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See Pumpkin Cheesecake, or Chicken Cacciatore

Pumpkin Cheesecake

pumpkin-pieThis will make you a star! Shared by my dear friend Frank, it’s elevated me to a new level in my home. A great holiday dessert or anytime you may be longing for an exceptional treat.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 65 minutes

Serves 8
1 10-oz. bag gingersnap cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup natural buttery spread, like Earth Balance® or Smart Balance®&k, melted
1 tablespoon sucanat (pure dried cane juice)*

3 8-oz. packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sucanat
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
Whole or chopped pecans, garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

To Make Crust: Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan, and wrap outside with foil. In a food processor, pulse together cookies and pecans until finely ground. In a medium size bowl, combine cookie mixture with melted butter alternative and sucanat, mix thoroughly. Press crust mixture onto bottom, and 2-inches up sides of pan. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside and keep oven on.x

To Make Filling: In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and sucanat until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and spices, beat until smooth. Pour filling into crust, scraping sides with a rubber spatula. Bake cheesecake until center is set, and edges begin to crack, about 1 hour, 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a baking sheet. Chill uncovered until cold, at least 6 hours.

*Sucanat stands for sugar cane natural. It’s unrefined and unprocessed, and a healthier alternative to refined brown sugar.

Nutritional Note: Pumpkin is loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene and vitamin E.

Nutrition Facts:
(based on single serving)

Calories: 260
Total Fat: 15 gms
Sodium: 298 mgs
Carbohydrates: 39 gms
Protein: 12 gms

Chicken Cacciatore

chicken-cacciatorePrep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Approx. 40 minutes
Serves 4

1 4-4½ pound whole chicken, preferably organic, cut up
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
¾ cup red wine vinegar
1 tube Italian anchovy paste
1 12-ounce jar pitted kalamata olives, with liquid Salt to taste

Rinse the chicken pieces under cold water; pat them dry. Heat the olive oil in an extra-large, deep skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, rosemary, garlic, and black pepper; partially cover. Cook for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the bouillon, vinegar, and anchovy paste; stir thoroughly. Reduce the heat. Add the olives; partially cover. Cook for 20 more minutes, stirring and turning occasionally. Add salt to taste. (You may have to cook the breasts for 2 minutes longer than the rest of the chicken.)’

Nutrition Facts:
(based on single serving) (Per serving)
Calories: 187
Total Fat: 3 gms
Sodium: 140 mgs
Carbohydrates: 9 gms
Protein: 29 gms
Fiber: 2 gms