Wish Upon A Dish

November 22, 2015

7 Grain Bread ♥ Quick Breads - Recipe ReDux Challenge November 2015

A few months back I bought 7 of the top best healthy cereals to pick the one I know I would eat daily and not tire with. It all came down to lowest calories, carbs and best taste.

Now I have 6 boxes of cereal I need to get creative with and make muffins or breads with.
I started with a Kashi 7-grain nugget cereal.

The Recipe ReDux challenge for November was quick breads. I have done many different banana breads and a Lemon Pear Breakfast Bread that needs no tweaking, but not any made with grains.
While many would not consider a yeast bread "quick", now that instant yeast is widely available, this is truly a quick bread requiring minimal to no rise before it hits the oven.
I have been known to make the dough the night before and bake it off when it's more convenient.

Also, the yeast helps to make what could be a very dense bread, very light and airy.

I measured out 1 cup of the Kashi 7-Grain Nuggets and added that to 1 cup of water. Into the microwave, on high, for 2 minutes. The hot water soaks into the nuggets and starts to soften them. Soon as it cools to 110F, it gets added to a basic whole wheat bread recipe I have used for years.

Kashi 7-Grain Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 1 loaf (16 slices) or 16 small dinner rolls
* 2 cups of flour (all-purpose or bread flour) + extra for the board
* 1 cups white whole wheat four
* 1/4 cup cornmeal
* 2 teaspoons instant yeast
* 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup agave nectar
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 eggs
* 1/4 cup buttermilk
* heated Kashi mixture at 105-110F

Using the dough hook, measure all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
The heat of the nuked Kashi will bloom the yeast.

After 5 minutes if the dough seems too moist add AP flour 1 tablespoon at a time till the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.

Knead for 10 minutes total and in an oiled bowl, scrape the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise as the oven heats or overnight in the fridge.

When ready to bake, deflate the dough and using your fingers, flatten the dough to about a 12x9in rectangle. Roll up and pinch the seam shut. Place seam side down into a loaf pan, tucking the sides in to fit the pan.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Loaf is done when top is golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap it with a fork. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then remove loaf to a wire rack to cool completely.

Review: The Nudge couldn't stop buttering. He was extremely surprised a 7-Grain bread could taste good, be so tender and moist. I will be making this bread many times, probably tweaking it here and there.



November 15, 2015

Healthy Coconut Lime Cheesecake ♥ siggi's #Sponsored Healthy Holidays Recipe Challenge

This Recipe DeDux final contest of 2015 could not have come at a better time. Sorry. I really meant a better time for me because my new recent diet has been such a success. My success? Create dishes that were lean on calories but high on nutrition and taste. That included desserts, too.

"I received free samples of siggi's yogurt mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by siggi's yogurt and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."

In my supermarket, there are so many different yogurts, it takes up one full back wall in the dairy section. Not kidding. I have seen people stare aimlessly, with a frown on their brow, trying to figure out where to start.

That is why I love siggi's strained low fat yogurt. As simple as a yogurt can get with no gimmicks, so much less sugar, all natural ingredients and so different in concept, it stands out on it's own.

An Icelandic-style thick yogurt called skyr (skeer) is a strained, low sugar yogurt that has been around for 1000 years.
First conceived in the small New York City kitchen in 2004, of a recently transplanted Icelandic Siggi Hilmarsson, who missed the style of yogurt he grew up eating. So what does one do? Well, do what Siggi did. He made his own, quit his job and started selling it at farmer's markets.

Eleven years later, siggi's can be found all over the US. Thicker than a Greek-style yogurt, siggi's has less sugar than any other yogurt found on that wall.
Loving the taste and texture of this product, the first dish that popped into my mind was cheesecake. One that has a quarter of the calories in a traditional version but with the same crust, flavor and pucker.
I took my go-to recipe of 40 years, slashed the calories without sacrificing any of that oh-so-wonderful stick-to-the-roof of your mouth texture that has defined exceptional cheesecakes for years. I make so many cheesecakes that during the holidays, you know those cookie tins, usually filled with holiday cookies? I bake cheesecakes in those tins, and pass them out to family, neighbors and co-workers.

Guess what flavor everyone is getting this year?
I choose siggi's coconut yogurt and combined that with refreshing lime juice and zest. A virtual Caribbean fiesta in your mouth!

With only a few simple substitutions for the crust, like replacing the butter with coconut oil and the sugar with an all natural coconut nectar, the cheesecake filling itself was completely done in a blender making prep time under 30 minutes.

While I baked mine in a 9" spring form pan, an 8" pan does produce a higher slice. Either way, 1 slice will satisfy any cheesecake aficionado and make new ones of people who thought cheesecake was completely out of reach.
You can hug me now.

Let's get cooking......

Healthy Coconut-Lime Cheesecake
makes 12 servings

* 8 tablespoons coconut nectar, divided (7+1)
* 15 Maria cookies (found in the Latin section)
* 2 tablespoons coconut oil
* 3 containers of siggi's coconut yogurt
* 1 cup ricotta (part-skim or whole milk)
* 2 large eggs
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup coconut milk
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 1 tablespoon lime zest
* 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
* 1/3 teaspoon Kosher salt

Grind Maria cookies in a processor and add 1 tablespoon nectar and 2 tablespoons coconut oil while processor is running.
Remove to a spring form pan and press evenly on the bottom and 1/2" up the side.

