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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just some recipes...

Seriously, that's all I have.  I'm the committee chair for our local alumni admissions, so we're welcoming kids that were recently accepted- way fun.  My position is impacted by the tax season- way unfun.  It's a busy time of year for Mama Bean!

Easy Breezy I'm Too Cheap to Throw Out Aging Produce Applesauce
  • Core and cut up apples (I put in whatever is squishy- sometimes I have 4 apples, other times 8.  I use the corer/slicer thingy)- don't peel.
  • Put them in a slow cooker.
  • Add about 1/4 cup water.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.  I like the fresh ground Saigon- naturally sweet.
  • Put on low and let cook all day.
  • Mush with a spoon.
  • Serve hot or cold.
  • I also throw in berries and pears that have seen better days.
Told you it was easy.  Seriously.  That's all I do.  The smaller you cut the apples, the faster it cooks.  I get compliments on this all the time and no one EVER believes me that I do nothing.  I like it over the canned stuff- no sugar, more fiber.  BONUS- it makes your house smell fabulous.

Phenomenal Flank Steak
  • Marinate a 1-1.5 lb flank steak in about 1 1/2 cups low sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice, and about 1 tsp fresh ground pepper.  I usually marinate it about 2 days in the refrigerator.  I will flip it to make sure it doesn't dry out.
  • Let the steak come to room temperature (in the marinade).
  • Set the grill to high heat, then lower to medium.
  • Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side for medium rare (thinner cuts 4 minutes, thicker cuts 6 minutes).
It usually feeds all four of us with enough leftovers for salads.  The flavor is great, so you don't need a large portion.

Basic High Fiber Muffin Recipe
  • Mix in a large bowl- 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup white flour, 1/2 cup oat bran OR 1/4 wheat germ, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda, a dash of salt.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix together 3 mashed ripe bananas, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 beaten eggs, 1/3 cup skim milk, 1/3 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • Dump the wet ingredients into the dry. 
  • Pour into lined, sprayed with cooking spray muffin pan.
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (17 in a convection oven)
Makes 12.

Variations
  • Add 1 cup chocolate chips or butterscotch chips
  • Add 1/2 cup low fat peanut butter and reduce the canola oil to 1/4 cup.  I also throw in chips.
  • Add dried cherries and chocolate chips
  • Add 1 cup applesauce and reduce bananas to 2 and canola oil to 1/4 cup, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1-2 diced apples.
  • Add 2 tablespoons cocoa to the dry ingredients, change the vanilla to almond, through in the chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup of coconut and they taste like Almond Joys.

As you can see, I've done a few variations- I've used dried mangoes, raisins, craisins, etc.  It's pretty much unlimited.  I almost always add some sort of chip- white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch-- just a cup goes a long way.

These are fairly high in fiber so don't eat more than 1 (I'm not joking)!  Also, they don't keep much past 3 days- so share.  I think they make great mini muffins.

I use this to get rid of the past-their-prime bananas. 

These were a huge hit with my kids' teachers.  My former ass't suggested I make muffins for a living, she loved them so much.  They aren't low-cal (about 250-300 per muffin per SparkPeople's calculator), but they are much healthier than a typical muffin.  I've played with the original recipe for about 6 years and added more leavening (to make them lighter and feel less "good for you") and the flavor variations.  I'm also a cinnamon freak. 

Zucchini Something or Other
  • Sautee 1 pint mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Season with garlic powder and black pepper to taste until they are tender.
  • Add 2 small or 1 large thinly sliced zucchini (I use a mandolin slicer).  Sautee until the zucchini begins to become translucent.
  • Add 1 can Italian style stewed tomatoes (or plain tomatoes seasoned to taste- I'm into low salt stuff).
  • Throw in 1 small can of sliced black olives ( 4 oz??).
  • Heat through.  Take off the burner.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese to taste.  4-5 lbs is good- kidding-- I REALLY love cheese.  About 1/4- 1/2 cup is good.  It holds it all together.

I usually serve this with the Healthy Harvest wide noodles.  My mom used to make a similar dish that was baked, but it's much easier on the stove top and the veggies keep their texture.  In my single days, I would throw in green peppers and onions.  It's too much for my family.

Brussel Sprouts That Anyone Will Eat
  • When you prep your sprouts, peel off the nasty, yellowed outside leaves.
  • With a food processor, slice them.
  • Sautee them in 1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth (depending on how many you have-- don't you love my "recipes"?)
  • Add 2 crumbled slices of cooked bacon (because everybody loves bacon).
  • Season with black pepper and garlic powder to taste (again, notice a trend?  I am a fan of garlic powder.  It's basically garlic flavored salt.  It has less sodium than garlic salt and more garlic flavor.  I actually don't like using real garlic- it's too strong and I tend to burn it when I cook with olive oil- and burned garlic is nasty).
  • Cook until they turn bright green and then STOP.  Overcooked brussel sprouts are disgusting.  It only takes about 4-5 minutes. 
SECRET- Don't tell people what they are.  They have a bad rep.  Everyone and every food deserves a fresh start at least once.  And again, there's bacon. 

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None of these take much time to make, by the way.

Happy Cooking!

Also- is it Brussel or Brussels???

1 comment:

Rita said...

Love your recipes!