Good Afternoon and Happy Sunday!
It has been one of those great Sunday's where you get to sleep in and then have a little lounge time before getting the day started. Zoe was not 100% percent so we opted not to go to church thus the lounge time!
Since we didn't have to rush off to church I was able to whip up some Zucchini Flax Waffles this morning that were actually quite tasty! I used the Pizzey's Pancake & Waffle mix and then added a about 1 cup of shredded zucchini to the mix for an extra boost of veggies. These really turned out well and I topped it with a bit of Raspberry Jam and Fresh Raspberries. Yum!
Zucchini Flax Waffles topped with Raspberry Jam
1 cup Pizzey's Premium Flax Pancake and Waffle Mix
1 cup skim milk
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup shredded zucchini
Combine above ingredients and then cook according to your waffle maker instructions.
1 tbsp Red Raspberry Jam
Handful of Fresh Raspberries
If you do not have flax pancake or waffle mix, you can just add about 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds into whatever pancake and waffle mix you have. That is the best part about ground flax and salba you can add it into anything!
So we did our favorite thing yesterday and that was to take a trip to Whole Foods for lunch and a bit of shopping. What can I say..... food is kind of our thing and that is part of our recreational fun. Steve got a new cookbook for Christmas so he came armed with a list of ingredients for recipes out of the Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern cookbook. I am loving this because it is southern food without all the butter and mayo. The dishes are much lighter and I am looking forward to him cooking up some of their recipes.
I am bummed because I made the most beautiful salad at Whole Foods for lunch but the picture did not turn out. The salad bar had all kinds of goodies like fresh blueberries, a cous cous, currant and butternut squash salad, fennel and other delightful toppings. Suffice it to say, it was fantastic!
So when we got home-- we did some baking and cooking. We picked up some fresh shrimp and made the Jade Shrimp Cocktail from the Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern Cookbook. This is a nice take on the traditional Shrimp Cocktail.
Jade Shrimp Cocktail
Time: 15 minutes preparation, 15 minutes refrigeration
We’re always seeking new recipes to flatter the sparklingly fresh local shrimp we buy in South Carolina, at docks in Shem Creek and Rockville. Recently we became restless with the ketchupy sauce typically served with shrimp cocktail, and decided to spin it in a green direction, using tart green tomatoes and tomatillos. The avocado and cayenne in this recipe nudge our cocktail sauce toward a guacamole, but stop just shy. It’s tropically inclined but still familiar, an intriguing new take on an old favorite.
4 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound headless large shell-on shrimp (26 to 30 per pound; see Notes on Deveining Shrimp, page 61, and Shrimp Shopping Notes, page 63)
1 pound tomatillos (husks removed) or green tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 scallions, green tops only
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled (see page 134)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring 2 quarts water, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the cayenne pepper to a boil in a 4- to 6-quart pot. Remove from the heat, add the shrimp, and cook (off the heat) for 1 minute, until they’re bright pink-orange and slightly firm. Drain, and rinse with cold water to keep the shrimp from cooking further and to make peeling easier. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on for grasping (this takes about 8 minutes). Refrigerate the shrimp for 15 minutes to cool them further.
While the shrimp are chilling, place the tomatillos in a food processor and pulse to form a smooth puree. Drain the puree through a medium-mesh strainer, reserving the strained tomatillo water. Return the puree from the strainer to the food processor (you need not wash the bowl), and add the scallion tops, avocado, horseradish, honey, lemon juice, remaining 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon of the reserved tomatillo water. Process to a smooth puree. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and adjust the consistency of the sauce as needed with more of the reserved tomatillo water. Transfer the sauce to a ramekin or a small serving bowl. (The sauce will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.)
Serve the chilled shrimp with the dipping sauce.
As promised I made another batch of cupcakes from the Cook Yourself Thin Cookbook. I made the Red Velvet Cupcakes and have to admit that I am a little disappointed with the frosting on these ones. Basically, you make a meringue frosting and it sets up and gets crunchy. The whole beauty of the Red Velvet Cupcakes is the Cream Cheese Frosting and I know that takes away from the healthy version of these but I am going to make the base of these cupcakes again but use a more traditional Cream Cheese Frosting using low-fat cream cheese. The beets in the cupcakes are beautiful and tasty so that part is super good.
Pre-baked Red Velvet Cupcakes
I did not put in the red food coloring-- I just used the beets to color the cupcakes so they turned out a beautiful shade of pink instead of red.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
The other alternative to making the meringue frosting is to use the frosting from the Vanilla Cupcakes which is more marshmallowy if you want to stick to Cook Yourself Thin recipes. These were still tasty, don't get me wrong.... I ate one and enjoyed it but would just tweak the recipe next time.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
from Cook Yourself Thin Cookbook
Makes 12 cupcakes
Calories per serving: 212
For the cupcakes
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup raw beets, peeled and finely grated
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring
2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the icing
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 medium egg white
Small pinch salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, sugar and salt, and using a handheld or standing mixer, beat on medium-high for about 5 minutes, until pale and doubled in size.
3. Add the grated beets, flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir to combine.
4. Add the buttermilk and food coloring, and beat again to make sure that all the ingredients are well-incorporated.
5. Spoon batter into the cupcake liners, taking care not to fill more than two-thirds of the way up or it will overflow when cooking.
6. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. While the cupcakes are cooking, make the icing: Prepare a double boiler.
8. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of the double boiler, and stir to dissolve the sugar with a clean metal spoon for exactly 4 minutes; the mixture should be warm.
9. Remove the bowl from the heat, and beat with a hand or standing mixer on high speed, until cool and the mixture has turned into a meringue, no more than 5 minutes.
10. The mixture is ready to use when it has formed stiff peaks.
11. Pipe or spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the icing over the cooled cupcakes, and take care to ice the cakes very quickly, as the icing will start to set and is best when just made.
The only tweak I made to this recipe was to use 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour instead of 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
More eats this weekend have been some of my regulars:
Pear Almond Salba Oats
Greek Banana Berry Bowl with a side of Spelt Apricot Almond Toast
I picked up a loaf of Spelt Apricot Almond Bread at Whole Foods and it is killer!
So my sister and her family are going to be showing up soon and then we, of course, are planning on having a Mandola's Feast tonight. Evidently, the pictures of that pizza that I like to get at Mandola's has been making my sister Sarah hungry and she wants to either go out to Mandola's or pick up and eat here tonight..... either way there is more feasting to be had. I therefore have already worked out today, I ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill and then did a weight circuit and Ab Ripper series. I also put on my Skinny Jeans in the hope that it will make me eat less. I got talked into a pair of "skinny" jeans at my favorite jean shop and I feel like I have poured myself into these jeans. It is amazing the difference between mirrors at the shops versus the "mean" mirror at home. I sort of thought I looked long and lean at the shop but in reality I am still short and stumpy and am afraid the jeans are only accentuating those lovely features of myself.... but for better or worse the jeans are mine and I think that when my thighs feel like encased sausages while indulging in pizza tonight.... it may make me stop eating sooner.... or at least that is the hope! The new "Skinny Jean" diet! I will let you know if it works.
Time to clean up the house and get ready for our visitors. Have a great rest of your Sunday.