Filed In: The Recipe Box

YumUniverse Recipe Video: Almond Crunch Kale Chips

Kale. Let’s talk about kale. It’s one of the most nutritious and easily digested greens out there, yet it is one of the most untouched. Don’t be scared of it, but rather embrace it. It’s not just for health nuts. Fabulous recipes using this leafy green are scattered galore, and Heather Crosby from the wonderful YumUniverse, has come to share one of the best and easiest ways to eat it. Incorporate this delicious veggie into your snacking regime with these oh-so-yummy Almond Crunch Kale Chips.

Mini Caprese Salad: An Easy Recipe

For those who are passionate about cooking and those who aren’t get ready because we have a simple recipe that you can try! Yes, a recipe with minimal steps that takes very little time but tastes delicious. Okay do we have your attention yet? Here we go.

Mini Caprese Salad


1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (buy red and yellow to add more color)

8 ounces fresh “mini” mozzarella pearls (if you can’t find these, cut your mozzarella into small bits)

18 basil leaves, chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Add in the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella to a medium sized bowl. Drizzle olive oil. Add basil, salt and pepper. Gently toss. It’s that easy! Enjoy!


Holiday Cooking: Try this Guilt Free Dessert!

If you love pumpkin as much as I do, you will find every excuse to make something pumpkin flavored during the holidays! What can be frustrating this time of year is the fact that most recipes come with a heaping portion of guilt along with calories. This season, make this guilt free pumpkin cheesecake to bring to all your holiday parties. You will stay guilt free and fabulous since each slice (1/8 of pie) is less then 150 calories! Hallelujah!

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake:


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages Fat Free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Splendaor Stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 (9 inch) Reduced Fat prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup frozen Fat Free/Sugar Free whipped topping, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, splenda and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in egg whites one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
  3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.


Worthy of Seconds: 3 Scrumptious Thanksgiving Sides!

Grilled Sweet Potatoes and Maple Vinaigrette

Why I like it: They are a little sweeter than my normal sweet potato regime, but they are not loaded with unnecessary processed marshmallows and loads of brown sugar. With the perfect amount of pure maple syrup and a hint of lovely cinnamon, this dessert-like veggie with have you all running back for seconds (with no shame!).


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp creole mustard (or any spicy brown mustard)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Toss potato rounds with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill 8-10 minutes on each side, until the potato is lightly grilled and fork-tender.
  4. Whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
  5. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the sweet potato slices and top with parsley.


Yields: 4 servings

Estimated time: 25 minutes

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Why I like it: Brussel Sprouts could be called the epitome of a fall dish! These veggies seem to have a bad rap, but now with modern creativity in cooking, they don’t have to be one of those nutritious superfoods that sacrifice flavor for health benefits. Now you can enjoy all of their advantages! Start with this recipe to see what I mean. LOLO Note: I like to use coconut oil instead of olive oil. They are delicious with a little lemon juice too!


  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare Brussels sprouts by cutting off the brown ends and peeling off the yellow outer leaves.
  3. Place Brussels sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix all of these ingredients together.
  4. Pour Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. It helps to shake the pan every 10 minutes or so to ensure even browning.
  5. Remove from the oven, pour into a bowl, sprinkle a little more kosher salt over the Brussels sprouts and serve warm.

Maple Infused Butternut Squash and Apples

Why I like it: Apples and butternut squash are each loaded with antioxidants, so when they are blended together, not only do they taste glorious, but they become a power-side! The combination of this fruit and veggie is such a fall delight!

Makes: 3-4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 hours


  • 1 small (~3 pounds) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 apples (I used tart – granny smith)
  • 2 tbsp. Earth Balance (or any other vegan margarine)
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg


Start by peeling your butternut squash before you cut it. Once your butternut squash is peeled, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out. Then proceed to cut into smaller portions and cube in 1 inch pieces. Spray the bottom of a slow cooker with cooking spray and add your squash and margarine. Set to high for 2 hours before adding the apples. After two hours have passed, dice or slice your apples and add them to the slow cooker with 3 tbsp. maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir the ingredients and lower the slow cooker to “low”. Cook for an additional 1-2 hours or until the squash and apples can be easily mashed.

Serve as a side dish, on top of yogurt or ice cream, or alone!

Happy Thanksgiving! Try these recipes, and be thankful!

