Delicious Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

muffinsA friend of mine recently made some gluten-free muffins that she brought into the gym to share with everyone. If you regularly eat gluten-free, then you know that GF + muffin can sometimes be a dangerous combination. I had perfectly good intentions of sharing a muffin with my husband, but they were so darn delicious—I gobbled the whole thing up by myself. Many believe that gluten-free baked goods always fall short of flavor when compared to standard baked good items. I made a batch to share with friends who were visiting this past weekend and they couldn’t believe how great they tasted. Remember that muffins, even gluten-free ones, should be considered a more special breakfast/snack option and should not be consumed on a daily basis for optimal health.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup, organic honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon (or more if you love the flavor of cinnamon)
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350oF. Place cupcake liners inside cupcake tins (batch will make 12-15 cupcakes).
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl together, stirring slowly. Be sure not to over stir the mixture. Fold in blueberries at the very end.
  3. Place ingredients into the muffin cups. (I didn’t measure but filled them 2/3 of the way up).
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in middle of muffin.
  5. Place on cooling rack for about 5 minutes and enjoy with friends and family!

A New Kind of Breakfast Muffin

egg muffins“I don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning” “I don’t know what I can eat for a healthy snack.” I am going to knock out two birds with one stone for this one: egg muffins.

This is one of the easiest recipes that will have you stocked up with healthy breakfast and snack options throughout the week. Cooked eggs will stay good for 5 days, so if you make a batch of these on Sunday night, you will be good to go for the week.

Eggs are like a blank canvas when it comes to adding additional ingredients. I feel almost all vegetables go great with eggs, so the possible flavor combinations are endless! I have provided a suggested mix of my favorite veggies to go with eggs, but you can certainly substitute with other items like zucchini and yellow squash, diced carrots, red onion, tomatoes, you name it! Try to avoid adding cheese if you can. Typically, most Americans already consume too much cheese in their diets.

This is a healthy protein-packed, low-carb dish. Grab two with a piece of fruit for breakfast or take them to work to help fight that afternoon sugar craving!

 

Egg Muffins

6-8 eggs
½ bell pepper, diced
½ onion, diced
½ cup chopped mushrooms
½ cup chopped spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut oil
1. Pre heat oven to 350 F. In a sauce pan, melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil for 2-3 minutes. Once heated, add chopped vegetables and sauté for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, set aside and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, whisk eggs together in a medium-sized bowl. Add sautéed vegetables into whisked eggs and then pour about 1/3 cup mixture into each cupcake container.
3. Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until eggs have puffed up. Use a butter knife to stick into egg muffin to make sure it comes out clean.
4. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy as a quick on the go breakfast or protein-packed snack choice.
5. Variations to the vegetable mix can include zucchini, carrots, red onion, meat, tomatoes, etc.

Chicken For All Ages

photoChicken nuggets and chicken tenders are food favorites for people of all ages. The downfall for these menu items is that they are breaded and fried and rank low in nutritional value. Even if you bake these items, remember that they were originally fried and then flash frozen to preserve freshness. Keeping up with my goal of exploring a new chicken recipe each week, I found this healthy and gluten-free alternative. Instead of using exact measurements when seasoning the chicken, I simply coated each piece of meat evenly with the spices.

Coconut Dusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce
3-4 chicken breasts

Salt

Pepper

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Smoked Paprika

Ground Cumin

2 eggs

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup almond flour

Honey Mustard Sauce

5 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375oF. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Season each chicken breast evenly with spices. Meanwhile, combine coconut and almond flour in mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk both eggs together.

2. Once seasoned, dip each chicken breast in egg mixture and then dip into coconut mixture. Make sure each side is coated evenly.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes. (The thicker your chicken breasts are, the longer time is needed to cook thoroughly.) These will not brown up like regular chicken tenders. If this is desired, then cook an additional couple minutes under the broiler setting.

4. While chicken is cooking, whisk together the honey mustard sauce ingredients and set aside.

5. Serve with your favorite vegetable side dish. I chose mashed garlic cauliflower garnished with chives with a mixed green salad.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.paleonewbie.com/recipe-entree/paleo-chicken-strips-honey-mustard-sauce-recipe/

Healthy Recipe – Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto

CreamyBakedPumpkinRisotto

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, small diced
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400oF and arrange a rack in the middle.

2. Combine broth, rice, squash, puree, and onion in a 3-quart baking dish, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir to evenly combine.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake, stirring occasionally, until most the water has been absorbed and rice granules are puffed, about 35 to 30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, stir in remaining ingredients, season to taste and serve. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 269.Total Fat: 11 g. Saturated Fat: 4 g. Sugar: 3 g. Fiber: 2.5 g. Cholesterol: 12mg. Sodium: 253 mg. Total Carbohydrate: 36 g. Dietary Fiber: 2 g. Protein: 9 g.

-www.foodnetwork.com- Recipe courtesy of Aida Mollenkamp; 2012 Television Food Network G.P.

 

Grilling, Baking, Marinating – OH MY! Part 2

Rainy day ruining your grilling plans? Baking food is another lean, healthy way to prepare meals. Just like grilling, it takes a little trial and error to figure out your oven’s perfect temperature and time needed to cook your food. For reference purposes, I can usually cook 6 medium chicken breasts perfectly at 350oF in 35 minutes. One common complaint I hear from patients is “I’m tired of eating chicken all the time. It’s so plain.” Yes, I agree, plain chicken is awful; but the good news is there are hundreds of ways to change the flavor of chicken by using marinades, spices and herbs.myplate

Another home run recipe I use is Fiesta Lime Chicken:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder (McCormick preferred)
  • ½ cup chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ tsp cumin, ground
  • ¼ tsp red pepper, ground
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. Mix all ingredients in a Ziploc bag and marinate for at least 2 hours (overnight preferred).

2. Preheat oven to 350oF.

3. Remove chicken from marinate and discard excess liquid. Place chicken breasts on a greased baking sheet and cook for 30-35 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165oF is achieved.

4. Serve with a green salad garnished with sliced tomatoes, avocados, corn, fresh cilantro and a garlic-lime infused vinaigrette.

Remember to always use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat to ensure doneness and minimize risk of foodborne pathogens. For more grilling safety and food preparation tips, please visit: http://www.eatright.org/kids/article.aspx?id=6442470726&terms=grill and  http://homefoodsafety.org/safety-tips/cook/grilling