October 2012


Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats
Happy WIAW, and HAPPY HALLOWE’EN! Wish I could share some of my Hallowe’en decorating and planned festivities, but I have none! It’ll be a pretty quiet evening with pizza, wine, and whatever scary flick’s on the tube. ;)

My featured recipe is a side dish that’s great to accompany roasted meats, a main veggie course, and tastes great hot or cold. But before we get to that, here are some dishes from the past few week, in no particular order:

Sunday brunch was a pretty nice spread. Maura at My Healthy ‘Ohana had a great idea for 100 calorie egg cups, which came out fantastic:

Bacon and onion quiche and turkey egg cup with fresh fruit (egg cup recipe from Maura at My Healthy ‘Ohana.)

Lunch on Tuesday was quick and easy. I was baking gluten-free versions of  pumpkin brownies and chocolate brownies in the morning and sampled enough pieces to make me say, “Enough!” For lunch I craved veggies:

I love celery, and I love peanut butter!

No salad, just some celery sticks followed by salty potato chips and an apple. :)

Dinner last Monday was rosemary chicken with red cabbage and apples:

Mix plate: rosemary chicken, apfel rotkohl and steak fries. Where else can you get this eclectic mix of flavors but at home?

I recently experimented with red cabbage to make a German dish called Apfel Rotkohl (red cabbage and apples.) After looking at a few recipes I saw one from epicurious.com that sounded pretty good. I did make a few changes, like increasing the vinegar and sugar and adding apples and currants, and the end result was pretty good! Feel free to start with less sugar or vinegar, depending on whether you like it sweet, vinegary, or nice and mild.

Braised Red Cabbage and Apples, makes 6 servings
modified from original recipe at epicurious.com

Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (do NOT substitute cumin, totally different taste!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apple juice (or shred 2 med apples with box grater, squeeze juice & save apple pulp for baking)
2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup amber agave nectar or white sugar
1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
2 large Granny Smith apples, chopped into 1″ chunks
1/4 – 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I like a strong vinegar taste, so start with 1/4 cup if you prefer it mild)
1/3 cup currants or raisins

Directions;
In a heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sautee for 1 minute. Add allspice, caraway seeds, salt, apple juice, and cabbage. Stir well. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 10 minutes add apples, raisins, and agave or sugar. Stir then cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until apples are tender.

Uncover pot, stir in half of apple cider vinegar. Cook until liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. If you want a definite vinegar taste, add remaining apple cider vinegar, stir. Serves 6.

Are you having a quiet Hallowe’en? What was your favorite Hallowe’en costume? This can be your own costume, or your dog’s, your children’s, something you saw on the street…here’s what I was last year:

For Hallowe’en last year I was super buff!

Have a great Hallowe’en, everybody!

Could these have been the original creators? image source: http://www.brownie-camera.com

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts that packs a ton of flavor in just a few square inches. Not only do you get the flavor of rich, semisweet chocolate, you get that incredible texture of a dense, chewy cake that–after having taken a bite–you can see your teeth marks leaving that tell-tale sign that you’ve just bitten into a moist, delicious brownie. And you’ll probably have some brownie on your teeth, as well.

Deconstructing Brownie. After my failed attempt at making a pumpkin “blondie” (it turned into a cake) I spent a couple hours thinking of what makes a brownie a brownie. I looked at ingredients for brownies, blondies, pumpkin bars, and cookies. It looked like I needed a few ingredients for the basic recipe (flour, sugar, butter, an egg)  and the rest can be modified to whatever flavor you want your brownie to be.

Think and chew on this. I wanted this brownie chewy, so leaving out any leavening like baking soda and baking powder was the thing to do (my mistake at my failed brownie/successful cake.) Adding pumpkin would give it a ton of moisture, and I wanted to be sure it was nice and dense so I used oat flour for it’s “glueyness” and buckwheat flour for it’s “heaviness”.

