rewind

Oh blog, I miss you! I have been wanting to update for over a month now but the free time I have currently is very limited. I know within a few weeks things will settle but for now… ah well the postings with be rare. I have a bunch of pictures and recipes to post and soon I will get around to it.

 

Because I don’t have time I figured I would let the world in on a dog treat recipe I made for Burt a few months back. You can find the recipe in my squaresquiggle blog and here http://squaresquiggle.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/go-annie/

There is also a blueberry jam recipe on that post as well.

Heres a little treat for you! I have been viewing quite a bit of Target Women for one of my classes

MMMMMM yogurt!

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General Tso knows how we do.

Tonight Stephen and I tag teamed General Tso tofu. He made this recipe a few weeks ago, however in his first go around 2 tsp of cayenne pepper were involved. Lets just say, Stephen and Mike were sweating while they ate and I gave up. This time we went without the cayenne pepper and it was sooooo much better, not to mention tolerable! I highly recommend this dish. It is sweet, filling, and healthy!

General Tso Chicken

with a side of broccoli and garlic

Ingredients:

3/4 cup(s) canned chicken broth (or sub veg broth), reduced-sodium    1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch    2 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce    1 Tbsp white wine vinegar    1/2 tsp ground ginger    2 tsp peanut oil   2 medium scallion(s), chopped    2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or 1 dried chili pepper, minced    2 cup(s) cooked white rice, kept hot      15 oz extra firm tofu

Extra firm tofu

Directions:

Before making the dish you need to prep the tofu. Cut the tofu down the middle, making it a bit thinner and easier to drain.

Once you have cut the tofu, place the tofu between two pieces of paper towels. Pile on heavy dishes to squeeze the water out of the tofu. Let the tofu sit in this position for at least 10 minutes.

After the tofu is pressed, cut into cubes and set aside for later.

In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger; set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.

Add tofu; sauté until browned all over, about 5 minutes.

it will start to thicken from the corn starch

Add reserved sauce to pan and simmer until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Serve  tofu and sauce over rice. Yields about 1 cup chicken with sauce and 1/2 cup rice per serving.

Portobello Zucchini Sandwiches: Thyme (1)

Tonight I tried a new recipe that requires the use of thyme. The actual recipe was rather vague and I had to make up a bit of it on my own. Despite the gaps in the recipe it was pretty tasty. So heres to thyme, the ingredient of the week! Also, this is about 6 WW points.

Ingredients

minus shallots

Serves 2:

baget, 1 zuchinni (thinly sliced), 1 mushroom cap (sliced), 2 oz. goat cheese, 1tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, cracked pepper, salt, 1 medium shallot (sliced), 2 tsp of thyme, 1 beef steak tomato

Directions

Preheat oven to 450. Slice zucchini and mushrooms. Place zucchini in a baking dish and place the mushrooms in a separate dish. Make sure to spray the mushroom baking dish before placing in.

Once zucchini is in the baking dish, brush olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, place both baking dishes in the oven. The mushrooms will cook faster. Keep an eye on both dishes and turn veggies so both sides cook evenly.

you don't need much to moisten the zucchini

While veggies are cooking prep the red wine vinegar marinade. Put red wine vinegar in small bowl. Then, slice shallots and place them in bowl. Add some salt and pepper and set aside.

Take veggies out when they begin to brown. Place mushrooms in red wine vinegar mix. Stir mushrooms and then cover.

if there is a lot of extra water, drain some from bowl

set aside until ready to build the sandwich

After veggies are out of the oven, place the bread into the broiler for less than a minute (make sure it doesn’t burn). You want the bread to be lightly toasted. Slice tomato into thin slices. After bread is finished, begin to build! Spread goat cheese on one side of bread and sprinkle with thyme.

you can spread quite a bit of cheese, don't be cheap!

Start with the zucchini, then place mushrooms, shallots, and tomatoes.

Put top of bread on and your sandwich is complete!

not the prettiest sandwich, but sure tastes good

Making your morning better part (2): Apple- Cinnamon Pancakes

Straight up: this is a weight watchers recipe. With that being said, it is AMAZING. When you eat these delightful pancakes it is if you are sneaking dessert for breakfast. But no worries here, these healthy treats can be consumed at any time of the day! Also another huge perk, they are super easy to make. Try them with cool whip, syrup, or sugar free caramel!

Note: these can easily be made vegan. Sub the egg whites for egg replacer powder. Also, sub milk for soy. This will prob change the texture so I would not add the full amount.

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients: 1 1/4 c of flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 c of apple

Wet Ingredients: 1 c of low fat buttermilk, 1/2 c applesauce (cinnamon flavor), 1 tbsp  veg oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 large egg lightly beaten ( I subbed 1/4 c of egg whites)

Directions   

Place griddle on burner and place on low heat. Spray with cooking spray. Prep apples by dicing into small pieces. These apple are going in the batter, make sure they are small. Set apples aside, you won’t need them for a while.

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. Set aside.

dry ingredients

In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients together. Stir throughly.

Combine the wet mixture with the dry ingredients. Stir until blended. Once the mixtures are combined, add the apples.

mix the apples evenly into the batter

 Spoon batter on griddle. This recipe should make about 10 pancakes. If you are into weight watchers that means each pancake is 3 points.

wait until griddle is heated evenly

flip when pancake begins to bubble

 Remove pancakes when both sides are a light brown and serve! We added a little bit of walnuts this time for extra flavor. You can fancy these up in many ways, be creative!

fancy flap jacks

make your morning better part (1): granola

Nothing makes my mornings better than a delightful breakfast, a workout at the gym, and great walk with my dog. One of my favorite breakfasts is a homemade parfait! I use 0% vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt, homemade granola, and a ton of fruit. I have finally perfected the granola using a few different techniques. I can now rest because the texture and distribution of cinnamon is exceptional. Take a chance… try the recipe.. and make your breakfasts better, ha!

