Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kid Friendly Pad Thai

1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 pound firm tofu, diced 1/4 inch
2 Tbsp. tamari
1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/8 - 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. brown rice vinegar
1 large sweet red pepper, diced fine
1 small-medium zucchini, diced fine
1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound dry linguine, cooked
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or scallions
sea salt and pepper to taste
Fresh limes

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the tofu, a little salt and pepper, saute for 10 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring often. You want it nice and brown. Add the garlic in the last minute or two of cooking.

Meanwhile, combine the tamari, peanut butter, honey and vinegar. Mix until smooth, add water to thin the sauce a little.

Pour half of the sauce into the pan with the tofu. Add the other vegetables and cook for 3-5 minutes. You're not cooking the veggies too much, because they are diced small and will cook super fast. You're almost just getting them and the sauce hot. Once cooked, add this mixture to the cooked linguine, tossing gently with tongs. Add the remaining sauce, chopped peanuts and chives. Toss a little more. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the top and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

I found this yummy recipe on Heather's blog and it's become a favorite of ours.

Notes: I'm not a big fan of tofu, so I decided to use shrimp, scallops and boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead. (You can use any combination of these three ingredients.) Of course, you need to adjust the cooking time, depending on the size of your scallops and chicken pieces. Shrimp cooks very quickly (3-4 minutes), so be careful not to over cook them or they'll taste rubbery.

I use honey (instead of maple syrup) and prefer a little less than the recipe calls for. I also use regular peanut butter. One time I didn't have any tamari, so I used soy sauce. It honestly don't know if I could tell the difference.

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Berry Best Bran Muffins

(photo courtesy of KTCS9)

1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp. canola or corn oil
1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw if frozen)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with bake cups.

In a large bowl, stir together the wheat bran, flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except the blueberries until well blended. Pour into the well. Stir until the wheat bran mixture is just moistened. Don't overmix; the batter should be lumpy.

Using a rubber scraper, carefully fold the blueberries into the batter. Spoon into the bake cups to fill about three-quarters full.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pan to a cooling rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes. Turn the muffins onto the rack and let continue to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 dozen
121 calories

Freeze any extras for up to two months. Reheat in microwave.

I discovered this delicious recipe in American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals: 150 Recipes Everyone Will Love

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Shrimp Tacos

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. canola or corn oil
13-14 oz. peeled raw shrimp, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
8 6-inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded lettuce (romaine, iceberg or cabbage)
1 small tomato, diced
2 Tbsp. sliced black olives (optional)

Grated Monterrey Jack cheese

In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Add the shrimp to the pan.

Sprinkle the chili powder and cumin on the shrimp. Sprinkle with the garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes if using large shrimp, or 2 to 3 minutes if using small, or until the shrimp are pink on the outside, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels and steam in microwave for 1 minute.

Fill each tortilla with lettuce, tomato and olives. Spoon the sour cream mixture on each. Top with the shrimp.

Serves 4
Calories: 206 per serving (2 tacos)

Another delicious recipe from American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals: 150 Recipes Everyone Will Love

Note: The original recipe doesn't include cheese or guacamole, so please note that the calories per serving will be a bit higher with my modifications.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Three-Grain Raspberry Muffins

1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup milk (1-percent low-fat or plain soy)
3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 cup cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/4 cup wheat bran
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey
3 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. grated lime zest
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup raspberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the oats and milk. Microwave on high until the oats are creamy and tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, bran, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend. Add the honey, canola oil, lime zest, oats mixture, and egg. Beat until just moistened but still slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the raspberries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake until the tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, 16-18 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Yield: 12 muffins
Calories: 161

Original recipe from The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health

Note: I didn't have any raspberries on hand, so I used blueberries.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oatmeal Pancakes

(Click on photo for larger image.)

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted but not hot
Vegetable oil (or spray) for greasing the pan (I used unsalted butter)
Syrup or jam & powdered sugar, for topping

The night before:

Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The morning of:

Remove the bowl of buttermilk/oats from the refrigerator. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and cooled melted butter to the oat mixture. Stir well.

Add the flour mixture, stir to blend. The batter will be very thick.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Brush (or spray) with oil or butter. When the griddle is hot (water drops sizzle), pour a scant 1/4 cup at a time onto the pan, taking care not to crowd them. When the underside is nicely browned and the top looks set around the edges (roughly 3-4 minutes), flip the pancakes. Cook until the other side is golden brown.

Re-grease the pan, repeat with more batter.

Serve hot with syrup or butter, powdered sugar and jam.

Yield: About 12 pancakes


I discovered this fabulous recipe on Orangette. Go here to read more about the origin of this delicious alternative to regular buttermilk pancakes.

I added a couple of splashes of buttermilk to the final mixture and wound up with 2 dozen pancakes. I also added a few blueberries to a couple of the pancakes (BEFORE the first flip) and they were outstanding!

I followed Molly's advice and saved the leftover pancakes for future snacks. After they've cooled to room temp, I place a couple in individual baggies and store them in the freezer. I simply defrost a bag in the refrigerator overnight and add a little bit of peanut butter to make a sandwich for my on-the-go breakfast. I may actually like them better this way than fresh off the griddle!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cranberry Flax Granola Bars

(Click on photo for larger view)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Crisco
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flax seed
2 1/2 cups regular (not instant) oatmeal
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips (dark or semisweet)
1/3 cup nuts (optional) (I used no-salt, roasted almonds)

Blend peanut butter, Crisco, brown sugar, vanilla and egg whites. Stir in flax seed, oatmeal, cinnamon and salt.

Once well mixed, blend in dried cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts.

Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam and pat the mixture into the pan with damp hands.

Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until just set.

Cut into 12 bars as soon as you remove the pan from the oven.

Once cooled, remove bars from the pan.

Yield: 12 bars

These are delicious! I got the recipe at a cooking class at my gym. I believe each bar has 180 calories. Other than the Crisco, these bars are a perfect snack.

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