Jalapeno Chickpea Flour Muffins

Baking with chickpea flour was different. I’ve used chickpea flour before to make a soy-free/egg-free scramble egg recipe and I’ve used it with other flours, but this was new.

This recipe started because I wanted to have a savory bread/muffin alternative to corn bread since I’m allergic to corn. And I really do like the corn/jalapeno version. And the sweet corn bread, and the plain hot water corn bread… It’s so good! But I wanted to see if I could make an alternative.

Now I’m not saying that this tastes like corn bread. Because it’s not corn. But it can be a good alternative as another savory option on the side of something like chili. Or you can have a savory breakfast muffin with coffee like I did one morning.

One thing I do have to say, this recipe is the second version. The reason why this was an interesting recipe to create was because the chickpea flour is SO DRY. I though the eggs would be enough but the 1/4 cup oil is necessary. Now I’m sure you can substitute out the oil for something else, but since I usually use something like apple sauce or pumpkin as an oil substitute when I feel like it, I just didn’t think those would work very well.

Anyway – here’s a corn-free savory muffin/bread.

Jalapeno Chickpea Flour Muffins

  • Servings: 9-12 muffins depending on size
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Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno, halved and deseeded
  • 2 cups chickpea or garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 green onions, about 1/2 cup, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roast the jalapeno in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, dice up the pepper.
  3. Once jalapeno is out, reduce the heat to 375.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt.
  5. Add in the 2 eggs, milk and oil. Mix together.
  6. Fold in the diced roasted jalapeno and green onion.
  7. In a greased muffin tin, fill the muffin tin almost full.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Harissa Chickpea & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan

Sheet pan meals are some of my favorites for an easy dinner! And this one takes a different turn by adding Harissa. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I did post about what harissa is, but if you are not part of the insta-fam, check it out!

Harissa Blend

It is a spice blend that is smoky, sweet, and spicy. The seasoning blend can differ between countries but usually consists of hot peppers, smoked paprika, garlic, caraway, cumin, and coriander.

Sheet Pan Meals

Usually sheet pan meals consist of a protein source and your veggies all in one ready to roast in the oven together. Sometimes it can include a starch like potatoes, but usually protein and veggies. Since it’s spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet it’s done within 20-30 minutes depending on the ingredients, and it’s pretty much an all-in-one dinner.

A trick that I usually do is that I take whatever I’m using for veggies after they are chopped, and whatever protein, usually chickpeas/garbanzo beans because they roast well, and throw them all in a mixing bowl. I’ll add my sauce, seasoning, or just olive oil and salt and pepper and toss it in there before pouring it on to the pan. I’ve seen so many recipes showing them drizzling the sauce on the pan, but if you want to make sure everything is coated, mix it in a bowl before.

And for an even easier clean up – line it with parchment paper.

Recipe Side and Substitutions

Let’s move on to it shall we! I’ve not only included what I’ve used a the sheet pan, but also the couscous side that I made with it. A simple plain grain will work too if you don’t want the couscous pasta. And I think having the fresh herbs tossed in with the side is the perfect cool touch to eat with the harissa seasoned chickpeas and veggies.

Additionally, I had unsweetened plain plant based yogurt to dollop on top of my bowl, but sour cream or even a few slices of avocado will work too as a cool creamy addition.

Now, onto the recipe!

Harissa Chickpea & Sweet Potato Sheet Pan with Herb Couscous

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained or about 3 cups cooked
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Harissa blend
  • Salt and Pepper
  • COUSCOUS
  • 1 cup pearl couscous, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • plain unsweet yogurt, sour cream, or avocado to top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup olive oil, honey, harissa blend, and salt and pepper.
  3. Add chickpeas, chopped sweet potatoes, and sliced red onion to the bowl and toss with the harissa mixture.
  4. Pour out the contents of the bowl onto the lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Once the oven is preheated, bake for 20 minutes, check on the sheet, toss, and bake for another 20-25 minutes until it starts to brown.
  5. Meanwhile, you can prepare the couscous. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1 tbsp either olive oil or butter to a boil. Add in 1 cup dry pearl couscous and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Take off heat, and fluff with a fork. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the fresh parsley, cilantro, and green onion and the juice from 1 lemon.
  8. Once the sheet pan is out of the oven and cooled for a few minutes, put your bowl together with couscous, chickpea/sweet potato mixture, and topped with lemon juice, and unsweetened yogurt or sour cream.

