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{Protein} Strawberry Almond Granola Clusters

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Tweet     I finally got the chance to take my boys strawberry picking, after years of talking about it.  I took my boys  to a local u-pick strawberry farm right here in Ypsilanti, Michigan!     My boys and I … Continue reading

White Wheat Pizza Dough recipe for the New Year!

Today I am spending New Year’s eve at home with my boys and hubby. We decided to make homemade pizza and keep it simple. I’ve been making this recipe for a couple of years and can’t believe I haven’t shared it yet!

I’d make a few dough balls and freeze it for the following week or for those nights when I don’t feel like cooking. I wrap it up in plastic wrap and then store it in freezer safe zip lock bag.

On those days that I’m out of pizza dough or don’t have time to make some, I’ll swing on over to Trader Joe’s, they have pizza dough in the refrigerator ailse. They also have whole wheat too! I’ll buy a few and freeze them for later!

Back to our New Year’s eve dinner. I kept the menu simple, we started the night off with a plate of appetizer’s. A little bit of genoa salami, provolone cheese, Trader Joe’s marinated fresh mozarella cheese, Kerrigold cheese, marinated artichokes and Italian bread. My husband and I had some Trader Joe’s Montepulciano wine d’Abruzzo (region of Italy my dad is from). The kids had San Pellegrino Aranciata sparkling beverages (my childhood favorite drink).

For dinner I made garlic cheese pizza and tomato sauce and cheese pizza with mixed salad greens on the side. 

For dessert we had some pizzelle’s leftover from Christmas. I made some vanilla, chocolate and I even baked Linda’s gingerbread pizzelles! My kids loved the gingerbread pizzelles and wanted to add some icing and gum drops to them to make a gingerbread snow flake!

Well it’s a few hours until midnight, so I must go and cuddle with my loved one’s! I wish you all a Happy Healthy New Year! :)

White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough adapted from King Arthur
Serings: 16 Serving size: 1/16th of a piece
Weight Watcher points plus: 3
Calories: 100 /Fat: 2 g/Protein: 3 g/Carbs: 18 g/Fiber:2 g
 
Ingredients: 
  •  3 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole WheatFlour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm orange juice or water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
Directions:
1.  Combine all of the ingredients om a bowl. I usually start kneading right away but learned that if you allow the ingredients to rest for 30 minutes before mixing, this gives the whole wheat flour a chance to absorb the liquid.
 
2. Mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, soft dough. I do it the old fashioned way and mixed the dough and kneaded it by hand.
 
3) Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover it, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. With this dough you can make pizza right away or you can store it wrapped up in plastic wrap and use it later in the week (no more than a few days). I’ve been know to make a few dough balls at a time and freeze it (the texture may change).

No Bake PB Protein Balls dipped in Cocoa Powder

 
 
I get asked by my clients as to what is an easy portable snack that doesn’t require refrigeration. Well, you are in luck my friend, I have just the snack for you! Plus is contains at least three (3) heart healthy food ingredients.  
 
This snack is  super easy and requires no baking and the best part, my kids can make these too! As I was typing up this post, I got Courtney‘s eamil on her most recent blog post, “No Bake Energy Bites“. I had to laugh, what are the chances of us posting similar recipes on the same day! :) 
 
  
 
My kids LOVE them in their school lunches, but I make sure I use sunflower seed nut butter since they have classmates that are allergic to peanuts. If you don’t have protein powder on hand you can always use powdered milk or just add more oatmeal or nutritional boosts like flax meal or chia seeds.
 
I’ll put a couple of the balls in a small container or snack size zip lock bag and throw it in my purse for a quick snack on the go! Warning, these are addicting and you have to be mindful of your portions, one pb protein ball is about 80 calories. Scroll down below to see the nutritional analysis.
  
What snacks do you like to throw in your purse or gym bag?
 
Reminder: February is national Heart month, I’ll be posting recipes this month using the symbol in the ingredient list that is on the 40 heart healthy foods list.
 
