Easy / Healthy Strawberry Balsamic Salad (Low Weight Watchers Points Too!)

Easy Strawberry Balsamic Salad

I don’t know about you but I am really getting burned out on salad this summer.  So I was trying to play around with something new. I really wanted to use strawberries, especially since we had a few pounds of them in the fridge that had to be used up. Also I was looking for something that would be low in fat and calories, so that would also be a great weight watchers recipe.
After a few tries, I think I did it!
I figured it was only about 2 points plus on the weight watchers scale.  Now please keep in mind that I didn’t use the whole bag of spinach and this recipe made enough for 4 salads.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Chopped Strawberries
1/4 Cup Balsamic Glaze
1 Bag of fresh Spinach
Optional – 1/4 Cup Fat Free Feta Cheese
1 Tbsp Pine Nuts

  • In a small pan heat up balsamic glaze for about 3 minutes on medium-medium/low heat.
  • Then add strawberries to glaze. Let strawberries and glaze cook together for about 5 minutes on medium/low heat. Remove from heat.
  • On small plates place desired amount of spinach.
  • Drizzle strawberry glaze over spinach.
  • Top with a few sprinkles of feta cheese and pine nuts if you like for some added flavor and texture.
    Enjoy!

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Kind of Healthier Coconut Muffins

I have been using coconut oil a lot lately in many things.  I even experimented with some marshmallow pumpkin bars to share with you all, but those did not turn out so good, so those are currently on the re-do list.  Anyway, I have two very good friends that just love coconut everything…  I bumped into one today and I will be visiting with the other one tomorrow and they inspired me to try a coconut baked good.  But as they are also always trying to beat me in my daily step count (yes I have a fitbit) I decided to substitute some ingredients to make the a bit more “healthy-fied” (yes I know that’s not a word). So below is what I came up with, enjoy!
photo(1)1/2 Coconut oil (melted)
1 1/4 Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt (optional)
1 cup Shredded coconut
1 cup Coconut Greek yogurt
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Egg (at room temperature)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Toasted almonds chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. You can line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in 3/4 cup shredded coconut.
In a large bowl (stand or hand mixer) mix together coconut oil, yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly until just combined. Gently mix in chopped almonds.
Using a large cookie scoop or spoon, divide batter among prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the top with remaining 1/4 cup shredded coconut.

Bake in the oven for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer muffins to a cooling rack.

Parmesan Zucchini with Lemon

Most people who have a summer garden is usually over run with zucchini.
Besides grilling it on the BBQ, and using it in baking, this recipe for zucchini is one of my family’s personal favorite.
It’s easy to make and we love the flavors of Parmesan cheese, zucchini and lemon!
(also a great weight watcher recipe)
zucchini
3 tbsp Margarine (or butter if you like)
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
4 Zucchinis, thinly sliced to about 1/2” thick rounds
Zest of 1 Lemon
Ground Black pepper and Kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup Grated Parmesan
2 tbsp Fresh squeezed lemon juice, or more if you like

Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute.
Working in batches, add zucchini and lemon zest. Cook, flipping once, until golden/brown. About 1-2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and lemon juice, then serve immediately.

Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Muffins

So here is my first posting after the new year.
It only seems appropriate to post a some what healthy recipe, am I right☺
Things have been pretty busy around here with the holidays ending, all the visitors gone, getting back to the usual schedule with school starting again and Girl Scouts cookie season approaching…I apologize for such a late recipe post.
I haven’t had time to calculate the weight watchers points on this one yet, but I don’t think it would be too bad. These muffins are quite easy and not very sweet. However, they are sweet enough for my husband to actually want to eat them…
download2¾ Cup Whole wheat flour
½ Cup All-purpose flour
1 Cup Quick oats
1 tsp Baking powder
1½ tsp Baking soda
¼ Cup Brown sugar
Cup Honey
½ Cup Peanut butter (no-stir)
½ Cup Fat Free Greek yogurt
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract
¾ Cup Non-fat milk
Cup Mini-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In one large bowl whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
In a small bowl whisk together honey, peanut butter, yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Add the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin,lined with paper cups, filling each cup about ⅔ full.
Bake for 17-20 minutes. Check to make sure toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.

