Tag Archives: Healthy

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

The frost is almost upon us!  That means it’s time to harvest the herbs!

I work at The Celtic Cup Coffee House in the small town of Tullahoma, Tennessee.  I don’t have my own herb garden, but The Celtic Cup does.  I love getting to use the fresh herbs when I bake quiches, casseroles, and savory scones.

Today I harvested all the basil for the winter months.  If you’ve never processed herbs before, you probably think it’s really complicated.  At least, that’s what I used to think.  I know there are a couple different ways to do it.  Drying herbs actually does take a while, so I prefer freezing them.  I think it preserves the flavors better, too.  It’s really a lot easier and faster than I imagined.  All you have to do is snip the entire plant, wash, pluck the leaves, and freeze  on a towel-lined sheet pan.  After about half an hour, the leaves should be stiff enough to store in a plastic freezer bag for the winter.  It’s that simple!


While we’re on the subject of basil, last week I made some delicious parmesan baked tomatoes.  I love how all the local markets are just bursting with fresh fruits and veggies from the garden this time of year.  I bought some beautiful plump red tomatoes and thought I would get creative.  All they needed was some leftover basil pesto and a hearty sprinkle of cheese.  Voila! Parmesan baked tomatoes! So fast and simple, but delicious and comforting.  They taste like pizza!  You can make them as a side dish or just a healthy snack.

I’m not religiously gluten free or anything, but I think I feel better when I stay away from bread.  So, to accompany the tomatoes, I baked some chicken and made fresh broccoli salad.  This broccoli salad was at my friend’s wedding last weekend.  It was so good I had to make it for myself.

Together it was the perfect guilt free/gluten free dinner!  It only takes about 30 minutes to make, so I hope this meal will find it’s way into your week as a tasty and stress free option!

Abby Hughes

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and tasty side dish or snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Thick slice the tomatoes and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan
  3. Spread about a tablespoon (more or less to taste) of basil pesto on each slice.
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and broil on high until the cheese is lightly browned (about 4 minutes).
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Broccoli Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A light brunch or dinner side.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 medium red onion
  • ½ c. Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • ½ c. roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
Dressing
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. white distilled vinegar
  • ½ c. mayo
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. Small dice red onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, mayo, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, onion, craisins, and sunflower seeds.
  5. Toss to coat all ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

Vegan Dark Chocolate

This is my initiation post, so I thought it would be fitting to share a couple of things about myself.  First of all, I really like eating healthy.  I love working out and running and eating well because it makes me feel good.  Second, I REALLY love chocolate.  Especially DARK chocolate.  Almost anything with chocolate in it is irresistible to me.  I think most of my teeth are sweet teeth.


You may think these two loves are contradictory.  For a long time, I did too.  But do they have to be???  I’ve recently been learning a lot about nutrition from my boyfriend, Tim.  He’s a personal trainer who is way more committed to eating healthy than any sane person should be. But, he showed me that one of the keys to a healthy diet is making sure you get enough of the “good” fats. WHAAAAAAT??? There are good fats!?!?  Good fats are like a fun little diet cheat code.  There are even some diets that require you to eat a tablespoon of oil twice a day… it’s pretty gross, don’t try it. Anyway, healthy fat is found in things like avocados, coconut oil, olives, and nuts.   I think fat gets a bad rap because of it’s unfortunate name. But, contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat!  When used in moderation, it can actually aid in weight loss! Maybe we should rename it “phat” so people will think it’s cool again.  Really the only two things you need to be cautious about is making sure it’s the right kind of fat (not the grease dripping off your pizza, unfortunately), and to regulate the amount (because it is calorie dense, but still crucial to a healthy diet).

So, one day I remembered this recipe from my good friend, Mr. Fleisher. Back when I was in college, he would make me this heavenly freezer chocolate.  The only ingredients are coconut oil, cocoa powder (antioxidants), and a little bit of honey! It occurred to me… that fits my macros!  It’s a great way to get healthy fat in my diet AND curb my abundant chocolate cravings!

