Donna’s Creamy Dreamy EASY Cheescake (Low-Fat)

Donna's Dreamy Creamy Cheescake 1 for Missbeautyfoodie.com

I am no baker and it’s no secret.  My version of baking a cake consists of a box, topped off with a tub of store-bought whipped frosting. It’s not even a matter of being lazy (maybe a little), I have tried to bake from scratch and it usually flops. You know what doesn’t flop? Duncan Hines.

Now that I am a new mommy I’m feeling very maternal the need to bake is slowing setting in. I figure I should start to practice so I can eventually successfully bake my baby his first birthday cake when he turns one.  This weekend is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot and it is customary to eat dairy. I thought I would start by baking a cheesecake in honor of the holiday. I was about to look up a recipe online when it struck me that I should ask my sister AKA the BEST BAKER I KNOW! Thirty seconds later she quickly recited an easy recipe over the phone.  She promised it was creamy and dreamy and her recipe has never failed her in 10 years . If baked correctly this cake will be perfect “ you will not get so much as a crack” she bragged” !! Best of all its low-fat and super easy. Thanks Dons!!

Enjoy!

Mimi

Beauty Bonus: It is well known that calcium plays some pivotal roles in maintaining good health — from keeping bones healthy and strong and helping prevent high blood pressure to more recent findings that the calcium in dairy products may make it easier to lose weight.

Donna’s Dreamy Dream Creamy Low-fat Cheesecake

Filling:

1 8oz Package Fat-free Cream Cheese

1 8oz Package Low-fat Cream Cheese

1 Pint – Light Sour Cream (set aside 1 cup  for the topping)

2 Eggs (Organic)

1/2 Cup Sugar (+ 1 Tbs for topping)

2 Tsp Vanilla (1 for filling and 1 for topping)

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (Donna  makes her own – recipe is below…but who am I kidding? I just bought one from the store)

Topping:

2 Cups Sour cream
1 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs. Vanilla

Crust (if unlike me you are not lazy – go for it!)

1 Cup graham cracker crumbs

1 Tbs sugar

4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Directions:

For Crust:

Combine crust ingredients. Press into bottom of a 9-in. spring form pan; chill.

For Filling:

Cream together egg and sugar, and then add cream cheese 8 ounces at a time blending well. Next add 2/3 container of sour cream, and vanilla and pour in pie crust.

Bake at 225 CONVECTION BAKE for 2 Hours.

THIS PART IS KEY: Then turn off oven and leave Cheesecake inside with door  closed for TWO HOURS.

After  2 hours remove cake from oven. Let cool and top with sour cream topping. Chill and cool in fridge for a few hours (or overnight) before serving.

For Topping: Combine Sour Cream, Sugar and Vanilla- and top on chilled cheesecake. Chill overnight.

Charred Tomato and Avocado Salsa- (low-fat & vegan)

I know NOTHING about sports! I am NOT even embarrassed to admit this:  I DON’T know who is playing in the Super Bowl! I can find out with a quick Google search, but I’m not into sports.   I am however into  super bowl parties… I love to hang out with my friends and let’s face it- the food is yummy! Chips, dips, chili (last year my bestie Lila made the best chili—I promise to post that recipe soon).  So as I watch all these super bowl commercials and promos I find myself salivating for all these foods in a major way. This recipe for Charred Tomato and Avocado Salsa is the perfect combo of pico de gallo and guacamole. It’s super easy and will stay fresh for hours (if it lasts that long at your party). So whip up a quick batch or two and eat with chips, spoon over a burger or better yet, pile it on some yummy chill! Enjoy!

Beauty Benefit:  Tomatoes contain lycopene, which can prevent wrinkles and dark spots due to sunlight. 80% of wrinkles are caused by sunlight and lycopene is a potent antioxidant that can stop the aging process caused by exposure to sunlight.

Charred Tomato Avocado Salsa 

4 Roma Tomatoes (organic)

Juice of 1/2 Lime (or more if you like a tang like I do)

½ Red Onion

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Cilantro

1 Jalapeño

1 Clove of Garlic (fresh)

Sea Salt to taste

2 Haas Avocados Chopped

Directions: Chop all ingredients. Season with Sea Salt to taste. Enjoy!

PS-  You can pulse chop these ingredients for a smoothers salsa in the food processor.

Chocolate Chip Challah Bread Pudding- (non-dairy & low-fat)

Chocolate Chip Challah Bread Pudding- (Non-Dairy & low-fat)

As I type up this recipe and look through the pics I find myself craving this Chocolate Chip Challah Bread Pudding all over again. I made this for Rosh Hashana as a last minute dessert and it turned out so great that I surprised myself. I am actually embarrassed to admit that I ate most of it by myself in just a few days. It just has that comforting and addicting quality that makes you go back for seconds and thirds. Plus it is so quick and easy to make, I whipped it up in 5 minutes and used basic pantry ingredients I had laying around. My sister recently made this recipe and omitted the chocolate chips and she said her family LOVED it too. So make it your own— try it with raisins, dried fruit, nuts … the sky is the limit. I hope you enjoy and indulge as much as I did!!

XO

Mimi

Beauty Bonus: Every serving of pure ALMOND MILK contains 50% of our recommended daily value of Vitamin E. This powerful nutrient has antioxidant abilities in that it helps regulate Vitamin A use and availability- (great for skin!).

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Almond Milk (vanilla flavor)
  • ¾ cup non-dairy Chocolate Chips (Trader Joes makes the best I have ever tasted)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 11/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 large Eggs (organic)
  • ½ cup organic Turbanado Sugar + 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 8 cups (1-inch) cubes Challah
  • 1 tablespoon organic vegan butter

Preheat oven to 325°.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Add challah cubes, tossing to coat. Let challah mixture stand 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Coat an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with organic vegan butter. Spoon the challah mixture into dish, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until pudding is set. Let pudding stand 15 minutes before serving.

Crunchy Quinoa Grilled Turkey Burger (low-fat)

Grilled Crunchy Quinoa Turkey Burgers

When you hear the word BBQ do you start to salivate like I do?  I love to grill for so many different reasons. First of all it’s delicious, there is something to say for food cooked over a flame…the char flavor is just addicting. Not to mention grilled good is healthy, quick, easy and the clean up is a cinch- no pans or pots to wash. This is probably why every time we have a BBQ you will almost always find me “manning” the grill.  What can I say, I am a girl who loves my grill :-)

With grilling season right around the corner, or if you live in sunny Los Angeles well under way—I am always experimenting with new recipes.  I love a good beef burger any day of the week, but the husby and I can only eat so much red meat. So I thought I would give turkey a try but give it a little twist. The classic turkey burger is always a delicious option, but my Grilled Crunchy Quinoa Turkey Burger is a nice twist on a classic. The breadcrumbs add a nice crunchy element and the quinoa keeps the lean turkey meat moist. I even re-heated last night’s patty for today’s lunch is it did not disappoint.   But best of all I grill these burger on the BBQ, but put a sheet of aluminum foil between the grill and the burgers to make sure they wont stick making clean up a super cinch. It’s a win win- I hope you enjoy these burgers as much as I did!

