Chocolate-Covered Oranges

Oranges and chocolate–two of my favorite flavors–are combined to make this quick, delicious, and healthy snack.

A delicious and refreshing treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented

Directions:

Arrange the orange segments on a parchment covered dish. Place in the freezer for a few minutes. Meanwhile melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Roll each orange segment in the melted chocolate until coated and place back on the parchment paper covered dish. You may need to melt more chocolate chips and coconut oil depending on the size of the orange and how thickly you coat the segments. Place back in the freezer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate is hardened. Serve. Store leftovers (if there are any!) in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

From Blog of Joy

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Tortilla Soup

This was a big hit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked diced chicken (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (10 oz) can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 (16 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Top with: chopped fresh cilantro, tortilla chips, and grated Cheddar cheese

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a large soup pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro, tortilla chips, and cheese over each serving.

Or, place all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for the afternoon.

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Lightened-Up Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients:

3 Tbs mayonnaise
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs maple syrup
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs poppy seeds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of onion powder
salt + pepper to taste

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth or blend in a blender. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes for best flavor.

Adapted from Healthy.Happy.Life.

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Mini Crunch Bars with Peanut Butter Drizzle (Vegan, gluten-free, no bake/raw, soy-free)

For the Bars:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave, etc.), or to taste
  • pinch of sea salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rice crisp cereal

Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. In a pot over low heat, gently melt the coconut oil and then whisk in the rest of the crunch bar ingredients (except the rice crisp) to taste. Once the mixture is smooth remove from heat and stir in the rice crisp cereal. Pour mixture into prepared pan, smooth out, and then freeze for 10-15 minutes, or until the chocolate is solid.

For the Peanut Butter Drizzle:

  • 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1.5-2 teaspoons coconut oil, as needed to thin out
  • 1 teaspoon liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave, etc.)

Melt the coconut oil and then whisk in the peanut butter and liquid sweetener. Adjust to taste if desired. Scoop into a plastic baggie. Remove crunch bars from the freezer and cut into 12 small bars. Snip a tiny hole in the baggie and drizzle the PB mixture onto the bars (you can also try drizzling it with a spoon, if desired). Return bars to the freezer until the PB drizzle is solid, about 5 minutes. Serve straight from the freezer or fridge. Bars will melt slightly at room temperature so I don’t suggest keeping them out long. Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

From Oh She Glows

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Homemade Wheat Thins Style Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbs honey granules (or sugar)
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, sliced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4  tsp vanilla
  • Salt, for topping

Directions:

1. Combine flour, salt, honey granules, and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a fork or pastry blender, until small crumbs form. Or, combine the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor bowl and pulse until crumbly.

2. Make a well in the center, and add the water and vanilla. Stir to mix, then use clean hands to knead a few times, just enough to form a ball of dough. (Add just a tad more water, only if needed.) Divide dough into two pieces.

3. Lightly grease two 11″ x 15″ baking sheets  and sprinkle lightly with salt.

4.Roll the dough until about 1/4 inch thick on the trays. Sprinkle tops with salt. Cut the dough into square crackers with a pizza cutter.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned. Crackers will become more crispy as they cool, so don’t over-bake! (Remove edge crackers that are getting too dark if the middle crackers aren’t quite done yet, and continue baking.)

7. Remove baked crackers from sheets and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cool, plain or with dips or  and store leftover crackers in a sealed bag or container.

From Tammy’s Recipes

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Cajun Chicken

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This spicy chicken is delicious and easy to make with only 5 ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbs Cajun Seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbs melted butter (optional)

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, Cajun Seasoning, and salt. Dip each chicken breast in the melted butter (if using) and then coat it in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Place in a parchment lined 8″ by 11″ baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

From Blog of Joy

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Corn Pudding

  • 4 cans organic corn, drained
  • 1 C flour
  • 2/3 C corn meal
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 C sour cream
  • 3/4 C butter

Mix batter by hand in a bowl. Place in a parchment lined 13×9″ pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

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Rugelach

Rugelach

Here is our version of this delectable Israeli pastry.

