With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about healthier options for dessert! This Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe is made without the cream cheese, using tofu and Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese instead! Topped generously with 100% all-natural, non-GMO skinny truwhip, it is a delectable and delicious dessert!

Pumpkin Cheesecake (‘No Cheese”)

Ingredients

12 oz. firm silken tofu
8 oz. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar (“Mom” prefers organic sugar or Stevia in the Raw)
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 graham cracker crust
1 carton Truwhip

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

In blender or food processor, puree all ingredients except crust and Truwhip. Pour into crust.

Bake 350 deg. for 50 min. Cool at least 30 min.

Cover top of pie with generous amount of Truwhip.

truwhip 2

About truwhip

truwhip and truwhip skinny are the first frozen whipped toppings that are 100% natural and gluten-free. Unlike other chemical-laden whipped dairy concoctions, truwhip contains no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, no polysorbate 60, no trans fats and no GMOs. truwhip is also certified gluten-free and Kosher. Available at Wal-Mart and Kroger, as well as grocery stores nationwide. http://www.truwhip.com/

*Samples of truwhip, recipe and image courtesy of truwhip.*

This deliciously simple recipe for Superfood Pesto is a staple in “Mom’s” house! It can be made ahead and stored for use, or eaten immediately – we love it served over pasta or salmon, as well as swirled into soups or spread on fresh bread! “Mom” started adding in flax and chia seeds as a great way to sneak in some extra nutrition unnoticed by her little ones – Carrington Farms has made it even easier to add in with their convenient Flax Chia PAKS.

Superfood Pesto

Tiny Green Mom’s Superfood Pesto

Ingredients

2 cups fresh organic basil leaves (“Mom” prefers Trader Joe’s Organic Basil)
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 fresh garlic cloves
2/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil (divided – see below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably organic
1 package Carrington Farms Flax Chia PAKS

Preparation

Combine the organic basil, pine nuts, fresh garlic and parmesan cheese in a blender or small food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process the mixture until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with the salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

If you plan to serve the pesto immediately, add in all the remaining oil, incorporating until smooth.

If you plan to store the pesto, place the remaining extra virgin olive oil over the top of the pesto in the container. “Mom” prefers to place a layer of Press’n Seal over the top of the pesto, and then placing the lid of the container on top to help keep it fresh.

Enjoy!

Carrington Farms Flax-Chia-Packet-STACKED

About Carrington Farms Flax Chia PAKS

Combination of Carrington Farms’ popular sliced Organic Milled Flax Seeds with Carrington’s Organic Chia Seeds. Excellent source of energy and nutrients for lasting heart health and boosted metabolism. Rich in Omega-3’s, Fiber, Antioxidants, and Protein. Packed in a portable and convenient single serve packet with a pre-measured daily dosage, FlaxChia Paks answer all needs for the health conscious, on the go consumer. No refrigeration necessary. Available at grocery stores nationwide and online at www.CarringtonFarms.com; MSRP: $9.79. / 12-pak box

*Images and samples of Carrington Flax Chia PAKS courtesy of Carrington Farms.*

Pumpkin Spiced LatteTis’ the season for Pumpkin! The harvest fruit is everywhere – from Jack O’ Lanterns on every doorstep to pumpkin spiced lattes and pies in every store! Besides pumpkin being a great decoration and having a delicious flavor for sweets and treats, pumpkins are healthy and nutritious for you.

Pumpkins are a potent antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory food. Juicing them can be better for you (instead of the overly sugar treats). So, instead of a super sweet pumpkin treat — try a healthy twist to the pumpkin craze. The juicing experts at Juicepresso created a healthy twist to a pumpkin spiced latte which also puts to use the pumpkin meat from your Jack O’ Lantern.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients

1/2 small pumpkin (seeds, hard rind and stem removed), chopped
1 red apple
1 Meyer lemon, quartered
1-inch piece ginger, well scrubbed

Preparation

Once all fruits and vegetables have been prepared, pressed, and placed in a glass, top off your drink with a dab of cinnamon. Enjoy!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Juicepresso.*

Witch Hand 2Here’s a scarily healthy treat on Halloween! Fun to put together and almost too spooky to eat, these Pistachio Chewy Bite Witches’ Fingers are made with nutritious ingredients, such as pistachio kernels, almond milk and dried cranberries!

Pistachio Chewy Bite Witches’ Fingers

Ingredients

6 Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup non-dairy dark chocolate chips
Dash sea salt
12 dried cranberries
1/2 cup Setton Farms Roasted Pistachio Kernels, finely ground

Preparation 

Unwrap all chewy bites and cut each chewy bite in half lengthwise. Gently press the two halves together, with the stickiest sides facing each other, creating one long strip. If desired, to create thumb and pinky finger, leave two halves short. Set aside.

Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl.

In a small pan, bring almond milk to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for about 20 seconds to melt chocolate. Add sea salt. Whisk until smooth.

Dip long Pistachio Chewy Bite strips into chocolate mixture and then sprinkle or roll in pistachios immediately. Place on wax paper lined plate and top each strip with 2 overlapping dried cranberries at the tip. Set aside for about 20 minutes to firm up.

Yields 6.

(C) Spork Foods, 2015

About Pistachio Chewy Bites
With two main ingredients, Pistachio Chewy Bites provide healthy snack lovers the amazing benefits of pistachios and cranberries in a delicious and nutritious bite-size bar. Pistachio Chewy Bites are heart-healthy, 100% all natural, gluten and dairy free, low in sodium, GMO free, vegan and a great on-the-go protein snack. They also have no cholesterol, zero trans-fat and are a good source of dietary fiber. These nutrient-rich snack bars provide a great balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat for sustainable energy. With 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and healthy fat, the individually wrapped bars are the perfect one stop shop.

Available in major grocery store chains across the country such as: Bristol Farms, Fairway, Shoprite, A&P, Roundy’s, HEB, Safeway, Ingles, Gelson’s, King Kullen, Earth Fare, Price Chopper, Wegmans, Save Mart, Lucky, Hy-Vee, Shop n’ Save, etc. They are also available online at Amazon.com and Puritan.com.

Pricing: 6-Pack $5.99 and 16-Pack $12.50
Website: http://www.pistachiochewybites.com

About Spork Foods
L.A.-based sisters and celebrity chefs, Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel of Spork Foods are vegan chefs that own a Los Angeles-based gourmet cooking school. The culinary duo are also cookbook authors and work with some of Hollywood’s elite including Emily and Zooey Deschanel, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Kristin Bauer van Straten, and Alicia Silverstone.

Colorful ColeslawA common tailgating side dish gets a healthy makeover this season using a flavorful beet juice vinaigrette! Colorful and brimming with goodness, this slaw will make a tasty addition to any tailgating party or backyard BBQ this Fall!

Colorful Coleslaw with Beet Juice Vinaigrette

Ingredients

COLESLAW

1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thin to shred
1/2 head red cabbage, sliced thin to shred
2 large carrots, thinly sliced (on the bias)
6 scallions, thinly sliced (on the bias)
1 red pepper, cut into julienne strips

VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup BIOTTA BEET JUICE (see note)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 lime, juiced
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

Prepare all coleslaw vegetables as directed. Toss together in a large bowl. To prepare the vinaigrette, add BIOTTA BEET JUICE, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, lime juice and shallot to a small bowl. Whisk together. Drizzle in olive oil while continuing to whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle desired amount of vinaigrette over coleslaw. Serve immediately. Refrigerate and save any remaining vinaigrette for use on any vegetable salad.

NOTE – for a soft, rich beet juice flavor, reduce 1 cup beet juice over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until you achieve 1/4 cup in volume. Set aside to cool before using.

Serves 6-8.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Biotta Beet Juice.*

Flamous Brands - Original FalafelSomehow, the words healthy and tailgating don’t really seem to fit together, but yet, Flamous Brands has made this a reality! Offering families everywhere a scrumptious yet healthy option on game day, the unique 21 ingredient blend of herbs, spices, vegetables and legumes are so tasty,  no one will suspect they are indeed good for you!

This is one chip that “Mom” loves indulging in, and the fact that all Flamous Brand Chips are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free kosher, as well as fee of most allergens only makes them all the attractive as a healthy snack option. Plus, ounce for ounce, Flamous Falafel Chips have 10 times the antioxidant value than that of green tea or vegetable juice. 
Flamous Brands - Spicy Fiesta

With several unique varieties to taste test, “Mom” tried the Sprouted Multigrain Chips, Original Falafel Chips, Spicy Fiesta Chips and Spicy Falafel Chips. The family favorite was definitely the Spicy Fiesta flavor, with the Spicy Falafel flavor coming in a close second. On game day, serve these as your ‘go-to’ chip, knowing you are providing a healthy snack for all!

Flamous Original Falafel Chips are available at Mother’s Market, Kroger, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Amazon.com and other health food stores throughout the United States. You can also learn more about the brand on their website, www.flamousbrands.com.

