Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Banana Pops

So this is one recipe I can't personally vouch for but I do know that the people who I served it for really liked it. When I first thought of it I knew that it would look nice and probably sound good. I later found out that is a classic recipe, but nonetheless I am sharing it with all of you since it a fun treat made into a healthier one.

Banana Pops
6 bananas
2 cups of semi sweet chocolate (milk or dark what ever you like)
handful of crushed nuts (I recommend peanut nuts)

1. stick each banana with a popsicle stick
2. in a small microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate for 1 minute on high
3. dip the bananas covering them in chocolate 3/4 of the way
4. roll the chocolate covered bananas in the crushed nuts
4. place each banana on waxed paper and place in freezer for 3-4 hours
5. take out at least 15 minutes before serving.

   Note: if you don't like nuts you can always use sprinkes, crushed candy or granola 

This is perfect for kids- it is a way to get them to have fruit and nuts (which is a protein!) along with chocolate - something sweet and good for the heart.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Italian Pizza Sandwiches

This recipe I found when I was pinning. I'm sure you all know pinterest. I love it and I love to pin recipes! As soon I saw this one I knew this was healthie foodie worthy. The moistness of the bread and the hot melted cheese with just melt in your mouth and for sure only leave you wanting more.

Italian Pizza Sandwiches
1 package of shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
handful of fresh basil (rinsed)
1 plum tomato
1/2 loaf of fresh baked olive oil bread from bakery (save the rest for a rainy day of wine and cheese)
garlic salt

1. cut bread into 1 1/2 inch thick slices
2. lay bread out across a baking dish
3. rip the basil apart creating small peices
4. wash and slice the tomatoes and put in oven to dry for 10 minutes
5. once the tomatoes are done sprinkle some of the cheese on top of each slice of bread
6. then lay a slice of tomato on each slice of bread and a tbsp. of the chopped basil
7. sprinkle with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with garlic salt
8. bake in a preheated oven at 400* until cheese starts to melt (about 5-7 minutes)


Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I wanted (desperately!!) to do a Thanksgiving post but I was so busy cooking that there just wasn't time. So I decided to share one very yummy recipe. I know most people have pumpkin pie at their table but to me, that's just boring. Everyone does pumpkin pie, right? That's why I make pumpkin glazed cookies. They're absolutely delicious, I promise. (Disclaimer: Some of it is not so "healthie" but it is Thanksgiving after all and you have to live a little, right?) Here is my amazing recipe:

Thanksgiving Glazed Pumpkin Cookies
2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 ts. ground netmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1 1/4 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of Splenda
12 oz. canned pumpkin puree
2 large organic eggs
1 tsp. PURE vanilla extract
3/4 c. semi sweet chocolate chips (not healthy foodie)

Glaze (also not healthie foodie)
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. fat free organic milk

1. preheat oven to 350
2. mix all the dry ingredients together: whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, white sugar, splenda
3. then add in the  I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin puree
4. mix well and add in semi sweet chips
5. grease a pan and with a spoon- spoon out the cookie dough onto baking dish- leave about 1 1/2 inches between each cookie
6. bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
7. let cool (about 1 hour to be safe)
8. melt the butter and add in the confectionery sugar, vanilla and milk
9 mix and drizzle over the cookies. Let stand for about 30 minutes and serve

Note: You can always make the cookies the day before but makes sure you drizzle the glaze the day you plan to serve.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Moroccan Carrots

This recipe I've seen at restaurants and always thought it looked good. So I looked it up on the internet and found a recipe for it. It was amazing! Yes you could google it yourself but my version of the recipe is better. When my mom tried it she thought I had bought it- it was that good!

Moroccan Carrots

5 carrots
4 heaping tbsp. of olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. of lemon juice
1/2 tsp. + dash of salt
1/2 heaping tsp. of cumin
1/2 tsp. heaping tsp. of paprika
3 tbsp. of fresh parsley or 1/4 tsp. dry parsley

1. wash and peel the carrots and then cut into 2 inch thick slices 
2. bring a pot of water to boil and cook for about 15 minutes- until only a little soft 
3. mix the oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, cumin and paprika togethr
4. pat the carrots dry with a paper towel and then add in the mixture
5. allow to marinate for at least 3 hours
6. before serving add the parsley


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wrap Party

Lunch time? What do you normally have? A sandwich? A salad? Soup? Too busy to eat anything? I feel you. Well a perfect change is a wrap. I know most of the time when people think of a wrap they think it's heavy and filling. They might associate with a lot calories since the wraps you get at a restaurant or the ones you may see at a party have about 220 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates - and this is just in the wraps, then you have to think of all the fillings. Well my wraps are far from that. Here are four different wrap recipes- all of which you and anyone at your wrap party will love, love, love, love!!

