Category Archives: Kid Friendly

Dessert Fruit Kid Friendly Living Food Recipes

Beyond Smoothies – Fruit with Attitude

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These fruit concoctions can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, some are even grown up enough to be served at your next party. Remember though that they still need to be eaten before, with, or just after a meal, or wait 4-1/2 hours after a Protein meal, 2-12 hours after a Starch meal.

Blue Waldorf Salad

Toss together:

cubed apple
sliced celery
sliced green onion (both white and green portions)
mayonnaise thinned with fresh lemon or lime juice
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Garnish salad with:

toasted almonds (slivered, sliced or chopped)
cubes of Rosenborg Extra Creamy Blue Cheese in Oil, crumbled by hand over the salad

 

Pecan Applesauce

I prefer using toasted pecans, but raw will do just fine also. On a cold winter night I sometimes use this applesauce in place of a salad for dinner.

In a food processor finely grind 1/4 cup pecans for each apple you’ll be using. Add to bowl and process until smooth:

peeled, cored, chopped apples
1/4 banana per apple
2 tablespoons cream or nondairy milk per apple
a shake of sea salt per apple
If the applesauce is too runny let it sit a bit to give the nuts a chance to soak up some of the liquid.

Variations:

add a splash of rum
add a tablespoon or two of shredded coconut (this will help thicken up a runny applesauce)
use fresh orange juice in place of the cream
add a sprinkle of unrefined sugar
add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract per apple

 

Living Apple Pie

Here is an excellent tasting recipe from Anne Louise Gittleman’s “Get The Sugar Out.” This won’t taste exactly the same as a baked apple pie, but it’s delicious and well worth giving it a try. When it’s a chilly morning, I love this for breakfast, barely warmed with a little cream or nondairy milk poured over the pie. M-m-m good!

In a food processor pulse 3 cups walnuts or pecans to a fine powder, so that you have 2 cups of ground walnuts. Take care not to end up with nut butter. If you need to add more nuts, do so. Dump out into a 9-inch pie pan. Pulse 3/4 pound dried dates, pitted and chopped in food processor. Dump nuts back into food processor and pulse until well mixed. Pat dough into pie pan so that it forms a crust on the bottom and up the sides of pan. Chill overnight.

Soak 3 large apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces in juice of 1-1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup) and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, overnight. The next day, pour into crust.

 

Mint Syrup

Boil gently for five minutes:

1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup fresh orange or apple juice
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely diced

Stir in:

juice from 1 lemon
juice from 1 orange
Toss your choice of Fruit with a modest amount of this syrup.

Variations: use thyme, or rosemary in place of the mint.

 

Peach Salsa

This salsa is great over fish or chicken or as a topping for Chili Relleno Crepes. I filled a soy cheese and whole wheat tortilla quesadilla with this salsa the other night and WOW!

If you use Nutrasweet or Sweet ‘N Low in place of the unrefined sugar then this is a zero calorie food.

Makes 3-1/2 cups.

Freeze 4 cups peeled, pitted, chopped fresh peaches, then thaw and drain (save the juice for a Fruit shake), or measure 4 cups frozen peaches, then thaw and drain. Save the peach juice for a Fruit shake or to add to a salad dressing or marinade. Chop the peaches and place in a medium bowl. Stir in

1 medium red bell pepper, minced
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno chili
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons whole cloves
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, add 1/4 cup sliced green onion, both white and green portions.

 

Blue Pear Salad

This salad is surprisingly delicious. I came up with it when I was in the mood for a Waldorf Salad, only it wouldn’t have gone with the meal I was serving. The mild sweetness of the pears stands up to the sharpness of the blue cheese and the bite of the black peppercorns.

Toss with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette:

pear, sliced or chopped
jicima, chopped
toasted walnuts, halves or broken
Serve on a bed of lettuce dressed with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette. Garnish with crushed black peppercorns and fresh or dried oregano, sage, or rosemary.

 

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Whisk together or whirl in blender:

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, or unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup blue cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more vinegar
1 teaspoon tarragon, dried or 1 tablespoon fresh
(1/2 teaspoon dried mustard, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

 

Banapplesauce

This is a zero calorie dish :)

Puree 2 apples, peeled and cored and 1 banana. Stop and scrape as needed until you have a smooth puree.

