Monday, October 16, 2017

Is Jackfruit the New Super Fruit?

I had never heard of jackfruit until a friend shared some with me. The fruit can be eaten as is or prepared many ways. I presume that is how it got its name, and why it is called the jack of all fruits. My girlfriend brought me canned unripe jackfruit, which many people are substituting for meat or tofu in recipes. From what I have read, the fruit becomes sweeter, and takes on a different taste when it is left to grow to its ripe stage. The color is more yellow in the ripe jackfruit photos I saw.

Unripe canned jackfruit

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrots

This dish came about because I had fresh ingredients on hand that were nearing the end of their shelf life. Feel free to add or substitute whatever vegetables you prefer. I loved this flavor combination!


  • ½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes or large chunks
  • carrots, peeled and cut into smaller pieces than the squash, as it takes longer to cook - I used about an equal amount of each vegetable 
  • ½ small onion, cut into chunks
  • ½ to 1 celery stalk, cut into thirds - I had just a little bit of celery that I needed to use, so I threw it in. It complimented the rest of the ingredients perfectly!
  • 1 habanero, cut on half with seeds and top removed
  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled with the top cut off
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - I used 2 tablespoons, which seemed like a bit much
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 5 to 8 leaves of fresh sage, snipped into pieces - I only used about 4 leaves for this batch, and will definitely use more next time
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Habanero Pepper Jam

I grew a habanero plant in a deck planter this summer which produced many peppers! I searched online for habanero jam recipes, because I had the idea in my mind of serving this with cream cheese and crackers. I started with the recipe I found on AllRecipes, and I made minimal adjustments to the recipe. Following are my results and suggestions.

Serving suggestion: whole-grain cracker topped with
neufchatel cheese (reduced fat cream cheese) and habanero jam

I made only a small batch of this jam for two reasons: I wanted to make sure it would turn out with the changes I made, and I wanted to make sure we liked it. We liked it so well, I will be making this again next week!


  • ¾ cup cider vinegar
  • 1⅔ cups Truvia - If you want to use sugar, you will need about twice as much. See original recipe with sugar in the AllRecipes link above.
  • ½ to ¾ carrot, shredded - I used more than ½ of a medium size carrot
  • ¼ large red bell pepper, minced
  • 6 or 7 habaneros, minced and seeded - I started with 6 and then added another half while it was on the stove; I think I will just use 6 next time!
  • 3 oz. liquid pectin

Diced bell pepper, habanero, and shredded carrots

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Egg-Less Whole-Wheat Blueberry Muffins

So easy and deliciously moist! We ate these without butter or any topping.

Ingredients for 12 muffins

  • 1¾ cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar blend - I used Splenda 
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ to 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen - I used 1 cup fresh blueberries, and I think ¾ cup would have been plenty
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1½ cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chicken Bruschetta Grill

Absolutely love this recipe! Healthy, fresh, delicious, easy...

Ingredients for 2

  • ¾ to 1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, more or less
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion, or sliced green onion, if preferred
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese, optional 
  • 2 slices thick sourdough bread

Chicken is visible in photo, if you click on it to enlarge

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cheesy Cabbage and Celery Bake

After baking


  • 4 cups cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups celery including tops, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or butter substitute - I used 1 tablespoon Smart Balance Buttery Spread
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain flour
  • 1¼ cups low fat milk
  • ½ cup beer, if desired - or, use additional ½ cup milk or other liquid (the beer gives it great flavor, though!)
  • 1 cup low fat finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, as desired
  • 3 to 4 fresh sage leaves, crumpled - optional
  • Bread crumbs, if desired - I cubed 2 slices of pumpernickel rye bread

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed rolls ready to fold over for the pan

This cabbage roll recipe can be found on page 116 in my book. You can prepare these with any lean ground meat. I usually use Jennie-O ground turkey when I make them.

I am sharing a few tips, which are not listed with the recipe:
  • Freeze the cabbage roll for a couple of hours beforehand. The leaves will easily slide off without tearing after the cabbage starts to freeze. The taste and texture is not any different after baking.
  • I always chop up a few extra cabbage leaves to stir in with the ground meat and rice. This is visible in the photo above, if you click on it to enlarge it. I like veggies, and add extra to recipes whenever I can!
  • Fresh herbs are more plentiful in Michigan during the summer; I used 3 fresh sage leaves instead of ground sage in this dish.
  • I always choose canned tomatoes with no more than 3 grams of sugar per serving. Once you start reading labels, it is surprising how many tomato products have a great deal of added sugar.
  • I stir in a couple of tablespoons of the sauce with the ground meat and rice before I wrap the rolls.

Ready for the oven

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions ~