Healthy PB + J Cookie: Complete with Chia Seed Jam Recipe

img_2111.jpg

As I type this, Patrick is texting me how amazing they are from work. I wish you all could hear my excitement because the love that I have for this little treat, is just beyond typed words. You all must give this recipe a try! It only took me about 30min to throw everything together- tops! The recipe is from the Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook and SO incredible- especially when it’s hot out of the oven with fresh chia seed jam, forgettaboutit (as my Italian fam would say)! 

Why we started making this recipe? I mentioned this on my Instagram, DoctorMeetsDietitian, so feel free to skim over + head straight to the recipe if you previously read this. Anyway, I am always on the hunt for a nutrient/calorie dense snack- especially for Patrick. He often times forgets to eat when he is at work between lunch and coming home for dinner (especially in the ICU). When you work 12+ hour work days/6 days a week- it’s just too much to go from noon to sometimes 8pm or later. Patrick LOVES LOVE LOVES the carrot cake bliss ball recipe (link: https://doctormeetsdietitian.com/2017/11/20/bliss-balls-aka-carrot-cake-energy-bites/) but every so often, I do like to switch it up- cue the healthy PB+ J Cookie recipe.

ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 (packed) cup pitted Medjool dates (*buy pit-in version and remove pits)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter (sub almond, cashew or sunbutter or tahini)
  • 2 large eggs, whisked (sub flax or chia eggs for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine oats and dates and pulse until combined into a chunky mixture, approximately 10 pulses.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until ingredients are incorporated and you can only see tiny pieces of dates and oats. Carefully remove blade from processor.
  4. Place a bowl of room temperature water between the baking sheet and food processor. Dampen your hands in the water to prevent sticking, and roll dough into 2 1/2 inch balls. Place balls on baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each.
  5. Wet a fork and use the tines to gently press down on each cookie until it is approximately 1 inch thick. You can turn the tines in opposing directions to create a cross-hatched look.
  6. Bake for 11 minutes, then allow to cool.

Chia Seed Jam

  • 2 heaping cups of frozen mixed berries (or fruit of your choice)
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1-2 Tbsp of Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  1. Place berries and water in a small sauce pot- turn on medium heat- and bring to boil. Stirring occasionally.
  2. Use a fork or spoon to help the fruit breakdown
  3. Once liquid has been absorbed and the jam is your desired consistency [we prefer some clumps of fruit], remove pan from heat and add maple syrup + chia seeds.
  4. Whisk for about 5 minutes to make sure chia seeds don’t clump up on you

img_2103-1

Enjoy hot [like I prefer] -or- chilled [like Patrick prefers]! Both, so delicious!!

-The Neilan Family-

PS: we wrap them in tin foil (by twos) + throw them in the freezer- so it’s super easy to whip them out in the morning and send Patrick on his way to the hospital!

Autumn Glow Smoothie [pumpkin, sweet potato + cauliflower]

pumpkin-oatmeal-smoothie-h1_largeI know it’s winter, but we have this smoothie year round because it is oh- so-yummy + full of all kinds of fiber, antioxidant goodness! Like we mentioned in the Matcha smoothie recipe, feel free to turn it into a smoothie bowl + top with granola/oats/seeds/pecans/honey/ +/or chia seeds!

recipe

  • 1 cup frozen sweet potatoes* OR 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (omit depending on appetite- when we’re hungry enough, we’ll add the almond or peanut butter)
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (optional- again, depends on hunger)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Ice to taste

*For the sweet potatoes, I keep diced + peeled sweet potatoes in our freezer for easy smoothie use!

Pumpkin-smoothie-bowl-2
Photo: LL Balanced 

P.S. One of my favorite things to add to smoothies (usually when I’m turning them into a meal) is rolled oats! SOO yummy and thickens it right up! If you decide to add oats, start with 1/4 C.

