Friday, October 21, 2016

Recipe ReDux Post # 51 and Gabby's Eats: Fabulous Fall Veggie Bowl

“Plant Power Protein Bowls” is the October theme for the Recipe ReDux Challenge and us bloggers were encouraged to put together our own nutritious and delicious plant based, protein packed bowl.  I am fortunate to have a kid that loves veggies so I thought I’d bring Gabby in on this one to help me out. I was very intrigued to find out what kinds of ingredients that she would put in her ideal veggie and protein bowl. Her first step in the planning was to ask me what veggies and fruits were in season.  We took to the internet to research Fall produce and she decided she wanted to do a Fall themed bowl featuring some of the best produce of the season.  

She then literally “mapped” out her bowl recipe on a paper- including kale, sweet potatoes, turnips, Brussels sprouts, as the veggies.   

We thought it would be a fun idea to take a variety of our favorite recipes I have previously created using these veggies in the past, to fill the bowl with all kinds of flavor.  Once our ingredient shopping was done,  we had a busy afternoon of cooking the veggie recipes to put in her bowl. To make it complete, she chose steamed edamame as her plant protein source and then topped her bowl off with a sprinkle of dried cranberries for the finishing touch.  The result was rainbow of color, taste and nutrition and I was very proud of her creation.  We hope you will give it a try and also check out some of the other powerful plant based bowls developed by the awesome group of Recipe ReDux bloggers.


½ cup Super Smoky Sweet Potato Chips:  Recipe HERE
½ cup Simply Sauteed Kale:  Recipe HERE
½ cup Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts:  Recipe HERE
½ cup Sea Salt Roasted Turnips:  Recipe HERE
¼ cup cooked edamame
1 tablespoon dried cranberries


Prepare all the veggie recipes as listed per links above and arrange a ½ cup of each into a medium sized bowl.  Add the edamame and cranberries and serve!

Serving size: 1 bowl Calories 415  Protein 14 g Carb 54 g  Fiber 13 g Sugars 18 g Fat 15 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium  600 mg


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Gabby's Eats: Autumn Harvest Popcorn Bars

Being that October is National Popcorn Popping Month and Halloween is also right around the corner, I decided I had to celebrate both these occasions.  When I saw that SkinnyPop was gluten-free and kid friendly,  I was inspired to develop a recipe that puts a fun “Halloween spin” on popcorn. 

My daughter Gabby LOVES popcorn and I do too, so we were both very excited to work together to create a recipe for the challenge! We have done snack mixes using popcorn in the past, which were super yummy but this time around we wanted to do something different… Gabby and I decided to try our luck with using popcorn in a bar recipe with some Autumn inspired ingredients as "mix-ins" like apples and cranberries.  We used almond butter and a touch of honey as the base, added some sea salt and vanilla to go along with the popcorn, and the combo worked perfectly!  These bars are easy to make, have just the right amount of sweetness and a nice texture.   They are great for a snack, dessert or as a fun treat to bring to a party/gathering.  We hope you will give them a try!


½ cup creamy or crunchy unsalted natural almond butter  (or sunflower butter for those with nut allergies)
3 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla 
¾ cup chopped dried apple rings
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 cups air popped or store bought light popcorn (plain or lightly salted)
Wax or parchment paper


In a medium sized bowl, combine the almond butter, honey, sea salt and vanilla together  and mix well.  Stir in the chopped apple, cranberries and popcorn. Press mixture into an 8 by 8 inch pan. (Lining the pan with a large rectangular piece of parchment paper, placing the mixture on one side and then folding the paper over to press down works nicely since the dough is so sticky.) Chill in the freezer for one hour or the fridge for several hours until firm. Cut into 8 squares and serve. Store in the fridge.

Makes 8 bars

Serving size: 1/8th of recipe  Calories 170 Protein 4 g Carb 22 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 16 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 40 mg


Monday, October 10, 2016

Gabby's Eats: Sea Salt Roasted Turnips

Gabby and I were overdue for time in the kitchen together so this past weekend we got cooking!  She wanted to make something seasonal and after doing a little research online about Fall fruits and vegetables, she chose turnips. Gabby was intrigued because they are one of the only vegetables she has not tried and I was all about her choice since I have never cooked turnips at home and have only enjoyed them at restaurants. I asked her how she wanted to prepare them and she came up with something simple- olive oil and sea salt. I suggested the best way to cook them was to roast them with her two chosen ingredients.

I peeled and chopped up the turnips (since this was a bit of a challenging task requiring a sharp knife) and then Gabby added the olive oil and the salt and mixed them up. We spread cubed turnips on a greased pan and in just 15 minutes we had crispy delicious turnips fresh out of the oven. They were so delicious and the olive oil and salt were just the perfect way to season them.  Gabby ate them all up and was happy to have a new veggie choice in the rotation.  We hope you will give them a try too!


