Here's the Dish

healthy ANDI licious

Flourless Spiced Butternut Squash Mini Pies October 3, 2012

Spiced butternut squash mini pies sprinkled with cinnamon.

 This post has moved to my new blog: purefitlosophy.com

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Cocoa Walnut Brownies February 12, 2012

Cocoa Walnut Brownies with Dark Chocolate Chips. I cut free-form hearts out of this batch for Valentine's Day.

Cocoa Walnut Brownies
with dark chocolate & olive oil

Rich in cocoa flavonoids, fiber, and monounsaturated fat, these brownies are a power-packed mix of ingredients blended into chocolate-lover’s perfect dessert. This recipe is an adapted version of Whole Foods Flourless Brownie Recipe.

Ingredients
-1 can or 2 cups cooked/drained of rinsed Black Beans
-3 large cage-free eggs
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp honey (optional)
-2 tsp vanilla extract (real, not imitation)
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp to grease pan
-1/4 cup almond flour or white whole-wheat flour
-1/3 cup chopped walnuts
-1/2 cup 60% or darker chocolate chips

I used small broken off pieces of a 85% dark chocolate bar. Most people with a lactose intolerance can tolerate chocolate that is above 70% dark in small quantities without discomfort. You can also purchase dairy-free chocolate chips.

Method

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking pan with olive oil (the Whole Foods Recipe recommends an 8-inch pan).
2) Combine all ingredients (except for chocolate chips and walnuts) in a large bowl and use a blender, food processor, or hand blender to blend these ingredients until smooth.
3) Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes until brownies reach desired consistency.

 

Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie October 9, 2011

Butternut just keeps getting better & better.

Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie
With Ginger Snap & Crisp Wheat Crust

So I’ve  found a yet another use for the wonderful butternut squash I’ve been getting from the farmer’s market this season: PIE. I adore the smell and taste of spiced pumpkin pie and have made it for Thanksgiving every year but I haven’t ever tried it with other squash. I was determined to make my own butternut squash pie from scratch for the first time last week so that I could bring some with me to NYC as a gift. As an added culinary challenge,  this pie needed to be dairy-free. Most recipes use sweetened condensed milk so I wondered whether the flavor would suffer at all from this omission.  I found that some recipes suggested replacing the milk with vanilla soy milk or coconut milk. Coconut milk tends to be the creamiest of  milk alternatives so I opted for this replacement. Banking on the natural sweetness of the cooked squash, I cut the sugar added to only about 1/3 of what the recipes suggested. Using a combo of Light Coconut Milk (less fat than the original) along with a splash of almond milk, vamping up the cinnamon and throwing in a tbsp of flaxseed powder -I just couldn’t help “healthifying” the recipe. Having used much less added sugar & fat than recipes suggest, I was a bit nervous when I took the first bite.  I MISSED NOTHING. The First Bite

Aromatic cinnamon & nutmeg mixed perfectly with the sweet squash complemented deliciously by the snappy ginger crust. This pie was a true slice of heaven. Try it for yourself!

Ingredients
Makes TWO pies. This pie is so good, you’re going to want the extra one.

2 whole butternut squashes (I used pretty large ones, they were about 3lbs each)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp fresh or frozen ginger (Optional. Note: Powdered ginger will not taste the same. If us use it, don’t use more than 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
5 cage-free eggs
1/2 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (You can use all almond or all coconut if you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla extract (Optional. I didn’t have any and my pies did not miss it. If it’s not the real stuff, don’t bother)

Ginger Snap Crust Blended with Olive Oil & Whole Wheat Flour

The Crust
Makes 2 crusts

– 1 bag 365 brand (Whole Foods)  Ginger Snaps (or any without dairy- some brands are made with butter)
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-Dash of nutmeg
-3 tbsp olive or canola oil
-4 tbsp whole wheat flour

Methods

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Wash squash and slice into halves and quarters and place on baking pan with a splash of water. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 1 hour until tender. While, the squash is baking, prepare the crust. Put the dry ingredients for the crust together in a food processor (or blender) and blend until the become a pretty uniform powder. Add the oil and blend. Smoothly pat the crust in place in your pie pans.

When squash has cooked, put the crust in the oven (same temp) to bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pans after 10 minutes and pop them in the freezer to cool.

Meanwhile, time to make the filling. Using a spoon or fork scrape out all of the flesh of the squash into your food processor or blender. Save the seeds in a container to roast them later for a great snack. You will probably need to blend in batches if you are making a large batch. It doesn’t matter how much of the other ingredients you put into each batch because you will mix them all together in a large bowl once blended. Just make sure that all of the ingredients get blended into the mix.

