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Faux-nuts (healthy baked doughnuts)


Faux-nuts (healthy baked doughnuts)

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

You can top the donuts with a glaze made from 1/2 a banana (microwaved for 1 minute) and a 1/2 cup of almond milk, then sprinkle with shredded coconut or chopped walnuts.

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
2. Pour into greased donut pan
3. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

These are the perfect "grown up" cookies since they aren't too sweet!


Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Canola oil spray

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 large egg white

3 Tbsp. butter (preferably unsalted), cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 small banana, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Set baking racks in top and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 baking pans or cookie sheets with oil spray.

2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice in a mixing bowl. Mix in oats, raisins and nuts.

3. In a blender on medium speed, mix egg white, butter and sugar until smooth. Blend in banana and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Pour banana mixture into bowl with dry ingredients, mixing with spatula until well combined. Batter will be fairly stiff.

4. Drop batter by walnut-size spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies at least 2 inches apart. Flatten them slightly with the back of a wet spoon, wetting spoon frequently between cookies, to make 2-inch cookies.

5. Bake 10 minutes. Switch position of pans in oven. Bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and almost firm in the center when pressed with a finger. Transfer cookies to a baking rack and cool. Stored in airtight container, these cookies keep up to 1 week.

Meatloaf Cupcakes

I was trying to come up with a fun alternative for turkey this Thanksgiving since not all of my guests can eat chicken or turkey. Hope they get a kick out of this!!


Meatloaf Cupcakes
2 pounds extra lean (96%) ground beef
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 teaspoon McCormick 25% less sodium steak seasoning

3 cups mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup reduced-sodium ketchup
12 grape tomatoes

SERVES 12 ~ 1 meatloaf cupcake per person
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine all the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl. Use a half-cup measure to scoop the meat into muffin tins coated with cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
While the meatloaves are cooking, prepare your mashed potatoes.
Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large resealable bag. Snip off one corner of the bag.
To serve, place one meatloaf on a plate, then pipe the mashed potatoes (about 1/4 cup) on top.
Sprinkle with parsley (optional), drizzle with ketchup, and top each with a grape tomato.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

A MUST for every Thanksgiving table!!
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 lb. (about 2 large) potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup skim milk
6 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
4 teaspoons salted butter

1. Cook potatoes, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Drain and cover again.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, simmer the garlic and pepper in the milk until garlic is soft.

3. Add milk-garlic mixture to potatoes. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed or mash with a potato masher until smooth.

4. Top each serving with one teaspoon salted butter.

Cocoa-Nut Truffles

A friend got me hooked on these little balls of yumminess!! They satisfy your sweet tooth without guilt! Just 75 calories each!


Cocoa-Nut Truffles
1 1/2 cups roasted, unsalted almonds
3/4 cup dates, pitted
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
up to 1/4 cup water, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Do not double or triple this recipe in a single batch--the food processor usually won't be able to mix much more than this amount successfully. To make more, it's best to make additional, separate batches.

Place dates, almonds, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and 1 Tbsp of water in a food processor
Pulse on/off for several rounds, approximately 30 seconds.
Pulse on/off for longer intervals for about a minute until mixture is mixed enough that it begins to stick together. (If it remains loose and unpacked, added water a little at a time between pulses to moisten.)
When thoroughly combined and "sticky," remove from processor. Roll into 1-inch balls and then roll through unsweetened coconut.
Refrigerate for a week.
Apple-Escarole Salad with Gorgonzola and Walnuts




After Turkey Day, keep this recipe in the lineup. Serve it as a first course on a small plate (it's fancy enough for a dinner party but quite simple to make). Chop up the escarole smaller and build a tower of apples and lettuce.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place the apples on the pan and bake for five minutes. Flip the apples, add the walnuts to the pan, and bake another four minutes, until the walnuts are lightly toasted. Remove the pan from the oven, but keep the oven on.
Remove the nuts from the pan and set them aside to cool slightly. Spread the cheese evenly on the apple slices. Chop the nuts and sprinkle them on the apples. Return the pan to the oven for two minutes, to melt the cheese slightly.
While the apples and nuts are cooking, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
Toss the escarole with the dressing in a large ovenproof bowl. Place the bowl in the oven for two minutes, just to warm the greens.
Remove both the greens and the apples from the oven. Divide the greens among four plates, and top with the apples.

