Kale White Bean Stew + Clean Slate Cookbook Review

 

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Before it gets too hot outside, be sure to try out this super amazing Kale Stew! Normally, I feel like soups and stews are things that should only be eaten during the winter and fall, but I also think that there are always exceptions. Soups are ok in the spring so long as they’re light and not very creamy. They have to somehow taste refreshing. 

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This soup definitely meets the above requirement. It’s a bit like a lighter minestrone, as it has similar vegetables and beans, but this stew has bits of red potato and instead of pasta. And, of course, the biggest difference is that this recipe contains kale. Lots of it. But don’t let that scare you away! It’s the kale that adds the “refreshing” element to this recipe! Cooked and in the same spoonful with carrots and potatoes, the kale adds a nice, smooth crunch-like texture to the dish. And you can add more or less kale depending on your preferences since it’s the last step for this soup, so tell your picky eaters at home that they’ve no excuse!  (more…)

Lemon Pudding Cakes + Lighten Up Y’all Cookbook Review

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Maybe you’ve had a lemon pudding cake before. If you have, you already know how amazing they are: baked in a cute little ramekin with a water bath like crème brulee, tangy and creamy like lemon curd, and topped with a delicious and light lemon cake. I guess you could call this the original trifle, given its layers and depth (only that the preparation is a whole lot simpler for lemon pudding cakes). And maybe the comparisons that I’ve written makes it sound like this is a super rich, calorie-ridden dessert, but don’t worry, this is definitely not the case!

Some versions of lemon pudding cake are made needlessly rich and loaded with sugar, but this recipe limits unhealthy ingredients to a minimum while taste and flavor are kept to a max!

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This recipe is from Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis, where all the recipes are made with both taste and health in mind. It features classic Southern recipes that most people consider too unhealthy for everyday consumption (like macaroni and cheese, potato gratin, or grits) and spins them around to make them lighter. (more…)

Fish Tacos + A Good Food Day Cookbook Review

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Now that I’m a fan of fish tacos, it’s hard to believe that there was a day that I used to not like them. Or guacamole. Now, of course, things have changed for the better and I’d be willing to have a fish taco for lunch and dinner any day of the week! These tacos are particularly amazing, with slightly crunchy but not fried tortillas, lightly seasoned fish, perfectly creamy guacamole and a crispy cabbage slaw to top it all off. IMG_1337

IMG_1348I made this recipe as a part of another cookbook review. A Good Food Day by Marco Canora isn’t just another healthy food cookbook. It’s an everyday cookbook for those wanting to lead balanced lives. (more…)

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

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Today, we had to spring our clocks forward, but here in Michigan, Spring itself has not yet sprung. However, when I stepped outside this morning I thought for a second that it actually did feel pretty nice outside: there was no wind, the sun was shining, and the air only seemed to feel slightly cold. Then I checked our outside thermometer: 29ºF. You know you have problems when only slightly below freezing feels nice!

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I don’t know how long winter will last this year, but last year it kept on snowing through mid-April. Maybe, where ever you live, you’ve had better luck with the weather. Maybe you live by the beach and it’s already in the 80s. Us Michiganders aren’t quite so lucky, but we’ve found different ways to make it through the long winters. One of those ways is through food. (more…)

Cheesecake with Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

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Cheesecakes in our house are always a special treat. Because they’re so rich and dense, they’re not really the type of dessert that you can have every night — they’re something that should be savored and eaten slowly. When made well, the cream practically melts in your mouth. And the graham cracker crust adds a nice crunchy contrast of texture. And, with this recipe, a light and milky topping perfectly completes the dessert.cheesecake with graham crust.8

Cheesecakes are commitments. Not only does making one require some patience, but eating one does too. Even when you just buy one, you’re committing you and your family to eating the whole thing (not that that’s a scary commitment to make ;).  (more…)

Zucchini Lasagna + Soup Club Cookbook Review

If you live anywhere even slightly cold, the one thing you love about winter is probably the delicious food that it brings. And when it comes to dinners, who doesn’t love hearty casseroles or steaming soups?

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Last night, I treated my family to something hearty and healthy: zucchini lasagna. Many of you have probably already tried some type of zucchini-rendition of a pasta, as gluten-free meals have become increasingly more popular. If you still haven’t jumped on the zucchini bandwagon, I’d recommend starting now, with this recipe. With the right types and proportions of cheese, herbs, and tomatoes, you can hardly even tell that there isn’t any real pasta in this dish. This is a filling and healthy way to sneak veggies into your meal!

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The idea for this recipe came from The Soup Club Cookbook. I know, my sister couldn’t believe it either, that I didn’t choose a soup recipe from this book. The truth is this book contains so much more than just soups, unlike the title suggests. The soup recipes in the book do seem amazing (I already bookmarked more than a dozen), but there’re also recipes for salads, snacks, vegetables, etc. (the only section it’s missing is one for desserts). (more…)

Sticky Cinnamon Loaf

Maybe this isn’t the best post-Thanksgiving recipe — unless you still have guests at your house, waiting to be served something amazing for breakfast (something to refresh them after a long night/morning of Black Friday shopping). 

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This is a relatively simple yeasted bread, something much less labor-intensive than homemade cinnamon rolls, though very similar in taste. This is somewhat similar to monkey bread (for those who’ve tried that) because chunks of dough are thrown together with cinnamon-sugar filling in between. 

sticky cinnamon loaf.4Either way, this is a great brunch item, since it does take some time to wait for the dough to rise and, later, to bake.  (more…)

Crème Anglaise + Sugar Rush Cookbook Review

Do you love crème brûlée? Need a faster way to create that delicious flavor? Then crème anglaise is just the thing for you! 

plums crème anglaise.4It taste great as a topping for any and all fruits (pictured here are some roasted plums!). The cream can also be used as a light dipping sauce, such as for cakes (angel food) or even at breakfast with french toast or pancakes. Or just have a spoonful straight (I mean, is it really that different than eating a half cup of crème brûlée? I don’t think so). Really, the options are endless. 

sugar-rushIn this post I will also be reviewing Sugar Rush, an amazing cookbook by Johnny Iuzzini with Wes Martin. Continue reading for the review and the recipe the crème anglaise recipe adapted from the book!  (more…)

Warm Chocolate Donut Muffins

warm chocolate donut muffins.2As a kid, I always loved those rare mornings when my parents would bring home a box of Dunkin’ Donuts. My younger siblings loved any donut with sprinkles, but my favorite was always the chocolate glazed with chocolate icing on top. 

warm chocolate donut muffins.5Donuts are really quite a hassle to make at home since you have to fry them. Now donut baking pans are becoming more and more popular, but to me there’s no point in buying pans like that as you can place any “donut” recipe in regular muffin tins. That’s what this recipe is: a cakey, donut-like muffin with a chocolate cinnamon glaze. These don’t take long to make and are amazing freshly glazed, while they’re still warm.  (more…)

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