Honey & Goat Cheese Filled Fig Muffins with Walnuts

 

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Couples that bake together stay together.

Our friends who know us well know that when Trevor and I cook together we always have to declare a “executive chef” and a “sous chef.” This way we know who is in charge, and who is helping. (It has actually worked out very well, highly recommended.)

Baking is a whole other world though. The reason being that a) I don’t bake often and b) I tend to take too many liberties with the recipe. These are the reasons why when I told Trevor I wanted to make these muffins this morning using our dried figs from our fig tree, and the honey from my godmother’s bee’s he said he would (graciously) help me.

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I measured the dry ingredients, and he measured the wet. I worked on the cheese mixture, and accidentally added all of the vanilla from this Eating Well inspired recipe. (We actually like it better this way though.) Trevor folded in the wet to the dry ingredients and came up with the idea of adding in walnuts, which was clutch.

Yes, this is cheesy story, and yes these muffins were baked with lots of love. But come on, we have just 90 days until our wedding -anything to keep the dreaded planning at bay!

We hope you enjoy this very unique and very tasty recipe!

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Honey and Goat Cheese Filled Fig Muffins with Walnuts

Yield: 12 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons local honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 12 muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the goat cheese, honey, lemon zest and vanilla in a small bowl, mix and set aside.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl: wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. Combine the eggs, egg white and brown sugar and whisk in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the buttermilk and olive oil until smooth.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients in to the large dry ingredient bowl, and stir until just combined (do not overmix).
  6. Fold in the chopped figs and walnuts.
  7. Spoon half of the batter into each of the 12 muffin tins – you should still have some remaining.
  8. Create a small divet in each muffin, and fill with about 1 teaspoon of the cheese filling. Cover with the remaining batter (the filling should not be visible).
  9. Sprinkle each muffin with a small amount of granulated sugar.
  10. Bake the muffins until the edges are brown, about 13-15 minutes.
  11. Let the pan cool for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack and NOM!

Pomegranate and Bosc Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

Today is my last “first day of school”…and I mean it this time! I have been enrolled in the Master’s in Health Communications program at Boston University since January 2013. After lots and lots of hours learning, studying and completing projects I am in my final class and will graduate in late December.  If you have been around me while I’ve balanced work, life and school the past 4 years – I know you are sighing with relief as well (I know my fiance is!).

Today is also the first day of National Pomegranate month! I thought I would celebrate with this tasty non-boring salad that can be used as a main meal or a pre-dinner salad. The pomegranate seeds combined with the pear and goat cheese are the perfect combination of savory and not too sweet. I have been loving Trader Joe’s frozen “Just Chicken” for an easy lean protein addition to my salads at lunch, but since I didn’t make it out to Woodruff Road this weekend, I opted for the Applegate Grilled Chicken Breast Strips which can also be found in the frozen section. They are wonderful and highly recommended for a girl on the go!

Not familiar with how to cut a pomegranate? Check out this easy tutorial from Simply Recipes.

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Pomegranate and Bosc Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

Yield: 1 Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups 50/50 salad mix
  • 1/2 bosc pear, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate pearls
  • 1oz goat cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions

Starting with a large salad bowl, add the salad mix followed by the pear pieces, pomegranate pearls and goat cheese. Drizzle with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette and serve! Option to add 3oz of grilled chicken for an easy and healthy main meal.

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Healthy Bachelorette Meal: Pomegranate and Bosc Pear Salad with Goat Cheese, Chicken and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Zesty Mango Salsa

It’s summer, it’s hot, your hungry, i’m hungry… and lets just admit that we want something tasty and we want it quick!!  Mango salsa is one of my all time favs because you can actually put it on top of anything, dip anything into it, or eat it all by itself.  I like to add a ton of greens into mine and eat it as a salad OR put it on top of grilled shrimp or fish tacos.  I’m a little disappointed that my avocado wasn’t ripe enough to add to this because it would have been fantastic.  May I also recommend you bring this to the next event you find yourself invited to… people will be THRILLED!

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Zesty Mango Salsa 

Serves: 2 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (red or yellow)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (add a little at a time if you don’t like spicy)
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed (optional, but probably a good idea)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Directions

  1. combine all ingredients and serve!

 

A few notes and suggestions:

  • a ripe mango will be SUPER soft (don’t eat it unless you can leave a fingerprint on it when you squeeze it)
  • add black beans for added protein
  • add diced red or green bell pepper
  • add avocado (for obvious reasons)
  • use red onion instead of green
  • add more jalapeño if you like it extra spicy
  • serve on top of anything grilled (chicken, fish, shrimp, steak etc.)

Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

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How adorable are these South Carolina wine glasses that one of my bridesmaids got us for our engagement?

Hi everyone! Sorry for being MIA for the last couple of months…I’m not sure if you heard the news yet – but I am excited to share with you all that Trevor and I are engaged!! Not only are we engaged, but Meaghan is my maid of honor! Super exciting 🙂

This healthy bachelorette has been wedding planning like woah! Of course, we have been meal planning and cooking healthy meals and I am excited to getting back to sharing some of my recipes with you all.

