Thursday, March 19, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite soups.  Luckily, my husband is great at whipping up a large batch.  Here's his recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup

Makes about 7 cups

  • 1 package Costco butternut squash cubes
  • 3 cups water
  • 18g chicken bullion
  • 12 oz sweet onions, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh if possible
  • 14 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 14 teaspoon sea salt
  • 18 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tbsp thick plain Greek yogurt (per serving)
  1. In a large pan, combine the squash, water, bullion, onions and bay leaf, bringing to a boil.
  2. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is tender, then remove from heat.
  3. Take out the bayleaf and blend with immersion blender until smooth.
  4. Season with 1/4 nutmeg, sea salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle into soup bowls and swirl 2 tablespoon of yogurt into each bowl.

    I suggest serving it with biscuits and my Everyday Salad.  

    Happy eating!

Orange Sweet Rolls

After my success with Pumpkin Banana Muffins, I decided to be daring and modify another recipe.  I’ve had a recipe for Lemon Poppyseed Bread for years.  I’m not sure where I got it, but I remembered liking it well enough.  We have an orange tree in our backyard, so I thought, why not leave out the poppyseeds and make it with an orange instead of a lemon? 

These rolls would be perfect for Easter brunch, a potluck, or just for snacking.  They’re slightly sweet, and they’re delicious without slathering on any butter.  You’d never know they only have 100 calories each.  You might want to make a double batch because it’s hard to eat just one!

Orange Sweet Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

2 tbsp butter (softened)
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
¾ c Splenda (you can substitute an equal amount of sugar)
2 servings liquid eggwhites (you can substitute 2 eggs)
1 tbsp orange juice
zest of one orange
1 c white whole wheat flour
1 c bread flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ c milk

For the glaze:
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or insert paper liners.

In a stand mixer, combine the butter, Greek yogurt and Splenda.

Add the eggwhites and orange juice.

Add the milk.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients and the orange zest to the mixer bowl.  Mix to combine.

Bake about 10 minutes or until the tops of the rolls spring back when you touch them.
Combine the orange juice and powdered sugar for the glaze. 

Put the rolls on a serving plate.  Brush the glaze on top of the rolls while they’re still warm. 

They’re delicious warm, or you can store them at room temperature for a couple days, if they last that long!  I haven’t tried freezing them, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

Happy eating!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

I love bread and other yummy baked goods.  It’s totally my weakness.  For some people, mac and cheese is comfort food, but for me, it’s bread.  I think it’s the texture that I love so much.  I love French bread, multi-grain bread, biscuits, muffins, cake.  I also love to bake, so it’s constantly a challenge for me not to be my own worst enemy by filling my house with tempting, sinfully delicious baked goods.  They’re so not healthy.

For the past couple years, I’ve been on a mission to bake healthier.  I now have a delicious whole wheat bread recipe, a whole wheat pizza crust recipe, a multi-grain waffle recipe, and even a whole wheat pancake recipe.  But, what if you just want a really good muffin?  I didn’t have a recipe for that.

I’ve spent hours on pinterest looking at muffin recipes.  I was hoping to find something full of healthy ingredients that would also taste delicious. 

Did I mention that I have a baby?  He’s 7 months old, and he’s been eating my homemade baby food creations for about a month.  His purees have been the inspiration for some of my baking experimentation.  For example, I bought a huge bag of carrots to puree for him (he LOVES carrots) and thought, “I should eat more carrots.  Let me try to find a healthy carrot muffin or cookie bar recipe.”  I tried about 3 recipes and none of them was a “do again” (what my husband and I call a recipe that we love so much we want to make it again). 

My baby’s latest pureed concoction consists of pumpkin, banana (he LOVES bananas even more than carrots), breastmilk, baby oatmeal cereal and a dash of cinnamon.  He loves it and wolfs it down.  It made me think, I bet a muffin recipe that included both pumpkin and bananas would be delicious!  I have a pumpkin bread recipe that I frequently make into muffins, so I figured I’d start there and change, well, just about everything. 

before baking
I was inspired this morning, so during my baby’s morning nap, I daringly whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Banana Muffins.  I figured it was no big deal if they didn’t taste great on the first try so I just guessed at what I thought would be good in them, and let me just say, I was more than pleasantly surprised.  My husband and I couldn’t stay out of them!  It makes a dozen, and there are only 5 left!  They’re that good, at least, they are in my humble opinion. 

after baking
The best part?  Besides the delicious taste, they’re only 95 calories each!  That means it’s not such a bad thing if you can’t eat just one.  They’re so good you don’t need to put butter or anything on them, so that saves calories and fat grams too.  When I was first making them, I thought they tasted a little too sweet, but the Greek yogurt tones it down to the perfect sweetness.  The texture is perfect too.  The bread flour keeps them from being too dense.  They’re fluffy but not too airy. 

perfect texture inside
All I can say is that if you like pumpkin pie and banana bread, I really think you should try making these muffins!  They’re a definite “do again” in my book.

Here’s the recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I did this morning.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Yields 12 muffins

1 c Splenda (you can substitute 1 c sugar, but it’ll add more calories)
½ c packed dark brown sugar
2 servings liquid egg whites (you can substitute 2 eggs, but it’ll add more calories)
¼ c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
½ c mashed bananas (about 1 large banana or 1 ½ smaller bananas)
½ c whole wheat flour
½ c bread flour
1 c old fashioned oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1/3 c water
1 c (8oz) pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

In an electric mixer, mix the Splenda, brown sugar and egg whites. Add the Greek yogurt and bananas. 

In a separate bowl, mix the flours, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add about half of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix well.  Then add the water and mix well.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Then add the pumpkin.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm, at room temperature or cool.  You can keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze and defrost in the microwave for a quick snack anytime you want.

Now, try to eat just one.  I dare you!

Happy eating!