It’s a super simple recipe with just 4 ingredients that you probably already have. Plus, it’s easy to adjust amounts because it works off ratios!  People are always saying “try this recipe, it’s THE BEST.”  But they just say that.  THIS ONE REALLY IS THE BEST!  If you like chocolate, you have to try it.  That is all.  If you don’t try it, it really doesn’t affect me.  But I just always have this in my freezer and I think it could easily be a staple for your family too.  🙂

Between my brother and me, chocolate doesn’t last long at our house.

Before I give you the map to paradise (aka, the recipe), just a few things.  You can easily change the sweetness by adjusting the honey.  It won’t effect the chocolate setting up.  If you like it dark, add less honey.  If you don’t like bitter chocolate, add more! — it’s that simple.

I usually make a 1-1-0.25 ratio of coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey.  That is sweet enough for most dark chocolate lovers.  However, I believe the original recipe was a 1-1-1 ratio (very sweet).  If you aren’t sure where you fall, I would recommend making a smallish amount the first time for a taste test.

The second thing is that you can get creative with the flavorings!  It’s fun to add sliced almonds or chopped pecans, and you don’t have to use boring old vanilla.  If you want to get really crazy, there are a plethora of flavors to choose from!  Orange, Baileys, Jack, caramel… just use your imagination.

Finally, I would LOVE to see someone try this recipe in a cute little mold! Someday I’m going to grow up, get fancy, and invest in some nice molds, but for now I’ll eat chocolate no matter what shape it’s in.  However, if you are one of those “Pinterest Perfect” people that I envy,  PLEASE send a picture or leave a comment of the mold you use!  I know you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I have!

 Abby Hughes

Vegan Dark Chocolate
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A delightful not-too-sweet treat to always keep on hand.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 15 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 TB vanilla
Instructions
  1. Line two sheet pans with wax paper or parchment.
  2. Melt the coconut oil over low heat just until almost melted.
  3. Whisk the honey into the coconut oil for about a minute until the honey is warm and all the coconut oil is melted and well mixed. Take off heat [if it gets too hot it will get grainy (seize)].
  4. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla.
  5. Pour chocolate onto the prepared sheet to evenly distribute into a thin sheet.
  6. Freeze on a level shelf until the chocolate is set. Break into pieces and store in a sealed container in the freezer.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
Also works well in cute little molds, but I really like the texture and melt-in-your-mouth effect of the thin chips.

 

 

 

French Apple Tart

twd french apple tart finishedIt Tuesdays With Dorie which means I have baked from Dorie Greenspan’s book,  Baking With Julia.  I’ve never made a french apple tart and this week’s recipe got my attention. Dorie writes, “This open-faced tart is beautiful … beneath the gossamer blossom is what the French call a compote, a sweet, thick purée of oven-roasted Granny Smith apples.”  Are you interested?
mosaictwd apple french tart
In Dorie’s cookbook this recipe takes up 2 1/2 pages. That turns me off.  I took one look down through the recipe and thought it seemed so time-consuming.  My best baking projects are fast and easy and look like they took a long time.  🙂 Yes, I am fickle like that.  But, I am happy to report — this isn’t nearly as time-consuming as it seems at first glance.  And the finished tart is … well, worth it!  Also, my granddaughter, Tayler, is here visiting and she cheerfully helped me as my Chief Designer!

twd pie pastry squishFirst things first …the recipe calls for 1/4 recipe Flaky Pie dough.  This has become my very favorite pie dough recipe and you can get it here. I was immediately happy and “all in” because I keep this pie dough frozen for just such a moment as this!  I thawed the pastry dough over-night in the refrigerator. First thing in the morning I placed it in my 9″ springform pan and baked it.  While it was baking I started chopping apples.
twd fr apple tart applesThe recipe calls for Granny Smith apples.  I used mostly Granny Smith and a couple of Gala apples too.  Apple chunks are tossed with sugar, flour, cinnamon and fluffy bread crumbs.  This recipe calls for very little sugar but the result won’t give it away.  What intrigues me is that those apples could be cooked down in a pan on the stove or in a skillet stove-top.  But instead, it calls for spreading them on a baking sheet and roasting them.  Interesting.

