delicious healthy recipes

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Ever since the age of 13 when I discovered Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs in the cereal aisle of our local Wal-mart, breakfast has never been the same. You see, I crave those tiny orbs of peanut butter goodness. I love their crunch and how they turn the milk in my cereal into chocolate milk with the light scent of peanut butter. Then one day I had the terrible realization that this cereal was more suited for a dessert then a breakfast and I have been searching for a healthier peanut butter and chocolate breakfast combo ever since. Therefore I am pleased to introduce you to Reese’s Oatmeal

This stuff will satisfy both your stomach and your cravings for several hours and it can be made either hot or cold (so you can eat it in the winter or summer).

Reese’s Oatmeal (cold version)

  • 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • pinch of salt
  • 25 calorie packet of diet cocoa
  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp of PB2 (mixed with 1 tbsp of water) or 1 tbsp of regular peanut butter

The night before, microwave your oats with the water and salt for 3 minutes in a very large bowl (I always use a large pyrex glass measuring cup). Allow to cool in the microwave for 10 minutes before stirring and transferring uncovered to the fridge to sit overnight. In the morning, stir in diet cocoa and cocoa powder. Mix PB2 with water and swirl on top of chocolate oatmeal.

Reese’s Oatmeal (hot version) (adapted from the PB2 website)

  • 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup of water
  •  25 calorie packet of diet cocoa
  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp PB2 (mixed with 1 tbsp of water) or 1 tbsp of peanut butter

Combine oats, water, diet cocoa, and cocoa powder in a large microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute then stir. Then continue to microwave for another 1-2 minutes until very thick. Mix PB2 and water to correct consistency and swirl on top of chocolate oatmeal (or just swirl 1 tbsp of peanut butter on top)

This oatmeal has about 250 calories when made with PB2 and 300 calories if made with regular peanut butter. Oh and btw, I don’t know if you can see it but I always eat this oatmeal out of my Reese’s Bowl. Somehow, I think it makes it taste better but it is optional :).



The temperatures keep getting higher and higher. Today it is supposed to be 92 degrees and the first day of summer isn’t even until tomorrow! The hot weather can sometimes dull my appetite for heavier meals. However, I still like to go to bed feeling quite satisfied (which an itsy bitsy salad often fails to do). So I created a take on one of my favorite cooler weather tosses of chickpeas and warm butternut squash with a creamy lemon tahini dressing. I made up this dish ahead of time and allowed it to cool in the fridge before serving it over a bed of arugula. Here is the recipe that I used:

Warm/Cool Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing (Adapted from Orangette, who adapted it from Casa Moro)

Yield: 4 servings

For salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1-2 bags of arugula

For tahini dressing:

  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  •  2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until  evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately (for a warm salad). Otherwise, allow to stand in the fridge for at least an hour before stirring and serving over a bed of arugula.

I loved how the peppery arugula played off the creamy tart taste of the tahini and lemon dressing. It also added a lot of bulk and for the first time ever I actual had leftovers of this meal. This makes the best lunch ever because once the toss is made all you have to do is plop it on that bed of greens and you are good to go.

As a side note, I also stopped at my local CAM the other day and they had some awesome looking pea sprouts which I have heard about but never tried before. So I bought a bunch to serve as a side for this salad. All I did was throw them into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, then drained them and stir-fried them over high heat with a little garlic and olive oil for 30 seconds. I liked them a lot. They kind of tasted like spinach but smelled like fresh peas. I am now interested to see what other dishes I can incorporate them into 🙂

Summer is officially here! College has been out for about a week and  the temperatures are in the 90’s. It is around this time of year that I often find myself less inclined to eat a hot and hearty meal and turning my attention to lighter entrees such as salads and cold pastas. This meal is one of my absolute favorites because it is so easy and it combines some of my favorite flavors of fresh tomatoes, mint, creamy chickpeas and salty feta all bound together with a light lemony dressing and whole-grain couscous.

Summery Couscous Salad (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1  (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 3/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese

In a large bowl combine couscous, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cinnamon. Stir in 1 cup of boiling water; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. In a seperate small bowl combine oil, juice, garlic, and sugar. Add oil mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mint, and next 4 ingredients (through cherry tomatos) to the coucous and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste and sprinkle with feta before serving.

This salad goes well with chicken, salmon, beef kebabs, tofu, etc. However, it can also stand alone as a nice vegetarian entree. It is so versatile you can play with the seasonings, sub in whatever vegetables are in your fridge or try a different variety of bean or grain. I was thinking quinoa would be especially good because it would up the protein content. Simple, healthy and delicious! I will definitely be making this salad several times this summer.

