Chocolate “Cheese”cake!!

Graham Cracker Chocolate Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or any cookie you like… chocolate, chocolate chip… gluten free snickerdoodle…)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbl coconut or canola oil
  • 2 packs mori-nu firm tofu
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbl arrowroot
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese (tofu or dairy)
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar (or maple syrup!)
  • 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grind graham crackers until you have 1 1/2 cups of crumbs (you can buy some whole grain, organic graham crackers as I did for this recipe).  Add cinnamon and oil and press into pie dish.  Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.

Put tofu, egg whites, arrowroot, baking powder, salt, cream cheese and sugar into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.  Divide chocolate chips into 1/3 cup and 1/3 cup.  Take 1/3 cup and melt in microwave or double boiler.  Note-if you melt chips in microwave do not overheat-just heat until some are melted and some still hold their shape and stir.  Then add melted chocolate to tofu mixture and blend.  Add cocoa and vanilla and blend again.  Then add the remaining 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and blend just until they break up a little.  Pour into pie dish.

Bake for about 45 minutes-the cheesecake should be firm around the edges and just set in the middle.  Cool for 30 minutes and then refrigerate until set, at least 3-4 hours.

Please note that this is not a very sweet cheesecake, which I prefer.  If you like really sweet desserts use 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup sugar instead of 1/3 cup.

Serves 6

Spring is in the air!

Spring has sprung and it time to change up the menu a bit.

I love to eat tomato soup during the spring because it is a light meal, yet extemely satisfying.  If it is really hot out, you can also eat the soup cold, OR pour the soup into an ice cube tray and use them instead of ice in Bloody Marys!!! Yeah!!!!

Here is a very simple and healthy Tomato Soup recipe!

Tomato Soup

Soup:

  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large cans of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 c basil
  • salt
  • pepper

Pesto:

  • 2 c basil
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 8 walnuts
  • 1 tbsp goat cheese
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • salt

Garlic Toast:

  • bread
  • butter (goat, cow, or vegan)
  • garlic powder
  • salt

In a large pot, heat some oil and brown the onion.  Then chop the garlic and add it. Once the garlic and onion have browned drain the 3 cans of tomatoes and add the pulp to the pot.  Add the oregano and basil.  Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, then salt and pepper to taste.

Using either an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup.

Taste again and add salt and pepper if needed. You can also add some more oregano and basil!

For the pesto, just add all of the ingredients into a food processor and taste! Add salt as needed.  I personally don’t like the taste of pine nuts (I know, call me crazy), but if you do, you can add them instead of the walnuts. Walnuts are full of good fats and are tasty, so they are a good solution if you are not a fan of the pine nut!

Just before serving toast the bread, then spread some butter, salt, and garlic powder over the toast and toss it in a toaster oven or regular oven to really crisp it up.  Cut it into slices.

Pour yourself a bowl of soup, add a few croutons, then drizzle the pesto on top! Then, if you’d like, garnish with additional cheese.

Serves 6

Healthy Tuna Melt

When experimenting with a healthy tuna melt I wanted it to be tasty but also low in fat, low in calories and full of veggies, because veggies need to be in every meal.

So here’s my version, I think you’ll find that it satisfies your tuna melt desire without sacrificing your healthy eating desire!

Healthy Tuna Melt

To make tuna you’ll need:

1 can water packed tuna

1 small diced carrot

1 Tbl diced red onion

2 Tbl reduced fat mayo

1/2 tsp regular mayo

To make the sandwich you’ll need:

4 slices thin rye or wheat bread (try to keep it at 120 calories for 2 slices)

1 thinly sliced tomato

1 small thinly sliced cucumber

2 slices reduced fat cheddar cheese or vegan cheese

Drain the tuna and mash it up, add the two mayos and mix well, than add the diced carrot and onion.  Set aside.

Lightly toast the bread, then take two slices and top with tuna and cheese.  Put back in toaster oven and melt cheese.

Top with tomato and cucumber and other slice of toast and that’s it!

This recipe serves 2 and is approximately 250-300 calories.  Serve with additional sliced veggies or a salad.

Winter Squash and Apple Soup

Sweet, salty and tangy…creamy, crunchy and cheesy…sometimes a contrast of flavors and textures really makes a dish sing!

