Sticky Date Pudding

Ingredients

250g (1 3/4 cup) packed pitted dates
2 cups of water
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 stick (85 g) (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
3 large eggs

For Sauce:

1 3/4  (198 g) sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups of packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan (2 inches deep). Shake out excess flour
  3. Coarsely chop dates and in a 2-quart saucepan, simmer dates in water, uncovered, for 5 minutes
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda.  (The mixture will foam)
  5. Let mixture stand for 20 minutes
  6. Sift together in a bowl flour, baking powder, ginger and salt
  7. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy and light.
  8. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
  9. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, beating after each addition until just combined
  10. Add date mixture and with a wooden spoon, stir the batter until just combined well
  11. Pour batter into baking pan and set the pan in a water bath
  12. Add enough hot water to larger pan to reach halfway up the sides of the smaller pan and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean. (35 to 40 minutes)
  13. Remove smaller pan from the water bath and cool pudding on a rack

Sauce

  1. Make sauce while the pudding is cooling
  2. In a 2-quart heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter over moderate heat and add brown sugar
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and stir in cream and vanilla (add a teaspoon of rum (optional))
  4. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes
  5. Cool sauce to warm
  6. Cut pudding into squares.  Serve pudding with ice cream and warm sauce.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini MuffinsIngredients:

1 cup light artificially sweetened vanilla yoghurt
1/2 cup fat free skim milk
1/2 cup uncooked quick oats
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1 large banana mashed
1 1/4 cup wholewheat flour
1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips divided
Method:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray mini muffin pans (3 x 12)
  2. Mix yoghurt, milk, oats, vanilla and egg and let stand for a few minutes to soften the oats
  3. Add mashed banana
  4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just enough to blend.
  6. Add in chocolate chips and spread evenly.  Keep a a tablespoonful aside to add on top of muffins
  7. Scoop in small muffin pans. Enough for 36 muffins.
  8. Add two choc chips on top of each muffin.
  9. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. Test with tester to make sure they are cooked.

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Espresso-Nut Drop Cookies

Espresso Nut CookiesIngredients:

1 tablespoon of espresso coffee
(Or 1 tablespoon of espresso powder and 1 tablespoon water)
1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (large)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup of wholewheat flower
1 cup dark chocolate pieces
1 cup hazelnuts (filberts) toasted and chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat peanut butter and butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  3. Beat in eggs, vanilla and espresso into mixture until combined.
  4. Add flour, chocolate and hazelnuts.
  5. Using a 1/4 measure or small ice cream scoop, drop mounds of dough 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten dough mounds slightly.
  6. Bake 13 – 15 minutes or until edges are light brown.
  7. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool.
  8. Layer cookies between layers of waxed paper in air tight container and cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Spruce Tip Shortbread

This recipe is from Caroline Swan, an avid forager and outdoor adventurer:

INGREDIENTS:

9 inch pan

1 3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter

1/3 cup jam (raspberry or strawberry)

2 tbs of crushed fresh spruce tips

METHOD:

Move the rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350° F.

Dot the sides and bottom of a 9” square baking pan with butter, then line with parchment or aluminum foil, sticking the paper to the butter and ensuring the edges are higher than the pan.

Stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

Crush or chop the fresh spruce tips and mix them with the jam.

Add the jam and the cubed butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until everything resembles cornmeal or fine breadcrumbs.

Knead the mixture together in the bowl to form a dough.

Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and prick lightly with a fork.

Bake until firm and brown (~20 minutes).

Serve on its own or with vanilla ice cream

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Waldorf Salad

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup non-fat Greek yoghurt

2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons of honey

4 apples, diced (Granny Smith, honey crisp)

1.5 cup celery, finely sliced

1.5 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half

1/2 cup pecan nuts

1/2 cup died cherries or cranberries (optional)

METHOD

1. For dressing, mix yoghurt, mayo, mustard and honey well.

2. Mix rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Toss apple mixture in the dressing to coat lightly and refrigerate before serving.

4. Serves about 6

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Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plain Greek yoghurt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup white sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next.
  4. Mix in vanilla.
  5. Combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  6. Pour flour mixture into batter alternately with the yoghurt, mixing until just incorporated.
  7. Fold in walnuts, mixing just enough to evenly combine.
  8. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of white sugar with the cinnamon.
  10. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the batter in the pan.
  11. Drop remaining cake batter in heaping spoonfuls over filling, covering it as best you can.
  12. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

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Spanish-Spiced Roasted Pepper Bisque

This is a delicious recipe that was originally published on weightwatchers.com.
Ingredients

  • 10 medium sweet red pepper(s), halved, seeded and cored
  • 1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 cup(s), chopped uncooked onion(s)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large uncooked sweet potato(es), peeled and diced
  • 2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 leaf/leaves bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika, smoked
  • 2 Tbsp plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
Method
Preheat broiler to high. Line two baking sheets with foil.

Spread peppers in a single layer, skin-side up, on prepared baking sheets; broil, one pan at a time, until skins are blistered and blackened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap up peppers tightly in foil; set aside about 10 minutes, to steam and for skins to loosen. When peppers are cool enough to handle, remove blackened pepper skin with your hands (discard skin); coarsely chop peppers.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add sweet potato, roasted peppers, broth, bay leaf, cumin and paprika; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer until sweet potato is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf; stir in yogurt, honey and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

Remove from heat and puree soup in pot using an immersion blender (or puree in a regular blender in batches). Serve garnished with fresh oregano. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

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Jenna’s Brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/3 cup cocoa

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter

3 tbsp cold water

Method:

  1. Melt butter
  2. Add sugar and cocoa
  3. Add vanilla and eggs
  4. Mix all ingredients until smooth
  5. Add nuts
  6. Pour mixture into a square brownie pan
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25-30 min
  8. Ice with chocolate icing

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This tasty soup is inspired by a Weightwatchers recipe and is about 2 points on their Freestyle eating plan.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup(s), chopped uncooked onion(s), chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper(s), seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 6 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 15 oz canned diced tomatoes, fire roasted, drained
  • 20 oz uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast (can also be replaced with a block of firm cubed tofu)
  • 1/3 cup(s) fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup(s) cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup(s) reduced fat Mexican style blend shredded cheese, (about 6 Tbsp)
  • 12 tortilla chips
METHOD
  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and salt and cook for 5-10 minutes or until onion is softened.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno, and and chili powder and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add broth, tomatoes, chicken breasts, and lime juice.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered for 20 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through.
  6. Remove breasts from soup and use 2 forks to shred. Return chicken to pot with cilantro.
  7. Serve soup garnished with cheese and tortilla chips.

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Banana Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp hemp hearts
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk or 1% milk
  • 1 cup pureed banana (2 medium bananas)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 TBSP  packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 TBSP  unsalted butter, melted
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar

METHOD

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
    2. In a large bowl, beat together buttermilk, banana, eggs, sugar and melted butter.
    3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; fold in just to combine.
    4. Coat a nonstick griddle or pan with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat.
    5. Spoon batter into pan in batches using 1/4-cup batter for each pancake; cook until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with hemp hearts before turning the pancake.
    6. Remove pancakes to a tray in a warm oven; repeat with remaining ingredients (being careful not to spray cooking spray into an open flame).
    7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

Yields 2 pancakes per serving.

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