Tag Archives: whole wheat

The New Zucchini Bread: Whole-Wheat Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Written by Liz –

Whole-Wheat Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

This Wednesday, Apr 25 is National Zucchini Bread Day, and I’m going to give you a much better alternative to celebrate this food holiday: Whole-Wheat Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies. Yes folks, zucchini does belong in brownies – it gives the brownies moisture and weight as well as vitamins and other health benefits. In fact,  you can use any light-tasting squash in this recipe. Last fall, my home garden sprouted several squash/pumpkin/zucchini-looking plants all on its own, which threatened to overtake all the vegetables I had actually planted! I kept them in check by picking and  cooking as many blossoms as I could, but I still had a lot of green, striped and orangeish squash to eat during fall and winter. So they almost all went into brownies.

Whole-Wheat Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies recipe

Dark chocolate morsels make the flavor rich while adding antioxidants and whole wheat flour works beautifully, making these brownies a little cake-like. And I love encountering the surprise bites of salty-sweet afforded by the coarse sea salt. This brownie recipe is so good; it’s the only one I use now.

To make this recipe easier, I use one whole egg instead of 2 egg whites, and I also reduce the sugar and increase the dark morsels on top. Injecting nutrients into treats, keeping your garden in check and getting the dark chocolate salty burst I crave…I think we can all feel good about eating these brownies.

If you’re in the LA area, come try some this weekend at this year’s LA Blogger Bake Sale benefitting Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale for the No Kid Hungry Campaign. Held this Saturday, Apr 28 at BLD Restaurant at the Grove, the bake sale offers you delicious treats from us (like these brownies and Chris’
Salty & Sweet Chocolate Butter Toffee) and other local food bloggers.

Whole-Wheat Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients for 16 servings:


PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Line 9-inch-square baking pan with foil.
COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

MELT ¾ cup morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Stir in oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg whites and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture; fold in zucchini. Spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup morsels over top.

BAKE for 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Lift brownies from pan; cut into 16 squares. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Whole-Wheat Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies recipe


Related recipes:

Salty and Sweet Chocolate Butter Toffee recipe
Salty & Sweet Chocolate Butter Toffee
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread recipe
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Meatless Monday: Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo

Written by Chris

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

Portobello mushrooms have been called the steak of the vegetarian world because of their hearty flavor and texture. Like many, I enjoy a good burger but recently have been trying to reduce meat consumption in our household. Eating less meat is a great way to control food costs and get more variety in your diet. One portobello mushroom has about 30 calories and no fat or cholesterol – compare that to a traditional burger.

When looking for burger-style portobello mushrooms, look for smoother and firmer caps without any slimy wet patches. After you bring them home, cook them right away or store them loosely inside a closed paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Wine pairing: Meaty mushrooms pair best with meaty wines. Portobello burgers need bold flavor to bring out their best, so serve them with a pinot noir, sangiovese or syrah/shiraz.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 1 container (7 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Pesto with Basil (reduced-fat pesto works great too!)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 6 large portobello mushroom caps, stems trimmed or removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 slices provolone cheese (optional)
  • 6 whole-wheat rolls, split open
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Roasted red peppers
  • 2 cups arugula leaves


COMBINE pesto and mayonnaise in medium bowl; stir well.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

PREHEAT grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of portobello mushrooms with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides for about 4 minutes. Remove from grill and top with cheese (cheese isn’t required, but really complements the Portobello!). Toast cut sides of rolls on grill just until light golden; remove.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

SPREAD bottoms of each roll with about 2 tablespoons pesto mayo.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

TOP with mushroom, red onion, roasted red pepper and small handful of arugula. Top with top of roll. Ahh, now you are ready to dig in!

Check back soon for more delicious recipes. Oh, and remember to enter our Pie Recipe Contest (worth $1,000) before June 30!


Related recipes – make it a meal:

Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad recipe
Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad
Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge recipe
Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge

Enter the Nestlé Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest!

Learn more about the Nestle Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest
Learn more about the Contest
Enter the Nestle Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest
Enter the Contest

Watch Out Cupcake, There’s a New Pie in Town! Recipe Contest Alert

Malted Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust recipe

Recipe Contest: Enter your favorite pie recipe starting today, May 19! (Go to bottom of post for contest details – and the big prize.)

Bite-size or family-size, savory or sweet, the humble pie is the current darling of the culinary world. That’s right cupcake, step aside. This all-American favorite is reclaiming its glory and growing in popularity.

A classic comfort food, pie is one of the most versatile dishes around, making it easy to enjoy morning, noon or night. From pot pies and breakfast pies, to whoopie pies and ice cream pies, there’s a pie to please every palate.

