Archive | April, 2015

ORANGE-DILL BEET HUMMUS

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This recipe is a healthy twist on traditional hummus.  It adds the sweet,  earthy flavor of roasted beets and the bright punch of orange to the traditional Middle Eastern style hummus.  The only cooking involved is the roasting of the beets and toasting of the almonds.   Otherwise just toss everything into your food processor and puree.  I like to serve it with toasted wheat pitas, grilled flatbreads or blanched veggies for a light snack or hors d’oeuvre.

 INGREDIENTS:

2 ea                                      beets

2 ea                                      cloves garlic

1 can                                    garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 T                                         minced dill, divided + extra sprigs for garnish

1 ea                                      zest of orange plus juice, zest divided

1 T                                         extra virgin olive oil*

1 T                                         sesame oil*

3T                                           almonds, toasted and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

Rinse and trim the beets.  Place beets and garlic cloves on a double thick square of aluminum foil.  Drizzle or mist with olive oil.  Wrap tightly and place in a 400 degree oven.  Roast until tender and you can pierce easily with a skewer, about 45 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

When cooled, combine garbanzo beans, garlic, beets, 1 T  dill, 1 t orange zest and orange juice in the work bowl of a food processor.  Add a generous pinch of salt and process until mixture is combines.  Combine olive oil and sesame oil in a small bowl.  With the machine running, slowly add oil to bean mixture until bean-beet mixture is smooth and creamy.  * You may not need to add all of the oil depending on the moisture content of the beets.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Transfer puree to a serving bowl and garnish with remaining dill, orange zest and chopped almonds.

Serve with toasted whole wheat pita, flatbreads or blanched vegetables.

Makes about 2 cups

 

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ICE CREAM CONE CUPCAKES

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This clever presentation combines two birthday classics in one fun bite!  It has the look of a chocolate chip ice cream cone but is really dark chocolate cake with chocolate chip buttercream icing.  It’s perfect for a child’s birthday or you could switch up the flavors for a more adult presentation.

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 CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:

3 C                                         all-purpose flour, sifted

2 C                                         sugar

7 T                                         unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 t                                         baking soda

1 t                                         salt

2 C                                         hot water or strong coffee

¾ C                                        vegetable oil

2 T                                         white vinegar

1 t                                         vanilla extract

24                                          ice cream sugar cones

2                                             3” deep disposable aluminum pan

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in the center position in the oven.  Make sure you have sufficient rack clearance to fit the sugar cones with aluminum pan in the oven.

Prepare disposable foil pan stabilizer to hold the cones upright in the oven*.  Using a sharp knife or scissor, CAREFULLY cut 12 1” circles in the bottom of a disposable aluminum pan.  The aluminum is very sharp.  You may want to wear gardening gloves while you make the cutouts. Be sure to space the cut outs 2 ½ – 3” apart. Repeat with second pan. Turn prepared pans upside-down and place sugar cones in cutouts. Set aside while you prepare cake batter.

Prepare cake batter.  Whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl whisk the 2 C hot water (or coffee), vegetable oil, white vinegar and vanilla.  Add to dry mix and whisk until just combined.  Take care not to over mix or cake will be dry.

Divide mixture among the prepared sugar cones and bake 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place upright on wire rack until completely cooled before proceeding.

 

 

 

ICING INGREDIENTS:

1 C                                        unsalted butter, softened

2 ½ C                                   confection sugar, sifted to remove lumps

1 T                                         heavy whipping cream

2 t                                         pure vanilla extract

1 C                                        bittersweet chocolate chips, chopped fine

METHOD:

Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until well combined and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add vanilla and heavy cream and beat until combined.  Gently fold in minced chocolate pieces.  Spread icing decoratively on sugar cone cupcakes.

*aluminum hotel pan can be purchased at any grocery or craft store.

24 servings

 

 

 

 

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CURRIED ROASTED CAULIFLOWER POPCORN

 cauliflower popcorn

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There are millions of recipes similar to this one on the internet but I like the results I got when I added the curry and cayenne.  The result is spicy, flavorful and a downright addictive popcorn – like treat.  This recipe makes an excellent side dish or can be eaten as a snack or hors d’oeuvre during a cocktail hour.

 INGREDIENTS:

1 ea                                      head cauliflower, cored and broken into large stemless pieces

2 T                                         olive oil or equivalent amount of olive oil pan spray

1 t                                          kosher salt

2 t                                         curry powder

½ t                                         cayenne

Salt and pepper

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and parchment paper.  Place prepared cauliflower on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Alternately, spray with olive oil pan spray.  Sprinkle curry, cayenne and salt on cauliflower and toss to combine thoroughly.  Spread cauliflower pieces out in a single layer on parchment paper and place in preheated oven.

Roast, turning halfway through roasting process, until cauliflower is browned and caramelized nicely.  Adjust salt and pepper.

Serve immediately or at room temperature.

 

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SPICY ASIAN STYLE PASTA WITH CRAB & GREENS

 pasta kutv (1)

This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.  With minimal work, it comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking assemble the dressing in a serving bowl.  Drain the pasta and add to the bowl, add crab and toss lightly and dinner is on the table in less than 15 minutes!  It’s low fat, nutritious and spectacularly delicious!

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 INGREDIENTS:

1 #                                        Udon noodles

1 T                                         garlic, minced

1 t                                         ginger, minced

4 ea                                      scallions, minced

½ ea                                     red or green chili pepper, minced

2 T                                         vegetable oil

1 T                                         sesame oil

1 T                                         soy sauce

2 C                                        baby spinach, rough chopped

1#                                          cooked crab meat, lump if possible

1 T                                         peanuts, chopped

METHOD:

Put a large pot of water on to boil.  When boiling, add udon noodles and salt & cook as the package directs.

Meanwhile,  combine minced garlic, ginger, scallions, chilies and cilantro.  Add both oils and soy sauce and whisk together until combined.

Right before draining pasta, add spinach to cooking water and cook until spinach wilts (about 45 seconds).  Drain quickly, allowing some of the water to cling to the pasta.  Toss in the dressing.  Add crab taking care not to break up the crab too much.  Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

 

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