Recent Recipes

Chocolate Chip and Pretzel Cookies

Comments (1) | Monday, July 26, 2010

Recently we decided to give up refined carbs and refined sugar. This has not been an easy task. Especially when it comes to treats. Cassie is a big sweets fan and not being able to eat a lot of the treats out there has made her turn to baking more often. Cassie found this recipe on The Mess Pot for Chocolate Chip and Pretzel Cookie Bars. The recipe looked great and we felt that with some tweaking we could come up with a great adaptation of this recipe. We decided to make it into cookies rather than cookie bars for the main reason that the two of us don't need to eat a pan of cookies bars. With cookies we could bake just a few at a time and freeze the rest for future use.

To make these more friendly to our new food rules we swapped all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour, sugar for evaporated cane juice, and brown sugar for sucanat. For the pretzels make sure you get a whole grain variety.

These were definitely delicious and we are going to be making them again in the future. Especially since we have a large bag of cookie dough in the freezer.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies
Source: The Mess Pot (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 c. sucanat
1/2 c. evaporated cane juice
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1 bag organic chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. whole grain mini pretzel twists chopped
1/4 c. peanut butter

1) pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2) in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, bkaing soda and salt. Using a mixer, beat the butter, evaporated cane juice and sucanat at medium speed until well mixed and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. On a low speed beat in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces.

3) Place 1 T. balls of dough on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 9-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

4) You can either melt the pb a little a drizzle it over the cookies or you can just put a small dollop of pb on top of each cookie.

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Comments (0) | Saturday, July 17, 2010

We have been seeing a ton of recipes for various types of lettuce wraps lately. We decided to give it a go and see if we could come up with a good recipe of our own. What resulted was a spicy and sweet meal that was definitely a crowd pleaser...or at least a Jason and Cassie pleaser. Both of us were very happy with how the meal turned out and certainly plan to make it again. You cook the chicken ahead of time in the crock pot making this meal not only really tasty, but also very simple.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Makes 4 servings
1-1.5 lbs. skinless chicken thighs (bone-in)
2 c. low sodium stock
3 T. low sodium soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 t. dried ginger
1 t. cumin
1/8 t. cayenne
1 t. sucanat
1 T. canola oil
1 c. mushrooms diced
1 c. green bell peppers diced
1/2 c. carrots diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 c. cooked brown rice
1 T. all natural peanut butter
2 T. Siracha
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. low sodium soy sauce
8-12 large romaine lettuce leaves cleaned and dried

1) in the morning ahead of time put the first 8 ingredients into the crock pot and let cook on low for 8 hours. Chicken should be moist and will shred easily. Remove the bones and shred the chicken.

2) heat canola oil in a medium pan and saute the mushrooms, bell pepper, carrots and garlic until tender.

3) Meanwhile whisk together the peanut butter, Siracha, rice vinegar and soy sauce.

4) Add the rice and chicken to the pan with the vegetables and mix well. Add the sauce and heat for a minute.

5) Serve the chicken and rice mixture on a plate with 2-3 lettuce leaves per person.

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Chicken Salad Pitas with Baba Ghanoush using homemade whole wheat pitas

Comments (1) | Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One day at work Cassie noticed a stack of discarded Food Network Magazines and decided to grab them to see if there were any hidden jewels. Among them we found a recipe for these Chicken Salad pitas that sounded like a great, fresh, summer dinner. We decided to go ahead and make them this week. After the grocery shopping had been done, we realized that we'd forgotten to get pitas from the store. An oversight for sure, but not one that we let get in the way of our meal. We are both pretty adept at making bread like recipes for things like tortillas, nan and pizza dough. We have most bread recipe staples in our pantry so we hit the internet and found a great recipe for Whole Wheat pitas to go with it.

The pita recipe is an Emeril Lagasse recipe that we found on the Planet Green Website. Give yourself about 2.5-3 hours before you want to eat to make the pitas as they need time to rise. Other than the rising time they are very simple and delicious.

Whole Wheat Pitas
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 package (2 1/4 t.) active dry yeast
1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil + 1t.
1/2 t. honey
3 c. whole wheat flour +more for dusting
2 t. salt (I probably only used 1 t.)

1) Pour water into a bowl. Add yeast olive oil and honey. Allow yeast to bloom until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Knead dough for about 5 minutes until round smooth and elastic. I used our Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook, but by hand would work fine as well. Grease the bottom of a clean bowl with olive oil and press the dough into the bottom greasing the entire ball of dough. Cover the dough and sit aside in a relatively warm place. Allow dough to rise for 2 hours till it has doubled in size.

2) Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead it by hand until it is round and smooth. Divide the dough into 16 2 ounce balls. Cover and allow to rise for another 20 minutes.

3) Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees and place an overturned baking sheet or a baking stone on the middle rack.

4) When the dough is done rising roll out the dough on a clean work surface that is dusted with more flour. Each pita should be about 6 inches in diameter. Place as many pitas onto the baking pan in the oven and allow to bake for about 2 minutes until it starts to bubble. Remove with a metal spatula and repeat with the remaining dough.

5) Serve warm or room temperature.

Chicken Salad Pita with Baba Ghanoush
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 sprig rosemary leaves
3-4 leaves of fresh basil chopped
3/4 t. red pepper flakes
2 T. canola oil
2 cloves garlic minced.
Kosher salt or sea salt
1 T. olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. grape tomatoes halved
1 cucumber chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
4 pocketless pitas
1/2 c. baba ghanoush
2 c. coarsely chopped romaine lettuce or spinach

1) Whisk the vinegar, rosemary, basil, oil, red pepper flakes, garlic and salt to taste a shallow dish. Add the chicken and let marinate for at least 30 minutes
2) Mix the tomatoes, cucumbers salt and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 T. of olive oil
3) Grill Chicken until cooked through 2-3 minutes per side. Cut into 1/2 inch thick strips. Toss with the vegetables.
4) Place a pita on each plate. Brush with baba ghanoush. Top with lettuce and the chicken salad.

This really was a very enjoyable meal and we will definitely be making this again. Hope you enjoy it.

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