Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins (GF & DF) 100 Cal.

For the record; I love gluten and dairy. The reason I made these was purely because the person I was making them for can’t have either. Not that I think you can’t make good stuff without dairy and gluten, but when it isn’t naturally supposed to be that way it can be surprising and these were actually pretty great.

I’ve been getting on a honey and coconut kick lately. I love sugar, but only in moderation. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had a harder time with sweets in general so if I can sweeten something with honey I will.

As I said I made these muffins for someone. My husband and I were invited to a spring feast at my boss’ house and I offered to bring dessert. After a bit of research I found this recipe.

The recipe I originally consulted used a blender, but I’ve already busted one hand mixer and one blender (one because of peanut butter) so I decided to not risk it. Here is my version of the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium/large ripe banana, peeled
1 large egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used the Costco Kirkland brand natural peanut butter)
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons honey (agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
heaping 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips + more for sprinkling muffin tops (optional if you can’t find gluten/dairy free)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin pan (either mini or regular) by spraying very well with cooking spray or grease the pans; set aside.
  2. To a large mixing bowl, add first 8 ingredients, through optional salt, and mix until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add heaping (optional) 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir in by hand.
  4. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, drop rounded 1 tablespoon mounds into prepared pans. Each cavity should be filled to a solid 3/4 full.
  5. Sprinkle each muffin with a generous pinch of chocolate chips if you like.
  6. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. That’s a large range with baking time and I find with medium bananas, there’s less batter, the cavities are less full, and 8-9 minutes is about right. Watch closely, especially if you are using a mini muffin pan.

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These are great to eat with milk or something like it because they are a bit thick (but fairly fluffy considering they’re flour-less).

With chocolate chips these are even better, but I’ll leave that up to you. For the party i went to I made both just in case there were people there that wanted an option (I know I did).

I hope you enjoy!

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Health, fitness, and smoothies

Ever since I was little I was active in one sport or another if not just running around the neighborhood without my shoes on or jumping around in the pool during the summer. As I grew up I always heard words of caution from people who were older than me;

Just wait until you get old and you can’t get the weight off!

Don’t pull your hair back so tight or you’ll get lines.

Smile more or your frown won’t go away.

That milkshake will go right to your a**.”

I always rolled my eyes and went on with whatever it was that I was doing. I’m in my 20’s now and have already noticed things that weren’t there before.

After I got married I didn’t worry about eating super healthy all the time (as you can probably tell from my food posts) and I’ve always been blessed with curves, but have always been fairly fit/skinny. You know, the hips and the butt. I’m tall so I’ve always weighed more than my friends and I’ve never been able to wear those cute little dresses that are now in style (Why can’t they make them just above the knee?!). I’m OK with all of this, really. I’m comfortable with my body.
Not too long ago I started to discover stretch marks in places they weren’t before and then people started to ask me if I was pregnant.
The first time this was asked of me I took it fairly well until the next day and then it hit me (at the time I was working out every day and had lost a few pounds). My poor husband has had to maintain my ego a lot lately because I was asked if I was pregnant 3 more times after that.
I just want to say once and for all-I am not pregnant.
Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, I LOVE babies, and I want to have some. Just not right now.
I know that one of the big reasons for this particular question is that I recently got married and most people either expect it or want it. It’s sweet, really…But I’m not ready and I think I’ll get a puppy first. However, if God decided that I was before I knew it that would be wonderful too.

Anyway, I’m not looking for pity or for anyone to try and make me feel better about myself, I’m just trying to convey the reason behind working out and eating healthy more than I already was.

Being pregnant wouldn’t be a bad thing, I’m just not right now and I got really discouraged about how I looked. And honestly, pregnancy is one of the most beautiful things I have had the privilege to witness with family and friends. For a lot of people who are trying to lose weight there has to be a form of “rock bottom” and then a personal decision to make things better. It has to be for you first and then everyone else. People asking me if I was pregnant weren’t the only comments. I’ve always been comfortable and confident so some people feel comfortable making comments about certain things getting bigger-This was the start of what got me to the gym every day.

