St.Patrick’s Day Recipe: Super Pistachio & Spinach Bread

RECIPE OF THE DAY: Super Pistachio & Spinach Bread
(adapted from GastroChef.org)

2 cups organic oat flour (gluten free recipe, also Paleo friendly recipe)
1/2 teaspoon each baking soda & baking powder (aluminum free)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/4 cup & 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
2 cups raw spinach, washed and dried well
1/4 cup local honey
3 eggs
3 bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, 1/4 cup walnuts & 1/2 cup pistachios, stir to combine well.

In a blender combine: fresh spinach, honey, bananas, eggs, 1/4 cup coconut oil and vanilla extract. Pour blended liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Using remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and a paper towel, grease the inside of mini-muffins or loaf pans, to your choice. Divide batter equally into the greased pans of your choice. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts before baking.

This recipe should yield 2 regular sized loafs or 4 mini-sized loafs (as pictured). For the photo, I made one large sized bread loaf (took about 50 minutes to bake) and 2 mini-loaves (which took about 25-30 minutes to bake). This recipe would work well for min-muffin size as well, would yield approximately 2 dozen mini-muffins–this is what I used for correct portion size/nutritional info calculation. You should reduce the baking time if making muffins, about 10-15 minutes depending upon your muffin pan size.

Note: I used Organic at Flour, which is approved for the Paleo and gluten free diet plans, the original recipe from GastroChef.org called for a mixture of almond and pistachio flour which I’m sure would yield a delicious result, but these ingredients cost double that of oat flour and are harder to find in local grocery stores. Love the beautiful green color for this bread, my kids loved it, my 4 yr old twins called it Incredible Hulk Bread!

**Another great alteration would be add some shredded fresh zucchini, maybe a cup or so, would increase the moisture level and wouldn’t change the flavor much if at all. Next time I make this I’m going to give that a try!

Mini Muffin / Nutrition Info (yields 2 dozen mini muffins):
Calories: 107
Fat: 5.8 grams
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 98.8 mg
Potassium: 90.1 mg
Carbohydrate: 13.0 g
Fiber: 1.7 g
Sugars: 4.9 g
Protein: 3 grams

Protein Frozen Fudge Bars

A great fudge alternative option, this sweet treat incorporates top notch Unjury Chocolate Splendor (whey protein isolate) powder with P28 High Protein Almond Spread, naturally sweet fruit, made into perfectly portioned frozen bars.  Inspired by a guest blogger on Chocolate Covered Katie, I’ve gone crazy on the protein boost while keeping great flavor.

 

These are a great make ahead snack that can be portioned out as desired.

1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup almonds, unsalted
1/4 cup walnuts, unsalted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 scoop Unjury Chocolate Splendor
2 medium ripe bananas
4 tablespoons P28 High Protein Almond Spread
2 tablespoons more unsweetened cocoa powder
1 more scoop Unjury Chocolate Splendor
4 tablespoons blue agave (can substitute honey)

Put dates in a bowl with warm water, allow dates to soak for 30 minutes, then drain. Mix together dates, almonds, walnuts, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 scoop Unjury Chocolate Splendor in a food processor until well blended. Spread mixture in a 9×5 baking pan until evenly distributed, and press down gently with a spatula. Then separately mix together bananas, P28 Almond Spread, agave,  another 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and scoop of Unjury Chocolate Splendor in the food processor until well blended. Spread mixture over bottom layer until evenly distributed. Place in freezer overnight. Cut into 16 squares. Keep frozen uneaten portions for later snack options!

Yields 16 servings. Per Serving Nutritional Info:

140 Calories
5 g Fat
86.3 mg Sodium
11 g Carbohydrate
4 g Dietary Fiber
13 g Sugar
6 g Protein

 

Mocha & PB CLICK Banana Ice Cream

Who needs real ice cream when this alternative is so good?! Simple ingredients and easy to put together. Since I was having an evening snack I used the Decaf Mocha CLICK protein variety, but you could their Vanilla Latte and leave out the peanut butter for another good option. Main thing to do is make sure you cut the bananas in little chunks before freezing so you don’t burn out your food processor.

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into small slices
  • 1 tablespoon natural chunky peanut butter
  • 1 scoop Decaf Mocha CLICK Protein Powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Optional Topping: 1 teaspoon chopped peanuts

In a small dish mix together the CLICK protein powder with water, stir to combine (use just enough water to combine without getting too thin). Set aside.

