February 27, 2011

chocolate-raspberry brownies

This is a delicious variation on this brownie recipe.

chocolate-raspberry brownie

In a bowl, thoroughly mix
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

On a stove top over low heat, mix together
1 cup sugar
4 oz. okara
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup raspberry preserves (seedless if desired)
1/4 cup almond milk or soy milk

and stir until chocolate is completely melted and ingredients are incorporated. Be careful not to let the chocolate burn. Remove from heat, and add
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla

and whisk together until oil is emulsified.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until incorporated.

Scrape batter into a lightly oiled 8"x8" pan (I used a Pyrex pan) and cook at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Allow to cool.

February 15, 2011

butternut squash baked ziti

butternut squash baked ziti

1/2 lb. uncooked ziti or penne
according to the package's directions. Drain and set aside.

whole wheat pasta
I'm giving whole-wheat pasta another try! Thus far I have only liked whole-wheat lasagna noodles, but other whole-wheat pasta products have not impressed me.

Also cook
2 1/4 cups cubed butternut squash (1/4" cubes)
I used a rice cooker to steam them for about 15 minutes. Make sure they are soft, then set aside.

butternut squash, cubed

In a food processor, pulse together
2 oz. cashews
5 oz. okara

a few times, until well incorporated.

okara and cashews

To the food processor, add
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

and puree.

okara mixture

Now add the cooked butternut squash to the food processor and puree into the mix.

butternut squash

In a large bowl, combine the cooked ziti with the butternut squash mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

butternut squash pasta

Spread the ziti-squash mixture evenly into an 8"x8" pan.

butternut squash baked ziti

In a small bowl, combine
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup ground walnuts

and stir until mixed. Evenly distribute breadcrumb mixture onto surface of ziti.

butternut squash baked ziti

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, removing the foil after 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Verdict: I was nervous, but actually quite enjoyed this. I think I would have liked it even better if the squash-to-pasta ratio had been a skosh higher ... And I probably would have liked it better with refined pasta, too, but the whole-wheat pasta was not bad. I probably should have mixed some olive oil in with the bread crumb mixture for extra cohesion, but for some reason I was trying to minimize fats in this recipe.

weird healthy brownies

I can't stop making brownies. What sets this one apart is its slightly weird ingredients.

weird healthy brownies

In a bowl, mix together
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup cooked black beans
2-3 oz. ripe banana (about one half of a banana)
5 oz. okara
3 Tablespoons canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup soymilk

weird healthy brownies

Scrape pureed cocoa-okara mixture into a saucepan and, over low heat, add
3/4 cup chocolate chips
and stir constantly until chocolate chips have melted into the mixture.

weird healthy browniesweird healthy brownies

Add the cocoa-okara-chocolate mixture to the bowl with flour. Mix until well incorporated. If desired, fold in
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

weird healthy brownies

Transfer batter to a lightly oiled 8"x8" pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Let cool.

Verdict: Not my favorite brownie recipe, but not my least favorite either. I like that it has the sweetness of banana without being overpowered by it. I'm also pretty sure that no one would ever suspect there were black beans in here, especially since I was able to liquefy them so utterly in my fancy blender.