Coconut Mango Custard

coconut mango custartd (2)

I love mangos! I love coconut, and who doesn’t love a creamy custard? I’ve combined 3 of my favorite things into a creamy dessert that won’t leave you feeling guilty. If I have leftovers, I refrigerate them and eat one for a snack, or even with breakfast for a little added protein. These custards are dairy, gluten, and refined sugar free. At around 150 calories (even with extra mango and shredded coconut topping them), you can enjoy a little cup of paradise!

Ingredients:

1 ripe honey mango, cut into chunks (I prefer these yellow mangos to the tropical mangos, but if you can’t find a honey mango, feel free to substitute a red tropical mango)

1 cup reduced fat coconut milk (from a can)

3 TBSP honey

4 large eggs

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Divide among six ramekins or small oven proof glass bowls. Place ramekins into a 9×13″ pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins (this is called a water bath). Be careful that you don’t splash water into the custard. I like to fill my ramekins with the custard first. Pour water into the pan, and then place the ramekins in the pan. Just be careful that you don’t have so much water in the pan that it spills over when you put the filled ramekin cups in.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. You don’t want to see the custard jiggle.

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and place on wire racks to cool. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with extra mango slices and unsweetened shredded coconut, if desired.

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Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins (2)

Last week Sprouts had their organic strawberries on sale for $1.98 a pound! They were sweet and juicy too. I bought 3 containers of them! I’ve been wanting to make fresh strawberry muffins for some time now, and this was the perfect opportunity. These muffins are perfect for a spring brunch or an afternoon snack with a little almond butter or a smear of whipped cream cheese. The banana adds moisture and sweetness without overpowering the delicate flavor of strawberries. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins (1)

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk of choice
1 egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Directions:
In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a smaller bowl or a blender combine milk, egg, banana, and vanilla until well mixed and there are no large chunks of banana. I like to use my immersion blender for this.
Combine the milk mixture with the dry ingredients, just until the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the fresh strawberries.
Pour batter into a prepared muffin tin. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Yields 1 dozen delicious muffins.

Chocolate Protein Donuts

Chocolate Protein Donuts

Who doesn’t love a donut for breakfast? These chocolaty delicacies won’t leave you with a sugar hangover mid-morning and are full of protein to keep you satisfied until lunch. This recipe uses chocolate protein powder. I like the Orgain brand of protein powder (found at Costco) as it is organic and plant based, but feel free to use whatever brand you like best. This recipe makes 6 donuts, but if I were you, I would double the recipe and freeze the leftovers (if there are any). My kids love these, and you will too. If you must put a glaze on them, try this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie for a banana-coconut oil glaze.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 204 calories, 8 g protein
2 scoops chocolate flavored protein powder 150 calories, 21 g protein
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TB cocoa powder 10 cal
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP milk of choice (I used cow milk for extra protein) 15 calories, .5 g protein, 1.5 g sugar
4 oz. applesauce (1 individual snack cup) 50 calories, 12 g sugar
1 egg, 70 calories, 7 g protein
1 TBSP honey 60 cal, 0 g protein, 16 g sugar

 Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk flour, protein powder, cocoa powder and baking powder together. In a smaller bowl mix vanilla, milk, applesauce, egg and honey. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined.
Grease a 6 count donut pan. Spoon batter into a zip top bag. Snip one corner of the bag off, and squeeze the batter into the pan in a circular motion.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Nutrition per donut: 93 calories, 6 g protein, 5 g sugar

Savory French Toast

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Boy do I love breakfast! My husband often teases me, saying, “Your eyes open in the morning, and you ask, ‘What’s for breakfast?” On our honeymoon I woke him up at 6:30 in the morning asking him to call room service and order our breakfast.

French toast is one of my favorite breakfast foods. I would ask my mom to make it for me all the time as a little girl. I love that rich, eggy, buttery taste. As much as I love french toast with a drizzle of pure maple syrup, sometimes I don’t want anything sweet at breakfast, and I am trying to incorporate more veggies into every meal. I found this amazing rustic whole wheat bread in the markdown section at King Soopers last week. The crusty bread was screaming to be made into french toast. The wheels started turning in my head, and I wondered if I could make a savory version. After a quick Google search I realized that I was not the first person to think of turning this normally sweet breakfast dish into a savory one. Here is the version I came up with. The balsamic glaze really makes the dish. You can find it in most grocery stores (even Walmart carries it). If you can’t find it or don’t want to buy a whole bottle of it, it is really easy to make your own. See the recipe for it below. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

6 slices of crusty day old bread
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup feta cheese (or Parmesan cheese)
1/2 tsp. of your favorite dried herb (I used thyme, but basil would be yummy too!)
1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tsp olive oil, divided
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 ripe Roma Tomatoes, chopped
Balsamic vinegar glaze

In a shallow, flat bottomed bowl or pan (a pie plate works well), beat eggs, milk, cheese, dried herbs, salt and pepper.

Warm 1 tsp. of olive oil in a frying pan. Dip 3 slices of bread into the egg mixture and coat on both sides. Place in pan and cook over low/medium heat until the bread is crisp and brown on both sides and egg is cooked through. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and pieces of bread. You may have to occasionally stir the egg mixture to reincorporate the cheese so that each piece of bread will have cheese on it.

