Archive | April, 2013

Lentil Tacos or Chip Dip your Pick

29 Apr

This dish was brought to the Healthy Eats night by a sweet lady who has gone on a clean eating diet recently and has lost 15 pounds since January although it may have been more since last I talked to her. She found on a tasty submission by a Michelle Thomas
Lentils are a great nonfat source of protein, lots of fiber and folate all of which can lower cholesterol and help prevent breast cancer. It’s a power house in itself.
1 C. Onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. canola oil
1 C. Dried lentils, rinsed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 C. Chicken broth or veggie broth
1 C. Salsa
12 taco shells (or chips if for dip)
1 1/2 C. Shredded lettuce
1 C. Chopped tomato
1 1/2 C. Shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
6 Tbsp. fat free sour cream
In a large nonstick skillet, sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentil slightly. Stir in salsa. If serving as tacos, assemble as usual. Could layer lentils, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes as a chip dip. We had the lentils plain with chips which was also good. I thought it would work well layered as a taco salad minus the chips for a lower-carb option. — Submitted by Alicia Wood



Gluten Free Mini Corn Dog Muffins

28 Apr

So it was son number three’s birthday today and he really wanted corn dogs. Despite corn being primary in the title most corn bread mix contains wheat and since we are gluten free for now that meant I had to get creative. I recalled seeing a Pinterest post by Iowa Girl Eats for these mini corn dog muffins, of course it used flour but then I recalled an easy GF corn bread recipe from the Gluten Free Cooking School I decided to alter it a bit and thus this recipe was born.
1Tbsp. Oil
1 1/4 C. GF white corn meal
1/2 C. Brown rice flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. Splenda or stevia or sweetener
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 C. Milk or soy milk
1 package low fat hot dogs, I used turkey dogs

Mix dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients. Blend well. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or spray wells of mini muffin tray. Spoon corn batter into tin, cut hot dog into one inch pieces, mine made 4-5. Place hotdogs in middle of each muffin well with flat cut side down. Bake 15-18 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. I had to use a flat table knife to run around each muffin at this point to allow it to release nicely as I pried them out with a fork. I might grease then dust inside with corn flour next time to see if it makes getting them out easier. The kids absolutely devoured them, I ended up making two batches, cooked up the entire package of hotdogs and used all my batter. There was nothing leftover when all was said and done. I let them dip them in ketchup, mustard or ranch.


Brigitte’s Curry Chicken

25 Apr

This is another Healthy Eats Club submission. Our friend Brigitte wasn’t able to make it that night but she still sent us food which you just have to love. This dish was a little exotic, absolutely delicious and completely satisfying served with a little brown rice. It seemed like a good one to make for my kids some night, they would love it.

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 chicken breasts, cut up bite sized
1 onion, chopped
1 can curry paste (yellow can is mildest)
2 cans coconut milk ( use lite)
Any veggies you like: sliced carrots, sliced parsnips, sliced bell peppers, sliced yucca, sliced zucchini, edema
Add soy sauce to taste

In large skillet over medium-high heat oil, add cut up chicken breast and onions, sauté til chicken is no longer pink. Add curry paste, coconut milk, veggies and simmer until veggies are slightly tender but don’t over cook. Add soy sauce to taste, serve with brown rice. — Submitted by Brigitte Buelteuson


Fountain of Youth Sweet Salad

24 Apr

We had our Healthy Eats Book Club meeting last night, so fun! So I’ll be posting pictures and reviews for some amazing healthy recipes that were shared.
The lady who shared this surprisingly tasty combination of fruit, whole grains and beans is such an amazing woman. A elegant grandmother she has aged like a beautiful fine wine, if I can learn her secrets to gorgeous aging I will really have something to look forward to every birthday. Well here it is a fountain of youth salad:

1/4 C. Olive Oil
1/4 C. Coconut Oil
2/3 C. Rice Vinegar or Light Balsamic
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. Fresh Nutmeg
1/2 maple syrup, or to taste

