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Monday, January 30, 2012

Fiber One Blueberry Banana Nut Muffins

This is a simple recipe I tweaked using a Fiber One Muffin mix. Ok so I cheated a little but it was about 5 am on a school day and I was getting that baking plague again (didn't I just bake bread yesterday?). I made it low fat and cholsterol free using applesauce and egg whites as opposed to oil and whole eggs. I also added dried blueberries because they are my favorite dried fruit and I really wanted to make this recipe my own as much as possible. Throw in some chia seeds and you've got your omega-3's. I have to warn you though, since I used a box mix the ingredient list was less than healthy, as in sugar was the first ingredient. They are about 12 grams of sugar per large muffin so I reduced this by making minis. When I have a longer amount of time to cure my baking plague I will make some muffins from scratch and throw in some healthier ingredients and less sugar. Maybe even raw agave or honey to sweeten. All things said these muffins are delicously loaded with blueberries and fiber that tastes cake-y with a soft crumb. I'm eating one as I write this along with a cup of green tea with honey and might I add, it's a beautiful combination.

Fiber One Blueberry Banana Nut Muffins
(slightly adapted from Fiber One)
*makes about 36 minis as the box says but I only had one mini muffin tin so I got about 12 minis and 6 big muffins
Allergy info: contains wheat, walnut, and milk ingredients

1 box Fiber One Banana Nut Muffin mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup applesauce
2 egg whites
2/4 cup dried blueberries (or your fave dried fruit)
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional but adds a bit of crunch and lot's of nutrtion)

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

1.) Grease or line a mini (or large) muffin tin (preferably paper cups if using muffin liners).
2.) Stir Muffin Mix, water, applesauce, and egg whites in a medium bowl just until blended (lumps are expected, do not overmix or your muffins will be too dense). Gently fold in blueberries and chia seeds (if using).
3.) Bake about 9 minutes for minis and about 15 for regular sized muffins. The tops of the muffins should spring back, this is a good reference as to when they are done. Remove muffins from oven.
4.) Cool 5 minutes, carefully remove from pan (if not using liners, run a knife around the edges of the muffins before removing). Cool completely before storing loosely covered at room temp, or refridgerate up to a week, or freeze up to 3 months. To rewarm, microwave 1 muffin uncovered on paper towel on 50% power 10-15 seconds,20-25 seconds if in the fridge, or 30-35 seconds if frozen.

Nutrition (per 1 regular sized muffin as prepared): 140 calories (30 calories from fat), 3 grams total fat (1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams monousaturated fat), 0 milligrams cholsterol, 230 milligrams sodium or 10%, 70 milligrams potassium or 2%, 5 grams dietary fiber or 20%, 27 grams total carbohydrate or 20%, 12 grams sugar, 2 grams protien

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wholesome Sesame Quinoa Bread

Do you ever get the urge to just bake? Well unfortunately I get that feeling a little too often therefore, I end up getting my fair share of carbs. Even so, I can't avoid it. I can't let the feeling pass. When I get this so-called baking plague, I simply must cure it. I feel that baking is  such a great therapy and most heartfelt bakers would agree with me. I use a bread machine for most of my baking which can always cure me quickly, but a good kneading after a stressful day does wonders for the soul. I also enjoy the setting up of ingredients in my beautiful Paula Dean prep bowls that my mom gave me for christmas. She knows me all too well...Anyways, onto the bread. This bread is hearty and fiber-filled. As the kneading process begins you will be entranced by the smell of dark Asian sesame oil. Truely there is nothing better than the smell of baking bread.

        Wholesome Sesame Quinoa Bread
(from The Breadman's Healthy Bread Book by George Burnett)
                         (1 1/2 lb loaf)
Note: All ingredients must be at room temp (80-100 degrees F)

1 cup lus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark Oriental sesame oil
2 tablespoons barley malt syrup (I didn't have this so I used molasses instead, if you do this decrease to 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon liquid lecithin* (I used granular, if you use this then use 2 1/2 tablespoons, yes tablespoons not teaspoons)
1/3 cup unhulled sesame seeds (mine were hulled and toasted and it turned out fine)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used 2 cups whole wheat and 1/2 cup coconut flour for added fiber and protien)
3 tablespoons quinoa grain
3 tablespoons powdered whey (plain)
2 tablespoons gluten flour (aka vital wheat gluten)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Note*: You can find lecithin at most health stores, I got a big jar of it for $11 and it will last a long time. Plus, it's very nutrtious and you can add it to any baked goods or drinks. I always put it in my protien smoothies.

