Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Lemon Bars August 29, 2010

Lemon Bars

Jamie says:  Kathryn and I hosted a Welcome Back party at our place.  For the event, I made Lemon Bars.  I would say 99 times out of 100, I am a chocolate dessert fan, but for some reason, every once in a blue moon, I crave something completely random i.e. lemon bars.  I had been thinking about them for a bit, so I decided to make my first batch.  I modified the Double-lemon bars recipe from The bon appetit fast easy and fresh cookbook by Barbara Fairchild.

Lemon Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend omega-3, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup Publix confectioners powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
  • 1 1/4 cup Publix all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup King Arthur 100% organic whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups Publix sugar
  • 4 4-Grain omega-3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon peel (from about 5 large lemons)
  • 7 tablespoons lemon juice and pulp (from about 4 of the 5 large lemons)
  • 1 tsp Rumford baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Use an electric mixer to beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy.  Beat in powdered sugar.  Beat in 1 cup all-purpose flour and then whole wheat flour until moist clumps form.  Spray a 13x9x2 inch baking pan (i.e. Pyrex) with PAM no-stick cooking spray.  Press dough into bottom of  pan using a fork.  Bake for 20 minutes, until crust is lightly golden.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat sugar and egg until blended.  Wash lemons and grate 1/4 cup of lemon peel; set aside.  Cut lemons in half and scrape 7 tablespoons-worth of pulp and juice from lemons.  Add juice/pulp to egg mixture and beat.  Beat in lemon peel and baking powder.  Beat in remaining 1/4 cup flour to complete lemon filling.
  3. Pour lemon filling over hot crust in baking pan.  Bake until filling begins to brown and sets in center, about 20 minutes.  Cool completely.
  4. Cut into 24 bars and place on a serving plate.  Dust with additional powdered sugar.  Serves: 24.  Enjoy!

I asked my guests if they would “want to be famous (or almost)”  by sharing their thoughts about the lemon bars.  Here they are:

“Lemon bars…zesty, fresh flavor. Adds a lovely fresh burst to a summer day.”  -Coral

“Most lemon bars are bland and taste the same, but these had a nice, strong flavor and chunky texture in the filling.  Loved them!” -April McDavid

“Amazing… I loved the tangy flavor :)”  -Abby Garner

“Very delicious…not too much lemon.” -Amy

“I accidentally inhaled the powdered sugar before I was expecting had a coughing fit, but other than that they are wonderful!” -Laura Kubitz

“Tangy!” -Amaya Kolkgrni

  • Nutrition note:  Try substituting half of the all-purpose flour in a recipe with whole wheat flour.  (I don’t think my guests even realized I made this substitution.)  The wheat kernel contains three parts- the bran, germ, and endosperm.  The bran contains fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.  The germ contains antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin E, and healthy fats.  The endosperm contains carbohydrates and protein.  A processed grain (i.e. all-purpose flour) contains only the endosperm- the bran and the germ (the most nutritious parts) have been removed.  A whole grain (i.e. whole wheat flour) contains all three parts. 
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Flourless Oatmeal Pancakes August 22, 2010

Flourless Oatmeal Pancakes

Kathryn says: I love pancakes! When I saw this recipe in Health magazine, I was so curious to try it that I was in the kitchen the next morning. The texture of the pancakes reminded me of polenta, and they were a bit dry, but the maple yogurt topping and the fruit made all the difference. It was a healthy, hearty breakfast.

Ingredients:

(for batter – makes 3 pancakes)

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal

1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup frozen cherries and peaches

(for topping)

1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions:

1. Blend together the oatmeal, cottage cheese, egg, and cinnamon until smooth.

2. Heat a skillet on medium heat, and coat pan with cooking spray.

3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan to make each pancake. Cook until golden brown, flip, and repeat.

4. On the side, combine yogurt and syrup.

5. Enjoy pancakes hot with maple yogurt topping.

*This meal is a great fat-burner, according to Health magazine. It has about 2.3 grams of resistant starch, which signals your body to use fat for energy.

