Saturday, December 16, 2017

Spicy Red Beans & "Rice"

I have survived yet another semester as professor and as student, but boy, was that law final nasty.

It's been snowing all day here in the border lands, and I want comfort food.  But, I'm currently in a weightloss contest, so I've got to be careful. I have run into two conundrums. One, I have realized I'm out of shrimp even though I have decided to buy no groceries (except cookie goods) until I've used up some of my freezer goodies. Two, I suddenly had a hankering for shrimp and rice.

Luckily, I had a package of Wegmans Hot Italian Poultry Sausage and a bag of kidney beans, and was able to convince my brain this would probably be a better decision anyway. And I was right.  This was super yummy and really filling.

16 oz. frozen cauliflower
1 3/4 cup red kidney beans
3 links of Hot Italian Poultry Sausage
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp. Old Bay
Salt to taste
  1. In your deepest skillet, first boil your sausages for 15-20 min. until cooked through.  Then drain, and allow to brown. Use only water!
  2. Once sausages are browned, remove from pan and slice.
  3. Add a bit of water to the pan, just enough to get it going again and to brink up all that lovely browning, and then add in all of the ingredients.
  4. Stir every now and then to keep from burning.
  5. Cook until cauliflower is less "wet" and more like slightly mushy cooked rice. Salt to taste.
Makes 4 servings of 165 calories a serving.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

Wow. Sorry it's so long in between this year.  I've been super busy with the end of the year stuff and my own classes and I have honestly just been throwing things in the crock pot and leaving. But yesterday I had some time to breathe, so I decided it was time to get out the last of those farm share tomatoes and make sauce.

1 gallon bag tomatoes, whole, frozen (14-16 cups)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 entire bulb of garlic, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. parsely
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan/Romano, the shaky kind
  1. Thaw your frozen tomatoes.  You can now just pinch the skins off.
  2. Combine skinned tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic in your saucepan.
  3. Simmer until tomatoes soften up, then use a hand blender to break it up and smooth it out.
  4. Continue simmering until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Add sugar, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Simmer for a few more minutes to combine flavors.
  7. Remove from heat and add in cheese.
  8. Cool an bottle.
Makes 7 servings of 1/2 cup at 195 calories each.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Vegan Apple Cider Pancakes

I unfortunately didn't keep the original recipe, but I didn't end up following it to-the-T so I don't feel too horrible.

These light, fluffy pancakes were a great, filling way to start the day without any guilt. Low calorie and delicious. The ACV is for making them puffy, like a Crazy Cake.  It's also a  great way to cut out unnecessary calories for a beginner.

6 Tbsp. So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/2 Tbsp. applesauce
1/4 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon
  1. Combine everything but the vinegar and whisk until smooth. If it's a little gloopy, add more milk.  If it's a little thin, add more flour. By the 1/2 Tbsp.
  2. Once your pan is heated, add vinegar and whisk. Let stand for a minute.
  3. Cook like normal pancakes, but wait a bit longer for the bubbles. Look for the cooking bubbles not the vinegar bubbles. You'll know what I mean when you see it.
Makes 1 serving of 4 small pancakes at 135 calories.

Served here with 1/4 cup of homemade fermented crab apples and 1/4 cup sugar free pancake syrup for 175 calories.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Spicy Shrimp Miso Soup

It's chilly, but not cold, which is the perfect excuse to make some noodly soups. I've got all of the goodies in the house, and a hankering for spicy. I even have homemade veggie stock. Super easy to do to. Just save the buts of your veggies when you're chopping. I find carrots, celery, lettuce, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic all work well. Avoid things that are broccoli/cabbage stinky or starchy. No bueno. Add in a handful of bay leaves, and any extras you need. I saw salt and spices for when I make the meal. It should fill your crock pot.  Cover with water, set on high, and walk away. Usually I set it up before I go to bed, and then do the straining when I get home from work the next day. Then I freeze it into 2 cup pucks, and stack in the freezer in gallon ziplocs.

The tricky to a good, Asian-inspired noodle soup is the noodles. Generally, I keep a couple different kinds around. A few packages of instant ramen, a few packages of stir fry or udon noodles, and a package of kelp noodles.  I wanted something heartier today, so I went with stir-fry noodles.

3 cups vegetable stock
6 oz. bella mushrooms or other hearty mushroom
1/2 oz onion, sliced as think as you can with a knife, but not a mandolin
4 oz. raw shrimp, thawed and peeled
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, sliced in rings
1 package Hokkien Stir--Fry Noodles
1 Tbsp. light sweet miso paste
2 Tbsp. sodium reduced soy sauce
Salt and cayenne to taste
Parsley and mint to garnish
  1. Combine stock, mushrooms, and onions, and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until mushrooms are tender.
  2. Add in shrimp, noodles, and half of the jalapeno. Cook until shrimp turns pink and forms a "C". Remember C-ooked/O-verdone.
  3. Add in miso, soy, salt, cayenne to taste, and garnish.
Makes 2 servings at 275 calories each.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lies & Deceit Pie

Sometimes, the best way to mess with people, is to simply omit the ingredients and let them assume I guess. We waited until dad ate the "apple" pie before telling him it was, in fact, summer squash.

It's really good.  Like, a perfect way to use up all of that dang zucchini!

I recommend assembling in the order given.

20 oz. summer squash/zucchini
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Lakanto monk-fruit sweetener
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 Tbsp cornstarch
Cinnamon, Clove, and Ginger to taste
  1. Peel your squash, and cut off the stem and but.  Slice to the thickness you generally use in an apple pie. Not too thick, not to thin.
  2. Toss in a bowl with salt, sweetener, sugar, and spices. I recommend starting with 1 tsp. each of the spice, and finding your perfect. Or use what you would for your normal apple pie.
  3. Scrape everything into a medium saucepan with 2 Tbsp. water. Cook until enough liquid has formed to fill a cereal bowl.
  4. Drain liquid into bowl, and add cornstarch, whisking smooth.
  5. Slowly add back into squash, stirring until nice and thick. More water may be needed.
  6. Remove to cool.  I stick mine in the fridge overnight.
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup fancy nut mix
1/4 cup Lakanto
4 graham cracker sheets
3 Tbsp. So Delicious coconut Milk Drink
  1. In your food processor, combine everything but milk and pulse until crumbs.
  2. While running, add milk one tbsp. at a time until graham-cracker like dough forms.
  3. Grease your pie shell well. 
  4. Press crumbs into pie pan to form crust.
  5. Scoop in filling.
1 stick salted butter, soft
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Lakanto
1/2 cup sugar
  1. In the same food processor-it doesn't have to be cleaned out, add all ingredients and pulse until crumb topping forms.
  2. Sprinkle liberally over pie, using every last bit.
  3. Bake at 350F for 30-50 min. until golden topped.

Make 1 pie, 8 slices at 330 calories each.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fermented Crab Apples

Super simple.

