Archive for January, 2010

The Mayo Clinic has some very healthy and delicious recipes worth checking out. This cake kept getting better each day, although it only lasted 3 days between the two of us (I’m embarassed to say!) Back to the diet this week.

Date-walnut cake with warm honey sauce (slightly modified from this recipe to keep it non-dairy)

3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup boiling water

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup dark honey

1/4 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat cake flour (I used regular whole wheat flour)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plain soy yogurt

1/4 cup chopped dried dates

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

for the sauce:

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup dark honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the oats and boiling water. Stir to mix. Let stand until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, honey and canola oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Whisk to blend. Add the flour mixture to the oat mixture, alternating with the soy yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Gently fold in the dates and walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center, 25 – 30 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool slightly. Transfer the cake to a serving plate.

To make the sauce: in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the creamer and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the honey, raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

Cut the cake into 8 wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle with the warm honey sauce.

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Here is another recipe from the wonderful Kalyn’s Kitchen. I tend to not like my food too spicy, so I used much less chile garlic sauce than recommended. These were gooooood!

Asian lettuce cups with semi-spicy ground turkey filling

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons red onion or shallots

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons grated ginger root

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon chile garlic sauce

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 1/2 bunch)

1/3 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

2 small heads Boston lettuce, or butter lettuce, or 1 large head iceberg lettuce

Chop onion and set aside. Peel ginger root, then grate; chop garlic. Heat oil in large nonstick pan, add onion and saute about 2 minutes,  then add garlic and ginger root and saute about one minute more.

Add ground turkey to pan and break apart and spread out with turner, then add soy sauce and chile garlic sauce. Cook until the turkey is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

While the turkey cooks, chop cilantro to make 1 cup. Remove the core from lettuce, separate leaves. Chop peanuts and put in small bowl to serve at the table.

When turkey is done, add chopped cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more. Serve filling and lettuce leaves in separate bowls, with chopped peanuts in another small bowl. Each person takes a lettuce leaf, fills with desired amount of turkey mixture, adds chopped peanuts, and then eats the mixture from the lettuce cup. Good to fold the lettuce cup over, so it’s kind of taco-shaped, so the contents don’t spill out. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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I love pecan pie, and really wanted to try this chocolate version. Can I say that I was disappointed? I found it a little too sweet and chocolate-y, but the most dismaying part was that it didn’t have that creaminess that regular pecan pie has – this was quite dense and hard. Tasty, yes, but not what I was expecting. I served it with some soy whipped cream, which worked well.

Chocolate Pecan Pie (from Food&Wine) – I made my own crust, but you can follow their recipe on the website


1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons margarine, cold

2 to 3 tablespoons cold water


1 1/2 cups pecan halves

4 tablespoons margarine

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of kosher salt

soy whipped cream, optional

CRUST: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl; cut in margarine with fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened. Shape into a ball; flatten slightly.

Roll out ball of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12″ circle. Fold into quarters and place into a 9″ pie pan; unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim any overhand, and crimp decoratively. Prick bottom and sides of crust with fork. Bake 8 – 10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

FILLING: Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, stirring once. Transfer the pecans to a plate. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the margarine with the chocolate in a microwave oven. Stir until blended and smooth. Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and add the brown sugar. Stir in the eggs, corn syrup, vanilla, and kosher salt, then stir in the pecans.

Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until set in the center. Let the pie cool completely. Serve with the soy whipped cream.

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I always enjoy reading Kalyn’s Kitchen blog. The South Beach Diet is fantastic, and her website is loaded with great ideas and recipes. This one was listed as one of her top 10 favorites for 2009, so I knew I would be trying it soon. I altered it slightly, by subbing ground turkey instead of beef, and I used only chicken broth and left out the beef broth, as we are not really big beef eaters at all. In any event, this was excellent, and will be a go-to soup for me from now on. Thanks, Kalyn!

Ground turkey and sauerkraut soup

1 pound ground turkey breast

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion (a large onion)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 14-ounce cans chicken broth

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice (fire-roasted is nice!)

1 14-ounce can sauerkraut with juice

1 cup water, if needed

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

3 – 4 dried bay leaves

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, or 1 – 2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a heavy frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil, add ground turkey and brown well, breaking into small pieces as it cooks.

While the turkey browns, combine the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, sauerkraut, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, parsley, and sage in a large pot. Bring to a low simmer.

When turkey is browned, add to the soup pot.

Wipe out frying pan and add other 2 teaspoons olive oil. Saute onions 2 – 3 minutes, until starting to soften, then add garlic and saute 1 – 2 minutes more. Add to soup, reduce heat under soup pot and let soup simmer at low heat about one hour. After an hour, taste for seasoning and add water if soup seems too strong. Simmer 15 minutes more if adding more water. Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper before serving. Serve hot, with nondairy sour cream, if desired. This made 6 servings for us.

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What an ingenious idea this potato “roast” is. The Bitten Word used a mandoline to slice the veggies; I just used the slicer attachment on my food processor. Very tasty.

Crispy potato roast (slightly modified)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled

4 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise

coarse salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 sprigs thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush bottom of a round 9″ baking dish with some olive oil. Slice potatoes very thinly crosswise (I used my food processor).

Arrange potato slices vertically in dish. Wedge shallots throughout. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; brush with remaining oil. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Add thyme and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisp top, about 30 minutes more. Makes 8 servings.

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Healthy and scrumptious, too. A great dip, side dish, appetizer, filling. And easy to make, too.

Roasted eggplant spread (from the Spice Rack)

1 medium to large eggplant, peeled

2 red bell peppers

1 cup grape tomatoes

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1″ chunks. Toss them in a large bowl with cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until vegetables are soft and slightly browned, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor and add tomato paste. Pulse vegetables 3 – 4 times to bind. Taste for salt and pepper. Makes about 2 cups worth.

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This is so good. Would also taste good as a filler for crepes.

Curry chicken sliders (from RockRecipes blog)

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced small

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (this is reduced from original recipe)

1/2 teaspoon chinese five spice powder

3/4 cup finely diced red pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves finely minced garlic

1 baguette

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan, and drop rounded tablespoons of the curry chicken mixture into the pan, forming the little patties into an oval shape about 2″ long. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side until fully cooked.

Cut thin slices of the baguette on a diagonal. Rub fresh garlic cloves onto the surface of the bread and lightly spread the bread with margarine before lightly toasting under the broiler or hot grill pan. Serve the curry chicken patties between slices of the toasted garlic baguette. Makes 4 servings.

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