Friday, October 16, 2015

From Cookies to Candy

Since we spoke last, Frank and I got in another 2 mile walk on Wednesday.  Yesterday was a very busy day for me and I was running around from morning until bedtime.  No exercise at all and stopped at Arby's in between appointments.  Now there are some things  I could have probably gotten there that weren't too awful but I didn't...I had a beef and cheddar sandwich, onion rings and a jamocha shake.

I made up for it at dinner though, in between my morning and afternoon appointment I stopped home and put together a vegetable soup for dinner.  So we enjoyed that between my afternoon appointment and choir practice.

Don't be thinking I'm all virtuous though because when we got home from choir it was wine o clock with cheese and crackers.  Oh well, hopefully we will get a walk in today.

Before that though, I would like to share a recipe that I made using Just Hemp Foods.  Just Hemp Foods was another one of our sponsors for Choctoberfest that I celebrated at A Day in the Life on the Farm.  They were very generous and sent me tons of product to use in making recipes.  I created these Chocolate Oat Truffles using both their protein powder and their roasted salted hemp seeds.

I'm not saying that your family, or I for that matter, will choose these over a Resee's Cup but if it is the only choice given they are pretty delicious.  I especially liked the texture and crunch added by the hemp seeds. It reminded be a bit of candy with crisped rice in it.  This recipe will give you 12-15 truffles depending on what size you make them.

One of my kids favorite cookies to make when they were kids were No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.  They called them Mud Cookies.  They contain many of the same ingredients and these truffles reminded me of them.  Only healthier.  I hope you enjoy them.

Chocolate Oat Truffles with Hemp Seeds

1/2 c. rolled oats (I use Bob's Red Mill)
10 pitted prunes
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. Protein Powder (I used Just Hemp)
1/4 c. nut butter of choice
1 t. pure vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
1 (1 oz) packet salted, roasted hemp seeds (I used Just Hemp)

Place all ingredients except hemp seeds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground and sticking together.  Empty into a bowl and mix in hemp seeds.  Form into balls about 2 teaspoons each.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Print Recipe

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Can Cookies be Healthy?

I recently became familiar with a company called  Barleans, featuring products rich in Omega 3's.  Barleans was kind enough to send me a sample of  Chocolate Silk Greens and Essential Woman Chocolate Mint Swirl. You can learn about these products by clicking on their name. I want to make very clear that while I love getting free product and I appreciate the sponsors I never write anything that is not 100% truthful when I use them nor would I promote their product if I were not pleased with it.

Now I am not delusional enough to ever say that Fudgey Mint Cookies could ever be good for you, what I will say is that if you are going to have cookies anyway, these will be better for you.  I added some Chocolate Silk Greens that are chock full of antioxidants and some Chocolate Mint Swirl that is filled with Omega 3's.  I guarantee your family will not have a clue that you have stuck some nutrition in with their goodies.

A friend of ours stopped by as I was taking these out of the oven.  He tried one and his exact words were "These are too good" as he grabbed two more and headed out the door to go shooting with Frank.  Give them a try.  I am sure that your friends and family will react the same way when they try them and you can feel good knowing that you are sneaking some additional nutrition into them.   

Fudgey Mint Cookies

6 oz. semisweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli's)
2 T. butter
2 T. Barleans Chocolate Mint Swirl or 1 t. mint extract
1 scoop Barleans Chocolate Silk Greens, if desired
2 eggs
1/4 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking powder

In med heavy saucepan over low heat melt chocolate, butter and mint swirl.  Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients and stir until completely incorporated.  Drop by rounded tablespoons full onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated *350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Print Recipe

Monday, October 12, 2015

I'm still here and sharing a Heart Healthy Turkey Chili recipe.

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  I have just been very busy.  Mostly with my other blog, A Day in the Life on the Farm.  We had back to back events, first Pumpkin Week and then Choctoberfest.

I did try to make a couple of healthy healthier dishes during these events that I am going to share with you over the next few days.  I haven't been as active as I should have but Frank and I did go on a hike last week and today I walked over to my friend, Kim's house to visit so that is a little over 2 miles round trip.

Since Frank underwent the heart cath that resulted in two stents having to be inserted into the main artery that leads to the back of his heart, we are trying to move more, eat healthier and imbibe less. This chili is perfect if you are trying to lighten up and include more vegetables into your diet but best of all it tastes great!

I used ground turkey and sauteed it up with the veggies in heart healthy olive oil.  I added 3 different types of beans, a quart of tomatoes and a full can of pumpkin.  Take that heart disease!!!

Pumpkin Chili

1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. ground cumin
2-3 t. chili powder
1 qt. tomatoes, diced or crushed
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
2 t. sugar, if needed
hot sauce to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over med high heat.  Add the turkey, onions, peppers and garlic and seasonings.  Cook and stir until vegetables are tender and turkey is cooked through.  Add the tomatoes, pumpkin and beans.  Lower the heat to medium and cook until heated through and flavors meld.  Taste and add sugar if tomatoes were acidic.  Season to taste with hot sauce and serve.  Print Recipe

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A lightened up version of a favorite recipe

We love Chicken Parmesan and Eggplant Parmesan in this house.  Unfortunately, my usual recipes are not very heart healthy as they involve breading and frying.  Not to mention tons of cheese covering the fried food. Very delicious but not very good for us.

So when I found this recipe, I was excited because it contains all the flavors that we love but not the breading and the frying that our hearts don't love.  I am happy to say that it was a very satisfying dish and one that I will make again and again.

The recipe comes from the South Beach Diet. We are not on this diet so I did make some minor changes to the recipe.  The biggest change was that I added salt.  If you are trying to stay true to the South Beach Diet do not add salt.

Chicken and Eggplant Casserole
slightly adapted from the South Beach Diet

1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 12 slices
2 T. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 garlic clove, minced
1 chicken breast half, cut into bite size pieces
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/2 T. Italian Herb paste or 3/4 t. dried Italian Seasonings
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Spray the eggplant with olive oil spray and place under a broiler, about 4" from the heat for a couple of minutes, until golden. Turn the eggplant over and spray again.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and garlic.  Place under the broiler for another minute or 2.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over med high heat.  Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their juices, onion, pepper, mushrooms, Italian herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Coat an 8" baking pan with olive oil spray. Arrange 6 slice eggplant in the bottom of the pan.  Top with the chicken mixture.  Place the remaining eggplant over the chicken mixture and sprinkle with the Mozzarella cheese.  Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375* oven for 20 minutes, uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer. Print Recipe