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Tag Archives: Fall recipes

Blackberry Muffins

If you’re hosting the family for Thanksgiving this year consider these for a quick and easy breakfast. Whether you’re craving blueberry, orange cranberry, raspberry or blackberry, this recipe provides a tasty base for a healthier muffin. It includes real sugar as to not totally remove something familiar from your guests but feel free to substitute with 1c of honey. It’s inspired by my Grandma, Jean Fife, and is adapted from her Blueberry Muffin recipe. I’ll include both recipes for you. Makes 18 large or 24 smaller muffins.

Blackberry Muffins

Blackberry Muffins

Blackberry Muffins

  • 4 c whole-wheat flour
  • 2 c sugar (I used 1 c brown sugar and 1 c regular sugar)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 c fresh blackberries
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 16 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 c coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Grandma’s Blueberry Muffins

  • 4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Instructions (for both recipes):

  1. Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla then add to the dry ingredients, barely mixing.
  2. Add berries.
  3. Grease muffin tins then fill each cup ~ 2/3 full. Sprinkle an additional 1 T of sugar along the tops to make a good crust.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesan

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Eggplant Parmesan

I love Italian food. Seriously! But when I think of delicious Italian meals I picture wine, carbs and plump grandmothers passionate about their cooking. So I went looking for a healthy alternative to the classic Eggplant Parmigiana and found a yummy recipe from Eating Well. Fair warning, it’s a little involved. Active prep time is 45 minutes while the total time is 2.5 hours but it’s worth it. The good news is that this recipe makes 2 8×8 casseroles so if you have a small family you can freeze an unbaked one for up to three months.


  • 2 Eggplants, cut into 12 slices each (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 c whole-wheat flour
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 c fine dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 3 T Italian seasoning, divided
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • Olive oil to coat the baking dishes
  • 2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c  shredded part-skin mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 4 T finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • Fresh basil for garnish (for you fancy folks)

> To make whole-wheat breadcrumbs place torn pieces of whole-wheat bread, sans crust, into a food processor and process until fine and crumbly. Dry by baking at 250 degrees F for 10 – 15 minutes. One slice of bread = 1/3 c dry breadcrumbs.


  1. Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. Place eggplant slices in a single layer then sprinkle with 3/4 t of salt. Top with another two layers of paper towels and eggplant with remaining salt. Cover with another two layers of paper towels. Keep covered at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Adjust over racks to highest and lowest positions and place empty large baking sheets on each rack and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Dab excess water from eggplant slices after an hour.
  4. Place flour in the first shallow dish, egg whites in a second dish, and combine breadcrumbs and 2 T Italian seasoning in a third dish. Press each slice of eggplant into the flour, covering both sides, then sake off excess. Next dip the slices into the egg whites and then press into the breadcrumb mixture, again covering both sides.
  5. Take out heated baking sheets from the oven and coat each with 2 T of olive oil. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layers on the baking sheets, being careful not to let the edges touch. Spray a generous layer of olive oil (or cooking spray) on the tops then bake for 15 minutes. Remove and flip slices over then resume baking for another 15 minutes, until golden.
  6. In a medium bowl mix together crushed tomatoes and last T of Italian seasoning.
  7. Spray the 8×8 baking dishes with cooking spray. Fill the bottom of each dish with 1/2 c seasoned tomatoes and spread to coat. Next arrange a single layer of eggplant then cover with 1 c of seasoned tomatoes and top with 1/4 c mozzarella cheese. Place another layer of eggplant, 1 c seasoned tomatoes and 1/2 c mozzarella then top with 2 T Parmesan cheese.


  8. [If freezing let the unbaked dishes cool to room temp before freezing] Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese melts and the sauce bubbly. Garnish with basil for a fancy finish.

I served it with a spinach salad with red onion, pecans, orange slices and shaved Parmesan topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. And the calories saved from making this dish at home allow for a tasty glass of wine. Buon appetito!

Veggie and Quinoa Chili

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Veggie and Quinoa Chili

Veggie and Quinoa Chili

My absolute favorite go-to meal for cooler days is Veggie and Quinoa Chili. It’s great for a tailgate party, around a fire-pit and an easy frozen meal to deliver to a family who just had a baby. My boyfriend loves it too. We usually make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. And good news – it’s not only yummy it’s also healthy! It’s delicious fresh off the stove and like other chilies it’s amazing when reheated. It’s more on the mild side than spicy but packed with flavor. Feel free to substitute the canned items for fresh. You’re only 45 minutes away from the best meatless chili you’ve ever tasted. Let’s get cookin’!


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 lugs of olive oil (about 4 TBSP)
  • 3 medium-sized yellow summer squash, chopped, quartered
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini, chopped, quartered
  • ¾ yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBSP chili powder*
  • 1 tsp ground cumin*
  • ½ tsp paprika*
  • ½ c water
  • 2/3 c dry quinoa (uncooked)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 c vegetable juice
  • (optional) cheese to top
  • (optional) plain Greek yogurt to top
  • (optional) Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips
  • * [May substitute for low-sodium chili seasoning packet if you prefer]


  1. Position oven rack on top rung and preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Cut the bell peppers and chilies in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membranes. Place the halves, skin side up, on the foil-lined baking sheet, and flatten with your hand. Broil 10 minutes (or until blackened). When you remove from the oven cover the baking sheet with another piece of foil and seal edges together. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Peel and chop coarsely.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat a small lug of olive oil over medium heat and sauté quinoa for two minutes, just until the grains turn golden. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a good lug of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add squash, zucchini, onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin and paprika [or substitute for chili seasoning packet] and sauté for 30 seconds. Add roasted peppers and poblano, ½ c water, quinoa, salt, tomatoes, beans and vegetable juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at 20-25 minutes.
  5. Serve with a dab of Greek yogurt, cheese if desired, and multigrain tortilla chips. Enjoy!

– Inspired by Cooking’s Light’s Quinoa and Roasted Red Pepper Chili

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