Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lemon Almond Biscotti

Well, we will spoil you just a little bit with our last recipe. Though this is a healthy desert, it is still very sweet and enjoyable. This Italian treat is great with coffee and is quite simple to make at home.

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
1 cup (80 ml) sugar
1 cup (80 ml) almonds
1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated lemon
½ tablespoon (8 ml) baking powder
1 tablespoon (45 ml) vegetable olive oil
1 egg white
½ teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla

Preheat the oven to 165º C. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, grinded almonds, lemon, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, egg, and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir well. The batter should be sticky. Roll the dough into a log about 1 foot long and place on a greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Cut the biscotti into ¾-inch slices and lay the pieces on their sides on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes more. Let it cool and Serve.

Blueberry Scones

For a different taste, substitute an equal amount of other berries or fruits for the blueberries.

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
1½ teaspoons (8 ml) baking powder
½ teaspoon (3 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated lemon
2 tablespoons (30 ml) margarine
1 egg
3 tablespoons (45 ml) skim milk
½ cup (125 ml) blueberries, washed and dried

Preheat the oven to 200° C. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon. Add the margarine and blend with a fork until mixture looks like rough crumbs. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Gently fold in the blueberries and stir well, until the dough comes cleanly off the sides of the bowl. On a floured surface, knead the dough until it sticks together well. Add more flour if it's too sticky and clings to your hands. Form the dough into six balls. Place them on a greased cookie sheet, and flatten each to about ½-inch thickness. Bake for 12 minutes, until light brown on top. Allow to cool before eating and serve.

Whole Wheat Honey Biscuits

These biscuits are great for a quick breakfast with jam. The mixing and the baking won't take long, but you do have to wait for the dough to rise (30 to 40 minutes).

1 cup (250 ml) warm water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) dry yeast
5 teaspoons (25 ml) honey
2½ cups (625 ml) whole wheat flour
Cooking oil

Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast and let sit until the mixture is slightly bubbly, about 10 minutes. Then add the honey and flour, and mix well. Lightly coat a muffin tin (with at least 12 cups) with cooking oil. Fill each cup halfway with a batter. Let the muffin tin sit somewhere warm (next to a warm radiator, on top of a running dryer, or next to a preheating oven) until the batter has doubled size (30 to 40 minutes). While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 180° C. Bake for 20 minutes. Let it sit in the tins for 5 to 10 minutes before removing. Serve.

Broccoli Stir Fry

This recipe includes a great peanut sauce, but if you're not one for peanut butter, don't skip over the whole recipe a splash of soy sauce instead. Both variations are great over brown or white rice.

1 tablespoon (15 ml) peanut butter
1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot water
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
2 teaspoons (10 ml) olive oil
3 cups (750 ml) chopped broccoli
2 cloves garlic
minced ½ kg block of firm tofu, cut into small cubes

In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, hot water, vinegar, and soy sauce. If it is difficult to mix, heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Warm the oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Add the broccoli and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the tofu, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in the sauce until the tofu and broccoli are well coated.

Ginger Soy Tofu

1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
½ kg package firm tofu, rinsed, and sliced
1 cup (80 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced ginger
3 cups (750 ml) cooked white rice

In a large pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the tofu and sauté for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and ginger. Add half of the soy sauce mixture to the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook the tofu for 2 minutes. Flip the strips of tofu and add the remaining half of the soy sauce mixture. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Potato Curry – Simplified

1½ tablespoons (23 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) curry powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced ginger
½ teaspoon (3 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce

In a large pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until browned. Add the onion, curry, and ginger to the pan. Mix and cook for 10 minutes. Add the salt, sugar, and soy sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes and serve.

Potato Salad

The skin of a potato contains quite a bit of its nutritional value. So don't peel your potatoes before cooking them unless the skin is particularly thick you'll be throwing away the best part of the meal.

4 medium potatoes
¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh dill
3 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped onion
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
½ teaspoon (3 ml) salt
A dash of pepper

Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the potatoes from the water and let cool. Cut the potatoes into medium-size (½-inch thick) slices. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, water, lemon juice, oil, dill, onion, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the potatoes and let sit for several minutes before serving.

Hungarian Mushroom Barley Soup

Barley is a tasty and healthy grain. You can find it in the grains section of any grocery store.
1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter
½ large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
15 medium white mushrooms, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup (250 ml) barley (rinsed)
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften. Add the broth and barley to the sautéed vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the barley is fully hydrated. Season the dish with salt and pepper.

Cold Cucumber Soup

This cold soup makes a good complement to spicy dishes. It is a great soup for the summer as it is easy to digest and cools the body down.
4 medium cucumbers
2 cups (500 ml) nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh dill
½ teaspoon (3 ml) salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Slice the cucumbers lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then slice into rounds. Process all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve cold.

Bean Tomato Soup

This could be the world's easiest soup to make and it tastes good. It doesn't matter what size cans of tomatoes, beans, and broth you use as long as all three cans are the same size.
1 can whole stewed tomatoes, drained and cut into small pieces
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can vegetable broth
½ clove garlic, finely chopped
A dash of pepper

Combine the contents of the three cans in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then add the garlic and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour half the mixture into a blender and process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot, mix well, and serve.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Apple Oatmeal

You can also try making variations of this recipe by substituting other fruits such as peaches, blueberries, or bananas, for the apple, just don't cook the softer fruits for as long.

½ cup (250 ml) oats
½ cup (250 ml) milk
½ cup (250 ml) water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) raisins
½ tablespoon (15 ml) brown sugar
½ apple, chopped
A pinch of salt
Cinnamon for sprinkling

Mix together the oats, milk, water, raisins, brown sugar, apple, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mixture is thick and mushy, remove from heat. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Cold Fruit Cereal

This is one of the best recipes you'll find for a quick breakfast.
¼ cup (60 ml) uncooked oats
½ cup (125 ml) skim milk
¼ cup (60 ml) plain nonfat yogurt
½ cup (125 ml) orange juice
1½ tablespoons (23 ml) honey
1 apple, chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) mixed fruit, chopped (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, milk, and yogurt. Let stand for five minutes to allow the oats to soften. Stir in the orange juice, honey, apples, and mixed fruit. Mix well. Serve cold.

Orange French Toast

Serve each person two slices with orange-strawberry syrup poured over the top. If it's just you at the table, halve the recipe or save the leftovers for later.

1½ cups (375 ml) orange juice
2 eggs
¼ cup (60 ml) skim milk
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) cinnamon
½ teaspoon (3 ml) sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) strawberry jam
2 teaspoons (10 ml) butter
8 slices whole-wheat bread

In a bowl, combine ½ cup of the orange juice and the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and sugar. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup of orange juice and the strawberry jam. Heat to a simmer, stirring until most of the jam is liquefied. Keep simmering over low heat. In a large pan over medium heat, melt about ¼ of the butter. Dip bread (one piece at a time) in the egg mixture. Turn to coat both sides. Cook each piece of bread in the skillet, flipping, until both sides are golden brown.

Lemon Garlic Salad

A very refreshing treat on a hot summer day, this salad is wonderful served for lunch or as an appetizer. It can be increased easily for any size gathering. Do not toss until ready to serve so the lettuce doesn’t wilt and become overpowered by the lemon and garlic.

21⁄2 cups red or green leaf lettuce
3 grape tomatoes
Dash ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon olive oil
1 slice Italian or Garlic bread

Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl until the lettuce is lightly coated. Serve with 1 slice warm Italian or Garlic bread and enjoy this nutritious salad.

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Perfect for picnics and barbecues, this low-fat, no cholesterol salad is easy to make and packed with flavor and healthful fiber. You can keep it in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

½ kg package frozen corns
¼ kg black beans, rinsed and drained
1⁄4 cup chopped green pepper
1⁄4 cup chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Simply toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Carrot Salad

One serving of this simple salad contains just about enough beta-carotene for your body to convert into an entire day’s worth of vitamin A, which plays an important role in vision, regulating the immune system, and promoting healthy bone and cell growth. Try adding
1⁄4 cup diced red onion for a refreshing variation or add some golden raisins for sweetness instead.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
11⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded, peeled carrots

Whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the carrots and toss. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. Enjoy!!!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp granulated sugar
11⁄2 tsps baking powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
11⁄2 cups skim milk
3 tsps water
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsps chocolate chips
Sugar-free pancake syrup
Light nondairy whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the skim milk, water, egg, egg whites, and vanilla.
Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until well combined and smooth. Let stand for 5 minutes. Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Move the griddle away from the heat source, lightly add with cooking oil, and return to the heat.
For each pancake, pour 1⁄3 cup batter on the griddle and immediately push 5 or 6 chocolate chips into the pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the top of the pancake, or until the bottom of the pancake turns golden, about 40 seconds. Flip the pancake over and cook for another 25 to 30 seconds, or until cooked through. Serve the pancakes while they are still hot. You can top them with some sugar-free pancake syrup or a dollop of light nondairy whipped topping if you wish.

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon buns are one of the all-time great weekend breakfast treats. The raisins used in this version add a nice layer of sweetness, color, and texture. You can reheat leftover buns in the microwave on high for about 10 seconds, or until just hot (overheating will result in chewy buns).

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 cup finely chopped golden raisins
1⁄2 tablespoon light margarine, melted
2 tablespoons pure honey
1 10-ounce can be refrigerated low-fat buttermilk biscuits
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and raisins. Cut a piece of parchment paper so it fits into the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan and comes up the sides at least an inch. Brush the parchment paper with the margarine and sprinkle the cinnamon and raisin mixture evenly over it. Drizzle the honey over the cinnamon and raisin layer. Arrange the biscuits in one layer, touching each other, on top of the raisin mixture. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown. Run a rubber spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen any biscuits that may be attached to the sides. Place a serving plate on top of the pan of biscuits. Pick up both the pan and the plate and flip over, inverting the biscuits onto the plate. Slide the pan and parchment paper off to reveal your warm cinnamon buns.

Hawaiian Fruit Sunrise

In addition to the contrasting colors, the different textures of the dried and fresh fruit in this low-fat dish make it interesting and refreshing for breakfast or lunch. It also holds up well for several hours in the refrigerator, so if you have a refrigerator at work, it makes an excellent bring-from-home lunch.

1⁄3 cup low-fat cottage cheese (Paneer)
1 tablespoon golden raisins
1 tablespoon dried cherries or cranberries
1⁄4 cup crushed pineapple
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 3-gram packet granulated fructose

Combine the cottage cheese, raisins, and cherries in a small bowl. Spread the pineapple out in a circle in the middle of a small plate. Spoon the cottage cheese mixture on top of the pineapple. Sprinkle with cinnamon and fructose and serve.

Soy Yogurt

Soy milk is a creamy liquid derived from whole soybeans. It has a unique, somewhat nutty flavor and is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and iron. If you prefer, you can replace the soy milk with nonfat milk for an equally satisfying smoothie.

3 cups plain soy milk
1 small banana
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

This yogurt is simple to prepare and is a healthy drink, especially for the hot summers. Put all the ingredients into a blender and pulse for 10 to 20 seconds until well combined. Pour 1 cup into a glass, garnish it with some chopped strawberries and enjoy!

Blueberry Pancake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp granulated sugar
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tsps water
1 egg
1 egg white
3⁄4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries,
Sugar-free pancake syrup.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, water, egg, and egg white. Gradually add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture, whisking until well combined. Let stand for 5 minutes. Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Move the griddle away from the heat source, lightly put cooking oil, and return to the heat. For each pancake, pour 1⁄3 cup batter on the griddle and immediately sprinkle 5 or 6 blueberries into the pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the top of the pancake, or until the bottom of the pancake turns golden, about 40 seconds. Flip the pancake over and cook for another 25 to 30 seconds, or until cooked through. Serve the pancakes while they are still hot. You can top them with some sugar-free pancake syrup if you wish, but they are plenty sweet and tasty all by themselves.