Monthly Archives: October 2009

CE Honey Wheat dinner rolls

Wow. This is by far my favorite clean eating recipe yet! These rolls were easy and quick, moist and hearty, flavorful, fluffy, and are still delicious 2 days after making them!


I decided to plan out the details of our Thanksgiving dinner while at work on Monday (yeah, I know…), and realized I needed a bready carb to sop up gravy and wrangle stray pieces of stuffing with. I found this Honey Yeast Roll recipe at Annie’s Eats that looked promising, but N had already requested honey wheat rolls. No problem- half wheat flour and half wheat pastry flour substituted for the bread flour, a little extra honey was added, and 1 T of water made these dinner rolls perfect.


Honey Wheat dinner rolls
Adapted from Annie’s Honey Yeast Rolls

2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast (1 envelope)
1 cup warm water (105°-115° F)
1/3 cup honey
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 T honey
steel-cut oats for sprinkling

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water.  Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well.  Add 2 cups of wheat flour and 1 cup of the wheat pastry flour to the bowl; mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.  With the mixer on low speed, add the remaining 1 cup wheat pastry flour and mix ON SLOW until it is nearly incorporated into the dough.  Switch to the dough hook and the tablespoon of water, and continue kneading on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk. I pre-heated my oven to 200, turned it off and opened the door to take the edge off the heat, and let my dough rise in the oven for about 1 hr. 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 30 seconds.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Punch the dough down and divide into 12-15 equal portions.  Shape each portion into a ball and place into a round, lightly greased baking dish, spacing evenly.  I could not get all of my dough in my round pan; I clumped the last 3 or 4 rolls together on a cookie sheet and they were great, just crustier on the outside edges. Cover and let rise in a warm place under the damp towel for another 15-20 minutes.  Mix together the melted butter and honey, and brush generously over the tops of the rolls.  Sprinkle steel-cut oats or sesame seeds over the top (as desired). Bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned. 


These are great after about 10-20 minutes out of the oven and while still warm. However, I’ve kept these on a plate covered with plastic wrap on my counter for the last 2 days, and they’re still delicious and pretty darn moist. I can imagine these would hold up in the freezer very well!

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Filed under Breads, Clean Eating

Sweet potatoes with pecan “crust”

Holy goodness. These are amazing. Even N, who is a self-professed yam loather, really liked these.  He requested I make them again with double the topping…. :)

*Note: these can also be made clean by using Sucanat instead of the dark brown sugar in the potatoes. I didn’t try subbing out the sugar in the topping, but I’ve also reduced the amount of butter and sugar in the topping, or omitted both and just sprinkled chopped pecans and a bit of cinnamon on top.

Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
Inspired by an Epicurious recipe

2-3 large yams, peeled and cut up
4 T. unsalted butter
1 egg
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. each ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and cayenne
Pinch of sea salt

4 T. unsalted butter
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans (I also mixed in 1 T. ground pecans as I had some in cupboard)
1 t. cinnamon

Boil sweet potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; mix with 4 T. butter in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the rest of the casserole ingredients; mix well, and spread in 8×8 greased dish. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly on the edges. Meanwhile, mix together the topping.

Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar together with a fork, and then add in chopped pecans. Drop by spoonfulls on top of hot sweet potatoes; spread across the top as the butter and sugar melt from the heat of the potatoes. Bake the dish for an additional 10-15 minutes at 400, until the top is browned.

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Filed under Fall, Side dishes, Vegetables

CE: Pumpkin oat muffins

I love that autumn goes on and on… I get to start celebrating fall food on September 1st, and can enjoy potatoes, apple dishes, everything pumpkin, and other comfort foods through Thanksgiving!

I had made pumpkin-black bean quesadillas (which I still need to post!) last week, and had a little less than half of a can of pumpkin in the fridge to use. I saw these on TPOX’s website last week, and felt the need to do something productive after sitting around all day. I made some adjustments, including halving the recipe, and would have liked these to be a bit sweeter. I think next time I’ll try 3 T of agave nectar, 1-2 T honey, and 1 T molasses.


