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Carrot Cake-3a


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Eggless Carrot Cake

My mom makes this delicious, healthy, moist carrot cake! This is her recipe with only a few tweaks :) It is perfect to have on a cold, windy, rainy fall day….like today with a hot cup of tea. Most people like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but I guess I am an anomaly as I prefer mine without it. It is good with walnuts and even without. It is great to have as a snack, breakfast muffin or dessert. But all in all it is a fairly easy, versatile recipe and you can’t go wrong!

Ingredients:

 

All purpose Flour – 1 ¼ cup

Carrots – 1 cup grated

Baking powder – 1 t

Baking soda – ½ t

Cinnamon – ½ t (optional)

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Canola oil – 1/3 cup

Sugar – 3/4 cup (if you will be frosting the cupcake then 1/2 cup sugar is enough)

Vanilla extract – ½ t

Walnuts – ¼ cup (optional)

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Plain yogurt — 1 cup OR Organic Eggs Whites – 2 large

Milk – 1-2 T

Directions:

 

  • Preheat the oven to 3500
  • Grease and flour a medium sized round pan or put muffin liners in a muffin pan tray.
  • Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and yogurt/eggs in the mixer bowl. Mix till well blended.
  • Add the carrots and mix a bit.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder to a separate bowl and mix with a fork.
  • Add to the above wet mix in the mixer bowl.
  • Mix for a few seconds. Add the walnuts at end. Add 1-2 T milk if need be to make batter smooth.
  • Pour into the batter in the muffin cups 3/4th of the way and put it in the oven for 20 minutes (in case using a cake pan bake for 35-40 minutes).
  • Check with cake tester that middle part is dry and cooked.

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  • Put the muffin tray/pan on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes.

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  • Enjoy!

 

Nutritional Content:

 Total Servings: 12 muffins or 8 slices of a cake

 

Per serving (muffin): 174 cal, Fat 7.2 g, Potassium 94 mg, Carbs 24 g, Sugar 14 g, Protein 3.2 g

Per serving (cake slice): 261 cal, Fat 10.8, Potassium 141 mg, Carbs 36 g, Sugar 21 g, Protein 4.8 g

 

 

Veg Chili-1a


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Meatless Monday: Tofu, Quinoa and Beans Chili

We all know from the countless scientific studies that constantly inundate us that eating vegetarian meals all or most of the time can prove extremely beneficial for us. The benefits of making this dietary change vary all the way from avoiding various lifestyle diseases to having some anti-aging effects. When I say vegetarian, I don’t mean buying processed, pre-packaged vegetarian meals; I mean eating real vegetables! You can buy them pre-cut or frozen to speed up the process, but it’s always preferable to cook from scratch so that you have control over the ingredients. By doing this, you can make sure that you have fresh, organic vegetables free from pesticides. You also avoid all the chemicals, preservatives, excess sodium and sugars in processed, pre-packaged foods.

With that in mind, I have been giving recipe makeovers to a lot of dishes we like at our home. Chili is one of those favorite fall/winter dishes which is extremely popular at our house.  Cooking chili fills the entire house with its amazing aroma! Plus, if you make this in bulk you have the benefit of having plenty of leftovers for next week’s lunch :) I know it’s a big transition to replace the ground meat in the chili but definitely be sure to give it a try, because it has so many nutritional benefits. Who knows – you might even like it more!

Ingredients:

Organic Firm Tofu  (1 pack) – 14 oz

Cooked Quinoa – 1 cup

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Red Kidney Beans – 2 cans drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked

Onion – 1 medium diced

Mushrooms – 6 mushrooms diced

Green Bell Pepper – 1 medium diced

Garlic – 3 cloves minced

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Crushed Tomatoes – I large can 28 oz. or you can crush your own to reduce sodium

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Extra Virgin Olive oil – 2 T

Cumin – 1 ½ t

Low sodium Chili seasoning – 2 T or according to your taste (to make your own chili seasoning see recipe below)

Salt – 1 ½ t or according to your taste as there is salt in the Chili Seasoning also

Cilantro (optional) – handful chopped up finely

Grated Cheddar Cheese (optional) – according to taste

 

Directions:

  • Take the tofu out of packaging, drain it and freeze it overnight.
  • Next day thaw it and drain it again.
  • Then put in food processor and mince it.
  • If we were to do that to fresh tofu, it would become like a paste. But when done after it has been frozen, it makes granules which can then be cooked in various ways.

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  • Heat a large pan, and add 1T oil to it. Once oil is heated add cumin seeds to it.
  • Once the cumin is crackling, add the onion, garlic, green peppers and mushrooms. Sauté for 3-4 minutes till onions are translucent. Then remove them to a bowl.

