Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Delicata Squash Noodles with Spinach

So, I went to Wegmans today in serach of comfort food.  I love Wegmans, but sometimes I forget to check the calories on their baked goods, and then it sucks to be me.  Today I enjoyed a wonderful whoopie pie, which turned out to be over 800 calories, putting me over my goal with nothing but a breakfast sanwich and a whoopie pie in my stomach,and that is no bueno.

So, my goal tonight was a filling, nutritious dinner with as few calories as possible. Enter the delicata squash, which has a wonderful flavor, is slightly sweet, and full of goodies like Vitamin A and C. And best of all, low cal.

6 oz. delicata squash
1 Tbsp. salted butter
1 cup fresh spinach
2 1/2 oz. yellow onion (about 1/2 of a small one)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
Black pepper to taste

  1. Cut ends off squash, cut in half, and use steak knife to core.  
  2. Spiralize into noodles. 
  3. Cut onion to desired size.  I like to quarter a half and pull it apart into petals.
  4. In a large saute pan, combine onions and 1/2 the butter.  
  5. Cook until browning begins, then everything but spinach.
  6. Once noodles and onions are slightly transparent, add spinach and rest of butter, and wilt down.
  7. Serve with pepper.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 187
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12 g18 %
Saturated Fat 7 g37 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 31 mg10 %
Sodium 113 mg5 %
Potassium 607 mg17 %
Total Carbohydrate 20 g7 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g15 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 3 g6 %
Vitamin A78 %
Vitamin C51 %
Calcium11 %
Iron15 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Granola Crust Date-Caramel Apple Pie with Candied Pistachio Topping

I had some stuff I wanted to use up. So, this happened. I've updated the recipe to call for one more Tbsp. of butter than I used.  The crush was chewy, but quite hard to cut through.  If using a softer granola, I say go with 4, and a harder granola like the Kind I used here up it to 5.

Otherwise, I really liked it.  It wasn't sloppy, and I enjoyed all of these favors.  If you don't like pistachios, almonds or walnuts would totally work following the same recipe.

Granola Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups granola
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.  
  2. In your blender or food processor, pulse the granola, cinnamon and brown sugar until finely chopped. I used Kind Cinnamon Clusters with Flax, but any granola or meusil without fruit will do.  I use a blender, so at this point I remove the mixture and add the butter, mixing with my fingers.
  3. Firmly pack into clear glass pie pan, and bake 10-15 minutes, until slightly golden.  
  4. Remove, and use the bottom of another pie pan to give a final shaping, by pressing down.  
  5. Cool completely before filling.

Date Caramel
7-8 dates, depending on size, pitted
1/4 tsp. butter flavoring
salt to taste

  1. In a small sauce pass, bring dates to a boil, then turn off and let set for 15 minutes. 
  2. Reserve water. 
  3. Toss dates in blender with butter flavoring and salt to taste.  
  4. Add water from pot as needed, until a paste forms.  
  5. Cool before using.

20 oz. granny smith, cored and sliced
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  1. Toss in pan and coat.  
  2. Cook over medium, stiring often, until reduced by just over 1/2, or until bottom of saucepan no longer has any liquid and apples are singing.

1/2 cup pistachios
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

  1. In a saute pan, heat nuts, cinnamon, and sugar until melty.  Stirring constantly.  
  2. Dump onto buttered wax paper to cool.  
  3. Once cool enough to touch, just barely, break up clusters and let cool the rest of the way.


  1. Assemble pie by smearing bottom with all of the date caramel.  
  2. Refrigerate it while the apples cook.  
  3. Once apples cook, place on top of caramel. 
  4. Use a piece of wax paper over top, and press down with pie plate to form.  
  5. Sprinkle with pistachio candy, lay down fresh piece of wax paper and repeat.
  6. Refrigerate until serving. 
  7. Serves 8 at about 274 calories a serving.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 274
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9 g14 %
Saturated Fat 4 g19 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 15 mg5 %
Sodium 21 mg1 %
Potassium 242 mg7 %
Total Carbohydrate 49 g16 %
Dietary Fiber 7 g28 %
Sugars 35 g
Protein 3 g6 %
Vitamin A5 %
Vitamin C9 %
Calcium5 %
Iron7 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Easy Garlic Pickled Peppers

I have a lot of heirloom bell peppers, which is a problem because, while I like them, I only like them in more raw states and in moderation.  They've just been coming and coming with the farm share.

