Foodie Blogroll

Monday, December 9, 2013

Peppermint Patty Snack Cake

Peppermint Patty Snack Cakes are the perfect thing to make when you want  a snack that tastes rich and chocolately but is still relatively guilt free. These amazing low-fat chocolate treats taste deceptively decadent but rather than adding unhealthy stuff like butter  or sugar, the cakes get their tasty  “peppermint patty-ness” from ingredients like cocoa powder, Truvia, pumpkin puree, and peppermint extract. I’m sure it sounds a little strange but once you mix in a few essentials like oats, baking soda, and eggs,  the ingredients come together to form a delectable, chocolate-peppermint batter. Once the easy batter is stirred together, simply divide it between two mini pie tins and a mere half hour later, you’re ready to indulge your chocolate cravings with a delightful Peppermint Patty Snack Cake!

Peppermint Patty Snack Cake
Gluten Free
Makes Two Mini Cakes
Click Here for Printable Recipe

pepp patty snack cake

6 tablespoons gluten free oats ( I like GF Harvest brand)
1/4 cup  Truvia Sweetener
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
dash of salt
1/4 liquid egg substitute (like the kind by Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon unsweetened original almond milk (like the kind by Silk)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
Special Equipment--
(2) Mini Pie Tins, about 5 inches in diameter (I used these )

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pie tins with nonstick spray then set aside.
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2.  Add oats, Truvia, cocoa, baking soda, and salt to a small mixing bowl and stir until combined.

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3. Add egg, pumpkin, milk, vanilla, and peppermint to mixing bowl. Stir until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

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4. Divide batter between prepared pie tins.

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5. Bake cakes for 28-30 minutes, or cakes feel firm to the touch in the center and edges start to pull away from sides of pan.

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6. Let cakes cool for 2-3 minutes, then run a thin rubber spatula or knife around the edges of each cake to separate it from pan. Invert cakes onto serving plate and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information--approximately 115 calories per snack cake (1/2 of the recipe)

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Hippie Lentil Burgers

For some reason, the ingredients in these delectable veggie burgers just reminds me of the quintessential hippie vegetarian. Loaded with ingredients like flax, lentils, walnuts, TVP and avocado these tasty burgers would make any hippie proud!  While these delightful burgers may seem a little intimidating since they’re composed of several separate components, most of the ingredients only require hands off cooking, which leaves you free to move onto the next component while another one is cooking. In the end, all of the separate components are simply stirred together in one bowl and combined into delectable burgers.  After a quick cooking, you’re ready to savor a flavor packed  lentil vegetable patty topped with a creamy avocado mash and you will see that this dish is worth the time. Pure veggie burger perfection!

Happy Hippie Lentil Burgers
Gluten Free
Serves 6
Click Here for Printable Recipe

hippie lentil burgers

1/4 cup brown lentils
2 tablespoons brown rice
3/4 cup vegetable broth (check for gluten)
1/2 cup water
Pulsed Grains:
1/2 cup gluten free puffed rice cereal
1 tablespoon gluten free oats (I prefer GF Harvest brand)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (such as the kind by Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt & Pepper
Roasted Vegetables--
1/4 of a red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 of a zucchini, roughly chopped
1 small carrot, roughly chopped
5-6 cremini mushrooms, halved
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (I used Bob's Red Mill TVP)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon double concentrated tomato paste (like the kind by Amore)
2 teaspoons gluten free soy sauce
Salt & Pepper
Herbs & Flavorings--
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper
Finishing Ingredients--
12 Slices Light Gluten Free Sandwich Bread (I always use the kind by Ener-G )
Creamy Avocado Mash--
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons) nonfat Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons avocado
1.5 teaspoons lime juice
1-2 teaspoons jalapeno, seeded & finely diced (add more or less depending on heat preference)
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1. Start by preparing the Lentils . Add lentils and rice to a medium saucepan. Stir in broth, water, and salt then bring mixture to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and simmer until rice is tender and lentils are very tender (you want the lentils to be almost falling apart and mashable), 45-50 minutes.

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2. While the lentils are cooking, add Pulsed Grains ingredients to a small food processor. Pulse until ingredients are ground to a breadcrumb like consistency. Carefully pour crumbs into a medium mixing bowl and set bowl aside. (No need to wash food processor yet--you’ll need it for the next step).

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3. Next, begin the Roasted Vegetables--preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with a layer of nonstick spray.

6. Add vegetables to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

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7. Scoop vegetables onto prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Place baking sheet in oven and roast 12-15 minutes, or until vegetables are golden and beginning to toast around the edges.

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8. As the vegetables are roasting, prepare the TVP mixture--add TVP, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Stir in tomato paste and soy sauce, then cover mixture in boiling water. Let sit for 4-5 minutes or until water is absorbed and TVP is tender.

