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Top 15 Recipes on Alida's Kitchen | alidaskitchen.com

Top 15 Recipes of 2015

Top 15 Recipes of 2015: A collection of the 15 most popular recipes of 2015 featured on Alida’s Kitchen!

Top 15 Recipes on Alida's Kitchen | alidaskitchen.com

Today’s post is the one I look most forward to all year long ~ collection of reader favorites! While the overall most popular recipe this year (and ever) remains Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites (posted in 2014), this compilation consists of the 15 most popular recipes that were posted in 2015. I see many household favorites on this list. In fact, we just had #14 for dinner last night!

And now…presenting the top 15 of 2015!

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Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #glutenfree #EatA2ZRecipeChallenge.

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites #WeekdaySupper

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites are bite-sized, protein-packed mini mac and cheese muffins made with quinoa, broccoli and cheddar cheese.  Easy to make, great for kids! {gluten free}

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites | alidaskitchen.com

While my family is generally open to most new recipes I make, as with all things ‘new’ there can be a bit of hesitation.  Even though we have quinoa on a semi-regular basis, for whatever reason it is still perceived as “new.”  However when combined with a favorite flavor combination (broccoli and cheddar cheese) and made into a shape that is always popular (bite-size mini muffin), all hesitation seems to disappear.  Understandably so, these Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites are addictive!  They are like little mac and cheese bites, only made healthier with quinoa and broccoli….

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baked dorito-crusted chicken

Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken


Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken came to me in a dream, which is funny because I’m typically not a flavored chip person (except for salt ‘n vinegar…yum!)  I dismissed it as a quirky pregnancy dream.  That is, until we had a bag of cheese tortilla chips (remember my Green Giant post?), which were just asking to be paired with chicken.

Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken tastes like…wait for it….yep, you guessed it.  Doritos and chicken.  And it’s really good!  The chicken is moist and juicy.  The salty, cheesy chips give a nice seasoning to the chicken as well.  We were very happy to finally turn my crazy dream into a delicious reality!

baked dorito-crusted chicken

Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken
 
Yields: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup crushed cheese tortilla chips (or any chip will work here)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I used skim)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 to 5 ounces each)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Put crushed chips in a shallow bowl.
  3. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk egg and milk until combined.
  4. Dip chicken breasts in milk mixture and then dip in chips, coating the chicken. Place on prepared baking sheet and lightly spray tops with cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

 

Healthy Banana Cookies - vegan, no added sugar and nut free | alidaskitchen.com

Healthy Banana Cookies

 Healthy Banana Cookies are a chewy, fruit-filled cookie made using some of my favorite foods – oats, dates and bananas.  They are made from simple, wholesome ingredients, have no butter and added sugar, thus making them a healthier choice.  I love the simplicity of these cookies and have to admit these cookies made a delightful breakfast!  These Healthy Banana Cookies also happen to be dairy free and can be gluten free.

I have had this at the top of my ‘to make’ pile for months just waiting for some super ripe bananas.   While we always have plenty of super ripe bananas in the house, they’re typically reserved for Pumpkin Banana Muffins or Pumpkin Banana Pancakes (or Strawberry Banana Pancakes once strawberry season hits).  Fortunately, I was a muffin and pancake making machine in advance of our new baby’s arrival, stocking the freezer full of Adam’s favorite banana goodies.  With a stocked freezer and 3 very ripe bananas, it was finally my opportunity to try these Healthy Banana Cookies!

Healthy Banana Cookies
 
Yields: approx. 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick cooking work fine)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) pitted dates, chopped
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add oats, dates, oil, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonful onto prepared cookie sheets. [Note: the cookies don't spread so you may want to shape them a bit]
  4. Bake cookies for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
These are best enjoyed the day after baking.

Coincidentally, this is also the first month of the Eating the Alphabet Healthy Recipe Challenge for 2013, hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.  Each month, several bloggers will focus on healthy recipes featuring fruits, vegetables grains or legumes, from a couple different letters (this month it is A or B).  I thought Healthy Banana Cookies would be the perfect healthy recipe to start off this fun series.

