recipes

{Recipe} Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins

by Sally on August 14, 2014

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins

This is a guest post by my intern, Hannah Bills, who blogs at Pretty Normal Diet. Over the last few months, Hannah has been helping me create recipes, take photographs, and brainstorm ideas, plus fetching my coffee and picking up my dry cleaning (kidding about that last part). 

Hello all! My name is Hannah, sometimes known at Real Mom Nutrition as “the intern.” I have had the great pleasure of hanging out with Sally for the past couple months, helping her complete shoots and do some research and a little writing. My experience with Sally has been extremely eye opening, as I have gotten to gain more insight into the professional blogging world, and see how dietitians fit into the big picture.  I will (hopefully!) be wrapping up grad school in a year and completing my dietetic internship.

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I am here today to bring to you a little taste of what I have been doing in my wee corner of the Internet. My blog, Pretty Normal Diet, is the manifestation of my creative and philosophic pursuits of what it means to have a “healthy diet.” In my About page, I describe my diet philosophy as follows:

For those seeking a healthful and nourishing diet, it is best to eat a great variety of things and in moderation. Always eat more plants. Try to eat less sugar. Get to know your body.

To give an example of what I mean, I have baked up a batch of some DELICIOUS muffins for you all. I know, I just told you all to eat more veggies and less sugar, but look look! These babies have zucchini in them, along with whole-wheat flour and sunflower seeds!

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins

This recipe is a great representation of what I am trying to accomplish with my blog, showing people how to make tasty food while maintaining a balanced diet. My main focus is on vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. However, don’t be surprised if you come across my doughnut recipe. Gotta indulge sometime!

Note: These muffins will freeze very well! When the desire strikes, I take one out and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins With Crunchy Sunflower Seed Topping
Serves: Makes 18 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • ⅔ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sunflower Seed Topping:
  • ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup turbinado (or brown) sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ stick of butter, unsalted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and melted butter. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture.
  2. Use a spoon or scoop to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely.
  3. For the topping, mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until it is evenly distributed and the mixture has formed small clumps. I find it easiest to use my hands to do this! Spread 1-2 tbsp of the mixture evenly over each muffin.
  4. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, about 22 to 25 minutes. Test with a long toothpick or a thin bamboo skewer to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin and let them cool another 20 minutes.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Crunchy Sunflower Seed Topping

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{Recipe} Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

by Sally on August 7, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Poor, maligned Brussels sprouts. They’ve long been a punchline, shorthand for “yucky healthy food that nobody wants to eat”, and a dinnertime villain in children’s books–most likely because they were served boiled-to-mush one too many times by well-meaning parents.

Now Brussels sprouts are finally getting their due. Roasting has become one of the most popular ways to prep them, which means it’s possible that our kids will grow up actually thinking happy thoughts about Brussels sprouts. Imagine that!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This recipe comes from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Kids Eat Right initiative, which seeks to offer families simple ways to cook healthy, eat right, and shop smart. August is Kids Eat Right Month, a campaign that spotlights healthy nutrition and active lifestyles for children and families. For ideas on how to get involved and bring this education to your school or community, visit their website.

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The Kids Eat Right initiative is also a great resource for family-friendly recipes. These Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts were a bit hit with my six year old, who gobbled up the sweet, nutty sprouts. While the sprouts and nuts roast in the oven, you cook balsamic vinegar and apple juice in a saucepan until they become a thick, syrupy glaze. Then you toss it all together with dried cranberries. Enjoy!

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup 100-percent apple juice
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss. Spread Brussels sprouts in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. Add pecans (I used walnuts) to the baking sheet and stir. Roast 5 to 7 more minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are tender and slightly browned and pecans are golden.
  4. Meanwhile, combine balsamic vinegar and apple juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes or until thickened and reduced to about ¼ cup (stir frequently to prevent burning). Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer Brussels sprout mixture to a large bowl; add cranberries. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, and toss until blended well. Serve immediately.

Visit the Kids Eat Right recipe page for more ideas.

Does your family like Brussels sprouts? Tell me your favorite way to prep them!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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{Recipe} Real Simple Blueberry Jam

July 28, 2014

Blueberries are, hands-down, my favorite fruit. To me, it’s not really summer until I’ve picked many, many pounds at a local farm–then eaten so many that I get a stomachache. Still, I usually end up with leftovers. So I make muffins, pancakes, and fruit leathers and tuck a few bags away for the winter. I also love […]

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Why I Love My Old-School Recipe Book

July 23, 2014

Did you have a scrapbook as a child? I did. In the pages of mine are ticket stubs to U2 and Depeche Mode concerts, photos from church camp, and dried corsages from high school homecoming dances. I don’t know if kids today keep scrapbooks (at least the paper kind) but I’m so thankful for mine. It’s like a roadmap […]

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Dinnertime Survival Trick: Make Bacon In Your Oven

July 9, 2014

Throughout the pages of my new book Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide are tricks that help me save time, money, and sanity. I call them “Crazy Tricks That Actually Work”. I’m sharing a few of these on my blog. I’ve been known to say that I could be a vegetarian if it weren’t for bacon. (My kids […]

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The Easiest Frozen Treat Ever

July 5, 2014

It’s all about staying cool right now, which means stocking your freezer with some cold, frosty goodies. Frozen grapes are the perfect one-ingredient frozen treat: Rinse, de-stem, place them in a freezer-safe bag, and lay them flat in your freezer. Be sure your kids can easily reach them for self-serve summer snacking. They taste like […]

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Snack Girl To The Rescue! (Plus How To Make Brown Rice In Your Oven)

June 28, 2014

Are you a fan of the popular blog Snack Girl? You should be. Author Lisa Cain dishes up recipes and strategies for healthy eating in a way that’s smart, funny, and best of all, totally nonjudgmental. You’re not getting Wisdom From On High, from someone who naturally prefers kale over cookies (and can’t believe everyone […]

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{Recipe} Scrambled Egg Muffins

June 16, 2014

We babysat some backyard chickens last week, dropping by their coop every day to feed them and say hello. The perk of this job: Lots of fresh eggs! Luckily, both of my kids love eggs. I finally got smart during the school year and taught my 9 year old how to cook eggs for himself […]

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Sweet-Tart Kale Salad (Plus How To De-Stem Kale)

June 6, 2014

Who takes kale salad to a potluck picnic? I do! (Is that weird?) Wherever I take it, this salad gets rave reviews–and many requests for the recipe. Now it’s featured in my new book Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide. Bonus: This salad actually gets better with time, as the lemony dressing softens the leaves. Speaking of […]

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{Recipe} How To Make No-Fail Stovetop Popcorn

May 28, 2014

I grew up on popcorn. My dad made it for us on the stove in the pot of an old pressure cooker that belonged to my grandma. He’d pour in oil and kernels and line up bowls on the counter for all of us. I’d sit with him on the kitchen floor in front of […]

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