 

Breakfast Burrito August 21, 2010

Breakfast Burrito

Jamie says:  The “breakfast” burrito gets a gold star in my book.  I put it in quotes because I think it could be good for any meal (I had it for dinner).  The meal is high in protein and good fats.  It includes quite a few nutrition superstars: omega 3 eggs (a good source of high biological value protein and good fats), black beans (high in fiber), avocado (another source of good fat and about 20 essential nutrients), spinach (a great source of vitamin A), and Healthy Grain Flatout flatbread (providing the good omega 3 fats and fiber).  And there’s many more nutrients, too.  To top it off, the breakfast burrito even has some fruit, a pluot, on the side.  A pluot is a cross between a plum and apricot.  For dessert, I had some heart-healthy dark chocolate and organic skim milk.  I’m giving myself the gold star for this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pluot
  • 1 Tbsp Publix canola oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 large slice sweet onion
  • 1 Flatout flatbread multi-grain with flax
  • 1 cup Publix spinach
  • 1/3 cup Publix canned black beans
  • PAM no-stick cooking spray
  • 2 4 grain omega 3 large eggs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/4 cup Publix Deli all natural mild salsa

Directions:

  1. Wash pluot.  Cut in half and twist.  Remove pit.  Cut each half into fourths.  Set aside on the plate.
  2. Wash and dice green pepper and onion.  Heat a saute pan on medium heat.  Add canola oil, green peppers, and onions.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until browned.  Remove from heat and pour onto Flatout wrap.  In the same pan, cook spinach until wilted.  Add to wrap.
  3. Heat beans in the microwave for 3 minutes on high.  Drain well.
  4. Meanwhile, wash green onion and outside of avocado.  Slice green onion and cut avocado into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Spray PAM on a pan.  Crack eggs into the pan.  Stir to scramble.  Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until cooked.  Add salt and pepper.
  6. Assemble burrito by adding the following to the green pepper, onion, and spinach: black beans, green onion, avocado, eggs, and salsa.  Serves: 1.  Enjoy!

I loved it and can’t wait to make it again!  Next time I am going to drain the beans really well- mine got a little watery.

  • Nutrition note:  I guess I got excited and talked about the nutrition in the beginning.  I’ll add that the yolk of the egg contains vitamin D and other important nutrients such as choline and biotin. 
 

Key Lime Pie Yogurt with Bunny Graham Cookies August 20, 2010

Key Lime Pie Yogurt with Bunny Graham Cookies

Jamie says:  Aren’t these little bunnys adorable?  This snack is so quick and tasty.  It tastes just like key lime pie- crust and all.

Key Lime Pie Yogurt with Bunny Graham Cookies

Ingredients:

  • one 4 oz Fiber One key lime pie nonfat yogurt
  • 30 Annie’s bunny grahams honey

Directions:

  1. Add bunny cookies to yogurt as you eat.  Serves: 1.  Enjoy!

It’s so simple, yet so tasty.  It’s like having a healthy mini key lime pie without the cooking.

  • Nutrition note:  Annie’s bunny grahams make a great substitute for graham crackers because they have only unsaturated fat, no trans fats, no high fructorse corn syrup, whole grains, and 20% of your calcium needs. 
 

Garlic Teriyaki Pork Burgers with Corn August 18, 2010

Garlic Teriyaki Pork Burgers with Corn

Jamie says:  SW Rec, the big gym on campus, re-opened today.  There were so many renovations done that I did not even recognize the place!  I was in awe.  There are so many things to do.  For example, there’s this wall you can throw medicine balls against, an indoor track, and a machine that you sway side to side on like you are skiing… so much fun, so little time.  I got a great workout trying out all the new equipment.  And to top off the great workout, I made this delicious dinner. 

Garlic Teriyaki Pork Burgers with Feta

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 lb Publix ground lean pork
  • 3 Tbsp Newman’s Own All Natural marinade teriyaki
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup Publix feta reduced fat crumbled cheese
  • 1 Tbsp McCormick basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Publix parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp McCormick garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Penzeys Spices ginger
  • 1 carton Publix mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp Smart Balance original with flax light buttery spread
  • 1/4 cup Beringer Founders’ Estate California Cabernet Sauvignon (red wine)
  • 1 tsp Spice Islands thyme
  • 4 slices Arnold 100% whole wheat bread
  • 2 Tbsp Gulden’s spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup Publix GreenWise organic tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup Publix spinach
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 ears corn on the cob
  • 1/4 tsp Alessi coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Pour teriyaki on ground pork; mix in. Mince garlic and add to pork along with feta, basil, parsley, garlic salt, pepper, and ginger.  Mix together and form 2 burgers.  Cook on the George Forman grill for about 7 minutes or until done.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a saute pan on medium heat.  Melt butter in pan, and add mushrooms.  Mix and then add wine and thyme. 
  3. Peel husks off of corn.  Rinse corn under cool water and wrap in a wet paper towel.  Microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. 
  4. Wash green onion and tomato and slice.  Toast bread.
  5. Assemble burger: spread ketchup on one side of the bread; then add green onions and tomato; spread mustard on other side of bread and add spinach.  Top with mushrooms and pork burger.  Put sandwich together.  Spread butter on corn and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serves: 2.  Enjoy!

