recipe

Recipe: Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

These delicious muffins deliver 5 grams of protein each - plus 2 grams of fiber! The fiber and protein boost comes from the lentils incorporated in the muffins. Check out this recipe and to learn more on how lentils can benefit your health - listen to a recent radio interview registered dietitian, Molly Morgan, click here.

Photo Credit: Novel Studios

Photo Credit: Novel Studios

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

Yield 16 Muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (370 mL) lentils, cooked
1/2 cup (120 mL) 100% orange juice
2 cups (475 mL) white wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chia seeds
1/2 cup (120 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup (120 mL) vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) dried tart cherries

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Prepare 16 muffin tins with paper liners or non-stick cooking spray.

2. Combine the cooked lentils and orange juice in a food processor until the lentils are pureed.

3. In a large mixing bowl combine the pureed lentils, white wheat pastry flour and salt. Stir to combine.

4. Then add chia seeds, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla yogurt, and eggs. Stir to combine. Then add-in the dried cherries and stir to combine.

6. Pour 1/3 of the muffin mixture in each of the muffin tins. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7. Cool the muffins on a cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin): 210 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 32 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 5 grams protein

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Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Muffins can be a great way to start the day, especially when the base is made with whole wheat pastry flour and filled with blueberries. These muffins freeze great too! Make a batch of muffins ahead or even a double batch, and then freeze some to enjoy at a later date

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Serves 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup (420 ml) whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup (120 ml) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
1/8 (1 ml) teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) melted butter
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) lemon zest
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1/2 cup (120 ml) vanilla yogurt
1 cup (240 ml) fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with muffin pan liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.

3. To the center of the bowl, add egg, coconut milk, melted butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix just until combined. Then stir in the yogurt and gently fold in blueberries.

4. Divide the batter into prepared muffin tin, fill each muffin cup full with batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Quick Dinner Recipe: Coconut Skillet Chicken

coconut skillet chicken

Coconut Skillet Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) or firm tofu
1/4 teaspoon sea sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (adjust to taste preference)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon corn starch mixed into 1 tablespoon water
2 cups cooked brown rice

Directions:
1. Season each side of the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over a medium high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook each side for 5-7 minutes or until browned on each side.
3. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes to soften. Add the vegetable stock, lime juice, cilantro and chili flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, continue to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes to let the sauce reduce down.
4. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to simmer again for another 5 minutes. Add the prepared corn starch and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce.
5. Add the chicken back to the skillet and let the chicken continue to cook until it is cooked through (about 5 – 10 minutes).
6. Serve over the brown rice.

Click here to watch a the recipe video.

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Dinner Idea: Mango Ginger Chicken

Are you in need of quick dinner ideas? Grab this delicious Mango Ginger Chicken recipe from my Olum's Cooking project. Click here for the recipe video and recipe. 

Mango Ginger Chicken - Quick and Easy! 

Mango Ginger Chicken - Quick and Easy! 

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Quick Salad: Mexican Quinoa Salad

This salad recipe has a homemade jalapeno vinaigrette dressing that is absolutely delicious and not too spicy! Plus it is really beautiful and colorful. 

Grab this recipe and watch the recipe video from Molly's cooking project with Olums: https://youtu.be/oJPCQnuarBQ

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Jalapeno Vinaigrette

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Game Day Snack: Red Hot Chicken Fingers

Looking for an appetizer that is perfect for game day snacking? Try this Red Hot Chicken Finger Recipe with Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip from Molly's cooking project with Olum's. 

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Meatless Monday Recipe: Falafel with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

Eating meatless at least one day a week can help the environment and better your health. If you have never tried falafel, it is worth a try! Falafel is a Mediterranean dish that is chickpea-based or sometimes made with fava beans. 

Serving up falafel with whole grain pita bread, veggies (e.g. lettuce, tomato, kalamata olives, cucumber), feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce! 

Making your own tzatziki sauce is easy and tastes even better if you can make it up ahead of time, at least the night before! It will allow the flavors to come together better, although if you are short on time you can make it with the falafel, the flavors will just be a little less intense. 

Falfel (Photo Source: iStock)

Falfel (Photo Source: iStock)

Falafel with Homemade Tzatzki Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients - Falafal:
1 can (15-ounces) chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 medium shallots
2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (plus more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil (for cooking) 

Ingredients - Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded cucumber (pressed to remove water)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
 

Directions: 
1. In a food processor add: chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, tahini, cumin, salt, pepper, and coriander. Pulse to blend and scrape down the mixture as needed. The dough should be crumbly.

2. Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time (you may not need the full 1/4 cup), until the mixture is somewhat firm and you can shape into a ball. 

3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or more). 

4. After the falafel dough is chilled, scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of the mixture and gently form into patties (makes about 12).

5. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Working in batches, add 3 - 4 of the patties cook for about 2 - 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from skillet and then repeat for the remaining falafel patties. 

6. In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the tzatziki sauce ingredients. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate.. 

Serving suggestion: Serve falafel with pita bread, chopped veggies, kalamata olives, and homemade tzatzki sauce. 
 

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers and Homemade Pickled Red Onion

If you are looking for a homemade veggie burger recipe, this recipe is full of flavor! What is great about it too, the base of the burger is sweet potato, rice, beans, and pecans can then be spiced up to your preference. Instead of the cumin you could use onion powder and garlic powder, or even try an Indian-style veggies burger with curry powder!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

The only trick to making the burgers is to press the mixture firmly together when forming them into patties, as the mixture will be a little sticky. Then during cooking, when you go to flip them half-way through, press them gently with a metal spatula before flipping and it helps them stay together. 

As a side note, the homemade pickled onions are a great addition as well and are quick and easy to make!  

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Home-made Pickled Red Onion

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Home-made Pickled Red Onion

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

Serves 12

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinshed
1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup scallions, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprkia
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
2. Add the black beans to a large mixing bowl and mash. Then add remaining ingredients and mix well. 
3. Use 1/3 cup of the burger mixture to hand form patties. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
4. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, flipping carefully half way through. 

Serving suggestion: Serve on mini rolls topped with sliced tomato and pickled red onions (As pictured above)! Other topping ideas: sliced avocado, lettuce, fried egg, cheese, Dijon mustard, etc. 

Nutrition Facts (per burger): 125 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat,  5 milligrams cholesterol, 180 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 4 grams protein 

Homemade Pickled Red Onions

Serves 12

Ingredients:
1  red onion, sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions:
1. In a small sauce pan combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. 
2. Place the sliced onion in a glass container and top with the boiling mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Let the onions marinade for at least 20 - 30 minutes. 

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Korean BBQ Cauliflower

During my travels for work in Ottawa, there is a favorite restaurant of mine (Pure Kitchen) that serves Korean BBQ Cauliflower that is so delicious! I have been trying to replicate that dish at home and I finally have gotten pretty close. If you try this recipe, I hope you love it as much as I do and would love to hear from you. 

The Korean BBQ Sauce recipe calls for Gochujang which is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment made from chili powder, glutinous rice, meju (fermented soybean) powder, yeotgireum (barley malt powder), and salt. You can typically find this in the Asian food aisle at the grocery store. If you can't find it, you could use red chili paste instead!

Korean BBQ Cauliflower

Korean BBQ Cauliflower

Korean BBQ Cauliflower

Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 small heads of cauliflower, chopped into florets (about 8 cups)
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 medium scallions, sliced
1 cup Korean BBQ Sauce (See below)

Korean BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 cup lite soy sauce or gluten-free
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Gochujang or chili paste
1 tablespoon corn starch - blended with 2 tablespoons water

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
2. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking tray and spray lightly with olive oil. Roast the cauliflower florets for 20 - 25 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. 
3. In a small sauce pan, whisk together all of the Korean BBQ Sauce ingredients - except the corn starch. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes more. 
4. Stir 1 teaspoon of the corn starch and water mixture into the sauce and stir, allowing the sauce to thicken. Note: use more of the corn starch and water mixture if needed.  
5. Heat a skillet and add the roasted cauliflower and about 3/4 of the prepare Korean BBQ Sauce. Stir to coat the cauliflower generously with the sauce.
6. Transfer the cauliflower and drizzle with remaining sauce. Top with sliced scallions and serve. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 90 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 470 millgirams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar, 4 grams protein

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I Love Beets!

beets.jpg

I love beets! They are truly a favorite. Plus they are loaded with nutrition benefits. Specifically beets are rich in nitrates, betaine, and the B-vitamin folate; these nutrients in beets can help your health in many ways!

Nitrates in your body are converted into nitric oxide which helps to relax and dilate blood vessels which in turn can boost blood flow. Betaine (a plant compound found in beets and other foods) has been shown to protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, and enhance performance. While folate helps to drive down levels of homocysteine in the blood, which can reduce the risk for artery damage and heart disease. 

When you are short on time to peel and cook beets, Love Beets has you covered with packages of cooked, ready to eat beets (pictured above). Look for them in a refrigerated area of the produce section of the grocery store. Also look for delicious baby beets too in flavors like honey + ginger and sweet chili. 

Check out this delicious Greek Cucumber Beet Salad recipe (See below) and some other favorite picks like: Beet and Salmon Nicoise Salad, Strawberry Rhubarb Beet Scones, or Beet Caprese Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Note: This isn't a sponsored post, just products I love! 

Photo from LoveBeets.com 

Photo from LoveBeets.com 

Greek Cucumber Beet Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced (2 cups)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ red onion, thinly sliced (1-½ cups)

1 green bell pepper, cored and sliced

1 ripe (but firm) avocado, peeled and diced

1 (8.8-ounce) package Love Beets Cooked Beets, chopped

⅓ cup fresh feta cheese, cubed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1-½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Add the first 8 ingredients to a mixing bowl.
2. Whisk together the remaining 5 ingredients in a bowl.
3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss everything together until well-coated. Taste the salad for flavor and add more sea salt and/or vinegar to taste.

Click here to visit Love Beets.com for more recipes and information.

References:

Betaine in Human Nutrition, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/3/539.full, Accessed August 15, 2017

Homocystine Lowering with Folic Acid and B Vitamins in Vascular Disease, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa060900#t=article, Accessed August 15, 2017

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