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Low-Fat Recipes

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps

3 Comments | Written on November 21, 2013 at 5:00 am , by

Last week Better Recipes held the “Best Turkey Recipe Ever” contest.  We received everything from ways to cook the whole bird, to creative uses for leftovers.  In the end, the winning dish is a fresh and healthy recipe that is perfect to enjoy in the days after the big Thanksgiving meal.  Congratulations to “jselder551930” for her “Perfectly ‘Peared’ Turkey Lettuce Wraps.”    (You will get the play on words below!)

Keep reading for the winning recipe…

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Three Ingredient Low-Fat Creamsicle Cake

126 Comments | Written on August 28, 2012 at 5:00 am , by

Pinterest is absolutely overflowing with creative ideas from across the web and I am completely addicted.   (By the way, follow my account and I will gladly follow you back!)

The other night I was browsing around and came upon this genius concept for a three ingredient dessert using only a cake mix, Greek yogurt, and water.  It seemed almost too good to be true, so I just had to try it for myself!  That’s when the idea for this orange creamsicle cake was born.

Keep reading to find out how to make this Three Ingredient Low-Fat Creamsicle Cake!

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Asparagus Leek Soup

1 Comment | Written on April 7, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Last month, when I attended the International Home and Housewares Show, one of my favorite discoveries was the Cuisinart Soup Maker and Blender. In this one handy appliance you can saute, cook and blend homemade soup!  I simply had to try it and my first recipe attempt was ideal for our theme this weekAsparagus and Leek Soup.  This is the perfect soup to celebrate the start of spring!

ASPARAGUS LEEK SOUP (click here to view and print recipe)

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 garlic clove

1 medium to large leek, white and light green parts only, washed well and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound asparagus (about 1 small bunch), rough ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 Tablespoons cognac or dry white wine

1 small red potato (about 2 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1.  Put the butter into the blender jar; set timer for 15 minutes and temperature on Medium.  Once butter begins to melt, add the garlic and leek.  Cover and stir about 8 times using quick bursts.  Continue to saute, stirring occassionally.  Should any leek cling to the sides of the jar after stirring, scrape down with a heatproof spatula.

2.  Once there are 5 minutes of time remaining, add the asparagus and toss with a spatula to coat with the leeks and butter.  Add the cognac or wine once there are 3 minutes remaining.

3.  Once time expires, add the broth, potato, salt and pepper to the blender jar.  Cover and set time to 10 minutes on High.

4.  Once the time expires or when liquid come to a boil, set timer for 20 minutes and temperature on Medium, stirring occasionally during the cooking process.

5.  Once time expires, add the lemon juice and blend starting with speed 1 gradually raising to speed 2, until completely smooth and homogeneous, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Nutritional information per 1 cup serving:  Calories 97, carbohydrates 11 g., protein 4 g., fat 3 g., sat. fat 2 g., cholesterol 8 mg., sodium 614 mg., calcium 51 mg., fiber 3 g

The unit can be used to cook and blend hot soups or it can function as a traditional blender as well.  Double duty!

Another great feature is the measuring cup built into the lid.

All of the soup ingredients go into the blender and cook. 

Whirl it all together and you have a perfect soup!  It is a quick and healthy meal in minutes.  What a fun new appliance! 

“Red Carpet Ready” Cake

18 Comments | Written on January 21, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

I have some AWESOME news Better Recipes…this year I will be covering the Academy Awards!  That’s right, all the glitz, glamor, and, of course, the food!  From Wolfgang Puck’s legendary Governor’s Ball menu, to what the stars eat to fit into their Oscar fashion, I will be there to bring it all to you!

I told a few of my friends and the first thing everybody asks is, “What are you going to wear?!”  The short answer is…”Eeek, I have no idea!”  (Isn’t that wild, even the press has to wear tuxes and ball gowns!)  The one thing I do know is, the Oscars are t-minus 38 days away so I have a little time to prepare.

red carpet cake

I call this recipe “Red Carpet Ready” Cake because it is a low-fat, low-calorie way to literally have your cake and eat it too!  Half of Hollywood is cutting their calories and upping their cardio in anticipation of the big event.  This dessert is a guilt-free way to enjoy a sweet treat while still keeping your figure in check.

It is as easy as 3, 2, 1, YUM!  Here is how you prepare these individual sized cakes:

Start with a box of angel food cake mix and a box of regular cake mix.  I decided to use a Strawberry cake mix for this “Red Carpet” Cake.  You can use your favorite flavor!

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Combine the two cake mixes in a ziplock bag.  You will only use 3 tablespoons at a time to make individual cakes.

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Combine 3 tablespoons of the mix with 2 tablespoons of water in a small, microwave-safe bowl.

