CEiMB: Chinese Chicken Salad


Last weekend, Ryan was away on a business-related trip, and I was looking forward to a few days to myself. There has only been one other occasion in the two and a half years we’ve lived together that he has been gone overnight, and that trip was even shorter than this one. I have immense respect for those wives and husbands who are separated for long stretches of time or on frequent intervals, but since it’s a rarity around here, I planned to enjoy my time alone with my other three boys. There were visions of romantic comedy marathons, being sprawled out across the bed, and eating whatever I wanted running through my head. Now, I would like to say I fully enjoyed my few days to myself, but the universe had some other plans for me. There was a little drama in my apartment complex, and while everything and everyone is fine, I don’t think I have ever been so happy to have Ryan home and not live alone in my life. And I can promise you that Sinatra, most assuredly Ryan’s cat and not mine, was even more excited than I was.

Knowing that Ryan would be away, I planned my meals accordingly. Despite his increasing bravery in terms of food, there are still some of my favorites that he cannot stand. Shrimp and grits, for example. I am enamored. He thinks grits are disgusting. Another area of contention: salads. I love salad and eat one with a meal just about every day. He passes any time he’s given the option. But when I didn’t get around to making this week’s CEiMB recipe without him, Ryan was subjected to not only eating a salad, but having it be dinner in its entirety. Oh, the horror.

I have to admit, when I saw Danica‘s pick for this week’s recipe, I was not excited. I just don’t love sweet salads. The idea of fruit mixed with lettuce and meat just doesn’t appeal to me at all, but I decided to buck up and give it a try. Worst case, I could always pick around the orange segments, right? Well, Ryan and I were both practically licking out bowls after this one. I can’t promise he’s a salad convert, and I’ll still be hesitant about tossing fruit into my greens, but this one was a hit.

Thanks so much to Danica for a great pick this week! Be sure to check out her blog – she posts awesome recipes and step-by-step instructions. She also helps run another great site, Friends for Weight Loss, that is a great resource and support group for anyone struggling to lose a few pounds.

Chinese Chicken Salad

6 cups lettuce
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups broccoli slaw
8 ounces sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 ounces Mandarin orange segments, in light syrup, drained
12 ounces rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon rice wine
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced raw almonds

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, cabbage, broccoli slaw, water chestnuts, Mandarin orange and chicken. In a separate bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, garlic, ginger, oil, sesame oil, brown sugar and chili sauce. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Divide among bowls and top each serving with almonds.

4 servings
Source: Ellie Krieger

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March 18, 2011. recipes. 5 comments.

CEiMB: Banana "Ice Cream" with Pineapple Brown Sugar Topping


Growing up, I really didn’t eat many sweets. My family just did not have lots of snacks around, and we rarely ate dessert. I do remember special treats like a big bowl of strawberries or pudding or my favorite ice cream, but that was an exception, not a rule. While most kids were gobbling up all their Halloween candy, ours was sitting in the pantry until we cleaned it out the following year. Weird, right?

Ryan, on the other hand, talks about Party Time with his Pop Pop and his face still lights up twenty years later! Apparently his grandfather liked to spoil him – and does so to this day :) Party Time consisted of eating lots of junk food in the back of a conversion van while watching cartoons, from what I can gather. Ryan’s mom is a tad more health-minded and so this was a big excitement for young Ryan and his sweet tooth.

This sweet tooth, by the way, has only grown over the years. No matter what we eat for dinner, the night is not complete until Ryan has some form of dessert. Candy, ice cream, cookies, cake, chocolate… it doesn’t matter. If there is no dessert in the apartment, and I don’t mean fruit, yogurt, or pudding cups, I will hear “So, what’s for dessert? Should I go out and get something?” an hour or so after dinner without fail. Needless to say, this style of eating has not been kind to my waistline, because even though Ryan has a man’s metabolism and can eat whatever he wants, I was not graced with those kinds of genetics.

