Tag Archives: single serving

Belgian Brilliance!

15 Jul

From the moment of their christening, foods carry with them the trademarks of their origins.  Just like parents name their children after older relatives, or tack on “Junior” to the father’s name, cooking perpetuates heritage by recreating the very food of our ancestors.  It is one of the oldest traditions we have. 

Like any tradition, some recipes are better than others, just as Halloween is arguably better than President’s Day.  In the world of food, Belgian waffles are Halloween.  They’re simply better!

It is for this reason I dedicate this post to genius Belgians everywhere.  Because really, what would life be like today without Belgian waffles?  No place I’d want to live, that’s for sure. 

(And I honestly can’t fathom how I’ve survived thus far without owning a Belgian waffle maker.  Courtesy of Target, however, I now have one.  I ripped the packaging off that sucker as soon as I got home and couldn’t whip up a waffle quickly enough!)

Spiced Vanilla Buttermilk Belgian Waffle for One

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Stevia (or sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sacco cultured buttermilk blend (or 1/4 cup buttermilk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon water (reduce to just 1 Tablespoon if using regular buttermilk)
  • 2 Tablespoons Egg Beaters
  • 1 Tablespoon all natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cooking spray 
  1. Preheat 1.5″ thick Belgian waffle maker (I used this one; also shown on right sidebar).
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl.  Add wet ingredients and vigorously whisk just until moistened.  Be careful to not overmix.
  3. Grease waffle maker with cooking spray. 
  4. Pour batter into waffle maker.  Smooth batter to all edges, close the top, and flip iron 180 degrees.
  5. Wait at least 2 minutes to reopen waffle maker.  Cook however long it takes to reach desired crispness.

These waffles are oh-so-fluffy with just the right amounts of vanilla and spice.  I must warn you, though: They’re quite addictive.

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Simple Meals for a Complex Gal

14 Jul

I believe in simplicity; it’s a beautiful thing.  When life gets hectic, there’s nothing like sitting down to enjoy a simple meal.  Sure, there’s a time and a place for complexity.  Without it, man wouldn’t have set foot on the moon and Einstein wouldn’t be a household name.  But simplicity is the foundation of complexity.  Its primitive nature is, in and of itself, wondrous.

Okay, so maybe only a loony-bin would call the upcoming recipe “wondrous.”  Nevertheless, I think it serves as an important reminder to enjoy the small things in life and, when the chaos slows down for even the briefest of moments, to notice the wee details that are so easily overlooked.   

Keep in mind the molecular chemistry taking place on your tastebuds as you consume this delectable piece of gastronomical simplicity: 

Vegetarian Pita Pizza

  • 1 pita
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce
  • oregano to taste
  • McCormick Grill Mates roasted garlic and herb seasoning to taste
  • 1 Laughing Cow garlic & herb cheese wedge
  • 1/4 cup Boca ground crumbles
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line circular baking pan with square of tin foil. Place pita on top of the lined pan.
  2. Place 1/4 cup ground crumbles in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 20 seconds. Set aside.
  3. Spread tomato sauce onto pita. Evenly sprinkle the McCormick seasoning and oregano on top.
  4. On a separate cutting board, slice cheese wedge into bits (as large or small as you desire). This may require two knives: one to slice the cheese, another to scrape it off the other knife.  Sprinkle cheese bits, followed by microwaved ground crumbles, evenly over tomato sauce.
  5. Bake the pita pizza for about 9 minutes, or until pita is crisp and the crust is slightly browned.
  6. Using a spatula, transfer pita pizza to a plate. Cut into 4 slices and consume!

Laughing Cows

11 Jul

Can cows laugh?  Every time I pop out a Laughing Cow cheese wedge from its cute little container, I wonder. 

Why “Laughing Cow?”  We obviously know why it’s not “Mad Cow” – if it was, they probably wouldn’t have any consumers.  But why not “Snoring,” “Burping,” “Growling,” “Purring,” or “Whistling Cow?”  Indeed, a question to ponder while you eat these…

Veggilicious Laughing Cow Chicken Quesadilla 

  • 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup broccoli
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1/2 clove) minced garlic
  • 2-3 ounces cooked or canned white meat chicken
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 Laughing Cow garlic & herb wedges
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Use a frying pan with a diameter greater than that of the tortillas.  Saute broccoli, carrots, and garlic in the oil for about 7 minutes on medium/high heat..  Half-way through, add soy sauce, chicken, salt, and pepper.  Put mixture in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Smear 1 Laughing Cow wedge on one side of each tortilla.  Spray pan with a little cooking spray and reduce heat to medium/low.  Place one of the tortillas, cheesy side up, onto the pan.  Evenly spread the bowl of stir-fry mixture onto the cheese.  Then place the other tortilla, cheesy side down, onto the veggies.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Using a spatula, carefully flip quesadilla and cook for an additional two minutes.
  4. Remove quesadilla from pan and plate.  Cut into 4-6 slices and serve!

Are you still wondering if it’s possible for cows to laugh?  Me too. 

Imperfection is Beauty

9 Jul

What’s petite, round, and has no arms or legs?

You guessed it: Mini Fibrous Apple Crisps!

The “fibrous” part of the title says it all – each of these babies has around 5 grams of fiber.  Not too shabby for apple crisp, eh?

 I can read your mind; you’re wondering what the catch is.  Anything fibrous with a dessert-y name must certainly be too good to be true.

And that is where you’re…well, mostly wrong, but the slightest wee bit right.  There is a grain of truth to that statement.  The Fiber One “crust” on the bottom turned out to be more of a “grainy sand-like crumble.”  But, when these apple crisps are served atop vanilla yogurt in a parfait, or garnished with ice cream, it hardly matters.

