Posts Tagged ‘apples’

h1

Healthify. (COCONUT OAT FLAX MUFFINS)

April 1, 2015

ucc_healthymuffins

Certain foods are great vehicles for healthy ingredients, and muffins are one. It’s truly a case of a recipe just being a guide. You can switch around grains and flours and fruits and sweeteners to make a healthier snack that is customized especially for you and yours to devour. I took these muffins from Gold Medal Flour‘s website and messed with them. I find that product websites often have good, reliable recipes that are both healthy and -un. You can also find great starter recipes at Bob’s Redmill and King Arthur but, my point remains, don’t be afraid to tweak!

As an example of how and what I modified, you will find my recipe below, as well as the original, for comparison. You can see that applesauce has replaced half of the oil and I brought the sugar levels down all around. I swapped out half of the chocolate chips with raisins, and I omitted chocolate altogether from the topping. Some of the additions happened to be on hand (bran, oat flour, flax, etc.) and some, like coconut, my fam just enjoys. Gold Medal didn’t do a bad job here! Original recipe calls for whole wheat flour and oats, which is a perfectly acceptable health-supportive combo. Even the amount of fat in the original recipe is kept at a minimum, with just a bit of oil and some yogurt. But I went ahead and kept on pushing.

COCONUT OAT FLAX BRAN RAISIN CHOCOLATE CHIP YOGURT MUFFINS
(makes 12 large muffins)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup oat flour

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons apple sauce

scant 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup raisins

Streusel Topping

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tablespoons flax seeds

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, bran, coconut, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in (1/2 cup) chocolate chips and raisins.
  • Divide batter evenly among greased muffins cups.
  •  Streusel: In a small bowl, stir together the struesel ingredients with a fork until well coated in the oil. Place a heaping tablespoon of streusel over the batter in the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until muffins start to turn golden brown and streusel is crisp. Let muffins cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to cool completely.

    Original recipe:
    Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Muffins

    1 cup Gold Medal™ whole wheat flour
    1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1cup Yoplait® Greek vanilla yogurt
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Streusel
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1/3 cup dark brown sugar
    1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and Greek yogurt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips.
  • Divide batter evenly among greased muffins cups, filling each one almost full.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the struesel ingredients with a fork until well coated in the oil. Place a heaping tablespoon of streusel over the batter in the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until muffins start to turn golden brown and streusel is crisp. Let muffins cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely or enjoy.
h1

Reason #3419. (FRUIT CRUMBLE)

August 18, 2013

image

I don’t even peel the fruit, I don’t add more than a tablespoon of sugar to it. A squeeze of lemon and a badass crisp topping (as healthy or as buttery sweet as you want it to be) and not only do you have an impressive seasonal dessert but you have a crazy quick (outstanding) breakfast when you drop a scoop of crumble into a bowl of yogurt. Sweet summertime!

h1

WAYS TO START. (PEA SHOOTS)

April 19, 2012

Eat them now or  forever wait til next year. Healthy, fascinating pea shoots are the young leaves and tendrils of a pea plant. Though available all over the place in spring/early summer, they are supposedly dead simple to grow, as in, buy a box of dried peas from the store and put them in some good dirt. Water them, give sun and you’re grazing! They do well in pots and the dirt doesn’t have to be deep. Easy things. And because they are so tasty, nutritious and versatile, I just might put number one green thumb, MG, on the task of home production.

Give a little green love to whatever dish you come up with, raw or cooked. Here are some ideas.

BELUGA LENTILS WITH WILTED PEA SHOOTS

(serves 4-5)

1 cup small lentils, rinsed

1 tablespoon oil

1 carrot, small dice

2 celery ribs, small dice

1/2 onion, small dice

2 cloves garlic minced + 2 whole

pinch red pepper flakes

1 jalapeno, halved

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons vinegar (any one will do)

2 handfuls of pea shoots

salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil in a medium sized pot. Saute the carrot, celery and onion over high heat until lightly browned.
  • Stir in the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, some salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Delgaze the pan with 2 1/2 cups water and add lentils, two whole garlic cloves (smash them!) and 1/2 of the jalapeno. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes but timing could vary.
  • Once tender, drain the lentils and discard the garlic and jalapeno. Return to pot.
  • While the lentils are still hot, stir in the sauteed vegetables, lemon juice, evoo, vinegar, and season generously with salt and pepper. Next, stir in the pea shoots and let the residual heat of the lentils wilt the leaves.
  • Chop up remaining 1/2 of jalapeno to garnish, if desired.

