Posts tagged #Holidays

Mimi's Toffee Bars

Toffee Bars | My Engineered Nutrition
Toffee Bars | My Engineered Nutrition

For my family and I, Christmas isn't complete without Mimi's Christmas cookies. We all know them and love them. Teatime Tessie's, Crescents, Acorns, and my personal favorite: Toffee Bars. Of course everyone also has their favorite cookie so we always had to make ALL the cookies...and lots of them!

Baking cookies was always a special time growing up as well - spending time with my Mimi, mom, aunts, cousins and sister in the kitchen. Our Mimi was the greatest woman ever and so many of my Christmas memories and traditions started with her. These cookies are very close to my heart <3

Toffee Bars | My Engineered Nutrition

The recipe for these cookies is from 1961, or so says the recipe that we have written down from Mimi. In 1961 things were a bit different with baking...yes, these cookies in their original form are not gluten-free (gasp!). I took a gamble and tweaked the recipe this year and I'm happy to report my successes! In addition to making these gluten-free, I also reduced the butter and cut out the refined sugar. 

Toffee Bars | My Engineered Nutrition

These cookies are really fun and easy to make. After baking the sheet of cookies you pile on chocolate pieces, allow them to melt on the warm from the oven cookie, and then spread that smooth chocolate all across. 

    

The final touch is a sprinkle of pecans. While the chocolate is still warm you will need to cut the cookies before allowing them to cool. You slice long strips (vertically) followed by cutting on the diagonal, making diamond shaped cookies. 

Toffee Bars | My Engineered Nutrition

These cookies have just the right amount of crispy crunch to them with a punch of dark chocolate and pecans. 

Happy Holidays! 

Toffee Bars | My Engineered Nutrition

 

Mimi's Toffee Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Baking Time: 18-20 minutes

Servings: Approximately 40 cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 6 oz dark chocolate (around 62% cacao - not too dark like 90% or else it could be too bitter)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Kitchen Utensils:

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Cookie sheet with sides (10x15 in)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a mixing bowl) combine the butter, Greek yogurt, sugar, vanilla, egg, baking flour and salt. Mix on medium high until well incorporated. Spread into un-greased cookie sheet, ensuring the cookie batter is smooth and level within the sheet. 
  3. Bake until the cookie rises and falls, resulting in a smooth cookie all the way across. This takes approximately 18-20 minutes - be sure to watch your edges! You don't want your cookie to burn. While the cookie is baking break your chocolate bars into small pieces and chop the pecans.
  4. Once the cookie has finished baking, remove from oven and lay chocolate over the top, spacing evenly and covering the cookie. Allow to sit for a minute or two before spreading the chocolate evenly across the top. Sprinkle with pecans. While the cookie is still warm cut straight long strips vertically (about 5 or 6 strips) followed by cuts on the diagonal, making diamond shaped cookies. 
  5. Allow the cookie to continue cooling before removing from the pan. This will take a few hours. I suggest making these the day before you plan on eating them and allowing them to cool overnight (or bake in the morning if you plan on serving that evening). You want to allow the chocolate to set and harden before enjoying!

Nutritional Information (1 cookie, based on approximately 40 total cookies)

85 calories - 1 g protein, 9.4 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g fat

 

 

Posted on December 23, 2015 and filed under Recipes, Sweet Treats, Baking.

Sweet Potato Stacks

Sweet Potato Stacks | My Engineered Nutrition

So a few weeks back I saw this video that Tasty posted for Sweet Potato Marshmallow Stacks. I thought the technique of making these was genius, but I was in the mood for a savory sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving, rather than sweet.

Sweet Potato Stacks | My Engineered Nutrition

On Thanksgiving last week, the sweet potatoes were my last dish to prepare. I had no recipe and just went with what felt right. I grabbed my mandoline and sliced up a few yams. NOTE: technically these super orange taters are yams, the whiter ones are actually sweet potatoes, but I digress...

I threw the sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl then added some fresh rosemary, thyme, grated Parmesan, melted butter, salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato Stacks | My Engineered Nutrition

I gave that all a good mix, making sure no sweet potato was left behind when it comes to melted butter and cheese! I stacked those little guys into a muffin tin and baked them in the oven. 

Sweet Potato Stacks | My Engineered Nutrition

The result? These awesome little stacks of crispy cheesy goodness. 

