Banana Almond Butter Ice Cream. {Dairy-free.}



We all have them… the bananas on our kitchen counter that are starting to spoil right in front of our eyes.  I buy so many bananas at the farmer’s market for smoothies and snacks, invariably some remain that look rather dismal and taunt me.  I typically freeze them (for future use) or I whip up some banana bread but with soaring 90 degree temps this week – I thought I would blend them up with some almond butter and make some healthy ice cream.  This recipe is so insanely easy and customizable – you will fall in love, fast & hard for this treat!

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— Knead to Cook

Almond butter chickpea chocolate chip cookies.


I’ve made chickpea cookies before. None of which really knocked my socks off to be quite honest.  I thought I would whip up a batch today, tweaking as I went to see how they turned out.  I found a recipe that I loosely modified from Brit and Co.

I always make a “goodie” for an after-school snack for my girls and my husband (well his is more of a dessert).  I tried one and thought they were good. Now, you honestly cannot compare these to a buttery, fattening, ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookie – but these are certainly a lovely, healthy substitute that won’t blow your gym efforts or sabotage your bikini body considering that next month is JUNE already!! I can’t wait for my girls to try these and give me their review.  As for me, I love them!

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— Knead to Cook

Healthy Corn Chowder.



Tuesdays are my farmer’s market day.  I gain inspiration there and when I saw stacks and stacks of Florida corn on the cob… I knew I had to whip up this soup.  Perfect for a rainy afternoon.  Filling after a long swim practice for my girls.  Filled with protein and fiber.  All good!  Plus a nice vegetarian dish that my carnivores would find filling.

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— Knead to Cook

Roasted Golden Beets.



Now I’ve written this before in my other “beet” post but I’ve always been apprehensive of the beet.  I’ve since grown quite fond of them and truly adore the rare golden beet.  I found one organic stand at my Farmer’s Market and almost tripped over myself to grab what he had in stock.  A costly little veggie, I left with 4 softball sized golden beets for $12.  I didn’t care.  I couldn’t get home fast enough to get these bad boys roasted and into my mouth.  And that’s just what I did!

After just snacking on them, I’m finally sitting down to write my blog post.  I hope you give these milder, sunny beets a try.  They are a gem of the veggie world, in my opinion.

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— Knead to Cook

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Hummus.


This week I took a foray into baking up pitas.  I have to admit, I knew hummus would come along shortly after.  I mean seriously, how can you eat pitas without it?!  Ha ha.  Well my family gobbled up the first batch of pitas so I’m whipping up another batch.  Click here for that recipe.  Hummus is very easy to make and tastes so much better than store-bought versions.  Plus with this, you control the olive oil (even though it’s a healthy fat I still like to limit the quantity in the food I eat) and I have a little trick on exactly how to do that.


2 cans of low sodium chick peas (both drained and rinsed)
2 red bell peppers (jarred in water) – reserve the water
4 cloves of garlic (use less if you aren’t a fan)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder if you have that on hand)
Lemon juice – from half of a lemon
1 tablespoon of olive oil


Into your food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, two roasted red peppers, cumin, chili, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Puree into well-incorporated.  While the machine is running add the tablespoon of olive oil.  If you need it creamier, most likely you will, add a tiny bit (1/2 teaspoon at a time) of the reserved liquid from the roasted red peppers.  This will not only infuse the hummus with more of the red pepper flavor, it will keep the calories down because you aren’t using more olive oil.  Puree until smooth or desired texture is achieved.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.  Serve with chopped veggies, pita slices etc.  Also works well on a sandwich instead of mayo or mustard.



— Knead to Cook

Sweet, Spicy and Smoky Dry Rub.


IMG_7379 IMG_7455 IMG_7405 IMG_7340 IMG_7345

As the the warmer weather of spring arrives across the country, grills will be fired up and beef, chicken and pork will be seared to perfection.  I will not lie, I love spring – not too hot, not to cold and everyone is finally outside enjoying the sunshine on their face.  Our grill has been fired up several times in the past few weeks, moving our kitchen outdoors and I will not complain about that.  Grilled food just tastes better.

Last night my husband grilled the first set of ribs for the season.  I knew, I had to whip up a fresh batch of my sweet, spicy and smoky dry rub in honor of this event.  It is tangy, sweet with a smoky heat.  Perfection!

When using a dry rub of any kind, it’s best that you rub your meat down and refrigerate for at least 12-24 hours.  If you don’t have that kind of time, give it one hour for the spices to work their magic.


3/4 cup of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of salt (I used Lo Salt reduced sodium alternative)
1 tablespoon of chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


Place everything into a mini food processor, Vitamix or you can mix by hand or by adding everything to a tupperware container with a lid.  Process until well-combined.  Store in a container with a lid for up to 6-9 months.

This can be used on chicken, pork or beef.  Rub a generous amount on the meat and refrigerate for best results up to 24 hours or a minimum of 1 hour.  Place the meat on a hot grill and cook until desired temperature is achieved.  Enjoy!



— Knead to Cook

Cauliflower Herb Pizza Crust. Gluten-Free. Vegetarian. Grain-Free.


After numerous attempts, I’m thrilled that today I finally got it!  Any recipe takes time to develop… this one was no exception!  If you follow my simple steps, I promise you will have success too!  This is grain-free, vegetarian and gluten-free.  Packed with flavor and you control the toppings you want on top.  I baked these up earlier in the day (even the day prior) and use them when I need them.


1 medium-sized head of cauliflower (I used organic), washed and cut into smaller florets (remove the stems)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/2 cup of part skim mozzarella cheese (grated)
1/4 cup of grated asiago cheese (measure it grated, light and fluffy not packed down)
1 egg
Salt and pepper


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees with your pizza stone on the lowest rack setting.

1.  Make sure you’re starting with washed cauliflower that has been dried as much as possible.

2.  Take your florets (with most of the stems removed) and place in your food processor or Vitamix.  Pulse about 8-10 times until it looks like fluffy snow (see pic).  I worked in batches so not to overcrowd.


3.  Add the cauliflower “snow” to a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook in your microwave for 3 1/2 minutes.  Remove carefully and let it rest, covered for 1 minute.  Remove the plastic wrap and dump the cauliflower into the center of a clean dishtowel.  Let this cool for about 8-10 minutes.

4.  Once cool, place a large bowl underneath and twist up the towel (see pic) and ring it out.  When I say ring, I mean it!  Keep ringing until you literally get no water out of the cauliflower anymore.  See the pic of how much water I got from one medium sized head of cauliflower (over 1 cup)!  Insane!  You need to do this to make the crust perfect… trust me.





5.  Open the towel to reveal what looks like sugar cookie dough (best description).  See pic.  Add this to a mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl and add the remaining seasonings/ingredients.  Adjust here what you love or omit what you don’t.  Mix well in your stand mixer or with your hands.  The dough is very easy to work with and will be a bit sticky but not bad.


6.  I made two 8 inch crusts.  Take a large enough piece of parchment paper and spray it with a non stick oil (I used Smart Balance).  Then split your “dough” in half and form it into an 8 inch round or whatever size you desire.  I used a rubber spatula to press the dough down and tighten up the edges.  It worked perfectly!  (see pic)  You want to make sure that the dough is less than 1/2 an inch thick and even throughout.  I started at the center and worked my way out.  I then made sure the edges had no cracks and were pretty tight.


7.  With a pizza peel, slide your parchment paper with dough onto your pizza stone in the preheated oven.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden.  This will depend upon your oven.  I like it more golden brown so that’s my recommendation.  Then remove gently and let the crust cool.






8.  I pre-made these for tonight.  When you are ready to cook, make sure your oven has been pre-heated for at least one hour at 450 degrees with the stone inside.  Top your crust with whatever you like and bake until cheese is melted or about 4 minutes.




