Monday, June 22, 2009

Operation Vegetables!


Dennis has been on leave (i.e. vacation) for the past two weeks and we all have been taking it easy. This means eating out, spending too much money and not exercising! Today, it's time to get back on track!!

One of the things we really want to work on is to get more veggies in our bodies! Elyse used to be a great veggie eater but lately she has just decided they are not for her. I guess she has realized there are other foods in the house that taste better (wouldn't it be great to know nothing about the nutritional or fat value of foods and just eat what tastes good with no guilt!)

I rediscovered the book Deceptively Delicious and have been trying some of the recipes. It is all about "sneaking" veggies into normal food. All the recipes I have tried so far have been great.

Here is one of them. We brought these Blueberry Oatmeal Bars over to a friend's house and no one could guess the secret ingredient. We couldn't taste it AT ALL!

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspooon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Balance trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, chilled
1 cup low-sugar blueberry preserves
1/2 cup spinach puree (cook fresh spinach in a little bit of water on a skillet until it is just wilted; pulverize in food processor about two minutes-it took A LOT of spinach to get 1/2 cup spinach puree)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coate 8X8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir well to mix.

3. Add the margarine and cute it quickly into the dry ingredients with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and is no longer powdery. Do not overmix-bits of margarine will still be visible.

4. Set aside about half of the oat mixture; press the rest of it firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked), 13 to 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl.

6. Spread the blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with the reserved oat mixture. Bake until the topping is slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars.

The book says to make sure the bars cool completely so you can't taste the spinach. We certainly could not taste it at all!

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