Pecan Pie Tarts

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The thing about pecan pie…20131028-214954.jpg

Everybody likes that sweetness, but you can only take so many bites of it before you overwhelm your palette. That’s why when I saw Hungry Girl‘s recipe for mini Pecan Pies, I thought “Of course!” Bite-sized is better for this dessert.

I’ve done quite a few mini pies though, and for this one I wanted to try more of a tart/ pinafore bite. So I chose a different phyllo dough, and I’m glad that I did.

Ingredients20131028-214906.jpg

1 package phyllo dough pies (or crust if you want to shape your own)

1/3 cup pecans, chopped

2 T brown sugar

1.5 T coconut oil

1/2 packet stevia

1/2 t vanilla extract

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dash of cinnamon

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep your dough as you like, i.e. if you bought the mini pie crusts, assemble those. Place in preheated oven until slightly golden brown (about 5 minutes).

-In a pan, drop in nuts and oil, making sure the nuts are coated well. Then add the remaining ingredients. Turn over until nice, sweet and crunchy sugar layer forms.20131028-214942.jpg

-Assemble the tarts by spooning your nut mixture into the centers of the tarts, filling to the top. Return to oven and bake another 5-8 minutes or until toasted and golden brown. Serve warm if you can, with whipped cream or mint garnish, if you like.

Other Fall Food Recipes from CC:
Yam’O’Lanterns

Pumpkin Chili

Mini Pumpkin Pies for One

 

Pumpkin-Parsley Pizza Pie

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When my friend Amelia mentioned her pumpkin pizza in a Facebook post, I was perplexed. 20131029-203319.jpg

Pumpkin puree for sauce? Pumpkin pulp as a topping? Can that really taste good?

Yes. I’m always surprised when sweet-savory combinations work so well. I’m not sure why I always forget this little culinary truism, but I’m always pleasantly reminded.

Pumpkin as a topping, and a sauce that’s part pumpkin, part marina is oh so sweet, and it gets an herb-y fresh kick from our good friend parsley. I mean, really good. If you live pumpkin, you really should try this pairing.

And where’d I get the “pumpkin pulp”? The jack’o’lantern I carved all by myself (first time!) this year.20131029-203437.jpg

Ingredients

Dough

1 t honey or agave nectar

1/4 of a yeast packet

1/4 + 3 T whole wheat flour

1 T rolled oats

1 t cornmeal

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Seasonings: garlic, basil, oregano

Topping

2 T slice pumpkin pulp

1 T tomato sauce

1 T pumpkin puree

3 T fresh, shredded Mozzarella

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Crushed red pepper

Directions

Dough:

-In a bowl, dissolve sweetener and yeast in 2.5 T hot water. Let stand for about five minutes.

-Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir ’til a soft dough forms. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

-Place in bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Let rise ’til double in size, about 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.20131029-203335.jpg

-Punch down and work in seasonings. Roll into a circle or square shape. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and begin topping process.

Topping:

-In a small dish, mix the 1 T marinara and 1 T pumpkin puree to make the suance. Rub sauce evenly over the dough in a thin layer, and then sprinkle cheese on, too. Arrange pumpkin pulp evenly on top. Sprinkle parsley on top.

-Place back in oven for about 5 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Slice and serve warm.

Pizza Muffins

Thai Flatbread Pizzas

Zucchini ‘zas

Quick Rosemary Rolls

SAM_4993

If you ever need dinner rolls fast, like 30 minutes or less fast, give this recipe a go. You can decrease the recommended rising time as much as you like; I often let it rise for only 20 minutes and that’s because I’m almost always in a bit of a hurry.SAM_4996

I based this recipe off a hybrid of the whole-wheat pizza dough recipe and the rosemary ciabatta loaf recipe I’ve featured in the past. The rolls aren’t gorgeous–they are, after all, just quick and easy drop biscuits–but they are delicious and pair perfectly with soup or pasta.

Ingredients

1 t honey or agave nectar

1/2 of a yeast packet

3/4  cup whole wheat flour

SAM_4997

 

1 T rolled oats
pinch of garlic salt, if you like1 t cornmeal

Seasonings: Rosemary to taste, a little basil, and dill, too

Directions

-In a bowl, dissolve sweetener and yeast in 1/4 cup hot water. Let stand for about five minutes.

-Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir ’til a soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.SAM_4995

-Place in bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Let rise ’til double in size, about 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Punch down and work in seasonings. Use a spoon to scoop the dough into rolls, sort of like drop biscuits. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm. Maybe with my Roasted Corn & Black Bean Soup!

 

Deux Dark-Chocolate-Stuffed Crescents

In the spirit of all things faux-French, I had a rich and chocolate-y strike of insight…

Take new beloved pastry dough recipe. Fill with my favorite ingredient: dark chocolate.

If you remember my Healthified Pop Tarts recipe, you remember how impressed I was with the consistency and melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the dough.

I contemplated a chocolate-stuffed pop tart, but where’s the challenge in that? It would have been practically the same. So if you want a chocolate-filled pop tart, simply follow the recipe below and fill as you please.

