Red Beet and Poppyseed Muffins
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I bought some beets.  So I’m using them up in various ways.  These muffins are delicious.  Not too sweet, just the right density.  Fairly low in calories as I switched out some of the fat for applesauce.



1 medium/large red beet
1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cup GF flour (I used Cup for Cup flour)
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons  brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/8 cup melted butter plus 1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce



1. Cover your beet with water and bring to boil in a small pot, reduce to medium and cook until a fork can be inserted in the center.  Drain  water and let the beet cool enough to handle. Wear rubber gloves, peel beet and cut it into chunks. Puree in the food processor. Measure out 1/4 cup beet puree and reserve. You can freeze the rest for another time.

2.  Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, yogurt, butter/applesauce, and beet puree. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk to combine.

Scoop the batter into muffin pan lined with baking papers. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.


Makes 9 muffins


I replaced 1 Tbsp of the brown sugar with Stevia- Making the calorie count 145 calories per muffin.  Quite reasonable.  Have two!  You can always substitute even more applesauce for oil and use an alternate sweetener.  I added a little cream cheese honey glaze and toasted almonds for the photo.  Honestly, they don’t need it.  Just eat them plain or with a little butter.


Spicy & Sour Chickpea tomato curry
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This is super easy and delicious.  Vegan too! (without the yogurt)  If you are not vegan it would be great served with some grilled, spicy chicken.  Serve on noodles, spinach or rice -whichever you prefer.  I added some scallions and cilantro and stirred in some nice Greek yogurt before eating.  Mango chutney would be good as well.

2 -19 oz cans of chickpeas, drained

2- 28 oz cans of tomatoes, (mash up any whole tomatoes with a masher before using)

2 Tbsp Tamarind concentrate mixed with 1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped thin

1 Tbsp fresh garlic, pressed

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced fine

1 tsp. Turmeric

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 heaping tsp. madras curry powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

coarse sea salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper

cilantro, scallions, Greek yogurt for condiments

washed spinach or cooked rice noodles or prepared Basmati rice for serving



1. Heat 3 Tbsp oil over medium heat with the onions and a good dash of salt.  Stir often and cook until golden.

2. Add garlic, stir for 30 seconds, Add spices (turmeric, cayenne, Madras curry powder and cumin) and stir to combine.  Add Tamarind/water mixture, canned tomatoes, chickpeas and ginger.  Stir, bring to light boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Adjust for salt and add fresh ground black pepper.

3. Serve over rice, noodles or spinach.  Toss some fresh scallions and cilantro on each serving and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Serves about 8.  Around 295 calories per serving before rice or yogurt.

Do it!


Cooking 101 for guys- Quick & easy tomato soup with crispy pancetta
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You are gonna like this a lot.

6-8 servings, will freeze in batches no problem

prep- 10 minutes, cooking- 30 minutes total

Serve with a grill cheese or garlic toast.  The easiest way to make garlic toast? Make toast. Rub it 3 times with a cut slice of garlic. Voila!  Garlic toast for dipping in soup.


1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

2 onions (yellow or white), coarsely chopped

3 – 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (no added sugar)

1/2 cup tomato paste (thats about one small can)

2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup orange juice

4 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped

8 slices of Pancetta

sour cream- you can get low fat or non-dairy if you like

fresh chives

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.



1. Heat a Tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once the oil is warm, add the chopped onions and cook ( and stir occasionally) for about 4 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook and stir for about 1 more minute.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice. Add a little salt and pepper at this time. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low/med and partially cover with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes.

2. While soup is cooking, Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a non stick fry pan at medium heat and spread it around well with a flipper or wooden spoon.  Add the Pancetta slices and cook for a minute or so on each side until crisp.  Remove from heat, cut into slices and set aside.

3.  When the 30 minutes are up, remove your soup from the heat and transfer to a blender in batches (I like to use a ladle) .  Don’t fill your blender to the top with hot soup.  About half way.  Before you turn it on, you want to make sure you are wearing an oven mitt and that you have a t-towel over top of the lid.  Press down firmly on the lid before you start that blender. The lid will try to pop a bit when you are blending hot soup.  You really don’t want hot soup in your face.  Blend the batches just until the onion pieces are getting blended.  No need for a perfectly uniform texture.  It’s better with a little rustic texture.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls, arrange pancetta pieces over the soup and using clean kitchen scissors, cut some fresh chives on top.  Spoon a bit of sour cream or ricotta into the soup, give a swirl and season to taste again with salt and pepper.

5. Serve with garlic toast or a grilled cheese or salad from the leftover veggies from my last recipe!

tips- If you make this for any woman, she will think you are a culinary genius.  And, if it’s summer, and you use around 13 FRESH, chopped tomatoes instead of the canned variety, she will say yes.

If you want to use bacon instead of Pancetta, I really don’t have a problem with that.


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