Braille Monitor                          February 2020

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New Year’s tradition is to make resolutions about things you will do in the next twelve months like exercise more, reduce stress, or eat healthier. Of course, keeping that resolution is another thing altogether. It’s easy to stay motivated that first month, but February and the aisles of Valentine’s Day candy can test the strongest of willpower. So this month the Monitor searched out some healthy recipes to help you keep your resolutions for better health to go beyond January. Whether you’re trying to lower your sodium intake, cut carbs, or change your diet to lose a little weight, we’ve got a few recipes that taste good and are calculated to improve your health. Let us acknowledge that the science of nutrition is divided on what is healthy, and all of us have observed the changing lists about what we should and should not eat. We who edit do not wish to engage in the debate with those who understand the science of nutrition and health, but we do want to bring some real taste treats. Enjoy!

Avocado Deviled Eggs

This recipe is low sodium, for those concerned about heart health. The avocado is a good source of monounsaturated fat.

6 eggs, hard boiled
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Method: Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks. Set aside half the yolks in bowl and discard the others. In a medium bowl combine egg yolks, avocado, lime juice, mayonnaise, half of the parsley, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Spoon mixture into egg whites and garnish with other half of chopped parsley

Keto-Friendly Mac and Cheese

For the Mac and Cheese:
Butter, for baking dish
2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
4 cups shredded cheddar
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Topping:
4 ounces pork rinds, crushed
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a nine-inch-by-thirteen-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with two tablespoons oil and season with salt. Spread cauliflower onto two large baking sheets and roast until tender and lightly golden, about forty minutes. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, heat cream. Bring up to a simmer, then decrease heat to low and stir in cheeses until melted. Remove from heat, add hot sauce, if using, and season with salt and pepper, then fold in roasted cauliflower. Taste and season more if needed. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl stir to combine pork rinds, parmesan, and oil. Sprinkle mixture in an even layer over cauliflower and cheese. Bake until golden, about fifteen minutes. If desired, turn oven to broil to toast topping further, about two minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Stuffed Baked Potato (Weight Watchers)

2 large baking potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke potatoes with a fork. Bake for one hour. While potatoes are baking, heat oil in a medium skillet. Sauté onions for about five minutes. Add broccoli, carrot, and garlic and stir until softened, about five minutes. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for four minutes longer. When potatoes are done, remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Cut potatoes in half and scoop out pulp into a large bowl. Set skins aside. Add sautéed vegetables, cottage cheese, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to potato pulp. Mash up well. Spoon mixture into potato skins. Place stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until heated through for fifteen minutes.

Balsamic Roast Chicken

The balsamic vinegar offers flavor and good color and, with the addition of the brown sugar, makes for a healthier sauce than a more traditional gravy.

1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Method: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mince together the rosemary and garlic. Loosen the chicken skin from the flesh and rub the flesh with olive oil and then the herb mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper. Put two rosemary sprigs into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken. Place the chicken into a roasting pan and roast for twenty to twenty-five minutes per pound, about one hour and twenty minutes. Whole chicken should cook to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. Baste frequently with pan juices. When the chicken is browned and the juices run clear, transfer the chicken to a serving platter. In a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Heat until the mixture is warmed and brown sugar dissolves, but don't boil. Carve the chicken and remove the skin. Top the pieces with the vinegar mixture. Garnish with the remaining rosemary and serve immediately.

Banana Bread

If your New Year’s resolution was to reduce the amount of processed sugar, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dessert. This recipe replaces refined sugar with honey, and oil with sugar-free applesauce, making it a guilt-free indulgence.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar-free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a nine-inch-by-five-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for sixty to sixty-five minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Keto Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

Just because you’ve gone Keto doesn’t mean you have to give up dessert. This tender coffee cake is not only low-carb, but also gluten-free.

Cinnamon Filling:
3 tablespoons Swerve Sweetener
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 cups almond flour
3/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
1/4 cup unflavored whey protein powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon melted butter

Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons powdered Swerve Sweetener
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an eight-inch-by-eight-inch baking pan. For the filling, combine the Swerve and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. For the cake, whisk together almond flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add the almond milk and continue to stir until well combined. Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan, then sprinkle with about two-thirds of the cinnamon filling mixture. Spread the remaining batter over the top and smooth with a knife or an offset spatula. Bake thirty-five minutes, or until top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon filling mixture. Let cool in pan.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, powdered Swerve, cream, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl until smooth. Pipe or drizzle over cooled cake.

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