1.) Put all ingredients in the inner pan of your Breadman bread machine in order listed (or the opposite if you are using a different machine that calls for dry ingredienta first and liquids last, just follow your manual).
2.) Select: basic wheat cycle-1 1/2 pound loaf-light crust.
3.) Push start and let your mouth water and your stomach grumble from the smell of sesame oil.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hide Your Carrots Smoothie

My mom told me she once used to hide her carrots underneath her dinner plate when she was little. Didn't she know her parents would see them when they cleaned the table? Anyways, whether you like carrots or not, this smoothie will help you love them a little more. It's simple really, you see the sweetness from the strawberries and bananas really brings out the sweet flavors in the carrot and the three all make really great friends in your blender. It's a party, won't you join me?

Hide Your Carrots Smoothie
(serves 1)

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into sizes your blender can handle
1 large banana, free of skin (duh) and cut into slices
3 large strawberries, sliced
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop 100% Vegan chocolate protein powder (optional but it makes it more filling, and um chocolatey)

1.) Blend and whip everything into your heart's desired consistancy, adding ice cubes if your feelin cool.
2.)Pour into a nice tall glass. Take a sip and think "why didn't I try this earlier?"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loaded Spinach Salad For One

I've been strength training and doing cardio at least 5 times a week for a while and my weight has decreased to a less than healthy level so right now I'm working towards gaining about 5 pounds. For this I have to up my calorie intake slightly to adjust according to my new formed muscle mass and metabolism. But I don't just want to gain them in a throw-caution-to-calories-and-health-food kind of way. I want to make sure the weight I gain is healthy and lean. This spinach salad is super filling and packed with all sorts of good nourishment for your body- protien, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It's just what my body needs for some healthy fuel. I like my salads with lot's of extra add-ins so if you like your salads a little lighter just adjust the amounts to suit your taste.

Loaded Spinach Salad for One

1 cup fresh baby spinach
half a block of extra firm tofu, sliced into strips
1 small red apple, cut into small chunks
a few slices of red onion, to suit your taste
about 1/8 of a carrot, washed, peeled, and made into small curls using a vegetable peeler
4 cherry tomatoes, each sliced in half
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 tablespoons dried blueberries or cranberries (sometimes I use a mixture and it's always delicous)
1 large strawberry, cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons light honey mustard
1 tablespoon nutrtional yeast (optional)
salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

1.) In a large bowl combine the spinach, veggies, apple, and berries. Toss lightly. Then if you like place it on your plate or another personal sized bowl (or eat it out of the large bowl, go ahead with your bad self!)
3.) Lightly grease a medium skillet with extra-virgin olive oil or your fave oil ( If I'm in a hurry I use a wok, if you do this you must use a high heat oil like safflower to keep the tofu from burning). Fry the tofu over medium heat until lightly brown and crisp, flipping over half way to brown both sides and being careful not to break it apart too much. Another way I like to do this is to cut the tofu in thin strips and grill it on my counter top George Foreman, they are so handy.
4.) When tofu is done, remove from skillet and arrange slices over your salad, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
5.) In a small prep bowl whisk together the salt, pepper, and nutrtional yeast with the honey mustard. If you didn't add anything to the honey mustard then just drizzle over the top.
6.) There you have it! A belly-filling and delicous loaded salad to fuel your rockin body. Eat up and feel satisfied!

Vegan Double Chocolate Spoon Protein Smoothie

This smoothie is so thick and lucious you can eat it with a spoon. Seriously, you will find a hard time tipping the glass back and trying to pour it into your mouth. Isn't that amazing? It really makes it super filling and really indulgent tasting. It's double chocolatey and did I mention it has peanut butter too? Are you drooling yet?