How to Incorporate a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables

There’s no doubt that eating fruits and vegetables is a part of any healthy diet. Eating fruits and vegetables is a way that we get a lot of our micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as a good source of fiber which is essential to a healthy gut.

A variety of fruits and vegetables is important as well. Not only do they provide different nutrients that we need, but different colors have different antioxidants in them. Antioxidants help with cellular damage and protects against aging, and inflammation. Not only eating enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day is important, but also a variety of colors throughout the day. Hence the phrase “eat the rainbow”.

Let’s talk colors for a moment…

Click to go to the recipe for Barbecue Chopped Salad

Red

  • Foods: apples, raspberries, tomatoes, strawberries, radishes, etc.
    • Antioxidant: lycopene which helps with fighting against heart disease.

Orange

  • Food: Carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, etc.
    • Antioxidants: carotenoids alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A which is important for your immune, skin, and eye heath.

Yellow

  • Foods: pineapple, lemon, yellow peaches, corn, summer squash, etc.
    • Antioxidants: beta-carotene like orange foods, but they also contain beta-cryptoxanthin which has been shown in studies to help reduce inflammation and may play a role in reducing inflammatory disorders.

*Although bananas are yellow, the inside that you eat is white. See below.

Click to go to the recipe for Strawberry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Green

I wouldn’t be much of a nutrition consultant if I didn’t take a moment to talk about green vegetables. They are some of the most nutrient dense foods. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and you guessed it, antioxidants.

  • Food: spinach, broccoli, and green peas
    • Antioxidant: lutein and zeaxanthin which helps with age related eye problems.
  • Food: the cabbage family which also includes brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, etc.
    • Antioxidant: sulforaphane and glucosinolate which helps protect against certain cancers and blood vessel damage that can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Blue & Purple

  • Food: blueberries, blackberries, cherries, purple grapes, eggplant, purple cabbage, black olives, purple onion, etc.
  • Antioxidants: anthocyanins which protect against cell damage.

White & Brown

Although you might not think “if it doesn’t have rich color it doesn’t have antioxidants”, know that fruits and vegetables that are white are that way because of antioxidants.

  • White Foods: Bananas, potatoes, and parsnips
    • Antioxidant: Anthoxanthins make the foods white which may reduce cardiovasular disease and arthritis. In addition, a lot of white foods like bananas, potatoes, etc. are good sources of potassium which is needed for nerve and heart health, fluid balance, and muscle health.
  • Brown Foods: Mushrooms mainly
    • Antioxidants: selenium (another antioxidant) which plays a role in metabolism and supports the immune system.

How to Incorporate a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet

How cool is it that we can see antioxidants by the colors of the food we eat! And the fact that the food is beautiful and it helps to protect us from cellular damage.

What if you are just trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and seeing how you can have more of a variety in your meals in general? If you are just getting use to adding in more fruits and vegetables into your diet, you want to make sure they taste good.

Here are some of my favorite suggestions and ways I get my fruits and veggies in!

