Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cookies and Cornbread

The upcoming new year means different things to people. To me, it means a chance to renew, refresh and revitalize! And I know just how to achieve that! Organize, clean, and cook more! Yup, losing more weight is on the list too. Working on it!

So I organized our basement freezer and found out we had lots to work with-enough food for maybe a month or two. I am a bit of a food hoarder, I confess, and the freezer clearly demonstrates this. 

On my journey to cook more, and use up our freezer reserves, I whipped up some cookies and cornbread! My mission was to use up some of the 2 bags of the masa harina ( for making tamales) and oat bran that has lingered in the freezer for a long, long time.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I asked my good friend (Google) for some suggestions, and here is what I found:

A corn bread recipe using masa harina instead of cornmeal!!

Here are the ingredients, but click on the link for the directions. I think the butter really makes the difference. Cornbread and cookie recipes must have butter (or do they?)!!

A Healthier Organic Corn Bread Recipe (I don't think it should be called organic, as none of the ingredients called for are organic!...just sayin!)

1 1/2 cup masa harina flour
1/2 cup spelt flour, or other flour of choice, (with the exception of coconut flour, it won't work in this recipe) ....I used white whole wheat
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unrefined sea salt...I used kosher salt
1/4 cup raw honey ...I used maple syrup
1 tbsp sucanat ...or regular sugar
1 1/4 cup whole milk or coconut milk ...I used skim milk
1/4 cup grass fed butter, butter did not come from grass fed cows :(

This is how I served it up!! with pulled pork tenderloin, shredded cheese and a tiny dollop of real sour cream!

Now, earlier I said that cookie recipes must always have butter! But it just so happens that this recipe uses oil!! I always heard that oil should never be used in cookies. But it really works, and it yields a different type of cookie; a thinner cookie, with a more crisp texture. And speaking of cookies, here is the recipe that helped me use up some of my copious amounts of oat bran:

Dark Chocolate Chip Oat Bran Cookies (adapted from cdkitchen)

3/4 cup canola oil..I used avocado oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips...I only had mini chocolate chips to work with

- See more at:

I really like making other bloggers recipes! the recipes are already tested, so less chance of a mess for me!





Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly Swirled Protein Bread

If you are reading this post now, or have ever read any of my posts, you are probably thinking, “oh there she is!”, or “she finally got a break from the baby!”….yup, it’s been over two months..and yes, I do get a few breaks from our little critter, not too many though.

Here is an update:

1. Wyatt will be 5 months next week!!
He loves naps! and yes, he is a bit out of season!

2. I am back to work full time with some sort of workout routine (as if we expected anything other than that)

3. I am down 25 lbs. since Wyatt arrived (yep, that includes the baby; it makes me sound like a champ if I include the actual baby weight). 15 lbs to go!!

4. Herbie is being a great big brother!

5. I made baby food today for the first time using my Vitamix blender!! Finally, my mom-in-law’s investment is paying off! And I made the recipe below, in my Vitamix too!

So here I am, taking advantage of nap time, and whipping up something fun for the week. I used a recipe from the kids section of my Vitamix cookbook, as a base and added some key ingredients! Here is it, no pictures of each step this time…who has time for that!?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Swirled Protein Bread

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup vanilla protein powder (yep, totally my idea to replace ½ the flour with this…surprised?)
1 tsp. kosher salt (love kosher salt)
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups milk-I used vanilla soy milk
1 egg ( added this for fluffiness)
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup natural peanut butter (increased this from ½ cup for more flavor)
½ cup your favorite jam or jelly  (why not swirl in some jammy goodness)

 Preheat oven to 350F.Combine flour, protein powder, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Place milk, egg, sugar and peanut butter in a blender; process until smooth. Stir into flour mixture, until smooth. ( I actually added the flour mixture right into my blender, but this probably won’t work with a regular blender). Coat a standard loaf pan (or a larger one works too) with cooking spray. Pour1/2 of batter into pan and add dollops of jam over surface. Use a knife to swirl jam into batter. Repeat process again.

Place on a baking sheet (in case of spillage) and bake for about 50 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into 14 slices.

Nutrition per 1/14th recipe: 210 calories, 8g total fat, 1.5g Sat Fat, 370mg Sodium, 26g Carbs, 2g Fiber, 15g Sugar, 11g Protein, Vitamin A 2%DV, Calcium 15%, Iron 6%




Sunday, September 29, 2013

Grain-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Call them what you want; paleo, grain free, gluten free…they are sooo good!

Grain Free Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter  (or try almond butter)
½ cup chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 cup agave syrup
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer until creamy. Drop tablespoons of dough on greased cookie sheets. Use a fork to flatten cookies. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hempseed Crackers with Ginger and Rosemary

It’s been too long since my last post. Little Wyatt, or as we like to call him “Lil W”, definitely keeps us busy. We are on duty 24 hours a day. Sometimes eating leftovers over the kitchen sink is a treat, especially when tasty crackers aid in the scooping of 5 day old chili.

