Thursday, March 28, 2013

Copycat Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs (with sugar free powdered sugar)


Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are one of my favorite Easter snacks (Second only to the Cadbury Mini  Eggs).  Something about the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate is way better than a regular Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  When I saw this recipe for "healthier" PB Eggs I knew I had to try it.

These turned out SOOO good and pretty easy.  The coconut oil gives a hint of coconut flavor, but I kind of like it.  They aren't exactly like a Reese's PB Egg, but they are as close as you will get especially with making it a little healthier.  I made my own Sugar Free Powdered sugar (recipe coming soon) but you could easily use regular powdered sugar.  If you love Reese's PB Eggs then you should definitely try these!

Copycat Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs (with sugar free powdered sugar)
From: Chocolate Covered Katie
Prep Time: 20 min
Chill Time: 2 hrs 
Makes: 6-9 small eggs

1/4 cup natural Peanut Butter (or regular BP, or any nut butter)
dash of salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar or Sugar Free Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp pure Maple syrup or liquid stevia to taste

1. Mix together PB, powdered sugar, and salt together in a bowl until it becomes crumbly doughy.  I found with the natural Peanut butter that I had to add a little extra powdered sugar (maybe 2 Tbsp or more).

2.  Form dough into flat ovals/egg shaped. Place on wax paper and put in freezer for an hour or until hard.

3. Melt coconut oil if it is not already melted (I melted mine in the microwave on high for 15 seconds).  Mix in cocoa and maple syrup/stevia drops until it looks like chocolate sauce.  Taste to see if it needs any additional syrup or cocoa. 

4.  Working quickly dip egg into the chocolate and cover with sauce (I actually used corn cob skewers as she suggested and this worked pretty well.  Place it back on the wax paper ind put it in the freezer until hardened.  Enjoy!

Note:  These should be stored in freezer (thaw a minute or two before eating, or eat frozen).  If you don't want to store them in the freezer you can just melt some chocolate chips for dipping instead of the cocoa mix above. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chocolate Covered Peeps Pops

I like to make cakepops, but they take a lot of prep time, so for Christmas I tried doing chocolate covered oreo pops instead and they turned out great. I decided to do something similar for Easter.  Peeps Pops!  These were so easy!  I decided to try them in Pink Wilton wafers, a white fondue wafer, and a milk chocolate fondue melting to see the difference (and to have different colors).  Hands down the milk chocolate was the easiest to dip and tasted the best.  It was the thinnest of the three so it dipped easily and didn't weigh the marshmallow down, and in turn the coating wasn't as thick as the other two.  The white and pink were definitely prettier for Easter, but I think next time I would just go with Milk chocolate.

 Chocolate Covered Peeps Pops
From: Gimme Some Oven
Prep Time: 20 min

Bunny Peeps
Melting wafers (white, pastel color, or chocolate)
Popsicle sticks

1.  Separate the bunnies and prep a cookie sheet with wax paper, or use a Styrofoam block to stick the sucker sticks in.

2. Heat melting chocolate in microwave until melted stirring every 30 seconds.

3. Dip end of stick into the chocolate and then push into bottom of the bunny (go pretty deep because the chocolate can get heavy).  Then dip bunny into the chocolate and coat all sides.  Be careful the bunny doesn't flop over or of the stick as the marshmallow is pretty flimsy against the heavy chocolate.

4. Place chocolate coated bunny on wax paper or push into in Styrofoam block.  Shake sprinkles over bunnies.  Let dry until chocolate is firm and store in a air tight container.

Our "Bunny" Buckley

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chicken, Broccoli, and Red Bell Peppers with Peanut Butter Dressing


I found this recipe and saw that it was for a salad.  I'm not much of a fan of raw broccoli and neither is Bill but we both like cooked broccoli, so I figured I could pretty easily make this a cooked, warm entree. So obviously I made changes in the directions and I added some hot sauce for a little spice and a little cilantro as well, but I think it turned out pretty good.  I also think this could be good on top of some noodles, but we just had it plain.  I accidentally forgot the water/broth in the sauce so it turned out pretty thick, but still tasty.  I used rotisserie chicken so this came together really quickly, but I think you could make it even easier by using a jar of peanut sauce from the store.

Chicken, Broccoli, and Red Bell Peppers with Peanut Butter Dressing
Adapted from: Kalyn's Kitchen
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min

1-2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1 red bell pepper, sliced and then cut slices in half
1-2 large heads of broccoli, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chopped peanuts for garnish (optional)
Chopped cilantro

2-3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime sjuice
1 tsp ground ginger (I didn't have any, so I omitted)
2 Tsp Sugar or Sugar substitue
1/3 cup water or chicken broth
1 Tbsp (or more) of Siracha sauce

1. Cut up veggies, and shred chicken.  Steam broccoli, after a few minutes of cooking, throw red pepper in with broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender.

2.  Meanwhile, mix dressing ingredients together and then heat over low in a small sauce pan stirring until just warm and mixed.

3. In a large bowl mix chicken, dressing, and vegetables.   Stir in cilantro.  Garnish with more cilantro and peanuts if desired.  (This would probably be good over some noodles, but I'm doing South Beach Diet Phase 1 so we ate it without).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dry Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

This is a super easy recipe that will give you a bunch of black beans to eat right away or freeze.  I think they turned out just as good as a can of beans, if not better, and a bag of beans is cheaper and yields more beans!

