Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts

Saturday, January 13, 2018


From Denise:

Hi everyone! I am so excited to join Mystery Lovers Kitchen and the amazing group of authors who make this such a wonderful blog. For those of you who are asking yourselves, who the heck is Denise Swanson, let me introduce myself. I was a school psychologist for 22 years and continued to work in public education while I wrote the first seven books in my Scumble River mystery series. When I quit to write full time, I began the Deveraux’s Dime Store mysteries. And now that my husband has retired and volunteered to be my sous-chef, I’m starting the Chef-to-Go culinary mystery series. The first book, Tart of Darkness, debuts in April.

My cooking philosophy is HIT—Healthy, Inexpensive, but above all, Tasty. Therefore, I'm offering you a healthy version of Eggplant Parmesan.


Serves 8

Preheat oven to 375°

1/2 cup Egg Beaters
1 tablespoon water
2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (divided)
2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Combine 1/2 cup Egg Beaters and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Egg Beaters
1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup finely grated fontina cheese

Spoon 1/2 cup marinara sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with about 3/4 cup marinara sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce, and top with a third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup marinara sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove foil; top with remaining third of mozzarella and 1/4 cup fontina. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts; cool 10 minutes.

Here's a bit about my upcoming book: Tart of Darkness.

Right when Dani thinks she's hit a dead-end in her career, she unexpectedly inherits an enormous old house in a quaint college town. This gives her the perfect opportunity to pursue her true passion—cooking! So Dani opens Chef-to-Go, preparing delicious, ready-made meals for hungry students attending the nearby university, as well as providing personal chef services and catering events for the local community. To help support her new business, she opens her home to a few students, renting them rooms and becoming almost like a big sister figure in their lives.

But just as Dani is relishing her sweet new life, the friend of one of her boarders is murdered, and Dani becomes one of the primary suspects! She'll have to scramble to clear her name and save her business before the killer reappears—perhaps to silence the new chef forever.

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Plus check out my Website

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How to Make Scratch Buckwheat Pancakes by Cleo Coyle #lowcarb #glutenfree #dairyfree

Excuse me? Buckwheat is not wheat? That's right...

I grew up on buckwheat pancakes (as did my husband), and we both enjoy the nutty, hearty flavor buckwheat brings to the breakfast table. Despite its name, buckwheat is not any kind of wheat. This healthy, ancient grain comes from a fruit seed via a plant that's related to rhubarb.

Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten free and contains a significant amount of fiber. Studies have shown that it helps slow down the rate of glucose absorption after a meal, making it a "low GI" carb. And buckwheat brings nutrition to the table. It's a good source of protein, calcium, and minerals. 

Above are two examples of buckwheat flour that I purchased in New York. 
On the left is the Hodgson Mill brand, which was sold in the baking aisle. 
On the right is Bob's Red Mill brand, which was sold in the health food aisle. 
You can buy them online, as well.

Buckwheat also makes a nice addition to muffins, quick breads, and yeast breads. For my taste, I would not recommend using 100% buckwheat flour. The flavor is too strong and the color of the final product too dark. What I do instead is substitute 30% to 50% of the standard flour for buckwheat flour. This is a great way to add fiber, nutrition, as well as a slightly nutty, earthy complexity to your favorite recipes. And speaking of recipes, I'm delighted to share my buckwheat pancake recipe with you below...

May you flip with joy!

☕ ~ Cleo, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

How to Make
Buckwheat Pancakes
from Scratch

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

A Note from Cleo

When I bite into a buckwheat pancake, I always feel as if I've been transported to a log cabin in the wintry woods. 

My husband (and partner in crime writing) is not a guy who has much fondness for "health foods," but even he agrees with me on buckwheat. The hearty, earthy, slightly nutty flavor makes for good eats. 

My pancake recipe below carries a subtle buckwheat flavor. If you'd like a stronger flavor simply increase the amount of buckwheat while decreasing the same amount of flour. For example, you can switch the ratios and try 3/4 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour (or gluten-free or white whole wheat flour).