  1. Small dice apples to fill jar to neck. Then 2 to 3 more. 
  2. Empty jar and combine with extras and cinnamon to taste in bowl. 
  3. Add in kosher salt, a little at a time until slightly salty. Just slightly. 
  4. Massage salt in until some juice forms. 
  5. Pack tightly into jar until just a slight bit above neck. 
  6. Cut plastic lid to fit inside and push down to submerge in juice. 
  7. Leave in cool place with low light in kitchen, uncapping every time you walk by to release gas for 7 days. 
  8. Remove plastic and top layer of apples, and refrigerate.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Red Quinoa Chicken Chili

It's cold and rainy and I am tired, cranky, and sore. I was surfing the internet for ideas when I found a recipe that called for quinoa in chicken. Of course, I did what I always do.

I ignored it completely. No one tells me what to do. I do what I want.

This spicy, rich, creamy chicken chili is surprisingly low-cal and low-fat. But it has over 50% of your daily protein, and nearly that in fiber as well, and a good dose of potassium and iron too. And it's easy to make it vegan and vegetarian friendly. Just sub out the chicken for some quorn or even tempeh.

1/4 cup red quinoa
1/4 cup dry lentils
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1/2 small onion (about 2 Tbsp.), diced fine
6 oz. precooked, shredded chicken
15.5 oz. garbanzo, Green Valley (chickpeas)
1 cup so delicious unsweetened coconut milk drink
2 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. black pepper
(adjust spices to taste)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine dry quinoa with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover tightly.
  2. After 5 minutes, and onion and garlic and 1/4 cup water, cover.
  3. After 5 more minutes, add lentils and make sure there's enough water to keep just barely covered. Bring back to a simmer and cover.
  4.  After 5 minutes, check quinoa. You want it about 1/2 cooked. If it is, add 3/4 cup coconut milk, chicken, and 1/2 of spices.
  5. Return to a simmer and cook until quinoa and lentils done.
  6. In a small bowl, combine remaining coconut milk and flour. Whisk smooth.
  7. Slowly pour into chili, combine, and simmer uncovered until thickens. This is the time to taste to see how much more of the spices you would like.
  8. Seen served here with a pinch of lowfat mozz.
Makes 3 servings at 337 calories a serving.
Cheese brought it to 377.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Super Simple Mixed Berry Chia Jam

My yard is full of wee, seedy black berries, so I gathered up a bunch to make a healthy, low cal, jam

3 oz. Wild #Blackberries
3 oz. Blueberries
3 oz. Strawberries
1 Tbsp. Lakanto
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Chia

  1. Combine berries and sweeteners in small saucepan. 
  2. Cook on medium low until soft. 
  3. Blend until smoother (I use an electric hand blender). 
  4. Cook until reduces to coat spoon. Can be a little runny.
  5. Remove from heat, mix in chia. 
  6. Store in sterilized jar, refrigerated, for up to a month.

2 Tbsp. Serving for 30 calories
Makes 200 ml bell jam jar

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Wild Berry Corn Bread Pudding

It's been a rainy, cold summer here in NEPA, and the blackberries in our woods are just starting to ripen.  Between my Dad's yard and mine I was able to rally up a cup and a half, but the seedy-though-tasty little beasts needed to find a home.

I also have a ridiculous amount of corn bread. Seriously. There's a reason for that. I eat low cal and low carbish, and I have 28 days worth of corn bread muffins because I got some less-than-stellar cow corn in a big ol' bag and refused to waste it.

Obviously, it's bread pudding time.

Bread pudding isn't everyone's jam. After all, it's basically smushy-bread custard. But I find it's a great way to use up leftover bread and muffins, and make an easy weekend breakfast, with leftovers for the week that I can just reheat in my toaster oven while I get ready for work.

4 cups corn bread, cut into bite size pieces (I used my Cow Corn Muffins)
2 eggs
1 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk drink
1 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (Bourbon)
1 1/2 cup wild blackberries
2 Tbsp. Lakanto (or honey, or sugar)
Dash of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
  1. In a small casserole dish or a bread load pan layer corn bread and berries.
  2. In your glass measuring cup, measure out milk. Add in eggs, vanilla, Lakanto, and cinnamon and whisk smooth.
  3. Pour over bread.
  4. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 325F.
  6. Bake 45-55 min.
Makes 6 servings at 200 calories a serving made as is.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cow Corn Muffins

Cow corn.  What is it, you might ask? Well, it's corn that, upon cooking, one finds out is only fit for the cows. It's a variety of chewiness to bland depending on the issue, but it's all pretty much inedible.

I have found myself in possession of 60 oz. of cow corn through an act of folly. With corn, remember, you always get what you paid for, and cheap corn is probably cow corn.  So, I thought, I'll play with some recipes, and see what I can do.

I pureed all 60 oz. of kernels, and starred at it. Corn bread it was.

Sadly, I have no picture to show you on this one. I gobbled up half of it, then set about destroying it to make other things. But these sweet, golden, moist cakes looked like one would expect.

30 oz. corn, creamed/pureed
3/4 cup Lakanto
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp. molasses
4 eggs
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. powder
3 cups flour
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, combined corn, sweeteners, molasses, eggs, and butter.
  3. Sprinkle powder over top, then stir in well.
  4. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well. A bit more than a muffin mix.
  5. Scoop into lined muffin tins.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes until gold.
  7. Cool completely before storing.
Make 28 at 125 calories a muffin

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spicy Summer "Chicken" Bowl

Sometimes I only post things to Instagram and Facebook. I plan to start screen shooting them to share here. They tend to be easier recipes and other things I don't think a full write up is necessary for.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Smoked Gouda & Mushroom Chicken Chili

I love chili.  White chili that is. The red stuff, I have no strong feeling's toward. Sorry. So un-American of me. Chili peppers, themselves, especially the chipotles, are not my fave. I just got my farm share, so my fridge is a bit full, and it's been a rainy, drizzly kind of weekend.  So, I did what I often do.

Winged it.

I've got a knack in the kitchen that let's me get away with this stuff, but over the years I've learned to write down what I've done as I go, so I can make it again.

This rich, smokey, spicy chili is something I definitely want to make again. Best part? Not too bad for you for a white chili, and full of the protein I need now that I've started light strength-training.

6 oz. red kidney beans (canned or pre-cooked)
4 oz. shredded chicken, precooked
1 oz. green onion, snipped as small as possible
1 oz. jalapeno, diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 oz. (1 cap) Portobello mushroom
1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Drink (green box)
1.5 oz. smoked Gouda, sandwich sliced and chopped
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy
1/8 tsp. cayenne
Salt to taste
  1. In medium sauce pan, combine beans, chicken, onion, jalapeno, minced garlic, mushroom, and coconut milk. Cook until mushroom is cooked through.
  2. Add in flour and nutritional yeast, and stir to thicken. Depending on your mushroom, you may need more or less flour.
  3. Add in Gouda, and stir until melted.
  4. Add soy and cayenne. You can do this to taste or my my directions.
  5. Serve, and salt each bowl to taste. Some people will like it without, some people grew up on Campbell's.
Makes 3 servings at 220 calories each

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Garlic-Rosemary Turnip & Radish Noodles

Hubba Hubba.

It's Wednesday, so I'm trying to work in as much of my farm share from the week before into my diet. I had a drawer full of radishes and turnips, so I decided to spiralize half into noodles and chop the others for breakfast hash.

