Friday, October 20, 2017

Creamy Tomato Soup


If you are someone who makes tomato soup from a condensed can (ME!) I highly recommend that you try this recipe. It is easy as can be, can be made with things you already have in your pantry and how a taste that you just won't believe!

I'm feeling like today is the day you make some tomato soup from scratch. 


Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups low-sodium diced tomatoes (canned)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Directions

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, approx 3 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth, water, and tomatoes, bring to boil. Lower heat and cook uncovered for 25 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.

3. Remove from heat. Blend in a blender until smooth, if you’d like. Soup can be smooth or chunky. Return to pot and heat over medium heat until soup is hot.

4. Stir in milk and black pepper.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola Bars - No Bake


I love making my own granola bars, they are so darn easy.  I can put a lot less sugar in them than the ones that you buy in the store and I can make all sorts of wonderful flavors. 

They store great in the fridge, and I wrap them up in plastic wrap so they are a great grab and go breakfast or snack. 


You'll love the fresh fall flavors of these, seriously who can't get enough pumpkin nowadays! and I think the dried cranberries add the perfect about of sweetness, but you can add mini chocolate chips as well, and they'll be just as fantastic!


 Ingredients
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
⅓ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup nut or seed butter of choice
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup chopped pecans (substitute pepitas or sunflower seeds)
¼ cup craisins

Directions
In a food process or blender, combine the oats, pumpkin puree, nut or seed butter, syrup, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract. Process on low for a few seconds. Scrap sides as needed. Process just until mixed well (note: some of the oats will remain whole).

Transfer mixture to bowl. Fold in pecans and craisins.

Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment.

Transfer mixture to loaf pan, spread out and press down firmly (very firmly - this is important).

Place in freezer for 30 minutes before slicing into 8 bars or 10 squares.

Bars hold up best if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.




Monday, October 16, 2017

Apple Pie Scones


Here is a yummy recipe for using those sweet apples in baking. This recipe doesn't use a lot of sugar and you can use whole wheat pastry flour  or use a half / half mix. 

Bring on all the wonderful fall baking. 


Ingredients

1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp lemon juice 
1 Tbsp sugar
1 medium apple
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus a small amount for dusting) 
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
5 Tbsp cold butter 



Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Wash the apple, peel and cut it. Use a box grater or large holed cheese grater to shred the apple.




In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, apple sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and shredded apple.

In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger. Once combined, add the butter and work it into the flour until it resembles coarse, damp sand.



Finally, pour the bowl containing the apple egg mixture into the large bowl with the flour and butter. Stir just until a dough forms and no more dry flour remains on the bottom of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a 6-8 inch wide, 1.5 inch thick disc (sprinkle more flour on your hands and on the surface of the dough if needed. The dough may be slightly sticky). Cut the disc into eight wedges.




Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cut scones on top. Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes in the fully preheated oven, or until they are just slightly golden brown on top. Allow the scones to cool completely.




Friday, October 13, 2017

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies


I can't think of a single thing in the whole world that isn't more delicious with pumpkin added. If you consider the healthy benefits of adding pumpkin, I can't think of a single reason not to add pumpkin to everything that comes out of the kitchen. 




Ingredients

Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats
1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree

Glaze
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



Directions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.




Melt the butter in a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined, then whisk in the pumpkin.

Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.




Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 heaping Tbsp of dough each) and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the balls out since the cookies won't spread much unless you help out.

Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned and set on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before icing.



Make the icing: Whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Dip the top of each cookie into the icing.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What Does Healthy Mean?



I just spent the most amazing three days with my Food $ense family. Learning and Sharing and Growing. It fed my heart and made my love for the people who I work and serve grow. They are each so full of compassion and desire to help and serve the world and start by doing so at their doorsteps. 

It just made me realize all the more what a journey Health is. 

Being Healthy isn't and end, there isn't a You're Healthy Now finish line. 

There is no ultimate number, weight, size, cholesterol, blood pressure that means "you've made it - now you get to be done" Isn't that an interesting way of looking at things. 

As I looked around the conference room, I saw men and women that were different as we could possibly be and yet all passionate and trying to improve and educate about the exact same thing. Being Healthy

We drank some soda, we ate some chocolate, we moved our bodies and consumed a swimming pool's worth of water. We talked about how to keep trying and motivating people to make change. To be accepting of those who aren't ready yet, and to embrace little changes forward and to celebrate every single victory!


I am so glad you are here. I am so glad that you are on this journey, or that you are thinking about beginning this journey, or even that you are ready to start again. I hope you find happiness and encouragement here, I hope you find strength and support. and Love.