Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet Potato and Apple Pie

My Aunt Cheryl brought this savory dessert to Thanksgiving this year, and I just HAD to ask her for for the recipe. It was such a big hit that night that there were barely any leftovers for the next day. This may not be the healthiest of healthy dishes, but it's definitely better than most sugary, fat-laden desserts. And it has organic apples and sweet potatoes in it for goodness sakes!

-2 medium organic apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
-about 2 to 2 ½ cups(three medium) sweet potatoes(baked & cooled)

-2 eggs lightly beaten (substitute egg whites/egg beaters if you'd like!) 
-1 ¼  cups light cream 
-1/3 cup light brown sugar
-1/3 cup organic cane sugar ( *my aunt used a bit less light brown sugar...and a bit more cane sugar for a total of 2/3 cup)
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

-Your Favorite pie crust (But honestly, this pie was so darn delicious, you could make it crustless if you'd like!) 

1. Arrange the thinly sliced apples on the bottom of the pie crust (or on the bottom of the dish if you choose to make it crustless!)

2. Peel and mash the sweet potatoes.

3.Add lightly beaten eggs, sugar, cream, cinnamon and nutmeg to mashed sweet potatoes, stirring until everything is blended well. Pour over apples to fill pie crust.

4. Bake in 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or until set(check at 30 minutes). *You may want to cover the crust with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spaghetti Squash With Turkey Meatballs

This healthy dish is a wonderful substitute for your traditional spaghetti 'n' meatballs. Eat one of the all-time favorite comfort foods for absolutely no guilt at all.

*serves 4
For squash:
-1 spaghetti squash
-2 TB extra virgin olive oil
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1 TB ground pepper
-1 TB red pepper flakes
-1 TB oregano
-1 TB parsley

For meatballs/sauce:
-1 package lean ground turkey
-1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
-1 clove garlic, crushed
-1 tsp. salt
-1 TB red pepper flakes
-1/4 cup red onion, chopped into small pieces
-1 tsp. pepper
-1 TB basil
-extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut the squash in half (lengthwise) with a large, sharp knife. Scoop out the insides, and set on a large baking sheet. Coat the squash with the olive oil, along with the dry ingredients "for squash" listed above. Pop in the oven and set timer for 45 minutes.
2. In the meantime, mix the ground turkey in a large bowl with 2 TB olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped onion. Once evenly mixed, formulate small to medium sized meatballs with hands. Place them on a large skillet coated with olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute the meatballs until crispy. Add in the marinara sauce, basil and garlic and let simmer on low heat.
3. Take squash out of the oven, and scrape with fork to pull out all of the "spaghetti" onto a large plate. 
4. Evenly distribute 4 servings, topping each with the meatballs and sauce. Add parmesan cheese on top if desired and serve with a piece of fresh garlic bread or salad!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Maiann's Healthy Apple Crisp*

A coworker sent this recipe to me, and though I haven't yet tried it myself, I just HAD to post it: it looks delicious and is much, much healthier than the usual fattening, sugary apple crisp recipes at this time of year. Make this for the perfect, sensible fall treat! 

*no added sugar

* 5-6 apples peeled and chunked. (Option: try mixed type like a few Fuji, a Gala, maybe even a pear or raisins or dried cherries to mix it up).
* 1/2 of a lemon, fresh squeezed
* 1T cinnamon
* 1T nutmeg
* 1T Allspice
* 1T maple syrup
* 1T whole wheat flour
Crisp topping:
* 1T cinnamon
* 1/4 C. maple syrup
* 1/2 to 2/3 C. rolled oats
* 2T flax seeds
* 1/2 cup nuts..chopped..recommend almonds and hazelnuts
* (option: can do this quickly by quick pulsing in a Cuisinart or quick pulse in a blender)
* 3T softened butter

1.Pre heat oven to 400.

2. Toss all crisp ingredients in a bowl. Grease baking dish. Pour crisp mix into dish and bake for 20 min. 

3. In another bowl mix together all crisp topping ingredients. When the 20 min. baking time is up, reduce heat to 350 degrees. sprinkle 1/2 the crisp topping on top and put back in oven for about 5-6 min. After 5 -6 minutes, pull out again and sprinkle rest of crisp topping. Bake for 5-6 more minutes.

