Apple Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Maple Frosting

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This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on Chow, I love the idea, but wanted something a bit healthier. I substituted white flour for oat flour, butter for applesauce, reduced the sugar and used brown instead of white. These are topped with a cream cheese maple frosting, and I just use a thin layer of frosting. The results are a tasty treat with very little fat and virtually no guilt.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 c oat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c apple sauce
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 c low-fat buttermilk
3 c shredded Gala

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 TBSP maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin tin.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.

Place applesauce in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, Add the sugar and vanilla and beat. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Set the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the buttermilk, and mix until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the shredded apples and any accumulated liquid until just combined, about 1 minute.

Fill the muffin wells about three-quarters full (about 1/4 cup per well). Place the muffin pans side by side on the rack and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, rotating the pans front to back and side to side halfway through the baking time, about 20 to 25 minutes total. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined. Chill in fridge for about an hour. Frost cupcakes.

Makes 24 cupcakes
3 WW PP per cupcake

Apple Pancakes

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These maybe the best pancakes I’ve ever had! They taste like apple pie! I used toasted pecans but you could use walnuts as well. I also used 4 different varieties of apple to give it a more complex recipe. This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s pancake book, I doubled it and used buttermilk instead of regular milk. These freeze great for a quick weekday breakfast – just pop them in the toaster to reheat.

2 c whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 c buttermilk
4 eggs
8 TBSP butter, melted
1 TBSP vanilla
4 apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
1 c nuts, chopped

Mix dry ingredients, add wet, combine well then stir in nuts and apple.

Cook on a griddle over medium heat.

Carrot, Coconut, Pecan, Raisin Waffle

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This recipe is adapted from a Dorie Greenspan’s Waffle book – they are amazing!! I used buttermilk and a little less sugar and made a cream cheese glaze – so hearty and yummy!

Ingredients:
1/2 c golden raisins
2 c grated carrots
2/3 c pecans, finely chopped
2/3 c coconut, shredded unsweetened
1 stick butter, melted
1 c all purpose flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 c brown sugar
3 c buttermilk
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese Icing:
3 oz cream cheese softened
2 TBSP half and half
2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP powdered sugar

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Mix together until combined. Pour into your favorite waffle iron.

For the icing – combine all the ingredients into a mini processor, if it is too thick add a little more 1/2 and 1/2.

Makes 5 – 6 large waffles (4 squares).

BLT Salad

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I love this salad, all the great things about a BLT with only a little guilt.

Dressing:
1/2 c buttermilk
2 Tsp olive oil
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

In a glass jar combine buttermilk, Dijon, oil, salt and thyme, shake well. Let sir in fridge for 1 hour to deepen the flavors.

3 – 4 heirloom tomatoes
1 head of lettuce, torn
4 – 5 pieces bacon, cooked & chopped

Slice tomatoes and lay on plates. Toss salad greens with dressing, place aside tomatoes, top with bacon.

2 – 4 servings
4 WW PP per serving (2).

Steamed Eggplant with Garlic

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Let me just say this, I love Patricia Wells! Her recipes are easy and oh so tasty, she is a culinary genius and accessible to those of us that have not been to cooking school. This recipe is wonderful – the eggplant is delicate, the garlic adds a punch and the buttermilk dressing adds sweetness and creaminess – basically a party in your mouth.

Ingredients:
2 – 3 small japanese eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 lb)
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 c buttermilk
2 Tsp olive oil
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

In a glass jar combine buttermilk, Dijon, oil, salt and thyme, shake well. Let sir in fridge for 1 hour to deepen the flavors.

Bring 1 quart of water to a simmer in the bottom of a steamer. Place eggplant slices, slightly overlapping on steaming rack. Cover and steam 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with garlic, season with salt and drizzle with 2 TBSP dressing. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

4 servings
1 WW PP per serving.

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