Posted in Recipes

Upside Down Applesauce Cake

To say I enjoy apples is putting it lightly. I really appreciate their savory flavor, variety and the versatility is amazing. Not only are they a quick snack that is nutritious but you can use them in cooking, baking and lets not forget the warm comfort of drinking them.

So as I am fully enjoying my favorite time of year and all that Autumn brings I find it fun to also find ways to use one of my favorite fruit, and in this season when apples are so plentiful the opportunities to enjoy them are endless. Not only was I looking for a way to use some of my apples up but I also wanted something sweet but not to bad for you.

My mom had given me a good recipe “Applesauce Citrus Cake” from a great cookbook “The Daniel Plan” but I wanted to change it up. This is a good recipe on its own but I wanted a nice topping for my cake but not icing.

Todays recipe is a union of a recipe from my mom and what I enjoy from a upside down cake. I am not a big fan of icing but I can’t help but like the melted butter brown sugar on top of a pineapple upside down cake. I use this in a lot of my cakes but my favorite is defiantly apple.

Yes, there are the best apples for baking but I had Fuji because they are a nice apple to eat fresh but they do bake well and plus they hold their shape nicely when baked. In the recipe below feel free to use whatever apple you have on hand or feel is best for you and I am sure the cake will still be very good.

Upside Down Applesauce Cake:

2 1/2 cups of Flour

2 1/2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg (or Mace)

A pinch of salt

2 cups of Applesauce

2/3 cups of Organic raw Honey (or Agave works in a pinch)

1/2 cup of melted Coconut Oil

1 Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla

2/3 cup chopped Walnuts

For the Topping

1/2 -2/3 cup of Butter melted

1 -1 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1 medium Apple pealed and sliced

Mix all the dry ingredients

After all ingredient’s are mixed well pour on top of apples.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven when cake is done then flip the cake upside down onto a plate removing the baking dish, let cool. Cake is best the first day but does keep for up to 2 if you can keep it around that long.

Posted in Recipes

No Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

I enjoy cinnamon sugar donuts all year but there’s just something about this time of year I enjoy them even more, so when I found this recipe, I knew I had to make them and share how it went. As much as I thrive on coming up with new healthy recipes I can’t help and share when I find one already for me to try and being a Beachbody coach I have a lot of healthy reacipes at my disposale. (not a bad perk)

I also use their shake because I have found it is the only one that works for me but we all are different and what may work for me, well may not for you. In this recipe it does call for 2 scoops of shakeology which is a protien powder but also encoporates vitamins, minerals and supper foods but you may substatue a protein powder of your choice, I’m not sure how they may taste but please let me know if you swap it and how it goes.

These decadent little snakes have all the seasoning and flavor of fall without all the stuff that is not good for us. Instead, not only do they have protein powder but coconut and dates. Dates are great for energy and brain function as well as fiber, antioxidants, helps with anemia and a lot more. I think you get the point that these little donut hole snacks pack a punch of healthy but tasty goodness.

No-Bake Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

 Course Snack

 Prep Time 20 mins

 Cook Time 0 mins

 Total Time 20 mins

 Servings 14 servings, 1 ball each

 Calories 130 kcal

 Author Beachbody

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup whole almonds
  • water
  • ½ cup + 1½ tsp. unsweetened shredded coconut, divided use
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp. coconut (or palm) sugar
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Whey (or Plant-Based Vegan) Shakeology
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 7 whole Medjool dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. honey

Instructions

  1. Place 1½ tsp. coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in food processor; process for 20 seconds. Set aside.
  2. Place remaining ½ cup coconut in food processor; process for 1 minute to release oils.
  3. Add almonds, Shakeology, extract, and salt; pulse until well blended.
  4. Add dates; process until well blended.
  5. Add honey; process until well blended.
  6. Roll into 14 balls, about 1-inch in diameter each. Roll balls in cinnamon mixture.
  7. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days
Posted in Health and beauty, Recipes, Uncategorized

Eating in this Autum season

squash lot
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but this time of year is defiantly my favorite and if I wasn’t on bed rest, I could finally enjoy the beautiful weather outside and go on my long walks and hikes but since I am inside (at least for now) I thought why not share about the benefits of eating with the seasons and what this season has to offer us.

Did you know that eating seasonally helps with our immunity and microbiome in our gut. They have done studies of people that eat with the season and found that they have a healthier microbiome in their gut because of the way our bodies change with the seasons making our nutritional needs to change.

