Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter

My nut butters are usually very simple, one ingredient kinda things.  Generally I use just nuts, either dry roasted or raw, no added salt or sugar or oil of any kind.  It's absolutely amazing this way.  You get the taste of the actual nut without all of the added sodium and fat and calories that really do nothing to enhance the flavor anyway.

Every now and then, though, I like a treat just as much as the next person.  While surfing the web one dreary morning, I came across an ad for Naturally Nutty Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter.  It set off an almost immediate craving.  I've never seen Naturally Nutty brand around here in the stores, and ordering it from their website wouldn't have fulfilled my sudden need for instant gratification.  Then there was the whole issue of the fact that I'm ummmm frugal, and I wasn't about to pay five bucks (plus shipping!) for a mere eight ounces of peanut butter.  Hmmmm, a little light bulb went off in my head.  "I'll bet I can make this." I checked my cabinets and was thrilled to discover that I had all the ingredients needed to make this new yummy concoction that I now absolutely had to have!  It was easy as pie, too.  Though I don't know who made up that expression, because I think pie is all kinds of hard.  I've never made a pie crust in my life that was worth eating.  But as usual, I digress, so back to the goodness that is this peanut butter.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Low Fat Summer Squash Bread

Continuing with my "What the heck do I do with all these summer squash?" theme, I decided to try and bake it into some quick bread.  Zucchini bread is amazing, so why not use summer squash instead, right?  It turned out pretty darned good too, especially for a low fat version.  This is not vegan, as I used Egg Beaters, but with a few tweaks it could easily be veganized.

Really Low Fat Summer Squash Bread


  • 1 cup summer squash, seeded and shredded
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

2.  Grease loaf pan.

3.  Mix together dry ingredients.  If you have to, use your hands to break up any lumps.  It needs to be completely incorporated.

It should look like sand.

4.  Add wet ingredients.  It will seem like there's not enough, but just keep mixing and mixing, and it will eventually make a dough.

5.  Pour into loaf pan.

6.  Bake for 55 minutes.

This made a hearty dense loaf, and it was really good.  In retrospect, however, I could have pureed the squash and used squash puree and a flax egg to make it vegan.  It would have also made it a bit lighter.  Next time...


Grain and Veggie Salad with Tangy Tofu Dressing

I've actually got three posts lined up to make!  I'm just having a hard time finding the time to actually make them. Baby happily takes up a lot of my time.  However, now he's sleeping peacefully in his wrap on my chest, and I have a few minutes to blog.

Last week, Drew brought home something like six dozen yellow squash from work.  Someone's garden had an explosion.  Now, I love squash, but I usually buy them about two at a time, and I had no idea what to do with all that squash.  I chopped it up and put it into omelets.  I diced it and ate it in wraps with hummus.  I steamed it and ate it salted for a snack.  Then, in my sleep deprived, brain-dead state, I completely ran out of ideas. So...

I turned to the lovely world of the internet and Googled "What the hell do I do with all this summer squash?" (yes seriously), and I found about eight gazillion recipes.  However, I'm so damned picky that I only liked about three of them.  I found a recipe for Millet and Veggie salad over at Melomeals that I thought I would like a lot after I tweaked it to my satisfaction.  You guys know me, after all of my "tweaking", it wasn't really even remotely the same.  However, the inspiration definitely was not my own; that came from Melody's amazing blog.

Like many of my posts, this is more of a guideline than it is a recipe.  There are so many possible variations to make it suit your own tastes (for example:  I used enough garlic to bring down all of Salem's Lot!).  The possibilities are endless.  The thing that brings it all together and really makes the whole dish is the dressing. The really amazing thing about this is that even the kiddo liked it.  He ate more of it than I did, I think.  This surprises the heck out of me considering it had lots of vegetables in it.  And grain.  And health.  Go figure!

Yeah, it's not terribly aesthetically pleasing, I know, but it sure does taste good, and it's SO healthy!

Grain and Veggie Salad with Tangy Tofu Dressing


  • 1/2 cup dry grain of choice.  Like Melody, I used Millet, because I had it and I LOVE it.  Next time I think I'll use quinoa.  You could use pretty much any grain that tickles your fancy.  You could also probably use whole wheat cous cous or even small legumes, like lentils.
  • 1 small to medium summer squash, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup shelled edamame
  • 4 spears asparagus, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup pureed tofu
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 3 TBS sesame tahini
  • 1TBS lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1 TBS good brown mustard
  • liberal shake nutmeg
  • liberal shake (or three, if you're like me!) dried dill


1.  Cook grain of choice according to package directions.

I toasted mine first.  
Try not to notice that my burner needs cleaning!

2.  Saute desired veggies, or you can use the dry fry method.  That's what I did, saving the calories from the oil to use in the dressing instead!

3.  Let grain and veggies cool to room temperature.

4.  While you're waiting for everything to cool off a bit, you can go ahead and multi-task

Yeah.  In fact I do love to show him off!


1.  Puree tofu to very smooth, almost liquid state.

2.  Add all other ingredients and whisk whisk whisk until very well mixed and frothy.

The Whole Shebang

1.  Mix cooled grain and veggies.

2.  Pour half of dressing over grain and vegetable mixture and mix well.

4.  Let chill for several hours, ideally over night.  The longer it melds the better it tastes.

5.  When ready to serve, drizzle more dressing over the top and salt and pepper to taste.


Now, what the heck do I do with the rest of these?!
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