Author: Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Founder of NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph Figon has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Connect on Linkedin

Draft – Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips

Source 

Ingredients
  • 4 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 2-3 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Use a mandolin or slice zucchini as thin as possible.
  2. In a small bowl whisk olive oil and vinegar together.
  3. Place zucchini in a large bowl and toss with oil and vinegar.
  4. Add zucchini in even layers to dehydrator then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  5. Depending on how thin you sliced the zucchini and on your dehydrator the drying time will vary, anywhere from 8-14 hours.
  6. To make in the oven: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay zucchini evenly. Bake at 200 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Rotate half way during cooking time.
  7. Store chips in an airtight container.

Draft – Cauliflower Breadsticks

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Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Phenomenal low carb alternative to traditional cheesy breadsticks. These cauliflower breadsticks are full of flavour, cheesy and easy. Yes, this recipe is foolproof! Just like my so popular Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe (the amount of re-pins is insane => thank you!). The breadsticks recipe is even easier and lighter, as I ditched the cheesecloth and made a few tricks with the ingredients.

And you can pick them up by hand. I know you you are wondering about that. The answer is YES!

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

I made 2 batches of cauliflower breadsticks in a row, just to make sure it works. If you have attempted a cauliflower pizza or breadsticks recipe before without any luck, this recipe will change the situation. There must have been a reason why it didn’t work. That’s why I spent 2 days developing, testing, photographing and writing this post. To show you how easy it is to make these delicious “breadsticks”.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

So, let’s begin. You start with a large head of cauliflower, 7″ – 8″ wide. If you are serving 2 or more people, I recommend do double the recipe. These breadsticks are so good and guilt free, they disappear fast. Chop the cauliflower and process in a food processor until “rice” texture. Do not make a cauliflower mash. Alternatively, if you do not own a food processor, you could chop it really fine or even grate using simple boxed grater.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Place cauliflower in any oven proof baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. I usedPyrex glass pie dish. Alternatively, you could microwave or steam it. The idea is to cook the cauliflower, so it releases the moisture and we squeeze it out.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Line a bowl with a linen kitchen/tea towel. I used cheap tea towels from a Dollar store, similar tothese ones. They are called something like glass tea towels and are kind of linen mesh. Much better than cheesecloth as they do not rip and are widely available. You probably have some on hand. You can also wash and reuse them. Bingo!

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Then you grab the towel by the corners, holding with one hand just below the corners, and start squeezing the liquid out with another hand. The process will take about 3 – 5 minutes and you should squeeze about 1 cup of liquid. Use a measuring cup as a point of reference. If the liquid is hot, let the cauliflower mash cool down a bit and proceed again.

Just showing you that the kitchen towel works.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Here you can see, from right to left: cauliflower “ball” before squeezing, after squeezing and liquid squeezed out.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Open the towel and voila: you got yourself some pretty dry cauliflower. Add seasonings to it as per the recipe. I used egg whites instead of an egg and it worked! Any cheese works. Full or low fat, Mozzarella or Tex Mex or even Parmesan. Use grated or shredded cheese and when measuring do not pack.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

After you make the “dough”, transfer it onto any baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The “dough” won’t be sticky and that’s OK. Egg whites and cheese will act as a binder during the baking process.

No need to spray the parchment paper with cooking spray either. The cauliflower breadsticks won’t stick. More than that, the parchment paper underneath the breadsticks will be moist after baking. And that’s OK too. It doesn’t mean cauliflower breadsticks will fall apart. No. The moisture releases during the baking process therefore no need for cooking spray. I was asked before if pizza stonewould work and I don’t know as I don’t own one. No idea how to use it.

Form a rectangle, using your hands, approximately 9″ x 7″ in size and 1/4″ thick. Press the “dough” a bit to make it stay together and use spatula to make the edges straight. Do not worry, the egg whites and cheese will bind everything together during the baking process. It won’t fall apart.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

And bake. All ovens vary. I own simple electric oven and it took the breadsticks 18 minutes. Just watch it => when you see the “dough” becoming golden brown on top, it’s time to take it out. Then you top the breadsticks with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts and broil for nice golden brown crust.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Remove the breadsticks from the oven and transfer to a cutting board, holding by the ends of parchment paper. Let the breadsticks cool down for 5 minutes before cutting, if you can. I waited with the first batch and the breadsticks were easy to cut. With the second one I didn’t and it was a bit of a mess. Use serrated/bread knife to cut into 12 breadsticks.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

How you serve these guys is totally up to you. I’m just going to give you a few ideas. Serve with warm marinara sauce. Any clean/healthy/organic store bought marinara sauce like Dave’s Gourmetworks. Or you can make your own and that’s what I did. My mom makes this homemade Ukrainian kind of salsa. So I combined it with some tomato paste, dried thyme and oregano. Just use what you have. No need to spend money.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Another idea is to make these cauliflower breadsticks even lighter in fat by skipping the cheese topping. And that’s what I did with my second batch. Below I have included 2 nutritional infos:

1. Breadsticks without the cheese topping

2. Full on with cheese.

Pick yourself.

