Corn Fritters

corn frittersSomething a toddler will eat and a tasty snack for adults, could it be true? Yes! These little fritters are full of veggies and tasty. They work great for appetizers too! I like to top them with a nice dollop of crab dip.

Ingredients:
2/3 c cornmeal
3 TBSP whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg
2/3 c corn kernels
1/2 c peas or red peppers
1/4 c grated red onion

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet. Combine and stir in veggies.

Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat, brush pan with a little canola oil. Use a small cookie scoop or TBSP, scoop onto hot pan, smooshing a little. Cook 2 – 3 minutes on each side until golden.

These freeze great too!

Makes about 20 fritters.
1 WW PP per fritter

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Pizza Dough

I make pizza about once a week. It is an easy meal and my favorite comfort food. I let this dough rise for an hour or so then, chop it in half, wrap one in plastic and pop in the freezer and use the other one. I like my crust super thin, so if you like it thicker use the whole ball.

Ingredients
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup water

Pulse flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor until mixed.

Heat oil and water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave to between 120 and 130°F (about 1 minute). With the processor on, gradually pour the warm liquid through the feed tube. (If the mixture is too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons warm water.) Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for an hour or so.

Make Ahead Tip: The dough can be made ahead, enclosed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.

6 – 12 servings (depending on thick or thin crust)
4 WW PP thick crust
2 WW PP think crust

Onion Fritatta

I came across this recipe in Bon Appétit’s May 2011 issue. I added a few more herbs, caramelized the onions and substituted 1/2 the eggs with egg whites. To make a little lighter you could use fat free ricotta. This is great for lunch or a light dinner.

Ingredients:
4 eggs
3/4 c egg white
1/2 c finely grated Parmesan
7 basil leaves
10 sage leaves
2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
2 c onion thinly sliced
1/2 c ricotta

Preheat oven to 400. Toss herbs and parm into a mini chopper and pulse a couple times till chopped. Whisk eggs, parm, herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl, set aside. Heat oil in 10 inch oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, caramelize adding a couple TBSP of water as needed to keep from burning. Reduce heat to low. Stir in egg mixture. Spoon dollops of ricotta evenly over.

Cook until set, about 2 minutes. Place in oven and bake until just set 15 – 17 minutes. Slide onto a plate and cut into wedges. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

Serves 6.
4 WW PP per serving.

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Elvis Muffins

My 2.5 year old is the pickiest eater ever! Muffins are the one thing I can usually get him to eat. I call these Elvis muffins because banana and peanuts come together to make a yummy snack.

Ingredients:
1 c chopped peanuts
1 1/2 c mashed banana
1/3 c melted butter, 5 TBSB
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 c oat bran
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix dry ingredients with a whisk.
Mix wet ingredients.
Combine and stir in nuts.

Scoop into muffin pan lined with muffin tins.

Bake 15 – 17 min until cake tester comes out clean.

12 servings.

Green Garlic Pizza Margherita

Pizza MargheritaLast night was one of “those nights” – hubby had to work late, sick toddler, cranky baby and I forgot to defrost something for dinner. While hunting in the freezer for something that Mr Picky might take a bite of, I spied a pack of pizza dough (I usually freeze 1/2 when I make it) and dinner was on! I had some tomatoes, leftover Trader Joes pizza sauce, a couple cloves of green garlic and my basil from our herb garden – yeah Margherita pizza with a twist. This super thin crust pizza is a crispy cheesy garlicy goodness!

Ingredients:
8 oz pizza dough
8 oz shredded mozzarella
2 – 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
10 – 20 basil leaves
3 – 4 oz pizza sauce
3 – 4 heads green garlic, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450 with pizza stone in oven.

Roll dough out super thin. I roll it out, lay the rolling pin across it let it sit, come back and roll out more.

I place my dough directly on the hot stone then add my toppings: sauce, basil, green garlic, cheese and tomatoes with a little cheese on top.

Pop in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, slice and enjoy.

Serves 4.
8 WW PP per serving.

Grilled Flatbread

I am discovering a new love, simple bread making. It started with pizza dough, now I’m giving flatbread a whirl, who knows what will be next!

This recipe is adapted from the June 2011 Bon Appetite, I’ve also include the spice blend – it is wonderful. I used the spice blendLAN lamb burgers I served with the flatbread. I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose flour – just to make it a little healthier. This recipe makes 4 servings, since there are only two of us and I knew I could not resist the temptation if there was extra bread laying around, I popped two of the dough balls in the freezer for use in the future.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 TBSP olive oil
1/8 oz active dry yeast
1 TBSP kosher salt
1 c warm water (105 – 115)
1 TBSP spice blend (recipe below)

Spice Blend Ingredients:
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Finely grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes in a spice mill.

Store in an air tight container.

For the flatbread:
Pour yeast into water and let sit 10 minutes.

In food processor, mix flour, salt and spice. Add olive oil and water with yeast and mix for 3 minutes.

Turn out onto a flour surface and knead a few times, then form into a ball.

Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll into balls; space 2″ apart. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rest 15 minutes.

