Healthy(ish) Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was lucky enough to receive a hand-me-down cookbook and kitchen-aid mixer last week, it meant I needed to do one thing.

MAKE COOKIES!

In order to have more cookies and less guilt,  it’s necessary to modify the classic chocolate chip cookie to be healthy(ish). How is this recipe better for you than usual? The cookies are a teensy bit smaller, have A LOT less butter, and substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate ones.

Because dark chocolate’s good for you.  🙂

Tuna gave his stamp of approval – BEFORE I told them they were healthy. “They’re HEALTHY???” he asked in disbelief.

Well – healthyish.

All this cookie talk is making me hungry. ‘Scuse me while I go grab another…

 

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This recipe was adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Make sure oven rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Melt 3 tbsp of the butter in a small skillet on medium/high heat for 3-4 minutes until it starts turning brown.

Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and mix in the remaining 2 tbsp of butter until it’s all melted.

In the large bowl with the butter, combine white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.

Whisk in the egg. Let the mixture set a few minutes, then whisk again for 30 seconds. Repeat a few times to firm up the dough.

Stir in the flour mixture from the medium bowl and add 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips.

Scoop out a heaping tablespoons of the dough (one at a time) onto the baking sheets to form your cookie balls.

Press in a few chocolate chips on the tops.

Bake one sheet at a time, about 9-10 minutes. Rotate the sheet in the oven halfway through (after 4-5 minuteS).

Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 more minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack.

DEVOUR!

 

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 Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

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Tomato Basil Quinoa

I am all about quinoa right now. I can’t get over how easy it is to make and how versatile it is. It’s good as a side dish with chicken, alongside crackers as a snack, or plopped on a bunch of salad for lunch. That’s pretty much the order I ate this in. 😉 Tuna has decreed it into the usual rotation, so I’m excited to eat it lots this spring and summer!

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Serves 2 (main) or 4 (side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 cup basil leaves, chopped and for garnish
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Add water and quinoa to a medium/large pot.

Add in garlic, onion, tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Heat the uncovered pot to a rolling boil.

Cover, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove from burner and let cool for 5 minutes.

Toss in basil and olive oil to serve.

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Veggie Skewers

I promise this is the easiest thing ever to make and is really good for you. Done and done.

It is also nice to get in some veggies other than in salad form (especially in the winter!).

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Don’t forget they are low in calories, fancy-looking…I could go on forever!

Oh yeah, and good for vegan, gluten-free guests. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini squash (thickly sliced)
  • 1 yellow squash (thickly sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced into pieces)
  • 1 red onion (sliced into pieces)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss zucchini, squash, red pepper, and onion with olive oil and seasonings.

Stab a wooden skewer through the veggies (stacked as you please).

Bake for 20 minutes and serve!

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Orzo “Risotto”

The freezing temps of late have made me only want to eat WARM things. There are only so many soups that I like 😉 so I am being forced to get creative with new, WARM recipes to throw in the weekly mix. This mock risotto is a definitely a good hearty dish you can come home to after a long day battling the winter weather!

I think I am starting to have an orzo obsession.

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This recipe was inspired from HERE!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 28 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 cups frozen peas
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Heat a saucepan over medium heat.

Add olive oil, onion, and garlic.

Cook while stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.

Add broth and stir until boiling.

Add pasta.

Reduce heat to low and cover.

Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes) while stirring occasionally.

Microwave frozen peas and toss into orzo.

Season with salt & pepper and serve!

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Choco-Nut Fudge Bites

I found this delish recipe when browsing Pinterest over the weekend.

Obviously I chose them for the chocolate. But the no-bake aspect is right up my alley and it helped that I already had all of the ingredients in the pantry.

My no-bake bites were inspired by the bars from HERE.

I originally made them as bars but they are pretty darn sweet – so I cut up the rest as bites in an attempt to eat less sugar. Unfortunately I still care to eat several bites at a time…

choco-nut fudge bites1mainYou will need: 9×13 inch pan (I used a glass pyrex), medium saucepan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup  coconut oil
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Heat peanut butter, agave nectar, and coconut oil in a saucepan with the burner on medium-low and stir until combined.

Remove from heat. Add dark chocolate pieces, oats, and vanilla extract and combine until melted.

Pour into pan and cool in the fridge until hardened.

