Posted in Recipes

Peanut Butter Apple

I don’t have children at home that go to school anymore but I know how the end of Summer can be for parents. The lazy summer days will give way to a busy schedule that starts way to early for most parents and last long into the night.

I honestly can say I don’t miss the back to school shopping and the dreaded home work that could turn a wonderful evening into one that made getting your teeth pulled look like a walk in the park.

I do miss the after school stories I got to hear as my kids would have their snack. The snack that I would have to get very creative with. I had a tall order it had to fill up growing kids and yet tasty enough to be enjoyed.

So for todays recipe it is such a quick simple snack that can be for after school or to take it along for a great healthy snack when you’re out. I had it as a kid (thank you mom) and my kids loved it and in fact still do.

Peanut butter has such a wide range of health benefits. From reducing the risk of diabetes, to heart health, high blood pressure, to even helping aide in decreasing the risk of contracting viral or fungal infections! You also get some pretty good protein. I could go on with the benefits but the fact that it helps with viral or fungal infections should be enough for you to load up on peanut butter with the season of spreading germs just around the corner.

My daughter with a peanut allergy didn’t miss out, I used almond, soy or cashew butter to just name a few and even if you are not allergic they are great to try.

IMG_20180813_092255191

The Peanut Butter Apple:

Wash the apple, remove the core then replace with peanut butter or peanut butter alternative.

It is that simple and such a great health quick snack that looks cute too.

IMG_20180813_092357170

 

In case you need more inspiration:

10 Healthy and Tasty Treats (kid approved)

  1. Plain Greek yogurt with honey…some extra options are fruit and trail mix layered like a parfait
  2. Chia Seed Pudding full of omega 3 and when you make it with your kids it turns into a great science project because these great little seeds really expand!
  3. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, so full of calcium, magnesium and potassium and you can’t get any more back to school and Fall than this.
  4. Apple Sauce and get creative make your own with other fruits like Pears or peaches.
  5. Homemade Trail mix this is great on its own or add it to the Greek Yogurt.
  6. Smoothies, you can get creative and cheaper when you use frozen.
  7. Veggies and Hummus, great source of fiber
  8. Baked Apple, Kale, Sweet Potato or Beet chips
  9. This is my favorite, one I had as a kid and got the recipe from the Television show Mr. Rogers. He made them and so I call them

Mr. Roger Treats

1 cup of peanut butter or any nut butter

1 cup of raisins

1 of dates

A scoop of butter

Mix all the above ingredients into balls the roll the balls into graham cracker crumbs. Place in a container and refrigerate.

Posted in Recipes

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

My favorite time of year is almost here! I love the Fall and all things that come with it, so to share some recipes that have a touch of warm and cozy with healthy is even better. Squash is always a favorite for me and I don’t think you can get anymore of a comfort food than mac and cheese. To combine these is just the recipe for me to share. I did not come up with this great recipe, I wish I had but it comes from Beachbody and fits the 2B mindset from Ilana Muhlstein, it is only 300 calories per serving so it is a win win all around in my book.

I have been on my health journey for over three years and am happy to share that I am at a point in this new normal of mine that I have a streaming service to workout in my home plus I run a fitness group online for those who are health challenged and needing guidance plus it is always a great way to swap good recipes, struggles and wins. I will continue to share off and on my health journey and recipes that I find or come up with but I hope you enjoy and try todays.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese:

INGREDIENTS:

1lb dry whole-wheat macaroni

1 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 medium red bell peppers chopped

3 cups cubed butternut squash

1 3/4 lo- sodium organic chicken broth ( used veggie broth)

1 cup low-fat milk ( or plant based worked too)

2 Tbsp. lo-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese (again you can substitute plant base for both cheeses)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sea salt and ground black pepper per taste

Finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

( if you use Nonstick cooking spray)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Set aside. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Place squash mixture in a blender or food processor; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth. Combine squash mixture, macaroni, onion mixture, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.

