Friday, June 21, 2013

Zucchini Lasagna - Baked Vegetable Goodness

Zucchini lasagna with six other vegetables. No pasta. No beef. Very little dairy (can omit). 

Tomato Sauce:
1 small onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 large parsnip, shredded
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 large tomato, diced (skins removed)
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp himalayn salt
2 T grapeseed oil

Sauté all vegetables. I didn't have any red wine available so I opted for adding 1 cup of organic tomato basil sauce to the above. Simmer on low heat until ready to be used, about 20 minutes.

Pasta substitute:
2 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
1/8 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp grapeseed oil

Cook zucchini on each side in a skillet with oil. Season the zucchini before placing in pan. Cook each side 2 minutes. 

Extra filling: 
I purchased a jar of ready-made artichoke spread. All the ingredients are whole-food based and nothing added. I used half of the jar or about 4 oz for where the cheese filling would be in a traditional lasagna.

Line square pan with prepared zucchini. 

Top the zucchini with the tomato sauce and then add the layer of artichoke dip. 

Add whatever leftover zucchini then top with more sauce. Add the optional 1-2 T grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool for 5 minutes. Dig in! 

Buon Appetito!! 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Indulgence - #Brownies with Strawberry Filling #Recipe

If you're like me and eat clean 80% of the time but want to occasionally enjoy the 'sweet life,' you can do so when you control the ingredients. Check this recipe out! 

Preheat oven to 350.
Makes 24 mini brownies (I used a mini muffin pan). Note: If you use liners, please spend the extra few dollars for quality liners or you risk them sticking to the brownies. 


1 cup organic raw cane sugar 
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/4 tsp sea salt 
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs 
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1 tsp real vanilla (extract)

Combine in order. Blend by hand. About 6 minutes. 


6 large organic strawberries, stems and leaves removed, diced
1 tablespoon organic coconut sugar 

Reduce strawberries over medium heat until jam-like. About 6 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Put half of the brownie mix into each cupcake mold and then a layer of the strawberry filling then top with brownie mix.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then to wire rack. 

You can skip the strawberry filling and just bake the brownies in a 9x9 for 20-25 minutes. 

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Updated: Better Banana Bread

In July of 2011, I shared a recipe for the best banana bread recipe. I did not search long enough because I have been baking the following recipe since April 2012.  I went online to see if I could find a truly moist banana bread that remains so even a day or two after baking. This one does! 

Original recipe is from Simply Recipes with my modifications noted in the parentheses:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As of December 2014, I made some substitutions that came out delish!! So, check out my notes below the ingredients.

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter (organic)
1 cup sugar (1/3 cup of organic cane sugar and 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour (1/2 cup of flax meal and 1 cup of organic whole wheat pastry flour)
Non-stick spray (coat the pans with organic coconut oil and a dusting of flour)

Notes: Right after Christmas, I was short on several ingredients, so I tried my hand at a few substitutions. They're in bold for easy spotting. 

2 bananas & 1/2 cup apple sauce (in place of the 3rd banana)
1/3 cup melted organic butter
1 cup organic sugar
2 tbs melted coconut oil (in place of the 1 egg)
1 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1.5 cups of organic flour 

In this rendition, I didn't use the ground flax as part of the flour mixture. This was only because of preference and two, because I had made two subs in for the other ingredients - I wasn't about to try my luck. =)

The preparation directions are the same, see below as follows:

This recipe requires no mixer! In a large bowl, smash the bananas with a fork. Add the melted butter and mix with a wooden spoon (they say metal spoons can react with bread batter plus I find it easier mixing the batter with one). Add sugar, applesauce, vanilla and egg. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over mixture and mix in. Add the flax meal and flour last until mixed. The smashed bananas may cause a few lumps in the batter - that is okay because it will create the pockets of banana after it's been baked. This is a good thing! 

Pour the mixture into mini loaf pans and bake for 26-32 minutes until middle is done (if using full size pans, you'll bake between 52 and 58 minutes). Cool in pans on wire rack for ten minutes and then remove from pans and finish cooling on rack. Slice. Enjoy! (Very yummy when still warm.)

This recipe is by far the best because It Has Pockets of Banana All Throughout! YUM-O!!

As you have gotten to know me, I like to change recipes and put my own personal spin on them. Any recipe can be personalized! What is your signature ingredient?

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)