Saturday, May 29, 2010

Crispy Zucchini Coins & Baked Corn Casserole~ 5.29.10

This weekend marks the beginning of the SUMMER! I've been a bit heavy on desserts over here, lately, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite little HEALTHY zucchini recipes. It's light and healthy and very yummy!

And if you're headed to a picnic anytime soon, you may very well like the second recipe for Baked Corn Casserole. Another easy peasy one that my children love and works great as a side dish for all things grilled. We especially like it with hot dogs and hamburgers. Last week, I served it alongside tacos! Give it a try and let me know what YOU think!

Crispy Zucchini Coins

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs- I have used homemade crumbs that I keep in the freezer and added italian seasoning to that and a pinch or so of salt
3 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
3 c thinly sliced zucchini- honestly, I NEVER measure this. I buy a couple and use 'em. One zucchini goes a LONG way when you're thinly slicing it.
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.COmbine first 3 ingredients; stir well.
Dip sliced zucchini in egg whites and dredge in bread crumb mixture.
Place in single layer on baking sheet coated with cooking spray (last time I made these on a pizza stone- PERFECTION!)
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes on one side and additional 15 minutes on the other. You want them crispy and browned.

This is a Costain classic and I believe I got it from Cooking Light years ago- not sure who to give credit to!

Next up, we have baked corn casserole. I'm sure everyone has seen/eaten some version of this over the years. This is my favorite!

Baked Corn Casserole
serves 4-6;
takes about 1 hour 15 min with prep and cooking
(I always forget that part, so I'm writing it in here so I will remember!!!)

1 8 1/2 oz pkg corn muffin mix
1 can- whole kernel corn; drained- I've never done this, always just used frozen, about 1/2-3/4 of a cup (acutally, I use the can from the creamed corn to scoop it and measure it- I'm so EXACT- LOL)
1 can cream style corn
1 cup sour cream- I chooes light
1/4 cup butter, softened- I melt it.
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients- mix well and pour into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 (2 qt) casserole dish.
COVER and bake 30 minutes.
UNCOVER and bake 30 minutes or until set and golden

this came to be by way of my "imaginary friends"- started making it on Labor Day 2002!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Multi-grain Waffles ~ 5.11.10

I'm so glad I discovered this recipe. It is in regular rotation here at our house and not just at breakfast-time. In fact, this often makes a BRINNER appearance. Waffles for dinner- who wouldn't love that? Round the meal out with some turkey bacon and yogurt parfaits or smoothies, you've got yourself a WINNER for DINNER! I gave this mix to the teachers last year for Christmas and one of them used the mix to make pancakes since she didn't have a waffle maker. If you decide to go the pancake route, just thin the batter out a bit.

One last tip, I measure out two batches at a time. One to make today and one to make later and I store it in the fridge for another day.

Multi Grain Waffles from eating well magazine

2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ or cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Mix buttermilk and oats in a medium bowl; let stand for 15 minutes.

2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ (or cornmeal), baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

3. Stir eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla into the oat mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened.

4. Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray and preheat. Spoon in enough batter to cover three-fourths of the surface (about 2/3 cup for an 8-by-8-inch waffle iron). Cook until waffles are crisp and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 188 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 55 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 3 g fiber; 328 mg sodium. Nutrition bonus: 144 mg calcium (14% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Servings

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Wrap any leftovers individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven.

originally posted August, 2007

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Essential Summertime (Anytime) Salsa ~ 5.9.10

Time to depart from all the desserts and make something fresh and delicious.

I originally posted this recipe way back in 2006 on She's a Crafty Pumpkin. It has become my "go-to" recipe for family gatherings- it's a cinch to make and EVERYONE seems to love it! The original recipe hails from here and I'm forever indebted to her for posting that- hope you're as happy with it, too!

If you don't have cilantro, but say, have basil- try that instead. I did that once and was not at all disappointed! WOW! Flavor punch and a party in my mouth! You'll see in the ingredients that I often will leave out certain "unessential" ingredients- feel free to try that for yourself. A recipe is only a guideline, you decide what goes in or doesn't- make it yours!

I love to serve this with Target's Archer Farms Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips- say that five times fast!

Black Bean Salsa

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ears corn, either boiled or roasted (I use frozen, too- toast it in a dry pan on the stovetop)
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, cut into small chunks and drained- Romas are great
2 firm-ripe avocados, cut into medium chunks
1 red onion, diced small - I often leave this out
3 garlic cloves, minced - I've left this out before, too
2-3 limes
1 bunch of cilantro
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Place the black beans into a large serving bowl. After the corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the cob and add to the black beans, along with the tomatoes, red onion, and garlic. Toss to combine.

Drizzle the mixture with olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, or to taste. Squeeze the limes over the mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture sit for about fifteen minutes before tasting for seasonings again.

You can wait until just before serving to add the avocado chunks and chopped cilantro, but we add it all at once - after awhile the avocado will start to break down, but it usually last a full day or two before that happens.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Brownies in a Snap ~ 5.7.10

Brownies from scratch? No thank you. These are my favorite and they are as easy as opening a box and gussying it up just a wee little bit. Hat tip to the Cupcake Doctor Cookbook for introducing me to my FAVORITE Brownies!

Just a few extra ingredients will send that boxed brownie mix to a whole new level...

My Favorite Brownies

1 20 oz pkg of brownie mix-- test your fave and see how it goes but I only buy Ghiradelli
1/3 cup water
5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips, regular or mini

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a greased pan- 9x9 works for me. Bake at 350 per pkg instructions. (about 40 minutes) Try your best not to lick that bowl.
Cool completely and cut with a plastic knife (it cuts brownies THE best!)

ps. that cookbook I mentioned up above is one of my most USED and favorite cookbooks. The twin's cinnamon toast firetruck cake recipe came from it... well, the firetruck assembly directions were from Betty Crocker, but the cake mix idea, that was all Cupcake Doctor. Yes, you can use her recipes from that book to make regular sized cakes, too!