Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles



It's that time of year where there are literally cookies and desserts everywhere! It's so hard to resist. I fully  plan on indulging on some favorites here and there, but having few healthier options along the way can help keep the holiday bloat and sugar crashes from getting out of hand! ;) My favorite holiday treat is chocolate peanut butter truffles. They are just so delicious and small and way too easy to eat like 10 at once, so I decided to try a healthier version. 

I know chocolate isn't exactly healthy, but these aren't loaded with powdered sugar like many truffles, so they are not too high on the sugar scale. :)

Josy decided to taste test these while I was taking photos, so we rolled with it. Don't mind the smudged truffle, she tried to help herself to seconds haha! Don't worry, I did not let my baby eat a whole chocolate truffle! ;) Although, they were approved by her little taste buds!

Ingredients

1 Cup Pitted Medjool Dates
1/4 Cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter (We use Skippy Natural)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Tsp Coconut Oil

1.  Grind dates, peanut butter, and vanilla together in a food processor. This is a very sticky combination, so it may take a few minutes to get everything smooth. I stopped the processor a few times to stir the mixture and I also used both the "chop" and "grind" settings on my processor. The goal is to chop the dates as finely as possible with minimal chunks. 

2. Line a small cookie sheet with wax paper. Roll tablespoon sized balls of the peanut butter mixture and lay an inch apart onto the cookie sheet. Refrigerate the balls for at least 2 hours. 

3. Microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwavable bowl for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. 

4. Using a fork and spoon, dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate while the balls are cold. The spoon can help cover the whole ball in chocolate. Life the ball out of the chocolate while its on the fork letting excess chocolate drain back into the bowl. 

5. Lay each chocolate covered ball back onto the wax paper spread an inch apart. Place the cookie sheet back into the fridge for 30 minutes. 

6. Once the chocolate has hardened, the truffles are ready to enjoy! We drizzled melted peanut butter on ours to spruce them up! Store in the fridge to keep from melting. Makes 12-15 truffles. 














Her face, I don't think she wanted to give it up! ;)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie


One of the things that helps keep us sane during busy weeks is having freezer meals ready to go. We usually pull out 2 meals we made previously per week. The easiest way for me to stock up on freezer meals is to make double of dinners that freeze well and freeze half. That way, it's one mess for multiple meals and not that much more work! 

A lot of our frozen entrées are soup or a whole pan of a dish. These are great, but not something Wes could grab for just himself for work or a night while we're out without defrosting the entire meal. I started making individual chicken pot hand pies right before I had Joslynne as an easy one person grab and go option. They are similar to hot pockets and easy to take on the go! Chicken pot pie is a great meal for me to get veggies into my husband! ;) I have even been adding some broccoli in addition to the typical pot pie vegetables and he loves them. 








Ingredients:
8 tbl butter
8 tbl flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 cups of chicken cooked and shredded or cubed
1 1/2 package of frozen carrots and peas
1 small onion, chopped
4 pie crusts (I doubled this recipe)
Egg for egg wash (I like this article about different ways to do an egg wash and their effects on your pastries)

Makes about 8-10 pies depending on how full you make them. ;)


Directions:
Heat oven to 425°F.  
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.  
Sauté onion, then add flour salt and pepper.  
Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until smooth and bubbly.  
Remove from heat.  Stir in broth and cream then heat to boil.  
Stir in vegetables and chicken.  
Roll out pie dough on a floured surface to 1/4" thick. Cut circles out using a soup bowl as a guide.
Lay each circle on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. 
Spoon pie filling onto one half of each circle of dough. Be sure to leave enough space to close the pie. 
Fold over the remaining dough and press edges together with a fork.
Cut 2 small slits in the top with a knife. 
Brush egg wash over the top of each pie.  
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. I usually check at around 15 and 20 minutes just because each oven is different. All the ingredients inside are cooked, so as soon as your crust looks good, you're fine to take the pies out!

As I mentioned above, I add other vegetables sometimes like broccoli or potatoes. Add whichever vegetables you like best! What are your favorite freezer meals?

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Creamy Carrot and Spinach Soup



Now that Fall is here, we've been eating tons of soup. It's the best way for me to sneak veggies in for my family! Joslynne went through a period where she would only eat fruit, but soup won her over and she loves it! ;)

To avoid cooking every day, I usually make a few things that will last all week for lunches and snacks on Monday. Then, 2 nights a week I cook a large batch of something that can be frozen like soup. We eat half, then freeze the rest. We take out one frozen meal on another night, and have 2 crockpot meals. This creamy carrot and spinach soup is perfect for chilly days and even my spinach loathing husband will eat it!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1- 10 oz bag of fresh baby spinach
1- 1 1/2 cups of chopped carrots
2 crushed or minced garlic cloves
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup of flour
3 1/2 cups of milk
1/3 cup of sour cream 
1 teaspoon of salt 
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add in spinach and garlic. Stir continuously until spinach is cooked, about 3 minutes. 

2. Remove cooked spinach and set aside in a bowl.

3. Melt butter in the sauce pan. Add in chopped onions and cook until translucent. 

4. Stir in carrots to allow to start cooking. Add a drizzle of olive oil if needed.

5. Lower heat to medium low and add flour. Stir constantly until mixture is golden. 

6. Add milk, salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium and stir and allow to cook about 3-4 minutes. 

7. Stir in sour cream and spinach back in. Allow soup to heat through and check carrots to make sure they are cooked. 

8. Turn off heat and allow soup to cool. Use an immersion blender in the pan to puree vegetables. A blender could be used as well, but may need to be done in 2 batches. If using a blender, make sure soup has cooled to a safe temperature. 

Serve with shredded cheese and/or more sour cream. I made the "Cheese Biscuits" from the Pioneer Woman Dinner cookbook with this soup. Any drop biscuit would be a great addition! 

This recipe was adapted from Pioneer Woman spinach soup. 










Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Breaded Zucchini Chips with Easy Breadcrumbs



We don't have a garden, but many of our friends and family seem to have an abundance of zucchini right now! We have been given loads of it. Its been great! 

But, piles of zucchini calls for some new recipe ideas other than the obvious, zucchini bread. ;) I've made these BAKED breaded zucchini chips a few times, and we love them with pasta sauce or ranch dressing! 

The breadcrumbs for these is SO easy, making them quick to put together. ;)

I love fresh parsley and basil in cooking, so I was excited to get these herb cutting scissors. They are my new favorite tool! You can cut the herbs right into a bowl or pan without the hassle of trying to transfer all the little pieces from a cutting board that stick to your hands! 


Ingredients:
3 Medium zucchinis
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp of the seasoning in one packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
Handful of Italian parsley
2 Eggs
Olive oil

1. Turn oven on Broil. 

2. I like to use the spices in a packet of Good Seasons dressing mix since its already a good blend. Just shake it up before measuring it out! You can also use your own blend of favorite spices. 

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and spices.  

Cut a small handful of parsley and add it to the breadcrumbs. 

3. Wash and slice zucchini into thin circles. Place in a separate bowl. 

4. In a third mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs. 

5. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. 

6. Using a fork, coat each zucchini slice in egg, then breadcrumbs. Then place onto the cookie sheet. Repeat this with each slice. 

I pat the breadcrumbs on the front and back of the slices to make sure they stick. ;)

7. Do one more small drizzle of olive oil across the tops of the zucchini slices. Place in the oven. 

8. On broil, you have to watch the oven carefully. I baked the zucchini chips for 5 minutes then turned them over for another 4. Check them after a few minutes and turn when one side is golden brown. Remove when the other side is the same. :)

Serve warm with your favorite sauce!









What is your favorite use for zucchini? We have plenty left! ;)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Mint Chocolate Popsicles





If you follow along with me on Instagram, you've probably seen my ongoing saga of trying to eat healthier, but refusing to let chocolate go. :P I seriously eat chocolate chips by the bag every week, its a problem. I've been on the hunt for healthy snacks that incorporate a little dark chocolate to satisfy my 3pm treat cravings instead. These coconut milk mint chocolate popsicles do just that! They are also dairy free, which I need right now while breastfeeding! They are quick, easy, and perfect for summer. :)

You will need:

1 can full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Green food coloring 
1 cup dark chocolate chips (Use Guittard for dairy free)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
6 popsicle sticks
6 count popsicle mold 

Directions:

1. In a food processor, blend coconut milk, mint and vanilla extracts, and maple syrup. Mix in 2-4 drops of green food coloring.

2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and place in freezer. After approximately 2 hours, push a popsicle stick into the center of each mold. Continue to freeze overnight. 

3. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips and coconut oil for 60-90 seconds until melted. Stir every 30 seconds. 

4. Remove popsicles from the freezer and run warm water over plastic of the mold to loosen the popsicles. Remove popsicles from the mold and place each one onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. 

5. While popsicles are still frozen, dip each one into melted chocolate and place back onto the cookie sheet. Drizzle remaining chocolate onto popsicles if desired. Place cookie sheet back into freezer to allow chocolate to harden. 

Store popsicles individually wrapped in wax paper in airtight container or bag in the freezer. Pull one out when the chocolate is calling your name! ;)


So, these do contain chocolate, and maple syrup, but they've gotta be healthier than ice cream and cookies right?! For more chocolatey snack ideas I've tried, follow along on Instagram. And, if you have any healthy but sweet snacks to share, please, help a sister out! 







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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Basil Infused Lemon Italian Ice



Being 9 months pregnant in the middle of July is hot. Actually, at this point in the summer, its just hot whether you're prego or not! :) I have been eating watermelon like crazy, but the last few days I started craving something cold and lemony. Lemon Italian ice hit the spot. 

It is so easy to make, the hardest part was waiting for it to frozen enough to dig in. By the middle of the afternoon, it was ready to save me from the heat!


You will need:

2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup lemon juice (takes approximately 4 large lemons)
Peel of 1 lemon
1 sprig of basil

1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan stirring occasionally. 

2. Once the water boils, remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice. Drop in basil sprig and lemon peel  whole. Let infuse while syrup cools to room temperature.


3. When the syrup is cooled down to room temperature, remove the basil and lemon peel. Pour the syrup into a small bread loaf pan and place in the freezer. 

4. Every 45-60 min, stir your ice. After the first 45 min, when a solid began forming, I "raked" the ice with a fork each time. This will create a fluffy even consistency of Italian ice as it freezes rather than leaving you with a sticky ice cube to eat. After raking the ice, spread it back out evenly before returning to the freezer. 




Freeze for about 3-4 hours or until the ice is solidified to your preference. Scoop with an ice cream scoop and serve!



This was so refreshing! If you don't enjoy basil flavor, leave it out and go all lemon. :) Yes, I did devour this in my new favorite thrifted glass in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon.
 It was wonderful. ;)


How are you cooling off these days?