Archive for March, 2011
Apple French Toast Cups are the combination of 2 things my grandchildren love, french toast (Caleb) and applesauce (Keegan). One ‘sleepover’ weekend we were deciding what to eat for breakfast and each one wanted their pick so I put them together and the result was a fun and flavorful breakfast they were both satisfied with.
- 4 slices whole grain bread of your choice, cut into cubes
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup low fat milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 large apple (golden delicious, gala, fuji are good choices), cut into cubes
- 1/2 can (6 ounces) unsweetened frozen apple juice concentrate
- oil for muffin pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 6 cup muffin pan.
- In a medium skillet, saute the apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and apple juice on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the apples are soft and the juice is reduced to a thin syrup. Reduce heat to low if the juice is cooking down too fast before the apples soften.
- In a medium bowl mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, and remaining cinnamon until well combined.
- Fold the bread cubes into the egg mixture.
- Add just the apples into the bread mixture, reserving the juice. Gently mix until combined.
- Fill the muffin pan evenly with the mixture.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until set.
- To serve, place one French toast cup on a plate and spoon the reserved juice/syrup over the cup.
Makes 6 cups.
Serving size 2 cups.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 320, Cal. from Fat: 62, Total Fat: 6g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 57g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 24g, Protein: 10g, Sodium: 269.5mg, Chol: 141.5mg
These cups would be great for an Easter breakfast or brunch. You can double the recipe for a larger gathering. Pour the sauce into a small bowl and place in the center of a serving plate. Arrange the French Toast Cups around the bowl for a pretty presentation.
For a gluten free option make sure to use a gluten free bread.
Winters in Chicago are not fun. It’s usually bitter cold and massive amounts of snow cover the ground. My family seriously goes into hibernation mode. On Sundays we wake up late and usually have a pre-football breakfast. Most of the time it’s Whole Grain Pancakes or Waffles with a side of Naked Hash Browns. Some mornings we like to switch things up a bit and Breakfast Tacos are one of our favorites. The meat tenderized and cut into pieces and sauteed with green and red peppers, onions and garlic. Followed by a sprinkle of Asiago cheese and then topped with a fried egg and salsa. They are amazing and you’ll soon be wishing every meal was breakfast!
- 1 pound grass fed organic cube or flank steak, cut into 1 inch thick pieces *see notes
- 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- 3 eggs
- 6 tortilla shells of your choice (I used Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortilla Shells)
- 1/2 cup salsa of your choice (I used Muir Glen Organic Mild Salsa)
- handful of roughly chopped cilantro
- In a large skillet on medium heat add in the onions and saute until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the red and green pepper and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the cube steak and garlic to the onion/pepper mixture and saute until the meat is thoroughly cooked and nicely browned, about 10-15 minutes.. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium skillet cook your eggs to your desired doneness. For a soft center (sunny side up), 4-5 minutes. For a medium center (over medium), 6 minutes. For a hard center (over hard), 15-17 minutes.
- To assemble your taco, place about 1/2 cup of meat mixture on your taco shell, add a sprinkle of Asiago cheese and top with 1/2 a cooked egg, salsa and cilantro.
Makes 6 breakfast tacos.
Serving size 1 taco.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 342.5, Cal. from Fat: 119, Total Fat: 13g, Sat. Fat: 4.5g, Carbs: 27.5g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 27g, Sodium: 109mg, Chol: 157mg
If you want to lower the cholesterol amount in the recipe substitute egg whites and scramble them in your skillet for about 7 minutes.
Cube steak is a cut of beef, usually top round or top sirloin, tenderized by fierce pounding with a meat mallet, or use of an electric tenderizer. In this recipe if you use a flank steak you’ll want to tenderize the meat yourself before cutting up the meat.
Leftover taco mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
March is maple syrup time in Michigan where I was born and raised. Those first few days of warm weather start the sap running and the making of that sweet golden liquid. If you go a step further and boil the syrup until it thickens it crystallizes as it cools and you have maple sugar. I’ve used maple sugar in this recipe because I think maple and sweet potato go so well together. Don’t let a souffle scare you, go ahead and give this recipe a try. It’s really not difficult and the results are impressive.
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 medium apples, cored, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 tbsp maple sugar
- 1 egg yolk plus 4 egg whites
- 2 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
Topping Ingredients: (optional)
- 2 tbsp pecans, chopped
- 1 tsp organic pasture butter
- 1 tbsp maple sugar
- 1 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
- Place the cut up potato into a medium sized pot, cover with water and over high heat bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, about 15 minutes or until the potato chunks are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain off the water and let cool.