I took a fermentation class last weekend, and in the future I plan to do some old fashioned fermentation pickling, but this bunch is a fridge pickle.  That means we're using vinegar to get our sour taste, they must be refrigerated, and they'll be good for about 1-2 weeks, depending on the freshness of your pepper.

This is a great snack for a dieter.  Because I don't add sugar (you could, for a sweeter batch), this stays relatively low-calorie.  The whole batch is about 85 calories. So, if you have 8 pieces (I had more like 12) it's a bit over 10 calories a piece.

2 small-medium bell peppers
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
About 3/4 cup champagne vinegar

I said "Easy."

  1. Cut around stem of pepper like it's a pumpkin, and just pop those seeds out. 
  2. Cut straight down the middle in bigger chunks.  The curve will go to the bottom of the jar.
  3. In a pickle jar from before, toss in minced garlic and salt, and then pack in your peppers.  
  4. Fill jar 1/3 full of vinegar, and finish off with tap or filtered water.  Your preference.  
  5. Remember, if your concern is chlorine, you can leave a pitcher of water out, uncovered overnight and it will evaporate.
  6. Cap and shake it.  Shake it off like you're TSwizzy.  
  7. Once that garlic is better distributed, and the salt seems to have stirred in well, refrigerate overnight before serving.

Less than 10 calories.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Shaved Kohlrabi with Pancetta

I often don't make my daily fat and protein intake living on such a vegetable based diet, so every now and then I splurge.  I can't really say this is healthy, as it's full of pancetta, but you'll notice the vitamin and mineral profile is quite high.

Kohrabi is a member of the same family and cabbage and broccoli, and it tastes like a cabbage heart, but has a texture closer to an apple.  I'm not excessively fond of it, so I thought maybe a good dose of pork fat would make it more palatable to me, and boy was I right.  I wanted to lick the plate.

1 small kohlrabi, about 7 oz. after peeling
The greens from the kohlrabi, or an oz. of mustard, chard, or spinach greens will do
2.5 oz. pancetta
1/2 tsp bacon fat
1 oz. chopped yellow onion
  1. Melt the bacon fat to get things jump started in the pan.  Because we have to add the pancetta much later, this is a useful step.  
  2. Add in kohlrabi and onion and saute until begins to brown.
  3. Add in panchetta and cook for 5 minutes before adding greens.
  4. Wilt greens accordingly.  Kolrabi is tough, like kale, and will take a bit longer, so add softer greens later than 5 min.  You want them to wilt, not to become mush.
Serves one at 292 calories.  Easily could serve 2 as a side to a dish.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cinnamon Beet & Date Bread

My farm share has been sending a lot of beets, and my freezer is nearly full of frozen veggies.  I woke up and it was a bit chilly this morning, so obviously I needed to bake.

I used my mother's zucchini bread recipe as the base, and then went with it.  I have beets. So many beets.  And I thought, well, they worked in the waffles.

So, I made this beet bread, which goes in the pan very, very red, and comes out with a blush on the crust, but otherwise looking like a very normal quick bread.


This would be a good recipe to make with kids, if they're not picky eaters.  Magical color changing and all.

6 oz. beet, washed and pureed (about a small fist sized)
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/8 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine wet ingredients with beets and dates and mix well.  In this batch I actually used grated beets, but decided that pureed they would be even less noticeable.  It's up to you, but next time I'll be pureeing.
  3.  Add spices, soda and powder and mix well again.  
  4. Scrape down sides and add flour. 
  5. Mix until combined, but not beyond (muffin method).
  6. Cover favorite load pan with foil.  
  7. Butter it.  
  8. Pour in batter. Smooth it out. This is how you get a quick bread loaf that does not stick and have perfect crusts every time.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes, until passes toothpick test and comes out clean, with no pink.
  10. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Seen here with my Cinnamon Butter, made in a small batch (I've got this so down I can make 4 Tbsp. in a batch).

14 slices at 203 calories a slice, plus butter.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Chocolate Heath Shortbreads with Heath Buttercream Dollops

My mother requested cookies.  While neither of us a is a huge fan of chocolate confections, we are both fans of toffee and shortbreads, so I decided to combine the two.

