April 18, 2014
I’ve been on the search for a good flatbread recipe that uses 100% whole wheat flour. I found a keeper, you guys! I found a keeper! This flatbread is SO similar to the homemade bread I make, that I figured it would turn out delicious. The lovely thing about these is that they are incredibly soft and chewy (without any reference of imitating cardboard) and they have a hint of sweetness thanks to that honey. These are WAY easy to make and take VERY little time. Seriously. You’ll be amazed of the simplicity of making your very own flatbread. Besides that, it tastes WAY better than what you’ll ever buy at the store.
Oh, the things you can do with flatbread! Think pizza, wraps, gyros, pita chips, etc. I’ll be sharing some fun and healthy things to do with these wraps in some upcoming posts. Stay tuned!
Whole Wheat Flatbread
Recipe slightly adapted from The Taste Tester
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups whole what flour (plus or minus 1/4 cup depending on heat and humidity)
Mix yeast with warm water and honey. Let sit for five minutes. In the meantime whisk flour, gluten, and salt together.
When yeast is ready, stir in the olive oil first and then the flour mixture until well combined (I did this in my mixer and then removed it to do the kneading). Knead dough twenty times. It should be soft but not sticky. Add more flour while kneading as needed. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
Divid dough into eight equal portions. Shape each piece into a ball and then roll into an oval, circle, or rectangle on a greased surface (I just spray my countertop lightly with cooking spray). The dough should be thin. Heat a pancake griddle to 350 degrees. When grill is heated, place two-three flatbreads on it. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. They will bubble up slightly. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
Serves 8 (but can easily be made to serve 10, with the rounds being slightly smaller).
Nutritional Information (Per Flatbread)
April 16, 2014
I must admit. I’m not a pro when it comes to knowing much about Middle Eastern cuisine. However, I have had Tabouli (or Tabbouleh) before and LOVED it. It is traditionally made with bulgur wheat. That being said, I ran across this version with quinoa instead of bulgur and knew I would love the simple exchange. It’s still a healthy grain, yet I tend to have quinoa on hand much more often than bulgur.
Tabouli is naturally healthy. There is nothing found in this salad that isn’t clean. It’s PACKED with flavor because it’s made with gobs of fresh herbs (mint and parsley to be exact). It’s seasoned beautifully with a dressing made primarily of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
The great thing about this little salad is it is quite versatile. You can eat it as is, you can add chicken to it, you can made a vegetarian wrap out of it, etc. In fact, stay tuned because I have a post coming up where I actually stuff this yummy Tabouli in a wrap/gyro. It’s so good!
Adapted from Nutritious Eats
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed, drained & cooked to package instructions
2 cups chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (about 1 pint)
1 1/2 cups chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup chopped onion (can substitute green onions)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 cups fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 scant cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Koser salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl to cool while you prep other ingredients.
Add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and fresh herbs to cooked, cooled quinoa.
In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Pour over quinoa salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for a couple hours to chill slightly. Serve room temperature or cold.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Fat: 5.5g (0.6g = Sat.)
April 4, 2014
Ok. Ok. I know this is not the most glamorous looking dish. However, it is so darn easy, so darn healthy, and so darn good. I just have to share!
The balsamic vinegar yields a nice tang, while the pears balance that out with a hint of sweetness. You’ll also find that by cooking the chicken in the slow cooker you get some natural chicken broth that mixes with the balsamic vinegar and this gives the perfect low-calorie sauce. We ate this dish with Baked Brown Rice and the sauce poured over the top was deeeeeelish!
Oh, and the slow cooker does all the work? Awesome!
Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Pears
Adapted from Laa Loosh
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 medium sized pears, cored and sliced thick
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and let cook for about 4-6 hours on low, or until chicken falls apart easily.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving – Approx. 4 oz.)
Fat: 1.1g (0.0g = Sat.)
Sugars: 8.6g (mostly from pears)
April 2, 2014
These cookies are oh-so-good! They have a nice, crisp exterior, but have a soft and fudgey center. It took all I had to not eat the entire batch!
These are made without butter or eggs and I mixed them up in one bowl (my food processor actually). The cookie dough ends up being really thick. I first tried to mix it in a mixing bowl with a spoon, but was having a hard time pulling the dough together the way I wanted. So, I dumped it all in my food processor, gave it a few pulses, and the dough came together quickly and perfectly! It was so easy to scoop onto the baking sheet.
We’ve been eating pretty darn clean around our house and we were just itching to have a sweet treat. I’ve had these on my mind, and with them being healthier than a traditional cookie, I whipped them up. These certainly took care of our sweet tooth without breaking the calorie bank.
That being said, the cookies are SO good that you might not believe they are as low-cal as they are. These are sinfully chocolatey. They are a chocolate-lover’s dream. Next time you’re craving chocolate or something sweet . . . give these a try instead of the typical full fat cookie. I can about guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Guiltless Fudge Cookies
Adapted from Taste, Love & Nourish
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
In the bowl of your food processor add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, sugar and brown sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the coconut oil, yogurt and vanilla extract. Pulse a few times until the dough comes together. (Alternatively, you can do this all in a bowl. You would whisk the dry ingredients to combine and then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Using a sturdy spoon, stir to combine the wet and dry ingredients, but do not overwork it.)
