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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Frozen Banana-Peanut Butter-Dark Chocolate Milkshake

FROZEN BANANA-PEANUT BUTTER-DARK CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE SMOOTHIE
Adapted from The Kitchn

DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY TO ENJOY THIS MILKSHAKE smoothie as a BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE. The Kitchn calls this beverage a milkshake, but a milkshake sounds very sweet and fattening. With the ingredients I am using, I'll call this a smoothie. Smoothie is normally made with healthier ingredients. First time I made this, I forgot to add the vanilla extract and this smoothie still tasted delicious without it. I added a tablespoon of crushed ice so I can achieve a thicker "smoothie" consistency. NO SWEETENER ADDED! 


1 large FROZEN sliced banana (170g)
1/2 cup carton UNSWEETENED coconut milk or any type of milk of choice (113g)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or almond butter (14g)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons crushed ice (7g to 10g)
2 tablespoons chopped Trader Joe's 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate or your choice (11g)


Combine all ingredients, except the dark chocolate, into the container of a blender. Blend until smooth. Use the blender tamper to push and stir if you need to. 



Add the dark chocolate and blend just until finely chopped and incorporated. Ready to serve.


Yield approximately 11 ounces, 345 calories

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Best Lasagna Ever
Adapted from Pioneer Woman


This lasagna is The Best Lasagna Ever. The meat sauce is thick, not saucy and runny. It's easy to cut and serve. Each piece holds its shape and stands tall on the plate. There is nothing fancy or upscale about this lasagna. This is just a traditional lasagna recipe, but I love EVERYTHING about this lasagna. Even the cottage cheese layers.


1-1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 pound turkey or chicken sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
Half of a medium-size onion, finely chopped (133g)
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced (11g)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon salt (5g)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon organic natural cane sugar (9g)
One 28-ounce can unsalted whole and peeled plum tomatoes, hand-crushed
Two 6-ounce cans tomato paste
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
3 cups small curd cottage cheese (680g)
2 large eggs, beaten (104g)
1/2 cup finely grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese (57g)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons basil pesto sauce (20g)
1 teaspoon salt (5g)
1 pound shredded Mozzarella cheese
1-1/4 boxes (13.25-ounce) Barilla brand 100% whole-grain lasagne, about 19 noodles

Meat Sauce
Heat a large deep skillet or large stock pot over high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and swirl pan to coat the bottom. Add the ground turkey and sausages. Continue to cook the ground turkey and sausages over high to medium-high heat (high to 7.0 on induction), stirring frequently and breaking up meat ( I like to use a bench scraper to break up the meat and scrape off the brown bits from bottom of the pan). When meat is browned, transfer the meat to a colander and set aside.



Using the same pan, add more olive oil. Add the onions and saute onions over medium high heat (8.0 to 7.0 on induction) until soft and starting to turn brown. Add the garlic, the 2 tablespoons parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, fennel, salt, pepper and sugar. Continue to saute until garlic is fragrant. Add the meat back into the pan and continue to cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Add the hand-crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce. When mixture becomes bubbly, reduce heat to medium-low (4.0 to 2.4 on induction) to simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Cottage Cheese Mixture
In a medium-size bowl, mix the cottage cheese, beaten eggs, Parmesan cheese, the 2 tablespoons parsley, pesto and salt with a fork until well combined. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.



Lasagna Noodles
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and continue to cook, uncover, for 7 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse in cold water. Drain well and set aside until needed.



Assembling the Lasagna
Spray a large baking pan (Le Creuset 5-1/2 quart size, about 15-3/4-inch by 10-3/4-inch by 2-2/3-inch), with nonstick cooking spray. This is the OCD in me: I like to use a kitchen shear to cut a few noodles to size to cover all spaces. 1st layer: Arrange lasagna noodles to cover the bottom of the baking pan (about 3-1/2 noodles). Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce (730g) and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 2nd layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 3-1/2 noodles) to cover the meat sauce layer. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture (427g) and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 3rd layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles) to cover the cottage cheese layer. Spread another 1/3 of the meat sauce (730g) and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 4th layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles) to cover the meat sauce layer. Spread the remainder of the cottage cheese mixture and top with 1/5 of the mozzarella cheese (90g). 5th layer: Arrange lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles) to cover the cottage cheese layer. Spread remainder of the meat sauce and top with remainder of the mozzarella cheese. Either proceed with baking or cover the lasagna with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days.

Baking the Lasagna
Preheat oven at 350 degrees and position oven rack to the center of the oven.

If baking the lasagna immediately after assembly, cover lasagna loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.Let lasagna rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

If lasagna have been refrigerated, bake lasagna for 1 hour and 20 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil. Let lasagna rest for abpoit 10 minutes before serving.


Yield 12 servings

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ovenight Oatmeal
Adapted from delish.com


4 cups water (32 ounces, 907g)
1 cup carton unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice (8 ounces, 227g)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter (28g)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (17g)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups steel-cut oats (232g)
2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch size pieces (669g purchase weight)**

**Can use pears instead of apples or both apples and pears.

Generously grease a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray if you do not have a nonstick insert.


Add water, coconut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and salt to the slow cooker. Stir in the oats and apples. Cook, covered, on low setting for 7 hours or until apples are broken down and the oats are tender,


Turn off slow cooker. Gently stir oatmeal and let rest for 10 minutes in the slow cooker.


