Showing posts with label diet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diet. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Writer's Snack: No-Guilt Mini Pizzas from Cleo Coyle


   

Writing novels for a living appears to be a perfectly safe occupation. As my fellow authors know, however, the writing life comes with one major hazard. No, we don't dodge flying bullets or psychopathic killers (though our characters may). What we combat every day is a more sinister villain: Excess Calorie Man. He lurks behind every extra handful of peanuts, chunk of cheese, or silver of pie.

As you can imagine, it’s even worse for a culinary mystery writer. Testing recipes, especially delicious ones like the chocolates in Murder by Mocha or firehouse recipes in Roast Mortem, gives Excess Calorie Man free reign. Well, today I’m going to show you one way this writer reigns him in...

May you eat with joy
and in good health!

~ Cleo



Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.
Cleo Coyle's
No-Guilt
Mini Pizzas

Journalist Mark Bittman became famous with his 101 foodie idea articles. I swear my Italian-born mother and aunt could have written one on 101 things to do with squash. 

As a kid, I took all my pop's homegrown veggies for granted. As an adult, I miss them dearly. This recipe makes good use of zucchini, especially baby ones at the start of summer. It makes a fun, quick snack or lunch. It's kid-friendly, too; my mom and aunt used to make it for me as a little girl. 

Of course, my family used homemade red sauce. And if you'd like to make your own meatless Italian spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes, click here for that recipe (or click the link below to download a free PDF of that recipe).


http://coffeehousemystery.com/userfiles/file/Cleo-Coyle-Fresh-Tomato-Sauce.pdf
Click here to download a free PDF of
Cleo's homemade, meatless Italian
spaghetti sauce recipe from
fresh tomatoes.

Today, I took a shortcut in my recipe and used jarred pizza sauce. The brand I picked up was quite tasty, and I can recommend it as a time saver.


Ingredients:

- Small to medium zucchini 

- Pizza sauce (jarred or homemade)

- Mozzarella, shredded (whole milk or part-skim)

- Toppings (see note*)

*Note: Use your favorite pizza toppings from veggies to meat, just be sure any meat is already cooked. Topping suggestions: sauteed, chopped mushrooms; sliced olives; chopped peppers; regular, turkey, or
meatless pepperoni or cooked and
crumbled sausage, etc.

Directions: (1) Cut the zucchini into slices of 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. You want the slices thin enough to cook fast under the broiler but thick enough to hold their shapes for handling after toppings are added. Place the slices on a sheet pan. 

Tip: for easy cleanup, line the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. 

(2) Spoon pizza sauce onto each slice. To save time, use jarred. (If you need a recommendation, I like the Ragu Homemade Style Pizza Sauce, "100% Natural.") Sprinkle on your shredded mozzarella and toppings. As noted, because these pizzas are finished in a flash, make sure your meat toppings are already cooked. If using mushrooms or peppers, I would chop them finely and saute them in a bit of olive oil before adding. 

(3) Place the pan of mini pizzas under your broiler for 1 to 3 minutes--time will depend on the intensity of your oven's broiler. No matter what, keep a close eye on these because they cook very quickly and the cheese can burn fast. Remove and...eat with (guiltless) joy!

F o o d i e 
P h o t o s










To download a free PDF of this
recipe that you can print, save
or share,
click here.





Eat and Drink

with Joy!


~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.





To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 









The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


GET A FREE
TITLE CHECKLIST

(with mini plot summaries)
by 
clicking here.





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Simply write an e-mail that says
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Every week, I give away a package of
premium coffee to a subscriber.

Good luck!



* * * 

Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly



See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.



*** 



Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries

Free Title Checklist,
with mini plot summaries,


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Black Bean Brownies: No flour, No butter, Just Chocolate Fudgy Goodness by Cleo Coyle




These chocolate brownies nearly qualify as magic. There is no white flour in the recipe. The structure comes from nutritious black beans, which add fiber and protein, but you won't taste the beans. You'll taste only the delicious fudgy chocolate. My previous recipe for Black Bean Brownies started with a brownie mix (to see that recipe, click here). Today's "from scratch" version is still easy, yet it's healthier and tastier. 


