You may have seen the Perfect Tortilla infomercial which boasts its product’s ability to provide a healthy and fun way to enjoy a tortilla bowl. Bryan really wanted this item to be added to our repertoire of fun kitchen items (other such items we own include a tabletop popcorn maker, deep fryer, fondue pot, and Skookie which is a cookie skillet.) The set comes with 4 tortilla molds and a recipe booklet with sweet and savory ideas.
I typically buy 10-12″ whole wheat, low carb tortillas and simply heat them in the oven until a little crisp. I fill them with low-fat browned ground turkey seasoned with El Paso low-sodium taco seasoning. I’ll top with myriad of extras like lettuce, salsa, Wholly guacamole, a little reduced-fat cheese, and greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Serve with black beans on the side and you’ve got yourself one flavor-bursting, reasonable meal! The only change to this is that I used the Perfect Tortilla this time. I simply put the tortilla in the mold, ensured it was flush with the edges, and baked for about 8 minutes. It did, in fact, make the normal taco meal I love a lot more fun! This goes to show that a little novelty can go a long way. I’m excited to try different recipes in my Perfect Tortilla.
Do you have a favorite fun kitchen item that makes a meal 10x more fun?
The impact of Hurricane Sandy aka Frankenstorm on me so far? Knowing I would be working from home for possibly a few days/ possibly losing power= it was a good time to make a pumpkin breakfast/snack item to have on hand. Something with oatmeal also sounded appealing. I came upon this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen. Pumpkin and oatmeal- done. Otherwise, Ms. Sandy has resulted in us losing power for a little and our internet/TV service being very spotty which is why post one on the week comes to you on a Wednesday instead of Monday. We consider ourselves very lucky for incurring a short stint of power loss and have heeded the warnings to stay inside. I’m thinking of those in the Northeast- NY, MD, and NJ who seem to have been hit the hardest. Sending positive vibes your way.
I had to make a few adjustments based on what I had around including leaving out the ripe banana and applesauce. Instead, I used more pumpkin to make up for the lack of banana* (the whole can instead of the 1 cup it called for) and greek yogurt instead of applesauce (the applesauce subs for oil and greek yogurt is another alternative to oil was my rationale). Further, I added a little more brown sugar. In retrospect, I added TOO much pumpkin. I discovered that is actually possible. Shocked me to no end. I’m probably still recovering from it as you read this. If you have a ripe banana, I encourage you to use that instead of adding more pumpkin. My muffins, while good, could have used the sweetness indicative of a ripe banana and 2 cups of pumpkin made the muffins a tad too moist. Lastly, I tried folding in jumbo raisins from Trader Joe’s into a few muffins instead of chocolate chips. I wasn’t a fan myself. I recommend sticking with chocolate chips. Sometimes too many “stray aways” from a recipe means you don’t end up with the best possible result- especially with baking. You can do better than me on your first try though and I do think these will be great when done right! Go forth and bake
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 1/2 tspbaking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar + 2 TBSP
- 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 ripe banana*
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons
- Extra oatmeal, for sprinkling on muffins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper cups or spray with nonstick spray (including inside of the cups).
- In a large bowl mix flour, oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, mashed banana, brown sugar, almond milk, egg whites and greek yogurt. Add the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full so that each is even. Sprinkle a tiny bit of oatmeal over each top of the muffins.
- Place into the oven and bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean. Muffins are best served warm. Reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds and spread with topping of your choice- I recommend Land O’ Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil myself!
You might be asking yourself, “Didn’t she already post a pumpkin chili recipe?” Yes I did but that recipe had a chicken broth base and this one is tomato-based. Worlds of difference. Also, I’m going to do as much pumpkin cooking as possible. You’re not surprised, are you? This recipe screams comforting fall/winter meal. This will also give you an abundance of leftovers. As with the chicken broth-based chili, this one has enough of a hint of the pumpkin to taste it but you won’t feel like you’re eating pumpkin pie in a chili. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
- 1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
- 1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2-3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain.
- Stir in onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in beans, tomato juice, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree. Season with pumpkin pie spice, chili powder, and sugar. Simmer 1 hour.
- Top with a dollop plain greek yogurt and some fresh herbs and eat up!
Another recipe resulting from apple picking. Bryan cited this one as one of his favorite treats I’ve made in a while. This is big seeing as chocolate is typically his calling. I share in this being a favorite as of late. It was extremely moist and indicative of the fall season. Exactly what I was hoping for. I used this recipe from a fellow blogger who LOVES apples and has a whole series of apple recipes. I modified slightly using whole wheat flour and greek yogurt in place of all-purpose flour and sour cream. I would suspect the whole wheat makes it taste a bit more hearty than would regular flour, but it made me feel a little better about the stick of buttaaaa. On a final note, you will be shocked at how thick this coffee cake is. I mean LOOK at this… Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup and 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup and 2 TBSP plain greek yogurt
- 2 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease or use cooking spray to prepare a square baking dish.
- To prepare your crumb topping, mix all ingredients except the flour in a medium bowl. Once combined, slowly add the flour and mix with a fork. The delicious crumbles will form! Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk all of the dry cake ingredients together. Slowly add milk, greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla until mixed. Fold the apples in gently.
- Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Add the dry filling ingredients distributing as evenly as possible. Add remaining cake batter.
- Break up your topping crumbs with a fork. Cover the batter with the crumb topping.
- Bake 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do your best to allow it to cool completely before serving (Full disclosure: We made it maybe 5 minutes…)
LifeWork Strategies comes to a number of our health events at my company, SRA International. Often, healthy recipe demos are a part of their participation. A great find at Bryan’s site’s fall health fair (he is an SRA employee as well) was this pumpkin smoothie recipe. I personally modified to include a vanilla-flavored protein powder for women called Aria. It features a combo of whey and soy protein appropriate for ladies. It is very low in sugar and has no artificial sweeteners. Couple scoops at 90 calories plus some skim milk makes a great snack. There is also a chocolate flavor. You can find this at your local Vitamin Shoppe for around $13 or save a few bucks and order packs of 2 for around $20 through Amazon.com. It qualifies for the free super savings shipping so get something else you’ve been needing to get to the $25 and shipping will be gratis. Back to the smoothie…this is yet another way to enjoy pumpkin and in a healthy way! This recipe will make 2 servings so if you make for just you, I would half the recipe.
- 1 can (15 oz.) pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just plain ol canned pumpkin)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1 cup vanilla yogurt or plain greek yogurt if you use vanilla protein
- 1 banana, frozen and cut into slices
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- dash of cinnamon
- 2 scoops Aria vanilla-flavored protein (optional)
- crushed graham crackers (optional if you want more of a healthy treat than a snack)
- The night before, portion pumpkin into ice cube tray and freeze.
- Put the frozen pumpkin, milk, yogurt, frozen banana, and spice into a blender and puree until smooth
- Relish in the fall season before pumpkin goes away. :)
Adapted from Hungry Mom on the Run’s Leftovers Chicken Pot Pie recipe, I present to you the feel less guilty version of Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie! I’ve made the Chicken Pot Pie from Hungry Mom on the Run a number of times but with the top and bottom pie crusts. Bryan requested a biscuit topped version based on a yummy experience he had at home once upon a time. The pie filling in this recipe has been a winner a number of times so stuck to what we knew was good. This was course 2 of 3 for football eats yesterday. The various array of dips and the Rolo Cake Mix Bars as the other courses leave me waddling around today. See you later Cardio Kickbox class. Without the other two courses, you’ll still feel light as a feather though. Enjoy!
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (grab a rotisserie chicken for convenience sake!)
- 1 cup frozen veggies (good mix I’ve found is one with peas, corn, lima beans, and green beans)
- 1 cup frozen veggies, defrosted and excess water dabbed away with paper towel
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 4 TBSP flour
- 1/3 cup milk, 1% or skim
- 1/2 cup fat free plain greek yogurt
- a little thyme, fresh or dry
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1- 7.5 oz can of biscuits, reduced fat if you can find (2 cans pictured above, but I only need one)
- 1 egg and dash of water for a simple egg wash
- large disposable foil pie plate
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a medium-large pot, add chicken broth, thyme, and your defrosted veggies over a medium heat. Bring to a low boil.
- In another large saucepan, have your milk ready to go and whisk together flour and olive oil over a medium-low heat. Immediately add your 1/3 cup milk to avoid lumps (I’ve messed this up a few times). Add your veggie broth and continue whisking away.
- Add chicken, greek yogurt, frozen veggies, and salt and pepper and heat through. Meanwhile, crack egg in a bowl and mix with water for your egg wash.
- Pour into foil pie plate and arrange biscuits atop the chicken pot filling. With a pastry brush, paint the top of each biscuit with the egg wash. (Photo below is pre- egg wash)
- Pop into the oven for around 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits have a pretty deep golden brown hue like the photo at the beginning of the post. Enjoy!
We TOTALLY had a piece before we shot a photo so you could see the consistency…
Labor Day symbolizes many things. Most commonly, it reflects the end of summer, the start of a new school year, a 3-day weekend, and the time of the year where the white shoes are supposed to get stowed away (UNSUBSCRIBE. I wait until it does not feel as summer time-ish before mine officially hibernate). Let’s take a moment to visit why we really observe Labor Day as if you’re like me the aforementioned list of the generally attributable Labor Day thoughts come to mind first. I try to make a point of taking even the smallest amount of time though to think of what these fantastics days off work mean across the year. Labor Day is about paying tribute to American workers’ contributions and achievements. It has been long been celebrated with parades, parties, and athletic events. So take pride in being a hard-working individual of the USA and whip up/bring/eat delicious things like this Corn Casserole (a reasonable, in moderation, corn pudding meets corn bread recipe from Skinnytaste) for your celebration of Labor Day! Be safe and have a great long weekend!
- 8.5 oz Jiffy corn muffin mix
- 15.25 oz can sweet yellow corn, drained
- 14.75 oz can sweet corn cream style
- 16 oz fat free plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup melted light butter (I used Land O’ Lakes Light Butter w/ Canola Oil)
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a spoon. It’s going to be really fluffy, but that is a-okay!
- Pour into baking dish and bake for 55-60 minutes allowing the edges to become a nice golden brown hue.
- Allow to cool before cutting into 15 pieces. It is FANTASTIC with BBQ anything per a suggestion
My sincerest apologies in advance as I can’t offer the final product picture of this Banana Cocoa Refrigerator Oatmeal. What’s my excuse? Well, I ate it at 6 am before my flight to Florida on Thursday. When I say I ate before my flight, I mean that I literally was eating in the cab to the airport. I had shorted myself on time before the cab came (typical) and had to throw the oatmeal into a solo cup for the ride to Reagan National Airport. #failboat.
In any case, you can visit the site for the recipe here and see what it looks like in the end! This is the recipe my friend Emily had recommended. I like that there are several flavor recipes, but ultimately I’m not sure I preferred the greek yogurt to no greek yogurt style. This may be because the cocoa was particularly overpowering to me. I will try some of the other flavor suggestions like Mango Almond and Raspberry Vanilla to really make a fair assessment :) Nonetheless, thanks Emily for passing on the recipe which was certainly just as easy to make as the other overnight oats recipe I featured recently. This serves one and I made two of them. Each servings comes in at about 245 calories/5g fat/10g fiber/13g protein (give or take since I used FF greek yogurt and almond milk which are slight modifications from the recipe).
- 1/4 cup uncooked oats
- 1/3 cup skim milk (I went with almond milk)
- 1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon honey, optional (or substitute any preferred sweetener)
- 1/4 cup diced ripe banana, or enough to fill jar (approx. half of a small banana)
- In a 1 cup jar or tupperware container, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, cocoa powder and honey.
- Put lid on jar and shake until well combined.
- Remove lid, add bananas and stir. Return lid to jar/tupperware and refrigerate overnight.
- Eat chilled.
Recently, I grabbed Pinkberry fro yo as an afternoon snack during a particularly busy work week. I don’t walk out of Pinkberry with less than a huge smile ever, but this time I was even happier because I got a voucher for a complimentary snack-sized Greek Goodness. This is Pinkberry expanding its menu to include frozen as well as unfrozen yogurt. Greek Goodness is the name for Pinkberry’s new greek yogurt menu items. Honestly, had I not received this voucher I’d likely continue to go back to Pinkberry for their Salted Caramel, Original, or Pomegranate fro yo and toppings for the rest of time. I’m thrilled I did though. As you can see from the photo above, these greek yogurt creations come in sweet and savory varieties. They also come in 2 sizes- snack and meal. I chose the Kiwi concoction. This included the greek yogurt, sliced kiwi, fresh strawberries, and mango as well as a lowfat honey almond granola and vanilla agave. I think life started when I tried this agave. Oh my goooooooosh. I know it is often used in recipes to substitute for honey and is actually sweeter, but I don’t know why I’ve never tried it. Kicking myself. Overall, this greek yogurt snack was awesome. It was reasonable too at 190 calories/ 2.5 g fat/ 19 g sugar (not much different than flavored Chobani greek yogurt per a frame of reference)/14 g protein. You must give it a try! It is offered with some degree of exclusivity however as Massachusetts, DC Metro area, and Southern California locations are the only spots that feature it currently. Another plus for my DC friends to know is that our locations are open at 8 am to serve breakfast. That includes all DC, Maryland, and Virginia locations. I suggest grabbing a meal size to kick off your day! I know I’ll be doing that one day on my way to the metro. Happy to have found a new summery snack and to have discovered this love of agave nectar. Double win. I’ll close with a photo of my snack-sized Kiwi Greek Goodness: