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Archive for the ‘Snacks / Mics.’ Category

Before I start with the post…I have one important administrative item I need to mention. I am going to be transitioning all of the content from this blog foodillusion.com (including recipes and other informative posts) over to my other blog 100daysofrealfood.com. All those that are subscribed to The Food Illusion site will automatically be added to the 100 Days site (if you aren’t already). So for the next week or so I will post The Food Illusion stuff in both places as I work to transition everything over. I will also continue to post the regular real food pledge posts on the 100 days site as well. Thank you for your patience with all of this! Hopefully this change will make it easier for you (and me) to keep track of everything…especially now that we have taken on another real food pledge.

Okay, so back to banana ice cream. I’ve mentioned this in a post before, but just in case someone missed it I thought it was important enough to dedicate an entire post to it today. This recipe somehow magically turns regular old bananas into delicious, creamy, cold, banana flavored ice cream without using any cream or an ice cream maker. (more…)

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Pumpkins are in season here, but I admit I did not buy a fresh, local one for this recipe. When it comes to convenience it is unfortunately hard to beat a can of organic pumpkin puree. That doesn’t mean pumpkin season can’t put us in the mood for this super-easy recipe though! My 5-year-old has asked me about 20 times over the last week to make some pumpkin bread so this one is for her…enjoy! (more…)

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While this dish is technically “real food” the amount of butter used is what keeps it from showing up on our table on a weekly basis. I personally love baked potatoes, and this variation with the slightly crispy skin on the bottom is just the bomb. And my husband and kids love them, too. You can play around with the toppings by trying grated cheese, green onions, sour cream, bacon (we were out of bacon so pictured is proscuitto), and/or butter. The end result works great as an appetizer, snack, side item, or tailgating dish!

Some recipes request that you scoop out most of the cooked potato before pan-frying them, but we do not think that is necessary. In our opinion the more potato there is, the better things are balanced out between the rich toppings and buttery, crispy crust. They turn out best with small to medium sized potatoes (which are currently in season here in N.C.!) although any size will work. (more…)

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It is apple season here in the Carolinas! Making homemade applesauce is somewhat of a special occasion around here since a healthy store-bought alternative (with no sugar added) can easily be found. I am not saying the store-bought stuff is nearly as good as the homemade version…just more convenient of course. Let’s just say that my husband and I do not regularly consume the little store-bought containers of applesauce, but all four of us fight over the last few drops if it is homemade! Plus making it yourself can be a fun activity (especially with kids), and luckily you can freeze the leftovers.

It is especially quick and easy to make this dish at home if you have one of these handy dandy apple slicers. You can find these inexpensive tools at most grocery stores (or Target), and they will easily cut your prep time in half. Not to mention they come in handy for just slicing apples for a snack (or even pears too!). (more…)

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I recently learned that fresh local peaches can easily be transformed into a delicious frozen treat. I used my ice cream maker to make this recipe, and it gave me yet another reason to be thrilled that I bought one just a few months ago. I seriously doubt I will ever buy ice cream (or sorbet) out of a box again. The machine is incredibly easy to use. You literally just flip a switch and 15 to 20 minutes later…voila! Not to mention that you can control exactly what ingredients go into each recipe.

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I must give my 86-year-old Grandmother all of the credit for this crepe recipe. This is her signature breakfast dish that she is kind enough to make for our entire family (all 25 of us) each time we get together. Our family has gotten so big that in recent years she got smart and started working on making our crepes weeks in advance. So she now brings big frozen pre-made batches of this delectable dish to satisfy everyone’s cravings, which means she can spend less time in the kitchen and more time playing with all of her great-grandkids!

All I did was slightly modify my grandma’s recipe to include whole-wheat flour and honey instead of sugar. I am thrilled to say that those minor changes barely changed the consistency of the batter, and the end product still tastes delicious. While I grew up eating these crepes for breakfast (there is only a tablespoon of sweetener in the whole batch) I think they are just as fabulous as a dessert, too. If you want to serve them for an after dinner treat try rolling them up with strawberries and whipped cream inside and top them with chocolate sauce. Alternately, you could put baked apples (seasoned with butter, honey and cinnamon) inside too. The possibilities are endless! (more…)

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Hummus is an incredibly versatile dish that can be used as a spread on crackers, in a wrap, on a sandwich, or as a dip for veggies and pretzels. I am so thankful that both of my girls like it because it is the perfect way for me to ensure they’re getting protein at lunchtime. They especially like when I put hummus and cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla and wrap it up (we call it a roll-up). I also sometimes add extras like carrots (for my 5-year-old), pieces of leftover bacon (for my 3-year-old), and chopped homegrown tomatoes or cucumbers (for me).

You can buy hummus (that will surely have preservatives in it) at the store or you can try this homemade version, which is very fresh tasting and has ingredients that you can adjust depending on your preferences. You can store it in the fridge for about a week or make a big batch and freeze some for another day! (more…)

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This dish is a wonderful (and healthier) alternative to a traditional flourless chocolate cake dessert. The chocolate torte is adapted from the chocolate powerballs recipe and can also be rolled into little individual balls. I can say that there is rarely a day that my fridge doesn’t have some of those in it! They are the perfect way for me to get my chocolate fix when I need one.

This dessert would also be great with some homemade or all natural ice cream instead of whipped cream. And the chocolate sauce is not only good with this torte, but I have also put it on plain vanilla ice cream and used it to make hot chocolate for my girls. When you are doing the 100 Days of Real Food you must make do! (more…)

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This is a perfect dish for all of those fresh tomatoes and cobs of corn that are now in season. One word of caution though, freshly harvested corn does not have to be cooked long at all. I used to buy corn from the grocery store and boil it for 10 – 12 minutes, which seemed to be adequate. I totally ruined our first batch of local corn by overcooking it by a long shot. I only boiled the second batch for 3 minutes and it was still overdone! I guess the third time really is a charm because I finally decided to boil the corn for 1 short minute and it was perfect. So keep a close eye on that pot if you use fresh corn too.

I also want to mention a little something about the beans in this recipe (or any recipe that calls for beans). I used to always buy canned beans and think nothing of it. Now that I am actually reading the ingredients I have realized the advantage of dried beans – no added salt! Isn’t it odd that a bag of dried beans has 0 mg of sodium, but a can of the very same beans would have hundreds of grams of sodium in it? I will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t always work out for me to remember to soak the beans the night before, so I like to have a back-up can on hand (since it is a whopping 99 cents extra) just in case I forget. I am happy to report though, I just learned that the Earthfare brand of canned organic beans have incredibly low sodium (maybe only 15 mgs…but don’t quote me on that) so next time you are there stock up on some of those for sure! (more…)

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Ever since I made this recipe we have a fear that our 5-year-old is going to turn into a piece of zucchini bread!  She cannot stop eating it. She actually said she was sad about something the other day, but eating a piece of zucchini bread would make it all better. And can you tell that I couldn’t even get a picture of a whole loaf (the backend is missing) because suddenly there is no restraint in our house when it comes to this bread! I have to admit it really is good and tastes so similar to the recipe I used to make that was full of sugar. Granted this one does have a decent amount of honey in it so you shouldn’t sit down and consume an entire loaf in one sitting, but the fact that this is approved during our “100 Days of Real Food” makes me so happy! (more…)

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