1 Grain

Perfect Pumpkin Pie : Veganized

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Ok, I know it’s spring and traditionally pumpkin pie is served in the fall. But, fall was 6 months ago and I can’t possibly wait another 6 before eating this again! So I made up this excuse for the family as to why I have to make pumpkin pie instead of apple, peach, berry, etc: 20140409-140648.jpg

Pumpkin pie will help us watch the spring flowers bloom, while cleansing our bodies from the winter weather.
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I use this excuse because pumpkin is high in vitamin A, cancer fighting beta-carotene, and fiber! Not to mention it has been said to help keep the skin wrinkle free, so bring on the sun!

If your family likes pumpkin year round (like me, but unlike my family) just make it because it tastes good.

REALLY good.

20140409-140705.jpgAdapted from Vegetarian Times

Crust

½ cup unbleached flour

7 Tbs. whole-wheat pastry flour

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. sugar or granulated sugar cane syrup

½ tsp. baking powder

2 Tbs. canola oil

3 Tbs. soy milk plus ½ tsp. lemon juice

2 to 3 Tbs. water

Filling

1 15 oz canned pumpkin

1 cup soy milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 Tbs. dark molasses

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. grated nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground allspice

>> The Crust: Combine flours, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Separately mix the oil, soy milk and lemon juice. Add the wet and dry ingredients. If it is too dry, add some water. Refrigerate the dough for an hour if you can, otherwise roll it out and line a 9 inch pie pan. Crimp the edges and preheat the oven to 425F while you prepare the filling.

The Filling: Mix all the filling ingredients together until smooth. Pour over the unbaked crust and smooth the top. Bake for 10 mins and then reduce the oven to 350F. Bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, until the filling has set. Let the pie cool, and then refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hrs.

Exchange counts are for 1/8th of the pie. If you’re wondering where the fruit comes from, it’s the sugar in the pie. Ignore this if you need actual fruit in your diet, and not just the sugar.

 

The BEST Russian ‘Sukhariki’ // Walnut Raisin Biscotti

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Suhariki, in Russian, means croutons but sukhariki, means biscotti. Tricky right? Well, this weekend we had some guests visiting. Obviously we had to treat them with some delicious biscotti!

20140406-142916.jpgThe traditional recipe my grandmother uses has butter in it. This causes the biscotti to be a little softer and spread more while baking. My mother likes the traditional recipe more. I like the fact that these are so crunchy because I like to dip them in my coffee or tea. Our guests loved these and begged for the recipe!

20140406-142921.jpgAdapted from California Walnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar + extra for sprinkling

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp orange juice

2 tsp grated orange rind

1.5 tsp vanilla

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1 egg white

>>Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat sugar and eggs in a seperate bowl for 2-3 mins until thick. Mix in the oil, juice, rind, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and then fold in the walnuts and raisins. On a floured table top, knead the dough and shape into 2 flat logs (about 8×2). Brush an egg white and water mixture on top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25-30 mins. Reduce oven to 300F, and let the logs cool slightly while you wait for the oven. Cut the logs into slices, and turn them onto their sides. Bake 15 mins, or until golden brown.

Makes about 30 biscotti, which yields 1 fat & 1 grain exchange per biscotti

 

Secret Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Apparently yesterday was national peanut butter and jelly day. How could I miss such a holiday?! Well, since I eat peanut butter and jelly every day (in one way or another) I wasn’t too surprised when I found myself making these PB&J bars anyways.

20140402-214330.jpgWhat I actually did was use up ALL the ‘leftover’ ingredients I could find. This includes: half a frozen pear from this recipe, the rest of the blueberry muesli from this recipe, and some blueberry jam that’s been sitting in our pantry untouched.

Here’s the whole bar fresh from the oven:

20140402-214416.jpgBe sure to read the substitution notes. As I said, I was trying to use up old ingredients but you can use more generic pantry staples.

And now cut into bite size pieces:

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1 1/2 cups Trader Joes Blueberry Muesli*

1/4 cup pear sauce**

1/3 cup jam

1 egg

2.5 tbsp peanut butter

>> Preheat oven to 350F. Add peanut butter, pear sauce, and beaten egg to the muesli. Line a 8×4 loaf pan with tin foil for easy removal. Press about 3/4 of mixture into the pan firmly. Spread jam on top. Firmly press remaining mixture bits on top. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 8 bars.

*Alt. use 1 1/2 cups oats + 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins

**I made this by placing 1/2 chopped frozen pear in a pan with some water, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and letting simmer until soft. Then I blended into a puree. Alt. use 1/4 cup applesauce or other fruit butter.

Peanut Butter and Jelly …. and Cottage Cheese Toast

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I love peanut butter and jelly, and I love cottage cheese. Once I started making my toast like this, I was hooked. As I showed you with this nut butter banana toast, revamping kids meals is my favorite. Here is the before:

 

Replace the simple carbs, high sugars, and high sodium levels to get:
20140327-204557.jpg1 slice bread (I used this Ezekiel bread)

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1 tbsp nut butter (I used almond butter)

1/2 tbsp your favorite jam

>>Toast the bread. Top with nut butter. Mix jam into cottage cheese, or add them in separate layers.

 

The Best Nut Butter Banana Toast

 1.5 fat, 1 fruit, 1 grain, 2 protein20140324-155018.jpg

One thing I love to do is make “grown up” alternatives to the typical kids menu. (Check out this chocolate milk turned into an “adult cocoa blend“- haha!). Today I decided to revamp another classic: PB&Banana Sandwiches. Here’s what your average PB&B looks like:

Throw out the simple carbohydrates (white bread) and the unnatural ‘peanut butter’ (filled with hydrogenated oils aka trans fats and added sugar). Swap them out with these sophisticated alternatives:
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1 piece of bread (I used Ezekiel Sprouted Whole Grain Bread) [1 grain, 1 protein]

1/2 large banana [1 fruit]

1 tbsp almond butter [1 protein, 1 fat]

3 almonds, chopped [1/2 fat]

>>Toast the bread and top with 1 tbsp almond butter. Take 1/4 of a banana and mash it onto your toast. Top toast with another 1/4 banana, sliced. Chop 3 almonds and sprinkle on top. Add cinnamon, agave or honey.

What’s your favorite “kid’s” sandwich?

 

 

Summer Squash Pita Pizza

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To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this recipe to be as good as it came out to be. It was quick, easy, and cheap! I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be making this again soon…maybe even for lunch tomorrow.20140323-150738.jpg

Summer squash is known for it’s antioxidants. The specific antioxidants found in summer squash are especially good for your eyes. Furthermore, the combination of antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients are suspected to provide anti-cancer benefits. 20140323-150744.jpg1 small summer squash [1 vegetable]

1 small tomato [1 vegetable]

1/2 onion

1 whole wheat pita [1/2 grain, 1/2 fat]

1 oz cheese (I used 1/2 parmesan, 1/2 gouda) [1 protein, 1 fat]

1 tsp olive oil  [1 fat]

>>Preheat oven to 400F. Sauté chopped onion in oil until clear. Add summer squash and a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, place the pita on a cookie sheet and lay sliced tomato on the pita. Top with your sautéed squash and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven for ~6-10 mins.

Sprinkle oregano, chili flakes, basil, etc. on top. Be careful of the hot juices that will leak from the pizza!

Vegan? Replace with cheese with nutritional yeast or make your own “cheeze” sauce.

Blueberry Muesli Cookies

1 grain

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My dad is obsessed with finding the muesli he used to eat back when they lived in Germany. You’d think he would give up after over 20 years of searching, but no. He is still can’t find that perfect muesli. Last month he tested Trader Joe’s Blueberry Muesli. It’s “not the same”…..surprise surprise.
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Needless to say a month later it sits there untouched. He asked me to do something with it so obviously I turned to making cookies. I still have some leftover so I may try making overnight oats or energy bars with it. Anyone have suggestions/ideas?20140321-121731.jpg

2 cups Trader Joe’s blueberry muesli

1 cup flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup dates

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

>>Preheat oven to 375F. In a blender mix dates milk and oil. Stir all other ingredients in a separate bowl. Add in the wet ingredients and mix. The dough will be crumby, but form balls and press down onto cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar. Makes ~30 cookies.

Try to move quickly when working with melted coconut oil. As it cools down to room temperature, it will harden and won’t spread through the ingredients as easily.