FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Lemon Blueberry Scones

I had this recipe sitting on my counter for almost two weeks. I kept saying, “Tomorrow, I am making scones!” I had never made scones so I was a little nervous although I have no idea why, as baking comes naturally to me. My original intention with this recipe was to use lemon essential oil in place of the actual lemons. Then I realized I was out! UGH! I wanted to use the oils because not only is it more concentrated, there is less waste. One drop of lemon essential oil is equal to the juice from five whole lemons! Not to mention, the host of additional health benefits and household uses. Make sure the oils you use are therapeutic grade organic oils!

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This recipe if from Diane Sanfilippo’s BalancedBites website. She is the creator of the 21 Day Sugar Detox that I participated in about 6 months ago. She has a lot of great recipes and tips to eliminate sugar cravings!

Cheers!

Lemon-Blueberry Scones [grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free]

PREP TIME: 15 min
COOKING TIME: 25 min
YIELD: 10 scones (10 servings)
NUTRITION INFO: click here (PDF)

ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from ~ 1 -1/2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries

preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, thoroughly combine the eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and honey.
  • Sift in the remaining ingredients, except the blueberries, and mix for about 2 minutes or until the batter is well combined and forms a loose, very wet dough. If the batter is still too loose to somewhat hold its shape, let it sit for 5 more minutes.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries until they are evenly dispersed through the mixture.
  • Using 1/4 cup of batter for each scone, gently roll each scone into a loose ball and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down the top of each scone to flatten slightly.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. (mine only took about 22 minutes so watch them!)
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FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Veggie Overload Chili

I was told by my husband this is the best chili recipe yet so I had to share it with you. Chili is one of those dishes that you can really make your own. We hosted a Salad Master dinner party about a month ago and as a gift received the SaladMaster tool! For those of you unfamiliar with the SaladMaster brand, it is a US company that has been around since the 40’s. They sell water-less/oil-less cookware titanium cookware. The Salad Master tool is their signature piece and it is my new favorite kitchen tool! There are five different cones that fit to the tool to grate, slice and shred vegetables and fruit to your liking! When we decided to make chili, we used the tool to add a ton of veggies. You can use any tool to prepare your vegetables.

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Veggie Overload Chili
Serves 15
Nutrition Info: Calories 124, Fat 1g, Protein 9g, Sugar 5g, Carbs 21g Sodium 508mg

Ingredients

  • 3 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz lean ground turkey, browned
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (low sodium is best)
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 raw medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • chili powder to taste (I used 5 tbsp, but we like it spicy)
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  • Cook the turkey in a skillet until cooked through
  • Add all ingredients to crock pot and mix well
  • Cook on HIGH for 1 hour, then LOW for 3-4 hours (if you are leaving it all day, cook it on low)

You can add as many vegetables as you like! This is your creation 🙂 Enjoy!

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Brian’s Vegetable Soup

green and red healthy food

I did not cook much this week. We made a huge batch of soup earlier in the week and just finished it today. I love vegetable soup because anything goes! You can make it chunky (or not) and you can add all the veggies you have left in the refrigerator and it all blends well together. My husband has a base he uses that is always a great hit. Enjoy!

Brian’s Vegetable Soup

Ingredients (you can use any variety of vegetables)

  • 1 tsp olive oil (to saute’ the onions and garlic)
  • 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of carrots (sliced or diced)
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can kidney beans (you can use dried for lower sodium but make sure you cook them before you add them)
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, saute’ the garlic and onions in the olive oil until clear. Add all of the liquid to the pot. Last, add all of the veggies and let simmer on medium-low for 2-3 hours. The liquid amount is really your preference. I prefer a chunkier soup and my husband likes it, well, more soupy!

Serve with your favorite crusty bread, over rice, over mashed potatoes or by itself! We ate it with cheese tortellini last night and it was very good!

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Yellow Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

I purchased a bag of split yellow peas from a local produce market. Having never made anything with split yellow peas, I went searching for recipes and came across this one on the Whole Foods website.  I had leftover sweet potatoes from the Loaded Black Bean Sweet Potato Boats. This recipe is simple and tastes wonderful!

I added a dash of ground nutmeg and garlic salt at the end to kick up the flavor a little. Don’t skip the toasted pumpkin seeds; they are a great addition!

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Photo: WholeFoods.com

Yellow Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 8 (I cut the recipe in half)

Ingredients:

8 1/2 cups water

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

2 cups dried yellow split peas

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Bring 1/2 cup water to simmer in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add remaining 8 cups water, peas and sweet potato cubes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to simmer 15 minutes. Carefully purée soup with a hand held immersion blender or in batches in a food processor (I used a Magic Bullet Blender) until smooth and creamy. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Nutritional Info:

PER SERVING: 290 calories (50 from fat), 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 18g protein

FIT His the PAN Friday – Healthy Brownies!

My favorite part of vegan baking is that you can safely lick the batter off the spatula 🙂 I cannot remember how I came across this recipe (probably cruising Pinterest), but it was originally posted on HealthyVeganRecipes.net. I am a huge fan of making recipes when I have all the ingredients in my kitchen. There is nothing worse than coming across a fantastic recipe and not having one or two of the ingredients!  This recipe is super-easy and if the batter is any indication of how the brownies will taste, they should be very good (I wrote this part while they were still in the oven). The final product is also very good! I recommend using a food processor to get the best consistency. I stuck to the original recipe with the exception of the peanut butter; I used almond butter instead.

 

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Healthy Brownie Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Time from start to eating: 45 minutes
Makes 16 brownies

Nutrition Info per Brownie:
178 calories/9g sugar/7g fat/6g protein/271mg sodium

Ingredients

  • 1 14oz can kidney or black beans
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh medjool dates, pitted*
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or any other nut/seed butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup cocoa and/or carob powder
  • 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or chocolate chips (or a mix of any or all)
  • 1 cup sorghum flour (or any whole grain flour)

*Note: If you prefer, or if you’re not using a food processor, you can replace the dates with 1/2 cup unrefined sugar.

Healthy Brownie Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (or your BBQ on low, about 450 degrees F).
  2. Put the beans, banana, dates, milk, nut/seed butter, vanilla and apple cider vinegar in a food processor and puree until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the beans and banana, and chop the dates up as finely as you can. The sweetness won’t be as even as if you puree, so you may want to add some unrefined sugar.
  3. Add the baking powder, soda, cocoa/carob powder and flour and pulse until they’re incorporated. Don’t overmix here. Sprinkle the raisins, cranberries or chocolate chips into the mix and push them into the batter (don’t puree them).
  4. Pour the batter into a greased or lined 8″ brownie dish and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Once the brownies are cooked, pull them from the oven, let them cool completely and then cut into squares and serve. If you want to keep your brownies longer, they freeze very well.

My new favorite snack!

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Let me begin by saying I did not receive any product or compensation for this endorsement. I think it is important to mention that because I am about to sound like a commercial 🙂

My friend Jill and I have a weekly dinner date at Whole Foods. They have a fantastic deli with healthy foods for a reasonable price. Inevitably, we always end up shopping after we eat. On one of our trips I came across Justin’s Nut Butter. They sell individual packets so you can try all of the different flavors. Another great selling point for the packets is that you cannot sit down and eat the whole jar at once (which is exactly what I would do).

There are several different flavors, but my two favorite are Chocolate Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut. They both taste like Nutella, but nutritionally are much better for you. Their products are vegan, dairy-free and GMO-free!

If you are looking for a tasty treat that won’t make you feel super guilty after eating it, try Justin’s Nut Butter. Seriously though, don’t buy the whole jar unless you have exceptional self-control.

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Vegan (Tofu shhh…) Spinach Lasagna

Before you completely ignore this post because you saw the scary “t” word, hear me out! The vegan cooking experience is new to me. As I have mentioned in previous posts my husband and I are participating in the Engine 2 Diet – 28 Day Challenge. During this challenge we have had to try new ingredients so we do not end up eating salad, rice and beans for 28 days. These new ingredients include tofu. I am not a huge fan of tofu, but it doesn’t scare me like some people who shall remain nameless. My mother-in-law was coming over for dinner and I wanted to make a meal that would provide leftovers for my husband’s lunch. This recipe made enough for dinner for four plus a couple of lunches!

The flavor and texture of the “ricotta” mixture could fool anyone and we did not even miss the cheese!

To all the meat and cheese lovers: If you are brave enough to try this recipe, you will not be disappointed!

Vegan Tofu Spinach Lasagna

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Photo: The Vegan Table

SERVINGS

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS
1/2 to 1 pound (225 to 455 g) lasagna noodles
2 packages (10 ounces, or 280 g, each) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 package (16 ounces, or 455 g) firm tofu (not silken)
1 tablespoon (13 g) granulated sugar (optional)
1/4 cup (60 ml) nondairy milk (such as rice, oat, soy, almond, or hazelnut), or as needed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 peeled garlic cloves
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons [30 ml])
2 tablespoons (5 g) minced fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
1 teaspoon (6 g) salt (or to taste)
4 to 6 cups (980 to 1470 g) tomato or pasta sauce of your choice

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4).

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions or use “no-boil” lasagna noodles. Drain and set aside.

Squeeze as much water from spinach as possible and set aside. (If using fresh spinach, blanch first.)

Place tofu, sugar (if using), milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. The tofu “ricotta” should be creamy but still have body.

Transfer to large-size bowl, and stir in spinach. Continue tasting until you get amount of salt just right.

Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third of noodles). Follow with half the tofu filling. Continue in the same order, using half the remaining tomato sauce and noodles, and all remaining tofu filling. End with remaining noodles, covered by remaining tomato sauce. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until hot and bubbling.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND VARIATIONS
Add meatless meat crumbles to your tomato sauce for more texture and body. For more cheesiness, add shredded nondairy mozzarella cheese to each layer.

This recipe is also great for making stuffed shells. To do so, stuff pasta shells with the tofu ricotta from this recipe, place them in a baking dish, pour on tomato sauce and bake in a 350 degrees F (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4) oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Excerpted from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. © Fair Winds Press 2009