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Cocoa Pebbles Dirt Pudding {alidaskitchen.com}

Cocoa Pebbles Dirt Pudding

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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Post Pebbles but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PebblesBTS  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO 

walgreens-pebbles-collage

The other day Adam and I made a trip to Walgreens for some Post Pebbles Cereal, but if you follow Alida’s Kitchen on Instagram, you already know this.  I had several tasty recipe ideas swirling about, but also wanted to show Adam that you can take everyday items, such as cereal, and be creative.  While I do have an easy recipe to share with you, first I have to tell you about the fun project we made with our Pebbles Cereal!…

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healthy whole wheat banana buttermilk muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins are healthy muffin recipe that is not only delicious, but takes 10 minutes to prepare. These are sure to become a household favorite!

a healthy banana buttermilk muffin recipe

While I thought it was safe to assume that Pumpkin Banana Muffins are Adam’s favorite muffin, these Banana Buttermilk Muffins  may quickly take the top spot, if they haven’t already.  Within the first week of making the first batch, I had to make another…and another!  It seemed that Adam and Mike (and I too!) were devouring these faster than I could make them.  Fortunately, they are super quick and easy to make!  The hands on time takes about 10 minutes, and for some reason, these just seem easier to make than other muffins….

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sunflower seed butter buttermilk waffles

Sunbutter Waffles

Sunbutter Waffles are whole wheat, buttermilk waffles made with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (or other nut butter), making them a nut-free alternative.  While perfect just as-is, we also enjoy them topped with additional sunbutter, berries or maple syrup.

We have had a waffles iron for years, but for whatever reason it hasn’t been used much…well, until recently.  If you’re a regular reader, you know how much my Adam loves pancakes.  At least once per week, I make his favorite kind(s) of pancakes to load up the freezer and/or just to have on hand.  Sometimes I would end up making a double (or triple!) batch.  On my small little griddle, this exercise could take hours.  A labor of love I guess.  These days, with a newborn in the house, it’s a bit tricky to devote that much time to cooking or baking anything.  On a whim, I decided to try my hand at waffles.  Due to Adam’s peanut allergy, I opted to transform my beloved peanut butter waffles into sunbutter waffles.  I was pleased to discover cooking waffles is much quicker than flipping pancakes.  And Adam had 5 waffles for breakfast that day.   Operation waffle was a success!

 

For another recipe using sunbutter, try these Cocoa Crispy Sunbutter Bars.  They make a great snack!

Sunbutter Waffles
 
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat oil and sunflower seed butter until smooth. Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
  3. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until combined. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat waffle iron. Cook waffles according to the manufacturer directions for your waffle iron.
Notes
Note: Store leftovers in the refrigerator and toast to reheat. These also freeze well.

Adapted from Everyday Food

 

IMG_4695-001-PM

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt {Garbanzo Beans}

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt are a healthy, sweet and salty snack that is easy to make.  They are high in fiber, protein-packed, gluten free, dairy free…and Adam can’t get enough of them (in other words, they’re toddler friendly too!)

Honey Roasted Chickpeas are made with only a few simple ingredients, and you most likely have everything you need already in your pantry.  In fact, all you really need is one ingredient, and that’s the chickpeas.  The additional ingredients are simply for flavoring, but roasted chickpeas are super crunchy and delicious straight from the oven.  In this case I made them honey roasted with sea salt, however I have other variations in the works that I am excited to share with you soon!

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt | alidaskitchen.com

 

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
  • sea salt, add to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Empty chickpeas into a colander. Rinse until no longer foamy and drain. Put chickpeas onto paper towels to pat dry. (Optional: remove skins from chickpeas. Not necessary, but I recommend it).
  3. Place chickpeas in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, or until chickpeas are crunchy. (If they're soft, put them back in for 5 minutes until crunchy).
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk honey and oil. Add hot chickpeas and toss to coat. Pour chickpeas back on lined baking sheet and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until caramelized. Sprinkle with sea salt, as desired, and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
Slightly adapted from fitsugar.com

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt | alidaskitchen.com

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas made in a muffin tin

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas are fun, little individual deep dish pizzas made in a muffin tin.  First you roll out little pizza dough circles and then gently put them in the muffin cups.  Then fill each dough round with your desired sauce and toppings and then top it with cheese.   I used premade dough (from Trader Joe’s), topped them with a marinara sauce, broccoli, red onion and mozzarella cheese, and they came together in less than 30 minutes.  These Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas are completely customizable with your favorite sauce and toppings.  Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas are a definite crowd-pleaser. Besides – there is always something fun about anything in miniature!


Today I am being featured over at Momma’s Meals where I’m being featured as part of Tammi’s Featured Fridays series!  Every Friday, Tammi gets to know her fellow bloggers and makes one of their recipes to share with her family and then with her readers.

