Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Whole-Wheat-Pancakes

Here is the first video and recipe I shared with Nutrition Milestones, and it really is just too much fun to not post here as well. OJ and I were asked to make our favorite pancake recipe, which is basically just my father-in-law’s famous pancakes, with just a few healthy tweaks. Since filming this, I have also incorporated Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt to replace the buttermilk (not that there is anything wrong with buttermilk, it is just something I don’t normally purchase, and I am up to my ears with Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt!) I have also substituted honey for the sugar and added some cinnamon, added blueberries or chocolate chips, and all of them taste equally delicious!

Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • Servings: 10-12 silver dollar pancakes or 5-7 full size pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsIMG_1714

  • 1 cup whole wheat white flour from Trader Joes
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

whole wheat pancakes griddleInstructions

  • Mix together wet ingredients
  • Mix together dry ingredients
  • Then add wet to dry and mix until well combined.
  • Meanwhile, pre-heat your electric griddle to 350 (or a griddle pan on your stove at a medium high heat). Once hot, place a dollop of batter onto the griddle (1 Tbsp for silver dollar, 1/4-1/3 cup for full size).

Favorite Topping: Fresh Fruit and a drizzle of Trader Joe’s Organic Maple Agave Syrup Blend

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

Tortilla-Crusted-Chicken-Tenders-Main

Chicken tenders seem to be a classic food item that appear on kids menus across america. Often these crispy crowd pleasers are battered or breaded and deep fried (or at least pan fried!) Not necessarily something I want my kid having on a daily basis. They also are on the “no-no” list for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, due to the bread crumb coating.

But have no fear, the Fearless Flying Chef is here to rescue this disastrous meal!!

The first task at hand was to make it a meal that kids (and adults) with food allergies and sensitivities can enjoy. The second was to eliminate the deep fryer (because, let’s be honest, I don’t even own one and don’t plan on buying one). After a few tweaks to your standard chicken strips recipe, this one was definitely a keeper.

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I have made a version of this before with regular hummus and bread crumbs, and it was a hit. So I decided to give it a “South of the Boarder” twist with the Cilantro& Jalapeño Hummus as the binder and crushed White Corn Tortilla Chips as the breading. This makes for a slightly messy and little more involved process, but the end result is worth it!

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

  • 8 Chicken Tenders (one package)
  • Half container of Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus
  • 2-3 Cups Tortilla Chips, Crushed
  • Finely Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a 9X12 glass baking dish by spraying lightly with your favorite cooking spray. I used coconut oil spray (my first time using this product), but also stock my cabinet with a sprayable Olive Oil.
  2. Crush tortilla chips (in food processor or manually) and pour out into a dish.
  3. Stir hummus well, then smother each chicken tender with hummus until covered. I used about half of a container for this. Then drudge the chicken tenders into the tortilla chips until covered. Place on prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese (lightly).
  4. Once all of the chicken is smothered and drudged and placed in the baking dish, place in oven in a center rack for ~ 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F. Turn once and sprinkle other side with cheese.
  5. Remove from oven and let rest ~5 minutes.

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I served this meal with Corn on the Cob, and honestly, had such high aspirations for making a delicious grilled corn. But instead, I went the lamest route possible and MICROWAVED it. Olive still loved it, and my husband and I ate it up just fine. But it probably would have been so much better if I grilled it for a few minutes too. I also heated up a can of Organic Black Beans and sautéed some zucchini and bell peppers in a little bit of Olive Oil as a side (with just some salt and pepper). Very simple and nutritious sides. We also had watermelon as an appetizer. It was intended to be served with dinner, but it never lasts long in our home. Definitely doesn’t last long enough for a picture!

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Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

Background: I have been wanting to post a recipe for Stuffed Peppers for a long time on here. Only catch…I really didn’t have one that was just right. I would look up recipes online and they just wouldn’t be what I wanted. Some turned out  like meatloaf inside a pepper while others lacked flavor or didn’t have an ideal texture. One time I attempted to make stuffed peppers, the bell pepper was still very crunchy, so the next time I boiled the peppers before stuffing and baking, and that just removed some of the flavor.  I am happy to report that I finally figured it out (all by myself I might add!) and might have come up with the combination for the perfect stuffed pepper. Have you had any of these problems while making stuffed peppers in the past? Am I the only one?? Let me know in the comments below. 

