Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kidney Bean Kalmata Olive Hummus

This recipe was sparked by the fact that I had everything to make hummus except garbanzo beans and I was craving it. I had kidney and black beans on hand, and I figured the kidney beans would match the nice purple of the kalamata olives and I went with it.

1/2 can Kidney Beans (use garbanzo or any other beans if you wish)
1 TBSP Tahini (Ground sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (or more if desired)
1 TBSP Lemon Juice
Garlic (to taste), fresh is best, powder will also work

If you use all of the juice from the can of kidney beans, you come up with a rather runny, however smooth hummus. I think Garbanzos are a little bit drier and so you can use all the juice. If you want to play with the texture a little bit, drain and reserve the liquid and add as much or as little as you need. Another option is to use juice from the olives for more flavor. The reason I used 1/2 a can of beans is I wanted to try some different flavors of hummus to keep my palate guessing :)

Dump all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add Garlic to taste and blend again. Dip with tortilla chips, pitas, or fresh veggies and enjoy!

Makes: approximately 1 1/2 cups of dip.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cinnamon Wild Rice Pudding

2 cups cooked wild rice
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
3/4 c. rasins (I didn't have any on hand)

Stir all ingredients together and bake in a casserole dish at 350 for 1 hour or until set.
Recipe adapted from:

Homemade Mac'n'cheese with rice noodles and cauliflower

Recipe compliments of chef Meg (aptly named) from Spark People. I did the cheater version. I heated up the milk in my saucepan, added the cheese, and then dumped it over my cooked noodles and cauliflower in a baking dish. Then I sprinkled more cheese and breadcrumbs on top. It would be gluten free without the bread crumbs because I used rice noodles. This is a great version of "adult" mac  'n' cheese. It would be great with the other extra flavors the other recipe included, I was just going for the quicker version :)

Print Recipe

SparkPeople Cookbook SNEAK PEEK: Three-Cheese Macaroni

Nutrition Info
  • Calories: 259.6
  • Fat: 7.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.5g
  • Protein: 12.6g


For the Sauce:
2 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups skim milk
1 bay leaf
1⁄8 onion, cut in a wedge
2 cloves
1⁄4 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss
1⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 pinch cayenne
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow pasta, dry
(see Note)
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1 slice whole-wheat bread, processed into
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


If there is a food more comforting and satisfying than homemade macaroni and cheese, we haven’t found it. But a typical homemade recipe—made with cream, butter, and full-fat cheese—has about 400 calories and 25 grams of fat per serving; our version has a third of the fat and about 250 calories per cup. We slightly reduced the amount of cheese, used whole-wheat pasta, and chose flavorful ingredients to create a version that tastes good while cutting extra calories.
This recipe still keeps some fat, which is what adds flavor to this dish. You could make macaroni and cheese with fat-free cheese and no butter, but would you want to eat it?
Though it seems counterintuitive, eating a smaller quantity of a rich dish can be more satisfying than a larger quantity of a dish made with “filler” foods, those that have little flavor and nutritional value. This is a comfort food that you can feel good about eating.
My three boys love this dish. We usually serve it as a side dish rather than an entrĂ©e—it goes great with Spicy Turkey Mini Meatloaves (page 201) or just grilled chicken breasts. You can leave out the turkey bacon to make this dish vegetarian; add a pinch of dry mustard to the sauce for a
sharper flavor.

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare a 9" x 13"
casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the butter in a medium saucepan, melt
over medium-low heat, and cook until foaming.
Add the flour and stir well with a wooden
spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the
milk, whisking to incorporate.
3. Attach the bay leaf to the onion wedge using
the cloves. Drop the studded onion into the
milk mixture with the clove/bay leaf side down.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture
thickens, about 15 minutes
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to
package directions, but don’t salt the cooking
5. Remove the studded onion from the sauce
and discard. Add the Swiss and cheddar
cheeses. Stir to combine and heat the sauce
until the cheese is just melted. Season with salt
and cayenne.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sauce,
bacon, and cooked macaroni; toss to coat.
Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a
small bowl.
7. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared
baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs and
Parmesan. Bake uncovered until bubbly and
golden, about 15 minutes.
Note: You can swap half the pasta for 3 cups of
blanched broccoli or cauliflower

Serving size: 1 heaping cup

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

I tried this once and it was, TO DIE FOR!!! I think I'll be making this very frequently. I made a few changes to the recipe. I cooked them in a skillet with a little olive oil instead of in the oven. I thought the muffin pan could be messy to clean up later. I also used frozen spinach, just thawed it and stirred it in with the other ingredients. I used the cottage cheese instead of ricotta and Swiss instead of Parm. I also used garlic powder instead of fresh, but that's all a matter of what you have on hand. Delicious, easy, and quick to make.
(Picture coming soon)

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

From EatingWell:  September/October 2008
If you like spinach-cheese pie, try these simple but elegant-looking little spinach cakes.
4 servings, 2 spinach cakes each Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 12 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  3. Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full).
  4. Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.


