Red Velvet Chocolate Squares
Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
½ cup chopped canned beets, drained
7 ounces (about 1 cup) canned red beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup liquid egg substitute
3 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
¾ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons natural red food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine the beets, beans, cocoa powder, egg substitute and flour in the bowl
of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes,
scraping down the bowl halfway through.
Add the agave nectar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and food coloring. Process
until all of the ingredients are combined, about 1 minute.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the dish halfway through the baking time. Turn
down the temperature of the oven to 300 and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes,
until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little bit of soft batter
clinging to it. It should not come out clean—if it does, it’s overcooked.
Let the cake cool completely in the baking dish on a wire rack. Then put it in
the fridge for at least 3 hours. When it’s cold, cut it into 12 squares and serve.
Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 12 bars (106 calories each).
Tip: I’ve experimented with these squares many times in my kitchen. What I
discovered is that, unlike most baked items, these squares taste best after
being refrigerated for at least 3 hours. Chilling the bars coalesces the flavor
and stabilizes the texture. Enjoy them cold, and you’ll enjoy them more.
Per serving (each bar): 106 calories, 1. 5 g fat ( 1 g sat/0 g mono/0 g poly), 2. 5 mg cholesterol, 62 mg
sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.
1 (4-ounce) bottle fire-roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
(about ¾ cup)
¼ cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 to 1½ teaspoons hot pepper sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook
according to the package directions, about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the marinara sauce and sliced peppers to a simmer in
a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the sauce, stirring it
occasionally with a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.
Put the yogurt in a small bowl. Stir about ½ cup of the warmed sauce
into the yogurt until smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from
curdling). Then whisk the yogurt mixture into the marinara sauce. Keep
the sauce off the heat, and cover the pan to keep the sauce warm.
Drain the linguine in a colander. Slide it into a large serving bowl, and add
the sauce, basil and 1 teaspoon of the hot pepper sauce. Toss gently until
the linguine is evenly coated with sauce. Season with salt and pepper to
taste and, if you like, the remaining ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce. Sprinkle
the cheese on top, and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Note: You’ll notice there’s no vodka in this recipe, and that’s intentional. It
doesn’t add much except empty calories, and who wants to waste a great
cocktail in a dish of pasta?
Per serving: 307 calories, 7 g fat ( 2 g sat/1g mono/0.5 g poly), 8 mg cholesterol, 772 mg sodium,