Dry Onion Soup Mix

Ingredients:

2/3 cup dried, minced onion

3 tsp. parsley flakes

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. Organic sugar or honey

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Directions:

1.  Mix all ingredients in a jar, then give the jar a good shake.  I’d recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well  before each use.

2.  Use 4 Tbsp. in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix.

Store in a dry, cool place.

Taco Seasoning

1/2 cup chili powder

1/4 cup onion powder

1/8 cup ground cumin

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. sea salt

Put ingredients into a jar and shake.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

16 even-sized open cap mushrooms, stalks cut level

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup butter

3 cloves garlic, chopped very finely

2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly fry the mushrooms, cap-side down, in hot oil for 20 seconds.

Arrange the mushrooms in a shallow baking dish with the stalks facing upwards.

Mix together the butter, garlic, thyme, lemon juice and seasoning.  Spoon a little garlic butter onto each mushroom, then lightly press the breadcrumbs on top.  Either refrigerate for later use, or cook immediately in the oven for 10 minutes.

Skinny Shake (Wendy’s)

3/4 cup almond milk

About 15 ice cubes

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1-2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 of a banana

Blend.

Skinny Chunky Monkey Cookies

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mash bananas in a large bowl, then stir in remaining ingredients.  Let batter stand for approximately 20 minutes, then drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

Freezing Directions:

Cool completely, then place cookies in a freezer bag.  Seal, label, and freeze

Yield:  30 cookies

Raw Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients:

For the base:

3/4 cup raw almonds, ground into a meal

1/4 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour

2 Tbsp. raw almond butter (or nut butter of choice)

1-1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, warmed if necessary

1-1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or agave nectar)

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste

For the topping:

3 Tbsp. coconut oil

3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or 2 Tbsp. agave nectar)

Pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1.  Add almonds and oats into a high-speed blender and blend on high until a flour forms.  Dump into a large bowl and break up any clumps with your fingers.

2.  Add the nut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup (or agave), cinnamon, vanilla, and salt into the bowl.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  The dough should be fairly sticky like cookie dough.

3.  Line a mini (or regular) muffin tin with paper liners or use a silicone muffin holder.  Portion the dough into each muffin cup and press down until even and smooth.

4.  To make the chocolate sauce:  Whisk together the coconut oil, sweetener, cocoa powder, and salt until no clumps remain.  Spoon the sauce over the top of each of the cups, distributing evenly.  Garnish cups with sliced almonds if desired.

5.  Place in the freezer in a flat area for 30-45 minutes, until firm.  Pop out the cups and enjoy immediately!  These are best consumed straight out of the freezer.

Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

5 Tbsp. dried minced onions

7 tsp. parsley flakes

4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

Mix together and store in an air tight jar.

For Dressing:  Mix 2 Tbsp. dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.

For Dip:  Mix 2 Tbsp. dry mix with 2 cups sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Mix up a few hours before serving so the flavors all blend.

Portion Control Tips

Want to keep your eating habits slim and trim?  Keep the following tips in mind:

1.  Use smaller sized plates.  You will still be able to fill your plate with food, it just won’t be as much.

2.  Eat only at the kitchen table.  Eating in front of the television or computer will lead to mindless overeating.

3.  But snack foods and drinks in single-serving sized portions (100 calorie snacks or small 8 oz. sodas).

4.  Limit yourself to three balanced meals a day with foods from each food group and one to two healthy snacks throughout the day.  Being starved at mealtime will lead to overeating.  Those who skip breakfast tend to overeat at lunch.

5.  Eat slowly.  Chew your food well.  Your body needs time to know whether it’s still hungry, so wait 20 minutes before going for seconds.  Let your body, not your eyes, tell you when you’re full.

6.  Eat plenty of whole grains and protein.  These foods keep you feeling fuller for longer.

7.  Drink first, eat second.  If you think you’re getting hungry, drink a glass of water.  You’ll be amazed at how often your thirst comes disguised as hunger.

Oven Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:

3 zucchini (1 lb)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 packet Shake & Bake coating mix

1 small egg

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees

2.  Trim the zucchini – cut crosswise in half, then cut each piece into 1/4 inch sticks.  Add cheese to coating mix in shaker bag; shake gently to combine.

3.  Whisk egg in medium bowl.  Add zucchini; toss to coat.  Use tongs to place 1/4 of the zucchini in shaker bag; close bag and shake to evenly coat.  Spread onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Repeat with remaining zucchini.

4.  Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until golden brown, turning the baking tray 180 degrees after 7 minutes to facilitate even baking.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Ingredents:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 tsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. grated Romano cheese

1/4 tsp. garlic salt or 1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed.  If this is a little too tart for your own personal taste, add a little extra sugar.  You can enjoy your Olive Garden salad dressing for up to 10 days if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.