Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recipe ReDux Post # 27 Kicked Up “Cleansing” Lemonade

Every time I have tried turmeric in a dish it never seems to taste right so I just gave up on it and stopped using this spice all together. I was reintroduced to it when I checked out a fancy juice place and tried a citrus blend that had turmeric in it and I actually liked it a lot!  In fact, I decided I wanted to replicate that drink at home but just never got around to it. The Recipe ReDux challenge for October is fittingly titled “Spooky Spices” where we were encouraged to use spices that intimidate us in the kitchen. This challenge was the perfect opportunity to try turmuric and conquer my fear of using it and it worked!!  This fresh, delicious drink is a nice combo of sweet and spicy, plus the turmeric gives it a beautiful golden hue. Not only does turmeric add a nice color, but it has been the focus of a many health related studies which are discovering it has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-aging benefits too!  I am not one to drink juice too much because I would rather eat whole fruits and veggies, for less calories , less sugar and more fiber. But this drink is a nice way to treat yourself in a reasonably healthy way.  I use the title “cleansing” lightly because I think the jury is still out on juice cleanses and more research in that area needs to be done.  For now, I will just enjoy this from time to time and hope that it is indeed rejuvenating to my body.  So try a sip and check out these other Spooky Spice creations by the talented Recipe Redux group!


2 cups hot filtered water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
dash of cayenne pepper


Heat the water to just before boiling in a small sauce pan.  Stir in the honey until dissolves.  Sprinkle in the tumeric, ginger and pepper and mix well.  Chill and serve.

Makes 2 cups, two servings

Serving size:1 cup   Calories 70   Protein 0  g Carb 19 g  Fiber 0   g Sugars   17 g Fat  0 g Saturated fat  0 g Sodium 10 mg

Also, please don't forget to vote for the Mediterranean Rice Salad Recipe that my daughter and I entered in a contest to win $30,000 for her school!  Click HERE to see her cooking video and to vote! We need votes everyday until October 29th!!!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gabby's Eats: Mediterranean Rice Salad For The Uncle Ben's Beginner's Cooking Contest!!

Gabby and I have been in the kitchen a lot together lately over the past few months having fun creating delicious and healthy dishes. This recipe in particular is very special to us, not only because we developed it as an easy alternative to boring lunchbox food but also because we made a video about it and entered it in the Uncle Ben’s Beginner’s Cooking Contest as well.  We were very excited to find out it was accepted and that we are now in the running to win a Grand Prize which includes 30,000 to go towards improving and expanding her school’s cafeteria! Gabby worked very hard on this recipe and the video too and I am extremely proud of my little kindergartener for trying to get the word out about healthy eating to others. Our recipe includes whole grains, legumes, veggies and "good" fats.  It is high in fiber and low in sodium too, but packed with flavor! We also discovered that Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice is a quick, easy and tasty rice to use in this and other recipes! It's done in the microwave after just 90 seconds and tastes delicious!!

We thank Uncle Ben’s for this opportunity to try their rice and to share our video and yummy recipe too! 

Part of the contest involves voting for the best video so we hope you will support us in recognizing Gabby’s video as a winner! The voting starts this Wed October 15th and lasts through October 29th. Individuals over 18 are encouraged to vote once per 24 hours. Click HERE to get to the link to vote!!


3 cups cooked lentils or beans of your choice (using canned is very convenient)
2 cups cooked brown or white rice (We used Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice- one package works perfectly!)
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
6 tablespoons finely chopped black olives
6 tablespoons finely chopped sundried tomatoes
6 tablespoons reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Cook the rice and lentils/beans according to package directions, let cool and then add to a large bowl. (If using already cooked canned beans, rinse well in a strainer before adding them.) Throw in the chopped cucumber, olives, sun dried tomatoes, cheese and basil to the bowl too and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, olive oil, rice vinegar and lemon and pour over the salad mixture. Stir well until evenly coated with dressing.  Chill if not serving immediately.

Makes 7 cups,  14 servings

Serving size: ½ cup  Calories 110 Protein 5 g Carb 16 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 3 g Fat 2 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 180 mg


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gabby's Eats: Fall Harvest Snack Mix For A Good Cause

This October Gabby's class hosted a fundraiser breakfast cafe outside her school. It is a weekly event that each grade participates in to help support not only the class but the whole school too!  We wanted to come up with a fun treat to share with her friends and raise money for this important cause so we worked on this snack mix together a few weeks before.  Our teamwork paid off and we developed a yummy semi-indulgent recipe that also has some healthy characteristics as well.

While candy corns and a sweeter cereal are involved, also included are dark chocolate, fruit and whole grains which do indeed have some positive health benefits (like vitamins and minerals and they certainly kicked up the fiber content too)! So we'd say this is a pretty decent treat to munch on occasionally :)  

Plus, this is a very easy to make recipe with your family for the Autumn season and even for Halloween party snacks or favors!

So make some at home and check out Gabby working away with Mommy trying the recipe out in late September, and ironically the first week of Fall!!


2 cups frosted mini wheats (or cinnamon chex if on gluten free diet)
2 cups air popped popcorn
1.5 cups pretzels (if on gluten free diet use GF brand such as Glutino)
½ cup dried apple chips, broken (I used the Bare brand)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup candy corns
1 t cinnamon
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)


Mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl. 

Store in an airtight container.

