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Orange Banana Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

Orange Banana Smoothie

This Orange Banana Smoothie recipe features a simple and delicious fruit flavor combination, along with protein-packed Greek yogurt, and takes only minutes to make! 

Orange Banana Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

Every morning I wake up early to go on a long run before the chaos (i.e. kids wake up!) Then the usual morning routine begins to get everyone breakfast, dressed and ready for school. Of course this means that sometimes I end up missing my own breakfast because, well…life happens. However this easy Orange Banana Smoothie recipe that takes only a minute to make (and is super delicious) is just what I need to start my mornings right!…

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Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

An easy recipe for warm, cinnamon, oatmeal, raisin studded Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins that take only minutes to make. Thank you to DairyPure Milk for sponsoring this post.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Breakfast time just got a whole lot tastier, thanks to this easy recipe for Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins. The muffins are soft with a slightly chewy bite from the oatmeal. There are wonderful, warm cinnamon flavors and bursting sweet raisins throughout. They are topped with a cinnamon sugar crumble that makes them extra special….

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Overnight Baked Peach French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast is a delicious breakfast bread pudding made with cinnamon swirl bread, juicy peaches throughout, topped with a buttery brown sugar oat crumble and made on the lighter side. 

Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

With back to school just around the corner, I am looking for ways to streamline our routines to make those hectic mornings a little easier. I am stocking our freezer with waffles, pancakes and muffins to have quick and easy breakfasts, as well as keeping easy recipes, like this Overnight Baked Peach French Toast, at the ready at all times.

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast puts a summer twist on our favorite French toast recipe (this Baked Pumpkin French Toast).  In lieu of pumpkin and spices, it has delicious, juicy peaches in every bite. Otherwise it is made with the same cinnamon bread cut into cubes, the same wonderful buttery brown sugar oat crumble topping that everyone loves and also made lighter using nonfat evaporated milk.  Everything about this Overnight Baked Peach French Toast is just so good…and easy too!…

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus | alidaskitchen.com

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is a delicious and healthy dip (or spread) that is so easy to make at home. {vegan, gluten free}  Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus | alidaskitchen.com

This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe can be made in minutes using common pantry ingredients. Not only does it taste fresh and delicious, but it is also a great recipe to get the kids involved. My kids love to pour in the ingredients and (of course) power the food processor. (Mama, can I pulse it just one more time pleeeeeeease?)…

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Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes

An easy recipe for Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes made with whole wheat flour, vanilla soymilk and studded with fresh blueberries throughout.

Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

I always have Vanilla Silk® Soymilk on hand for my favorite smoothies or oatmeal…my usual breakfast foods.  The vanilla flavor from soymilk makes them taste extra special, and I love that the Silk Soymilk is a good source of protein, low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol.  Because Vanilla Silk Soymilk has been such a delicious swap in my other favorite breakfast foods, I decided to treat my family by using it in place of the usual dairy milk in a new pancake recipes – Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes!…

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

For a quick and healthy breakfast, this easy Strawberry Banana Smoothie recipe is thick, creamy and delicious! {gluten free}  

Strawberry Banana Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

This Strawberry Banana Smoothie has been my little taste of sunshine this winter.   Bursting with juicy fresh strawberries, bananas and a protein boost from Greek yogurt, it is easy to make and always delicious!   The strawberry and banana combination is always a favorite and when whipped into a smoothie, becomes perfect for busy mornings, any time on-the-go or for an afternoon snack pick-me-up!…

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Spinach Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Spinach Pesto Pasta #WeekdaySupper

Spinach Pesto Pasta is an easy vegetable and cheese pesto pasta recipe made lighter using Greek yogurt. {nut free, can be gluten free}

Spinach Pesto Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

This Spinach Pesto Pasta recipe was inspired by two of our favorite dinners – this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and Broccoli Pea Pesto Pasta.  I make one of these recipes at least once a week, at the request of my kids.  They are all quick and easy, perfect for a weeknight.  Besides, with all of the vegetables and Greek yogurt, who am I to say no when they ask for such an easy, healthy dinner!  …

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Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus

This easy recipe for Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus using black beans in lieu of garbanzo beans, results in a healthy dip (or spread) the whole family will love! Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post as part of the Pantry Insiders program. 

Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus is an easy recipe for a healthy hummus made with black beans and jalapeno peppers.  This recipe is part inspired by my Jalapeno Hummus recipe and otherwise inspired by my love of black beans.  Even though hummus is traditionally made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas), in this recipe it was fun to mix things up a bit.  You can definitely taste the black beans, which goes amazingly well with the spices and jalapeno peppers. The tahini rounds everything out, giving it that hummus flavor that we all know and love….

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Gingerbread Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

Gingerbread Pancakes

Enjoy a holiday favorite flavor made healthier with these Gingerbread Pancakes!  They are a simple buttermilk pancake recipe with a gingerbread twist.  Thank you to Mahdava Sweeteners for sponsoring this post.

Gingerbread Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

Gingerbread is one of quintessential flavors of the holidays.  The warmth and spiciness illicit fond memories of gingerbread houses, cut out cookies, cake and more.  With the abundance of treats around this time of year, I like to find healthier ways to enjoy my favorite holiday flavors, such as these Gingerbread Pancakes.    …

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Oatmeal Cranberry Snack Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Oatmeal Cranberry Snack Bars

Oatmeal Cranberry Snack Bars are packed with wholesome oats, tangy cranberries and very easy to make!  They are perfect for a quick snack, a healthier dessert, or even as a breakfast treat. Oatmeal Cranberry Snack Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Cranberries are a wonderful flavor of the holidays.  From cranberry sauce to cranberry white chocolate desserts, the taste of cranberries conjures up memories of Thanksgiving, winter holidays and everything in between. To celebrate the season, I wanted to come up with something using cranberries that is easy to make, on the healthier side and would be as suitable as an after school snack with my best buddy to a quick breakfast on the go for Mike.  These Oatmeal Cranberry Snack Bars, made with wholesome oats and studded with tart dried cranberries throughout, fit that bill perfectly!…

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Cheesy Green Bean Casserole | alidaskitchen.com #recipes

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole {No Soup}

For a healthier twist on a holiday classic favorite, try this easy recipe for a Cheesy Green Bean Casserole that is creamy, cheesy, made with Greek yogurt and without soup.  Thank you to Del Monte (through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select) for sponsoring this post!

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole | alidaskitchen.com #recipes

Now that it is November, we are eagerly planning our holiday menus. When planning side dishes, one dish that almost always appears at every family holiday gathering is Green Bean Casserole. It is the same, traditional recipe that everybody makes.  However, in preparation for this year, I decided to give Green Bean Casserole a healthier, tastier makeover. This result is a Cheesy Green Bean Casserole that is a huge crowd pleaser for the whole family!…

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Grilled Honey Lime Chicken #SundaySupper - Alida's Kitchen

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken #SundaySupper

Fire up the grill for this easy recipe for Grilled Honey Lime Chicken!  A simple combination of honey, lime, soy sauce and garlic results in a tangy-sweet, delicious and healthy meal. {gluten free, dairy free}

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken #SundaySupper | Alida's Kitchen

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken is fresh and light with a delightful balance of honey, lime, soy sauce and garlic.  This is one of our favorite meals for the summer because it is easy, healthy and everybody loves it!  The marinade takes minutes to mix together, then just pour it over the chicken in a zip-top bag and pop it in the refrigerator until it is time to grill.  As with any citrus marinade, the marinade acts quickly so the chicken can be grilled within 15 minutes thought I have also let the chicken marinate overnight for a great make ahead option.  …

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Low Fat Chocolate Cake | chocolaty fudgy cake made with coconut oil

Low Fat Chocolate Cake

This Low Fat Chocolate Cake is fudgy sheet cake is topped with a fudgy frosting and easy to make.  It is moist, chocolaty and delicious!