I thought it would be fun to make something from Tammi’s site to share with you, and her Individual Deep Dish Pizzas were perfect!  Incidentally I had been looking at an Everyday Food recipe for little deep dish pizzas made in a muffin tin, so these Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas that I’m sharing with you is sort of a combination of the two recipes.

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
 
Yields: 12 pizzas
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1 pound pizza dough (homemade or store-bought) - in 12 pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (I used a homemade marinara sauce)
  • Your favorite pizza toppings - about 1 to 2 tablespoons per pizza (I used chopped broccoli and red onion)
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of pizza dough into 6-inch circles. Place into prepared muffin cup, gently pressing dough into bottom and up the sides. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Put 1 tablespoon sauce in each dough cup. Top sauce with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pizza toppings and then top with cheese.
  4. Bake until dough is browned and crisp, approximately 12 minutes. Let cool for 2-5 minutes before removing from cups.

 

Sources:  Everyday Food,September, 2010 and Momma’s Meals

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.

healthy oatmeal raisin buttermilk pancakes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes are an easy, healthy, delicious breakfast treat that taste like oatmeal raisin cookies.  Yum!  They are made with the hearty goodness of oatmeal and whole wheat flour, sweetness from brown sugar and raisins and buttermilk, which of course makes everything good.

The first morning after I made these, Adam polished off six pancakes.  In fact, he ate that first batch so quickly, I wasn’t able to get any pictures.  Because he loved them so,  I made another batch a couple days later.  Fortunately, one afternoon I found myself with three pancakes and a good napper, so I was able to quickly snap some pics to share this wonderful recipe with you!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes
 
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. After 5 minutes, add eggs, oil and vanilla to buttermilk mixture, whisking until combined.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just moistened (Note: batter may be lumpy). Add raisins, folding until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  6. Spoon batter onto skillet by the ¼ cupful (adjust to desired size) (Note: If batter is a little thick, use the back of your spoon to spread/shape the pancakes). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles form and the edges look set. Flip pancakes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden.

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Alida's Kitchen

Every time I drop Adam off at Preschool, he asks what I’m going to do while he’s at school.  Last week I told him laundry and other boring things.  He told me I should make something…I should make something with pumpkin.  Little did he know, I had these Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies on my list of things to do, so easy enough.  I told him I would make some pumpkin cookies, and he just beamed!  That definitely sounds better than laundry 🙂

These Pumpkin White Chocolate Chips cookies are very soft with a little chewy bite from the oats.  I changed up the sugar ratio a bit from the original recipe because I love what brown sugar does to baked goods.  The original recipe calls for 1 egg, but I initially made a half recipe.  How do you cut an egg in half?  I used the full egg in half, and 2 in a full recipe.  The dough is a little gooey, so it helps to refrigerate it a bit before baking.    Otherwise I don’t know exactly how this impacts the recipe, but I do know these cookies are perfection and would not change a thing.

I am sharing these delightful cookies for week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I do think they would also make an excellent Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, or any time treat for other fellow pumpkin lovers!  

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Yields: approximately 48 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cram butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Taste of Home

If you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!

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

healthy carrot zucchini bread

Carrot Zucchini Bread

Carrot Zucchini Bread | alidaskitchen.com #recipes
Carrot Zucchini Bread is a moist, delicious twist on zucchini bread.  If you have extra zucchini, this is definitely a must-make!

The end of summer is one of my favorite times of year because it means zucchini is everywhere.  Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable that gets turned into delicious dishes, both savory and sweet, with so many possibilities!  I found myself with some zucchini and some leftover carrots from making Carrot Cake Pancakes.  My first instinct was to make pancakes (which might come later), but Carrot Zucchini Bread has been on my list for quite a while.  A quick bread with double veggies has got to be a good thing.  Carrot Zucchini Bread is a super tasty, fun twist on zucchini bread!

Carrot Zucchini Bread
 
Yields: 1 loaf (12 servings)
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup grated zucchini (squeeze out some excess moisture)
  • ½ cup grated carrot
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x4 loaf pan (or spray with baking spray) and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and oil until well blended. Add sugar and vanilla, and whisk until combined. Add zucchini and carrot, stirring until combined.
  4. Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture, gently folding until just combined.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Food.com

Carrot Zucchini Bread | alidaskitchen.com #recipes

healthy buttermilk banana bread pancakes

Banana Bread Pancakes

I love having extra bananas around the house because inevitable it means they will be made into something yummy.  In this instance, I turned them into Banana Bread Pancakes.  I have been looking for a good banana pancake recipe for years and, as usual, have never found what I was hoping for.  I decided to modify my go-to pancake base recipe, mix a few things up, go heavy on the bananas and see what happens.  The result are a healthy banana pancake that tastes just like banana bread.   They are delicious plain (that’s how Adam likes them) but for myself, I whipped up a little cream cheese drizzle from my Carrot Cake Pancakes.  No matter how you top them, these Banana Bread Pancakes are simply delicious.  Adam also gives his official toddler seal of approval, which is always a win in my book!

