Practically Professional Vegan Kale Salad With Almond Ricotta Salata

For the past several weeks I’ve been trying to meet up for lunch with Kevin Kuchar, one of Mia and Adin’s former theater teachers. At first we were catching up to talk about Kevin’s marathon training as he is registered to run his first marathon on November 4 at the New York City Marathon but then I told him about the upcoming flash mob at Mia’s wedding and, well, he’s helping me with that. Most importantly, we’ve been enjoying leisurely vegan lunches as Kevin has now embraced a 100 percent vegan lifestyle. Here is a kale salad that’s a mash-up of a few salads I’ve come across and have adapted for vegan diets. I tested it on Adin last weekend, and he confirmed it is stupendous. He did recommend adding mango to the salad, so I’ve included this as an optional ingredient.

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[Healthier] Monster Cookies

This is a perfect recipe if you are craving an oatmeal cookie that is not too sweet. These are flourless and gluten-free and simple to make. In order for them to be classic monster cookies, though, you can't skip the M & Ms, although I'm not sure why you'd want to. The original recipe arrived in my inbox from Ambitious Kitchen a few weeks ago as I was planning my holiday gift giving. I've adapted the recipe here, because, you know, I have a nut allergy :)

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[It's the Great] Pumpkin Stuffed Shells with Ricotta and Spinach

When I eat pasta I want the dish to be bursting with flavor instead of me bursting at the seams. I came across this fantastic pumpkin recipe last year and adapted it for my family and out-of-town-guests to serve for dinner the night before the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Chase 10K and 2-mile fun run/walk near my house.

Pumpkin is such a nutrient rich and fairly low-carb fruit that it seems a shame to showcase all of our pumpkin recipes during the October and November holidays. But then again maybe that's why these dishes always seem so special and festive.

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Warm Farro Salad with Delicata Squash

My sister Phyllis made this recipe at my house for Thanksgiving in 2016 and since then it's been a staple in my kitchen. Sure farro is a great source of both healthy carbs and protein, but more important, this recipe is a snap and tastes and looks totally professional. I've adapted it from the original recipe on The Kitchn food blog.

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Festive Weeknights Are for This Barbecue Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I am not a huge fan of casseroles, but I'll admit, there's a time and place for these. They remind me of my children's potluck cast party dinners or the meals I've delivered to friends recovering from surgery or grieving the loss of a parent.

This one is great and simple to make (of course).

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You Want to Eat This Jamie Oliver's Eggplant Parmesan

I came across this enlightened version of Jamie Oliver's Eggplant Parmesan recipe as I was staring at the gorgeous eggplants at the Bethesda Central Farm Market last summer and searching on my phone for a healthy way to prepare this Italian classic. Since then it's my go-to make-ahead dinner whenever eggplants are in season locally.

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Banana Bread Snack Bars Topped with Epic Peanut Butter Frosting

This is a Weight Watchers banana bread snack bar recipe that substitutes yogurt for shortening. Since the banana bread doesn't rise much, you can cut these into bars. These are fine without the frosting, but ever since I had it in my mind that I could slather them with a healthier version of peanut butter frosting, I don't think I can go back. I came across the frosting recipe in a tips section of Cooking Light on what to do with peanut butter powder. These are ingredients you're going to want in the house at all times as this frosting recipe is a game changer.

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Enlightened Chocolate Salami

I discovered this lightened up recipe of an Italian classic as I was searching for an extraordinary dessert to enter into my office’s annual holiday dessert contest, which btw is very competitive. It caught my attention because in the opening sentence, the recipe said prep time: 10 minutes. I will tell you, it took 10 minutes to make.

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Carolee WalkerComment
Ilene’s [Mock] Fried Rice

Apparently substituting riced cauliflower for actual rice has been the new best thing for months.  When my sister Ilene asked me if I’d tried using Trader Joe’s frozen riced cauliflower, I told her I had no idea what she was talking about. Now I know and OMG this recipe is absolutely fantastic...

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Carolee WalkerComment