Fluffiest Popovers + Simple Homemade Jam Recipe

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Some things I don’t kid about- and one of those things is popovers. Definitely in my top 5 favorite foods. My love of these guys is quite unreal. If you haven’t had one- envision bread- but a hundred million times better. Fluffy, light and incredible. I actually always pass on bread – because unless is extraordinarily made/incredible – I’m not into it. I find most bread boring. BUT POPOVERS- total game changer. 

Background where my story began with popovers: In high school I would go to this super fancy restaurant with a friend (every day) and order a garden salad and multiple baskets of popovers (which came free on the table). Looking back those waiters most definitely hated us. 15-18 year old girls (yes this continued for years), coming in every day and ordering only a garden salad at a fancy restaurant- wowzers. But how nice were they to keep bringing the popovers endlessly without complaining?! Shout out to Luigino’s in Orlando, FL if you all are ever around that neck of the woods.

Anyway, now that I’m older I have realized just how easy they are to make. I recently ordered a popover pan on amazon. I highly recommend purchasing if you plan on making popovers. A cupcake tin does not work as well- they don’t expand and they’re not nearly as fluffy. So for fifteen dollars, I think it’s absolutely worth it. Here is the one I purchased- https://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Professional-Popover-15-5-Inch/dp/B003YL3DWO/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1513207241&sr=1-4&keywords=popover+pan.

We make popovers all the time- with soup or as an appetizer before dinner and they are soooo yummy. I love them with a little butter and homemade strawberry or blueberry jam. As you become a popover pro, you can start adding spices, cheese, chocolate, nuts and jam to the center of the popover- then bake. But I am a simple girl and like them the original way best! But play with it and see what you like!

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Popover Recipe from Neiman Marcus Cookbook

ingredients 

  • 3 1/2 Cups of Milk – we used almond
  • 4 Cups of All Purpose Flour- we used half whole wheat and half regular flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 6 Large Eggs at room temperature

Of note: the key to the best popovers is having the eggs and milk warm before mixing

recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Place milk in bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together in large mixing bowl
  4. Crack the eggs into the work bowl of an electric mixer – beat on medium for about 3 minutes until pale and foamy
  5. Turn down the mixer to low and add warm milk
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes
  7. Turn the machine off and let the batter rest for 1 hr at room temperature (I know this is annoying but it is worth the wait- if you can’t wait continue without letting it sit but if you can- complete this step!)
  8. Spray popover pan generously with nonstick spray
  9. Fill the popover cups almost to the top with batter
  10. Bake popovers for 15 minutes
  11. Turn oven temperature down to 375 and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until popovers are a deep golden brown on the outside
  12. Immediately serve hot with butter and homemade jam

simple jam recipe

  • 3 cups of blueberries or strawberries (fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup of sugar (or 1/3 cup + 1.5 Tablespoons of Truvia)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Place all ingredients in small pot and heat on stove for about 20-30 minutes (low/medium heat) + mix occasionally. Should become smooth/jelly like consistency. If you like your jam lumpy like me – take off a bit earlier. 

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I hope you enjoy this delicacy as much as we do! When Patrick tried a popover for the first time he was thoroughly impressed! Who doesn’t love the delicious light/airiness of a yummy hot popover?! If you all try this recipe, please let us know what you think! 

-The Neilan Family-

P.S. Don’t forget to order your popover tin

Coziest Lentil Soup Recipe

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This recipe is straight from my mom- aka the greatest Italian chef of all time- without any modifications. Because well, sometimes…you cannot modify perfection. It has always been one of my favorite recipes of hers and it’s so simple. Now that I’m older and cooking for myself, I can totally see why she was so excited when I’d ask for Lentil Soup for dinner- it’s so easy!! Busy after work? Throw everything into a pot to boil and leave it. As Patrick would say, Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

From the Dietitian: Let’s just be frank- this soup is awesome for regularity. It’s got insoluble fiber – which helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders (IBS and Diverticulosis). Lets talk about the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber- because a lot of people don’t know or forget! If you’re eating a meal- may want to revisit this page at a later time because we are going to get straight into poop talk. Yep – that’s right. Easiest way to say it. So soluble fiber (found in beans, peas, oats, barley, fruits and avocados) is sticky and soft- it acts almost like a gel, in a sense, so that things can slide around the GI tract more easily. The beautiful thing about soluble fiber is that it binds to substances like cholesterol and sugar- preventing or slowing down absorption in the blood- which is super cool and amazing if you ask me. Soluble fiber increases good bacteria in the gut; furthermore, improving immunity, anti-inflammatory effects and even improved mood per studies that have been done. Soluble fiber also is great for weight management -as we all know- because it helps you feel fuller longer…win win! Now for insoluble fiber– think roughage. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, nuts, fruits and veggies (mostly in the skin, stalks, and seeds). Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water; therefore, it cannot be broken down in the gut and cannot enter the bloodstream. Because of this, it adds bulk to the digestive system- preventing constipation. Which we all want/love.

From the Doctor: I work in internal medicine. In the future, the plan is to work in Pulmonary Critical Care, but for now it’s internal medicine; therefore, dealing with GI issues/disorders/diseases- is absolutely in my wheel house in the internal med world. You would be surprised how many issues stem from poor GI motility/function.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that over a nine-year period, consuming more dietary fiber lowered the risk of death from any cause. People who ate the most fiber (about 25 grams a day for women and 30 grams for men) were 22% less likely to die compared to those who consumed the least fiber (10 grams per day for women and 13 grams for men). The effect was even stronger when researchers looked at deaths from heart disease, infectious diseases, and respiratory diseases; people with high-fiber diets had as much as a 50% or greater reduction in risk.

