Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chia Coated Quinoa Bites

I got a wonderful recipe from my mentee/coworker/buddy Allison for Quinoa Protein Bars! They did start as protein bars, but then I decided to make them into little truffle bites, coated in chia seeds (I have tons to use up!!). The recipe is awesome, so of course I decided to make a double batch (in hopes to use up more of my quinoa stash) ! I should have stuck with a single batch of this because things got pretty messy! I recommend just sticking to a single batch:) I ended up using flaxseed meal to help bind the sticky stuff together a bit more.

I also made about 80 little bites; baby Wyatt (in my belly) will be quite pleased with the extra snacks!

Here is the original picture from

Protein bars Quinoa Protein Bars
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, pre-rinsed
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 16 whole (pitted) dates, no sugar added
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds with skin
  • 1/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (almond butter is an option)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I used about 1/2 cup chia seeds here)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional) (I also used flaxseed meal for rolling)
Add quinoa and water to a small sauce, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook approximately 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours ( I only waited about 30 minutes) ...overnight will work.

This is where it got super messy trying to make a double batch!

Using a food processor, add dates and pulse until they form a ball. Remove dates and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add almonds to the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Be careful not to turn the almonds into mill. Add dates, almonds, peanut butter and cold quinoa to the food processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined. Return ingredients to the mixing bowl, shape into 6 - 2" x 1" bars, about 1" thickness. Place on a dish, refrigerate until chocolate is set.

I opted not to do this part and coat them in chia and flaxseed instead!

In a small saucepan, add chocolate chips and honey...melt over low heat or in a double-boiler. Evenly spread chocolate over the top of each protein bar, return to the refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for several days.


I left my almonds a little chunky for the extra crunch:)

Too many dates in the food processor!!

Fiber and protein packed little treats.

I got the hubby to help me with these; he suggested we freeze some and eat them ice cold. Great idea!


And...they get their photo shoot!

Looking sexy!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Tart

I often make things because I have "must-go" foods in my refrigerator. I am sure this happens to many. And of course, with my growing sweet tooth (and appetite), I always look for ways to use up my food items, while taming the prego monster in me! These days,  I pretty much just eat anything in front of my face (and my growing belly shows it!). Hopefully I won't deliver more than a 13 lb. baby lol. 

This recipe is inspired by a delish treat I saw on Three More Big Bites. Of course I added my own clean crust to the tart, as well some better choices for sweetners! Now get out of my way, we (baby and I) are going to go have another slice!!

Blueberry Swirled Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Tart
For the crust:2 cups whole grain oat cereal such as Joes O's
3 Tbsp. sucanat
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

For the filling:
2 ¼ cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/3  cup agave nectar
 3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 packets Truvia® or additional sweetener of desired
1/3 cup fruit jam, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Place cereal and sucanat in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add coconut oil and pulse until well combined.
Press into a 10-12 inch tart pan and bake for 12 minutes. Set aside.
Combine ingredients for filling, except for jam, in a medium bowl; whisk together until smooth.
Pour evenly over crust and drop dollops of jam over top of surface.
Use a toothpick to swirl in jam.
Place cheesecake tart on a pan and place in oven; add about 1/2 inch of water to pan to create a water bath. Bake for 32-35 minutes until set.
Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes, then chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

My friend Liz posted a recipe last night on face book for Garbanzo Bean Cookie Dough Bites and I felt inspired to try something similar. I looked at other sites, such as Chocolate Covered Katie , and thought, " why havent I made  this!". I wanted my cookie to have egg in it for sure, because of the cake-like texture it provides. I have also been wanting to make cookies with Quinoa in them, like the ones on my buddy Julia's favorite blog, Two Peas in a Pod.

Here is my version, hubby approved!!!

Chocolate Chip Chick Pea and Quinoa Cookies

 15 oz. can chick peas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup agave syrup
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
 1 cup cooked quinoa ( or 1/3 cup quinoa cooked with 2/3 cup water)
¼ cup sucanat, optional ( for a hit more of sweetness)
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  
Place chickpeas, peanut butter, agave, egg, vanilla, salt and soda in a food processor.
Puree until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and fold in quinoa and chocolate chips.


Drop tablespoons of dough onto greased baking pans and bake for 15 minutes. Transfer and cool on wire rack. 

Makes 25 cookies.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Whole Wheat Pizza Party in your Freezer

Everyone loves quick and easy meals, right? Especialy homemade pizza. Try stocking your freezer with pizza for those lazy nights (yup, you have to do  a little work up front). For us, I plan to stock up the freezer for when the baby comes; I know we will be pretty busy, and I know Chris loves frozen pizza! He is great at baking frozen pizzas:) (one of his many talents!). Try your favotite toppings; I love pesto, shrimp and goat cheese, and plain ol' tomato basil.

Whole Wheat Pizza Party in your Freezer
¼ cup dry active yeast  or 4 packages
2 tsp. sugar
3 cups water, divided
4 cups bread flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
4-6 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup cornmeal for dusting and rolling
Fig and Prosciutto Pizzas:1 1/2  cups prepared fig jam/preserves
8 oz. reduced fat shredded pizza blend cheese
1 cup sliced roasted red peppers
6 oz. prosciutto, torn into strips
5 oz. crumbled gorgonzola
½ cup sliced green onion
For the 2 kid friendly/ Simple Pizzas:
1 ½ cups prepared  sauce
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2-3 oz. sliced pepperoni
1 lb. reduced shredded fat mozzarella or pizza blend cheese

1. Warm water in microwave in a large glass bowl or a 4 cup Pyrex® measuring cup (105-110˚F). Stir in yeast and sugar. Place in a warm area (try turning oven to 300˚F).
Let sit for about 5 minutes until doubled in size.
2. Place flour and salt in large bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast mixture, remaining water and oil. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes with arm attachment (or do this by hand, on a clean work surface, if you are tough!)
3. Coat dough or bowl with oil or cooking spray. Place in warm place, covered with a warm damp towel, and let sit for about an hour until doubled in size.

4. Punch dough down and divide into four. Place on a greased baking pan (grease top of dough lightly if desired) and let rise again, covered with a piece of plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes until swollen and puffy.
5. Preheat oven to 450˚F.  I used disposable cookie sheets for my baking/freezing vehicle, but you can use round pans if desired (something that will fit a 14 inch crust).  The cookie sheets fit nicely in freezers. Coat pan lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with a bit of cornmeal. Place dough atop and gently press down with fingers, shaping into a rectangle (or circle). Use a rolling pin to carefully flatten dough to fit pan, not need turn dough over once you get it to fit pan.
Dough should be about ¼-½-inch thick depending on how you like it. Try to flatten it with as few strokes from rolling pin as possible; it just makes it easier. Continue with remaining crusts or shape while others are baking (this is what I did).

6. Bake dough for 5 minutes, until puffed over. Remove from oven and place a wire rack over top. Flip over to transfer crust to rack and allow to cool while others are baking. If you cool crusts on pans, the condensation and moisture build up will give you a soggy crust.
7. Once cool, return crusts to pans, making sure any moisture is wiped from pans. Spread desired sauce evenly over crusts. I like to spread sauce to the edge! Add toppings, starting and finishing with a layer of cheese. Cater wrap the pizzas, making sure they are fully sealed with plastic wrap.
To do this, pull a long piece of plastic wrap out of the box and place the tray on top of it. Bring the wrap up and around to completely seal the tray. If there are still gaps, turn the tray and repeat the process. Freeze pizzas until ready to use.

8. To bake, thaw slightly while preheating oven to 400˚F. Bake for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned and deliciously melty!