How to: Seasonal Cooking – Homemade Apple Sauce and Crispy Apple Peel Chips



Quelle surprise. It’s fall and I’ve got an apple recipe for ya.


These little dandies are brand new and Ontario grown.  They’re called Ginger Gold and they’re perfect for eating, baking or…applesauce as it were.  Sweet as pie on their own, this recipe requires zero added sweetener.


Don’t go out and buy yourself fancy apples for this recipe either.  These were on sale and ended up costing about $0.75 per pound. Buying in bulk will save you even more moula.   You can use any variety you like, too.  If you’ve picked a particularly tart apple, like a granny smith, you may need some added sweetness.  Wait until your apples are cooked and processed though.  You can always add a little maple syrup or sugar at the end.


Making any recipe with peeled and cored apples can be a pain in the A.  I get it.  I’m not much for frivolous kitchen tools and gadgets, but using a y-shaped peeler and an apple corer will save you so much time.

The y-shaped peeler is truly an all around great kitchen gadget.  The good quality ones will even peel the tough stuff, like butternut squash. In this case it also ensures the apple peels are an even size, which is important in making the apple peel chips.

Of course, a good sharp paring knife will do the trick, and cutting around the core is no big deal either.

IMG_7985 IMG_7988

I really had my heart set on doing a post for slow cooker applesauce, but most recipes involved the same amount of prep and 4 hour cook time.  Recipes with a cook-time that is not long enough to leave for a day of work don’t make sense to me.  Isn’t that the point of a slow cooker?  I opted for a stovetop version instead.


I chose to breakdown my apples with a whisk to leave a bit of texture.  Feel free to blend it up for a smoother consistency.


How awesome is the chip idea?! I get all giddy when I can find use for what would have been food waste.  A healthy snack to boot!

I used my silicone baking mats (they’re the best!) for the apple chips, but parchment paper will work well too. Spread them out evenly for best results.

IMG_8019Cooking them under high heat to start will speed this recipe up significantly.  Alternatively you can slow cook them at 250F for about 2 hours.

(um, no thanks)


Best apple sauce I’ve ever had.  Hand to heart.



Applesauce and Crispy Apple Peel Chips

Serves Makes 4 cups
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Website Adapted from The Kitchn



  • 3lb apples (any variety or a mixture of your favourites)
  • 2 sticks cinnamon (or ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water

Apple Skin Chips

  • Apple peels
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • small pinch of cinnamon


1. Peel, core and cut apples into roughly 1 inch pieces.
2. In a large saucepan over high heat combine apples with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until apples are very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Remove cinnamon sticks and use a potato masher, a large whisk or a blender to process applesauce to desired consistency.
Apple Skin Chips
4. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss apple peels with canola oil, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Spread peeling evenly over parchment lined baking sheets.
5. Bake at 400F for 7-8 minutes, until edges start to brown. Reduce heat to 250F and continue baking for 15 minutes, until evenly golden brown.




How To: Recipe Makeover – Eggplant Ricotta Bake


When my husband and I were living in NYC for a year I made it my mission to eat as much good food as possible.

Over the year I ate some pretty delicious meals – from the best ice cream I have ever eaten to my new favourite pasta dish – there was certainly no shortage of good food. I should note, I do think I became somewhat of an NYC restaurant expert so if you ever go to NYC and do not contact me, that would be a huge mistake.




One place we discovered was this family run Italian spot that served some of the best and most authentic Italian food around. My husband ordered their version of eggplant parm and was immediately sent to cheese heaven. This eggplant rollitini was LOADED with ricotta, mozzarella, and parm, and covered in a rich homemade tomato sauce.




Eggplant parmesan is a traditional Italian dish that typically appears as layers of tender fried eggplant, rich tomato sauce, and creamy cheese. I present to you a just as delicious version but without all the frying and grease. This version bakes the eggplant instead of frying and uses a mixture of low fat ricotta and parmesan in the rich cheesy layer.






Not only can this recipe be classified as a “recipe makeover,” but it definitely fits into the “quickie meal” category as well. 2-for-1 deals are my favourite!


The taste of New York’s Little Italy right in my very own little kitchen. Enjoy!



Eggplant Ricotta Bake

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 2 large eggplants (sliced into rounds)
  • 1 2/3 cups low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 bottle of your favourite tomato/marinara sauce
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


A lighter take on the classic eggplant parmesan, this eggplant ricotta bake makes an excellent vegetarian lunch or dinner. Serve with a simple green salad and some crusty bread.


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place eggplant slices in a single layer on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft and starting to brown. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, eggs, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix together.
3. Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex with cooking spray and place one layer of eggplant on the bottom of the dish. Spread with half of the tomato sauce and place another layer of eggplant on top.
4. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the eggplant and continue to make a second layer, ending with your ricotta mixture.
5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and browned. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

How to: Make your own – Aloo Gobi (Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes)


My friends are wicked. In the good sense.

They have come out of the woodwork to support my new mommy-ness and continue to bring delicious edible gifts.

Just yesterday my friend and colleague Rosy brought us a batch of How to Eat’s very own breakfast cookies. Her take was loaded with dried cherries and chocolate. My kind of substitutions.


This Aloo Gobi recipe is inspired by another friend’s contribution to the new mom food bank.  When the wee babe was but a week old my friend Candace brought us an indian feast.  Chana masala, aloo gobi, naan and rice. All homemade, all done with two of her own little ones at home.  You can find a photo of her under the Wikipedia entry for ‘supermom’.

We live very near to Little India and have tried tried tried and failed to find a go-to Indian takeout restaurant close by.  Each restaurant seems to have one or two hits, but we can never find a complete meal we love.  Her aloo gobi was among the best I’ve ever had.  I immediately demanded the recipe.


The recipe is simple and quick; under 30 minutes with prep included.  If you need to go out and buy any of these spices and you’re not sure you want to commit to a full container, try buying them at a bulk store.  You can buy as little as you need for a test run.

This is also a perfect make-ahead recipe.  It reheats beautifully and I find the flavour improves if eaten a day or two after it’s made.

The version I photographed for this blog post is made with roasted cauliflower.  Roasting adds great flavour (and is super gorgeous), but I decided to write the recipe using raw cauliflower because I find it better absorbed the indian spice flavour when fully cooked in the sauce.

Looking for more green? Serve over baby spinach.  If you’re looking for added protein, try adding a handful of chick peas for a 30 second fix.


Along with our recipes for homemade naan and tofu saag, we’re well on our way to a perfect go-to indian meal right at home.


Aloo Gobi (Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes)

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Website Adapted from the Food Network


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic (about 3 large or 4 small cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 cup water (divided)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 medium yellow or white potatoes (peeled and cut into ½)
  • 1 small head cauliflower (cut into small florets)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)


1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp canola oil, garlic, ginger, coriander, tumeric and ½ cup of water. Set aside.
2. Heat remaining canola oil over medium high heat until it appears to shimmer on the surface. Add red pepper flakes and cumin seeds and sauté for 30 seconds. Carefully add the the wet spice mixture (it will sputter!) and sauté for about 2 minutes until most of the water is evaporated.
3. Add potatoes, cauliflower, remaining half cup of water and salt. Reduce heat to a medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, stir to coat with sauce and continue cooking until potatoes are cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
4. Serve with basmasti rice and or naan. Garnish with greek yogurt.






How To: Healthy Breakfast – Apple and Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal


This weekend I fully embraced fall.

I bought my first can of pumpkin, baked up my first pumpkin loaf, and made my first baked oatmeal of the season. Fall, bring it on!




Spring and summer I’m more of a cold breakfast eater – yogurt and granola or overnight oats are the usual suspects. But come fall, I crave warmer and heartier meals and baked oatmeal is the perfect fall tummy pleaser.




My go-to fall baked oatmeal has to be our pumpkin variety. Yes, I jump on the pumpkin bandwagon come fall and am proud of it! But I wanted something a little different and this apple and peanut butter variety fit the bill. It has the same chewy texture, but in place of the pumpkin and cranberries we have apples and cinnamon. And the addition of a cup of peanut butter adds extra protein and healthy fats to help keep you full all morning long.




My favourite part is that one batch makes about 12 servings! Enough for all your breakfasts during the week and even some snacks too. Just add a splash of milk to freshen it up and pop it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. I also happen to enjoy it cold or room temperature so give that a try too.

So embrace fall with me and bake up a batch of apple and peanut butter oatmeal.



Apple and Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

Serves 10-12
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable
Website Two Peas and Their Pod


  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 large apples (diced)


Make a pan of this easy baked oatmeal on the weekend and reheat leftovers for a quick breakfast throughout the week. Pears are a great substitute for apples. It also makes a delicious and filling afternoon snack.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl combine milk, eggs, vanilla, and apple sauce. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until combined.
3. Add peanut butter and mix again. Add diced apples and mix to combine one last time. Pour oat mixture into prepared pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until lightly brown on top and set.
4. Remove from oven and serve with a splash of additional milk, a sprinkle of raisins, and some more peanut butter, if desired. Or top with a dollop of plain or vanilla yogurt.


How To: Healthy Appetizer – Blue Cheese and Greek Yogurt Dip


Can we just talk about tomatoes for a minute? I mean, have they ever been this sweet before? Seriously, we are popping them back like candy in this household.




Speaking of candy, we treated ourselves to a bag of sour grapefruits the other night. I mean, they are grapefruit flavoured so it’s basically like eating fruit, right? Back to tomatoes – they are just perfect with this creamy dip. And with back to school season in full effect, we could all use some easy and healthy snacks and apps up our sleeves, am I right?




I’ve used Castello blue cheese in this recipe as it is a nice mild cheese that is readily available in your local grocery store. In full disclosure, Castello has generously sponsored this post in exchange for a recipe featuring their product. But as always, we would never accept a deal if it’s not something we would normally use in a recipe of our own.

I’ve already told you just how delicious this dip is with the tomatoes right now, but it would be just as delicious with some cut up cucumbers, carrots, or your favourite crackers.




All you need is a food processor and your good to go. Easy as pie – now speaking of pie, this dip would serve as the perfect appetizer to our zucchini pie. So grab a tomato and get dipping!



Blue Cheese and Greek Yogurt Dip

Serves 1.5 cups
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Snack
Website Kath Eats Real Food


  • 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 cup blue cheese (crumbled)
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cut up tomatoes (to serve with the dip)


While this dip is great with tomatoes, it is also delicious with cut up cucumber, carrots, and crackers. Thin it out with a little water and it would also make a great salad dressing. If you're not a fan of blue cheese, goat cheese would make a great substitute.


1. Combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
2. Serve with cut up tomatoes, crackers, or other vegetables of your choice.