Zucchini & Sweet Potato Fritters with Poached Eggs

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Breakfast is one of my favorite meals to eat.  I could eat breakfast foods at every meal of the day.  I LOVE to go out to breakfast. Unfortunately no one else in my house wants to get up and take me.  So, I find myself making breakfast foods for dinner at least a couple of times a month.

This is a recipe I found in one of my clean eating magazines that I adapted to fit our tastes.  The boys loved the zucchini and sweet potato fritters but were not fans of the poached eggs.  I can’t really blame them, they can be a bit slimy.  Next time I make this, I will just scramble their eggs.

Your first step is to peel and grate 8 oz of a sweet potato.  Pretty simple and easy.  I love using my kitchen scale so I can get exact measurements.

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The thing to remember when working with zucchini is that it is packed with moisture.  Be sure to squeeze the flesh dry to remove the excess water.  It only takes a minute or two and it will ensure that you get perfectly crisp fritters.  You also don’t have to worry about peeling the zucchini before you grate it.  The peel is where the fiber and antioxidants are.

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Mix the zucchini and sweet potatoes with some whole wheat flour or spelt flour, onion, garlic, egg whites and salt and pepper.

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Drop 1/4 cup of the mixture into a skillet heated with coconut oil and cook till golden brown.  About 4-5 minutes on each side.

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Place the fritters on a baking sheet in a oven to keep warm while you make the rest and poach the eggs (directions below).

And there you have it!  A different and unique breakfast for dinner!  I served mine with some sliced avocado!

Serving Size: 3 Fritters, 1 Egg

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Fritters with Poached Eggs

A sweet and savory fritter topped with poached eggs. A great choice for breakfast or dinner!

15 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

30 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 sweet potato (about 8 oz), peeled and grated
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  2. Wrapped zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture.
  3. In a large bowl, mix zucchini, sweet potato and flour till well coated.
  4. Add onion, garlic, 3 egg whites and salt and pepper to taste and combine.
  5. In a large non stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium high.
  6. Drop zucchini mixture by 1/4 cup into the skillet and gently press down.
  7. Cook without turning till browned, about 4-5 minutes. Turn once and cook on the other side till browned.
  8. Arrange cooked fritters on the baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm.
  9. Repeat with remaining oil and zucchini mixture until gone.
  10. Bring a large shallow sauce pan of water to a very gentle boil and add vinegar.
  11. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl.
  12. Using a spoon, swirl water and gently slip in the egg. Repeat with remaining eggs making sure to keep the water at a gentle boil.
  13. Cook till whites of the eggs are set, about 4 minutes.
  14. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from the water and place on a paper towel.
  15. Divide fritters and top with eggs.
  16. Pepper and salt to taste.
Recipe Type: Breakfast

Notes

Calories: 220 Carbs: 15g Total Fat: 14g Protein: 11g Sugars: 4g Fiber:2g

Containers: 1G 1R 1Y 2T

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/09/zucchini-sweet-potato-fritters-with-poached-eggs/

 

Grilled Chicken Pesto Zoodles

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Last week, the husband dragged us tent camping in the Adirondack Mountains.  The area is absolutely beautiful, I will 100% agree with that. Breaking from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and breaking away from electronics was very calming and relaxing.

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(views from our tent)

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(Top of Panther Mountain)

While I won’t get into the reasons I do not enjoy tent camping at all (give me a camper and I’m good to go) I love to see the pure joy on my boys and husbands face. They loved every minute of it and I in turn, loved watching them. I’m not going to lie when I say I was very excited to get back and take a real shower, wash the bug spray and campfire smells away and cook on a cooktop that doesn’t burn the top layer of skin off.

Introducing: Grilled Chicken Pesto Zoodles!

As I have stated before, zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and come summer time, we eat A LOT of it.  It’s very easy to care for (if you can keep the squash bugs away) and grows like a weed. Luckily, there is so much you can do with it.  So yes, here is yet another zucchini recipe.

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Many of the ingredients in this recipe come straight from my garden.  The basil for the pesto, the tomatoes and the zucchini, I picked from the garden that morning.  Yeah for having dinner right at your finger tips!