 Here is my first attempt at making from-scratch crackers…not bad! In fact they are gone, and just made them…30 minutes ago. They are wonderful with a glass of Argentinean wine.

By the way, I am totally obsessed with ginger and rosemary, so I had to throw some in these crackers. Sous chef Julia and I made the most incredible scones for the Market District December Newsletter. I will definitely be making these again. Lookout for it during the holidays; I will post it then.

These savory crackers are pretty amazing I must say; what could be better than fiber from the flaxseeds and protein from the hempseed, not to mention omega-3 fatty acids from both.  Also, this recipe can easily be made gluten free. Use almond flour, or Gluten free all purpose baking mix instead of the flour.

Hempseed Crackers with Ginger and Rosemary
½ cup shelled hempseeds
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1-2 tsp. finely chopped ginger
3 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine everything in a medium bowl and mix until dough forms. Place on a nonstick cooking mat and roll to 1/8 inch thick. I used a sheet or parchment paper coated with cooking spray to set over top of dough before rolling.
2. Cut into 8-10 squares or wedges. Bake for 25 minutes or until crisp and edges have browned.

3. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lemons and Castelvetrano Olives

What do you do when life gives you lemons ? Order a juicer on Amazon? (I need one too) 
Or, pair it with my new favorite food, Castelvetrano Olives.
 I first leaned about them from my foodie friend Leeann, who swore these would change my mind about olives ( I don't typically love olives, I just like them). I had them for the first time at a holiday shopping party last year, hosted by another foodie friend, Kira.
 I remember taking a small bite of the plump bright green olive. WOW, I thought! these olives are spectacular. It was a special day.
They have a mild avocado and butter flavor, and they are meaty and a bit crisp; not as briny as other olives. These olive are mostly grown in a small town (Castelvetrano) in a Sicilian provence.
They are not ripened and are cured in a mild brine that yields sweet, mildly salty, bright green olives, that I find so palatable!.

 Lemony Orzo with Tomatoes and Castelvetrano Olives

1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
1 large tomato, chopped (about 2-3 cups) or halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives
Zest and Juice of 1-2 lemons (How much do you love lemon?)
2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Cook pasta according to directions (make sure to salt water- don’t be shy); drain well and place into a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Chill or serve warm.  Garnish with crumbled feta if you are addicted to cheese.
That’s it!

I did not forget about the lemons....Here are some other lemony applications...
Use them as a beautiful centerpiece
Make lemon water
Infuse olive oil with strips of lemon peel
Take silly photos of your baby!!!!
Zest lemon peel over treats, like these protein packed brownies.







Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mini Frittatas with Goat Cheese

You might be wondering how my weight loss journey is going…

It’s going!! I am down about 18 lbs. total (yup, that includes the baby’s weight!). I take long walks with Wyatt and Herbie; it keeps me sane! I am also going to a hip hop class with my neighbor friend Carolyn, who is also on her own journey to better health! And of course, nutrition is everything! Protein power!

I made these little frittatas over the weekend because I realize how important it is to have food prepped and ready to go. They even taste good cold, when I only have a minute (literally) between changing diapers and feeding. Best of all, they are protein packed and keep me full ( and happy!).

70 calories, 2 grams fat, 3.5 grams carb and 9.5 grams protein! Pretty nice profile right?

Mini Frittatas with Goat Cheese

Cooking Spray
¾ cup finely chopped mixed veggies such as tomatoes, spinach or scallion
12 egg whites
Salt and pepper for seasoning
3 oz. crumbled goat cheese (or Feta)


Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 6 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place about 2 tablespoons of the veggies into each muffin cup.

Add 2 egg whites to each. Season with salt and pepper.

Top with a few crumbles of goat cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes until set. Internal temperature must reach 160F.

Cool on a wire rack to prevent a soggy bottom :)

Have it plain, or top it with salsa, avocado or (ketchup?).

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Quick Watermelon Sorbet

I usually don't post recipes that I create for work, but since little Wyatt has been keeping me busy, why not! This recipe was published in the most recent Market District Newsletter to promote the new fab Balsamic glaze.

August MD Newsletter

Check out the recipe here!!

