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Have you ever gotten a sweet tooth, but you don’t want something that is too heavy and fattening? Well, do I have a dessert for you! It is called Simply Delicious Fruit Pie inspired by Lickety-Split Meals’ “Summer Fresh Fruit Pie”. I bought this cookbook when it when it was republished in 2004. Then I lost it somehow, realized how great it really was, and ended up purchasing it again in 2009. I have been using it since. What is so great about this cookbook is that it is a phenomenal meal planning package. There are health tips, variations for vegetarians, a weekly meal planning white board, and a shopping list for all the groceries that you need to keep in your kitchen to complete your recipes.

Now, for the pie…I couldn’t believe how delicious it tasted. Of course I tweaked this recipe, as I always do, because I wanted to use ingredients that did not include preservatives or artificial ingredients. Therefore, it does take a bit longer to make, but it is well worth it! My family loves it and I would highly recommend that you give it a try!

Ingredients/Directions:

Step 1-

1 1/2 tablespoons gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup organic strawberry puree
1/2 cup organic cane sugar

Puree your whole fresh strawberries in a blender or food process to make the puree. Pour the puree into a bowl, add the gelatin, boiling water, and sugar. Mix gently.

Step 2 –

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 whole organic large egg
2 tbsp vegetable spread (I prefer Earth Balance)
dash of salt
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt, in a saucepan until all lumps are gone. In a second  bowl, whisk the egg and almond milk. Pour the egg mixture into the sugar mixture and heat (medium). Continue to whisk the mixture to avoid clumping. When it thickens, add the vegetable spread. Once it comes to a boil, continue whisking for 1 minute and then remove from heat.

Step 3 –

3 cups graham cracker crumbs (I prefer to crumble graham crackers from Trader Joe’s or Whole Food since there are no partially hydrogenated oils)
6 tablespoons nonfat plain greek yogurt ( I prefer Chobani)
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs, yogurt, and brown sugar in a bowl.  Spray the pan with cooking spray and press mixture firmly into two  8 or 9 inch pie pans. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes.

Step 4 –

1 quart fresh organic strawberries, cleaned and sliced in half
2 organic bananas, sliced
3 fresh organic peaches sliced into wedges
1/2 pint organic blueberries, washed and drained

Carefully mix the fruits in a bowl. Spread 1/2 of the fruit mixture into each of the crusts. Then pour 1/2 of the gelatin/pudding mixture into each crust (covering the fruit). Place in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Feel free to serve it the whipped cream! Yum!

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I happen to like Jamaican cooking even though I have no roots from the Caribbean! One cookbook that I have tried quite a few recipes from is The Real Jerk: New Caribbean Cuisine by Lily & Ed Pottinger. I tend to find that when I make a recipe from any cookbook, I need to make a few tweaks so that food fits my taste. Therefore, I am offering this recipe this week with a few adjustments from the original.

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

3 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 lb Earth balance vegetable spread (I prefer to use this brand)

1 cup light brown sugar

2 organic cage-free eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp organic vanilla extract

1/2 cup almond milk

1 cup grated coconut

1/4 cup organic seedless raisins (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

3. Using a hand mixer or standing mixer, cream butter/spread and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture.

5. Add the beaten eggs, vanilla extract, almond milk, coconut, and raisins.

6. Pour the batter into a greased 8″ square baking pan and bake for 30 – 45 minutes. Check if the cake is completely soaked with a toothpick.

7. Let cool, then cut into 12 squares.

I know this does not amount to 12, but it was what I could fit on the plate:)

8. Enjoy the totoes with whipped cream or a big scoop of  vanilla ice cream!

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So, I was sitting in my bed, surfing the web (as I tend to find myself doing, especially when I am confined to it:) and had this urge for something sweet. I happened to stumble upon a post on Simple Organized Living that happened to have a Best Apple Cake recipe. The picture of the cake looked so delicious, that I was prompted to go the the kitchen and carefully manage to put together the ingredients of the recipe while sitting down. It wasn’t easy, but the end result was totally worth it. There was only one problem, I didn’t have all of the exact ingredients and therefore had to do what I usually do when I run into this kind of situation…I make substitutions!

Therefore here is my tweaked (and lower fat) version of the recipe (I actually made quite a few changes):
Ingredients

2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t.  sea salt
1 T. organic ground cinnamon
1 T. baking powder
4  organic/cage-free eggs
1.5 c. organic cane  sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
1/3 c. unsweetened pumpkin butter
2 t. organic vanilla extract

1/3 c. water
3  organic Gala apples — peeled, cored and diced
cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle over the top

Directions

Preheat oven to 400* F .
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except apples and the extra cinnamon and sugar.
Pour batter into a greased bundt ban.

Sprinkle the apples, cinnamon, and sugar over the top of the batter.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick/butter knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Original content from Simple Organized Living: http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2012/02/13/the-best-apple-cake/#ixzz1mP4RM6X4

My husband and my son tried it with some whipped cream and went back for seconds! I also enjoyed a large slice or two. Thanks Andrea!

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This recipe happens to be my family’s favorite. Each time I make it, my son says, “Yay, Chili!”  I hope that it will become a favorite of yours too! Oh, and may I add that it takes about an hour from start to finish!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 medium, green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cans (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup of vegetable broth

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, and peppers for about 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling and cover.  Cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a small amount of broth if needed, depending upon desired thickness).

3. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and multi-grain or sweet potato tortilla chips. Yum!

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I have to say that if you have been eating meat for most of your life, it can be hard knowing what kind of meals to cook that are vegetarian. Therefore, I thought that I would suggest some tasty meals that are quick and easy. In a later post I will write the recipes for some of these meals.

1. Vegetarian Chili
2. Vegetarian Stew
3. Pasta Primavera
4. Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
5. Stir Fry with Brown Rice and Tofu
6. Brown Rice, Corn, and Black Bean Burritos
7. Roasted Root Vegetables
8. Tofu and Sweet Potato Burrito with Lettuce, Tomato, and Sauteed Onions
9. Veggie Burger, Mashed Potato, Mushroom Gravy, Corn, and Green Peas
10. Vegetable Fajitas, Black Beans, and Rice

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These muffins are quick to make and great if you are trying to get in more fiber. I like to make them pop the extra into the freezer so that there is a little treat to grab on the go during busy mornings or just for a late night snack.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups of oat bran cereal

1/4 cup of  organic whole wheat flour

3/4 cup of  organic all-purpose flour (unbleached)

1 1/2 teaspoons of  baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon  sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of  organic cinnamon

2/3 cup original unsweetened almond milk (preferably Blue Diamond)

2 large cage-free or organic eggs

1 cup organic cane sugar

1/3 cup of buttery spread – melted (preferably Earth Balance original)

2/4 cup of finely grated organic carrots

1/4 cup of finely grated organic apples

1/8 cup of  organic quick oats (used to sprinkle on the top)

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a muffin-pan with 12 indents, spray the inside of each with cooking spray.

2. Mix the oat bran, flour, baking powder & soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.

3. Whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, and buttery spread in a small bowl. Then, stir in the carrots and the apples.

4. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix until all the ingredients are moist.

5. Using a 1/3 measuring cup, divide the batter into the indents of the muffin pan. Sprinkle a little of the organic oats on the top of each muffin.

6. Bake the muffins for about 15 minutes on the top rack of the oven. Cool before serving.

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Yummy Pancakes

I like to have pancakes for breakfast on the weekends and sometimes during the week! After much trial and error, here is a recipe that tastes great freshly made and popped in the toaster after being frozen (I like to make a large batch and freeze the rest).

Yummy Pancakes (…my son gets credit for the title)

2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

1 T of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of salt

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of dry milk powder

1 tsp of vanilla

1/4 cup of melted butter

1  1/4 cup of milk (I like to use 1% or skim)

1 egg

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix with a spoon. The consistency of the batter should be smooth. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle on medium-high heat and melt a pat of butter or use non-stick spray to coat the bottom. Use a 1/4 measuring cup or an ice cream scoop to pour 1/4 cupfuls onto the hot greased surface. Cook until several bubbles form on the surface. Then, flip over and cook until the other side is golden.

Serve with syrup and butter! (My family likes these pancakes with 100% Maple Syrup)

Yield: About 14 pancakes

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