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People sometimes ask me, "so what do you eat?" Well, here's where I'll tell ya!

(You can also follow my Pinterest Board where I collect healthy recipes and information).

I lean toward whole grains whenever possible. I make and freeze my own beans ahead of time. I cook a lot of ground beef and chicken at once and freeze in portions so I can just pop some into a recipe quickly.

As you'll notice, my favorite cuisine is Mexican! It is actually very healthy food!

What is my guilty pleasure? Hands down--raw cookie dough. There is nothing better.

This list starts with breakfast foods, then moves on to dinners.

Overnight Oats
Quick and easy oatmeal
Not sugar-free, but pretty close.
1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup water
dash of salt
vanilla coconut milk, or soy milk

Add oats, water and salt to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 80-90 seconds. Add coconut milk and stir. Just try it! It has lots less sugar than the traditional brown sugar option. I don't drink regular milk because of the lactose, I avoid the soy milk because it has some questionable health effects, hormonally. So I LOVE coconut milk. Great flavor! Add a dash of cinnamon if you like, or some fruit.

More oatmeal options
I love oatmeal
1/3 cup quick oats
1 cup water
dash of salt

Microwave for 3 minutes. Add about 10 drops of vanilla stevia. Then add whatever you like for flavor. Here are some of my favorites:

a "small" spoonful of nutella
a spoonful of peanut butter or PB2
a big spoonful of pumpkin puree (keep some in the freezer) and 1/4 tsp of pumpkin spice.
1/2 mashed banana and 1 t cocoa powder
1/4 c of raspberries or blueberries
2 T toasted pecans

Overnight Oats
I love this when the weather starts to warm up or I just want something cool
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 t chia seeds (optional)
dash of salt
dash of nutmeg
slivered almonds, toasted in a dry skillet

Put all ingredients in a jar or covered container in the fridge overnight. Add some toasted slivered almonds for a little extra flavor and crunch. I use the vanilla flavored milk which is slightly sweet. If you use unflavored milk you can add a little sweetener of your choice (brown sugar, stevia, honey). But go easy. Try it without. It's not that bad!

Sugar Free Pancakes (no one will know)
One day I just left out the sugar. No one said a thing. I couldn't even tell. Now it's my favorite recipe.
1 egg
2 T coconut oil
1 c buttermilk
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c wheat flour
1/2 c oats
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon

Add ingredients in a blender in the order listed (so liquids are on the bottom). Blend completely. Fry in a lightly sprayed skillet.

Banana Oat Pancakes or Waffles
Sugar-free. Naturally sweetened with ripe banana
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 T coconut oil
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup oats
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt

Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Cook on a lightly greased skillet.

Whole-Wheat and Oatmeal Blender Pancakes
Really fluffy and tasty! Passes the "kid test" at my house.

1 c whole wheat grains (or 1 1/2 cups wheat flour)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 c milk
1/2 c cottage cheese (or just more milk)
1 egg
1/3 c oil
2 t sugar
1 t salt
1 T baking powder

Blend wheat, oatmeal, milk, and cottage cheese on high for 3 minutes (less time if using flour). Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixed. Cook on hot griddle about 1 minute per side.

Sweet Potato Waffles
They don't look orange. Have a good sweet flavor. If you don't want the hassle of cooking and mashing sweet potatoes, follow the tip after the recipe below. Serve with warm cinnamon applesauce. Mmmm!

3 eggs
1/2 cup cottage cheese (or sour cream)
1 c mashed sweet potatoes
1 c milk
1/4 c melted butter
3/4 c chopped pecans

1 1/2 c flour (I use whole wheat)
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t cardamom OR cinnamon
1/2 t salt

Blend wet ingredients in blender (to cream the cottage cheese. If you use sour cream you can just hand mix it). Add dry ingredients and combine. Cook in waffle maker sprayed with cooking spray.

Makes 8 waffles. If you leave out the pecans they have 214 calories per waffle. 8 grams of protein.

TIP: I bake several sweet potatoes at once in a 350° oven. Just buy them and stick 'em in the oven. After about 35 minutes, they should be nice and mushy. The skins will peel off easily. Mash with potato masher or in a mixer if you have a lot. I freeze them in 1/2 cup portions and keep them in a bag so they are ready for recipes. A HUGE 1/2 cup ice cream scoop makes that job easy.

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins
I LOVE Banana muffins. But my old recipe had a lot of sugar. This version has nothing I regret, uses WHOLE wheat, and coconut oil. Because of the coconut oil sometimes being half chunky and half liquid, I ended up putting all the wet ingredients in the blender, so you could substitute cottage cheese for the yogurt if you use a blender, too. I got this recipe from www.100daysofrealfood.com. Freeze extras!

