Tag Archives: apple

Acorn Squash Dessert with Apples and Walnuts

Acorn Squash Dessert with Apples and Walnuts

acorn squash apple walnut dessert maple syrup Even though it’s Fall, it sure doesn’t feel like it here in Arizona. What a wonderful November day. So to make it seem more like Autumn, I needed to make something Fall-ish. I previously made and Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Apple dish so this time I wanted to make something more dessert like. This turned out awesome. Sweet and savory.

acorn squash apple walnut dessert maple syrup It reminds me of the sweetness of sweet potatoes and the tanginess of a walnut apple tart. Great combination of flavors. Top this with a scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream and you got yourself a dream dessert.

acorn squash apple walnut dessert maple syrup Not only is this dessert tasty tasty but it’s healthy (gluten free and vegetarian). You know how I love healthy disguised as delicious 🙂  Seriously, you do not need processed foods to have a satisfying sweet dessert.

The hubby said this tasted like a country apple pie, especially with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Acorn Squash Dessert with Apples and Walnuts
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Gluten Free, Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 medium acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise with seeds cleaned out
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee (can sub with butter)
  • 4 Tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cup apple, peeled, cored and cubed small
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon ghee and brush over the cut side of squash.
  3. Add enough water to cover the bottom of a large pan (with sides), place squash cut side up in pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.
  4. While squash is baking, heat remaining ghee in a pan and sauté onion for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.
  5. Add apple to onion and cook an additional 3 minutes, stirring to combine.
  6. Add raisins, walnuts and maple syrup. Cover and cook on low for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are tender.
  7. Stir in sage, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  8. Spoon stuffing into squash cavities and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, adding more water to the pan if necessary.
  9. Optional serving suggestion: Top each half with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

Balsamic Roasted Chicken with Apple Rhubarb Chutney

Balsamic Roasted Chicken with Apple Rhubarb Chutney

roasted balsamic chicken apple rhubarb chutney paleo gluten free proteinBalsamic Roasted Chicken with Apple Rhubarb Chutney ~ sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? It’s so flipping easy though. No special skills or tricks. If you can measure stuff and dice other stuff, you got this.

roasted balsamic chicken apple rhubarb chutney paleo gluten free proteinThe chicken only takes a few minutes to prepare for baking. If you start the chutney once you put the chicken in the oven, they will be ready at the same time. But if they aren’t, no worries. Both the chicken and chutney reheat just fine so you can go ahead and make this ahead of time.

roasted balsamic chicken apple rhubarb chutney paleo gluten free proteinLean protein topped with a flavorful chutney that is packed with vitamins and fiber. This chutney goes great on chicken, turkey and pork. Such a simple paleo, gluten-free meal. Ready in 30 minutes. Start to finish.

roasted balsamic chicken apple rhubarb chutney paleo gluten free protein

Balsamic Roasted Chicken with Apple Rhubarb Chutney
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Paleo, Gluten Free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ROASTED CHICKEN:
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ garlic powder
  • ¼ paprika
  • CHUTNEY:
  • 1 large green apple, peeled and diced small
  • 2 or 3 stalks of rhubarb, diced small
  • ¼ red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup apple juice, no sugar added
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger root
  • 2 Tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. ROASTED CHICKEN:
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Rinse chicken under cold water, pat dry and place in baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. Mix until combined.
  5. With your hands, rub olive oil into chicken breasts to evenly distribute.
  6. Rub seasoning over the tops of each chicken breast. Really rub it in there.
  7. Pour the ¼ of vinegar over the top.
  8. Bake for 23 - 25 minutes.
  9. CHUTNEY:
  10. While the chicken is baking you can prepare the chutney.
  11. In a medium saucepan combine apple, rhubarb, onion, apple juice, ginger, cranberries and honey and bring to a boil.
  12. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat, cover.
  13. Let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  14. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  15. After the 5 minutes, remove ginger and add vinegar, stir.
  16. Using a slotted spoon, top your chicken with warm chutney.

