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Showing posts from 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
In your deepest skillet, first boil your sausages for 15-20 min. until cooked through.  Then drain, and allow to br…

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
Thaw your frozen tomatoes.  You can now just pinch the skins off.Combine skinned tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic in your saucepan.Simmer until tomatoes soften up, then use a hand blender to break it up and smooth it out.Continue simmering until desired consistency is reached.Add sugar, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few more minutes to combine flavors.Remove from heat and add…

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
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.Once your pan is heated, add vinegar and whisk. Let stand for a minute.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 panc…

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 p…

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.


Filling
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
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.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.Scrape everything into a medium saucepan with 2 Tbsp. water. Cook until enough liquid has formed to fill a cereal bowl.Drain liquid into bowl, and add cornstarch, whisking smooth.Slowly add bac…

Fermented Crab Apples

Super simple.


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

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
Water
(adjust spices to taste)
In a medium saucepan, combine dry quinoa with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, re…

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

Combine berries and sweeteners in small saucepan. Cook on medium low until soft. Blend until smoother (I use an electric hand blender). Cook until reduces to coat spoon. Can be a little runny.Remove from heat, mix in chia. Store in sterilized jar, refrigerated, for up to a month.
2 Tbsp. Serving for 30 calories
Makes 200 ml bell jam jar

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 Be…

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
Preheat oven to 400F.In a large bowl, combined corn, sweeteners, molasses, eggs, and butter.Sprinkle powder over top, then sti…

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.

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…

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
In large skillet, combine  scapes, olive oil, and noodles.Good on medium-low until soft.  You might have to add a Tbsp. of water here and there to keep it from drying up.Add in meat and salt and cook until warmed through.Serve with shakey cheese and enjoy! 415 Calories

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)
Preheat oven to 300F.Combine everything in a large bowl, oil last.Mix together with your hands and make sure evenly coated and sugar all broken up.Use parchment to line a rimmed, large cookie sheet.Layer evenly.Bake for about 25-50 minutes, until toasted and golden, stirring every 15 minutes.Remove, season with salt and spices to taste on cookie sheet. This is whe…

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.

So...


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

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

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…

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
Water
Combine everything in your large skillet.Cook on medium until cabbage gre…

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
Cook pasta according to directions, drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.Once pasta well drained, combine everything but salt and about 1/4 cup …

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
Pit and peel avocado.Combine avocado, eggs, Lakanto, cocoa, vanilla, and salt in food processor until smooth.Scrape into bowl, and add flour. Beat on high using hand mixer until completely smooth.Fold in chocolate chip…

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.…

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
Preheat oven to 350F.Cream together sweetener, butter, yogurt, milk, and vanilla.Stir in oatmeal until well combined.Stir in flour unt…

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.


Cake
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

Once your egg whites are room temp, move your oven rack to the very bottom, and preheat oven to 350F.In a small bowl, sift half of the sugar, and all of the flour together. I just use a balloon whisk because I…

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 ga…

Cinnamonies

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.


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

Glaze
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 saltPreheat oven to 350F.Using a hand mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, and butter until light.Add in cinnamon and molasses and blend together.Finally, beat in flour until smooth.Grease your 8x8 square pan well, and pour in.Bake until edges golden and top just firm …

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
Use frozen cauliflower florets. Just trust me. Measure into bowl and microwave 2 min. to soften.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.Empty in…

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?

Beets.

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 e…

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
Combine warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Whisk together and let sit until good and frothy.Whisk in salt, butter, and eggs.Add in  2 cups of flour, and stir until a mushy base forms.Add in 2 more cups of flour and stir.  If it isn't forming quite into a soft dough yet, add another half.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.Toss it into a lightly grease bowl. I use olive oil. Gover with towel and let rise until doubled.Flip out o…

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 Bring brother to simmer.Add beef and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms start to become tender.Add carrots and cook until beef is cooked through.Add in everything else and cook until bok choy wilted and tender.Serve immediately. Make 4 servings at about 150 calories a serving, give or take.

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

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

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

Grab your favorite small casserole dish. This Corning's 7x7 1 quart Cornflower Blue series. CorningWare carries several small casserole dishes with lids.On your stove top, wilt spinach halfway down before adding artichokes and mushrooms. Wilt the rest of the way and remove from heat.Create two wells, and crack eggs into them.Sprinkle parm on top.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…

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 g…

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.

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 …

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…

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

Preheat oven to 400F.Combine bananas,  sugar, and eggs in food processor or blender.Add in spinach a bit at a…

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

Combine yogurt and self-rising flour. Knead on floured surface until dough forms.Pat out, and place on a lightly grease pan or cookie sheet.  If you have a stone, no grease needed.Layer in o…

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 Preheat oven to 400F.Combine everything but the flour in your food processor. Use low then high setting, until well combined.Pour out into bowl, and fold in flour.Scoop into lined muffin cups.Bake on middle rack about 15-20 minutes, unt…

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

Preheat oven to 350F.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.In a bowl, toss chickpeas with oil to coat.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.Bake about 30 minutes, until golden and they start to get poppin'.Remove directly to your oily bowl a…

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
Preheat oven to 350F.Cut and segment grapefruit, removing fruit into medium bowl. Discard mesocarp, peel, and the skin betwe…

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 foo…

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 ab…

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 i…