Like in the summer we tend to go for things that hydrate or cool us down but as the temperature drop (even in places like Phoenix) we tend to go more for things that warm or comfort us or are a little heartier.

I find it so interesting that the dark leafy greens, onions, parsnips, pumpkin and squash that we harvest this time of year are perfect for warming us and giving us a little heartier meal.

Here is a list of some of the wonderful foods we can eat during this season of fall.

close up of apples in wooden bowl
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Apples, as a snack by itself or add things like cheese, PeanutButter. You may want to bake with them, like muffins, pancakes or even try them baked if you want a little warm easy desert. Just remove the core then filling with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and oatmeal making a crumble. Place cored apples in baking pan, fill with crumble pour boiling water in baking pan cover and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

photo of pumpkins
Photo by lil artsy on Pexels.com

“Winter” Squash, can be roasted, steamed, used in soups, breads, pasta, casseroles and even of course deserts, plus their seeds can be roasted for a healthy snack.

sliced vegetables on brown wooden plate
Photo by Eva Bronzini on Pexels.com

To finish off the list,

Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Collard Greens, Cranberries,
Dates, Figs, Garlic, Kale, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Pears, Persimmons,
Spinach, Swiss Chard, Turnips and last but not least Pumpkins.

You can see that there is such a wide variety of wonderful things we can eat in this season.

Posted in Recipes

Polenta Meatball Lasagna

I know I am on a polenta kick, but I figure if it’s something as good as polenta then why not, plus I bought a few rolls to make the polenta chips (see previous blog post). So, when I had spaghetti and veggie meatballs for dinner with enough sauce and meatballs to feed a small army and I picked my last little bell pepper from my garden, so I wanted to use all my ingredients up without zucchini for once. I’m sure if I did use zucchini this would be even better, but I knew my family would thank me for leaving it out.

I also was glad we started having cooler weather, so I could enjoy eating a warm meal in the evening instead of drinking my dinner like I have to do in the summer. In the summer I cook and eat a larger lunch because with my pots the heat makes it too hard on my heart to eat a warm large meal in the evening.

This is a fast dish because I had everything already done but if you need to make the sauce, meatballs and polenta it will add a lot more time.

Polenta Meatball Lasagna:

1 roll of polenta

1 jar of marinara or the equivalent to one jar homemade

10 small meatless meatballs (or meat if you prefer)

1 small green bell pepper chopped

1/2 white onion chopped

3-4 garlic cloves diced

1-2 Cups of grated mozzarella cheese

Sauté onion, pepper and garlic then add meatballs and a little sauce to simmer together for a few minutes.

Spread sauce onto bottom of a 11×9 pan lay cut polenta on top of sauce then place meatball mixture on top of polenta, add cheese then layer like a lasagna
After you layer polenta and filling top with remaining sauce and cheese then bake 350 uncovered for about 30 minutes
Serve, top with parmesan and enjoy
Posted in Recipes

Polenta Chips

I wish I was the genius that came up with this great side dish/snack, but I am not. I was watching PBS, (yes, I am one of those) I believe it was the Jazzy Vegetarian who gave me the idea for this great recipe. She made these chips for a side to her veggie burgers, and I thought that I would share how it went when I made this recipe.

Polenta is low in fat and when you bake these chips instead of frying them you get even more of a health benefit. Plus, polenta is rich in complex carbohydrates so higher in nutrition slower to digest so you stay full, and because of the slow digestion rate your blood sugar doesn’t have that big swing of a simple carb. A few other benefits you may not know is polenta is a soluble fiber so you gut will be happy while the zinc, iron, magnesium and vitamin A really give this nice different side a lot of great health benefits.

If you don’t make your own polenta and you buy it in the roll this makes a very quick side or great snack in a short amount of time, but you still get the health benefits

Polenta Chips:

(Depending on how many you would like you may use more than one already made roll)

1 Roll of already made polenta, plain or any flavor you would like

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Sea salt per taste

parchment paper, sheet pan (cookie sheet)

Remove packaging from the polenta roll, then with polenta on its side slice the roll in thin round slices. Place the thin slices on the sheet pan that is lined with parchment paper. Brush polenta with olive oil, sprinkle with salt on both sides. Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes flipping the chips halfway through. Remove chips and serve

You may want to serve the chips with a dipping sauce or eat them alone

Dipping sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan is awesome)

1/4 cup of tobacco sauce (more or less per your taste)

Mix together

Posted in Recipes

Sweet Potato Brownies

IMG_20190905_162727813

I have such a weakness for brownies. I almost feel like a Dr. Seuss character in “Green Eggs and Ham” except  I would and could eat them everywhere. I have been know to eat a whole pan in one sitting or so my kids say. I don’t confirm or deny it but I can say I have cut back on my consumption these last few years because I have been trying to cut back on eating so much sugar.

