Brownie Muffins

Brownie Muffins - sweetheatchefs.com

Here is your swapportunity to take advantage of my new recipe with only 3 ingredients!

I can’t believe it has been a month since my last post, I guess summer gets the best of us and before we know it…the dreaded BACK TO SCHOOL! Yay for me, boo for them ūüėÄ

Ok, back to my recipe, you are not going to want to ignore this one! I found this from Hungry Girl and I am always looking for new ways to swap high fats for good fats and so on. I recently tried those black bean brownies you see everywhere…ya that is SO not for me (or anyone else in the house!) THESE my friends….you are going to LOVE. You know that saying you won’t miss a thing when you are subbing an ingredient for another? Well it is so true here! I promise, you will never make these the “regular” way again! The best part is the calorie count for one of these is 143 calories and 3 grams of fat! You can’t beat that for a moist, fluffy, chocolaty brownie treat!¬†

Count down with me…3, 2, 1…here we go!

Brownie Muffins 3 - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Box Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 1 Can Libby’s Pumpkin Puree (15 oz can)
  • 1 tbsp. Nestles Chocolate Chips, divided

DIRECTIONS -Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  1. Mix together cake mix and pumpkin puree until well combined.
  2. Add about 2 tbsp. mix into muffin liners and top with a few mini chocolate chips.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool before devouring + enjoy!
  5. Press the STAPLES easy button ūüėÄ

Brownie Muffins 2 - sweetheatchefs.com

 

If you liked this recipe, you will love these:

 

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

WHEW DOGGIE! It is hot here in California, between June and July we get into the 100+ degree temperatures and I can’t fathom myself to make hot food for any one of my 3 daily meals. That is how this gem of a dish was born. I always have left over avocado, sweet peppers and cilantro lying around. (Remember I love Mexican food!) So I was dreaming of a cool summer dinner with little fuss and easy to make, to keep the summer fun going from the day. I am always down to stuff a pepper (that sounds so wrong, but so good at the same time!), and there are endless possibilities with these. My next version will include grated onion and crispy bacon!¬†

I decided to head to the Farmer’s Market this week and found some gorgeous fresh and organic vegetables, which included the pea shoots you see in this recipe as a garnish. If you haven’t tried these, please do yourself a favor and do so. I first had them from a restaurant that served them with fried calamari. It was all I could do to eat the calamari because these pea shoots were too delicious. Anyway, they are a must try if you can find them. They go great on top salad, in sandwiches, on top or raw food such as this or any other way you can think of!

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

My kids love meat (as do I), but recently I have been making meatless meals for myself and finding I still get filled up. I will never give up meat, it just isn’t in my bones, but every now and then not having to “worry” about what meat to use is a nice thing.

I had only 1 kid willing to try this meal, she said she liked them, but did she have another? NO! It’s ok though, sometimes food such as this are an acquired taste. Regardless, I was happy and cool while eating them with a nice refreshing vodka spritzer and my feet up listening to my spotify tunes! If you are ready to enjoy a quick, easy and healthy meal, read on:

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers 6

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

2 avocado, mashed
2.5 Tbsp pesto
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 a lime + zest + reserve some slices to drizzle over top
handful of organic cilantro, washed & stems removed
handful of organic pea shoots, washed
salt/pepper to taste
10-12 organic sweet peppers (depends on their size how many you will need), washed, de-stemmed and deseeded

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  2. Pour contents into a ziplock baggie
  3. Snip off tip and fill peppers (use the reserved lime to drizzle over tops before eating)

If you loved this recipe, check out more from Sweet Heat Chefs below;

Strawberry Swirled Lemon Bars

Strawberry Swirled Lemon Bars - sweetheatchefs.com

I was feeling in a rut with the foods I had been eating since I have been eating primarily so much healthy stuff. This particular afternoon I was getting ready to head to a Relay meeting, and I felt that thing..you know…that baking itch? I decided to make lemon bars since they are fairly easy and quick to make. However, since strawberries are in season I always have 1-2 quarts of them in my fridge on hand. I got to thinking of strawberry lemonade, then figured why not in my lemon bars? I took a quick Facebook poll (sad I know!) to determine if I should or not, the response was just as I had hoped…STRAWBERRIES! And so…this recipe was born and summer has officially begun in my house here in California!

