Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nutella Brownie Bites

These only have three ingredients.  I was skeptical too, but I had a large quantity of Nutella that I figured was better baked and shared rather than me eating it by the spoonful day by day.  These actually tasted better than I expected them to.  They had a subtle Nutella flavor, and a moist consistency.  They were not show stoppers, but were nothing short of yummy.  A satisfactory way to indulge your sweet tooth a little bit.  Dessert of the home-made variety definitely doesn't come any easier than this.  I topped mine with leftover caramel which added a little more flavor and made them more moist.  The original recipe tops the brownies with crushed hazelnuts, so do whichever you please.

Nutella Brownie Bites
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life
Makes 12 brownie bites

1/2 Cup Nutella
1 Large Egg
5 Tablespoons flour
topping of your choice-crushed hazelnuts, or caramel sauce works well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease a  mini muffin pan

Mix Nutella and egg until smooth.  Add flour and stir until blended.  Spoon into muffin pan.  If you are using nuts as the topping, add them now.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes.  If using caramel, use your finger to make a small indent in the top of each brownie.  Spoon a small amount of caramel in the indent.  Allow to cool slightly and serve.  Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pearl Couscous with Shrimp

I have been trying really hard to add more protein to my diet.  I am normally perfectly  happy to eat all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and lots of carbs, but meat doesn't usually cross my mind.  It's not that I don't like meat, it's just that it is not the first thing that I think of when planning our meals for the week.  Now that I am in my third trimester of pregnancy it has come to my attention that I am supposed to seriously increase my protein intake.  I was probably eating less than enough to begin with, so I am really trying to be intentional about eating the protein- filled foods that I know I need.  This week is the first in my new protein rich life.  On our menu this week are 2 meals that include meat/fish.  This is already a big improvement so I am starting off strong!
We had this couscous for dinner tonight alongside a burnt carrot salad with garlic chips and goat cheese. I love couscous but hadn't made it in a long time, so I really enjoyed this.  The nuttiness of the couscous adds a nice solidity to the dish, as the rest of the flavors are pretty subtle.  The shrimp and zucchini add a nice texture.  This was a nice healthy meal that leaves you feeling satisfied but not weighed down after a couple weeks of excessive holiday eating.  The couscous came together easily, but looks beautiful and tastes great.  Use Israeli, or pearl couscous.  It has a chewier texture than traditional couscous.

Pearl Couscous with Shrimp
*Recipe from The Chicago Tribune

8 oz Israeli (Pearl) Couscous
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 yellow squash, or zucchini, diced
1/2 pound raw, peeled, deveined shrimp, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 Cup shredded fresh parmesan
2-3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro or chives
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook couscous as directed on package.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a non-stick skillet.  Add onion and cook until golden-about 5 minutes.  Add squash and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turns pink-about 2 minutes.

Place couscous in a serving bowl.  Stir in shrimp mixture.  Stir in cheese and cilantro.  Season with salt.