Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Accident

I was trying to quickly whip up a batch of granola bars the other day and accidently added too much oil. The bars will not stick together as well with the extra oil, so I decided to make granola. A couple of times during the baking process I just mixed up the ingredients so that it did not stick together very well.

I was able to make this yogurt, granola and fruit parfait.

It was also delicious with a little milk poured over it like cereal. Sorry, no pictures of that.

If you want to make some accidental granola, just click on this link for the grab-n-go granola bars and add 1/4 cup extra canola oil. Then, drag a fork through the mixture about half-way through baking and then after baking for about 20 minutes.



Chocolate Banana Waffles

I found this great website for sneaky mommy cooking a while back and even linked to it under my "Sneaky Mommy Links" tab in the right side bar. But, alas I basically forgot about it. I had one of their recipes on the perpetual "to do" list until finally, last week, I made these super yummy chocolate, banana waffles. The website is and it is written by two moms who are registered dieticians. The website includes recipes, a blog, video demonstrations, mom's club which includes newsletters and opportunities to submit recipes for a makeover and much, much more. It is a fabulous resource and I wanted to share it with you as well as this tasty recipe.

I knew that my son and I would probably like these waffles, but was a little concerned about my husband who does not like the flavor of banana AT ALL. But, to my surprise he was the first one who complimented them and asked for seconds. So, I guess you would have to say that the banana flavor is subtle and if you want more banana flavor then you may want to add more banana puree. Plus, this is a great use of those bananas that are about to go bad. Just stick them in the freezer until you are ready to make your waffles. Other healthy or sneaky ingredients include whole wheat flour and wheat germ. Just click on the link here to go to the website and recipe, click on the title of this post or go to the recipes side bar to find the actual recipe.

Below, you will see my version of these waffles this morning. I sprinkled mine with a little powdered sugar and strawberries.

Seth enjoyed his with whipped cream, sprinkles and strawberries on the side.

Finally, this is NOT what you want your waffles to look like, but I thought it might make you smile! I forgot to spray my waffle iron with non-stick spray. Ooops!

These also freeze well and reheat in the toaster. Or , you can make the batter up the night before and cook the waffles in the morning.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Smoothie

Enjoy this green smoothie as a yummy St. Patrick's Day treat!

1 peeled banana, sliced and frozen
1 cup frozen green grapes
1 peeled kiwi
1 cup washed baby spinach
8 oz. lime yogurt
1/4 c. limeade

Put the frozen ingredients, kiwi and spinach into the blender.
Add the yogurt and limeade.
Blend until smooth.
Pour the smoothie into glasses and enjoy.
Makes three servings.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Egg/Tofu Salad

This is the first recipe that I ever tried with tofu in it. If you are new to reading my blog, you may not know that I have always been a very picky eater and that I would have never even looked at tofu much less eaten it. So, when I decided to try this recipe I definitely needed some moral support. I waited until my mom came to visit and asked her to take the tofu plunge with me. If you are attempting to break out the routine and try some new recipes and ingredients, I think that it is incredibly helpful to have someone there as moral support and taste tester. She was pretty incredulous that I would even want to attempt something like this as neither of us had ever tasted tofu before, much less bought it in the grocery store. In case you are wondering, it is in the produce section.

Tofu comes in different varieties which I explained more about in this post. It is soft and basically assumes the flavor of whatever it is cooked with. It blends easily with the eggs in this egg salad and it is hard to tell when you are eating an egg or tofu.

In addition to replacing some of the egg with tofu, most of the fatty mayonnaise has been cut with white bean puree. Below, you can see the mayonnaise, white bean puree and mustard mixture.

This is the finished product to which I added celery. I just love the crunch that celery adds. You could also add sweet pickles.

At last, my favorite way to eat this egg salad . . . on homemade whole wheat pita bread that you can find the recipe for here.

This was a great learning experience for me and gave me the courage to try this chameleon ingredient in other recipes.
Have you tried cooking tofu? What is your favorite way to eat it? How do you sneak it into your family's diet? Maybe you don't have to sneak it, but I do, for me and for them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sneaky Lasagna (with tofu)

Yes, one of the recipes that I made with tofu was lasagna. But, not only is this recipe the perfect place to sneak in some healthy soy protein I also added pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and zucchini. I started with this sneaky marinara sauce that I ran through the food processor because my husband does not like chunks of anything that could remotely look like an onion or tomato in his sauce. You could also use your favorite marinara sauce and add some purees. I added some italian sausage because I just like the flavor that it gives the lasagna. If you are looking to keep this recipe low fat or vegetarian you could simply leave out the sausage or just use less.

The recipe calls to combine part skim ricotta cheese with the tofu in a bowl. Being overly cautious, I ran this through the food processor as well, just to make sure that the tofu would not be identifiable to the wary eaters who knew this was going to be sneaky.

As you can see, this ricotta/tofu mixture turned out to be extremely creamy. Instead of making one big 9x13 lasagna, I made this recipe into two smaller lasagnas. One of these I baked immediately and the other I froze and plan on eating when my in-laws visit this weekend.

I could not find whole wheat, no-boil lasagna noodles or lasagna noodles made by ronzoni smart choice which are my favorite so I did use regular, no-boil noodles. I will make more of an effort to find the other kind the next time I make this recipe.

With the part-skim ricotta/tofu mixture there was really very little mozzarella to add on top with a little parmesean and some dried parsley to make it pretty.

It was DELICIOUS!!! My mom was here when I made it and we both thought that it was the best lasagna that we had ever tasted. My husband found it OK, which is about the same reaction that I get with any Italian dish that I make for him, so I determined that is was a rip roaring success!

Remember all you have to do to get this recipe is click on the title of this blog entry or go to the recipes tab on the sidebar and scroll down to find Lasagna.
Come back and check in soon to find another yummy recipe that includes tofu!


Friday, March 5, 2010


Tofu? Just that word alone would have struck fear in my heart only a year ago. I would have never dared to eat ANYTHING with tofu in it much less use it to cook. I knew it was super healthy, but was not willing to go there. But, I am older, a little wiser and certainly more daring when it comes to my food choices. So, I have begun to experiment with a few recipes that include tofu and thought I would share a little about tofu with you.

What is tofu? A soft food with no distinctive flavor made from coagulated soybean extract pressed into a cake. Tofu is a chameleon that takes on the flavor of the food and spices that surround it. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, calcium, B vitamins and iron. It is low in saturated fat and contains no cholesterol.

There are two kinds of tofu, silken or soft and firm or regular tofu. Silken or Japenese-style tofu is softer than regular tofu. Recipes should specify which type of tofu is needed. It comes in varieties such as soft, medium, firm or extra-firm, but can be exchanged for each other if your grocery only carries one type. Salad dressings, sauces and desserts usually call for silken tofu to give the recipe a smooth and creamy texture.

Regular, firm or Chinese-style tofu is more common than silken tofu and can be found in a plastic container in the refrigerated or produce section of the grocery store. Firm or extra-firm tofu is best used for stir-fries, casseroles or bakes where you want to the tofu to retain its shape. Firm, medium or soft tofu will work well for recipes that call for mashed or crumbled tofu, such as mock ricotta or scrambled tofu. Medium or soft will give a smoother texture.
If you have more questions about tofu, click here to go to a website to tell you all you ever needed or wanted to know about tofu, including recipes.
Stay tuned here for recipes that I have tried and highly recommend as sneaky and tasty ways to introduce your family and maybe even yourself to tofu.