Variations:

vanilla extract
a tiny pinch of sea salt
apple pie spice
cinnamon
a bit of heavy cream, yogurt, or buttermilk

 

Mock Peach Pie

Another zero calorie dish :)

Puree:

2 cups peaches, frozen or peeled fresh peaches
1 banana
1 teaspoon vanilla
(1 tablespoon cream)

 

Spicy Peaches

If you use Nutrasweet or Sweet ‘N Low in place of the unrefined sugar than this is a zero calorie food.

Mix:

1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 ½ tablespoons maple or date sugar

Gently fold in 5 peaches, sliced or cubed.

Variations:

Gently heat the peaches just until warm.
Substitute 1/2 cup UnDiet Whipped Cream for the heavy cream.
Substitute pears or apples for the peaches.

 

Carmelized Apples

Stir continuously over medium heat until sugar melts 2 teaspoons butter and 1 tablespoon unrefined sugar.

Turn off heat. Add ingredients below to sweetened butter, stirring until the apples are well coated:

1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped

Variations:

Substitute 1 sliced banana for one apple. To keep the banana from turning brown soak in fresh lemon or lime juice before adding to the apple.

Use as a topping for Cinnamon Banana Pudding , Cocoa Banana Pudding, or Creamy Orange Gelatin.

 

Strawberries with Creme Fraiche Dip

In a small bowl, mix:

1 cup creme fraiche or whipped heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup unrefined sugar

This is enough dip for 4 cups of strawberries.

Variation: spoon sauce over or use as a dip for blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, peaches, bananas or a mix of these Fruits.

 

Spicy Fruit Gazpacho

If you skip the feta cheese then this is a zero calorie dish.

Mix 1/3 cup lime juice, 2/3 orange juice, a dash of chili powder, and a dash of hot sauce. Add 2 cups pineapple, diced, 2 cups cucumber, diced, and 2 cups mango, diced. Spoon into 4 tall glasses or bowls. Top each serving with a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese and/or minced chives.

 

Frozen Grapes

Absolutely a zero calorie dish.

That’s it. The whole recipe is in the title. Freeze the grapes. Your kids and teenagers won’t care that they’re healthy – they’ll eat them like ice cream!

 

UnDiet Whipped Cream

Refrigerate bowl and beaters at least 30 minutes before whipping cream. Whip ingredients below until soft or stiff peaks form:

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unrefined sugar or 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Variations:

Substitute your choice of liqueur in place of the vanilla.

Stir 2 tablespoons cocoa powder into the cream when you place the bowl and beaters in the fridge. Whip with rest of ingredients when ready.

High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes

Cajun Chicken Tenders

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This recipe is from my soon to be published cookbook with a working title of “Weight No More – Low Carb Phase 2″. I’m struggling with the title so if you have any feedback on the title or title suggestions I will gladly gift you the book when it comes out on Kindle. I’m serious. Even if I don’t use your suggestions, I value your feedback so I’m happy to get the ball rolling with a free book offer :)

This recipe is for 4 servings with a net carb count of 6 carbs per serving.
I like to use a technique called “flash frying” when making deep fried dishes. By cooking the chicken prior to coating it you only need to fry it for 30 to 60 seconds instead of 6 to 8 minutes. The chicken absorbs much less oil and yet tastes just as crispy and delicious as if you deep fried it in the traditional way. I know, I know, we’re not counting calories or fat grams when low-carbing, but it doesn’t hurt to go for healthier eating when you can.
BTW – the carbs are figured as best as possible, although it’s really impossible to determine exactly how much buttermilk and how much flour will cling to your chicken. Just to be on the safe side, I’ve slightly overestimated the carbs.

 

Ingredients:

3 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt or celery salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk, low fat
1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
2 cups soy flour
4 to 6 cups frying oil

 

Directions:

Heat the chicken broth with 1 teaspoon salt in a medium pot over high heat. Add the chicken tenders and bring the broth to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low. Simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking:
Pour oil into a large pot and heat to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking pan with paper towels. Set a wired rack (such as the kind you use for cooling baked goods) on top of the paper towels.

Combine flour, Creole seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish.

Warm the buttermilk just enough to take the chill off and pour into a large bowl.

Once chicken is cooked remove from liquid, pat dry and place into buttermilk bowl.

Remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge in flour mixture. Dip in buttermilk and dredge again in flour mixture. This will give you a nice thick coating that your family will thank you for.

Fry several chicken pieces at a time, turning at least once with tongs, until deep golden brown, about 30 to 60 seconds for each batch. Place chicken on the wire rack as you remove it from the fryer.

 

Healthy Eating Tips

Choose an oil that’s low in saturated fat such as grape seed, peanut, or soybean oil.

Watch your oil temperature carefully. Clip a fry thermometer to the side of the pan so you can keep the temperature consistent. If it’s not hot enough, your food will soak up lots of extra oil that isn’t necessary to make it either crispy or delicious. If it’s too hot it will move very quickly from just right to burned and inedible.

 

Meal Suggestions

In the book I’ll be including a recipe for “Nutty Lemon Rice” which utilizes a simple technique to use cauliflower in place of rice but you can serve green beans sautéed over medium heat in garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. 10 four-inch long beans will add 2 carbs to this meal’s carb count and one 1 Minute Muffin per person which will add #carbs to the meal. So if you make this meal as posted here you’ll have a total net carb count of # per person.

High Protein Kid Friendly

Cheeseburger Eggs

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I thought I’d treat you all to a sneak peek from one of my upcoming books from the “2 Weeks On …” series. This book “2 Weeks on Low Carb Phase 2″ will contain 14 days worth of menus and recipes including beverages, snacks and desserts.

This is a recipe for our low-carb readers, but if you’re not low-carbing it you can certainly serve these burgers on whole wheat buns. If you’re making dinner for your family or a barbecue you can make this recipe up on buns for everybody else and skip the bun for yourself, or go the lettuce wrap route.

4 servings = 1 carb/serving

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooked burgers
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 slices American cheese

Your choice of burger condiments:

  • 1 carb ketchup = 1 carb/serving
  • Dijon mustard = 0 carbs
  • Dill pickle = 1 carb per spear

 

Directions:

Beat eggs, water, cream, salt and pepper in a small bowl until blended.

Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat until hot. Pour in eggs. As eggs begin to set, push the cooked eggs from the edges into the center and tilt the pan so that the uncooked egg runs to the outside edges.

Continue cooking, lifting and tilting eggs until no liquid egg remains. Remove from heat.

Place burgers on microwave-safe plate. Top each burger with a quarter portion of eggs, then with a slice of cheese. Top with your choice of condiments.

 

High Protein Kid Friendly Menus Recipes

Southwestern Meatloaf Dinner

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This is a low carb meal that you can serve to your family without any apologies.

You’re welcome to substitute ground beef for all or part of the ground turkey in the meatloaf. I prefer the taste of the ground turkey though as it doesn’t overwhelm the spices and herbs and I definitely appreciate the lower calorie count of the ground turkey.

You may also choose to use frozen veggies in place of fresh veggies. You could use taco or fajita seasoning in place of the chili powder, black pepper, cumin and salt if you still have them in your cupboards but I try to avoid these prepackaged seasonings as they contain so many chemicals. The prepackaged Mexican seasoning mix found in the spice section of most grocery stores is great though.

You can use instant oatmeal, whole wheat panko, whole wheat bread crumbs or crushed whole wheat crackers in place of the pork rinds, but I don’t like to mix starches with proteins as it makes food more difficult to digest and if you’re on a low carb eating plan then you’ll want to keep the recipe as is.

Southwestern Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 medium minced onion
  • 2 small minced & seeded green chilis
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
  • 1 cup pureed roasted red peppers
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed pork rinds
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground turkey

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl except the ground turkey. The reason that you mix the meat in last is that if you manipulate the meat too much your meatloaf will turn out tough. You want to manipulate the meat as little as possible, so adding it last means you will only need to mix it much less than if you dumped all the ingredients in a bowl and went at it.

Pack the meatloaf mixture into a lightly oiled loaf pan. Bake uncovered about 1 hour, until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf reads 160-165 degrees. If you don’t have a meaat thermometer you can make a cut in the center of the meatloaf and check to see if the meat is still pink.

Once the meatloaf is fully cooked, remove from oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing. This helps the meatloaf to reabsorb much of the juices and of course you end up with a juicier, more flavorful meatloaf. Slice and serve drizzled with Enchilida Cream Sauce (recipe below) or 1 carb ketchup.

Enchilida Cream Sauce

If you don’t want the extra carbs you can skip the sauce. If you’re trying to lose weight by lowering your calorie intake you can use 2 cups of broth and skip the heavy cream. However if  you really want the cream sauce then don’t deprive yourself – choose where you’ll lose.

This sauce is also good with chicken or pork. Just marinate a chicken breast or a pork roast in the Enchilida Cream Sauce, then baste with the sauce during the last few minutes of cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy, almond or coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 sixteen ounce jar roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Dump the jar of red bell pepper into a colander and quickly rinse. Puree in a blender or food processor, then dump the puree into a coffee filter lined small colander to drain overnight.

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute.

Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.

Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

The sauce will thicken and smooth out.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Variation: Add 1 cup chopped sauteed onion and 1/2 cup minced green chilis or roasted bell pepper.

 

Zucchini & Pepper Saute

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 minced green chili pepper (or jalapeno pepper if you like it hot)
  • 3 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (or 1/2 teaspoon salt and add 2 minced garlic cloves to onion mixture. If you have a head of roasted garlic you could mince 2-4 cloves and add at this point in place of the minced garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican seasoning (or 1/4 teaspoon each chili powder, paprika, oregeno, and cayenne pepper)

Saute onion in canola or olive oil until just soft. Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

 

Garlic Mashed “Potatoes”

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets or one 16 ounce bag frozen cauliflower
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup marscapone or cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam cauliflower (or cook in microwave) until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.

In a medium saucepan over low heat combine garlic cloves, (shortcut: buy refrigerated peeled whole garlic cloves) and butter. Cover & stir occasionally until garlic is tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Alternatively you could use roasted garlic and skip this step.

Puree all ingredients in blender or food processor. If the mixture is not thick enough add some powdered chicken or vegetable broth. Taste and add salt & pepper to taste if needed.

You can make this up to two weeks ahead & freeze in freezer quality ziplock bags. Thaw by leaving at room temperature or on top of fridge until completely thawed or at least thawed enough to remove from bag & reheat in a covered dish in the oven.

Dessert Kid Friendly Recipes

More Healthy Halloween Recipes

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Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples

All the flavor of caramel apples & none of the guilt!

Make Caramel Chews and when mixture tests firm remove from heat and using a fork or tongs dip apple slices into caramel. Place on wax paper or oiled aluminum foil or cookie sheet. When caramel has cooled dip in chocolate sauce from Chocolate Dipped Cherries. Place back on wax paper and until chocolate has cooled.

 

Candied Maple Nuts

1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups walnuts and/or pecans (preferably toasted)

In a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat stir together maple syrup, cinnamon, butter and salt.

Cook and stir until syrup becomes darker and starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Toss syrup with walnuts until evenly coated. Pour onto waxed paper or lightly oiled baking sheet. Let cool before storing in airtight container.

Coconut-Almond Toffee Bars

No, you haven’t stumbled into another dimension – these really are sugar-free, delicious, easy to make – and yes, this is still the third rock from the sun in the year 2013. Check out the Tropical and budget Oatmeal versions.

These can be stored in an airtight container up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1/3 cup sliced almonds
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup coffee
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
12 ounces grain-sweetened chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped almonds or coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread coconut and almonds on a cookie sheet and bake until golden, 5 to 7 minutes; stirring 2-3 times. Remove from oven and turn oven up to 400 degrees.

Pour coconut and almonds into a medium bowl and add the butter, sugar, vanilla, coffee and honey, stirring until well blended.

Wipe the cookie sheet with the butter wrapper or spray with cooking spray. Pour nut mixture onto buttered cookie sheet and bake about 18 minutes, until toffee is brown and bubbly. Remove from oven.

Sprinkle  chocolate chips over toffee. Let stand 10 minutes until chips are melted. Using a buttered metal spatula spread chocolate evenly over toffee then sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Cool completely. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered in a cool dry place.

Tropical Toffee Bars – use fresh orange juice in place of water, (add 1 tablespoon orange curacuo to toffee mixture before baking), mix 1 tablespoon finely diced orange zest into final topping of almonds or coconut.

Oatmeal Toffee Bars – in place of almonds and coconut use 28 ounces instant oatmeal (toast first), (apple or white grape juice instead of water), 1 tablespoon vanilla instead of 1 teaspoon, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to oatmeal mix, top with any chopped nuts that you have around.

 

Honey Popcorn Bars

It took me five years, but finally I’ve come up with an UnDiet version of one of my favorite treats – Marshmallow Rice Krispie Bars. You won’t believe how close these taste to the snap, crackle and pop version that we all grew up with.

If you’re making these for Halloween in the final step use your hands to shape them into popcorn balls instead of bars. You can even add a few sugar-free cinnamon candies or grain-sweetened chocolate, white chocolate or peanut butter chips.

2 cups butter
1-1/2 cups honey
6-8 cups popcorn (preferably air-popped)

Bring butter and honey to a boil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir frequently while bringing to a boil, then stop stirring while mixture continues to boil until it turns a dark golden brown about 7-10 minutes. Use your stirring spoon to drop a small glob of syrup into a glass of very cold water. If mixture forms a soft ball after hitting the water it’s ready. If it floats to the bottom of the glass in threads boil a few more minutes without stirring and test again.

Remove from heat and stir in popcorn so that it’s all well coated. Allow mixture to rest 5-10 minutes until the popcorn collapses from soaking in the syrup, then press into a buttered cookie sheet or onto a large sheet of waxed paper. Using buttered hands or the back of your stirring spoon press the mixture firmly to further collapse the popcorn.

Variations:
Cut cooled mixture into shapes with knife or cookie cutters.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla to mixture after removing from heat and before adding popcorn.
Add 1 teaspoon flavoring extract (try peppermint, coconut, chocolate, butterscotch, rum) to mixture after removing from heat and before adding popcorn.
Add 1 cup chopped nuts, dried dates, raisins, grain-sweetened yogurt or chocolate covered raisins, or grain-sweetened chocolate (or peanut, or espresso) chips to mixture when you stir in the popcorn.
Instead of popcorn use whole grain, sugar free air puffed cereal.

 

 

Dessert Kid Friendly Recipes

Healthy Halloween Candy Recipes

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healthy Halloween candy

One for you, two for me! That’s what you’ll be saying to trick-or-treaters this Halloween season when you have these UnDiet treats around. So when someone says “trick or treat”, smile and hand them a Snickers bar while you reach for an UnDiet Halloween treat – or two – or three. I won’t tell.

Citrus Chews

Using a vegetable peeler, remove large pieces of peel being careful to leave the bitter white pith with the fruit. Try one or more of the following:

oranges
lemons
limes
grapefruits

Use a small sharp knife or cookie cutter to trim the peel into interesting shapes (stars, moons, bones, bats, cats …), then in a small saucepan over low heat, simmer peels and

1 cup honey for every 6 pieces of whole fruit

Stir frequently for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, tongs, or collander remove peel from honey. Cool on foil or saran wrap lightly sprayed with a light coating of cooking spray, or use a large piece of wax paper and no cooking spray.

Chocolate Coated Cherries

Chocolate dipped fruit is one of the simplest, tastiest, healthiest desserts with the potential for an infinite number of variations. I use this basic recipe for many UnDiet holidays, varying it to suit the season.

2 cups grain-sweetened chocolate or carob chips

4 tablespoons butter

fresh cherries with stems, or strawberries, grapes, raisins, dried date nuggets …

In a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stir chocolate and butter until melted and smooth then remove from heat. You can also microwave the chocolate with the butter until it is melted.

Using a fork dip cherries one at a time, into melted chocolate. Place chocolate-dipped cherries on wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set chocolate. If the kids are bugging you for a quick snack you could place a few pieces in the freezer to speed up the process, but don’t put the whole batch in the freezer; the chocolate will develop a white film.

Liqueured Up Cherries

Soak cherries overnight and up to 4 days in your choice of liqueur. Pat dry before dipping in chocolate. Caution: don’t dip and drive

Oatmeal Candy

4 cups unrefined sugar 
6 tablespoons cocoa or carob powder (use carob if you’re losing weight, cocoa if you’re maintaining) 
1/2 cup butter
1 cup cream, nondairy milk, or mix of cream & nondairy milk 
1 cup nut butter
4-1/2 cups oatmeal, not instant

Mix sugar, cocoa, butter and cream in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.Remove from heat. Add nut butter and stir until smooth. Add oatmeal and stir until well blended. Drop by teaspoon or tablespoon onto wax paper or lightly oiled cookie sheet. Cool and eat!

