Thursday, November 30, 2006

A different heart-healthy - Romesco Sauce

A few months ago, I ran out of peanut butter. I always buy the natural PB to avoid all the extra sugars and trans-fats, but I felt like being a little healthier. Almonds are considered one of the many great sources of heart healthy oils. So - almond butter! Unfortunately, I have not felt as attached to almond butter as to PB. The texture is grittier. And since I am parsimonious, I need to use up the rest of the jar before I buy PB.

I found this recipe for romesco sauce in Peanut Butter Planet. From my research on romesco sauce, it is most commonly made with almonds. Peanut Butter Planet had replaced the almonds with PB, and I replaced the PB with almond butter. Loop back!

The preparation of the recipe made me nervous. I had read through the recipe before I decided to make it, but I guess I hadn't really taken it fully in. I didn't realize that I would be cooking the first ingredients for 15 minutes - including garlic! When I completed the first part, everything was blackened, which didn't seem to bode well. But onward I plunged.

And my cooking spaz moment - the most recent blade I had used in my food processor was the bread blade. So, of course, it was at the front of my pile of blades, and of course I used it. Of course, this ended up not blending it as well as it could have. Duh! And I didn't even realize it until I pulled it out of the dishwasher today.

The end result is a different sauce. I like the flavor. Of course, I've never actually tasted romesco sauce, so I don't know how authentic it is. The flavor is lightly spicy. I don't know if it's meant to be spicier. When I went to look for the small red pepper, all the ones at Wegman's looked wrinkled and old. First time I was ever truly disappointed there.

The recipe works nicely at room temperature. But what I'm not sure of is what to serve it with. I ate it with roasted veggies in a whole wheat pita this time, but it didn't feel right. I have two servings left, and a couple options I have considered are serving it with shrimp, or some form of veggie loaf.

I definitely could consider making this again. It depends on how it comes out of the freezer. If I do make it, I think it would serve 5 - 4 seems to be a lot of sauce per serving.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Romesco Sauce

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

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 red bell peppers -- chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red chile -- seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes -- drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup almond butter
salt and pepper -- to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bell pepper, chile, onion, and garic, and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and vinegar and cook 15 minutes longer.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and add the peanut butter and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth and creamy.

"Peanut Butter Planet"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 170 Calories; 13g Fat (63.4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 13mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

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

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yes, another soup - Butternut Soup with Pears and Apples

Stuck in a rut - me? Well, maybe. I found my love for pureed soups this past summer, and if it makes me happy to make them, why not? They are so easy, can be very healthy, can be served warm or cold, and are a great side to my other addiction - muffins! What could be better?

Yes, this soup is the same color as the last recipe I posted, but it is a different recipe, and one I like much better. My MasterCook lists this as a CL recipe, but when I search for it in their online recipe search it doesn't come up. Anyway, I made this recipe because I wanted to use one of those packages of pre-cut butternut squash that the grocery stores have out. It's one of the convenience packages that I don't feel guilty using. I've cut myself multiple times when chopping onions - you don't want me attacking a squash. Trust me on this.

This recipe was easy to put together. I think there's something about me, though - butter just doesn't smell as good to me as a cooking fat anymore. If I repeat this recipe, I'll probably use canola oil instead. Other than that, I really liked putting this recipe together. I'm a little averse to celery, but I wouldn't leave it out of this recipe. I don't like it on its own, and I always end up buying the celery with about one stalk that isn't breaking, but for this recipe, I think there's so much of it, it's really necessary.

I ate it warm the first night, at room temperature the next couple. I like how it tasted at room temperature, so I can eat it at work without reheating. (I hate microwaving soup).

A nicely full-bodied, fully-flavored healthy soup. Might be a repeat, but not a definite.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Butternut Soup with Pears and Apples

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 1/4 pounds butternut squash -- peeled and cubed
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup chopped apple -- Braeburn or other cooking, peeled
1 cup pear -- Anjou, chopped, peeled
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
14 1/2 ounces vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add squash and next 8 ingredients, and bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Discard bay leaf. Place half of squash mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan, and stir in syrup. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

"CL Annual Recipes 2001"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 175 Calories; 3g Fat (16.2% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 6mg Cholesterol; 563mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : 3 points

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

Thursday, November 16, 2006

New to me - Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Chopped Walnuts

I like brussels sprouts. Frozen, at least. I've always been semi-daunted by the idea of working with fresh ones. No idea why, they just seemed a bit more adventurous than some other vegetables.

After hearing some people maligning frozen brussels sprouts, I decided to be adventurous (ha!) and try fresh brussels sprouts.

The recipe I chose was from Vegetables Every Day, which I have not worked much from, but is a cookbook I love on concept alone. It's also a step out due to the fact that I've ingrained myself over 5 years of WW to only eat simple methods of cooking vegetables. In my mind, anything extra to veggies was just "wasted points". But you know what? There are only so many times you can eat the same veggies without starting to get burned out. And believe me, I was beginning to feel the burn. So to get myself over the hump, I reminded myself that this recipe has the healthy oils that I need.

I think I overtrimmed the brussels sprouts on this one. Other than that, I feel like the recipe came out nicely. It's not a jump up and down excitement recipe, but I liked it well enough. I do have one serving left in the freezer which I will be happy to eat, but I'm not sure I will repeat this recipe. I've opened my mind to fresh brussels - let's not close it again too quickly!

And by the way - I always thought they were brussel, not brusselS. Learn something new every day.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar and Chopped Walnuts

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 3 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 pound brussels sprouts
33 grams black walnuts -- chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion -- chopped fine
2 garlic cloves -- minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Bring several quarts of water to boil in a medium saucepan.

Trim brussels sprouts. Add sprouts and salt to taste to boiling water. Cook until sprouts are almost tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut sprouts crosswise (not through the stem end) into thin strips.

Place nuts in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the nuts, until they are golden brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small plate.

Briefly heat the oil in the empty skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the brussels sprouts and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts have browned slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vinegar and cook just until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Stir in nuts and adjust seasonings. Sereve immediately.

"adapted from Vegetables Every Day"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 184 Calories; 11g Fat (49.3% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 36mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat.

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Updated review - Chicken Soft Tacos with Sauteed Onions and Apples

Well, in my last post, I said I wanted to re-review this once I tried it as leftovers. I had it today for lunch, and have to say, it is solidly good. The best part to me was the flavor of the chicken. The spices on the outside really flavored it nicely.

I'd have to say, it might be a repeat (I have more chicken in the freezer), but it may not. Depends on how it comes out of the freezer, and if it grows on me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back to the wrap - Chicken Soft Tacos with Sauteed Onions and Apples

It's apple season, and I had two granny smiths left from a trip to the farmer's market. I'd done the sweet; time for the savory.

I've worked with this kind of recipe before, but it was before I was tracking my recipes, so I don't remember what the actual recipe was. Digression aside, this was a nice recipe. I decided to go with 4 larger tortillas instead of 8 small. Unfortunately, the amount of filling made it hard to wrap, so the picture was not taken for this entry. But I decided to try something new this time; I filled the tortillas, wrapped in foil, and froze 2 of them. We'll see how well they come out of the freezer.

This recipe I'd say is a solid 6 or 7. Final rating is on hold, until I am able to try it as leftovers (co-workers dragged me to Vietnamese for lunch the day I was going to eat it).

* Exported from MasterCook *

Chicken Soft Tacos with Sauteed Onions and Apples

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

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast -- cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium onions -- sliced thin
1 pound Granny Smith apples -- thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves -- minced
4 la Tortilla Factory Rosemary Wraps -- 6-inch

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until golden. Remove the chicken from pan; keep warm.

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add apple; cook 6 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Arrange 1/2 cup chicken mixture evenly over each tortilla.

"CL 08/03"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 352 Calories; 11g Fat (25.0% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 15g Dietary Fiber; 74mg Cholesterol; 695mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.

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

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pizza - and it's fairly quick

I love pizza. No doubt about it. Luckily, I also like Lean Cuisine pizzas, so when I get in the mood for one for dinner, I can pick up one without guilt. But, I prefer to cook my own meals, so I have been searching for a great pizza recipe. Unfortunately, pizza dough usually involves rising time, which doesn't work well for work nights - I eat late as it is, I can't go any later. So, I was very excited when someone on the CLBB posted the Eating Well whole wheat pizza dough, which doesn't involve any rising. Yay!