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Join Us for a Gluten Free Week: Recipes Inside! #loloGFweek

Hey hey! The girls at LOLO are starting a week of gluten free eating! Who is with us? Good news: you’re not alone in this escapade! Keep up with the progress of your fellow participants, and pour out all of your gluten free thoughts and experiences with this hashtag on Twitter: #loloGFweek. Warning: you might get hooked on this lifestyle, and our recipes are so darn good, you may just dare to go another week. Don’t worry, gluten free doesn’t mean boring– you’ll still be eating waffles and lasagna. Let the party begin (aka a whole new, skin-glowing, great feeling, healthier you!). P.S. We are not just doing this because it’s trendy. 

The Dish on Gluten

What is gluten anyways? To put it simply, it is the sticky protein substance in wheat. Why should we avoid it? Our guts are simply not adapted to digest gluten and break it down into individual amino acids.

Did you know that one in every seven people has gluten sensitivity? In fact, most people go their entire lives with knowing this to be the culprit of consistent symptoms: abdominal distention, anemia, depression, anxiety, bloating, migraines, low energy and fatigue, stubborn weight, and even infertility to name a few. Sometimes even medical testing does not reveal this to be the issue. That’s why it is important to test by elimination.

If you feel completely different after a week of a gluten free diet (like I did), then you can be sure you have an intolerance to this substance. Continuing to eat this when you have a sensitivity can cause an array of health problems, so make sure you act with that in mind.

Before you college students try to back out now, check out this totally sweet guide on how to be Gluten Free when you are living in a dorm!


Before you get discouraged, this change in lifestyle can be super fun! I have discovered so many amazing recipes from breakfasts to desserts, and I have found some of my favorite meals at restaurants after adopting this way of life. In fact, many restaurants offer gluten free dishes and menus (even PF Changs!). I encourage you to try a gluten free diet for a week with us LOLO editors and readers! We have made it easy for you with these daily meal plans. P.S. Gluten free does not be expensive. Many people save money because they cut out all the fluff–the unnecessary snacks and the wasted bulk amounts of processed foods for instance. Plus, when you are eating to nourish your body, your body will desire less grub. Warning: you may feel worse before you feel better, but I guarantee that if you can stick with this for 2 weeks, your cravings will disappear, and gluten-filled food will actually taste undesirable. Scroll on for a week of prepared gluten-free recipes!! 

Snacks for the Week

Fruits and Veggies
Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce
Coconut Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
Granola Bars

Desserts (strategically placed before the real meals, duh.)

Chocolate Mousse
Pumpkin Pie with Gluten Free Crust
Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Flourless Chocolate Cake


Breakfast: Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes
Lunch: Turkey Club Sandwich
Dinner: Chipotle Lime Salmon with your favorite veggie


Breakfast: Sunbutter and Banana Muffins
Lunch: Asparagus Basil Salad
Dinner: Seared Chicken with Garden Kale and Tomatoes


Breakfast: Healthy and Hearty Quinoa Waffles
Lunch: Quinoa Salad with Lime + Fresh Mint
Dinner: Wild Garlic Burgers with Garlic Pesto


Breakfast: Baked Eggs with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach (or whatever you want to throw in there!)
Lunch: Baby Zucchini and Shrimp Salad
Dinner: Beef Stew


Breakfast: Homemade Porridge (buy gluten free oats!)
Lunch: Brussel Sprouts with Soft Boiled Egg
Dinner: Delicious Lasagna


Breakfast: Confetti Pancakes (I love rainbow sprinkles a tad too much.)
Lunch: Green Bean Salad
Dinner: Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas


Breakfast: Wintertime Crepes
Lunch: Raw Kale, Apple, and Avocado Salad
Dinner: Greek Sliders

We want to hear from you. Share your gluten free thoughts, experiences, and favorite recipes with us in the comments section or on Twitter by using this hashtag: #loloGFweek!!! Want more? See more of our favorite LOLO gluten free recipes like GF pizza and delicious cinnabun muffins here!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread (Gluten Free!)

It’s that time of year when zucchini squash becomes a big part of your wintertime recipes, and with all that cooking comes leftovers. This gluten free, vegan, and chocolatey zucchini bread is perfect for making sure this green veggie doesn’t go to waste; in fact, it has great potential to be your next cool weather staple. Benefits: the sugar is minimal, yet the flavor is outrageous. It’s that fall-apart bread that never stops giving.

What you’ll need:

2 cups gluten-free all purpose baking flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup almond or rice milk
1/2 cup agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
1/4 cup vegan chocolate or carob chips


Shred your zucchini using a microplane.

Mix together dry ingredients. Add agave, milk, coconut oil, and vanilla and stir until combined. Fold in your zucchini and chocolate chips.

Lightly oil a loaf pan and spread your batter in.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, rotate, and then bake for another 10 minutes. Remove when toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 1 loaf.

Bonus: This bread packs in almost 4 grams of fiber per slice.