Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies (No Flour, Butter, Sugar, or Egg)!

Yesterday I posted a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that do not have any flour or refined sugar in them. I like them so much, that I have been making them quite often during the past couple weeks. When I set out to make them on Thursday evening, I realized that I did not have any eggs on hand. I decided to try the recipe without egg to see how they would turn out. I used Greek yogurt in place of the egg, added cocoa powder, and left the butter out of this recipe. I created an entirely different cookie, one that is even healthier than the other cookies, but they taste more decadent because of the cocoa powder. I just made another batch this morning while Wendy was eating breakfast. They are seriously so easy to make and can be made in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. If you are looking for a healthier type of treat for your kids or even yourself, try out these cookies. You can feed them to your gluten-free/egg-free/refined sugar-free friends and family members too! Enjoy.

Recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies (No Flour, Butter, Sugar, or Egg)!

1/3 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of half and half (or whole milk or 2% milk)
1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup of old-fashioned oats (such as Quaker)
2 1/2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder (my favorite is organic Viva Labs cacao powder or Ghirardelli)
1/4 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/3  - 1/2 cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips - just your preference on how many you want to use (I like Ghirardelli)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a baking sheet (I used butter to grease mine).

In a medium-sized bowl, add in the pumpkin, yogurt, honey, half and half, and vanilla. Use a spoon and mix well.

In a smallish bowl, sift together the oats, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Use a 1-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to scoop up dough and drop onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Then carefully transfer to a wire rack.

Eat warm or store an in airtight container in the fridge and grab them for an easy breakfast or snack!

Recipe makes 1 - 1 1/4 dozen cookies.

Each cookie has 77 calories, 12.5 grams carbohydrates, 1.3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, less than 3 grams of fat, and almost 20% of your daily Vitamin A need. 

Original recipe.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (No Flour or Refined Sugar)!

There is no way that I am going to let the month of October pass by without posting at lease ONE pumpkin treat recipe. I am really thinking hard about making a pumpkin pie soon with swirled dark chocolate. I seriously think pumpkin and chocolate go really well together, but you don't really hear of chocolate pumpkin pies too often, and I think that needs to change. Another thing that you don't hear about too often is cookie recipes that do not have any flour or sugar in them. I have only made one other cookie before without flour and sugar, and that is the banana oatmeal cookie recipe which is very popular. I have been trying to refrain from the flour and sugar duo (or culprit) this month thanks to a friends crazy social media challenge, so when I am craving sweet, I have been trying to do things that are healthier. I searched for pumpkin oatmeal cookies on the web and couldn't find any without flour. I decided to try out my luck by altering a recipe I found for pumpkin oatmeal cookies by omitting the flour and sugar from the recipe. The cookies are sweetened with pure maple syrup. You can also use organic cane sugar in the recipe if you don't have pure maple syrup. I was totally happy with how these cookies turned out. Wendy, my 18-month old, has been enjoying these pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for breakfast (okay I will admit I have been eating them for breakfast too). She (we) gobbles them down very quickly, and it usually takes her a long time to finish anything she is eating. I think they are an okay thing for her to eat because they are loaded with Vitamin A from the pumpkin and there is some fiber from the oats. Each cookie has 105 calories, 4 grams of fat, over 20% of your daily Vitamin A need, 2 grams of protein, 11 carbs (9.9 net carbs with 1.1 gram of fiber), and some iron and potassium.  The recipe I'm sharing today makes one dozen cookies. They are great warm from the oven, and they are also really good chilled from the fridge. Enjoy!

*I actually ended up making a pumpkin chocolate-chocolate chip cookie recipe yesterday which doesn't have any flour, sugar, or egg! I'll post that recipe soon.

Recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (No Flour or Refined Sugar)!

1/4 cup of canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp. of pure maple syrup (or 3 Tbsp. of organic cane sugar, if you want to use sugar)
1 jumbo-sized egg or two small eggs
3 Tbsp. of heavy whipping cream, half and half, or whole milk
3/4 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, melted in microwave 
1 cup of old-fashioned oats (such as Quaker Oats)
3/4 tsp. of baking powder
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

Generously grease a baking sheet with butter or cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin, pure maple syrup,  egg(s), heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract. Melt the butter in a microwave, let it cool for several seconds, and then stir it in to the mixture. In a smallish bowl, sift together the oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the liquid mixture and mix to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop up about 3/4 Tbsp. of dough and drop onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches in between each mound of dough. Put in oven and bake for 13 - 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat immediately or store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe Makes approximately one dozen cookies.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Vegetarian Tamale and Cheese Pie

Over the past few months, I have been following a pretty low carb diet. Did you know that carbs are in pretty much everything under the sun except for meat, eggs, and cheese? I have definitely been feeling like I have been eating way too much meat lately. I have slowly been reintroducing carbs back into my diet, and I have been trying to find recipes that are healthy and satisfying. I have been uninspired by so many recipes that I come across, but I was so excited when I saw this recipe on a blog that I follow the other day. I knew immediately that I had to try it out. Greg was away for two weeks at a work training in Pennsylvania, so I made this dish for him when he got home last Saturday. We had our neighbor over, and we sat out on the front deck enjoying the chillier fall weather and the soulfulness of this dish. This recipe does require a bit of time, but none of the steps are difficult. After making it, you won't have to cook again for several days. We ate it every day between Saturday and Wednesday and never got tired of it! Our daughter, who is 1 1/2 and getting more picky about food, also enjoyed this meal. I think you will probably enjoy this meal, too! It is healthy, hearty, comforting, and filling! Yum!

