Tag Archives: healthy

Multi- Grain Sandwich Buns

P1050592If you would like to bump up the taste of your sandwiches or burgers- make homemade buns! Not only will you love the taste, you can also know that you are going to end up with a much more natural and healthier product than something similar that you might buy at the grocery store.

Just take a look at the ingredients found in this brand of Hamburger Buns!  (Wheat Flour, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup Or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil. Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Gluten, Salt, Barley Malt, Datem, Mono- And Diglycerides, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Propionate (To Retain Freshness), Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Soy Flour, Vinegar, Sorbic Acid, Ethoxylated Mono- And Diglycerides, Enzymes, Whey, Yeast Nutrients (Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Sulfate), Ferrous Sulfate (Iron), “B” Vitamins [Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)],Wheat Starch, Soy Lecithin, Azodicarbonamide, Calcium Dioxide. If Topped, Also Contains Sesame Seeds Or Cornmeal. Contains: Wheat, Milk And Soy.) 

That is a LOT of add-ins! And for all that, I don’t even think most store- bought buns or sandwich breads even taste that good!

Well, this recipe is very easy and the buns are delicious.

These are very similar to another recipe for Homemade Sandwich Buns that I have posted. However I wanted to add in some other grains to make a healthier bread- and I love the way it has turned out. I make these often- whether it is for your typical PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich or a juicy burger or pulled pork sandwich…or even toasted with some butter and honey for breakfast! These buns also store very well. Keep tightly covered and they will remain tasty for several days.

The directions for this recipe are the way that I do it using my bread machine for making the dough. Obviously, you can adjust the directions if you are making the dough with a mixer or by hand.

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Beans for Dinner (slow cooker-nothing canned)

P1040954Are beans a common dish at your table?

It used to be that when I thought of beans, I would think of old westerns, tin plates, and the solitary food that cowboys ate on the range. Who still eats beans? Isn’t that even the old joke- “Money’s getting so tight, we’ll be down to eating beans for dinner” ?

Well, I think beans are underrated. They may not be a trendy food, but they are SO nutritious. Beans are filled with iron, protein, vitamins and fiber. They are low in cholesterol (in fact they help lower cholesterol!), very low in fat, and very heart -healthy! (Check out the nutrition of Pinto beans, and black eyed peas for starters. Both are found in this recipe)

And let’s not forget, beans are also cheap!

Maybe good’ ol beans deserve another look!

This recipe, prepared in the slow cooker, begins with dry beans- nothing canned. This allows you to control the sodium and start with no preservatives. Added to the beans are onion, garlic, and peppers- which are also fresh and healthy choices. (Have you ever researched all the benefits of garlic? It’s truly an amazing food.)

These beans could be your main dish or side. I like to serve them along with brown rice or cornbread. Having beans for dinner is also a great option if you are looking for something  meatless since beans tend to be very hearty and filling.

Feel free, too, to play around with your combination of beans. There are so many varieties.

I’ve included my favorite combo in this recipe.

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Honey Nut Granola (no added sugar)

P1040839Granola is such a wonderfully versatile food. You can use it in so many ways- like on top of yogurt for a little crunch, as a cereal topped with fruit (which is my favorite!), or as a snack by the handful!

This particular recipe uses only whole ingredients, and no refined sugars. Though I do use sugar in many recipes, I like to reduce or eliminate it when possible. I knew that I did not want it added to my granola since I was really looking for a very healthy granola option. So honey is P1040901the only sweetener used. \

Here are a few reasons I like to make my own granola:

1. It is so easy to pack in a lot of nutrition in a very tasty way. Ingredients like, whole oats, pecans, flax, wheat bran are all used in this particular recipe- making each bite very heart healthy, high in monounsaturated fats (that’s the good kind!) and filled with fiber.

2. I know exactly what is in it! I have been less than impressed with the laundry list of ingredients found in most cereals and ready-made granola found in the stores. (that are “supposedly” healthy. The controversial BHT preservative is a common ingredient in these). Homemade Granola uses only a few whole ingredients.

3. It is easy and quick to make.

4. You can mix and match. Swap almonds for pecans. Use maple syrup instead of honey. Add cranberries or raisins. In other words- it’s so simple to make it how you like it!

5. As an added bonus- it makes my house smell divine!

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Maple Bran Muffins

P1040119Everyone should have a good, basic bran muffin recipe. Here is one I made recently to go along with dinner.  (though they would be a good breakfast choice, as well.)

These little muffins are made with wheat bran– the real stuff- not bran cereal, giving them a lot of nutritional value. Bran is a great source of fiber, potassium, and phosphorous.