Place macaroni mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Posted in Recipes

Chickpea Salad on Lettuce Bowls

The versatility of chickpeas are great and the benefits of this little legume is astounding. Chickpeas provide fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, just to name a few. Since I don’t eat meat I turn to chickpeas a lot, especially for the basic older recipes like tuna fish sandwiches. Today’s recipe is inspired by tuna fish but instead of fish I use the chickpea and in place of bread a nice lettuce bowel.

This is great for those who don’t eat bread or if you are looking for a different thing for a light lunch. I also like this because if you don’t eat fish you still get to enjoy something like it and full of protein. You can also add or take away the ingredients to meet your taste.

Ingredients:

1 15.5 ounce can of chickpea (garbanzo) beans

1/4 cup of mayonnaise (vegan works great too)

1 small tomato

3 small sweet peppers

1/4 cup or less white onion

Salt, black pepper, garlic powder per your taste and spiced paprika for on top of each bowl

Lettuce of your choice

In a medium bowl pour drained chickpeas and diced onions mash for a few minutes until the chickpeas are no longer whole. You are wanting some shape in them still so you have various textures. Next add the diced tomato, sweet peppers, mayonnaise and seasoning mixing well.

On a plate or in a bowl spoon chickpea mixture onto washed lettuce leaves then top with paprika.

This is such a quick and easy recipe but full of goodness, I hope you enjoy.

Posted in Recipes

Skillet Phyllo Pie With Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese

moms rec

I bring back this recipe because I have been missing my mom’s cooking, she always made sure we had a healthy meal and would go out of her way to try new things. I looked back at this blog with a little bit of tear in my eyes and thought that sharing this again would be a good thing for those that just found my blog, you get to try this and maybe in sharing, my mom’s cooking lives on.

Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale and Goat Cheese:

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1/2 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
3 ounces Parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
8 ounces frozen phyllo pastry, thawed (half a 1-pound package)
4 ounces fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled

Preparation
Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6–8 minutes. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 8–10 minutes. Mix in thyme and red pepper flakes and transfer to a medium bowl; let cool. Wipe out and reserve skillet.
Add kale, eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest to squash mixture and gently mix to combine; season with salt and pepper. Layer phyllo sheets inside reserved skillet. Spoon kale-and-squash mixture into phyllo and dot top with goat cheese. Brush edges of phyllo lightly with oil and fold over filling, overlapping slightly, leaving center exposed.
Cook pie over medium heat until bottom of pastry is just golden (carefully lift up on one side with a heatproof rubber spatula so that you can take a peek), about 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake pie until kale is wilted and tender and phyllo is golden brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes. Let pie cool in skillet at least 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.
Do Ahead
Pie can be baked 6 hours ahead. Let cool; store uncovered at room temperature.

Todays recipe came from my mom who got it from Anna Jones Bon Appétit November 2016

My mom made this the other night for dinner. It was so good I thought I would share her hard work. Thank you Mom!

Posted in Recipes

Polenta Zucchini Lasagna

Whether you have a garden or not I think we all know what time of year this is. It is that time of year when zucchini is everywhere and those who have a garden start making list of friends, family or even enemies they can give this Italian squash to. It’s almost like when a you start a work at home business but this time people don’t run as fast from you.

So if you have been blessed with zucchini and looking for a way that is a little different than the normal wonderful breads and muffins todays recipe is for you.

I came up with this recipe because I was blessed with a lot of zucchini but wanting lasagna and loving polenta I thought that I would mix fresh ingredients with store bought so I could have a quick but tasty dinner and I even used a microwave so I wouldn’t heat up my house because a massive heat wave is still with me.

I like to grate my zucchini and put in freezer bags so I can have it ready for cooking or baking at a latter date.

Polenta Zucchini Lasagna:

1 18 ounce tubed polenta sliced

1 jar of marinara of your choice

1 bag of Italian blend shredded cheese

Hand full of small fresh tomatoes cubed

2 cups of mushrooms sliced

4 green onions sliced

1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini

1-2 Tablespoon of garlic paste

Salt and pepper per taste

Do not cover bake 350 for about 30-40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is lightly brown or if you would like microwave for 10-12 minutes covered with microwave cover so you don’t have the splatter of the marinara all over your microwave but check your settings for best times, they will vary. When using a microwave it works out great but you don’t get the browning of the cheese like the oven.