2 C. Cooked grains, your choice of wheat, kamut, quinoa, etc.
2 C. Cooked Beans, your choice of white, black, red, Anasazi — rinsed and drained
Grapes, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
Zucchini, diced
Yep any fruit combination you like and the zucchini will fit in just fine, trust me! It’s a meal in itself and so delicious. Bet you’re feeling younger already. — Submitted by Marcia Marshall


GF Peanut Butter Protein Power Balls

15 Apr

1 C. Peanut butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1 C. GF Oats
1/4 C. Raisins
2 Tbsp. each of the following: milled flax seed, buttermilk powder, unsweetened chocolate powder, coconut
Mix it all together. Form balls with melon ball tool, pack in Tupperware in freezer. My boys really love these things. I packed a few in a small Tupperware container and put it in my purse for our youngest during church. He was able to pop it in his mouth and not even make a mess. A couple kept him full for the rest of church.


Key Lime Pie Meringue Meltaways

12 Apr

Well, I am one of those people who tend to become somewhat obsessed with certain things. I have to do it over and over again until I feel it is perfect or at least the best version I’ve ever seen. My latest obsession are meringue cookies mostly because they’re deceptively simple, fat free and sugar free, just tasty mounds of pure protein — I couldn’t help but fall a little more in love every time.
These little bad boys are lite and airy key lime pie dreams that just melt in your mouth. I wasn’t sure at first if I would really like a truly crisp meringue cookie but I do, I really do. It’s great with a side of fat free milk or herbal tea.

2/3 C. Liquid egg whites or 4 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-2 tsp. lime juice
3 packets of TrueLime (or zest of one lime and add another 1 tsp. of lime juice earlier)
1/4 C. Dark chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pour egg whites into mixer with wire whisk attachment. Some people claim you should let egg whites set at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating, I’ve never bothered but should you care to feel free. To this add extract, juice and cream of tartar. Beat at highest speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl. When it forms soft-set peaks, on slower speed slowly add Splenda and then return to highest speed until it forms stiff, glossy peaks — could take awhile. Fold in TrueLime packets or zest and scoop mixture into pipping bag with large star tip. Pipe out 1 1/2 inch wide by 1 1/2 inch tall star meringues onto 2 foil lined cookie sheets. Will make lots of little cookies. Place in oven and bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. Remove cool, and melt some dark chocolate in microwave, place in sandwich bag with small corner cut off and drizzle over each cookie in star-like pattern. Place in fridge to harden chocolate, store in tightly sealed Tupperware container in fridge — some people could probably get by with storing them on the counter but I live in the south people and it is warm and sticky here, not ideal food storage conditions for sure.
Hope you enjoy these light crisp cookies. For a more chewy texture follow my baking instructions for the coconut flavored meringues I posted earlier.


Coconut Meringue Cookie with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

10 Apr

I’ve been having a lot of fun with this simple little cookie which was inspired by web search for Dukan Diet friendly desserts and came up with a great resource for sure. It just took off from there on experimenting with different flavors, cooking times and temperatures. I posted an early meringue cookie but didn’t care how they deflated after I combined them with my chocolate chips. I’m sure there will be many more flavor combinations to come — I’m imaging a key lime pie flavored one right now, hmmmm. Anyway here it is.
2/3 C. Liquid egg whites or 4 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3 tsp. coconut extract
1 C. Splenda
1/2 C. Dark chocolate melted — can use semi sweet chocolate chips
In my Kitchenaid Mixer with the whipping attachment in place, I combine egg whites, cream of tartar, extract in bowl. Whip on highest setting until egg whites are frothy and hold a soft peak. Decrease speed, slowly add Splenda, scrape sides and then continue whipping at highest setting until forms stiff peaks and is glossy.
Scoop into pipping bag with large star tip attachment in place, pipe tall meringue piles (think tall snowman) on aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Should fill one cookie sheet with rows of four by four. Bake at 250 in preheated oven for 30 minutes, turn oven off and let sit in oven for another 40 minutes without opening door. Take out cool. Melt chocolate ( I put mine in a mug and microwave a minute at a time at fifty percent power until runny) put in piping bag or sand which bag and with small attachment or just snip small corner off bag and drizzle over cookies. Let cool, you can place them in fridge to speed this process. You can serve with a little smear of sugar free raspberry jam, yummy.
Note: this particular baking process creates a crisp outside but chewy inside which is how I like them because I don’t really like the super dry crisp version that you choke on when you inhale but to each his own so if you prefer the truly crisp version, they do have the benefit of longer shelf life and so here are the instructions for that version.
Instead of piling cookie make 1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch piles they can be divided among two foil lined cookie sheets and bake at 200 degrees for two hours. You’ll definitely want some herbal tea to cut the dryness or incase you inhale. They are tasty and crisp/airy but by all means don’t choke.
Let tea time commence!


