Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers

Pumpkin Lentil Flax CrackersThese Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers would be perfect as a appetizer for a Thanksgiving gathering. They’re festive and chock-full of healthy ingredients like lentils, flaxseed, coconut oil, and beets – yes, beets! This recipe was a bit of an accident. Earlier this year I was trying to make a cracker in honor of Valentines Day and wanted to use a natural ingredient to color the dough red so I added beets, which did in fact make the dough a beautiful shade of red. The only problem was that when baked the color of the dough faded to orange. The crackers still tasted delicious so I posted the recipe anyway but they were not what I had envisioned. I did, however, make a mental note to recycle this recipe for Thanksgiving because the crackers turned out to be the perfect shade of pumpkin orange! If you don’t like beets I hope you won’t shy away from making these delicious crackers. I don’t like beets but I love these crackers. I know it sounds odd to use beets as an ingredient in crackers but you don’t really taste them – they just give the crackers a hearty, earthy quality that would be lacking without them. (more…)

Basic Roasted Chicken Breasts

Basic Roasted Chicken BreastsI suspect there are millions of people who regularly eat cold cuts for lunch who are now looking for alternatives in light of the research released yesterday by the World Health Organization declaring processed meats a carcinogen. While the news media focused mainly on meats such as bacon and hot dogs, the research defined processed meat as “any meat that has been salted, cured, fermented, smoked, or otherwise transformed for the purpose of enhancing flavor or improving preservation”. This definition encompasses a wide variety of cold cuts – a lunch staple for many. I gave up eating cold cuts for lunch years ago because of their unhealthy additives and high sodium content. (One 4 oz. serving of a popular brand of oven roasted chicken breast deli meat that claims to be healthy contains 976mg of sodium. Compare this to only 143mg of sodium for the same size serving of Basic Roasted Chicken Breasts.)  As a substitute I began roasting chicken breasts and shredding the meat to use in sandwiches and salads.  Basic Roasted Chicken Breasts wasn’t a recipe I considered worthy of sharing until yesterday.  The World Health Organization cancer report was all over the news, undoubtedly striking fear into health conscience consumers.  I hope sharing this simple method of preparation will help convince at least a few people to ditch cold cuts in favor of Basic Roasted Chicken Breasts. (more…)

Cranberry Apple Chicken Sausage Patties

Cranberry Apple Chicken Sausage PattiesMother Nature is the most reliable force in the universe. Every September in New England like clockwork, she turns off the heat and humidity and replaces it with a nip of cool air. Then, as if sensing our disappointment at having to bid farewell to summer, she tries to make it up to us. What’s our consolation prize? Glorious autumn days surrounded by leaves in all shades of golden, and the unforgettable sights and scents of apples, cranberries, and pumpkins. They are the welcome harbingers of winter that make thoughts of snow, ice, and bitter cold temperatures just a bit more bearable. Yes, fall is in the air. Pumpkins line the farm stands, half peck bags of apples are appearing in the grocery store, and the cranberry harvest is in full swing. I hope you’re finding ways to cook and enjoy all the incredible food this time of year has to offer! (more…)

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed ClustersThis recipe for Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters comes with a warning – you will NOT be able to stop eating these!  The combination of salty, maple sweetness is seriously addictive. Fortunately these delicious little clusters are a healthy treat, as they contain no refined sugar and are roasted in coconut oil instead of the overly processed oils that are typically used for roasting nuts and seeds.  In addition, pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant sources of zinc, a mineral that is important for optimum immune function.  Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters are super simple to make – just a couple of minutes of prep and 20 minutes in the oven. (more…)

Crispy Parmesan Potato Bits

Crispy Parmesan Potato BitsAre you a french fry lover? That’s a silly question – who doesn’t love french fries! They’re the quintessential comfort food, perfect for sharing, and an ideal accompaniment to almost any dish. Unfortunately they’re usually deep fried in factory refined oil, making them not a very healthy food choice. Crispy Parmesan Potato Bits are a little bit of french fry heaven without the toxins imparted by deep fat frying. A thin layer of olive oil and high oven heat are all that’s needed to form a super crispy crust on these little potato gems. They’re cleaner and healthier tasting than commercial french fries and the parmesan adds a salty, mildly cheesy flavor that makes them extra delicious. They take a little patience to make as the total roasting time is 1 hour but it is well worth the wait! (more…)

