Tag Archives: brunch

Maple Oat Pecan Muffins

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Breakfast just seems more like breakfast when maple syrup is involved! And as fall approaches, I like to use maple syrup in my recipes. These muffins have pure maple syrup in them and oatmeal is also an ingredient, so I like to think they’re a little healthy, too! 🙂  Chopped pecans also give these muffins a hearty texture and flavor. They’re topped with a very thick maple glaze, but you can leave the glaze off if you want…if you make them without the glaze, I recommend serving them warm with butter! These are just the thing for a fall breakfast or brunch!

MAPLE OAT PECAN MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 20 muffins

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup  (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Maple Syrup Glaze (recipe below)

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups. In medium bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.

Going back to the medium bowl, stir the maple syrup, melted butter, and egg into the oat-and-milk mixture. Then add all of this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir just until moistened, then fold the chopped pecans into the batter.

Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean or almost clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan onto a wire rack. Either serve muffins warm without adding the glaze, or let them cool completely and then top with the Maple Syrup Glaze.

MAPLE SYRUP GLAZE

  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • pecan halves for garnish (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, blending well. This is a thick glaze–almost a frosting–if you want a thinner glaze, you can add more milk and maple syrup. Use a small spoon to add the glaze over each muffin top, then add a pecan half on top, if desired. Let the glaze set and serve.

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You can serve these muffins with the glaze and a pecan on top, or with just the glaze, or no glaze at all…whatever way you like best!

The pure maple syrup gives these muffins a wonderful flavor and sweetness! Do you use maple syrup as a sweetener in any recipes?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Blueberry Oat Banana Bread

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When blueberry season comes around, I love baking with those fresh berries! So I thought I’d try combining blueberries and bananas in a bread, and I also decided to add a little oatmeal–I thought oatmeal would give it a nice texture and make a nice quick bread for breakfast.

This bread is so moist and packed with blueberries! It’s sweet, but not overly sweet–and the ripe bananas add just the right amount of sweetness and moistness to the bread. I actually didn’t taste my loaf until the day after I baked it, and it was wonderful the day after! I’m not sure what it tastes like while still warm, but I’m guessing it’s pretty good. The flavor of the bread is so good you really don’t need to put anything on it–but you can always add a little dab of butter on a warm slice, or lightly spread some cream cheese on a cooled slice if you want.

BLUEBERRY OAT BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes one 8 x 4″ loaf

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3 bananas, depending on size)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Grease and flour an 8 x 4″ loaf pan.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend olive oil, milk, and egg, blending well, then add vanilla and mashed bananas, blending everything well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350ËšF for 50 to 52 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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Fresh blueberries are the best! What types of treats do you like to make with them?

A Taste of Provence-Tomatoes Provençal

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DownloadedFileHave you ever been to Provence? I have never been to France but if I have the chance to go, Provence will be one of the areas I want to visit! This region of southern France stretches from the Mediterranean to the hills of Haute Provence, and from the Rhone River valley to the Italian Alps. It was the site of the first Roman colony beyond Italy and today it’s known for fragrant lavender fields, beautiful beaches like Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Nice, quaint small villages, and fine wines and food. The cuisine of this area includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts–basically the core of the healthy Mediterranean diet.

I learned these things and more about Provence as I was looking through my review copy of Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living, by François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska. This softcover book introduces you to the geography, history, traditions, wines, and recipes of the region. Here are some images of Provence you’ll find in the book:

Provence

Above images used with permission © François Milo.

Isn’t it beautiful? You’ll find more full color photography of picturesque Provence as well as many of the 47 recipes in the book, which are traditional favorites of the region…like Niçoise Salad, Fougasse with Tomatoes, Olives, and Peppers, Artichokes Barigoule, Tapenade, Swiss Chard Tart, Mediterranean Cod with Caramelized Onions, and Lemon Tart. The recipes are organized by the different areas of Provence that they’re popular in–Aix-en-Provence and Haute Provence, Marseille, La Cote Varoise, and Nice and the Riviera.

I decided to try the recipe for Tomatoes Provençal, because I love tomatoes and this is a simple yet delicious way to fix them–fresh tomatoes topped with a mix of breadcrumbs, chopped fresh parsley, and minced garlic. This makes a great side dish and would even work nicely for a spring or summer brunch. The book recommends serving “as a light meal with other Provençal delicacies and some crusty bread, or with meat.” For best results, use fresh, sweet, ripe tomatoes!

