delicious healthy recipes

Monthly Archives: September 2012

It is a beautiful and crisp Sunday afternoon here in Ohio. I can see a few leaves from my window beginning to take on a slight yellowish tinge. For some reason cool weather seems to stimulate my appetite. Gone are the days of “it’s so hot all I can do is pick at something cool like fruit and yogurt.” I am now waking up with a much for formidable appetite that involves large bowls of steaming hot oatmeal topped with assortment of add-ins.Which was what inspired me to experiment with this recipe.

This recipe is a continuation of my dessert-inspired breakfast series (the first installment was the pumpkin pie oatmeal parfait this past summer). It is inspired by carrot cake and tastes very similar to a hot carrot cake muffin. Only instead of frosting I topped it with lightly spiced and sweetened Greek yogurt for extra protein. It was absolutely delicious and will definitely become a staple in my “I only have ten minutes and I need something to tide me over for 5 hours rotation” as I run out the door for classes.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal (serves 1)

1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp of currants (I like how they distribute better through the oatmeal due to their small size but you can sub regular raisins)
1 medium shredded carrot (a little than 1/2 a cup)
a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon
sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, splenda etc.)
Optional toppings: shredded coconut, greek yogurt, nut butter or walnuts

Cook the oats with the almond milk and water on the stove for about 3-4 minutes. Add in currants, shredded carrot and nutmeg/cinnamon and continue cooking until the oatmeal reaches desired consistency. Stir in sweetener of choice and top with whatever toppings you desire (I am thinking pineapple flavored Chobani would play off the carrot cake theme perfectly). Enjoy!


Today was the first day that I wore a flannel shirt and jeans. I am thinking fall has unofficially arrived. Pretty soon I will have to exchange my air-conditioner and short-sleeve shirts for a thick comforter and sweaters. This also means that the menus I have been planning are slowly evolving as well.

Tonight I made my first soup of the fall season. I have been reading a cookbook called “Forks over Knives” which really emphasizes reducing meat and oils in your meals and replacing them with grains, beans and vegetables. I am by no means a vegetarian but I do appreciate the idea of upping my vegetable and grain consumption. This recipe appealed to me because it had so many good sounding starchy ingredients in it as well as some greens for added nutrition and color. It ended up being quick, filling and delicious. I served this soup with toasted pita triangles, goat cheese, and leftover cucumber and tomato salad (a small reminder of the end of summer).

Hearty Lentil Soup (adapted from “Forks Over Knives”)

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of split red lentils
  • 1  15 ounce can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
  • 1  14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chunked Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1-2 teaspoons chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 cups fresh chopped fresh chard (you can also sub collard greens or kale)

Place ¼ cup of the water in a large soup pot.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until softened.  Add the ginger, paprika, cumin and several twists of freshly ground pepper.  Mix in well, then add the remaining water, the lentils, garbanzos, tomatoes and potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Add lemon juice, chili paste (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to taste) and chard.  Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, until chard is tender.  Season with a bit of sea salt, if desired. Serve hot topped with a sprinkle of goat cheese or feta if desired.

The original recipe called for a simmer time of 50 minutes. However, by subbing in the split red lentils you can half the cooking time. Also, I know that the picture is not that appetizing looking but I was so hungry that I ate all my soup before I took a picture so this is a picture of what I will be having for lunch tommorrow. Make this soup on a cool fall night and you will go to bed with a full and happy belly.

This “pizza” is a rather unconventional recipe that I often make for lunch when I am trying to use up random vegetables. It is so simple that it doesn’t really require a recipe and all the ingredients can be varied based on what you have on hand.

1. For the crust I use Joseph’s lavash which can be found in front of the deli case at most Wal-marts. I love it because it is enormous and toasts up really crunchy like a wheat thin. It is also sturdy so it can hold up to most sauces and toppings (you can also use a large tortilla)

2. Next, I add a base layer to help the other ingredients stick to the lavash. You can use tomato sauce for a more traditional variation or you can creative with mashed sweet potato, pesto, hummus, refried beans, etc.

