Low fat Mint Cheesecake Brownies.

Admittedly, I’m not a huge brownie fan but my girls love them!  They also both love anything mint & cheesecake.  These brownies are definitely a favorite.  I adapted this recipe from an old Cooking Light recipe.

Cheesecake batter:

1 8 oz block of Reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 c of granulated sugar
1 tsp of mint extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tbl of all-purpose unbleached flour

Chocolate Batter:
1 c of all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 c of unsweetened cocoa (I used Wilbur)
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 c of packed brown sugar
1/4 c of canola oil
1/4 c of buttermilk (low fat)
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
Cooking spray.

Preheat your oven to 350.  Spray a 9 inch square pan with cooking spray with flour.

To prepare the cheesecake batter, place the cream cheese in your mixer bowl and beat until creamy.  Add sugar and mint extract, blend well.  Add 1 egg and 1 egg white; beat that well.  Add tablespoon of flour and beat until just blended.  Set aside.

To prepare the chocolate batter, spoon flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife.  Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir with a whisk.  Combine brown sugar and next five ingredients through egg.  Beat on high until well blended.  Add flour mixture to the brown sugar mixture and beat on low until just blended.

Reserve 1/2 c of the chocolate batter.  Pour the remaining batter into your prepared pan.  Carefully pour the cheesecake batter over top and spread completely over the top of the chocolate batter.  Dot the cheesecake batter together with the reserved chocolate batter.  Using the tip of a knife, swirl the batter.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top is set.  Let cool for 1 hour before cutting.

Calories 210, fat 7.5g, protein is 4.4g, carb 32.3g, fiber .7g, cholesterol 37mg, iron 1.3 mg, sodium 169 mg, calc 32mg.

— Knead to Cook

Chobani Guacamole

This recipe is one of my favorites for sure!  I love Chobani & the protein it adds to any recipe.  It also extends the avocado, especially when they were priced well over $2 per.  I’m estimating amounts, again, add more of what you love & less of what you don’t care for.  Make it your own!

2 large avocados
1/2 c of plain, non fat Chobani yogurt
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño
3 tbl of fresh lime juice, 1 tbl reserved to be used if needed
1 handful of cilantro leaves, washed and dried
Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1/3 c of cherry tomatoes, quartered

In your food processor blend garlic and the jalapeño.  Once finely chopped, add the remaining ingredients except for the tomatoes until creamy and well blended.  I start with 2 tbl of lime juice and add the 3rd if I need the guac to be a bit looser.  Add the spices as you prefer.  We like it spicy, so I add about 1/2 tsp of cayenne.  I also add a few chopped jalapeño slices in to the mixture as well.  Add to a bowl and hand mix in the tomatoes.  Enjoy!

— Knead to Cook

Peanut Butter Granola Bars.


As most of you know, my husband and I are training for our second marathon.  This training program we are utilizing is totally different than the first and it is daunting to say the least.  With all of the running, we eat a lot.  I’m always looking for great, low sugar options that are high in protein.  He is also, allergic to chocolate, so when making recipes, that is a concern.

Every morning, Bill eats something before our run.  I eat nothing.  I know this isn’t good.  But with short or medium runs, it never bothers me.  Tomorrow we are slated for a15 miler and I know that my ways need to change and I need to start adding fuel before we head out.  We also run super early… so I’m not in the mood to be whipping up any kind of breakfast at 5 a.m.  Last time we trained, I would eat a tablespoon of peanut butter, a bite of a banana and have my gel for my runs.  Today I thought it would be fun to whip up a low sugar bar that we can both eat prior to heading out the door.  This turned out to be perfect and I made half with chocolate chips (for myself and my girls) and half w/o for Bill.


4 cups instant cooking rolled oats
3 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tbl of flax seed meal
1 or 2 pinches of salt
1/2 c peanuts, chopped
1/2 c agave syrup
1/4 c of raw honey (you can use regular honey as well)
1 c of natural peanut butter, melted in the microwave
1/3 c of dark chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  In a your mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, mix the oats, chia. flax, salt and nuts.  Then add the agave & honey.  Mix until combined.  Add melted peanut butter.  If using chocolate chips, add them until incorporated.  If your mixture doesn’t seem moist enough (try pinching it in between your fingers to see if it sticks together) – add a tsp of agave or honey until it reaches the right consistency.

Spray non stick spray in a 13×9 glass pan.  Pour the prepared ingredients into the pan and flatten with the back of a wooden spoon until flat.  Bake for 25 minutes or so, until golden.  Remove and cool for 30 minutes then cut into bars.

— Knead to Cook


I’ve posted this recipe once before on my Facebook page a few weeks back. I thought that adding a touch of pink food coloring would be fun to do a practice round of heart-shaped pink fluffy marshmallows.  Then I thought, what would be better…. top dip them in chocolate, cover them in sprinkles and add a stick to make a cute Valentine pop :)  These can made w/o the food coloring for your classic white marshmallows.   Cute for Valentine’s Day treats or for a school party.  You can also make them for hot chocolate – dip them in chocolate with crushed peppermint sticks.  The possibilities are endless!