I had seen a pintrest recipe for garlic-rosemary turnip noodles, so I figured, eh, we'll try it. Toss some crab in for protein.

Best decision ever.

5 oz. radish, spiralized
5 oz. turnip, spiralized
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 pkg. imitation crab meat
3 garlic scape spears, diced
Salt and Grated Parmesan Romano to taste
  1. In large skillet, combine  scapes, olive oil, and noodles.
  2. Good on medium-low until soft.  You might have to add a Tbsp. of water here and there to keep it from drying up.
  3. Add in meat and salt and cook until warmed through.
  4. Serve with shakey cheese and enjoy!
415 Calories

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Simple Homemade Granola

I decided to give making homemade granola a shot, and by am I glad. I will never have to buy it again! And it as so cheap, since I keep a lot of this in the house already.

Play with it.  Add a bit more oil if it feels kind of dry, switch out nuts and fruit. Always add the normal dried fruit (coconut flakes are fine) and spices after the food is done baking.

3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup whole, raw almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup red quinoa
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to taste
3 oz. dried fruit (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Combine everything in a large bowl, oil last.
  3. Mix together with your hands and make sure evenly coated and sugar all broken up.
  4. Use parchment to line a rimmed, large cookie sheet.
  5. Layer evenly.
  6. Bake for about 25-50 minutes, until toasted and golden, stirring every 15 minutes.
  7. Remove, season with salt and spices to taste on cookie sheet. This is when you can add any dried fruit you want. I used dried coconut strips and diced them.
  8. Cool until completely cooled. Store in airtight container or ziploc.
Calories vary by nuts and fruits.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chicken Caprese Zoodles

I've been playing for the last week with my food, making different bowls. Like Buddha bowls, but sometimes cooked and sometimes with meat. Today, I came home starved after bringing donuts to the kids at the resident hall. I needed protein because yesterday I was a little low. So, I wanted a grilled chicken caprese sandwich.

But that's not a bowl.


6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 oz. grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. basil
8 oz. zucchini, spiralized thick or in ribbons
2 Tbsp. black olives
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 oz. fresh mozzarella
4 leaves fresh basil

  1. Cook chicken and set aside to cool
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine tomatoes, oil, and dried herbs. 
  3. Cook until almost all liquid gone, then add in zucchini noodles.
  4. Heat through and remove.
  5. Layer zucchini on bottom, chicken, black olives, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella.
  6. Microwave for 1 minute to melt cheese a bit, or dig in!
470 calories

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb is a tart goodie I adore, but when I tried to plant it, it never grew because it obviously hates me. Or the horrid dirt I live on, which is pretty horrid. Former lumber land, all sad and nutrient deficient.

So, this week while I was doing my shift for the food rescue down at the farmer's market, when I saw one of the small farms had it, I snagged two stalks and made my way home after a harrying trip to a church which shall not be named whose contact was a no show, and through a rain storm of doom.

I knew I had to make a crumble, because I had just listened to Spilled Milk  talk about it forever and that is never a good idea when you're hungry. Crumbles, however, are my favoriteeeeee. Way more so than a pie (fun fact: I hate pie crust) but they're usually around 400 calories because, well, lots of sugar goes into a crumble.  Delicious, calorie dense sugar.

I decided to cut a but by half subbing in the Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener I love so much. This way I could have my sweets, and not feel guilty.

Ooey, gooey, and tart, this was wonderful. Dad-proval was given. But, if you like more of a grocery-store sweet, I'd double the sugar in the filling. This is definitely tart stuff!

4 oz. rhubarb, diced
8 oz. strawberries, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Lakanto
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  1. Combine everything and mix until completely coated and blended.
  2. Scoop into 8x8 or 9x9 square pan, and level out.
  3. Refrigerate while you make crumble.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
1 stick salted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Lakanto
3/4 cup all purpose flour
  1. Cut cold butter into tablespoons, and dice.
  2. Toss everything together in a medium mixing bowl
  3. Using hands, squish together and, well, crumble with fingers until good and nubby.
  4. Spread over fruit filling evenly.
  5. Bake at 350F for about 40-50 minutes, until golden and bubbly.
  6. Serve warm or cold!
Makes 9 servings at 200 calories a serving.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Vegan Potsticker Stir Fry

I have potstickers on the brain. Unfortunately, I prefer them fried and they're realllllly not good for you that way, and I'm trying to be good.

I'm also on farm share life, which means I'm trying to cook completely with what's just in my house. I'm only allowed to buy meat when there is no meat, carbs, and fruit.

So, I looked up a couple of recipes, got the idea of it, and decided to just make a big ol' pan of the insides. Of course, I don't have much meat in the house but I do have this bag of vegan beef crumbles, so I decided that would do. And luckily it did.

If you're using real meat, I recommend ground chicken or pork.

1 head napa cabbage, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. hoisen
1 Tbsp. pickled ginger, chopped
4 stalks green onion
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy (to taste)
1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 cups Don't Have a Cow Meatless Beef Style Crumbles
  1. Combine everything in your large skillet.
  2. Cook on medium until cabbage green almost completely wilts in, stirring constantly, and adding water as needed to keep from sticking.
  3. Tada, that's it. Told you it was easy.
Makes 2 servings at 200 calories each, or 4 sides at 50 calories.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Cheddar-Kale Pesto Pasta Salad

I've had this pesto in my freezer, waiting for inspiration. I ate the other half on zoodles on a super hungry day, and froze the rest for safekeeping, but I haven't really been inspire to use it.

I've got a potluck baby shower to go too this week, and I asked my friend if she had any requests. I was informed there would be lots of BBQ, and I know when there's meat, there's sweets, but usually there's not so much for sides.

And my friends are a little crunchy, so I thought "I'd not now, when?"

Super simple, super tasty. Calories will vary depending on your tastes.

1/4 to 1/2 cup Cheddar-Kale Pesto
24 oz. (2 boxes) Banza Chickpea Pasta Penne
3 oz. baby spinach
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, half of them chopped
6 oz. dry roasted pumpkin seeds
12 oz. extra sharp white cheddar, cubed small
Salt to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to directions, drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.
  2. Once pasta well drained, combine everything but salt and about 1/4 cup of seeds in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix well, making sure to coat spinach and basil well.
  4. Test for salt, and add if needed.
  5. Scoop out into serving dish. In this case, I'm just bringing a Gladware Potluck Sized container.
  6. Sprinkle with reserved seeds.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dark Chocolate Avocado Brownies

It's that time of year again, when avocados are ripe, cheap, and plentiful. So, obviously, I need them in my house.

But this week I just couldn't eat them fast enough. I've been kind of eating a ridiculous amount of fruit because it's ripe now, and my poor, winter-worn brain wants all the fruit. So, I decided to give brownies a shot.

Waste not want not.

These dark, sweet, bitter, fudgie brownies are definitely dark chocolate, so if you're not a fan of the dark, I recommend switching out for semi-sweets and doubling them and the normal Hershey's baking cocoa.