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

These cauliflower breadsticks turned out delicious!!! Full of flavour and cheesy. They hit the spot and satisfy the craving without wrecking your daily macros/nutrition. That’s if you care about that. I do as I want to see my abs this summer. I’m obsessed! You can have 5 – 6 of these and still have consumed very little calories, fat and carbs. Perfect healthy alternative for binge eating weekend get-togethers with friends.:) The only difference is you stay on track and bring your friends here to try your recipe.:) Enjoy!

Cauliflower Breadsticks are to die for! Low in calories, carbs and fat. No fail recipe with step by step photo instructions. | ifoodreal.com

Cauliflower Breadsticks

Cauliflower Breadsticks

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, large (7″ – 8″ wide)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup + 3/4 cup (for topping) Mozzarella/Tex Mex cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Italian herb seasoning or any dried herbs like rosemary, basil, parsley
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Marinara sauce for dipping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse cauliflower, remove outer leaves and separate into florets with a paring knife. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor and process until “rice” texture. Some coarse chunks are fine.

  1. Place in an oven proof baking dish (I used Pyrex pie dish) and bake for 20 mins. Remove cooked cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a bowl lined with a tea/linen towel (I used glass tea towel from a Dollar store, similar to this one). Let the cauliflower cool down a bit until it is safe to touch, about 15 minutes.

  1. Fold the towel holding by the ends and squeeze the liquid out of the cauliflower “ball” as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out. I squeezed out 1 cup of liquid. Second photo, from right to left: before squeezing, after squeezing, liquid squeezed out.

  1. Increase oven T to 450 degrees F. Transfer cauliflower to a mixing bowl along with egg whites, 1/2 cup cheese, herb seasoning, black pepper, pinch of salt and mix to combine.
  2. Transfer cauliflower mixture onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten with your hands into a rectangle, approximately 9″ x 7″ size and 1/4″ thick.

  1. Bake for 18 minutes, remove from the oven and top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes and then broil until cheese turns golden brown. Cut into 12 breadsticks and serve hot with warm marinara sauce, if desired. P.S. For a lighter version, do not top with cheese.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 2 days. You can also freeze the breadsticks tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 month. Thaw on a counter or in a microwave.
Nutritional Info (no cheese topping)

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving = 1 breadstick:
Calories: 33.3
Total Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 2.5 mg
Sodium: 48.4 mg
Total Carbs: 3.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 3.1 g
WW Points+: 1

Nutritional Info (with cheese)

Servings Per Recipe: 12

Amount Per Serving = 1 breadstick:
Calories: 53.0
Total Fat: 2.2 g
Cholesterol: 6.2 mg
Sodium: 107.6 mg
Total Carbs: 3.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 4.9 g
WW Points+: 1

 

Draft – Crispy Veggie Nuggets

Source

Real Veggie Nuggets

Occasionally, I make promises to people and it’s not that I intend to break them, it just takes me a while to get around to it.

When Love Your Leftovers was published in April, my good friend Benton asked if he could come over so I could show him how to actually make the homemade chicken nuggets in the book.

I responded, “Well Sir. You could just follow the directions in the book.” But he wasn’t too confident of his abilities to do that so I was totally up for showing him the chicken nugget tricks. It also gives me an excuse to make them.

That was six months ago. I blamed the delay on baby prep and Food Fighters prep.

But, finally we made the cooking date happen a few weeks ago.

One problem: Benton’s wife is a vegetarian. Rather than spend $10 on silly fake chicken nuggets, I thought I would try my hand at making some homemade veggie nuggets  with some fresh colorful veggies!

YIELD
40 nuggets
PREP TIME
TOTAL TIME

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 medium carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 small new potatoes
  • 1 golden beet
  • 1 stalk broccoli
  • 1 Serrano pepper, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Frying:
  • 2 cups Italian Bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 quart oil for frying

Draft – Homemade Crunchy Apple Slices

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Homemade Crunchy Apple Chips Recipe

Summer is here and is time to stock up on snacks for the kids. Hubby and I are thinking of making mini road trips with the girls so making a big batch of Apple Chips is the perfect crunchy and healthy snack for kids to take on the road. So throw out all those fried Potato Chips and these!.

