Grapefruit Brûlée

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I love citrus fruits! One of my favorites is the grapefruit, which is season right now! I didn’t realize how deliciously juicy this fruit could be by broiling it. This preparation makes it suitable as a light and healthy dessert, as well as a wonderful breakfast fruit. I got my inspiration from Bon Appétit, January 2012.

Ingredients:

  • 2 grapefruits, halved crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar

Directions:

  1. Trim ¼” to ½” of peel off the bottom of each half to keep it stable.
  2. Place each half flesh side down on a paper towel for 5 minutes.
  3. Put fruit on a foiled lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar, making sure to cover evenly. (The recipe used 1 tablespoon per half, but I reduced it by half).
  4. Boil the grapefruits for about 8 minutes until slightly brown, being careful not to let them burn.
  5. Cool and serve. Serves 4.

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Spinach-Artichoke Frittata

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to eat a simple, tasty and healthy breakfast on the days I go to work at 6:30 in the morning! It has to be pre-made and be capable of reheating. I thought about a frittata. After doing some research, I came up with this combination of ingredients. I had never made a frittata before, so I was somewhat surprised how easy it is to make. It is also quite versatile, you can choose different vegetables, cheeses and meats, whatever you like! Just make sure you have enough egg to cover the ingredients. It looks like we will be having delicious and healthy frittatas on a regular basis on Sunday mornings, so I will  have leftovers for the work week!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 organic large eggs
  • ¼ cup organic nonfat milk
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 cups organic frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup organic red bell pepper, chopped into ½ cubes
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over low to medium heat. Add garlic, artichoke, spinach, green onion and red bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Add eggs. Cook for a few minutes, until you see eggs start to set on the edges.
  4. Place skillet in oven for about 10 minutes, until lightly brown and toothpick comes out clean in the center. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

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Organic Greek Yogurt Berry Parfaits

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When my daughter was home from college for winter break, she made fruit parfaits with berries and low-fat vanilla yogurt for an early morning road trip she was taking with her boyfriend. They looked delicious! I thought they could be made in advance for healthy work week breakfasts. I have been looking for different ways to add variety to my morning meals. By using Greek nonfat plain yogurt and adding the honey and vanilla myself, I was able to increase the amount of protein and by 14 grams and reduce the amount of carbohydrate and sugar by 5 grams. I topped my parfaits with omega-3 walnuts for crunch and more protein. The berry parfaits were yummy, if I do say so myself!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic Greek nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • ½ cup organic strawberries, quartered
  • ½ cup organic blackberries
  • ½ cup organic blueberries
  • ¼ cup chopped organic walnuts

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the yogurt, vanilla and honey and stir thoroughly.
  2. Add some fruit, then yogurt to the bottom of a dish. Repeat two more times. Top with walnuts. Makes 2 servings.

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Organic Cranberry-Citrus Muffins

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were happy and healthy! Well, for me, the New Year means making some new resolutions and trying to live up to some old ones! The one that keeps recurring every year is trying to eat healthier, so here is a delicious recipe for “Cranberry-Citrus Muffins” I found on health.com. It has tart pieces of cranberry with a hint of lemon flavor from the lemon rind. They get their moistness from low-fat yogurt. I was able to use all organic ingredients, except for the baking powder!

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Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups chopped frozen organic cranberries
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cups organic granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup organic sunflower oil
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • ½ teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 large organic egg whites
  • 8 ounces organic vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
  • 18 large baking cups

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using the 2 tablespoons of flour, sprinkle the cranberries and gently mix. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon rind, vanilla extract, egg whites and egg. Create a well in the center of flour mixture, then add the oil mixture and stir just enough to moisten the flour mixture. Fold in the cranberries. Spoon the batter into 18 lined muffin cups.
  4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until lightly browned, and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of a muffin. Place on a wire rack to cool. Makes 18 muffins.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-citrus-muffins

Organic Pumpkin Muffins

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With my daughter coming home from college next week, I thought I would bake her some moist and light pumpkin muffins. This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s “Pumpkin Muffins.” I modified the recipe by using organic ingredients whenever possible, added some salt and some more pumpkin pie spice.  What I especially like about these muffins were that they contain healthy whole wheat flour, low-fat yogurt and walnuts!

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup organic canola oil
  • 1½ cup organic whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin
  • 1 cup organic plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 24 baking cups into 2 regular size 12-cup muffin tins.
  2. Using a medium bowl, whisk flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using a large bowl, whisk oil, pumpkin, yogurt, eggs, and sugar thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and 1 cup walnuts. Mix until ingredients are moistened, being careful not to over mix the batter.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin tins. (Batter goes to approximately 3/8″ from the top edge of baking cup). Sprinkle the rest of the walnuts on top of the muffins. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert toothpick in the center of muffin. If it comes out clean, it is done. Cool muffins in pans for 5 minutes. Makes 24 regular size muffins.

http://www.marthastewart.com/355570/pumpkin-muffins

Organic French Toast with Bananas and Walnuts

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What is wonderful about French toast is that you can make it as healthy or decadent as you want it! So yesterday morning, I drove to my local Whole Foods to buy my first loaf of organic bread. The store bakes several different kinds of regular and organic breads daily. The baker’s suggestion was brioche and challah breads, but either one was organic, so I selected the French loaf. To make this healthy and yummy, I added bananas and crunchy walnuts!

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of organic bread of your choice (brioche, challah or sourdough)
  • 1 organic egg
  • 3 tablespoons organic milk (I used nonfat)
  • 2 teaspoons organic sunflower oil
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1 organic banana, sliced
  • Walnuts, chopped

Directions:

In a shallow dish, whisk egg and milk together. Preheat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Soak both sides of bread slices in egg-milk mixture. Cook both sides of bread until golden brown. Sprinkle with walnuts, add sliced bananas, drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy! Serves 2.

Blogger’s note: This recipe can easily be multiplied. Ideally, bread should be at least a day old. This is a healthier version of French toast, so no butter was used. But you can certainly add it!

Organic Blueberry Pancakes

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I hate to admit this, but I have always used a boxed pancake mix, until now! I searched the internet for a healthy and delicious pancake recipe and found Cook’s Illustrated “Blueberry Pancakes,” published July 1, 2003. The recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose flour, but I modified it by using 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour. Instead of using whole milk, I replaced it with 2% milk. Finally, I used organic ingredients when possible.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups organic 2% reduced fat milk
  • 1 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup organic whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries, rinsed and drained

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk lemon juice and milk and set aside to let it thicken. Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk egg and melted butter into milk until well mixed. Make a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in milk mixture. Gently whisk ingredients together, until just combined—a few lumps are okay. Carefully stir in blueberries. Don’t over mix!
  3. Using a paper towel, spread about a teaspoon of oil in a 12-inch nonstick pan. Heat pan over medium heat. Using a ¼ measuring cup pour batter in 3 areas. When “bubbles” begin to appear, flip pancakes over and cook until golden brown. Recipe makes 16 4-inch pancakes. Serves 4 to 6. (Since there is only 2 of us at home right now, I was able to cut the recipe in half easily).

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/805-blueberry-pancakes?incode=MCSCZ00L0