   

Banana Bread Pancakes
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 to 4 overripe bananas, mashed (approx 1½ cups)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, oil and mashed bananas until well-blended.
  3. Add flour mixture to banana mixture, stirring gently until just moistened (batter may be lumpy). Let batter sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  5. Spoon batter onto skillet by the 2 tablespoonfuls to ¼ cupful, depending on desired size (Note: If batter is a little thick, use the back of your spoon to spread/shape the pancakes). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles form and the edges look set. Flip pancakes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden.

 

healthy buttermilk oatmeal peach muffins

Oat Peach Muffins

One of the first cookbooks I purchased was the Better Crocker’s New Choices Cookbook.  I have found several wonderful recipes in that book, including these Oat Peach Muffins.  These muffins are one of my very favorites from the book, and it’s nice knowing they’re made on the healthier side.

What really makes these muffins amazing is the molasses.  Molasses adds such a delicious character to the muffins and really goes well with the peaches and cinnamon.  The oats give a hearty texture, while the buttermilk yields a moist crumb.  These muffins are a great way to put to use all of those fresh peaches this time of year.   I do often use frozen peaches though, so we can enjoy these muffins all year long.

Oat Peach Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup chopped peaches (thawed if frozen)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray (or line with paper liners).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats and buttermilk. Add brown sugar, oil, molasses, vanilla and egg, whisking until blended.
  4. Fold in flour mixture with buttermilk mixture until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in peaches.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s New Choices Cookbook

IMG_2529-002

Strawberry Banana Pancakes

We recently picked up several pounds of strawberries from a local farm, and I’m chipping away at my long list of things to make.  At the top of the list was pancakes, but not just any strawberry pancakes… Strawberry Banana Pancakes!  I searched online for inspiration and found nothing, so I decided to just make something up.  I took my standard pancake base recipe, combined it with my Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes and added some banana.  The result is a Strawberry Banana Pancake made with a buttermilk pancake base, a good dose of vanilla, and a generous amount of chopped strawberries and mashed bananas.  Such a delicious combination!

I never thought my little Adam would ever love any pancake more than Cottage Cheese Pancakes.  Well, after making these Strawberry Banana Pancakes, I stand corrected.  He devoured 4 pancakes with impressive speed and has been asking about them ever since.

Strawberry Banana Pancakes
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups low fat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 2 mashed bananas (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Cooking spray or addtional oil, for pan
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, oil and mashed bananas until well-blended.
  3. Add flour mixture to banana mixture, stirring gently until just moistened (batter may be lumpy) and then fold in strawberries. Let batter sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  5. Spoon batter onto skillet by the 2 tablespoonfuls to ¼ cupful, depending on desired size. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles form and the edges look set. Flip pancakes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden.

 

 

IMG_1142-004

Banana Cornbread Muffins

These  Banana Cornbread Muffins were whipped together as a result of a request from my little Adam.  For weeks, he had been asking me to make cornbread ~ specifically rosemary cornbread.   Since I did not have any fresh rosemary on hand (and let’s be honest…it’s just not the same with dried), I decided to come up with something new.  I spotted an overripe banana, got out a pen and a yellow sticky note and started jotting down what became this recipe.

The result is a muffin with a nice balance of banana and cornbread.  They are light and fluffy, like any good muffin should be (so more muffin-y than cornbread-y).  I made half with a banana slice on top and half without.  They look nicer with a slice, but the banana turns brown after a day or so.  It still tastes good, but just not as pretty.

Banana Cornbread Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe banana, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
thin banana slices (optional, for topping)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin pan with 12 paper liners (or spray with cooking spray).  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the banana, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until blended.
  4. Add the banana mixture to the cornmeal mixture and fold until combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.  Place a slice of banana on top of each muffin.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Carrot Cake Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

Carrot Cake Pancakes

 
 Carrot Cake Pancakes taste like carrot cake or breakfast, only healthier and quick and easy to make!  
After the first time I made these, all my little Adam could talk about for days were Carrot Cake Pancakes.  He wanted them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  And I can’t blame him really.  These pancakes taste like having carrot cake for breakfast (or lunch or dinner),…just a whole lot healthier!

These Carrot Cake Pancakes are made using whole wheat flour, buttermilk, and 2 full cups of shredded carrots.  There is a touch of brown sugar to give a little sweetness.  While these pancakes are delicious plain (Adam’s preferred way to eat them), I decided to dress them up a little a cream cheese drizzle.  Either way is excellent.  Pineapple, or whatever your favorite topping, would also be tasty.  Enjoy this little taste of spring!