3 ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup honey
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

You know the drill. Mix the wet stuff. Add the dry stuff. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes (for muffins), or 40 minutes for a bread loaf.

Whole grain donuts
I use a Baby Cakes donut maker for these. You can also use just about any favorite (healthy) muffin recipe you like. You may need to add extra liquid in your recipe. They cook faster and are less crumbly to eat than muffins. 

1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 c buttermilk
2 T oil
1 egg
1 c oat flour (Most of you probably have wheat grinders. Run regular or quick oats through it for oat flour. Because it can get a lot puffier when you grind it, I measured this amount by weight. 95 grams)
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon

Combine banana, buttermilk, egg, and oil until smooth. Add dry ingredients and stir. Spray donut maker with cooking spray. Spoon about 2 T batter into each donut shape. Bake about 4-5 minutes. Makes 15 donuts. 80 calories each. (2.8g fat, 12.1g carbohydrates, 2.3g protein)

Pumpkin Granola
I usually pour a little milk over this and warm it in the microwave. It's so good on a cold morning! This recipe is from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com.  

¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ tsp. salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas

Combine brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, syrup and vanilla. Add oats, spices and salt. Spread in a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. Spread evenly but do not press the mixture down. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Pull out and stir. Sprinkle on pepitas. Bake another 20 minutes. Let cool and add in cranberries. 

Pumpkin granola bars
Most "energy bars" are really just candy bars also full of sugar. These bars are made with healthy ingredients and taste so good!

1 c applesauce
1 c pumpkin puree
1/4 c honey
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1 t pumpkin spice
1/2 t salt
4 c rolled oats
1/2 c chopped nuts, I like pecans but walnuts are also good
1/2 c pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 c craisins

Mix well and press into a 8x8" square baking pan that is lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Let cool completely. Remove from pan by flipping upside down. Cut into 16 bars and wrap individually with plastic wrap. Keep in the freezer and grab one when you need a quick snack.
152 calories, 4 g fat, 26.5 carbohydrates, 3.3 protein.

Egg in a Cup
Super fast way to make a tasty "omelet" for yourself. No need to wait for the skillet to heat up. 

1 egg
1 T salsa
1 T milk or water
dash of salt
3 tortilla chips, broken in pieces
1 T bell pepper pieces, optional

Spray a microwave-safe mug with cooking spray. Add egg, salsa, milk/water, dash of salt and tortilla chips. Add bell pepper pieces if desired. Cook in microwave for 1 minute. Top with a spoonful of cottage cheese.

Egg+ burrito
More protein, less fat
One egg, plus one egg white. Scramble and cook in a skillet. Leave as one big "piece" so it doesn't fall out of your tortilla. If you're in a hurry, spray a large microwaveable bowl and cook for 1 1/2 minutes (or so). I have kind of a wide pasta bowl I use. Put the egg in a tortilla and top with salsa. The first time I thought I'd die without a heap of cheese, but the salsa makes me not miss it. As always, add a dollop of cottage cheese if you want something more on it. 

Apple Oat Pulse
Yes. Pulse. As in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. It has a very nice chewy, yet crunchy texture. I love it with a little yogurt stirred in. Yes, it takes two days to make it, but not a lot of effort. And it last for several days.

1/2 c oat groats
1/2 c buckwheat
1/4 cup raw nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc), 
1/4 cup raisins
1 apple, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 T honey
1/4 t salt

On the first night soak the oat groats overnight in water. Rinse and drain, then sprout for the next 24 hours, rinsing about every 4 hours. The next night soak the nuts in water. I also soak the raisins for about 20 minutes in very hot water just to plump them up a bit. I chop the nuts after they've been soaked. This makes about 4 cups of pulse. It last me about 5-6 days for breakfast. I like it best mixed with yogurt. Use within a week.

Protein Shake
This is what I have when I don't have time for breakfast, or when I need a quick refuel after class. I think I would starve to death without this shake.

1 banana
1/2 c frozen berries (I like blueberries, but you can use other berries, or skip them)
1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
1/4 cup quick oatmeal
6 ice cubes
1/2 cup water

Blend in blender on low speed until ice is crushed, then process on high for 30 seconds.

Cottage Cheese Protein Shake
Perfect for post-workout, very refreshing, and a yummy treat.

1/2 cottage cheese
1/2 c water
5-8 ice cubes
flavorings of your choice:
protein powder, peanut butter, 1 T pudding (choose your flavor), frozen berries, extracts, stevia, etc. There are lots of options. Whatever you would put in a shake or ice cream. It's really creamy and satisfying and your body will feel GOOD!

