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Carrot Pizza Crust

April 17, 2014 12:36 pm · Posted by Lauren G

If you thought cauliflower was weird, you're going to think I'm crazy today. But seriously, why the heck not? Carrots naturally have a lot of sugar, so I actually liked this crust over the cauliflower one because it had a hint of sweetness. (If you ever had any doubt about my sweet tooth, I even like sweet pizza!) This recipe is even easier to make because you don't have to cook the carrots before forming the crust. Just remember to squeeze out all the carrot juice you can! And maybe save it and drink it because carrot juice is stupid expensive when you buy it from Trader Joe's.

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend carrots until very finely chopped.
  3. Take the processed carrot and, using a cheesecloth or clean piece of material (like an old shirt or tea towel), strain as much water (carrot juice) out of the carrots as you can.
    4. Place the strained carrots into a bowl - you should have about 1 cup of carrot.
    5. Stir in garlic, cheese, and egg until well blended.
    6. Using a spatula, spread out carrot mixture onto prepared cookie sheet to about an 8 inch circle.
    7. Bake at 400 for 10 - 12 minutes, until just starting to brown around the outside and top appears dry.
    8. Top as desired.

    (Inspired by Jo and Sue)

Filed under: Yum, recipe, Food Tagged with: pizza crust, gluten free, carrot, healthy, pizza
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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowl

February 25, 2014 12:22 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I've had spaghetti squash, but I've never tried cooking it before. Luckily, on one of my Costco excursions, I saw a couple and decided to be adventurous. Ummm, not to brag or anything, but these turned out amazing! Spaghetti squash isn't that hard to cook. Well, cutting it in half is really hard so prepare yourself, but the cooking part, not so much. You pretty much just stick it in the oven until the squash is tender. Then, you fluff it up with a fork. I was so amazed that it actually comes apart looking like spaghetti! Crazy! The spaghetti squash has a slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of a pumpkin, which in my opinion is way better than boring pasta and healthier too!

Cutting the squash in half is a little tricky. You need a big sharp knife and some muscle. Here is a helpful video if you're having trouble.

Ahh it's spaghetti!

  • 2 small spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese or ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 1 cup partially skim mozzarella, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Brush the inner flesh of the spaghetti squash with oil, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast, skin side up until tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Note: You can also roast the spaghetti squash whole. Prick with a small, sharp knife all over and roast until tender when pierced with a knife.
  1. Meanwhile, cook the turkey, about 8-10 minutes, drain and add to your sauce.
  1. Fluff up some of the inside of each spaghetti squash half, divide the mixture of the cottage cheese and basil between them followed by the sauce and the cheese.
  2. Broil in the oven until the cheese has melted and turned a light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

(Inspired by Closet Cooking)

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Grapefruit Cookies II

November 21, 2013 12:39 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I didn't like the way my first attempt at grapefruit cookies turned out. Luckily, my friend's tree is at it again, and he gave me another batch of fresh grapefruits. I loved these cookies! They were crisp and sweet with a beautiful cracked surface. 

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Ruby Red grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon Ruby Red grapefruit zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of ground ginger

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and either lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the sugar and the butter until well combined. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest until well combined.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and ginger and then combine with the liquid ingredients until a soft dough is formed.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoon two inches apart. They'll spread as they bake!
  5. Press bottom of glass into dough to grease, then dip into granulated sugar; press on shaped dough until about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just set. They’ll be puffy when they come out of the oven but as they cool they’ll flatten and form those glorious cracks in the surface. Continue for the rest of the dough.

(Inspired by Homesick Texan)

Filed under: noms, dessert, recipe, Food Tagged with: noms, cookie, dessert, grapefruit, Food, recipe
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Pumpkin Bread

September 24, 2013 12:25 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Pumpkin everything! Those cans of pumpkin are so big, and you usually only need a cup. What am I supposed to do with all of it besides make cupcakes, bread, and cookies (recipe coming next week). This secret family recipe came from a friend of mine. (I guess the secret is out now!) I still don't have a loaf pan, so I made a cupcake/muffin version. I just had to adjust the baking time, and they still came out moist and delicious!

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups flour


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full.
  4. Bake until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

To make a pumpkin bread loaf...
Pour into greased 55x9 loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-75 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

(Inspired by a secret!)

Filed under: Yum, recipe, Food Tagged with: Pumpkin Bread, pumpkin, dessert, fall
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Kale Chips

September 12, 2013 12:51 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I currently have an obsession with kale. I know it's been all the rage for a while, but I just recently started eating it when I discovered that Ralph's sells organic kale for only $0.99 per bunch! That's the same price as romaine lettuce, and I know I'm getting a lot more nutrients from kale. I've been pretty boring and either making salads or eating it sauteed, but why not try kale chips? They're actually one of the easiest things I've ever made, and so delicious.

