A very pretty cookbook called Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners landed in my mailbox recently courtesy of Sasquatch Books. Though there are many, many appealing recipes in the book, I just could not resist giving this Coconut Cake a try. Made with coconut milk and covered with a vanilla maple frosting and toasted coconut flakes, this cake had my name all over it.

coconut cloud cake | healthy green kitchen

This cake is easy to make but it’s also a real stunner. Make it for a celebration! Or for no reason at all.

coconut cloud cake | healthy green kitchen

I used regular all-purpose flour because that’s what I had in the house. Next time, I’ll experiment by including some coconut flour. Something else to try: use softened coconut oil instead of butter.

My cake came out a bit dense and I believe it’s because I overbeat the batter. Watch out you don’t do the same if you want your cake to be more fluffy. Be sure to store the cake in the refrigerator if you won’t be serving it right away; leftovers should be kept covered in the refrigerator, too.

coconut cloud cake | healthy green kitchen
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Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef and well-loved authority on Southern cooking. Her new book Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome arrived in my mailbox a few weeks back. I’ve enjoyed cooking from it very much.

Bacon-Wilted Greens from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

In this beautifully photographed book, Virginia shares “lighter” versions of her favorite Southern recipes. Whole foods ingredients-and vegetables in particular-are featured prominently, and balance and moderation (yay!) are discussed throughout. Nutritional information is provided for all of the recipes.

I chose to make Virginia’s Bacon-Wilted Greens because 1. I am always looking for new ways to serve greens 2. I was intrigued by the baked apple with goat cheese garnish. I really loved this dish and will definitely be making it again! I used local Savoy spinach instead of the kale Virginia calls for: next time I’ll give the kale a try because the spinach cooked down quite a bit and made fewer servings than the recipe in the book states.

Bacon-Wilted Greens from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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Carrie Vitt is one of the sweetest people I know and she’s got a great new cookbook out called The Grain-Free Family Table: 125 Delicious Recipes for Fresh, Healthy Eating Every Day. Carrie has experienced huge improvements in various health issues via diet change: she follows a grain-free diet and the focus of this book is grain-free recipes.

grain-free stuffed peppers from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

While I don’t eat a grain-free diet, I really like this cookbook because it’s packed with protein-filled recipes as well as recipes that feature fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, grain alternatives, natural fats, and wholesome sweets. Moreover, the food photos, shot by Carrie, are beautiful, and my recipe for sauerkraut is on page 258!

I have made these stuffed peppers a few times now and my family enjoys them a lot. For the record, I have not been too keen on adopting the “cauliflower in lieu of rice” trend but I did “rice” the cauliflower for this recipe and I am glad I gave it a try (it’s really easy to do and it increases the veggie quotient of this dish). That said, feel free to substitute cooked rice for the cauliflower rice if you like, and if you don’t need the recipe to be grain free. (Note that this is not a Paleo cookbook, but Carrie gives suggestions for how to make each recipe Paleo/dairy free if that’s something you need.)

grain-free stuffed peppers from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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