You will always use Xtreme Wellness Wraps
(I like the tomato basil but they have spinach and regular as well)

Turkey and Pastrami Wrap
4 Xtreme Wellness Wraps
1 package of smoked fat free turkey deli
1 package of pastrami deli (cut off the fat trimmings)
1 large tomato
7 slices of lettuce
3 tbsp. of Helman's olive oil light mayo
2 1/2 tbsp. ketchup (Heinz without high  fructose corn syrup)

1. lay each wrap out on a plate
2. for each wrap take 4 slices of turkey and 4 slices of pastrami. fold them loosely and lay them on top of the other.
3. then cut the tomatoes in thin strips- place 6 slices on each wrap and then cut the lettuce into medium sized pieces and lay them on top.
4. mix the may and ketchup together and then scoop two scoops on each wrap- spreading it somewhat evenly.
5. then tightly roll the wraps. cut it diagonally
Serve and Enjoy!! 
Tuna Wraps
4 Xtreme Wellness Wraps
3 5oz cans of tuna (drained in water)
3 tbsp. of Helman's olive oil light mayo 
1 tomato 
7 slices of lettuce

1. lay each wrap on a plate
2. for each wrap put about 2 scoops of tuna
3. lay 2 slices of lettuce and 2 slices of tomato on each
4. then tightly roll the wraps and cut diagnoly

Flowery Basil Baked Chicken

Okay so this is a big hit over at my house. I wanted to make something from my Fabulicious cookbook (Real Housewife of New Jersey's Teresa Giudice's)  I found this recipe called Butterfly Basil Chicken with zucchinis- I am not a huge fan of zucchini so I decided to alter the recipe a little. Here is my version is different and very, very good. Here it is:

Flowery Basil Baked Chicken
6 chicken leg quarters (with the skin)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
handfull of FRESH basil- it must be fresh basil: I suggest buy it in the store and use the whole thing. Just 1 container of it should be fine.
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 heaping tsp. salt
1 heaping tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. clean the chicken and pat dry
2. cut the basil finely, however not too finely
3. mix the olive oil with balsamic vinegar, salt pepper and go
4. let marinate for about 1-2 hours
5. Preheat oven 350*
6. cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sweet Squash-Carrot Soup

Okay first of all  need to apologize for not posing here in a while. I'm from New Jersey and was hit with Tropical Storm Sandy. My home didn't get it so bad. We lost power for about 26 hours and lost phone, internet and TV for 48 hours. A few trees were ripped out and side walks turned diagonal- literally! But compared to some communities near the beach (Atlantic City, Seaside Heights) we were very blessed. Okay back to the point- the recipe!!!

So on Halloween I decided to make something healthy (you know to go along with all the junk food you eat, except this year Halloween has been postponed but not that point). This soup is so good and so healthy. Truthfully you can eat it any day- it doesn't to be Halloween :) This is one of the easiest and quickest recipes. I promise your entire family will love it!!

Sweet Squash-Carrot Soup
1 small sweet potato- peeled and cubed
1 large carrot (sliced) or 8 baby carrot sticks (sliced in half)
1 small butternut squash- peeled and cubed (or 1 1/2 cups of cubed butternut squash)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of garlic salt

1. once you have peeled and cut the vegetables put it into a pot and fill it with water until the water is 1 inch over the vegetables
2. add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt and garlic salt
3. bring to a boil
4. once it is boiling turn the flame down and allow to simmer for 30 minutes
5. pour the entire pan's contents into a a puree device
6. puree for 1 minute or until smooth
7. add a dash of salt and reheat and serve warm

All done..enjoy your fabulous restaurant style soup!!! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Light and Healthy Salmon and Fresh Spinach

This recipe was a huge hit at my house yesterday. At first I was just going to do the salmon and then regular salad on the side, but then I thought - how boring?! I came up with this when I was coming home from work and just knew it would be a hit. It is so healthy and so delicious- so light and perfect if you're trying to eat healthier.

Light and Healthy Salmon and Fresh Spinach
2 salmon fillets
lemon juice (about the amount of lemon juice from 1 lemon)
seasonal salt
dry or fresh parsley
4 tbsp. dried cranberries
2 cups of fresh spinach leaves

1/2 tbsp. salt
1/8 cup of white sugar + 1 tsp.
3/8 cup of vegetable or canola oil
3 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar

1. preheat oven to 350
2. poke the salmon with a fork
3. drizzle the lemon juice over the salmon
4. sprinkle the seasonal salt over the salmon (about 1/2 tsp)
5. then sprinkle the the parsley over the salmon (1/4 tsp.)
6. bake for for 25-30 minutes

7. Put 1 cup of spinach into each bowl
8. cut up each the salmon into large bite sizes and place ontop of spinach
9 put 2 tbsp. dried cranberries in each bowl
10. mix the dressing ingrediants together
11. pour over and serve immediately! (the salmon should be hot when you serve it for best tastes)