Instead of sugar, the muffins get their sweetness P1040098from pure maple syrup, which has good nutritional value of its own. The maple flavor does not really taste very strong in the muffin itself, but I serve them with a little bowl of melted butter and maple syrup for dipping or drizzling. This really ties the flavors together and gives you that great maple taste. Serve them warm- they’re quite yummy.

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Our Favorite Light,Tender,Wheat and Oat Pancakes

P1040005I used to rarely make pancakes. I mean, I like breakfast to have some nutritional value- and, let’s face it- pancakes made with white flour and then coated with a sugary syrup doesn’t really bring much nutrition to the table- at all!

On the other side of the coin, I do not like to make something simply because it is healthy. It MUST still taste good. So many “wheat” pancakes are too dense or too dry, and less than satisfactory. Just forget it!

And then I found this Wheat and Oat Pancake Recipe from King Arthur Flour. These are SO much better!  It is the only pancake recipe I make now- and all of us love them!

Here’s why I like them:

1. Healthy- almost all wheat flour and oats

2. Still light, still tender, still tasty- like a pancake is supposed to be!

3. So fast!- The initial time you make these, you prepare a very large amount of the dry ingredients, and then you freeze what you do not use. Then, whenever you want pancakes for breakfast- you just pull it out and add it to the wet ingredients. Couldn’t be easier!

4. My kids enjoy pancakes and I no longer have to feel guilty about giving them a worthless breakfast- and actually am giving them a nutritious breakfast!

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Golden Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders

P1030781These chicken tenders are so good and perfect for a family meal. Skip the pre-packaged chicken coatings- this is so easy to prepare at home with just a few ingredients.

You will be serving up golden and nicely-crusted chicken tenders that taste great and that are healthy, too!

Here’s why I like them:

1. Healthier! Anytime I can add nutrition to a dish, without  compromising the taste- I’m happy. This recipe uses Wheat Germ as a coating. It mimics bread crumbs, and results in a nice and crispy texture, but wheat germ is also a great source of Folic Acid, Fiber, and many vitamins. I love using it!

2. Baked- though I do like the taste of fried tenders, baking is lower-fat, less-messy, and easier to prepare.

3. Quick- Chicken tenderloins only take about 20 minutes to bake

4. Juicy and Crispy- This coating gives a nice crusted finish to the tenders- no soggy coating for me, please.

5. Completely homemade- Milk, Wheat germ, fresh Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, paprika- that’s it!

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Healthy Oatmeal-Raisin and Molasses Muffins

oatmeal raisin muffinsBreakfast options at our house were a bit ‘blah’ this morning. Clearly, something was begging to be baked. But just “what” was the question.

Since I have been wanting to add a good oatmeal muffin recipe to my go-to list, I decided that was a good idea for this morning. However, the last recipe I tried for these, I only halfway liked. I also knew I wanted something with lots of good-for-you ingredients in it. So, I tweaked this, added that… and these little guys were created. And I think they will do!

So, not only do these muffins taste good, they are also a pretty healthy option for breakfast or to go along with dinner. Other than a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar on top, the only sweetener used is molasses, giving you a subtle sweetness that is backed up with the deeper flavor of the molasses. (which is also full of vitamins!) Plain yogurt is used instead of oil, which kept them really moist, and white- wheat flour and oatmeal give you a good dose of whole grains. Raisins were the perfect compliment to the flavors, and I think the perfect finishing touch. Try ’em! (I think I might just go eat another..right now…even though I’ve already had two!)

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Sausage Rice and Bean Soup

P1030031It snowed here on Sunday- almost 6 inches. That’s quite a big snow for us around here…and in the middle of March! Ack!

Monday was still slushy and cold, and nothing seems to fit better on days like that, then a good soup to warm thing up! So, last night we enjoyed this soup that is hearty, healthy, and tasty!

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Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

P1020783Smoothies are cool and refreshing, and a great way to get a lot of goodness in just one glass!

When my son, Adam, was a toddler, I had a hard time getting him to eat well. He was so picky! Fruits were something I definitely could not get him to eat. That is when I started to make smoothies on a regular basis. He loved them, and I loved that he was getting the nutrition from the fruit and protein from the yogurt.

Smoothies make a great breakfast, snack, or even lunch- which is when we usually enjoy them. Paired with something salty like cheese, or something with peanut butter, it makes a nice lunch.

Of course there are limitless varieties of smoothies. This one is pretty basic with fruit and yogurt, but it’s one that we like the best.

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt (I use Dannon Natural since it does not have a lot of extra ingredients)
  • 2 whole bananas, peeled
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups frozen tropical fruit (a frozen tropical blend of: strawberries, pineapple, and mango chunks)  or frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk 

Place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed above. Blend until smooth. Add more juice or milk if needed.

Makes 4- 5, 1-cup servings

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