2 hass avocados, medium
2 eggs
1/2 cup Lakanto
1/2 cup Hershey's special dark baking cocoa
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup Ghiardelli 60% chocolate chips
  1. Pit and peel avocado.
  2. Combine avocado, eggs, Lakanto, cocoa, vanilla, and salt in food processor until smooth.
  3. Scrape into bowl, and add flour. Beat on high using hand mixer until completely smooth.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Foil your 8x8 pan, and butter or grease it.
  6. Scoop brownie mixture in, and smooth.
  7. Bake about 15 minutes, until firm to touch and just shy of toothpick test.
Makes 9 brownies, 125 calories a brownie

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pineapple Whip

I want ice cream more often than not. Not sorbet-ice cream. Or at the very least a sherbet. But I also want to not be roughly the size of Mount St. Helen.

Pineapple whips are a nice way to satiate that particular beast.  They can be a little tricky though. I learned early on that, while you want to use frozen pineapple, it's best you freeze your own. Unripe pineapple is bitter.

For some reason, pineapple breaks down into a creamy treat. Want it creamier? Add a banana or two. You don't really taste them under the pineapple.

There are lots of recipes out there, but right now I'm enjoying one I've made that's kind of a raspberry amaretto. Best part? It can also be a creamy, vegan treat. Swap out the honey for some simple syrup or go sans sugar all together. Nut allergy? Swap our almond for vanilla or another flavoring. Try adding coconut milk and other fruits for different flavors and textures.

3 cups frozen pineapple chunks
2 frozen bananas
6 oz. raspberries
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 cup honey (optional)
1/2 tsp almond extract
  1. In your food processor, pulse everything together a bit at a time.
  2. Once smooth, scoop into containers. I'm using your standard Gladware.
  3. Eat yours now, or freeze to store.
  4. Before serving, pull out and let thaw out a bit.
Makes 6 servings at 160 calories each, or 3 at 310.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

National Chocolate Chip Day: Low-Cal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Day, and I missed it. But it inspired me.

I'm back on the food train, which means I'm really watching my calories. But after seeing all of those pictures, I really wanted chocolate chip cookies. So, I skimmed through the internet, and couldn't find a single cookie that looked low cal, easy, and edible.

Lucky you.

These sweet, warm and gooey treats are sure to make you sing. Better yet, each has about the same amount of calories as a double-stuffed oreo, but it way more satisfying with their normal cookie size.

6 Tbsp. Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
2 Tbsp. salted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. plain, fat free Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk drink
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup quick oats, pulsed in a blender/processor
1/4 cup Ghirardelli's 60% Cocoa Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream together sweetener, butter, yogurt, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in oatmeal until well combined.
  4. Stir in flour until well combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Chill for 10 minutes.
  7. Line your cookie trays with parchment.
  8. Drop dough in gold-ball sized spoonfuls. If you need to do more than one round, keep dough chilled between.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until edges golden.
  10. Carefully remove. They will still be soft, so slide the parchment off the tray, and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before attempting to move.
  11. Serve warm for best taste.
Makes 10 cookies at 75 calories a cookie.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Angel Food with Lemon Curd

It was my Mama's birthday this week, as well as Mother's Day, so I wanted to do something special and decided to make her favorite cake from scratch. I only thought I knew what I was getting into.

It turns out that Angel Cake makes you pay for its deliciousness, and while the box is indeed quicker, I feel you get what you pay for with this one.

So, I used Alton Brown's Angel Food Cake recipe for the cake, and this pretty much fail proof Lemon Curd recipe from Wicked Good Kitchen. You might recognize it from my Lemon Curd Pie with Shortbread Crust.

12 egg whites, room temperature in the biggest bowl you have
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup warm, not hot, water
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour, sifted

  1. Once your egg whites are room temp, move your oven rack to the very bottom, and preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, sift half of the sugar, and all of the flour together. I just use a balloon whisk because I'm lazy.
  3. In the biggest bowl you have, combine whites, tartar, salt, and water. If your flavoring is alcohol based, go ahead and add it. If not, wait until the end.
  4. Using your hand mixer, starting on low, mix together. Once combined bring up to medium and slowly add in the other half of the sugar. Beat until medium peaks form. This is gonna take awhile. Once near the end, you can add those oil based flavorings.
  5. Once medium peaks have formed, dust the top with some of the flour/sugar mix and carefully fold in with a spatula. Repeat until it has all been added. You don't want to stir stir because you'll deflate those whites, but you don't want dry lumps hanging out either.
  6. Spoon carefully into an un-greased tube pan. Smooth top.
  7. Bake on lowest rack for about 35 minutes before checking. Bake until internal temp is between 205F and 209F. Yes, use the dang thermometer, it's better than the stick test. Be careful, don't do it too hard because if it's not fully cooked you could deflate it. You also want to make sure you're between both pan edges.
  8. Remove and cook upside down. I use a glass coke bottle in the tube. Let cool for 3 hours before removing to serve or store.
  9. To remove, run a knife around both edges, and then carefully pry it out. 
  10. Store covered, in an airtight container or saran wrap to keep moist.

Lemon Curd
8 egg yolks
1 1/4 heaping cups sugar
Juice of 4 lemons
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cold, cut in pats

  1. If you have a double broiler, break that bad boy out and set it up. If not, get your medium saucepan and fill it until it's just below the bottom of your small glass bowl. Remove the bowl, and bring the water to a simmer.
  2. In the bowl, combine yolks, sugar, and juice using a hand mixer on low.
  3. Place carefully on top of pan and continue mixing on low as it cooks.
  4. Once it starts to thicken, change our your hand mixer for a whisk. This will help you feel it thicken. You want it as thick as pie filling. When you dip a spoon in, it should coat it without being all drippy. It can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
  5. Once thickened, remove and whisk in butter one pat at a time.
  6. Once all butter is added, toss in the lemon zest. Pour into containers. Makes 2 jam jars worth.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Smokey Black Bean & Mushroom Burgers

I had my big end of the school year shebang for my tutors and TAs, despite the power having gone out, again. Thank you engineers, for the invention of the generator.

This year was tricky, because a large chunk of my staff was vegetarian, and a few were vegans, so the grilled chicken drumsticks weren't going to work.  I scoured the internet for black bean burger recipes, got an idea of how it's done, and then pretty much ignored everyone. One calls for egg, another for cumin, etc.

These were a hit! Even the meat eaters loved them! They ate them all. In fact, they ate so many that we ran out of vegan buns and had to open up my bread for the week, and I don't have a picture! I'll add one the next time I make them.