No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Servings: ~ 48/ Serving Size: 1 pb protein ball = 1 Tbsp
Weight Watcher points plus: 2
Calories: 80/Protein: 4 g/Fat: 3 g/ Carbs: 10 g/Fiber:1 g
 
Ingredients:
1 c dry rolled oats, old fashioned 
1 c. vanilla whey protein powder {powdered milk or your favorite protien powder works well too}
1 c. honey
1 c. natural peanut butter, unsalted or your favorite seed/nut butter
1/4 cup of flax meal, chia seeds, wheat germ, hemp seeds or your favorite nutritional boost ♥ (I used 1/4 cup chia seeds today)
 
optional: roll them in your favorite spices and powders: such as ground cinnamon, ground ginger or cocoa powder
 
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well until combined. 
 
2. Shape into round balls using a tablespoon or a small Good Grips scoop to form uniform round shaped balls. Place the balls on a plate cover and refrigerate.
3. Before you refrigerate or freeze: dip the peanut butter protein balls in cocoa powder or cinnamon. It’s even good dipped in melted milk chocolate or white chocolate, but my favorite is to eat them as is.
 
TIP: I like to make a big batch, I line them up on a cookie sheet, stick in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so. Transfer into a ziplock bag, date and label with a sticker and put them back into the freezer. It stays good for up to a month or so, any longer and might get that freezer burn taste.
 
 Nutritional Analysis for one tablespoon or 1 round ball dipped in cocoa powder: 80 calories/ protein: 4 g/ total carbs: 10 g/ dietary fiber: 1 g/ sugars: 6 g/ total fat: 3 g/ saturated fat: 0.5 g/ cholesterol: 1 mg/ sodium: 18 mg
 
% Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie adult diet: 6 % manganese/ calcium: 2%/ iron: 2%/ phosphorus: 2%/ B1: 1%/ B2: 1%/ magnesium: 1%/ zinc: 1%/ copper: 1%/ selenium: 1%

Clean Eating Chocolate Cup Cake with Chocolate Icing

This is a clean eating chocolate cake recipe I have been playing around with the last few weeks. My inspiration for this cake came from Ellie Krieger’s moist mocha cake recipe, I made it earlier this month (minus the coffee) and we absolutely loved it. But I wanted to raise the nutrition bar with this recipe and kicked it up a notch with the ingredients to make them more wholesome. I used  honey, pasteurized honey for the cake and then for the frosting I used raw honey for it’s health benefits (the CDC recommends children under the age of 12 months not consume raw honey since it may contain botulism spores). You could use agave nectar but I ran out and used what I had on hand.

I made this cake for my son’s 10th birthday celebration (see football cake below) but didn’t add eggs because one of my nephews has an egg allergy. Overall my kids, my nephews, and my family loved it too.

My kids requested this cake the other day, they wanted me to pack it in their school lunch for dessert. I baked them little cupcakes with the clean eating chocolate frosting and embellished it with a heart-shaped banana slice on top of the cup cakes to remind them of how much I love them, plus this would make a  perfect Valentine’s Day treat! 

My son's 10th birthday cake!

Clean Eating Chocolate Cupcakes  without the frosting~ inspired by Ellie Krieger
Servings: 12/Serving size: 1 cupcake or 1/12 of cake
Weight Watcher points plus: 5
Calories: 155/protein: 5 g/fat: 7 g/carbs: 24 g/ fiber: 3 g
 
Dry Ingredients:
1.5 c. whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat fl our (regular ww flour makes a tougher, dense and dry cake)
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
 
Wet Ingredients:
1.5 c. Greek low-fat yogurt or regular yogurt
1.5 c. unsweetened apple sauce (banana puree and pumpkin puree taste great too)
2 Tbsp organic unsalted butter, melted
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 egg whites (tastes great without eggs for food allergy sensitive person)
1 ounce of good quality dark chocolate ~ 60% or more cocoa (melted, in microwave or double broiler)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. agave nectar
optional: 2 – 4 Tbsp water to thin out batter if too thick
 
12 cup cake liners for cupcakes or one 13 x 9 baking pan for sheet cake. I used a ceramic bowl that happened to be in the shape of a football.
 