I am loving nothing more and feeling so honored to be able to share this recipe for the first time with My Imperfect Kitchen readers! Sara is an amazing blogger, friend and person. I hope everyone loves this recipe as much as my Relay committee members and family did. I even snuck 3 of them into my belly!

Strawberry Swirled Lemon Bars - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
4 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups white sugar
1/4 cup coconut flour
¬Ĺ tsp baking soda
2 lemons, juiced and seeded (zest 1 lemon first and reserve)
4 strawberries pureed with a little coconut water to thin out
Powdered sugar for dusting top (optional)

Strawberry Swirled Lemon Bars - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  1. In a bowl, combine butter, flours and 1/2 c of sugar. Mix well.
  2. In a greased 9×13″ pan, press crust into the bottom until even.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  4. In another bowl whisk together the remaining sugar and flour, then whisk in the remaining ingredients, except¬†strawberries¬†(don’t forget the lemon zest).
  5. Pour the filling over the warm crust.
  6. In a blender or food processor puree the strawberries. Dollop 1 teaspoon at a time over the filling until it is all used up. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, drag the strawberry mixture through the lemon mixture. Be sure not to press all the way to the crust.
  7. Put back in oven and bake for another 25 minutes or until center is firm. They do firm more when cooled. Dust with powdered sugar (optional) Cut into squares once completely cool and enjoy!

If you like this recipe, check out more from Sweet Heat Chefs:

Baked Pretzel Crusted Chicken

Baked Pretzel Crusted Chicken - sweetheatchefs.com

With my new-found mission to a better healthier lifestyle, that rules out my love of frying and eating fried foods. After all , that is what got me where I was. Moderation is key, but having a good defense is the best offense! Meaning, I need a ton of good go to¬†recipes¬†that feel¬†indulgent¬†but aren’t. That way I can trick my body (and mind) into thinking I am eating things I shouldn’t be but am able to without regret and guilt. I initially founded this recipe with my daughter Jasmine as we were in final competition mode on the Rachael Ray vs. Guy Fieri cooking show. Our mission, was to cook the best chicken cutlet, which we did cuz we WON! Any who, that version was pan-fried and this one is low-calorie baked chicken tenders. Same great taste, without that pesky guilt I was talking about earlier ūüėÄ Click here for the original version of the¬†deliciousness!

Baked Pretzel Crusted Chicken 4

This version was obviously thought up since I am now eating healthier, but also was inspired by a secret ingredient swap. Some blogger pals got paired up and had to send the other one something that represented their state. I received this jar of golden deliciousness! Sweet & Spicy Stone Ground Mustard. As soon as I saw the jar I opened it, smelled it tasted it, smelled it tasted it and fell in ~love~

This jar came from Mishmawshandotherthings.

Baked Pretzel Crusted Chicken 3

INGREDIENTS

8 chicken tenderloin breasts
1/4 cup golden deliciousness aka Raye’s Sweet & Spicy Stone Ground Mustard
2 cups pretzels, ground semi fine (salted or non salted per your preference) I use the matchstick kind and pulse them in the food processor until I get the consistency I like.
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS –¬† Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  1. Using a sheet pan, line the bottom with foil, and top with a bakers wire cooling rack. Spray rack with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl add mustard and chicken. Mix together so chicken is well coated. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor pulse the pretzels and Parmesan cheese until desired consistency. I like mine chunkier to be able to taste the pretzels. Add pepper to taste (and salt if using unsalted pretzels)
  4. Add the pretzel coating to a bowl and take 1 chicken strip at a time and coat with it.
  5. Place the pretzel crusted chicken tender on the baking rack and repeat until all chicken is coated. Be sure to discard leftover mustard and pretzel mixture as you can’t re-use it do to be contaminated with raw chicken.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the chicken strips. You can use non stick spray for this too.
  7. Bake chicken for 15 – 20 minutes or until cooked through. You will want to turn chicken over 1/2 way through and drizzle with olive oil to crisp both sides.
  8. Serve with Honey Mustard Dipper Sauce and sliced scallions!

