Monthly Archives: December 2009
|December 29, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Uncategorized|
I don’t know about you, but after indulging so much over the holiday I’m more than ready to get back to eating healthy, nutritious foods. I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen and have a few great new recipes to share with you. But first I thought it would be appropriate to reflect back on some of my favorite recipes from the past year. I’ve made more than a few great dishes since I got serious about blogging last winter and it seems like a shame to let them get lost in the archives.
So to help you start the New Year off on the right foot, here’s a roundup of some of the most crave-worthy recipes that have appeared on Healthy.Delicious. in 2009. This list certainly doesn’t represent all of my favorites (if I don’t absolutely love something that I make, I generally don’t post it) but they are some of the healthier recipes that I keep going back to and that you can realistically make during this time of the year. I had some fabulous recipes over the summer, but they just wouldn’t be the same without fresh, in-season produce.
Here’s to a great New Year full of healthy and delicious meals, good friends both new and old, and success in and out of the kitchen! If you had to pick one meal as your favorite of 2009, what would it be?
|December 28, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Cake and Pastry, Desserts, Indulge, Italian, Special Occasions|
So here’s the deal… I wasn’t going to post this cake. First, because I didn’t come up with the recipe or change it enough to consider it my own and, second, because of that obnoxious little “healthy” part of Healthy. Delicious. But then I decided that it would be mean of me not to share because oh my goodness this cheesecake was beyond ridiculous and is 100% my new favorite indulgence. My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures.
Three layers: a rich chocolate ganache spiked with kahluha, a fluffy, mousse-like layer of the most perfect cappuccino cheesecake ever, all topped with a cool, creamy layer of sweetened sour cream. It’s enough to turn even the staunchest of cheesecake and coffee haters into cappuccino cheesecake lovers. More than one person told me that it was the best cheesecake they’d ever had. It also got me a high-five.
The entire cake – all 16 slices – was devoured within about 5 minutes. I’m not even going to tell you how many calories was in each slice (believe me, you don’t want to know!) but it was worth every last one. It’s certainly not a cake to be baking on any old weekend, but for holidays? You can bet I’ll be making this one again! As should you! If you have any last minute holiday gatherings this week, I suggest running straight to the store to get what you nee to make this. It’ll be the hit of the night. And anyway, we all have another week before our diets start up again, right?
I hope everyone had a great holiday and is enjoying any time off from work that you might have! I promise I’ll be back soon with some recipes that are healthy and delicious to get your new year started off right! In the meantime, what are your favorite holiday food traditions?
|December 23, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Breakfast, Fruit, Grains, Quick Weeknight Meals, Vegetarian or Vegan|
For those of you who are still too intimidated to try your hand at bagels (I promise they’re not as hard as you’d think!), here’s another great breakfast that you can make ahead of time – granola!
I’ve been flat-out obsessed with making my own granola lately. In addition to tasting great, it travels well so I’ve been eating it with yogurt for breakfast pretty much every weekday. I’ve already been through thee huge batches since I started making it earlier this fall! I’ve made each batch slightly different, while following the same general formula… until the last time. I was halfway through when I realized that I was almost out of oats! I mixed the last of what I had in and hoped that the higher honey to oat concentration would work. Best. Mistake. Ever! The extra honey really shines through and lends a great flavor without being too sticky or sweet, while pecans and raisins add texture.
Since honey is the predominant flavor here, you’ll want to use something that’s high-quality. I used a darkly colored wild honey from Germany that I picked up on a whim. I wouldn’t be able to even begin to tell you where to find the same kind, but I would use a dark/ amber honey. You should be able to find a decent on in any grocery store.
Once you have the basic oat/ honey combination down, you can really experiment with any other mix-ins that you want. If you don’t like pecans and raisins, how about dried cranberries and walnuts? Or coconut and macadamia nuts? The combinations are endless.
Since granola is relatively calorie-dense, I like to balance it out with yogurt and fruit instead of eating it with milk like cereal (which usually results in me eating way too much). Pictured above is a combination of granola, vanilla yogurt, and pomegranate seeds. It’s also fabulous with roasted or sauteed pears. What’s your favorite way to eat granola?
Honey Pecan Granola
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/4 cup dark honey
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1-1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup raisins
Melt butter and honey in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients until thoroughly moistened- work it through with your hands if you need to. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, stirring halfway, or until the oats are a light gold color. (Be careful not to overcook or it will become bitter)
Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two. The oats will still be a little bit sticky while they’re warm, so now is the time to make clumps! Use your fingers to form oats into clusters – they can be as large or as small as you desire (I like to leave mine pretty loose, without many clusters). Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Yield 16 servings (about 4 Tablespoons each)
Approx. 80 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 1.5 grams protein
Happy Holidays! I’ll be back with a new post sometime next week. For those of you who are traveling, stay safe and keep warm!
|December 21, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Breads, Breakfast, Lent, Light, Vegetarian or Vegan|
What could be better than waking up to a Christmas morning breakfast of homemade bagels (with smoked salmon and cream cheese)? Not much if you ask me!
If you’ve ever had a bagel from New York City, you know that they are’t anything like the bagels that you can get at the grocery store or at chain bagel bakeries. My grandparents used to bring bagels from NYC with them when they would come visit, and it was always a huge production. The bagels weren’t bready. Instead, a crispy outer crust encases a soft, chewy center. I’ve been able to find a few good approximations at independent bagel bakeries in other cities (DC has a good one; Albany, sadly, does not), but now… I can make them at home. And so can you!
