Book Club · New Favorite

Mango Shrikhand

Mango Shrikhand was a recipe made by my friend, Diane, for Book Club now over a year ago.  It was delicious and I wanted to try to make it at home.  I made it with Greek Yogurt and cut the cardamon in half.

For those who don’t love Greek Yogurt, I would recommend using Vanilla yogurt.  If you don’t like cardamom, try using cinnamon.  If you don’t like mango, try another fruit.  It’s a versatile recipe and healthy dessert.

MANGO SHRIKHAND

2 1/2 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup mango puree
5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons crushed almonds

  • Line a colander with a clean piece of cheesecloth. Place colander over a tall vessel to collect the dripping water.
  • Pour yogurt onto the cheesecloth and gently twist the ends. Tie the ends into a knot above the yogurt.  Let drain and thicken in the refrigerator, 5 hours to overnight.
  • Whisk yogurt, mango puree, confectioners’ sugar, and cardamom in a bowl until well blended.
  • Refrigerate Shrikhand for 1 to 2 hours. Garnish with crushed almonds and serve chilled.

Recipe from allrecipes.com

Health · Holidays · New Favorite

Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Breakfast oatmeal in a bar or cake form is my favorite.  Most of this year I’ve been eating my Breakfast Oatmeal Bars, but a favorite fall flavor of pumpkin and maple is calling my name.  Daughter, Megan, told me about these bars and made a batch for me a few weeks ago.  They are absolutely delicious and the original recipe was posted by IowaGirlEats,  a website my girls and I love!

Since I didn’t have Pumpkin Spice, I made my own from a recipe on Taste of Home.

I like my breakfast bar with a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh fruit on the side with hot coffee! It doesn’t hurt to warm the Breakfast Bar for a few seconds in the microwave, either.  Healthy and delicious breakfast!

Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

2-1/2 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided
1 cup milk, any kind (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to a food processor or blender then process until oats have turned into flour. Set aside. (Alternatively you could use a scant cup oat flour.)
  • Add milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in chopped pecans then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Check on the bars at the 25 minute mark – if the edges are browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on top of the baking pan. Cool before slicing into bars then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars in saran wrap and freeze.

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Family · Home

My Favorite Things … What’s Keeping Me Sane

Living through a Pandemic was certain not on my wish list but here we are. While I try to keep an upbeat attitude, my first inclination is go dark but I’ve learned that doesn’t accomplish a thing.

Keeping busy with things that interest me is key. I have a long list of ‘to-dos’ that I have been ignoring so … get on it, Cathy! There is yardwork and garden preparation, closets to be cleaned, Shutterfly books to finish, genealogy research to be done, etc. I try to accomplish a little of this each day but self-care and personal connection is most important.

This is day 13 of self isolation except for a very protected trip to get my allergy shot (extreme tree pollen allergies) and porch delivery of my Mom’s chicken and noodles to my girls and their families.

Each day the weather cooperates, I try to go on a long walk. Seeing neighbors outside playing with their children, sitting on their front porch or simply waving to neighbors warms my heart.  The two best experiences while walking were 1) encountering a family of dinosaurs with Mom and little daughter in full dinosaur costumes and Dad in a mask; 2) completing a chalk lava field drawn by a child on their sidewalk.  I love to see such creativity!

Talking with my girls and my grandchildren is saving me, too.  My grandchildren are ages 6, 4, 3 and 1.  The opportunity to read books, have dance parties, and just play via video chat is a wonderful capability that we all can enjoy.  Talking with friends, Virtual yoga with my Hot Flash yoga pals, virtual happy hour with our local winery, and family Zoom sessions also help to keep me connected.

I’ve not been to the store since Friday, March 13 but I have plenty to eat.  My Mother taught us to always have a full pantry and freezer and now is the time to use it!  To conserve on eggs, I’ve shifted my daily egg to a breakfast cake I’m loving with a dollop or yogurt!

Breakfast Cake

2 mashed bananas
1.4 cups oatmeal
2 beaten eggs
3 cups berries (fresh, frozen or canned/drained–even less works just fine)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Mix together and placed in greased pan (about 8×10″) and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut in squares.

I heat a square of breakfast cake in the microwave for 20 seconds and then add a dollop of Greek Yogurt. So yummy!

This experience causes me to think back to the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and the hardship of those times.  What did our ancestors do in quarantine, usually with a multitude of children and no chance of grocery delivery or the care of today’s modern medicine.  My Grandma Susie would be slaving over a hot wood cookestove in a very tiny house, with 4 little kids running underfoot.  To my knowledge, no one in our family died during that time but I do not know who may have contracted the disease, either.  

A friend shared with me that her Grandmother had written a journal during the time of the Spanish Flu and she has been reading it.  It prompted her to start a journal for her grandchildren.  What a great idea! I am not a journal kind of person, but this is such a unique time in our lives, that I think it is important to document what this experience has been like.  Perhaps we can actually learn from our mistakes in the future.

In closing let me thank everyone who is sacrificing their own safety to care for the people of the United States. You are our true heroes!

God Bless and Stay Well!

Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Traditions

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt

Blackberries, or any berries for that matter, are among my favorite foods. This recipe sounded so delicious, simple and somewhat healthy, I had to try it. It was delicious and I wish I had more in my freezer. While grandson, Evan, wasn’t initially excited about the cold, he acquired a ravenous taste for it and wanted more, more, more.

I’m anxious to try other fruits this spring and summer!