Recipe for Vegetarian Tamale and Cheese Pie

3 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, with liquid reserved
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. of chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped (add more if you want more heat)
2 tsp. of chili powder
1 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained
2 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
2 Tbsp. of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. of dried oregano
12 ounces of grated cheese (you can use colby jack, mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, pepper jack - or a blend of cheeses)
5 1/2 cups of water
1 3/4 cups of cornmeal
Salt & pepper

For serving:
Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Chopped avocado
Tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine the diced tomato, chopped onion, garlic, olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. of the kosher salt. Mix together. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then pour the tomato mixture onto the baking sheet. Place in oven and roast, stirring a couple times, until the garlic and onion begin to brown on the edges (about 30 minutes or so).

While the vegetables are roasting, pour the reserved tomato liquid into a blender. Add in the chipotle peppers, chili powder, and lime juice. Then when the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them into the blender with everything else. Puree the mixture until it is slightly chunky, about 10 - 15 seconds. Set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Put the beans, corn, cilantro, and oregano into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the sauce from the blender on top and mix well. Spread the mixture into an even layer, and then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.

Get a whisk ready. Put the water into a large saucepan, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add in the 3/4 tsp. of kosher salt. Slowly add in the cornmeal, using the whisk to whisk vigorously so the cornmeal does not clump. Then reduce the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, while whisking constantly, until the cornmeal softens and the mixture thickens (about 3 - 4 minutes).

Remove the cornmeal mixture from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Use a spatula to spread the warm cornmeal evenly over the top of the casserole. Make sure to spread the cornmeal to the edges of the baking dish.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes. Allow it to cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Serve each piece with sour cream (or Greek yogurt), avocado slices, and tortilla chips.

Recipe makes approximately 10 - 12 servings.

Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats, and her recipe was slightly adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Veggie and Cheese Omelet Muffins

Some days, it is really difficult to find things that my 18-month old daughter will eat. She will change her mind on what she likes from day to day, and sometimes she has a great appetite and other times I am lucky if she eats anything at all. I can pretty much count on her always eating eggs, though. She loves eggs, especially when they are scrambled up with lots of cheese. Making eggs every day though takes time, and it dirties up quite a few dishes. I came across a recipe for mini omelets on Skinny Taste, and I decided to give it a try. I am sure glad I did! The first time I made them, I used broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. I chose to leave out the broccoli the last time I made them and just did the cauliflower and carrot. You can really use any veggies that you want to in the omelets. I also added more cheese than the original recipe called for, because you can never go wrong with too much cheese. I used paper liners in the muffin tins to avoid having to scrub the pan afterwards! What I love about this recipe is that it combines a good amount of veggies with protein, and it is easy to make. I stored the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and then I just zap them in the microwave for about 45 seconds before serving. Not only does Wendy love eating these veggie and cheese omelet muffins, but I love them too.  Enjoy!

Recipe for Veggie and Cheese Omelet Muffins

1 pound of cauliflower florets (I used Trader Joe's cleaned and cut cauliflower florets)
1 cup matchstick carrots
Salt and pepper
6 large eggs
4 egg whites
2 Tbsp. of half and half
2 Tbsp. of 2% or whole milk
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of colby jack or medium cheddar cheese (or cheese of choice), divided
A dash or two of hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)
1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add in the cauliflower and the carrots, a sprinkle of salt, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and allow to cool for a few minutes.

While the veggies are cooling, crack the 6 eggs and 4 egg whites into a large bowl and stir. Add in the half and half, milk, Parmesan cheese, and 2/3 cup of the cheddar cheese. Add in a pinch or two of salt and some black pepper. Add in the hot sauce, if using. Set aside.

Chop up the cauliflower. Remove the stems and chop the rest into very small pieces. Put the cauliflower into a medium bowl and add in the carrots. Toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl. Once melted, let it cool for several seconds. Then dip your finger in the butter and then brush the bottom and sides of each liner with the melted butter. Add the remaining butter to the egg mixture and stir. Drop about 1 - 2 Tablespoons of the vegetable mixture into the bottom of each liner. Then pour the egg mixture in, filling each liner almost full (before doing this, I poured the egg mixture into a large liquid measuring cup to make it easier to pour into the liners). Once all the liners are filled, top each one evenly with the remaining cheddar cheese. Place into the oven and cook for 20 - 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove each one from the pan, peel off the liner, and serve. If you are not serving right away, remove each paper liner (they should peel away pretty easily, but make sure to get all the paper off), and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

If storing in the fridge, you can reheat before serving easily! Just put on a plate, and zap on high in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute. I like to eat mine with a little Tabasco sauce on top. Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted from: Skinny Taste