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Whole Wheat & Olive Oil Berry Biscuits

Whole Wheat & Olive Oil Berry Biscuits

I do love me a good biscuit.

Fortunately, they can be made healthier by using whole wheat flour and olive oil in place of some of the white flour and butter, and you’ll never notice the difference as they come out of the oven. When berries are in season I like to toss handfuls into my biscuit dough as I mix it together. When they’re not in season, I shake them straight out of their freezer bag into the dough anyway. Berry biscuits are beautiful for weekend breakfast, with or without chunks of white chocolate.

Once you get the hang of biscuits, you can mix them up in no time. I like blitzing the dry ingredients with the butter and oil, then dumping it into a bowl to add the liquid and any additions I like. These would do well with some grated lemon or orange zest, or leave out the sugar and add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or a bigger handful of grated old cheddar to turn them into cheese scones.

Patting the dough into a circle and then cutting it into wedges right on the baking sheet saves the mess of rolling and cutting them out on the countertop, but feel free to do that instead if you wish. These would be equally stunning round, or square.

JulieVR

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp.  sugar (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp.  baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup  butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (don’t thaw them)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or line it with parchment.
  2. Put the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor or into a medium mixing bowl and pulse or stir until well blended. Add the butter and oil and pulse or stir with a wire whisk or fork until crumbly. If you’re using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the milk and berries and stir gently just until the dough is combined.
  3. Pat the dough into a circle that is about 1″ thick and 8″-9″ in diameter on the cookie sheet. (If they are sweet and you want a brown, crunchy top, brush them with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar.) Cut the circle into 8 wedges with a knife or pastry cutter and separate them on the sheet so that they are at least an inch apart.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Serve warm. Wrap well and freeze any you don’t eat the same day. Makes 8 biscuits.

Real Food Fast: Macaroni Carbonara

Real Food Fast: Macaroni Carbonara

Cold fall days make me crave pasta, and warm mac & cheese and bacon carbonara are two creamy, hearty favourites. It occurred to me recently I could meld the two into one bacony, cheesy, creamy bowl of deliciousness. Macaroni carbonara is easier to make than mac & cheese – simply cook and crumble bacon, and stir eggs and Parmesan together with a fork, then toss with the warm pasta and the eggs will cook with its residual heat. Start to finish, this meal comes together in less than 15 minutes. It’s real food fast.

JulieVR

Ingredients:

  • half a 1 lb pkg. dry macaroni
  • 4-8 slices bacon, chopped
  • canola oil (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper lots

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, boil the macaroni until tender. Drain well, reserving a bit of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crisp; set aside. In a small bowl, stir the eggs and Parmesan together with a fork.
  3. As soon as the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the warm pot. Pour the eggs overtop, and add the egg mixture and bacon. Toss with tongs, adding a little reserved pasta water if you like, until the eggs are cooked (they will be after a minute as long as the pasta is still steaming) and the sauce is as saucy as you like it. Season with pepper (the cheese is probably salty enough). Do all this over the warm stove if you need to.
  4. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cashew Popcorn

White Chocolate Cranberry Cashew Popcorn

At the same baby shower where we served the amazing Strawberry Cream Cake, we also handed out little bags of popcorn mixed with mini marshmallows and drizzled with white chocolate and pink tinted white chocolate.  I’ve been thinking about it every since, and finally made my own version this afternoon.  I made a healthier version so that I didn’t feel as guilty munching on a bowl of it, and it was just as good as the original, if not better, because it played up the salty and sweet combination even more. I simply popped a bag of microwave popcorn, which I then tossed in a big bowl with some mini marshmallows, roasted salted cashew pieces, and dried cranberries.  Then I drizzled the mixture with melted white chocolate, tossed it to coat, then spread it out to cool and set.  So quick and easy and so pretty - the perfect sweet and salty combination!

fujimama

Makes about 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (2.9 ounce) microwaveable butter flavor popcorn (I use a reduced fat version)
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted cashew pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or 1 cup white chocolate chips)

Directions

1. Line a jelly roll pan with waxed paper and set aside.

2. Pop the bag of popcorn and pour half of the hot popcorn into a large microwave-safe bowl. Top it with the marshmallows, cashews, and dried cranberries. Then top it with the rest of the hot popcorn and toss everything together.

3. Melt the white chocolate, drizzle it over the popcorn mixture, and toss to coat. If the chocolate is too thick, put the bowl in the microwave for 10 second increments until you are able to toss the mixture together and coat everything with the white chocolate.

4. Then spread the popcorn out on the prepared jelly roll pan. Cool completely, then gently break up the popcorn and eat!