Healthy Homemade Granola

Ingredients

1/4 c of raisins, cranberries, slivered or slices almonds

cinnamon – use as much or as little as you like. I probably put a little more than a tbsp

1 tsp- ground ginger

1 tsp- vanilla extract

3 c uncooked oats (buy the off brand, you’ll save money and it tastes the same)

2 cups rice crispy cereal (buy the off brand, you’ll save money and it tastes the same)

6 tbsp of honey (We bought locally produced honey from a near by farm and you can really taste the difference. If you can obtain such honey I highly recommend it.)

1/4 c of apple juice

1 tsp of canola oil

Directions

Heat oven to 350 and mix oats and crispies together in a large baking dish.  Place dish in oven and let bake for 10 minutes.

keep this bowl close.. you are going to need it later.

turn oats once while in the oven

While the oats are baking prepare your mixture. In another bowl mix together all the ingredients with the exception of the dried fruit and almonds. Mix well so that honey is dissolved.

heavy on the cinnamon but it was delicious!

Now here is the part where it is critical to follow directions! Once the 10 minutes are up spoon a small amount of the oats back into the large bowl and then spoon a small amount of mixture on top. Mix the liquid with the oats and repeat. The big part of this whole recipe is making sure all of the oats are coated. When it is evenly distributed you get a much crunchier granola mix. After, mix the whole batch, and spoon it back into the cooking dish. Then place almonds in dish and mix. Bake for additional 18 minutes, mixing the granola ever so often.

evenly coated

After the 18 minutes are up, take out your granola, add the dried fruit and place in an air tight container. Do not put the lid on the container until granola is cool.

enjoy!

vegetarian pot pie… that is GOOD for you!

I used to HATE pot pie. Once I tried chicken pot pie and was horribly disappointed. Note: I was probably 10, but none the less it scared my memory. About a year or so ago I discovered a vegetarian pot pie recipe that was great! However, since then I have changed the recipe in a number of ways to make it healthier. Tonight I finally accomplished a super healthy version of the pie that totaled only 4 weight watchers points ( for 1/6 of the pie). I am satisfied with the changes and feel I can call this recipe my own :).

Annie’s Veggie Pot Pie

Ingredients:

2 medium carrots (peeled and cubed)

1 small russet potato (peeled and cubed)

1 cup of frozen peas

1/2 yellow onion (diced)

12 oz. button mushroom (stemmed and sliced)

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 c non fat milk

1 c mushroom broth (i.e. mushroom gravy– try and find the lowest fat content possible)

1 tbsp white vinegar

less than 1/4 cup of egg whites

1/4 c of flour

organic phyllo dough (4 sheets)

Directions:

Heat oven to 400, place wrack in middle and prep all veggies. Place butter in 3 or 4 quart dutch oven on medium heat and wait for butter to foam. Once butter is foaming add carrots and onions to pot.

Cook onions for 2 minutes and then place mushrooms and potatoes in the pot. Cook until mushrooms have shrunk, approx. 6 minutes.

Cook until mushrooms have shrunk and onions are translucent

Once mixture is set add the flour. Make to mix flour completely so that you do not taste it. The flour should absorb some of the water emitted from the mushrooms.

stir constantly

Once you have added flour and the mixture is completely mixed add the milk and broth. Stir occasionally and bring to a simmer. Cook for approx. 5 minutes or until mixture had begun to thicken.

After mixture has begun to thicken remove it from the heat and add the vinegar and peas. Stir once or twice and transfer to pie pan. Place phyllo dough over pan and glaze with egg whites.

Once the pie has been covered place it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes before enjoying!

phyllo dough is a healthier option to pie crust

dig in!

georgia peaches and homemade biscuits!

I love making jam. As I have become more comfortable with the procedure I have begun to create my own recipes. My strawberry apricot jam was a big hit amongst friends so I decided to continue pursuing different combinations. Good ol Georgia peaches are abundant at the fruit stand now which my decision pretty easy. In this jam I used peaches, white wine, and lemon. I am pretty pleased with the outcome! The jam is sweet and light. I enjoy mixing it with other jams. Oh yes, and since I was already baking I decided to make some homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Ingredients: 4 c of peaches, 4 c of sugar, 1 tbsp of pectin, 8 tbsp of white wine, 3 tbsp of lemon juice

I bought a cheap white wine that is said to “compliment fruit.” Get buck wild and choose whatever wine you want!

fresh peaches

First, rinse and then pit each peach. You can cube them if you want, however it’s not necessary because of the food processor.

Place peaches in food processor and blend until smooth. It is okay if there are a few chunks in the mix.

blend until smooth

Once the peaches are blended you can add the sugar. You may add the sugar while it’s in the mixture or once you transfer it to your pot.

mix well with fruit

Once the sugar is mixed in, place mixture into a large pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil add pectin and wine.

pectin makes the jam gel

Bring heat to a simmer and stir for about 10 minutes. There will be a film at the top, this is okay because you will skim it off prior to jarring.

Stir!!

Prior to jarring use a spoon to take off the foam

To check if mixture is finished take one tablespoon and place it on a flat surface. Give the jam a few seconds to see if it becomes jelly like. If it does, start jarring!

funnels make life easier

Pour the mixture into a jar quickly. The jar will be hot so be careful! Once all contents are in, wipe the mouth of the jar with a wet paper towel and seal. Let the jam set at room temp for 12 hours or so before transferring it to the fridge. You can freeze your jam for up to 3 months if you choose not to consume it immediately.

all finished!

I whipped up some biscuits to accompany the jam because were having “breakfast for dinner.” I love those kind of nights.

from scratch... and delicious!