Heart-healthy Cinnamon-baked Pears

Heart-healthy Cinnamon-baked Pears

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Is there such a thing as a heart-healthy dessert?
Surprisingly there is. Sweets and treats need not always focus on large contents of sugar. If you choose the ingredients carefully, you can prepare healthy desserts for your entire family.

Ingredients with high fat content, such as heavy dollops of cream and butter, contain saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels in the body. High cholesterol can lead to heart diseases, kidney problems, and many other diseases caused generally by having a bad diet.

 
Popular media influence on our diet
While popul…

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Roasted Carrot Rosemary Garlic Soup

Roasted Carrot Rosemary Garlic Soup

What to do with Fresh Rosemary?
A good friend brought me several branches of fresh rosemary from her garden when she came to dinner last week.  Immediately my home smelled more outdoorsy and clean.   All week I enjoyed the hint of rosemary in the air.

For some reason I cannot leave all this fresh rosemary around without trying to find some way to use it all.  It’s impossible for me to let good rosemary go to waste.  I therefore started to remove the rosemary pines off the stems to put the pines out to dry.  After about forty minutes, I had removed only a third of the rosemary.  So much mor…

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Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

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Vegan vs. Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
Recently I prepared two eggplant lasagnas side by side.  A Vegan Eggplant Lasagna and a Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna, as I wanted to compare their tastes.

In both eggplant lasagnas I used my Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions as well as a single large eggplant sliced thinly.  You can of course use your own tomato sauce if you prefer.  The only difference between the two lasagnas was the type of cheese used.

In order to avoid duplication, I recommend your reading my post on Vegan Eggplant Lasagna.  You will learn there more about t…

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Vegan Eggplant Lasagna without Pasta

Vegan Eggplant Lasagna without Pasta

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The Vegan Eggplant Lasagna Challenge
I have made vegetarian lasagne countless times.  Yet, I’ve always added cheese to each layer.  Sometimes I reduce the amount of cheese I use by mixing ricotta cheese with eggplant puree together.  I’ll have to share my vegetarian lasagna some time, as it’s my son’s favorite.

 
What is Vegan Eggplant Lasagna?
Last week I seemed destined to make Vegan Eggplant Lasagna.  Well, eggplant lasagna is perhaps a misnomer because it had absolutely no pasta of any kind inside.  Yet, the term lasagna seems to fit because three layers of thi…

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Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

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A Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce
I usually try to feature here recipes for tasty healthy versions of otherwise ordinary dishes.  Or recipes for extraordinary dishes that will wow your family and guests.

Most people already know how to make an Italian-style tomato sauce to use on pasta.  However, here is a tasty healthy version of a tomato sauce that can be used in many of your favorite dishes.  Several friends have asked me to share this recipe for Vegan Tomato Sauce, as it is as yummy as it is nourishing.

I often use this Vegan Tomato Sauce in my vegetarian lasagna as w…

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Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

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Why make Dandelion Pesto?
Dandelion pesto has brightened up many springtime dishes in past years.  In Belgium, I sometimes gathered the leaves of this wildflower from my backyard lawn to add to salads, soups and other dishes.

 
Dandelion greens grow wild
Picking dandelion greens are an annual tradition that marks the arrival of spring.  Although you can find dandelions all year long, the peak of their growth is during springtime.  Most dandelion greens go unnoticed, except to gardeners who get annoyed by the stubborn growth of this weed as it spreads across their l…

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Vegan Banana Oat Muffins

Vegan Banana Oat Muffins

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How to Turn Banana Muffins Vegan?
I have made banana muffins many times and many ways.  Often, the recipes included some kind of dairy products, such as butter, milk, buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream.

Several months ago I shared my recipe for Banana Muffin Bliss which included a single egg.  In my post I suggested how to make the muffins vegan by replacing the egg.

Yesterday I was in the mood for banana muffins and decided to make a vegan version.  Of course, it was easy and quick.  In less than an hour I had a dozen yummy Vegan Banana Oat Muffins.

Although the reci…

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

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Why Not a Pumpkin Variation for a New Family Favorite?
During a stay in Kosice, Slovakia at the end of my Journey to Greece, I fell in love with a vegetarian red beet pirohy (pierogi) dish served with fresh spinach and goat cheese.  To discover more about my love story with this delicious wholesome dish, read my recipe for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese.

