Category: Snacks and Apps

22 Jan 2021

Roasted Eggplant Spread/Dip

A few days ago I happened to be channel surfing and I landed on the Food Network channel.  (Let’s face it, there are limited choices out there.)  Trisha’s Southern Kitchen was on and her guest was Nadia Comaneci (the olympic Romanian gymnast).  Nadia was preparing a traditional Romanian Eggplant salad/spread.   Well, for some reason this dip intrigued me and ironically I had just brought home an eggplant from the grocery store.  The great thing about this recipe is there are minimal and very basic ingredients needed.  

I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was so I decided to share it!  When you taste it for the first time, the eggplant is very subtle and difficult to identify.  You will definitely have people guessing!

I did make a few adjustments to the recipe to make it my own…(1) I added garlic, (2) I used half red onion and half yellow onion, and (3) I added jarred sun-dried tomatoes.  Feel free to add these as well or omit if you so choose.  Also, you may have to adjust the quantity of the mayo and EVOO based on the size of your eggplant.


  • 1 small to medium-sized eggplant
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 tsp jarred minced garlic or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp healthy mayo (made with avocado oil and cage-free eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp jarred sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Roast the eggplant whole in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, depending on the size of your eggplant.  Turn the eggplant halfway through the roasting process.  When done, it should be very soft to the touch.
  2. Allow the eggplant to cool.  Peel away the skin and place the flesh (seeds included) of the eggplant on a cutting board.  Chop the eggplant until it forms somewhat of a paste or puree.
  3. Place the eggplant in a mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. This can be served immediately or cover and refrigerate for at least one hour if you prefer it chilled.
  5. Top with fresh diced tomatoes or herbs, if desired.  Serve along side fresh cut vegetables, healthy crackers or bread slices.
16 Jan 2020

Goat Cheese, Bacon and Walnut Dip

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to call this dip since it has a little bit of everything in it!!  It’s creamy and chunky at the same time and has just the right touch of sweetness…so yummy!!  This is a great dip to bring to a gathering because it appeals to everyone.  It is equally delicious served with crackers or sliced vegetables.  (I’ve actually caught people eating it off their fork!)

Note:  Dips can be very caloric so I suggest using the best quality ingredients possible.  You’ll  feel better knowing you are getting some nutritional value and splurging at the same time! 



  • 6 oz of goat cheese (chèvre), room temperature
  • 2/3 cup approved mayo (I use Primal Kitchen)
  • 1 cup fresh cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped**
  • 5-6 slices of quality bacon, cooked and cut into smaller pieces
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (look for brands with no added oil or sugar)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped (reserve a small amount for garnishing)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper



  1. Add the goat cheese, mayo, salt and pepper to a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Using a hand mixer, beat together until creamy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand with a large spoon or spatula.
  3. Chill for 3-4 hours.
  4. Serve with fresh vegetables and/or gluten-free crackers.  (I have a recipe for grain-free crackers if you’re really feeling motivated!)

** To toast the walnuts, place on a sheet pan and put in a 350 degree oven for approximately 8 minutes.  Be careful not to burn.

13 Nov 2019

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This yummy bread is perfect for fall and would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving Day menu or to take as a hostess gift to your Thanksgiving dinner destination.  My family is not big on the traditional pumpkin pie fare, so I will be having several loaves of this bread on hand.  They freeze very well so you can make them ahead of time.  One less thing to worry about!  



  • 2 cups paleo flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup softened coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (I use the dark amber)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar, Swerve or Monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (my go to chocolate chips are Lily’s sugar-free brand)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line loaf pans with parchment paper (I use 2 small).  Put small amount of coconut oil on bottom and sides of pan to hold the parchment paper in place.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to a bowl.  Using a whisk, mix to combine ingredients.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, add the eggs, pumpkin, oil, maple syrup, sugar and vanilla.  Beat until creamy.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients and beat to combine.  Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated together (don’t over mix).  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula several times in between.
  5. Fold the chocolate chips and walnuts into the batter.  Set a small amount aside to sprinkle on top.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans.  If using one larger pan, adjust baking time.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.  I like to check doneness by pressing slightly on the middle of the bread.  It should not feel too soft.  I find that when I use a toothpick to check, it comes out clean even when it may not be completely done in the middle.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
12 Jul 2019

Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

This pudding is rich, creamy, delicious and so NUTRITIOUS!!  It’s full of fiber, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants.  Topped with fresh organic berries and you really have it going on!  I prefer to serve mine as a dessert but it is healthy enough to eat for breakfast!! This makes approximately 3-4 servings.  Cover and refrigerate.  I think it will keep a few days in the fridge but it doesn’t last that long in my house so I’m not completely sure on that!!     


