Spicy Lamb and Potato Stew

Life has been busy!  I apologize for the lack of blogging.  I’ll be getting back on that now.  Today I’m sharing a recipe that I tried in the colder months, but figured I’d share with you now before it’s WAY too hot for a stew!  Later this week – another frittata, protein smoothies and other tasty goodness.

This recipe comes from The Best Ever Indian Cookbook, just like most of my other Indian recipes.  Jess and I both really enjoyed this, especially since it actually DOES have a kick to it!  The flavors just blend really well together.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Topped off with a little chobani and we’re good to go!

Spicy Lamb and Potato Stew
Servings: 3
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lamb leg or loin, cubed, 6 PP
  • 1 tbsp oil, 4 PP
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 fresh green chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, 1 PP
  • 2 1/2 cups raw potato, cut in large chunks, 7 PP
  • chopped fresh cilantro to garnish

Directions
1. Remove any visible fat from the lab and cut the meat into neat 1-inch cubes.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan and fry the onion, bay leaves, chile and garlic for 5 minutes.

3. Add the meat and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until lightly browned.

4. Add the ground coriander, round cumin, ground turmeric, chili powder, and salt and cook the spices for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

5. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

6. Add the bitesized chunks of potato to the simmering mixture, stir in, and cook for another 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and much of the excess juices have been absorbed, leaving a thick, but minimal sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve piping hot.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheese Frosting

I patiently took this picture before devouring it in four bites.

I cannot even begin to describe the awesomeness that is Skinnytaste.  This woman comes up with delicious healthy recipes, shares them and makes everyone’s day better.  I linked to her Chocolate Stout Cupcake recipe and decided on Friday that I should give them a try.

Umm…. they were amazing.  So amazing that I had to give them to Jess (that’s Bella’s actual name!  She said I can use it now) to bring to her coworkers because I was eating an average of THREE per day this weekend.  Three cupcakes per day is just not healthy, no matter how low in calories or PP they are!   The fact that I was eating three per day gives you a hint that they were ridiculously successful, though.  And they were really easy to make, so I’ve decided to share the recipe with you!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheese Frosting (from Skinnytaste)
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5!
Calories Per Serving: around 189

Ingredients

Frosting:

  • 5.5 oz 1/3 less fat Philly Cream Cheese, softened, 9 PP
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 6 PP
  • 4 tsp Bailey’s Irish Cream, 2 PP (it’s about 2/3 oz)

Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar, 17 PP
  • 1 cup flour, 12 PP
  • 7 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 PP
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1/2 cup stout, 2 PP
  • 4 oz unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (skim milk works too)
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream (i used Chobani 0% plain), 2 PP
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil, 5 PP
  • cooking spray

Directions
1. Combine all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners and lightly spray liners with oil (to prevent sticking).

3. In a large bowl sift together all the dry ingredients; sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda (or put them all in a bowl and whisk it until well combined).

4. In a medium bowl combine the wet ingredients (egg through canola oil) and beat until smooth.

5. With a mixer, slowly add the sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into cupcake liners and bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Is it just me, or do you all think it’s a bit kinky to “undress” your cupcake before eating it?

A few notes: the beer does not have to be flat before you use it.  I know that some beer breads require this, but these cupcakes are an exception.  You can also use any kind of stout.  I used a random one that’s been in my fridge for about 1.5 years; worked just fine!  One more thing – you may think that you’re filling the cupcake liners with too much batter, but believe me, once you’ve evenly divided it amongst the liners, they’ll cook up just the way they’re supposed to.  And remember to share so that you don’t end up eating SIX of them in two days!

Balti Lamb with Peas and Potatoes

Here’s another quick recipe from my newest favorite cookbook.  I made this last night for dinner and it was so yummy!  The lamb meat is so tender and adds so much depth to the dish.  If you’re worried about the cost of lamb, try getting a leg of lamb when you see a good deal and cutting the meat into 4 oz portions.  Each 4 oz portion is only 3 PP!  I bought one leg of lamb for around 25 dollars and I got 13 4-oz servings from it.  That’s less than $2 per serving, which is a great price for lamb!

One other quick note before you enjoy the recipe below – I’m guest blogging for my Company’s blog on Monday!  In case you didn’t know, I work for Wolfram|Alpha.  Every day, I curate the data that we have on our website.  It’s really quite an incredible resource.  The blog is titled “Losing Weight with Wolfram|Alpha”.  You’ll definitely want to check it out HERE!

