Cakes, Cookies & Desserts

Banana-Flax Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love buying big bunches of bananas, knowing I won’t eat them all, because it causes me to have a ton of baking-ready bananas in a week. That’s what happened this weekend (and I still have about 4 left…)

Usually I whip up a batch or two of my great grandmothers banana bread recipe, but thought I’d do something a little different this time. Enter this recipe.

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While these (not-so) little guys taste like a cookie, they pack quite the nutritional punch since they are made with whole grain oats, bananas, and flaxseed.

Unfamiliar with flaxseeds? They are small, golden seeds with a nutty flavor that provide fiber, healthy fats, protein, several B vitamins, antioxidants and various minerals. Besides mixing into baked goods, I like to mix them in yogurt with a little cereal for extra crunch and flavor. Delish.

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After making the dough for these cookies you will need about 45 minutes for them to chill in the freezer. Because the bananas replace a lot of the fat the dough is runnier, so this chilling helps to prevent them from turning into cookie dough puddles.

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Banana-Flax Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 15 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup mini-chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed

Directions

  1. Mash bananas thoroughly and beat in egg. Next, add in the brown sugar, butter, and vanilla until combined. The batter should be runny at this point.
  2. Add in dry ingredients (oats though salt), and mix for 1 minute.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips and flax seeds.
  4. Let dough chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove chilled dough and form into ~2tbsp balls, 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. (Should make 15 cookies)
  6. Return to freezer for about 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Nutrition Information Per Cookie: 107 calories, 4.3g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 2g protein

I stored my cookies in the fidge. I find this to be the better option for low-fat, very moist baked goods.

Also, a warmed cookie pairs REALLY well with a little vanilla ice cream… Just saying….

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Beef & Pork · Dinner

Grilled Steak & Parmesan Quinoa Salad With Balsamic Reduction

I hate wimpy salads. You need more then lettuce, some veggie toppings, and dressing for a good meal. Let me introduce you to my friends called “food groups”, share the love.

Whenever I make salads for dinner I also have to remember that I am feeding a 6’2” male that burns through calories about as quickly as he eats them, meaning there has got to be some sustenance to it.  If you are in the same boat as me I have created this recipe to make both parts of the couple equation happy. 

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Grilled Steak & Parmesan Quinoa Salad

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb sirloin steak, lean
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup balsamic 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 cups chopped lettuce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat stove top grill, spraying with non-stick spray. Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill for ~4-5 minutes on each side, until desired doneness.
  2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions.
  3. Begin making balsamic reduction by simmering vinegar and 1 tsp sugar for ~5-10 minutes. Reduction should be reduce by about 1/2 volume and be slightly thick.
  4. Once steak is done let rest and begin grilling zucchini and onions, flipping when grill marks begin to show.
  5. When quinoa is finished, add parmesan, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Assemble salads with 2 cups lettuce each, splitting steak, veggies, and quinoa between them. Drizzle 1/2 balsamic vinegar onto each salad.

Nutrition information per salad: 395 calories, 9.4g protein, 44g carbohydrate, 37g protein

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Hot Topics

How To Thanksgiving Like A Dietitian

I love Thanksgiving. Great food and quality family time? I’m sold.

Thanksgiving is usually synonymous with overeating, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

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Let me share 7 simple, dietitian approved tips with you to help make your Turkey Day a little more waist-line friendly.