I want to look good. I don’t want rock hard abs, or giant muscles. I just want to look healthy and FEEL healthy. But I am NOT giving up ice cream or the occasional piece of pizza because gosh darn it it tastes so good.

So don’t expect a whole bunch of super healthy, gluten and dairy free recipes because I like that stuff. I will share with you some things that I have found to be not only healthy, but super delish and sometimes just happen to be free of gluten or dairy.

The first one is of my own making: Smoothies.

Most smoothies are made with dairy and ice and a lot of sugar to make it taste yummy. That’s all nice and everything, but when I get back from the gym I don’t want a milk shake every time (just every once in a while 😉 ). My husband and I went to Costco and I saw big bags of frozen fruit in the freezer section. I love fruit and some veggies, but it’s hard to always get the daily goal so I bought a few bags and started making them into smoothies.

It’s really quite simple. Here is one of my own recipes: Blueberry Fruit smoothie
(Please note that these portions are made for multiple smoothies to store for later consumption)

3/4c frozen blueberries
3/4c frozen pineapple
2-3 (large) frozen strawberries
1 ripe banana
Approx. 2 1/2c orange juice (preferably fresh or 100% juice)
1/3c cranberry juice (100%)

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Just dump it all into a blender and put it on the ice setting.
You’ll need to stir it every once in a while to keep things moving and sometimes i have to add more orange juice until I get the right consistency.
If you don’t like any of these ingredients don’t be afraid to add or take away (just don’t stress your blender). The reason I put in pineapple is because it’s a wonderful natural sweetener and helps balance out the other tart juices and fruits. Another thing to note is that I use mostly frozen ingredients so that I don’t have to use ice if I want to drink it right away. I sometimes had to blend in smaller portions until smooth and then add it to the blender to “liquefy” or “blend”.

Another recipe that I just tried is this: Tropical fruit smoothie

1 ripe banana
4 large frozen strawberries
2 frozen kiwis (I cut these up and froze them overnight)
1/2 ripe frozen mango (same as above)
3/4c pineapple
2-3c orange juice

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This one was really good. If you don’t like seeds that much I recommend de-seeding your kiwi before you freeze it.
Because these recipes give you A LOT of smoothie I put them into jars and froze them. Once I’m ready to have one I leave it out on the counter for an hour or so while at the gym and I come back to a smooth sorbet smoothie. It’s AWESOME.

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How could you resist?

I’ve tried many other combinations-these are just the ones I like and use a lot. I’ll probably have more later and some that incorporate veggies as well.

Sorry about being gone so long and this LONG post. Once you try one of these recipes you’ll forgive me. 😉
I’ll be back with gluten/dairy free peanut butter and banana muffins and a couple good workouts.

Ta ta!

Danie

Spaghetti and Italian Meatballs

My husband and I have been out of town so much lately, I actually haven’t had to cook in a while. When I do, it ends up being something I’ve already done.
Sometimes I ask him what he wants for dinner and he actually gives it some thought. Sometimes I get a “I don’t care…Whatever sounds good” and then other times I get a definite answer.

So the other day I got “pasta?”. Thankfully I had some spaghetti noodles on hand, and just enough for a couple servings for the both of us. I wanted to make it a little more exciting than just pasta so I went ahead and made my own meatballs. Along with the Pumpkin Bread (see previous post for recipe) this was my first time making these.

There are so many different options for making meatballs…Cheese filled, beef, Italian sausage, vegetarian (not sure I wanna know what that tastes like), etc.

Anyway, I decided to put Italian sausage and ground beef both in to make a nice Italian style meatball.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (Panko or any other kind you can find)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (I used store bought minced garlic)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (or freshly grated)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Step 1:  Heat the oven to 350.

Step 2:  In a medium sized mixing bowl, add meat and mix together well with you hand or a spoon. Once you finish this go ahead and start adding each ingredient either one at a time (and mixing after) or a couple at a time and mixing well.

