Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eating Well Avocado and White Bean Wrap

When I saw this recipe in Eating Well, I thought it looked like something I would really like, but I was a little hesitant because I wasn't sure if a vegetarian wrap was something Nick would be thrilled about. But since he is up for trying almost anything, I decided to make them. I am so glad I did! It really exceeded my expectations, and even Nick really enjoyed it! The white bean and avocado mixture was so creamy and was complemented well by the tangy crunch of the slaw. I will definitely make these again in the future. The original recipe can be found here. I only made a couple small changes by reducing the amount and type of oil and eliminating the cilantro because we don't like it.


2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced red onion
4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps, or tortillas

1. Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage and carrot; toss to combine.
2. Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
3. To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2/3 cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Banana Bundt Cake

I love making bundt cakes because they are no-fuss and still delicious. They are my go-to dessert when I don't have a lot of time on my hands, and it is fun because there are so many different varieties and flavors to try! I had never made a banana cake before, but Dorie Greenspan recipes rarely disappoint! It was so easy to make, and I loved the strong banana flavor it had. I did make a couple changes- added some toasted pecans and a cinnamon cream cheese drizzle. The cream cheese drizzle is not necessary, but I do think it is better with it. The original recipe for the cake can be found here. Below is the recipe as I made it.

For Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used nonfat plain yogurt)
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray with flour.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.
3. Working with a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t be disturbed when the batter curdles), all the sour cream/yogurt and then the rest of the flour mixture. Stir in pecans.
4. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to debubble the batter and smooth the top.
5. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes - if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.

For Cream Cheese Drizzle:
2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp of cinnamon 
Using a mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Add a dash of cinnamon. Mix until smooth and drizzle onto cake.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clean Eating's Tuna Noodle Casserole

Now, I typically avoid casseroles because you never really know what's in them, but in general I think it's safe to say that whatever it is is not healthy! Obviously some are better than others, and I am not saying they taste bad- just generally not good for you. I came across a recipe for a tuna noodle casserole when I was reading Clean Eating Magazine (my favorite!) and thought i would like to try it because it was cheap to make, looked good, and I was kind of craving "comfort food." I really liked it for a change (and it was nice to have leftovers to take to class). I can't say that Nick liked it as much as me, but he still thought it was pretty good.  I don't think he appreciated the "healthiness" factor as much as I did!

I halved the recipe that is below, which provided 4 generous servings.

Healthy Tuna Casserole
Clean Eating, Sept/Oct 2009
(Serves 8)

6 slices whole-wheat bread
8 oz whole-wheat macaroni pasta
olive oil cooking spray
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp whole-wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 carrots, peeled, cooked and diced
2 6-oz cans tuna packed in water, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely minced
1 Tbsp low-fat Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast bread in oven for 15 minutes or until just browned and crisp. Leave oven on at same temperature after removing bread. In a food processor fitted with a standard cutting blade, grind bread into breadcrumbs. Remove 1/2 cup for use and reserve remainder for another recipe.

Bring a large stockpot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat another large stockpot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Mist with cooking spray and add celery and onion. Saute for 2 minutes or until onions become translucent.

Add oil and flour and whisk briskly. Add milk whisking in 1/4 cup at a time (this will create a roux or thickener, for your soup). Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in Dijon. Then stir in drained pasta, carrots, tuna and peas. Add dill. Remove from heat.

Pour tuna pasta mixture into a large 8-to 10-cup casserole dish. Top with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned on top.

Nutrients per 1 cup serving: Cal 230, Total Fat 3g, Sat Fat 0.5g, Carbs 32g, Fiber 6g, Sugars 9g, Protein 20g, Sodium 250mg, Cholesterol 15mg.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Baked sweet potato wedges

One of the best things about sweet potatoes is that they can be prepared in a variety of ways, and they are all delicious! This recipe from Cooking Light is one of my favorites! Nick actually gets credit for finding this recipe because we first had these when he cooked dinner for me about 4 years ago. We have made them several since because they are a great side dish. The original recipe can be found here, but I slightly adapt it because I am not a huge fan of curry. Recipe as I make it is below.

Sweet potato wedges (adapted from Cooking Light)
  • 2  (8-ounce) peeled sweet potatoes
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1/8  teaspoon  curry powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground cloves
  • 1/8  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1/8  teaspoon chili powder
Preheat oven to 425°.
Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise; cut each half lengthwise into 6 wedges. Combine sweet potatoes and remaining ingredients in a bowl; toss gently to coat. Place wedges on a baking sheet (do not overlap); bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until very tender.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

World Peace Cookies

I am apparently on a kick making sweet things with sea salt either on them or in them. I just love the sweet/salty combo! These cookies had been on my "to make" list forever. I have no idea why it took me so long to make them, but I am glad I finally did. They are called world peace cookies because they are supposedly so good that they can bring peace to the world. I really liked them because they had such a deep chocolate flavor and a hint of saltiness. This is a Dorie Greenspan recipe, but I found it on the blog Smitten Kitchen, where she gives a wonderful and tempting description of them.

I made the the recipe just as written with no changes, so you can click here to get it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fluer de Sel

I made these cookies last week since Josh and Annie were coming to dinner. Of course, chocolate and peanut butter is always a good combination, but the addition of the sea salt sprinkled on top really made these cookies! I also liked the texture of them- they were slightly crumbly around the edges, but still soft in the center.
I found this recipe on the Whole Foods recipe page, and the only change I made was to omit the peanuts because I didn't have any on hand. The recipe said it makes 2 dozen cookies, but I got 2.5 dozen so I guess I made mine a little smaller. I will definitely be making these again in the future!
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Fleur de sel, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder and add to peanut butter mixture, stirring to combine well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by the spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Press each mound of dough with a fork to flatten slightly.

Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with fleur de sel to taste. Let cookies cool on sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Healthy Taco Salad

I love taco salad, but ordering it at a restaurant definitely does not fit into the "healthy" category. They are loaded with fatty meat, cheese, sour cream, etc. That is why I only eat them when I make them at home! This salad has lean ground beef, lots of lettuce, tomato, roasted corn, black beans, and avocado- all things that are good for you and delicious. This isn't much of a recipe, but I still thought I would post because it is a great quick and healthy dinner for those busy nights.
Ingredients (for 2 salads):
- hearts of romaine salad mix (you can use anything, but I like the the crispness of this)
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 avocado sliced
- 1/2 lb 96% lean ground beef
- 1/2 pack of taco seasoning
- about 10-12 baked tortilla chips
- 1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
- light ranch dressing (or I like to use salsa with greek yogurt as a dressing)

1. In a saucepan, heat the black beans, salsa, cumin, and chili powder together until thoroughly warmed.
2. In a nonstick skillet, cook the ground beef and add the taco seasoning (according to directions on the back of the seasoning packet).
3. Assemble the salad: layer of lettuce, topped with black beans, ground beef, tomatoes, avocado, chips and corn. That's all!