Sunday, May 17, 2009

Healthy Apple & Strawberry Muffins

I woke up this morning and wanted something freshly baked. I adjusted my homemade blueberry muffin recipe and added apples and strawberries instead. My apples were not as fresh and crunchy as I normally like to eat them, so baking was a good alternative for my "less than fresh" fruit. My strawberries were a few days from freshness, as well. The lemon zest was added for another dimension of flavor. It was the perfect Sunday morning breakfast. Actually, now that I think about it, that is all I have eaten today. I guess the whole wheat flour really sticks to your ribs.

· 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
· 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (sugar substitute- 1/3 regular cup sugar)
· 2 tsp. baking powder
· 1/4 tsp. salt
· 2 egg whites
· 3/4 cup milk (if using brown rice syrup, only put in 1/2 cup milk)
· 1/4 cup cooking oil
· 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
· 1/2 cup peeled, chopped apples
· 1 tsp. lemon zest

· Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
· Grease twelve 2 1/2 cup muffin cups or line with paper baking cups
· In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
· In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture.
· Add chopped fruit and lemon zest. Mix well. Mixture should be lumpy.
· Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Fill each 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
· Serve warm with butter.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fish Tacos

I think I may have just made my favorite meal of all time! I do follow recipes on occassion, but sometimes it is much more rewarding to cook intuitively. You run the risk of making a dish that doesn't quite meet your expectations, but every once in a while you create a masterpiece. I think tonight I have done just that. Gloating may be necessary here, only because I haven't felt like I have been preparing the best meals lately. I am on a special dietary plan and my meals have been pretty bland, to say the least; lots of brown rice and chicken. We have been craving fish tacos and decided to make them the healthy way, not battered and fried. I had picked up a bag of slaw mix at the market this weekend so that sparked the idea.

The sweetness of the marinade, slaw dressing, and mango paired really well with the acidity of the citrus. The avocado added a nice smooth texture and flavor. I will say, the corn tortillas had a hard time holding up to the moisture, so I may suggest hard tacos if you plan on making this dish.

serves 4

- bag of cole slaw mix
- fresh mango (sliced)
- 2 tbsp. of chopped cilantro
-1/4 cup of sliced green onions

- three Tilapia filets
- corn tortillas
- one avocado (sliced)

- 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
- juice of two limes
- juice of one small orange
- 1 tbsp. agave nectar (sugar substitute)

slaw dressing

- 2 tbsp. mayo
- 1 1/2 tbsp of white wine vinegar

- 1 tbsp. agave nectar
- t tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. hoison sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame seeds

- 1 tbsp. water


- Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and add Tilapia filets. Marinate for 15 to 20 minutes in the fridge.
- While the fish is marinating, mix together the cole slaw dressing. Add mix to cole slaw, sliced mango, cilantro, and green onions. Mix together well.

- When the fish is ready, coat pan with 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add fish to pan with the marinade juice and cook until the sauce has reduced and the fish is fully cooked, yet tender.
- Break fish into chunks once it is fully cooked.
- Add fish to warm corn tortillas and top with cole slaw.
- Garnish with sliced avocado.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fresh Asparagus Soup

Lately, I have been loving Kansas City's local magazine, Tastebud. It claims to be Kansas City's guide to food drink, places and people. There are many recipes that I have already clipped and stashed away for future use, but there was one recipe that has been on my mind for a few days. It was the recipe for Fresh Apsaragus Soup.

At the market this morning, I just happened upon this cute local farmer selling the most gorgeous fresh asparagus I have seen this season. Needless to say, I snatched it up in hopes of creating this yummy soup. I am on this no-dairy dietary plan, so I might have to make a few substitutions. We'll see how it goes.

Tastebud recipe
serves 4

· 1 lb. fresh asparagus, chopped
· 1 can chicken broth
· 2 tbsp. flour
· few grains of pepper
· 1/2 cup sour cream
· 1/2 cup chopped fresh onion
· 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
· 1 tsp. salt
· 1 cup milk
· 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

· Cook asparagus in covered sauce pan with onion and 1/2 cup chicken broth for about 6-8 minutes or until asparagus is just tender.
· Blend in blender or food processor until smooth.
· Melt butter or margarine in same saucepan. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Stir in remaining chicken broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches boiling point.
· Stir in asparagus puree and milk.
· Take a few spoonfuls of hot mixture and stir into the chilled sour cream. Mix a bit and then add the sour cream to the soup.
This just ensures that the sour cream will blend in nicely.
· Add lemon juice.
· Heat to serving temperature, stirring frequently.
· Serve with a sprinkling of fresh chives.