Balti Lamb with Peas and Potatoes from the Best Ever Indian Cookbook
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lamb leg, sliced, 6 PP
  • 1 tbsp oil, 3 PP
  • 1/2 cup chobani plain yogurt, 2 PP
  • 2 green cardamom pods (you can find them at a local asian/indian grocer)
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped mint (optional)
  • 2 medium (or 1 large) onions, sliced
  • 1 cup water (the recipe calls for 1 1/4, but I thought it was too much)
  • 1 large white potato, diced, 6 PP
  • 1 cup frozen peas, 2 PP
  • 1 firm tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced

Directions
1. Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat from the lamb and and cut into strips. Place in a bowl.

2. Add the yogurt, cinnamon, cardamoms, peppercorns, garlic, ginger, chili powder, garam masala, salt, and half the mint (if using). Stir well, cover the bowl, and let stand in a cool place to marinate for about 2 hours (or prepare it in the morning and let it marinate until you get back from work!).

3. Heat the oil in a karahi, wok, or heavy pan and fry the onions until golden brown. Stir in the lamb and the marinade and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.

4. Pour in the water, lower the heat, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the potato in boiling water until just soft, but not mushy.

5. Add the peas and potato to the lamb and stir gently to mix.

6. Finally, add the remaining mint and the tomato and cook for another 5 minutes before serving.

And like the note says in the book, cook this the day before and keep in the refrigerator before you reheat to enhance the flavor even more!

Chobani Winner and a Weekly Weigh-In!

Just sitting here with Frankie enjoying some of the new Blood Orange Chobani while I pick the winner!

Happy Monday, everyone!  It’s been one week since I started back on Weight Watchers and I’m happy to report a 2 lb loss!  I’m down to the lowest I’ve been since I started this whole journey and I’ve only got 8 more lbs until I reach my 50 lb loss milestone and get to FINALLY spend all my Christmas giftcards from the parentals on new clothes!  But enough of that, I know you all just want to know who won the giveaway!

There were 50 entries.  WOW.   That’s awesome!  So, I went over to random.org and it pulled up the number 38.  The 38th entry came from CAT!  She entered six times.  In fact, if you check out her twitter handle, she enters LOTS of contests, so obviously some of that determination is paying off!  Now she’ll be able to bake some muffins with the Cho just like she commented about!  Cat, you’ll need to send me all your information so I can get that case of Chobani sent out to you!  You can send it to the email address listed on my Contact Information page.

Can I just say how much I love doing giveaways?  I really need to do them more.  Well, the recipes with Chobani yogurt aren’t done yet, but you’ll just have to keep on reading and see what I post next!  I can tell you that a couple salad dressing recipes are coming up soon….

Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken and a Giveaway! CLOSED

What better way to start off a weekend than a giveaway?!?!?  My good friends over at Chobani have come out with a new product – 16 and 32 oz containers of their greek yogurt!  So, they sent me three of the 32 oz ones to test out – vanilla, plain 2% and plain 0%.  Let me tell you, I’ve been enjoying them since the middle of December and not a single dollop has gone to waste!

I ate all of the vanilla yogurt for breakfasts and snacks instead of cooking with it, but I definitely would have made more of the zucchini muffins or black and white cake cookies if I’d been in a baking mood.  It was right around the holidays, though, and I spent more time packing and unpacking for all our holiday travels than cooking up tasty foods.  Luckily, these containers stay fresh in the fridge for long periods of time, so I was able to use the plain yogurt for a bunch of new dishes once the holidays were over.

A lot of the plain yogurt was used as a topping for burritos and chili, but most of it was used in Indian dishes.  I’ve been on an Indian cuisine rampage!  I bought this wonderful book called the Best Ever Indian Cookbook and I’ve tried about seven different recipes from it so far.  A lot of the recipes call for “strained yogurt”, which essentially IS greek yogurt, so having two tubs of the stuff came in quite handy!

This recipe for Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken is our favorite one so far.  Bella isn’t a huge fan of onions, which is difficult when you’re cooking Indian cuisine because it’s FULL of onions, but this one doesn’t have any onion at all.  She was ecstatic.  I loved it because it was sweet, sour AND I was able to make it spicier by adding in extra chiles.  We put it over brown rice and topped it off with a little extra Chobani and finished off our bowls in mere minutes.  I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it more WWF and it doesn’t ruin the integrity of the dish.  In fact, I think it makes it more appealing because it’s less oily.  So, here it is!  (Don’t forget to go to the bottom on details on how to win all that Cho!)

Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5 (10 if you put it over 1 cup of brown rice)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp organic tomato paste, 1 PP
  • 4 tbsp Chobani 0% plain greek yogurt, divided, 1 PP
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney, 1 PP
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil, 5 PP
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed, 12 PP
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 2-4 hot green chiles
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Directions
1. Mix the tomato paste, 2 tbsp yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, garlic, mango chutney, salt and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir well.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan (or if you have it, a karahi!). Lower the heat slightly and pour in the spice mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are well coated.

4. Stir in the water to thin the sauce slightly. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.

5. Finally, add the fresh chiles, cilantro and the other 2 tbsp of the yogurt, cook for another two minutes over a low heat, then serve!

Now, for the giveaway….

Chobani is letting me give away the same three tubs that they sent to me!  You’ll get your own pack of vanilla, plain 2% and plain 0%.  How can you win, you ask? Why, there are multiple ways to enter. Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each one! The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, January 24th using www.random.org, so all entries MUST be recieved by Monday, January 23rd at MIDNIGHT!

1. “Like” Chobani on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall telling them how you found their page and what product you’re trying to win and then leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did.  (if you already like them, pop on over and say hi on their wall again!)

2. Follow @ReluctantFoodie on Twitter and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did or already do.

3. Subscribe to my blog through RSS feed or through email and leave a comment telling me that you did or already do.

4. Share my blog post link on Facebook with the following in the comment box, “Win a free case of flavored Chobani ‘gurt on The Reluctant WW Foodie blog!” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.

5. Tweet the following message “Win three 32-oz tubs of Chobani ‘gurt from @ReluctantFoodie! Enter here – http://wp.me/p1cn3Q-qs” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.

6. Go to Klout.com (sign up if you haven’t!) and give me some “klout” in whatever category you choose and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did (you can do this multiple times!)

7. Leave a comment on this blog telling me what new dish you’d like to try with the ‘gurt!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Mmmmmmm chocolate.

WOW.  Does it feel like it’s been forever since I blogged?  Sure does on my end.  Sometimes life just gets busy and you don’t have time to cook; that’s what life has been like for the past few days.  Luckily, that was not the case last night, and I had the chance to try out a couple new recipes with some of the Chobani ‘gurt from the extra free case of it that the amazing people over at Chobani sent me!

I can’t even express in words how much I love baking with yogurt now.  No butter, no oil, just pure awesome.  Add a little chocolate in there (like I did) and you’re basically biting into a little piece of heaven.

My girlfriend and I have a favorite chocolate chip.  It’s the Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips.  We don’t use any other kind anymore.  During the Christmas season, we went through about SIX bags of these chips in baking, eating them frozen, etc.  So, on our last trip to the grocery store… as we passed them in the aisle… they mysteriously ended up in our cart.  It was fate!  We had to buy them.  So last night, they became part of my new muffins.  And every bite was awesome.

See all the chocolate inside???

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6 (4 PP if you only use 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips!)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 5 PP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz container of raspberry chobani, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, drained
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 PP
  • 1 cup special dark chocolate chips, 36 PP

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees.

2. Grate zucchini and drain. I used my awesome food processor for quick grating and squeezed it all by hand to get out as much liquid as possible. You don’t want the extra juices, believe me!

3. Put all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then put all the wet ingredients for your muffin of choice in another bowl and mix with the same wooden spoon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until fully blended. No need to over-mix!

4. Spray your muffin pan with some Pam and scoop the batter evenly into the pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes. They should be perfectly done once the timer goes off, so take em out and enjoy! I highly recommend heating them up if they’ve cooled down before you got a chance to eat one, then slice apart and put a little bit of butter on each side. It just brings it all together!

Stay tuned later this week for another muffin recipe: Cinnamon Peach Pecan. These muffins were AMAZING too! Even the girlfriend, who doesn’t like nuts in baked goods, really really liked these muffins. Tastes a little like the holidays :)

Other recipes on the blog that I’ve used the Special Dark Chocolate Chips for:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Five Ingredient Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chobani Giveaway Winner and a Delicious New Recipe!

WOW! I received 45 entries for the Chobani giveaway and the lucky winner was…

Congratulation, Melissa!  She had six entries, so she was bound and determined!  Melissa, please send me an email with your contact information so that I can get that case of Chobani to you!

In true Random.org fashion, it chose the number 13, which was actually pretty perfect since I became the Featured Blogger on the 13th day of the month!  Kewl.  Thank you to everyone else for participating and don’t be disheartened!  I’m having a Popchips giveaway soon!