4. Take out and let cool a bit.

Can be served with vanilla soy ice cream or low sugar, low fat whip cream...enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brown Rice "Pita Chips"

-1 brown rice wrap, which can be purchased at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's
-1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 tsp. oregano
-1 tsp. crushed garlic or garlic powder
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Place wrap on small toaster oven baking sheet.
2. Pour olive oil onto the wrap, and other seasonings and spices as well, then spread all over evenly using a brush (or the smooth side of a spoon). 
3. Toast or bake the wrap on medium high, or until crispy. 
4. Let cool and break into square pita-sized pieces.
Enjoy as a side with a sandwich soup, or salad, or dip the chips in hummus/salsa...mmm! 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Power Protein Spinach Salad *Vegetarian

This salad is a perfect vegetarian dish for an energizing lunch or dinner. Enjoy by itself or with a glass of red wine and piece of toast! 

-1 cup baby spinach
-1/5 block of extra firm tofu, cooked* (*recipe for my Italian Herbed Style Tofu here)
-1/4 c chopped walnuts 
-1/2 small apple, chopped
-1/2 medium sweet potato
-1/4 c tomato, diced
-1 TB olive oil
-1 tsp. oregano
-1 tsp. basil
-fresh lemon juice, squeezed (for dressing, according to taste)
-salt and pepper

1. Cook tofu according to recipe and in the meantime, bake sweet potato in the oven, or cook in the microwave on high for approximately 5 minutes.
2. Mix together spinach, apple, tomato and walnuts in a salad bowl or dish.
3. Add cooked tofu and sweet potato. Finish the salad with the herbs, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper drizzled on top according to taste!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Spice Chocolatey Fruit Smoothie

I invented this smoothie this a.m. for breakfast because we were running low on food in n the fridge. I threw together a few ingredients, blended them up and voila: we have a perfect, rich 'n' flavorful smoothie for fall.

-1 cup light chocolate soymilk (or chocolate almond milk)
-1 medium banana
-handul frozen strawberries (about 1/2 cup)
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1 TB flaxseed oil
-1 tsp. pumpkin spice (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender, making sure the frozen strawberries are well chopped and blended in. Pour into a glass and serve with a piece of toast, or take it on the go for a lovely headin'-to-work-treat : ) This smoothie is energizing and full of flavor, with an extra fall kick!

"Hi Rachel...I wanted to let you know I tried your fall choc. smoothie and it was amazing. I love flaxseed, so this is a great alternative to putting it in my yogurt. You have really great recipes."-Kelsey, 20

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Cup O' Tea: How to Make the Perfect Chai Tea Latte

You see it advertised all the time at Starbucks and other snazzy cafes: the infamous Chai Tea Latte. But there's no need to travel to a cafe and spend money, time and fuss to enjoy the same flavor you can at home!

Drink this alternative (yet just as delicious) beverage after dinner to end your meal with something sweet 'n' tasty, or cozy up with this delicious cup o' tea any time you need to warm up. Alas, the simple recipe for a perfect fall drink...enjoy!

-1 cup light organic vanilla soy milk (use plain if you don't have vanilla)
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1 tsp. nutmeg
-1 black tea bag (green works as well!)

1. Microwave the milk in a microwave safe mug for 1 1/2 minutes.
2. Seep the tea bag in the milk for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
3. Stir in the nutmeg and cinnamon. . . enjoy : ) (Really it's as easy as 1, 2, 3!)

"Heyyy girl!! i just wanted to tell you that i used your chai tea recipe and it's amaazinnngg! I was slowly going broke from buying them at Starbucks all the time and now i dont have to good! =)"-Meg, 22

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Have This For Dinner Tonight: Better-for-Ya Fried Rice*

I made this tonight for dinner with some random veggies in my fridge and leftover brown rice from the night before, and it was extremely delicious and filling. Enjoy! *Vegetarian

-1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
-1/4 cup broccoli, frozen
-1/4 cup onion, chopped
-1/2 diced zucchini
-1 egg
-2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Coat large frying pan with olive oil, and pour frozen broccoli, onions and zucchini into pan. (or whatever veggies you have available-peas, corn, carrots, sugar snap peas and squash would also taste great!)

2. Once vegetables cook, add in the brown rice. Add more olive oil or butter spread if desired.

3. Crack egg on one side of the pan, and chop into the rest of the rice mixture.

4. Top with salt and pepper to taste. Eat with chopsticks in you're in the mood. . . Enjoy : )

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Boil Up Some Farm Fresh Corn!

Yes, summer has officially ended and fall has begun (crazy to believe, I know!), but that doesn't mean we have to end our favorite summer eats as well. Go grab some corn today at the grocery store or at your local farmer's market while it's still fresh and (semi) in season! Hey, summer just ended a few days ago; there's no need to stop all the fun just yet.

