Meatless Monday Pasta Edition

One of the easiest ways to reduce the fat content in your diet is to have one meatless day a week. The problem with most vegetarian options is they are not filling and you may end up eating more. This dish is both filling and satisfying. 

Eggplant And Mushroom Pasta 
What you need: 
1/2 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
1tbsp chopped garlic
1 can diced tomatoes 
1 small can organic tomato sauce 
1 sweet onion chopped 
2 cups mushrooms chopped (I used baby Bella’s) 
1 egg plant peeled and chopped 
1 tsp crushed red pepper 
1 tsp organic sugar cane 
1 cup torn basil leaves 
Salt & pepper 
Optional * 1/2 cup freshly grated parm 
How to: 
Heat a little olive oil and sautée onions and garlic. Add eggplant and mushrooms. Mix in seasonings and sugar. Add tomatoes and sauce and turn up the heat. When sauce begins to boil turn down to low and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Before serving add basil leaves, salt and pepper. 
Pour over prepared pasta and finish with parm. Enjoy !

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Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for a holiday spin on traditional chocolate chip cookies? This is my favorite chocolate chip recipe. The fillings are easily interchangeable. 

What you need: 
1 bag of milk chocolate chips 
1/2 cup craisins I used sugar free 
1 cup chopped pecans 
2 eggs 
2 1/2 sticks butter
1 2/3 cup white sugar 
1 2/3 cup brown sugar 
2 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp sea salt 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1 2/3 tsp baking soda 
1 2/3 cup bread flour 
2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour 
I know it’s a lot of ingredients but I prooooomise you it is worth it! 
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 
Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs. Mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Do not over stir! Adding too much air will make your cookies cakey. Use your hands if you need to. Add chocolate, craisins and nuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. I use a small icecream scoop with lever to make it easy to get portions right.   Bake for 10 minutes. You want to take them out as soon as the edges start browning. It’s ok if the center looks undone. If you wait until the top is brown or even starts to brown then you will have hard cookies. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes to finish cooking then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

*tip if you freeze your chocolate before baking the chips will hold shape and not turn the batter brown. 

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Easy vegetarian thanksgiving dish

Wild Rice with Sautéed Kale, Onions and Mushrooms 

What you need-
1 cup wild rice 
3 cups chopped kale
2 cups various mushrooms
1 small onion chopped 
2 cloves chopped garlic 
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda 
1/2 tsp brown sugar 
1 cup vegetable stock
Salt pepper and olive oil 
Directions- 
Cook wild rice according to directions. Remember these whole grains take at least 45 minutes. In a sautée pan heat oil over medium heat add mushrooms and onions cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and brown sugar. Add in kale 1 cup at a time. Pour a little stock in to wilt leaves with each cup. Add in fluffed rice. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with Gouda. Enjoy!
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Stuffed Green Pepper… Soup

Hey guys! 

 I don’t know about y’all, but it has been crazy chilly here. I crave soup almost every day now. And peppermint mochas yum! 
One of my favorite low fat dishes is stuffed green peppers, but I wanted the same taste in soup form. To the crockpot!
What you need : 
2 green peppers
1 cup brown rice 
3 cups beef stock
1 can crushed tomato 
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 pound lean ground beef 
1 onion 
1/4 cup fresh garlic 
1/2 Parmesan cheese
2 tsp fennel seeds
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Salt 
Pepper
Directions:
Brown the beef and chop onion. Add onion and garlic to browned beef. Cook until onions are translucent. I used a crockpot at this point. You can definitely use a soup pot and cook on low for 1 hour. Add all ingredients to crockpot minus cheese. Cook on high for 2 hours then on low for 1 hour. Add cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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Happy Veterans Day Muesli Bread

First off happy Veterans Day ! I hope you had the opportunity to thank your local veterans 🙂 

I am officially back to operation clean up my diet before the holidays. My favorite type of lunches are grab and go filled with protein. Starbucks has a really great protein pack with a hard boiled egg, cheese, organic peanut butter and muesli  roll. I just really do not want to spend $5 a day. I considered buying a bag of muesli rolls from trader joes, but by the time I buy all the ingredients I am back to that $5 a day price point. 
My goal was to make 10 servings of muesli bread for $5. That will give me a breakfast and lunch portion for 5 work days. 
What you need:
3 1/4 cups Unbleached bread flour 
1 pack yeast 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 1/2 cup warm water
Olive oil
Pinch of Organic sugar (optional)
Your choice of seeds, dried fruits and nuts. 
I used: 
Reduced sugar craisins 
Pecans 
Almonds 
Sunflower seeds
Flax seed

Directions:
In a large bowl mix water, yeast and salt. Add in flour. Mix with a large spoon until a large ball forms. Dough should be sticky. If it looks too dry add water. Coat dough with olive oil. Cover with towel and let rise for 1 hour. Knead dough on floured surface and allow to rise another 30 minutes. 
Chop nuts and fruit mix together with seeds. 
Lightly flatten dough and pour seeds,nuts and fruits in the middle. Fold dough until mixture is hidden under the dough. Form into a ball and slice across the top twice. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!
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Oatmeal Pecan Pancakes

Today I wanted to try a new pancake recipe. Something light yet filling. I also have tons to pecans lying around from all my baking frenzies. 

