Tag Archives: #protein

Whole Wheat Broccoli Cheese Hand Pies

Broccoli cheese calzone is a regular on the dinner menu in my house because it’s easy to make, takes just three ingredients, and everyone likes it. Check, check and check! In fact, I make the large calzone so often that I thought it was high time to shake it up. The result: Whole Wheat Broccoli Cheese Hand Pies. More fun, and even better for you.  They’re perfect for a Meatless Monday meal, and are fun the next day for lunch, too!

DSC_0686

The recipe is really not a recipe at all.

All you need is 10 cups chopped, cooked 1-inch broccoli florets, 1 pound of whole wheat pizza dough, 16 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese (you can use pre-shredded cheese, block cheese cut into thin slices, or a mixture), and 3 teaspoons olive oil, which is optional.

That’s it!

Heat the oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 8, 7-inch circles.  I use an inverted bowl to do this. You may need to gather up the dough and roll it out again to make eight circles.

Place half the cheese on the rounds to within a half inch of the edge of the dough. The cheese forms a barrier between the dough and the broccoli to keep the hand pie from getting soggy.

Don’t worry about the cheese. Use whatever type you have on hand.

Top with the remaining cheese.

Fold the dough in half over the broccoli and cheese filling, and seal the edges with the tines of a fork. They’re messy, so no need to be super neat about the filling!

fullsizeoutput_1cb7

Get your kids involved in assembling the hand pies. 

Gently place the hand pies on to the baking sheet. Brush with olive oil for a more golden glow, if desired.

Whole Wheat Broccoli Cheese Hand Pies are cute, a bit messy, and delicious!

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Pair the hand pies with fruit and milk for an easy lunch for kids and adults!

Easy Black Bean Brownie Recipe

Warning: Rave ahead. As in I can’t stop raving about this easy black bean brownie recipe that’s flourless and gluten-free!

fullsizeoutput_1e88

How to make healthier brownies

Fruits and vegetables can make indulgences like brownies healthier, even when treats have added sugar.

Beans, which are a vegetable, are brimming with good nutrition.

Beans supply protein, fiber, and potassium, and beans also contain phytonutrients, compounds that protect cells.

Beans are useful for replacing some fat in baked goods, and black beans enhance the fudge-like texture of baked goods.

In this recipe, pureed black beans stand in for flour.

In addition, along with the raspberries, black beans bump up the fiber to 8 grams per serving – about 25% of the Daily Value for fiber! And, black beans and eggs team up to supply 7 grams of protein per serving.

I can’t get enough raspberries. They’re delicious, beautiful, and powerful little orbs that supply vitamin C, fiber, phytonutrients, and so much more. And, raspberries provide natural sweetness so you can use less added sugar in baked goods.

fullsizeoutput_1e8b

Simple black bean brownies to brag about 

I told you I was going to brag.

These easy black bean brownies take about 40 minutes from start to finish. While they look special enough for a celebration, they’re also easy enough to make any time.

We are crazy about this easy black bean brownie recipe at our house. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Easy Black Bean Brownie Recipe 

Makes 8 servings.

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon canola oil

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup + 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (or 1/3 cup white chocolate chips for the topping)

1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Place the beans and 3 tablespoons of oil in a food processor. Process on high until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and blend well.  Add the baking powder and salt and blend for 10 seconds more. Stir in 1/2 cup of the dark chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow the brownies to cool for 30 minutes.

Top the brownies with the raspberries.  Combine the remaining teaspoon of canola oil and the remaining 1/3 cup dark or white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave until chips are melted, about 20 to 30 seconds, stopping to stir once.  Immediately drizzle the chocolate mixture on top of the raspberries. Allow the chocolate to harden for at least 10 minutes before serving.

fullsizeoutput_1e8c

Per serving: 
316 calories; 14 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat); 54 milligrams cholesterol; 271 milligrams sodium; 45 grams carbohydrate; 8 grams fiber; 7 grams protein

Tuna Burgers With Smashed Avocado and Tomato

We make tuna burgers with smashed avocado and tomato often at our house.  I love the recipe so much that I included it in my book, Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy. 

Canned tuna helps you include seafood at least twice a week

Experts suggest that adults eat at least two fish meals weekly, and that pregnant and breastfeeding women consume two to three meals a week. However, you don’t need to be pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive to enjoy the benefits of these burgers!

My burgers are made with canned tuna, an inexpensive, convenient source of several nutrients, including protein, iodine, and omega-3 fats necessary for an adult’s heart health, and for a baby’s brain development and vision.

Tuna Burgers With Smashed Avocado and Tomato are ready in less than 30 minutes!

Tuna Burgers With Smashed Avocado and Tomato

Makes 4 servings.

4  5-1/2 ounce cans or pouches of tuna, drained

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or red onion

2 teaspoons dried dill

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pitted avocado, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

2 small tomatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

4 2-ounce whole-grain sandwich buns or whole-wheat English muffins

Place the tuna in a medium mixing bowl and break it up into small pieces with a fork.  Add the bread crumbs, eggs, shallots, and dill, and combine well.  Form the mixture into four burgers.

Use an empty tuna can to form the burgers so that they are uniform in size and fit on the buns or English muffins.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook burgers for about four minutes on each side.

The tuna burgers should be cooked until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside.  

I usually make a double batch of this recipe and freeze some. They are easy reheat for a quick lunch or dinner.

Wrap cooked tuna burgers well and date the package. They will last for several months in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave and make the avocado/tomato topping just before serving.

In a small bowl, combine the avocado and tomato until just mixed, mashing lightly while stirring.  To serve, place burgers on sandwich buns and top with the avocado mixture. Enjoy with baby carrots for extra crunch and more vegetables.

Delicious and nutritious Tuna Burgers With Smashed Avocado and Tomato pack omega-3 fats, fiber, protein, and much more!

Per serving:
430 calories; 14 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat); 139 milligrams cholesterol; 810 milligrams sodium; 40 grams carbohydrate; 8 grams fiber; 39 grams protein

Easy Beef and Bean Chili

Chili is the perfect meal for cooler days. Easy beef and bean chili is better for you because it’s light on the beef, packed with vegetables, and features a secret ingredient that boosts flavor and nutrition without overpowering the dish.

It’s a good idea to make a double batch of this easy, nutritious dish. It tastes great the next day, too!

dsc_0522

The health benefits of beans

I use more beans (technically, legumes) and less meat in my chili to improve nutrition and cut food cost.

Beans supply protein, fiber, potassium, and many other vitamins and minerals, and, as part of a balanced diet, they can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood that lead to clogged arteries and heart disease.

In addition, beans are rich in prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in your gut, which benefits your health in several ways.

How fiber is good for your heart health

runner-beans-1835646_1920

I choose canned, drained beans for the sake of convenience and because I lack the forethought to buy dried beans and soak them! Rinse canned beans to reduce their sodium content by as much as 40%.

Make this chili vegetarian 

This recipe is flexible.  Skip the meat and add more beans and tomatoes to make a vegetarian chili, or use different types of beans, such as white kidney beans and garbanzo beans. Also, I’m a wimp, so I keep the heat to a minimum. You can add chili powder, jalapeño peppers, more cumin, or any other spice you like. It’s your choice!

spices-1914130_1920

Cocoa powder improves flavor 

Unsweetened cocoa powder upgrades easy beef and bean chili by intensifying the flavor, and you won’t even know it’s there.

Cocoa powder is also good for you.

Cocoa contains antioxidants called flavonoids. While it’s unclear exactly how flavonoids benefit health, they may help to lower blood pressure, which protects the heart and the brain.

Buy unsweetened cocoa powder that hasn’t been treated with alkaline, which reduces flavonoid content. Avoid Dutch-process cocoa.

Better for You Chili

Makes 6 servings.

8 ounces 95% lean ground beef or 100% ground skinless turkey breast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 16-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, not drained

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the meat, breaking it up into very small pieces as it cooks.  Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove the meat from the pan. Set the meat aside.

Return the pan to the burner. Add the oil and heat over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute for two minutes or until clear. Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.  Add peppers, and continue to cook until peppers are soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, cocoa powder, and meat to the pan. Combine thoroughly. Cover, and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Per serving:

Calories: 291
Total fat: 9 grams
Saturated fat: 2 grams
Cholesterol: 33 milligrams
Sodium: 586 milligrams
Carbohydrate: 35 grams
Dietary fiber: 10 grams
Protein: 21 grams

dsc_0522

%d bloggers like this: