Nature’s Pride Honey Butternut n’ Goat Cheese Bread Pudding


I’m happy to introduce my tasty Nature’s Pride bread recipe for Foodbuzz. I created this tasty dish last night…September has me yearning for hearty meals and I thought this butternut squash bread pudding would be a great way to get you in the mood for Fall…the leaves turning…the pumpkins and corn stalks appearing…

I opted for a slight variation on the basic bread pudding, as I decided to include some extra fiber and nutrients in the Rainbow Swiss Chard, ground flax seeds and ground almonds which add a nice subtle yet extraordinary flavor to this sweet butternut squash.  I also used almond milk, which has a nice n’ sweet taste yet is not to heavy to weigh down the pudding base.  And why not top it off with a bit of goat cheese?  You simply can’t go wrong with this recipe..it’s sure to please a crowd and tastes great every time…

Happy Fall!


Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 6 eggs
  • 2  ½ cups almond milk
  • 5 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. spicy mustard
  • 10 pieces Nature’s Pride Soft Honey Wheat bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
  • ¾ cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 lb. Rainbow Swiss Chard, chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Gently toss squash with 2 Tbsp. olive oil; set on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, chili powder, ground flax seeds and ground almonds; bake until squash is tender approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Add almond milk, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and a sprinkle of sea salt; whisk to blend. Add Nature’s Pride Soft Honey Wheat bread pieces; gently fold into egg mixture. Set aside for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, approximately about 5 minutes. Add Rainbow Swiss Chard; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until Swiss Chard is wilted, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Prepare a baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Transfer half of bread from egg mixture to the prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of Swiss Chard over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and Swiss Chard; sprinkle with half of the goat cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, Swiss Chard, squash, and goat cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.
  • Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, approximately 25 more minutes.
  • Preheat broiler; broil pudding for 2 minutes.  Remove from broiler and sprinkle with fresh basil.  Cool and serve.
  • Enjoy!
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‘Chicky’ Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Here’s a great recipe for some guilt-less chicken fingers for all of you chicks watching your figures!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup ground macadamia nuts
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked
  • 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Dash of cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek plain yogurt
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Cut chicken breasts into desired sized nugget pieces. Set aside.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.  Seal the bag tightly and shake well until completely mixed.  This will be used as your coating mixture.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the low-sodium vegetable broth and egg white.  Dip each piece of chicken into the broth/egg white mixture, then dip into the coating mixture ensuring each piece is well coated.
  • Place coated chicken pieces on the baking sheet.  When the sheet is full, place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While the chicken is cooking in the oven, combine the ingredients for the honey mustard in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute on medium speed to ensure a ‘whipped’ dip.
  • Serve with homemade honey mustard dipping sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Stonyfield Oikos Recipe: Orange Zest Chicken Gyros

gyro

I have been eager to share with all of you my fabulously delicious Oikos Greek yogurt recipe for the Stonyfield Oikos contest.

I created this yummy recipe last week.  As all of you know, I am a huge fan of Oikos Greek yogurt and always have at least one container in my fridge at all times.  It’s incredibly versatile and I often use Oikos in my morning breakfast, afternoon smoothies, lunchtime tuna salads and evening marinades.

This time around, I opted for creating a fun ‘finger-food’ meal, which is perfect for lunch or dinner.  If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the chicken with tofu, seitan or another alternative.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tbsp. Oikos Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 5 pitas (without pockets)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 (16  ounce containers) Oikos Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of olive oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk garlic, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, oil and cilantro.  Slowly add chicken and rub to ensure coating of the marinade.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Pour a dash of olive oil into a large skillet, cook chicken fully; toss to ensure even cooking.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, set aside to cool and slice onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place each pita in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray; heat for 10-15 seconds per side over medium heat.
  • Top each pita with chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, scallions and dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Directions for Yogurt Dressing:

  • Strain yogurt with a cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl; let sit overnight to release moisture.
  • Shred zucchini and carrots.
  • Combine yogurt, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top before serving.

Be sure to visit the Oikos Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/oikos and the Oikos website here for more tasty Greek yogurt recipes.



Tofu Macadamia Stuffed Squash

acorn

Last weekend, while visiting the Union Square Green Market, I purchased a few acorn squash in hopes to prepare a stuffed squash dish this week.  After browsing through the endless pages of my cookbooks, there was not one stuffed squash recipe that stood out to me…Story of my life, and we all know what happens next…Yep, you guessed it… Amie digging through the pantry and refrigerator for ingredients to toss into a yummy acorn squash.

I stumbled upon a container of dried cranberries, a bag of macadamia nuts (from my nut splurge last week at Whole Foods) and a fresh orange.  Hmmm, I thought…with a quick trip to the corner market I purchased some fresh mushrooms and before I knew it I was in my kitchen chopping away and creating a healthy squash masterpiece.  I didn’t have any rice in my pantry, however, I did have a nice firm block of tofu in my fridge, which I thought would be a perfect way to bulk up my stuffing and add a nice protein kick, as well.

After a few minutes of mixing and experimenting…I was ready to stuff my squash and pop it back into the oven for a hearty, warm dinner.  The end result: Perfecto.  A ’10’ in my book for sure…and if you happen to purchase a few acorn squash this fall, be sure to stuff ’em with my tasty Tofu n’ Cranberry Stuffing.