Ingredients:  3-4 servings

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw organic cacao powder
  • 1-1½ cup coconut, almond or pea protein milk (start with 1 cup and add more if needed)
  • 1 large scoop of whey or pea protein powder
  • xylitol or stevia to taste (or sweetener of choice)
  • pinch of Himalayan salt (optional)
  • 1-2 dashes of cinnamon
  • berries, unsweetened coconut flakes, hemp seeds or cacao nibs (for toppings)



  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor.  (You could also use a blender or hand mixer.)
  2. Mix until smooth and creamy.  Scrap sides of container halfway between blending.
  3.  Serve in individual ramekins and add your favorite toppings.
11 Jun 2019

Coconut Tahini and Matcha Bites

This recipe adds a little twist to your typical energy balls.  It has both coconut butter and tahini, two types of seeds, matcha and protein powder to boot.   If you’re not familiar with matcha powder, it is green tea leaves ground into a concentrated powder, making it packed with antioxidants.  Add that along with the protein, healthy fats (saturated as well as omega 3’s) and fiber, and you’ve got yourself some banging little bites full of health benefits!


Ingredients (makes 24 balls)

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons protein powder
  • 4-5 dates, pitt removed
  • 3 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1-2 teaspoons matcha powder (preferably ceremonial and organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk (for adjusting thickness)



  1. In a food processor, add dates, coconut butter, tahini and shredded coconut.  Blend or pulse until well combined.  Add remaining ingredients except coconut milk.  Continue to blend until mixture forms a thick paste and can be formed into balls.
  2. If mixture is too thick, add small amounts of coconut milk during the blending.  If mixture is too thin, add more almond flour or protein powder.
  3. Scoop out portion sizes (I use a small scooper) and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Place in the freezer or refrigerator to firm up.  Once firm, they can be transferred into a storage container.
  5. For best results, store in freezer or refrigerator.  If storing in freezer, allow to thaw about 5 minutes before enjoying.
13 Apr 2019

Grain-Free Rosemary Bread

Have you been rockin’ a grain-free, low carb lifestyle but find yourself craving the feel of some bread in your mouth?  Well this bread will satisfy that craving and keep you on track with your healthy eating plan!  It’s extremely easy to make and you will not be disappointed.  You can serve this with some seasoned EVOO for dipping, add it to a beautiful cheese board, or just slather a slice with grass-fed butter or nut butter.  Is your mouth watering right now?  Mine is!

I’ve made this bread several times and have been so happy with the results.  I served it warm out of the oven along side a bowl of delicious soup…yum!   Enjoy!!



  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp pysillium husk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp ACV
  • ¼-½ cup boiling water



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. Add coconut flour, pysillium husk, baking powder and spices to a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  4. Add the eggs and oil to the dry ingredients.  Beat with a hand mixer just until blended (no longer than 1 minute is needed).
  5. Add the ACV and mix briefly with a spoon. It will look lumpy (1st picture).
  6. Add the boiling water slowly, a little at a time (you may not need the entire ½ cup).  Continue to stir until water is incorporated completely.  Dough will be wet and sticky but smooth (2nd picture).
  7. Place dough onto the parchment paper and form a round shape with your hands (I put some olive oil on my fingers so they don’t stick).
  8. Score the top with a knife (optional).  Sprinkle with a little rosemary for textural appeal.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and the center is firm to the touch.
26 Feb 2019

Beet Hummus

Are you having friends or family over or perhaps going to a party and you need to bring an appetizer?  If you’re looking for something a little different and of course something you can feel good about eating, this beet hummus might just be the perfect choice.  

You can make this hummus in about 15 minutes!  Cut up some veggies ahead of time or buy pre-cut if you’re really short on time.  Pull out a platter, arrange some colorful veggies and maybe some quality cheese and crackers on it.  Place a bowl of this vibrant beet hummus in the middle and you have a kaleidoscope of colors that will take center stage on any table!



  • 13 oz can chickpeas, drained (I actually found some in a carton…no BPA concerns)
  • 1 cup cooked beets (I find them in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp EVOO
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
  • 2+ Tbsp water (for thinning)
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½-¾ tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper



  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor.  If you’re using frozen beets, make sure they are thawed out.
  2. Blend on high for 1 minute.  If too thick, add an additional amount of water (1 Tbsp at a time)
  3. Continue to blend until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings or add more lemon juice to your likings.
  5. Best if chilled before serving.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  7. Enjoy with some fresh veggies, healthy crackers, or on top of your favorite salad.
17 Dec 2018

Sugar-Free Holiday Spiced Nuts

A bowl or two of nuts  sitting out for your guests or served along side your other appetizers is always a nice little touch.  These holiday nuts add an extra “wow” and seriously require a warning label on them!  They truly are the perfect combination of sweet and salty and all the spices of the holidays.  When they are baking in the oven, your kitchen will smell divine!  The aroma of the spices coming together will surely put you in the Christmas spirit.  Heck, throw on some Christmas tunes, grab a cocktail and rock around the Christmas tree!!

To make these mixed nuts sugar-free I used Swerve (you could also use another sugar substitute such as Erythritol) as well as a maple syrup made with monk fruit.  If you do not have these items in your pantry, you can also use coconut sugar and a quality maple syrup.  “You do you!”  (Also, I love the spice flavors so I do more like heaping size teaspoons!)

Note:  Place these in cute jar with a bow, a decorative container or bag and they make a great gift for someone special or to take as a hostess gift to a holiday party.  Possible add-ins: crunchy bacon pieces, dried cranberries or some chunks of dark chocolate. 


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup Swerve (you could also use an organic cane or coconut sugar)
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (I used maple syrup sweetened with monk fruit)
  • 4-4½ cups of nuts (I used pecans, walnuts, cashews and almonds)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil.
  3. In a small bowl, add all the spices and mix well.  Set aside.
  4. Measure your nuts and put in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy.  Add swerve, maple syrup and spices.  Whisk to combine.
  6. Pour over the nuts and mix until nuts are well coated.
  7. Pour onto parchment paper and spread the nuts out evenly so they are not all clumped together.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir and redistribute the nuts on the sheet pan.
  9. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.  Keep an eye on them!  If the nuts appear to be getting too brown, lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees.
  10. When done, allow to cool on the pan.  Once cooled, transfer to a container for storing.  (If they feel a little too sticky, allow to dry in the oven after it is turned off.)
16 Nov 2018

Easy Four-Seed Crackers

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just need a little crunch factor in your life!  Whether it’s for scooping up your favorite dip or adding to a meat and cheese platter, crackers can be oh so delicious!  But lets be honest, packaged processed crackers are loaded with unhealthy ingredients.  Manufacturers try very hard to convince us otherwise.  Walk down the cracker aisle and you’ll see packaging with all the buzz words… all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free or whole grain.  Don’t fall for it!  It’s important to always be a savvy shopper and read the ingredient lists!  Usually they contain unhealthy oils and flours (corn, soy, rice) along with other additives and sugars!  These crackers have none of that and are so delicious and crunchy.   BONUS…you will be amazed at how easy they are to make!



  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds or hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk (can find this on Amazon)
  • 3 Tbsp Everything Salt (I get this at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup boiling water



  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  I use a whisk to make sure everything is well incorporated and that there are no lumps from the flour.
  4. Add coconut oil and boiling water and stir.  Continue to stir until mixture thickens.
  5. Spread mixture evenly onto parchment lined pan with spatula.  Continue to work around pan to get a desired and consistent thickness.
  6. Bake on lower rack for 45- 60 minutes.  (This will also depend on how brown and crispy you like your crackers.)
  7. Turn oven off and allow crackers to dry for an additional 15 minutes.  Watch carefully.  Seeds can burn quickly.
  8. Remove from the oven.  When crackers are cooled, break into pieces according to size preference.  They will most likely break unevenly but I think that makes them more interesting.
  9. Enjoy!
19 Oct 2018

Loaded Banana Sandwich

I got the idea for this banana sandwich when I saw a similar one online and I decided to put my own twist on it.  There are countless combinations and you could totally make this your own by adding all your favorites.  I used almond butter and some homemade blueberry, peach chia jam for the inside and then sprinkled on all kinds of yummy goodness!  Enjoy for breakfast or really anytime of the day!



  • Banana
  • 2 tsp almond or other nut butter
  • 2 tsp approved jam (I have a winner in my recipe index)
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut butter, softened
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • cacao nibs
  • shredded coconut
  • hemp seeds



  1. Slice banana in half lengthwise.
  2. Spread one side with the nut butter and the other side with the jam.
  3. Sprinkle hemp seeds on either side.
  4. Put the two banana slices together to form a sandwich.
  5. Mix the cacao powder into the coconut butter and drizzle over the top of the banana.
  6. Sprinkle entire banana with cacao nibs, shredded coconut and additional hemp seeds.
  7. Enjoy!