  • Blend Them In Smoothies
    • Fruits are pretty easy to incorporate into smoothies, but what about vegetables?
    • Spinach will not add flavor and blends really easily
    • Zucchini is another veggie to add in that doesn’t add a lot of flavor and will add a creamy texture.
    • Avocados are another fruit/vegetable to add to your smoothie for a smooth texture. This is more or less your healthy fats, so a little goes a long way and will help keep you full. And technically, avocado is a fruit.
  • Pasta Sauces
    • Tomato Sauce: Onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms are some of my favorites!
    • Cream Sauce: Onions, broccoli, peas, sauteed greens like kale or spinach, and you can even get your own rainbow going to sliced carrots, peas, yellow squash, and some red onion for a more primavera type of sauce.
    • Butter Sauce: You can sautee just about any veggie in some butter and top it over pasta and it will be delicious, personally. I mean, it’s butter.
  • Veggie Omelet
    • Potatoes, onions, bell pepper, spinach, hot peppers, sweet potatoes, etc.
  • Lettuce Wraps and Stir Fry
    • A lot of times lettuce wraps consist of ground meat like chicken or turkey with a spicy sauce and cooked veggies. Top it with some shredded carrots and cabbage.
    • Same goes for a stir fry. Add your protein and veggies with a sweet and spicy sauce and throw it on top of some rice.
  • Roast Them!
    • Roasting vegetables are my all-time favorite way to cook vegetables. They stay firm, but soft, and they keep all the flavor and then some when roasted.
    • You hate vegetables, but want to start eating them more, try roasting them! Well – other than leafy greens.
    • Here is an old post on Tips On How To Roast Vegetables

There are plenty of ways to get a variety of vegetables in your diet and into the recipes you already love. Know that you don’t need a whole load of fruits and vegetables in your diet for it to improve your health. Mess around with it, find your favorites, and incorporating more vegetables into your regular diet will get easier.

Baked Buffalo Bean Dip with Yogurt Ranch

I’m starting to get tired of hummus. I KNOW! But I am. It’s had it’s day. However – bean dips, I still love. And I still love chickpeas/garbanzo beans. I just want something else.

Add that to my love for buffalo sauce, and now you have this recipe. Baked Buffalo Bean Dip with Yogurt Ranch. It’s baked because I wanted to make blending the bean dip easy and using the liquid in the can of chickpeas kind of helps give it a lighter whipped feel to it once it’s baked. And the Yogurt Ranch recipe you can find here!

If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen this, but the first time I made it and tested it out, it was a pretty day outside so I decided to get some sun for a few minutes and I came back in to this…

I guess James liked it.

Plus you can eat it with carrot sticks, celery, corn chips, or our favorite corn free bean chips or cassava chips. It does take some time in the oven. But it’s worth it. Oh! And you don’t need to grease the pan you are cooking it in. Mine came out clean and easy to clean after.

Ok! Here’s the recipe!

Baked Buffalo Bean Dip with Yogurt Ranch

  • Servings: Makes 8x8 size baking dish
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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, UNdrained
  • 1 can butter beans (or another white bean), drained
  • 2/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup plain unsweet yogurt of choice
  • 1 recipe of Yogurt Ranch (recipe link above in post)
  • chives to top it off

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Blend beans, buffalo sauce, garlic powder, and yogurt in a blender until smooth. About 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into ungreased 8×8 baking dish and bake for 1 hour until the sides are browning and the top has deep cracks.
  4. Once cooled for a few minutes, drizzle some of the yogurt ranch on top and leave the rest on the side.
  5. Serve with celery, carrot sticks, or corn chips, or our favorite black bean chips.

Red Potato Ranch Bites with Coconut Bacon

Pop up recipe alert! This is the second game-day appetizer recipe I’ll be sharing this week, one more coming on Friday! This week will be a little busy with the posts. Should have planned it out better, but here we are!

This recipe uses my Yogurt Ranch recipe so check it out!

NOTE: I wanted to mention for this recipe, if you choose to make the Yogurt Ranch recipe, omit the 1/3 cup milk to keep it thick at first. More in the instructions below.

Fun Fact! Coconut is 90% saturated fat. For this recipe, I’m using “coconut bacon” as the bacon bits for a vegetarian version, (which it’s my favorite so far for vegetarian bacon… I mean it’s 90% saturated fat… it’s good.) but feel free to use bacon bacon. Using either actual bacon or the coconut bacon, it’s the main source of fat in this recipe, so the macros are more evening distributed. So use the coconut bacon, or use actual bacon. Up to you. But I would say to try the coconut bacon if you haven’t. At least just to try it and then munch on… okay! Moving on to the recipe!

