Tag Archives: Winter

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a very popular Thai dish traditionally made with rice noodles. This recipe replaces the rice noodles with spaghetti squash, replacing refined grains with a nutritious vegetable. Spaghetti squash also has about 5 times less calories than most noodles or pasta! This recipe is based off of an authentic Pad Thai recipe from Basil Cookery School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

Here are some possible substitutions. You can use more authentic ingredients if you can find them – check international markets:

  • Use rice noodles instead of spaghetti squash – but it won’t be as healthy! Or replace 1/2 of the spaghetti squash with rice noodles
  • Use oyster sauce instead of tamari/soy sauce
  • Use 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste instead of lime juice and brown sugar. This is a very unique flavor that is critical to authentic pad Thai.
  • To make this dish vegetarian, substitute the fish sauce for tamari/soy sauce or another fish sauce alternative and do not substitute oyster sauce for tamari/soy sauce.
  • To make this dish vegan, make it vegetarian (above) and omit the eggs.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Main Dish
Adapted from an authentic Pad Thai recipe from Thailand, this recipe replaces rice noodles with spaghetti squash, which has about 5 times less calories!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 14oz firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Optional

  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • crushed peanuts
  • lime wedges

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and roast on a baking sheet, cut side down, for 35-45 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool.
Step 2
Meanwhile, drain tofu and cut in half lengthwise. Place slices between towels and place a heavy item such as a cast iron pan on top to press out excess moisture. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3
Once spaghetti squash has cooled, use a fork to shred the flesh into strands. Set aside.
Step 4
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining oil, then shallots and garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
Step 5
Add tofu to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until most sides are browned, about 8 minutes.
Step 6
Push tofu to one side of the pan and crack eggs into the open space. Stir until cooked, then add spaghetti squash, carrots, and bean sprouts. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes or until sprouts start to wilt.
Step 7
Mix tamari or soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Add to pan and stir to coat everything. Remove from heat and add optional garnishes.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Bars

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Candy Bars | Healthier gift, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

These bars make a fun and healthi-er gift. They are very easy to make – all you have to do is melt chocolate and stir in cereal. They can be made vegan and/or gluten-free if you check the ingredients on the chocolate and cereal. If these need to be made gluten-free, be extra careful to check the cereal as some rice cereal is sweetened with malt syrup, which is made from barley, a gluten-containing grain.

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Bars

Serves 12 - 14
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
These 2-ingredient candy bars are very easy to make and can be made vegan and gluten-free. They make a great edible gift!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup crisped brown rice cereal

Directions

Step 1
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stirring constantly until melted. Alternatively, heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 seconds increments, stir, and repeat until melted.
Step 3
Gently stir in cereal and mix until all of the cereal is coated.
Step 4
Pour the cereal mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a square in an even layer. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until firm.
Step 5
Place the parchment paper and bars on a cutting board. Cut the square in half and then cut into smaller bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

There are many options for ingredients that you may use, but if you’d like to know the exact brands used in these photos, see below.

2-Ingredient Crispy Rice Candy Bars | Healthier gift, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

I used Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps cereal, which was labelled vegan and gluten free (“Verified to contain less than 20 ppm gluten”) at the time I bought it. It contained 1g sugar per 1 cup serving and was sweetened with organic fruit juice concentrate (pear or apple).

For the chocolate, I used Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate Chips, 55% Cacao, Semi-Sweet. It was “allergen-friendly,” vegan, and gluten-free.

Bulgogi Mushrooms

Bulgogi Mushrooms

Traditional bulgogi is a popular Korean dish of thinly sliced marinated beef that is usually grilled, but often stir-fried in home cooking. This simple recipe replaces the meat with vegan-friendly yet meaty-textured portabello mushrooms.

If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure to use tamari or soy sauce that says gluten-free on the label. If you do not use reduced sodium soy sauce, use about 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup and add an extra 2 tablespoons of water, or else it will taste way too salty.

 

Bulgogi Mushrooms

Serves 4-6
Prep time 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 15 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Traditional bulgogi is a popular Korean dish of thinly sliced marinated beef that is usually grilled, but often stir-fried in home cooking. This simple recipe replaces the meat with vegan-friendly yet meaty-textured portabello mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • 1lb portabello mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)

Directions

Step 1
Combine marinade ingredients and add sliced mushrooms. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Step 2
Heat a skillet over high heat. Drain the sauce from the mushrooms, reserving leftover sauce, and place mushrooms into the pan. Stir occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.
Step 3
If desired, use leftover sauce as a dipping sauce for another dish. Serve in a lettuce wrap, in a taco, or with Korean side dishes.

Holiday Paprika Popcorn

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 Paprika Popcorn | Healthy, plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, easy, great for Christmas | guesswhoscooking.com

Holiday Paprika Popcorn

Serves 8
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

Step 1
In a large stock pot, heat the oil and 3-4 kernels of popcorn, covered, over
medium heat until all kernels pop.
Step 2
Holiday Popcorn Pot
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.
Step 3
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.
Step 4
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.
Step 5
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.