 

 

 

Easy Delicious Dehydrated Fruit Snacks – Natures Candy

Dehydrated Fruit – Natures Candy

dehydrated fruit natures candy watermelon cantaloupe honeydew pineapple kiwi mango orange lemon

We are heading home from our awesome South Dakota vacation today. I’m so glad that I had made a bunch of dried fruits for the road trip because it was so convenient to have on hand, they didn’t need any refrigeration and it totally satisfied our snacking needs whether we were driving or hiking. At home I chop the dried fruit up into tiny bits to put in my homemade granola. We always keep dried fruit on hand in our house. My hubby takes a baggie to work too so he has snacks.

The Organic Rabbit

Have a sweet tooth? Have kids? Love to snack? Try drying some fruit. It’s candy, but candy that hasn’t  been chemically processed or contains ingredients created in a laboratory. No preservatives and lots of nutritional goodness like vitamins and fiber. Healthy snacking – can it be?

Citrus and apples are the two things that I add anything too. I use coconut palm sugar. The taste resembles a brown sugar/molasses flavor and will brown and sweeten the citrus and apples a bit.

I use dried lemons slices, oranges slices and pink grapefruit slices to flavor my water and tea naturally. One slice will flavor at least 2 glasses of water too. I also eat them as snacks. It’s like a thin taffy. So good.

I only use organic fruits and veggies because I have no interest in drying pesticides and chemicals. Hit up your farmers market for some local organic fruits and veggies and help support local growers in your area at the same time.

driedtomatokiwi

Most people have probably tried dried banana chips or apple chips but have you ever tried dehydrated melon? Holy sweet treat. Dried watermelon is just about the yummiest thing in the world. Watermelon is the sweetest of all the melons when dried with honeydew pulling up a close second. Don’t knock it til you try it, it’s amazing.

DEHYDRATED WATERMELON TASTES LIKE A JOLLY RANCHER

Dehydrating fruits and veggies is pretty much the easier thing you can do. Just cut and dry. My slices are usually around a 1/4 inch thick. For citrus, I dry the rind as well as the flesh. I don’t peel any fruits or vegetables with the exception of bananas and melons. My fruits tend to be crispier at a 1/4 inch thickness and chewier at a 1/2 inch thickness for all other fruits besides watermelon.

watermelonpine

I wrote about dehydrated citrus slices for use in water and bell pepper candy a while ago and talked about my inexpensive dehydrator. This was the best 50 something bucks I ever spent on a kitchen appliance. I can run it constantly for days switching out different fruits and what I’m left with is a huge stash of all natural, sweet and healthy snacks.

The hubby has a wicked sweet tooth and as long as we have a stash of dried fruits on hand, he is a happy camper. Kids will love them and you will love that there aren’t any preservatives or added sugars.

4melonorangepine3

You don’t have to own a dehydrator to dry fruit though. You can easily dry them in your oven. Just set the temperature to 200 degrees and make no plans to use your oven for a while. I usually leave my dehydrator running overnight but I don’t think I would leave my oven on all night. That’s just me, I can be a worrier.

4melonorangepine

The thinner you slice your fruits or vegetables, the crispier they will be and faster they will dry. The thicker they are, the chewier they will be and take a little longer to dry. It’s two totally different snacks. One is almost “chippy” and one is like “taffy” so I usually switch up my slicing sizes.

It doesn’t hurt to have a little extra cutting assistance. I usually pull out the biggest knife, ask the hubby if this one will work and he will most times take the big scary knife out of my hand and show me the correct way to cut the fruit. By the time I’ve “learned” what he taught me, everything is cut. I’m a sneaky Bunny 🙂

hubbycutting

DRYING TIMES FOR CONVENTIONAL OVENS:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place sliced fruit/veggies on parchment paper. You can use multiple parchment paper lined cookie sheets and use both racks. Just remember, the thicker the slices are, the longer they will take to dry.

