Saturday, November 19, 2005

Working with the season - looking for much needed warmth

Brr. It was cold today. I don't even want to consider what it will be like once winter is actually here. I settled in for the night, and made a batch of warm soup and a hearty, yet strangely sweet muffin.

I decided to take advantage of the canned pumpkin and apple cider readily available for Thanksgiving. The soup recipe is from CL's November '05 issue. It caught my attention because I had a bottle of bourbon to use up in my pantry. I haven't really ever had a blended soup that became a repeat favorite, but this one probably comes closest. The results are sweet in that nicely savory way. I divided the recipe into 6 instead of 8 like they called for. I ended up with good size servings, and an almost complete milk serving.

The muffin was made because I had a bag of rye flour in my freezer. It's not an ingredient I usually use. I had bought it to make a mixed grain bread a few weeks ago. I have a lot of the flour left, so there will be more rye recipes to come. But for the present, the muffins also came out nicely sweet. The texture was grainy, but not excessively so. And interestingly enough, it looked grainier than whole wheat recipes I've made, but it really didn't taste like it.

So, two for two tonight. Hope that carries over into tomorrow - I have to make pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving, and Lebkuchen for this month's IsMyBlogBurning?

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spiked Pumpkin Soup

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves -- minced
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup
29 ounces canned pumpkin
14 ounces low-sodium defatted chicken broth
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 teaspoon unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, ginger, cumin, and garlic cloves; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in cider, bourbon, syrup, pumpkin, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a large bowl. Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in milk, flour, salt, and pepper; cook until thoroughly heated (do not boil), stirring frequently.

"CL 11/05"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 145 Calories; 1g Fat (7.4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 2mg Cholesterol; 300mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spiced Rye Muffins

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 cups rye flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup raisins

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices and orange zest.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, water, milk powder, and melted butter.

Combine the liquid and dry ingredients, then stir in the raisins.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400.

"Whole Grain Baking"
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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 159 Calories; 5g Fat (27.4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol; 208mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Enough with the halloween chocolate - on to the banana & chocolate!

So my boss has had to giant ziploc bags of halloween candy in his office since the day after halloween. And of course, I was helping him go through it. I'm generous that way. Not the healthiest options of course. So, I decided this week to not eat it. I've been bringing in grapes, and that's my afternoon snack. But to ease the way, I made CL's Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread. Hey - it's better than pure chocolate!

I've tried to make this recipe before. I had gone with the 8 1/2x4 1/2-inch pan that they said. Unfortunately, it was too small. I had said I wanted to re-try it. That was 2 years ago. Never let it be said I rush things.

Anyway, I really like how this bread turned out. The fact that I ate two slices for this morning's breakfast might give a clue. Not too rich, not too sweet. I decided to give in and do all unbleached instead of the whole wheat/unbleached flour mix I've normally done. Treat myself right as it were. I think it's definitely a repeat for me.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Breads Breakfasts

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups mashed banana -- (about 3 bananas)
2 eggs
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg substitute, and yogurt; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.

Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 8 1/2x4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

"CL September 2003, p. 154"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 240 Calories; 7g Fat (24.9% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol; 186mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : 5 points

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ahhhh - warmth.

It's fall - winter is coming too fast for me. I spent 4 years in Florida, and I did not move back up north because I missed the cold. Believe me. But, since I'm here, I have to deal.

The best way to deal is a warm meal at the end of the day. And nothing is more soothing than a vegetable soup (and maybe a nice muffin on the side). This weekend's recipe is a repeat. Not a well-loved recipe - just something simple & filling.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Italian Vegetable Stew

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:12
Categories : April '97 International

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 garlic cloves -- minced
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes -- undrained
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans -- drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-cut green beans -- drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup (3 ounces) preshredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional) -- fresh thyme springs

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add zucchini and next 6 ingredients (zucchini through tomato sauce); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add kidney beans, green beans, and parsley; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle into 6 bowls; sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups stew and 2 tablespoons cheese

"Reach for canned beans when you need an easy, nutritious, meatless main dish."
"Cooking Light, April 1997, p.190"
"© Cooking Light"
T(Cooking Time):

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 182 Calories; 3g Fat (15.5% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 672mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Serving Ideas : Serve with store-bought breadsticks and a tossed green salad.

NOTES : 3 points

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 26099 0 3002 2470 0 4977 26429 26001 673 0 25072 3413

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Again with the muffins

Last fall, right around Thanksgiving/Christmas, I bought three bags of cranberries and froze them in 1 cup portions. I swore that I would use them over the year. I just knew that I would be craving cranberry muffins. It's a year later, and I still had 4 cups in the freezer. I have a ton of cranberry muffin recipes. I will finish off the frozen berries - just in time to refill. It's a common hoarding behavior, from what I read on the Cooking Light bulletin board.

I decided to try a recipe that was a little different. Most cranberry muffins call for walnuts - this one calls for hazelnuts. It also calls for golden raisins, which I love and almost always have in my pantry. I of course modified the recipe to use 1/2 whole wheat flour. Always good to try and have some extra fiber.

