Corn Cakes

With the holidays upon us, so quickly as usual, easy and fast meals are the ticket!  Here you can use easy ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry and fridge to whip up these cakes.  This whole meal is surprising decadent, and filling.  Serve with a small mixed greens salad with fresh cilantro and lime vinaigrette to really round it all out.
Serves 4
adapted from Eating Well
Ingredients:
1 cup instant brown rice
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 cup tomato salsa, mild, medium or hot

Method:

1.Cook rice with the amount of water called for in the package directions, adding scallions, garlic and thyme to the water. Remove from heat and stir in corn, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Let stand for about 5 minutes to cool slightly.

2.Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the rice mixture and mash with a potato masher until the mixture holds together (it will be fairly soft), about 1 minute. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.

3.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully transfer 4 patties to the pan with a spatula and cook until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and repeat with the remaining 4 patties.

4.Meanwhile, combine beans and salsa in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 5 minutes. To serve, divide the beans among 4 plates and top with 2 patties each.

Multi-Grain Raspberry Pancakes

There really is no better vehicle for raspberries then a pancake, those finicky seeds get lost in the soft fluffy layers of cakes, and permeate they’re sweet goodness throughout.  We found a pint of these pretty berries at the grocery store for $.98 and they were pretty much ready to be be eaten pronto.  So, first thing Sunday morning, was to relax with some coffee and some of these.  It was a great start to a fantastic Sunday- these are packed with nutrients, but taste SO light and SO good.  They’ll keep you feeling fuller longer and get you through your 3 mile run + hot yoga class or a chilly Bears game!  🙂
Recipe:
Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix together the wet ingredients in a medium bowl:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 1/4 cups fat free milk
zest and juice of 1 lemon
Combine the wet and dry in the medium bowl, batter will be lumpy, then fold in 1 pint of fresh raspberries ( chopped up), you can reserve a few for garnish.  Set your oven to “warm” and place a pie plate on the middle rack.  Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, spray with cooking spray.  Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop mixture and pour onto hot pan, leaving at space between each pancake.  When the batter bubbles, they are ready to flip.  Cook an addition 1-2 minutes and then place on a pie plate in your oven to keep warm while you finish up the rest.  Serve stacked with real maple syrup and fresh raspberries ( good to-go rolled up with a dab of peanut butter and slices of banana!)

Tofu Garam Masala

The first time we ever tried Indian Masala was at a little restaurant in Sheboygan called the Grotto.  It was amazing.  The flavors are so complex yet familiar and delicious- creamy, mildly spicy, tomatoey- with the bright color ( and mild flavor) of turmeric, with ginger, garlic, onion, coriander, spicy red pepper flakes and finally the Garam Masala blend of spices itself.  Inspired to make this dish at home, much time was spent scouring recipes.  We wanted something simple, not heavy, but of course it should taste like Masala!  And wefound it- of course with our own adjustments to make it even better.  The challenge, and this was a few years ago now, was to find Garam Masala in the spice aisle.  Nowadays you shouldn’t have a problem and you can easily find delicious Naan bread to scoop up your sauce with… The original recipe calls for chicken so I’m going to put both ways below, tofu is just as delicious but requires less simmering time and water and more pan searing to crisp it up.
Chicken Masala Ingredients:
1 tablespoon Canola oil
1 large onions, or 2 small ones, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large inch of fresh ginger, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
3/4 rounded teaspoon ground Tumeric
1/2 rounded teaspoon Red Pepper flakes, more to taste
3/4 rounded teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 rounded teaspoon ground Coriander
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded to be even thickness throughout each
1 cup water
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plain non fat yogurt, for garnish
2 cups cooked brown rice
Naan Bread

Cut the pounded chicken in to cubes, season with salt and pepper.  In a large dutch oven pan, heat oil over medium flame.  Once hot, sear the chicken on all sides ( about 4 minutes total) and then set aside, tent with foil.  To the same pan add a bit more oil then add onion, garlic and ginger- cooking over medium heat till they just turn golden- 8 minutes.  Add in the peppers, all the spices, tomato paste, and stir till all well coated/ combined.  Stir in the yogurt to combine then add the water and the chicken breasts in a single layer to the pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes till the chicken is cooked through.  Taste and adjust with salt/ pepper.  Then divide the rice between 4 shallow serving bowls, top with one forth of the chicken/ sauce/ veggies.  Add more yogurt and the green onions for garnish, serve with Naan bread. 

Tofu Masala Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Canola oil
1 large onion, or 2 small ones, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large inch of fresh ginger, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
3/4 rounded teaspoon ground Tumeric
1/2 rounded teaspoon Red Pepper flakes, more to taste
3/4 rounded teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 rounded teaspoon ground Coriander
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 package ( 16 ounces) Firm Tofu, drained, pat dry with paper towels and cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 cup water
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plain non fat yogurt, for garnish
2 cups cooked brown rice
Naan Bread

Season your tofu with salt and pepper and a dash each of Tumeric, Coriander, Ground Ginger, Red Pepper Flakes, and Garam Masala, gently combine with your tofu so it doesn’t break apart. In a large dutch oven pan, heat oil over medium flame. Once hot, sear the tofu on all sides ( about 10 minutes total) and then set aside, tent with foil. To the same pan add a bit more oil then add onion, garlic and ginger- cooking over medium heat till they just turn golden- 8 minutes. Add in the peppers, all the spices, tomato paste, and stir till all well coated/ combined. Stir in the yogurt to combine then add the water and the tofu to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes so the tofu is infused with the sauce. Taste and adjust with salt/ pepper. Then divide the rice between 4 shallow serving bowls, top with a breast of chicken and a one forth of the tofu/ sauce/ veggies. Add more yogurt and the green onions for garnish, serve with Naan bread.