Easy, Fast Apple Pie Snacks

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You know me. I love fun food. If it’s even a tad creative, then I have to try it.SAM_5304

This one had been sitting on my Pinterest.com CC To-Do List board for quite some time. And once the semester had ended–my tortilla overload still under way–I decided to adapt the recipe I’d found online from Better Cookiesreplacing regular dough with, you guessd it, whole-wheat tortillas.

Ain’t nothing punnier, or truer than what I’m about to write: This quick and easy snack is now the apple of my eye. I’m not kidding. I say at this at the risk of not sounding very “American,” but the truth is that I kind of hate apple pie. Hold your fire. Be sympathetic. But I like my apples cool and crisp, not baked and spicy.SAM_5306

Not sure why I enjoyed this recipe so much, not yet at least. It could be that I left the apples a bit thicker in terms of slicing. It could be that I wasn’t overloaded with apple mush, like most apple pies. Or it could just be that it was so easy to make and kind of fun. How can you go wrong?

Ingredients
1/2 an apple
1 whole-wheat tortillaSAM_5286
1 t cinnamon
dash of stevia or 1 T honey

Directions
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.SAM_5298 -Prepare apple by slicing lengthwise. You can make your slices as thin as you like for more, or thicker for fewer. Know too that if you go thicker, your apple pie snacks will come out less warm and gooey like apple pie, more crisp and fresh (just how I wanted mine).
-Next, prep apples in seasonings. If you’re using the cinnamon-stevia blend, mix those two together and toss apple slices in those until coated. If you’re going the honey route, then still toss slices in cinnamon and then drizzle honey over the top.
-Cut tortilla into strips. Roll one or more strips around each apple slice. Tuck ends of strip on bottom side or into the side of the wrap so they don’t unfurl.
-Transfer to prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little more seasoning or honey if desired and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and somewhat soft.
-Serve warm, right out of the oven, and with my healthified cream cheese dip, if you like.SAM_5306

Enjoy!

Cucumber & Dill Flatbread

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For me, meals at the beginning of May need to be everything fresh. Whatever is fresh, in season, and preferably local is best.SAM_5241

So I had a cucumber.

And some leftover Neufchatel cream cheese from a complimentary brunch I pulled together for my thesis defense, which was hardly touched.

And I had a jillion or so whole-wheat tortillas from the high-fiber nutrition study I participated in this spring. I have probably had a large tortilla for lunch everyday since February. I do not understand how I haven’t made a dent in my tortilla supply.

But I do understand that toasted tortillas make for excellent burrito bowls, crispy chips, and now flatbread ‘zas.

I like this recipe a lot. It’s fresh and light, sort of like the cucumber sandwiches I remember my Nana making for us when we were little. And the serving of cream cheese is pretty small, so it did not cause my stomach any agony–for which I am thankful.SAM_5233

Try it!

Ingredients

1 whole-wheat tortilla

1 T Neufchatel cream cheese

as many cucumber slices as you like

dash of dried dill

(optional) sliced spinach leaves for garnishSAM_5240

Directions

If you’re working with refrigerated cream cheese (and impatient like I am), scoop out your 1 T and place on tortilla. Warm in microwave for 11 seconds or less. Spread to desired consistency. If you’re wanting a cold flatbread, then pop this in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.

-Slice cucumber. Arrange on cooled flatbread, and then season with dill. SAM_5243

-At this point, if you’d like yours to be “grilled” you can toast it in a toaster oven or broil for just 1-2 minutes.

-If adding spinach for garnish, top it off with that after toasted. Use pizza cutter to slice, and enjoy!

This would also be really delicious with grilled zucchini, I think.

And it would be really easy to pack these ingredients up for lunch and take them with you to work. A good way to mix up your normal routine.

Even if you’ve been eating tortillas. For three months. 🙂

Une Vanilla-Pear Cupcake

There’s something rare about a pear.

No, really. That rhyme is purposeful, at least in our cultural context.

I think that we Americans, and some Amerikans, too, love our apples. It’s as American as apple… You already know what I’m going to say. And that, I think, proves my point.

But every once in a while, the American diet says “Bon voyage!” to this staple fruit and sets sail for a slightly different fruit alternative, le poire.

Pair that pear with a sweet cream cheese frosting, and you’ve got a winning combination.

Ingredients

3 T spelt or ww flour (or coconut flour for a gluten-free version)

dash of nutmeg and baking powder

2/3 T stevia

fresh lemon zest to taste

splash of vanilla

2 T nondairy milk

1 t organic vanilla yogurt

a few pear slices

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or silicone muffin cup. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients; then blend in the wet ingredients. You can leave the pear out or you can mash some of the slices up for a very soft, fruit-puree dough.

-Transfer to prepared dish. Bake for about 10 minutes.

-While baking, mix 1 t Neufchatel cream cheese with 1 t stevia and a scant splash of vanilla. Microwave for 5-6 seconds if too thick. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

-Remove finished cupcake. Let cool a bit, and then spread frosting and top with extra pear slices.