Quick Tips

The batter for these brownies can be whizzed up in a food processor or a blender/processor. That's what you see in my photos, an Oster Fusion blender. I'm not sure a regular blender would be able to handle this, but if you have a very powerful blender, it might work. Either way, here are my quick tips for getting the best out of this recipe...

(1) The better quality your chocolate, the better your brownies. 

(2) Chopped, block chocolate is the way to go. Chocolate chips just won't give you the same brownie, which is why I strongly suggest not attempting to make this recipe with chocolate chips. You can, however, tart the brownies up by stirring in chips and/or toasted, chopped nuts just before baking.

(3) Be careful when melting the chocolate. Once chocolate is burned, there's no saving it, and the burned taste will be in your brownies. So be sure to follow the directions in the recipe.


(4) As for the black beans, they should be "low sodium" (or no salt), and be sure you rinse the beans well before draining. I suggest soaking them for a minute in cold water and then draining well, just to be sure they're cleaned and ready for processing. 

(5) Finally, don't over-bake the brownies. I think all brownie recipes are better if they're slightly under-baked. This one is no exception. 



Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


My Coffeehouse Mystery readers may recognize these brownies from A Brew to a Kill. They're a bonus recipe from the book. 

To view the book's recipe section, click here.  




To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here



Makes one 9x9-inch square pan of brownies 

Ingredients:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (do not use chips)

2 tablespoons canola oil (or vegetable or corn oil) 


¼ cup brewed coffee or espresso 

   (deepens chocolate flavor, you won’t taste it)

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans
   (low sodium or no salt),
rinsed, soaked, drained 

4 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

½ cup white, granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon table salt or finely ground sea salt 
   
     (if using coarse salt, increase this amount to ¼ teaspoon) 


1 teaspoon baking powder


Optional additions:

½ cup toasted and chopped nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips


DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 – Prep oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Create a sling with parchment paper (see my photo) and lightly coat the paper and sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Step 2 - Melt the chocolate: Place the chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl. Pour the canola oil into the mixture. IMPORTANT: Chocolate burns very easily and once that scorched taste is in your chocolate, your brownies are ruined. To prevent burning, heat the oil and chocolate in 20- to 30-second increments in your microwave. Stir between each session until everything is melted and smooth. Once melted, set aside. (I like to place the bowl on top of my pre-heating oven to keep the chocolate warm.) 






Step 3 – Prep the beans: Drain the canned beans, place them in a bowl and cover them with water. Allow them to soak for a minute, then drain them well. 

Step 4 – Make the batter: Combine the beans, coffee, and eggs in a food processor or blender/processor (the machine in my photos is an Oster Fusion, a cross between a processor and blender and not a regular blender). Process until smooth. The mixture will look like a chocolate milk shake. Add the brown and white sugars, vanilla extract, salt, and baking powder. Finally add the melted chocolate and mix well until smooth. (If adding optional chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips, stir them in now with a large spoon.)

Step 5 – Bake: Pour the batter into your prepared 9x9-inch square pan and bake for around 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven. I’m of the opinion that you should not over-bake brownies, including these. When the top surface is set (spongy but firm to the touch and no longer liquid) and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with no wet batter clinging to it, the brownies are ready. Allow the hot pan to cool for a few minutes, then run a knife on the un-papered edges to loosen any sticky bits and gently lift the parchment paper handles, transferring the brownie cake to a wire rack. Allow the brownies to cool a bit (and set) before cutting into large or small squares and…












Eat with joy!


~ Cleo Coyle 

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



Friend me on facebook here
Follow me on twitter here.
Visit my online coffeehouse here.



To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 








The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.  

 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.