February 11, 2014

Trim, Healthy Pancakes Made with Love (also known as Beets!)-E

When ever my kids, or anyone actually, ask what is that taste they just can't quite place in the food I make, I usually respond that it is the love that they are tasting.
Love can be lots of things.... usually a little pinch of a spice or of a seasoning, but sometimes it is something really special.
Something like a puree made from beets!

But beets!  Those are gross!  I hate beets!  (I can hear you saying that, you know).
Consider that beets are a veggie with God-given nutrition and they also give you a lovely pink color, and given a little love, you really won't even taste them, but can just say that it is just the love you are getting.

Eventually I'll post how I store beets, but today I'll just say that I have an almost endless supply in my freezer. To make these pancakes you need a steamed or lightly cooked beet.

The secret here is to add a flavor extract to help disguise the overt flavor of the beets if you are not a big fan or are trying to convert your kids.
Cherry extract (and I found it at Walmart for about $3)  is a good one to use, and while it will smell like a bad cough drop while you are mixing them, the flavor and smell is developed and enhanced after cooking as it is with most extracts.  I will add that there are very few extracts I enjoy in an uncooked capacity, especially if it is an alcohol-based extract.  The finished product will have just a lovely hint of the cherry flavor and smell and will leave you wondering what happened to the beets?

THM:  This is an E meal as it is lowfat and has carbs.  Adding a beet does add carbs, but overall 100 gm beets or 1/2 of a large, or 1 small- average beet, is going to add a total of 9 net carbs to the overall recipe so only 1-2 carbs are added for a serving, and it is still well within E parameters.

Trim, Healthy Pancakes Made with Love(aka beets!)-E

2 cups old-fashioned, rolled oats
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups egg whites or egg beaters
1 tsp cherry extract
1 beet, steamed or cooked in some way, then pureed
3 tsp baking powder
Toppings of your choice

Place the rolled oats in your blender and process until flour-like.  Transfer to a bowl.  This way you can keep most of the clean up confined to just the blender.

To prepare the beet: steam or boil until soft.  I admit that I tend to add a bit of liquid/water to this recipe as I find it too thick for my tastes, so the extra liquid in the beets is perfect for us.
I've tried this recipe with a thick puree and a more watery one with a couple of others in between and they all worked well.  The key is to make sure the beets are smooth so that you don't get a chunk of beet in your pancake.

Place the beet with some water or some of the cooking liquid into your blender and process until smooth.

Add the cottage cheese and egg whites.  Pulse till smooth.
Add the Cherry extract and oats, pulse to combine.  Then add the baking soda.
Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes for best results.

Cook on a griddle (remember not to add extra oil for E!).  I use a non-stick surface for these with great results.

This should make 6 servings.
Top with fruit or topping of choice.

The quick syrup shown here is some berries (strawberries, blackberries and cranberries) in some water with a dash of stevia to taste, some cherry extract brought to a boil. Add some glucomannan and stir well, reduce heat and allow to gel.
This recipe is shared as a part of Trim, Healthy Tuesday at Gwen's Nest.

February 3, 2014

Clam Chowder-S

There are a couple of foods that I miss, that are often potato based, since starting Trim, Healthy Mama.
Right now, I've been on plan since November of 2012.  I've lost the weight and am maintaining, but I know that it is easy to spiral out of control and let one cheat become another.
It's just easier in my mind to not stray.
It's easier to see THM as an opportunity to find other, healthier options instead of caving.

Now I love clam chowder.  The issue is primarily that it contains potatoes and a roux made with white flour.
My solutions to this issue is the use of radishes in place of the starchy, white potatoes.  They are low carb and low glycemic.  My fear was that they'd be spicy as I've always had them raw.  I talked to a friend and she assured me this was not the case.  I had been assured of their perfect-potato-like character when cooked.

The next issue is the roux.  I know I could just use glucomannan powder but that goes against all things good in the world in my mind.  A roux is not something that simply thickens.  It adds a depth of flavor (and love).  Not making a roux, and by roux I mean the combination of flour with oil/fat that is browned, just goes outside of how I choose to think about food.
The glucomannan will thicken, but in more of a gel-type way, and there is no taste gained by its addition.

So instead of white flour, I am using oat flour.  I grind old-fashioned oats in my grainmill or blender, just like I do for salmon patties or as a binder in many other THM recipes that are S.
The small amount of oats shouldn't alter carb content.

I have found that there are some differences with these ingredients over the traditional ones found in a chowder.  The radishes took a bit longer to cook than potatoes.  It is usually about 20 minutes for the potatoes to cook and become tender, but it was about 30-40 minutes until the radishes reached this point.  The broth also didn't really get thick like with potatoes until the radishes reached a tender stage and then it was just lovely and perfect!  The broth did become thick, just in longer time than it would with potatoes.
And then there's the color.  It does have a pink tint, but otherwise the radishes look and taste like they could be red, Irish potatoes?

Radishes are one of the easiest and earliest things you can plant in a spring garden.  I know that I'll definitely be planting some this season.

Clam Chowder-S

1 onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp oat flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
2 bay leaves
1 pound of radishes( 1 large bunch or 2 small), cut into cubes
2-10oz cans of minced or chopped clams

  • Heat the butter in a large pan until melted over medium-high heat.  
  • Add the onion and celery and saute till soft.
  • Stir in the oat flour and cook for 3-4 minutes.  
  • Add the stock, half and half, bay leaves, radishes and cans of clams including juice.
  • Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to med-low and lightly simmer while covered for about 30-40 minutes until the radishes are  tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper, serve hot!

Serve with a side green salad and maybe a piece of Joseph's pita with some butter, if you wish!
Visit Gwen's Nest for more Trim, Healthy Tuesdays ideas.

Burger Veggies!

Burgers are a staple here at our house.  Usually the sides are cabbage and sweet potatoes potatoes.  This is a healthy, THM (crossover) meal, but why not try to take it to the next level?
Why not sneak some additional veggies in there and see if anyone notices?
Of course they are going to notice at my house, but is still a nice burger with increased nutritional value.
And if you want an S meal, then leave out the roasted sweet potatoes and enjoy with cabbage.

Burger Veggies-S

If you're familiar with any of my recipes you know I don't do cards as a rule and leave a lot as a subjective choice.  This one is even more so as it really depends upon what you have (or need to empty out of the fridge) and how much you need to make.

enough ground meat for your family
veggies, including onion, spinach, kale, carrots, peppers, garlic (really, whatever)
salt, pepper, seasonings of choice (garlic powder, smoky paprika, cayenne, your choice)

Put the veggies in a blender or food processor and process until a puree forms.  This can be a smooth or as chunky as you like.  I made mine kind of chunky, and they are more visible when eaten.
Add about 1/4-1/3 of the meat to the puree and process it as well so that you have a meat puree.
Remove the puree to a bowl and add in the remaining meat and any seasonings.  Mix together by hand and form into patties.  I like to leave most of the meat un-processed as it still has that burger, ground meat texture and isn't quite as 'meat loafy'.

However you normally would.  I use a cast iron skillet over med low heat stovetop and cook on each side.  I then place them in a 400 degree oven to finish.

get more ideas at Gwen's Nest for Trim, Healthy Tuesday.