Monday, May 28, 2012

Bob's High Fiber Bran Muffins

I love breakfast and am often looking for healthy alternatives that are easy and quick.  These little muffins are just the ticket.  They are perfect to grab with a coffee and piece of fruit, or as an alternative to toast with your eggs.  The small size mean you can have two if you like and not feel guilty.  I found the recipe on a bag of Bob's Red Mill Wheat Bran, but subbed Dried Cranberries for raisins and skipped the nuts.

1 cup Wheat Bran
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup raisins (I subbed Trader Joe's Orange Flavored Cranberries)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Molasses or Honey
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Egg Beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

Stir together: bran, flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Then stir in raisins and set aside.

Blend milk, molasses, oil and egg.  Add to dry ingredients and stir JUST UNTIL MOISTENED.

Spoon into greased muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes, or until muffins pull away from sides of cups.

Makes 12 delicious little breakfast treats!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Red Onions

In my adult life I have been introduced to many different veggies that were never served at my house as a kid (no, I was never forced to "eat my brussels sprouts" before leaving the table.)  This is one of my favorite new additions to our plate!  Red onion carmelizes, adding a sweet flavor to the slightly bitter sprouts.  Searing the veggies in butter and then roasting with a bit of water, cooks everthing down nicely and creates a sauce for the veggies.  This recipe comes from Barton Seaver's For Cod and Country:

2 tablespoons butter
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a heavy ovenproof saute pan, melt the butter over high heat.  Add the onion wedges and cook, without stirring, until they begin to caramelize.  Add the Brussels sprouts and toss to combine.

Season to taste with salt and continue to cook over high heat until the sprouts begin to take a bit of color.

Add the water and transfer the pan to the oven.  Cook unti the water is nearly evaporated, about 15 minutes.  Toss the vegetables to glaze with the remaining liquid and serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a side dish.
Makes a great side for Steak, Chicken or Fish

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Moroccan-Style Lamb with Couscous

On a cool, Sunday evening, nothing tastes as delicious as stew.  Moroccan-Style means there is a sweet factor, with raisins, cinnamon and the warmth of cumin and cayenne.  I adore lamb, and was excited to finally give this recipe a try.  It comes from The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook and is super healthy, using sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans for added heartiness  For added greenery, I sauteed some greenbeans with garlic and red pepper flakes and served them up as our side.  Delicious with a light Pinot!

2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 large onion (12 ounces), cut into 8 wedges
1 can (14 1/2 to 16 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 cup water
2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 large), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups couscous (Moroccan Pasta)
1 can (15 to 19 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup dark seedless raisins
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Note from the Cookbook: Never buy pre-cut meat lableled "stew meat."  You will pay more and won't know what cut(s) of meat it is.  (This is also true for meat labeled "kabobs").  Often the butcher is trying to sell a less desirable cut, such as bottom round, which cooks up dry and stringy.  Instead, purchase a piece of boneless chuck, and cut it up yourself or ask the butcher to cut it for you . Be sure to tell him to cut the meat into two-inch chunks.  Many butchers cut stew meat into pieces that are much too small and therefore get overcooked and fall apart.  
All that being said, I bought pre-cut meat, and it saved me time and still tasted delicious.  

Pat lamb dry with paper towels.  In non-reactive 5-quart Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add half of lamb and cook unti browned, using slotted spoon to transfer meat to bowl as it is browned.  Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining lamb.
To drippings in Dutch oven, add garlic, cumin, and coriander; cook 30 seconds.  Return lamb to Dutch oven. Stir in onion, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, salt, ground red pepper and water; heat to boiling over high heat.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.  Stir in sweet potatoes; cover and simmer 30 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous as label directs.

Add garbanzo beans and raisins to Dutch oven.  Cover and cook, stirring once or twice until lamb and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer.
Just before serving, stir cilantro into stew.  Serve lamb stew on couscous.

Makes 8 main-dish servings.