Saturday, April 23, 2011

Healthy Brownies

Just made the Whole Foods Market recipe for Flourless Brownies. 
These are fast and easy to make, put everything in the food processor and mix.  Wait til you see what the secret ingredient is, WOW, really amazing.  Who would think they are getting some veggies in their brownie treatTo top it off, they are wheat free, low sodium, and vegetarian.  Granted, they aren't as decadent as your typical brownie, but they still taste good, and both your calorie count and your conscience are a lot lighter for it.

Flourless Brownies  from Whole Foods Market  Makes 16

No one will ever guess the secret ingredient in this recipe: black beans!


1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed  

3 large eggs 

1/3 cup melted butter, more for the baking dish

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips -
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts 

Note: I didn't use gluten free extract or chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter an 8-inch baking pan. Place the black beans, eggs, melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove the blade and gently stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until just set in the center. Cool before cutting into squares.


Per serving (1 brownie/about 2oz/60g-wt.): 160 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 17g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 12g sugar), 4g protein

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy about spring cooking

Made Mini Buttermilk Corn Muffins,  recipe from Chino Farms, which were wonderful and are all gone BTW.
Roasted asparagus. what can go wrong?  Pour a little olive oil on it, and some garlic pepper, and you are good to go.  Grill it for 10-13 minutes, turning it often, when it is almost blackened, then drizzle some balsamic vinegar on it to caramelize and let it set for a minute or so.  Bring it inside and shave some fresh Parmesan on top.
Can you believe that is was still day light at 8 pm?  This is a wonderful dish about quinoa and fresh ingredients.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Small snow fall on Thursday 4/14

Looking at the grill pit, it snowed from 4-6am, that was quick.  There was no talk of snow in the forecast.
It was beautiful from the bedroom window.  And fortunately, there were really no leaves on the trees for the snow to do any damage.
See the hammock?  Doesn't look like we'll be spending any time there in the immediate future.   But truly, it was all melted by the end of the day.  Just another day in Colorado.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quinoa- the everyday superfood

This is my new favorite cookbook;  it's written by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.  I've had it for 4 weeks, and can't stop reading it.  I've been in love with Quinoa for a couple of years, and was thrilled to come upon this book.  Quinoa is the only food that contains all of the eight essential amino acids that our bodies need. There are 170 recipes in this book, some people might think that's enough, but I wish there was one for everyday of the year.
I know I've posted before about this Soda Oat Bread, but I've been changing it a little each time I make it.  We had hail, snow and rain last night, so I decided it would be a good day for some soup and homemade bread. I've replaced 1/4 Cup of the regular flour with quinoa flour, added 4 minced garlic cloves, and 1 Tbl of garlic toasted quinoa seeds with 1 Tbl of sesame seeds on top.  Bread is getting healthier all the time.

This is the garlic toasted quinoa as it comes out from the oven.  In the book they suggest you "use this crunchy, savory topping in place of croutons on any of your favorite salads."  And it is great on salads.  I keep it in the refrigerator, just like they say to do, and it keeps fine. 
Garlic Toasted Quinoa--

1 Tbl butter
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 C quinoa
Preheat the oven to 350.  Melt the butter in a small frying pan on medium heat and add the garlic salt.  Remove from the heat and add the quinoa, tossing lightly to coat with butter.
Spread the quinoa on a large baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the quinoa is toasted and fragrant.  Remove from the oven and cool.  Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 weeks.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Goat Cheese Fettuccine

Little grape hyacinths are one of my favorite spring bulbs.  I have them all over the flower beds. 
What a wonderful dinner.  Made a dish from Insalata's Mediterranean Table.  Fettuccine with goat cheese butter, portabella mushrooms, corn, and fresh herbs.  Delicious, nourishing and pleasantly filling.  Also made a cilantro lime dressing for our salad which was very refreshing.
Fettucine with Chanterelle, Corn, and Goat Cheese

2 Tb unsalted butter
8 oz. chanterelle mushrooms cut into 1/4" thick slices
2 Tb minced shallots
2 C fresh corn kernels
2 Tb chopped thyme or 1 Tb dry
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8-10 oz. fresh fettuccine
2 Tb freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

Goat cheese butter:
1/4 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C creamy goat cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
To make the goat cheese butter: In a small, bowl, combine the butter, goat cheese and salt; using a whisk, beat until smooth.

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and shallots; cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the corn, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring for 1 minute more.  Stir in the goat cheese butter; remove from the heat.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Add the pasta to the boiling water; cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente, about 2 minutes.

When the pasta is done: Drain, add to the mushroom mixture.  Cook, tossing, over low heat, until warmed through, about 1 minute.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Transfer to a warm platter.  Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; serve immediately

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring is in the air

Daffodils, after the crocus are gone, are the next signal that spring is near.

The Hops are coming up quickly.  In the beginning they almost look like asparagus spears, don't they?

Then, there is the willow... I think it's just lovely, the big yellow puffy blooms against the blue sky.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Get the grill ready

We were in the mid 70's today, hooray, even though it's still spring.  The grill is on and the veggies are ready to be roasted.  I still need to put together a salad, then we'll grill the salmon.  I'm thinking about a spinach salad with fresh mangos, feta cheese and some nuts.  We are not going to worry about the predicted snow fall for tomorrow evening, a lot can happen between now and then.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Birthday cake

Isn't this the cutest cupcake ever?  My sweetie gave it to me on my birthday.  It was a giant, deliciously decadent, chocolate cupcake for two.  There was the most adorable yellow spiral candle on top. We savored every bite and enjoyed it with a nice glass of red wine.