Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hole Mole, Frijoles?!?

Sometimes, I stumble on a recipe so weird I just want to try it. That, coupled with a strong desire to raid the Hostess cart for the past week or so, led to me trying this recipe from

Of course, I had to edit it some. I reduced the maple syrup, for one thing. The first time, I added the amount of "coffee substitute" in real instant coffee. And finally got to sleep at 4 a.m., with the distinct sensation of my skin vibrating. (That batch is in a freezer marked "ZOOM brownies"!) The second batch, I forgot the coffee altogether, which is probably good, because I'm not supposed to have it, anyway.

These aren't low in fat or calories (about 160 kcal for 1/16th), and at $5.65 a pan they aren't overly cheap, either. But, they're really, really, really good. And only one (teeny) brownie will fill you up + satisfy the worst chocolate craving! They also happen to be gluten-free. You'd never know. I also have a sneaking suspicion that they'd work with Splenda or Stevia instead of the maple syrup, because the flavor is so intense + a little bitter.

Fudgy dark chocolate brownies

1 can (~15 oz) of black beans, 1/2 to entirely drained
4 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 c. (= 1 stick) of butter
1/2 c. maple syrup
4 eggs
(optional - 1 t (+?) of Stevia-lactose blend)
(optional - 1 T of instant coffee (or more, if you need ZOOM))
(optional - 1 C. of chopped nuts, if you eat them...)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt the butter and the baking chocolate on low heat, stirring regularly. Grease a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with the butter wrapper. Puree the can of beans in a blender or food processor. Beat the eggs and the maple syrup together (and the stevia). Add the melted chocolate and butter. Add the pureed beans. Add any "optional" ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the middle is entirely "set" and a small dent remains when you press on it - do not overbake!

Other advantages? They're high in protein, at least for something that small! And if you're a student (or, say, a pagan keeping a Yule vigil..) they'll keep you up all night WITHOUT the blood sugar drop crash that regular brownies would.

The best part is that I liked it and DIDN'T want to eat the whole pan at once! It also gets the husband seal of approval, which means that "regular people" will enjoy eating it, too.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fettuccine alfredo?

A little while back I noticed Hodgson Mill now makes whole wheat lasagna and fettuccine noodles. I picked up some of the fettuccine a little while back because I prefer my pasta thicker, and I noticed that they had a recipe for an alfredo I could ALMOST eat on the back! This was my variation, and it was SUPER yummy.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach and chicken

1.5 T butter
1 T Whole Wheat flour
~1 t minced garlic
1 medium egg
1 c whole milk
~ 1/4 cup of Farmer's Cheese
1/2 t dried tarragon
1/2 t salt
1/2 c frozen spinach
2 c cooked chicken

Cook and drain about 1/2 box of Fettuccine noodles.

Melt butter in a small to medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic. Add the flour, stirring constantly (I love my silicone spatulas for this!), until you have a paste. Add the egg and the milk, keeping up the stirring. Add the tarragon and the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slighly. Add spinach, cheese + chicken, and continue to cook until the mixture is hot again. Add to pasta. Done!

This made about three "lunch" sized portions. It would have made a "dinner" with a veggie on the side. Don't mistake the spinach for a whole serving of veggies - if you're like me, any spinach you ENJOY eating is a wonder, but it really only breaks down to about 1/6 of a cup per meal. Maybe next time, I'll see if the recipe can absorb 3/4 or maybe even a whole cup?