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Zucchini Carrot Souffle Muffins

This muffin recipe* is from my friend Chloe who I have known since we were kids in elementary school. Today, Chloe is a registered dietitian (RD) and owns a nutrition consulting business in Cambridge, MA. She has a firefighter husband, four kids and two dogs. I saw Chloe as a client when I was trying to lose some weight a few years ago and she helped me immensely by giving me a plethora of recipes that are both healthy, guilt-free and delicious. You will see many more of Chloe’s recipes on my blog as I have time to upload them. I think these muffins are ingenious— They are gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly and are an easy way to get some extra veggies. They also have no added sugar with the exception of maple syrup. They have just a touch of sweetness.

*Alternately, you can put the batter in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and turn this intro bread instead of muffins.

Original Source: Chloe Schweinshaut, RD of RiversideNutrition.com

 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Ready In: 1 hr 5 minutes
Makes 10 servings (depending how large your muffin tins are)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 zucchini (grated)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a muffin tin or line one with muffin cups.
  • In a bowl, whisk together maple syrup, egg yolks, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine thoroughly.
  • Add grated carrot and zucchini. (Note: If it is too wet, add more coconut flour. If too dry, add 1 tablespoon warm water at a time).
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
  • Scoop batter into muffin cups and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before serving.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2020 in Breads, Healthy Snacks

 

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Coconut Date Balls

If you are looking for a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, these Coconut Date Balls may do the trick! As Ellie Krieger says, they have “no added sugar” because all the sweetness comes from the dates themselves. Ready within minutes, they are fun to make with kids or just by yourself when you are craving a late afternoon snack or dessert. I am a huge fan of Ellie Krieger and have been making these every week since I saw the video on her website. You would never guess they are gluten-free, dairy free and vegan.

Original Source: Ellie Krieger.com
You can also view Ellie demo this recipe on her Facebook page

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: N/A
Ready In: 10 minutes
Makes 8 servings (serving size: 3 balls)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 7 ounces pitted dates
  • 3 tablespoons whole, natural almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  • Place the coconut on a small plate.
  • Place the dates, nuts, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  • Using a rounded teaspoon of the mixture, press it into a ball with your fingers, then roll the ball into the coconut, pressing down somewhat so the coconut adheres.
  • Repeat with the remaining mixture and coconut.
 

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Mediterranean Eggplant Bake

This casserole is one of my favorite weeknight dinners. If you prepare the baked eggplant ahead of time, it’s very quick and easy to put together. The spices are what really make the Mediterranean flavors come out- a nice twist on eggplant if you want to try something besides eggplant parmasan and don’t mind going non-vegetarian. Eat it as a stand-alone entree or with rice (or cauliflower rice if you are on a keto or other low-carb diet). It’s so delicious you will find it hard to believe it isn’t packed with carbs!

 

Original Source: The Low Carb Cookbook: The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle- with over 250 Delicious Recipes, by Fran McCullough

Preparation Time (not including pre-roasting the eggplant): 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:Mediterranean Eggplant Bake

  • 1 medium eggplant, oven-roasted (see Baked Eggplant recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3/4 pound ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Muir Glen diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmasan cheese

Instructions:

  • Prepare the eggplant and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and when it’s hot, add the onion. Saute the onion until it’s soft, then add the garlic and saute another minute. Remove the onion mixture to a bowl and return the skillet to the heat.
  • Crumble the lamb into the hot pan and saute until it’s beginning to brown. Pour off any fat that’s accumulated and add the spices and salt and pepper. Stir and saute until the lamb is completely brown. Return the onion mixture to the skillet and add the tomatoes. Let simmer until most of the juices have evaporated.
  • In a large gratin dish, make a layer of eggplant slices. Cover with half the lamb mixture and crumble feta cheese on top. Add another layer of eggplant slices and the remaining lamb mixture. Sprinkle the top with the Parmasan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2020 in Casseroles, Pork

 

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Baked Eggplant

This baked eggplant is great as a stand alone side side dish or as part of the Mediterranean Eggplant Bake recipe (also from Fran McCullough). If you like Italian food, nothing is more satisfying! This is a healthier way to prepare eggplant than frying and breading it it as is done in Eggplant Parmasan.

 

Original Source: The Low Carb Cookbook: The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle- with over 250 Delicious Recipes, by Fran McCullough

Preparation Time: Up to 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ready in: Up to 50 minutes
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds eggplant, in 1/2 inch slices
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450F. To make the first batch of eggplant: Pour half the oil into a 15×12 inch roasting pan and spread it around the bottom. Dip half the eggplant slices in the oil to coat both sides and arrange them in the pan in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices and bake another 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is golden brown. Remove the eggplant to a serving platter and sprinkle with half the lemon juice. Crumble half the oregano on top and add pepper to taste.
  • Repeat the procedure with the remaining eggplant slices. The eggplant tastes best at room temperature; if it’s been refrigerated, let it come to room temperature before serving. The flavor just improves day to day, up to about 3 days.

Chef’s Tip: The author suggests peeling and salting the eggplant for 30 minutes prior to cooking if it’s store bought. She says that garden-fresh eggplant does not require salting.

