Friday, August 25, 2017

Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

It's harvest time and the zucchini's are here.  I have a huge one and decided to make this loaf. Although it required 2 cups of shredded zucchini, it hardly made a dent in it.  More zucchini recipes will be on the way lol.  This is a very decadent loaf.  I reduced the amount of sugar and replaced the oil with half oil and half unsweetened applesauce.  I also used unsweetened chocolate chunks.

This recipe is of the many great recipes from Ricardo's Cuisine magazine.

1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1  egg
2 cups of grated zucchini
4 oz. of dark chocolate, chopped

In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.

In a larger bowl, whisk together sugar, oil and egg until smooth.  Using a spatula, stir in zucchini and dry ingredients.  Set aside 2 tbsp. of the chopped chocolate for the topping and add the remaining to the batter.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and sprinkle with reserved chocolate.

Bake for one hour in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Celery Lemon Juice

I love celery and it's health benefits but sometimes I just don't feel like munching on it.  Making a juice with it is a quick and simple way of enjoying it.  You can add anything to it for taste.  For this particular one I used 2 stalks of celery, one lemon,  a handful of spinach and a handful of strawberries with a bit of water.  Just add all to a blender.

Other variations are adding an orange, chives, raspberries, etc. Anything goes!  

It's great in the morning and as a pick-me-up in the afternoons.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fig Oat Bread

I made this bread in my new bread machine, even though the recipe was for the oven.  It is so good!

Figs are a good source of potassium and fiber among other things.

I put in walnuts and sunflower seeds for the nuts. 


Here's the link to the recipe from the California Figs website.

Fig Oat Bread

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chocolate Lentil Cake

I found this recipe on the Canadian Lentils Website.  

What a good way to add lentils to your diet.  So good!  I love lentils and it's many health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, high in fiber for digestive health, stabilizes your blood sugar, gives you energy, they're a good source of protein plus they don't contain fat yet you can eat them and feel full and satisfied without the guilt.

Here is the recipe that I used.  I added unsweetened coconut to it and only added a few tablespoons of brown sugar.  It's a recipe I definitely will make again.  

Chocolate Lentil Cake

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chicken Noodle Soup

This winter has been very cold and it sure feels never-ending.  

There's nothing better than a homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on a Northern Ontario cold winter day to feel cozy and warm.

As an added health benefit, I used whole wheat noodles (fiber benefit) and a handful of frozen peas (which are a good source of iron) along with lots of garlic, onion, carrots, celery and one chopped jalapeno pepper.  The chicken was leftover chicken from a roast the night before.  I added alot of black pepper and curry powder, which has many health benefits, which you can read here:

Curry Powder Health Benefits

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chicken Bacon Veggie Pizza - Whole Wheat Thin Crust

A pizza I made for supper last night baked on a pizza stone.  Turned out good!  

For toppings I used boneless chicken, bacon, green peppers, orange peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic with mozzarella cheese.  As for the sauce, I just used a can of tomato paste and thinned it out with olive oil and added spices -- oregano, basil, garlic, pepper, etc.  Fast and easy.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cuban Black Bean and Brown Rice Soup

After a very fun vacation and an over-indulgence of food and drink in beautiful Cuba, it's time to get back to health.  I thought, there's no better way than making a Cuban black bean soup with brown rice and different veggies .... and that's what I made.  Turned out so good ..... but I sure wish I was eating it back in Cuba and not in snowy Timmins.  

Onto health .... until the next "TRYP"! lol

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Treat

This is a super easy recipe.  No baking required ..... just freeze, slice and enjoy.

1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
1 banana, mashed
2 tbsp. coconut oil
a bit of maple syrup, if you want

Mix all ingredients together and press into a pan.  Top with anything you prefer.  I topped mine with fresh cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seed and trail mix.  Freeze until solid.  

So good!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kiwi Pie with Oatmeal Crust

I made this pie for dessert last night to use up some kiwi's that have been in our fridge.  It was delicious!

The crust was made with oatmeal combined with an egg, milk and cinnamon (no measuring) and flattened in a greased pie plate.  I put a thin layer of pure peanut butter on top. For the next layer, I used 3 kiwi's, mashed, and added a bit of lemon marmalade to it.  On top of the kiwi, I layered some strawberry yogurt mixed with no fat sour cream.  Then topped it off with honey berries from my garden, red walnuts, unsweetened coconut and a drizzle of Nutella.  Baked at 350 degrees F. for about 20 minutes. Yummy!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meatball Sub Casserole

I made this last night but I can't take credit for the recipe as it's all over the place on the internet.  I tried to make a healthier version.  It sure was good and it definitely takes the craving away if you're craving a meatball sub!

