Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Healthy Pumpkin Pie

My grandma was a fabulous cook.  If you weren’t 50 pounds overweight, she thought you were starving to death.  She would have boxes (yes… BOXES) of Ding Dongs and Twinkies lining her kitchen counter when you first walked through the door.  You ate when you first arrived… and then in 20 minute increments until you left.  Oh, I miss her dearly.   My grandma knew how to host a Thanksgiving.  She had a large table filled to capacity with all the classics such as creamy mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and turkey.  We had the ‘main event’ usually around noon and then spent the entire day eating until we exploded.  My grandma made Thanksgiving an occasion, and I still love Thanksgiving today because of her.   Since Thanksgiving is NOT complete without a traditional pumpkin pie, I thought I would complete your thanksgiving menu with this healthy pumpkin pie recipe.  Full-fat coconut milk make this pie creamy, sweet and jam-packed with healthy fats!   Print Healthy Pumpkin Pie Ingredients Healthy Pumpkin Pie: 1 can 15 oz pumpkin or sweet potato puree 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk 1/4 cup rolled oats 2 Tbs ground flax seed 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract Crust: 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup olive oil 3 Tbs cold water Instructions Preheat oven to 400 F. Blend all healthy pumpkin pie ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a prepared pie crust (such as crust recipe listed above) in a 10-inch round...
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

I have loved creating Thanksgiving dishes this week.  I’m just preparing and stretching my stomach for the big day.  I LOVE Thanksgiving!   My most favorite dish… oh, I’m getting giddy… is the sweet potato casserole!  I could probably eat one whole 9×13 pan by myself.  How could you not love the creamy and sweet texture topped with crunchy pecans and brown sugar?  I may or may not have made two so I could freeze one for a later (most likely sooner) date!  Trust me, no one in your family will even know it’s healthy.  I love ‘health punking’ people!  Okay, enjoy the healthy sweet potato casserole with your eyes while I go enjoy another helping with my mouth.   Print Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients 4 to 5 medium sweet potatoes 1/2 cup honey or agave 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp cinnamon Topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup whole wheat flour I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour 1/4 cup soft butter 1/2 cup chopped pecans Instructions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash sweet potatoes and place on baking sheet. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before peeling. In a blender, add peeled sweet potatoes, honey/agave, milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Light spray 9x13 baking pan with olive oil cooking spray. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the top. Reduce oven to 350 F and bake for 30 to 35...
Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

I was pretty nervous starting this recipe.  My mom always tackles the Thanksgiving turkey, and I was anxious about creating an epic recipe fail (turkeys aren’t cheap, right?).  I researched and researched how to brine a turkey and the best ways to bake a turkey.   Since a frozen turkey can take up to 3 ~ 4 days to thaw, why not brine your turkey while it’s thawing with something fabulous?  I discovered these turkey sized Reynolds oven bags and created a brine recipe.  These bags made my job so easy!  The bags slowly steamed the turkey keeping it juicy and moist.   My food critic (the handsome hubby) was unable to communicate just how much he loved it because his mouth was stuffed the minute it came out of the oven!  Not to pat myself on the back, but I should pat myself on the back.  I can’t wait for Thanksgiving so I can make this Thanksgiving turkey again! Print Thanksgiving Turkey Ingredients Large frozen organic turkey make sure the turkey is NOT already brine 12 cups water divided 1/2 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup honey 1 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons sage 2 tablespoons thyme 2 tablespoons rosemary 1 tablespoon pepper 4 cups ice Olive oil cooking spray 2 Tbs poultry seasoning Instructions Bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil. Add salt and honey. Stir until the salt has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in 8 cups cold water, apple cider vinegar, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and ice. The brine is ready to be used. Place frozen turkey in oven bag and pour brine...
Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish

Please do your turkey a favor and DO NOT use canned cranberry sauce on it.  The jelly texture gives me the heebie-jeebies and does anyone even know what’s in it?   Fresh cranberry relish is the best way to magnify your juicy turkey.  Tart cranberries, sweet applesauce, juicy oranges with a little kick from a jalapeno?!?!  Your turkey will never be complete again without it!  The vibrant colors of this dish are decoration enough… BUT, I have fallen in love with this white pumpkin bowl.   I can’t wait to serve my cranberry relish in it!  There are also matching salt and pepper shakers.   I love Thanksgiving!    Print Cranberry Relish Ingredients 1 12-oz. package fresh or frozen cranberries 1 Tbs orange zest 1 navel orange peeled and coarsely chopped 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and coarsely chopped 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro Instructions Pulse cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Pulse next 5 ingredients in food processor 3 to 5 times or until orange, pepper, and cilantro are finely chopped. Stir into cranberries; cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. I’ve only begun building your Thanksgiving feast!  Don’t forget about these side dishes.   Apple Sausage Stuffing     Creamy Mashed Potatoes...
Apple Sausage Stuffing

Apple Sausage Stuffing

Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without stuffing.  However, traditional stuffing seemed a little boring to me this year.  I always think of  YOU before creating a new recipe because I want you to be healthy AND enjoy the food you eat.   Well, you’re probably tired of me professing my love for fresh fruits and vegetables.  I can’t help myself!  If juicy, crisp apples are perfect in my Creamy Apple Oatmeal, why wouldn’t they be fabulous in stuffing?  Throw in some crunchy celery, herbs and savory breakfast sausage… and WALLAH!  Fluffy stuffing with apple sausage that might steal the spotlight of your main dish this Thanksgiving.   Print Apple Sausage Stuffing Ingredients 1 Tbs coconut or olive oil 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup chopped onions 2 1/2 cups unsalted organic chicken stock 1/4 cup dried parsley 1 tsp thyme 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 12 ounces toasted whole wheat bread cubes 1 lb chicken or turkey breakfast sausage browned 3 cups finely chopped apple Olive oil cooking spray Instructions In a large pot over medium heat, add oil and heat for 1 minute. Add celery and onion. Cook until onion is translucent about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Meanwhile, brown sausage and chop apple. Once stock mixture is boiling, add bread crumbs and stir well. Add browned sausage and apples and mix well. Lightly spray 11 x 7 baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Scoop stuffing in baking dish and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake stuffing at 350° for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown....
Let Me Plan Your 4th of July Meal

Let Me Plan Your 4th of July Meal

Let me make this 4th of July easier for you and plan your main meal!  Whether you need to plan for two or 20 people, this meal idea is adaptable, simple, healthy, and mouthwatering.  I guarantee everyone with LOVE it… even those picky little ones!  What’s on the menu?  You’re about to find out.     These Chili Chicken Skewers are ALWAYS a favorite!  The combintation of ceyenne pepper and balsamic vinegar makes these skewers slightly spicy, tangy, juicy, and just plain enjoyable.  You’ll LOVE them!   There are few things that scream ‘summer’ than fresh Fire Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob.  The natural sweetness of the corn is amplified by the coconut oil and sea salt.     Yes… this Balsamic Quinoa Salad also includes balsamic vinegar BUT the taste, texture, and combination of flavors are distinctly different than the skewers.  You won’t be getting a balsamic overload… promise.  Also, you’ll be saving money on limiting the amount of ingredients you’ll need to purchase.   BUT if you don’t like balsamic vinegar, you can always substitute with either cider or red wine vinegar or you can just omit and use extra lime juice.     Fresh fruit salad is an absolute must for your 4th of July feast!  This side dish goes perfectly with the other choices above.  Whenever I bring this salad to an event, it’s usually the first thing to disappear on the table.   AND since we need a little something  red, white and blue and sweet to finish off this amazing meal… check out my recent post on my top 10 favorite 4th of July food ideas.  I’m sure you’ll find a couple...

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