Recipe Roundup: Tried and Liked Jan 2015

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowl (link, quickie recipe below)
Inspired by an article on the Weary Chef blog. Conveniently, we had leftover barbecue chicken and pork in the house. This would also be good with the addition of 1/2 cup beans.

Place 1/2 cup cooked quinoa in a bowl. Top with 1/2 cup shredded barbecue chicken (or pork) and additional barbecue sauce. Warm in the microwave. Top with a sprinkle of cheese, and heat for 30 seconds on High until the cheese melts. Serve warm.

Quinoa Muffins (link)
This recipe is an excellent. The cooked quinoa texture is similar to oatmeal. I made the muffins with regular 2% milk and not buttermilk, and they turned out delicious. I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter and got 15 tasty muffins (not 12).

Black Velvet Banana Muffins

Deep, dark muffins

Deep, dark muffins

Cook’s notes: These eggless muffins have a very intense chocolate flavor and are just sweet enough. I used a blender to pure the banana and wet ingredients together to get them really smooth, instead of mashing them by hand. The ingredients come together quickly in a stand mixer.

Yield: 12+ muffins (I got 15)

Whisk together:
1-1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup black cocoa powder from King Arthur Flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blend together: Bananas to vanilla
2 over-ripe bananas, cut into chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fold in:
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners or grease muffin pan.

Use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.

In a blender, whirl together the banana, sugar, olive oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly pour the banana mixture over the flour mixture. Whisk together with just a few strokes, until there are no lumps. Fold in pecans.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Source: Adapted from The Novice Chef. Modifications: I cut the amount of sugar in half and swapped out a lot of other ingredients (white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, black cocoa powder instead of regular cocoa powder, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of regular milk, and pecans instead of walnuts).

Recipe Roundup: Tried and Liked Nov 2014

The cornmeal biscuits with added corn: highly recommended

The cornmeal biscuits with added corn: highly recommended

Cook’s notes: Here is a selection of recipes from other cooks that I tried out — these are good, with only minimal changes needed. Most of my changes include reducing the sugar and swapping out poultry for beef.

Go to the original sites, linked below, for the recipe and to see their photos.

Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits (link)
These biscuits are just amazing (or should I say, a-maize-ing). I made them with whole-wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour and added about a cup of corn to the batter. To make buttermilk, put 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice into a measuring cup, and add enough milk to make 1 level cup. Pat the dough into a rectangle and cut into 8 pieces. Large and delicious with just a little butter.

Creamy Pumpkin Dressing (link)
We reduced the sugar to 1/2 teaspoon and omitted the mayo. I used a garlic prep method (“press, then rest”) recommended by Jo Robinson. This dressing was great drizzled on roasted broccoli.

Pumpkin pasta with spinach riccota bites and  chicken sausage

Autumn dinner: Pumpkin pasta with spinach ricotta bites and chicken sausage

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (link)
A vegan recipe that turned out well, except for the fried sage part. I served this pasta sauce with whole wheat penne pasta. The garlic and pumpkin is a great combo in a very simple recipe (1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup light coconut milk, 5 minced garlic cloves).

Spinach Ricotta Bites (link)
I used silicone muffin pan liners in a regular size muffin pan. Recipe makes 12 spinach ricotta bites: bake for an extra 10 to 15 minutes. These are delicious and could be eaten for breakfast as a side dish to scrambled eggs and fruit.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas (link)
I used some dry barbecue rub handmixed by my mother instead of paprika (1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dry barbecue rub, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin). These taste a little salty at first, but they are just delicious. Serving size is 1/2 cup of chickpeas.

I would make these again with this method from Sally’s Baking Addiction: rinse and pat dry. Dry roast the chickpeas at 400F for about 15 minutes, then take the chickpeas out of the oven. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, season with the spice mix, and  roast for another 15 minutes. To make the chickpeas extra crunchy, turn the oven off, crack the door open slightly, and leave the chickpeas inside as the oven cools down.

Shortcut Skillet Lasagna from the Weary Chef (link)
We used 4 links of fresh mild Italian turkey sausage from the butcher and omitted the 1 cup of shredded cheese — it wasn’t needed. The recipe can take even more spinach than the 3 oz. called for. Delicious and easy.

Spiced Bourbon Peach-Apple Pie (link)
Great pie! We omitted the caramel sauce. Increasing the filling by about half made enough filling for two generous pies (3 bags peaches; 8 apples, about 40 oz. of wedges). We also used a pie crust without lard.