3-15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced baby bella mushrooms
1 cup chopped kale (or spinach)
1 1/2-2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 small onion finely, chopped
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, and more for pan frying

  1. In food processor, combine 1 1/2 cans of beans, half of mushrooms, and all of the kale, garlic, and oil and pulse low then high until seems can't get any more pureed. You'll have to scrape down the sides a few times.
  2. Add in soy, salt, and smoke. Pulse a bit, so you can taste test. Be sparing with the smoke. Too much of a good thing can ruin everything.
  3. Remove into large bowl, and add in the remaining beans, the diced onion, and half the bread crumbs. The remaining beans give it better texture.
  4. Using hands knead in bread crumbs until can form patties. Add in remaining bread crumbs by 1/4 cup at a time, until you get there.
  5. Form a large ball, a bit bigger than you would for a hamburger. On a flat surface, squish down into patty, flip and slightly squish again and fix the edges. You want them on the thicker side, like a restaurant burger, but not super thick.
  6. Pan fry until golden on both sides.
  7. Serve with whatever fixings you prefer. I did mayo and basil.
Makes 16, 165 calories each

Saturday, April 29, 2017


My Lemonies are one of my most viewed posts. Rich, dense, fudgey, and not a bit of chocolate, these bad boys have the same texture as brownies.  A bit fussy though.  All of that zesting and squeezing.

I saw a few posts for cinnamon blondies, which are basically the same things, but these are more fudgey than blondie-you'll know what I mean when you make them.

These cinnamonies are all of the fun of the cinnamon swirl in a coffee cake, and all yours. Easy to make, easy to eat.

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, soft
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. molasses

Powdered sugar (about 1 2/3 cups)
2 Tbsp. coconut milk
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, soft
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon, to taste
a tiny dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, and butter until light.
  3. Add in cinnamon and molasses and blend together.
  4. Finally, beat in flour until smooth.
  5. Grease your 8x8 square pan well, and pour in.
  6. Bake until edges golden and top just firm enough to touch. About 20 minutes.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, prepare glaze.
  9. In a small bowl combine half of the powdered sugar, all of the coconut milk, and butter. 
  10. Add additional powdered sugar until thick, creamy glaze forms. The sweet spot seems to be between 20 and 25 Tbsp. total.
  11. Add dash of salt and blend well.
  12. Pour over cinnamonies and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 12 at 265 calories each

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Street "Rice"

It's kind of a thing in NYC right now to get rice bowls with ridiculous things in them-mostly fatty sauces and meats. It's popular enough that our campus now serves it, and it's always busy. Because it's delicious in all of its bad for you ways.

Of course, I need a healthier version so I can sate my cravings without all of the calories. It doesn't look like much, but it's delicious, flavorful, and filling. That last part is the important part.

8 oz. frozen cauliflower
3 oz. roasted, shredded chicken
1 cup shredded lettuce, packed
1 Tbsp. yellow curry
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1.5 Tbsp. mayo
2 tsp. sriracha
1 tsp. sugar
1-2 Tbsp. So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Drink
Salt to taste
  1. Use frozen cauliflower florets. Just trust me. Measure into bowl and microwave 2 min. to soften.
  2. Toss into your food processor and pulse until ricey. If using a blender, do less at a time. 2 to 3 parts rather than all in at once, or you'll end up with mush.
  3. Empty into large saute pan. Add curry to taste, then garlic and cayenne, and finish with salt to taste. Cook through on medium.
  4. Scrape to one side, and on the now empty side re-heat your chicken. Feel free to add a bit more flavoring.
  5. Scrape each side into a bowl if you want it pretty, or just mix it.
  6. Throw lettuce on top to wilt while you make the dressing.
  7. Combine mayo, sriracha, and sugar. Add milk a little at a time until dressing consistency reached.
  8. Pour over top, make a mess of it, and enjoy.
Makes 1 serving at 345 calories.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dark Chocolate Surprise Cake

My Red Velvet Surprise Brownies remain one of my most  popular posts, and since it's Easter, I thought I'd update the recipe to a cake. As a cake, it doesn't get the nice red hue the brownies get, but it's super moist and chocolaty.

What's the surprise?


A whole cup full.

And no one will ever know.

The beets give some depth to the chocolate, but you would never be able to say what exactly it is that makes it so decadent. And this cake is decadent. As you can see from the chocolate smears on the cake pan. As you may know, I've always had the knack for making tasty things delicious and wonderful, but generally they're pretty ugly, and this one is no exception. I just want to eat the goodies, not make them pretty.

I've frosted mine with a simple vanilla bean butter cream frosting because I hattttte cream cheese frosting. But you do you.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup beet puree
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup coconut milk drink, unsweetened, warmed
1 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine  sugar, cocoa, powder, soda, eggs, beets, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the warmed coconut milk, and beat again.
  4. Add in the flour, and beat until smooth.
  5. Use two round cake pans. Butter them, and then flour them.
  6. Pour in batter equally.
  7. Bake for 15-25 minutes on the middle rack, until they pass the toothpick test.
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before trying to remove them.  If they still stick a bit, run a butter knife gently around the ends, and then lightly and carefully go around again using the knife to pick it up a little all of the way around. It should pop right out.
  9. Cool completely on cooling racks before frosting.
  10. Uses about 1 1/2-2 cups of buttercream frosting.
Makes 8 servings at 440 calories, or 16 at 220.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Perfect Dinner Rolls

I have been messing around with dinner roll recipes for years, but I've never found one that I really liked, even with tampering.

This is a combination of several recipes, and I am so very pleased with it. I could make this all of the time. The biggest, fluffiest, most delicious rolls.

2 cups warm So Delicious Coconut Milk drink, unsweetened
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. Salted Butter, soft
2 eggs
5-6 cups of all-purpose flour
  1. Combine warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Whisk together and let sit until good and frothy.
  2. Whisk in salt, butter, and eggs.
  3. Add in  2 cups of flour, and stir until a mushy base forms.
  4. Add in 2 more cups of flour and stir.  
  5. If it isn't forming quite into a soft dough yet, add another half.
  6. Flip out on a floured surface, and knead in another half.  If it's still sticky to touch, add in more 1/2 cup at a time until it's not.
  7. Toss it into a lightly grease bowl. I use olive oil. Gover with towel and let rise until doubled.
  8. Flip out on floured surface. Chances are the dough will be a little sticky again. Add in flour by the handful and knead. You want it touchable, not stiff.
  9. Divide into 24 balls about the size of the frozen ones you get in the store.
  10. Spray your muffin pans before dropping the balls in.
  11. Cover with a towel again and let rise until doubled.
  12. Preheat oven to 375F.
  13. Bake until golden, but not browned. About 8-12 minutes.
  14. Let sit for a few minutes before popping out.
  15. If you have too many, store in a container.  Place down towel, lay in so not touching. Sprinkle lightly with flour, fold the towel over and repeat if need, ending with the towel covering. Freeze.
  16. Leftovers should be cooled completely and store in an airtight container or ziploc baggie.
Makes 24 rolls at 95 calories each

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bok Choy, Mushroom & Beef Soup

Living in Asia for a bit gave be lots of soup ideas. Hot pots can be found everywhere, and they're cheap and filling. Perfect for a girl trying to lose a few pounds.

I make my own broths, and you can find those recipes HERE.

6 oz. kelp noodles
4 cups beef broth
1 baby bok choy or 3 shanghai, ripped apart
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
2 oz. beef stir fry strips
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Cayenne and Salt to taste
  1. Bring brother to simmer.
  2. Add beef and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms start to become tender.
  3. Add carrots and cook until beef is cooked through.
  4. Add in everything else and cook until bok choy wilted and tender.
  5. Serve immediately.
Make 4 servings at about 150 calories a serving, give or take.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Overnight Oats

No doubt, you'd seen a bajillion recipes for overnight oats, but this is the way we do it in my house. I have no idea where the original came from. I've been doing it this way since Iowa.

I don't like hot oatmeal. I generally keep it in the house for making cookies and frying chicken or fish. I remember hesitantly trying this recipe and finding I loved the cool, creamy, tangy, fruity breakfast. It's great for the school year, because I can toss it together the night before and grab it on the way out the door.

1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt

  1. Combine everything in mason jar or one of those twist top glad containers. 
  2. Screw on lid well and shake it like the maracas from Caracas.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  4. Eat cold.

130 calories

Of course, no one eats it plain.

1/4 cup fruit or fruit puree
1/2 Tbsp. sweetener (optional)

This batch is blackberry & honey and doubled because I was really hungry when I was putting it together, so it's about 353 calories. Following the directions, it would be about 177.

Vegan? No problem.

1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative

Works just as well.

Mix up your flavors and your fruits for other tasty treats.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mushroom, Spinach, and Artichoke Baked Eggs

A big part of eating healthy and weight loss is knowing what foods are low calorie and filling, and which ones are nutrient dense. Eggs and mushrooms get a bad rap, but both are good for you, tasty, and filling. And when I say filling, I mean I almost can't finish the sad little 300 calories worth of food.

6 oz. baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 oz. frozen artichoke hearts and halves
2 eggs
1 tsp. EVOO
1 Tbsp. parmesean cheese
Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Grab your favorite small casserole dish. This Corning's 7x7 1 quart Cornflower Blue series. CorningWare carries several small casserole dishes with lids.
  2. On your stove top, wilt spinach halfway down before adding artichokes and mushrooms. Wilt the rest of the way and remove from heat.
  3. Create two wells, and crack eggs into them.
  4. Sprinkle parm on top.
  5. Bake in toaster oven on 350F until eggs reach desired consistency. Getting the perfect runny egg takes practice, but a nice hard boiled is easy to achieve by waiting until the yolks turn lemony yellow or the egg is firm to touch with a fork.
  6. Remove and carefully drain the juice from one corner. If you keep a bin for soup stock, this isn't a bad place to send it. Otherwise, down the drain is fine. You don't have to drain it, but I like it better this way.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Here you'll see I used a bit of cayenne instead of black pepper.
Serves 1 at 300 calories, or 2 as a side at 150.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Vegan Lemon Shortbreads

On the eve of the snowpocalypse, I told my tutoring staff that if the university cancelled classes the next day, I'd eat my socks. We have a long history of remaining open when it's horrifying out, and closing if Spring Break happens to have a snow storm coming in from Downstate. Students driving home are more important than local driving in, or some such nonsense. Seriously though, everyone else will be cancelled, and we'll be heading in.

Little did I know, Jack Frost had done a wee bit of re-routing, and Binghamton got some of the worst of the storm dubbed Stella.  On campus, we had 31.3 inches in 24 hours. So....yeah, school got cancelled.

Which left me in sock eating territory.  With a challenge.

You see, part of dealing with English language tutors who love international students, is that it tends to bring with it a crunchy crowd. Nothing against crunchiness, although I think most vegan substitutes protect animals at the cost of human health. On this staff, I've got vegans, and one poor tutor with a peanut allergy.

I certainly was not going to eat actual cloth socks, but cookies shaped like socks were doable. I called my mom, and checked to see if she had a Christmas stocking cutter, because I don't  (not eating things that are red often guides my buying habits, and American stockings at least, are generally red). She had one, so I spent 10 minutes in the grocery store pouring over the ingredients of several brands of margarine to make sure it lacked peanuts and fish oil.  I didn't even know I had to worry about fish oil in margarine, so I learned something. It's a food I never keep in the house of my own will.

The resulting cookies are not as delicious as the ones full of butter, because IMHO you just can't bet the real thing, but they're still dang tasty shortbreads.

1 small lemon
1 1/2 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar + more for kneading
1/2 cup Smart Balance Olive Oil Light

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, zest 1 small lemon. Use about 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice as well.
  3. Add in flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and Smart Balance.
  4. Using a hand-mixer, beat until creamed.
  5. If dough is a little too soft, sprinkle tabletop with flour and knead until just beyond touchable.
  6. The sprinkle tabletop with powdered sugar and knead until a nice, soft dough forms. About the consistency of play doh.
  7. Sprinkle more powdered sugar, and roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut with desired cookie cutter.
  9. Place on parchment covered baking sheet.
  10. Bake 12-15 minutes until edges lightly golden.
  11. Allow to cool 5 minutes on tray before removing to cool on wax paper or rack.
  12. Store in an air tight container once completely cool.
Makes 1 dozen at 110 calories a cookie

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

1-2-3 Hot Chocolate for One

Snowed in and no Swiss Miss!  I'm in the heart of the nasty snow mess and for the last 48 hours it's just been snowing. We actually broke the record for snowfall in a 24 hour period, and have oficially hadmore snow than the Blizzard of 1993.

And after shoveling, and shoveling, and shooooveling all I wanted was a hot cocoa. But I sent the Ovaltine up to the new place already.

No problem. I'll wing it, and this is a nice, easy recipe to remember.

You can, of course, cut back on the sugar. But honestly, when it comes to hot chocolate, go big or go home.

1 cup so delicious unsweetened coconut milk (or milk)
2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
3 Tbsp. sugar
Dash of salt
(Optional: booze-this batch was made with McGillicuddy Vanilla. Just toss it in right at the end.)

Combine everything in a small saucepan, and whisk until simmering.

220 calories.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Monster Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I'm getting ready to move, and I still have a lot of frozen winter veggies, so I'm trying to use them up over the next few weeks.  The easiest thing by far to play with is mashed and pureed squash, so I figured I'd start there. The beets, after all, can be used for brownies come summer.

I found a promising recipe for flourless cookies using squash, which were super low calories, but when I pulled it together it was soup. And soup, no matter how hard you try, does not become a cookie.

So, I used a bit of chemistry, and a bit of experimentation, and ended up with these huge, peanut butter oatmeal cookies just packed full of butternut squash. Which, of course, resulted in a lower calorie cookie with lots of vitamin A and fiber.

A cookie the size of a muffin. Lightly peanut butter flavored, cakey and sweet. And still less calories than your favorite Subway cookie.

And we all love cookies we can eat more of. And the kids will never know...

3/4 cup butternut, acorn, or pumpkin squash, mashed
3/4 cup reduced fat peanut butter, creamy
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In food processor or blender, combine everything but the flour. Pulse low until well mixed.
  3. Add mixture to flour in medium bowl.
  4. Mix until well combined.
  5. Scoop out onto parchment covered baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15-20 min. until bottoms golden.
Makes 12 monster cookies at 180 calories a cookie. Or make smaller for 24 cookies at 90 calories a cookie.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

I love messing around with 2 or 3 ingredient recipes.  I have a list of them that I modify frequently. Breakfast cookies have been my new favorite to play with.  These cookies aren't as sweet as the real deal, and are much lower in calories. They're basically baked oatmeal.