 TOMATOES PROVENÇAL from Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living

Makes 4 servings

This traditional Provençial dish relies on the quality of the tomatoes used; they must be fresh and ripe. It’s best to prepare this dish in the summer, when tomatoes are at the peak of ripeness, sweet, and full of flavor….

  • 4 small to medium ripe tomatoes, halved and stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) chopped fresh parsley (I used Italian flat leaf parsley)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs (I used the very fine breadcrumbs you purchase, but I think fresh breadcrumbs would be even better!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: I added some additional chopped parsley for garnish

Lightly dust the cut sides of the tomatoes with the sugar.

In a large sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, cut sides down, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until they caramelize.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the parsley and garlic.

Flip the tomatoes and distribute the parsley and garlic mixture evenly onto them, pressing down so the mixture adheres to the tomato. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Distribute the breadcrumbs evenly among the tomatoes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and fully cooked through. Remove from the heat. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Transfer the tomatoes to a serving dish and serve warm. Note: I drizzled the remaining olive oil from the sauté pan over the tomatoes and garnished them with additional chopped parsley.

I thought the blend of parsley, garlic, olive oil, and touch of sea salt made a great flavor combination as a topping for the tomatoes.

Have you made or tasted this dish before? And are you ready to take a trip to Provence now? 🙂

Black Bean Hummus Bagel Thins® Bagel and a Gift Card & Coupon Giveaway!

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I’m such a bread lover–I love all kinds of breads, rolls, bagels–you name it. But I’ve found that I really have to watch how much bread I eat because it tends to want to stick with me–can you relate? 🙂  So when I was asked if I’d like to try out some Sandwich Thins®, Pocket Thins®, and Bagel Thins®, I was definitely interested! Especially when I found out they are endorsed by Weight Watchers®, and are just 110 calories each or less. I received coupons for free product, product information, and a gift card to cover the cost of my recipe ingredients, courtesy of Sandwich Thins®, Pocket Thins®, and Bagel Thins®. I tried out some recipes, like the one shown in the photo above, plus a few others. I’ll share these with you, and then I’ll tell you more about my Gift Card and Coupon giveaway at the end of the post!

ncThinkThin1If you’re not familiar with these Thomas’® and Arnold®, Brownberry®, and Oroweat® products, which all have a Weight Watchers® 3 PointsPlus VALUE®, here’s a little info about them:

  • The Sandwich Thins® Rolls have zero grams of Trans Fat, no high fructose corn syrup, are cholesterol free, and come in 100% Whole Wheat, Multi-Grain, Honey Wheat, and Flax & Fiber.
  • The Pocket Thins® Flatbreads also have zero grams of Trans Fat, no high fructose corn syrup, are cholesterol free, and come in 8 Grain, 100% Whole Wheat, and Italian Herb.
  • The Bagel Thins® Bagels have zero grams of Trans Fat, are low in fat, cholesterol free, and come in 100% Whole Wheat, Plain, Cinnamon Raisin, and Everything.

Here are the recipes I made with them…

BLACK BEAN HUMMUS BAGEL THINS® BAGEL adapted from Thomas’®

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 Thomas® 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thins® bagel (Weight Watchers® 3 PointsPlus)
  • 4 Tablespoons black bean hummus (I used my own Black Bean Hummus recipe, but there’s also an easy one you can make from the original recipe here)
  • 2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of your favorite salsa
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced black olives
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Start out by spreading on the hummus and Greek yogurt…then add the rest of the toppings!

Separate and toast a bagel. Place bagel down open-faced and top each half with 2 Tablespoons of black bean hummus, 1 Tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt (or low-fat sour cream), 1 Tablespoon salsa, 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 Tablespoon sliced black olives. Serve immediately. For more servings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want to make.

ncChickCaesarnmCHICKEN CAESAR POCKET adapted from Thomas’®

Makes 1 pocket sandwich

  • 1 Oroweat® Italian Herb Pocket Thins® flatbread (Weight Watchers® 3 PointsPlus)
  • 2/3 cup Romaine lettuce leaves, chopped into small pieces (or use a Romaine lettuce mix)
  • 3 slices thin-sliced deli chicken, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 heaping Tablespoon shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons non-fat Caesar salad dressing

