Banana, Oatmeal, Almond Butter & Dark Chocolate Squares

I should rename these the anything goes squares because I’ve added and subtracted so many things in these bars while trying to keep them healthy. These have no flour, are gluten free and you can keep them relatively sugar free if you take out the chocolate. 

Landon devours these so I add extra bananas to sneak fruit into her diet. I love them before the gym in the morning so that I have more energy and in the afternoon when I have to have something sweet.  Another note is that I prefer them kept in the fridge especially in this SC heat. If you keep them out… they are just too mushy for me. 

I adapted this recipe from about 5 different ones on Pinterest. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups quick cooking oats
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened Pure Almond coconut milk (or whatever milk you prefer to use)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large mashed banana. Done this with 2 bananas also for Landon and they are just as good
  • ¼ cup creamy almond butter
  • Optional: Add 1 cup dark chocolate chips; And/Or coconut; And/Or any nuts you like

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Directions

  1. Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
  2. Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg.  Mix the ingredients together.
  3. Then add in the mashed banana and almond butter.  Combine all the ingredients.
  4. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan.  Bake at 350 F degrees and check at 20 minutes. When I add more ingredients, they can take up to 28 minutes to bake.
  5. Cut into squares, then.. EAT!

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Tried & Tested: Pinterest Recipe, Banana Apple Oatmeal Muffins

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Adding a new element to the blog today- picking apart one of those pesky Pinterest recipes that you glance over, pin, and decide you’ll try that soon but never do. Or you wonder if it’s any good and even worth trying.

This week’s recipe comes from Miranda Kerr as dictated to Self magazine. When I saw the caption had her name, it gave the recipe a little cache for me… I’m not going to lie. I’m one of those people that likes to inflict more pain on myself by looking at pictures of her on Pinterest, marveling at how gorgeous she is and effortlessly chic she looks. Anyway, I saw this post and made a grocery list… before reading it carefully.  The lead time is a little more than most muffins because of the oats. Just know that. It is easy enough and worth it in the end… so keep reading. 

Miranda, or her personal chef, have you using two bowls, a pot and muffin tins. The prep time is about 20-ish minutes, since my toddler needed to be picked up three of four times to see what was happening on the counter. So you should really make these when your toddler is either napping or asleep or in the company of an iPad playing Frozen. That was your warning. Seriously though.. these are worth it. 

The reason I initially was drawn to these muffins was because they are Gluten Free and full of fruit. Having a child that refuses all fruit and all veggies makes my life… HARD (to put it mildly). So I sneak in things here and there but always feel there is too much added something in each recipe. Except these. 

Okay.. the recipe and what I changed:

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Makes about 18 muffins
INGREDIENTS: 
  • 2 cups oatmeal (I assumed and used quick cooking oats)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (I omitted so bug would eat them)
  • ¼ cup goats milk yogurt ( I used 2% greek yogurt)
  • ½ cup apple juice ( I used less sugar juice)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder ( I used ¼ tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 large green organic apples (It doesn’t say this, but peel and chop)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

PREPARATION: 

  1. Heat the oven to 350°
  2. In a food processor, grind the oats into a flour-like consistency. You can also use a blender
  3. Add walnuts and grind.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground oats and walnuts, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat eggs and egg white. Mix in yogurt and apple juice.
  6. In a small pot, mix coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and honey over low heat until it becomes syrupy and combine with egg mixture.
  7. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, and slowly fold in apple and bananas.
  8. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or lightly grease your muffin tins and fill ¾ full
  9. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center off the muffin and comes out clean.
  10. Allow the muffins to cool for 15 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving (optional)

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ENJOY!!!!!!

Sunday Supper

I have now made this dish twice and Bo repeatedly asks for it and then eats it like someone is going to steal it from him.  There really is something incredible about someone loving food you’ve made, right?!  Here is this recipe- inspired by the great Michael Symon (changed a few ingredients but not many)

Lamb Bolognese:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 12 ounces canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch or sugar
  • Pasta: for G-Free I used wide Brown Rice noodles (a few Asian brands actually sell a wide noodle closest to fettuccine, and regular fettuccine noodles for Bo
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves

Directions:

Heat a large sauce pan (or Dutch oven) with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb with a liberal pinch of salt and cook until brown, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, either chop or combine the carrots, celery and onions in a food processor and pulse to chop finely. You want all the veggies to be uniform size.