The results: I took it out of the oven and wouldn’t wait to let it cool down. No way, Jose, this smelled too wonderful!   Each slice told me it was the texture I wanted (soft and moist) and I was all to anxious eat it as soon as I could work a slice free. Pumpkin pie spices with pumpkin filling…you could probably get away with calling this breakfast. Probably. :)

Gluten-Free Chewy Pumpkin Brownies

Gluten Free Pumpkin Brownies
There’s no cocoa in this recipe, it’s the buckwheat flour that gives it a dark color.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup roasted pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp allspice)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Combine roasted pumpkin or pumpkin puree with chopped dates. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so dates can absorb moisture from the pumpkin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″x8″ pan with foil, allowing 2″ of overhang on sides. Coat with cooking spray and set aside.

In a heavy bottom skillet brown butter. Remove from heat, stir in sugars until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients with a whisk. Make a well in center and pour in butter and sugar mixture. Add beaten egg. Mix until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-27 minutes, center will still be moist.

*Cool for 10 minutes and cut into 16 pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or tightly wrap with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to a month.

*(I forgot to add this in when I originally posted!)

Get ready to sink your teeth into this deliciousness!

On Wednesday I posted a picture of pannekoeken I made for dinner. Pannekoek is a Dutch pancake, kind of like a thick crepe and is served flat rather than rolled. It uses more milk and less eggs than crepes and can be topped with sweet or savory foods.

Pannekoek restaurant in The Netherlands.

My husband’s grandma, Hermine (or Omi), and her husband, Lodewijk. Omi ate the entire pannekoek, and drank all her milk!

I like making it for weekend breakfasts, which gives me some time to experiment with ingredients to see how to make the perfect pannekoek. This recipe below is simple and satisfying, and I think that’s what makes it perfect!

Weights and Measures. This is probably the only repeat recipe where I use a kitchen scale to measure the flour. This should be the ideal way to measure any dry ingredient in baking (which I don’t always do) but even with a simple recipe like this, it’s good to be consistent.

Hey, batter, batter! I can tell you that spelt flour, or a combination of spelt and all-purpose flour, does not make a good pannekoek. Neither does substituting soy or almond milk, but you can certainly get away with using 1% lowfat milk.  Also, be sure to not over mix the batter. By pouring the egg and milk mixture into the middle of the flour “well”, you can stir and grab flour from the sides (see photo below). If you feel the urge to give that batter a good beating, just stir with your opposite hand to slow it down. :)

Take five…or fifteen…or thirty. The recipes I come across doesn’t instruct you to let the batter rest, but one day while my husband was fixing the car (or lawn mower, or something mechanical), I let the batter rest for a good half hour until he was ready for breakfast. This waiting period allowed the flour to absorb the liquids, the gluten to develop, and air bubbles to escape to freedom. The result: tender-er pannekoeken!

There’s a pouring technique?  There is also a technique to pouring the batter into the pan that I like: instead of pouring a pool of batter and letting it spread out in all directions, I pour the batter in a spiral pattern. Does it make the pannekoek cook more evenly? I think so!

That’s about it for my way of making a simple comfort dish. Hope you give it a try!

Pannekoeken

Pannekoeken met Appel en Krenten (Dutch Pancakes with Apples and Currants)
2 servings, makes four 10-inch pannekoeken

150 grams all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
300 mL 1% lowfat milk (2% and whole milk is fine, too)
2 large eggs, beaten, less 2 teaspoons
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (for cooking apples and oiling the pan)
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4″ thin (Fuji apples are good, as well as Comice pears)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2-1/3 cup currants or chopped raisins, divided
cinnamon
stroop (Dutch syrup), maple syrup, or amber agave syrup

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt with a whisk. Make well in center. Add egg to milk & combine. Pour into center of flour mixture, gradually mix wet ingredients into dry, do not over mix. Let batter sit for 15 minutes (you’ll see air bubbles forming on the surface.) Transfer the mixture back into your measuring cup, you should have two cups of batter. (Add more milk, if needed.)

Apples are caramelized with butter and brown sugar.