Yum and Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vegetable Curry Pockets

This recipe is probably one my favorites because if you don't have the ingredients you can always substitute it with something else that you have or that you'd prefer. I made this for my mother and father and they both loved it. My mom who typically doesn't like curry even ate it and loved it. Here the recipe:

Vegetable Curry Pockets
1 puff pastry sheet
1/2 cup of frozen peas or fresh peas- Don't use canned their not good for you
1/2 cup of fresh cleaned broccoli florets
1/2 cup of sliced carrots
2 slices of a diced onion
3/4 cup of cheese
4 tbsp. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of water
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. of your favorite spiced in the cabinet
3/4 tbsp. curry powder
1 medium egg
2 tbsp. sesame seeds

1. in a medium skillet melt the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
2. add in the onion and cook until it's translucent - for more about 5 minutes
3. add in the peas, broccoli florets and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes
3. add in the milk, water, whole wheat flour, favorite spice, curry and cheese
4. and mix all together (around now you should preheat oven to 350*)
5. cut the puff pastry sheet in half diagonally
6. add in 1/2 the mixture to one half sheet and the other 1/2 to the other half sheet
7. fold over and make sure it is tightly closed (if you have extra liquid drain it out)
8. beet an egg and brush each pocket
9. sprinkle 1 tbsp. of sesame seeds on each pocket
10. bake in oven for 30 minutes
Let cool for about 15 minutes

You can eat this cold but it taste better warm~

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Strawberries are a healthy fruit packed with antioxidants and fiber. They're perfect because when you're craving something sweet they can fill that craving while saving the calories. This recipe I promise to be a hit in your home with your family, kids and friends. It is light yet still filling.

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of sugar in the raw (white sugar is fine too)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup on unsalted butter/ margarine
2 large organic eggs
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of soy milk (optional)
2 cups of cut finely strawberries

5 packets of or 2 tbsp. of Splenda/Equal
1 tbsp. cinnamon
(mix this together and leave for later) 

1. mix the dry ingredients together: whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
2. then melt the butter in a small sauce pan (DO NOT let it bubble)
3. mix the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, water and soy milk with the dry mixture
4. mix well and then add int eh strawberries
5. lightly grease and flour 12-muffin pan and fill each muffin cup halfway
6. bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven
7. immediately after it is done sprinkle it with the Splenda-Cinnamon mixture (while still hot)
8. let cool and serve!

I promise you that you will love, love, love, love this!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Okay so I know what you are thinking - bacon? Healthy? Is that even possible. My answer is NO. Bacon is high in fat and cholesterol. Does it have protein in it? Yes, but not enough to count as a protein serving. However healthy people or people trying to get healthier still want to be able to eat bacon, right? And those of us (including myself) who don't eat bacon or any kind of pig want to eat it also. The question is what can we do? How can we have our bacon and still be healthy and keep to our dietary or religious needs. The answer is: soy bacon. Each strip of soy bacon has 30 calories and 2 grams of fat. Real bacon has 50 calories in a slice and 5 grams of fat. So while you aren't saving that many calories, every calories helps and each slice has 1 gram of saturated fat and soy bacon has less than half a gram in each. This alternative recipe will be a sure hit for you, your family and your waist line.

Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
4 slices of soy bacon (Morning Star Farms is good)
4 slices of tomato
4 slices of cheese (American is ideal)

4 slices of whole wheat bread
1 tbsp. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

1. cook the bacon in the microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes
2. melt the butter in a pan and the place the bread down
3. break each bacon in half and place down on the bread, the add 2 slices of cheese and 2 slices of tomato and 1 slice of lettuce
4. spread the bread with the mayo and then put the mayo side down on top of the lettuce.
5. cook on each side for 3 minutes and flip over until it is lightly browned and toasty looking on each side.

Serve and Enjoy!!

French Onion Soup

Last Sunday I was busy preparing for the Jewish new year - Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is two days (four meals) and normally we have company for at least one of the meals, sometimes even two or three. This year we had company only one night, but still it was nice. In honor of the holiday I made French Onion Soup - which if I may say so myself was amazing! Everyone at the table loved it and EVERYONE had seconds, and something tells me if they didn't know that there more food coming they would have had thirds and maybe even fourths. Yes it was that delicious. I therefore decided I needed to share it with all of you lovely people.

French Onion Soup
6 medium yellow onions
8 tbsp. of butter or margarine
4 tbsp. of whole wheat flour
7 1/2 cups (60oz) of vegetable broth
(Optional: shredded cheese- yes most people do this but I find that it is best without it!!)

