Pico de Gallo


imageAs I mentioned in a previous post, I recently discovered a little gem of a Mexican market and I have since been frequenting their produce section. Yesterday I walked out with 3 bags of produce including a large pinapple and only spent about $6.00. Ole!

I don’t know about you but for me pico de gallo just screams summer!  Fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice and cilantro. I want to put it on everything! Not only is it tasty and fresh – but it looks beautiful and makes everything much more appealing. You eat with your eyes first, I always say. So, yes… presentation can be everything. 🙂

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Muffin Mania


I went a little crazy this weekend… call it Easter-inspired or bad-weather-I’m-stuck-indoors-inspired… but I’ve been baking muffins. Lots and lots of muffins. Below are my four favorites: Tuscon Lemon Muffin (with my homemade ricotta and olive oil); Key Lime Zest Muffin; Dark Cocoa Muffin; and Bacon Cheddar & Jalapeno Corn Muffin. All four were adapted from this month’s Cooking Light Magazine, with small tweaks of my own.

Instead of doing four separate entries I’ll just list the recipe under each photo.

Tuscan Lemon Muffin
Ingredients
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup low-fat or part-skim ricotta (best with homemade)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (roughly one large lemon)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (half of one large lemon)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2-3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Items Needed
12 muffin cup liners
Cooking Spray
Non-stick muffin pan

Ready To Cook?
Preheat over to 375º
Combine first four ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl and create a well in the center. In a separate bowl combine ricotta and remaining ingredients through egg. Pour mixture into the well and stir gently just until moist.

Place muffin cup liners into pan and coat with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly between cups. Using a small ice cream scooper will help you evenly distribute batter and makes for a neater process. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top of batter.

Bake at 375º for 16 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.

Calories 186; Fat 6.2g; Protein 4g; Carb 29.5g; Fiber 0.6g; Chol 21mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 160mg; Calc 81mg

Key Lime Zest Muffin

Ingredients
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup low-fat whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime zest (roughly three small-medium limes)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (roughly 2 limes)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2-3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime zest for topping

Items Needed
12 muffin cup liners
Cooking Spray
Non-stick muffin pan

Ready To Cook?
Preheat over to 375º
Combine first four ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl and create a well in the center. In a separate bowl combine cream cheese and remaining ingredients through egg. Pour mixture into the well and stir gently just until moist.

Place muffin cup liners into pan and coat with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly between cups. Using a small ice cream scooper will help you evenly distribute batter and makes for a neater process. Sprinkle (or directly zest using a plane) remaining lime zest and turbinado sugar over top of batter.

Bake at 375º for 16 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.

Calories 186; Fat 6.2g; Protein 4g; Carb 29.5g; Fiber 0.6g; Chol 21mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 160mg; Calc 81mg

Dark Cocoa Muffin

Ingredients
1 3/4 cup all=purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup dark chocolate mini-chips, divided

Items Needed
12 muffin cup liners
Cooking Spray
Non-stick muffin pan

Ready To Cook?
Preheat oven to 400º
Combine first six ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl stirring with a whisk. Create a well in the center of mixture. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients through egg. Pour mixture into the well and stir gently just until moist. Fold in chocolate chips until mixed evenly into batter.

Place muffin cup liners into pan and coat with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly between cups. Using a small ice cream scooper will help you evenly distribute batter and makes for a neater process. Sprinkle remaining and chocolate chips on top of batter.

Bake at 400º for 15 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.

Calories 191; Fat 7.6g; Protein 3.1g; Carb 29g; Fiber 1.5g; Chol 15mg; Iron 1.5mg; Sodium 197mg; Calc 37mg

Bacon Cheddar & Jalapeno Corn Muffin

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 center-cut bacon slices, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 `/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Items Needed
12 muffin cup liners
Cooking Spray
Non-stick muffin pan

Ready To Cook?
Preheat over to 375º
Combine first eight ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl stirring with a whisk. Create a well in the center of the bowl. In a separate bowl combine cream cheese and remaining ingredients through egg. Pour mixture into the well and stir gently just until moist.

Place muffin cup liners into pan and coat with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly between cups. Using a small ice cream scooper will help you evenly distribute batter and makes for a neater process.

Bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm with a pat of butter.

Calories 160; Fat 7.9g; Protein 4.8g; Carb 17.7g; Fiber 0.9g; Chol 23mg; Iron 0.9mg; Sodium 299mg; Calc 89mg