Tagged: ricotta

Love and Muffins

Yesterday morning I made muffins. ­čÖé

I don’t know what it ┬áis lately that’s got me on a muffin making kick. I made those awesome corn muffins I posted about last week, and I also did a batch of blueberry-pineapple AND cranberry-orange in the last month or so, too.

This time around I tried my hand at zucchini muffins.

With cranberries and cashews in them.

*Nom nom nom*

My inspiration for these muffins was zucchini bread. I love zucchini bread. It sounds healthy, what with the zucchini and all being right in the name of it, but most zucchini bread recipes are made with boatloads of oil, sugar and white flour. That, of course, is why I like it so much I’m sure. Ha. However, I’ve really been trying to find clever, new ways to avoid all three of these ingredients in my baking endeavors.

I feel like muffins are the perfect experimentation vessels for  healthier ingredients and I love how they bake up into perfect individual portions! Rather than oil, I used some skim milk and fat-free ricotta cheese for moisture in this recipe and I used a whooooole tablespoon of vanilla to enhance the natural sweetness of the ingredients without adding a whole cup of sugar. These came out of the super tasty and are only 2 Weight Watchers Points each!

Zucchini Ricotta Muffins

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup ┬ácashews, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the zucchini, milk, ricotta and egg. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Gradually combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then gently fold in the cranberries and cashews.

Spoon batter into a greased or lined muffin tin.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy!

Funny story! When I sat down to take pictures of these tasty breakfast treats, Quincy decided he wanted to be in the picture, too! He sat down right in front of me, I snapped the picture, then he yawned, got up, and pranced away.

I love him so darn much. ­čÖé

An evening in Italy – sorta

The sensational aromas of garlic, tomato sauce and olive oil are still permeating in the air of my little apartment. Tonight’s meal was like a little trip back to Italy – sorta. (I say back because in the summer of 2008 I was privileged enough to take a two week Mediterranean cruise to┬áItaly, Spain, France, Croatia, and Tunisia. It was an absolutely amazing trip! But lets get back to dinner, shall we…) My intention for tonight’s meal was a simple, traditional baked ziti. Yum. To my dismay, when I checked the pantry, all I had were farfalle (bowties) and spaghetti. LIGHTBULB! Spaghetti Pie!

I think one time I watched Giada De Laurentiis make a spaghetti frittata once, maybe that was my inspiration? Maybe I was just hungry. Either way, I decided to serve it was a lovely italian side dish – broccoli rabe. Continue reading