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I used my homemade Pesto for this recipe.  The zucchini I used were a bit too big for my hand spiralizer so I used my mandolin and julienned the zucchini.  Normally I would spiralize them.  Tastes the same whichever method you choose.

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Yield: 4 Servings

Grilled Chicken Pesto Zoodles

Garden Fresh Veggies and Grilled Chicken come together in a quick easy meal!

10 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

25 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 larger zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, washed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Pesto, homemade (recipe above) or store bought
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Grilled chicken breast over medium heat for 8-10 minutes on each side.
  2. Remove from grill to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest while you prepare the zoodles.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Spiralize zucchini.
  5. Add zucchini and tomatoes to the hot skillet and saute for 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender crisp and tomatoes are starting to pop open.
  6. Add pesto to the zucchini and tomatoes and stir.
  7. Remove from heat to a large bowl.
  8. Slice or chopped chicken and add to the zucchini. Stir
  9. Plate zoodles and chicken and top with 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Serve
Recipe Type: Main Dishes

Notes

Containers = 2G 1R 1B 2TSP

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/08/grilled-chicken-pesto-zoodles/

 

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

First let me apologize for being M.I.A for awhile.  I have been fighting a nasty infection for a few weeks that has me completely worn out.  That, on top of the holidays and life here has been crazy!  I’m somewhat back though and have a yummy recipe to share with you!  Spaghetti Squash Casserole!  So good and comforting and my children devoured it!  Spaghetti squash mixed with cream of homemade mushroom soup and tomato sauce, cheese and ground turkey, then topped with a crunchy whole wheat Panko breadcrumb topping and baked until bubbly and golden. Yum!

You can totally make this using whole grain spaghetti instead of spaghetti squash but since my family actually eats the squash, I choose to go healthier with it.  I find the best way to bake spaghetti squash is for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F oven. When you take it out it might appear under cooked and not separating easily into strands, but it will finish cooking while cooling down. Do not overcook the squash otherwise it will release a lot of water in the baking process. We want it to be crunchy, not a soggy mess.

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I also make my own cream of mushroom soup (so easy and tastes 1000x’s better) and tomato sauce but you can use canned or jarred.  The choice is yours.

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I used store brought Panko breadcrumbs because I am a push over for a crunchy topping and I can never match the crunchiness of panko breadcrumbs when I try to make them homemade. Feel free to use homemade whole wheat regular breadcrumbs instead. Whole wheat breadcrumbs can sometimes be hard to find, so I often make my own by baking left over whole wheat bread in the oven and then pulsing in the food processor for a couple seconds.

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Throw almost everything in a bowl and stir, then dump it in a casserole dish and add the crunchiness and you’re done!  Prep is easy, it’s the that takes baking that takes the longest.  It’s completely worth it though!

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Serving Size: 1 Slice

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

15 minPrep Time:

1 hrCook Time:

1 hr, 15 Total Time:

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Ingredients

  • 3 lb spaghetti squash*
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 lb ground turkey, extra lean
  • 1 can (11 oz) organic cream of mushroom soup or homemade version (see link above)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup (4 oz) low fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Panko or whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • Topping:
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) low fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Panko or whole wheat breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and spoon the seeds out. Punch randomly with a fork, place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let it cool and separate into strands with a fork.
  4. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  5. While squash is baking, preheat large non-stick skillet on low heat and add olive oil.
  6. Add garlic and onion, saute until translucent or for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add turkey and cook for another 7 minutes, breaking into pieces with spatula.
  8. Add mushroom soup, tomato sauce and cornstarch, stir and bring to a boil by raising heat to medium.
  9. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened a bit.
  10. Remove from heat, add cheese, stir and transfer to the bowl with spaghetti squash.
  11. Add breadcrumbs and gently mix to combine.
  12. To make the topping, in a small bowl, melt coconut oil in a microwave. Add cheese, breadcrumbs and mix.
  13. Reduce thr oven temperature to 350 degrees F and spray 9" x 13" baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer squash and turkey mixture into the dish, level with spatula, sprinkle with topping and bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until the edges are bubbling.
  14. Broil on high for 5 minutes or until crust is a bit golden.
  15. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
  16. Cut into 8 slices and serve hot.

