Join US! Happy Healthy Holidays is coming soon!

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Join me! It’s 100% free – no obligation – join me to bring a healthy spin to your holidays! We will begin Monday, November 24 and end on New Years Eve

You can join for FREE– Happy Healthy Holiday’s Group and not only will you receive lots of love and support through the holidays– you will even get my newsletters and tips – and it’s all for FREE.

  • Nutrition (adding in at least one healthy food per week)
  • Exercise (a minimum of 30 minutes 6 days a week)
  • Gratitude (take the time to be grateful for at least 3 things in your life daily)
  • Giving (challenge yourself to give without expectation of reciprocation once daily)

Just click on the link and join me! Be sure to bring your friends along, Everyone deserves Happy Healthy Holidays!

#happyhealthyholidays #healthyholidays #happy #fungroup #nutritionsupport #gratitude #giving

 

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Quick and Easy: Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Who can resist?!

Use honey to sweeten, dark cocoa powder  and nut butters, that’s about it.

Remember Reese’s? Same concept, only much more healthy!

Nutrition notes:

Use fresh ground nut butters, if you can. Certainly do not use any that have added sugars! The labels should read ground peanuts or ground almonds.

Read the labels on your cocoa, it should be pure raw cocoa for best benefits

Toast your own nuts, it’s easy and you are doing the process.

Add dry milk powder or protein powder for added nutritional boost. I like to use maca powder for this.

Using dry milk powder will also help them hold shape better when at room temperature.

Extra virgin coconut oil please. Or grass-fed butter, but that’s a lot and it would be decadent but certainly not vegan.

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

  • Servings: 24 small cups
  • Time: 30 minutes + freeze time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Before you begin, line a mini-muffin tin with pleated paper liners. It is important to use paper liners as you’ll need it to hold them while eating.

Make two layers, chocolate first as it needs to firm up before adding the top layer.

Use mini-muffin tins. Fill cups half way with chocolate mixture

Use mini-muffin tins.
Fill cups half way with chocolate mixture

Chocolate Almond Layer:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup local honey (use maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maca powder, if desired
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted almonds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Using a double boiler, melt the coconut oil, honey and almond butter until smooth. Realize that it won’t be totally smooth due to the nuts you may choose to use.

Rub the cocoa powder and maca powder through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps. Add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients.

Fold the almonds into the dry ingredients

Fold melted coconut oil mixture into the cocoa powder mixture, stir to totally incorporate; add vanilla and salt and stir well.

Fill each of the paper-lined muffin tins half way up with the chocolate mixture. Be careful not to dribble along the edges so the final product has a clean appearance. Work carefully.

Once filled half way, pop the tray into the freezer to firm up while you make the next mixture.

Add the peanut butter layer, top with toasted nuts before freezing

Add the peanut butter layer, top with toasted nuts before freezing

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter (I love the chunky kind!)
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sliced toasted almonds to garnish the tops

Melt everything over a double boiler until everything has melted. Depending on the texture you chose, it may be smooth or lumpy.

Remove the chocolate cups from the freezer, fill each cup with the peanut butter mixture to the rim of the paper.

Sprinkle the top of each cup with toasted almonds and a piece of Maldon salt if desired.

Freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

These are best served frozen or extremely cold. if serving as finger food, leave the paper on, if plating a dessert with them, remove the paper. They will become rather soft as they remain in room temperature.

If a firmer room temperature texture is desired, add 1/2 cup dry milk powder to each mixture. This will boost nutritional value as well.

Irresistible Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Irresistible Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

 

#vegandessert #peanutbuttercups #healthypeanutbuttercups #chocolatealmondpeanutbuttercups #honey #honeydesserts #nutbutter #chocolatealmond

#glutenfree #musteatnow #healthytreats #healthydesserts

 

 

Happy Healthy Holidays

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Just imagine: Healthy, happy holidays, peaceful and full of joyful spirit.

Together we will face the tempting treats and the pack-on-the-pounds holidays without busting our diets or losing energy while keeping focus.

Join us.  We will transform our holiday season together and start the New Year out right!

