Monday, March 26, 2012

Four-Grain Fitness Pancakes

From Lou Seibert Pappas's Pancakes & Waffles, page 18.

I was really excited to try these pancakes, and they did not disappoint!  They were hearty with a hint of spice from the cardamom.  The texture was great, and so was the flavor.  Pappas recommends topping them with plain yogurt and fresh fruit, but I just couldn't resist that delicious Buttermilk Syrup from my sister's blog.  At least I used the fruit, though.
Yield: About fourteen 4" pancakes.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rye or oat flour
1/2 cup barley or buckwheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbs. honey or maple syrup

- For the life of me, I couldn't find rye flour, so I used oat flour.  (You can make oat flour by processing oats in a food processor.)  After all, Pappas suggests, "Vary these healthful pancakes with the grains at hand."  She also recommends tossing in toasted sesame seeds or toasted chopped nuts.
- Look for buckwheat flour in the bulk bin section of your grocery store.
- Look for the wheat germ in the cereal aisle.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous

Adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.
Serves 4-6.

1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 yellow onions, diced
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
12 oz. precooked chicken apple sausages, chopped
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided, + additional if cooking couscous in broth instead of water
1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 cup uncooked couscous

Cook couscous according to packaged directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast pine nuts over medium-low to medium heat, tossing frequently, until golden.  Remove nuts to a small bowl.

In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until they begin to turn translucent.  Add the sausage and brown lightly, about 2-3 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup broth and the pepper, thyme, cumin, coriander, and curry powder; stir to combine.  Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed; the mixture will still be somewhat wet.

Add the cranberries and remaining broth (2/3 cup).  Simmer for 2-3 minutes until cranberries are heated through and a bit softened.  Stir in the cooked couscous; simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed but the couscous is not dry.

Top with pine nuts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ricotta Souffle Pancakes with Raspberries

From Lou Seibert Pappas's Pancakes & Waffles, page 24.

See how I'm finally getting around to trying all these delicious pancake and waffle recipes?  Pappas writes that these are "a treat for brunch or dessert," and I totally agree.  Though I made a breakfast out of them until they were all gone.  They're light and fluffy but somehow kept me full.  I'll definitely be making these again.
 Yield: About sixteen 3 1/2-inch pancakes.

4 large eggs, separated
2 Tbs. sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries for topping

In a bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then beat in the sugar until medium glossy peaks form.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale in color, then beat in the cheese, flour, butter, zest, and salt.  Fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly.  For each pancake, spoon about 3 large tablespoons batter onto the hot griddle.  Cook slowly for about 1 1/2 minutes until golden brown underneath, then turn the pancakes over and cook about another 30 seconds longer.

- I used part-skim ricotta, which didn't seem to cause any problems.
- This recipe made me wish I either had another mixing bowl for my Kitchen-Aid or a little hand mixer that I could use for the egg yolks.  As it was, I gently scooped the beaten egg whites into another bowl so I could use the mixer for the yolks (tried doing it by hand--too tiring for me!).
- I made a glaze out of 1 Tbs. melted butter, the juice from 1/2 a lemon, probably 1/2 tsp. (maybe a little more) lemon zest, and enough powdered sugar to make it the consistency I wanted.  YUM!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

Adapted from Eat Better America 2012 calendar.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. regular active dry yeast
1/4 tsp. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
Additional cornmeal

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder (regular or Mexican varieties are good, too)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
1-2 sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced
Sour cream

Heat oven to 450F.  In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Stir in warm water and oil.  Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on high speed for 1 minute.  Stir in 1/3 cup cornmeal and remaining flour to make a soft dough.

On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix chicken with cumin, paprika, chile powder, oregano, and the juice from the tomatoes.

Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray; sprinkle with additional cornmeal.  On cookie sheet, press dough into 10x14" rectangle; prick with fork.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges just begin to turn brown.

Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese blend.  Top with chicken, tomatoes, bell pepper, and green onions.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 6-8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown.  Top with cilantro, sour cream, and avocados.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Honey & Spice Baked Chicken

Adapted slightly from Simple & Delicious (Dec./Jan. 2012), page 21.

Prep: 5-10 min. / Cook: 25-30 min.
Serves: 8

3 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz. each)
6 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Combine first six ingredients; rub over chicken.  Transfer to a greased 10x15" baking pan.  Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Combine the honey and vinegar; baste over chicken during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

From Better Homes and Gardens Skinny Slow Cooker (2012), page 23.
Prep: 30 min / Cook: 9-10 hours (low) or 4.5-5 hours (high), plus 1 hour (low)

1 (2 1/2-3 lb) boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
20 cocktail-size whole grain hamburger buns or small round dinner rolls, split and toasted
Deli coleslaw
Coarsely chopped sweet or dill pickles

If necessary, cut meat to fit in a 3 1/2 or 4 quart slow cooker.  In cooker, combine onion and bell pepper.  Add meat; sprinkle with thyme and rosemary.  Pour broth over meat.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Meanwhile, for the barbecue sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, black pepper, and salt.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Transfer meat to a cutting board.  Using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds, discarding fat.  Strain vegetable mixture, discarding liquid.  Return shredded meat and strained vegetables to cooker.  Stir in barbecue sauce.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour.

To serve, spoon meat mixture onto bun bottoms.  Top with coleslaw and chopped pickles.  Add bun tops.

- The only "pork shoulder" I could find was a boneless pork shoulder butt roast, which ended up being about half fat (I'm serious).  I may try this with a different cut of pork next time so I actually get a decent amount of meat.  As my husband pointed out, really fatty cuts of meat like that are great for slow barbecuing, but I had to cut off so much of it so it wasn't drowning our food in so much grease.
- We bought 10 medium-sized Telera rolls, which were a little chewier than regular buns, but not too chewy.  We'll probably only use 7 or 8 by the time we finish the leftovers.
- This is terrible, but I don't really know how many quarts my slow cooker holds.  Ha!
- I have something against buying coleslaw and other mayo-based products at the grocery store deli.  I bought a bag of shredded coleslaw vegetables (cabbage and carrots) from the produce section and mixed up the following sauce, combining a Bobby Flay recipe with an Emeril recipe: 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. celery seed, 3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbs. Dijon, dash cayenne pepper, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Nutrition Facts (if making 20 sliders):
1 slider = 320 calories, 14 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 487 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g protein
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