Low Fat Chocolate Cake | chocolaty fudgy cake made with coconut oil

I just looked at the calender and realized that Monday was my 3 year blogiversary.  And a celebration isn’t a celebration without cake…and sprinkles!  So I am sharing this simple, tasty Low Fat Chocolate Cake in honor of YOU, in honor of the blog, and just because who doesn’t like a delicious cake made on the lighter side!

Low Fat Chocolate Cake | chocolaty fudgy cake made with coconut oil

I’m not always a fan of going low fat just for the sake of low fat. But in an effort to save calories with something that is simple, chocolaty and delicious, I’m all for it. This Low Fat Chocolate Cake is made using coconut oil, both in the cake and frosting. I love using coconut oil in baked goods. This was also my first time using coconut oil in frosting, which turned out great!

Low Fat Chocolate Cake
 
Author:
Yields: 18 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Cooking spray
Frosting:
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (I used skim)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Prepare cake: In a small bowl, combine cocoa and water and let cool Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate large bowl, add sugar, coconut oil and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in cocoa mixture. Alternate beating in flour and buttermilk to cocoa, ending with flour - beat well after each addition. Pour cake into prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.
  3. Prepare frosting: In a large bowl, add sugar, cocoa powder, coconut oil and vanilla and beat with a mixer until combined. Add milk until desired consistency is achieved. Spread over cooled cake and decorate as desired.

Low Fat Chocolate Cake | chocolaty fudgy cake made with coconut oil

Chocolate Coconut Milk Pudding | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #pudding #coconutmilk #Silk #yaywater

Chocolate Coconut Milk Pudding

Chocolate Coconut Milk Pudding is a smooth, rich chocolaty pudding made using coconut milk, takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and then chills in the refrigerator until set. {gluten free, can be vegan using dairy-free chocolate}

Move over box pudding! This homemade Chocolate Coconut Milk Pudding not only tastes better than its pre-made counterpart, but it is so easy to make! Simply start by whisking the dry ingredients in a sauce pan. Next stir in coconut milk, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until thickened. Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract and stir until chocolate is melted. Pour the pudding into serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap (touching the pudding surface) and then chill. It could not be any easier or tastier!…

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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups | alidaskitchen.com

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups #SundaySupper

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups | alidaskitchen.com #SundaySupper

After making the Spinach Lasagna Cups recipe for last Sunday, I had another tasty idea pop into my head that I had to make right away – Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups.  I don’t typically like to share similar recipes back-to-back, but these were so good, they simply could not wait.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups are made with layers of cheese, veggies, spicy, buffalo-sauce soaked shredded chicken and more cheese.  In other words, they combine some of the most delicious game day foods (or any day foods, duh!)  into a  wonderful, bite-sized lasagna. The concept is the same as the Spinach Lasagna Cups, with lasagna-style layering, using wonton wrappers in place of noodles.   They are quick and easy to make, and bake up in a snap!…

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Lentil Tacos | alidaskitchen.com #WeekdaySupper

Lentil Tacos #WeekdaySupper

Lentil Tacos are a hearty, vegan dish made a little spicy and a lot delicious.  Even meat lovers will enjoy these high-protein, fiber-rich, vegetable-packed meatless tacos!

Lentil Tacos | alidaskitchen.com #WeekdaySupper

Lentils are one of my favorite ingredients to use in healthy, meatless recipes.  They are high in protein, fiber and are so versatile. Lentils are quick cooking, which makes them excellent for weeknight meals. We enjoy them in salads, pasta sauce, and here as Lentil Tacos.  

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Baked Garlic Pretzel Chicken #WeekdaySupper

Baked Garlic Pretzel Chicken #WeekdaySupper

Baked Garlic Pretzel Chicken #WeekdaySupper

Baked Garlic Pretzel Chicken is a healthy baked chicken breast encrusted with a garlicky Parmesan pretzel coating.  It takes minutes to prepare, bakes in about 20 minutes, and is a dish the whole family will enjoy!

