Baked Strawberry Donuts

Baked Strawberry Donuts 1

Mr. Prevention and I have jobs that couldn’t really be any more different. He works in the corporate world, is highly professional (not that I’m not, but there may be an occasional “yo yo yo” in a work email…and plenty of smiley faces), and travels the world on business. I would not care for any of these traits in my work, but it suits him perfectly.

I swear, if there were such a hobby as “101 ways to get upgraded to business class on an international flight,” my husband would excel. Maybe that is a hobby, I don’t know. He’s good at it and it’s a win-win all around…sometimes we get upgraded on vacation travel, but at the very least he can return from a work trip from half way around the world in decent humor “because the seats recline to lay 180 degrees flat”.

Mr. Flight Guru himself, however, swears that there’s no real benefit to first class over business…other than never having to cascade over another human to get up or to the restroom. Minor details. For the record.

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Instead, my work is FUN. I get to do a little bit of everything which involves not only being a dietitian but also the boss and a cook on a daily basis. I feel most blessed in my job when I can go from seeing a diabetic patient only to return to the kitchen to whip together some Whole Wheat Apple-Oat Breakfast Cookies which have become THE HOT COMMODITY at my hospital. Quite literally, I cannot make them fast enough to keep up with demand.

It’s fun. It’s challenging. It’s diverse. It’s a job where I can use my people skills, leadership skills, and culinary skills to their fullest potential, all while continuing to practice dietetics.

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One of the most challenging aspects of my job has been growing our out-patient diabetes program. We rely on provider referrals and then, for patients to not only be willing but able to come to appointments. But, our out-patient visits are up nearly 50% this year and it has been exciting to see the program grow. When Michigan winters are as bad as they were this year, people didn’t come out of their homes for anything, including diabetes education. It’s hard to blame them. There’s not a single day this winter I wouldn’t have preferred to honker down at home and watch the snowflakes fly from my bedroom windows as I lie in bed cuddled up with my Kindle and a hot cup of tea.

But now that spring is here, people are COMING. OUT. OF. THE. WOODWORK. It’s insanely busy.

…Kind of like the grocery store when everyone came out for 5 for $5 strawberry pints. Let’s just hope they were able to whip up something this delicious and appropriate for spring.

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Baked Strawberry Donuts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Spring's first strawberries were perfect in these baked strawberry donuts. Only slightly indulgent, it's hard to pass up these baked donuts! We certainly LOVED them!
Ingredients
Donuts
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup strawberries, finely chopped
Frosting
  • ¼ cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mist a 3½ to 4-inch donut pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second medium bowl, whisk to combine the buttermilk, eggs, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the wet and fold to combine with a rubber spatula. Fold in strawberries.
  3. Fill each donut well two-thirds full and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes in the donut pan before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
  4. Meanwhile, mash the strawberries in a small bowl. Stir in the powdered sugar and mix well. Once cooled completely, dunk the top side of each donut in the frosting. Best served immediately.
Notes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 frosted donut Calories: 144 Fat: 3.2 Carbohydrates: 26.2 Sugar: 13.5 Sodium: 235 Fiber: 1.4 Protein: 2.9 Cholesterol: 31

Busy week….blaaah.

Be well,

sig4

The Best Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies 1

Happy VALENTINE’S Day! I love V-day. It’s the sap in me. A day involving love, chocolate, and flowers…I’m in. Very in.

When I got home from work yesterday, I found a box of chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for me at the door. The card read, “Please save some for me! See you tomorrow. Love, Mark and Lil Lil”. Share?? My gift? Silly man. Silly, silly man.

Perhaps I would’ve considered it before he got home from a work trip, showered (loudly), and crawled into bed at 4am…and then tossed and turned for the next several hours, keeping me awake. China is 11 (or 12? 13?) hours ahead of Michigan’s EST.

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I’m guessing a romantic date night is out. He’ll probably be buried under the sheets trying to recover from jet lag. Clearly, my chocolate-covered strawberries are not to be shared. It may be the only shred or romance I receive this year.

What I did share was these brownies. I’ve made them THREE times this week. I made them once to trial the recipe and received the approval of my staff. I then recreated them for my diabetes cooking club on Wednesday (they LOVED them). I did scare off one gentlemen who was interested in joining the class…until he learned what recipe we were making. I tried to convince him how delicious black bean brownies could be, but…he wasn’t willing to have a little faith. His loss!

I then recreated them a third and final time to share with Mr. Prevention this weekend. Typically, after he has been away for work, he likes to dine in…yet, he always appreciates a splurge. I have no doubt he’ll never question these brownies. He’ll probably eat 3 of them before coming up for air and a question along the lines of, “Are these healthy?”

Muahahaha. Oh, Valentine.

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The Best Black Bean Brownies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
I've had some good black bean brownies and I've had some bad. But these? These top the charts - so good! And easy!
Ingredients
  • 1 (15 oz) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground coffee or instant coffee
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mist a nonstick 8 x 8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the beans and pulse 10-15 times. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add eggs, and pulse an additional 10-15 times or until well-combined.
  3. Add cocoa powder, sugar, olive oil, almond milk, vinegar, baking powder, baking soda, and instant coffee. Pulse to fully combine. Remove the blade of the stand mixer and carefully stir in ½ cup chocolate chips; transfer to the baking pan, spreading batter to the edges. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips. Bake for 25-32 minutes or until an inserted toothpick is cleanly removed.
Notes
Recipe from Skinny Taste
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 brownie Calories: 131 Fat: 4.3 Carbohydrates: 21.4 Sugar: 9.1 Sodium: 87 Fiber: 2.1 Protein: 2.8 Cholesterol: 26

 TGIF! I’m reeeeeeeally ready for the weekend! :-D

Be well,

sig4

Chocolate Brownie Cookies + Weekly Menu

Chocolate Brownie Cookies 1

Friday night we did absolutely nothing. I worked way too late for a Friday night and came home to find Mr. Prevention and Lily snuggled up on the air mattress in our bedroom. You see, Lily dog isn’t allowed on furniture or in the bed, yet she refuses to let you enjoy a nap or rest (outside of the hours of 9am to 6am) and so the air mattress comes in handy. Lily sees the air mattress and she can go from full of energy and bouncing off the walls to full out bulldog snoring in peace…with an air mattress.

Who knew air mattresses were magical?

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Even still, we reserve air mattresses for “emergency use” only.

While our Friday routine includes date night out at a restaurant, I knew Mr. P wouldn’t be up for leaving home. If illness wasn’t enough, the drifting snow and 2 degree Michigan winter weather with lake effect snow…flying sideways…was probably what sealed the stay-at-home deal. My growling stomach had me ordering take-out Chinese food that is less than a mile from home. I made it over the snow bank that the plow had built up at the end of our driveway with a quick gunning of the accelerator.

In the naaaaame of dinner!

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Yesterday morning, I barely made it out of the driveway for my tennis lesson, but I made it. After returning from the 90 minute workout dripping in sweat (being sweaty in COLD weather is the worst!), my car didn’t handle the snow bank quite so well. After a few attempts, I was officially stuck at the end of the driveway. The only plus side to this situation was that I opted to wear my boots to the gym versus just running there in my gym shoes. Good thinking, Nicole.

My workout was followed up with another 25 minutes sweat session as I dug out my car and made it safely up the driveway and into the garage. Needless to say, I didn’t leave the house the rest of the day. And what is there to do when you can’t leave home? Bake! With an ingredient list this simple, there was just no saying no to these cookies.

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Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 22
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix in the egg whites and egg. Fold in the chocolate.
  3. Scoop batter in heaping tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Allow to cool complete on the baking sheets.
Notes
Recipe from Bon Appetit, January 2014, as seen on Eva Bakes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 111 Fat: 2.8 Carbohydrates: 20.7 Sugar: 17.8 Sodium: 113 Fiber: 1.0 Protein: 1.6 Cholesterol: 17

 Weekly Menu: January 26th – 30th

Another lazy day ahead, though I will need to brave the elements for the grocery store at some point ;)

Be well,

sig4

Fruit and Nut Shortbread Cookies

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Remember how my mom told me not to bring any baked good homes? Well, of course I did. And guess who wasn’t upset by my doing so?