Baked Balsamic Chicken | alidaskitchen.com

Baked Balsamic Chicken

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Baked Balsamic Chicken is wholesome, easy and delicious!  This dish can be customized to use whatever herbs you like (or have on hand) and is perfectly paired with Minute® Multi-Grain Medley! Thank you Minute® Rice for sponsoring this post.
 This Baked Balsamic Chicken recipe has been a family favorite for years. The recipe was created when Greta was first born over 3 years ago and has been a regular feature on the dinner rotation ever since. The marinade takes minutes to prepare and then is poured in a zip-top bag with the chicken.  Let that sit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.  Then you just pour the chicken and marinade in a baking dish and bake.  Simple!

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Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Pumpkin Banana Muffins put a Fall twist on banana bread with the perfect balance of pumpkin and banana. 
Pumpkin Banana Muffins | alidasktichen.com
Pumpkin Banana Muffins are a huge hit in our household. They are made with whole wheat flour, bumping the nutrition value.  The pumpkin and banana make for a moist muffin, so not a lot of oil is needed.  I typically make these as a combination of mini muffins (24) and standard muffins (3) and freeze half of the mini muffins.

So last week was Adam’s first day of preschool. I decided to make Pumpkin Banana Muffins as a special surprise after school. Pumpkin Banana Muffins are his favorite muffin of all time, so I knew they would be a hit.  He loved school and was welcomed home with his favorite treat.  It is safe to say, he had the best day!

Pumpkin Banana Muffins | alidasktichen.com

Pumpkin Banana Muffins
 
Yields: 30 mini-muffins (or 15-18 standard muffins)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose flour/1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with baking spray and fill empty cups with water. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the bananas, pumpkin, oil, eggs and vanilla, until well-blended.
  4. Add banana mixture to flour mixture, gently folding until combined.
  5. Divide mixture evenly among prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes for mini muffins / 13 to 15 minutes for standard muffins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

ETA 10/19/12:  I have made these several times since posting and have experimented with different flours, since white whole wheat flour isn’t an ingredient I always have on hand.  All whole wheat pastry flour works really well, and the recipe has been updated below accordingly.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins {alidaskitchen.com}

Source: Pumpkin Banana Bread

oreo cookies and cream cupcakes

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Oreo cookie has been celebrating a big birthday.  As a result, our local grocery store was giving away a free package of Oreos.  That’s my kind of celebration!  I never buy Oreos, so wanted to make something special.  In the keeping with the festive spirit, I decided Oreo Cupcakes were definitely in order.

These Oreo Cupcakes were an indulgence, and an absolute treat.  The vanilla cake and the cream cheese frosting complement each other perfectly, while letting the Oreo cookies shine through in all their glory.  It doesn’t hurt there is half a cookie (the cream-filled half at that!) resting at the bottom of the cupcake, there are big cookie chunks studded throughout the cakes, and there is a dusting of chocolate cookie crumbs on the top.  These are the ultimate cupcakes for cookies and cream lovers!

So, back to birthdays…it just so happens today is my brother’s birthday. It’s a big birthday too ~ the kind with a 0 at the end. We can’t let a day like that go under-celebrated. He lives on the West coast, which makes an in-person cake celebration a bit tricky. So instead, we can celebrate with a virtual birthday cake, and these Oreo Cupcakes are posted in his honor!  Happy Birthday!

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
 
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • Cupcake:
  • 24 Oreo cookies, separated (carefully twist for 1 side with filling intact, 1 side just cookie)
  • 24 Oreo cookies, quartered
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for quartered Oreos
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used the ⅓ less fat variety), at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. With the Oreos that have been separated: 1) Place each cream-filled half of the separated Oreos at the bottom of each paper liner. 2) With the chocolate cookie halves, cut 12 in half and crush the remaining 12, and set aside for garnish.
  3. Toss the quartered Oreos in flour and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add milk, sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing until well-blended. Add the egg whites, and beat for 2 minutes. Fold in quartered Oreos.
  7. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add butter, and cream until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.
  9. Frost cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos and top with a half of the chocolate cookie halves.
Notes
There were a few comments on the original recipe that reported occasional cake sticking to the cupcake liners. While I did not experience this issue, I wanted to bring this to your attention so you carefully peel your liners. Also, I stored my cupcakes in the refrigerator, but do not know if that helped the paper liners release. They're good...enjoy!