I know what you’re thinking – but I promise that these are a lot easier to make than you (or I!) would ever imagine. They’re virtually fool-proof. You can make them on a lazy afternoon with simple ingredients that you likely have on hand. And once you have a bite of one, you’ll be hooked. Trust me.
I made a dozen mini-bagels, which I found were the perfect size for breakfast. I left six plain and topped six with coarse sea salt, which is my favorite. You could also top yours with dehydrated garlic or onion, sesame or poppy seeds, or anything else that suits your fancy.
For not being loaded with chemicals and preservatives, I found that they kept really well, although the salt ones did get a little soggy when I stored them. (They still tasted great once I toasted them, but just a word of warning if you’re planning to serve these to guests.) You can store the bagels on the counter in an airtight container for about 5 days. You can also freeze them for longer-term storage – just slice in half and freeze individually on a cookie sheet before throwing them in a freezer bag. You’ll end up with bagel halves that can be popped right into the toaster whenever you’d like.
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1-1/2 Tbs sugar
- 1-1/4 cup warm water
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs baking soda
- 1 egg yolk
- Optional: Assorted toppings (ex. coarse sea salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dehydrated garlic, etc)
Add sugar and yeast to 1/2 cup warm water, without stirring. Let sit for five minutes, then stir until dissolved.
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and our in the yeast mixture along with half the remaining water. Begin to mix, adding more water as needed to form a firm dough.
On a floured counter, knead for 20 minutes (I know its a long time, consider it your arm workout for the day). Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled. Punch down and let sit another 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. To form the bagel, dip your pointer finger into some flour and poke it through the middle of the ball to form a rind. Stretch it out so that the hole is about 1/3rd the diameter of the bagel. Continue with remaining pieces. Set on a cookie sheet, cover, and let sit for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the baking soda to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Working in batches, add about 3 bagels to the boiling water. They should float to the top almost immediately. Let boil 2 minutes, then flip over and let boil 3 minutes on the other side. Remove and return to cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels.
While the bagels are boiling, combine the egg yolk with 2 Tbs water. Brush over the bagel as you remove them from the pot. Sprinkle with any toppings that you desire (but brush with the egg wash even if you aren’t using toppings).
Heat oven to 450. Bake bagels for 10-15 minutes or until the bagels are a light golden color.
Approx. 140 calories, 0.5 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 4 grams protein
|December 16, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Uncategorized|
Wow! You guys really like cheese, huh? I can’t say that I blame you! Between all of the comments and tweets, we ended up with 78 entries! I entered them all into a spreadsheet (comments first, then tweets) and used random.org to choose a winner.
|December 15, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Fall, Lent, Vegetarian or Vegan, Weekend Meals, Winter|
Daring cooks make me do it. I know that it was only yesterday that I was complaining about eating to many fried, cheesy, en croute type dishes. But somehow, I totally forgot about this month’s Daring Cooks! They made me do it! I don’t know what happened, but for some reason I had the reveal date marked on my calendar as today, so I’m a day late. But I started making this wellington over the weekend and was planning to have it last night for dinner anyway so, for the most part it, worked out ok.
The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternate recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online. When I first read what the challenge was going to be, I was really excited. I was all set to make Lamb Wellington – something I’ve been dying to make ever since they kept making it that one season on Hell’s Kitchen. But when the time came, I just wasn’t feeling it. You see… in addition to being sick of fried, greasy foods we’re also sick of meat. I know! Crazy right? We’ve actually eaten very little meat in the past few months and we’re not really missing it. Once a week or so seems like the perfect amount. So I thought of what else I could fill these with, and finally settles on mushrooms and blue cheese. Which was AWESOME. The flavors were simple, but so so so good.
This was definitely the most challenging Daring Cooks recipe that I’ve made yet, and my pastry was almost a total failure. Even after adding almost double the water that the recipe alled for, my dough just wasn’t coming together. It still looked like flour! I considered tossing it and defrosting some puff pastry, but threw it in the fridge and hoped for the best. I don’t know what I thought the fridge was going to do for it, but it didn’t do much! I was able to roll out just enough dough to make two individual sized pockets. The crust also didn’t brown the way that I thought it would. Not sure what I did wrong.
The dough (if you can call it that!) may have looked ugly and most of it got thrown out, but the flavor was fantastic! For the filling, I cut two large portobellos into a medium dice. I three them into a hot pan with a little bit of oil and about 1 Tbs sage, and cooked them down until they became very soft. I removed them from the pan and let them drain on some paper towels to take out some of the moisture while I rolled out my pastry, then filled each pastry with half the mushrooms and about 1 ounce of crumbled roquefort. A quick egg wash and 20 minutes in the oven, and dinner was ready! The house smelled amazing while these baked and these cheese got all melty inside of the pastry like I was hoping it would do. I guess I would say that these were almost a success. The flavors were definitely there, it was just a matter of figuring out where I went wrong with the pastry. I’ll definitely be trying this one again.
(To keep dinner from being too heavy, I served these with mixed greens dressed in a simple dressing of mustard, apricot preserves, white balsamic, olive oil, and cracked pepper – one of my favorite quick dressings.)
Since my version didn’t come out great, I’m not going to post the recipe here. But you can find the original recipes on Simone’s blog here.