Zcrumptious Zuchinni Muffins

What do you do when you have zuchinnis coming out the whazoo?  You make zuchinni muffins of course!  I created this recipe during the summer when my room mate kept coming home from his parents farm with giant zuchinnis.  I could barely look at a zuchinni by the time I decided to make them into muffins.  I normally don’t eat a lot of muffins so I was wanting to create something healthy and tasty.  This is what I came up with:

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1 2/3 C whole-wheat flour                730 cals

1/4 sugar                                             180 cals

1/4 splenda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice                                   10 cals

1 1/4 tsp baking powder                   10 cals

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 C shredded zuchinni              30 cals

1/2 C skim milk                                35 cals

1 Tbs unsweetened apple sauce    20 cals

2 Tbs honey                                       60 cals

1 large egg                                          80 cals

cooking spray

1/4 C chocolate chips                      280 cals

(optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with knife.  Combine flour with the next 6 ingredients (to the salt inclusive), and mix in large bowl.

2. Combine zuchinni, milk, applesauce, honey and egg in a bowl and stir until blended.

3. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in wet mixture.  Stir until combined and moist.  Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups or 24 mini muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

4. Optional: sprinkle top of muffins with cinnamon and sugar.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or golden brown for large muffins, and 11 minutes or until golden brown for mini muffins.  Remove from pans immediately and place on cooling rack.

Mini muffins equal approximately 85 calories per muffin.  Mini muffins with chocolate chips equal approximately 11o calories.

Dia! (Efik language Bon appetit!)


BHM’s Homemade Red Sweetkraut

I always see the red cabbage at the market, but I never buy it. When I saw one last week, I thought,”why not?”  I decided to try to make a kraut with it. 

I am not sure of the true process of making kraut, but I kind of just sauteed everything together and it turned out well.  I started with some fried onions and then I tossed in some fresh chopped garlic with it.  Once those were nicely browned, I tossed in the chopped red cabbage and about a cup of cider vinegar.  I put the lid on the frying pan and let the vinegar steam the cabbage. 

Once the cabbage was “al dente” (about 15 minutes), I added a little salt, pepper and sugar.  Add a “typisch” German pretzel and you’re set! 

慢慢吃!(Bon appetite)


They’re going like hotcakes!… with Blueberries!

Yesterday morning was one of those quiet, boring Sunday mornings.  The type of day that brunch was made for.  I thought about hitting up one of the local breakfast places, but was up far earlier than most of my friends and didn’t want to go alone.  I fought with the decision of what to eat for breakfast until the craving for hotcakes got the best of me. 

A quick search through my cupboards revealed that I had the right ingredients, but the search through my refrigerator was not so fruitful.  No eggs. “That’s okay,” I thought. “I’ll wing it.”

I mixed my dry ingredients in a bowl.  I used a half cup of whole wheat flour, half teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt.

     

The wet ingredients were about a half cup of low-fat gelatin free yogurt, half cup of skim milk and 3/4 cup frozen blueberries thawed.

   

Spray a frying pan with a little non-stick cooking spray and spoon hotcake mix onto hot pan.  Cook a few minutes on both sides.

   

Pile decoratively onto a plate.  Top with a dallop of margarine or butter.  Drizzle with syrup of your choice.  Lick plate clean. 

Makes about four, four-inch diameter pancakes which are approximately 80 to 100 calories each depending on your yogurt.  T’boftë mire!


A Special Dish by Natish!

So, I finally got a job.  I am serving at a restaurant called Ric’s.  It is located in the 4 Points Sheraton on 16th Ave NW.  The staff there is great, making it a fun and welcoming atmosphere.  As with any restaurant, it doesn’t matter how great the people are if the food is horrendous.  That is definitely not the case.  I have worked there for about two weeks now and I have not had one food complaint. (Knock on wood). 

There are quite a few vegetarian options, but I brought in a tofu chick’n breast (PC Blue Box brand) the other night none-the-less.  I asked one of our fabulous cooks, Natish (I am so sorry about the more than likely wrong spelling), to grill it up and toss it in a salad for me.  Well, things aren’t that simple at Ric’s.  The food is both fancy and delicious. 

Natish grilled my tofu chick’n breast, laid it on a little bed of lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers and mandarin oranges. He then added oriental noodles, cilantro (which I normally hate but loved!), and drizzled it all in some sort of sweet dressing. 

Natish's Tofu Veggie Dish       Inside Natish's Tofu Chick'n Dish       Deep Fried Stuffed Mushroom

I guess he decided that wasn’t enough because next to this creative master piece was a deep-fried ball on a stick.  Within this ball of dough was a mushroom stuffed with lemongrass and what looks like bruschetta.  Very impressive.

I guess the moral of this story is: Everyone go eat at Ric’s!

P.S-I apologize for the poor insertion of the photos and the poor quality.  They were taken with my phone and I guess WordPress does not appreciate them.


1 banana, 2 banana, 3 banana, red?

I love bananas.  I eat them almost every day.  I eat banana with gelatin free yogurt and granola or oatmeal with banana or cereal and banana for breakfast.  Banana and peanut butter or Nutella sandwiches for whenever.  Bananas on cheddar rice crackers for snacks.  Banana shakes.  Banana chips.  Banana bread.  There are so many good ways to get some banana into your life everyday. 

