Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spicy Black Bean Sliders

Last night's menu consisted of these cute lil’ sliders. Not only are the a piece of cake to put together, but they are seriously healthy and good for you!
I really like sliders like this because they’re super simple to prepare and so much fun to eat! You can pile them high with whatever condiments you have on hand and dig in.
I topped my burgers with avocado, Swiss cheese, and a mixture of Sriracha and Greek yogurt. The best part of this entire recipe is the fact that my husband LOVED them! They were spicy and satisfying, so he didn't even miss the meat.

Spicy Black Bean Sliders
Recipe adapted from Eat Live Run
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno
2 cloves garlic
2 T tomato sauce
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt
avocado for topping
Swiss cheese, sliced
1 T Sriracha (adjust according to how much heat you can handle!)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
olive oil (or canola oil) for frying burgers
slider buns (I used Hawaiian Sweet Rolls)

Seed and roughly chop jalapeno. Add it and the garlic cloves to a food processor and mince finely.

Add one can of beans to the jalapeno/garlic mixture and pulse to combine. Add cumin and salt and pulse until mixture resembles chunky black bean dip.

Transfer the mixture in the food processor to a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs and tomato sauce. Stir well until everything is combined. Add remaining black beans.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Form black bean mixture into patties and fry for about 4 minutes per side, until golden and crusty brown.

In a small mixing bowl combine Greek yogurt and Sriracha.

Serve burgers with avocado slices, Swiss cheese, and sriracha/yogurt.
*I toasted the buns in the oven prior to serving. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chai Spiced Coconut Blondies

This is was my first attempt at brown butter. And let me tell you, it was super easy. The brown butter definitely plays a major role in this recipe. It gives them a rich flavor that is so good! 
The texture of these blondies is pretty amazing. They are chewy in the center and slightly crunchy on the outside. 
The chai spices in these little squares really packs a punch. Think of biting into one of these cakey squares and tasting the brown butter, coconut, chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger...yummm!
These are perfect for cool winter day - spicy and yummy and delicious with a hot cup of coffee - you have to make them!

Chai Spiced Coconut Blondies
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup coconut, shredded
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. 
  • In a skillet over medium-low heat toast the coconut until it is golden brown. Place it on a plate to cool. Add the butter to the pan and melt. Keep cooking until the foam dies and you see it turning into dark brown color and small fragments start appearing. Let it cool for a minute or two. 
  • In a bowl, mix the brown butter with sugar and mix until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Add the flour, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and mix until smooth. Gently fold in the toasted coconut and chocolate chips to combine. Pour in the lined baking pan and make sure it covers all corners. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool and transfer to a baking rack. Cut into squares. Store them in an airtight container.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pesto Pinwheels

This appetizer is soooo easy and soooo good! The best part is that it only has 3 ingredients! 
It is a great little appetizer to make up at the last minute. These are perfect when paired with warm marinara sauce.

Pesto Pinwheels
1 tube (8oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls
1/3 cup prepared pesto sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce, warmed

  • Unroll crescent dough into two long rectangles; seal seams and perforations. Spread each with pesto and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roll each up jelly-roll style. starting with a short side. 
  • With a sharp knife, cut each roll into 10 slices. Place cut side down in a 9 inch cake pan. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Peanut Butter & Banana Oatmeal Muffins

We are seriously addicted to muffins at our house. Ever since I started making these, I just can't stop! I make them every weekend for the perfect on-the-go breakfast during the week. Just pop them in the microwave for a 30 seconds and they are delish!
I have also made these with almond butter instead of peanut butter and they are just as good. This is a great healthy recipe when you need a quick breakfast, snack, or dessert!
Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal Muffins
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup all natural peanut butter (you could also substitute almond butter)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non stick cooking spray or line with cupcake liners. 
  • Place all of the ingredients, except chocolate chips, into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add in the oats one cup at a time and blend in between.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, divide the batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Serve warm.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Snickers Cheesecake Bars

If you've read any of my recent recipes, you obviously know I have a problem. I am obsessed with cheesecake. So here we go...next on the list is Snickers Cheesecake Bars. 
These bars are super creamy with the perfect Oreo crust. The bits and pieces of Snickers throughout add just the right amount of sweetness.
I could probably eat cheesecake every day. But, since my metabolism doesn't agree with me, I had to figure out a way to not feel so guilty eating them. I cut the fat by using fat free cream cheese and Greek yogurt. You can't even taste a difference!
This cheesecake recipe is deliciously indulgent and perfect for anyone that loves an ooey gooey Snickers bar. It was a huge hit with with our friends and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! :)

Snickers Cheesecake Bars
1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I used Oreos)
4 tablespoons melted butter
12 ounces (1 1/2 packages) plain cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
16 Snickers Minis, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil.

For the Crust:
Stir the cookie crumbs and butter together in a bowl. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes and then cool while you make the filling.

For the Filling:
Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, and Greek yogurt, and vanilla together with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in your candy pieces and spread the mixture over your cooled crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up. Let cool completely.

For the Chocolate Glaze:
Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler, or carefully in the microwave for 20 second intervals. Stir until smooth. Spread the glaze over the bars using a silicone spatula or offset frosting spatula. Chill for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars.