delicious healthy recipes

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Chickpea Pot Pie Biscuits

As soon as I saw this recipe posted by Mama Pea on her blog Peas and Thank You I knew I had to make it. All I needed was a free afternoon (preferably a rainy one which isn’t too hard to find here in Ohio). I got my chance yesterday afternoon when I was checking my Medical Nutrition Therapy class webpage and was delighted to see class was canceled for today (I don’t know why but I will take it)!  With a newly freed up afternoon and a rainy weather forecast, I pulled out my crockpot and got to work on this comforting dish (Note: my edits are in bold).

Mama Pea’s Chickpea Crockpot Pie with Biscuit Topping (Makes 8 servings)

Filling:

  • 2 T. olive oil or organic butter, divided
  • 2 c. diced peeled baking potato
  • 2 c. diced carrot
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 T. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 c. organic or non-dairy milk (unflavored and unsweetened)
  • 3/4 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 c. frozen petite green peas
  • One 14 1/2 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano

Biscuit topping:

  • 1 c. organic or non-dairy milk (unflavored and unsweetened)
  • 2 t. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 c. unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 T. organic butter or non-dairy margarine, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. dried basil

To prepare filling, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil or butter to pan, then add potato, carrot, celery, salt and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Transfer vegetable mixture to a 5-quart slow cooker.

Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil or butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add the 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry flour, stirring with a whisk. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly with whisk. Pour sauce into slow cooker. Stir in peas, chickpeas, thyme, basil and oregano.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 hours (my crockpot runs hot so I only cooked mine for 2.5 hours) or until vegetables are tender.

To make biscuit topping, combine milk and lemon juice or vinegar and set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine flours (I totally forgot the all-purpose flour and the biscuits still turned out perfect), baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheese or nutritional yeast and basil. Add “soured” milk, stirring just until moist.

Increase slow cooker heat to high. Drop biscuits onto filling in 8 equal mounds. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until biscuits are done. Uncover and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Chickpea Pot Pie

This pot pie was outstanding. The herby biscuits reminded me of Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuits and were the perfect foil for the hearty creamy filling. We liked it so much that more than one of us could be found scraping the leftovers with a spoon out of the crockpot as we were cleaning up. Serve with a side salad and a cool rainy evening and enjoy!


Pumpkin Butter Bite

I love pumpkin butter.

Usually the only time of year I get to indulge my taste for it is the day after Thanksgiving. I normally buy some sort of discounted “special” pumpkin butter from William Sonoma and slather in on toast before shoving the jar into the back of the fridge and forgetting it for about 3 months.

Enter this quick and easy pumpkin butter recipe. It is the perfect mix of softly spiced homemade goodness and easy prep for the busy pumpkin butter loving individual. Bonus: it makes 2-4 good-sized servings so you can indulge your pumpkin butter cravings any time of year without having to commit to an entire jar.

Make this satisfying spread on the weekend, on a weekday or any time you have a spare 5 minutes and you won’t be sorry.

Pumpkin Butter

Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Butter (2-4 servings)

1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 tbsp of agave or maple syrup
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of lemon juice
a sprinkle each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, for  2-4 minutes until the pumpkin smooths out and becomes silky in texture (it will darken slightly in color). Serve on toast, stir into greek yogurt, or dollop on oatmeal. Refrigerate leftovers up to a week.

Note: this entire recipe has approximately 100 calories so you can enjoy a good-sized serving guilt-free (or just eat the whole recipe in a day like I did 🙂 )

Btw after I ate this I thought that it would have been perfect with a few tsp of toasted pecans stirred in at the end (they would add a great crunch and an extra dimension of flavor) so you could try adding them if you are so inclined 🙂 If you do let me know how it turned out!


Butternut Squash Noodles

I am a HUGE pad thai fan. I can inhale untold quantities of that steaming medley of deliciousness but I save that sort of indulgence for dining out.

At home I prefer to make something a little quicker and healthier. This dish is super simple and comes together fairly quickly (once you make the “noodles”)

The original recipe comes from a blog called Cara Cravings (I really dig the blog name 😉 )

I made several modifications to streamline the ingredient list and cooking process.

Butternut Squash Noodles with Peanut Sauce (serves 2)

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, and thinly sliced with a good quality vegetable peeler into “noodles”
1/4 cup almond milk (from a carton)
2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons chili-garlic paste
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tbsp of agave nectar
2 tablespoons currants (or raisins)
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
fresh chopped cilantro and/or mint, for garnish

Directions:

Grate long, thin strips of butternut squash using a good quality vegetable peeler (this will take about 5 minutes but it is well worth it).
To make the sauce, combine  almond milk, peanut butter, tomato paste, water, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, lime juice, agave, garlic, ginger and curry powder in a blender. Process until smooth.

Place 1/4 cup water, squash, and raisins in a large, nonstick saute pan. Turn heat to high, cover, and steam for 3-4 minutes. Check and see if the squash is tender at this point. Add more water if needed to keep the squash from sticking to the pan and steam 1-2 minutes more until tender. Remove cover and pour in sauce. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring, until heated through. Divide among serving bowls and garnish with coconut, mint, or cilantro.

