Sunday, February 28, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies: Caramel Delights

After a few tries I finally got this recipe down, and they brought me back to my gluten eating days when these were some of my favorite cookies. The recipe is very simple and easy, but can be a little time consuming, so pick a rainy afternoon, a good movie and be careful not to eat too many!

3/4 cup White bean puree
1/6 cup Honey
1/6 cup Butter (melted)
2/3 cup Corn starch
2 teaspoons Baking soda
1 tablespoon Egg (white, substitute or scrambled egg)
1 tablespoon Stevia

1/3 cup Milk chocolate chips*
1/3 cup Dark chocolate chips*
1 cup Caramels*
1 tablespoon Milk (almond, soy, etc)
1/8 cup Unsweetened shredded coconut
* To make this recipe sugar free make sure these ingredients are bought sf. I prefer to have sugar in these instances instead of a chemical substitute or corn syrup.

Preheat oven to 325. Combine all cookie ingredients in bowl and mix well. Batter should be of medium thickness. Drop small (about 1/2 tablespoon) amounts of batter on well greased pan. Place cookies in oven for 10 minutes. Open oven and using a spoon flatten out cookies so that they are smooth on top. Put cookies back in oven for another 10-15 minutes, until brown. Remove and cool.

Once cookies have cooled place caramels in double broiler. Once caramels have melted add milk and coconut, mix well. Cover the tops of cookies with caramel mix, make sure you cover completely. Sprinkle another layer of coconut over cookies. Let caramel cool and harden. Wash double broiler. Place milk and dark chocolate chips in double broiler and melt. Take spoon and drizzle stripes across caramel covered cookies (this can be tricky, so be patient and go slow). Place cookie sheet in freezer until chocolate is completely hardened. Remove cookies from freezer and flip them upside down. Cover the bottoms of the cookies with chocolate mixture and return to freezer (or be patient and allow to cool on own). Once cooled-- enjoy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Upside down Apricot Muffins

With spring around the corner these muffins are the perfect breakfast to impress guests, or even your children. I combine a bean and corn meal batter with apricots and honey for a bright flavor. Brew up a cup of coffee and enjoy.

1 cup Bean puree
2 tablespoons Flax meal
1/4 cup Corn meal
1 teaspoon Baking soda
2 tablespoons Egg (beaters or scrambled)
1 teaspoon Milk (almond, soy etc)
1/4 teaspoon Lemon rind
1 Orange or Tangerine
1 cup Dried apricots
1/4 cup Honey

Preheat oven to 350. Place beans, flax, corn meal, baking soda, egg and milk in bowl and mix well. Grate lemon rind and orange rind into bowl (you really cant have too much of this!). Add honey and mix well.
Grease muffin tins (very well!), you do not want to use muffin cups. Take Apricots and cut whole apricot into halves or fourths. Line the bottom of the muffin cups with 1 layer of apricots so that you cannot see bottom of tin. Pour batter over apricots in the muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until brown. Let muffins cool, then place baking sheet on top of muffin pan and flip over so muffins are upside down. The muffins will fall out of the tins apricot side up, leaving you with a beautiful delicious muffin!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies: Peanut Butter Patties!

This is part 1 of 2 of Girl Scout cookies...maybe even 3. Part 1 is Peanut butter patties. These are some of my favorite cookies ever and when I was diagnosed with Celiac I was so sad at the thought that I would never have them again. This recipe is pretty rich and its important that you remember how small they should be otherwise you will have monster cookies (which isn't a terrible thing). These really are easy to make, but take a little bit of time, so don't make these if your in a rush.

3/4 cup White bean puree
1/6 cup Honey
1/6 cup Butter (melted)
2/3 cup Corn starch
2 teaspoons Baking soda
1 tablespoon Egg (white, substitute or scrambled egg)
1 tablespoon Stevia

1/3 cup Better'n Butter (available at Trader Joes) OR
1/3 cup Peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon Honey
1/2 tablespoon Stevia

1/2 bag of Dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cocoa)
1/2 bag of Milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 325. Add all cookie ingredients together in bowl and mix smooth. Grease pan and dollop small balls of batter on pan. Bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven take a small spoon and make depressions in the middle of each cookie. This is where the filling will go. Be careful not to break or crack the cookie because they need to stay intact. Place cookies in freezer and allow to harden (this will make them easier to handle without breaking)

Once hardened remove cookies and add peanut butter filling and return to freezer. Place chocolate chips in double broiler and melt. I have used all dark chocolate and the cookies were SO rich it was much better with half dark, half milk. Once the cookies are hardened take one cookie at a time and place in the chocolate. Use two spoons: one underneath the cookie and the other to pour some chocolate over the top of the cookie. Lift the cookie out of the pot and remove excess chocolate with spoon two (don't forget to the bottom of the cookie). Place cookie on parchment paper to cool. Repeat with all cookies. **Hint- start with the smaller most intact cookies so that cookie bits don't break off in chocolate. Let chocolate harden and ENJOY!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grilled Salmon Salad

This is a great lunch or light meal. I have trouble digesting raw lettuce so I usually have steamed spinach in all my salads. This salad combines steamed salmon and spinach, steamed salmon all topped with an olive oil mustard dressing. I really love plain steamed salmon, it allows you to enjoy the natural taste without interference. DE-Light!