Method:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. If baking cupcakes, line the cupcake liners in muffin tin, lightly spray with vegetable oil. If using a baking pan, lightly spray pan so batter will not stick.
 
2.In a small mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir well until blended well; set aside.
 
3. In a medium mixing bowl, add all the wet ingredients, mix well until combined.
 
4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient in thirds. This makes it easier to blend well. You can whisk by hand or use a handheld blender, just don’t over mix or you’ll have a dense dry cake with pockets of air. The batter should look like fudge pudding,  if it’s too thick add a bit more puree or add some water to thin it out, try small amounts at a time like 2 tablespoons at a time.
 
5. Evenly pour batter into muffin lined tins, bake in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. I like to use a toothpick or butter knife to insert in the middle of cake to see if it comes out clean. When ready, place the cupcakes or cakes out of the oven, to cool before icing. My kids loved them plain without the icing.
 
********************************************************************************
  
Frosting ~inspired by Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies and Elana’s Pantry
Servings: 12 Serving Size: 1/2 tablespoon
Weight Watcher points plus: 1
Calories: 50/protein: 1 g/fat: 2 g/ carbs: 7.5 g/fiber: 1 g 
 
Ingredients:
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
pinch of cinnamon
3- 4 Tbsp honey (agave nectar) ~ I used raw honey*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
 
*side note: Do not give raw honey to children under the age of one year’s old, because it may contain botulism spores.
Honey has a thicker consistency than agave nectar, especially raw honey, so I had to add some liquid to thin it out.  I used water, about 0.5 to 1 Tbsp water at a time to get the frosting consistency that I liked. You can use a splash of milk, soy, coconut, or rice milk, etc. in place of the water. Also honey is much sweeter than agave, next time I’ll use agave nectar.
 
Method:
1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl, whisk until blended and smooth. Since I used honey, I added about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of water, but you may have to play around with it.
 
2. When the cupcakes or cake is cooled frost! Enjoy!
 
* for the vanilla frosting on the football cake,  I used  Cherrybrook Kitchen vanilla frosting mix.
 
 ******************************************************************
Updated: June 16, 2012
 
Some Tips on the Cake to improve the texture:
  • If you are new to using whole wheat flour in your baked goods, I suggest starting with  1 part ww flour and 2 parts all purpose flour. Whole wheat flour has more protein than all purpose flour, which means it will result in a more chewier texture. 
  •  I made a mistake when I originally posted this recipe, I changed it to 4 Tbsp of grapeseed oil instead of 2 Tbsp.  
  • If the batter is still too thick (from using whole wheat flour)  add more oil or sugar but if you are wanting to keep it on the lighter side, add more applesauce to thin the batter out or water.

Week 2 Whole Living Challenge {Orange Peel Chicken recipe: Just like PF Chang’s}

Before I share this wonderful delicious recipe, I want to go over this week’s goal for the Whole Living 28 day Action Plan. Week 2’s challenge is to keep up with the detox diet, but try to add some of the “avoid” foods back into your diet. Take note of how you feel and how these foods affect you.
 
Whole Living Magazine recommends the following foods to reintroduce into your diet.
  • Day 1: wheat {start with a small amount}
  • Day 4: dairy
  • Day 6: soy {take not of what type/kind of soy foods agree with your body}
Foods to avoid this week:
  • Added sugar
  • Processed foods/beverages
  • Alcohol
Optional foods to Avoid:
  • peanut/peanut products
  • corn
  • beans/legumes
I modified my diet and kept the beans/legumes in week one, last year I followed it to a tee!
 
So on to this lovely recipe (I made mine without the breading, honey and soy to stay with the detox diet plan).
 
With all the #citruslove recipes going on this month, I just can’t seem to get enough citrus into my diet. 
 