The other day, I purchased 2 fresh corn husks at the farmers market for 50 cents a pop, and boiled 'em up today to have for dinner. I'm thinking I'll eat one "on the cob" with a veggie burger tonight to savor that summer bbq essence. 

But there's plenty of other things to do with corn after it's cooked as well (off o' the cob...) :

-Shave off the edges and cut it up into your favorite salad. Try some fun combos like corn, black beans, onion and cilantro atop some fresh arugula OR corn, chopped hard boiled egg, avocado and spinach. 

-Add some corn to your a.m. omelet for a mexi-flavor! Try corn, tomatoes, cilantro with a few TB of salsa for a spicy breakfast kick!

-Throw it in your homemade (or store-bought) soups for some extra flavor and touch of sweetness. I'm adding it to my minestrone soup tonight, but it would also taste great in vegetarian (and meat) chiles, chowders butternut squash soup and any other vegetable based soups!

-Make "healthy nachos" with organic low-sodium corn chips (Try Trader Joe's Organic Corn Chip Dippers or Food Should Taste Good Yellow Corn Chips-all natural and low sodium), corn, black beans, tomatoes, chopped onions and a few sprinkles of low-fat cheese. Microwave or bake the tortilla chips up until the cheese melts 'n' dip in your favorite salsa for an extra zing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caprese Omelet

When I was in Italy several years ago, almost every day I would order a Caprese salad for lunch or dinner. More simply put: fresh tomato, fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Absolute perfection. Well, this morning I had that authentic Italian craving, so I whipped up an omelet, Italian style.

-1 egg, 1 egg white, mixed
-1 TB extra virgin olive oil 
-few slices fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese
-3 basil leaves, fresh if you can
-1/4 cup chopped fresh plump tomato (I bought mine at the farmer's market)

1. Coat frying pan with olive oil on medium heat and then pour egg mixture onto pan.
2. Once slightly cooked (bubbling), top half the egg with tomatoes and basil leaves.
3. Lastly, add the cheese and cover for a minute until thoroughly melted.
4. Flip one side over to form the classic omelet shape, serve and enjoy! : )

*Pair with some fresh fruit (I had 1/2 sliced grapefruit) and a piece of toast!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5 Healthy Ways with a Sweet Potato

OK, so I'm addicted to several things in life: exercising, coffee (although I'm trying to slowly ween off of that one), reading magazines, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and yes--now sweet potatoes. They are just the perfect, most cheap vegetable (about 50 cents for a medium one) and you can do oh so much with them! Poke a few holes with a fork, pop 'em in the mic for about 6 to 8 minutes, and voila: instant deliciousness. 

Here, 5 healthy ways with this phenomenal fall-favorite vegetable. First cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes, or bake in the oven wrapped in tin foil and then do as follows:

1. The Sweet Toother: Drizzle with 1 TB 100% maple syrup, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. nutmeg to cure a sweets craving!

2.  Cajun Concoction: Top with 1 TB Cajun seasoning, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper and a touch of red pepper flakes for a spicy treat!

3. Light 'n' Simple: Spread your sweet potato with 1 TB smart balance butter (or another light variety) with a pinch of salt and pepper. . . always hits the spot.

4. Herb-alicious: Coat the potato with all your favorite seasonings/herbs! I personally love oregano, parsley and basil!

5. Fry-tastic: Transform your sweet potato into delicious healthy french fries. Rather than cooking the potato ahead of time, slice into small strips resembling french fries. Then, coat with 1 TB olive oil and a dash of salt 'n' pepper. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil and pop 'em in the oven for about 30 minutes on 350, or until crunchy. Adds herbs and spices of your choice to liven them up! Serve as a side with a meal, or dip 'em in ketchup for a quick and easy snack. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cool Idea: Meal on the Go

I had this light meal for dinner last night, and let me tell you: boy oh boy did it hit the spot. Have this anytime you need to eat on the run, great for lunch or dinner. Also, this is a great option for any of you with allergies, because there is no soy, gluten or wheat and it's preservative free!

What you'll need:
-1 Bahama Rice Burger, Original Beach Griller (or other flavor of your choice)
-1 small/medium sized sweet potato 
-2 TB Smart Balance butter
-1 TB olive oil for cooking
-salt and pepper

1. Poke holes in the sweet potato and pop in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes, or wrap in tin foil and bake in conventional oven on 350 for about 35 minutes. 

