Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Pin It I've been on an instant oatmeal streak lately.  It fills me up and I like a warm breakfast on chilly mornings.  Then I stumbled upon a recipe for peanut butter banana bars on Pinterest.  I decided to try it out, but tweaked it a bit to make it healthier and tastier.  You really don't taste the peanut butter or banana.  I would describe these as a chewy chocolate chip granola bar with a hint of cinnamon.  You won't even notice the flax seed, but it adds some extra protien.  Don't let the long ingredient list scare you.  This recipe is super simple.  I don't think you can mess it up.

These bars don't last long at my house.  I snack on them throughout the day.  They are moist, tasty, healthy and very filling.  One serving keeps me full until lunch time.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 large egg)
2/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips**
1/3 cup chopped pecans**

**optional - or add your favorite mix -in - raisins, cranberries, walnuts...the list goes on and on

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl mix bananas, egg, milk, vanilla, sugar and peanut butter.
3. Add oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix until well combined.
4. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.
5. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan.  Sprinkle brown sugar on top.
6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

5 Ingredient Cookie Bars

Pin It I had a real craving for something sweet last week and needed something simple, fast and using ingredients I already had.  These cookie bars were perfect.  5 ingredients and 25 minutes later I had a delicious fresh baked treat.  These are perfect with a scoop of ice cream.

5 Ingredient Cookie Bars
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups baking mix (like Bisquick)
1 1/2 cups M & M's (or chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream peanut butter, eggs and sugar.  Mix in baking mix.  Stir in 1 cup of M&M's.
3. Press mixture into a greased 8 x 8 pan.  Top with remaining M&M's.  Press gently into the batter.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower

Pin It I'm always looking for new ways to cook vegetables.  I saw a recipe for a cauliflower gratin, but it was super unhealthy and totally defeated the whole purpose of eating veggies.  So this is my healthier spin on that recipe.  We had this as a side dish with steak and baked potatoes.  It really would go well with any meal: chicken, pork, pasta...

Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower
* 2 servings
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
5 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp panko break crumbs
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place cauliflower in a saucepan with water.  Bring to a boil and cook about 5 minutes, until tender.  ***you can skip this step if  you want to bake the dish for about double the time.  I did this to save a little time.
3. Drain cauliflower and toss with olive oil, garlic and 2 Tbsp cheese. 
4. Place in an oven safe dish.  Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.  Spray top with cooking spray to aid in browing.
5. Bake 15-20 minutes until top is golden brown.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pin It I love muffins.  I love all breakfast food.  I especially like muffins because they are the perfect size for a snack and you can make so many varieties.  This was my first attempt at using whole wheat flour and it was a success.  I wouldn't say that they taste "wheaty" so you can trick children or picky husbands into eating something healthy.  I also used unsweetened applesauce to lower the fat content.   The oatmeal also isn't too overpowering.  And chocolate makes everything better.  These are great fresh out of the oven and for several days after.  Pop them in the microwave to get that fresh baked feeling you crave if you like.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Teeniecakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c buttermilk
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy and smooth.  Mix in eggs one at a time.  Add applesauce, vanilla and buttermilk.
3. In a large bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and oatmeal.
4. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing before adding more.
5. When the mixture is just combined (don't overmix or it will get tough) stir in chocolate chips.
6. Generously spray 12 muffin cups.  Divide mixture between muffin cups and sprinkle tops with brown sugar.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

**If you don't have buttermilk on hand add 1 tsp vinegar to 2/3 c of milk and let sit for 5 minutes before adding to the mixture.
**Use your favorite combination of nuts, chocolate of fruit as long as the total quantity equals 2 cups.  Try adding walnuts, pecans, raisins or dried cranberries.
**I used dark non-stick pans that cook quicker than some pans.  Adjust cooking time according to your oven and pans.
**You could use cupcake liners if you want

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mexican Rice

Pin It This is one of my go-to, one pot wonder weeknight meals.  It takes under 30 minutes to make and it makes enough to feed a crowd so you have guaranteed lunch leftovers for a few days.  It also uses ingredients that I usually have on hand so I can whip it up quick.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do :)

Mexican Rice
1 lb ground beef
1 box Spanish rice mix
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
sour cream
taco sauce
green onions

1. In a large skillet brown ground beef.  Drain and set aside.
2. In the same skillet cook rice according to box directions, using the can of tomatoes with chiles.
3. When rice is done add corn, beans and beef.  Stir to mix.  Flatten the top of the mixture and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover to let the cheese melt.
4. Serve with sour cream, taco sauce and green onions.