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Low Fat Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Strawberries are in full swing right now and I love to think of different ways to use them. Usually, my daughter in hales them within one or two days, never giving me a chance to bake with them.
But this morning I picked up a bunch (on sale of course) and made these yummy muffins up during nap time. ♥
Yup, I felt like one stealthy momma!

And once again I’ve been trying to bake with out using butter or oil and this recipe is another winner. For the health-conscience out there this recipe uses no butter, oil or egg yolks. They are substituted with unsweetened applesauce and egg white.
Enjoy!strawberry chocolate chip muffine

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 Egg White (beaten)
  • 2/3 Cup Diced Strawberries
  • 1/3 Cup Mini-chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix brown sugar, applesauce and sugar until there are no lumps. Then add the egg white until mixed well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients just until combined (do not over mix).

Fold in strawberries and mini chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly between about 10 muffin cups in the muffin tin. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
(Insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean)

strawberry chocolate chip muffins2

Easy Basil Balsamic Salad

Summer comes along and so does a change in the menu at my house.  We like salad, like most people, but man did it get boring after a while.  Then my mom told me about a salad she used with all basil and no lettuce.  To be honest it sounded a little gross and overwhelming at first to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love basil, I put it into any pasta dish I make and more. I was worried that it would be a little “basil over kill” for it to be the main base of a salad.

Anyway, she made some one night during a  visit…and I was hooked. ♥

image

The items you need to make it are:

-Basil

-Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

-Greek Olives

-Croutons

-Balsamic Vinegar

-Olive Oil

Now you can put the ratio for these ingredients however you like. I use 4 oz of basil, 1/4 cup cut Greek olives, about 4 oz of fresh mozzarella cut in small cubes, 1/2 croutons, 1 tbsp olive oil and about 2-3 tbsp balsamic depending on how strong you would like the flavor. Just make it anyway you like.

Now I get all my ingredients (except the balsamic vinegar, tell you later) for this salad at Trader Joe’s.
They are they only store I have found to carry a large enough package of basil with out me freak’n out in the produce section, can’t believe what some store charge for the stuff. So go to Trader Joe’s, you will $ave a bundle…
Up here in Washington at my Trader Joe’s it’s a 4 oz package of organic basil it’s $2.79 and regular $2.29.
imageThe other ingredient that really makes this salad so awesome is the balsamic vinegar. I have made this salad with the balsamic vinegar from Costco many times but my absolute favorite is to use an 18 year aged balsamic vinegar I found here locally and I don’t think I can ever go back!
It’s so flavorful and a little thicker than your run-or-the-mill balsamic.
My husband is hooked on it, my family and extended family all fell in love with it during a visit a few years back. Now every time they come they have to get a bottle or two to take home!

This is what it is:image…yes you can order it online if you aren’t here in WA 🙂

This stuff is so good I have even put the Strawberry Balsamic one this company makes on steak…I know weird right?

But it’s that good people!

Maple Pecan Granola

I have never made granola before but I’ve always wanted too. The granola I always see at the store is always so expensive and the few times I check the ingredients on the box I can’t pronounce over half the words.
I thought granola was supposed to be healthy, that’s what the front of the box told me?!
Besides, I can’t validate parting with $5.99 for only like 2 1/2 cups of the stuff.
I mean, come on, that’s more than a Starbucks! (or for non-coffee-holics: more than a gallon of gas LOL)

So anyway, after some searching through a few recipe books and pinterest, I combined a few different recipes into this one. I hope you enjoy!

 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (I read somewhere that you can substitute canola oil for coconut oil, I will try that next time. I’m sure it would make it “better for you” 🙂 )
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray large baking sheet w/ nonstick spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients and stir until all the oats are evenly coated.
  3. Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely (air will help it get crunchy) and enjoy!