Category Archives: Lowfat

Protein Pancakes: Start your day off right

Who doesn’t like pancakes? Just the word brings back yummy thoughts of breakfast. Seriously the word has CAKE in it! If I can have cake for every meal and not put on weight, sign me up! Unfortunately traditional pancakes act like cake when we eat it. It all goes to our butts, thighs, and bellies. Well here is a recipe to still have the flavorful joy of pancakes, but without the depressing sad side effects of guilt when you slam a short stack!

Anthony's Protein pancakes

Anthony’s Protein Pancakes

Basic Batter:
2 whole eggs
1/3 C. egg whites
1/2 C. 1% cottage cheese
1 C. natural oats
1/2 banana
2 tsp. cinnamon

 

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth (if consistency is not to your liking you can add oats to thicken, or egg whites to thin out). Heat skillet on med-high. Spray skillet with olive oil and cook batter like normal pancakes, flipping once air bubbles begin to form (about 3-4 min. per side). Serve hot and top with natural butter (1 tbsp. tops!), honey, agave nectar, or natural maple syrup. Just don’t over do it on your toppings!

Recipe makes 4 – 8″ pancakes. Each pancake is about 120 cal. 3g Fat, 12g Carbs (3g fiber), 11g Protein

Things to add to batter to change flavor:
*Protein powder (I don’t like this, but to each their own!)
*Apple Cinnamon (add sliced apples in blender to mix w/ batter)
*Blueberry (add blueberries to mixture after blended…duh)
*Chocolate chip pancakes (natural carob chips)
*Cranberry n Nuts (add craisins and chopped pecans to batter after mixed)
*Pumpkin (add 1/4 C. pumpkin and dash of nutmeg to batter and mix)

*Carrot Cake (add 1/4 C. shredded carrots and 3 tbsp. crushed pecans)

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Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Makes 4 Patties

Submitted by Alecia Patrick (from skinnyms.com)

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta (photo credit: skinnyms.com)

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta (photo credit: skinnyms.com)

Our friend Alecia was kind enough to share some recipes with us before she left.  This recipe for turkey burgers is great because the dried tomatoes will add some rich flavor.  And both the tomatoes and feta will also add moisture (as long as the burgers aren’t overcooked).  A rich garlic aioli would be a good balance as a sauce but it would add LOTS of fat and calories.  But a plain, Greek yogurt, blended with some chopped, roasted garlic would be a much better choice.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes (if using 99% lean turkey breasts, recommend using sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced chives or green onions

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and make into 4 patties. Recommend outdoor grilling or using a George Foreman type grill. Top burgers with your favorite condiments.

Note: Patties can be made ahead of time and frozen.

Serving Size: 1 burger patty & 1 whole wheat bun

Calories: 185 |  Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fats: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 | Cholesterol: 56 mg | Sodium: 134 mg | Total Carbohydrates: 12 g | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 5 g | Protein: 18 g
Read more at http://skinnyms.com/turkey-burger-with-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-feta-cheese/#YS1ESAo2ESo0bCey.99

 

It’s Cinco De Mayo! Celebrate with Margarita Chicken!

Margarita-Chicken-with-Mango-Avocado-Salsa-Labeled

Margarita Chicken with Mango and Avocado Salsa

Tabbouleh Salad

Mayo Clinic Tabbouleh Salad (Contributed by Tamara Czaplicki)

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup bulgur (cracked wheat), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup diced, seeded tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions or green onions
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 4 black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the bulgur.  Cover and let stand until the bulgur is tender and the liquid is completely absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the bulgur and the remaining ingredients. Toss gently just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve chilled.

Nutritional Analysis

  • Total fat 4 g
  • Calories 101
  • Protein 2 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 16 g
  • Dietary fiber 4 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Saturated fat 0.5 g
  • Sodium 60 mg
Photo credit: Mayo Clinic

Photo credit: Mayo Clinic

 

Recipe Renovation: Chicken Salad Sandwich

Makes 4 Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved or quartered
  • 2 tbsp toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Several grates of freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices multi-grain bread
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes

To cook the chicken, bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and simmer for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from water and cool completely. When cool, cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a bowl with the grapes, walnuts, dill, scallions, yogurt, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.

To assemble the sandwiches, place 4 slices of bread on a work surface. For each sandwich, top with 1/2 cup arugula, 1/2 cup chicken salad, 1/4 cup sliced radishes and another piece of bread.

Carlton’s Suggestions for Substitutions:

  • Chicken – Boiling the chicken is the suggested method.  This is to lower fat and sodium content.  However, boiled chicken can be dry if cooked too long – and flavorless.  An alternate method would be to salt and pepper the chicken & boil in low sodium chicken stock for more flavor.  However, you could just as easily saute the chicken in stock or olive oil.  Or bake the chicken.  But if you need to save time, use rotisserie chicken.
  • Also think about using turkey or shrimp instead of chicken.
  • Despite their health benefits, both the arugula and radish are peppery and pungent.   In place of the radish, some shredded carrots, mixed in with the salad, would provide enough crunch. And a mesclun mix or a red lettuce could replace the arugula.