BLACKBERRY FROZEN YOGURT

5 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups (32 oz.) fat-free (or low fat) vanilla yogurt

  • In a food processor, puree blackberries, water and lemon juice.  Strain blackberries, reserving juice and pulp. Discard seeds. Return pureed blackberries to food processor; add sugar and vanilla. Cover and process until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, combine yogurt and blackberry mixture. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

  • Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze.  When yogurt is frozen, transfer to a freezer container.  Freeze for 2-4 hours before serving (IF you can wait that long!).

Adapted from Taste of Home

 

Health · Holidays

2014 Health Goals that make sense

The new year is a time for fresh starts, new goals, and hope for the future. This week I heard an interview on ABC with Dr. Richard Besser that outlined 5 ways that can improve your health without being overwhelming.

5 Ways to Improve Your Health in 2014

1)  Lose 5% of your weight:  We all have the desire to lose weight and, in reality, more than 5%; however, 5% is a great step toward improving our health. I can do that!

Day 2/365 - New Years Resolution

2) Take 5 Minutes and Move:  Our society is a ‘sitting society’ at work, at home, driving, etc. Take 5 minutes several times a day to get up and walk around, take a few flight of stairs…move!  When I was working at home one of my doctors suggested I set a timer that went off every 20-30 minutes to remind me to get up, stretch and move around.  We know that we are supposed to exercise 30 minutes a minimum of 5 days a week, but if that isn’t doable, chunk it down into smaller increments several times a day.  Beats nothing!  In 2014 my goal will be to increase my yoga practice and walk more (now that the darned boot is off!).

3)  Take 5 minutes every morning:  As Mom always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’ve always been good about breakfast, grabbing a Greek yogurt or a boiled egg. Take 5 minutes to make/eat breakfast and improve your mental state for the day and curbing binges later in the day.

English: American healthy breakfast in Chicago...

4) 5 Things You are Grateful for TODAY:  Each day focus on the positives in your life, taking mental note of the little things that make a difference. Did someone say hello to you today, open a door, call you to chat, etc.?  At the end of the day, before bed, think of those 5 things and perhaps jot them in a Gratitude Journal.  A few years ago, I pledged to review a daily reading in two different books and keep a gratitude journal.  I made it through the year and found it very inspiring.

Gratitude Journal

5)  Take 5 Minutes for You:  Time is such a precious commodity and most likely time for you is at the bottom of the list.  It was for me for many years.  There were too many family and work commitments and just not enough time for me.  I’ve learned the hard way that unless you take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else.  The suggestion made by Dr. Besser was to meditate twice a day for 5 minutes.  Meditation, in my definition, is to clear your mind of all thoughts.  Clear the clutter and stress from your day and start anew.  While I do not practice meditation regularly, I find that when I do, it is wonderfully refreshing and I feel at peace.

For me, Prayer is also a critical piece of the formula for peace and comfort each and every day.

2014 is full of surprises and we will do the best we can do. My advise to those that are killing themselves with stress from work and family…slow down…enjoy and appreciate the little moments with joy and laughter…take care of yourself…and have a healthy, joyous New Year!

New Favorite

Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is a summer favorite.  The key is to assure that the chicken is moist and tender.  I’ve always wanted to try a yogurt marinade and when I found this recipe, it fit the bill!  I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours and it was delicious. Next time I’ll try marinating overnight to see if the flavors are even better.

I served with another new recipe for Mediterranean Edamame Salad (post and recipe on Friday) and loved the combination.  The leftover chicken was great afterwards on green salad. Another new favorite for my recipe collection.

The original recipe called for pounding each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of waxed paper, pounding to 1/2 inch thickness. Instead, I cut each chicken breast in half to achieve the same thickness.

YOGURT-MARINATED GRILLED CHICKEN

8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.)
2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for grill grate
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (2″) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

  • Cut each piece of chicken breast in half to achieve 1/2″ thickness.  Place chicken breasts in plastic ziplock bag.
  • Puree remaining ingredients in a food processor.

  • Pour yogurt mixture over chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat.  Marinate chicken in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high direct heat.  Brush grill grate with oil.  Scape excess marinade off chicken; season with salt.  Grill until browned and cooked thoroughly, turning once.

  • Top with more cilantro and serve.

Compliments of dashrecipes.com

For Mediterranean Edamame Salad recipe, check my blog on Friday, August 2.

Garden · New Favorite · Skinny · Uncategorized

Blueberry Gooseberry Yogurt Smoothie

How many ways are there to use Gooseberries? Not as many as one would think, at least not many that are documented.  I’ve never tried a smoothie with gooseberries until I found this recipe.  I  substituted almond milk for cow’s milk. Very refreshing!

BLUEBERRY GOOSEBERRY YOGURT SMOOTHIE

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen gooseberries
1/2 of banana, frozen
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I prefer Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup almond milk

  • Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Adapted from Sumptuous Spoonfuls

New Favorite

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

Every year my daughter and I look forward to the seasonal Pumpkin Frozen Custard at Good Times. When I saw the Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt recipe in relish.com, I had to try it. It is very good and, I tell myself, healthy. It freezes quite hard so be prepared to torture yourself for a few minutes while it softens to serve.

I also tried drizzling honey with a bit of cayenne pepper on the top. Quite tasty and the honey hardens on the icy frozen yogurt.

FROZEN PUMPKIN YOGURT

1 1/2 cups Greek low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups pureed pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until combined. Place in container of ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Serves 10.

Recipe from relish.com