Makes seven cups, 7 servings    

Serving size: 1 cup  Calories 210  Protein 3 g Carb 44 g  Fiber 4 g Sugars  23 g Fat 3.5 g Saturated fat 2 g Sodium 115 mg


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Spicy Sausage and Black Bean Skillet

This is a quick, easy and healthy dish which works great as a weeknight meal and is awesome for a leftover lunch or mixed in with eggs for breakfast!  If you are not into spicy just sub your favorite mild chicken or turkey sausage and hold the chili peppers and spicy seasoning!


1 pound spicy chicken sausage (if on gluten-free diet use GF brand such as Trader Joes or Aidell’s)
2 red bell peppers, chopped (2 heaping cups)
1 white onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 Anaheim chili peppers finely chopped (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon olive oil
One 14 ounce can of black beans, rinsed well and patted dry
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Progresso Natural or Trader Joes if you are on a gluten-free diet)
A dash or two of Cajun seasoning (optional)


Add the 1 teaspoon olive oil to a large pan or pot and put in the sausage onions, bell peppers and chili peppers and sauté on medium-high heat until just starting to brown (about 7-10 minutes), stirring frequently. Then add the black beans (seasoning) and broth, cover to simmer, stirring occasionally until the broth has mostly evaporated and the whole mixture is brown and tender (about 5-7 minutes).

Makes 7 cups, 7 servings

Serving size 1 cup Calories 230 Protein 12  g Carb 25  g Fiber 7 g Sugars   11 g Fat 8 g Saturated fat 2.5 g Sodium 710  mg

This photo was taken by Gabby!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gabby’s Eats: Fruit Salad With Strawberry Yogurt Dressing

In Los Angeles it seems as though Fall weather will never be upon us- we have had some of the hottest temps of the year here in September!! That being said we are still enjoying our fair share of salads, Gabby included. She asked to make a fruit salad recently and I was interested to see what she would come up with…the result was quite delicious. Her idea of blending yogurt with part of the strawberries that were actually included in the recipe made a simple but yummy dressing. Here in California, the Summer fruit is still tasty so we thought we’d sneak this last Summer-ish recipe in as a post. If some of the listed fruits are not available in your area you can always substitute others and use frozen thawed strawberries as well. Enjoy!!


1 cup cubed peaches (or pears)
1 cup cubed apples
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup low fat strawberry yogurt (we used and highly recommend Trader Joes Organic)
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts


Wash, dry and cut up the fruit. (Gabby used a kid’s safe knife with my help). Add all the chopped apple and peach and ¾ cup of the strawberries to a medium bowl. Put the last ¼ cup strawberries and the yogurt in a blender and process in high speed until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Chill if not serving immediately.

Makes four servings

Serving size: 1/4 th of the recipe Calories 120 Protein 4 g Carb 19 g Fiber  2g Sugars 15 g Fat 3.5 g Saturated fat 0  g Sodium 25 mg

Gabby's Shot:


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Recipe Redux Post #26 Ginger Apple Walnut Bars

September's Recipe Redux theme is "Get Your Dehydrator On" and we were asked to show how we like to dehydrate food or develop a recipe using dehydrated fruits or veggies.  Sadly I do not own a dehydrator and don't seem to be home long enough to do an all day low temp oven dehydration method so I decided to go with creating a recipe using store bought dried apples- my favorite dehydrated fruit!  I have also come to adore ginger over the last year so I decided to do a snack bar recipe that married apples and ginger together with some crunchy walnuts thrown in. If you are not a big ginger fan you can omit it and then these will simply be apple walnut bars which are delicious as well. The neutral almond butter base works great with these bars and the chewy apples and oats plus the crunch of the walnuts it an awesome combination.  So try them out to eat for breakfast, snack or dessert and check out the other cool dehydrator creations from the other Recipe Redux bloggers too!


1 cup creamy or crunchy almond butter (I used Trader Joes Crunchy Salted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup  
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
¾ teaspoon ground ginger (optional- then these will just be apple walnut bars!)
3/4 cup oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
½ cup chopped dried apples 
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Wax or parchment paper


In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely. The dough will be a bit crumbly, but will come together nicely as you continue to work with it and pat it down into the pan.) Chill in the fridge for an hour or more (if you can wait that long!) and cut into 8 bars and serve. Wrapping the individual bars in wax paper and storing in baggies is great for convenience.  Store in the fridge. These bars also freeze well!

Makes 8 bars

Serving size: 1/8th of recipe  Calories 300 Protein 10 g Carb 25 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 15 g Fat 20 g Saturated fat 1.5 g Sodium 20 mg


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes

These are kinda like eating warm soft oatmeal cookies for breakfast! 

1 cup oat flour (if you are on a gluten free diet use a brand such as Bob’s Red Mill or you can make your own to by grinding gluten free oats in food processor)
¼ cup oats if you are on a gluten free diet use a brand such as Bob’s Red Mill or Trader Joes, GF)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
¼-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup egg whites
1 cup nonfat milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3- 4 tablespoons raisins
In a small bowl combine the baking powder, flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon together.  To a larger bowl add the egg whites, vanilla and milk and whisk together. Then slowly whisk in the flour mixture to the liquid until a smooth, thin batter is formed. Stir in the raisins and mix well. Allow to thicken for about 10-15 minutes for best results. (This batter is even better when stored overnight.)Add ¼ cup (for 1 pancake) to a non stick skillet, or one coated with cooking spray and heat on high heat for 1-2 minutes each side.  Repeat with ¼ cup mixture 5 more times for a total of 6 small/medium pancakes.
Makes 6 pancakes

Serving size: 1 pancake Calories 100 Protein 3 g Carb 17 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 6 g Fat 2 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 50 mg


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