Chickpea & Tuna Salad

Open a can of garbanzo beans and close your eyes. You can almost fool yourself into believing you are smelling an open can of tuna. Once you chop up the chickpeas, it will also bear a slight resemblance to tuna. This makes chickpeas the ideal mix-in to tuna salad. Not only does it bulk it up and lessen your does of mercury, but it also adds a nice dose of fiber and nutrients. You also can’t taste the chickpeas. They mellow the tuna flavor a bit, but don’t add a flavor of their own.
For a delicious vegan version, omit the tuna and double the chickpeas.

Ingredients

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can chunk light tuna in water
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise/Veganaise
  • 2 tablespoon sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoon yellow or dijon mustard
  • 2 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional mix-ins: sliced almonds, diced raw fennel, chopped egg, sliced almonds, chopped carrot, chopped parsley, capers.

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse chickpeas into a chunky consistency.  
  2. Drain the tuna and add it to the chickpeas. Mix well to incorporate.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

I love to serve these open face on toasted wheat bread or on Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Norwegian Crispbread.


Kale Salad with Quinoa & Cranberries

This delicious, hearty salad makes a satisfying meal in itself.

Adapted from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, center ribs removed, leaves shredded
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dressing:
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed, grated, or finely minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

This salad is also great with Almost Nonfat Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing

Directions

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing or place in a jar and shake well.
  2. Shred the kale as finely as possible. Place in a salad bowl and gently massage the kale with your hands until it starts to break down.
  3. Add the quinoa, almonds, cranberries, parmesan, and dressing, and toss well to combine.
  4. Allow to sit 5 minutes and toss again.

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes (gluten free)

Recipe adapted from Onelovelylife.com
These pancakes are wholesome and delicious and gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (see below what to do with the leftover pumpkin puree)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

  1. Start by blending the oats into an oatmeal flour. Put oats into your blender and puree until a fine powder.
  2. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pulse to combine.
  3. Add milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, syrup, butter/ghee/coconut oil cider vinegar, vanilla, cinnamon. and nutmeg. Puree 20-30 seconds, or until combined.
  4. Let mixture rest for about 5 minutes while you heat a large skillet over medium heat. Grease the skillet with a little extra butter/ghee/oil or nonstick spray.
  5. Scoop batter into skillet (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup for this). Cook 3-5 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface. Flip pancakes and cook another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.

Note: Different stovetops and pans conduct heat differently, so even if you use a cast iron pan like I did, your stove may have a different level of heat than mine. A few things can help with this: If you find your pancakes are cooking (or even burning) on the outside before the middles are done, you can turn the heat down on your stove to allow more time for the middles to set. The other thing you can try is to thin out the batter with a little more milk so that your pancakes won’t be quite so thick (and will cook through easier).

What to do with the leftover pumpkin puree?: You’ll have just enough leftover in the can to make a loaf of Ultimate Pumpkin Bread, Healthy Pumpkin Oat Refrigerator Muffins, Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding, Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, or my favorite, Pumpkin Cupcakes.


Lunchbox Harvest Muffins

Adapted from NY Times Cooking

Delicious, tender muffins, packed with wholesome ingredients and relatively low in sugar.

Ingredients

  • 140 grams (1 1/8 cups) whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil (or reduce olive oil and add yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 70 grams (1/3 cup) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 small apple, grated, and juices reserved (1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup grated carrots or butternut squash or parsnips
  • ½ cup grated zucchini or beets
  • 55 grams (1/3 cup) raisins
  • 40 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, olive oil, honey, brown sugar, grated apple and juices and grated vegetables.
  3. Place a sieve over the bowl and add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Sift into the bowl.
  4. Fold in the raisins and coconut.
  5. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way up, and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes for mini-muffins and about 20 to 22 minutes for regular muffins. The muffins are finished baking when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm with butter. I also like to mix a little honey with softened butter for serving.

Lower-Sugar Fresh Peach Cobbler

I was drawn to this recipe because it had less sugar than every other recipe I’d found. It came out perfectly sweet and delicious. The recipe is from letsdishrecipes.com. and can also be found at allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (or sub frozen peaches – 1 pound frozen is equal to about 3 fresh)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Topping

(Alternate recipe for bottom batter below)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sliced peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, vanilla or almond extract, and cornstarch.
  2. Toss to coat peaches evenly and pour into a 2-quart baking dish or 5-6 individual baking dishes. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in boiling water until just combined.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the 3 tablespoons of white sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  5. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the topping. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Alternate bottom batter

In this version, rather than topping the fruit, the batter starts out on the bottom and rises up during baking.