Dough:

2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey granules (or sugar)

Filling:

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup berry preserves (raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry)
1/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)

Topping:
1 egg
1 tsp water
1/4 cup honey granules (or sugar)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Chop cold butter and cream cheese into smaller pieces. Put pieces into your food processor along with sour cream, flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse together ingredients until a crumbly dough forms and begins to fall away from the sides of the processor. Don’t overprocess; the dough should look crumbly, like cottage cheese.
  • If you don’t have a food processor: let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together with the sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing constantly, until dough holds together and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Don’t overmix.
  • Pour dough onto a lightly floured rolling surface and form into a rough ball shape. Divide the ball into four equal pieces and form those pieces into rough balls. Wrap each ball with plastic and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate dough balls for at least 1 1/2 hours, for up to 48 hours.
  • In a skillet, toast the chopped nuts over medium heat until fragrant. Pour the toasted nuts into a food processor along with the chocolate chips, berry preserves, and brown sugar. Pulse together until a thick, coarse paste forms. Reserve.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl; reserve. Beat your egg wash with water; reserve.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly flour your rolling surface and rolling pin. Take one portion of the dough out the refrigerator (keep the rest of the dough cold until ready to use). Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. You may need to use the rolling pin to pound out the dough a bit at the beginning; the dough will be very firm and cold, but will become more pliable as it starts to warm.
  • Lift the dough gently from the rolling surface (it may stick a bit) and re-flour your surface beneath the dough (this is necessary!). Replace the dough onto the re-floured surface. Use a round 9″ cake pan as a guide to make a nice, smooth imprint of a circle in the dough. Cut the dough into a circle (you can use a 9″ cake pan as a guide). Form the trimmed excess dough into a small ball. Wrap it in plastic and reserve in the refrigerator, adding to the ball with each batch that is made.
  • Take 1/4 of the filling (about 4 tbsp) and place it in the center of the circle. Spread it very thin across the surface of the dough; a thick layer of filling will make your cookies expand and burst. You can use your fingers to make the spreading easier; I like to use my palm to flatten and even out the filling. Leave about an inch around the edges of the circle.
  • Cut the circle into 8 equal triangles. If you prefer to make smaller bite-sized cookies, divide each quarter into three to make 12 equal triangles.
  • Roll up each triangle, starting from the wide flat end and rolling towards the narrow point. Press the end point into the cookie to secure it. Place the rolled cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, end point down.
  • When you are ready to bake, brush the top of each cookie with egg wash and then sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar. Place cookies in the oven and let them back for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Roll out your next batch of cookies while this batch is baking. When the cookies are golden brown, remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. If you’d prefer to bake more than one batch of cookies at a time, you can store batches of rolled unbaked cookies (without egg wash) on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator. Egg wash and dust them with sugar just prior to placing them in the oven.
  • When you’re finished making cookies from the four dough balls, make a smooth ball from the leftover dough trimmings you’ve reserved and roll it out to make your fifth batch.
  • These cookies taste amazing served warm or at room temperature. They’ll keep for a few days in a tightly sealed container.

Makes 40 large rugelach or 60 small rugelach

Adapted from The Shiksah

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Double Coconut Blueberry Lemon Muffins

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These vegan muffins are super moist and delicious. We love them!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 heaping Tbs ground flax seed
1 Tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 large ripe banana, mashed
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon extract (or 1 tsp lemon zest)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Sprinkle on top:
ground flax seed
unsweetened flaked coconut
sucanat

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, flaxseed, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, blend the mashed banana, lemon juice, lemon extract, vanilla, and coconut. In a saucepan, stir together the melted coconut oil, almond milk, and sucanat and heat until warm (not hot). Add the coconut oil liquids to the banana mixture and blend. Mix in the flour mixture. Stir in the blueberries. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners. Divide the batter evenly into the muffins cups. Sprinkle the tops with ground flaxseed, coconut, and sucanat if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm or cooled.

Makes 12 muffins

Adapted from Healthy.Happy.Life.

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Pecan Streusel Muffins

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Muffins:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup honey granules (or sugar)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of nutmeg

Cream the butter, applesauce, buttermilk, honey granules, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Line 16 muffins cups with paper liners. Pour the batter evenly into the cups.

Streusel:

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbs sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs butter, melted

Stir together the streusel ingredients. Top the muffins with the streusel and press it gently into the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and edges are golden. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the muffins from the muffin tins. Serve warm (slathered with butter), or cooled. Either way they’re delicious!

Makes 16 muffins

From Blog of Joy

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