Notes

21 Day Fix: 1G, 1/2 P (tomato sauce if homemade), 1R, 1Y, 1B, 1 tsp

Aprrox Calories: 235 per slice

Refrigerate covered in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/01/spaghetti-squash-casserole/

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I know, pumpkin season is technically over but I had a request for a healthier pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and I have a good one so I figured I would just post it here.

It’s two things that just go together like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly.  Pumpkin and Chocolate.  Truthfully, there’s not much that chocolate doesn’t go with.  That’s the beauty of chocolate.  The majority of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are “cakey.”  By that, I mean they have that spongy, cakey like texture to them.  These oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are moist, sweet and loaded with chocolate chips and rich pumpkin flavor and they come out more on the chewy side.  AND….You just need 5 ingredients plus spices!

Pumpkin, oats, maple syrup, chocolate chips, a little coconut oil and some seasonings everyone has is all it takes to whip up a batch of these.

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My kids…and maybe myself, devoured the 2 dozen in three days.  They ate them for breakfast and for snack.  I just ate them.  Hey, they fit into my diet so no judging.

You will need some quick oats to make these. Have no fear if you only have rolled oats or old fashioned.  You can make your own quick oats from regular old-fashioned oats by pulsing them up for a few seconds in your food processor.  Easy Peasy!

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Serving Size: 2 cookies

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easy to make, totally satisfying and full of pumpkin-chocolate chip yumminess. Can be made gluten free, vegan and clean.

15 minPrep Time:

10 minCook Time:

25 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • Dry ingredients:
  • 2½ c quick oats (Gluten Free if needed)
  • 1¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Wet ingredients:
  • ? c pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ c maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (your favorite kind, I used dark chocolate)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl, then stir in the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by 1 1/2 tablespoon fulls onto the cookie sheet, or use a cookie scoop.
  7. The cookies don't spread much during baking, so flatten them slightly with your palm if you wish. You should be able to get 12 cookies per baking sheet.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Notes

**Make your own quick cooking oats by pulsing regular old fashioned oats in a food processor or blender for a few seconds!**

21 Day Fix= 2 cookies = 1 Y, 1 tsp

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/12/oatmeal-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Pumpkin Chili

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I wasn’t lying when I said, “I could prove a person could live off pumpkin recipes for a few months.”  This recipe is one of our favorites.  Mine, because the slow cooker does it all and the kids because they love chili, as long as it is not too spicy.  For the past couple of years, I have made this on Halloween night.  Festive with the pumpkin and easy.  Let’s face it, no one wants to spend the evening in the kitchen while trying to get excited children in costumes and tending to the trick-or-treaters’ at the door.  So what better idea than to throw together something warm, delicious and comforting that will be ready whenever everyone is ready to eat?

This pumpkin chili recipe is even more perfect for this time of year by adding in pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!). Adding a little bit of cinnamon makes it even more inviting. It’s hearty and filling, and will keep all of your little ghouls and goblins warm and sated so they don’t all their candy while out. Which lets face it, here in western NY it is a crap shoot whether it will be warm or snowing.  There were many years I remember having a snowsuit over or under a costume!

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Serve it up with a slice of pumpkin cornbread, and dinner is ready with very little effort – because we all know that there is way too much going on to worry about what’s going to be for dinner!!

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Sorry for the short post today.  We have been having internet and server issues the past few days (hence the no posts in a few days) and I didn’t want to risk losing stuff.

Serving Size: 1 cup

Slow Cooker Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Favorite Fall Flavors added to a Quick, Comforting, Slow Cooker Classic!

