Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The BEST Chocolate Turtle Brownies

I KNOW, I KNOW...this blog is about healthy eating with less fat. In my defense, I am pregnant and I haven't made these brownies the entire time (that is over 23 weeks people) and I gave in to the craving.
I am also divulging one of my best kept secret recipes. This is by far my most requested recipe by family and friends. It is my "go to" recipe when I have to bring a dessert to anything. Homemade brownies seem so special and only you and I will know how easy they really are! The best part...only ONE bowl to clean up. You heard me correctly...homemade brownies while only dirtying one bowl!

If you are not a fan of turtle brownies: This is a great base for any favorite brownie. They are great plain sprinkled with powdered sugar, frosted, you name it. Get creative!


Chocolate Turtle Brownies

1 12 oz. package of Ghiardelli semi-sweet chips (bittersweet are great too), divided in half
1 stick of real butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I usually am very generous with this and go for a full TBSP)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 small jar of Caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350 and spray 9x13 baking pan

Melt 1 cup of the chocolate and butter in a heavy sauce pan over low heat. Stir until melted.

Remove from heat and stir in the eggs. Add: flour, sugar, baking soda and vanilla extract. Stir all ingredients until fully blended.

Spread batter in pan and sprinkle with walnuts and remaining chips.

Bake 20 minutes--tooth pick will be a little sticky

Drizzle with caramel sauce and let cool in pan. I typically drizzle with a little more sauce when serving.

To make this better than any brownie dessert you have had at a restaurant--serve warm topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. You will thank me for this recipe!

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Black" and Blue Salad

One of my favorite restaurant salads is the Black and Blue salad. It is the worst one for you by far! Beef, high fat creamy dressing all the cheese plus blue cheese. I knew I had to make a better for you version and I have succeeded. You will not miss the meat when you bite into these warm and hearty portabellos!

"Black" and Blue Salad
Portabello mushroom, sliced in strips (one bello per person)
Romaine hearts, chopped (4-5 full leaves per person)
tomato, diced (1/2 tomato per person)
avocado, diced (1/2 per person)
Blue cheese
Grill seasoning
Cooking spray
Your favorite low fat or fat free vinaigrette (I am using my fav: Whole Foods Brand Organic Blueberry vinaigrette)

Spray the bellos with cooking spray and grill seasoning and saute until reduced and a nice dark brown color. The grill seasoning is key. It gives the hearty bellos more of the steak flavor. I promise--you will not miss the beef!

While cooking load up plates with greens, avocado, tomato, and a sprinkle of blue cheese.

Top with the hot bellos and your favorite dressing. Serve immediately. You want the bellos to be hot and steamy!

It is just that simple to make a restaurant quality dinner salad in minutes that is delicious and so much better for you! Enjoy!

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