1. slice the onions in slices into rings
2. melt the butter and then add the onions and cook the onions until they're browned and basically cooked - about 15 minutes
3. add 4 tbsp. of whole wheat flour and stir until mixed in and aren't able to see it anymore- about 7 minutes.
4. in a large pot, pour the vegetable broth and then add the onion blend.
5. simmer covered for 30 minutes

This soup is best when it is made in the morning and then served at night, just a little cooking tip from the me to you.

Serve warm and Enjoy!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gluten Free Hazel Nut Balls

So this is a recipe I came up with on my own but I can tell you it Teresa Guidice would say "Fabulous". It is not a Teresa recipe but I still like using her words because they're so damn cute or fabulous! If you like many people do suffer from celiac disease than you will appreciate this and if you're not, I promise you will still love it. This is not a low calorie food but it is healthy and it is gluten free.

Gluten Free Hazel Nut Balls
1 stick of butter/margarine - melted
1 3/4 cups of Nutella
3 cups of confectionery sugar
1 tbsp. of gluten free vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of crushed hazel nuts

1. melt the butter
2. mix the butter, Nutella, confectionery sugar and vanilla well
3. add in the crushed hazel nuts
4. form small balls and place down on waxed paper
5. refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours- take out 15 minutes before serving

Enjoy - YOU WILL LOVE THESE (I promise) They're fabulous!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

So a blueberry muffin sounds healthy, right? After all it is a muffin and it has blueberries! Aren't blueberries a fruit? Well as a matter of fact an average muffin has between 400-500 calories! And that is only the blueberry ones! Dunkin Donut's regular blueberry muffins have 500 calories and 20 grams of fat! While the reduce fat blueberry muffins have 450 calories and just 15 grams of fat. But still 15 grams, 20 grams- that is way too much!! Bottom line blueberry muffins purchased out are a big NO NO. However, there are alternatives. You ca still eat blueberry muffins- just be careful where they come from.

If you insist on buying them, I suggest you buy Vita Muffins. There muffins are the same size as regular Dunkin Donuts one but it just has 200 calories and 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber! WOW! Right? However after all this is a cooking blog, so I am going to give you my favorite blueberry muffin recipe - it's healthy, low calorie and low fat - YOU WILL LOVE THEM!!

Blueberry Low Fat Muffins
2 egg whites
3/4 cup of skim milk
1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. low sodium salt
1 cup of fresh blueberries

1. preheat oven too 400*
2. mix the egg whites with the skim milk and vegetable oil
3. mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt together - then add in the egg mixture
4. mix in the blueberries and stir well.
5. place the muffin mixture into muffin pans (makes 12)
6. bake in oven at 400* for 25 minutes (or until done)

Each muffin has 150 calories and 5 grams of fat


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Vegetable Pot Pie

Vegetable Pot Pie- is a very easy and healthy dinner that everyone in the family will love! It may sound scary since there are so many ingredients but I will tell you that it is worth it. Don't be scared, it's easy to make. I made this for dinner last night, I actually made enough for two dinners, thinking we would have left overs. Well I should have know that dad was coming to dinner and had seconds and thirds! Which made me happy- since everyone loves it! and because I get to make something else for dinner tomorrow night! (I love cooking!)

Vegetable Pot Pie
2-3 tbsp. olive oil (for cooking)
Small onion- chopped and diced
1/2 cup of canned mushrooms- halves and pieces
3/4 cup of canned or frozen corn
3/4 cup of frozen peas
Small red potato- peeled and chopped
Cup of carrots chopped- 1 1/2 large carrots OR 10 baby carrot sticks
2 1/2 tbsp. of whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
dash of garlic
12oz of chicken broth

(Preheat oven to 425*)
1. in large skillet heat oil and cook onions until they are translucent- about 5 minutes
2. add the chopped and washed carrots and potatoes to the skillet and cook- about 8 minutes
3. add in the frozen peas, corn and mushrooms and mix until heated- about 4 minutes
4. add in the salt, onion powder, garlic and flour and chicken brother- let continue to cook for about 3 minutes (keep stirring until somewhat thick)
5. take the crust and line it in the dish, then pour the vegetable mixture into the dish- cover it again with the rest of the puff pastry and bake in the oven at 425* for 30-35 minutes

Enjoy--this low calories, healthy and filling!
Yummy! (Don't expect left overs from this dish, this is definite crowd pleaser)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Toasty Banana Muffins

Last year when I made this for the first time it was a HUGE hit in my home. I made 12 muffins and 7 days later they were gone! This is a simple recipe that anyone can do (whether you're good in the kitchen or not) and something you can do with your kids. This recipe has something for everyone.

