Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

These are yummy! Soft and chewy, and they stay that way for several days! I was going to make chocolate chip cookies again, since they were soo good and I gave most of them away for Father's day, but I decided I should add oats and make my next batch a little bit healthier : ) Fortunately I gave a lot of these away to my Mom for watching Owen, and my friend who just had a baby, so I can't eat them all! (Because I really could!)

Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe from Canyon Ranch, Nourish cookbook
4 Tb. (1/2 stick) butter
⅓ C low fat cream cheese
1 C brown sugar
1 egg yolks
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¾ C all-purpose flour
1½ C rolled oats
¾ tsp aluminum free baking powder
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
½ C raisins and or dried cranberries (I used a little of both)
1/4 C chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat baking sheet with canola oil spray or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and brown sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix briefly. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add to creamed mixture and mix until all dry ingredients are moistened. Portion heaping teaspoonfuls of dough, about ¼ ounce, onto baking sheet about 1½ inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Lightly flatten with finger. Rotate baking sheet and bake for another 4 minutes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cranberry Banana Oat Bread

I am always looking for the perfect banana bread recipe that is easy and doesn't call for too much sugar. I had three spotted over ripe bananas looking at me today and they were begging to be used in a new recipe. Well, I think I finally found one worth putting on the blog. I found this one on the Whole Foods website and it turned out perfect! It was moist, and hearty enough to have for breakfast without being too sweet. It's a winner!

Cranberry Banana Oat Bread
Recipe adapted from

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick oats
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups ripe mashed banana pulp (about 3 bananas)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used evaporated cane juice which is less processed)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I think this fall/ winter I will use fresh cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon or orange
1 Tb. wheat germ for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan with a small amount of margarine.

Whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cranberries and nuts in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk bananas, eggs and oil together in a separate bowl. Add sugar, cranberries, lemon juice, and zest; mix until blended. Gently stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Do not over mix the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Evenly sprinkle the top with wheat germ and bake until lightly browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Turn the bread out onto a cutting board and, using a serrated bread knife, slice the bread into 3/4-inch thick pieces. Arrange on a platter and serve.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Salmon En Croute

The cookbook says this is easy to make. It is fairly simple, yet it does take some time and some kitchen space (which I don't have a ton of either of those things). I am posting the recipe because the salmon turned out beautifully and it was pretty tasty, even the left overs the next day straight out of the fridge.
I have been craving salmon a lot the past few weeks, so Adam brought some home from the fish market the other night and this is what we decided to do with it:

Salmon En Croute
Recipe by Nourish Cookbook

For the Crust
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
4-6 Tb. ice water

For the caper sauce
2 tsp. capers, rinsed and drained
1 Tb. minced fresh chives
1 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh dill
3 Tb. plus 1 tsp sour cream, or plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

one 1 lb. salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 Tb. Dijon mustard (I used a lot less than this because I didn't want it to be too spicy, but I should have just followed directions, I think I would have liked a little more mustard.)
2 Tb. minced shallots
2/3 cup spinach, washed (I added a lot more than this because it cooks down to very little)
1 large egg

1. Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a baking sheet with canola oil.

2. For the crust, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl and mix well. Cut the butter into the flour, using a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the water 1 Tb. at a time mixing gently with a fork after each addition. the dough will begin to form a ball when enough water has been added. Gather the dough with dry hands and form it in to a ball. Let rest for 5 minutes.

3. Combine all ingredients from the caper sauce and mix well. Set aside

4. Season the salmon with the salt and pepper. Spread with mustard.

5. On a floured surface roll out the dough into an 8x12 inch rectangle. Spread the shallots and spinach over the center of the pastry. Place the salmon mustard sided down on top of the spinach so that the mustard is in contact with the vegetables. Wrap the dough around the salmon, sealing the edges, then flip the pastry upside down so that the salmon is on the bottom and the veggies are on top. Place on the baking sheet.

6. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of pastry. With a sharp knife, score the pastry evenly.

7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

8. Cut into four equal portions and serve each portion with 2 Tb. caper sauce.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fresh Lentil Tabbouleh

This is one of those dishes that lasts forever, is healthy and complete as a meal, or a great side dish. It packs in a lot of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, including iron, which I am happy to eat since our family does not eat red meat, and little animal protein in general.

Lentil Tabbouleh
Recipe by
2 cups cooked bulgur wheat (from about 1 cup dry)
2 – 2 1/2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (from about 1 cup dry)
2 cups chopped English cucumber
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1 cup chopped green onions (green and light green parts)
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, gently toss together bulgur through parsley. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Check for seasonings, cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (can be made a day in advance, which improves the flavor).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lemon Risotto with Leeks, Peas and Tarragon

I finally cleaned out the fridge and freezer as one of the last nesting chores I had on my list! It feels good to have some organization in there!!! Naturally, I tried to find as many ingredients that needed using for as few recipes as possible. Leeks and (4 bags of OPEN) frozen peas were on the list, so a summery risotto is what became of them. It was also the night of game 7 of the Celtics/ Laker game, so I needed a recipe that was green of white of course ; ) Sadly, my color coordinated meal did not pay off for the Celtics, however, our tummies were happy at least!

Lemon Risotto with Leeks, Peas and Tarragon
Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
4-5 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped shallot (about 3 small)
1 cup arborio rice
3 T dry white wine
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or fresh, blanched)
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz)
1 tsp lemon zest
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T freshly chopped tarragon
1 T butter (I only put in about a teaspoon and didn't think it was necessary)

  • Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add leek and shallots to pan and cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
  • Add rice and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add wine and cook 30 seconds or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in 1 cup stock. Cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).
  • Stir in peas and cook 1 minute. Stir in cheese, zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon and butter.

    Serves 2-4

Friday, June 11, 2010

Eggplant "Fries"

I bought two eggplants the other day with no idea what I was going to do with them. I searched for some quick recipe ideas with what I had in my fridge already and eggplant "fries" was the winner!

Eggplant "Fries"
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into sticks.
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 TB olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, combine Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs until mixed. Peel the eggplant, and slice into 1/2 inch sticks. Toss eggplant with olive oil. Place them in the bread crumb mixture bowl until coated and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a side of marinara for dipping, or just eat plain.