Red Potato Ranch Bites with Coconut Bacon

Ingredients

  • 6 medium red potatoes, about 1 lb
  • Yogurt Ranch Recipe, omitting 1/3 cup milk of choice. You can add in later to thin out the recipe to drizzle.
  • 1-2 tbsp butter or mayo, if desired
  • 1 cup coconut chips
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce, if you are allergic, there are soy-free soy sauce recipes you can look up
  • dash of liquid smoke, I use Colgin brand since it doesn’t have a long list of ingredients
  • chives to top

Directions


1. Take the red potatoes, clean them, poke a few times on both sides with a fork. Put in microwave safe dish with about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover with kitchen towel and microwave for 5 minutes. Check, if they are larger, you will need to flip the potatoes with tongs and microwave another 5 minutes until fork tender.
2. Pre-heat oven to 375. After taking potatoes out of micro, cool them on cutting board for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make your coconut bacon and yogurt ranch if you have not already. Remember to omit the 1/3 cup milk of choice when making the yogurt ranch.
4. COCONUT BACON: Heat small skillet to medium low. Add in 1 cup coconut chips, soy sauce, and liquid smoke. Toss around for about 10-15 minutes until brown and crisp. Once the chips start to brown and become crisp it doesn’t take long, so keep tossing to ensure all chips are toasted and browned but not burned. Take off of heat and pour the bacon chips into a bowl.
5. Put together your potatoes. Slice potatoes in half. With spoon, take out the insides, leaving enough on the sides to support the potato. Put insides in mixing bowl.
6. Add in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of yogurt ranch. Depends on how creamy you want the insides and how much potato you are working with. Start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed.
7. Taste. If you feel something is missing, add in 1-2 tbsp of butter, vegan butter, or mayo/vegan mayo and taste test again.
8. Refill potatoes and put on cooking sheet.
9. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until tops start to brown slightly. Take out of oven.
10. Top with coconut bacon or actual bacon and chives.
11. You can thin out the yogurt ranch dressing to drizzle on top or keep on side for people to use to dip into.
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Honeycrisp Wheat Germ Muffins

I thought I’d share a family recipe with all of you! “Easy Wheat Germ Muffins” is the official title, but I’ve made these into an apple cinnamon muffin. But what is wheat germ?

Wheat germ is the reproductive part of wheat that can produce a whole new plant. Because of that, wheat germ is a concentrated source of essential nutrients. Of course on the list of nutrients that it has, it does include gluten. So if you are gluten intolerant and needing to stay away from gluten, wheat germ would be something you’d need to stay away from.

If you are not allergic or gluten-intolerant, then I’d suggest looking up wheat germ. It’s an easy thing to add in for extra nutrients and basically replacing what is stripped away from wheat when it’s processed in a concentrated form.

There is more about wheat germ on my post on another family recipe, “Amelie’s Wheat Germ Pancakes”. And yes… apples are in those too.

Wheat germ has a nutty flavor to them and I guess I just always think of apples, but with this recipe, you can use berries, nuts, etc. or leave them plain. Up to you. For me, I’m not a huge sweet person, but I love baked goods. So this muffin is a delicious nutty flavored baked muffin that’s slightly sweet.

Oh! And I almost forgot – because I always do – if you buy wheat germ, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator after it’s open. Although it’s a flour, it needs to be stored in the fridge. I always forget this. I got a few cups from my mom who had just bought some. She put it in a zip lock bag and in big letters said, “STORE IN FRIDGE”. I still forgot. It contains unsaturated fats, which can become rancid. It has a shelf life of a year if it is stored properly. The way to tell, if you forget to store it in the fridge like me, is that fresh wheat germ has a slight nutty smell, similar to toasted nuts. Not sour.

You could bump up the sweetness with adding a streusel topping, but I don’t think these guys need it. So let’s get to the recipe, but first… don’t ya’ll love this melted butter shot I got?! I’m so proud!

WARNING: Your house will smell like baked cinnamon apple muffins and you will have to slap hands away from people trying to eat them before you can take a picture!

Honeycrisp Wheat Germ Muffins

  • Servings: 9 large muffins
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (I use almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped honeycrisp apple
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin with liners or grease with small amount of vegetable oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients: all purpose flour, wheat germ, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg until well beaten. Add to the large bowl with dry ingredients.
  4. Add in almond milk to large bowl. Mix all ingredients together.
  5. Add in the apples and cinnamon, or any other add-ins, and fold into the mixture.
  6. Fill in large muffin tin about 1/4 cup each.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Let rest for about 5 minutes before devouring.

