Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread

OR is it Pumpkin Bread?

I have made this bread three times now with a couple of "tweaks".  Once using butter, once with canola oil and once with unsweetened apple sauce in place of the fat.  All three were delicious and moist.  Of course we know which is the healthier choice, don't we?


1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup of Splenda or sweetener of your choice to equal 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil or apple sauce
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ripe bananas or 1 1/3 cups pumpkin  (if using pumpkin add 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
3/4 cups chopped pecans (small pieces)

Mash Bananas in a small mixing bowl (this is where you would use pumpkin instead)
Add Splenda, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, egg and vanilla (optional pumpkin spice here)
Mix by hand until well blended.  Stir in whole wheat flour and pecans

Pour into a greased and floured bread pan.
Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.   Bake at 350 degrees F.
Remove from pan immediately and cool on a cookie rack.
Cut 12 slices so you don't over indulge.                                  

One slice is 1 carb serving.  Perfect mid afternoon snack and so EASY PEASY!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fresh Marinara Sauce for Freezer

Don't you just love the taste of fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic (optional)?  Making your own Marinara Sauce is easy, and you can enjoy that fresh flavor year round.  A few simple ingredients, food processor and freezer bags will be needed.  The bonus is you know exactly what is in your sauce for your creations long past the season.
Oh yes, it's so easy peasy!
Only 3 ingredients needed.
1)  Wash your tomatoes and basil.
Chopped Basil

2) In a large pot, boil water about half way full

3) Make an ice water bath in a large bowl

4) cut basil into ribbons ( I find using scissors the easiest method)

Once the water comes to a boil, drop in the tomatoes and leave about 1 minute.  You may see the skin split open at this point.
Remove the tomatoes and plunge into the ice water bath for another 1-2 minutes.  The skin will now peel off very easily.  I find this step somehow therapeutic.  Slice the tomatoes in half, remove the core and put into food processor with basil, minced garlic (optinal) and pulse just two or three pulses.  Too much processing and you will be left with tomato juice.  Pour into freezer bags and place in freezer for use later.
Hot water bath
Peeled orbs of mouth watering deliciousness !
I will use the marinara sauce in recipes long after the tomato vines are just a memory, but the flavor will be as fresh as the day it was made.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fresh Chicken Pasta With a Twist and a Kick


Ingredients for 4 servings (with some leftover)

1/2 pound Spelt Pasta or other 100% whole grain pasta
1/2 pound Dreamfields Pasta
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (Italian Parsley)
6 Tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 Lemon (you will zest the lemon and use juice.
6-8 grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 diced red bell pepper
2-3 baked or poached chicken breasts seasoned with Italian seasoning  (or 4-5 chicken tenders)
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic minced

You can bake or poach your chicken in advance.  I like to bake my chicken with added chicken stock to keep it moist.  Cut then in 1" cubes.

While your pasta is cooking (per box directions) :  zest the lemon set aside,  squeeze the juice set aside.
In the bottom of a large serving bowl mix olive oil, pepper flakes and lemon juice and garlic.

Drain Hot pasta into bowl with olive oil mixture and toss in cut chicken, parsley, red bell pepper, fresh lemon zest and last the tomatoes.