-The Neilan Family-

Matcha Smoothie

smoothie
Photo: Jessica Gavin

What a lovely day to post about Smoothies- it’s freeezzzzing over here on the east coast. We are in northern Florida and not used this 30 degree weather! But none-the-less smoothies are always yummy and a great way to get a lot of the good stuff in. I probably have on average- 4 to 5 smoothies (of some kind) a week. This one is a total favorite of ours! It has Matcha, so what’s not to love!

recipe – for one serving

  • 1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 teaspoon Matcha powder
  • 3/4 cup of coconut water or almond milk (increase based on preference)
  • Ice to preference
  • 1/4 Tsp Golden Milk (this is turmeric + date powder) – optional
  • 1/4 Tsp Spirulina – Optional
  • Scoop of protein powder- Optional (when we are hungry enough we will add a scoop of Patrick’s protein concoction aka an even mix of whey + plant based protein powder)

Have your pick of sprinkled organic honey, chia seeds, cinnamon and/or coconut on top! Smoothies are great because this is just a base but if you’re feeling extra hungry just add some Greek Yogurt or add blueberries to mix it up! I actually love the taste of blueberries and Matcha together. If you do add fruit- do about 1/3 of a cup! Feelin like you need more fiber in your diet? Add a Tbsp of ground flax! 

EP20150401-smoothiebowl-hires
Photo: Epicurious

One of my other favorite things is turning smoothies into a “bowl” aka more space to sprinkle goodies on top! Typically if I’m wanting to turn my smoothie into a bowl, I like them with a little more ice added so it thickens it up- but those details are all about preference! 

-The Neilan Family-

Chickpea (Meatless) Meatballs

Hi everyone and happy Thursday! It has been a little crazy over here in the Neilan household, as I’m sure it’s been in your home too! Patrick is on a 7am-7pm/Mon-Fri schedule now. Which may sound terrible, but it’s actually pretty nice because he gets weekends off. Wahoooo Merry Christmas to us! Anyway, the holidays are upon us- and we love/welcome the chaos. We’ve got family coming into town soon and lots of cooking happening and gift wrapping to do BUT before we close out till after Christmas I wanted to share this Chickpea Ball recipe with you guys. I make spinach turkey meatballs often – this is the first meal I made for Patrick when we were dating (with pasta and pesto sauce) so it hits close to home! I will share the spinach turkey baked meatball/cashew pesto recipe with you all soon as well!  But back to the chickpeas- we don’t like to have meat every night of the week- so we swap chickpea balls over a salad bowl every other night. This way we include lots of plant-based meals too!

From the Dietitian: Chickpeas are great for digestion and satiety. They pack about 15g protein per cup- which makes it an awesome option when you’re trying to add some meatless nights into your weekly routine. Chickpeas are high in folate, magnesium, iron and phosphorus- wahoooo!!

From the Doctor: Studies have shown that 1.5 C of legumes a day helped reduce inflammatory markers and improved insulin resistance. Two awesome correlates in the fight against disease. Chickpeas are packed with soluble fiber as we discussed in the lentil soup recipe (https://doctormeetsdietitian.com/2017/12/13/coziest-lentil-soup-recipe/) – making it great for diabetics, in moderation, as it slows the absorption of sugar. This happens because soluble fiber increases the viscosity (aka thickness) of the intestinal contents after each meal consumed. Even if you are not diabetic- we all want out blood sugar managed well and our insulin levels normalized- trust me. Once your insulin and blood sugar are at of whack it creates an abundance of issues in the body- to put it very lightly. Just a glimpse- diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, top cause for blindness, the reason for 60% of lower body amputations, 70% of people with diabetes have nervous system damage, diabetes causes- digestive problems, erectile dysfunction and increases risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Moderation, healthy diet and a lifestyle of balance is the key way to avoid chronic disease. Now, on to the chickpea recipe!

ingredients 

  • 2 eggs or 2 flax eggs to keep chickpea balls vegan (2.5 tbsp ground flax)
  • 1/2 C breadcrumbs
  • 2 C Chickpeas
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves (or 1/2 Tbsp of garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram (optional)
  • small handful of basil leaves (optional)