I made the meatballs using ground turkey, rather than beef.  I used an egg and oatmeal to form them along with alot of different Italian spices .... and tons of garlic.

For the bread, I used multi-grain bruschetta bread and spread them with minced garlic.

I made the sauce using a can of tomato paste and two chopped tomatoes, again with tons of spices, fresh crushed garlic, chopped onions .... and I added two chopped asparagus spears ... picked from our garden.

Line up your bread around the pan.  You can use any bread.  Add meatballs in the center.  Sprinkle with parmesan and any other cheese of your choice.  I used cheddar as that's what I had on hand.  I would of preferred mozzarella ..... but there will be a next time making this recipe since it was so good!  Cover the whole pan with sauce .... add more cheeses and bake covered in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Then take cover off and bake for another 5 or 10 minutes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Watermelon Cake

I made this No Bake Watermelon Cake last night for dessert.  I used the recipe from this site:

No Bake Watermelon Cake

Mine didn't look as nice as the one on the recipe site, but the taste was all there.  I used coconut milk for the icing.  I topped it off with fruits, nuts, seeds and then drizzled the top with a chocolate sauce I made using unsweetened cocoa.  What a nice summer treat!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Enjoy Life Foods

Become an Enjoy Life Free-Form Agent and earn points to win food.  Free to join.

You can sign up free here:

Enjoy Life Foods

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Black Bean Chocolate Coffee Peanut Butter Coconut Walnut Brownies

I made this last night just by using a basic black bean brownie recipe, but I started adding other ingredients and wow .... it tasted almost like truffles!  Hard to believe it was made with beans.

Here's the recipe ..... nothing really measured.

All in one bowl, puree or use a food processor:

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of oatmeal
instant coffee (as much as you want .... I used about 1/4 cup)
pure cocoa (again, as much as you want ... I used more cocoa than I did coffee)
1 tsp. of vanilla
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/4 cup or so of maple syrup
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

Once it's pureed, stir in a handful of unsweetened coconut and walnuts.  Spread in a baking pan and drizzle pure peanut butter on top with more coconut and more walnuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes.   I used parchment paper to prevent sticking.  Otherwise, grease your pan first.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Overnight Tuna Asparagus Strata

I made this recipe taken from the Taste of Home website.  I changed it up by using tuna rather than ham.  Also, I did not have English muffins, as in the recipe, so I used sliced up/chunked up, homemade whole-wheat bread.

It turned out so good!  I prepped it the night before and put it in the oven first thing in the morning.  What a great breakfast!  The recipe is here:

Overnight Asparagus Strata - Taste of Home

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Parmesan Crepes in Soup

Yesterday I made homemade crepes stuffed with parmesan cheese and tightly rolled, and topped with hot soup.  This is a soup my Mom would regularly make as I was growing up.  It was always one of my favorites.  It's a simple soup idea....and so yummy .... but the ones my Mom used to make were even yummier!  I sure miss all her good Italian cooking.

Here is my Mom at 80 years old.  She passed away last year peacefully at 90.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cauliflower Crust

I made this cauliflower crust recipe, which has been circulating around Facebook and blogs lately.

Here it is:

Cauliflower Crust

It is really good....and healthy!  I will definitely be making it again and putting more toppings on it. Next time I would like to top it with some tomato sauce, veggies and ground chicken or turkey. Yummy!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe

I found this recipe at Just A Pinch Recipes site.  There are so many good recipes on the site and all made from real home cooks.  It's free to join and a fun interactive site.

Here is the Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe that I tried and loved!  I will definitely be making it again.  So tasty.  I sprinkled paprika on top.

I made sesame seed coated sweet potato wedgies as well as a side-dish since both baking pans fit in the oven at the same time.  Yummy!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roasted Cheesy Cauliflower with Gemelli Pasta

This was my first attempt at making homemade Whole-Wheat Gemelli Noodles and I will definitely be making them again.  I found instructions on You Tube on how to shape them.

Cauliflower Cheese Sauce

1 small cauliflower, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. thyme
salt and pepper
2 cups of broth (I used turkey broth)
1/2 cup or more of cheese (I used cheddar and mozza) - Swiss would be good too
1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream
bread crumbs to sprinkle on top
Gemelli Pasta ... or any pasta

In a large bowl, add the cauliflower, onion, garlic and spices and coat with olive oil.  Roast in a 425 degree F oven until golden brown.  When roasted and slightly cooled, transfer the vegetables to a blender and add the broth.  Blend until smooth.  Pour in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cheese and yogurt and add more spices as desired.  

