About Donna

Donna has been a member since November 23rd 2006, and has created 149 posts from scratch.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Soup for HubsAhhhhh…..there is nothing quite like the smell of soup simmering on the stove on a cold winter day – especially if you are feeling a little under the weather!

My hubby doesn't get sick very often but when he does he always wants some of my homemade chicken soup!  Studies have shown that it does have healing qualities so that makes it even better!  

Here is my basic recipe.  I am warning you -  I am not much on measuring – I just add what I like.  You can make this YOUR recipe by adding what you like – so just have fun and experiment!


1 Organic whole chicken

2 or 3 organic carrots – sliced

2 or 3 stalks of organic celery  – sliced

1 large onion – chopped

A few cloves of Garlic – chopped

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp of your favoite salt-free seasoning (optional) Or any seasoning you like (Thyme, rosemary etc.)

Black pepper to taste

Dash or two of Cayenne pepper (optional)

Approx 1/4 lb of Angel Hair Pasta OR 2 cups cooked brown rice

1 to 1/2 cups diced cooked Chicken to add at the end of cooking time


I use about 1/4 pound of Angel Hair wheat pasta (or any noodle of choice – you can even make your own noodles if you have time. Just remember to adjust your cooking time if using a thicker noodle). We prefer the subtle thinner noodles.

FOR CHICKEN RICE SOUP – add about 2 cups of cooked brown rice (follow directions on the package)


1. Stew whole chicken in a large stock pot – (Put chicken in pot and add enough water to almost fill your pot).

2. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour.

OR to save time you can purchase a Rotisserie Chicken (remove almost all the meat from the chicken and set meat aside). Add bones to stock pot. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low for about 45 minutes.

3. Cut up veggies while chicken/bones are cooking.

4. After the chicken/bones have simmered remove them from the pot and set aside.

(At this point you might want to add some water to your stock in order to cook the veggies if it seems a little low. If you are using a rotisserie chicken and there is not enough flavor you could also add some Organic Chicken Bouillon to taste).

5, Add cut up veggies and simmer for about 1/2 hour or until veggies are done. While veggies are cooking pull chicken from the bones and set aside about 1 to 1 1/2 cups to add back to stock

6. Add Angel Hair pasta broken in smaller pieces the last 15 minutes of cooking veggies. NOTE: If using cooked rice – add at the very end of cooking time

7. Add the diced cook chicken;

8. Add a few handfuls of greens of choice (cut up in strips). I have used spinach, chard, kale or a blend.

9. Stir all and heat until greens are wilted. 

Serves 6. (This will make about 3 quarts of soup. It freezes well also!)





Black Bean Brownies

The weather outside is frightful (at least for the Atlanta area anyway!) so I decided it would be a good day to do some cooking and baking! 

Don't let the name of this recipe scare you away!!  AND I suggest you don't tell anyone else what's in them until after they've tasted them!  I  am confident they will not be able to tell they are a healthier version!!

This recipe is courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie – my fave go-to person for anything chocolate!  (www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com)  It is GLUTEN FREE as long as you use certified GF Oats, Baking Powder and pure vanilla extract.


Black Bean Brownies






•1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) 

•2 tbsp cocoa powder (10g)

•1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition link below for substitutions)

•1/4 tsp salt •1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (or honey, but not for strict vegans.) I used Raw Coconut Nectar(75g)

•pinch uncut stevia OR 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)

•1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g) (See nutrition link for substitution notes)

•2 tsp pure vanilla extract

•1/2 tsp baking powder

•1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.) •optional: more chips, for presentation


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.)

Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.

Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Black Bean Brownies Nutrition Facts Per Brownie:

?Calories: 115 ?Fat: 5.5g ?Carbs: 15g ?Fiber: 3g ?Protein: 2.5g

?WW Points (new system): 3 points Above info was calculated using gram measurements and DOES include all of the chocolate chips (which you should include too ;)).


This recipe is gluten-free as long as you make sure to buy certified-gf quick oats, baking powder, and pure vanilla extract.


Substitution Notes: I’ve only tried the brownies as written. Therefore, I really can’t predict substitution results, such as replacing the quick oats with rolled oats, flaxmeal, flour, protein powder, or anything else. But feel free to experiment, and please report back if you do, so others can learn from your experiments.

If you substitute honey for the maple syrup, it might have a slight honey flavor (which is perfectly ok if you don’t mind that). Just be sure to not serve them to strict vegans, as many vegans don’t consume honey. I haven’t tried subbing peanut butter for the oil… but I kind of want to! If you try it first, please let me know how it goes. Make any other substitutions (such as omitting the fat or chocolate chips) at your own risk.

Homemade Larabars

Homemade Larabars  

I just found this recipe for homemade "Larabars" from ChocolateCoveredKatie.com (my favorite healthy dessert blog)!  These bars are gluten free, quick, no bake and healthy too!  I gave them a try the other day and highly recommend them if you are a fan of Larabars.

Here is the basic recipe with some of my own slight variations:




1 cup organic raisins (80g) (i buy mine from Costco)
12 tbsp quick oats (30g) (I used Old Fashioned)
1 cup walnuts (40g)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract                                                                                                                                                                               OPTIONAL: You may also add a shake or two of cinnamon OR ground ginger OR a dab or two of pnut butter OR a few mini dark chocolate chips – just have fun and experiment!!! 


Pulverize the oats in a food processor, ( I used my VitaMix,) then add all other ingredients and blend very well. (It goes very quickly in the VitaMix – as soon as the motor starts groaning stop and finish stirring by hand with a long spatula.) Transfer dough to parchment paper. Form into balls or bars. (If making bars, put down parchment paper, put dough on top and add another piece of parchment.  Roll with roller to desired thickness.)

Depending on thickness desired it will make approximately 6 Larabar-sized (45g) bars—or twelve thin strips.  The bars last at least two weeks in the fridge. They can also be frozen.  ENJOY!!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies

If you want something quick and easy to fill that chocolate urge then you need to try this no bake homemade chocolate krispy bar.


  • 1/4 cup rice crispies (brown or white, or gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • Liquid Sweetener to taste – Agave or pure maple syrup, (or a light tasting honey) Not sure how granulated sugar would work – like turbinado – perhaps you could melt and add – experiment at your own risk!!)
  • tiny dash salt (makes the flavor pop)
  • a splash of vanilla
  • Optional – ¼ cup Natural peanut butter/almond butter

Combine coconut oil and sweetener. Stir, then add cocoa powder, rice crispies and optional peanut/almond butter (if using). Stir until it gets thick. Pour onto parchment paper – spread mixture out – put another layer of parchment paper on top – then roll as thin as you want your Krisps to be. (I like to roll mine fairly thin so that they freeze up quickly and I can start eating them sooner!)

Freeze until solid, then break into bite size pieces and enjoy!  Store in the freezer.  Yummy!!! 

Rice Krispie Chocolate Rice Krispie Crumbled Chcolate PNut Butter Crisps

Gluten Free Gingerbread Muffins

Gingerbread Muffins I love just about anything with ginger in it!  These muffins are super quick and easy and smell oh so good when they are baking!

They also make a great gift for your gluten free friends! 


Here's the recipe – enjoy!



1 1/2 c. flour (use your favorite gluten free flour-I used Brown Rice flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves (can substitute allspice if you don’t have cloves)
1/4 c. butter or coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
1/4 c. turbinado sugar (or Stevia)
1/2 c. dark molasses
1 egg (or you can use 1 tbsp chia seed & 3 tbsp water for an excellent single egg replacer)                      1/2 c. hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda and spices; set aside. Cream together butter/oil and sugar; blend in molasses and water. Beat in egg (or chia seed replacement). Add 1/4 cup of flour mixture at a time until all the flour is used; blend well; pour into greased and lightly floured miniature-size muffin pans.  

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until done.

Cool 5 minutes and then carefully remove from pans.

Optional: Frost with your favorite butter cream/cream cheese frosting

This recipe makes 2 dozen mini muffins or 1 dozen regular size muffins.

(NOTE: regular size muffins will take slightly longer to cook but don’t overdo it – keep a careful eye on them! Depending on your oven, the regular size muffins can take 13 to 18 minutes)