The results of this recipe are okay, not great. Something about the taste of the muffin is a little greasy. It surprises me, since there is not that much oil in the batter. If I did repeat this recipe, I would go down to 1/4 cup canola oil, and maybe up the orange juice.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Cranberry Hazelnut Muffins

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon brandy

Heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and cloves. In a food processor, finely chop the cranberries, raisins and hazelnuts. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, oil, and brandy. Mix the chopped cranberries, raisins, and hazelnuts and then pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Stir well.

Fill the greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes.

"Mad About Muffins"
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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 212 Calories; 9g Fat (37.1% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 35mg Cholesterol; 65mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Monday, November 07, 2005

Stupid oven!

I swear - I preheated my oven for more than an hour tonight, and it didn't get up to 500. I needed to broil the top of my frittata. It didn't seem to affect it much though - it cooked through and was golden on top. Unfortunately, it was also extremely browned on the bottom. Aside from the extra-crispy bottom, the flavor of the frittata was great. It was strangely sweet though. The texture was perfect as well. I'm not much of an eggs person, which is why I always planned on trying to make a frittata but never did. Since I've tried this one though, I think I will repeat. I know that you can also complete a frittata by flipping onto a plate and back into the pan instead of broiling. I might try that next time. (Stupid oven!)

* Exported from MasterCook *

Ham and Asparagus Frittata

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 2 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 ounces ham slice, extra lean
2 ounces jarlsberg lite -- shredded
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites
2 large egg
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup asparagus -- 1" slices
1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning

Preheat broiler.

Combine ham, cheese, black pepper, salt, egg whites, and eggs, stirring well with a whisk.

Heat a 9-inch nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and asparagus; sauté 3 minutes. Add egg mixture; reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, 3 minutes or until almost set. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Wrap handle of pan with foil; broil 3 minutes or until egg is set. Cut into 4 wedges.

"CL 04/04"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 256 Calories; 11g Fat (38.7% calories from fat); 30g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 242mg Cholesterol; 1027mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Adventures in timing

It's always an interesting experience to try a new recipe. Add in the fact that some recipes have multiple processes that should be timed so that they come together simultaneously, and you get some interesting events. I firmly believe in the theory of mis en place. It's saved my butt on more than one occasion. But then I get cocky sometimes, and end up with blackened garlic because I had my back turned in order to get ready for the next step. And I just never learn.

I'm not leading up to a huge catastrophe with tonight's meal. The dish was a vegetarian shepherd's pie from WW Versatile Vegetarian. I've had good luck with recipes from this cookbook. In particular, their macaroni and cheese is excellent, and really is open to variation. Anyway, the pie involved cooking up the filling and then covering with potatoes. And here I will admit - I don't remember ever cooking potatoes. Nutty, I know. So, I had pulled the directions for boiling them from a Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. And my baker nature came in - it says 20 to 30 minutes to cook? Well, I'll make the filling at the same time, and it will all come together perfectly! Not quite. The damage was not that bad - the filling cooled a bit while I was waiting for the potatoes, and I definitely rushed the potatoes even with a longer cook, but the dish was still very good. Not sure it's a repeat, though. Something about all the vegetables involved - eh, they just didn't seem right to me. Something about tomatoes & potatoes in the same dish I think. And I normally would say that I could experiment with different add-ins, but somehow my brain has shut down on this one. Oh well. The very good thing is, there is no question that I got my veggies in for the day with this recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Shepherd's Garden Pie

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions -- chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 garlic cloves -- minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces tofu -- crumbled
6 plum tomatoes -- diced
2 cups broccoli florets -- steamed
2 cups cauliflower flowerets -- steamed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 large potatoes -- cooked, peeled, and mashed
2 ounces neufchatel cheese

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the onions; cook, stirring as needed, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper; cook, stirring as needed, until the mushrooms are wilted, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the tofu and tomatoes; cook about 3 minutes. Stir in the broccoli, broth and parsley. Transfer to a 9"-square baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes and the cream cheese. Spread it over the tofu mixture. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.

"WW Versatile Vegetarian"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 314 Calories; 12g Fat (32.1% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 443mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Here's a shocker - a muffin!

Yeah, I know. I have a weakness for muffins. They're just so perfect. They're portion controlled, and as long as you stick with true muffins, and not cupcakes-hiding-as-muffins, you can have healthy versions. They also can be stored in the freezer, and any day can start out beautifully.

My freezer is pretty much always crammed with muffins and quick bread, but most of the time they are breakfast-y. This time, I decided to use up the wine in my freezer and go for a savory muffin. And believe me, I was happy with the result. These came out very nicely, with the wine and cheese flavor coming through nicely. They baked up beautifully and came out smoothly from the tin. I used lite jarlsberg instead of the swiss and half wheat flour to try to improve the nutritional profile. Even without those changes the muffins aren't totally bad for you, which is nice to have. And even though a muffin in mostly carbs, these have a nice amount of protein, so they definitely have sticking power. They are nice warm, and just different enough!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Wine and Cheese Muffin

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 7/8 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

Heat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the oregano, and parmesan and swiss cheeses. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg and and to it add the milk, white wine, and worcestershire sauce and stir. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill greased muffin tins. Bake for 18 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. Serve warm.

"Mad About Muffins"
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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 128 Calories; 4g Fat (29.0% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 45mg Cholesterol; 232mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0