Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Berry Breakfast Bake

Breakfast is essential in healthy eating; I strive to eat within the first hour of being up to help me manage my eating throughout the day. Due to crazy schedules, breakfast is often skipped.  This breakfast bake can be made ahead and eaten during the week.  

I loved making this dish Saturday evening.  My family enjoyed a sit down, warm breakfast on Sunday.  The leftovers were great on Monday and Tuesday morning.  This is a great "what do I have sitting around" dish.  I happened to have some Craisins and also fresh cranberries; I added them.  I added the chia seeds to the original recipe; if I'd had any flax seed, I would have added that too.  

My photo doesn't show ripe bananas because I didn't have any.  What I did have was a quart freezer bag of mashed bananas. We buy lots of bananas, but occasionally they ALL hit the overripe state.  We peel and throw them in a bag; they are great for smoothies, banana bread, or casseroles like this.  There is no need to throw away overripe bananas or force feed yourself four in one day anymore. 

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (divided)
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 cup natural maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond milk (or skim)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 T unrefined coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup mixed berries, frozen or fresh (divided)
  • 3 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Lightly grease a 9 x 11 baking dish
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients (use half of the walnuts).  In another bowl, combine milk, egg, syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil. 
  4. Spread banana slices on bottom of baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle dry oat mixture over fruit layer. Pour liquid ingredients evenly over oats. 
  5. Sprinkle remaining walnuts and berries on top.   Bake 35-40 minutes or until top is browned and oats have set. Allow to cool. 

DIFFICULTY- medium (it has a lot of ingredients)
TIME: 15 minute prep; 40 minutes baking time
SOURCE:  adapted from Schall Fitness

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Citrus-Herb Marinated Chicken

I may never have the homes that appear in Better Homes and Gardens, but I can surely enjoy looking at them.  And when it comes to the food, often I think, "I could do that!"  And sometimes I do.  This is a wonderful, flavorful, easy chicken dish from the October 2014 issue.

I go on chicken kicks and then I get kind of tired of it at times, but during those times it is usually a nice, flavorful dish that gets me out of the rut.  This is one of those dishes.  I love all of the herbs and the citrus in the marinade.  Personally, I am a big fan of grilling this chicken, but in the winter months sometimes the broiler just has to do!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/3 c lemon juice or orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 2 tsp snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

1.  Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish.  For marinade, stir together lemon juice, shallot, honey, oliveoil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Pour over chicken; seal bag.  Marinate in refrigerator for 2-4 hours, turning bag occasionally.

2.  Preheat broiler*.  Drain chicken, reserving marinade.  Place chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan.  Broil 4-5 inches from the heat about 6 minutes or until light brown.

3.  Turn chicken; brush lightly with reserved marinade.  Discard any remaining marinade.  Broil 6-8 minutes more until chicken is no longer pink.

*Alternatively, you can grill the chicken.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 10 minutes prep, 2-4 hours marinate, 12-15 minutes broiling
Source: Better Homes and Gardens, October 2014

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Chicken Salad with Garbanzo Beans (and a giveaway!)

As runners, my husband and I are always trying to increase both our protein and fiber intake.  I add beans to anything I can.  I had read about making chicken salad with garbanzo beans so when Joyce and I were approached by Hampton Creek to sample its Just Mayo products I thought a chicken salad would be a great use.

I've made this recipe using both the garlic flavor and the chipotle; when I used the garlic version, I didn't bother adding any garlic salt.  Our family enjoyed this as a lunch on whole grain bread, but we also used leftovers as a high protein snack paired with whole grain crackers.

As I looked at the Hampton Creek website, I saw many great looking recipes; the Chiptole Carrot Salad is on my list for my next pot-luck.  I also started following their Pinterest pages; the board Game Day had some new ideas for the upcoming Super Bowl.  Check it out!

Hampton Creek would love to send a package of all four flavors of Just Mayo, plus a few bonuses, to one lucky winner.  To enter, just leave a comment in the comment section below. 

  • 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (or soaked beans)
  • 2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped finely
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup Just Mayo, chipotle
  • 1/2 t garlic salt
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon (2 T)
  • Dill pickle slices, chopped
  • 1 T dill, minced
  • pepper to taste

  1. Add celery, onion, pickle slices, garbanzo beans lemon juice, and dill to chopper. Chop to fine consistency.
  2. Add Just Mayo, garlic salt, and chicken. Mix well (my chopper is pretty large so I just add this to the chopper).
  3. Refrigerate to chill. 
  4. Serve on whole wheat bread, bagels, or crackers.

Difficulty: easy
Time:  20 minutes
Source: adapted a few recipes from Pinterest

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Chipotle Queso Dip (and a giveaway!)

When we were contacted by Hampton Creek to try their products, we did a little research and immediately knew theirs was a company that we could get behind.  From their website: "Hampton Creek is a company dedicated to making it easy for good people to do the right thing. Whether you're a hip college student or a single mom raising two kids, everyone should be able to eat delicious food that's healthier, sustainable, and affordable."  We couldn't agree more.

Then we tried the Just Mayo - all four flavors (chipotle, garlic, siracha, and original) - and we were sold.  Amazing in dips and salads as well as on sandwiches, Hampton Creek's egg-free Just Mayo can't be beat.  (BTW - You may also want to know that they make egg-free cookie dough that you may want to eat right out of the jar - and could do so safely.)

I made this dip with the chipotle Just Mayo and everyone loved it at a recent gathering.  It makes quite a bit; if you aren't hosting a large gathering, you may want to halve this recipe.  But it is so good, you may be hoping for leftovers!

Hampton Creek would love to send a package of all four flavors of Just Mayo, plus a few bonuses, to one lucky winner.  To enter, just leave a comment in the comment section below.

(Just in case you want to try Just Mayo before you win it, check out where you can purchase it using their "Just Find It" page - I did.  It is available at our local Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods.)

  • 2 blocks of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onions (can be frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of Just Mayo - chipotle flavor 
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of shredded Mexican blend cheese - about 2 cups
  • 1 (16 ounce )package of shredded parmesan cheese - about 2 cups
  1. Unwrap cream cheese and place in microwaveable bowl.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute to soften.
  2. Add chopped onions. (Using frozen onions will result in a slightly milder onion taste.)
  3. Add mayo and the shredded cheeses.
  4. Mix well with a fork until all ingredients are blended.  Spoon the mixture into a baking dish or pie pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly in the pan.
  5. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until the top is browning and bubbly.

Hampton Creek would love to send a package of all four flavors of Just Mayo, plus a few bonuses, to one lucky winner.  To enter, just leave a comment in the comment section below.  The contest runs until 9 pm, Thursday, January 15. 

Difficulty: easy
Time: Prep 5-10 minutes; cook 20 minutes
Source:  adapted from several recipes, including one from www.recklessabandoncook.com