What’s Cooking: Cookie Balls

It’s no surprise that I love food, specially snacks and sweets, I mean, even the ol’ Instagram name is “erinrunsforcake.” LOL

So I have spent the last year or so testing out all sorts of recipes that would be nutritious and help me fuel for long training sessions, but also satisfy the sweet tooth and watch my calories. This has been my go-to snack.img_6237

Cookie Balls

  • 1 c. raw oats
  • 1/2 c. oat flour (I use raw oats and grind them up)
  • 1/2 c. ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

I seriously just dump all of the ingredients in a big mixing bowl, and with clean hands, mix it up and then make little 1″ balls. No baking, no cooking, nothing for me to screw up. Easy-peasy! They sit in an airtight container for several days, although truth be told, they don’t last that long because everyone in the house will walk by and grab one to snack on.

I usually pack two of them in a small container for my after lunch snack and that keeps me away from the candy machine at 3pm. They will seriously fill you up!

If you give this recipe a try, let me know how you like them!

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Roasted Red Pepper & Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken Roulades with Lemon Butter & Cauliflower Puree

I’m always on the lookout for new ideas for dinner.  There are many requirements I have:

  • One portion of the entire meal has to be less than 450 calories, what I’ve typically got left by dinner time
  • It should feel like I got a good-sized portion – none of this two bites and I’m done with dinner foolishness
  • I’d like the cost to be low (I have race fees to pay for, gotta save some bucks! LOL)
  • The kids have to be willing to eat it
  • My husband has to be willing to prepare it.  Have I mentioned I can’t boil water?!?

I found this recipe in Clean Eating’s July/August 2014 issue.

Roasted Red Pepper & Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken Roulades with Lemon Butter & Cauliflower Puree

Serves 4; Hands-on Time: 30 minutes; Total Time: 30 minutes

Roasted Red Pepper & Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken Roulades

Roasted Red Pepper & Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken Roulades

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets (about 2/3 of a head)
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 1/2 tsp juice, divided
  • 4 4-oz chicken breasts, each cut crosswise into 2 thin pieces
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup jarred roasted bell peppers, drained and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp white whole-wheat flour, divided
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Fill a medium saucepot with 1 inch water and bring to a boil on high.  Fit with a steamer basket and add cauliflower to the basket; cover and steam until very tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, adding 1/4 cup hot water from the pot, 1 Tbsp butter, zest of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, line up chicken on a cutting board and spread ricotta evenly over one side of each piece of chicken.  Sprinkle peppers evenly over the ricotta.  Roll up and secure each piece with toothpicks.  Sprinkle remaining 1/4 tsp salt evenly over chicken. Transfer 2 Tbsp flour to a medium sized shallow bowl and dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess. Mist a medium skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium.  Add chicken and cook for about 6 minutes, turning over halfway, until golden brown on both sides. Mist a large baking sheet with cooking pray and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Note: Internal temperature should register 165 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer.  Carefully remove toothpicks and slice crosswise into rounds.
  3. Meanwhile, to a small heavy saucepot, add stock and bring to a simmer on medium-high.  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tsp flour and 2 tsp lemon juice until smooth.  Add to the stock along with the remaining 1 Tbsp butter.  Simmer for 2 minutes, until smooth and thickened.  Divide cauliflower and chicken among serving plates and top the chicken with the sauce.

Nutrition per serving (2 roulades, 1/2 cup cauliflower, 1/4 of the sauce):

280 calories, 13 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 4 g mono-unsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 10.5 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 29.5 g protein, 390 mg sodium, 94 mg cholesterol

Verdict

The family loved it!  I was hesitant of the pureed cauliflower strictly because that’s such a “diet-y” thing to do.  Why is the potato such an evil little thing?  Rather than using jarred roasted red-bell peppers, my husband took a bell pepper out to the grill and roasted a fresh one from the garden.  So much tastier!  It was filling and flavorful and I would definitely put this in the rotation for the future ask Sean to keep making this.  One thing to note, though – man, there were a lot of dirty dishes! What time we saved in the preparation we gave back in all those darn pots and pans!  Also, hubby the chef said that the recipe wasn’t the easiest to follow and is definitely not for the novice cook because the process of rolling chicken can get messy. The calorie count was good enough that I am able to still enjoy four Biscoff cookies with my evening tea. 😉