- While the potato is cooking, place the cut up apples, cinnamon, ginger and water in another pot over high heat until the water is boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 15 minutes or until the apples are soft and cooked through. Remove the cover and let cool.
- While the potatoes and apples are cooling, mix the topping ingredients with a fork ( if using) and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 6 ramekins (6-7 ounce) by placing a drop of oil into each and with your fingers or a brush spread it thoroughly around the dish. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
- In a food processor, puree the cooked potatoes, apples, salt and 3 tbsp maple sugar until smooth and there are no longer any lumps. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- When the mixture is smooth add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons flour and process again until combined.
- Whisk or beat with an electric mixer the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form.
- Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the potato mixture. When mostly combined add in another 1/3 of the egg whites and gently fold in again until mostly combined. Add the remaining 1/3 of the egg whites and fold until combined. It’s ok to have some egg white still showing, you don’t want to over mix.
- Divide the mixture evenly into the prepared ramekins and sprinkle the pecan topping over the dishes.
- Bake 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately as the souffle will fall as it cools.
Makes 6 souffles.
Serving size 1 souffle.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 98, Cal. from Fat: 8.5, Total Fat: .5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 12.5g, Protein: 3.5g, Sodium: 50.5mg, Chol: 35mg
Souffles do not save well and should be eaten immediately after baking.
My husband loves apple pie but I don’t love spending all that time in the kitchen that it takes to make an apple pie. My compromise – Apple Pie Truffles. Each bite is like a little bite of apple pie heaven yet they are so easy and quick to make. These sweet treats are great for get togethers or potlucks so make a batch and let your friends and family taste the healthy eating difference!
- 5 Medjool dates, pitted
- heaping 1/2 cup dried apple rings, unsweetened & unsulfured (I used Made In Nature Brand Dried Apples)
- 1/3 cup raw pecan or walnut pieces
- 1 1/2 tbsp So Easy Applesauce
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- a dash of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup finely chopped raw pecans or walnuts (optional topping)
- Place the dates and dried apples into the bowl of a food processor or blender (you’ll need to have a powerful blender to be able to properly mix the dates and apples together) and process until they form a thick paste.
- Place 1/3 cup pecan pieces into the food processor along with the dried fruit paste and process until mixed. The nuts will break up the thick fruit paste and you’ll end up with a more fine grained mixture.
- Add in the applesauce, cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg to the mixture and process until throughly mixed.
- Form the mixture into 12-14 small balls (about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick) by rolling them between the palms of your hands.
- Roll each ball around in the finely chopped pecans until fully coated (optional topping).
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Makes 12-14 truffles.
Serving size 2 truffles.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 63.5, Cal. from Fat: 24.5, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 10g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 8.5g, Protein: .5g, Sodium: 0mg, Chol: 0mg
Any leftover truffles should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
McDonald’s filet-o-fish sandwiches were a favorite of my husbands so I have seen quite a few of them in my time. While I’m not going to say this sandwich tastes exactly like McD’s I will say it is a really tasty fish sandwich. The almond crust is what makes it. I first had almond crusted trout at the Thornapple Valley Inn in Ada, MI and I’ve been using almond flour for the breading on fish ever since. By using almond flour and frying the fish in a skillet rather than deep frying you end up with much less fat and all healthy fat at that.
- 4 (5 ounce) white fish fillets. Please check the seafood watch list for the best choices.
- 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup organic blanched almond meal flour
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 4 whole grain hamburger buns (use gluten free buns for an entirely gluten free sandwich)
- 4 slices cheddar cheese (optional)
- 4 pieces leaf lettuce (optional)
- 4 tomato slices (optional)
- 4 tbsp tartar sauce *see notes
- Heat oil in a large skillet on high.
- Place the almond flour, salt and pepper in a pie plate or other flat dish.
- Dip each side of the fish fillet in the beaten egg and then in the almond flour, coating both sides well.
- Place the coated fillets in the skillet and cook about 4 minutes on each side until browned and fish flakes when pressed gently with the back of a fork.
- To serve, place each fillet on a bun, top with cheese, 1 tbsp tartar sauce and other condiments as desired.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
Serving size 1 sandwich.
Nutritional info will vary depending on which type of fish you use.
If you can’t find tartar sauce that doesn’t include unhealthy ingredients you can make your own by combining 1/2 cup mayo, 1 tsp minced dill pickle, 1 tsp minced capers, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp minced chives, 1 tsp minced parsley and pepper to taste.This sandwich is best eaten right away. You can store the fish in the fridge for up to 2 days but it will lose its crispy coating once it’s reheated.