Toss chopped lettuce leaves, chicken, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing together in small bowl. Fill Italian Herb Pocket Thin® with lettuce mixture and serve.

ncTomatoBrushettanmGRAPE TOMATO BRUSCHETTA adapted from Arnold® Bread

Makes 2 slices of bruschetta

  • 1 Arnold® Sandwich Thins® Honey Wheat roll, separated (Weight Watchers® 3 PointsPlus)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (be sure to slice them lengthwise–I sliced mine the wrong way and they didn’t lay on the roll as well!)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil or garlic-infused olive oil
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Toast the separated Sandwich Thins® rolls to a light golden brown. In a bowl, mix sliced grape tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Stack basil leaves and roll them in the shape of a log. Horizontally slice the rolled basil, making ribbons. Toss most of the cut basil with the tomatoes, reserving a little for garnish.

Spoon dressed tomatoes on top of each toasted Sandwich Thins® half and garnish with the remaining basil ribbons and shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Hope you enjoy trying these recipes out! 🙂

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED–Winning comment is #18!

Now for the Giveaway–a $25 Visa gift card and coupon for free product! If you’d like to enter to win a $25 Visa gift card, plus a coupon for free product shown in this post (Sandwich Thins®, Pocket Thins®, or Bagel Thins), leave a comment on this blog post between now and Sunday, March 30 at 8 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Sunday evening, March 30. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway is limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite healthy sandwich is!

Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!

 

 

Banana Bread (Inspired by the Disneyland Hotel)

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I was in a banana bread-making mood last weekend. And I just so happened to come across this recipe at Food.com, where they mentioned that this banana bread is served at the Disneyland Hotel. Not having ever stayed there myself, I hadn’t ever tasted their banana bread, but it sounded like a great recipe to try! After all, I’m sure they serve wonderful food at the Disneyland Hotel, right down to their banana bread. 🙂

I made a few small changes to the recipe and decided to add some pecans to it, too. My baking time was also a little less than what the original recipe had mentioned. This is a really good basic banana bread with a rich, buttery taste, so if you have some ripe bananas you will need to keep this recipe in mind! The batter is thick and creamy and bakes into 2 yummy 8 x 4″ loaves. And believe me, you will be glad you have 2 loaves of this banana bread to enjoy!

BANANA BREAD (INSPIRED BY THE DISNEYLAND HOTEL),  slightly adapted from Food.com

Makes two 8 x 4″ loaves

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Grease and flour two 8 x 4″ loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add milk, mashed bananas, and vanilla, mixing everything well.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients, a third at a time, to mixture in large bowl, stirring until everything is well blended. Fold in chopped pecans and stir until they are evenly incorporated into the batter.

Spoon batter in equal amounts into two 8 x 4″ loaf pans and bake at 350ËšF for 52 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes, then remove loaves from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

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Or, if you want to eat this banana bread warm, let it cool for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes–it will be easier to slice if you let it cool a little.

I’ve been to Disneyland, but not Disney World. I haven’t stayed at any of the Disney Resort Hotels, but I’m sure they would be wonderful! Have any of you stayed at a Disney Hotel and have you had their banana bread?

I’m linking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

Tropical Spinach Smoothie

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In my last post, I shared a recipe I had made with OrganicGirl Super Greens, the Super Greens Fiesta Salad, and now I’ll be sharing a another recipe I made with OrganicGirlWinnersOrganicGirl Baby Spinach, the Tropical Spinach Smoothie. But first, I’ll tell you who the 5 Giveaway winners are from the OrganicGirl Greens giveaway on that salad post!

Congratulations to Jhuls (comment #7), Keshakeke (comment #10), Deal Housewife (comment #20), Table of Colors (comment #24), and Rachel (comment #33)! I’ll be emailing each of you to let you know in case you don’t happen to see this and will give your email to OrganicGirl so they can contact you about delivering your greens!

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the giveaway! I wish you all could have won some greens, but as a consolation prize, here’s a recipe for a spinach smoothie that I think you’ll really like! This is a wonderful smoothie–it’s thick but not too thick. It’s sweet but not too sweet. It tastes great and it’s very, very healthy. And it’s an easy, tasty way to add more spinach to your diet.