Most of the time you will be drying for a minimum of 6 hours if using the oven. At 6 hours, flip the fruit/veggies and continue drying if not already dry. If more time is needed, check every couple of hours. You only need to flip them once though.

To test, take a piece of each variety out of the oven and let cool on the counter. If after it’s cooled, squeeze the fruit/veggies and see if there is any moisture left. If so, continue drying for a few more hours and test again. You don’t want there to be any moisture because your treats can go rancid if left out too long. But if they are thoroughly dried, they can sit out for a very very long time but they won’t last that long anyway because they are so yummy.

DRYING TIMES FOR DEHYDRATOR:

Place sliced fruit/veggies on trays. Set temperature to 135 degrees and turn dehydrator on.

I check my fruit/veggies starting at the 8 hour mark. At 8 hours, flip the fruit/veggies and continue drying if not already dry. If more time is needed, check every couple of hours. You only need to flip them once though.

To test, take a piece of each variety out of the dehydrator and let cool on the counter. If after it’s cooled, squeeze the fruit/veggies and see if there is any moisture left. If so, continue drying for a few more hours and test again. You don’t want there to be any moisture because your treats can go rancid if left out too long. But if they are thoroughly dried, they can sit out for a very very long time but they won’t last that long anyway because they are so yummy.

 

 

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad – No Mayo

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad – No Mayo 

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smith

I love that there is no mayo in this recipe but what I love most are the wheat berries. I discovered this little gem of a grain a while back and was excited to incorporate it into a recipe. Have you heard about wheat berries yet?

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smithWheat berries are a true whole grain! Without these kernels, there would be no flour. Wheat berries are loaded with nutrients and are as easy as rice to prepare. They resemble rice when uncooked and puff up a little after boiled.

When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.

Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. 

I’m absolutely bringing this to the next BBQ or party I go to. I’m a naturally anxious person so just the decision of what to bring to a party makes my brain spin. I have criteria and a tray of pre-cut veggies in plastic just doesn’t cut it.

This salad meets my top 3 requirements though: UNIQUE, DELICIOUS and HEALTHY.

Don’t let the list of ingredients deter you from making this salad. You probably have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen and the rest are super easy to pick up. Plus, once you pick up some wheat berries, you’ll be happy to have them on hand for any future recipes. I purchase mine in the bulk section at Whole Foods but Bob’s Red Mill also sells packaged wheat berries.

Wheat berries are easy to cook. There are some recipes that call for boiling them for about an hour and others that call for soaking them overnight. I opt for soaking overnight. I put the wheat berries in a bowl with water, cover and let sit in the fridge overnight. The next day while you are preparing the rest of the recipe, boil the wheat berries. It’s really simple.

I enjoyed this salad as a side to a chicken breast on top of a nice spring mix bed of lettuce. It started out that way anyway. In actuality I scooped up the Waldorf and topped my chicken with it. 

Wheat berries alone are packed with protein but this salad is a great compliment to any additional protein you might want to add. Top chicken, pork, fish or steak, it all works. 

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smith

Another serving suggestion is to spoon the Waldorf salad into bib lettuce and top with diced chicken breast = Waldorf Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps.

wheat berry waldorf salad grape apple pear dairy free side dish lettuce fiber protein nutty whole grain vegetarian vegan cinnamon vinegar cranberry fuji granny smith

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad (Mayo Free)
 
