Author Archives: Dana

Peanut Butter & Granola Cookies

I was inspired for this cookies for a cause post by TJ’s sister, Sara, who is turning 29 in September. Sara reached out to us last week and explained that she was going to make her birthday extra special by planning her own personal triathlon which would add up to 29 miles. In addition to this, in lieu of gifts or cards, she wanted to start a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for two families that she’s extremely close with who have been affected by cancer.

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Granola, Avocado & Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been on a granola cereal kick for a few months now to the point that I’ve run out of cabinet space! Due to the overload, I wanted to use the cereal in a way other than simply in a milk-filled bowl or mixed with my yogurt. The texture of one brand in particular made me think its granola could work well if it was used similar to oatmeal in a cookie. This recipe is a play on that idea.

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Ratatouille & Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

Strolling through a farmer’s market recently, I had some random memories of taking my cousins to see the Disney/Pixar film, Ratatouille, several years ago. The star was a cute rat that also happened to be a chef. I realize it was just an animated movie with a very imaginative plot … but I remember being pretty impressed with the cooking scenes nonetheless. As the movie title suggested, ratatouille was a highlighted dish. While I looked through the veggies in the market, my whimsical state of mind lead me to creating this recipe.

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La Pasta Vegan Cheese Ravioli & Eggplant Sauce

I went to a food show a few weeks ago and while I wanted to eat everything in sight, I had to pace myself since I have dietary restrictions. Many of my friends do as well, so I tried to hone in on some companies whose products catered to that audience. La Pasta was one of them.  Continue reading

Baked Shredded Chicken Chimichangas with Guacamole

There’s a great Mexican place near me with a mouthwatering menu. Unfortunately, I’m limited to what I can order due to my sensitive stomach. One of the options that I normally steer clear of are the chimichangas since they are deep-fried and contain lots of cheese. Instead of continually depriving myself, I figured out a way to prepare them at home without having to suffer from any unpleasant side effects. Continue reading

Dark Cherry & Pistachio Honey Loaf with Almond Glaze

I recently saw a recipe floating around online for some sort of citrus blueberry bread. I was excited to try and make it since I’m fond of that flavor profile. Unfortunately, my boyfriend is not. In order to meet somewhere in the middle, I came up with my own combination of fruit, nuts and other ingredients to create this recipe instead.  Continue reading

Onion & Sherry Vinegar Marinated Portobello Burgers

Sometimes I find Portobello mushroom burgers to be a welcome change from ground meat patties. Not only are they healthier, they’re also extremely juicy and very flavorful…especially when grilled!

I came across a bottle of Vidalia onion vinaigrette dressing which inspired me to throw together this particular marinade for the mushrooms. I didn’t want it to be as sweet as the bottled dressing so I left out any sugar or honey and threw in a few more savory and tangy ingredients instead. The pinch of ground chipotle chile pepper added just the right amount of heat for me, but you can adjust the level to your liking (or leave it out completely).

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The vinegar came through pretty strong when the mixture was initially blended. However, its intensity decreased as the ingredients had time to meld together. This marinade would probably be great on other proteins and veggies as well.

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I served these Portobello mushroom burgers with Herbed Corn on the Cob and can’t wait to make them again!

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Ingredients

2 Portobello mushrooms
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1/2 teaspoon ranch seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Additional oil of your choice for sautéing
Hamburger buns (or rolls)
Desired toppings: lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion, etc. (optional)

Preparation

1. Remove stems and carefully spoon out gills from mushrooms. Clean, pat dry and set aside on paper towels to drain remaining moisture.

2. Bring about 1 tablespoon oil to low-medium heat in a small frying pan. Sauté onions and garlic until soft, about 5-6 minutes, and then remove from heat.

3. In a blender or food processor, add sautéed onions, garlic, sherry vinegar, grape seed oil, ranch seasoning mix, dill weed and chipotle chile pepper. Blend on low speed until mixed well.

4. Brush onion and sherry vinegar marinade all over mushrooms and seal in a storage bag. Set aside unused marinade in sealed container. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour or until ready to grill.

5. Spray or brush grill with a little oil and set to medium heat. Grill mushrooms, occasionally flipping and brushing each side with remaining marinade. Mushrooms should be done in about 7-10 minutes, or until center is tender and juicy when slightly pushed in. Remove from grill, place desired toppings on mushrooms and serve.

Simple Pudding Ice Cream (No Ice Cream Maker Necessary!)

Ice cream can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how you look at it. For the longest time, it was the latter of the two for me since I’m lactose intolerant. Even those digestive pills on the market couldn’t help me enjoy a cup of soft serve at the local parlor anymore. So I sadly did without it. In time, I discovered a few lines of non-dairy brands, although there weren’t too many flavor options and the ice cream itself was as hard as a rock! Finally, I decided to just make my own.
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