Curried Split Pea Soup

5 Apr

This is a thick and hearty healthy soup. All four of my boys will sit down and happily eat which just makes my life easier. It is gluten free and could be vegetarian if you like or it could be a great way to use up that extra ham.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 C. Chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. minced onion
12 oz. dried green split peas, pick over and rinse
5 C. Chicken broth or vegetable broth GF
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 C. Peeled and 1-inch chopped up carrots
1 C. Diced ham optional

Place the oil in bottom of 6 qt. sauce pan heat on medium. Add onion, salt pepper and garlic. Cook onions until translucent. Add broth, peas and curry. Add carrots and ham if you like. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and cover pot. Simmer until peas are soft, 45 minutes. Use potato masher to smooth out soup but still keep it chunky. Just so satisfying!


Almond Meringue Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 Apr

These are some cookies I’ve been experimenting with for some time now. Tried a variety and liked this combination the best it had a smooth mellow flavor with the almond with a little sweet from the chocolate. They are crisp on the outside and if you pile it high enough chewy and pillowy in the middle.
I’ll let you know all combinations I’ve tried at the end. It’s pretty simple.

4 egg whites or 2/3 cup liquid egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. Splenda
1/4 C. Semi sweet chocolate chips (optional) still tastes good without

In my kitchenaid mixer I combined egg whites, extract and cream of tartar whip at highest setting until soft clouds form. You can pull beater up and whites will lift with it but then relax a bit. On slower speed gradually add in sweetener, increase speed and beat until glossy but stiff peaks form.
This is where I get fancy and load up my frosting bag and using my largest star tip pipe out thick, tall piles of white cream in rows on a foil lined cookie sheet. Pile it as high as you like it will only taste better for it.
Then I insert a few chocolate chips into each cookie, easing them in at the side of each one. You only need three or four per cookie.
Put in oven that’s been preheated to 250 degrees, bake 30 minutes. Turn oven off but leave cookies in there without opening the door for an hour.
Serve along side your favorite herbal tea or store in air tight container for few days.
I also tried adding in different flavors of sugar free jello mixes instead of extract my favorite was 1 small box of strawberry jello you just add it at the same time you add sugar. It was a combination of sweet and sour. You add chocolate chips just the same.
I also tried doing a chocolate one. Did everything the same as instructed above but folded in 3 Tbsp. chocolate powder at the end, have to be careful not to over mix otherwise it deflates meringue because of the fats in it.
I would also like to try trading out the extract flavors for either 2 tsp. lemon extract or 2 tsp. orange extract or 2 tsp. coconut extract. I’ll have to try those out next.



Cheesy Carrot Soup (Healthy Soup for Picky Eaters)

3 Apr

This healthy soup recipe was shared with me by a sister in our church who has six young children and this is their favorite soup. You know if that many young children like it, well it has to be good. I’ll have to try it out on my own four picky boys and post pics. later but here it is for now. Enjoy!


2 cups Chicken broth
2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
2 cups cooked white beans
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup milk
salt, pepper, and/or herbs to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Bring broth to a boil in a sauce pan, add carrots, beans, and onion powder. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender. Transfer hot mixture to blender carefully, add milk and puree until smooth. Add seasonings. Pour into serving bowls and top with cheese.

*To cook dry beans, use one cup of dry beans to get two cups cooked. Rinse them and cover with water in a pan on the stove. Heat to boiling and let it rapidly boil for 2 minutes. Then take it off the burner and put a lid on it. Let it sit for 3-4 hours. Then drain the water and put new water in and then heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer until soft (about 1 hour). Make sure they don’t lose too much water or they will burn! — Submitted by Angi Danielson