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Belle’s Better Brownies Recipe

Belle’s Better Brownies

Some people might say that delicious, healthy brownies are a myth or a fairy tale, but that simply isn’t true! While Mom or Dad melts the butter, kids can measure and mix the dry ingredients.

Makes 24 pieces

What you'll need

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 squares (2 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder (optional)

How to make it

  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set the mixture aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a small saucepan until just melted, being careful not to burn it. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate, stirring until it is melted. Let the chocolate mixture cool until it’s tepid.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg and egg whites just until combined. Whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and espresso powder (if you’re using it) until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture, but do not overmix the batter.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the brownies on the center oven rack until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 25 minutes. The brownies will look underbaked (a cake tester will come out with a few moist crumbs), but they will set up more as they cool. Place the pan on a wire cake rack to let the brownies cool, then slice the batch into 24 pieces.

Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1 piece

Calories 85

Total Fat 4g

Total Carbohydrate 11g

Fiber 1g

Protein 1g

Carbohydrate Choice 1

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese Baked Potato

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese Baked Potato

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 1 hour, 15 minutes

by Ericka Sanchez

Our dinnertime is never dull when baked potatoes are on the menu. I prepare these fun and satisfying family favorites and top them with our weekend leftovers. Crunchy French onions atop juicy pot roast and layered over creamy macaroni and cheese makes this dinner complete. If you're feeling adventurous, add a dollop of salsa for a spicy kick.

What you'll need

  • 4 Idaho russet potatoes
  • 8 tablespoons prepared macaroni and cheese
  • 8 tablespoons prepared pot roast
  • 4 tablespoons French fried onions
  • Sliced green onions for garnish

Notes:

Serves 4

How to make it

  1. Heat conventional oven to 425°F
  2. Pierce tops of potatoes with fork several times. (Do not wrap in aluminum foil.)
  3. Bake potatoes on oven rack 60 to 70 minutes or until tender when pierced. (When using a convection oven, bake at 375°F for 55 minutes.)
  4. Remove from oven; cool 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Cut a thin slice off top of each potato. Using a teaspoon, scooping out approximately 2 tablespoons of potato in center of each, leaving room for toppings.
  6. Spoon in potato 2 tablespoons of warm macaroni and cheese, 2 tablespoons of warm pot roast, 1 tablespoon French onions and a sprinkle of green onions.  Repeat with the reset of potatoes.  Serve immediately.

Bacon Blue Salad Recipe

Bacon Blue Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes

This is the salad we get at Moby Dick's clam shack in Wellfleet -- the cold wedge we devour in the breezy warmth of the screened porch, everybody sun-flushed and salt-haired and sandy, waiting for their chowder and clam rolls... We love the wedges for their Moby-Dick's fanciness, but the truth is that I more often serve the lettuce simply shredded in a bowl with the dressing and bacon. It is way easier to eat, and requires much less involvement of everybody's blue-cheesy fingers.

And please note the vegetarian option here: smoky maple walnuts instead of bacon. I was trying to think of a good substitute for the salty-smoky-sweet crunch of the bacon, and this is what I came up with. They're totally addictive, even if you're not a vegetarian.

by Catherine Newman

What you'll need

1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut into 8 wedges

Blue cheese dressing (see below)

1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled, or Smoky Maple Walnuts (see below)

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING (Makes 2 cups):

  • 1 cup blue cheese (around 1/4 pound, I like Danish for this), crumbled
  • 1 cup Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise (not low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Frank's
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

SMOKY MAPLE WALNUTS (Makes 1 cup):

  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Notes:

Yield: Serves 8

How to make it

  1. To Make the Dressing: In a blender or food processor, or with a hand blender, whir all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste for seasoning and serve or chill.
  2. If Making the Maple Walnuts: Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then add the walnuts, syrup, and salt, and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until the syrup has cooked away and the nuts are coated and very thickly sticky. Sprinkle over the paprika and cook, stirring, another 30 seconds or so, then cool completely. As the nuts cool, they will become hard and dry. When they're completely cool, break them up and store airtight.
  3. For the salad: Dress the lettuce wedges, top with bacon or walnuts, and serve.