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers with a simple side salad.***

Often, especially in January, I will ask my husband what he wants for dinner and his response is always “Something Healthy.” The first thing that pops into my mind is this delicious Veggie Quinoa Bowl that I make. Second is always Stuffed Peppers (and if you were curious what number three is, that would be my Lentil and Veggie Soup). The one thing that all of these dishes have in common is they are chock-full of vegetables.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 8.03.53 AMI always have some 96% ground beef on hand. I prefer to use this over other ground meat options. Higher % fat ground beef just is too fatty and needs to be drained before proceeding. And, yes, if you were wondering, this equates to me using a lower fat meat because I am lazy. I also sometimes feel that ground turkey ends up being too dry, and I usually don’t use meat substitute unless I am cooking for a vegetarian (but even then, I usually would just use beans or lentils). The 96% Lean Ground Beef also has a long shelf life because of how it is packaged, and so you can have it hanging out in your fridge for a while. If you don’t use it quickly it also freezes really well (just de-thaw in the fridge the night before you want to cook with it). I will use this for Stuffed Peppers, Meat Loaf, Pasta Sauce, Spanish Zucchini, and Mushroom Burgers.

IMG_0121Pasta Sauce is also another item always on hand in my kitchen. I usually like to make my own pasta sauce from scratch using canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and oregano (and SALT). Mostly just keep it simple, but when I want to impress, I’ll follow this Buzzfeed Recipe for the Best Tomato Sauce, Which is pretty dang good. But it is time consuming, so in a pinch, it is always good to have a simple jar of tomato sauce on hand. You can also quickly turn it into pizza sauce when you add a half jar of tomato paste to it. I recently learned a trick from my mother-in-law, which is to sautée onion and brown ground beef in a pan and then just add some Tomato Basil Tomato Sauce form a jar, and it will taste very home-made and is very quick and easy.

My favorite thing about making Stuffed Peppers is it is a completely standalone dish. You don’t need much else to go along with it aside from a salad and maybe a breadstick if you want (which…My favorite comes in the bread section of Trader Joe’s, or you could make some using their Pizza Dough, like this recipe from Stick Baby and the Snail). It also isn’t too terribly labor intensive, and you can easily forget it once it goes in the oven.

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

  • Four Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 Jar of Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
  • 1 lb 96% Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Zucchini, Diced
  • 1 Bag of Sliced White Mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Organic Breadcrumbs
  • Salt, Pepper, Basil and Garlic Powder to taste
  • Mozzarella Cheese (fresh or shredded)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef in skillet, once cooked through and brown, add diced zucchini and mushrooms. Break the mushrooms up into smaller pieces (you can either cut them even more before you add them, or just break them up in the pan while they cook).
  3. Once vegetables start to look tender, add about a half cup of marinara sauce and mix well. Just make sure everything is covered, so add a little bit more if you need to. Let that cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add breadcrumbs and mix well. The texture of the mixture should stick together and be very clumpy. Add additional breadcrumbs until this texture is achieved.
  5. Meanwhile, while all of that has been cooking, add about half the jar of pasta sauce to a large pyrex dish (9X12 or large enough to hold all of your peppers) and spread evenly. Prepare the peppers by slicking them in half long ways and removing the stem and seeds. Place them skin-side-down in the pasta sauce.
  6. Add a little bit of mozzarella cheese to the inside of each bell pepper half (if you want to elevate this dish, use fresh mozzarella on the inside. I had some on hand and it was delicious). Then fill the peppers with the meat and veggie mixture. Should be enough to fill all of the bell pepper halves, feel free to push the meat-veggie mix down if it is overflowing. Top bell peppers with more mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake for ~35-40 minutes at 375. Serve with a nice little salad and breadsticks or rice.