Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brownie Oatmeal

Mmmmmmmmmmm. Brownies. I love a good chocolate brownie (cake-like and moist, not chewy, but I digress.) While I love a good cake-like brownie, I DO NOT like what it does to my waistline. As in love handles. Ick.

But what about a brownie-like flavor in something wholesome, like oatmeal?

Yeah, I kind of dug that idea too.

I found a recipe for Brownie Oatmeal and began tweaking it in the kitchen. And what I came up with is a chocolate, creamy oatmeal that fills that craving somewhat. (Come on, you didn't think oatmeal was going to be EXACTLY like a brownie, did you?) But it's good. And good for you!

Brownie Oatmeal (This makes two generous bowls.)

1 cup of water
1 cup of milk (I used Vanilla Coconut Milk, but you can use any kind of milk you like.)
1 TBSP dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup oatmeal (not quick cooking)

Additional milk for serving (or half and half if you want to indulge)
Sugar/Stevia/whatever sweetener you like
Pecans, almonds or Walnuts for topping
Shredded coconut for topping if you want Almond Joy/Mounds Oatmeal

Combine water, milk, cocoa powder, cinammon and vanilla in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Add oatmeal. Reduce heat to low. Let oatmeal cook until done (mine usually takes 10-15 minutes.) Make sure you are checking and stirring during this time so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat. Stir additional milk into oatmeal to get a creamy texture. Add sweetener to your taste (for super healthy oatmeal remember less is better.) Top with nuts, coconut, drizzle with more milk or half and half.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Okay, so now that football season is over, I am back to being creative in the kitchen and blogging. Hurrah!

It has been rather frigid here in the Big D this past week, and the perfect weather
for nice hot bowl of soup. And I was craving the warm scent and spice of a Thai soup. So what does one do? Go off to Google to find one!

I came across a recipe for Thai Pumpkin Soup that sounded REALLY good on the Jazzie And Tahlia blog. And then I tweaked it a bit, making it completely VEGETERIAN. The result? A warm bowl of spicy goodness. Without a lot of fat. So not only can you love it, but your skinny jeans can love it too.

Thai Pumpkin Soup (adapted from Jazzie and Tahlia blog)

*2 TBSP Olive Oil
*1 shallot, minced
*2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*15 ounce can of low sodium vegetable broth
*2 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree
*1 15 ounce can light coconut milk
*2 TBSP red curry paste
*Siracha sauce
*2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
*Sea salt
*One lime

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallot and ginger, saute for about five minutes until shallot is soft. Add garlic, saute for a minute or two.

Add vegetable broth, pumpkin, coconut milk, curry paste, and Siracha (to taste--it is hot so start with a small squirt or two.) Cook soup for 20 minutes.

Add juice of one lime and soy sauce. Then add sea salt to taste.

Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and more Siracha if needed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lasagna and Balsamic Glazed Spinach

I have recently discovered the Pioneer Woman and her wonderful blog (and cookbook!)My mother loaned me a copy of The Pioneer Woman cooks and her recipe for lasagna looked really good. Of course, being the *tweaker* that I am, I knew I could make this healthier: swap ground turkey for hamburger; swap sweet Italian turkey sausage for breakfast sausage; whole wheat noodles instead of white; reduce the cheese...and I also slashed the cooking time on the sauce.

The result? A delicious lasagna that won't kill the waistline.

Next, I had to add a veggie. So I cooked down some fresh spinach with olive oil and added a drizzle of prepared balsamic glaze...FAB!

Lasagna (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

*1 tbsp olive oil
*8 whole wheat lasagna noodles (the old school kind you boil)
*1 pound of ground turkey (I use 90-93 percent lean)
*2 Sweet Italian turkey sausage links (remove sausage from casings)
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil (I like Muir Glen)
*2 6 ounce cans tomato paste (also Muir Glen, see a pattern here?)
*12 basil leaves
*1/4 cup chopped parsley
*3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
*2 eggs, beaten
*1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
*1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add olive oil and cook noodles per package directions. Drain and lay out on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, saute ground turkey, sausage and garlic until brown. (Crumble the sausage while it cooks.)Drain off grease. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sprinkle of sea salt and ground pepper. Simmer while you make cheese mixture.

Chop basil and parsley and combine. Put half of this mixture into sauce. Save other half for cheese mixture.

For cheese: combine cottage cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup parmesan and herbs. Mix.

To assemble: Lay down four noodles in bottom of the pan. (They will overlap a little.) Cover with cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella on top. Now top with a little less than 1/2 of the meat sauce.

Add another layer of noodles, cheese, mozzarella, and end with meat sauce. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over the top. Bake for 35 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Balsamic Glazed Spinach

*1 package of fresh spinach
*2 TBSP Olive Oil
*Balsamic Glaze (found in the vinegar section of grocery aisle.)

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Saute spinach until wilted (5-7 minutes.) Put on plates and give each serving a light drizzle of balsamic glaze over the top. Done.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blackberry Basil Jam

As soon as I saw Giada make Blackberry Basil jam on TV, I knew I *had* to make it. Immediately. I adore basil--and what is more summery than blackberries and basil together? So I got the ingredients and gave it a try. It is, in my humble opinion, deliciousness on a spoon! But what is more delicious, you ask? I'll tell you--some artisan bread, spread with soft goat cheese and topped with this crazy good jam.

Blackberry Basil Jam (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

*1 16 ounce package frozen blackberries, thawed and juice reserved
*4 cups of fresh basil leaves
*2/3 cup sugar
*1 large orange, juiced
*1 medium lemon, juiced
*1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest (my own addition)

Combine basil, sugar, orange juice, and lemon juice in food processor and combine until smooth. Meanwhile, put blackberries and juice in a heavy bottom pan and mash berries with a fork. Add basil mixture and lemon zest to pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 hour. Place in air tight container and refrigerate. Will keep for 3 days.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homemade Granola

As you all know, I am a cookbook slut. And I have to say one of my best purchases this year was Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, "My Farther's Daughter." This past weekend I decided to attempt the homemade granola recipe. I wasn't sure about the addition of garam masala--Indian spice in my granola? But what can I say, I was feeling adventerous (and yes this IS my idea of being wild) and I made it with the spice. BEST FREAKING GRANOLA EVER!!

I didn't have maple syrup so I used honey. And I omitted the agave nectar because I thought the honey was enough.

Yum. Yum. YUM!I have eaten this all week with 2 percent Greek yogurt as my snack. Delicious!

Granola (adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow)

*2 cups old fashioned whole rolled oats
*1/2 cup raw whole almonds
*1/4 cup raw pepitas
*1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
*1/2 teaspoon garam masala
*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon fine salt
*1/2 cup local honey
*2 tbsp vegetable oil
*1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together oats, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, spices and salt in large bowl. Combine honey and oil in a small bowl. Then mix liquid with dry ingredients.

Spread granola on non-stick baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until browned, stirring occassionally. Combined cooled granola with cranberries and keep in airtight container. (Will keep for 2-3 months.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Steak

I love a good steak. REALLY LOVE IT. So when I saw a recipe for Tom Colicchio's Spice-Crusted Grilled Hanger Steak in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, it seemed like a win/win. I love Steak. I love Tom. What's not to love?

Of course, I modified the recipe. I swapped hard to find Hanger Steak with Flat Steak. I used a hickory smoked salt in the rub. I took down the garlic a bit and instead of light brown sugar, used Dark Muscovado Sugar instead. Holy crap. This was damn tasty. I served corn sauteed in fresh basil butter I made myself, then some red peppers sauteed in olive oil with fresh oregano. Divine.

Spice-Rubbed Flat Iron Steak (adapted from Tom Colicchio--serves four)

*3 pounds of Flat Iron Steak
*2 TBSP Coriander seeds
*2 TBSP Fennel seeds
*2 TBSP Dark Muscovado Sugar
*1 Jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*2 TBSP finely chopped cilantro leaves
*Hickory smoked salt
*Fresh cracked pepper

In a spice grinder (I have a coffee grinder just for this) combine coriander and fennel and grind. Put in small bowl and mix with brown sugar. Add jalapeno,garlic and cilantro.

Rub spice mixture all over steak. Season with smoked salt and pepper.

Heat grill pan to medium high heat. Lightly oil grill pan with olive oil. Cook steaks 9 minutes per side for medium rare. Turn on vent fan--this steak will smoke! Remove steak and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roasted Peaches with Greek Yogurt

I love fresh peaches. Like LOVE them. But I *detest* how fast they spoil. Quite the quandry, yes? But I found a recipe from Health Magazine for roasted peaches and though, "Hmmmmmmmmmm I could roast them and keep them in the fridge! Hurrah!"

But of course, I had to tweak the original recipe. Instead of honey I used agave nectar. I swapped dried lavender for the fresh. And instead of serving them with marscapone cheese, I went with healthy, protein rich Greek Yogurt. FAB!

Roasted Peaches with Greek Yogurt

*Four peaches, halved (you can also use fresh apricots if you wish)
*Agave nectar
*Dried lavender (I got mine in the loose tea section at Central Market. Brace yourself...several tablespoons was .18 cents. HA!)
*2 percent Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put one tablespoon of unsalted butter in a baking dish. Put peaches in cut side up. Drizzle with agave nectar. Zest some fresh lemon over the top. Finish with a light sprinkle of dried lavender.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve warm or cold over Greek yogurt. Enjoy!