Baked Pretzel Crusted Chicken - sweetheatchefs.com

 

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles - sweetheatchefs.com

This past weekend was a hot one! I found myself browsing recipes to try to find something that I could make to beat the heat. As usual I find many a recipe over at The Slow Roasted Italian. This was no exception, as I found just the recipe I needed. You can see their recipe here. I changed nothing about it, that is how good it is!

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

Combine strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. 
Divide half of the strawberry mixture in your popsicle molds and set it aside.
In a small bowl combine bananas, yogurt, 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add banana mixture on top of the strawberry mixture in the popsicles molds, filling them about 2/3 full.
Pour remaining strawberry mixture on top.  Freeze 4-24 hours until completely frozen.
Don’t have a¬†Popsicle¬†mold? Use an ice-cube tray, younger kids love to eat them this way too. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top and insert toothpicks or popsicle sticks to keep in place while freezing. ENJOY your summer!
Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles - sweetheatchefs.com

Dark Chocolate Coconut Banana Cake Bites

dark-chocolate-coconut-banana-cake-bites - sweetheatchefs.com
You look at this recipe and say..HEY I thought you were eating healthy? I know I know, B U T…my kids have the right to eat some nummy food and I have been depriving them of it¬†because, well honestly,¬†because¬†I CAN’T have it in the house I am too tempted. I¬†have¬†been eating healthy for 8 weeks now and I think I can handle eating one or two of these delicious cake bites. Tastes like banana bread with a lighter cake texture and a sharp dark chocolate to satisfy that chocolate craving too. Hope you enjoy as we have…remember MODERATION!
I won a giveaway from a friend who runs A Girls Gotta Nest, she recently had acquired Coconut Flour and then found out she couldn’t use it. Luckily I won it and have been using it since the day I¬†received¬†it from her. It is gluten-free and makes everything taste¬†just¬†a little better in flavor.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Banana Cake Bites - sweetheatchefs.com
Ingredients
1 cup all purpose white flour, sifted
1 cup organic coconut flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, sifted
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tsp. wheat germ
2 eggs, room temp
1 cup plain yogurt ( you can sub in greek yogurt, you will have a stiffer dough)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup dark chocolate chips
toasted coconut for topping
 
DirectionsPreheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix all dry ingredients together with whisk and set aside.
Beat eggs, add vanilla & yogurt and mix well. Add coconut oil and bananas and mix well again.
Add dry ingredients (except dark chocolate chips & toasted coconut) to wet in 3 batches. Stir until combined but do not over mix.
Fold in dark chocolate chips
Using a tablespoon, add 2 tbs to brownie pan (or a muffin tin) and top with toasted coconut, bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Banana Cake Bites - sweetheatchefs.com
Like this recipe? You might like these other ones from Sweet Heat Chefs too!

Mocha Cappuccino Banana Bread Bites

mocha cappuccino banana bread bites - sweetheatchefs.com

In keeping up with my low-fat and low-calorie diet, I still need 2 things: (1) SUGAR and (2) CHOCOLATE! There are a few things I won’t give up¬†because, well, I LOVE FOOD and that won’t change! But the reality is you don’t have to give up foods you enjoy to lose weight. Moderation is key. When I say moderation, I mean moderation sometimes in small amounts. You are giving yourself the satisfaction to please your tummy, mind and soul without having to feel like you blew your day’s workout or the progress you’ve made in losing weight thus far. With all that in mind I came up with these banana bites with chocolate, fruit, & even sugar in combination with fiber and¬†protein¬† seriously this is a WIN-WIN if I ever saw it!

