attention to calories, protein, sodium, etc in my foods as overall heath factors. Sodium is a big one that many people eat WAY more than the recommended amount. I like to pay attention to the percentages for things like sodium, it makes it easier to tell how much you are eating and how much you should be eating. I also want to keep track of carbs in my recipes in case I get gestational diabetes again and have to count carbs.

Soaked Instructions: Place cornmeal and whole wheat flour in a glass bowl. Add 1 cup buttermilk and the greek yogurt. Cover and let sit overnight. It will be thick. When ready to bake, combine all remaining ingredients and then stir into soaked flour. Bake as instructed above.

Nutrional facts for 1 muffin:

Calories: 151

Fat: 5 g

Cholesterol: 11 mg (4%)

Sodium: 147 mg (6%)

Total Carbohydrates: 24 g (8%)

Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Sugars: 5.9 g

Protein: 3.5 g

My Munchkin’s Dinner

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I see dinner as a time for the entire family to sit down and enjoy good food together. There is no tv or answering cell phones, just a time for us all to sit and talk around the table. Although the kids and I eat all 3 meals at the table this way, dinner includes Dave, which is nice for some adult conversation. We all eat dinner every night around 6. Although it often gets pushed as late as 730 depending on when Dave leaves work. If he isn’t going to make it home until really late, we usually eat around 530 since theres no reason to hold off and then I will sit with him when he gets home and eats. I know many couples wait until their kids go to bed to eat but I like to make it a family affair. It’s a nice time to all sit and enjoy each other. Plus since my kids go to bed on the later side (815-830), and theres no way I could wait that late to eat. Since Dave gets home late, the kids go to bed later and sleep in later so he gets a chance to spend some time with them in the evenings.

For dinner I usually make a meat, vegetable, and whole grain. Sometimes we have 2 vegetables, usually one starchy one and one non-starchy one. Again, whatever I make Dave and I, the kids eat it too. This also helps force me make healthy meals for Dave and I since I only want healthy whole foods in my babies growing bodies (fyi:Cassidy is 11 months and Alyssa is 3 1/2).

Some of our dinner this last week were:

Steak (shredded pretty small for cassidy), corn on the cob, sweet potato fries, and whole grain corn muffins. I am posting the corn muffin recipe tomorrow.

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Meatloaf, roasted asparagus, parmesan millet

Chicken and zucchini enchiladas with homemade sauce and topped with greek yogurt and avocado. This is a new recipe and my kids devour it. Alyssa actually ate twice what was on her plate.

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Rosemary dijon chicken over brown rice with broccoli

Crockpot whole chicken, sweet potatoes, green beans, more corn muffins

White turkey chili with whole wheat baguette

And leftovers one night.

Cassidy has her oatmeal cereal mixed with beastmilk around 730. Alyssa has a snack sometimes around then too. Tonight she had a little bit of popcorn in the stroller while I ran. She will also have a cookie or some banana bread if I baked it for dessert that night.

I look forward to dinner time every night and hope its something we can continue to do as the kids get older and their schedules get crazy.

WIAW and a Circuit Workout

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I feel like my eating in the summer is all over the place. Its either so healthy and packed with all of the fresh local produce available or its BBQ and dessert foods. Today was a good example. My lunch consisted of all fresh produce plus an ice cream sundae.

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: 2 cups grape nut flakes, 2 cups cheerios, 1.5 cups skim milk

Lunch: salad with goat cheese, 1 green pepper, honey mustard dressing. Cream Cheese wrapped in smoked salmon. 1 cup cheeries. An ice cream sundae.

Alyssa has her end of the summer reading program ice cream party today. My 3 1/2 year old read for 12 hours over the last 4 weeks all by herself! I can’t believe how well she reads. Girl wanted that ice cream party!

Snack: 1 cup 2% cottage cheese plus 1 massive local peach. My new favorite thing to eat! Local peaches are SO much better its amazing.

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Dinner: 7 oz new york strip steak, 1.5 corn on the cob, sweet potato fries, homemade cornbread with a little butter.

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Snack: 3 homemade almond coconut cookies and 1 hershey kiss.

The cookies were made to take with us to a beach party tomorrow for my husband’s squadron. The ingredients were almonds, coconut, and a very small amount of honey and coconut oil. They turned out great. A hearty filling cookie that would be a great snack or even breakfast really. With 2 Tbs of honey between 15 cookies, I think that’s healthy enough to be breakfast worthy.