So I guess you might be wondering about the name of these cookies? Well it all began yesterday when I got a phone call around lunch time from my younger sister who works as a lifeguard. She sounded upset as she told me she had just performed her first rescue. Apparently, one of the children from a day camp had wandered into the deep end of the pool and ended up flailing around trying to keep his head above the water. My sister saw him in a matter of seconds and screamed for the pool to be evacuated before jumping in to pull him to the side of the pool. As you can imagine she was slightly shaken up by the incident. However, the rest of the family couldn’t be more proud of her.

So while she was working today, I decided to make her a batch of raspberry jam cookies (one of her favorites), to acknowledge her job well done. These are not an adapted recipe but it is one I have made variations of several times with great success. They transport really well and at about 70 calories a piece you can eat two and not break the calorie bank.

Save a Life Rasberry Jam Cookies (from Cooking Light Magazine)

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup raspberry or apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°.

  1. Beat granulated sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and egg white; beat well. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring until well-blended. (Dough will be stiff.)
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 12-inch log. Place logs 3 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray(I used parchment paper because you have to move them off the cookie sheet while they are still uncut). Form a 1/2-inch-deep indentation down the length of each log using an index finger or end of a wooden spoon. Spoon preserves into the center. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove logs to a cutting board.
  3. Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract; stir well with a whisk. Drizzle sugar mixture over warm logs. Immediately cut each log diagonally into 12 slices. (Do not separate slices.) Cool 10 minutes; separate slices. Transfer slices to wire racks. Cool completely.

The original recipe is located here:

These cookies are really decadent tasting and have the nice buttery aftertaste that you would expect from a good shortbread. I have used apricot/raspberry/blueberry jam and all have been delicious, just make sure you use a good quality jam because it makes a huge difference.

Question of the Day: Do you have a go-to cookie recipe that you make when you are sad/grouchy or are just craving a warm batch of homemade anything? I know for me personally I adore monster cookies, which are basically peanut butter cookies chock full of chocolate chips and M&M’s. Definitely not a recipe to be posting on a blog about healthier foods 😉

Breakfast has been becoming more and more of my favorite meal. I feel like there are so many endless options that I can experiment with–especially when it comes to oatmeal. Oatmeal is great because it is filling and so neutral that it can be combined with a variety of ingredients from sweet to savory. Unfortunately, I can’t vouch for any savory versions of oats because the one time I tried them it consisted of me stirring one of the only ingredients in my fridge (hummus) into a bowl of hot oats. Yuck! They might be amazing when they are apart but they were never meant to be together (kind of like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie). Anyways. . . my aversion to savory oats leads to experiment with the sweeter options and that is how I discovered Hungry Girl’s Pumpkin Pie Parfait.

Let me tell you, this was delicious. Before I say more about it though I want to make sure we are on the same page when we talk about dessert for breakfast. Yesterday I shared that I try to incorporate some sort of fruit or veggie into every meal. This parfait fits into my goal quite nicely considering it contains pumpkin (shocker!). Having said that, I just wanted to let you know that this parfait is very filling, delicious and crave-worthy but it will never replace a piece of pumpkin pie. Whew! Now that I have that off my chest I can tell you that this packs a serving of whole grains as well as contains canned pumpkin both of which contribute to a high fiber content that will keep you full until lunch (something that most slices of pumpkin pie can’t promise you). So without further adieu. . .

Pumpkin Pie Parfait (adapted from Hungry Girl’s  300 under 300)


  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (I used original almond breeze)
  •  1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 2 no-calorie sweetener packets
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dash salt

Other stuff

  • One 60-calorie sugar-free vanilla pudding snack
  • 1 low-fat honey graham cracker (broken into pieces)

Combine all ingredients for oatmeal in a small pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook while stirring often, until somewhat thick (it doesn’t have to be that thick because as the oats sit overnight they will puff up and absorb the liquid). Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning stir the oatmeal thoroughly. Spoon half of the oatmeal into a tall glass (a martini glass makes this parfait taste like five times better), and top with half of the pudding snack and half of the crushed graham crackers. Repeat with remaining oatmeal, pudding, and crushed graham crackers.

As a side note, this recipe is only about 300 calories and it is pretty sweet. So if you are not into pudding or you want to increase this breakfasts staying power you can sub about 1/3 cup of greek yogurt sweetened with sweetener and cinnamon and still get the same flavors.