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Skip this step if using canned chickpeas. If using dried chickpeas, soak for 4 hours. Boil until they’re splitting, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and pinch the skin off [I didn’t take the skin off all the chickpeas and it turned out great- takes wayyy too long! But if you have the time, go for it!]
  4. Blend chickpeas in a blender until broken down [I added a few drops of water]
  5. Make your flax seed “eggs”  [2 Tbsp Flax with 6 Tbsp of Water- mix and let sit for 10-15min]
  6. Mix chickpeas and flax seed eggs [or regular eggs]
  7. Mix in the remaining ingredients
  8. If the mixture is too sticky, add more breadcrumbs a little at a time. If too dry, add a little water or oil [coconut/olive whatever you prefer]
  9. Form the chickpea mixture into meatballs and place onto a greased or parchment-lined baking dish.
  10. Bake the chickpea meatballs for 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway through, They should be golden and crispy.

Recipe Credit: Karissa’s vegan kitchen (modifications made)

img_1089
Try “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning from Trader Joe’s- it is so so yummy. Sprinkled on avocado above!

Enjoy with pasta and pesto or over a bed of lettuce with all the veggies of your choice!

-The Neilan Family-

Matcha Pancakes

We are lovers of matcha forever + always [in and on all things]. My husband has now become equally [or more so] as obsessed as I am and that is the absolute, 100% truth. I am just as shocked as you are! A lot of pouting happens in the kitchen if we miss a morning without a dose of it before the hospital. But MATCHA IN PANCAKES- oh boy. Game changing. There are all the fancy pancakes in the world- which I love too- but matcha pancakes- always my fav. You can top it with the whipped cream recipe we also posted or a lot of the time I like matcha pancakes with coconut yogurt on top and almonds! Best part about it is- you can play with it – till you find what you like!

See earlier post on health benefits of Matcha:  https://doctormeetsdietitian.com/2017/11/12/matcha-coffee-adderall/.

Also check out morning “anti-gremlin” concoction for our morning matcha routine:  https://doctormeetsdietitian.com/2017/11/14/morning-anti-gremlin-concoction/. 

ingredients

  • 1 egg [for vegan option, use flax egg aka 1 tbsp flax/3 tbsp water and mix]
  • 1/3 cup milk [we used almond milk]
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (plus more for skillet) [we used coconut butter]
  • 2 tablespoons sugar [we used 2 1/2 tsp Truvia]
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour [use flour of your choice]
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp spirulina [optional]
  • 1 tsp ground flax [optional]

recipe

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the flour, matcha powder, spirulina, ground flax, baking powder, and salt, and whisk just until the batter comes together; the batter should be lumpy.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Brush with coconut butter or regular butter. Dollop circles of pancake batter onto skillet. Wait until bubbles appear and pop on the surface, then flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so + stack!

Recipe Cred [although modified] from: Diane A Broad

img_1106
photo: be well by kelly

Serve with coconut yogurt + almonds, honey or pure maple syrup- whatever your little heart desires!

– The Neilan Family-

Pancakes + Banana Cinnamon Maple [Half Yogurt] Whipped Cream

I say pancakes are for Saturdays because that is always the day (and sometimes Sunday too) that I’m craving something fluffy + delicious aka pancakes or french toast. Likely, because I am a full time working dietitian- so that’s when I’ve got the time! This weekend we made some Kodiak Cakes with my mom’s whipped cream recipe [modified to half whipping cream and half yogurt]. If you haven’t had Kodiak Cakes – they’re awesome. They have different varieties but my favorite is the buttermilk “protein packed” flapjack mix. Made with 100% whole grains, 14g protein per serving, non GMO and no preservatives— SIGN US UP! We have mixed it up so many ways- but this weekend we added pecans and it was oh so yummy! You can find Kodiak Cakes at most grocery stores or on amazon. They even have muffin and cake mixes now too- that I use when I’m in a bind and don’t have a lot of time (we tried blueberry lemon muffins- so yum). On to the recipe for pecan pancakes with banana maple cinnamon [half yogurt] whipped cream 

For the Kodiak Cakes- Follow instructions on box and add fruit/nuts of your preference.Mom’s Original Whipped Cream Recipe [with modifications]-

  • 1 C Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tbsp of Sugar [we used 2 1/2 tsp Truvia]
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract [if you want to get crazy and make something SO yummy- try adding actual vanilla beans. we do this every so often with this recipe and it’s unreal]
  • 1/2 C Yogurt [greek, almond, coconut or regular will do!]