Per serving : 141 Calories; 8 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 123 mg Cholesterol; 6 g Carbohydrates; 13 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 456 mg Sodium; 560 mg Potassium
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 medium-fat meat

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Delicious Brownies courtesy of King Arthur Flour

After trying and failing repeatedly to get a good brownie recipe to turn out, I finally googled "Best Brownie Recipe." I was pleasantly surprised to discover there actually was a recipe titled as such, and proceeded to try it out. Yep. Best brownies EVER! 
I do want to point out that in the last stage I added some oil, because the first round that I made came out a little dry. Approximately 1/3 cup oil. 

King Arthur Flour: the Best Fudge Brownie Ever
1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt ( 1 tsp if using unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups king arther unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2-3/4 cup chopped pecans ( or favorite) (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.
3. In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat, then add the
sugar and stir to combine.
4. Return the mixture to the heat or microwave briefly, just until it's hot but not bubbling. It will become
shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter and sugar a second time will dissolve more of the
sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
5. Transfer the mix to a mixing bowl.
6. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
7. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour and chips and nuts if using. Beat until well
combined. (*Add 1/3 cup of oil to batter & stir until smooth).
8. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
9. Bake the brownies for 28-30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or
with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
10. The brownies should feel set both around the edges and in the center.
11. Remove from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges with a table knife, this will help prevent the brownies from sinking in the center as they cool.
    12. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Pizza Bowl

    (Note to self: I need to start remembering to take a photo after making it instead of in a Tupperware when I'm eating my lunch!!)

    Craving pizza but not wanting to sacrifice your healthy diet for all the carbs and cheese? Pizza bowl to the rescue! Grill up some diced chicken and your favorite toppings and add a couple spoonfuls of sauce. I used bell peppers, mushrooms, green onions, a few slices of pepperoni, yellow squash, & zucchini. You can cut out the cheese if you are counting calories, or sprinkle a little bit on top, whatever suits you. Delicious!

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Sweet Potato Salad

    -by Megan
    A healthy twist on the original
    I ended up making this from a handful of leftovers in my fridge. It made a great lunch!
    Serves 1

    -1 Sweet Potato or Yam, diced
    -A handful of steamed asparagus, chopped
    -1/4 of a chopped bell pepper
    -one handful washed spinach leaves, torn
    -fresh herbs of your choice, I used dill
    -mayo, plain yogurt, and honey mustard to taste (oil and vinegar would also work well)

    Grill the diced sweet potatoes in a skillet with a small amount of oil until tender and browned. Turn off heat and put sweet potatoes in a medium sized bowl. Stir in all veggies and add about ½ TBSP mayo, 2 TBSP plain yogurt and 1 TBSP honey mustard (or to your taste). Mix well and enjoy!

    (You can also do as I did and cook the sweet potatoes then night before, adding all the other ingredients the next day. I prefer the potatoes slightly warm, so I microwaved it before adding my other veggies. )

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Delish Ham, Cheese, and Spinach Whole Wheat Breakfast Biscuits

    (adapted from a King Arthur Flour, Sausage and Cheese biscuits recipe)

    3 c. whole wheat flour
    1 ½ tsp. baking soda or baking powder
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ c. butter
    1 c. shredded cheese
    2 c. chopped ham
    2 c. steamed spinach
    1 c. yogurt
    2 eggs
    ~ 1 c. milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk, but any would do)

    Preheat oven to 425 F.
    Sift dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Cut butter into small chunks and work into the flour with your hands.
    Add Cheese, Ham, and Spinach and mix with a spoon to distribute evenly.
    Add yogurt and eggs and mix well. Add milk just until the dough is sticky. It should stick to your spoon.
    On lightly greased baking sheet, spoon about ½ a heaping cup of batter to make a 2”x2” biscuit, spacing biscuits about 1” apart. Bake for 10-12 min, until edges are golden brown. Cool on a rack or cutting board and store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also freeze them!
    Enjoy a tasty and healthy breakfast!

