Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: High Protein Sweet Potato Spice Cookies

Two days ago I pinned a very fun looking recipe. High Protein Sweet Potato Spice Cookies. How cool is that?? And no sugar! Even more exciting! I got the sweet potatoes from the store that night, but made the brownie batter dip instead. Can you blame me? I can't.

Tonight it was the cookies's turn. I mixed it up. And almost over-did it on my poor blender. It's 600 watt, but I could smell its effort. I put them on a cookie sheet. And baked and waited. And checked. And waited longer. And then some more. I think they spent a total of an HOUR in the oven. Hers were somehow 15-20 minutes. I have no idea how...

They look good enough, anyway
When they finally came out I tried one. Ok, I tried 2 before that along the way to test them as well. It was... different. She said she liked them cold, so I chilled 2 in the freezer and then offered one to Mr. More Calories, who had recently arrived and appreciated the smell of cinnamon and ginger. He bit it. Chewed. Made a face. Kept chewing. Then made 'eeeeuuurggghh' noises like a small child and ran to the trash to spit it out. He said you can't call that a cookie.

To be fair, it's from a blogger that doesn't eat sugar or even a lot of fruit due to allergy reasons. I know people figure out how to live with whatever they have to, but for someone used to sugar these are a big surprise. I didn't hate them, but I will let you go to her site if you'd like the recipe. She said 'one medium sweet potato' whatever the heck that means, and mine was 1.5 cups, mashed, if you're curious. They're pretty decent topped with brownie batter dip or banana! So I will eat them. I just won't have anyone fighting me for the last ones.

My overall opinion
: I won't throw them out, or 'gift' them to others, but they aren't on the top of the list to try again. If you do try them, consider them a small vehicle for other delicious things, not a cookie!

Recipe facts you might want:
Makes 36 Tablespoon-sized cookies.
Prep time: 20 minutes WITHOUT cooking the sweet potato, 50-60 minutes to bake
Nutrition info for 1/12th of recipe as written: Cal: 150   Fat: 4.5g   Carbs: 22g    Protein: 6.5g

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Brownie Batter Dip


Sorry, now that that's out of my system. I've been trying to eat more protein, because when I moved out from being made food, I realized that I don't reach for protein sources automatically. Cookies? Yes. Protein? No. So I figured if I could find some SWEET recipes with protein, easy fix! Oatmeal has a decent dose, then add some nuts & you're good. That's still just one option, though.

Enter Chocolate Covered Katie. She has some amazing ideas I've drooled over before. But she had one that sent me to the cabinet to make. ASAP. Brownie Batter Dip. Yes, amazing deliciousness in dip form that is also full of protein. I kid you not. I am putting the way that I made it, because it was different from hers, but please do see the original at the link above! She has lots of different options.

I actually divided my batch so I could try it with two sweeteners - one with honey and the other with brown sugar. Mr. More Calories says the sugar one would be really good for frosting, but likes the honey one better (as do I.) I realize it's not the most absolutely healthy thing in the world, and I'm excited to try it with dates, but it's super amazing how delicious it turns out!

Brownie Batter Dip
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
Prep time about 10 minutes my way, probably 5 hers
6-8 servings (after making it twice, this seems right.)

1 can garbanzo beans (250g), drained and well rinsed
3-4 Tbs cocoa powder, to taste
2 Tbs milk
3 Tbs almond butter
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 - 1/2 c honey, to taste (I used 1/2, but will do less next time!)
1/4 - 1/2 c oatmeal (I did it by handfuls, sorry)

I am food processor-less, so I mashed it all first with a potato masher and then put it in a blender and pulsed until it was mostly smooth, and then turned it to high. (She uses a food processor.)

Nutrition info (1/8th of recipe, 3T cocoa, 1/2c honey, 1/4c oats): 257 calories, 6.2g fat, 45 carbs, 9g protein
Nutrition info (1/8th of recipe, 3T cocoa, 1/3c honey, 1/2c oats): 245 calories, 6.4g fat, 40 carbs, 9g protein

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Green smoothies!

I started making smoothies using a commercial-quality blender, so I took much too long to pick a blender now that I won't have access to that one. Everybody has critiques on the working of all blenders that cost under $100, and maybe it is smarter to get one of those, but I still can't bring myself to do it. I ended up with a crazy, almost painfully, loud one that arrived yesterday and I waited til today to open and try it out.

On the way home, I stopped for spinach, ginger and a green apple. I already had vanilla soy milk in the fridge. The most time I took for this one was peeling the ginger and chopping the apple - the blender recommends that pieces be less than 1-inch across. *sigh* shouldn't a blender be able to handle more? Maybe next time. If you do this, be sure to use a green apple, or if not add in a bit of lemon or lime juice, because the tartness helps brighten up the whole thing. You don't want to just taste a spinachy drink, right? Right.

My Typical Green Smoothie
Time: 15 minutes

1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (plain or any other milk would be fine)
1-inch cube of ginger (think half of your thumb)
3 cups spinach
1 green apple (Or red apple with 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice)

Pour soy milk in blender jug.
Peel ginger and add to blender.
Cut spinach if your blender thinks that will help it. Add to blender.
Cut apple into whatever size your blender can handle. Add to the rest.

Blend it up! I pulsed it until it started going, and did need to push it down. Usually I push it with celery, but forgot to get some at the store. It adds a fresh taste and gives you a safe pushing-stick that you can use while the blender is going!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Brisket-y pot roast

I realized that I don't post much, but most of the things that I make are from other food bloggers. So I decided that the right thing to do is to let you know how these are from my point of view! I completely respect the bloggers whose recipes I use, but sometimes we have different goals. And sometimes I change things just because I don't want to go to the store. So I'm calling these 'reviews' even though it's sometime a rather different version of what they made!

The first review here is of Deb's Tangy Spiced Brisket (smittenkitchen). I was actually looking for her brisket recipe that I used at Taos, but found this one and went for it instead, haha. She didn't use potatoes or carrots, but I wanted a one-dish meal, so I did. I also had a much smaller brisket, so I'm including the ingredients I used below. I actually had a 1-pound brisket, because Mr. More Calories was worried about it not all getting eaten, but I'd recommend a 2-3 pound one. We both agree that the 'sauce' that comes out of this is fantastic!

Overall Conclusion: I will use the sauce of this with regular beef pot roast, skip over carmelizing the onions and just use big onion chunks, and then also add all of the spices directly to the pot. Will make it quicker and I think still very tasty! Also plan to add tomato chunks.

Tangy Spiced Brisket with Potatoes and Carrots
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to your preference - I added too much while it was on the stove top and we had to turn on the allergy air filter. oops.)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2-3 cups beef stock (I used low sodium - use enough so that it almost covers the beef)
3 oz tomato paste (she said ketchup, but I would rather use the plainer option)
1/2 cup chili sauce* ( I used Heinz, which she recommended - not hot at all)
1/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
2-3 pound brisket

5 medium red potatoes
1 pound carrots

**See her original post for more detailed directions or for just a pot roast!**
1 - Slice the onion and carmelize it. Then add garlic and spices - stir and cook for 2 more minutes.
2 - Put Sauce ingredients (beef stock through brown sugar) in the pot of the crock pot.
3 - Cut potatoes and carrots into big chunks. Put potato in pot. Put brisket on top of potatoes, then surround with carrots and top with onion spice mixture.
4 - Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (I did overnight and then had it for lunch the next day.)
5 - Enjoy!