One of our healthy meal staples is boneless, skinless chicken breast.  It is a great source of protein that is low in fat and so versatile.  While we have several healthy chicken recipes that we enjoy often, it is fun to come up with delicious new ideas for cooking with chicken.  The inspiration for Baked Garlic Pretzel Chicken was actually from two of our favorite quick and easy recipes – Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Lighter Pretzel Crusted Chicken….

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili #SundaySupper

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili from Alida's Kitchen

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili is a chunky, spicy chili with a hint of sweetness that combines two superfoods into an easy, healthy, one-pot meal.  {vegan, gluten-free}

As the temperatures get cooler, we tend to gravitate toward warm comfort foods, such as baked pastas, soups, and chili. This is one of the many reasons that Fall is my favorite time of year for cooking and baking!  On Sundays, I love to make a big pot of chili or a pan of baked tortellini to have leftovers for lunches or easy dinners throughout the week.

While I have several favorite old standby recipes, I am am always looking to find new recipes to try.  This Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili will definitely become part of the regular rotation.  Sweet potatoes and black beans are two of my favorite superfoods that go so well together; there are lots of vegetables; there is plenty of spice to warm you up; and this recipe is very simple to make in under 45 minutes using just one pot.  (which also means easy clean up!)

The theme for Sunday Supper this week is one pot recipes.  Since one pot meals are typically easy recipes, this theme is right up my alley!  The group is sharing recipes for slow cookers to desserts and everything in between that can be made in one pot or pan or dish, you get the idea.  Be sure to check out what everybody made below.   …

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Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice. Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice.  Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Lately I have been enjoying making chocolate desserts a bit healthier using various fruits and vegetables.  The results have been fantastic, with each recipe far exceeding my expectations.   This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is no exception!  This cake kind of reminds me of a chocolate covered pumpkin truffle, only in cake form…and a little healthier….

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Tortellini Primavera - a quick and healthy pasta dish made on the lighter side!

Tortellini Primavera #WeekdaySupper


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Tortellini Primavera is a creamy, cheesy pasta dish made with with lots of vegetables.  It is quick, easy and healthy ~ perfect for a weeknight!

Like most people, we are always looking for quick and easy recipes for weeknight dinners.  While frozen pizza or takeout seem like a quick fix for those busy nights, we always prefer something healthier, tastier, and homemade.  But like I said, it has to be easy, right?  This Tortellini Primavera is all that, plus it’s super tasty!  With all the vegetables, the cheese, the creaminess, the cheese-filled tortellini, and being easy to make, you really can’t go wrong.  …

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Bring on Fall with this easy recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!  They are light and moist, made with buttermilk, pumpkin and chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Fall is my favorite baking season.  I love all the fun apple recipes and pumpkin recipes, making old favorites and trying new recipes.  These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a wonderful, easy recipe to kick off pumpkin season!  When I came up with this recipe, I wanted something simple, similar to my Banana Buttermilk Muffins.  These recipes use common pantry ingredients, so they’re easy to make any time….

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Chocolate Zucchini Brownies from alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Brownies from alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies are so chocolaty and fudgy, you would never guess they’re filled with zucchini!  Plus they are made with whole wheat flour and can be made vegan.  These are quite possibly, the best brownies ever!

The other night I shredded zucchini to make Chocolate Zucchini Bread again.  It was so chocolaty and good, I just couldn’t resist!  But then I opened my iPad and saw a zucchini brownie recipe that I had been researching.  Brownies are always tasty, plus this recipe looked quick and easy.  Why not try something new?  Considering how delicious chocolate and zucchini are together, I had no doubt Chocolate Zucchini Brownies would be good.  Now, they weren’t just good,……

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Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie

 

Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie

This Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie is a thick, frosty, fruity smoothie with a protein boost from Greek yogurt.  I often add ground flaxseed for additional health benefits.   