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Microwave for 1 minute and enjoy!  I garnished mine with a small dollop of fat-free cool whip and some fresh strawberries.  If you follow the new Weight Watchers program, this is only 3 Points Plus!

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It’s that easy!  All you have to remember is 3, 2, 1…

3 tablespoons mix

2 tablespoons water

1 minute in the microwave

(Now if only fitting into a slinky dress was as easy as 3, 2, 1!)

Wild and Wonderful Triple Chocolate Cookies

1 Comment | Written on January 19, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Cookies with only 45 calories!  You have to be kidding, right?  Just wait until you see the secret ingredient…

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Rocco DiSpirito at the Bertolli “Into the Heart of Italy” event in Los Angeles.  He was nice enough to give me a signed copy of his latest book, “Now Eat This!” It is filled with lighter and healthier versions of your favorite foods.  From fried chicken to mac and cheese and even desserts – all recipes in this book are under 350 calories.  Needless to say, I was sold!  I couldn’t wait to give the recipes a try.

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When I landed on his recipe for “Triple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies” I couldn’t believe my eyes.  No butter, no flour, no sugar…just cannellini beans?!  Needless to say, this would be my first time baking cookies with beans.  It would also be my first attempt to cook with Splenda and agave nectar.  I was skeptical, but Rocco noted in the book that he worked for three weeks to perfect the recipe, so I knew it had to be good!  The “dough” was very different from traditional chocolate chip cookies and it looked like they were going to come out more like meringue cookies.  But something magical happened in the oven and when they came out, the cookies were moist, decadent and very impressive!  I knew Rocco knew what he was doing.   I think his low-fat mac and cheese is next on the menu!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup canned white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons light agave syrup
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate-covered cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine vanilla, cocoa, cannellini beans, and the agave syrup, and blend the mixture until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl halfway through blending.

3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the Splenda. Continue to beat the whites until they are creamy and nearly stiff. Add one-third of the egg-white mixture to the cocoa-bean mixture in the food processor. Blend to combine, about 30 seconds. In 2 batches, fold the lightened cocoa mixture into the egg whites until they are almost fully combined. Add cacao nibs to the batter. Fold batter until cacao nibs are evenly dispersed and cocoa mixture is completely incorporated.

4. Drop mounded spoonfuls of batter onto the prepared sheets. Spread batter out to form cookies about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookies.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pans one turn halfway through baking. Using a metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Number of Servings: 20 cookies

Calories: 45, Fat: 1.4 g, Protein: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sodium: 32 mg.

Slow Cooker Fruited Irish Oatmeal

3 Comments | Written on October 28, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Top of the morning to you!  Have you ever tried steel-cut oats, also known as Irish oatmeal?  Unlike rolled oats or instant oatmeal, steel-cut oats take a long time to cook and therefore are a great fit for the crock-pot.  Irish oatmeal is chewier and nuttier in flavor than other types of oatmeal.  In addition, because Irish oatmeal is less processed than rolled oats or instant oatmeal, it is higher in fiber, B vitamins, calcium and protein.  There is even some evidence that Irish oatmeal can help lower cholesterol levels.  What more is there to say, give it a try for yourself!  This recipe is filled with dried fruits, maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon.  I like to add a bit of milk on top and sometimes even a handful of toasted walnuts.  Now that is a breakfast of champions!

Oatmeal

SLOW COOKER FRUITED IRISH OATMEAL

5 cups water
2 cups steel-cut Irish oats (the granular type in tin containers)
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots or mango
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown sugar or maple syrup
Chopped toasted walnuts
Milk

1.  In a 3-1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker, combine water, oats, apple juice, cranberries, raisins, apricots or mango, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.
2.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.
3.  Serve oatmeal with brown sugar or maple syrup, chopped nuts, and milk, if desired.  Serves 8-10.

Note:  This oatmeal reheats well in a microwave; or it can be frozen in individual containers.

TGIF: Ratatouille On-A-Skewer

1 Comment | Written on August 20, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Oh-La-La… Fire up the grill, because this weekend we will take a classic French dish and turn it on it’s head!  The eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes are put on a skewer, basted with French dressing and coated with a bit of Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.  In just a few minutes you have a healthy and delicious side dish!  Bon Appetit!

ratatouille

Ratatouille On-A-Skewer

1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 green and/or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 small onions, peeled and quartered

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup bottled French salad dressing

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

16 cherry tomatoes

1.  Alternately thread eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and onions onto 8 skewers.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste.  Brush with salad dressing.

2.  Combine Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs; place on a piece of waxed paper.  Roll kabobs in crumb mixture to coat evenly.

3.  Grill directly over medium coals for 10-12 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender, turning frequently.  Place tomatoes on the end of the skewers during the last 2 minutes of grilling.  Makes 8 side-dish servings.

