Monthly Archives: July 2013

Eliteam Healthy Go-Go Donuts

Baked-donutsAnd now for another episode of Positive Snacks, courtesy of Doug Lewis and the Eliteam campers. Doug is in the midst of his fourth eliteam session of the summer, and he’s kept the kids on the go, made them sweat a whole lot and taught them a ton about sports psychology, sports physiology and sports nutrition. Read more about Doug, Eliteam and Positive Snacks here, or just keep reading for another great recipe that will get kids psyched to be in the kitchen. And, ahem kiddos, the eliteam cooking experience includes clean-up as well.

Here’s what Doug says about his recent donut making experience:

“This is a great recipe that is healthy with the squash and pumpkin puree—PLUS they are donuts! They’re packed full of good nutrients and baked, not fried, which makes them healthier. Also, it requires an egg white and separating an egg is always a fun activity to try with the kids.

We invested a few dollars in the donut pans. Be sure not to overfill them before baking or else the donuts will become muffins with holes in the bottoms. We made 120 donuts for the 50 kids and they were gone in seconds!!!”
Here is the recipe, which came from “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld

Go-Go Donuts (Full disclosure: I added the Go-Go, because these kids never, ever stop.)

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
½ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup sweet potato puree
½ cup nonfat (skim) milk, or lowfat (1%) buttermilk
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a doughnut mold or 12 cup mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, pumpkin and sweet potato purees, milk, egg white, margarine, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spice, and mix until completely incorporated.

Pour the batter into a gallon-sized plastic bag ( or pastry bag if you have one) and cut the bottom tip off of one side of the bag. Squeeze the batter through, into the donut mold. Bake until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted, 20-25 minutes. Turn the doughnuts out onto a rack to cool. When cool, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

donut-batter boys-mixing-donuts

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Raw Kale Confetti Salad

massaged-kale-salad

I always thought kale had to be cooked to taste good. What I learned with this salad is – not so much! This raw kale salad is perfect in the summer when you don’t want to turn on the stove. I brought this salad to the last four parties I’ve gone to. It is so easy to make – just raw kale with olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice and ginger massaged into the vegetables to give great flavor. You can use any vegetables on hand. In this version I used carrots, tomatoes, and red onion. This salad is a modified version of a salad in Terry Walter’s Clean Start Cookbook. Her recipes are amazing – click here to check out her website and recipes.

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
3 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 Tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp lime juice

Method

Remove stalks from kale and chop leaves into small pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and, using your fingers, massage oil into kale leaves. Sprinkle with salt and ginger, add avocado and massage again. Add other vegetables and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with lemon and lime juice. Add salt and massage one last time to combine. Yum!

Bring It!

You can just put in a bowl and cover with plastic or foil. Remember to bring salad tongs!

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Spicy, Chunky Peanut Dip for the Fair

Oxen at Hanover Center Fair

A couple of locals

The Hanover Center Fair is the first stop on the ox pulling circuit and a slice of country life. Book sale, fair food, bouncy house, kids games, clowns, old cars, crafters, live music, cotton candy, parade, snowcones–it’s got it all. It also happens to be in our front yard, and so it’s a natural way to open patio season with a bang. This dip came from the first page of an appetizer book I bought one year at the fair in the church book sale. It’s so darned good I never bothered to get past page 1. It’s great as a dip with fresh or roasted veggies. And it’s E…Z! Leaving you more time to enjoy the fair and some frosty summer cheer!

Ingredients

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp white or red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp flavorless cooking oil
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Asian chile sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
2 Tbsp finely minced green onion

Method

In a small bowl combine ingredients until well blended. If necessary thin with a few tsp cold water. Store in refrigerator. Will keep for up to one week in fridge.

Friday night fair food

Friday night fair food

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Yoga Cookies

Yoga Cookies

These cookies came from my sister Amy who asked me to bring dessert to a gathering of primarily yoga instructors.  As you can imagine, yoga instructors have a focus on healthy food that cannot be deterred. I knew immediately that bringing Whoopie Pies or Double Chocolate Mousse Cake were out of the question. And so I turned to my sister, Yogi that she is, and asked for help. She sent me the recipe below which comes from her friend Anne Novak, an accomplished Kundalini yoga instructor, who lives and practices in northwestern Connecticut.  For a link to other recipes from Anne click here.