I’ve never made a soup with apples before, but my friend Julie introduced me to a fantastic winter squash and apple soup.  It is really thick, smooth and healthy, and the apples give it a nice, tangy flavor to complement the sweetness of the squash.

Then you top this creamy soup with half a slice of toasted bread which has been sprinkled with a little cheese, and you have it all-sweet, salty, tangy, creamy, crunchy and cheesy.

Winter Squash and Apple Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 tbsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

2 lbs squash, peeled and cubed (such as butternut, sweet dumpling, delicata)

2 peeled and diced apples (granny smith or fuji)

6 cups veggie (or chicken broth if you prefer)

salt

pepper

4 slices of bread (rye, whole wheat or gluten free)

2 tsp vegan or regular butter

parmesan or goat cheese

Saute the onion in the olive oil until golden, then sprinkle with rosemary and thyme. Add the squash and saute for a few minutes, then add the apples and the broth.  Bring to a boil, then lower the flame and simmer for 30 minutes.

Blend using an immersion blender, or in batches using your blender, being sure to not overfill it.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 4 slices of bread with a thin layer of butter, then sprinkle with cheese.  Toast in a toaster oven or broil.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with 1/2 slice of the toasted bread.

Serves 8

Lemony “Cheese” Cake (Vegan!)

I was having dinner at a restaurant last night with some friends, and they were sharing a yummy looking slice of cheesecake for dessert. Now, I don’t do well with dairy, and I tried to convince myself that I just didn’t want it, but of course I kind of did…

So, with cheesecake on my mind this morning, I set about creating a lemony, vegan version of the creamy, tangy cheesecake from the night before.  I think you’ll agree that it’s a great, guilt-free dessert, and so easy to make!

Lemony “Cheese” Cake

9 graham crackers

1 1/2 Tbl vegan butter

1 package Mori-Nu firm tofu

1/3 tub of tofu cream cheese

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

juice from 1 lemon

zest from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 375.

In a blender or mini-chop grind the graham crackers.  Melt the vegan butter and add. Press the crumbs into a pie pan.

Blend tofu, tofu cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla ,lemon juice and lemon zest until creamy, and pour over crust.

Bake for 24 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but it’s best to refrigerate overnight.

Serves 4-6 (depending on if you can resist eating a large slice).  Great with a little whipped cream (tofu or dairy) and some berries!

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed MINI Muffins

Aww, don’t you just love cute little things?  Puppies, bunnies, mini muffins?

Ok, maybe these aren’t AS cute as puppies or bunnies, but it’s hard to make food that cute!

These mini muffins offer lots of flavor in a small package, so go ahead, enjoy more than one!

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed MINI Muffins

4 tbsp butter (+ butter for lining pans)

¼ c organic sugar

1 whole egg

1 tsp lemon extract

2 tbsp lemon zest

2 ½ tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

½ c + 1 tbsp gluten free flour

¼ c almond flour

¼ tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

3 ½ tsp poppy seeds

¼ cup soymilk + 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, using convection bake if you have this option.  If not, increase baking time by 4 minutes.

Cream the butter and the sugar together. Then add the egg, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating adding the milk.

Coat the bottom of the mini muffin pans with butter and scoop in the muffin batter, fill them about ¾ full.

Bake for 10 minutes (convection) or 14 (regular bake setting)!

Makes about 10 mini muffins.

Inspired by Gluten Free Gobsmacked

Comfort Food that’s good for you? Yep, healthy egg salad.

Alot of people like egg salad because it’s tasty and versatile, but generally speaking it is pretty bad for you.

HOWEVER, it’s easy to healthify, inexpensive, and you can have it on a whole wheat english muffin for breakfast… on rye bread or gluten free toast for lunch… or on rice crackers for a snack.  Top it with juicy sliced tomatoes or serve with a green side salad.

So, if you are an egg salad fan, this one’s for you!

Healthy Egg Salad

6 free range extra large eggs

1 heaping tbsp low fat mayo

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp dry or fresh dill

1/3 cup diced cucumber or celery

1 tbsp diced sweet onion or scallion

salt

pepper

Put eggs in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and boil for 10-11 minutes.  Then rinse in cold water and peel.