Spoon oatmeal into bowls. If desired, top oatmeal with toasted nuts, coconut palm sugar or maple syrup, and carton unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice.

Yield 4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Lemon Ricotta Muffin
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine


These muffins are delicious. They are tender, moist, and lemony! These muffins are not only perfect for breakfast, but are also great with afternoon tea or Masala Chai. Since I don't normally line my muffin cups with paper liners, I am only able to bake up 9 muffins from this recipe. Recipe can be doubled to get 18 muffins.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

7.9 ounces (224g) WHITE whole wheat flour (about 1-3/4 cups)
2/3 cup organic natural cane sugar (130g)
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder (11g)
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (170g)
1/2 cup water (113g)
1/4 cup EXTRA LIGHT olive oil or expeller-pressed canola oil (48g)
Grated lemon zest from 1 large lemon (4g)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (28g)
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten (57g)
1/2 teaspoon lemon oil OR 1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (10g)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position oven rack to the center of the oven. Spray 9 standard-size muffin cups with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.



In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, natural cane sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir well with a wire whisk. Set aside.



In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and water. Using a fork, smash up the ricotta cheese and the water until combined. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg and lemon oil or extract. Using a wire whisk, whisk everything together until thoroughly combined.


Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the entire ricotta cheese mixture. Using a pastry fork or a wire whisk, gently stir-fold the flour mixture with the ricotta cheese mixture just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be thick. Divide batter among 9 muffin cups. Sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.


Bake for 18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan and transfer muffins to a wire rack to cook completely.


 

Best to store muffins in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. The muffins will become more moist as it sits out at room temperature of more than one day.


Yield 9 muffins

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streusel

Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streusel
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

This blueberry coffeecake is moist, fluffy and light, with a burst of blueberry goodness, bright lemony flavor and a hint of cinnamon spice. This coffeecake tastes amazing and is perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea.


2 cups WHITE whole-wheat flour (9 ounces)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries (11 ounces)

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (1.7 ounces) or packed brown sugar (2.6 ounces)
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (1.2 ounces)
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, walnuts or pecans, UNtoasted (0.6 ounce)
1 tablespoon WHITE whole-wheat flour (0.3 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted (1 ounce)

3/4 cup organic cane sugar (5.2 ounces)
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, softened (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons EXTRA LIGHT olive oil (0.6 ounce)
1 large egg (1.8 to 1.9 ounces)
1 cup buttermilk (8 ounces)
2 to 3 teaspoons grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (0.5 ounce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position oven rack to the center of the oven. Spray a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir together with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

Place blueberries in a separate small bowl. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and toss it with the blueberries. Set aside.

In another separate small bowl, combine the coconut palm sugar, oats, almonds, pastry flour and cinnamon. Toss with a fork to combine. Add the 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil and toss with a fork until thoroughly combined. Set aside. This mixture will be for the topping.


Place organic cane sugar, softened 1/4 cup coconut oil and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed (speed 4) until blended, scraping down sides of bowl halfway of mixing, about 2 minutes. Add egg and beat until mixture is well combined on speed 4. Mixture will become creamy. Add flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mix on low speed (speed 1) after each addition just until combined. (I do this in 5 additions: 1 large scoop flour mixture, mix just until combined; next add 1/4 cup buttermilk, mix just until combined; repeat alternating flour and buttermilk 3 more times; and lastly, the last scoop of flour mixture, mix just until combined.) Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix on speed 1 just until combined.


Spoon half of the cake batter into prepared baking pan.Spread batter with an offset spatula out to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of the blueberries. Spoon remaining cake batter over blueberries and spread batter with an offset spatula to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle evenly the remaining blueberries. Toss excess flour from the blueberries with the brown sugar topping mixture. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the blueberries. Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 12 slices.


Yield 12 slices

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Quick Oat Ban and Banana Muffins
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

These muffins are wholesome, moist, light, tender and delicious on the day it is baked, but even more fantastic the next day.


1-1/4 cups WHITE whole-wheat flour (166g)
1 cup oat bran (107g)
1/2 cup organic cane sugar (95g)
1 tablespoon baking powder (15g)
1/2 teaspoon salt (3g)
2 extra-large eggs (112g to 114g)
3/4 cup whole milk OR unsweetened carton coconut milk (170g)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (57g)
1 teaspoon pure banana extract or pure vanilla extract (2g)
2 medium-size riped bananas, cut vertically in fourths or sixths, then slice horizontally into chunks (282g to 286g)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted (57g)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, UNtoasted (57g)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Position oven rack to the center of the oven. Spray a standard muffin pan with nonstick baking spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir well with a wire whisk until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the center with a rubber spatula and set aside.


In a separate small mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whisk. Add the milk and whisk together until blended. Add the coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk together until blended.


Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Using a pastry fork or rubber spatula, stir/fold ingredients until most of the flour mixture is moistened. Add banana chunks and the 1/2 cup of toasted nuts. Using rubber spatula to fold everything together just until combined, but do not overmix.


Divide batter into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with the remaining 1/2 cup of UNtoasted nuts. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes. 


Remove from muffins from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.


Store muffins in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Next day, warm muffins in  the microwave for 15 seconds or eaten at room temperature.

Yield 12 muffins