In this FREE program, we focus on 4 main areas:

  1. Nutrition (adding in, not taking away. This is key to consistent energy)
  2. Exercise (movement to increase your endorphins and energy)
  3. Gratitude
  4. Giving

You will receive daily inspiration, weekly focus and lots of support in our “secret Facebook group”.

The program begins Monday, 11/24/2014 and runs through 12/31/2014. Get supported in achieving your goals through this holiday season and make it a Happy Healthy Holiday!

Follow the link to join, then invite your friends to join in too. The more the merrier!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/856387267726978/

#healthyholiday #happyhealthyholiday #goals #goalssupport #nutritionsupportgroups #gratitudegiving #gratitude #giving #stayhealthythroughtheholidays

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

 

This is a delicious way to serve a whole roasted cauliflower. Instead of drying out in the oven, the spicy yogurt dressing serve as a marinade and a tasty barrier holding all the yummy juices inside.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

The yogurt dressing will turn golden brown when the cauliflower is done. Pierce carefully with a slim knife to test for tenderness all the way through.

Do not over-cook, you don’t want the vegetable to fall apart and be mushy.

Each head of cauliflower will serve 4 people generously, 6-8 as a side dish.

This would make a fun “roast replacement” for any vegetarian (not vegan due to the yogurt) meal.

Plated roasted cauliflower

Plated roasted cauliflower

Here’s what you need:

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower
2 cups plain Greek yogurt (or drain plain yogurt so it is nice and thick.)
Zest and juice from 1 lime, more if your taste prefers
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Very Tasty!

Very Tasty!

Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves; trim so it sits flat.

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Spread the mixture all over the cauliflower; use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over the surface. Save any extra for serving later.

Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes in a 400°F. The surface will be dry and lightly browned. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower on the serving platter and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Slice the cauliflower into wedges and serve with a fresh green salad.Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

Serve any extra yogurt marinade on the side of the roasted cauliflower; add good quality bread and you’ve quite a meal.

Try this for Meatless Monday!

#wholeroastedcauliflower #roastedvegetables #cookingvegetables #cauliflower #meatlessmeals #meatlessMonday #vegeterianmaindish

Pumpkin Snicker-doodles

Pumpkin Snicker-doodles are delightful. Full of rich Autumnal flavors, they are sure to please your sweet tooth craving.

Yum! Cookies!

I made last year and sent some down to Tyler. I had my culinary students make them to share with the local Ronald McDonald House, and now my son wants the recipe again. He had several friends last year who were going to another friends home for Thanksgiving and they wanted to take these pumpkin cookies.

So somehow they found a kitchen to bake in. We had an afternoon of “cooking by text” with successful results. Hopefully they had enough to take to their hostess.

This year he and his girlfriend are in apartments and have their own kitchens. They are going to cook for each other this year. I am publishing the recipe for Pumpkin Snicker-doodles, along with the method and photos so one of them can make the cookies again.

So, you don’t like pumpkin? Substitute mashed banana instead of pumpkin.

This recipe makes a lot of cookies so you may want to cut the recipe in half or just share!

Here are some reasons you should make these this afternoon:

  • They are easy
  • They taste great
  • They look impressive
  • The recipe makes a lot of cookies so there is plenty to share
  • Your house will smell wonderful all afternoon
  • You can freeze some dough to bake later
  • It’s another Pumpkin thing!
  • Fall is in the air

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

  • Servings: A lot of small cookies! About 6 dozen
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: moderate to easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 cups AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt

For rolling dough balls in before baking:

  • 1 cup white sugar mixed
  • 1 ½  tsp. cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl beat butter, both sugars, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla on medium until butter is evenly incorporated into pumpkin.

In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and spices.

Fully Mixed Dough, Chill for at least 1 hour

Roll balls of the chilled dough in cinnamon sugar

Space the cookies 2″ apart on a lined sheet pan. Use parchment paper if you don’t have a silpat sheet. Flatten slightly with your fingers.

Beat dry ingredients into wet until it is all mixed in.  The dough will be fluffy but very sticky.

Cover and chill for at least an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 375°.

Using a cookie scoop or two spoons  form golf-ball sized balls with the chilled dough.

Roll balls in cinnamon sugar.

Place 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Flatten slightly with fingers, but not too much.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are crackled and the edges are light golden brown.

