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3 Cheese Tomato Tart

July 31, 2020

Today we made a delicious and easy treat the whole family will love! Thanks to Kitchn for the great recipe!

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lay out the tomato slices on a large sheet of paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and allow to drain for approximately 30 minutes (this is crucial to not getting a watery tart). Meanwhile, remove the sheet of puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Unfold the puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, pinching to close any holes in the seams. Using a fork, prick the dough all over to prevent it from puffing up during baking.
  4. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the entire puff pastry. Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Arrange the tomato slices over the cheese. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top and garnish with freshly chopped basil.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown and the cheese is melted. Remove the pastry from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into 9 squares and serve immediately.
3-Cheese Tomato Tart

Taco Salad!

June 19, 2020

Today we went off the grid a bit and cooked an old favorite, Taco Salad!

Kimberly browned a pound of lean ground beef, salt and pepper to taste, then mixed with shredded romaine lettuce, a can of rinsed pinto beans, half an onion, a tomato, an avocado, topped with Catalina dressing and cheese! It was delicious!

Serve with your favorite corn chips!!


Black Bean Burgers

June 12, 2020

Thanks to Sally’s Baking Addicion for the recipe!!

Between homemade, restaurant, and store-bought, these are the best black bean burgers I’ve ever tried. With great reviews from taste testers around the world, I’m confident you’ll be satisfied with this veggie burger recipe! The trick is to partially dry out the black beans so the burgers do not taste mushy. Grill or bake the black bean burgers and enjoy on a bun, plain, or on a salad. They’re big, thick, and hearty and even meat eaters LOVE these.

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (1/2 of a pepper)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1/2 of a large onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or oat flour
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce
  • pinch salt + pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté olive oil, chopped pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Gently blot some of the moisture out.
  3. Place in a large bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, worcestershire, ketchup, salt, and pepper). Stir or pulse everything together, then add the black beans. Mash with a fork or pulse the mixture, leaving some larger chunks of beans.
  4. Form into patties– about 1/3 cup of mixture in each.
  5. To bake: Place patties on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (191°C) for 10 minutes on each side, 20 minutes total.
  6. To grill: Place patties on greased aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. Heat temperature is personal preference as all grills differ. Generally, black bean burgers should grill on medium-high heat about 350°F (177°C) – 400°F (204°C).
  7. Serve with your favorite toppings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freezing Instructions: Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully for up to 3 months. Stack between parchment paper in a freezer container or zipped-top bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat to your liking or, if uncooked, cook according to instructions. If desired, you can skip thawing and reheat/cook from frozen for an extra couple minutes.
Vegan: These black bean burgers are not vegan. To make vegan, leave out the cheese, replace the Worcestershire sauce with a different vegan condiment (your favorite BBQ sauce would be great!) and replace the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.
Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Ninja Food Processor, Cast Iron Skillet, Baking Sheet

Black Bean Burger

Easy No-Bake Granola Bars

June 5, 2020

Thanks COOKIE + Kate for this great recipe!!

This granola bar recipe is so easy and delicious! These wholesome granola bars are naturally sweetened, gluten free, and the perfect healthy snack. Recipe yields 16 bars.

  • 1 ¾ cups old-fashioned oats or quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (if using regular table salt, scale back a bit)
  • 2 cups mix-ins* (nuts, seeds, chocolate, shredded coconut or dried fruit)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Line a 9-inch square baker with two strips of criss-crossed parchment paper, cut to fit neatly against the base and up the sides. The parchment paper will make it easy for you to slice the bars later.
  2. Place the oats in a large mixing bowl**. Add the cinnamon and salt, and stir to combine. Set aside.
    Now we’ll blitz the mix-ins briefly in the food processor or blender (or, you can chop them by hand). Add any large nuts (like almonds or pecans) first and blitz for a few seconds. Then add the rest and run the machine for a few more seconds, until the ingredients are all broken up into pieces smaller than your pinky nail. Pour the mix-ins into the bowl of oats.
  3. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, measure out the nut butter. Top with ½ cup honey and the vanilla extract. Stir until well blended. If you must, you can gently warm the liquid mixture on the stovetop or in the microwave, but make sure it’s close to room temperature before you pour it into the dry mixture (this is especially important if using chocolate, since it will melt).
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a big spoon to mix them together until the two are evenly combined and no dry oats remain. This takes some arm muscles, but you can do it! If the mixture was easy to mix together, that’s a sign that you need to add some more oats—sprinkle in more oats until you can’t incorporate any more.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared square baker. Use your spoon to arrange the mixture fairly evenly in the baker, then use the bottom of a flat, round surface (like a short, sturdy drinking glass) to pack the mixture down as firmly and evenly as possible.
  6. Cover the baker and refrigerate for at least one hour, or preferably overnight. (The oats need time to soak up some of the moisture so they aren’t sticky.) When you’re ready to slice, lift the bars out of the baker by grabbing both pieces of parchment paper on opposite corners. Use a sharp knife to slice the bars into 4 even columns and 4 even rows.
  7. Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap or parchment paper (if you store them all together, they will stick to one another). Bars keep well for several days at room temperature, a couple of weeks in the fridge, or several months in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for best flavor.

