Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wonder Muffins.

The Violet picture apropos of nothing, this post is about recipes. Today kicks off Healthy Eating Week, which - budget and popularity allowing - will segue into Healthy Eating Lifetime. Eric, Adam, and Mary are far from health food fans, and in fact have absolutely no criteria for food other than "tastes good." I'm getting married in 11 months and I'd really like to take off some weight before then. My initial plan was to make them whatever and make myself a separate, healthy meal, but I decided that if at all possible, it'd be better and more cost effective to try to combine the two.

So tonight I embarked upon an easy, tasty sounding Hungry Girl recipe for Honey Mustard Pretzel Coated Chicken Fingers. They were awesome. Mary is allergic to anything relatively healthy and said that they were the best thing I've ever made, and Eric said that on a 1-10 scale they're an 8, and really, this is very, very high praise from him. The 16 year old liked them a lot, too. I wanted them to be a little crispier, but I enjoyed them. It's for 1, so I just multiplied as needed. Mind you, it's not truly health food, but it's not unhealthy. With some Green Giant Garden Medley (yummy red potatoes, sugar snap peas, and red bell peppers) and crescent rolls (still in the fridge from the last, less health-conscious shopping trip, and I'm not about to waste good crescent rolls), it was a great dinner.

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 349 calories, 2.5g fat, 928mg sodium, 39g carbs, 1g fiber, 13.5g sugars, 37g protein -- PointsPlus® value 8*

  • 3 tbsp. honey mustard 
  • 2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original) 
  • 5 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into 4 strips 
  • 2 dashes salt 
  • 2 dashes black pepper 
  • 1 oz. (about 10 twists) hard salted pretzels, finely crushed 
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix mustard with egg substitute in a small bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and then submerge in the mustard-egg mixture. Set aside to marinate for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Mix crushed pretzels with sugar and spread out on a plate.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Thoroughly coat chicken strips with the pretzel-sugar mixture, and then transfer to the baking sheet. (Discard excess mustard-egg mixture.) Mist the tops of the strips with nonstick spray.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through baking, until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Eat and enjoy!


Awesome. I highly recommend it.

Meanwhile, I was baking. I found a recipe for Blueberry Power Muffins, intended as a breakfast. At 244 calories for two muffins and some decent ingredients (yogurt, almonds, oats, whole wheat flour), I thought, hey, why not? The recipe says that they can also be frozen and easily reheated for a breakfast, or just one with a 100 calorie bowl of oatmeal would make a nice, 222 calorie breakfast.

So I made them. I was a little leery because honestly, I'm not a fan of yogurt, and the batter smelled pretty yogurty. But if I may have a moment of adult language, holy shit. I tried one, and it was massively delicious. Like oh my god delicious. Like no one would know if I hid in the kitchen and ate them all delicious. Of course that would defeat the purpose of their relatively healthy properties, but I can't even believe that these things are healthy. Nothing that delicious can be healthy. I made it with skim milk, Egg Beaters, and probably slightly more blueberries than called for. Without further ado...

Blueberry Power Muffins with Almond Streusel
We call these "power" muffins because they're loaded with B vitamins from whole wheat flour, calcium from milk and yogurt, antioxidants from blueberries, and heart-friendly monounsaturated fat from almonds and canola oil. You can freeze the muffins for up to a month, then thaw them at room temperature, or microwave each muffin at HIGH 15 to 20 seconds.
Yield: 15 servings (serving size: 2 muffins)

PER SERVING: Calories: 244, Calories from fat: 23%, Fat: 6.1g, Saturated fat: 1.3g, Monounsaturated fat: 2.9g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g, Protein: 6.1g, Carbohydrate: 42.3g, Fiber: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Iron: 1.5mg, Sodium: 260mg, Calcium: 136mg

Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Cooking spray

Streusel Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. To prepare muffins, lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Make a well in center of mixture.
  4. Combine yogurt, milk, oil, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk.
  5. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  6. Fold in blueberries.
  7. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons batter into each of 30 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  8. To prepare streusel, combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, almonds, brown sugar, and butter. Sprinkle evenly over batter.
  9. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.
  10. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You want to make them. Get up, get off of Blogger, go to the grocery store, and make these muffins.


  1. Recipes sound great. But I love the picture of Violet. If you look at it the right way it almost looks like she has a chefs hat on! LOL!

  2. Oh my gosh it does! I think it was actually someone's jacket on the pool table, but I hadn't even noticed!