f4ba68c1cbedb0122ea82653afbd56f3b53077b88b4c4a5f31 Uncomplicated Healthy Living: November 2015 http://www.freesearchenginesubmission.infoher-libido.com

Monday, November 30, 2015

Applesauce Gingerbread Scone Recipe

We all like having something warm and comforting for breakfast in the cooler weather.  Family enjoys the treat of having something straight from the oven.  These scones will fill all your needs.  The usual scone is full of heavy cream and butter.  In these applesauce is used to replace part of the butter and low fat buttermilk is used to replace the cream.  I use spelt flour and whole wheat that is GMO free and organic.  The result is a scone that tastes decedent without the saturated fat content and has good for you whole grains.  Be sure to pin this to use all winter long!

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Applesauce Gingerbread Scone Recipe

1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
1/3 cup sorghum molasses (you can use blackstrap if you wish)
3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 cup organic spelt flour (you can use all purpose)
1 cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces

In a bowl mix together the buttermilk, molasses and applesauce, set aside.  In another bowl mix together the next eight ingredients, the spelt through the salt.  Using a pastry blender, two butter knives or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles course meal.  Add the milk to the mixture and combine using a fork.  You want the dough to be smooth and soft.  Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with more flour and knead 10 to 12 times.  Cut the dough into two separate pieces.  Place each piece of dough on a greased sheet pan and pat into a 5" circle (both pieces will fit on a large sheet pan).  Cut each circle into 6 equal wedges.  Don't separate the wedges.  Bake in a oven preheated to 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until hollow sounding when tapped.  Serve them up!

These scones travel well and reheat easily.  As a result it is a recipe to keep on hand for brunch gatherings or just for family.  Any time you choose to make them, I know you will enjoy them!  Get in the kitchen and have fun!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Apple & Extra Sharp White Cheddar Quesadillas

These quesadillas are the perfect snack for your game and parade watchers.  Crisp sweet apples, sharp tangy cheese with a little bite from kale and mustard; they fill your mouth with flavor.  Prep each part ahead of time and they can be assembled quickly.  Be sure to pin this so you have it later!

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Apple & Extra Sharp Cheddar Quesadillas

3 Whole wheat burrito size tortillas
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. apple cider (you can use apple juice if you prefer)
6 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 honeycrisp or fuji apple, cored and sliced 1/8" thick slices
1 to 2 ounces baby kale, cleaned and stems removed

In a small bowl combine the mustard and apple cider.  Heat a large non-stick frying pan or griddle to medium high heat.  Lay a tortilla flat on your pan or griddle.  Working quickly, spread the mustard over the tortilla.  Top half of the tortilla with 2 ounces of shredded cheese, apple slices and baby kale leaves.  Fold the tortilla over the filling and continue to grill until golden brown.  Turn over and grill the other side until golden brown.  Remove from the pan and repeat the process with other two tortillas.  Cut each quesadilla into four wedges, using a serrated knife or pizza cutter.  Serve them up to your hungry people!

To prep ahead of time; mix the mustard and cider together and store in an airtight container.  Shred the cheese and keep in a zip lock bag.  Slice the apples and dunk them in ice water that has lemon juice mixed in.  Remove the apple from the water, allow to drain, then store in an airtight container.  Clean and prep the kale and store in an airtight container or zip lock bag.  

For other recipes for your game and parade watcher try Corn & Avocado Salsa or Chipotle White Bean Dip.  I won't be posting again till next week.  So, have a great week everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Meal Prep Burns Calories

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Many people worry about the amount of calories they will be taking in over the holidays.  What we don't always think about is how many calories are burned in the preparation of the holiday meals.  That's right!  You can be burning a portion of the calories you will be taking in just by cooking the meal.  Below is a list of the average amount of calories that you burn preparing each part of your meal.  I found this surprising.  Take a look.  Pin it to show a friend!

  1. Turkey:  Prepping and seasoning, stirring and whisking the gravy.  Calories burned:  122
  2. Stuffing/dressing:  Cleaning and chopping the veggies, sauteing, toasting and taring the bread, mixing.   Calories Burned:  203
  3. Cranberry Sauce:  Prepping and stirring  Calories Burned:  54
  4. Mashed Potatoes:  Cleaning, peeling and cutting, then mashing.  Calories Burned:  54
  5. 2 Veggie Sides:  Cleaning, peeling, cutting, cooking, mixing whisking.  Calories Burned:  135
  6. Dessert:  Measuring, mixing, whisking, beating, rolling, kneading.  Calories Burned:  135

The Total Calories  You Burned:  703 calories

These are just averages.  They also do not take into account any additional items you are making or the snacks you will need to make for the game and parade watchers.  The other thing that is not included is the effort you go through to clean the house, set the table or anything else you are doing for the day.  So don't beat yourself up over what you eat.  You've given yourself a workout just to get to the point you that you can eat.  I hope I have given you something to think about.