Chicken Salad Sandwich from Epicruious

Nutritional Analysis:

Per Sandwich:

Calories 260, protein 23 g, total fat 6 g, carbohydrates 28 g, sodium 460 mg, fiber 5 g

Nutritional analysis provided by The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook

Recipe from The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook: Mega-nutritious Meals that are Inspired, Delicious and Fad-free by Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., photography by Bill Bettencourt. Copyright © 2013 Tina Ruggiero. First published in 2013 by Page Street Publishing.

 

Recipe Renovation: Carlton’s Shrimp and Grits

General Tso's Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken

If you love a certain type of food or have a favorite dish, it’s always fun to find out which restaurant makes the best.  For awhile, I was in search of the best General Tso’s Chicken (it was New Peking in Westport) Then, I was in search of the best crab cakes (it was Avenues Bistro) .

Lobster and Crab Cakes

Lobster and Crab Cakes (photo credit: Carlton Logan)

Then, it was the best fried calamari (Ingredient).

Calamari

Fried Calamari from Ingredient (photo credit: Carlton Logan)

Lately, it’s shrimp and grits.  I recently tried this dish at Louie’s Wine Dive in Brookside – it was GOOD.  But even better? Rye takes it to a whole new level…creamy, cheesy, almost-smooth grits… perfectly cooked shrimp… and flavorful pulled pork!

But I wanted to create my own  (lighter) version.  Traditionally, this Southern dish has lots of fat and sodium.  One recipe I found has 574 calories, 37 grams of fat and almost 1,600 mg of sodium.  So the challenge was to create my own recipe, keeping the richness and flavor and decreasing all the bad stuff.

C's shrimp and cheese grits

My lighter version of shrimp and grits

Carlton’s Lighter Shrimp and Grits

Serves 6 people

Grits:

  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 ½ cups of low sodium, low-fat chicken stock (I use Trader Joe’s Organic)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup of uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Shrimp

  • 2 slices of low sodium bacon
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped or minced garlic
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 pound raw, deveined  shrimp (26/30 or 30/35 count)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1/3 cup of sliced scallions

1. Bring water, stock and butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Whisk in grits; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cover. Keep warm.

2. Cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Add white onion, garlic, and tomatoes to pan; cook 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown , stirring frequently. Add shrimp and red pepper; cook 3 minutes. Combine stock and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add broth/flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve shrimp mixture with grits.  Top with green onions and crumbled bacon.

Nutritional Analysis

  • Calories: 237.4
  • Total Fat: 8.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: .7g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 129.1mg
  • Sodium: 343.9
  • Potassium: 204.1mg
  • Total Carbs: 19.8g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.8g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 22.7g
  • Vitamin A: 8.4%
  • Vitamin B-12: 16.6%
  • Vitamin B-6: 5.6%
  • Vitamin C: 7.0%
  • Vitamin D: 28.7%
  • Calcium: 15.8%
  • Etc.

Variations:

  • Omitting the bacon will reduce the fat and sodium.  Or if you don’t want to omit the bacon, turkey bacon might be a healthier alternative.  Just cook it long enough to crisp it.  Bacon in this recipe adds flavor and texture.  But also keep in mind, if you use bacon, it renders very little fat.  You may want to consider a tablespoon of olive oil to saute the onions.
  • Substituting 2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese in the grits results will lose 20 calories, 2 grams of fat and about 75 mg of sodium
  • Substituting 1 cup of low sodium shredded Cheddar cheese for the Parmesan will increase calories by about 30, increase fat by 2 grams and increase the sodium by 100 mg

Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving plate

My Thanksgiving dinner plate circa 2012. Clockwise from the top: light mac and cheese, green beans with bacon, homemade cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing with turkey sausage, chunks of turkey and ham, and candied yams.

Thanksgiving is a week away.  If you have not completed your menu, here are some recipes to consider.  Also, if you want to “lighten up” some of your favorite recipes, check out some of the suggestions below.

Dressing

  • Use whole wheat or multi-grain bread cubes
  • Use low sodium chicken broth
  • Substitute pork sausage with turkey sausage
  • Add diced apples for moisture and flavor
  • Saute diced onions, celery, garlic, cumin and sage to add flavor

Sweet Potatoes

  • Cut back on sugar or use brown sugar
  • Omit the marshmallows
  • Add pecans or walnuts

Green Bean Casserole

  • The traditional green bean casserole is coated in cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onion rings, both of which are high in sodium and fat.  Instead, saute green beans in olive oil and about a tablespoon or two of bacon fat with herbs.  Top with crumbled bacon.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Substitute low fat milk or buttermilk for whole milk.  Or use half low-sodium chicken broth and half low fat milk.
  • Substitute half cauliflower and half potatoes.

Cranberry Sauce

  • Instead of using canned sauces, make your own.  Here’s the recipe I make at Thanksgiving.  Any leftover sauce is used to make cranberry mustard for sandwiches.
  • Make cranberry relish by chopping whole cranberries, oranges, apples and 1/2 cup sugar in your food processor.

Gravy

  • Drain fat from turkey drippings or simply use butter to create the roux for your gravy.

Desserts

  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Low fat pumpkin cheesecake (see below)

RECIPES

roast-turkey-su-600467-l

Roasted Turkey with Balsamic Brown Sugar Sauce

brussel sprouts

Apple – Bacon Brussel Sprouts

From RecipeGirl and Cooking Light

From RecipeGirl and Cooking Light

Low-fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

Caramelized Apple Tostadas

Caramelized Apple Tostadas  photo credit: recipe.com

Caramelized Apple Tostadas
photo credit: recipe.com

Caramelized Apple Tostadas

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 26 – 7  inches  flour tortillas
  •  Butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray or nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon  granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 apples or pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon  brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice
  • 15 1/2 ounce can  apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon  dried currants
  •  Sifted powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions:

1.Place tortillas on a baking sheet. Lightly coat tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl stir together granulated sugar and the 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle over tortillas. Bake in a 400 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely on a wire rack.

2.Meanwhile, lightly coat a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Add apples or pears, brown sugar, and the 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; cook and stir about 10 minutes or until golden. Add apple juice and currants. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or until the apples caramelize and the liquid evaporates.

3.Spoon apple mixture over tortillas. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional Analysis:

  • 222 calories
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 52 grams carb
  • 5 grams fiber
  • 37 grams sugar
  • 2 grams protein
  • 74 mg sodium

Carlton’s Homemade Croutons

Photo credit: Carlton Logan

Plain Bread Crumbs (Photo credit: Carlton Logan)

I’m not real crazy about boxed croutons because they tend to be too dry.  My rule is if you fear the possibility of cracking a tooth, don’t eat them!

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to cut some day old bread, sprinkle it with some olive oil and herbs and bake them.  Plus they have less fat, calories and sodium than store-bought.

Ingredients:

  • Day old French bread/baguette or any type of bread
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 2-4 teaspoons Italian herbs

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Spray a cookie sheet with Pam.  Or place a sheet of parchment paper on the sheet for easier cleanup.
  • Cut bread into uniform cubes
  • Toss bread into a large mixing bowl,  Drizzle with some olive oil.  Season with some salt and a little pepper.  Sprinkle with garlic powder if desired.   Sprinkle with herbs.
  • Spread cubed bread evenly on cookie sheet.  Bake for 15-20, checking cubes after about 10 minutes.  Cubes should be brown but not too dark.  In terms of texture, cubes should be crisp but not hard.

Croutons can be stored in a plastic storage bag or air tight container for about a week.

Use in salads, soups, or a bowl of chili.

RECIPE RENOVATION: Potato Soup

Photo credit: Carlton Logan

Photo credit: Carlton Logan

I am always looking for recipes containing less sodium and less fat.  More and more, I’m pulling away from processed foods and gravitating towards fresh ingredients…fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains.

So, during fall, what’s better for lunch or dinner than a bowl of warm soup?  I have many homemade recipes for soup with tomatoes or squash or noodles.  But I didn’t have a healthy recipe for potato soup.  Until now.  I found this recipe at MyRecipes.com.

To cut back on the starchy potatoes, this recipe replaces some of the spuds with roasted cauliflower.  This increases the nutrients, cuts calories and adds a depth of flavor.  Also, using low-fat milk and sour cream cuts the fat.  Overall, this recipe cuts the calories in half, drastically reduces saturated fat and sodium.

Makes 8 servings, about 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound cubed peeled baking potato (about 2)
  • 1 pound cubed Yukon gold potato (about 4)
  • 5 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets (about 1/2 head)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1/2 cup fat-free fromage blanc (such as Vermont Creamery) or sour cream
  • 2 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. 2. Heat a large Dutch oven (or stockpot) over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
  3. 3. While potatoes simmer, combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cauliflower, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; toss to coat. Roast at 450° for 30 minutes or until browned, turning once.
  4. 4. Place cauliflower mixture and milk in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl. Add half of potato mixture to blender; pulse 5 to 6 times or until coarsely chopped. Pour into bowl with cauliflower mixture. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Place cauliflower-potato mixture in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 cup green onions, and fromage blanc; stir until fromage blanc melts. Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Top evenly with remaining green onions, cheese, and bacon.  (Note: if you don’t have a stand blender, an immersion blender would work as well, if not better.)

Nutritional Analysis:

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 223
  • Fat: 6.7g
  • Saturated fat: 2.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 12.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 29.7g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Iron: 1.8mg
  • Sodium: 478mg
  • Calcium: 185mg
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