Category Archives: Healthy

Fall Dessert Recipe: Baked In The Apple Pie

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Well hello everyone and Happy Wednesday!

As some of you know, Fall is my most favorite time of the year here in NYC and besides all the beautiful fall foliage colors, more pleasant temperatures, and official kick off to the holiday season, baking is one of the things I look forward to the most.  I love to bake, I love the excitement I feel waiting to see the final result when it comes out of the oven.

My boyfriend and I have determined it takes me about three times making a dish for me to get it just right and although this was the first time I made this dish, it came out so delicious that I had to share it with you!!!  I brought some into my office and my coworkers agreed, this Baked in the Apple Pie is definitely one recipe that will have your friends and family coming back for more!

What You Will Need (makes 10 baked apple pies)

12  granny smith apples,

1/2  cup sugar

2 Tbsp   brown sugar

1/2 tsp  cinnamon

Directions

– Heat oven to 375%

– Cut off the top of 10 apples off and discard. Remove the inside of each apple with a spoon very carefully, as to not puncture the peel (I actually used tools from my pumpkin carving kit I have at home for this part which made it SO much easier and fun to do and allowed me to salvage most of the removed apple to use for the filling!!)

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– Remove skin from 2-3 additional apples and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will give you the extra filling needed to fill the ten apples you are baking.

– Mix sliced apples with leftover apple pieces from previously cored apples (being sure to discard any seeds or harder apple core pieces from apple pieces from the cored apples) combine with sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.

– Fill hollowed apples with apple pie filling.

– Make dough for pie crust (you can also use store bought pie crust but I prefer to make mine homemade using my favorite pie crust recipe you can find here)

– Divide dough into two halves

– Roll out first half of dough and slice into 1/2 inch strips to add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more texture/sweetness to the pie

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– Roll out the second half of the dough and then slice thin 1/4 inch strips to create the lattice on the top of the baked in apple pie.

– after lining the inside of the tops of each filled apple with a ½ inch strip, place the 1/4 inch dough strips on the top of each apple pie to make a lattice and pinch the inside dough strips and outer edges of the pie  together. ( I also cut out heart shapes from the cut off apple tops and baked them for about half the time on a separate cookie sheet and then sprinkled each with sugar after adding to the top of each pie while the pies finished baking.)

–  Place apples in an 13 X 9 baking dish. Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

– Remove foil and with a pastry brush, use some of the drippings from the pies as a glaze for the top of each pie

– Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft.

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– Enjoy!!!

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Simple Soup Recipe: Puree of Cauliflower Soup

One of the staples in my diet, when I am trying to eat a little healthier and lose a little weight before the dreaded “bikini season”, is soup.  I enjoy making and eating all kinds of soups from Italian Wedding to Sweet Pea soup and I find the most healthy and least fattening to be pureed vegetable soups.  I love pureed vegetable soups not only because (being the veggie lover that I am) they are delicious in their simplicity, pureed vegetable soups are also one of those dishes that as long as you are careful not to add too much milk or butter when making it, you can eat as much of it as you want.  Anything I can eat in abundance, especially when I am trying to drop a few pounds, makes it all that much more awesome.

This week I went on the hunt for a nice and simple recipe for Puree of Cauliflower Soup and found one that is not only incredibly easy to make, it also came out so well that I almost ate the entire batch last night by myself (no joke).  However, as I kept the dairy I added to a minimum and on the low fat side and although I definitely feel asleep last night full and happy after devouring bowl after bowl of Puree of Cauliflower Soup, I woke up without one shred of guilt (best thing ever)!  Here is the recipe in case you are looking for a nice and simple recipe for Puree of Cauliflower Soup:) Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 head of Cauliflower chopped

1 medium size onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

2 tbs fresh parsley diced

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup milk

1 tbs butter

salt

pepper

Directions:

1- In a large pot, melt 1 tbs butter and add onions and 2 tsp salt to pot, cooking until tender over medium high heat for ~ 5 minutes

2-Add chopped garlic to pot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute

3- Add chopped cauliflower to pot, stirring to combine ingredients, reduce heat to medium and cover, cook for ~ 3 minutes

4-Add two cups chicken/vegetable broth to pot and 1 tsp pepper , increase heat to high and bring to a boil, cover and cook for ~ 10 minutes or until cauliflower is soft

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Spring into Shape: 10 Ways To Stay Motivated To Get Back in Shape!

