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the haas machine: February 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oat Drops

I made these last week & was pleasantly surprised. They tasted a bit like banana bread, as they have mashed bananas in them in lieu of sugar. I also put chocolate chips in them, which isn't sugar free, but as you remember, I said chocolate is not off limits :) Plus, neither one of us like dried fruit.
Oat Drops
1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes (I used unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup of almond meal (I used whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped (I used walnuts)
1 cup dried fruit (I used chocolate chips...)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil (I used apple sauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts & coconut flakes. Stir in allspice & cinnamon. Add dried fruit & stir until well & evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick together in big batches. In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana & vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients & stir until well combined. Roll into balls. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Recipe taken from blueberrygirlinoz.blogspot.com

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Edamame, Carrot, & Red Pepper Lo Mein with Peanut Sauce

This meal happened by mistake. We were planning to have this for dinner, but I forgot to buy a couple essential ingredients, so we tried this instead. Peanut sauce is a favorite in our home, so there was no suffering going on while eating this, that's for sure! It's really quite easy & inexpensive to make, so we would rather make it than buy it any day.
Edamame, Carrot, Red Pepper Lo Mein with Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter (optional)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
red pepper
spaghetti noodles

For the sauce, stir together the honey, peanut butters, soy sauce, rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, & red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Cook noodles as directed. Saute edamame, carrots, & red pepper, & mix all together. We used a wok to make it a bit easier.

Recipe taken from allrecipes.com

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

Yes folks, I was feeling a bit experimental the other day. See, we're going through this sugar detox & I've been finding all kinds of crazy recipes & that reminded me that my past boss once made these brownies that had black beans in them. Yep, black beans. So I thought I would give them a whirl & I know you're not going to believe me, but they were incredible! There is no flour in these brownies, just scrumptious black beans, so there's also added protein. Use dark chocolate instead of milk & they're almost GOOD for you :) John even mostly approved.

I also found that, contrary to "normal" brownies, these are best after they have cooled & sat in the refrigerator over night. They become so moist & dense & fudgey- like. Mmm. Eat your heart out. (Oh, & even though I said we're going through a sugar detox, we did use white sugar in this recipe... we're just using up what we have & then it's history!)

Black Bean Brownies
1 (15.5 oz.) can reduced sodium black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8″ baking dish with baking or cooking spray. Place black beans through vanilla/instant coffee in food processor or blender. Pulse thoroughly until smooth & well combined. Pour batter in baking dish. Top with nuts & chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is dry & edges begin to pull away from the baking dish. Cool completely before cutting. I actually didn't add coffee or walnuts, but next time I'll definitely try it!

Recipe taken from amybites.com


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bye-bye white sugar

That's right- we are in for quite the ride! We (I, with John's support) have decided that we are going to remove as much processed white sugar from our diet as much as possible. While we aren't going through the cupboards like mad, throwing out everything that has sugar in it (which is oddly, just about everything!) we are going to use up what we have & then it's adios to the (delicious) white stuff (addictive chemical).

While there are tons of substitutes for sugar, we are going to try & stick with local honey, 100% maple syrup, & taking advantage of other sweet things like bananas & applesauce in place of sugar because, really, like I'm going to give up baking?!

I have a few reasons for this craziness. First of all, it's all Ruby's fault. Seriously. I have especially been thinking about how I want her to grow up actually enjoying real foods that aren't processed & looking forward to fresh fruits & seasonal vegetables because she likes them. I don't want them to be a torture device. And although John & I enjoy our share of vegetables (kind of), we aren't really "fruit people," so we've got some expanding to do. I want to be a good role model for our daughter & if I'm not eating my fruits & veggies, she probably won't either.

There is this statement I cut out of an article from Clean Eating (a superb magazine, by the way) & I have it taped up on our cupboard. It says, "Like Mother, Like Child. The most important influence on toddlers' eating habits may well be what & how their mother eats, says researcher Mildred Horodynski from Michigan State University's College of Nursing. Her study of 400 women found that their children- aged one to three- were far less likely to consume vegetables & fruits if their mother avoided these essential foods. Plus, the study noted that when mothers viewed their kids as 'picky eaters,' there was also a decrease in the consumption of fruits & veggies on the part of the children."

It's pretty much common sense. Your kids will eat what you eat, but I need that reminder when I am rummaging through our cupboards when I'm bored, lonely, & occasionally hungry. I want Ruby to have a healthy relationship with food, filling her ever-growing belly with foods that can fuel her, not just fill her up or satisfy a craving. And I'm totally convinced that healthy foods can be delicious, so I don't think she'll be deprived by any means.

Another reason for giving up sugar is the simple fact that we're addicted, I don't like that, & I'd like us to be healthier. Having a history of migraines, I know how important it is to be really mindful of a healthy diet. I always, always find that when I suffer from a migraine, that I can trace it back to something I ate, which was usually highly processed. It's been amazing that I haven't had one migraine since giving birth & only had 2 when I was pregnant (so really, only 2 in about 14 months!) which compared to my 1 or 2 a week in college, is a vast improvement & I completely attribute that to my diet.

There isn't any nutritional value to sugar. And I don't want any artificial sweeteners in our diets, either (ew!) But the emotional "value" is what gets me, so we'll see how this goes. I'm not being completely crazy, though, because I won't give up chocolate. Ever. But we are committing to eat real chocolate, which isn't really a sacrifice because it's sooo much better than a kitkat anyway.

On top of all this, we're trying to implement more clean/raw foods in our diet & focus more on getting whole grains in, which I enjoy, so that shouldn't be as hard. We welcome your successful whole grain & vegetable sides recipes, though! Here are two sites that I've been reading a lot lately:

In other news, Ruby is amazing... rolling over consistently, talking like a wild woman, melting our hearts any chance she can. We are some pretty lucky parents!
 Afternoon snuggles with mama
 Rolling around on the ground with Hartley
 She loves Hartley
 And her other puppy... the bench Uncle Aaron built for her!
 Mmm! Squash, avocado, sweet potato, chicken, carrots, peas.
 Distracted by her monkey during diaper changing
 Loving her new Sophie the giraffe teether
 Too much fun=sleepy girly
 John's latest creation for the Superbowl
 Go Patriots!
 Excited for story time at the library
Love this little lady!