 

Behind all beauty is an imperfection, no?  (Rhetorical question here.  You’re not supposed to come up with any counterexamples.)

Anywhoozlebees, it’s time to get our apple crisp on.

Mini Fibrous Apple Crisps

Yield: 6 crisps

“Crust”:

  • 2 Tablespoons light butter, melted
  • 1 cup Fiber One original cereal
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 6 out of the 12 cups in a muffin pan.
  2. Place cereal in a blender or food processor and grind until it becomes a crumb-like consistency.  Put in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan.
  4. Pour melted butter over Fiber One crumbs and mix well.
  5. Distribute crumb mixture evenly into 6 greased muffin tins.  Press firmly onto the bottom of the tins with your fingers or some other utensil.
  6. Once finished, set muffin pan aside.

Apple crisp filling:

  • 1 large apple, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon light butter
  • 2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Once apple is peeled, quarter it, halve these slices lengthwise, and then halve these slices lengthwise again.  Then cut them all in half so that you have about 1-inch long, thin, half-slices of apple.
  2. Distribute apple chunks evenly on top of the 6 cereal “crusts.” 
  3. Combine flour and brown sugar in a small separate bowl.  Cut in butter until mixture is in small chunks.
  4. Stir in oats and cinnamon.
  5. Distribute crumble evenly onto the apples. 
  6. Bake crisps for 35-40 minutes, or until apples are tender.
  7. Remove from oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.  When ready to eat, carefully remove the desired number of crisps (some of the crust may not come out with the rest of the crisp) and serve with vanilla yogurt or ice cream!

Move over, Krispy Kreme

8 Jul

Original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts are so 2009.  It’s time to update. 

Thus, the dawn of a new age has arrived.  The age of baked banana doughnuts.

Once I came to this realization, the future of the single overripe banana sitting on my counter suddenly seemed much brighter.  I’m all for brown speckled bananas, but there’s a point at which they’re simply too soft to eat by themselves.  At that point, my friends, is the point at which you must make these.

Baked Banana Doughnuts

Adapted from Oh She Glows

  • 1 ripe, mashed banana*
  • 1/4 c. Egg Beaters
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/8 cup (1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons) packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup (1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Grease baking sheet.
  2. Beat bananas, egg whites, oil, and brown sugar in large bowl. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Mix until well blended.
  3. Scoop out 3 Tablespoons for each doughnut and place on baking sheet equally spread apart. Take a buttered knife to form doughnut holes in each doughnut’s center. Smooth edges of dough into a round doughnut as much as possible.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until done.

*Variation: The banana may be replaced by 4 oz. of packed pumpkin for baked pumpkin doughnuts.

Yield: 6-7 doughnuts.

(In case you’re wondering about the smaller-than-average yields of many of my recipes, read why at my updated About page.) 

Go bananas!

Keepin’ it Short and Sweet

7 Jul

If you have two X chromosomes, chances are you like chocolate.  If you have an X and a Y chromosome, it’s also likely you enjoy chocolate.  Which pretty much covers all of humanity. 

So if you’re human, you might like this.

Microwave Chocolate Chip Brownie For One

  • 1 Tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon sugar (or Stevia)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (or dark cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chocolate chips
  • pinch of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chocolate milk (or soymilk)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar (optional)
  1. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and about half of the 1/2 Tablespoon of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe mug or glass.
  2. Stir in applesauce, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Microwave on high for slightly more than 1 minute.
  4. Immediately after removing from microwave, sprinkle remaining half of chocolate chips on top of brownie.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar as well, if you’d like.

Is this making you hungry?

My Apologies to Mr. Potato Head

6 Jul

Why am I apologizing to a fictional potato? 

I’ll tell you why.

I’m going to take one of his Russet potato relatives, rinse and scrub it with a vegetable brush, slice it into thin medallions, and place the rounds in a 400-degree oven.  And then I’m going to repeat this cycle of events with his distant cousin, the red potato.  Indeed, it’s a sad day for potatoes.

But I assure you that it’s for a good cause – these potatoes are being sacrificed for the good of mankind(‘s tastebuds).  Let’s begin the Russet vs. red potato smackdown.

In this corner we have the Russet potato!  Burly and robust, it’s the spud’s spud.  Even the French deem Russet awesome enough for their fries.  It’s the spuddiest spud of them all, one that’s not afraid to get its hands dirty.  Fear the starch.

Aaaaand in this corner we have the red potato!  Don’t let it’s small size fool you: it’s a feisty little thing whose skin puts some spunk into mashed potatoes.  Behind its soft skin and bright “eyes” is a potato that will hold its shape despite even the most bubbly of boiling waters.

*Ding ding ding!*

Homemade Baked Barbeque Potato Chips

Serves: 1 (or 2 not very hungry people)

  • 1 large Russet potato or 2 medium red potatoes
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or Pam olive oil cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or spray with Pam.
  2. Scrub single Russet potato, or two red potatoes, thoroughly under running water with vegetable brush.
  3. Mix all seasonings together in a small bowl. 
  4. Use a mandolin or knife to thinly and uniformly slice potato(es).  Either toss the slices with olive oil and spread them out on a greased cookie sheet, or place them on the greased cookie sheet and spray with Pam.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes (if using Russets; if using reds they may need less time), or until crisp.
  6. Using a spatula, remove chips from cookie sheet and lay out on paper towels to cool.
  7. Serve and enjoy!     

Are you sitting on the edge of your seat now in suspense?  Which one do you think is the winner?

Verdict:  It’s a tie!  Can there even be a tie in a boxing match?  Oh, whatever.  This is potato boxing so we can make up our own rules. 

Pot-ay-to, pot-ah-to.