Add sauce to cooked pasta and sprinkle with spiced bread crumbs. You can end it there and enjoy. I, however, baked mine in the oven with extra cheese sprinkled on top.  Very yummy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oven Baked Barley Vegetable Stew

We had some leftovers from the Barley Soup turned Stew I made the other day.  I decided to oven bake it with cheese on top.  What a nice change it was....yummy!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vegetable Barley Soup turned into Stew

I made this barley soup yesterday but I simmered it too long and the broth evaporated so I decided to make it a stew instead lol.  The taste is still all there. I used a mixture of veggies....some from my garden and some store bought.

Barley is a hearty and nutritious grain.  I love the texture. Here are some of the nutrients it contains.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread

This is a  monkey bread I made yesterday.  It turned out so good.....although I thought it wouldn't due to the fact that I used a mixture of Whole Wheat Flour and Duram Atta Flour (which is usually used to make flatbreads, roti's, etc.).  I did add some vital gluten to it to make the dough more pliable.  I didn't use any white sugar in my recipe, but other recipes do contain it.

This is the recipe I used.  You can make it with white flour too.

2 tsp. yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour 

2 apples
coconut oil
maple syrup (I used nutmeg syrup that we bought while in Grenada)

Put yeast in warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes.  In a large bowl, mix the flour and the oil together with the yeast and knead for 7 - 10 minutes.  Coat bowl with oil and cover for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours with a tea towel, until it's about double in size.  Then punch down the dough and make small balls of dough and coat them in cinnamon (you can use a cinnamon/sugar combo if you want more sweetness).  Place the balls of dough in a bunt pan.  At the half-way point, you can put a layer of sliced apples and cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup, and then continue with more dough balls on top -- or you can just leave it all as a topping.  I put the apples and cinnamon throughout.  Drizzle some melted coconut oil and maple syrup over the top and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Whole-Wheat Banana Bread

Well summer is over and it's back to baking and cooking heartier meals.

For a start, I made Cookie + Kate's banana bread recipe and it is one of the best I've ever had.  So addicting!  Here is the link to her recipe:

Cookie + Kate Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread

The first one I made, I followed the recipe exactly.  So good!!

Last night I made it again, but I added chopped dates, walnuts, coconut and sunflower seeds on top. Yum!!  I will definitely be making this again and next time will add something different....maybe lemon zest and poppy seeds .... anything goes!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Arugula Spinach Veggie Pizza with Pizza Hut Style Crust

We made this pizza last night.  We made the crust using a recipe I found online, which was a Pizza Hut style crust.  It called for white flour, but we used whole-wheat flour.  It was so good.  I think I'll be using this crust recipe for all homemade pizzas.  Here is the recipe:

Pizza Hut Style Crust

This pizza has fresh arugula and spinach, picked from our garden, layered on as the first topping.  On top of that is green, red and yellow peppers as well as onions and garlic (also from our garden).  We used Peppered Colby Cheese and Parmesan to top it all off plus all kinds of spices and fresh herbs (from my windowsill lol).  So good!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crispy No-Bake Cookies

I made these cookies the other day.  I just threw together what I had on hand. For these ones I mixed Rice Krispies, peanut butter, coconut oil, pure cocoa powder, raisins and a bit of maple syrup. Stirred everything together and put them in the freezer for about 1/2 hour. 

They're so super energizing.  I made another batch using bran flakes instead of Rice Krispies which were equally as good.   Anything goes!! and no oven to heat up the kitchen.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

I made this salad last night.  The roasted sweet potatoes gave it such a good flavor.  I thinly sliced them and roasted them coated with canola oil, lots of garlic, pepper and paprika at 425 degrees F. until they were crispy.  Meanwhile I prepared the rest of the salad.  This one has romaine lettuce, radishes, Vadalia onion, red pepper and an avocado.  I used a mandarin poppy seed dressing. Yummy!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Exercise Safety Tips

Exercise Safety Tips
by Amy Backer

For people who want to lose weight and get trim there are a variety of exercise options out there. Pilates classes can be a great way for beginners to learn isometric exercises which help to tone and strengthen muscles. Yoga classes can be a great way to get stronger and improve balance and coordination but most power yoga classes are done by fitness teachers that are not trained that well in body mechanics and anatomy so the risk of getting injured if you go to a power yoga or vinyasa yoga class is higher. If you do to a yoga class then it's best to start with a gentle or restorative class. If you want a more challenging or strengthing yoga class then it's best to start with Iyengar yoga since iyengar teachers are extremely well-versed in alignment, anatomy and bio-mechanics and are thorougly trained to work with injuries, limiting condtions, and they can help to rehabilitate injured bodies.