Blue & Berry Good Bagel for One

A berrylicious bagel that will take you from saying “Good morning.” to “So good and more, please!”

Seriously, I can’t sing the praises of this berry bagel enough. I think the coconut oil is to blame. The sweetness of that oil paired with a scant splash of vanilla extract make for a scrumptious pairing. I contemplated spreading with a little vegan butter, but the finished creation tasted so delicious and moist on its own it didn’t need any extra help.

But you of course can bake and make this bagel work however you like. A little Neufchatel cream cheese or a drizzle of honey would be perfect.

Makes one really big bagel

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour

1/2 T stevia

1 t coconut oil

1/2 t instant yeast

1/2 cup warm (but not burning hot) water

splash of vanilla

a few T blueberries, chopped

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients, except toppings, and then blend in oil and water. Knead for a few minutes, and then let rest for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

Once dough has rested, pick it up again and easily knead a bit, adding in a few more t warm water if it has dried out too much.

Roll dough into ball and set aside. Sprinkle your toppings into another bowl.

Pick up the dough ball and use your thumbs to gently puncture a hole in the center. Mold into one bagel-shaped O, and once ready, press the top of the bagel into berries in a bowl or use your thumbs to press the berries into the dough. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes.

Orange Dream Cupcake

Remember my sweet lemon solo cupcake from late August? It was delicious & zesty, yes?

Well now that we’re in the dead of winter, I figured it was high time for another fruity cake, but one more appropriate for the season.

An orange one!

And you know the fruit won’t be expensive considering most grocery stores are selling oranges by the bag for just a few dollars this time of year.

The recipe is below. I’d recommend pairing with coconut flakes or almonds. Or if you like a little sweet, cream cheese frosting. Check out my healthy Neufchatel cream cheese frosting recipe, featured earlier on my fluffy carrotcake cookies.

IngredientsCooling off in an individual silicone cupcake mold.

(makes just one cupcake)

  • 3 tbsp flour (30g) (See directions for flour notes)
  • heaping 1/16th tsp salt
  • little orange zest, if you like
  • 1 tbsp applesauce, oil, pre-melted margarine (I used French vanilla yogurt), or a combination
  • 1 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1 t freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 packets of stevia should be about right. If you use liquid sweetener, cut back a tiny bit on the other liquid.)

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 330 degrees.If icing isn't your favorite, you can also eat this cupcake plain (more like a muffin)...

-Mix the ingredients and pour into an oiled (or sprayed) muffin pan. Smooth top of batter. Bake for about 10 minutes or so.

-Alternatively, you can cook in the microwave, in a greased mug or ramekin. (Microwave times will vary, depending on the flour you use and the strength of your microwave.

Pumpkin Dessert Parfait

I just can’t get over pumpkin, can I? 

This parfait recipe features a sweetened vanilla yogurt, pumpkin, and my healthified gingerbread cookie recipe. All are wholesome, good for you, and every time I lick the bowl I make the cookie dough in, I practically melt with delight. Seriously, that recipe is unbelievable, make-it-even-in-summertime good.

You could mix it up a bit and try a cream-cheese frosting layer, too! Or opt for a graham-cracker crumble instead of gingerbread. What’s not to love about those possibilities?

Ingredients

1 container plain organic yogurt (you can buy vanilla or sweetened, but I prefer to lower the sugar a bit by mixing in a lower lgi alternative)

1 T stevia

pumpkin

pumpkin (Photo credit: meerkatbaby)

.5 t vanilla

4 T pumpkin puree

heaping dash of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice

optional: gingerbread or graham cracker crumbles

Directions

Open the yogurt container. Mix in stevia and vanilla. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, add puree and spices. Mix in about half of prepared yogurt.

-In a parfait glass, layer the pumpkin yogurt with the vanilla yogurt as you like. You can also use the crumbles to make layers or top like I did.

For a special ice cream consistency, freeze the parfait for about one hour and mix up slightly. Freeze another 10 minutes or so. It’s delicious!

Carrot Pinwheels

carrot pinwheels

Lunch is always a fun challenge for me. I’ll tell you why.

The best thing I can do for myself, I think, is take a break in the middle of the day. Lunch forces me to do this. So I like to make my lunch fun, if possible, light, but filling enough to hold me over ’til dinner.

That’s why I like these carrot pinwheels. They’re cute. They’re healthy. And they’re easy to throw together–even in your office kitchen. Just throw the ingredients in your lunch bag and prepare on site.

Ingredients

-1 whole-grain tortilla

-3 oz. grated carrots

-1-2 T vegan cream cheese

-1-2 T raisins

Optional: 1 T walnuts

Directions

-Lay out tortilla. Spread on cream cheese.

-Sprinkle on carrots and raisins.

-Tightly roll the tortilla and then slice into pinwheels.

Looks like sushi, right? Like I said, easy, fun, and different. It’s a small change for lunch, but mixing it up always makes a big difference.