Healthy Recipes

This month we have Sweet Potato Latkes, a slight twist on a Hanukkah tradition; a scrumptious Breakfast Strata, so you can wake up to a leisurely breakfast on Christmas morning; and a Trio of Mini Pound Cakes, that make terrific gifts, packaged in sets of three -- one each of poppy seed-lemon, chocolate chip, and vanilla. Happy Holidays!

Sweet Potato Latkes
Yield: 4 servings

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 to 2 tablespoons potato flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
Oil, cold-pressed for frying
Sour cream
Glazed Pecans*

  1. Parboil potatoes in boiling water until slightly tender but firm. Refrigerate potatoes until cold. Remove skin and shred into bowl.
  2. Add egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, potato flour and brown sugar. Mix until well blended.
  3. Shape latkes into 2-1/2" patties. Cook until brown on both sides in a 10" skillet coated with 2 tablespoons oil (adding oil as needed to remaining batches).
  4. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly.

*Glazed Pecans:
1 cup whole pecans
1 egg white
1/3 cup raw, unprocessed sugar
Spread pecans on baking sheet and brush with egg white. Sprinkle sugar on top and bake at 400F for
9 to 12 min. Cool.
Makes 1 cup.

To Serve: Pipe dollop of sour cream with pastry bag on top for each latke. Top with Glazed Pecans.

Breakfast Strata
Serves: 4-6

1 lb. sausage or any kind of preferred breakfast meat
1 onion, chopped
1 loaf egg or any other hearty whole-grained bread, sliced (day old is fine)
4 cups shredded organic cheese (any type of cheese or a mixture is fine)
5 eggs, beaten
3 cups milk of choice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Remove the meat from the casing into a skillet. Add onions and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the meat is lightly browned and the onions are softened. Set aside.
  3. Place a layer of bread slices into the prepared baking dish, cutting them so that they cover the bottom completely. Sprinkle with half of the cooked meat mixture, then one-third of the shredded cheese. Now add a second layer of bread slices, the remaining meat mixture, and another one-third of the shredded cheese. Finally, add a third layer of bread and all the remaining shredded cheese.
  4. In a bowl, beat together eggs, milk, mustard, salt and cayenne. Pour over the layers in the baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. When you're ready to cook, remove the plastic, arrange the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes, until puffed in the middle and a knife poked into it comes out clean.

Trio of Mini Pound Cakes

For batter
1 1/2 cups flour of choice
1 teaspoon natural baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted organic butter, softened
1 cup raw, unprocessed sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For mix-ins
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or carob chips
1 teaspoon flour of choice
1/2 very ripe banana

Prep mix-ins
In small bowl, combine poppy seeds and lemon juice. Set aside. In second small bowl, toss together chocolate chips and flour. Set aside. In third small bowl, gently mash banana. Set aside.

Make batter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9 (4-ounce) disposable mini loaf pans. (If using non-disposable pans, butter them, then line with parchment paper and butter the paper.)
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In large bowl, using electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat until mixture is light and somewhat fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well at low speed after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and beat at low speed until not quite combined, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 of milk and and beat at low speed until not quite combined, about 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk, adding in 2 more batches of each. Beat at low speed just until smooth.
  3. Pour 1/3 of batter into medium bowl. Gently stir in poppy seed-lemon juice mixture and lemon zest. Divide among 3 of prepared pans.
  4. Pour 1/2 of remaining batter into medium bowl. Gently fold in chocolate chip-flour mixture and mashed banana. Divide among 3 of prepared pans.
  5. Divide remaining vanilla batter among remaining 3 prepared pans.
  6. Place all pans on large baking sheet. Bake until cakes are puffed and firm to touch and tester inserted into the center comes out with few crumbs attached, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cook on rack.
  7. When cool, wrap each cake in plastic wrap, then parchment or wax paper. Label, stack in groups of 3 (1 of each kind), and tie together with ribbon or twine.

Posted December 2008 | Permanent Link

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