They're a perfect snack for on the go breakfasts, or a toddler cookie. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that even if they eat 4 of them, they still won't have eaten as many calories as a package of pop tarts.

Both bases are basically the same amount of calories-80-85.  If you want to turn it into more of a dessert cookie, simply double the sweetener (which will add about 25 calories per cookie).

Add any bits or fruit you like.  I like to toss in an apple, or golden raisins, and or pecans.  Sometimes I'll even add butterscotch chips.

Use gluten free oats for a gluten free variation.

Banana Base
2 Tbsp.  honey or sugar
1 banana
1 cup quick oats

Squash Base
2 Tbsp. honey or sugar
1 cups quick oats
1/2 cup pumpkin or squash puree

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine ingredients. Once a sticky dough starts to form, feel free to use your hands to finish up the mixing.
  3. Divide into 6 pieces, and roll into balls.
  4. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet.  You can put them fairly close, as there's no butter and the cookie won't spread.
  5. Press down on ball.  You may have to peel it off of your hand, which is fine.  Be careful, the dough it a little tacky.
  6.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden.
Makes 1/2 dozen at 85 calories a cookie.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monkey Hulk Muffins II

I loved muffin batch 1, but I wasn't happy with the fat content.  I wanted to see if I could get those calories even lower. Fruits, veggies, and flour can make calories hard to cut.

I was really surprised by the caloric results though. So here's how they compare.
I thought the carbs would go up profoundly, since I added sugar and another banana. But the extra volumes made more muffins so it didn't significantly change.  It did, however, cut fat and raise fiber. So, these are my new favorite.  They're sweeter, they're just as moist and fluffy, and they're better for me.

And yes, I DID use the purple muffin cups on purpose, 'cuz that's how I roll.

4 brown bananas
6 oz. spinach (generally this is one normal bag)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine bananas,  sugar, and eggs in food processor or blender.
  3. Add in spinach a bit at a time.
  4. Add everything else but the flower, and process high until completely combined.
  5. Scoop into a medium bowl, and add in flour.  Remember to muffin mix. Mix until just moist and combined, don't beat the heck out of it.
  6. Divvy up into cups, and bake about 15 minutes, until golden edges.

144 calories a muffin, made 15 muffins. Totally could make 16, but I like my muffins big.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Guilt-Free Hawaiian Pizza

Thursdays are my day off usually, and I like to putter around the house, eat bad food, and clean.  Today I had to run in for half a second to help a student think about their life choices. Afterwards I ran my errands, which included my bi-weekly beat-down from the masseuse who keeps me walking, and getting groceries.

I had planned to make a taco bowl tonight, but I learned it's #NationalPizzaDay , and who am I to argue?

But going out for pizza is a bit of a number game, so I thought I'd make it at home. All of the flavor, none of the guilt. Added bonus, I forgot to eat today, so I totally could indulge in the whole pie. Yum.

3/4 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup spaghetti or pizza sauce
2/3 cup finely shredded, reduced fat mozzarella
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits

  1. Combine yogurt and self-rising flour. Knead on floured surface until dough forms.
  2. Pat out, and place on a lightly grease pan or cookie sheet.  If you have a stone, no grease needed.
  3. Layer in order: sauce, pineapple, half the cheese, turkey bacon, rest of cheese.
  4. Bake at 350F for 20-30 pieces until edges and cheese golden.

Makes 6 slices at about 125 calories a slice or one medium pie for 755 calories.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Monkey Hulk Muffins

Before you say anything...

Monkey Hulk does, in fact, exist.

Thanks Marvel!

What's in a monkey hulk muffin? Well, don't tell the kids, but spinach.  Lots of it. Don't worry, like everything else I've given you,you don't taste it!

I had a bag of spinach about to go off, and some bananas, and I almost made a smoothie. But, I don't love smoothies. So I though, well, why not try adding it to muffins?

Luckily, it wasn't an insane thought, and each muffin has a good punch for Vitamin C and A.

3 super ripe bananas
6 oz. baby spinach
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil, solid
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup and 3 Tbsp. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine everything but the flour in your food processor. Use low then high setting, until well combined.
  3. Pour out into bowl, and fold in flour.
  4. Scoop into lined muffin cups.
  5. Bake on middle rack about 15-20 minutes, until muffin tops high and passes toothpick test.  Will get slightly golden.
Makes 12 at 190 calories a muffin, or 1 loaf.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Crunchy Chickpea Taco Bowl

I love crunchy chickpeas, and I generally make several batches of them in different flavors at a time. I also love taco, but I don't feel like making tortillas today, so when I made my snacks, I did a batch of my crunchy chickpeas in taco seasoning.

Hatchie matchie.

The chickpeas give you the satisfaction of that taco crunchy, and the flavors combine perfectly.

If you prepare the chickpeas when you do other things, they'll stay good in a paper bag for about 3 days.

Taco Chickpeas
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 tsp. olive oil
Taco seasoning of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas.  If using dry, you'll need about 1/2 a cup dry that has been soaked, rather than the full cup. Dry chickpeas.
  3. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with oil to coat.
  4. Lay out a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet, a pour on chickpeas.  Shake down into single layer. Set aside bowl for later.
  5. Bake about 30 minutes, until golden and they start to get poppin'.
  6. Remove directly to your oily bowl and sprinkle with taco seasoning.
  7. Let dry and cool in an open container.
  8. Store in paper bags.
Taco Bowl
1 cup taco Chickpeas
1 roma tomato diced
6 jalapeno slices, diced
2 Tbsp. plain, fat free Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp. lower fat shredded Mexican or Taco cheese.
  1. If taco chickpeas come from storage, warm by toasting in your toaster oven while you slice up everything.
  2. Layer everything and eat up!
230 calories if made by directions but feel free to add all of your favorite taco fixings.  This is just what I had in the house.

For vegan option, swap out cheese and yogurt for substitutes.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Baked Oatmeal

We're in a winter weather nasty advisory, and this morning, while it's raining, the feels like is below 30 and I'm chilly and cranky.  I hate the cold, and I always crave sweets and starch.  I wanted a big, lemon poppy seed muffin, but those are generally really loaded with sugar.  So, I decided to try making baked oatmeal with a similar flavor profile.

Not as sweet of course.

This oatmeal was delightful, with the bite of grapefruit smoothed out by the vanilla.  It's still very obviously made with grapefruit and has that slight bitterness, but I enjoyed it. By switching to real sugar you way be able to get a sweeter fare if that's your preference.

1 grapefruit
1/2 cup oats, quick or traditional
1 tsp. poppy seed
1/4 tsp. powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup so delicious unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. Lakonto monk fruit sweetener
1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut and segment grapefruit, removing fruit into medium bowl. Discard mesocarp, peel, and the skin between fruit segments.
  3. Combine grapefruit with everything but the oats and beat together with fork.  Then stir in oats and let sit a minute.
  4. Pour into small casserole dish, or 4 mini casserole dishes.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden.
334 calories for the whole.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2g2bt Blender Brownies

And yet, completely true.