Black Bean and Yogurt Ranch Pinwheels

Here is the first of three game-day appetizers I have for you this week that uses my Yogurt Ranch recipe. Click below to view the recipe. This one is one to do ahead of time since after you roll the pinwheels it needs to sit for a few hours at least before you cut them.

NOTE: Before we get into the recipe, and I’ll have this again in the instructions, if you are making these little guys and using the yogurt ranch recipe, omit the 1/3 cup milk of choice. You want it to be thick and then anything else remaining you can thin out later.

Oh! And this is also a great meal prep idea for easy cold lunch with no mess or have a few with some veggies as a prepped snack.

Okay! Onto the recipe!

Black Bean and Yogurt Ranch Pinwheels

  • Servings: Makes 16 pinwheels
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Ingredients

  • 2 large spinach wrap tortillas
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini, or you can substitute corn
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt Ranch – without adding the 1/3 cup almond milk. Keep it thick. Link to recipe is above
  • add salt if needed

Directions

  1. Mix together all ingredients from black beans to red onion in a medium size bowl. Add in 1/2 cup thick yogurt ranch.
  2. Taste and see if you think it needs salt. The yogurt ranch recipe already calls for salt so it might not be needed in the bean mixture.
  3. Take plastic saran wrap that is a little bigger than your tortilla, and lay it on the counter. Top with the spinach tortilla.
  4. Put 1/2 the mixture on the tortilla, spread it out evenly, leaving some room on the edges. Start rolling the tortilla. Some filling might fall out and that’s fine, add it back to the bowl.
  5. After it’s tightly rolled, wrap it up with the saran wrap and put in fridge.
  6. Do the same with the other tortilla. Any leftover filling, eat. : )
  7. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hour if not overnight before cutting. Cut the very ends off. Cut 1 inch pieces. Mine made about 8 pieces each.
  8. You can put on plate, cover and back in fridge until ready to eat.

Breakfast – When To Eat It?

Timing of meals can be a big topic. For today, we are just going to dive in and look at breakfast.

There is a lot about how, when, and what to eat for breakfast. And there’s even debates about if you should or shouldn’t eat breakfast. Let’s look at a few different topics about why people have said to eat or not to eat breakfast.

Effect on Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is the thermic effect on food, which is increases the calories burned after you eat. Interestingly enough, what matters for your metabolism is how much you eat throughout the day, not when you eat it.

A study in 2014 shows that there was not a change in calories burned over 24 hours between people eating or people skipping breakfast.

Eating breakfast does not boost or kick-start your metabolism.

Effect on Weight Management

Not having breakfast and waiting for lunch does make you more hungry and you will most likely eat more at lunch, but on average, it’s not more than what you would have eaten had you had breakfast and lunch.

Some people like the idea of intermittent fasting, which is fasting for certain times of the day, which can include not eating breakfast. This can result in a calorie deficit throughout the day, and thus over time results in weight loss. However, if you planned out your day and still had the same amount of calories, whether eating breakfast or not, it would result in weight loss as well. However you can safely and easily maintain a calorie deficit over time, you will loose weight. For some that might mean skipping breakfast.

There was a 4-month long study that compared eating and/or skipping breakfast in over 300 men and women. After the study was over there was no difference in weight loss/gain between the groups.

Breakfast Is Up To Preference

If or when you eat breakfast is up to you. I’m usually a breakfast eater, but other mornings I’m just not hungry and skip it all together. It’s up to how you feel.

However, having a healthy variety of foods throughout the day is important, as well as your overall daily caloric intake.

This was all a long winded way to say – if you’re hungry in the morning, eat. If you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t. Breakfast does not have a determining factor in weight gain/loss or in your metabolism. Now – keeping your blood sugar from spiking and dipping is a whole other topic about when to eat. I’m sure we will be covering that topic soon. But for now – enjoy breakfast, or not.