Homemade Protein Bars

protein barsI like to buy protein bars. I throw a couple in my purse for the times when I am  hungry and can’t eat right away. I have low blood sugar. Most protein bars have ingredients that aren’t very healthy. The ones that do have healthy ingredients are pricey and don’t taste that great. I had an old recipe for energy bars. I added a few ingredients to increase the protein content, and swapped the coconut sugar for brown sugar. The result are protein bars low on the glycemic index. You can buy non-contaminated oats to make them gluten-free, or use 1/2 cup coconut oil to make them dairy free. Swap egg replacer for an egg and they are vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pan, combine butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar, agave nectar and peanut butter. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and beat in one egg. Combine the dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Stir in almonds and raisins. Pour into 9-inch greased square pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Insert toothpick in center–it should come out clean. Cut into bars.

Advertisements

Cauliflower Pie

cauliflowerpieCauliflower is a food I have been obsessed with lately. It is flavorful and has high amounts of vitamin C. This pie takes cauliflower and transforms it into a main dish. It is great served with a salad and garlic bread.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (I prefer purple cauliflower for the color)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup pepper jack cheese
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray non-stick cooking spray in a 9-inch pie pan.

Bring about one inch of water to boil in a large pot with a steamer basket. Add the cauliflower and steam until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Saute until the onions are golden, about eight minutes. Add the steamed cauliflower and the seasonings and ¼ tsp. salt and cook for two to three minutes.

Whisk the flours, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until mixed. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the eggs and whisk to combine and eliminate most of the lumps. Stir in the pepper jack cheese. Add a bit of water to thin the mixture. Add the cauliflower mixture and stir to combine. Spread evenly into the pie pan. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.

Bake until the top is golden and the pie is set, about 35 minutes.

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

sweet potato soupI came down with a rather nasty case of the flu after Thanksgiving, and spent half of December sicker than the cliched dog. I did some research on immune boosting foods and found that sweet potatoes make the list because they contain beta carotene. I decided to find a recipe for sweet potato soup and stumbled upon this one while watching cooking videos on a Roku channel. It is not very filling so it is best served as an appetizer or pared with a salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • about 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 to 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger

Directions:

Roast sweet potatoes at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Saute remaining ingredients, then add roasted sweet potatoes, stock and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.

Photo: thebittenword.com

Custard Pie Delight

8685668688_fedf175231Late one night a few weeks ago an idea for a custard pie popped into my mind. I thought it would be delectable to put a rich custard on top of a crust that tasted like a cookie. I came across a pie crust made of butter, flour and powdered sugar, and thought, “That’s it!” I took a custard recipe and added the juice from two lemons to make lemon custard. This dessert does not, however, need to have lemon juice added. You could make a vanilla custard and then add snickerdoodle cookies to the top. There are so many variations you could create. You could change the crust up a bit by swapping the powdered sugar for brown sugar. The main idea is to be creative and have fun while doing so.

Ingredients for pie crust:

  • ¾ cup cold butter
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cups sifted flour

Directions for pie crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13-by-9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and mix until crumbly. Pat into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Ingredients for custard:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Juice from 2 lemons

Mix sugar, salt, flour, vanilla, lemon juice, and milk in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture boils. Boil one minute. Remove from heat. Stir a little over half of the mixture into the two beaten eggs. Blend into the hot mixture and bring to just boiling, Let cool slightly and pour over pie crust.

Photo: Shadowfoot

Lemon Pepper Green Beans

green beansNutrition experts recommend that we eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day. It’s not always easy to get those veggies in, but green beans seasoned with lemon pepper are a tasty way to eat them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of green beans
  • Lemon pepper–Mrs. Dash has a great lemon pepper blend
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • Quarter of a red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic

Instructions:

Steam green beans for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onions and garlic in the butter. When the green beans are ready, add the butter, onions and garlic. Sprinkle lemon pepper liberally over the green beans and toss to spread evenly.

Photo: Luis Tamayo

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

xmas sugar cookieI don’t remember my Grandma making any other cookie than her oatmeal, walnut and raisin cookies. However, after she died I found a recipe for sugar cookies. I made them and realized they were the richest sugar cookies around. You can cut them into Christmas themed shapes for the holidays. My favorite shapes are Santa and Christmas trees. I’m sure it’s the German side of me that is a bit obsessed with Santa.

Continue reading