3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 c of ice cold water, divided
1.5 c of granulated sugar
1 c of light corn syrup
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Food coloring (a few drops) optional
Optional – 1 vanilla bean, seeded
1/4 c of confectioners’ sugar
1/4 c of cornstarch
Non stick spray – for the pan


    • Directions:
      Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

      In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium flame, cover and cook for for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

      Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once everything is added, turn it up to high speed. Whip for 14 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and seeds (if using) & food coloring (if using) during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping~ prepare the pans as follows.

      Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Dust the prepared pan with the sugar/starch mixture. Make sure it is completely covered. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

      After mixing, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Be sure to make top even as the marshmallow will set as you leave it. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the remaining for later. Allow the marshmallow pan to sit for 4-8 hours.

      Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a dough cutter or a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, dust each side with the sugar/starch mixture. Store in tupperware for up to 2-3 weeks.




— Knead to Cook

Zucchini Banana Chobani Muffins.

I love creating new muffin recipes!  I love it even more when I can pack veggies in them and my kids gobble them up :)  That’s the case with these muffins.  They are not overly sweet, just the right amount, and very tender -thanks to the Chobani yogurt addition.  Okay that’s my intro to this recipe. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!



4 eggs, at room temperature
1 c of granulated sugar
3/4 c of Chobani plain non fat yogurt
2 ripe bananas
2 c of all purpose flour, unbleached
1 c of whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp of baking powder
1.5 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of salt
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1/2 c of chopped walnuts
1/2 c of chocolate chips (optional)

In your mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, blend eggs, sugar and yogurt.  Add bananas and mix well.  In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon & salt.  Add to the wet mixture and blend.  Stir in the zucchini and nuts until combined.

Pour this into either non stick sprayed muffins pans or into cupcake liners.  Baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks and then store.



— Knead to Cook

Snack attack plan!

I promise, with a little bit of time, you will be ready any time you are craving a snack!  You plan & organize your life… why not your snack?  You will be more likely to eat healthy if you surround yourself with good food.  Happy 2012!!!  You deserve it!

— Knead to Cook

Mixed fruit & spinach protein smoothie

Okay I have one child that lives to eat & one that eats to live!  My youngest daughter doesn’t have a huge appetite ever!  So, with that, I try to make every bite as vitamin packed & healthy as possible.  This smoothie is super healthy & delicious.  I promise… the kids have no idea how good it is for them!
In a blender, add a handful of baby spinach leaves, two cups of fruit – frozen, fresh – whatever.  I added peaches/strawberries/cherries & 1 banana.  I scoop of Whey protein powder.  Optional – you can add a scoop or two of low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream (I normally do this but didn’t today) or a scoop of yogurt.  I also add one cup of almond milk (you can use regular low fat milk) and 2 tsp of flax seed meal and then start to blend it.  My blender has a smoothie setting so I use that.  Once it starts to combine, I will drizzle more milk in to get the consistency that I wish to achieve.  Pour into a glass, add a straw and enjoy!

There is so much flexibility that you have when making smoothies.  You can go all green – spinach, green apples, avocados etc.  You can add or delete what you like.  Have fun with it but my only suggestion is if you’re adding the spinach… whip the smoothie up before the kids see it :)

— Knead to Cook

Fresh Mango Banana Smoothie

My daughter had a herbst appliance put in her mouth today by our orthodontist & knowing how painful this must be, I decided to make her a liquid after-school snack to help.  I took my mango pitter – the best tool for removing a mango pit by far – & peeled the remaining flesh.  Toss that in your blender with 4 scoops of low or non-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, 1 ripe banana & 3/4 c of low fat milk or almond milk.  I also throw in some flaxseed meal (2 tbl).  Blend that in your blender (mine has a smoothie setting).  And pour into glasses with a straw.  This makes two large servings.


— Knead to Cook


This is my go-to snack!  I tend to eat them more at night & after a bit of research, now I’m glad I do.  I’ve always known that they are great for muscle inflammation, which I have training for a marathon, but check out all of these amazing OTHER benefits.

~It is nature’s most powerful anti inflammatory!  This is due to the anthocyanins that block free radical damage better than many anti-inflammatory drugs.

~It lowers the risk factors of heart disease including inflammation, fat and cholesterol according to a University of Michigan study.

~Cyanidin is a natural organic compound that gives berries it’s bright red color.  Cyanidin has been found to greatly reduce oxidative damage to cells, research has suggested that it may also be an important factor in fighting heart disease & cancer.

~Provides a memory boost thanks to the anthocyanin!  Anything to help me improve memory is a benefit!

~They have a ton of beta carotene!  19 times more than blueberries or strawberries!

~They contain melatonin, which helps regulate your body’s sleep cycles.  So glad I snack on these at night!

— Knead to Cook

Spicy hot popcorn.

If you’re captivated by spicy food, as I am, you may want to give this recipe a try.  First, homemade popcorn is so much better than microwaveable.  Second, popcorn is a healthy snack because it is a whole grain and has 1g of fiber per cup.  Third, it is much easier than you think to make it and you don’t need special equipment!

Drizzle about a 1/4 cup of spicy oil on the bottom of your 3-4 qt. saucepan and place over medium flame.  Add approximatley 1/2 cup of your popcorn kernels and cover with lid.  Shake occasionally.  Once the kernels stop popping, remove from the heat.  We sprinkle a tiny bit of salt over it and serve right away.  The spicy oil gives it a nice kick & no need for butter.

Spicy hot popcorn.


— Knead to Cook