Now, I was going to post a recipe for the tzatziki sauce that I made, but it still needs a little perfecting, so that will be done later this week.  But I’m not leaving you with NOTHING!

My girlfriend and I have made a few big purchases in the last month, so we’ve been budgeting like crazy, thanks to You Need a Budget.  It’s this awesome software that’s keeping us in line and on track.  Needless to say, buying meat isn’t a priority right now, lol.  We have so many vegetables from our awesome CSA that vegetarian dishes are working their way into our weekly menus.  I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge.  I’m definitely one of those people who could never be a full-time vegetarian.  I like my meat!  I like the texture and the protein and the flavor… so, I’ve had to be creative.

This recipe was inspired by Budget Bytes.  She made zucchini pizza boats and they looked so appealing that I took it and ran with it!  I wanted to do it with more of an Italian style, so that’s what I did.  What happened next… was pure deliciousness.  I didn’t miss the meat and my girlfriend said she didn’t even miss the noodles; if you know ANYTHING about my girlfriend, it’s that she loooooooves her noodles!  Noodles are a weekly occurrence in our home, so that statement is a true testament to how exquisite this dish was!  Plus, it’s made with stuff that you probably have in your kitchen right now.

OHMYGOODNESSGETINMAHBELLYNOWPLEASETHANKSNOMNOMNOM

Italian Stuffed Zucchini
Servings: 2 (or 4 if you are serving sides)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 (or 4 if you have 4 portions)

Ingredients

  • 1 ginormous zucchini (a 3-5 lb one will do!)
  • 1 cup reduced fat spaghetti sauce, 3 PP
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese (fresh if you have it), 3 PP
  • 1 oz feta cheese (i used full fat cheeses), 2 PP
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (any kind will do), 5 PP
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet/yellow onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1 cm – 1/2 inch all the way round. Put insides in a bowl and set aside.

3. Lightly spray the bottom of a roasting pan with Pam and place 2 zucchini halves in, insides up.

4. Heat up tsp oil in a small non-stick pan and saute onion. Once sauteed, put into bowl and set aside.

5. Get out a chopping board and roughly chop up insides of zucchini and then place back in the bowl. Add spaghetti sauce, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, bread crumbs, cheese and a little salt and pepper if you’d like. Mix together.

6. Spoon mixture into zucchini halves until evenly distributed. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over top and place in oven.

7. Cook for 35-50 minutes depending on how firm you want your zucchini to be. Serve and enjoy!

Now, make sure not to cut off the ends of the zucchini. In my picture, I have one side cut off because I used part of it for a different recipe a few days before. The zucchini was that big.  You can use smaller zucchinis if you want.  Maybe two normal-large ones.  The wider the better, too!  You want your zucchini to be like a little boat so that none of the insides drip out. Seriously, this dish is AMAZING. You won’t want any little bits dripping out!

Weekly Weigh-In and a Smoothie Recipe

This is Immi doing a happy dance for my good weigh-in. Or maybe it was an escape attempt….

After three weigh-ins of gains and not enough time spent at home cooking, I finally made up for it and lost 5.4 lbs this week! But really, it’s just 2 lbs less than what I weighed in at before I gained those 3.4 lbs back. So yay for redeeming myself!

They were pretty, delicious AND WWF. Better than a cake!

A list of random things before I give you the yummy smoothie recipe….
– I turned 27 this past Sunday. Happy birthday to me!
– My girlfriend is awesome. She bought me a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries for my birthday rather than a cake! Sweet AND WWF :)
Chobani chose me as their featured blogger of the week, so I’m currently accepting more entries for the case of Chobani ‘gurt they’re letting me give away! Enter here.
– I need to buy MORE Chobani ‘gurt so that I can make more muffins. I’m all out.
– 3 new people joined the Reluctant Losers in the past two days, so there’s 19 of us all together now!
– I got a subscription to Cooking Light for the next two years and I am PSYCHED. 218 recipes in the latest issue alone! I’m in heaven.
– I bought a juicer after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I’m totally a convert. Zero PP and it’s incredibly good for you? YES PLEASE.

And now, for your yummy smoothie recipe!  This is another recipe that I created using Chobani ‘gurt.  It was quick, easy and delightful.  You can switch up any of the ingredients to make it your own.  I’m not a HUGE fan of bananas and berries in the same shake, but it’s what I had on hand.  I’d much rather pair bananas with peanut butter or coconut and some chocolate syrup… and let the berries do their own thing with either lemons, vanilla gurt or ice cream, or…. chocolate syrup.  Yep.  Chocolate syrup is pretty much my “go-to” in many dessert situations.  But not too much!

