Winter Fruit Salad

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What could be better than a beautiful and delicious fruit salad in the middle of winter? This is especially desirable after a season of high calorie desserts! 

Ingredients:

1 granny smith apple
1 fuji apple
1 bartlet pear
2 cups of black or green seedless grapes halved
1 banana sliced
2 cups straberries halved
2 cups blueberries
1 orange peeled and sliced into thin wedges
 

Dressing:


juice of 1 lemon
2 heaping tablespoons honey
Adjust amount depending on how much fruit you are using.  

Instructions:

Cut the apples and pear into bite sized chunks and place in a pretty large bowl. Add the orange wedges, halved strawberries and grapes, sliced banana and blueberries.
Mix the lemon juice with the honey and adjust for desired amount and sweetness. 
Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and gently toss.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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When one of my favorite bloggers, Aimee Song, of the über popular blog, 
 "Song Of Style," posted her recipe for the best Roasted Sweet Potatoes, I sat up and took notice! I served it up last week to rave reviews by Jeff and Yale.  I
re created the recipe using an olive oil atomizer, which cuts the fat significantly. 

Ingredients:

2-3  sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed, (unpeeled), and cut into wedges.
olive oil non propellant cooking spray
parchment paper
2-3 cloves garlic minced
Trader Joe's "Everything But The Bagel" seasoning

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
Scrub sweet potatoes and cut into wedges.
Spray the parchment liberally with the olive oil
Place the wedges on the paper, turning them to coat with the oil.
Place in oven for 20-25 minutes.
Turn off the oven.
Remove the baking sheets and turn the potatoes.
Add the seasoning and garlic. 
Return to the oven (which has been turned off)
Leave in the oven for 10-15 minutes, this crisps them to perfection!

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Mushroom Turkey Meatloaf

This is hands down one of the best turkey meatloaf recipes out there. The special ingredients are the mushrooms! Enjoy!

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Ingredients:


8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and very finely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

7 tablespoons ketchup, divided 

1 cup (60 grams) panko bread crumbs (see notes for gluten-free options)

1/3 cup (80 ml) milk or soy milk 

2 large eggs, lightly beaten ( for lower fat version, 1 egg and 2 egg whites)

1 1/4 pound ground turkey (92% lean)

Instructions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet (or 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan) lined with aluminum foil.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened; about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the mushrooms, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4-teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid and it boils away; about 10 minutes.

Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a large bowl, and then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and 3 tablespoons of the ketchup. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl.

Stir the breadcrumb mixture and the eggs into the mushrooms and onions. Using a fork or your hands, gently mix in the turkey, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. The mixture will be very wet.

Form the meatloaf into a 9-inch by 5-inch oval in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Spread the remaining 4 tablespoons of ketchup on top.

Bake the meatloaf until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatloaf registers 170 degrees F, about 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

You can slice the meatloaf and freeze pieces separately; then enjoy whenever you want!

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Green Salad With Mushrooms and Quinoa

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups lightly salted water or vegetable broth
2/3 cup quinoa
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 ripe Hass avocado

Dressing:

1/4 cup extra virgin oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper

 

Instructions:

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until tender. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large serving bowl and let cool.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium- high heat. Sauté mushrooms for 6-8 minutes or until golden. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Let cool. Drain excess liquid, if necessary. 

Add mushrooms mixed greens and cherry tomatoes to quinoa. Cover and chill.

Dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Seal tightly and shake well. Refrigerate.

Dice avocado shortly before serving. Toss salad with dressing; add avocado just before serving. 


 

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Honey Roasted Chicken with Squash and Onions

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Ingredients:

1 chicken cut into eighths
2 onions, cut into chunks
4 cups butternut squash chunks
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 teasppon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried tarragon or thyme
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water or chicken or vegetable stock

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a large roasting pan with non stick cooking spray.
2. Trim and discard excess fat for chicken pieces. Arrange chicken, skin side up, in prepared pan. Add onions and squash, tucking them between chicken pieces.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, paprika, chili powder, garlic and tarragon or thyme. Drizzle with honey; rub to coat chicken and vegetables on all sides. Add water to baking dish.
4. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour and 20 minutes, until glazed and golden. Baste occasionally. If necessary, drizzle in a little water.  

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Vegetable Soup

This is hands down the easiest and most delicious vegetable soup I have ever made!

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Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 mediums onions, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium zucchini, cut into half-moons (do not peel)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
6 cups water or vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Instructions:

Pierce holes in spaghetti squash and microwave for about 15 minutes until soft. Slice in half, remove seeds, and use a fork to separate squash strands, set aside.

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms and garlic; sauté for 6-8 minutes or until golden. 

Add sweet potatoes, carrots,celery and zucchini; stir in salt and pepper. Add water or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, for 30-35 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 

Add chopped basil. Simmer until heated through; adjust seasonings. 

Ladle soup into bowls and add a portion of spaghetti squash strands. 

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Thai Steak and Noodle Salad

Here is an incredibly easy and delicious way to enjoy left over steak/beef...or make from scratch. Either way, you won't be disappointed!

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounce soba noodles, regular or protein spaghetti
  • Mixed Greens
  • Shredded Green Cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots julienned
  • 1 mango peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 avacado cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup shelled Edamame beans (optional)

Vinaigrette for Greens:

1/2 Cup canola oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons sugar or honey or 1 packet Truvia or Splenda
salt and peper to taste

Thai Peanut Sauce:

  • 3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Pad Thai:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean beef steak (such as sirloin or flank), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

 

Directions

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients until well blended and set the pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the peanut sauce and simmer until the beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes. If you are using leftover steak or beef, toss the beef into the sauce, but do not cook, since this will result in the meat being overcooked.

Transfer the beef mixture to the noodles and toss to combine, and then serve on individual plates of mixed greens, cabbage, carrots, mango and edamame, tossed with the vinaigrette.  Add peanauts and scallions.  The leftover peanut sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 3 months; thaw completely in the refrigerator or microwave for about 3 minutes on LOW before using

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Perfect Cranberry Sauce

Do not use store bought cranberry sauce...here is an easy and incredibly delicious cranberry sauce, that you will be tempted to eat by the spoonful!

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6 cups (two 12 ounce bags) fresh or frozen cranberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
 

Directions:

In a 2 to 3 quart pan over high heat, bring all ingredients except vanilla to simmering.
Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are tender when pierced, 8-10 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla.
Let cool to room temperature>

Serve or chill in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
 

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Cranberry Biscuits

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Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cooking oil
3/4 cup milk (for dairy free option use soy or almond milk)
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Measure first 4 ingredients into a bowl and stir together.
2. Add oil and milk. Stir to form a soft ball of dough. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer with the kneading hook attachment.
3. Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead gently 8-10 times.
4. Roll or pat 3/4 to inch thick. Cut with the top of small juice glass or a biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, close together for moist sides or 1 inch apart for crisp sides. 
5. Brush tops with milk for nicer browning.
6. Bake in 425 degree F oven for 15 minutes until nicely browned.
Yield 12 biscuits. 

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Easy Fat-Free Blueberry Bran Muffins

These are the easiest muffins to make in a flash for breakfasts on the go, or to satisfy a group of house guests! They are also  low calorie and fat free!

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Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose four
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups Bran Flakes Cereal
1 1/4 cups fat free milk
2 egg whites, beaten
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

1. Spray a twelve cup muffin pan, or line and spray paper muffin cups. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, stir together cereal and milk. Let stand for 2 minutes or until cereal is softened. Add egg whites and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
4. Spoon batter evenly into the muffin tin or cups. 
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 
Serve warm!

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