“Back to School” Bran Muffins and Veggie Salad!

So we’ve been on vacation the last week and a half…and though I’ve eaten fairly healthy the whole time, I haven’t been eating as many veggies as I usually do.  I was craving a big bowl of them yesterday so I made this veggie salad that was so filling and flavorful, yet light at the same time.  I basically threw what veggies I had in the fridge along with some chickpeas and topped it with a maple dijon vinegarette…veggie perfection !

(By the way, I will apologize in advance for 2 of these photos…lost my camera adapter so I had to take a picture of a picture….figured it was better than nothing?? ha)

Salad :

1 can chickpeas, drained

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped

2 medium carrots, halved and chopped

1/2 English cucumber, quartered and sliced

2 celery stalks, chopped

Handful of grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado

I also threw in some dilly beans (pickled green beans that Healthy Mamma Melissa so graciously brought us when they visited !)

Maple Dijon Vinegarette :

1 T maple syrup

2 tsp dijon mustard

2 T olive oil

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss together…best served chilled.

Salad Ingredients

Veggie Salad

This next recipe is one I have tried before and love, but I always forget about it because I never buy cauliflower !  It is so simple and tasty and is so much healthier than regular mashed potatoes!

To preserve most of the nutrients, it’s best to steam the cauliflower, but if you have to boil, do so for only about 5 minutes…any longer than that you reduce the nutritional value anywhere from 30-75%.

Mashed Cauliflower :

1 head cauliflower

1 Tablespoon low fat yogurt or cream cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 clove garlic (I use 1/2 clove if my kids are eating it)

1-2 Tablespoons heart-healthy butter (Earth Balance or Smart Balance)

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried rosemary or chives

Salt and Pepper to taste

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces.  Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes (or steam until soft).  Drain well.

With an immersion blender, or food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the yogurt or cheese.  Add remaining ingredients.  Serve hot !

Mashed Cauliflower

 

Ok so onto my 3rd recipe…in honor of back to school !  Some of you may be in full swing, but our  Texas kiddos don’t go back for another week.  This is one of my kids’ favorite school snacks or to include in their lunch.  What I love about this recipe, is you can make a few muffins at a time…it keeps in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks ! So I usually make about 6 muffins…and then a week or 2 later make more so they are always fresh!   Plus, my kiddos get bored if I try to give them the same breakfast or snack more than a couple days in a row so it’s nice to not have to make so many at a time :)

Bran Muffins :

3/4 sugar (I use 1/2 cup granulated Splenda…measures cup-for-cup like sugar and 1/4 cup sugar in the raw)

1/4 cup heart-healthy butter (Earth Balance or Smart Balance)

1 egg

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup raisin bran

1/2 cup 100% bran (I use Nabisco)

1 cup buttermilk (or you could use 1 cup almond milk plus 1 T white vinegar)

1 1/4 cup flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup raisins or dates

Cream together sugar and butter.  Add egg and blend.

In a separate bowl, pour boiling water over the brans.  Stir slightly until moistened and cool.

Mix together dry ingredients and add creamed mixture and buttermilk.  Stir until combined.

Stir in raisins or dates.

Fill muffin tins almost to the top and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

"Blurry" Bran Muffins

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST ….

Don’t forget to enter our Facebook contest !!!!  Go “LIKE” our Facebook page (healthy mammas) to be entered in a free t-shirt giveaway this week…we will announce the winner on Thursday on our Facebook Wall so please tell any other healthy mammas you know to go “LIKE” us :)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/HealthyMammas/110297485725895

Thanks and have a happy healthy week !!!!!

Jenn

 

 

 

 

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About Jennifer

I am the mother of 2 beautiful children, Presley-7 and Cash-5 and married to an amazing husband and father, Todd. I have always thought of myself as a healthy person...I've always loved sports, working out and eating healthy. However, looking back, I've actually had a lot of unhealthy habits. I've tried every diet out there : Low fat (How did I think eating a box of fat free snackwells cookies was healthy?), Low carb (can you say fried pork skins GROSS)... as well as a long stint with disordered eating which started in college as a way to avoid those "freshman 15".
Well it wasn't until my 30s that I realized those kind of diets are just a quick fix, not a lifestyle. I think all foods can fit into a healthy diet as long as you practice moderation. I have found that I feel and look my best when I am eating mostly plant-based foods. Not to say I won't indulge in a filet every now and again... but I find that I crave meat less and less ! I have recently been fascinated with trying new vegetarian recipes...I NEVER thought I could give up chicken...used it eat it everyday, but I actually don't miss it at all.
I am trying to pass these healthy eating habits onto my children so they can avoid some of the diseases related to unhealthy diets.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a healthy day !!!!

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