I spent the day researching "text-speech," but not the way you might think.  Someone argued that millenials are ruining the English language with their lazy text chat, and I knowwwwww that Shakespeare even used acronyms and abbreviations and that they were really popular in the 1800s.  So I went out to dig up N S A 2 Miss K T J.   So, I might have them on the brain.

But these brownies really do seem to be too good to be true, but they are 100% bonafide.

I have a freezer full of pureed squash and beets, and a hankering for comfort food due to the cold. But I'm also back on track, and trying to lose these last 45 lbs until my goal.  I wanted a treat for my hard work putting a self-proclaimed "grammar police" in their place.

So, I decided to play with some flour-less recipes.

I must have read 80.

And none were quite what I wanted, so I combined and  changed them and figured I'd see what happens. Because, while I try not to waste food, as I said. I have a LOT of squash.

The results are dark, moist, delicious, rich and chocolatey brownies with no hint of vegetable. You're going to need a glass of milk to go with these bad boys.

1 cup pureed butternut squash (or pumpkin, or acorn will work)
3 large eggs
6 Tbsp. Lakonto Monkfruit Sweetener (or sugar)
1/2 heaping cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. molasses (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all ingredients but the chips and blend well.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.  It will still be a little soupy.
  4. Divvy up in your cupcake pan, 12 lined cups OR grease an 8x8.
  5. Bake 30-35 min.
  6. Cool completely if you're cutting. 10 minutes if you're starving to death.
Makes 12 brownies at 70 calories a piece made by recipe, but only 90 calories if you use white sugar!

*Special Note: Lakonto contains erythritol, which is 0 calorie and 0 glycemic. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Peanut Butter "Fudge"

I am working on rebooting my weight loss.  Since I've started having health issues, I've put almost 10 lbs back on due to inactivity.  It turns out you can't hike and burn thousands of calories when walking across campus leaves you weepy.

But I also have a sweet tooth, and not having any sweets makes me a little mean, so I need to make some sweets that I can still feel good about.

Enter beans.  Beans are great for baking and cooking with to add a bit of nutrition and cut down on other things. I'm craving fudge, so I spent the day doing research and gave it a shot.

The first batch was mediocre.  In part because there was no where near enough sugar in the recipe. It called for honey or maple syrup, so I went with honey. I didn't want maple peanut butter.

But also because while pureeing the beans my blender caught fire.

Yup. Literally started to smoke.

I decided to finish it anyway, with some serious elbow grease and my hand mixer, and it was ok. Nothing to scream about, and for the fat content (even reduced, peanut butter is pretty high, and coconut oil is too). It needed to be better.

So I made some changes.  I subbed out half of the chickpeas in the recipe, and swapped the honey for real sugar.  Some people will tell you honey is more natural, less processed, yadda yadda. But unless you're going to the farmer's market, that isn't true. Also, various tests show that honey and table sure are equally bad for you, in different ways. Go ahead, take a minute to google it, and weight whether you think it's worth the effort and cost.

I don't.

With my changes to what seems the base recipe via 80 bajillion blogs, I not only got a creamy, delicious fudge with a bit of texture, but also something that's vegan, and slightly lower in calories than the first batch despite the added sugar.

1/2 cup dried white/navy beans
1/2 cup dried chickpeas
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (cannot sub-provides the base)
1 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 Tbsp. butter.
  1. Soak beans overnight
  2. Cook the beans until tender.
  3. In a bowl, heat coconut oil and peanut butter until melted.
  4. Combine beans, peanut butter, oil, and 1/4 cup sugar in food processor and cream until smooth.
  5. Check for sweetness, and add additional sugar by tablespoon. The mixture should be a little doughy, and shouldn't stick to the sides.
  6. Grease your 8x8 or 9x9 pan lightly with butter.
  7. Pack in peanut butter mixture, and freeze for 5 hours.
  8. Remove and cut into 16 squares. At this point, I individually wrap the squares and leave all but the one I want right now in the freezer.
  9. Let the fudge warm up a little, and enjoy. All the flavor, half the guilt.

Makes 16 pieces at 157 calories a piece compared to the 350 cals of the same size in your average homemade fudge.
11% of your daily protein per piece
19% of your dietary fiber

Monday, January 2, 2017

Easy Peasy Gumdrops

Making homemade candy isn't always cheaper than buying the store bought, but in my case, it's a lot more fulfilling and safer.  because I'm allergic to one specific shade of red-Red Dye 40.  Which, you know, happens to be the one in most US candies currently.  A lot of companies are phasing it out, but until they do so I have to be a bit picky about my candy.

My friend is saddened by this natural food movement because it means more things are coming out Red Dye 40 free, which means she no longer gets to eat my reds and pinks (and purples and oranges and sometimes even blues).

This year I stumbled across a while bunch of gumdrop recipes, before settling on Betty Crocker's Homemade Gumdrop recipe, which seems to be the base for most not including actual Jello with flavors and such already in it (another unsafe food).

This yields a slightly softer gumdrop than store bought, and I don't plan to keep them more than 2 weeks.  Because why would you?

I've broken each into chunks to make it easier to see what goes with what. The Crocker recipe isn't as clear, and I head to read about 5 more before I had a really good idea of what I needed to do.

Gelatin Mixture
3 packets knox, unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water

Simple Syrup
3/4 cup water
2 cups sugar

Flavor and Color
1/8-1/2 tsp. flavor
6-10 drops food color
  1. Coat an 8x8 square with nonstick spray.  Rub in to apply evenly. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, sprinkle knox over 1/2 cup cold, cold water.  Let stand and set aside.
  3. In small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water and the sugar for a simple syrup.
  4. Bring simple syrup to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer for exactly 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Scrape gelatin mixture in a bit at a time, carefully so as not to splash self with boiled sugar.  Stir in in between.
  8. Once gelatin mixture dissolved, remove any white floaters you see.
  9. Add color.
  10. Add flavor 1/8 tsp. at a time.  Dip tip of clean spoon in to taste test until flavor strength achieved. If using candy flavoring, will take very little. Normal flavoring anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. generally. I use a bit more than average because unflavored gelatin can have a pretty strong flavor.
  11. Pour into 8x8, and refrigerate overnight (8+ hours).
  12. Cover your work space with granulated sugar.
  13. Use a butter knife to release the gel carefully. I work around the edges and then carefully peel up like removing a sticker, using the knife like I would a finger nail.
  14. Flip out on sugar surface.
  15. Will be a bit sticky, but use a chefs knife to cut into ropes about 1 index finger wide.
  16. Roll through sugar to coat cut sides as you go.
  17. After cut into ropes, fill a cereal bowl halfway with granulated sugar.
  18. Use kitchen shears to snip off pieces of gel into sugar.  Coat thoroughly.
  19. Place on rack to dry for 48 hours. They will develop a crunchy sugar coating.
  20. Store in airtight container.
You can use juice instead of water, just not mango, pineapple, kiwi, fig, ginger root, guava, or papaya unless canned AND pasteurized. Juice with those fruits in it will cause the gelatin to not set. They contain a protein gobbling enzyme. For more on that, I recommend THIS episode of Good Eats.