Throw this in a standing mixer for about 4 minutes on med/high and you will have whipped cream!

-Banana Maple Pecan Whipped Cream-

  • 1 tsp Truvia
  • 1 tsp Pure Maple Syrup [we used golden syrup- you can also use honey]
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Whole Banana
  • 1 C Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 C Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Mix in a standing mixer and add pecans on top!

Enjoy Friends! Please let us know if there’s an ingredient you have questions about or can’t find! The whipped cream recipe is so versatile- we hope you enjoy!!

-The Neilan Family-

Fluffiest Popovers + Simple Homemade Jam Recipe

1431054936612

Some things I don’t kid about- and one of those things is popovers. Definitely in my top 5 favorite foods. My love of these guys is quite unreal. If you haven’t had one- envision bread- but a hundred million times better. Fluffy, light and incredible. I actually always pass on bread – because unless is extraordinarily made/incredible – I’m not into it. I find most bread boring. BUT POPOVERS- total game changer. 

Background where my story began with popovers: In high school I would go to this super fancy restaurant with a friend (every day) and order a garden salad and multiple baskets of popovers (which came free on the table). Looking back those waiters most definitely hated us. 15-18 year old girls (yes this continued for years), coming in every day and ordering only a garden salad at a fancy restaurant- wowzers. But how nice were they to keep bringing the popovers endlessly without complaining?! Shout out to Luigino’s in Orlando, FL if you all are ever around that neck of the woods.

Anyway, now that I’m older I have realized just how easy they are to make. I recently ordered a popover pan on amazon. I highly recommend purchasing if you plan on making popovers. A cupcake tin does not work as well- they don’t expand and they’re not nearly as fluffy. So for fifteen dollars, I think it’s absolutely worth it. Here is the one I purchased- https://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Professional-Popover-15-5-Inch/dp/B003YL3DWO/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1513207241&sr=1-4&keywords=popover+pan.

We make popovers all the time- with soup or as an appetizer before dinner and they are soooo yummy. I love them with a little butter and homemade strawberry or blueberry jam. As you become a popover pro, you can start adding spices, cheese, chocolate, nuts and jam to the center of the popover- then bake. But I am a simple girl and like them the original way best! But play with it and see what you like!

132-3-large

Popover Recipe from Neiman Marcus Cookbook

ingredients 

  • 3 1/2 Cups of Milk – we used almond
  • 4 Cups of All Purpose Flour- we used half whole wheat and half regular flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 6 Large Eggs at room temperature

Of note: the key to the best popovers is having the eggs and milk warm before mixing

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Place milk in bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in large mixing bowl
  4. Crack the eggs into the work bowl of an electric mixer – beat on medium for about 3 minutes until pale and foamy
  5. Turn down the mixer to low and add warm milk
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes
  7. Turn the machine off and let the batter rest for 1 hr at room temperature (I know this is annoying but it is worth the wait- if you can’t wait continue without letting it sit but if you can- complete this step!)
  8. Spray popover pan generously with nonstick spray
  9. Fill the popover cups almost to the top with batter
  10. Bake popovers for 15 minutes
  11. Turn oven temperature down to 375 and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until popovers are a deep golden brown on the outside
  12. Immediately serve hot with butter and homemade jam

simple jam recipe

  • 3 cups of blueberries or strawberries (fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup of sugar (or 1/3 cup + 1.5 Tablespoons of Truvia)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Place all ingredients in small pot and heat on stove for about 20-30 minutes (low/medium heat) + mix occasionally. Should become smooth/jelly like consistency. If you like your jam lumpy like me – take off a bit earlier. 

popovers-1-2

I hope you enjoy this delicacy as much as we do! When Patrick tried a popover for the first time he was thoroughly impressed! Who doesn’t love the delicious light/airiness of a yummy hot popover?! If you all try this recipe, please let us know what you think! 

-The Neilan Family-

P.S. Don’t forget to order your popover tin