Using a food processor, pulse bananas, stop to scrape down sides with spatula as needed. The bananas will go thru stages, first looking like small gravel, then it’ll start to look like soft serve. Keep scraping the sided down or pushing any remaining chunks down into the blades until all is smooth. The “ice cream” is perfect just like this, plain banana flavor, but to CLICK it up a notch, add in your moistened Mocha CLICK protein and one tablespoon of crunch peanut butter, pulse the food processor again enough just to combine well. If you like soft serve it’s ready to eat, or you could firm it up a bit back in the freezer another couple minutes if you prefer. This recipe yields half a pint of ice cream, or 2-3 servings.

 

SuperBowl Skinny Shrimp & Spinach Dip

You’ll score a TOUCHDOWN with this delicious skinny version of shrimp & spinach dip!  You’ll be happy for these substitutions! Garlic N Herb Light Laughing Cow Cheese replaces the cream cheese and I’ve boosted the veggie flavor and protein with increased shrimp. Great to dig in with celery for a light snack or pair with pita or a strong tortilla chip.

 

  • 4 oz Garlic & Herb Light Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 1/8 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 cups (12.5 oz) peeled large shrimp, diced
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat Sargento Mexican blend
  • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • optional topping: sliced red pepper (football strings)

Combine all ingredients except for the red pepper slices. Arrange in a baking dish, top with red pepper slices and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and hot and the dip feels a little spring like to touch.

 

 

Recipe: CLICKED UP Carrot Cake Cappuccino

Think of a CLICKed up version of tiramisu combined with carrot cake on this one! Delicious and nutritious protein packed sweet and frothy. Keep your healthy new years habits going with this wonderful new shake recipe.

2 scoops CLICK Vanilla Latte Protein Powder
4 baby carrots (cooked in microwave until tender-in mug with water to cover, then drain)
2/3 cup Unsweetened Silk
1 tablespoon blue agave syrup
1 tablespoon Torani Sugar Free Caramel Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Hand full of Ice

Blend to combine well.

Nutritional Facts:
Calories: 227
Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 210 mg
Potassium: 290 mg
Carbohydrate: 33.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Sugars: 23.7g
Protein: 15.7 g

 

 

 

 

Recipe Of The Day: Tilapia Al Forno

Adapted from a recipe from Wegman’s, this is great single serving recipe that is as delicious as it looks! I’ll be making this next time I have a dinner party for sure and just increase  ingredients by desired servings.  SO quick, easy and yummy! I like this with a spaghetti sauce containing red peppers, but that’s my preference, your favorite sauce works fine.

 

1 tilapia fillet
3 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
dash Garlic & Herb Old Bay seasoning
1/8 cup seasoned tomato or marinara sauce of your choice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking tray with nonstick cooking spray. Place tilapia on baking sheet.

In a small bowl combine olive oil with bread crumbs and herb seasonings, stir to combine. Top tilapia with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 10 minutes until fish flakes with a fork.  Warm the tomato sauce on plate and place the cooked tilapia on top, serve warm.

Per Serving Nutritional Info:

204.5 Calories
6.4 g Fat
50.0 mg Colesterol
86.3 mg Sodium
10.6 g Carbohydrate
1.5 g Dietary Fiber
0.4 g Sugar
25.3 g Protein

 

Tropical Seafood Ceviche & Savory Shrimp Burgers

Today was a tough day, so I did what I really wanted to, which was give myself a reward with food, this was always a bad habit back in my heavier days, but now I look for tasty ways to still give in to my food reward desires, while making a better choices in WHAT I eat. This past summer I ate at this nice outdoor restaurant in Sacket’s Harbor, NY that was called Tin Pan Galley. Wonderful contemporary, casual dining experience with a fresh flare to everything on their menu. I usually strike out on the appetizer menu since I try not to eat fried foods, but at the time they had a wonderful sea scallop & mango ceviche that was out of this world.  So today for my reward I indulged myself with a recreation at home of this great recipe, with a tropical twist.

For those of you unfamiliar with a ceviche, it’s typically a RAW seafood type of entree with a strong acid that “cooks” the fish other seafood ingredients. I fully expect this is not for everyone’s taste, but I encourage you to (1) either be brave enough to give it a go, or (2) replace the raw seafood with either pre-cooked shrimp or even an imitation crab chunk (get a better quality one if you can–I know, I just contradicted myself!).

Tropical Seafood Ceviche

2 ounces high quality bay scallops (fresh or frozen), thawed & drained well
2 ounces shrimp (raw or pre-cooked–peeled & devained) or crab chunks
1/8 small red onion, minced finely
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced finely
1/2 cup chopped Roma tomato
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 fresh mango, peeled & chopped
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple (canned in own juice, not sweetened)
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 fresh avocado, peeled, chopped

Mix all the ingredients excepted for the avocado together in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate for at least 12 hours–during that time, try to stir to combine a couple times as to be sure the acidic juice covers the entire mixture. This is great mixed up and allowed to marinate overnight, if possible. Before serving, add the avocado, stir to combine. Serve chilled. The fresher the ingredients, the better on this one!

I also put together a seared Shrimp Burger, with the goal of lightly seasoning to allow the flavor of the shrimp to come thru with as little breading as possible while still having a nice exterior seared crispy coating. I said I don’t eat fried food, right? Game changer on this one, so delicious, who needs fried, not me.

2 tablespoons chopped bread (homemade breadcrumb)
dash fresh ground black pepper
1/4 lb raw shrimp, peeled & devained
2 teaspoon light mayo
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, minced
dash old bay seasoning (or your favorite seafood seasoning)
half of a fresh lemon zested
3 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break up your bread or use a small food processor, I like to put all of my ingredients into food processor, I start with the bread and cilantro, process well, then pour into a mixing bowl. Then process the onion until finely chopped, add the shrimp to the processor and pulse to chop again until shrimp and onion in small pieces, pour into your mixing bowl. Add in your seasonings: black pepper, light mayo, Old Bay (or your favorite brand of seafood seasoning) and the fresh lemon zest. Stir well to combine.

Heat a plain or cast iron skillet (oven safe) over medium heat with non-stick cooking spray. Make your seafood mixture into patties, I used a 1/3 cup measuring spoon to get the size I wanted, but you know your personal portion. Place the raw patties into bowl with Panko breadcrumbs and flip once to coat both side. Then sear in frying pan until brown, flip once and brown the other side, then place entire pan into oven and finish baking another 15 minutes or until cooked thoroughly (meat springs back when touched in the center). Serve warm.

 

Asian Flare

Keep your flavor palate exploring by trying new ethnic markets for inspiring ingredients. I went this past weekend to a local Korean market and found great deals on dried shitake mushrooms, fresh lemongrass, baby bok choy and ingredients for sushi. I’ve been able to incorporate these ingredients into some wonderful new recipes for Thai Coconut Soup and a tasty korean marinade I used on chicken thigh sections for a quick dinner.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into quarters
2 teaspoons red curry paste
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 cans light coconut milk
1/2 pound fresh sliced shitake mushrooms
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 fresh lime, cut in quarters, seeds removed
1 tablespoon cilantro
salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste

In sauce pan, spray with nonstick cooking spray, over medium heat cook and stir together the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste for a minute or two. Slowly add in chicken stock,fish sauce and brown sugar, stirring. Cook for 15-20 minutes, goal of imparting the lemongrass flavor into the sauce. Add in the coconut milk and mushrooms, cook another 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add in shrimp and the half of the lime wedges and cook another 2 minutes or until they are no longer translucent, do not overcook! Season to taste with cilantro, salt & pepper and squeeze in remaining lime wedges (just add the juice). Serve hot.

I served this soup with marinated chicken thighs and did a quick sauté of some baby bok choy, what a great combination. The korean marinade for the meat was my kids and husband’s favorite of the meal, whereas I was big on the soup!

 

Korean Chicken Marinade

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves-minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
dash ground cloves or 2 whole cloves
dash ground black pepper

This marinade was enough to marinate a 1 pound of cubed chicken thighs. I covered the chicken with the mixed marinade and refrigerated for 2 days before either cook in sauté pan, bake in oven or grill on kabobs after discarding the leftover marinade. So delicious! My husband says this is his favorite way to marinate chicken! I plan to try this next on beef….

