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Thai Peanut Tofu & Zucchini.

Stir-Fried Tofu & Zucchini With Thai Peanut Sauce.

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I love all Thai food, but especially Thai peanut sauce. It’s so great over veggies! Although I made the sauce with “healthier” ingredients, this sauce is definitely still a splurge because of the fat and calories that peanut butter packs. This dish balances out well because the tofu and zucchini are lighter flavors but are jazzed up with the rich and decadent sauce. I served this over rice, but it’s certainly substantial enough to eat on its own. If you love peanut flavored dishes,  definitely check out this old FBB recipe for Spicy Sesame-Peanut Noodles!

Ingredients:
  • 1 15-oz package firm organic tofu, diced
  • 1 yellow zucchini, sliced
  • 1 green zucchini, sliced
  • 1 13.5 oz can of reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Peanut sauce is adapted from this recipe.

Begin by cooking the tofu. In a large pan, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan. Cook for about 20 minutes or so, flipping the tofu so each side lightly browns.

While the tofu is cooking, heat the coconut milk and water in a pot on low heat. Once heated through, whisk in the peanut butter so it melts into the liquid. Make sure the liquid doesn’t boil, it should only simmer. Add in the curry paste, Tamari, Sriracha and apple cider vinegar and stir well to combine. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Once the tofu is evenly browned, add in the zucchini and cook for an addition 5-7 minutes or so, or until the zucchini is cooked. Reduce the heat to low and pour in enough peanut sauce to coat the tofu and veggies. You may not need all of the sauce, so you can save any left over sauce you have for other meals.

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños With Cream Cheese.

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When we moved into our new house in Charlotte, we discovered a little jalapeño plant in our back garden. We put them to good use and made these delicious, spicy treats for a dinner party we had. These are definitely only for those who like spicy food – they are hot, hot, hot and super yummy!

Serves ~8.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package center cut bacon, slices cut in half
  • 1 cup plain, reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 8 medium jalapeños

Cut the tops off of the jalapeños and then cut them in half length-wise. Carefully remove the seeds and membrane from the inside of the jalapeños (I recommend using rubber gloves). Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after any time you touch the peppers. Fill the hollow center of the jalapeños with 1-2 tbsp of cream cheese and then wrap each piece with half a piece of bacon. You can secure with a toothpick if you’d like. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked and crispy.

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Cheesy Baked Eggplant.

Cheesy Baked Eggplant With Salami & Prosciutto.

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This cheesy baked eggplant is super tasty and easy to make. This flavors are similar to eggplant Parmesan, but the eggplant is baked instead of fried and is jazzed up with salami and prosciutto. Salami makes everything amazing, in my opinion! I’ve made this a few times recently and really loved it.

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small eggplant, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ~10 slices of salami
  • ~10 pieces of prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • black pepper

Arrange the eggplant slices on a non-stick baking sheet. On each slice, put a spoonful of marinara sauce. Put a slice of salami and prosciutto on the eggplant and then top with a small handful of shredded mozzarella and a small spoonful of Parmesan. Season with a sprinkling of black pepper. The meat and cheese are salty, so no extra salt is needed. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese With Sage & Bacon.

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This mac & cheese was a new addition to my family’s Thanksgiving spread this year. I saw a recipe in Self Magazine that looked yummy and decided to adapt it slightly while using the same basic ingredients. I have to admit, my version is probably a bit higher in fat and calories, but hey, it was Thanksgiving after all! The butternut squash gives it a subtle sweetness and the sage gives it an earthy flavor that’s reminiscent of stuffing. The bacon and hot pepper give it a surprise burst of flavor and spice, but doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds. This mac & cheese will definitely win you and your family over. I can’t wait to make it again soon!

Serves 8-10.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package gluten-free elbow macaroni pasta (or regular pasta if you don’t want gluten-free)
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (plus extra for topping)
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free flour (or regular flour if you don’t want gluten-free)
  • 3 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp finely ground Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Begin by roasting the butternut squash. Peel and cut the squash and place it on a baking sheet with the garlic cloves. Drizzle the olive oil over top along with a dash of salt. Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft. Allow the squash and garlic to cool slightly and then put the mixture into the food processor and blend until smooth.

In a medium pot on the stove, melt the butter on medium heat and stir in the sage. Once fully melted, add the flour in slowly while whisking. Once this mixture has thickened, pour in the milk. Be careful that the milk doesn’t boil, it should only simmer. Add the hot pepper and butternut squash mixture. Once this has heated through, slowly add in all of the shredded cheese along with the bacon crumbles, whisking often while the cheese melts into the sauce. Once the sauce has thickened and all of the cheese has melted, season with a dash of salt to taste.

Boil the pasta as directed on the package and drain all excess liquid. Mix the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce and then pour the mixture into a large baking dish. Top with a light sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.

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