Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Makeover Monday Meals-Breakfast Edition

Monday gets a bad wrap. It’s the day after Sunday, which is the day most people relax and slow down. So, to get back on track, a lot of us stop to get caffeine and the carbohydrate of our choice to start the day.

In addition to an endless combination of coffees, teas, and drinks, both hot and cold, Starbucks has a blueberry streusel muffin that blueberry lovers can’t resist. if you’re one of them, this recipe by the Copycat blog delivers. Best of all, you can make it the day before, and just bake it off in the morning for a delicious warm treat with your beverage of choice.

This recipe has been adapted for the following dietary lifestyles:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free
  • Low Sugar
  • No-Sugar

Copycat Starbucks Blueberry Streusel Muffins adapted by me

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (unsalted vegan butter)

2 teaspoons lemon zest

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar, pulsed finely)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, millet, sweet rice, or brown rice flour)

Muffin Batter

2 eggs (1/4 cup Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu plus ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, egg replacer, or vegan egg replacer)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, millet, sweet rice, or brown rice flour)

1 cup sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar, pulsed finely)

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup milk or buttermilk (dairy milk whole, 2%, or 1%) (low-fat buttermilk, light buttermilk, full-fat buttermilk) (non-dairy: almond, soy, almond, or light coconut milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar mix and let sit for at least five minutes)

3 teaspoons melted unsalted butter (vegan unsalted butter)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare streusel topping

Mix melted butter, sugar, lemon zest, and flour in a small bowl. Set aside.

Blueberry muffin preparation

Whisk the melted butter, vegetable oil, eggs, and milk (or buttermilk) in a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is uniform.

In another bowl add 2 1/2 cups of flour that you have sifted, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and stir to combine.

Combine the whisked egg mixture and the dry ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the blueberries, then add the blueberries to the muffin batter, stir only until they are mixed. If you overmix the batter after you add the blueberries the blueberries will burst and turn the batter purple.

Grease muffin tin with non-stick spray.

Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full of batter. Top with streusel mixture.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 and bake for another 10 or 15 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Don’t overbake. Cool over a wire rack for ten minutes before inverting the muffins onto the rack.

  • Make-Ahead Instructions: Mix the batter and make the streusel. Refrigerate both, covered overnight. Follow the instructions to bake, but lower the temperature to 350 and bake for 20- 25 minutes, depending on your oven. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Do not overbake.
  • The muffins will keep at room temperature lightly covered for up to three days

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Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Makeover Monday Meal- Dessert

Time

When the temps begin to rise, it’s time to move the cooking outside. There is something about a grill that turns people who don’t normally cook inside into grill masters. Steaks, burgers, chicken, fish, and pizza are made more delicious under the watchful eye of the king or queen of the barbecue. What about dessert? Well, you can grill stone fruit like nectarines and peaches with a little sugar, then serve it with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Smores are always a hit with the crowd and the kids love it.

As someone who loves to bake, even I won’t turn on the oven with the mercury rises. Okay, that’s not completely true, I get up super early to bake during the coolest part of the day. If you don’t want to lose any sleep and you don’t feel like heading out for ice cream after a long day at work, no-bake desserts are the way to go. Mix it, pour it, put it in the fridge to chill. That’s it.

This recipe comes to us from Martha Stewart. It takes about 25 minutes to make, and even less time if you decide to buy a ready-made graham cracker, Oreo, or a chocolate cookie crust.

This recipe include adaptations for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-sugar, and no sugar added diets.

No Bake Cheesecake- Martha Stewart adapted by Chamein Canton

2 packages (20 sheets) graham crackers (gluten-free graham crackers or chocolate wafers)

11 tablespoons (1 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (unsalted vegan butter)

2 tablespoons sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, Monk Fruit granulated sweetener, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed fine)

2 8-ounce packages full-fat cream cheese, room temperature (1 package light cream cheese ** plus 1 package regular cream cheese, vegan cream cheese)

1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk (Vegan condensed coconut milk)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

** It’s important to use light cream cheese and not Neufchatel. Although Neufchatel is slightly lower in calories, it’s a bit more watery than light cream cheese, which can affect how it sets once the cheesecake is chilled. If this recipe used agar-agar or gelatin, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Directions

Step 1

Put graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs form.

Step 2

Pour crumbs into a medium bowl; stir in sugar. Add butter, and stir until well combined.

Step 3

Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side; press flat. Chill crust in freezer at least 10 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, make the filling: Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Step 5

Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Step 6

Unclasp sides of pan, and remove cheesecake.

Variations

Skip the crust: use cheesecake filling in a parfait and invent a whole new “layer cake.” Mix the filling, then put some in a glass. Top with broken-up cookies (such as chocolate or vanilla wafers) or graham crackers, and add fresh fruit (such as raspberries or blueberries). Alternate layers. Refrigerate parfait for 30 minutes, and serve.

Don’t have time to make a crust? Use a ready-made graham cracker, Oreo, Nilla Wafer, or chocolate wafer pie crust. They also have gluten-free graham crackers and chocolate wafer crusts.

Variations

Chocolate cheesecake: make the crust with chocolate wafer cookies (10 ounces, or about 50 cookies) instead of graham crackers. Once you’ve mixed the filling, gently stir in 1 cup mini chocolate chips, and then fill the crust. Sprinkle more chips on top of the chilled cake.

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Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Makeover Monday Meals

Make Monday Tasty and Light

This weekend many areas across the country got a taste of hot summer temperatures to come. With Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer just a week away, many of us are going to transition to healthier meals that don’t take too much time.

To that end, Simply Recipes had a wonderful salad that came together in no time at all.

Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

PREP TIME25 mins

COOK TIME10 mins

TOTAL TIME35 mins

SERVINGS4 servings

Ingredients

  • For the salad
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped and packed
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup English or Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 medium ears) or frozen and thawed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • 12 corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Combine salad ingredients: Combine the lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and scallions in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
  2. Char the corn: Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium or large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the corn. Season corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until blackened in spots and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Season the chicken: Sprinkle the taco seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon salt over the surface of the chicken, rubbing it in and coating so the chicken is fully seasoned.
  4. Cook the chicken: In the same skillet used to cook the corn add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until deeply brown along the bottom and the flesh turns opaque about halfway up the side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue cooking, until brown on the second side and fully cooked through another 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Cut the chicken: Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Make the salad dressing: Place the lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, and olive oil into a blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water, if needed, to get the blender going. Alternatively, make this dressing by hand. Finely chop the cilantro and place in a medium bowl. Combine all salad dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  7. Finish and serve the salad: Add the corn and chicken into the bowl with the salad ingredients. Crumble the tortilla chips over the top. Add about two-thirds of the dressing and toss to lightly coat. Add more dressing and toss again, if needed. Divide salad into 4 bowls, top with crumbled Cotija cheese, and serve.
  • If you can’t find Cotija cheese, feta cheese is a great substitute. I have people that aren’t fans of either cheese, so I used extra sharp cheddar
  • For vegans and vegetarians substitute extra-firm tofu for the chicken. Cut the tofu into cubes and let sit in a sieve lined with a paper towel or cheesecloth over a bowl for about 30 to 45 minutes to let some of the extra water drain away. This will help ensure that it will get a little char on it like the chicken.
  • If you are not a cilantro fan, use Italian parsley

1 Photo from Simply Recipes Alison Bickel