Toasty Banana Muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large bananas mashed
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup of margarine or butter- melted
3/4 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350*
2. Mash the bananas
3. combine the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour
4. add in the egg and margarine/butter and banaas
5. mix in the chocolate chips
6. lightly grease and flour 12 mini muffin pans
7. bake in the oven for 35 minutes
8. turn off oven and let sit there for 10 minutes before taking it out
9. let the muffins cool and serve with tea or coffee or just plain

Any way you eat them you will love them! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Honey Mustard Salmon

 So my dad was away and normally (well actually all the time) we have chicken on Friday nights, since my dad wants to have chicken on Fridays. But since he was away on business for a few weeks I decided to make something different, my mom after all isn't picky about what she eats and doesn't eat. This is when I discovered this recipe. Yes I know many of you have heard of it before, but mine is the best. I've been told it tastes like it is from a restaurant! And even my mom's friend who doesn't like fish tried it and liked it. So I promise you that if you love fish- you will love this! And even if you don't like fish- you will love this..well maybe not love but you will definitely like it a lot!!

Honey Mustard Salmon

2 fish fillets (that is 4oz of salmon)
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. light sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

1. rinse the salmon
2. mix the honey, Dijon, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil and lemon juice together
3. put the salmon and dressing into a large baggy and marinate in fridge for 20-30 minutes
4. preheat oven to 325* and bake for 30 minutes

you can serve this warm or cold- but cold is better!

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

So I am afraid to say this but I don't like cheese...yes I know you may be thinking "what you don't like cheese? Doesn't everyone like it?" Well not me and I never have. However, just because I don't enjoy cheese does not mean I refrain from using it in many of my recipes. After all most people love it! I want to share with all of you my great grandmother (Ganny)'s famous macaroni and cheese. Everyone in my mother's family loves this and we have it at almost every family get together.

Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound of whole wheat elbow pasta or whole wheat linguini 
2 pounds of shredded low fat cheddar cheese
dash of salt
dash of pepper
low fat milk
1/4 onion sliced (optional)

1. cook the pasta for 7 minutes (until al dente)
2. Preheat oven to 325*
3. mix the pasta with the cheddar cheese
4. pour it into the pan and then pour the milk into the pan until the pan is filled half way with milk
5. add a dash of salt and pepper on top along with the slices of onions
6. cook in oven for 45-60 minutes (depending on browned you like it) I recommend 50 minutes.

Serve Hot! I promise you that you will never go back to Kraft Macaroni & Cheese again!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

So I had made my spinach lasagna rolls and had left over cottage cheese and had to think of a recipe to finish it off. But what? Yes I know you can eat it plain but how boring is that? So I found this recipe and then added my own little twist to it. Here it will love, love it!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

1 1/2 cups of fat free cottage cheese
1  1/3 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3 large eggs
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. strawberry jelly

1. in a large mixing bowl combine the egg, flour, cottage and oil- mix well
2. in preheated skillet form pancakes and pour onto the pan
3. heat on each side for about 6 minutes on each side- until you see bubbles forming

Serve immediately with jelly on the side
(makes about 8 pancakes)

Grilled Avocado Melts

If you like avocado then I promise you will like this. Avocados sometimes get a bad rap because they are high in fat but the fat from an avocado is healthy for you, the fat from ice cream not so much. Avocado have 18 essential amino acids, high in vitamin C and E and can lead to a healthy heart. Okay so enough with the health lesson let's get down to recipe, right?!

Grilled Avocado Melts

1 large avocado
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
4 slices of whole wheat bread
2 thick slices of tomato
4 slices of sliced mozzarella or munster cheee
1 tbsp. of unsalted butter

1. mash the avocado and add in salt, pepper and lemon juice
2. lightly butter one side of each slice of bread
3. place 2 slices of bread (butter side down) on a preheated skillet
4. carefully spread the avocado on the bread with a spatula [remember the stove top is hot]
5. then carefully place the tomato down on each bread, on top of the avocado mush
6. then place 2 slices of cheese down and then top it with the other piece of bread (butter side facing up this time).
7. with the spatula push the bread down as you would if you were making a grilled cheese sandwich. After about 3 minutes flip the sandwich over and repeat with the other side for 3 minutes. Then flip a few times making sure each side is lightly browned and then serve each sandwich on 2 plates. 
Serve each grilled sandwich on a plate and enjoy!

Yummy and healthy- Each sandwich has about 380 calories.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer Chili

I hate having ingredients in the house that isn't be used...I know this sounds strange but it's one of my biggest pet peeves. I looked in the cabinet already annoyed and saw canned beans. We've have them in our cabinet for over a month. Why are we even buying them? I decided I needed to find a recipe for it and that is when I came up with my famous chili.