Shaped Candies: dump the candy mixture onto a buttered cookie sheet. Use a spatula to smooth the top so it’s all level. When the cookies are cool cut them with a small sharp knife or cookie cutter into whatever shapes you like. If the knife or cookie cutter sticks to the candy, dip the cutting instrument in vegetable oil or spray with oil.

Caramel Chews

Eat these as is or use them to make many other goodies such as Chocolate Dipped Caramel Fruit.

1-1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
2 cups heavy cream (or 1/2 cup cream & 1/2 cup soy/nut/seed/rice milk)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream (or 1/2 cup cream & 1/2 cup nondairy milk)
Combine honey, 1 cup heavy cream and butter in a medium-size heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Do not stir. Cook until the mixture begins to get dark and thick. Add 1 cup heavy cream, stir to combine and continue to boil without stirring.

After about 5 minutes use your stirring spoon to drop a small glob of syrup into a glass of ice-cold water. If the mixture forms a firm but not hard ball after hitting the water it’s ready. If it floats to the bottom of the glass in threads boil a few minutes more and test again. When mixture is ready, pour it into a well buttered square pan. When cool, cut into squares.

Note: sometimes a caramel recipe just doesn’t harden like you would like it to. If that happens, don’t despair, you can use this as a caramel sauce or to dip caramel apples into.

Pecan Raisin Clusters

1 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans and 1 cup raisins or chopped dates

In a microwave or double boiler melt chocolate chips until smooth. Dump in pecans and raisins, stirring until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes, until set. Store in airtight container in cool place, but they don’t need to be refrigerated.

 

Stay tuned – I have lots more Halloween recipes coming over the next few weeks.

Kid Friendly Recipes

Healthy Popcorn Snacks

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All of the recipes below have been adapted from Jolly Time Popcorn’s recipes, many of which use margarine, white sugar, corn syrup and other unfriendly ingredients. So I decided to set up a popcorn kitchen and transform their recipes into UnDiet friendly popcorn snacks. Thank you very much and you’re welcome.

Sweet Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • sea salt

Heat coconut oil in a heavy medium-sized pan until hot. Add popcorn kernels, sprinkle with sugar and a dash of salt. Cover and shake quickly and CONTINUOUSLY until all the kernels are popped. Remove from heat immediately.

Makes about 1 quart.

Italian Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregeno
  • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oil over medium heat in large pan. Add the remaining ingredients to the hot pan and toss until well mixed and heated, about 5 minutes.

 

Almond Butter Crunch Popcorn

adapted from the Jolly Time popcorn site
The original recipe contained corn syrup which is an ingredient we try to avoid. I’ve substituted honey for the corn syrup with good results, probably tastes even better than the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-1/2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1-1/2 cups whole nuts, toasted*

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the sugar, honey and salt.

Raise the heat to medium to bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 8 minutes, stirring only once, over the lowest heat possible to maintain the boil. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Slowly pour the syrup over the popcorn and nuts.

Mix well. Pour onto a large, shallow baking pan or use the same cookie sheet you toasted the almonds on. Bake for 30 minutes, mixing well after 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Break apart and store in a tightly covered container.

Makes about 3 quarts.

*To toast nuts, spread them on a large cookie sheet and bake at 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes until they smell nutty and are slightly darker.

 

White Chocolate Pecan Corn

adapted from the Jolly Time popcorn site
For variety I’ve used grain-sweetened chocolate chips in place of the white chocolate. I’ve also used peanut butter, and espresso flavored chips with good results.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3.5 oz.) butter-flavored microwave popcorn, popped
  • 10 ounces grain-sweetened white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, (toasted)

Dump popcorn into a large bowl.

Put white chocolate chips in a large glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until chocolate is shiny. Stir until smooth Then stir in pecans. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and mix well. Allow to cool completely.

Makes about 2 quarts.

Southwestern Crunch

This is a spicy popcorn snack with a just a bit of heat. You can always increase the heat though with another dash or two or three of the cayenne.

  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Dump the popcorn into a large bowl.

