It’s simple, it’s divine, and it’s what’s for dinner…so eat it!!
I love when I have wandering eyes watching over my shoulder as I prepare our meals.
Tonight’s conversation went a little like this…
Cailyn: “Is that zucchini? I don’t think I’m going to like that.”
Me: “ Oh, I think you will because you’ve had it before and you ate it!”
Cailyn: “I like zucchini, but this other stuff looks weird and gross.”
Me: “Well, this weird and gross food is really good for you.”
Cailyn: “Maybe I’ll try one bite, but I really don’t think it’s going to be good.”
Me: “Thank you for giving it a try.”
She ended up eating all her dinner, minus a couple pieces of zucchini! She makes me laugh…and sometimes she makes me cry!
(inspired by Sarah @ Peas and Thank You)
2 large (or 5 small) zucchini, cut into 12 1/4 inch slices (I used small zucchini, so I had about double that!)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp Tofutti better than cream cheese (or organic cream cheese)
pepper, to taste
1 jar organic marinara sauce
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place zucchini “noodles” in a colander and sprinkle with a little salt, layering between paper towels.
In a medium saucepan (with lid) add rinsed quinoa, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, onion, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fold in cream cheese, herbs, and pepper.
In the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish, spread about 1/3 cup marinara sauce. Layer 4 noodles (or more if using smaller zucchini), then quinoa mixture, and another layer of 1/3 cup sauce. Repeat layers, ending with zucchini and topping with sauce and cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is just starting to brown.
At least there was no questioning the “goodness” of these little treasures. I think it was the chocolate chips that gave these bars a “10” on the “goodness” scale. Doesn’t a little chocolate just make everything taste better?
Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Bars
(inspired by Eating Bird Food)
Yields 12 bars
1 cup old fashioned gluten free oats
1 cup gluten free oat flour (grind up your oats in a food processor)
1/3 cup protein powder (I used vanilla flavored)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed well
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax meal + 6 Tbsp water; let soak for 5-7 minutes)
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp creamy almond butter
1 1/2 Tbsp organic maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish (for a thicker bar) or a 9x13 baking dish (for a thinner bar) with cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine bananas, flax eggs, almond milk, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix well.
In a small mixing bowl combine oats, oat flour, protein powder, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
Slowly pour and mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything is well mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Our batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for another 15-20 minutes. Cut into squares or rectangles and enjoy!
For a perfect grab-and-go snack, wrap the bars individually in foil and then in a large ziploc bag. They will keep in the fridge for about a week.
Praying your Monday was marvelous!