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar or honey (use brown sugar to make these vegan)
2 cups oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, raisins, whatever you have on hand)
1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, again whatever strikes your fancy at the time)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded cocount (or as Edie has coined it, “vegan bacon”) (optional)
2 cups dark chocolate (optional)
2 tsp each cinnamon and ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup oil (sunflower or any good quality vegetable oil will do)
1 cup soymilk, almond milk, coconut milk, or regular milk

Method

Mix dry ingredients. If using honey, mix oil and honey together, then mix with dry ingredients.
Mix well, then add whatever milk product you’ve selected. Allow batter to sit for 10 mins.

Form 2 inch round balls on oiled cookie sheet (or use parchment paper). NOTE: They will be sort of runny before you bake but this is okay! Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Do a couple Downward Dogs while they bake.

Bring It!

You can put these in a fancy little bag with a bow or put in a cookie tin to deliver.  And you don’t have to be a Yogi to enjoy. These are great with or without regular yoga practice.  Namaste!

 

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Summahhhhhh! Brilliant Frozen Daquiris

Freezer-daquiri-cup

Sandy’s Daquiris

“With a batch of these, and a peanut butter pie in your freezer you’re ready for anything.” That’s Sandy wisdom, and around here we love Sandy. First we love her for bringing her daughter, the fabulous Suzi, into the world. Before Suzi this neighborhood was a lot more like the Wizard of Oz before the Yellow Brick Road scene. Now, it is full on Technicolor. Anyway, we also love Sandy for bringing freezer daquiris into our lives. It is not unusual in our hamlet to see frozen Tupperware vats getting walked from house to house in the summer, the surplus from one party inspiring the next. As Sandy’s (also fabulous) son-in-law says, “The great thing is that it’s always just ready in the freezer. So, you know, at 2 or so on a Sunday after you’ve cut the lawn…” You might want to nab him for any serious chores before he cuts the grass.

This is Sandy’s basic recipe, with some freelance suggestions.

Ingredients

2 cups white rum (or white firewater of choice)
24 oz. Squirt (Fresca for New Englanders)
1 12-oz can frozen pink lemonade or limeade (one of each if making a double batch)
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups pineapple juice (or any combo of juices…half ruby red grapefruit makes it darned pretty)

Method

Mix together and freeze in a big rectangular Tupperware stirring every 2 hours. (Count on at least 10 hours and up to a day, depending on the container.  I do not bother stirring it until just before serving.) Depending on the party you can use 3 cups rum*, and try adding stuff such as grapefruit juice.

*This is the only place I take issue with Sandy. I’d say the party may depend on the three cups of rum. Go with it!)

Bring It!

Now, here’s the brilliant part. Use this frozen block of daquiris as ice and internal structure when packing a cooler for the lake/cabin/weekend escape. At your destination chunk it up with a serving spoon or simply let it thaw into a pitcher of perfect drinkable slurpees. Lifechanging I tell you. And who do you think is always welcome back at that lakehouse? You got it.

Brilliant for cooler packing, but also as a great way to store leftover cocktails that you can then revisit/re-serve at will. (See fabulous son-in-law note above)

Freezer-daquiri-block

Freezer-daquiri-breakup

 

Summahhhhhhhhhh!

Summahhhhhhhhhh!

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Simply Sue’s Granola

granola-with-berries-small

I have baked granola from what seems like the beginning of time. It is easy to make and even easier to give away. Everyone loves when I show up with a bag or two. My sister even hides it from the rest of her family so as to get the whole bag for herself (you have to know my sister, the most self-less person on the planet except when it comes to my granola). The thing I like most is you can add whatever you like or whatever you have on hand that day. I often add seeds – some combination of flax, pumpkin, or sesame seeds. This granola is healthy, crunchy, sweet but not too sweet, and so yummy. Make it in huge batches – you won’t be sorry!

