Just another WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘easy’

Fast and Easy Tuna Burgers

When I’m at home in Connecticut, I really love making salmon burgers. If you haven’t tried salmon burgers yet, they’re a great alternative to beef burgers with less calories while still retaining high protein. As an additional benefit, salmon also provides omega 3 fatty acids.

My only issue is that right now I’m living in an apartment at college and am keeping a tight food budget. I can’t currently afford to buy salmon. But why give up fish burgers entirely when this is the perfect time to experiment?

So after a few weeks of tuna sandwiches an tuna wraps, I decided to create my own tuna burger recipe.

FAST AND EASY TUNA BURGERS (makes 5 patties)

Ingredients:

1. 2 cans of tuna fish, drained

2. 2 tbs mayonaise

3. 2 egg

4. 1/2 cup breadcrumbs *I just put 2 pieces of fiber dense bread into a blender because I don’t trust a lot of breadcrumb brands-check the ingredients for high fructose corn syrup

5. 1/3 cup finely chopped celery

6. 2 tsp lemon juice

7. salt and pepper to taste

To make these burgers is the easiest part! You literally mix the ingredients together, form into patties and drop onto a lightly oiled skillet. These tuna burgers are light, packed with protein, wonderfully flavorful and don’t involve expensive ingredients or tons of time. I would definitely recommend busy parents to try this recipe, or college students like me who are on the go and need a quick and healthy meal.

I eat my burger broken into pieces and tossed onto a wrap, but this is a great recipe to get creative with!

Product Placement: Tropicana Orange Juice

Hey, I’m back in GA! I do believe I got in enough baking and making my own recipes to last me a little while (or at least I can tell myself that) and I’m back and ready to continue my Product Placement. My schedule has been a bit off what with moving back into the dorms, but I’m all set to make some inroads on talking about products to buy or stay away from.

I was at a Leadership Conference the past couple of days and at breakfast there were these sleek looking black pitchers of cranberry juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, you name it they had it. Now, I’ve already discussed my love of grape juice and apple juice  but I do love orange juice as well. I just hate pulp and generally find the juice to be too sweet. I’m very picky when it comes to my orange juice.

The point, though, is that I was lured in to believe that this jazzy design for the pitcher meat the juice had been fresh squeezed. We were at a hotel and the entire conference can only be described as needlessly swanky, so I had reasons to believe that fresh squeezed juice was not outside the realm of possibilities.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Nope. I drank the typical Tropicana juice and unfortunately didn’t realize it until the next morning that it was typical Tropicana Juice until the hotel staff moved to refill it. From a carton.

Needless to say my spirit was crushed for a bit.

This is not to say Tropicana is a bad company or that their juice is disgusting. It’s not. I was just expecting to be blown away by the fresh squeezed variety and no matter what Tropicana claims on their website about from ‘Grove to Glass’ it’s packaged and it’s loaded with sugar.

I don’t care how many vitamins and minerals the juice has because it has 28 grams of sugar per serving. Something that claims to be healthy for you should not have that much sugar. Ever. There is no excuse. I am particularly critical here because this juice falls under the category of ‘masquerading as healthy’. If people don’t read the nutrition label they won’t know that although there’s 120% of their daily Vitamin C in that 10 oz glass of juice they’re also ingesting needless amounts of excess sugar that will then need to be burned off.

There are other ways to get your vitamin C (and occasionally Vitamin D if the juice is enriched). Try eating an actual orange, eat kiwi fruits, cherries, strawberries, and even red and green peppers are high in Vitamin C. For more information on Vitamin C rich foods check out: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/top-sources-vitamin-C-44102808

If none of these are in season (like strawberries, etc) you can always find oranges at the local supermarket and buy a small orange juicer to get the job done yourself. Small juicers like these are incredibly cheap and can be bought at a local Macy’s, or possibly even Target. You don’t need a fancy juicer in order to make healthy juice drinks. Juice away with all the health benefits and none of the added sugar.

Peanut Butter Pistachio Muffins

My mother, always the wonderful genius that she is, gave me the idea to take some pistachios that we had left over from homemade pistachio pudding and turn it into pistachio  butter. We were out of peanut butter, which in itself is a living nightmare for me, and I was struggling to figure out what to eat for lunch. I had recently made sandwich bread and decided to follow the advice of my mother, make pistachio butter and put it on a piece of my toasted bread.

It was okay. The pistachio butter tasted better on its own, in all honesty.

But then I had the new issue of what to do with pistachio butter?

The following day we bought peanut butter and I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I could combine three of my favorite things: peanut butter, pistachios, and muffin recipes.

The following recipe is an adaptation of the original I made because I am operating under the assumption not everyone wants to make pistachio butter in order to make this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup peanut butter (consistency doesn’t matter)

1/4 cup oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup plus 3 tbs crushed pistachios

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease six large muffin tins.

