Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BREAKFAST PUDDING


i must say, i love a big, healthy, delicious breakfast.  it's my most favorite meal of the day.  i was told...

"EAT BREAKFAST LIKE A KING
LUNCH LIKE A QUEEN
and DINNER LIKE A PAUPER"

pretty much works for me. i'm a believer in breakfast being THE most important meal of the day.  go big...or stay home !  so for the next few months i'll be posting some of my favorites like Protein Pancakes, Pumpkin Oatmeal Bake, Granola Bars, Protein Pumpkin Pie and what ever else i come across that i find worthy to start the day out right.  don't worry BACON will be involved.  it doesn't always have to be too too healthy, but it definitely has to be fit for a King.


this breakfast treat is really healthy and oh so easy...all the ingredients go into the blender 'till smooth and then baked.  it's tasty, satisfying, warm, healthy and keeps well for quick warm-up breakfast through the week...AND very versatile.  you can easily change up the flavors. try different nuts , different fruits, dried fruits or maybe add a little ginger or pumpkin spice.  YUM!  i enjoyed mine with some non fat greek yogurt mixed with a little ginger syrup and some fresh berries.  i think it needs a little something because it can be quite dense on it's own...but any way you have it...warm or cold, on the go or at home with the fam....it's DELICIOUS

BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BREAKFAST PUDDING
found HERE at Diet, Dessert and Dogs
with many thanks to Ricki and all her tasty goods
i've copied the recipe for your convenience and added my notes in bold italics.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup (75 g) lightly toasted hazelnuts (filberts), with skin
1/2 cup (75 g) lightly toasted cashews...i used roasted, lightly salted almonds
1/2 cup (60 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp (30 ml) agave nectar or maple syrup; or 10 drops stevia liquid...i used 3 Tbsp. sugar free maple syrup
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon...and a little fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt...my almonds were lightly salted
1-1/4 cups (300 ml) unsweetened, plain or vanilla soy or almond milk...vanilla almond milk works great
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw first if frozen)
i added 1 Tsp ground flax

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 4-6 cup (1-1.5 L) casserole dish....2 qt 8 x 8 pyrex glass

In the bowl of a high-speed blender*, place the nuts, oats, applesauce, vanilla, agave, cinnamon and salt. Pour the milk over all and blend for about a minute, until perfectly smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into the casserole dish, then gently fold in the blueberries (scatter a few extra blueberries over the top if you like, as they won’t sink).
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, rotating the casserole about halfway through, until the edges begin to puff and crack and the top appears dry. Allow to cool somewhat before serving; may be served warm or cold. Makes 4-6 servings. Store, covered, up to 4 days in the refrigerator. May be frozen.
*To make with a regular blender: Pour in the milk first, then add the remaining ingredients (except blueberries). You may need to blend in batches to achieve an equally smooth consistency.
i made mine in a regular blender with no problems.  i'm sure a food processor would work as well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bacon Candy

what can i possibly say about this that you havent already imagined. just two simple words...BACON..and...CANDY. might make little sense to the unenlightened few, but once you've crossed the line and seen the light, this concept makes all the sense in the world. as a matter of fact all seems right in my world once sweet and savory are put into play. this is a quick simple way to get that fix. come on...you know it's true..bacon makes everything better.

sweet, savory, spicy...you hit the flavor trifecta

BACON CANDY
lots of versions out there, but this is how i roll...

i like to use THICK sliced applewood smoked bacon
cover a sheet pan with parchment or foil for easier clean up
put slices on a rack that fits pan
sprinkle brown sugar on each slice, a few lumps are fine, they will melt
sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper or cinnamon if you can't take the heat.
put in the oven at 380 degrees for about 15-20.. minutes  or until it's good and crispy.  it depends on your choice of thickness.
let cool completely before attempting to devour.  melting sugars and sizzling bacon can be a tad detrimental to the palette.  ENJOY !
this is best the day of, but i have saved some and re-crisped in the toaster oven.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Alton Brown's Protein Power Bars

AS SEEN ON TV !!!

i'll admit, i was watching Alton late the other night. usually i just can't wrap my head around some of the stuff he makes. does anyone remember the deep fried turkey episode?...where he rigged up this whole elaborate ladder pulley system to safely drop the turkey into the vat of hot oil? he just goes a bit overboard on his explanation and method of cooking things that really needn't be so involved. BUT, this episode on homemade protein bars caught my attention.

i'm always on the hunt for a tasty homemade protein snack and i've tried a quite a few...some (most) are...hmmm...let's just say...AWFUL. i think the worst so far was one i found in a bodybuilding forum comprised of raw oats, protein powder, peanut butter and egg whites. the end result was something like particle board.
i'm happy to report that this one is actually tasty. it's moist, satisfying, filling, sweet, a little crunchy, keeps well and is a handy, healthy snack for anytime of the day. i tried a few out on my friends and they too were amazed that this handy, sweet snack bar was actually good for you.

so...i've copied the recipe exactly for you below so you can check out the ingredients. the list is looooonnngg. i thought is sounded a bit involved, like everything he does, but i found the ingredients interesting...i never would have thought to add a whole block of tofu in for protein AND moisture.
you can find the original recipe HERE at Foodnetwork.com for a printable version

Alton Brown's Protein Bars 2005

Ingredients
4 ounces soy protein powder, approximately 1 cup..i used vanilla whey protein powder
2 1/4 ounces oat bran, approximately 1/2 cup
2 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1/2 cup
3/4-ounce wheat germ, approximately 1/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces raisins, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces dried cherries, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces dried blueberries, approximately 1/2 cup

2 1/2 ounces dried apricots, approximately 1/2 cup
1 (12.3-ounce) package soft silken tofu
1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/2 cup packed
2 large whole eggs, beaten
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
Canola oil, for pan

NOTE...i used used 1 1/2 cup total of dried blueberries, diced-dried apricots and approx 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced
AND 2 Tsp. flax seeds

Directions
Line the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with canola oil. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, oat bran, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt. Set aside.

