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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guilt-Free Healthier Brownies

I think if someone were to ask me what my favourite desserts were, brownies would be one of them.

Now, if someone were to ask me what my one favourite dessert is, I think I would overheat and then combust - the thought of deciding between Chocolate Mousse, Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, and Ginger Molasses Cookies is just too much!

I’ve already posted one of my favourite recipes for “Delish” Brownies on the blog, but today I’m bringing you another favourite - “Guilt-Free” Healthier Brownies. (‘Guilt-free’ is in quotations because, well, it’s a brownie, how healthy can it be?) These might be one of the best brownies I’ve ever had. The prune puree keeps them moist and extremely fudgy.

I will admit that when I first found this recipe on Martha Stewart’s website I was a little skeptical “Prune puree? Excuse me while I vomit.” but then I tried it - you wouldn’t even know it’s in there!

Let me know which brownie you prefer, for me, I love these “healthier” ones. They are so rich and fudgy, you’d never know (or taste!) the prune puree in here.

Guilt-Free Brownies
Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart’s Guilt Free Brownies


4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 egg white
1/3 cup prune puree
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 -1/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Leaving some overhang on the sides.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter together in a medium heatproof bowl.

Immediately after melted, whisk in sugar, egg, egg white, prune puree and vanilla extract and salt. Whisking until smooth.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour and cocoa. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

If the batter seems too dry add in 1/8 cup of water. Whisk together. If it still seems too dry after the first addition of water, add in another 1/8 cup of water.

Pour mixture in prepared baking dish. Bake until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle will come out with a few moist crumbs. This should take about 28-30 minutes.

Enjoy these brownies, you won't even feel too bad about finishing them all in three days!

- Lou

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Homemade Curry Powder

A few months ago (... November) for Meatless Monday I posted a recipe for Vegetarian Curry which is an ideal vegetarian dish. It’s easy to make, hearty, comforting and easy.

Since I’m a person who likes to do as much as I can from scratch, when it came to making curry I knew it would be no different. It’s easy to pick up a jar of curry powder at the grocery store, but if you have the basic spices, making your own is just as simple. Store this curry powder in your spice cabinet, maybe right next to your Basic Spice Rub.

For tonight’s Meatless Monday why not whip up a batch of Vegetarian Curry with homemade curry powder.

Homemade Curry Powder
Recipe slightly adapted from: zarbizarre on Group Recipes

4 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp whole cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger


Combine ingredients and store in a glass or plastic container. Use in recipes whenever they call for curry powder.

- Lou

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spicy Chicken Skewers

If you're a frequent visitor to my blog, you've probably noticed that I post lots of recipes involving chicken. Chicken is just so fabulous, don't you think? Maybe I just like it because it's something you can cook up however you want, you can throw it in a risotto, or roast it in the oven, it really is so versatile! I usually find myself using chicken for weeknight meals, resulting in quick and simple dishes. Despite being easy to make, they are always full of flavor. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a bland chicken dish.

Since the base of the sauce is chili sauce, these chicken skewers are spicy. I find that they are a nice little pick me up dinner to keep you going the rest of the week. The addition of dried herbs gives the chili sauce a distinct flavor that everyone will love. Plus, skewers are fun. I love them. And these are so good no one will know there are only 5 ingredients!

Spicy Chicken Skewers
Recipe Adapted from: Canadian Living Magazine


1 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper


You can cook these on the grill or in the oven. Whichever you prefer. I like using the oven!

If cooking in the oven, preheat to 375.

Cut the chicken into desire size and thread onto metal skewers. In a bowl, whisk ingredients for the sauce.

Spray a baking sheet with a little cooking spray.

Brush sauce over all sides of the chicken and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.

Sprinkle with a little lime juice and serve.

- Lou

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Living Lou's Broccoli Soup

Today was one of those days, those gloomy, cool, rainy days when all you can think about is a big warm bowl of soup. It is the first day of Spring after all, and all I can say is that Spring is definitely in the air, which means that the season for soups is coming to an end. That’s the only thing that makes me sad about winter ending, no more soups!

Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables, and I love cream of broccoli soup, even if it can be a little bland, but today I knew that I wanted to make a different kind of broccoli soup. My first thought was one without cream, because well, summer is coming up and I don’t know about you, but I don’t need that extra cream. Then I started thinking about what other vegetables would add to the soup and voila a soup that is as good for the soul as it is for the body.

This is an extremely healthy and flavorful soup, filled with the goodness of vegetables, broccoli, red pepper and carrots, as well as some yummy spices to add some flavorful layers. When serving, that last little handful of cheese is the perfect topping. Please, I beg you, do not omit the cheese! It won’t be the same without it.

Living Lou’s Broccoli Soup


3 tbsp olive oil (approx.)
2 heads of broccoli, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/4 large red pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 tbsp green lentils
2 tbsp 1% milk
salt & pepper to taste
cheddar cheese for topping


Prepare the veggies, roughly chop the broccoli, carrot, red pepper and onion.

Saute the veggies, cumin, paprika and a little salt and pepper in the olive oil over medium heat for 7 minutes. Occasionally stirring.

Add in the garlic and parsley and saute for another 3 minutes.

Add in the vegetable broth, water and lentils. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

After the soup is finished cooking, puree using an immersion blender or a regular blender to your desired constancy. Mix in the milk and serve hot with a handful of cheddar cheese.

This is the perfect soup to enjoy during these upcoming rainy Spring days. Happy Spring everyone!

- Lou

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Living Lou's Chicken Wings

March brings to mind two things: Spring break and March Madness. Sadly, the first, and more exciting of the two is over, which means that March Madness has begun! The time when we all pretend we've been following College basketball and cheer on our "favourite" (or the best) team.

When I think about food to eat while watching sports chicken wings are the first thing that come to mind. They are probably one of the most loved foods to eat whilst watching a sporting event, whether it be the Superbowl, or say, the World Figure Skating Championships. In my opinion wings should always be on the table.

These are not your typical chicken wings, oh no, these are much better. And they're baked, not fried! The sweet and spicy, tangy and smoky flavors are unusual and perfect. Rubbed with a simple spice rub before cooking enhances the flavours, of the wings, and the Chipotle pepper is what gives them that smoky flare which takes them over the edge. The molasses in the sauce gives them that finger-licking factor, and the Dijon mustard lends a tangy bite. I promise you, these wings will be a new favourite.

Living Lou's Chicken Wings


3 lbs chicken wings

Spice Rub
1 tbsp chipotle chili pepper powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup spicy mustard
1/4 cup molasses
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle hot sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder


Preheat oven to 375.

Combine ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine ingredients for the spice rub.

Place wings in a large bowl and cover with spice rub. Using tongs mix chicken wings and make sure all pieces are well coated.

Grease a baking sheet and bake spice rubbed chicken in the oven for 15-18 minutes. After the 12-15 minutes, turn the wings over and bake for another 15-18 minutes more.

Once cooking time is up, turn on the broiler and remove wings to another large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of the sauce over the wings, use tongs to stir and coat the chicken.

Place back on the baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes on one side, then flip chicken over and broil for 1 minute on the other side.

Serve with remaining sauce and plenty of napkins!

- Lou

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