Beauty Bonus: Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a grain; it is actually a seed and related to the spinach family. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.  It is also a good source of magnesium and copper that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.

Enjoy!

Xo

Mimi

Grilled Crunchy Quinoa Turkey Burgers

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ·Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • ½ Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Mix turkey, egg, salt pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and to the quinoa and use your fingers to combine. Form into four patties. Drizzle each patty with a little olive oil and coat with breadcrumbs on each side. Refrigerate while you heat up the grill. Just before grilling drizzle each side of the burger with a little more olive oil- this will help the breadcrumbs really crisp up. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the grill, racks and cook turkey burgers for about 5 minutes per side, until well done.

 Serve on a whole grain bun or enjoy open-faced topped your favorite burger fixings.

White Bean Tomato Veggie Soup (vegan & low-fat)

White Bean Tomato Vegetable Soup (vegan & low-fat)

It is day three of this white bean tomato veggie soup and I am still loving (and eating) it! I am always looking for ways to pack a lot of veggies and protein into a meal and don’t always feel like chicken or meat. This is what I love most about this soup, it is so hearty and satisfying that you really don’t need it. All I have to do is heat it up when I get home and lunch or dinner is ready!! Like with most soups it’s a cinch to make and tastes better every day.

Beauty Bonus: White Beans: In addition to being a good source of fiber beans are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also a bonanza of folic acid, copper, iron, and magnesium — four nutrients that many nutrition experts agree we don’t get enough of. Indeed, most dry beans and peas are rich sources of iron — ideal for people who don’t eat meat. White beans have almost twice the iron of black beans, while kidney beans are somewhere in between. And fiber does vary.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups dry white beans

1 ½ cups dry lima beans

10-12 cups water

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and small dice

4 ribs if celery, small dice
1 medium onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed with hands
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Pick over dried beans, discarding any pebbles or shriveled beans. It is ideal if you can place in bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.

2. In a stock pot, sauté onion, carrots, celery, garlic in olive oil until soft and translucent.

3. Add the beans, tomatoes, water, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 2 hours, until white beans are very tender.

4. When ready to serve, season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Braised Chipotle Turkey Breast w. vegetables (one pot dinner!)

Braised Chipotle Turkey Breast w. vegetables (one pot dinner!)

Shame on me. I have not posted in so long, too long,  BUT I’m back! I am refreshed and more excited than ever to share my food creations with you.

While we had a really warm and sunny day in Los Angeles today (don’t be jealous east-coasters) I decided to make a braised turkey breast. To be honest I was looking through my fridge and freezer determined to use what I had on hand when I discovered a frozen ½ turkey breast.  My husby does not typically like turkey (except his mother’s on thanksgiving :-)) but I knew that I could get away with it as long as it was juicy and served alongside with some sort of potato. I wanted to make an easy one-pot dinner that I can pretty much throw in everything …no stress, no mess, just yum!  The best part of this dinner is that the wine, water and spices simmer together to make a great gravy. Feel free to switch out veggies for your favorite ones that can withstand an hour of braising (yams, turnips etc..)

Beauty Bonus:

Chipotle chili peppers are a good source of vitamins and also very high in potassium, magnesium and iron, which in turn, may be effective in protecting against cancer. They contain 357% more vitamin C than an orange. Moreover, they are a good source of most B vitamins in particular vitamin B6.

Ingredients:

  • ½ Turkey Breast on the bone (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 Large Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs of Celery, chopped
  • 1 pound Baby Red Potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Cup of Water

Preparation:

Rinse turkey breast under cold water; pat dry.

Heat a large Dutch over (or pot) over med-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

In a small bowl mix chipotle, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and rub all over turkey breast (get some spices under the skin as well).

Brown all sides of the turkey breast on the pot (about 3 minutes per side).

Remove turkey breast form pot, and deglaze with white wine (add white wine and scrape off brown bits from the bottom of pot with a wooden spoon).

Add potatoes, celery, onion, garlic and carrots and 1 cup of water. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Return turkey to the pot (over the veggies) and drizzle with honey

Cover and reduce heat to a med-low and simmer for about 1 hour.

The liquid on the bottom of the pan will turn into really nice gravy!

Serve and enjoy!

Organic Green Lentil Beef Soup

While shopping at my local Whole Foods this week I came across a bag of beautiful Organic Green Lentils. I knew right then and there I had to have them! I had no specific dish in mind at the time, but I love all legumes and was psyched to bring them home with me. Sure enough I was getting ready to make dinner this week and my fridge was looking pretty bare. I remembered that I had lentils on hand but not much more. I was able to scrape a few essentials together (carrots, celery, onions and garlic) and was gearing up for a great lentil soup. I was going to make it vegetarian until my dear friend Julie gave me the idea to add some beef to it. Lucky for me I had a small piece of chuck steak in the freezer. Within an hour I had the most delicious soup…it was so thick and hearty it could almost pass as a stew.  This soup is just as good if you choose to omit the meat and make it vegetarian. Either way you are in for a tasty and healthy meal!

Xo

Mimi

Beauty Bonus: Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, of both the soluble and insoluble types. Soluble fibers help in trapping the bile content and disposing it from the body. And a healthy bowel can lead to clear and vibrant skin!

Organic Green Lentil Beef Soup

  • 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 6-8 oz Beef Chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
  • 2 Large Celery Stalks, chopped (organic)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped  (organic)
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped (organic)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped (organic)
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 cup Organic Green dry lentils

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and then gently place into the hot oil, and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Once browned, remove the beef and set aside, reserving the remaining oil in the pot. Stir in the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 8 minutes more.
  2. Add the lentils to the pot and let brown for 2 minutes. Pour in the water, and browned beef. Season to taste with seas salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the meat is beginning to turn tender, about 1 hour.

Double Chocolate Brownies (non-dairy)

I love to cook, but as I have stated many time before I am sadly not much of a baker. I leave that up to my very talented sister Donna, the girl whips up the most delicious cookies, mandel bread, cinnamon buns, cakes…you name it!

However just last week my husband came home with some fun presents from Williams Sonoma, one of them being an awesome metal brownie pan. It was so heavy and substantial, I can only imagine that Ina Garten and other fabulous chefs use this exact pan…I was inspired! I researched some brownie recipes made my own little tweaks and batched up my very own double chocolate non-dairy decadent brownies. They have a great crunch on the outside and are so rich, chocolate-y and chewy on the inside. I used an 8inch square brownie pan, which really made each piece nice and thick.  Just in time for the weekend, because I think a little chocolate splurge is in order…TGIF!!

Enjoy!

