Monday, September 21, 2009

Brown Sugar Brownies

Source: Prevention
Makes 9 brownies

1/2 c flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, & salt in bowl.
2. In larger bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, egg, egg white, & vanilla. Add flour mixture & stir until blended. Stir in chocolate chips & walnuts (batter will be stiff).
3. Spread batter in oiled 8 x 8 pan. Bake 20 minutes. Cool completely & cut into 9 squares.

To make a larger batch: double the recipe, spread into oiled 13 x 9 pan, and bake 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Savory Veggie Burgers

Source: Family Circle (modified by Aimee)
Makes 10 patties
Yummy but time-consuming! You can make the mixture ahead & refrigerate 1-2 days until you're ready to make & bake patties. Freeze leftovers if necessary.

1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 TB oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
2 TB soy sauce
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 cup packed)
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
10 cheese slices, optional

1. Cook rice in 2 cups water (~45 minutes); set aside.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in skillet; saute onion 2 minutes. Add mushrooms & cook ~4 minutes. Add soy sauce & cook 2 minutes more; remove from heat.
3. Transfer contents of skillet (drain liquid) to food processor. Add garbanzo beans and pulse until until mixture is crumbly. Transfer to large bowl.
4. Add the following to the bean mixture: cooked rice, zucchini, cheese, & bread crumbs. Stir to combine. Add egg, salt & pepper; stir well. Let mixture stand 5 minutes.
5. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. With wet hands, shape mixture into 10 patties and place on sheet. Bake 20 minutes, remove from oven, & carefully flip patties over. Bake another 10 minutes.
6. Turn oven to low broil setting. Broil patties for 5 minutes; carefully flip over & broil another 5 minutes. Optional: remove from oven, place cheese slices on top, & broil 1 more minute.

Serve with condiments alone or on whole wheat hamburger buns.

Pasta Salad with Cucumber, Red Pepper & Feta

Source: Prevention (slightly modified by Aimee)
Makes 4-6 servings

1 1/2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni (6 ounces)
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 TB chopped fresh mint (or 1 tsp dried basil)
3 TB milk
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain & cool.  Place in large bowl along with cucumber, red pepper, & feta.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl stir together sour cream, mayo, mint or basil, milk, mustard, lemon juice, salt & pepper in large bowl. Add to cooled pasta mixture; stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Many of the desserts in this blog use honey rather than white sugar. Honey contains additional nutrients and is all natural, whereas refined sugar is processed and has little, if none, added nutrients. Molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey all have intermediate to high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants.
You'd be surprised at products which contain added sugars, common products such as ketchup and salsa.
Evaporated cane juice is healthier than refined sugar for two reasons: it does not undergo the same degree of processing that refined sugar does, and it retains more of the nutrients found in sugar cane.
High fructose corn syrup is often used as a substitute for sugar in soft drinks and other processed foods.
And then of course there are the artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, often used in diet sodas and even yogurt.
So go for the sweetener that is the least-processed. Read your labels!

Storing Spices

Source: Cooking Light
"Keep spices in a dark cabinet or drawer-- not in the open in a spice rack or near the stove-- because heat, light, and moisture degrade flavors."

I actually moved my spices from an open rack by the stove to a drawer before I came across this info, mainly so I didn't have to transfer spices to the containers found in my spice rack. I recently gave my old spice rack to my daughters, and now they use it outside and fill the containers with sand & stones. They love to play restaurant with their pretend spices!

Recipes from Magazines

Whenever I come across a recipe in a magazine that I want to try, I cut out the page, fold it up, and slip it into a photo album. I also make sure I know which magazine it comes from so I can cite the source if I end up posting it on my blog. Each week I browse through my recipe "photo" album and try to make at least one new recipe per week!