Ever since I made my Diet Mixed Berry Smoothie recipe, I have been on a real smoothie kick.  While I have enjoyed coming up with several different recipes, I think this Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie recipe is my favorite.  When made with a perfectly frozen banana and chilled mango, this smoothie whips up to the consistency of soft serve ice cream….

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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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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

healthy buttermilk chocolate banana swirl bread

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread is a moist banana bread with a chocolate swirl.  The addition of chocolate to the classic comfort food of banana bread is not only delicious but it’s pretty too!

Truth be told, the first time I made this bread, the result was less than stellar. The bread was pretty, and it tasted okay, but texture was off. It was dense and chewy, not quite the light and fluffy texture I look for in a banana bread. And actually come to think of it, even though it tasted good, it didn’t taste like banana bread.   Clearly, this recipe was in desperate need of a do-over!

Thankfully Frigidaire is encouraging folks to share do-over moments, which gave me the extra push I needed to try again.   I never like wasting ingredients on an unsuccessful recipe, but I loved the concept of the chocolate swirl in banana bread.  So I took the original recipe and gave it a makeover.

I made several tweaks, such as using buttermilk instead of yogurt, oil instead of butter and eggs instead of egg substitute. I also added some vanilla and a few extra chocolate chips on top. Then…I crossed my fingers!

A little over an hour later, the results of this do-over were in.  The bread rose nicely, had the perfect banana bread texture, and the chocolate swirl was harmonious with the banana bread.  This is exactly what Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread should be like!  I look forward to making this recipe again and again, and I thank Frigidaire for this do-over opportunity!

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread
 
Yields: 1 loaf (16 servings)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray
  • Additional mini chocolate chips, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8½ x 4¼ inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil on medium until blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg, buttermilk and vanilla, and beat until blended.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture, gently stirring batter until just moist.
  5. Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute (on high) or until almost melted. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, if needed. Stir until smooth and let cool slightly.
  6. Add 1 cup batter to the chocolate, stirring until well combined.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan, alternating between plain batter and chocolate batter. Swirl batters together using a knife. Sprinkle top with additional chocolate chips, if desired.
  8. Bake for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack and the remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Adapted from Cooking Light

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you share your own do-over moment at Facebook.com/Frigidaire, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, Frigidaire will help cover the costs for one lucky visitor to win the ultimate do-over.

healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta with evaporated milk

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta is a one-pot, easy recipe with a cajun twist made healthier!
  Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com
This Cajun Chicken Pasta is an easy, one-pot stovetop dinner made with lots of vegetables and spicy chicken in a creamy sauce.  The hands-on cooking time is around 20 minutes, which means with a little advance prep (chopping vegetables and chicken), this can easily be a weeknight dinner, or a quick dinner any time.  The recipe is also easily halved to make dinner for 2.
healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta
 I used this recipe from Southern Living for my inspiration, but made several modifications to lighten up the dish.  For the cream sauce, I used fat free evaporated milk instead of half-and-half, and the result was great.  It had a creamy texture without being heavy.  I also eliminated the butter in favor of cooking spray and a small amount of olive oil for the vegetables.   I reduced the amount of pasta and added more vegetables.  There is a lot of flexibility with the vegetables to add more or change it up to use up what you have on hand.  The result is a lighter version of Cajun Chicken Pasta that is simply delicious!

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta
 
Author:
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole wheat linguine or fettucine
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (divided), adjust to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat free evaporated milk
  • chopped green onions, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and salt.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and heat oven medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute for 5 to 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken to a plate, tented with foil.
  4. In the same saute pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add red onion, peppers, mushrooms and garlic to pan and saute for 9 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates.
  5. Return chicken to skillet and mix with vegetables. Add evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Add linquine, toss to coat
  6. Garnish with green onions, as desired, and serve immediately.

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

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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.
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

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