I recently quit smoking and decided, in an attempt to keep any weight gain to a minimum, to get back to the gym and implement regular exercise into my weekly routine.  Usually after the winter months begin to melting into spring, as I start replacing my cozy and lose fitting sweaters with more form fitting spring blouses, like clock work I would find myself dragging my feet to the gym to get back into shape.  This year, after three months of going regularly 2-3 times a week to yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes, I have found, it’s taken a lot more time then it did in my “youth” to see any results. I am not one of those people who sometimes need to talk themselves into working out, I need to do it every time so not seeing the results I had hoped just made it that much harder to motivate and stay motivated to keep to me new exercise regiment.

Being in my early 30’s and having gained a little weight after quitting smoking, the results I was SO needing to see three weeks ago were nowhere to be found.   I am not talking about having unrealistic expectations as I am a firm believer in the 1-1.5 pound per week rule, that is, if you are trying to lose weight and get in shape, the most you should expect to lose per week is 1-1.5 pounds if you are doing it the “right way.”  Sure there are tons of crash diets, cleanses and now even a 10 day feeding tube diet that promises to trim off twenty pounds in ten days (yikes).  Although these alternative diets may work for some, for most of us to achieve our desired results and make them last, sticking to a routine of regular exercise, healthy caloric intake, and realistic expectations seems the best way to go.  That being said, getting myself back into regular exercise, improving my diet while realizing that my body wasn’t “bouncing back” as quickly as it used to, made it only that much harder to motivate to get back into shape.  In need of a little more motivation to get back into shape this spring, I turned to Google to research some ideas and fun facts to keep in mind when trying to stay motivated.  I thought i would pass them along to you, as well as a few other methods I have picked up from my own experiences:)

Ten Ways to Stay Motivated to Spring into Better Shape:

1.  Make It Fun– Some people are runners, yogis, dancers, some prefer working out inside the gym, others outside, whatever it is, if you want to get back into shape pick an activity and local that you think you will most enjoy doing.  Making sure you pick the work out routine that is right for you greatly increases the chance that you will not only start but stick with it.

2. Use The Buddy System– If you really have a hard time getting up and going, having a friend or coworker join you in your quest to get in shape will help you push past that initial “I don’t wanna go” barrier.  Working out with someone not only makes it more fun but also makes it just that much harder to bail on your workout plans.

3. Make The Time– this one is especially important for me to keep my motivation to work out after a long day at work.  If I get home and have to frantically rush to make my yoga or Pilates class the probability I will actually go gets cut in half.  Fitting in fitness into your weekly routine should not cause you extra stress, if anything it should help eliminate it, so be sure you have plenty of time to get to your class or gym without having to rush.

4.  Set Realistic Goals: Setting unrealistic goals is setting yourself up for failure.  Don’t expect to lose those 10 lbs you put on over the holidays to magically disappear two weeks after you start working out again.  There are many great tools online that can help you figure out what you should expect to realistically see from your new fitness and healthy eating regiment.  If we expect the impossible from ourselves we will only feel discouraged when fall short of our expectations which will only make it that much harder to stick to getting back into shape.

5. Get OVER Your Fears–  A recent study showed that women average less then 50% of daily exercise levels reached by men and two thirds of women who avoid exercise cited being self conscious about their bodies or athletic abilities as their reason for not working out.  It is very common to feel self conscious, especially when just beginning to get back into shape.  A little trick I use to get past these feelings of being embarrassed about my body or nervous I wont be able to keep up with my class mates is this; I look at myself in the mirror and say aloud, “I am doing this for me and although I may feel bad about myself right now, not going tonight (to class) is only going to make me feel worse.” That usually gets me out the door and on my way.

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