To perfect this Apple Chips Recipe it took me a few tries to achieve the right thickness so the chips will be super crunchy and not chewy. You can serve them as kids snacks but also they are great for dipping during dinner parties.

Crunchy Apple Chips - Made in the oven without the need of a dehydrator. Easy, healthy and super crunchy!

If you would like to mix it up you can use different types of apples, fuji, granny smith, red delicious, gala and so on. It’s a great idea to mix in the sweetest with the tartest apples to achieve flavor Nirvana.

Apple Chips Recipe

4 Apples (any kind you want) sliced thinly, about 1/6″ thickness. I used my trusty Mandolin so every piece is uniform in size. I cut out the bottom to start with a flat apple slice.

Crunchy Apple Chips - Made in the oven without the need of a dehydrator. Easy, healthy and super crunchy!

 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Arrange apple sizes in a  single layer on a sheet pan fitted with parchment paper.  Remove any remaining seeds from the slices (that was my daughter’s job).  For each Apple I got about 20 slices, so one sheet pan per apple. This can vary depending on the apple size or the thickness of your chips. You have no idea how they will shrink during cooking.

Crunchy Apple Chips - Made in the oven without the need of a dehydrator. Easy, healthy and super crunchy!

 

Sprinkle Stevia, sugar or any other natural sweetener. I used 2 packets of Stevia per 80 slices of apples.

Sprinkle cinnamon over the apples (optional). You can also add in any spice you’d like. Next time I make them I would love to try the apple pie seasoning or maybe a spicy one like chili or cayenne pepper.

Bake in the oven for 90 minutes. After that time flip them and bake for one more hour. Turn oven off and  leave them inside for a few hours or overnight. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DURING THIS TIME.. Resist your peeking!. I know it’s hard but it’s worth it. You will not believe how crunchy they will be.

Crunchy Apple Chips - Made in the oven without the need of a dehydrator. Easy, healthy and super crunchy!

 

When they come out of the oven simply place them in a resealable bag. They will last for about a week at room temp although they probably will be gone by then ? .

HOMEMADE CRUNCHY APPLE CHIPS RECIPE
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Serves: 80 Chips
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 Apples
  • 2 Packets of Stevia or 2 ts. of sugar
  • ½ Ts. of Cinnamon
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat Oven to 200 Degrees F.
  2. Slice Apples into ⅙” Approximately (use a mandolin if you have one)
  3. Place apples slices in a single layer on a sheet pan fitted with Parchment Paper
  4. Sprinkle in Stevia (or sugar) and cinnamon
  5. Bake in the oven for 1½ hours
  6. Flip them over so the other side will crisp as well
  7. Bake for 1 more hour
  8. Turn oven off and leave the apple slices inside for a few more hours or overnight
  9. When they are ready, place slices in a zip top bag
  10. Enjoy!

So will you give them a try?. I promise you will love them!

Crunchy Apple Chips - Made in the oven without the need of a dehydrator. Easy, healthy and super crunchy!

 

HOMEMADE CRUNCHY APPLE CHIPS RECIPE
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Author: Tiffany Bendayan
Serves: 80 Chips
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 Apples
  • 2 Packets of Stevia or 2 ts. of sugar
  • ½ Ts. of Cinnamon
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat Oven to 200 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Slice Apples into ⅙” Approximately (use a mandolin if you have one)
  3. Place apples slices in a single layer on a sheet pan fitted with Parchment Paper
  4. Sprinkle in Stevia (or sugar) and cinnamon
  5. Bake in the oven for 1½ hours
  6. Flip them over so the other side will crisp as well
  7. Bake for 1 more hour
  8. Turn oven off and leave the apple slices inside for a few more hours or overnight
  9. When they are ready, place slices in a zip top bag
  10. Enjoy!

Spinach Tomato Quesadilla with Pesto

Source

Ingredients
1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
Baby spinach
Pesto (try homemade!)
Feta crumbles
Shredded mozzarella
2 large flour or gluten-free tortillas

Directions
Place a tortilla on a skillet over medium heat, and spread a layer of pesto on top.
Add a light layer of mozzarella cheese, then feta.
Add tomato slices, spinach, and top with another layer of mozzarella cheese.
Place the other tortilla on top, heat for about 5 minutes, flip, and heat for another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.