TROPICAL SPINACH SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from OrganicGirl

Makes 12 ounces, enough for 1 large or 2 small servings

  • 1 1/2 cups (well packed) OrganicGirl Baby Spinach (or substitute Baby Kale or Super Greens mix)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 of a small to medium size banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Put all ingredients in a high-power blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass (or glasses) and serve.

Have you made smoothies with spinach before? What other kinds of recipes do you like to use spinach in?

Crustless Broccoli Quiche

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When I make quiche, it’s usually on the weekends, because I don’t have time to make it for breakfast during the week. I suppose I could make quiche for dinner every now and then, which isn’t a bad idea! This quiche would be great for dinner because it has lots of broccoli and swiss cheese in it, so you get your veggies and protein. And if you’re not that crazy about swiss cheese you could use cheddar cheese instead. There are also mushrooms and onions in this quiche, which make it a wonderful cheesy blend of veggies!

You’ll find that the quiche puffs up a little while it’s baking. When you take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly before cutting, it settles some–so don’t be alarmed when you see that it’s not as puffy as it was in the oven! Next time you get a craving for quiche you may want to try this out!

CRUSTLESS BROCCOLI QUICHE by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com

Makes about 6 servings in a 9″ deep dish pie plate

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup light cream (Half & Half) or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small to medium-size onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets, cooked first (blanched) and then finely chopped (if you run out of florets, you can chop some of the upper stems; you can also use frozen broccoli, but thaw before using)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms (or pieces and stems), drained
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese (or substitute Cheddar cheese)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup crushed croutons or 1 Tablespoon bread crumbs, for sprinkling on top (I prefer using crushed croutons, but in the quiche pictured here I used breadcrumbs)

Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Grease or spray a deep dish 9″ pie plate.

Whisk eggs and light cream together, then add salt, garlic powder, and pepper, blending well.

Add chopped onion, broccoli, mushrooms, and shredded cheese, blending mixture well.

Spoon into a 9″ deep dish pie plate and bake at 350ËšF for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crushed croutons or bread crumbs, if using, Return to oven and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until eggs are set and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let quiche set for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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If you like the idea of crustless quiche, there’s a recipe for a really good Crustless Spinach Quiche here. What’s your favorite kind of quiche?

Cranberry Raisin Nut Toasted Oat Cereal

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Last spring, I made some granola bars, and it was then that I discovered how much I loved the taste of toasted oats. After I toasted the oats for that recipe, I sampled some right from the pan and they were really good just by themselves–they had a richer, slightly nuttier flavor after being toasted. So I made a note to try making some toasted oat cereal sometime. Which brings me to this post. 🙂 I finally got around to toasting some oats and making a healthy homemade cereal!

This cereal is not sweet like granola, so it may not appeal to everyone.  It’s not as crunchy as granola either, since it doesn’t have a honey or maple syrup coating. But if you like the idea of eating pure toasted oats with dried cranberries, raisins, and nuts mixed in, then this cereal is for you! You can serve it with milk or, if you like your cereal more on the crunchy side, serve this over some vanilla yogurt–it will hold its crunchiness longer. That’s actually how I prefer to eat it, with vanilla yogurt. And I like eating it with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup on top, too–that makes it sweet enough for me! This cereal is a nice option for those of you who like to have oatmeal for breakfast–kind of like a toasted version of oatmeal!

CRANBERRY RAISIN NUT TOASTED OAT CEREAL by NancyCreative

Makes about 10 cups

  • 7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped (or pecans)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup raisins, golden or dark
  • Milk or vanilla yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup for drizzling over cereal

Preheat oven to 375ËšF. Line a 13 x 18″ baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper (or use 2 cookie sheets).

In large bowl, combine oats, oil, and salt, mixing until oats are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring oats every 10 minutes, for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.

Remove pan from oven and lower temperature to 350ËšF. Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the toasted oats and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let oat/nut mixture cool about 10 minutes, then put mixture into large bowl. Add the dried cranberries and raisins, stirring until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Serve in cereal bowls with some milk or vanilla yogurt and add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup on top. Cereal can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Another way you can make this–just toast the oats for about 30 minutes at 375ËšF (stirring every 10 minutes) without adding the nuts; then, when you’re serving the toasted oat cereal, you can top it with fresh fruit, chopped nuts, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or whatever other toppings you like.

FYI, when you are toasting your oats, your kitchen will definitely have a toasty-oaty scent for a few hours! Which makes it kind of cozy on a cold day. Have you toasted oats before?

