September 30, 2013

It's Apple Season

Fall is in the air and you know what that means - it's apple season! If you haven't already picked a bushel of apples, I suggest you get out there.  There are so many tasty treats to make with apples, but sometimes nothing beats a fresh, crisp apple.

Besides cinnamon, peanut butter is a great compliment for apples.  If you ask me, peanut butter is a great compliment to almost any food, but that's another story.  My problem usually lies in eating peanut butter within moderation.  I usually have a jar of "fancy" nut butter in the cabinet, but for some snacks I like to use PB2.  It's a powdered peanut butter that can be mixed with water, milk, shakes, yogurt, etc.  It's great because it contains nearly 85% less fat calories than traditional nut butters, but it still gives you the rich, creamy peanut butter flavor.  Add it to apple slices and you have a great afternoon snack.

PB2 Apple Slices
  • 1 apple
  • 1 T PB2 or chocolate PB2
  • 2 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 t cacao nibs
  1. Core the apple and slice it into slices
  2. Stir together the PB2 and Greek yogurt
  3. Spread the peanut butter yogurt onto the apple slices
  4. Sprinkle with cacao nibs

September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

It's fall and that means pumpkin!  I have been dying to create a pumpkin oatmeal breakfast and finally got around to trying something out.  This recipe packs all of the fall flavors into one bowl.  I can't get enough of how amazing this oatmeal tastes.  The hot oatmeal mixed with the cool pumpkin cream and topped with the crumble fools your mind into believing your eating dessert.  Who doesn't love dessert for breakfast or lunch?!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Serves 1
Oatmeal Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 10-15 vanilla cream stevia drops
Cream Ingredients
  • 2 T plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 T pumpkin puree
  • 2 T milk
  • 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice
Crumb Ingredients
  • 2 t coconut flour
  • 1 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 5-10 vanilla cream stevia drops
  1. Combine all of the oatmeal ingredients in a small microwave safe bowl
  2. Microwave the ingredients for 3-4 minutes
  3. While the oatmeal is cooking, combine all of the cream ingredients
  4. Combine all of the crumb ingredients 
  5. Top the oatmeal with the cream and sprinkle on the cinnamon crumbs

Braided Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Here's another game day appetizer that is sure to score a touch down with your crowd!  Pizza is a game day essential.  I've tried pizza pockets and pizza bites, so I naturally had to try something different.  Although these three are all very similar, I think I prefer the bread the best because when served hot, the cheese is still melty and gooey like a traditional pizza.  My only suggestion is to make more than 1 because this thing was devoured before it touched the table!

Braided Pepperoni Pizza Bread
Serves 6-8
  • 1 pre-made whole wheat pizza dough 
  • 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce (recipe here) 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 T Italian blended seasoning
  • 10-15 pepperoni slices 
  • Optional: any additional pizza toppings of choice
  • 1 egg
  • Additional pasta sauce for dipping
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Flour a large sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough, in a rectangular shape on the parchment paper 
  3. Using a pizza cutter, cut 3" slits into the into the longer sides of the dough (make sure you have the same amount of slits on each side
  4. Layer your pizza fillings into the center of the dough (sauce, cheese, seasoning, pepperoni, etc.)
  5. To close the bread, fold up the 2 ends then take the slits and crisscross them back and fourth making an X until the
  6. Brush the egg white onto the bread
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes; until the bread is golden brown
  8. All to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving

September 28, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Nothing says game day like buffalo wings! But before you get excited for wings, instead of baking up a batch of wings, I decided to create this tangy Buffalo Chicken Dip which is perfect for the health conscious party guest as well as the indulger.  Serve this dip with pretzel things, chips, or veggies.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serves 12-14
  • 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 6 T reduced fat Greek yogurt based blue cheese dressing
  • 7 T hot sauce
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (fresh or canned)
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the chicken) in a food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Stir in the shredded chicken
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving

September 27, 2013

Triple Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

I was looking to recreate a school lunch favorite with this recipe.  I remember always enjoying these chewy chocolate cookies with chocolate and white chocolate chips.  What triggered this memory was a trip to the Big E where I saw a similar looking cookie.  This cookie does those lunch time favorites justice.  Exactly as I remembered!

