Black Bat Hummus & Ghost Tortilla Chips

Black Bat Hummus & Ghost Tortilla Chips

Among my friends I am known for one thing, ok maybe two things; my love for all things Halloween and my black bean hummus. This year I decided to combine those two things by adding some Halloween flair in black bat hummus. It uses smokey chipotle peppers for a subtle spice and rich flavor. I loved adding a few additional accessories to make it spooky. We’ve been known to eat this hummus straight from the bowl, but we love to dip it too. For dippers, veggies and tortilla chips are always our go to choice, but why dip regular tortilla chips when you can dip ghost tortilla chips? These chips are so easy to make and personalize to your style. It only takes ghost cookie cutters and your favorite tortillas.

 

Here are a few additional variations you can make to this easy recipe: 
1. Tortillas:  You can use either flour or corn tortillas. I have tried both and they are equally delicious. The corn tortillas are a little crispier if you prefer that.

2. Oven or Air fryer: I really love using my air fryer for convenience. If you have an air fryer, I recommend placing enough ghosts to fill the bottom of your pan and adding a rack or something to keep them in place, without that they will blow around and cook unevenly. If you are baking them in the oven they take a few minutes extra, but the end result is the same

3. Water or oil: This is really a personal preference. They are very similar, as you might expect, there is a certain richness to adding a little bit of oil.

Have fun and add your own style with these fun dippers. You can also add your own spices before making them.

Ghost Tortilla Chips
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Ingredients

  • 1 Package of Tortilla Chips (Corn or flour)
  • Oil of Choice
  • Cookie Cutter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, can also use the air fryer preheated to 390.
  2. Cut tortillas into desired shape. Spray with oil or lightly brush with water.
  3. Place on a cooke sheet and bake for 11-15 minutes in the oven, or 5-7 minutes in the Air Fryer.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2020/10/black-bat-hummus-ghost-tortilla-chips/

Black Bat Hummus and Ghost Tortilla Chips make a great addition to any Char-BOO-Terie Board too!

Ending the Mealtime Battle with your Picky Eater

Ending the Mealtime Battle with your Picky Eater

Chickpea
This post is a collaboration with ALDI. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own. 

 

Coming out of quarantine many of us have been preparing a lot more meals at home. I will go out of my way to avoid being a short-order cook for my picky eater.  Before you roll your eyes, it’s not because my kids are angels, raised by a dietitian and eat kale for every meal. In fact, that is probably the furthest from the truth. The truth is, I have three small children and I’m too tired to make multiple meals. That doesn’t mean I take off my dietitian hat at dinner time though, I still want to serve my family affordable healthy meals that they will EAT.  Whether you have a picky eater or not, I think we all can agree that we don’t want to make multiple trips to the grocery store.That is why I love to shop at ALDI. ALDI has everything I need and it seems that every time I go in I find new great foods to try.  At my most recent trip to ALDI I found this 90 second quinoa and brown rice packet that makes a great addition to my taco bar (will share picture).  If you haven’t made a trip into ALDI recently you may not know that they have Earth Grown, an entire line of vegetarian and plant-based products, some of the lowest priced organic produce in the grocery industry and a whole line of wine and beer under $10*.  I’ve partnered with them to share with you 5 ways I avoid being a short-order cook for my family. 

1.  Create Simple Meals. 

When I have made complicated “kid-friendly” meals with hidden ingredients, it usually turns into a treasure hunt for my picky eater to find the foods she doesn’t like. My kids prefer seeing all the ingredients. Keeping my meals simple with a good protein source and a frozen veggie is a great place to start. I like to use Fremont Fish Market frozen fish and shrimp because no matter what happens at dinnertime I can have it on the table in 15 minutes or less and it pairs really well with a simple frozen veggie and fresh fruit.

2.  Build-Your-Own Bars 

Avocado Ranch Dip

 

 

We love to do build-your-own pizza, burger, or taco bars. Having a build your own bar allows my family to pick what they want but I’m only preparing one meal.  I recently shared all my ideas for a build-your-own taco bar on Good Day Kansas check out the segment here.

3. Serve a Less Traditional Meal 

Dips are a great way for me to get my kids to eat veggies. I love this Avocado Jalapeño Ranch Dip that has a base of Greek yogurt (protein) avocado (healthy fat) and goes great with veggies. Sometimes we eat this alone with veggies for a quick meal.
Avocado Ranch Dip

4.  Pair a Favorite with Something New 

My kids, like most kids, love things like chicken fingers, fish sticks and PB&J. I like to serve those things alongside other foods that maybe they have never had or they don’t enjoy as much. I love this recipe for Sweet Potato Salad, it is a spin on traditional potato salad.

5. When All Else Fails, Serve Dessert First!

This summer I have been obsessed with these chocolate covered cookie dough balls. I have served them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a secret though, the base is chickpeas, so I am giving my family a dose of fiber and protein with each bite.  I know that in case my best attempts at serving dinner fails, I can trust dessert to provide them the nutrients they need.

