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That crispy sugared-almond topping right there…that’s the best part.

Sure, this banana bread is tender, moist, not too sweet, with little pops of banana in each slice.

But it’s that sugar-crisp crust that pushs this bread into nirvana-land.

The crispy, caramelized sugar crust and that bit of almond crunch is just spot on.

And I hate saying spot on.

I would rather say rock on.

Or party on.

Also, I got to use Greek yogurt in this thing. I just thought I’d throw it in there.

And it totally worked.

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I find eggs magical at times.

I love them for a lot of reasons, but I’m really loving what they did for these upside-down cakes.

The mini-Bundts are golden-edged, totally addictive and low-fat — two yolks. That’s it.

No butter. No oil.

And no crappy fat substitutes (like applesauce) to weigh the cake down.

The eggs worked their magic and turned a little bit of flour, spice and super sweet pear into addictive mini sponge cakes.

I’m not a big fan of “light” cakes and muffins.

Most of the time, they’re heavy as rocks, dry as paper and taste like nothing (or worse, something fake).

But that hasn’t kept me from trying to make one myself. One that actually tastes like cake.

Really good cake.

So I did a little riff on angel food cake — simplified it, left in a couple of yolks and added that yummy caramelized upside-down part.

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This is one killer granola bar.

It’s chewy, bound together with caramel and tastes like a buttered Rice Krispies treat all grown-up with toasted nuts and oats and a little kick of salt.

And it’s only 120 calories a bar. 

I’ve tried SO MANY granola recipes — all of which were either too hard, too crunchy or just fell apart. I even made a spongy batch once with pumpkin puree.

The first time I bit into these chewy granola bars, I did a happy dance, which the kids found pretty funny.

I knew right away…this recipe is THE ONE. The best. The granola bar I’ve been searching for.

I’ve made these bars at least a dozen times since.

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I grew up with fried squash.

And fried squash, like most deep-fried things, is darn good.

These crisps are the healthier — but still totally delish — baked version of those deep-fried veggies I ate as a kid.

We just ate these right off the pan, barely cool enough to handle.

It’s an awesome little snack or side.

The parmesan gives the zucchini a nice golden, salty side.

The Panko adds the “crisp” to the crisps, while the thin round of zucchini inside is ever-so-slightly soft and flavorful.

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Sweet and mellow and delicious, rutabaga somehow remains an outcast, typically passed over for its prettier, more colorful cousins.

This simple yet totally satisfying root deserves a little more love.

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Want to eat fudgy chocolate brownies without using a cup of butter and a pound of chocolate? For now, me too.

Spring is only four months away. And I want to re-wear the shorts I wore last summer.

Except I was using the third notch on that belt I also wore last summer. And now I don’t wear a belt.

So…I’m hitting my low(er) fat phase.

HOWEVER — I can’t sacrifice my late-night sugar snack and I have to bake almost every day. So I gave these a try.

It’s from the “The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.” I love this book.

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This recipe has travelled across the Old Country.

It has Slavic origins that can be traced back to vampires. Potentially Dracul himself…on a slightly more vegetarian night.

Ancient Egypt, the Near East (as opposed to the Far one), India and Iran — even entire continents love this bean. Or pea. Bean-pea.

Poland’s involved, too. It lends its sausage to the soup.

Polska kielbasa  (pronounced keel-boss-ee by my husband and father-in-law) is a super-flavorful sausage that makes this soup.

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