Carrot Cake Pancakes
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrots, finely shredded (about 3 to 4 carrots)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts or raisins (optional)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 ounces neufachtel cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons skim milk (suggested amount; adjust to desired consistency)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently stir until blended. Fold in carrots (and nuts/raisins, if using). Let batter sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat large nonstick skillet or griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  5. Pour batter onto griddle (2 tablespoons to ¼ cup, depending on desired size of pancakes). Flip pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked (about 2-3 minutes). Cook the other side until set (about 2 minutes). Serve warm with Cream Cheese Drizzle (optional).
  6. Cream Cheese Drizzle: beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk until well-blended. Add milk by the tablespoonful, adjusting to desired consistency).

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Drizzle | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #healthy #carrotcake #breakfast #Easter

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin’s springtime recipes at www.maketimeforchange.com, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with SymmetryTM Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (thatcan each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

peanut butter pumpkin spice granola bars

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

In the spirit of the Peanut Butter for Breakfast campaign, I thought it would be fun to share some breakfast recipes using peanut butter.  What better place to find inspiration than the National Peanut Board’s website.  I found so many delicious ideas, including these super healthy granola bars.  It is amazing how easy and inexpensive it is to make granola bars right at home.  And they’re good too!

These granola bars have a perfect balance of flavors and a nice texture that is not too chewy, not too crispy.  They are naturally sweetened with dried fruit and a touch of molasses.  The peanut butter is present, but subtle, and acts as a binder with the egg whites.  Add a little spice, some oats and seeds, and you have a healthy, high-protein, high-fiber granola bar that is perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, a mid-morning pick me up, or any time the mood strikes.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
 
Yields: 8 bars
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried fruit, such as dates, raisins, prunes, chopped (I used dates)
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, egg whites and molasses until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, dried fruit, flaxseed, pepitas, sesame seeds and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add the oat mixture to the peanut butter mixture, and stir until combined.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish and use a silicone spatula (or the back of a spoon sprayed with cooking spray) to spread the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove from pan by lifting out the foil and then cut into 8 bars.

Adapted from the National Peanut Board

peanut butter buttermilk pancakes

Peanut Butter Pancakes

As a lover of all things peanut butter and a frequent pancake maker, making Peanut Butter Pancakes was inevitable.  I searched online for some inspiration, but did not quite find what I was looking for.  Most recipes I found did not use natural peanut butter (some even discouraged it).  Natural peanut butter is a must for me, so I decided just to wing it.  The rest of the recipe just fell into place, and the result was just what I had in mind.  These Peanut Butter Pancakes have the perfect amount of peanut butter flavor, with a little sweetness from brown sugar.  Buttermilk contributes to the fluffy texture, and the whole wheat flour adds more nutrition.  They are delicious plain, with a little syrup, or even jelly to make a PB&J pancake!

Peanut Butter Pancakes
 
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1¼ cups low fat buttermilk
  • ½ cup chunky natural peanut butter (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • maple or chocolate syrup (optional, for serving)
  • chopped peanuts (optional, for serving)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt (if using). Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, peanut butter, oil, vanilla and eggs, until well-blended.
  3. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat large nonstick skillet (or griddle) to medium (about 325 degrees).
  5. Pour batter onto griddle (2 tablespoons to ¼ cup, depending on desired size of pancakes). Flip pancakes when top are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked (about 2-3 minutes). Cook the other side until set (about 2 minutes). Serve warm.
Notes
To soften natural peanut butter and make it easier to work with, just microwave it in the jar for about 30 seconds (adjust depending on how much is left in the jar).

 

lighter healthy pretzel-crusted mustard chicken breast

Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

Like most people it seems, I am always on the look out for healthy, easy and delicious ways to cook chicken.  This Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken is all of the above, is figure-friendly, family-friendly, and also easily halved to yield 2 servings.

No oil or butter helps make this a lighter and healthier version of a breaded chicken.  Chicken breast cutlets, or tenders, are dipped in an egg white and honey mustard mixture and then “breaded” with crushed pretzels.  A little cheese helps the pretzels adhere, and some seasoning rounds out the flavors quite nicely.  Served with a side salad or crudites, Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken is as good, and good for you, as it is easy, and comes in around 200 calories.  Enjoy!


Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken
 
This is one of our frequent go-to dinners for when we need something quick, easy and healthy.
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 4-ounce chicken breast cutlets (about ¼" thickness) or 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 1½ cups pretzels, crushed (yields approx. 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Olive oil cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg whites and honey mustard.
  3. In another shallow bowl, mix pretzels, cheese, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  4. Dip a chicken breast in egg mixture. Then dip the chicken in the pretzel mixture, pressing the coating to help it adhere and making sure both sides get well-coated. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Spray tops of chicken lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until pretzel coating is browned and chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately.
Notes
Adapted from Eat Better America

raisin bran muffins

Raisin Bran Muffins

These Raisin Bran Muffins come from a cookbook called Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual, by Klutz Press.  I received this book as a gift when I was about 10 years old.  The book is obviously geared toward kids with recipes using basic ingredients ~ some with silly names or  interesting concepts (for example Tuna Cones, i.e. tuna in an ice cream cone.  Hmm…)

Anyway, these Raisin Bran Muffins were always a favorite and probably the most made recipe from that book.  They taste just like you would expect – raisin bran in muffin form.  I thought they would be a fun treat to make for Adam, only this time I decided to enhance the recipe with some vanilla, cinnamon and extra raisins.  I had no idea how much he would love them!  Adam is lukewarm about raisins alone, but the raisins in these muffins he loves.  Go figure.

Raisin Bran Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

2 cups raisin bran cereal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir raisin brain cereal, flours, sugar, raisins, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Mix egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.  Add to the dry ingredients and fold gently until combined (do not over mix).
  4. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Bake for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Put muffins on a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual by Klutz Press

healthy whole wheat buttermilk chocolate pancakes

Whole Wheat Chocolate Pancakes

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I could not think of a better way to honor this day with you than dishing up a plate of these Whole Wheat Chocolate Pancakes.  Along with a cup of joe and a dish of fresh berries, these pancakes make a wonderful breakfast treat and are not as bad for you as you might think.  A healthy stack comes in around 200 calories, is low in fat, made with 100% whole wheat flour and high in fiber.  I’d say that’s not bad!

These pancakes are nice and light, making them perfect for breakfast, though they can certainly be dressed up for dessert as well. They are not overly sweet, which I like because you can easily adjust the sweetness to your preference with your choice of toppings. We actually enjoyed them plain, but a sprinkle of powdered sugar and some fresh berries is also delicious. Chocolate sauce, whipped cream and chocolate chips would definitely takes these over the top (making them more dessert-like and less healthy, of course).  The options are endless, which is always part of the fun.  Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Pancakes
 
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons low fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (I used some from my morning decaf)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I used light butter)
  • Cooking spray
  • Strawberries (optional, for topping)
  • Powdered sugar (optional, for topping)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, coffee, vanilla and butter.
  3. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and fold until blended (there may be some lumps). Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Preheat non-stick skillet over medium and then spray with cooking spray. Pour batter in skillet by the ¼ cupful and cook until bubbles appear (about 3 minutes). Flip and cook on the other side until done (about 2-3 minutes). Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with fresh berries and powdered sugar, as desired.

Adapted from Kiwi, Jan/Feb 2011

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Coconut Cranberry Muffins

I had been craving something with coconut for some time, and it occurred to me that coconut paired with cranberries would be a lovely combination.  Cranberries are so wonderful in the wintertime. They add beautiful, seasonal color, as well as a delightful zing to any dish.  Of course, my next thought was…let’s make muffins! 

The sweetness of the coconut was the perfect counterbalance to the tangy cranberries.  The whole family loved these, especially Adam (though at first, the cranberries were a bit too surprising).  Adam asked for coconut cranberry muffins every day for weeks.  Quite frankly, an almost 2 year old saying ‘coconut cranberry’ anything is quite possibly the cutest thing ever.  As if you didn’t need another reason to make these…they are just plain good!


Coconut Cranberry Muffins
Yields 18 muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare 18 muffin cups with liners or cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir flours, sugar, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt, until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture to flour, gently folding until combined.  Fold in cranberries.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan.  Sprinkle with remaining coconut.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Adapted from Food.com

Linked to Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for Saturday #50

banana graham muffins

Banana Graham Muffins

One of the reasons I often make muffins or quick breads is so that Mike can take breakfast on-the-go.  With this lastest muffin creation, I wanted to make something that Adam would love as well.  It definitely did not take me long to come up with this one.  It is no secret that toddlers love bananas and toddlers love graham crackers.  So why not put the two together in a muffin to create the ultimate toddler treat!

I must confess that Adam is not the only banana and graham cracker lover in this house ~ yours truly is a huge fan as well.  These muffins definitely did not disappoint!  The crushed graham crackers definitely add a tasty spin on an otherwise simple banana muffin recipe.  In fact, they ended up being a nice combination of the two flavors.  They were not overly graham cracker-y but also not like banana bread.  I added some cinnamon, which ended up very subtle in this recipe.  That amount could be doubled if you’re looking for something cinnamony to go with your banana and graham.

So did Adam love them?  He sure did!  In fact, we all did, and I hope you do too!