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  • In the same pan add remaining oil. Once it is heated, add the crumbled tofu and sauté for 3-4 minutes till turns slightly brown.

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  • Then add the sautéed vegetables and cooked quinoa and cooked beans to the tofu. Mix well.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and add 2 cups water or adjust according to the consistency you would like.

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  • Add the seasonings.
  • Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes so that all the flavors come together.
  • Garnish with cilantro and grated cheese and Enjoy!

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Nutritional Content:

Total Servings: 10

Per Serving: Calories 159 cal, Fat 2.3 g, Potassium 504 mg, Carbs 24.5 g, Fiber 6.1 g, Protein 11.1 g, Vit C 38%, Iron 18%

 

Homemade Chili seasoning:

1 T red chili powder

2 t ground roasted cumin

1 t dried oregano

1 t salt

1 t red chili flakes

1 t dried onion powder

½ t garlic powder

 

Protein Brownie-18a


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Protein Chocolate Chip Brownies

When I crave something sweet, I prefer that it has at least some nutritional benefit to offset my guilt afterwards :) So either the dessert will have plenty of fiber, low sugar, low calories, or some protein. In this case, these moist, decadent chocolate chip brownies fulfill multiple requirements! Not only are they low in sugar, fat, and calories, but they are also a decent source of protein too, making them perfect!

You can swap the semi-sweet chocolate for mint or dark chocolate and sprinkle mint chocolate chips on top for Mint Chocolate Chip protein brownies! Feel free to add sliced almonds or walnut pieces for an added crunch. I hope you will try these and enjoy them like everyone in my house does :)

Ingredients:

Chocolate protein powder (I used Vega plant based protein smoothie choc-a-lot but you can use any other protein powder) – 1 scoop

Oat flour – ½ cup

Almond flour – ½ cup

Organic egg whites – 3

Brown sugar – ¼ + 1/8 cup

Baking soda – ½ t

Canola oil – 7 T

Salt – ¼ t

Semi- sweet Chocolate chips – 5 oz.

Vanilla extract – ½ t

Mini Chocolate chips – 1 T

Directions:

·         Preheat the oven to 350 F.

·         Take an 8 x 8 x 2 in pan or 11 x 7 x 1.5 in.

·         Line with aluminum foil and lightly grease with canola oil.

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·         Using the double boiler method melt (Heat some water in a large pan, put a shallow bowl with the oil and semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. Water should not touch the bowl. Keep stirring till chocolate melts) the 5 oz. chocolate along with the oil. Let it cool.

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·         Whisk the 3 egg whites in the mixer, and then add brown sugar and mix for another minute or so till well blended.

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·         Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract to it and mix for 30 seconds.

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·         Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl using a fork.

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·         Add the dry ingredients to chocolate mix and whisk for 30 seconds, not too much.

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·         At the end add ½ T mini chocolate chips in mixture, mix for a second.

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·         Pour the mix into the greased aluminum foil lined pan. Sprinkle the rest ½ T mini chocolate chips on top.

·         Bake for 30-35 min till a toothpick inserted in center comes out dry.

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·         Let it cool on a wire rack for 10-15 min, then lift the whole brownie by aluminum foil and place on cutting board and slice into pieces.

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Enjoy!

Nutritional Content:

Total Servings: 16

Per Serving: Calories: 153 cal, Fat 10.6 g, Cholesterol  0 mg, Carbs 12 g, Sugar 8.7 g, Protein 3.1 g

 

Panera Soup-14


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Meatless Monday: Black Beans and veggies soup

As soon as the weather changes and fall is here, it’s like the gears inside us also switch. It starts getting dark sooner, there is a distinct chill in the air, and most important of all……Halloween costumes start appearing in the stores:) Personally, around this time I really start to crave a warm bowl of soup! One of my favorites is a veggie soup that I used to have at Panera. But of course, having it there a few times made me want to try to replicate it at home! So here is my version of the Panera veggie soup with black beans and fire roasted tomatoes. My version I feel has a lot more vegetables and of course lots of beans which increases the protein and fiber! Also my soup I feel is lot more flavorful due to the buffalo sauce, cilantro and ground cumin that I add :) Usually I like to make a meal out of it by adding some Crispy Baked Cajun Potato Fries and some grilled veggies, along with some nice warm rolls or a crusty bread slice.

Ingredients:

Carrots – 1 large, diced

Celery – 4 stalks, diced

Onion – 1 medium, diced

Green Bell Pepper – ¼ diced

Potato – 1 small, diced

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Garlic – 3 cloves, minced

Organic Vegetable Broth – 1 box 32 fl. Oz.