2. In the meantime, spread olive oil on frying pan set at medium heat, and cook veggie burger according to directions, for about 4 minutes. 

3. Mash up sweet potato with the Smart Balance butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve along side the veggie burger, and pile on toppings of your choice. Some suggestions: a TB of ketchup, drizzle of yellow mustard, 1/2 TB light mayo, a thin slice of cheese, some baby spinach, sliced onion or diced tomatoes. 

Seriously, this tasty hit is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Squash 'n' Turk Burg Medley

This is a quick 'n' easy dinner option that I created while living in my apartment in college. But, don't be fooled. Just 'cause it's easy doesn't mean it's not absolutely delicious as well!

- 1/2 red onion, sliced
-1 package learn or extra lean ground turkey burger
-1 yellow squash
-1 zucchini
-1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
-1 TB cajun seasoning (or a mix of your own favorite herbs and spices)
-1 tsp. oregano
-salt and pepper to taste
-4 TB extra virgin olive oil (for cooking)

1. Set burner on medium heat and let 2 TB olive oil set in. Chop up the squash and zucchini, and add to large frying pan with the chopped onion and garlic. Stir periodically, until veggies are cooked well, but be careful not to overcook. (Taste test if you'd like : ) )

3. In the meantime, set another medium pan on medium high with olive oil spread, and cook turkey burger until done, when lightly browned.

4. When the turkey is done cooking, add it to the veggie-mixture, and stir well. Drizzle on the cajun seasoning, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, stirring gently until everything is well mixed to get the ultimate flavor.

5. Enjoy : )

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Italian Herbed-Style Tofu

I invented this recipe because I am absolutely obsessed with Whole Food's Mediterranean Herb Tofu, and wanted to attempt making it...Lets just say, it came pretty close to the real deal and it's absolutely delicious. This protein-packed recipe is great for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike!

-1 package extra firm tofu
-2-4 TB extra virgin olive oil
-1 TB oregano 
-1 TB rosemary
-1 TB basil
-1 TB parsley
-1/2 TB garlic powder (or one clove fresh garlic, crushed)
-Pinch of Salt & Pepper

1. Blot the tofu well with a paper towel, getting as much water out as possible. (This will make it more firm, and less soggy when cooking) Once it is well drained, chop the tofu into mini 1 or 2 inch squares so they are bite size. 

2. Mix all the ingredients together, including the tofu, in a large plastic bag. Shake it all up and zip the bag shut.

3. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, and have the oven preheated to 350.

4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes on a sprayed baking sheet, or until the tofu looks firm and slightly golden. 

5. Let it cool for a bit, and enjoy as a meal on top of rice or quinoa, as a salad topping or just by itself!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Put Leftovers to Use!

You know those days when you just make a bit too much food for dinner, or you just can't seem to finish that delicious entree you ordered at the restaurant? Well, good news for you: you can put those leftovers to use...and more often than not, they taste even better the next day.

This morning I made an egg white omelet using the roasted vegetables we had for dinner last night. I know this may sound like a strange concoction, buy my omelet consisted of chopped sweet potatoes, green beans, Vidalia onions and broccoli, and was absolutely delicious!

It was refreshing (and scrumptious) to add some new flavors to my same old run of the mill omelet for a change! 

So lesson learned: Be creative with your leftovers and you never know what you'll create in the end. Hey, it could be a new favorite recipe!

Share some of your crazy, delicious creations you've put together with leftovers!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summertime Pasta Primavera

This is a pasta dish my mom swears by in the summer months because it's easy, healthy and super fresh! Try it out tonight for dinner, either cold or hot (we serve it hot!) and be creative if you want, substituting different veggies and pasta varieties. Enjoy!

-1 box whole wheat pasta (Use rice pasta if you have a gluten sensitivity)
-1 large tomato, diced
-2 zucchinis, chopped and steamed
-1 cup baby spinach, chopped
-3-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped well
-2 garlic cloves, crushed
-1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
-2 TB pine nuts (optional)
-1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-dash of black pepper 
-dash of cajun seasoning (optional)

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, and drain but don't rinse. Pour into a large bowl. 

2. Steam the zucchini 6 to 8 minutes, and add to the pasta, along with all of the other veggies and herbs. 

3. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and pine nuts (both optional) on top and then mix those in as well.

