Sunday, 26 July 2015

Peach Almond Upside Down Cake

Peaches are in season, so we picked up a basket at the grocery store this morning. Almond flour makes a great pairing with peaches. Almonds and peaches come from the same family of plants called Prunus (the seed inside the peach looks very similar to an almond too). Almond flour works well for an upside down cake because it tends not to rise, so it will stay flat. This cake can be served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or enjoy it with a cup of tea!

Serves 8

Ingredients

3 peaches, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups ground blanched Almonds
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Canola spray, for greasing

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 inch glass pie dish. Layer peach slices in the bottom of the pie dish.

In a large bowl, combine ground almonds, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a second bowl, combine brown sugar, coconut oil and applesauce, then mash together with a fork.

In a third bowl, whisk eggs until frothy, then mix in vanilla extract.

Pour wet ingredients from both bowls into dry, mix, then pour over peaches and spread out evenly in pie dish.

Bake for 20 minutes, allow to cool for about 3 minutes, then run a knife along the rim of the cake. Flip the cake over onto a cooling rack so peaches are on top.

Nutrition

Calories 224
Fat 14.1g
Carbohydrates 20.3g
Fibre 3.0g
Sugars 13.6g
Protein 6.6g

Friday, 10 July 2015

Thai Fried Rice

In recent weeks, I've been consuming very large quantities of broccoli slaw. The broccoli, carrot, cabbage and bean sprout mixture comes pre-chopped in the bagged salad section of the grocery store. I pack my lunches for work the night before, and this mix is great for that because it doesn't wilt with dressing on it hours in advance. It tastes great on its own with a good salad dressing (I like Renee's Spring Herb Italian or Opa Greek Yogurt Caesar), or with chicken breast in a wrap. Today I added it to my fried rice because it made for minimal chopping. I also used matchstick cut carrots, but you can just the broccoli slaw for 3 cups if you prefer. I recommend cooking and refrigerating the rice the night before to reduce preparation time.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cups broccoli slaw
1 cup matchstick cut carrots
3 green onions, sliced

For sauce:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp ginger, finely minced
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
Black pepper, to taste

Optional garnish: 1/4 cup unsalted blanched peanuts

Directions

Add sesame oil to wok, and set to medium heat. Cook chicken pieces fully, seasoning with black pepper. Set chicken aside.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for sauce and mix.

Set heat to high and add all vegetables, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Add rice and mix with vegetables. Add chicken and sauce, and toss to coat. Remove from heat, and top with peanuts.

Nutrition (including peanut garnish)

Calories 396
Fat 13.7g
Carbohydrates 35.5g
Fibre 4.2g
Sugars 8.8g
Protein 35.4g


More fried rice!
Mexican Fried Rice
Chicken Fried Rice


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins

I've made a lot of muffin recipes for this blog. I've also made a lot of nut butter based muffins. I'm going to make a bold statement: These are my best muffins yet. I was going to make another batch of my Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins, but I happened to find one frozen banana that was kicking around, so I figured I could incorporate it somehow. When I make a new muffin recipe, I generally just keep adding stuff until I get the right balance of wet to dry ingredients, then I mix them together. I ended up adding unsweetened applesauce gradually until I got the right amount (since I only had one banana). If you have two or three bananas, adjust the amount of applesauce by volume, or eliminate it altogether.

I love peanut butter. When I'm baking, I'd rather avoid the added sugars of traditional peanut butter, but I am not a big fan of the texture of natural peanut butter. For me, the happy medium is Kraft Unsweetened Unsalted peanut butter (the blue label). This product maintains the texture of traditional smooth Kraft peanut butter, but doesn't have the added sugars or the problem of the oil separating.

Nut butter muffins tend to run higher on the caloric spectrum (as far as muffins go), so these might seem a little high, but the macronutrient content is pretty similar to a Clif Bar. In fact, these muffins have less than half the sugar content of a Clif bar!

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup large flaked oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 overripe banana
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or natural)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with liners and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Mix until uniform.

In a second bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Add coconut oil and mash it into the banana. Add brown sugar, mash with fork. Add peanut butter, mash with fork. Add vanilla extract, eggs and applesauce and stir until uniform.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just enough to combine, being careful not to overmix batter.

Scoop batter evenly into muffin liners. Bake for 18 minutes, or until muffins are lightly browned.

Nutrition

Calories 264
Fat 16.6g
Carbohydrates 23.4g
Fibre 2.7g
Sugars 8.3g
Protein 8.2g

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Chicken & Rice Meatballs


Happy Canada Day! I live just 3 blocks from the heart of our National Capital, Parliament hill...which is why I'm hiding out in the suburbs today at my boyfriend's house! Canada Day in downtown Ottawa is absolutely crazy. Instead, I'm going to spend today cooking.

Meatballs are a great make-ahead appetizer for a party or a quick microwavable dinner from the freezer.

This recipe came from Rachael Ray, but the temperature at which the meatballs were baked was missing. The first batch, I baked at 375°F and they took 24 minutes to brown. The second batch was 425°F for 18 minutes, which seemed to work better. I also added more herbs and spices to the recipe, because I have basil and parsley plants. If you don't have fresh herbs, you can use dried.

I cooked the rice the night before to make it easier to prepare.

Edit:  The next time I made these, I put 5oz of baby spinach into the food processor and added it to the meatball mixture. It stretched out the recipe to 55 meatballs.

Makes 45 meatballs

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup brown rice, cooked and cooled
1 kg extra lean ground chicken
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 eggs
2 tsp olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing

Directions

Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with canola. Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Lightly coat your hands with a couple drops of olive oil, then mix well with your hands. Roll pieces into balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place meatballs on baking sheets evenly spaced. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Nutrition (per 4 meatballs)

Calories 240
Fat 11.1g
Carbohydrates 8.2g
Fibre 0.6g
Sugars 0.5g
Protein 26.9g