Tuna Salad
I hate pickles. My kids prefer this version. (And, uh, yeah--Miracle Whip. You want a healthy version? Fat-free Miracle Whip?)

1 can tuna, drained
1/2 apple, diced fine
1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
2-3 T Miracle Whip

Mix all ingredients and chill. Serve on rolls or bread with lettuce, or crackers.

Post-workout Snack
Perfect for after late night Zumba.
This is a good post work-out snack. When I teach at night, I need something afterward with protein, but I don't want to have full stomach when I go to bed. That cottage cheese is packed with protein! And the granola gives it just enough "crunch" to satisfy me, as well as provide a few carbs for recovery.

1/2 c cottage cheese
1/4 fresh or frozen berries (raspberries or blueberries)
1/4 cup granola

Black Beans
My kids like these just as they are. They are delicious on burritos, with chips, over brown rice--you name it!

2 c dried black beans
3 quarts water
3/4 c yellow onions, diced
1 T choped garlic
1 T ground cumin
2 t chili powder
1 t chipolte Puree (I puree an entire can and keep 1 teaspoon portions in the freezer)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (or 1/3 c ketchup)
1 t dried oregano
2 t salt

Traditional cooking method: Soak beans overnight. The next day, add remaining ingredients except salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover for 2 hours. Add water if needed. You can also cook in a crockpot for 8-10 hours on low. Add salt when beans are tender.

My new method, which has CHANGED Sunday dinner here!
Put all ingredients in a dutch oven or large oven safe pot. Yes, including the salt and tomato sauce. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Bring to a boil on the stove. Cover and cook in the oven for 75 minutes (or longer). I often get it started before church and let it keep baking for 3-4 hours. 

Cottage Cheese Sour Cream
Okay, not really a recipe, but I have tried yogurt instead of sour cream--bleh--and "fat-free" sour cream--bleh. But I tried cottage cheese instead of sour cream and I LOVE it! Cottage cheese is very low-fat and is LOADED with protein. 

I like using the cottage cheese just as it is, but if you want a complete replica of sour cream, blend it in the blender. Use about 3 parts cottage cheese and 1 part buttermilk. You want to use as little buttermilk as possible to keep it thick, but if it's softer than you like, know that it will thicken a little after one day in the fridge. No one can tell the difference between this and regular sour cream!

I also use cottage cheese in baking recipes that call for buttermilk. I just put in some cottage cheese in place of about 1/4 or 1/3 of the amount of milk. Give it a try!

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili
Don't worry. It doesn't have a pumpkin flavor, but the pumpkin adds lots of nutrition and thickens the chili. Have it anytime, not just in October.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or make your own)
2 cans red beans, rinsed and drained (or make your own)
1 15 ounce can solid-pack pumpkin
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt (may add more if you don't use canned beans)

Saute onion and pepper with garlic in oil until tender. Put in a larger pot with remaining ingredients and cook 30 minutes, or in a crockpot for 4-5 hours on low.

New Year's Day Black-eyed Peas
It is a southern tradition to have black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck. Here's my recipe. It's SO good over cornbread.

1 lb. dry black-eyed peas
1 can green chilis
1 clove garlic
1/4 c chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
2 t salt
red pepper, to taste

Soak beans overnight in crockpot.  Rinse and add green chilis, garlic, and onion. Cook on high for 8 hours. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Mix 2 T flour with a little cold water and add just before serving, if needed to thicken. Serve with rice and corn bread.  Makes a ton, plan to share.

Taco Soup
A fast, flavorful dinner. And my kids like it.

3 cups water
3 chicken boullion cubes

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 12 oz. jar salsa or picante sauce

1 1/2 c corn

8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2” cubes

1 c tortilla chips, broken

Combine first 5 ingredients in saucepan. Heat 5 minutes. Sprinkle serving bowl with some broken chips, top with cheese cubes, then ladle soup over the top. 

Fresh Tomato Soup
What to do with the stuff from the garden. When my daughter was about ten years old she used to ask for this for DESSERT. That's how good it is. 

2 c sliced carrots
1 c chopped celery
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 c chopped green pepper
1/4 c butter or margarine
4 1/2 c chicken broth
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
4 t sugar
1/2 t dill weed
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c flour

In large pot, saute carrots, celery, onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes, sugar, dill weed, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer  for 20 minutes. Combine flour and remaining broth until smooth. Gradually add to soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.  About 8 servings.

