Friday, November 20, 2009

Last Few Weeks 3

So tonight we will start off with something that just turned out FABULOUS that is high fiber, low in sugar and can be had for breakfast, snack, or end of the day. Pear Bran Muffins! Now don't even begin to think that these are heavy and dense and could be used as a door stop. They are so soft and tasty. AND HEALTHY!!! Have them for breakfast with an egg and some canadian bacon or for a a snack or just at the end of the day when you just need that snack to put your stomach and sweet cravings to bed. You can even make these ahead and store them in the fridge or freezer just pop them in the oven, micro or the toaster oven to warm them back up.

Pear Bran Muffins
makes 12

1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 c Wheat Bran
2 Tbsp Granular Sugar Substitute (I use Splenda)
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 c 1% or fat-free Buttermilk
2 Large Egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Bosc Pears, core and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Heat oven to 350, Line muffin tin(s) with paper liners or lightly coat with cooking spray.

Combine all the dry ingredients: flour, bran, sugar sub, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. Be sure this well combined!

Combine all wet ingredients: buttermilk, eggs, oil, pear, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Combine well.

All Wet Ingredients but the Pears

Dicing Bosc Pears

Wet with Pears

(Don't skip these separate bowls just to not have to wash an extra bowl. This is important or you will over mix these muffins and they will be tough and possibly not evenly combined)

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined; do not over mix. (I find that usually if I count each stroke I can usually get it mixed right in 10-15 strokes)

Use a scoop, or a 1/3 measure cup and divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 20 mins or until toothpick stuck in one comes out clean. Cool 5 mins in pan and then remove and serve  or cool on wire rack to store in Ziplock bag in fridge.

OK... sticking with a little fruit but moving on to dinner:

Pork Chops with Herbes de Provence & Apple Compote
2 apples, preferably Braeburn, Fuji or Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1-1/8 teaspoons herbes de Provence (see "Provençal Herbs," below), divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 boneless pork chops
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Toss apple slices with lemon juice and cinnamon in a small bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.


Mix 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with the seasoning mixture.

Heat 2 teaspoon oil and 2 teaspoon butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork chops and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side. Remove to a platter and keep warm. If you need to split up your chops to not crowd them in your pan, split the oil and butter between your two rounds of cooking.

Add broth, lemon zest, remaining 1/8 teaspoon herbes de Provence and any accumulated juices from the chicken to the skillet. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over pork and serve with the sautéed apples.


Provençal Herbs
Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs commonly used in the south of France. You can find commercial mixtures in specialty stores, but it is easy to make your own. Mix 1 tablespoon each (or equal proportions) dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano, dried marjoram, dried savory, a pinch of dried lavender and crushed aniseed mix all in a jar.

If you cant find them or dont think you will use them for more than this recipe, I would recommend getting a bottle of dried Fine Herbes.  They are a culinary mainstay in all Mediterranian Cuisine (Portugal, Spain, Southern France, Italy, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, etc.). The ingredients of fines herbes are parsley,chivestarragon and chervil and can be used in so much from dressings to just seasoning fish or chicken.

Tasty Oui? 

Lets see if you say Si to some Snapper....

Snapper Veracruz

2 red snapper fillets (3/4 inch thick), no skin
1/4 cup Chablis wine
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Serrano chili pepper, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 2/3 tablespoons sliced ripe green olives
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
1/2 teaspoon green pepper, minced
Olive oil cooking spray

Coat a large nonstick skillet and a 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish with the Olive oil cooking spray. Place the red snapper fillets in the baking dish.

 On low heat sauté the onions, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil for about 4 minutes, add the Mexican oregano, Chablis wine, green olives, red onion, tomato paste, chili pepper, and green pepper; bring to a boil and simmer until it has thickened (10 – 15 minutes). 

Pour over fillets and bake at 400ºF for about 25 minutes, until fish flakes easily. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs, if desired.

And who Says you cant have Potatoes when you are doing lower carb, higher protein, low sugar "diet"????
Ok they all do but doesn't mean I cant fake it!! And with that in mind I took a recipe from a favorite place of mine back home in New Orleans and made it all mine. Thank you Leah Chase of Dookie Chase's for giving me this idea:

Turnip Hash

1 1/2 - 2 lbs. turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 slices turkey bacon, chopped (we use Oscar Mayer as the Jennie O was too smoky)
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

As you cut and dice the turnips place them in a large bowl so they are covered with water; set aside.

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon to skillet and cook to crispy. Once crispy remove from pan, drain on paper towel and reserve.

Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain turnips in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. (This is VERY Important or they won't brown)
Add turnips, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and butter to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon until turnips soften and lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
Stir in heavy cream, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until turnips are done; (they can be easily mashed with a fork) about 30 minutes. Add reserved Bacon and Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with parsley.

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