Monday, June 29, 2009

Extra Healthy "Moomies Buns"

Moomie's Sandwich Buns ~ a Healthier Version

Moomies buns have been around for many years, they have long been my "go to" recipe for sandwich and hamburger buns (I have always reduced the sugar to 1 Tablespoon as we prefer a non-sweet sandwich bun.) The original recipe is from The King Arthur Flour website.

Since we have been steering away from white flour, and attempting to incorporate more whole grains into our diet I experimented to make the original Moomie's buns more healthful.

Below is the original Moomie's Bun recipe, as well as the changes I made. The whole grain method will produce buns which are denser and heavier than those made with white flour. If you are looking for a more nutritious bun recipe you may like this one ~ I plan on experimenting with different flours and will share the recipes if I find some I like better than this variation.

Moomie's Legendary Sandwich/Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns
(The original version)


1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour all purpose
1/4 cup sugar (I always reduce this to 1 scant tablespoon)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast


The dough can be made in either a bread machine, a food processor or stand mixer. (I use my bread machine)

Place all ingredients in bread machine. Select dough cycle. When cycle is complete place dough on a lightly floured surface.

The following are Moomie's instructions ~

Divide dough into 8 pieces. With each piece, slap into a bun shape. Usually four or five slaps will do it. Place on greased cookie sheets , cover; allow to rise for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes till golden. Cool on wire racks.

Moomie likes to add a teaspoon of onion powder and about 1/2 teaspoon dried onion to the dough in the bread machine. It adds a light onion flavor.


Here are the changes I made to make these healthier for our lifestyle change:

2 tablespoons olive oil for the butter
egg substitute for the egg
1 tablespoon molasses for the sugar

I substituted the following for the 3 1/4 cups white flour:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dark rye flour
1/4 cup flax meal

You may find that a little more water is needed because of the density of the whole wheat flours. For portion control reasons I make these buns much smaller than regular size sandwich/hamburger buns (about 1/4 to 1/3 of the size.)

For the seed topping:

After the final rise I brushed the top of the buns with egg substitute and sprinkled some with caraway seeds and the others with Artisan bread topping (available from King Arthur Flour), or you can make your own blend. Their blend consists of Sesame seeds, flax seeds, black caraway seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, and anise seeds.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Healthy Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffins with Flax Meal

This is a combination of recipes; The American Heart Assn., Bob's Red Mill, and Diabetic Magazine.

Low Fat Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
12 regular size muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats (or 1 cup rolled oats, plus 1/4 cup flax meal, or oat bran)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omit)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I use 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar Splenda (TM)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten (I use 1/4 cup egg substitute)
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg. Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Allow to cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes or so, then cool on rack.
Note: These muffins freeze beautifully.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Grilled Snapper with Avocado-Strawberry Salsa

Pan-Grilled Snapper with Avocado-Strawberry Salsa
Yield: 4 servings (recipe is easily halved)

1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, diced
2 cups strawberries, finely diced (for 2 servings I used about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (in addition I offer extra lime slices)
1/4 teaspoon sugar (I omit)
sea salt to taste

4 6-ounce snapper fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime zest

For the salsa:
Stir jalapeño, avocado, strawberries, onion, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, and sea salt together in a bowl. Cover and set aside. Salsa may be made several hours ahead and chilled.

Note: If making ahead, add the sugar, salt and avocado just before serving.

To cook the fish:
Preheat stove-top grill pan over high heat. Pat fillets dry then brush both sides with the oil; sprinkle with the lime zest. Lay fillets on grill pan skin side down and cook 4-5 minutes on each side, turning once, until cooked through.

Transfer fillets to serving plates and top with avocado-strawberry salsa.

Nutritional Value Per Serving: Calories 440, Calories From Fat 117, Total Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fatty Acid 0g, Cholesterol 63mg, Total Carbohydrates 40g, Protein 37g, Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.06g

Recipe adapted from the Florida Department of Agriculture.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spinach Tortillas

These are fun to make (and eat!) They can be used for dipping in salsa or guacamole, or making enchiladas, wraps or quesadillas.

To shape them you can either roll them with a rolling pin or use a tortilla press (I use an Indian Chapati maker *, similar to a tortilla press). For easy removal from the press I place the dough ball between 2 sheets of sturdy plastic food freezer bag ~ (I take one bag and split it open on 3 sides, like a book.)

* Click HERE to see the Chapati maker.

Spinach Tortillas

16 tortillas (I usually halve this recipe)

3/4 cup hot tap water

1/2 10-ounce package no-salt-added froxed spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed

1 cup all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat)

1 cup masa harina (find it along with other flours in the market)

1 tablespoon olive or canola oil

1/4 teaspoon salt (I omit)

Flour for shaping the tortillas (and for flouring the board if you are rolling out with a rolling pin)

In a food processor or blender, puree water and spinach, add remaining ingredients and pulse until a ball forms (add a little more flour if mixture is to wet.) With floured hands form dough into a ball, either leave in processor bowl with lid on, or wrap in plastic. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.

With your floured hands on a lightly floured surface roll into a rope shape about 16 inches long. Cut cross-wise into 16 one-inch pieces. With your hands roll each into a ball. Roll each cylinder into a ball.

Preheat a non-stick pan or griddle (or seasoned cast iron pan or griddle) over medium heat.

With a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6-inch thin round pancake (as close to round as you can make it, it doesn't really matter.) OR, place dough ball between the plastic film as described above, and press in the tortilla press. Remove from plastic carefully to avoid ripping; peeling the plastic from the raw tortilla.

Cook on the griddle or pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn tortilla over, pressing down about 10 seconds with a flat spatula, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. As they are done remove tortillas to a plate or cooling rack.

