Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perfect Pumpkin Bread

This recipe was adapted from Something Swanky's version of Starbucks Pumpkin Pound Cake. Something Swanky recommends topping it with a cream cheese or powdered sugar icing, but I decided it was plenty sweet without it! My recommendation, instead, is to add chocolate chips or walnuts! I also decided that it was more of a pumpkin 'bread' than 'pound cake.' It's definitely delicious (super moist, too!) and definitely a recipe that I will make again (and again!)

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
3 egg whites
1 cup canned pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a large loaf pan, set aside.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, yogurt, and egg whites. Whisk thoroughly until blended. Stir in the pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until completely incorporated.
Pour into pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Barley Turkey Chili

It finally feels like fall here, thanks to yesterday's cold-front, and I have welcomed the cooler weather with open arms - and another soup recipe! This one (which I slightly adapted) is from "Soup and Ladle Favorites" - a cookbook put together by local Pennsylvania dietitians. On the ingredient list, you will find ground turkey (a lean meat choice), barley (a whole grain), and water (as opposed to high-sodium broths). I know what you're thinking...healthy ingredients = bland and boring. Not so!! The onion, peppers and garlic meld with the spices to make a very flavorful soup. And the turkey, beans and barley give it the heartiness you desire in a bowl of chili! It's perfect to serve on game-day or simply to warm you up on a chilly fall day. I served the chili with cornbread and topped it with shredded cheese and sliced green onions (I love the flavor and slight crunch that the green onions add!) A very filling meal that I'm sure you and your family will enjoy!

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey (or ground beef, if you prefer)
3/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a jalapeno pepper (seeds removed), diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water (at least)
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, undrained
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste - reduced sodium, if available
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
Desired toppings such as low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, fat-free sour cream & sliced green onions

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add turkey, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until turkey is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain, if needed.

Add water, undrained kidney beans, tomato paste, barley, chili powder, parsley, mustard, cayenne pepper and paprika. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer for 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally and adding more water, as needed, to make it the consistency you desire.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with desired toppings. Makes about 4 servings.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Even though it's 80 degrees here in PA, I'm craving warm, feel-good soups for fall. This is the first of (hopefully) several fall/winter soup posts. Creamy, cheesy, and easy peasy (delicious, too!) Sometimes with broccoli/cauliflower cheese soups, I end up with a slightly grainy product. In this recipe, I didn't have that problem at all! Enjoy :)

Recipe slightly adapted from the version over at the blog Love Grows Wild.

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
salt & pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
6 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally until softened, about 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add broth and water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until cauliflower is very tender.
Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Pour the pureed soup back into the pot. Add cheese and stir over medium heat until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with cayenne.
Top with extra cheese, if desired (who doesn't love extra cheese?!)
To store, let soup cool completely then refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 days. Makes 3-4 servings.