Xo

Mimi

Beauty Bonus:

Cocoa contains flavanols (fights anti-aging) that helps vascular tissues to relax which improves blood vessel function and also gives a glow to the skin. Cocoa is effective in treating skin damages, dark spots, acne and other skin problems. It even has anti-cancer properties that can help to prevent skin cancer

Double Chocolate Brownies (non-dairy)

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted organic vegan butter
  • 6 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, finely chopped (I used Trader Joes non-dairy chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 Cup Organic Turbanado Sugar or Cane sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Organic Light Brown Sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup Flour, sifted
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Powder

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square-baking dish.

Melt chocolate pieces and organic vegan butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until it resembles a thick sauce, or in a double boiler.

In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients, flour, baking powder,  and salt. In another bow wish together wet ingredients, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add chocolate sauce mixture to wet ingredients until combined. Once combines add dry ingredients and whisk together until combined

Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out almost completely clean, about 35-40 minutes. Do not over bake. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares.  Dust with organic powder sugar or serve with soy ice cream.

Enjoy!

My Mom’s PERFECT Potato Latkes (gluten-free)

My Mom’s Perfect Potato Latkes

Last week was the first night of Chanukah and I invited my mom over for dinner. I told her I would cook and when she asked about the latkes I let her know that  I was not in the mood to start frying and would pick up a frozen box from Trader Joe’s (which by the way are pretty darn good). My mother responded in silence and I started to panic. I tried to convince her that the TJ brand is really good and she would not even notice that they were not home-made, but she did was not buying it. She politely told me that she would whip up a batch of latkes in the morning before work and bring them with her for dinner. I did not hold my breath.  But the very  the next day she brought over a box of her freshly fried latkes…OMG!! They were so delicious, crispy on the outside and oh so soft and fluffy on the outside -  like nothing I have ever had!  When I asked her what her secret was she smiled and said, zucchini :-)

My Mom’s (Sonya Dakar) Perfect Potato Latkes

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Idaho Potato -peeled and shredded
  • 3 eggs, beaten (organic)
  • 1 large zucchini squash -grated
  • 1 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Grape seed Oil for frying
  • Greek Yogurt & Scallions (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, zucchini squash, eggs, salt and pepper together.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot!
  3. You may top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and thinly sliced scallions.

Easy Thanksgiving Non- Dairy Pumpkin Pie (low-fat )

Thanksgiving Non- Dairy Pumpkin Pie

It was my job to get the dessert for Thanksgiving dinner today. As I looked at the dessert options at the market I noticed how many of them were full of corn syrup, shortening and processed ingredients.  I wanted a dessert that allowed me to control the amount of sugar, was non-dairy and minimally processed.  I decided to roll up my sleeves and bake something  myself. It was a no-brainer to make a pumpkin pie, because it’s my husby’s favorite.  I doubled this recipe for the filling and made one with a crust, and one with out (for a gluten-free option and  anyone who wants to lighten the carb-intake).  The results were  so great you did not miss the dairy at all!  For those of you who want to add a little extra I recommend that you serve the pie with a side of soy vanilla ice cream.

I want to wish all of you the happiest Thanksgiving filled with friends, family and great food!

Beauty Bonus: Pumpkin packs a powerful one-two punch when it comes to skin care. It contains powerful alpha hydroxy acids, a natural fruit acid that helps lift away old skin cells to reveal a radiant, more luminous complexion, plus vitamin A, which helps increase the rate of cell renewal to unveil younger-looking, softer skin.

Xo

Mimi

For the filling:

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
  • 2 eggs (organic)
  • ¼ cup Agave (organic)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup Soy or Almond Milk
  • ½ Cup Orange Juice (fresh- not from concentrate)
  • 1- 15oz Can pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp nutmeg (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar and agave. Add salt, cinnamon. Gradually stir in milk and orange juice. Stir in pumpkin. Pour filling into pie shell.
  3. Bake for ten minutes in preheated oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, or until filling is set.

Let cool and top with Soy or other non-dairy vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

If you choose to make a crust here is the recipe:

For the crust:

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Organic Vegan Butter
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in vegan butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don’t over work it.

Roasted Turkey Breast w. herbs & white wine gravy- Thanksgiving Special (low-fat)

I could not help myself…I know that thanksgiving is tomorrow, but I jumped the gun and made a turkey and some fixings for dinner last week.  Is that such a crime? I blame the Food Network and all of their Thanksgiving programming. For weeks I’ve salivated over The Barefoot Contessa roast a gorgeous Turkey Breast, Bobby Flay win his Thanksgiving “Throwdown” and  Alex Guarnaschelli roast her bird to pure perfection. I had to have a little Thanksgiving preview for myself. I figured it was a good opportunity to try out a new recipe to post on MissBeautyFoodie.com, so it really was in the name of research and NOT gluttony.

And what I came up with was a delicious Turkey breast that I brined with herbs, white wine, salt sugar and a few more ingredients. It was moist and so flavorful, I was very pleasantly surprised. My dear friends Eliana and Micah tasted the left-overs and asked for the recipe, which of course made me so happy :-). I hope yo enjoy it as much as they did!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

xo

Mimi

Roasted Turkey Breast w. herbs and white wine- Thanksgiving Special (low-fat)

4 pound Turkey Breast (boneless)

For the Brine

2/3 cup Sea Salt

2/3 Cup Raw Sugar

3/4 Cup White Wine

2-3 Cloves Garlic- crushed

1 Tablespoon Thyme

1 Tablespoon Sage

1 Teaspoon Peppercorns

1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds

1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)

1 Cup Watm Water

2-4 Quarts Cold Water

1/2-3/4 cup Brown Sugar

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix sea salt, sugar, wine, peppercorns, garlic, coriander seeds, cayenne, thyme and sage in the largest bowl you have (or pot).

Add warm water and whisk until salt and sugar is dissolved.  Please Turkey in bowl and fill with cold water until covered by at least 1-inch. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Since this brine has is not too salty, you can keep the turkey in it overnight, or a little longer.  But if time is limited you can also brine for a few hours.

Remove turkey from brine and discard liquid.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat dry and place on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and pack  bird with brown sugar. I think the sugar creates a great glaze and adds a touch of sweetness. Roast Turkey for 15-20 minutes at 400, then reduce temperature to 350 and continue to cook for about 90 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10minutes. Carve and serve ASAP!

GRAVY BONUS:

The drippings make a perfect gravy, just add to sauce pan, whisk in 2 tbs flour and fresh sage, and 2 cups chicken stock, bring to boil and reduce to simmer until you achieved your desired consistency. Pour in gravy boat and serve with turkey.

Enjoy!


Butternut Squash Puree Soup (Vegan & Low-Fat)


The Thanksgiving countdown begins….YUM!!

Thanksgiving is my favorite “food” holiday.  While I love my jelly donuts, latkes, brisket and even matzoh, nothing can compare to my annual love affair with turkey, gravy, stuffing…well you get the point.  I spend the holiday is Texas with my wonderful in-laws every year and my mother-in-law makes a fabulous spread which I look forward to every year, I salivate as I think of her delicious stuffing.  I love these flavors so much I had to find a way to enjoy lighter versions throughout the year. I have always loved butternut squash soup and decided to create a low-fat, dairy-free, vegetarian version that is satisfying and easy enough to enjoy as a light lunch or opening to a delicious meal. This soup is pretty easy to make, and you don’t have to wait for Turkey day to enjoy it!!