After dinner I was planning on going for a run. That was until I heard a loud noise and looked out to see my outside table had blown over, with my umbrella attached. It was blowing so hard in one direction I couldn’t even tip it back upright. The trees were literally touching the ground from being bent over so far from the wing. Considering I was going to run pushing a double stroller, I would have literally not been able to move in that wind. So what did we do instead? Baked cookies of course! At least I got in a quick circuit workout after the girls were in bed. It felt great and I expect to be sore tomorrow.

100 on down

And just because, here is my little reading machine showing me her split. How are kids so flexible?

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Is anyone else’s summer eating all over the place or is it just me?

Weekend Wrapup

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I did a lot of baking and cooking over the weekend, SURPRISE! That’s seriously all I do some days. Alyssa loves helping me, I love doing it, and we both love eating it! Can’t go wrong.

Over the course of the weekend we had zucchini chocolate chip waffles.

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I made a delicious ground turkey curry dish for dinner one night. I winged it on Friday night and came out with a major winner. I need to buy ground turkey to make it again so I can record the recipe. Of course I just poured ingredients in without measuring but now at least I have an excuse to make it again. Alyssa will be thrilled. What 3 year old devours turkey curry then uses her bread to sop up the sauce from my plate? My kids. I love it!

Homemade fig newtons from fresh figs picked straight from the tree. The berry farm we pick blueberries at has a fig tree and they freshly picked a pint for us right on the spot. Doesn’t get any fresher than that! Anyone had a fresh fig before? They are like candy they are so sweet. Needless to say my girls loved them!

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We also bought a watermelon from the farm that was picked that morning. A giant seedless watermelon. Its gone now. I am going back in the next day or two to buy another for sure!

We also made a blueberry cobbler with the fresh blueberries we picked. I told you I did some baking! Fruit, vegetables, and baked goods were my diet this weekend. Its all about balance right? I even got in a quick run and burpee/plank circuit in after church.

Ooo and look what else I got. I have a dslr camera, a video waterproof camera, and my iphone camera. But I don’t have a nice pocket size one I can carry at the same time as 2 kids and a diaper bag. Happy early birthday to me!

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Thanks Dave!

The Best Single Serving Cookie; A Recipe

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I am a lucky woman to be married to Dave. We both love to play games, workout, hangout with our family, and eat. We really like to eat! We are known in our group of friends as the ones who eat a lot. I am lucky to have a partner in crime to devour an entire batch of cookies with. However I know there are some people out there who don’t like eating 10 cookies in one sitting (although I may not understand those people). For those of you who have a husband (or wife) who don’t share your sweet tooth, this recipe is perfect! Or for those who are watching what they eat but still want a little something sweet. These are healthy as far as cookies go but still use the “real” ingredients. Its not bananas instead of butter or splenda instead of sugar. But with the use of light butter, and little sugar, they clock in at 150 calories for both cookies! I make these on nights when Dave works late and I don’t have my cookie buddy.

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Single Serving Cookie

2 tsp light butter

2 tsp packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

8 chocolate chips

Slightly melt butter in microwave. Stir in brown sugar. Mix in flour and baking soda then chocolate chips. If the batter is a little too thick add a couple drops of milk.

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Spoon onto cookie sheet in two 1 inch balls.

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Cook at 350F for 9-11 minutes depending on if you like your cookies underdone or a little crunchy.

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I did 10 minutes and they came out perfect!

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They had that nice crusty, crunchy outer with a soft inside.

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If you want more, say 4 cookies, just double it. It works great!

Want some variations? I have made them quite a few equally delicious ways…

-Roll the dough in a little cinnamon sugar and omit the chocolate chips for snickerdoodles.

-Use 1 tsp peanut butter and 1 tsp butter instead of 2 tsp butter for peanut butter cookies.

-Use 1 TB oats and 1 TB flour instead of 2 TB flour and sub raisins for chocolate chips for oatmeal raisin.

I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy which means I have a 2/3 chance of getting gestational diabetes with my future pregnancies. Therefore now when I look at nutritional stats of dessert I make, I tend to look at the number of carbohydrates in it so I can see if I could eat it pregnant. Well these cookies are just 1 serving of carbs which means I could eat these pregnant. You don’t know how big of a deal that is unless you have been a starving pregnant woman told you couldn’t eat desserts!