Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to make quick, healthy, and easy biscuits!

I love homemade rolls, but I rarely have time to make them, as worth the effort as they are. So, I make a lot of biscuits because they take about 10 minutes to mix up and 10 minutes to cook. Easy!

Oh, but there's a price. It seems to me that, in general, the less time a bread takes to cook, the more fat and/or sugar it contains. I don't know when you last made biscuits, but most of the recipes I've seen call for nearly a cup of butter per 10-12 biscuits. I love butter, but if the thought of it settling on my hips isn't enough, the claustrophobia of closing arteries usually does the trick.

So, I developed this recipe. Butterless? Not in your dreams. Significantly lower in fat and more nutritious? Now we're talking. And no one is going to know these are "healthy." They're tender, crumbly, and scrumptious.  Really. I was surprised myself.

Meg's Rosemary Oatmeal Biscuits

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 c white flour
1 c wheat flour
1 c quick cooking oats
1 tbs dried rosemary
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
1/4 c olive oil
1 c milk

Mix up the flours, oats, rosemary, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Next, cut in the butter with a pastry blender (a food processor might not be a good idea because you want the oats to stay whole).
Add olive oil.
Finally add the milk.

Drop biscuits using a 1/4 c measuring cup on to ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Portion Control" and other things you don't want to hear

I know what you're thinking: what the heck are M&M's doing in a measuring cup? They don't go together. You don't measure M&Ms. They already come in convenient measurements of "bag", "bigger bag", and "jumbo delight."

Well, my friends, this is a serving of Peanut Butter M&Ms. I know. I, myself, nearly wept.

This reminds of the time my friend Portia and I we're talking in the kitchen while our friend Andie made herself a NutriSystem "dinner."

When the biscuit-sized "pizza" came out of the oven, Portia asked, "What in the world is that?"

"It's a pizza."

"That's not a pizza. That's a dang cracker."

Well, that's how I felt about this.  To be honest, however, I've never really struggled too much with portion control and here's why: I grew up poor.  We didn't get treats like M&Ms very often and when we did, I would always ration mine out for as long as I could so that I could continue looking forward to having more the next day. Did I exhibit such precocious talents in all of my appetites? Um, no. Let's leave it at that ;)

Anyway, I think that, to attain the self mastery necessary to control your portions, you have to have a goal in mind. I once heard someone say that "nothing tastes as good as thin feels." Since we live in a culture where women sometimes take this literally, I'll restate it thus: "nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

I don't just mean physical health, though this is an obvious benefit. I mean psychological health too.  It is so important to our sense of self worth to be able to control our appetites (no pun intended...maybe).

Self discipline does not mean an austere, joyless life with no cupcakes. It means enjoying the pleasures in life instead of being enslaved by them.  It means believing that there will be more pleasures to be had tomorrow (and thus I don't have to eat this whole cheesecake right now).

Speaking of joy and pleasure, have you ever eaten frozen blueberries? Trust me; these are a viable alternative to Peanut Butter M&M's.  I'm hoping to recondition my taste buds by laying off the candy for awhile. Bahahahahaha!

But seriously, the blueberries are good.