Dry Black Beans in a Slow Cooker
From: Jacki and John Ate This
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 6 hrs

1 lb bag of dry black beans (I actually used a 2lb bag)
6 cups of water per pound of beans

1. Spread the beans out on a big tray to weed out any debris or bad looking beans.

2. Rinse beans in colander and add to slow cooker. Add 6 cups of water per pound of beans to slow cooker.
Don't they just look so good freshly rinsed!

3. Set Crock Pot to high and let cook for about 6 hours.

4. When beans are soft, put in a colander and rinse. (Alternately, I didn't rinse some mine so I could use the beans and juice in some recipes).

5. Serve or divide into meal size containers and freeze.  Use them just like canned beans in any recipe.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jello Ricotta Pudding Dessert

A while back I did the south beach diet and really liked it, and now I am back on it.  One of the hardest parts for me on Phase One is that there isn't really any type of dessert (obviously because you don't eat sugar in this phase).  I looked for some possible desserts/sweets and found this one.  I was a little skeptical, but it turned out pretty tasty!  Don't get me wrong, it isn't the same as having a nice big piece of chocolate cake, or a brownie sundae, but it is a nice sweet treat if you feel like you need a little something sweet but don't want to break up with your diet.

Jello Ricotta Pudding Dessert
From: Kalyn's Kitchen
Prep Time: 5-10 min
Chill time: 3-5 hrs
Makes 4 servings

1 pkg sugar-free jello (Any flavor that you like - I used strawberry)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water

1. Put ricotta cheese into a bowl and stir with a fork until it's slightly softened.

2. Put powdered Jello from package into a large glass measuring cup or bowl.  Pour in boiling water and whisk for 1-2 minutes, until Jello is dissolved in the water.

3. Stir in ricotta, then cold water and mix together.  Pour into 4 individual glass bowls and place in the refrigerator to set.  Chill 2-5 hrs.  Serve cold from individual dishes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Green Chile Chicken and Lime Soup

When Bill and I both had bad colds a few weeks back I made this recipe because I wanted a chicken and broth soup, and we all know I can't resist a Mexican twist on a recipe.  This turned out really flavorful, however, quite spicy.  I'm not sure what exactly made it so spicy, but next time I might use mild Rotel, or maybe only 1 can of diced green chilies.  This was even better the next day (as most soups are) and it was quite easy to make considering I used a rotisserie chicken.

Green Chile Chicken and Lime Soup
From: Debbi Does Dinner
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min

1 onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cartons of chicken broth or 64 oz.
2 cans Rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
2  4oz cans of diced green chillies
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and peper to taste
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1. Heat Olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for about 5 min.  Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

2. Stir in Chicken broth, tomatoes, green chilies, cooked chicken, lime juice and seasonings.  Cook for 5 minutes, taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.  Right before serving, add chopped cilantro.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Super Food Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This salad appealed to me because, of course, it is healthy (Super Foods!) but mainly because I'm always looking for a salad that is a little more exciting than just lettuce and a couple of veggies thrown in.  Add to that some of my favorite ingredients (avocado, black beans, corn!) and it became a must try for me.

We had this with some soup and I thought it was great!  Filling but light. I had a bunch left over and was able to have it for lunch and I think it may have even tasted better the 2nd day.  Bill liked it, but wasn't a big fan of the pomegranate.  He liked the taste but not the crunch with juice (which just means he doesn't like pomegranate seeds in general).  I would definitely make this again, but maybe have the pomegranate on the side for me to add to just my bowl.

Super Food Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
From: Iowa Girl Eats
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled and segments chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup pomegranate arils (about 1 pom worth)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or 1 can)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and peper

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
2 lemons, juiced (need 1/4 cup juice)
2 garlic cloves, minced
dash of sugar or sweetener
salt and pepper
6 Tbsp Olive Oil

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.

2. Combine all ingredients for lemon vinaigrette in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake to combine.

3. Combine cooled quinoa with red onion, orange segments, avocado, beans, pomegranate arils, corn, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over the salad and stir to combine.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  (Chicken or Shrimp can be added)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fresh Pea Risotto

I LOVE risotto - pretty much any kind.  So I decided to try this Fresh Pea Risotto for Valentine's Day.  Although, it is supposed to be made with fresh peas (hence the name) and I made it with frozen peas... don't judge me... it is what I had in the house. It turned out really great, and as easy as any of the many other risottos I've made in them past.  Although, I think next time I might add a little prosciutto to put it over the top.

And while you are thinking I made this for myself on Valentine's day when I should have been making things for Bill.  Don't worry, I made him a nice big steak with mushrooms, broccoli (yes he is a fan of broccoli), and lava cakes for dessert to go with the risotto.  A little of my favorites, and a little of his. 

Fresh Pea Risotto
From: What's Gaby Cooking
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio Rice
1 cup white wine
2 1/2 - 3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups frozen peas (or fresh)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat chicken stock until just boiling, then turn to low heat.

2. Divide peas in half.  Take one half of the peas and put them into a food processor with 1/4 cup of water and pulse until they are completely pureed. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the shallot and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute more.  Add the Arborio rice to the skillet, making sure to stir it around in the olive oil so that the rice is completely coated and toast for about 90 seconds.

4. Add white wine to the pan and stir until all the wine is absorbed.  Begin adding chicken stock one ladle full at a time, making sure to not add more until the previous addition has been absorbed.

5. Once rice is just tender (about 20 min), add the cheese and combine.  Stir in the peas and pea puree to the risotto.  Remove from heat and taste.  Add more cheese or salt and pepper if desired.


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