Spiced Apple and Pear Muffins

img_3450Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups diced pears, and/or apples
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup brown cane sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, and oil until completely blended.
  2. Stir in diced fruit.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in separate bowl.
  4. Add dry to wet ingredients and stir just until blended.
  5. Let batter sit for 15-20 minutes: this is optional, but I think it makes the muffins rise higher.
  6. Divide batter between 20 greased muffin cups and bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Tip:  You can substitute half of the flour with oats/oat flour for a slightly different taste and a healthier option!

Kale, Chicken, and White Bean Soup

Easy, takes about 30 minutes, and very tasty! To save time, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken, if you do not want to bake your own. I use low-sodium chicken broth, low-sodium beans, and add a bit of salt to the soup so I can control the overall salt level.

SERVINGS: about 14 cups,  PREP TIME: 10-15 minutes  COOK TIME: 20 minutes  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
  • 1 cup celery, sliced thin (about 2 stalks)
  • 2 to 3 cups green cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons (about 1/2 small head of cabbage)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 to 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken beforehand)
  • two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced small (from about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional (brightens up the flavor)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To a large pot, add the oil, onion, celery, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  2. Add the cabbage and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until cabbage wilts and softens. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth, shredded chicken, cannellini beans, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and boil about 5 minutes, or until chicken is warmed through.
  5. Add the kale, zucchini, optional lemon juice, and boil 1 to 2 minutes, or until kale has wilted and zucchini has softened.
  6. Taste soup and add salt or herbs, to taste. Amount of salt will vary based on how salty the brand of chicken broth used is, how salty the rotisserie chicken is, and personal preference. At any time while making the soup, if the overall liquid level is lower than you like and you prefer more broth, adding a cup or two of water is okay because at the end you will adjust the salt level. Serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.