Thursday, May 30, 2013

Strawberry Banana Muffins

I love strawberry season! Strawberries are so fresh and delicious during this time of year. I had some overripe bananas again, so I decided to see what I could do with strawberries and bananas. I found this recipe and these muffins are so delicious!



Strawberry Banana Muffins

Source: JoysofBaking.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purposes flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.


  • In another large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in the berries, making sure they are coated with flour.



  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 20 to 24 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

  • Enjoy!!!



Take care,
Amy

Monday, May 27, 2013

Healthy "Loaded" Potato Skins

Happy Memorial Day!  


Memorial Day itself is a day to honor and remember the brave men and women who have fought for our country and given their lives for our freedom... and a day to give thanks to our veterans and current active military for their service. This is the land of the free, because it's the home of the brave.

Memorial Day is also associated with the beginning of summer, pool parties, and backyard barbecues! How did you celebrate over the long holiday weekend? We spent some time at the bay, barbecued, and relaxed most of the weekend. On Sunday, I had a blast grilling up some BBQ chicken, corn, and potatoes for my family...

 


But WOW, we had so many leftovers! I decided I would take our Memorial Day barbecue leftovers and turn them into another delicious meal... Healthy "Loaded" Potato Skins. Since almost every ingredient I needed was already cooked/grilled, this was such an easy and quick dinner to put together.  



Healthy "Loaded" Potato Skins


  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 2 tsp. margarine (I use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
  • 1/2 cup grilled chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup grilled corn, cut from ears
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. Light ranch dressing
  • 2 tsp. reduced-sodium bacon bits (optional)

Preheat oven to 425.

Place baked potatoes on a greased cookie sheet. Cut open the top of each potato with a knife, exposing the inside. Scoop out inside of potato out to make a hole; until about 1/4"-1/2" of the inside is left.

 

Coat the inside of each potato with 1 tsp. of margarine.


Fill with each potato skin with chicken, corn, broccoli, and then cheddar cheese; dividing the ingredients equally between the 4 potato skins.


Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and potato is warm on the inside. Remove from oven, allow to cool a few minutes, then top each potato skin with 1/2 tbsp. of ranch dressing (and bacon bits, optional).


Enjoy!!


You could use any of your Memorial Day barbecue leftovers (steak, peppers, etc.) in a potato skin... or create your own "loaded" potato skin recipe using different meat, veggies, and cheeses. It is truly the easiest dinner ever!


I'm going to use the inside of the potato I scooped out of the skins for hashbrowns tomorrow... :) No wasting around here!

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Xo,
Janel

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Low-Fat Banana Bread

In this spring/summer San Diego heat, it seems like bananas get super ripe and turn brown a lot quicker. Instead of throwing away and wasting the bananas, one of my favorite things to make is banana bread! It's such an easy breakfast for the week or healthy snack anytime!

Low-Fat Banana Bread

Adapted from the Betty Crocker recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup milk (the original recipe called for buttermilk, I used regular non-fat milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white flour, and 1 1/2 cup wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, berries, or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mash up your bananas using a masher or fork and set aside. 

  • Lightly grease bottoms only of either 2 loaf pans (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5) or 1 loaf pan ( 9 x 5 x 3) with cooking spray.
  • Mix sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. 

  • Stir in mashed bananas, milk, and vanilla, beat until smooth.
  • Add flour, baking soda, and salt until moistened. 

  • Add in nuts or other optional ingredient.
  • Bake two 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

  • Loosen sides of loaves from pan(s); remove from pan(s) and place top side on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. 
  • Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years.



xox~
Amy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BBQ, Bacon, Cheddar Burgers

"Grill Season" is officially here!!!!!  I just love spring/summer in San Diego... the days get longer, the nights are warmer, and food gets taken outdoors to be cooked on the grill or barbecue.  I mean, who doesn't love the smell of food cooking on a barbecue?  Not only can grilling be healthy (depending on what you're grilling!), but it is also easy, requires a lot less clean-up, and makes your food taste amazing!  One of my favorite things to grill is burgers.  There's something about the smell and taste of a burger from the grill/barbecue that screams "SUMMER" to me...


Although I love me a regular hamburger or cheeseburger, I think it's fun to try new patty recipes too.  Here's a delicious recipe to jazz up your standard ground beef patty!  I use a 90/10 ground beef for a leaner, healthier burger patty...

BBQ, Bacon, Cheddar Burgers

1 lb. 90/10 ground beef
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup low sodium bacon bits (or about 4 slices of bacon)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
dash of grill seasoning (optional)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well.


Form into 6-8 round patties. Sprinkle patties with grill seasoning (optional).


Place on a preheated and oiled grill.


Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.


Top patty with a slice of avocado and tomato for maximum burger deliciousness!!! Place the patty on a hamburger bun or you can eat without the bun (we are not eating as many carbs at dinner so we opted for lettuce wrap). Either way it's good. :)



Since it's 'that' time of year, stay tuned for more barbecue and grill recipes...

Xo,
Janel

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Baked Zucchini Chips

We (The Sisters and our parents) just returned from a very fun family vacation to the Riviera Maya, a beautiful strip of coastline on the gulf of Mexico.  In an effort to keep up with the May Fitness Challenge, "Get Movin" May, we made sure to get a few hours of cardio in during our vacation by playing tennis, snorkeling, going to the resort gym, swimming, and walking. Unfortunately, it was much harder to fit in healthy meals! But now that we are home, it's time to get back to our regular eating and fitness routines... and in an effort to "detox" from vacation, we all resolved to eat clean for a while. 

Sisters do tennis

Sisters do snorkeling

As part of my own personal resolution to eat clean, I am trying to eat a lot more vegetables. I love pita chips and hummus, but pita chips (although better for you than a potato chip!) are not the healthiest snack option. I have seen a lot of recipes for zucchini chips on Pinterest. Since zucchini is a vegetable and currently in-season, I decided to try and make some low-calorie zucchini chips.

Baked Zucchini Chips

Ingredients:


  • 1 zucchini
  • canola cooking spray
  • seasoned salt, or other seasoning of your choice. I used sea salt and paprika.

Directions:


  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with canola oil. Set aside.
  • Slice zucchini into thin medallions, about the thickness of a quarter (You can either use a mandolin slicer, or a knife and a steady hand)
  • Lay out slices on baking sheet, and spray tops with additional cooking spray. Sprinkle with your choice of seasonings. I used paprika and a little sea salt. (FYI- the slices shrink significantly, so don't overuse seasoning. You can always add more later if it wasn't enough).
  • Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes. 
  • Remove baking sheet from oven and flip chips.
  • Bake an additional 45-50 minutes, until chips are browned and crisped to your liking. 
  • Enjoy (these are best within a few hours of baking)!


Hope you all have a chance to enjoy a vacation this summer! Enjoy your rest and relaxation time on vacation... but make sure to come back to our site when you get home. We can help you get back on your diet and fitness track. :)

xoxo,
Amy

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Healthy "Fried" Ice Cream

With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I thought it was the perfect time to share this healthy version of Fried Ice Cream created by my good friend, Leann.  Fried ice cream is a traditional Mexican dessert made from a breaded scoop of ice cream that is quickly deep-fried creating a warm, crispy shell around the still-cold ice cream.  While traditional Mexican fried ice cream is DELICIOUS, it's obviously fried (as it's name implies) and made with full-fat ice cream so it's not the most waist-line friendly of desserts to indulge in.

Leann's "fried" ice cream is not actually fried... so it's a lot healthier and much easier to make!  Even though the fried ice cream is not prepared in the traditional fashion, this recipe still gives you the sugary, crunchy texture of the fried outer coating paired with the soft, cold ice cream middle.  So yummy!!  I couldn't stop at just one...


This would be the perfect dessert to add to your Cinco de Mayo fiesta... or anytime you need a quick, easy dessert!  Gracias mi Amiga!

Healthy "Fried" Ice Cream
recipe courtesy of my dear friend (and amazing cook) Leann

1 tub low-fat vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
3 cups crushed corn flakes (or frosted flakes)
1/3 cup sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon 

Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper. Scoop frozen ice cream out of tub and form into 12 balls; about a half cup ice cream per ball.


Place ice cream balls in the baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours.


Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl set aside for later. 

In a medium pan melt coconut oil (or butter), toast crushed corn flakes (or frosted flakes) over medium heat.


Stir often to avoid burning! Remove from heat once golden brown. Add cinnamon sugar mixture to toasted flakes until combined.


Remove ice cream balls from freezer, roll in toasted corn flakes mixture until coated; serve immediately or return to baking dish then cover and freeze until ready to serve. 



Serving suggestion: for traditional fried ice cream top with cool whip, honey or chocolate syrup. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo... enjoy your weekend!

Xo,
Janel