*MIX-IN OPTIONS: Any combination of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.), seeds (pepitas or sunflower seeds), chocolate chips or roughly chopped chocolate, shredded coconut and/or dried cranberries or cherries. For the bars shown here, I used 1 cup pecan halves, ½ cup pepitas, ¼ cup shredded coconut and ¼ cup roughly chopped dark chocolate. Keep in mind that anything larger than your pinky nail will need to be broken into smaller pieces. If you don’t have a food processor, chop them by hand.
**GRANOLA BAR TEXTURE: If you’re using old-fashioned oats and would prefer a more smooth, less chewy texture (shown in my photos), blitz your oats in a food processor for 3 to 5 seconds to break them up. Then, add them to the bowl.
CHANGE IT UP: These bars can be sweetened (mostly) with Medjool dates, if you’d like to increase the fiber content. Soak 12 dates in piping hot water for 10 minutes, then tear them in half and remove their pits. Place them in a food processor with 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey and blend until completely smooth.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
MAKE IT NUT FREE: Do not use nuts (pepitas and sunflower seeds are good options) and replace the nut butter with sunflower butter.
MAKE IT VEGAN: Use maple syrup instead of honey.

No-Bake Granola Bars

Healthy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

May 29, 2020

Thanks Ambitious Kitchen for this great recipe!

Creamy healthy greek yogurt ranch dressing with ingredients that you can feel good about! This easy dressing will be your new go-to for salads, dips, and more. Skip the bottled stuff for good!

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or can sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or fresh chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water to thin dressing
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon honey
  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl or a mason jar and mix until well combined. If using a mason jar, you can simply put the lid on and shake the jar until well combined. Dressing serves 4, 2 tablespoons each.
Healthy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Use What You Have Pasta!

May 15, 2020

Today Kimberly did something a little different, and we just used what we had to make a really delicious and healthy pasta sauce!

  • 1lb pasta (any variety will work)
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 cups chopped Swiss Chard (could also use spinach but feel free to add in any vegetables you like- the more the better!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more or less depending on heat tolerance)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining, set aside.
  2. In large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chopped Swiss Chard, saute for an additional five minutes until garlic is fragrant and Swiss Chard has wilted.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste to skillet with vegetables. Add spices and sugar. This can simmer on the stove for up to 4 hours to let flavors develop. Just stir occasionally and if it starts to get too thick, add water to desired consistency.
  4. Add pasta and pasta water to tomato sauce and stir to combine. Top with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Cowboy Caviar

May 8, 2020

Today we did a super colorful and tasty summer dip, but you can use it in a bunch of different ways.

We did make one modification, Kimberly took out the black eyed peas, because she couldn’t find “no salt added.” We promise it won’t cause bad luck!

  • 3 Roma tomatoes seeds removed, diced
  • 2 ripe avocados diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can black eyed peas rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn thawed (I just usually toss it in the salad frozen unless I plan on eating it immediately, it thaws quite quickly)
  • 1 bell pepper diced (I used half a green and half a red, but color doesn’t matter)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed, diced into very small pieces
  • ⅓ cup Cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice fresh preferred
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Tortilla chips for serving
  1. Combine tomatoes, avocado, onion, black beans, black eyed peas, corn, pepper, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss/stir well so that ingredients are well-combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Pour dressing over other ingredients and stir/toss very well.
  4. Keep refrigerated. If not serving immediately, be sure to toss/stir well before serving.

Calories do not include tortilla chips.

