May 14, 2012

Sinless Chocolate Banana Muffins

I always try to buy only 2-3 bananas at a time. Whenever I buy more than that, I inevitably end up with a couple of bananas that sit on my counter until they are too ripe for my tastes. However, this past week, I bought a whole bunch of bananas with every intention of eating them all! 

Alas, as always, two poor bananas remained past their prime. My boyfriend nearly threw them away! *GASP!!* 

Fortunately for the bananas, I intercepted them on the way to their doomed demise. Fortunately for me, I had a box of cake mix that also needed to be used up! I had such success with the pumpkin + water + cake mix recipe, I decided to give bananas a try in lieu of pumpkin!

The result? A delicious and moist chocolate banana muffin (or cupcake). These would be even MORE delicious if you added 1 tsp of chocolate chips to each muffin tin! (adds 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per muffin).

Sinless Chocolate Banana Muffins

Yields: 24 servings
Serving Size: 1 muffin 
PointsPlus per Serving: 2 PointsPlus (OPTIONAL: add 1 tsp chocolate chips to each tin for a total of 3 PointsPlus per muffin!)
1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Pillsbury Devil's Food Cake)
2 extra-ripe bananas, mashed (Enough for 1 cup)
1 cup water (plus maybe a little extra if the batter is too thick for your tastes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mash bananas thoroughly or put bananas and water in food processor/blender and blend until smooth.

Add cake mix and mix thoroughly.

Spoon into lined or greased muffin tins (regular size). 

Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove muffins from the pan and let cool.


March 14, 2012

"Eat The Whole Bowl" Ice Cream!

Have you ever taken a look at the nutrition label of your favorite ice cream? Did you notice the serving size? Have you ever measured out 1 serving of that ice cream? If you're on Weight Watchers like I am, then you probably have done all of the above at least once!

Sometimes, a half a cup of ice cream just isn't enough! Sometimes, you just want a whole full bowl of the stuff!

That's me tonight. All I want is a big, chock-full bowl of fudgey, peanut buttery ice cream! Now, I don't have an ice cream maker. However, I happened to remember an idea from one of my favorite recipe bloggers: Chocolate-Covered Katie's voluminous vanilla ice cream!

Now, Katie's recipes all recommend using some creamer or coconut milk to help make the ice cream creamier. However, since I'm on Weight Watchers, my goal is different -- volume without additional Points Plus! Katie mentions that her ice cream recipes tend to be less rich using just almond milk (my non-dairy milk of choice, but you can use soy milk, coconut milk, or whatever!); so, I was wondering if there was some way to re-introduce the "creamy" without the Points Plus!

...Here's what I came up with ;)

"Eat the Whole Bowl" Ice Cream

Yields: 1 serving
Serving Size: The whole darn thing! ;)
PointsPlus per Serving: If you run this through Weight Watcher's recipe builder, the banana and almond milk base = 3 PointsPlus ...and additional points will depend upon your add-ins. However, if you're like me and do not want to count PointsPlus for the banana (since this is a raw combination of ingredients), then the PointsPlus are determined by ONLY your add-ins. For my add-ins today, it was 3 PointsPlus.

1 medium banana, sliced
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice; may affect PointsPlus values)
1 TBS Reduced Fat Peanut Butter (optional)
1 TBS Wax Orchard Fudge Sauce (or chocolate/fudge sauce of your choice; just be sure to calculate the PointsPlus!)
1 tsp Splenda (or other sweetener, if desired. I did not add any sweetener to mine tonight!)

Slice your banana and put some slices into small bowls (or into an ice cube tray!)
Pour your 1/2 cup of almond or other non-dairy milk evenly into the small dishes with some of the banana slices.  
Place the remaining banana slices on a plate. Place all of the banana slices and banana/milk mixture into the freezer and freeze completely through.
Remove frozen milk/banana mixture by running the bottom of the containers under hot water until you can pop the frozen portion out.
Place all banana slices and milk/banana mixture portions into your food processor (I have not tried this in a regular blender and can't vouch for whether that would work or not).
Blend until the mixture turns "pebbly" as shown below
Add your mix-ins and optional sweetener! I used reduced fat natural peanut butter and Wax Orchard Fudge Fantasy Sauce
Blend until the mixture becomes one well-blended, creamy portion
Scoop into a dish using an ice cream scoop (or just a spoon...or eat directly from blender!)


March 5, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Chicken Chili

This recipe was pretty much a shot from the hip. I needed to come up with something using only the ingredients in my pantry. So, I had a little "Chopped" competition with myself! I love "Chopped," it's probably one of my favorite shows of all time. For those of you who don't know, "Chopped" is a show on Food Network where contestants get a basket of ingredients and must turn them into a delicious dish. So, in my "Chopped" competition with myself, my ingredients were chicken breast, black beans, sweet potatoes, half an onion, and canned diced tomatoes.... GO!

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Chili

Yields: 9 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup
PointsPlus per Serving: 5 P+

2 cans black beans (15 oz each), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves minced or crushed garlic (I used 2)
1 uncooked sweet potato, chopped (8.5oz or "medium")
2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz each) 
1 3/4 pound uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 tsp salt
2 TBS chili powder


Chop your sweet potato and onion. Mince or crush your garlic. Cube chicken breast into even pieces.

Spray a non-stick pot with cooking spray. Heat the pan on medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and sweet potato. Cook until onion is translucent and sweet potato is tender.

Add chicken, salt, and chili powder. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Add tomatoes (with their juice!) and drained/rinsed black beans.

Simmer 10 minutes until chili is heated through.

Serve with rice (additional points!) or as-is.



February 17, 2012

Eating Out!

Sometimes (like possibly in the last uhm...2 months), I just don't have time to cook. Sometimes, I like to eat out. Whether for a celebration or for no particular reason, eating out is always something special.

I thought it might be interesting to see and share where we all like to go out to eat. So, I decided to use a mobile app (also works on the computer) called MapHook to create a group where we all can tag and share our favorite restaurants in our respective areas.

Basically, what MapHook lets you do is pull up your iPhone wherever you are and create a "hook" for your location. You can include details, reviews, comments, pictures, and even video in your hook. If you go to MapHook's website,, you can join and then click on the "Groups" icon in the upper right-hand corner. Search for "NutriNosh Official Group" and join my group! Take a look at the hooks I've already shared about some of my favorite restaurants!

If you don't have an iPhone, that's ok! You can still participate on the computer. Simply hit the "Search" button and search for the address of your favorite restaurants. Create a new hook and share with the group! If you find yourself going out this weekend, pull the app up on your iPhone and hook the restaurant while you're sitting there! (Bonus points if you take and share a picture of your favorite dish!)