Date Sweetened Cookies

Date Sweetened Cookies

This is a great Diet Level 4 cookie recipe, although it also fits nicely into DL’s 1, 2, 3, and 6 (NOT DL 5, due to the inclusion of oats, so not grain-free). They are crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside cookies. You can make these as chunky or smooth as you want, depending on how long you let the blender or food processor machine go. These cookies are made with raisins, but you could also substitute Lily’s chocolate chips (see image below), which are made with stevia and you would still be in the “sugar-free” diet-level realm! You can find them at HEB with all the other baking chocolate chips.

Lilys Baking Chips No Sugar Added

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Date Sweetened Cookies
Diet Level:4
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
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Cookies
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
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Cookies
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Diet Level:4
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place dates and vanilla in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Add almonds until smooth, another minute or so.
  3. Add in the oats, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and oil, and process for another few minutes. You might need to stop periodically to scrape the sides in order to get the mixture to blend evenly. Add in the banana for 10 seconds.
  4. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Shape dough with a spoon into 20 cookies on 2 lightly greased cookie sheets and flatten slightly with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly brown.
  7. Place on a cooling rack and store uneaten cookies in an airtight container.
Spinach and Kale Sweet Potato Cakes

Spinach and Kale Sweet Potato Cakes

These delicious and easy-to-make sweet potato cakes are great as an appetizer, side dish, or can also be served for breakfast with a side of nitrate-free bacon.

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Spinach and Kale Sweet Potato Cakes
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
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Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
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Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Fill a sauce pan with 1 inch of water. Place sweet potatoes in a steamer basket in the pan and steam until tender, about 12 minutes. (You may also steam in microwave.)
  3. Once tender, transfer the potatoes to large bowl. Add coconut milk and mash until smooth.
  4. Stir in the kale, spinach, onion, cumin, garlic, and sea salt.
  5. Once thoroughly combined, form sweet potato mixture into 6-8 individual patties.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp of avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry patties in pan until lightly browned on both sides.
  7. Serve warm or freeze for later.
Plantain and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Plantain and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This recipe is a great candidate for a Sunday meal prep for the week to come! It reheats exceptionally well and freezes well, too. The plantains help provide a healthy dose of starch while the eggs and sausage offer up fat and protein. Next to some leafy greens or a piece of fruit, you have yourself a complete meal!

A note about choosing plantains: Most plantains at the grocery store are going to be green/yellow. At this stage, these plantains will be starchier and less-sweet than their brown (more ripe) counterparts. Unlike a banana, a completely brown plantain does NOT mean that it’s bad. It just means that it’s going to be more sweet then starchy. This casserole is better with sweeter plantains, so let 3 of the yellow/green plantains sit out on your counter top for about 5 days, or until they’re starting to look nice and brown. At this point, they’re ready for the casserole! Note that you CAN make this casserole with not overly-ripe plantains. You will follow all the same steps, but know that the plantain base will be more savory and less sweet.

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Plantain and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 25 Minutes
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Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 25 Minutes
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Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown the breakfast sausage over medium/high heat, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Cook until it looks crispy and has released a good amount of fat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned sausage to a separate bowl, leaving the grease behind in the pan.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and add one layer of the sliced plantains. Cook on one side for about 3 to 6 minutes, or until they start to look golden brown. Flip them over and cook for an additional 3 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. As the plantains are finished, add them to the bottom of a 9 inch by 13 inch casserole dish. Repeat until all the plantain pieces are cooked and spread out into one even layer in the bottom of the dish.
  3. Spread the sausage over the plantains and then pour the whisked eggs over the sausage. Sprinkle the top with the salt, pepper, and oregano.
  4. Bake the casserole at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center is firm (give it a shake and if it jiggles, it needs more time).
  5. Let the casserole cool for about 5 minutes then slice and serve.
Sweet Potato Nachos

Sweet Potato Nachos

These sweet potato versions of nachos are convenient, bite-sized, and delicious, with a savory-sweet flavor!  Sweet potato rounds sliced thin and baked until they’re crispy on both sides make a finger-friendly delivery vehicle for creamy avocado and fresh salsa. Then add on the hot peppers and crunchy onions—they may not look exactly like the real deal, but the basic concept is there and the flavor is great!

You can use any kind of your favorite salsa as your topping. HEB has their Central Market brand that is organic and made with only natural ingredients. You could even top with some chicken to add some protein.

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Sweet Potato Nachos
Diet Level:3
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 45 Minutes
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 45 Minutes
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Diet Level:3
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Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sweet potato slices, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mix everything until well combined.
  4. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, turning once.
  5. Remove from the oven (but don’t turn the oven off!) and top with the bell pepper, green onions, and jalapeños.
  6. Return the loaded potato slices to the oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with avocado, salsa, and fresh cilantro.
Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are healthy and full of chocolate goodness!  In fact, I’ve heard they might even be more delicious than a real cupcake. They are full of clean ingredients and so easy to whip up!