But if you want to take a culinary trip abroad (well, sort of), try the same recipe with the following modifications:

1. Roll out dough and form into two triangles.

2. Use a pizza cutter to remove rough edges.

3. Place chocolate of choice on top of the triangles, keeping the chips a half inch or so from the sides.

4. Roll into crescents and lose yourself in some French folk music while you bake.

Recipe For Pastry Dough:

  • 1 T + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking stevia
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 t plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1.5 t vegan butter, diced at refrigerator temp.
  • 1.5  T non-dairy milk
Directions:
  1. In a mixer combine flours, Stevia, and salt.
  2. Slowly add in milk and Chobani
  3. Beat in butter until thick. (You may have to add more flour if your butter is warm)
  4. Roll up dough and wrap it with plastic wrap.
  5. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. After all the fillings are prepared take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll out into a thin crust. Cut into 2x2in squares. Before you stack the dough make sure to sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking.
  7. Lay a sheet of wax paper onto a baking sheet and spray with Pam. Lay twelve of the dough sheets onto the pan. Add the fillings on top.
  8. Take the tips of the fork and press down the edges. Working with this dough is kind of like working with clay. The score marks will help the sides stick.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Remove when the pastries are golden brown.

Strawberry-Vanilla Heart Scone

I’m not much of a coffee-shop fly. This may be because I don’t drink coffee. I was never part of the cool, “I-can-not-function-without-my-morning-latte” crowd.

First world problems, right?

But what I do find interesting about coffee shops is the baked goods section. I love the fanciful displays of bagels, and muffins, and fresh scones.

But I know, and you probably do, too, that the way these beautiful baked goods are prepared is anything but pretty. The ugly truth is they’re probably loaded with preservatives, refined sugars, and hydrogenated oils. Sigh.

I’m not the type to give up and wallow in self-pity. I’ll just find a better way.

I made up this scone recipe one Saturday morning, and I’m going to drop the modesty curtain for a minute and just say what I’m thinking: This scone is good!

For a bit of a drier scone, use oil instead of yogurt and reduce to 2/3 t. For a very, very moist one, opt for the vanilla yogurt.

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour

1 T stevia

3/4 T canola oil or organic vanilla yogurt

1/2 t instant yeast

1/2 cup warm (but not burning hot) water

splash of pure vanilla extract

1 medium-sized strawberry, diced

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients, except toppings, and then blend in oil/yogurt and water. Knead for a few minutes, and then let rest for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

Once dough has rested, pick it up again and easily knead a bit, adding in a few more t warm water if it has dried out too much.

Roll dough into ball and set aside.

Pick up the dough ball and use your thumbs to gently work in chopped strawberries. Mold into a heart shape, and once ready, place the scone on cookie sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Savory Everything Bagel for One

I do some of my best thinking on my long, weekend-morning runs. I just space out. I give myself time to think through decisions and issues I’ve been putting off all week because my mind has been too focused on work. I take time to reflect.

This past Sunday morning I had another good idea.

Okay, this one isn’t very deep, but it was an ah-hah! moment for me.

Bagels.

Yes, bagels, which I smelled baking toward the end of my run as I rounded the corner of 4th and S. Duff Avenue. They smelled so good, but most nutritionist recommend avoiding them at all costs. The ones made in cafes are a simple carb nightmare, and in no way to they fuel you effectively so you can power through your day. Instead, they leave you feeling hungrier sooner, and spike your blood sugar levels to the extreme.

But as a distance runner, I need carbs desperately. Bagels are a good source. I just needed to figure out a way to “healthify” them.

So I ran in the door and pinned for a bagel recipe. With a few healthy tweaks and a little portion refiguration, I had the perfect savory bagel–similar to the everything bagel I crave from Panera.

And as you can see, I didn’t stop there.

I fried up a few egg whites and tomatoes sauteed in cumin. Then, I topped with a slice of soy cheese. (Yes, I genuinely love Veggie Slices American Cheese. It really is delicious! And it doesn’t bother my lactose allergy.)

Carbs, fresh eggs, and melty cheese. A match made in Heaven, to be sure.

And to satisfy my notorious sweet tooth, I added some fresh apples on the side, picked from my favorite apple tree on 8th & Grand Avenue. I’m really going to be bumming once all the apples are gone.

Fall runs, fresh apples, and hearty breakfast sandwiches. Does life get any better than this?

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour

1/2 T stevia

dash of salt

3/4 T olive oil

1/2 t instant yeast

1/2 cup warm (but not burning hot) water

1 t onion powder

toppings of choice: I used poppyseeds and sesame seeds

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients, except toppings, and then blend in oil and water. Knead for a few minutes, and then let rest for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

Once dough has rested, pick it up again and easily knead a bit, adding in a few more t warm water if it has dried out too much.

Roll dough into ball and set aside. Sprinkle your toppings into another bowl.

Pick up the dough ball and use your thumbs to gently puncture a hole in the center. Mold into one bagel-shaped O, and once ready, press the top of the bagel into toppings bowl. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes.