Thursday, January 27, 2011

FIBER-FILLED MULTI-GRAIN PANCAKE & WAFFLE MIX


I made this mix the other day to store in my pantry so I could whip up pancakes on weekday mornings before my daughter heads off to school. I love this mix because it's loaded with all kinds of goodness and you can add in anything to the batter to switch up the flavor. I thought maybe the pancakes would turn out a little tough or dense because of all the fiber and grains, but they were great! I didn't hesitate having a second helping, knowing how healthy they are (as long as you don't drench them in syrup!) I even threw a decorated jar of it together with a few other things as a birthday gift for my younger sister who recently moved away from home.


FIBER-FILLED MULTI-GRAIN PANCAKE & WAFFLE MIX
makes approx. 2 batches of 10-13 pancakes

1 C. old fashioned oats (not instant)
1/2 C. Fiber One Original cereal, ground fine
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C. sugar (I used slightly less)
1/4 C. ground flax, optional

Grind the oats and Fiber One cereal in a blender or food processor, separately, until fine.  In large bowl combine the oats and Fiber One, and the rest of dry ingredients. Whisk together well. Store in doubled up plastic freezer bags or sealed plastic container. Store in the pantry or for longer life, in the refrigerator.

When ready to use, simply put 1 ¾ C. dry mix into a bowl, add:

1 1/4 C buttermilk or sour milk (add 1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar to milk and mix up)
1 egg, beaten
2 T melted butter or vegetable oil 
Can also add blueberries, nuts, shredded apple, etc.

Do not overmix batter.

Cook as usual for pancakes or waffles.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

HOISIN BBQ MEATBALLS



I was trying to make sweet and sour meatballs the other day, but realized I was out of a few necessary ingredients. Wondering what I could do with Hoisin sauce, I found this recipe. Overall, it was well-liked and makes a good weeknight meal. The meatball recipe itself wasn't anything spectacular, so go ahead and make your own favorite recipe if you have one like I do.

HOISIN BBQ MEATBALLS
recipe from here

Meatballs:
1 pound of ground beef or pork
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon flour 
salt, pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
1 green onion chopped
2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup milk, 
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine ingredients with your hands preferably. Do not over mix. Allow to rest in the refrigerator approximatly 30 minutes to an hour if possible. This allows the flavors to mix. Using a ice cream scoop, divide the meat into even sized balls and roll them in between your hands to form balls. 

You can saute your meatballs or bake them. For small balls bake for about 20-25 minutes. For larger ones bake about 35-45 minutes.


Hoisin Barbecue Sauce:
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (I left this out)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup apple juice or cider
3-4 tablespoons of ketchup

1 tablespoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon of water (optional)
salt and pepper if necessary
*pinch of chili flakes

In a sauce pot combine hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, stock, vinegar, juice or wine, and ketchup. Bring to a boil and whisk until thickened.  You can the cornstarch to thicken it more rapidly. (Do this by combining cold water with corn starch and stirring it into the sauce.)

Once thick you serve hot with the meatballs and rice, and additional green onion for garnish.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BREAKFAST EGG CUPS


When it comes to breakfast, I am definitely more of a pancake & muffin gal, and my husband is more of an egg and meat guy. (Go figure!) So, during the weekdays, I stick with more of what I like for breakfast, then on the weekends, I try to make stuff he likes. (Don't get me wrong here; I did really like these!) You can make all kinds of variations. I used spinach and Canadian bacon in these.

BREAKFAST EGG CUPS

4 eggs
1 C egg substitute* (or an additional 4 whole eggs instead)
3/4 C shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 C cottage cheese
5 oz frozen spinach, defrosted, water squeezed out and roughly chopped
(that's half a standard frozen box of spinach)
1/3 C roasted red peppers, diced 
1 oz finely diced ham, canadian bacon, or crumbled bacon (about 1/4-1/3 C)
1/4 C sliced green onions
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/2 t hot sauce
foil muffin tin liners OR 12 slices ham

*1/4 egg substitute = 1 whole egg, so if you're using all eggs, or some eggs and some egg whites, you can adjust accordingly.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350

In a bowl, combine all ingredients (except ham slices) and stir well.

If using ham slices, spray muffin tin with non cook spray and place one piece of ham in each well to form a bowl.  

If using foil muffin liners, spray the insides of the liners with non-stick spray. 

Evenly divide egg mixture between the 12 muffin wells (about 1/4 C each), being careful to keep ingredients well dispersed.  You want them to fill right up to the top.
Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be puffed and just barely set on top. Eggs will sink after cooling.

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them. When reheating in the microwave, make sure to take off the foil liner! And if you're reheating from frozen, take them out the night before so they can thaw in the fridge. Then when you microwave them, set them on a folded paper towel to drain excess moisture.

Nutritional information for 1 (w/o ham):

83 Calories, 7.5 g Protien, 3 g fat
2 Weight Watchers Points
Southbeach Diet Phase 1






Sunday, January 16, 2011

ORANGE "JULIUS" DRINK


This drink takes me back to my younger years when I'd cruise the mall with friends. We would always end up at Orange Julius to get one of these frothy orange treats. My mom would make it pretty regularly at home too. I haven't made this drink in years, and I had forgotten how good it really is. I doubled the recipe for my family, and because it's pretty heavy on the sugar, I substituted agave for some of it.

Orange "Julius" Drink
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate*
1 C. skim milk
1 C. water
1/2 C. sugar (when doubled, I used 1/2 C. sugar & 1/3 C. agave)
1 tsp. vanilla
ice cubes

Blend well in blender and add ice cubes to desired consistency. Serve immediately.
* Can use other juice concentrates, but if using grape, pina colada or Hawaiian, decrease sugar by 1/4 C.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

STUFFED DUCK BREAST WITH PANCETTA


Yes, you read the title correctly; this is duck. Needless to say, my hubby is a waterfowl hunter and brought these home yesterday. He has tried and tried over the years to convince himself to like duck meat, but all recipes have failed him until now. So, this post is all for him! I'm sure not many of you will get the chance to use fresh duck breast for this recipe, but chicken or steak would work just fine I'm sure.
I am not one to get very excited about trying wild game meat, but my husband had such high hopes for this duck, I had to try it. To my surprise, it was actually good and I couldn't really detect any "gamey" flavor. My kids inhaled it! It's so funny to me that they love to watch their dad cut the meat out, prepare it, then eat it and love it!
** By the way, HE did this all by himself! **

STUFFED DUCK BREAST WITH PANCETTA
Recipe adapted from Delta Waterfowl website
  1. "Butterfly" duck breasts by laying them flat and cutting them parallel to the cutting surface such that you create a generous "pocket" in the middle of the meat.
  2. Marinate the meat in your favorite marinade for at least a couple hours but overnight is better. We used bbq sauce with a few dashes of liquid smoke.
  3. Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on the inside of the butterflied duck breast; the more, the better in our opinion.
  4. Slice onions and sweet peppers very thinly and place a layer of each inside your butterflied duck breast, on top of the cream cheese. (We didn't use onions)
  5. Cut a pound of bacon in half, lengthwise and use these half slices to roll up the duck breast, keeping the sliced vegetables tightly tucked inside. (We opted to use pancetta and just kind of unrolled it.)
  6. Place several toothpicks through the bacon and on either end of the duck breast to hold it all together.
  7. Grill rare to medium rare for best results. Typically as soon as the bacon gets come color, the wraps are done. (To about 150 internal temperature.)


Thursday, January 6, 2011

TURKEY ZUCCHINI BURGER


It wasn't until I had bitten into this burger that I realized it's a recipe I've got to keep track of , so sorry for the half-eaten look! I made turkey burgers fairly regularly, but not quite like this one. I got this recipe from Skinny Taste which I'm finding is going to be a great site to help me achieve my health goals. I added avocado to give it some good fat so that it was more "Zone-favorable", and instead of a bun, I served it on a low-carb wrap. This will definitely be included in our "rotation" dinner list.

TURKEY ZUCCHINI BURGER
makes 5 good size burgers
(Printable Recipe)

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 burger no bun  Points: 3 ww pts (bun extra)
Calories: 156 • Fat: 6.8 g  Protein: 18.6 g  Carb: 5.5 g  Fiber: 1.3 g 
  • 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 small zucchini, grated 
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp red onion, grated
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • oil spray
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Make 5 equal patties.

Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, lightly spray oil. Add burgers to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook on one side until browned, then flip. Flip over a few times to prevent burning and to make sure the burgers are cooked all the way through.


Serve with condiments of choice such as sliced tomato, sliced red onion, sliced avocado, spinach, etc. Can serve on a bun or in a low-carb wrap.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SMOTHERED BLUE CHEESE STEAKS


I made this steak Sunday night for one last "hurrah" meal before embarking on our physical fitness challenge. It was delicious! My stomach is wanting this pretty bad right now. I was skeptical about broiling this steak in the oven, but it turned out nice. I've definitely had more "melt in your mouth" steaks, but the overall flavor was really good; that is, if you like blue cheese. The one thing I would do differently the next go-round, would be to decrease the seasoning on the steak itself prior to cooking it because it was a tad too salty. If you don't like blue cheese, you could substitute feta or more parmesan cheese.

SMOTHERED BLUE CHEESE STEAKS
recipe from Deals to Meals
(Printable Recipe)

Blue Cheese Butter:
1 cube butter, softened  
1 c. blue cheese (could use parmesan or feta if you don't like blue)
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. parmesan cheese

4-6 pieces of good quality steak (I used Ribeye and Tbone cause that's what was in my freezer)
8 oz. pkg. white mushrooms, sliced or cut into fourths 

Puree all of the butter ingredients to make the bleu cheese butter, 
until smooth. Place one steak per person (London broil or Petite
Sirloin work well) on a baking stone or in a 9x13 pan, and very 
lightly season with Montreal Steak Seasoning (or salt and pepper.)  Place in the 
oven on a low rack and broil for 6-7 minutes.  Take steaks out of oven 
and drain off any juices.  Spread bleu cheese butter ALL over steaks 
(generously).  Dice mushrooms and place around steaks.  You can 
even spread the butter on the mushrooms.  Put back in the oven and 
broil for another 7-12 minutes, depending on how well done or rare 
you like your steaks.  Serve with extra bleu cheese butter on the side
if you would like.