In a small bowl melt the butter in a microwave. When melted stir in the remaining ingredients. Drizzle over popcorn and toss lightly.

Makes 3 quarts.

 

Patchwork Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3.5 oz.) butter-flavored microwave popcorn, popped
  • 2 cups whole grain cereal squares
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract
Place popcorn, cereal, cranberries and walnuts in a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat or use a microwave safe bowl in a microwave.

Stir in maple or vanilla extract. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to mix. Store in tightly covered container.

Makes about 3-1/2 quarts.

 

Cinnamon Apple Popcorn

Dried tart red cherries or dried cranberries can be substituted for the dried apple.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3.5 oz.) butter-flavored microwave popcorn, popped
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried apple chunks

In 4-quart glass mixing bowl combine the popcorn and walnuts. Drizzle the butter over the popcorn and nuts and toss well.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over popcorn mixture. Microwave on high 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in dried apple chunks.

Cool. Store in tightly covered container.

Makes about 3 quarts

 

Popcorn S’Mores

This decadent recipe seems like the perfect finish to this post. I hesitated to put this one on here because it does require a hard to find ingredient (the marshmallow cream) which I discovered one day while browsing the baking aisle at Mother’s Market (a Southern California health food store). It isn’t always in stock and I could probably find it online, but I haven’t tried that yet.

You could always go old school and make it yourself. Cheese Slave came up with an incredibly easy recipe for marshmallow fluff using healthy ingredients. In fact it would probably take less time to make your own marshmallow fluff than it would to search for it at your local health food store.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 8 to 10 oz. marshmallow fluff
  • 2 cups mini graham cookies or whole crackers broken into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips

Combine sugar, butter and honey in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes without stirring; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.

Combine popcorn and marshmallow fluff in a large bowl. Pour honey syrup over popcorn. Stir in graham crackers and chocolate chips. Spread mixture evenly into a lightly oiled baking pan. Let cool completely. Break or cut into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Dessert Kid Friendly Recipes

Quick & Easy Microwave Dessert Recipes For Kids

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healthy granola bar recipe

In our household we’re forever buying healthy cookies and baked goods and at least half the time, we take one bite, spit it out and the rest of the package sits in the cupboard until it draws ants and I throw it away. This time though I decided that we weren’t going to throw out any more food, just because we didn’t like it. So we started experimenting and came up with quite a few really quick and easy microwave dessert recipes that the kids can make on their own. In fact, once they saw what I was doing they began experimenting and came up with some of their own recipes.

Warning: these aren’t all perfect UnDiet recipes since some of them use leftover Halloween and Easter candies.

Chocolate Tapioca

3 cups non-dairy milk
1/4 cup tapioca pearls
1/8 teaspoon salt (a couple of shakes or grinds of the salt shaker will work)
1/2 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unrefined sugar (optional)
chocolate or peanut butter flavored baked goods that nobody likes

Place milk and tapioca in a large glass bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir and continue microwaving and stirring in 1 minute increments until tapioca is translucent, about 3 more minutes. Stir in chocolate chips and salt. Let cool until still hot but cool enough to taste. Taste and add optional sugar if needed.

Break up baked goods and use to line the bottom of a large container. Pour pudding over baked goods. Refrigerate until cool enough to eat. Carefully tir before serving if needed to break up the tapioca but being careful not to disturb the bottom crust.

 

Granola Pudding Bars

Next time you have a package of granola bars that nobody will eat, make up a batch of this pudding cake and you may even buy more granola bars, just so you can make this again.

6 to 8 granola bars

one 3.4 ounce package vanilla or butterscotch sugar-free cook and serve pudding

3 cups skim or lowfat milk

Place granola bars in an 8″ x 8″ pan.

In a large bowl (or even better a large measuring cup) whisk pudding mix into the milk. A measuring cup works great for kids because it has a handle that makes is easy for them to move the pudding mixture into and out of the microwave.

Microwave about 8 minutes totial or until the mixture comes to a boil. You’ll need to take it out of the microwave every 2 minutes to stir. Once it comes to a boil, remove from the microwave, stir and pour over granola bars. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.

 

Brownie in a Cup

I’m always trying different brands of instant coffee, trying to find one that I actually like. What ends up happening is that I have a cupboard full of instant coffee that is only suitable for baking or adding to smoothies. You can also use this recipe to use some of the chocolate or marshmallow candies left over from Halloween or Easter.

