Saturday, April 5, 2008

Raspberry Chocolate Mini Muffins

Note: check yield, makes 16 mini muffins
  • 2 Tbsp baking cocoa
  • ¼ C boiling water
  • ¼ C butter, softened
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 C all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 Tbsp chopped sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp coarse sugar (optional)
1. Dissolve cocoa in water; let stand until cool. Meanwhile, in small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg; mix well. Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with cocoa mixture.
2. Fill paper-lined miniature muffin cups half full. Drop ¼ teaspoon of jam into the center of each; cover with 2 teaspoons batter. Sprinkle with almonds and sugar.
3. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the chocolate portion comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Yield 16 muffins

Robyn's notes: these are great. Prep takes some time, about 40 minutes, but with the short baking time they're ready in less than an hour.

Nutritional Information: Calories 76; Fat 4g; Saturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 21mg; Sodium 4mg; Carbohydrate 10g; Fiber trace; Protein 1g
Dietary Exchange: 1 Starch

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Note: check yield, makes 12 regular-sized muffins
  • 1 (16.6-oz) pkg. date bread and muffin mix (One 14oz pkg banana bread and muffin mix can be substituted)
  • ¾ C milk
  • ¼ C oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 C shredded peeled zucchini
  • ½ C miniature chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except zucchini and chocolate chips; beat 50 to 75 strokes with spoon until mix is moistened. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips. Batter will be stiff. Divide batter evenly into paper-lined muffin cups. Muffin cups will be nearly full.
3. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm or cool.

12 muffins

Robyn's notes: He likes these and I took a batch to work and everyone there enjoyed them as well. Including cooking time it takes less than an hour.

Nutritional Information: Calories 280; Calories from Fat 110; Total Fat 12g; Saturated Fat 4g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 170mg; Total Carbohydrate 39g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 23g; Protein 4g

Dietary Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 ½ Fruit, 2 ½ Fat OR 2 ½ Carbohydrate, 3 ½ Fat

Chewy Cinnamon Trail Bars

  • 1 C quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ½ C honey
  • 1/3 C coconut (see notes, below)
  • 1/3 C white vanilla chips
  • 1/3 C pecan pieces
  • 1 pkg. Pillsbury Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread Mix
  • ½ C butter, melted
  • 1 ½ Tbsp water
  • 2 egg yolks
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12x8 inch (2 quart) basking dish or 13x9 inch pan. In food processor bowl with metal blade, combine oats, honey, coconut, vanilla chips, and pecans; process 10 seconds or until coarsely ground.
2. Set cinnamon swirl package from bread mix aside. In large bowl, combine bread mix and oat mixture. Stir in butter, water, and egg yolks; mix well. Spread half of batter in greased baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon swirl from package. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over cinnamon swirl; carefully spread.
3. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool 2 hours or until completely cooled. Cut into bars.

Robyn's notes: I adapted this recipe from another, but I no longer remember the changes I made to it. He likes it, I've made it as lunch bars/granola-type bars a number of times.  I generally use sweetened flaked coconut because it's what I tend to have in the house.

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Bars

Note: check yield, this is intended to be eaten over multiple days
  • 2 C rolled oats (quick cooking ok)
  • 1 C sliced almonds
  • 1 (14-oz) pkg. Pillsbury Banana Quick Bread and Muffin Mix
  • 1 C raisins
  • ½ C toasted wheat germ
  • 1 C chunky peanut butter
  • ½ C oil
  • ½ C water
  • ¼ C honey
  • 2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350. Spread oats and almonds in ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until oats and almonds are toasted, stirring occasionally.
2. In large bowl, combine toasted oats and almonds, quick bread mix and raisins; mix well. Add all remaining ingredients; mix well.
3. Spray same baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread batter evenly in sprayed pan.
4. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely.

Approximately 24 bars

Robyn's notes: I make these as lunch bars/granola-type bars for him so that we feel confident about the ingredients in them, instead of the assortment of things in store-bought bars. I don't make this particular one all that often, because I can't always find the Quick Bread and Muffin Mix.

Nutritional Information: Calories 270; Calories from Fat 130; Total Fat 14g; Saturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 150mg; Total Carbohydrate 30g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 15g; Protein 7g

Dietary Exchange: 1 Starch, 1 Fruit, ½ High-Fat Meat, 2 Fat OR 2 Carbohydrate, ½ High-Fat Meat, 2 Fat

Friday, April 4, 2008

Skillet Spaghetti

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/3 C chopped green pepper
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 oz uncooked spaghetti, broken
  • 1/3 C shredded cheddar cheese
1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, green pepper, 4 Tbsp water, salt, chili powder and spaghetti. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until spaghetti is tender, stirring frequently and adding remaining water if necessary.
3. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minute

  • Robyn's notes: it was good but not exciting, though being easy basically made up for that.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Soba with Peanut Sauce

  • 8oz soba noodles
  • 1/4 C natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 C rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese chili paste with garlic OR 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 C thinly sliced scallion greens
1. Cook noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 6-7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
2. While the noodles cook, whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and chili paste or cayenne in a bowl.
3. Add noodles and scallion greens to peanut butter dressing. Toss well and serve.

Robyn's notes: I used the cayenne instead of chili paste.

Ingredient Info: Soba: the Japanese buckwheat and wheat-dried noodles contain twice the dietary fiber of plain noodles. In terms of essential amino acids, soba scores higher than pasta or bread. Soba includes a lot of lysine, and therefore a good balance of amino acids.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Carrots with Rosemary Butter

  • 1 1/2 C julienned carrots
  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 tsp minced fresh rosemary OR 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp minced fresh parsley OR 1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 3/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1. Place carrots in a steamer basket; place in a small saucepan over 1inch of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 4-6 minutes or until crisp-tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add carrots and toss to coat.

Robyn's notes: Easy and quick, I served these with Flavorful Chicken Pasta

Flavorful Chicken Pasta

  • 3/4 C uncooked spiral pasta
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with garlic salt. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in oil for 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, basil and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Stir in vinegar. Reduce heat; cover and season for 5 minutes.
3. Add olives; heat through. Stir in sour cream until blended (do not boil). Drain pasta; stir into chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Robyn's notes: this was good and he noted just how tasty it was. I served it with Carrots with Rosemary Butter.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


  • 2 large, very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 C bread cubes cut from a whole-grain loaf
  • 1 C drained and sliced roasted red peppers (from a jar)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced fresh basil
1. Seed and chop the tomatoes; place them in a strainer set over a bowl to drain for 10 minutes.
2. In a serving bowl, toss together bread cubes, sliced red peppers and drained chopped tomatoes. Stir olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic into the drained tomato juice. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour tomato juice dressing over the salad. Toss once again and garnish with sliced basil.

Robyn's notes: he liked this, even though the dressing didn't seem to go very far. This was intended as a side but I served it as a whole meal and he said it was very filling.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sesame Asparagus

  • 12 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
Steam asparagus in vegetable steamer for 5 minutes.
Combine butter, lemon juice, and sesame seeds. Drizzle asparagus with butter mixture.

Robyn's notes: really easy

Nutritional Information: Calories 71, Sodium 47mg, Cholesterol 0, Carbohydrate 5gm, Protein 3gm, Fat 5gm
Dietary Exchanges: 1 Vegetable, 1 Fat