Yields 15-20 bites

Serves 2 bites

Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites
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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Simply Nature creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Specially Selected maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon almond flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 teaspoon simply nature coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas, vanilla, peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt, to a food processor and process until combined.
  2. Add almond flour, pulse until a thick dough is formed. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and lightly pulse through.
  3. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop dough and form into small balls. Place formed bites onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer for an hour. Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat on low heat stirring frequently being careful not to burn. Roll frozen bites into chocolate and return to the cookie sheet. Store in the freezer until ready to eat.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2020/07/ending-the-mealtime-battle-with-your-picky-eater/

 

For more info, check out ALDI.us, @ALDIUSA on Instagram and Twitter, and @ALDI.USA for Facebook. Use #ALDILove to show off your own build-your-own bar fueled by ALDI. 

 

*Price and availability may vary.

 

Healthier Steak Fingers & Black Pepper Gravy

Healthier Steak Fingers & Black Pepper Gravy

This post is a collaboration with the Kansas Beef Council on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own. 

Healthy Meal Plan Checklist 

I get asked all the time, how do I make a healthy meal plan? Most people think it has to involve a complicated recipe, expensive ingredients or, at the very least, must be a boring salad. I am here to tell you none of those are the case. My healthier steak fingers recipe is the perfect example. A healthy meal starts with a lean protein. In this case we are using tenderized round steak. It is tenderized so that even though it’s lean, it won’t be tough. Using beef for these fingers brings an unbeatable taste. Picking beef as your lean protein provides 10 essential nutrients and you never have to check the ingredients list because beef is just one simple ingredient.  To complete your healthy meal, just add a healthy fat and a fiber-rich carb. In this case we are adding ground flaxseed, which is both a healthy fat and a fiber-rich carb. Flax nutritionally provides a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids and acts as the gluten-free breading and gravy thickener for these healthier steak fingers. 

 

The Steak Fingers 

Growing up, country-fried steak was one of my favorite meals. These steak fingers are my take on country-fried steak. Steak fingers are made by first dredging in a milk and egg mixture, then tossing in a coating of flour and spices. Most traditional recipes would then fry the coated fingers in oil. For my steak fingers we are using ground flaxseed as the coating, which means this recipe is naturally gluten-free. Then we skip frying them in oil and instead bake them. The end result? A delicious and healthy comfort food. If you are looking for more beef recipes, be sure to check out www.kansasbeef.org/one-simple-ingredient

The Gravy 

No steak finger is complete without a little gravy. For this simple gravy we used ground flaxseed instead of flour and let me tell you, you won’t miss it. This goes great as a dip for the steak fingers, or I like to put them on mashed cauliflower to get a veggie side in for my picky eaters.  My favorite flax is Manitoba. It has a two-year shelf-life and is the smoothest I have ever worked with, which makes it great as a steak finger coating or in a gravy.

Healthier Steak Fingers and Black Pepper Gravy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 -2 Pounds Tenderized Round Steak or Cube Steak
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chili (ancho or cayenne will work too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • For Gravy:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  3. Slice the steak into 1" fingers
  4. Place flaxseed and all the spices in one shallow dish and mix well to combine. In another shallow dish whisk together milk and egg.
  5. Dredge steak fingers in the dish containing the milk and egg, then in the dry ingredients. Put on the cookie sheet. Continue until all fingers are coated.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, flip and continue cooking for 5 more minutes until slightly browned and cooked through. Optional: Broil for the last few minutes if you prefer a crispier coating. You can also try putting it on an oven-safe cooling rack to bake.
  7. For the gravy: Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add flax, pepper, salt, and garlic salt, whisking constantly.
  8. Slowly add in milk, whisking until it thickens. Serve immediately.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2020/02/healthier-steak-fingers-black-pepper-gravy/

Find out more about the Kansas Beef Council and all they do to support Kansas farmers:

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ksbeef

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KansasBeef/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChKfCz9R5HHqw-jSzjM6AUw (where they have lots of recipe ideas)

Pomegranate Recipes Roundup

Pomegranate Recipes Roundup

I realized that my love for pomegranates has turned into an obsession. Going back through the recipes I’ve posted over the years, I’ve found that pomegranates are one of my most reoccurring ingredients, and honestly, can you blame me? I even found a new way of introducing pomegranates to my kids when some of my favorite pomegranate recipes aren’t always picky-eater approved. I put all the pomegranate seeds on a cookie sheet and froze them and my son couldn’t get enough. 