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Step 3:  Make slightly larger than golf ball sized meatballs and place them on a flat non-stick pan or (what I decided to use) in a muffin pan which helps them not roll around.

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Try not to make them too big because you’ll want them to cook through evening.

Step 4:  Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, flipping them when you are halfway through.

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Because I went through making the meatballs and cooking the noodles I didn’t want to make my own sauce so I got a nice one that was on sale that day.

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I went ahead and put the meatballs into the sauce to let them marinate in it for a bit.
The result was really great.

Some Italian meatball recipes will tell you to add Parsley. I didn’t have any fresh and the sausage had enough flavor for me, plus the garlic you use anyway.

Sub for a meatball sandwich and you’ve got it made!

Enjoy

 

Muffins, Cookies, and Pumpkin Bread

Ok…Well maybe I have a little more than a sweet tooth. As the weather gets colder (call me crazy, but I’m really enjoying it) I get more urges to bake and make hot dinners.
I found a few recipes that were really great and turned out pretty well. They’re also super easy.

I basically had a muffin day and made the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins (I messed up a little…I put in butter. But they still tasted amazing) and muffins donuts. YUM

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Let’s start out with the Cinnamon Donut Muffins with homemade glaze.

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Here are some that have their first coat of glaze and some that don’t.

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It makes a bit of a mess, but with the big cutting board I didn’t have too many issues.

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They were pretty popular. The peanut butter ones were more popular though. Ha

Now for the Double Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Seriously…These were so good. I’ve been sending treats to work with Peter for his co-workers. These ones didn’t make it.
Hmmm…I wonder why?

I really love it when the ingredients separate. So cool.

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Anyway-Back on track.

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Before

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And After.

I decided to skip the sprinkling of chocolate on the top. Maybe next time.

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Next we have the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.

This was A-Ma-Zing. I kid you not. Next time I think I’ll try Banana Bread or Chocolate Banana Bread. But this was a great treat for the start of fall.

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It looked a bit like hummus (someone guessed that when I posted this on Facebook).

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I went ahead and just dumped the whole bag (it was the smaller size) of semi-sweet chocolate chips in.
As some of you probably know, because the pumpkin puree is so wet it takes longer for this to cook. Just follow the recipe and check frequently while baking. Mine actually took over an hour to cook where it wasn’t super wet. I just waited until only chocolate came out with the fork.

Also-As I didn’t have it, I didn’t put in the cloves. It was perfectly fine. 🙂

I brought this one home when I visited family and it only lasted about five minutes from the time I cut it up and put it on the table. Peter really liked eating it with a glass of milk.

And last but not least is the Double Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch Cookies.

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So these are actually supposed to be triple chocolate chip, but I didn’t have the white so I just put in two. They’re still pretty awesome.

With the first batch I cooked them at 9 minutes and they were great. I didn’t smoosh them down like I did with the second batch (see photo above). Because of that the first set ended up being more of a chunk of cookie (no complaints though) since there is so much chocolate inside.

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The second batch I cooked at 10 minutes and again they were perfect. I think the difference here from my other cookies is that I used the Silpat.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Happy Fall! 🙂

 

Food

So I decided (so my facebook friends don’t get flooded with photos all the time) that I’m going to make this blog more about food.
I’ll still be posting about random things you probably don’t care about…But that’s what almost everyone’s blog is about, right? Or what you think people will care about, I suppose.

Anyway, since I’ve been married (what…almost two months? ish?) I’ve been making dinner for the husband. Really-the reason I like it so much is mostly because I love food, but also because he loves food and is always appreciative.

So let’s start with pasta:

Italian Sausage Bow Tie Pasta

Italian Sausage Bow Tie Pasta

This recipe is awesome.
It’s actually quite easy to make and the italian sausage really adds a great flavor. You could even use a spicier sausage since this pasta is kind of sweet.

Here’s the recipe: http://sayyes.com/2013/09/dinner-in-25-minutes-bow-tie-pasta-with-sausage-and-sweet-peppers.html

Ok this one isn’t really a recipe and doesn’t really require a lot of cooking skills other than knowing how to use a toaster: English Muffin

Toasted English muffin with Nutella and Peanut butter.