Pumpkin Banana Oat Muffins
Adapted from Proceed With Caution
Makes 9 large muffins

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 T steel-cut oats
1 T wheat bran
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/3 of a 15 oz. pumpkin puree
3 T. unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 T agave nectar
1 T blackstrap molasses
2 T dark brown sugar

Sprinkled on top:
ground pecans
dark brown sugar


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Spray with cooking spray
-Combine flours, bran, oats, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
-Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl; beat until smooth.
-Gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined – use a spoon or spatula, not a whisk
-Spoon into prepared pans or tins; sprinkle with topping ingredients if desired.
-Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
-Let muffins sit for 5 minutes; remove from pans and let cool on a rack or plate.


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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Clean Eating

CE Chicken Salad (Waldorf-style)

I made this up last weekend, and it tasted good, so I’m posting it. No story, mediocre picture… but it’s a great sandwich filler! I took it on the road while I was traveling for work this week, and it was great-  it’s a yummy, no-fuss lunch to keep me filled up and going during a busy day! You can easily add shredded carrots or sliced grapes if that’s your thing. I really like eating this with a layer of spinach leaves on my hub’s homemade whole-wheat bread.

CE Chicken Salad

2-3 cooked chicken breasts: boiled, baked, or grilled! (I baked mine with a little EVOO and S&P)
2 apples
3 medium ribs of celery
2 cups plan low-fat yogurt
1/2 lemon
1/2 c. walnuts
1/3 c. onion
S&P, cayene (optional)

Cube or dice the chicken once it has cooled to whatever size you prefer for chicken salad.  Wash the apples and celery well; dice the apples and onion, slice the celery, and coarsely chop your walnuts. Toss the celery, onion, and walnuts with the chicken in a large mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl, squeeze out the juice of 1/2 lemon over the diced apple and toss. Add salt & pepper (I am quite liberal with these, but use to taste), cayene, and yogurt; stir with a broad spoon or spatula until creamy. Pour over the chicken mixture and stir to coat.

This can be stored in a tightly-sealed container for up to 5 days. The lemon juice did separate a bit , but a quick stir right before spreading it on bread worked just right.


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Filed under Chicken, Clean Eating, Main dishes

Car Bomb Cupcakes


Named after the [inflammatory] drink, the Irish Car Bomb. The drink consists of a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey and Bailey’s Irish Creme dropped (yes, the shot glass is literally DROPPED) into a half-pint of Guinness. This is one of the very last drinks I had on Spanish soil, and one of the first drinks I legally enjoyed in the U.S. Believe the rumors- it really DOES taste like grown-up chocolate milk, but better. :)

filled and waiting for frosting

I adapted this from Annie’s recipe, who adapted it from Smitten Kitchen. I did use Bailey’s in the ganache, but would love to do half whiskey and half Irish creme in the frosting and ganache both.

*Update: I did another half-batch with whiskey in the original ganache recipe, and it’s TOO rich for us. N and I both prefer the below ganache recipe, with Bailey’s.*

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
2/3 cup stout (Guinness)
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used yogurt)

For the Bailey’s ganache filling:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish cream
1/2 c. powdered sugar

For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
~2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the beer and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer out of pan to cool completely.

To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a glass bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate; whisk until smooth. The butter ought to be completed melted…. keep stirring! Add the butter and Bailey’s, and then the confectioner’s sugar, and stir until combined. Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped. (I used the freezer to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 5 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.)


Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcake. I used a small paring knife  and small melon-shaped 1/4 tsp. spoon to scoop out some middle, while ensuring cupcake remains on the bottom of the hole. Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag, and fill the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth. Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes. Eat and be amazed.


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Filed under Desserts

(A few) Pictures from Home


I’m sitting in a cheap hotel room 180 miles from home, pretending to get some work done before tomorrow’s 5:45am wake-up call. I have recipes and photos to post from this past weekend, but tonight… I’m incredibly unmotivated. However, I did have a wonderful photo shoot with Mother Nature in our neighborhood (north Eau Claire area) this past weekend. So, tomorrow night I promise you will get car bomb cupcakes… however, tonight you get a few glimpses of Wisconsin. 





chippewa river and madison st bridge

And… as a prelude to tomorrow’s entry:  a respectable pint of Guinness.


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Filed under Just a Thought

CE Staple: applesauce

I love this applesauce. I never really loved applesauce as a kid or pseudo-adult, even the natural unsweetened stuff in the big glass jars.  But my signature apple pie recipe calls for applesauce, and Golden Delicious were on sale at the time, so about a month ago I made my first batch of home-made applesauce….