Homemade tortillas
These take a little practice but are SO worth it. You'll never want those rubbery store-bought tortillas again. Make a million and keep them in the freezer.

2 c flour (I use 1 1/2 c wheat and 1/2 c white flour)
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 T shortening or oil (olive oil would make them healthier)
3/4 c water (may need a tablespoon or two more depending on your flour)

Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening and add water. (If using oil, mix with water before adding to flour.) The dough should not be too sticky, but still soft. Divide into 10 balls and roll until ball is smooth. Let dough rest at least 30 minutes. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! This makes it easier to roll out and the dough will not shrink out of shape after it is rolled. Cook on hot ungreased griddle, about 1 minute per side. Stack on a plate and cover with a damp cloth so they will not dry out.

Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas
Loads of health and flavor!

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup shredded zucchini

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 small Anaheim chili, chopped

1 cup cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t chili powder

8 flour tortillas

Combine all ingredients. Brush a tortilla with olive oil or butter on one side. On the other side place about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of ingredients and fold in half. Cook on a medium hot skillet about 1 minute per side. Keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

California Chicken
My husband loves the flavor. I love that it is super easy in a crockpot.

3 lb. chicken, quartered (I would just use chicken legs next time)

1 cup orange juice

1/3 c chili sauce

2 T soy sauce

1 T molasses

1 t dry mustard

1 t garlic salt

2 T chopped green peppers

1 can mandarin oranges

Serve over cooked brown rice.

Arrange chicken in slow cooker. Combine juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, molasses, dry mustard, and garlic salt. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Stir in green peppers and oranges.  Heat 30 minutes longer.

OPTIONAL: You may add a can of pineapple tidbits with peppers and oranges. 

Smoky Roasted Chicken and Corn Chowder
Very easy to make and I love the smoky flavor!

4 slices bacon (I use the crumbled bacon that comes in a bag at Costco)
1 c diced onions
1/2 c celery, diced
1/2 c red pepper, diced
2 t minced garlic
1 t dried thyme
2 T flour
1 1/2 c chicken broth (I use the bouillon cubes)
1 can evaporated milk
1 c diced tomatoes, well drained
1 can creamed corn
2 c chopped roasted chicken (I just used some diced chicken that I had pan fried)
1 T hickory flavored barbecue sauce
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t salt

Heat bacon, onions, celery, red pepper and garlic in a skillet with a little oil. Cook about 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add thyme and flour. Mix well. Stir in broth and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil and stir continuously until slightly thickened. Reduce to medium-low. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Lasagna in a bowl
I created this after getting tired of the pan lasagna work

16 oz. Fettucini noodles (I like to make my own whole wheat noodles)
16-24 oz. cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella (or more, who measures cheese?)
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
spaghetti sauce (I like Hunt's)
a whole bunch of spinach!

Cook noodles in boiling water. Just before the noodles are done, throw in a LOT of spinach. About 8 cups? It steams down quickly. After just about 1 minute drain the noodles and pasta together. Toss with a little olive oil. Add the cheeses and toss. Serve and top with spaghetti sauce.

Chicken Fajitas
This is a classic. Prepare the chicken mixture ahead and keep in the freezer. Just defrost and add fresh peppers and onions for a super fast dinner. 
2 T oil
2 T lime juice
1 1/2 t seasoned salt
1/2 t dried oregano
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t red pepper flakes, optional
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1/2 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1/2 medium green  bell pepper, julienned
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c chopped onion
6 warm flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
taco sauce or salsa
Sour cream

In large ziploc bag, combine seasonings, oil and lemon juice. Add chicken. Seal and marinate 1-4 hours. Saute peppers and onions in 2 T oil in large skillet. Remove and keep warm. In same skillet, cook chicken and marinade over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes. Return pepper mixture to pan; heat through. Spoon filling onto tortillas; forl in half. Serve with cheese, sauce and sour cream.

Smoky Beans and Rice
Great on its own or as a filler for tortillas. 

l tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced canned chipotle pepper
l cup white rice (I like brown rice better, but it takes longer, so adjusts cooking time accordingly if you use brown)
l cup canned black beans,  drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen corn (optional)
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. chopped scallion greens (optional)

Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin, and chipotle pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onion starts to soften. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the black beans, tomatoes, and corn, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, then sprinkle with scallions, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Chicken Enchiladas
It's so creamy and good, you'll never miss the fattening ingredients. 