I mentioned snacks for the game and parade watchers.  The next recipes you will be getting are for snacks.  So keep an eye out for them! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Spinach Bake

Casseroles are an easy way to make veggies for large dinner parties.  You can put them together ahead of time, then just stick them in the oven.  The problem is, many are full of high sodium condensed soups as well as fat.  They actually have little veg. in them.  I wanted to give you a veggie filled, low fat, low sodium option.  It is just as easy to put together.  You can make it ahead of time.  But, it is packed with nutritious dark leafy greens.  Try it out and it just might become a new tradition at your dinner parties.  Be sure to pin it for use in the weeks to come!

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Spinach Bake

1/4 cup coconut oil (you can use butter if you prefer)
1 large onion, diced
30 ounces spinach, cleaned and torn (you can use frozen, thawed and drained)
1 cup bread crumbs. divided use (I make my own with gluten free bread)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup fat free half & half (use plant based milk in you prefer)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Melt coconut oil in a deep, large pan.  Add the onion and saute until tender.  Add the spinach and stir to wilt.  When spinach is wilted, remove from heat and add 2/3 cup bread crumbs, pecans, half & half, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.  Place in a greased casserole dish or a baking pan.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining bread crumbs.  At this point you can store it until the day of the dinner party.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes if baking immediately.   If you are taking from the refrigerator to the oven, bake 60 minutes or until the center is hot and bubbly.

This can easily be made into a brunch recipe.  Toast English muffins.  Place half of an English muffin on a plate, top with a spoonful of the spinach bake.  Add a poached egg on top.  Drizzle with a little browned butter.

Enjoy your week and have fun in the kitchen!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato casserole is a tradition in many households at this time of year.  It can be full of processed sugar and fat.  The taste of the sweet potatoes themselves is sometimes lost.  Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes are the perfect alternative.  You get the true flavor of the sweet potato along with all its vitamins and antioxidant benefits.  It also isn't as much work as a casserole!  In the recipe below I used sweet potatoes approximately 7" long and 3 1/2" in diameter.  The amounts I give are for each potato.  Remember with a potato this size a serving would be a forth of the potato, not a whole potato.  Try these for yourself and I am sure you will want these to be your new tradition.  Pin it for use in the coming weeks!

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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed clean (figure 1/4 to 1/2 per person)
2 tbsp. sorghum molasses per potato
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice per potato
1/4 tsp. salt per potato
1 tbsp. butter, melted per potato
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted, per potato

Pick the sweet potatoes with a fork three or four times on different sides.  Place them in a swallow baking dish or on a sheet pan.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes (it depends on the size of the potatoes) or until the flesh gives under gentle pressure.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the center of the potatoes leaving an 1/4" shell.  Place the potato flesh in a bowl and add the sorghum, pumpkin pie spice, butter and salt.  Beat at low speed with an electric mixer till ingredients are blended together.  Fold in the pecans.  Spoon the mixture back into the shells.  This portion can be completed a few days in advance.  Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to bake or continue on.

Place the potatoes in a shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan.  Cover with foil.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove foil sprinkle the top of the potatoes with addition chopped pecans.  Bake for an addition 15 to 20 minutes or until completely heated through.

These are a great addition to your fall and winter menus.  I know you will enjoy them.  Have fun in the kitchen everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dinner Party Planning - Minimize Stress in five steps

We love our family and friends.  But, no matter how much we love them being a host for a dinner party can cause a ton of stress.  Stress not only effects us physically, it also effects us mentally and emotionally.  It can rob us of the joy of having those we love around us.  So what do we need to do?  Plan and then implement that plan.  Below are five steps take to host a great dinner party.  Pin this plan for use over the next few weeks!  Print it out!  Check off each part as you go.  Everyone will wonder how you made it look so easy!

One Week in Advance:

  • Assemble freeze ahead foods.  Such a casseroles.  Do you have bread dough you can make and freeze?  Or pie shells?  Anything you can think of that can be made in advance and frozen do it.
Four Days in Advance:

  • If you are serving meat, begin thawing it in the refrigerator.  Allow 24 hours for every five pounds.
Two Days in Advance:

  • Prep any veggies you will need.  Making Creamy Baked Kale?  Wilt the kale now.  Making Five Spice Turnips & Carrots?  Dice and blanch the veggies now.  Store in the refrigerator in zip-lock bags or sealed containers.
  • Prepare sauces, dressings, and dips, again keep them in sealed containers in the frig.
  • Toast nuts for baked goods or salads.  Making Pear & Cranberry Salad?  Make the dressing and toast the nuts now.  Store in the Frig.
Day in Advance:

  • Prepare individual size desserts or hand eaten items, such as Applesauce Cookies or Almond Meringue Shells .  Store in airtight containers
  • Peal and cut potatoes.  Place in a large bowl of water and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Remove frozen bread dough from freezer.  Allow to thaw in frig.
Big day:

  • Cook or roast the meat
  • Heat the frozen foods.
  • Assemble the appetizers
  • Serve the meal buffet style.  This keeps you from having to do place settings and name cards as well as a seating chart.
  • Have disposable containers on hand for leftovers.  You can send some home with the guests or save them and eat them latter.
Now that you have your schedule under control, you may be worried about overeating.  We all have days that we overindulge.  However, you can make some good choices about what to serve, then you will not be feeling as guilty.  Instead of the traditional sweet potato casserole, try my Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes that will be posted Nov. 14th.  Instead of the green been casserole try the Creamy Baked Kale mentioned above or my Spinach Bake that will be posted on Nov. 16th.