Love this! I keep frozen watermelon cubes in my freezer ready to go. It makes great cocktails too!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Chocolate Protein Cake Bars

This past week's treats were these protein bars, once again, inspired by Jamie Eason. I am down a few more pounds this week but I have a long way to go before I am even close to looking like Jamie ha ha. A gal can always dream, right? I was really hoping this nursing thing would help shed the pounds a lot faster, but it turns out that its going to take a lot of work. How about that, weight loss takes work!! I guess I knew that already.
I started taking longer walks this past week too, in order to kick up the calorie burn. I also went to a hip hip class with my neighbor friend and that was super fun! There is nothing like the buddy system to help with motivation.
Here are the treats that got me through the week:
Chocolate Protein Cake Bars

 Dry ingredients:
1 cup oat or white whole wheat flour
½ cup vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:
½ cup splenda®
1 cup applesauce
4 egg whites
½ cup water

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil; coat with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread mixture in pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until center is set.
Remove from pan by lifting out using foil. Cut into 16 squares.
65 calories and 4 grams protein


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Protein Coffee Cake

Another recipe inspired by the super fit Jamie Eason. This time I kicked it up by doubling the protein and turning it into a coffee cake (simply by baking it in a cake pan). I used a bit less almond milk as well. Feel free to  top this cake with chopped nuts before baking. If you are not into non nutritive sweeteners, just use sugar or sucanat. I am ok with them, especially when trying got cut calories.

I made this cake early in the week, and it has been a lifesaver in the mornings. Early mornings are tough because Wyatt is super cranky, and so is mommy because she is super hungry from being up too long. I packed these up in individual baggies and they were ready to eat as soon as I could get down to the fridge (yes, keep them in the fridge since they have no preservatives, unless you like mold).

 If you want  even lower calories, use Splenda. Truvia has some carbohydrates in it. Also, choose a protein powder with no added sugar. My protein powder is higher in calories than I would like, but it is what I have on hand for now.

Cinnamon Swirl Protein Coffee Cake

1/3 cup xylitol or Truvia® (or sugar)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Dry ingredients:
1 cup oat flour
1 cup vanilla whey protein powder ( I used muscle milk)
½ cup Truvia®
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:
2 egg whites
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, combine xylitol and cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well. In a smaller bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.

Line an 8x8 or round 10-inch cake pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Pour about 1/3 of batter into pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle about ½ of the cinnamon mixture over batter and top evenly with remaining mixture. Use a knife to swirl in cinnamon mixture. Bake for about 33-35 minutes, until center is set.

Lift out of pan to cool on wire rack. Cut into 10 wedges.

125 calories and 13 grams protein
Make your own oat flour

Grind away
Swirl away
Let the foil paper be your friend: use it to lift the cake out of the pan.
That is a fresh stevia sprig my garden

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Veggie Packed Turkey Muffins


Little Wyatt arrived last Saturday at 3:30 am. He weighed in at 7 lbs 13 oz., and is 20.5 inches long. He is such a sweet boy, but does not yet know the difference between day and night. He is definitely a night owl, and has been keeping mommy and daddy up all night! We learned to take shifts overnight though, so that we can each get about 4 hours of sleep!

What does the baby have to do with Turkey muffins??

Well, I gained a bit too much weight and I am now left with some extra pounds (about 25 lbs! yikes!!...some of it still water weight I am hoping) to lose.  I am turning to the most inspiring, sexy fitness model ever, Jamie Eason, for some motivation and inspiration to get back down to my sexy self lol. Here is a recipe inspired by Jamie, modified a bit since I only had 1 lb. of turkey to work with. I also added extra veggies and a little wheat germ just for fun!

So what’s part of my weight loss plan? Clean eating, protein at meals for satiety (and to maintain lean muscle mass), water and laying off the ice cream. I also joined a new gym, and can’t wait to get started once I get clearance from the doc (don’t want anything falling out of me lol). For now, it’s just going to be walking for me, maybe some super light weights.

Veggie Packed Turkey Muffins


1 lb. lean ground turkey
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
1 egg
1 tsp. garlic powder
¾ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. ground chipotle pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Coat a 6- cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Divide mixture into cups and bake for 28 minutes until internal temperature is 165F.



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vanilla Blueberry Coconut Protein Bars

These are like sugar cookies who met up with cobbler and protein powder. Snuck in some fresh blueberries and coconut, and they turned out to be beautiful bars!!! I had to post something special, this may be my last week for a while, as Wyatt is due next Sunday!!! yikes!!!!
Please try these and send me some comments:) Aren't these awesome???

Vanilla Blueberry Coconut Protein Bars

1 large egg
2/3 cup sugar
6 oz. container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup vanilla protein powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350˚F.Beat sugar and egg until light and fluffy; add yogurt, vanilla and coconut oil. Mix until combined. Stir in flour, protein powder, salt and baking soda. Mix until dough is formed.
Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Press a little over half of the mixture into baking pan.
Sprinkle blueberries evenly onto dough and top with coconut.
Spoon remaining dough over top.
Use a wet spatula to lightly press dough, smoothing over filling.
 Bars will look like blueberry cobbler.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly and remove from pan onto wire rack, using foil paper to lift bars out of pan. Cool completely before cutting.
This guy, could not wait for the bars to cool...I found him in the kitchen...GUILTY!!!
Great idea Chris!!! Eat it like cobbler with Ice cream!!! Brilliant!!!