And happily, I liked this pizza recipe, and can see repeating it - just as it is. The crust is not exactly like the Lean Cuisine, but it is the best crust I've ever done, and the no-rise option brings it just that much higher on the scale.

This is also the first time I tried veggie pepperoni. Right out of the package, I didn't like the taste. But under the mozzarella, it worked well.

The amount of mozzarella and parmesan worked well. The quick pizza sauce was pretty good; not too sweet. I do have to mince the garlic better, though.

So, all in all, a good pizza. Especially on a weeknight.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Pepperoni Pizza (mix of CL & EW)

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

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 garlic cloves -- minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces tomato sauce -- no salt added
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast -- rapid-rise
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup hot water
2 teaspoons olive oil
Remaining ingredients
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 ounces veggie Pepperoni
6 ounces part skim milk mozzarella cheese -- shredded
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

To prepare the sauce, place a small saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add the dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and tomato sauce; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley, and keep warm.

To prepare crust, Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Combine hot water and oil in a measuring cup. With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the hot liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it, sprayed-side down, over the dough. Let the dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Place dough on a 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Brush edge with olive oil.

Spread sauce over pizza crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with pepperoni. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until crust is puffy and lightly browned. Remove pizza to cutting board; cut into 6 slices.

"CL 07/99 / EW crust"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 361 Calories; 12g Fat (29.4% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 25mg Cholesterol; 1266mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

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

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A little picture practice, and second review

So, lunch today is leftovers from my last post - Parsnip Pear Soup, and Allspice-Apple Butter Muffins. Thought I'd take the opportunity to practice my pictures, and also re-review the soup.

As I said, I wasn't hugely fond of the soup on first taste. On second review, it's still not quite right, but I can see re-making, with modifications.

Instead of re-heating the soup, I just took it out of the fridge and let it sit for about half an hour to take the chill off. I then grated fresh nutmeg over the top, to see if it would bring a little more flavor. It didn't make a huge flavor difference, but I think it definitely added some nice visual flair. The color of the soup definitely reminded me of fall, and the ingredients definitely are fall ones in my mind.

If I did remake the soup, I would use vegetable broth instead of water. I actually was missing the extra flavor of veggie broth when I was eating it. It worked nicely at room temperature too, which is good, because I love pureed soups at room temperature with a nice muffin.

Soup's done - on to the heavenly muffin!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Soup and muffin - just what I love

I've been doing some cooking (and admittedly, not updating this blog. Bad, bad me!). Tonight I made two new recipes. One was a muffin recipe that I had been eyeing making for a while; the other a soup recipe that I made to use up some leftover ingredients.

The muffin came out the best of any muffin ever. Probably because they had more fat than most muffin recipes I usually make. The recipe came from a holiday baking magazine, and I actually got to do a double-cooking moment, because the recipe called for apple butter, which I had made a couple weeks ago.

The soup is a blended soup, which is my favorite. I've found that I can eat blended fruit soups at room temperature or chilled, which I like a lot. The soup was a bit light on flavor. I think that's because instead of broth, it uses water. I actually ended up grinding some pepper on top.

The muffin was tender and lightly buttery, with the perfect texture and muffin-y top. I did leave the topping off the muffin, but when I repeat (which I most likely will), I think I will add it (although it is not necessary). The soup was just at the edible level, but it may improve on sitting.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Allspice-Apple Butter Muffins

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

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup apple butter
3/4 cup unsalted butter -- melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400. Grease twelve 2-1/2 inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups.

For topping: In a small bowl, stir together granulated sugar and the 1/8 tsp allspice. Set aside.

For batter: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, the 1 tsp allspice, the baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk or rotary beater. Stir in apple butter, melted butter, and vanilla. Add apple butter mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir until just moistened (batter will not be smooth). Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each almost full. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

"BH&G Holiday Baking"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 275 Calories; 12g Fat (39.7% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 40g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 177mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : 6 points

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

* Exported from MasterCook *

Parsnip Pear Soup

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Soups/Stews

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped parsnips
1 1/2 cups pears -- peeled, cored, and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
4 1/2 cups water

In a soup pot, warm the oil. Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, pears, and salt and saute on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and water. Cover and bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

In batches in a blender, puree the soup. Reheat and serve.

"Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special"

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 145 Calories; 3g Fat (16.6% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 565mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : 2 points!

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