Shamrock Shakes Recipe

Shamrock Shakes

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a pretty green milkshake that combines the tastes of lime sherbet and a banana. (If you're not counting calories, add a "shamrock" of four chocolate cookies, too. The mixture of flavors is delicious!) The recipe for this easy-to- make shake comes from Kansas State University Research and Extension's Family Nutrition Program. It makes two 1-cup servings.

What you'll need

1 cup milk

1/2 ripe banana

1 cup lime sherbet

Helpful Tip:

Helpful hints:

"To blend" simply means to mix two or more ingredients. For some recipes, you can blend with a spoon, spatula or electric mixer. If you don't have a blender for this recipe, however, try using a whisk. Or, mash the banana with a fork and then shake up the ingredients in a well-sealed container.

The only way to measure liquids accurately is to use a glass or plastic measuring cup and to bend down so your eye level is even with the cup's side. If you look down as you pour liquid into a measuring cup, your result may appear to be the right amount. But, if you bend over to check, the liquid probably won't line up exactly with the cup's measurement line.

Safety tips:

Most milk cartons carry a "sell by" date, indicating the last day the store can keep it on sale. Once you open a current carton at home, however, it still should stay fresh for about five days.

When milk starts to taste sour, throw the rest of the carton away. Sour milk won't make you sick, but it certainly doesn't taste good!

How to make it

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Pour milk into blender (or see Helpful Hints above).
  3. Add lime sherbet and peeled, chopped banana.
  4. Blend all ingredients until smooth and then serve.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 40g carbohydrate; 1g dietary fiber; 5g protein; 1.5g fat (1g saturated); 5mg cholesterol, 105mg sodium; 200 calories.

Chicken Margherita Recipe

Chicken Margherita

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes

For a little garlic flavor, season the chicken with a sprinkle of garlic powder in addition to the salt and pepper!

What you'll need

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 cups Ragu® Old World Style® Margherita Smooth Pasta Sauce
  • 4 slices fresh or packaged mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Notes:

Serves 4

How to make it

  1. Season chicken, if desired, with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken for about 5 minutes, turning once.
  2. Add pasta sauce and simmer covered 5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  3. Top chicken with cheese, then let stand until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Garnish with basil.
  4. Serve, if desired, with hot cooked penne pasta topped with additional pasta sauce, heated.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 5 minutes

by Anne Coleman

What you'll need

  • 1 teriyaki-flavored rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, diced small
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, diced small
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 8-12 lettuce leaves, depending on size

Helpful Tip:

Tender bamboo shoots can be found canned in the Asian aisle of your grocery store.

Soft, round-leafed lettuce like butter or bib works best, but iceberg will also do.

How to make it

  1. Remove meat only from rotisserie chicken and dice small. This should give you about 2 cups of diced chicken.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken and remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook until heated through - about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

Chicken Kofta Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Chicken Kofta Meatballs with Apricot Dipping Sauce

These gently spiced meatballs are outstanding when dipped into the sweet and tangy apricot dipping sauce. I like to make them on the smaller side so they are easier for little fingers to handle. This recipe can be prepared in advance and reheated in the microwave so you can avoid a last-minute scramble before the guests arrive.

by Alison Needham

What you'll need

  • 1 1/4 pound lean (but not extra lean) ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 scallions, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Apricot Dipping Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make it

  1. Prepare the apricot dipping sauce by mixing the ingredients well in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until  ready to serve.
  2. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, ginger, chili, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, scallions, mint and cilantro. Mix together using a fork or your hands (my preference) just until combined, taking care not to over-mix. Form into walnut-sized meatballs and set aside.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the meatballs, in batches and adding more oil as necessary, about 7 minutes per batch or until they are cooked through. Turn the meatballs frequently as they cook so they become golden brown on all sides.
  4. Serve meatballs immediately with the apricot dipping sauce. Meatballs can be prepared in advance - simply cool, cover and store them in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave just before serving.