I am constantly trying to come up with things that can appease Ryan’s sweet tooth while also falling into the category of mildly healthy. This is not an easy task, but Ellie Krieger is known for reaching this compromise with her recipes so I was quite excited for this week’s CEiMB recipe: Banana Splits with Pineapple Brown Sugar Topping. I decided to change the recipe up slightly based on ingredients I already had because there is nothing better than a recipe that doesn’t require a trip to the store, right?

So first let’s talk about the ice cream. Ellie’s version calls for vanilla light ice cream or frozen yogurt. I decided to make my own, one-ingredient banana “ice cream.” It’s not as impressive as it sounds. You simply slice a banana, freeze it, then dump the slices into a food processor and blend until creamy. Easy, easy. And it really does become the consistency of ice cream – nice and creamy. And sweet. Don’t think it will replace your favorite gourmet pint, but it is a nice frozen treat nonetheless.

The pineapple topping is also very easy to make and takes only a few minutes. I doubled the sugar. I know, not very healthy, but the topping was pretty sour to me. Even after I doubled the sugar, it was just too sour against the sweet banana ice cream. Coming from me, who picks tart over sweet every time, that is really saying something. I don’t know if it was the pineapple I used, the lemon juice, or just the contrast against the sweetness of the bananas, but I found the two flavors to be at war with each other. And, not surprisingly, my sweets lover didn’t enjoy this dessert in the least…

I didn’t fool him with this sundae, but I won’t stop trying. Next time I think I’ll just pick something from Shandy’s blog, Pastry Heaven, because she features some of the most delicious-looking desserts!

Banana “Ice Cream” with Pineapple Brown Sugar Topping

3 medium bananas
1 cup pineapple chunks in juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

First, peel and thinly slice your bananas. Freeze them for at least 2 hours.

To make the pineapple topping, combine the pineapple, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the juice is reduced somewhat, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

While topping is cooling, place banana slices in food processor or blender. Blend until creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender when they stick.

Divide banana ice cream into bowls, and spoon pineapple mixture over top. Sprinkle raw sugar over the top; serve immediately.

makes 4 sundaes

March 7, 2011. recipes. 4 comments.

CEiMB: Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage


Have you ever used crutches? If not, you may be like me in that you’ve seen other people using them and thought to yourself that it doesn’t look too hard to do. Well, you, like me, would be wrong. You see, I was given crutches yesterday because I’ve sprained my ankle. It only took me about two seconds to realize what a pain in the bum they are. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought walking with crutches looked like fun, but I completely underestimated how hard it would be! I’ve decided that the better way to keep off my ankle would be to sit on the sofa with my foot propped up on some pillows. Doesn’t that sound better?

So as I recover from this doozy, I imagine my recipes will be a little on the simple side. As you can imagine, it’s a bit hard to hobble around the kitchen in this condition, and I plan to rely heavily on ready-to-go items. And this recipe was the perfect fit for meeting that requirement. It was fast (since I had already cooked and refrigerated the brown rice) and easy. I only had to stand long enough to slice a few green onions and mix it all together in the wok. I was worried that the dish would be a little bland because there aren’t many ingredients, but it was completely delicious! The sesame oil added a nice, nutty flavor which complemented the brown rice well. This will definitely be a recipe I’ll make again and again. Thanks to Sarah of Sarah’s Kitchen Adventures for picking this CEiMB recipe a couple weeks ago!

Be sure you check out yesterday’s post for the chance to win a new cookbook!

Shrimp Fried Rice with Cabbage

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and cleaned, quartered
5 cups shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups cooked brown rice, refrigerated until very cold
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

Heat the canola oil in a very large nonstick skillet or wok over a high heat. Add the scallions, ginger, garlic, and shrimp and cook stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the cabbage and continue cooking until it begins to soften, but is still somewhat crisp, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp-cabbage mixture to a bowl.

Heat the sesame oil in the same skillet or wok over a medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook stirring frequently, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp-cabbage mixture back to the skillet, stir in the soy sauce and serve.

4 servings, approximately 2 cups each
Source: Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week,” p. 158

February 24, 2011. recipes. 7 comments.