  • 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt.
  4. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

(Inspired by Food Network)

Filed under: Health Food, Yum, recipe, Food Tagged with: Snacks, kale
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The Ultimate Guide To Healthier Baking

August 1, 2013 12:14 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Check out this amazing list of ingredient substitutions courtesy of Greatist!

Filed under: Yum, Food Tagged with: Ingredient Substitutions, healthy, baking
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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 18, 2013 12:20 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Time to make some cookies! And it'd be great if I could use up some bananas that are getting a little too ripe. What about some banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because I already have all of the ingredients on hand. If you haven't noticed...I'm a little bit of a lazy baker. They turned out moist with the perfect amount of sweetness. Plus, they have fruit in them so they're basically healthy.

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
  • 1-3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients; beat in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add egg, bananas and oats; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. 

Yield: 4 dozen.

(Inspired by Taste of Home)

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Healthy Butter Substitutes

March 19, 2013 12:27 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Here's another great article from Popsugar on how to cut back on butter when you're baking. Not to brag, actually yes I'm bragging, but I got a lot of compliments on my reduced fat oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies. I was so relieved that they actually turned out OK, and I'm so glad everyone enjoyed them! Who would have thought that just adding milk in lieu of butter would have been a success. Besides milk, here are some other ways to replace butter.

  • Applesauce: Often used to replace oil in recipes, applesauce can also be used as butter alternative, and works best in cake-like recipes (like this Vegan Banana Apple Chunk Bread). Replace half the amount of butter in your recipe with applesauce; if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and half a cup of applesauce. If you don't mind a denser, more moist bread, replace all the butter with applesauce to cut even more calories and fat.

  • Avocado: Substitute half the amount of butter in a baking recipe with mashed avocado (it works well with cookies); use the same method as you would when using applesauce. Using avocado not only lowers the calorie content but also creates a softer, chewier baked good, and is perfect if you want to omit the dairy.

  • Earth Balance: Replace all of the butter with Earth Balance to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol. Using Smart Balance rather than Earth Balance will also save some calories, but note that Original Smart Balance contains whey, so it's not vegan.

  • Canola oil: In certain recipes, replacing butter with oil works well, especially if the recipe calls for melted butter. Fiddle with your favorite recipes to figure out when canola works instead of butter; when baking chocolate chip cookies, I've had success substituting half a cup of canola oil for half a cup of unsalted butter. Although slightly higher in calories, canola is much lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

  • Greek yogurt: Replace half the amount of butter in your cookie recipes with half the amount of full-fat plain Greek yogurt. For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and one quarter cup of yogurt. You'll reduce the calories and the saturated fat. Play around with using more yogurt and less butter to see if you still like the taste and consistency. Here are more ways to use Greek yogurt in baking recipes.

  • Prune purée: Often used to help little ones stay regular, prune purée also makes a low-calorie and low-fat alternative to butter. Whatever amount of butter the recipe calls for, replace it completely with store-bought baby food prune puree (unless you have time to make your own; just purée prunes in the food processor). This option works well in recipes that involve chocolate and cinnamon.

(Inspired by Popsugar)

Filed under: Yum, healthy, recipe, Food Tagged with: low-cal, butter substitute, Yum, healthy, butter, Food, recipe
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Reduced Fat Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 12, 2013 12:51 pm · Posted by Lauren G
One of my friends has been requesting oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies for a while, so here they are. Unfortunately, I only had one stick of butter (the recipe asks for two) and was too lazy to go to the grocery store. Since I only used half the butter, I get to call these reduced fat, right?  With a little experimentation, I decided on skim milk to add the needed moisture from the missing stick of butter. They turned out great! They don't spread as much as the cookie normally would, but they're still soft and moist on the inside. And, because it's oatmeal and half the butter, they're basically healthy...

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  2. Add milk in slowly until you reach the desired consistency. (You might not use all of it).
  3. Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies

(Inspired by Betty Crocker)

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Banana Bread Muffins

February 26, 2013 12:24 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Saturday was National Banana Bread! I'm not usually one for banana bread, but my mom has been raving about this recipe she got from a woman at her bank. Surprise surprise, I didn't have enough bananas for the recipe (6), and I was too lazy to go to the store, so I ended up making a recipe from Food Network that only called for 3. 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners...the recipe actually makes 17 muffins.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Fill each cup about 2/3 and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

(Inspired by Food Network)

Filed under: Yum, recipe, Food Tagged with: banana bread, muffin, breakfast, Banana, snack

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