Roasted Aspargus with Green Garlic

Spring has started in the SF Bay Area, sure it’s still rainy and cool, but this weekends visit to the Hayward Farmers Market had me jumping up and down for joy – the very first green garlic and asparagus of the season had appeared!

So when trying to decide what to cook for dinner I combined my two early spring treats into one wonderful roasted treat.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, tough ends snapped off

3 -4 green garlic bulbs, white and light green parts, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

Salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss green garlic, asparagus , salt and olive oil together in a roasting pan.

Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the asparagus starts to brown slightly. Cooking time will vary depending on width of asparagus.

Serves 2 -4
1 WW PP (4 servings)

Dijon Pork cutlets

This is a quick weeknight meal. It works best if you can chill the cutlets after you bread them and before you cook them. Everyone loves it – even picky toddlers have been know to eat these pork cutlets. These are great leftovers too – reheated or cold.

Ingredients:
1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced and pounded to 1/4 inch
3 + TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 c flour
1 + c panko breadcrumbs
2 + TBSP olive oil
Fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

Prepare 3 trays or bowls, one with flour, one with mustard, and one with panko.

Pat your pork dry and dredge in flour, rub in mustard (you want to coat both side evenly – I use my fingers) then coat with panko, press it in and lay cutlets in a single layer on a plate or tray. Chill for 1 hour.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add cutlets in a single layer, don’t crowd them. Cook for 3 min per side. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel. You may need to add more oil, do so between batches.

Snip parsley over the top of cooked cutlets and serve with lemon wedges.

*Lighten it up: use 2 tsp oil and spray cutlets with olive oil spray. This version is 5 WW PP for 4 oz cooked cutlet.

Serves 4 – 6
5 WW PP per cutlet

Pumpkin Muffins

Another veggie muffin for my little pumpkin. Once again you can substitute regular flour for my whole wheat, oat bran, flax combo. This time I baked them in a bunny shaped whoopee pie mold.

Ingredients:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c oat bran
1/2 c ground flax seed
1/2 c brown sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c milk
1 can pumpkin
1/4 c applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c raisins
1/2 c nuts

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Mix wet ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine wet and dry ingredients, add nuts and raisins.

Bake muffins for 20 – 23 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Makes about 24 muffins.

Skinny Chocolate Cake

Even when attempting to lose a few pounds, the thought of depriving myself of chocolate is unbearable. This cake is a guilt free delight! It’s gluten-free, fat-free and comes together in less than 10 minutes if you use a stand mixer. This is one I can actual make while the kids are awake! I adapted it from a David Lebovitz recipe.

Special Equipment:
9 inch spring-form pan

Ingredients:
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c egg whites – about 7

Preheat oven to 325.

This cake is baked in a water bath so you need a roasting pan or large deep oven proof skillet that your pan will fit in. Then you’ll need to wrap the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan tightly with aluminum foil, I use the extra wide roll for this purpose, if using regular width use two pieces, place one piece down then the other across it to make an “+”, place your pan in the middle and wrap tightly. You don’t want any seepage from the water-bath. Next, butter or spray the pan with Pam Flour Spray.

Sift together cocoa and sugar or toss in a food processor and run for 1 minute. You want to get all the lumps out and thoroughly combine.

In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on low for 1 minute, then on high until stiff peaks form. You can use a whisk, but I am lazy.

Gently fold in 1/2 sugar/cocoa mixture into egg whites until well combined. Add rest and gently fold until combined.

Pour into prepared pan, place in roasting pan and add hot water 1/2 up the side of the pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until set.

Remove from oven and water bath, cool on the sink for 5 minutes. Remove foil, and gently loosen the spingform pan.

This cake is wonderful warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8
2 WW PointsPlus per serving

Cauliflower Soup

Pureed soups are my favorite. There is something about a really smooth soup that seems so sophisticated and elegant, and it is so easy. I love the way this soup brings together the sweetness of the onions with the creaminess of the cauliflower. It is a really easy soup to whip up while you are doing other things. I adapted this recipe from Around My French Table by Dorothy Greenspan.

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups water
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP olive oil

Melt butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over low heat, add onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and 1/2 tsp salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Stir to coat and cook covered for 20 minutes.

Add water, stock and cauliflower and cook for 40 – 60 minutes until tender.

Remove bay leaf and purée the soup for 10 minutes until completely smooth.

Ladle into warmed bowls. Drizzle with a little truffle oil or walnut oil.

Serves 6 – 8.

Frankenstein Hot and Sour Soup

This soup resulted from the combo of 6 recipes, a need to use food before it expired, and a teeny tiny bit of genius on my part. I like my food spicy, so feel free to tweak this recipe to your taste, I added a little chile oil and sarachi sauce to my bowl to give it a bit more kick. I also crisped up the tofu which, in my opinion, was my stoke of genius.

Ingredients:
10 oz extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 TbSP soy sauce
3 TBSP rice wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 TBSP corn starch
3 TBSP corn oil
1 – 4 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 lb shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 small zuchinni, diced
2 – 4 TBSP Ginger, thinly sliced
2 bunches green onion, thinly sliced
2 – 4 c Asian greens – bok choy or such
2 TBSP lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
2 TBSP chopped cilantro

Combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cornstarch with a whisk.

In a large stock pot, add 2 TBSP oil over medium high heat, when hot, add tofu and cook for about 2 minutes per side till nicely browned. Remove from heat, do NOT cover.

Add 1 TBSP oil to the pot and return to medium high heat, when hot, add the jalapeño peppers and sauté 1 min, add mushrooms, zuks, ginger and green onions, cook for 2 minutes. Add stock then the soy sauce mixture and stir a few times, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and add greens. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and tofu.

Serve in bowls, drizzle with sesame oil and fresh cilantro.

If you want hotter add sriracha sauce, if you want more sour, add a touch more vinegar.

Serves 4 – 6.

Broccoli Slaw Muffins

Dinosaur Broccoli Slaw Muffins

Like most two year olds, my son will eat his way around just about any vegetable I put in front of him. Well, not this time! While shopping at Trader Joe’s I spied a bag of broccoli slaw and I had an epiphany – why not take that nutritious broccoli slaw and put it into a muffin? And that is just what I did! As always, my muffins are full of lots of wholesome goodness and best of all my little guy thinks he is getting a treat! You can use 1 1/2 cups of flour instead of my oat bran, whole wheat, flax combo.

Ingredients:
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c ground flax
1/2 c oat bran
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c oil
1/4 c apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c broccoli slaw, chopped fine in a food processor
1 1/2 c carrots, chopped fine in a food processor
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c nuts

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix dry ingredients.
Mix wet ingredients.
Combine wet and dry and add veggies, nuts and fruit. Stir well.

Scoop into muffin tins. Bake 15 – 20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Makes about 16 – 20 muffins.

Look at all the veggie goodness