Triple Chocolate  Chip Pudding Cookies
Makes 48 Cookies
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter; at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar (2 T sugar/stevia blend)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box sugar-free chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Stir together flour salt, and baking soda; set aside
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together
  4. Add in pudding package and beat until well blended
  5. Add eggs and vanilla
  6. Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips
  8. Roll the dough into 1″ balls
  9. Bake for 9-12 minutes
  10. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack
  11. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week

September 26, 2013

Loft House Cookies

I'm sure everybody has had those deliciously thick Loft House cookies.  The only problem with these cookies is that there's only 12 in package!  You can imagine my happiness when I stumbled upon this recipe.  I was even happier when the cookies turned out virtually identical to the store brand.  Keep in mind these cookies do require a little extra effort to get them to turn out perfect, but the extra work is worth it.

Loft House Cookies
Makes 4 dozen cookies
Cookie Ingredients
  • 6 cups flour, divided
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups light sour cream
Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 T heavy cream
  • Food coloring of choice
  • Sprinkles
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk 5 cups of flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside
  2. With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated
  4. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined
  5. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined; about 30 seconds
  6. Add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired dough consistency this is achieved (up to 1 cup more flour)
  7. Divide dough into two sections
  8. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap
  9. Chill in the refrigerator overnight
  10. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  11. Generously flour a work area and rolling pin
  12. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness
  13. Using a cookie cutter to cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet
  14. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until pale golden
  15. While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting by using a mixer to cream the butter and vanilla
  16. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth
  17. Add the heavy cream, 1 T at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved
  18. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined
  19. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles

September 25, 2013

Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw

I love tuna steaks - probably more than chicken, but they're so expensive that I only buy them fresh when they're on sale or for a special occasion.  This past week I wasn't planning on having tuna, but when I was at the fish counter, I noticed that tuna was on sale and couldn't pass up the deal!  I served this tuna steak over a bed of slightly sweet and tangy Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw which is fantastic as a stand along side dish, but even better when served with tuna.  I highly recommend this coleslaw to those who like fish tacos.  It's amazing when served with a nice piece of fish that's been cooked in coconut oil and lime juice!

Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw
Servings: 6
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 mango, julienned
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 t sesame seeds
  1. In a large bowl, combine the mango and cabbage, carrots, and green onions
  2. Whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice
  3. Slowly whisk in the oil
  4. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat
  5. Refrigerate for at least 15-20 minutes
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds

September 24, 2013

Matzo Ball Soup

Who says it needs to be Passover to have Matzo Ball Soup?!  My boyfriend will attest to the fact that it can and should be served as often as possible, so I find myself making it quite frequently.

I will admit, that I'm no expert when it comes to the matzo balls, since I didn't grow up eating them.  From what I've gathered, some people like "floaters" and others prefer "sinkers".  These balls are light, fluffy floaters, so be delicate while cooking them.

I use a traditional Chicken Soup base recipe and just substitute the matzo balls for the noodles.  I prefer to have this as a complete meal, so I pack it with celery, carrots, and chicken, but if this is being served as an appetizer, I suggest reducing the quantity of vegetables and omitting the chicken.

Matzo Ball Soup
Serves 4-5
Matzo Ball Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 T salt1/4 t baking powder 
  • 1-2 T parsley 
  • 2 T seltzer water
  1. Mix together the matzo meal, eggs, olive oil, salt, baking powder, and parsley 
  2. Add the seltzer and mix again 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour 
  4. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a simmer 
  5. Add some water or cooking oil to your hands and roll out 1” balls (about the size of a walnut) 
  6. Add the balls to the simmering water and cook for about 45 minutes; until light and fluffy 
  7. Transfer to the soup broth and serve
Soup Ingredients
  • 6 cups chicken broth (canned or homemade)
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cups carrots, diced
  • 2-3 T fresh flat leaf parsley; chopped
  • 2-3 chicken breasts; cut into 1” cubes 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Matzo balls or noodles of choice
  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot and sauté the onion and celery until tender
  2. Add the chicken broth and diced carrots to the pot
  3. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes
  4. Add the chicken and parsley and season with salt and pepper
  5. All the soup to cook for another 5-10 minutes; until the chicken is cooked through
  6. Add the matzo balls or noodles (if adding noodles, allow them to cook until softened)
  7. Garnish with additional parsley