Cut into bars (you will need a big ole’ knife when it’s set) and enjoy!

Keep cool until ready to serve and store in the fridge.

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Zucchini Pizza Boats

I’ve wanted to bake these yummy-looking zucchini pizza boats for a really long time, but for some reason it took me awhile to finally make them.

I am definitely going to remember them from now on though, because they are delish! Simple ingredients and super easy to make. We served them as appetizers at a dinner party and they stayed good even as leftovers the next day.

Also a plus – you get your fill of pizza without the calories. I just might have to make these again tomorrow….

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This recipe was inspired from HERE! 

Makes 8 boats; vegan, gluten free

You will need: 1-2 baking sheets

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup kalmata olives, chopped
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tbsp dried basil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the inside with a spoon.

Lay on baking sheet.

Spread sauce on zucchini and sprinkle with tomatoes, basil, onions, and olives.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Let slightly cool, then serve!

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Bacon-wrapped Chicken Jalapeño Bites

This was the dish that Tuna was in charge for a pre-thanksgiving hors d’oeuvre party and it was damn good.

With all the lighter appetizers at holiday parties (think veggie trays, delish cookie tins), this is one to add to the menu. These bites are full of protein that satiate hunger without too many calories.

Perfect to have before a glass [or two] of champagne.

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Makes 16 bites

This recipe was adapted from HERE!

← Note: I used a George Foreman Grill and wooden toothpicks →

Ingredients:

  • 8 raw chicken tenders
  • 4 tbsp whipped light cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 8 slices raw bacon

Instructions:

Flatten the chicken tenders and cut each slice in two horizontally.

Also cut bacon slices in half.

Dab ½ tsp of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender.

Sprinkle ¼ tsp jalapeño on the cream cheese.

Roll up the chicken with the cream cheese and jalapeño on the inside.

Wrap chicken roll with bacon and stab a wooden toothpick through.

Repeat!

Grill for about 10 minutes until bacon is crispy and brown on both sides.

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Shrimp Fried Rice

New recipes haven’t happened lately since we have been busy settling into the new apartment.

I was out running errands one evening and came home to the amazing sound of sizzling soy sauce.

Tuna had cooked us up some restaurant-style shrimp fried rice! Not only did I immediately start shoveling it in to my mouth from the pan, I nodded in approval as Tuna attested to its legitimacy because it was from a blog.

When I said I should take some pictures for What I Ate Wednesday, Tuna said “I already did!”

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed

Directions:

Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Pour in sesame oil.

Add onion, peas, and carrots and cook until tender.

Push veggies to the side, and pour beaten egg mixture onto its spot on the skillet.

Scramble the eggs. Once cooked, mix in the eggs with the veggies.

Add the pre-cooked rice and shrimp to the skillet.

Add soy sauce and stir for a few minutes until hot. 

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting WIAW!

Pumpkin Bread

I can’t decide which is a better perk of the fall season: good running weather or pumpkin-everything. It’s a close call.

Not only is pumpkin amazingly delicious, it is also sups healthy. 

That means I can eat a lot of pumpkin and it’s still okay, right?

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Makes 1 loaf

You will need: 9 in x 5 in bread pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 1/2 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spray pan with cooking oil.

Beat together sugar and oil In a large mixing bowl beat sugar. Beat in eggs.

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves in a separate mixing bowl.

Add the water and half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Dump the remaining dry in the wet and mix well.

Beat in pumpkin and almonds.

Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Let cool before serving.

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I also used this batter recipe [and added some dark chocolate chips 😉 ] for some perfect little muffs!

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The mini-muffins bake @ 325° F for 20 minutes. Also let these guys cool.

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Garlic Orzo

I don’t think this quite counts as a ‘real’ recipe because the main ingredient is store bought (kind of like last week….) but I don’t really care because I am loving whipping up quick dinners lately.

By the time I get off of work, do my run, and finally get home for the night, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour making a meal from scratch.

Enter the magical ready-made sauce:

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Perfect for throwing together savory pasta when hangry. 

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen shrimp, cooked
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup trader joe’s garlic sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook orzo.

Heat a large skillet with olive oil and onions.

Zap the broccoli in the microwave and add to skillet, along with the thawed shrimp.

Let simmer for 3-4 minutes Add salt and pepper and garlic sauce and stir.

Pour sauce over pasta to serve.

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting WIAW!