This was a trickier recipe for me, because as far as cookies go, I actually like the plainer more traditional sorts.  I'm not the friend who is going to be eating cardamom pumpkin pie half moon cookies with you.

I think it turned out fairly well, as a cookie alone it is obviously chocolate, and obviously shortbread, although if I were to do it again, I would flatten them a bit more.

1/4 + 2 Tbsp. cup powdered sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp. salted butter
4 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter.
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup heath toffee pieces
  1. Preheat over to 350F.
  2. Soften butter or leave out so it gets to just a bit colder than room temp.
  3. Combine everything in a medium mixing bowl, wash your hands well, and dig in.  Cut in the butter with your fingers like you would with a crumble, and continue combining until you can start packing it together into a dough.  
  4. In a small bowl, combine cocoa with just enough water to make chocolate paste.  Add into dough.
  5. If it's a little sticky, add a bit more flour.  It should combine into a touchable butter dough.
  6. Powder your surface with powdered sugar, lightly, and knead until smooth and all combined.
  7. Break into 20 pieces and roll into balls.
  8. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and press down until about 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Bake for about 10 min, until edges start to crisp.
20 cookies is 117 calories each for just the cookie

Small Batch Heath Buttercream

3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 Tbsp. Heath toffee bits
  1. When the butter is just shy of room temp, combine everything and beat it. 
  2. If it's a bit greasy add more sugar by the 1/2 Tbsp.  Some times these smaller batches can be finicky depending on the weather. 
  3. Cut the tip off of a baggie, scoop frosting in, and twist to squirt-or just smear it on.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nectarine Pancetta Pizza

It's Thursday night and I feel alright.  But, I have a fridge full of produce from last week's CSA and a new batch coming in, so I need to prep, freeze, store and cook my little heart out.  Tonight though, i'm keeping it light because I totally ate half a high fat candy bar earlier (Chuao Cinnamon Cereal, yum) annnnnd used up a good portion of my dinner calories.


I can be full, use my goods, and have it be delicious.

1 FlatOut Rustic White Pizza flatbread or Tortillas
1 oz. mizuna, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
1 oz. arugula, 1
4 oz. nectarine, halved and sliced (1 nectarine)
2 Tbsp. diced pancetta
1 oz, brie, sliced and broken in pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp. beet puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Layer goodies on crust with greens on bottom.
  3. Bake at 350F until crust is slightly golden on edges, cheese is melty, and greens have reduced by half. They'll be a bit crispy on the edges.  It's a good thing, trust me.
This does get a little sloppy, so bring a fork and knife. But oh man. Licked the plate clean.

Serves 2. Half a pizza is a serving and a whopping 184 calories.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pesto Shrimp Stuffed Sweet Peppers

This super simple recipe is low-cal and super filling. Added bonus-it's a microwave meal, so it cooks super fast. Which is necessary this time of year, if I want to survive and manage my calories.

I know, when you look at the ingredients it doesn't seem like much. If you want it super pesto-y, up it to 1 Tbsp., but I really like how the flavors shine through with the lesser amount and can't be sad about the calorie cut.

1 sweet red pepper (6 oz.), halved lengthwise to create boats, and seeded
1/4 cup Simply Balanced Wild Rice
2 oz. tomato, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. pesto
4 oz. shrimp, tail off, peeled and deveined & thawed
  1. In bowl, combine uncooked rice, tomato, shrimp, and pesto. Stir until well mixed.  
  2. Stuff peppers with mixture.
  3. Microwave high for 3 min. Check your shrimp.  If they're done, it's ready.  If not, give it one more.
  4. Garnished with Calendula petals for color.
Makes 1 serving for 203 calories

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Shortbreads with Spiced Fig Compote

My Mama Bear is fond of shortbreads, so these are destined for her house, but I love how sweetly simple they are.  They are very bad for you-I mean, come on, it's butter, with a little sugar and flour, butttt they are also a very easy portion to control. In fact, this recipe is for 10 cookies, and very, very easily can be cut down.  So, I'm going to give you the count for 10, and 3 in this blog. You know, to prevent a true binge.

For the 10, I'm using stubby wine glasses as my cookie cutter.  For three, it would be better to just make 3 balls, and squish them down.

The compote makes one small mason jar.

