Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

So after the black bean chocolate chocolate chips cookies turned out so delicious, I had to play some more with bean cookies. Since chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are one of my all time favorite foods (I could eat roasted chickpeas every single day), I decided to make chickpea chocolate chip cookies. And I must say they didn't disappoint. Eric's family are fans. As his mom said, you don't have to feel guilty about getting one. Chickpeas are rich in dietary fiber, protein, manganese, and iron. All that in a cookie! Sadly since Eric knows these are made mostly out of beans and not flour and sugar, he won't even try them. But that just means more for the rest of us!

Recipe comes from here.

1 15-ounce chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup peanut butter*
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookies sheet with cooking spray.

Add all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips in a food processor. Blend until mixture is smooth.
Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough onto the cookie sheet and flatten with a fork or spatula. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bottoms turn a golden brown and the chocolate chips melt.

*The peanut butter is going to give these cookies a slightly peanut butter taste (but who doesn't love peanut butter?). The original recipe called for cashew butter (I've never had it but it sounds divine). I used almond butter because I had it in the fridge and I used it in my black bean cookies. You couldn't taste it what so ever in those cookies. However, there was a slight almond taste to these chickpea cookies. And the almond just doesn't mingle as well with the nuttiness of the chickpea as peanut butter does. So I recommend peanut butter, but it's really a matter of opinion.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Healthified Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have long been fascinated with the use of beans in cookies, brownies, and cakes. But beans in desserts? Healthier or not, that just sounds . . . eww. But I was curious so I finally tried a batch of chocolate chocolate chip cookies made with black beans. Not only did these cookies have extra protein and fiber, they were incredibly moist and chocolaty. And you know what . . . you really couldn't taste the beans. I have to be honest, I didn't expect them to be that good, I certainly didn't expect the intense chocolate flavor.

But the true test would be having other people taste them. I didn't tell anyone they were made of beans. And guess what? They were a success. Eric's mom loved them. She never would have guessed they were made up of 90% beans. Even Eric, who doesn't tend to favor chocolate cookies, liked them too, though he said they wouldn't be his go-to cookie. I told him the cookies were healthified. I still haven't told them they were made out of beans. Shhh!

With a few minor changes, this recipe comes from here

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons almond butter (you can also use peanut butter)
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoon flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Place the beans, peanut butter, and milk into a blend and combine until smooth.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add the bean mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Your dough will be a bit sticky.

Place tablespoon of dough on the greased cookie sheet. Slightly flatten them with a spatula or fork. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BBQ Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, one of the best combo ever created in my opinion. We dress up your basic canned tomato soup with basil (fresh is best but dried will work) then add some shredded cheddar cheese to our bowls. Eric also throws in a few pepperonis.

The key to our grilled cheese sandwiches is using shredded cheese instead of sliced cheese. It just melts so much better and you can heap on as much or as little as you'd like! Sharp cheddar, a Mexican blend, pepper jack . . . the options are endless. If you have a Meijer near you, their store brand taco shredded cheese makes an absolutely fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches--and is pretty damn good in the tomato soup too!

While Eric likes his grilled cheese sandwiches straight forward, I like to experiment with them. Add sun-dried tomatoes. Apples and red onion mayo. Maybe some pesto. Or barbecue sauce and caramelized onions . . .

Recipe adapted from here.

8 slices of bread (I highly recommend sourdough)*
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce (ours is Sweet Baby Ray)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

In a skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add sliced onions. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the onions turn a golden brown and taste sweet, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Spread butter on into one side of each slice of bread. Spread the barbecue sauce on 4 slices of bread, opposite side of the butter. Use as much or as little sauce as you'd like (I used a couple of teaspoons).

Heat the skillet over medium-low heat and place a slice of bread butter side down in the pan. Working quickly, add roughly 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese and 1/4 of the caramelized onions then another slice of bread, butter side up. Cook until one side is golden brown and the cheese begins to melt then flip over and cook that side until it's golden brown. Repeat with the other two sandwiches.



Saturday, May 4, 2013

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

So I saw a Martha Stewart recipe on Pinterest for salt and vinegar potatoes. I clicked on the link and read through the recipe. It sounded really good but a lot more work than I wanted to do. Instead I decided to just change up my basic roasted potato recipe. I was surprised by how good they turned out. Eric--who loves my microwave salt and vinegar potato chips--liked these potatoes just as much. He wouldn't even put ketchup on them--and he always puts ketchup on his potatoes.

3 medium russet potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt, to taste
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Set oven to broil. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Toss potatoes with olive oil place in a single lay on baking sheet. Cook for 10 to 15, stir and flip the potatoes, cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp on the outside, tender on the inside.

Toss potatoes with vinegar then season with salt.

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes served with Jalapeno Popper Chicken.


Jalapeno Popper Chicken

A week ago Eric and I celebrated our 5th anniversary (our last anniversary before we get married!) and went to Ukai Hibachi Grill and Sushi Bar to celebrate. As an appetizer we had tuna jalapeno poppers. They were fricking amazing--as is all their food there. Anyway, it got me thinking about jalapeno poppers and I knew somewhere in my hundreds (maybe thousands) of bookmarked recipes, I had a jalapeno chicken recipe. I found, and made it, and it was absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making it again.

Recipe is adapted from here.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken  with Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 egg
3 ounces cream cheese (I used reduce fat)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
2 chicken breasts.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet generously with cooking spray.

In a small skillet, combine breadcrumbs and olive oil over medium heat. Cook until golden brown, stirring often. Pour into a shallow dish and stir in taco seasoning.

In a second shallow dish, lightly beat the egg.

In a third bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and minced jalapenos.

Cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast to make a pocket. Stuff each of the breasts with half of the cream cheese mixture. Secure with toothpicks if necessary.

Dip the breasts into the eggs then into the breadcrumbs. Make sure to completely coat each chicken breast, and then place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the juices run clear.

Eric said that the whole house smelled like this dish and he couldn't wait to try some. He wasn't disappointed. However, he was wondering if there was a way we could fry them next time. That boy wants to fry everything!

On a side note, I highly recommend drinking a margarita with this dish. Together they make a perfect summer pairing.