Archive for November, 2010
While we don’t do ‘take out’ in my family we do have what we call ‘freezer night’ or as I like to call them – ‘mommy doesn’t feel like cooking nights’! I keep our freezer stocked with soups, stews and an endless supply of leftovers but my single biggest stockpile is cooked veggies and rice. Both my kids love it and it’s my husband’s favorite meal. I make a large batch of rice, sauté some veggies and toss them both together in single serving tupperware containers. While my husband prefers his rice and veggies with just a sprinkle of salt, the kids and I love ours with my oriental dressing. I always have a bottle of this on hand!
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp rice wine or rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and blend well.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes approximately 8 servings.
Serving size 2 tablespoons.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 35, Cal. from Fat: 10, Total Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 4.5g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 578mg, Chol: 0mg
This is one of my favorite dressing. Not only is it delicious on veggies and rice but it’s an amazing sauce for steamed greens beans (add a few almonds and you’re set!) and perfect for Crock Pot Chicken Chow Mein.
For a gluten free dressing make sure to use a gluten free tamari or soy sauce.
Cookies have long been my dessert of choice. Little round circles of yumminess! Thankfully my family is full of cookie lovers as well since I tend to make them often. I love experimenting with new textures and flavors and this recipe is no exception. I wanted something hearty yet low in fat and calories. Here is the winner!
- 1 cup Naked Apple Butter
- 1 1/2 cups raw coconut crystals
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups oats (you can use either old fashioned oats or quick oats)
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat together apple butter and coconut crystals until creamy.
- Add egg, vanilla and water. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Thoroughly combine flour, baking soda and salt, then add to the sugar mixture.
- Mix well then stir in oats, raisins and walnuts. The dough will be pretty stiff.
- Drop rounded tablespoon size balls onto cookie sheet. Flatten the dough slightly but not too much as the cookie will naturally spread out as it bakes.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet before moving them to a wire rack or parchment paper.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Serving size 1 cookie.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 99, Cal. from Fat: 21.5, Total Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 18g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 1.5g, Sodium: 14mg, Chol: 5.5mg
I love these cookies. Even just one is so yummy and filling! I like the texture that the oats bring but if you prefer a smoother cookie just pulse the oats in a blender for a few seconds and then add to the batter. No matter which way you make these they turn out yummy and delicious! They also freeze really well. I use snack size baggies and freeze 2 cookies in a bag. They are great to pull out for a quick after dinner treat!
My husband and I recently switched from PC’s to the new MacBook Airs. You might be wondering what the heck this has to do with Ranch dressing? Well, in the sheer giddiness of the switch over (I am LOVING my Mac!!!) I forgot to transfer my calendar reminders. So when I received the email from my friend confirming that we were still set for her family to come over for dinner I went into a semi blind panic since I was none to prepared to host a dinner party! With less than 3 hours to whip something up I thanked my lucky stars that I had some frozen turkey meat and made some Homemade Meatballs and sliced up some fingerling potatoes for dinner. Then my downfall, I had just used up the last of my Homemade BBQ Sauce and had nothing to actually serve with the meatballs as a sauce. As I opened my fridge I noticed a half used container of buttermilk that I had recently used to make a Skillet Cornbread – and that is how my ranch recipe was born! I did not use a recipe to make this dressing…I went completely by taste when adding ingredients. Everyone seems to have their own opinion of what makes a good ranch so as you make your ranch feel free to add a little of this or that to make it your own signature dressing!
- 1 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Yogurt Cheese
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 1/2 tsp dried chives
- Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Yup, it’s really that simple!
Makes 14 servings.
Serving size 2 tablespoons.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 12.5, Cal. from Fat: 2, Total Fat: <.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 1g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 36mg, Chol: 1mg
The ranch dressing got 2 thumbs up from everyone at my dinner party. The next day my husband had some of the leftover meatballs for lunch and put some of the ranch dressing on them. He couldn’t believe it was the same dressing from the previous night. He actually asked if I had made a new dressing! As it turns out this dressing is good when you first make it and even better the next day!
Store your ranch dressing in the fridge for up to 1 week.
What are pumplings you ask? They are the name my son in law gave to the last entry in the Thanksgiving with a Twist…. pumpkin dumplings (he’s so ingenious). I love pumpkin. My recipe collection is full of pumpkin recipes, like, pumpkin beverages, pancakes, muffins, soups, breads, risottos, pastas, desserts and even pumpkin dog treats. You name it, I have it or I want it! I love this time of year because every magazine you pick up has another pumpkin recipe. Not all can be made over to be healthy but I can try. This dumpling is one of those recipes that I made over to be healthy and it’s delicious. Try this Pumpling for yourself and see!
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup raw honey, brown rice syrup or coconut nectar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups milk, divided (I used oat milk)
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin-not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small mixing bowl.
- In a larger mixing bowl combine the oil, 1/4 cup raw honey or brown rice syrup, 1/2 cup milk and the pumpkin puree.
- Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just mixed.
- Combine the remaining 1/2 cup raw honey or brown rice syrup, 1 cup milk and the water in a saucepan on medium heat until just boiling. Reduce heat to low and drop 4 spoonfuls of dough into the boiling sauce.
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. No peeking. Keep the lid on to retain the moisture.
- Spoon warm dumplings into a bowl, top with some of the sauce and if desired a spoonful of Delicious Fruit Dip.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional info for dumplings only.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 304.5, Cal. from Fat: 67, Total Fat: 7.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 45.5g, Fiber: 6.5g, Sugars: 10.5g, Protein: 5.5g, Sodium: 180mg, Chol: .5mg
Sweet dumplings are kind of a homely dessert but what these little guys lack in appearance they more than make up for in taste.
If you have taken on the task of preparing Thanksgiving dinner and want a WOW dish – this is IT! This soup is simply gorgeous and so elegant, yet ridiculously easy to make. It has such incredible flavors that your guests will think you slaved over the stove all day!
Adapted from this recipe.
- 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) no salt added diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatos and they added an amazing flavor)
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion greens (about 3 scallions)
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, bell pepper and carrots. Cook, stirring until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cayenne, black pepper, garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more.
- Stir in the sweet potato, broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender (see notes) or in a regular blender in 2 batches and then return to the pot.
- Add the peanut butter and stir over low heat until the peanut butter melts.
- Serve warm and garnish with scallions.
Makes 6 servings.
Serving size 1 1/2 cups.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 290, Cal. from Fat: 180, Total Fat: 18g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 23g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 14g, Sodium: 122mg, Chol: 0mg
Unlike chunkier soups this is a delicate and flavorful soup. It’s best as an appetizer or paired with a salad for lunch or dinner. Most soups tend to freeze well and this one is no exception. The recipe makes a large quantity so freeze into single servings and enjoy throughout the year!
**When using an immersion blender make sure to lift a corner of the blender to avoid heat explosions. If you’ve never used an immersion blender, they are excellent for making purees.**
When I hear truffles I think soft, melting chocolate confections. What I have here are not that classic kind of truffle but they are a soft, melt in your mouth sweetness that can be rolled in cocoa powder or even drizzled with melted chocolate and will make you think you are eating a piece of forbidden fruit. The best part is that they are not forbidden as they contain only fruit, nuts and spice. I have three varieties made with classic Thanksgiving ingredients with not so classic results. There is a cherry cocoa-nut, a pumpkin spice and a cranberry orange. So try one or all three for Thanksgiving or any time.
Ingredients for the Cherry Cocoa-Nut Truffle:
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 18 dates)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup dried unsweetened or apple juice sweetened tart cherries
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Place the almonds in a food processor and process for about 30-45 seconds just until the almonds are chopped.
- Add the pitted dates and process for another 30-45 seconds or until the dates are partially chopped with the nuts.
- Add the cherries and almonds extract and process for about 2-4 minutes. The mixture will be done when large clumps form.
- Form the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in unsweetened cocoa powder. Your truffles are now done and can be enjoyed guilt free.
Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Truffles:
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried apple juice sweetened cranberries
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- Follow the same instructions as the cherry cocoa-nut truffles starting with the walnuts, then add the dates and then cranberries, orange zest and orange juice.
- Form into 1 inch balls and roll in crushed or finely chopped walnuts.
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice Truffles:
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup unsweetened raisins
- 2 tbsp canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tbsp raw coconut crystals and 1 tsp cinnamon (mix together for rolling the truffles in)
- Again, follow the instructions for the cherry cocoa-nut truffles starting with the almonds and cashews, then add the dates, and last the raisins, pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
- Form into 1 inch balls and roll into the coconut crystal-cinnamon mixture.
Makes 24 truffles.
Serving size 3 truffles.
Nutritional info for Cherry Cocoa-Nut Truffles only.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 219, Cal. from Fat: 74, Total Fat: 8.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 33g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 25g, Protein: 4.5g, Sodium: 3mg, Chol: 0mg
The dough can also be pressed into an 8×8 baking dish lined in parchment paper, let sit for a couple of hours and then turn the pan over onto a cutting board or waxed paper and cut into 8 pieces to individually wrap for lunch boxes or for easy portability.
These truffles are a good alternative to cookies, are a great pre and post workout power boost or dressed up with drizzled chocolate as a unique dessert. Any leftover truffles should be stored in the refrigerator.
For a pretty dessert presentation, place the truffles on a plate, melt a couple tablespoons of chocolate chips and drizzle over the truffles.
For the third recipe in the Thanksgiving with a Twist week we have a couple of traditional ingredients, turkey and green beans, used together in a not so traditional cassoulet ( a stew originating from France, made from haricot beans and goose, duck, pork, etc. – Collins English Dictionary). This cassoulet is very versatile and can be served with pasta, noodles, rice or even over those leftover mashed potatoes. The tarragon and mustard give it a unique flavor so if you are using that extra turkey or mashed potatoes it won’t taste like you are eating leftovers.
- 1-2 cups Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 turkey breast cut into bite size pieces or 1 cup diced cooked turkey
- 1 cup fresh green beans (canned would do in a pinch)
- 2 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- Heat olive oil on medium heat in large saute pan, add the turkey and saute until browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the tarragon, salt and pepper and then the green beans and cook until the beans are just tender. Add the dijon mustard and stir until all the turkey and beans are coated.
- Add the cream of mushroom soup, turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Serve over cooked pasta, noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 266.5, Cal. from Fat: 91, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 3.5g, Protein: 29g, Sodium: 155.5mg, Chol: 70.5mg
Leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? This recipe is excellent to use with the leftovers! You can also freeze the meal and reheat when ready to use for a delicious meal on a busy night!
For years I always had a can or two of Campbells cream of mushroom soup in my cupboard. How could you make a casserole without it? Those cans were one of the first things to get cleared out when I began cleaning up my diet. Maybe you did the same thing with a little sigh, thinking never to have casseroles again. But, you were wrong. This cream of mushroom soup is so good you may eat it all before it can become a casserole. As you’ll see in the directions, I deglaze the pan with wine after sauteing the onions and mushrooms. Deglazing is just a fancy way to say pouring a cold liquid into a very hot pan to get all the yummy browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Be careful when using alcohol to deglaze a pan, always remove the pan from the heat first. This step is optional but I think it really makes a difference, adding a depth of flavor you won’t find in a canned soup.
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms (baby portabellas), sliced or diced (your preference)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup milk (I used oat milk)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
- Pour olive oil in a medium sized soup pot and heat over medium high heat.
- Add mushrooms and onions and saute until tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan. Return the pan to the heat and let the wine simmer until almost gone, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in flour until all the vegetables are coated.
- Stir in the vegetable broth and milk and simmer about 5-7 minutes on low, do not boil, keep the heat low and just simmering until thickened.
- Soup is now ready to be used.
Makes 8 servings.
Serving size 1/2 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 74.5, Cal. from Fat: 31.5, Total Fat: 3.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 77.5mg, Chol: 0mg
This soup is the perfect replacement for any canned cream of mushroom soup. Use as you would in any recipe that calls for it.
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Soup can also be frozen in freezer safe containers for up to 6 months.
To make a gluten free soup simply substitute the whole wheat flour with 3 tsp kuzu root and 6 tsp water. Stir until dissolved and then stir into the soup and continue with directions as stated.
Every year at Thanksgiving we have corn, just plain old corn. So I figured this year it was time we give corn a makeover! For our second Thanksgiving with a Twist recipe we are making over corn into a scrumptious skillet cornbread. This recipe is so easy to make you’ll wonder why it’s not one of your everyday recipes!
- 1 1/2 cups organic cornmeal (preferably stone ground)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- olive oil for your skillet
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a medium size bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- Add egg and buttermilk to dry ingredients and mix together to combine. If batter seems dry add more buttermilk.
- Lightly mist a non stick skillet with olive oil and place in the oven for about 3-4 minutes.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and pour batter into the skillet. Return to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Makes 12 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 68, Cal. from Fat: 11, Total Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 13g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 2.5g, Sodium: 144.5mg, Chol: 18.5mg
Serve up your cornbread straight from the skillet and top with some honey, butter (if you’re feeling naughty) or even a fruit spread.
Leftover cornbread will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days.