Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Cashew Pesto a/k/a Winter Caprese Salad

Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Cashew Pesto a/k/a Winter Caprese Salad. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Every winter, right around now, I start to crave a perfectly ripe summer tomato, straight from the garden, so that I can make Caprese Salad – a classic Italian  dish of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Caprese Salad made with tomatoes at the peak of their ripeness is pretty close to heaven on earth. That’s why I miss it so terribly come winter. So this is my solution – Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Cashew Pesto, a/k/a Winter Caprese Salad.  Simply roast up a batch of plum tomatoes and serve them with pesto and fresh mozzarella. Roasting the tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness. They won’t be as tasty as garden fresh tomatoes but they’re a good substitute during the cold winter months. (more…)

Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Chili with Chipotle and Chorizo

Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Chili with Chipotle and Chorizo.   Sweet, spicy, smoky and utterly delicious – the perfect game day chili. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

If you’ve been searching for a good chili recipe to make on Super Bowl Sunday, you’ve found it!  Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Chili with Chipotle and Chorizo is lighter than a traditional beef chili but it’s BIG on taste. It’s spicy, sweet, smoky, and utterly delicious. (more…)

Snack Bar Madeleines

Snack Bar Madeleines

If you’re an avid baker chances are you own a madeleine pan. Madeleines are petite French butter cakes that are baked in a pan with shell shaped cavities, giving them a distinctive shape.  I came across my madeleine pan the other day and considered getting rid of it because I haven’t used it in so long. Perhaps as a way to justify keeping it I started pondering what else I could make using this classic French baking pan. And then it came to me – fruit and nut snack bars!   I’ve aptly named these delicious, healthy treats Snack Bar Madeleines. (more…)

Chickpea Spinach Salad

Chickpea Spinach Salad is a simple, healthy, and versatile salad that can be served as a main dish, side dish or appetizer. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

It’s hard to believe that a dish as simple as Chickpea Spinach Salad can be so delicious – it contains only a handful of ingredients and takes just minutes to prepare. If eating healthy is on your list of resolutions for the new year, then you’ll want to add this nutritious salad to your cooking repertoire. (more…)

Raspberry Almond Breakfast Cookies

Raspberry Almond Breakfast Cookies - a perfect on-the-go healthy breakfast. Vegan and gluten free with 5g of fiber, 8 g of protein, and only 7g of sugar. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Breakfast is a dilemma for many of us. In the hectic morning hours there’s often not enough time to prepare a healthy meal, and even less time to sit down and properly enjoy it. We’re usually stuck with grabbing whatever is quick and convenient, regardless of its nutritional value, before rushing off to work or school. Sadly, this isn’t going to change for most people. The pace of life, especially here in the U.S., is fast and breakfast is the meal that suffers most. That’s why it’s so important to have a few healthy, on-the-go breakfast choices at the ready. For me the ideal breakfast has a decent amount of fiber (to keep me full), some protein, and not too much sugar. These Raspberry Almond Breakfast Cookies fit the bill and are perfect for busy mornings. They’re gluten free and vegan too. (more…)

Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers

Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers - perfect for a Thanksgiving gathering. Vegan, gluten-free and made with super healthy ingredients. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

These Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers would be perfect as an 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 Breasts are a great alternative to cold cuts and processed deli meats. This simple recipe yields tender, juicy chicken meat. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

I 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-conscious 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 Patties highlight the flavors of autumn and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Mother 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 Clusters - raw pumpkin seeds roasted in coconut oil, coated with fall scented spices, and glazed with pure maple syrup. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

This 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

Oven roasted in olive oil, Crispy Parmesan Potato Bits are a little bit of french fry heaven without the toxins imparted by deep fat frying in factory refined oil. | QueenofMyKitchen.com

Are 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…)

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