Archive for July, 2009

Nature’s Bounty Appreciation Post

These are but a few of the several pounds of wild raspberries I have picked over the last few days.  They are sweet and tart, and somewhat firmer and less delicate than the ones you can buy at the store.  I have an abundance of them, and am not entirely sure what I should do with them (if anything other than just eat them fresh).  Should I make jam?  a tart?  eat them on ice cream?  In the time it has taken me to type out this short blog post, I have finished the bowl pictured above, so maybe I’m getting ahead of myself trying to brainstorm.  Well, I’m sure there will be another havest tomorrow, so your suggestions are very welcome!

Muffins That Make You Feel Good

So, I grew up eating and loving homemade muffins.  My grandmother’s muffins were bran muffins, and my mom’s muffins were banana nut.  And they were delicious, and not greasy, and not sugary, and I never thought of them as junk food.  AND THEN when I was a little older, old enough to buy myself food every once in a while, I bought a muffin once at Dunkin Donuts and was horrified!  

I’ve since learned that the greasy, dry (a total mystery how most places get both of these qualities into one food) sugar and butter-laden cupcake-shaped cakes sold at most grocery stores, bakeries, and other vendors are what pass for muffins in most of this country.  However, I took my mom’s banana muffin recipe (which I think came out of one of the Rodale Natural Foods cooksbooks), and tweaked it to be even healthier – Earth Balance instead of butter, whole wheat flour instead of white, nonfat yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt, and egg replacer instead of eggs – the result was a delicious and hearty muffin that packs a whopping 85 calories (per mini muffin).  If I were really trying to mind caloric values, I could have omitted the walnuts and sweetened them with stevia instead of honey, and wound up with a muffin around 45 calories per mini muffin.  Not too shabby, when you consider that the monstrosities you can get at Starbucks pack a whopping 410 calories per serving.  Plus those don’t even come with walnuts! Continue reading ‘Muffins That Make You Feel Good’

The Sweetest Salad: Roasted Apricots, Greens, Almonds, and Honey Vinaigrette

Tonight was a night for salad, and I was determined to make one that would be light but also satisfying.  We had a greens mixture of arugula and spinach, which was a good combination – the arugula is spicy enough to stand up to many other flavors.  I had been working on a honey vinaigrette since having that delicious salad at Vignola in Portland, Maine.  The recipe I settled on is about as simple as it could possibly get, and it was perfect.  As any guest at my house for dinner knows, I happen to like fruit in my salad.  And I had a half dozen delicious and ripe apricots, so I decided to roast them and add them to the salad.  Finally, all salads benefit from nuts, as far as I’m concerned (for that matter, I think almost all food benefits from nuts), so I added some toasted slivered almonds.  Instructions for all are behind the cut. Continue reading ‘The Sweetest Salad: Roasted Apricots, Greens, Almonds, and Honey Vinaigrette’