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Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad (Mayo Free)
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup wheat berries, rinsed
  • 2½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar or rice vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • ¼ cup apple juice or lemon juice (I used organic apple juice)
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large Granny Smith unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large Fuji, unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium pear, unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 stalks finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup dried cranberry or blueberries (I used cranberries)
  • ½ seedless green or red grapes, halved (I used red grapes)
  • Optional: honey roasted peanuts
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, soak rinsed wheat berries in the 2½ cups of water. Cover and refrigerate overnight (6 to 12 hours).
  2. Without draining, transfer wheat berries to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until a tender chewy texture.
  4. Drain and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
  5. While the wheat berries are simmering, mix up the dressing.
  6. **DRESSING**
  7. Combine oil, parsley, sugar, salt, vinegar, apple juice and cinnamon. (Either whisk very well or shake vigorously in a screw top jar.)
  8. Pour dressing over slightly cooled wheat berries and combine well.
  9. **SALAD**
  10. In a large bowl combine apples, pear, cranberries, celery and grapes.
  11. Stir in dressing/wheat berry mixture.
  12. Cover and chill if not serving immediately.
  13. Optional: Sprinkle with honey roasted nuts.

 

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Perfectly Healthy Cookie

PERFECTLY HEALTHY COOKIE

Healthy cookie you say?  That is really hard to find in a store and foods with labels tend to have too many ingredients for my taste.  The fewer ingredients, the better, always.  It’s a good thing healthy is really easy to make.

I use the term “cookie” loosely because these can be had for breakfast, after school snacks, energy bars, post workout snack, on-the-go treats for the kiddies, etc.

Peep these benefits:

  • No added sugar
  • No flour
  • No eggs
  • Contains protein
  • Contains fiber
  • Vegan
  • Can be made gluten-free with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oatmeal.  Bob’s tests for gluten down to 20 parts per million. Make sure you purchase only gluten-free labeled oatmeal, Bob’s has several that are not gluten-free.

Those benefits alone are reason enough to try these. A couple tips before you get started:

  • The riper your bananas are, the sweeter your cookies will be.  I used ‘just ripe’ bananas just because I couldn’t wait to make these but you might want to wait until your nanas are a bit more ripe.  Although mine turned out mildly sweet, its your preference really.
  • These cookies don’t spread on the cookie sheet unlike cookies made with eggs and flour.  You can place them really close to each other.
  • I would typically look for the ‘brown around the edges’ sign of being done when making other cookies but not with these.  They don’t get that brown.  I found that 23 minutes was perfect for a full sheet of cookies though.

Enough previews, let’s get to the show already!

breakfast cookie healthy vegan vegetarian banana oatmeal organic fiber gluten protein raisin fruit snack

Use organic whenever possible

Perfectly Healthy Cookie
 
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No sugar, flour, eggs or dairy. Vegan, fiber and protein included. Can also be made gluten-free!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
: Vegan
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas (the more ripe, the sweeter the cookie will be)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (not the quick cook kind)
  • ⅓ cup no sugar-added applesauce
  • ¼ cup almond milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.
  2. In a large bowl, mash up those nanas. Mash them up good.
  3. Whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Whisking will help add more oxygen to the bananas helping them to ripen and sweeten up even more.
  4. Whisk in applesauce and almond milk. Whisk for a good minute or two to help everything get smoother.
  5. Add oats and raisins, mix well.
  6. Put drops on parchment paper or non-stick pan.
  7. Bake for 20 - 23 minutes.

 

breakfast cookie healthy vegan vegetarian banana oatmeal organic fiber gluten protein raisin fruit snack

Side note: While these were baking I wanted to use up my ingredients for another ricotta and spinach stuffed mushroom so I got everything ready so I could use the oven when the cookies were done.

The first batch of cookies came out and of course I had to test them so I had one.  Then I had another.  Then I decided a cup of coffee would go great with them so I made a cuppa joe and put in the second batch of cookies.

Second batch done and I tested yet another cookie.  Then I put away all of the mushroom ingredients because I wasn’t hungry any longer and would have to save them for later today.

Needless to say, these cookies are filling and satisfying.  Not to mention healthy!  Eat up!

breakfast cookie healthy vegan vegetarian banana oatmeal organic fiber gluten protein raisin fruit snack

Even if you added chocolate chips or a tablespoon of brown sugar, you are still making an incredibly healthy treat.

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