Remove the browned lamb from the pan and set aside. Add the vegetables to the same pan with a large pinch of salt and sweat until translucent and aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat 1 minute more. De-glaze the pan with the red wine (meaning just pour it in), scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all the goodies into the sauce.

Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about half. Then add the tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary, pinch of sugar and red pepper flakes, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lamb back into the pan and let simmer 20 to 30 minutes longer.

While the sauce is simmering, bring one or two pots (depending if you’re making regular noodles, g-free noodles or both like in our house) of salted water to a boil.

When you have 10 minutes left for the sauce, drop the pasta into the boiling water and give a stir so it doesn’t stick. When the pasta is cooked al dente, remove and set aside ½ cup of the pasta water, and then drain the pasta. Stir the pasta into the sauce to coat the noodles. Add the reserved pasta water, Parmesan, butter, olive oil and basil and continue to mix. Once the butter is melted and everything is incorporated, remove from the heat and serve immediately.

It’s incredible.  Seriously. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins

I made these last night and they are amazing!! I love strawberry desserts and with this hot summer, they tasted perfect with a dollop of frozen cool whip on top.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 ½ cup Oats (old fashioned kind, not quick cooking)

1 cup Plain low fat greek yogurt

2Eggs

¾ cup Sweetener of choice, (that measures the same as sugar) or ¼ cup baking stevia sweetener. I used Splenda and they were great.

1 ½ tsp Baking powder

½ tsp Baking soda

1 ½ cup Strawberries, diced, and patted dry + (optional ½ cup strawberries, diced to place on top of muffins)

Optional 1 tsp lemon juice

*Note: The paper liners don’t work well when baking with a base that does not include flour (which is the case with this recipe), they always seem to stick to the paper. If you don’t have a silicone muffin tin or liners, I recommend buying the foil cupcake liners at the store, and removing the paper inserts so you are only using the foil part of the liner! That way no sticking will occur!

The estimated total time to make this recipe is 30-35 Minutes.

Directions:

1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners, (or just use a silicone muffin pan).

2: Place all of the ingredients (except the strawberries) in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. Pour mixture into a medium sized bowl, and stir in strawberries. Divide remaining ½ cup diced strawberries over the top of each muffin. (This step is optional, but it really makes the strawberries burst with color and flavor on top of each muffin!)

3: Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

12 Servings (muffins) 93 Calories Per Serving

Quinoa Pizza Bites

If you’re anything like my husband Bo, you hear quinoa and you stop listening ….but these are delicious and worth trying that curious thing you don’t know how to pronounce. 

Quinoa Pizza Bites
Makes ~40 bites
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pepperoni slices (~½ of a 7 oz bag) 
  • ½ tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried crushed oregano
  • pizza sauce for dipping
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl.
3.  Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each), and press down gently to compact. 
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Nutritional Information for 5 bites per My Fitness Pal: Calories – 175, Fat – 10g, Protein – 9g, Fiber – 2g, Calcium – 10mg, Carbs – 12g

Gluten Free Goodness

This recipe made me promptly order BC’s cookie mix (since finding it in my new hood is a pain in the ass- but probably good for my ass).  Enjoy!!

Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Ice Box Cake:

Ingredients:

– 1 box Betty Crocker® Gluten Free chocolate chip cookie mix

– ½ cup butter, softened

– 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla

– 1 egg 2 cups whipping cream

– 12 oz gluten-free mascarpone cheese

– ½ cup sugar

– 3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa

– Chocolate shavings or miniature chocolate chips

Directions:
  • Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix cookie mix, butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and the egg until soft dough forms.
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto un-greased cookie sheets to make 36 cookies.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • In large bowl, beat whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar, cocoa and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • To assemble cake, arrange 7 cookies in bottom of 8- or 9-inch spring-form pan. Break 1 additional cookie apart to fill in spaces.
  • Spread 1 cup of the whipped cream mixture evenly over cookies.
  • Arrange 7 more cookies over whipped cream layer; top with additional 1 cup whipped cream mixture. Repeat 3 more times with remaining cookies and whipped cream mixture.
  • Spread the top smooth; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 12 hours.
  • To serve, run a sharp knife around edge of pan to release cake. Remove side of pan. Place cake on serving plate.
  • Garnish with chocolate. Cut into wedges.
  • Store covered in refrigerator.

Dig in!!

xoxo

eloise