Eggless Eggs Still on the Menu

Even with news of chicken eggs back on the cool list, Eggless Eggs are still a family favorite, a hometown staple, and a great way to enter into tofu addiction — no matter if they’re stuffed into a burrito, alongside toast, or eaten solo by the Paleos. Make a big batch on the weekend and choose your method of delivery on the day of. To breakfast! (Or dinner!)

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs
Makes 4 servings
Prep and cooking time 20 minutes

Searching for scrambled eggs without all the fat and cholesterol? Take this creation out for a spin, and you’ll find yourself singing its praises from the hilltops. Serve with fresh fruit and toasted 100% Whole Grain Fiber Bread. Compared to a 2-egg omelet, a serving of Eggless Eggs has 150 fewer calories, 11 fewer grams of fat, 450 fewer milligrams of cholesterol, and 2 more grams of fiber. Eggs never tasted so good.

1 (15-oz) block extra firm tofu
2 tsp olive oil
1 green onion, or 1 Tbsp diced onion
½ red bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
½ green bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
1 medium carrot, diced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp turmeric (optional, makes the “eggs” yellow)
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

1 Press Tofu: Place 6 paper towels on the counter. Drain tofu from package. Place block of tofu on the paper towels. Place a cutting board or baking sheet on top of tofu. Place 2 or 3 cans of beans or similar weight on top of the cutting board, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. This process gets excess water out of the tofu, allowing it space to soak in other incredible flavors.

2 Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté veggies, spices, and salt until tender, about 5 minutes.

3 Crumble tofu into the skillet; continue to cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

4 Serve warm topped with black pepper and hot sauce if desired.

5 Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per serving: 161 calories, 8.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 298 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 15.5 g protein, 3% vitamin A, 54% vitamin C, 19.5% calcium, 13.5% iron

“Mom, You Make the Best Brownies”

Simple Bean Brownies

Simple Bean Brownies

Hello vitamin friends! It’s been a while! Look for many new tips and recipes because I’ve been conquering the BEST quinoa chili, homemade slow-cooker applesauce, and countless healthy concoctions for picky kids. But, for now, I must post our new favorite dessert. Just 2 ingredients, it’s low-fat, gooey, crowd-pleasing, and includes beans. Booyah! I knew you’d be sold when I said ‘beans!’

Simple Bean Brownies
Makes 16 squares

1 package brownie mix (my favorite is Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix, reviewed and pictured here)
1 15-oz can black beans (or 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans plus 3/4 cup water), blended (including liquid)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Stir mix with blended beans.

3. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan, and pour/spread brownie batter into pan evenly.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked in the center.

5. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar (I do this through a sifter) – Optional. 

Surprise and scare all your favorite family and friends! 

Nutrition info per mouth-watering square: 144 calories, 3 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 146 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 2.5 g protein, 11% iron.

Note: For an extra health punch, stir 1/2 cup shredded zucchini or carrots into the batter, OR blend a handful of spinach or kale with the beans. 

You can’t even taste the beans (or the veggies). And, I kid you not, my kids won’t eat ANY other brownie. Chocolate cheers!

Cholesterol-Lowering Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for Breakfast

Cookies for Breakfast

You’ve heard of breakfast for dinner, so why not cookies for breakfast? This life is worth LIVING, people!

Inspiration for this creation: 1) Everyone’s cholesterol is high, especially the LDL (“Lousy”) one, 2) No one has time for breakfast, and 3) People want to eat cookies constantly.

Happy to help! I’m a People too. Introducing the Cholesterol-Lowering* Breakfast Power Cookie. It’s got bran flakes!, chia seeds which are massively rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, and oats which are moderately rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber.

If you need a refresher on the 5 easy tips for lowering your cholesterol, soluble fiber is harder to find in the diet — it’s only in oats, flax, chia seeds, beans, lentils, and berries. It works like this:

Soluble fiber reduces the amount of bile reabsorbed in the intestines. The liver (aka ‘bile maker’) freaks out and snatches LDL cholesterol out of the bloodstream to make more bile salts. Down goes your LDL cholesterol, and the party starts. Take home message: Eat more chia seeds,  flax seeds, oats, beans, lentils, and berries and you may have much healthier arteries.

As a side note: You should also eat lots of INSOLUBLE fiber found in veggies and fruit skins because without it, your poops won’t be as plump and won’t be able to carpool out as much bile. Although I love both, a lot less bile fits in a mini-Cooper than a mini-van. Bile can get reabsorbed into your bloodstream through your intestines and there’ll be very little effect on your LDL cholesterol.

Cholesterol-Lowering* Breakfast Power Cookie
Don’t be turned off by the list of 15 ingredients. Most of them are in your pantry.
Makes 13 cookies

1/2 cup chia seeds (or ground flax seed meal if you must)
1/3 cup unsweetened soymilk
2 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil, or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup bran flakes
1/4 cup sugar (optional, or use 1/4 cup of calorie-free sweetener)
2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut (optional) 
1/3 cup (40g) dried cranberries or raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, soak chia seeds in milk for 5 minutes. Add remaining wet ingredients and let sit until dry ingredients are mixed. 

3. In a separate and larger bowl, combine dry ingredients minus the coconut (if using) and the dried cranberries. 

4. Add wet to dry, stir to combine, and then stir in coconut and cranberries. 

5. Form into 1 1/2-inch round patties, and place on a cookie sheet with about 1 inch between cookies. Press down slightly with a fork to flatten.

6. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before removing with a metal spatula. 

Nutrition info per cookie including sugar and coconut (2 cookies recommended for a complete breakfast meal): 176 calories, 9.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrate (6 g sugar), 4.5 g fiber, 4 g protein, 6% calcium, 9% iron.

*Please don’t come find me if your cholesterol doesn’t go down after 3 months of eating these cookies. There’s no guarantee, but the research looks quite promising, and why not give them a shot?*