DSC_0698Here is a recipe I made the other night that is perfect for a summer weeknight dinner out on the porch, or to bring to your 4th of July picnic. It’s a great side dish for grilled salmon or chicken, or even put it on a bed of arugula for a refreshing summer lunch. If you start snacking it on for breakfast, that’s not the end of the world either. The best part? It has 5 just ingredients!

The Healthy Bachelorette: Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

Serves: 2 servings, 2 leftovers

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 large local cucumber, cut into half moons
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Cut the watermelon and cucumber.
  2. In a large glass bowl, add the watermelon cubes, cut cucumber, olive oil and lime juice. Toss to combine.
  3. Add in the feta cheese and toss the salad to mix ingredients evenly.
  4. Serve cold – can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Breakfast Cranberry Carrot Muffins

Who knew muffins could include such random but delicious ingredients?  Why not put something better in there besides some super solid mystery fat and other big words we probably can’t pronounce?  Bananas, cranberries, oatmeal, and carrots make a surprisingly fantastic muffin.  So I cheated and bought the bag of shredded carrots and this suited my needs just fine.  If you are looking for more of a carrot cake consistency (hidden carrots) then you’ll need to shred them with the box grater yourself.  These taste just delightful toasted and with a little butter or jam on it. Perfect for breakfast or snack! NOM.

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Breakfast Cranberry Carrot Muffins

Makes: 12 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk (or milk of choice)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (chop a little extra with a knife if using bagged carrots)
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and spray or line a 12 tin muffin pan.
  2. n a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Sift well or mix with a fork until combined.
  3. Next add the oats, cranberries, olive oil, egg, milk, carrots, and mashed banana.  Stir well until all ingredients are blended.
  4. Divide the batter evenly in the muffin tin and bake for 15-18 minutes until cooked through.

Weeknight Power Bowl

The Healthy Bachelorette: Weeknight Power BowlFull steam ahead! I’m back in my 7th out of 10th class in grad school (yes this is taking forever…), working full time at Pure Barre and as a Coach for All Access Internships. Woah buddy.  All great things – but sometimes it just doesn’t allow for making healthy bachelorette meals. (Though did you hear the news?! Bachelorette only for a little while longer!)

Meal planning really helps during these busy weeks, and be sure to check out our healthy meal planning tools.  These are the kind of weeks when you revert back to college and instead of doing laundry – you just buy more underwear. Yeah that happened.

Check out my weeknight power bowl! The majority of this recipe is prep, especially if you use chicken that you already cooked earlier in the week. It is a yummy, healthy and fresh meal for one that you can save for the next night, or even bring for lunch the next day. It provides lots of color from the vegetables that serve as your base, and you top it all off and make it more than your typical boring salad by adding hummus, avocado and a fun lemon cilantro vinaigrette. Did you know that the Vitamin E in olive oil helps you absorb the nutrients in your vegetables? See, salad dressing isn’t always a bad thing! Enjoy and happy cooking 🙂

Weeknight Power Bowl

Serves: 1 and 1 leftover

Ingredients

  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 of a hot house cucumber, washed and sliced into half moons
  • 8 campari tomatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced into 6 pieces
  • 6oz grilled chicken, cubed
  • 4 Tablespoons pine nut hummus
  • 4 Tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided (I used dill infused for more flavor)
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Set out a large salad bowl and a tupperware bowl.
  2. Add 3 cups of the baby spinach to each bowl, and top with 1/2 of the cucumber slices, 4 tomatoes, 1/8 cup red onion, 3 avocado slices and 3oz of the grilled chicken.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons of the pine nut hummus to the center of the bowls.
  4. Top each bowl with cilantro, squeeze one half of the lemon onto the salad and drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Top with fresh ground pepper, and serve!

The Healthy Bachelorette: Lunch!

 

Lunch ready for tomorrow! And check out this fancy planner that I got to design with Erin Condren for Pure Barre. It also has a meal planning dashboard – pretty awesome!

 

Savory Rosemary and Mushroom Frittata

Frigid winter nights and lazy shopping habits call for an easy dinner during the week. Eggs are among my most favorite ingredients, primarily because I can eat them for any meal of the day.  If you have the ability to purchase local eggs, I highly recommend it.  You will immediately notice the difference when cracking them open.  Local fresh eggs, and most store bought organic eggs, will have a noticeably deeper yellow-orange color to the yolk.  This is actually a very good thing, the deeper color means these chickens were fed healthy ingredients, which means their eggs are densely packed with nutrients. Enjoy this tonight and reheat for lunch tomorrow!

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Savory Rosemary and Mushroom Frittata

Serves: 2 (with leftovers)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 package button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and heat an oven-proof skillet on medium heat.  Add the olive oil and onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the mushrooms are toasted brown and soft, add the fresh rosemary and stir.
  3. Add the baby spinach and stir well until the leaves become slightly soft.
  4. Add the eggs to the pan and swirl to let the mixture flow through to the bottom. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Top the egg mixture with the cheese.  Lower the heat to medium-low and let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Swirl the pan and place into the oven.  Bake for another 5-6 minutes until eggs are set.
  7. Top with parsley, scallion, and avocado. Serve with roasted vegetables and toast.