Recipe adapted from Paula Dean’s

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 1.5 cups milk

  1. Melt the butter in the baking dish before adding peaches.
  2. MIx all dry ingredients in bowl.
  3. Slowly stir in the milk.
  4. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir.
  5. Spoon peach mixture on top of batter. Do not stir.
  6. Sprinkle top with a little ground cinnamon.
  7. Batter will rise to top during baking.
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.


Zucchini Parmesan (low fat)

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Adapted from NYT Cooking.

This is a delicious dish that will make a zucchini lover out of anyone. Serve alongside pasta to make it a complete meal.

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1-28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes (preferably SM brand pictured below)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

For the Zucchini

  • 2 to 2¼ pounds zucchini
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

For the sauce:

  1. To make tomato sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and basil sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high. When tomatoes are bubbling briskly, stir and simmer about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

For the zucchini

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.
  2. Trim ends off zucchini and cut in half crosswise, then into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.
  3. Place sliced zucchini in a bowl and toss with olive oil.
  4. Arrange zucchini slices on baking sheets in one layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the underside and tender (it’s ok if it doesn’t get browned).
  6. Remove zucchini from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.

To assemble:

  1. Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce over bottom of dish.
  2. Arrange a third of the zucchini in an even layer over tomato sauce.
  3. Spoon a third of remaining sauce over zucchini.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  5. Repeat with 2 more layers, ending with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  6. Drizzle on little bit of olive oil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
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This is my favorite brand for canned tomatoes

Vanilla Custard Oatmeal

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, milk, oats, and salt to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and cook until hot.
  3. Meanwhile, beat an egg and temper it by adding a bit of the hot oatmeal into the bowl with the egg and mix well. Add a bit more hot oatmeal to the egg and then pour the egg mixture into the pot with the oatmeal.
  4. Once oatmeal has reached desired consistency after at least 10 minutes, remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter, and let stand 2 minutes before serving.
  5. I like to top mine with a chopped date, pecans or walnuts, brown sugar, and a drizzle of cold milk.

Baked Oatmeal Cups

I absolutely love this recipe for baked oatmeal cups! You can eat them on the go as you would a muffin, or enjoy them hot out of the oven in a bowl with milk.

Ingredients

A note about the sugar content –
When refrigerated, these muffins taste perfectly sweet. When they are hot, they tastes almost completely unsweetened.
To serve hot, place one or two muffins in a bowl and break them up. Top with brown sugar or maple syrup, raisins, and a drizzle of milk. Enjoy as you would any other ordinary bowl of oatmeal.
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries or chopped apple or 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup almonds, pecans or other

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with butter, oil, or cooking spray.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, except blueberries and nuts, in a bowl.
  3. Fold in the blueberries or mix in chocolate chips.
  4. Fill muffin cups all the way to the top.
  5. Sprinkle nuts on top (or any toppings desired).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  7. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack.
  8. Store in the refrigerator.

Buttermilk Crepes

Recipe from World of Crepes.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp of melted butter 
  • 1¼ cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tsp of salt

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix until well-blended. 
  2. You may also combine them by hand. If combining by hand, mix the eggs and milk separately and combine slowly with the dry ingredients. Mix in the melted butter last. 
  3. Important: Refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes. This gives the batter the opportunity to rest and fully come together. 

Yield: 10 8-inch or 12 6-inch crepes 


Mediterranean Farro Salad with Chickpeas

This is a delicious, nutritious, and hearty salad that lasts for days in the fridge.

Inspired by Ina Garten’s Farro Tabbouleh with Feta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, halved, seeded, and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (if you like parsley, use the entire bunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 6 ounces feta, 1/2-inch diced-not crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • Pitted Kalamata olives, drained

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the farro and place it in a large saucepan with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. I highly recommend cooking farro the way it is prepared in Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cucumbers, chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. 
  3. Drain the farro and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add the warm farro to the vegetables and herbs and add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Carefully stir in the feta and olives.

*I have found with most beans and grain salads that much less oil is needed in the dressing than typical green salads. Therefor typical oil to acid ratios don’t apply.