Monday, April 14, 2014

Banana Chocolate Oat Muffins - Secret Recipe Club

For this month’s SRC assignment, I was given a great blog called The Tasty Cheapskate. One of the interesting things about this blog, is that Jean includes the breakdown of how much each ingredient costs. This would change depending on where you live and how you alter the recipes of course, but you can get a rough idea of what it would cost. I also enjoyed Jean’s recent post on edible plants you can grow again.

Since I’m always looking for ways to use my ripe bananas, I chose Jean’s Chocolate Oat Muffin recipe, and added a banana as she suggested for a variation. I also recently joined Weight Watchers Online (again), so I was looking for something a bit healthier.  This recipe is perfect for WW because it doesn't use a lot of oil. My kids loved these. They called them brownies because they look and taste more like brownies than muffins.

You should also add this to your collection of recipes to make, when you run out of eggs!

I’m not even going to attempt to calculate my cost, but Jean has calculated this recipe to be $.80.

To make your own oat flour, pulse 3/4 cup of oats in a blender or food processor until it looks like flour. I got about 3/4 cups of oat flour out of it.

Secret Recipe Club

Banana Chocolate Oat Muffins
Makes 9 muffins
WW Points+ per muffin :  3
Adapted from The Tasty Cheapskate

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 medium)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used milk)

Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. In my experience, muffins with little fat in them like to stick to paper liners.  

Mix all the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the oat flour and sift the rest of the dry ingredients into the same bowl. I like to sift because there have been times when I got little lumps of baking soda in my baking and I don't like that. My cocoa powder was also a bit lumpy. Mix just until combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool before serving.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins

Hi! Last week we visited the new Ripley's Aquarium here in Toronto. It was a field trip with my 6 year old's class and I volunteered to go. It was fun!

Anyway, I had to think of something to pack for lunch. Peanut butter is what I normally go with, because it doesn't need to be refrigerated, but since we were going with school, it had to be nut-free. I made Wicked-Good Pizza Muffins for a field trip in the past, so decided to go that route again, only this time I used feta and olives.

I grated the onion and minced the pepper so I could skip the frying step in the original recipe. I don't have time to piddle around in the kitchen these days and It was getting late. The only bad thing about these, is that they also taste good when they're cold. It's really easy to eat them and lose count of how many you had. They're good!

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins
Adapted from Eating Well
Makes 24 mini muffins
Points+ per muffin: 1

1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, grated
1/2 a red bell pepper, minced
1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives

Preheat the oven to 400F and spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.

Combine the flours, baking powder, oregano, sugar, garlic powder and salt in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes or until they feel firm.

I stored them in the fridge, but they only lasted 2 days. I bet they'd even freeze well!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nutella Chip Cookies - Secret Recipe Club

The blog I was assigned for my March SRC post, was Learning Patience. It’s a blog about food, fitness and travelling. There are so many great recipes there, and I especially like the ones with bacon! Click here for Corey’s bacon recipes. I just love the photos of her trip to Nicaragua. What a beautiful place! I also really enjoyed looking at the photos of other places she’s been, especially since I haven’t traveled anywhere exciting myself.

The week I got the email with my assigned blog in it, my daughter also brought home a procedural writing assignment to do for school. I decided to combine our assignments, and find a recipe that would be easy enough for a 6 year old to help make and then write about. She’s only in grade 1 and she’s still learning how to spell, so any homework she brings home, becomes homework for me too. Of course, she couldn't bring in any samples because Nutella has nuts (and it’s a nut free school), so I ended up eating most of the cookies myself. These turned out crispy but still slightly chewy in the middle.

Secret Recipe Club

Nutella Chip Cookies
Adapted from Learning Patience
Makes about 18

1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Nutella
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (we used milk)

Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat together the butter, Nutella and both sugars. I did it with a wooden spoon for about a minute because I'm too lazy to clean the mixer, but Corey suggests using the electric mixer for about 4 minutes. My cookies were still amazing.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another minute until smooth.

Now stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon just until combined, then add the chocolate chips.

Use a large cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop) and place scoops of dough on the sheet. We did about 6 per sheet so they wouldn't bake together.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden. The inside might look a little underdone but they will be perfect a few minutes after you remove them from the oven. Give them a minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. They won't last long.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Potato and Chicken Casserole

I had some leftover roasted chicken in the fridge, so I had to come up with a way to use it. I thought a casserole of some kind was the way to go, so I sliced up some potatoes, grated some cheese and came up with this yummy dinner.

Because I roasted my chicken with seasoning salt, I didn't add any extra salt to the dish. I figured between the chicken and the cheese, that would be salty enough for us. I also didn't add any flour. I knew that the potatoes would absorb most of the liquid, or at least thicken it, and they did their job.

This would have been even better with bacon and green onions!

I put cheddar between the layers, and pizza mozzarella on top.

Potato and Chicken Casserole
4 servings

2 cups 2% milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 chicken breast halves, cooked and sliced (about 10oz)
4 medium baking potatoes, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
2 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar and mozzarella)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a baking dish. I used a round one.

In a small pot over medium heat, combine the milk with the butter, paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, nutmeg, thyme, parsley and pepper. Heat just until the butter is melted. Set aside.

Place a layer of potatoes into the prepared dish followed by a layer of sliced chicken and a sprinkle of cheese. Pour over a ladle of the milk mixture. Keep making layers like this ending with potatoes and then cheese. If it looks like a pyramid, just push it down in the middle to flatten it out a bit as you go along.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and cover with foil.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours covered, then, remove the foil and bake for another 1/2 hour until the potatoes are tender. The top should be nice and crispy. Allow to cool slightly before serving.