November 29, 2008

Banana Cranberry Bread

Banana Cranberry Bread
Adapted from Joy the Baker


  • 3 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 splash rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With a spoon, mix applesauce into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and rum extract. Add the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  4. Add the flour and mix. Add 1 cup of cranberries and stir until just incorporated.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased 4x8 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining cranberries over top.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.
  7. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Pumpkin Walnut Pie with Rolled Oat Crust

Pumpkin Walnut Pie
Adapted from
  • 1 pie crust (recipe below)
  • 2 cups walnuts (divided) , toasted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 1-1/2 cups of roasted pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the middle.
  2. Puree 1 1/2 cups of the toasted walnuts in a food processor until they turn into a walnut paste, past the 'crumble' stage. Set aside. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts and set aside seperately, these will be sprinkled on top after the pie is baked.
  3. To make the pumpkin pie filling, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice blend, salt, and potato starch. Stir in the pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Now stir in the egg substitute and coconut milk until just combined. Set aside.
  4. Before filling the pie crust, crumble the walnut paste on top of the pie dough into the pie plate, quickly and gently press it into a thin layer across the bottom, creating a layer of walnuts that will sit between the dough and the filling.
  5. Use a fork to prick the pie dough a few times to prevent air bubbles.
  6. Fill the pie crust with the filling and bake for about 50 minutes - the center of the pie should just barely jiggle when you move the pie - the edges should be set.
  7. Let the pie cool a bit, this makes slicing less messy. Serve straight or with a dollop of bourbon-spiked, sweetenend whipped cream or creme fraiche, and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.


Rolled Oat Crust
Adapted from King Arthur Flour


  • 2/3 cup (2 1/4 ounces) rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Smart Balance Light, cut into small cubes
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (1 1/2 to 2 ounces) cold soy milk


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the oats, flours, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Cut the butter and Smart Balance into small cubes, and work into the dry ingredients (using your fingers, a pastry blender or fork, or a mixer) until the dough is unevenly crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle in the milk, continuing to mix until the dough is cohesive. Grab a handful; if it holds together willingly, and doesn’t seem at all dry or crumbly, you’ve added enough liquid.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk. Roll its edges along a floured work surface (as though the disk were a wheel), in order to smooth them out.
  5. Pat the disk till it’s about 1" thick, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 3 days.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Allow it to warm a bit and become flexible, 15 to 30 minutes.
  7. Flour your work surface, and roll the dough into a 12" circle. It may crack a bit around the edge; that’s OK. Just patch the crust once it’s in the pan.
  8. Transfer the dough to a 9" pie pan that’s at least 1 ¼" deep. Trim and crimp the edges, making a tall crimp.
  9. Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Cranberry Apple Sauce
Recipe from Cuisine At Home, Dec. 2008
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz.)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste


  1. Boil cider, sugar, apple, cinnamon, and cloves in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add cranberries and simmer 10-12 minutes, or until berries burst and sauce thickens.
  3. Stir in vinegar, season with salt, and chill at least 2 hours before serving. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead.)

Roasted Yams with Spinach and Sauteed Onions

Roasted Yams with Spinach and Sauteed Onions
Recipe courtesy of Baking Obsession

  • About 2 lb yams, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes (you should get about 4 cups)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter (I used Smart Balance Light)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Toss the yams with some olive oil, salt and pepper in a roasting pan.
  3. Roast just until tender, about 30 minutes turning them after 20 minute.
  4. Meanwhile preheat a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Melt the butter and olive oil, add the sliced white onions and sauté until light golden.
  6. Add the garlic, sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Then add the spinach, scallions and nutmeg. Sauté stirring for one more minute until the scallions start to wilt.
  8. Take the pan off the heat. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  9. Add the roasted yams.
  10. Serve.

Turkey Sausage and Chestnut Dressing

Turkey Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing
Adapted from Everyday Italian
  • 1 medium green apple, cored and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red apple, cored and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 oz. dried cranberries
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage, meat removed from casing
  • 10 oz. steamed whole chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 lb. day old cornbread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cup organic, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium saute pan add the apples, onion, 1 tablespoon oil and Smart Balance. Cook over a medium low heat for 10 minutes to soften.
  3. Add the wine, cranberries, and salt and pepper, simmer for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  4. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add turkey sausage meat and break up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl toss together the fruit and onion mixture, the sausage, the chestnuts, the cornbread and red pepper flakes. Combine all the ingredients.
  6. Add the chicken stock and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan.
  7. Gently place into a casserole dish and top with the remaining Parmesan.
  8. Place in middle rack and bake until top is golden brown, 45 minutes.