TANGLED PEA SHOOTS IN BROWN GARLIC BUTTER

(serves 2 as an accompaniment)

1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, sliced thin

1 large handful pea shoots

salt and pepper

  • Drop butter into a hot skillet (especially one that has just cooked two steaks).
  • Add garlic slices and cook until butter and garlic are both brown.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add shoots and stir constantly until wilted and coated in sauce. Transfer to plate.

PEA SHOOT SALAD WITH ENDIVE, SCALLION, SHAVED APPLE AND GROUND ALMONDS

2 handfuls pea shoots

1 head endive, core removed, sliced lengthwise

3 scallions, chopped

1/2 apple, shaved into curls with a vegetable peeler

1/4 cup almonds, ground

cider vinaigrette (recipe follows)

  • Layer vegetables together and drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss gently. Top with almonds.

QUICK CIDER VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 scant tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon dijon vinegar

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until combined. Or place ingredients into a lidded container and shake to combine. Check for seasoning. Adjust.
h1

Side dish. (CUCUMBER APPLE SAUTEE with RAMP BUTTER)

May 17, 2011

MG rides his bike with two saddle bags strapped to each side. When he comes through the door after work and opens them up, an unexpected treat usually comes out. The other day it was a dozen t-shirts, today it was a whole red snapper packed in ice and last week it was a couple of sausages and a nice block of ramp butter from Dickson’s Farmstand. That ramp butter took the prize.

A ramp is a wild baby leek, indigenous to the New York area. Small bulb with a thin leaf stalk, ramps are cute and delicious. Chefs and food writers go hellbent for them during their short appearance in the early spring. A way to prolong their pleasant stay is to blanch them quickly, chop and stir into some softened butter, as the Dickson’s crew did. Store it in the freezer and you can unleash the magic for seasons to come.

MG threw the sausages on the grill and I got to work on a few side dishes with whatever was loitering in the kitchen. There was at least an apple and a cucumber. Though I am not in the habit of cooking cucumbers, I recalled a recipe that comes from Australian superchef Stephanie Alexander in which the cukes are sauted in butter. Having tried it once as written the result was interesting but didn’t really have any pizzaz. I thought that problem could be remedied by adding some more dimension; bright red freckled apple for sweet and sour, ramp butter for its herbaceous onion-likeness to go with the unusual juicy/crisp warm cucumber. It really came together, turning out just perfect to buddy up with grilled food.

CUCUMBER APPLE SAUTEE with RAMP BUTTER

1 crisp red apple such as Fuji or Gala

1 English cucumber

3 tablespoons ramp butter

salt and pepper

  • Chop the apple and cucumber.
  • Heat the 2 tablespoons of ramp butter in a skillet until foamy.
  • Toss in apples and cucumbers and saute vigorously for 7-10 minutes.
  • Taste for desired texture.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Taste again!
  • Spoon remaining ramp butter on top of warm cucumber and apples before serving.
h1

High lights. (FOOD ABROAD)

December 7, 2009

After embarking on a trip to Europe, recounting stories of all the good friends, good news and good times will take too damn long. Instead, here are a handful of delicious highlights (in pictures).

PARIS:

A villainous cheese plate:

The cheese that looks like a flower is some incredible stuff called tête de moine. It is cut horizontally with a special apparatus that shaves a thin layer  from the top of the cheese. As it is sliced in a circular direction, the cheese curls around itself. Then it melts in your mouth.

An adventurous charcuterie:

The light pinkish sausage at the top is French andouille… that lovely pattern is created by pig intestines and stomach. A little goes a long way.

BELGIUM:

Beeeeeeeeer!:

I guess I ate some stuff during the days in Belgian, but the beer! The beer is special. In this photo is a golden, delicious Tongerlo. Also among my favorites were the Westmalle beers and the rare and fantastic Wechelse Tripel. Locals say not to drink more than three. Decent advice, I guess.

AMSTERDAM:

Applecake:

Never again will I accept the expression ‘as American as apple pie’. We need to simply give up and let the Dutch have this one. Here is a photo of Dutch apple pie from a cute little eatery called Winkel that specializes in the stuff. This inexplicable pie will have me chasing the dragon until I get to try it again. (Noordermarkt 43)

Sorry France, sorry Belgium:

And here we have the little corner shop where I innocently bought some fries. I thought I would walk around and eat them but they were so so so good, I had to sit down on the nearest bench to believe what was going on in that little paper cone. When I looked up, everyone around me was eating them, all in devout silence. I got spicy mayo as my saus but i heard that peanut sauce is also a popular choice. Later still, I discovered the real people’s choice is a mix of mayo AND peanut sauce. Must immerse in local culture. Must. (Voetboogstraat 31)

h1

Food alone. (SAUSAGE + APPLE SANDWICH)