My pomegranate recipes started with my Pomegranate Salsa back in 2014, and this year I’m adding my Rosemary Pomegranate Spritzer to the list.  This recipe is similar to my Pomegranate ACV Mocktail but the rosemary addition makes it o so much more seasonal and delicious. You can always make either of these into a fun adult beverage if you choose. I hope that you will cook your way through all of my pomegranate recipes. Keep scrolling to find them all: 

Pomegranate Salsa, Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Tarts, Chocolate Avocado Dessert Nachos, Superfood Muffins, Pomegranate ACV Mocktail, Rosemary Pomegranate Cheeseball, and Festive Beet and Pomegranate Bruschetta 

 

Pomegranate ACV Mocktail - 2O19

Festive Beet and Pomegranate Bruschetta - 2O18

Chocolate Avocado Dessert Nachos - 2O18

Rosemary Pomegranate Cheeseball -2O17

Superfood Muffins - 2O15

Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Tarts - 2O15

Pomegranate Salsa - 2O14

Yields 1

Serves 8 oz

Rosemary Pomegranate Spritzer
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Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 full Rosemary sprigs
  • 2 oz Pomegranate Juice
  • 6 oz Sparkling Water
  • Pomegranate Arils and Rosemary Sprigs (optional for garnish)

Instructions

  1. To make the Rosemary simple syrup: Add sugar, water and rosemary into a small saucepan, stir to combine. Heat on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat until boiling, then remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons rosemary simple syrup to pomegranate juice and sparkling water. Mix to combine.
  3. Optional: Add ice, garnish with rosemary and pomegranate seeds.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2019/12/pomegranate-recipes-roundup/

I wanted to make sure that you could find all of my favorite pomegranate recipes in one place and hopefully add a few new ones to your favorites list. If you are looking for information on the best ways to pick a pomegranate and how to extract the seeds, from the pomegranate, check out this post

 

3 Gut Healthy Cocktails

3 Gut Healthy Cocktails

The other day we were sitting on our back patio. In the distance you could hear the happy tune of the ice cream truck weaving it’s way through our neighborhood.  This was Leighton’s first time experiencing this, and as it grew louder she became more curious.  Finally, as it was nearing our house, she asked me with a confused look what the noise was.  I turned to her and said, “it’s the sound of summer”. She of course was neither amused nor satisfied with that answer.

Honestly, I have zero desire to rush out and grab an ice cream from these trucks for anything other than nostalgia. But you know what would be amazing? An ice cream truck that dished out cocktails, or even better healthy cocktails. Right? Every mom’s dream! So far, I’m not ready to take on that business endeavor, but in case someday my dream becomes a reality, I’ve rounded up my go-to drink recipes for summer. There’s an extra kick– they all have nutrition and gut healing benefits too. There is a recipe for everybody from young children to adults; keep reading to find the one that suits you! 

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

 

Who should drink me:

  • Anyone and everyone looking for a sweet treat! Even (my) picky kids like it! 

 

Nutrition benefits:

  • The fiber from the banana, avocado, spinach and cacao nibs can help keep your gut healthy
  • Healthy fats from avocado and cacao nibs for heart health
  • The smoothies is filled with antioxidants as well!

 

This smoothie is a great way to add in extra nutrients while keeping you cool. All the nutritional benefits of a salad, but it tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream! This still qualifies as a healthy cocktail right? 

Healthy Cocktail
Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
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Servings
1 8 oz serving
Servings
1 8 oz serving
Healthy Cocktail
Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie
Print Recipe
Servings
1 8 oz serving
Servings
1 8 oz serving
Ingredients
Servings: 8 oz serving
Instructions
  1. Lightly blend spinach and almond milk together first.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except cacao nibs. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add in cacao nibs and pulse a few times.
  4. Serve immediately.
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Pomegranate ACV Mocktail 

Who should drink me:

  • Anyone looking for a flavorful and refreshing, yet healthy cocktail

 

Nutrition benefits:

  • Probiotics in ACV with the “mother” help support a healthy digestive system
  • ACV can help to balance stomach acid which aids in digestion 
  • High in antioxidants from the pomegranate juice and apple cider vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar may help control blood sugar after a meal

Healthy Cocktails
Pomegranate ACV Mocktail
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Servings
1 serving
Servings
1 serving
Healthy Cocktails
Pomegranate ACV Mocktail
Print Recipe
Servings
1 serving
Servings
1 serving
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredient together.
  2. Serve chilled or over ice.
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Kombucha Mule 

Who should drink me:

  • Anyone looking for a healthier new cocktail to share with friends

 

Nutrition benefits:

  • Probiotics from the kombucha can help support the good bacteria in your gut
  • This mule has less sugar than a standard cocktail

Healthy Cocktails
Kombucha Mule
Print Recipe
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Healthy Cocktails
Kombucha Mule
Print Recipe
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Servings
4 4 oz servings
Ingredients
Servings: 4 oz servings
Instructions
  1. Mix well. Serve chilled or over ice with lime wedges.
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Now, I can’t wait to hear, which one is the right one for you?