Hearty Cranberry Muffins

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is your favorite part about Thanksgiving? Is it the lazy coffee drinking or the sleeping in? Is it cooking with your family or stuffing your face with turkey?

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The holidays are fun because everyone is jolly. Technically, Thanksgiving is the pre-jolly. The last calm before the holiday storm.

It’s a time to be thankful. I have a LOT to be thankful for this year. My family. My husband. My friends. My fur child, Carib. My internship. We have a beautiful apartment, I’ve finally figured out how to coupon and meal prep, and my husband makes a mean latte in the mornings. It’s a good life.

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So, I made you something. I know your menu is probably planned out and probably has been for the last month, but I wanted to share with you these cranberry muffins just in case.

They’re really good. They’re hearty but in a subtle way. They have WHOLE cranberries in them, which means there is an explosion of flavor every other bite.

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I really recommend that you make them if you have extra time or want something a little bit healthy and hearty this Thanksgiving. Here are a couple other easy Thanksgiving recipes, if you’re really behind this year. No judgment, promise.


pumpkin deviled eggs 1


candied almonds 4


honeycrisp salad 2


stuffed apples 4


apple cider sangria 3

Hearty Cranberry Muffins

1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, room temperature
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c milk
2 tbsp canola oil
2-3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
3/4 tsp vanilla extra
1 c whole, fresh cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl with a whisk.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, brown sugar, milk, canola oil, and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine with a spoon. Add in cranberries.
  5. Grease 6-7 muffin tin slots and spoon muffin mixture into muffin tin.
  6. Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes and then reduce to 375°F and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

1 Kaylie Signature

Smashed Chickpea Salad

As a vegetarian pescatarian (does anyone feel like I’m being snooty when I say pescatarian? Should I just OWN it?), we don’t get a lot of opportunities to have tasty smashed salads.

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Like chicken salad. I use to LOVE chicken salad. Gah, there’s this place called the Carving Board in Winston Salem and they have the BEST chicken salad. True story.

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And now that I’m thinking about it, I guess there are opportunities for smashed salads. Egg salad. Tuna salad. I’m not really into tuna salad. Tuna isn’t really my thing. I got ahi tuna the other night at a new restaurant that my husband and I tried before Mockingjay Part 2 (THE BEST) and it was… different.

I digress.

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This, my friends, is an opportunity for you to have a non-chicken-salad-smashed-salad. Something to slather on crackers. Something to put in a wrap or on hearty whole grain bread. Something to dollop onto a bed of leafy greens. This chickpea salad is delicious. It really is. The dill makes it. And the finely chopped celery. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Smashed Chickpea Salad
Adapted slightly from the Oh She Glows cookbook

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c dill pickle relish
1/4 c finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c low-fat cottage cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried dill
3 tsp lemon juice
Salad toppings: black olives, feta, avocado, olive oil & balsamic vinegar

  1. Smash the chickpeas with a potato smasher or pulse in a food processor until chickpeas are roughly chopped into small pieces, but not smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients! Stir and enjoy!
  3. If choosing to do a salad, put chickpea salad over greens and add avocado, black olives, feta, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

1 Kaylie Signature

Pumpkin Curry

I’ve really been trying to up my meal prep game. This internship is 40 hours a week, and my first 9 weeks I have to bring my own lunch. It’s been interesting packing for – actually 6 days a week because I have my internship 5 days and then I work the morning / lunch shift on Saturdays. Let me just tell you, packing your lunch at 9pm is not fun. However, having premade delicious pumpkin curry that you can throw into your lunch bag for the next day is fun.

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Pumpkin screams fall. It’s delicious, hearty, full of flavor and nutrients, and can be shoved into just about anything (read: oatmeal, muffins, soup, curry…). Today, we are shoving pumpkin into curry.

Curry is fun because it’s different. Do you ever feel like you’re in a food rut? Like you’ve eaten more black bean burgers and salads than you can count? If you need to be pulled out of the rut, try this. It’s super easy and you really can’t mess it up.

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This originally calls for coconut milk (like, the canned kind. the thick, good kind.) but I never know what to do with the other 10oz of coconut milk so I decided to try plain greek yogurt and increase the vegetable broth instead. AND IT WORKED. {Actually, I also tried it with tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes because we were out and I didn’t realize, and while it worked, I prefer the canned tomatoes. So, I left it there for you guys. You’re welcome.}

Also, I know I said brown rice or quinoa, but we actually put it over this thing from Costco. It’s a quinoa and kale mixture and you find it in the frozen section. They come in like 2-3 serving size bags and they’re amazing because they’re ready in 3 1/2 minutes in the microwave. And that’s what’s pictured. If you don’t have a Costco membership, find someone who does. Tis the season, right? Costco shopping is way more fun when you’re sharing it with someone else.