Unlike most of my recipes, today's has no nutrition analysis.  You can get an approximate for the cookies by using my Lavender Shortbread recipe.  The compote will vary by the type of fig you choose and weight.


10 cookies/3 cookies
1/4 cup powdered sugar/ 1 Tbsp
4 Tbsp. salted butter/ 1 Tbsp.
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter/ 1 Tbsp.
1 cup flour/ 1/4 cup
1/8 tsp. nutmeg/ a dash
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Soften butter or leave out so it gets to room temp.
  3. Combine everything in a medium mixing bowl, wash your hands well, and dig in.  Cut in the butter with your fingers like you would with a crumble, and continue combining until you can start packing it together into a crumbly dough.  It will be a bit of a pain, and just when you think you can't possibly get a dough out of it at all, it will come together.
  4. Use powder sugar instead of flour to coat your working surface, and knead until the dough is no longer crumbly.  
  5. If it's still not coming together after a few minutes, coat your hands in butter, give it a good go, and then switch back to powdered sugar.  You might just need a wee more butter in there.
  6. Roll out about 1/4 an inch thick and cut.  Place on parchment on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for about 7 min, until edges start to turn golden.
  8. Cool halfway and serve with a dollop of fig compote, or just chow down.

Fig Compote

This is a nice, easy way to use up leftover figs, or the ones starting to go off.

5 fresh figs
3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  1. Clean your figs.  
  2. Remove the stemmy bit and dice them up. 
  3. Combine everything in your small sauce pan.  Add a dash of salt.  
  4. Stir often, until reduces to a squishy, gooey, brown mess of deliciousness.  
  5. Store in a small, sterilized jar in the fridge after cooling.  I have no idea how long this is good for.  There's never any left in the house after 3 weeks.  I'm betting, if your jar was clean, a week or two.
  6. Flower garnish pictured here is a zinnia petal.

Sweet & Spicy Peach Jalapeño Sauce

I love spicy foods. Sadly, with the exception of one nearby friend, and one far away friend, I'm pretty much it.  None of my siblings, none of my parents. So, when those spicy jalapeño peppers showed up in my farm share, I knew I was going to be eating them alone, or with Jules, so I started thinking about what would be really wonderful.

And then I saw the local peaches, and thought, man, I hate mangoes, but I bet peaches would work.  I had make a peach compote with cinnamon and turbinado that I ate with some plain, 0% fat Greek yogurt and Kind cinnamon cluster granola for lunch, and I thought maybe this could work with something like shrimp.

And it did.  I'm also going to be dipping chicken fingers in this bad boy. And my fingers.

7 oz. peach (about one large one)
8 oz. granny smith apples (about 2 small ones)
1 oz. jalapeño (one large one)
3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
  1. Pit your peach, and dice it, skin on.
  2. Core your apples, and dice them small, skin on.
  3. Slice your jalapeño in half.  Wear gloves if you are sensitive to capsaicin. Remove the seeds, and dice finely.
  4. Combine in your medium saute pan  with 2 Tbsp. of sugar, and cook down. If you want it spicier, add in half of the seeds. 
  5. Once everything will easily mush, quickly run it through your blender, with a bit of water (just enough to get things moving).
  6. Then return to the pan with one more Tbsp. sugar, and cook through.  
  7. Cool and store.
Makes 12 servings of 1 Tbsp. This is about 8 servings. It makes just a bit more than a cup.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Faux Collard Kraut

After my Faux Kraut turned out so well last weekend, I decided I needed to experiment again.  I have a ton of collards from my last CSA share, that I hate to waste.  They're good, I just don't like them as an every day thing, and they're so time consuming to cook.  I thought, since they're related to cabbage, surely they too can be kraut?

So I googled, and while I only found fermentation recipes, indeed, they can be a kraut.

Mine will be nothing like what you'll find in some places in the south. Most recipes call for straight up salt brine.  But it's tasty, and that's what matters.

10 oz. collard greens, without stems, shredded
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 small, yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
black pepper to taste
  1. Add half the vinegar, and half the water to your big sauce pot/soup pan. 
  2. Toss in the onion, and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the collards, the the spices, and the remaining vinegar and water.  
  4. Bring to a boil stirring frequently.  
  5. Boil 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer, stirring often, until collards darken, and can easily be chewed.
  6. Drain, cool, and package in 1/2 cup portions. 

Six servings at about 19 calories a serving.