Berry Banana ‘Gurt Smoothie…  Made with Chobani Pineapple ‘Gurt.

Berry Banana ‘Gurt Smoothie
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5

Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz container of Chobani Pineapple, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup mixed frozen strawberries/raspberries (or fresh if you have them)
  • 1 cup frozen banana rounds (slice up bananas when they are just starting to brown and then freeze them!)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk or Silk Coconut Milk, 1 PP
  • 1 packet sweetener like splenda or truvia

Directions
1. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend. Pour. Enjoy. The end.

Since the bananas were frozen, there’s no need for ice! But if you don’t have any of your fruit frozen, then you’d want to add about 4 ice cubes or so. One more picture for the road!!

Pretty much the same picture, just more saturated and sultry….

Cho Cho! Giveaway and Deeeelicious Muffins CLOSED

Out of the shadows comes a glimmer of lemony light (muffins)!

PEOPLE!!!  I’ve earned one of my baking stripes!  I’m not sure how many there, but I definitely earned one of them Monday night when I perfected these zucchini muffins.

But before I got any further, I need to give a HUGE shout out to the folks over at Chobani for being so kind as to choose me as their featured blogger of the week!  Little did they know that when they sent me a case of different flavored Chobani ‘gurt that I’d go so far as to perfect healthy gourmet muffins using their product!  Well, I did tell them on twitter that I’d go crazy with recipes and I can safely say I lived up to my word.  AND…. they have a whole case of it for me to give away to one lucky reader!!  More about that towards the bottom….

Did you know that oil and butter isn’t always necessary in order to make a tasty muffin?  When I was looking through pages and pages of different zucchini muffin recipes, I was shocked at the amounts of sugar and oil that people put in their muffins.  One could easily amount to 9 PP and that’s just RIDIC.  Who wants to waste 9 of their daily points for a freaking muffin??  Not me.  Not unless it’s a gourmet muffin made by a world renowned chef using pure ingredients and it comes slathered in freshly churned butter (like the Amish person who churned it is just now sitting down in their porch rocker to wipe the sweat from their brow).  Even then, I might have to pass.

Black and White Cake Cookies using Chobani Honey ‘gurt! Click for the recipe.

You may need to pass on the copious amounts of butter and oil, but you do NOT need to sacrifice flavor when you are dieting.  That’s one of the reasons why, although I’m the “reluctant weight watchers foodie”, I ultimately flipped the switch when a joined Weight Watchers; I can eat whatever I want!  It’s just about making better choices and being conscious of your portions.  I haven’t had to sacrifice flavor at all.  I’m a spice junkie anyway, so I ain’t giving it up!

Flavor was definitely not sacrificed with these muffins.  In fact, these are some of the most delicious muffins I’ve ever had (especially when heated up)!  Seriously, I never considered myself a baker.  I’ve never created my own baked-good recipe before.  I just followed directions from other ones.  But this was an experiment, a challenge and ultimately, a HUGE success!  And because I lurve you all so very much, I’m sharing with you not one, but TWO muffin recipes!!

There’s no butter, no oil and no applesauce in these puppies.  The secret to the moistness and the ultimate flavor comes from one 6-oz container of Chobani Greek Yogurt in each batch.  These are just two of my creations.  I have no doubt that I am well on my way to becoming a muffin queen… and I have no doubt I’ll be using Chobani in every single batch.  It’s chocked full of protein, it’s rich and creamy and each different flavor holds it’s own.  So take a look at these recipes and make sure to proceed to the bottom so that you can find out how to win a free case of flavored Chobani ‘gurts!

Nuked and buttered… oh. so. delish.

Black Cherry Zucchini Muffins OR Lemon Walnut Zucchini Muffins
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3!

Dry Ingredients (same for both muffins)

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 5 PP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Berry Banana ‘Gurt Smoothie made with Chobani Pineapple ‘Gurt. Click for the recipe!

Wet Ingredients for Black Cherry Zucchini

  • 1 6-oz container of black cherry chobani, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, drained
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 PP
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Wet Ingredients for Lemon Walnut Zucchini

  • 1 6-oz container of lemon chobani, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (I didn’t have enough zucchini so I threw in some grated carrot too!), drained
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 PP
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 6 PP

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Grate zucchini (and carrot if you’re using it) and drain. I used my awesome food processor for quick grating and squeezed it all by hand to get out as much liquid as possible. You don’t want the extra juices, believe me!