Take your fully-cooled pie crusts out of the freezer and pour in the filling. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Place pies in the oven and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes. Remove baked pies and allow to cool (preferably by a cool open window) for 2-3 hours. Serve and enjoy!

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Freshly Chilled Mango Frozen Yogurt August 5, 2011

Freshly Chilled Mango Frozen Yogurt made with Organic Lowfat Yogurt

Freshly Chilled Mango Frozen Yogurt
Topped with a spoonful of whipped cream & cinnamon

I recently found an absolutely delicious frozen yogurt that did a great job emphasizing its nutritional high points on the packaging. Only after eating far more than I should have did I take a look at the ingredients and find to my disappointment that it was full of high fructose corn syrup and other food-like substances that I would rather not be eating. From this came the motivation and inspiration to finally make my own!  I still hope to one day soon take it a step further to learn to make my own yogurt. If you have tips please share!

Ingredients

16oz Organic Lowfat Plain Yogurt (other flavors would work too)
1-2 14oz Packages of GOYA Mango Pulp (More = more intense flavor)
Splash of OJ
1 Banana
3 Very Ripe Plums
3 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Honey

(Toppings: Whipped Cream & Cinnamon)

Methods

Pre-freeze ice cream maker overnight (following instructions for your model). Combine ingredients in large bowl and blend using a hand blender. If you don’t have one just blend everything in a large blender. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and allow freezing process to take place.

Serve fresh & cold. Delicious when topped with a dash of whipped cream and cinnamon as shown.

Nutrition Perks

Low-fat, good source of healthy pro-biotic cultures, good source of vitamin A, excellent source of calcium.

 

Healthy Dessert 4: 5-Minute Baked Apple November 30, 2010

Healthy 5-minute Baked Apple: small fresh apple, a few drops of honey, generous dash of cinnamon, splash of lemon juice.

5-Minute Healthy Dessert: Microwave Baked Apple

My friend Ken Lee has made some delicious slow-cooked baked apples this semester (which he very generously has invited my suite to come and eat). I really enjoyed them and decided that I should find a recipe to make more on my own.

I took ideas from a few and put this one together. It turned out really well and was extremely easy to make.

Try it At Home

1. Take an apple and cut out the core. If you have a specific tool to do this, use it, but if don’t have one you can just carefully cut out the core with a knife.  Place it in a non-plastic microwavable container with a lid (I used a glass bowl and covered it with a glass plate).

2. Sprinkle with a generous dash of cinnamon and just a faint dash of nutmeg.  Add a dash of brown sugar or honey and a splash of lemon juice in the middle.

3. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes.

Optional Extras: You can also add oats for some added crunch and texture. If you add them, carefully remove the lid (it will be very hot) and sprinkle in the oats after 3 minutes so that they cook for the last minute. If you prefer crunchier oats, you can add them on top at the end and if you really want to get fancy, toss in some chopped pecans or almond slices.

Thanks Ken for the inspiration!

 

Healthy Dessert 3: Sweet Cinnamon Turmeric Plantain November 15, 2010

Pan-Fried Sweet Cinnamon Turmeric Plantain

Pan-fried Sweet Cinnamon Turmeric Plantain: Add ~1tsp olive oil to pan and set at medium to high heat. Slice a fresh, ripe plantain and add slices to pan. Top with powdered cinnamon and turmeric and just a dash of brown sugar or honey. Go easy on the turmeric, which gives the dish the bright yellow color and is a strongly anti-inflammatory spice. The fresh ripe plantain actually started off with a mild yellow color with an almost peachy hue.

Learn more about plantain (which is similar but not the same as a banana) and how to use it in one of my all-time-favorite smoothies here.

 

Healthy Dessert 2: Hot Banana with Dark Chocolate & Cocoa October 27, 2010

A little bit of dark chocolate goes a long way, making this dessert taste wonderful and indulgent but weigh in at barely 200 calories!

Healthy Dessert: Hot Banana with Dark Chocolate and Cocoa

This delicious hot dessert combines a fresh banana, dark chocolate (60% cocoa or higher), and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Try it at Home:

Place one medium sized banana on a microwave-safe plate. Slice down the middle and sprinkle in about 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. Add a few small pieces of dark chocolate. (A little bit of chocolate goes a long way once the dessert is melted. I used about 1/16 or 1 square of a chocolate bar here). Pop in the microwave for 45 seconds on high. Grab a fork and enjoy!

Nutrition Highlights:

If you follow the directions above, your treat will be about 200 calories. The banana is a good source of potassium, manganese, fiber and vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamin B6. The unsweetened cocoa powder is naturally fat-free and provides fiber and a good source of copper and manganese.

Other great toppings to add: Chopped nuts (such as pecans or walnuts), wheat germ, dried oats.  The amounts and types of toppings you use will change the calories and nutrients.