Black Bean & Corn Salad (low fat)

Adapted from Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans (14 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels (rinse in cool water to defrost quickly)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A few basil leaves, julienned or a handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • juice of one lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (taste with one and add another if necessary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Crumbled tortilla chips for serving

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss and serve.

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Carrot Flax Oatmeal Pancakes (Gluten Free)

The first time my son tasted these he was 6 years old and asked why we were having cookies for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or any flour)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a blender, liquefy the carrot and milk. Pour the milk into a bowl and stir in the oats. Let sit for 20 minutes or overnight.

To the oat mixture, stir in eggs, vanilla and sugar.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Mix the two bowls together. If the batter seems too thick, add milk – one tablespoon at a time – until the consistency is pourable.

Heat a highly greased griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Gently spread out the pancake if it poured into a mound.

Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned.

Note: These pancakes tend to brown quickly. Adjust the heat as necessary. You may need to lower the heart and cover the pan if they seem to be cooking too fast on the outside.


Blueberry Banana Chunk Muffins

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (these are less sweet than typical muffins – add 1/4 cup more to make them more typical)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup any type of oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 bananas, cut into chunks

Crumb Topping (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin tins or line with muffin liners.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl make the topping: Mix all the ingredients together and use a fork to smash and incorporate the butter or use your fingers to smash it all together.
  4. In a measuring cup for wet ingredients — First add the oil and then add the egg. Next, add only enough milk to fill the cup, (approximately 1/3 cup milk – the idea is to add only one cup of liquid to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries and bananas. Pour into the muffin tins all the way to the top.
  6. Sprinkle with topping.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes and check if they seem done. If so, insert a toothpick into the center and it should come out clean. If not, check again in 5 minutes.

3 Bean Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 white or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
  • DRESSING:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Set up a large bowl of ice water. Add the green beans to the pot and cook until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Drain and plunge the green beans into ice water. Drain again.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss well. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight (the longer it sits the better it gets); and toss again before serving.


Summer Gazpacho

Photo from lavenderandmacarons.com

Adapted from lavanderandmacarons

Ingredients

  • 6 very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 slices slightly stale bread (optional)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper (or Anaheim Chile)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for a richer soup, use up to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine, apple cider, sherry vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Roughly chop tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy but still with some texture.
  3. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  4. Chill Gazpacho in a refrigerator for 30 minutes or serve at room temperature topped with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, chives and a drizzle of olive oil.


Swiss Bircher Muesli

My new favorite breakfast! Delicious Bircher Muesli is a Swiss recipe that precedes overnight oats. It’s basically the same thing, but almost always includes yogurt and grated apples. Traditionally the oats are soaked overnight in apple juice, but I prefer to soak them in milk, along with all the other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons golden r aisins
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds for topping.
  • Drizzle with honey (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a jar or bowl. Top with pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. Allow to soak overnight or at least 3 hours.

Nutrition Facts (not including honey)
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 380 
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g18 %
Saturated Fat 3 g16 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg2 %
Sodium 119 mg5 %
Potassium 481 mg14 %
Total Carbohydrate 58 g19 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g33 %
Sugars 30 g
Protein 20 g41 %
Vitamin A 8 %
Vitamin C 20 %
Calcium 32 %
Iron 22 %


Egyptian Barley Salad

Original recipe by Americas Test Kitchen.
I absolutely love grain salads. They are so hearty and nutritious and hold up well in fridge.

When I made this I found it needed additional dressing than the recipe called for.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups pearl barley (do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ cup)
  • 6 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Cook barley according to package instructions. If using bulk with no instructions, follow original recipe, although I found my barley took longer: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain barley, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk oil, molasses, cinnamon, cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Add barley, raisins, cilantro, and pistachios and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread barley salad evenly on serving platter and arrange feta, scallions, and pomegranate seeds in separate diagonal rows on top. Drizzle with extra oil and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 41g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 7g fiber, 320mg sodium


Horseradish Coleslaw

Light, crisp, tangy horseradish coleslaw. My mom had a salad like this while traveling in Prague recently. It’s become a new family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Shredded Green and Red Cabbage with Orange Carrots
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper, to taste

Directions

Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a jar and shake well. Taste the dressing – if it’s too tart add a teaspoon of mayonnaise or a little more olive oil. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss.


Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers

This recipe is adapted from an Alton Brown’s Refrigerated Banana Pudding recipe. This version reduces unnecessary fat and sugar. This photo shows the pudding before it is fully assembled.

The amount of sugar added is, in my opinion, the least possible amount to add. It is just sweet enough – very possibly not sweet enough for some. Taste the pudding while it is still hot. If you would like to add additional sugar, stir it in until fully dissolved.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons butter (optional but adds a touch of richness and gloss)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Approximately 45 vanilla wafers (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (2 large or 3 small bananas)
  • Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1- 2 tablespoons powdered or fine grained sugar

Directions

  1. Using a whisk, combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat on stovetop.
  2. Allow milk to scald (heat to the point when tiny bubbles form around edges of pan). Whisk occasionally.
  3. Remove milk mixture from heat.
  4. Temper the eggs by adding about 4 tablespoons of the hot milk into eggs. Whisk it all together and then add the eggs into the hot pan, stirring constantly.
  5. Return the pan to heat and whisk gently until custard thickens, another two or three minutes. Do not boil.
  6. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  7. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl for cooling.
  8. Spray a round piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until the pudding is completely cold, approximately 2-3 hours.
  9. When the pudding is cool, remove the parchment and whisk or beat with a blender to cream it up. Sometimes I add a bit of milk if it seems too thick.
  10. Spread a small amount of the pudding in the bottom of a 1 1/2-quart glass mixing bowl. Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining pudding on top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding.
  11. Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk just until stiff peaks form.
  12. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely.
  13. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Alternate recipe by Trisha Yearwood. I watched this episode on Food Network. It looked really good, but I haven’t tested it yet.

  • †4 large eggs (3 yolks plus 1 whole)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch salt 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 30 to 40 vanilla wafers 
  • 3 to 4 medium ripe bananas 
  • Separate the yolks from the whites of 3 of the eggs; set aside the whites. Add the remaining whole egg to the yolks.
  • In a {cold} saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the whole egg and 3 yolks, and then stir in the milk. {Now turn on heat} Cook uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Spread a thin layer of the pudding in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Thinly slice the bananas crosswise, about 1/8 inch thick, and arrange a layer of banana slices over the wafers. Spread one-third of the remaining pudding over the bananas and continue layering wafers, bananas and pudding, ending with pudding.
  • Top with whipped cream

Orzo with Everything

This is a no-recipe. Add as much or little of these as you like. For ideas of other ingredients to add, see Ina Garten’s wonderful recipe for Orzo with Roasted Vegetables.

Ingredients

  • Half a package of orzo
  • Dash of cayenne or pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pine nuts, pan toasted in a bit of butter (until butter and pine nuts are browned)
  • Golden raisins, chopped into pieces
  • Garbanzo beans (start with 1/2 cup)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
    Dressing:
  • Lemon juice to taste (start with 2 tablespoons)
  • Olive oil to taste (start with 4 tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (start with 1 teaspoon salt)

Directions

  1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and cool.
  2. Toss the orzo with dressing and taste to adjust.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well. Add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper as needed.