Summer Chili
15oz canned red kidney beans
15oz canned black beans
15oz diced regular diced tomatoes
8oz canned corn- no salt added
1 12oz package of Morning Star Farms meatless crumblers
1 1/2 tbsp. chili sauce
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
dash of pepper
dash of salt

1. combine red kidney beans, black beans and diced tomatoes in a pot- put heat on low (make sure you drain the cans)
2. on a large skillet heat the morning star farms and 2 cups of tomato sauce until the fake meat is at room temperature.
3. pour the fake meat into the pot and bring flame to medium
4. add in the chili sauce, chili powder, onion powder, garlic salt and dash of pepper and salt
5. pour the canned corn into the pot and bring flame to high stirring every 30 seconds.

Serve warm with bread, crackers, rice cakes or just with a spoon and fork.

Cheese Burger, Fries and Milk Shake Please...oh no!

Well I've never actually ate this nor would I eat my version of it but from what I hear a cheese burger with fries and a milk shake is like heave. If you grew up in the 50's , 60's or 70's I'm sure you have one these once in your life and if you haven't I am sure you have dreamed about it. Remember in the movie Grease when all they really eat their hangs out are milkshakes and burgers? Yum! Well it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that this combo is not exactly going to lower your cholesterol. But still why shouldn't we be able to indulge a little? Well I am not going to give you permission to indulge completely but at least a little bit. Here is an amazing recipe to have your cheese burger, fries and milkshake and eat it too!!

Morning Star Original Burgers - a normal burger has between 250-300 calories. This only has 130 calories!

1 Slice of of low fat cheese- between 60-100 calories!

Whole Wheat Bun- the normal bun you get has 160 calories and enriched flour (which may sound healthy but it is actually so bad for you) a whole wheat bun has only 120 calories.

French Fries- just buy the kind in the store and reheat it without any oil!

1. Cook burger according to directions (meanwhile heat up the fries)
2. Place the slice of cheese on the hot bun and let it melt just a little
3. Place one bun on the whole wheat bun 
4. Serve on a plate with side of fries

Milk Shake
1 cup of vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 cup of  low fat milk
2 tbsp. chocolate syrup

Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for about 2-3 minutes or until nice and creamy.

Eat with Burger and Fries

Total Calories Healthy Version: 800 calories
Total Calories of Unhealthy Version: 1100 calories        

You just saved 300 calories!

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Everyone loves peanut butter and jelly, right? Isn't that what so many of us grew up on as kids. I know I did. This blog entry is 100% dedicated to all forms of eating the famous Peanut Butter and Jelly combo.

So it's breakfast and you decide that you're really hungry and want some peanut butter with jelly...what can you make?

 Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

2 Arnold select thin breads- whole wheat (or a loaf of bread that is not already cut is fine too)
2 tbsp. 100% natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt!)
2 tbsp. of your favorite jelly
1 extra large egg

1. spread 1 tbsp. of peanut butter on each sandwich
2. drench each bread in egg and cook on a heated skillet for 3 minutes on each side (may need more depending on how your flame is)
3. serve with heaping tbsp. of your favorite jelly

So it's lunch time and you want peanut butter and jelly. Other then of course just making yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which would just be boring and gone before you even realized what you were eating there are so many other alternatives. Here are a few of them:

Peanut Butter and Jelly on Rice Cakes

5 rice cakes
5 tbsp. peanut butter (remember make is 100% natural it taste better and is better for you)
5 tbsp. of your favorite jelly

1. Spread 1 tbsp. of peanut butter and 1 tbsp. of jelly one each rice cake. It will last longer and you will actually enjoy it a lot more. I promise!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pinwheels

2 slices of bread
2 tbsp. of peanut butter
2 tbsp. of jelly

1. cut off the crust from each slice of bread
2. then spread 1 tbsp. of peanut butter and 1 tbsp. of jelly on each peice
3. then cut each side in half
4. finally roll of the bread creating a pinwheel look
All eat up!!

Okay so the day is almost over, you've eaten dinner (sorry I don't have appropriate dinner recipes yet but I'm sure I will soon) and now you're in the mood for some dessert. Well as I am sure you can imagine that the recipes and ideas are endless but I will share with you only my top two recipes:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup light packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter or margarine melted
1 1/4 cup of flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup of 100% natural peanut butter
6 heaping (maybe more) tbsp. of jelly

1. Melt the butter
2. Add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
3. Mix in the egg, butter and peanut butter
4. Mix well for 3 minutes on high
5. put in fridge for 2 hours
6. Preheat oven to 300*
7. Lightly grease and flour a baking pan
8. Pinch the dough and form little triangle shaped cookies, leaving a hole in the center.
9. Place some jelly into each hole
10. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
11. Let cool and then eat up!!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
1 large egg
3/4 cup cup of milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
strawberry perserves
12 strawberries 

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. melt the butter
3. combine the sugar, flour, salt, baking soda together
4. add in butter, milk, egg and peanut butter
5. Beat well
6. Lightly grease and flour 12 cupcake tins
7. scoop cupcake mixture into pans and bake for 20-25 minutes
8. Let cool for 20 minutes
9. with strawberry preserves frost each cupcake and top it with 1 fresh strawberry

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cupcakes at a Party

When you're having a party it is always a good idea to have foods that appeal to all ages and to have foods that don't need a fork. Many times people don't actually ever sit down, they tend to mingle and walk around with food in their hand. Cupcakes are always a fun thing to have especially if you are having kids at the party! Here are a few ideas of cupcakes for a party.