Spinach & Havarti Casserole

Spinach & Havarti Casserole
  • 5 - 10oz. packages frozen spinach
  • 16 oz. container 1% cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat evaporated milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (I would suggest substituting with minced garlic.)
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 oz. grated havarti cheese
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Defrost spinach and squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and spread into a large casserole dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve alone or with pita chips as dip.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel
Recipe courtesy of Closet Cooking
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 4 cups mashed)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used lowfat buttermilk)
  • 1 egg (I used 1/4 cup egg substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened (I used Smart Balance Light)


  1. Bake the sweet potatoes in a preheated 375F oven until they are tender and caramelized on the inside, about 30-60 minutes.
  2. Scoop the inside of the potatoes into a bowl.
  3. Add the maple syrup, milk, egg substitute, vanilla and salt and mash.
  4. Mix the brown sugar, pecans, flour and Smart Balance.
  5. Pour the potato mixture into a baking dish (or dishes) and top with the pecan mixture.
  6. Bake in a preheated 400F until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Tofu, Kale & Pesto Quinoa

Tofu, Kale & Pesto Quinoa
Recipe Courtesy of
  • a splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • 1 shallot, minced (I used 2)
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (To make: one cup dry red quinoa in 2 cups water)
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (Go fro. Make your life easier.)
  • 1 1/2 cups kale (I used one bunch. I love the stuff.)
  • 2 cups extra-firm nigari tofu, browned in a skillet a bit (Did not use nigari.)
  • 1/3 cup pesto (I used about 1/2 cup because of the extra kale.)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup roasted cherry tomatoes (I used about 1 cup.)


  1. In a big skillet or pot heat the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the shallot and cook for a minute or two.
  3. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook until hot and sizzling.
  4. Stir in the kale and then the tofu, cooking until tofu is heated through.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the pesto and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Mix well so the pesto is spread throughout.
  7. Turn everything out onto a platter and top with the cherry tomatoes.

DB Caramel Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

After burning my initial batch of caramel and setting the stovetop on fire, I finally nailed the caramel recipe! My advice is to use about a medium saucepan, so that there is a thinner layer of sugar water and more space between the top of the pan and the mixture. That way, the caramel forms more quickly and is less likely to boil over when you add the last cup of water.
This cake came at a perfect time, as I needed to make a cake for a birthday. I made a simple ganache by melting a handful or two of semisweet chocolate chips with some soy milk and let the cooled chocolate ooze over the edges of the cake. That way I did not have to worry about my frosting job being quite so pretty! I also added some toasted sliced almonds for contrast and to give the cake more of a candy bar theme.
Changes: Rather than using cream in the frosting, I used plain, unsweetened soy milk. I also used soy milk in the cake and used egg replacement rather than the 2 eggs required.
Overall, the cake was good, but I am not a big fan of caramel or very sweet desserts, so I felt that the slightly bitter chocolate helped to balance it. I did enjoy the fat-free caramel syrup and will use it in the future when caramel sauce is required for a healthier version.

November 27, 2008

Applesauce Cornbread

Applesauce Cornbread
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (also great with chopped sundried tomatoes)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9-inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, flax meal, and baking powder. Stir in egg substitute, buttermilk, applesauce, and add-ins until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

November 26, 2008

Homemade Strawberry Yogurt

For those of you disgusted by all of the additives and sugar present in most store-bought yogurts.

Homemade Strawberry Yogurt
  • 32 oz. container nonfat organic plain yogurt (about 2/3 full)
  • 12 oz. frozen organic strawberries (or other fruit)
  • Stevia


  1. Empty frozen fruit into medium skillet over medium heat. Melt on all sides and break up with wooden spoon.
  2. Turn heat to high and boil fruit until thick and syrupy. Mash with wooden spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in a squirt or two of Stevia.
  4. Allow to cool and stir into yogurt.
  5. Taste and sweeten with Stevia accordingly.
  6. Refrigerate.

November 4, 2008

Wheat Germ Pancakes

Wheat Germ Pancakes
Adapted from
  • 1/2 cup egg replacement
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour


  1. In a medium bowl, mix egg substitute with applesauce and buttermilk.
  2. Stir in baking soda, wheat germ, salt, and flour; mix until blended.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  4. Brown on both sides, turning once.