Cooking Like a Man: Panfried Steak


A few months ago I was contacted by the Marketing & Social Media Coordinator from Quirk Books, and he offered to send me a copy of a new cookbook, “Recipes Every Man Should Know” to review. Seeing as I am not, as you may know by now, a man, I decided that perhaps the best way to get the most out of this particular book would be to ask Ryan to cook from it and give me his manly opinion. So not only did I get a new cookbook to add to my collection, I also managed to get out of cooking dinner one night. Pretty sweet deal, in my opinion. And, friends, I am offering you a similarly sweet deal. The kind people at Quirk Books have offered to provide a copy of this little black recipe book for hungry guys to one of you as well! Now, I can’t promise you a handsome man will cook your dinner if you win the book, but I do think it’s worth trying to tempt the man in your life to make you a manly meal :) Be sure to get the details on how to enter for your chance to win at the bottom of this post, but first let me turn my blog over to my esteemed better half. (Another perk of this deal – a guest post by Ryan!)

Every now and again I get an email or phone call from Liz that says something like, “Can you cook tonight?” Now, I’m a good guy and understand that she can be very busy. Sometimes, taking the responsibility for dinner is the best help I can give.

However, my reply usually goes something like this: “Sure. Want me to order pizza?” You see I’m lazy and frankly, not very comfortable in the kitchen. If Liz wants me to be in charge of dinner it means take-out, tacos, or take-out tacos. I do not have an extensive culinary repertoire.

Enter “Recipes Every Man Should Know” by Susan Russo and Brett Cohen, the little black book of man meals. REMSK posits that a man who cooks and who cooks well will be more attractive to women and receive free beer from his friends. I saw nothing distasteful in that theory, so I decided to try cooking something out of the book.

Choosing what to cook wasn’t difficult. This is a cookbook for guys, after all, so it was simply a matter of locating the recipe with the highest degree of manliness. Which recipe ranked as the greatest man meal? I flipped to the section called “Meat and Potato Dinners” (which, curiously, includes pasta recipes) and found the page with the steak.

I opted to pan fry the steak because it was a little chilly and snowy outside and I didn’t want to mess with the grill. Plus, I love to listen as two large pieces of meat sizzle and pop in a frying pan. Sounds like deliciousness. I also chose to make a dry rub using the recipe in the book rather than seasoning with just salt and pepper.

Once Liz and I were satisfied with the doneness of our steaks we were thrilled with the flavor. The dry rub was delicious and the steaks were tender and juicy. Were it not for Liz’s tremendous skill at cooking steaks, it would have been the greatest steak I’ve ever eaten. Plus, I got to say, “I made that.” I’m a guy. I like to make things.

Panfried Steak
adapted from “Recipes Every Man Should Know,” p. 55

2 marbled steaks, 1- 1 1/2 inches thick, New York strip, round, sirloin, or tenderloin preferred
2 tablespoons dry rub, recipe below
canola oil
1 tablespoon butter

Allow meat to come to room temperature. Season all over with dry rub. In a very hot, heavy-bottomed skillet or cast-iron skillet, panfry steak in a little canola oil 3 to 4 minutes. Flip steak, add butter, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until desired doneness. Cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Dry Rub
taken from “Recipes Every Man Should Know,” p. 61

4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well.

A couple of notes from the process of cooking:
• Unless you are catering for 40 or 50 people, you may want to cut back on the recipe for the dry rub. I took everything down from tablespoons to teaspoons, covered two large steaks, and still had some left over.
• I have yet to master the finger test for doneness which is referenced in the recipe. They felt like medium well to my hand, but they were a lot closer to medium rare. Use a thermometer; a reference chart is provided on p. 56.
• The recipe directions were simple but effective, at least for this recipe. I could see the small size of the book getting in the way of more complicated recipes, however. Further experimentation is required.

HOW TO ENTER THE COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY:
Tell me about your favorite “man meal.” This can be from either perspective – a meal you think men should know how to make or one you think would most impress a man!

For additional entries, you may complete each of the following, then come back and leave another comment for each one you’ve completed. Each comment is one entry, and you can have a maximum of four entries total.
1) Follow me on twitter @notsoskinnyliz, or if you already follow me, tweet about this giveaway.
2) Like TNSSK on facebook, or if you are already a fan, recommend the page to your friends.
3) Post a link on your blog alerting your readers to this giveaway.