Store in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

To reheat, wrap tortillas in Aluminum foir and heat in a 350* (F) oven for 5 minutes or until heated through. Or put tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover loosely with plastic or damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until heated through.

Yumm! Homemade tortillas!

(Recipe adapted from "The New American Heart Association Cookbook")

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Egg Foo Yung ~ Vegetable or...

A take on a more complicated dish from Shanghai, Egg Foo Yung has been a very popular menu item on Chinese-American restaurant for decades.

This is the recipe I've used for many years; my hints to lighten it up for a healthier version are noted.

Egg Foo Yung
4 servings

Egg pancakes:

4 eggs (I use 1 cup of refrigerated egg substitute such as Egg Beaters (TM))
2 cups mung bean sprouts, broken into bite-size pieces
1/4 yellow or white onion, medium dice
1 green onion, sliced (plus extra for garnish, if desired)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omit)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I omit, instead cook the pancakes in a non-stick frying pan, sprayed with cooking spray)


2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I reduce a bit)
2 tablespoons flour (I use whole wheat flour)
1 cup chicken broth; homemade or canned (I use Pacific Natural Foods brand; low-sodium, in the carton)
1 tablespoon Chinese Oyster Sauce
1 teaspoon dry sherry (not cooking sherry)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omit)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper


Combine egg pancake mixture, mix until well combined.

Heat large skillet over medium heat until hot. If using oil add 2 tablespoons & allow to heat, alternately spray with cooking oil spray. Ladle mixture into 4 mounds in the skillet. Gently flatten each mound with a spatula. Cook until bottom is brown, flip (and remaining 2 tablespoons oil---if using.) Continue to cook about 5 to 7 minutes until egg mixture is cooked though.

For the gravy:

Mix oil and flour in a small pot, cook over moderate heat to make a roux. Gradually whisk or stir in broth along with remaining gravy ingredients, cook until desired gravy consistence is reached.

Optional gravy add-ins ~ Diced, cooked vegetables, bay shrimp, cubed cooked chicken, or other meat such as Chinese BBQ pork, etc.

To serve: Plate egg pancakes, spoon sauce over all. Serve hot and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baked Kale Crisps

Some will turn their nose up at these, others love them. They may remind you of toasted nori (sea weed). They are a low calorie nutritious snack, and a decent substitute for potato chips, though not sturdy enough for dipping.

Baked Kale Crisps


1 bunch curly kale
1 tablespoon olive oil ( I use WAY less, see below)*
You may sprinkle with soy sauce/tarmari/low sodium-soy sauce but ~

I prefer either to spritz very lightly with Bragg Liquid Aminos before baking, OR sprinkle VERY lightly with a few grains of coarse sea salt immediately after baking. You may also like a dusting of ground cayenne pepper or chipotle with the salt.


Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces (try to strive for uniformity in size so they will crisp evenly.)

Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. * Spritz kale with olive oil (I use a Misto (TM) spritzer), or alternately olive oil cooking spray.

Bake until the edges lightly brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes, turning once half way through baking. If smaller pieces turn crisp before the larger ones I remove them earlier.

Sprinkle evenly with a few grains of coarse sea salt, and ground hot pepper if desired.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pacific Rim Tofu Salad ~ Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly

I found a version of this recipe on Recipezaar, but (as usual) I changed a few things around to suit our tastes.

Pacific Rim Tofu Salad
2 servings (Easily doubled)


1 T oil, 2 ½ teaspoons water
1 tablespoon [unseasoned] rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey (or 1 teaspoon Splenda, or to taste)
1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ to 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated with a micro-plane
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omit)
1/2 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into domino size pieces, or cubes or "sticks"
2 to 4 cups mixed salad greens
1 medium carrot, peeled, shredded or sliced
1/2 large cucumber, sliced or cubed (I use English, or Hot House cuke) sliced thinly with a mandolin
A few radishes, sliced with a mandolin (optional)
Sesame seeds for garnish, if desired


Whisk canola oil, vinegar, sweetener of choice, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger (and salt, if using) in a bowl.
Place tofu and 1 tablespoons of the dressing in a large nonstick skillet. (I spray the pan with a quick hit of cooking oil before adding the tofu.) Cook the tofu over medium-high heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, 5 to 15 minutes (until as deeply colored as you like.) Remove from the heat, add 1 ½ teaspoon of the dressing to the pan and stir to coat.

Either toss greens, carrots and cucumber with the remaining dressing, or arrange salad components on dish and drizzle with dressing. Top with the warm tofu.

Best served as soon as assembled.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

5-Star Portobello "Pepper-Steak" ~ Vegetarian

Five Star Portobello "Pepper-Steak" ~ Vegetarian

2 to 4 servings


2 to 4 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion, cut into slim wedges from stem to root end
water or broth for sauteeing (I use Pacific Natural Foods brand low sodium chicken broth)*
1 large green bell pepper, sliced into approximately 1/4-inch strips
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into approximately 1/4-inch strips
1 or 2 large (4-6" diameter) portobello mushrooms (or a few shitake mushrooms, thickly sliced)
I use portobellos, sliced approximately the same size as the bell peppers
2 Tablespoons no salt added tomato paste
Fresh oregano and/or thyme; I like lots of herbs~ use as much or as little as you like, plus extra for garnish (May use dried, start with a scant teaspoon if using dried.)
Low sodium soy sauce to taste (about 2 to 3 teaspoons, or less --to your taste)
hot sauce, cayenne pepper or hot pepper oil to taste (I use Chinese Chili Oil ~a little goes a long way)
freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, saute the minced garlic and onion in broth or water until onions are translucent. Add the red and green bell peppers and mushroom slices and cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until mushrooms release their liquid.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

I serve this with steamed brown rice.

Adapted from kwvegan

*Use water to keep this Vegan acceptable.