15 minPrep Time:

6 hrCook Time:

6 hr, 15 Total Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey (beef or chicken would work too)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 215.25-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • few drops hot sauce, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef.
  2. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. In a medium slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and hot sauce. Stir.
  4. Add in the cooked turkey and stir.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve with your favorite chili toppings and some cornbread!
Cuisine: Tex-Mex |

Notes

21 Day Fix: 1G, 1P, 1R, 2Y

Pumpkin puree counts as a purple, pumpkin chunks as a green. Same with tomatoes. Sauce and puree counts as a purple while chunks/diced or whole count as a green.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/10/slow-cooker-turkey-pumpkin-chili/

Wholesome Pumpkin Maple Scones

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Gone is summer and the over abundance of zucchini.  On to my favorite season and everything pumpkin.  Seriously, I very well could prove that a person can live specifically off pumpkin and all its orangey goodness.  Just like it’s relative the zucchini, pumpkin can pretty much be put into any recipe.  Sweet or savory, it holds its’ own.  I love anything pumpkin (just look at my Pinterest page, its got its’ own board), with the exception of pumpkin pie.  No clue why, just not a pie person.   I think we have already established that I am odd, so please no saying, “but you haven’t tried mine.”  It’s not yours, and it’s not the filling, I really am not a {insert any type here} pie fan.  Sorry!  Bring on anything else pumpkin though!

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As I have stated before, I LOVE SCONES!  One of my favorites has always been Starbucks, pumpkin scones but at 450 calories, they don’t fit into my eating plan very nicely. Side note: I do not drink Starbucks coffee.  I only go in there for the pastries.  Sad, I know.

When most people see a scone recipe, they automatically think complicated and time consuming.  Not so!  They also think of scones as dry, crumbly,  fat-filled pastries. These healthy ones are anything but! They’re made from only wholesome ingredients—nothing refined or processed at all.

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One thing to remember when stirring everything together to make ANY type of scone is: DO NOT OVER-MIX THE DOUGH! Over-mixing does two things to scones: (1) it over-develops the dough, making the scones tough and chewy, and (2) it warms up the frozen butter, which ruins the light airy texture and turns the scones dense instead. Yuck! Just mix till the ingredients are barely incorporated.

Although they look really impressive, these Maple Pumpkin Scones are really easy to make! In just 30 minutes, start to finish, you’ll have the perfect snack for weekend brunches or treat to satisfy any sweet carb craving.

These little beauties are a must to make and bake!

Serving Size: 1 Scone

Wholesome Pumpkin Maple Scones

Full of warm fall flavors, these wholesome spiced breakfast treats are perfect for chilly mornings with a cup of coffee!

15 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

30 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • Scones:
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, frozen
  • ½ c pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 8 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 10 ½ tsp nonfat milk, divided
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Mix in the frozen butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork or shred the butter with a shredder until the mixture resembles a fine meal.
  4. Add in the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, and 10 teaspoons of milk, mixing until just incorporated.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, and shape each into a ball.
  6. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, and flatten slightly.
  7. Brush over the tops of the scones the reamining ½ teaspoon milk.
  8. Bake at 425°F for 12-14 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.
  9. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  10. Once the scones have cooled, stir together the yogurt and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  11. Add to a small zip-topped bag, snip off the corner, and drizzle over the cooled scones.

Notes

21 Day Fix= 1 Yellow

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/10/wholesome-pumpkin-maple-scones/

 

 

Shrimp and Zucchini Stir Fry

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It’s the unofficial first day of fall and the first day of school for my eldest!  Too bad here in NY we are reaching high’s close to 90 all week!  Though I don’t mind the warmer weather, Fall is my favorite time of year so it is a bittersweet time when the weather starts to turn cooler.  Of course, for the next week and a half, I don’t have to worry about that.  I still have my air conditioning on.  And I will take it based on the predictions of this coming winter from the Farmers Almanac.  Blah!

Anyway, on to today’s recipe! Shrimp and Zucchini Stir Fry!  Yes, another zucchini recipe.  I have a few more to post and then we can move onto the official vegetable of Fall: Pumpkin!!!

This recipe is one of my favorite to make for one simple reason: it’s easy! It only takes about 15 minutes and the end result is just so tasty.  Bonus; it’s healthy!veggiescooked

 

 

Stir Fry’s are a favorite of ours.  Especially in the summer with tons of fresh veggie options.  For those who don’t know, Stir Frying is a Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are cooked in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a wok or skillet.  This quick cooking seals in the flavors of the foods, as well as preserving their color and texture.

