Special (Diet) Snickerdoodles

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Honestly,¬†I didn’t know what to call this recipe. I came across the recipe somewhere online and can’t seem to trace back my steps. I was searching frantically for a gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free cookie recipe the other day. As you can imagine, too much “free” meant I was coming up empty with my search results, until I came across this recipe. Even though, it is gluten and dairy free, it was so addictive and delicious, it is definitely going to be a keeper! So, even though the title of this recipe is Special Diet Snickerdoodles, I really have to de-emphasize the diet part as this cookie is too delicious to be a diet cookie!

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I was dismissing all the other recipes as I thought my special guest wouldn’t eat anything with even unrefined sweeteners like maple syrup. Boy, was I glad she actually was OK with that. Yes!

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I couldn’t control my joy when I found out the recipe used almond flour/meal rather than myriads of others that I came across using other not-so-common flours like coconut flour etc. Since I had almond meal and some Vermont maple syrup on hand, this recipe was going to be it!

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This recipe is so quick to make and requires such few ingredients, I am sure this will become a go-to recipe for you even when you don’t have to make this for someone who is gluten and dairy-free!

Special (Diet) Snickerdoodles

  • Servings: 20-24 cookies
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Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour/meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted shortening
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon stevia or refined sugar

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Combine almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl.
3. In a small bowl, combine melted shortening and maple syrup. Add vanilla essence and stir well.
4. Add liquid ingredients to the almond flour mixture and combine to make a wet dough.
5. Make 20-24 equal size dough balls (about 1″ diameter).
6. Stir together 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and stevia (or regular sugar). Dip the dough balls in the cinnamon mixture.
7. Transfer the dough balls to the parchment lined baking sheet. Using tips of your fingers, or glass bottom of a jar, flatten the balls into a disk about 2 1/2″ wide.
8. Bake for about 8 minutes. The center will look soft and uncooked, but the cookies will continue to cook while cooling.
9. Let the cookies cool completely on the tray. Remove then and store in an airtight container.

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Curried Ground Turkey


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Of late, my hubby has been doing majority of our grocery shopping. As much as I appreciate his help, I sometimes wish I was the one running to the grocery store – especially when he comes home with 3-pound package of meat or a whole grocery bag full of those fat eggplants! ūüôā

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Such was last week’s grocery run! Among other things, 2 packages of 3-lb pack of ground turkey – and oops, not my usual extra lean version! These were the oh so moist, yet oh so calorific 85% lean version! What to do! Oh well! Since both the packages were promptly placed in the freezer (guess who did it!), I had to use up everything once I thawed a package! 3 pounds of ground turkey and a lazy weekend with nothing to do!

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My kids have been asking for meatballs and I actually wanted to get ground turkey to make a curry! Since I didn’t want to use up all that meat in just two dishes, I added a third! So, my 3 pounder transformed into super moist meatballs, curried turkey and seasoned turkey taco meat! All were pretty easy recipes, so off I started with the curried turkey dish first!

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You don’t need many exotic spices to make this immensely flavorful dish that could be served over rice or with a side of a flatbread such as Indian naan, pita bread or just plain super-crusty bread! You just need a small amount of good quality curry powder!

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Since my dear hubby also brought me a mesh bag full of sweet potato when I specifically asked for 3, I decided to amp up the nutritional value of the curry with the addition of sweet potato cubes and spinach! Don’t wait, grab the few ingredients that are needed and whip up this delicious, semi-nutritious (wish I had the extra lean meat)

Curried Ground Turkey

  • Servings: 4-5
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Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey (lean or extra lean)
1 tablespoon oil*
1/4 cup chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2″ cubes
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, optional
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut milk, optional

Preparation:
1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown ground turkey till lightly brown and cooked through.
2. If you are using higher fat than 90-93% lean turkey, chances are you will have bit of fat accumulating after browning the meat. I usually scoop this out and discard.
3. If the meat mixture is too dry, use the tablespoon of oil*. To the pan, add onion and garlic.
4. Stir around cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the dry spices and salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the sweet potato and spinach. Gently stir. Add the water and cook covered on low heat for 15 minutes or so, till sweet potato is soft and the sauce thickens.
6. Stir in the coconut milk, if using, and remove from heat.

Serve the dish with steamed rice or your favorite flatbread.

Strawberry Cheesecke Muffins

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Ahh….the first, albeit distant hint of spring is¬†in the air!¬†At least I want to¬†think so!¬†Yes, I did enjoy the snow fall we had just last week, but this sunshine and warm temps¬†are making me want to spring forward to¬†the warm¬†weather!

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Today was a gorgeous day! Lots of sunshine flooding the house and it is almost too warm to have the pellet stove running! At times like this, my mind wanders aimlessly about the multitude of possibilities to create something wonderful and delicious. I had totally delicious, caramely baked sweet potato, two pounds of gorgeous, juicy, vibrant red strawberries, especially with tons of actual ripe fruit flavor, lots of flour and yeast and other basic baking must haves.

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So, I decided to whip up two totally different recipes….Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins (yes, had to use up some leftover cream cheese too) and sweet potato yeast bread! Yum! First up…..THE muffins!

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There are¬†three parts to this recipe from Patty’s Food. I made couple of modifications by replacing half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, reducing the amount of sugar to less than 1/2 cup and replacing half the flour in the streusel topping with old-fashioned oats.

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These muffins are super delicious. Because of the whole wheat in them, they are not as airy as regular muffins, but the flavor of the berries and the subtle citrus flavor from the cheesecake filling are more than enough to want to indulge in another one! And maybe you should!

strawberry muffin

  • Servings: ”12
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Ingredients:

For the muffin batter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (or less granulated sugar)
1/4 cup oil
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup 1% or 2 % milk
2 cups diced sweet strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cheesecake filling
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
grated rind of 1/2 lime or lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons beaten egg (from above)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the streusel topping
2 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tray with paper liners and set aside.
2. Prepare streusel topping by combining all the ingredients till they are crumbly. Set aside.
3. Prepare the cheesecake filling by thoroughly combining all the ingredients. Set aside.
4. Begin the preparation of the muffin batter by sifting all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
5. Combine egg, oil, milk and vanilla.
6. Add the dry ingredients to wet mix and gently fold to combine. Do not over mix.
7. Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each of the muffin wells. Drop a dollop of the cheesecake mixture on top of the batter.
8. Divide the chopped strawberries in half. Evenly distribute one half of the strawberries over the cheesecake mix. Divide the rest of the muffin batter evenly among all the muffin cups.
9. Sprinkle rest of the strawberries over the batter, followed by the streusel topping.
10. Bake for 25-27 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.