What you need 
Pecans
Buttermilk
Flour 
Flax seed 
Organic sugar 
Eggs 
Baking powder
Baking soda 
Pinch salt
Directions 
Pulse 1/4 cup pecans, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp flax seed in a food processor until well blended. Mix 1 egg and 1/2 cup buttermilk add in dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Heat griddle to low medium. Make medium to small pancakes. The pancakes will be very delicate due to the low flour content. Enjoy !
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🎃👻happy halloween!!!!

Happy Halloween !!!! I wanted to bake a few goodies for my employees and here is what I came up with –
Halloween Oreo Bark
What you need:
Oreos
Candy corn 
Candy eyeballs 
Sprinkles 
1 pound of white chocolate or bark
Directions:
Melt the white chocolate. I microwaved for 2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. Break apart Oreos and layer on a baking sheet. Pour white chocolate over Oreos. Immediately pour candy corn and candy eye balls over the chocolate. Sprinkle liberally. Freeze for at least one hour. Break apart and enjoy!
I might have made these too…. Get creative! Nothing says halloween like eyeballs and cotton candy. If you don’t have eyeballs try gummie worms YUM. 

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Old Fashion Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie

Let’s talk pie. Pecan pie. Pecan pie with maple bourbon. When I was younger pecan pie was my least favorite. Too many nuts and not enough sugary stuff. This pie is definitely the adult version. 

What you will need: 
2 cups pecans ; I prefer halved 
1 cup organic sugar 
3/4 cup karo syrup light or dark
1/4 cup maple bourbon OR 
1/4 cup of regular bourbon and dark maple syrup mixed 
3 eggs
1 tsp organic vanilla 
1 pie crust 
( I highly recommend the pillsbury dough roll that you put in the dish over the aluminum pan with dough)
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350.
Using a whisk mix the eggs sugar and vanilla. Add in the syrup and bourbon. Make sure the egg is thoroughly incorporated so it doesn’t leave cooked egg pieces in your pie. Spread  pecans evenly over the pie crust. Pour filling on top. The pecans will magically rise. Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes. Pie WILL be jiggly with a cooked pecan top. Allow pie to cool for about 2 hours. This will allow the sugar to set and create that sweet custard texture. 
I add homemade bourbon whipped cream on mine! Enjoy 🎃
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Reese Cheesecake

Hello! A weekend of good food has come and gone. I was testing a few recipes before the busy holidays and this one is a winner! 
Reese’s Cheesecake 
What you will need:
2 tbsp melted butter
1 package of shortbread cookies 
4 sticks of cream cheese 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/3 cup of peanut butter 
1 pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups
1 cup of sugar 
1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips 
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream 
2 eggs
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. 
Crush the cookies in a food processor or with a rolling pin. I used pecan sandies. Mix the cookies and melted butter. Pour into your cheesecake pan pressing into the bottom until surface is level. Bake for 5 minutes then allow to cool. 
Mix cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth, add eggs. Melt peanut butter and the milk chocolate then stir in cream.  The cream will cool the mixture. It should be pourable add extra cream if nessecary. Mix chocolate mixture with cream cheese mixture. 
I crushed 4 peanut butter cups and added to the mixture. 
Pour mix into cooled pan and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. 
Lower heat to 275 and bake for another 45 minutes. Let cool in oven for 1 hour then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
Ganache * optional
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup milk chocolate
Cream
Melt peanut butter and chocolate. Add cream until mixture is pourable. Spread over cheesecake. Add additional Reese’s  to preference. Refrigerate until set about 30 minutes. Enjoy!
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Happy Saturday Whipped Cream and Waffles

I need to tell you about the best whipped cream I have ever had. I will also tell you about our Saturday waffles so you have something to top with cream! 

Buttermilk Waffles 
(curtesy of Williams Sonoma)
What you will need :
1 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs 
1 tsp vanilla 
1 cup flour 
1 pinch of salt 
3/4 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp baking powder 
2 tsp sugar 
5 tsp melted butter
Directions: 
Separate egg yolks and whites. Mix yolks with buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients. Set to side. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into yolk mixture. Cook according to your waffle makers instructions. 
Honey whipped cream 

What you will need:
Honey 
Confectioners sugar 
1 cup heavy whipping cream 
Beat cream and 2 tbsp of honey adding sugar to your preferred sweetness. I used 1 tsp. Serve immediately or store in the fridge. 
I highly recommend using dark amber syrup with these! Enjoy!
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