Goodeats for 8/19/2008

Breakfast:

  • apple cinnamon oatmeal
  • 1 banana

Lunch:

  • sandwich – 2 big slices of WW bread, cheddar, tomatoes, and mint chutney (again!)
  • 1 banana (we have them for work, and they’re free, so I’m eating them)

Snack:

  • greens with bbq dressing
  • quaker oatmeal raisin granola bar

Dinner:

  • Hwe dup bap – raw veggies on top of rice, topped with raw fish, seaweed, and some sesame oil + Korean spicy sauce
  • Korean side dishes (kimchee, another sweeter type of kimchee with seafood in it, potato cakes, and pickled daikon). We got 2nds and 3rds of the seafood kimchee.
  • Bobby got “Fried Shrimp Roll” and I had the inside of 2-3 of the pieces

Dessert:

  • Frozen yogurt plus toppings, split with Bobby. The sign at the shop says “All you can eat for $.33/ounce!”. Bobby thinks this is hysterical every time we go. We got tart (for me) and honeydew flavor (for Bobby). It’s topped with mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, and some cereal flakes. It was delicious.

Goodeats for 8/18/2008

Breakfast:

  • apple & cinnamon oats
  • 1 banana

Lunch:

  • sandwich: 2 slices of bread, sliced heirloom tomatoes (farmers’ market!), mint chutney (farmers’ market as well), and melted cheddar cheese
  • 1 banana

Snack:

  • 1/2 Quaker Apple Crisp bar – way too sugary.
  • Dannon Peach Light&Fit

Dinner:

  • 2 Trader Joe’s chickenless nuggets (these are great, we need to buy more) + organic ketchup
  • 2.5 slices of fried green tomatoes + organic ketchup (yes, I like ketchup on my tomatoes)
  • brussels sprouts with apples and onions
  • “panzanella” of heirloom tomatoes, basil, salt&pepper, and leftover bread crumbs + a dash of buttermilk
  • I had 2nds and 3rds of the brussels and the panzanella… Homemade bread crumbs make everything delicious.

Dessert:

  • Kath’s “Pumpkin Pie” – pumpkin puree, 1 egg white, cinnamon, baking powder, and a touch of sugar, mixed well and microwaved for 2 minutes – topped with some frosted mini wheats crumbs & syrup

Midnight Snack:

  • Broccoli with Asian dressing
  • 1 more banana (I’m not a monkey)

Low Sugar Black Bean Brownies

When I saw this recipe over at 101 Cookbooks, I knew I had to try it. Many Asian desserts use the red adzuki bean and I always like them a lot. I recently bought a loaf of red bean bread, which is similar to cinnamon swirl – except the swirls were a smooth and creamy red bean paste. It was delicious. I wanted to try this recipe with the adzuki beans, but alas, I was short on time and couldn’t find canned adzuki beans. I did buy a bag of dried adzukis for another time, but decided to settle for black beans, at least for now.

I also decided to try three permutations of the recipe. I love butter, but some people watch calories. I subbed out the butter in 2 variations and tried them with applesauce and then with mashed banana. I made three half batches and tested them on my coworkers, friends, and roommates. I think the banana won out in the end, but the applesauce was a close second and (surprisingly) butter was a definite last.

Another change I made had to do with the sweetening method used.  I always cut down the sugar when I bake so this time I severely reduced the amount of agave nectar called for. If you like your desserts very sweet, up the amount of agave nectar to up to a 1/2 cup for the recipe listed below. You can also substitute honey for agave nectar at a ratio of 1:1. If you don’t know where to find agave nectar, try Trader Joe’s or any local health food store.

I made three half batches, so I’m going to list the recipe for a half-batch below.

  1. In the first version, I used creamy unsalted butter.
  2. In the second I used unsweetened applesauce.
  3. In the third I used mashed banana.

This is how (my version of) the recipe goes.

Adapted from Baking With Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature’s Ultimate Sweetener by Ania Catalano.