Lunchtime Smashers: Peanut Mandarin Rice Bowl

Lunchtime Smashers: Peanut Mandarin Rice Bowl

This is one of my favorite fast ideas for lunchtime. A “smasher bowl.” The idea is simple. You grab some pre-made ingredients (which is why this is so fast + easy) and toss them in a bowl. Then you grab a fork and start smashing in the flavor – meshing the ingredients together. You can quickly infuse some serious yum-appeal into a wide variety of healthy go-to ingredients – and be feasting in minutes! Fast, delicious and healthy. Plus you can get as creative with ingredients as you’d like. Here is a starter smasher recipe for my Peanut Mandarin Rice Bowl! Get smashing.

kathypatalsky

vegan, serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice (chilled)
  • 1 Tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cooked shelled edamame (chilled)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup kale leaves, shredded
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • optional: handful of rice crisps, crushed or whole

Directions:

1. Cook / heat the rice and edamame ahead of time and store in the fridge.

2. Pull your ingredients and add to a medium sized serving bowl.

3. Start smashing! Grab your fork and toss the ingredients well letting the vinegar and mandarins soften the kale and smooth out the peanut butter into a sauce like texture. Keep folding and smashing until the kale is marinated in sauce as well as the rice and beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can fold in some rice crackers to absorb any excess liquid. Or eat them alongside your bowl.

Enjoy! You can serve this bowl chilled or heat to serve warm.

White Bean Nacho Dip

White Bean Nacho Dip

Full of flavor, this simple, comforting white bean dip is topped with a mound of cheese for an extra gooey mix of goodness. The perfect afternoon snack for a rainy afternoon, Friday night game treat, or dinner side dish, you’ll love how fresh, simple, and delicious this recipe is to make (and eat!).

Brooke McLay

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lemons, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Place the cannellini beans, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor, pulse until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a shallow 9×9 baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and a bit of chopped cilantro. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese melts and becomes bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

Truffles are the ultimate rich chocolate treat. They melt in your mouth the moment they hit your tongue. And though simple to make, these bite-size indulgences always impress. I decided to adapt my dark chocolate truffle recipe for white chocolate… I added a little lemon zest and a drop of lemon extract, and a light, springtime dessert was born!

To decorate these pretty sweets, I rolled them in sanding sugar and pastel sprinkles to give them Easter egg-like colors. And they’re ready for my next spring feast, or gifting needs.

The most wonderful thing about these delectable bites? You’re kids will go nuts over them, but they’ll only need to eat two of these rich treats to satisfy their sweets craving!

Kelsey Banfield

Makes: 40

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 16 ounces white chocolate (avoid chips as they won’t easily melt), finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • sanding sugar and sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1. Add heavy cream and white chocolate to a microwave-proof bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each heating, until completely smooth.

2. Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until it’s cool but still pliable, about 1 hour.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a teaspoon, or 1-inch ice cream scoop, to scoop chocolate onto lined baking sheet. Once all of the chocolate is scooped there will be about 40 dollops. Slide the sheet into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. This will help harden them so they are easier to roll. Then remove and use clean hands to roll the chocolate into balls with the palms of your hands.

4. Working quickly, roll the truffles in the sanding sugar so they are completely coated. If the sugar doesn’t seem to stick well, moisten your fingers with water and gently rub it on the chocolate and then re-roll the truffles. This will not harm the chocolate at all. Place the truffles back on the lined baking sheet and chill them again in the fridge for at least 1 hour before eating.

Storage Note: The truffles can be packaged or served once the decorations have hardened. It is best not to leave them in a warm or sunny spot because they are prone to melting. If saving to serve later it is easiest to store them in a bag in the refrigerator.

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

I’m convinced you can grill pretty much any vegetable and make it taste good, or even better than good. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite veggies and I got it in my head one day that I wanted to make salad out of them. When I went searching for a sweet potato salad recipe I was so pleased to come across this grilled version from Epicurous. Grilled sweet potato salad…why not?

I first made this salad a couple of summers ago and it has since then made an appearance on my table quite a few times. I’ve served it alongside spicy jerk chicken wings, one of husband’s favorites. It’s a nice way to change things up in the side dish department and its unique and pretty presentation makes it a great addition to any cookout. The way it’s prepared is so fresh and healthy and the naturally sweet flavor of the potatoes really shines alongside the lime, cumin and green onions.

by aggieskitchen

Recipe from epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced diagonally
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • lime wedges
  • handful chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Add your sweet potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer, covered, and cook until just tender, about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on size of potatoes. Place potatoes in a a colander and run under cold water to cool. With a sharp knife peel potatoes and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together oil, salt, and cumin and brush some onto both sides of potato slices, reserving remaining cumin oil.
  3. Preheat your grill. Grill potato slices on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side, and transfer with tongs to a platter. Sprinkle green onion over grilled potatoes. Whisk lime juice into remaining cumin oil with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle over potatoes. Serve potato salad with additional lime wedges and chopped cilantro if desired.
  4. Updated: I just wanted to note to keep an eye on your potatoes as they are boiling, you want them firm and not too soft. But you want to parboil them enough to take the bite out of them so they aren’t completely raw on the grill.
  5. Also, according to one of the reviews on epicurious, the potatoes can be boiled and sliced ahead of time and grilled later.