2.In a medium bowl combine, flour, baking powder and brown sugar. Stir until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, vanilla, milk, oil, and peanut butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

4. Mix in the 1/3 cup crushed pistachios. Pour the muffin batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

*NOTE: I’m back at school and so no longer have access to an oven or photographs of what I make.

Milk Free Baking

A wonderful friend from Ohio stayed with me and my family this past week. She cannot have milk and so while baking with her I got the chance to experiment with soy milk and oil instead of butter.

Being milk free is not the same as lactose free. A product can be lactose free but still contain other milk proteins, the most common being caseins and whey proteins such as beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin. 

I don’t claim to be a scientist or an allergy specialist, but until I was involved in a situation where I had to understand the milk protein allergy I thought lactose free meant milk free and that was the end.

I was amazed that the store bought bread we buy (an organic bread too) had a side note on the bottom: contains milk. We even bought a margarine spread, but although there were no ingredients listed that should have contained milk, the allergen information said otherwise: contains milk. 

It’s a good think my mom’s a vegan because we always have soy milk and almond milk around the house. It wasn’t difficult at all, once we decided to use soy milk, to make blueberry pancakes, blueberry waffles (my friend shares my obsession with blueberries), and then to shake it up, apple and oat muffins. The pancakes and waffles were easy because all we had to do was use soy milk instead of cow’s milk and spray the griddle with an oil spray instead of using margarine or butter. Muffins too were surprisingly easy because most recipes already call for oil instead of butter.

I was concerned about cooking and baking when worrying about allergy information, but everything worked out fine and  this is a post for anyone who needs ideas on working around a milk allergy. For breakfast, soy milk makes perfect pancakes and waffles, and almost any muffin recipe should work.

Happy baking!

PB & Peach Smoothie

I love thick smoothies. I’m talking about turn the cup upside down, liquid-cement, can’t drink through a straw, need a spoon kind of thick. As you can imagine, I’m frequently disappointed.  So instead of complaining or buying store bought smoothies I’ll never be satisfied with, I decided to make my own smoothie this morning.

Enjoy this healthy protein-packed breakfast. I used homemade peanut butter, but store-bought works just as well.

Peanut Butter and Peach Smoothie:

INGREDIENTS:

1 peach

1/2 cup peanut butter

milk, to desired consistency

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Pulse cut up peach and peanut butter in the blender until smooth. Add milk until smoothie reaches desired consistency.

Apple Cinnamon Wheat Biscuits

So in my ongoing battle to produce healthy food, still be a foodie, and run a confections business I decided to spice up the basic biscuit recipe I use by chopping up some apples and making the dough half whole wheat.

The idea behind these biscuits came about from more than idea about being healthy though, as it is difficult to make biscuits healthy. After trying Yoga Bread, I wanted to experiment with using fruit in my baking and after successfully making apple oat muffins (more to come on this later) I knew I wanted to try a similar combination with a biscuit.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup shortening*

1 1/2 tbs baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 apples, chopped finely (I used McIntosh)

1 cup milk

*was butter in the original biscuit recipe, recipe works with either

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 6 large muffin tins.

2. Combine dry ingredients. Add shortening with two knives or with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Pulse apples through a food processor until chopped finely (skin them if you wish, it’s not necessary).

4. Add milk and apples to the mixture, stirring just until combined.  Spoon into muffin tins.

5. Bake for 15 minutes.

Try this variation on the biscuit recipe from Favorite Brand Name  books.

 

Lemon Poppy-seed Muffins

When I go the food store I walk around the aisles of pre-packaged baked goods in hopes of getting ideas to spark my recipes. It’s a surprisingly easy way to feel creative and it’s a great feeling to look at all the packaged baked goods and tell yourself:

“I can make that!” 

I was shopping with my grandfather for a cheese platter for a party in Shop Rite and, as usual, found my way toward the cakes/cookies/muffins, etc. It was just coincidence that I found lemon poppy-seed muffins because I knew that at home we had a can of poppy seeds I had been meaning to work with.

These muffins are delicious, the lemon has a subtle way of weaving itself through every bite of muffin and the poppy seeds are the base of flavor. The muffin is moist and stays moist to make a dozen last a week of breakfasts (or less if you eat them as snacks too). Each muffin is topped with sugar and lemon peel to add another sprinkle of lemon flavors. These are a definite hit for on the go breakfasts that never skimp on being filling. As always, Cheryl’s Confections treats are natural, healthy, and delicious.

Each dozen is $18

Ingredients: all purpose flour, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, non-aluminum baking powder, poppy seeds, lemon juice, lemon peel, low fat milk