I have a sweet tooth problem. Like most women I know, I love chocolate. I would eat it all the time if I could, but alas, not only am I not supposed to eat a lot of sweets, it is not exactly kind on the waistline. One thing that helps me get my chocolate fix & feeds my sweet tooth is granola. I love making it. I make bars, squares or just straight up granola with chocolate in it of course. It is easy to make & my daughter loves helping me too.
But my favorite of all granola snacks that grace my lunch box are granola balls. There is just enough chocolate to keep me happy, but with no sugar added, I feel less guilty.
3 cups of quick oats
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of peanut butter
2 tbsp safflower oil
1 tbsp vanilla
3/4 cup of dark chocolate
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix in honey, oil & vanilla, stirring well. With a fork cut in the peanut butter until mixed well. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Scoop a spoonful of mixture & roll with your hand into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet & bake for 15 minutes.
Rice, rice, baby!! We love rice in our house. We love it so much that we own not one, but two rice cookers. When my mother was still alive, God rest her soul, she would buy me a fifty pound bag of rice every year along with my favorite soy sauce. When you have that much rice at your fingertips, you want to find different ways to cook it. I like it plain, fried, in risotto & it also makes a lovely rice pudding. For a smoother, creamier pudding use a smaller grain of rice. If you prefer your pudding with a bit more texture use a longer grain of rice.
1 cup of uncooked rice
2 ripe bananas
1 egg (beaten & at room temperature)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups of water
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
In a medium saucepan, combine rice, water, margarine & salt. Bring to a boil. Cover & cook for 2o minutes. Do not stir! In a mixing bowl smash up the bananas with a fork. Add brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon & 1/2 cup of milk to the banana. Mix well. After rice is done cooking, pour the banana mixture over the rice & stir. Cover & simmer for an additional 20 minutes stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes remove from heat & beat in the egg. Beat for a minute & then add the other 1/2 cup of milk. Chill. Top with whipped cream & serve.
Mai really liked the rice pudding. In between every bite, she kept telling me “Thank you, Mama.” You are welcome, sweetheart.
I am going through a huge granola kick right now. I can not stop making it & eating it. I started making it as a healthy snack alternative & also for some added energy while I train for my 5K & now I am hooked. I just finished off my last batch & wanted to try something different. Tonight with the help of my trusty helper, we made a batch of Maple Nut Granola Bars.
2 cups of quick oats
1/2 cup of Rice Krispies
1/4 cup of chopped pistachios
1/4 cup of chopped peanuts
1/3 cup of chopped almonds
1/3 cup of real maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp of sea salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine oats, nuts, Krispies & salt. Mix in vanilla & honey. Stir until evenly coated. Add maple syrup and mix well. Scoop the mixture little by little into a 8X6 or 8X8 baking pan, packing it well with each spoonful added. Once all of the mixture is added, pack firmly one last time. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars or squares.
I love fried foods. The problem is they don’t feel the same way about me. With all my tummy issues, it is impossible for me to eat anything deep fried. I miss french fries, chicken wings & fried chicken. Luckily, all of these naughty foods can also be baked in lieu of frying.
Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken
A family size package of drumsticks (about 12 drumsticks)
2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of flour
2 eggs beaten
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, oregano, garlic salt, paprika & pepper in a large bowl. Pat the chicken dry. Dip the chicken in flour & then dip into the egg. Put a 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture into a large Ziplock bag. Put 3 chicken legs in the bag & shake until well coated. Dispose of the leftover contents of the Ziplock bag. Do this 3 more times until you have coated all of the chicken legs and have used all of the breaded mixture. Place the breaded drumsticks on a foil lined baking sheet & bake for 45 minutes.
Here is a funny tidbit of information about me. I worked as a regional manager for a chain of health clubs for about 10 years, I married a marathon runner and I absolutely hate exercise. Everyone always assumed that I was a health nut. Nope! While my husband is running marathons, I am trying to find my way to the finish line with a forty ounce of beer. I don’t workout & I definitely do not run. For years my husband has been trying to convince me to run a race with him, but I just would not budge. I just could not understand why he and so many others loved this. Running hurts my knees and my shins. I am a big baby. I just was not interested in putting my body through this torture for no reason. Lately, I have begun to find myself more and more curious as to why so many loved to run. I know that obviously it is great for weight loss, but there are other ways to do it, so what is the draw. I have been gaining motivation through watching my husband, friends and even some of my fellow bloggers, Runsaltrun .
Soooooo, I, Kim the anti-runner have agreed to do my first 5K. I am a registered participant for one at the end of next month. This week, I began my training. What I have discovered is that I am grossly out of shape, but I am working on it.
When ever I start a exercise routine, I know that I am going to need some extra fuel to keep my body going. One of my favorite energy foods is granola. It is healthy, delicious and easy to make.
2 cups of quick oats
1/4 cup organic honey
1/4 cup organic peanut butter – Make sure to stir the peanut butter well before measuring out as organic peanut butter can have an inconsistent texture if not stirred well.
1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/4 unshelled sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix oats, honey and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, breaking up any chunks of peanut butter and evenly distributing honey and peanut butter through the oats. Mix in the almonds, sunflower seeds and chocolate. Add the vanilla and sprinkle in the sea salt. Stir well. Spoon on your mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Spread out the mixture compactly to form larger granola chunks or scatter for smaller bites. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Watch carefully not to burn. Remove from the oven & let cool. Toss in the cranberries and crumble granola in to chunks.
The great thing about granola is their are so many possibilities and different fruit and nut combinations. Granola is great alone or sprinkle over yogurt or even ice cream.
I am finally jumping on the kale bandwagon. People keep telling me about the benefits of kale. I was told that kale chips were a must try. This sounded so bizarre to me. I couldn’t imagine that a lettuce like green like kale could be a tasty snack, but I had to try it out.
Kale (washed & dried or pre-washed)
Preheat oven to 350. Tear the kale leaves from the middle veins. Discard the veins. Rub the leaves with olive oil & sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Kale does shrink during baking.
I definitely see what all the buzz is all about. These were wonderful. They bake up light and crispy & have a great flavor. The leaves do shrink quite a bit while baking, so make extra. These are a great alternative to greasy or sugary snacks.
I have a love/hate relationship with food. I love food, but it hates me. If I have one day of bad of eating, my body pays for it for days. I am in the throes of body payback right now. I don’t know when I will learn my lesson. The funny thing is I enjoy eating healthy, sometimes it is just too fun to be bad. Today,I am back to being a good girl. I am a big fan of veggie burgers & bean burgers. They are a staple in my diet. The same thing is the case with chick peas. I was craving falafel today, but as I am trying to stay away from fried food I wanted to make a baked version of one of my favorite meals ala a burger patty.
Chick Pea Burgers
1 can of chick peas (drained)
1/4 cup of diced onions
1/2 cup of diced water chestnuts
1/2 cup of diced red peppers
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup of wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of grated parmesan
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste
Additional wheat flour for dusting
Preheat oven at 350. In your food processor combine, chickpeas, onion, water chestnuts, red peppers, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper & egg. Blend ingredients leaving it somewhat slightly chunky. Add in the flour, parmesan & baking powder. Blend slightly on pulse. Dust your hands with some wheat flour to keep mixture from sticking to hands. Roll a plum sized ball between your palms. Place on a greased baking sheet & flatten the ball into a patty by pressing with your hand. Continue until all the mixture is gone. This will make about 6 patties. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve on a bun with lettuce & yogurt dressing or tzatziki sauce. https://thepinterestedparent.com/2013/11/06/greek-nachos/.
These were wonderful. If you like chick peas, hummus and falafel, these are a must try. My husband even liked these.
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I started a new job a few weeks ago. While I love my new job, it has been quite a change for me. My last job had me on my feet all day. I was used to being on the run. With my new position, I am at a desk more the majority of my day. Not only am I not getting as much activity, I am also snacking much more while sitting at my desk. I needed to find healthy snacks to bring to work that did not make me feel guilty. A while back my mother-in-law bought us a bag of sweet potato chips & I absolutely loved them. How difficult could they be to make at home?
2 large sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Wash & peel the potatoes. Slice the potatoes in thin even slices.( Try to cut the slices as evenly as possible.) Drizzle & rub with oil. Toss with cinnamon & paprika, coating each potato evenly. Spread out potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer & sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes. (Cook times will vary) Turn off oven &
The baking can be a tricky process. Watch them carefully to make sure that they do not burn. If you have some slices that are thicker or thinner than the others they will cook differently. Thicker cut slices may not be crisp.
I made these to bring to work the next day but ended up eating almost all of them as a late night snack. I guess I will have to double the batch the next time.
My experimentations with wheat flour continue. Trying to cut refined flours out of my diet has sometimes been a challenge. It has been 7 months since my attack of Pancreatitis & with switching to whole grains, eliminating red meats & fried foods, I have lost 25 pounds. I do still get a craving for my sweets sometimes, so if I can drop in a little chocolate from time to time, it keeps me happy.
3/4 cup wheat baking flour
3/4 cup oats
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Beat egg and add oil, milk and butter. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips. Turn griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Mixture is thinner than usual batter. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter and pour into hot griddle. Cook until tops are bubbling and firm enough to flip. Cook other side and continue with batter until you have used it all.
One of my biggest diet issues has always been that I am a huge snacker. My husband is a snacker, our 2 year old little girl is a snacker. It makes it very difficult to stay on track when bags of Doritos and Skittles are being passed around.
Roasted chickpeas are a healthy crunchy alternative to greasy chips. They are also a simple treat to make. So, if you are looking for a low fat, healthy & yummy option to your late night cravings, try these.
1 can of chickpeas
1 tsp of soy sauce -Use the good stuff. Green Mountain or Maggi is my favorite. (Kikkoman & La Choy just don’t taste the same)
1/4 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp of garlic salt
Preheat oven to 450.
Empty out the can of chickpeas and blot off the excess liquid.
In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix until evenly coated. Roast at 450 for about 40-45 minutes or until crunchy. Remove from the oven & let cool.