Spice of life
Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread
In a large bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and add to the bowl with the cinnamon and sugar, along with the apples. Toss many times to coat.
Heat oven to 350 F. Transfer coated biscuits and apples into a greased bundt pan. Pour butter evenly over top, then press down lightly on the top. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown across top and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then run knife around edge of pan to loosen. Place heatproof serving plate over pan and flip over. Slowly loosen pan from bread. Whisk together powdered sugar and milk into an icing. Drizzle icing over bread. (If icing doesn’t drizzle easily, add a little more milk.) Bread is easy to serve and eat — just pull apart into chunks with your hands!
Per serving: 556 calories, 22 grams fat (10 grams saturated fat), 15 milligrams cholesterol, 1,237 milligrams sodium, 84 grams total carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 8 grams protein.
In a large bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, onion, half of the minced garlic, coriander, cinnamon, mint, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Add in ground meat and egg, incorporating with your hands. If you have some extra time, refrigerate mixture for 30 to 60 minutes — it will help the meatballs hold their shape.
Form mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Dredge each in flour, coating lightly then shaking off excess. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add some meatballs, leaving space in between them. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, rolling them around to cook evenly. Transfer meatballs to a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
Make Tzatziki sauce by mixing together the remaining half of the minced garlic, lemon juice, sour cream, cucumber, and dill. Dip meatballs in the accompanying Tzatziki sauce as an appetizer, or serve both on top of a pita, Greek salad, or rice bowl for a full meal.
Per serving: 355 calories, 20 grams fat (9 grams saturated fat), 111 milligrams cholesterol, 551 milligrams sodium, 18 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 27 grams protein.
Cinnamon Butter-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Preheat oven to 400 F. Poke some holes in the skin of the sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet. (Sweet potatoes leak sticky syrup when baking.) Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until potatoes are soft when lightly squeezed. Meanwhile, make cinnamon butter by combining butter, honey, powdered sugar, and cinnamon with an immersion blender or food processor. Set aside.
Remove potatoes from oven and cool on baking sheet for a few minutes until they’re easier to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and fluff/mash the insides a bit with a fork. Slather cinnamon butter over the open potatoes, tuck in banana slices and sprinkle with marshmallows, pecans, and some extra cinnamon. Turn oven to broil and place baking sheet back in the oven, keeping a close eye. Warm and toast marshmallows to your desired color. Serve while hot.
NOTE: Try the cinnamon butter on pancakes, muffins, biscuits, toast, and peanut butter sandwiches. The stuffed sweet potatoes are perfect for a decadent breakfast or warming winter dessert.
Per serving: 521 calories, 22 grams fat (8 grams saturated fat), 31 milligrams cholesterol, 254 milligrams sodium, 80 grams total carbohydrates, 12 grams fiber, 5 grams protein.
Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and Swiss chard stems and sauté, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne and sauté another minute or so. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice and broth, then stir. If vegetables aren’t fully covered, add a bit of water. Submerge cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, stir in Swiss chard leaves and raisins, cook another 5 minutes or so, and serve.
Per serving: 472 calories, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 835 milligrams sodium, 89 grams total carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 19 grams protein.