This has to be one of the best pork burgers I’ve made!  I love the bold flavor of the teriyaki and the chunks of feta cheese.

  • Nutrition note:  Look for lean cuts of meat, such as pork.  They have less total fat and saturated fat (the type you want to limit). 
 

Turkey Pastrami Feta Crunch Sandwich August 17, 2010

Turkey Pastrami Feta Crunch Sandwich

 Jamie says:  Do you like my plate?  I made it in 1993.  Kathryn and I used to decorate plates every year when we were younger through my Mom’s junior women’s club.  We would get this circular piece of paper that reminded me of tracing paper, and then we would use markers to color it.  A month or so later, we would get it back and it would be hardened; we used to eat lunches off them.  We now have a stash of these plates, some of which I recently brought up to college.  I can’t believe it, but I’m going to be starting my 6th year of school here next week.  Boy how time flies…    

Turkey Pastrami Feta Crunch Sandwich Ingredients: 

  • 2 slices Arnold 100% whole wheat bread
  • 1 Tbsp inglehoffer honey mustard
  • 1/8 lb Boar’s Head pastrami seasoned turkey
  • 2 thin slices sweet onion
  • 4 thin slices vine-ripened tomato
  • dash sea salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp fresh basil
  • 1/4 c Publix spinach
  • 1/4 c Publix feta reduced fat crumbled cheese
  • PAM original no-stick cooking spray
  • 10 Terra exotic harvest sweet onion exotic vegetable chips
  • 7 slices cucumber
  • 3 Tbsp Athenos roasted garlic hummus

Directions: 

  1. Pre-heat George Forman grill.  Spread honey mustard on both sides of bread.  Add meat to bread.
  2. Thinly slice onion.  Add onion to top of meat.  Wash tomato and thinly slice.  Add salt, pepper, and basil to tomato and add to sandwich.  Add spinach then feta to sandwich and put the other slice of bread on top. 
  3. Spray grill with PAM.  Toast sandwich in the grill for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, wash and slice cucumber and scoop hummus onto plate.  When sandwich is done cooking, remove from heat and add chips to sandwich.  Serves: 1.  Enjoy!

I love the combination of flavors from the feta cheese, veggie chips, and honey mustard!  The chips added a nice crunch, too.    

  • Nutrition note:  Try substituting vegetable chips for potato chips.  Terra exotic harvest sweet onion vegetable chips contain carrots, blue potatoes, and kabocha squash.  A serving of these chips contains about 12% of your fiber and 25% of your vitamin A needs for the day.
 

Grape Apple Tuna Salad with Crispy Carrots August 10, 2010

Grape Apple Tuna Salad with Crispy Carrots

Jamie says:  The great mayonnaise debate.  This was one of the lunch time conversations at the house.  Does mayonnaise deserve its bad rep?  Is it as evil as it’s made out to be?  What about mayonnaise made with extra virgin olive oil?  To help solve this minor mystery, we pulled out two containers of mayo- Hellmann’s mayonnaise dressing with extra virgin olive oil and Hellmann’s real mayonnaise- and compared labels.  My opinion?  I wouldn’t write off mayo as an evil condiment.  Everything can fit into a healthy diet.  But the problem arrises when we don’t realize we’re adding ~100 additional calories to our sandwiches, etc everyday.  Of the two choices, the mayo with extra virgin olive oil is a better choice nutritionally (see nutrition note below).  And it tastes equally as good, too.

Grape Apple Tuna Salad with Crispy Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Publix matchstick carrots
  • 1 Tbsp Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Publix romaine hearts
  • 1/4 cup Treasure Cave gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 can StarKist gourmet choice solid white albacore tuna fillet in water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Hellmann’s mayonnaise dressing with extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 grapes
  • 1/2 Fuji apple
  • 1 slice onion

Directions:

  1. In a small pan, heat olive oil.  Add carrots, salt, and pepper.  Cook until slightly brown.
  2. Wash lettuce and shred by cutting into thin strips. 
  3. Drain tuna and add mayonnaise.  Wash grapes and apple.  Cut grapes in half and dice onion and apple; add to tuna.
  4. Put salad in a bowl and top with gorgonzola, carrots, and tuna salad.  Serves: 1.  Enjoy!

I enjoyed the combination of the fruit with the tuna and mayonnaise for a change.  The bold taste of the gorgonzola paired well with the apples, too.

  • Nutrition note: Compared to 1 Tbsp of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise (90 calories, 10 g fat, 1.5 g saturate fat), Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Dressing with Extra Virgin Olive Oil has 40 fewer calories, 1/2 the fat, and 1/3 the saturated fat.