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.


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.

Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix

Rather than paying a higher price to consume artificial flavor, disodium phosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, mono and diglycerides, artificial color, yellow 5, yellow 6, bha (preservative)make your own mix! It only takes a minute.

Ingredients

For the dry ingredients – make in advance and store:

  • 1/2 cup granulated *sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened *cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

The wet ingredients when ready to make:

  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  1. In a cold saucepan, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Turn on the heat and slowly pour in the milk and whisk.
  3. Cook, stirring often until it reaches a full boil; remove from heat.
  4. Stir in vanilla and butter.
  5. Allow to cool, covered, to help prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding. Stir occasionally as it cools. Refrigerate to cool completely.

*1/3 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder works well too.


30 Minute Cardamom-Lime Chicken and White Beans

If you don’t have cardamom or garam masala, please don’t be discouraged from making this recipe! I actually prefer the dish without these spices.

Adapted from Milk Street

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (bone-in would also work, but would need more cooking time)
  • 2.5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 bunches scallions (2 bunches are plenty) thinly sliced, white and green parts used separately
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (I skip this)
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom (I skip this)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I use 1 teaspoon Better than Bullion with 1 cup water)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (approximately 2 limes)

Directions

  1. Pat the chicken dry; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then cut into 2-inch chunks.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high, melt the butter.
  3. Add the chicken and scallion whites, then cook, stirring once or twice, until both the chicken and scallions begin to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste, garam masala, cardamom, turmeric, 1.5 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Add the bean liquid, broth, lime zest and juice, then bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the chicken is opaque when cut into, 5 to 7 minutes (I like to cook this, partially covered, for at least 15 minutes to allow the chicken to get really tender.
  6. Stir in the scallion greens and the beans, then cook until the beans are heated through, another 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Tip: Don’t forget to save the liquid when draining the beans. It adds both body and flavor to the dish. If you do accidentally discard it, simply increase the chicken broth to 2⅓ cups. The braising liquid will be thinner, but the dish will still be tasty.


Beet & Carrot Salad with Black Rice & Kale

This salad is inspired by Mendocino Farms’ Healthiest Side Dish in the World.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup uncooked black (aka forbidden rice)
  • 1/2 pound raw beets, peeled & shredded (about 3 small)
  • 1/2 pound shredded carrots, shredded (about 3 medium)
  • 2 cups packed shredded kale (about 3 stems)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (I also like chopped pecans)
  • a few tablespoons chopped, fresh mint
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper

Dressing

Adapted from recipe found here

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Directions

  1. Boil the black rice in about 1 1/3 cups of water until tender, approximately 45 minutes (or follow package instructions); drain.
  2. Shred the beets and carrot (I use the shredder attachment for my food processor).
  3. Remove the stems from the kale and shred or chop finely.
  4. Meanwhile, place all ingredients for dressing into a jar with a tight fitting lid.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and toss with about half of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing as needed.

Black Bean & Corn Salad (low fat)

Adapted from Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans (14 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels (rinse in cool water to defrost quickly)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A few basil leaves, julienned or a handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (taste with one tablespoon and add another tablespoon if necessary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Crumbled tortilla chips for serving

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss again and serve with crumbled tortilla sprinkled on top.


Oatmeal Pancakes (Gluten Free)

My son was 6 years old the first time he tried these and asked why we were having dessert for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 T flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a blender, mix milk and oats for a few seconds to break up the oats a bit.
  2. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips. If the batter seems too thick, add a little milk or water.
  3. Heat a pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
  4. Place as many chocolate chips as you’d like onto each pancake (I use 3 large dark chocolate chips per pancake). Use the back of a spoon to help spread flatten the pancake.
  5. Cook until the edges start to dry out (putting a lid on can help). Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned. Adjust the heat if they are browning too quickly.
  6. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.