Besides digestive health, fiber helps stabilize sugar. Like the wonderful dietitian mentioned a bit earlier, soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Meaning, increasing fiber intake is wonderful for people with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

Fiber and cholesterol. Just to mention once more, lentils help reduce blood cholesterol because lentils are high in soluble fiber.Canadian researchers examined 26 studies conducted between both the US and Canada that included a total of more than 1,000 people. Their findings showed that including a daily serving of legumes – beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas- was linked to a reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL aka bad cholesterol) by 5%.

One of the last things I want to touch on, is fiber and heart health. Several studies have linked consuming high fiber foods (like lentils) with decreasing you risk of heart disease. Lentils are a great source of magnesium and folate- both awesome for heart health too. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease, and magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients in the body. There has been a major link between low magnesium levels + heart disease folks…so eat your lentils!

ingredients 

  • 4 Carrots – chopped
  • 4 Stalks of Celery – chopped
  • 4 Cloves are Fresh Garlic – chopped
  • 2 Cups of Lentils
  • 1 Yellow Onion- chopped
  • 2 qt Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Thyme (optional)
  • Pinch of Cumin (optional)
  • Red Pepper (optional)
  • Locatelli Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Of Note: Occasionally, I have modified Mama Romano’s Recipe and added 2 Cups of Spinach or Kale to the recipe.

recipe

  1. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, lentils, cumin and olive oil to large pot -or dutch oven-, turn on medium heat. Saute so that the olive oil is coating all of the ingredients
  2. Empty Broth into pot (as mentioned above, add spinach/kale here if you would like to add greens)
  3. Add pinch of thyme and salt and pepper to taste
  4. Simmer for about 45 min. Every so often, stir soup and add water so that soup remains at the same level as when you started. Lentils should be tender. (I have had to keep soup on for up to an hour to wait for lentils to soften- by the end I had probably added 1 1/2 Cup water)!

We add red pepper and Parmesan cheese on top (Locatelli Romano Cheese- the absolute best and the only kind my family and I use).

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Now go cozy up with a Hallmark Christmas Movie, Soup and Relax!

-The Neilan Family-

The Incredible, Edible Flax Egg + Green Muffin Recipe

Happy Hump Day Everyone! So update on us: Patrick is now on a super wonderful rotation this month (emergency department-shocking that’s a good rotation for him, I know) and has the greatest hours (8-5pm). So we have been able to enjoy breakfast and dinner together – aka the stars have aligned. And this past week, we have been stuck on these delish green banana muffins!!! I’m all kinds of excited to share the recipe with you but first- I want to chat with you all about one of the very special ingredients used in this recipe.

The flax egg. It has made including plant-based meals in our diet- SO easy. We all know how to swap out dairy for almond or cashew milk and applesauce for butter. But how do we replace an egg?  Patrick and I try to have about 10-15 plant-based meals/snacks per week. Whether that is as simple as swapping out regular yogurt for almond yogurt some mornings or making tofu with dinner. But now we have a way to easily include plant-based baked goods in our diet! (INSERT FLAX OR CHIA EGG). Such a tasty, delicious and simple substitute. Take your favorite cookie, pancake, quick bread, brownie, muffin recipe and swap out an egg for a flax or chia egg and BOOM you have a vegan baked good (assuming you’ve swapped the dairy portion too)! See below recipe, for instructions on how to whip up the flax egg. It’s super easy! Of note, do not try to scramble a flax egg – bahaha – baking substitute only!

Back to the recipe. I LOVE muffins!! But even more than your standard muffin, I love muffins with hidden veggies in them. These have added nutritional benefits without the added weird taste you might sometimes find when you add veggies to baking! NO oil, NO dairy, completely VEGAN and absolutely delicious- if I do say so myself. This beloved recipe is from Kristin Cavallari’s cookbook and boy are they yummy! I was actually very surprised when Patrick scarfed the first muffin down and asked for a second right after. I love earthy, green things but sometimes Patrick is hesitant; however, with these guys he dove right in and loooooved them!

ingredients

  • 2 Cups Spelt Flour (you can also swap it out for 2 cups all purpose flour or ease your way into spelt flour with half and half)
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 Bag of baby spinach (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 Cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 Cup plain almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 Flax or Chia Egg*
  • 1/4 Cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups mashed banana (we used 3 bananas)

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine spinach, maple syrup, almond milk, flax egg, applesauce, and vanilla and process until completely pureed.
  4. Add the wet ingredients and the banana to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  5. Fill each muffin cup about three quarters full.
  6. (Optional) We sprinkled hemp and chia seeds on top of muffins
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Flax egg: 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds plus 3 tablespoons water. Mix and let set for 15 minutes until it becomes gooey consistency.

Why use spelt? Spelt is a grain that is descended from wheat, and it has a mild, nutty flavor that is comparable to wheat. Although spelt contains gluten, it has less than whole wheat or white flour. As a result, substituting spelt flour for white flour can make baked goods more digestible for people with a sensitivity to gluten! Spelt also provides 25g protein per cup! Wahooooo!

 

Hope you all enjoy these yummy muffins as much as we are! Have a happy rest of your week!

 

The Neilan Family