Let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cooling sheets.

Cool cookies on a wire rack before drizzling with icing sugar.

To make icing sugar, combine 10x powdered sugar with a small bit of milk and a few drops of vanilla. Add the liquid a few drops at a time as the sugar will reach drizzling consistency quickly. Us a fork to drizzle, allow to dry before stacking cookies.

Eat and be happy!

Pumpkin Snicker doodles

 

Zucchini Brownies, Just try it!

Zucchini Brownies are a great way of adding vegetables to your families diet. Unless you tell them zucchini is in the mix, they simply won’t know. The secret here is to finely shred the zucchini so it ‘melts’ while baking. You can’t expect it to be undetectable if you put big chunks in the mix.

This is a great way to get some vegetables into your meat and potato family members.

This recipe follows the formula of replacing the fat in the recipe with vegetables. The shredded zucchini adds the required moisture that creates the most gooey, fudgy brownies; you won’t believe they are full of zucchini.

I’m looking forward to trying zucchini in other baked goods to see how it goes. I imagine a carrot zucchini cake?

Try the recipe and let me know what you think!

 

Zucchini Brownies

  • Servings: 9-12
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Zucchini BrowniesZucchini Brownies

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 x 9 baking dish.

Combine sugars, egg and vanilla in a mixing bowl on medium speed.

Fold in zucchini.

Shred Zucchini

Shred Zucchini

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture on low-speed, mixing only long enough to combine the ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish, smoothing it evenly in the dish.

All mixed together with the Shredded Zucchini

All mixed together with the Shredded Zucchini

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Remove the brownies from the oven and cool on a rack.

Cut and remove from pan after the brownies have cooled to room temperature.

Zucchini brownies

Hot and Spicy Chicken

So here is a recipe for a hot and spicy chicken from Paul Prudhomme. He calls it “Frontier Chicken”; I call it delicious!

The flavor resembles Chicken Creole and will leave you smacking your lips because it is so good.

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

I left out the jalapeno because I thought it had enough spicy heat, but if you can tolerate them, add them in. We served sliced jalapeno on the side.

There’s one element that will surprise you.

Banana! Don’t leave it out! It makes for such a delightful complex surprise when you’re eating and there’s that bite. . .

Paul Prudhomme's Frontier Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Seasoning Mix

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek (I left it out because I couldn’t find it)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Combine everything into a small bowl; set aside while your prepare the rest of the dish

For the chicken and the rest of the dish:

  • 6 (4-6 ounce) chicken breasts or 1 cut-up 8 piece chicken or 8-12 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups of chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 cup chopped yellow peppers
  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 fresh jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds and robs for milder heat; wear gloves to protect hands)
  • 1 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes

Sprinkle each side of the chicken breasts with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture. Be sure to massage it in well.

Heat oil in a large skillet or 5-quart pot, add the chicken to brown each side, typically 2-3 minutes on each side; remove from pan.

Brown the seasoned chicken on both sides

Brown the seasoned chicken on both sides

(Notice the color of the oil! A great golden brown from the turmeric, it’s quite dramatic!)

If you notice the chicken or the pan is starting to burn, turn the heat down.

Once the chicken is removed from the skillet, place it in the oven to keep warm. It will finish cooking later.

Add 1 cup of the onions, only half of each of the chopped peppers (not jalapeno) and the banana and the remaining seasoning mix to the pan. Cook; stirring occasionally and scraping the pan for about 10 minutes. IF anything starts to get too brown, add chicken stop to loosen everything from the bottom of the pan.

Add garlic, ginger and flour, stir until the flour is absorbed; add the remaining peppers, onions, cilantro and jalapeño.

Cook for 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and remaining stock. Bring to a boil.

Add the chicken and any juices that may have accumulated to the pan, reduce to low and simmer about 10 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve hot over steamed brown rice; add a crisp, crunchy salad that includes cucumber to cool the mouth down!

The heat is coming from several sources: cayenne, cumin, and ginger, dry mustard, chili powder, and jalapeno.

Adjust any one of these to cool it down if it gets too hot for your taste. I just left out the jalapeno for us and served them on the side.

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

Hot and Spicy Chicken!