Imagine. That.

In my family, I serve as the conscience for everyone at the table. I’m the gate keeper of the salt, butter, and other unhealthy and unnecessary condiments, in particular. I like to remind my father than when he eats too late at night – or eats the wrong foods, he’s going to pay for it later.

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Yesterday, my brother’s girlfriend dropped off 2 beautiful tins of homemade goodies. Red Velvet Truffles? Seriously?! Seriously. It’s a Christmas miracle I put the breaks on after one. But then I had a buckeye and a peanut cluster, too.

And then it hit me…that was way over-doing it. After a beautiful home-cooked meal I had reached that uncomfortable level of indulgence. Don’t you hate that? Note to self: have that be the first and last time you do that this holiday season.

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Later in the night, Mr. Prevention was playing my conscience. As I complained of an upset stomach, he questioned how many goodies I had had. I’m not used to him keeping tabs on my indulgences as I’m usually the one commenting on his evening tapeworm…

I’m to the point after baking, eating, and posting all the glorious cookies…they don’t even interest me at this point in time. Not in the least. Not for today.

However, the lemon in these Fruit and Nut Shortbread Cookies make them seem airy, light, and not-so-sinful. ;)

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Fruit and Nut Shortbread Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36
 
A lemon-y shortbread cookie that is crumbly, slightly sweet, and filled with red and green fruit and nut goodies!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins, chopped
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the zest and juice of one lemon and vanilla extract; mix well. Add the flour and mix to combine.
  2. Mix in dried cherries, raisins, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and cashews.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll each section of dough into a log measuring about 8″ long and 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or until the dough is firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Cut logs into ¼″ thick slices and place them on the baking sheets. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
Notes
Recipe from My Friend's Bakery
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 104 Fat: 6.08 Carbohydrates: 11.3 Sugar: 4.9 Sodium: 21 Fiber: 0.3 Protein: 1.3 Cholesterol: 13

 Church & family fun day! :)

Be well,

sig4

Meatless Monday and Recipe Repeat: Crustless Pumpkin Pie

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Mr. Prevention and I always have our best conversations when we’re in the car. Short distances or long, we always find something engaging to discuss. On our way to dinner Saturday night, we were discussing the holidays and pondering that perhaps we should host Easter next year up in Michigan. We were thinking about the logistics of our families traveling and what kind of traditions surround Easter.

It was quickly determined that he and I both value tradition…and holidays demand tradition.

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My family’s traditions have changed as my only living grandparent, Grannie, has transitioned to a nursing home and fallen deeper and deeper into the sadness that is dementia. We used to so look forward to her Christmas cookies. Her potato chip cookies were heavenly, but sadly, no one has carried on that tradition. Though, I think that will change this year ;)

Mr. Prevention’s family has the tradition of homemade tortellinis at Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Basically, they’re the “appetizer” which is followed up with a traditional turkey meal with stuffing, potatoes, and the works. His family all anxiously await the holidays…for the tortellinis. And of course, the family time. Right, guys? ;)

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Our conversation surrounding holidays and traditions lead me to one definite conclusion: food plays a huge part in holiday traditions. Food can be what MAKES holiday traditions. Of course, I support this wholeheartedly.

That said, enjoying holiday traditions does not have to require a new pant size come January. Sometimes you can have your holiday traditions…slimmed down a bit. Enter Crustless Pumpkin Pie.

If you love pumpkin pie, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you simply love pumpkin. In which case, the crust is a perk, but it’s a very high-calorie, high-fat perk. Pumpkin pie lovers…I can almost promise that you’ll find this pie a perfectly acceptable rendition for a fraction of the calories. Thanksgiving just got a little bit better when you can skip the guilt!

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Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15 oz) pureed pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 oz) fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the first 10 ingredients, pumpkin through salt, until well blended. Stir in cracker crumbs.
  3. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 162 Fat: 2.3 Carbohydrates: 32.6 Sodium: 151 Fiber: 2.6 Protein: 6.8 Cholesterol: 46

 2 1/2 day work week! :-D And so despite getting home late from my hockey game, I’m up and at’em…heading to the gym this morning. #struggling

Be well,

sig4