Archive for November, 2006

Vanilla Pudding with Banana

This might be my favorite recipe from Cooking Light. It takes a little while to make, but it is worth it. I make mine with real vanilla bean because it gives the pudding a wonderful flavor. If you chose not to use a real vanilla bean, you can substitute 1/2 Tbs. of vanilla extract. Eat it cool or warm. This recipe makes a lot of pudding, so be sure and invite your friends over for a taste!

Yield: 16 servings (1 serving = 3/4 cup)


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 (4-inch) vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 box vanilla wafers (about 80 wafers)
  • 5 cups sliced banana (about 6 bananas)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean, and add seands and bean to milk mixture.
  3. Cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.
  4. Place eggs in a large bowl, gradually add hot milk mixtures, stirring constantly. Place mixture in pan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thick and bubby, stirring constantly. Discard vanilla bean.
  5. Place egg whites in a clean, large bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until egg whites are foamy. Add 6 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
  6. Arrange 1/3 of your vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 3-quart round baking dish. Arrange half of banana slices over wafers. Pour half of custard over banana. Repeat layers with the next 1/3 of vanila wafers, second half of banana slices, and second half of custard. Top with meringue, spreading evenly to the edges of your dish. Arrange remaining vanilla wafers around the edge of the meringue.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve pudding warm or chilled.

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Beets are an excellent source of the B vitamin, folate, and a very good source of manganese and potassium. Additionally, beets are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 large beets (about 1 1/2 lbs.), rinsed, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • lemon juice to taste
  • dill to taste
  • salt to taste
  • plain yogurt to taste
  • carrots, shredded (optional)
  1. Saute the onion in olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the beets, saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and skim the foam from the top. Cover and continue cooking over medium-low heat until the beets are soft (about 30 minutes).
  4. Add lemon juice, carrots, and salt .
  5. Optional:Puree with a hand blender if you like a smooth consistency for your soup.
  6. Serve hot or cold. Top with fresh dill and a dallop of plain yogurt for extra flavor.

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I found this recipe in Yoga Journal. If you want an extra immune boost, the article recommends using 1/2 the total garlic you desire to the soup, and then adding the remaining 1/2 of the garlic (crushed) after the soup is cooked, along with the lemon juice.

  • 4 cups mushroom or chicken broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-10 garlic cloves (to taste, crushed and chopped)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4-8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-3 tbsp. grated gingerroot (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  1. Bring the broth, onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, and gingerroot to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low, covered, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Remove from heat; add the lemon juice, parsley and any remaining garlic. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.

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The dates in these muffins replace the white sugar found in most muffin recipes and add healthy fibre. Extra virgin olive oil replaces  high-cholestorol butter.

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-pupose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin, unsweetened
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line muffin cups with paper liners, or coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Make a well in the center, set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 6 ingredients.
  5. Pour mixture into well in dry ingredients and stir until mix is just moistened and batter is still slightly lumpy.
  6. Pour batter into muffin cups (each should be three-quarters full).
  7. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, or until tops are light golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely on a rack.

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I learned this recipe while watching an episode of Rachel Ray. These make a great side dish and are very easy to prepare.

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 bell peppers (one green, one red)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 cups small red or yellow potatoes, cut in half
  • 4 tbsp. EVOO (extra vigin olive oil)
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)
  1. Turn oven on to the highest setting.
  2. Chop your bell peppers and onion into chunky pieces and slice your garlic clove.
  3. Place potatoes, bell peppers, onion and garlic on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil.
  4. Top with olive oil, red pepper flakes and pepper.
  5. Cook on highest setting, mixing occasionaly for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.

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This recipe was given to me by a triathlete friend of mine. They are wonderful low-carb, high-protein muffins. Spread peanut butter on the top before eating for extra flavor.

Yield: 12 muffins


  • 1 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 cup egg whites (from container) or 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup applesauce w/ cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. peanut butter (all-natural is best)
  • extra dash of cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons (or 2 long squeezes) of honey
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • extra peanut butter (to spread on top before eating)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Add the blueberries at the very end so they don’t get too mashed up.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. Let muffins cool on rack. Spreak some peanut butter on them before eating. Store in refrigerator.

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The basic split-pea soup recipe… A wonderful fall or winter soup, and so good for you! I like to serve this soup with fresh cornbread.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size – 1 cup)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 sprig fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 1/3 cups dried split peas
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion and thyme, season lightly with pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the stock and split peas, and bring to a boil quickly over high heat.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer until the peas are tender, about 1 hour.
  4. Puree 2/3 of the soup in a blender and stir it into the remaining 1/3.
  5. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding a little more stock. Raise the heat and bring the soup to a boil for 15 seconds.
  6. Add salt and additional pepper to taste.

NOTE: Do not add salt until the peas are fully cooked, because salt will prevent the peas from becoming tender.

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