Serve hot. I added baked tofu cubes to help round out the meal. All I did was press and drain a block of tofu. Then I marinated it in soy sauce for 20 minutes and baked it at 350 degrees until brown and crispy (about 35-40 minutes).

B Noodles

I loved this dish! It reminded me so much of pad thai but it was much healthier. Whatever you do–don’t leave out the currants/raisins. They really enhance the naturally sweetness of the squash and provide a nice contrast to the coconut and peanut sauce. As one family member said “I could eat this every night for dinner if you would make it.” I appreciated the compliment but I think I might develop some sort of butternut squash peeling related carpal tunnel syndrome. Still, this dish is well-worth the little extra work. Enjoy!

 


Apple Oatmeal

Most people have a go-to breakfast.  I usually eat some variation of oatmeal or a wrap with scrambled eggs and vegetables. Lately though, I have re-discovered my love for greek yogurt. I always buy 2% because I love the taste that a few grams of fat add.  It is so creamy, protein-rich and full of “good bugs” as my professor would say (probiotics).

Initially I would put a small dollop on top of my oatmeal to add protein naturally without having to use protein powder. My initial ratio of yogurt to oatmeal was 1:3, but I was finding that I would be overly hungry by the time I was able to eat lunch around 1-1:30. I decided to try playing with the amounts I used of each ingredient so I upped the amount of Greek yogurt and cut back on the oats so the ratio was almost 1:1. Then I added some fruit and a dollop of peanut butter and I had a delicious and filling breakfast that lasted me all the way until lunch with not a belly growl in sight.

Here is the method I use but feel free to play around with different amounts, sweeteners, fruits, nut butters, etc.

Apple Cinnamon Protein Oats (serves 1)

Ingredients:

1/2 apple (chopped small)
1/3 cup of quick-oats
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
1 tbsp of peanut butter
optional: sweetener of choice, cinnamon, vanilla extract

Instructions

Combine oats and 2/3 cup of water in a small saucepan and cook until desired consistency. Stir in cinnamon, sweetener and vanilla extract if desired.
Put cooked oats in a bowl and place in the fridge for a few minutes to cool and thicken while you assemble the rest of the ingredients (I do this so the oats don’t heat up my yogurt too much because I enjoy the combination of the warm oatmeal and the cold yogurt).
Meanwhile, combine greek yogurt in a small bowl with more cinnamon and sweetener. Set aside.
Combine chopped apple and cinnamon in a bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds.
Remove oatmeal from the fridge, stir and push it to one side of the bowl. Add yogurt mixture to the other half of the bowl and top with warm apples. Place a scoop of peanut butter on top. Enjoy!


EM-cut
I am faced with a dilemma every weekend. What to make for brunch?
My problem stems from the fact that two of my family members are allergic to eggs (but can eat them in baked goods) which eliminates all sorts of breakfast dishes (omelets, frittatas, french toast, scrambled eggs, etc. . .).

I have made biscuits. .

pancakes. . .

scones. . .

muffins. . .

coffee cake. . .

cinnamon buns. . .

baked oatmeal. . .

hashbrowns. . .

etc. . . if you can think of a non-eggy brunch food I have probably made it.

I was fed up this morning. I wanted to try something different. Something not so sweet and butter laden.

Enter the english muffin.

IMG_5281

I saw an old dried out package of english muffins on our counter and I realized that I have never had a homemade english muffin before. So I quickly looked up a recipe and 15 minutes later I had eight large english muffins rising on my counter.

Here is the recipe I used:

Homemade English Muffins (modified from here)

 Ingredients:
1 cup of milk
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp of honey
1 cup of warm water (105-110 degrees)
1/4 oz of yeast
2 tbsp cornmeal
5 cups (+ extra for sprinkling) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Directions:
Mix yeast and warm water then set aside for ten minutes to foam.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and honey until the butter is melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Combine the yeast mixture and milk mixtures
In a large bowl, sift 3 cups of flour. Stir in the milk and yeast. In a separate bowl sift the remaining 2 cups of flour and salt together. Add the flour and salt mixture to the flour/milk/yeast mixture and stir until dough forms a cohesive ball.
Generously flour a flat surface and knead the dough for 3 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cover two cookie sheet with parchment and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal.
Roll the dough out until it’s a 1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles and
gently place on the cookie sheets, sprinkle the tops with cornmeal and cover with a dry, light cloth. Let sit in a warm
place for 45 minutes or til nearly doubled in size. It’s more like 2/3.
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet (or an electric griddle) on medium low (if using an electric griddle it would be around 325 degrees), don’t
grease it. Gently place a muffin in your hand and shake lightly to remove some of the corn meal. Gentleness is key
in all of the handling. Place on pan or griddle and repeat until full. Don’t
let them touch each other. Keep the heat on low. Cook for 8 minutes per side or
until browned well, flip and cook again. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Split
and top with butter and honey.
During cooking. . .
IMG_5267
After cooking. . .
IMG_5285
These muffins were outstanding. They were warm and slightly denser than store-bought english muffins.
They were also fun to make.
You knead and let them rise like bread dough, roll and cut them out like biscuits and cook them like pancakes!
Once they rise, they cook really fast to so you can make muffins in little over an hour.
Eat warm slathered with butter, honey or jam (or all three) and enjoy!
Comparison (store bought on left and homemade on the right)
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