Organic Fire roasted tomatoes – 1 can 14.5 oz. (even regular chopped up tomatoes will work in a pinch)

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Acini di pepe pasta – 2 oz. or any other small sized pasta that you have at home (quick tip: even breaking spaghetti into small pieces will work!)

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Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce – 1½ t (optional) or any other hot sauce like Tabasco

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Black beans – 1 cup (cooked)

Cilantro – handful finely chopped

Salt – 1 ½ t

Black Pepper – ¼ t

Roasted ground cumin powder – ¼ t (add ½ t if you like smoky flavor to be strong)

Oregano – ¼ t

Extra virgin olive oil – 1T

 

Directions:

·         Warm a large pot. Add 1T extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds.

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·         Add the rest of the diced vegetables except potato.

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·         Sauté them for 2-3 minutes till they soften a bit. Then add the potatoes.

·         Stir all the veggies for a bit then add the vegetable broth.

·         Then add the can of fire roasted tomatoes and 2 cans of water.

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·         Stir well and add the dry seasonings.

·         Cover and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

·         Then add the black beans and pasta. Stir really well.

·         Cover and let it simmer for about 40-45 minutes, making sure to stir every 10 minutes so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom.

·         Add the buffalo sauce, chopped cilantro and stir well. Taste test now for any additional salt etc.

·         Its ready to be enjoyed with a nice toasted roll or a slice of crusty bread!!

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Nutritional Content:

Total Servings: 10

Per Serving: Calories 105 cal, Carbs 18.9 g, Fiber 3.3 g, Protein 3.6 g, Vit A 18.2%, Vit C 9%

Cauliflower burger-26


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Cauliflower Broccoli Quinoa Burgers/Tikkis

I’m always looking for ways to sneak vegetables into meals, and making this Cauliflower Broccoli Quinoa burger is a fantastic way to accomplish that. It totally transforms these veggies into these wonderful, flavorful, juicy burgers – or Tikkis (Indian street food) – that one can have as a snack with ketchup or chutney. It’s a great combination of taste and nutrition, and is a good source of fiber, protein, potassium and vitamin C.

They can also be made into Kebabs (for the same quantity of ingredients you can make either 10 burgers/tikkis or 30 kebabs), so you just need to shape them accordingly. And if you are generally pressed for time, they freeze really well so you can make them in bulk! Not only are these burgers great for lunch/dinner, they work out really well as party appetizers. You can’t go wrong either way :)

 

Ingredients:

Broccoli florets– ½ lb.

Cauliflower  florets – ¾ lb.

Boiled Potatoes – 2 small/medium or 1 large

Onion – ½ medium finely diced

Garlic – 3 or 4 finely minced

Cilantro – handful finely chopped

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Cooked organic Quinoa – 1 cup

Organic Rolled Oats – 1 cup

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Organic Oat flour – ¼ cup

Salt – 2 t

Black pepper – 1 t

Red chili powder – 1 t

Coriander powder – 1 ½ t

 

Directions:

·         Pre heat the oven to 450 F.

·         Take the broccoli florets in a bowl, add a tablespoon of water and microwave for 3 minutes.

·         Then drain them and pat dry with paper towels.

·         After that put them in the food processor and pulse till they become granular but not mushy.

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·         Do the same with cauliflower florets.

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·         In a big bowl put all the above ingredients. Mix well with hands till mixture retains shape and stays together when pressed in hand and does not crumble. Make patties of the mixture.

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·         Well oil a pan. Put the patties in it and lightly brush them with oil on top.

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·         Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then take them out and flip them. They should be slightly brown on bottom.

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·         Then put them back in the oven for 15 min. In case after 15 minutes you would like them to be extra crisper then leave them in oven for an extra 5 minutes.

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·         They are ready to be eaten! Have them as a Veggie Protein Burger or as a snack (tikki/kebabs) with some ketchup/chutney :)

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Nutritional Content:

 Total Servings: 10

Per Serving: Calories 100 cal, Fat 1.1g, Potassium 330 mg, Carbs 19.6g, Fiber 3.2g, Protein 4.1g, Vit C 60%, Iron 10%,

Veggie Frittata cups-10


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Veggie Frittata Cups

Eggs are a very versatile breakfast option. They can be eaten after simply being boiled, made into delicious omelets, scrambled, or even fried.  Frittatas are another interesting way to have eggs. It is one of the best ways to incorporate vegetables into breakfast! It’s also perfect for if you are looking for something high in protein but low-carb. For this recipe I have used 6 egg whites and 1/2 egg yolk as yolks have a lot of cholesterol. You can use all egg whites or all whole eggs or even egg beaters – it’s entirely up to you.
The vegetables can totally depend on whatever you like or what leftovers you might have in the fridge that day. I have put anything from leftover chopped up pasta, meatballs, peppers, or even sausage in my frittatas. Sometimes if I have less time I just make a large frittata pie in the pan and then divide it into wedges. If I have a bit more time I make the individual frittata cups described below. That way everybody gets their portion all crispy and neat :)
These frittatas taste great warm or at room temperature. They can even be made earlier and refrigerated, which makes them great for packed lunches, or for a very quick breakfast that you just have to pop in the toaster oven for a few minutes! It can be made to be very gourmet with chopped up asparagus and feta cheese, used as hors d’oeuvres for a party, or even great to take for picnics. So open your fridge and see what kind of frittata mood you are in today :) 