Xo

Mimi

Beauty Bonus: butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation.

Vegan Butternut Squash Puree Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Onion- diced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves-grated or chopped
  • 2 Celery Stalks- chopped
  • 2 Carrots- peeled and chopped
  • 2 Medium Zucchini – peeled and dices
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Directions

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot or dutch oven heat olive oil. Add onions, celery, garlic and carrots and cook until soft. Add Zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes, or until soft. Add squash, water, salt, and pepper, thyme and cayenne. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Sweet Paprika Roasted Chicken w. Sweet Onions & Potatoes


One Dish Dinner :

Sweet Paprika Roasted Chicken w. Sweet Onions & Potatoes

I grew up on chicken and rice weeknight dinners, I tease my mom about the fact that 90% of the meals I remember her making Monday-Thursday consisted of paprika broiled chicken and basmati rice (yum!).  It’s been years since I have eaten my mom’s delicious chicken and rice, and so I felt inspired to create my own version. Since I always have chicken on-hand (cut up, boneless or a full bird) I was able to put this dish together fairly quickly for dinner the other night.  I opted for potatoes and onions instead of rice because my husby prefers them, and I can just throw them in with the chicken and they will cook together. This one dish meal of sweet paprika chicken with sweet onions and potatoes is easy enough to make on busy weeknights, yet so special I would not hesitate serving it to guests, or my mom.

Enjoy!

Xo

Mimi

Beauty Bonus: Fiery red paprika powder, made from the most aromatic bell peppers, traces its roots to South America and West Indies. Apart from containing vitamin C, paprika is a storehouse of other essential vitamins like A, E and K (think anti-oxindants!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3  Tablespoons sweet (Hungarian) paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), cut into serving pieces
  • 1 red sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch rings or wedges
  • 1 small back (3 cups tiny baby potatoes, or reg potatoes cut into large cubes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°F

1. Stir together first 5 ingredients to form a paste.

2. Arrange chicken pieces, potatoes and onions in a single layer baking pan and massage with paprika spice mixture. Make sure to get the paste underneath the skin as well as on the bottom of the chicken pieces.

3. Sprinkle chicken with fennel and coriander seeds

4. Bake at 425° for 55-65 minutes or until chicken, onion and potatoes are browned. Let chicken stand 5 minutes; lightly brush with pan juices just before serving.

Hearty Chicken Shorba Soup w. Chickpeas (low-fat)

It was a rainy, overcast chilly day in LA today. The type of day that gets you excited to wear a pair of great boots, layer up and  enjoy a comforting bowl of soup. But not just any soup — today was screaming for a hearty soup that eats like a meal. I am a huge chicken soup fan, but I needed something that was more satisfying today so I turned to my Mothers’ classic Chicken Shorba Soup. This soup is a traditional middle eastern soup and I think it is a perfect hybrid of tomato rice and chicken soup…with all that, what’s not to like? I choose to switch out the original white rice for its fiber rich cousin (brown basmati) and load it up with veggies and protein rich garbanzo beans. When I made this soup a few weeks ago, our dear house guest could not get enough (which was a pure delight to me as my Husby is afraid of Garbanzo beans!). If you make it on a cold rainy day for yourself or make it for guests — I know you will end up feeling good about how delicious, easy and healthy it is!

Beauty Bonus: Tomatoes are rich in anti-oxidants and so they counter the aging effects on the skin, by cutting out the number of free radicals in your body. Free radicals break down the support system for your hair and skin, so it makes sense to eat a tomato a day.

Enjoy!

XO

Mimi

Chicken Shorba Soup w. Chickpeas


  • 8 Cups Water
  • 4-6 Pieces of Chicken on the bone (I use a mix or dark and white)
  • 1 Medium Onion -chopped
  • 2 Stalks Celery- chopped
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 3 Clove Garlic crushed
  • 1 Medium Tomato- chopped
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper- to taste
  • 11/2 Tbs Koobah Spice Mix (this is a mix or curry, cardamon & cumin)
  • 4 Cardamom Pods- crushed
  • 11/2 Cups Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 Lemon a fresh squeeze for each serving (optional but delicious)

Directions:

  1. In a dutch oven or soup pot add chicken pieces and cover with about 8 cups water (or about 3-4 inches above chicken)
  2. Let soup boil and remove any oil, impurities and foam that surface. I take extra long when doing this to assure a light and clean soup.
  3. Add celery,tomato, onions, garbanzo beans, tomato paste, salt, pepper, cardamom and koobah spices. Bring back to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add rice and continue to cook until the grains are soft and plump (about 45-55minutes).
  4. Remove chicken pieces and set aside on a plate to cool for a few minutes. Once cooled discard skin and bones and break meat into chunks and return to soup.
  5. Bring soup to a simmer
  6. Optional: Squeeze the lemon into the soup or on individual servings.


Organic Pecan Sweet & Sticky Buns

MissBeautyFoodie: Organic Pecan Sweet & Sticky Buns

I am really not a “sweets” person — I usually prefer salty foods any day of the week, but I have to admit that I do enjoy a good sticky bun from time to time. It’s basically sweet buttery challah bread with nuts — I don’t think I am alone when I profess my deep love for these decadent doughy buns!  I wanted to come up with a recipe that is as delicious as it is healthy. OK this may not nutritionally match up to a broccoli soup or spinach salad; But as far as sweets go its definitely healthier than most of the processed preservative-laden desserts that are out there. I made these for the first time this past Friday for my husby, my big brother and his family who were visiting from NY. My nieces Alanah and Leora could not get enough, and later told me “Aunt Mimi, you sure are a good baker J”. But this recipe is also an adult pleaser, my husby, bro and sister-in-law shared the same sentiment as my two nieces. I have now been requested to whip up another batch for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) this week. And you know that is sweet and sticky music to my ears.

BEAUTY BONUS: Pecans, a nut native to North America, contain a host of health benefits. Recent research indicates that pecans may r several health benefits, including: High Protein and Fiber Content-3 ½ ounces of pecans contain 9 grams of protein and 10 grams of dietary fiber. High in Antioxidants- Pecans contain the highest amount of antioxidants (especially Vitamin E) of any tree nut.

Wishing you a Sweet & Happy New Year & Enjoy!

Xo

Mimi

Organic Pecan Sweet & Sticky Buns

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 ¼ Teaspoon of Active Dry Yeast
6 Tablespoons Organic Turbonado Sugar
4 Tbsp. Organic Vegan Butter
2 Egg Whites (organic)
1/2 Tbsp. Finely grated orange zest
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (organic)

2 Teaspoons Vital Wheat Gluten (optional)

Filling:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tablespoon Organic Vegan Butter

4 Tablespoon Toasted Pecan Pieces

1-Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1-Teaspoon Vanilla

Topping:

1-Cup Confectioners Sugar (Organic)

2 Teaspoons Almond Milk or water
3-4 Tablespoons Pecan Pieces

Directions:

1 Make the dough.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Add water, vegan butter, remaining sugar, egg whites, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low speed, slowly incorporate the remaining 1-cup of flour. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or 2 hours if not in an entirely warm place). After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.

Note- The dough may also be made with the bread-maker machine, or by hand.

Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 12×7 inch rectangle. Mix softened vegan butter, turbanado sugar and vanilla together and spread on each half  with Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon. Roll up the halves, beginning at the wide side. Seal well by pinching the seams. Cut each roll into 12 slices.

Grease two 9 inch round cake pans with vegan butter.  Place 12 dough slices in each pan, leaving a small space between slices. Let rise until doubled (30-40minutes)

While sticky buns are baking, make the icing! Ad 1 cup powdered sugar to a bowl, and whisk in almond milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until you get a goopy icing consistency. If the icing is too thick as a little more liquid. If too thin then add a little more powdered sugar.

Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 30 minutes. Invert pans onto serving plates immediately.

Let cool for 3-5 minutes, and glaze by pouring all the icing over the sticky buns. Allow to sit for another minute or two and ENJOY!!

Crispy Chicken w. Garlic Brown Rice Noodles

Many years ago I started my very own tradition that I spend my birthday weekend in Palm Springs, CA.  I love to relax, swim, read and of course eat surrounded by stunning mountains in the desert. These weekends have created so many wonderful memories with great friends and now family. Its these warm and happy memories that made it a no-brainer to choose Palm Springs as the town for my weekend wedding :-).  Another birthday tradition I started was stopping over at the outlet mall on the way back home with my husby and picking up a birthday celebratory piece of Le Creuset. It is really the cherry on the top of a perfect weekend. And this year was no different…I already knew what I wanted and all I had to do was choose a color. I came home the proud owner of a 12” Lemongrass Cast Iron Frying Pan- HEAVEN!! I could not wait to break it in and what better way than with one of my husby’s favorite dinners- Chicken and Noodles. The grated garlic really gives the noodles a great pop, and the herby flavor adds a delicious earthy-ness. Topped with crispy seasoned chicken and some chili flakes…this is a really simple and delicious dish!

Enjoy!

Xo

Mimi

BEAUTY BONUS:

Garlic has been regarded as having health benefits for the body for thousands of years. Raw garlic is full of natural agents that help it function as an antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic and a germicide. It is also an antioxidant, so a diet rich in raw garlic fights against harmful free radicals (AKA- great anti-aging benefits…HELLO!)

Crispy Chicken w Garlic Brown Rice Noodles

For Garlic Noodles:

1/2 Pound of Brown Rice Spaghetti (Organic)

3 Large Cloves of Garlic (grated)

Sea Salt – to taste

Freshly Ground Pepper- to taste

1-Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ teaspoon Crushed Chili Flakes (optional)

1-2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

For Crispy Chicken

2-3 Organic Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast (partially frozen is ideal)

3 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour

2 Tablespoons Paprika

1-Teaspoon Hot Paprika

2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Teaspoon of Sea Salt

½ Teaspoon of Freshly Ground Pepper

Directions:
Bring a large big pot of salted water to a boil, add brown rice spaghetti and cook according to the directions on the package. Once cooked, drain and return back to pot, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil so that noodles do not stick together.

Thinly slice chicken into 1-inch pieces. Partially frozen chicken is MUCH easier to slice thin,  but if your chicken is fresh pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up before slicing.

Toss and Coat the strips of chicken (you may also use boneless thigh strips if you prefer dark meat) with the flour, paprika, hot paprika, salt and pepper and shake off any excess. Heat large cast iron skillet or pan on med-high, add olive oil and heat for another 30 seconds and add chicken. Make sure not to crowd the chicken, you may want to cook it in batches so it can really crisp up. But if you are like me and feel that its too much work, then cook it in one batch but make sure to flip pieces of chicken so they brown on all sides. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel. Wipe the pan dry with a paper towel and return to med flame. Add cooked noodles , 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, grated garlic( I love to use a microplane), thyme and chili flakes. Toss the noodles until they are well coated. Add crispy chicken to the top and give a few more tosses. Taste and make sure that its has enough seasoning and serve!!

Ruby Red Oven Roasted Roma Tomatoes


I grew up eating tomatoes like most people did apples. Not a day went by that dinner was served sans tomatoes slices drizzled with olive oil or tossed into a salad.  My parents would grate them into soups, turn tomato paste into delicious sauces, or just serve them on their own sprinkled with salt. There is nothing I love more than garden fresh tomatoes, they are so fragrant, sweet and tangy. But never before have I oven roasted them. I experimented with this recipe a few weeks ago and gave it to my biggest tomato critic, my mom. She went bananas, and now I make sure to have these ruby red sweet treats on hand anytime she stops by. Best of all they are great served alongside almost any dish you can think of or even on their own with a little sprinkle of goat cheese (pictured above). I have a feeling that you will go bananas over these too!

Enjoy,

XO Mimi

BEAUTY BONUS: The tomato has a high vitamin content: its characteristic red color indicates the presence of lycopene, an excellent natural antioxidants (anti-aging ;-), and beta-carotene

Ruby Red Oven Roma Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 12  roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea Salt &  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
  • Feta or Goat Cheese for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic, salt, and pepper over the tomatoes. Roast for 50-65 minutes, until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. Finish with balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of goat or feta cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

BEST Lemon-Sage Roasted Chicken w. easy gravy


I hear so many chefs describe their food as simple, clean and flavorful and I usually find that is it that type of cooking is the tastiest. And what food is more straightforward, simple and delicious that roasted chicken? You can find roasted chicken on so many menus from fancy bistros to the most casual restaurants. It is so versatile, goes with almost any side dish and if cooked correctly…it is simply scrumptious! Roasted chicken is one of my go-to recipes I make when I am entertaining guests, not just because its delicious but it is always a crowd pleaser. One of my friends once said to me “Mims, when you get your roasted chicken right, nothing is better”. That to me solidified my confidence in this dish. I love the flavor combination of sage, lemon and garlic. But feel free to use rosemary, thyme or any other herb you have on hand. The gravy is a new addition I made this week because I thought the chicken drippings were to tasty to discard. The recipe for both the chicken and gravy are super easy and straightforward. I hope you love this dish so much, you make it YOUR go-to crowd-pleasing recipe!

Enjoy!
Xo Mimi

BEST Lemon-Sage Roasted Chicken w. easy gravy

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 pound) Whole Chicken, giblets removed (organic)
  • Sea salt and Freshly Ground Black pepper to taste
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Lemon Cut into Quarters
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves- grated _ 2 Whole Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbs Organic Vegan Butter
  • 2 Tbs Chopped Fresh Sage  + 2 Fresh Sage Sprigs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it’s a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.