I have a new BFF in my life lately – Almond Flour! Holy cow this is great stuff!!! I’m sure most of you that are gluten free or avoid grains already know about this awesome flour but I’m justing getting around to discovering how terrific it is for cooking. Almonds, considered by some to be a Super Food, provide a ton of nutritional benefits. Instead of listing them all check out this link for the low down. One of the first recipes I used the almond flour in were cookies and boy oh boy did these turn out yummy and delicious. Plus they are super easy to make and you can even refrigerate the dough which makes it easy to whip up some cookies in no time! Enjoy!
- 3 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (Grade B or C only)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used Sunspire Brand Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl beat eggs, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract together with a hand mixer or by hand if you want a good workout.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat with the hand mixer until throughly combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips and continue to mix until the chips are evenly distributed.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough about 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the parchment paper. ENJOY!
Makes 24 cookies.
Serving size 1 cookie.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 164.5, Cal. from Fat: 102.5, Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat: 2g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 26.5mg, Chol: 17.5mg
Any leftover cookies can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Don’t be put off by the higher fat content of these cookies – they are filled with all GOOD fats – you know, the fat you want to have on a daily basis! While these do contain good fats they are still cookies and should be eaten in moderation.
If your intent is to make a gluten free cookie please make sure you use a gluten free chocolate chip.
I love potato salad. It makes me think of summer. You just can’t have a picnic or cookout without a big bowl of potato salad on the table. But really it’s good anytime. I just don’t make it that often because I think of all the mayo and eggs, i.e. fat and cholesterol, that go into it and that stops me cold. This yummy tofu mayo dressing and the elimination of half the egg yolks solves that problem. I can have my potato salad and feel good about it too. For a little variety try the curried mayo in the salad.
- 3 pounds potatoes (about 6 medium size), choose a waxy variety like a round white or a red bliss with a thin skin, cut into chunks
- 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped (to reduce the fat and cholesterol remove 2 egg yolks before chopping)
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 red radishes, diced
- 3 green onions, diced
- 6 ounces organic soft silken tofu (please use organic to avoid GMO soy beans)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (regular is fine too)
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1/8 tsp ginger (optional)
- 1/8 tsp corriander (optional)
- 1/8 tsp garlic (optional)
- 1 tsp curry (optional)
- 1/2 tsp tumeric (optional)
- Place the potatoes and 1 tsp salt in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the water from the potatoes, transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool (if you don’t like the skins left on the potatoes peel them off when cooled).
- Combine the tofu, olive oil, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, paprika and salt in a food processor until smooth.
- Add the egg, celery, radish and onion to the potatoes in the bowl. Pour in 1/2 – 3/4 of the mayo and gently combine. Add additional mayo and salt if needed.
- Chill before serving.
Makes 8 cups.
Serving size 1 cup.Nutrients per serving: Calories: 188.5, Cal. from Fat: 42.5, Total Fat: 4.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 32.5g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 5.5g, Protein: 6.5g, Sodium: 100.5mg, Chol: 52.5mg
To make curry mayo add the 5 optional spices. This is not only good for potato salad but as a dressing for other salads as well.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Ok, so this isn’t really a recipe but I thought I would share with you a fun thing I like to do when ‘the best grapes in the world’ are in season. Muscat grapes are so good that I am addicted to them. Let me tell you what a glorious day yesterday turned out to be. Sarah and I usually shop together. We split up and do our shopping, Caleb with me and Keegan with Sarah and we meet back up at the check out when done. Part way through my shopping I saw Sarah and Keegan coming down the isle towards us looking excited. When they got to us Sarah said, “the grapes, they have the grapes.” I looked into her cart and it was practically covered in packages of grapes, muscat grapes. I ran back to the produce department and filled my own cart with those sweet juicy beautiful grapes. Happy day. So now, what am I going to do with all of these grapes, besides over-indulging? I freeze them and they become perfect little frozen delights. If you can find Muscat grapes, buy them, but if not this works for any variety of grape.
- 1 package or any amount seedless grapes of your choice
- wooden skewers or freezer bags
- Wash the grapes and destem them.
- Place the clean grapes on paper towels and pat to thoroughly dry.
- Skewer 8 or so grapes on each stick.
- Lay the skewers on a baking sheet or glass pan in a single layer.
- Place in the freezer for at least 5-6 hours or until the grapes are thoroughly frozen.
- Eat as is or use as a garnish over a salad or clean sorbet.
- To freeze without the skewers, place the washed and dried grapes on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-6 hours or until the grapes are frozen.
- Divide into 1 cup servings and place in freezer bags.
- Place back in the freezer until ready to eat.
Serving size 1 cup grapes.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 62, Cal. from Fat: 3, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 16g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 15g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Chol: 0mg
Once frozen the grapes should be eaten frozen. If thawed they will turn mushy.
This recipe should be on all the best dressed lists because the dressing that covers the beans and tomatoes is fabulous. It takes ordinary ingredients like beans, tomato and kale and dresses them up like a Hollywood star on the red carpet. Why have ordinary when you can have extraordinary?
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans (or great northern)
- 3 anchovy fillets (you can substitute with worcestershire sauce* but it won’t taste the same)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- 2 lemons, juiced and 1 tsp zest
- 1 large bunch kale, stemmed and torn or chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wash and drain tomatoes well. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Place the tomatoes, garlic and rosemary in a 1 1/2 – 2 quart baking dish (you want the tomatoes to all fit in without overlapping.
- Pour the olive oil over the top making sure the garlic and rosemary are sitting in the oil. The oil will be infused with their flavor while baking and used later for making the dressing.
- Bake, uncovered for 45-50 minutes or until the skins split but the tomatoes are not mushy and still retain their shape.
- Remove from the oven, discard the rosemary and carefully pour the oil into a medium sized skillet.
- With the side of a knife or in a press mash the garlic and add to the oil along with the anchovies, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest.
- Heat on low until the anchovies have dissolved and all the ingredients have blended together, about 1 minute.
- Add the beans to the sauce and heat 1 minute or until the beans are warm.
- Add the tomatoes and gently combine being careful not to break up the tomatoes. Season with additional pepper if desired.
- Remove the mixture to a serving bowl or plate.
- In the same skillet saute the kale until just wilted.
- To serve, place 1/4 of the kale on a plate and top with 1/4 of the bean and tomato salad.
Makes about 4 cups.
Serving size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 286.5, Cal. from Fat: 153.5, Total Fat: 17.5g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 21.5g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 11.5g, Sodium: 160.5mg, Chol: 18mg
*Be sure if you substitute the anchovies for worcestershire sauce that the sauce does not include unhealthy ingredients. I know a lot of people don’t like anchovies but when used in a sauce you don’t taste fish just a salty nutty flavor. Try it and see.
My family is of German heritage and growing up I ate quite a bit of German food. I loved it all, except maybe the Lebkuchen. I miss eating many of the things I remember as a child but unfortunately not many of the recipes can be sucessfully made healthy. Here is one that only needed a change to the bread dough, using wheat flour rather than white all purpose flour. It’s a very simple filling of ground beef, onions and cabbage inside a wrapping of soft bread dough that’s baked until it’s warm and steamy inside.
- Homemade Pizza Dough (minus the vital wheat gluten or your favorite whole wheat dough recipe – 1 loaf size)
- 1 head cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 pound organic grass fed lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
- Prepare the dough.
- While the dough is proofing and almost ready, start making the filling by heating a large dutch oven or soup pot on medium high heat and brown the ground beef.
- Lower heat to medium, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, salt well and season with pepper to taste. If the pan seems too dry you can always add a little olive. Lower heat, cover and cook until the cabbage is soft.
- As the cabbage cooks begin rolling out your dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick . I usually work with half the dough at a time but that’s optional.
- Cut the dough into approximately 6″ x 6″ squares. You might have some odd shapes at the end but that’s ok.
- Taste test the filling to be sure it is well seasoned, add more salt if necessary. Spoon about 3 tablespoons filling (or as much as you can fit and still close up the dough) into the center of each square.
- Immediately bring up each corner of the square and press together in a kind of X. Seal all the seams by pinching shut and place seam side down on a baking sheet.
- Bake about 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until the dough feels firm to the touch.
- Serve as is. (Some of the people who married into our family top the bierocks with butter or ketchup but they are traditionally eaten plain).
Makes 14-16 bierocks.
Serving size 2 bierocks.
Calories: 236.5, Total Fat: 11g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 22.5g, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: 5.5g, Protein: 15g, Sodium: 236mg, Cholesterol: 34mg
Any leftover Kraut Bierock can be store in an airtight container in the fridge. They also freeze really well and you can warm them up in the microwave for a quick and easy meal in seconds.