Mary's Busy Kitchen

Mary's Busy Kitchen

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chocolate-Quinoa Energy Balls with Goji Berries





Snack with a purpose! 

Easier said than done…right?     These little balls will get you off to a great start.  




















Chocolate - Quinoa Energy Balls with Goji Berries         Makes about 45-48 balls
1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (gluten free if needed)
3/4 cup quinoa flakes

1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut 
1 cup peanut butter, I prefer to use a natural type. Other types of nut butters are fine as well.
1 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup pure maple syrup  *use 2/3 cup pure maple syrup for vegans
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, I used an allergy friendly brand, Enjoy Life.
1/4 cup goji berries

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine peanut butter, honey and/or pure maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl. Add peanut butter mixture to oat mixture, stir well. I often use my hands at this point to ensure everything is mixed. (gloves help at this point…it can get a little sticky)

Shape into balls using about 1 1/2 Tbsp of mixture per ball.  Refrigerate or freeze to store.

Weight watchers count 3 points per ball.






Enjoy!









Thursday, February 19, 2015

Frozen Chocolate - Pumpkin Bars / GF



This is a sweet treat on the healthier side. It's cool, refreshing flavor is a nice change from the rich, heavy desserts we are so often attracted too…well I am anyway!

These bars still have a hint of chocolate balanced in a creamy pumpkin base with just a hint of crunch from the toasted pumpkin seeds.   Quality ingredients with "filling" fiber make better choices for snacks and treats.

Weight watcher points add up to about 6.5 per bar.



Frozen Chocolate - Pumpkin Bars  / GF                Makes 12 Bars
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cashew butter.  Another mild nut butter is fine as well.
3/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup for plant based diets.
2 -3 tsp pumpkin spice
1 cup old fashioned gluten free oats.   Regular if gluten free is not needed.
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, I roast mine for 15 min at 250 degrees, before using in recipes.
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. I used Enjoy Life - Semi-Sweet Mini Chips. These are allergy friendly.  Or sub 1/4 cup raisins for part of the chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 8"x8" square baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the sides with coconut oil.

In a medium size bowl combine oats, seeds, and chocolate chips. Mix well.
In a small bowl add pumpkin puree, cashew butter, honey or syrup, and pumpkin spice. Mix well.
Add pumpkin mixture to oat mixture and stir well until all ingredients are fully combined.
Pour into prepared 8"x8" pan, press down with a spatula until mixture is evenly dispersed in pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool bars completely before cutting into squares.
Store in freezer. Serve chilled.

* NOTE- It's also okay to store in refrigerator if you are planning to use within the next few days. 




Enjoy!

This recipe idea is from The Nutty Scoop.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

GF Nutty Energy Squares
























I'm a snacker, that's for sure! When I saw these colorful bars full of nuts and drizzled with chocolate I knew I had to see what they were all about.

I needed a somewhat "less messy" finger food type snack at work, so I decided to leave off the chocolate drizzle and add a handful or two of mini chocolate chips to the mix instead. (I wasn't going to leave the chocolate out completely)
























These started out as bars…but then I decided to cut them into squares, the bars were just a lot for me personally.  Either... or any way you cut them is up to you. 

I think they make a great "pick-me-up" snack in the mid-morning or afternoon.

If you cut them into squares they are about the size of those popular energy balls.  
If you count weight watcher points each square is just under 5 points. 





GF Nutty Energy Squares                  Makes about 27 squares
1/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup peanut butter, sunflower butter or any other type.
1 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup dried cheeries, cut into smaller pieces. Try dried cranberries or dried blueberries too.
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate  chips, I used Enjoy Life brand, an allergy friendly product.

** I like to roast my pumpkin and sunflower seeds for about 15-20 minutes in a 250 degree oven before using them in this recipe.

Cut parchment paper to line the bottom of an 8"x8" square baking pan. Lightly grease sides with coconut oil, (very lightly).
In a small mixing bowl add honey or pure maple syrup,  peanut butter, and applesauce. Mix well.
In a large mixing bowl add oats, ground flaxseeds, dried cheeries, nuts, seeds, and chocolate chips. Mix well. Add peanut butter mixture to oat mixture, mix well. You may even want to use your hands.
Press into the square baking pan. Chill in refrigerator for 3 or more hours before cutting into squares.
Run a knife along sides of pan to help loosen bars from edges. You can even lift the entire solid 8"x8" square out of the pan before cutting. I like to do this, as it is much easier to cut into even squares.
Store in refrigerator for about a week. Or store in a freezer container.






Enjoy!

Recipe idea from The Nutty Scoop, No Bake Granola Bars Recipe {Gluten - Free, Vegan}

Sunday, February 1, 2015

French Toast Pancakes - gluten & dairy free



The most delicious idea I have ever had for pancakes is right here!