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All you have to do is add the sauce and you have a quick, healthy and better tasting version of Chinese take-out!  Serve over brown rice and you are go to go!

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Yield: 4 Servings

Shrimp and Zucchini Stir Fry

10 minPrep Time:

5 minCook Time:

15 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 oz shelled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 zucchini, about 8 oz, cut into rounds and then quarters
  • 10 oz button mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir well and put aside.
  2. Heat a big skillet or wok over medium high heat and add the oil.
  3. When the oil is heated, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until aromatic
  4. Add in the shrimp stir and stir fry until they turn pink,
  5. Add in the zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms.
  6. Toss and stir-fry for about 30-60 seconds.
  7. Stir the sauce and add to the skillet or wok.
  8. Stir to combine well with the ingredients.
  9. Once the sauce thickens, dish out and serve immediately with steamed brown rice.
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/09/shrimp-and-zucchini-stir-fry/

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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Yes, another zucchini recipe.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables.  You can do anything with it!  With that being said, this my absolute favorite Zucchini Bread recipe ever!  It’s chocolaty, moist, loaded with zucchini and it’s already healthy!  First and fore most, this recipe is not mine.  I came across it on one of my favorite blog’s, Sally Baking Addiction.  I only make one small change.  I add a teaspoon of cinnamon to mine (two teaspoons if I am doubling the recipe).

Why?  Because I think dark chocolate (i always use dark chocolate when I can) and cinnamon are a great paired together and I like the warmth and smell it gives it.

Do you have to add the cinnamon?  Absolutely not.  It tastes amazing just as the recipe is written, I just like to add it to mine.  I always have to make a double batch because the boys love it as well.  It goes very quickly in our house and that’s okay because there’s no butter, very little oil and sugar and it has added protein with the Greek Yogurt.  Now, it should go without saying but I will say it anyway, “it’s healthy as long as you don’t sit and devour the whole loaf.”

A couple of things to remember when making this bread.

First: don’t wear white pants!  The chocolate seemed to be everywhere!   One of the first rules of baking BUT it was completely worth it.  And as Captain Barbosa says in Pirates of the Carribbean, “They’re more guidelines than rules.” Oops, it was a spur of the moment thing to make these and didn’t think about changing.  Awe, well, that’s what bleach is for!

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Second:  Make sure you get some of the moisture out of the zucchini.  There is nothing worse then soggy bread and zucchini carries quite a bit of moisture.  You can do this numerous way.  I use a thin dish rag and ring it out a bit.  You can use paper towels and blot the zucchini or you can place the shredded zucchini in a colander and let it drain for a few minutes.  Either way, you don’t want all the moisture gone, just the excess.

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That’s it!  Go make this lovely bread!  You and your diet won’t regret it!

Recipe:  Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread!

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Healthy Mac & Cheese

So I wasn’t going to post this recipe till next week but when I posted it as a sneak peek for what’s to come, I got an overwhelming number of, “we must have this recipe now,” from my accountability groups and personal Facebook friends.  Okay!  Ask and ye shall receive I guess!  Without further ado, I present Healthy Mac & Cheese!!

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Mac & Cheese appears to be a comfort food for A LOT of people.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it too!  Especially Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese.  When its baked and the edges get all crusty and crunchy, (drool) it’s extremely hard to resist.  BUT…let’s be honest.  Even if the majority of us could eat it everyday, our bodies would hate us.  I don’t even want to think about the number of burpees we would have to do to burn a serving off.  I don’t mind burpees but there is a limit to my tolerance for them.  I am most sure that tolerance would be tested and I would fail miserably.  Best to stick with the burpee friendly version of Mac & Cheese.

While it still has some cheese in it, (how can it be called Mac & Cheese if it didn’t?!?) the main ingredient is none other than; BUTTERNUT SQUASH! Gone is the loads of butter, flour and whole milk or cream.  On the 21 Day Fix, butternut squash is a vegetable.  While it is one of starchier (yes, I know, not a word) vegetables, it is still a vegetable.  A vegetable that when blended leaves you with a thick but smooth, creamy texture.  Combine that with sweet caramelized onions, zesty garlic and sharp cheddar and you get a robust, healthy comfort food that will leave your mac & cheese craving sated and your thighs and abs relieved!  You’ll thank me later!

