Treat Yourself Tuesday: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

img_3448Two weeks in a row? What’s happening with me! I had a few days where I actually felt like I had a lot of energy, so after getting a bunch of work done I decided to work on my blog.

Last year I posted pumpkin muffins. They’re low-calorie and low-fat. They are still pretty good. But this year it’s not about restricting. You shouldn’t have to feel bad about food. It’s about making food you love and enjoying it. Just don’t go overboard. That’s the point of Treat Yourself Tuesday. So this year here are much more indulgent, but probably much more delicious, pumpkin muffins.

 

What you’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (an extra 1/2 tsp for topping)
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar (an extra 1/4 cup for topping)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 tsp cold butter (for topping)

img_3447Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the flours, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugars, oil, water, eggs and pumpkin. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Spoon batter into muffin cups (about 3/4 full).

In a separate bowl mix together the 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Cut in pieces of the butter and mash together with your hands until the topping is chunky. Sprinkle this mixture over the muffins and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted into the muffins and come out clean.

Enjoy fall! Enjoy muffins!

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Treat Yourself Tuesday- Rosemary Garlic Pork Loin

img_3077Hi Everyone! I know I haven’t been posting much, if you read my previous entry this week, you’ll know I’m struggling with the energy to keep this going on top of work and my recovery. But I’m just going to work on it as I can. I made this awhile ago and I’m excited to share. My parents loved it… although they would probably say they loved dirt if I made dinner haha. So here we go.

Note pork loin and pork tenderloin are actually different cuts of meat. A pork loin is much thicker and comes from the back of the pig. It also comes as different names like top loin roast or center-cut. The tenderloin is Is taken from the muscle situated alongside the backbone of the pig. It’s much smaller. You can also make this recipe with a tenderloin, you’re cooking time will just be different- much less.. but the process of coating it is the same. I’ve made it with both kinds of cute and found the tenderloin dried out quicker, even though both are very lean cuts

What you’ll need:

*note you may need more based on the size of your loin/how many people you’re feeding. The loin I made was 2lbs and would feed at least 4 people.

  • 2 lb pork loin (The butcher will ask you how much. Honestly Just eyeball it.)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsps of rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If your pork loin came with a large layer of fat, remove it img_3075and just leave the nice lean meat. Rub the loin with olive oil.

On a plate combine the rest of the ingredients on a plate and roll the pork loin in the bread crumb mixture until it’s completely coated. Place on a baking sheet (throw a sheet of aluminum foil on there for easy clean up!) and place in the oven. Cook for 25 minutes. Pork temperature can vary now. Anywhere from 145 degrees to 165 degrees. I prefer mine closer to well done, and I think this recipe still kept a lot of the moisture in. But if you like yours a little medium, the lower temperature is just fine.

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Let the loin rest for a few minutes before cutting and serve! If you’re looking for a few sides try my recipe for Green Bean Fries or Thyme & Honey Glazed Carrots

Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

mushroom barley risottoI can’t take a lot of credit for this one. I found the recipe on foodnetwork.com and adapted it a little (although i guess most ideas are repurposed anyway) I love slow cooker recipes.. you could definitely make it on the stove… but why gradually stir in liquid for an hour when you can stick it in a crock pot and forget about it.

The best part is that this ENTIRE recipe is 550 calories. Yes, the entire slow cooker. It’s vegetarian…remove the cheese and it’s vegan AND only 375 calories. (Honestly the cheese adds some richness… but it still tastes AMAZING without it). It makes about 4-6 servings… depending on how much you eat… and it’s EXTREMELY filling.

Calories: 550 for the entire recipe. (375 for the vegan version) Makes 4-6 servings. ( I did NOT account for oil used in this recipe. Add another 120 for a tablespoon of olive oil)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 1-1 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
  • ~ 2 tsp (or to taste) Thyme (you can use fresh.. it’s better… but i used dried)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • Garlic to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Green peas (optional)
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (leave out if making vegan version)
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Heat a pan with olive oil. Add the onion, and cook until they begin to caramelize. Then Add in the mushrooms and cook until soft (this happens very quickly). Add in the barley, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, until the barley is golden brown. (about 5 minutes)

Add the barley mixture to the crockpot along with the carrots, water and broth. Let cook on high for about 3 hours. (keep checking… my slow cooker took a little less time) (if you add in peas.. throw them in with about an hour left to go… they don’t take as long to cook) When the barley is soft, and all the liquid is absorbed turn the slow cooker off. (If you’re making the vegan version.. stop here and serve!) Add in the cheese and vinegar, add any more salt and pepper you might want. ( i found it did NOT need any more salt)

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you tried it!!

Low-Calorie Honey Almond Pumpkin Muffins

almond pumpkin muffin closeI’m on a big almond kick right now, and loved the idea of getting a nice crunch in the middle of a muffin. And since it’s fall… let’s make it pumpkin!

They’re only 85 calories a muffin! If you remove the honey and almonds and decide to do a plain pumpkin muffin, it’s only 65 calories each!

*Also check out my recipe for Low-Calorie Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Calories: 85 per muffin (makes about 12 muffins *note this muffins are a little small, if you want larger muffins fill up only 9 of the 12 spaces in the muffin tin)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

almond pumpkin muffin farIn one bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, honey and apple sauce. blend together. In a separate bowl add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and whole wheat flour. Add the wet and dry ingredients together. DO NOT OVER MIX. Over mixing will make these too dense. Fold in the sliced almonds. Evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tray. (you don’t have to, but I used cupcake wrappers. If you don’t, just make sure you grease the pan.) Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until you can poke a toothpick into the muffin, and have it come out clean. Drizzle the top of the muffins with honey.

Enjoy the guilt-free muffins!

Low-Calorie Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

chocolate chip pumpkin muffin closeIf you’re a fan of chocolate and pumpkin these muffins are extremely satisfying. And only 110 calories a piece! If you remove the chocolate chips and decide to do a plain pumpkin muffin, it’s only 65 calories per muffin.

*Also check out my recipe for Low-Calorie Honey Almond Pumpkin Muffins

Calories: 110 per muffin (makes about 12 muffins *note this muffins are a little small, if you want larger muffins fill up only 9 of the 12 spaces in the muffin tin)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

chocolate chip pumpkin muffin farIn one bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and apple sauce. blend together. In a separate bowl add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and whole wheat flour. Add the wet and dry ingredients together. DO NOT OVER MIX. Over mixing will make these too dense. Fold in the chocolate chips. Evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tray. (you don’t have to, but I used cupcake wrappers. If you don’t, just make sure you grease the pan.) Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until you can poke a toothpick into the muffin, and have it come out clean.

Enjoy the guilt-free muffins!