Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

Inspired by and adapted from the book “Hungry for Change: Ditch the Diets, Conquer the Cravings, and Eat Your Way to Lifelong Health,” by James Colquhoun and Laurentine Bosch (which was excellent, by the way.  I recommend reading this if you are interested in the topics of health and nutrition.  Its an easy, quick but informative and inspiring read), I give you these fluffy, light, absolutely delicious blueberry ricotta pancakes.

Grain/gluten free, and low in sugar, these are basically great for you.  Yet they totally hit that pancake hankering spot one feels on weekend brunching mornings (at least that’s my quintessential weekend (and actually, weekday as well) morning ;-)).

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Light and Healthy Oatmeal Soufflé

Who doesn’t love oatmeal?  Especially on these blustery, frigid winter days of current.  I cant think of anything more fitting than such a heartwarming, comforting dish.  A warm cup of oats and milk, sprinkled with cinnamon and spices, a quintessential cold weather snack, treat, or breakfast to be sure.  This version though, is rather light and lovely.  As well as healthy to boot.  Made with gluten free oats, dairy free milk and just three spoonful’s of sugar for the whole shebang, its a good for your body breakfast treat worthy of getting excited over.

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Peppermint Grain Free Fudgy Brownies

Being die hard dessert adorers and avid swooners over all things saccarine, we decided for our next column post on Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts to do something, surprise, surprise, sweet.  Something comforting, wintery and rich.  And who doesn’t love a good brownie?  Fudgy, chocolatey, sweet, so delicious and satisfying.  However, much to many peoples disheartenment, brownies tend to be calorie bombs laden with grain/flour, dairy and sugar.

I am psyched to report to you eager eaters though, that this recipe has no gluten/grains, is dairy free (save for egg), and has almost no sugar.  How bout that for a sweet treat.  Even better, these take just minutes to mix up.  The one tough part: having to wait for them to cool overnight.  But as someone who sampled them both warm as well as chilled can attest, there is a major difference.  Its well worth the wait.

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Orange Zest and Spice Baked Donuts

Hi all,

Who doesn’t love donuts?  I cant think of many people.  That’s because donuts are the bomb.  A quintessential American treat.  If made right, they are fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth, lightly sweet, and ideally topped with a swirling of frosting.  The perfect amount for a treat sized snack.  Not so much that you feel ill after consuming one, just enough to feel satisfied and oh so happy.

Behold: my donuts are made with zero grains/gluten, they have no refined sugar, and are dairy free (save for two eggs, but if you like, these can be substituted with egg beaters- found in the grocery store.  An egg substitute).

These babies have a unique, lovely flavor to boot.  Orange zest combined with a plethora of spices (a touch of cinnamon, a lot of ground cloves, and a tad of ginger).  The end result is awesome.  And, I threw the dough together in just ten minutes.  So while the ingredients may sound slightly complex to some who haven’t tried working with nut flours just yet (and no, the donuts do not taste like nuts), its super easy.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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6 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread

I know pumpkin tends to be a flavor typically attributed as being autumnal and/or of the Thanksgiving nature.  However, as someone who is passionate for pumpkin and eats it any chance I am able, I believe firmly that surely we can stretch the ingredient as being applicable and apt for baking well into the winter months as well.  Pumpkin is homey, comforting, healthy, and its great in both baked goods and savory dishes alike.

With the colder months making it far easier towards packing on a few extra pounds, I thought something desserty, comforting, but healthy and low in calories would be the perfect thing.  This pumpkin bread is gluten free, dairy free and without refined sugar.

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Pepper and Pancetta Piperrada

Hi all!

Get excited for this special feature guest post, written by Maxx, my partner and equally creative force behind the new weekly column: Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts.  As an aside, to sample our mouthwatering, fudgy, decadent, showstopper of a chocolate cake, check out the link here.

Without further ado though, his enticing entrée and posting:

Fresh bell peppers shine in this recipe, a Spanish-influenced dish fitting for any meal.  I fixed this for Sunday brunch; the savory flavors working nicely in pairing with the velvety eggs.  If your knife skills are sharp, you can whip this up in 30 minutes, an easy preparation for sure.  The recipe is derived using this original for inspiration.

I had been seeking the opportunity to put Brooke to the test after I learned that she is somewhat picky about her Bell peppers.  I myself had never appreciated the subtleties in their flavor over the range of colors in which they are available.  A fortuitous family pack of peppers at the grocery store afforded me the opportunity to buy a quartet of them; green, red, yellow, and orange.  When preparing the dish, I reserved samples of each and administered a blind taste test.  Brooke correctly differentiated her least favorite, the green pepper, at first, before being swayed by the flavors of the orange.

Ultimately, she identified the similar tasting peppers: orange and green, and yellow and red, only she reversed her selections within those two pairs.  I was impressed overall after being skeptical in her ability to distinguish the peppers by color.

So, onward with what you’ll need to make this breakfast dish:

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Foragingly Festive Mushroom Cheese Bake

Hi all!  Happy winter, eh? 😀

In the taking advantage of a recent grocery shopping mishap on my end (accidently getting maitake mushrooms instead of cremini- I know, I know, how does one make such a mistake?), I decided on whipping up something healthy, loaded with veggies, but with a touch of comfort foodie goodness to it.  With the weather having made a nosedive up here in New Hampshire, in terms of the brisk factor, it seemed a fitting entrée for the frigid air outside.

This one is gluten/grain free and sugar free, though it does have some dairy with the addition of the cheese.  If you wish, use dairy free cheese instead and you’ll have a delectable, healthy vegan side dish.

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Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting

The perfect wintery dessert.  Lightly spiced and sweet, but without all the sugar, flour and dairy that a typical treat has.  I attempted another version of this months prior, which came out awesome.  I actually prefer the frosting on my first version (maple mascarpone, certainly not dairy free)…but this one was yummy as well.

This sheet cake of sorts takes mere minutes to make.  Just some chopping and grating.  The only long part is soaking the cashews overnight, but then you just pop them in the food processor the next morning and you’re good.

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Grain Honey Mustard Marinated Salmon

Happy Monday, all!

For recipe #2 on Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts, we decided on a honey mustard marinated salmon accompanied with a side of sweet potato fries.  Our attempt at going semi healthy and lightening things up after the swan dive taken into wholehearted consumption of the sweet stuff over the last few weeks 😉

This recipe may be really good for you but it tastes awesome.  In Maxxs words, “fun to eat” with the tiny, almost bead-like texture of the grains atop tenderly cooked salmon.  The zest of the mustard playing well with the subtle sweetness from the honey added to it.  Sweet potato fries, the perfect of sides for this simple but comfort foody, totally satisfying plate.



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Spaghetti Squash with Kale & Sundried Tomatoes

Hi all,

With autumn well under way, and really, winter just on its heels, something in the squash family seemed fitting for an entrée choice.  This is also a great one because its easy to make, and its ultra healthy.  Finding foods that fit under the comfort food umbrella while not wrecking havoc on your waistline can be a challenge feat during the colder months.  This dish is just the ticket for that elusive eating experience.

Recipe #1 for a reoccurring weekly post titled: “Brooke and Maxx: Culinary Crafts.”  What is this exactly?  The joining of two culinary forces, a meeting of the minds (as well as hands and creativity) in the kitchen.  Both bananas about food, recipe experimentation, the sampling of new dishes, discovering interesting restaurants, and perfecting personal favorites, as well as eating all things sweet in (too much) abundance.  It seemed a fusion of these two personalities and passions was a no brainer.

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