Notch-yo average nacho (see what I did there?), these healthy Cauliflower Nachos are an absolutely decadent treat that are completely guilt free. Nachos are one of my favorite guilty indulgences, and just by making a couple of healthy changes, I can enjoy a big heaping serving of them. In this recipe, we are simply switching out the high fat, high calorie tortilla chips, and substituting them with Mexican spiced, roasted cauliflower slices. Cauliflower has such a mild, neutral flavor, that when you smother it with seasonings, cheese, salsa, red onions, etc, it takes on the flavor those foods, and you don’t really notice it. Granted, it doesn’t have the “crunch” of tortilla chips, but let’s face it…the chips are just a vehicle for all those nacho toppings! Feel free to go crazy and add other toppings like black beans, ground chicken or beef, carne asada, diced peppers…you get the idea. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this recipe makes me. It’s a MUST try!
I truly believe that this Baked Falafel Recipe is actually much better than the traditional fried version. The flavors from the spices and fresh parsley and cilantro are bright and bold, and the garbanzo beans are thick and meaty. The outside is crisped to perfection, and the inside is soft and creamy. Topped with homemade tahini sauce and fresh cucumber salad, and stuffed into a whole pita, it’s one seriously satisfying meal. You can even skip the pita, and serve the falafel and on top of a big salad. With lots of protein, fiber, and flavor, this healthy homemade falafel recipe is an excellent one to try this New Year. Enjoy!
This Baked Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Recipe is one that my kids ask for again and again. I love that it’s super easy to make, that it tastes fantastic, and is just 6 Smart Points per serving. Just pour the sauce over the chicken pineapple, and peppers, and bake! You could make this even lighter by using chicken breasts instead of thighs, but my family tends to prefer the dark meat. Breasts would work really well though, given that they are cooked in the sauce, so that would help keep them super moist and juicy. Traditional Teriyaki sauces use a lot more sugar, which also helps give a thicker sauce, but this sauce is still deliciously sweet and flavorful without being too sweet. It’s also a perfect topper for steamed rice, which I highly recommend with it. Enjoy!
I typically do most of the cooking in our house. We have a great deal – one cooks and the other one cleans. However, there is one thing that my husband does that is far, far superior to my efforts. Pie – my husband makes incredible pies. We usually have a number of pie fillings (peach and apple) made up and frozen so all he has to do is make the crust and plop in the filling. However, recently, I thought it’d be fun to have a slight change from the normal. So, instead of the usual large pie, we made little individual cherry pies. They were amazing. It was really fun to have little individual pies that we could share with some ice cream for a sweet treat after dinner one night. The remainder can be easily frozen so that they’re ready to thaw, warm and serve. It’s a great way for me to practice portion control, since it’s always very tempting to have another piece.
Around the holidays last year I made a couple of Swiss cake rolls. I really enjoyed making the cake rolls. It turns out they’re not as difficult as I thought they were. The trick is to roll them while the cake is still warm, then they can be unrolled, filled and rerolled fairly easily. I used parchment paper to roll my cake and it worked perfectly. With some leftover fresh strawberries, I decided to try a strawberry cake roll – and it was fabulous. I started with my favorite frosting recipe – cool whip and low fat cream cheese. While I prefer to use real whipped cream, I can get almost the same flavor with cool whip, but without the fat! Then I added fresh chopped strawberries for my filling. I went the easy route and used a plain box mix for the cake. You can use any flavor you like – white, yellow, funfetti, chocolate – whatever you prefer or whatever you have on hand. The box mix makes this easy to make and really light and fluffy. It was fun, delicious and looks beautiful and elegant. Since my husband doesn’t like chocolate – it’s even better! It’s now one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts! [Read more…]
Fresh strawberry muffins are one of my favorites. About a year ago, my mother-in-law gave me a recipe for fresh strawberry muffins that I fell in love with. They were so tender, delicious and moist. The fresh strawberries made them really tasty. My only problem with them was the fact that they were a little involved to make. The way to get them to turn out perfectly involved sifting dry ingredients, creaming butter and sugar, and so on. I’m someone who likes to toss baking recipes together all in one bowl, mix and be done. So I went on the search for a simple and delicious replacement for my favorite strawberry muffins. I found these blender muffins that were just perfect. Originally, they had bananas in the recipe, so I tried it without first and just added the strawberries. They’re OK that way, but the bananas add the extra moistness that they really needed to be tasty. Everything, except the fresh strawberries, gets tossed in the blender (or food processor), pureed and then fold in the strawberries. They’re ready to go in just a few minutes, and bake in a few more minutes. Fresh out of the oven they are just amazing. I’m really enjoying my new strawberry muffin recipe, especially since if I use gluten free oats, they’re gluten free, and have no need for me to adjust flours. They’re easy, tender, moist and really delicious. They’re perfect for breakfast or snack – whether they’re fresh and warm or leftover.