Cupcake Ingredients (use this for all- makes 12) 
3/4 cup butter- softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. In a large bowl mix the softened butter with the eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla on medium speed for
4 minutes
3. Lightly grease and flour cupcake tin pans and then pour the cupcake batter in the tins.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes
5. Let cool for 30 minutes before you start your decorating!

Beach Cupcakes
2 cups of crushed graham crackers
Blue frosting
12 Cocktail umberellas
12 gummy star fish candies

1. spread frosting on each cupcakes
2. crush the graham crackers in sandwich baggy and then pour the mixture over half of the cupcakes
3. stick each cupcake with an umbrella and place 1 gummy star fish on each cupcake


Baseball Cupcakes
White frosting
Red Gel Frosting

1. spread frosting over each cup cake
2. with the red gel carefully from the two half circle lines and the stitching on a baseball

Play ball! 

Cookie Monster Cupcakes
White Frosting
Black Gel (in a small tube)
Blue Granulated Sugar
6 Chocolate Chip Cookies
24 white gum drop candies (for the eyes)

1. lightly frost each cupcake with frosting
2. sprinkle the blue sugar covering the icing
3. break each cookie in half and stick each half into the cupcake (where the mouth would be)
4. place 2 white gum drops on each cupcake (where the eye would be)
5. Put 1 dot of the black gel on each gum drop creating  eye balls

Gimme Cookie!!

Rotten Apple Cupcakes
Red frosting
Mini pretzel sticks
12 green gumdrops
12 gummy worms

1. frost each cupcake
2. stick the pretzel on top of the cupcake creating a stem
3. then stick the gum drop next to the pretzel creating a leaf
4. with a fork scoop out a small portion of the cupcake and stick the worm in the hole making it look like the worm is crawling out of the apple..ick! :)

It's okay you can still eat it even though there is a worm in it...just kidding! 

Ice Cream Sandwiches- Homemade!!

So I remember the first time I made this. I was hesitant and thought what's the big deal it's just an ice cream sandwich, right? Well no! Homemade ice cream sandwiches are better than purchased ones. I promise you that you will love these and once you finish it you'll be glad there are more. :)

1 pint of frozen vanilla yogurt (Turkey Hill is healthiest)
1/2 cup semi sweet milk chocolate chips or sprinkles- or nuts which is healthiest b/c of the protein
Cookies (you will need 16)
1 Large Egg
5 tbsp. vegetable oil
5 tbsp. water
Here are the choices I suggest are best:
Duncan Hines Chocolate Chip Mix
Duncan Hines Peanut Butter Mix
Duncan Hines Oatmeal Mix

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. In a large bowl combine the egg, oil, water and cookie mix
3. Form them into medium sized cookies (as the box will explain)
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes. (while it is cooking and cooling take out the ice cream and let it soften)
5. Let cool completely- takes about 20 minutes
6. Scoop one scoop of ice cream onto one of the cookies and flatten it out. Then place another cookie covering the ice cream forming a sandwich
7. Pour over the semi sweet chocolate chips or sprinkles onto a plate and roll the sandwich over the chips/sprinkles until it covers the ice cream leaving a few spaces of white.
8. Wrap in saran wrap and put in freezer for at least 3 hours.
Eat right out of freezer. This summer treat is guaranteed to lift up any mood!

Yogurt Parfait

I remember the first time I had a parfait, I was 16 years old and I was in the hospital. I told my mom about having yogurt, granola and fruit together and she became in love with as well. This recipe is so easy, so fun, so good and very healthy.

Yogurt Parfait

6oz fat free vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup of fresh sliced strawberries
1/2 cup of blueberries
3/4 cup of low fat granola cereal OR you can take 2 nature valley granola bars and crush them- I suggest crushing them it tastes better.

1.  put 1/4 cup of granola in a cup
2. 3oz. - 1/2 the yogurt
3. then 1/4 cup of strawberries and /1/4 cup of blueberries
4. put 1/4 cup of granola
5. 3oz- rest of yogurt
6. then the rest of the strawberries and blueberries
7. then put the rest of the granola

This is good for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. If you are in rush you can also just throw it all into a bowl and eat as a mush!

Yummy Healthful Smoothie

So my mom wanted to drop a few pounds and again I wanted to be creative and think of drink she could have that would be sweet yet healthy and of course low in calories. I came up with a juicer that only has about 120 calories. (And by the way she lost 5 pounds on it!)