Coarsely chop the raisins, dried cherries, blueberries and apricots and place in a small bowl and set aside.

In a third mixing bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth. Add the apple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition. Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roasted Quail with Orange, Tarragon, Garlic Glaze

Roasted Quail

there really isn't much to them...a few nibbles on the legs, a couple bites of breast meat and you're done...but i must say...what an impressive presentation and a unique dish that really isn't hard to create at all. so easy i've done them twice and i think i'll get some more for this weekend.

i've been interested in birds other than chicken lately and quail has been on my list for quite a while, but they were always a bit too expensive at 5 or 6.00 $ each...and you can't buy just one or two...what would be the fun in that? so i finally found these at my favorite Asian market 99 Ranch in Irvine, Ca. they came 6 to a package for about 10.00$...frozen, of course. i was soooo excited.

i thought as a first timer i better just go the easy route. i had read somewhere that roasting the little bird was the way to go. actually, cooking them is the easy part..eating them is a different story. the first one i attempted to have a little etiquette with the knife and fork, half way through the 2nd it was all hand to mouth...not to attractive, but i definitely enjoyed myself.

OVEN ROASTED QUAIL

2 or more quail...i did 3
butter, room temp
1 small juice orange
a few sprigs of fresh tarragon
1-2 cloves garlic- thin sliced
salt and pepper

QUICK GLAZE

3-4 T. apricot or orange marmalade
2 T.orange juice...more or less
1 garlic clove...
minced fresh tarragon
salt and pepper
note...the amount of ingredients varies with how many quails you have.

preheat oven to 350 degrees
clean your quail inside and out and pat dry.
salt and pepper the inside (remember these are tiny birds, so don't over salt).
inside the cavity put a teaspoon of butter, a small wedge of the orange, a sprig of fresh tarragon and a couple slices of garlic it you want.
rub some butter on the outside, sprinkle with a little salt and tie the legs together with some string. i think this makes for a better presentation.
place on a rack breast side up and place in oven for 20-25 min. checking on them throughout. baste with more butter at least once. if they don't look browned on top you can turn on the broiler and watch them carefully. if the legs are getting too brown you can cover them with a little piece of foil.
remove them from the oven...if they are browned then they are done...there's really not much meat to cook. now you can glaze them and let them rest or glaze and put back in the oven for a few mins. it depends on how you like your glaze....but don't let it burn! i just brushed the glaze on and let them rest. i couldn't eat all 3 in one sitting so it's good to know they warm up well after refrigeration.

FOR THE GLAZE...easy!
in a microwavable dish put marmalade, finely chopped tarragon, orange juice and pressed garlic clove and mix. heat 'till thick brushable liquid or a runny jam consistency. oh geez... just heat it through a few times so the flavors meld and you can brush it on. taste it. season if necessary.

serve one as a starter or two as a main....or go head and do as i did...eat all them yourself ...absolutely no sign of etiquette. they are delicious and quite fun to eat...
when no one is looking

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lemon Poppy Protein Cake

this little unassuming cake is not just your usual lemon poppy seed cake. not only is it light and moist and delicious..it's THE BEST "protein cake" recipe i have come across as of yet...and i must say i have tried quite a few...bars, puddings, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, etc...ALOT! most cakes using protein powders come out dry or mealy or just plain awful, but this one is surprisingly good. friends i tested it on asked for the recipe...doubt they'll ever make it themselves, but nice to know they wanted it again.
if you're looking for something a little more healthy to start your day, a nice afternoon pick-me-up snack or a great light after dinner treat this is definitely worth the try. i used a 9 x 13 dark pan with parchment and made 16 servings. the approx. nutritional count (per 1/16th serving) 85 calories...8g protein...7.5 g carb...and a couple grams o' good fat from the coconut oil.
LEMON POPPY SEED PROTEIN CAKE
adapted from askGeorgie.com ...original recipe found here

• Cooking oil spray
• 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour)
i subbed in 1/3 cup almond flour
• 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
• 1 cup Splenda granulated or 2/3 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons lemon zest
• 1½ cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
• ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 tablespoon canola or macadamia nut oil...coconut oil
• 2 ½ teaspoons lemon extract
• 2 eggs...i used EGGBEATERS

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9×13″ pan thoroughly with cooking oil spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, whey, Splenda, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest; stir to mix.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together yogurt, applesauce, oil, lemon extract, and egg. Add dry ingredients to wet ones, and stir just until uniformly moistened. Pour batter into pan.
4. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool 5 minutes before slicing. To keep moist, wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator or freezer. Microwave briefly to reheat.
this saves very well. i kept it in the fridge for a few days and it was great, although it's SUPER good and moist the day of....isn't everything?
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