While batter rests, in a heavy skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. When butter starts to bubble and begins to brown (about a minute) add sliced apples and cook for 3-5 minutes until the undersides begin to brown. Turn over pieces, sprinkle in brown sugar, 1/4 cup currants and another tablespoon butter, if needed. Cook for 5 minutes more or until tender and apples are nicely caramelized, stirring frequently. Transfer to plate and scrape pan of any remaining sauce with rubber spatula. Set apples aside while you make pannekoeken.

These cook fast so add the currants as soon as the batter is poured.

In same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan and immediately sprinkle on about 1 teaspoon currants. Cook for about 45 seconds to 1 minute or until underside of pannekoek begins to brown and top begins to firm up. Turn over and cook for 1 minute more. Top with 1/4 of cooked apples and currants, sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and lightly drizzle with syrup of your choice. Transfer to plate and make second pannekoek. (NOTE: since these cook really fast, my husband and I ate the first two, then I finished making the other two and then we eat those.)

I hope you give this recipe a try for your weekend brunch. It’s a nice alternative to regular pancakes, and grown ups and kids will love ’em. Eet smakelijk!

Since the pan wasn’t hot enough when I made the first pannekoek the texture was “doughier” and more pliable. I filled it with apples and currants, rolled it and re-fried it. Still delicious!

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Jenn at Peas and Crayons is hosting another WIAW with this month’s theme of healthy– and possibly spooky–snacking!

Today I have a delicious and un-spooky recipe for biscotti from my mom’s cook book, Biscotti and Other Low-Fat Cookies by Maria Robbins. Since the holiday season of giving and receiving goodies is slowly coming upon us, any recipe from this book would be a great way to treat yourself (and your friends!) to something sweet without going overboard on the fat and calories.

I’ll do a quick run-down of some foods I’ve enjoyed this past week, starting with breakfast that my husband prepared for us on Sunday:

German breakfast: baked pretzels and sausages.

Here’s another delicious breakfast I tried as soon as I read the recipe. Created by Regan at The Professional Palate, It’s not really a breakfast, but it turned out that way after I drank my fill of this quick and easy dairy-free eggnog made with silken tofu:

Creamy and delicious!

I haven’t taken may photos of my lunches since they’re usually the same thing day in, day out (Chobani plain nonfat yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder and fresh fruit). But since I was experimenting with tofu recently, I did have this the other day:

Tofu and steamed grated cauliflower make the bulk of skinny tofu patties.

And last night’s dinner after a tee-rrific run was pannekoeken:

Pannekoeken–Dutch pancakes–topped with sauteed apples, currants, and soon to be drizzled with dark amber agave.

I’ve been experimenting with pannekoeken for the past several weeks and will post a recipe later this week, so stay tuned!

Now…on to the biscotti!

mom’s biscotti book

I borrowed this cook book from my mom a few years ago and–like many of you moms and daughters know–it may take a while to make it back to its original owner. I know I should give it back because I certainly wouldn’t like it if someone didn’t return something they borrowed from me. But there’s sentimental value to this book that makes it difficult to part with. I love books in general, particularly second-hand books (browsing thrift stores is like a treasure hunt!) There’s already history to the book, it made fond memories for someone else (and really, can any of us associate a bad memory with our treasured books?) Pages might be marked up or dog-eared, and you might even find a memento like a receipt or business card used in place of a book mark…or something else:

Dukie (left) and Bear doing her business at the pond, circa 1989.

I made only four biscotti recipes so far, here is one of them. Biscotti are no more difficult to make than regular cookies. They use no butter so contain a LOT less fat, and are great for dunking in your coffee or tea. Aside from being a great coffee break snack, biscotti are perfect for sending to friends and family, just be sure to pack them tightly wrapped in foil and sealed in a ziploc bag.

I tried making them with spelt flour, which made them very crumbly:

Spelt flour biscotti: more crumbly, not good for shipping.

Not good for shipping, but still good for eating!

Below is the recipe for biscotti from Biscotti and Other Low-Fat Cookies by Maria Robbins. I hope you try it!

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti

1 cup almonds, toasted (preheat oven to 350 F, spread nuts in a single layer on baking pan & roast until nuts are very hot and start to have a definite aroma, about 10-15 minutes, then cool.)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips mixed with 2 tablespoons flour (I skip the flour-mixing step!)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place 1/3 c of the toasted almonds together with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process to a fine meal. Remove to a small bowl. Place the remaining toasted almonds and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in the food processor and pulse on and off to a coarse meal. Add this mixture to the other ground nuts.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together the ground almonds, remaining sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, egg whites and vanilla extract and mix at low speed until you have a dough that holds together. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

    brushing biscotti logs with egg white wash

  4. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two, until the dough feels smooth. Divide into 4 equal pieces and shape each piece into a log about 12 inches long. Arrange the logs on the baking sheet, flatten the tops gently with the palm of your hand and brush the tops with the beaten egg white.
  5. Bake the logs for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly colored. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

    Bake, cool, slice, then bake again.

  6. Slide the baked logs, one at a time, onto a cutting board. Use a long serrated knife (bread knife) to cut each log diagonally into ½-inch slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut sides down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti for 5 minutes on each side. (Note: I increased time to 7 minutes on the 1st side, then checked after 7 minutes on 2nd side. They will get crisp after a couple minutes sitting out of the oven, but if they are still not crisp, put them in for 2-3 minutes more and check again.)
  7. Transfer the biscotti to wire racks and let cool completely. Store the biscotti at room temperature in airtight containers. They will keep for about a month.

Yield: about 48 biscotti.

Don’t forget to check out what other WIAW bloggers are sharing at http://www.peasandcrayons.com/2012/10/what-i-ate-wednesday-92-even-more.html.

Welcome to 23 Paws, a monthly blog post where animal lovers can come and share their animal stories, animal photos, animal jokes—anything pet or animal related (and animal-friendly) is welcome! Thanks to Cinnamon at Eat, Pray, Tri for hosting yet another fun-filled meet-up. :)

Are there any cat owners out there? How about cat owners who are tired of dealing with a stinky litter box? If that is the case, maybe this post might help, and it doesn’t have to do with switching your litter—it has to do with going to the source!

Even kept in a cabinet, the cats’ litter box smelled pretty bad.

My sister and I went to a local pet shop called Creature Comforts to get more seed for her birds. I didn’t really need anything but decided to check out their cat food selection and prices. A really nice, friendly, knowledgeable lady named Mary ended up answering a ton of questions that came forth after she told me they stopped carrying my brand of cat food two years ago.

With so many products on the shelf it’s really hard to decide what’s best for your cat, especially with all the pretty packaging and “vet recommended” labels that can easily make me believe that it’s gotta be the best food for our cats. After listening to Mary school me on cat food, cat food companies, vets and mystery ingredients, I learned a lot of things. Most importantly, it’s best to ask questions until you’re satisfied!

I’ve tried several kinds of cat food brands and felt I did a good amount of research that led me to Hill’s Science Diet, but with one cat having constipation and another cat diarrhea and everyone having a bottomless stomach, I think the information I got from Mary that day was pretty helpful. The one thing she mentioned that especially got my attention was how certain cat food fillers–such as corn–can make their poo stinky. “YES, that’s exactly right!” I nearly screamed. I was so excited to hear that it’s not Wolfie’s fault for having stinky poo–but the food! Mary mentioned cats can’t digest the corn so the result is a litter box nobody loves (we even have it in a cabinet, and that doesn’t help to contain the smell.)

She suggested a couple of brands, and I picked up some FELIDAE canned and dry food to test it out.

Felidae vs. Science Diet

The first ingredient listed on the Felidae wet food can was ‘chicken’. Science Diet had ‘water’.

Felidae (left) was much less mushy.

I mixed about 1/3 of the new dry food into the old dry and went half and half with the wet food. Wolfie was the hardest to please. He doesn’t like the new wet food, though he’ll eat some if it’s mashed with the old food, but is okay with the dry kibble. Sam and Trixie ate all their wet food and left a little bit of kibble left (they usually have some leftovers).