Sweet Potato Stacks | My Engineered Nutrition

These sweet potato stacks are so simple and take no time to prepare. Looking for an appetizer to take to your next holiday party? These are the perfect finger food!  Not in the mood for sharing? These are awesome re-warmed so they could easily be made ahead of time and eaten throughout the week. 

Whatever the occasion, don't miss out on these stacks.

Sweet Potato Stacks | My Engineered Nutrition

Sweet Potato Stacks

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 12 stacks

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes (21 oz total weight)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Kitchen Tools:

  • Mandoline slicer
  • Muffin tin

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes into disks with a mandoline slicer.If you do not have a mandoline, you can thinly slice with a knife but try to be as uniform as possible. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine sliced sweet potatoes, melted butter, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and only half of the parmesan cheese. Toss potatoes until they are even covered with the butter and cheese. Layer potato slices in a muffin tin. As a tip, the smaller slices from the ends of the sweet potatoes fit best in the bottom of the tins and as you layer up the larger slices fit better! 
  4. Top each stack with a sprinkle of the remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Remove from tin and serve. 

Nutritional Information (1 stack): 

60 calories - 1.8 g Protein, 10.5 g Carbohydrates, 1.7 g Fat

Posted on December 3, 2015 and filed under Recipes, Vegetables/Sides.

Whipped Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions

Whipped Cauliflower with Caramelized Onion | My Engineered Nutrition

Mashed potatoes are great, don't get me wrong.

But with all the other deliciously-heavy side dishes to choose from at Thanksgiving, wouldn't it be nice to have at least one lighter alternative? Or, what if you are like me, and cannot tolerate night-shade (white potatoes)?

Cauliflower to the rescue!

Caramelized Onions | My Engineered Nutrition

To start things off, any dish you add these caramelized onions to will be a hit. The Kitchn does a great tutorial on how to caramelize onions. It make take a bit of extra time and planning up front, but the results is well worth it.

Whipped Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions | My Engineered Nutrition

Cauliflower is great a great low carb substitute, and if cooked correctly can have almost an indistinguishable texture compared to white potatoes. I haven't loaded these down with butter and heavy cream, instead I snuck in non-fat Greek yogurt to provide that bit of creaminess to this side dish. Your dinner guests won't know the difference!  

Whipped Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions | My Engineered Nutrition

Whipped Cauliflower with Caramelized Onions

Prep Time: 1 hour (caramelized onions) + 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 small/medium heads of cauliflower, about 8 cups chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1-1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 6 oz non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Caramelized onions (1 whole onion)  - follow The Kitchn instructions

You will also need: 

  • Blender or immersion blender
  • Electric hand mixer

Directions: 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. While the water is warming, chop cauliflower into florets. Once  water is to a boil, add cauliflower. Continue to boil for 10 minutes, until the cauliflower becomes very tender. Drain cauliflower.
  2. Return large pot to stove top. Over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and rosemary and allow to become fragrant but be sure not to let the garlic become too brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add cauliflower and mix to combine. Allow to cook for an additional 8 minutes.
  3. If your blender is large enough (or you have an immersion blender) you can do this next step in one batch. If not, this can be done in batches. Transfer cauliflower mixture to blender and add chicken stock. Blend but do not completely liquify - we want a 'mashed potato-like' texture.
  4. Return cauliflower to large pot (no heat). Add Greek yogurt and caramelized onions. Whip the cauliflower with the hand mixer until all ingredients are well incorporated. 
  5. I like to finish things off in the oven so that the cauliflower is warmed through and this also creates a bit of a crisp layer, which is a nice touch :) This would be a great dish to prepare ahead of time on Thanksgiving and just re-warm in the oven before sitting down to eat. 375F for about 15 minutes should do the trick!

Nutritional Information (1 serving)

120 calories - 6 g Protein, 13 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fat

Posted on November 24, 2015 and filed under Recipes, Vegetables/Sides.

Apple Cranberry Pie

Apple Cranberry Pie | My Engineered Nutrition

The best meals are visually appetizing and have a taste that is even greater.

THIS pie - oh man. 

I always eat with my eyes first, and the moment this pie came out of the oven I knew I'd created a keeper.  