    Makes 20 biscuits.

    (note to self, add photos!!)

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Baking Powder Biscuits

    A quick and easy biscuit recipe from I usually substitute white whole wheat flour and butter instead of shortening. Delish!

    14 Biscuits:
    2 c. flour
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 c. shortening
    3/4 c. milk

    Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into bowl. Add shortening and cut into flour with fork or pastry blender. Pour in milk and stir lightly until dough holds together. Turn dough out on lightly floured board. Pat dough out until 1/2 inch thick and cut with biscuit cutter. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Roasted Corn Chowder with Chicken and Cilantro

    My mom sent me this recipe and I tried it on some friends a couple weekends ago. They loved it! I accompanied this hearty, spicy soup/stew with some homemade baking powder buiscuts. The recipe can be found here. Its a really delicious soup that's fairly low in calories. Enjoy! I know I did!

    Roasted Corn Chowder with Chicken and Cilantro

    By The Gluten Free Goddess
    WebMD Recipe from


    Picture of Roasted Corn Chowder with Chicken1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon curry or chili powder or paste, mild or hot, to taste
    4-5 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
    1 medium sweet onion, diced
    3 ears of corn, roasted, kernels removed (I used about 1/2 a bag of frozen corn).
    1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
    1 14-oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
    1 cup seeded, chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes- I used yellow and pink (use what's available and in season in your supermarket)4 oz. chopped roasted green chilies
    1 quart light vegetable broth
    1 14-oz can coconut milk or plain hemp milk
    2 rounded cups cooked chicken pieces
    Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
    A quick drizzle of organic raw agave, to taste (I left this out)
    To serve:
    3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
    Fresh lime juice from 2 limes


    If corn is in season use fresh ears of corn- if not- roast thawed frozen kernels on a baking sheet.
    Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and stir in the cumin and curry or chili powder; cook for one minute to infuse the oil with spice. Add the chopped garlic and onion. Stir and cook for five minutes. Add the roasted corn, sweet potato, canned fire roasted tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, green chilies; stir for a minute. Add in the broth. Cover and bring to a high simmer. Lower the heat and simmer gently, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about twenty minutes or so. Add the coconut milk and cooked chicken pieces. Stir and season with sea salt and ground pepper; and add a drizzle of organic raw agave to taste. Heat through gently- please don't boil it. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. Stir. Taste test. Adjust seasoning. Note: The lime juice brightens the taste and accents the spice. Agave cools the hotness.
    Garnish with a lime wedge and pass out the spoons.
    This chowder works well cooked slowly in a Crock Pot; add the coconut milk and cooked chicken 30 minutes before serving and heat through.
    Add the lime juice and cilantro just before serving.
    Total Servings: 8

    Nutritional Information Per Serving

    Calories: 276.2
    Carbohydrates: 10.4 g
    Cholesterol: 37.5 mg
    Fat: 21.0 g
    Saturated Fat: 13.2 g
    Fiber: 2.9 g
    Sodium: 64.5 mg
    Protein: 14.3 g

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Coconut Safari

    Whilst in a local bar one evening, my friend and I concocted a girly, fruity, drink with help from the bartender. Believe me, a heavy feat in Wyoming. This delicious tropical drink we christened "Coconut Safari Delight" the main ingredients being coconut and pineapple of course. The recipe follows:

    Coconut Safari Delight
    1 part each, vodka and coconut rum, poured over ice
    top with pineapple juice

    Those little suckers were delicious!

    On a second occasion (with the same friend, I might add) we found ourselves short a couple ingredients for the same mixture, but I came up with the cousin of the Coconut Safari Delight:

    The Coconut Safari EXTREME!
    1 part each, Bacardi Limon and coconut rum
    2 parts orange juice
    pour over ice, filling half the glass
    top with sprite or club soda

    Yum! I like this one even better than the Delight, because of the lack of vodka (we don't really get along).
    The Extreme, is because it's extremely delicious! And I like drinks with weird names.
    Be forewarned, these drinks are sweet and personally, I can't taste the alcohol before I feel it.
    Remember to enjoy responsibly. You may feel like you are on a tropical island, but you can still get a DUI in a boat.  :)