I’m linking this up to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

10 Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Here’s a roundup of 10 recipes that your Valentine–or Valentines–will love…some are healthy and some are not-so-healthy (but very yummy)!

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If you’re wanting something sweet for your Valentine breakfast, try these Strawberry Yogurt Muffins–the strawberries on top look like hearts, so they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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Or if you’re wanting something healthy, try this Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal, made with dried cranberries and chopped pecans. You can substitute dried cherries for the cranberries if you want.

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Or make this Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Bake if you’re feeding a larger group.

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You can also use your dried cranberries (or cherries) in these Cranberry Almond Breakfast Scones for a mid-morning or afternoon Valentine snack!

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Since you may be eating lots of sweets on Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to include a healthy salad in your lunch or dinner menu–this Apple Pear Pecan Salad has dried cranberries in it too, but dried cherries would be yummy as well!

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Savory Strawberry Salsa makes a great appetizer with tortilla chips, and it’s also really good served over grilled chicken!

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Now you need some dessert ideas…Strawberry Cupcakes are just the thing!

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But lots of people prefer something chocolate, and you can’t go wrong with these Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting!

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If you want a healthier dessert, you could always make this Healthy Chocolate Shake

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But, hey, it’s Valentine’s Day–if you want to splurge, make these Dark Chocolate-Covered Cherry Swirl Brownies!

Hope you get a chance to try out some of these treats! Do you have a favorite Valentine recipe?

Carrot Cake Muffins from The Slim Down South Cookbook and a Giveaway!

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85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00I mentioned a few posts ago that I’d be having another giveaway for a cookbook with healthy recipes, and here it is! It’s a Southern Living cookbook–they always have such great recipes!–and it’s called The Slim Down South Cookbook. I had a chance to review it, and the publisher is also providing a giveaway copy for one of you! See the end of the post for details on how to win this giveaway!

This cookbook is written by registered dietitian and award-winning journalist Carolyn O’Neil and includes nutritious versions of Southern-style favorites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts. You’ll also find lots of great full-color photos of most of the recipes, like these…

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…which will inspire you to start making some healthy, appetizing food!

The book begins with a chapter called “A Healthy Southern Plate” which includes some great healthy lifestyle tips along with a 14-Day SLIM Eating Plan. You’ll find additional healthy tips in the other chapters, too, which have recipes for every meal, along with desserts and snacks. Calorie and nutrition information is included with every recipe.

Some of the great-sounding foods you can make include:

  • English Muffin French Toast
  • Zucchini-Onion Frittata
  • Baked Cheese Grits
  • Peach-and-Tomato Gazpacho
  • Salmon and Vegetable Salad
  • Crunchy Pecan Slaw
  • Chicken and Mini Waffles
  • Texas Caviar Rice and Beans
  • Mocha-Pecan Mud Pie
  • Lime-Raspberry Bites

I thought I’d try something from the chapter on breakfast food called “Rise and Shine!” These Carrot Cake Muffins sounded really good and I love trying new muffin recipes! I thought they came out great–crushed pineapple gives them a great moistness, and there are lots of healthy shredded carrots in them, too! It’s nice to start the day with something tasty as well as healthy! 🙂

CARROT CAKE MUFFINS from The Slim Down South Cookbook

Makes 18 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used light olive oil instead)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (you can use the pre-shredded carrots to save time if you want)
  • Paper baking cups
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in carrots. Place paper baking cups in 18 muffins cups, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake at 350ËšF for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Based on 18 muffins: Serving Size 1 muffin Calories 128 Fat 3.8g (sat 0.5, mono 1.6g, poly 1.5g) Protein 2.1g Carb 21.5g Fiber 0.9g Chol 21mg Iron 0.8mg Sodium 223 mg Calc 11mg

I must have filled my muffin cups a little fuller, because I ended up with 17 muffins instead of 18. But I liked how full and rounded they turned out, so I’d probably do that again. My baking time was 22 minutes. I was out of cooking spray, so I filled my paper liners without spraying them and that worked out fine–the muffins just stuck slightly to the liners.

85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to Cathy, whose comment #22 was chosen via random.org as the winner!

Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Slim Down South Cookbook, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Wednesday, January 29, at 10 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Thursday evening, January 30. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite Southern dish is-even if it’s not that healthy! 🙂

Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!