You may like to top with shredded parmesan cheese when serving. Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Roosted Pepper Taco

Today’s recipe as promised, is another way to use roasted peppers. I enjoy making ingredients for one dinner but reaping the benefits the next night for a different dish. This not only helps on nights when you are short on time but you also get to make use of the ingredients so they don’t just sit in the refrigerator.

I mentioned in my previous blog post how to roast peppers but it’s always nice to have a refresher.

All you need now are small white corn tortillas, (cheese if desired )

On your plate….place a spoonful of roasted chickpeas on a warm white corn tortilla add you roasted pepper mixture then enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Roasted Pepper Gazpacho

This recipe was inspired by a fellow blogger whom I follow and enjoy reading, she always has such great recipes. Please check her out at Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen ( vintagekitchen.org)

Gazpacho is a great chilled Spanish soup that is a blend of raw vegetables so I guess that since half my vegetables are roasted then this isn’t a true Gazpacho some may say but you be the judge, it is very tasty and the base/main ingredients are bread, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, tomato, cucumber so I feel this is a Gazpacho.

I started with a variety of peppers and tomatillos to grill for dinner but I wanted to save half for this soup on the next day, so I will do a different post with my awesome roasted veggies to show how one quick night of cooking can turn out such completely different dinners that are good, easy and so versatile.

Roasted Pepper Gazpacho:

Serving 4-5 adults, prep time about 20 minutes can be less, chill time for soup at least 4 hours

4 cups Tomato juice

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 plump tomatos cut in large bites

1 roasted poblano pepper sliced

1 roasted sweet red bell pepper sliced

1 jalapeno seeded and cut up the sized doesn’t matter at this point

3 roasted tomatillos sliced

1 large shallot sliced

4-5 cloves of garlic sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilontro

1 English cucumber chopped with peel left on,( I saved 1/4 of it to dice so that I could have some different texture in my pureed soup.)

The following seasoning per taste salt, black pepper, cayenne and ground cumin

In a food processor or blender add fresh veggies (all except the 1/4 cup diced English cucumber) add roasted peppers and tomatillos. Pour tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and add your seasoning then puree the vegetables. Pour pureed mixture into a large container with the 1/4 cup of diced cucumber, chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Serve in chilled bowls with avocado toast then enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Black Bean Street Taco

I wanted to make a different taco the other night but as I got out my tofu and Greek yogurt I noticed I should have used them a few days before my taco Tuesday dinner. If you have read much of my blog you know I like curve balls so this wasn’t to much of a disappointment.

I had the vegetables but needed the protein, so without making a sauce with my Greek yogurt or using tofu I decided to make a faster dinner using a can of black beans.

I am not substituting the black beans thinking they are equal in nutrition to tofu but simply deciding on another healthy option for tacos. Black beans have more folate, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. than tofu. Plus they have potassium and of course fiber so this still provides a decent amount of vitamins. Tofu does have less carbs than black beans plus awesome protein, calcium and iron.

I will have to make the tofu tacos on a latter date and maybe you can decided if you like one over the other.

Black Bean Taco:

3-4 servings, prep/cook time 20-30 minutes (depending on how fast you chop the veggies)

1 15 ounce can of Black Beans ( almost drained, leavening about a teaspoon to use when you cook them so they don’t get dry)

1 Jalapeno diced and if you prefer seeds removed

4-5 cloves of Garlic diced

1 small White Onion diced

1/2 head of Romaine Lettuce chopped

1-2 Tomatoes chopped

1-2 cups of shredded mixed Mexican cheese

1-2 Limes cubed for on top of tacos ( you can skip this if you don’t like lime on your taco)

Salt, Black Pepper, ground Cumin per taste

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

8-10 small white corn Tortillas

In a large frying pan add olive oil, diced jalapenos, garlic and onion sauté on med/high heat for about 5-8 minutes add the black beans, salt black pepper ground cumin turn down the heat to low simmering for another 10-15 minutes.