Even better they are gluten, dairy, and egg free. You  can use any pancake recipe you like, I used my favorite package mix for gluten free pancakes, The Craving Place.

I was making my husband his favorite  breakfast, Quick & Easy Allergy Friendly French Toast -
and decided I was craving this too…but realized I was out of gluten free bread!  I had just made some gluten free pancakes though…

Guess what?  New favorite weekend breakfast!!  Super simple too.

First you will need some pancakes. I used, The Craving Place All Purpose Pancake and Waffle Mix. If you don't already know…it's my favorite. It has no eggs, no dairy, and no gluten. Plus a bonus…no sugar.

After you have made your pancakes, mix up the french toast mixture:

1 cup soy milk, or other non-dairy substitute.
1/3 cup flour, any gluten free type is fine. I like Pamela's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend. (Artisan has no dairy)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp optional chia seeds
1-2 Tbsp non-dairy butter substitute.
Pure maple syrup, fruit, or any favorite topping of your choice.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate whisk together first 4 ingredients. Let sit about 3 minutes. 
*Optional - Sprinkle some chia seeds over mixture before dipping pancakes.
Heat a large skillet or griddle on medium high. Add some butter substitute, let it melt leaving a light coating over skillet or griddle. Dip one pancake at a time, coating both sides. Place in skillet or on hot griddle and cook until nicely golden brown on both sides. Add more butter substitute to skillet as needed. If french toast mixture gets too thick, add a little more non-dairy milk substitute. 

Serve warm French Toast Pancakes with syrup, fruit, or whatever you like!!



Enjoy!



So easy!  Just these few steps:

Dip…



                                    griddle….



                                                             both sides - a nice golden brown...







Add syrup and/or toppings.






            Devour!!



I sure hope you like them : )


Friday, January 30, 2015

Granny's Baked Caramel Corn



This recipe is from a friend I went to high school with. It was her grandma's special recipe. I have never found another baked caramel corn recipe I liked better. This is the real deal right here!!

This caramel corn can be made with or without nuts and with either light or dark corn syrup. The caramel corn will be light, crunchy, and sooo delicious you will not be able to stop at one or two handfuls!!



Granny's  Baked Caramel Corn
1 cup butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
6 qts. popped popcorn. Remove any kernels that didn't pop.
1 1/2 cups mixed nuts, cashews or peanuts. (optional)

Preheat oven to 250.  
Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil and gently boil for 5 minutes, stirring entire time. Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and vanilla.
Pour mixture over popcorn and add in nuts if you choose. Mix well.  
Divide coated popcorn onto two large baking sheets with edges.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour turning over or gently stirring every 15 minutes. 
Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break into pieces.  Store in an airtight container. 



Enjoy!




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just The Vegetables - Broccoli Soup























I know…this all looks way too familiar, right?
Except this time I left out the milk, extra flour and extra butter.

 You might be wondering what the point is…

















I started sampling the soup before I added the thickening ingredients…it was delicious! So why not just stop here in the middle of the recipe, and offer a super low-fat version of this soup that still tastes fantastic!

Weight watcher points are 1.3 per serving.

Just The Vegetables - Broccoli Soup               6 servings 
1 Tbsp butter or non-dairy butter substitute.
1 lg onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 lg celery stalk, chopped
1 Tbsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 chicken or vegetable flavored bouillon cube - optional for extra flavor.
3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth for plant based diets.
5 cups of broccoli, chopped

Melt the butter or non-dairy substitute in a medium sized sauce pan. Add onion, celery and minced garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add thyme, salt, and pepper. Saute another minute or so.  Add chopped broccoli and broth.  Bring to a boil then let  simmer for 10-12 minutes.  Puree with a hand held blender. If you prefer a thinner soup add another cup of broth.























Serve!

I love this soup, it's healthy and really satisfying.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cheezy-Chili Dip





I want to share a recipe for chips or crackers that is simple and slightly addicting. My family has been snacking on this dip for years.

It's a warm dip, that we especially like with just plain corn chips or scoops. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and about 5 more to disappear...

It's perfect for holidays, parties, or just snacking.

If you are like me and need gluten free products, the canned "bean-less" chili is difficult to find. So I suggest using your own chili recipe and leave out the beans. Of course... it would be okay to have beans in this dip too. I freeze small containers of my homemade gluten free chili, then I don't have to make a big batch for a quick dip like this.

















Cheezy-Chili Dip
2  8-oz packages cream cheese
2  15oz cans chili with out beans (or a gluten free substitute)
2/3 cup grated sharp cheese
6 drops  Tobasco
corn chips or scoops or crackers

In a medium size sauce pan stir cream cheese and chili over medium low heat, add tabasco and cheese. Continue to heat until mixture begins to simmer. When mixture is fully heated and a nice creamy consistency remove from heat and pour into a small bowl.

I use a microwave safe bowl so I can warm dip up if needed.

Serve with chips or crackers.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.






Enjoy!