Grilling fruit caramelizes it for a crisp and sweet outside and a warm and tender inside. It also brings out the natural sweetness, so no added sugar is required! Try it as an appetizer, a side dish, or a dessert with your next barbecue.
Craving cheesy breadsticks? Although this recipe won’t fool anyone, it is a fun and tasty way to dip something bready and even somewhat cheesy into marinara sauce. It is made with whole, real foods, including vegetables, whole grains or nuts (depending on your choice of flour) and eggs. It is free of refined grains and dairy, and can be made without gluten or grains by using almond meal.
Swap out the flour for summer squash to make cheesy-tasting breadsticks that are much lower in calories and starch. A very tasty way to eat your veggies!
4 yellow crookneck squash or zucchini
4 large eggs
1/2 cup almond meal or whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
Cut the squash into 1 inch chunks, which should yield about 6 cups. Place half the squash into a food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped, but not mushy. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining squash.
Squeeze some of the liquid out of the squash. When finished, it should yield about 4 cups of squash. Whisk eggs and add to squash. Add flour, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder.
Spread squash mixture onto prepared baking sheet and form into an even, thin layer, about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with oregano. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Move pan to top rack and broil for about 2 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Place a large cutting board on top of the baking sheet and carefully flip it over to move the breadsticks to the cutting board. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch strips. Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Holiday popcorn is a festive yet healthy treat made with whole grains, healthy fats, herbs and spices, and not too much added oil. It’s easy to pop your own popcorn on the stove, and healthier than microwave popcorn. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which are potentially dangerous for our health and the environment – so make it yourself, and save money as well!
Holiday popcorn is a festive yet healthy treat made with whole grains, healthy fats, herbs and spices, and not too much added oil. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which are potentially dangerous for our health and the environment - so make it yourself, and save money as well!
2 tablespoons canola oil (or other high heat oil)
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
In a large stock pot, heat the oil and 3-4 kernels of popcorn, covered, over
medium heat until all kernels pop.
Pour in the remaining kernels, cover pot and shake to distribute. Remove pot from heat for 30 seconds. Return pan to heat, shaking pan continuously, leaving the lid slightly ajar for crisper popcorn, if possible. To do this, you can wear two oven mitts (ones that cover your wrists or beyond are best), hold the lid slightly ajar while holding onto the pot handles and shaking the pan as pictured. If you have a lid with a vent, you could just open the vent, or use any other preferred popcorn popping method.
When popping slows to 2-3 seconds between pops, remove from heat. Pour popcorn into a large bowl, removing any unpopped or partially popped kernels.
Combine the paprika, garlic powder, and salt. These measurements are general and you may want to add more, but the beauty of this recipe is that the quantities don't have to be exact.
Drizzle the olive oil over the popcorn, then sprinkle with the spice mixture. Toss to combine. Add more spices if desired. Garnish with parsley and serve.
1 English cucumber (or 2-3 smaller cucumbers ( organic and thin skin preferred, such as Persian or Japanese))
1 Medium eggplant
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (cut in half, organic preferred)
1 bunch flat leaf parsley (minced)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel eggplant and slice thinly. If you have time, lay on a baking sheet or large cutting board and sprinkle generously with salt, then let sit for 30-60 minutes to extract the bitter juices. Rinse and pat dry. Toss with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder. Spread into one layer on a baking sheet and bake until tender, flipping over halfway, about 10-15 minutes. You can also move the baking sheet to the top rack and turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Let cool completely.
Use a serrated knife to carefully cut pitas in half, creating two thin rounds (rather than two half circles). Cut about half of the cucumber into thin discs. Use a vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips.
On a serving plate, place one halved pita, cut side up. Spread a thin layer of hummus, then add a layer of the cucumber discs, using about half of the discs. Add another halved pita, thin layer of hummus, then half of the sliced tomatoes. Add another halved pita, thin layer of hummus, and half of the cooled eggplant. Repeat all layers one more time and top with a halved pita, cut side down.
Use remaining hummus to frost the "cake." Spread evenly with a rubber spatula over the top, then spread about 1/4 cup at a time around the edges.
Decorate the "cake" with the long thin ribbons of cucumber around the outside and cherry tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with optional parsley. Feel free to get creative with other vegetable decorations!
Basic Hummus Recipe
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (can also use white beans such as cannellini or navy beans
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
salt to taste
water to thin if necessary
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until very smooth. Add water as needed to thin it out. Hummus will thicken when refrigerated.
This is an updated post from last year. There are a few new recipes that were too good not to include this year, so they are shown below with their photo next to the recipe name. It’s now 25 recipes + 6 bonus recipes to share during the big game. For those with special needs or tastes, many recipes are:
This appetizer/side dish is extremely easy and will please a large crowd. You can serve it as a salad, or as a dip with tortilla chips (preferably baked chips). You can make this recipe from scratch using dried beans (cooked and cooled) and homemade dressing using the ingredients below (it’s really not that hard), or make it super easy by using canned beans and store-bought Italian dressing, which isn’t quite as healthy. BPA is a potential concern in canned foods, and store-bought dressings often have artificial ingredients and added sugar.
This super easy bean and corn dip makes an easy appetizer or salad for a party.
2 cups white beans, cooked (or 1 15-oz can)
2 cups black beans, cooked (or 1 15-oz can)
2 cups white or yellow corn, fresh, cooked and cooled; or frozen and thawed (or 1 15-oz can)
3 tablespoons pimentos (about 2 ounces)
1 stalk green onion (sliced)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Rinse and drain the beans and corn. Add to a medium bowl, then add green onions and pimentos.
To make the dressing, combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine, or place in a jar and shake.
Pour the dressing over the bean mixture, using only as much as necessary. You may not need the whole batch of dressing. You can also substitute store-bought Italian dressing, although it is not as healthy. For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve as a salad or as a dip along with baked chips.