 

Ingredients:

Organic Egg whites – 6

Organic egg yolk — 1/2

Organic 1% Milk – ¼ cup

Onion – ¼ of a medium onion

Green bell pepper – ¼ of a bell pepper

Red Bell Pepper – ¼ of a bell pepper

Mushrooms – 1

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Cilantro – 4 or 5 stems

Grated cheddar cheese – 2T

Salt – 3/4 t

Pepper – ¼ t

Grape seed oil/Extra virgin olive oil – 3t

 

Directions:

·         Pre heat the oven to 350 F.

·         Finely dice the onion, bell peppers and mushrooms.

·         Warm the cast iron skillet. Add 2t grape seed oil/olive oil.

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·         Then add the diced vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes till the onions are translucent and the veggies are soft but not brown.

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·         Whisk the egg whites with the milk. Add salt and pepper. Whisk again.

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·         Take a muffin pan and grease it with the ½ t oil.

·         Add 1-1 ½ T of sautéed veggies to each muffin pan.

·         Then add 1 ladle full of egg mixture to each muffin cup.

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·         Sprinkle a little bit of cheddar cheese and finely chopped cilantro if you want on top.

·         Put the tray in the oven for 35 minutes till fully cooked. The top should look dry and you should also check by inserting a toothpick in center and if it comes out dry then its set.

·         Just run a knife around and take them out. If you want the frittata crispy from all sides, take them out from the muffin pans, turn them upside down and put them back in oven for 5 minutes on a tray.

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·         Enjoy it warm or at room temperature with or without bread.

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Nutritional Content:

Total Servings: 6

Per Serving: Calories 52 cal, Fat 2.9 g, Cholesterol 15.2 mg, Carbs 1.8 g, Protein 4.3 g, Vit C 9.4%

Banana Bread-11


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Oat Flour Eggless Banana Bread

Early mornings are usually rushed and it’s easy to skip breakfast or to grab something quick (which typically doesn’t have great nutritional value). Sometimes my kids have just enough time to gulp some milk and grab something convenient like a bagel. For those days it helps if you have something like this Oat Flour Banana Bread at home so you can just grab a slice and be good to go. These are so much better than the store bought muffins, which are filled with sugar, trans fat, and chemicals.

Just by substituting oat flour for regular flour and canola oil for butter, I’ve lowered the fat content and increased the fiber and protein content for the basic banana bread. And adding walnuts increases the percentage healthy fats which are good for us.

Sometimes I make this bread with 2 egg whites and skip the milk, but if I’m out of eggs I just add ½ cup milk instead. The only difference is that the protein content slightly increases when you add eggs. You can make this as bread or bake it in muffin pans for convenience. If you add mini chocolate chips, this recipe doubles as a great dessert option (especially when warmed up)! As you can tell, it’s fairly versatile and great for packed lunches and picnics.

Ingredients:

Mashed bananas – 1 ½ cups (3 large)

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Oat flour – 2 cups

Canola oil – ¾ cup

Sugar – ¾ cup

Organic milk – ½ cup

Vanilla extract – 1 t

Baking soda – 1t

Baking powder – ½ t

Salt – ½ t

Walnuts – ½ cup (optional)

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Mini chocolate chips – 2 T (optional)

 

Directions:

·         Heat the oven to 325 F.

·         Add the sugar and oil and vanilla to food mixer and blend well.

·         Then add the mashed bananas and milk.

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·         Then add the dry ingredients. Add walnuts and chocolate chips at end.

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·         Bake in the oven for 60-70 min depending upon your oven.  Toothpick inserted in center should come out as dry.

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·         Enjoy as a snack or a quick breakfast or as a dessert!

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Nutritional Content:

Total Servings: 12-14

Per Serving: Calories: 251 cal, Fat 19.1 g, Sugar 12 g, Carbs 20.1 g, Fiber 1.4 g, Protein 2.5 g

Without chocolate chips: Calories 241 cal, Fat 18.5 g, Sugar 10.8 g, Carbs 18.8 g, Fiber 1.4 g, Protein 2.4 g

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