Tomato Quinoa Salad with Corn and Feta Cheese

Hi all! We are back from a two-week boat trip to the Thousand Islands. (Actually, there are 1800 islands, but that wouldn’t make a catchy enough phrase, I guess.) We had grandchildren aboard as second “mates,” i.e., minimal help, maximal eating. Couldn’t get a one o’ them ther kids to swab a deck!

Kitchen space on the Outrageous

As you may recall, I’ve described the boat galley as…well, somewhat restrictive. Here is a pix showing the total extent of its counter space with the fridge off to the left and stove to the right. The wooden board on the counter is the top to the garbage pail beneath. Clever, huh?

The galley is always fun for a while, and then, not surprisingly, I’m glad to return to my spacious, appliance-rich, air-conditioned kitchen.

This salad (both sweet and salty; soft and crunchy) happened because we stopped at a farmer’s market on the way home and bought big, delicious, juicy tomatoes. It makes a great side dish for dinner or main dish for lunch

Continue reading

Advertisements

When Brussels Sprouts Sing…(Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion and Olives)

I know, I know: another roasted vegetable dish. But this one is special. Really.

As some of you may recall, I roast vegetables in a way that is “not for the faint of heart,” mixing and matching all kinds of root and non-root vegetables. These dishes solve my dieter’s problem: “How am I going to gorge myself on vegetables today?” And I usually don’t add oil so the calorie count is as low as it can go.

Recently, however, two pounds of Brussels sprouts sang a different melody to me.  They sang of being on the main stage, second to none. I could see their point. They were lovely and fresh. They didn’t want to be stuck with carrots, celery root, turnips, parsnips, and whatever else I had in the fridge.

So…what do you do when Brussels sprouts sing? Listen, of course.

Continue reading

Quinoa Brownies for Serious Chocoholic Dieters (no flour, no oil)

Hit by an intense and unceasing chocolate craving? Fear not, these brownies will come to the rescue.

They are moist, rich, and chocolate-y to the nth degree.

They’re also healthy, chockfull of protein, and good for your diet.  Plus, a cinch to make.

Sounds impossible? Read on!

Continue reading

Zucchini Cinnamon Squares

Craving carbs and rummaging in the kitchen for a snack?

These squares are moist, mildly sweet, and chock-full of protein because of the bean and quinoa flours. This means that they will contribute more to filling you up than, say, rice flours.

As I noted in a recent post on low-calorie snacks, I’m going back to early recipes to lower their calorie counts, using what I’ve learned since I started this blog in February, 2011.

These squares…well, really rectangles…are adapted from my Zucchini Cinnamon Bread, and the changes reduced the Weight Watcher point count for the total product from 32 to 23, or approximately 1600 calories to 1150, based on 50 calories per point.

  • Flour/starch blend: I replaced the brown rice flour with white bean flour which has an extraordinary amount of protein and fiber per cup. The result is that it’s significantly lower in calories than white or brown rice flour. (Weight Watcher info: the point count of a cup of rice flour is 16; for the bean flour, 9!) I also added potato starch to help with texture and lift.
  • Oil: I eliminated fats altogether. (So there, Satan of Weight Gain!)
  • 12 squares instead of 8 bread slices: I want to keep my snacks at only 2 WW points (or 100 calories). Also, I find it easier to cut equal-size squares than equal-size bread slices.

I also decreased the zucchini from 2 cups to 1 cup. The original bread was sometimes too moist and broke apart too easily, partially, I believe, because the zucchini let off moisture as it cooked. Even so, you’ll need to cook the squares for as long as possible to dry out the batter. 

Continue reading

Chicken/Turkey Barbecue Bake with Vegetables

Back from our vacation in the Dutch Antilles and back in my kitchen where I almost kissed every appliance. The kitchen in our Bonaire apartment was smaller than most bathrooms, not air-conditioned, and lacking basics, like an oven!

And as for gluten-free products? I found one natural food store with hardly anything to sell and sky-high prices. A small bag of red quinoa was $18.00!!!

But the snorkelling and scuba-diving were great, we missed a major snowstorm in Ottawa, and I (seeking sloth) and my new e-reader bonded together spectacularly.

I also took a shine to the name of the local supermarket—so much more interesting than “Safeway” (US) or “Metro” (Canada), don’t you think?

Once back home, I was determined to make the perfect gluten-free angel food cake. I had tried this three times already, and had gotten a fairly decent rise but was still working on the taste. This time, the dratted thing collapsed entirely. Blessings on the head of my sweet 13-year-old granddaughter and sous-chef, Adesia, who declared it still delicious and took it home for school lunches.

So…instead, today, I bring you a no-fail, cinch-to-make, reminiscent-of-summer Barbecue Bake that I’ve used for both chicken and turkey breasts. (It would also be great for thighs and legs.)