…and now I’m hooked. This stuff is fantastic. I eat it literally every day. It’s perfect for a clean-eating breakfast or snack in combination with sugar-free probiotic yogurt or 1% cottage cheese, or even a few teaspoons of natural peanut butter (straight from the jar, of course). Ooh, or my homemade CE granola…. yum. I may need a pre-bed snack.


Homemade Applesauce
Adapted from Elise’s Applesauce, but made cleaner :)

6-8 medium apples, cored and diced (not peeled)
1 c. water
3-4 T. lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon)
1/4 c. honey
1 T. blackstrap molasses (if desired)
1/2 tsp (approx) salt
cinnamon to taste (I like a lot, about 1.5 T.)

Place all ingredients in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Bring water to a boil, and lower heat to a slow simmer. Cover and allow to cook 30-40 minutes, stirring occassionally.
Using a potato masher, pastry mixer, or fork, mash the apples to the desired consistency. Allow to cool; refrigerate and enjoy.


*Note: The outer peel of the apple is the most nutrient-dense part of the fruit.  Peeling the apples will result in a smoother applesauce, but you’ll be losing the nutritional value while retaining all of the calories and sugars. If you peel the apples, they need not be diced; I dice my unpeeled apples to reduce the size of the “peel chunks” in the finished applesauce.

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Filed under Clean Eating, Fall, Side dishes, Summer

Clean Eating: Day 4

Breakfast (7:15): 1 tsp natural PB, 1/4 c. lite Activia yogurt, coffee

Snack (9:30): 1/2 c. natural homemade (NH) applesauce and 1/4 c. 1% cottage cheese

Lunch (12:00): 1 beef brat, 1 c. boiled whole potatoes, 1/2 c. cooked corn

Snack (3:00ish): 1/4 c. 1% cottage cheese and 1/2 c. NH applesauce

Supper (x): not sure yet, will see what the hubs wants! Probably buffalo chili leftovers?

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Filed under Clean Eating

Clean Eating: An intro

I will be posting more about clean eating, why I’m interested, the challenges it presents, and eventually, how it benefits me. I started on Monday of this week and am tracking everything that goes into my mouth on I may occasionally post my meals for the day, just to help track myself. I will also be updating my existing posts that are CE recipes with tags and categories, just for future reference.

I do not want to rely heavily on artificial sweeteners, no matter their origins. I will occasionally use them, but I will also keep using molasses, honey, and dark brown sugar to sweeten my food. I do need to cut out alot of the processed sugar that has been in my diet, and so far I’m doing well. However, I am not going to bake an apple pie completely with stevia or Sucanat. I’m going to try to challenge myself but be realistic at the same time.

More to come!!

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Filed under Clean Eating, Optimism

Roasted Garlic

I’ve become convinced in the past 2 or 3 years that garlic is actually magical. Not only does this little bulb supposedly keep vampires away, but it also goes into almost EVERY dish I cook. On top of that, it’s not only for cooking with… it can be eaten on it’s own.  And it’s delicious.

I don’t mean that you should slice up a couple of cloves and start munching. Instead, roast an entire head of garlic and use as a spread for fresh homemade bread, as a cracker topping, mix it into dips, or spread it lightly on raw veggies.  *Disclaimer: do not do this right before a big date or a trip to your dentist.*

Roasted Garlic

Heat oven to 400. Very carefully cut off the top quarter-inch to half-inch of the garlic head, and any excess roots on the bottom. You’ll want a flat bottom if possible, without cutting into the actual cloves. You can peel off any excess layers of outer skin, but be careful leave the entire head intact. Drizzle EVOO in the bottom of ceramic dish; place the head of garlic in the dish on its bottom, and generously cover garlic head with EVOO. Finish with a pinch of salt, and roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the head you’re using. (If you prefer the garlic to be roasted brown, it may take 35-40 minutes for a large head of garlic.)

After roasting, let cool and remove from dish. You can separate the cloves and squeeze them from the bottoms, causing the garlic to “ooze” out of the cut tops; or, you can squeeze the entire bulb at once and watch the garlic ooze out of all the cloves! Be sure not to burn yourself though!!

Roasted garlic tastes great as a spread (as mentioned before), or also added to dishes, such as my Garlic Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes (previous post plug :)

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Clean Eating, Condiments, etc.