2 average sized turnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups raw cubes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼- ½ teaspoon sea salt
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add the cubed turnips into a medium bowl, put in the olive oil and salt and toss to coat.  Spread the turnips out on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and roast for 10 minutes. Flip them over and cook another 5-10 minutes until tender with a fork and browned.

Makes 2 Cups, 4 servings

Serving Size: ½ cup Calories 95 Protein 1 g Carb 8 g Fiber 2.5 g Sugars 5 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 400 mg


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Recipe ReDux Post # 50 Banana Walnut Protein Muffin

September's Recipe ReDux challenge is "First Cooking Recollections."   We were encouraged to share a healthy recipe that corresponds to early cooking memories.  My late grandmother was an awesome baker which she passed down to my mom and I am hoping I have received some of their good baking genes!  (I am practicing regularly, that's for sure!) Ever since I can remember I was often in the kitchen helping my grandmother and mother bake everything from cookies, to cakes, quick breads and muffins. It started out with me just helping mix (and taste!!) and then I slowly learned how to measure, crack eggs, follow recipes etc.  The smell of fresh baked goods is still one of my favorites and muffins are my all time # 1 most loved baked good.  So I though I would post a new muffin recipe that I just created.  Hope you enjoy and that you will check out all the other "memorable" culinary creations developed by the awesome Recipe ReDux team.


2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3/4 cup oat flour (use a gluten free brand such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons protein powder *(preferably natural
unflavored, see notes on the one I use below)
3 large sized over ripe bananas, mashed
6 Tablespoons liquid egg white
¼ cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup finely copped walnuts
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder and protein powder in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, brown sugar, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Add the oats/flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the nuts. Spoon into 6 jumbo size muffin pan cups (or 6 small ramiken/small oven safe baking dishes) coated with cooking spray and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 30 minutes, until top is firm, lightly browned and a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted into the center.

* I have had great success with using Nature’s Best
Isopure Perfect Natural Protein Powder, unflavored- it is gluten-free, lactose free

Makes six servings

Serving size 1 very large muffin Calories 310 Protein 13 g Carb 48 g Fiber 6 g Sugars 17 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 200 mg

IMPORTANT NOTE: these muffins are very moist so the ones you do not eat on the day you bake them must be stored in the fridge.  I just leave one out for an hour or two to get to room temp or pop one in the microwave for 40 seconds right out of the fridge.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Summer Recipe Round Up

Being that Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer and I thought I'd commemorate the occasion by posting a few of my recent favorite Summer recipes that I have created (some with the help of my daughter Gabby!).  Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday!!


Friday, August 26, 2016

In The News: Eating Berries May Lower The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

New research has been released about the potential for berries and the anthocyanins they contain to actually help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes (DM) by 18 %. A new meta analysis conducted by researchers in China looked at 8 cohort studies, providing a total of almost 400,000 people combined. After analysis of data from these studies the authors concluded that consuming dietary anthocyanins was associated with a 15% decrease in risk of developing Type 2 DM and eating berries was associated with an 18% decrease in risk. This is a novel study in that it is supposedly one of the first to look into the impact of berry consumption and anthocyanin intake to reduce diabetes risk. The researchers speculate that risk reduction could be due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of anthyocyanins contained in the berries. Check out the research HERE.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Recipe ReDux Post # 49 Turkey and Veggie Taco Filling

One of my favorite places to escape Los Angeles for a weekend trip is San Diego.  Years ago when I was there for a conference we were treated to a wonderful meal downtown for dinner at a trendy Mexican place.  It was a warm evening so I decided to order a taco salad and I found it extra special since they used ground turkey and it contained one of my favorite veggies- mushrooms. I have been wanting to re-create it for a long time now and this month’s Recipe ReDux gave me just the chance! The August challenge is to make a vacation inspired recipe and this is the one I chose. I hope you will give it a try and sample some of the other tasty trip-tastic treats developed by the talented Recipe ReDux bloggers too.


16 ounces lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped bell pepper (red, yellow or a mixture)
4 cups chopped mushrooms (I used portobello)
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste


Coat a large sized pan with the olive oil, add the turkey meat and brown on medium heat, breaking up into small pieces, for about 7-10 minutes until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion, peppers, and mushrooms to the pan and sauté on medium high heat until softened and starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Put the turkey back into the pan with the veggies, add the canned tomatoes and spices and simmer on medium heat for 7-10 minutes until warmed through.

Make 8 generous cups, 8 servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 110 Protein 16 g Carb 10 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 4 g Fat 1.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 120 mg


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