3. Then, I top the pizza with my toppings. Some ideas include cooked veggies, beans, a protein source such as a chopped veggie burger or chicken, cheese, or a drizzle of tahini. One of my favorites, when I make this pizza for breakfast, is to crack an egg in the center of the pizza which will then set to a perfect dippy consistency during the baking process.

4. Finally I bake the entire thing at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

The combination you can make are endless. One of my most recent creations was a lavash topped with pumpkin, sauteed spinach, feta, an egg and gochuchang (a Korean chile sauce).

Another combination I tried is a tortilla topped with a thin layer of hummus, a chopped veggie burger,  cherry tomatoes and sauteed spinach (I actually make this pizza at least once a week for lunch).

I have been working on sweeter variations but so far I have not quite come up with the right combination of ingredients. Any ideas?

Recently, I signed up at Whole Foods to recieve farmer’s pick bags (a little like CSA boxes). I have loved getting to try all sorts of produce that I normally wouldn’t have bought. My favorite find has been the delicious Delicata squash. It looks a little like zucchini but it takes like a cross between butternut squash and a sweet potato (both of which are some of my favorite root vegetables. It is also really cool because you don’t have to peel it and when it is sliced horizontally it is shaped like a flower.

There really isn’t any recipe that I used for this squash. All I did was slice it on the horizontal. . .

and then I scooped out the seeds and sliced it into 1/4 inch thick rings which I sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and then sprinkled with some kosher salt before roasting at 450 degrees for about 25-30 minutes (flipping half-way through)

Healthy finger food! Kids will love the shape and sweet nutty taste. I served mine with roasted salmon and wilted spinach

It was satisfying and nutritious. A definite keeper.

I woke up to the sound of a soft rain this morning. It has got to be the most relaxing sound to wake up to (especially on a weekend when I know I don’t a have to go jogging outside). The weather was a cool 63 degrees so I decide to make a breakfast that would embrace the coming of Fall. What better way to do that then with a piping hot piece of apple crumb cake?

This cake has a layer of softly spiced apples and mounds of the most amazing thick marble-sized crumbs scattered over top. Usually, when I make crumb cake, I double the recipe for the crumbs because there never seem to be enough to form a satisfying thick layer, but with this recipe I actually ended up throwing some of the unbaked crumbs away (what I actually mean is stuffing them into my mouth as fast as possible while no one was looking).

The original recipe used rhubarb and came from SmittenKitchen. But since I don’t usually have rhubarb on hand I substituted apple instead. This cake is best enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee while listening to gentle rain.

‘Big Crumb’ Coffeecake with Apples Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the apple filling:

3 medium peeled baking apples
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

For the crumbs:

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour (all-purpose will work as well)

For the cake:

1/3 cup sour cream (I subbed Greek yogurt)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (ditto on the all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into pieces


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, combine chopped peeled apples with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

To make crumbs  in a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like a solid dough. Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.

To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon apple mixture over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over apples; it does not have to be even.

Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from apples), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

I am back again! I really enjoy blogging I am just really bad at making a time commitment to it. Therefore, my goal is to start small and post one or two recipes that I made a week.

This week I tried I was trying to find a recipe to use up some of abundance of tomatoes and basil that I have laying around my kitchen. I had bookmarked a delicious looking pizza recipe a while back that I decided to give a try. It was absolutely delicious! It had a beautiful herb studded crust which was topped with a decadent homemade pesto and a medley of basalmic glazed tomatoes and red onion then finished with a sprinkle of “parmesan” cheese (which was actually vegan because it was a mix of sesame seeds and nutritional yeast but I think regular parmesan would work just as well). This recipe was slightly adapted from OhSheGlows who created a beautiful pdf of instructions.

I followed her instructions exactly except I subbed whole wheat flour for the bread flour and the crust still turned out perfectly. It had a rustic sturdiness that really held up well to the pesto and the moisture from the roasted veggies. I would definitely make this recipe again (especially since you can make a lot of components of this dish a head of time and basically assemble the pizza when you are ready to eat).

This dish satisfied my pizza cravings (we all have them) as well as used up my tomatoes. Score!

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