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. I will randomly select one winner using random.org and announce the winner on Thursday, March 3, 2011. Good luck!

February 23, 2011. recipes. 3 comments.

Meatless Monday: 17 Bean and Barley Soup


In the beginning of January, we got a little snow storm. By most standards, it was barely more than a dusting, but for this area of the country, it was a blizzard. The city was shut down for nearly a week which was perfect for me since I was battling both bronchitis and a sinus infection. While most people were getting cabin fever, I was enjoying the forced time off, and the only thing productive I did the entire week was cook. And cook. And cook. It was fantastic, and so was this soup. Even though the temperatures are now in the 70’s here, I am still dreaming of this hearty, flavorful soup.

17 Bean and Barley Soup

1 cup dry 17 Bean & Barley Mix (Trader Joe’s or similar)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth, unsalted
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
15 ounces diced tomatoes, no salt added

In a large saucepan, cover dried beans with triple their volume of cold water. Bring water to a boil, then lower heat and cook uncovered beans over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and soak beans for 1 hour. Alternatively, you may soak the beans overnight in a large pot of water. Once beans are prepped, rinse and drain.

While beans are draining in a colander in the sink, add olive oil to the pot and heat over medium. Cook onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Add beans, broth, seasonings, and tomatoes to the pot. Simmer covered for about 1 hour to desired tenderness. Salt and pepper to taste.

4 servings, approximately 2 cups each
Adapted from the bag of Trader Joe’s 17 Bean & Barley Mix

February 21, 2011. recipes. 2 comments.

CEiMB: Cheesy Baked Penne


I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day! I know a lot of people “don’t believe in it” because it’s a “Hallmark holiday” and all that, but I actually love it :) First of all, there are the girly decorations – lots of pink, red, and purple hearts. That appeals to me in every way. Then there is the whole notion of telling the ones you love how much they mean to you. Well, I’m all about that! I get why people are against the holiday. I agree that Valentine’s Day should not be the only day people go out of their way for each other. I guess I just like any excuse to acknowledge how lucky I am to have such awesome people in my life.

All of this is not to say that I’m an advocate of expensive dinners, red roses, or heart-shaped boxes of candy. No, no. Those things are all great for some, but I’m more of a goofball who likes to spend the day running through the fountains at Centennial Park, eating a roll of Shockers, or drinking beer at my favorite local place. Unfortunately, this year none of that was to be as my Valentine has been quite sick all week and weekend. Poor guy. He thinks he has the plague. I’m pretty sure it’s just a cold, but I was still happy to take the opportunity to spoil and nurse him, just like he did me several weeks ago when I was the one who felt like death. Part of his spoiling was in the form of this baked pasta dish.

When he came in to the kitchen to see what we were having, I told him I made him baked penne. Then he asked, “Well, what’s in it?” To which I replied, “Pasta, sauce, and cheese.” And he asked if that was all. I said yes, and he was shocked. He said, “No surprises? Nothing else? Usually there is, like, vegetables or something.” HA! I told him there were no veggies this time, and he said, “Oh, you are spoiling me tonight!” Apparently my attempts at being sneaky and forcing him to eat vegetables these past couple years have not gone unnoticed :)

As usual, I made a couple changes. I decided to try brown rice pasta just because. I saw it at Trader Joe’s and thought it was an interesting idea. Since I’m not a fan of cottage cheese, I omitted it completely. I added a bit more ricotta but cut it with plain yogurt and a splash of milk to supplement some of the creaminess lost by using only ricotta. For the seasonings, I decided to add a bit more crushed red pepper and some fennel seed because I love the licoricey taste it adds, like sausage. The end result was a bit underwhelming, to be honest. I love, love, love cheese and don’t think I’ve ever thought anything was too cheesy. Until now. I was missing a bit more tomato sauce, and I think I would have doubled the sauce or cut down on the cheese or both. Otherwise, it had great flavor! The pasta, on the other hand, was not a hit. I didn’t notice any difference the first time around, but when I reheated the leftovers, the pasta nearly disintegrated. I cooked it several minutes less than the package recommended, but it lost all texture and was kind of a mushy mess. In its defense, this makes a ton of food with large servings for the calorie count. I just think it would be better after a few tweaks. Ryan was thrilled with it nonetheless, so my mission was accomplished. Thanks to Lindsey of 71 Cookbooks for her CEiMB pick!

