Welcome to Healthy Recipe Week! If you would like to submit a healthy recipe to be posted this week, I am still accepting posts. Please just email me with the text of the post and a photo, if available.
Our first recipes come from Jean at Delightful Repast. As you will see below, Jean takes gorgeous food photos and offers some really flavorful recipes that are a little more health-friendly. Healthy Recipe Week isn’t about deprivation, and I love that Jean’s recipes are still the real thing, only made better-for-you!
Bread and Butter Pudding
The occasional dessert is a must even for the most health-conscious. I consider classic bread pudding (my version, anyway) a very healthful dessert. I use the minimal amount of fat and sugar, a mere fraction of the sugar seen in most recipes. And it has four eggs and a pint of reduced fat milk, so it really is quite a nutritious dessert. Of course, if someone doesn’t mind just a bit more butter and sugar, they can click on the link to my blog and make the Banana-Pecan Rum Sauce as well!
Bread and Butter Pudding
(Makes 6 servings)
8 ounces good sliced white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 teaspoons rum, optional
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup dried currants, optional
1 Use bread that’s a few days old. I usually use 6 slices from the 1 1/2-pound loaf of Oroweat/Brownberry/Arnold country buttermilk bread. Spread one side of each slice with a teaspoon of soft butter. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the buttered bread. Spread it with a knife so that it is embedded in the butter. Stack the bread and cut into cubes, 16 squares per slice.
2 In 2-quart bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, mace, salt, milk, rum and vanilla. Add bread cubes, mixing gently. Pour mixture into buttered 2 1/2-quart round casserole and let stand for 10 minutes or so while oven preheats to 350 degrees. If you’re using the currants, take care to separate them so that the pudding won’t have clumps of currants. Then pour the bread mixture into the casserole in three batches, sprinkling a third of the currants over each.
3 Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer dish to rack and cool about 20 minutes to serve warm with either ice cream or sauce. Or refrigerate for at least 3 hours to serve chilled with whipped cream. It’s also delicious at room temperature.
Most of us could benefit from cutting back on our meat consumption, and my vegetarian chili is a satisfying alternative. Thick and hearty, even the hardcore carnivores won’t miss the meat! Set up a chili bar where guests can choose their favorite garnishes. Offer guacamole or diced avocado, sour cream, shredded Cheddar and Jack cheese, sliced black olives, diced onion, sliced green onion, shredded cabbage or iceberg lettuce, cilantro, lime wedges and thinly sliced radishes.
(Makes twelve 1 1/2-cup servings)
2 pounds dry red kidney beans
10 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup chopped celery (2 large stalks)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 large)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (soy sauce if you’re vegetarian)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (to start!)
1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)
1 Wash beans in cold water. Put beans and water in a 6- or 7-quart pot. Soak beans at least 5 hours or overnight. Drain off soaking liquid and add 10 cups of fresh water. (I’m so precise about the water because we’re going to add the sauce to the beans, so I don’t want the beans to be swimming in water.) Bring to a full rolling boil, boil for a minute, then reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, for about 2 1/2 hours, adding salt during the last 1/2 hour. And don’t bother skimming off the foam that will form on the surface. A lot of people do, but I consider it just a waste of my precious time!
2 During last 45 minutes, make sauce. In large skillet or 3-quart saucepan, heat oil and cook onion, celery and green pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings, and cook for about 10 minutes to “brown” the tomato paste and toast the spices (mixture will be very thick). Add diced tomatoes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. If the beans aren’t tender by the time the sauce has cooked 30 minutes, turn the heat off under the sauce, cover and let stand until beans are done.
3 Add sauce to beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the chili is the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve, offering assortment of garnishes. Can be made a day or more ahead–it just gets better!