I love baked chicken. It’s so easy and simple, a great and healthy way to prepare chicken. As long as I don’t overbake it, then it’s juicy and moist. I like to check the local grocery ads, and stock up on chicken when it’s on sale (legs, thighs and breasts). That way I have some in the freezer and can just stick it in the oven for dinner that night. Citrus and chicken go so well together that I thought I would combine them with a little honey, some garlic and rosemary. I made a basting sauce with broth, lemon juice, honey, garlic and Italian seasoning. I added some extra cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary while baking the chicken. The end result was delicious. It was a little tart, garlicy and succulent. I will definitely be doing this again. Browning the chicken before baking it ensured the juices were sealed in during baking. The flavors of the lemon and garlic work so well with the juicy chicken. This is simple and delicious. Serve it with a salad or roasted vegetables to round out this fabulous chicken. [Read more…]
In addition to some projects we were working on last weekend, my in-laws also brought us some really delicious, fresh, ripe blueberries. I love blueberries. Growing up, my grandparents lived on the coast of Washington. Grandma had the most amazing blueberry patch ever. It was about 6 feet by 10 feet and completely encased in a large chicken wire cage, to keep the birds out. The only downside was the bugs, because we could go in there and have as many blueberries as we could eat. Each summer, I try to get some fresh blueberries so that I can freeze them to add to sauces, muffins and all sorts of other things the rest of the year. A few blueberries have to be saved to be eaten fresh, and a few have to be used in a special recipe. This years special recipe was fresh blueberry muffins.
I’ll admit I’m kind of addicted to Pinterest. As someone who not only write recipes and meal plans for a living, but also sews, quilts and knits, I can spend hours looking at projects and ideas. When I saw a recipe for peach dumplings, I just had to try it. I ended up combining several recipes, since I wanted to use fresh peaches, not canned peaches. I love how easy these were to make and they were so delicious! They’re a cute little dessert that goes so well with ice cream (at least for the family and friends). But they go just as well with a dab of fat free cool whip or a little non fat Greek yogurt. If you’re looking for a little twist, these can also be made with wonton wrappers, and be just as cute and delicious. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, since they may not take as long to bake. If using wonton wrappers, you should also brush them with a beaten egg white so they turn that beautiful golden brown. But no matter what you use for the wrapper, these are definitely keepers for my family, they’re so simple and elegant but incredibly delicious. [Read more…]
This banana muffin is probably my all time favorite banana recipe. It is moist, delicious and very easy to put together. I’ve made it about a dozen times and it has yet to fail me. The original recipe was for a banana bread, but I rather dislike making banana breads. They take so long to bake and a piece of banana bread isn’t nearly as convenient as a muffin. I almost always make my quick breads into muffins. In fact, I love to make these as mini muffins. The mini muffins are just perfect for a couple of bites of a snack without going overboard. As much as I love mini muffins, I left this one as regular sized muffins for this recipe. These regular muffins are great for me as a treat after a walk or bike ride, or as a mid afternoon snack with some fruit or veggies. I always make mine gluten free with a baking mix, but you can use regular all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour just as easily with no substitutions. Use up your leftover bananas with these delicious muffins. The moist, rich chocolate muffin won’t disappoint.
I have a few go-to breakfasts that I make on the weekend, and they’re usually a little more involved than my regular breakfasts. I love pancakes and hashbrowns with fried eggs. But probably my all time favorite breakfast is Dutch Babies. Growing up, I’m sure my mom made lots of different breakfasts on Saturday mornings, but the one I remember is Dutch Babies with fruit sauce. I loved it then, and I love it even more now. The part I really love about it now is how simple it is to put together. I like to set my oven to preheat itself about the time I know I need to get up. A hot oven is key to Dutch Babies, so this ensures that I don’t have to wait (and wait and wait) for my oven to finally get up to 400 degrees. I usually preheat it to about 425 or 450 degrees, so that when I open the door, there’s plenty of heat to ensure proper baking. Once your oven is preheated, they’re so easy to make! Just put everything in the blender, and you’re good to go! I typically serve mine with fruit sauce and some Greek yogurt.
I was recently asked to design a recipe with frozen basil in it. I decided to go with classic clover rolls, and then add sundried tomatoes and basil to it. They were delicious! They were light and fluffy (provided you don’t over bake them like I did with my first batch), and had just the right blend of tomato and basil flavor. I find the sundried tomato flavor is often too strong when just mixed into salads and pastas, but with this, the basil seemed to temper it a bit. They were perfect with some spaghetti and a side salad. My original recipe used all purpose flour, but you can substitute whole wheat and get a little more fiber and whole grain nutrition in them. I’ve also made them with gluten free flour. They didn’t rise quite as well, so they were a little denser, but were still delicious. Give these clover rolls a try – you won’t be disappointed with their elegant flavor. [Read more…]