Cheesy Baked Penne

1 pound dry penne pasta
6 ounces nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
15 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons fat free milk
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
15 ounces crushed tomatoes
8 ounces no salt added tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 ounce parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the yogurt, milk, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella and parsley in a bowl and stir with a fork to incorporate and set aside. Cook pasta until tender but still firm, a minute or 2 less than the package directs. Drain.

Heat the oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, rosemary, fennel, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Return pasta to pot with sauce and turn off heat. Add cheese mixture.

Spray a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray then transfer pasta mixture to pan. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the parmesan. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 minutes.

6 servings
Adpated from Ellie Krieger’s Four Cheese Baked Penne

February 17, 2011. recipes. 4 comments.

Can you tell Sinatra is very depressed by his empty bowl?? Like all three of my furry boys, he acts like he’s never eaten before, but his hefty twelve pounds tells a different story!

Much like my poor Sinatra here, I’m leaving you with an empty bowl today. As in, no recipe. Just wanted to stop by an announce the winner of the CSN Stores Giveaway! Drumroll, please……

And the winner is commenter #3 Alex!










Thanks to everyone who participated. Be sure to stay tuned as I have another giveaway coming up soon :) And so the other two won’t feel left out, I promise some pictures of Irving and Oskar soon as well.

February 7, 2011. recipes. Leave a comment.

Meatless Monday: Spicy Lentil Enchiladas


There are very few recipes I make that are things I will make again. This isn’t necessarily because they aren’t good, though that is sometimes the case. Mainly, as other bloggers are aware, the problem is that I am too busy trying new recipes, both for content to write about here and because there are just so many recipes out there to try, to have enough time to repeat recipes. Something has to be extraordinarily good for me to commit to making it a second time. Ideally it will be easy, at least fairly healthy, and taste great. This recipe just happens to fall in the category of being worthy of repeat. It is one of the best recipes I’ve made recently, and I will definitely be making it again and again.

Did I mention this was my first time cooking (and possibly eating) lentils? I’ve had a bag for quite some time now but been afraid to try them. Don’t ask why. It was a big mistake because I love them! I can see them being an integral part of my meatless recipes in the future. They have a great texture – a bit like a bean but with more of a bite. Honestly, I think I enjoyed the texture of them in these enchiladas over any meat enchilada I’ve ever had. Yeah, they were that good.

Now that we’ve covered how good they tasted, let’s talk about how easy they were to make. Lentils do not need to be soaked prior to cooking, so I just added them to a pot with water and HOT salsa. You could use mild or medium, but I quite enjoyed the spice factor on these. Halfway through the cooking, I was concerned I may have made them too spicy because I forgot how hot the salsa I used (a jar from a local farm) was, but once combined with the remaining ingredients, it ended up being the perfect heat for me. After letting this mixture simmer a while, you mix in a few more ingredients, roll the enchiladas, top with cheese and sauce, and bake. While it’s not the quickest weeknight meal (because there are a few steps), it is certainly easy, and these could be made ahead of time and just popped in the oven at the end of a busy day. I topped most of mine with canned enchilada sauce and cheese, but there were a couple that wouldn’t fit in my baking dish that I cooked separately with only salsa; both ways were delicious, though I always prefer cheese to no cheese. :)

Spicy Lentil Enchiladas

1 cup dry lentils
1 cup salsa, heat level of your choice
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (15 ounces) fat free refried beans
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
10 whole wheat tortillas
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce or 1 cup salsa
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Bring lentils, salsa, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed and lentils are tender.

Add the refried beans and chiles; stir until well combined.

Divide filling mixture between ten tortillas. Roll and place seam-side down in a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish.

Top with enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.