November 15, 2009

alone_sausage

This could be a new category on upchefcreek: ‘eating food alone’. As many/most of these entries are directly related to eating with and cooking for others, a constant ritual I am so lucky to partake in, I also take great pleasure in another side of eating, the solo mission. It is different when there is no one around to bend the taste toward, to impress, to please. I am not shy of eating alone. In fact, I hit restaurants by myself somewhat often as a form of relaxation and self indulgence. I cook for myself as needed, it seems I save elaborate meals for collaborative eating experiences, and let ‘quick and satisfying’ be my private mode. I do not skimp on myself, i.e. a box of cereal for dinner, but rather eat what I crave, which is usually (luckily) something pretty healthy. I guess whatever health-food-torture I went through as a kid was worth it because now I take great pleasure in eating nutritious things like green leaves, whole grains, and all that shmazz.

Tonight, dinner was one of those missions. It was just little ole me, there were few ingredients around and nothing prepared. I had two of these fancy organic chicken sausages in the fridge leftover from some sort of sausage, mushroom, dandelion, saute with quinoa. These things are dime(s) a dozen in the bodegas-turned fancymarts that are ubiquitous in Brooklyn. Good in a pinch, the sausages taste okay and, since I read labels as a hobby, I know its list of ingredients is not too scary. I am also usually stocked with this really nice, mysterious, wheat and oat bread labeled ‘Health Bread’ found all over my neighborhood and always very fresh looking. The combination turned out a hand-held meal, balanced with protein (sausage), fruit/veg (apple) and grain (good bread), three basic elements of a solid meal. Once the foil and the napkin were tossed, the only clean-up was the knife and cutting board for the apples. Impressed my damn self.

EASIEST SAUSAGE AND APPLE SANDWICH

1 link of your favorite sausage

1 apple, (gala, braeburn, fiji, jonagold, granny, mac) cored, sliced

1 swipe mustard

1 swipe mayo

a few dashes hot auce

1 piece of bread

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • On a piece of foil place sausage links with apple slices scattered over.
  • Bake until sausage is cooked (or heated through, depending if it is pre-cooked).
  • With the bread in your hand, put mayo, mustard and hot sauce on the bread and mix it together with a knife.
  • Pile sausages and apples on top and wrap in a napkin for proper eating.

There is a great book on the subject of what people eat when they are alone. I would have contributed one of my crazy breakfast porridges to it, had I the chance. I think there are forums on the web for people to share what they eat out of a public eye, very interesting, as well as some terrifyingly weird advice for people who don’t like to go out and eat alone. Here is my advice: enjoy yourself, be polite OR stay home and cook! Amaze yourself. Bon ap!

h1

Redux redux. (HUGUENOT TORTE)

October 9, 2009

huguenot_torte

In 1965 this recipe ran in the New York Times. In 2009, it was published again in an article by Amanda Hesser. My friend caught it a few Wednesdays ago and politely suggested that I make it for him. Why not be a part of American history? The legendary Huguenot Torte is so full of sugar, it may very well outlive the teeth of anyone who eats it regularly. For a recipe of so few and such straightforward ingredients, it turns out a rather complex confection. The final torte surprises with three layers of texture, all very different from each other. The crisp, light, sugary top forms over a gooey middle where the apples have gone so soft and sweet, it mimics a perfect old school pecan pie, sans corn syrup. The third and my favorite layer, is the the bubbly, sticky caramelized edge that, after the torte deflates, lines the pan and in this case, my oven.

huguenot_oven

To avoid such troubles, place a cookie sheet at the bottom of the oven to catch any dripping sugar and beware of the bad smell that is burning sugar. This recipe doubled beautifully in a 9×12 inch pan and served about 16 pieces. The recipe below is for 8. Reading about the torte, it is well stated that it will not present beautifully and it doesn’t. Once cut it is a little hard to divide up properly, since that caramelized edge is difficult to scrape off the side of the pan and serve. Instead, I found myself peeling that layer off and eating it straight from the oven (be careful.. hot!). Unfortunately when cooled it was nearly impossible to remove. Next time I would put the batter into individual ramekins so everyone, not just the greedy baker, can experience the whole sugary thing.

1965: HUGUENOT TORTE

Adapted from the New York Times (September 9, 2009)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup peeled and chopped tart cooking apples

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Beat the eggs and salt with a rotary beater until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar.
  • Add the vanilla, flour and baking powder. Fold in the apples and pecans with a spatula. Pour into a well-greased baking pan about 8-by-12 or 9-by-9 inches and at least 2 inches deep. Bake for 45 minutes, until sunken and crusty. Cut while warm. Serve warm or chilled, with whipped cream.
  • Serves 8.