In a medium-sized saute pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil. Heat over medium heat and add zucchini and red onion. Saute until the onions are translucent and zucchini is tender. Add tomatoes and cook until warmed through.

To assemble, place one piece of french toast on each plate. Top with 1/6 of the zucchini/tomato mixture and drizzle balsamic glaze over the top. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.

Balsamic Glaze (adapted from Allrecipes)

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix balsamic vinegar with brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Let cool and pour into a jar with a lid; store in refrigerator.

Apple Carrot Breakfast Cake

apple-carrot-cake-blogCake for breakfast? Why not…muffins are just naked cupcakes. This moist cake is made with whole wheat flour, unsweetened applesauce and grated carrots. Most muffin/cake recipes call for a cup or more of sugar. This cake gets most of its sweetness from the applesauce and carrots, so there is only 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Feel free to substitute honey for the brown sugar. I used vanilla Greek yogurt for frosting, but butter, almond butter, or apple butter would be delicious on top as well. Don’t limit this cake for breakfast time either.. it would make a scrumptious dessert, especially if served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9″ round cake pan.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

In a small bowl mix the applesauce, eggs, oil, and vanilla together.

Combine the applesauce mixture with the dry ingredients. Fold in the grated carrot and nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm or let cool and top with vanilla Greek yogurt.

Pumpkin Chili

pupmkin-chili

Fall is here, and that means pumpkin is flavoring everything! To say that I am a fan of pumpkin is an understatement! When I was at Sprouts last week I discovered they had pumpkin spice chicken sausage. What???? I was quite curious, and I am a sucker for anything pumpkin, so I bought 2 links. When I got home and looked on the internet for recipes using pumpkin chicken sausage the first Google results were all about how the pumpkin craze has gone too far. Delish had an article called “13 Pumpkin Spice Abominations That Will Make You Gag!” I have to admit that I was scared to try the pumpkin sausage after that, but I am not one to waste things, and I hadn’t even tried the stuff. I decided to use it in place of ground turkey in one of my favorite pumpkin chili recipes. You know what? It was delicious!!! The flavor of the sausage was mild. It was the perfect addition to the chili.

Today I share my favorite chili recipe with you. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, is full of veggies, low in fat, and full of flavor. The recipe is mild enough that kids like it, but you can easily spice it up by adding more chili powder or a chopped jalapeno. If you don’t feel like trying the pumpkin spice chicken sausage, use ground turkey. If you are craving a bowl of hearty chili, this recipe will not disappoint!

Ingredients:

1 TBSP olive oil
1 pound ground turkey or 1 pound pumpkin spiced chicken sausage (with casing removed)
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles (or just plaine diced tomatoes to reduce the spiciness)
1 can pumpkin puree or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Add the tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium heat. Add the ground turkey or sausage (Squeeze the sausage out of the casing directly into the pot). Add green pepper and onion. Cook until the meat is browned and the veggies are slightly softened. Add minced garlic and cook for one more minute.

Next add beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, and spices. Give it a good stir and let the chili simmer until it is nice and thick (about 15-20 minutes).

Top with green onions and sour cream, if desired.

Serve with Pumpkin Cornbread.

 

Corn Chowder (Dairy Free)

corn-chowderI’ve been craving soup this week. We had pumpkin chili and cornbread on Sunday and this corn chowder on Tuesday. The weather is still pleasant, despite a brief brisk day this week, but something about this time of year makes me excited for comfort food and fall fare. This thick corn chowder is satisfying and full of flavor, but not full of calories. It is thickened with potatoes, so there is no milk, cream or butter in it. The secret to this soup’s awesome flavor is bacon! You could omit the bacon to make it vegan and saute the veggies in oil if you want, but the smoky flavor from the bacon really makes the dish. This soup comes together in about 30 minutes, so you can enjoy homemade soup any night of the week. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 pound potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled, and diced small (use red or Yukon gold for the creamiest texture, but russet will work just fine)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
4 slices uncured bacon
3 ears of corn with the kernels removed (or 1 bag of frozen corn), divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp salt (or more depending on your taste)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)
Green onions, chopped (optional)

Directions:
Pour stock into a medium saucepan and add potatoes. Cook over medium to medium/high heat until potatoes are tender when poked with a fork. (Pretty much like making mashed potatoes)

While the potatoes are cooking fry bacon in a large pot until crisp. Remove bacon from pot and drain on paper towels. Do not drain the bacon fat from the pan! To the bacon grease add the chopped onion, celery, and red pepper. Saute over medium heat until the veggies soften and become translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

When the potatoes are soft, remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully pour the broth and potatoes into a blender. Add 1 cup of the corn kernels and blend until smooth. Remember to vent the lid a little or soup will explode out of the blender. Don’t ask me how I know this:) You can also use an immersion blender if you have one.

Pour the potato mixture into the large saucepan and stir to combine. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook 5-10 minutes, or until the soup is thickened to your liking.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle bacon over the top. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and green onions if desired.