Acorn squash is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium along with smaller doses of vitamins C and B, manganese and magnesium.  It’s an easy squash to pick out at the market due to it’s cute ‘acorn’ shape and harvest green skin, which is speckled with orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh.  Acorn is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash because of its sweet and nutty flavor combination.  Do you enjoy acorn squash?  If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare it? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Ingredients

  • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 block Nasoya Firm Tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 4 cups whole grain/ gluten-free bread cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy mustard
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (from a small orange)
  • 1/2 tsp. orange peel zest
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • On a baking pan, drizzled with olive oil, place squash halves cut side down.  Add 3/4’’ of water and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Marinate tofu in balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard, agave nectar and orange juice.
  • In a large pot, sauté onions and mushrooms in the olive oil; cook for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add spices and vegetable stock.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Slowly add tofu, orange juice, balsamic vinegar and bread cubes; sauté for another 4-6 minutes; remove from heat.
  • Add in macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, basil, cilantro, orange zest , sea salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Transfer the filling into the baked squash halves and return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Sunflower Seed Oat Balls

MMMM

Plant some new seeds into your diet and reap the health benefits.  If you are looking for an alternative to your ordinary bean and nut balls or perhaps looking for a way to get more nutrients in your diet, take a glance down the ‘seed’ aisle of your local market.  Unlike nuts, seeds are not common allergens- which is great news for those of you who suffer from food sensitivities.   Furthermore, seeds are packed with nutrients such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Last week, I was venturing through the aisles of Whole Foods Market when I stumbled upon the ‘seed’ section…suddenly, a tiny light bulb went off in my head and I began brainstorming seed recipe ideas…(yes, these are the crazy things that I do in the food store..and the reason that it takes me hours to get through one trip).  I whipped out my handy-dandy tiny note pad and started jotting down seed recipe ideas…Let’s just say you’ve gotta lotta seed recipes coming your way because I literally bought five different types of seeds because I simply couldn’t decide on one.  Plus, it’s more fun when you have five fun seeds to choose from in the pantry instead of one lousy option, right? Well, that was my thought…I had created eleven recipes right there in the seed aisle of Whole Foods Market…I finally had to move out of the way since I was ‘hogging’ the aisle amongst many rushed Manhattan folks.  Eleven recipes was enough, I thought, so I tossed the five different seeds into my cart and went on my way…Can you take a guess as to what the other four seeds are?  Well, you’ll see them soon enough…they’ll be popping up in my recipes within the next few weeks because I have ten more exciting seed recipes to share with you.  I hope you enjoy baking these delicious balls; let your imagination run wild and toss in a new grain or seed of your choice…let me know how your balls turn out!

This recipe can easily be made with sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds.  I enjoy using sunflower seeds with these balls, however, your seed opportunities are endless- get creative and have fun. Many of us are familiar with the mild nutty taste of sunflower seeds, which make a great snack and can easily be tossed into salads, stir fries and baking recipes.  A handful of sunflower seeds will curb your hunger while supplying you with a healthy dose of vitamin E, selenium and magnesium. So, go ahead…have a ball in your kitchen and create these tasty balls for your dinner tonight!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cup rolled dry oats
  • 2 cups water (to cook oats)
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup crispy whole grain cereal
  • 1 cup bran crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 cups finely ground sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Dash of cumin
  • Dash of pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well until texture resembles cookie dough.
  • Roll mixture into golf-ball sized balls and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese topping.
  • Enjoy!

Cha-Cha-Cha Chia Chips

chips

Last night I had a bit of fun with my new chia seeds. Do you remember those commercials from the 90’s for the chia pets? Who would have thought chia seeds were a superfood and incredibly good for you?  For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico.  It was known as the ‘running food’ and was used as an energy endurance source dated as far back as the ancient Aztecs.

Chia is a source of protein, rich in calcium and the richest vegetable source for the essential omega 3 fatty acid.  After researching chia seeds and their benefits, I decided to incorporate them into a tasty chip recipe, which is simple and easy to prepare.  These healthy chips pair perfectly with a dollop of guacamole, salsa and Greek yogurt!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • Gluten-free or Whole Grain tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of chili powder
  • Olive Oil

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread tortillas in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, combine chia seeds, chili powder, sea salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, mustard and lemon juice; mix well.
  • Slice tortillas into triangle shapes.
  • Brush each tortilla with olive oil and sprinkle mixture over triangle pieces.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes or until tortillas are brown and crispy.
  • Enjoy dipped into guacamole, Greek plain yogurt or salsa!

Homemade Baked Beans

kidney

There’s nothing like a side of baked beans at your summer BBQ; here’s an easy recipe that you can quickly whip up the next time you light up the outdoor grill!  I love the taste of baked beans, however, I try to make my own from scratch when I have the time.  I  steer clear of the processed, canned baked beans due to their high sodium count and additives, which can be quite troublesome to my stomach.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (drained/rinsed)
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained/rinsed)
  • 1 packet NuNaturals Stevia
  • 1 Tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 ripe avocado (cored and peeled)
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • In a medium size bowl, combine the agave nectar, mustard, balsamic vinegar, stevia and avocado.  Mash the avocado until there are no chunks.  After mashing, be sure to mix the agave nectar, stevia and avocado well.
  • Add in the chickpeas; continue to mash slightly so you leave the bean shape but also get a smooth consistence.  Slowly add in the kidney beans; continue to mash.  Add onion and basil.  Mix well.  Sprinkle with desired amount of Nu-Salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to the stove top and cook for 20 minutes over Medium heat, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm or chilled.
  • Enjoy!