Banana Graham Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners (or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the graham crackers, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combined the mashed bananas, oil milk, egg anv vanilla.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, folding gently until combined (be careful not to over mix).
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Adapted from Baking Vintage

Pumpkin Cornbread

Pumpkin Cornbread

On Monday, I shared my favorite chili recipe of all time and gave you a preview of today’s post.  What goes best with chili – cornbread!  As I am sure you have noticed, we are all about pumpkin over here these days.  So we put the two together to make Pumpkin Cornbread.

This recipe is super easy to make, and the sweet cornbread was the perfect complement to the spicy chili.  The leftovers were a great quick breakfast on the go, while Adam enjoyed it most as a snack in the car after a trip to the zoo.  Versatile and delicious, these Pumpkin Cornbread recipe is definitely a keeper.

Pumpkin Cornbread
 
Yields: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8x8" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar and cornmeal; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and then stir in the pumpkin, oil and molasses until combined.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan (smooth the top, if needed).
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Slightly Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

no sugar healthy whole wheat pumpkin banana pancakes for toddlers

Pumpkin Banana Pancakes

Here are the Pumpkin Banana Pancakes I alluded to in yesterday’s post.  Thankfully I did not lose the eggs and was able to make them.  It’s a good thing too.  I was excited to try a new spin on an old recipe, and Adam absolutely LOVED them!  Similar to Pumpkin Banana Bread, these definitely taste like a cross between pumpkin pancakes and banana pancakes.  Not a bad thing if you ask me!

The recipe made around 50 small-ish pancakes.  I typically make a huge batch for the freezer and package them in groups of 6 (enough for a few days in each bag).  I figured Adam would eat 1 or 2, and I would have the rest to use for pictures during nap time.  Well…that morning he ate 4. Then he asked for another one for snack.  This left me with 1 pancake for pictures.  I couldn’t quite take a picture of just 1 pancake, so I decided to do pictures the next day and took out another 6-pack from the freezer.  Of course, what did Adam do the next day?  He ate 4 pancakes!  I feared having fewer, so I made do with the 3 that remained.  I’m just so glad he likes them.  I hope you do too!

Pumpkin Banana Pancakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups milk (whole, skim, 1%, whatever you like)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir and sift flours, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. In another bowl, beat eggs with pumpkin, banana and vanilla. Add milk and oil and mix until smooth.
  3. Fold pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  5. Drop pancake batter by the generous tablespoonful onto griddle. Cook until bubbles appear (about 2-3 minutes). Flip and cook until set (about 2-3 minutes). Repeat.
Notes
These freeze really well. I store them in a plastic baggie in groups of 6, with each pancake separated by wax paper squares. I then put all of the plastic baggies in a freezer bag.
rp_DSC07823-1.JPG

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Adam’s nap cycle is pretty predictable.  He typically naps for 2-3 hours each day, but occasionally goes through week-long periods of 1 hour naps.  Sometimes it’s due to teeth, sometimes it’s due to growing, and sometimes who knows.  We have been through it enough to know that it passes in about a week.  So when we found ourselves through week 2 of short naps, it was a little disconcerting (and tiring) for all.  Fortunately, we did made it through the latest short-nap phase, and these Pumpkin Apple Muffins are a result of those extra 2 hours I was not expecting.   

I have been working on a recipe for Pumpkin Apple Muffins for quite a while.  When I found myself with extra apples from other recipes and several cans of pumpkin puree, it was clearly time to execute my vision.  The combination of my two favorite fall flavors was just so appealing.  The result is a moist, flavorful muffin that is a perfect blend of pumpkin and apple.

After Adam’s blissful 3 hour nap, I decided we should split a muffin for snack.  Before he could even finish his first bite, Adam said ‘more muffin.’  Over and over, ‘more muffin for Adam’ until he finished nearly 3/4 of our muffin.  His enthusiasm says it all…these are fantastic!   

Pumpkin Apple Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs (or 1 egg and 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water – see note)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 medium apple, cored and shredded (any variety)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups in a standard muffin tin.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda until combined.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, applesauce and apple until combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently fold until combined. (note: batter will be thick)
  5. Divide batter evenly amongst 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note:  I only had 1 egg, so I used ground flaxseed as a substitute.  1 egg = 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water.  Mix flaxseed and water in a bowl and let sit for about 2 minutes.  Add just as you would an egg.

    Adapted from Low Fat Cooking @ about.com

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      Pumpkin Pancakes

      When Adam first started eating solid foods, I did a lot of online research and took out ever toddler cookbook from the library that I could find.  I was determined to find good and nutritious to make for him.  These pumpkin pancakes were one of the first finger foods that Adam would actually eat.  A year later, he still loves his pumpkin pancakes.  I like that this recipe uses whole wheat flour and no sugar, and he enjoys them plain.  Mike and I also enjoy them plain, though we typically top ours with a little maple syrup and/or apple butter. 