                                                        Yummy Healthful Smoothies
3/4 cup of tomato juice
4 carrot sticks
6oz of diet raspberry Snapple or 6oz apple juice
cup of frozen mango
4 frozen strawberries 
Dash of Miralax or Benifiber

Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes.

Strawberry Mango Salad

This is a salad that when I first saw it I thought it looked so good. But once I tasted it I was soon proven wrong. Now that I'm older I don't understand what I was thinking, not only does it taste divine but it looks it too!

Strawberry-Mango Salad
1 bag of spring mix salad greens
1/2 cup mango- peeled and chopped into bite sized
1/2 cup slices strawberries (about 1 container)
2 tbsp. craisins

3 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
dash of salt

1. Mix the strawberries, mango, craisins and mixed greens together in a large serving bowl
2. mix the olive oil, sugar, balsamic vinegar and salt together
3. Right before serving remix the dressing and the pour over the salad. Toss a few times


French Toast with Spunk

I think french toast is one of the easiest things to make. If you think about it all you need is bread, eggs and either jelly or syrup; all of which are basics in almost every household. I wanted to think of something different, something with spunk. I knew there had to be another recipe out there besides for bread and eggs. Do you think that when you go to IHOP or some fancy breakfast buffet at an expensive hotel they serve french toast prepared like that? I don't. So here's what I came up with:

French Toast with Spunk
4 medium slices of water challah (this is the best because it doesn't have any egg in it)
2 large eggs
4 tbsp. low fat milk (truthfully what ever you have is fine)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. of your favorite jelly
3 large strawberries- sliced in half.

1. beat the egg
2. add in the milk, cinnamon and sugar
3. drench each slices of bread in the egg mixture and place it on a preheated skillet
4. cook each side of bread for 4 minutes on low- flip over 3-4 times.
5. place french toast on plate and top it with strawberries, serve jelly on the side

I promised you breakfast and french toast will never be the same!

Shrimp Scampi Bake

So I don't eat shrimp or any kind of shell fish for that matter but I still like to cook with it - or kind of. I use the fake shrimp. I understand it might not be as good as the real kind but it's better than nothing and most people have told me that they cannot tell the difference.

Shrimp Scampi Bake

1/2 cup of butter- melted
2 tbsp. prepared Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 pounds of medium cooked imitation shrimp

1. I a medium saucepan combine the butter, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic and parsley. Once the butter
melts completely, remove from heat
2. Preheat oven to 400*
3. Arrange shrimp in shallow baking dish and pour the mixture over it.
4. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
5. Garnish it with parsley and serve!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

The first time I had this I was 14 years old and at sleep away camp. I remember we only had it on Saturdays and the second it hit the table it was gone! I think I only actually got to eat it 2 out of the 4 Saturdays, but it made a huge impact on me. Then when I came home I told my mom about it and she found the recipe and now it's become a staple. We have it every Thanksgiving and when ever we are having company over for dinner we make it. Here is the recipe- you will love it!

Apple Cranberry-Crisp

3 green apples- peeled and cut into medium thick slices
1 can of jellied cranberry sauce- but you must buy the one without high fructose corn syrum
2 cups of quick oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp. maragrine
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. once you have peeled the apples and cut them lay them across a 11x7 inch pan
2. slices the canned cranberry sauce and lay it across the apples evenly
3. in a pan melt the butter and then add the oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon. Keep mixing together until it's lightly browned
4. preheat oven to 350*
5. Pour the oatmeal crumble over the cranberry sauce layer spreading evenly (you may need to add a little more crumble - just repeat the combination)
6. Bake for 45 minutes.
Let cool- it can be served warm or cold...Anyway you will love it!!

Chicken Mango Raisin Salad

So as I am sure you know by blog I love cooking, baking and coming up with new and interesting recipes. My mom, like me, is a healthy eater. She's always saying that she wants more protein. So I wanted to think of a creative and new way to get in more protein other than just eating an egg or slice of cheese. So here is a salad recipe that is so good you won't even realize how delicious it is.

1 cup salad (any kind of lettuce: romaine, butter lettuce, ice burg etc.)
1/4 cup of fresh mango cut into bit size pieces
4 tbsp. raisins
chicken thigh (we use dark meat because that's what my mom likes but white meat is fine too)
When we bake the chicken it is normally over the weekend since Friday nights we always eat chicken.
We wash the chicken, leave the skin on and sprinkle it with Season All Salt and bake it for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the oven at 350*.

1. put the salad in a bowl
2. add the chicken at room temp. (cut into pieces)
3. then add the raisins
4. then add the mango pieces
5. dressing: Thousand Island, Honey Mustard or Russian is ideal