 
 

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Layered Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

I came across this recipe online while searching for a no-fuss week night meal that is easy to throw together and will not expand my waistline. This casserole is so delicious you would never guess that it is low-fat, low-carb and vegan or that the ingredients can be compiled in the amount of time it takes to pre-heat the oven. The bean spread in the middle is what gives the vegetables their flavor. The best part is that this stand-alone entree is quite filling. You don’t need to prepare a side dish to accompany the casserole unless you are inspired to.

Original Source: OhSheGlows.com

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1.5 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (The original recipe calls for 1.5 zucchini, but I use 2))
  • 2 cups leftover homemade chili OR pasta sauce
  • One 15-ounce can navy (great northern) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup spinach (optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • Vegan parmesan cheese, for garnish

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 450F. Peel the eggplants and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Lay on a lined baking sheet and pre-cook eggplant only for about 15 minutes, or until shrivelled. Remove from oven and cool.  While the eggplant is cooking, slice the zucchini and set aside. Now prepare your bean filling, by processing the drained beans, herbs, salt, garlic, olive oil, and nutritional yeast (optional) in a food processor until smooth. Gather the eggplant, zucchini, sauce, and bean filling and get ready to layer your casserole.
  • Preheat oven to 425. Grease a mid-sized rectangular casserole dish with oil. Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Arrange 1/3 of the eggplant slices over the sauce. Spread 1/2 of the bean filling over the eggplant, and put half of the zucchini on top. Add a layer of the sauce. Repeat eggplant, bean filling, zucchini, and sauce. Place the final layer of eggplant over the top and pour the remaining sauce evenly over top, spreading with a spoon.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes at 425F. Once zucchini is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle on some vegan parmesan cheese if desired.
 
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Posted by on December 21, 2019 in Casseroles, Lasagna, Uncategorized

 

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin are my favorite, as well as my boyfriend Jason’s favorite, kind of cookies. They are a solid choice if you have to bring a dessert to an event where anyone can’t eat (or for some strange reason doesn’t like) chocolate. There are thousands of recipes for oatmeal raisin cookies, but I like this one in particular because the cookies come out chewy on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. They are sweet, but not overbearingly so. In addition, they are quick to make and most of the ingredients are things you probably already have in you cupboard.

Original Source: Allrecipes.com

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes per cookie sheet
Ready in: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light-packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Use a silicone mat as pictured above to make clean-up easy and prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking sheet.
 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in Cookies, Desserts

 

Eggplant Parmasan

A traditional Italian entree, eggplant parmasan is one of my favorite meals. I was inspired to learn how to cook it when I first started dating my boyfriend Jason who is part-Italian and may like eggplant even more than I do. We often order eggplant parmasan when we go out to eat as well, so this dish has become a culinary theme in our relationship. 🙂 My BFF and former roommate Michelle taught me how to make it and her version beats many I have tasted in fancy restaurants.

The proportions below are for a casserole. If preparing one or two servings, I recommend using a small serving dish for each and cutting the ingredients in half. While this does take a long time and is very messy, it’s totally worth it! Serve with pasta and/or a green salad. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 16 oz. (2 large packages) shredded mozzarella cheese (I like Sargento brand the best)
  • Freshly shaved parmasan cheese (enough to cover the top of the casserole)
  • 2 large bottles of marinara sauce (you may make your own sauce from scratch or if short on time, buy a high quality one-I like Newman’s Own)
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • Salt (enough to sprinkle on eggplant)
  • 6-8 eggs
  • Flour (enough to coat eggplant)
  • Large box of breadcrumbs since you will run out of these faster than you expect (I like Italian breadcrumbs the best- do not use Panko breadcrumbs- although they are healthier, they do not fry well)

Instructions:

Preparing eggplant before cooking:

  • Remove skin from eggplants (optional)
  • Slice eggplants horizontally into very thin slices and lay the slices side-by-side on a cutting board.
  • Sprinkle salt on both sides of each slice and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. Remove salt with paper towels. (The salt soaks the water out of the eggplant so that it doesn’t get soggy when you fry it later).
  • In 3 separate bowls, place flour, beaten eggs (start with 3) and breadcrumbs. You will coat each slice of eggplant with these ingredients in turn.

Frying eggplant:

  • Coat the first slice of eggplant in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs. Make sure you completely cover every corner of the eggplant. Place in a pan with olive oil and fry until each side is golden brown. (About 3-4 minutes per side). Repeat for each slice of eggplant. Depending on the size of your pan, you can probably fry up to 4 slices at once. Leave at least 1/2 inch between slices and move them toward the center of the pan so that they cook evenly.

Layering eggplant, sauce and cheese in casserole dish:

  • As you finish frying the first few slices, begin layering them with marinara sauce and cheese in a casserole size (9×13 inch) baking pan. Begin by coating the bottom of the pan with marinara sauce, then place a layer of eggplant slices and cover with cheese. Repeat until the pan is full. Your top layer should be marinara sauce covered with cheese.
  • Cover the top layer of mozarella with freshly shaved parmasan cheese.

Cooking time:

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and the top layer is golden brown.
  • Allow to cool before slicing and serving. (Otherwise it will be runny).

Did You Know?

The name of this recipe is deceptive because many eggplant parmasan recipes do not actually contain parmasan cheese, only mozzarella. My recipe is unique because I add freshly shaved paramsan on top of the casserole before baking it.

 

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