      Pumpkin Pancakes
      Yield will vary – I make about 32 pancakes

      1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
      3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
      1 tablespoon baking powder
      2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
      2 eggs
      1 cup pumpkin puree
      2 cups buttermilk (or whole milk)
      3 tablespoons canola oil
      1 teaspoons vanilla
      Cooking spray
      maple syrup, apple butter (optional, for serving)

      1. In a large bowl, stir and sift flours, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice. 
      2. In another bowl, beat eggs with pumpkin and vanilla.  Add milk and oil and mix until smooth.
      3. Fold pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients.  Let sit for 10 minutes.
      4. Meanwhile, preheat griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. 
      5. Drop pancake batter by the generous tablespoonful onto griddle.  Cook until bubbles appear (about 2 minutes).  Flip and cook until set (about 2 minutes).  Repeat.

      Note:  These freeze really well.  I store them in a plastic baggie in groups of 6, with each pancake separated by wax paper squares.  I then put all of the plastic baggies in a freezer bag.  

      Adapted from Wholesome Toddler Food

      Baked Penne with Cheddar & Leeks

      Hi friends, are you still with me? In yesterday’s food-free post, I promised you a tasty recipe. What can be more tasty than cheese…and lots of it! Not much if you ask me. This upscale version of macaroni and cheese has plenty of cheese and a twist to boot.

      Actually the twist in this dish is two-fold. For one, eggs, in lieu of a roux, are used as a thickener which creates a gooey custard. For two, the addition of sweet leeks provides the perfect counterbalance to the cheddar.  All together it takes your everyday macaroni and cheese comfort food to a whole new level of cheesy goodness. 

      While it takes a little extra effort to make this dish, it is definitely worth it.  It makes enough to serve a crowd, a couple of hungry teenagers, or simply to reheat throughout the week for lunches.  Served with a side of green beans, a salad or whatever is your favorite vegetable, Baked Penne with Cheddar and Leeks is sure to become a family favorite!

      Have a fabulous weekend and thank you for visiting Alida’s Kitchen!

      Baked Penne with Cheddar and Leeks
      Serves 8 to 10

      1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter  (I used light butter)

      5 cups chopped leeks, white and pale green parts only; about 5 large
      2 garlic cloves, minced
      1/4 cup all purpose flour
      3 1/2 cups skim milk
      1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated, about 4 cups packed
      1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
      1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
      Fresh ground pepper
      2 large eggs
      1 pound penne pasta
      1. Spray baking dish with cooking spray 13 x 9 baking dish. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 400°F.
      2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
      3. Add leeks; stir to coat. Cover saucepan and cook until leeks are tender, stirring occasionally (about 12 minutes; do not brown).  After about 10 minutes, add minced garlic to the leeks to cook for the final 2 minutes.  
      4. Then uncover saucepan; add flour. Stir 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to simmer, stirring often. Add cheese, mustard, and pepper sauce. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Season cheese sauce to taste with salt. 
      5. Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 1 cup cheese sauce. Stir egg mixture into cheese sauce in saucepan.
      6. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot.
      7. Stir cheese sauce into pasta in pot. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
      8. Bake pasta until cheese sauce is bubbling around edges and some ends of pasta are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let stand 15 minutes. Serve hot.

      Adapted from Bon Apetit

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      Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes

      My Adam is a pancake-eating machine.  Though he is pretty set on eating his favorite Cottage Cheese Pancakes every morning, I like to encourage a little variety.  So when I had some extra strawberries, I decided to give strawberry pancakes a whirl.  I figure Adam loves strawberries. Adam loves pancakes. It just might work. I scoured the internet, found some inspiration, and crafted this recipe with fingers crossed it would be a success. 

      I had Mike test the first pancake. After one bite, he asked for another. 🙂

      I gave a pancake to Adam…instead of pushing away the new pancake, he ate the whole thing.  Success!  

      Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes are packed with an abundance of juicy strawberries and simply delicious. I used whole wheat pastry flour, but you can definitely substitute all-purpose flour if that’s what you have. I diced the strawberries (in eighths), though sliced strawberries would work just fine and yield a beautiful result. Using orange zest is optional. You could substitute any other citrus zest or simply omit the zest if that’s your preference.

      There is no question that Cottage Cheese Pancakes are Adam’s favorite, but these Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes may someday rival that top spot.  Mike and I definitely love them, so here are tasty fruit-filled pancakes that will please everyone at the table, big and small.

      Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes
      Yields 32 small pancakes

      1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
      1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
      2 teaspoons baking powder
      1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
      1 cup buttermilk
      1 egg
      1 tablespoon canola oil
      2 tablespoons vanilla extract
      2 cups strawberries, diced or sliced
      1-2 teaspoons granulated sugar
      zest of 1 orange (optional)
      powdered sugar or maple syrup, for serving (optional)

      1. In a small bowl, mix strawberries and orange zest (if using) with 1-2 teaspoons of granulated sugar (adjust the sugar based on the sweetness of your berries). 
      2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar and baking powder.  Set aside.
      3. In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla until combined.
      4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing until combined.  Fold in strawberries and orange zest, if using.
      5. Heat griddle to medium heat (add oil and/or use cooking spray as needed).  Pour about 1 tablespoon of batter onto griddle for each pancake.
      6. Cook until you see bubbles appear (about 2-3 minutes), flip and cook on the other side until set (about 2 minutes).

      Adapted from All Recipes

      Veggie Pizza Puffs

      Garden Pizza Puffs

      Veggie Pizza Puffs

      We eat a lot of muffins in this house.  We also eat a lot of pizza.  So when I stumbled upon a recipe for pizza made in a mini-muffin tin, it was like two worlds colliding into something brilliant!

      Garden Pizza Puffs are cheesy, delicious and very easy to make. With only about 35 calories per puff, they are a fun and healthy option to satisfy your pizza cravings.

      The original recipe is made with pepperoni, which would be pretty good.  I thought it would be even better with made vegetables and herbs.  The recipe written below reflects the vegetables that I used, though you can experiment with the same amounts of whatever meats and/or vegetables you like.  I have also used whole wheat and all-purpose flours, and either one works great.  The beauty of this recipe is the ability to customize everything to suit your preferences.

      Served with a side of pizza sauce for dipping or with a dollop of sauce on each puff, these would make for a super cute appetizer at your next dinner party.  Mike and I had 10 puffs each and called it dinner.  These puffs would also be a tasty treat for kids.

      Given the unlimited possibilities, I look forward to doing lots of experimenting with this recipe.  In the meantime, we will just have to continue to test several variations of pizza puffs.  Oh the sacrifices we make! 🙂

      Garden Pizza Puffs
       
      Yields: Yields 24 puffs (see note)
      Ingredients
      • ¾ cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
      • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
      • ¾ cup skim milk
      • 1 egg, lightly beaten
      • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
      • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
      • ½ cup red onion, chopped
      • ½ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
      • 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
      • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
      • pizza sauce, for serving
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
      2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Whisk in the milk and egg. Fold in the cheese, garlic, onion, roasted red pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper (if using). Let stand for 10 minutes.
      3. Stir the batter and divide evenly among the mini-muffin cups (fill to about ½ to ⅔ full).
      4. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 mintutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan serve with pizza sauce.
      Notes
      Yields 12 puffs in a regular-sized muffin pan - adjust baking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

      Adapted from Rachael Ray

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      Kiddie Cheese Square

      All right folks, here is a tasty treat for your little ones. Now Adam is not a picky eater per se, but he will not eat plain cottage cheese, and he will not eat plain eggs (no matter how much cheese is added).  Put the 2 together, along with some flour and shredded cheese and voila! Kiddie Cheese Square is delicious, protein-packed, and one of Adam’s favorite lunches!


      Making Kiddie Cheese Square could not be any easier – just mix everything together and bake. I typically cut the square in quarters and then wrap each quarter in cling wrap to store (and refrigerate after a couple days).  I have also stored cheese square in the pan, but fridge space is a premium in our house, so storing them as quarters is easier. Do what works best for you.


      To serve, I cut 1-2 strips from the square and heat in the microwave for about 5 seconds (enough to heat and soften the square).  I then cut the strips into bite-sized pieces for Adam. At 16 months, he averages about 4 strips per sitting, and at 12 months, he ate 1-2 strips.

      I think cheese square tastes like a cheesy pie crust.  Others have remarked it is like kiddie pizza without the sauce.  Regardless of what we think, Adam just thinks it’s great!  Who would have thought that 4 simple ingredients mixed together could turn into something so tasty! 

      Kiddie Cheese Square
      Yields one 9 x 9 square, serving size varies

      3/4 cup all-purpose flour (see note)
      1 egg, lightly beaten
      3 ounces cheese, shredded (any cheese, such as cheddar, colby jack, mozzarella)
      1 cup cottage cheese

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
      2. In a large bowl, combine cheese, egg and cottage cheese.  Add flour and mix until combined.  Be careful not to over mix. (Note: mixture will be stiff to stir, yet sticky to the touch).  
      3. Pour mixture in baking pan.  Using waxed paper, press mixture to spread out and fill the pan.  
      4. Bake for about 35-40  minutes, or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.   Be careful not to over bake.  Cool and cut into squares. 

      Note:  I have tried using whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour, and this definitely works best with all-purpose flour.  Whole wheat flours made the square too dense for Adam to “chew” but might work for a child with molars. 

      Adapted from The Everything Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book