Did you know though, that bananas are not always yellow?  I did not, and you can only imagine my excitement when I saw these beauties at the grocery store.

In the photo, the bananas look quite brown, but that is because they are a deep, deep red. Red bananas should have a deep red or maroon rind when ripe, and are best eaten when slightly soft. The redder the fruit, the more carotene and the higher the vitamin C level.   

They are available year round from Central and South America.  You care for the red banana the same way that you would a yellow banana.  I found that before they were ripe, they were very bitter, but after waiting a couple days, they sweetened up nicely. 

I ate mine in fashions I described above, but the internet tells me that there are better ways to use this type of banana,  “this variety is preferred as a baking variety for both desserts and semi-savory dishes. Try sliced, sprinkled with warm spices and roasted. Fry as you would plantains or add to curries. Red bananas can be used in lieu of traditional bananas in baked recipes such as breads, muffins and cakes.”

They do have a distinct flavour.  They taste similar to a yellow banana, but slightly different.  They are good, but I think that I still prefer the yellow to the red.  Try for yourself!  Goeie eetlus!


I Heart Hearts of Palm

       New food time!! I’ve seen these weird hearts of palm things in the grocery store for years. Well, I   finally took the leap and bought some. And guess what, they are awesome! What are they you ask? I  wondered the same thing myself. Hearts of palm, a.k.a palm hearts, palm heart, palmito, burglar’s thigh, aristocrat’s plantar, chonta, palm cabbage or swamp cabbage, are a vegetable that are harvested from the inner core of certain types of palm trees. Cool hey?

They have a texture similar to, hmmmm, steamed white asparagus? If you’ve ever had that, you’ll understand. They are soft, a little salty, but sweeter than one would expect. They can be used in salads, dips, roasted with butter and topped with cheese, mashed up and eaten straight from the can, baked and probably tons of other delicious ways.

Hearts of palm are actually really good for you.  For one cup, which is about an entire 400ml can, there are only 40 Calories.  There is little to no Fat, no Cholesterol, only about six grams of Carbohydrates and two grams of Sugar.  It is a good source of Protein, Riboflavin and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper and Manganese. The only drawback is that they are slightly high in Sodium with approximately 680 mg per can. A small price to pay for the benefits and deliciousness of this amazing vegetable.

I didn’t really know what to do with the hearts, so I made some sort of pan fried hearts of palm salad.  I basically dry fried the hearts, allowing them to cook in their own juices.  With them I tossed in peppers, onions, garlic and mushrooms. 

Once they were fried to a good browness, I added spinach ontop and let it wilt down for about three to five minutes.

 

 

 

I plated everything from the pan then topped it with simulated bacon bits, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and a honey dijon salad dressing.  Pepper to taste but no salt since there was already quite a bit in the hearts of palm.  One slice of sour dough bread on the side. 

 Bon appétit!


BHM’s Spin on Spinach Dip!

Schick’s Spinach Dip

After being at countless parties and downing endless amounts of fat filled, calorie filled, carb filled, delicious spinach dip, I vowed this summer to create a spinach dip, which would still taste great but would not leave you feeling guilty at the end of the night.  Mission accomplished! 

I created this dip during the summer and it was well accepted.  For this last weekend, I altered the recipe slightly, and I think that it tasted even better!  It is really very different from any recipe you will find online, and is very simple.  Get ready for your tastebuds to love you and for your waistline to thank you!

Schick’s Spinach Dip

  • 1 Pkg (300g) Frozen Chopped Spinach        80 cals
  • 1 C Fat Free 1% Cottage Cheese                    200 cals
  • 1 1/2 C Fat Free 1% Sour Cream                   240 cals
  • 1/2 C Calorie Wise Miracle Whip (or a Low Fat mayo.  I had made it with mayo in the summer and with Miracle Whip for Thanksgiving, I think the Whip was much better)                 240 cals
  • 1-8oz Can of Water Chestnuts                          60 cals
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • 1/4 C Green Onion
  • 1/2 Pkg Knorr’s Cream of Leek Soup Mix  140 cals
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Paste                                                  20 cals
  • 1 tsp. Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste                     Total  : 980 cals

Directions:

Thaw spinach, place in a colander and drain liquid out (squeezing it with your hands in plastic bags works very well) and set aside.  Dice red pepper and broil in oven for about 5 minutes or until peppers are nicely roasted.  Dice water chestnuts.  Put cottage cheese, sour cream and Miracle Whip into a blender and puree until cottage cheese chunks are gone and all is smooth.  Dump into a large bowl and mix together all ingredients, spinach last (no reason why really, that’s just how I did it).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate for at least two hours; overnight is best.

Serving suggestions: Nothing out of the ordinary.  Cut the top off a pumpernickel loaf and gut.  Replace the insides with spinach dip and use the guts for dipping.  I also bought 2 mini sour dough loaves and tore those up for dipping purposes.

Makes about 4 cups, or enough for a small-medium sized gathering. 

Here is the really fantastic part!  Regular spinach dip is 100 or more calories per Tbsp.  My wonderful, fabulous, delicious, waistline friendly spinach dip is a total of 980 calories.  Divide that by the amount made, 64 Tbsp. (4cups) and you have a total of…..drum roll please…..15 calories per Tbsp!  And it tastes better than the store-bought stuff too (in my opinion!).  Try it for yourself and see!

The yummy finished product!