While I was testing out recipes for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese with one of my Belgian sisters, she started harvesting pumpkins from her vegetable garden.

 

 

As I l…

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Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

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What Inspired this Soul-Fulfilling Red Beet Ravioli Dish?
Towards the end of my Journey to Greece, I spent a few days in Kosice, Slovakia, near the Hungarian, Polish and Ukrainian borders.  I initially planned to spend one night in Kosice, yet immediately fell in love with its old town.  I ended up staying three nights so I could leisurely visit the town, hang out in its cafes and restaurants, and spy on the hordes of people strolling on the main street, Hlavná ulica.

Hlavná ulica is such a vibrant street with a park, musical fountains, and loads of statues dividing the b…

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Banana Muffin Bliss

Banana Muffin Bliss

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Why will each Banana Muffin bring you bliss?
We all have had bananas become overly ripe on our watch.  No one can blame us for letting their peel become covered in brown or even spots.  Having overly ripe bananas is, however, a test of character or resourcefulness.  It’s what we do with these golden brown gems that truly count.

In my household, we usually make banana bread, often with chocolate chips, because that is what my kids want.   We have several banana bread recipes that we follow.  There’s one with sour cream which has always been a family favorite and then anoth…

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Tasty and Healthy Sesame Noodles

Tasty and Healthy Sesame Noodles

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What makes these Sesame Noodles my go-to dish for lunch?
 
The Ease of Making Sesame Noodles
Working at home has several benefits, including an easy commute to work and dressing sporty casual every day of the week.  My favorite benefit, however, remains being able to prepare tasty healthy lunches in less than 30 minutes.

Over the years I’ve tried many variations of salads, soups and pasta dishes.   They make wonderful one-course meals that fill me up enough to hold until dinner time, with only a few apples in between.   If I am in a super hurry, I’ll make a sandwic…

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Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic

Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic

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Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic Makes a Quick Yummy Meal
Not everyone enjoys the strong-licorice flavor of fresh fennel.  It can be a bit overwhelming if you eat a lot of it in one sitting.

Fennel offers many health benefits, making it worthwhile to find ways to include it in your diet.  Full of good intentions, I often buy fennel at the grocery store and farmers’ market, hoping to find a way during the coming days to use it.  Chopped fennel with some slices of orange and a vinaigrette dressing makes an easy salad.

However, when cooked fennel’s pronounced taste beco…

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Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

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Wild Garlic Pesto on Pasta is a Springtime Favorite
 
Memories Triggered by Wild Garlic
The sense of smell can trigger strong memories, no matter how faraway they may be.  Wild garlic, also known by many other names, such as ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, bear’s garlic, and wood leek, is probably my most faithful olfactory trigger.  Wild garlic is not actually a variation of garlic, but rather a variation of leek.

At 16 years old I lived on a farm in Belgium as an exchange student.  Farm life was different in almost every way from my life in Los Angeles….

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Coconut Cream Pudding

Coconut Cream Pudding

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(Cliquez ci-dessous pour la version française de la recette)
Recette Creme noix coco -fr

What makes Coconut Cream Pudding such an Ideal Yummy Dessert?
 
The Joys of a No-Fuss Dessert
After preparing a fairly elaborate main course for lunch guests, sometimes I do not want to put a lot of effort in making a dessert.  This is especially true for a casual family Sunday lunch.  Sunday mornings are intended for sleeping a bit late and languishing in bed before summoning all my will power to get out of bed.  Late Sunday mornings (when I’ve finally gotten out of bed and o…

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Quick Puff Pastry Dough

Quick Puff Pastry Dough

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How do you make a Quick Puff Pastry Dough?
What do you do when you want to make Puff Pastry Dough (pâte feuilletée) but don’t want to go through all the effort?  Puff Pastry Dough is ideal for appetizers, quiches, and light desserts.   It’s even on its own with a little flavored sugar drizzled on top.  This is how I use up all the leftover bits of dough.

To make a genuine Puff Pastry Dough, knead some cold butter into rectangular slabs of dough.  Fold the slabs over themselves several times.  It’s not terribly difficult but does take a certain amount of patience and rep…

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