I seem to have a case of Spring Fever… even though it snowed two days ago. Although I’m an anything-is-possible-kind of person, I wasn’t so sure sitting in my room invisioning blooming flowers would melt the snow. Which is why I did the next best thing aside from jumping on a plane and heading to somewhere warm of course… I brought spring to my kitchen!
No, you’re not hallucinating… I made an actual meal. And there was absolutely zero added sugar in it. And it was actually edible. And sometimes you need to just pat yourself on the back so I’m just going to come out and say it, it was delicious!
I’m kicking myself to be healthy. (Yes, I’m aware it’s trying to get on a healthy kick…. I just had to kick myself to do it. ) I’m going to run a 10K in the Spring and I decided that just maybe I could make a few changes to my eating habits along the way. Does this mean no more desserts? Never. Honestly, I’d rather someday slip into a sugar comma and be happy than be completley without dessert. The problem is, I do what most Americans do: eat out of bordome. How does it work? Really, it’s easy! You just grab the most unhealthy, appealing looking, highest calorie thing in your house and eat it to your heart’s content. And my heart requires a lot of sugar to be content. Which is why I was shocked when I actually not only ate, but thoroughly enjoyed these noodles!
Tips: This definately needs salt and a little pepper to bring out the flavors! Don’t be afraid, add as much as it takes to bring out all your flavors. Add tomatoes to your heart’s content, they really give it a fresh taste.
Thoughts: Really yummy! The pasta salad has a nice tang! I added more cider vinegar than the original recipe called for, and next time I might even add a little more. The feta seems to make it a little dryer so I’d also consider adding a tablespoon more of all the liquids. But the tastes were awesome, and I will definately be making this again!
Tomato and Feta Pasta Salad
Altered from original Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula and Feta
12 Ounces uncooked whole wheat penne
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
2 tablespoons plus a splash of cider vinegar
3 tomatoes in cubes *ceramic knives are amazing for cutting these
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Sea Salt * Be generous in adding this, if you don’t, it’ll be hard to find the flavors of the dish.
Add salt and water to a pot, turn on medium heat until boiling – add noodles and cook according to the package
Strain, put back into pot, and stir in all your ingredients (salt and pepper too!) except tomatoes and feta.
Transfer the mix into your serving bowl, allow to cool
Cut tomatoes into cubes
Add tomatoes and feta to noodles and mix well
Jack the fourth- or fifth?( We’ve had beta fish most of my life and when one dies we get the same colored fish, name him Jack, and add another number to the end of his name. It’s not replacement… it’s just displaced love.) The flowers on top of his aquarium gave me the idea to make flower-shaped brownies!
Well, it’s hard to make something healthy when what you really want is chocolate. No dessert is going to be actually healthy. So I made healthier brownies which included whole wheat flour and applesause in place of butter. -It still had sugar in it but the fat content was lower than the usual brownie which is what I was going for.
Tips: Make sure that you DO NOT overcook these brownies. There are a lot of chocolate chips in the batter so either way your toothpick is going to come out a little chocolate-y ~if not, you know you’ve cooked them to long. Another good tip: don’t try the batter and be discouraged. This is more healthy than usual brownies so expect the batter to have a whole wheat taste to it.
Thoughts: These were AMAZING for being healthy. Even if they wern’t healthy, which they were, they were amazing! My smaller brownies were a little overcooked, so when I tried them I wasn’t in love. But OH MAN, when I got to the center of the big brownie cake it was delicious! If anything, cook these a little under and take them out of the pan after sitting in it for ten minutes.
Adapted from Handle the Heat
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of Motts Cinnamon Applesause
2 cups brown sugar, not packed
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
1 3/4 whole wheat flour
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350F
Combine the applesause and sugars in a pan over medium heat, only keep on until sugar is melted
Pour into mixing bowl of a heavy-duty mixer
Combine all ingredients well except eggs, flour, and chocolate chips
Add eggs one at a time
Add the flour and stir on slow
Stir in chocolate chips by hand
Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray
Bake for about 15 minutes, and check.* DO NOT OVER BAKE!