  1. Eat breakfast. This one is so important. Skipping breakfast will actually increase your chances of over eating later in the day- and also probably will cause you to be super hangry while prepping. Instead, try a breakfast with both complex carbs and protein to hold you over and avoid your body from thinking you are in starvation mode (i.e. time to eat everything I see). Some examples: eggs and whole wheat toast, oatmeal topped with peanut butter or nuts, greek yogurt and granola, or these chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes.
  2. Bring a dish. If you are playing the role of guest this Thanksgiving go ahead and ask the host what dish (or two) you can contribute. That way you know there will be at least one healthy option. Try bringing a side, like these almond green beans or savory baked apples For dessert give this vanilla pumpkin pudding a try.
  3. Get moving. Avoid the mid-afternoon horror of looking at your Fitbit and seeing you’ve only taken 1,000 steps. You don’t necessarily have to make it to the gym, try signing up for a Turkey Trot (this will be my family’s 6th year), take the dog for a walk, or check out PopSugar Fitness for tons of quick fitness videos.
  4. Be a Veg-Head. Fill about half of your plate with non -starchy veggies (think carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc.) Watch how these veggies are prepared though, if they are doused with butter, take less. The other half should be split for starches (yams, potatoes, corn, rolls, stuffing) and protein (Skinless turkey breast is low in fat and calories)
  5. Be wary of grazing. I am the worst at this. A few bites here and there can add up quickly, tacking on a few hundred extra calories. Always be mindful of what you are eating.
  6. Don’t deprive yourself. If you love pumpkin pie, go ahead and have a slice. Just be aware of your portion size and remember to leave room during dinner. If you tell yourself you can’t have something- especially something you really want- you are more apt to crave it and have an extra large slice later.
  7. Enjoy it!!!! Even if you stick to all of these tips you may still overeat, at that is okay! Don’t punish yourself for it. Food is also meant for enjoyment. Agonizing over the fact that you’ve got a food baby going on can lead to stress, which can lead to, yet again, over eating. Be grateful to share a meal with loved ones.

Feel free to share any of your favorite healthy eating tips or favorite dishes.

Here’s to a happy and healthy turkey day!

Breakfast · Eggs & Savory Breakfast Dishes · Lunch · Uncategorized

Fiesta Fried Egg Topped Sweet Potato

There is one surefire way to sell me on a dish: top it with an egg.

They are so pretty to me, add great flavor, and it’s incredibly satisfying when you break the yolk.

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At about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein, a large egg is also a nutritious choice. Combine that with an antioxidant packed sweet potato and fiber filled black beans and you’ve got a nutrition powerhouse.

This dish is so versatile you can try it at breakfast, lunch or dinner….Or all three, because it is just that good. 

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Fiesta Fried Egg Topped Sweet Potato

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 2 tbsp. corn
  • 1 tbsp. red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, canned
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Scrub sweet potato and pierce with fork 6-8 times. Wrap loosely in a piece of wet paper towel and microwave for ~6 minutes, flipping potato half way through.  
  2. Meanwhile, combine black beans, corn, red onion, green pepper and tomato in a large skillet to warm, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Move the veggies to one side of the pan to keep warm and fry egg sunny side up on other side. 
  4. When potato is done cut it in half and use a fork to mash innards. Make a welt in each half to fill with veggie mixture, top with fried egg. 
  5. Serve warm. 

Nutrition Information: 333 calories, 5.25g fat, 60g carbohydrates, 15g protein

Breakfast · Pancakes & Waffles

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

I am so excited to share this recipe with you!

You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day- And my personal favorite. 

You want your breakfast to have protein and complex carbs to keep you nice and full. 

Of course, I also want it to taste delicious and get my day off to a fantastic start. I have the worlds largest sweet tooth, so I am a big fan of pancakes, french toast, etc. 

This recipe combines all of the above in one tasty little package. 

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I’ll admit it, as I was making these I thought to myself “…these are about to taste like cardboard…” But I have never been to happy to be wrong! (and I hate being wrong…) They taste so indulgent yet provide great nutrition. This one won’t let you down.

An ENTIRE stack of pancakes that give your 17 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber…for less than 300 calories? Oh yes. 

This recipe only makes one serving, but can easily be scaled up.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Yield: 1 large stack (~4-5 medium pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup quick oats, ground to oat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp almond milk

Toppings

  • 2 tsp mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp light whipped topping

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, using a whisk, froth egg whites. You will begin to see a more white color (rather than clear/yellow tint) and tiny bubbles form. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. 
  3. Heat a large skillet and spray with non-stick spray. Use about 1/4 cup batter to form each pancake. Cook until bubbles form, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until golden. 
  4. Top with mini chocolate chips and whipped topping. Syrup if desired. 

Nutrition Information: 275 calories, 7g fat, 34g carbohydrates (5g fiber), 17g protein

These immediately made the usual post-workout weekend brunch menu. 

Side Note: Big shout out to Momma Kokx for the teal whisk! Whisking all of the things…..