Friday, November 21, 2008

Oatmeal raisin cookies

I guess with the cool weather I am baking more. I love turning on the oven and letting the smell of something wonderful permeate the house. I made these a couple of weeks ago and will definitely make a new batch this weekend, because they were well-liked by everyone in the house, including The Picky Toddler. These are delicious, but if you are in need of a very decadent dessert, keep looking. But if you would like a little treat that isn't too bad for you, these are perfect.

A few baking notes: I halved the recipe and substituted applesauce for half of the canola oil, and the fat content felt just right - I actually think more oil would have made them too heavy or greasy. The cookies stayed fresh for several days just sitting on the counter, covered. As you are mixing the batter, it may seem too goopy. That's okay - you will likely be pleasantly surprised, as I was.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Cranberry Oat Muffins

Wake up to these muffins. You will be really glad you did. They're fairly healthy for a muffin - the main ingredients are fresh cranberries, plain yogurt, and rolled oats. They do include 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and next time I make them, I'm going to do 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup applesauce. I just did that with some oatmeal raisin cookies I made (which will be posted soon) and they turned out perfectly. I never would have guessed you could make 24 scrumptious cookies with only 1/4 cup of oil! So now I'm hooked on the applesauce-for-1/2 of the oil substitution and plan to do that in more of my baking.

Edited 1/1/09 to add: I've now made these twice with the 1/4 cup applesauce for 1/4 cup of the oil, and they are just as good - I really can't tell the difference. Also, I now add a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yum! Finally, these are now officially toddler-approved. The picky toddler ate two today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Super fast veggie chili

This doesn't quite qualify as food without quotes, because morningstar farms vegetarian burger crumbles, a key ingredient in this adaptation of a recipe by Nava Atlas, are a bit frankenfoodish. But this chili is a low fat, high protein, super fast meal that has saved us from more fattening and expensive takeout on numerous occasions. You can get it on the table in about 20 mins (most of that time is unattended simmering) and most of the ingredients are cupboard staples.

Start by sauteeing a chopped onion, and, if you have it, one half of a large bell pepper, in a small amout of olive oil (1 tsp) until soft in a large saucepan. Then add 1 bag morningstar farm burger crumbles, 2 drained and rinsed cans of black or pinto beans, 1 cup frozen corn kernels, 1 jar tomato-based salsa of your choosing, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp chili powder. Stir, cover, and simmer on medium-low for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, adding a little water if needed to prevent sticking. Serve with soft tortillas, chips, and/or a little grated cheese.
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Lentil soup, green beans, and roasted rosemary potatoes

A simple and satisfying dinner for a rainy weeknight. The lentil soup is the recipe I blogged about before, from Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's. The green beans were simply microwaved until crisp-tender (about 4-5 minutes in a microwave-safe bag) and tossed with a little balsamic vinegar. The purple, yellow, and red potatoes were washed, quartered, and tossed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary from the garden and then roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 45-60 minutes. They're done when a fork goes in easily and the skins start to brown and stick to the roasting pan. The time will vary based on the size of your potato pieces. Stir a couple of times during roasting.
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