There are plenty of other ways to experiment with my basic recipe, and I've given you options for gluten-free and dairy-free versions, as well. 

May you eat with joy
and in good health!

How to make this recipe:

*Dairy Free: Replace the butter in the ingredient list with canola oil or coconut oil and replace the cow's milk with almond milk or another nut milk. Buckwheat adds a nutty flavor to the pancake, and a nut milk will pair nicely with that flavor.

*Gluten Free: Replace the all-purpose flour in the ingredient list with brown rice flour. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or potato starch to the recipe. Make sure your other ingredients are gluten free, including the baking powder and vanilla.

To download this recipe in a 
free PDF document you can 
print, save, or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle's
Buckwheat Pancakes

Yields 5 pancakes about 5-inches in diameter


2 eggs

2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
   (*or canola or coconut oil)

3/4 cups whole or low fat cow’s milk
       (*or almond or other nut milk)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons white, granulated sugar (or equivalent of other sweetener)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (or a pinch of table salt) 

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

3/4 cups all-purpose white flour or "white whole wheat" flour
       (*or brown rice flour)

 (+ for gluten free: add 1 T. corn starch or potato starch)


Step 1 - One bowl mixing method: Break eggs into the bowl and whisk. Add the melted and cooled butter (or oil), milk, vanilla extract, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Whisk well, until smooth and the baking powder is fully incorporated. Measure in the buckwheat and flour. (If making a gluten free recipe, add your corn starch or potato starch now.)

Stir until all flours are incorporated and consider thickness. Depending on your climate and the weather, the batter may be too thick at this point. If so, add a bit more milk (I usually add 1 more tablespoon). Stir and continue to adjust until the batter is pourable but still thick. Do not make the batter too thin or the pancakes won’t have enough structure and substance. (See my photo below...)

Step 2 – Cooking the perfect pancake: If your pancakes are too small and thin, they'll be crusty and tough instead of fluffy and tender. If too big and thick, they won't cook through. Here's what I do to get the perfect pancake. This method will help you keep each pancake a consistent size, as well...

(a) Pre-heat: Pre-heat a nonstick griddle or skillet. If you have a good quality nonstick griddle or pan (and there is absolutely no residue on the surface), you will see prettier results without using grease. Butter, cooking spray, and oil all produce mottled surfaces on your pancakes. If you have an older pan or it does not have a nonstick surface, lightly grease with butter, oil, or spray.

(b) Pour: Using a measuring cup, pour ¼ cup of batter onto pre-heated griddle (do not try to get every drop of batter out of the cup, this is a quick pour and some of the batter will remain stuck to the sides of the cup, that's okay). Immediately pour ¼ cup more right on top of the first pour. The pancake batter should spread into a perfect circle, about five inches in diameter. 

(c) Flip and finish: When you see bubbles begin to form on pancake’s top, it’s ready to flip. Carefully slip your spatula under the pancake and gently flip it over. Cook on the other side and serve.

Culinary pairing note: These pancakes are fantastic with blackberries. The two flavors together are out of this world!

☕ ☕ ☕

Eat (and read) with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Learn more about us here.
Friend us on facebook here.
Follow us on twitter here.
Visit our online coffeehouse here.

☕ ☕ ☕



Find out by watching our fun,
new Book Video (below)
or view it on Facebook

☕ ☕ ☕

Our new Coffeehouse Mystery

is now a bestselling hardcover! 

Top 10 Best Mysteries 
for Book Clubs 2017

A "Most Wanted"
Mystery Guild Selection

To buy now, click links for... 


This culinary mystery includes
more than 25 delicious recipes!
To get the Free Recipe Guide, 


☕  ☕  ☕

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
16 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!

🔎 🔎 🔎

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

To get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

To learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost...

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☕ ☕ ☕


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