twd apples  to roastBefore I started this recipe I decided I wasn’t going to take pictures except of the finished tart. As you can clearly see I went for my camera before I finished slicing the apples.  The colors are so pretty and I so want to share that with you!  The apples roasted for 20 minutes and were gooey, caramelized and wonderful! THAT picture would have gone right here … but I forgot to take it! 🙁


mosaictwdfrench apple taylerThe roasted apple compote is spooned into the baked pastry shell.  At this point my chief designer, Tayler, began working her magic.  We peeled apples, dipped them in lemon juice (to help keep them from browning) and she began the task of layering the apples. We had room for two circular layers and one rosette in the middle.  After brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with Turbinado sugar, our tart baked for 30 minutes.  The tart was done but the edges not quite dark enough so I turned the broiler on for just 2 minutes to give the edges the stunning black effect. The recipe suggests sprinkling with white sugar but I always keep Turbinado on hand and if you do too, then by all means use it for the sprinkling on the top.

twd french apple tart crystalOur tart didn’t stay under this cover long since it was the crowning touch to our Sunday dinner shared with family.

twd french apple tart bookThis tart is not overly sweet making it a perfect finish to any dinner.  (Only 3/4 cup sugar in the entire tart.)  The roasted apple purée is a perfect contrast to the crackle of the crust and the pure apple flavor of the topping.

The contributing baker for this recipe is Leslie Mackie.  This recipe is hosted by TWD baker, Gaye of Laws of the Kitchen.  She will post the full recipe on her blog.

As for me and my family — we will be making this again!!

Blessings and Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8 ASV

Healthified Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole

Skillet Tuna Noodle finalVisiting with my son Cory over the Christmas holidays, he offered me a great suggestion for my blog for the new year. Cory is a fantastic cook and is always looking for the healthiest of recipes for his family.  It is no surprise that he suggested I add a recipe each week that is “healthified.”  Never heard of healthified? Thanks to Cory it is my new buzz word for 2013!  According to the Live Better America website healthified™ recipes are made by either subtracting or substituting ingredients, to create healthier versions of the recipes you love!
mushrooms and onionsOne of Cory’s most wonderful traits is that when he offers a suggestion he is ready and willing to help make it happen!  So I wasn’t surprised when he told me he had just made a very healthy version of Tuna Noodle Casserole that is delicious, healthy and low-fat!  Starting with a good bit of mushrooms and onions cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper, and white wine is added.  By this time the kitchen is smelling yummy as the smells begin to waft through the house.
tuna noodle add noodlesFlour, milk, peas and Parmesan cheese are added to the cooked veggies to make up the white sauce.  Cooked whole-wheat pasta not only adds a deeper flavor than white pasta, it is also lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber. 🙂

Skillet Tuna Noodle finalPanko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and a quick turn under the broiler and dinner is served!  Cory added broccoli instead of peas and said it was a tasty variation.  We shared some of our casserole with neighbors just returning from Christmas travels.  After serving to my family we still had enough left for another meal.  We ate the remaining casserole about 4 days later and the flavor had enhanced and the Chief thought it tasted even better!

Please let me know if you have a healthified recipe you want to share.  I will be on the look-out for the best healthy recipes to bring back to you!


Happy New Year and Happy Cooking!
Stay healthy, Catherine

Healthified Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A beloved recipe, healthier than ever and tastier than you thought possible!
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups nonfat milk or 2% milk
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces canned chunk light tuna drained *See Note
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ cup coarse dry Panko breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms and salt. Cook stirring often until the onion is softened but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stir to coat. Add milk and pepper and bring to a simmer stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in tuna, peas, and ½ cup Parmesan until evenly incorporated. Stir in cooked noodles -- the pan will be very full! Remove from heat.
  4. Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler.
  5. Sprinkle the casserole with breadcrumbs and the remaining ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Place under broiler and broil until bubbly and lightly browned on top, 4 to 5 minutes.
Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 3, spoon into an 8 inch square glass baking dish, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese (from step 5) and bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Uncover and cook until browned and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.

Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna.

Recipe adapted from www.eatingwell.com
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1⅓ cups each Calories: 406 Calories Fat: 8 g Fat

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...