4. Serve and enjoy! 

Serving suggestions: This tastes grate alone, as a nice, light summer dinner or paired with an arugula salad made with diced pear, pine nuts and olive oil. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Skinny Thoughts of the Day: Lighten up Your Breakfast

When preparing your breakfast, experiment with new, leaner ways to yummy-up your meal! Ditch the butter and loads of store-bought Aunt Jemima maple syrup, and instead use a dash or cinnamon or agave syrup (also known as nectar) to add a delicious kick! And if you really want that true maple syrup experience, go for the real 100% all natural maple syrup, which doesn't have any additives or loads of fake sugar, and only use a dash of it. You don't need much to savor the decadent flavor!

Other great choices to add to cold or hot cereals like oatmeal are fresh fruit (berries are the best!) , chopped nuts (like chopped walnuts or slivered almonds) or a TB of nut butter. 

Some of my favorite breakfast food pairings:

-1/3 cup Quinoa flakes cooked with 1 cup water with 1 tsp Cinnamon and 1 TB Smart Balance Omega Buttery Spread 

-2 Buckwheat Wildberry Waffles with 1/2 cup Fresh Blueberries

-2 Eggs prepared your way with 1 piece Ezekial toast spread with 1 TB Organic Almond Butter

-1 cup High fiber/Low sugar Cereal of choice with 1/2 cup Organic Soy milk or Skim milk topped with 2 TB Chopped Walnuts

-Breakfast shake made with 1 cup Skim or Soy milk, 1 medium Banana, 1 TB flax oil, and 1/2 cup Strawberries or 1/2 fresh Peach 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fresh Avocado Tomato Omelet

I made this for breakfast today, and it was absolutely delicious! My mom kept shouting from the other room, asking what smelt so good. Well, it was this wonderful omelet that I will now share with you!

-1 TB olive oil for greasing the pan 
-2 medium to large sized eggs
-1/8 to 1/4 avocado, sliced in small chunks
-1/2 medium tomato, chopped
-1 tsp. oregano 
-1 tsp. basil (Fresh is best if you have it!)
-1/4 cup low fat cheese of your choice (optional)--feta or reduced fat mozzarella would taste great! (I used a half slice of veggie cheese because of my sensitivity to milk)

1. Mix 1 whole egg with 1 egg white in a small bowl. Add a dash of water or skim milk to thicken the mixture up a bit.

2. Place your frying pan on the stove, on medium high, letting the olive oil to spread all over and set in.

3. In the meantime, chop your tomatoes and avocado up and have ready.

4. Once stove is hot, pour egg mixture. Once it starts bubbling a bit, add your veggies and then cheese (optional). As cheese starts melting, sprinkle the oregano and basil over the eggs.

5. Turn one side over with a spatula to create the classical omelet shape. 

6. Enjoy! Serve with a piece of whole grain or Ezekial bread, or some fresh fruit : )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Melt in Your Mouth Banana Nut Muffins

This is an older recipe I created a while back, and published in my health blog. But I wanted to feature it again here because I just love them oh so much.
-1 cup brown rice flour or corn flour* (or whole wheat flower) *I use brown rice or corn because I'm sensitive to wheat
-3 ripe bananas (small to medium size)
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 cup soy milk 
-2 TB apple sauce (unsweetened)
-1/4 cup Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips
-1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
-1/4 cup organic sugar (or equivalent in agave syrup)
-1 small egg (or equivalent in egg whites/beaters)
-1 TB flax seed oil (optional)
Mix well and bake on 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quick Fix: Almond Butter Wrap

This is perfect for those days when ya just need a quick bite when your heading out the door, or even when you simply want to eat a lighter meal. I had this for dinner tonight and it was delicious and satisfying!

-2 TB organic almond butter (I like chunky!)
-brown rice wrap (can be found at Whole Foods or other health food stores...)
-1 small banana
-1/2 TB flaxseed oil

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! Just spread the almond butter onto the wrap, slicing up the bananas evenly throughout. Sprinkle on the flaxseed oil and a dash of cinnamon to top it off! Roll up and eat as you would a taco or pizza...mmm, mmm, good! Little plus: it curbs your sweet tooth too!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Itsa Pizza Party: Gluten Free Pizza!

I was craving a good pizza pie the other night, but unfortunately have a sensitivity to wheat so was going to just make one for my family. Then I decided to make my own gluten free pizza  to enjoy and share with everyone. (Hey, I didn't want to miss out or anything!) Turns out they liked it just as much (or more) than me!