Serving Size: Makes 4 salads with 2 cups of greens per salad.
    1 Granny Smith apple, cored, quartered and sliced horizontally (1/4 inch slices)
    1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles
    1/4 cup walnuts halves
    1 head escarole, torn into bite-size pieces

    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    1 small shallot, diced
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas

This healthy soup will taste like you slaved over a hot stove all day! Trust me, it comes together fast enough to eat on any busy weeknight. And using steel-cut oats makes the soup thick and hearty...perfect for those cold months!


Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (50 g) minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 cups (270 g) diced sweet potato
1 cup (110 g) chopped carrots
1 can (15 oz [425 g]) chickpeas
6 cups (1420 ml) water
1/2 cup (40 g) steel-cut oats
4 tablespoons (24 g) nutritional yeast, divided
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary
11/2 cups (270 g) chopped kale or other green like chard or collards
salt and pepper, to taste

Add the olive oil to a soup pot and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and sautee for
about 5 minutes, until translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes.

Add the sweet potato, carrots, chickpeas and water, then turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Once the soup is boiling, turn to low and add the oats, 2 tablespoons (30 g) of the nutritional
yeast, marjoram, smoked paprika, basil, thyme and ground rosemary. Cover and simmer until the oats are thoroughly cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Add in the kale and the other 2 tablespoons (30 g) of nutritional yeast. Cook about 5 to 10 minutes until the kale is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

October Foodie PenPal

I had a really amazing PenPal this month!! Just like last month, she and I totally hit it off and have continued to keep in touch even after our package swapping was complete.


She sent such awesome things it is like she just KNEW me!! The Dungeness crab & shrimp bisque made my entire office jealous because I refused to share. It was just too good!! My husband confiscated the hot sauce so I only got to try a little of it. Super yum!! And to cool your mouth off afterwards, delightfully creamy mints from a local chocolatier! The Primal Pac was a really interesting but surprisingly delicious treat. Jerky paired with dried fruit (fruit jerky) I had it as a snack one day when I didn't have time to eat and it was just the protein punch I needed to get me through the day! The Pumpkin Spice Latte...well, she IS from Washington State, not all that far from Seattle, so YEAH! OF COURSE!! But my most favorite of all was the dark chocolate and coconut Theo bar. I have such a weakness for dark chocolate. SO SO GOOD!!!!

Curried Lentil and Butternut Squash Salad

One of my favorite go-to salads for fall. Filling, comforting and chock-full of nutrients to boot!


Curried Lentil and Butternut Squash Salad

1 small butternut squash peeled and cut into cubes
2 t curry powder
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c walnuts, chopped
3/4 c lentils
2 T lime juice
1 t sesame oil
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 c cilantro

Preheat oven to 425

Place squash and onion in a shallow baking dish and toss with olive oil, curry, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until squash is almost tender. remove from oven and sprinkle with walnuts, return to oven and bake for 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Set aside to cool

Meanwhile, in a saucepan cover lentils with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine flax oil, lime juice, sesame oil, salt and pepper and shake well. Combine squash and lentils and pour dressing over top and toss to coat.

Pumpkin-Apple Butter

Give away small canning jars of pumpkin butter as gifts. Due to the low acid in the pumpkin, it is not suitable for canning. Place a label on the jar with the date made. Note that it will keep in the refrigerator for one week or up to three months in the freezer.
Be sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix, which contains spices and sugar.

(This is also AWESOME with acorn squash!!)


Pumpkin-Apple Butter
1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree or fresh steamed pumpkin
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

Place all ingredients in a lidded saucepan. Cover and simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Stir frequently, as the mixture gets quite thick.

Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Pour into canning jars or sealed containers. Refrigerate until chilled.