Calories: 214, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 248mg, Potassium: 490mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 585IU, Vitamin C: 22.9mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 2.1mg

Cowboy Caviar

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

May 1, 2020

Ok, so Kimberly made a few modifications to this recipe in order to be able to use what we had in the pantry, but if you’d like to follow the recipe, it’s the same oat flower we used in the pancakes two weeks ago!

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium ripe bananas)
  • ¾ cup natural creamy or crunchy drippy peanut butter (just peanuts and salt)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon dairy free milk of choice (I like almond milk)

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour* (you can make your own — see notes section)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips (dairy free, if desired, plus 2-3 tablespoons for sprinkling on top)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Line a 12-cup muffin liner with muffin liners and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray to prevent muffins from sticking to liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, eggs, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and milk of choice until smooth.
  3. Next stir in the oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide batter into muffin liners.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool and enjoy! Makes 12 muffins.
Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

April 23, 2020

Today we made a Mexican Cornbread Casserole!

Kimberly modified the recipe a tad by using low sodium taco seasoning, a lower fat ground beef, and made two recipes of cornbread. She also substituted the Egg Beaters for real eggs.

  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 pkg (8.5 oz each) corn muffin mix
  • 1/4 cup Egg Beaters® Original
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat (2%) milk
  • 3/4 cup Birds Eye® Sweet Kernel Corn, divided
  • 1/2 pound ground chuck beef (80% lean)
  • 1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
  • 1 can (8 oz each) Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8×8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Stir together corn muffin mix, Egg Beaters, milk and half of corn in bowl. Pour into prepared dish.
  2. Meanwhile, cook beef in medium skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in drained tomatoes, tomato sauce, remaining corn and cumin. Pour mixture over top of batter. Top with cheese.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cornbread base is done.Tip:One fresh egg may be used in place of 1/4 cup Egg Beaters.

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes

April 17, 2020

Today we made a super easy Oatmeal Blender Pancake recipe!

Shout out to Erin Lives Whole for this simple recipe.

  • 2 heaping cups rolled oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. In a high speed blender, grind oats until flour like consistency, making oat flour.
  2. Add in remainder of ingredients and blend until well combined but not overblending, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
  3. Let batter rest for about 5 minutes to thicken up, you want it to be pretty thick!
  4. Pour 1/3 cup batter onto medium-low skillet that has been greased with butter or non-stick spray.
  5. Flip over once bubbles have formed and bottom is golden brown.
  6. Repeat until all pancakes are made.
Oatmeal Blender Pancakes

One Pot Hamburger Helper from The Defined Dish

April 9, 2020
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 12 oz. dried elbow pasta (I use Jovial Brown Rice Pasta)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups milk (if you want this to be dairy free, just do 4 cups of beef broth)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (optional-I used Mexican blend, but shredded cheddar is fine)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Heat a very large skillet, or a pot, over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onions, and ground beef. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  2. Saute, breaking up the ground beef with the back of a spoon, until the beef is cooked through, no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  4. Add the pasta, the beef broth and the milk. Stir to combine and let cook until pasta is tender (I like to cook mine al dente) and the liquid is soaked up, which is usually close to the same time as the box of the pasta says. Mine took about 11 minutes with the Jovial Elbow Pasta.
  5. Remove from heat and add in the cheese, if using, and stir to combine.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

For reheating– Heat in a skillet over medium heat and add beef broth to rehydrate the noodles. I splash it in about 1/4 cup at a time (depending on how much I am reheating) until it reaches the consistency I want and the noodles are tender again.


One pot Hamburger

Fried Rice

April 3, 2020

Today Kimberly made an easy fried rice.

  • 1T vegetable oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 Cup diced carrots
  • 1 Cup frozen peas
  • 1 Cup diced yellow pepper
  • 3 Cups white rice
  • 1/2 T sesame oil
  • 2 T low sodium soy sauce
  1. Cook the rice and let stand overnight (this step is optional, but the flavor infuses better with day old rice).
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or high sided skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, and pepper until desired softness.
  3. Add rice and stir for 3-5 minutes until desired color. Scoot rice onto one side and make an area to cook eggs.
  4. Lightly beat eggs and pour into pan.
  5. Stir until eggs are scrambled then incorporate into rice.
  6. Add sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.
Kimberly Corazzini MS, RDN, LD
Nutrition Education Specialist