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Yield: 4 Servings

Healthy Mac & Cheese

10 minPrep Time:

30 minCook Time:

40 minTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups whole grain elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small butternut squash (4-5 cups cubed)
  • 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth if vegetarian
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond but whatever you have is fine)
  • 1 oz light cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese - shredded
  • parsley for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive in a skillet over low heat. When heated through, add onions and let caramelize* for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cook macaroni according to directions making sure to salt the water.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the skin and the seeds from the squash.
  4. Cut the flesh into small cubes.
  5. Bring the broth to a rolling boil and add the squash, cooking for 5 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup broth, and transfer squash to the blender.
  6. Add the minced garlic to the onions and cook for 1 more minute.
  7. Add the onions and garlic, milk, cream cheese, salt, and reserved broth to the blender with the squash and puree until smooth and creamy. (yields about 4 cups of sauce)
  8. Pour the sauce over the noodles and add the shredded cheese, stirring to melt.
  9. Add water or milk to adjust consistency as needed.
  10. Serve with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.

Notes

*Caramelize means to cook something low and slowly until it becomes brown and sweet

If you are not a cheddar person, feel free to use whichever kind of cheese you prefer.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/08/healthy-mac-cheese/

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Muffins

 

finshed

 

Yes, more zucchini.  And, yes, I bake.  I actually love to bake!  My body doesn’t love when I bake.  I am still working on taking baked goods and making them healthy.  For me it seems harder than when I am cooking actual meals.  Though I do have to say that this recipe was pretty easy to make healthy.

My kids love muffins.  I make them for them to eat before school.  These Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Muffins are SO soft, moist and flavorful from the combination of the finely shredded zucchini and sweet mashed banana and they are healthy!  No oil, very low in sugar, no dairy, no eggs!  The no eggs, I wasn’t really looking to do honestly.  That came about because I had no eggs and was to lazy busy to go to the store and get some.  So I started researching egg alternatives and found flax seed eggs.  I already had the ground flax seed and since flax is so good for you, I figured it was a win win situation!  They stick with you throughout the morning as well.  No hunger pains an hour after eating!

Zucbatterbatter

 

So you start by combining all the wet ingredients together (looks gross) in a bowl.  Quick side note on the zucchini, you want to grate it on the smallest size.  No one wants huge chunks of zucchini in their muffins.  There is no need to squeeze all the moisture out.  Since we are not using oil we want the moisture so the muffins aren’t dry.  If there is a lot of liquid that is in the bottom of your bowl after grating the zucchini, you can dump that out.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer I placed all of the dry ingredients and give it a quick whisk to make sure it was evenly distributed.  I then added the paddle attachment and added the wet ingredients to the dry.  Mix on low only till everything is combined!  DO NOT OVER MIX!  Below is the complete recipe!  Enjoy!

batterwithchoc

 

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Muffins

Oil, Dairy and Egg Free muffins packed with bananas and zucchini!

15 minPrep Time:

20 minCook Time:

35 minTotal Time:

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water)
  • 2 medium sized ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 3/4 cup + extra for sprinkling on top, mini dairy, soy, nut free chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*F.
  2. Grease a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Mix the ground flax seed with the water in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Stir and leave it to thicken while preparing the dry ingredients.
  5. In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together until the spices are evenly distributed throughout the flour.
  6. Grate the zucchini (see notes).
  7. The flax "eggs" should be ready by this point.
  8. Add the mashed banana, sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, lemon juice and grated zucchini to the flax "eggs". Whisk together.
  9. Stir in 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.
  10. Slowly add and mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they are combined. Do not over-mix.
  11. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, spoon the batter into the muffin pan.
  12. Bake for 18- 22 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clear and your muffin tops are golden.
  13. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them.

Notes

Grate the zucchini on the small side and pack a 1 cup measuring cup. Drain off the excess liquid but do not squeeze all the liquid from the zucchini.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/07/chocolate-chip-banana-zucchini-muffins/