Archive | March 2013

Grapenut “Meat” Loaf

Growing up, my diet was very strict and completely vegetarian.  While some may turn their noses up at such a lifestyle, many more are now adopting a plant-based diet as they attempt to be the healthiest that they can be.  More people realize that a diet rich in plant-based foods with less emphasis on meats is actually better for you.

This recipe is about 35+ years old, so there can be a lot of tweaking to bring it up to date.  Further, I personally know that earlier vegetarian recipes were often loaded with ingredients that a strict vegan would not consume and sometimes are not the healthiest of options either.

However, the flavors in this loaf are so full, that it makes a wonderful addition to any meal!Try this entrée on your next Meat-Free Monday!  You may find a new dish that your family will enjoy!

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Grapenut Loaf

1-1/4 c grapenuts cereal

1 c chopped nuts (I prefer raw pecans)

1 c chopped celery

1 large onion, diced

1 cup mushroom soup

1/2 tsp salt (may omit)

2 beaten eggs

2 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp Savarex (I find Bragg’s Liquid Aminos works well)

Combine all together in a large mixing bowl until well mixed.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Serves 6.

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What I like most about the flavor is the crunchiness of the little celery bits and the full bodied nuttiness that the pecans provide.  Serve it like you would regular meatloaf and it’s also very good with a light brown sauce/gravy!  It’s also good by itself!

Enjoy!

Healthier Red Velvet Cupcakes

One of my favorite shows to watch is “Not My Mama’s Meals” where Bobby Deen takes his Mama’s dishes and revamps them to lower calorie, healthier versions.  Since that is something I like to do as well, I feel in an odd sort of way that he and I have something in common!

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Since we keep getting teased for Spring by Mother Nature with some warm days here and there and my daffodils and crocus popping up, then a day or three of snow and ice….I wanted to make something that would just exude Spring.  What about cheery red velvet cupcakes with that fresh taste of spring?

So, here goes!  Yes, I altered this even more….couldn’t help myself.  Next time I think I will reduce the amount of almond extract.  It was a bit much in my opinion, but still very good. And those eggs are farm fresh eggs, which as you can see, I whittled down to just 2 from 4 in the recipe.  Isn’t the blue one beautiful?

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Bobby’s Red  Velvet Cupcakes

6- small roasted beets

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cut low-fat buttermilk

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2-1/2 cups cake flour

1-1/2 cups raw granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Frosting:

1- 8oz pkg Neufchatel (reduced fat) cream cheese

1-1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar

1/4 c. reduced-fat sour cream

zest of 1 orange, reserve some for garnish

1/4 c. chopped pecans

1/4 c. toasted coconut

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Directions:

For the cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line cupcake pan with liners or spray with nonstick baking spray.

Add the roasted beets and oil into a blender or food processor.  Puree until the mixture is a thick liquid.  Add the buttermilk, butter, almond extract, vanilla extract and eggs, pulsing until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together until well incorporated.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir/pulse until there are no lumps.  Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completed in the pan on a cooling rack.

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For the frosting – Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium then high speed until very smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  On low speed, add the confectioner’s sugar, sour cream, a big pinch of the orange zest (reserve enough to garnish tops later) and blend together about 1-2 minutes.

Frost each cupcake and garnish with pecans, coconut and/or orange zest.

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In the frosting, the sour cream was also omitted as I didn’t have any and I don’t usually add it to my frosting.  And I didn’t have any coconut or pecans on hand.  I also substituted some of the flour for whole wheat pastry flour. These were really good.  And my husband’s co-workers got to enjoy these since I sent most of them with him to work the next day!

Enjoy!