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Lightly brush 4 baking sheets with oil. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll out. Place 2 on each prepared sheet. Brush lightly with oil; season with spice blend, salt, and pepper.

Brush grill rack with oil. Brush bread with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until lightly charred in spots and cooked through, 1– 1/2 minutes per side.

4 servings.
7 WW PP.

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Ragu with Zuk Pasta

This is a veggie packed dinner with a little bit meat. The perfect dish after a sinful weekend of eating and drinking when I want pasta, but know a big bowl of pasta is totally going to blow my “diet.” I use venison sausage because it’s what I had on hand and it has 1/2 the fat of pork. I roughly chop the veggies and toss into mini food processor to save time, then purée one can of tomatoes to make it saucier.

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Ingredients:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1/4 c parsley roughly chopped
8 oz sausage, broken up
2 – 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
Hot pepper flakes to taste
4 – 6 medium zucchini, jullienned on mandolin
Fresh grated parmesan

In a 12 inch skillet heat oil over medium heat, add carrots, onions, celery, parsley and salt. Sauté for 3 – 5 minutes until softened. Add sausage, cook until brown about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes and cook for about 20 minutes.

Add the zucchini to the pan and cook for 10 more minutes until zucchini is heated through and soft like noodles.

Serve in warmed bowls with a little grated parmesan.

Serves 4.
4 WW PP with venison sausage.
7 WW PP with pork sausage.

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Slow Cooker Yogurt

Everyone in our house loves yogurt, the downside, there is a ton of recycling generated from all the containers, so I figured I’d give yogurt making a whirl.

I did some research and decided that the crock pot version was the one for me. My first batch was not so successful, but the second one – perfection!!!

What I learned:
1. The oven light really keeps the temp at 100 degrees.
2. Bring the yogurt starter to room temp
3. Do use a thermometer

This recipe takes about 24 hours to make, but only requires a few minutes of your time hear and there.

Tools you need:
Crock pot
Thermometer
Cheesecloth
Fine mesh sieve or chinois

Ingredients:
1/2 gallon pasteurized milk
1 c yogurt, I used Fage 2%

Turn crockpot on to low, add milk and cover with lid. Heat 3 – 4 hours until milk comes to 180 degree.

Turn off heat & unplug. Let sit for 3 – 4 hours until it reaches 120 degrees.

Turn the lights on in your oven. Pull your starter out of the fridge at this point to warm up a bit.

Let the milk continue to cool until it reaches 110 degrees. Mix 2 cups of milk with the yogurt starter and stir back into milk. Cover, wrap tightly with a towel and place in oven overnight. Keep the oven light on!!

In the morning. Remove from oven. Set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl. Line sieve with cheesecloth and spoon in yogurt. Let stand 30 minutes, draining whey (liquid) as needed from the bowl. Spoon into a glass or plastic container. Don’t forget to set one cup aside for your next batch.

Makes about a little less than 2 quarts.
4 WW PP per 1 cup.

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Oatmeal Carrot Whoopie Pies

The inspiration for these cookies came from Scolari’s in Alameda. These are a healthier version – swapping in some apple sauce for 1/2 the butter, double the carrots, reduce the sugar and up the spices.

Ingredients:
1/2 c brown sugar
4 TBSP unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg
1 Vanilla
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
2 c finely grated carrots
1/3 c raisins
1/2 c walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine sugars and butter in mixing bowl; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed until well combined.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine.

Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on low speed until just blended

Fold in oats, carrots, and raisins.

Scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with Silpat mats or parchment paper using a 1/2 oz. cookie scoop. (NOTE; 1/2 oz = 1 Tablespoon)

Bake 10 – 12 minutes.

Once cooled, spread desired amount of frosting onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie.

Frosting:
4 oz lite cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and until smooth. Add vanilla, stir until well combined. Add powdered sugar- beat until smooth.

Makes 24 sandwich cookies
3 WW PP per cookie.

Ricotta and Asparagus Pasta

What is it about Monday and Pasta – they just seem to go together. After a long day at the beginning of the week I really need a creamy, starchy, comfort meal to take the pain away, and maybe a glass or two of wine. Oh, and did I mention it has to be quick? This one fits the bill and even has some veg in it so I don’t feel completely guilty. I did lighten this up with Trader Joe’s fat free ricotta, but if your not watching your waist use the full fat ricotta. I also cut back the amount of Parmesan cheese and used whole wheat pasta. And, wait for it – the inspiration came from my favorite Italian cooking magazine Cucina Italiana.

Ingredients:
I lb of asparagus
12 oz ricotta
1 lb penne pasta
4 oz grated Parmesan
4 oz chopped prosciutto

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt well. Once boiling add asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from pot and drop in ice bath to stop the cooking. Chop off tips, set aside, and rough chop the rest. In a blender or food processor purée asparagus, ricotta and 1/4 tsp salt.

Return water to boil. Cook pasta al dente. Reserve 1/2 c pasta water. Add pasta to a large bowl, toss with ricotta, parm, prosciutto added pasta water as need to thin to desired constancy. Allow the pasta to rest for 2 minutes so it can absorb some of the sauce. Toss with asparagus tips and serve.

Serves 4.
9 WW PP