Don't let stress rob you of your joy!  Don't let it have negative effect on your health.  With a good plan in place you can do anything!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Oat Topped Baked Apples

Do you know someone who is diabetic?  Are you trying to find healthier alternatives for desserts this season?  This recipe can help.  Baked apples are simple way to have a dessert that is full of nutrients and still satisfies your desire for a sweet ending to your meal.  The oats and nuts just bring the nutrition level up a notch, while adding another flavorful element to the dessert.  Be sure to pin it to use later on this season!

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Oat Topped Baked Apples

2 large honeycrisp apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 tbsp. almond flour (ground almonds)
1 tbsp. coconut sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 tbsp. melted coconut oil (you can use butter if you wish)

Scrub the apples.  Slice in half and core.  Slice a small amount off the skin side of the apple so that it will sit level core side up and not wobble around.  Brush the cored side of the apple with the lemon juice.  Place the apples cored side up in a shallow baking dish.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.

In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients.  Work the coconut oil through the dry ingredients.  You don't want anything dry.  Top each apple with 1/4 of the oats.  Press the oats into the cored center of the apples and cover the top of each apple.  Pour water into the bottom of the baking pan 1/8" deep.  Cover the pan with foil.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking until apples are tender.  Each hot or room temp.

Do you want to add a creamy element to your dessert?  Try Frozen Greek Yogurt or Honey Vanilla Custard Sauce to top you baked apples.

Why use honeycrisp?  They have been proven to keep their shape and have a firm texture when baked whole.  Others that keep their shape and have a good texture are rome, jonagold, and spartan.  While granny smith do well in pies, they turn to mush when baked whole.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Five Spice Roasted Turnips & Carrots

Many people view root vegetables as very humble veggies.  In the fall these veggies can contribute to the rainbow of colors on your dinner table and also provide an abundance of healthy nutrients in the process.  They are versatile and personally I think they are yummy as well.  With very few ingredients you can elevate your root veggies to a new level.  Don't forget to pin it for future use!

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Five Spice Roasted Turnips & Carrots

3 medium sized turnips
3 large organic carrots
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Chinese five spice

Peel and cube the turnip into 1/2" cubes.  Peel and slice the carrots into 1/2" slices.  Place the veggies in a sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer till crisp tender, about five minutes (you don't want them completely cooked).  Remove from heat.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.  Allow to sit and drain till dry.  This part can be done up to 2 days in advance of roasting.

Place a sheet pan in a cold oven and turn the oven up to 425 degrees.  While the pan is heating, toss the veggies with the oil and five spice to completely coat.  Place in a single layer on the hot sheet pan and place the pan on the lowest rack of the oven.  Allow to roast for 15 minutes, remove and toss the veggies around on the pan.  Return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes or until veggies are tender and browned.  Salt and pepper to taste.

You can use this method with any root vegetable.  Try different types and different seasonings.  As always enjoy your time in the kitchen!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pear & Cranberry Salad

This salad is simple enough to make that you can have it for a light supper anytime, yet is elegant enough to use as a starter for a more formal meal.  You can also use it as a side on a festive occasion.  It gives you bright fresh flavors to go with the more homey, comforting foods we tend to eat in colder weather.  With a rainbow of fruits and veggies on this plate one one can question the health benefits of this beautiful salad.  So eat up! Also be sure to pin it for latter use.

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Pear & Cranberry Salad

1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 tbsp. safflower oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. onion pulp (see note)
2 bosc  pears, peeled, cored and sliced
8 ounces mixed greens (I used bib and red leaf lettuce), cleaned and torn
1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 ounces of your favorite blue cheese, crumbled

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients, juice through onion, in a small bowl.  On 4 salad plates, arrange the greens.  Top each with half of a sliced pear.  Sprinkle the cranberries, pecans and cheese over top of each.  Lightly salt and pepper each.  Drizzle the dressing on top.  Your salad is ready to eat!

Note:  You can use your food processor or mini chopper to make onion pulp.  Place some onion in the processor and pulse until it is made into pulp.  By doing this, the onion disappears into the dressing and contributes to the overall flavor of the dish.

I used bosc pears because they still have a firm texture even when fully ripe.  You can try this with fresh cranberries as well.