Holiday Paprika Popcorn | Healthy, plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, easy, great for Christmas | guesswhoscooking.com

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken

Easy Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken - better than the food court! | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthier, dairy-free, low-sugar, nut-free, egg-free, can be made gluten-free

Bourbon chicken is often found in food courts but is covered in sticky (sugary) sauce. This recipe drastically reduces the added sugar (almost 1/2 cup in most recipes) to just 1 tablespoon, but you could give or take a little. If you stick to 1 tablespoon, you’re using about 1/8 of the sugar added to most recipes. You can also use chicken breasts, but it will be less traditional, and less tender and juicy. Chicken thighs are still considered a lean meat, but be sure to remove the skin or buy skinless chicken. This recipe uses low and slow heat to keep the chicken juicy, rather than any added fat. If you are not serving this meal right away, you can also skim the fat from the sauce once it is cooled or refrigerated. Also, use the best quality chicken you can afford – organic and free-range is preferred. If you cannot afford or find that, at least aim to buy chicken without antibiotics.

Although the name includes bourbon, there is none in this particular recipe. If you’d like, you can add 2-4 tablespoons of bourbon and reduce the apple juice by that amount.

Serve this meal with your choice of cooked whole grain (buckwheat – pictured, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, etc.) and a green salad or other vegetables.

 

Easy Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken

Serves 5-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 4 hours
Total time 4 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Make juicy and flavorful chicken at home, similar to the bourbon chicken in the food court, except with much less sugar and better quality ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (organic and free-range preferred)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple juice (or substitute white wine)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Directions

Step 1
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the chicken.
Step 2
Place chicken in a slow cooker, then pour sauce over. Move the chicken around so that it is covered with sauce and in an even layer.
Step 3
Cook on high for 4-6 hours.
Step 4
Remove chicken from slow cooker and slice. Optional: Pour sauce into a saucepan and simmer over low heat to reduce it until thickened, or mix a little cornstarch or arrowroot starch with water, then stir into sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Step 5
Pour remaining sauce over chicken. Serve over your favorite whole grain (try buckwheat, quinoa, or brown rice) and with a green salad.

Easy Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken - better than the food court! | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthier, dairy-free, low-sugar, nut-free, egg-free, can be made gluten-free

Easy Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Easy Cauliflower Fried "Rice" | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, easy, plant based, vegetarian, dairy free, and can be made gluten free and vegan (leave out eggs)  Typical fried rice is mostly refined carbohydrates with extra oil and salt but few vegetables. This recipe still has the flavor and a similar texture, but without the refined carbs, and with a little healthy fat from a healthy oil and tons of veggies! On top of that, it’s quick and easy to make, especially if you buy cauliflower that has already been “riced.” Hint: They sell it at Trader Joe’s now, plus other brands are also carrying it. To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free tamari or soy sauce. To make it vegan, leave out the eggs.

Easy Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Main Dish, Side Dish
Enjoy fried "rice" with less starch and calories and more nutrients. It's easy to make, especially if you buy cauliflower that has already been "riced."

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil, such as olive, peanut, canola, or grapeseed
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 cups cauliflower (grated or riced)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • sliced green onion and/or sesame seeds for garnish

Directions

Step 1
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add cauliflower and mixed vegetables and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes.
Step 2
Push cauliflower to one side of the pan to create a space and pour in the eggs into the open part of the pan. Stir just the eggs to scramble until fully cooked, then mix into the cauliflower mixture. Gently stir in tamari and salt to taste. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and serve warm.

Easy Cauliflower Fried "Rice" | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, easy, plant based, vegetarian, dairy free, and can be made gluten free and vegan (leave out eggs)

Spicy Orange Chicken

Spicy Orange Chicken | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, low carb, dairy free, and full of flavor! Gluten free if you use tamari, not soy sauce.

This spicy stir fry has a punch of orange flavor but is free of added sugar! Many Asian-style sauces have lots of added sugar, and that’s what makes them sticky (and not so healthy).

Spicy Orange Chicken

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
This spicy stir fry has a punch of orange flavor but is free of added sugar! Many Asian-style sauces have lots of added sugar, and that's what makes them sticky (and not so healthy).

Ingredients

  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken breast (cubed)
  • juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce, such as sambal oelek
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Medium onion (diced)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 cups bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons oil, such as canola, peanut, or grapeseed (divided)

Directions

Step 1
In a medium bowl, marinate chicken in orange juice for about 20 minutes.
Step 2
Meanwhile, combine chicken broth, tamari and orange zest and set aside.
Step 3
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain orange juice from chicken and place chicken in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken in golden on the outside and opaque on the inside. Remove from pan.
Step 4
Add remaining oil to pan, then add onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add broccoli and cook 2 minutes. Add bell peppers, and cook 2 minutes.
Step 5
Add chicken back to pan and stir. Pour sauce over mixture and stir. Cook until heated thoroughly and vegetables are just fork tender.

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, plant based, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free (use certified GF oats)

If you’re looking for a twist on boring old oatmeal, give this recipe a try. You can make it on the weekend and reheat individual portions for breakfast throughout the week. It is made with whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats, and is completely plant-based and low in added sugar, yet tastes like carrot cake! It’s crispy on the top, tender on the inside, and contains a variety of other textures from the crunchy nuts and chewy raisins.