Now, salt and pepper the chicken Season to taste with pepper.

In s separate bowl combine organic vegan butter, lemon zest, grated garlic and chopped sage. Spread this mixture all over the chicken and place a few dollops under the chicken skin of the breast. This will really keep the breast juicy and tender. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Roast it until it’s done, 60-75 minutes. Baste the chicken with the juices and let it rest covered for 15 minutes.

Remove the twine as well as the lemon, garlic and herbs used to stuff the chicken. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone as well. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each.  I sometimes cut the breast in half, so my guest can take a little white and dark meat. Garnish platter with lemon and sage.

If you love the drippings as much as I do, go ahead and make a gravy with it.

Lemon Sage Chicken Gravy

  • 1 tablespoon organic vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Drippings
  • Water- about 1 cup
  • 1/8 Cup or splash of white whine

Melt butter in a small saucepan, and quickly add flour.  Mix together until light brown, add white wine add drippings and whisk until combined, add water to thin out until you reach your perfect gravy consistency. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Puree of Celery Soup w. Organic Chicken (low-fat)


I went to the Larchmont Farmers Market this past weekend and I felt like a kid in a candy store surrounded by all the fresh and organic locally grown produce.  I had to be yanked to the car because I really could have visited each booth and explore the amazing offerings for hours and hours. I picked up some fresh herbs and veggies knowing that as soon as I got them home to wash and store them I would have a culinary “light bulb” moment. A few days went by and still nothing…until today when I took a quick work break to make myself chicken soup for a late lunch. When I pulled out the celery, zucchini squash and chicken it hit me — I can puree the veggies and sauté them to use as my base for the soup! It turned out really good, better than I thought it would and I even went back a second bowl (or third). I can’t wait to see what next week’s farmers market has in store for me ;-)

Beauty Bonus: The leaves of the celery have a high content of vitamin A, whereas the stem of celery provides a great source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, and vitamin C. The stem is also a good source of folic acid, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, and a wide range of essential amino acids. It can also promote normal kidney function by providing an aid in the elimination of toxins in the body.

Puree of Celery Soup w. Organic Chicken (low-fat)

(serves 4)

  • 7-8 Ribs of Celery (Organic)
  • 1 Med. Yellow Onion (organic)
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 3 Medium Zucchini Squash (organic)
  • 1 Tablespoon Flat leaf Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Chicken Breast (on bone w. skin removed)- organic
  • 3 Cups Water
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs Sliced Scallions

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven on med-high heat. Chop/puree celery and onion in a food processor, add to pot, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté 3-4 minutes. While celery and onion are sautéing proceed to finely chop/puree zucchini squash, garlic, and parsley in the food processor and add to the pot. Taste veggie mixture and add any additional seasoning if needed. Continue to sauté another  2-4 minutes. Add 3 Cups of water and chicken and bring soup to a boil. Once soup has boiled reduce to a med-low, taste and add any sea salt & pepper needed, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken, let cool, break into small pieces and add back to the pot of soup. Return to simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and/or sliced scallions.

GUILT-FREE Olive Oil & Thyme Baked French Fries (low-fat & vegan)



I can eat french fries any time of the day, there really is no food I prefer more than these crispy and salty little sticks of heaven. But did you know that a serving of French fries (5 oz) has about 500 calories and 25 grams of fat? YEP! While I never order a veggie or fish burger without a side of fries, I can’t bring myself to indulge and make them at home. I think it’s so hilarious that I try to eat pretty clean at home, but when I go out to eat I just can’t resist crunchy salty addicting french fries! When I first got married I was always looking for new side dishes I could make my meat and potatoes Texan husby. I created my Olive Oil Thyme Baked French Fries and to they are still one of my his favorite dishes I make (I secretly blush when he tells his friends how great he thinks they are ;-).  I really  love to experiment with different herbs and toppings like thyme, rosemary, garlic, sea salt. Almost anything you put on these guilt-free fries tastes delicious.

Beauty Bonus: Potatoes have a high content of Vitamin B6. When it comes to beauty, Vitamin B6 is so incredibly important! If you want healthy bones, skin, hair and teeth, Vitamin B6 can offer all of that and more.

GUILT-FREE Olive Oil & Thyme Baked French Fries

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick fries (I keep the skin on)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1 Tbs Thyme (chopped)
  • Sea Salt (to taste)
  • Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix toss the potato pieces in the olive oil until evenly coated. Spray olive oil cooking spray to coat the baking sheet, and arrange fries in a single layer. DO NOT over crowd or layer the potatoes, they will end up steaming themselves and getting soft instead of crispy. If need be use multiple baking sheets/batches. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Then, turn the fries over, and continue to bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until crispy and browned. Season with sea salt,fresh ground  pepper, fresh thyme (and Cayenne)- enjoy!

Juicy Chicken Fajita w Caramelized Red Onions (low-fat)


I love having friends and family over the house for dinner, I am really in my element when I can cook from my heart and feed my loved ones. But the biggest treat for me is when my sister or brother visit from New York, I will ALWAYS choose to stay in and cook for them vs. going out to eat.  My sister Donna was in town this week and after reading my food posts she was super excited to try some of my new dishes.  I consider her food and baked goods to be some of the BEST I have ever had, I mean the girl can really cook…so the pressure was on :-) I decided to make something light and flavorful that would suit a warm Los Angeles summer night vibe.  I whipped up these delicious chicken fajitas in about 25 minutes which makes it a perfect weeknight meal solution. The caramelized onions taste so sweet and rich and paired really well the lemony and slightly spicy chicken. I served this with a side of low-fat refried spicy beans, homemade pico de gallo (recipe to come), chipotle sauce and some whole wheat and low carb tortillas.  And best of all, I packed the leftovers for lunch the next day and they were even more delicious. I can’t wait for the next time my sis (or brother) visits and I can have her over for another amazing beautyfoodie meal!

BEAUTY BONUS: Apart from containing vitamin C, paprika is a storehouse of other essential vitamins like A, E and K, which all have wonderful benefits for your skin). Spicy, red hot paprika comes loaded with iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. These essential minerals help to purify the blood system.

Enjoy!

Xo

Mimi

Juicy Chicken Fajita w Caramelized Red Onions (low-fat)

- Serves 4 with leftovers

4 Organic Chicken Breast (cut into strips)

1 Red Onion (cut into rings)

2 TBS Olive Oil

Juice of 1 Lemon

Zest of 1 Lemon

1 Garlic Clove (grated)

1 Tsp Paprika or Hot Paprika

1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin

1/2-Teaspoon Chipotle Powder

1/2 -1 Tsp Seas Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Whisk together 1Tbs Olive Oil, Paprika, Chipotle Powder, Cumin, and Lemon Juice & Zest in large bowl. Add Chicken strips to bowl and toss to make sure all strips are coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinade in fridge for 30min. In a large skillet sauté red onion in 1Tbs Olive oil until it turns light brown. Add Chicken strips to the skillet of onions- spread strips out so they do not cover each other (if possible). Allow them to sit and cook and develop a nice sear (2-3 minutes), then flip strips and cook on the other side.  Make sure all chicken strips are cooked and turn off flame. Do not over cook the chicken, otherwise it will become dry.

