Until I get healthy…

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Ella Bella’s Honey Sriracha Wings

Prep time: About 3 minutes

Cooking time: About 30 to 35 minutes (overnight marinating recommended)

Calories per serving: 236 (a servings of 4 wings)

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There are just days when you crave some yummy chicken wings. Of course, a ton of restaurants, or even grocery stores offer already made ones. The issue is that those ready-made ones are typically loaded with calories and fat. I also think that baking wings are definitely the way to go if you are trying to watch your calorie intake.

Let me share with you this tasty, less guilt recipe. Oh, did I mention super easy to make? 🙂

For the ingredients, you will need:

1 lb (2.2 kgs) of chicken wings (bone in)

3 tbsps light soy sauce

3 tbsps sriracha sauce

1 tbsp honey

½ tsp sesame oil

Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sriracha, honey and sesame oil.

In a medium bowl, coat the chicken wings with the sriracha mixture. Make sure all wings have the same amount of sauce. Place coated wings in a tight seal container or a Ziploc bag. Marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight if you can wait so that the flavors are packed in each wing.

Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a shallow baking dish in foil and spray the foil with some baking spray, or brush with a little bit of canola or olive oil. The foil saves you the headache of having to clean the baking dish.

Place the marinated wings onto the baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. You wouldn’t want them to burn so start watching them at the28 minute mark. Once out of the oven, garnish wings with sesame seeds.

You may serve these with some sauce of your choice – ranch, buffalo. I didn’t need to use any since they were already flavorful. I just enjoyed each wing to the bone. I made some extra soy sauce mixture to brush on my wings when they were done. That might be something you’d like to do, too. Go on and give this a try! You’ll love it!

Note: If you do not have an oven, you may also deep fry your wings instead. If you are deep frying, the wings should be done in about 10 to 15 minutes at about 375 degrees F temperature. Just keep in mind that they may not be as moist, and of course, the calorie count will be higher.

                                                                                                               Eat well and be well. – Ella Bella

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Ella Bella’s Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Prep time: About 7 minutes

Cooking time: About 35 minutes

Calories per serving: 199 (based on 6 servings, about 2 cups each)

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This is by far, the best soup I have ever made!

I must admit this has been inspired by Kamasouptra’s Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. I fell in love with its creamy goodness the first time I tasted it. I just knew I had to try recreating it as I couldn’t seem to get enough of it!

And so I picked up some frozen butternut squash last week at the grocery store. I think I nailed it, folks! I am extremely happy with how this came out.

Let me share this awesome recipe with all soup lovers out there. Here are the ingredients:

Frozen butternut squash, preferably thawed (2 bags, about 6 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Maple syrup (about 3 tablespoons)

1 cup carrots, diced

1 tsp cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp ground sage

½ tsp onion powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups chicken broth

½ cup half and half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the squash and carrots with cumin, sea salt, pepper, turmeric and olive oil. Give it a toss with both your hands to coat the squash as evenly as possible.

Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spread the squash onto the foil and spread them out so there’s some space in between squash slices. Note that I used a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle some maple syrup over the seasoned squash. Roast squash for about 35 minutes, stirring not needed.

Once the squash and carrots are roasted, heat up a large pot with a little bit of olive oil. Sweat the garlic then add in the squash. Add in the chicken stock, onion powder, ground sage and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Then, mix in the half and half, give it a good stir, and keep simmering on medium low for another 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat, let cool for about 10 minutes. Puree the soup using a blender. I had to do mine in 2 batches in order to achieve the consistency I was looking for. Serve warm – best served with a warm dinner roll.

Eat well and be well. – Ella Bella

 

 

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Ella Bella’s Banana Blondies

Prep time: About 7 minutes

Cooking time: About 25 minutes

Calories per serving: 187 (based on 20 servings)

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I admit I go bananas for bananas sometimes! Well, the awesome thing about them is if you end up buying more than you want to snack on, or if they get too overripe, the last thing you’d want to do is throw them away.

I even put overripe bananas in the freezer for a few days until I am ready to use them. I made brownies the week before this recipe was concocted. I was craving brownies again, but figured, it’s probably best if I make something healthier.

So let’s make some Banana Blondies, shall we? Ingredients are as follows.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

3 medium bananas, mashed

1.5 cups all purpose flour

2 medium eggs

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

1 package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

¾ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Chopped walnuts, optional

Toffee bits, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Spray a baking pan (I used a 9 x 9 ceramic pan). Spray pan with baking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, give it a good mix, then add the bananas and mix again until everything is well incorporated.

Add in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix well.

Pour the batter onto the baking pan and distribute it evenly. Bake for about 25 minutes. The thickness should be about an inch or so. Cool the cake completely.

While cooling the cake, prepare the frosting. Mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until it is smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract. I recommend using a hand mixer if you have one.

Once the cake is cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly on top. Garnish with chopped nuts of your choice, or toffee bits like I did. I bet cinnamon chips would also work great! Enjoy, and don’t forget to share!

                                                                                                       Eat well and be well. – Ella Bella

 

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Vegetable Pesto Grilled Cheese alla Ella Bella

Prep time: About 15 minutes, including pesto prep

Cooking time: About 7 to 10 minutes

Calories per serving: 313 (based on one serving)

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I recently tried the Vegetable Pesto Panini at the Public Market right next to my office here in downtown Portland. While it was really delicious, I just couldn’t justify spending $7 for lunch. Sure, it came with a cup of soup of the day, but still…

You see, I am a very practical person. I bring in lunch, not only because I love making my own, but also because I know I save a lot in doing so.