Source:  Beantown Baker

oven-baked sriracha chicken

Oven-Baked Sriracha Chicken

It seems sriracha sauce is everywhere these days.  I was excited to find a baked chicken recipe using sriracha, but based on my preference, wanted to use chicken breast instead of drumsticks and thighs.  Of course when cooking with leaner, boneless/skinless cuts, such as chicken breast, modifications are required in order to achieve tender and juicy meat.  Well, the first time I made this with chicken breast, I intentionally did not adjust for this to see what would happen and guess what…it was dry!  But the flavor was amazing, so I knew it was worth further experimentation.  With a few simple tweaks, the result was exactly what I was hoping for ~ moist and tender, spicy sriracha chicken breast baked in the oven.  Keep in mind, the sriracha sauce has some heat, so adjust the amount accordingly.  We enjoyed this with edamame brown rice.

Oven-Baked Sriracha Chicken
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch green onions (greens (thinly sliced) and whites (minced) separated)
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (or grated)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (or grated)
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five star seasoning
  • 4 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the minced whites of the green onions, hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic, salt, lime juice, sriracha sauce, and seasoning.
  3. Working with once piece at a time, place chicken breast in the bowl and coat with sauce (note: the sauce is pretty thick). Place chicken breast in baking dish and repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Pour any remaining sauce over the chicken.
  4. Cover baking dish with with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Place chicken on serving dish(es) and top with green onion greens and sesame seeds.
Notes
Make ahead tip: Prepare chicken and sauce per the above and refrigerate until ready. Take chicken out of the refrigerator and then preheat the oven. Bake as usual.

Adapted from Eating Well

healthy chocolate peanut butter oat coconut bites

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are an addictive, no-bake snack, made from simple ingredients found in your pantry.  

It is no secret that I love peanut butter.  So you can imagine my excitement when I was selected to participate in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with the National Peanut Board.  The task was to create a snack recipe using peanut butter and incorporating other ingredients found in most homes. Easy enough!

I wanted to make something healthy, convenient and easy.  I also wanted to make something with oats.  It was time to roll up my sleeves, grab ingredients from the pantry and experiment.

After adding a little here, a touch there,…voila! I finally got the results I was looking for, using simple wholesome ingredients found in my pantry.

This healthy snack could not be any easier to make. The recipe requires no baking; simply measure, mix, roll and chill. The mixture may seem a little dry at first, but as you continue to mix it comes together (or add a little more honey or peanut butter to moisten the mixture to a consistency that works for you). Rolling the balls in a coating as optional. It makes the balls a little less sticky on the fingers, and also is a fun way to vary the flavors, but it is not necessary.

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are a healthy and delicious snack, or even a quick breakfast on-the-go, featuring one of my favorite foods of all time…peanut butter!

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
 
Yields: 16-18 balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter, natural is preferred (chunky or creamy)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • cocoa powder, wheat germ, powdered sugar, chopped peanuts, (optional) – for coating
Instructions
  1. Heat peanut butter and honey in the microwave until easily mixed, about 15-20 seconds. Stir until blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix oats, flaxseed and coconut (if using) until combined.
  3. Add peanut butter mixture to oat mixture and stir until incorporated. (Mixture may seem a little dry at first…just keep mixing).
  4. Form a rounded tablespoonful of the combined mixture into a ball and place on a plate. Repeat until all mixture is used. Now, if you do not want to coat the balls, skip to step 6.
  5. Roll each ball in whatever coating suits your preference. Cocoa powder, powdered sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon sugar and chopped peanuts are some ideas.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with 2 jars of Planters peanut butter, from the National Peanut Board, for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.