This photo is of last night’s dinner—a turkey breast, this time, baked with potatoes and vegetables to make a complete meal. The spicy sauce helps the meat stay moist during baking and provides a delicious grace note of taste to the entire meal.

Continue reading

Pumpkin “Pie” Bean Bake

This bean bake looks like pumpkin pie filling. It tastes like pumpkin pie filling. It has the creamy texture of pumpkin pie filling.

Add a pie crust, and I’ll bet most people wouldn’t guess that this dish was made with beans instead of dairy.

In fact, it tasted so much like pumpkin pie filling that I thought it needed something extra—after all, it’s different, right? So I added a healthy dollop of coffee liqueur (like Kahlua). And, upon re-tasting the batter, I had the distinct sensation the the spices were blending better. But maybe it’s just my love of coffee liqueur? At any rate, adding a liqueur is optional.

As you can see in the photo, the bean bake has lost some of its smooth, brown edging. This occurred when I removed the circular outer part of the springform pan, and some of the edging came off with it. Lesson learned—remove said pan part right after baking. Do not wait until the dish has been refrigerated overnight.

Continue reading

Fooducate Blog Picks Up “The Salty Truth”

For the past two weeks, I’ve been investigating and writing about table salt vs. sea salt.  My conclusions were posted as “The Salty Truth” yesterday.  Unfortunately, my blog connection to Facebook had “snapped” or whatever and, as far as I can figure out, this post didn’t make it to my Facebook friends. 

However, today, having fixed the Facebook connection, I can let everyone know about “The Salty Truth” plus the news that it was picked up by Fooducate, an excellent blog about food issues such as labelling, consumer behaviour, the food industry, etc.  Today, I’m Fooducate’s guest blogger and am really pleased and proud to be there.

Cinnamon Spice Cake

This cook can learn new tricks! 

Back in the early depths of this blog—February, to be precise, and during my non-photo era—I posted a recipe for a spice cake which I described as “dense and delicious” and having the “heavenly aroma of cinnamon and other spices.”  At that time I was just thrilled to create a really good-tasting, gluten-free, baked dessert.

Yesterday, I revisited this recipe to improve it.  Having gained much more understanding of alternative flours/starches, I put together a blend of white rice, quinoa flour, tapioca startch, xanthan gum, and salt.  (Good-bye trying to rely on rice flour alone.)  And, having learned to cut back on fats by using unsweetened applesauce combined with much less oil, I managed to halve the caloric content.  The recreated cake is now light, moist, delicious, and low-cal, while definitely retaining that mouth-watering aroma.  Much better all around!

Printer-friendly recipe

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients

  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ¼ cup quinoa flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup artificial sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • ½ cup liquid egg replacement (2 eggs)
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 6 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients: flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
  2. In a larger bowl, whisk together all liquid ingredients: egg, milk, applesauce, and oil.
  3. Add dry ingredients in thirds to liquid ingredients, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Spray an 8″ x 8″ pan with cooking spray.
  5. Pour batter into pan.  If top needs to be smoothed out, spread with wet fingers.
  6. Bake at 350o F oven for 30-35 minutes or until sides are pulling away from the pan and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

For Weight Watchers: Each piece is worth 1.5 points on the Points plan and 2 points on the PointsPlus plan.

Strawberry-in-Season Cobbler (Egg-Free)

It’s strawberry season! I can’t pass a farm foodstand without stopping and buying the luscious-looking and equally luscious-tasting strawberries.

Having bought several quarts during the past weeks I’ve been looking for ways to use the strawberries that are a bit more elegant than munching on fistfuls. Hence I turned to my Cinnamon Blueberry Cobbler recipe and rejigged it for strawberries. Mmm…good!

Again, I’ve used erythritol as a sweetener because it has no aftertaste and the cobbler has a delicate flavour. Also, without eggs and using only two tablespoons of yogurt, this cobbler remains my lowest-calorie baked dessert.

Printer-friendly recipe

Taste tip: It is important to cool the cobbler down completely before eating it. When it is hot, the cake is a little gummy. However, after it cooled, it was fine. Why? Who knows?

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup white rice flour
  • ¼ cup quinoa flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup erythritol + 2 tbsp. erithyritol
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. plain goat yogurt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups stawberries, washed and sliced
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients: rice flour, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, ½ cup erythritol, 1 tsp. cinnamon, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together water, yogurt, and vanilla.
  3. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients.
  4. Spray 8″ x 8″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  5. Pour cake batter into pan.
  6. In a small bowl, add strawberries and 2 tbsp. erythritol, and mix gently until fruit is coated.
  7. Cover cake batter with strawberries.
  8. Bake in 350° F oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean and edges are pulling back from the sides of the pan.
  9. Do not eat until cool! Cut into 8 servings and enjoy!

For Weight Watchers: Each serving is 2 points on the Points plan and 2.5 points on the PointsPlus plan.