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts of your choice
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt (key ingredient)
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup assorted dried fruit

Method

Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Stir honey and oil together with vanilla in a separate bowl. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on baking sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes. Take out of oven and stir a few times while it is cooling so it doesn’t stick together. Once cool, mix in fruit.

Ready to go in the oven, yum....

Ready to go in the oven, yum….

Toasted coconut (vegan bacon)

Toasted coconut (vegan bacon)

Bring It!

To transport, zip lock bag works great. If you want to get fancy, make a label and stick it on the front of the bag. You can also package it in mason jars with a ribbon and everyone will love it.

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Dutch Oven Enchiladas

Dutch-Oven-With-Flowers

You can really eat anything when you are camping as long as you don’t have to carry it in a backpack (wait until I get to my dehydrated chicken stew for what to carry in a backpack!).  When we camp, we bring our Dutch Oven (DO) everywhere we go – on raft trips, back country ski trips, and camping from our car.  I cook all sorts of dinners, cakes, breads, and desserts in it. I brown meat, sauté sausage and bacon, and fry fish in it.  I keep pancakes, garlic bread, and anything else warm in it.  The DO is used at ninety percent of my meals and I never stop finding new ways to use it.  And, the bonus, you just wipe it out to clean it (that is my favorite part!).  Below is a recipe for DO enchiladas, but remember, anything is possible. Just think of it as an oven in the woods!

Ingredients

2 cans enchilada sauce
6 tortillas
1 bag rice and beans
1 can black olives
1 bag shredded jack or cheddar cheese

Method

Cook rice and beans according to package.
Wipe inside of DO with oil.
Place a light coating of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the DO.
Place one tortilla in the bottom of the DO.  Top with rice and beans, olives, and cheese. Top with enchilada sauce, repeat process until DO is full.
Cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (read your DO instructions to know how to cook at 350 – I generally use 10 coals on bottom and 12 on top).
Let cool for 5 mins, cut, serve

Top with avocado and cilantro if available at Chez Camp Site.

Pre-cooked enchiladas

Pre-cooked enchiladasch

Dutch Oven at 350 degrees

Dutch Oven at 350 degrees

Bring It!

Normally I would cook the rice and beans from scratch and not buy the prepackaged cheese, but when camping, you want to make it as easy as possible so pre-packaged/shredded is the way to go.  Also, there are plenty of good recipes for enchilada sauce, but again, canned works great when camping.

 

 

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Eliteam Banana Yogurt Bread

Good friends, good food.

Good friends, good food.

Hot from the oven. Mmmm mmm good!

Hot from the oven. Mmmm mmm good!

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe comes with a big shout out to Doug and Kelley Lewis who every summer for the past 24 years have psyched up the sportiest of sporty youths at their Eliteam training camps in Vermont (and now Park City). Doug is a two-time Olympic Downhill Racer and World Champ bronze medalist, so he’s got the creds. But he’s also got charisma, boundless energy, an infectious positive attitude and an equally impressively awesome wife Kelley who makes it all happen.

The camp challenges kids with ropes courses in the woods, climbing walls, agility and obstacle courses, mountain biking, yoga and team building. But Eliteam goes well beyond mere sweat and smiles. What gives Eliteam serious chops is its goal to develop healthy, confident, “complete” athletes by incorporating sports psychology, sports physiology and sports nutrition into the mix.

All this means that Doug could be the Patron Saint of Positive Snacks, a concept inspired by Positive Tracks  that we are all about. Here’s what he says on the topic: “As athletes, what they get out of their bodies on the race hill or on the field of play depends on what they put into their bodies. Nutrition is critical to performance. At ELITEAM we teach them the foundations of good nutrition so they are better informed when shopping, cooking and eating before training and competition. It would be such a waste of time to train so hard for an entire year and then sabotage your race day with a poorly planned breakfast.”

These photos from a recent camp session show athletes taking on the kitchen to make Yogurt Banana Bread, which is healthy and, as you can tell from the pictures,  fun to make. “The campers get a lot of pride eating what they baked,” says Kelley. “Plus it tastes soooooooo good!”

Campers-in-the-mix

FUN! It’s all part of the mix.

