Thursday, January 30, 2014

Banana Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds seem to be one of the new super foods being promoted. They have many benefits, some of which you can read about here. I decided to try this recipe last night as a healthy dessert. I adapted the recipe from this site. This would also make a nice, little breakfast. 

serves 4 ( 4 points +)

  • 1-1/2 c. vanilla almond milk
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1/4 c. chia seeds
  • 4 T. aerosol whipped cream ( or make your own, but add additional points)

Place almond milk and 1 banana in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add chia seeds and blend until mixed in. Pour into dessert glasses and chill at least 2 hours. The more you chill, the thicker the pudding will become, because the chia seeds are gelatinous and will absorb liquid. 
Garnish each serving with sliced banana and 1 T. whipped cream.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Today was one of the coldest days of the year thus far. I decided to turn on the oven to warm things up a bit. This pumpkin bread was so good, it was hard to stop at one piece. You will be pleased to know that I worked hard to get this down to 3 points per slice! I like to cut my bread into 16 pieces by first cutting into 8 thick slices and then cutting those slices in half. It gives the perception of being a more hearty helping! Enjoy!

Makes 2 loaves, 16 slices each ( 1 slice = 3 points +)

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 6 oz. fat-free vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. egg beaters
  • 2-1/3 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and spray two loaf pans with nonstick spray.
Beat sugars, yogurt, oil, and egg beaters.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture alternately with water to sugar mixture. Beat until just mixed. Add pumpkin and beat until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into loaf pans. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes

The creaminess, little zing, and extra boost of protein make these potatoes a nice and unique accompaniment to any meal, but especially beef.

serves 12 ( 1/2 c. = 3 points +)

  • 3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. low-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 c. crumbled Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl and mash with yogurt. Add milk as needed to achieve desired consistency. Fold in Gorgonzola and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Seared Steak with Red Wine, Onions and Mushrooms

This recipe was delicious and could easily rival any restaurant! My camera is acting up and so this picture is not the best quality. I will have to make this recipe again and get a better picture.

serves 6 ( 6 points +)

  • 1-1/2 lbs. lean sirloin or strip steak
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 c. sliced onion
  • 8 oz. sliced, fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 3/4 c. red wine
  • 1 T. butter

Heat a large cast iron or heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Cook, browning on both sides, until desired doneness. Remove steak from pan.
Spray pan with nonstick spray if needed. Add onions, mushrooms and rosemary. Cook until tender. Stir in 2 tsp. flour. Stir in red wine and cook until thickened ( about 1 minute). Stir in butter until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice steak thinly against the grain. Serve onion mixture over steak.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chicken Fajita Casserole

Easy, fairly quick and a good way to get some extra veggies into your diet.

serves 8 ( 6 points +)

  • 3 c. cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 can ( 16 oz) fat-free refried beans
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 package fajita seasoning mix
  • 1 bag ( 16 oz) frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions, thawed and drained
  • 8 ( 6 inch) La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortillas or another low carb tortilla
  • 2 c. shredded, low-fat cheddar

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 13 x 9 inch glass baking pan with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, mix refried beans, tomato sauce and fajita seasoning. Stir in chicken.

Spread about 1/2 c. bean mixture over the bottom of baking dish. Top with 4 tortillas, overlapping as necessary. Top with half the remaining bean mixture, half of the stir-fry vegetables and 1 c. cheese. Repeat layers with remaining tortillas, bean mixture, stir-fry vegetables and cheese.

Cover baking dish with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake and additional 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

adapted from "Betty Crocker"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I can pretty much guarantee that if you love chocolate, you will love these decadent tasting cookies! There are just four ingredients involved and they do not have any flour or butter. The cookies taste like a combination of brownie and chocolate chip cookie. The best part is that they are only 2 points +

Makes about 30 cookies ( 1 cookie = 2 points +)

  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c. baking cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 oz. Baker's bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa. Whisk in egg and egg whites until blended. Fold in chopped bittersweet chocolate. 
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto paper. Bake, rotating sheets once, until cookies are puffed, crackled looking and just set around the edges, about 14-16 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. They will firm up a bit.

adapted from "Bon Appetit"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Roasted Acorn Squash with Dried Cranberries and Slivered Almonds

Winter Squash is so healthy and there are a variety of ways to make it. I loved roasting this squash and then topping it with a combination of sweet and salty items.

serves 4 ( 4 points +)

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 3 T. dried cranberries
  • 2 T. slivered almonds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash, cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes or until very tender.
Place cranberries in a microwave safe dish, cover with water and microwave 1 minute. Drain water. 

Melt butter in a saucepan until lightly browned. Stir in olive oil.

Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper, top with plumped cranberries and almonds, drizzle with butter mixture.

Sweet Potato Rolls

This past November, we did not get Thanksgiving dinner. Our youngest son was hurt in a sporting accident and we spent the entire day in the emergency room. As a result of breaking his nose and almost every bone in his face, he was on a soft food diet for awhile. He asked that I would make "Thanksgiving Dinner" once he could eat it again. I decided to try making these homemade rolls from a recipe I found in an old "Midwest Living" magazine. They were delicious and surprisingly only 3 points +. 

Makes 16 rolls ( each roll = 3 points +)

  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c. mashed cooked sweet potato or canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. white whole-wheat flour ( I used King Arthur)
  • 1-1-3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. melted butter

In a large bowl, mix warm water, 1 T. sugar and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in remaining sugar, sweet potato ( or pumpkin, eggs, softened butter and salt. Gradually stir in whole wheat flour. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. ( 6-8 minutes). You can also mix your dough with a stand mixer if you have a dough hook attachment.
Shape dough into a ball. Place in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray; turn once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled ( about one hour). I usually let my dough rise on top of my stove with the oven turned on.
Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest 10 minutes. 
Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, Shape dough into 16 balls; place in pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Citrus fruits are at their best in Mid-winter and add a pop to roasted meats, desserts and salads. Oranges, limes and orange marmalade are used in this recipe. 

serves 6 ( 5 points +)

  • 1/2 c. fresh orange juice ( about 2 oranges)
  • 2 T. orange marmalade
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 6 ( 4 oz) boneless, lean pork chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 T. lime juice

Preheat oven to 425.
Combine orange juice, marmalade and mustard in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until syrupy.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over meidum-hig heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn pork. Add onion to the pan. Pour juice mixture over pork Bake for 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 140. Remove onion from pan. Return pan to medium-high heat; add lime juice. cook until mixture is syrupy. Transfer pork to a platter and drizzle with sauce.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Orange Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins

I love the combination of orange and cranberry. The key to making muffins that are moist rather than dry and stiff is not to over mix them. Stir wet ingredients into dry until just moist.  These muffins are hearty, healthy, and delicious!

Makes 12 ( 5 points+)

  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. wheat germ
  • 1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1/2 c. fresh orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T. Turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and spray or muffin cups with nonstick spray.

Combine flour and next seven ingredients ( through nutmeg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
Combine brown sugar, oil, orange rind, juice and eggs; stir until just combined. Spoon into muffin cups. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins spring back when center is touched.

"Cooking Light"


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