Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins

I started off my week vacation making these quinoa muffins and I have much more exciting things to make this week including homemade bacon.

This is what Quinoa looks like up close.

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Almost looks like couscous doesn’t it? You shouldn’t be afraid of it. It just takes a little time to boil in the water. 10-15 minutes.

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I used a base recipe from Martha Stewart and just decided to add in chocolate chips. They look like muffins and taste like muffins but these muffins have quinoa in it. I know it’s kind of a pain in the rear to cook the quinoa first cause that takes time. I suggest cooking a bunch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and storing it in the fridge, so you don’t have to do this step before making the muffins. I used the whole amount of oil the recipe called for but feel free to use applesauce or greek yogurt. I calculated these muffins with just the basic ingredients minus the raisins and they turned out to be 5 points plus each. My guess is without the oil and using apple sauce instead they would be 4 points. These muffins are very tasty. Feel free to add in whatever type of fruit or nuts you like.

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Recipe from Martha Stewart

Servings: 12


1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins (I used 1/2 cup of chocolate chips)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins, and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.

Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

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Yesterday, I was cooking up a storm in my kitchen. I made some potato soup, homemade soft pretzels with ranch seasoning, and these oatmeal square bars. I think this was my favorite recipe that I made all day.

Have you ever had jars of jelly or jam in your fridge just sitting there waiting to get used up? For some reason, I end up with 4 or 5 different flavored jams in my fridge. I go kind of crazy whenever I find some Stone Wall kitchen jams that I haven’t tried yet. I’ve got a little jar of pepper jelly waiting to get used up. I think that would be good on top of some cream cheese with crackers. Not sure how well that would work with this recipe? lol Normally, I just use jam to put on some toast or a bagel. This is a good recipe to use up those extra jars sitting in your fridge. Go crazy and try different flavors with this. These bars are delicious and are only 5 points per bar. Not too bad. You could use sugar free jam to lighten up the carbs a bit.

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Calories: 177; Total Fat: 7 grams, Carbs: 28, Fiber: 1, Protein 2 g

Points Plus: 5

Recipe from the Ree Drummond

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars


  • 1 3/4 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10oz jars jam (any kind)


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.
Step 2
Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the strawberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin

This recipe originally calls for pork chops, but I prefer pork tenderloin instead and that’s what I used.  I made the marinade for this recipe, and stuck the pork tenderloin and the marinade inside a freezer storage bag for a few hours. The flavor for the pork was an orange/spicy marinade and if you make the Peanut Noodle Salad that goes a long with this recipe it’s a great meal.

I found this recipe on Food Network, when I was watching Melissa D Arabian. Her recipes never seem to disappoint me and she’s my favorite Food Network Star winner, so far. Use a digital thermometer to keep track of what the temperature of the pork is, while it’s cooking on the grill. That way you’ll get a really juicy and moist pork tenderloin in the end.

In the first picture for this blog post you can see a blue, green, and purple mosaic type table. I got that for my birthday from my Mom and I love to take my food pictures on it now. It’s pretty awesome and right now it’s sitting in our patio next to the matching papisan (sp?) chair that I got at Pier 1. I love that store, that and White House Black Market. We just got one of those stores in the mall where I live, and I could spend a fortune there. :)

To make this recipe lighter, I left out the oil for the marinade. Pork Tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat, so it isn’t very fattening. I also used about 2 14 oz pork tenderloins to figure out the points plus.

Servings: 6

Points Plus: 5


Ingredients from Melissa D Arabian

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Eight 4-ounce thin pork chops, bone-in (about 1/4-inch thick)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
2 green onions, sliced


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place 1/4 cup vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, ginger, sriracha, sesame oil, garlic and orange juice and zest in a food processo,r and process for 15 seconds. Put the pork chops in a heavy-duty resalable plastic bag. Add half of the marinade and reserve the other half until serving. Squeeze out the air, seal and move the chops around in the bag to coat evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the chops from the bag. Place the reserved marinade in a small saucepot. Bring to a boil to reduce and thicken the sauce a bit, about 2 minutes.

Heat large stainless saute pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Brown the chops in the hot pan, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place the saute pan in the oven and cook until done (155 degrees F internal temperature). Serve with a spoonful of the glaze, with cilantro and sliced green onions sprinkled on top.

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh strawberries are in season right now and the ones I picked up at the grocery store this weekend were ginormous! I’ve been eying this strawberry cake that’s been on pinterest lately. This cake is very moist and delicious even without the whole stick of butter it called for. If I ever make this cake again, which I probably will… I’d add a lot more strawberries than what the cake called for. This cake would be good even with rhubarb in it which I have plenty of that in my garden right now. This cake used to be 469 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving with all that butter. I got it down to 191 calories  and 4.7 grams of fat per serving and made the slices a little bit smaller.

I like to experiment with baking and see how much butter I can get rid of in a recipe and still have it taste good. Some recipes call for 2 or 3 sticks of butter sometimes, and lately I’ve been getting away with only using 4 tablespoons of butter. I still think baked goods need at least some kind of fat in them whether it’s butter or oil. Otherwise, they just don’t seem to taste right using real healthy ingredients ya know?

Recipe adapted from
Servings: 15

Points Plus: 5


1/4 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 lemon zested
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 /2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz of plain fat free greek yogurt
12 oz of fresh strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 325*. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sift together the 2 ¼ cups of flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
2. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 Tb. lemon juice. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.
3. Toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter.
4. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.