1 1/2 cup Spinach
1/2 Red pepper
2 oz Wild Salmon*
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon Yellow mustard
1/2 tablespoon Honey

*As a student at Berkeley I took a class on American food and one of our guest lecturers discussed the nutritional differences between wild and farmed fish. There are drastic differences so I strongly urge you to eat wild fish. Trader Joe's has affordable wild fish in the frozen section :-)

Start by cutting red peppers length wise. Place peppers on baking sheet and spritz with olive oil. Bake peppers at 450 until tops get brown spots. Boil water in a pot and place steamer with salmon and steam for about 5 minutes then add spinach and steam for another 5 minutes. While food is cooking mix olive oil, honey and mustard. When spinach and salmon are finished steaming place on plate with peppers and top with dressing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Afternoon crackers

This is a great recipe for your everyday cracker and are super quick to make, great with some peanut butter or hummus.

1 cup of re-fried pinto beans (get fat free)
4 teaspoons egg
4 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons flax meal
2 teaspoons of stevia
2 teaspoons of honey

Preheat oven to 350. Add re-fried beans with corn starch, flax and egg in large bowl and mix well. Add stevia, honey and egg to mixture and mix until batter is smooth. Line baking pan with tin foil and grease. Pour batter into pan and spread smooth, so that the thickness is about as thick as your favorite cracker. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and place on cutting board. Cut cracker squares to your size preference-- if crackers are not crunchy enough place back on pan and broil for 1-2 minutes (careful not to burn). Put your favorite jam or peanut butter on crackers and E-N-J-O-Y!

Sweet potato pesto bake

This is one of my Mom's favorite recepies. It also can be made with butternut squash which makes for a smoother, sweeter version. But in honor of the end of sweet potato month I thought I would make this delicious bake.

2 large sweet potatoes
4 tablespoon of pesto
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Olive oil

Preheat oven at 400. In a large pot place peeled sweet potatoes until soft. Mash or place potatoes in a food processor and puree. Place 1/2 in a small casserole dish and place 2 tablespoons of pesto evenly on top; on top of pesto place 1/8 cup of parmesan evenly over pesto top off the parmesan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the remaining sweet potatoes on top of mixture creating a second layer. Add pesto, cheese and oil. Cover dish and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday: Banana chocolate cake topped with candied walnuts

Happy Fat Tuesday to everyone! For Lent this year I am not having any type of sweets during the week days (I understand my limitations). So today I thought well perhaps I should make something to mark the occasion! I have never made banana cake before so I got that off in the oven...then started to make vanilla frosting and thought...hmmm yea chocolate would be better. When that was finished I thought well the nuts really would be better if they were molasses! I just kind of kept on going and well-- it turned out great!

5 Bananas
2 cups of pureed white beans (about 1 can)
2/3 cup Corn starch
4 tablespoons of Stevia
2 teaspoons of Baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Peel bananas and place in bowl. Microwave bananas until soft and mash them as smooth as possible. Puree beans and measure out 1 cup. Mix bananas and beans together then add corn starch. Add stevia and baking soda and mix well. Line two loaf pans with parchment or tin foil and grease. Pour half of the mixture in each pan and bake on 350 for about 45 minutes. Let cool (I even placed mine in the freezer for a bit to cool).

1 cup of Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons of Honey
2 tablespoons Stevia
4 tablespoons Coco powder

Add all ingredients together and mix well. Leave the frosting in the fridge until cake cools.

1 1/2 cup of Chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons Unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup Molasses

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and mix on medium heat. Make sure nuts and coconut are covered in molasses. Cook until molasses simmers, turn off heat and let cool.

When cake is cooled remove from pans and carefully place cakes first piece of cake on plate. Cover first piece of cake with frosting and cover top of cake with nuts.

Take second piece of cake and coat the bottom of it with frosting and place on top of piece of cake #2. Repeat the frosting the entire second cake and top with nuts. Viola! Happy Fat Tuesday!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Choco-Moutain Cookies

I bake all the time and am only eating for when I get bored with something I've already made or it gets stale I turn it into something else. SO-- I used some old chocolate brownies to make these cookies. Anything chocolate would work to make these, brownies, cake, cookies...really anything.

1 cup pureed brownies
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coconut
1/4 cup milk (almond, soy, etc.)
1 tablespoon ground coffee
2 tablespoons stevia
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon coco powder

Heat oven to 350. Puree brownies until all large pieces are crumbled. Pour puree into bowl, add egg and milk and stir. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Batter should have medium thickness. Grease pan and place 1 inch dollops of batter and bake for 20 minutes.