Be sure that the mug you’re using isn’t one of those that gets hot in the microwave. I’ve burned my fingers on many such a mug so many times that I took them from my kitchen cupboard and now use them in my bathroom to hold makeup brushes, q-tips, cotton balls and such things.

1/4 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup Splenda for baking
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
small pinch or 1 grind of sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coffee
2 tablespoons chopped chocolate or marshmallow (optional)

In a mug, stir together the dry ingredients. Stir in the oil and coffee, then the the chopped chocolate or marshmallow, if you’re using them.

Microwave on high for one minute, but check it after 30 seconds. It’s done when it’s springy on top but still a bit gooey. Let cool until warm and then dig in.

 

Candy Pie

This one is so decadent and so not an UnDiet recipe, but the kids will love it and I feel good because at least half of it is a whole grain sugar free cereal.

1 to 2 cups cereal or baked goodie such as cookie or cake

1 to 2 cups chocolate candy, any type, even M&M’s will work

Lightly oil a glass pie plate or microwavable shallow dish. Spread your cereal or baked goods over the bottom of the plate. Evenly arrange the candy over the “crust”. Microwave for 1 minute. Use a spatula to gently stir the candy without disturbing the crust. Microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. If needed gently stir the candy layer again. If all of the candy has melted then remove from microwave. If needed though continue microwaving in 30 second increments until the candy has melted. Remove from microwave and allow to cool until warm. Cut into slices and serve or just gather around and dig in with spoons.

Kid Friendly

Popcorn Bar

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popcorn-large

Next time you have a family movie night instead of noshing on chips set up a popcorn bar. Our favorite (and not just because its bealthy) is Newmans Own Organic Microwave Popcorn. Although I have noticed that since they’ve changed their packaging that their popcorn isn’t as good as it used to be, so I’m on the lookout for a new fave popcorn.  Even so, it’s still better than any of the other trans-fat free, chemical free microwave popcorn brands. Or you could go old school and pop yours on the stove. An-n-n-n-yway, once you have enough popcorn ready for everybody set out bowls of items to mix with it, giving both savory and sweet options.

Sweet Options

  • chocolate chips (grain-sweetened)
  • mini marshmallows
  • shredded coconut
  • cinnamon mixed with Sucanat, Stevia or coconut sugar
  • chopped dried fruit
  • Sunspire Sun Drops (refined sugar free M&M’s)
  • sugar free hot chocolate mix
  • syrup made by boiling equal amounts of honey and butter together (this is a quick way to make a healthy caramel corn)
  • whole grain sweet cereal such as Barbara’s brand

Savory Options

  • shredded Parmesan
  • flavored extra-virgin olive oil
  • flavored sea salt (try smoked, truffle or garlic)
  • taco seasoning

Tip from the Trenches: wait for the popcorn to cool down before adding chocolate or marshmallows :(

Update: Newman’s Own Popcorn is no longer on our favorites list. The last few boxes we’ve purchased have not been up to par. We’ve since switched to pretty much any other brand of organic microwave popcorn. Same great taste that Newman’s Own used to have.

Kid Friendly Neutral

Neutral After School Snacks

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There’s nothing like a quick and easy snack that contains no starches, no proteins and is essentially a “neutral” snack. Neutral foods are made up of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and/or soy.

Apples with Cheese: top apple slices with thin slices of non-dairy cheese.

Apple Peanut Butter Sandwiches: slices of apple topped with peanut butter.

Baked Tofu: slice baked tofu into sticks.

Banana Peanut Butter Bites: slices of banana topped with peanut butter.

Coconut Milk Yogurt: eat as is, use as a fruit dip or freeze in popsicle molds.

Frozen Grapes: freeze grapes. Eat directly from the freezer.

Roasted Endamame: pour one layer of shelled soybeans into a pie plate. Spray or drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and garlic or chili powder if you like. Roast at 450 degrees until lightly browned, about 10 to fifteen minutes. These are more delish than you can imagine!

Soy Yogurt: eat as is, use as a fruit dip or freeze in popsicle molds.

Veggie Sticks: dip radishes, celery, carrot, jicama, cucumber, bell pepper … into your favorite lo-cal dressing or stir lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper and a little garlic into lo-fat yogurt.