Drop level tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges just begin to set.
Cool on the pans for about a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 24 cookies if dropped by level tablespoons.
Makes 16 cookies if dropped by a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop.
Nutritional Information Per Cookie (Based on yield of 24)
Fat: 3.1g (2.7g = Sat.)
March 28, 2014
I love me some goooood banana bread! However, nutritionally I hate that banana bread is essentially “cake” since it’s made with oil and sugar (which again, is why it tastes so darn good!). I had a couple of bananas that had spotted and gone more ripe than we care to eat, so I went on a major search to find me a tasty AND healthy banana muffin. With a few adaptations, I definitely came up with a winner! I mean, looking at this picture at this very moment has me salivating.
These muffins are made with coconut oil (instead of butter or vegetable oil) and are sweetened with honey (as well as the natural sweetener you get from the bananas). There’s something about that coconut oil that adds an extra subtle sweetness as well.
Of course, I didn’t have a “typical” banana muffin sitting right here to compare with, but I don’t think I would even hesitate to choose this muffin over the other. They are SOOOOO good. The oatmeal helps boost the texture, and they are super moist.
The only regret I have is that I didn’t double (or triple) the recipe. I totally could have frozen the extra muffins and had them available at the drop of a hat. Next time . . . next time!
Fit Banana Oatmeal Muffins with Coconut Oil and Honey
Adapted from Beauty and Bedlam
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used white wheat)
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (organic extra virgin tastes best)
1/2 cup honey
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 2/3 cup)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix egg, milk, oil, honey and mashed banana together well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Gently stir until moistened. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full (evenly dividing batter amongst 12 muffins). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Nutritional Information Per Muffin
Fat: 7.5g (5.7g = Sat.)
Sugars: 13.3g (Mostly from Honey and Bananas)
March 25, 2014
How about a pasta dish that is under 300 calories per serving? Yes, please!
We love, love, LOVE this pasta dish! When fresh asparagus hits the stores, this recipe immediately goes in our line-up! The asparagus adds that great freshness to the overall taste, while the balsamic butter coats everything with a sweet tanginess. And, fresh Parmesan? The perfect way to top it all off!
The funny thing about this recipe is that it screams spring-time . . . thanks to that asparagus. But, the balsamic butter also gives the recipe a bit of comfort. In the fall/winter months when asparagus isn’t at it’s best, just sub in some steamed broccoli and you’ve got a dish that you can add to your favorites year-round!
Roasted Asparagus and Chicken Pasta with Balsamic Butter
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
8 ounces whole wheat/grain penne pasta, dry
2 tablespoons light butter, cut into pieces (I used Smart Balance)
1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 of the pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the asparagus roasts, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced to about 5 tablespoons, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until melted.
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until just done, 11-13 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the balsamic butter mixture. Toss to combine well. Add in the asparagus, chicken, Parmesan, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese for serving.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Fat: 7.3g (2.3g = Sat.)
March 20, 2014
I spotted this fabulous idea to make pancakes with Greek Yogurt and I had to try it out! I mean, it’s a super duper easy recipe and I’m a sucker for super duper easy . . . especially if it’s healthy too! Besides, Greek Yogurt is a staple at my house so it just made sense that I would give these pancakes a try. All you need is one container (5.3 – 6 ounce) of Greek Yogurt, an egg, a smidge of flour, and baking soda.
They’re good people. They truly are. They are good in a different-kind-of way though. These aren’t going to be your traditional fluffy, buttermilk pancake, but they are definitely good in other ways. They are a bit more dense, but are probably the most filling pancakes I have ever made. You can “flavor” them any way you choose by just choosing a flavor of Greek Yogurt that you love. These ones here were made with strawberry yogurt. You can bet-your-bottom-dollar that I’ll be trying several more flavors of yogurt as the days and weeks go on. They are not overly sweet, which I love! I also love that there’s no added sugar to the recipe either. We were able to get enough sweetness to balance these out by topping our pancakes with sugar-free maple syrup.
Four ingredients. That’s it! Easy peasy! You’ll find the batter to be extra thick . . . like a thick cake batter. To ensure that the pancakes cook all the way through I suggest slightly flattening them out once you have them on the skillet to cook. I used my cookie scoop to get an even number of pancakes (I got four by using about 2 1/2 scoops per pancake), but you can also just eyeball it too.
Have fun experimenting with these. I hope you’ll love having an easy, protein-filled breakfast option!
Greek Yogurt Protein Pancakes
Adapted from Everyday Belle
5.3-6 ounces of your favorite nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup white wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Open the yogurt container and stir the yogurt until it’s smooth and creamy. Crack an egg over the yogurt and stir to combine (I often do this in a small bowl).
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda.
Pour yogurt/egg mixture into the bowl with the flour and baking soda. Stir to combine. The batter will be extremely thick.
Spoon the batter onto a sprayed griddle or pan heated to medium.
Flip the pancakes when they start to bubble a bit on the surface. Cook until golden brown on both sides and serve with sugar-free syrup, fruit, etc! Enjoy!
Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Pancakes)
Fat: 3g (0.9 = Sat.)