Put one whole egg in a bowl and just the whites from the remaining 5 eggs.  This is enough yolk for me, but if you want it yolkier (i think I made this word up??) add more. Then mash away with a potato masher (or a fork if you don’t have one).

Add mayo and mustard and mix, then add dill and veggies and mix again.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I like to refrigerate the egg salad for a couple of hours.

Serves 2

Kale Frittata

Eggs are a delightful brunch time favorite, but lets step it up a notch, shall we?

I’m a huge fan of frittatas, they’re beautiful, light, delicious, and easy to prepare.  Also, the combinations of treats to go inside of them are almost endless.

Kale Frittata

1 bunch kale (no stems)

1 sweet onion

6 cloves of garlic

1/5 lb hard goat cheese (Midnight Moon is great)

11 eggs (only 2 yolks)

salt

pepper

olive oil

Heat a skillet with oil.  Chop up the onion and add it to the hot oil, sauté until the onions start becoming translucent.  Chop up the kale and add it to the onion.  Cook until the kale is wilted.  Set aside on a plate.

In a large bowl crack the eggs, remembering to only use two of the yolks, whisk them well.  Add the garlic, chopped, the goat cheese, chopped, and some salt and pepper. Then add the kale and onions. Mix together well.

Heat the skillet again with oil; once the oil is hot add the egg mixture, put a lid on the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Cook until there are no more runny eggs on top, and WATCH OUT, you don’t want to burn the bottom!

Serve hot with a bit of salad, or let it chill and have it on some toast!

Serves 4-5

Sauteed Rainbow Chard!

Here’s an easy, delicious recipe for sauteed chard, but you can substitute kale, mustard greens or collard greens if you like.  Mustard and collards are more bitter than chard and kale, so if you are shy about eating bitter just beware!

The balsamic vinegar is reduced so it becomes sweet rather than acidic.

This recipe serves 2 because leafy greens shrink big time when you cook them, so buy two bunches if you like large servings or are feeding 3-4.

Sauteed Rainbow Chard with Balsamic Vinegar


1 bunch chard

1 Tbl olive oil

1/2 onion

1/2 cup mushrooms (shitake or crimini are really good)

1/2 lemon

salt

pepper

2 Tbl balsamic vinegar

Wash chard and cut off hard stems on the bottom of the leaves, then cut leaves into slices and dry.

Heat olive oil and chop up your onion, then cook until slightly golden.  Chop mushrooms, add to pan and saute for a minute or so.  Add chard and cook for another minute, then squeeze lemon on top.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Push the chard to one side of your pan, then tilt your saute pan slightly so that when you put pour vinegar into the pan it stays away from the chard!  Cook the vinegar for a minute or two until it is reduced and slightly syrupy.  Then stir the vinegar into the chard and cook for another minute or two.

Voila!!!  If you have any left over use as a filling for omelets!

Serves 2

Indian Spiced Salmon

I’ve been trying to eat lots of salmon since it’s so high in Omega 3’s, which are really good for you, in case you were wondering!

The trick to cooking salmon is not to overcook it, but to remove it from the pan/grill/oven when it’s a little less done than you like.  It will keep cooking on its own until it is just right.

I like this dish because:

I love Indian spices

It’s made on the cooktop (because sometimes when you cook salmon in the oven your home smells like salmon for WAY too long)

It’s good on a salad or with rice and veggies

It is flavorful enough that even non-fish lovers like it

So without further comment, here it is-Indian Spiced Salmon!

Indian Spiced Salmon

2/3 lb salmon (try to buy wild if you can)

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 diced onion

8-10 cherry tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, chopped

chili powder

coriander

curry powder

turmeric

smoked paprika

salt

pepper

Take a covered pan (the heaviest one you have) and on medium warm up the olive oil, then saute the onion until golden.  Add the cherry tomatoes and garlic and saute a minute more.

Cut the salmon in half and place in pan, skin side down.  Sprinkle with all the spices and then cover.  Then lower the heat and cover tightly.  Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or so.  Check for doneness after 15 minutes, and then every few minutes.

And, if you were really paying attention to the photo you will notice some black sesame seeds sprinkled on the salmon.  I like to do that because they look nice, so feel free to add them or not!

Serve on a salad or with a side of rice and veggies.

Serves 2