Here are a few tips to transform the everyday pie:

  • Go Guilt-Free. No longer just an indulgent treat, pies can be made more nutritious with simple better-for-you swaps. For a boost of fiber, substitute regular pie crust with a whole-grain crust.
  • No time for homemade? No problem. Many supermarkets offer pre-made whole-grain pie crusts, which can be a big time-saver in the kitchen. And for recipes that call for 2% milk, try using fat free evaporated milk instead. You’ll enjoy the rich, creamy flavor you crave, plus two times the calcium and protein.
Kid's Cheeseburger Pie recipe
Kid’s Cheeseburger Pie
Plantain Picadillo Pie recipe
Plantain Picadillo Pie
  • Make Dinnertime Pie Time. Experiment with savory combinations to create unexpected dinnertime fare, shown above. A delicious recipe that satisfies cheeseburger cravings without the grill is a simple Kid’s Cheeseburger Pie. Or check out this recent recipe from Ani for Plantain Picadillo Pie. Yes, there are plantains in this savory pie!
  • Create Single-Serve Sensations. Who wouldn’t love their own personal sized pie? Perfect for entertaining or gift-giving, pie in a jar is a fun twist guests will be raving about. I just loved this post by Cheryl over at TidyMom.com! Check out her Pie In a Jar recipe here.
  • Refresh With No-Bake Pies. Give the oven a rest and beat the heat with no-bake pies. Perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and outdoor gatherings, ice cream pies can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer until ready to serve. This recipe for Malted Ice Cream Pie is my warm weather favorite with a special twist — a waffle cone crust! My kids go crazy over this every time!

Malted Ice Cream Pie with Waffle Cone Crust

(serves 12, shown at top)


  • 1 ½ to 2 cups finely crushed or ground waffle or sugar cones (about 12 cones total; waffle cones will yield 2 cups, sugar 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 container (1.5 quarts) Vanilla DREYER’S or EDY’S SLOW CHURNED Light Ice Cream
  • 1 ¼ cups OVALTINE Classic Malt Mix, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lowfat milk
  • 1 container (8 ounces) frozen light whipped topping, thawed (optional)
  • Chopped malt balls (optional)


COMBINE crushed cones, honey and butter in large bowl; stir until evenly coated. Pour into 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Press mixture onto bottom and up side of plate. Freeze for 30 minutes.

REMOVE ice cream from freezer to soften for several minutes. Place ice cream and 1 cup Ovaltine in large mixer bowl; beat until combined. Spoon into prepared crust. Place in freezer while making topping. For topping, combine milk and remaining ¼ cup Ovaltine in large bowl; stir in whipped topping. Spoon over pie. Freeze for 5 hours or until firm.

SPRINKLE with chopped malt balls. Cut into 12 wedges (crust will be crumbly but oh so good!).

Cooks Tip: OVALTINE Chocolate Malt, OVALTINE Rich Chocolate and NESTLÉ NESQUIK Chocolate Flavor Powder taste great in the pie, too. We tested them all!

To Enter Contest, Visit:

Contest Instructions:

  • Create a sweet or savory pie recipe using a participating Nestlé brand or product. Submit the name of your recipe, step-by-step instructions and a photo of your creation and you could win $1,000!

Prize Details:

  • FIRST PRIZE: One (1) First Prize winner will receive $1,000 in the form of a gift card (from a credit card company). Winner and winning recipe will be posted on facebook.com/NestleKitchens and on Meals.com.
  • SECOND PRIZE: One (1) Second Prize winner will receive a Nestlé gift basket filled with various Nestlé products.
  • THIRD PRIZE: One (1) Third Prize winner will receive a Nestlé gift basket filled with various Nestlé products.


  • Contest open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years or older. Limit one entry per person, per valid email address, per day.

Entry Period:

  • Starts May 19, 2011 @ 9:00 am (PST)
  • Ends June 30, 2011 @ 11:59 pm (PST)

Top 10 Finalists – Judging Period:

  • Starts July 5, 2011 @ 9:00 am (PST)
  • Ends July 19, 2011 @ 11:59 pm (PST)

Winner Announcement:

  • Winners notified on or about July 26, 2011

I hope you all enter and I wish you luck!


Related pie recipes:

Rich and Zesty Tamale Pie recipe
Rich and Zesty Tamale Pie
Cherry Berry Cheesecake Pie recipe
Cherry Berry Cheesecake Pie

National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day: A Treat for Adults Too

Cranberry Raisinets Biscotti recipe

It’s National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day! We can all remember eating chocolate-covered raisines as children, and today we can enjoy them as adults. One way is in biscotti.