So when I was on Facebook and I saw a new recipe from “Vegan strong dad” (you should really check him out) I got so excited and had to try it.

Here it is and I must say they are REALLY tasty!

Sweet potato brownies:

 

1 Cup of mashed sweet potato

1/4 Cup coco powder

1/2 Cup of nut butter of your choice

1/4 Cup maple syrup

 

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well, pour in 8×8 pan (I didn’t grease it and it didn’t say) Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Yes that is it and then you have semi healthy brownies that are so good that you could eat the whole pan if you choose.

IMG_20190905_162744684

Posted in Recipes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I had seen a post on Facebook asking about Vegetarian Sloppy Joes and needing a recipe  alternatives to the Morning Star ground. The following post is two years old but after I saw the post and responded to the person on Facebook I got to thinking maybe I should bring back this recipe for those that may have missed it.

Sloppy joes are one of my favorite foods, they are simple and if done right really good. I have experimented with all different meat alternatives but enjoy the health benefits of the lentil full of clean protein and fiber. Lentils are rich in folate, niacin, and vitamin E. As well as a great source of  minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

I substitute lentils in so many ways that I usually have some already cooked and ready for me to use in a wide range of foods but if you do not have them on hand. Place preferred amount cleaned and in a pot with just enough water to cover the lentils then cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes. You my season them but when I cook them for the purpose to have them on hand I wait to season them later.

GREAT TIP: I  have found that when I use lentils for meatless meat balls or a meatless ground I mash them slightly and let them dry a little.

I like to use brown or green in this recipe but you may use what ever kind you prefer.

IMG_20180724_170621536

1 – 1/2 cup of cooked lentils slightly mashed (may use more for a large family adjust the following ingredients as well)

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 small onion diced

4-5 mini sweet peppers diced

1 8 oz can of tomato sauce

1 Teaspoon (vegetarian friendly) Worcestershire sauce

1 Teaspoon of vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of dry mustard

1 Teaspoon or so of brown sugar

The following per your taste salt, pepper and garlic powder

In a pan add olive oil, garlic, onion and peppers sauté until fragrant and onion is almost translucent. Add lentils cook until lentils start to look a little crisp then add brown sugar and rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Serve on buns or bread, can top with cheese.

Makes about 2-3 large sandwiches depending on size of bun and amount you use for each.

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Posted in Recipes

Stuffed Pepper Skillet

I have a surplus of zucchini from my garden this year. I’m not really surprised with my one zucchini plant giving so and boy the fun, I am having with my one plant that is feeding a small city. I give the zucchini away to friends/family or just at my mailbox in a bag marked garden surplus, because sharing is caring and when I have shared all I can I then turn to freezing this great veggie. I cut it in all sorts of ways from lasagna sized noodles to bite sized for soup then shredded for some wonderful bread or muffins plus using it freshly cut from the garden. So, today’s recipe is inspired by zucchini as you can guess and a few of my other veggies.

I was so excited to have peppers to use that I knew I would make an easy one pot kind of meal. I love stuffed peppers but didn’t have enough (at least not yet) to make a whole meal with them plus I had Anaheim chili to use. These peppers are mild on any scale but give a nice almost sweet flavor.

Not only do these peppers give a nice flavor but the really are awesome for our bodies. Did you know that Anaheim chili are mostly water, low in fat and bad carbs, so they make a great flavor in cooking for weight loss. These great little peppers also have vitamins like C, K, A and B6 so when you combine them with the bell pepper that is loaded with anti-oxidants and C just to name a few of the great benefits these two peppers have.

If you prefer you may substitute the rice with quinoa or any other grain, you enjoy or agrees with your body better.

After sautéing veggies let simmer for 15-20 minutes before adding the rice.

