Archive for February, 2012

Cookies that are good for you

February 23, 2012

I cannot exist without baking. It is a big stress reliever for me and I just enjoy trying new recipes so much. So I have looked for some healthy whole wheat and sugar free recipes to make on my detox. I am on day 23 and glad to almost be done! So far I have made some healthy oatmeal raisin cookies, and tonight I am making peanut butter cookies and blueberry muffins. The oatmeal raisin cookies were surprisingly good and I did not miss the regular flour or sugar, just like in the healthy banana bread I posted last week. The peanut butter cookies were very tasty and the cookie dough was my favorite. I would probably cut back on the cinnamon if I made them again, peanut butter, oats and cinnamon are an odd combo. These recipes only have whole wheat flour and no sugar at all, with honey instead, and so far I have really been enjoying eating healthier!

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

Dry Stuff 

  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour ( I used a little less, adjust depending on the moisture of the batter)
  • 3/4 c oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • optional: 1 tsp cinnamon

Moist Stuff

  • 1 c smooth natural peanut butter ( I used 1 ¼ cups)
  • 1/2 c honey (easier with liquid honey)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • optional: 1/3-1/2 c chocolate or carob chips

Preparation:

  1. Combine dry ingredients
  2. Combine moist ingredients
  3. Mix dry and moist ingredients together.
  4. Cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Drop teaspoons of batter on a parchment-lined cookie sheet or baking sheet for cookies.
  6. Flatten with a fork if you like.
  7. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes – edges will be slightly browned – be careful not to burn as honey browns fast.
WHOLE WHEAT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
1 large egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. blueberries
Heat oven to 400°F.Line muffin cups with paper liners or grease well. Beat egg; stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients except blueberries just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy.Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition (per muffin): 152 calories, 5.5g total fat, less than 1g saturated fat, 1.5g polyunsaturated fat, 98.4mg potassium, 25g carbohydrates, 13.4g sugar, 2.2g fiber, 3.1g protein, 18.4mg cholesterol, 189.6mg sodium, 65.9mg calcium, 47.4IU Vitamin A, 1.3mg Vitamin C, 5.8IU Vitamin D, less than 1mg iron.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
112 cups rolled oats
12 tsp baking soda
12 tsp baking powder
12 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon (desired)
12 tsp nutmeg (optional)
12 cup honey
12 cup oil (corn grapeseed or olive)
1 tbsp molasses
egg (beat with 1 tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla
12 cup raisins
12 cup walnuts
1 1.In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
2 2.In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. Hint: when measuring out the honey, spray the measuring cup with oil or baking spray–your honey won’t stick).
3 3.Mix the wet stuff with the dry stuff. Add the raisins and walnuts and mix. If the mixture seems too wet, add a bit of flour. If it isn’t binding together very well, you may wish to add an egg white.
4 4.COOL the mix for 20 minutes in the fridge.
5 5.Preheat the oven to 335 degrees (lower temperature due to the honey in the recipe which will burn more easily).
6 6.Drop by teaspoonfuls onto your baking sheet (I recommend lining the baking sheet with parchment paper). Press down with a fork to ensure even cooking.
7 7.Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden on the bottom of the cookie. The cookies freeze very well and make a great snack! Enjoy.


Whole Wheat Fettuccine

February 13, 2012

I love Sundays because I am reviving and old tradition of Sunday family dinners. Last night I made my homemade fettuccine recipe with whole wheat flour to make it healthier. I served it with my famous Osso Buco which was a delicious combination. It turned out great! Again I faced the problem of finding a recipe with just whole wheat flour in it, most “whole wheat” recipes are 2 parts white flour.  I was skeptical at first because the dough wasn’t coming together like it usually does, it was very dry and hard to form into a ball. I think next time I will add an extra egg or perhaps some water to loosen it up a bit. If you use whole wheat flour be prepared for a big more muscle work going into kneading the dough.

When it came time to rolling out the dough in my pasta machine it was also pretty stiff. I did not think it was going to go through the roller. I always start at level 1 (the thicker setting) on my ampia pasta machine and work my way up to level 5 (think paper thin dough). It just took a little persistance to get it going but once it worked and the pasta turned out fabulous. I could not even tell it was whole wheat, unlike the store pasta which is leathery, and it was so simple and fresh with only 2 ingredients. I was turned off by store bought whole wheat pasta or imitations that claim to be whole wheat, but my recipe has made me a convert, I might never go back to white flour!

Whole Wheat Treats

February 12, 2012

Yep I cracked, well sort of. Since Oz said I can have any 100% whole wheat items this week I sought out a recipe to bake. Oh for those of you who don’t know I am doing a 28 day carb detox. First week no carbs, second week I can have whole grains like whole wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice…I am also doing a sugar detox as well. But I have been having a hard time finding anything to curb my baking and sweet cravings (which apparently should have gone away from the detox, but haven’t).

So last night I searched the web and finally found something I could have. 100% whole wheat banana bread with honey in the recipe instead of sugar and viola, I can bake again! Most “whole wheat” banana bread recipes I found had only half whole wheat flour and half regular flour (white flour is a no no on the detox). But the recipe you can click on the link above is the real deal. I was skeptical as I was mixing the honey and oil together, wondering how can I bake without sugar or white flour? But surprisingly the batter came together nicely. I was even more surprised when I took the loaf out of the oven and dug in. Wow! If eating healthy and clean (think no processed foods or preservatives at all) tastes this good I think I can make the next 14 days no problem! I guess I always assumed the sugar and white flour were needed to make the baking science experiment a success. I couldn’t even tell it was whole wheat, which is the case with store bought products, and I didn’t even miss the sugar, and I am usually not a honey fan.

I am going to seek out more healthy recipes and I will share here. Anyhow, if you have been hesitant to try whole wheat flour, don’t be shy, you will be surprised how good it comes out and how much better it is for you!

 

Tuna Cakes, not just for birthdays!

February 10, 2012

Originally I made this recipe with Salmon and I had some fresh Ahi Tuna steaks so I decided to recreate the recipe with it. I think the tuna was just as delicious and this “cake” recipe would work with other seafood as well, think chopped up shrimp, scallops, white fish, crab… I think if I made it again I would cook it less so the tuna would be more rare because it was a bit dry. Either way I was stoked to see this monster tuna cake topping my mixed greens, it was like eating at a fancy bistro right in my own little kitchen!

Sneaky Snacks

February 3, 2012

Ok so when I was a kid I was totally embarrassed when my folks made us sneak the candy, drinks and snacks into the movies. But now I find myself doing the same thing, please don’t turn me in. But I just can’t bring myself to spend so much on stale popcorn and candy marked up 400% (and imagine how much cheaper it was in the 80’s when my folks thought it was pricey!). So as we got close to payday recently and funds were low but we wanted to go to the movies I decided to get creative.

I loooooove me some caramel corn. The best comes from Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf in a pretty little red and white striped box. I figured, how hard can it be? So I looked on my trusty foodnetwork.com site and found a great recipe by Paula. I know Ms. Deen has taken a lot of flack lately but I truly support her. Her recipes are not designed for everyday meals but special occasions. So this caramel popcorn recipe was the perfect choice. I cut the recipe into fourths since I was not making 8 quarts like hers called for. It was very easy to make the homemade caramel. It was really cool how you add the baking soda at the end and some sort of Mr. Wizard science reaction happened and the caramel thickened and turned lighter. I was not sure what the point of baking and turning it was until I tasted the difference. Before it went into the oven it was just a sticky clumpy popcorn but after baking it was nice and crispy and just how I remember it tasting on the Wharf. So if you want to sneak in some delicious snackies to the movies try this out!