10 servings
Adapted from Vegan Enchiladas found on Sound Eats

January 31, 2011. recipes. 6 comments.

CEiMB: Walnut, Cranberry, and Chocolate Bars


OK, guys, this post is going to wrap up CEiMB week. Gotta end with a little something sweet, right? Well, on top of a recipe, I’ve got a sweet deal for you: a chance to win a $20 gift card to CSN Stores! For those of you unfamiliar with CSN Stores, they have over 200 online stores where you can find everything from tv tables to fantastic fitness equipment to cookware! This is my second time partnering with them to bring you guys a little reward for your loyal readership, so I’m very excited to offer this chance to you again. Details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post.

Since I’m sure you’re all excited to enter, I’ll keep the rest of the post short and sweet. I changed the recipe up quite a bit based on what I had in my cupboards already, plus I added a bit of chocolate to make them more appealing to my chocoholic. I’ve been eating them for breakfast and find them quite filling, but I’m still not sure I think they’re worth the calories for such a small serving. Poor Heide at Chez Zero hated them and felt awful for choosing them, but I thought they were pretty good. If you decide to make them, add the chocolate, and let me know what you think. Be sure to come back next Thursday for more CEiMB treats :)

Walnut, Cranberry, and Chocolate Bars

1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup liquid egg whites
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 ounce semisweet baking chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, egg and egg white until well combined. Stir in the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the dried cranberries, chopped chocolate, and walnuts.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 by 1 1/2 inches each.

12 servings
Modified from Ellie Krieger’s Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars from “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week” on p. 40




















HOW TO ENTER THE $20 CSN STORES GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY:
Visit one or more of the CSN Stores and leave a comment telling me what you would spend the gift card on if you win.

For additional entries, you may complete each of the following, then come back and leave another comment for each one you’ve completed. Each comment is one entry, and you can have a maximum of four entries total.
1) Follow me on twitter @notsoskinnyliz, or if you already follow me, tweet about this giveaway.
2) Like TNSSK on facebook, or if you are already a fan, recommend the page to your friends.
3) Post a link on your blog alerting your readers to this giveaway.

Thanks to CSN Stores for providing this awesome giveaway to my readers. This contest is open to US & Canadian Residents only. There may be shipping charges or in the case of Canadian readers, international fees, for certain products.

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Friday, February 4, 2011. I will randomly select one winner using random.org and announce the winner by Monday, February 7, 2011. Good luck!

January 28, 2011. recipes. 23 comments.

CEiMB: Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Ham


I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I want to make it known that I am a dried bean convert. I’m not saying I’ll never use canned beans again because, let’s be honest, they are seriously convenient, but I am saying I much prefer the taste, texture, and price of dried beans. Now that I’ve tried them, it’s hard to believe I avoided cooking with them for so long. For those of you who haven’t tried them, I know exactly why you haven’t. They seem like a complicated pain in the backside, right? Well, they’re not. Yes, it takes a little extra planning, but I promise it will be worth it!

I haven’t completely figured out how to substitute them in to recipes that call for canned beans, but I’m learning. For this dish, I decided to try putting everything in the slow cooker once I was done soaking the beans for the sake of convenience. I halved the recipe since I’m the only one who likes baked beans, but I forgot to reduce the mustard and vinegar accordingly. Oops. In the end, I’m actually glad I didn’t halve those ingredients since the beans needed a bit more flavor. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t a hit. I did eat them, but I don’t think I’ll be making this recipe again. It seems like this recipe wasn’t a huge hit among the CEiMB group, but I’m still glad Danica from Danica’s Daily chose it because it’s one I had been eyeing and needed an excuse to try.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Ham

1/2 cup dry Great Northern beans
1/2 cup onion, chopped
6 ounces ham, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place dry beans in large saucepan with enough water to cover them, about 3 cups. Bring to rapid boil on medium-high heat; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Alternatively, you may soak the beans overnight in cold water, then drain and rinse.

Transfer beans to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until beans are tender. Top with a sprinkle of brown sugar, if desired.

Yields approximately 3 cups.
Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Baked Beans with Ham from “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week” p. 179

January 27, 2011. recipes. 5 comments.

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