Tag Archive | healthy

Quinoa Brownies

I know this isn’t exactly a low carb dessert.  I made it the best way that I know how.  I started by tossing a cup of raw quinoa in my Vitamix and blended it on high for less than a minute and got a nice, fine flour.  (See photo’s below) I used a 1/2 cup of the flour and put the rest in a storage bag for use later.  I blended a cup because I wasn’t sure how much flour it would make.  I thought it was better to have more in case I needed it.  You can purchase quinoa flour at most stores in the flour section.  Me being me, I wanted to see if I could make it.  Turns out I can and it is cheaper for me to make it than purchase it.  Yea me!

I like my brownies to have a little kick to them so I toss in some ground cayenne pepper.  It makes them ever so yummy!

Quinoa Brownies

Quinoa Brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa flour

6 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup honey ( more if you want it sweeter)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp strong coffee

2 egg whites or 2/3 a cup of egg substitute

1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (more or less or optional)

Mix your dry ingredients in  a bowl.

Mix your wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Combine the contents of each bowl.  Mix well.

Pour into a prepared baking dish (I prefer to use parchment paper)

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Check with a knife.  If it comes out clean, it is done.

Enjoy!

By the way, here’s what the flour looked like:

Quinoa turning to flour in Vitamix

Quinoa turning to flour in Vitamix

IMG_3522

Quinoa Flour

Homemade Crackers

I’m still on a low carb kick. It is a lot harder than I expected. I’m always on the lookout for a low carb replacement for high carb deliciousness. Last night I made some flax seed crackers to eat with my soup. They were delicious. I can already see them being a staple with soup. They are so versatile you can flavor them with anything!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Here’s what you’ll need:

400 degree oven

Baking pan

Parchment paper or baking paper or silicone mat

Medium sized bowl for mixing

1 cup flax seed meal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

chives to taste

sesame seeds to taste

Mix the dry ingredients together then add water and mix.

Mix dry ingredients

Mix dry ingredients

Pour, spoon or use method of your choice to put the mixture onto parchment paper or silicone baking paper.

I laid another sheet of baking paper on top and smoothed it out with my hand. I did not want to get out my rolling pin for some reason.

Roll out to desired thickness

Roll out to desired thickness

As you can see in the above picture I am smoothing it out as I took the picture. As for how thin to make it…. It is your cracker so your choice. If you like it thin roll it out thin. Whatever thickness you choose be consistent. The thinner it is the faster it will bake. So you don’t want parts of it to be thin and other parts to be thick.

I did not take the time to make sure mine was perfectly shaped. I really didn’t care. I was in a hurry to get it in the oven and baking so I could try them. I can be so impatient!

Rolled out crackers

Rolled out crackers

I was worried about cutting them afterwards so I scored them before I baked them.

Scored crackers

Scored crackers

I baked them for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven then cut them while they were still warm. I also ate my first one while they were still warm. YUMMY!

Cut crackers

Cut crackers

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

MMMMMMM. Just look at all that cracker-y goodness!

We ate them with some hummus and our soup (click on links to see posts on those). I made about 24 crackers and we ate them all. I think next time I will try garlic and rosemary and see how delicious those turn out! How about some spice for some low carb fire crackers? Oh the possibilities are endless!

You know… you could even involve the kids with the rolling out. If they helped make it they would eat it. Think of it as a sneaky way to get your kids to make a healthier choice.

Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

My sweet potatoes are ready!  I’m so excited!

Sweet Potato Vines

Sweet Potato Vines

I dug around underneath the vines and pulled out a beautiful potato!

First sweet potato of 2012

First sweet potato of 2012

I scrubbed it clean and chopped it up.  I put it in a pot of water with a carrot, onion, fresh chopped ginger, rosemary, some left over cooked chickpeas, red bell pepper and a couple of fresh cayenne peppers.  I also threw in about 1/4 a teaspoon of red curry powder.  I cooked it until the potatoes and carrots were done then processed them until it was smooth.  When I served it I put some pumpkin seeds in it.  It was wonderful!

Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

Baked Oatmeal

I like to make our breakfast for the week on Sunday.  That way each weekday morning all we have to do is grab something and eat it.  There is no preparation… just face stuffing.

I saw this lovely pin on Pinterest and was inspired to make my version.  Basically what happened was I looked at this recipe for the ratio of liquid to oats and then put in what I liked.  I must give credit where credit is due because had I not seen this pin, I wouldn’t have tried it myself.

Here’s your ratio of oats to liquid 1:1.  I used two cups of oats and two cups of liquid.  It turned out delicious!  Here’s my version:

2 cups oats (rolled or steel cut) (I bought mine at Costco)

1/4 cup brown sugar (I really used less but that was the measuring cup I pulled out so I filled it about 3/4 of the way) – I’ll be cutting the sugar back even more next time.  It was plenty sweet.