3. Put all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then put all the wet ingredients for your muffin of choice in another bowl and mix with the same wooden spoon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until fully blended. No need to over-mix!

Greek Style Burger with Tzatziki Sauce using Chobani Plain ‘Gurt! Recipe coming soon!

4. Spray your muffin pan with some Pam and scoop the batter evenly into the pan. Cook for 40 minutes. They should be perfectly done once the timer goes off, so take em out and enjoy! I highly recommend heating them up if they’ve cooled down before you got a chance to eat one, then slice apart and put a little bit of butter on each side. It just brings it all together!

I also have to give a shout out to Brackett Farms, my local CSA, for providing me with a BEAUTIFUL Romanesco zucchini that I used for both of these muffins.  Romanescoes are the “original” zucchini.  They have a milder taste and a slightly nutty flavor.  You can use any kind of zucchini, or even yellow squash for these muffins so don’t worry about having exactly the right one.

Think these sound tasty? How about winning your own case of Chobani?? That sounds even tastier!! How can you win, you ask? Why, there are multiple ways to enter. Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each one! The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, July 19th using www.random.org, so all entries MUST be recieved by Monday, July 18th at MIDNIGHT!

Perfect Parfaits made with Chobani Peach and Pomegranate ‘Gurts! Click for the recipe.

1. “Like” Chobani on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall telling them how you found their page and what product you’re trying to win and then leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did.
2. Follow @ReluctantFoodie on Twitter and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did or already do.
3. Subscribe to my blog through RSS feed or through email and leave a comment telling me that you did or already do.
4. Share my blog post link on Facebook with the following in the comment box, “Win a free case of flavored Chobani ‘gurt on The Reluctant WW Foodie blog!” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.
5. Tweet the following message “Win a case of flavored Chobani ‘gurt from @ReluctantFoodie! Enter here – http://wp.me/p1cn3Q-mh” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.
6. Leave a comment on this blog telling me what flavor you are super excited to try!
7. Leave a comment on this blog telling me what combination of flavors you’d like to try in a muffin using their product (ie. lemon walnut zucchini, pineapple banana coconut, strawberry pecan, etc)!

Perfect Parfaits!

Tasty layers!

To get you all ready for the Chobani giveaway tomorrow, I’m posting this beautifully simple yummy parfait recipe!  No muss, no fuss, just fresh fruit, a nice layer of carby goodness and two containers of Chobani ‘gurt (my favorite ‘gurt!). I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making yummy things with the case of yogurt they sent me. I wish I could get free ‘gurt EVERY DAY!! Stay tuned tomorrow (the start of my week as their featured blogger!) for a couple different muffin recipes and later this week for some WWF tzaziki sauce!

Perfect Parfaits
Servings: 2
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 6-oz containers of your favorite Chobani (I used peach and pomegranate), 7 PP
  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned oats, 2 PP
  • 1 whole sheet reduced-fat graham crackers, 2 PP
  • 1 packet splenda or truvia
  • 3/4 cup Fiber One 80 cereal, 2 PP
  • 3 handfuls total of chosen fruit

I didn’t mean to create a patriotic theme… but those colors lend themselves quite well to parfaits!

Directions
1. Pick out the berries you’re going to use and wash them. Set aside.

2. Put oats, graham crackers, your sweetener of choice and cereal into a food processor and blend until it’s broken up (not too much though, you still want it kinda chunky). That will be your crust. Open up yogurts and stir them in their containers.

3. Grab a glass and start with a layer of crust on the bottom. Then yogurt, crust, berries, yogurt, crust and a few more berries on top. Eat right away or refrigerate to enjoy later!

This is just how I did it. You can certainly put more fruit in there if you’d like, or even make more layers. Blueberries and raspberries were our fruits of choice, but really any fruit will do! I’d recommend mandarin oranges, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, and peaches. All those go really well with yogurt. As for the yogurt, the flavor combinations are entirely up to you!

And in case you didn’t realize this, because of the ingredients used, this is actually a VERY healthy parfait.  Each one packs 5 grams of fiber (from the Fiber One 80 cereal), 10-20 grams of protein (depending on which Chobani you use), and LOTS of healthy vitamins from the fresh fruit.  You’ll be satisfied in both your mouth and your belly when you’ve finished yours!