Tag Archives: recipes

Sweet and Savory Saturday – Spoon Bread

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Spoon Bread is a southern favorite.

I was first introduced to the concept of spoon bread when we took a family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia.  We ate atChristiana Campbell’s Tavern which is known for its delicious spoon bread.  Spoon bread is a type of corn bread that has a pudding-like consistency.  As the name depicts, spoon bread is typically eaten with a spoon.  Traditionally, spoon bread is served with butter and contains no sugar.  Over the years, makers of this dish have imparted their own variations to the recipe and so ingredients running the gamut from bacon to fresh fruit have found their way into its creation.  When I returned home from our trip, I decided to attempt to put my own signature on this dish.  I chose to make it a bit on the sweet side and added sugar.  Here is the recipe for my version this southern favorite… read more.


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Filed under appetizers, baked goods, family meals, Recipes, spoon bread

Sweet and Savory Saturday – Carob Chip Cookies



 Welcome to Sweet and Savory Saturday here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog.  The key ingredient in today’s cookie recipe is carob.  Carob comes from the fruit pod of the Ceratonia siliqua tree found in the Mediterranean.  It has the taste of chocolate and is frequently used as a substitute by individuals who are allergic to chocolate.  It is naturally sweet, contains no caffeine, and is relatively low in fat.  It contains twice the amount of calcium than cocoa and it is a source of protein and fiber; thus, it is a healthy alternative to chocolate.  Carob chips can be found in health and whole food stores.  Because carob is naturally sweet, you will want to use less sugar when using it for baked goods.  Also, it has a milder taste than chocolate, so you will want to rely on…. Read More



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The Sweet Side of Barley

For the recipe to this variation of the traditional oatmeal cookie, visit us at our new location http://bit.ly/9JpLcM

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A Box of Strawberry Cake Mix and a Little Imagination!

A box of strawberry cake mix and a little imagination equals "Gracie Cakes."

We are always experimenting with recipes at my house.  We like to try different flavor combinations and textures.  Cooking and baking together as a family is something that I have done with my children since they were toddlers.  It is an activity that they thoroughly enjoy.  Even when we are away from the kitchen they think about different recipes that we can try the next time we cook.  Earlier this week, my daughter handed me a recipe that she came up with for strawberry cupcakes.  Although her measurements were a bit off (2 TBS of salt makes for one salty cupcake!), her flavor combination – strawberry, orange, and vanilla- was quite remarkable.  After a few tweaks to measurements and a few additions of healthier ingredients we devised a doable and tasty recipe that would be a great dessert for a 4th of July celebration.

Recipe for Gracie Cakes (Crumb-Topped Strawberry Cupcakes)


1 box of strawberry cake mix (reserve 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup unbleached whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup egg whites

1 TBS dried orange peel

1/2 TBS pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 cup water

1/3 cup reduced-fat or nonfat sour cream

crumb topping (recipe below)*


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray mufiin tin wells with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Combine strawberry cake mix (minus 1/2 cup to be reserved for crumb topping), whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt, orange peel, and flaxseed meal in large bowl.  Add egg whites, sour cream, water, and vanilla.  Blend on medium-low until combined.  Fill muffin tin wells 2/3 full with batter.  Spoon 1 TBS per well of crumb mixture on top of batter.  Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Yield: about 20 cupcakes.

*Crumb Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup strawberry cake mix

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 TBS sugar

1 TBS orange peel

1/3 cup trans-fat free margarine, melted

Crumb Topping Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine cake mix, graham cracker crumbs, orange peel, and sugar.  Add melted margarine.  Mix until margarine is incorporated.  Mixture will be crumbly.

Do you have a great dessert idea for the 4th of July?  Share with us, we want to know!


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Filed under 4th of July, baked goods, cupcakes, dessert, Recipes, strawberries

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Lemon-Olive Oil Tuna Noodle Casserole

This healthier version of tuna noodle casserole relies on a lemon-olive oil dressing rather than a heavy cream base for flavor.

I came across the idea for this healthier version of tuna noodle casserole a few years back and, after a few tweaks here and there, have used it ever since as one of my “go-to” recipes when I’m in a pinch.  Most of the ingredients are staples found in the pantry and ice box so it is easy to throw together when you are short for time. 

By replacing the heavy cream base of the traditional tuna noodle casserole with a lemon juice-olive oil dressing, the saturated fat content of this meal can be reduced.  Although I am an advocate for using whole-grain pasta, for this particular dish I wanted a milder tasting noodle that would not compete with the other flavors.  Therefore, I used my Evincii/PICKKA’s “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to help me find a satisfactory alternative.  After entering my health objectives, I started scanning pasta products.  To my suprise, my choice for a milder tasting pasta fell into the “Good Choice” category as did its whole-grain counterpart.  I was content with my choice and felt reassured that it was a healthy alternative.

Lemon-Olive Oil Tuna Noodle Casserole


1 (14.4 ounce) box of farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions

2 green onions, chopped

1 small yellow pepper, chopped

3/4 cup frozen peas, cooked according to package directions

1 (12 ounce) can of solid white albacore tuna packed in water, drained and broken into pieces

1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Lemon-olive oil dressing (recipe below)*


Rinse cooked pasta in cold water and drain.  Place pasta into a large bowl.  Add yellow pepper, green onion, peas, and tuna fish.  Mix to combine the ingredients.  Pour lemon-olive oil dressing over pasta mixture and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serve with whole-grain bread.

*Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing:  In a small bowl wisk together 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; 3 TBS lemon juice; 3 crushed cloves of garlic; 1 tsp white vinegar; 1/2 tsp of sea salt; 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper.

What is your favorite way to eat tuna fish?  Share with us, we want to know!



Filed under easy meals, Eat This?, healthy food, healthy pantry staples, homemade meals, PICKKA, Recipes

Sweet and Savory Saturday – Broiled Salmon with Raspberry-Apricot Glaze

Broiled Salmon with Raspberry-Apricot Glaze served on a bed of mixed-greens is a great way to show the dad in your life you care on Father's Day.

Are you looking for a healthy Father’s Day meal to serve?  If so, try this recipe for Broiled Salmon with Raspberry-Apricot Glaze.  Salmon is a good source of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, Vitamin B12, and potassium.  Pair it with Grilled Garlic Bread (recipe from Seared Food Blog*) and serve it on a bed of mixed-greens tossed with dried apricots and aged gouda cheese and you have a meal that lets the dad in your life know you care about him this Father’s Day.



  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Place salmon on large plate.  Rub garlic and sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over salmon fillets. Cover and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile preheat the broiler and prepare the Raspberry-Apricot Glaze.

Raspberry-Apricot Glaze

  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 TBS dark amber honey
  • 1/2 -3/4 TBS steak sauce (amount based on taste preference)
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed

In a small sauce pan, combine first four ingredients and cook on medium-low heat until it just begins to boil.  Reduce heat, add garlic, and simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Set aside.


Coat broiling pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Place salmon fillets on broiling pan.  Broil for 2-3 minutes.  Spoon Raspberry-Apricot Glaze over the fillets.  Broil for 4-5 more minutes or until salmon flakes when tested with a fork.  Serve with Grilled Garlic Bread over a bed of mixed-greens tossed with pieces of dried apricots and aged gouda cheese. Note: I used an indoor grill set at a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit to make my grilled garlic bread.

What are you serving for dinner this Father’s Day?  Share with us, we want to know!

*Seared Food Blog has switched sites.  If you cannot access recipe from link above try this link Seared.


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Filed under Father's Day, Father's Day Meal, healthy food, homemade meals, men, omega-3 fatty acids, Recipes, salmon

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Easy Father’s Day Dessert

A broiled peach topped with reduced-fat ice cream makes for a healthier, yet sweetly satisfying, dessert.

I decided to get a little “peachy” with the Father’s Day dessert this year.  My choice? Broiled peaches with reduced-fat vanilla ice cream.  Why? I wanted to make something that could be prepared in individual servings to prevent overindulging on leftovers later (as would happen with me and a pie).  Yet, I wanted the dessert to be satisfying enough that there wasn’t a residing feeling of being “cheated” out of dessert.

I used my Evincii/PICKKA “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to help me find the right ice cream and granola for my goals.  My first choice for ice cream fell into the “Not Too Bad” category.  I wasn’t pleased with this.  I wanted an ice cream that fell into a healthier category because the main course would be higher in calories because of the special occasion.  Therefore, I used the “View Healthy Alternatives” option of the app and found an ice cream that was categorized as a “Good Choice.”  Next, I used my “Eat This?” app to find granola.  My choice fell in the “OK Choice,” but I saw on my app that three other consumers gave it a five star taste rating.  Because only 1 tsp would be served to each individual, I decided it was an acceptable choice, especially since other purchasers indicated it was tasty.

I decided to use fresh peaches, rather than canned.  Although most of the recipes that I have come across for broiled peaches require you to sprinkle sugar and/or butter on the peach halves prior to broiling, I decided against it.  I chose to rely on the natural sweetness of the peaches combined with the creaminess of the ice-cream to give appeal to this dessert.  Therefore, I broiled the peaches “au natural.”  Here is how I prepared the dessert:


  • 3 medium ripe peaches, cut in half, pits removed, and skin left on (use more peaches if serving more than 6 people; figure a 1/2 peach per person)
  • Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (enough for one scoop per person)
  • Reduced-fat Granola (1 tsp per person)
  • Cinnamon (enough for garnish)
  • Honey (about 1/2 TBS per person)


Preheat the broiler.  Wash and pat dry peaches.  Carefully slice each peach in half and remove the pit.  Place peaches, cut-side up, on broiler pan lined with aluminum foil.  Place in the oven about 3 inches from the heat.  Cook until juices start to bubble and peaches are browned (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes.  Place peaches on individual dessert plates.  Scoop reduced-fat vanilla ice cream on top of each peach half.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and granola.  Drizzle honey over the top.  Serve immediately.

What will you be serving for dessert this Father’s Day?  Will you use your “Eat This?” app to help you find the right ingredients?  Share with us, we want to know!



Filed under dessert, easy meals, Eat This?, Father's Day, Father's Day Dessert, fruit, gourmet, healthy food, homemade meals, low-fat, men, PICKKA, Recipes