Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Covered Pretzel Nice Cream

2 frozen bananas
2 T natural peanut butter
2 t chocolate chips, melted
1/2 t vanilla
6-8 mini pretzel twists

Peel frozen bananas and chop into chunks. Add to food processor along with vanilla and whip until completely smooth. Add peanut butter, melted chocolate, and pretzels. Pulse just to combine and pretzels are roughly chopped. Spoon into bowls and top with additional pretzels if desired. Serve immediately or place in freezer in airtight container. Microwave 15 seconds to soften.

Yield 2 servings.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Mini Muffins ~ adapted from Avery Cooks

1 over ripe banana
1/2 c natural peanut butter, no added sugar
1 egg
2 T honey (optional)
1 t vanilla
1/4 t baking soda
pinch salt (optional)
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray, set aside. 

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a blender and puree until very smooth, approximately 1 minute. Using a small cookie scoop, fill each muffin cup 3/4 with peanut butter mixture. Top each with 4 or 5 chocolate chips.

Bake 8-9 minutes until tops are puffed and set and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Yield 18-20 mini muffins.

Note: If omitting honey, also omit salt. 

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

2 c uncooked elbow macaroni
16 oz plain greek yogurt, recommended: Fage 2%
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c lowfat milk
1 stick salted butter, melted
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 t mustard powder
1/2 t salt, to taste

Cook macaroni in boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain, do not rinse.

While macaroni is cooking, in medium size crock pot add all remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Add drained macaroni and mix well. Cover and turn crock pot to high for 30 minutes. Stir and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened and macaroni is done.

Serve with additional shredded cheese or other toppings.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Healthier Spinach and Artichoke Dip

16 oz frozen spinach
8 oz neufchâtel cheese
8 oz nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 c fresh grated parmesan, not canned
16 oz artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper, more or less to taste

Cook spinach to package directions. Remove to mesh strainer and use a wooden spoon to press out as much water as possible. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, combine neufchâtel cheese, yogurt, and parmesan. Cook over medium heat until  neufchâtel is melted. Add remaining ingredients, including drained spinach, and heat through.

Serve warm as a dip with tortilla or whole wheat pita chips, or as a spread on toasted baguette or 12 grain bread. Will keep 5 days in refrigerator, simply reheat as needed. Yield approximately 4 cups dip.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lentil Salad with Mint and Bell Pepper ~ adapted from the kitchn

3 c cooked lentils, approximately 1/2 lb dried lentils, prepared
3 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 c walnuts
1 c dry packed sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil, chopped
1 c fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 c fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 c boiling water
1/4 c olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 T good quality balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t kosher salt
2 oz Parmesan, micro-planed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place dried tomatoes in heat safe dish, cover with boiling water and set aside to steep approximately 5 minutes.

Place walnuts in cold heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Heat over medium high heat just until walnuts become fragrant and slightly browned, 1-2 minutes maximum. Remove from pan, cool slightly and chop coarsely.

In large mixing bowl, add lentils, walnuts, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and lemon zest. Mix well.

In separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together leftover liquid from steeped tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt. Pour over lentil salad and toss well to combine. Season with pepper and additional salt if desired. Add Parmesan just prior to serving. May be served at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 3 days.