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Pumpkin Curry
Adapted from Julia’s Album

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c pumpkin
1 c canned tomatoes
1/4 c plain greek yogurt
1 1/4 c vegetable broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp honey
Quinoa or brown rice

  1. Sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the pumpkin, canned tomatoes, plain greek yogurt, vegetable broth, and beans. Stir until well combined.
  3. Add the curry paste and stir until combined. Add honey and stir until combined.
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Serve over quinoa or brown rice.

1 Kaylie Signature

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I blogged three months ago today. THREE.

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But I am coming back with a passion. Seriously this time. I am. I am in my dietetic internship and I work on my preceptor’s blog frequently, so it has motivated me to come back to my blog.

Oh, and did you notice a name change? Skinny Muffin has become Kayl Chips. See, my name is Kaylie, and kale chips are much more relevant to my life and the way I eat. I’m really not that good at baking. I’m much better at cooking. The name is also in relation to the fact that our cat, Caribou, is often called Carib Chip, and then I’m Kayl Chip. So, it works.

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The ironic thing is, though, that as soon as I change the name to Kayl Chips, I make muffins. Hah! Oh well.

So anyway, about these muffins. Guys, they’re delicious. I halved the sugar and I did way more spices than it called for (even though they recommended it) and they’re really good. I also did the ‘reducing the temperature’ trick. I’m not sure if it works in muffins, but it works in cupcakes, so I tried it.

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The trick is that you cook them for 2min at a higher temperature and then lower the temperature by 25*F for the remainder of the cook time. It makes cupcakes go from flat to fabulous (aka the tops get really high), and I thought I would try it for these muffins. Some are high, some aren’t, so it might’ve been more about how much I put in each muffin cup. Regardless, they’re DELICIOUS.

These are full of vitamin A, antioxidants, and fiber, so don’t feel guilty grabbing one of these on your way out the door or for a mid-morning snack. I definitely want to look into trying them with whole wheat flour, but since I haven’t baked in .. well, like YEARS .. I bought a small bag of all-purpose flour the other day because apparently they don’t make small bags of whole wheat flour anymore. Hmph.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Nothing If Not Intended

1 15-oz can pumpkin
1/2 c applesauce (or 1 individual applesauce cup)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 pinches (or shakes) nutmeg
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch cloves
2 pinches ginger
1 pinch salt
3/4 c dark chocolate chips

  1. Mix all but chocolate chips.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips before baking.
  3. Line or spray muffin tin for 12 muffins. Fill muffin tin.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 2min and then switch to 325°F and bake for 20min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes before switching to a cooling rack.

1 Kaylie Signature

Parmesan Cashew Crusted Salmon

This is big. HUGE. {Name that movie!}

parmesan cashew salmon

This is my first non-vegetarian post. You know those blue ghoul-like gasp face emojis? Insert several here.

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So, how did this come about? Since I have slacked at blogging lately, I probably haven’t given you the whole story. Or maybe I have? I slightly remember talking about it…

Quick review: this January I tried gluten free / dairy free for a month. I made it about 16 days before caving – cheese is delicious. so is ice cream – but during that time I decided that it was next to impossible to not starve and to eat out at restaurants being a gluten free / dairy free / vegetarian individual. So I decided to add seafood back into my diet.

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Best. Decision. Ever.

And the rest is history. Seafood is delicious, protein-packed, and so healthy. And this recipe is super tasty. Crunchy, cheesy, summery, and full of flavor.

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Bonus recipe: pair this with a summer-inspired wine spritzer – grapefruit La Croix, grapefruit white wine (or any white wine), and a slice of lemon.

Parmesan Cashew Crusted Salmon
Inspired by Spark Recipes

2 salmon filets, fresh or frozen and thawed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c whole cashews
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

  1. Pulse cashews and parmesan cheese in a food processor until finely ground.
  2. Place salmon on tinfoil-covered baking sheet and brush olive oil on top of salmon.
  3. Press cashew-parmesan mixture into salmon and cover salmon with foil.
  4. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes and then remove foil and bake 5 more minutes.
  5. Pair with sautéed veggies and / or quinoa plus a summer wine spritzer.1 Kaylie Signature