mocha cappuccino banana bread bites - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup sweetened apple sauce (I use Tree Top pre-packaged for convenience in measuring each cup is 1/2 cup)
1.25 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
3 tbsp Jif Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Spread (YUM!)
Mini Chocolate Chips (optional to sprinkle on top and is not included int he nutritional value of this recipe)

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 325¬į. Spray a non-stick loaf pan, or muffin tin, or brownie pan ( I used brownie pan) with a non stick spray. IF your pans are non stick no need to do this.
2. Mash bananas and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, Jif Mocha Cappuccino Hazelnut Spread, and vanilla. Beat with mixer until well combined.
4. Add flour mixture, then blend at low-speed until combined. Do not over mix.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serving Size: Makes 18 Mocha Cappuccino Banana Bread Bites at 1.75 oz each

 

mocha cappuccino banana bread bites - sweetheatchefs.com

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Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 18
Calories: 92.1
Total Fat: 2.1 g
Cholesterol: 1.9 mg
Sodium: 197.6 mg
Total Carbs: 18.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 2.0 g

Spicy Avocado Deviled Eggs

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

I found this idea from a friend, you can visit her page here. She had shared it on her Facebook page and I snagged it as soon as I saw it! If you don’t know I have decided to try to lose weight, and prepare for a 5K in 5 months, so I have been looking for alternative food options and low caloric fat content. Deviled eggs is so not on that list!¬†Eggs in general are good for us, but when you add in¬†mayonnaise¬†(which I LOVE) it throws it back into¬†oblivion.

Anyway, my kids all like deviled eggs too and they usually like the same old same old. I have tried making variations to no avail, they just want the “plain” way. So when I made this I didn’t even think of them, I was just thinking this would be lunch and snacks for the next 2 days. As soon as the kiddos came home they instantly saw them and wanted to try, I mean they are green right, cool color, to the yellow version. AND it is creeping up on St. Patrick’s Day, they think I am trying to be festive! I love it ūüėÄ They all grab one and chow down…EVEN my, “I hate mayo kid”! “Hey Mikey, they liked it!” (remember that commercial?)

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

Needles to say my plan of snack and lunch for 2 days went down the drain at that point, but that is ok, a good fat & mayo free snack has now been added to our repertoire AND it is holiday friendly!

WIN WIN =  HAPPY MOMMA = HAPPY BLOGGING = HAPPY  YOU!

Click here for the original version. Read on for mine ūüėÄ

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 fully ripened avocado; peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of my Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground brown mustard
  • 1.5 teaspoon Dijon mustard (recommend French’s Dijon with Chardonnay)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno; seeded, ribs removed, diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion ( I use the microplane)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (I use the microplane)
  • Garnish: Finely diced jalapeno & dash of hot sauce on top when ready to eat (recommend Tapatio Salsa Picante)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium sized bowl mash avocado and egg yolks until a creamy consistency.

2. Add yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, jalapeno, onion, & garlic; mix thoroughly.

3. Spoon or pipe back into egg white shells, dividing equally. Garnish with jalapeno and hot sauce before serving. Should last 2 days, crossing fingers!

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

If you like this recipe you might also like:

Bacon Guacamole…yes you heard right…BACON!

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

There is one thing my household loves more than avocado and that is bacon. That is why when I saw this recipe I instantly knew I HAD to make it, and soon.