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cinnamon (I bought mine at Costco)

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg white (I bought mine at Costco)

2 cups milk (or in my case soy milk) (I bought mine at Costco)

3 tbsp olive oil (I bought mine at Costco)

1 tbsp vanilla extract (I bought mine at Costco)

1 1/2 cups blueberries (I bought mine at Costco)

10 small plums, pitted and sliced  (I bought mine at Costco)

1 banana, sliced

1/2 pecans, chopped (I bought mine at Costco)

Mix the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt in a large bowl. – Your dry ingredients.

Add the fruit (except for the banana or whatever you want to be on top for presentation) and nuts to your dry ingredients.

In another bowl ( I used my 4 cup measuring cup) mix milk, egg white, olive oil, vanilla extract – Your wet ingredients.

Either grease a baking dish or do as I did and use parchment paper (it makes cleanup SO easy).

Put your Oat/Fruit mixture in the dish then pour your wet ingredients over it.

Use a spatula to make sure the liquid is even dispersed.

Now make it pretty by putting your sliced banana and whatever else you choose on top.

Bake it in a 375 degree oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the mixture has set.

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

We had some after it came out of the oven over some Vanilla Ice Dream last night.  I couldn’t wait until this morning.  This morning I had some with an Egg Muffin I made out of egg whites.  It was a very satisfying breakfast and oh so delicious!

Pesto Pizza

When I get a craving for pizza I have found it is best for me to make one.  Who knows what I’ll be eating if I go out for one.  EEEEWWWW, I don’t want to even think about it.  This one turned out wonderful!

First I made a pesto to use in place of the sauce.  I, of course, had to put a Michelle twist on the pesto.  (Did you expect anything less?)

Ingredients:

Basil (I grabbed a couple bunches out of the garden)

Rosemary ( garden)

Oregano ( garden)

Pine nuts (thank you Costco)

Kale ( garden)

Swiss Chard ( garden)

Olive oil (thank you Costco)

There’s really no measuring the ingredients.  I put in amounts I thought would be good together and as for the olive oil I used it to get the paste to a desired consistency.

I put the all above ingredients in my Vitamix except for the olive oil.

In the blender we go

In the blender we go

I started the blender and poured olive oil in through the top until it reached the desired consistency.

Pesto Michelle Style

Pesto Michelle Style

Spread the pesto on your prepared pizza crust.  If you don’t have one, please try my Low Carb Pizza Crust.

Put on your desired toppings and bake or broil until done.

The toppings on this pizza are:

Mushrooms (thank you Costco)

Red Bell Pepper (thank you Costco)

Jalapeno Pepper ( garden)

Mozzarella Cheese (thank you Costco)

Parmesan Cheese (thank you Costco)

I usually put it in a 400 degree oven to bake.  It will take about 20 minutes.  Really all you are looking for is to melt the cheese.

Oven Fresh Pizza

Oven Fresh Pizza

I'll take a slice, please

I’ll take a slice, please

Can you see that Rahr Texas Red Amber Lager (thank you Costco)in the background?  It was a nice match to my pizza!

Low Carb Pizza Crust

I’m on a low carb kick and I was craving pizza.  What was I going to do?  A Google search of course!  I found a recipe for a flax seed meal pizza crust and modified it for my taste.  Not only was it easy and quick to make (about 30 minutes) it tasted great!  I think this will be the only pizza crust I’ll be making !

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flax seed meal (got mine at Costco)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp fresh oregano

1 tsp fresh rosemary

2 cloves chopped garlic

3 tbsp olive oil

3 eggs (I used egg substitute)

1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients together ( I mix all the wet ingredients with each other and all the dry ingredients with each other, then mix the two)

Let sit for about 5 minutes to thicken (it will thicken, don’t worry)

Thickened dough

Thickened dough.  See, it thickened

Spread on the pizza pan, stone or parchment paper.  I used parchment paper and it came out fine.

Spread the dough

Spread the dough

Bake for 15 minutes  in a 425 degree oven or until it is cooked through.

Add toppings and bake or broil until they are done.

Pizza Oven Fresh

Pizza Oven Fresh

Enjoy!

TIPS:

As with any pizza crust you will want to grease your pan if you aren’t using a silicone pad or parchment paper.

When you spread the dough out make an indention 1/2 inch in from the edge to hold your toppings in.

See my Pesto Pizza  post to find out how I topped mine!

Spiced Pear Smoothie

In my neck of the woods pears are in season.  I anticipate eating a lot of them in the near future.  I usually end up freezing them as well.  Today, I used fresh.

Fresh Pear

Fresh Pear

I washed and peeled two pears.

Pears

Pears

I cut them up and tossed them in a pan with two tbsp of water some cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg and some cinnamon basil.

Add Spices and Herbs

Add Spices and Herbs

I covered and cooked them on low while I was cooking dinner.  When I finished cooking dinner I turned off the heat and let them cool while we ate.

After dinner I put about 3 tbsp greek yogurt in the Vitamix.  I poured the pears and the delicious liquid from the pan in with the yogurt.  I added a few (5) ice cubes then blended it up.  I had to add a few more ice cubes as I blended to achieve the desired thickness.  Since that will vary from person to person, add as many or as few as you like.  I like it to be thick enough to have the straw stand up.

Blend it up

Blend it up