Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies, a recipe from my friend Darla, are unusual-- there is no flour in them, but you would never guess from eating them. I altered her recipe to substitute organic Smart Balance instead of butter to keep out some of the fat and cholesterol, and it worked just fine. I like to think that these are somehow healthy, perhaps to justify having polished off an entire bag of them in two short days. (In my defense, I halved the recipe). They are, however, delicious, and will easily stand up to any oatmeal cookie recipe I've tried before:

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 cup butter or smart balance
6 cups regular oats
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups raisins
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter and pour in a mixing bowl. Add sugars, eggs, and peanut butter. Add oats, baking soda, raisins, and chocolate chips. Form into balls on a cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake fifteen minutes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Turkey and Eggplant Lasagna

Between the last posting and this one, our baby daughter was born-- a month early. Needless to say, I haven't been cooking much, but I have been relying on the kindness of family and friends for the majority of our meals. We received a couple of excellent lasagnas, but then after a month I was craving lasagna again, but didn't want to make the traditional, meat-heavy one or a fully vegetarian one. The other night I improvised, using a vegetarian recipe from this month's Cooking Light as a base (difference: the magazine version had zucchini and no spinach or turkey, nor did it call for roasting the eggplant) and came up with this one, which was so good I will definitely make it again.

Turkey & Eggplant Lasagna

1 large eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thickness
olive oil
1 large chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
3/4 pound ground turkey breast
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. or more ground red pepper
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 of a 10 ounce bag of fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup lowfat ricotta
1 package precooked lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350. Salt eggplant slices over several layers of paper towels and allow some of the water to drain out. After fifteen minutes, roast on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray while you do the other steps in this recipe.

Heat a dash of olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add ground turkey breast, cook through. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, oregano, red pepper, and tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When ready, add spinach and stir until wilted. Turn off heat.

Remove eggplant from oven.

Combine basil, ricotta, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper in a bowl. Assembly: spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce into a 13x9 inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Place four noodles over, top with half of the eggplant. Spread ricotta over eggplant, cover with four more noodles. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce over noodles, top with the other half of the roasted eggplant. Add four more noodles, then remaining tomato mixture over top, and finally with mozarella. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray, bake 35 minutes. Remove foil-- bake 25 minutes more...

Num, num...