*Serve Juicy Chicken Fajita Strips with Pico De Gallo, Refried Black Beans and a light Chipotle Sauce with warm flour or corn tortillas.

Triple Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich (non-dairy)

I am not a “sweets” person, it’s true! I would choose salty fries or baked potato chips over some cake or candy any day. My husby always laughs at me when I say this because somehow he always catches me with a cookie in hand moments later ;-) I really  do not have a sweet tooth,  I do however appreciate a good dessert from time to time (who doesn’t?), and these Triple Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are a perfect example. They are super rich and chocolate-y and when you add a little scoop vanilla soy ice cream it really hits the spot. I love to serve the cookies warm, so that they slightly melt the ice cream…this really makes my guests ooh and ahhh.  I REALLY is the perfect treat, whether you are a “sweets or salty” person.

Enjoy!

xo

Mimi

BEAUTY BONUS:

Chocolate does NOT cause pimples! Recently a group of British researchers has suggested that dark chocolate may actually minimize the risk of skin cancer and reduce the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.  The key ingredient in dark chocolate appears to be flavenoids, a type of antioxidant known to help reduce deadly free radicals from your body.


Triple Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate -coursley chopped
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Trader Joes make the best non-dairy choc chips.)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted vegan butter
  • 1 1/4 cups turbinado sugar (organic)
  • 2 large eggs (organic)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Vanilla Soy Ice Cream
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Melt  half of the coarsely chopped chocolate with the vegan butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or on low in he microwave.
  3. Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl. Add sugar, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla; mix on medium speed or by hand until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in  remaining chopped chocolate. You may ad chopped nuts at this point as well.
  4. Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, about 15 minutes. Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes.
  5. Make Ice Cream Sandwich:  Place a small scoop of Vanilla soy ice-cream in between two cookies, slightly press together and enjoy!

Don’t Mess with the Hummus {Lemon Cilantro Hummus}

I HEART Hummus!! I grew up on this stuff, like most people do peanut butter because my family is Israeli…we actually pronounce it Chummus (hoo moos). Hummus or Chummus, I can eat it every day on almost anything and never really tire of it. Knowing this I am sure you can imagine how much I enjoyed the movie “Don’t Mess With The Zohan”, besides the chummus jokes — I really loved all of the other Israeli stereo types ( i.e. the electronic store scenes)!  I have not thought about the movie too much until today while I was at the market picking up some skirt steak, turkey and chicken to BBQ for dinner tonight.  I came across the most hilarious product in the refrigerator section…ZOHAN HUMMUS! I started to chuckle as I quickly snapped a pic with my iphone and emailed it to my friends and family. Needless to say the pic was a hit with everyone, but I felt inspired to create my very own hummus when I came home. I added some lemon zest and cilantro, which really gives it a fresh herby flavor…YUM! But no matter what you call it  (chummus, hummus or HOOMOOS) … I know you will love it!!

BEAUTY BONUS: Garbanzo beans (or chick peas) are a rich source of protein. Protein is found in every cell, organ and tissue in our bodies and is essential to glossy hair, radiant skin and strong nails

Enjoy!

xo

Mimi

Lemon Cilantro Hummus (Organic & Vegan)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans – drained(organic)

1/3 Cup Tahini (organic)

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Tablesoon Lemon Zest

1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro

2 Cloves Garlic

Salt & fresh Ground Pepper to taste

¼ Cup Water

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for drizzling on top)

·  Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, cilantro, garli, salt & pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.

·  Drizzle olive oil over the garbanzo bean mixture.




Sweet Potato Cutie Pies w Fresh Sage


I was first introduced to sweet potato pie at my friend Julie’s house a few years ago. It was so delicious, I would devour it every chance I got. I have to say that I always thought that sweet potato pies tasted more like dessert than a side dish and I would want to serve it after the main course, but after many meals at Julie’s house I found myself craving it alongside my main dish.  When I was looking through my refrigerator for some side-dish inspiration last week I saw some organic yams peek out and I had my light bulb moment….SWEET POTATO PIE!! I added some orange zest and sage and I could not stop eating the batter (I am glad I showed enough restraint to leave some for baking!)  But don’t take my word for it, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think….side dish, or dessert?

BEAUTY BONUS: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and a very good source of  Vitamin C, as well as antioxidants. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals which fight environmental damage and aging.

Enjoy!

Xo

Mimi

Sweet Potato Cutie Pies w Fresh Sage

  • 4 Medium Sweet Potato (organic)
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Vegan butter, melted
  • 1 Cup Organic Raw sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage
  • 2 Eggs (organic)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg (fresh if you have on hand)
  • 1/3 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Let cool and remove the skin.
  2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, almond milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into a greased (with baking spray) cupcake baking pan
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cutie pies will puff up like a soufflé, and then will sink down as it cools.

Squash Ribbons w. Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes



I Love CARBS!! I said it and I meant it. But with swimsuit season quickly approaching I am trying to experiment and create light veggie dishes that can mimic or substitute the yummy carbs I love so much.  I saw on the news tonight that The Cheesecake Factory’s pasta carbonara with chicken  is 2500 calories and 85 grams of saturated fat… that is crazy! I am all for a good pasta, a rustic chunk of bread and even dessert, but I try to balance my meals with lots of veggies and low-fat dishes. That is why I was so excited when I learned that I can manipulate yellow zucchini squash to taste and look like a delicious pasta dish. Don’t get me wrong, this will never replace real pasta. But it’s a great alternative when you want something light and healthy. This dish was a great hit when I made it for some guests last week, my mom loved it so much I packed her a small container of it to take home.  You can serve it as a side dish, or make it the star with chunks of chicken or fish tossed in.

Enjoy!

xo

Mimi

Squash Ribbons w. Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

4 Yellow Zucchini Squash

1 Cup Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

2-3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

1 Large Garlic Clove

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices using vegetable peeler.  Make sure to not peel the core or parts with seeds. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, add  zucchini sauté, turning and stirring frequently, until just tender but not golden, about 3 minutes. Microplane or grate garlic, add thyme leaves, salt pepper and cherry tomatoes, and sautee for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer the Zucchini ribbons to a platter using tongs.  Continue to cook the cherry tomatoes in the skillet until they begin to burst.  Remove cherry to tomatoes and place over zucchini ribbons.  Transfer to a platter using tongs.