*Note: this recipe is both vegetarian and gluten free!
-Gluten free dough (You can buy at any health food store. I lucked out because my local pizza joint sells it!)
-1/2 large tomato (sliced into thin wedges)
-1/4 to 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese cut into thin slices
-1 clove garlic, crushed
-2 to 4 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Oregano, Basil and Parsley to taste (Fresh is best!)

1. Preheat oven to 400 and have your pizza stone or cookie sheet ready and greased with cooking spray or olive oil.
2. If dough is already formed (as it usually is when store-bought), your ready to start putting the toppings on! If dough is not formed into a pizza pie shape, mold it into a circle or square (up to you)!
3. Top the pie with olive oil and crushed garlic with a cooking brush, making sure you cover the entire pizza.
4. Then, add the cheese, tomatoes and herbs evenly throughout the pie. Add to taste. (If you absolutely loooove oregano, go a little crazy with it!)
5. Mangia!  : ) 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan

Good news, you fellow vegetarians! This recipe is both veggie-friendly and delicious.  By following my little tips, you can make it gluten-free as well. I made it for my family for dinner tonight, and got back from the gym to find the entire dish devoured!

Recipe*serves 4

-1 large eggplant (Pealed, cut into circle-wedges)
-Approx. 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I made my own breadcrumbs with 2 toasted gluten free waffles)
-1-2 eggs with dash of water
-About 1 cup shredded fresh Mozzarella cheese 
-Olive oil for greasing the pan
-About 24 oz. tomato sauce (I made my own with crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper and sugar to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 375, and grease large baking sheet with olive oil.

2. Prepare eggplant (peel and slice), and then dip each piece into egg mixture, then plate full of breadcrumbs and place onto baking sheet.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are browned,

4. Once eggplant is done, heat the oven to 400 as you fill a casserole dish with 1 cup marinara sauce. Layer eggplant on top, and then coat with the rest of your marinara sauce so all the pieces are covered. Then, top with the mozzarella cheese, making sure all pieces are covered.

5. Bake for another 20 minutes and enjoy!

Serving Tip: I served the eggplant Parmesan on top of a Spinach Artichoke Flour Fettuccine that I bought in the health food column at Stop and Shop. The pasta tasted great in a light lemon, garlic and olive oil sauce. Add cream and some Parmesan cheese if desired for more of an Alfredo taste. Just know that you're ending more cals as well if you choose that option!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rachel's Tip of the Day

When you're at a buffet like Whole Foods or a salad bar at a restaurant, fill your plate with 75% green, leafy vegetables. Then top the rest with a lean protein like tofu, lean grilled chicken breast or nuts and seeds. This will keep you full longest and help you from piling your plate with fatty comfort foods like mashed potatoes and french fries. But if you want a bite or two of something indulgent: go for it; just take a scoop. 

Hint: Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a squirt of lemon for dressing. It'll save you tons of calories and fat, plus you'll get an extra healthy bonus.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guilt-Free Tuna Melt

Here's a recipe I made up that was posted a couple months ago in my "Healthy Chicks" blog. But, I just love it that much that I simply had to post it again here...enjoy! This tuna melt is no sinful indulgence. Rather, it's guilt-free and yummy. What more could you ask for?

-1 small can tuna
-1 TB olive oil
-Oregano(or herb of choice) to taste
-Dill to taste
-dash of salt and pepper
-1/2 apple (chopped)
-5-10 raisins
-1 piece Ezekiel bread (or whole wheat if you like) *I like Ezekiel because it's gluten free/wheat free and organic
-1 piece soy cheese (cheddar/jack/mozzarella, etc)
-few pieces arugula or spinach to top

1. Toast the bread with slice of cheese
2. In the meanwhile, mix together the other ingredients well
3. Spread the tuna on the bread and top with arugula
4. Eat the extras as a delicious side!

Mmmm : )

Monday, June 15, 2009

Superfood of the Week: Almonds

Why They are Good for You:
  • Helps lower chance of developing Osteoporosis
  • Helps with bone growth 
  • Contains calcium (Hey, maybe we don't need THAT much milk after all...), protein, potassium, and iron 
  • Perfect fill me-up snack to tide you over for a few hours 

What They Taste Great In:
  • Sprinkle slivered almonds on your favorite yogurt for an extra crunch!
  • Add a few to your oatmeal or cereal in the morning for the perfect protein-enhanced breakfast.
  • Make your own trail mix with almonds, dried fruit and dark chocolate chips or try my "Delightful Trail Mix" recipe.
  • Add sliced almonds to rice, quinoa or other hot pasta dishes.