Nutrition information per serving:  127 cal.; 8 g total fat (2 g saturated); 4 mg chol.; 301 mg sodium; 13 g carbo.; 3 g fiber; 3 g protein

Have you been following the TGIF series this summer?  Check out past grilling articles:

Around The World Burgers

Grilled Potatoes with Onion Butter

Hot and Smokin’ Grilled Nut Munch

Grilled Banana Splits

Grilled Flatbread Pizza

T-Bone Steak

Portobello Mushroom Fajitas

Martini Steaks with a Twist

Grilled Corn

Beer Can Chicken

Aloha! It’s Luau Time!

16 Comments | Written on August 11, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Get out those tiki torches and put on a lei, because it is time for a Hawaiian luau!  You will love this recipe because it is quick and easy with only 5 ingredients.  Your guests will love that it is also low in fat, so everyone can indulge and still keep their bikini bod!

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LOW-FAT LUAU CAKE

1 package (16 ounces) angel food cake mix

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in its own juices, undrained

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Powdered sugar (optional)

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until blended.

3.  Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking pan.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

4.  Sprinkle the top of cake with powdered sugar, if desired.  Cut into 20 squares.

Nutrition information per serving:  113 cal.; 1 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 0 mg chol.; 174 mg sod.; 25 g carbo.; 0 g fiber; 2 g protein

A Lighter “Pick Me Up”

2 Comments | Written on July 5, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Today is my Dad’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Daddy! Every year my Dad’s choice for birthday cake is always Angel Food, and this recipe takes Angel Food cake to a whole new level!  I have created a lighter version of Tiramisu that is also quick and easy through the creative use of a few convenience items.  Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian and I think this dessert will do just that for my Dad on his special day!

tiramisu

Light Tiramisu Angel Food Cake

1 store bought angel food cake, about 8 to 10 inches

3/4 cup strong black coffee, room temperature

1/4 cup coffee liqueur

8 ounce package reduced-fat block-style cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided

3 Tablespoons coffee liqueur

1 Tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder

1 container (8 ounces) frozen lite whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup fat-free or sugar free fudge ice cream topping

1 Tablespoon coffee liqueur

1.  Using a serrated knife, cut angel food cake horizontally into 3 layers.  Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter; set other layers aside on a flat work surface.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the coffee and 1/4 cup of coffee liqueur.  With a long-tined fork or skewers, poke holes all over on all three layers.  Drizzle mixture evenly over the tops of all three layers to soak mixture into holes.

3.  For filling:  In bowl of electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, and the 3 Tablespoons of coffee liqueur until blended and smooth.  Spread the top of the cake layer that is on the serving platter with half of the filling mixture.  Place a second cake layer on top of first layer and spread the top with remaining filling.  Place the third cake layer on top of second cake layer.

4.  For frosting:  In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar with the tablespoon of instant espresso.  Fold mixture into the thawed whipped topping just until blended.  Frost the entire cake with the whipped topping mixture.  Chill cake for at least 2 hours.

5.  To serve:  Before serving, stir together the fudge ice cream topping and 1 Tablespoon of coffee liqueur.  Drizzle over chilled cake.  Using a serrated knife, cut cake, making 16 servings.

Bella Melone

2 Comments | Written on June 29, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

In the summer, there is nothing like a light and refreshing fruit salad and right now the melons are so gorgeous!  With such a wonderful piece of fruit, you don’t have to do much to make beautiful dish.  This Italian inspired recipe uses cantaloupe and watermelon and dresses it up with a bit of honey, balsamic vinegar and a dash of black pepper.  I like to serve it out of champagne flutes with a sprig of mint to add a bit of sophistication to this fantastic seasonal produce.

I love the title of this recipe, “Bella Melone” meaning “Beautiful Melon” in Italian.  The Italians have such a passion of good food and quality ingredients, it makes sense they find their fruit so beautiful!  I still remember when I was studying Italian in college and every morning my professor would greet me at the door with open arms and her full voice, “Buongiorno, mia bella Kristina!” (Of course followed by “Mia bella Amy” or “Mia bella Katie” as other students arrived!)  She began class with such happiness and warmth and I think this recipe for “Bella Melone” is the best way to start off an Italian summer meal!  Grazie mille a Professoressa Guidolti e buon appetito a tutto!

Bella Melone

2 cups chilled seeded watermelon balls

2 cups chilled seeded cantaloupe balls

1/4 cup honey

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Freshly cracked black pepper (optional)

Divide chilled watermelon and cantaloupe among 4 dessert dishes or stemless champagne flutes.  Stir together honey and balsamic vinegar and drizzle some over each serving.  If desired, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.  Serves 4.