— Knead to Cook

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers with Sriracha Chobani Sauce.




Last night I wanted to make a lovely meatless Monday dish.  My family are total carnivores and I always am leery about making any vegetarian dish – but they loved it.  The texture is a bit different and I don’t recommend cooking these on the grill because they are a bit more fragile than a protein-packed meat burger.  I cooked them on my indoor griddle pan (flat side) and it worked great.  A large sauté pan would also be perfect.  I served mine over sauteed spinach and kale.  My family had them with sweet potato fries and raw veggies.  Whatever works for you.


Olive oil
2 cups of cooked quinoa (according to the package details)
1/4 of a yellow onion, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 16 oz can of black beans (low sodium) drained and rinsed well
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 cup bread crumbs (seasoned)


Heat the sauté pan with olive oil. Add the onion and pepper for about 4 minutes then add the garlic.  Cook for an additional one minute then remove from the stove to cool.  In your food processor add the black beans, cumin, chipotle powder, quinoa and cooled mixture.  Pulse 4-5 times until chopped but not pasty.  Remove and form into patties.  Add the bread crumbs to a large plate and press the bean burger into the crumbs on both sides and set aside.  Repeat until done.  Heat your griddle or pan with additional olive oil until hot.  Add the patties to cook and heat through.  They are fragile in nature so use caution when flipping.  I let brown on each side for about 4 minutes and then serve.


1/2 cup of non fat plain Chobani
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
2-3 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce (depending on your taste)

Blend together and top each burger.












— Knead to Cook

Curry Chicken Chobani Salad. Healthy & Low fat.




My friend Jenny, who we just visited over spring break inspired this recipe.  She had in her fridge a similar salad and I recreated it in her honor.  It is so good that I cannot stop eating it!  Guilt-free because I used organic chicken and non fat Chobani instead of mayo.  Totally healthy!  Chobani adds much needed protein.  It’s a perfect lunch idea!


1.25 lbs of organic chicken tenders (cooked – I grilled mine)
3 teaspoons of curry powder
1 tablespoon of lime juice (fresh)
2 teaspoon of raw honey (or you can use agave or maple syrup)
1/4 cup of chopped dried cherries (or you can use raisins or fresh grapes halved)
1/2 tsp of ground cayenne pepper (use less if you don’t want it spicy)
3/4 cup of non fat plain Chobani
Green onions, 2 chopped
Optional:  Celery or carrots chopped, red onions, red bell peppers


In your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, place your chicken in the mixing bowl and turn on the mid speed.  This will shred the chicken nicely but keep an eye on it and stop it when you reach the right shredding consistency.  If you prefer, you can chop the chicken into pieces.  Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.  Refrigerate in a covered container.  Great served in a bell pepper, on crackers, bread or pitas.  Enjoy!

— Knead to Cook

Pulled chicken taco soup.



This pulled chicken taco soup was inspired by my youngest who, each and every week, begs for tacos.  I thought I would put a little spin on it and make my carnivore family a lovely little taco soup with pulled chicken.  I had a board meeting and sadly missed it but my husband’s report was that it was a great success!


32 ounce low sodium chicken broth (I used Pacific natural organic low sodium)
4 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
4 chopped tomatoes or 1 can of chopped tomatoes (smaller size can)
1 can of black beans or red kidney beans (low sodium)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, diced with seeds removed (leave them in if you like more heat)
1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
4 cloves of garlic


In your Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium flame, add your broth and chicken.  Bring it to a boil and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through.  This will take 10-12 minutes. Turn the burner down to low, remove the chicken slowly and place it in a bowl.  With two forks, start shredding the meat.   In your bowl, add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Then add the meat back to the broth.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Cover and stir occasionally.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Garnish with jalapeño peppers, Chobani plain non fat yogurt, cheddar cheese or sour cream.

— Knead to Cook