Stuffed Pepper Skillet:

1 1/2 cup rice cooked according to package directions

1 small zucchini chopped in bite sized pieces

1 small bell pepper chopped in bite sized pieces

2 Anaheim peppers diced

1 small white onion

4-5 garlic cloves diced

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup of vegan meat crumbles

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder per taste

In a large pot on medium to high heat add olive oil, onion, garlic, zucchini and peppers. Sauté until veggies are tender add seasoning, crushed tomatoes and crumbles. Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes add cooked rice or other grain of your choice, continue to simmer for about 5 more minutes then take of heat and serve.

Posted in Recipes

Roasted Veggies with Harissa Yoghurt

I made the roasted vegies last year and turned it into a Budda bowl but thought I would share this with the harissa yogurt sauce recipe I found in my challenge workout group. The roasted veggie with the sauce makes a great healthy snack and with back to school a good healthy snack is defiantly needed plus with cooler weather, hopefully around the corner this will make a great appetizer with all the holiday parties that are coming up.

I think you could also exchange the veggies with ones you like better, and I am also thinking that this will be perfect to roast eggplant and zucchini but haven’t tried it yet but with all my zucchini from my garden it will be done soon.

Ingredients For the spiced Veggies:

1 tsp. ground smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Depending on the size of your vegetables, use about 8 medium carrots, 5 beets, 24 brussels sprouts, cut in pieces as shown below.


FOR HARISSA YOGURT SAUCE:
2 Tbsp. shelled, unsalted pistachios,
chopped (reserve for garnish)
½ cup reduced-fat plain Greek
yogurt
2 tsp. harissa sauce
1 tsp. lemon zest



Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper; coat
lightly with spray. Set aside.
To make spiced vegetables, add paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to a
small bowl; toss to combine. Set aside.
Combine maple syrup and mustard in another small mixing bowl; mix well.
Place veggies on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with maple syrup mixture; toss
to evenly coat. Sprinkle with spice mixture; toss to coat.
Arrange in an even layer; bake for 35 minutes, turning once, or until soft.


Make harissa yogurt sauce while vegetables cook. Add yogurt, harissa sauce, and
lemon peel to a medium mixing bowl; stir to combine.
Evenly divide veggies onto serving plates, top evenly with yogurt
sauce and pistachios.
Roasted Carrots with Harissa Yoghurt
Time: 42 minutes

Posted in Recipes

Walnut Tacos

Yes, you read that correct. I am always trying different ways to make my meals without using a lot of processed foods and sometimes it turns out then I will share, but then there’s times that I may be the only one that likes it, so I sit on the idea awhile, Like today’s recipe.

I told my mom my idea then her and my dad liked it so with a little more confidence here it is. I like the fact that these tacos can be soft or hard and you can make a larger or smaller amount of the taco mixture depending on your family size.

Plus, when you start cutting out processed foods your body will thank you. Did you know that processed foods lead to digestive problems, insulin resistance can happen, or you may end up eating extra bad carbs and sugars for fillers which lead to fatigue and a lot of other problems.

I am off my soap box now but books on the topic of how processed foods are slowly killing us line the shelves of bookstores and would be more helpful than my blog if you would like to look into that topic.

I can say this that walnuts the star of this dish are loaded with goodness. From plant Omega 3’s, antioxidants and more these great nuts really pack a punch with helping us with aging well, fitting some cancers, lowering rick of diabetes and even blood pressure help. Yes, there is even more these nuts do but I will get to the recipe.

Walnut Taco:

4-6 Cups of crushed walnuts

1 Bell Pepper

1 Chili Pepper of your choice

4-5 cloves of garlic diced

1 small white or purple onion diced

1 can of tomato sauce

1 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon

1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Cummin, Chili powder, Garlic and Onion Powder, all per taste (salt can be added if your Boullioun is low or no sodium)

Taco mixture before tomato sauce is added

Place walnuts in a large bowel then add water to cover them, you will be soaking them over night or at least for 8 hours to soften them so you should also cover your dish and place them in the refrigerator.

After walnuts are soaked, place them in a food processor to finely chop them. Don’t worry they won’t be turned to mush but this is an important step and one I had to do by hand, but it pays off when you cook them.

In a large skillet on medium to high heat add olive oil, pepper, chili, onion and garlic sauté them until the pepper and chili are soft or onion is translucent. Add walnuts sauté a few minutes then add the bouillon, tomato sauce and seasoning. Turn to low add a lid then simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

Serve as a taco salad or in shells with all your favorite toppings. Then enjoy!