Toasted English muffin with Nutella and Peanut butter.

All I have to say is: Yum!

Next we come to juice:

Plum juice on the right, pulp on the left.

Plum juice on the right, pulp on the left.

Again-no recipe other than a juicer.
I was going to make jam out of the pulp, but I didn’t have the supplies or the motivation (plums are messy!). I waited until the juice separated and scooped out the stuff on top. Add a spoon of sugar (or until your tasted buds don’t scream at you anymore from how tart it is) and you’re good to go. It was super yummy.

Now we come to something my husband made: sandwich

Turkey schnitzel sandwich with tomato, mustard, and mayo.

Turkey schnitzel sandwich with tomato, mustard, and mayo.

You can also make it with coleslaw (personally..I hate that stuff, but you can like it 😉 )
and mayo. I don’t have the recipe since it came out of a book. But I do know you pound the heck out of the meat, bread it, and fry it. Voila! It was really tasty.

Mexican food:

Enchiladas with homemade sauce and homemade chili filling

Enchiladas with homemade sauce and homemade chili filling

This one is more complicated. Basically I had made a chili for dinner and it ended up being super bland. However it tasted really good in burritos. I ended up finding a recipe for enchilada sauce (better than any canned sauce I’ve had),putting the chili, refried beans, and cheese inside..Rolled it up, put it in a pan, spread the sauce and cheese on top and cooked it for about 20 or so minutes at 350. Or until hot in the middle.

Here is the recipe for the chili: http://www.iheartnaptime.net/easy-3-ingredient-chili/

and the enchilada sauce: http://www.thegardengrazer.com/2013/05/enchilada-sauce.html

Soup!

Lasagna soup

Lasagna soup

This was really easy to make. Really you just put everything in a pot to cook until done. It tasted just like lasagna. I used a no boil noodle so that it wouldn’t take as long and that turned out really well.

Here’s the recipe:http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=207220

Meat and potatoes:

Garlic and parsley mashed potatoes and tangy honey basted chicken

Garlic and parsley mashed potatoes and tangy honey basted chicken

This one was awesome. We used the baste for gravy and it tasted really great. The recipe was pretty easy and we ended up with some really good leftovers (as usual).

I just did what I wanted with the potatoes. But basically heat water, wash, skin and cut up potatoes and boil until soft. I used my new kitchen aid to whip them up and added lactose free milk, salt, pepper, and garlic parsley powder.

Here is the chicken recipe: *4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts *1/3 Cup Butter, melted *1/3 Cup Honey *2 Tbsp mustard *1 tsp salt *Preheat oven to 350° *Combine butter, honey, mustard & salt *Pour over chicken *Bake 1 hour to a minimum internal temp of 165° *Baste every 15 min while baking.

I ended up making an extra batch of the baste to put on while it was cooking, but you can just use what is in the pan. Up to you!

More sandwich and potato:

Cheesy bagel with Pastrami and tomato and homemade potato wedges

Cheesy bagel with Pastrami and tomato and homemade potato wedges

I had to toast the bagel in the oven cause it was too fluffy for the toaster (found that out the hard way). My husband used mayo and mustard and who knows what else on his sandwich, but I just did butter, tomato and pastrami.

If you can’t tell yet-I LOVE potatoes. So I decided to make my own potato wedges. It’s nice cause you can control the amount of oil and salt and such. Plus they aren’t fried.They were SO GOOD.

Here’s the recipe. http://www.kissrecipe.com/2013/07/oven-baked-potato-wedges.html

I made a couple batches and did one with Parmesan cheese and one without. I couldn’t really tell the difference. I also had ranch dipping sauce-That was amazing. The spices on the potato really make it good to eat plain or with a dip.

That’s all for now I suppose! If you like cooking you should definitely make this.

I’m hoping to try out the crock pot soon. Wish me luck and happy cooking!