Most people make a conscious effort to live a healthy lifestyle. These nutritious recipes will add to healthier eating

MAPLE OATMEAL MUFFINS

Oatmeal tucked away in these flavourful muffins is a good source of dietary fibre instrumental in maintaining a healthy digestive system and helps to lower blood cholesterol.

1 c.

quick-cooking cook-

rolled oats

1/2 c. milk

3/4 c. maple-flavoured syrup

1/ 4 c. margarine or butter, melted

1 egg

1 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 400F. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners. In large bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for 5 minutes. Add syrup, margarine and egg; blend well. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and walnuts; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm.

Yields 12 muffins.

BBQ MEAT LOAF

Barbecue sauce adds a tangy flavour to this all-time favourite dish made healthy with oat bran and extra-lean ground beef.

2/3 c. skim milk

3 egg whites, slightly beaten

1/2 c. finely chopped celery

1/2 c. chopped onion

1/4 c. snipped fresh parsley or 1-1/2 tsp. parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. salt (optional)

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 c. oat bran hot cereal, uncooked

1/4 c. ketchup

2 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp. dry mustard

Heat oven to 350F. Combine milk, egg whites, vegetables and seasonings; mix well. Add ground beef and oat bran; mix lightly but thoroughly. Press into 8×4-inch loaf pan. Bake 50 minutes. Combine ketchup,

up, brown sugar and mustard; mix well. Spoon over meat; bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

MAPLE-OAT BUTTERMILK QUICK BREAD

This relatively non-sweet quick bread is appetizing served alongside a bowl of hearty wintertime soup. It also makes a great breakfast bread when lightly toasted and spread with jam.

1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1 egg

4 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 c. maple syrup

3 tbsp. packed light-brown sugar 1-1/2 c. buttermilk

3/4 c. regular or quick rolled oats

1/2 c. raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat an 8-1/2X4-1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil. In a large bowl, whisk together the white flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg with the oil until smooth. Whisk in the maple syrup, brown sugar and buttermilk. Stir in the oats. Stir in the raisins, if using. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake until the bread is golden brown, the edges pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, turn onto a rack and cool

completely before slicing.

PACIFIC SALMON LOAF

Not only is fish high in protein and a source of iron and B vitamins, it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect against heart disease.

1 lb. (450 g) fresh ground salmon OR 1 can(418 g) salmon, drained and flaked

1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. chopped onion

1/4 c. chopped celery

1/4 c. chopped green pepper

1 egg, beaten Salt to taste

Combine ingredients; mix lightly. Shape into loaf in shallow baking dish. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes. Serve with Cucumber Sauce.

CUCUMBER SAUCE

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. sour cream

1/2 c. finely chopped cucumber

2 tbsp. chopped onion

1/2 tsp. dill weed

Combine ingredients; mix well. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

TASTY SALMON

1 or 2 salmon fillets 1/4 to 1/2 c. brown sugar 3 to 5 tbsp. soya sauce 1 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 to 1 tsp. dry mustard powder

Clean and dry salmon fillets. Place in baking dish. Rub brown sugar into salmon flesh. Sprinkle soya sauce, crushed garlic clove and dry mustard over the fish. Bake at 325F for 25 to 35 minutes or until salmon flakes easily.

BARLEY VEGETABLE STEW

An iron-rich stew that’s sure to take the edge off cold-weather days.

1 lge. onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tsp. canola oil 1 lge. carrot, chopped

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 c.)

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1/2 c. chopped sweet red pepper

5 c. chicken OR vegetable broth

1/2 c. quick-cooking barley

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 lge. tomato, seeded and chopped

In a Dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic in oil. Add the carrot, squash, sweet potato and red pepper. Sauté 5 minutes longer. Stir in broth, barley, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until barley is tender. Add the tomato; heat through.

Yields 9 servings.

Patricia Futros writes from Dugald, Manitoba

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