 

Recipe Of The Day: French Onion & Cottage Cheese Cake

This recipe is a wonderful VEGETARIAN burger alternative, so much more flavorful then those pre-processed veggie burgers in the grocery stores!  You could even add some raw mushrooms for topping if that’s your thing, I didn’t on this one, but it sounds like a good option.  Here’s how I made mine:

 

1 small egg, whisked
1/2 cup low fat small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 dash seasoned salt

Sauce:
1 teaspoon Lipton’s envelope dry onion soup mix powder
1tablespoon warm water
2 tablespoons Plain Fat Free Chobani Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk egg & stir in cottage cheese, rolled oats, wheat germ seasoned salt and dried thyme. Form into a two patties.

Over medium heat in a nonstick oven-safe skillet sprayed heavily with nonstick cooking spray, . Place patties into skillet and sear both sides. (You will need to be careful when flipping, use a metal spatula and be sure to get all the seared edge when doing your one flip). Once you flip the patties and let the 2nd side sear for an extra minute, move the entire fry pan to the pre-heated oven and finish baking, set your oven timer for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine condensed soup with water. Add in greek yogurt and combine well. Set aside. Spoon this mixture evenly over your two patties in the oven when the oven timer reaches 15 minutes, then cook another 5 minutes before removing from oven and serving. I like to sprinkle with a dash of dried (or fresh if you have it) thyme or chives when serving as garnishment.

Yields 2 Servings.  Nutritional Facts Per Serving:  140.2 calories, 4.6 g fat,  362.7 mg sodium, 12.7g carbohydrates,  3.1 g sugars,  1.6 g dietary fiber,  12.2 g protein.

Another great addition to this could be some raw mushrooms, sliced, on top of the cakes in the oven before you pour the sauce over top… I didn’t do it when I made it, but wished I’d thought of it in retrospect. There’s always next time, as I’ll be making this again!

Recipe Of The Day: BLT Eggs Benedict

All the deliciousness of a BLT combined with Eggs Benedict without all the fat and calories by switching out the typical Hollandaise Sauce to a light mayo sauce and by using turkey bacon.  This will be a house favorite for us. This recipe is an updated version from a Food Network Kitchen for Kale & Tomato Eggs Benedict. This recipe is from my new bariatric cookbook: Just A Taste.

Mustard-Hollandaise Sauce: 

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
dash Srirachi Hot Sauce (or your favorite brand)

Stir all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

BLT Eggs Benedict:

1/4 cup white vinegar
4 slices turkey bacon, cooked
1 cup petite kale or baby spinach
1 whole wheat English muffins, split
1 plum tomato, sliced
2 large eggs

For the eggs benedict:

Fill a wide pot with about 3 inches of water. And the vinegar and bring to a low simmer over medium heat.

Crack each egg into a mug and slip it gently into the simmering water (don’t let your water come to a full boil, you should just see bubbles at the bottom of the pan, but not boiling). Cook until the whites are at desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain completely of the water. Your eggs will continue to cook after removing them, so don’t let them get too overly cooked, we want the yolk still soft.

Rinse & wipe clean your pan. I already had some turkey bacon cooked, but to warm it back up, I put it in the pan back over medium heat for a minute, just to warm it and get some of the turkey bacon grease to sweat out. Once it “sweats”, pull out your bacon and add the baby kale or baby spinach leaves and do a quick 30 seconds toss, just to wilt the leaves and give them some of the delicious turkey bacon “sweat” flavor.  If you don’t already have pre-cooked turkey bacon and you need to do a full cook of your bacon during this step, just be sure to get almost all of the grease out of the pan before adding your kale/spinach leaves so you don’t get a greasy mess, we want just a little of the  flavor in this step, not a lot of grease.

Toast each English muffin in a toaster oven or under a broiler until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Top each toasted muffin with 1 tablespoon of the Mayo Hollandaise, half each of the wilted kale/spinach leaves, then slices of tomato. Add the warmed turkey bacon slices from the pan. Place one poached egg on top of each BLT stack and drizzle with remaining hollandaise, add a dash of cayenne pepper (optional) and serve hot. Your poached egg should still be a little juicy in the yolk to off set the stronger mustard sauce flavor. Delicious!

Yields 2 servings. Nutritional Facts Per Serving:

261.9 calories,  11 g fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 570 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates, 2.9 g dietary fiber,  2.3 g sugars,  13.9 g protein.


Alternate idea: or cut the fat further and in the sauce use only 1 TBL light mayo and add 1 TBL plain greek yogurt…. that would boost the protein further and even cut fat back more!