Years ago when my husband and I were dating we took a fun trip to California. One of the restaurants we dined at was P.F. Chang’s  at Sherman Oaks Galleria  in Los Angeles, California . I ordered…and my husband ordered orange peel chicken. So tonight, I want to surprise my husband with a dish that will bring us back to that wonderful time we had together in California. (Honey, if you are reading this, it’s a hint that I’d like to go on a vacation again, real soon! ‘;) )
 
Orange Peel Chicken~Adapted from Recipe Secrets
Servings: 6/ Serving Size: ~1 cup
Weight Watcher Pts Plus: 7
Calories: 277/Protein: 29 g/Fat: 5 g/Carbs: 31 g/Fiber: 4 g
 
Ingredients:
1 lb of chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic,  minced
4 Tbsp green onions, sliced
1 cup of tomato sauce, low sodium
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce, I used Bragg’s liquid Amino’s
1/2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 of an orange peel, cut into 1/8 inch strips  – use only organic
 
Breading for chicken – optional
1 cup whole wheat flour, oat flour, gluten free AP flour
2 egg whites
 
   
Method:
1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon sesame oil or favorite vegetable oil. Add green onions, minced garlic, cook for about 1 minute.
 
2. Add the following ingredients: tomato sauce, water, honey, soy sauce, white vinegar, and cayenne pepper; stir. Bring to a boil then simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, set aside.
 
3. (Skip this step if you don’t want to bread your chicken). In a small bowl, add egg whites ; set aside. In  a separate bowl add wheat flour; set aside. Coat chicken pieces in egg whites, then into the flour; set aside on a dish to cook all at once.
 
4. Add the coated chicken to a non-stick skillet or wok sprayed with vegetable spray or add 1 tsp vegetable oil. Cook the chicken in small batches until lightly golden brown on all sides.
 
5. Once the chicken is cooked, add orange peels and cook for one to minutes over medium heat to release the oils from orange peels. Next, add the sauce to coat the chicken and briefly cook until sauce is heated through.
 
6. Serve with brown rice and steamed vegetables.
  
 Nutritional Analysis for one cup of orange peel chicken: calories: 277/protein: 29 g/ carbs: 31 g/dietary fiber: 4 g/ sugars: 15 g/ total fat: 5 g/ saturated fat: 1 g/ monounsaturated fat: 1 g/ polyunsaturated fat: 1 g/ cholesterol: 65 mg/ sodium: 370 mg% Daily Values for one cup based on a 2,000 calorie diet: niacin: 61%/ selenium: 54%/ manganese: 43%/ B6: 30%/ vitamin k: 28%/ phosphorus: 26%/ chromium: 18%/ potassium: 14%/ magnesium: 14%/ iron: 13%/ B2: 13%/zinc: 11%/ B1: 11%/ Biotin: 11%/ copper: 9%/ folate: 6% B12: 4%/ vitamin D: 1% 
 
 
January is #citruslove month!Please join in on the #citruslove fun by linking up any citrus recipe from the month of January 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #citruslove event! The twitter hashtag is #citruslove :).
  
Check out the other food bloggers listed below for more citrus loving recipes. 
A Little Bit of Everything ~ Astig Vegan ~ Baker Street ~ BigFatBaker ~ CafeTerraBlog ~ Cake Duchess ~ Cakeballs, Cookies and More Elephant Eats ~ Food Wanderings ~ Georgiecakes ~ Hobby And More ~ Mike’s Baking ~ Mis Pensamientos ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Oh Cake ~ Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives ~ Peaches and Donuts ~ Savoring Every Bite ~ Simply Reem ~ Smart Food and Fit ~Soni’s Food for Thought ~ Teaspoon of SpiceThat Skinny Chick Can Bake ~ The Art of Cooking Real Food ~ The More Than Occasional Baker ~ The Spicy RD ~ The Wimpy VegetarianVegan Yack Attack! ~ Vegetarian Mamma ~ You Made That?