Posts in category "The Lazy Cook"

Easy Flourless Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

I’ve been eating relatively clean but I had one of those nights where I had a carbs craving.  To prevent myself from over eating,  I barely have any junk food except for a lonely bag of some surprisingly good gluten free chips.  In most cases, when I get the late night munchies, I would reach for some nuts or fruits but since I haven’t baked for awhile I thought I would make a supply of muffins for a week’s worth of breakfast and snacks. Luckily I’ve stocked my cupboards with enough ingredients to make a healthy version of a muffin treat to assuage my inconvenient late night hunger pangs.

Ingredients (makes about a dozen):
3 cups old-fashioned oats (I only had instant oatmeal and that worked well too)
3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs worth of egg white
1  cup of light milk (ie skim, soy, rice, almond etc)
3/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of blueberries
1) Set oven to 350 degrees

2) Combine the dry ingredients together in bowl. Add the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Then combine and mix the two. Carefully fold in the blueberries.

3) Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes until top is light golden brown or when you stick in a toothpick it comes out clean.

And that’s it! Enjoy!

Gluten free Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I’ve been baking and I’ve been baking lots. Fortunately (or unfortunately) my coworkers and friends have been guinea pigs of my manic baking phase. Since I’m a ‘glutton for punishment’ (ha!), I gave myself the challenge of making gluten free baked goods. If you follow me on twitter and/or Instagram, you know I heavily commit the sin of gluttony. I like my food and I won’t deny myself the pleasure of a good dish…but I do compensate by being an exercise demon and eating healthier when I’m at home and at work.

So some things I learned about gluten free baking:

1) There is a lot of alternatives to regular flour
2) Gluten free flour (pre-made or homemade) is EXPENSIVE. If you don’t want to make your own, you can easily Bob Red Mill’s Gluten Free Baking Mix at most grocery store chains so do price shop around. You can find gluten free products at places like Whole Foods, Nester’s or Choices Market.
3) There’s lots of hidden additional calories to some gluten free recipes…unless you find alternatives to the other ingredients

Along with using gluten free flour, I’ve been experimenting with using healthier alternatives to certain ingredients like using agave syrup instead of sugar, yogurt instead of sour cream, egg whites instead of whole eggs, and different milks.

One of my more successful kitchen experiments are these zesty sweet and light lemon blueberry muffins.

1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup milk (I used soy milk)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar (or 2/3 cup of agave)
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of blueberries
½ cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs (or 4 egg whites)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil up muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and line the muffin cups with paper liners.

2) Stir the lemon juice into the milk and let set for about 5 minutes. Don’t worry if it looks curdled after awhile

3) In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest with 1 tablespoon of sugar until fully blended. Easiest to mix this with your fingers. Set aside.

4) In a medium mixing bowl, sift then whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

5) In the bowl of an electric mixer preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.

6) Turn mixer to low and add the eggs slowly until it’s all incorporated then add the vanilla

7) With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and lemon milk mixture to the creamed butter starting with 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the lemon milk mixture and alternate and mix until completely combined.

8) Remove bowl from mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well with a large spatula. Gently fold in the blueberries.

9) Divide evenly between the prepared muffin cups, filling the cups almost to the top. Evenly top the batter with the lemon zest sugar mixture. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

10) Let it cool for 5 minutes and it’s ready to eat.

That’s it and enjoy!

Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market on Urbanspoon

Nesters Market
Nesters Market on Urbanspoon

The Lazy Cook: Zucchini Tartlets

Back on the blogging train to kickstart 2013! I did LOTS of cooking from Thanksgiving to Holidays, and it’s been fun with experimenting with different recipes and luckily I have friends who are willing guinea pigs.

My go to party dish has been a big platter of zucchini tartlets. I like to think they are morsels of savoury addiction.

Ingredients (yields about 24 mini muffins size)
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 large egg
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup bread crumbs – I used Italian style
2 teaspoon of thyme
2 teaspoon of basil
Salt and Pepper
Dashes of chilli flakes (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease up mini-muffin tin with olive oil or butter
2. Grate the zucchini and then place in a dish towel to squeeze out the excess water.  This step prevents the tartlets from being soggy
3. In a bowl mix the egg, onion, feta cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, seasoning, salt and pepper.
4. Fill the muffin cups to the top, and top with parmesan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the edge is browned and set.

That’s it and enjoy!