Camper-baker-boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I
ngredients

3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp wheat germ (optional)
1 Tbsp wheat bran or oat bran (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed banana (approx. 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray one 5×9 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, eggs, applesauce and vanilla.

Add all dry ingredients, then mashed bananas, yogurt, chocolate chips & nuts. Mix well and pout into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour. Let cool, if you can. As Kelley reminds us this bread, like most, is best eaten right out of the oven when it is warm.  Enjoy!

Makes 1 large loaf.

 PS: Check out the Eliteamers at last year’s CHaD Hero Half event last fall. Teamshot

Positive Tracks  doubled their fundraising efforts for CHaD (Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth) and everyone got the chance to dress up in capes and work out. Want a piece of that? Then join them this October!

 

 

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Pickled Fig, Creamy Cheese and Crunchy Nut Crostini

The happy figs at comfycooks.com

The happy figs at comfycooks.com

 

Inspired by Bon Appetit, but with much artistic license for slackers who will not likely track down Robiola cheese and will not make a special trip for pistachios. See Bruschetta Deconstructed for in-depth coverage on the topic.

Ingredients

12 slices ciabatta bread (or the toasts here)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
6 dried figs (or twice that depending on the size of fig.)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp pistachios, toasted and shelled (or almonds, walnuts or filberts)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Robiola cheese (any soft brie-like cheese, or even cream cheese will work)

Method

Combine red wine vinegar, sugar, and dried figs with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit until figs soften, about 30 minutes.
Halve figs lengthwise if small. Slice larger figs into several flat pieces.
Finely crush pistachios and combine with extra-virgin olive oil.
Grill bread slices (or use these toasts).
Smear room-temperature Robiola cheese onto warm toasts. Top with halved figs. Drizzle with pistachios and oil.

Bring it!

Store and transport figs and nuts in their own to-go containers, bring toasts in a ziploc bag and bring cheese in its original package. To make prep very easy pre-slice figs and return them to their liquid so they can steep in comfort.

The fig and nut combo is delish melted with sharp cheddar in quesadillas or on pizzas as an appetizer.

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Bacon Wrapped Dates

bacon-wrapped-dates

Sue describes herself as “almost vegetarian” so she will not be looking at this post. I suggest others of the veggie persuasion do the same. Now, for the rest of you, listen up, because we are talking sweet, chewy, salty, crispy and bacony all in one bite. You need to know this recipe. In fact when my son heard I was starting a food blog the first thing he said was, “You HAVE to put those bacon wrapped thingies in there.” So here they are.

Ingredients

1 lb bacon (not thick cut)
3/4 lb or so pitted dates. I used Deglet because that is what is readily available (read cheapest).
**Optional: Almonds or chunks of softish cheese

The amounts here vary on the size of the dates. Wrapping anything in bacon is not a perfect science. Roll with it.

Method

With your handy kitchen shears, cut the entire slab of sliced bacon into thirds crosswise.

Wrap-ready bacon

Wrap-ready bacon

 

bacon and dates on baking pan

 

Wrap each date in one piece of bacon and place it seamside down on a baking sheet. Toothpicks make this process neat and easy but are not necessary.*

Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until its all you can do to not reach in and grab one off the pan. Nobody but nobody likes raw bacon, but these will crisp up a bit as they sit, so don’t overdo it.

Yield: It varies depending on the bacon you use, but 1 lb of Mackenzie bacon is 16 slices, times 3, which with my math makes 48 nuggets of bacony bliss.

Bring it!

Pre cook them on the baking sheet, then transfer to an oven safe serving dish, and cover with foil. If it’s a long drive pop them into a warm over for a few minutes at your destination. These will even lure kids off the trampoline.

*Make ahead: You can knock these off up to this point first thing in the morning. Cover the pan in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.

**Ramp it up: If you’re feeling nutty, stuff a smidge of cheese or an almond in the vacated pit space of each date before wrapping them. Honestly, dealing with cheese is a bit of a pain, and sometimes involves slicing the date, so while yummy I opt for the almond variation if anything. Those babies nestle right into the date like they’re heading into a mummy bag. If you really want to escalate this brush the outsides with maple syrup before baking.

But trust me, you won’t get complaints from the simple two-ingredient version.

 

 

 

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