Quick applesauce cupcakes

“Applesauce for sale. 2 for $4.50.” In you go, into my overflowing basket, filled with unnecessary groceries. I’m a grocery store maniac, which is made even worse with the single magic word ‘SALE’. It’s horrible, I’m telling you. No self control, whatsoever.

Which explains how I ended up with 2 large jars of applesauce, and absolutely no idea what to do with them.

This recipe, which was from 500 Cupcakes book boasted that it’s ‘simple to make and low in fat, this recipe is based on the classic streusel cake.’ Right on! You got me at ‘simple’ and ‘low fat’.

Here we go!

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Skinny Brownie

oxymoron much? but yes, it’s possible.. a brownie CAN be skinny.. was looking around for recipe ideas and stumbled upon Gina’s WW Recipes.. there are a lot of food blogs out there that have healthy recipes, vegan recipes, etc.. maybe i should consider having a separate page on this blog to link them all up..

I personally think that the brownie is fudgier than most recipes i’ve tried but still not fudgy enough.. maybe if i added some choc chips it would be fudgier but i guess then it won’t be called a skinny brownie anymore right.

dayah said it’s more like a really moist cakes which works for me too! coz then i have a recipe for a skinny cake. but i have to admit this recipe is a keeper. it’s really quite yummy and addictive.

but anyway, skinny brownie.. recipe is behind the cut..

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Corn, chicken and chilli quesadilla

We’ve Gone Italian with Fritatta, so now let’s go Mexican. Or Spanish. Whatever.

For some reason, I have this insane urge to wear a sombrero, and eat nachos chips with salsa, when I hear people speaking Spanish. Ah, no importanta, pero, me gusta escuchar la lingua Espanol. Es muy muy bonita.

Hahaha. My Spanish teacher would be so disappointed in me!

Okay lets just get on with it. I got the recipe here, but basically you can play around with whatever fillings you want. I forgot to buy salmon, so I used boneless chicken, boiled and shredded. And popcorn chicken. Well, whatever’s available. With wholemeal tortilla. I mean, since we are talking healthy here.

Mandarin Treat

The idea of a cheese jelly in a mandarin orange soup may sound odd but the savoury cheese balances the sweetness of the dessert.

Well, that was what the writer claimed for her recipe of cheese panna cotta in orange soup. If you have ever eaten panna cotta, you know how creamy and rich and awesomely delish it is. Basically in this case, it is a soft white jelly, made with cottage cheese, which gives it a creamier flavour, without the fat. It is served in a soup made from oranges.

Half cup of low fat cottage cheese has only 80 calories as compared to ricotta made with skim milk, which has 170 calories. Of course, there is also another choice, fromage frais, which is also a creamy fresh cheese with lower calories and fat. However, it is harder to get hold of, except at gourmet grocers, which is probably Market Place in town, so nope. I go for convenience.

Ingredients:

4 cups low fat milk or soya milk

1 cup cottage cheese

1/3 cup white sugar or to taste

6 tsp gelatine powder

Soup

2 cans of mandarins in syrup or 6 mandarins peeled and soaked in 1 cup of syrup

cold water to taste

Directions:

1. Place milk in a pot together with cheese and sugar. Heat till sugar dissolves, then whisk in gelatine powder.

2. Pour milk mixture into ramekin cups. Leave to cool, then place in refrigerato to set. It will take a couple of hours.

3. If you are using fresh oranges, place 1 cup of sugar in a small pot and add 1 cup of water. Heat gently till sugar dissolves. Leave to cool. Add peeled mandarin segments to marinate segments to marinate for a while. Place oranges in a blender together with its syrup. Process tell it turns into a thick soup. Place blender bowl in the refrigerator till needed.

4. To serve, have a basin of warm water ready. Place the jelly ramekins in it for a minute. Using a knife to loosen the edges, unmould the jelly into a shallow dessert bowl.

5. Pour the orange soup to form a pool round the jelly. Garnish with a whole raspberry/blackberry/strawberry and a mint leaf and serve at once.

Vanilla rice pudding with rhubarb compote

Anybody ever wondered what rhubarb is, since we RARELY get to see it in the supermarkets in Singapore?

There you go. We can only eat the stems, people, and NEVER EVER, eat rhubarb leaves because they are poisonous!

And just a little bit of tidbits about this little vegetable:

Rhubarb has been found to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties. Fresh rhubarb stalk is a very good source of dietary fiber and is beneficial for those suffering from indigestion. It is usualy made into pies (typically with strawberries), which is why it is also called the ‘pie plant’.

There you go!