This¬†recipe¬†is from my sweetest and most awesome friend Bernadette. Her fabulous blog is¬†Rantz From My Crazy Kitchen.¬†You can find many amazing recipes there including a page with 58 bacon recipes from breakfast all the way through to dessert, which means you can have a PORK PARTY all day! You can view Bernadette’s recipe for her outta this world guacamole here. Below is my version with just a slight modification.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 slices thick center cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, diced fine
  • 3/4 tablespoon jalapeno, diced fine¬†
  • 4 heirloom cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (small cloves or 1 big one)
  • handful of freshly chopped cilantro
  • dash of salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut up bacon in bite sized pieces and fry the bacon with the onions until crisp. (this is money right here, in the voice of Guy Fierre!) If you prefer less done/burnt onions, remove as you are cooking. I enjoy crispy bacon and crispy onion and they cooked together the entire process in a pan of marriage bliss! Drain everything on a paper towels when done.
  2. In a small bowl mash the avocado
  3. Next add; tomatoes, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Stir in the bacon and onion, cover tightly with plastic wrap pressed right on top of the guacamole and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. 

This recipe fed 3 of us, 2 boys and myself. We ate every last drop.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

I TEENY TINY PIECE OF ADVICE ON THIS RECIPE…..The yield here is NOT enough, plan to quadruple it for your first try. That way you won’t be licking the container clean just to get a little bit more.

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers5 - sweetheatchefs.com

Using leftovers in my house is ALWAYS a chore. 1:  My kids and hubby hate leftovers, 2:  it is hard to make only myself leftovers while they eat crap (aka boxed mac-n-cheese or cup of soups which my kids would live on if I’d let them) So today I decided I wouldn’t tell them I was using leftovers to create this dish, and see how that went over.

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers2 - sweetheatchefs.com

I had leftover ground turkey and some sweet peppers. I am rummaging through my fridge to see what I can make to go along with it. I always turn everything into a Mexican type meal so I was determined NOT to make this dish that way. Now I see your brow furrowing and your mind racing saying…wait the name of the dish begins with Mexican.

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

And…You are right, because there is simply no way for me to NOT make a Mexican based dish, I simply love it way too much. My favorite quote of the night was from my daughter, who upon returning home from the mall, ate dinner and stated: “It tastes like a party in my mouth” I do not know 1 chef who would not like that type of review! #missionaccomplished!

Now, this dish is packed full of flavor and guess what? FULL of nutrients too! How awesome is that?! Common, get your shopping list ready and get this dish done!

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 sweet peppers, cleaned, top off and de-seeded
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can diced green chilis
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I use microplane)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 tbs fresh cilantro chopped & washed
  • 1/2 cup Red Quinoa
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup jack cheese, shredded

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers4 - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a sheet pan with foil and drizzle olive oil over it, about 2 tsp.
  2. In a skillet brown ground turkey
  3. Add garlic, onion powder, and salt/pepper.
  4. Once almost browned, add lime juice and green chilis.
  5. Continue to cook over medium high until thoroughly cooked.
  6. While cooking stuffing mixture, rinse  1/2 cup red quinoa in a strainer
  7. Add to pot with beef broth.
  8. Bring to boil and reduce heat cooking on low simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  9. Once stuffing mixture is finished remove from heat and let cool.
  10. Once quinoa is finished add 1/4 cup to stuffing mix, combine well and add 1 tbs chopped cilantro.
  11. Using a teaspoon measure stuff the peppers until filled to the top.
  12. Roll in olive oil on sheet pan and continue until all peppers are stuffed.
  13. Top all peppers with shredded jack cheese evenly. (I push them all together to cheese is not wasted on pan, but ooey gooey goodness all over peppers) 
  14. Bake for 10 minutes on 375 degrees, then broil for 5-7 minutes.
  15. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Serve peppers on top of remaining red quinoa and remaining cilantro, and prepare to lick your plate clean!

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers6 - sweetheatchefs.com

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers7 - sweetheatchefs.com

Additional Hint:

IF your kids are anti-peppers (I have 2) whether they are sweet or otherwise, wrap the filling into a corn or flour tortilla and heat up and roll like a burrito. They will be just as pleased with the dish as you. You still are getting that quinoa in them and a healthy meal!

 

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