Chipotle Lime Turkey BBQ Skewers (low-fat)


It’s officially BBQ season at my house!  These warm day’s in Los Angeles really make me crave the summer, and no food screams summer like a BBQ. I love the grill marks and smokey flavor food gets from grilling: meat, poulty, fish, veggies, fruit…you name it they all taste great when grilled. Personally, I am a big turkey lover, and when I see it fresh, boneless and chopped at the butcher I grab it immediately. I made a marinade that is just spicy enough to add a little kick, but you can tweak it according to your crowd. I chose to go with low-fat mayo as the base because it gives the marinade a lot of body and it coats the turkey really nicely and was actually really fun to paint on. The flavor combination of chipotle and lime made me feel like I was eating chips, it is bursting with just enough heat and smokiness  and the lime adds a lot of fresh brightness. All in all this is a perfect warm weather lunch or dinner that you can grill indoors or out!

Enjoy!

xo

Mimi

Chipotle Lime Turkey BBQ Skewers (low-fat)

1 Pound Diced Turkey Meat (dark or white meat)

6 skewer sticks

2 Teaspoons of Low-Fat Mayonnaise

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Chipotle Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Hot Paprika

Zest of 1 Lime

Juice of 1 Line

Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix mayonnaise, paprika, chipotle powder, hot paprika, seasoned salt, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside. If using wooden skewer sticks soak in water for 5 minutes (so they won’t burn on the grill). Skewer 3-4 pieces of turkey on each stick, set aside on a plate.  With a brush paint the marinade on each side of the turkey, cover with plastic wrap and let marinade in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.  Heat BBQ to a med-high heat and place skewers on the grill. Lets brown *about 4-6 minutes per side), remove from grill. Cover w foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Eat and Enjoy!

Whole-Wheat Herb Focaccia Bread


The best part of going out to dinner is the warm basket of bread they serve you before the meal. Sometimes the bread is so good, it is better than the actual meal.  I had this in mind when I made my creamy broccoli soup earlier this week. I knew it needed a delicious piece of bread to go with it; Something that could be dipped and dunked and that would soak up all the soupy goodness. I remember watching a cooking show where chef Anne Burelle made focaccia “dunkers” to serve alongside her chicken soup and I was inspired to make a “dunker” for my soup that was healthier (with whole wheat flour, herbs and just enough olive oil). The results were a crispy, puffy, aromatic and rustic bread. It is very forgiving so you don’t have to be a baker, just have fun with it and I promise you will enjoy the results!

Xo

Mimi

Whole Wheat Herb Focaccia Bread

1 ¾ cup water

2 ½ Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 ½ Teaspoons chopped herbs (I use fresh thyme and rosemary)

1 ½ Teaspoons Sea Salt

3 Cups + 3 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour (I love the white whole wheat flour from Trader Joes)

1 ½ Teaspoons Yeast

2 Tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten

for topping:

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Garlic Cloves (grated or crushed)

By Hand:

STEP #1 :In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the oil, honey, salt, eggs, flour, and vital wheat gluten. Beat until smooth. If the dough is a little wet you may stir in extra flour (1Tbs at a time) flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Proceed with STEP #2

By Bread Machine:

Step #1: In the bread maker bowl add (in this order) water, oil, herbs salt, flour, vital wheat gluten and yeast. Put machine on “ Pizza Bread” mode. Let the machine mix, knead and do the first rise of the bread.  Once the dough has risen remove from bread machine and follow directions below:

STEP #2:

Punch dough down. Turn onto an oiled jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Roll out dough to cover the pan, and poke holes in the dough with your fingers. Cover lightly and let rise until doubled, about an hour.  Mix olive oil and 2 cloves or grated garlic in a bowl and brush over bread. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-20 minutes, or until light brown. Let cool, cut and serve! For best results heat in a 225 degree oven 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cozy Turkey Stew


I live in Los Angeles and yet I am always surprised when it’s cold or rainy in the spring time. Last night was one of those chilly nights, so as soon as I came home I took out my favorite blue Le Creuset dutch oven that my dear mother-in-law Nancy gave me during my last trip to Texas. She literally pulled out 2 GORGEOUS Le Creuest pots to give me because she never used them, my husband didn’t want to schlep the heavy pots home, but we all know he quickly lost that battle when I stuffed them in my carry-on…. So I was ready to make a a big pot of turkey soup with fresh veggies. I got all my ingredients chopped and ready, started to saute the onions and veggies, and when it was time to add in the water I tasted my concoction and loved it as-is. I thought to myself, why not just turn it into a stew? And with a few tweaks my first ever rainy day turkey stew was born!

COZY TURKEY STEW

1 med onion diced
2 carrots diced
3 celery diced
2 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
1/2 cup sliced crimini mushroom
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large zucchini squash peeled and diced
1 large zucchini square peeled and cut into huge chunks
3 sprigs of sage
1 pound of chopped turkey ( I prefer breast, you can use dark, or a combination of both)
1 sweet potato chopped
1/3 cup paprika
4 tablespoons garlic powder
4 tablespoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in pot and add onions, carrots and celery and salt. This is a recipe that you will need to salt as you add few ingredients, because turkey and zucchini can taste a little bland, seasoning key. Once softened add mushrooms, cook for one minute and add chopped zucchini squash, yam, salt and pepper. Once veggies have cooked down for about 5-7 minutes taste and add sage leaves and any additional seasoning you feel it needs. Return turkey back to pot and add paprika, garlic, onion powder and chili flakes and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40minutes. Please taste this dish as you go, mine seemed really bland in the beginning so I added more of all the seasoning.
The best part of this stew is that the zucchini squash breaks down and all the flavors meld into this mushy yummy goodness…enjoy!

xo
Mimi

A Very Berry Morning

I am not a breakfast person. I know, I know…breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But I am just not hungry in the morning, and if I eat the wrong thing it can set me off for a full day of bad food choices. So I try to keep it clean and healthy, I figure If I want to splurge on something decadent I would prefer to do so at lunch or dinner. This is why I usually opt for a light and healthy fruit smoothies. My inspiration behind my “very berry smoothie” is my husband. He loves the smoothies at local LA restaurant Blue Jam Cafe, and I do agree that they are delicious. But we got sick of trying to find parking by the melrose cafe on busy weekends, and I thought to myself there must be an easier way to do this. I mean how hard can this be? I can make a smoothie. I have to say my husby tells me he prefers mine over Blue Jams any day, and I know he means it because when he went there for lunch the other day he did not even order one. Now that is one satisfied customer.

Very Berry Smoothie
Makes 2 Servings

  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice
  • 1 cup of a frozen berries (pref organic)- use any type you like. I opt for a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries (trader joe’s has a great selection)
  • 1/3 cup frozen pomegranate seeds (we love the crunch it gives this smoothie)
  • 1/2 cup organic non-fat fresh plain yogurt
  • 1 med ripe banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (you can also use soy, or reg milk)

Put everything in a blender in the order listed above. Hit the crush ice button for 30 seconds to get everything going. Then puree until you achieve your desired consistency. If the smoothie is getting stuck and wont puree properly add more almond milk (2 tablespoons at a time) until you reach your perfect smoothie consistency. Pour in a tall glass, add a straw and enjoy!

Mimi’s notes: If I you are out of a certain berry don’t worry, you can add any fruit you like, but frozen is best. You can also use any type of yogurt you like.

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