Now I finally got to try my hand at this yummy concoction. I bought some basil at the grocery store and also picked a bag of frozen summer veggies.

Ella Bella’s Homemade Pesto , 1 serving

Pepperidge Farm – White Sandwich Bread, 2 slices

My Essentials – American Cheese Singles, 1 slice

About ¼ cup Seasoned Summer Vegetables, cooked

Some spreadable butter, about a teaspoon

How to make pesto, you ask? It’s really easy! Take a look at this picture from theberry.com and I’m sure you’ll agree it is a no sweat process!

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Of course you can also use store-bought pesto. Just note that the calorie count will be different.

Let’s make our sandwich then. Prepare a small sauté (preferably non-stick) pan.

Spread the pesto on one of the bread slices. Next, arrange the cooked vegetables on the said bread slice.

Top with a cheese slice and the other bread slice.

Spread some butter on both sides of the sandwich. Just do it carefully so as the filling remains intact.

Turn the stove top heat on medium or medium low and let the sandwich grill. You’ll know when it’s done when

both sides are golden brown and the cheese is slightly melted.

Dig in while it’s warm! You wouldn’t want to miss the cheesy goodness. Btw, in case you’re wondering,

I did choose to skip any chips or fries. Hurrah for healthier choices 😉

                                                                                                       Eat well and be well. – Ella Bella

 

 

 

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Samoa Brownie Bites

Prep time: About 7 to 10 minutes, cooling time: about 30 minutes

Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Calories per serving: 112 (based on 16 servings)

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I recently tried making Girl Scout Samoa cookies which were a huge hit. Though it was great to hear from folks how good they were, I just thought they were too tedious to make.

My ever-supportive husband then told me to make some sort of Samoa bars instead. And so these brownie bites were born! See? Hubbies can be useful sometimes – just kidding 😉 My hubby sure has a lot of cool ideas.

Now, let the baking begin. Here’s a list of what you need.

For the brownies:

½ cup old fashioned oats

1 cup partly crushed frosted flakes (or any leftover cereal for that matter)

½ cup greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

½ cup unsweetened apple sauce

½ cup plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar

½ cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup vanilla almond milk

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

For the toppings:

1/3 cup melted baking caramels or canned dulce de leche (I made my own)

1 cup toasted coconut

¼ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

1)      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 deg C).

2)      In a medium bowl, mix together the brownie batter ingredients until everything is well incorporated.

3)      Spray a medium baking pan (I used an 8 x 5 pan) with some baking spray.

4)      Pour in the brownie batter onto the baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes.

5)      Once the brownies are done, let it cool completely. It took about 40 minutes for mine to do so.

6)      Spread some of the melted caramel on to the cooled brownie. Do not slice yet.

7)      In a separate bowl, mix together the toasted coconut with the rest of the melted caramel. Spread the coconut caramel mixture on top of the brownie.

8)      Melt the chocolate chips either in the microwave or by using a double broiler. The chocolate’s consistency should be just enough to be drizzled. Drizzle the chocolate on top of the coconut using a fork.

9)      Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Finally, slice the brownie into 2 inch bite-sized pieces.

                                                                                                    Eat well and be well. – Ella Bella

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Ella Bella’s Winter Veggie and Clam Chowder

Prep time: About 10 minutes
Cooking time: About 30 minutes on stove top; 8 hours on slow cooker
Calories per serving: Only 246 cals each (based on 8 servings)

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Bidding winter adieu is no problem with this chowder 🙂 Yeah, my version is slightly pink. The pink color actually comes from the beets, not any kind of food coloring.

This recipe is easy to do, too! It’s still pretty cool here in the east coast (about 43 degrees F, 6 degrees C) this afternoon, so of course chowder will be one of the most comforting foods you can count on.

Here are the ingredients:
1 lb clams (halaan), fresh preferred
2 cups clam juice (from the bottle or you may also use the broth of the simmered clams if using fresh ones)
1 cup Beets, cut into cubes
Small cabbage, shredded
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower, sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 cups winter squash, cubed
1 quart half and half
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsps cold water
Seasalt to taste
Black pepper to taste
½ of a medium onion, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
1) If using fresh clams, cook them in simmering water with a bit of sea salt for about 10 minutes. The shells will open up. That’s how you know they are done. Let cool for a few minutes. Save 2 cups of the clam juice then drain the rest. Remove the clam meat from each shell and put them in a bowl and set aside.
2) In a large pot, sauté the garlic and onion. Add the clam broth, then the beets and squash.
3) Add in the clams, then the half and half and let simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 10 minutes into it, add the broccoli florets and cauliflower.
4) Add the cornstarch and keep simmering on low until the soup thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes. The chowder should be done when the veggies are no longer raw.
5) Garnish with chopped scallions and serve with oyster crackers or a slice of French bread.

See? I wasn’t kidding when I said it was easy.

Pro tip: Chowder can also be done in the slow cooker for a maximum of 8 hours on low. All you need to do is combine all the ingredients together and set on low.

Eat well and be well. – Ella Bella

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