Lip-smackin’ good!

After two days I noticed a significant difference: their litter box didn’t stink! What a difference a diet can make, huh? :) Even though the new cat food was better for their digestion, Wolfie was still finicky and hardly ate his food, even though I mushed it up good with the old one. I was worried that he would lose too much weight, but after a week he started eating a little more. Not as much as he used to, but enough to keep me from getting worried.

Besides, he’s been eating mice.

Trixie, impressed with Wolfie’s two captures (I think the other thing is a leaf.)

A content cat.

With Hallowe’en around the corner and Disney movies coming soon to a theater near you, my friend Squigly Digly took advantage of my lovely pet pics on Facebook and Frankenweenie-fied them:

My turn to Frankenweenie-fy Trixie:

Want to have some fun, too? Here’s the facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/Frankenweenie/app_341941615890198

Check out what other pet-lovin’ people are up to right here, hope you can join in on the fun! :D

Our theme for October’s Recipe Redux has to do with one of my favorite colors: orange! “Orange You Glad It’s Fall?” I certainly am!

Markets are plentiful with the colors of autumn including pumpkin, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and even golden beets. Not only are these produce bursting with fall flavors but they are also chocked full of carotenoid antioxidants.

No matter how they look, pumpkins are loaded with carotenoids!

What’s a car…carrot…caroten…that thing you said? ker-ROT-n-oids are plant pigments that your body converts into vitamin A. Fruits and veggies in red, orange, and yellow (hey, fall colors!) have various concentrations of this. Even leafy greens like kale and spinach contain the yellow carotenoid hidden beneath a healthy concentration of chlorophyll. Vitamin A helps protect your cells against damaging free radicals, improves your immune system…and you know the old saying about how carrots are good for your eyesight? Well with all that beta-carotene,  there just might be some truth to what mom used to say at dinner time!

After making the Chocolate Pumpkin-Coconut Pudding for the “How to Tofu” challenge sponsored by the National Soyfoods Council, not only have I been eating a lot of tofu (and scrapping several failed recipes), I’ve been craving the delicious taste of pumpkin. So much so that I’d like to share two pumpkin recipes with you today!

Recipe 1: Pumpkin Coconut Muffins
I love baking with spelt flour. It’s more substantial than regular white flour but can still result in tender cakes with the addition of fats, such as coconut oil. Plus, if you’re sensitive to wheat products but not allergic, spelt flour is easier on your stomach. Here I’m using several coconut ingredients: coconut extract, coconut milk, coconut oil, and dried coconut. Am I coo coo for coconut? You bet!

I asked my husband what he thought of these and he said, “It tastes like windmill cookies (spekulaas)…in cake form!”

mini pumpkin coconut muffins

Pumpkin Coconut Muffins
These tender muffins are filled with warm spices and delicate coconut flavor. 

Ingredients:

2 cups spelt flour (or regular all-purpose flour)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon*
1 teaspoon ground ginger*
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg*
1/2 teaspoon allspice*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic (or non-organic) pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted (or cooking oil)
1/2 cup organic coconut milk, such as Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk (or almond milk, soy moo or moo juice)
unsweetened coconut flakes

*alternatively, use 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray or line with paper baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients until well blended. Add to dry ingredients (mixture will be thick).

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pans until 2/3 full. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. For mini muffins, bake for 10-12 minutes. For regular sized muffins, bake for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Makes  approximately 20 regular muffins, 40 mini muffins.


Recipe 2: Pumpkin Risotto:
After buying a few pumpkins at Frog Pond Produce Stand to decorate our front door I had pumpkins on my mind…again. I wanted a cozy, comforting pumpkin dish for dinner. What could be cozier than a creamy risotto?

Warm up a chilly evening with this creamy pumpkin risotto.

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto, serves 2
Sage, nutmeg and allspice makes this dish warm and savory with a bit of heat from red pepper flakes.

