Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blueberry-Almond French Toast Bake

There is nothing like the smell of cinnamon and a sweet french toast bake infusing the house early on a Saturday morning, nothing!  I found this recipe in Ellie Krieger's So Easy cookbook last night and decided it would be the perfect Saturday morning breakfast for my niece Shelby who is 11 years old.  I invited her over for a girls night, to which consisted of making chocolate chip cookies, dance battles on the Kinect, and lots of laughs!  I hope you enjoy this recipe, it's healthy and super easy to make.




Blueberry-Almond French Toast Bake
Ellie Krieger, So Easy, pg. 55

Makes 8 servings


Cooking Spray
1 whole-wheat baguette (about 18 inches long, 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
8 large eggs
8 large egg whites
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Arrange the bread in a single layer in the baking pan.  Whisk together the milk, eggs, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan, spreading it around so the liquid saturates the bread.  Scatter the blueberries evenly on top.  Sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Uncover and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Serve hot.

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 4x3-inch piece

Per Serving:
Calories: 270
Total Fat: 8g (sat 2.5, mono 2, poly .75)
Protein: 16g
Carb: 35g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 220mg
Sodium: 280mg

Excellent source of: Iodine, Manganese, Protein, Riboflavin, and Selenium
Good source of: Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, Zinc

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shrimp Thai Pasta

I usually try to make a handful of recipes each month out of the Cooking Light magazine and this month I found a recipe for Shrimp Pad Thai.  I didn't have any rice noodles on hand, but decided to substitute with some organic whole wheat fettuccine.  The one thing I recommend is to wait until the water starts boiling to begin making the sauce.  I started the sauce too early which was fine, but you risk overcooking the shrimp if you're not careful.
Heat up a pot of water for the noodles (or pasta).  While the water is heating, combine sugar and the next 4 ingredients (through Siracha) in a small bowl.

Adding the lower-sodium soy sauce...

and fish sauce (and lime juice)...

and Sriracha (my favorite!).

Then, dice up some green onions and mince the garlic (I used a press).  You also need to peel and devein some shrimp.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done.


Then you are supposed to add the cooked noodles, toss to combine, and then add the sauce, but my noodles were still cooking so I added the sauce first (it still tasted great).

Once the noodles are ready, toss with saucy shrimp mixture so all of the noodles get coated.  Transfer to a plate, top with fresh bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, and some thinly sliced fresh basil (which I'm missing) and enjoy!

If you like spicy food then I would probably bump up the amount of Sriracha to your liking.  I've made this a couple of times, bumping up the amount of Sriracha each time and I haven't quite found the perfect amount.  If you decide to make it let me know what you think!

Shrimp Pad Thai
Cooking Light, March 2011 pg. 123

8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles (or pad Thai noodles)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Sriracha
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup (2-inch) green onion pieces (I chopped mine smaller)
8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
2. While water comes to a boil, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done.  Add cooked noodles; toss to combine.  Stir in sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine.  Arrange about 1 cup noodle mixture on each of the 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup bean sprouts,1 tablespoon peanuts, and 2 teaspoons basil.

It's a little high on sodium, but for a "take out" style dish, much less than you would actually get from a restaurant. 

Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Info:

Calories 462
Fat 16.1g (sat 1.6g, mono 9.1g, poly 4.8g)
Protein 15.8g
Carb 64.3g
Fiber 2.6g
Chol 86mg
Iron 3.7mg
Sodium 779mg
Calcium 90mg

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Adele's Brownies

While I was in London the week before last, one of the girls I met, Adele, brought in these delicious brownies!  They are super fudgy and easy to make.
I decided to make them for my client's birthday on Friday and everyone who tried them thought they tasted great.  Kyle was less of a fan, but it's probably because they are made with more cocoa powder than normal brownie recipes, so more on the bitter side, but they still taste great.  Enjoy!

First you will need to melt the butter, then add in "caster" sugar which is superfine sugar sold in Britain.  You can either buy the sugar online, use regular granulated sugar (what I did), or you can add sugar to a food processor and process for a few minutes to make it more fine.

Mix, mix, mix...

The add in some vanilla extract...

And some cocoa powder (use a high quality cocoa powder if possible)...

Mix, mix, mix...

Add in the baking powder...

And flour, and mix, mix, mix!

Keep mixing!

Add in the eggs...

And mix until everything is combined.

Add in the chocolate chips and mix again.

Pour into a square baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with butter.

Bake and enjoy (full recipe below)!
IMG_0836 ed

Mmmmmmm...!  This picture came out WAY over exposed, so pardon the post production editing (it still looks funny to me, but wanted to share the finished brownie regardless).

The ingredients are in grams, which I don't cook with in the states, but if you go online to Bing and search for "gram conversion" you can see the equivalent in ounces, etc.  I had a scale that measured in grams so I was good to go!

These are so good! Thanks Adele!

Adele's Brownies
Serves 16-20

250g butter, melted
300g caster sugar
60g flour
80g good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten (I just added them whole and stirred into the mix and it turned out fine)
200g chocolate chips

Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder, and flour together.  Then add in the eggs.  The mixture will seem really runny, but don't worry.  Then add in the chocolate chips.  Put into a lined square tin.   Bake in a low oven (160 oC or 325F) for 40 minutes or until cooked through (do the spike test... when it comes out clean they're ready).  Cool and cut into bite sized chunks!