Walking is often a safe way to start to exercise since it's not high impact on your joints. Avoid hills when you are first starting and make sure to wear solid walking shoes. Make sure you are walking fast enough to keep a good pace, so you will be nice and sweaty after a few minutes. You can also just go walking with a friend in order to make it a more social activity. Even kids love to go on a fun walk so bring them along as well.

Another great safe way to exercise is swimming. There is no weight on your joints, so this is the sport you are least likely to get injured in. This is a fun way to exercise with your family, so it's a great way to be able to spend time with your family as well as get a greta workout. If you are just standing or laying on a raft in a pool you won't burn any calories, so you can do something like volleyball or throw a ball the pool or water aerobics to make sure you are getting a good workout.

If you are new to working out then you want to be cautious about lifting weights or using weight machines since you can get injured if you use the machines improperly. Work with a fitness trainer when you are first starting to use weights to make sure you are using them properly and in the most efficient way possible.

More Information:

Amy Backer the owner of Bodylogic Pilates - and she earned her BFA degree in Dance at the University of Colorado and her teaching certificate from the internationally renowned PILATES Center of Boulder in 2002.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Asparagus Tuna Creamy Penne's

Yesterday we picked fresh asparagus from our garden.  After our long winter, things are finally sprouting in the yard.  Asparagus is the first thing that comes up in ours.  

I made this easy pasta recipe with it.  It was so good!

1 pkg. whole wheat penne (I used 450 g. box)
a bunch of asparagus, cut in pieces
tons of garlic
1 can of tuna, drained
lemon zest
1 tbsp. about of lemon juice
spices of your choice (I used oregano, pepper, parsley, garlic)
lots of parmesan cheese
1 can of evaporated milk (but you can use any milk)
olive oil/coconut oil

Cook your penne's and set aside (drizzle olive oil over them). 

In a big skillet, saute your vegetables and spices.  Add can of tuna and lemon.  Add penne's to this mixture.  

In a separate pot heat up your milk.  If you need it thickened, add a bit of flour or cornstarch.  Add cheese.  Once it's thickened enough, add to penne's.  Adjust your spices.  Add more parmesan on top and enjoy.

We like to eat our meals in a bowl.  That's our latest habit.  For some reason, food in a deep bowl tastes better to us.  Not sure why....but it just does lol

Yesterday's harvest.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Raspberry Pineapple Orange Shake

Here is a very quick drink we whipped up. Great tasting and energizing.  You can whip up any combo of fruits and veggies and experiment with different tastes.  For this one, we blended frozen raspberries, chunks of pineapple, pure orange juice and milk.  Plain and simple......but so good!  It's a great afternoon pick-me-up or after supper dessert drink.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wining and Dining lol

Yesterday's cloudy day turned into a sunny night so off for a walk we went .... to pick up a bottle of wine, that is lol.  We had fun in the kitchen while enjoying a few glasses of Jackson-Triggs together.  We prepped up some appetizers.

On our pizza stone, we roasted:
  • Potatoes seasoned with olive oil, coconut oil, curry, garlic and pepper
  • Portabello Mushrooms with thinly sliced garlic, drizzled with olive oil
  • Onions with pepper and drizzled with maple syrup
  • Pears with cinnamon

We also added some grapes.

So good!! Tonight will be a different combo.  We want to try pineapples, celery and carrots. Definitely adding pears again.....soooooo good!! and fun to prep and eat .... as well as healthy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Black Bean Tortilla Lasagna

I made this yesterday for supper. Super fast and easy.  I mixed a can of black beans and a can of tomatoes in a big bowl.  Then I added chopped mushrooms, green pepper, red pepper, onion, tons of garlic, corn, celery and different spices and 1/2 a container of cottage cheese.  Then I layered this mixture between whole wheat tortillas and added parmesan and cheddar cheddar cheese between each layer.  Baked for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees F.

I love this recipe and make it regularly with different beans. It's a recipe that can be whipped up so fast and it's a good way to get your bean fix.