Ingredients:

1/2 pie pumpkin, seeded (about 1 – 1 1/2 pounds)
cooking spray
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup arborio rice
1 quart (32 ounces) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon dried sage, divided
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an 8″x8″ pan, add 1/2″ water. Place pumpkin cut side down in pan, carefully score with a knife. Spray outside with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until soft. Let cool for a few minutes, drain any remaining water from baking dish. Peel off pumpkin skin (I actually like to eat it!) and mash the filling in the baking dish with a fork. Set aside.

After the roast.

Pumpkin is very tender, removing skin and mashing with fork will be a cinch.

In a large frying pan, heat cooking oil over medium heat. Add chicken, cook for 1 minute. Add sage and salt, cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add onions, cook for 1 minute. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

In the same frying pan over medium heat, add risotto and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed, adding 1/2 cup more each time but don’t let the pan dry out. Stir frequently and keep adding broth and cook for 20 minutes. Risotto should be chewy, almost done.

If you like, replace 1/2 cup of the broth with a wheat beer or white wine.

After 20 minutes add half of roasted pumpkin (about 1 cup) to risotto, stirring well. Add rest of pumpkin, remaining sage and salt, and red pepper flakes and nutmeg, stirring well for 2-3 minutes. Stir in cooked chicken and onions and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Add more salt to taste.

Serve on a bed of spinach or lightly steamed kale, topped with roasted pumpkin pieces. Enjoy!

Check out other nutritious fall favorites from fellow Recipe Redux members:


In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month the Soyfoods Council is challenging Recipe Redux to inspire family, friends, and readers to add more soy foods to their diet by creating recipes using one of the most versatile soy foods available–tofu!

If you’ve been following my post for the last week, you’re already familiar with my Creamy Tofu Alfredo and Chocolate Pumpkin-Coconut Pudding recipes I made in an attempt to add more tofu to my (and my husband’s) diet(s). You also may have checked out other Recipe Reduxers and their tofu-riffic recipes here, but if you haven’t, take a look and you’ll see some soy-licious recipes!

My third experiment: cauliflower pizza crust meets tofu patty

Background: I made a cauliflower pizza crust recipe for dinner and was very happy with the flavor, but not so happy with all the cheese. I came across some recipes that used tofu in place of cheese, which seemed like a very good idea to cut calories and fat. By using some lite tofu I was able to reduce the amount of cheese, but this would give the pizza crust an entirely different texture. Rather than making a limp crust, I decided to make a batch of patties…skinny tofu patties!

The verdict: The success is in the seasoning. Oregano, basil, and a little bit of red pepper flakes made this a very flavorful dish. The tofu and egg create a  chewy, slightly spongy texture, sort of like a thin omelette. I had a few patties left over from dinner and they were great for a light lunch. Matter of fact, I think I prefer them cold.

Skinny tofu patties

Skinny Tofu Patties
They’re great hot or cold, with a salad or by themselves. Perfect for an on-the-go meal.

Ingredients:

1/4 block firm light tofu
1 cup cauliflower florets with stems on, steamed (I used pretty orange cauliflower here)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 mushrooms, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
2 eggs, beaten

optional toppings:
mushrooms, thinly sliced
chopped tomato
asparagus

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with silpat or spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, add tofu, oregano, basil, salt, and dried pepper flakes and mash with a fork. Add shredded Parmesan cheese and mushrooms, stir to combine.

grating orange cauliflower (white and purple work equally good!)

Using a box grater, grate steamed cauliflower florets, holding by the stem end. Eat stems! Mix everything together, add eggs and mix well.

Drop heaping tablespoons of mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread until thin and 4″-5″ in diameter. Top with mushrooms, tomatoes or asparagus. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until top starts to brown. Makes about 10 skinny patties.

Disclosure: by posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Soyfoods Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Be sure to check out the other tofu-riffic recipes at The Recipe Redux: http://teaspooncomm.com/teaspoonofspice/2012/10/grilled-tofu-blt-sandwich-giveaway/.


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