Growing up in a non-fancy part of the area north of Texas, I never tried biscotti until I moved away to the big city as a young adult. A cross between flattened, sweetened bread and a slightly stale cookie? It sure didn’t sound appetizing, plus I didn’t drink coffee yet.

But my first real job in the city changed all that. As I joined the bleary-eyed working world each morning, I began to learn to love coffee…mochas at first, then with whole milk and lots of sugar and now frothed milk and no sugar. One thing that goes well with any rendition of coffee is biscotti: then as well as now.

And this biscotti recipe has chocolate covered cranberries in it (remember when she was the new Raisinet in town?), which brightens it up and also boosts nutrients. I love to make this reasy recipe with whole-wheat flour – see the Cook’s Tip at the bottom of the recipe – the heartiness and chewiness of whole wheat makes my coffee breaks even more enjoyable.

Crunchy Dark Cherry Raisinets Granola recipe

Another way I love to use chocolate covered raisins (or cranberries, or cherries) is in homemade granola. When I was little, my parents were as home-made as they could be: bread, peanut butter, sour cream, marinara sauce (simply called spaghetti sauce back then), jam and everything in between. These were the days before food processors and recipes on the internet, so some concotions were better than others to a child who just wanted creamy peanut butter from the store.

One homemade dish I loved was granola. My parents’ granola was better than any sugar cereal: crunchy, nutty, savory and sweet, made with whole grains and sunshine. The only thing that could have made it better to me then (and now!) would have been chocolate-covered dried fruit. This recipe reminds me of home.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Raisinets Pull Apart Bread recipe

Now here’s a dish my parents and I can completely agree on! I remember having monkey bread (or pull-apart bread) cooked in various ways for various meals by various members of our extended family. It seems the best way to use dinner roll dough was in some form of circle with a sugar glaze dripping over it. Adding chocolate-covered cherries to the recipe just brings it up to another level of taste sensation.

I made this for my dad last year on Father’s Day, via a home cook who lives near my dad and agreed to make it for him that day and say it was from me. Thank goodness for recipes on the internet!


Related Raisinets recipes:

Iced Cherry Raisinets Cinnamon Rolls recipe
Iced Cherry Raisinets Cinnamon Rolls
Tropical Raisinets Trail Mix recipe
Tropical Raisinets Trail Mix

Two Weeknight Spring Meals & One Simple Spring Dessert

 Whole Wheat Ravioli with Garlic Sautéed Vegetables recipe

Did you know March 20th is National Ravioli Day? I just love Foodimentary.com. So many fun food facts on that site! It’s also the first day of Spring!

If you follow my blog posts, you know that I get to work with a lot of awesome brands. Buitoni is one of them. You might also know I am a busy mom. Ok, a very busy mom…with triplets. So I take short cuts here and there. You aren’t going to find me making my own ravioli when there is a perfectly good one (made with whole wheat no less) readily available. Here’s my favorite ravioli recipe: Whole Wheat Ravioli with Garlic Sautéed Vegetables.

In this recipe, fresh green beans, summer squash and tomatoes are sautéed together then tossed with whole wheat ravioli for a simple weeknight meal. When you enjoy vegetables in season you can save money – you can also get the most flavor and nutritional punch for your buck. Asparagus, fresh peas and carrots are also good choices and will work beautifully in this recipe! Start to finish, you can have it on your table in 20 minutes.

Whole Wheat Ravioli with Garlic Sautéed Vegetables

Ingredients needed for 4 servings:

  • 1 package (9 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated Whole Wheat Four Cheese Ravioli, prepared according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans, salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add squash; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Toss in prepared pasta; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until pasta is warm. Sprinkle with cheese.


Baked Salmon over Apple-Ginger Quinoa recipe

Heart-healthy salmon is one of my family’s favorite weeknight meals.  In this recipe, all natural apple juice is combined with soy sauce for tang, honey for sweetness and fresh ginger and sesame oil for a little zing. The salmon marinates in half of this mixture for 30 minutes to pick up all the delicious flavors. After that, it bakes for 10 to 12 minutes. The remaining sauce is reserved for serving – delicious!

To complement the salmon, quinoa is cooked with apple juice and ginger (just a bit to sweeten it up ever so slightly). And the sautéed shallots and garlic round it out nicely with beautiful savory notes.

And, you can make this as the salmon marinates. Watch the video above to see just how easy it is.