Flamous (which stands for famous for flavor) is a Los Angeles based company born in 2007. Family owned and operated, the founders sought to create a snack that was not only delicious but that they would be proud to offer to their own friends and kids. Their goal is to continue to grow in their industry – to be an internationally recognized brand that continues to develop innovative healthy options and exciting new flavors and concepts for the world to enjoy.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article.*

Healthy Candy ApplesFall is officially here, and with it comes all the delicious fruits and vegetables of the season! Here is a healthy version of candy apples from the “uncookbook” LOVE ON A PLATE by Cara Brotman and Markus Rothkranz, without any sugar, corn syrup, or artificial ingredients. “Mom” loves finding ways to make seasonal treats nutritious and still taste just as delectable. This recipe is a fun one to get the kids involved in, as well! Simply let them pick their favorite toppings to roll the apples in before freezing.

Healthy Candy Apples

Ingredients

4 organic apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or Jona Gold work best)
4 candy apple sticks (or popsicle sticks)
1 cup cashew butter
1/2 – 3/4 cup maple syrup
Splash of vanilla (“Mom” prefers Nielsen-Massey Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
Pinch of salt
Suggested toppings: cacao nibs, orange segments, candied almonds, dehydrated raspberries, dried mulberries (dehydrated and finely minced)

Preparation

Wash apples, but do not peel them. Dry them very well as the caramel doesn’t stick to moisture. Add cashew butter, 1/2 cup maple syrup, vanilla, and salt to food processor. Turn on for 1 minute. If caramel is too thick, drizzle a little more maple syrup in. (The more syrup you add, the runnier the caramel will be, and the easier the caramel will run down and fall off the apple.) Stick candy apple sticks in top center of your apple and dunk in caramel, turning quickly to coat.

Place on a piece of wax paper containing candy apple toppings and roll apple until well coated. Put in freezer for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Makes 4 candy apples.

Reprinted with permission of Rothkranz Publishing from LOVE ON A PLATE: The Gourmet UnCookbook by Cara Brotman and Markus Rothkranz; $29.97; www.loveonaplatebook.com.

Images courtesy of (c) Markus Rothkranz from LOVE ON A PLATE by Cara Brotman and Markus Rothkranz.

Edamame DipTailgating season is upon us, and those who want to entertain but serve up some healthier fare will love this Edamame Dip! “Mom” is a big fan of edamame, whether eaten raw or put in a favorite dish, and this dip is a definite winner! It is easy to pack along for the big game or it can be served alongside nutritious veggies right on the coffee table!

Edamame Dip

Ingredients

2 cups boiled edamame beans (chilled)
4 cups water
3 tablespoon of sesame paste or tahini
Juice of 1 whole lemon
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 teaspoon fresh garlic
Salt and fresh cracker pepper to taste

Optional: Skewer your favorite veggies and grill them with some olive oil basted on it. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparation

1. Use a blender and blend everything together. You may need to add more water or oil to make it less thick if you like it more saucy. Season with salt and pepper when done to get the right flavor.
2. Serve with veggies and dig in!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Fangalicious.*

About Kathy Fang

Kathy Fang is the chef and co-owner of Fang Restaurant in San Francisco’s SOMA district less than a mile from her father’s famed restaurant in the heart of Chinatown – House of Nanking. With a traditional Chinese upbringing, Kathy was able to grow as a chef and merge her family heritage with her own style which she also demonstrates on her popular blog myfangalicious.com

Pereg-Sesame-Ginger-CouscousThis recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but from start to finish, it only takes 25 minutes. Made with fresh vegetables, spices, and couscous. Made ahead the night before, it also packs well for a healthy lunch option!

Grilled Sesame Ginger Vegetable Couscous

Ingredients

2 large carrots, washed, peeled and cut in half the long way
1 cup button mushroom tops, cleaned
½ bunch asparagus, trimmed
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ cups Pereg Gourmet Couscous
1 ¼ cups water

For dressing:

1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Place the carrots, mushrooms and asparagus in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil, soy sauce, and black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Put the vegetables on the grill or in a grill basket and grill while basting vegetables with extra marinade. Grill until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the couscous. Bring the water to a boil and add couscous. Remove from heat, stir, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes until the couscous absorbs the liquid. Drain any extra liquid and cool.

When the vegetables are cool, slice the asparagus and carrots into diagonal bite sized pieces and slice the mushrooms. Combine with couscous.

To make the dressing, whisk together ginger, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper and scallions. Dress the couscous and garnish with cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 1-cup servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Pereg Gourmet.*

Blueberry Pineapple Salsa 1Summer is almost officially upon us, and that means it is time for creating fresh recipes for summer entertaining! This delightful salsa from the Blueberry Council showcases both blueberries and pineapple beautifully, and will be a huge hit at any summer gathering!

Blueberry Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membrane removed, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced red onion
Kosher salt, as needed

Preparation

Combine blueberries, pineapple, jalapeño, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, lime zest, cilantro and red onion.
Season with salt and additional lime juice as needed.
Serve with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to fish or chicken.

Serves 7.

*Recipe and image courtesy of the Blueberry Council.*