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9.  Once the lentils, vegetables, and TVP are finished cooking, you can begin combining everything! Add lentil mixture, vegetables, and TVP to bowl with pulsed grains. Add Herbs & Flavorings  to bowl, then stir until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

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10. Line a tupperware container large enough to hold 6 patties (I used two smaller containers), with wax paper. Use a (1/3) measuring cup to scoop out 6 patties from burger mixture and place in tupperware containers. Don’t worry about shaping or flattening the patties yet, you can do that right before cooking. Cover containers and refrigerate burgers for 3-4 hours.
(Note: If you prefer, you can make the patties a few days ahead of time, and simply refrigerate until ready to serve. On the day you want to serve the burgers, just remove from fridge and cook as instructed. This also means you can enjoy the burgers on different days. I chose to just cook two burgers the first night (as pictured) and then cooked the remaining burgers 2 days later.)

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11. After burgers are chilled, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a oven safe skillet (large enough to hold the desired number of burgers) with nonstick spray and heat to medium high.

12. Use your hands to flatten and shape patties then add to skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Use a spatula to carefully flip burgers, then continue to cook 2-3 minutes more or until browned on both sides.

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13. Transfer skillet to oven and cook burger, 8-10 minutes or until heated through.

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14. While the burgers are cooking in the oven, prepare the Creamy Avocado Mash--add all ingredients to a small bowl, then use a fork to mash ingredients until combined.

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15. To assemble burgers, toast gluten free bread, then place a burger patty on half of the bread slices. Top each burger with a dollop of avocado mash, then close burgers with remaining bread. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information--approximately 80 calories per burger patty (when formed into 6 patties)
                                   approximately 205 calories per burger (including 2 slices light sandwich bread, and                                        1/6th of avocado spread)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mini Eggplant Manicotti

Manicotti is a delicious Italian dish, typically made of gluten filled pasta noodles rolled around a tasty filling. For this adorable, petite sized variation, I used thinly sliced eggplant instead of noodles, to create a healthier and naturally gluten free manicotti. The eggplant “noodles” are then filled with an absolutely fantastic vegetarian filling of lentils, mushrooms, and crushed tomatoes. Once the mini manicotti are assembled, they’re smothered in marinara sauce and cheese, then baked until golden, bubbly, and delightful!

Mini Eggplant Manicotti
Gluten Free
Serves Two
Click Here for Printable Recipe

mini manicotti

1 small eggplant
Salt & Pepper
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon double concentrated tomato paste (like the kind by Amore)
2-3 cremini mushrooms,sliced
2-3 shiitake mushroom caps, quartered
1/2 of a portobello mushroom, stem removed and diced*
1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Salt & Pepper
3/4 cup jarred marinara sauce, check for gluten
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Parsley, chopped
Special Equipment:
(2) small baking dishes, about 8 ounce capacity and (5-6 inches) in diameter (I ended up using two creme brulee dishes)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut off top and bottom of eggplant, then trim three sides so eggplant resembles a flat block, about 6 inches in length (the flat sides will make it easier to slice on mandoline).

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3. Use a mandoline to cut 10-12 thin slices, approximately 6 inches x 2 inches (don’t worry about being exact in measurements, I just wanted to give an idea about how big the slices need to be). You only need 10 slices for the recipe, but it never hurts to have a few extra pieces roasted. After slicing 10-12 pieces, reserve any extra eggplant for another use. (If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, use a sharp knife and cut slices as uniformly and thin as possible.)

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4. Arrange eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray and season with salt & pepper.

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5.  Place eggplant in oven and roast for 8-10 minutes or until eggplant is tender and slightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to assemble. (Leave oven on at 375 degrees).

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1. While the eggplant is roasting, begin the filling by adding the olive oil to a large skillet and heat to low. Add garlic to skillet and saute for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook for one minute more.

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2. Raise heat to medium, then add mushrooms to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms have cooked down and are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

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3.  Add lentils, crushed tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes to filling. Stir to combine ingredients, then season with salt and pepper. Bring filling to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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4. Remove skillet from heat then stir in balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.

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Assembly & Baking:
1. Coat baking dishes with a layer of nonstick spray.  Add (1/4) cup of marinara sauce to each baking dish and spread in a even layer.

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2. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to one of the eggplant noodles, about an inch from the bottom. Roll up eggplant, enclosing the filling, then place eggplant roll in one of the baking dishes, seam side down.

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3. Repeat process with (4) more eggplant noodles and arrange in the same baking dish as first manicotti roll so that there’s five rolls total.

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4.  Repeat process, preparing (5) more mancotti rolls for the other baking dish. Spoon the remaining 1/4 cup of marinara sauce on top of  manicotti rolls (about 2 tablespoons per baking dish). Sprinkle the top of each dish with 1 teaspoon of parmesan cheese
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5. Place baking dishes in oven and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until golden and starting to bubble along the sides.

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6. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information--approximately 205 calories per serving (1/2 of the recipe)

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*Note: I like using a variety of mushrooms for the filling but if you’d rather not buy three different kinds, just use (1) whole portobello