Fresh rhubarb is tangy, fibrous and a bit sourish. Sort of like eating a green mango. I’m not such a big fan of the stewed one, because I found it too mushy. Maybe I’ll try again, and not stew it for too long. The black stuff are vanilla beans and to be honest, they make the pudding look slightly unappetizing (though they add great fragrance!!), so I’ll cut down on the vanilla next time.

Recipe here.

Best eaten warm and freshly made.

Corn chowder

I’m very much a corn person. I eat corn on the corb, corn in cups, popcorn, creamed corn, corn kernels, frozen ones, soggy ones, corn with coconut, corn with chocolate, corn ice cream, corn sushi, with wasabi. Pretty much everything, except for baby corns, don’t ask me why.

Therefore when I found this corn chowder recipe, I didn’t want to screw it up, and triple checked the cooking directions with my mom. The rainy weather these days is just perfect for this recipe!

So here’s our version since my mom doesn’t believe in buying chicken soup stock:

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon sunflower or canola oil

4 cloves garlic

2 cloves shallots

1 inch ginger

1 large white onion, chopped finely

100g boneless chicken, diced

1 stick celery, finely sliced

1 medium potato, scrubbed and chopped into small dice

2 1/2 cups water

400g can light evaporated milk

1 tablespoon flour

400g can creamed corn

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Process shallots, ginger and garlic until finely blended. Heat oil in a non-stick saucepan; ad blended mixture until fragrant. Add onion and celery and cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Add potato, chicken and water, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.

2. Whisk evaporated milk and flour together and stir into soup mixture. Simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened, then add corn and heat through. Season to taste and serve hot.

Personally, I think they are best eaten the next day, when the chicken and vegetables have absorbed the flavour overnight.

  • 1 teaspoon sunflower or canola oil
  • 100g lean bacon, fat removed and diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely sliced
  • 1 medium potato, scrubbed and chopped into small dice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g can light evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 400g can creamed corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • thyme sprigs

Don’t beet yourself up, chocolate cake

Did you guess it right? It’s beetroot chocolate fudge cake for this week. I got the recipe from Cook Yourself Thin. How great is this book? It’s pretty awesome, seeing as it teaches people how to cut calories without compromising on taste. And I love their tagline “With Cook Yourself Thin, you really can have your cake, and eat it..

“This beetroot chocolate fudge cake will hit you between the eyes and knock you out. The beauty of this recipe is that it is incredibly rich and deep in flavour, yet hardly uses any flour and fat.”

Yeah. Whatever the description said.

Recipe here and below is my slightly tweaked version:

Ingredients

The cake

  • 250g good-quality dark chocolate (Cadbury or VanHouten will do)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 40g self-raising flour
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 250g raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated
  • 100ml strong black coffee
  • 30ml vegetable oil

The ganache

  • 125ml cream
  • 200g dark chocolate

How to make it

1. Preheat a conventional oven to 160ÂșC. Spray canola oil cooking spray on the surface of a round 20cm diameter by 8cm high loose-bottomed tin and set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until all dissolved, then set aside to cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, the scraped-out vanilla seeds, the maple syrup and the honey on high speed for 10 minutes with an electric hand whisk until pale and quite fluffy.

4. Gently fold in the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa and ground almonds until fully incorporated.

5. Using some kitchen paper, dab the grated beetroot thoroughly to remove some of the excess moisture. Fold in the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and oil with the help of a spatula until thoroughly mixed together.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. After this time, cover the cake with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

7. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean (although this cake is so moist that even when the cake is fully cooked, the skewer comes out looking slightly messy). Leave to cool on a wire rack.

8. To make the ganache, pour cream into a saucepan and let it boil. Remove from fire and immediate whisk in chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate covertures). Let it cool (will harden slightly) and whisk it again so that it is easy to spread.

Tips

1. Leave yourself plenty of time to make this cake because it is quite a lengthy recipe. Recipe stated that prep time is only 30 mins, but it took me about 2 hours of work before the batter was ready to go into the oven.

2. The cake is best eaten when it is cooled.

I know it’s supposed to be a healthier alternative, but at 305 calories per slice? I blame it on the sugar. Which is why it serves 16.. a little will go a loooonnnng way! It’s okay. I’ll take a bite and put it back in the fridge.

But everybody said it was delicious and moist. Nobody knew it was filled with beetroot. I can’t believe you people ate vegetable, which you normally won’t even eat, willingly. Hehehehehe. I feel accomplished that I managed to sneak vegetables into your diet.

Don’t mock the beets. They are filled with Vitamin B and antioxidants!

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