Vegan Double Chocolate Spoon Protein Smoothie
1 Cup water
1 Cup almond milk
half of a banana
1 Tablespoon Dark Chocolate Dreams vegan pb
2 scoops 100% vegan chocolate protein powder
1 Tablespoon Lecithin (This is optional, it just ups the nurtrion content and helps burn fat. It can be found at GNC)

1.) Place all ingredients into your blender in order listed
2.) Then blend away using the "blend" and then "whip" settings, if you have them.
3.) Drink Spoon smoothie into your mouth and enter bliss-mode.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Broccoli Is Bearable Salad

I could never stomach raw broccoli until I tried this salad. It's pretty low fat if you use light mayo and hey, the broccoli cancels that out right? Besides broccoli, this salad has all sorts of goodies to hand out- apples, pumpkin seeds, berries, and whatever else your little heart desires. This salad makes two decent sized portions.

Broccoli is Bearable Salad:
half a head of broccoli, cut into florets
half a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small red apple (or whatever you have on hand, I used washington), cut into chunks
2 slices of your fave lunch meat, torn into small pieces (I like black pepper turkey)
1/4 cup dried mixed berries (I had a blend of dried raisins, cranberries,cherries, and blueberries)
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
3 tbsp light mayo (olive oil mayo or even veganese would go nicely with this too)
1 tsp raw honey (if you buy your honey local it can help with allergies!)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt, to taste
1.) Combine the liquids (mayo, vinegar, and honey) in a medium bowl, mix well.
2.)Then add the rest of the ingredients (unless you like your seeds super crunchy, if you do leave them out). Toss and stir to coat every piece in delicous mayo goodness.
3.) Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors really develop.
4.) If you left the pumpkin seeds out then sprinkle them over the top at this point, then serve, and remind people to eat their broccoli more often! :) Maybe they will now?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A word on My Pictures....

Cooking and food blogging is real art that takes some talent and skills, many of which I do not posess. I don't think I'm really what you would call a starving artist because my pantry is always well stocked and stapled; but maybe I'm starving for a better food blog. Maybe I'm starving for a wonderful Nikon so my pictures could actually be blog quality. Alas, I am left to my own devices and that is my iphone 4 camera. Therefore, I apologize for the lame pictures!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some of my favorite ingredients

These are some of my favorite ingredients and supplements that I use almost daily to up the nutritional content of everything I use to fuel my body and get me through the day. I threw in some ideas on just how you can make these part of your diet too. The ingredients are listed in order from top left to right then bottom left to right.

Coconut Flour: This flour is high in fiber and an excellent source of protein. It has a great coconut-y flavor that really goes well in baked goods and breads.

Milled Flax Seed: Flax seeds are one of the most versatile ingredients around and they are chocked full of good for you fats and fiber and are a low carb addition. You can blend them into smoothies, add them to an array of baked goods such as breads, cookies, homemade granola bars etc., yogurt, pancake or waffle batter. The possibilites are endless. If you add them to batters and baked goods you may need to up the water content slightly. I always use milled flax seed, as the whole seed itself is not easily digestable by the body and you will absorb very little nutrients from them. Remember to always drink plenty of fluids when eating high quantities of flax. Source:

Chia Seeds: These seeds are amazing little lovelies, they truely are. They promote cardiovascular health with their omega-3's. With six times more calcium than milk, they support joint function and mobility. They have higher quantities of satiating protein than soy. They easily absorb 12 times their weight in water and help to remove toxins in the intestines. Also, if your looking to watch your weight, Chia has a filling high fiber content and an ability to lower blood sugar levels when eaten along with meals thus making it an ideal and super healthy weight loss apprentice. They have a neutral nutty flavor that makes them great to add to anything. My favorite ways to use these ebony beauties is to add them to my fave granola bar recipes or sprinkle them over pb or raw almond butter on some homemade black bread. Source:

Nutritional Yeast: This is a deactiviated yeast (it won't make baked goods rise) that has an interesting cheesy flavor that can be added to pretty much everything savory. In fact there isn't really anything you can't add it to. I made this addition to my diet to easily up the nutritional content of all of my foods and not to mention it's tasty and even cheese-like therefore making it great for vegans and vegetarians. It's also great for my partially raw diet because of its versatility. Source:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vanilla Protien Shake

Have you ever gotten hooked on a certain food and then you just keep eating it everyday until you get burnt out and never want to look at it again? Well I have with just about everything edible... besides vanilla. I've been on a bit of a vanilla kick lately- I put it in literally all sweet foods. This is a simple protien shake thats cheap, low in sugar, and you can make with only three ingredients.:

1 carton Atkins Vanilla flavored protien drink (or even vanilla protien powder mixed in almond milk)
1 tablespoon Better n' Peanut Butter
half of a large banana
ice cubes to add thickness

1.) Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend away!

Tip: This makes a good pre-workout snack because it has the right balance of protiens and sugars to fuel your body.

What is your favorite snack to power you through your excersise?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vegan Slow Cooker Red Thai Curry

This is a comforting and hearty curry that's healthy to boot! It involves two of my favorite things- vegan cooking and my Hamilton beach slow cooker. The tofu makes it filling, the veggies make you feel healthful, and the light coconut milk makes it still feel rich. This is a great cookbook by the way, it has recipes for every occasion and taste. Even carnivores would love this food.

Health Tip of the Day:

Listen to your body! As you start off on the road to a healthy diet you should notice the changes in how you feel , not just how you look. After I tossed out the junk food ,which really wasn't so difficult, I never missed it. How and why do you ask? Well after you get started eating the real food your body craves you just plain feel better. You'll find yourself having more energy, sleeping better, feeling happier , and even living your life in a better body. After you eat something greasy and fried, ask yourself, "how do I feel now?'. For me, that is not just yucky and gross, but it also leaves me with stomach aches and sometimes guilt. If we take the time to listen you can find out what your body really needs and I wants, speaking from my own experiences. By healthy food I'm referring to raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protien sources like chicken or tofu, and healthy fats found in fish, nuts, and olive oils. But remember, have some fun once in a while too! If your really having a pop tart withdrawl (am I the only person that gets these?) that you've been suffering through for a month, then jesus have one. I know moderation is hard but its a key to eating healthy and staying fit without having to count calories and go on crazy diets.

Vanilla Jello Dream

I had to have a surgical procedure done and was required to fast recently. Post surgery I felt like having something a little sweet so I made this up with some items I had on hand.

Vanilla Jello Dream (serves one)
1 serving vanilla jello
2 sliced strawberries
light whipped cream for topping

1.) Make the jello if it's not already prepared.
2.) Simply top with whipped cream and strawberries
3.) Eat up and dream away!

Ok so this isn't really a real recipe but I'm new to making up my own material and it's good practice.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dessert Protien Shake

I'm about to have a medical procedure done and requires me to fast the day prior. I wanted my last good meal to be filling, but indulgent at the same time. Enter: Berry Banana Split Protien Shake. I created this recipe myself after throwing it together off the top of my head. This makes one serving.

You Require:
1 decent sized strawberry
half of a large banana
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water (this is optional but I added it to make it bigger)
1 scoop Jillian Micheal's Protien Powder, chocolate shake flavored
1-2 tablespoons vanilla flavored coffee creamer or to taste
1-2 tablespoons hershey's chcolate syrup (I bet the strawberry flavor would be yummy too), to taste
ice (optional but this makes it thicker)

1. Place all ingreadients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Play around with the flavors and enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Breadman Coconut Ginger Quick Bread

This was a recipe from my Breadman bread machine cookbook. It came out beautful golden and crumbly. Made with toasted coconut and candied ginger, it really made our afternoon.