Baked Salmon over Apple-Ginger Quinoa

Ingredients needed for 4 servings:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 (about 6 ounces each) wild salmon fillets (center-cut fillets or fillets that are of the same thickness are best so they cook at the same rate)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ivory quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sliced green onions (optional)

Whisk 2 tablespoons Juicy Juice, soy sauce, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, vinegar and sesame oil. Reserve half of mixture for serving. Pour remaining mixture into shallow pie plate. Add salmon and turn to coat. Cover; marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450° F. Line baking sheet with foil.

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in quinoa; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in water, remaining 1 cup Juicy Juice, bouillon and remaining 1 teaspoon ginger. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover; cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork; cover to keep warm.

Place salmon on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle with pepper. Discard marinade. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. If you want the top caramelized, put it under the broiler for a minute or two. Drizzle reserved marinade over salmon; serve with apple-ginger quinoa. If you are looking for a side, these Roasted Carrots with Shallots & Thyme will be a perfect match!

Spring Fruit Tart recipe

Are you ready for dessert? Come on, sure you are! Everyone deserves dessert, in moderation of course. Celebrate the sweetness of spring with this stunning tart, bursting with the flavor of fresh, seasonal fruit.

With only five ingredients, including your favorite fruits such as red raspberries, sliced mango and kiwifruit, this recipe is a breeze to make. The crust is made of sugar cookie dough – a lovely shortcut!

Spring Fruit Tart

Ingredients needed for 8 servings:

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

Place whole bar of dough in prepared pan. Allow to soften for 5 to 10 minutes. Using fingertips, pat dough gently to cover bottom and side of tart pan.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cookie crust to within 1/2 inch of edge.

Arrange fruit as desired on top of cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove rim of pan; slice into wedges.

What shortcuts do you take? I’d love to hear them…


Related Spring recipes:

Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti with Lemon and Asparagus recipe
Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti with Lemon & Asparagus
Zesty Orange Cookie Cups recipe
Zesty Orange Cookie Cups

Weeknight Chicken Curry…in a Hurry!

Weeknight Chicken Curry Recipe

Like many of you, I like to experiment with new recipes, but for them to make the “weeknight” cut, they need to be prepared – start to finish – in 30 minutes or less. To do this, some shortcuts need to be made.

In this recipe, I use boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders to save time. This way, I don’t need to cut the chicken before cooking, plus using chicken makes it a little healthier too. Also, many grocers carry pre-cut onions and bell peppers and you can certainly save time by using them; but they are a little more expensive. And I have no problem using frozen garlic; you know, the kind in the cubed tray (I get mine from Trader Joe’s). Even though I prefer to chop my own vegetables, there are many times during the week where I don’t have time to peel and chop garlic. I also take advantage of frozen brown rice. If you haven’t checked this out, you need to! It can be prepared in 3-4 minutes.

Now, there is an interesting twist to this recipe…I replace unsweetened coconut milk with evaporated milk. My rationale: Evaporated milk is fresh milk which is carefully heated to remove half the water. The result of this evaporation is the milk becomes richer and creamier also increasing the amount of protein and calcium per serving, so why not use it in place of coconut milk? I tried it and liked it, as did our entire test kitchen! And I cut a lot of calories and fat by doing so. If you prefer a thicker curry, you can easily add a little cornstarch (see Cook’s Tip in recipe).

Introducing kids to spicier foods is a slow process, at least in my family. Depending on the origin of the curry powder, curries can range from sweet & mild to sweet & moderately hot or pungent & very hot. For my family, I play it safe and stick with mild (flavors are much more intense for kids).

For this recipe, you will need a few ground spices – curry powder, coriander and turmeric to be exact. If you prefer to streamline the spices, you can use 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste.

Weeknight Chicken Curry Recipe

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and ground black pepper; add to skillet seasoning side down. Cook until browned; turn over and cook until no longer pick in center (this will take a few minutes per side). Transfer to plate.

Weeknight Chicken Curry Recipe

Add red bell pepper and onion to skillet along with curry powder, coriander and turmeric. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. If you want to sweeten it up, you can also add a peeled, chopped apple (my kids like this).

Weeknight Chicken Curry Recipe

Stir in garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Weeknight Chicken Curry Recipe

Add evaporated milk; stir to break up any brown bits on bottom of skillet – lots of flavor there!

Weeknight Chicken Curry Recipe

Add cooked chicken back to skillet with any accumulated juices along frozen peas.

Weeknight Chicken Curry Recipe

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until heated through. Serve over brown rice. If you like cilantro, it’s a great addition to this dish. You can also add some canned diced tomatoes.

So there you have it; start to finish, on the table in 30 minutes. Great for back to school.

Do you have recipe shortcuts and creative uses for evaporated milk? I would love to hear them!


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