I love this breakfast in the summer (even though it is slightly fall themed) because I can make the oatmeal the night before and all I have to do is assemble the parfait in the morning. It is also a cool (literally) way to get some oats in without having to eat a steaming hot bowl when it is 95 degrees out. Yum!

Well, that’s it for today. I will try to post something more savory in my next post since I posted two breakfast recipes in a row. But, who can blame me? They were both so delicious that I wanted to share them with you 🙂

I have never been one to leap/jump/skip onto bandwagons. However, recently a lot of bloggers have been participating in the amazing “new” concept of creating recipes that are dessert inspired  for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I love dessert!  Except, in order for me to enjoy my breakfast and set a healthy tone for the rest of the day, I want my breakfasts to include some sort of fruit/veggie as well. So I have been experimenting with two recipes the past couple days (both of which meet my fruit/veggie criteria) to see if having “dessert” for breakfast is really as amazing as everyone says.

The first recipe I played with was a delicious (but healthy!) banana bread studded with a handful of chocolate chips. I originally got the recipe from Cooking Light magazine about a year ago and have made it several times since (with a few modifications). My family loves this bread and have already gobbled up most of the loaf. Here is my modified recipe

Smells Like Your Grandma’s House (in a good way) Banana Bread

  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt (or light sour cream)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (roughly chopped)

Preheat your oven to 350°. Then combine the bananas, yogurt, butter and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until blended (it will be lemony yellow and kind of silky). Then beat in the white and brown sugars. Set aside.

In a new bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) and stir with a whisk. Then combine the flour mixture and the banana mixture by beating with the mixer just until blended. Fold in the chopped chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for about 50-55 minutes Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

This bread is so delicious and incredibly easy to make. It comes out of the oven with a beautiful burnished brown crust due to the carmelization reactions of the bananas and sugar. It also (according to Cooking Light) has around 200 calories a slice (if cut into 16 slices). So paired with some yogurt or peanut butter (gasp), this should keep you full till lunch time and then some. Plus, you can make this bread on the weekend and snack on it/grab it for breakfast as you run full tilt out the door!

Disclaimer: this bread can’t make rain stop, fix your car or pay the bills, but it can make your day a little brighter and your belly a little warmer so make it today!

Oh yeah? I did say I had two dessert-inspired recipes to share. I will post a pie themed recipe tommorrow so stay tuned.

Hi everyone!

My name is Candace (as you may have deduced from my blog title) and I love to eat.

That is a simple enough statement, but from here it gets more complicated. Apparently 30 billion other people do as well and they all want to blog about where and what they are eating. Whether you love chia seed pudding or 7o cheese macaroni (this is not a real recipe but seriously have you seen how much cheese one can fit into a casserole?) there is some sort of blog that caters to your individual tastes. Therefore, my goal for this blog is to narrow down these recipes by focusing on the most simple, nutritious and delicious of the bunch.  I hope to help save your time and your waistline in the process. So. . .

sit back. . .

relax. . .

read. .

then  jump up and cook whatever is on the screen as fast as possible before your saliva ruins your keyboard. Your stomach and health will thank you.

To kick things off I am going to share a component of  my lunch from this afternoon. I recently stumbled (on my quest for all things healthfully delicious) upon a blog post by Mae found here. In her post Mae describes making a vegan cheese sauce from a one-to-one combo of hummus and nutritional yeast that has been thinned with a little water. I love hummus and I just bought a little bag of nutritional yeast from Whole Foods so I decided to give it a try. Let me tell you this was the most deliciously easy sauce/dressing I have ever made. It has a nice almost umami flavor and depth as well as incredible versatility.

Oh, and in case you haven’t heard of it, nutritional yeast are little yellow flakes of yeast that are beloved by many vegans because of their cheesy flavor that adds a subtle depth to a variety of dishes (it is also high in  vitamin B-12). This dressing is so easy that it doesn’t even need a recipe but for those of you that like precise amounts.

The World’s Easiest 2-Ingredient Salad Dressing

  • 1-2 tbsp of hummus
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast

All you have to do is mix the two together and thin it out with some water to the consistency you desire.

I was thinking if you didn’t add water that this would make an amazing sandwich spread as well. You could even play with the seasonings by adding italian herbs, mustard, hot sauce etc. Here is the dressing below on my lunch salad of hard-boiled eggs, asparagus, roasted red potatoes and romaine:


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