Breadman Orange Date Nut Bread

I got a shiny new bread machine from my mom's bf for christmas! Boy has it gotten well broken in, I can't even tell you how many loaves I've made since I got it. Carb load up! This is a quick bread recipe that is from the recipe book that comes with the machine. It's sweet orange-yness is refreshing and it makes a good breakfast/tea bread. My grandma always requests it for her bridge club. This can most likely be adapted for any machine, just follow the directions for putiing ingredients in the pan specified in your machine's manual.
Orange Date Nut Bread:
(makes one 2 lb loaf in Breadman model No. BK1050S)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup dates, chopped
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, room temp
1 and 3/4 cup AP flour
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 cup walnuts, chopped

1.) Pour boiling water over dates in a small bowl. Add baking soda. Let stand at room temp for twenty minutes.
2.) Transfer date mixture to bread pan. Measure remaining ingredients, except walnuts, into your bread pan in order suggested specifically by your machine's manual.
3.) Insert bread pan securely into baking chamber; close lid. Plug unit into wall outlet.
4.) Select Quick Bread cycle for my model, or the equivalent for yours. Press Start.
5.) At the "add ingredient beep", add walnuts.
6.) The complete signal will sound when the bread is done.
7.) Using potholders remove bread pan from baking chamber and place on wire rack. Allow bread to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Carefully turn bread out of bread pan, turn right side up. (If kneading paddle remains in bread, remove paddle once bread has cooled. You should probably do this before you forget and serve anyways lol.)
8.) Allow bread to cool on wire rack until ready to serve (at least 20 minutes)


Salmon and Veggie Couscous

This was our comforting Sunday night dinner. An oven baked salmon made with just a little random olive oil mixture I used off the top of my head. As for the couscous, I adapted it from a recipe from
1 full salmon (it doesn't matter the size as you will adjust seasonings to your taste)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lawry's seasoning salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Garlic Powder
Dill (we used freeze dried but I bet fresh would be even better)
Lemon Juice
1.) This is simple, just whisk the all of the ingredients together and either drizzle over salmon on both sides or do like I did and use a pastry brush (or cheap clean acrylic paint brush like I use lol) to "paint" on the mixture.
(makes 6 servings)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
half of a whole carrot, cut into 1 inch thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler
1 roma tomato
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup almonds
3 cups chicken broth
seasoned salt, to taste (or fresh cracked pepper and sea salt)
1 1/2 cups couscous ( I used Rice Select Original Brand)
1.)Cook onions, bell pepper, carrots, tomato and almonds in butter over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan until onions are soft and translucent.
2.) Add chicken broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
3.) Stir in cousous and peas.
4.) Cover and let sit 10 minutes or until all water is absorbed. (Mine only took about five minutes to absorb but make sure you taste test for doneness)
5.) Stir to combine and serve along with any main dish, as this has a mild flavor that goes well with almost anything.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Raw Lemon Poppy Seed Energy Balls

I got the recipe for these healthy and scrumptious little delights from Sondi Bruner. Great for pre workout fuel and very filling and nutritious. Go check her out @ She has tons of healthy and raw recipes that anyone would love.

Recipe from:
1 cup sunflower seeds
                                                        1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (I didnt have these, I used cocoa nibs instead which can be found at most health food stores)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (I used a mixture of sesame & chia seeds)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
4 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp allspice or cinnamon (I like the allspice)
2/3 cup raisins (I used dates)
3 tbsp lemon juice
grated zest from half a lemon
(I also added 1/4 tsp of lemon extract because I'm a lemon addict)

1.) Process all seeds ( also cocoa nibs if you use them) , spices, and coconut until the seeds are well ground. Set aside two tablespoons of this mixture for coating the formed balls.
2.) Add raisins (or dates), lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract to the food processor and process until all of the raisins are small and the mixture starts to clump together.
3.) Squeeze and roll the mixture into balls. Coat with the mixture set aside and put the little lovelies in the fridge to keep them happy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Caramelizing Almonds

Look at those sugar coated jewels frying away in a buttery lake of syrup...gorgeous!

Homemade croutons are better than store bought

A great way to use up stale bread is to make your own croutons. Its so easy and they taste way better than the preservative filled ones in the stores. Its even better if you make them with homemade bread!
To make croutons:
cube stale bread and toss with olive oil and desired spices and seasonings
(I like Italian seasoning with parmesan cheese) then bake in preheated 350 degree oven 5-10 minutes. Watch to make sure they don't burn.
There you have it! Yummy 