In a blender, add remaining 7 tablespoons of coconut nectar, yogurt, ricotta, eggs, flour, coconut milk, lime juice & zest, coconut extract and salt and blend until mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350­°.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes, remove to cool while the filling is made.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 45-50 minutes. Lightly shake the pan. The middle should move slightly. Shut off the heat, put a folded towel between the door and oven, and leave cake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove to a rack and allow to come to room temperature.
Place in the fridge 8 hours or overnight.

Serving: 1/12th cheesecake



October 20, 2015

Four Bean Turkey Chili ♥ better than Panera's

Yes, I am aware of the ongoing fight as to what constitutes "authentic chili" in America.
This is just as big as frying or baking your meatballs.
Texas uses chunks of meat and gags at the mention of beans, Tex Mex aficionados use black or red kidney beans, Cincinnati loves it sweetly spiced and poured over spaghetti, the North East uses  ground beef and serves it over dogs and burgers, Californians like it full of veggies and turkey, Chuck Wagon contests have them with only beans and spices and the rest of the population couldn't care less as long as it's chock full and spice-loaded.

I am from the latter. I love all chili's but this last batch I made went right to the head of the class.
Before I eat out, I find the nutrition content that by law, has to be posted somewhere, and choose the healthiest low-calorie option in the "I like" category.

Panera's has this 5 bean turkey chili at 280 calories that knocked my socks off. It also kicked my taste buds in the butt. This I could eat everyday as a starter, as a lunch, for dinner and even over pasta. Since I can't run to Panera's every time I have a craving and I know I can recreate it at half the price, I took out my Dutch oven and went to work.

Two things. First, I do not like edamame, or at least the ones I have tried to eat. They are just too crunchy for me to include a dish full of sexy, soft foods. They just don't scream COMFORT to me.
Second, they cost more than the whole of all the rest of the ingredients in this recipe.

Since I couldn't think of a respectable replacement this time, I simply left them out and added black beans to the mix.

Don't tell your football pals what's in it till after they ask you (and they will ask). Some frown down on poultry in their chili but even before I added the browned turkey tenders to the pot, it had so much flavor from the spices that I would even make this if I had no meat.

You will need:
A Dutch Oven or heavy bottomed stockpot
Ancho chili powder (McCormack glass bottles now carry specific chili powders - ancho, chipotle)
Regular chili powder (I like Simply Organic brand)
Cumin & Italian Seasoning
Kidney Beans
Cannellini Beans
Black Beans
Garbanzo Beans

I tried Bush's Chili Beans (in a light chili sauce) but regular beans will do fine. Bush's thinned the consistency (and the taste) of the sauce so I had to simmer an extra 30 minutes to evaporate the liquid and concentrate the flavor.

Let's get cooking......

Four Bean Turkey Chili
makes 10 (1 cup) servings at 166 calories per
Total cooking time: 2 hours

* 1 pound turkey tenders
* AP flour for dredging
* Adobo for seasoning
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* Pre-chopped container of onions, carrots & celery (or one each, chopped fine)
* 2 large cloves garlic, minced
* 1 small red & green pepper, chopped
* 1 (15oz) can Italian style stewed tomatoes in tomato sauce (pureed in blender)
* 3 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 1 tablespoon black pepper (yes, that is right)
* 1 tablespoon generic blend chili powder
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 2 tablespoon white wine or beer
* 1 carton vegetable or chicken stock
* Salt to taste (at the end)
* 1 can garbanzo (chickpea) beans (drained and rinsed)
* 1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
* 1 can black beans
* 1/2 can yellow corn

Heat the oil in Dutch oven.
1. Season tenders with adobo and dredge in flour.
2. When the oil is hot, saute the tenders until browned on all sides.
3. Remove to a platter.
3. Add the onion/carrot/celery mix and saute until they start to brown. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the peppers and the seasonings (ancho, chili, cumin, pepper and Italian) to the pot and saute for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add the tomato paste and stir, then the wine to deglaze the pan.
5. Add the pureed stewed tomatoes and 3 cups stock. Stir and bring back to a simmer.
6. Add the beans and corn and simmer, uncovered until the liquid thickens and coats the beans.
7. Taste for salt and add more seasoning if needed.
8. If serving immediately, save the remaining stock for reheating. The beans will soak up liquid as they sit.
9. Serve with lite sour cream and Tostito restaurant style chips.

Yes, this can be done in the crockpot but the consistency will be soupy. This is when you taste. If the chili is flavorful thicken with crushed chips or masa harina. If the chili tastes watery with no flavor, you must spoon into a stock pot and simmer, uncovered, until it thickens. At least 30 minutes.

Let me know if you like it or not.
At 166 calories a cup, this would be the perfect starter to tame your hunger until the main meal is served.