Apple Cranberry Pie | My Engineered Nutrition

I absolutely love when I get requests for recipes and this pie was inspired by my dear friend Samantha. She was looking for a lightened up apple pie for the holidays. We all know a traditional apple pie has both a base crust and a top pie crust. While that is very very delicious (READ: double the buttery crust), it maybe isn't ideal if we are trying to be smart about our dessert choices this holiday season.

Apple Cranberry Pie | My Engineered Nutrition

Instead of a top pie crust I covered this pie with a delicious almond meal streusel - you won't event miss that top crust! This allows the real stars of this pie to shine - the soft and sweet apples mixed with the occasional POP of tart from the cranberries. I've greatly reduced the amount of sugar added to this pie, leaving it to be mostly sweetened naturally from the apples.  

This is such a great holiday dessert. It will be fantastic for Thanksgiving but even more perfect for Christmas time, which is right around the corner!

Apple Cranberry Pie | My Engineered Nutrition

Apple Cranberry Pie

Prep Time:

Bake Time:

Servings: 8-10 slices

Ingredients:

For the Pie:

  • 1 Mamaw's Pie Crust
  • 3 lbs of apples (5-6 medium) - I use a mix of honey crisp and golden delicious
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare pie crust per directions. Once completed place in refrigerator to keep chilled while you continue on with the rest of the recipe. 
  3. Peel, core and slice apples. My method is to first peel the apples, remove the core, slice in half and then cut 1/4" slices. Place apples in a large mixing bowl with cranberries and toss with lemon juice. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, coconut palm sugar and arrowroot. The arrowroot acts as a thickener in the pie to hold it together. Add to the apples and cranberries and mix until all of the fruit is evenly covered with the spice mixture. 
  5. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and fill with apple/cranberry mixture. Prepare the streusel by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and mixing until a meal-like consistency forms. Spread evenly over the top of the pie. 
  6. Loosely cover the pie with foil and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Remove foil after 30 minutes and continue baking uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-4 hours (or ideally, make this pie the night before you plan on serving!). If you cut the pie too soon from the oven you run the risk of it not setting and becoming difficult to serve. 

Nutritional Information (1 slice out of 10 slices)

200 calories - 1.5 g Protein, 31 g Carbohydrates, 8 g Fat

 

Posted on November 20, 2015 and filed under Sweet Treats, Recipes, Baking.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie | My Engineered Nutrition

You can't have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. You just can't, and I certainly wasn't planning on skipping my slice of pie (or 2) this year! I've shown you just how much I love pumpkin with my Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Bolognese, Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies, Pumpkin Protein Waffles and of course, my Pumpkin Protein Donuts

All of these recipes are great, but can you really beat a simple slice of pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin Pie | My Engineered Nutrition

Like many of my holiday recipes, I've taken the traditional recipe and adapted it to fit my diet. Traditionally, pumpkin pie is made with either evaporated milk and loads of sugar or condensed milk. Call me crazy, but something about canned dairy just doesn't appeal to me. I also want to feel good after eating my dessert, instead of worse because of the amount of sugar I've ingested. My pumpkin pie uses light coconut milk and a bit of pure maple syrup for sweetening. The result is the most delicious light and creamy pumpkin pie - you have to trust me on this one.

Pumpkin Pie | My Engineered Nutrition

While my pie is in no way "healthy" - that would take away the fun of the holidays - it definitely has reduced guilt when eating ;)

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Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 1 hr 10 minutes

Servings: 1 pie, 8-10 slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 Mamaw's Pie Crust
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Optional topping: Coconut whipped cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 
  2. Prepare pie crust per directions. Once completed place in refrigerator to keep chilled while you continue on with the rest of the recipe. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, spices (salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves) and vanilla. Mix to incorporate spices. 
  4. In a medium mixing bowl combine coconut milk, maple syrup and eggs. Whisk to combine. Pour mixture into the pumpkin, continuing to whisk to fully incorporate. 
  5. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and pour filling into crust. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, loosely cover with aluminum foil, to prevent the crust from becoming too brown, and reduce heat to 350°F. Bake for an additional 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. 
  7. Allow pie to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing. This can easily be made the day before you plan on eating. 

Nutritional Information (1 slice out of 10 slices)

170 calories - 3 g Protein, 22 g Carbohydrates, 8 g Fat

Posted on November 18, 2015 and filed under Sweet Treats, Recipes, Baking.