Guilt Free Chocolate Pecan Turtles

Guilt Free Chocolate Pecan TurtlesNext time you’re tempted to reach for a piece of candy grab one of these Guilt Free Chocolate Pecan Turtles instead.  Your craving for something sweet will be satisfied and you will be guilt free because these delightful little treats are made with healthy ingredients like dates, peanuts, flaxseed, dark chocolate, and pecans – and they contain less than half the sugar of a traditional chocolate turtle candy.  A 1 oz. serving of the most popular brand of chocolate turtle candies has 13g of sugar. The same size serving of these Guilt Free Chocolate Pecan Turtles has only 6g of sugar! (more…)

Blue Cheese, Rosemary, and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers

Blue Cheese and Rosemary Wild Rice Stuffed PeppersWhen a recipe title says that something is “stuffed” one immediately assumes that the dish will be decadent and delicious yet I have found most stuffed pepper recipes fall flat in this regard. The peppers are usually filled with a boring mixture of meat and rice and end up turning a pale shade of green when baked before toppling over in the casserole dish. Sometimes, however, a few simple tweaks to an otherwise basic recipe can transform a “ho-hum” dish into something truly extraordinary and such is the case with these Blue Cheese, Rosemary, and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers. Traditional stuffed pepper recipes usually call for green bell peppers but in this recipe I use red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers. The combination of colored peppers adds a visual vibrancy to the dish which is reason enough to use them, but I also like that the skins on the red, orange, and yellow peppers retain their brightness when baked, unlike the green peppers whose color becomes dull when cooked. (more…)

Gluten-Free Blueberry Almond Granola Muffins

DSC_0052_edited-3If you like granola and you like muffins then you will LOVE these Gluten-Free Blueberry Almond Granola Muffins! They’re full of super healthy ingredients like almond meal, avocado oil, and fresh blueberries. Unlike some muffins, which can be dry and crumbly, these muffins are tender and moist with a subtle earthy quality due to the addition of granola. There is something magical about the combination of blueberries and almonds (or in this case almond meal) – these ingredients complement each other so perfectly. Maple syrup is the primary sweetener in these muffins and the recipe calls for only 2 tablespoons, so at first bite you might think they are not sweet enough. In fact each muffin has just 8 grams of sugar. That’s a very low sugar content when you consider that some blueberry muffins contain as much as 44 grams of sugar.  However, this lower sugar content allows the most intense blueberry flavor to shine through. Trust me – you will see what I mean once you try these! You can use any kind of gluten-free granola for this recipe but choose one without added oil if possible. (more…)

Quinoa Cannellini Cakes

Quinoa Cannellini CakesOver the past several years the food blogosphere has been completely overrun with quinoa recipes so I was reluctant to publish this post but these little Quinoa Cannellini Cakes are so delicious I just had to share! The first time I had ever heard of quinoa was probably about 10 years ago. Back then it was being touted as a revived ancient grain and a nutrient dense alternative to rice and beans. Since then quinoa’s popularity has exploded and now it seems every food blog, cookbook, lifestyle magazine, and restaurant is espousing the virtues of quinoa and using it in new and different ways. People are making desserts, muffins, and pizza crusts with quinoa, and even drinking it. Quinoa’s versatility and nutritional value has made it a darling of the health food world. It’s a gluten-free superfood and is considered a “complete protein” because it has all 9 essential amino acids, making it appealing to vegans and vegetarians, as well as those who are simple trying to eat less meat. So if you haven’t yet incorporated quinoa into your diet start now! (more…)

Apple Flax Breakfast Squares

Apple Flax Breakfast SquaresApple Flax Breakfast Squares are a healthy alternative to a morning muffin. They’re gluten-free, grain free, and contain no refined sugar, which also makes them paleo friendly. Each square has 9g of protein, 9g of fiber, and a whopping 5,600mg of omega-3 fatty acids!   Serve alongside some freshly brewed coffee and you will have a delicious and nutritious start to your day. (more…)

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