In a blender, mix:
1 cup of cottage cheese
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 cubes of chicken bouillon
1/2 t onion powder or 1/4 small onion (it will get blended)
1/4 c chopped green chilis (or big chunks, it will get blended anyway)

Pour 1/4 cup of this filling in a flour tortilla. Top with 1/4 cup cooked, cubed chicken. Roll up and place in a greased baking dish. Repeat with 6-8 tortillas. Pour remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. It's SO GOOD and creamy!

Cranberry Turkey Enchiladas
I look forward to this after-Thanksgiving dinner more than the traditional meal!

2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey
1 16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups bottled salsa
1 c shredded Colby Jack Cheese
1/2 c sour cream
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 c fresh cilantro
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
8 tortillas
1 t Tabasco sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 9x13 pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together turkey, half the cranberry sauce, beans, 1/2 c of the salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, sour cream green onions, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Spoon about 2/3 cup of filling onto each tortilla. Roll up tortilla, place seam side down in pan. Combine remaining cranberry sauce, remaining salsa, and Tabasco. Spoon over filled tortillas. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 more minutes until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and green onions. 8 servings.

Focaccia bread
Serve with tomato bisque soup found here. (However I only use 1 Tablespoon of butter. And I like evaporated milk in the soup instead of cream).

1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 T sugar or honey
1 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2-3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2-3/4 cup cold, cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
herbs, if you like (rosemary, basil, thyme)

In a mixing bowl, combine yeast and sugar (this keeps it from clumping when you add the water). Add warm water and oil. Allow yeast to soften for 5 minutes. Add flour, rice, salt and herbs, if desired. Mix until a soft dough forms (in mixer or by hand). Should be a bit sticky. Cover with a moist towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Roll out onto flour surface in a 12" round circle. Place on preheated pizza stone or baking sheet. Brush with olive oil or milk. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. 

Roasted Pumpkin Bites
I know you can't believe me, but these are a great substitute for the cookie dough I love!

Roasted Pumpkin bites

Sugar-free Craisin Cookies

Sugar-free, gluten-free and fabulous for fall. I make them anytime I have ripe bananas and keep them in the freezer. 

2 ripe bananas
1/4 c applesauce
1 t vanilla (REAL vanilla!)
1 1/2 c oat flour (blend rolled or quick oats in the blender)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 c craisins (okay, these technically have sugar in them, but i'm okay with that)

Combine all ingredients with a mixer or by hand until the bananas are well incorporated and no chunks remain. Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet (or sprayed with cooking spray). Bake at 350° for 15-17 minutes.

Pumpkin Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are SO good! Only 75 calories per cookie. I adapted these from a recipe from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com.

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon all ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut oil

½ c cooked, mashed butter beans (yes, butter beans--a.k.a. Lima beans*)

7/8 cup packed light brown sugar
 (that's 1 cup minus 2 Tablespoons)

7/8 cup granulated sugar

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup dried cranberries

Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. 

If you don't want to use the coconut oil and butter beans, you can use 1 cup butter instead, but that's going to change the total calorie count.

*Butter beans can be bought from a can, but I prefer to make my own and keep them in 1/2 cup portions in the freezer. Buy dry lima beans, cook in a crockpot until very soft and mushy. Mash them. If you use the ones from the can, I'd cut the salt in the recipe in half.

Banana bread, single serving

My daughter gave me this recipe, and it was delicious, except that it had 400 calories. I worked it over and now it has just 212!

Spray a microwave-safe bowl or mug.
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp coconut oil
1 1/2 T milk (buttermilk is even better)
10 drops vanilla stevia
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Mix all the ingredients and cook in the microwave for 1 minute (maybe 90 seconds depending on your microwave, but don't overcook!) 212 calories.

Black bean brownies with frosting!

I adapted these brownies from a recipe on chocolatecoveredkatie.com. They were good but had a slightly bitter undertone. I topped it with a slice of banana and couldn't believe how it added just the right level of sweetness and the "bite" of the banana felt like a rich thick frosting. Adding a layer of sugar-free chocolate frosting (or yogurt) over the bananas keeps them from browning and makes for an indulgent looking presentation. A winner!

1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (10g)
1/2 cup quick oats (40g)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, agave, or honey (80g)
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder 

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend very well. Bake in a greased 8" baking pan for 15-18 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes.

I like to top this with banana slices, and then top with vanilla greek yogurt or this fantastic chocolate frosting, also from chocolatecoveredkatie.com:

1 very ripe banana
1/2 cup nut butter (almond or peanut or another you like)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix these well. Spread over banana slices. Save the extra for dolloping in your oatmeal or in yogurt.

The brownies have 90 calories each (if cut into 16 servings) and the frosting adds another 64 calories. 4g protein, 8g fat, 18g carbohydrate.