Each serving has only 1 1/2 teaspoons added sugar, less than most flavored oatmeal packets. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 10% of calories from added sugar, which is about 12 teaspoons on a 2,000 calorie diet. However, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons a day for men.

Recipe adapted from dietitian and cookbook author Ellie Krieger’s recipe.

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Serves 8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
This healthy and flavorful breakfast is made with whole grains, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats, and is free of animal products.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup almonds, walnuts, or pecans (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup green apple (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • 2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons oil (canola, melted coconut, or other oil of choice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together flax meal and 3 tablespoons water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Grease a cake pan, pie plate, or square baking dish.
Step 2
In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add carrots, apple, and raisins and stir.
Step 3
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond milk, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Stir the flax mixture, then add to the milk mixture and whisk. Pour milk mixture over oat mixture and stir well.
Step 4
Pour oat mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, plant based, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free (use certified GF oats)

31 Healthy Game Day Recipes

25 Healthy and Fun Game Day Recipes | Guess Who's Cooking | Recipes are mostly minimally processed, plant-based, and low in added sugar and refined flours. Perfect for the Super Bowl!

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:

  • Made with whole, real foods
  • Vegan
  • Lower-carb
  • No-sugar-added

Appetizers, Sides, & Snacks

Asian Cole Slaw

Baked Falafel

Bean & Corn Dip

Broiled Green Bean Fries  Broiled Green Beans (like fries!)

Brussels Sprouts Chips

Chex Mix Pumpkin Seeds

Eggplant “Fries”

Guacamole Deviled Eggs Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Layered Mediterranean Dip Layered Mediterranean Dip

Mexican Zucchini Fritters

Pizza Hummus

Rosemary Sesame Pecans

Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds

Savory Roasted Chickpeas

Vegetarian Baked Beans (lower sugar)

Entrees

Cajun Meatloaf

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa

Fishy Nuggets

Mexican Taco Meatloaf

Personal Portabello Pizzas

Pizza Omelet

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

White Chicken Chili (dairy-free)

Desserts

Banana Ice Cream | GuessWhosCooking.com | Healthy, easy, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, low carb, no sugar added, 2 ingredients 2 Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

Black Bean Brownies

Buckeyes

Chickpea Blondies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Apple Nachos - healthy dessert that is gluten free, low in added sugar, and can be made dairy free and vegan. Guess Who's Cooking  Peanut Butter & Chocolate Apple Nachos

Poppy Chow (chocolate peanut butter popcorn) | GuessWhosCooking.com | Less calories, carbohydates, and sugar, gluten free, egg free, can be made vegan and dairy free Poppy Chow

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (no bake)

This recipe is from Chocolate Covered Katie, a healthier dessert blog. It is very easy to make, and quick because there is no baking involved. It tastes like a rich chocolate cream pie, but is made with a vegetable (pumpkin) instead of cream, making this recipe lower in saturated fat, higher in beneficial nutrients, and can also be made vegan/dairy-free! This recipe can be made gluten-free if you skip the pie crust, making it into more of a mousse, or making your own pie crust with a nut base. I found that the mixture has a stronger pumpkin taste at first, but tastes more just like a chocolate pie after chilling for one day.

If you’re highly motivated, you can make this pie with fresh, homemade pumpkin puree. If not, use canned. You may find that certain brands, especially organic brands, have a different taste from the canned pumpkin with which you are more familiar. That is because canned pumpkin can be made with different blends of pumpkin and other squash. This may be off-putting, but again, this pie seems to lose the strong pumpkin flavor after one day.

You may find pumpkin in an aseptic carton (brand name Tetra Pak) rather than a can. Please note that these cartons are not recyclable in all areas, so check here to find out if these shelf-stable cartons can be recycled where you live.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (No Bake)

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving
It tastes like a rich chocolate cream pie, but is made with a vegetable (pumpkin) instead of cream! This makes the pie much lower in saturated fat and higher in nutrients, and also can be made vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (look for dairy-free/vegan if making for a crowd with vegans or milk allergies)
  • 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (or 1 can (not pumpkin pie mix))
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 16 drops liquid stevia (or replace with a little extra sugar to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 store-bought pie crust

Directions

Step 1
Melt chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, heating for 30 seconds at a time and stirring, repeating until just melted.
Step 2
Place pumpkin, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt in food processor and puree. Add melted chocolate and puree until very smooth. You can taste the mixture at this point and add a little more sugar if necessary.
Step 3
Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust and use a spatula to smooth it out. Refrigerate until firm, at least 4-6 hours. This pie seems to taste more like a chocolate cream pie and has less pumpkin flavor after being refrigerated for one day, which you may consider a good thing! Serve chilled.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (no bake) | GuessWhosCooking.com | Healthy, easy, dairy free, egg free, vegan, vegetarian, low carb, less sugar added, can be made gluten-free

Shown in a whole grain pie crust, which you may be lucky enough to find at your grocery store!