Love the little white cupcake holders in the picture? You can purchase them on Amazon. HERE is the link!

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Chocolate Cupcakes
Diet Level:1
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
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Mini Muffins
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
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Mini Muffins
Ingredients
Diet Level:1
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in your blender. Blend on high for about 2 minutes to form a nice batter.
  3. Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. (Check after 15 minutes. The tops should be firmer to the touch, puffed up similar to a soufflé. They may need 18 minutes.)
  5. Let cool on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

You can store in an airtight container for up to three days. If you opted to bake six larger cupcakes, increase cooking time to 20–25 minutes.

Frozen Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Frozen Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Steel-cut oats are so good for you!  These perfectly portioned muffins are quick and easy to pull from the freezer and will keep you full for hours.

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Frozen Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Diet Level:4
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 40 Minutes
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 40 Minutes
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Diet Level:4
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Instructions
  1. Bring water and salt to a rolling boil. Pour in oats, stir, and reduce heat to simmer, cooking for 30 minutes.
  2. Turn off heat and stir in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly grease sections of two 12-cup muffin tins, and pour in the oatmeal.
  4. Freeze flat for five hours. Remove pan from the freezer and allow to thaw for a few minutes. Using a butter knife, gently pop the oatmeal "muffins" out of the pan, seal in a freezer bag, and keep frozen.
  5. When you're ready to eat, place two to three in a bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Lakanto makes a great, sugar-free maple syrup. HERE is a link on Amazon for purchase. I've looked EVERYWHERE else and have not found a source other than Amazon for a syrup that doesn't have additives, etc.

 

Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal

All you need is a slow cooker and a good night’s sleep. Just pop a few ingredients in, turn it on before bedtime, and the cinnamon-ey smell will lure you out of bed into your kitchen. This is a pretty basic recipe, so you can dress it up however you like. This recipe makes four servings, so if you don’t have anyone to share it with, just save the rest in the fridge or freezer. Then in the morning, with a few beeps of the microwave, you’ll have breakfast waiting for three more days that week.

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Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Diet Level:4
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 8 Hours
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 8 Hours
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Diet Level:4
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Instructions
  1. Give the slow cooker a quick spray with cooking oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Add all the ingredients, and secure the lid.
  3. Cook on low for eight hours or overnight.
  4. In the morning, scoop out one quarter of the oatmeal, and add your favorite toppings.
  5. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated throughout the week in a microwave-safe bowl or you can freeze them.
Recipe Notes

To increase the protein, add in some collagen powder (Go to Fueled for GOD CHALLENGED APPROVED FOODS for recommendation on collagen powder). Note that this oatmeal is very soft and liquid-ish when it first comes out of the slow cooker, but after 20 minutes or so, it firms up as it cools.

Squash Fries

Squash Fries

Squash rings are baked in the oven for just about an hour, resulting in golden-brown, crispy rings.  Since all squash are high in vitamins A and C, this tasty, low-carb snack is a win on all fronts!!

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Squash Fries
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 50 Minutes
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 50 Minutes
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Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash and olive oil until well coated.
  3. Spread the squash in an even layer across the baking sheet, making sure each piece is touching the surface of the pan, to ensure even browning. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, then flip and roast for another 25 minutes.
  5. Turn oven up to 500°F. Continue to bake for another 5 minutes, or until the squash is golden brown and crispy on both sides.
Spinach Chips

Spinach Chips

Baked kale chips are all the rage now, but since women can’t live on kale alone, give these chips a try that are made with spinach instead. Not only are spinach chips delicate, light, and crispy, but they also come with a built-in handle, which makes them even more fun to nosh.

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Spinach Chips
Diet Level:6
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
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Serving
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Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, toss the spinach with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little garlic powder and sea salt.
  3. Arrange the leaves on the pan in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes so the leaves have dried up and darkened slightly. The leaves will shrink dramatically.
  5. Remove from the oven, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Enjoy immediately!
Carrot Chips

Carrot Chips

If you find yourself constantly craving chips, then you’re going to be all over this snack recipe. Made with carrots and baked instead of fried, these crunchy gems are a much healthier alternative to traditional potato chips. 

Aside from a healthy dose of vitamins A and C and fiber, carrots contain antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of cancer and also improve your immune system. Plus, their natural sweetness combined with a sprinkle of salt offers an oh-so-satisfying salty-sweet flavor you won’t be able to resist. The entire batch contains just 79 calories and offers 4.1 grams of filling fiber.

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Carrot Chips
Diet Level:6
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
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Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
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Serving
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Diet Level:6
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots. Using a mandoline slicer or a knife, tilt the carrot and thinly slice diagonally to make oval-shaped pieces. If they are too thick, they will be soft instead of crunchy.
  3. Place the carrot slices in a bowl, and toss with olive oil and salt.
  4. Lay the carrots in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the carrots are dry and crisp. (Watch them carefully toward the end, as they can burn quickly.)
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