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter OR 1/2 cup applesauce OR 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup soft cooked black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup instant coffee
  • dash of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9×9-inch pan with wax or parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray (optional – but makes for much easier removal, as I found out. I did not use the spray, and mine stuck to the paper.)
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter/applesauce/banana in the microwave (about 1 minute). Stir to melt completely. Place the beans, 1/4 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a few spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into a food processor. Mix on high until creamy, about 1.5-2 minutes.  The beans should be smooth.*  Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together the rest of the walnuts, the remaining chocolate mix, the instant coffee, and the salt. Mix and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, beat the eggs until light and creamy (I did this by hand and didn’t get them as creamy as I would have liked; the brownies turned out fine anyway). Add the agave nectar and set aside.
  5. Add the bean mixture to the chocolate mixture, stirring well. Then add in most of the egg mix, saving a few tablespoons to drizzle on top.
  6. Pour the batter into your baking pan. Beat the remaining egg mixture a big more, then drizzle overtop of the batter. Using a toothpick, mix around the batter and egg drizzle to create a marbled effect.
  7. Bake about 35-40 minutes, until brownies have set. You can use a clean toothpick to determine whether they are done. Let cool, then cut into squares. It’s best if you refrigerate them before cutting as they are quite soft.

These are the ones with applesauce (I mixed the beans a little bit longer than I did with the buttery batch, so they look very smooth):

And these are the banana ones (they were slightly thicker because I used a different shaped pan):

The butter ones are pictured at the beginning of this post – as you can see, they are a little more chunky than either the applesauce or banana ones! As I kept on making batches, I learned the proper times for mixing the beans and the appropriate amount of egg mixture to reserve for drizzling. It all comes down to personal preference, so bake as you like!

*Note: In Asian desserts, sometimes the red beans are whole. If you want more of the bean flavor in these brownies, don’t blend them too long in the food processor. When I make these with red beans I’m only going to mix for about 30 seconds to keep some of the beans from being completely mashed.

Vegan Cinnamon Buns | Healthy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Everyone loved these vegan cinnamon buns. I was looking for a healthy cinnamon rolls recipe, and I came across this recipe from Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk, a great vegan blog. I changed it a bit.

  • Halved the recipe but still used the full packet of yeast.
  • Doubled the amount of filling (meaning I used the normal amount, even though I was halving the recipe).
  • It’s not quite vegan, because I used honey in the glaze… But only because I didn’t have powdered sugar. So you can easily make it vegan again.

Anyway, these disappeared after dinner, so I think they were a success. Here’s my version of the recipe…

Vegan Cinnamon Buns | Pumpkin Sticky Buns Recipe | Healthy Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Buns Ingredients

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegan margarine
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar (I used brown)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or allspice, or cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves… a mix is good)
  • 1.25 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • nonstick cooking spray

Cinnamon Buns Filling

  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar (I used granulated)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons margarine

Cinnamon Buns Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (See original recipe for the vegan glaze)

Directions

  1. Mix the yeast and water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the pumpkin, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and spices – put it in the microwave for 20 seconds to bring it to room temperature.
  3. Add the pumpkin mix to the yeast water and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the 1.25 cups of flour; mix until smooth.
  5. Use some of the 1/2 cup of flour to dust a surface for kneading. Then sprinkle flour on the dough and knead for 10 minutes, continually adding the remaining flour so that the dough doesn’t become too sticky.
  6. Coat a bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the dough inside, rolling it around to coat it with the spray as well. Leave in a warm place, covered, for about 45 minutes or until the dough has at least doubled.
  7. Punch the dough down and let it sit, covered, for 5 more minutes.
  8. Make the filling – mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and margarine.
  9. Flour your surface again and roll the dough out into a 10 inch square. Spread the filling out (I used my fingers) all over the dough.
  10. Roll up the dough into a cylinder and pinch the ends closed. Cut the cylinder into slices – the thicker they are, the bigger the buns will be. I made about 14, including the end bits. Spray nonstick cooking oil in a square pan and place the rolls inside. Cover and let them rise for about 25 minutes; they should double in size.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  12. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  13. Mix the honey, sugar, water, and vanilla together and drizzle over the buns.

I think these healthy cinnamon rolls would be great warm with vanilla ice cream… Unfortunately I didn’t have ice cream, and now they’re gone. Guess I’ll have to make another batch.

Cibo a Venezia (Food in Venice)

I just wanted to dedicate a post to some of the deliciousness of Venezia…

The open air markets that display fresh, luscious produce…



They open around 5pm on some of the main streets in Venice. It’s a beautiful sight.

Gelato…


This is fig (ficchi) gelato from the other day. Today we went back to the same place and got yogurt gelato… Both of us prefer the yogurt; it’s slightly less sweet but it’s real, pure yogurty goodness that can only be found in Europe. The yogurt I’ve been having for breakfast is similarly incredible – you just can’t get yogurt like this in the US.

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Have you ever been to Italy? Have you had true Italian gelato? Shopped at the Italian markets?