As the beans simmer cut up lettuce, tomato. Warm up tortillas and place cheese next to the rest of the toppings.

On white corn tortillas add the bean mixture then top with the cheese, lettuce, tomato then if you desire squeeze lime over the taco then enjoy.

Posted in Recipes

Chilled Cucumber Soup and Chickpea Sandwiches

20210602_171310

I can’t believe it is June already but with the heat wave that is sweeping across my area it feels like August. I was wanting something cool for dinner and decided on chilled cucumber soup and egg salad sandwiches, this time I took pictures of this refreshing soup so I thought I would give new life to this older post.

Chilled soup is so great at keeping a person cool and the chickpea sandwiches are a good different twist when you aren’t in the mood for egg salad.

Cucumbers are low in calories but offer so much help in the heat. They keep you hydrated, give comfort to sunburns or puffy eyes plus a great help with headaches and keeping your blood pressure in healthy range. Buttermilk has some great benefits too like reducing body heat and dehydration. Have some digestion problems? Buttermilk has been shown to help with digestion and even irritable bowels.

The benefits of the ingredients are so many, it’s just amazing how much this soup helps me on a hot day.

Hope this helps cool you down.

Todays recipe is another one to keep you cool and it is perfect when your appetite is a little smaller because of the hot weather. I grew up eating this with a nice egg salad sandwich but sometimes changing it up to chickpeas for protein.

I love the fact that I can make this first thing in the morning and let set in the refrigerator all day waiting for me to come home and just set it out then eat.

20210602_094720

Based on your family size you may need to add or decrease the amounts but for a nice summer meal it’s great.

Chilled Cucumber Soup:

1 quart of buttermilk

1-2 medium cucumbers ( depends on size and how chunky you would like your soup)

Hand full of Green onions or 1 small purple onion ( white onions also work)

Fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt to taste

20210602_095004

20210602_100305

Peel cucumber, chop green onions, great cucumber and if using purple onion grate this as well. In container add grated cucumber and onion, pour in buttermilk add seasoning. Chill for the entire day. Best if served in chilled bowls.

Chickpea Sandwiches:

1 Can of chickpeas washed and drained

Mustard, olive oil mayo ( vegan mayo)

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Bread of your choice

Pour chickpeas into dish, mash with a fork then add the mustard and mayo enough to make a tasty paste ( think consistency of egg salad ) now season to taste. Refrigerate the when ready make into sandwiches. This will keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Posted in Recipes

Southwest Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are so easy, as long as you have a grain, veggies and protein you can go so many ways with flavor. Have fun and mix it up is what I like to do. Today’s recipe is short and sweet giving you an idea of a different way to eat this great dish.

Do you want more ideas?

For grain you can do rice, (such a nice variety in just rice alone) quinoa, barley, bulgur and the list can go on but these grains are a great start.

Vegetables think fresh, crunchy and again the sky is the limit here too, with summer coming you could really have fun with all the fresh wonderful veggies.

Now the protein, legumes or beans and again you can have a large choice with beans. Not to split hairs but I used lentils and they are considered a grain legume so have fun deciding on what category they belong in. I choose to just eat a larger portion of lentils so to fill in both my grain and legume. Right or wrong I enjoyed this quick easy meal.

Southwest Buddha Bowl:

For the Lentils:

1 cup dry lentils

2 cups water

1 jalapeno seeds removed and diced

1 small white onion diced

1 small tomato diced

cumin, salt, lime juice to taste and a pinch of sugar

In a sauce pan add washed lentil, water and the remaining ingredients cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are done.

Vegetables:

Salad Spring mix per taste

1 red sweet pepper diced

1 orange sweeet pepper diced

1 white onion diced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

In a bowel place desired amount of lentils and vegetables

Add the toppings/sauce

For the sauce

1 jar of Cashew Cheesy Sauce use per taste ( warmed it up in the microwave)

Plain Greek Yogurt per taste

Now enjoy!

This might not be your usual Buddha bowel but it’s a great easy meal on a Summer night.