Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mini Whole Wheat Citrus Muffins

I made these muffins on a complete whim, but I'm so glad that I did! Actually, not a complete whim- I had read a blog posting on some mini oatmeal peanut butter muffins and was thinking of making those, although was a bit skeptical because I know oatmeal is significantly lacking in flavour. As I was breaking out my new Pampered Chef mini muffin pan a little booklet fell out, which contained a recipe for 'Lil' Citrus Muffins'. Although I immediately changed my mind to wanting to make these citrus muffins, I took one look at the recipe and realized that the ingredients would produce a 'muffin' much more close to a cupcake. The original recipe even has a butter-sugar topping for the 'muffins'! Frankly, it sounded delicious, but I really couldn't justify making 2 dozen secretly-cupcake-muffins just for myself. So I revamped the recipe to make it a little healthier!

These mini muffins were so good that I promptly ate 4 while they were still warm out of the oven. I'm not even ashamed to admit it. They are teensy-tiny and relatively healthy, and really, 4 minis is likely not even equivalent to 1 regular sized muffin. So go and make these!! And then stuff your face with them while they're still warm. Because trust me on this, that's when they taste the best!

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, softened
scant 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, or low-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons orange, lemon or lime zest (or a combination!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line mini muffin pan with mini liners or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well.

In a medium bowl, whisk butter and sugar until well blended (either by hand if butter is soft enough, or with an electric hand-mixer). Add egg; whisk until smooth. Mix in Greek yogurt, vanilla and zest. Add flour mixture; mix until dry ingredients are moistened, being careful not to over mix.

Using a small cookie scoop, drop a scoop of batter into each cup. Batter makes enough for 22-24 muffins. Bake 12-13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan for several minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a rack.

Source: adapted from The Pampered Chef, 2006. Pin It

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blackbean, Chickpea and Grilled Corn Salad

As a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats seafood), I'm always looking for ways to get enough protein, particularly because I don't eat fish overly often due to the high cost. Apart from soy proteins, usually made by Yves, beans are my next go-to, and I've become quite fond of black beans in the last year or two. I never used to enjoy them much before, but I'd have to say that they're now my favourite bean! So most recipes that include them I'm willing to try. Add in something that takes under 10 minutes to make (apart from grilling the corn), and I'm hooked!


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 plum or vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow or red pepper, diced
2 corn on the cobs, grilled and kernels removed*
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander or dried coriander to taste (I added somewhere between 1/4-1/2 tsp)
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional- I did not indulge)
1 small clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
* to grill corn on the barbeque, simply brush each cob with a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, and place on grill over medium heat. Rotate the cob every 1-2 minutes, or when the kernels have begun to get charred. Once the entire cob is done, remove from grill and when cooled, cut off kernels with a sharp serrated knife.
In a large bowl, toss together black beans, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, pepper, corn and coriander.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together lime rind and juice, oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Pour over bean mixture; toss to coat and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
While you can serve this immediately, I prefer to let the mixture sit for a half hour so that the bean mixture may soak up the seasonings. Ideally eat within 2 days, although it was still fine at 5-6 days later for me.
Source: slightly adapted from Canadian Living The Vegetarian Collection
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